24 Merry Days Starts Tomorrow!

Merry Days-Design Crush

Image Little White Whale

You guys, IT’S TIME! For the third year in a row 24 Merry Days is here to rock your socks right across the room. Maybe even clear out the front door.

Mastermind Audrey has once again matched up 24 bloggers and 24 prizes. Every day from December 1st through the 14th a different giveaway will be announced on a different blog and revealed on the 24 Merry Days site. I’ll be tweeting the latest one each day (@designcrush) along with hosting one that you’re definitely going to want to enter.

The swag lineup includes a SMEG fridge, a Madsen cargo bike, two Loeffler Randall bags, a PUBLIC adult bike and kid balance bike, a pair of Swedish Hasbeens boots, big ‘ol gift certificates to West Elm and Anthropologie, AND SO MUCH MORE! You can also follow along on the 24 Merry Days Facebook page to make sure you’re notified of each day’s giveaway.

Here’s to a great December!

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Happy Weekend

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01/ The Real Apple Store celebrates a 1,000 year old borough market.
02/ Lady Gaga’s lead keyboardist developed a circular piano!
03/ And enormous raised-earth horse sculpture in Wales.
04/ London is shaming irresponsible dog owners by spray painting their poop pink.
05/ The feral cat population of Disneyland.
06/ One mom documents 63 things she found in her baby’s mouth over seven months.
07/ Genius design – this pregnancy book grows in size with the expectant mother.
08/ This frozen pond is creating beautiful concentric circles!
09/ Looking forward to next spring’s Kurt Cobain documentary – Montage of Heck.
10/ New life goal: to be one of these wrestling grandmas one day.

This week on Design Crush:
Win $300 from Minted to spend on holiday cards or some new art!
Baby, it’s cold outside! Stay warm with ramen 10 ways.
The bittersweet paintings of Akiko Kobayakawa.
The incredible Nespresso Vertuoline and seasonal coffee recipes for entertaining.
Repaired + reimagined: my Dad’s coat rack gets a much needed modern update.
Twelve more calendars for your 2015.
I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving!
Revealing how my dining room is take shape.

Design Crush elsewhere:
Five ways to add color to your space for winter.
Some designer insights from me over on Terry’s Blinds.

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The Dining Room

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You’ve seen the living room, now it’s time to get a little more formal.

But first you’ll have to excuse me while I go absolutely ape over my dining room. I love this room more than any other space in any place I’ve ever called home. Everything about it. The huge windows, the stunning light, the floor to ceiling built-in… I could go on.

There are pocket doors between the living and dining rooms (seen here), but they’re blocked off for some unknown reason. I’ve done some investigating (and removing of pieces of frame), but can’t figure out where the problem lies. Looks like it’s a job for the professionals.

I’ve never had a dining room before, and I’ve longed to be the kind of girl who had dinner parties and holiday get togethers at her house without the room to do so. The dining room turned out to be more than I could have hoped for with a mix of old vintage pieces that have followed me around a bit and some new.

 

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I was worried the built-in was too busy with my treasures, but a friend reassured me it was a-okay since I stuck to black and white. In the cabinet underneath I store about half of what I refer to as my “entertaining ware” – or the things that only come out a few times a year. I’m thinking I’d maybe someday like to paint the back of the built-in a color like deep turquoise or goldenrod to add a pop, but I’m fantastic as is for the time being.

 

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In my last house this vintage mid-century credenza was in my living room, holding my television, records, DVDs, etc. Here it’s serving its rightful purpose as a buffet and hiding the other half of that “entertaining ware.” (Fist pump.) I’m bound and determined to cover it from edge to edge in plants to take full advantage of all that glorious light I mentioned. In fact I’ve added an aloe plant and a Christmas cactus since these photos were snapped a few weeks ago.

 

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Another piece that’s followed me a few times is this Depression-era kitchen cabinet that I use as my bar. It’s been one of my favorite possessions for a long time now and it feels so right in this house that’s full of character since it has plenty as well.

 

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The original bath (the first of two) is off of the dining room, which is definitely strange. But it’s been renovated and now features a killer glass bowl sink and vanity that you can just see in this shot. I can’t really imagine making overnight guests use it as theirs, so for the time being I mainly use it to bathe the dogs. Since I plan on staying here for some time I can see maybe eventually tearing out the tub and making the pantry that butts up against it on the kitchen side larger. Time will tell.

 

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That floor rug just makes the space, don’t you think? I love how it adds a hit of pattern to my otherwise minimal dining room. The mid-century table and chairs set the tone for many dinners to come and the light fixture might as well be a piece of art in itself. (A huge, massive thank you to West Elm for reaching out for a collaboration!) I gave it all a test run last weekend for a birthday party and people gravitated towards the room like a magnet, I don’t think I’ve ever received so many compliments on decorating before. Like I said, OBSESSED.

 

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Parker Expandable Dining Table c/o West Elm // Splat Dining Chairs in pecan c/o West Elm // Torres Wool Kilim Rug c/o West Elm // Mobile Chandelier c/o West Elm // credenza (vintage) // bar cabinet (vintage) // large green bowl – handmade // large glass vessel – Pier 1, no longer available // aqua bamboo bowl – Target, no longer available // Sonneman Level Table Lamp – Lamps.com // Male and Female Socialites Busts – immLiving // silver trunk vase – Target, no longer available // Grass with Seeds – Minted

Photos: Quelcy Kogel

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Happy Thanksgiving

Martha Stewart Weddings-Design Crush

Photo Martha Stewart Weddings

Happy Thanksgiving, Americans! I’m busy hosting my first Thanksgiving today so wish me luck – I’m going for the above vibe in my tablescape, but with simple white plates. (Hopefully the bird doesn’t burn ala Christmas Vacation…)

As always I think that this is the perfect time to tell you just how thankful I am that you continue to read Design Crush and look to it for inspiration. You’re helping me live my dream and there just aren’t enough words to say thank you for that.

Now go enjoy all of that turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce! We’ll be back with regularly scheduled posts tomorrow.

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2015 Calendars: Part 4

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2015 Letterpress Calendar by 1 Canoe 2 // TYPE 2015 Letterpress Calendar by iSkelter // 2015 Retro Fruit + Vegetable Calendar by Loopz Art // New York Architecture 2015 Calendar by Hello Small World

 

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Twelve Tables 2015 Calendar by Little Low // 2015 BEER/FOOD Calendar by redcruiser // 2015 Cat Desk Calendar by Gingiber // 2015 Sand Wall Calendar by Rationale Design

 

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2015 Calendar Poster Print by Yumalum // FolkFlora Wall Calendar 2015 by Durido // City Illustrations Calendar 2015 by Tessa Galloway // 2015 Calendar by Shanna Murray

Part 1 // Part 2 // Part 3

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Repaired + Reimagined: My Dad’s Coat Rack

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This coat rack? It’s seen a lot. I’ve had it since graduating high school, before that it held robes and belts in my parents’ room, and before that who knows. It was my Dad’s and I have no idea how long he had it in his possession. The bottom line – it sorely needed an update if there was going to be any place for it in my home.

 

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Case in point.

It had seen better days and was showing some serious wear and tear in the form of several deep nicks and a loss of stability. (I’d already repaired that part here with a bit of wood filler, toothpicks, and elbow grease.)

 

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So when ScotchBlue™ Painters Tape and The Home Depot reached out about doing a project with Behr® and Wooster® I knew which piece was begging for my attention. I’d hoped to use the coat rack in the nook of my staircase which has white walls and light wood floors, so I also knew that I wanted it to be an interesting piece to look at with at least a little bit of color.

Supplies:
• drop cloth
• sanding block
Behr® Marquee™ Dawn Gray #MQ5-28
Behr® Marquee™ Manhattan Blue #MQ5-9
Wooster® Pro 2″ Nylon Thin Angle Slash Brush
• ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape Multi-Surface with Advanced Edge-Lock™ Paint Line Protector 2093EL

 

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I started out by deciding I wanted to leave the top ten inches or so naked before taping it off with ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape at that spot and sanding everything south of that mark. I made sure to smooth the edges of the tape really well to avoid any paint bleed.

 

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Then I sort of eyeballed how large of an area I wanted the semi-gloss Dawn Gray to cover in my colorblocked scheme – about a foot. I left the bottom edge ragged knowing that I’d be taping it off for my second color.

 

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After taping off, I painted the rest of the rack with semi-gloss Manhattan Blue. After it dried (the Behr® Marquee™ covered in one beautiful coat) I flipped it over and painted the underside as well.

 

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See that clean straight line? That’s the stuff painting dreams are made of. It’s always best to remove painter’s tape when the paint itself isn’t completely dry, and to pull at an angle. This helps keep that line super straight.

 

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I’m so happy with the end result! My once ragged hand-me-down coat rack has fresh life just in time for being hung full of winter coats, hats, and scarves.

I am proud to be a 3M, Behr®, and Wooster® – sponsored blogger, and, as part of my responsibilities, I get the opportunity to evaluate products. Opinions are my own and additional product used in the project were selected by me. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush going!

Home Depot Consumer Program // The Home Depot Twitter // The Home Depot Facebook // The Home Depot Pinterest // ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape Twitter // ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape Facebook // ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape Pinterest

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Nespresso VertuoLine + Seasonal Coffee Drinks

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I’ve always been fascinated by single-serve coffee systems, but vastly underwhelmed by what’s on the market. The ability to cater to your family’s or guests’ preferences, especially during all of those holiday get togethers, can be such a lovely touch when entertaining. But when the coffee itself tastes unimpressive and the machine has a working life of maybe a year… well, what’s the point?

 

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When Nespresso reached out about trying out their new VertuoLine I was hesitant, but what changed my mind was that Nespresso works in coffee. They aren’t just some brand who’s decided to create a new machine and outsource the main ingredient. VertuoLine is an intuitive system that uses Centrifusion technology and barcode reading (cup size, rotation, temperature, flow rate, and brew time) to brew 8 oz cups of coffee and 1.35 oz espressos.

 

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The VertuoLine’s hallmark is the incredible crema – the foam formed on each espresso top – it creates with every cup. And honestly it really is impressive. Once I got my hands on the machine itself I couldn’t believe that this was a cup of coffee that I’d made in around a minute in my own kitchen.

 

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I also got to play around with an automatic milk frother, the Aeroccino+. With the push of a button I had perfect hot milk and froth (it can also warm milk without the froth or froth cold milk). It’s basically my favorite new kitchen gadget of 2014.

The VertuoLine comes with a sample box of their eight coffee and four espresso blends. And after trying nearly all of them I decided to create a few coffee drinks and put it all to the test.

 

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Ingredients:
Melozio capsule
• 2 oz skim milk
• 1 Tbsp honey, plus more for drizzling

Place Melozio capsule into the VertuoLine and brew into mug. While brewing, pour 2 oz skim milk into Aeroccino+ along with one tablespoon of honey. Press button to froth. When finished, gently pour milk into coffee, then spoon froth on top. Drizzle with honey. Drink up.

 

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Ingredients:
Odacio capsule
• 2 oz eggnog

Place Odacio capsule into the VertuoLine and brew into mug or heat-safe glass. While brewing, pour 2 oz eggnog into Aeroccino+. Press button to froth. Pour eggnog slowly into coffee to achieve that great separation. Enjoy.

Disclaimer: I received product and compensation for this collaboration with Nespresso. As always all words and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that help keep Design Crush going!

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Akiko Kobayakawa

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Are those seemingly innocent animals with knock-kneed human legs posing provocatively that you spy? Yup, right off the brush of Akiko Kobayakawa. The doe eyes and scuffed knees seem to hinting at something maybe a bit more dark I’m betting.

 

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(via The Jealous Curator)

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Ramen 10 Ways

I’m a soup fiend when cold weather comes to town, and I’m always looking for the next one to try (these are my favorite two!). This winter I’m planning on doing a little experimentation with ramen and I’ve bookmarked these ten recipes as my starting point. Have you ever made it other than straight out of the package? Me neither.

 

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Click on each image to go to the recipe.
All photos copyright of their respective sites unless otherwise noted.

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Win It: $300 from Minted

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I’m a big fan of Minted, their goods, and what they’re doing for independent artists. I have several pieces of the art they sell in my home, and this is the second year I’ve turned to them for my holiday cards. Minted offers a fantastic collection of both photo and non-photo cards (my preference), and after narrowing them all down to four designs I settled on this one by Phrosene Ras. I love the bright and happy palette and the ability to customize the sentiment.

 

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This year I took the time to input all of my addresses on the website so that Minted could print them right on the envelopes. While I’m normally all for hand-addressing my holiday cards this year is extremely busy, so I took the plunge and don’t have one regret. They look so good!

 

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Minted also offers the option of a decorative element next to the address that coordinates with your card’s design. I really felt like this additional touch helped make up the difference (in my mind) for not writing things out on my own.

 

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Minted will also add your return address on the envelope flap for free. The end result was clean, modern, and just my style.

 

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I’m happy to team up with Minted to give a lucky reader $300 to spend on holiday cards, art, or whatever else might be calling your name! (They also have some lovely gift tags and wrapping paper.) Take advantage of their addressing service or wow your holiday card list with a design that features their new gold foil. Best of luck!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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