Take The Indoors Out with TimberTech

 

This spring we’ve been tackling typical outdoor projects around the house. Flowerbeds weeded and mulched? Check. Patchy spots in the backyard filled in? Yes. Wooden patio set coated in protective polyurethane? Done. Now I’ve started setting my sights on something a bit more ambitious – the decks.

When I bought my home both the upper and lower decks were painted a dark brown in the hopes of mimicking rich wood tones, but they failed and the paint has slowly been chipped and washed away. We’ve powerwashed them and considered re-staining, but at this point the wood may be too weathered for it to make much of a difference. That’s when TimberTech showed up on my radar. Their composite decking has been designed for high-performance and beauty, engineered to last longer than other wood alternatives, and with the most natural hardwood look.

 

 

I’m not the most ardent at taking on outdoor tasks, so much of the initial appeal of TimberTech’s capped PVC decking – both in the core and on the surface – is in how easy it is to maintain while remaining sustainable. It resists mold and mildew, is long-lasting with a great warranty, and has unlimited design potential. TimberTech’s sturdy, wood-like texture comes in vibrant colors and diverse grain options to match whatever look you’re aiming for.

 

 

 

One of the most exciting recent advancements is TimberTech AZEK’s Multi-Width Decking. Their Vintage Collection Deck and Porch boards give you loads of flexibility in dimension, style, color, and pattern by offering board sizes in multiple widths – standard, narrow, and wide. Go ahead and create a decking design that is uniquely yours and make a real statement by mixing and matching.

TimberTech is so easy to work with that you can make it a do-it-yourself deck project, or hire a contractor and forget about it. The boards are engineered to age very well, and the colors are even backed by a 50-year limited fade and stain warranty. Choose from palette ranging from rich browns to grays and natural hardwoods like mahogany. The profile of every board has a solid feel under your feet, much like traditional decking but better because the sturdy capping repels scratches, dents, and even insects. Your TimberTech composite deck can take just about anything!

 

Clockwise from left: Azek Vintage Collection in Coastline, Azek Vintage Collection in Mahogany, Azek Harvest Collection in Brownstone, Azek Arbor Collection in Hazelwood

Take advantage of the outdoor real estate that’s at your fingertips and extend the indoors out. That also speaks to your interior style – carry the colors and patterns you use in your home out onto your deck with throw pillows, lanterns, and furniture for a cohesive feel that carries throughout. Make your deck and your outdoor space an entertainment hub that you can enjoy all summer long!

Design an outdoor space that perfectly captures your personal style. TimberTech makes finding inspiration easy – you can check out their Instagram gallery or if you’re chomping at the bit to start planning now, use their three-step process for choosing the right deck. You can even order free samples right here. I can speak firsthand to how solid the boards are and just how beautiful the wood tones look. TimberTech is shaping the future of decking with the use of recycled materials, conservation practices, and a new state-of-the-art recycling plant, and I’m looking forward to hopefully making it a part of my home.

 

Clockwise from top: Azek Vintage Collection in Coastline, Azek Vintage Collection in Mahogany, Azek Harvest Collection in Brownstone, Azek Arbor Collection in Hazelwood

 

TimberTech AZEK Arbor Collection in Brownstone

 

TimberTech AZEK Vintage Collection Mahogany

 

TimberTech AZEK Vintage Collection Mahogany

 

TimberTech AZEK Vintage Collection in Coastline

 

TimberTech AZEK Vintage Collection in Coastline

 

TimberTech AZEK Arbor Collection in Hazelwood

This post is sponsored by TimberTech. As always, all words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Design Crush creating fresh content!

 

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Spring Tidying is in Full Swing!

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com. All words and opinions are, as always, my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help Design Crush create fresh content!

 

 

Nothing has ever kicked my butt into Spring Cleaning Mode like my boyfriend moving in being on the horizon. But I’m already getting ahead of myself because, well, I’m not a great housekeeper. Everything is tidy for the most part, but when it’s just me there are definitely dishes in the sink and little tumbleweeds of dog hair in the corners of the living room. I’ve had about two months to prepare for A’s arrival and it was filled by lists of to-dos, but the timing coincided with me accepting a new job and I think I maybe crossed off three things. What it comes down to is that my time is valuable because it doesn’t seem like there’s as much as there used to be – I value things that help me take advantage of what there is.

 

 

While we’re a ways out from doing any major kitchen updates, I’ve long wanted to research some projects like refinishing the cabinetry. N-Hance Wood Refinishing products are designed specifically for cabinets rather than walls and very durable as you can see after I put some samples to the test with both sandpaper and a hammer! (See the results below.) Their products are low VOC for a healthier kitchen remodel and cured with UV light for an immediate smooth, rock-hard finish. They can color match anything and going this route is a lot more affordable than traditional remodeling, leaving more money for things like countertops and appliances.

 

 

 

As I mentioned, vacuuming is far from my favorite chore and something I really struggle to carve out time for. (Which really isn’t cool because I have five pets!) I’ve always been a little leery of robotic vacuums because they almost seem too good to be true. Would it be loud? Would it really get those dog hair tumbleweeds out of the corners? Would it suck up the fringe on my rugs? No, yes, and not if you fold them under first. At least that’s been my experience with the ECOVACS DEEBOT 600 which can tackle both bare floors and carpets with ease and bounces off of obstacles without causing any damage. It’s smarthome compatible, so I can fire it up from just abut anywhere either by using the app, the remote, or my Google Home (it works with Amazon, too). I was nervous the debris container wouldn’t be large enough to hold all of that aforementioned pet hair, but was pleasantly surprised to find I only need to empty it once after cleaning the entire first floor. This is definitely the closest I’ll come to living like the Jetson’s!

 

 

 

Dishes are quite possibly the chore I’m worst at. I do have a dishwasher that’s quite new, but it needs serviced so I’ve been washing them the old-fashioned way – by hand. Sponges aren’t my favorite because of all the bacteria they can harbor and the smells that come along with it, so I was really looking forward to trying out the Scrub Daisy by Scrub Daddy. This dishwand has an interchangeable system of cleaning heads that are uniquely shaped to scrub various shaped objects (think baby bottles, baking pans, etc). The ergonomic handle dispenses soap while you clean and the valet that comes with it all holds the pieces and self-drains. (Get $1 off any Scrub Daddy product here and try it for yourself!)

What products are you loyal to or looking for to make taking care of your household easier?

 

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CASETiFY’s Phone Cases Take It to the Next Level with Art + Customization

 

Our phones are practically part of our wardrobes at this point, so it only makes sense that you would want a case that reflects your own personal style aesthetic. I’ve used phone cases from so many companies over the years, and the latest I’ve put to the test are from CASETiFY. I’m clumsy, I even managed to crack off a corner of Apple’s own silicone case, so when I say “test” you can believe it’s true. After a few weeks of use I can vouch for these guys, the side bumpers are especially tough which I love. Almost as much as I love the vast selection and customization options. Customize the heck out of one of their cases or go even further and design your own. CASETiFY is the leading artist-based community in the tech realm, which I’m happy to share and support – to be honest, it’s what sent me their way in the first place.

 

 

CASETiFY’s latest collaborative collection is with Amsterdam-based illustrator Bodil Jane, who I’m a longtime fan of. Her playful designs are available for both your phone and your Apple Watch. I went with the Eyes design, it allows the color of your phone to show through as the background and the eyes have the slightest bit of texture to them.

Bodil shares, “To celebrate the arrival of Spring, I wanted to incorporate lots of plants and nature-inspired designs, mixed into a collection full of playful colors. Much of the inspiration comes from my collection of antique botanical books. I wanted the collection to feel fresh, light and like something everyone wants to carry around all spring and summer. I’m really happy with the outcome!”

 

 

 

You just can’t go wrong with a clean marble look, seen here in minimal white. After having a few cases that were made of actual marble, which I promptly damaged, this looks just like the real deal and doesn’t weigh nearly as much.

 

 

 

This Neon Sand case will be going on my phone as soon as summer makes an appearance. The collection is available in four colors (VIP berry/violet seen here) and has some customization available that I opted out of. It’s a nice stress reliever to watch the sand move around the case and get this – it glows in the dark! If that doesn’t say SUMMER FUN, I’m not sure what does.

 

 

 

I received product from CASETiFY in exchange for this post. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content! You can also check out their exclusive collections with Nordstrom and Anthropologie.

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Fresh Business Cards for a Fresh Start

 

At the start of the month I mentioned how I’ve been taking on more projects outside of Design Crush. Turns out that when you’ve been one thing for so long – nearly 12 years – a change of perspective helps with the next chapter going forward. In my case, a change of identity as I went back to being Kelly Beall. Getting some fresh business cards seemed like the best place to start.

 

 

Basic Invite has a nice collection of specialty business cards with plenty of modern designs to choose from, along with every other style you might be after. They offer over 180 color options, coordinate with your business or just choose your favorite. You can apply a different color and font to every element of your personalized business cards if you’d like! Speaking of fonts, there’s a library to choose from – but if that sounds too overwhelming you can just go with what they’ve suggested on the template. If you want to get extra customized choose the foil option that’s available in silver, gold, and rose gold, or the clear card.

 

 

I chose the Modern Hello design, perfect for handing out to potential clients. I love the clean lines, bold type, and straightforwardness of the layout partnered with that bright punch of green. And speaking as a graphic designer, it was a nice change of pace to find several designs that I didn’t need to change a thing on to suit my own taste.

 

 

 

Basic Invite offers a lot beyond business cards online, they’re also one of few sites that give customers the ability to order a printed sample of their actual invitation before they ever place their final order. Test the paper, see the quality, make sure everything meets your expectations – then choose from 40 colors of envelopes to make the perfect invite for your event. To make the process even easier, they offer an address capturing service allowing customers to share a link on any social media platform to request their friends and family’s addresses. The addresses will then be stored in your account and can be selected during the design process.

If all of that doesn’t make you want to check out Basic Invite, well, they’re currently offering 15% off with code 15FF51.

 

 

This post is sponsored by Basic Invite. Thank you for supporting that brands that help keep Design Crush kicking!

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Winter Skincare Routine

About two years ago I started using skincare as a coping mechanism post-election. (I wrote about it here.) I’m still going strong with a morning and evening routine, and continue to search out new products that work well with my finicky skin. Being in the dregs of winter, I thought it would be a good time to share the products I’m currently using with you in case you’re looking to change up your own skincare. The most expensive product here is under $30.

 

I keep my morning skincare as simple as possible to guarantee that I’ll go through with it. A quick wash with Alba Botanica’s Acne Dote Deep Pore Wash gets rid of whatever dirt and oil the nighttime has deposited on my face, followed up with a few swipes of their Deep Clean Astringent. A couple drops of The Ordinary’s niacinamide and zinc serum helps to balance sebum throughout the day and fade dark spots. I finish up with a pump of Cetaphil’s Oil Control Moisturizer to keep my face matte, hydrated, and protected from the sun with SPF 30.

 

My nighttime skincare routine is a bit more involved. I find it’s a great way to wind down and let my body know it’s almost time for bed while also having some me time. I only wear makeup if I’m having a meeting or going out in the evening, so most times I’ll use a Simple Cleansing Facial Wipe to get the day off my face before following up with the same Alba Botanica astringent from the morning. A few times a week I’ll use The Ordinary’s Vitamin C Suspension next to help with brightening, skin tone, and fine lines.

 

If I’m looking to cut some time out though, I’ll mix a big pinch of The Ordinary’s 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder (aka Vitamin C) in with a serum. (Did you know Vitamin C is supposed to tingle when applied to your skin? That’s how you know it has deactivated or gone dormant.) I also alternate through a series of serums throughout the week, starting with this Collagen + Retinol Serum by Measurable Difference. It helps replace dead skin cells, promote elasticity, and combat any pesky (RE: hormonal cystic) acne.

 

The next two serums both get mixed with a few drops of Radha Rosehip Oil when applied for an extra punch of antioxidants and fatty acids. The Ordinary’s Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane is another attempt at warding off aging, while The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 adds a deep layer of moisture.

 

If I’ve had a few drinks or haven’t hydrated enough throughout the day, I’ll add in Pearlessence’s Overnight Recovery Serum to the mix like icing on a cake. You’ve likely heart the hype behind COSRX’s Acne Pimple Master Patch and it’s all to be believed. If I have any blemishes I’ll put one of these patches on before moisturizing and it sucks all of the gunk out overnight, dramatically reducing swelling and redness in the process. Easily my favorite product of the past year! Last I’ll apply the best moisturizer I’ve found yet for my skin – Garnier SkinActive’s Moisture Bomb. This oil-free, lightweight gel leaves my visage as soft as it was pre-puberty.

 

Aside from experimenting with various face sheets (I don’t have a favorite to recommend), I also use Laneige’s Water Sleeping Mask twice a week in place of my moisturizer. You just put it on as your last step, allow the invisible formula to really sink in, then wash it off in the morning. Once a week I also try and use the cult classic Queen Helene’s Mint Julep Masque to get out the set in impurities lurking in my skin.

I’m curious, what are you using and what’s working?

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Reinventing the Recliner

 

When you stop to think about recliners, what do you picture? I’m willing to bet your mind will lead you down the same path as mine, toward the bulky upholstered chairs of your childhood that were likely helmed by and reserved for your dad or your grandfather. They probably look nothing like any piece of furniture in your own home today, but thankfully the recliner has been quietly reinvented for a more modern home by American Leather.

 

 

I, for one, am thrilled – because man, are recliners comfortable or what?! I have a lot of fond memories of curling up in my Dad’s cumbersome chair, and these new designs are equally as welcoming. The seven sleek silhouettes are stylish and modern, two things I look for in every piece I bring into my own home. And when closed and upright you might never even know that these clean-lined chairs are concealing a reclinable feature.

 

 

When creating your chair choose from literally hundreds of color and texture options, making your custom modern day recliner perfectly suited to whatever kind of lifestyle happens within the walls of your home. There’s microfiber for homes with children or clumsy adults, cozy chenilles for the homebody, and of course natural classics like leather for a timeless aesthetic. Even with customizations you’ll have your new recliner in about 30 days.

 

 

My favorite design, and the one seen throughout this post, is the Aston. I love its obvious mid-century design influences and the natural walnut frame that conceals its reclining capabilities. It features a slightly curved back that just begs to be curled up in! Have a look at American Leather‘s entire line and see how innovation really is at the heart of everything they do.

 

 

This post sponsored by American Leather. Thank you for supporting the brands that help Design Crush create fresh, inspired content regularly!

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A New Year + Some Changes

Hello, 2019! As the new year starts, I wanted to take a minute and talk about how things have been evolving at Design Crush. For the past several years I’ve continued to do both freelance design and writing for other sites, even though Design Crush was paying the bills. But about two years ago the tide began to turn. I didn’t want to build a team and I didn’t want to add video – two decisions that lead me and the site to where we are today. Lately I’ve had a very full schedule working with two other sites as well as a local agency, and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to continue as I have for so long. Design Crush will still be here, I’ll still be sharing my favorite artists and designers as well as things that align with my personal aesthetic and lifestyle, but posting will be more irregular. I’m not going to stress if I miss a day posting, and I hope this new practice will even bring back some of the joy and excitement I had when I started Design Crush way back in 2007. Thank you so much for continuing to support this site that I absolutely love creating in all of its iterations. xo, Kelly

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Lisa Vanin

 

Lisa Vanin‘s paintings combine the natural world with a touch of the macabre, usually through the presence of a snake or a skull or three. Each piece sets a melancholy tone that leaves me wondering more about the circumstances surrounding it all. Don’t miss Vanin’s (super affordable) ceramic snakes or metal pins either.

Shop Lisa Vanin’s work

 

 

 

 

 

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