The Magic of Linen + 5 Linen Care Tips

 

Warm, breezy days and flowing linens were made for one another. The centuries old fabric is made from the fibers of the flax plant, and the lightweight, breathable fabric is perfect for slower, more rumpled days. You’ll notice I didn’t bother to iron out the fold seams in these photos, and that’s because I think they add to the charm of all things linen.

MagicLinen is a family business located in Lithuania that combines their knowledge of textiles and love of décor to create linen pieces meant to be passed down through generations. All of the company’s goods are made from high quality European OEKO-TEX certified linen fabric and is softened through stonewashing, the modern way of doing so without any harmful chemicals. MagicLinen’s collection is entirely handmade and includes linen bedding, clothing, napkins, towels, placemats, table runners, towels, scarves, aprons, and more.

 

 

“We care a lot about eco-friendly, organic and slow living. We cherish classic values, at the same time being modern, opened to a world and new ideas, doing our best with a lot of enthusiasm and hard work. These principles reflect in the goods we deliver – we choose the most organic fabrics and enjoy the process of making items by hand than going to big factories.”

 

 

MagicLinen is aptly named, because the fabric really is just that and has been used through the ages to make everything from canvases and wallpaper to clothing and bedding. It’s super durable because linen is naturally thicker and 30% stronger than cotton, so it will keep its shape and withstand more washings while growing softer over time. It can absorb up to 20% of its own weight in water before starting to feel damp and dries quickly, making linen the perfect material for bath towels and clothing. The material is also a natural insulator meaning it keeps you cool in the summer and retains heat from your body in the colder months. It’s also hypoallergenic which is fantastic for people who have sensitive skin or suffer from allergies. A big bonus – linen is sustainable and eco-friendly.

 

 

I’m not fussy when it comes to the textiles in my home or in my wardrobe, so MagicLinen’s pieces fit right in. The dishtowels are super absorbent, the bed linens so cool and soft for summer, and the tablecloth and napkins my favorite options for pulling together a quickly dressed table. I want these pieces to last for along time, so I did my research when it comes to caring for them.

Washing
Linen items can be both hand washed and machine washed, though preferably on their own. When machine washing use the gentle cycle with warm water with a mild detergent. For hand washing also use warm water and about a teaspoon of mild detergent. Allow the linen to soak for 10 minutes before swishing it around while avoiding the urge to wring, twist, or scrub as it can stretch the fabric. Rinse with cool water until all of the soap is gone. To combat any stubborn stains, soak the spot in a detergent and water solution and launder as usual.

Drying
Washed linens can be machine dried on low heat. Remove them from the dryer while still slightly damp and hang or lie flat to dry completely. Air drying adds softness to the linen items, you can line-dry lay them flat on a white towel. The only linen pieces that will ever require dry cleaning are more structured garments such as linen jackets, suits, and hemstitched items in order to preserve their shape.

Avoid
Bleaching your linens or using detergents with optical brighteners can weaken linen’s fibers and cause discoloration. Fabric softeners and dryer sheets can weaken the fibers and reduce their absorbency and moisture-wicking properties. Don’t store linen in plastic bags, instead choose linen bags or reuse old pillowcases.

Ironing
I prefer the wrinkled look, but if you’d like a crisper appearance you can use a medium-hot iron on the fabric while it’s still damp or overlay it with a damp towel.

Storing
Make sure they’re are completely dry to avoid mildew before storing your linens in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area that’s located away from direct sunlight.

 

This post sponsored by MagicLinen. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting our carefully chosen partners that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content!

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Introducing Milk Factory

This past spring a lot of my time was spent designing for a project my friend Jaime and I had been discussing for a long time, and now it has a name – Milk Factory. Design Milk’s first collection of merchandise includes t-shirts, stickers, a tote bag (my favorite), and an enamel pin. We did a test run pop-up at the Milk Stand at ICFF in May before the shop opened and it went really well. All of the products are proudly printed by Commonwealth Press right here in Pittsburgh, PA and Milk Factory is happy to ship internationally. The plan is to add more items as we come up with additional cheeky things we’d want to buy for ourselves!

 

 

 

 

 

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Adding Exterior Character with James Hardie

 

It’s been nearly four years since I found myself buying an old house and moving back to the Pennsylvania town where I grew up. As you’ve seen, since then I’ve put my modern and eclectic stamp on the 118-year-old structure through projects and updates while trying to retain its character. I’ve added window shutters to the front facade, switched out all of the interior doorknobs, and replaced the front and backdoor entry sets among many other things.

The exterior is still not where I’d like it to be however, and doesn’t match up with my aesthetic. My hope is to give it a much needed facelift with new siding, as well as boxing in those columns and adding a porch that most certainly existed at some point in the past.

 

 

For your reference, this photo was taken last summer. The light fixture and mailbox have been replaced and some new plants have been added to the front flower bed, but that’s the extent of this past year’s progress.

One of my biggest peeves about the curb appeal – where the majority of the house’s character lies – is the mix of sidings used, both in colors as well as directionality. While I understand that this is an aesthetic some prefer, I’d love to have wide plank horizontal siding in one style and one color.

 

 

Something like this.

After putting some research time into this eventual project, I realized what a massive collection of products James Hardie has to offer as well as the quality that backs them up. Their product line offers a great selection of profiles, textures, widths, and colors, while their commitment to artistry and innovation allows for timeless designs and performance.

 

 

Now for the nitty gritty. James Hardie‘s ColorPlus Technology coats surfaces, edges, and features of each siding plank uniformly while multiple layers of color are baked onto each board for a great finish and a strong bond that resists chipping, peeling, cracking, and fading for years to come. With HardiePlank lap siding, HardieShingle siding, and HardiePanel vertical siding, you have the design versatility to achieve a look that’s sure to stand out on your street. They also allow you to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a 30-year non-prorated warranty on siding, a 15-year non-prorated warranty on trim, and ColorPlus Technology with a 15-year limited finish warranty.

 

 

Only James Hardie fiber cement products are Engineered for Climate. In the northern U.S. and Canada, HZ5 products resist shrinking, swelling, and cracking even after years of wet or freezing conditions. (Perfect for climate zones that experience it all, like Pennsylvania!) HZ10 products resist damage from hot, humid conditions, blistering sun and more. These products are actually tougher than the elements – they stand up to storms and harsh weather, are water resistant to protect against swelling, warping and cracking, and also resist mold. They’re fire resistant and her reduce the time and money you’d spend on maintenance of other materials. With all of these assurances you can feel good about everything James Hardie has to offer.

 

 

At this point I have a specific idea of how I’d like to add more character to the exterior of my home, but if you need some help check out James Hardie’s site for additional design inspiration. And if you’d like to check out their siding in person be sure and request some free samples to compare – choose from textured, smooth, or beaded.

 

 

This post sponsored by James Hardie. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting our carefully chosen partners that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content! Follow James Hardie on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Houzz, and YouTube.

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Creativity Takes Courage: Dare to Think Differently + A Giveaway

 

Creativity tends to show up in my life as a feast or famine – is it like that for you, too? This year has particularly been full of highs and lows and I’m hoping everything will even out soon enough, after all challenging times generally point towards periods of growth.

The latest book from the co-founders and creative directors of Flow Magazine, Irene Smit and Astrid Van der Hulst, and Workman Publishing couldn’t have better timing. Creativity Takes Courage: Dare to Think Differently was released earlier this week. (If you’re unfamiliar with Flow, it’s a magazine that celebrates creativity, imperfection, and life’s little pleasures.) This is a creative book like no other – simultaneously a practical, hands-on guide to stretching your creative muscles as well as an inspirational book that focuses on the pleasure of the process.

 

 

Creativity Takes Courage is organized around a series of twelve so-called dares that are intended to break you out of your usual creative habits and provide a fresh perspective to help you step outside of your comfort zone. (And man, do I need that frequently!) It’s a book both about creativity and a book that inspires creativity with tons of prompts, tips, and challenges to complete in your own time.

 

 

Most chapters end with an And Now You section of questions, the answers to which can be written directly right in the book. These questions follow the theme of the chapter – reexamining something you may consider a failure that could be seen as a learning process or questions that might help you break down a new project or challenge into more manageable parts for example.

 

 

There are lots of pull-out extras throughout the book – probably my favorite parts! Use the daily project notebook for getting started and focused on something as simple as saving your shopping list or receipts, drawing a cloud, or writing something positive on the sidewalk with chalk. Read about the importance of sleep in creativity, then decorate your sleeping space with tear-out inspirational images. Pull out the included Polaroid-style photo frames to use in framing your favorite photos, or use them to help you frame a scene before taking a picture.

 

 

Not every single page includes an interaction– there are also essays about and lessons on how to get started on a new project without getting overwhelmed, stepping outside of your comfort zone as a means to unlocking creativity, and learning how to enjoy being alone and doing nothing at all among others.

 

 

There’s no right or wrong way to use Creativity Takes Courage! Make your way straight through or jump around among the dares. Tear out pages to put on the refrigerator or mail some to a friend. Keep it by your bedside to work through when you first wake up or before you go to sleep. Dog-ear it, use it to your advantage, and realize what a gift true creativity can be.

Want to win a copy of Creativity Takes Courage: Dare to Think Differently for yourself or a friend? Keep scrolling for a ton of ways to enter!

 

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This post sponsored by Workman Publishing. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting our carefully chosen partners that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content!

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Danze by Gerber Introduces the Draper and Vaughn Collections

 

One of the fastest ways to update your kitchen or bath is by swapping out the faucet and accompanying hardware to make your it feel more like your own. I did just that with all of the sinks in my first home and I’m looking to do it again in my current space. Danze by Gerber has two new kitchen and bath faucet collections – Vaughn and Draper – that look to be the perfect match for my modern-meets-118 year old house aesthetic.

 

 

The Draper collection is an updated classic with vintage detailing and soft industrial influences, the curved lines paired with geometric detailing give each piece a refined traditional elegance that would look right in just about any home. Choose from chrome and stainless steel finishes for kitchen fixtures and chrome and brushed nickel for bathroom fixtures.

 

 

 

If you’re looking for a more dynamic, streamlined design then the Vaughn collection is for you. These kitchen and bath faucets feature a beautiful transitional style and sophisticated look that would be a perfect match for a more modern or minimal space. Choose from chrome, stainless steel, and satin black for kitchen fixtures and chrome, stainless steel, satin black, and brushed nickel for bathroom fixtures.

The Draper and Vaughn collections both boast pulldown kitchen faucets with DockForce magnetic docking technology, a SnapBack retraction system, dual function sprayhead, drip-free ceramic disc valve, and a water efficient flow rate.

 

 

No matter which style you favor, both come equipped with an arsenal of features from Danze by Gerber that focus on design, function, quality, and experience.

We know that stylish reliability is born from the balance of form and function. We know that when we polish the outside, the inside gleams too. And we know that the result of our work isn’t just a faucet—it’s our pride. Because inside every one of our designs is not only Gerber quality, but our relentless dedication to bringing even more beauty to the world.

This post sponsored by Danze by Gerber. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting our carefully chosen partners that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content!

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