Bridge & Burn

Bridge & Burn-1-Design Crush

 

I’ve been a fan of Bridge & Burn from the start. Their classic, functional clothing designs are right in line with what I prefer to wear most days. Since 2009 they’ve been creating classic, understated apparel inspired by the natural beauty and culture of Portland. Each piece is designed right above their flagship store by a small team, meant to stand the test of time and be worn again and again – occasionally from the outdoors to dinner and back again! I picked up the Howell parka (below) and a few other pieces last month and am in love with the quality and fit of every one. This is a line that’s sure to be a staple in my closet for a long time to come.

 

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Oxbow Wool Wrap Scarf // Howell // Huron Chambray //
Burn Blackwash Tee // Penrose Black Overalls // B Flat Six Panel Hat

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Happy 2016 + My Intentions

Paperless Post-Design Crush

Paperless Post

I wasn’t planning on showing up here before Monday, but like a lot of you I’m feeling introspective with the new year upon us. (Happy 2016!) I stopped making resolutions years ago – the guilt and disappointment are a bit too much when I fail – but this year I’ve settled on a few intentions. (Resolutions by another name? Most likely.) And just like writing them down on a Post-It and sticking that note to the fridge, sharing them here holds some accountability for me.

Take better care of myself. Since turning 36 in November I’ve realized this really is the only body and the only life I’ve got. I plan on making big efforts to get my diabetes even further under control, as well as continuing with my daily regiment of vitamins and eating well. Hoping to get more physical activity into the mix as well. (Ugh.)

Work on that whole work/life balance thing. I’ve been struggling with this since taking Design Crush full-time four years ago, and have yet to find a decent balance between the two. My hopes are to spend more time with friends and family, as well as open myself up more to relationships. (Because honestly, I just haven’t made the time or effort. And I’m not getting any younger.)

Try at least one new recipe a month. I’ve fallen into a kitchen rut. Since my diabetes diagnosis back in 2014 I’ve had to relearn my eating habits and cooking hasn’t been nearly as pleasurable. I’m starting small with one new recipe a month, and hoping I fall in love with the process again and more on to one new recipe a week.

So there you have it. What are your intentions for 2016?

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The Coffee Lover’s Gift Guide

To put it simply, I adore coffee. I started drinking it when I was a kid, and as I grew older the ratio of milk to coffee changed drastically. These days I happily switch between French press, pour over, and drip depending on my mood and how much time I have to brew. One of my vices is seeking out the newest technology and products in the world of coffee, and a slew of the latest is from none other than KitchenAid. That’s right, the brand that’s responsible for one of the most iconic mixers is also fluent in coffee beans and modern design. I pulled together a few gift ideas for the coffee lovers in your life, depending on their preferred brewing method – have a peek below.

 

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Brew Milk Pan // Merienda Flatware // Pottery Tumbler

I know what you’re thinking – that looks just like a drip coffee maker. But it’s not. For the coffeehouse experience at home, the new KitchenAid Pour Over Coffee Brewer precisely heats and pulses the flow of water, then steeps like a manual pour over which allows the grounds to bloom. The result is bright, clean, and full flavored coffee without diluting.

 

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Salt + Sugar Spoons // Sugar + Creamer Set // White Kam Mug

The science and flavors of siphon brewing come from vapor pressure pushing the water up through the siphon tube. After that vacuum suction and gravity draw the coffee down through the grounds. The dramatic KitchenAid Siphonbrew has simplified this process to extract a cup of coffee that showcases all the flavors of your favorite beans. The brewer is made of high quality glass and stainless steel to be a true thing of beauty.

 

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Enamelware Pink Spouted Milk Pot // Form Brass Milk Jug // Pink Everyday Mug

A French press brews a bold, full-bodied, robust cup of coffee. KitchenAid’s Precision Press was developed to ensure the best French press coffee can be brewed conveniently at home through simple technology and sleek, functional design. It even features an integrated timer and scale that  measures brew time and the precise ratio of coffee grounds to water for the perfect brew.

 

KitchenAid-burr-grinder-Design Crush

Apothem Bronze Coffee Scoop // Rounded Canister with Leather Tie // Hasami Brown Porcelain Mug

Each of these three brewing methods demands a specific grind size to extract the proper flavor. Grinding your beans to the precise size just before brewing is a key element in brewing the best possible cup of coffee. KitchenAid’s Burr Grinder offers a level of precision and consistency with its fifteen different grind sizes.

 

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This post sponsored by Single Edition Media on behalf of KitchenAid. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content! Follow KitchenAid online at Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter for product updates and discounts.

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A Pantry Makeover with EasyClosets

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Another reminder that I’m in my mid-30s? The level of excitement I felt upon teaming up with EasyClosets to create an honest-to-goodness pantry. I could regale you with a verbal description of the before, but…

 

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I’ll show you instead. Let me spell out a little about what your eyes are currently shying away from – a $15 shelf from Ikea, my tendency to hoard any and all bags, a dog bed, and a pink cowboy hat one dog wore for Halloween. And that’s only what you can see. An embarrassment to say the least, and a whole lotta unused space.

 

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Here’s what was underneath all of that: a clean slate. I’m not entirely sure what renovations took place to create this kitchen closet before the house became mine. A full bathroom is directly behind it, and the back wall is one of the only pieces of drywall in the entire house. There’s original molding on both sides of the door frame and the pantry door is the only new one in the place. But, a good empty space to start with – I’ll take it!

 

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I worked one-on-on with a designer from EasyClosets to create a system that would fit my space and be functional for the way I wanted to use it. My main goal was to take some of the pressure off of the few kitchen cabinets I have by utilizing the closet to store cookie sheets and platters, large kitchen appliances, all non-perishables, recycling, and dog food.

 

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My designer, Patricia, offered up two different layouts after I provided her with the dimensions of the closet, then I took pieces from both and combined them into a third. I chose from EasyClosets impressive selection of finishes and hardware to get the look I wanted, something that would blend in with the rest of the kitchen. A few weeks later the system showed up in about ten boxes on my front porch, and that weekend my stepdad and I spent an afternoon putting it together. That’s really saying a lot because we’re not very handy and yet were able to create an entire pantry in a matter of a few hours.

 

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There are three sections, the left and right are full of shelves while the middle has drawers. I’m finally able to see all of my spices for cooking and baking as well as my (ridiculously robust) collection of teas! Even my table linens and a few serving pieces found a place to call home.

 

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I didn’t overly style the pantry because I wanted to showcase how it’s really used. I’m utilizing every possible inch of this closet now, and I couldn’t be happier with the end result!

This post sponsored by EasyClosets. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help Design Crush create fresh content!

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The Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom-1-Design Crush

 

I began sharing photos of my current home shortly after moving in last September, not all at once but as things came together. The master bedroom has been pulled together for over six months, but I kept putting off posting about his room for some reason. Maybe because a bedroom is about as personal as a home gets, or at least that’s my best hypothesis.

My bedroom has always been my sanctuary. Ever since I was an only child growing up it was the one space my introverted self could escape to, where I might pick up a book or draw for hours on end. I guess some things never change.

 

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My favorite thing about this space is all of the natural light it gets through the west-facing windows. I painted the walls the same custom white-grey/grey-white as the rest of my home and hung simple white curtains to capitalize on it.

To be completely transparent, I’m bored of my metal bed frame that weighs approximately 300 pounds. It was my taste when I bought it nine years ago, but like many things that’s changed. Thankfully it’s rather plain, so I’ll deal with it for awhile longer. The same goes for the matching lamps, but I just haven’t come across the perfect ones to replace them yet.

What I love are my matching Penelope Nightstands, throw pillows from Rebecca Atwood and Kristi Kohut, and the art – Float by Betty Hatchett. I chose this piece for over the bed specifically because it was so calming and reminded me of dreaming.

 

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I also love my mid-century 6-drawer dresser to no end. Until this one came into my life last year I was still using the two cherry wood chests my grandparents bought me when I was ten years old. They’ve been relegated to the guest room for the time being and will probably be schlepped up to the finished attic eventually. Becky Simpson’s Be Present print hangs right next to the door as a reminder every morning.

 

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Jewelry is kept in order mostly where I can see it. Sentimental pieces and things I don’t wear on the regular are kept in the box on top of the dresser.

 

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And here’s the dirty little secret that resides in the second floor hallway and bedrooms. Not Bebe, rather the wall to wall carpet. (Blech.) I couldn’t be less of a fan, but at least it was new when I moved in and it’s not an offensive color. To combat it I’ve gone with the rug-on-rug approach and laid down an 6×9 flat-woven rug by Safavieh that makes the space feel more pulled together through color and texture.

 

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On the wall opposite the bed is the door to my walk-in closet, which I don’t know the history behind but am guessing was added at some point after being built in 1900. I really like how large and clean this wall is and didn’t want to clutter it up, so instead I settled on these three pieces – Staredown by Amy Carroll, Salinity Now by Denny Holland, and Find Your Bliss by Kristi Kohut – that are united by white frames.

 

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I’m slowly becoming a crazy plant lady and experimenting with what I can keep alive longest. This guy is the first of many floor plants that will be added through the next few months.

And that’s that! I’m hoping and half planning to get the guest room up to speed this spring, so hopefully I’ll be able to share that will you then.

 

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Penelope Nightstands c/o West Elm // Shibori pillows from Rebecca Atwood // striped pillow c/o Kristi Kohut // Float, Salinity Now, and Staredown art c/o Minted // Mid-Century Six Drawer Dresser c/o West Elm // Be Present c/o Becky Murphy // rag rug (discontinued) c/o Rugs Direct // Find Your Bliss art c/0 Kristi Kohut framed by Simply Framed

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Design Crush x Umbra

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I’ve teamed up with one of my favorite design brands, Umbra, to share how I’m using some of their clean-lined products this holiday season. Their wares are extremely well-designed and versatile, making them an especially good fit for small spaces where they can pull double-duty.

I’m starting with my favorite, the Hub Ladder. I wrapped the expandable beech wood and rubber-coated steel clothing (or towel) holder with 200 white lights for a sculptural Christmas tree alternative. Right now it’s my bedroom lending some festive and functional flair to the chaos.

 

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I always have fresh flowers (usually from the grocery store) in my home, so for Thanksgiving dinner I wanted to get extra creative. I used three Touch Toothbrush Holders as vases that formed a modern arrangement when clustered together. (Tip: It’s always a good idea to keep florals short so that guests can see one another across the table.)

 

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I took down two large pieces of art that hang in my entryway and replaced them with wreaths. Each one got decorated with half of a brass Prisma Wall Decor set, which couldn’t have been easier because the pieces could be hooked around the branches.

 

Design Crush x Umbra-Gazette Magazine Rack-1

 

I use the Gazette Magazine Rack year round in my living room, but for dinner parties I give it a different job – as a utensil and napkin holder. When you’re short on space you can carry it around until everyone is set to eat, then set it down someplace out of the way.

 

Design Crush x Umbra-Toto-1

 

My Toto Storage Box usually lives on a bathroom shelf holding lipstick and nail polish, but during December it becomes a corral for some of my gift wrapping supplies. Sanity and patience are in short supply and this guy helps me out so I don’t lose it wondering where the pen/scissors/tape disappeared to.

 

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Every year I inevitably end up saving a few of my favorite holiday card designs. For what? I had no clue until now. I picked up a few Corda Photo Displays to make some seasonal art that I actually like. And because you hang this frame either vertically or horizontally I can swap out favorites every year.

It’s nice to be able to stick to your style and aesthetic no matter the time of year, and when you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to do it that’s all the better.

Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content!

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My Holiday Cards (+ an Artifact Uprising Giveaway)

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Every year I think I’m going to skip out on doing a photo card to send out for the holidays, but then I see a design that I just can’t stop thinking about and order them. This year was no different, thanks to Artifact Uprising‘s modern looks and beautiful sayings.

 

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After 8 1/2 years of Design Crush I figured now was a good time to do a card to send out to sponsors and PR folk who I work with on the regular. I really liked the idea of sharing a peek at my home and aesthetic for the photo, so you might recognize the shot on it from this month’s holiday mantle post.

 

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For my family and personal friends it was none other than my pup, Bebe, front and center! I snapped this photo of her last year before decorating, and paired with the sentiment it was a perfect match. (This is also the first year I’ve included my pets names on a card – the decision to makes me laugh!)

 

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I also toyed with the idea of New Year cards as I rushed to get the house decorated, gifts bought, and cards written out and in the mail. They’re such a great option for those of us who note December as the busiest month of the year both personally and work-wise. In fact, I’m already half planning on it for holiday season!

Now it’s your turn to win $150 to spend at Artifact Uprising! They have amazing cards and lots of other good stuff to personalize, so think outside the box. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Handmade Arcade 2015

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Kara Reid

Hey, Pittsburgh! Tomorrow – December 5th, from 11am to 7pm – is Handmade Arcade, Pittsburgh’s first and largest independent craft fair. Handmade Arcade brings together innovative crafters and progressive do-it-yourself designers at David L. Lawrence Convention Center to sell their handmade, locally produced, and offbeat wares just in time for the holidays.

Kara Reid created 2015’s branding art, seen above.

The process started with a basic wooden platform, painted black to boost the appearance of the typography. Almost 900 nails were used around the center logo and outside frame to create the best surface for the string. Once the existing HA logo was stenciled and painted onto the center of platform, the string was strung. Each letter was then lightly stenciled onto the surface, then re-painted twice to enhance the appearance of the typography.

 

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Garbella

This year’s show features 160+ crafters, designers, and makers from all around Pittsburgh,
the tri-state area, and the country. Some of my favorites that should not be missed – everyday balloons, Worker Bird, girls can tell, Stak Ceramics, strawberryluna, Alternate Histories, Commonwealth Press, Garbella, Make Believe, and so many more will be there slinging their wares.

 

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Admission is free and includes the Hands-on Handmade area. It features a variety of drop-in, short, and day-long interactive programs – including craft demonstrations, mini-tutorials, make-and-take activities, craft competitions, and art installations – all designed to bridge the gap between consumers and creators. I got a sneak peek of this year’s activities and can’t wait to make my own.

 

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Handmade Arcade will also be launching its inaugural print publication, Things Making Things: A DIY Coloring Book, featuring original commissioned artwork by ten Pittsburgh-based artists and Handmade Arcade vendors. Inside you’ll meet their imaginative creatures who are all crafting, making, and designing things – from robots screen-printing to spiders painting – and ready for you to create an artwork of your own.

Hope to see you Saturday!

 

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Photos by Joey Kennedy

PS: Due to the high demand for our 2015 Early Birdie Passes (which are now sold out) we are opening up a limited amount of Early Birdie Shopping Passes for a reduced fee of $10. These passes do not come with the goody bags. Passes will not be mailed, your name will be placed on the Early Birdie will-call list. Please print out your Pay-Pal receipt to ensure entrance and bring it with you to Handmade Arcade December 5th for 10AM entry.

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A Minimal Mantel

Pier 1-1-Design Crush

 

My holiday decor game plan goes something like this:

  1. Work around what you already have.
  2. Stay true to your style.
  3. Don’t do a lot of rearranging.

 

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It’s a plan of action that’s served me well in the past, but when Pier 1 challenged me to do a mantle refresh I knew it was time to try something new. Their holiday collection revolves around several styles this season, a little something for everyone, and it was fun to pull from a few to create a look that was 100% me.

 

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The starting point was this amazing Peacock Ombre Wreath. My tree is full of jewel-toned ornaments, mostly in different variations of pinks and reds, so this piece on the other side of the room just made sense. It’s colorful and saturated and a great focal point to build my mantel off of.

 

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Christmas is all about sparkle, so anything I did wouldn’t be complete with some sort of lights. I fell for these Ornament String Lights in a heartbeat. The ten shimmery ornaments are handblown and have a mercury glass finish, something that’s always been one of my holiday staples. I stretched a strand along the mantle and tucked about half into the lower part of the wreath. It ended up feeling very abstract and modern, which I love! And they’re operated by a battery pack, a total bonus.

 

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To add some extra height I pulled in the Glitter Ice Pine Tree Set. They’re such a great touch with those silvery bases, but manage not to compete with the brilliance of the wreath. Decorating with threes is something I always do – in this case the tallest of the three trees was offset on one side by the middle and smallest sized. My mid-century rocking bird is the only piece I left from the usual mantle setup because it just added something special.

 

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The last touch was a pair of LED Birch Tree Pillars that tie in nicely with the all-encompassing tree theme I ended up with. They have two settings – one for a steady light and one that flickers like a real candle! I’ve been turning them on every evening and the yellow tone of the lights is just so warming.

 

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This post is brought to you by Pier 1 Imports. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content!

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Fast Company Innovation Festival + Post-it Brand

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A few weeks ago I hightailed it to New York for Fast Company’s Innovation Festival. The event featured industry leaders, CEOs, and some of the brightest minds in business all speaking about what’s next in terms of innovation, creativity, and design. Through open and honest talks and behind the scenes workshops at some of the most dynamic companies and startups in New York, we got a firsthand look at the business and culture behind it all. After three days I left highly impressed and inspired.

 

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I was there at FCIF as a guest of Post-it Brand– I don’t need to introduce them, do I? I’ve been an office supply junkie since childhood so it was a natural fit. My Mom used to bring me home the supply catalogues from work and I’d go through and mark them as though they were toy catalogues! Post-it Notes were always one of the most coveted items with their variety of colors and shapes.

 

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If you think about a few projects you’ve been a part of – both work and home – I’m willing to bet Post-it Brand has been present in some fashion. Their products just lend themselves so well to brainstorming, planning, and processing that it’s almost too easy.

Now they offer one of my favorite office products ever –  three sizes of Post-it Big Pads that stick right to the wall. I’ve been using the medium-sized ones to plan out editorial content, then plastering the area around them with smaller Post-it Notes. They’ve definitely changed the way I process some of my thoughts and go about my business with Design Crush. This kind of collaborative thinking is what Post-it Brand is all about, and one of the many reasons they’re a staple in desks and homes around the world.

 

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This post sponsored by Post-it Brand. Thank you for supporting the brands that help Design Crush create fresh content! Follow them on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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