Airea Floor Mats

 

I’ve been on the lookout for some new rugs for my kitchen, but maybe rugs aren’t the answer. When I’m in there I’m either cooking or entertaining and always standing, so perhaps some good looking anti-fatigue mats would be a better solution. Airea floor mats flex with every step thanks to their modern geometric design, they’re also touted as being super durable and water resistant. Sounds like a win-win to me.

 

 

 

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Porch Tales

 

I’m an autumn girl at heart, but I’ve really been enjoying the heck out of this summer! All of the bits and pieces of work that have been put into the back and front yards over the past two years seem to finally be paying off, and I’ve been spending much more time enjoying the outdoors than usual.

 

 

There were a few things I wanted to knock off my to-do list before the temperature starts to dip again – landscape the small front yard, replace the porch light fixture with something more modern, strip and paint the back deck, and repaint the porch swing.

The front yard is looking rough in these photos that were taken in the midst of a July dry spell, but I managed to plant some new things this spring! Three peony bushes, some white poppies, and a few others joined the hosta and irises that was already there. (Now to move all of those river rocks!)

 

 

I also potted a bunch of things for the porches – herbs, hen and chicks, and lambs ear just to name a few. Add in the indoor plants I’d brought out for the summer and I realized that what was lacking were a few accent tables to set them on top of. A pair of woven Kai Water Hyacinth indoor-outdoor tables were the perfect thing because they pull double-duty when I’m entertaining as a place to set drinks and things. Cheers to the current wicker trend because I’m loving it and they’re wearing wonderfully.

 

 

Can you tell I’ve been using the bench and tables as my potting area as well? I really need to get that situation under control, but also kind of like how all of those stacked terra-cotta pots look just hanging out.

Project Repaint the Porch Swing is about 50% finished after cleaning off decades of grime. Initially I’d planned on painting it a semi-gloss black to match the front door, but now I’m second-guessing myself and considering a stain. Either way it’ll be back in action by fall and – most importantly – out of my driveway.

Unfortunately we’ve had an incredibly rainy summer here in Pennsylvania, so I had to make the decision to put off redoing the deck until next spring.

 

 

I picked out a fresh new light fixture for the front porch – this matte black Vance LED Outdoor Ceiling Light that oh so modern – and that’s where the good news on that project comes to a full stop. After removing the ancient pendant that was up there, we discovered the wiring was a huge (RE: unsafe) issue and that this project may have been a blessing in disguise. The grounding wire was blackened and charred while the other two wires were both white, rather than one black and one white. Essentially the light that I used every evening could have sparked at any time, and now it’s turned into a rewiring project as well. I’m looking forward to getting it wrapped up soon so that I can share that as well!

 

 

In the meantime, I need to replant that little Meyer lemon tree in the yellow pot and keep all my fingers crossed that the herbs survive once I have to bring them indoors. But first I think I’ll go have some iced tea on the porch…

This post sponsored by Lamps Plus. 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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Electric Confetti

 

I’ve had my eye on neon wall art for several years now, but the closest I’ve gotten to pulling the proverbial trigger is printing a poster of a photo I shot of one. (Girls! Girls! Girls!) Recently I came across Electric Confetti, a shop that creates custom neon signs as well as sells ready mades. It’s a bold statement for sure, but with the right messaging worth every dang cent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hands of Time Sanding Disc Clocks

 

Each clock in the Hands of Time series has a unique face made from a sanding disc that was previously used by designers from the Design Academy Eindhoven. The discs are worn through use, and over time each one becomes a fingerprint of each designers work that’s then turned into a functional object that can be given a new life. It’s clear that the materials each designer works with greatly impacts the resulting wear and tear, which leaves me wondering what was created with each disc.

 

 

 

 

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College 2017 Roundup

Next month marks 19 short years since I first set foot on the University of Oklahoma campus, halfway across the country from home without knowing a soul. While I was admittedly miserable for most of my freshman year (culture shock!), my four year experience is the reason I became so adaptive which has helped lead to the many amazing experiences I’ve had since 1998. Now each summer as kids are about to head off to their next chapter, I’m struck by how easy shopping for college has become – XL twin sheets on the end of every aisle, pre-packaged kitchen essentials bundled all together, and entire sections of big box stores converted over to displaying everything you could possibly need. It’s got me thinking about what pieces I might pick up for my own dorm room or first apartment if I were able to magically revert back to being 18.

 

Acrylic Hanging Display Frame // Bath Towels // Art Bag // Basic Striped Hand Towel

 

Bathroom Countertop Catchall // Bathroom Shower Caddy Tote // Bathroom Vanity Canister Jar (Set of 2) // BedShelfie

 

Mini Trash Can // Bookshelf Ladder // Brass Ball Incense Holder // Bronze Folding Hamper

 

Chevron Rose Throw Pillow // Chinois Green and Ivory Chevron Bath Mat // Clear Ghoststand for MacBook // Crosley Cream Canvas Cruiser Bluetooth Record Player

 

Cut Ceramic Planter // Frans Floor Pillow // Giant Copper Bulldog Clips Set // Gold Paperclip with Marble Stand

 

Grid Highball Glasses (Set of 4) // Indigo Deskpad // Rose Gold Task Lamp // Mongolian Faux Fur Throw

 

Le Baton Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mugs (Set of 2) // LE-43 Wireless Bookshelf Speakers Set // Leaning Ladder Mirror // Metal 3 Drawer Rolling Cart

 

Mexican Serape Blanket // Retro Metal Smiley Dustpan // Oval Coral and Gold Ceramic Soap Dish // Mag End Table

 

Pompom Dot Shower Curtain // Sage + Lavender Essential Oil Spray // Splatter Dye Pillowcase Set // Subtle Tie-Dye Sheet Set

 

Taupe Woven Wall Hanging // Tripod Mirror // Two Tone Speckled Stoneware Bowls (Set of 4) // Unbleached Cotton Laundry Bag

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Eleonor Boström

 

Eleonor Boström is a ceramicist and illustrator who splits her time between Stockholm and San Francisco, in between creating all of these magical creatures with great function that is. The sculptural utility goods, as she calls them, play the role of planter, pincushion, match holder, and more all while remaining ridiculously adorable!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Accounting Confessions of a Businesswoman, Part 2

 

Time once again to drop all pretense for part two of my yearlong financial journey with FreshBooks! In part one, back in April, I shared how I’ve approached the financial side of my business up until this year – in short, it’s not my strong suit and I’m doing all I can to remedy that.

In the past three months I’ve gained so much more confidence when it comes to invoicing, and I’ve also saved time thanks to all of the features I outlined in part one. I love how easy it is to access recurring client’s information as well as the visual representation of how much I’m earning. In the name of transparency blogging is going through a season of change once again, and the green is not as prevalent as in the past. The number one rule of being a blogger is being adaptable, and diversifying my income is a huge deal.

 

 

One way I’m doing that, aside from writing for larger corporate sites, is contacting sponsors directly more often. For a long time I didn’t have to pitch brands, but over time that’s changed and FreshBooks‘s estimate feature helps me navigate the steps that follows. After talking to a new brand – and them hopefully falling head over heels for my pitch! – it’s time to spell out my proposal with a dollar sign in front of it. It’s here that I’m able to outline deliverables Design Crush will be providing and the breakdown of pricing for each.

Estimate features: know when a client has viewed your estimate, add discounts, automatic tax calculations, transform your estimates into ready-to-pay invoices, client approval with one click

 

 

After signing a contract I can kick things off, whether it’s for Design Crush or a graphic design project on the side. With FreshBooks‘s time tracking feature I can map out my day and make sure I’m accounting for every billable hour. This is super helpful to me in a number of ways, especially when it comes to do future estimates for similar projects. I’m forever trying to become more efficient – the thought of hiring someone to feed me three square meals a day while I work has occurred to me – and time tracking is valuable in showing me where I can streamline even further. I can literally start a timer and hit stop when I’m done! When the project is wrapped up I can pull all of the tracked time into an invoice and send it off.

Time tracking features: team time tracking, clear breakdown of your day, view team members’ time, easy to use timer, detailed time entry notes, automatically bill for tracked hours

 

 

I’m already digging deeper into FreshBooks and am looking forward to what the quarter brings in terms of making me feel more like a well rounded businesswoman. If you have any questions about FreshBooks I’d love to try and help get answers for you from their award-winning rockstars in customer service. In the meantime, you can sign up for a free monthlong trial right here!

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

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Spring Rolls 15 Ways

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve cooked with any kind of heat this summer, and will use almost any excuse to avoid it. Now that it’s mid-July I’m beginning to tire of salads and starting to search out recipes that are cool, refreshing, and healthy. I’ve never made spring rolls or worked with rice paper before, but they seem like a great place to start. Flavorful, versatile, and delicious looking!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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7 Extraordinary Lamps

The Dewy Floor Lamp and Dewy Table Lamp are blown frosted glass domes meant to evoke the feeling of early morning. The frosted glass references morning dew and the new day with its delicate light, while the dome shape is an attempt to keep the light trapped inside like the cozy bubble of the day’s first light and all its promise.

 

The MRND Lamps trio are a a tribute to master still life painter Giorgio Morandi. Each is a modern reinterpretation of the bottles he focused on often in his work, in this case they’re taken off the canvases he used and brought into the 3D world with soft colors and textures.

 

The MILO lamp is made of handblown glass and intended to either be suspended or set on its base. The uniqueness of this piece – and a smaller version – is that it’s meant to house a plant. The interior planter come in three finishes that juxtapose nicely against the glass and greenery.

 

The Elmetta Smart Table Lamp has a great silhouette with a fresh look and an anodized aluminum shade available in silver, black, red, blue, and green. Its convenient handle makes it easy to move if necessary.

 

HALO is a blown glass table lamp emphasizing the circular fluorescent light positioned at its center. It’s open top design gives the silhouette a vase-like feel that’s sure to appeal to mid-century enthusiasts. HALO is available in a rosy pink, watery blue, and clear glass.

 

The Bub Table Lamp is simply designed with function in mind. Part objet and part lamp, the olive tinted blown glass piece is a study in bare essentials that’s sure to play nicely with whatever your decor style might be.

 

Lollipop is a collection if table, floor, and pendant lights made from amorphous glass shapes in various colors. Each relies on a metal rod for support and structure, giving the lamps the look of their namesake.

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