5 Tips for Decluttering + Simplifying



Do you ever get an overwhelming feeling to toss everything and start over? My last big clean out was two years ago during my last move, and over the past few months I’ve had a visceral feeling that it was time to go through everything again.

I’m currently over halfway through the Marie Kondo-ing of my things – the kitchen, living room, guest room, bathrooms, and master bedroom have been sorted. About half of the castoffs have been given away and the rest are sitting in my finished attic waiting to be sold or donated.

But the room I was dreading was my office.

As a blogger I work out of a home office, and it often ends up as the room where submissions, samples, and products for projects get tossed. In other words: the Dump Room. Just walking into it made my anxiety jump a few levels, which definitely isn’t conducive to productivity.




We’ve written about Poppin before, and you might’ve seen them yourself in some big box stores. The New York-based brand is a leading manufacturer of workplace furniture, as well as those brightly colored supplies you’ve likely seen, supported by the belief that everyone deserves to work happy. (That’s something we can all get behind, isn’t it?) Their well-designed, clean-lined pieces were a perfect match for my office, and I chose two white Stow 3-Drawer File Cabinets to tackle my biggest issues: organizing and decluttering.




These powder-coated steel beauties showed up completely assembled and ready to rock – all of Poppin‘s furniture is always in stock and ready to ship asap – and I got right to work storing office supplies in one and craft and tech in the other. A bonus: one lock protects all three drawers! I chose white to match my desk, but the Stow Cabinets also come in a bevy of other colors.




Everything else went into boxes on these shelves – notecards, notebooks, washi tape, etc are all hidden away nice and neat. The only things left out are the ones I need access to often, like pens, markers, and greeting cards.




Tip 1: If you forgot you owned it – toss it.
I came across plenty of things that I either never remembered purchasing or thought I’d thrown out long ago. You’ll never have an easier decision.

Tip 2: If you don’t use it on a weekly basis – store it.
There are lots of items you own that are only get used occasionally. Tuck those things away in drawers, closets, or pretty boxes that are preferably labeled.

Tip 3: Don’t keep duplicates.
Extra supplies (Sharpies, tape, etc) excluded, you usually don’t need more than one. Get a new printer/camera/coffee maker? Get rid of the old one right away.

Tip 4: Donate it.
Guilt played a huge role in my entire decluttering process. My mom gave me this. I remember what I was doing that one time I wore this. I could maybe use this again if… Pass on your wealth by donating these loved but unneeded items.

Tip 5: If it’s broken, throw it away.
You’re not going to fix it. In fact, if it’s that important of an item you’ve probably already replaced it. To the trash can you go, end of story.



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


Still House


Aqua Culture Vase // Long Blade Ring // Okolo Cufflinks // Green Hexagon Stone Trivet

What started in 2011 as a brick and mortar shop in New York’s East Village is now available to the masses thanks to the internet. Still House has one of the best curated selections of interior accessories and jewelry I’ve come across in some time. Every single piece chosen by owner Urte Tylaite is clearly full of thought and intentional design choices, as timeless as they are beautiful. With goods from talented designers like Fort Standard, Kristen Elspeth, and a slew of others I’m looking forward to picking up a few special gifts for the holidays here in the coming months!



Geometric White Stone Candle Holder // Sarala Ring // Lasa Earrings // Black Creamer



Maple Letter Opener // Laya Necklace // Conductor Flasks // Long Steel Dessert Fork

I received product from Still House in exchange for this post. All words and opinions are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content!


Bringing Poised Taupe Home



Let’s start this off honestly: Browns are not my bag. So when my long-standing partner Sherwin-Williams approached me about sharing their 2017 Color of the YearPoised Taupe – I was unsure. In my mind taupe is a drab nail color my mother used to wear in the 90s, one that I didn’t like then and didn’t feel much differently about now.

But then I actually saw the color in question, and I was proven wrong once again in life. Because this taupe? This taupe, Poised Taupe, was unlike anything I’d seen before. Plenty of grey undertones, even a little violet in some light, a modern take on a classic color.




After considering where Poised Taupe might fit into my home I had the answer. A small wood side table  that had banged up legs and had seen better days could use a bit of a makeover, a second chance at life. I was also curious how different textures might take the paint, so I decided to give a seagrass basket that I keep blankets in an upgrade as well.

I left the surface of the side table unpainted for a bit of extra contrast. After giving the legs and underside a light sanding, I wiped them off with a cloth and swiped on two light coats of Poised Taupe in Sherwin-WilliamsProClassic formula with a satin finish.




My seagrass basket took a bit more time, but I found painting each little section therapeutic. After pouring through pattern options online I went with a simple zigzag – because sometimes simple is best, ya know? I love the update and how it feels a little bit like a fair isle sweater for the cooler months that are nearly here. For this mini-project I went with the Poised Taupe in Sherwin-WilliamsEmerald formula (my favorite!), also in a satin finish.




For a color I wasn’t so sure about, Poised Taupe sure seems to fit right in in my home with its earthy feel. Both the side table and basket are currently front and center when you walk in the door, nestled in the nook of my staircase. It’s the perfect place to put a vase of fall flowers and drop your keys.




This post sponsored by Sherwin-Williams. All words and opinion are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content!


Artifact Uprising Float Frames



I’ve had the same piece of art hanging at the top of my stairs for nearly two years and have been wanting to change things up. I actually have a folder on my desktop of my favorite photos I’ve taken, with the hope that one day I’ll print and frame them as art. So when Artifact Uprising reached out about their brand new floating frames I was ready, willing, and completely prepared.




After some hemming and hawing I narrowed it down to this shot of a group of surfboard blanks that I snapped in San Diego a few years back. It’s a really muted photo and I love that it blends in with the wall color so well. I uploaded my iPhone image to Artifact Uprising and a week or so later a very safely packaged framed print was on my doorstep. (A huge deal, I’ve had several pieces show up broken from other companies.)




After watching a video and using the handy template they sent along to hang the float frame we were all set. So sleek, right?! The frame grade acrylic is thick without weighing a ton like glass, and the brass-coated bolts give the entire piece such a polished look. Such an impact!




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


The World of Whirlpool

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I’ve been starting to toss around the idea of a small kitchen renovation in the back of my mind. It’s not a huge space and the layout is actually very functional as is, so it will likely be cabinet replacements and updated appliances. There are so many updated options to choose from these days, but I’ve relied on Whirlpool in both of my homes and the brand loyalty I’ve built with them isn’t likely to deviate.


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Whirlpool Corporation is actually a family of brands – Amana, Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, and Jenn-Air – featuring a portfolio of appliances that can match the personal style, use, and expectations of any consumer, any budget, and any project. Every household is unique and Whirpool’s line of appliance brands utilize cutting-edge design and purposeful innovation to fit every lifestyle.


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Whirlpool‘s Global Design Centers use consumer insights to guide design and create appliances that integrate with the entire home, not just the kitchen. Design preferences – like open kitchens – create plenty of opportunity to experiment with color finishes, textures, sounds, and the necessity for quiet and harmony within the space.


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If you’re living in an open environment you know appliances can’t stand alone, which is why Whirlpool offers color finishes and textures that make appliances feel more like a part of the home, rather than the cold, utilitarian boxes of the past. For example, KitchenAid’s black stainless finish seamlessly blends with other home materials and resists smudging.


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The eco-conscious among us can feel good knowing Whirlpool offers a “no-compromise” approach for homeowners by giving them high-performing products that have a small impact on the environment, an affordable purchase price, and a low cost to operate. Homeowners no longer need to choose between products that are sustainable and products that look good and are affordable.

This post sponsored by Whirlpool. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content! Follow Whirlpool Corporation on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Valspar Loves Architecture

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Living in a home that was built in 1900 has helped me come to appreciate the beating a structure can take from the elements. Whether it’s wind, rain, snow, or ice, the exterior of a space needs to be able to take a lot to help protect whatever lies within its walls.

Valspar is no stranger to helping protect architectural integrity, or to developing the technologies that keep buildings of all types looking their best inside and out. As one of the leading manufacturers of architectural coil and extrusion coatings in the world they carry a proud history of innovation, while their commitment to durability and an ever-expanding palette of color offer unlimited design freedom to countless industries and projects.


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Valspar‘s latest additions, ones that were developed in direct response to customer feedback, are Fluropon Extreme and Fluropon Pure.

While Fluropon Extreme is a good choice for a variety of uses, it’s especially well suited to tough installation processes such as roofing. No other coating offers both resistance to abrasion and a smooth finish.

Fluropon Pure is ideal for buildings with extreme environmental requirements or anywhere you may desire a greener product. With reduced hazardous materials, these coatings are formulated with both the environment and our grandchildren in mind. It’s even LEEDv.4 and Living Building Challenge certified and Red List compliant!



The latest color palette, Rustia, is being introduced at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Convention and Expo May 19th to 21st. Rustia features a soothing, nature-inspired palette that’s never before been available in the Fluropon line, one that provides a calming invitation to linger and savor.

If you’ll be in attendance at AIA, you’re invited to swing by Valspar exhibit no. 3621 to speak with them about the new products and palette in person. You can also attend the Valspar Learning Lounge at the AIA Expo for CEU (Continuing Education Units) courses.



If you’re interested in learning more, download a brochure on Valspar‘s Fluropon Extreme or Fluropon Pure. Or opt to order a product sample online to try either one for yourself.



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This post sponsored by The Valspar Corporation. As always all words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content! Follow Valspar on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay up to date.


Reinventing My Design Obsession + HP Spectre

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When it comes to technology I’m most definitely drawn to a certain aesthetic, one that overflows into every other realm of my life. Clean lines, modern look, and limited color palette. I always looks forward to what’s next from HP, our longstanding partner, like their recently released PC with incredible craftsmanship and style – the HP Spectre. The resulting technology is a form of reinvented obsession, and delivers a luxurious computing experience that should resonate with all design-minded folks. HP reimagined every element during the design process to ensure the best user experience as well as maximum performance. The end result is a PC that doesn’t compromise on style, function, or performance.


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The idea of reinventing obsession is nothing new to me, I do it on a daily basis both here on Design Crush and as a graphic designer. Each day and every project requires me to reevaluate, refocus, and bring my best creative self to the table. It’s not always easy but Spectre is a source of inspiration, in particular its modern color palette. I’ve found myself inexplicably drawn to shades similar to its high contrast matte aluminum body and glossy copper trim over the past few weeks in everything from design projects to my own home.


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You may have also noticed that HP has debuted a sleek new logo, a modern take on the two letters consisting of little more than four slashes. When working on my bread and butter, logo and branding work, I tend to think minimally when starting work on a new brand. This redesign reminds me that in design simple is usually best. A rule of thumb that I live by is to take away, then take away some more until nothing is left but the necessities.


HP also collaborated with two world-renowned designers to create exclusive limited edition Spectres that highlight the intersection of art and technology. Dutch-born, London-based designer Tord Boontje created the HP Spectre by Tord Boontje that exhibits delicate, intricate, dreamlike patterns across the laptop. Los Angeles-based jewelry designer Jess Hannah created the HP Spectre by J. Hannah with opulent 18K gold. Both will be auctioned off for charity.

This post sponsored by HP Spectre as they #ReinventObsession. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content!


A Floral Laden Spring Brunch

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While the temperatures as of late can be described as nothing other than frigid, I’m starting to have spring on the brain in a big way. And nothing says the hope of spring quite like a bounty of florals and lighter cuisine to help pull us out of winter’s grasp. So last weekend I invited some friends over to take advantage of a cold, bright late Sunday morning.


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I pulled together the table the day before to make Sunday morning as easy as possible, and the entire house felt instantly brighter! A pink and green striped runner, a dozen votive candles, and two big vases full of flowers were front and center. Then each place setting received a few blooms for a special touch, all tied up with a length of green and white baker’s twine. If you don’t own an affordable set of simple white dishes I couldn’t recommend doing so more – I use them for every single get together.


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Because my dining room buffet is overflowing with plants, most of my get togethers that include eating are buffet style on the kitchen island. Waiting around the corner were five simple dishes – sweet potato and spinach breakfast casserole, crispy sweet potato roast with herbed coconut creme fraiche, roasted garlic and tomato lentil salad, strawberry cream cheese breakfast pastries, and brown butter banana pudding. I pulled together most of these dishes the night before so all I had to do was finish up Sunday morning.


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I’m thrilled with how simple yet put together everything felt, and my guests seemed to echo the sentiment as we first indulged and then sat talking over coffee through mid-afternoon.


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Messy floral arrangements are some of my favorites, especially with a mix of varietals like I used here. I purchased two of these matching vases a few years back and love them because they’re the perfect height, no views across the table are blocked. I’ll even use them for shorter blooms to create a more artsy piece.


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Whether you know me in person or on the web, you probably know how much I love my five pets. (Like, a lot.) I’m definitely guilty of spoiling and including them in festivities whenever possible. My youngest cat, Rainey, loves being around the table when it comes time to eat – you’d think she was one of the dogs the ways she sits patiently waiting. But the one way I don’t indulge my cats is by giving them table food. It was easy to keep those laser-like stares at bay by treating her to a can of Fancy Feast Medleys.


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We were both excited when Fancy Feast introduced four varieties of pate to their Medleys line. Each can is full of inspired combinations of ingredients that Rainey couldn’t wait to devour. And because they have accents of vegetables, garden greens, or even cheese I can feel like I’m treating her to something special. Check out more information and get a free sample for your favorite feline companion at discovermedleys.com.


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This post sponsored by Fancy Feast. I received compensation, though all words and opinions are my own as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content!


The Versatility of a Good Throw

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January is not only the coldest, but the month demanding the highest level of coziness. Thankfully Snowe recently released the perfect throw blanket for the job. I’ve been carrying it from room to room for the past week as I work through my day, because it’s just that functional and versatile. It’s a great throw to curl up with during a nap, and the super luxe cashmere, merino lambswool. and silk feel as amazing as they sound.


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I’ve been trying to get back into my reading groove in the new year. This throw is the perfect thing to curl up with in my favorite chair – just add a book and a steaming mug of tea! Not only does this beauty look seamless in my living room, it’s also static resistant so it attracts less… like my pups’ hair.


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Last, but certainly not least, it’s ideal for curling up in front of the fireplace with a glass of wine. Just like all of Snowe‘s goods, it’s exceptionally made and thoughtfully designed. I’m looking forward to adding more of their pieces to my home over time.

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

Mugs // Red Wine Glasses // Drink Essentials Set // Candle


Refocusing with Pique Tea

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It’s no secret that working from home can be a challenge some days. For every advantage (flexible schedule!) there’s a disadvantage (distractions!). As Design Crush has continued to grow as a business my approach has had to change, and the latest curve is one I can’t say I was expecting.

As a freelance or contract worker there’s always the fear that the current job I’m working on will be the last. It’s the nature of the beast, and in my case the anxiety – and I don’t like saying no because of it. In the past year I’ve said yes a few too many times, and found myself slogging through the last three months of 2015 with way too much on my shoulders. Namely, I was neglecting to make any time for myself.


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I knew I had to change up my routine and focus on the times during the day when I felt most productive as for that hour or two that left me dragging. I used to end my day during chillier months with a cup of tea, and thought that maybe rescheduling what used to be my downtime as a time to refocus might help me out.


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Then along came Pique Tea. Designed for excellence with every sip, Pique Tea has taken the tea world by storm with their new Tea Crystals. I love that even though my tea is ready in an instant the results aren’t compromised, the tea in my mug is pure and rich and tastes just as though I’d thoughtfully brewed it.


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So just how does Pique Tea achieve this tea crystal sorcery? It’s relatively simple – they brew high quality organic loose tea leaves, then when the perfect brew is reached they distill it into pure tea crystals. Basically taking the guesswork out of making a great cup of tea, and helping me avoid over-brewing by walking out of the kitchen and letting my tea steep for too long. (So guilty.) The hope is that a great cup of tea made easy will cause a ripple effect of feeling well, doing well, and doing more.


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But don’t take my word for it, try Pique Tea for yourself. Sign up for a free trial and receive all five flavors – Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Mint Sencha, Sencha, and Jasmine – to try on your own (that’s 14 sachets, or a week’s supply)! Now tell me, how do you make time for yourself during the weekdays?

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