Happy Halloween

PHOTO: [Jillian] has heart

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I have such great memories of deciding what to dress up as each year  – a ghost, a hobo, a witch – I always seemed to be really traditional things. And then getting so bummed out when it would snow and I’d have to wear a jacket! The nerve. I think I’ve mentioned before that I grew up in a small townhouse, and because of the close proximity of houses it was always a prime trick or treating spot. My mom would easily go through 300 pieces of candy each year. My uncle would bring my two cousins over, along with even more candy to hand out, and we would set off to visit as many houses as humanly possible in a three hour time frame (I remember one of them dressing up as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle for at least three consecutive years!). Our weapons of choice were old pillowcases, and when we were through we’d dump our piles of sweets out onto the living room carpet , organize everything, and make trades. We moved out of that house when I was 18, but Halloween evenings will always be some of my best memories.


Hot Commodities

Hi folks!!! Kirsten from Simply Grove here! I am so thrilled to be guest posting for Kelly as she travels the wonderful wide world. Kelly has created such an amazing movement over here on Design Crush. Only amazing things are coming her way!

I am an interior stylist so naturally I wanted to share interior design with you today. With the air getting colder for most of us, the home should be getting warmer inside. This is the time of year that the fireplace becomes a hot commodity. Mostly because of the warmth it gives but also for the mad design detail that it gives out. I’ve been seeing quite a few pretty fireplaces surfacing on the web. Here are a few of my favorites. 1, 2, 3





Apple Upside-Down Cornmeal Cakes

Hello Design Crush readers, I’m Elizabeth – so pleased to meet you. Along with my husband Brian, I write Brooklyn Supper, a food blog dedicated to seasonal eating and living the good life. It is downright thrilling to be a guest here on Design Crush, and I really want to win you over. Experience has taught me the best way to do that is with cake.

These little apple upside-down cakes were inspired by a recent trip to the apple orchard. Like always, we made it late in the season and all of the red apples were mostly gone. But happily, there was row after row of big, crisp Mutsu apples (also called Crispins). These pale green apples have crisp flesh, and a bright, mildly grassy flavor. I love baking with them because they don’t lose their texture after a stint in the oven, and their mild flavor accommodates notes of vanilla and orange beautifully.


Which brings me to the cakes. Tiny, moist, and dotted with flecks of cornmeal, these little beauties are infused with real vanilla bean and specks of orange zest. The apples have just a bit of bite, and since they’re lightly sweetened, the essence of the fresh fall apples comes through wonderfully. If you don’t have access to Mutsus, try another sweet, crisp, mild variety like Fuji, Macintosh, or Gala.


Apple Upside-Down Cornmeal Cakes
makes 5 eight-ounce cakes


for the fruit

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3″ section of vanilla bean, split
2 large apples (1 1/2 cups sliced)
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
pinch sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Set out your butter, eggs, and milk to come to room temperature. Liberally grease five eight-ounce oven-proof ramekins.

In a medium-sized skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. Scrape the vanilla seeds into the bubbling butter, toss in the pods, and turn to heat to the very lowest setting. Allow vanilla and butter to steep over low heat for 10 minutes. If butter starts to brown at all, remove the pan from heat.

Meanwhile, core and slice the apples to 1/4″ thick. Using a diagonal cut, halve the slices.

Next, bring the heat back up to medium, and add the apples, sugar, orange zest and juice, and salt. Sauté for 5 minutes. Set aside while you prepare the batter.


for the cake

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and sea salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, or using a paddle attachment and a stand mixture, beat the butter on low speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the sugar, and beat for 3 minutes more. Add the egg and beat for 1 minute more, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the milk and vanilla extract. Finally, fold in the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined.

Discard the vanilla pod. Divide the apples and their cooking liquid evenly between the ramekins. Next, spoon the batter over the apples, dividing evenly. Set ramekins on a baking sheet, and place in the oven. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached.


In the Details

Hello Design Crush readers!! Cassandra here from coco+kelley and I’m so happy to be hoppin’ over here today with a guest post based on one of my favorite series on my blog called In the Details. I usually like to focus on a theme, so today we’re looking at how to get creative with wallpaper…


One of my favorite wallpapers, grasscloths provide such gorgeous texture, but can be fairly plain. To punch things up, add some badass studs in a large checkered pattern, and you’ve created a masculine-inspired detail not to be messed with.


Layering different patterns within the same colourway is such a cool idea – and definitely no for the faint of heart. I’d suggest sticking to different styles within one line to make sure the hues are really spot on – this example is from John Robshaw’s wallpaper collection, and I love the mix of scale and style!


While it’s sometimes nice to have large case pieces to break up bold wallpaper patterns, I love this idea more. Line the back of the cabinet with the same wallpaper pattern and the eye will continuously move throughout the space instead! It won’t work in every case (remember if you line a cabinet with pattern, the items in the cabinet will need to stay fairly simple!)


What do you think? Would you experiment with any of these ideas in your own home??


*image sources: 1. Traditional Home 2. John Robshaw 3. Lonny Mag



Hello, my name is Megan and I’ve had the site Not Martha for 11 years. I create DIY projects and collect links to things all over the place. I have a background in theater design, so of course my favorite holiday is Halloween.

Each Halloween I find myself seeking out skull objects that are life-sized (or almost). Here is what I am currently a bit obsessed with.


A 3-D printed sculpture by Joshua Harker that was the number one most funded sculpture project on Kickstarter, you can read more about how these came to be in this Etsy Short Story.


Life sized chocolate skulls cast from a real human skull. Each one is unique and comes in dark chocolate or her own Bone Chocolate, a mixture of white and milk chocolates.


A lamp made of bone china by Alex Garnett.


Ten Takes On the Modern Farmhouse

I’m not exactly sure how to define farmhouse except that I know one when I see it. They’ll often have a pitched roof, and are usually located on rural farmland, but not always. To me, the word farmhouse evokes nostalgia for an era and lifestyle I’ve only ever dreamed of (my “Dream House” board on Pinterest is nothing but variations on the classic farmhouse), but it’s certainly not a term limited to vintage buildings. Here, some modern takes on the traditional farmhouse, from barn conversions to new construction to sleek additions.


Black Barn House in Roxbury, New York by Derek Sanders.


Yum Yum Farmhouse in Wellman, Iowa by DeForest Architects.


“Stealth Barn” Guest Cottage in Norfolk County, England by Carl Turner.


Belk Farmhouse in Chester, South Carolina by Pursley Dixon Architecture.


Summer House in Southern Burgenland, Austria by Judith Benzer Architektur.


Modern T Farmhouse in Three Oaks, Michigan by FGH Architects.


Blue Ridge Farmhouse in Washington, Virginia by Robert Gurney.


Zinc Farmhouse by Simon Winstanley Architects.


Wilde Hair Ranch in Austin, Texas by Mell Lawrence Architects.


Wagner Residence in Ferrisburgh, Vermont by H. Keith Wagner Partnership, Birdseye Building Company.


Kathryn Storke Grady is the founder and editor of Snippet & Ink, where she brings together two of her favorite things: love stories and pretty parties. She is known for her inspiration boards, her editorial eye, and her buttermilk chocolate chip scones. She lives near San Francisco with her handsome husband, a sassy kitty, and a wiggly puppy dog.


October Mix

Hi friends, I’m Casey from K.I.D. Collective. I’m an interior designer and maker based in Portland, Oregon. When Kelly asked me to put together a mix, I thought I would share a little of what I’ve been listening to as of late. I hope you enjoy. And thanks, Kelly, I hope you enjoy your travels.

Listen on Spotify


Happy Weekend


Hello! My name is Jen and I write the blog, Honey Kennedy. I’m happy to be here while my pal Kelly is immersing herself in Italian design and culture (read: I wish I was with her! Ha.). Magnifico! Brava!

I’ve been pinning a lot of design inspiration lately and thought I’d share some of the lovely things I’ve pinned. I love this season most of all! It’s all so good — the cozy fashion, yummy recipes and, of course, nestling in at home always rules. Have a wonderful weekend! Thanks for hanging out with me today. Come visit me on Honey Kennedy sometime!

1. I love this pink clouds print by Debbie Carlos. I bought one — it’s gorgeous!

2. These London Gardens earrings by Janine Arnold are so cool. And that cat looks fierce.

3. These herb drying outtake photographs from Parker Fitzgerald’s Kinfolk Magazine shoot are magic.

4. My sneak peek of a beautiful collection from one of my favorite designers, Colenimo.

5. This lavender hot chocolate recipe is so simple good. I like to add extra lavender!

6. I love this spear basket from the glorious new Ferm Living collection.

7. I LOVE this tile work by Studio Too Good. LOVE.

8. I have this wonderful lamp from Schoolhouse Electric. The craftsmanship is absolutely incredible.

9. A fantastic little polka dot handbag from Made by Hank.

10. I love this dining room from an Elle Decor Italy shoot in Saint Tropez from 2010. The chairs!

11. These Arcos earrings from Stone & Honey are so strong and elegant. Her designs are beauties.

12. I definitely want to make this Guinness beer cake this fall! YUM!!


Coconut + Cayenne Cacao Balls

After a long summer vacation to Europe, complete with gelato, pastries and wine at every meal, my husband and I decided to go on a strict paleo detox upon our return home. These days I continue to try and keep sweets to a minimum but when I do crave a little treat these gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free truffles, with no added sugar, are the perfect answer. They’re so tasty I almost forget that they’re actually good for me.



These cacao balls (am I the only one who can’t say “cacao” without thinking of Portlandia?) were originally inspired by Oh, Ladycakes’ Raw Cacao Truffles. I modified the recipe a little to include coconut, followed up with a sexy bite of cayenne. If you’re dubious let me reassure you that sweet and spicy is a perfect combination. In food and in life.


Here’s the recipe:

2 cups raw almonds
1/4 cup cacao powder, plus more for coating
1 cup coconut flakes, divided
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 – 1/2 tsp cayenne, depending on how badass you are
12 medjool dates, pitted and soaked for 15 minutes
1/4 cup coconut milk, full fat and from a can OR water

In a food processor fitted with the S blade, blend the coconut flakes until they’re in small enough flakes to work for coating the truffles. Set aside 1/2 cup for coating – leave the rest in the processor. Add the almonds, cacao powder and salt to the blended coconut chips. Blend into a fine meal. Add the dates and pulse until combined. Add the water and pulse until a batter starts to form. Using a small cookie scoop, drop the batter onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and freeze for 25-30 minutes. Remove from freezer and roll into round balls, then coat half the truffles with cacao powder and the other half with the ground up coconut chips – you can sprinkle additional cayenne on top if you can handle it. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week, or the freezer for long-term – or eat all of them immediately, if you so desire. Serve chilled.

Yield: approximately 24 truffles



Kathleen Shannon is an art director turned free-spirited champion for the small creative entrepreneur through her business show co-owns with her sister, Braid Creative & Consulting. Her don’t-just-dream-it-do-it style pervades everything from her clothes, to her home, to her food. She’ll follow a whim from painting larger-than-life stripes in her living room hallway, to trekking the foothills of Mount Everest – just to have a good story to tell.


Color Stories: Bright Poppy Red

hi there! this is Alyson from Unruly Things, happily filling in while Kelly is off in Milan. like Kelly, I’m also a graphic designer and a huge fan of color. lately, I’ve been curating a color series on my blog. I asked Kelly what her favorite color was so I could share one of my Color Stories with you today. she said bright poppy red, one of my faves too, so here are a few things I’m loving in different tones of poppy red.


one : washed twill tee / two : red two-tone & plaid necktie / three : minsk clogs / four : cael necklace / five : scotch naturals polish / six : little hell esb / seven : leather bag / eight : linen dish towel / nine : mt. rainer sport socks