Top 10 Picks From Our Joss & Main Event


Photos © Bonnie Tsang  Images via Joss & Main

I’m popping in with a rare weekend post because we’re moving into the homestretch of our Urban Decor themed sale on Joss & Main! With over 100 handpicked items (from moi) to choose from, it just wouldn’t be fair not to share my favorites…




A few of my original favorites are already sold out – you people have amazing taste! – but it was easy to find replacements because I honestly want it all. Everything in my sale skews toward mid-century modern, but that doesn’t mean a piece or two wouldn’t fit into your space. No matter the style. When everything in a room feels too matchy it can get boring, the only real requirement for making something work is loving it!

01/ Branson Hamper
02/ Ikat Throw
03/ Atom Floor Mirror
04/ Duncan Sofa
05/ Lori Bookcase
06/ Gopala Pillow
07/ Meyer Tea Kettle
08/ Idle Arm Chair
09/ Setay Table Lamp
10/ Messina Coffee Table

Be sure and pop over to the sale before Monday morning when it closes, and also take a peek at Joss & Main’s blog Plume where there’s a little post about Design Crush and my fast and loose design rules.


Our Joss & Main Curated Sale Event is Live!


Joss&Main-1-Design Crush

Photos © Bonnie Tsang  Images via Joss & Main

You might’ve noticed that our second post for the day is a bit late, but we have a good reason. Design Crush’s Urban Decor Curators Collection with Joss & Main is kicking off as of right now! Huzzah!


Joss&Main-2-Design Crush

A lot of my inspiration came from the loft Apartment 34‘s Erin Hiemstra first moved into when she and her husband relocated from Seattle. Erin has an amazing eye and the clean lines, neutral palette, and mix of textures sucked me right in.


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The beautiful shots of Erin’s loft were taking by photographer extraordinaire Bonnie Tsang. Thanks so much to both of these lovely ladies for allowing us access to the incredible photography and inspiring space!


Joss&Main-Design Crush

Our sale will be live for three days only, so hop on it fast! You have until Sunday, March 31st at 11am EST. If you’re not already a Joss & Main member and want to skip the wait you can do just that by clicking right here. Happy shopping!


Design Crush + Joss & Main



I’m pleased as punch to announce that I’ll be curating my first ever event next week with Joss & Main! For those of you who are unfamiliar with the site, Joss & Main is a premier members-only site that offers limited-time sales (up to 70% off!) on the world’s best brands. Each event lasts just three days and then it’s gone with the wind! Design Crush’s theme is Urban Decor and will be featuring 120 items with clean, modern lines that I’d be thrilled to have in my own home (those are a few of my favorites from the sale up there). You can avoid the waiting list to join by clicking right here! I’ll be popping back in to remind you of the sale when it launches Thursday, March 28th at 9pm EST.




It’s been a few weeks since the new site design launched and I thought it was high time you met who was behind it all! (PS: Thanks for all the sweet words about the new look, I’m in love with it too.)

I’ve had the pleasure of working with the creative team of Tim and Erin Cooper – CooperHouse – since 2010. They’re the ones responsible for the past three design iterations of the Design Crush site and countless other blogs you most likely check out every day. Erin covers the design, while Tim mans the coding. And to say they’re lifesavers would be an understatement, I wish I had a count of how many Sunday evening I’ve emailed Tim about a glitch on the site and he is on it. As in ASAP. Dedication like that is sort of hard to find in this day and age, but CooperHouse remains true to their clients.




My favorite aspect of CooperHouse as a company is that they have a focus on creative industries, helping people with big ideas share them through beautiful websites. I love that. I also love that they’re a local Oklahoma City company that I feel super about recommending to any and all national clients. And I have.

If you’re on the lookout for a small, hands on company with a focus on online media CooperHouse is the team for you. If you have any questions about my experience feel free to reach out!



Alt Class: How to Organize Your Time at Alt

Alt Class-Design Crush

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be teaching a free Alt Channel class this coming Saturday on how best to organize your time at Alt! (I can’t believe it’s almost here either, only two weeks to go!) I’ll be talking about planning your time at the conference before you ever set foot in Salt Lake City – everything from wardrobe planning to best managing all those class options – with a few downloads tossed into the mix to help things flow smoothly. I hope you’ll join me for what’s sure to be an informative hour with some laughing thrown in for good measure (because I can’t manage to be serious for more than ten minutes)! Trust me, a little bit of organization can make this your best Alt Summit yet! Sign up to attend right here


A New Year, A New Design Crush!

Design Crush 2013-Design Crush

Well, did I surprise you?! I’ve been working with Cooper House since September on this shiny new version of Design Crush and it’s been tough to keep my mouth shut, but I thought New Year’s Day would be the perfect start for a new and improved site!

You’ll notice a few new additions that should make the site a little more intuitive. My favorites are the Share/Tweet/Pin icons that you’ll find at the bottom of each and every post. We stayed true to the drop down Categories and Archive menus in the sidebar and added icons for About and Press. You can also see we switched back to the white background. The dark grey was a fun experiment, but I’m a minimal girl at heart!

There may be a few glitches during the first day or so until everything gets ironed out, please feel free to let us know if anything isn’t functioning properly for you. I hope you love this new look as much as I do!


Top 40 Posts Of 2012

A few weeks ago I was taking a look through the past year in posts and decided to put together a Top 40 collection for 2012. I had hoped to spread it out over a few days and organize everything a bit, but a family death and extended stay in Pennsylvania over the holidays set me back and I had to lump it all together. Thank you so much for continuing to help make this site such an amazing part of my daily life – here’s to 2013!



15 Chances to Find Your Ultimate Mac + Cheese // Day to Dinner to Party // New Addition //
Berry Lemonade Vodka + Homemade Blackberry Vodka



B-B-B-Buffalo // Best Word Ever // Campfire Cologne // Celebrated



Coriumi // Popsicles + Poptails – Take 2 // Little Corners // Courtney Martin



Electrolux Design Lab // Mojito Madness // Top Knot // Fluffy Raspberry Mousse



You Can Do It: Create a Gallery Wall // What I Learned: Alt 2012 // HP Designer Matchup //
Luxe Liquors



You Can Do It: Golden Glass Bottles // I Like Notebooks And I Cannot Lie //
Mixtape 17: Where All Your Girls Are Pretty // Mobile Foodie Survival Kit



Mosantimetre Turkish Coffee Pots // Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Treats // Pete //
Paper Sculptures



Pumpkin Marshmallow Pie // Magnetic Wallpaper // Sigils of the Houses of Westeros //
Wall Tape



Song Map // Dream Thanksgiving // Paper Flowers // Tiffin Lunch Kit



Tobias Tovera // Urban Geodes // Mighty Summit 2012 // Camp Brand


It’s Party Time (Well Almost)

I’m really excited/humbled/overwhelmed that Design Crush is turning 5 next week. That’s like a grandma in blog years! I never could have made it this far without all of your support and dedication, honestly. I’m thankful for each and every one of you. </end sapfest>

I’m also really thrilled to announce that there will be a party to celebrate the occasion!!! Thanks to the always-on-top-of-it Engage OKC, we’ll be commandeering the Wedge on Western Avenue July 8th at 6pm. There’ll be a cake by Cookie + Kate and goodies galore!  Head on over to check out the goings on and make sure to RSVP by July 4th. I hope to see lots of you there – I’ll be the girl in the pink dress with black polka dots. xo

UPDATE: Due to the awesomeness of the Oklahoma City Thunder and their place in the NBA Finals, the party has been rescheduled for Sunday, July 8th. Now you have no reason not to make an appearance. *wink, wink*


Happy Weekend

PHOTO: rakkauttaskatu

01/ I love the idea of updating jewelry with paint
02/ get ready for spring flowers with these wood + stoneware vases
03/ super smart clothing styling
04/ I’d totally get cozy under this quilt
05/ this app let’s you type + walk safely all at the same time
06/ dying to do a food swap after reading this
07/ our Growing Your Readership panel from Alt – illustrated! 


What I Learned: Alt 2012

PHOTO: Justin Hackworth

This is my last Alt post. Promise. But I told you all I’d share what I learned, so here it is. If you’re unfamiliar with the format of the conference, there are several hour long sessions throughout the day. During each session you have three panel options to choose from, I chose to attend the ones that I thought I could get the most out of professionally. And while it’s impossible to attend all of the panels, you can search #altsummit on Twitter and get a pretty good idea of what went down in most of them.


Bri Emory, Danielle Krysa, Joslyn Taylor, Victoria Smith

• it’s okay to say no
• find someone with similar aesthetics, but who brings fresh eyes and a new perspective
• honesty and communication are key
• manage conflict with integrity  and grace
• know what you want out of the collaboration up front and communicate that
• even good partnerships come to an end
• it’s okay to walk away if you’re not getting what you need or pulling your weight
• don’t air your gripes online
• it’s human nature to want to share
• make the most of chance encounters
• reach out locally
• don’t be afraid to take it offline
• make it easy for the other person to say yes
• all someone can do is say no


Erin Loechner, Danielle Wiley, Meg Keene, Sarah Stringfellow

• it’s possible to do it yourself
• have a media kit readily available
• people you want to work with will work with you
• you’re responsible for creating something for yourself
• figure out and meet your community
• know your brand and your value
• advertising is about you
• test the waters – use trial and error and your moral compass
• sponsors should only be adding to your site
• always ask for what you want, be proactive
• the crazier the pitch, the better
• consider your complete online presence
• give brands something to get excited about
• follow up
• consider legal obligations
• have a debriefing sessions afterwards
• send snail mail thank you notes
• picture where you want to be in two years and create the building blocks to get yourself there
• look into media training, it’s highly attractive
• read contracts over carefully
• understand what doing something for free means for you
• build relationships that last
• clean layouts are important
• focus on your content, what does it say about you?
• facilitate authentic conversations
• know your CPM, CPC
• mobile sites are an important piece of the puzzle


Pilar Guzman, Deborah Needleman, Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan

• online currency = views and legitimacies
• very few companies do both well
• there is no easy transition
• they’re not mutually exclusive


Heather Armstrong, Nora Abousteit, Kelly Walters, Sarah Bryden-Brown

• pretty pictures aren’t enough
• build a personality through your words
• use your voice honestly
• create a platform to succeed
• use WordPress’s Buddypress


Tracey Clark, Danni Hong, Kal Bartestki, Sarah Wert

• “Intellectual Property” is a broad term – it includes photography, art, music, words, poetry, recipes, etc.
Link With Love
• commenting shows appreciation, don’t promote yourself or your giveaway
• if you’re monetizing, you need to ask yourself what using a photo is doing
• giving credit benefits you, pay it forward
• don’t air your dirty laundry, settle things in private
• original content is safest
• add a disclaimer
• create awareness, set standards, it has to start somewhere
• pause before you post, don’t just grab and do
• create a community that words together


Nicholas Wells

• copyright use: remember that online does not mean “public domain” – ask permission, give credit
• copyright infringement: when someone uses your materials without permission start with a call or email, proceed through DMCA takedown notice and/or use of lawyer if that doesn’t work
• website legal terms: have them, keep them up to date
• trademarks: protects your business and gives you a defined legal asset, also use other brands correctly and with credit where due
• advertising law: follow the FTC guidelines for bloggers
• contracts: use written contracts with sponsors and contributors
• employment law: be extra careful when it comes to using paid help, use written agreements and file all tax documents
• corporate law: the bigger you get, the more you need to plan ahead
• giveaways: check state laws against private lotteries and have official rules easily available


Camille Styles, Cassandra LaValle, Hunter Sebresos, Jasmine Star

• position yourself uniquely
• everything you put out defines you
• fine a niche
• lay the foundation to get paid
• write a branding statement
• checklist: business cards, consistent visuals, get social, headshot
• showcase who you are more than what you do
• own who you are
• love me or hate me, make people feel something
• perfect your elevator pitch
• educate your readers, keep them in the loop
• trust your instincts


Jordan Ferney, Kelly Beall, Nicole Balch, Maggie Mason

• original content is key, if using someone else’s put your own spin on it
• a clean and polished look is necessary these days, it’s your starting point
• looking bigger than you are is important, dressing for the job you want applies
• being part of a community helps build your readership
• consistency in posting is key
• blogging is an ever-evolving experiment
• your site’s design should be intuitive and user friendly
• don’t focus on your stats, put your energy elsewhere
• go with your gut
• meaningful commenting is a good tactic
• write in your own voice
• if you have a great idea, put it out there in a minimal way just to get started
• say thank you if you contribute to someone else’s site
• investing in your blog is incredibly important
• stop treating it like a hobby
• track + participate in the conversation you’re creating
• don’t neglect Facebook, many people use it as their RSS reader
• handpicked related posts at the bottom of each post increase traffic
• know the way people engage and cater to them

Nicole put together a great collection of tweets from our panel right here if you’re hungry for more.