Big Happy Family



Modular things make me stupidly happy, so it was a no brainer that I needed the Big Happy Family in my life. But which part of my home to organize? I could get culinary tools in order or plant an herb garden in the kitchen. The office could stand some wrangling in terms of small supplies that I’m forever misplacing. But the entryway, yes. That was the answer.




The differently sized magnetic modules were perfect for what I had in mind, some organization and some green all in one place. The Big Happy Family was fairly easy to install, all it takes is some sheet rock anchors and screws. The wall plates snap easily onto the brackets that get attached to the wall, then the various modules attach to the plates via magnet. This makes removing everything such a breeze and reorganizing the modules on a whim super simple.





I used the small Shorty modules for plants – a cactus, a succulent, and an air plant – and I love how easy it is to remove each one when it comes time to water. (I’ve been known to be clumsy!) Outgoing mail finds a home in the Wide Mouth, while the String Been makes an ideal vase for clippings from my yard or flowers from the market. And the Wide Mouth is a perfect catchall for my keys and whatever else I don’t want to forget when dashing out the door to meetings and hot dates. (Ahem.) I’m thrilled with this new addition and am looking forward to figuring out new purposes for Big Happy Family as time goes on!



This is a sponsored post by Viesso. As always, all words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush going!


A Chair Fit for a Boss Lady



For as much time as I spend in my office, a good desk and chair setup is key. I’m ready to update my desk, but finding a solid chair that’s both stylish and comfortable was on top of my list of must haves. Though I get up what seems like a hundred times an hour, my lower back starts to ache by early afternoon like clockwork. I’m not even going to show you my old chair – let’s just say it was a super cheap kitchen design from a place that rhymes with SPIKEA.

It was far past time to upgrade, and I have to sing the praises of the Office Star OSP Furniture Mid-Back Executive Chair after using it for about a month now. It keeps my back supported in all the right places and has just the right amount of cushion – the main qualities I was looking for. And after my previous setup, having armrests is a total luxury! (Who knew?)




I like to keep my space as clutter-free as possible, but I must admit this is the cleanest it’s been in some time. A vase of fresh flowers, a candle (this one’s blueberry muffin!), and lip balms to feed my addiction are always on hand. The only thing missing is my planner which is never far from reach. My new chair stays true to my MCM sensibilities as well as the predominantly white accessories that dominate my office space, which I love.



Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Quill. As always all words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush going!


Organizing the Past


The first wedding I was ever in, my best friend’s from high school. I’m second from the right.

Prior to the digital photography age I was all about film. There’s something so lovely and unpredictable about it because you only have so much control over the outcome and the subject matter. And who can forgot waiting for it to be developed or finding an old mystery roll?! If it was an exceptionally promising set you might even spring for the one hour service.

That’s not to say I don’t love digital photography, too. We’re a society of instant gratification which makes it a great fit, and it’s always nice to be able to retake a wonky photo instead of waiting days only to see the moment was lost. But what to do with all of those prints?



On my first trip to San Francisco, senior year of college. At a college advertising competition in Austin, TX. With my cat, Peanut.

Last week I spent an entire afternoon figuring that out with the help of Kolo‘s Havana photo boxes. I separated all of my photos – even the ones that had been in the cardboard Lion King box since the dawn of the mid-90s – into time frames. High school, college, portfolio school, and family photos. Each one was delegated a box, with the exception of college which took up two. It was definitely time-consuming, but so much fun looking back through those periods of my life. I used the plastic dividers that came with each Havana box to roughly separate major events, though I definitely need to back through and do a better job at some point. I also tossed extremely blurry photos and what can only be described as awful shots from many a photography class right into the trash.



My Grandpa and I riding on a ferris wheel. Photos of Europe taken by my Mom’s godfather.

Older family photos went into a larger, flatter Havana box to accommodate the crazy sizes of some of the shots. I’m still tracking down errant photos that have escaped the confines of my prior “system,” but that’s half of the fun! I love how easily accessible my collection is now, and also that it’s perfectly suitable for display. Each box is covered in gorgeous Indian Yellow fabric that goes perfectly with my mid-century decor. I’m hoping my next home has built-ins so that I can show off my memories.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Kolo. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Design Crush going!


Modern Classroom Style



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This post was created in partnership with Bing.

Whenever I think back to my school days, I can’t help but laugh and shake my head at the classroom settings. Desks that didn’t match, busted equipment, and old chalkboards. And I attended a highly rated school, so I can only imagine what lots of others have had to deal with. It wasn’t until my sophomore year in high school when a large-scale renovation took place (think classes in trailers) that I started to appreciate my surroundings considerably more. Why was there such a lack of color, pattern, and design? If you’re wondering how my dream classroom might look, well, here it is!

One thing students and teachers shouldn’t have to worry about is access to great technology, Bing in the Classroom is an initiative to help bring just this to schools. When they work with Bing in the Classroom, schools receive access to ad-free, safe, private searches by Bing, digital literacy lesson plans, and opportunities to earn free Surface tablets for their classrooms through Bing Rewards! You can show support for #adfreesearch right here.



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Mother’s Day + Kolo’s Photo Books



Mother’s Day is very meaningful to me, so I like to try and pull out a few extra stops. This year that includes a ridiculously awesome Kolo photo book that I put together for my mom. A few years ago I did something similar for my dad, an album that included photos of just me and him. But as soon as I got to raiding my photo collection I realized a little something – my mom was always the one behind the camera! That meant fewer photos of us together and a lot of photos of just me. Being an only child I hoped she wouldn’t hold it against me. (Ahem.)




It took some extra work, but I managed to find several of my mom’s favorites of me and several of the both of us together. (Yeah, there’s no injury under than bandage. I just liked to wear them.) I chose an 8.5 x 11″ photo book with a Mango cover and got to work scanning in all of the photos I’d picked out. I adjusted the color and brightness on several (ahhh, the age of technology) and uploaded them to Kolo‘s site. I was tempted to use the auto load function that places all of your photos in the album for you, but then decided to be a little more hands-on and chose the placement and size of each one myself.




The photos turned out amazing thanks to Kolo‘s Canon printing technology, especially when you consider that most of them are 30+ years old! I loved creating the perfect flow of images and personalizing the layout. I could have opted to add some text as well, but preferred to allow the visuals to speak for themselves.




Last weekend my mom came over to dye Easter eggs at my house (one of our many traditions) and I gave her this gift early. She loved it so much and with every flip of a page said “I love this picture!”. So I’m guessing I did okay, especially when she said the photo book was one of her favorite gifts ever. *pats self on back* The heirloom quality of these photo books guarantees they’ll be around for some time, and the rainbow of colors available for he covers gives my mom lots of options when it comes to expansion.




I especially love this one of the two of us at the Pittsburgh Zoo when I was about a year and a half old. My mom’s outfit looks like it would be just as in style today! Wish I could say the same for those overalls I’m sporting.




My grandmother is turning 90 this August and I think I’m going to put together a smaller version of the two of us as a special gift. Had I realized how easy it was, I probably would have done hers for Mother’s Day as well.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Design Crush going!


Innovation That Excites: The New Murano



Last week I had the chance to let you all in on Nissan‘s latest in their ongoing Innovation That Excites campaign – check out the new Murano! I can hardly handle how sleek and aerodynamic the design is, from the boomerang headlights that you’re sure to see coming in your rearview mirror to the super sculpted body shape.




I had a chance to sit down and talk with the Murano’s lead designer, Ken Lee, about the process from sketches to full-size clay models to finished product. Turns out there’s a healthy competition within Nissan’s design departments that span the globe for every vehicle turned out – Ken was chosen above all others for the Murano. A huge deal because this crossover’s design is representative of all others going forward.




As soon as Ken mentioned that a huge part of the Murano’s design inspiration came from 1970s airplanes and spaceships it was obvious. Did you see those propellor-inspired wheels?! All of the aerodynamics managed to make this vehicle 20% more fuel efficient than the current model. It took me a minute to pick up my jaw after hearing that little tidbit.





The interior is just as futuristic and well-designed as the exterior. I’m driving my second Nissan (a 2009 Altima Coupe) and was wowed by the console’s new look. It’s so well-organized and functional.




I even managed to slide my rear into the driver’s seat (after fighting through gads of dude auto reporters!) and have to say it felt great. Even though the Murano is a crossover and sits no higher than a car, it really felt like I’d be able to see more of the road because of how the seats are situated. I was ready to drive it right out of the Javits Center, but I think that may have been frowned upon. Guess I’ll have to wait until its release at the end of the year just like everyone else!

Disclaimer: Travel, hotel, and compensation for this post were provided by Nissan. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush going!


Innovation That Excites

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There are brands that I work with again and again simply because I love what they’re doing and what they’re putting out into the world. Nissan is one of them. I’ve shared the Versa Sedan and the Versa Note in the past and was excited to hear that the third generation of the Murano was being unveiled at this year’s New York International Auto Show. Personally I’m looking to move into a bit larger of a vehicle from my Altima Coupe, so it was perfect timing. Plus, this is the first time the vehicle is being built in the United States, which I love.




Nissan shuttled everyone back and forth in their Taxi of Tomorrow. I’m short at 5’2″ but couldn’t get over the massive amounts of leg room in the NV200. The large touch screen was beyond words, the storage capacity of the trunk was huge, and the divider between driver and passengers was like a sound bubble. Oh, and here’s the kind of views the ridiculously incredible transparent roof…




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Nissan brought along nine cars for press day, and I was inside and outside of every one exploring the new features. There was one that stood out among the rest – the Smart Rearview Mirror that uses advanced camera technology to enhance the driver’s view behind a vehicle. It lives within a traditional rearview mirror, but allows the driver to switch between the traditional mirror and an LCD monitor. Genius!


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I also checked up on the latest versions of the Versa Sedan and Versa Note, both of which are Nissan’s bread and butter vehicles that have kicked them to the top of the sub-compact sector. What’s always fascinated me across the board is their unwillingness to compromise on design no matter the price point. As someone who can’t afford a incredibly extravagant vehicle, but has a penchant for good design it’s so appreciated to know that someone is looking out for the little guys.


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Then there’s the opposite end of the spectrum, the Nismo line is super tricked out with the option for – get this – matte paint. I couldn’t stop touching it. Again, bold and innovative design in a completely different way.


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Next week I’ll share specifics about the new Murano, which is being referred to as Nissan’s “halo vehicle” for their expanding range of crossovers and SUVs. I had a chance to sit down and chat with lead designer Ken Lee about every stage and facet of the design process and can’t wait to share!

Disclaimer: Travel, hotel, and compensation for this post were provided by Nissan. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush going!


Countdown to Mother’s Day

I love buying gifts for my mom. She’s fun to shop for and always acts like I’ve just given her the most brilliant thing in the world (as all moms are apt to do I suppose). But her birthday and Mother’s Day fall about a week apart on the calendar every year which involves some thinking ahead on my part. When Uncommon Goods asked me to share some of my favorite gifts for Mother’s Day I was excited to delve into their shop, where half of the goods are made by hand, most are made in the USA, and one-third incorporate recycled and/or upcycled materials. They also have a great selection of personalized gifts.


Of course I had my mom in mind while window shopping. Pool season shows up early here in Oklahoma, and a set of silicone wine glasses would get lots of use. She’s also been on a bit of a health kick, but water gets boring and would be much more interesting served in a flavor infuser water bottle. A wine pairing towel set would not only make a good reference, but also be a great conversation starter. My mama loves a good mojito and could muddle up her own with this molecular mixology kit! A trio of solar tealights would be perfect for early weekend mornings spent sipping coffee and reading the newspaper on the patio or late nights spent outside chatting with friends. So basically I can’t wrong. And also, I hope she isn’t reading this!

Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush going!


A Little Less Blue, A Little More Light



After our teaser last week, I’m back today with my bathroom reveal for National Painting Week! That’s right, I went with a subdued version of the color that was already in play. There’s just something about a blue of any hue that feels refreshing. And because this is also the bath directly across from the guest room I wanted to keep things in the same color family to feel slightly related.




In case you need a reminder (it is Monday after all), here’s the bare bones empty before shot. My goal was to make this windowless hall bath as appealing as possible to buyers since I’m gearing up for a move and will soon be putting my home on the market.






I visited my local Sherwin-Williams store and picked up some paint chips to test against the light about a week before painting. This is definitely an important step, colors that differ only slightly can look hugely different depending on what light they’re in. The winner was Mountain Air, a super light blue-grey that feels unbelievably fresh and welcoming.






I really love how Mountain Air looks with the other elements I’ve added to the room – a new jade plant (that will hopefully survive!), a shower curtain with a splash of coral, and a few abstract drawings are all helping me achieve a relaxed feel. I also bought some new white towels and hardware to add to the equation for an overall refresh.




And then I went a little overboard and added a stack of favorite books because, well, it is a bathroom. I also like the pops of color and type they bring to the room. All in all I’d call this project a huge success! I think when I remove the pieces of my personal style any potential buyer should be able to picture themselves putting their own spin on this room.

Check out my fellow bloggers sharing their blue projects today for – Remodelaholic gave her daughter’s room a refresh and The City Sage gave a side table new life. Tomorrow tune in to Vintage Revivals, Four Generations One Roof,  and Simply Grove to see how they worked their magic with green!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for which I received compensation. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush going!



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Meet my absolute favorite shoes for this spring. Bucketfeet is a line of artist designed canvas shoes that are rocking my world right now. Every pair is designed by a different artist, and in less than two years the movement has grown to include 75 artists in 21 countries. From street artists in Bogota to graphic designers in New York.


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I went with a pair of the Pasco 54, ridiculously comfortable canvas slip-ons designed by Olivier Vouzellaud, better known as Yamas. (You can even buy a print of the design!) And now I’m eyeing the Pineappleade and Mesa Sunset designs. This could turn into an addicting little habit fast.


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I love that every pair has a story to tell, as does which design you choose to wear. Artists get the recognition they deserve and you get an incredible pair of kicks that help express your personality.


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Photos Caroline Cohenour at Womb Gallery

Disclaimer: I was provided product in exchange for this post. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush going!