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Saturday, February 14th, 2015

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Becky

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Hey all, we’re not so into the usual hearts and candies and teddy bears (or if we are, we don’t want to admit it). Instead, we thought we’d share this amazing heart, composed of every flag in the United Nations. It was made by crew on the Greenpeace boat, The Arctic Sunrise, as a call for global action to protect the Arctic.

Hope all of your days are filled with love. And hearts, candies and teddy bears, if that’s what floats your boat. And if you’re not spending your dough on that stuff, think about a donation to savethearctic.org in honor of someone you love. Or in honor of a polar bear.

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Photo by award-winning photographer Daniel Beltra

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Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Good Sites To Visit During Black History Month

Becky

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February is Black History Month in the U.S. I’ve been selecting movies to watch and re-watch like 12 Years a Slave and Lee Daniels’ The Butler, and  it’s gotten me thinking about some of the best sites to visit to commemorate black history in our country (The King Center is right down the street from me, I need to get off the sofa and revisit it this month). From historic sites to museums, from libraries to monuments, here are just a handful of significant places to reflect on our country’s complicated history of race relations. In light of recent events, I  can’t think of a more important time in recent history to do so.

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International Civil Rights Center & Museum, Greensboro, South Carolina. Visit one of the most significant sites from the Civil Rights Movement, the historic 1929 F.W. Woolworth building  in Greensboro, South Carolina, where a lunch counter sit-in began with the Greensboro Four (Ezell Blair, Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil and David Richmond) on Feb. 1, 1960. These are the original stools they sat in, still in place. This is part of the International Civil Rights Center & Museum.

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The King Center, Atlanta, Georgia. The King Center is a 23-acre site in the heart of Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward. Admission is free and includes the crypt of Dr. and Mrs. King, the Eternal Flame, the Freedom Walkway and Reflecting Pool as well as many exhibits. The King Center also incorporates The King Library and Archives, which contains the bulk of Civil Rights primary source materials. Dr. King’s Birth Home (seen above) and Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church are both within short walking distance of The King Center.

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The Harlem Renaissance Walking Tour, New York, New York. The tour focuses on sites related to the art, music, literature, religion and political events of the Harlem Renaissance, which took place from 1915-1935, as well as to current culture and issues in the neighborhood today. More information available at harlemheritage.com. The tours begin at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

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Photo by Flickr member SneakinDeacon 

The Arthur Ashe Monument, Richmond, Virginia. I love that on this boulevard of monuments to Confederate soldiers, the most recent monument addition honors Arthur Ashe. Not only the first black man to win Wimbledon, Ashe went on to become an anti-apartheid and AIDS activist. The addition of this statue is a reflection of our country’s complicated history and a strong symbol of healing.

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Mulberry Row, Monticello, Charlottesville, Virginia.  Monticello has worked hard to include all aspects of Jefferson’s time on the plantation, including Mulberry Row, the community where slaves, indentured servants and hired help lived and worked. When I was a student studying the property, there were constant archeological digs and research going on to discover and share more about what slave life was like here and the important contributions enslaved workers made to this historic site. The Mulberry Row resources available online are fascinating as well.

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The Langston Hughes Library, Clinton, Tennessee. This one you may have to visit virtually, as it is a private library open for class visits and special events. Designed by Maya Lin, the building is composed of an antique barn cantilevered atop two corn cribs, and is located on a farm once owned by Alex Haley. While it nods to the vernacular rural buildings in the area, its elevated structure and interiors are modern.

Guys, I know this is the tip of the iceberg. Which sties and monuments related to black history have you found moved your the most? Please add to the list in the Comments section.

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Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Fresh Arrivals at Design Public

Becky

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There is such a constant stream of fantastic new goods added to Design Public that sometimes it’s hard to keep up. Here are a few fresh new designs, hand picked by me, because, well, I want all of them for my own house, very badly. Whether your home office needs some more light, your kids’ toys (or yours) need corralling, you need somewhere comfy to rock your newborn or you want to amp up your dining table with some new pieces, there’s something for you These items are just the tip of the iceberg on my own wish list, be sure to check out all Fresh Arrivals when you have a few minutes. But for now, please enjoy this little teaser!

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Clean up that clutter and stash it stylishly in Ferm Living’s Half Moon Basket.

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Domo adigato! Robots Wallpaper from Ferm Living

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Unexpected proportions and a dash of green will brighten up your desk — The Devo Table Lamp from Lights Up!

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A fantastic mid-century modern inspired rocker — perfect for  the living room, a bedroom or a chic nursery — it’s the Norman Copenhagen Era Rocking Chair – Low

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An indigo pen gone wild; I’d love to add these powerful graphic pieces to a warm Danish modern dining table with a few Dansk accessories and simple minimalist white china — ferm LIVING Pen Napkins (they come in sets of four)

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Of course, on my minimalist warm modern table, I’d also allow for this wonderful black and white vase. I’m thinking spears of purple irises or floppy yellow tulips would finish it off — The Kahler Omaggio Vase

Shop all Fresh Arrivals

 

 

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Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Get the Look: Modern Farmhouse Style

Becky

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I was talking to an architect the other day who told me she’s found “everybody wants a modern farmhouse these days.” It seems the bulk of folks asking for this style aren’t exactly outside milking cows at 5 a.m. (though quite a handful have their own urban chicken coops and edible gardens). So what exactly does this style include? I find it’s a twist on spartan farmhouse classics and materials that would be found around the homestead with some contemporary pieces and bold color mixed in. Here’s a look at some of our favorite furniture and accessory choices to help you put together your modern farmhouse. branch_table_oak_3q_1

Blu Dot Branch Table: The weathered oak top powder-coated steel legs offers up a new twist on a farm table.

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Bend Goods Lucy Chair: These chairs bring the modern to the modern farmhouse with a jolt of bold color and geometry.

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Oilo Double Cylinder in Solid Cobalt Blue. A double-drum pendant in woven cotton lends pleasing simplicity overhead.

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Tradition Hoof Table SW1. For the living room, we love this modern take on the milking stool. HOOF is painted first and then trimmed back to reveal the natural grain.

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 Versus Brick 3-Seater Sofa. This clever sofa reminds me of a stone wall on a farm. You can punch up the neutral color of big pieces like this with colorful accessories.
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Bend Goods Geometric Animals: Longhorn. A much cooler look than taxidermy, these sculptural trophies are cruelty-free.Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 8.37.15 AM

Blu Dot Charlie 6 x 9 Rug. The bars and bright colors on this beautiful rug remind me of a Gee’s Bend quilt.

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Area Bruno Bed. The wooden bed taken down to its basic parts. It is available in ash and walnut.

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Thomas Paul Prize Poultry Rooster 26 Jute Pillow. Have some fun with accessories that go a little farm-theme-y. This proud guy will add big personality to a bedscape, sofa or armchair.

 

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Designers Eye Multi Throw Blanket in Brown. A beautiful classic plaid in double-woven in soft, rugged wool.

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jefdesigns Branch 2-Stem Lamp. This lamp has a modern shape but brings some nature indoors.

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Gus Modern Wireframe End Table. Part animal pen, part felled tree, this piece has just enough room for your reading lamp and alarm clock, with plenty of space to stash your favorite magazines underneath.

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Sunday, January 4th, 2015

2015 — The Year of Marsala

Becky

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Now that it’s officially the year of Marsala, according to Pantone, tell us, will you use the color around the home? The choice for Color of the Year seemed pulled out of thin air to me. However, I like earthy tones, and Marsala brings to mind a Moroccan souk, Turkish kilims and terracotta in Spanish Colonial and other Mediterranean architecture. I can imagine it as a nighttime lip color or suede boots. Here are a few ways we like it in interior design.

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Room by Scott Sanders LLC

Marsala looks great on the walls in a dining room or library; here, interior designer Scott Sanders has toned it down with light trimwork up to chair rail height.

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photo via Remodelista/Domestic Architecture

It’s also yummy in a kitchen as a splash with gray and natural wood tones.

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I also like Marsala in a mix of other hues from its red color family, like in this cozy wool rug, or seen in the colors of a brick wall.

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So, do you have any marsala in your home? If not, do you plan to add any? What do you think of these color of the year projections? Please chime in!

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