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Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!


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Top o’the afternoon to you all and happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Today’s got me feeling very green. Not with envy, just happy with all things kelly, chartreuse, lime, apple and pine. Today’s a great day to give yourself a St. Patty’s break and enjoy some Irish eye candy.


It’s also causing a craving to see the beautiful green hills of Ireland. Today on our Facebook page, we joked that you should not visit this sublime spot in County Kerry if you’ve been drinking green beer (do people in Ireland even do that, or is that just a crazy American thing?)



And certainly stay away from the edge if you’re at the  Cliffs of Moher.


The Hexagons are where thousands of basalt columns meet.  Again, a visit is recommended before you hit the pub.


OK, OK, I promise to stop giving you vertigo after this one, it’s just too good. This is the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.


Let’s have an Irish/Zen moment. This magically green-covered walkway at Birr Castle calms.


Colorful buildings cheer the grayest of days in Country Cork.

Now, the break is over, but you’ve only got a few more hours to go until you can go celebrate. If you’re still in the mood for a few more minutes of distraction, shop our big sale!


Thursday, February 19th, 2015

On Trend: Black and White in Home Decor


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Black and white provides that bold graphic punch that never goes out of style. You can stick with strictly the two colors (well, technically, white is the absence of color and black is all of the colors, or I think I learned something like that in art class, but I digress … ), or you can add dashes of other colors. Bold orange, taxicab yellow, royal blue and turquoise are just a few favorites I like to use with black and white around my own home. Whatever you chose, here are ten picks of the combination at its best.

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Design Letters Letter T Teapot with Lid. The typography on these teapots was designed by Danish design icon Arne Jacobsen.

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Lights Up! Meridian Grande Pendant Lamp. This drum shade is the perfect blend of modern and floral.


makelike 100 Things Wallpaper in Black and White. Made for doodle-lovers, these funky renderings include everything from geometric patterns to bananas.

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Kahler Omaggio Vase in Black. This vase is beautiful in its simplicity and provides a graphic base for colorful blooms.

602881_Era_Rocking_Chair_High_Tango_41599_1.jpgNormann Copenhagen Era Rocking Chair – High. This rocker has mid-century modern swagger and plenty of comfort. Use it in any room from the living room to the nursery.

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Heather Lins Home 3-D Art Pillow. 3-D glasses included!


ferm LIVING Squares Blanket. Well, technically, I think they are trapezoids, which is even better. This is modern black and white at its coziest.

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Coalesse Emu Heaven Table. The wire pattern on this table base will add interesting texture and a beautiful silhouette to any room.


Sin in Linen Pinup Shower Curtain. Racy and fun, these ladies will add a playful touch to a vintage modern black and white bath.

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Blu Dot Last Dinner Table. Two leaves are cleverly concealed underneath this spartan table so that you can expand it for a large gathering.




Monday, February 16th, 2015

Junkin’ in Georgia


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I know we feature very clean-lined contemporary and modern designs here at Design Public, but in order to make a design interesting, all white walls and rectilinear lines need something, well for lack of a better word, junky. I’m talking rusty and crusty.


photo from Fort Indian Springs Antique & Flea Market Facebook page, all other photos by Becky Harris

Yesterday, I took a trip down to Fort Indian Springs Antique & Flea Market and found myself imagining the kind of spaces where a collection of rusty wrenches, a big crusty turquoise sign that said “CARPE” or a Buddy L Hertz toy car carrier from 1961 could go. I’m still not sure on the last one, but I bought it anyway.

If you look closely at the building above, there’s much more that meets the eye; painted details are all over the walls, as well as owner John Hanley’s metal sculptures. I loved this guy who greets you right next to the front door:

IMG_5047Around every corner in this multiple-acre compound there were stacks of old metal, wooden chairs, half-rusted out cars and slapped-together outbuildings. But were they so slapped together? There was something about the way third-generation junkman John Hanley (who has also bred two more generations of junkmen, bringing the legacy to five generations in his family) has everything arranged that reveals the eye of an artist; wonderful assemblages and compositions that combine necessity and art.




The side of one of the campers looked like New York City street art from the Basquait/Haring days:


An exuberant wall recently painted by folk artist Rev Ness entices visitors around the corner: Read the rest of this entry »


Saturday, February 14th, 2015

Happy Valentine’s Day!


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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 in honor of someone you love. Or in honor of a polar bear.


Photo by award-winning photographer Daniel Beltra


Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Good Sites To Visit During Black History Month


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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.



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.


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.


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 The tours begin at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.


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.



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.


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.