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Monday, September 7th, 2015

5 Tips for Using Reclaimed Wood in Your Home

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Taken from old barns and other buildings, and even on site in some construction projects, reclaimed wood lends a rustic and warm cabin-like feel to any space around the home. One of the biggest benefits of “harvesting” wood from old structures is that you can often find lumber that’s no longer available, such as old-growth denser species and species like chestnut that no longer grow tall and mighty due to the blight. Here are some tips for using reclaimed wood in your home.


Keep bedding simple to put the focus on the reclaimed wood. This bedroom strikes just the right balance between modern and rustic, with its concrete floor, clean lines and weathered wood. (Room by Briggs Edward Solomon)

wood bedroom wall

Don’t be afraid to add color to a room with a wood accent wall. Chartreuse adds a great dash of color in this contemporary rustic bedroom. And we love the faux trophies — they add an playful touch. (wood and photo via Stikwood)

Toilet Room Makeover wm

Consider reclaimed wood in the bathroom. Annie from the blog Annie’s Blessed Nest did a lovely job on her powder room reclaimed wood accent wall.  And she’s been generous enough to share how you can do it to.



Look to smaller items that integrate reclaimed wood. Some products can add just the right dose of rustic reclaimed wood to your home. When curating our offerings, we were drawn to this table lamp because we love the contrast between the 100% recovered wood fiber base and the crisp white linen lampshade.

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 2.26.59 PM

Clean white is a great backdrop for reclaimed wood. It lets the wood stand out and become a focal point, but doesn’t let the rough quality overpower the room. This is an especially good way to go in a kitchen where you want things to look, feel and be sanitary.

Have you tried using reclaimed wood at home? If you’ve got any tips to share, please let us know in the comments.




Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Fresh Arrivals at Design Public


Posted by Becky | View all posts by 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!


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


Domo adigato! Robots Wallpaper from Ferm Living


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


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)


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




Friday, October 31st, 2014

Happy Halloween!


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
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Here’s to a fun and safe evening this Halloween everyone!

Watching Claire and Phil from Modern Family arguing between scary insane asylum and “AwesomeLand” decorations this week got me thinking about Halloween decor. In my neighborhood it’s bananas — there are giant spiders scaling the houses, and webs, gravestones, walkers and skeletons all over yards and porches. People throw themselves into Halloween so much that it got me thinking of how to keep the fun spirit of the holiday alive year-round, in a way that’s not so scary. Here are some Halloween-inspired elements deconstructed and turned into playful decor.

1) Candy colors. These bright hues cheer up any room and add a big element of happy.

2) Skeletons. The mention of a skelton reminds me of a favorite David Sedaris story, where he buys his partner Hugh a full-size human skeleton model he’s been wanting, but deeply regrets his own generosity after Hugh hangs it in their bedroom. I’d use this soft skeleton shawl as a throw to add some personality to a room though!

Thomas Paul Shawl - Skeleton

3) Gourds. I love the organic look of gourds hanging from the trees, and spying my feathered friends enjoying them as a birdhouse or feeder. There’s a helpful DIY guide for making your own gourd birdhouse over at

4) Orange. Call it persimmon, apricot, tangerine, or by some other mouth-watering name. It’s a color that enlivens a space. According to the interwebs, orange by any name is mentally stimulating and represents creativity and happiness.

"Baby" wallpaper by Aimee Wilder

5) Creepy dolls. Just kidding. This is whack. That thing’s going to come and get your while you sleep!

photo by Daniel Marbaix

Is any of your year-round decor inspired by Halloween? If so, please share it with us in the comments section.


Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

(Re)Introducing the Spanner Lounge Chair With Arms


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky

We are so pleased to announce that we are carrying The Spanner Lounge Chair with Arms at Design Public. Originally created in 1950 by Russell Spanner (1916-1974), the award-winning designer’s chair has been out of production for more than 50 years. Gus*Design Group worked in collaboration with the Spanner family to revive this iconic chair, meticulously matching the materials, construction and details to the original chair.

The frame is constructed of  solid birch and curved birch plywood and the seat is 100% cotton woven strapping. During the design collaboration with the Spanner family, Gus*Design Group worked hard to match the finishes (both light and dark birch) and strapping colors (choice of green, red or black strapping):

Vintage Ad for Russell Spanner's Furniture

Today we’re talking with Joran Van Lange, the designer at Gus* Design Group who acted as design and production lead for the Spanner Lounge Chair reissue, to learn more about this exciting re-release.

How did you discover the work of Russell Spanner?
I first saw his work in a design lecture while I was in school.  His original designs show up occasionally here in Toronto at vintage and mid-century antique shops, so before we even knew Russell’s background story, we were familiar with the Russell Spanner “look”, which is very recognizable.

What drew you to the Spanner Chair in particular?
There’s something really positive and energetic about the lines and angles of the chair.  It’s bold without being too serious.

Which leads me to, what about its mid-century design still works so well today?

The design is relevant today for the same reasons it was relevant in the 1950s. At that time, North American cities were seeing an explosion of compact, post-war homes, which needed furniture that was smaller scale.  The movement toward condo and small space living in the last decade has meant that consumers are again looking for smaller, lighter furniture pieces.

Aesthetically, the chair embodies the mid-century tradition of leaving components and hardware in plain view.  Nothing is hidden by panels or upholstery.  There’s a transparency in that which people appreciate.

What is the history of the chair?

The Lounge Chair was designed by Russell while he was working as foreman at his family’s woodworking factory.  It’s believed that he used some of the jigs and parts of other industrial products to form the basic components for the Lounge Chair.  As an example, the frame for the seat shares the same proportions and joinery as the industrial battery boxes which the factory produced at the time.

Where are the reproductions produced?

We felt that because this chair was originally designed and produced in Toronto, it was important to carry on that legacy and produce the re-issue here as well.

Did you learn anything new about design and production from the process of putting the Spanner Chair back into production?

We realized once we began to dissect the original chair that there are some very sophisticated joinery details going on.  Everything must be manufactured perfectly in order for the design to work.

It works beautifully.

Purchase a Spanner Lounge Chair with Arms at Design Public


Friday, April 18th, 2014

Road Trip: Greenville, South Carolina


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky

You know how sometimes you’re headed to some town you’ve only seen from an interstate highway (near the Peachoid) for a wedding and your expectations are low? This weekend I traveled to Greenville, South Carolina for a wedding and I could not get over how charming and beautiful that town was. I even ran into John Legend twice – go figure!

Once a thriving textile town, Greenville went through a rough patch, but now the downtown area, the west end and the newly developed Swamp Rabbit Trail along the Reedy river are very impressive. Refurbished mills and new construction include design studios, boutiques, restaurants, hotels and art galleries.

At one end of the trail was this cheerful rainbow garden.

Heading downstream (Greenville is along the fall line, so the river is full of falls and gorgeous rocks), I came across this amazing view of tree roots in section.

The Liberty Bridge is a pedestrian bridge that spans the falls and lands you at the West End of town, which is the cool design-centric area. The bridge is supported by two 90-foot masts that hold the one suspension cable. Quite impressive and a beautiful feat of engineering, the bridge was designed by architect Miquel Rosales.

At the West End side of the bridge sits the charming Passerelle Bistro, where patrons can enjoy the view of the falls from the stone patio. There are also nice clean public restrooms around the corner — always a plus on these adventures.

The West End is full of design businesses like Postcard from Paris. Is this a great ghost sign or what? This is a view from the Swamp Rabbit Trail below.

Circling the West End before heading back to the hotel, we came across an old-school Army-Navy store. Then we ran into Legend and his cutie dog Pippa in NoMa Square, which was icing on the cake. Greenville South Carolina is a charming livable city at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains that I’m still dreaming about almost a week later. I highly suggest a weekend trip, especially during spring or fall.


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