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Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Designer Interview: Meet Elana Joelle Hendler of EJH Brand

Becky

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Today we’re getting to know Elana Joelle Hendler, the artist and designer behind EJH Brand
Tell us a little bit about the journey that led you to where you are in your art career today.

I’ve been drawing all my life, drawing in notebooks with a ballpoint pen since I was young. I studied art history in college but never had plans for a career with my art. A few years later, my life took a major shift and I decided to go out on my own and start a business. I knew then that I would use my artwork as the basis for the brand. As I began to work on the concept for EJH, I was drawn to designing products that I’ve always loved and enjoyed in my home. (I’ve been obsessed with candles since I can remember!) Your home can be such a sanctuary from the busy world around us and I wanted to create unique, design driven works of art that people could enjoy in their own environments.
You feature wildlife a lot –­ what inspired that and how do you decide on which species you are going to feature?

My earliest drawings were doodles that I would work on without really knowing what they were. As I would continue to draw, I would always notice the designs began to look like animals and then I would continue the drawing to look like that animal. I suppose you could say I’ve always been a wildlife artist. I find the modern elements of intrinsic designs in nature and wildlife absolutely fascinating and that is what I explore in my work. As far as selecting a particular animal to feature, the Wildlife Collection is a combination of work I drew before my business existed and other animals I adore that I chose to complete the series!
What are some of  the benefits of and challenges with production in the USA?

The main benefit to having production in the USA is shorter turnaround and better quality control. The challenges are cost, sourcing and sometimes a combination of the two! The truth is, even though it has its challenges, I feel very proud to say that I partner locally and that my products are all designed and handcrafted in the USA.
What are your studio space and neighborhood like? How do they inspire you?
My studio is in Venice just lining the canals. I love working so close to the water and watching the different canal birds that share my neighborhood! The culture here in Venice has definitely had an impact on my aesthetic and how I create environments to showcase the brand. My studio is filled with reclaimed wood and metal furniture including an oversized wooden bookcase that I use to feature the full collection. The first print from each limited edition hangs along the walls and my view out the window overlooks the Venice canals.
Speaking of inspiration, what do you do when you have a creative block to try and shake it?

Whenever I have a creative block, I’ve learned it’s best to get up, walk away, and get back to it later. Since I live a block from the beach, I sometimes take a pen and notepad with me and will plant myself right there on the sand and take in the fresh air. Sometimes the change of scenery is enough to clear your head and inspire a new perspective.
I fear writing notes on nice notepapers and cards is becoming a lost art. Please tell us about the inspiration for doing stationary and how people should use it.

There is something so special about receiving a handwritten note on a beautiful card, whether it’s a thank you, invitation, or just to say hello. The heart of the EJH concept is to really appreciate the nuances of handcrafted works of art and in this spirit, I decided to design stationery letterpressed by hand on paper made from cotton recovered from the textile industry. It’s a modern spin on an age old tradition of expression, and I think sending a handwritten note can be such a beautiful gesture that people truly appreciate receiving.
Tell us a little about choosing luxurious fragrances for your candles.

Our two candle collections are designed with 100% pure essential oils, using a delicate combination of fruits, flowers, herbs and plants. I love fresh, sophisticated, clean fragrances! I have always been repelled by strong synthetic smells and so EJH is about all natural coconut wax, earth­inspired essential oils that make you feel connected to the environment and add that subtle sophistication to your home space.
Anything else to add that my questions don’t cover?

I was 24 when I started the company with no business, product development or even product design experience. That’s a fun fact people usually find interesting. This business began on a dream and sheer determination.
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Friday, May 24th, 2013

Father’s Day Shopping and Weekend Sale

DesignPublic.com

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Father’s Day is Sunday June 16. Are you ready? We’re here to help! Scope out our Dynamite Gifts for Design-Dude Dads section to find the perfect gift for Pops. As a bonus, we’ll have a Memorial Day Sale going on starting today. Do your Father’s Day shopping this weekend and save 15% on your purchase! Simply use coupon code TIMETOGRILL when you make your purchase

For the Joey and Chandler-ish Dad:RS Barcelona Foosball table

For the iPad-Loving Dad:


Sons of Trade Index iPad Sleeve

For GQ Dad:


Braun Men’s Analog Watch

For Funny Dad (this one should probably come from his wife):

Twig Terrarium Boobies!!!

For Audiophile Dad:

Parrot by Starck Zickmu Speaker System

None of these float your Dad’s boat? Check out the wide range of gifts we have for every budget here.

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Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

On Trend: Barn Doors Move Inside the Home

Becky

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One of the most popular elements Americans are demanding for their homes today harken back to our agricultural roots – barn doors on tracks.

THE BARN DOOR LOOK:

photo via Tineke Triggs

These doors add architectural interest to minimalist rooms, rustic style to cabins and can stand up to the scale of large rooms.

They are also a great way to add character to a pantry or hidden office niche in a kitchen or hallway:

via kitchenlab.com

One tip savvy Do-It-Yourselfers and builders have let me in on is to buy the track hardware from a local farming supply company rather than the ones marketed to homeowners online – you’ll save hundreds of dollars. The track is another design element to consider – options include finishes from metallic to blackened and design details.

TWEAKING THE ELEMENT OF BARN DOORS

picture by Kelly Motschanbacher of The Polished Pebble

You can also use the track hardware to hang other kinds of doors. Interior designer and blogger Kelley Motschenbacher used vintage doors from old changing rooms on tracks as unique doors in this home full of reclaimed items.

via Reclaimed Lumber Products

You can also scour architectural salvage spots for reclaimed original barn doors, or have the doors crafted from reclaimed wood. If you do a quick search of “reclaimed wood carpenter” and your city it’s pretty easy to find someone to make them for you.

image via Clark and Zook Architects

Of course on the flip side, simpler lines and a bold color can give the rustic element of a barn door a more modern look, like this bright laundry room door.

photo via Elle Decor

New traditionalist Darryl Carter has taken the track door to a whole now level with this antique patinaed piece covering a closet niche.

One thing to note: While much like a pocket door these doors eliminate the need for swing clearance, you will need to keep the adjacent wall space empty to allow the door to slide over.

Have you added a barn door to your home? Please share any tips or a link to a picture of it in the Comments below!

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Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Ode On A Bay Window

Becky

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Winder Gibson ArchitectsWinder Gibson Architects

Today we have a guest blogger, Jennifer Lutz, who stages special events in homes and transforms ordinary rooms into stunning places for family gatherings and holiday celebrations. She blogs about home decor at christmastreemarket.com. Jennifer is sharing some fabulous ideas for bay windows today. Welcome Jennifer!

Bay windows add wonderful charm and function to a home; not only do they bring a view of the beautiful outdoors inside, they are also a great way to add loads of natural light to a room.

Choosing a Bay Window

It’s best to start with something simple and clean. A minimalist design can be easily integrated into both traditional and modern decor schemes.

Budget: Prices will vary greatly depending on your location and professionals, where you would like it placed as well as materials. For smaller spaces, like kitchens and bedrooms, a small bay can run you around $1000. For larger spaces, like foyers and living rooms, the cost will begin at about $1500.

Materials also play a role in how much you pay. Bay windows are available in wood, vinyl, aluminum, PVC and steel. Steel and wood are the most expensive among the choices, but they are also the most durable followed by fiberglass and aluminum then PVC and vinyl.

Designing a Bay Window

The versatility of a bay window is what makes it such a wonderful addition to your home. A custom-designed bay window can be a strong focal point in a room, in addition to providing storage space, cozy seating, extra workspace and great views outdoors.

As a Seating Area

Creating a seating area is one of the most traditional and well-loved uses for a bay window. A cozy nook is made comfortable with natural light, a beautiful view, thick cushions and colorful pillows. The seat of a bay window truly does double-duty, with storage underneath.

Flank either side of the window with tall bookshelves. Not only will all of your items be organized and easy to access, they’ll become a part of your decor.

As a Focal Wall

Nothing displays your belongings quite as nicely as a bay window. If seating isn’t a concern, consider creating a focal wall by using the space beneath the window to display family photos, heirlooms and you favorite potted plants.

As a Workspace

The extra area created by a bay window is perfect for a quiet workplace. To optimize the space, storage and shelving can be installed above or below the bay windows.

Rest assured that whatever you decide, the architectural beauty of a bay window will add a delight all its own to your home.
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Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

How Not To Stage Your Home For Resale

Becky

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I’m addicted to looking through real estate  on sites like Trulia and Zillow; I fantasize about high rise living in Chicago or a beach house on Martha’s Vineyard and cruise the ads when I need to take a break from work. Sometimes the pictures shock me. Did these people realize pictures to try and sell their homes were going to be taken that day? Could they have maybe made the bed? Here’s one that really cracked me up today. It’s a nice place, it looks fairly clean, it’s not cheap, but it’s very clear that a dude or dudes live here. Dudes that were likely in a fraternity.

Nice open living room, but the fact that a Foosball table is a focal point tips me off that Joey and Chandler may live here.

This kitchen is acceptable and clean. However, if you’re trying to sell your home, clear your counters. You may leave a teapot and a wine rack out, but I don’t want to see your dishrack (this tells a potential buyer that dishwasher may not work so great), your clutter, and I can’t smell the kitchen from the picture, so go ahead and put the Fabreeze away. By seeing it, I’m already thinking that your kitchen may very well stink.

OK, where to start? The dead plant is just bad feng shui. Make your bed. Place your occasional chair in a place that makes sense instead of the middle of the room. Put your clothing and that weird exercise contraption in the closet. Put the TV on a table or stand instead of directly on the carpet. Put the creepy poster in the recycling bin. This room belongs to Patrick Bateman’s messier brother.

Again, throwing your comforter over your rumpled sheets is not making the bed. Hang your jacket up. Put your shoes away. Clear that odd console. Don’t have wires hanging down from lamps. You literally could have put all the clutter behind where the photographer is standing for five minutes and this room could have looked clean and normal.

Finally, these guys do get points for putting the lid down, my number one bathroom shot pet-peeve. However, put your personal toiletries away. I don’t want to see a loofah hanging in the shower, the fact that the bottles are on the shower floor tells me that there is not a handy niche in there and I too will have to bend down to get my shampoo or have one of those stupid faucet hangers that never works right. I’m glad that the owner clearly has good hygiene, but the clutter is distracting.

Again, this place wasn’t exactly ready for an episode of Hoarders, it just needed a housekeeper and a home stager. What are your biggest home staging pet peeves?

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