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Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Hybrid-Home’s Brian Flynn … As a Muppet

Becky

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Oh if you just need a laugh today check out a day in the life of the Muppet version of the amazing Brian Flynn over at Design Milk. We know Brian and his wife Dora Drimalas from Hybrid-Home, which offer fantastic limited-edition prints like this one:

Pencils, Limited-Edition Print by Hybrid-Home

image via Design Milk

Watch Muppet Brian order lunch, brainstorm and collapse in yoga class.

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Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Financial Feng Shui Worked for this Dummy

Becky

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I needed some financial feng shui for dummies this weekend, as I had  sequestered myself in my house to do my taxes. So of course, I immediately dove into a bunch of other ridiculous projects, like deep cleaning my house and watching all of House of Cards Season 2, in order to procrastinate. However, before I really sat down and looked for receipts in a haystack, I thought it might behoove me to give my financial corner a little feng shui zshush.

Following simple chart sloppily cut out from magazine and firmly placed in my sketchbook, I set off to work. You know, my kitchen cabinets are a source of pride for me and are usually really neat and organized. However, I realized the corner cabinets, both top and bottom, were the hodge-podge cabinets. The bottom one was where I toss coolers and pots and pans I never use, the top was full of old beer koozies, mis-matched china from my grandmother and plastic cups from ballgames. No wonder my finances are so disorganized.

I cleaned them both out thoroughly, and even came up with a dining table full of giveaway stuff. I also discovered I am a wine cork hoarder. I wrote and article awhile ago about recycling them and I’ve been hoarding them with that intent ever since. If anyone wants to do a craft project and needs wine corks, I’m your girl, you can have them! Anyway, this is still where I store my totally “uncool” stuff (the Eva Zeisel and Russel Wright stuff is proudly displayed elsewhere), but it’s clean and organized now.

The article also said “Place fresh flowers or a jade plant here. This is also a good spot in which to keep cash or a valuable treasure.” They are going to have to settle for some grocery store mums and a $3 Chinatown lucky turtle:

Then I shined up a fancy silver plate of my grandmother’s I’d unearthed in the cabinet cleanout and dumped my spare change into it, placing it in the center of middle shelf.

I know my photos are horrible but ignore that; here’s what happened. By Sunday evening I could procrastinate no longer. Knowing the moolah corner had some good mojo, I finally sat down to gather all of the papers I’d need to do my taxes. I found every single receipt and document I needed within 30 minutes. If you’ve ever laid eyes on my office and my “filing system,”  of clipping things to various lampshades and crumpling them up into bins, you know this is a miracle.

Now, I know there is much more to feng shui than what I did and I respect it very much. Perhaps one day I’ll hire a pro, but for now my next goal is to get some “awards, accolades or good luck symbols” into my reputation area. Right now the only object in there is a toilet plunger.

Do you use feng shui principals? Any stories to share about it? Please share!

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Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Fresh Decorating Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Guest

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Please welcome Jennifer Lutz, a home décor stylist and author of Christmas Tree Market Blog. Jennifer has some hints for sprucing up your Valentine’s Day décor tomorrow, without all the usual hearts and doilies. Please take it away Jennifer, and help us get our homes gussied up and festive in a more modern way!

Decorating for the holidays is an opportunity to create a display that’s all your own. However, with a holiday like Valentine’s Day, it can be all too easy to fall into the trap of frills, lace, and paper hearts. Put a more modern, subtle twist to your Valentine’s Day décor this year with these simple yet lovely DIY home decorating ideas.

Photo by Jennifer Lutz

Create a Valentine’s Day Mantel Display

The living room is the perfect place to decorate for Valentine’s Day—there’s enough space that you can create a Valentine’s Day look without overwhelming your family or guests. To create your perfect Valentine’s Day mantel, try using any of these charming home décor ideas.

Photo by Jennifer Lutz

Combine Books and Flowers

Placing books and flowers on your mantel makes for an elegant yet affordable Valentine set-up. Display some of your books with their spines upright on your mantel as you would on your bookshelf. Then, place some tulips inside a mason jar filled with water, and display them next to the books to create a simple Valentine’s Day decoration. For a more traditional but still low-key look, books with red and pink spines, or even stories themed around love, would be a sweet touch. You can also add more visual interest if you place some books lying down and then putting a clock or a photo on top of the stack.

Photo by Jennifer Lutz

Utilize Twigs and Vases

Another Valentine idea is to bring the outside in. Grab a handful of twigs lying around in your yard, and place them in tall hurricane glasses or vases. Fill up the vases with white beads or decorative balls to keep your twigs upright, then place them anywhere on your mantel. For balance, ready two twig vases and place them on both ends of your mantel. This look works not only for Valentine’s Day, but for winter décor as well.

Photo by Jennifer Lutz

Drape a Valentine’s Day-themed Garland

Make your Valentine display even prettier with a DIY garland. Buy some red and white pompoms at your local store, and use baker’s twine to string them together. Simple and adorable, this garland ties the Valentine’s Day theme together.

Make Use of Candles

Round out your Valentine’s Day display with candles. Place candles of various sizes along the length of your mantel to create some more visual texture. You can stick with white candles, or if you prefer to give your display a Valentine boost, use red or pink candles.

Please share your favorite Valentine’s Day decorating in the Comments section!

-Jennifer Lutz

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Friday, February 7th, 2014

Cool Stuff We Spied Around the Web This Week

Becky

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What caught your attention on the web this week? Certainly there was plenty of Sochi not-so-funny terrible conditions fall over the internet. Here are five things that made me say wow this week.

1. Swimming on the Metro. The proposals for the abandoned Metro stations in Paris was my favorite link this week. Can you imagine if this:

Magically transformed into this?

What a beautiful and unique subterranean spot for getting some laps in.

Photos via NK Paris and RATP/ 20 Minutes; story via Messy Nessy Chic

2. Sochi, oh Sochi. I don’t know where to start, but this graphic certainly lightened the mood for me. Yes, I’m 12, potty humor gets me every time. I have to wonder about the graphic artist who had to sit and illustrate things like “don’t put a fishing pole in the toilet,” or “don’t do your business in the ‘upper deck.’” Is the one on the bottom right some sort of Olympic athlete-caliber calisthenic? That position looks tougher than eight-angle pose:

photo via @SebToots/Twitter

3. Thomas Wold adds his magic to Pinterest’s offices. I was so excited to see ingenious designer Thomas Wolds installation at Pinterest get attention from The Wall Street Journal online as well as at Fast Company. Though I would like to state for the record that I asked him for an interview about it months ago but the man was too busy building more magical things. Way to go Thomas!

Photo by Victor Ng

4. Other people’s Facebook Movies (or even your own). JUST KIDDING! Seriously Facebook, when we X it out as “annoying or unintesting,” stop putting them in our news feeds! Sheesh.

5. Vintage NASA photographs. There’s something so cool about these, I want to blow one or two up and design a room around them. I think it would be really neat for a kid’s room as well:

photo by Neil Armstrong/NASA via NBCNEWS.com

What kinds of cool things did you catch on the internet this week? Please let us know in the Comments section.

Also, we’ve been trying our hand at Instagram (I know, we’re WAY behind the times on that one!) Please feel free to give us any suggestions on how we can be better Instagrammers, we could use the help. Have a great weekend everyone!

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Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Snaps from The New York Gift Show

Becky

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Design Public hopped over to the other coast this week to check out the gift show in New York City. This is an exhilarating and exhausting trip, where we get to talk to our vendors and meet new ones.

I’ll never forget my first gift show. I was completely overstimulated and fascinated, and my feet had never throbbed so much. There were creatives from all over the world, presenting everything they had worked so hard on all year.

I couldn’t make it this year, but Todd Thedinga did. Here are just a few fun shots he’s snapped at the show as he booth-hops. We’re excited to be bringing all of the new products to you as soon as they are available. In the meantime, here’s a peek, and some links to shop all of  their current goodies.

Shop Modern-twist

Shop Pablo

Shop Area

Shop Bob’s Your Uncle

Shop iittala

Shop Ameico

Shop Chilewich

Shop Haptic Lab

Shop Fatboy

Shop Sempli

Shop Areaware

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