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Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

On Trend: Brass Is Back


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
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I know, I know. The word “brass” gives you flashbacks to all that very lacquered, fake looking, gaudy ’80s stuff. But that image of brass is all wrong. Let’s set the record straight.

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 1.58.14 PMToday’s brass has earned that oh-so-popular design word, “patina.” It’s unlacquered and thus a living finish, which means it changes over time and gets even better with age. It can go glam, traditional, modern, new bohemian … it’s really just about what you pair this warm finish with. Here are some of our favorite fresh ways to welcome brass back into our homes. 1940539_Duane_Pendant_Black_SrenRose_01.jpg

Menu Duane Pendant. An assemblage inspired by repurposed lamp parts, this powder-coated steel light is a black hemisphere on the outside, and illuminates the bulb by surrounding it with a warm glow inside.


Chilewich Rectangular Drift Placemat. Inspired by traditional Japanese woodblock prints, this woven mat adds a base that will bring metallic movement to your tablescape. 4116_1.jpg

Ferm Living Brass Tray. Impress your guests. This is an easy way to corral your booze and glassware in a chic arrangement.


Menu Franklin Chandelier. This solid brass piece is a tribute to old-school Manhattan hardware stores.



Menu Pepe Marble Mirror. Inspired by the glamorous style of Italy in the 1950s, this mirror is at once modern and an elegant throwback, crafted with a brass frame and marble base.


ferm LIVING Hexagon Brass Pots. We’r all for mixing metals, but if you’ve switched out your fixtures and hardware for brass you may just want to coordinate. ferm LIVING has all kinds of accessories including a brass toilet paper holder and a brass paper towel holder.  The small vase seen here would do a great job as a toothbrush holder.

Will you be bringing brass into your home? Please let us know how in the comments section.


Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Getting the House Ready for Fall


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
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Well, I hate to say it, but if school’s not already back in session it’s about to be, and it’s time to get the house ready for colder months. It’s also time to enjoy the bright leaves, crisp air and perhaps a few Sunday football games. Here’s a starter checklist to get the house ready as we transition out of summer.

Merkled Coat Rack

1) Coat closet. It’s time to switch out your swimmy shoes and beach bags for fleece pullovers, gloves and fall/winter sports gear. It’s also a time to make sure schoolkids have good landing zones for after school. A designated place for their backpacks, coat, shoes, perhaps a flute or a violin and anything else that needs to be close at hand for that groggy morning dash out the door is always a huge help. This can be anything from a kid having his own hook to a basket to an entire locker, depending on how much room you have.

2) Football game kit. If you’re big into gridiron and lucky enough to have season tickets, get your gear ready. Have your stadium blanket cleaned, rinse off those camp chairs you bring tailgating, and corral your picnic gear, binoculars, foam fingers, car decals and flags (can you tell I live in the south?), and favorite team colored clothing organized. You may even decide to leave a bunch of this stuff in the car until after the last bowl game.

3) Family room. Call a chimney sweep and make sure your wood burning fireplace chimney is clean and safe for the coming months. While you’re at it, order a cord of wood from the woodman. Pull your extra throw blankets out of the mothballs, give them a good cleaning, and drape them over the sofa for chilly nights.

Designer’s Eye Kvadrat Pillow

If you like to do some design switcheroo with the seasons, switch out those cotton coastal-inspired throw pillow covers for more autumnal hues and felt or wool, and perhaps switch out an area rug as well.

Thomas Paul Elephant Duvet Cover

4) Bedrooms. If you’re the duvet type, give the cover a good cleaning. If you usually switch from cotton to down, find your winter duvets to have on standby. I also like to do the old mattress flip/turn each season; it’s an easy way to remember to do it. While you’re in there, do that under-the-bed sweep/vacuum that probably doesn’t happen all that often. Grab the extension pole and give your ceiling fans and ceilings all a good dusting; summers spiders have probably left quite a few webs around.

MASH Studios LAX Wall Mount Desk

5) Homework station. Make sure your kids have a quiet spot to get their homework done. Outfit it with pens, pencils, erasers, notebooks, a reading lamp and any other supplies they may need.

Phew. You’re done. Google a few hot toddy recipes and start getting excited for fall!


Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Get Personal with the MASH Studios LAX Storage Platform Bed {Video}

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Happy Tuesday DP Peeps!  Looking for some early-week inspiration?  I’ve got to say, this video from our friends at  MASH Studios totally made my day.  Remember a while back we told you about their new, awesomesauce storage platform bed?  Well, not only do they make these awesome, kick you-know-what products, but then they go and make videos like the one below. As if we needed anything to make us want this bed even more!   How great is this?

If you haven’t checked out the new MASH Studios LAX Storage Platform bed, then you definitely should.  While you’re there, check out the gorgeous LAX headboard to go with it (also pictured in the video, above).  You won’t be sorry!


Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Designer Interview: Darin Montgomery of urbancase


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky

Today we’re having a chat with Darin Montgomery of urbancase, to find out how his company came to be and to take a look at some of their work, from the design of a shelf to the interior design of an entire restaurant. Without further ado…

Sidebar in Walnut

How did your company get its start? What led you here?
I had a sculpture studio in South Seattle and was building custom furniture on a limited basis when I met a couple of cool guys who had a design/build firm across the alley. We immediately hit it off and started collaborating. It was a particularly interesting time in Seattle because quite a few restaurants and coffee shops were opening and we were able to work on a number of cool projects. The experience pushed me further towards designing functional objects and the idea of a furniture studio grew from there.

What was the first piece of furniture you remember making?
I was somewhere around 8 or 10 and made a wine glass rack for my Dad. I used scrap material found in our garage. I took great care assembling it but had no idea it should be clamped together until the glue dried. My Mom picked it up by the top and it fell apart. I was crushed. I repaired it, but it was known as Frankenrack from then on.
How does being in Seattle affect your design sensibility? What inspires you?
It’s difficult to specifically define how Seattle affects our designs but I believe everyone is influenced by their environment and we’re no exception. Seattle is a great city…pretty laid back, comfortable, easy to manage. I feel it’s reflected in much of what we do.

I’m inspired by thoughtful design (of any type) and a simple life.

What is your workspace like?
Our studio is in the South Park neighborhood of Seattle. It’s a working class community with a mix of light industrial and residential areas. We have a modest but efficient shop space set up primarily for building prototypes, mock-ups, etc., which also includes a product display area where we keep a few pieces on hand. We’re lucky because we have roll up doors so we can bring the outdoors in and we’re very excited about our upcoming studio remodel.

1.2 Chair

What’s your favorite material to work with at the moment? We’ve been experimenting with Corian recently and have been having great success. But…walnut usually makes its way into the mix.

How does your team work together? What does each one of you bring to the table? One of us will generally come up with an idea or concept and throw it out for consideration. We’re comfortable sharing ideas without fear of sounding ridiculous even if something doesn’t come directly from it. And we’re honest and direct in our opinions. We each have different skills and backgrounds that seem to complement each other, but I believe it’s what we don’t bring to the table that is most important…ego.

Tell me a story about one of these pieces of yours that we sell. We were setting up at ICFF and I received a phone call from a gentlemen who, after he identified himself, I recognized because we shipped a Ledge to him the week before we left.

The conversation went like this:

Customer: I have a crate from urbancase sitting in my office and I have no idea what it is.
Me: It’s the walnut Ledge you ordered. We shipped it last week and sent the                           tracking number to your office.
Customer: What the @#%+ is a Ledge!?
Me: It’s our wall mounted desk.
Customer: I own a textile company, what do I want with a wall mounted desk.
Me: You’re asking the wrong guy…I didn’t order it.
Customer: (Laughter)…I guess you’re right.

We spoke later and had another good laugh. Someone in his office ordered the Ledge for display and a photo shoot and he wasn’t aware of it.

urbancase Ledge – Walnut

You’re also a design firm; please share a few portfolio shots from your projects with us! 1) Tilikum Place Cafe in Seattle. This used to be a print shop. Worked with the chef/owner on a full interior design:

2) All City Coffee – Seattle. A collaboration with Steve Withycombe on interior fixtures:

3) Residential railing – Seattle. Collaboration with NY based architect Mallory Shure:

Thanks so much to Darin for taking the time to share a little of his history and his work with us today! Personally, I would love to see a new, ridiculously sleek wine rack named Frankenrack that would redeem him from his early failure with glue.

See all urbancase products


Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Decor8 Book is Now Available


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I first got to know Holly Becker many years ago when I found her website, decor8 and shared it here. We got chatting in the comments section and I wound up taking her “Blogging Your Way Class” and even writing a little bit on her site here and there. So that’s my disclaimer before I recommend her book (co-written with Joanna Copestick), Decorate: 1,000 Design Ideas for Every Room in Your Home.

You know how sometimes you order a design book online and when you get it, it’s, well, a little thin and disappointing? That is NOT the case here. This book is literally jam-packed with photographs, tips, pointers, floorplans and inspiring ideas. I don’t think I had seen at least 90% of the spaces photographed (this is rare when you look at design online all day), and they authors included spaces from L.A.’s Laurel Canyon to Paris; from Ohio to London. She’s included spaces from interior designers, bloggers, a fabric designer, photographers and even the world’s most fabulous potter. In a book this complete, nothing is missed.

Because the book is so thorough, one of the best things about it is using it one room at a time. Whether you’re planning a thrifting trip, re-arranging an art wall, doing a complete reno of your kitchen, or just want to make a few cheap moves to make your bathroom look a bit bigger, there’s a very complete section in it that you’ll find helpful. In addition, the book covers a wide variety of styles; there’s something for everyone here!

You may order the book here.

  • Cover Image by Debi Treloar

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