Apr
16

Chatbooks + #365quotes

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I first learned of Chatbooks back in January, and they kept passing through my head as I tried to come up with a solution for creating a printed version of last year’s #365quotes Instagram project. (If you’ve been following along, you likely noticed that I failed fantastically at this year’s attempt – #365lyrics – about six weeks in.)

 

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A few months later they happened to release just what I was looking for, a 365 page book made just for putting this sort of project on paper. I downloaded the free Chatbooks app, searched my Instagram feed by the hashtag #365quotes and selected all the tagged photos. After swapping out the cover to the one I preferred and clicking Order I was done.

 

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A few days later the printed result showed up on my doorstep. To say it was gratifying to flip through the pages would be a huge understatement, the paper was the perfect weight and texture. And I love that I can order additional copies for anyone who requests their own book.

 

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Chatbooks has some other great book options as well. The Instagram series prints a new book automatically  in 60-page (a photo a page) volumes. You can edit which photos get included and even change captions. The Chatbooks series is a daily scrapbook come to life. The best part is that multiple people can add photos, almost like a group text. You can then delete photos you don’t want and edit captions once again in this 60-page option. Last is the custom book, where you can upload between 30 and 365 photos celebrating an event or focusing on a theme. Invite others to add their perspective as well, photos will automatically arrange themselves chronologically.

 

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I’m really looking forward to cataloging more life events with Chatbooks and embracing the printed photograph once again.

I received product in exchange for this post. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Design Crush!

Apr
13

Artifact Uprising (+ a Giveaway)

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Somewhere along the road of finding my home’s style I began to incorporate more art and fewer personal photos. With the exception of a black and white photo strip of my mom and I when I was less than a year old there’s, well, nothing of the sort. But my iPhone – like your smartphone, I’m sure – has made me take more notice of the world around me. I’m constantly snapping photos. I rarely print them though, so when Artifact Uprising reached out about teaming up I realized now was the perfect time.

 

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My favorite piece is the [Signature] Print + Wood Cleat for its casual feel and versatility. Tired of the print? Have a new one printed and swap it out. I went with a photo of my mom and stepdad’s backyard in Oklahoma that I took the day they moved out of their longtime home last summer. Just looking at it I can remember the rain falling and the movers carting box after box out the front door.

There are several layout options to choose from, so you get the best visual appeal for your photo. The wood cleat is handcrafted with beetle pine that’s reclaimed from Colorado, and pairs perfectly with an ultra thick [signature] print. The easy-to-use magnet closure system makes swapping prints out so easy.

 

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I also created a Wood Calendar with twelve of my favorite Instagram shots. The beetle pine clipboard has a big magnet on the back, so it’s perfect for hanging right on my refrigerator. Artifact Uprising updates the calendars they print on a rolling basis, so there’s no need to wait until next January to enjoy it. I’ll be making it a yearly thing and ordering a refill pack next April.

 

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If you haven’t already, here’s your chance to experience Artifact Uprising. One of you will win $150 to create your own printed memories! You could do a little something nice for yourself or think a few weeks ahead to Mother’s Day and even graduation. Enter below, you have until April 21st. Good luck!

Apr
09

Nest

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I’m so happy that we can finally say winter is behind us. Not only did this last one seem endless, but it was also the first spent in my 115 year old home. My 115 year old home with all new windows, but a lack of great insulation and a disgustingly high heating bill. The temperature indoors never rose above 64-degrees yet my bill never went under $300. I knew this might be an issue when I purchased the place of course, but that didn’t make it hurt any less.

 

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I knew I needed something programable, and Nest Learning Thermostat‘s promise of learning my habits to program itself was irresistible. Smart technology is everywhere in my life, so why wasn’t it yet working to save me money?

 

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I’d heard great things from friends who had switched to Nest themselves, so I was eager to give it a go myself. What I was less sure about was installing the unit on my own, I’m not the handiest person. After turning the breaker off and removing the old thermostat I was left with a gaggle of wires and remnants of buttercream wall paint. Thankfully there was a simple step-by-step guide that was easy to read and follow (and extra paint in the basement).

 

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Honestly, it couldn’t have been easier. I screwed in the wall plate (isn’t that built-in level handy?) and connected the wires before popping on the cover. THAT WAS ALL. Nest immediately updated itself through my wifi, then asked me a few simple questions like where the unit is located in the house and my zip code. It’s been busy learning my patterns for the last few days and I’m looking forward to seeing the result on my gas bill.

 

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I can also control my Nest through my phone using the app, like if I’m going to be late getting home. Using Auto-Away it automatically switches into away mode to be more energy efficient, and a little green leaf (the Nest Leaf) shows up when I’m saving. Summer isn’t all that far away either, so I’m really looking forward to the Airwave function that helps lower costs by cutting AC runtime according to the humidity level in your home. That’s not even the end of this super smart thermostat, which blows my mind. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that sleek design that looks so nice on the wall which doesn’t hurt one bit.

Do you have a Nest? Do you love it?

I received product to review for this post, all words and opinions are mine and mine alone. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Design Crush!

Mar
30

Wine Awesomeness + a Free Month of Wine!

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A miraculous thing happened at my house a few weeks ago. Three bottles of wine showed up on my porch stoop safely packed in their own little suitcase. The good folks over at Wine Awesomeness made it possible with their monthly subscription service that aims to prove that wine is for everyone, wine is everywhere, and wine is discovery.

 

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Good wine is for the masses, and not just at dinner parties. Wine Awesomeness is a monthly journey in wine education that’s curated for adventurous souls. Sound like you? Read on. Every month their sommeliers dream up a wine-fueled adventure and send it right to your door. They comb the globe to find the coolest, tastiest wines that you just don’t see everyday.

 

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They’re so confident in Wine Awesomeness that if you can recreate their box for less, you’ll receive an entire year on them! But to start, they’re offering your first month’s box for free (just pay shipping and handling). Click here to get this week off to a grand start.

Mar
20

Chairish Art + Design Crush (+ a Giveaway)

I don’t live anywhere near a good flea market, so there’s little haggling in my life unless it’s on the internet. That also means there’s little vintage/such a find/bargain deal art in my home and that’s something that I’m really gunning to change. The hard truth is that sometimes it’s more affordable to find an amazing older piece than to buy and frame a new one; fortunately, the result is often richer in character and style.

But back to my conundrum of not being near any good shopping grounds. Chairish, the beloved online location to shop and sell vintage (the iPhone app is a dream), has a fantastic collection of art as well – over 4,500 pieces and growing daily. That’s a lot of art at all different price points. They asked me to choose 50 of my favorite pieces to create The Design Crush Collection and, well, who says no to that? (Answer: No one.) Want a peek at my 12 favorites?

 

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Mike Kelley’s Bjarnarneskirkja Floating Print // Original Painting Pink Abyss //
Pablo Picasso Portrait D’Homme Lithograph // Vintage USA Maritime Yacht Ensign Boat Flag

 

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1960s Framed Vintage Portrait // Jessica Wilson’s Nicholas, NYC Framed Photo Print //
Alan Sonfist’s Tree Trunk Series Pink 2 Litho // Kristi Kohut’s Imagine Peace Print

 

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Haha Ink Drawing // Antique Medical Teaching Device // Dani Schafer’s Humilis 2014 Abstract Wall Hanging // Cheryl Maeder’s Cloud Nine IV Art Photograph

 

What’s even better is that Chairish wants to give one of you $100 to spend on some unique art of your own. Click here to enter for a chance to win $100 to spruce up your walls this spring!

PS: Tune in to Chairish’s Instagram account Sunday, March 22nd for an Insta Art Sale. Seven emerging artists – Jaime Derringer, Emily Katz, Dana Haim, Kate Roebuck, Deann Art, Michele Spane, and Kristi Kohut – will be selling original pieces of their own. But get this, each piece will be sold for an all-in price of $125 (art + packing + shipping). WHOA. Pieces sell in a matter of seconds, so be ready and waiting 9 to 11 AM PST/Noon to 2 EST!

I received compensation for this post. All words and opinions are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Design Crush!

Mar
18

Olivia + Joy

Spring means different things to different people – buying a new scent to wear, changing up the accessories in the living room, or being able to shed some extra layers. For me it means my yearly purse purge and choosing a new bag. My current one is a cross-body, cappuccino-colored leather number that’s simple and wearing extremely well. But it’s time for something new. A different shape, a different color, a different look.

 

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I was introduced to Olivia + Joy a few weeks ago and was immediately drawn to some of their more structured pieces. The line offers something for everyone, from the edgy girl who likes metal accents to muted pastels for a more feminine look. No matter what your style, all of Olivia + Joy’s bags are affordable. I went with the blue Rory Perf Tote for a pop of color. It has plenty of room to carry my business essentials by day and still looks casual and chic for evening.

 

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Maddie Satchel // Maddie Tote // Valerie Double Handle // Cyprus Tote //
Seattle Tote // Cary Tote

I received product in exchange for this post. All words and opinions are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Design Crush!

Mar
17

DIY Stamped Pet Bowls

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If you have pets and an aesthetic above a 6th grade level, you must feel my pain when it comes to the pet dish aisle. I don’t want fish skeletons or dog bones – I want something that fits my style and doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb in my home. While my three cats may not notice what they’re eating out of, I’d like to think that I’m WOW-ing them a little with my effort. It would also be nice if it didn’t cost more than one of the dishes that I eat off of myself, meaning it’s time to dust off my do-it-yourself game.

 

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Supplies
• small, plain ceramic or glass bowls
• acrylic craft paints
• paper plates
• sponge
• scissors
• pencil
• paper towels

 

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I decided on two modern patterns to create in fun, playful color palettes for both a food and water bowl. Before I started I made sure to wash and dry the bowls thoroughly to remove any debris. After squirting some paints (neon pink, olive green, and black) on a paper dish I dove right into the first – a grid-like dot pattern. Using a pencil eraser dipped into the paint I freehanded a pattern of five by four dots in the olive green. I then repeated the process with the neon pink and black, staggering the grid by skipping a dot-sized width and moving the pattern down one row.

 

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The end result reminded me of that pure sugar dot candy of our childhoods! And I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I kind of want my own bowl now just like this.

 

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For the second design I came up with an updated take on a citrus pattern, just want these last weeks of winter called for. I began by cutting out a circle shaped piece of sponge that measured about an inch wide. After prepping my paint – bright orange, robin’s egg blue, and neon pink this time – I got stamping in a random layout. I gave the orange plenty of time to dry (about 20 minutes), then followed suit with the blue. After some more drying time I trimmed out a small leaf-shaped piece of sponge and finished up with some unexpected neon pink foliage.

 

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We happily teamed up with Fancy Feast and their new Broths with Chicken on this project as part of their #WaystoWow campaign. My pets are part of my family, and I love finding new ways to show my love and affection. Aside from well-designed bowls, beds, and toys I also like to WOW my three finicky felines by laying super soft blankets in their favorite sunning spots and placing bird feeders outside of lower windows for entertainment. Broths are full of real, recognizable ingredients and come perfectly portioned for a reward or treat, so you can feel good about indulging your cat kids. My girl Rainey absolutely loves them – two paws up. Sign up to try a bowl on Fancy Feast!

This post is in partnership with Fancy Feast Broths. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Design Crush!

Feb
26

4 Ways to Give a Traditional Space a Modern Touch

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The biggest issue I faced when picking up and moving halfway across the country into my new home was that it was 114 years old. It doesn’t get much more traditional than this colonial beast, but when you fall in love with a space that’s the opposite of your aesthetic what’s there to do? I’m partnering with HP x360 #BendTheRules + Meghan Trainor’s That Bass Tour to talk it out and share four ways I’ve modernized my home.

Add Contemporary Art. This tip is first for a reason, and that’s because it adds the biggest dose of personality right off the bat. I’ve added pieces and prints of all shapes and sizes through my home, grouping the smaller together and leaving the oversized to stand on their own. One thing I abided by was sticking to the same frame style and color – simple and white. It helps to pull everything together and achieve the sleekness I was after.

 

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Embrace Clean Lines. Furniture, light fixtures, all of it. I love how the simplicity of almost all of my dining room in particular is the polar opposite of the ornate banister on the stairway and the 10-inch moldings throughout the house. It allows you to appreciate what the space does best without competing with it, which should really be the end goal of every design decision you make.

 

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Go Light and Bright. Before I moved in the moldings and framework were thankfully already painted white, but the walls were a buttercream yellow. Safe for staging, but not even a little bit my taste. So within two months I had painted the entire interior (you read that right, all of it) a lovely white-grey/grey-white. The natural light bounces throughout now, creating an almost gallery-like feel that makes every room feel bigger.

 

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Use Modern Patterns. I like to keep my patterns in check by using them sparingly and choosing modern global repeats. It keeps things feeling fresh and contemporary while breaking up the monotony of large fields of color for your eye. I prefer to neutral tones, but that doesn’t mean you should shy away from color if that’s your aesthetic.

 

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The HP x360 has four great things going on for it, too. Actually four modes – notebook/laptop, tablet, stand, and tent – in one device. I’ve especially loved using tent mode in the kitchen, it’s so convenient to have my favorite recipes at arm’s length while I make dinner. Its touchscreen properties also make the tablet mode perfect for flipping through my emails in bed first thing in the morning (bad habit, I know). The compact size and weight are perfect for carrying the x360 around the house from one room to another like I tend to do through the day. See all four modes here, along with more info on HP + Meghan Trainor’s That Bass Tour and episodes from the fan-generated documentary being created using the HP x360 Convertible PC.

 

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This post sponsored by HP. Be sure to follow along with the Meghan Trainor tour by watching Behind The Scenes episodes or following @HP for updates. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Design Crush!

Feb
17

Casper

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Last week a beautiful thing showed up on my doorstep in a large cardboard box. A MATTRESS.

 

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It’s pure magic that something as large as a queen size mattress can be folded over upon itself and delivered on a doorstep. My 8-year-old spring mattress had seen better days and my lower back was letting me know about it. Because mail delivery mattresses are a popular thing lately I looked into a few different options, but one came out on top – Casper.

 

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After I hauled the burrito-like bedroll out of the box (and took a breather, because let’s be honest), I hauled it onto my box spring and cut along the spot they indicated. And then I stood back and watched as it grew, and grew, AND GREW. It was like an air mattress inflating without the air!

Then voila – I had a new mattress.

I laid down on the thing immediately and basked in the glory of my brilliance and handiwork. When I was finished I noticed that the Casper mattress was supporting my body in all the right places. There was no pressure on my hips or shoulders, my lower back wasn’t arched in space, and I wasn’t sinking.

 

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Each Casper is made from support foam topped with memory foam topped with an inch and a half of high-performace latex that helps keep the bed cool as you sleep. (I can hardly wait to test this out come summer.) Going a step further in sourcing, the knit fabrics come from South Carolina, the wovens from Belgium, and they’re all sewn together in Illinois and South Carolina before being distributed out of New York. And it doesn’t hurt that both Casper‘s site and social media presence have a great sense of humor about them, an all around great brand that I’m happy to support.

 

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Each mattress is backed by a 100-night, no-hassle return policy, and 10-year full warranty. Oh, and free shipping both ways even if you decide to return it. So if you think a Casper mattress might be for you and want to give it a go, email me at designcrushing@gmail.com and I’ll help you out with a code for $50 off!

I received product in exchange for this post. All words and opinions are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush going!

Jan
14

Framebridge

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I have a confession to make. I’m a legitimate print hoarder.

I’d guess I own around forty pieces of varying shapes and sizes, but only about half are actually framed. As someone who likes to change up the art in her home frequently this presents a little bit of a problem, and if you visit you’ll often find pieces hung by metal clips/pants hanger/washi tape.

 

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Because I’m such a portrasti-framer (Can that please be a thing?) I’ve become very excited about affordable online framing. And one in particular, Framebridge. Basically you visit their site, then input the size of your piece and choose a frame style and a mat if you’d like one. Framebridge calculates the cost and then gives you the option of receiving a tube or flat mailing supplies or using your own. They email you the free shipping label to print and affix and you’re set. You can also send them a file you wish to have printed and framed.

 

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A few weeks later your art shows up back at your house and ready to hang! I’ve used a similar service in the past that I was not nearly as impressed with. Framebridge‘s attention to detail and protective packaging had me smiling from ear to ear. Each frame comes with a bracket and nail to assure an all-around quality experience (and eliminates the need to dig through your own things to track one down).

 

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These are two screen printed posters by Jordan Grace Owens that I’ve owned for just over a year, previously victims of the aforementioned pant hanger treatment. I chose a simple thin natural wood frame – the Marin – for both pieces so as not to detract from the art, and I also opted for no mat. The end result is just what I envisioned, two pops of color to welcome guests into my home in the entryway.

 

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Try Framebridge for yourself before January 29th and receive 15% off any order with the code DESIGNCRUSH!

This post is sponsored by Framebridge. I received product and compensation in exchange for my thoughts of the experience. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush going!