Mother’s Day + Kolo’s Photo Books



Mother’s Day is very meaningful to me, so I like to try and pull out a few extra stops. This year that includes a ridiculously awesome Kolo photo book that I put together for my mom. A few years ago I did something similar for my dad, an album that included photos of just me and him. But as soon as I got to raiding my photo collection I realized a little something – my mom was always the one behind the camera! That meant fewer photos of us together and a lot of photos of just me. Being an only child I hoped she wouldn’t hold it against me. (Ahem.)




It took some extra work, but I managed to find several of my mom’s favorites of me and several of the both of us together. (Yeah, there’s no injury under than bandage. I just liked to wear them.) I chose an 8.5 x 11″ photo book with a Mango cover and got to work scanning in all of the photos I’d picked out. I adjusted the color and brightness on several (ahhh, the age of technology) and uploaded them to Kolo‘s site. I was tempted to use the auto load function that places all of your photos in the album for you, but then decided to be a little more hands-on and chose the placement and size of each one myself.




The photos turned out amazing thanks to Kolo‘s Canon printing technology, especially when you consider that most of them are 30+ years old! I loved creating the perfect flow of images and personalizing the layout. I could have opted to add some text as well, but preferred to allow the visuals to speak for themselves.




Last weekend my mom came over to dye Easter eggs at my house (one of our many traditions) and I gave her this gift early. She loved it so much and with every flip of a page said “I love this picture!”. So I’m guessing I did okay, especially when she said the photo book was one of her favorite gifts ever. *pats self on back* The heirloom quality of these photo books guarantees they’ll be around for some time, and the rainbow of colors available for he covers gives my mom lots of options when it comes to expansion.




I especially love this one of the two of us at the Pittsburgh Zoo when I was about a year and a half old. My mom’s outfit looks like it would be just as in style today! Wish I could say the same for those overalls I’m sporting.




My grandmother is turning 90 this August and I think I’m going to put together a smaller version of the two of us as a special gift. Had I realized how easy it was, I probably would have done hers for Mother’s Day as well.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Design Crush going!


Innovation That Excites: The New Murano



Last week I had the chance to let you all in on Nissan‘s latest in their ongoing Innovation That Excites campaign – check out the new Murano! I can hardly handle how sleek and aerodynamic the design is, from the boomerang headlights that you’re sure to see coming in your rearview mirror to the super sculpted body shape.




I had a chance to sit down and talk with the Murano’s lead designer, Ken Lee, about the process from sketches to full-size clay models to finished product. Turns out there’s a healthy competition within Nissan’s design departments that span the globe for every vehicle turned out – Ken was chosen above all others for the Murano. A huge deal because this crossover’s design is representative of all others going forward.




As soon as Ken mentioned that a huge part of the Murano’s design inspiration came from 1970s airplanes and spaceships it was obvious. Did you see those propellor-inspired wheels?! All of the aerodynamics managed to make this vehicle 20% more fuel efficient than the current model. It took me a minute to pick up my jaw after hearing that little tidbit.





The interior is just as futuristic and well-designed as the exterior. I’m driving my second Nissan (a 2009 Altima Coupe) and was wowed by the console’s new look. It’s so well-organized and functional.




I even managed to slide my rear into the driver’s seat (after fighting through gads of dude auto reporters!) and have to say it felt great. Even though the Murano is a crossover and sits no higher than a car, it really felt like I’d be able to see more of the road because of how the seats are situated. I was ready to drive it right out of the Javits Center, but I think that may have been frowned upon. Guess I’ll have to wait until its release at the end of the year just like everyone else!

Disclaimer: Travel, hotel, and compensation for this post were provided by Nissan. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush going!


Innovation That Excites

New Murano-1-Design Crush


There are brands that I work with again and again simply because I love what they’re doing and what they’re putting out into the world. Nissan is one of them. I’ve shared the Versa Sedan and the Versa Note in the past and was excited to hear that the third generation of the Murano was being unveiled at this year’s New York International Auto Show. Personally I’m looking to move into a bit larger of a vehicle from my Altima Coupe, so it was perfect timing. Plus, this is the first time the vehicle is being built in the United States, which I love.




Nissan shuttled everyone back and forth in their Taxi of Tomorrow. I’m short at 5’2″ but couldn’t get over the massive amounts of leg room in the NV200. The large touch screen was beyond words, the storage capacity of the trunk was huge, and the divider between driver and passengers was like a sound bubble. Oh, and here’s the kind of views the ridiculously incredible transparent roof…




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Nissan brought along nine cars for press day, and I was inside and outside of every one exploring the new features. There was one that stood out among the rest – the Smart Rearview Mirror that uses advanced camera technology to enhance the driver’s view behind a vehicle. It lives within a traditional rearview mirror, but allows the driver to switch between the traditional mirror and an LCD monitor. Genius!


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I also checked up on the latest versions of the Versa Sedan and Versa Note, both of which are Nissan’s bread and butter vehicles that have kicked them to the top of the sub-compact sector. What’s always fascinated me across the board is their unwillingness to compromise on design no matter the price point. As someone who can’t afford a incredibly extravagant vehicle, but has a penchant for good design it’s so appreciated to know that someone is looking out for the little guys.


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Then there’s the opposite end of the spectrum, the Nismo line is super tricked out with the option for – get this – matte paint. I couldn’t stop touching it. Again, bold and innovative design in a completely different way.


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Next week I’ll share specifics about the new Murano, which is being referred to as Nissan’s “halo vehicle” for their expanding range of crossovers and SUVs. I had a chance to sit down and chat with lead designer Ken Lee about every stage and facet of the design process and can’t wait to share!

Disclaimer: Travel, hotel, and compensation for this post were provided by Nissan. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush going!


Countdown to Mother’s Day

I love buying gifts for my mom. She’s fun to shop for and always acts like I’ve just given her the most brilliant thing in the world (as all moms are apt to do I suppose). But her birthday and Mother’s Day fall about a week apart on the calendar every year which involves some thinking ahead on my part. When Uncommon Goods asked me to share some of my favorite gifts for Mother’s Day I was excited to delve into their shop, where half of the goods are made by hand, most are made in the USA, and one-third incorporate recycled and/or upcycled materials. They also have a great selection of personalized gifts.


Of course I had my mom in mind while window shopping. Pool season shows up early here in Oklahoma, and a set of silicone wine glasses would get lots of use. She’s also been on a bit of a health kick, but water gets boring and would be much more interesting served in a flavor infuser water bottle. A wine pairing towel set would not only make a good reference, but also be a great conversation starter. My mama loves a good mojito and could muddle up her own with this molecular mixology kit! A trio of solar tealights would be perfect for early weekend mornings spent sipping coffee and reading the newspaper on the patio or late nights spent outside chatting with friends. So basically I can’t wrong. And also, I hope she isn’t reading this!

Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush going!


A Little Less Blue, A Little More Light



After our teaser last week, I’m back today with my bathroom reveal for National Painting Week! That’s right, I went with a subdued version of the color that was already in play. There’s just something about a blue of any hue that feels refreshing. And because this is also the bath directly across from the guest room I wanted to keep things in the same color family to feel slightly related.




In case you need a reminder (it is Monday after all), here’s the bare bones empty before shot. My goal was to make this windowless hall bath as appealing as possible to buyers since I’m gearing up for a move and will soon be putting my home on the market.






I visited my local Sherwin-Williams store and picked up some paint chips to test against the light about a week before painting. This is definitely an important step, colors that differ only slightly can look hugely different depending on what light they’re in. The winner was Mountain Air, a super light blue-grey that feels unbelievably fresh and welcoming.






I really love how Mountain Air looks with the other elements I’ve added to the room – a new jade plant (that will hopefully survive!), a shower curtain with a splash of coral, and a few abstract drawings are all helping me achieve a relaxed feel. I also bought some new white towels and hardware to add to the equation for an overall refresh.




And then I went a little overboard and added a stack of favorite books because, well, it is a bathroom. I also like the pops of color and type they bring to the room. All in all I’d call this project a huge success! I think when I remove the pieces of my personal style any potential buyer should be able to picture themselves putting their own spin on this room.

Check out my fellow bloggers sharing their blue projects today for SWPaintingWeek.com – Remodelaholic gave her daughter’s room a refresh and The City Sage gave a side table new life. Tomorrow tune in to Vintage Revivals, Four Generations One Roof,  and Simply Grove to see how they worked their magic with green!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for which I received compensation. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush going!



Bucketfeet-1-Design Crush


Meet my absolute favorite shoes for this spring. Bucketfeet is a line of artist designed canvas shoes that are rocking my world right now. Every pair is designed by a different artist, and in less than two years the movement has grown to include 75 artists in 21 countries. From street artists in Bogota to graphic designers in New York.


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I went with a pair of the Pasco 54, ridiculously comfortable canvas slip-ons designed by Olivier Vouzellaud, better known as Yamas. (You can even buy a print of the design!) And now I’m eyeing the Pineappleade and Mesa Sunset designs. This could turn into an addicting little habit fast.


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I love that every pair has a story to tell, as does which design you choose to wear. Artists get the recognition they deserve and you get an incredible pair of kicks that help express your personality.


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Photos Caroline Cohenour at Womb Gallery

Disclaimer: I was provided product in exchange for this post. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush going!


Make It: Faux Stained Glass Windows



The window over my kitchen sink is one of my favorite places in the house. The few plants that I’ve managed to keep alive spend their time there, it gets great light for almost the entire day, and I love it when a breeze is blowing in. I thought I’d give it a little DIY attention by creating a sort of faux stained glass window, and I’m digging the new (not at all permanent) result!




plexiglass sheet cut to the size of your window
• piece of white paper or poster board
• ruler
• pencil
• stained glass paints
ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape
• smallish paint brush (I used one that is 3/4″ wide)
• paper towels




Let’s get started! First thing first, get out a piece of paper or your sketchbook and get to work drawing a rough idea of what you’d like your finished window to look like. I knew that I wanted something Mondrian-inspired with 4-5 colors.




Next you’re going to transfer your idea to a piece of paper or poster board that’s cut to the same size as the piece of plexiglass. Like I said, the sketch was just a rough idea, this will be the real thing that acts as your direct template. I started by going off of my drawing and quickly branched out to something a little more geometric. Some of my original areas were too large, so I broke them down into triangles to add some interest. But really it’s all about what looks good to your eye.




Once you’re content with your finalized drawing, lay it behind the piece of plexiglass. (There may be sheets of acetate on both sides for protection, so make sure you remove that first.) Use a small piece of tape in each corner to affix the two together.




Now it’s time to get taping! You’ll need to work in small sections, I tried to tape off the largest areas first and went from there. There will be lots of drying time in between taping, so even though this project may take a bit to complete (depending on the size of your window) there’s considerable downtime.




Once you’ve taped off all of the sections you’re going to want to take a minute and think about he layout of your color palette. You don’t want any sections touching that are the same hue. Prep the edges of your plexiglass by laying paper towels (or newspaper) under the entire perimeter. Once you’re all set, squirt a bit of your first color of paint onto a section and gently paint it using horizontal strokes. It will look  a little thin and that’s okay. Make sure and paint over the edge of the tape as you go. Rinse your brush and repeat until all taped off sections are painted. Now this is important, remove the tape while the paint is still wet. It’s crucial to creating a crisp line.




Wait 30 to 45 minutes for your newly painted sections to dry, then tape off a new set of shapes and repeat the process until they’re all filled in. At this point you might be happy and ready to call it a day. I opted to do a second coat because I’m crazy like that. This time around I kind of swirled my paint around instead of using clean strokes. Once it dries there’s more depth and unevenness, which makes it look more like stained glass.




When you’re through remove the paper guide from the back of the plexiglass and have a good look. There might be an edge here or there that could stand a little touchup. Now it’s time to make your window happy! If there’s a ledge you might want to simply lean your work of art against the window, or use glue dots around the edges to make it a little permanent. Either way, voila!




To help you get a head start on your own faux stained glass project, or whatever else you might have up your sleeve, we’re giving away a $50 e-GiftCard to Home Depot!

To Enter:
1. Join the Home Depot super fan program.
2. Pop back here and leave a comment letting me know you’re now a member.
3. Do it all before Tuesday, April 8th at 11:59pm CST.

We’ll randomly choose a winner the next day and let you know if you’re a winner!



I am proud to be a 3M- sponsored blogger, and, as part of my responsibilities, I get the opportunity to evaluate new products from ScotchBlue Tape. Opinions are my own and additional product used in the project were selected by me.


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A Dozen Ways to Decorate Eggs + Bing Rewards

At some point my Easter focus shifted from shoving chocolate bunnies and marshmallow Peeps into my face and onto the art of decorating an awesome egg. My mom and I have had a tradition of dyeing a dozen or two together each spring since I was little. I love our time spent together, but our go-to has been a box of Paas most years and I’m ready to mix it up a bit. Last year we branched out a bit by creating some ombre striped eggs and this year I’d love to take it even further.




With Easter less than three weeks away, I started looking for my perfect project by doing a little research on Bing which is now iOS compatible. I recently switched my settings on my phone to make it my primary search engine, and to take advantage of Bing Rewards. Create an account for free and earn points that are good for gift cards to your favorite stores and other rewards by doing  searches. There are new opportunities to earn points daily. That’s right, earn points towards gift cards for projects you’re searching – magic.



A bunch of colorful options popped up immediately and I narrowed them down. (I don’t like eating hardboiled eggs, so keeping them edible wasn’t necessary.) I ended up with a dozen keepers that are in the running and currently being passed on to the deciding deity – my mom – for a final decision. Which is your favorite?

ROW 1:Hibiscus Dyed Eggs // All-Natural Dyed Eggs // DIY Easter Egg Decorations    ROW 2: Marbelized Easter Eggs // Easter Egg Pinatas // DIY Kool-Aid Easter Eggs    ROW 3:DIY Gold Leaf Eggs // Watercolor Easter Eggs // DIY Fruity French Easter Eggs    ROW 4: Marble Easter Eggs with Kool-Aid // Dot Design Easter Eggs // Sharpie Tie Dye Easter Eggs


This post was created in partnership with Bing. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush going!


Moving Prep

Among the long list of things required for my upcoming move is prepping my house for sale. Oh, the intimidation. I always knew I wouldn’t be in this home for that long in the grand scheme of things, so most updates and decor decisions were made with that in mind. The few places I strayed were my guest room, my front door, and my hall bath – which I  painted a Tiffany blue the weekend I closed on the place. While I love the pop of color it brings to the windowless room, I realize that potential buyers may not feel the same way.


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PHOTO: Better Homes & Gardens

When Sherwin-Williams asked me to team up with them once again for National Painting Week I knew this was the room that needed my attention most. My goal was to have it blend in a bit more with the rest of the house’s relaxed and muted palette while still retaining the feel of being light and open. The wall color was close to the above blue, but kickier with a touch more green. (Just trust me for now.)


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PHOTO: dustjacket attic

The way I saw it I had three options. One was the obvious route of straight-up white. There’s something innately refreshing about a blank canvas, and surely that would appeal to buyers when they were trying to envision themselves living here.


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PHOTO: Canadian Home Trends

The second was a neutralizing grey. Something light with some yellow undertones for warmth that would pull in the dappled brown floor tiles. Plus, nearly everything goes with a good grey.


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PHOTO: Better Homes & Gardens

The third option would be to stick with the blue, just tone it down a bit. Blue bathrooms always seem to have a spa-like quality to them that no other color comes close to.

I’ll be sharing my full bathroom reveal April 7th. SWPaintingWeek.com will be sharing inspiration, ideas, and more to get your creative juices flowing for your own painting projects all week long so be sure to check in. There will also be projects from 14 other design bloggers celebrating National Painting Week, so get ready for things to get colorful!

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Sherwin-Williams. Though I have been compensated, all words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush going!


Poppy Barley



Poppy Barley could not have reached out to me about their made-to-measure footwear at a better time. I’d just returned from a conference where some errant cream puff filling had left my lone pair of knee-high boots stained beyond redemption.

The premise behind Poppy Barley is you design, you measure, we deliver. By creating made-to-measure footwear you’re guaranteed to have a great fit – and if you don’t they’ll go back and remake them! I was intrigued and all in.




About a week later their measuring kit showed up in the mail. Inside was a measuring tape, a foot measuring guide, and a selection of leather swatches. I got right to work figuring out numbers for all facets of my lower legs and feet with the tools Poppy Barley had given me, and entering all of that info into their site where I had already decided on the Uptown Boot. I went with Kaki on Kaki coloring because I believe a good medium brown boot can go with just about everything.




When my boots showed up several weeks later (as is to be expected with custom-make shoes) I was ecstatic. As I opened the box and removed the cloth bag containing my new footwear the warm scent of leather greeted me. I immediately took one out, slipped my foot inside, and zipped it up. Like butter doesn’t even do the experience justice – these bad boys fit like a glove.




They have the perfect amount of room in the calves, which is always my problem area when it comes to buying boots. They’re also the perfect height for this 5’2″ girl. My Poppy Barley boots really do look and feel like they were make just for me.

Through March 31st receive $50 off your own pair of made-to-measure Poppy Barley boots!



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

Photography: Caroline Cohenour