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.




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?




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).




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.




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!


8 Great Apps


(Clockwise from Top Left)
WhiteAlbum / No edits, no retakes. Once you take 24 photos in the app they’re printed and mailed to you. Like a disposable camera for your phone.

Timeline / Headline news online tells part of the story, this app weaves events into compelling stories.

Next Glass / Science helps you choose your next glass of wine or bottle of beer.

loungebuddy / Buy access to an airport lounge when you’re looking for someplace to work, freshen up, or relax between flights.

Expensify / Hassle-free expense reports on the go.

Along the Way / Search your roadtrip route for cool places to stop along the way to your destination.

Run Pee / Find out the best time to make a restroom run so you’re not missing any of the good parts.

Weather Dial 2 / A well-designed, simplified weather forecast.


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!


12 February DIYs













Click on each image to go to the project.
All photos copyright of their respective sites unless otherwise noted.


Happy Weekend

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01/ A mirrored teacup that reflects its patterned saucer perfectly.
02/ This Shanghai speakeasy is only accessible through a vintage Coke machine!
03/ Zsanett Szirmay converts folk embroidery patterns into paper scores for music boxes.
04/ Tattly Does Good by by connecting artists with not-for-profit organizations.
05/ The Runbell helps runners clear a path on the go.
06/ Invisible Boyfriend can help you fake a rebound relationship.
07/ No Vacancy captures abandoned hotels from around the world.
08/ What’s painting with drones like exactly?
09/ A collection of glamorous pin-ups of your favorite television characters.
10/ Uttaporn Nimmalaikaew creates holographic portraits painted on layers of fabric and netting.

This week on Design Crush:
We fell short last week and had to push links to Happy Monday!
High contrast, flash-heavy photography from Benoit Paille.
Well constructed leather goods to corral your technology from This Is Ground.
Beautiful firework-like flower arrangements from Sarah Illenberger.
Flat-out obsessed with the terra cotta cookware from TERRA.COTTO.
Laurel Canyon Dreaming captures the best side of natural specimens for your walls.
Check out these 24 Valentine’s Day gifts, projects + recipes!
The evolution of a snowy, evolving town from the brush of Lars Daniel Rehn.

Design Crush elsewhere:
The most show-stopping lighting types for your bathroom.


This Is Ground

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I love the form-meets-function aesthetic of This Is Ground. Each piece of perfect for corralling cords, glasses, change, and more. All are made top to bottom in Los Angeles by skilled artisans with decades of experience under their belts. As they say, a lot of heart and soul goes into their creations, making each one all the better.


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(via Anthology)


Gramovox Bluetooth Gramophone

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I’m forever on the lookout for the next audio technology, and the latest of the late is from Gramovox. Check out the Bluetooth Gramophone, inspired by 1920s horn speakers. Talk about the merging of vintage and modern aesthetics – wowza! I’d love to see if its sound is as beautiful as its presence.


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Happy Weekend

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01/ Graham McGeorge captures owls perfectly camouflaged within trees.
02/ The 12 most popular New Year’s Resolutions turned into posters by Viktor Hertz.
03/ Memo Bank is both piggy bank and memo pad.
04/ Warby Parker’s Make Your Own Annual Report does just that.
05/ A conceptual iTunes redesign by Brye Kobayashi.
06/ Would you dare to use a transparent canoe?
07/ Jurassic Sweet is a series of half-dinosaur, half-treat creatures.
08/ A giant balloon shaped like an old man’s head was flown over Japan.
09/ The Belty is self-adjusting (think Thanksgiving) and nags you about your weight.
10/ A breathtaking snowstorm in the Grand Canyon.

This week on Design Crush:
Eight crush-worthy prints to mix up this month.
So impressed with Makrbox, a Pacific Northwest-filled subscription box.
Beautiful illustrations from Amyisla McCombie.
I teamed up with Target to make my entry winter-ready.
Dark and lovely work from Nina Torr (aka Andy Wyeth).
I’d love to fill my wrists with these painted leather Mixed Doubles bracelets.
Morgana Wallace captures fantastical characters in layers of paper.
Add some color to your space with Mod Pieces.
Work from the mysterious Olivier Umecker.

Design Crush elsewhere:
January is the perfect time to clean out your kitchen linens and invest in some new ones.
It might be cold outside, but your home can be downright tropical indoors.


Mod Pieces

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New-to-me Toronto-based Mod Pieces is scratching my itch for color, in nearly every room of the house. All products made my shop owner Lia are unique and sustainable, going against the throwaway culture that seems to surround us on a daily basis. The hope is to create truly one of a kind pieces that are rare, unique, and irreplaceable. I can definitely back that notion.


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Sketch Dinner Napkins // Sketch Pillow Covers // Sketch Cocktail Napkins //
Inside Out Pillow Cover // Watercolour iPhone Case


Happy Weekend

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01/ A beautiful (not Photoshopped) half male, half female cardinal, called a gynandromorph.
02/ The Camping Doughnut makes me want to be outdoorsy all of a sudden.
03/ Daniel Cheong shows just how high Dubai’s buildings really are.
04/ The What Color Is It? clock app translates time into the corresponding hex color.
05/ New York Subway Conductors captures subway operators lost in thought.
06/ Shannon Holt‘s extreme body painting turns humans into animals.
07/ The Sound of Power is a collection of desktop speakers in the likes of five world leaders.
08/ This bride who was left at the altar is my hero!!
09/ The Pedestrian Self Hypnosis Station was recently installed on a Sydney street.
10/ Love this Samsung ad campaign of classic artists photographing their self portraits.

This week on Design Crush:
An amazing photography project that turned models into actual living dolls.
HausCraft spell kits to get you ready for the new year and all that entails.
Pretty illustrations by Katy Smail.
A collection of camp blankets to keep you warm on cold days.
Somber and dimensional illustrations from RJ Gemmell.
I’d love a fistful of these Silhouette Rings.
Let’s do this, twenty fifteen!
Crushing on the animal pottery of Barruntando.