DESIGNER WEEKENDS: SHOP DC!

This month, we’re devoting Designer Weekends to sharing all of the reasons why you should make a road trip to visit the DC Design House. Last week we posted some of our favorite art related events taking place during The National Cherry Blossom Festival.  We also recently posted a glimpse into the exhibit “Pump Me Up”, showing at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

If you're into design as much as we are, you'll also want to take advantage of the variety of shopping DC has to offer.  Below are some of our favorite spots:

Home_Rule

Bathroom Accessories from Home Rule.

We have spent countless Saturdays shopping and dining on 14th Street, and we are convinced that every time we go a new fabulous store or delicious restaurant has popped up.  There are big names, like Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams, or Room & Board, but we also like the smaller boutiques:

Home Rule: 1807 14th Street NW

Miss Pixie's Furniture and Whatnot: 1626 14th Street NW

Timothy Paul Bedding & Home: 1529A 14th Street NW

Good Wood: 1428 U Street NW

Timothy Paul Carpets & Textiles: 1404 14th Street NW

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A view of the showroom at Oliver Dunn, Moss& Co., Katherine Roberts

There is shopping galore in Georgetown, where you will find everything from small boutiques to big name brands.  Some of our favorite places to find special pieces:

Georgetown Flea Market: 1819 35th Street NW, Sundays Only

A Mano: 1677 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Oliver Dunn, Moss& Co., Catherine Roberts: 1657 Wisconsin Ave NW

John Rosselli & Associates: 1515 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Random Harvest: 1313 Wisconsin Ave NW

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Fresh vegetables and cheese at Eastern Market.

No trip to DC would be complete without surveying the vibrant scene at Eastern Market:

Eastern Market: 225 7th Street SE, Saturdays and Sundays only

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 bethesda

bethesda

A view of a bustling Bethesda Row at night.

If the suburbs are more your style, Bethesda, Maryland offers enough shopping, dining, and nightlife to keep everyone in the group entertained:

Montgomery Farm Women's Cooperative Market: 7155 Wisconsin Avenue

Urban Country: 7117 Arlington Road

The Blue House: 7770 Woodmont Avenue

See you at the show house, April 14 - May 12.

Happy Shopping,

RB.

DESIGNER WEEKENDS: BLOOMING DC

This month, we’re devoting Designer Weekends to sharing all of the reasons why you should make a road trip to visit the DC Design House. Last week we posted a glimpse into the brilliant exhibit, “Pump Me Up”, showing at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

There are some other great museum exhibits in the DC area right now (check out the Phillips Collection!), but with winter nearly behind us we’re also craving time outdoors.  Luckily in DC you can have culture, art, and outdoors all at once with the arrival of the cherry blossoms.  The National Cherry Blossom Festival starts March 20th and runs through April 14th.  Some of our favorite art highlights:

 Sunrise

Sunrise

March 20th - April 7th

Via paddleboat, learn how to photograph the Cherry Blossoms at Sunrise with the help of Washington Photo Safari.

 Japan

Japan

March 20th - April 11th

Celebrate the Arts of Japan at the Smithsonian FREER|SACKLER Galleries to learn more about Japanese Book Illustration.

 Silk Scarf

Silk Scarf

March 30th

Create Your Own Silk Scarf at the Textile Museum with the help of artist Emi Kikuchi.

 Community Arts

Community Arts

April 1st - April 14th

See how the cherry blossoms are celebrated through art by local children at the Community Art Show in Union Station.

 Shibori

Shibori

April 5th

Learn how to Make Your Own Shibori at The Textile Museum with the help of artist Candace Edgerly.

 Phillips

Phillips

April 6th - April 7th

Celebrate Art in Springtime at The Phillips Collection.

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Branching

April 13th

View the work of Erik Abel, Graham Franciose, and Ursula Young through the Branching Out Exhibit at the National Harbor.

We’re grabbing a few Claritin and heading downtown!

Happy Blooming.

RB.

DESIGNER WEEKENDS: PUMP ME UP DC

As you all know, this month we're taking a break from Design 101 tips and tricks to share our insight into the Making of a Show House.  If the 2013 DC Design House isn't enough reason to visit DC this spring (the house is open April 14 - May 12), follow our Designer Weekends this month, where we'll be sharing insight into other happenings around the capital! What's cool this weekend?  Pump Me Up: D. C. Subculture of the 1980's, curated by Roger Gastman, at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.  Through the exploration of visual art, the exhibit takes you back to an era when DC was coined the nation's "murder capital".  In a city that was rife with drugs, corruption, and violence, came a creative art and music subculture that expanded little past the geographical area, representing an artistic flavor that DC could claim it's own.  The exhibit displays an incredible collection of posters, photographs, graffiti, and more.

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The exhibit is open through April 7th.  Don't miss out!

Happy Weekend.

RB.

DESIGNER WEEKENDS: IKEA HACKS!

We're off to IKEA this weekend for the first time in years.  We can barely contain our excitement! Before we do any shopping, we like to have a plan (read up on our budget planning to find out why!).  So to get our creative juices flowing, we researched the world of IKEA Hacks.  Below are some of our favorites!

 IKEA_STOOL

IKEA_STOOL

DIY Mongolian Lamb Stool by Preciously Me

 IKEA_RUG

IKEA_RUG

Greek Key Rug by Tatertots and Jello

 IKEA_DRESSER

IKEA_DRESSER

Bedside Dresser by Decor 8

 IKEA_DINING_TABLE

IKEA_DINING_TABLE

Dining Table by The Kitchn

 IKEA_BOOKCASE

IKEA_BOOKCASE

Bookshelf by Centsational Girl

Have you hacked anything lately?  Let us know - we'd love to see your designs and hear your ideas!

Happy hacking.

RB.

DESIGNER WEEKENDS: BEST OF NYIGF

At the New York International Gift Fair, we were most impressed by the range of gorgeous handmade and global goods.  We love finding new and unique products, and the fair this winter showcased incredible work by artisans from right here in NYC to all over the world. The best thing about these products is that they all have a conscious.  Many of the products support economic opportunity for international artisan groups where local craft traditions and livelihoods are at risk.  Some of the products take it a step further by creating items that are recycled and sustainable.

Because we were so impressed by what we saw at NYIGF, we want to share our finds with you.  Below are some of the items that stood out to us most.  What do you all think - would you like to see any of these things in our retail shop this spring?

 FunkyJunk

FunkyJunk

"Plastic bags.  They don't go away.", says FunkyJunk.  They turn bags found on the streets and fields of Cambodia into baskets, rugs, and other home decor goods, benefiting both the local people and the environment.

 Mercado

Mercado

Mercado Global's products are made through indigenous methods by artisans throughout Guatemala, providing them with the opportunity to reach international markets and overcome poverty.

 Creative_Women

Creative_Women

Partnering with textile studios in  Ethiopia, Swaziland, Afghanistan, Senegal, Mali, Bolivia, and Peru, Creative Women represents traditionally-inspired textiles that promote women's economic independence.

 Pico

Pico

Taking inspiration from architecture, Pico Designs transforms iconic buildings and shapes into an intimate scale. Designed right here in New York by an industrial designer with a passion for little things.

 SlowColor

SlowColor

Every scarf and blanket created by Slow Color is handmade in India and dyed using natural plant and mineral-based dyes. Through traditional fabrication techniques, their products protect the environment and connect indeginous methods and artisans to the international market.

We'd love to hear your thoughts!

Happy Weekend Shopping.

RB.

DESIGNER WEEKENDS: LINEN CLOSET ORGANIZATION!

Our Morning Find theme this month is organization.  So far we have found terrific organizing tools and products, and we'll continue to post more ideas throughout January.  If you want to stay on top of our finds, you can follow us on Twitter and our Facebook Page. We're delighted to feature organization as this week's Designer Weekends as well!

April Hargrove, an organization expert in NYC, has provided us with her top tips to help you make sense of your linen closet. We don't know about you, but share April's fear of being bonked in the head with falling toilet paper rolls. Thanks, April, for helping us put things in order!  Here's what April recommends:

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As the New Year has most people talking about health and diets I’ve decided to focus my resolution on an organized home.  For me a well organized home is the key to happiness, comfort, increased productivity, and overall enhanced well-being. 

To tackle an entire home at once can be intimidating when it comes to organization.  I find it best to start small and focus on one thing at a time.  For me, closets are my pitfall of organization.  I stuff, shove, and stack things throughout the year in closets when I don’t have the time or patience for proper organization. 

I decided to begin with my linen closet for this post. It is a tall, narrow, deep space that is a catch all for sheets, towels, pillowcases, extra blankets, pillows, irons, steamers, and paper products.  Every time I reach in to find a matching sheet set I am bombarded with falling pillowcases and rolls of paper towels.

I took my inspiration from the following impeccably organized linen closets. 

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Linen_Closet_1

Image courtesy of Martha Stewart

Inspiration One:  Here everything in the closet is folded uniformly and organized by item. The built in drawers are a dream for me!

 Linen_Closet_2

Linen_Closet_2

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Inspiration Two: This linen closet is colorful and fun, while still functional. Everything is easily accessible when you open the door.  I love the towel racks on the door, a great space saver in a small home.

 Linen_Closet_3

Linen_Closet_3

Image courtesy of Ask Anna

Inspiration Three: Categorized and labeled containers make it a breeze to find what you are looking for in this closet.

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Linen_Closet_4

Image courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens

Inspiration Four: Here even the floor space is beautifully utilized with baskets for paper products and laundry.

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To complete your linen closet overhaul…

  1. Take EVERYTHING out
  2. Make piles by category (sheets, towels, pillowcases, blankets, etc.)
  3. Decide what you really use and need. Only keep what is necessary. Donate anything you no longer need to charity.
  4. Uniformly fold each category.  By establishing a uniform fold for everything in your closet, you are more likely to maintain your newfound organization in the future.  Need help folding?  Great folding ideas can be found on Martha Stewart.
  5. Be sure to fold sheet sets together, wrap the flat sheet around coordinating fitted sheet and pillowcases.
  6. Group small items (like toiletries, wash clothes, cleaning supplies, etc.) together and store them in containers (wicker baskets, plastic bins,  or wire shelves).The Container Storehas a great selection.  
  7. Label any baskets and bins so nothing is lost or forgotten about. A label maker makes this very neat and easy. 
  8. As you reassemble your linen closet be mindful of keeping like things together. Try to keep the items you use on a regular basis on the most easily accessible shelves. This will make it simple to find what you are looking for and ensure that everything has a place the next time you are putting your clean and uniformly folded laundry away!

Now step back and enjoy! You can see and easily access everything in your now well-organized linen closet!

Happy organizing!

By April Hargrove

Do you need April's help?  Contact her for all of your organizing needs at ahargrove80@gmail.com .

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DESIGNER WEEKENDS: DIY NEW YEAR'S PARTY DECOR!

Well folks, we've got a few days left to check off our 2012 resolutions and come up with our lists for 2013.  We're wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday.  Below are some of our favorite DIY party decoration ideas to help you ring in the new year!

 DIY_Party_Hats

DIY_Party_Hats

Learn how to make festive glitter party hats from Studio DIY

 DIY-Lanterns

DIY-Lanterns

Wit & Whistle shows us how to set the mood with paper lanterns.

 DIY-Disco-Balls

DIY-Disco-Balls

Make your own ball to drop with Paper Pom Pom kits from Pomtree on Etsy

 DIY-Subway_Sign

DIY-Subway_Sign

Learn how to turn your resolutions into art with a Subway Art tutorial from Lil Blue Boo

 Champagne_Cocktails

Champagne_Cocktails

The Kitchn offers recipes for festive cocktails (or mocktails!) that look as great as they taste

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Happy New Year.

RB.

DESIGNER WEEKENDS: CREATE A FESTIVE SOFA!

This month, our  Morning Finds all share a Festive theme and our Design 101 series is all about sofas.  We thought we'd combine the two for this week's Designer Weekends!  Below are some of our favorite ways to make your sofa look festive for the holidays!

 Garnet_Hill_Pillows

Garnet_Hill_Pillows

These hooked wool pillows from Garnet Hill create a festive mood on your sofa all winter long!

 RAg_Rug

RAg_Rug

The artisan behind Rag Rugs specializes in custom rugs such as this one entitled "Winterlight" that is based on a photograph of the Ithaca, NY waterfalls on a winter day.  You could switch out the rug under your sofa every season!

 Pottery_Barn_Drum

Pottery_Barn_Drum

Not sure what to do with all of the holiday catalogs you're receiving?  This hand painted drum from Pottery Barn will help you store them in a festive way.

 Tartan_Throw

Tartan_Throw

A Scottish wool Tartan throw from Linda Clifford is a classic way to add a festive mood to your sofa.  It will keep your toes warm throughout the winter too!

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Happy Shopping.

RB.

DESIGNER WEEKENDS: THANKSGIVING TABLE LIGHTING!

Many Americans have spent the last year dreaming of homemade stuffing and pumpkin pie. Finally, Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Hopefully you’ve reserved your bird, invited friends and family around, and dug out your favorite holiday recipes. But have you thought about how to set your dining table? We’ve dedicated Design 101 this month to interior lighting. Below are tips and tricks for setting up the perfectly lit dining table to complete your Thanksgiving feast!

 Williams_Sonoma_Chandelier

Williams_Sonoma_Chandelier

Chandelier from Williams Somoma Home

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Setting a Cozy Mood with Light Fixtures

Have you ever noticed how cozy most fine dining restaurants are? Lighting has a lot to do with it. Think about how different the lighting experience is when you go to a fast food restaurant, where it’s light and bright, compared to a special night out at a local dine-in restaurant. One uses lighting (and very often uncomfortable furniture) to keep the crowd moving; the other uses lighting (and plusher furniture) so you want to stay a while. You can use lighting to create an inviting and cozy space in your own dining room!

The best way to create a mood is to install dimmers on your light switches. That way you can set the light fixtures at a lower setting during your meal. If you don’t have dimmers, try replacing light bulbs with bulbs that are 25 – 40 watts for a soft, warm glow. For additional light filtering, we often add lampshades to chandeliers and sconces so your guests aren’t staring at bare light bulbs.

 Martha_Stewart_Table

Martha_Stewart_Table

Images from Martha Stewart

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Add Flattering Light with Candles

If you’ve ever looked at yourself in the mirror of an airport bathroom you know how unflattering harsh overhead light can be. Oh, the bags under your eyes! Lighting that hits you face-on is much more flattering. Take a trick from restaurants and balance out overhead lighting by using candles. Candles will cast a flattering glow on all of your guests, while also telling everyone that you have made a special effort with the meal.

 Crate_And_Barrel_Candles

Crate_And_Barrel_Candles

Candles, hurricane, candlesticks, and votives from Crate & Barrel

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Types of Candles

There are a number of candle types, and all are an affordable way to make a big impact on your dining table.

  1. Tapered candles are tall, thin candles that taper at the top. These are appropriate for all occasions casual and formal. If you’re setting a casual table, try displaying tapered candles in individual candlesticks. For a more formal look, candelabras can add a bit of luxury.
  2. Pillar candles are cylindrical and are available in various widths and heights. We like to use pillar candles in multiples and a centerpiece or in stylish glass hurricanes. If you don’t have anything that will hold a pillar candle, try tying a pretty flower, or other botanical object, to each with some pretty ribbon.
  3. Votives and tea lights are low candles that look great as multiples in pretty glasses or as part of a larger arrangement. We like mixing and matching textures, patterns, and styles for votive holders to create an eclectic look. You could also fill a vase or hurricane with rocks, shells, or botanicals, and place a votive in the center.
  4. Floating candles offer a simple way to add a little drama to your table. Just find a pretty glass bowl, fill it part way with water, and add the candles. We like to float some seasonal flower buds in the bowl as well for an added decorative detail.
 Martha_Stewart_Candles

Martha_Stewart_Candles

Image from Martha Stewart; Pillar candles from Crate & Barrel

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A few tips on Candles

  • Go for unscented candles. You don’t want a candle fragrance competing with the smell of fresh cooked turkey!
  • If you’re nervous about using open flames around children or animals, try battery-powered candles.
  • Never leave a burning flame unattended or close to anything that could catch fire.
  • Trim candlewicks to about ¼” before you light them to keep a controlled flame.
  • Try to keep candles above or below eye level so they don’t disrupt conversation.
 Pottery_Barn_Candles

Pottery_Barn_Candles

Tapered candles and candlesticks from Pottery Barn

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A Fun Candle Fact from the Charleston School of Protocol and Etiquette

"Have you ever heard people say, “you should burn the wicks on new candles when you put them on display”…do you know why?

As we all know, there was a time when people did not have electricity and everyone used candles to light their homes. Then with the invention of the light bulb, the people that had money and could afford electric power to light their homes, no longer used candles.

It has been said however, in order not to embarrass those who could not afford electricity; it was considered a polite gesture to burn the wicks of the candles on display so it was not known who had electricity… and who did not.

Candle etiquette sheds a little light on the subject, by teaching us once again, the most important rule of etiquette…letting people save face and not embarrassing anyone."

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Happy Thanksgiving Prep.

RB.

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DESIGNER WEEKENDS: DIY LIGHTING!

This month, Design 101 is all about lighting.  So we thought it would be a great idea to share some of our favorite DIY light fixtures! See below for some very clever ideas for creating your own ambient light fixtures (hint : if you're unsure what ambient means, learn more on our latest blog post here).

 Paper Cup Garland

Paper Cup Garland

Totally It shows us how to make this darling garland using paper cups and sting lights. Imagine them in colors for every holiday!

 Decoupage Light

Decoupage Light

Take a  plain glass fixture and add some visual interest with decoupage.  Learn how from Country Living.

 Drum Shade

Drum Shade

Cover a boring light fixture with a custom drum shade.  Learn how to make your own from Apartment Therapy.

 Paper Lantern

Paper Lantern

Martha Stewart shows us easy to follow instructions for making fun globe lights.  These spice up any dinner party!

 Rustic Farmhouse Light

Rustic Farmhouse Light

We love the rustic chic look of these pendant lights.  Learn how to make your own using objects you probably already own from Imperfectly Polished.

 Globe Light

Globe Light

Light fixtures can be fun and educational!  Learn how to make a globe pendant from Rosebud's Cottage.

Do you have any recent DIY lighting projects that you'd like to share?  Send them our way - we love hearing from you!

Happy Crafting.

RB.

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