designer

check yourself.

Jenny Kayne's Holiday Party - Domaine

Some design “trends” aren’t actually trends at all – because they’ve been around for decades, but recently have gained more love. This is especially true for checkered and plaid patterns. Just search the terms on Instagram or Pinterest, and you’ll see many awesome examples of using these patterns in a modern way.

BUFFALO CHECK

This fabric is typically classified by 1 or 2 colors on a light background, created by horizontal and vertical stripes of equal thickness crossing over each other to form squares.

It’s everywhere right now. On chairs, pillows, even on bathroom floors!

Checkered Bathroom Floor - Studio McGee

Black and White check is so classic but most importantly of all, very versatile. It mixes well with other patterns. You can do dots, floral, solids – the sky’s the limit.

It crosses over to many different design styles. Pictured below on this mid-century style chair by Schoolhouse Electric.

Studio McGee - Lynwood Remodel
It goes more transitional here with Caitlin Wilson’s pillow and rug collection.

Caitlin Wilson Navy Buffalo Check Pillow

PLAID

I grew up in the Catholic school system.  I wore a plaid jumper everyday for about 6 years. Needless to say, I was over anything resembling plaid. Putting my childhood aside, I’d be crazy to deny that it’s making a comeback. And I think I kinda, sorta, dig it.

Emily Henderson - Let's Get Cozy

There is some crossover between check and plaid, but plaid usually consists of 2 or more colors and the stripes vary in size and spacing.  It’s kinda like Buffalo Check’s uptight older sister. It tends to feel a little more formal, sophisticated, and traditional than the playful checkered patterns.
Dash & Albert Cooper Navy Jute Woven Rug

So the question is- are you Team Check or Team Plaid?

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Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

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highpoint market faves

Hi!

So last month, I was able to cross something off my design bucket list.    MTD took us girls on a 4 day trip to this little thing called Highpoint Market.

Seriously I was so excited when I found out we were going.  It has been one of my dreams since my college days at Michigan State.  To grow up and be a real legit designer and go to the biggest residential furniture trade show.

It was amazing. We found some great new lines. It was also so helpful to sit in, touch, and see the quality firsthand of some furniture pieces we’ve been eyeing for a long time.  Yes, “shopping” for work is enough to make anyone jealous, but I’m not going to lie, it was exhausting.  We covered about 6-7 miles a day on foot.  Probably the first trip I’ve ever taken and not gained weight.

Here’s some of my favorite finds from this amazing trip.   Hope you enjoy!

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7 essential iPhone apps for the creative professional

7 Essential iPhone Apps for the Creative Professional

We are in the days where technology is in the forefront of all that we  do – and it can either make or break our creative process.  Here are some intuitive and inspiring apps I’ve worked with that will help to keep you up and running.

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PAPER –  news geared toward your interests

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Price: Free

Why It’s great:  Released merely 2 days ago, Facebook has done it again.  Imagine your FB Feed and news articles all in one pretty package.  The news stories displayed are in categories hand-picked by you.  The best part is just how easy it is to navigate through.

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30/30 – fun timed to do list

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Price: Free

Why It’s Great:  With 30/30 you can prioritize and time your to-do list to make sure you’re staying productive and on schedule.  I love this app because when I set it up, it actually keeps me focused and wanting to achieve the goal.  The simple design and quick functions make adding and editing tasks so easy and fun.

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WATERLOGUE –  turn your photos into watercolor paintings

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Price:  $2.99

Why It’s Great:   Because it’s a simple concept – turn a photo into an instant work of art.   As a person who never pays for apps, I will say I think it’s worth it.

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PRODUCTEEV-  project management

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Price: Free

Why It’s great:  Personally I think this project management app blows all the others out of the water.  You can assign tasks to specific projects and set alerts so you are on top of deadlines.  Have your other coworkers join in so everyone is on the same page, and you can even chat about tasks and assign them to users.  An  iPad app is available as well, and it all syncs to the website too if you want to pull it up on your computer.

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VSCOcam –  professional style photo editing at your fingertips

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Price: Free

Why It’s Great:  While I do love Instagram, the filters on VSCO give you much more options.  You can enhance the brightness, contrast, exposure, and color temperature to create exactly the effect you desire.  Bonus:  You are not forced into doing a square picture.

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OVER –  add artistic texts to your photos

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Price: $1.99

Why It’s great:  Now you have the ability to add text quickly over any picture.  You decide the font, color, size, and placement.  Great for creating graphics for your blog, website, or digital presentation.  The free version, Overgram, is pretty good too, but with fewer font options and a lovely watermark in the corner.

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EVEREST – an accomplishment and goal based social network

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Price: Free

Why It’s Great:  Finally! A social network app created with the purpose to motivate others and work together to achieve goals.  Now sharing thoughts is for a common purpose, and you can link up with friends and peers to make things happen.   We creative types often need some type of inspiration to get going, so having a support system is essential, and this app can help fuel the fire.

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{Bonus awesome iPad app}

Paper by FiftyThree 

Price: Free (upgraded add-on features available for purchase)

Why It’s great:  Turn your iPad into a sketch book.   Great for client meetings, brainstorm sessions, doodles, or even beautiful professional renderings.

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(Disclaimer: I am in no way solicited or paid to advertise these apps.  They just truely make my life easier, and I hope will do the same for you.  The pictures are all screenshots of my phone, so please ask permission if you are looking to post elsewhere. )

please don’t take my sunshine away

I want to know – does anyone actually like when the clocks move back?   I most certainly loved the “extra” hour of sleep the other night, but now that the sun sets at 5pm I just want to throw on some pj’s and go comatose after dinner.  In memory of Daylight Savings Time, here’s my tribute to the sun – well, in the form of sun rooms.

My dream home would most definitely have a sun room in it.   Let’s think about this…It’s a room completely devoted to the big, bright ball of light in the sky.  You can soak up that Vitamin D without even going outdoors.  Perfection.  If you’re lucky enough to have one, here’s some really cool designs I’ve come across.

Curbly Sunroom by Emily Henderson

I know Emily just posted this like a day ago but I saw this and instantly felt myself 8th grade style crushing this room.   I’m just so in love I can’t look away.   Every single room in that Curbly house is pure gold.  I love that the wall color (Sherwin Williams Sea Salt) enhances the room so much, and makes it feel so light and airy.

Rustic Modern SunroomThis next one is more neutral, but the warm tones, rich natural textures, and fireplace make it feel so cozy, even though the furniture is very streamlined.

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Sunroom - Elle Decor

Caption this one?  Okay.  Cozy, yet stylish and chic.  I’m digging the “lived in” feel to it.  I really like how they made a somewhat small space seem larger and more interesting.

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vintage inspired sunroom

Retro approach to the modern sun room.  I’m loving that white wall and all those windows!

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Sophisticated Sunroom

Classic and sophisticated all in one pretty package.

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Sunroom for dinner partiesThis last one shows that these rooms can function for more than just a lounge area or reading nook.  This little dining area would be great for a candlelit dinner for 2 or a small get together with friends.

Which one is your dream sun room?

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(all photos link back to their source, if known)

12 ways to recharge your creativity

12 ways to recharge your creativity - Vim & Vintage Blog

Do you find yourself drained, uninspired, or unable to think? If you said yes, you’re not the only one.  I’ve been in Strugglesville in terms of my creativity for some time now.   I feel burned out, like the spark just isn’t there to create anything.  This is very strange for the girl who used to sketch all through class, scrapbook and craft for fun, and spend hours writing.  In light of my recent creativity crisis, I identified what I feel like has been blocking my creative flow.  Things I took for granted that seemed to have slipped away quietly through the years.  So here’s 12 ways to get back that creative spark.

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1 . Walk away.  Get away from your desk right now (okay, well after you’re done reading this 🙂 ).   Creative types are always thinking, so even taking 5-10 minutes to yourself will refresh your mind and help prevent a burnout.

2. Go out into the wild.  Experience nature. Do something spontaneous.  Live in the moment.

Emerald Lake, Canada

3.  Watch a funny movie.  You probably are not laughing nearly enough.  Smiling and laughing release feel-good endorphins into our system.  These free us, and allow thoughts to free flow too. I heard some crazy stat the other day – how an average kid smiles over 400 times a day, but adults only smile about 20 times a day! I think we can learn something from the kiddos.

4. Sketch.  You don’t have to be an artist. But getting those pretty pictures in your head on paper will help you to visualize your goals and bring those ideas to life.

5. Get lots of sleep.  How do you expect your brain to come up with amazing things if it is overworked and tired?  Try getting at least 7 hours of shut-eye every night.

sleeping puppy

6. Surround yourself with people who inspire you. There’s a study out that says you are a mixture of the 5 people you spend the most time with.  Spending time with great people will bring out the best in you. If you can’t spend time with someone who motivates you, create a list of what inspires you about them, and try incorporate those traits and values in your life.

7. Reflect and remember.  Devote some time just to stop and think.  Take the pressure off yourself and clear your head.  This will allow thoughts to just come to you.  Analyze what worked for you and what didn’t.  Remember times when you succeeded and failed, and learn from both.

8. Try something new.  New experiences bring on unique reactions.  Stimulate your emotions.

when was the last time you did something for the first time

9. Do something you absolutely love.  Whether its listening to music, reading a book, playing on Pinterest, or going to your favorite restaurant.  You must treat yourself every once in a while to keep your spirits up.  If you are neglecting yourself, you will become miserable.  And an unhappy mind is a sure-fire way to kill creativity.

10.  Travel.  A flight halfway around the world would be perfect, but if that’s not possible, even hitting the road to explore a neighboring town could provide you with new insight and inspiration.

vintage suitcases

11.  Keep track of your ideas and thoughts. Keep a journal.  It could just be a simple notebook. Log your dreams, ideas, goals, and feelings.

12. Believe.  In yourself. In your work.  In where you’re headed.  Attitude is everything.  You must believe you can create if you truly want to be creative.

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I want to know – what do you do to help spark your creativity when you’re caught in a creative rut??