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Saturday, 26 August


DIY Stone Top Coffee Table Design*Sponge

DIY Stone Top Coffee Table | Design*SpongeRevitalizing preowned furniture is a well-loved hobby in my house. Theres a reupholstered sofa in the sunroom, bentwood chairs with new velvet seat covers in the dining room, and a mid-century dresser in the bedroom that got a few coats of paint on the chipped veneer shell.

Earlier this spring, the wood veneer surface of our Craigslist-find coffee table was showing some wear. It didnt bother me too much, but my husband Austin wanted to try and coat the top in concrete to give it a different look. We sanded it down and then applied the concrete. It was not a great success. The next morning the sides had already broken away from the concrete top and it did not seem like a long-lasting solution. We removed the concrete layer to find that the wood veneer had soaked in the moisture from the concrete and was now looking worse than ever. Im sure we could have done more research and tried to make the concrete work, but it was such a disappointment that we just started looking for new coffee tables.


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Friday, 25 August


Todays Schedule + Next Weeks Vacation! Design*Sponge

Before we dive into todays posts, I wanted to let everyone know that next week we will be taking our annual summer break. Instead of our regular weekly wrap up, our last post of today (and for the month) will be our 2017 State of the Blog Union post a detailed and honest look at how blogs run today and how the community were a part of has changed. Im of excited to hear how all of you feel things have changed over the past few years and what you enjoy or feel challenged by in terms of new technology and evolutions in our online community.

We will be back to our regular posting schedule on Tuesday, September 5th. This fall we will be sharing a huge array of inspiring interiors like always, but we also have a series of articles coming up that tackle some serious issues in our community like refugee housing, cultural appropriation, racism in real estate, and much more. Im really looking forward to hearing your personal connections with these issues and learning more about each others experiences related to home, so until then, from all of us at Design*Sponge- have a wonderful holiday and well see you in September! xo, Grace

Image above from the Graham & Co. in Phoenicia, NY. Part of our Ulster County, NY travel guide.


These Tiny Drawbots Put Unique Doodles on Coasters Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers

In order to produce something interesting to bring to a monthly hardware meetup, Barton Dring created custom laser coaster engraver/cutters.

Read more on MAKE

The post These Tiny Drawbots Put Unique Doodles on Coasters appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.


Coasting: Ian's First Trip to the Ocean At Home In Love

Last month, we took back-to-back trips to the Washington coast and Oregon coast, with Ben's family and mine. The beaches in the PNW may not have palm trees, bright blue water, and white sand...but they do have their own stunning kind of beauty! Both vacations were really fun, and a good reminder that we don't have to go anywhere exotic to have a great time. We got our new camera right before we left, so I was kind of obsessed with taking pictures the whole time. I thought I'd share a few of my favorites here, in case any of you are planning a trip to the Washington or Oregon coast. It really is beautiful up here in the Northwest...come visit!

Ian's first trip to the ocean

Our first trip was to the Washington coast with Ben's side of the family. It was Ian's first time seeing the ocean, and he was a little scared of the waves at first but he looooved the sand. We all stayed in a vacation rental near Ocean Shores, and took day trips to nearby attractions: Kalaloch, Ruby Beach, Lake Quinault Lodge, and Seabrook.


Tree of Life in Kalaloch, WA

I loved this tree near Kalaloch, called "The Tree of Life" because it's tenaciously hanging on by its roots, and (amazingly) still alive even though the ground beneath it has washed out!

Ruby Beach

Ruby Beach has to be one of the most gorgeous beaches I've even seen, with all the seastacks and driftwood amidst the fog.

World's largest Sitka Spruce

We also saw the world's largest Sitka spruce. There's a ton of rainfall on the Olympic Pensinsula, so it has tons of massive trees (and lots of waterfalls too).



DIY Homestead Garden Towers

Growing plants vertically in closely spaced garden towers maximizes food production

Growing plants vertically in closely spaced garden towers maximizes food production

Ive seen garden towers gaining in popularity over the last two years or so but didnt pay a whole lot of attention to them because of concern about chemicals leaching from the plastic. Richard, a long time reader, explained how a whole garden of closely spaced towers would produce a huge quantity of food in a small area such as a backyard garden where space is often limited. Instead of using plastic, the planters could be made out of safer materials such as terracotta, ferrocement or metal at far lower cost.
Garden tower cutaway view showing the compost tube down the center for food scraps, and compost tea collection tray at the bottom. Worms can travel back and forth between the compost and garden soil.

Garden tower cutaway view showing the compost tube down the center for food scraps, and compost tea collection tray at the bottom. Worms can travel back and forth between the compost and garden soil.

I like the design shown here from the Garden Tower Project website (link below). If you like the idea, the easiest solution is to buy pre-made plastic towers. I would prefer to make something similar with metal, ferrocement or terra cotta rings stacked to chest height or so. Using natural materials would guarantee a safe, long lasting product. Homemade planters/towers would also save a ton of m...


Lights, Camera, Action! Rogue Engineer

By Jamison Rantz

The last few weeks of our life has been, well, a mad dash to get this house completed and on the market. That being said, one of the last things we needed to do was install the lighting fixtures in the hall and over the bathroom vanities. The coolest part about this house is that it has the character of a 1950s cottage and that can be seen through the original hardwood floors and the original doors with glass knobs, however, everything else is pretty much brand new and modernized. We wanted to maintain that vibe with the lighting so we opted for newer modern fixtures but kept with the character of the house by using these cool vintage bulbs from Feit Electric. Whats even cooler is that they are LEDs!

We have a lot more content coming your way very soon. We will be having a kitchen cabinet series, bathroom renovation, heated tile installation and so much more. I cant wait to share more, but for now I thought I would show off our new lighting! Oh and if you want to check out the listing you can see that here.

Dont forget to subscribe on YouTube and for sneak peeks of our upcoming projects be sure to check out Our DIY Life on YouTube,...


Experiencing All Things Crosstown with Elkay Vintage Revivals

A few weeks ago Court and I took the BEST trip to Chicago! Ive partnered up with Elkay to create some really cool projects this year (I cant wait to show you!!) and to kick things off they brought us, and a few of my other favorite bloggers to Chicago! Any chance we get to visit one of our favorite places is an absolute yes. Hello, pizza? Garretts Popcorn? The Cubbies? ALLLLLL the yeses.

So lets start off, if youre looking at the name Elkay and cant quite place where you know it from, let me give you a hint. If youve got a stainless steel sink, have ever used a drinking fountain, a water bottle filler, or washed your hands in an elementary classroom sink, chances are astronomical that youve come in contact with an Elkay product. But aside from drinking fountains and bottle fillers, Elkay has some killer sinks (not just stainless!) and faucets.

If you remember in January I took you on a behind the scenes tour of their KBIS booth. So when they invited me to Chicago to tour their headquarters and factory I was in. When they told me wed also be attending a Cubs game, Court thought that I was the coolest woman alive and decided to tag along. Ive been trying to get him to come to events for years, who knew all it would take was visiting Wrigley?

One of the most telling things about Elkay that I learned is that its very common to have multi-generational families working there. Elkay is an American institution and you can tell how much they care about their people. I love that.

We toured the factory where their stainless steel sinks are made and it was CRAZY to watch a sheet of metal be turned into a sink. There are so many people involved in the process, I had no idea it was so involved!!

Later that night we went to a showroom to see t...


Global Finds Enrich a Young Familys Home in Arizona Design*Sponge

Global Finds Enrich a Young Family's Home in Arizona, Design*Sponge

Five to six times a year, Meg Van Lith heads out on a global shopping spree in order to snag interesting inventory for Tierra Del Lagarto, the shop she co-owns with her parents. The trips are supposed to be all business, but Meg admits she oftentimes cant help but do a little shopping for herself while perusing the markets in Marrakesh or spying one-of-a-kind finds in India.

Given this penchant for global goodies, its not surprising that the home Meg and her husband Doug own in Phoenix, AZ has become a layered trove of worldly pattern and color. In one corner, for example, an Indonesian wood carving rests on an antique cabinet full of curiosities. In another, tile from Morocco sparkles amid Mexican souvenirs. And it doesnt stop there. The sprawling, 5,000-square-foot space is chock full of these cultural mash-ups.

These combinations are not only courtesy of Megs eclectic eye for design, but her dedication to supporting makers from the countries she visits. Admirably, nearly all of the decorations at the shop and in her home are handmade by local craftspeople in India, Mexico, Morocco or Turkey. In a world full of knockoffs and counterfeits, thats something we can all applaud. Scroll down to check out her entire home, and enjoy! Garrett

Photography by Meg Van Lith

Image above: An Indonesian cat stands guard over the living room. Meg wanted this room in particular to be a fun, carefree space where her family can relax. Hanging chairs and layers of textiles from all reaches of the globe achieve just that. 


A Rabbit Hutch with a Designers Touch Design*Sponge

A Rabbit Hutch with a Designer's Touch via Design*Sponge

Recently, I spent a long weekend unplugging in the woods. I loved the tiny cabin, the time away, the lack of wifi and spending quality time with my significant other. However, (and maybe dont tell my boyfriend this) what filled me with a joy like no other was watching my dog Julep be her happiest self. She ran through the woods freely, with a smile on her panting face, and she swam in the lake with the relentless work ethic that only a herding dog could bring to fetch. I felt like I was finally returning a fraction of the joy Julep brings me.

Pets provide us with unconditional love and infinite joy, and its our job as their humans to make sure they live their best lives. We owe it to our furry friends to meet their needs and to try to understand their means of communication. However, that doesnt mean we have to sacrifice the style of our homes in the process. Its possible to meet our pets needs in style. Thats exactly what Nicole and Steven Shutlz did for their eight-year-old Holland Lop named Eames. After all, with a name like Eames, that bun needed his own pad with modernist sensibilities. Below, Nicole shares tips and insights for creating a rabbit hutch that you and your rabbit will love! Quelcy

Photography by Nicole Shultz 

Image Above: Looking at Eames adorable face and his stylish hutch, it could be very tempting to adopt a bunny immediately, but Nicole wants everyone to think carefully before adding a rabbit to their families. S...

Thursday, 24 August


Five Quick Tips to Save Money on Your Next CNC Project Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers

There are five ways to optimize and improve a the design of your CNC project for better results at the lowest cost.

Read more on MAKE

The post Five Quick Tips to Save Money on Your Next CNC Project appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.


Maker Spotlight: Jason Childress Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers

Jason Childress is a perfectionist whose attention to detail is seen in his woodworking. He's eager to attend Seattle Mini Maker Faire.

Read more on MAKE

The post Maker Spotlight: Jason Childress appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.


Permaculture Principles for Modern (Zero Waste) Living Treading My Own Path | Zero Waste + Plastic-Free Living

Have you heard of permaculture? Founded by Bill Mollison and David Holgren in the 1970s, permaculture was the development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient. The term came from permanent agriculture. Let me tell you, its actually about a lot more than gardening. Since the 1970s, the idea has expanded and grown, []


Couple Facing Arrest for Living Off-Grid on Their Own Property

A Huntsville man joined the military to fight for our rights, but now he says his own rights are being threatened. A veteran and his girlfriend said their home was deemed unsafe by city officials because they choose to live by self-sufficient means.

Tyler Truitt and his girlfriend Soraya Hamar are currently living within city limits but without city utilities.

Huntsville officials said thats not allowed. The city filed a lawsuit against Truitt and Hamar, calling their self-sufficient lifestyle unsafe.

The couple says theyd rather be arrested than leave their land.
We live out here off the grid, 100 percent self-sustaining, Truitt said. So I basically made all my utilities: I have my solar panels, I have my rainwater collection and stuff.

The city doesnt see that as a good thing.

Related: Building codes make it tough to live off the grid in Canada



The real garden shed and fence gets cleaned up part 1 Funky Junk Interiors

As most of you already know, this little rustic shed I often feature out back isnt a real garden shed at all. It morphed from a greenhouse, and today houses firewood, while becoming a cute focal point to the backyard through a sawhorse potting bench, added shutters, and so forth. What I HAVENT really shown you []

The post The real garden shed and fence gets cleaned up part 1 appeared first on Funky Junk Interiors.


Around the Corner Bookshelf - Updated Plans

Hi folks!  We are in the "home" stretch of getting our house done and have been working endless hours on the project.  It's been difficult to balance keeping up with the website over the last few months.  We are very much looking forward to wrapping our project up and getting back to blogging regularly.  Soon, soon!

It seems one of our plans, the "Round the Corner" bookshelf has disappeared on us.  I can't locate it either (my greatest apologies).  But I did find all the images, so want to take a second to re-post those plans for those of you asking.  Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

Please do share if you build - I'd love to see how your corner bookshelf turns out!


How I Finally Found My Personal Style At Age 36 Design*Sponge

As a blogger who writes about design, one of the questions Im asked the most is to define my personal style. Ive been asked to define it using only three words or if it was an animal or, my personal favorite, if it was a food! (I said ham sandwich for some reason.)

While this question is never asked with any maliciousness, its always felt like someone poking at a bruise I didnt want anyone to see. Because for a long time Ive felt like an impostor. My personal life looks different than the things I post about here at Design*Sponge. And that seems to really upset and unhinge some people and for a while, it unhinged me, too.

A few months ago I was having a discussion with someone in the comment section here where I mentioned that I dont own most of the things that we post. Not because I dont love or support those things (I do, deeply), but because I simply dont decorate in the exact same way I post online. This upset the commenter a lot and left me wondering if I really was betraying people for not being the living embodiment of the company I run online. It made me wonder, can I love a certain style and run a brand thats known for it without actually carrying it through to my real life?

After this exchange I thought back to all of the awkward exchanges Ive had with people at work events over the years. Some people seem to visibly wither when they realize that Im not dressed in head-to-toe pink, like a human cupcake. They actually say that sometimes. I imagined youd be in some sort of hot pink tutu, like a cupcake.

I understand that theres always a bit of a disconnect when you see someone or something in real life after being introduced to it online. Ive found myself saying things like, Oh, theyre so much taller in real life! or I didnt expect them to be so quiet! Its as if hearing, theyre exactly how I thought theyd be, would be the th...


Whitneys Dining Room Tour Shanty 2 Chic

Hey friends!  Happy Wednesday! Today we are walking through my dining room.  I will be linking to the plans for projects below, as well as any links I have for products!  Before that, be sure to check out the YouTube room tour video HERE or by clicking below! FREE PLANS DIY Sideboard DIY Floating Shelves {...Read More...}

The post Whitneys Dining Room Tour appeared first on Shanty 2 Chic.


Design from A to Z: T is for Tulip Design*Sponge

Design from A to Z: T is for Tulip on Design*Sponge

One of the most beloved dining sets was made to untangle the mess of legs underneath tables and chairs by a mid-century design visionary who changed the landscape of home furnishings. Eero Saarinen approached furniture design as an artist creating a sculpture, with fluid shapes and curvilinear forms. He built function with beauty and gave new form to the industry by pushing the boundaries of what furniture was supposed to look like and not just tables and chairs, Saarinen studied structures large and small. In the development of the Tulip chair and pedestal table, he considered how the round form lends itself to more intimate conversation, how our legs fill the negative space underneath the surface and how often we shuffle around in our seats or cross our legs, shifting balance. His iterative prototyping process attempted to understand human behavior by testing how furniture would be used and how it would look within a space, ultimately developing timeless and adored pieces that have stood the test of over half a century of use in our homes and workspaces.

Today, were celebrating the Tulip as one of the most recognizable icons of mid-century modernism, designed to add clarity and value to our daily lives. Bethany

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