MAGIC EGG: THE BIG REVEAL

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By the time you guys are reading this, Tara will be almost halfway into her month-long yoga training down in Costa Rica and I’ll be freshly arrived in Mexico, armed with a new GoPro, somewhere on Orizaba or Iztaccihuatl, two massive snow-capped volcanos that are taller than anything I’ve climbed before. And I can’t wait. It’s been a whirlwind past few weeks of nonstop work as we finished up the little guest house to the Magic Egg, had Country Living come shoot the main house (!!!), and got our eight months’ worth of stuff out of there and into storage at our next job, on the North Fork of Long Island.

To say it was difficult to leave this last job would be a huge understatement. We poured every ounce of energy and imagination we had into it from February through September of this year, and couldn’t have been prouder of the finished product.

We were thrilled to have it posted on Design*Sponge in two installments: first as a Before & After and then as a full Sneak Peek. You’ll definitely want to check out those before pics! Then come back here to peruse the unabridged photo tour below.

And stay tuned for the guest house! We’ve already posted a couple sneak peeks on our Instagram, but the full photo tour is a couple months off.

Huge thanks to Rachael and Gideon, the best clients we could have asked for.

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Tons more after the jump! [Read more...]

PRINT, PODCAST, PRESS!

You guys, we made the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Home & Design Section!

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Or, to be more precise, we made the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Home & Design Section seven months ago. We’ve been out of town for months and months and just finally got our hands on an actual copy of the article! It takes up almost the whole front page, then continues inside with another full page (shared by three little ads for a local Buick dealership, patio covers, and some killer overstuffed furniture). How cool is that? The hometown paper. You’re next, New York Times! Oh and while I’m sure it’s much too late to get a hard copy of the article, you can read the whole thing here.

We were also honored to be featured for the first time ever on a podcast a couple weeks back. While we hate hearing our own voices, you hopefully won’t if you choose to listen! It was such a fun experience and a great interview. Huge thanks to Tammy of The Honest Home! She has a beautiful site and an even more beautiful speaking voice (think NPR goddess, especially next to me and Tara!), so be sure to check it out if you’d like to know a bit more about what we do, how we work, and what sets us apart.

Finally, we’re thrilled to have been featured on Apartment Therapy’s Gallery of Cozy Cottage Interiors. In fact, four of eleven images are ours! I’m not sure if they even realize it, because they credited two images to Design Sponge, but hey, look at us go.

BETH KIRBY’S KITCHEN REVEALED

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The moment has finally arrived!

Now live on Remodelista is the Chattanooga kitchen we did for Beth Kirby (aka Local Milk) way back in January.

As usual, Beth’s photos do not disappoint. Check em all out below!

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Tons more after the jump! [Read more...]

BETH KIRBY’S KITCHEN PREVIEW

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It’s been quite a while since we showed some new work, but that all changes this week!

On Thursday, Remodelista (link updated!) is publishing photos of Beth Kirby’s Chattanooga kitchen, which we redid back in January while living in a tiny little cabin just over the Alabama line. Beth (aka Local Milk) just won double Best Photography Blog honors from Saveur, so the photos are sure to be stunning.

We also lured Beth north in June to photograph the Upstate NY home we started redoing in March. Those photos will start trickling out this week, with a Design*Sponge Before & After (link updated) teaser running this Thursday, followed by a full Sneak Peek on Monday.

Oh, plus we’re being interviewed for a podcast this morning, but I won’t say which one until we’ve previewed it and ensured we definitely don’t sound like idiots.

Here’s one more shot of Beth’s kitchen, complete with the styling wizard herself!

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INSIDE THE MAKERS WORKSHOP

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Most people–some friends and family included!–don’t understand exactly what we do. They assume we’re just your average “interior designers” who walk into a space, start picking out furniture and finishes in their heads, and don’t get any closer to manual labor than that. For us, walking into a space for the first time is just the beginning of a months-long immersion into a space that, by the end, we’ll have totally transformed with our own hands. The photo above captures a perfect example: Tara debating paint colors atop original wide-plank floors we rescued from wall-to-wall carpeting and refinished ourselves.

Until we manage to coin a better title for ourselves than “interior designers,” we’re always thrilled when someone really gets what we do, appreciates the full scope of our work. Lindsey from Makers Workshop is one of those people, so we’re especially excited that she chose us for an Inside the Makers Workshop feature!

Here’s a peak at some of the kind things she had to say:

People are searching in shiny new stores for something that they simply will not find and only a creative team like Jersey Ice Cream Co. can deliver. They are searching for the soul of their home.

For me, it’s their absolutely brilliant use of texture as a key element in every space. Allowing mismatched wood and painted boards to become focal, gives the feeling that they’ve been there for hundreds of years and makes you wonder who of centuries past stubbed their toe on that small crack just there. It’s a graceful balance of simplicity and warmth. When I look at these photos, I feel almost as if I’m reading a book. I get a sense of who they are, and what they do, and read, and … and perhaps there is a kettle of tea on while Henry paints his latest work of art feverishly away in the front room.

Thanks so much, Lindsey! Totally nailed it. Read the full Inside the Makers Workshop feature right here.

ANTHRO-APOLOGIA

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Sorry, this post has nothing to do with defending Anthropologie. Who would want to read that? I just needed a snappy title that tied together Anthropologie and ancient Greek because I majored in Greek and Latin. Oh and because one of our past jobs snuck into Anthropologie’s new home catalog!

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Not only that. When asked what her favorite space she’s ever styled is, Anthro’s Kim Ficaro had this to say: “To be totally honest, after 10 years of doing this, my most favorite space was on this shoot! The first week we shot in a small house upstate. We made garlands of carnations—the most underrated flowers—and hung them in the attic rooms, which had beautiful peeling wallpaper. The downstairs room of the house was a pale grey and we created a living room that you could stay in all day, using lush plants and the carnation garlands.”

That’s the house we totally redid! We rescued that beautiful peeling wallpaper from layer upon layer of tacky grandma wallpaper (and plastered over the unsightly parts so the nice parts would appear beautifully peeling)! We plastered that living room pale grey. And we did a million other things, turning that grandma house into an Anthro-worthy backdrop.

We received zero credit, so forgive me for bragging here.

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More photos after the jump. [Read more...]

GO WEST

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Well, it’s been almost eight months since our last blog update. Oops! So what have we been up to? In January, we found ourselves down in Tennessee redoing a kitchen for the lovely Beth Kirby (aka Local Milk). Then we headed back north to redo a big farmhouse in the Catskills. Photos of both projects on the way!

But more importantly, summer vacation! My mom and I had a chance to road-trip around Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and New Mexico. Wow. What an absolutely breathtaking part of the country. It’s impossible not to take thousands of photos, but I did manage to edit them down some. Hope you enjoy as much as we enjoyed our time out there!

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A couple of bison grazing in the early morning Yellowstone fog. We woke up super early one morning hoping to see some wolves, but instead saw a grizzly playing in a tiny little snow patch by himself (through someone’s scope from about a mile away!) and also saw a ton of bison. Not “buffalo,” apparently–that was just an early nickname since they looked a bit like true buffalo from other parts of the world (water buffalo, etc). Who knew!

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The stunning view from the top of the stairs at Jackson Lake Lodge. The story goes that–back in the National Park system’s infancy, when the Tetons remained rather untouched and mostly in private hands, and the town of Jackson was in a sad state–John D. Rockefeller Jr. had a picnic lunch one day before this very same view. He was so blown away that he decided to buy up as much of the private land as he could (for later donation) and to build a hotel in just the right spot so that every visitor would be treated to the very same view upon arrival.

More from the Tetons, Bluff UT, the gorgeous Mabel Dodge Luhan House, and more after the jump!

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WE MADE THE LIST!

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We’re thrilled to have been chosen as one of Interior Design Magazine and Morpholio Board’s “15 Inspiring Designers to Follow on Instagram”! Let’s be honest: it’s the closest we’ll ever come to winning a design award, since you probably need to submit yourself for stuff like that and we just barely meet our deadlines as it is, even without extracurriculars. So we’re very flattered by any recognition!

Nominations for the list came from Annie Block, Deputy Editor at Interior Design Magazine, as well as Caroline Williamson, Managing Editor at Design Milk, Amy Azzarito, Managing Editor at Design*Sponge, Holly Becker, Founder of Decor8, and Diana Budds, Associate Editor at Dwell Magazine. The article celebrates the launch of “Board 2.0″, a new kind of platform for creatives of all types.

Check out the list over on Interior Design’s site here!

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A MERRY LITTLE EVERYTHING

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The day after Christmas has always been a little heart breaking to me. As a child, the thought of waiting 364 days until Santa returns was unbearable, but even as an adult, I can’t help but feel that something magical has vanished and suddenly all that’s left in its place is the thought that winter, the real bleakness of it, has only just begun. Sigh.

It’s so tempting to just curl up into bed with no honest plans to leave until Spring, but this year (like everything) I find myself wondering what I can do to make the cold days a little more bearable. But with a trip to Hawaii not in the works, and new snow boots waiting by the door to make their debut, I know that the only place the warmth is going to come from is a fire, the heat turned to full blast, or my own little shivering heart. Life in those precious weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas seems to be fueled by a frenzy of glitter and goodwill. People love to mumble about trimming trees and baking cookies and wrapping gifts for other people, but I have to believe that it’s part of the Christmas cheer equation. Hide behind your Grinch face if you must, but I know that tasting the first homemade cookie made you smile, especially if it was mom’s recipe, or maybe something new you came up with yourself. And there’s a reason that the tree looks a little more special when you go chop it down yourself, or when it’s hung with ornaments that each have a little story to tell. The more love you put in, the more love you get out. And that simple equation is the only thing that’s going to keep us warm for the next few months.

So hold your loved ones close. Treat yourself to a cup of hot chocolate and put extra marshmallows in for the 3 year old you once were. Stay up past midnight to watch the snow start falling, and spend an entire Saturday in your pajamas writing letters to your favorite people. Be in awe of yourself and the things that your two little hands can make. Take the time to create little moments of beauty, and most importantly, share them with everyone you can. Because with the days so dark and cold, we need all the light we can get.

And now, from me to you, some Christmas moments of beauty. And my most successful (and easiest!) shortbread recipe of the season.

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MINI-MAKEOVERS: Better with Kittens

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Yes, I used a cute kitten picture to lure you in. But it’s going to be totally worth it! We’ve been working on a mini-makeover the past few weeks, turning a barren apartment into a haven for a do-gooder client who absolutely deserves a place to relax at the end of the day. We finished up most of the work in the wee hours of the night, but I was able to snag some shots of the bedroom before the sun went down. And of course, a photo of the adorable kitten she was fostering at the time. Enjoy!

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after-bed1More pics (including what the place looked like before we started) after the jump!

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