Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Design Itch Turns TWO and A Round-Up of My Design Tips and Tricks

Ahhh it's good to be back writing on the 'ol blog, and by ol' I mean the blog turned two-years-old last week, and I went ahead and re-upped my domain name, so the world wide web will have to put up with The Design Itch for at least another year (I know what you're thinking "isn't there a cream for that?").
I do plan to scale things back, at least temporarily as I adjust to this mom-of-two thing. Luckily, I'm being eased into the new gig with an oh-so-sleepy newborn boy (seriously, he's the most exhausted human I've ever met) and Frances is back in pre-school a few days a week. Of course, like all infants his sleep schedule doesn't align with the 8 hour stretch at night that I prefer to dedicate to shut-eye and three-year-olds get a little unruly if you nap during their playtime, who knew?! But I'll figure it out... eventually!
So, If you are looking for me, you will find me HERE most Tuesdays and Thursdays and dog lovers take note, I'm also talking dogs, yes dogs, over at the If It Barks Blog once a week. I thought it'd be fun to diversify my writing a bit.

To celebrate the blogiversary I decided to compile 15 Design Itch posts where I dispense some of my very best design advise (so far). "Best", may be a stretch but I offer ideas, suggestions, tips, and tricks to make the most of your home's decor. So if you are in the mood to peruse (maybe the boss is on vacation) click on the links below:


And seriously, thanks for stopping by!
-Griffin

Friday, September 12, 2014

5 Products for the Home Inspired by NYFW

I know what you've been thinking:

"I sure hope Griffin stops tending to her infant son and feisty three-year-old daughter long enough to share her insights on NewYork Fashion Week."

Well, don't worry I did just that, here's a round-up of my favorite fashion details from NYFW and some pieces that bring these fashion-inspired details to the home.
[Michael Kors / Carolina Herrera / DVF / CB2]
[3.1 Phillip Lim / Tory Burch / Versus / Anthropologie]
[DVF / Michael Kors / Nanette Lepore / CB2]
[Michael Kors / DVF / Oscar de la Renta /  Serena and Lily]
[Carolina Herrera / Marc Jacobs / Edun / West Elm]
OK, I said on Wednesday that I'd be laying low until October and that's what I plan to do…

See you soon!
-Griffin

Image Source: NY Times

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Baby Boy is Here!

A week ago Theodore Thomas arrived, all 10 pounds and 22 inches of him! 
Where did this 10 pound boy came from?! We have no idea (his sister was, what now seems like, a petite 7lbs 4oz) but he's as healthy as can be and a very happy boy (as long as he's warm and well fed). He's adored by his big sister and sports a single dimple that makes us melt every time he flashes it.
We can't agree on what to call him, Francie insists on "Feodore", The Man likes Teddy, and I'm fond of Theo, so he'll probably get called all three, which is part of the reason I love the name, lots of nicknames and a little bit vintage.

I plan to lay low these next few weeks and return to blogging and teaching as usual in October, of course if inspiration strikes I'll pop in sooner. You can always find me on Instagram and Pinterest.

See you soon!
-Griffin

Friday, August 29, 2014

Vintage Scavenger Hunt with My Mom!

I promised another edition of the Vintage Scavenger Hunt way back in April and then took my sweet time delivering (which seems to be the same approach sweet baby boy is using to making his grand appearance). Well, I'd like you dear readers to know that I, Griffin, always keep a promise, even if I'm the only that cares, so I'm back today with another Vintage Scavenger Hunt.

HERE'S HOW IT WORKS: My "challenger" (we aren't really competing as everyone wins in the world of vintage scavenger hunting) selects the category from a list of options provided by me. The categories can be a specific type of furniture, a specific material, a theme, or a period or style of design. Then we each head out to one (or all) of our favorite local vintage shops, which include just about any shop that sells second hand. We are to find one vintage decorative object that we feel best fits the category. We aren't required to buy the item, so there is no price limit, it's just about what we love!

THE "CHALLENGER": I'm excited to introduce you to my Mother, Lauri, she's the woman who brought me into this world and reared me. She shares my love of antiquing and design and has pulled off some fabulous DIYs in my childhood home. 

THE CATEGORY: A while back we created a dresser island in my parent's master bedroom so we thought it'd be fun to make the category a vanity/dresser item. 

I'm a bit jealous as my mom spotted some fabulous finds and got to spend the day at my favorite flea market!
Where did you find your item? Grif's dad and I found the items at the Elkhorn Antique Flea Market back in June.

Cost? 
Hands: $5.00 each
Sprinkler:    $17.00

What do you love about your find? 
Hands: I like that they are tall and clear so they won't add a lot of visual clutter to my dresser while showcasing any jewelry I drape on it.
Sprinkler:  It'd be a unique way to store bracelets and necklaces.  I love the old patina of this sprinkler, I like the contrast it'd create against my white dresser.

Is there anything you would change about it (paint it, reupholster, etc…)? 
No, they are great the way they are!

Where would your put it in your home or dream home? 
They'd be perfect on my dresser, I wish I hadn't passed up these great find!

Where did you find your item? I found the 6 piece Art Deco Dresser set at my favorite local antique shop, The Sanford Antique Mall, you just can't go wrong at The SAM

Cost? $69, it's not cheap but they are well worth the price for such a lovely set!

What do you love about your find? I love the Art Deco style with it's crisp angular lines and the beautiful spring green color.

Is there anything you would change about it (paint it, reupholster, etc…)? This is a beautiful find I definitely don't need to change it. 

Where would your put it in your home or dream home? My dresser of course!

Thanks Mom! Look for another Vintage Scavenger Hunt post in the next 1-4 months! Have a great weekend!
-Griffin

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

How About a Cardboard Frozen Ice Palace?!

Don't say I didn't warn you. I explicitly said on Monday, that if I showed up here today I was killing time. So with that in mind, let me share with you how Ms. Frances and I killed some time yesterday afternoon, waiting on little "brofer."

Cardboard and kids, it's really a great combo.

Now I'm not sure if you've heard of this movie, it's called Frozen, and quite popular amongst the under 12 crowd. It's got sister princesses, a sound track toddlers prefer on repeat, and ice.

Not wanting to jump into any real DIYs but feeling a bit of a design itch, I offered to build an Ice Palace for Francie's dolls. Brilliant idea Mom, now get to work!

Using some scrap cardboard, scissors and hot glue I constructed the ice palace. It brought me back to my architecture school days. I'm not sure who was a harsher critique, my kid or my professors.

"Mom, it needs MORE ice crystals."

Then I let Frances go to town painting it with a couple shades of blue and white. I must say, her painting skills have drastically improved since the last time we attempted something like this.
I encouraged a blending of the paints to create the iridescent look you see in the real Frozen Ice Palace.

Anna (an actual character from Frozen) and Merida (a Princess from Brave) are right at home in their new cardboard ice digs.
Oh and there had to be a balcony, although Francie was quite worried about her princesses falling off, so I encourage her not to push them off and they'd probably be OK.
We successfully killed a few hours with this lil' project and Francie got a new "toy" out of it. Seriously, kids can be so easy to please….at times.
We love cardboard around here, about a year ago I made this playhouse for Francie out of a lawn mower box and pink duct tape, it resides in our Bonus Room and the thing just won't quit.
So next time you find yourself waiting for baby to arrive or needing to kill a few hours, get out the cardboard and build yourself a house, life size or doll size, the hours are sure to fly by.

And at this rate, I'll see YOU on Friday.
-Griffin

Monday, August 25, 2014

I'm Over at If It Barks Blog Sharing Ideas for Living Stylishly with Your Dog's Stuff

ATTENTION DOG LOVERS
You can find me talking dogs and design over at the If It Barks Blog today. I'm sharing a round-up of 8 Ways to Live Stylishly With Your Dog's Stuff.
image via If It Barks Blog
Maggie, our Boarder Collie, doesn't make many appearances on this blog (mostly because she's camera shy, although her fear of camera phones has lessened over the years), but life with a dog does present some unique design dilemmas well worth exploring. As I will be contributing regularly over at the If It Barks blog, once baby boy arrives and we are settled, and discussing a variety of dog-related topics beyond just design, you will likely hear a lot more about both Maggie and design as it relates to our four-legged friends. This first post has my wheels spinning with ideas for dog-related DIYs for our home, so stay tuned!
Maggie Living the Dream
If It Barks is a wonderful small business based here in North Carolina that handcrafts unique Martingale style dog collars as well as leashes and other dog accessories. You can read more about this creative company here and learn what a martingale dog collar is here.

BABY WATCH 2014
In other news, you gotta love waiting for baby. I am like a machine as I keep tackling different tasks around the house, things I've wanted to do for a while but have easily ignored, like touching up paint in our bonus room, cleaning and organizing cabinets, and deep cleaning all 2-1/2 bathrooms. With each little act of nesting I keep thinking that this will be the one that puts me over the edge and into labor. Instead, I just keep getting stuff done. The productivity is great, but I'm over it, at this point I'm just killing time. We'll see just how productive I am this week. If I happen to show up here on Wednesday, a day ridiculously close to Baby Boy's due date, then its safe to assume I'm still killing time and tackling even more obscure items on my To Do List.

I hope YOU have a great Monday!

-Griffin

Friday, August 22, 2014

Details that Inspire: Vol. 10

With less than a week until Baby Boy's due date I'm really hoping I won't have to take the approaching Labor Day holiday too literally. So while I play the waiting game, here are some of my favorite design details of the moment. I'd love to hear which is your favorite?!

 4. SF Girl by Bay | 5. Aesop

Have a great weekend! See you Monday, unless someone decides to arrive a bit early (if you get WiFi in the womb son, I welcome the notion!).

-Griffin

P.S. Check out all my favorite details!
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