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swoon: we found spring’s prettiest blush for your table at kate spade saturday

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If you follow fashion trends at all, you know that blush pink is the color to wear this spring. Feminine yet earthy, it’s one of those tones that makes everyone look like they’re keeping a secret. In home decorating, the trend continues, which means pastels aren’t just for Easter. We spotted this lovely earthenware over at Kate Spade Saturday and thought it’s the perfect way to update your tabletop in the new hue. With clean lines and sturdy curves they’re a pink that even your male guests won’t mind clutching. Mix and match with other tones, such as celadon or grey and you’ll have a spread that’s worthy of magazine cover of its own. Glazed mugs, plates, and bowls start at $10 a piece at Saturday.com.

would you makeover a kitchen designed by jcrew’s jenna lyons?

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In our dusty pile of beloved magazines from years gone by is a collection of Domino magazines. And the most dog-eared issue among them is the one that featured Jenna Lyons, now JCrew president and style icon to many, and her Brooklyn townhouse on the cover. The interior was sleek yet cozy, featuring dark slate walls, smooth marble surfaces, fuzzy tufts of lambskin and pops of bright yellow. Fast forward a decade or so and The New York Times home section has done a feature on the new fortunate owners of the property, Tracy Martin and her husband, Vince Clark (a founding member of Depeche Mode – cue ’80s teen swoon!). The space has been redone by designers Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch, who are known for their Steam-punk-ish interiors. Gone is the slickness and its place is a punky-romantic vibe, that embraces nature (both living and dead) and the sensual (lots of leather and grainy wood). The space is still the stuff that real-estate fantasies are made of, but one interesting change is the new kitchen. As much as we love Lyons’ aesthetic, open shelving in a kitchen is not the least bit practical. Martin has now equipped the garden-side cooking nook with rich cabinets and schoolhouse lighting.

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One space, two radically different kitchens: Which do you prefer?

could you live in a macrohouse? new documentary “Tiny” asks and answers

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We often ponder what it would be like to live in a tiny house, dreaming about having a nice self-sustaining plot of land, a sturdy shelter and no mortgage. Call it our escape plan. Could we really do it? Christopher Smith and his girlfriend Merete ask themselves this same question and document the building of their own itsy dwelling in the new documentary, Tiny: A Story About Living Small. The website offers a bundle of advice and links to sites that sell plans and will help you build your own compact dream home. Check it ou!

TINY: A Story About Living Small (Teaser Trailer) from TINY on Vimeo.

toddler to little girl room: a tour of the bedroom makeover

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With the start of the new year we decided to tackle our first home-improvement project – to convert our little girl’s room from a toddler space into something she could grow into for the next ten years. We had a few key goals. One, create a workspace for her to do crafts and homework. Two, pick a color palette that would be pretty yet flexible as her tastes change. And three, retain a touch of fun and whimsy. Here is the final room and we are all pretty pleased with it! It’s calm, yet fun. There’s a place for everything, and it doesn’t feel crowded. Here’s what you need to know.

The bed is a Sparrow Bed from Oeuf. The walls are Benjamin Moore beacon grey. The duvet cover is from Pottery Barn Teen.

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The desk and shelves are from the Container Store. We went with Elfa shelves because they hold so much, yet are aren’t a heavy piece of furniture that would weigh the room down.

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The curtains are from Target. We love the little tassel details. Hot fuchsia really pops off the grey-blue walls.

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The room is almost too small to be arranged any other way. The space next to the bed is tiny, yet we needed something to put books and a clock on. Chad made a small little shelf which is just perfect. (And Isadora and I have loved reading The Secret Garden, btw.)

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We debated by a new, colorful chair — say from Room and Board or Land of Nod — and may still do that someday. We found this one at a local online swap meet. It was $20 and says NYC Board of Education on the bottom. We painted just the top for a “dipped” look.

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Isadora’s dresser is one which used to be mine. It’s a mid-century Russel Wright and quite hefty. We love the way it looks juxtaposed against the stenciled wall. Above, squirrel portraits we bought from a store in Columbus, OH when she was born, a Willy Wonka illustration we found off eBay, and a vintage globe I’ve had for ever.

a little hawaii in february: our hula-themed birthday party

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Little darlings, it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter — and our kid’s birthday landed smack in the dead middle of it. We’ve been trying to hang on to the aloha-vibe we picked up in Maui last November, but it ain’t easy when we’re iced-in. To help us all warm up a bit, we decided that this year (number 6!) Isadora would have a hula-themed birthday. I found a local hula teacher who specialized in lessons for children, and booked her as the main event. Around the house we mixed vintage Hawaiian decor with some tchotchke’s from new, inexpensive things from Oriental Trading Co. Below are photos of some highlights!

hulatopperA vintage tiki bowl mingles with some paper centerpieces from Oriental Trading Co.

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On the mantle, more vintage tikis doubling as vases, along with a straw skirt — meant for a table but it worked better here for us.

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Our safe for kiddies tropical punch included pineapple, orange, cranberry, and white grape juices with guava nectar and sparkling apple cider. Served with paper umbrellas, of course.

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A rainbow of fruit featuring a mini-marshmallow cloud in the middle. Guess which got eaten first?

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The piece de resistance: A hula girl cake! This one might need a separate post on its own, but lets say that we started with Wilton Doll Cake mold and a lot a of green food dye.

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The finished piece of beauty.