Lamelparket vloeren vs. Duoplank parket

Lamelparket vloeren vs. Duoplank parket


Project Cegeka: 3-laags lamelparket met 7 eindlagen anti-scratsh vernis.

De wereld van parket is er één waar vandaag de dag nog vele misverstanden bestaan. Eén van deze misverstanden is of er al dan niet een verschil is tussen lamelparket en Duoplank parket. Laat ons hierover meteen duidelijk zijn, dat is er wel degelijk. Wij maken u graag even wegwijs in de wereld van het samengesteld parket, de familie waartoe zowel het lamelparket als de Duoplank worden gerekend.


Meer info? Klik hier



Happy Holidays + Holiday Wreath by Swallows & Damsons



For the first time in my life, I feel like I blinked and an entire year passed. From writing a new book and building a new team to adding a new puppy to our family and working on a very old house, this year felt like one exciting to-do list after another — and I have never been more excited to take a deep breath, pause and look forward to plan what is going to be the most exciting year we’ve ever had here at Design*Sponge. Next year will bring a new print project, a new book and book tour, an expansion of our writing team and an even bigger push for great, original content covering everything from decorating and interior design to makers, business advice, entertaining and more.


Design*Sponge is entering its 12th year and I can’t think of a better time to evolve, strengthen and expand with new ideas, exciting projects and greater connection with our community. I can’t wait to show you what we have in store for the coming months, but until then, stay tuned to our social media feeds for a sneak peek and stay tuned here on the main website where we’ll be sharing brand new (free!) downloadable artwork and wallpapers created just for you all — just for the holiday break. That will start tomorrow and we’ll be back with brand new posts on Monday, January 4th. Until then, from all of us at Design*Sponge, we thank you all for your support and your voices and wish you the very best for a safe and happy holiday and an incredible New Year. xo, grace

*I’m so happy to end this year with a gorgeous holiday wreath project from Anna at Swallows & Damsons. Instead of a weekly wrap-up, I hope this post will provide some inspiration if you want to get outside, gather natural materials and make something beautiful to enjoy over the holidays.



Traditionally, a Christmas wreath is made of evergreens to symbolize strength even in the harshest times, to flourish even through the coldest, most barren months. Throughout the year I collect various oddities, feathers found by my four-year-old, pine cones, interesting sticks — I love to have a reason to use all of these treasures as reminders of the year gone by. December is a time when we not only celebrate, but also leave the old behind and get ready for new things to come.

Our wreaths this Christmas consist largely of foliage; foraged and bought, old and new, earthy and wild. There are unexpected elements, decaying bracken, skeletal seed pods, living succulents, sempervivums, pheasant feathers and fruits. —Anna

1. Mossing the Base


I use a wire frame, a roll of wire and some moss. Clumps are placed onto the frame, which is secured by wrapping the wire around continuously. I don’t cut the wire right until the whole wreath is complete, I keep on going around the wreath, a layer of moss on one side and a layer on the other. When finished, leave the wire attached, ready for the next stage.


The moss acts as a source of moisture for the foliage and as a secure base to attach and adorn onto. It’s incredibly messy; I love getting so earthy and back to basics, my hands ingrained with dirt. There’s even sometimes an added surprise snail or slug, just to liven things up a bit!





2. Foliage


I take small bunches of mixed stems. Magnolia leaves, spruce, pheasant feathers, eucalyptus, bracken, olive are all going into the wreath. As each bunch is placed, I secure just the end stems with my wire, which is still attached from the mossing stage. Binding around each cluster 5/6 times to make sure it’s secure. I layer them, one slightly facing into the center, one facing out, packing them in quite densely for a full appearance.


As I approach the end, any gaps can be filled by poking loose foliage into the moss, at this point it should feel quite full and secure and putting loose stems in shouldn’t be a problem.





3. Adornments


When adding pinecones, succulents or seed heads, I attach a slightly thicker/shorter piece of wire by either wedging into (the sempervivum), or wrapping around (the pinecone). Then, simply poke the end of the wire into the moss. When the wire comes out of the moss on the reverse side, I fold it back on itself to stop it from slipping out.


To set the scene, I created a table setting fit for a Christmas feast. At our house it’s a blur of glitter, tacky crackers, party hats, spilled drinks, napkins on fire — I was craving something a little more simple and sophisticated.

Mac & May’s oily black walls were a perfect backdrop to the rambling foliage and earthy fruits and vegetables that were strewn naturally along the table. The Fluorspar rocks looked magical with the flecks in the pottery glaze and the twinkling candlelight. For the flowers, like the wreath, I embraced the season’s cold tones and textures. Hellebores, anemones and ranunculus wildly doing their own thing mixed with the last of the garden’s heuchera and crispy golden bracken from the moors.

And to end, the smoke from the blown-out candles danced around the table and we all inhaled deeply.

Photographs by India Hobson and massive thanks to Grey Suit ClayMac & May
















Before and After: Sabrina’s Open-Plan, Game-Changer Renovation

Before and After: Sabrina’s Open-Plan, Game-Changer Renovation

Since I bought my 1950s bungalow in Milton, Ontario two years ago, a lot has changed. As I touched on in my D*S home tour, when mine was the winning bid at an estate auction, I was both proud to own anything at 22, and fearful of the huge commitment I had just made. At the time, I’d just left the advertising world and began freelancing, and I didn’t own a lick of my own furniture.

In those first few weeks of homeownership, I tackled some aesthetic issues (wallpaper, paint, etc.) and began moving in. I bought furniture at auctions, purchased housewares with gift cards I had never had a use for prior, and received many donated pieces from my parents. It was fun, but also scary. Could I really afford a whole house as a freelancer? To ward off the uneasiness and help me feel more secure in my decision, I rented out my basement and all was well with the world: I had a home, a garden to tend to, some security (thanks to a tenant), and my career was taking off.

Fast forward two years, and even more change took place: Shawn began working from home full-time as well, I became busier with my own work, and we re-arranged our living/dining/kitchen space countless times. Layout and space became a sore spot, and we started to feel the effects of a home that didn’t function as we had initially anticipated. Our living/kitchen space needed to serve many purposes — that of an office, a rec room, a dining room big enough to fit friends and family, and our entryway, to boot — and it was failing to do so. The excitement of buying a home had worn off, and on top of our space issues, the reality of living in a small bungalow above someone else started weighing on me, probably more than it should have. I wouldn’t make a peep after 10 pm and before 10 am, waiting for hours most mornings before making a smoothie or grinding coffee beans; if we had guests over, I’d shush them if our dinner party went late; with a single driveway, we would succumb to staying in most nights when the car got blocked in. It may sound trivial and perhaps even petty, but for all of the financial security I gained having a tenant, and for as hard as I worked to save enough to even buy a house, I completely lost the feeling that my house was my home and sanctuary. I found myself sacrificing my own personal enjoyment, and it didn’t even hit me until earlier this year when the biggest change in our lives happened: the addition of a silly little cattle dog named Piper to our family. Cue many sleepless nights compounded by feeling terrible every time she barked! We needed a change.

At the time, I thought the best solution was to rent out the entire home and move, but when that failed, I made it my personal mission to take our happiness into my own hands and make what I already had work. We made the tough decision to evict our nothing-but-nice tenant, and I decided to use some of my savings to renovate the heart of our home to work better for us: the open kitchen, dining and living space. Before, the space was oddly segmented: our TV/media area was placed awkwardly across the walkway to the kitchen in a corner, and we had to crane our necks to watch TV; our kitchen was poorly laid out and lacked storage and counter space; our fixed island and overhead storage (while a neat feature) meant we could only fit two people over for dinner at a time — the list went on. In October, I set out to single-handedly remodel our home in collaboration with Leon’s Furniture and Frigidaire Professional, every step of which I publicly shared on Instagram.

Working within a strict, four-week timeline (to my body, I apologize again!), I completed most of the demolition and renovation by myself with help from my dad and Shawn when he wasn’t traveling for work. Although it felt impossible doing it all on my own while raising a puppy and still working — and I even spoke of regretting it at times — I could not be more proud of the result! Our space is now completely reconfigured and functions so much better. In many cases, I didn’t realize what I was missing out on; things like having professional-grade appliances, and the room to prepare food, has been such a treat. All of the hard work after two years of sacrifice has been worth it. Now, we’re thrilled to call this space home!

I used to browse realty sites in my down-time, and now, my down-time is spent enjoying my home and life. And the best part is that now we’re finally able to share our space — I’m even hosting my family dinner this Christmas! More than nice countertops, pretty plates and a larger TV, this renovation has impacted our lives in more ways than I can count, and has been a huge lesson in taking responsibility for your own enjoyment and making it work with what you’ve got. –Sabrina

Spring Finn & Co. Studio Tour

Spring Finn & Co. Studio Tour

We first met Talin Spring back in September when we toured her Provence-inspired Minneapolis home. The peek into a small home studio she uses for her accessories line, Spring Finn & Co., had us itching for more, so we are thrilled to give you a full tour of her other studio today.

Spring Finn & Co. is a second career for Talin, after having a previous career as an investment banker. While she enjoyed many aspects of that job — stimulating work and travel all over the world — Spring Finn and Co. is her true passion. Though it seems like a leap to jump from the world of finance to handmade leather goods, this was quite a natural progression for Talin. As a child in Istanbul, she grew up in a home where everything was handmade. Her mother and grandmother were masters of needlework and her father owned three shoe and slipper shops, so she became very familiar with the leather trade from a young age. With a deep appreciation for high-quality materials and time-honored leather-working techniques, Talin is proud to make products she loves for clients who share that same appreciation.

In terms of process, she doesn’t stick to one particular method. She tends to evaluate what she has on hand (a small leather sample from a supplier can inspire an entire collection) and visualizes what she wants to see on her clients that season. It might be casual canvas for summer, and chic leather in winter. Talin is not looking to chase trends, and instead wants to create timeless pieces that age beautifully. She never knows where it’s going in the beginning, which, Talin says, creates some anxiety, but “like the pieces of a puzzle it always seems to fall in the right place, and when I reach that moment I can start breathing again.” The next step is the pattern and canvas mock-up, where she nails down proportion before moving onto the leather prototype. This can go several rounds.

Located in the old Foundry building in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis, this space is imbued with history and the same timeless quality of her accessories. Talin loves having this creative studio, where she draws, makes prototypes and gathers inspiration. The space, much like her home, embodies the perfect combination of global appeal and American craftsmanship that Talin is known for. A perfect melding of East meets West. –Shannon

Photography by 2nd Truth Photography

What’s In Your Toolbox: Elena Megalos

What's In Your Toolbox: Elena Megalos, on Design*Sponge

Though multifaceted creator Elena Megalos may not speak as many languages as she’d prefer, she does possess an extraordinary “ability to connect with worlds beyond” her own. The Brooklyn-based writer, artist, and animator holds an MFA in fiction writing and teaches fourth grade full-time. Though she has never formally studied visual art or animation, Elena is currently at work on her first picture book for children in addition to the breathtakingly detailed animated shorts that take a year apiece to produce.

“When prepping an animation, I rely heavily on folders and envelopes, since hundreds of tiny paper cut-outs go into a finished film,” she says. Portability is key. She makes progress on her work in the shreds of time between other activities, or even in transit to them. Elena views her various creative efforts as working in conjunction toward the same point of self-expression. “They’re all forms of a bigger storytelling pursuit,” she explains. The visual work has informed her literary process, and vice versa. “When the missing ingredient presented itself unexpectedly, I’d think: this piece has felt inevitable for a while, but couldn’t have happened until now.” —Annie

Photography by Elena Megalos


What's In Your Toolbox: Elena Megalos, on Design*Sponge

What’s in your toolbox?

Gouache (Winsor & Newton black and white are my staples, though I love Acryla’s playful colors), a sketchbook, Bristol board, cheap paintbrushes, a portable water dish, pencil and eraser, scissors, a razor blade, and a storyboarding notebook. I never studied visual art or animation, so a lot of what I do feels learn-as-I-go, including which supplies to buy. I only started painting with gouache after following other illustrators on Instagram; their posts gave me ideas about which brands and colors to try. Corollary toolbox items: a laptop (for tunes, podcasts, reference images, film editing), headphones (I often work in public places, and share my home workspace with housemates), Final Cut Pro software, a scanner and external hard drive. If I’m home, I keep a Japanese daruma doll in sight. The idea is to set a goal and color one pupil, then color the other pupil when you’ve reached the goal. I enjoy — and usually respond to — the visual kick in the ass. I used to have different daruma for different creative goals; now, in an effort to de-clutter, I use one as an all-purpose motivator.

What's In Your Toolbox: Elena Megalos, on Design*Sponge

Fill in the blank, “When I am in my studio, I feel ____________.”


What's In Your Toolbox: Elena Megalos, on Design*Sponge

What’s on the top shelves of your inspiration library right now?

Michael DeForge’s First Year Healthy, Sina Grace’s Self-Obsessed, Bianca Stone’s poetry comics, Leanne Shapton’s Swimming Studies, Maira Kalman’s The Principles of Uncertainty and everything else she’s ever done. I love artists who write, writers who draw. The forms they choose are consistently fresh and empowering; they give me permission (and challenge me) to combine words and pictures in new and better ways.

On the animation front, Hayley Morris’s worlds are breathtakingly beautiful while preserving a handmade look and feel. Julia Pott tells the darkest, most moving stories with unexpected yet perfectly complementary visuals. I love what Emily Collins can do with cut paper, and her commitment to education and female empowerment makes me want to be a better artist and person.

What's In Your Toolbox: Elena Megalos, on Design*Sponge

How do you keep yourself organized?

I’m not a very organized person, but space constraints work wonders! My fiancé and I recently downsized from a four-room railroad apartment to a bedroom in a house that we share with five other adults and a one-year-old (!). The workspace, which doubles as our dining room, is communal, so I need to be able to store work and supplies in a tight, minimally invasive way. When a work session is over, I need to be able to clean up all traces of myself. Right now, I’m relying on IKEA baskets in my bedroom and a couple communal shelves. I keep most of my work to 9”x12” dimensions.

Another benefit of working small is portability. I work full-time as an elementary school teacher, so I’m often squeezing art sessions into limited blocks of time. It’s helpful if I can fit everything I need in a backpack, and have the option of working in public/shared spaces like coffee shops.

When prepping an animation, I rely heavily on folders and envelopes, since hundreds of tiny paper cut-outs go into a finished film. I only make about one short a year, but the prep needs to be something I can chip away at wherever I am — at home, in a cafe, on the subway, on an airplane.

What's In Your Toolbox: Elena Megalos, on Design*Sponge

If you could have one superhero (or magical) power, what would it be and why?

The ability to speak many languages. I know a number of ordinary people with this gift, and admire/envy their ability to connect with worlds beyond their own in such a direct way.

What's In Your Toolbox: Elena Megalos, on Design*Sponge

What is the best advice you have ever received, and what is the one piece of advice you would offer to a young artist, maker, or designer?

During a crisis of confidence and procrastination, one of my fiction MFA classmates paraphrased something a professor had once told her: “You’re always writing” (subtext: even when you’re not writing). I’ve adapted this line for all forms of creativity: you’re always working, you’re always collecting. The idea helped shift my mindset about those dreaded gaps between projects, those periods of seeming inactivity. It gave me permission to treat “the search” as a useful and necessary stage of its own. The trade-off, of course, is to stay open-eyed and open-hearted — to keep your antennae up rather than moving through your surroundings in a closed, distracted way.

My advice: put yourself in the proximity of other makers you admire, in whatever capacity your location and “world” permits. If you’re lucky enough to live in a place where your heroes show their work or give talks or readings, lucky you! Regardless, seek out — better yet, build — a community that will inspire you. Act on your talent crushes. When the people you admire are generous with their time, treasure it. Ask questions, seek guidance, initiate collaborations, say “yes” a lot. Make a point to encourage and appreciate other makers around you; the sentiments are bound to boomerang back, and generate the best kind of fuel for making more good work.

What's In Your Toolbox: Elena Megalos, on Design*Sponge

How do you combat creative blocks?

I see my whole practice as a visual artist as an attempt to combat creative blocks in my writing! Maybe a better way of putting this is that I like working across mediums and telling myself they’re all forms of a bigger storytelling pursuit. I try to be gentle with myself when something isn’t cohering. I tell myself that time and my subconscious will do the work, and move forward with other projects in the meantime. I’ve had stories come together that took months (or years) of processing on the mental back burner before they were ready. When the missing ingredient presented itself unexpectedly, I’d think: this piece has felt inevitable for a while, but couldn’t have happened until now.

Some tangible practices that facilitate this creative slow-cooking: keeping lists, maintaining regular access to ideas in progress, keeping my antennae up (“you’re always writing”), walking, brainstorming, and free-writing by hand. I make sure I have a notebook and pen in every bag I carry.

What's In Your Toolbox: Elena Megalos, on Design*Sponge

Where do you like to look or shop for inspiration?

I have a deep affection for picture books, and am lucky to live near libraries and bookstores with wonderfully curated children’s sections (Book Court, powerHouse, Community Bookstore, and McNally Jackson are my favorites). The glorious paper department at New York Central has supplied the look — and texture — of many animation sets. The American Museum of Natural History has been [the] backdrop to some of my best writing, doodling, and daydreaming sessions. And while I’m rarely in a position to spend more than $30 at these shops, I love the beautiful objects at John Derrian, Top Hat NYC, Collyer’s Mansion, Steven Alan Home, and Mociun.

What's In Your Toolbox: Elena Megalos, on Design*Sponge

If you could peek inside the studio or toolbox of any artist, maker, designer, or craftsperson, whose would it be and why?

Joseph Cornell, whose studio must have been one epic curiosity cabinet.

What's In Your Toolbox: Elena Megalos, on Design*Sponge

What’s on your inspirational playlist at the moment?

Joanna Newsom’s Divers

What's In Your Toolbox: Elena Megalos, on Design*Sponge


Eclecticism on Display at Asrai Garden in Chicago

Eclecticism on Display at Asrai Garden in Chicago

Opened in 1999 by Elizabeth Cronin, Asrai Garden is more than a flower shop. “Because I don’t think of this as just a flower shop,” Elizabeth explains, “this shop is literally where I put all the things that I love.” Named after an aquatic faerie found in English folklore, Asrai Garden sells fresh flowers and succulent plants, as well as locally designed jewelry, small batch scented candles, and artisanal chocolate.

The interior design is a direct reflection of Elizabeth’s personal taste. “I grew up in an 1860s home with landmark status (in the Edison Park neighborhood of Chicago), the only Gothic Revival style house left in the state of Illinois.” Her parents bought her childhood home from a gay couple, one of whom was a florist, who had been together since the 1930s. “They had put so much love into the house.” The couple had traveled the world collecting design elements from far-flung places: the front yard had a street lamp from Copenhagen, the backyard had cemetery gates from New Orleans, and the front doors were reclaimed from an opera house in Paris. It was not extravagant, though, it was just a little farmhouse on the north side of Chicago “that just happened to have a magical character.” It’s no surprise that the design of Asrai Garden communicates this appreciation of eclecticism and a passion for the unexpected.

But there’s more on display in this space than a collection of attractive oddities. It’s immediately apparent that Elizabeth puts her emotional intuition into her décor, creating a delicate balance of the contemplative and the whimsical. There’s genuine emotion here. She doesn’t think that a space can effectively convey a feeling unless the person designing it has actually experienced that feeling. “The most authentic space,” she says, “has your feeling in it.” —Aria

Photography by Erik M. Kommer

Life & Business: On Work-Life Balance As a Creative Entrepreneur


Lauren Ash is the Founder and Creative Director of Black Girl In Om, a lifestyle brand that cultivates holistic wellness and inner beauty for women of color. Since its launch in 2014, Black Girl In Om has already engaged more than 250 women through yoga, meditation, and other holistic wellness gatherings in Chicago, New York City, and Washington D.C. As Editor-In-Chief, Lauren brings her readers a unique, affirming, and — in many cases — life-changing experience, encouraging women of color to explore wellness, self-care, and self-love. A yoga teacher, wellness curator, and “sister-friend” to many, Lauren is a deeply passionate and dedicated visionary, but even she needs to take a timeout every once in a while.

With even greater and more ambitious plans for Black Girl In Om than ever before, Lauren knows all too well that you can’t give to others if your own well is dry. Practicing what she preaches, Lauren is joining us to share some tips and advice on something we could all benefit from: the peace to be had, due to making an intentional effort to achieve stability in your work and life.

As Lauren knows, striking this balance is not only hard, but something you have to work at — it’s not always as simple as taking a day off. Today, she’s taking us through a few pointers to consider in order to achieve this, especially during what is a stressful season for many, while still checking items off your to-do list. –Sabrina

Portrait photo by Tamon George


I perpetually find myself in a catch-22. The reason? I’m a creative entrepreneur in the wellness industry.

I wear multiple hats: I am a yoga instructor, wellness curator, Editor-In-Chief, CEO, freelance writer, Creative Director, and more. Each of these hats comes with a dizzyingly long list of responsibilities. I like to refer to the old saying, “With great [influence] comes great responsibility,” so, I find myself stuck between a rock and a hard place, often because I cannot justify running on empty for someone else’s notion of “success,” and yet that is what I often feel compelled to do. Why can’t I justify this? Because doing so would be detrimental to my own spirit, as well as my integrity to the “work” that is self-care, self-love, and holistic wellness found in the tricky, yet worthwhile, balance of work and life.

Would I be more productive in my work if I got 4 hours of sleep instead of 8? If I opted out of time spent with my close friends and worked 10 more hours every week? If I skipped yoga and meditation and instead decided to respond to a few more pressing e-mails? Maybe. Would I be able to be as giving of my spirit, energy, and love to others in doing so? Absolutely not.

I’ve had to find this out the hard way. Social media often presents a squeaky clean image, or at least an image of ourselves we find comfort in presenting to the world. Most people wouldn’t guess that while I was first building Black Girl In Om, I was still working at a 9-t0-5 nonprofit job, and I was unhappy: taking mental health days to feel sane again; feeling alive only when I was discussing Black Girl In Om, and spending my free time scheming how to manifest it into a reality.

All in all, I’ve discovered one thing to be true: that stability must be worked at. That to thrive, rather than merely survive, as a creative entrepreneur in the wellness industry, you must take care of self. It means recognizing my spiritual and emotional needs and granting them the same weight that I grant my financial and basic needs. Especially as a woman of color, I experience particular challenges and burdens as a creative entrepreneur, which makes it all the more important for me to cultivate self-care to ensure that my self-esteem and image of self is healthy and sound.

I argue, that this attention to our spiritual and emotional needs should be the case for all of us. We must choose to practice intentional stability. The definition of stability I am embracing here is “reasonable and rational behavior.” We know that the path we have chosen is a challenging one. Some of us fight the urge to forge our own path until the Universe laughs and we finally acquiesce, kicking and screaming, to the path less chosen. The thing is: there is a beauty — a magic — in the path we are on as creative entrepreneurs. In order to be better for ourselves and for others along the ride, and to commit to a sustainable path toward achieving what it is we’re so passionate about, we must practice reasonable and rational behavior. I’ve identified what this means for me. I hope that these practical steps to cultivating intentional stability help you.

Identify What Brings You Joy


Photo by Sterling Miller

We are socialized to pay attention to what others are doing. What our “competition” has achieved, who others are rubbing shoulders with, what income others are bringing home. Throw that out the window. Do some thinking. Reflect. And come to a realization about what brings you joy. Allow that to motivate what you work on, how you work, and when you work. Enjoy Sundays all to yourself? Stop scheduling meetings and phone calls then. Love spending time with your significant other for dinner each evening? Prioritize it in your schedule just as you would a meeting with a client or an interview for good press. Like to do your work late at night? Then quit agreeing to early morning meetings, dang it! Need a weeklong vacation to recharge every quarter? Start a savings account for travel, block out four weeks across the year in advance, and don’t touch either!

What is one thing that I have identified that brings me joy? I’m a fundamentally social person. Even when I’m at my busiest peak of the year, I still maintain a social life. My friends uplift me, encourage me, and keep me grounded. Why would I sacrifice them for a few more hours of work? Doesn’t make sense to me.


Don’t Sacrifice Your Daily “Thing”


We all have at least one “thing.” It’s what makes you feel happier, if even just a little bit. It’s what allows you to feel grounded. Different from what brings you joy, this is something more habitual and routine and simple. Perhaps it’s starting your morning with a five-minute meditation. Perhaps it’s eating breakfast before checking e-mail. Maybe it’s listening to your guilty pleasure album (Justin Bieber, anyone?) while you take a long shower. Do. That. Thing.


Don’t Take Shortcuts


Not all of us are good at everything. Personally, I’m awful at finances and business-plan things. I have learned that I actually don’t have to be great at it. But I need to prioritize either learning it myself or getting someone in my corner who can help me out. See, in order to be reasonable and rational, this means looking at the big picture. It means thinking longterm. By looking at both, I choose to make decisions that are smart. I can’t cut corners and pretend like certain things don’t matter. If I do, I’ll get hurt in the long run.

And while not all of us are good at everything, that’s okay because we should surround ourselves with people who can make up for what we may lack. So get comfortable letting others know what you need. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at who will show up to assist.

Let’s lessen the amount of time we spend in the catch-22, yeah? The facts are this: there is always work to be done, always something greater to strive for, but none of it matters if we aren’t feeling well and aren’t able to thrive from our deepest, most authentic place. So on the verge of the new year, make a choice to be stable — intentionally.


Salt Lake City, UT City Guide


Salt Lake City, UT is nestled at the base of the rugged Wasatch mountains, and in comparison to its reputable outdoor offerings, some may think the city is sparse — but as Salt Lake City native Kate Osborne warns, “don’t be fooled!” Today’s city guide writer, Kate, is a photographer, and although her work has taken her around the globe, she’s always drawn back home to Salt Lake City, where she was born and raised.

Salt Lake prides itself not just on its skiing reputation, but on its amazing food, strong community, and passion for the arts — ever heard of the Sundance Film Festival? While maintaining a laid-back lifestyle, this city brims with hardworking entrepreneurs and business owners, all of whom make the city a more enjoyable place to visit and live. “No matter what season it is,” Kate continues, “the city always gives you something to do,” and today, Kate is sharing a bunch of her absolute favorites. –Sabrina


PLACES TO EAT — Downtown

Copper Onion (111 E. 300 S.) – A true American bistro and downtown go-to. Rich dishes full of flavor. Next door is a full bar offering craft cocktails.

Current (279 E. 300 S.) – Specializing in fish and oysters, Current is housed in a gorgeous brick building modernized with some beautiful restoration work and given new life with its bustling night crowd.

Eva (317 S. Main Street) – A personal favorite for dinner. And for good reason! Eva offers a large variety of delicious, flavorful small-plate comfort foods. Hard to beat.

Ekamai Thai (336 W. 300 S.) – This small stop is a tight squeeze, but it will reward you with some very tasty Thai. Offering small daily menus with great combo deals. Or, head up to the Sugarhouse location for a more complete menu and sit-down atmosphere.

Este Pizza (156 E. 200 S.) – NYC-style pizza in SLC. Two locations, so you are never too far from the goodness.

Eva Bakery (155 S. Main Street) – Just down the street from Eva. This charming space has beautiful handmade breads and pastries. But don’t think that is all they do. They have a breakfast and lunch menu, featuring salads, sandwiches, and don’t forget the lemon cream-cheese stuffed french toast with blueberry compote.

Finca (327 W. 200S.) – The space itself is sexy with its checkered floors, moody floral wallpaper, and black molding. Then, add Spanish tapas and a lounge? Yep. Its rotating seasonal menu is always fresh. Right next door is La Barba Coffee, I hear they have some killer churros.


Forage (370 E. 900 S.) – A truly unique dining experience. Chef Bowman Brown takes presentation and pairing to a new level. The creative tasting menu rotates seasonally depending on the foraged, local ingredients. The dishes are true pieces of art.

Les Madeleines (216 E. 500 S.) – A French-inspired bakery and cafe. The star here is the Kouing Aman, truly a thing of beauty. Do yourself a favor and please try one.

Naked Fish (67 W. 100 S.) – A modern sushi house and Japanese bistro. This space is especially fun for small groups with its ground-level, Japanese-style seating.

Café Niche (779 E. 300 S.) Taking “farm to table” seriously. This local stop has a little something for everyone. With updated favorites from all regions.

Pallet (237 S. 400 W.) – A bistro featuring new, American cuisine paired with a cozy ambiance.

Publik Coffee (975 S. West Temple) – Another fabulous coffee house. A bit bigger and more industrial than others with a hip vibe. They take their coffee roasting seriously here.

The Rose Estb. (235 S. 400 W.) – A SLC favorite. This beautiful coffee shop not only offers a wide variety of drinks, but great seasonal lunch options. Not to mention they have avocado toast, so you really can’t go wrong. And I do quite love their old-school approach of not offering WIFI.


Rye (239 S. 500 E.) – Offering breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and drinks — Rye fuses American classics with Asian-fusion that is sure to please any appetite, at any meal.

Sawadee (754 E. South Temple) – My favorite Thai in the city. A go-to if curry is on the brain. This large brick building is often packed in the evenings.

Settebello (260 S. 200 W.) – Authentic wood-fired Italian pizza. Imported traditional ingredients making the perfect pie. Don’t miss the homemade gelato. And what is better than pizza and gelato?

Takashi (18 W. Market Street) – Salt Lake’s favorite sushi. Truly delicious and authentic options for sushi and Japanese cuisine.

Taqueria 27 (149 E. 200 S.) – Classic tacos with a twist. Featuring flavors like duck confit, grilled pear, and roasted beets.

Tony Caputo’s (314 W. 300 S.) – A family-owned Italian market and deli with great sandwiches. Featuring imported foods, chocolate, cheese, oils, etc.

Café Trio (680 S. 900 E.) – Italian cuisine with a refreshing update. Trio offers a great variety from flatbreads to pasta to salads and small plates.

Tulie Bakery (863 E 700 S.) – Classic and perfect. A beautiful space with a fresh lunch and breakfast menu. Their baked goods are amazing, including tarts, cookies, and seriously delectable cake.

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Bohem (623 S. State Street) – Originally an online shop only, the brick-and-mortar store hit the scene a little while back and everyone is so happy it did. Owners Adam and Chelsea James design most of the textiles and products themselves and are truly talented at what they do. Full of unique, artisan wares from around the world, paired with local artists alike. The space is a go-to for unique gift-giving and house essentials. Almost every wall is covered in their beautiful rugs, and their jewelry collection is some of the very best. You won’t go home empty handed.


Decades Vintage (627 S. State Street) – A huge vintage and consignment store offering everything from vintage classics to over-the-top costume finds. An overwhelmingly large jewelry case will keep you captivated for a while as well.

Green Ant (179 E. 300 S.) – This is the place for quality mid-century modern furniture. There is always a beautiful collection of top-notch pieces and the owner is as knowledgeable as they get.

Ken Sanders (268 S. 200 E.) – A specialty bookstore stacked to the ceiling with rare, antique, and used books.

Magpie” href=”” target=”_blank”>Magpie & Rye (337 W. Pierpont Ave.) – Owner and jewelry designer Annabelle Rey has a captivating style. Her small shop and studio offers handmade artisan goods (including her stunning jewelry collection). Everything is a perfect selection of handmade pieces in beautiful, natural materials.


Mineral and Matter / The Land of Salt (351 Pierpont Ave) – A shared retail/studio space selling hip, affordable jewelry and other local crafts.


THINGS TO DO — Downtown

Broadway Theater – Featuring independent films right next to some of the very best restaurants downtown.

Big & Little Cottonwood Canyons – Many people that live in SLC are here for one thing: The amazing outdoors. Proud to claim “greatest snow on earth” in the winter and lush aspen and pine forests in the summer, SLC is at the base of several breathtaking canyons. Within a half hour of the city, they are a must to see. Little and Big Cottonwood are home to famous resorts like Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, and Solitude, and there are dozens of hikes to choose from for all skill levels.


SLC Famers’ Market – Every Saturday in the summer months, this thriving farmers’ market is a hot spot for produce, food, and other vendors.

Sugarhouse Park / Liberty Park – Located not too far from downtown, these two great parks are perfect to enjoy a picnic or stretch your legs.

Gallery Stroll – The third Friday of each month, gallerys around the city have open houses.

NHMU – Seriously my favorite building in SLC. The NHM is worth checking out even if you don’t have time to walk through the rotating and permanent exhibits. It strikes a perfect balance of modern architecture that blends beautifully with its natural surroundings. The attention to detail in the space is genius.

Red Butte Gardens – Beautiful, outdoor gardens on the foothills near the university. RBG also offers an outdoor summer-concert series with amazing new lineups each year.

SLC Library – In the heart of SLC, the library features an exposed glass elevator that can drop you off to the floor of your choosing. A small rotating gallery and a few small shops are in the light-filled space.

Temple Square – Salt Lake was settled by Mormon pioneers and is the head of the LDS (Mormon) church. One of first things the pioneers did was begin construction of the Salt Lake Temple. The white granite was brought all the way from Little Cottonwood Canyon. An impressive feat, especially for the time. All the stone was cut and worked by hand and construction took over 40 years. The temple and the grounds are worth a look.

Twilight Concert series Throughout the summer, the Twilight Concert Series brings out an impressive amount of shows. A fun, outdoor music experience. Be prepared for large crowds.

For more music venues check out: BrewviesKilby Court, The Depot, and Urban” href=”” target=”_blank”>Urban Lounge


PLACES TO STAY – 9th & 9th

The intersection of 9th East and 9th South isn’t large, but it packs in plenty to do. A small, quaint intersection — surrounded by neighborhoods — that is a little more low-key than downtown SLC. Spend an afternoon shopping, an evening for dinner and drinks, and then a night watching an independent film at the Tower Theater


PLACES TO SHOP – 9th & 9th

Hip and Humble (1043 E. 900 S.) – A cheery gift boutique filled to the brim with accessories, décor, gifts, and the like.

Hobnob (937 E. 900 S.) – Vintage and consignment store with housewares, furniture and knick-knacks.

Katie Waltman (962 E. 900 S.) – The tiniest of stores featuring handmade feminine jewelry and clothing.

Koo de Ker (1037 E. 900 S.) – Woman’s clothing boutique at reasonable prices. Located in a cute, little-house-turned-shop.

Orchid Dynasty (959 E. 900 S.) – A beautiful, modern, full-service floral and plant shop.

The Children’s Hour (898 S. 900 E.) – High-end children and woman’s boutique, featuring clothing, shoes, accessories, books, gifts and toys.

The Stockist (875 E. 900 S.) – This shop is sure to make any hip-outdoorsman happy. Great selections for both men and women. No-frills, quality pieces that make a statement.

Zuriick (865 E. 900S.) – Men’s fashion boutique featuring work boots and classic canvas slip-ons.

Apt. 202 (955 E. 900 S.) – Women’s clothing boutique featuring sophisticated and casual styles.


PLACES TO EAT – 9th & 9th

Coffee Garden (878 E. 900 S.) – A busy coffee shop in the heart of 9th and 9th .

East Liberty Tap House (850 E. 900 S.) – Bar food reinvented. Featuring local meats like lamb and elk to pair with a large variety of craft beers.

Mazza (912 E. 900 S.) – Authentic Middle Eastern cuisine. Favorites like falafel and kebabs with many other traditional dishes to choose from.

Pago” href=”” target=”_blank”>Pago (878 S. 900 E.) – Featuring a rotating, seasonal, local menu that is farm fresh and award-winning. Pago is the sister restaurant to Finca, Hub and Spoke Diner, and East Liberty Tap House.


PLACES TO EAT – Sugarhouse and Surrounding Areas

Blue Plate Diner (2041 S 2100 E.) – Classic breakfast diner that does not disappoint.

Cubby&” href=”” target=”_blank”>Cubby & Chicago Beef (2130 S. 1100 E.) – Cubby’s is a new addition to Sugarhouse, and it has been received with open arms. Sandwiches, salads, burgers and sides. This busy space has a great vibe.

Eggs in the city (1675 E. 1300 S.) – A bustling breakfast stop, especially on the weekends. Open morning and early afternoon only.

Finn’s” href=”” target=”_blank”>Finn’s (1624 S. 1100 E.) – A Scandinavian breakfast cafe with a retro vibe.

Hub and Spoke (1291 S. 1100 E.) – A trendy diner and member of the Pago family. A great space offering diner classics with a modern approach.

Liberty Heights Fresh (1290 S. 1100 E.) – Featuring local and imported specialty foods. Their knowledgeable staff will help you find whatever you may be searching for.

Porcupine Pub & Grille (258 S. 1300 E.) – Originally at the base of Big Cottonwood Canyon, the new addition to the university area is a perfect spot. Porcupine offers tasty bar/grill food. Located in a renovated firehouse right off of campus.

Sea Salt (1709 E. 1300 S.)– A fresh Italian restaurant, worth a meal if only for a peek at the beautiful space itself. Luckily, the food is just as good. Some amazing pizzas, pasta, and salads await.

The Pie (1320 E. 200 S.) – Truly an underground pizza joint. Sure to be full of students, this dark dive is a fun spot to stop by. Also open late, in case you need a midnight pizza.

Vive Juicery (1597 S. 1100 E.) – Cold-pressed juice with way too many creative flavor combos to choose just one.


PLACES TO SHOP – Sugarhouse and Surrounding Area

Arte” href=”” target=”_blank”>Arte Hause (352 E. 900S.) – Everything in this renovated house-turned-art-gallery is drool-worthy. Beautiful local and international art and hand selected gifts.


Cactus and Tropical (2735 S. 2000 E.) – A full greenhouse stocked with a huge variety of indoor and outdoor plants. Great selection of pots and vessels. And the staff is oh-so knowledgeable.

Emilie Jayne (801 S. 800 E.) – A favorite consignment shop. Packed with dishes, décor and vintage finds. Always something new in store.

Maison (1291 S. 1100 E.) – A beautiful, French-inspired candy shop and gift boutique. A nice stop for gifts and treats. The owner, Becky, is a delight and often available to help you find what you are looking for, sweet or otherwise.

The Kings English (1511 S. 1500 E.) – A charming little bookstore that seems to be perfectly stuck in the past.

The Write Image – Stationery store selling all things paper. A variety of seasonal and specialty greeting cards. Be sure to stop by if you are in need of custom invites, they have a beautiful collection.

A Personalized, Colorful Family Condo Near Central Park

A Personalized, Colorful Family Condo Near Central Park

Deciding where to plant roots can be tough, and for blogger, Kid & Coe community manager and marketing strategist Nicole Gonzalez and her fiancé, Ivan, this choice was made even harder due to the fact that they had their young son, Lucas León, to consider. Both NYC natives, the couple knew all too well the overwhelming possibilities that exist in the city. Initially, when they were tossing around neighborhood names, Ivan — who was raised on the Upper West Side — wasn’t fond of the idea of the Upper East, but it didn’t take long for him to realize the potential that Nicole recognized all along. “What I loved was the proximity to everything,” Nicole shares, “and how family-friendly it was.” Two years and another baby later (a little peach named Lillie Sol), and any hesitation Ivan once had has completely gone out the window.

The family’s light and airy Upper East Side condo is filled with plenty of personal touches, but still imparts an uncluttered and minimal aesthetic in all the right ways. Although their space is only 700 square feet, and even with a big teddy bear of a dog, Humphrey Bogart, having Central Park, their favorite restaurants, and endless options for family outings at their doorstep makes up for the crammed quarters — although baskets can’t be discounted! “I have clutter-phobia,” Nicole declares, “and my best friend[s] are baskets!” Joking aside, when asked what she loves most about their home, Nicole admits “our view gets me every time.” With an unobstructed view of the East River, Nicole relishes in the moment of calm that strikes only in the early morning or late in the evening “when the house is quiet and I have a moment to myself to sit and unwind.”

For Nicole, a house becomes a home when it’s filled with family photographs and artifacts — both new and old. “It brings history and love into the house,” she says, “My most prized possessions are the pieces of furniture and art that have been passed down to us by family members. They are reminders of how blessed and loved we are.” Although their space has been lived in and loved, the next project on the family’s agenda in the new year is tackling their kitchen. “It’s pretty bare bones at the moment,” Nicole explains, “functional but not loved.” On the short-list is a fresh coat of paint, installing shelving to finally display wedding china that was passed down to Nicole and Ivan by her aunt, and a chalkboard wall for the kids. At the end of the day, no matter how many activities they have planned or how many items on the to-do list, Nicole remains house-proud “of our tiny nooks, filled with family gems and pieces that mean so very much to us… I am most thankful for the people in my home,” Nicole reflects. “My family, my loves; they are what bring life, laughter, and joy inside those walls and for that I will be forever grateful.” –Sabrina

Photography by DIA New York