The Plant That Lived

Despite varied attempts at being a gardenista, I have come to terms with my black thumb. Herbs die within the week; I even killed my succulents (how does that even happen?!). I go through the vicious cycle: buy the pretty, verdant greenery (it makes a house a home! Case and point illustrated below), marvel at their beauty and lushness on my window sill, under-water or over-water, watch in horror as they perish, vow that "that was the last time!"... and then, a few months later, go through it again. Vicious, like I said. 

That is, until I found The Indestructible Plant.

This little mama lives in my bathroom and I bring her out to bathe in natural light once a month or so. She needs hardly any water and... wait for it... she's living! Thriving, in fact, because, ladies and gents, THIS is a new, baby green shoot!

I picked her up a few months ago at Lowes after asking the kind man working there to point me in the direction of a plant that couldn't be killed (I'm totally jinxing this as I write it). She's called a ZZ plant (Gardenista talks about them here) and, $7.98 later, she was mine.

The pot (too big, I know, but she'll grow into it) I picked up at last year's Design on a Dime; her plastic pot has holes in the bottom so the water can drain without a worry. Shower curtain is old as the hills, from TJ Maxx, and the soap dispensers are Muji (my faves--streamlining!). 

There's something just so wonderful about having something green and alive in an apartment. Here are some of my favorite images where greenery reigns: 

Plants, plants everywhere (via Indulgy and pinned here):

This is an old favorite from domino (pinned here), with just a couple shoots cut in a vase, but what a statement!

Greenery on the mirror ledge? Yes please! (via Airows and pinned here)

This outdoor shower via The Jungalow (pinned here)... dreamy, steamy, marvelous. 

What a lovely little smattering! I'm also digging the shower's wall tile and black showerhead big time. (via Her New Tribe and pinned here)

Remember this post? Still love it (via One Kings Lane and pinned here)

Check out what this greenery does to an otherwise black-and-white kitchen (via Decoholic and pinned here):

Sooo pretty (via domino, pinned here):

ADORE (via Vogue Australia and pinned here):

I could go on, but I must go back to admiring my own little green goddess...

Do you have greenery in your own space? Tricks for keeping green things green? Share in the comments below!


Painted Bookshelves

There are few things I love more than a great set of bookshelves... unless the interior of said bookshelves has been painted in some gorgeous color. Here's what I mean: 

I love how the blue of these shelves' interior (via domino, pinned here) is a few shades darker than the wall color (also seriously loving that hide rug). 

This red! I like how the rest of the room is pretty low key so the red insides can really make a statement (via Architectural Digest by Steven Volpe, pinned here), but other red accents throughout the room (pillows, dress in photograph) tie it all together. 

Here's a simple favorite (by Steven Gambrel and pinned here from this blog). Such a beautiful shade of blue for the shelves' backs, and the leather chest is a beautiful complement. And those antique horses! Amazing.

This post from Crane Concept (pinned here) walks through how to DIY these built-ins. The black paint here makes the shelves look like they go on to infinity (and beyond)--a great optical illusion. (The rug is killer, too... see this post for where to find an affordable option for yourself!)

This idea is also really effective and gorgeous in stand-alone shelves. Antony Todd, a wonderful space on 11th and University, has these amazing shelves that I drool over every time: 

This beautiful display cabinet was for sale on Viyet-- it has since sold, sadly, but inspirational all the same! DIY, anyone??

And then, of course, there's the wallpaper-backed route. I'm particularly obsessed with the island vibe in this image (via PS I Made This with a video outlining the process here):

This wallpaper is always a favorite, especially when it's tucked in somewhere unexpectedly, like here (via Apartment Therapy and pinned here):

Here's that tropical vibe again... loving it (via Cup of Jo and pinned here):

This can be a great DIY, too! In high school, my dear mother and I actually "wallpapered" the back of my built-in bookshelves with wrapping paper... but that's another story for another day :)

Have you ever  painted the backs of your shelves? Have you seen any especially beautiful examples of someone who has? Let me know in the comments below!

A Red Bed

This photo is from a little spot in the Bahamas called Ocean View Club (on my travel list!). How heavenly is this bedroom??

I'm loving the pale blue/tomato red color combination. To recreate, I'd take a four poster bed like this one...

... and paint it in a terrific red:

Other accents should be the same red, like the bedsides and a frame or two on the wall. I love how the wall is filled up with the two benches on either side of the bed. I would recreate that look by painting a couple of benches (like this one from World Market) the same red as the bed frame and painting the top of the bench white (as shown in the inspiration image):

Of course, that could also be done with smaller nightstands (and if the red is too much, leave them natural wood!).

The pale blue accent wall is lovely and looks to be similar to this shade:

Add little foo dog bedside lamps (less pricey alternative here):

And an ethnic throw pillow on a crisp white bedspread:

Island decor, delivered!

Do you have a room you'd like to see recreated on The Spoonful? Let me know in the comments below!

Going Dutch

If there were ever a "summer door," I think it's the Dutch door (as shown in a previous post here). These doors can open as a regular door does, or just the top half can swing open to let in fresh air and sunshine, keeping animals out and children in. I was daydreaming about this marvelous idea and came across this how-to from HGTV for making one of your own!

I don't have a suitable door in my little apartment to turn into a Dutch door... maybe one day, but until then I have plenty of time to find beautiful inspiration!

Jenny Komenda at Little Green Notebook first introduced me to Dutch doors with this post when she was living in Brussels. So dreamy!

How beautiful is this pair of double Dutch glossy blacks? (via the great Thomas O'Brien)

This sunshine yellow just screams happiness (via Brittany Ambridge): 

This white option proves simplicity never goes out of style (and neither does that hat stand!): 

On the opposite side of the spectrum, we have this terrific high gloss, multi-color number from Miles Redd (via AD):

I think this shot is just lovely:

And I will leave you with this. Mooooooo

Happy Friday!

Black and White Stripes

I must begin by saying that The Spoonful turned ONE over the weekend! Can you believe it?! Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who have read this page, given suggestions, shared posts on social media, and mentioned it in person--I'm so grateful and looking forward to many more years. Without further ado..

How wonderful is this photo (pinned here) of Audrey (my idol) on the most gorgeous settee?

Black and white stripes are the epitome of classic and I adore them. Here's a round up of some favorite moments where they particularly shone:

Liza Laserow via 1st Dibs (and pinned here):

August Black's big cushions are terrific (pinned here):

How about this pair of striped sofas (pinned here), face to face, from French blogger Flodeau?

Nick Olsen painted these stripes on roller shades in his NYC apartment (pinned here). Obviously I'm obsessed. (Also obsessed with the stacked books as bedsides and with the entire apartment in general.)

And for the win... these painted walls (pinned here) via Domino. So. Good.

Is there a topic you'd like covered on The Spoonful? Share it in the comments below!

Inspiration: Fresh White

I'm loving this fresh snapshot from Domino (where else):

Because the furniture is all pure white and the color comes from accessories, it's easy to create what looks to be a whole new space by just swapping out the books and pillows. 

To recreate the look, start with the white furniture. I like how slender the side table is above; here's a similar one from Wayfair (I would also spray paint--glossy pure white--a table if I found a good style in the wrong color!):

The sofa's straight lines keep the crazy pillows from getting too... crazy. Here's a goodie from abc home :

And here's a budget-friendly version from Ikea (with slipcover). A little white paint on those legs is all you need--or check out PrettyPegs for alternative furniture legs made for Ikea goods (why didn't I think of that??).

I've always loved this white coffee table from Hay (sold by abc home):

And the obligatory sheepskin OF COURSE:

A mounted wall light for reading (this one is from Restoration Hardware):

And now for the color! I think that huge Asian fan is a wonderful thing--and I think the black aspects of it (in the original photo above) really work to pull together the many black accents in the pillows, light, even from the books. Here's a vintage one I found on etsy:

The leopard pillow looks to be a classic Brunschwig et Fils pattern (here), but here's a less pricey option:

... cherry red pillow from Target:

... and a black throw pillow from Overstock:

... add one of these catch-alls from Michele Varian:

... grab a few succulents from Homecoming (the coolest coffee shop/florist in Brooklyn) or at the local hardware store:

... and, finally, load on the coffee table books. Need help deciding? MyDomaine, One Kings Lane, and Remodelista are here for you :)


Do you have a room you'd like to see broken down on The Spoonful? Let me know in the comments below!

Tub Trays

How great is this bathtub setup (via Remodelista and pinned here)?!

That wood plank across the tub makes me so very happy. Here's another one (via Hearth; I blogged about this bathroom here!): 

These curved edges on this tray (via La Maison Douce) are especially beautiful (and perhaps more forgiving if bumped into!):

I was just in one of my favorite spots in Brooklyn Heights, Collyer's Mansion, and saw this great tub bar. I love its simplicity: 

Of course, I also think this would be a terrific DIY opportunity. My girl Martha writes about it here

Not too tough, right? And so totally chic. Now I just need a claw foot tub!

Have you tried this DIY? Do you have a DIY you'd like to see featured on The Spoonful? Let me know in the comments below!

DIY I'd Like to Try: Pressed Leaves

Sarah Jessica Parker's home in Bridgehampton (as seen in Elle Decor here and pinned here) is as fabulous as one might expect. And would you believe those white tables are Ikea Lack side tables lacquered in white?! Start believing. I'm especially loving the pressed leaves on the walls: Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 12.15.07 AM

A great DIY opportunity! I know I can be a little Martha Stewart-esque with my DIYs ("It's so simple, really..."), but this one really is so simple. There are tons of options for configuring the leaves, like this great image from Domino (pinned here):

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Aren't they gorgeous? If they're pressed between the pages of heavy books (with wax paper to protect the pages!), the color will be mostly preserved and they can then be arranged in gorgeous patterns, like this image from Interiors Addict (pinned here):

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The leaves could be framed in glass-on-glass (as shown above) or with a background--I love crisp white or kraft paper and a black or wood frame. Or skip the frame altogether, like in this photo from Country Living (pinned here):

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The options are endless! And it's a quick and thrifty DIY to fill up the walls. Win-win :)

Have you tried this DIY? Send it over or let me know in the comments below!

Before & After: Caroline's Vibey Living Room

Caroline is a dear friend of mine who lives in a marvelous, spacious apartment just outside of Boston. As she and her roommate were moving in, we started discussing how to make the most of this great space without breaking the bank, especially because she wasn't entirely sure how long she'd stay there. A few DIYs and much obsessing later, her living room is finished! Before:

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Great windows; furniture was a little sad.


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Just by adding art to the walls, pillows on the sofa, and rugs on the floor, the room turned from blah to homey, cozy, and vibey. I mean, get a load of that gallery wall! Have you ever?! And the wall of records... I'm obsessed. I also love the layering of cowhide + natural fiber rug (as I wrote about here). Bien fait!

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Pancake dares you to lounge in her sun bathing spot. And what a great vintage trunk! (P.S. Check out my post on trunks as coffee tables here.)

Caroline had a bunch of album covers and saw images like this one (via Urban Outfitters and pinned here):

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... which inspired her to put up her own wall of covers on this wall with tricky moulding:

in progress

Finished! And GO HOOS!

I love how Caroline used that tricky moulding to her advantage and turned it into a sort of frame for her covers. Such a great way to fill the walls (inexpensively) with a big effect.

I'm so impressed at how it ALL turned out. Thanks for sharing your before and after, Caroline!! Mwahh :)

Do you have a room or DIY you'd like to share on The Spoonful? Let me know in the comments below!

Snuggle-y Bedroom

Schoolhouse Electric (amazing lighting--and more--shop in TriBeCa) posted this photo on instagram a while ago, and I came across it this weekend while going through old photos. How comfy?! Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 12.03.40 AM

Want to recreate this cozy space for yourself? Read on...

Maps are one of my favorite things--probably because I was forever traveling as a child (I even covered my desk in maps! See that post here.) Etsy has a plethora of vintage pull-down maps like the one in the photo above:

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Love this amazing pendant from Schoolhouse Electric:

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Check out Schoolhouse Electric's bedding, too, because it's pretty great:

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Here are similar lamps from Crate & Barrel:

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And bedside tables from Ikea!!

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Finish off the space with this big ole sheepskin rug:



And then you'll be ready to crawl right back in bed!

Have you seen a room you'd like to see recreated and featured on The Spoonful? Let me know in the comments below!


Things I Love: Canopy Beds

Wouldn't you feel like a modern day princess in this room, sleeping on this bed (via Elle Decor and pinned here)?

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This shot from Lonny Mag is also magnificent (pinned here):

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The great thing about a dark canopy like this is that it doesn't have to feel princess-y! Check out this gypsy-esque rendition (pinned here):

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Dying for your own? Anthropologie has a gorgeous version here:

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Do you have a piece you'd like to see on The Spoonful? Let me know in the comments below!

DIY I'd Like to Try: Dyeing Sheepskins

The one thing that might be better than a sheepskin is a dyed sheepskin. Justina Blakeney (pinned here):

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Society of Wanderers (great name! pinned here):

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Jenna Lyons's office via Little Green Notebook (pinned here):

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Jenny Komenda's office (pinned here):

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Jenny at Little Green Notebook wrote up a terrific step-by-step tutorial on how to dye sheepskins using Rit dye here, and it doesn't look too hard! (Jenny also makes everything look easy so...)

And then, of course, the options open up for other DIYs, like turning the sheepskin into pillows (via Elements of Style, pinned here):

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Or even upholstering a chair! (pinned here)

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I'm thinking this might be the makings of a great weekend project...

Have you tried this DIY? Do you have a DIY you'd like to see on The Spoonful? Let me know in the comments below!

In Honor of Spring...

... I share with you this gloriously springy and feminine bedside moment (pinned here) by Bailey Quin of Biscuit Home (written up here by Southern Living): Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 12.16.35 AM

I think I've just found my new favorite bedding store! Loving these awesome Boone sheets:

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Wallpaper brought to you by Scalamandre (other colorways available):

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Mildly obsessed with this Border sham (also by Bailey Quin and 50% discount now with code SHAMROCK):

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I'll be dreaming of that simple monogram all day...


The Spoonful Travels: Venice, CA

As a little escape from the craziness and frigidness that is NYC in the winter, I popped over to Venice, CA with my friend, Eda, last weekend. Consequently, I'm now utterly and completely obsessed with the Los Angeles area and the west coast in general. We went without too many plans and instead asked the locals for suggestions, and I had such a fabulous time that I thought I should put together a travel guide! photo cred: Zach Krasner

No. 1: Stay in an AirBnB. Ours was one block from the oceanfront--a terrific 2-bedroom with living area and full kitchen at a surprisingly reasonable rate--which made us feel like locals instead of tourists. And the furnishings were darling, in my book:

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No. 2: Eat at Gjusta BakeryEveryone we talked to recommended this place. It rocks and we went every day. Order the rotisserie chicken (thanks Marjorie for that suggestion!), a few salads to share, and the avocado chocolate mousse. Their outdoor seating is quintessentially beachy/LA and feels very local. Great spot to chat up the locals for suggestions, too.

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No. 3: Shop on Abbot Kinney. Eda and I stayed in Heist for an entire hour--or more?!--having the best time trying on the most gorgeous clothes. Salt and Aust are also winners for fabulous clothes. Tortoise, a Japanese home goods store, is a terrific stop for the chic-est storage containers, desk supplies, kitchen accessories, etc.

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No. 4: Go for drinks at Tasting Kitchen and dinner at Gjelina (or vice versa). Tasting Kitchen has a lovely, laid back yet swanky vibe with really great cocktails, and Gjelina is Gjusta's upscale sister restaurant. Order the king oyster mushrooms and the grilled spot prawn... yum. (Reservations are a little tough but we put our name on the wait list at Gjelina and waited at Tasting Kitchen just down the block.)

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No. 5: We also went into West Hollywood with a few friends who made the trek down from San Fran (hi guys!) for cocktails at Chateau Marmont--so swanky and fun--and dinner at Katsuya where we ate allllll of the sushi. Highly recommend both and also highly recommend making reservations prior!

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Next time: It was such a quick trip that we didn't get the chance to visit the great museums, though I've heard rave reviews for the Broad, LACMA, and Getty.

Domino's latest issue also has a beautiful spread on Lily Ashwell's home in Venice! Check it out here, and these are her suggestions:

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A few shots from the trip:

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Gang's all here

Lifeguard posts on Venice Beach

Now go! Travel! Explore! Live!

Do you have a favorite spot in Venice to suggest? Is there a location you'd like to see featured on The Spoonful Travels? Let me know here or in the comments below!

Artist Spotlight: Gregg Emery

Welcome to another Artist Spotlight! This spotlight is extra special because the artist has a show opening NEXT THURSDAY at the Agora Gallery in Chelsea. Here is the press release and here is the Facebook invite--spread the word! (And if you're part of the Virginia Club of New York, we're having a tour Saturday, March 12 from 4-5pm with Gregg himself. Mark your calendars!) Gregg Emery--teacher, artist, and generally amazing person--and I met because our easels were side by side at an open house at the National Academy on the upper east side (they have open houses throughout the year--if you're in the city, check it out!).

Gregg in front of a display of his drawings

We've kept in touch and now he's on my blog: reason #476 why I love NYC. Gregg makes these fantastic abstracts that are terrific in photos but even more terrific in person (like at his show at Agora, ahem ;) ). Without further ado, I'll let him tell his own story...

Gregg Emery was born in Bombay, NY, a rural community outside Montreal filled with dairy farms and bordering the Akwesasne Mohawk Reservation. In a town with few creative stimuli and even fewer traffic lights, Emery sketched at the earliest age wherever and whenever possible; his grandest dream was making it to New York City. An even farther thought was having numerous exhibitions of his work, with collectors from across the globe.

Gregg Emery received his Bachelor of Arts with departmental distinction from Hartwick College and a Masters in Fine Art from the Maryland Institute, College of Art, where he studied under Babe Shapiro, Power Boothe, Hermine Ford and Sal Scarpitta. He is currently the Chair of the Visual Arts and Art History department at the Trinity School in Manhattan, a private, coeducational K-12 school. Emery enjoys teaching art & art history, sharing his knowledge and experience with a younger generation. His artwork is included in numerous private and public collections including the permanent collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art. Gregg Emery is represented by the Agora Gallery in New York City.

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The Spoonful: Describe your style in 5 words:

Gregg: dramatic, beautiful, athletic, powerful, meditative


The Spoonful: Art background?

Gregg: BA In Studio Art from Hartwick College, MFA from Maryland Institute, College of Art, Apprentice at the Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia, PA

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The Spoonful: Whose work do you most admire?

Gregg: Tough question, I love so many artists for so many reasons… I think my family first and foremost, I have so many members of my family who are artists but claim they are not. My great-grandfather who carved amazing wood sculptures and wonderfully detailed drawings... my father, housebuilder turned math/ computer teacher, car mechanic and now keeps bees and repairs/ rebuilds antique clocks. My mother who plays organ/ piano and is a poet with her weekly local newspaper column. The hardwork coupled with humility is what I hope to take away or hope it is in my genes.

More traditional type artists? Hmmm, Caravaggio, huge fan… also RembrandtRothko (his meditative paintings blow mine away)… contemporary I do enjoy Andy Goldsworthy & Yayoi KusamaTakashi Murakami and others. I also have drawn inspiration from many street artists… C215BanksyOs Gemeos just to name a few.

Red calm

The Spoonful: Where do you find your inspiration?

Gregg: Inspiration for me comes from many places… The colors I choose actually come from things I see around me. Recent ones are from movies... from James Bond, Twilight, and even a recent set of pieces inspired by colors in the classic scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indy reaches for the golden idol. The gold, Indy's brown jacket, and this shimmering blue light all make it into the painting. Color is so powerful, triggering memory, hunger, depression, exhilaration and everything in between… Movies are modern mythology, religion or meditation… to me, movie makers are the gods, the creators of worlds, akin to the masters of the Renaissance. I also take color inspiration from travels including a series based on a trip last year to Morocco, markets in Taiwan, even shells from Fire Island or a dessert from a fellow artist, pastry chef & muse. Although these colors may come from specific places, people or moments, I encourage them to trigger your own train of thoughts, and I do hope you enjoy these worlds I created as much as I did making them.

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The Spoonful: Ideal workspace consists of...?

Gregg: Lots of space, lots of light, a projection screen (I like to have a movie playing (without sound) while I work), no interruptions. Mostly I work at night and I love when no one is around.

The Spoonful: Greatest piece of advice on being an artist (creating, surviving, anything) that you've received? That you can give?

Gregg: Best piece of advice? I've received much advice over the years. One from my parents, you can learn something from everyone so listen carefully and don’t judge a book by its cover, age, gender or anything else that might stand in the way of authentic communication. Draw everyday, drawing is key, it is the way we think, see the world and make sense of things. Learn from art history, dig deeply into the past to learn your place in the world and find your way into the future. From a student, never become a parody of yourself.

Piao Liang

The Spoonful: Five things you can't live without?

Gregg: (hmmm OK Cupid?) alright, 1. Sketchbook 2. Passion 3. Water 4. Breath 5. Silence

The Spoonful: Where can we find your work?

Gregg: I am currently represented by the Agora Gallery, NYC in Chelsea. I have also shown with the Vogelsang Gallery of Belgium. You can find me on ArtSlant and collaborating with great people like the Shadow People Project and the NY Poetry Society. I also have a piece in the permanent collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art.

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The Spoonful: Anything else we should know??

Gregg: You should really probably know at least one of the names of the members of the Ramones if you’re going to wear their T-shirt (that was the first live concert I heard.) Also you should know that my college roommate for 3 years was Lizardman, the guy tattooed from head to toe and I also find him incredibly inspiring as an artist. Sincere, intelligent, and who can challenge his commitment? Well, if you did he could eat you so I wouldn’t try it.

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Gregg's show at the Agora will run until March 29. Go check it out--and let him know you heard about the show on The Spoonful!

Gregg is also working on a couple of new collaborations including one with a group of professional dancers, the Sydney Schiff Dance Project, whose costumes he painted--they'll be at his opening night, Thursday, March 10, wearing the costumes! He can also often be found at the Poetry Brothel, drawing the poets and those listening to them! Also check out his drawings and other sketchbook work on tumblr, instagram (@aplsd21), and twitter.


Thanks so much Gregg!!

If you know of an artist who'd like to be featured on The Spoonful's Artist Spotlight, let me know here!

Office Space Inspo

Hello! Thanks for the lovely feedback on my bathroom inspiration post (here). Here's another space that I came across and just loved (and currently still love): Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 10.58.09 PM

It's the office space at ManRepeller, who is hilarious and amazing and I highly recommend following her immediately if you don't already. (AND fun fact: I saw her on the street once and told her that I thought she was amazing and she said the same back to me although she had no proof of such.)

Those great copper chairs are by BluDot, here, and the table is also by BluDot, here. But if you're looking for a more wallet-friendly option, read on...

I love how the desk in ManRepeller is just a big, long table. This one from CB2 is similar to the BluDot one in the inspiration picture and less than half the price:

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Or, better yet, this table + top from Ikea for $75 combined:

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The copper chairs are a bit trickier to find cheaply, so here's what I would do:

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/chair/primer/spray paint/

Ikea furniture is notoriously hard to spray paint, but my fave blogger Jenny Komenda at Little Green Notebook writes here about how she had great luck with this particular primer (note that she specifies shellac-based because of Ikea's finish). That said, you could really choose any chair that you'd like to change up and spray it! I recommend Rustoleum, but you may want to try a few brands and test out their particular shades of copper to find which one best suits you :)

Add a few sheepskins to cozy up the "metal":

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And some light bookshelves (I have this one in my apartment and LOVE it):

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Accessories are a must on the shelves. I love digging around in thrift stores and flea markets (or my parents' attic...) for one-of-a-kind, inexpensive finds. I like how the shelves at ManRepeller aren't overly crowded, but have sweet, thoughtful trinkets and books. Here are a few ideas:

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Have you seen a lovely space that you'd like deconstructed on The Spoonful? Let me know here or in the comments below! xo

Bathroom Inspo

I came across this heavenly bathroom on One Kings Lane's instagram and just about died: Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 11.31.17 PM

I love every bit of it, from the concrete floors to the leather pulls on the cabinet to the live greens to the wood slab across the tub. And the bath mat! Obsessed.

I thought I'd have a little fun and put the space together on here...

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Add a few big-leafed plants and it's a beaut!

Do you have a room you'd like broken down and sourced on The Spoonful? Let me know here or in the comments below!