A Family Home in Idaho Where Comfort, Function & Dinner Parties Reign

A Family Home in Idaho Where Comfort, Function & Dinner Parties Reign

When Chris and Julia Marcum, a marketing consultant and blogger, respectively, made the move to Idaho three years ago, there were a total of just six houses available for sale in their price range. Coming from Pittsburgh, PA — where Julia grew up and where they bought their first house — the lack of options initially brought some worry. “When buying our first home [in Pittsburgh], we looked at close to 90 homes, so there was a stark contrast in the sheer number of homes available that being picky about the style of home wasn’t so much a luxury,” Julia explains. “It wasn’t like moving to Pittsburgh and having to choose between boroughs or a Craftsman or Victorian.” But as the couple pulled up to this 3,200-square-foot Rambler-style home, the mature trees that lined the quiet street gave them hope. And while the outdated interior may have scared some off, Chris and Julia reveled in its potential to become the perfect family home to raise their two daughters, Greta (six) and Faye (two), as well as Charly, their Saint Pyrenees.

Upon moving in, they made a few immediate changes to help it feel like home, such as hanging art, tossing cozy throws over the side of the couch, and filling their home with plenty of new friends, “but I think what really helps a house feel like a home,” Julia begins, “is when it starts functioning the way you function. Maybe that’s having a small, convenient workspace on the main floor so you can be with your kids while answering emails.”

The largest project they took on, one that immediately brought the house into “forever home” territory, was the kitchen renovation they tackled in just seven weeks by themselves. After saving for it for nearly two years, they were anxious to get started — and not only did they gut it completely and re-jig the layout, but they also removed the adjacent bathroom and replaced it with a laundry room. “It was freeing, scary and exciting,” but now that it’s done, the space functions for the family better and brings them pride to be able to welcome dozens of friends over and treat them to a good meal. “I’ve always been a homebody and Chris loves to entertain, so we have people over several times a week,” Julia shares. “Almost every morning, at breakfast, our six-year-old, Greta, will ask ‘Who’s coming over for dinner?’ and it makes both of us smile proudly. Opening our home to others is a big part of what makes our lives full.”

While many rooms have a new lease on life thanks to Chris and Julia’s hard work, there are still areas on the to-do list, namely their master bathroom. “The layout leaves a lot to be desired, with a toilet closet in the middle of the room and a tiny shower shoved in the corner — it’s going to be a ton of work, and we’re taking our time to work out all the details before we’re at that point of no return — without a bathroom!”

Julia and Chris have learned to “look at checking each item off the list as a victory instead of waiting for a whole room or our whole home to be ‘done’ before celebrating,” Julia says. “‘Hey! That paint color really works!’ Celebrate. ‘That piece of art works so much better in here.’ Celebrate. ‘We finally replaced that terrible boob light.’ Celebrate. We’ve had a lot of those moments of panic and uncertainty, sometimes resulting in do-overs, but mostly we surprise even ourselves.”

For the couple, looking at where this house came from three years ago (generic, dark, and outdated) to now (family-friendly and functional, bordering modern and traditional), and knowing they did it all themselves for their family, puts a smile on their faces every day. “Our house was pretty ordinary when we moved in… But I think what makes this home special is that we made it special,” Julia shares. “… I feel like every home deserves love.” –Sabrina

Photography by Julia Marcum

from Design*Sponge http://www.designsponge.com/2016/10/a-welcoming-family-home-in-idaho-where-comfort-function-and-dinner-parties-reign.html

Free Pattern Download from Illustrator Penelope Dullaghan


Since the orange leaves are starting to swirl in the late October wind here on the east coast, we thought we begin the day with some inspiration pulled from that energetic palette, courtesy of talented illustrator, Penelope Dullaghan. Grace found (and fell in love with) Penelope’s work through Instagram, so I reached out to her a few months ago for a We Want Your Job interview. We’ve been pen pals ever since and my daughter, Viola, joins me for weekly to her site and feed for a dose of uplifting color and the smiles that follow.

Penelope makes her home in Indianapolis and walks down by the river behind her house everyday.  We both have daughters with name that start with the letter V and I’m pretty sure she may be my spirit artist. Her print, Elephant Strength, hangs in our home as a reminder of how strong women are, even when V & I are feeling more like tiny mice. We’ll be sharing a pattern from Penelope here each morning this week and I hope you’ll download them to use on your desktop and device as wallpaper to bring you as much joy as they bring us! You can follow her on Instagram here. Thanks again to Penelope for creating these for all of us! –Caitlin

Download today’s patterns here (vertical) and here (horizontal)! *Please note these patterns are for personal use only.

from Design*Sponge http://www.designsponge.com/2016/10/free-pattern-download-from-illustrator-penelope-dullaghan.html

musical decor.

small piano with vintage chair and large plant on top / sfgirlbybay


there’s something so instantly charming about a room with a vintage piano in it–especially when said piano is thoughtfully adorned with a playful collection of treasures, art or plants. yes, these gorgeous musical instruments make captivating decor, what with all of the different shapes, sizes, and colors to choose from. but i think what i find most attractive about their presence in a home, is knowing there’s music being enjoyed within those walls. did many of you grow up with a piano at home? or do you have a piano in your home now? these rooms each have their own distinctive look and feel thanks to their lovely pianos, which makes me think… if these walls could talk, they’d probably sing!

small vintage piano with vintage decor on top / sfgirlbybay


vintage piano and mid-century modern planter / sfgirlbybay

apartment therapy.

vintage home furnishings and dark wood piano / sfgirlbybay


chic music room with various musical instruments / sfgirlbybay

eve wilson for the design files.

mid-century modern piano in dining room / sfgirlbybay


minimalist home decor with piano / sfgirlbybay

the new bohemians.

dark brown piano with faux fur bench / sfgirlbybay

namaste with love.

from sfgirlbybay http://www.sfgirlbybay.com/2016/10/24/musical-decor/

6 Things I’ve Learned on the Book Tour + Best of the Web

The past few weeks have been a glorious whirlwind of traveling across the country in celebration of our new book, In the Company of Women. The downtime after finishing a book can sometimes feel a little blue, because you’ve gotten used to such a hectic pace of work and, in our case, meeting a new amazing woman every day who would inspire and motivate us. So getting to head back out on the road to interview and talk with dozens of inspiring women has been an incredible chance to dive back into that feeling of “anything is possible.” To top it all off, meeting all of you out in your hometowns and watching you connect with others and form new friendships and collaborations at these events has been a literal dream-come-true.

I’m heading back to the West Coast (and Washington, D.C.) next week, so before I hop back on a plane, I wanted to share some of the greatest things I’ve learned on tour so far from women both on these panels and in the audience. The wealth of inspiration, advice and real-world motivation they’ve shared has been overwhelmingly spectacular. Until Monday, have a wonderful weekend. And I’ll see you next week, D.C. and California! xo, grace

*I’m so honored to have In the Company of Women included in the new Jane Mount “Ideal Bookshelf” print (dedicated to feminist books) at 20×200!

1. DREAM BIG + ASK FOR WHAT YOU REALLY WANT: If there’s one thing everyone on these panels has advised us to do, it’s to set our bar high and not to sell ourselves short. Over and over, across the country, women have been raising their hands to express their unease when it comes to asking for what they really want. But each panelist has reaffirmed how important it is to aim high, ask for what you actually want and to not underestimate your dreams or your abilities.

2. NO ONE HAS IT ALL FIGURED OUT: This book taught me very quickly that everyone, at every stage of life and business, has struggles. Those struggles don’t disappear with time and experience, they just become more complex. In my experience they’ve become more gratifying to overcome, but they never end. So cut yourself some slack — even women who are into their business 20+ years still have bad days (and weeks and years).

3. IT’S OK TO WORK A SIDE JOB, WE’RE NOT ALL FULL-TIME: Most business magazines and books would have us believe that all businesses start with a lot of funding or investment and people quitting their jobs immediately to take a big swing. But we don’t all have that option. And guess what? That’s okay! Lots of businesses start on a shoestring budget (with the help of a side job or full-time job’s income) and still grow, slowly and steadily, into sustainable and fulfilling companies. You don’t need to START big to dream big and do something you love.

4. BUILD A SUPPORT SYSTEM: I dedicated most of my later podcast episodes to the importance of an in-person support group, and each panel has reminded me just what a difference a group like that can make. Having women around you who understand what you do and what it’s like to run your own business (especially as a mom who runs a business) is, in some cases, the difference between a business succeeding and failing. Having people around you to support you, guide you, pick you up when you need help and to remind you of your successes, is absolutely essential.

5. THERE’S NO ONE “RIGHT” WAY TO BE A BOSS: Everyone runs their company differently. Some people swear by boundaries with employees, whereas some only hire people they want to be friends with. There’s no one system that works for everyone, and sometimes you may swap ends of the spectrum over the course of your career. And that’s okay. You have to stick to what feels right to you and for your business. Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to be tougher or softer than you want to be.

6. EMBRACE THE PIVOT: We live in a world where people change jobs and interests more than ever. So why should you be limited to one passion or one project? Our panels have been filled with women that changed careers and interests later in life and still found a way to course-correct (or just change the direction of) their ship with great success. Your first job doesn’t define you and neither does your second. YOU are the real company (thank you, Jodie Patterson, for that bit of wisdom) and every project you do is just an extension of the core company: YOU and what you believe in and love right now.



from Design*Sponge http://www.designsponge.com/2016/10/6-things-ive-learned-on-the-book-tour-best-of-the-web.html

friday finds.

pink printed curtains / sfgirlbybay

this week’s friday finds are brought to you by my codeine-laced cough syrup. i’m sorry — i’m a little silly, but i’ve got a bad bout of bronchitis and have been blogging from bed for over a week now, and i finally got into the doctor and got a prescription to rid myself of coughing my brains out. anyway, i’m loopy and sleepy and today you get deliriously pink. a bit over the top, perhaps — but pretty, right? i hope to be back in better form by next week. have a restful weekend everyone. xo, victoria

  1. love this very deliriously pink bedroom featured recently in vtwonen, especially that killer mirror (above + just below).
  2. that’s some very crazy carpeting right there, but i love/hate it.
  3. a sweet deer indeed. just because the world needs a little more sweetness right now.
  4. lonny featured a fun post on some amazing neon for grownups.
  5. i did a little round-up on lonny for great decor ideas under $100, including fine little day’s lovely vera poster.
  6. this is a smashing window seat redeux from blogger skunk boy.
  7. and finally, i love sasha bikoff’s very disco home featured coco & kelley.

bedroom with pink decor / sfgirlbybaypatterned carpeting and pink decor / sfgirlbybayframed photograph with a pop of pink / sfgirlbybaypink nook with colorful throw pillows / sfgirlbybaypink lighting and large framed art print / sfgirlbybay

from sfgirlbybay http://www.sfgirlbybay.com/2016/10/21/friday-finds-110/

In the Kitchen With: Kristen Beddard’s Salmon Cakes

Salmon Cakes by Kristen Beddard photography by Rebecca Genet | DesignSponge

When I was young, my father took care of me and my brother. He didn’t really know how to cook, so he used the Betty Crocker cookbook and recipes from the labels on the cans and boxes of food he bought. This recipe for Salmon Cakes with Homemade Tartar Sauce by Kristen Beddard, author of Bonjour Kale and founder of The Kale Project, takes me back to my childhood. These are made a bit like crab cakes — no filler. My father’s favorite dish to make was salmon cakes, but they were never this fancy! —Kristina

Why Kristen loves this recipe: I love entertaining, but sometimes the thought of planning, prepping, cooking and cleaning up can seem daunting. If I’m having a last-minute dinner party or Sunday brunch, these salmon cakes are my go-to. They are simple yet hands-on and can be prepared ahead of time, which means there is more time to be with your guests. The recipe pairs well with a fresh green salad and baguette and if you’re feeling up for it, a spicy Bloody Mary.

Bonjour Kale cover artwork | DesignSponge

Food Photography by Rebecca Genet | Portrait by Caitlin Riley | Book cover artwork by Jessie Kanelos-Weiner

Salmon Cakes by Kristen Beddard photography by Rebecca Genet | DesignSponge

Salmon Cakes by Kristen Beddard photography by Rebecca Genet | DesignSponge

Salmon Cakes with Homemade Tartar Sauce
Makes 12 entrée portions cakes or 24 appetizer portions

Salmon Cakes

— 2.5 lb/1 kilo salmon fillet, pin boned
— ¼ cup/40 g red or yellow pepper, chopped
— ¼ cup/30 g red or spring onion, finely chopped
— 3-4 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
— 1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped
— ¼ cup/50 g breadcrumbs
— 1 egg, lightly beaten
— 1 teaspoon celery seed
— ½ teaspoon celery salt
— Salt and pepper

Tartar sauce

— 2 egg yolks
— 1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
— 5 tablespoons canola oil
— 5 tablespoons sunflower oil
— Squirt of lemon juice or dash of white wine vinegar
— Pinch of sea salt
— Gherkins, roughly chopped
— Capers, roughly chopped
— ½ tablespoon ancient mustard (with mustard seeds)
— Salt and pepper

To make the tartar sauce

1. Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl. Add the mustard and continue to whisk. Slowly pour the oil into the bowl in small amounts and whisk until the mixture thickens. Continue to add the oil like this until it is all mixed together. Add the lemon juice or vinegar and salt and whisk again. Add the capers and gherkins and mix into the mayo. Add the ancient mustard and additional salt and pepper to taste and mix. Chill for at least an hour before serving.

To make the salmon cakes

1. In a large pan, bring water to boil and place the salmon skin side down. Bring to simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until cooked. Remove from heat and remove cover. Transfer the salmon from the water to a large bowl and remove the flesh from the skin. Dispose of the skin. Allow the salmon to rest until cool enough to handle.

2. Add the peppers, onions, parsley and chives to the bowl with the salmon. Using your hands, mix together, breaking apart the salmon. Add the breadcrumbs and mix again. Add the egg and continue to mix until it is evenly distributed. Add the celery seed, celery salt, and salt and pepper and mix again. Cover and cool in the refrigerator for an hour.

3. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using your hands, mold the salmon mixture into balls (size will depend on whether you are using as an appetizer or a main). Place the formed salmon cakes onto the lined baking sheet. Bake them for 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

Salmon Cakes by Kristen Beddard photography by Rebecca Genet | DesignSponge

Salmon Cakes by Kristen Beddard photography by Rebecca Genet | DesignSponge

About Kristen: Kristen Beddard was the founder of The Kale Project, an initiative that successfully reintroduced kale to France. She is the author of Bonjour Kale: A Memoir of Paris, Love and Recipes. Kristen and her husband and daughter recently moved back to New York City, and she hopes to start a new career in food activism and policy.

Kristen Beddard portrait by Caitlin Riley | DesignSponge

from Design*Sponge http://www.designsponge.com/2016/10/in-the-kitchen-with-kristen-beddards-salmon-cakes.html

10 of Our Favorite Portland, OR Homes

10 of Our Favorite Portland, OR Homes

Whether or not you believe Portlandia (which locals tend to love-to-hate) that Portland, OR is where young people go to retire, there’s no doubting that “the rose city” attracts creative types. Their homes tend to double as workspaces, be reflections of their creative outlets and otherwise boost that imaginative spirit. Having grown up in a small town in Oregon, south of Portland, it was always the “cool” big city where the best concerts were, where all the good shopping was, where fresh and innovative ideas were born — and it’s also one of the best big cities in Oregon for proximity to snow, surf, and mountains. Portland is also a town that’s all about comfort: in Portland you can find some of the best doughnuts (feel free to debate in the comments about whether you’re Pip’s, Voodoo, or Blue Star kind-of folk), restaurants famous for their biscuits or unique ice cream flavors, one of the biggest independent book stores in the country, and coffee. All the coffee.

So, slip on your favorite wooly socks and Berks, grab a ceramic mug filled with your favorite coffee and curl up to see 10 of our favorite Portland homes. —Rebekah

from Design*Sponge http://www.designsponge.com/2016/10/10-of-our-favorite-portland-or-homes.html