golden hour.

honey gold leather sofa. / sfgirlbybay

perhaps you’ve noticed — honey gold tones, and mustard yellow are having quite the moment right now. make it velvet, or a golden-hued leather and you’re definitely hot. i love a good dose of mustard yellow (it’s what I like on my hotdogs, too — no ketchup for me!) and i’m seeing a lot of it in the fashion world, too. it’s got a funky feel, but it can go all out elegant, too (it is the jewel-tone family, after all). you could simply add a mustard velvet throw pillow, or killer sofa — either way and you’re gold, baby. here’s a look at all the ways mustard can come home with you.

velvet yellow mustard sofa. / sfgirlbybay modern yellow velvet sofa. / sfgirlbybaywhite walls and golden yellow sofa. / sfgirlbybay honey yellow decor inspiration. / sfgirlbybay wall hanging over golden velvet sofa. / sfgirlbybay yellow car with surf rack. / sfgirlbybay gold hued leather sofa. / sfgirlbybay mustard green pads on wood chairs. / sfgirlbybay gold decor inspiration. / sfgirlbybay wood beamed ceiling over golden yellow velvet sofa. / sfgirlbybay gold hued tufted loveseat. / sfgirlbybay golden hued decor inspiration. / sfgirlbybay black and white bedroom with gold vlevet bed. / sfgirlbybay wood paneled living room with mustard velvet tufted sectional. / sfgirlbybay yellow velvet sectional. / sfgirlbybayvintage yellow sofa with houseplants. / sfgirlbybay

• photograpy credits in order of appearance: greta sofa from urban outfitters; orla kiely; Söderhamn sofa by Ikea; la maison d’anna g; frog flash; elodie pacaud; ayyplusvee; click on furniture’s greco sofa; a daily something; the guilded mirror; beautiful little fool; epicurialist; modern macrame; aestate; Cy Twombly; aestate; jessica tremp; crafted fragments; ledansla; nicole cota studio; liberty interiors ; neu.boheme; ladnydom; brian w. ferry photography.

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Playful and Layered Design in a Family’s Historic Connecticut Home

Playful and Layered Design in a Family’s Historic Connecticut Home | Design*Sponge

Historic homes can come full of surprises and may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but when Charlotte and Mark Smith had the opportunity to buy a 1854 Federal-style home in Southport, CT, there wasn’t really much to debate. It had been on the market for four years and stood empty when the couple came to see it for the first time. Like many other historic houses in the area, it had been slowly neglected and was crying out for some tender loving care. All it took was for Charlotte to see the beautiful sunny windows and wide wood floors to fall endlessly in love. Two and a half years later, Charlotte and Mark have no regrets. The old house has become the perfect place to raise their five children, Eleanor, Oliver, Martha, Louisa and Arthur, and a wonderful project for Charlotte, who loves bringing her family’s house to life with small updates and creative ideas.

When Charlotte and Mark, a financial analyst, first moved to Southport from New York City, Charlotte left behind her career as a guidance counselor. To accompany some of her time as a new stay-at-home-mom, she started blogging about her style and unique design ideas. She writes about fixing her family’s old house and shares ways to add flea market finds and vintage decor into the mix. For Charlotte, who is now a full-time blogger, mom, and television personality, breathing new life into her family’s home is key — it means bringing in lots of pattern and color, while always respecting the bones of the historic house and staying true to its style. She wants to ensure that the innate charm is maintained, which in turn has made decorating both a fun and challenging process. There’s nothing standard about old homes!

Charlotte’s main goal is to create spaces that are colorful, fun and reflective of her young and energetic family. Without the budget for big renovations, she has focused on refreshing her home with vintage pieces, repurposed furniture, DIY solutions, and clever design. Usually, Charlotte starts out with one main idea and begins building a room’s decor from that. Her inspiration can be anything she sets her heart on, from a rug or a pillow to some fantastic wallpaper. The next step is scouring for thrifted treasures that could work with her chosen color scheme. After that, it’s all about mixing and matching for a perfectly layered look. She is also conscious of creating spaces that stand the test of five kids and the family’s golden retriever, Frank. This means opting for sturdy pieces, having fun with the design and keeping things playful. From soft and inviting textures in the family’s living room to speckled green wallpaper in the playroom — not to mention each kid’s room, more colorful and uplifting than the next — you can instantly tell that this home has been thoughtfully designed with each family member in mind. Whether it’s tying string all over a room to make an intricate pull system, or setting up a fish shop on the back porch, the family’s house offers the kids every opportunity to play, imagine and create. For this and so much more, Charlotte and Mark are inordinately thankful. —Sofia

Photography by Charlotte Smith

Image above: The living room had three different layouts until the current one came together. With beautiful old windows facing in two directions, it’s endlessly bright and welcoming. The light blue velvet couch was Charlotte’s present to herself when they first moved to Southport, and still works perfectly wherever it lands.

Editor’s Note: To assist our readers on sourcing requests, we’ve rounded up similar style pieces in our new Home Style Preview below. Click on the product image for the details and shopping info! You can also bookmark the quick look version in our Shopping section here.






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Before & After: A San Diego Home Balances Restoration & Modernity

Ashley And Ross' Master Bedroom Details On Design*Sponge

Ross and Ashley Goldman and their cat, Mabel, have lived in their 1915 San Diego, CA craftsman for two years. Much of that time has been spent making their house into a home, highlighting the beautiful original details of the century-old structure, and creating a modern respite fit for sitting back and reflecting on all of their hard work. All of which led Ashley to create a blog to document their renovations, The Gold Hive — a name created from a combination of their last name and the literal hive that was found in their home when they bought it. When she’s not working on the house, Ashley can be found at a local art museum where she works on programs with school kids, anthropomorphizing her plants and vintage portraits, or making pies.

Ashley and Ross both grew up in the suburbs, in 70s tract housing, only a few blocks away from each other. When they were looking to purchase their first home, they knew they wanted one with a little more history than those in which they spent their childhoods. Unfortunately, San Diego isn’t replete with historic districts. The couple looked for two years before they found their craftsman gem in a neighborhood only 15 minutes from downtown that somehow retains a small-town charm despite its proximity to the city center. With all of the charm, the mom-and-pop shops and restaurants, it’s not hard to imagine how difficult finding an available house in that neighborhood would be — Ross didn’t even see their house before Ashley had to put an offer in because he was working out of town (he’s an audio engineer for live events) and there were only two days the home was being shown!

One thing the “before” photos can’t accurately depict is the stench that awaited the industrious couple. Ashley remarked that it was so bad at first that they could barely stand inside — a delightful combination of old cigar smoke and pet urine. “It took us three months of floor refinishing, wall retexturing, cleaning, electrical updates, and a restored bathroom before we could move in. We did a lot upfront to get the house to a place where we could put our things inside, but for the past two years since then, we’ve taken a slow approach to renovations and decorating,” Ashley shares. While there was something of a rush to make their home livable, since then the actual decorating of the space has had an organic flow that took shape as Ashley stumbled upon a perfect piece of art, vintage piece, or as they needed furniture. They’ve also not rushed into remodels, but instead lived in their home, hosted parties, friends, and holiday gatherings learning exactly what their needs are before launching into a project. While they don’t feel like their home is “done,” they actually relish in the process and the discoveries they make in getting there, and now, at least for a little while, they get to kick back and watch their favorite Netflix dramas. Follow along to see the work they’ve done so far, and hear what they still dream of changing up. Rebekah

Photography by Dani Toscano

Image above: “Here is view into the den and down the hallway to the bathroom. It isn’t the biggest of masters, but with the adjoining den, it feels like a suite. One day, we hope to add a bathroom to the master. The photo over our bed is from our wedding and it is printed as an engineering print for $7 at Staples. I hung it up two years ago when I felt like I needed something temporary on the walls and it’s stayed this whole time,” Ashley explains.

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at home in greece.

at home in greece. / sfgirlbybay

i’ve yet to get myself to greece, but it’s on my bucket list. all that white-washed beauty along those dreamy blue Mediterranean seas have got to be even more stunning when seen in person. and should i get there this spot would be high on my list of places to stay. after collapsing in a devastating earthquake of 1933, Sterna Nisyros Residence is the first house to be restored in the medieval castle in the mountainous village of Pantoniki in Emborios, designed by Gregory Hadjiioanidis and architect Giorgos Tsironis. they’ve maintained the natural, minimalist beauty so traditional in this part of the world, and i can’t help but think one would really get away from it all in this utterly picturesque and preserved place of peaceful beauty.

Sterna Nisyros Residencey kitchen storage. / sfgirlbybay Sterna Nisyros Residence with white stone walls. / sfgirlbybay white stone walls at Sterna Nisyros Residence in greece. / sfgirlbybay white stonework in Sterna Nisyros Residence. / sfgirlbybay minimalist decor in Sterna Nisyros Residence in greece. / sfgirlbybay white walls and storage in Sterna Nisyros Residence kitchen. / sfgirlbybay industrial lights in white bedroom of Sterna Nisyros Residence. / sfgirlbybay white bedroom inspiration via Sterna Nisyros Residence. / sfgirlbybay white stone walls in Sterna Nisyros Residence. / sfgirlbybay stone walls and walkway at Sterna Nisyros Residence in greece. / sfgirlbybay outdoor seaside dining area at Sterna Nisyros Residence in greece. / sfgirlbybay

• photography courtesy of sterna.

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A Midwestern Home Goes from Unlivable to Enviable

A Midwestern Home Goes from Unlivable to Enviable, Design*Sponge

One day in 2011, while searching Craigslist for rental properties in Minneapolis, MN, graphic designer Claire Moyle and animator Jeffrey Grutter came across a rather odd listing. The landlord of an early-1900s-era bungalow was offering free rent to any family willing to renovate it. Intrigued, the couple immediately set up a showing and prepared themselves for an encounter with what could have been a disastrous home and/or a rather interesting owner. Instead, Claire and Jeffrey found themselves touring a house full of untapped potential accompanied by a landlord who was both friendly and humble. All they truly wanted was someone to help them make the property a winner.

I think you’ll agree after taking a peek that Claire and Jeffrey have done just that. During their time renting, they’ve had floors stained, combined neutral-colored accessories to create an environment that’s perfect for unwinding, and painted nearly all the walls. The new paint jobs are amplified even further thanks to Jeffrey’s artwork. He went to school for painting, and his ability to create simple yet evocative pieces is truly admirable.

During their time renting, the space was revitalized beyond recognition, but it got a second (even more dramatic) boost when the pair purchased the home in 2012. Since then they’ve replaced the kitchen, landscaped the entire property, nearly finished the basement and painted the exterior a brooding navy that has surely made them the envy of every neighbor. Overall, it’s a space you’re not going to want to miss. Scroll down to check it out, and enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Hannah Voermans

Image above: The Craigslist listing for this home caught Claire and Jeffrey’s eye because of the odd proposal that accompanied it: the landlord was offering free rent to anyone willing to renovate the space. Intrigued by the offer, the couple took a tour. Sure enough, there was a lot of work to be done. Baby blue walls, filth-soaked floors and a totally-unusable kitchen are just a few of the challenges they were met with.

Editor’s Note: To assist our readers on sourcing requests, we’ve rounded up similar style pieces in our new Home Style Preview below. Click on the product image for the details and shopping info! You can also bookmark the quick look version in our Shopping section here.






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rug giveaway from the gardener’s house.

the gardener's house giveaway. / sfgirlbybay

we’re giving away those pretty moroccan rugs again! everyone’s so enthusiastic when we give away one of the gardener’s house’s (formerly the pink rug co.) soft, plush rugs, so, we thought it was about time for another giveaway! the the gardener’s house offers much-coveted, vintage Moroccan rugs with the sleek minimalist style that ruled during the mid-20th century. Modern, timeless and joyfully colorful, the gardener’s house carries a hand-selected collection of Boucherouite and definitive custom Beni Ourain rugs that embody the gorgeous style that made regional rugs prized design accessories with Le Corbusier and the modernists. the gardener’s house specializes in the most unique and fabulous Moroccan rugs around and we’re going to give away one of these beautiful rugs OF YOUR CHOICE, valued at $800 this week!

the gardener's house moroccan rug giveaway. / sfgirlbybaythe gardener's house rug giveaway. / sfgirlbybay

to enter to win a rug from the gardener’s house valued at a maximum of $800, simply:

• follow the the gardener’s house on pinterest.

• repin your favorite rug from the pinterest board “the gardener’s house“.

• comment here on the blog letting us know you followed & pinned, by monday, september 25th at midnight pst.

• hurrah! this giveaway is worldwide!

• as always, please be sure to leave a way to contact you via twitter, facebook, your blog or email.

• we’ll announce the randomly selected winner the week of september 25th on my twitter, so be sure to follow along.

the gardener's house colorful rug giveaway. / sfgirlbybaypink and red moroccan rug from the gardener's house. / sfgirlbybaythe gardener's house vintage rug giveaway. / sfgirlbybaythe gardener's house vintage moroccan rug giveaway. / sfgirlbybaythe gardener's house boucherouite rug giveaway. / sfgirlbybayfeminine moroccan rug from the gardener's house. / sfgirlbybay

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Wooden Knots by Katie Gong

I spent a big chunk of this weekend digging into some fascinating (and also terrifying) research about Instagram and how difficult it is to make traction there as a small business these days. While I spiraled deeper and deeper into a hole lamenting the days before “the algorithm,” I found myself also following little paths here and there on different artists’ pages. So what began as research into one of the less fun parts of Instagram became a reminder of the parts I love so much: discovering great artists and designers.

I spent at least a half hour in awe of Katie Gong‘s wooden sculptures that look like giant twisted pieces of twine or twist-tie, but are made entirely of beautiful wood. After steaming each piece of raffia for hours, Katie ties them into giant knots in a matter of seconds. The result is a piece that feels remarkably kinetic and full of life. I couldn’t stop staring at them and looking for more pictures online, so I thought I’d share some of my favorites here today. Click here to check them out on Instagram and here to check them out in Katie’s shop. –Grace

*Katie also has a show going on at Rare Device right now in San Francisco if you’re in town!

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