Inspired: Bidwell

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Union Market, located in Northeast DC, is an awesome place to be. The large warehouse space is home to dozens of pop-up food retailers that would suit any taste, as well as a few boutique retail stores. The only full-service restaurant in Union Market is Bidwell, and they were kind enough to let me bug them for a morning with tons of questions about their well-designed space and brand.

The first thing that I noticed about Bidwell was the implementation of their logo as signage (on subway tile, to boot). I chatted with the manager about how the logo came about, which led to a pretty interesting story. The designer noticed that a bidwell melon (I didn’t know that bidwell melons were a thing until this story!), cut in half, revealed an interesting shape, that ended up being used as the form of the logo. As a designer, I love getting into these spaces and hearing cool stories about how certain design elements come about. Super inspiring.

The bread and butter (not literally) of Bidwell come from their rooftop garden, where they grow all of their own vegetables for their dishes. Unfortunately, I visited during off-season, so my photos of the rooftop don’t tell an accurate story of how lush the vegetation can get during the spring and summer.

ACCESSIBLE DESIGN VOL. 3

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“Accessible Design” is my way of finding practical furniture, lighting, and a variety of other housewares that are inspired by some of the awesome spaces that I shoot. Today, we’re going to take some inspiration from BlackJack (refer back to that post for a quick refresh) and apply it to some pieces for a killer dining/bar space. black1 blackjackcollection

1. Red Light Pendant …One of the main things that I dug about BlackJack were the intimate and interesting lighting choices. This pendant is an inexpensive nod to that vibe.
2. Neon O Print …That neon GOLF sign is killer, and this can provide a similar aesthetic without breaking the bank.
3. Hudson Pub Table
4. Tufted Bar Stool
5. Copper Tumblers …I’m not a big liquor drinker, BUT these tumblers from TRNK are trying hard to convince me to to pour some whiskey and put on a vinyl Rat Pack album.
6. Wood Bark Coasters

…I’m Alive.

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Well, hey there!

If you’re reading this, then I THANK you endlessly for visiting in spite of my silence over the last few months. It’s been a busy (but crazy awesome) summer so far, and haven’t had the time that I need to devote to the ol’ blog. A lot of my posts require quite a bit of planning and collaboration, and I haven’t stayed put long enough to be successful in that regard.

BUT! I do have plans. I mean it. Things are happening. In the meantime, you can follow me on Instagram to keep up with my foolishness.

I’ll leave you with this completely unedited photo of my bedroom.

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Inspired: Barcelona Wine Bar and Restaurant

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You might notice a trend around here lately if you’re familiar with the D.C. area… The last three featured environments have all been within the same two block radius on 14th Street. Heh. I think that says a lot about the area, though. With so many new and interesting spaces popping up (new to me, anyway), it’s soooo hard to pass any of them by without stopping in capture a little inspiration.

This is Barcelona, a wine bar and restaurant that is overflowing with a style that’s unlike anything else I’ve seen in the area. It’s impossible not to take notice of the space when walking by, mainly because of the beautiful al fresco dining space that looks like it came straight out of a magazine. That aspect of the brand continues into the interior with a myriad of natural elements used throughout the space.

Inspired: Pearl Dive

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Good design lies in the details.

Truer words were never spoken about Pearl Dive; whose brand relies on maritime-inspired surfaces, cool blues, and some excellent uses of typography to tell it’s story. Pearl Dive is connected to Black Jack (they’re both owned by Black Restaurant Group), which I featured here last week. Some friends put me on to both of the spaces, and I’m glad that they did!

As a graphic designer, a good logo used in interesting ways always tends to catch my eye. Both the tiled wordmark and the wall mural pictured above are prime examples. The worn textures and whitewashed patina visible throughout the space makes it feel like Pearl Dive has been a 14th Street staple for decades, when it’s only a few years old. It’s a casual and approachable brand, but the food feels pretty upscale; their clam po’ boy is probablyyyy the best that I’ve ever tasted.

 

Accessible Design Vol. 2

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“Accessible Design” is my way of finding practical furniture, lighting, and a variety of other housewares that are inspired by some of the awesome spaces that I shoot. Today, we’re going to take some inspiration from the whimsical yet uniquely modern stylings of Farmers Fishers Bakers (refer back to that post for a quick refresh) and apply it to some pieces for an entryway. The design of this restaurant has been on my mind since they were kind enough to let me mosey about the space with my camera, so it’s about time that I find some functional pieces that are similar in aesthetic.ffb3ffb

 

1. Threshold Round Captain’s Mirror
2. Blue Dot Splash Coat Rack  …This is crazy expensive, but I thought that I’d include it since it appears to be an exact match to the coat rack in the restaurant.
3. Stick Coat Rack in Black …A great, inexpensive alternative. Quite different in style than the Blut Dot version, but a functional and modern piece nonetheless.
4. “Saw” Print
5. “Axe” Two-Color Print
6. Safavieh Cindy Console Table in Teal
7. Bank in the Form of a Pig in White …A fun and interesting way to stash loose change as you walk through the front door.

Inspired: Black Jack

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Salvaged materials, rich colors, and moody vibes all pretty much sum up the brand of Black Jack. Reflecting the craft cocktail movement that it represents, Black Jack’s style harks back to an old school speakeasy, complete with dim lighting and luxuriously rich (but perfectly worn) textures throughout the space. AND there are indoor bocce courts, if the drinks and ambience aren’t enough to draw you in.

I sat down with E. Jay, the bar manager of Black Jack, to talk a little more about the brand and how it’s reflected in the way the interior is designed. He walked me through the space to show how reliant the design is on reclaimed materials, such as the “GOLF’” signage, old tufted furniture, and old pipes used for the beer taps. We also talked about repeated elements of the brand throughout the space, as you can see in the custom wallpaper that’s also used on coasters. The angry monkey on the other side of the coaster is repeated as a crazy mural in the space as well, but my photography skills failed me when it came to shooting it, unfortunately… Check out the restaurant to see it in person!

It’s been a while since I’ve published an Inspired post! Life has been hectic for the past few weeks, so I’ve had to move some priorities around a bit, but I have a full slate of fun things to show and discuss over the summer! Stay tuned!

Small Cool on Apartment Therapy!

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smallcoolscreenI know that eventually I’ll sound super obnoxious talking about this so much, buttttt I’m pretty excited about it and I want the world to know.

I’ve been picked as a contender for Apartment Therapy’s Small Cool contest! If you aren’t familiar with it, Small Cool is a contest that celebrates smart, stylish, and unique small homes from around the world. I’m in the “little” category, and I’m ONE SPOT AWAY from moving to the next round of the competition. Here’s what I’m working with…

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Sooo. Please click here to head over to Apartment Therapy to mark me as your favorite! I’ll be your best friend and I’ll owe you my life (a.k.a. cookies or something).

 

Mas Means More on Mornings Like These

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I had such a great time sitting down to chat with Joy from Mornings Like These a few weeks ago to discuss inspiration, creativity, DIY, and other randomness! If you aren’t already into Mornings Like These (although I can’t imagine that you wouldn’t be), be sure to follow her on Instagram ASAP. You’ll be inspired to make the most out of those early morning hours. Also, be sure to check out her blog to see some inspiring stories of other creatives/studios/businesses in the DC area. Here are a few photos that the amazing Emma Calary captured of my space that morning. To check out the entire interview (a.k.a. me blabbing my face off) and the rest of the shoot, hop on over to Mornings Like These!malcolm-58 malcolm-12 malcolm-43 malcolm-16 malcolm-11

All photos by Emma Calary Photography.

Inspired: El Centro D.F.

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Located in the heart of Georgetown (and with another location close to U Street), the authentically inspiring El Centro D.F. showcases an aesthetic that ties the brand directly to it’s Mexican-inspired menu. Richly dark woods and exposed brick walls contrast against other raw materials to create a truly inspiring space. Now, exposed wood beams and brick walls aren’t exactly novel concepts in the world of hospitality design these days, but it’s so refreshing to see a space like this one that utilizes those elements in a way that makes you feel transported to a different time and place. The space definitely has a darker vibe to it, but it’s lightened up through the use of skylights and and an open floor plan.

I’m digging the repeated display of skulls throughout the restaurant, usually in the form of wall murals, that are reminiscent of Día de Muertos. You already know that I’m a sucker for a brand’s logo being used in interesting ways, so I love seeing it implemented here as the mouth of a skull, as you can see in one of the above photos. You also already know that I’m a sucker for amazing food, which El Centro showcases in bounds!