I’m TOO stoked to be posting about one of my favorite restaurants.
The lovely people at Founding Farmers were kind enough to let me spend a morning in the restaurant to chat about their brand and to take a few pictures of the inspiring space (and to enjoy a delicious egg scramble breakfast). Founding Farmers provides an awesome Farm-to-Table American dining experience that’s unlike anything else I’ve seen in the DC area. The restaurant is owned and represented by the North Dakota Farmers Union, which is reflected in the heartland-inspired menu. On top of that, Founding Farmers is the Greenest restaurant in DC, boasting a LEED Gold Certification.
The space itself is also reflective of the environmentally focused brand, with somewhat of a playfully casual spin, which can be seen in the puffy cloud-like light fixtures in the photo above. The walls are lined with steel shelving and pickling jars, further tying into the earthiness of the overall design, but contrasted against more modern fixtures in the form of lighting and typography. I like how the shelving throughout the restaurant showcases Founding Farmers cookbooks (which I might just have to cop), but they also kind of holistically serve as a complimentary design element on their own.
And now I will go dream of their cornbread skillet.
Plants are taking over.
Which is great! I used to be hesitant about buying houseplants, on account of them being able to die and stuff… but during the last year or so, I’ve gained a huge appreciation for them. They’re such an easy way to inject color and an organic ambience, and I’ve learned that different kinds of plants can reinforce specific design styles. The sculptural leaves of a fiddle leaf fig tree (probably the most popular houseplant these days) lend themselves to a more modern aesthetic, while plants like ivy and fern can steer toward a bohemian vibe.
Anyways, with the abundance of plants hanging out around the apartment these days, I’m finding the need to think of new and interesting ways to house them. I fashioned this wall-mounted hanging planter out of leftover wood from my ladder project. I’m all about easy (but good-looking) DIY projects, and this one takes the cake.
All I needed were the scraps of pine wood, one(!) screw, some twine, a clay pot, and a nice plant. First, used a cordless drill to screw one piece of wood into the other and to drill two small holes (one in the vertical piece, where the planter would hang against the wall, and one in the horizontal piece, where the twine would be knotted to allow for the hanging pot). I used a fancy twine technique that I found here for the hanging mechanism, but I had to make sure to string the twine through the hole in the horizontal piece of wood before tying the top knot, so that it would rest in place. I hope that makes sense.
This blog has made me realize that I’m a huge fan of raw, light, unfinished pine. Just look at almost any other DIY project that I’ve done. I added a color (neutral?) block of white paint to the bottom of the clay pot just to liven and lighten things up a bit.
Since my bathroom is about 80 years old and has a strange variety of hooks/nails just chilling in the walls, I was able to easily hang the planter using the hole drilled into the vertical piece of wood. I could have just as easily hammered a nail into the wall for the same effect, just like you’d do to hang a picture.
Ever since I installed my floating shelf nightstand, the other side of the bed has been pretty empty. Some vintage wooden crates were stacked there for a little while, but they have since found new homes elsewhere in the apartment. After stumbling across this awesome Ikea laundry hamper turned side table over on The Clever Bunny, and remembering that I had that hamper stored away, I figured that I’d take a stab at the same project.
I pretty much followed her tutorial to the tee, so I won’t go into too much detail about the process here. I decided to keep the pine wood in it’s natural state without staining it, but I did apply a few coats of polyurethane.
A few months ago, I talked a little bit about the collections that I’ve accumulated over the years. When I was little, I’d collect these little animal figurines made out of wood, clay, marble, and other materials, usually from overseas flea markets.
I have a tendency to become easily obsessed with things. It’s the reason that I can’t keep Oreos in the apartment.
It’s also why, on one of the coldest days in recent memory, I just needed to take far too many trips (through the frozen tundra) to Home Depot while I figured out how to refinish this ottoman.
My parents, knowing that I will gladly take any of their unwanted stuff, offered it to me a few weeks ago while we were cleaning out their basement. I didn’t know exactly what to do with it at first, but I figured that I could at least take a stab at refinishing the wood, recovering the cushion, and obviously fixing the broken legs.
I really liked the curvature detail on the sides, but upon closer inspection and a little sanding, I saw that they were made out of some kind of chipboard or particle board. That wasn’t really conducive to my plan, since I eventually decided that I wanted the wood to be exposed, and unpainted chipboard isn’t the prettiest thing to look at. (But! It turns out that the legs are made out of a really nice…pine? I actually don’t know exactly what kind of wood it is, but I know that it’s real.) After obsessing over how to deal with the chipboard, I just decided to cover them up with wood. The problem with that, of course, would be that I would have to cover up the curved detail that I liked. I like it better with the new wood, though! The cleaner lines lend themselves more to the style of my place, I think.
My obsession with this little project ended up teaching me a few things that I haven’t quite encountered before. Taking apart old furniture, stripping paint (a process that had me questioning my sanity), recovering cushions, fixing broken parts, and TUFTING. I’m entirely too excited about the tufting process being so easy! All the things will be tufted from this point forward.
This store is pretty much everything.
Federal showcases quality clothes, masculine accessories and housewares, and a vibrant americana-inspired space to house it all. I’m always a fan of this style when it’s executed well. There’s just something so inspiring about the vintage framed illustrations and signage covering the walls, the lived-in textures used throughout the space, and the utilitarian furniture used to display the products. This store is another great example, in my humble opinion, of a brand reflecting seamlessly in the design of a commercial space.
Now excuse me while I drop some cash.
I’ve had two Ikea bookcases on either side of my TV for a couple of years now, and I’ve been thinking of interesting ways to spruce them up to fit the evolving aesthetic of my apartment. The biggest problem that I have with the bookcases is that they feel like two huge black holes, sucking tons of energy out of the space. I figured that a cool idea would be to add some type of door to each bookcase for some dimensional and tonal interest (and to hide a slew of tools and other unattractive items that I’d rather have hidden away). I’m loving the look of wooden slats these days, so I decided to strive for that aesthetic. I’m calling this “phase 1″ of bookcase customization because I think that I’ll add …something… to the back panel of each at some point to lighten them up. Paint? Wallpaper? More wood?
Earlier this week, I decided to take a break from some freelance work and head into Georgetown for a bite to eat. I must’ve still had design on the brain, because I couldn’t help but be inspired by a bunch of typography around the city.
I happened to stumble across the Warby Parker Class Trip bus parked in a back alley off of M street. It wasn’t open, but I sketchily snapped a few pictures because I loved the letters on the windows. I’ll have to go back when it’s actually open!
With typography already on my mind, I couldn’t help but be pulled into Good Stuff Eatery by this beautiful installation. Also, my impromptu photo session distracted me from actually finding something to eat, which is the main reason I came to Georgetown, so I figured that I’d stop in to grab a burger.
The branding here is awesome. I’m a sucker for type-related installations as a reflection of a brand, so I was pretty much sold as soon as I walked through the door. Environmental graphic design for the win.
AND YOU GUYS. THE BURGER. Spectacular. I would’ve taken some pictures, but I’m afraid that my food photography skills are bad as Martha Stewart’s…