Apartment Essentials {Art}

When I announced this series, an overwhelming number of you expressed the need for affordable art options to cover bare walls and introduce color without breaking the bank. Here are a few of the tricks up my sleeve...
20x200 is an excellent source for limited edition prints in various sizes. A 14"x11" print like this ubiquitous Christian Chaize number (which, for the record, I still love) will run you $50.
I adore the Etsy offerings of painter Janet Hill, whose vintage-inspired prints would be a playful addition to any interior. Nothing in her shop costs more than $55 and this charming print of a well-clad redhead is just $26! Frame it in gold with a green matte and you're good to go.
This Swiss blogger stocks her shop with travel photography that will lend an esteemed air to a simple studio. These peonies, which Sarah photographed in Zurich, are a personal favorite.
Prefer sketches to paintings and photos? This Australian illustrator's work is breathtakingly precise. I'm drawn to this messy topknot — how perfect for in a closet or powder room!
One of my favorite solutions is to frame a colorful scarf. This hand-painted option (currently sold out but I believe can be custom ordered) would be particularly cheery in a breakfast nook or a foyer.
Framable options abound at The Lucky Fish. This vintage Vera Neumann scarf is a graphic statement piece that could easily inspire the color palette for your entire space. 
I have featured Amber's dining room before but the fact that she took pictures of clouds and blew them up for her dining room continues to strike my fancy. In fact she makes me want to run to Kinko's with some of my Instagram snaps. Think travel pictures, family portraits, the sky's the limit!
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If you'd prefer a DIY project, I might suggest painting panels or framing wallpaper. What's your favorite art resource and how are you covering your walls these days?

Plum Pretty Sugar Giveaway!

I was so delighted when the lovely Charlotte reached out to me about hosting a giveaway for her "loungerie" line Plum Pretty Sugar. I have been following her blog and her Pinterest for quite some time and just adore her unabashedly feminine aesthetic!
Charlotte's line incorporates cotton and silk robes, tunics and dresses, and accessories like headscarves and even bow ties for men. I am excited to be giving away one knee-length cotton voile robe in "Sweet Love and Yonderflies!" I'd wear it around the house and getting dolled up for a night on the town. Girly and glamorous!
To enter the giveaway, please follow Design Darling and like Plum Pretty Sugar on Facebook. Simply leave a comment below letting me know you've done both!
I will draw the winner on Friday morning. Good luck!

The Coveteur + Who What Wear

When two major names like these join forces, you just know it's going to be good. The Coveteur's photo tour of Who What Wear's L.A. headquarters is true to both brands: clear, crisp, and dripping with style.
I think it hits the perfect note between contemporary and vintage pieces, don't you? I love that the most eye-catching decorations are inspiration boards — it means that each room has a new look every time you update that one board! Summer brights, jewel tones for fall...those white walls are a blank canvas!

Soaking Up Summer

I've had an amazing week on Nantucket and I'll be making the most of this effortless beach hair every last minute on the island. What are your plans for this most wonderful weekend?

P.S. All you east coasters, stay safe this weekend! 

{images via my Pinterest boards}

Idea Board {Apartment Living}

I wouldn't be me if I didn't admit to a little daydream decorating of our currently nonexistent first apartment. For now I'm content to live with my family and save my pennies. But when the time comes? White walls, painted furniture, and metallic accents with a decidedly feminine flourish. Who's with me?

Apartment Essentials {The Rug}

Problem: your apartment/dorm room carpet has seen better days. Solution: camouflage it with a chic and cost-effective option from Rugs USA. They were kind enough to send the Ultra Shag Natural Flokati rug my way and I absolutely love it! It will undoubtedly be a fixture in our first apartment whether it's concealing icky carpet or warming up hardwood floors. 
Rugs are investment pieces and can cost you big bucks if you don't know where to look. Fortunately Rugs USA has an amazing and affordable selection complete with customer reviews so you know you're getting the most for your money. The rug they sent me is super soft and totally versatile. Sure, flokati isn't the easiest thing to keep clean — but when it looks and feels this good, who's complaining? Of course if flokati's not your choice there's plenty else to choose from...

Do you see where I'm going with this? No matter what look you're after, I'm certain you'll find something you love at Rugs USA. They were a dream to work with and frankly their selection is the best I've come across to date. 
But don't just take my word for it. My puppy Fenway is equally obsessed!

Flower Power

One summer during high school, I worked at a flower shop out here on Nantucket. Well, the flower shop. It wound up being my only summer as an employee there (probably because I missed the clothing discounts that came with working in retail) but I'll always look back fondly on the time I spent cutting in flowers and delivering bouquets to hotels on the island. Flowers just make people so happy! They're beautiful, fragrant, and indulgent in a way that's not at all superficial. Pop by your favorite florist this evening and treat yourself to a few fresh blooms — you deserve it!

*Photograph by Sarah Tucker for sale HERE. Thank you Victoria for the source!

And the winner is...

The winner of the Graphic Image giveaway is entry #61, Kelly Carlin! Congratulations to Kelly — please email me so I can put you in touch with the lovely folks at Graphic Image to redeem your gorgeous new 2012 planner! Thank you to everyone who entered; I have a couple more exciting giveaways lined up over the next month that I can't wait to share with you!

Introducing Society Social!

Remember when I predicted big things in store for my friend Roxy of My Cup of Te? Since then she has designed, produced, and launched a stunning furniture collection called Society Social. I could not be more proud of her — or more eager to get my hands on the following!
The playful range of colors speaks to Roxy's fun-loving personality and "Live Sparkly" motto. Curious to learn more about the brand? Last week she released her Manifesto Magalog — with a couple features produced by yours truly! Congratulations, Roxy!

P.S. I'm sharing one of my favorite tablescapes at the adorable Simply Southern today!

Design Darling on Tumblr!

I'm excited to invite you to the virtual inspiration board I've been working on! It's an easy way for me to save images I stumble upon without stopping to craft them into a real blog post. More importantly, however, I'd like it to become an informal space where I can interact with all of you! I've enabled the "ask" feature so you can fire away with questions about fashion, interior design, or whatever else strikes your fancy. Ask away HERE!
{This gorgeousness and more on Design Darling's brand new Tumblr. Check it out HERE!}

Apartment Essentials {The Sofa}

Given that lots of you are young professionals furnishing your first place, I thought I'd kick off an informal series called Apartment Essentials to showcase my favorite budget finds for key pieces. (This is of course pertinent to college students as well!) First up: the living room sofa.
{Rita Konig in Decorate}
In many first apartments, the living room sofa serves many purposes: the place you cozy up with popcorn and a movie, the spot you read blogs and skype home, the alternative to the dining room table (which is inevitably covered with magazines and mail), and — let's face it — the guest bedroom for visitors both expected and impromptu. Therefore it's important that the living room sofa be comfortable, durable, and stylish. Here are a few of my favorite affordable options on the market right now. 

Feel free to disagree with me here but I'm going to say that anything priced below $1,000 is a very reasonable price for a quality sofa. These are only a few hundred dollars more than your college futon but kill it in the style department. Most of these are available in multiple colors but I chose gray as a goes-with-everything neutral that's way more chic than beige.

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What do you think of this series? Any particular pieces you're looking for?

Graphic Image 2012 Planner Giveaway!

My friends at Graphic Image are graciously giving away one 2012 planner in the winner's chosen color and monogram! They kindly sent me a bright orange planner (that I wish I could start using immediately!) and it officially has my stamp of approval.
Look at all the pretty colors! The leather quality is to die for and there's plenty of space to write — a must for this compulsive list-maker!

To enter the giveaway, simply become a follower of Design Darling and leave a comment below. The winner will be announced on Friday morning. Good luck!

On The List

5. Work for one of my dream companies.

12. Throw my first dinner party.

61. Try my hand at calligraphy.

What are some of the things you'd like to achieve in the next two or three years?

{image via Patterson Maker}

Working Girl

Thank you for the birthday wishes yesterday! Today I'm taking the train into New York where I'll hit the ground running with three interviews for fall internships. Of course the end goal is to secure a full-time position but I'm keeping my options open and exhausting my resources before I make any decisions. More experience and more exposure never hurt anyone!
I wish I could share where I'll be interviewing today (and later this week!) but I'm keeping my lips sealed so as not to jinx anything. I imagine the next few weeks will be filled with lots of research and plenty of caffeine. Wish me luck!

{image from Matchbook Magazine}

It's My Birthday!

8/9/89 — that's me! My red eye flight from San Francisco to New York arrived bright and early and I'm spending the day celebrating in my own special way: having my hair cut, eating dinner with my family and my boyfriend, and seeing my little brother's summer play. I couldn't think of a better birthday present than coming back home and catching up with those I've missed most!

{images via the illustrious portfolio of Mrs. Lilien}

Monday Moodboard

Just a handful of pretty things that are making sense to me as I pack my bags today in search of my next adventure.

{interior by David Netto, outfit from 9 to 5 chic
inspiration board by Lara Robby, all others via Patterson Maker}

True Blue

Three pretty pictures in my very favorite color. Have a wonderful weekend!

Apartment Inspiration

I know I haven't landed my first full-time job yet and I certainly haven't started looking at New York apartments but that doesn't mean I can't dream decorate, does it? I stumbled upon the work of Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz this morning and thought it was too good not to share.
I'm all about the hardwood flooring, white furniture, and tan leather accents. Of course all that natural light doesn't hurt either. What does your apartment — real or imaginary – look like these days?

New arrivals at K. Slademade!

In addition to the favorites I raved about here, the darling Kelsea has introduced limited edition ikat clutches to her K. Slademade collection! I could tell you how much I love them but, really, I think they speak for themselves...
Cute, right? They're $78 each and you can find them right here. Shop to it!