Guest Bloggers

Design Evolution: Favorite Things

August 26, 2009

A few of my favorite things: Design Evolution

Hello all, this is Michelle from the blog Design Evolution stopping by decor8 for a visit while Holly is making her big move. When Holly first asked me to participate in her August guest series, “A few of my favorite things” I was super excited to be a part of it. I must admit putting this post together turned out to be an interesting exercise as I realized my home is full of many “things” but not too many of them favorites. Taking a little journey through my space with a camera in hand I was able to find those few things that bring me peace or make me smile and a room where I feel truly relaxed and at home.

Design Evolution: Favorite Things

My house didn’t really start to feel like a home until I brought in some artwork. While I can’t quite afford original art pieces I have begun collecting prints from my some of my favorite artists. It is such an inexpensive way to fill your home with beautiful images. Online marketplaces like etsy, artfire, etc. have introduced me to so many independent artists and I’m so thankful for them. Before I discovered them I could only dream of owning works from independent artists and now I have many.

Design Evolution: Favorite Things

My grandfather was a meticulous photographer who kept amazing notes about the exposure, f.stop, film type, etc. for every photo he took. He was also great at organizing his photographs into albums and cataloging many family events. I’m so grateful to have these photo albums that track my family’s life in Cuba from even before my father was born. I know I will never be as disciplined as he was but he certainly inspires me to better organize photos of family and friends now because I know future family members will appreciate them.

Design Evolution: Favorite Things

This little corner of my kitchen is my happy place on early mornings. You can not expect me to complete a coherent sentence until I have had my first cup of coffee. The routine has become cheerier with the addition of two Orla Kiely canister that hold my coffee and sugar and print from one of my favorite etsy shops Yumi Yumi.

Design Evolution: Favorite Things

Some part of my home is often torn apart or in the middle of a crazy home improvement project that is no doubt over my head. During the chaos my bedroom is always the place where I can escape the mess and relax. There are no jarring colors and while there are certainly things I would like to change about the room I hold back while the rest of the house is torn apart. I close the door, curl under the covers, turn out the light and everything is right with the world.

Design Evolution: Favorite Things

And my most favorite thing in my entire home, except for my boyfriend of course, is my puppy Milo. He is number one on my list of things that I would grab if there was a fire and I had to run out the door. A puppy can certainly drive you nuts at times (especially those times when they chow down on your favorite pair of shoes) but you quickly forget those times when you walk in the door after a particularly rough day and that adorable little face couldn’t be more excited to see you and only you. It’s also very rewarding to know that I’ve made this poor abandoned puppy’s life better then he could have every imagine it would be. Holly I know you’ve mentioned that you might like to get a dog once you’re settled in Germany and I definitely recommend it. I wonder if he will only understand German commands :)

So there you have it, a few of my favorite things. Leave it to Holly to sneak some healthy introspection into what appears to be a fun and light assignment. Must be what makes Holly such a great teacher. Taking this photo journey around my home has made me realize that I need to work a bit harder to fill my home with only things that I really love and not just things that I think I need.

Good luck on journey and best wishes to you and Thorsten. We will all miss you while you’re settling and can’t wait to follow along on your new adventures. Finally, Holly asked that I end a favorite piece of advice. At this stage of my life these words from the Persian poet Rumi, “Let What You Love Be What You Do” resonate quite strongly. Life is too short to be dragging your feet. Embrace every moment running, jumping, playing and most importantly doing what makes you truly happy. –Michelle

(images: design evolution)


  • Reply Casey August 26, 2009 at 8:59 am

    What a wonderful post, Michelle. Your words and photos made my morning. I also collect art from Independent artists through Etsy and I love how each piece makes me feel happier and unique. Your puppy is adorable!

  • Reply EB Finds August 26, 2009 at 9:02 am

    I am trying to decide what color frames to use for a collection of family photos (dark or light). The simple white frames look great together!
    .-= EB Finds´s last blog ..Summer Garden Treat =-.

  • Reply Tricia McKellar August 26, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Loved the peek at your home! Your grandfather’s photos are a real treasure! :)
    .-= Tricia McKellar´s last blog ..Set of Four 5×5 TTV Photographs. Through the Viewfinder Fine Art Photographs by Tricia McKellar. =-.

  • Reply Ashlyn August 26, 2009 at 9:40 am

    I love your prints from the first photo! Especially the little bird. So cute.
    Who are some of your favorite independent artists?
    .-= Ashlyn´s last blog ..A Home to Covet =-.

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente August 26, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Oh, I love this one so much….you sound like an absolute sweetheart Michelle and I love your little corners of happiness! Your artwork is beautiful(curious about what the little orange print says and where it came from, and also the tiny little cute!) Love those orla kiely canisters so much and yumi yumi is such a great shop! Your bedroom is so lovely and serene….I love the color and that branch is perfect. And last, but not least I love your little sweet doggie(of course) and the lovely sentiment you said at the end. I agree, wholeheartedly and thank you for sharing your home with us!
    .-= Melissa de la Fuente´s last blog ..Tea & Talk: Julie Whitmore =-.

  • Reply The Other Tiffany August 26, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Love this look into the corners of your home Michelle. Both your blog and Holly’s are great inspiration to me everyday!
    .-= The Other Tiffany´s last blog ..LBSS Coffee Tables – The Choice =-.

  • Reply Travelingmama August 26, 2009 at 10:36 am

    I love your favorite things, Michelle! My husband and I were just laughing about how our first artwork were his bachelor Van Gogh posters that his mom put up. Ugh!! We HAD to get rid of those! I love finding prints on Etsy. There is something so personal about knowing the artist and having a connection to him or her.
    .-= Travelingmama´s last blog ..encore {performance} =-.

  • Reply Molly August 26, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Any chance you could tell us where the print in the first photo (birds with orange flowers) came from?
    Love the photos btw. :)

  • Reply Frugal Bon Vivant August 26, 2009 at 10:58 am

    Love the Orla Kiely tins and in the coffee corner!
    .-= Frugal Bon Vivant´s last blog ..Free Beef Ramen @ Pei Wei Asian Diner =-.

  • Reply joselyn August 26, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Love the Ora Kiely canisters and your serene bedroom. Simplicity is always the best way to go. Thanks for letting us peak into your home.
    .-= joselyn´s last blog ..Everyone is Creative – Proof Positive =-.

  • Reply Mrs. M August 26, 2009 at 11:50 am

    love the old photos, LOVE the puppy and looooove the YumiYumi prints! I’ve been meaning to get one for the longest time but can never decide which one!
    .-= Mrs. M´s last blog fair lady =-.

  • Reply Anita Dawoodi August 26, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Hi Michelle,
    Congrats on your guest post! Beautiful pictures and encouraging words. Sometimes it can get quite lonely sitting behind the PC and it is hard to see the bigger picture. As Holly says one step at the time …
    I love your cute little white vases!
    Anita, Austria
    ps: I will come over for coffee tomorrow morning – your special corner looks quite inviting! ;)
    .-= Anita Dawoodi´s last blog ..Neues von Car-Möbel =-.

  • Reply jen August 26, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    love your post. may i ask, what color is your bedroom? i’m looking for something similar for my bedroom.

  • Reply nichole August 26, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    The puppy … gasp. So adorable.

    Loved seeing your favorite glimpses of your corner of the world.
    .-= nichole´s last blog ..Morning! =-.

  • Reply leslie August 26, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Thank you for sharing your favorite things! Your art collection is so cheery and fun! Wow -what a present from your grandfather… such an amazing collection of your family history.
    .-= leslie´s last blog ..Pinks, Melons and Peach =-.

  • Reply Kaitlin August 26, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    lovely post and adorable puppy! I know my dog is def my fav thing.
    .-= Kaitlin´s last blog tights =-.

  • Reply The Bella Girls August 26, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Your style is alot like mine so, naturally, I LOVED EVERYTHING! Thanks for sharing.


  • Reply Petergaye S. Kisielewicz/Yahgie August 26, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    I love the wall art and you are right it is a inexpensive way to fill your home with beautiful images.
    .-= Petergaye S. Kisielewicz/Yahgie´s last blog ..These are a few of my favorite things =-.

  • Reply jessica August 26, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    hi michelle. i really enjoyed your post. i love yumi yumi and i love your bedroom! so tranquil.

  • Reply tiffaney jewel August 27, 2009 at 1:20 am

    My cat understands german commands… though I dont know why, as we live in California.

    Im so in love with the Orla Kiely line, but my kitchen is already over run with things from the Merry Mushroom collection and I doubt my fiance would appreciate anymore 70s-esque stuff.

  • Reply ana August 27, 2009 at 3:09 am

    Lovely bedroom:)
    .-= ana´s last blog ..Skalldyrsuppe =-.

  • Reply Aiyana Laughed August 27, 2009 at 4:45 am

    Lovely home, specially the bedroom! Do you remember where you got the linens and pillows from?
    .-= Aiyana Laughed´s last blog ..Something for the house I don’t have yet =-.

  • Reply michelle August 27, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    Thanks everyone you are all so sweet.

    Melissa you’re such a doll. I hear from Marichelle that we’re practically neighbors. We should have coffee some day :) The orange print says “You are so amazingly fabulous! Just so you know.” I actually have a set of four from this shop:

    Molly, that’s it. I have several prints from the Yumi Yumi shop.

    Aiyana laughed – the bedding is from west elm, i don’t think they have it in stock anymore but a quick ebay search found some sets

    Jen – my bedroom is Lazy Gray from Sherwin Williams, good name for a bedroom color right? The branches are a few shades darker on the same color strip.
    .-= michelle´s last blog ..Home Tour: Lara Bobo from Enid =-.

  • Reply Cookie Cutter August 27, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    Lovely collection of art prints. They look really good in the white frames!
    .-= Cookie Cutter´s last blog ..Pretty in Pink =-.

  • Reply Wendren August 27, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    What you say about a home not feeling like a home untill you have hung your chosen art on the walls could not be more true. I am half way through ‘hanging’ and already the ‘house’ is changing and feels more like a ‘my’ home. Art is a great thing and small prints, as you say, are very affordable. I’m going to go right now and put up the pictures on the wall I havent gotten round to yet… :)
    .-= Wendren´s last blog ..A little bit of yellow sunshine (Merry-go-round) =-.

  • Reply Jennifer August 29, 2009 at 12:57 am

    Your bedroom looks like such a peaceful place and your puppy is adorable!!

    Thank you for sharing with us!

    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..The OC Fashion Haul =-.

  • Reply mjane August 31, 2009 at 10:23 am

    where is your bedding from? what designer? it’s gorgeous.

  • Reply Penny Patten September 3, 2009 at 8:34 am

    What a lovely collection of prints and old photo’s.

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