POSTS BY amillman

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Growing up, the first thrill and chill of Halloween was when my mother brought decorations down from the attic, and the first to go up was a set of glow-in-the-dark giant paper skeletons my brother and I would hang on our bedroom doors, their bony arms and legs posed however we liked. To get our Design Happens readers ready for October 31st, we’re giving away four Fridays of awesomely frightful Halloween decorations from Grandin Road.

Grandin Road - HGTV Freebie Fridays

This week’s prize is their Animated Halloween Haunted Magic Mirror. It looks like an elegant mirror from a haunted castle, even more so when you step in front of it…

mirror with ghoul halloween freebie fridays giveway hgtv

…that’s when a ghoulish apparition appears! This ghastly reaper moves and talks, begging to be let our of his reflective lair.

Grandin Road wants one lucky Design Happens winner to take home this Halloween mirror. To be entered for a chance to win this super cool and creepy Halloween decoration, simply leave us a comment in the field below before 12/11c Monday, August 26.

This week’s question: When you pull out your Halloween decorations, what goes up first?

Click for official rules.

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You all offered so many wonderful definitions of an heirloom in response to our September 16 giveaway. This is one of my favorites: “It is a physical reminder of love given and received.”

Decorated Venetian Chest - Modern HIstory - HGTV design blog freebie friday

Our lucky winner, Jenn Williams, will soon receive this gorgeous Decorated Venetian Chest from Modern History. It’s sure to become a well-loved and cherished piece in her home and for future generations.

As always, our Freebie Fridays winner has two weeks to reply to our message before we select a different random winner.

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You know that sound you just heard? That’s the same sound I heard when I first laid eyes on this week’s Freebie Friday. My jaw hitting the ground. (I’m trying not to drool on my keyboard as I craft this post.)

Some of us are blessed to inherit a family heirloom passed down through generations. Others of us may have the opportunity to gift a loved one a newly made unique piece of handcrafted or couture-quality furniture that is an instant heirloom. Modern History furniture offers exquisitely designed modern antiques that are works of art and are guaranteed to become treasured additions to any family’s decor.

Decorated Venetian Chest - Modern HIstory - HGTV design blog freebie friday

This week, one lucky winner will receive Modern History’s Decorated Venetian Chest. For a chance to win this stunning piece, answer this week’s question before 12/11c, Monday, September 19.

This week’s question: Forget what the dictionary says, how do you define an heirloom piece of furniture or decor? What are its essential qualities?

Click for official rules.

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Milk the clock. Offside. Scrimmage. Tight end. Hut hut. Wing back. From these gridiron phrases, hut hut was the key clue to yesterday’s “What the….?”. Some of others were meant to throw you off. But it’s obvious by your responses that y’all are much more clever than my attempt at hints.

Me: Hut hut. I thought the Hut-Hut rocking stool got its name because it looks a bit like a football. And hut hut is what a quarterback says to the punter. It’s also what you say, instead of  “giddy-up”, if you’re riding a camel. The camel being the actual inspiration point for this piece of furniture.

Here’s a string of your answers noted by quotes: Don’t worry about falling “off the sides” when you sit your “tight end” on this “wingless” and “backless” rocking horse-inspired “funky new chair” that could probably also work as an “ottoman”. While it’s not specifically used as an “exercise stool to achieve a tight end”, where there’s a will, there’s a way. And the Hut-Hut is too beautiful to ever end up in a yard sale like one of those abs exercisers.

I’d say, next time I’ll do better with my clues, but I love the answers y’all came up with! Everyone’s a winner this week!


The Hut-Hut rocking stool by Kalon Studios comes in kids and adult sizes. Go with bamboo, walnut, cherry, cork or maple for a unique seating option for a living room or home office. The colorful resin versions are perfect for kids who can’t sit still. Made in the USA by local craftsmen, Kalon is committed to nurturing woodworking traditions and creating heirloom quality products made with earth-friendly materials and finishes.

Does the Hut-Hut appeal to your adult design sensibilities or your inner child? Does it remind you more of a football than a camel?

Tell us in the comments below.

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Milk the clock. Offside. Scrimmage. Tight end. Hut hut. Wing back. One of these gridiron phrases is a clue to this week’s mystery object.
HGTV Design Blog - design game - What the...?
Be a star player. Leave your guess in the comments below. We’ll let you know tomorrow who scored first with the right answer.

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In our September 9th giveaway, we wanted to find out why you like to incorporate a beautiful table lamp, like these three lovelies from The Southern Home, in the design of your interiors. Answers like “a soft glow” ranked high, as did an appreciation for the artistic form of a lamp as decor.

HGTV design blog - Table Lamp from The Southern Home - Freebie Fridays

(left to right) Botanical Garden :: Marianna :: Babcock

Our lucky winner this week is Pam who said she loves to ride past houses that exude a welcoming feeling thanks to “a lamp on in the foyer.” Pam gets to pick one of these three designs for her home. Her favorite, the Babcock table lamp, is sure to create that same warm greeting.

Congratulations, Pam!

As always, our winner has two weeks to reply to our message before we select a different random winner.

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I learned from an early age about the decorative power of a beautiful table lamp. Growing up in Atlanta, I visited many a home with a gorgeously appointed sitting room or parlor that exuded that quintessential Southern charm. My friend’s moms were lovely hostesses who always produced a glass filled with sweet tea or ice-cold Coca-Cola within minutes of a guest’s arrival. Conversation flowed effortlessly in these intimate spaces beautifully lit by a perfect set of table lamps. (I can practically feel my Southern accent coming back just remembering those times.) Listen y’all, we all know good lighting can make or break a room. And that a table lamp is one of the easiest ways to update the look of a space. Well, we’ve partnered with The Southern Home, a company that specializes in elegant home furnishings filled with Southern charm, to bring you that perfect burst of brightness and beauty for a room in your home.

HGTV design blog - Table Lamp from The Southern Home - Freebie Fridays(left to right) Botanical Garden :: Marianna :: Babcock

One Design Happens reader will get to choose a table lamp from the three lovelies pictured here: Botanical Garden, Marianna or Babcock. To enter for a chance to win, simply leave us a comment in the field below before 12/11c Monday, September 12.

This week’s question: Why do you love a beautiful table lamp? Are you all about mood lighting? Without the right table lamp, would you be at a loss for a favorite place to read a good book? Do you have a soft spot for lamps with curvaceous shades and intricate design details?

Click for official rules.

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HGTV design blog - What the...? - Coat Rack
Melissa, you are the champ! While they look like punching bags for toddlers, they actually serve as a playful way to hang a coat or “scarves, belts and ties.” Eno Studio designer Donata Paruccini‘s Clothes/Coat Hanger is perfect for a bachelor pad or kids’ playroom. I think the all-white set would look cool in feature blogger Erin Loechner’s master bathroom. What do you think?
Tell us in the comments below.
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Raging Bull. Rocky. The Set-Up. The Fighter. I have a soft spot for hard-hitting boxing movies. While that’s the reason why this design caught my eye, its use has NOTHING to do with the controversial combat sport.

HGTV design blog - design quiz - what the...?

Let’s see who has killer instinct in the design ring. Take a stab at this week’s mystery object in the comments below. And check back tomorrow to see who threw a knockout punch with their answer.

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In our September 2nd giveaway, we wanted to know how you would incorporate an indoor/outdoor ceramic garden stool like the Vine Design from Outer Banks Trading Group in your home decor. Based on your comments, these gems are so appealing and versatile, there would be little chance for it to collect dust.

Freebie Fridays

Our lucky winner this week is Colleen, who gets her pick of one of the five colors pictured above. Colleen said, “I would place it on our deck for drinks, but once the snow flies, I would bring it in the house as an accent table either in the living room or master bedroom!” Cheers to you, Colleen!

As always, our winner has two weeks to reply to our message before we select a different random winner.

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Through the process of researching our September Color of the Month and compiling inspiring interiors and decor in this shade, I came across some pretty interesting online debates that verged on hostile. Apparently, defining this color can stir up some heat. Surprising for such a peaceful color. (You’d think we’d picked fire engine red.) Is it possible that a greater internal struggle surfaces not when asking “To be or not to be” but rather…


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One of the coolest aspects of working at is the sharing of design finds. Some of them awe-inspiring. Some of them mysterious. Imagine my delight when the ever clever Briana Mowrey, who regularly tantalizes us with her Daily Delight finds, forwarded me info on the Donut Scentilizer for a future “What the…?” post. She thought it would be a tough one.

Serene House - Donut Scentilizer - HGTV design blog

And a tough mystery object this device proved to be. Kudos goes to Mary for her awesome guess and cheers to Laura for getting it 99.9% right! This product by Serene House is designed to “release a fragrant water vapor that helps reduce the dryness of indoor air” and provide aromatherapy. It has a built-in music player and features a soothing LED light display.

Makes my rain and waterfall sound spa from the ’90s seem very unsatisfying. What do you think of the Donut Scentilizer? Wouldn’t it be great if it did facials, too?

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Remember those Calgon commercials from the ’70s and ’80s with their promises of a “luxurious world” to help you escape from the stresses of everyday life? Well, this week’s object won’t draw you a bubble bath, but it will help your skin stay soft. Sold in black or white, it performs four — that’s right — four pleasing functions when inserted into its base and attached to your iPod, CD player or computer. (Talk about a hint; that gives away one of the four.)

design quiz game - HGTV design blog - What the...?

Tell us what four things this object is designed to do in the comments below. I’m looking for all four. (And if you have no clue, tell us what four things you wish it would do!) Check back tomorrow for the answer.

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It’s Caitlin for the win! Like a teapot, a handle and a spout are expected in the design of a watering can. However, this one sports a cylinder body and a flexible hose. I’m assuming that’s why a few of you guessed a hookah pipe. Like Sue and ‘tokenblogger’, I first thought fire extinguisher or tire pump. Watch out for Lori, she guessed a gas tank siphon.

Watering Can - Born in Sweden - HGTV Design Blog

This stylish and minimal indoor watering can, by Born in Sweden‘s co-founder and designer Pascal Charmolu, comes with a built-in magnet so the hose can attach to the can’s body when not in use. Pascal’s outdoor watering can is pretty nifty, too.

I’ve found that watering cans are something people develop great affection for. After all, they hopefully help us keep our beloved plants alive. My favorite of the three in our household is an antique French watering can that leaks, but I don’t care. What about you? Do you have a cherished watering can?

Tell us in the comments below.

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While there’s no nod to the ’80s in the design of this object, it’s totally tubular, man. Well, wait, I’m sure many of us wore neon orange outfits in the ’80s. But bright orange isn’t the only color this comes in.

HGTV design blog - design guessing game

What the … is it? Leave your guess in the comments below. And check back tomorrow for the reveal.

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Tonja Morris couldn’t be more right with her guess. The foodpod by fushionbrands is a “boil/blanch/steam/drain silicone pod.” Although, I have to say, Marianne’s suggestion that it’s a “a crazy salad spinner that you swing over your head like a lasso” is a very entertaining mental image. I’m sure that would get kids to eat their vegetables.
HGTV design blog - foodpod by fushionbrands
Boiling eggs and steaming vegetables is a regular activity in our kitchen, so I’m excited to learn that the foodpod is dishwasher safe and made of FDA/EU food-safe silicone and BPA-free nylon. With this nifty contraption, I’m confident I’ll no longer drop a hot egg or burn myself extracting broccoli from a pot.

Does this design look appealing and helpful to you? Ready to boil some red potatoes or steam some mussels?

Tell us in the comments below.

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When I first spotted this object, it’s shape reminded me of a horseshoe crab. And while those ancient sea creatures are the last thing you’d want in your home, this contraption is designed to be used in a room you would want to be clean and free of germs.
HGTV design blog - what the...? guessing game
Here’s another clue. It just might make you healthier. What do you think it is?

Tell us in the comments below. Tomorrow we’ll reveal the answer and who guessed it right first.

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Jeanine Hays - Aphrochic As if she wasn’t already incredibly busy, our feature blogger Jeanine Hays of Aphrochic co-designed a spread in the latest issue of Matchbook Magazine (A Rooftop Soiree on page 80)…AND is leaving for Paris in a few weeks to present her line at the Maison & Objet trade show. But the really big news is Jeanine just signed her first book deal! APHROCHIC: MODERN.SOULFUL.STYLE will be published by Clarkson Potter in fall of 2013. Soon after Jeanine returns from France, she’ll be zipping across the country, photographing homes that reflect the intersection of modern and global design. (And hopefully sharing some behind-the-scenes blog posts on Design Happens about what goes into publishing a design book.)
Congratulations Jeanine!

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