POSTS BY amillman

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When I was a kid, my father tried to get me interested in collecting stamps, but I’ve always been more fascinated by the artwork and design of paper currency and coin. After all, to quote the Liza Minnelli, Joel Gray number in Cabaret, “Money makes the world go around.” Yesterday, money went down, not around, like the balance of my 401k after the Dow plummeted 513 points. If only I had one of these cool pillows I found on Etsy by seller EkoFabric, I could have cried myself to sleep, comforted by the intriguing design of the old Zimbabwean two dollar note. Today, I’m going to do like Ginger Rogers in Gold Diggers of 1933, hum the song “We’re in the Money” while keep my mind on sunnier days ahead and cool design inspired by the almighty dollar.

HGTV Design Blog - Money Decor

From top left, clockwise (all from Etsy): Vintage 1920′s Tin Global Bank ::  calloohcallay; Pookie Decorative Felt Piggy Bank Burlap Pillow :: lollipoppillows; Ceramic Japanese Lucky Fortune Cat :: zelda110; Plexi Money Symbol :: MidsummerVintage; Zimababwe Cushion Cover :: EkoFabrik

Do you have any money-related decor in your home? Perhaps a lucky money tree or a penny tiled floor?

Tell us in the comments below.

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Warning. Somewhere our feature blogger Brian Patrick Flynn is feeling the urge to “punch an angel.” That’s what he said in February when he ixnayed this color in favor of tangerine. Then in March, you, our Design Happens readers championed aqua over this hue in a runoff vote. But for those of you who described it as the color of happiness… for TaraLovesHGTV, Jolie, Leslie, @paintedroom, Amy PureHome, CplusE, Cynthia, time for a big smiley face. Kayla made a persuasive pitch to our color team, and’s August Color of the Month is…


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Do you suffer from flooring envy? Perhaps you bought a house, like me, where for some unknown reason the previous owners installed different hardwoods in different rooms for no logical reason. Or maybe some person in your family (who shall not be named) spilled nail polish/wine/nail polish remover/mustard/you name it on the carpet you’ve been meaning to replace. Others of us strategically place slippers by the side of the bed during the winter because our search for the ideal area rug so far has been a bust, and those floors are sooo cold at six in the morning. We…we are the ones who, when we visit another person’s home, notice gorgeous flooring with great longing. We marvel at the glow of hardwoods. (Yes, they can glow.) We desire a barefoot run across our host’s welcoming carpet. We experience awe at how one area rug has the power of an instant makeover.

Well, there’s no more need to suffer from flooring envy. Thanks to HGTV HOME Flooring by Shaw, a variety of stylish designer flooring options now available nationwide at authorized Shaw retailers. I spent some time online window shopping the new HGTV HOME Flooring by Shaw collection, and here’s what I fell in love with instantly:

Carpet Flooring by ShawCarpet is all about elegant colors, patterns and textures that fill a home with warm, welcoming feelings as well as durable, stain resistant comfort that encourages relaxed living.

Area Rugs by ShawWhether you’re looking for an instant makeover or a seasonal change, area rugs have the power to transform a room. Make a big or subtle design statement with your choice of color and pattern.

Hardwood Flooring by ShawHardwoods bring distinction to a home and a natural touch that can be enjoyed for decades.

Laminate Flooring by ShawLaminate offers active families a variety of stylish and affordable looks that stand up to everyday wear and tear.

Visit and let us know… are you inspired by the new HGTV HOME Flooring by Shaw collection? Will you finally install those new hardwoods? Add wow to your living room or bedroom with a new area rug?

Tell us in the comments below.

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Have you heard? There’s a woman in a Detroit suburb who could face jail time if she doesn’t remove the vegetable garden from her front yard. When we bought our first house six years ago, my spouse and I planted a peach tree and an edible garden in our front yard. We felt the fruits and veggies would make for great conversation starters with our new neighbors. And it worked. One of my favorite memories is when we first met Grace, an elderly woman who lives a block away, and learned that her family grows chard and collards in their backyard. We swapped our cucumbers for some of her leafy greens and our friendship blossomed.

Front Yard Vegetable Garden Controversy

Photographer Fritz Haeg (top row)

Top row photos via Sustainable Transition, from photographer Fritz Haeg & Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn. Bottom row photos from Ecosalon.

Lately, as I drive around Atlanta, I’ve noticed more and more front yard gardens. We’re talking raised beds with tomato plants and rows of corn. As evident in this Sunset magazine article, front yard edible gardens are popular in California. With all that sunshine it would practically be a sin not to there. But apparently not everywhere, like the growing controversy in the Detroit burbs. Then there’s the gardener in the county where my mom lives who ran afoul of code enforcement for growing too many veggies.

Do you have or would you plant an edible garden in your front yard? Is it wrong if it’s the only part of the property with good sunlight? Is it plain old ugly? Or can it be beautiful?

Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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There are certain colors that pack more than visual appeal. They also evoke powerfully strong (and hopefully positive) sense memories that further our desire to include that color in our home. Some hues easily achieve this status because they also connect to a readily identifiable taste or scent. Others because they are associated with life events. We think you’ll agree, our July Color of the Month makes for a delicious and refreshing experience, whether you taste it, drink it, smell it or simply lay eyes on it. Check out our favorite indoor and outdoor decor finds that sport this color (it’s July, after all!), plus three inspirational rooms. Then let us know, what happy memory does this hue bring up for you, and how do you (or will you) incorporate it in your home? I’ve included my answers in the comments at the end. We hope you will, too!


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These recycled (or rather upcycled) tire pots I spotted on a blog dedicated to repurposed goods caught my eye. I love the different tread patterns and the way succulents look in them. When empty, they make light weight, durable storage containers. (And cute hats!)

Pots Made From Recyled Tires by UBeauty, HGTV design blog
Sold by UBeauty, the pots are made in Pakistan from 100% recycled tires in accordance with the “Certified for Compliance of Ethical Trading Initiative.” The small workshop where they are manufactured used to be a leather-crafting shop but had gone out of business. Using traditional methods, the craftsmen now make a living producing these vessels and containers.

How would you use them? For storage? Or for indoor or outdoor container gardens?

Tell us in the comments below.

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Does your dog or cat manage to scoot their food bowl across the kitchen by the time they are done eating? My three dogs do. But with so few stylish and not-too-cute pet placemat options available, I long ago resigned myself to the sounds of chomping and the metal bowls scraping across our hardwoods.

Chilewich Dog and Cat Pet Food Mats - HGTV Design Blog

Not anymore. These basketweave pet mats in orange or green would look perfect in my mostly yellow kitchen. New York-based Chilewich also produces modern, sophisticated and durable tablemats, floormats and window shades for us two-legged types.

Cat and dog lovers, do these food bowl mats appeal to you, too?

Tell us in the comments below.

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Try this. In a second, I want you to close your eyes and think about a color that is at the same time both searing hot and exhilaratingly cool. Sounds like an oxymoron, I know, but try it. Close your eyes…

…so what color did you see? Let us know at the end of this post if what you pictured in your mind’s eye matches our pick for HGTV’s June Color of the Month…a hue that both sizzles and chills.
Here It Is…

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My favorite part of fixing up a home…is picking out paint colors. I love the challenge of finding the perfect hue for creating the mood I want for each space, as well as making sure that when I’m sitting in, say, my living room, I will enjoy the view of that paint color along with the color of the adjacent kitchen as seen through a doorway. So, wouldn’t you know, just when my spouse and I are 95% done renovating our 1922 bungalow, along comes HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams. (Honey, we’re repainting every room!) We have to. The eight fabulous color collections are filled with drool-worthy hues designed for room-to-room harmony. (So helpful!) That means no more clashing room colors — a major painting faux pas!  To top it off, it’s Zero VOC paint that’s available in Flat, Satin and Semi-Gloss. Oh wait, there’s also a complete selection of HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams painting supplies, all the tools needed to get the job done with ease. Visit to see it all.

But first, check out my favorite inspirational rooms from each collection. At the end of this post, I’ll share with you which paint color is my favorite. And I hope you will share yours, too.

LIVABLE LUXE: If you’re style is traditional and you prefer a subtle yet luxurious color palette, Livable Luxe is for you.

interior paint colors - HGTV HOME by Sherwin Williams - Livable Luxe

Livable Luxe Master Bedroom in Special Gray / walls - Snowbound / trim - Wool Skein / hallway


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Kim Stoegbauer - The TomKat Studio - featured blogger on HGTV Design Happens

Everybody say “hi” to our newest feature blogger Kim Stoegbauer, party stylist extraordinaire. Kim’s the designer/editor/founder of one of our favorite sites, The TomKat Studio, and Etsy shops. (“TomKat” comes from the combination of her two kids’ names.)

We hope you’ll check out Kim’s post this week where she reveals her top 3 essentials for outdoor entertaining. Then return every Tuesday for her fresh, informative and inspiring takes on stylish entertaining options. (I can’t wait to see what she has in store for Father’s Day.)

Welcome, Kim!

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Designer Vern Yip - HGTV Urban Oasis 2011 - HGTV Design Happens blog
“If you and Vern Yip just happened to be chatting over a cup of coffee right now, what would you ask him about his work designing the 2011 Urban Oasis?” That’s what our senior editor Mary Graff wants to know. Submit your questions for Vern Yip on the HGTV Urban Oasis 2011 blog, and Mary will pick several for HGTV’s famed designer to answer! By the way, design work has begun on this year’s Urban Oasis, located in the Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago. Mary says, “Vern Yip plans to decorate the space with an eclectic mix of antiques, architectural artifacts and contemporary decor that reflects Chicago’s heart and soul.”

I used to live in Chicago. A-MAZ-ING city. And with Vern Yip answering the Q&A in the form of a slide show, it’s sure to be packed with cool photos and impressive design insights.

Submit your HGTV Urban Oasis questions for Vern Yip now!

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Maybe it’s because I was born at Fort Benning in Georgia while my dad was serving in the Army. Or maybe it’s because I used to love to watch classic war movies like Battleground and Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo with my grandfather. Whatever the reason, I find recruitment, production and home front posters from World War I and II visually compelling and emotionally stirring. I’m slowly building a collection of originals, and I have framed some to use as thought provoking statement art in my home. So this Armed Forces Day, I’m sharing with you six of my favorites I’ve found for sale. And want to let you know you can download a 2011 “United in Strength” Armed Forces Day poster from the White House website.

Armed Forces Day Vintage PosterArmy Day Poster 1939 :: La Belle Epoque

This Army Day poster by soldier and artist Tom B. Woodburn is from 1939. Prior to 1949, the five U.S. military branches celebrated separate observance days (and still do within their respective services). It wasn’t until the Army, Coast Guard, Navy, Marines and Air Force were united under the Department of Defense that Armed Forces Day was established by President Harry Truman to honor the work of all military services on the third Saturday of May each year.

More Vintage Posters

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While it resembles the object in the opening shot of the film Inception, this week’s mystery design is not a spintop. Want a hint as to scale? It’s too big to fit on a table. So, shot glass is out.

HGTV Design Happens - What the...?
Looking forward to your guesses and seeing who gets it right first. That, we will reveal tomorrow.

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Did you know, World Wide Knit In Public Day and International Yarn Bombing Day are less than a month away? I received my first notice, so I wanted to give y’all the heads up, too. Mark your calendars for Saturday, June 11th. I’ll be joining the Southeast Fiber Arts Alliance at Freedom Park in Atlanta. If you live near Adel, Iowa, head over to the Dallas County Fairgrounds. The Iowa Sheep Industry is hosting a KIP event (knit in public) at the Iowa Sheep & Wool Festival. Safe to say, no matter where you live, there’s an event you can join or host yourself. Let us know what you have planned. Organizers say, all ages, all abilities and all fiber techniques are welcome.

Here’s some background and helpful links:

Saturday, June 11, 2011

  • International Yarn Bombing Day: Started by Joann Matvichuk in Alberta, Canada, yarn bombers around the world unite to bring beauty and humor in the form of graffiti knitting and crochet to urban landscapes.
  • World Wide Knitting in Public Day: Grab your needles and hooks. While knitting and crochet are typically solitary pursuits, gather with other crafters and fiber artists to create better living by stitching together. And make friends.
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“What We’re Reading” brings you our monthly pick of new design-related books, along with comments from our editors. For May, here’s a look into the world of French cottage decor, the grand apartment homes of 5th & Park Avenues and the retro-fantasy stylings of the Steampunk movement.
HGTV Designs Happens - What We're Reading - May 2011 READ MORE

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I like a good margarita on Cinco de Mayo (on the rocks with salt) and some homemade guacamole. (Jump to the end of the post for recipes.) I’m also one of those geeky types always reading, always looking to learn more about anything. So in researching this post, I got to thinking about traditional Mexican crafts. Because Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s triumph at the Battle of Puebla, here’s at look at the #1 craft associated with the city and state of Puebla: talavera ceramics.

HGTV - Design Happens - Cinco de Mayo - Talavera - Puebla, Mexicoflickr: photoholics – Talavera in Puebla, Mexico

This article by Rita Pomade from Mexconnect offers the best overview of this 400-year-old craft. My top takeaway — the Consejo Regulador de la Talavera is the official group that monitors the authenticity of talavera. So, if you truly want to collect this pottery, only buy from certified workshops. All the images I selected for this post feature pieces by these approved artisans. Some have online stores, others you’ll have to travel to Puebla to purchase. And what better time to travel there than for Cinco de Mayo.


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In March and April, we put the final vote on our Color of the Month to you, our readers. But for May, the debate narrowed down so quickly to a tie that I decided to ask Leanne Potts, our VP of Editorial, to cast the deciding vote. Here’s how she described her pick: This color makes me think of desert skies, Caribbean water and delphinium blossoms. The shade suggests serenity in an age of tumult.

In the week that followed Leanne’s tie-breaking vote, tumultuous events rapidly unfolded, including the outbreak of tornadoes in the South. I think you’ll agree – we all could use an infusion of serenity.

Here’s a small dose in the form of our May Color of the Month:


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When I heard the news this morning, I almost cried. The manual typewriter is officially extinct. Well, not exactly. But the last believed manufacturer, Godrej and Boyce, announced they are shutting down their factory in India due to practically non-existent orders.

HGTV Design Happens - Vintage Manual Typewriters - Designer Rabia Lockwood

The Finders Keepers :: Designer Rabia Lockwood

It’s going to be ever increasing slim pickings for these ultra-cool artifacts that are fixtures of vintage chic decor. Time to start scouring etsy, ebay, craigslist, estate sales. Here’s a stunning typewriter for sale on 1stdibs … for now. (sigh)

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