Briana Mowrey

"I want the Eames chair and I want the Saarinen table and I want them both."

Briana is a writer and senior editor for HGTV.com. Her self-described design style is "mid-century modern magpie." She lives in a Brooklyn apartment with her husband, their spoiled dachshund, Chauncey, and approximately one million old shelter magazines. She cannot wait until she is a home owner, and can wallpaper and/or tile just about every available surface.

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POSTS BY Briana Mowrey

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Summer’s starting to bring the heat, so it’s no wonder ice cube trays (and fresh summer drinks!) are on my mind. But did you know that the humble ice cube tray can be used for so much more than just making frozen H2O? Take a look at some of these other genius DIY ideas for ice cube trays and get creative. Of course, if you want to kick back with an icy beverage after all your efforts, who can blame you?

Fun DIY Ice Cube Tray Ideas: Snack Caddy

Ice Cube Tray —> Snack Caddy
The classic ice cube tray format is perfect for those who like to keep their bite-sized snacks separate. The insanely-clever hack from Jennifer Bishop is a big hit with the toddler set, especially picky eaters! (They may even ask for seconds…)

MORE IDEAS FOR ICE CUBE TRAYS

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BRIANA: This week’s topic comes via Jessica: the resurgence of tie-dye. It’s very summery and historically, we’ve been sweet on shibori, but what do you think of this trend? Is tie-dye decor groovy or does it make you think of a pint of Wavy Gravy?

Do you like tie-dye decor? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Credit: Rustic White Photography

KELLEY: I miss the old hippies who used to hang out around here, so I’m glad to see some hippie-dom coming back. I can do without the patchouli, tho.

DAVID HAYNES: Did someone say hippies?  As a veteran of more than just a few Grateful Dead shows, I will recuse myself from this thread. But before I do, if you want to witness extreme tie-dye, you might take a look at this:

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Headphones recommended. Things start to kick in at around the two-and-a-half minute mark.

TREVOR LANE: The traditional psychedelic neon-hued tie-dye reminds me of childhood vacation Bible school crafts. But this more modern take on the trend is great. I love monochrome and am obsessed with indigo. The more geometric shapes are incredibly beautiful, like the Crate and Barrel napkin in the second link. If I could do it… I would.

Do you like the tie-dye trend? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Crate and Barrel Shibori Blue Napkin

MEG ALLAN COLE: I support hand dyeing in all ways. I used to rock some pretty atrocious colored tie-dye in the 90′s, and those are moments we can leave in the past, but this new organic hand dye trend using muted mellow colors or bold jewel tones is just gorgeous. It gives off such a dreamy, tropical look and vibe that I am WAY into.

MORE DEBATING ABOUT TIE DYE

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I’ve been a fan of Petit Collage’s wares since I worked on a gallery featuring kids’ room decals and found some adorable examples on their site that I just had to feature. It’s truly a testament to the quality of the designs that they appealed to me even though I don’t have little ones of my own yet and I could easily imagine them fitting into my mid-century modern decorating scheme.

Turns out that the force behind Petit Collage, artist and designer Lorena Siminovich, is quite the multi-tasker! In addition to starting the successful home decor line in 2006, she has authored and illustrated over 20 childrens’ books. Her latest book, Petit Collage: 25 Easy Craft and Decor Projects for a Playful Home, came out in April from Potter Craft, and it’s definitely one that’s for parents as much as it is for the kids. These decor projects are stylish enough to earn a place in every room in your home and the crafts would make darling handmade baby shower gifts, though they’re so cute that it’s hard to imagine giving them away once you’ve made them.

New Book Release: Petit Collage

Photography: Thayer Allyson Gowdy | Design: Sara Gillingham Studio

I chatted with Lorena about the book, her personal style and how becoming a mother shaped her business. Plus: Try one of the book’s sweet DIY crafts!

READ THE INTERVIEW AND GET THE SAMPLE CRAFT

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Confession: There’s a dresser in my loft that I can’t seem to part with, even though it is totally old (not like valuable antique old, just like, old old), not in great shape and the drawers are barely deep enough to hold my unmentionables. Since we’ve established that I can’t (read: won’t) let it go, I figured I may as well solve my own dilemma and come up with some interesting new uses for it. Here are a few of my favorite ideas…

5 Totally-Doable DIY Dresser Ideas: Planter

Photo: DK – Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Old Dresser —> New Planter
This dresser-as-planter notion tops my list because it’s so whimsical and unexpected in an outdoor setting. It’d be perfect in a cottage chic garden, no? I love the way the items on top of the dresser have been cleverly repurposed for potting plants, too. A double threat!

 
MORE DIY IDEAS FOR DRESSERS

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BRIANA: Move over, duck face — there’s a new craze sweeping Instagram called the “shelfie.” Apparently, tastemakers everywhere are taking pictures of artfully-arranged shelves and posting them to social media with the hashtag. What do you think of the trend? Is it a fun way to share your personal style or does showing off your possessions make you seem shelf-ish?

shelfie trend

Design: Brian Patrick Flynn | Photo: Rustic White Photography

JESSICA: I’m a hoarder and lacking in shelf space (read: furniture), so looking at people’s neatly organized shelves is very relaxing.

KAYLA: I’m one of those people that rearranges my bookshelves once a month, so seeing people’s “shelfies”  gives me ideas for placement. (I had no idea that was a thing, though.)

DAVID HAYNES: I’m with Kayla. I’m all for seeing what other people are doing along these lines and I will happily cherry-pick and plagiarize their ideas. However, I’m more the type in search of the Holy Grail of shelf arrangement, so once I have a shelving strategy and display theme I’m happy with, it’s likely to stay that way to the end of time.

MARIEL CLARK: Here’s a trend I can get behind. I love being inspired by real-life design and bookshelves are such a great reflection of individual personality and style. I probably won’t share my own “shelfie” right now since mine is a study in juice boxes, train sets and baby blocks. But I will eagerly flip through others’ perfectly arranged shelves and dream of one day having just the right bookends that will pull the entire shelf — no, the entire room — together.

FARIMA: I love a well-decorated shelf, and I truly think it takes talent to design one perfectly. Saying that, the closest thing I have to a bookshelf is an electric blue China cabinet that I’ve decorated minimally because I hate dusting!

MORE SHOUTING ABOUT SHELFIES

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When I was little, “You make a better door than a window” was a popular way to complain about someone blocking the TV in front of you. Turns out that sometimes even windows are better in other capacities! Take a look at these wonderfully crafty ideas for old windows to see what I mean…

Old Window Ideas: Window Box

Design by Mandy Stansberry

YOU MAKE A BETTER PIECE OF WALL ART THAN A WINDOW:
Hey, there’s no rule that window boxes need to stay outdoors! Attach a box to an old window frame, hang on a bare wall and change out the display to reflect the seasons.

MORE WONDERFUL WINDOW CRAFTS

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A refreshing wall hue (like a blue or green) can make your home feel brand new, but it doesn’t take gallons of paint to spruce up the place. If you have a half-empty can or paint samples, you can still make colorful crafts designed to elevate the mood in just about every room. Check out these clever ways to make the most of your last painting project’s leftovers.

5 Painting Crafts to Refresh Your Home

Photo: Alison Gootee

If you have paint samples or pints: Dress up a dresser
If you only have a small stash of paint, this idea from HGTV Magazine is for you. Just take the color you have (like this cool blue) and mix it with a bit of white paint for an eye-catching ombre effect on an old dresser.

MORE CRAFTY WAYS TO REFRESH WITH PAINT

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BRIANA: I know I was pining for warmer climes through our long, bleak winter and it seems designers were, too. Pineapples have been popping up in the fashion world and now they’re appearing on pillows, in paintings and on blogs. So, what do you think of the pineapple as a popular motif? Are these fruits tropi-cool or do you only care about them when they’re in colada form?

Do you like the pineapple decor trend? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Pillow: Bonnie and Neil via Anthropologie

MARIANNE: My girl Meg JUST did this amazing cut paper pineapple, and I’m loving it. And did you guys see The Alison Show’s Mother’s Day brunch? MORE PINEAPPLES.

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You might not have giant wooden spools hanging around the house, but I found so many ingenious ways to upcycle them into furniture that I had to share. If you’re inspired by these projects, ask your local home improvement store if they’d be willing to give you a used spool for free. Still coming up empty-handed? Big spools are often used to hold heavy-duty wiring, so check out your local electric and cable companies. (I think nearly-free furniture is worth a little legwork, don’t you?)

5 Furniture Ideas for Wooden Spools

Design: Randy Weinstein

Believe it or not, this wooden spool was salvaged from a junkyard. If you’re going for an industrial modern vibe, copy designer Randy Weinstein and top a spool with stainless steel for a DIY table. Eames chairs complete the look.

MORE SPOOL FURNITURE IDEAS

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Antler decor makes any place feel a little more like home to me. (What can I say? I’m originally from Pennsylvania and my dad’s side of the family counts a long line of hunters and outdoorsmen.) If you live near a wooded area where deer, moose or elk roam, you can find shed antlers in the winter through the early spring. Urban dwellers, you may be able to pick them up at flea markets or online. But whether you spot a single “shed” or a few matched pairs, there are so many interesting ways to accent your home with antlers, as you can see below. (Not feeling real antlers? Go faux, like Erin Loechner did in her laundry room.)

5 Unexpected Antler Crafts and Decor Ideas

We’ve basically exhausted the crafting possibilities around wine (see: corks, bottles, glasses, crates AND barrels), but this ingenious antler wine rack from Meg Caswell is a cool way to store and display your wine before you’re ready to sip it/craft with it.

UNUSUAL BUT ATTRACTIVE IDEAS FOR ANTLERS

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