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It’s that time of year. You’re probably starting to think a vacation somewhere warm sounds pretty good right about now. Well, we hear you. That’s why we want to share these incredibly beautiful photographs, to send you on a virtual vacation to the magical mists of Kauai, where photographer Jess Bianchi documented the construction of The Kauai Cottage, an off-the-grid Hawaiian hideaway.

Built and designed by San Francisco artist and surfer Jay Nelson, the philosophy behind the project was to encourage residents of the cabin to “live simply and small and only use what you need,” according to Jess. “In a time of excess when everyone seems to be building bigger and higher, we wanted to experiment with a simpler kind of living.” And at only 200 square feet, it is certainly less living space than most people are used to. But the detail and care that went into crafting the reclaimed redwood structure is evident in every inch, and the natural beauty surrounding the structure is truly inspiring. Plus there’s no TV to distract or take you out of the moment, and you can pick fruit right off the front porch! Isn’t that pretty much the definition of paradise?

If this sounds like a place you need to visit for real, and not just look at on the internet, we have good news: the owners are currently discussing the possibility of opening the cottage to the public in the near future, and have plans to add solar panels, a garden, and possibly build another structure on the property. Until then, take a look at the photos below and drift away on an imagination vacation. Aloha!

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Source: Jess Bianchi

Since 1990, Pantone has selected an official Color of the Year that they feel is representative of current trends and moods in design and culture. The organization just revealed that their selection for 2015 is Marsala: a deep red, named after marsala wine. The executive director of the Pantone Color Institute described the color as “a naturally robust and earthy wine red” that “enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability.”

Despite similar shades such as burgundy, aubergine, and oxblood trending in both decor and fashion recently, some are unhappy with the choice of Marsala as color of the year. Outlets such as New York Magazine and The Atlantic have expressed their displeasure with the selection. But as Slate reminds us, there’s no accounting for taste. We at Househappy happen to like it. Maybe not for a whole room, but for accents here and there. And its depth and warmth are especially appropriate during the cool winter months. What do you think? Will you be painting your walls or nails in Marsala anytime soon?

Source: Slate

Modern or traditional? Designer or DIY? Wacky and whimsical, or subtle and minimal? Whatever your style, there’s a wreath to match. The New York Times recently went wreath shopping with Kevin Hertzog, a freelance set designer and prop stylist who once worked on Bergdorf Goodman’s famous holiday displays, so he knows a thing or two about wreaths. You’ll find a few of our favorites below. See any that would look good on your door?

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Source: The New York Times

2014 has been a big year for brass in home decor, though it’s by no means a new concept. Once a norm in houses around the world, at some point brass just fell out of favor. Some homeowners became so disdainful of it that they would go so far as to paint over brass light fixtures and nobs. But brass is back in a big way (although we are not talking about the ultra-shiny brass of the 80s), and the trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere soon. The brass of today is all about creating a warm and timeless look, but with a fresh modern twist.

Design*Sponge believes brass’ appeal may be due in part to the fact that it looks good at any level of wear. Brand new is beautiful, but many years in it develops a gorgeous surface patina of wear that many prefer to its original shine. We think it’s safe to say that the brass revival is more than a fad at this point.

In hopes of inspiring you to experiment with using brass in your own home, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite brass products and uses in decor below. See what you think! Would you install brass in your own home?

Oak and brass shelving system featured on Remodelista.

 

This Hexagon towel holder by Urban Outfitters.

 

A DIY dresser revamp with antique brass bamboo handles, feautured on the blog Natty By Design.

 

This modern yet classic bathroom featured on Domino.

 

This midcentury sconce by Schoolhouse Electric.

 

Sources: Design*SpongeRemodelistaUrban OutfittersNatty By DesignDominoSchoolhouse Electric.

Much like Hawaii’s Pumpkin Crunch or Oklahoma’s Sopapilla Casserole, we’ll keep this short and sweet. We love this interactive map from The New York Times that shows the most unusually popular food in each state, based on data from Google searches. The quirky names and flavor combinations are a reflection of the diverse cultures that came together to create the melting pot of America, and as much as we love our traditional dishes, we feel inspired to try something new this year.

So whether you’re sitting down to a plate of Spinach Maria in Tennessee, or heading to Idaho for some Frog Eye Salad, we hope you enjoy every bite.

Source: The New York Times

Nothing is worse than running out of battery on the go. It seems like new tech innovations are released every day to combat this all-too-common issue. Starbucks even announced recently that it has begun to introduce mobile device charging mats to some San Francisco-area locations to give patrons a phone fix while fueling up with caffeine. But every once and awhile we hear about a mobile-related invention that sounds special. This is the case for the Mini Power, a tiny, one-time-use, recyclable phone charger. Created by designer Tsung Chih-Hsien, this award-winning device is expected to revolutionize the mobile charging industry, bringing more sustainable single-use chargers to the market. We hope so!

Source: Fast Company

Sure, at this point in your holiday meal prep, the focus may be on food. Between making your grocery list, organizing ingredients, and planning out your day-of oven schedule, it’s easy to forget about setting your holiday table. But David at Another Decor Blog reminds us not to neglect that holiday table essential, the Thanksgiving centerpiece.

Centerpieces have graced tables on special occasions for thousands of years. In Roman times, tables were decorated with natural materials like leaves and branches. In the middle ages, decorative marzipan figurines were a popular choice for holiday tablescapes. 18th century centerpieces frequently incorporated a mirror, to reflect the bounty of food, flowers, and candles on the table.

Centerpiece trends today are broad and varied, so the choice is up to you to pick what best matches your home and style, but many experts feel it’s based to stick to the basics, such as natural materials like gourds and flowers. So take a look at these beautiful ideas for some inspiration, and then get to work on some of your own!

Source: Another Decor Blog