A Stylish Mid-Century Home Designed for Accessibility

Hayden and Claire’s circa-1950 brick bungalow in Yarraville, Melbourne looks out over the local park’s sea of gum trees. Inside, it features well-preserved, mid-century fittings, and boasts an expansive layout. Before Megan Norgate, founding director a…

Hayden and Claire’s circa-1950 brick bungalow in Yarraville, Melbourne looks out over the local park’s sea of gum trees. Inside, it features well-preserved, mid-century fittings, and boasts an expansive layout. Before Megan Norgate, founding director and principal designer at Brave New Eco, put her stamp on the property in 2015, however, it was difficult for the couple’s son Owen to navigate in his wheelchair. “It needed to work harder,” Norgate says.

To tip the scales in Owen’s favor, the designer started small and focused on customizing his bathroom. Her solutions? A wider entry, a floating sink Owen’s chair can roll up under, and new pocket doors which take up zero space when opened—read: they provide his chair with more room to turn. “The curved edge of the hardwood vanity also eliminates hard corners in the small space, so carers can easily move around the bathtub,” Norgate adds.

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A Peek Inside a Christmas-Ready 1918 Craftsman Home

Every year, blogger, shop owner, and interior stylist Jeran McConnel of Oleander and Palm and her husband Lonnie host a holiday bash at their Bakersfield, CA home. “Most people stay for hours, and our house gets loud and crowded. I bake and cook for da…

Every year, blogger, shop owner, and interior stylist Jeran McConnel of Oleander and Palm and her husband Lonnie host a holiday bash at their Bakersfield, CA home. “Most people stay for hours, and our house gets loud and crowded. I bake and cook for days leading up to it so that everything is homemade and fresh,” the multi-hyphenate Jeran tells us. This year, however, the couple has reworked not only that annual party but all of their holiday plans in order to keep their loved ones safe.

“I grew up in Papua New Guinea. When I was pregnant with my oldest child, we visited a very remote Island, and I bought an ebony-and-shell carved ornament from a local artisan. I used to hang it on the tree, but this year I got a little ornament stand at a thrift store for it. Now it has a special spot on the mantle,” McConnel tells us. Stockings by Target Photo by Oleander and Palm

A highly scaled-back guest list and a change of scenery will help keep their traditional gathering alive. The new socially-distanced setting? The front porch. “We will serve a few neighbors thermoses full of spiked citrus punch, hand out boxes of homemade treats, and give them blankets to keep them warm,” McConnel adds.

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6 Families on Their New Normal Holiday Traditions

Ceramicist and woodworker Steph Trowbridge and her six siblings haven’t been in the same place since March of this year. Luckily, they’ll reunite this Thanksgiving at her brother and sister-in-law’s barn in New Jersey, where they’ll trade in their trad…

Ceramicist and woodworker Steph Trowbridge and her six siblings haven’t been in the same place since March of this year. Luckily, they’ll reunite this Thanksgiving at her brother and sister-in-law’s barn in New Jersey, where they’ll trade in their traditional dinner for an al fresco picnic around a fire pit. “I’ll treasure that time together,” she says.

Like Trowbridge, families everywhere are rejigging their upcoming holiday plans in order to stay healthy. For most, this year is all about forgoing the usual scale of celebration in favor of simpler, more-meaningful moments, while others are using the unique circumstances to start new traditions. No matter how they’re observing the holidays, though, each proves that while extenuating circumstances may be able to stop us from gathering, it can’t stop us from showing our love for those we cherish most.

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This Laundry Room Renovation Took 3 Years. Here’s Why It Was Worth It.

In 2016, interior designer Mandi Gubler and her husband Court were planning the custom home of their dreams in Santa Clara, UT when one of their friends, a real estate agent, showed Gubler around a 100-year-old mercantile store—and unintentionally thre…

In 2016, interior designer Mandi Gubler and her husband Court were planning the custom home of their dreams in Santa Clara, UT when one of their friends, a real estate agent, showed Gubler around a 100-year-old mercantile store—and unintentionally threw their plans for a loop. “The agent said it would make for a cool vintage store, a coffee shop, or a restaurant,” Gubler recalls, but the designer had other plans. “It was old and awesome. I loved the giant shop windows and high ceilings. This was my house.”

The home’s exterior. Photo by Mandi Gubler

It took her husband a bit longer to come around to the idea, but Gubler eventually won him over, and they’ve spent the last several years teaching the old shop—which they’ve affectionately nicknamed “The Merc”—some new tricks by unhurriedly renovating it bit by bit. Their most-recent project? A cheery laundry room glow-up that favored thoughtfulness over speed and took three years (yes, you read that right) to complete.

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11 Design Experts on the Power of Art—& Seeing Ourselves in It

An object is often worth more than its material form. It can bring with it cultural echoes, family history, and personal memory. In The Things We Treasure, writers, creatives, and design experts tell us about their most priceless possessions—and the ir…

An object is often worth more than its material form. It can bring with it cultural echoes, family history, and personal memory. In The Things We Treasure, writers, creatives, and design experts tell us about their most priceless possessions—and the irreplaceable stories behind them.


Interior stylist Olaniyi Swarn’s family tree has put down roots in her Chicago-area living room. At least that’s the impression one gets from the collection of old family photos that sit atop the bed of river rock on her coffee table. This “bowl of stories,” as she calls it, always grabs visitors’ attention and is often a conversation starter.

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An Honest Chat About Accessible Design

This summer marks the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), a landmark piece of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination based on mental or physical ability. The act encompasses guidelines for every…

This summer marks the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), a landmark piece of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination based on mental or physical ability. The act encompasses guidelines for everything from inclusive hiring practices to the requirement that public spaces be accessible to those of all abilities. Ramps, handrails, as well as standard sidewalk/door widths, for example, all have their origins in the ADA.

This tentpole anniversary has sparked a renewed interest in accessibility as it relates to interior design, with various publications weighing in on the industry’s shortcomings and successes. Are we doing enough? How can we do better? These are big questions that call for even bigger answers, but the fact that they are even being asked speaks volumes about where the field is headed.

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How to Add Character to Your New-Build Home

It was 2015 and Lea Johnson, founder and lead stylist at Creekwoodhill and IT wizard, sat with her contractor excitedly sketching out a floor plan on a napkin. The chance to build a home for her family of four from scratch in Minneapolis, MN was a rare…

It was 2015 and Lea Johnson, founder and lead stylist at Creekwoodhill and IT wizard, sat with her contractor excitedly sketching out a floor plan on a napkin. The chance to build a home for her family of four from scratch in Minneapolis, MN was a rare one, and she was determined to make the most of it. Laundry room here, kitchen facing this way, staircase winding like so, and the list went on.

Customizing the home to her family’s needs was not the only thing at the forefront of Johnson’s mind throughout the build, though. She also aimed to seamlessly combine the amenities of a brand new home with the character of an older one. Vintage dressers would act as bathroom vanities, backsplashes would come with a backstory, and every light source was going to exude personality.

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7 Affordable, Doable Projects for an (Even) Better Backyard

Hunting down the perfect set of white outdoor pots was proving way more challenging than Amelia Ross expected. “We were walking around the garden section of our local hardware chain, and none of them were right,” she recalls. Some were too pricey, othe…

Hunting down the perfect set of white outdoor pots was proving way more challenging than Amelia Ross expected. “We were walking around the garden section of our local hardware chain, and none of them were right,” she recalls. Some were too pricey, others the right shape but wrong color, and so on. It was time to get creative.

Ross ended up picking out some exterior house paint, snapped up a few terracotta pots in varying sizes and voila. For half the cost of store-bought pots, Ross had created the perfect co-star for the fire pit she and her partner had built to make sheltering in place a little cozier.

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5 Expert Tips for Plant-ifying Your Kitchen

In their latest book Plant Tribe, Igor Josifovic-Kemper and Judith de Graaff whisk readers off to 17 attractive, plant-filled homes across the US, Europe and Brazil. What makes this book so valuable is not just their adept styling of the rooms, but how…

In their latest book Plant Tribe, Igor Josifovic-Kemper and Judith de Graaff whisk readers off to 17 attractive, plant-filled homes across the US, Europe and Brazil. What makes this book so valuable is not just their adept styling of the rooms, but how the capable hands of Igor and Judith transform the spaces into teaching tools. In one part of the book, for instance, the pair uses them to illustrate how plants have the power to affect our well-being. In another, the homes are accompanied by the authors’ insights into the business side of plants.

One particular section of note, the book’s “Room-by-Room Guide,” shows readers how they can keep plants thriving throughout their houses, including in the unusually-tricky kitchen. This spot presents a unique challenge because of its daily changes in temperature and moisture levels, sometimes shoddy natural light and its abundance of appliances (which can affect air flow and quality). Lucky for you, Igor and Judith have put together a quick guide to kitchen plant care that takes all of this into account. If you don’t have a green thumb (yet), do not fear. These tips are aimed at beginners, so follow along below, and you, too, can have a kitchen filled with happy plants.

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11 Design Experts Share Their Favorite Spot at Home

Interior Designer Mikel Welch is not one to sit still. Hosting his Quibi show Murder House Flip, decorating stunning homes for clients, and designing green rooms for celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and former First Lady Michelle Obama keep him on the mo…

Interior Designer Mikel Welch is not one to sit still. Hosting his Quibi show Murder House Flip, decorating stunning homes for clients, and designing green rooms for celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and former First Lady Michelle Obama keep him on the move. A few months ago, however, Mikel, just like most of us, had to switch up his routine and work from home.

Mikel says this time at home has given him a newfound appreciation for the calming qualities of one space in particular: his living room. It features lush textiles, a giant barn door and other rustic touches reminiscent of Sag Harbor, NY, his favorite vacation destination. Whether enjoying his morning cup of coffee on the sofa or wrapping up the day binge watching RuPaul’s Drag Race, the living room helps Mikel feel like he is being swept away—if just for a few relaxing moments.

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