Ideas To Embrace The Handmade & Elevate Your Home!

Apr 5, 2015 | Creativity


Right now, West Elm in Dumbo looks like a Dana-Dreamscape.  Justina-Blakeney-inspired (or Justina Blakeney?) geometric hanging planters (I already put two of Justina’s in a loft office that are like jewels on the wall), succulents everywhere in really plump-leaved glory, mason jar seed-growing kits for Spring, killer glass-and-gold curio cases…

Its the feeling of clay sitting on a pottery wheel waiting to be spun.  So much raw material, so much inspiration… I could get lost in this for a while styling up a storm.

After seeing all this greenery glory in West Elm my first thought was: plants are not an afterthought anymore, they are a part of life. They’ve made it to featured space on showroom floors.

And while I love West Elm- and love that they are promoting this fresh aesthetic- I see local shops in Brooklyn totally advancing this trend with supercharged brilliance.

Embracing the handmade- and more exactly, embracing your own hand in creativity- you can spin really personal decor with artisan attention to detail.  This is where the alchemy sparks in huge ways and your style moves from an abstraction to a lifestyle.  

in pursuit of magic

In Pursuit of Magic is everywhere I look these days.  An alley in Brooklyn Heights had this IPM heart featured on a totally unexpected wall.

You can buy stencils and tag things for yourself.

Which brings me to the first idea: put your mark on something and display it boldly. 

The handmade is meant to be experienced, not hidden. Even if you are buying handmade goodies or collecting artisan salts or honey from the best purveyor or amazing teas… find a way to put it on display. Feature it.  Let it live in your routine. Don’t keep it hidden if you can avoid it.

Design your own indoor or outdoor garden. 

Yes, you can consult an expert if you are doing something giant and permanent, but still stay close to the design.  Indoors and on patios, play with handmade pots, recycled cans, burlap bags… Create a garden space that has freshness and your personality.  I collect tomato cans of the brands my used to make her sauce… they are the best planters.  My godmother used yogurt cups and quarts to transplant her houseplants as they grew from clippings.  Those are alive and well in my life, and always make me feel amazing to see them as kitchy as they are!

Amp up the best part of your day with the handmade.

If you love baths, make bath salts, bubble bath or support a great local brand that makes something excellent.  If you are a foodie, what abour spice blends? Can you create your own signature blend? Can you collect blends of chefs you admire?  My friend has been using a spice blend made locally and sold in the Wholefoods nearby in New Jersey for the last year and a half.  It is now her signature salt. And it’s incredible.

Make.  Buy homemade.  Let’s support each other, build community and reward artisans.  Etsy success is only a piece of the puzzle. We can do much more.



If this statistic is true(and it sounds right from all I’ve read since seeing it !), how amazing would it be in we all turned to the handcrafted… the local… the small batches… the artisans…

Don’t let it be a trend reserved for hip neighborhoods.  Let’s make it a standard.  Things made with love are excellent for your whole life!


xoxo Dana




feng shui 101And, if you want to dive in to your own personalized feng shui in a modern, practical way, Say hello to Feng Shui 101.  Its the guide I made for you to create your own personalized feng shui at home, in the office, wherever you may be… in 8 weeks.  It’s not filled with strict rules or what you “must” do.  Its filled with information, questions, exercises and even videos and classes to help you confidently create amazing spaces with killer feng shui and live with more flow.   Learn more about the 8-week feng shui adventure & grab your copy to get started right HERE…  And, as always, please let me know what happens!


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