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How To: Throw a Festive, Fun Easter Brunch

Easter might just be the best holiday for brunching, so we’re putting together a few of our favorite Easter ideas to get you thinking about the perfect menu and table setting for your get-together. Because a brie torte with fresh raspberries and a rosemary rhubarb cocktail sounds just, well, heavenly! 

Here are Dot & Bo’s picks for what to serve, and how to serve it:

What we’re using: we’re setting our table with seasonal colors and patterns as well as some fun touches like rabbit-shaped serving dishes and DIY bunny party crackers from our Easter Brunch Collection. For centerpieces, we’re going sweet and simple with the expert, Martha Stewart

What we’re eating: Easter brunch allows for some really festive dishes that mix fresh seasonal ingredients with lots of eggs, and lots of cheese. And that’s fine by us. We’re planning a menu around an asparagus-gruyere tart, vanilla ricotta frittersspinach and cheddar muffins, baked eggs in avocado with bacon, and finally, a brie phyllo torte with fresh raspberries from This Week for Dinner - one of our fave new food blogs. 

What we’re drinking: Brit + Co had us thinking BRIGHT with their 12 Sassy Spring Cocktails - so we got on board quickly and are planning to shake and stir up a French 75 punch, grapefruit-thyme fizzestea and thyme vodka and a few variations of a good rosemary rhubarb grapefruit cocktail. Cheers!

If you have any favorite Easter recipes - please share them with us in the comments!

5 Inspiring Looks to Get You in Gear for Spring

With Easter approaching (more on that tomorrow) and the temperatures rising oh-so-slightly every day, we’re coming down with quite the case of spring fever. A time to freshen up your life and home, the beginning of spring is the perfect time to get out those house to-do lists and start crossing things off. Today, we wanted to give you a little inspiration to begin! Here are our 5 favorite refreshing looks for spring. Enjoy! 

A fresh color combination, mint & navy, from House & Garden Magazine

Mixing patterns with a fresh palette from The Design Chaser

Bringing the outdoors in, from Poppytalk 

Minty clean bathroom from House Beautiful 

A shockingly bright kitchen from Domino Magazine

Trend Spotlight: Versatile Grays

We’re having a bit of a gray moment right now, and we’re attributing our current color crush to the gorgeous photos we’ve been coming across lately. From natural landscapes to vintage kitchen items to building exteriors and incredible interiors decked out in all shades of gray, we’ve been saving our inspirations to share along with today’s Shades of Gray Collection. For this week’s Trend Spotlight, we thought it could be fun to show the map of a real Dot & Bo color crush from start to finish: from outside inspiration to finished interiors to our products.

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We love the way gray works as a grounded neutral: most shades of gray add freshness to a room without being too traditional or boring. It can be relaxing and calm or add a bit of drama to a look.

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The right shade of gray on a wall can make a room moody and dramatic without being dark or depressing: and we love what happens when you pair a super bright statement piece with a good dark wall. 

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When selecting pieces for our Shades of Gray Collection, we went with a mix of everything: from sexy gray armchairs and modern steel side tables to graphic prints and metal accents, these pieces add instant glamor to a space with a calming effect. 

Do you have any great experiences designing with grays or any favorite interiors to share? If so, tell us if the comment section! 

How To: Throw a Perfect Mother’s Day Brunch

We can’t really think of a better reason to throw a brunch than for Mother’s Day. This year, put your best brunch forward for mom and make it extra special. We chose some truly sumptuous dishes to cook up and our favorite elegant spring cocktails to go with a perfectly-set table with bright, cheerful touches. So go on and go all out: she deserves it! 

What we’re eating: raspberry crepe cakelemon poppyseed donutsblueberry muffin pancakescornmeal and chive waffles with salsa and eggssweet potato & brussel sprout egg skillet *(menu from The Sweetest Occasion)

What we’re drinking: grapefruit-mint bellinimimosa screwdriverclementine mimosaclementine vodka

What we’re using: Hand Painted Florals mugs, serving bowl, and serving platter16-pc Eclectic Patterns Cutlery SetYellow Ziggie Placemats, Bloom Tubes VaseSlate Stripe Cheese Board, Peggy Cart Table, Ochre Teatime Infuser Mug, Blue Lotus Petal Tea LightNatural Groove Plates

Do you have any fabulous Mother’s Day traditions to share? Tell us in the comments and we’ll add them in! 

Get This Look: a Dreamy Guest Bedroom in 5 Steps

If you’re lucky enough to have a spare bedroom (or if you’re planning to convert a room), your main priority should be to make it as comfortable, welcoming, and relaxing as possible. Welcome guests into your home and give them a real space to enjoy. If you put in just a little work in the beginning, you can create a space you feel proud inviting your friends and family into and they’ll really appreciate it. 

First, start with a cozy and inviting bed: we like mixing bright duvets with simple sheets.

Next, add good lighting - overhead and for bedside reading - and functional pieces like a chair, mirror, coat rack, and hooks. 

Add indulgent touches like candles, throw blankets, and decorative trays to make the room feel luxurious. 

And include bright, cheerful decor: framed or unframed wall prints are a perfect, inexpensive choice for a guest room. We also love a couple of good decorative throw pillows - but go easy: one or two is enough so that your guests don’t have to worry about where to put them all. 

A few fun additions to add: a vase of fresh flowers, an alarm clock, some magazines… and even a framed picture of you and your guest of honor (just swap photos out as new guests come if you have prints handy)! 

How To: Throw a Mad Men Premiere Night Cocktail Party

The long-awaited premiere of Mad Men’s finale season is finally here. We’ve been desperately waiting for this day to come, so what are we doing to celebrate? Throwing a cocktail party of course! A real stylish, swinging-60’s, Megan Draper-inspired event is the only way to properly ring in the last season of our beloved show, so we’re putting together our favorite ideas to make this one as special as possible. 

What we’re using: No Mad Men affair is complete without a proper, mid-century-stylebar setup. Just envision Don and Roger’s office bar carts and you’ll be inspired to stock yours with a good ice bucket, high ball glasses, tumblers, and decanters

What we’re drinking: whether you’re more of a Don Draper kind of whiskey-swiller or a Richard Sterling vodka martini-maven, offer up your guests an array of choices to be sure to impress. We’re going with Vodka Martinis, Singapore Slings, White RussiansOld Fashioneds, Gimlets, and a good Tom Collins. Something (or a little too much) for everyone.

What we’re serving: retro does not have to mean revolting: these festive appetizers are theme-appropriate but still popular. Because lime jello cheese salad isn’t actually necessary. We’re cooking up deviled eggspigs in a blanket, Oysters Rockefellerbacon-wrapped potatoes, and a new take on shrimp cocktail

We’ll be launching something special on Sunday to celebrate the designs inspired by the show too, so check back in for more Mad Men mania. 

Cheers! 

(And P.S. if you’re wondering what a real Mad Men-era hostess would wear…. the answer is: the Hostess Gown).

Trend Spotlight: Celosia Orange

If it’s being called the 'Color of the Month' for April 2014, you know there’s something to it. We’re putting a [Celosia] orange alert out on this Pantone spring color trend and incorporating it into a lot of our looks this spring. From outrageous orange couches to just pops of brightness here and there, we can’t get enough.

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The pros at California Home + Design called the color out saying, “surprisingly versatile, optimistic Celosia Orange suits living rooms, playrooms, dens, and even bedrooms. After all, this is not the aggressive construction zone orange demanding to be the sole focus of your attention. Slightly muted and warm, this invigorating color can be sophisticated, when used as a focal point in an otherwise neutral room.”

We couldn’t agree more. 

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To shop all things Celosia, check out our Bursting With Style Collection, full of bright pieces to incorporate into your decor from air plants to throws, pillows, pendant lights and couches.. Go on, be brave! 

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Get This Look: Making a Statement With the Perfect Pendant Light

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The right light can make a HUGE statement in your room. We think a great pendant light can serve as inspiration for the design of an entire room, so we put together three very different (but all modern) looks centered around some of our favorite pendant lights. 

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If your style is clean and contemporary with warm, organic tones and textures, go for a pendant light with the some of same elements of your furniture and accents. We loved the way this gold/chrome fixture mixed a little glam into a modern organic living room while still keeping the understated nature of the look shine.

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Drama can be a good thing too, you know. We went crazy for this aluminum pendant set with the luxe look of onyx and gold. Perfect for a sleek, luxurious penthouse-style room, we paired them with rich black leather and clear acrylic nesting tables to up the edge. 

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If playful retro is your thing, think bright! We like mixing bright shades of orange and stand-out blues with natural wood pieces for a complete mid-century modern style–and this Daria Pendant Light in bright orange fits right in to the equation. 

How To: Make Your Own Windowsill Garden

April showers bring May flowers… and to us that means creating a garden with whatever space you have. 

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Short on yard space, or, lacking a yard altogether? Don’t despair, urbanites: windowsill gardens are a total mood-booster and completely doable. Wherever you fall on the gardening skill scale, there’s a right answer for you–from no-fuss succulents to a patch of fresh herbs. We wanted to show you how simple and uncomplicated it can be to plan your own windowsill garden with a few essentials. 

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Choose your favorite planters and containers according to your style and your surrounding decor: bright prints or rustic, distressed metal? And if you’re less confident starting on your own - DIY starter kits are a great way to go to get your mini garden growing.

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If you’re wary of watering or sunlight exposure–or just plain don’t have a green thumb–succulents and air plants are a great way to go. Inattention and drought-tolerant, they’re the dream houseplant and perfect for a windowsill lineup if you just need a touch of green.

And don’t forget the fun accessories! Floral-print watering cans, trays for your planters, bird houses, and the bible of balcony gardening are all a fun addition to your setup. 

To shop for your own windowsill garden, visit our Living Art CollectionGarden, and Plants & Terrariums Sections! 

Inside the Design: John-Paul San Pedro’s Bachelor Studio

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This Hollywood studio, just shy of 500 square feet, is a testament to small space style. LA-based designer, John-Paul San Pedro, wanted to create the perfect space for the owner, who travels in between San Francisco and Los Angeles and needed a simple and inspiring space to stay while working in Hollywood. 

John-Paul immediately went the direction of white walls to give the illusion of more space; exuding openness and a crisp look with no-fuss, lightweight furniture, including the Dot & Bo Geometric Median Table . When addressing the walls, keeping it minimalist was key to John-Paul, and he used an angular geometric piece from his own incredibly cool Etsy collection, JPSPDesign

The final reveal was a gorgeous, light-filled home with key pieces and an amazingly calming look. We loved hearing about the inspiration and process behind this clean, contemporary studio - so we had John-Paul share his answers to our design questionnaire! 

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How would you describe your personal design style? Understated design. Simple and often minimal. A mix of modern and period pieces anywhere from 17th century to midcentury. 

Did you have a specific look in mind when selecting new pieces for the project you were working on? No specific look, but wanted to incorporate thin profiles and lines, geometric but not busy. Light and airy.

Is this project finished? Or are you still designing? I’ve contributed my part to the design. The rest is up to the client as they evolve; when the client’s taste changes so does their space. I don’t like to over design because, in time, it allows the client to add more to really achieve that personalized touch.

How did you choose the Dot & Bo piece(s) for this project? The coffee table from Dot & Bo was a practical and good looking choice. It’s light in weight and saves on visual space while packing a punch in style.

Thanks, John-Paul! 

10 Reasons to Take Your Weekend Entertaining Outside

Spring fever has come over us, and we can’t wait to move the party outside. To celebrate the first weekend of April (it’s safe to say it’s fully Spring now, right?), we spent some time putting together 10 of our favorite outdoor entertaining looks to inspire you to start enjoying dinner and drinks outside of the house. 

Cheers!

Get these looks in your own backyard or patio! To style your own dream outdoor space, we’ve pulled some looks from our Outdoor Furniture Section and Living Art Collection

MORE goodness:

  • For outdoor entertaining tips, check out Popsugar Home 
  • For outdoor party menus, visit the expert - Rachael Ray
  • And of course, for champagne punch, vodka-thyme lemonade, and a full list of 25 perfect summer drinks, there’s always Martha Stewart

Design Icons: Henry van de Velde, Master of Art Nouveau

It’s time for a mini design lesson: today we’re honoring the would-be 151st birthday of Henry van de Velde, one of the founding fathers of Art Nouveau; a master in architecture and design. Among his many contributions to the design world, van de Velde was one of the first modern architects to develop the theory “form follows function.” 

Born in 1863, van de Velde was a Belgian painter before starting his career in architecture and design. He then moved on to designing the interior and furniture for the Maison de l’Art Nouveau in Paris, among other impressive and historic sites in Germany’s Thuringer and Saxony region. 

In honor of the special contribution van de Velde made to modern design, we’ve curated an inspired Modern Nouveau Collection that turns back the clock with style and grace. We chose timeless pieces that combine beauty and function, drawing upon both Art Deco and Art Nouveau traditions and pieces inspired by the original designs of the artist. 

For more on Henry van de Velde, read on at Dwell

Get this Look: Bringing the Industrial Urban Look Anywhere

Love the look of a cool, industrial loft but don’t actually happen to inhabit one on the hippest downtown block of New York or LA or Paris? Don’t despair. The industrial-style apartment, loft, or pied-à-terre of your dreams is not out of reach. “Urban style” isn’t confined to city-dwelling: in fact the industrial style is actually one of the most versatile, and we want to inspire you to get the look you love wherever you live. 

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We can’t get enough of the easy, laid-back appeal of the industrial aesthetic. When you put wood and metal together, incredible things happen. That’s what inspired our Industrial Chic Collection, perfect for styling a living room constructed around a modern fusion of rustic wood and metal elements. Here’s a round-up of our favorite Industrial Chic pieces for a living room with reclaimed wood tables, chrome pendant lighting, metal and fir nesting tables, and accents like vintage-style signs and wood trays for books and magazines. 

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Another perfect place to incorporate industrial style into your home is the kitchen: with the near-magical mix of hefty iron and natural woods in the form of tables, chairs, kitchen carts, and accessories, you can build out a space that will work hard for you. Round out the look with chic wall art, unique wine racks, and daring lighting solutions, and you’ll have an industrial-grade modern kitchen that’s a powerhouse for both design and cuisine. Our favorite images from Apartment Therapy’s 11 Stylish Industrial Kitchens are an amazing source for inspiration: 

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And here, our essentials for a perfectly executed industrial-style kitchen, from our special Blueprints: Industrial Grade Kitchen Collection

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How To: Style A Modern Entryway, 2 Different Ways

Think of your entryway as the introduction to your whole home. No pressure or anything, right? But the design, environment, and feeling that you get when you enter the door sets the tone for your home’s overall style: and we think that’s an important message that’s worth putting some effort into. 

For a fresh, modern take on the mudroom you have a few options: our favorites? First, a bright, fun look bursting with quirk and color. We’re calling this Playful Modern: with pops of bright hues and organizational items with a sense of humor. 

Next, we always love a good industrial look: with reclaimed wood and wire mesh accents, our Rustic Modern look goes perfectly with a laid-back, slightly-countrified style that’s fresh and casual. 

You can shop these two looks from our Playful Modern Collection and Rustic Modern Collection: both full of fun, fresh, and unique ways to outfit a dream entryway stylish enough to welcome anyone.