DM 15th Anniversary: Tanya Aguiñiga Spills the Milk

Happy birthday to us! Our 15th anniversary celebration is underway! Stay tuned for more special 15th anniversary content and fun surprises as our celebration continues!

The second designer we’re spotlighting for Design Milk’s 15th Anniversary is Tanya Aguiñiga, a triple threat artist, designer and craftsperson whose work we’ve been covering since 2010.

“I actually started as a community activist,” Tanya reminisced, “focusing on migrant rights and border issues as part of the Border Art Workshop/Taller de Arte Fronterizo.” Based out of Los Angeles, she later went on to study design, but kept her two interests – that of activism and design – separate.

felt birds

Felt Birds

Tanya first began her business somewhere around 2001, per her estimate, designing, making and selling homegoods. “At the beginning, they were super mid-century obsessed pieces, then very 70’s plastic fantastic in their vibe,” she recalled. All of this was happening at the same … Read the rest

Amazon home favorites and more {It’s Prime Day!}

Woohoo, it’s Prime Day(s) on Amazon! Now that they’ve extended it to two days, there’s more time to check out all of the fantastic deals. (This year it runs June 21 (Monday) and June 22 (Tuesday). You can see my favorite finds from last year here
I always look forward to this sale to start my Christmas shopping. I know, I know…it’s early. But it sure is nice to have so many items crossed off my list! 
Like I do every year, I’ve gathered some of my favorite home decor items from Amazon to share with you here. Then at the end of the post I’ll share a few more of my recent finds and the best Prime Day deals I’ve found as well. 
**You can visit my Amazon storefront here! I try to keep the decor I’ve used updated there.
Let’s get started, shall we? My
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The Brunswick Green House in Australia Gets a Sustainably Efficient Update

Designed by Drawing Room Architecture, the Brunswick Green house in Melbourne, Australia undergoes a renovation that includes an extension to the Victorian Terrace-style home. The clients, a young working family who worked in the area of sustainability, wanted to extend the existing two-bedroom home into a three-bedroom home, with a study for two and a main bedroom with an ensuite. Additionally, they wanted more storage, more natural light and sustainably efficient solutions. The result is this bright and cozy home with warm materials, modern finishes and a repeating color palette throughout.

Natural materials are used to maintain a sense of calmness and warmth. Terrazzo is used sparingly in only two rooms, the kitchen and bathroom. The Asparagus Green paint color from Dulux is consistently used on all sliding doors and on the open kitchen pantry joinery, with similarly colored furniture and plants echoing the same hue throughout.

For sustainability purposes … Read the rest

Delicious strawberry pretzel dessert recipe

It’s strawberry season! This crunchy and sweet strawberry dessert is a hit EVERY time I make it! It’s one of my favorite desserts ever. I’m not a big cook so when I share something here you know it’s going to be good and easy. This is so yummy! It’s a perfect combination of sweet and salty, my favorite. 

A friend of mine used to make this every time we got together and it got to the point where I would request it. I finally asked her for the recipe and now it’s my go-to for summer get togethers. (But it works ALL year round!)
Here’s what you’ll need to make this Strawberry Pretzel Dessert: 

  • 2 cups crushed pretzels (make sure this is two cups after you’ve crushed them — I actually use a little more)
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) package softened cream cheese
  • 1
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F5: Ashley Kirkland’s Favorite Pen + Cosmetics Packaging

Ashley Kirkland headshot

Ashley Kirkland joined Grizform Design Architects in 2017 and is their Director of Interior Architecture, responsible for managing hospitality projects through all phases of design. From concept and schematic design, to producing detailed construction documentation, she loves collaborating on design projects to turn a client’s vision into reality. With a passion for historic preservation, Ashley draws design inspiration from a cadre of knowledge. With over 13 years of experience designing and managing hospitality, multi-family and corporate interiors projects, it’s safe to say that her clients’ visions are in good hands.

After earning her Bachelor of Science in Interior Architecture from Ohio University, Ashley moved to Washington, D.C. to live among the cherry blossoms and historical monuments. As an NCIDQ National Council for Interior Design Qualification certificate holder, she is a Registered Interior Designer in the District of Columbia and a Certified Interior Designer in the State of Maryland.

In her Read the rest

Brilliant solution to store & protect large photos

I’ve shared my goal to better organize our (thousands) of photos and school moments and projects a few times over the years. It’s one of my biggest organizational thorns in my side! I’ve never found a great way to store photos, especially in a way that we can really enjoy them. 
I’m sure many of you are asking why I haven’t just used photo albums, and I do plan to add them to albums eventually. I haven’t done that yet because we had WAY too many photos to even begin adding them to albums. And so many of them are too big to fit into the albums we have. 
You can see how many boxes of photos I had when I shared our organized linen closet a few years ago:
You can see how that started as my “Monica closet” here. 🙂 That didn’t include the larger boxes full
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A’ Design Awards & Competition – Early Call for Entries

The following post is brought to you by A’ Design Award and Competition. Our partners are hand-picked by the Design Milk team because they represent the best in design.

It can be hard for emerging designers and brands to break through the noise to get their designs seen and their stories heard. One sure way to do it is through the A’ Design Awards & Competition, a prestigious contest that gives winners a global platform for showcasing their design to the international design industry. The competition is currently open for early entries for the 2021-2022 edition with a deadline of June 30th, so don’t wait! Submit your designs today.

There are more than 100 categories that designers can submit under, including special categories like the Good Industrial Design Award and the Good Architecture Design Award. All participants will receive preliminary checks, which lets you know how well your … Read the rest

The daylight bulb difference {Amazing!}

Natural light is one of the easiest ways to make a room look it’s best! It shows off the true colors of everything and feels fresh and clean. For years I’d want to recreate that feel in our smaller spaces or rooms without windows, but the yellow tint of our light bulbs made everything feel drab. 
Regular warm light bulbs cast a tint on everything that changes the color. Incandescents were the worst offenders, but even some of the energy efficient bulbs nowadays give off that yellow hue that changes the color of the room. 
Years ago I found the easy the solution that is (literally) as easy as replacing the light bulb! Enter the daylight bulb…the easiest change you can make to make a room feel fresh and bright! I’ve been adding these all over since I discovered them years ago. I still find spots in our home that
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Level Unlocks Home Security With the Smallest Smart Lock

Smart locks have long promised a convenient upgrade from traditional door deadbolts, allowing homeowners the ability to both automatically and remotely open or secure their doors. But the adoption rate of earlier generations of smart locks was modest, most notably because of high prices, concerns about battery life required to operate the door’s internal mechanisms, and aesthetically, due to their size. Installed, some smart locks look like warts – contemporary and stylish warts, but also conspicuous. Level Home’s latest Level Lock, the smallest smart lock and a 2021 Red Dot and iF Design Award prized design is arguably the best attempt to woo homeowners toward the smart home side of security.

One thing we liked hearing while upgrading to a Level Lock was the thumbs up from the locksmith who installed our Touch-enabled unit. He praised the 440C stainless steel and strengthened metal alloys deadbolt one of the more

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“A Kitchen of Love” Highlights the Beauty of Wood in This Copenhagen Flat

Garde Hvalsøe creates kitchen and interior solutions, designing spaces for world-famous chefs like René Redzepi of Noma. Designer Thomas Lykke, who runs OEO Studio together with Anne-Marie Buemann, needed a new kitchen in his Copenhagen flat. Like pieces of a puzzle, the two came together to collaborate on the Lykke Model, a modular made-to-order kitchen furniture solution that highlights the beauty of wood and classic craftsmanship.

Like Garde Hvalsøe, Lykke admires the nature and characteristics of wood, an appreciation stemming from his childhood spent with his grandfather, a cabinetmaker often in his workshop. He shares:

Wood is special. You have to understand its nature, and it is important to remember that the tree grew for twenty, fifty, sometimes hundreds of years to produce the wood for my cabinetmaker’s kitchen.

Designing the Lykke Model came from OEO Studio and Garde Hvalsøe’s previous project, “Cabinet of Love”, a showpiece the … Read the rest