WEEKEND READING

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1. 20% off Design Darling purchases with code CANTSTOPWONTSTOP.

2. How to look like a J.Crew model.

3. Loved this story on blogger BFFs.

4. Oldie but goodie.

5. Rainy day chic.

6. This preppy look on Caitlin is right up my alley.

7. To wear to weddings this spring.

8. Will and I have been on a Netflix documentary kick this week. Three interesting picks: Broke, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, and Food Inc.

 

THREE YEAR ANNIVERSARY SALE!

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*from this post

Happy Friday! Today is a very happy day indeed. (And not just because there’s a Design Darling promo code at the end of this post!) ;) Three years ago on March 1, I launched designdarling.com, an online boutique that would complement the daily blog you’re reading right now. I was ten months out of college, four months out of a desk job I hated, and had been blogging nearly every day for two and a half years. What had started as this little labor of love had become a fast growing community of women around the country who loved the same things I did, a readership and customer base I’d been almost unintentionally cultivating since my junior year at Bucknell.

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I was just starting to get into Instagram and Pinterest at the time and couldn’t shake this crazy feeling that I was meant to take the leap and turn Design Darling into what it is today. I wanted to build a business that was one part daily fashion/interiors/lifestyle blog, one part product assortment — pretty little things I wanted to share with my readers and would ship out myself, at first from my parents’ dining room table and later from my studio apartment. It didn’t make sense to most people I knew in real life but I’m so glad I trusted my gut and went after it with all I had.

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I always get a little sentimental this time of year, and there are days when it really does feel too good to be true. Every day I get to write about the people, places, and things I love and share them with tens of thousands of young women just like me. I get to scour the internet and trade shows for products I can’t live without and introduce them to customers who share my aesthetic. I get to take pictures, to work with bloggers and small business owners, and to meet readers and customers who inspire me, challenge me, and keep me going day after day, year after year. I tend to gloss over the day I started blogging (five and a half years ago… what?!) but I never forget March 1, the day I went from being a slightly lost recent grad to a fledgling but determined small business owner.

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Not every day in the past three years has been sunshine and rainbows but I know I’ve been insanely blessed: to have started blogging before it was cool, to have parents who let me live at home for a year after college, to find vendors who were willing to work with me when I had literally $1,500 in my bank account, and to have awesome siblings, girlfriends, and a boyfriend who’ve pitched in on late nights shipping boxes in time for Christmas Eve. I know I’m not saving lives over here but in the story of my own tiny life, Design Darling has changed everything. I can’t thank you enough for reading, shopping, sharing with family and friends, pinning, tweeting, instagramming… It all means more to me than you know.

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So today I’m celebrating three years. Three years of small business ownership, late nights, endless monogramming, post office runs, pink grosgrain bows, and happy customers across the country. If you’re so inclined, please use Design Darling promo code CANTSTOPWONTSTOP for 20% off all designdarling.com purchases now through Monday at midnight eastern. Thank you for an amazing three years and here’s to many, many more! xoxo

THINGS ORGANIZED NEATLY

Confession time. You know my apartment? The one with the colorful gallery wall and tidy desktop? It is messy. So so messy. No matter how hard I try to stay on top of it, I can’t seem to keep up with my own messes. Clothes piled on top of chairs, dog toys scattered all over the floor, and a perennially unmade bed (because no one ever talks about how hard it is to make a bed that’s touching more than one wall). Keeping a tiny studio apartment tidy is no joke. And so until my next must-clean-everything-in-sight mad dash strikes, I will sit here and daydream about beautifully organized spaces or just, you know, space.

caitlin wilson kitchen open shelving rue magazine

I’ll take this kitchen

how to style a bar cart

with this perfectly styled bar cart

pendleton hudson stripe blanket gallery wall

this gallery wall

turquoise desk lamp

this workspace (or at least a turquoise desk lamp)…

sunglasses display

this accessory display (seriously, how brilliant are these?)…

all white bookshelves campaign dresser

these bookshelves

domaine home bedroom inspiration

and especially this bedroom.

Is this weather making anyone else a little stir crazy?!

LOOKING FOR A NEW SOFA…

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a thousand more times, but Pinterest is really a girl’s best friend when it comes to decorating. Right now I’m on the hunt for a new sofa (my current one has seen a few too many puppy paw prints…) and I keep turning to my interiors board for inspiration. What’s your favorite sofa style? Should I go with…

anna spiro settee sofa

…something feminine and structured? (similar styles here, here, and here)

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…something darker and more square? (similar styles here, here, and here)

eva chen lucky mag office

…something tailored and trimmed? (similar styles here, here, and here)

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…something navy blue? (similar styles here, here, and here)

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a neutral roll arm sofa? (similar styles here, here, and here)

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…something bold and bright? (similar styles here and here)

striped sofa

…or a statement-making striped sofa? (similar styles here and here)

I also really love this and this, two affordable options from (where else?) Ikea. I’d love your thoughts! What sofa do you have chez vous?

Shop the post:

LONDON RECOMMENDATIONS?

Remember that post where I shared a few of the places I’m dying to visit? I have a few pretty big adventures in the works for the next couple months, the first of which is a trip to London! My brother Grayson is studying abroad there for the semester and I’m so excited to visit him for a week in March. Fingers crossed for warmer weather than we’ve had in New York!

I haven’t visited London since I studied abroad in Tours, France, five years ago (when I started this blog, ahhhh!) and I can’t wait to explore the city with a fresh perspective. I think I’ve made most of the touristy stops on previous trips but I’d love your recommendations on where to eat/shop/museum hop/frolic/etc.! I’m excited to have a few days to myself while he’s in class to wander the streets and get to know the city better. So tell me: what are your London recommendations?

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P.S. This is becoming a favorite travel tradition of mine to ask for your recommendations and then share details of my trip when I return! Interested in my 2014 trips? Check out the Design Darling travel guide and reader recommendations for Atlanta (my recap), Austin (my recap), Dallas (my recap), and Saint Martin (my recap). Can’t wait to hear your London recommendations! So lucky to have such a stylish and well-traveled bunch to crowdsource travel tips from :)