15 Dec End of the Year Top 10
Time was an interesting thing this year. It seemed some days and even weeks went by slowly, but the months flew by. Here we are at the end of the year already and with that, the final Top 10 of the year! Our team came together to pick two things that were inspiring and/or uplifting in 2020.
Wild Knits from Westknits
Our business has been booming here at down2earth interior design. But for about 6 weeks in the early spring, our workload was greatly reduced. It gave me time to take up a couple of quarantine hobbies, including knitting. I tried to learn twice before – my grandma Blanche tried to teach me as did my college roommates, but it didn’t click. I couldn’t understand why it didn’t, since it seemed like it was in my wheelhouse. By that I mean that I had an interest and aptitude for other kinds of weaving projects. Remember fancy friendship bracelets and lanyards (or maybe you call them something else) Both totally my thing:
My mom was the arts and crafts director of a summer camp, and she used to take me to the American Camping Association convention every year so I could see what new patterns the crafty booths had rolled out. I’d figure out how to make them and then we’d teach them to the campers and they’d think we were awesome. This was before YouTube, so it was like we had this secret knowledge.
Given that this was in my skillset, I wondered why I hadn’t taken to knitting. So, when we were locked down this spring, I decided to give it one more try. And this time, it took. Big time. I credit increased maturity (I had the patience to master one technique before moving onto another), YouTube, and my friend Anna, who offered to give me zoom tutorials from her home in Oregon. One silver lining of the pandemic is the way zoom has collapsed physical distance between me and friends who are far away.
There are so many reasons that knitting has provided me with inspiration this year. Fundamentally it’s about design – mixing colors, textures, and patterns. The way yarns are dyed and how they feel can be beautiful in and of themselves, so you fall in love with the material more and more as you go. If you’re in a groove, doing stich work that’s repetitive, it can be very soothing, which I needed during this stressful year. And with every new project, it also provides endless opportunities to challenge myself. I’ve made a scarf and a bunch of hats, and I’ve tackled some basic colorwork, but the two shawls above from Westknits are examples of the kind of amazing pieces I aspire to making one day. If you want your mind blown, check out Westknits Instagram page >
Etsy Holiday Ads
After we’re done with a client’s design project, I don’t want people to walk in and say, ‘oh, I can see you worked with down2earth interior design.’ Rather, I want them to say, ‘oh, this space is so you.’
One of our core beliefs at down2earth interior design is that a home interior should be personal to the homeowner. There are so many ways of making your home feel personal – some are more overt than others. We don’t do a lot of “word art” or monogramming in our designs, but these Etsy holiday ads stopped me in my tracks. A gesture as simple as including someone’s name in an artistic object can make a person feel seen and recognized, and I love how Etsy really thought about the big picture of what their personalized and artistic objects might mean to people. Check them out:
Anthropologie Blazing Poppies Wallpaper
I used to work downstairs in my house — at the kitchen counter, the dining room table, sometimes even on the sofa — but when schools switched to virtual and everyone was working from home, I knew I had to find a different place to work. I moved a desk I had into our guest bedroom for two reasons — it had a door (so necessary now!) and it also had a wall of wallpaper that I absolutely love.
I hung this wallpaper years ago when the room was my daughter’s nursery and its punchy colors and pattern still brings me joy each time I see it. And I’m seeing it a lot especially now since I’m working virtually, and this wallpaper is the backdrop for all of my FaceTime and Zoom calls.
The Home Edit
I’ve always been a big fan of organization and have followed The Home Edit for years. Reading their books and watching their show on Netflix inspired me to finally tackle my kitchen pantry. I already had baskets in my pantry, but they were big and opaque and inevitably I was the only one who knew what was inside each of them. The Home Edit’s clear bins and containers are both functional and pretty and now my whole family can actually see and enjoy all the items in the pantry. Check out The Home Edit’s Collection at The Container Store >
Netflix’s Down to Earth Series
There’s no doubt we have spent lots of time this year binge watching our favorite shows and diving into new ones. One of my favorite’s this year was the Down to Earth series. The show’s hosts, Zac Efron and Darin Olien, journey around the world to explore healthy and sustainable ways of living. Each episode takes place in a different location and they cover a ton of topics like renewable energy, clean water, pollution reduction, and nutrition. It was inspiring to see how communities all over the world are being innovative to create a more sustainable future.
Zac and Darin visit Ljosafoss Hydropower Station in Iceland that catches the outflow of Lake Úlfljótsvatn and turns it into renewable energy.
The pair visit a permaculture eco-village in San Mateo, Costa Rica.
Bob and Doug go to Space!
After a decade, America returned to space and for the first time on a privately built rocket by SpaceX. This is exciting not only because SpaceX has developed reusable rockets that are more sustainable and lower the cost of space exploration, but it also puts us closer to getting to Mars eventually! Down2Mars Interior Design here we come!
Falcon 9 lift off that carried Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station.
Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley inside SpaceX’s Dragon crew capsule.
If a habit was developed during the stay-at-home quarantine, mine was buying artwork. I fully justified this “habit” in that I was beautifying the space where I live and at the same time, I was supporting artists around the world. That in and of itself was uplifting for me, add on the fact that I will look at the pieces I procured and will have a story to tell one day when we look back at this year. Here a few of the artists and pieces I will always cherish and were purchases in 2020:
Schitt’s Creek Television Series
A binge worthy show that somehow my husband and I had no idea existed yet there are 6 seasons and it is already a completed series! We are savoring the final season knowing we won’t be waiting for more… I must say, we find ourselves talking like the characters whilst doing mundane things around the house and it really is quite fun to impersonate David, his mother Moira or his sister Alexis. If you haven’t watched this wonderful series, there is still time to binge it on Netflix and brighten your 2020!
This robe is amazingly soft and has pockets and a hood. It is long so it keeps you warm and toasty!
Propper Popcorn Popper
I love that this air popper collapses down to take up very little cabinet space. It is a quick and healthy way to make popcorn. We’ve been using it a ton for all our binge watching. We like to spray it with a little oil and put ranch seasoning on it!
We hope you enjoyed what inspired the down2earth interior design team in our last Top 10 Pick to wrap up 2020. Thank you for following along with all out Top 10’s this year and cheers to 2021!