High Point Market 2015

Hannah B. at High Point Market in the Mr. Brown showroom | Hannah & Husband

This amazing mirror was in the Mr. Brown showroom.

This week, I was lucky enough to go over to North Carolina for a couple days of High Point Market 2015. Each Fall and Spring, the market takes over the town of High Point, North Carolina nearly doubling the population and setting up 11.5 million sq ft of showspace–they literally take over the town. How crazy is that?

North Carolina has long been known for it’s furniture manufacturing so it’s only appropriate that the biggest furniture show would take place there. Much like “Mrket” in NYC, High Point Market is where furniture buyers and interior designers gather to view the collections for the next season.

It was a frenzy of inspiration that will be showing up in posts and future projects, but today I thought I would bring you the highlights. These are some of the trends I think may inspire you as much as they did me.

Whimsical Statement Pieces

When I was in college, it became a running joke that the word “whimsical” always popped up when people were talking about my work. So you can imagine how happy I was to see how playful so many of the pieces were. You can, of course, add as many or as few of these touches as you’d like because often one piece makes a huge impact.

Animal Farm as Comedy

On that same whimsical note, I am pleased to report that designers are finding ways to incorporate animals into designs without real-life taxidermy. Of course, real taxidermy was there because this place had everything. 2 notes from my notebook worth sharing:

1. When given the option to walk past a taxidermy giraffe to use the restroom and just holding it, I will always just hold it. (Husband may find this noteworthy for future road trips.)

2. On booth that shall remain nameless:  If Gaston lived in a Toby Keith song, it would look like this showroom.

But, with a couple of real-life exceptions, play animals were used as fanciful accessories that came in every sort of style, shape, and size. A few of my fav examples…

Animals at High Point Market, Spring 2015 | Hannah & Husband

Top Left Clockwise: POLaRT / Sunpan / BOBO / Jaipur / Sunpan

I, of course, also adored the hive pattern that kept showing up. I chose to include the picture below because I heart the bees too!

Furniture can make you feel feelings.

One thing I really love about interior design is it’s ability to make you feel a certain way without you really thinking about it. For instance, I’m pretty sure the Palm Springs-inspired collection by Celerie Kemble on a patio would make me feel like Myrna Loy. Likewise, the soft, touchy-feely items like ticking fabric and rag rugs reminded me of the home I grew up in.

Home-y Items at High Point Market, Spring 2015 | Hannah & Husband

Top Right Clockwise: Celerie Kemble for Lane Venture / Loloi / Chandra / Loloi / Bunakara

Wood + Concrete

Aside from the natural wood like is shown above, there were so many ways that I saw wood and concrete used to make very modern pieces.

Concrete + Wood at High Point Market, Spring 2015 | Hannah & Husband

Top Left Clockwise: Seasonal Living / Sunpan / Mr. Brown

Let there be lights!

At the end of my first night I went to an event at Visual Comfort and discovered that Heaven, for me, is probably some version of a lighting gallery. Some of my lighting picks are below, and we’ll be talking to some of these makers in the coming weeks!

Another trend often showed with lights inside were old-school, grandma-style cloches.

Lesson Learned: Anything under glass looks way more expensive and important.

Cloches at High Point Market, Spring 2015 | Hannah & Husband

Top Clockwise: Mercana / Chandra / Schwung / BOBO

Mid-Century Modern

Mid-century modern is a trend that is not going away. We all secretly want to live a Mad Men bar-in-the-office lifestyle and be Charles & Ray Eames. What’s wrong with that? Not a thing. The organic lines (check out the pattern on the front of that Dwell Studio sideboard) and the natural woods are beautiful and, in my opinion, can stick around for as long as they like.

Mid-Century Modern at High Point Market, Spring 2015 | Hannah & Husband

Top Left Clockwise: Chandra / Dwell Studio / Nuevo / Joyride

We’ll talk more about some of these makers and how to incorporate these trends into your own home in the coming weeks. For now, I’m off to enjoy the weekend!

Happy Saturday!

Road Trip Playlist

Road Trippin' Tunes | Hannah & Husband

Just a little road trip playlist for your weekend. Inspired by our travels this week, please enjoy these tunes. (or click here to subscribe to this playlist in Spotify)


Weekending @hb_belle instagram

Hello, hello! Weekend Eve. Here are a few (really, really, really random) TGIF! links I’ve bookmarked throughout the week. Enjoy!

Creative Listening from IDEO on Vimeo.

At the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival, design and innovation firm IDEO recorded this course on Creative Listening that is now on iTunes U. I just started it and am digging the ideas!

*Lovely* Nora Charles goodies made by Curious Pip.

Last weekend, I found Curious Pip on Instagram, and I’ve been swooning ever since! Artist Sarah Burford resides in England where she makes handmade dolls in addition to some old Hollywood style, gorgeous illustration. Check out her Etsy shop as well to find this print of Nora Charles (of Thin Man* movie fame) that I *must* add to my collection.

*Speaking of the Thin Man movies: If you need cocktail ideas for your Happy Hour, click here. 

GIFs that #werkit Pinterest Board by Hannah  B.

Sometimes when Husband is on business trips, I find particularly weird ways to entertain myself–like this pinterest board of my favorite GIFs. And in that spirit, I present you with your weekend mission:

Posted on in Uncategorized |

Do you meditate?

Yes, yes. I know I promised a report from High Point, but we are saving that for a couple days because, quite frankly, my brain needs to calm down. And while we’re on the topic of calming the brain, I’m curious about something: Do you mediate?

Do you meditate? | Hannah & Husband

Depending on who you ask, you’ll may get different definitions of what it means to mediate and why one would even choose to do so. In my experience, the cultural perspectives of different individuals always influence this definition in one way or another. I’d be very interested in knowing your definition because there are parts of the practice of meditation, and mindfulness, that have been in the front of my mind lately.

As I understand it, meditation is about training the mind to calm down and to concentrate your thoughts. One tool that is often used in the practice of meditation is a mantra.

Mantra: (noun) A word repeated to aid in concentration

The mantra intrigues me. As we’ve talked about before, we put a great deal of emphasis on ritual and finding beauty in the everyday around our house. Mindfulness plays greatly into this, but when life gets busy it can be really hard to calm down enough to just sit and take it all in. 

So for the past week or so, I’ve been repeating a short mantra. My mantra has been a short prayer of “Thank you.” I try to repeat it any time there’s a quiet moment and my mind begins to wander a bit. I’ve also been thinking it when I find myself completely full of joy or when I feel like getting cynical about the future. (Disclaimer: This inevitably comes after the joyful moment. I swear it’s genetic.)

I picked Thank You because I personally believe that most of the universe is out of my control. Thank You helps me stop and acknowledge my creator and the beauty that surrounds me. It’s training my brain to slow down and (attempt to) concentrate more on the beauty that is here now and be grateful I’m experiencing it all.

A couple days ago, I was thinking that it’s also worthwhile to thank myself. Sometimes you have to stop and appreciate the place you are in and the work you’re doing. Be aware of that moment in time and say Thank You that you are further along in your journey than you were the day/hour/minute before.

My hope is that this mantra becomes a part of who I am. That I will train my mind to ponder gratitude.

What do you think? Do you meditate? Do you have a mantra?


Road Trip to High Point

Road to High Point | Hannah & Husband

Hello! I’ve spent the last few days on a road trip to High Point, North Carolina. Expect a full report soon but, in the meantime, here’s one of the gorgeous views from the trip home today.



Good morning! You’ve made it to Friday–in just a few short hours you’ll be lying on the couch avoiding all those household chores you put off til the weekend. But first, a few TGIF! links to peruse.

Mean Girls wearing pink.

Small disclaimer: It really bothers me that people assign colors gender. I’ve never understood why less than a century ago, pink became assigned to girls and blue now belongs to boys. And I am forever indebted to my mother for painting my nursery yellow! That said, Racked had a feature recently called “How Pink Became a Color for Girls,” and it was really interesting!

Abraham Lincoln before his beard and his presidency.

Proof that girls have always run the world. (cue Beyonce) In 1860, as Abraham Lincoln was running for president, he received a letter from young Grace Bedell asking him to grow a beard. His reply is ever-so sweet, and he actually asked to meet her when he rolled through town on his inaugural train journey to DC. Read the story here. 

And while we’re on that subject: I’m just gonna leave this here. 

Reddit: Hillary Clinton Pantsuit Rainbow

The rainbow was created by this reddit user a year ago, and it’s basically my favorite thing right now.

Design*Sponge’s Grace Bonney recently sat down with Marie Forleo to talk about “Doing The Work You Were Born To Do.” I really enjoyed their discussion. (You can check out more Marie Forleo vids–they’re great!–on her YouTube channel.)

This needs no introduction. Just enjoy! (“We love you, Uncle Jesse!”)

Finally: My day job is working as a designer for HGTV and DIY Network. At the end of last week, we wrapped up a project months in the making: the new DIYNetwork.com! Watch a little intro below and then be sure to check out the new site!


Spring-ify Your Ride

Every year, at about this time, I spring-ify our car. In the winter, most people will make sure the ice-scraper is in the door and maybe add a blanket and some kitty litter if they’re up north. (A trick I learned from That 70s Show–not something we have to teach our young ‘uns in the South.) But in April, I like to be sure we’re prepared for all of our favorite warm weather activities. So here is a little guide to help you Spring-ify your ride.

Spring-ify Your Ride | Hannah & Husband


1. Umbrella. April showers bring May flowers. (This particular cuteness is Cath Kidston.)

2. Guide books. Regardless of where you are, you can find a guide book with short little walks or hikes around your area. We picked the one pictured above up at a thrift store last week. If you aren’t lucky enough to live in a national park, perhaps consider exploring your area. My friend the Madcap Heiress has been exploring her work neighborhood (Midtown East in NYC) this week and sharing what she finds on Instagram.

3. Sunnies. Obvi. (I just got these lovelies from Boden.)

4. Recycled Sari Bags. My mom bought me my first sari bag, and I am now a devotee. They are *ah-mazing!* Made from beautiful recycled saris, these bags are surprisingly strong and fold up into themselves. The small pouch is so easy to throw in your purse. Then, when you see a farm stand on the side of the road, you can stop and fill up your own shopping bag! The best part? The ones I’ve seen are fair trade and made by coops of women in India so you’re also supporting business women around the world!

5. A pretty quilt. You never know when you’ll want to have an impromptu picnic. In the words of the scouts: Always Be Prepared. I’ve tried wool blankets and those fancy roll-up picnic blankets with the waterproof bottom, but I always go back to our trusty old quilts. They’re just so soft and easy to shake off.

6. A little cash. The odds are that cute a-frame ice cream shop that’s on your way to the mountains has neither a credit card machine nor a Square.

7. Shoes you can get dirty. Throw in a pair of old tennies or invest in a nice pair of outdoors-y shoes. This pair of Keens will probably be my next purchase because they’re equally suitable for walking in the woods or through a river.

National Library Week

National Library Week | Hannah & Husband

In today’s edition of Fun Facts with Hannah B: Did you know it is National Library Week? I used to love visiting the library. My elementary school librarian still looms as this magical figure in my head. She introduced me to Curious George and haiku, and I will never forget the day I learned to look things up all by myself in the card catalog.

Trips to the library with my mom were frequent too, which is where I met Harriet. Harriet was my favorite. Finally a girl who also carried a notebook everywhere she went–a habit I developed early and never gave up.

National Library Week | Hannah & Husband

A recent doodle from my sketchbook… Library Week has been in my brain I guess!

If you look at the inside cover of my copy of Harriet the Spy, you’ll find this inscription scrawled by a 8 or 9 year old hand:

National Library Week | Hannah & Husband

There’s this line in Harriet the Spy that I love, and it’s at the very beginning. Sport wants Harriet to play football and she’s too busy setting up her imaginary town. She’s trying to tell Sport what and where everything is, but he doesn’t seem to buy it. So she asks him what he’s going to be when he’s a grown-up.

“You know what. You know I’m going to be a ball player.”

“Well, I’m going to be a writer. And when I say that’s a mountain, that’s a mountain.” Satisfied, she turned back to her town.

I love that. First of all, that she’s so convicted about what she wants to be. Like I mentioned last week, not only is that rare, things often don’t turn out exactly as we plan. But everything Harriet does is geared toward her end goal. She’s a writer so she writes.

Second, the power her statement gives writers! “…when I say that’s a mountain, that’s a mountain.” Writers create magical worlds that we must commit to every time we open a book. I have a personal policy of giving up on books when I’m not digging them. Reading is a pleasure and committing my time to a book means it becomes a part of your own story. So I’m pretty choosy about what worlds I want to buy in to. What is it Kathleen Kelly says? “When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading your whole life does.” True dat, homegirl!

Today, I’m suggesting you take a trip to the library this week to celebrate National Library Week. Libraries are these magical places for commitment phobes like myself that don’t like spending money but really like committing for two week increments to beautiful piles on their side table.

There’s a collection of my current favorites below to get you started. (The list changes with the wind, but this happens to be today’s so enjoy it while it lasts!) Also of note: my new favorite thing: This tote bag by Emily McDowell.


National Library Week | Hannah & Husband


My Life in France by Julia Child  /  Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell  /  The Bucolic Plague by Josh Kilmer-Purcell  /  Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling  /  Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster (this is another fav of her’s)  /  The Pursuit of Happiness by Maira Kalman

Is there any book you’ve absolutely loved that should be on my list? Tell me in the comments below.


Weekending | Hannah & Husband

I’m currently missing our weekend view (seen above) from the hammock. This weekend, we got away to the mountains. It was blissful. The trees are in full bloom. The birds’ chorus was both beautiful and incessant. And, hopefully, the river is starting to warm up a bit–we saw a few kayaks out but weren’t game enough to jump in ourselves. Soon.


Our Favorite All-Purpose Seasoning

How to Make a Seasoned Salt Substitute | Hannah & Husband

My mom never cooked with many spices, which I actually think is pretty common among a lot of American cooks. It’s hard to experiment on a weeknight when you’re just trying to get dinner on the table. Plus, a lot of classic “American” dishes (burgers and fries, meatloaf, etc) don’t require many herbs and spices to taste good. This blend is a great, all-purpose seasoning that you can use as a cheat of sorts to add a bit of flavor to just about anything. Plus, if you’re trying to get healthy, it’s a great salt substitute!

My mom used to put a version of this blend on everything from popcorn to cottage cheese. I finally asked for the recipe about a year ago. It was one she’d gotten from Woo-Woo who in turn had gotten it from someone else. And, of course I changed it because we like things with a little more kick and earthiness.

How to Make a Seasoned Salt Substitute | Hannah & Husband

All-Purpose Seasoning:

4 parts onion powder
2 parts paprika
2 parts garlic powder
3 parts cayenne
1 part turmeric

I mix with teaspoons and keep it in a big shaker on our spice rack.

How to Make a Seasoned Salt Substitute | Hannah & Husband

Try it on:

roasted vegetables
meat (Make a marinade for steak or beef with a little citrus, a little olive oil, and a pinch of salt.)