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spring spruce up winners!


well, the results are in and we have our winners for the d*s/fred flare spring spruce up contest. let me say first that you guys are some crafty people! i was so, so happy with this contest- it was a blast to read through all these entries, but so hard to narrow it to three! thanks so much to everyone who took the time to photograph their projects- you guys deserve a huge pat on the back for all your hard work. so, here we go!

first place: Ragnheiður Ösp Sigurðardóttir who made ikea look chic as all get out. "I chose the stool benjamin designed by Lisa Norinder. It is mass produced and I wanted to make it unique. By drilling holes in it and decorating it with brodery, each and every stool becomes different and more valuable." hands down my favorite, such a cool idea and now my little benjamin stool that i rest my feet on as i write looks so plain. way to go, ragnheiður!


second place: jennifer who did a classy craigslist fix up! here were her steps for a fabulous cabinet makeover: "Take everything apart. Paint stripper to all surfaces. Get lamp rewired. Get new piece of plexiclass cut. Realize that stripping all the paint in the interior sections (the safe) is going to be a pain in the butt. Happen to see oil cloth at a fabric store and have an AH-HA! moment. Decide to use oil cloth to cover up the imperfect bits and to line the drawers and inside cabinet. Reassemble everything." congrats, jennifer!


third place: alex who got creative with wall treatments in atlanta! "My partner and I just bought a loft in Atlanta. Spring fever and the realization that we could do anything we wanted seemed to strike simultaneously! We had a great smokey purple color for the office that we didn't want to carry over into the living area, but there was no natural way to stop the paint progression. We decided that we could create a giant floor to ceiling floral stencil (which we just tiled out on a printer and cut out in posterboard) that allowed the color to end gracefully and added a beautiful and unique detail to the living area. It didn't go on smoothly when we originally painted it, so we have to finish the edges by hand. Hope you like!" I do, way to go, Alex!


honorable mention: siobahan who took her couch from drab to fab all on her own. so fun! good work, siobhan!


thanks to everyone for entering and thanks to fred flare for sponsoring our spring spruce up celebration!

[update for those concerned- our winner WAS the one showcased in readymade. you can check the issue for our winner's name and picture. so, no controversy, will still have a winner. xo, d*s]



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've seen this stool before in Readymade Magazine http://www.readymademag.com/toc17.php. Is this an original entry?

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

design sponge -- just so you know, your winner took the idea (and I believe the photo) from a ReadyMade magazine of one or two years ago.

Don't know if you care, but I think that is even the exact photo from the website. Kind of tacky.

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am just loving that second place winner's re-do. Wow! Wow! Wow!

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the ikea stool idea was a project in an issue of ready-made. It's too bad the winner didn't have an original idea, but then again maybe its a coincidence or he's the original creator of this idea!

but the cabinet and wall paint spruce ups are super fantastic!

4:42 PM  
Blogger design*sponge said...

ps: i'm checking with the winner about the readymade controversy-- i had no idea, so we'll see what they have to say and we'll move accordingly. i'll update when i have word back from the winner.


5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm, I'm not sure if that's really fair, Ragnheiður. It's a really cool project and I loved seeing it in Readymade. But the whole DIY aspect of it seems a little iffy if it's already been published. Plus, I question that it was actually done in 2005 if it was photographed for their May/June issue - I don't know Readymade's lead times but I assume they'd be several months. May/June issue is generally on the newsstands in mid-late April. Most magazines have lead times of 12-16 weeks, or 3-4 months. I imagine you'd have had to have actually MADE the thing a fair amount of time before that, plus shipping to California from Iceland on an object that can't be flattened. It just doesn't seem credible that you actually made it in 2005 and it certainly doesn't fit the spirit of the competition, even if it is really cool.

11:54 AM  
Blogger design*sponge said...


in my opinion this is the very SPIRIT of diy. what the heck does being published have to do with it?? so if you redid your couch and readymade found it press worthy you wouldn't count it as diy anymore? i think that's far too narrowminded an opinion for my taste. something being published doesn't mean someone didn't make it themselves, that just doesn't make sense.

check the issue, it is in fact our entrant and i checked with the editor. if you feel the need to further investigate, drop me a line. i've done the research and this was in fact a legitimate and a wonderful entry. i think your rules of no publishing are totally unfair. i think diy design should be celebrated and if it happens to be published, who cares? even the better, that means more people can be inspired by it.

and all that about shipping and lead times?? you seem pretty upset about this and i just don't get why. i write for a lot of magazines and they all have diff lead times, i'd do some research before you get too upset.


12:03 PM  
Blogger design*sponge said...

ok, i just called readymade because some of you are seriously freaked out that someone copied something.

i spoke with the lovely jessica of readymade and she confirmed that this was in last may's issue and our lovely entrant is even pictured, name and all. this is why fact checking pays off.

so, before anyone else gets all upset that the winner copied something, chill. readymade confirmed it was her. research is always good before you start lobbing accusations at people.


(sorry about all this, ragnheiður, i'm really bummed you had to defend yourself like this)

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

in ali's defense, i think what she was saying was that the winning design was probably done in 2004 - like many, i saw this piece in readymade last year, so seeing it win the 'spring spruce-up' contest just feels weird. but your rules are your rules. congrats all, and i ADORE jennifer's cabinet.

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the cabinet too and would love to see more pics of the process, and more of the finished ones larger and/or closer up. It just looks fantastic! I like the purple wall entry too -- such a great idea, executed well. I wish I had the ability, ambition and talent to carry it off!

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for the compliments on my cabinet. it was the first time i'd ever done a project like this. there were lots of little (and not so little) problems to solve throughout the whole rehab process. in addition to design*sponge, fredflare and the surly guy at tru-value hardware, i'd like to thank all the brain cells that probably died while i was working with paint stripper in a poorly ventilated basement space.

10:16 PM  
Blogger Turquoise said...

Love the sofa...great work Siobahan!

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the winners are brilliant - they are definitely inspiring me for my new home. really fresh and thoughtful ideas and all definitely made with love.

d*s, your choices are 100% on the dot as usual!

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I luuuuuuv the Benjamin! What a great idea! But then again, IKEA really does inspire you to evolve their furniture!

Congratulations on winning! :)

4:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love the benjamin. i think it is the most professional of the whole, though the other things are also fine. cangratulations.

I got angry while reading bad reviews and comments on your piece. those people should find something else to do.


6:33 PM  

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