Pinterest: No longer a fleeting time suck

By Taylor Edwards

I love a good Pinterest rabbit hole – the kind that makes you hop from cute shoes to reusable shopping bags to THE most beautiful English garden. If you’re like me, those pins are then quickly discarded or added to a board and never looked at again. So – in lieu of using Pinterest as only a fleeting source of pretty pictures, I’ve started applying an easy trick to actually USE the images I’m loving right now. 

Enter the “Overview” tab. 

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Pinterest’s “Overview” tab allows you to view all the recent pins you’ve made, which inadvertently creates a mood board of what you’re being drawn to visually. I pull it up every so often to help dictate where I’m finding inspiration, and ultimately use that information to design truly inspiring spaces. I recently moved from Maryland to Texas, and this hack was extremely helpful when deciding on a mood board for my new space. Take a look below for details on how I did it!

 I’ve listed a few pointers below to help you get the most out of your 2am Pinterest binge (no judgement here). 

  • BIG PICTURE: As you can see from one of my most recent “overview mood boards”, I am not strictly looking at interior design inspo. Truly beautiful spaces feel multi-dimensional and layered, so it makes sense to look at your interests as a whole when deciding on the perfect vibe for your space.

  • COLOR: Next, see what colors are repeated across your most recent pins. This month, I’m feeling a jolt of red and terracotta hues paired with earthy tones like indigo or mushroom brown, and classic hues like creamy white and high contrast black. 

  • TEXTURE: In a similar vein, take a closer look at the textures and finishes you are drawn too. As per usual, I am drawn to weathered oak paired with natural stone and soft, cushy upholstery. 

  • CONTRAST: Take note of the contrast in the images as well – there’s an even spread of muted, monochrome designs paired with punchy, alluring art pieces. A well-designed space is one that has contrast and character. Like Zoe always says, good design has tension. 

Now – go forth and use that Pinterest binge to find your home’s perfect aesthetic!

Zoe Feldman
Latest Green Obsession: Follain Handwash

By Rachel Sherman

image via  Follain

image via Follain

I would not call myself a beauty snob. But as an obsessive hand-washer (especially since moving back to NYC where I’m on the subway AND have a new baby), I was noticing that the drugstore brand hand-soap I was using was leaving my hands really dry. All of a sudden, I had to become a person who had to invest in hand moisturizer and add that to my beauty regimen. It was all a nuisance as I like to streamline my personal care processes as much as possible.

So I began the hunt for a new hand-soap that a) wouldn’t dry out my hands and b) I didn’t have to replace the plastic bottle every two months and c) smelled awesome. My search ended with Follain hand-soap. Not only does it leave my hands feeling great, it’s made of 100% non-toxic ingredients, it smells like fresh lemongrass, comes in a chic brown glass bottle, AND is refillable - eliminating the waste of the hand soap container. I call that a WIN-WIN-WIN-WIN-WIN! As if that wasn’t enough - they also have a full line of personal care products all developed with the same sustainable, natural, ethos in mind.

Their online store is great - but if you’re around Bethesda or NYC, it is definitely worth stopping by in person for the true brand experience.

Zoe Feldman
Our Beautiful Planet: A Letter from Zoe

By Zoe Feldman

Why we're jumping in and doing our part to leave the world a bit more beautiful than how we found it

Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg for our Eastern Shore Farmhouse project

Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg for our Eastern Shore Farmhouse project

I remember when the world asked us to stop using aerosol cans. They said the aerosol was eating through the ozone layer, which protects the earth from the sun’s rays. I was 11 or 12 at the time, it was the mid 80s and hairspray was big. Huge, really. I begrudgingly ditched the Aqua Net and switched to stick deodorant. But that’s really as far as I ever took it.

Later, recycling became a thing, but no one really knew what they were doing. I didn’t ask many questions or at least not enough questions. Now, looking back, I really wish I had. Maybe things would be different today. But that’s the thing about life, we will never know what would have happened had we taken the other path. So, here we are, in a world desperately malnourished and depleted, begging us to help save it. And this time, world, I’m listening.

I operate a boutique interior design studio in Washington, DC. I’ve always considered myself passionate for the world around us, and for a while now, I’ve found myself wanting to do something that would give back. But like most people, the idea of having to figure out the perfect plan has often held me back from doing anything at all. The recent climate conversations made me realize that we don’t have time to figure out the perfect plan, sometimes we have to just act, no matter how insignificant it may seem. Those days of worry left with the Aqua Net. So, I’m jumping in (with the help of some amazing people). We are starting small with the belief and hope that if we all take even the most seemingly inconsequential steps, then something big will certainly come. I’m not waiting for someone to tell me what I can afford. Or what makes sense. I’m diving in. Head first. I’m diving in as a new mom who wants to see her children play outdoors in clean air, as a small business owner who believes that all efforts have the power to make big impacts and as a human who can no longer bare the guilt of not listening anymore. So, here we go.

Zoe Feldman
5 Ways We're Greening Our Office - And How You Can Too!

By Taylor Edwards

Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg for our Potomac Contemporary project

Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg for our Potomac Contemporary project

Our team has committed to these #ZFDsmallsteps in our office to lower our carbon footprint while we work.

  • Nix plastic bottles and single use cups at the water cooler by investing in glass carafes for your team. We added washi tape made of renewable, biodegradable resources to personalize our carafes.

  • Learn about your carbon footprint by taking this quick and informative quiz by Global Footprint Network. This can be a big eye opener for you and your team while providing easy, personalized next steps.

  • Educate yourself on recycling guidelines. Each country, state, and even city has different guidelines for recycling. Spend time familiarizing yourself with your local regulations, and read up on what happens when you recycle incorrectly.

  • Unsubscribe. Junk mail and magazines are wasted paper, especially if the paper is coated with non recyclable material. Not only do unwanted papers end up in the bin, they add to your company's carbon footprint when they travel via your mail carrier. Taking a few minutes each week to unsubscribe is an easy way to reduce your waste.

  • Digitize your processes. Utilizing an online platform to organize and communicate with your team cuts down on paper waste and allows real time edits. Here are some things that our team uses to keep productive and organized in the office: Harvest, Dropbox, and Google Sheets.

Ready to join us? Use the hashtag #ZFDsmallsteps and show us how your office is working to keep our planet beautiful and check out how we’re taking #ZFDsmallsteps on our About page!

Zoe Feldman
5 Ways to Green Your Home the ZFD Way

By Taylor Edwards

Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg for our Historic Capitol Hill project.

Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg for our Historic Capitol Hill project.

 We’re all about making small steps to leave the world a bit more beautiful than how we found it. Here are our five tips to green your home the ZFD way!

  • UPCYCLE - Keep beautiful pieces from the landfill by upcycling vintage and reclaimed elements in with your decor. Re-upholstery is a great way to add your unique spin on a vintage piece. And remember, not all vintage has to be granny chic. Use antiques the ZFD way by creating tension with the old and the new, like our Historic Capitol Hill project.

  • GREENERY - Many studies have shown the importance of indoor plants to improve indoor air quality. We love adding greenery to our projects to add dimension and texture while creating a cleaner, safer environment.

  • SOURCE LOCAL - Freight adds cost and unnecessary emissions to your project. By sourcing local, you have the opportunity to learn more about the pieces you are purchasing, and the vendors that are selling them. You can see locally sourced vintage furniture in many of our projects, including our Downtown Utilitarian project

  • LIGHT BULB SWAP - Picking the right light fixture for your space can be tricky, but picking the right bulb is pretty easy. Swap your old bulbs for LED lighting to keep your space brightly lit and energy efficient. 

  • CURATE to minimize waste - We at ZFD believe your home should be a reflection of your story, and the best way to tell it is through meaningful, thoughtful items. Curating your space with intention will allow you to purchase only those items that are pleasing to you and empowers you to say no to trends that do not suit you. Understanding your needs and aesthetic is an important step in reducing waste and responsible purchasing. 

Let us know how you’re making your home a little greener by using our #ZFDsmallsteps hashtag on Instagram

Zoe Feldman