Thou Swell Turns One! iPad Mini & NextIssue Giveaway

Thou Swell Turns One! - iPad Mini & NextIssue Giveaway
(graphic created by Corina Nika for Thou Swell)

I can’t believe it’s been a year! I’m so grateful for the support, comments, tweets, mentions, likes, shares, follows, and love that all of you have given me over the past year. It’s been an amazing journey to watch my blog grow, changing my name to Kevin’s Crumbs, redesigning my site (twice), and finally switching over from Tumblr to WordPress. I’ve made over 150 posts over the year and it’s been so fun to explore my passion for interiors, design, food and entertaining with a live audience. I can’t wait to see where my blog takes me in year two – but I already know it’s gonna be great! While I’ve been out in California I’ve been dreaming up projects to do and post when I get back to Atlanta in December!

Next, I’d like to thank this incredible group of bloggers who have joined me to celebrate my blog’s birthday and bring you an amazing giveaway! We’re giving away an Apple iPad Mini (16GB Wifi) and a three month subscription to NextIssue, which will give the winner access to over 135 top magazines on their new iPad!

This giveaway is brought to you by:

Buckets & Spades | Helarious | Of Trees & Hues | Cocorrina | Ex Vitae | Safaris & Sunsets | Lucky Number Seven | Pen & Peplum | Zoso Lights | Tara Victoria | Clear the Way | Nuance & Bubbles | Eavan Elizabeth | Oh I Design | Catalina Creative | Hello Lidy | Thou Swell
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Swell Shopping: Serene Townhouse Living Room

Swell Shopping: Serene Townhouse Living Room | Thou Swell
(via Brittany Ambridge for Domino magazine)

Ever wondered how keeping things simple could feel so classic? The neutral palette in this living room really works to create an inviting atmosphere, and the black-and-white-themed gallery wall and throw pillows ground the room with some solid black. I love the Moroccan rug in the center – it serves as a centerpiece to the room and provides a fantastic contrast to the french chandelier and petite coffee table. The yellow in the rug and sofas is cheery and warm, adding a homey touch. Looking for an elegant cast fireplace mantel to finish off the look? Check out François & Co.‘s selection.

Swell Shopping: Serene Townhouse Living Room | Thou Swell

Art selection from left to rightBlot, Crocodile 1, Point of View, Inked, Embrace  / Chandelier from Ethan Allen / Mirror from One Kings Lane / Throw pillows from top to bottom: Anthropologie, West Elm, Anthropologie / Sofa (and fabric) from Ballard Designs / Coffee table from Ethan Allen / Rug from West Elm



Fall Meals: Spaghetti Squash Cakes & Red Pepper Soup

Meatless Monday? Meatless Tuesday? Make it Meatless Whatever-Day-Of-The-Week-You-Want. Did you know that the meat industry is the most polluting industry out there? I’m not going vegetarian anytime soon, but I think that its good to cut back on meat and have some meatless days thrown in there. Also, eggs are a protein-eous substitute and great on pretty much anything… But these spaghetti squash cakes especially. Enjoy with some red pepper soup and you’ve got yourself a warm and cozy fall meal!

Image courtesy of Alanna Taylor Tobin | The Bojon Gourmet

Spaghetti Squash Cakes with Poached Eggs (via The Bojon Gourmet)

For the cakes:
1 medium spaghetti squash (about 3 pounds), halved and seeded
olive oil, as needed
fine sea or kosher salt
black pepper
2 large cloves garlic, peeled
3/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1 large egg
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown rice flour
1/4 cup sweet white rice flour (mochiko)
2 tablespoons tapioca flour
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
ghee or sunflower oil, for frying the cakes (as needed)

For the poached eggs and garnish:
1 tablespoon rice vinegar (or another neutral vinegar)
4 large eggs
1 cup lightly packed spinach leaves, washed and spun dry
a few handfuls cilantro leaves, washed and dried
a few tablespoons of store-bought harissa

For full directions, head on over to The Bojon Gourmet!


Roasted Red Pepper SouP (via Plaid Fox, recipe by The Merry Thought)

2 red bell peppers
2 carrots, peeled
olive oil
freshly ground salt & pepper
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 ½ teaspoons onion powder (or substitute half a small diced onion)
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried thyme
dash or two of cayenne pepper
4 cups chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes, drained (use fire roasted tomatoes if desired)
2 cups gouda cheese, shredded
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons cornstarch, if desired for a thicker soup

For full directions, head on over to Plaid Fox!



Elegance en Gris

The chic apartment of Austrlian stylist Kristen Bookallil is a true testament to her craft – styled vignettes layer texture, color, and character in her home. She lives in the three bedroom flat with her two daughters and cat, in the Eastern suburbs of Sydney. The apartment has a fresh modern feel, with European textures and accents. The living and dining rooms feature fabulous (and moody) grey walls, a color I’ve been digging lately! Grey can be such a cold color, but in a living room filled with warm neutrals, it feels cozy. The ceiling and trim provide a nice clean contrast to the grey. To the right, Kristen in her living room.



Below, a beautifully styled console table provides the backdrop for linen-covered dining table and wishbone dining chairs. A simple pendant light hangs above the table.

Elegance en Gris | Thou Swell

Elegance en Gris | Thou SwellElegance en Gris | Thou SwellElegance en Gris | Thou Swell

A warm grouping of accents decorate a restored French console table in the entry. I love the playful nature the glass lamp and crystal candle holders add, not to mention the fun gold piñata! All the classical elements are contrasted by a contemporary abstract painting above the table.

Elegance en Gris | Thou SwellElegance en Gris | Thou SwellElegance en Gris | Thou Swell
(via Home Life, photography by Prue Ruscoe)



Friday Links 10

Friday Links 10 | Thou Swell
(via Thou Swell on Tumblr)

This week at Oxbow I’ve been working on a new project, two abstract paintings based on memories in my childhood home. I’m in the finishing stage for them and will try to share pictures soon! It was one of my first experiences in abstraction and the first painting took a long time to develop, but over the course of the week the translation from memories and emotions to abstractness came much easier. I really enjoyed the process… This week saw some exciting days on the blog as well – it was so exciting to introduce a new contributor, Izzy, to the blog! Thou Swell’s pace has picked up in the last few weeks and I hope to keep the momentum strong with more frequent posts throughout the week. Anyway, enjoy a couple interesting and inspiring links from this week:

1 / Jessica from Coco & Mingo created some fun Halloween invites and desktop downloads for West Elm’s blog Front + Main. Her lettering is beautiful!

2 / Apartment 34 shared a beautiful and informative homage to film, How to Shoot with Film 101.

3 / Coco + Kelley shared a nostalgic pistachio-colored room, with dashes of brass and eclectic vintage portraiture.

4 / Though I won’t be making this recipe for another four years, I’m sure some of you will enjoy making an Autumn sangria from Of Trees and Hues!

5 / This château that This Is Glamorous shared stopped me dead in my tracks. Just take a peek at that dining room…

6 / Planning a dinner party anytime soon? This DIY menu pumpkin from The Merry Thought would be perfect.

7 / Emily Henderson shares two equally easy and stylish ways to style your mantel this Autumn from Target.



Kilim Covered L.A. Solarium

(via One Kings Lane, photography by Nicole LaMotte)

Bright, light, and layered, this solarium/greenhouse room in the hacienda-style house of Katie Tarses is a truly magical space. It’s wide open floor-plan was a daunting proposition at first, but Katie split it up into dining and living spaces and layered lots of gorgeous rugs to add warmth and comfort underfoot. In fact, all those Kilim rugs are actually stitched together to create one big one. To balance out all those cozy pinks and oranges, leafy greens line the walls and keep things feeling like a jungle. Although Los Angeles doesn’t experience much of a Winter, I bet this space is the perfect retreat during the cold(er) months!

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Baked Pumpkin Donuts | Thou Swell x Common Comfort

I’m excited to introduce a new contributor to Thou Swell, Isabella Rael of Common Comfort. She’s a NYC-based blogger, photographer, graphic designer, and vegan/gluten-free chef. She’s 15 years old and already commands a foodstagram Instagram with over 20k, a beautiful blog, and VSCO recently announced her as a recent awardee of their Artist Initiative program! She will be developing a book on all things creative, with images of seasonal outings and delicious recipes to fill the pages. I’m ecstatic to have her sharing recipes on the blog.

Pinterest | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin’

Baked Pumpkin Donuts | Common Comfort x Thou Swell Baked Pumpkin Donuts | Common Comfort x Thou SwellBaked Pumpkin Donuts | Common Comfort x Thou Swell
As Kevin probably already mentioned, my name is Izzy, and I live in New York City. I am the writer, photographer, designer, and everything-else-do-er for my food and design blog, Common Comfort. I am (now) 15 years old; still the same old graphic-obsessed, trombone-playing me.

Fall is my favorite season. It’s that small, yet beautiful transition between the humid summer and the bitter winter, (at least here in New York, anyway). Naturally, to celebrate the first few chilly days of autumn, I baked something… pumpkin-related. What’s better to accompany your morning cup of pumpkin-spiced tea than pumpkin-spiced donuts?

These baked donuts are not only pumpkin-flavored (and who can resist anything that has the word ‘pumpkin’ in it), but they’re vegan, and SO good.
Although the glaze is entirely optional, I highly recommend it, as it gives the donuts another boost of sugar-y moistness.

for the donuts
1-3/4 cups spelt flour (alternatively, you can use plain AP flour)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon pumpkin spice (or your own mixture of fresh ground nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and cinnamon)
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 almond milk (I used sweetened)
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
1/3 cup applesauce
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup of maple syrup, to taste

for the glaze
1-1/2 cups vegan powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray/brush a donut pan with canola oil.
2. Sift spelt flour with salt, baking soda, and pumpkin spice(s). Mix until thoroughly combined.
3. In the same bowl, add the rest of the “donut” ingredients.
4. Using a spatula, carefully fold the ingredients together, being cautious not to over mix.
5. Once all of the ingredients are entirely incorporated and there is no excess unmixed flour, spoon batter into the donut pan.
6. Bake for 14-15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
7. Once baked, remove donuts from the oven and immediately take them out of the pan, letting them cool on a cooling rack.

8. While the donuts are cooling, make the glaze!
9. Sift powered sugar in a bowl, and add almond milk and vanilla, using a whisk to combine.
10. If the glaze is too thick, add a splash more milk. If the glaze is too thin, add more sifted sugar.

11. Once the donuts are completely cool, drizzle with glaze (or complete submerge them in the glaze, also complete acceptable).
12. Serve with maple syrup, and enjoy!



Eclectic Paris Flat

Perfectly matching combinations are the easiest to pair, and often make for the most boring interiors. Where there’s eclecticism, there’s interest! This apartment is full of interesting details and funky paraphernalia. Home to a furniture collector, this Paris flat is full of souvenirs from his travels, chevron floors throughout, and a multitude of bright hues popping out from the mix. In the moody vignette below, vintage pieces contrast pops of modern color and the mid-century sideboard, all set against a moody charcoal wall. In the foreground I spot a pretty blue chaise/bench.

This apartment is home to one of my all-time favorite dining rooms. The blue doorway sets the stage for a dramatic interior – huge windows, a traditional cabinet, and beautiful black and brass dining chairs and table. The same cobalt hue is carried through to the ends of these logs, set beside a beautiful carved fireplace, accompanied by a disco ball and doe. It’s an impressive feat to pull of that combination!

(via Dwell, photography by Christian Schaulin)

The kitchen features a beautiful dark green wall, a fantastic collection of lights, and a beautiful marble-tiled island (a DIY project begging to be published). The serene work/living area above features a seriously relaxing palette of blues and greens, with a funky wall-mounted light fixture and even more funky divider. Another black and brass chair is used at the desk.



Portfolio Peek: Brooke Holm

Portfolio Peek: Brooke Holm | Thou Swell
(via Brooke Holm)

Brooke Holm is a photographer based in Melbourne, Australia, who’s portfolio includes Fashion, Food, Interiors, and more personal work, all of it with touches of Scandinavian design, Australian minimalism, and hints of rustic charm. Her interior work is especially consistent, with a range of work for publications like The Design Files, Inside Out magazine, and Real Living magazine. Her work is bright and beautifully styled, and Brooke also captures a lived-in charm in a lot of the interior work. You can see her full portfolio here.

Portfolio Peek: Brooke Holm | Thou SwellPortfolio Peek: Brooke Holm | Thou Swell Portfolio Peek: Brooke Holm | Thou SwellPortfolio Peek: Brooke Holm | Thou Swell Portfolio Peek: Brooke Holm | Thou Swell Portfolio Peek: Brooke Holm | Thou Swell


Swell Shopping: Swanky Loft Boudoir

Swell Shopping | Swanky Loft Bedroom
(via Tamara Magel Interiors)

This bedroom is downright handsome. From the charcoal walls to the over-sized vase and leaves, I love how funky and relaxed it is. I think I’m gonna need to paint one of my walls in my bedroom charcoal when I get home. And if you couldn’t already tell, I’m a sucker for a luxurious faux-fur throw. Oh, and that console table is fantastic. I also love how gender-neutral this room is – with some different pillow this room could totally be a rockin’ bachelor pad, am I right? Now let’s break it down…

Swanky Loft Boudoir | Swell Shopping

1. Serena & Lily provide some classic small-scale navy blue pattern on the bed with two throw pillows.
2. The perfect charcoal grey to set the stage.
3. A peacock throw pillow mixes it up while pulling together the blue in the other pillows and the green in the tufted ottomans.
4. A simple, neutral, tufted linen platform bed.
5. Gotta have a faux fur throw on the bed, especially now that the weather’s getting chillier!
6. This console table is to die for, though it’s on the pricey side. If you’re willing to part with the gold accents, Crate & Barrel has a cheaper alternative.
7. Green velvet ottomans for emergency seating… or foot resting.


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