Friday Links



It’s been a while since I’ve done a links post. For those of you not following me on Instagram, my excuse for everything from now on is we’re expecting our first baby this February! And I’m completely distracted by the motherly changes that are already happening in me. James and I are excited, to say the least. I’m not sure yet how much of this blog will include things related to Bambino, but I am definitely cooking up nursery designs like a champ and I’m sure I will be sharing that project in the near future. Oh, baby!

Otherwise, here’s where my head’s been this week:



Fun with Fonts

Have you guys ever visited Font Squirrel? It’s a ‘free font utopia’ and as an admitted font hoarder, it’s a deep rabbit hole for me. I can spend hours in there…and then hours again in Photoshop playing around with layouts, kerning, drop shadows and textures. Font Squirrel is a great resource for designers, all of the fonts are “100% Free for Commercial Use”* which is a giant generous blessing. You can even generate Web Fonts for use in web design.

I want to give these guys a big hug, a chest bump and a cupcake.

Here are a few of my favorites from this week.

Click here to download Sofia

Click here to download Sofia



Click here to download Quiggly Wiggly



Click here to download Mathlete



Click here to download Yard Sale



Click here to download Seaside Resort



Click here to download Lobster


Have fun! Loveyoubye!

*Font Squirrel mines the web for font with licenses that allow commercial use and shares them on their site in an easy format to navigate. You should still read the license on each font before you use it to make sure there aren’t any restrictions. For more info, check out their FAQ page. And if you have the means, you should also donate to the designer where possible – it’s not easy to design a beautiful font! 

RBD Makes: Copper Paper Towel Holder

Raised by Design - DIY Industrial Copper Paper Towel Holder

Yesterday, my Dad came over to help me make this industrial-style copper paper towel holder. We are pretty short on counter space in our small kitchen and I’ve been trying to declutter where I can.

Decluttering is a tough business for me because there’s a powerful gravity that exists between me and clutter. But I’m also a serious cook and I use my kitchen and everything in it a LOT. There are things that need to be within arm’s reach and I just have to accept that I’ll never be that person with one bowl of lemons and two rustic spoons on their counter. Plus we’re apparently running an illegal espresso bar and can’t possibly live without BOTH an espresso machine and coffee maker in our tiny coffee loving lives.

One easy win was to get rid of our countertop paper towel holder in favor of a hanging dispenser under one of our shelves by the sink.

Before you go hating on the asymmetry of these one-bracket shelves you should know that (a) there was a decent reason for building them like this and (b) I’ve already beat myself up good for not taking more time to design ones that I liked better. I just wanted them to be functional, sturdy and cheap (thanks to a good case of renovation fatigue). If I were to change them out I think I would go for something more rectilinear like these or floating shelves like these. But whatever. In 4 years when I get around to doing something about it maybe I will have changed my mind again.

Moving past the self deprecation…I’m going to show you how to make this kick arse copper paper towel holder.

Here’s what you need to hunt and gather from hardware stores, Dads and basements:

Raised by Design - DIY copper industrial style paper towel holder

  • propane torch with standard nozzle
  • 18″ piece (or longer) of ½” copper tubing cut to the following sizes:
    • (1) 14″ piece
    • (4) 3/4″ pieces
  • (4) ½” copper tees
  • (4) ½” copper caps
  • tin-lead or lead-free tin solder
  • soldering flux (we used paste flux but any form will work)
  • (2) screw hooks
  • emery paper
  • tubing cutter (any size will cut ½” tubing)
  • power drill fitted with 3/16″ bit

Other supplies you’ll need:

  • WD-40, Goo Gone or ketchup
  • rags
  • permanent marker
  • square (optional but very helpful)
  • measuring tape
  • gloves

Here’s my super technical design drawing:

Raised by Design - DIY Copper Paper Towel Holder

The two biggest considerations we had were (1) to make it easy to change the roll and (2) to prevent it from sliding out of the hook/hanging mechanism during use. I wanted a modern/industrial look so we headed to the plumbing aisle at the hardware store to see what we could dig up in Copper Land.

We decided to use screw hooks as our mounting/hanging mechanism because they’re easy to install and leave an opening for removing the dowel to change the roll.  Using copper tees would solve the issue of sliding and keep the dowel in place so we grabbed a couple of those.

In order to cap off the tees for a finished look, we would need to cut small pieces of tubing to use as connector pieces. They do make caps that fit inside the tees, eliminating the need to cut connector pieces. But they’re $5/ea versus the standard caps which are $0.75/ea. I went with the standard caps and bought myself an iced latte and piece of $12 cheese from the fancy food shop in town…because that’s what’s up with my priorities. 

OK here are THE STEPS:

First use your funny looking tubing cutter to cut one 14″ piece and four 3/4″ pieces from your copper tubing length. Cutting tubing and pipes sounds like it would be scary and involve goggles and sparks, but it’s actually really easy and about as scary as using scissors. I’m lucky because I have one of those Dads who knows how to do everything. Here’s a good video tutorial for cutting tubing that could stand in for an all-knowing Dad if you need it to.

Raised by Design - DIY Copper Paper Towel Holder

Then you’ll want to clean up any serious gunk that’s on the tubing. For this you can use Goo Gone, WD-40 or…Ketchup! It’s nasty but it works.

Raised by Design - DIY Copper Paper Towel Holder


Raised by Design - DIY Copper Paper Towel Holder

To really get your copper shining bright like a diamond, you’ll need to go over it with emery paper or very very fine sand paper. Sand the outside of your long piece and the ends and insides of your connector pieces, tees and caps. This step is really important because it removes any oxidation so that the solder will adhere to the copper. You want to work fairly quickly and do this when you’re ready to get right to soldering so that it doesn’t re-oxidize. (PS – those are my Dad’s ManHands…I love them.)

Raised by Design - DIY Copper Paper Towel Holder


Raised by Design - DIY Copper Paper Towel Holder

After all of your pieces are sanded inside and out, use your ManHands to apply flux (capacitor) to the parts of tubing that will be connected. I’m a fan of this kind of work just because it’s an excuse to use the word ‘flux’ all day.

Raised by Design - DIY Copper Paper Towel Holder

As you apply flux to each piece, begin to assemble the holder. Flux flux flux. Use my super technical drawing above as a reference…the long piece connects to the tee, which connects to the connectors, which connects to the caps. Capisce?

Raised by Design - DIY Copper Paper Towel Holder

Assembled and ready to solder…

Raised by Design - DIY Copper Paper Towel Holder

Use a paper towel to wipe off any extra fluxity-flux-flux.

Raised by Design - DIY Copper Paper Towel Holder

Now get to torchin’. The only real safety tips for using a propane torch are these:

  • go outside in a well ventilated area, especially if you’re using solder that contains lead
  • wear goggles because it makes you look like you’re doing something dangerous
  • wear gloves to protect your gorgeous ManHands
  • work on a piece of wood or tin – no stone (you’ll crack it) and no asphalt (you’ll melt it) and no piles of leaves (you’ll start a forest fire)
  • don’t be a dope and burn yourself while you’re reaching for something
  • you know…workin’ with fire…
  • if all of this scares you too much, just grab someone who knows their way around a torch for help

Turn on your propane torch and heat up one end of the assembled rod, being careful not to place your hand too close to the flame (the entire pipe will heat up as it sits over the open flame, another good reason to wear gloves). Notice that Dad didn’t heed any of my safety warnings.

Raised by Design - DIY Copper Paper Towel Holder

As you heat the copper, hold the solder over the seam and allow it to drip into place and spread to form a bond.

Raised by Design - DIY Copper Paper Towel Holder

The whole job takes about three minutes. Once you’ve covered your seams, use an old rag to wipe away extra tin and clean it up a little. If you want to get it really clean, you can bust out your emery paper again, being careful not to sand away your bond. Personally, I prefer the look of the mixed metals which will complement the screw hooks.

Raised by Design - DIY Copper Paper Towel Holder

Head inside and do a whole bunch of head-hurting fraction math to figure out where to drill holes to hang your hooks so that the paper towels will have space to turn and you can easily take the rod out to change them. Measure a million times, cut once, is the goal.

Raised by Design - DIY Copper Paper Towel Holder

Dad taught me another good trick for making sure you don’t drill clean through your beautiful shelves, which I’m 100% sure I would have done. Hold the screw up to your shelf and mark the depth on the screw with a permanent marker. You can do the same directly onto your drill bit for drilling your pilot holes. Then you just stop when you get to the line! And you can feel free to do this dance.

Raised by Design - DIY Copper Paper Towel Holder

Drill some pilot holes…

Raised by Design - DIY Copper Paper Towel Holder

Screw in your hooks and hang that sucker!!

Raised by Design - DIY Copper Paper Towel Holder

I LERVE it. Si! Si! Si! I think it complements the colors in our counters and coffee station quite nicely.

The asparagus dish, btw, was my Dad’s Mother’s and it has a good story. It hung in her kitchen for years when my Dad was growing up. When she passed, he and my Mom got it. It hung in our kitchen in Oak Park. Years later we moved to New York and down-sized to fit into a loft apartment. She gifted it to our dear friends Anne + Jeff across the street. It hung in their kitchen for the better part of 14 years until I got married and Anne gifted it to me at my shower. I cried. And it hangs here in proud memory of my Grandma Betty.

Raised by Design - DIY Copper Paper Towel Holder

The whole project (including a run to the hardware store) took us just under 4 hours. It cost about $25 not including the solder, flux and tubing cutter. If you’re not into pyrotechnics but are loving the industrial copper look you can score a similar one for $65 at ScoutMob.

I’m pumped because I freed up about 8″ of counter space…and that’s a big deal for me. Plus I got to spend the day with Dad and play with fire.

Loveyoubye! Mags



August Desktop Wallpaper

This month’s free desktop wallpaper is a little salty for no reason other than having inspirational quote fatigue. If you feel me, enjoy it.

RBD desktop wallpaper - inspirational quote


To download as your desktop wallpaper…click on the above image to open in your browser…right click and select “Use Image as Desktop Picture”…voila! Salty inspiration.

Loveyoubye, Mags

In Like With: Pink Bathroom Tile

So there seems to be a bug going around the design blog world lately which doctors are calling the ‘now we like pink tile bathrooms and think they’re super cool’ virus. Vintage 50’s pink baths are having a moment again. Some blushing beauties were recently featured on Apartment Therapy here and here. Which is cute and I’m really happy for pink tile. And of course, I love our redone bathroom and have no regrets about giving up our pink tile since we traded it for extra space and a layout that made good design sense. BUT…if I were to design a pink bathroom now, I would spin the peachy desert sunset hue of the tile to make the most of the current southwestern /// geometric /// tribal trends out there. It would look something like this, which of course, I’m in like with now.

RBD in like with pink bathrooms and southwestern desert geometric

  1. Faux Bison Skull by HodiHomeDecor – $80
  2. Canyon Pendant by Avalanche Ranch Lighting – $126
  3. Campfire Special Candle by PF Candle Co. @ Campwell – $20
  4. White Aztec, Modernist, and Black Geometric prints by Melinda Wood Designs – $5 each
  5. Modern Block Planter by Iron and Dibble – $34
  6. Vintage Pink Navajo Vase from Treasure by Demand – $25
  7. Black Rubber Coated Soap Pump by CB2 – $5
  8. Kaleido Small Tray in Apricot by Fab – $26
  9. Stripe Hammam Hand Towel by West Elm – $10
  10. Griffin Console Table by Pottery Barn – $1,099
  11. White Porcelain Vessel Sink by Polaris @ Overstock ($170) and Matte Black Faucet by Brizo @ Amazon ($358)
  12. 4″x4″ Pink Wall Tile: similar to shown, Carnation Pink by Daltile – price upon request
  13. Midcentury Magazine Rack from littlecows – $72
  14. Tribal Removable Wallpaper by Chasing Paper – $30 per panel

What do you think? Could you make pink work in your home without oozing bubble gum and ruffles? Well, if I can’t convince you to change your signature color, maybe Julia Roberts can.

Happy Weekend! Loveyoubye, Maggie


Filling up the shop today…tomorrow…forever after. Head over to browse and check back at the end of the week for more listings in the works.

RBD Etsy Shop Vintage Moose Book Print by W. J. Wilwerding

Vintage Moose Book Print by W. J. Wilwerding

RBD Shop Antique Art Deco Lithographed Children's Lunchbox

Antique Art Deco Lithographed Children’s Lunchbox

RBD Shop Pair Vintage Paint by Numbers

Pair Vintage Paint by Numbers

More coming soon!

RBD Shop Vintage ANRI Italian Bottle Stoppers

Vintage ANRI Italian Bottle Stoppers

RBD Shop Vintage Floral Lined Suitcase

Vintage Floral Lined Suitcase

Loveyoubye! Mags


Before + After – Lil’ Spot Renovations The Bathroom

Hi hi hi. So yesterday I shared all of the dingy ‘BEFORE’ pics of our pink and black tile bathroom. Today it’s time to get to the goods. Real quick – here’s what the bathroom looked like when we bought the house:

raised by design - our house - pink bathroom

The space was super cramped, poorly lit, without ventilation and, other than the medicine cabinet, completely without storage. The one thing that the room had going for it was a nice, big American Standard cast iron bathtub in great condition. (By the way – that nice vignette of a hand mirror, roll of toilet paper and bottle of Suave shampoo came with the house. Bonus!)

Here’s what our Master/Guest/Family/Only Bathroom looks like today:

raised by design - bathroom renovation after

We went with a relaxed, neutral palette of bright white walls and slate blue/gray floors. I like that it skews a little masculine but is still elegant and airy. We installed and painted bead board along the ‘dry’ wall of the bathroom and classic white subway tile along the ‘wet’ wall – the tile is wrapped around the tub/shower surround and behind the new sink.

raised by design - bathroom renovation

We solved the layout and storage issues by reclaiming some square footage from the second bedroom (now our Master) that was being used as an extra closet. We robbed Peter to pay Paul, you could say. It hurts to get rid of closet space in a small house, but Paul the bathroom really needed the space, so we didn’t lose sleep over it. Plus, we didn’t take all of the storage of the other room – the remaining space was used for custom built-in shelves which now function as my vanity and shoe storage.

The added square footage allowed for a clear path and more spacious layout without any crowding. Hoo-ray! The nook we created also accommodated a full size vanity with plenty of storage. The vanity is actually a vintage sideboard that I spray painted and chopped up to accommodate a sink and plumbing. There are loads of DIY tutorials out there for this move and in our case, it was the best solution for maximizing counter space and storage and it’s much easier on the budget than a brand new vanity. Plus, look at that sexy hardware!

raised by design - bathroom renovation - vanity redo

raised by design - bathroom renovation

We opted for a wall mounted faucet and vessel sink to make converting the vanity easier. I found a giant vintage mirror that was perfectly sized for our space and paired it with industrial cage pendants.

raised by design - bathroom renovation

We keep our everyday toiletries corralled on a tray to cut down on clutter (my all-time favorite styling tip). When guests come and we feel fancy, we stash our toothbrushes away and just leave out the hand soap, a lightly scented candle (like one of these) and some pretty hand towels.

raised by design - bathroom renovation - soap tray

Above the litany of light switches and outlets we added, I hung this sweet trio of miniature house collages in vintage gold frames that my Mom made for me.

raised by design - bathroom renovation - house collages

I like the way the antique gold finish is repeated in the mirror frame and original brass door knob.

raised by design - bathroom renovation - gold frames

For a long time, the bright, bare walls on the opposite side of the bathroom were too pretty to mess with. Something happens when you take the trouble to paint a room yourself: you have nightmares about patching a poorly place nail hole so you chicken out on hanging anything at all.

Last winter I finally got over it and hung a gallery wall of vintage class photos I’ve collected and charcoal nudes drawn by James’ late grandmother. She was such a glamorous woman and I love the ultra feminine touch that her drawings lend to the otherwise masculine space.

raised be design - bathroom renovation - framed art - gallery wall

We added a ledge to help transition between the bead board and dry wall – a trick we borrowed from my parents’ bathroom. The ledge is low profile, but creates a spot to keep small things like a clock or eyeglasses.

raised by design - bathroom renovation

My collection of vintage black and white class photos includes a photo of my 8th grade class trip to Washington D.C. I remember thinking it was just silly that my Mom wanted to order the framed photo (“Whaddya want that for?”), but I’m so thankful for the time capsule and it’s one of my favorite pieces of art. Gosh, she’s always right. We hung it right next to the commode and when we have parties the conversation inevitably comes around to the number of flannels, Nirvana t-shirts and Air Jordans in the pic. It was 1995…

raised by design - bathroom renovation - DC class trip photo

It’s also fun to let guests play ‘Where’s Waldo’ to find me. Here, I solved it for you… Also in this closeup are my kindergarten bestie, my first kiss, the friend I got in the most trouble with and the kid who moved into my house when we move to New York a couple years later (whose sister is now a cast member on SNL!).

raised by design - bathroom renovation - dc class photo

While we’re talking about what’s near the toilet, I have to show you the TP holder we installed, which is probably the smartest choice I’ve made in life besides going to college and marrying James. It’s the best and deserves a chance to shine. The price was ridiculous but it’s the only acceptable design for changing the roll in my book – one of my all-time least favorite things to do (besides replacing the trash liner). Once you go $100 toilet paper roll holder, you never go back. I’m bringing it with me to the next house.

raised by design - bathroom renovation - tp holder

Lastly, our beautiful porcelain throne. When my mother-in-law heard that we planned on just keeping the existing (60 year old) John, which was in fine shape as far as my back woods self was concerned, she insisted it was a much better idea to get a new one. We hemmed and hawed over adding the expense to our climbing budget, but in a ‘you’ll thank me later’ moment she put her foot down and offered to buy a new one for us. Moms…they’re always right! I LOVE this toilet and I now appreciate that Johns have a life span and when it’s up…it’s just up. She’s a beaut and uses less water so everyone’s happy. (I wish I’d moved our trash can or ironed my stubborn shower curtain for this shot. Oh well…real life.)

raised by design - bathroom renovation

The vignette behind the toilet changes with my mood. These days I have a porcelain and pewter tray, a vase of flowers from our backyard and one of my Great Aunt Virginia’s Herend figurines. Fancy! I’m feelin’ it.

raised by design - bathroom renovation

raised by design - bathroom renovation

And finally, I sewed a small cafe curtain from some cheap-o IKEA fabric and lined the windows with a stick-on film that gives the same opaque effect as frosted glass. Privacy + natural light = muy importante.

raised by design - bathroom renovation

So, there you have it. 4 years later I’m still happy with everything in the space and I don’t miss the pink and black tile one bit, it turns out.

raised by design - bathroom renovation

Here’s a source list for our project. Some of the items are discontinued because we completed this renovation 4 years ago, but I tried to list an alternate in those cases. Enjoy your project and love your bathroom, I say!

  • Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore Cloud Nine
  • White Subway Tile – Home Depot
  • Floor Tile – Home Depot
  • Vanity – John Street Antiques, Stamford, CT
  • Mirror – John Street Antiques, Stamford, CT
  • Pendants – Schoolhouse Electric
  • Sink – + don’t forget the drain
  • Wall-mounted Faucet – Kohler (we got a similar faucet with a right angle spout)
  • Hand Towel Holder – IKEA
  • Towel Bar – IKEA (I’m laughing because I just realized we installed it upside down…welp, still works!)
  • Tissue Holder – Kohler
  • Shower Head and Trim – Kohler
  • Soap Dispenser – CB2
  • House Candle Holder – CB2
  • Toothbrush Cup – a gift from friends, you can find here
  • Curtain Fabric – IKEA
  • Toilet – TOTO
  • Laundry Hamper – HomeGoods, here’s a cute alternative though
  • Bath Towels – West Elm (we didn’t monogram ours with a bossy red “RELAX” as pictured)
  • Trash Can – Simple Human
  • Frames for Nudes – IKEA
  • Pewter Tray – Arte Italica (a wedding gift that we use all over the house)
  • Black and White Vintage Class Photos – collected, easily found at vintage shops or on Etsy
  • Window Film – we used something like this

Loveyoubye! Mags