Soundscape:"The Throw"- Jagwar Ma

One scoop of psychedelic summer swirl, please. Sydney based, Jagwar Ma have been on major repeat with their mix of hip hop beats, surf and indie rock. The track “The Throw”, makes me want to cannonball into crystal blue waters on a hot day under a bright orange sky.

This song moves in a way just as summer moves, its fast, but with those savored moments, where you wish you could stop time, through every flowing synthy beat. Savor air dried beach hair and sandy feet when you walk, I mean dance, into your beach space while Howlin pumps from your speakers.

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 by Ryan Adams from Gold
Record Re-visit:"Firecracker" - Ryan Adams

Soundscape:"Softly Draining Seas" - Jamie Isaac

In relation to making small spaces seem much larger than they appear, it is the same effect Jamie Isaac's debut EP, "I Will Be Cold Soon" has on any space. This eighteen year old who hails from London, combines jazz instrumentals, electronic and hip hop beats along with vocals that can make any story told a unique one. It’s as if you are quietly led to a small, secret place, that on the other end lies a bustling city street.

Jamie’s mysterious, atmospheric soundscapes draw you in as if you are part of these secret locations he has shared with only you. As his soulful vocals come in, this once tiny adventure is now part of a grandiose tale. It is one that is moving around you so quickly, its as if you are flipping through someones story laid out in black & white images. Every true expression and emotion caught for a brief moment, then you blink and Isaac is off taking you on the next stop on this hauntingly beautiful musical journey.

Soundscape: “Youthern”- Cloud Boat

The track “Youthern”, from London duo, Cloud Boat is from their recent release, Book of Hours, which combines electronic, folky sounds with a heartfelt touch. There is a contrast in the song that beautifully plays back and forth and imagery that seems to unfold. When Tom Clarke sings, “I’ve never felt love, ‘cause of the state of us…” it is almost a confession of heartbreak, yet when the guitar slowly washes over, there is a feeling of possibility. It is close, yet distant, stark yet warm.

Soundscape: “Keep You”- Wild Belle

Not only do siblings Elliot and Natalie Bergman of indie band, Wild Belle originally hail from my city of Chicago, but their debut album, Isles, has been on repeat and couldn’t be more patio perfect.

So many times bands try to combine genres that are as long as some of my grocery lists and it doesn’t always work, but Wild Belle’s addictive combo is a perfect, breezy summer blend. A fusion of calypso, jazz, reggae, and pop with Bergman’s vocals worthy of soundtracking a Mad Men episode, it is sure to make your patio party mix and be playing all summer long.

The Chicago weather has been as fickle as my patio planning and flower planting. The sudden onset of 80 degree temps from 45 and then back again made the slab of concrete out back (AKA my patio) cry out for attention through the warm beams of sunlight. I was happy to start with a blank slate as it made for limitless ideas, but I also wasn’t quite sure where to begin. Having your outdoor space be as inviting as your indoor space and reflective of your personality are key, but making it happen can sometimes be overwhelming. For that…a little listology to get you started and just in time to show it off this upcoming holiday weekend!


1) Decide how you will use the space. Will it be used primarily at night or just during the day? If just during the day, you can skip on purchasing lamps. By thinking of the primary use of the space it helps to eliminate unnecessary purchases and buying things you don’t need.

2) Space plan just as if you are working on a space inside your home. Create different areas. A seating area, a bar area, grilling station, place for flowers and plants, etc. If you have a smaller space, this goes back to creating priority areas and a little creative thinking.

3) Whether a big or small space have unique way to display plants or flowers. Such as, in old wine crates, hanging shoe organizers, mounted mason jars, a drawer or cinder blocks are much more fun than ordinary planters.

4) Finding pieces can be challenging and although it’s great to shop in the off season we are all typically in a different mindset at that time. The next money saving option is utilizing your thrift shops and your current pieces. What are some existing pieces that you could possibly re-use for your outdoor space? When finding pieces while thrifting, think of how it could be transformed.

5) Buying seasonal items for your outdoor space can be like buying a new pair of shoes for the summer. Will I still like this next season? Is it worth the price? It can get expensive when not purchasing items second hand or re-purposing so when you purchase think of other places in your home it could be used.

6) Find what you love in other spaces inside your home. Its a good way to get an ideas and how to make it work outside. Whether its a color story, your favorite vignette, patterned pillows and rug, those cute DIY hanging flags or favorite art. Switch things around a bit! That small, boring dresser is perfect after a little paint and can pull double duty as a bar cart.

7) If you will be using the space at night, lighting will be a major item on your list. It doesnt just have to consist of boring lamps on a table or ordinary set of string lights. Purchase these things and put your own spin on them. Cover the lamp shade with a different color material, paint the lamp base a fun color, or trick out those string lights. Candles are definitely a fitting option for the outdoors. Using mason jars makes them unique and if you need ones with bug fighting power, you can make your own here!

8) When looking for a table and chairs, all the pieces don’t necessarily have to match. It makes for a statement piece this way. Pair metals and wood or paint a piece or two a fun color like turquoise or yellow! This gives you more options when going the second hand route, if you find a couple chairs you like in one spot and some in another. Using wood palettes are an amazing way to create a really cool, one of a kind seating area.

9) For outdoor dining and grilling there are so many cool dishes and glasses for your next outdoor bbq or party. Mix and match! Set up a beverage station for a fun way to have everything in one spot for you and easy access for guests when mixing cocktails. This also can double as a serving cart for those that are short on space. Guests can grab their food and retreat to their seats. Whether pillows on the floor, a table, swings or a hammock!

10) Remember think outside the box with what you have, it doesn’t have to be over the top. It just has to reflect you. Along with a little “re-cycling DIY re-do” mixed with some creativity, lots of friends and plenty of drinks and food…you can’t go wrong! Cheers to your great party on the perfect patio!

Soundscape: “Entertainment” - Phoenix

One of my many Record Store Day purchases today was Phoenix, “Entertainment” limited edition 7” with a B-side. I have been a fan of these guys for a long time and although I have strayed a bit, the latest single from their upcoming release, Bankrupt! (out April 23) has brought me back. It’s a synthy anthem with Thomas Mars signature vocals that will make you want to jump up and down in the middle of a summer festival and have this on repeat.

Soundscape: “Recover” - Chvrches

Something as bold as a black and white color story needs an equally strong sound. Enter Glasgow’s synth pop trio, Chvrches. “Recover”, the opening track on their latest EP, joins a sense of simplicity in white with a bit of complexity. It’s a hint of the bold, yet heartfelt in Lauren Mayberry’s vocals as she sings, “And if I recover, will you be my comfort? or it can be over, or we can just leave it here, so you can remember, choose any colour, I’ve got the answer, open and follow…” We will. We choose black + white and Chvrches to provide the sound. This EP is an anthem for a classic, yet edgy space.

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 by Rhye from Woman

Soundscape: “3 Days” - Rhye

As you’re letting your space show it’s romantic side, there is nothing more airy and beautiful to have playing than Los Angeles duo, Rhye. Mike Milosh lends his sexy, soothing vocals along with gorgeous strings and percussion with a bit of a synthy side that will make any room dreamy and poetic.


Looking for: a romantic, charming, creative, sophisticated…space.

Bringing in romantic elements into your space doesn’t have to be reserved just for a special occasion nor does it have to be overly girly with thoughts of pink and lace. It’s about being unique, whimsical, soft and light. Nothing over the top, just a space that you can relax in that is fresh and inviting. Of course, the bedroom seems the first place to start, but this is something that can be implemented anywhere.

1) Color Palette. Light, airy, soft and fresh. The pastel palette for this Spring is perfect for this kind of space. Layer the colors or keep it monochromatic using just one.

2)Texture and pattern. Think soft and luxurious in everything from blankets, pillows to window treatments.

3) Mirrors. Using one or a grouping not only makes a wall go from boring to making a statement, but makes a small space appear larger. Mix and match shapes and sizes, new and vintage to really make it stand out.

4) Flowers/plants. Not only does it make me happy when I have fresh flowers or live plants in the house, but it adds color and just a hint of romance. Putting them in different shape bottles or colored vases adds even more color and whimsy.

5) Soft lighting. There are so many lamp options to choose no matter which room you are making over. Task, pendant, bedside lamps.. Whichever one you choose just make sure the lamps are equally distributed. Using a 40 or 60 watt bulb offers soft, filtered light to make the room glow. Keep in mind the size of the lighting fixture for the room. Adding candles is also another way to always have the perfect amount of soft illumination.

6) Metallics/Brass/Lacquer. Using a few metallic, brass or lacquer pieces around your space adds just a bit of romanticism and when mixed with different finishes or textures like wood makes these glossy items really shine.

7) Organized and clean. Keeping your space organized, keeps it inviting and makes someone really take in all the features of the space.

8) A focal point. Whether it’s a really great bed, sofa or chair make sure its dressed to impress with lush linens and beautiful fabrics.

9) Personalized. Make sure your space is your own. Using personal, even sentimental items to add to your space. Photos from a getaway, a favorite vintage piece with a story, items that conjure up good feelings and happiness make for a space you never want to leave and want others to see.

10) Light + airy. Keep window treatments and furniture not too heavy. It will give the sense of airiness and will let the light shine in. Mix and match furniture, delicate pieces with a bold color or finish are perfect for a romantic space. Make sure your window treatments let some of the outside in, because there isn’t better light to warm up your space than one from a sunset on a warm, breezy night.

Soundscape: “Compliment Your Soul” - Dan Croll

As you go layer by layer putting the components to your new(ish) bed together, a once mundane task now becomes exciting. As you anticipate your retreat to it, put on this song. Then put it on again when you wake up and make the bed. If making your bed doesn’t give you enough good vibes to get your day started right, this song definitely will!

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 by Tegan and Sara from Heartthrob (Deluxe Version)

Soundscape: “Closer”- Tegan and Sara

The new release, Heartthrob from Canadian twin sisters, Tegan and Sara has made so many of my mornings and continued to be on repeat throughout the day. It will definitely help you conquer organizing your bathroom and every other room in the house too. Yep, it’s that powerful. This album is a little more pop driven than past releases, but if anyone could pull that off lyrically and musically and make such a fun record it’s Tegan and Sara.

Soundscape: “Say That”- Toro y Moi
bringing MUSIC + DESIGN together to create an inspired space //

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on the turntable

  • black keys
  • mr. little jeans
  • the pains of being pure at heart
  • still parade


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