Making it Real

Two weekends ago several of my best college cronies paid me a visit for my birthday weekend.  This mini-reunion was the ultimate gift and a much needed reprieve.  While catching up there was a common thread that bound us together.  The mid-20s life crisis has slapped each of us in the face in some way or another.  You know what I’m talking about:

I hate my job!

I think I am in the wrong grad program!

I work too hard to be so broke!

I need to just get my life together!

Why didn’t anyone prep us for adulthood?  College exit counseling should include a real world simulator so we have the option to become super-super seniors instead.

Although it was refreshing to know I wasn’t alone in my personal quarrels, more inspiration was needed.  Then I read’s Young Guns 2013 list of creative types in the fields of design, architecture and development, all under the age of 35.  One of the finalists caught my attention.

Max Humphrey: Curbed

Max Humphrey was a 20-something looking for a new career [how ironic].  While chilling in a LA coffee shop he realized that is love of decorating his apartment was more than just a treatment for boredom. One day he answered a nondescript Craigslist ad for a part-time design assistant that ended up being for the well-know Burnham Design firm.  Over seven years he grew and tweaked his colorful-quirky style, worked on more than 100 projects and climbed his way up to partner.  This ex- punk band bassist has done good for himself.  Check out some of his work:

Design milestone for Max: His apartment in the September issue of Lonny Magazine

I guess the dream can be real.  Some young guns are out there making it real…..are you?


Art Smart

Ever glanced over a well-dressed space and been totally amazed how perfectly the artwork sets off the overall atmosphere?  The right choice of artwork can truly elevate a space to heavenly altitudes.  You may desire something that subtly melds with the color scheme or something completely out of left field to kick it up a notch.   Art is very important and can easily be the inspiration for a space.  Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to find the dream piece or at least something you can afford.

Mavens adamantly enforce that art is a smart investment.  That is true but it is really easy when you have the funds to spend ridiculous paper at Sotheby’s auctions.  For the rest of us regular folk attempting to design champagne sipping rooms on PBR beer budgets, that is a little hard to digest.  Now with the help of the internet, great artwork can be achieved by anyone with a descent Wi-Fi signal.  Check out these great finds from my favorite sources:



Try your hand at the auctions to snag some fine wall jewelry.  I prefer to look for original art “Direct from Artist” and support the struggling artist.  The search tool makes finding the perfect genre much easier.



The more granola cousin of Ebay….Etsy is a virtual flea market for artists and crafters.  They have their own individual stores which allows you to discover the next budding Picasso or Kehinde Wiley.


The Tappan Collective

This fresh new site was started by two young University of Michigan alums with a love of art hoping to assist emerging artists to promote their works and finally make some lunch money.  The girls are on the guest lists at many hot art spots around the world and share their findings on the site which has modest pricing for original artwork and limited edition prints.


Society 6

Society 6 is a little different in that it allows artists from around the world to set up shops to sell their work in various forms.  Not only can you get a cool artwork print, you can also have it applied to t-shirts, an iPhone case and other quirky products.  Strolling through the site is so much fun and can alleviate that 2:30 feeling at work.


Life is funny….oh and its hard.  Not so much that I scream Edvard Munch style but life can really suck sometimes.  Bills, job, lack of job, under-employing job, over-employing and overly-stressful job, work environment, the corporate ladder (or foot stool), friends, family, relationships, boo thangs and side-pieces, weight gain and loss….oh and my favorite money, money, money (the one thing I never seem to have).  All of this can be a real Debbie Downer when things don’t fall into place.  Sometimes you just need inspiration from something beautiful and I found it in blogs.

I love blogs in all shapes and sizes, genres and leans.  Fashion and street style, food, urban design, gossip and most importantly interior design.  There is something special about an amazing room, an evoking mood board or a hideous abstract painting that makes you ask yourself….”why do I want this shit?”

After perusing the blog-o-sphere for years I realized that I should make my contribution to the design world I so admire and share my own perspective.  With that said, I welcome you to WOdesignDUDE blog…..I am the W.O. the novice connoisseur dude of insatiable design and the trappings of a desirable lifestyle.  For an idea of what to expect, check out pics of things I adore from my favorite blogs



Ethereal glamour: La Dolce Vita



Simple, masculine mid-century: Aphro Chic



My long-term love affair with blue and whites: High Street Market



Emerald…the “it” color: everything LEB