Life + Health

Hi there.

It’s been a year and a half since my last Go Ask Anna free-for all, and I’ve been getting so many questions about stuff via email lately that I figured it’s probably time to do it again.

Go ahead, ask away! I’ll leave the comments on this post open until Thursday, June 9th, and reply with answers between now and Friday.

1. You can ask anything you want, but please remember that everyone has boundaries. I reserve the right to not answer creepy or overly-personal questions.
2. Please check the FAQ page first.

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  • Reply Julia June 6, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    I’m probably cheating here because i don’t have any questions, but I’m really curious of what fellow readers have to ask, beyond the faq and what’s been already posted.

    Just that. Have a nice day everyone!

    • Anna @ D16 June 6, 2011 at 5:38 pm

      I’m curious too! 😀

  • Reply tamera June 6, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Haha I need Ask Anna EVERY DAY.

    1. When we move to VT, will you and Evan come visit and help us decorate?
    2. Why are Fritz and Bruno so cute?
    3. Will you do the Manhattan/Newburgh thing forever?
    4. Is everything good?

    • Anna @ D16 June 6, 2011 at 5:40 pm

      1. YES. I would LOVE to come and visit you in Vermont.
      2. They are cute so that we don’t eat them.
      3. I have no idea! For now, yes.
      4. You know, I think it is. There’s always going to be stuff I can’t change and things I wish I were doing better or whatever, but overall…things are pretty good.

  • Reply nancy June 6, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    I know that Jonathan Safran Foer’s book inspired you to go vegan for animal rights, but I was wondering about the health benefits you’ve experienced since becoming a vegan, besides losing weight.

    • Anna @ D16 June 6, 2011 at 5:45 pm

      Well, I definitely haven’t lost weight (I’ve gained almost 20 pounds in the past two years!), but it’s not due to a vegan diet. I’ve gained weight because I’m consuming too many calories and not getting enough exercise! It’s a bit of a myth that going vegan will make you get skinny.

      Aside from that, I do have some specific heath issues (not things I want to share publicly) that have disappeared or been drastically reduced since adopting a vegan diet. Speaking for Evan, his seasonal and animal allergies (which were once quite severe) have almost disappeared.

      The greatest difference is emotional, though—I no longer feel like my actions are totally out of line with my beliefs, and that’s a big deal.

    • nancy June 6, 2011 at 10:40 pm

      I was wondering about the allergy thing. I have really bad hay fever, and seasonal allergies in general, plus I’m always congested. It seems weird that eliminating dairy from the diet helps with these things, so I was skeptical for a long time. I’m trying it now, after reading about anti-inflammatory diets and trying to figure out if I feel different.

    • Anna @ D16 June 6, 2011 at 10:48 pm

      I don’t really have allergies, but I do have inflammatory/joint issues that have been greatly helped by diet. 🙂

  • Reply Liz June 6, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Hello Anna,

    I’d like to know what you hope to do next on your house and if there’s anything you’re going to do on the little rented place in NYC. (I guess I’m asking for a bit of a trailer on what I might read about in the coming months.)

    Many thanks, Liz

    • Anna @ D16 June 6, 2011 at 5:46 pm

      I’m not sure, Liz! I guess we’d mostly like to get our garden finished so we can enjoy it and then maybe fix up the basement a bit.

      As far as the apartment goes, I’m hoping I’ll get around to staining the top of the fauxdenza at some point…

  • Reply Gordy June 6, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    What is your favorite kind of car to drive?

    • Anna @ D16 June 6, 2011 at 5:48 pm

      The kind where I sit in the passenger seat and do nothing.

      (You think you’re sooooooo funny…)

  • Reply Stephanie June 6, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Hi Anna!

    I have a question for you (hope it’s not too personal) but have you ever had an interior-design-related conflict with Evan? Do you two negotiate on decor decisions or does he just let you do your thing? (Asking because I’m hitting a brick wall with my boyfriend!)

    • Anna @ D16 June 6, 2011 at 5:50 pm

      Of course we negotiate! We have very similar tastes, so it’s not usually that big of a deal. Sometimes we do have different ideas, but we trust each other’s opinions enough to listen, compromise…and take chances.

  • Reply Callista June 6, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    I’m curious as to whether or not, despite your VERY clear advertising policies, you still have companies trying to solicit you to pimp their products. Do they send you free stuff in hopes for a shout out, hoping that they’ll be the one?

    Also, have you done much traveling? If so, what kinds of places do you go? Do you have any desire to travel much in the future? What would be your dream destination?

    And I guess finally, do you and Evan ever think about one day moving away from New York, even if it’s just for a little while?

    • Anna @ D16 June 6, 2011 at 5:56 pm

      Yes, I get LOTS AND LOTS of solicitation emails. They’re usually form letters from PR people who haven’t even read the blog (obviously). Lots of requests for giveaways and contest and sponsored posts and all of that kind of stuff. I always say no.

      I don’t really like to travel, but I’ve been all over the northeastern and southwestern United States, as well as Sweden and Scotland. When I do think about wanting to
      travel, it’s usually because there’s a band I want to see!

      We do sometimes make offhanded comments about moving to middle of the country or to California or Maine (or anyplace, really), but Evan knows I’m a New York gal through and through. I can’t imagine ever actually leaving.

    • Callista June 8, 2011 at 1:31 pm

      Very interesting! Thanks for giving us the opportunity to learn a little bit more about you. And even more so, thanks for taking time out of your day to respond.

  • Reply Jane June 6, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    1. You may have already written about this and I apologize if so, but I think I got the sense somewhere that you were an introvert, and yet you write a blog about your life…if you are an introvert, how do you find the courage to do that?

    2. I’ve heard that one’s 30’s are better than one’s 20’s, has that been true for you so far?

    3. How do you find the energy to do all the home improvement work you do?

    • Anna @ D16 June 6, 2011 at 6:07 pm

      1. I’m pretty sure I’ve never called myself an introvert! I definitely don’t think of myself as one, that’s for sure. As for blogging, well…I blog about some things in my life, but I don’t blog about my life. If that makes sense. 😉 I love blogging! I’ve been doing it for over a decade now, and I can’t imagine stopping anytime soon.

      2. I’m not sure how to really quantify something like that. I think life is what you make of it at any age. There are some things you gain from experience, but there are other things you lose at the same time.

      3. I only blog about the things I actually DO (not all of the downtime), so it probably seems like I do a lot more than I actually do. In truth, it’s pretty slow around here most of the time. 😉

  • Reply Lena June 6, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Your FAQ-page indicates that you have a blog since at least 1999 however, I can only find post going a few years back (since you had this house which of course makes sense since your blog is called doorsixteen). My question would be, what did you post about before the house? And is there anywhere where we still can read that blog? If not, maybe you could blog some things from your old blog, like maybe a “best of” or “some memorable entries” or even, look, how bad pictures I used then……

    • Anna @ D16 June 6, 2011 at 6:16 pm

      I had three blogs before this one! The first was part of a Cure website I used to have called Hello Image, and it was manually updated. The second one was on LiveJournal (private). My third blog was called Absolutely Vile, and it was live from 2001 until 2005. After AV, I took a little time off from blogging until I started Door Sixteen.

      I’ve always written about the same kinds of stuff (dogs, furniture, music, blah blah blah), but Absolutely Vile was much more personal in nature. When I stopped writing there, it was really because blogging was starting to enter an area that I wasn’t comfortable with—advertising, monetizing, etc.—and because the blog was getting much more popular than I was comfortable with at the time.

      None of that content exists any longer, but a lot of AV readers still comment here at D16. That makes me happy. 🙂

    • Stef Noble June 6, 2011 at 8:07 pm

      I was an AV reader and LJ friend until you went private and I just recalled that I’m pretty sure you recommended kristina/champignon to me on LJ, which I am eternally thankful for.

    • Anna @ D16 June 6, 2011 at 8:28 pm

      I met Kristina on a Cure message board in…um…1997 or 1998, I think? A long, long time ago! She’s pretty great. 🙂

  • Reply Pati June 6, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Hi Anna,
    I have read on here that you don’t drive, and also have some kind of phone issues. I can totally relate to both. Here is the thing, you don’t seem to carry the guilt around about it,..or should I say the shame? I have four sisters and I tell ya the stereo typing and judging some days is crazy. It’s a run on subject here even with my husband….”how I am controlled by my fear”. So my question is > do you get that? and if you do how do you handle it?
    Hope this isn’t too personal 🙂

    • Anna @ D16 June 6, 2011 at 7:34 pm

      Everyone has issues, but some are easier to pick on than others. I think my family is pretty understanding about the driving thing (that was my brother Gordy up there who asked about my favorite kind of car to drive!), and honestly…I think as long as I’m healthy and happy and we all love each other and get along, it’s really not that big of a deal to accept each other’s neurosis. I don’t think anyone has ever accused me of being “controlled by my fear”—I’ve done some brave things in my life, and my loved ones know that. 🙂

      Of course I do feel guilty when Evan doesn’t feel like doing all of the driving late at night, but he understands. There are plenty of things that I do that he doesn’t, and I think it works out.

  • Reply Sydney Jean June 6, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    First of all, love your web and book cover designs, so inspirational. So my question for you would be

    Do you have any web design training? Or are you self taught? If so which resources did you use while you were learning? Same for your graphic design <3

  • Reply Jessica June 6, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    1.)Was getting your brick repointed as expensive as the internet claims it is to have that done? (Trying to obfuscate numbers) I nearly died reading those numbers and contemplated turning into spiderman and doing it myself.

    2.)What’s the next big project you’d like to do on the house?

    3.)If you could live anywhere else, where would it be and what kind of house?

    4.)Do Sylvester and Haggis hang out?

    Also, I misread “Soot” on your paint colors list as “Toot” and was wondering what kinda of crazy color that was. BM Toot? No?

    • Anna @ D16 June 6, 2011 at 7:41 pm

      1. We had a general contractor do our repointing since he knows what he’s doing, and that was much less expensive than the quote we got from master stoneworkers. It’s worth having someone come out and take a look—the internet doesn’t know everything. 😉 Just make sure you get references and, if possible, check out their previous work in person.

      2. THE BASEMENT.

      3. Ummm…hmm. Maybe a little modern prefab in the woods somewhere? Or in a Brooklyn brownstone (even though I’ve done that already).

      4. Hah! No, I don’t think they’ve met. Sylvester is a front yard kind of cat, and Haggis is strictly rear garden. 😉

    • PhillyLass June 8, 2011 at 8:39 am

      Dumb follow-up question: But what does one look for when evaluating repointed brick? How do you know if the job is done well?

  • Reply Holyoke Home June 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Who would make your list of top five places to spend a long weekend in the States? Where would you go and why?

    • Anna @ D16 June 6, 2011 at 7:43 pm

      1. At home in Newburgh.
      2. At my other home in New York City.
      3. Disneyland.
      4. Las Vegas.
      5. Maybe Vermont, so I can help Tamera decorate. 🙂

      I like to stay home, what can I say? Aside from home, I really like overdone American ridiculousness.

  • Reply Amy S June 6, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    I have so many questions on your window rehabbing: What products and or tools do you use? Any tricks for getting multiple paint coated trim off with out breaking the trim pieces or the window for that matter? At what point do you think a window is non refurbishable? How do you deal with lead paint? Where do you do the work? Inside/outside, saw-horses/table? Do you replace any parts or any of the wood? Do you do the weather stripping also? Did you change out (or do you even have) storm windows? Do you suggest any certain type of storm window? Any problems with windows you have rehabbed? Anything you would do differently?

    Thank you for any additional help!!

  • Reply Shilo June 6, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    I want your restaurant recommendations!
    3-5 places in NY someone wanting to eat vegan should try perhaps? I just know you’ve got some good ones to suggest.

    • Anna @ D16 June 6, 2011 at 7:46 pm

      1. Cafe Blossom
      2. Lula’s 😉
      3. Sacred Chow
      4. Souen (not 100% vegan, but close)
      5. Probably Candle 79 and V-Note, even though I haven’t been to either yet!

    • Joy June 7, 2011 at 3:42 pm

      I just celebrated my anniversary at Candle 79 and we loved it. Should you have an occasion to go there, I highly recommend it.

    • PhillyLass June 8, 2011 at 8:41 am

      My best friend took me to Candle for my birthday last year and it was AMAZING! I love love love that place!

    • Anna @ D16 June 6, 2011 at 7:46 pm

      6. Red Bamboo (for junk food!)

  • Reply Alex June 6, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    How do you ever explain to people that DIY takes a long time, like a *really* long time? Friends just don’t believe me when I try to explain what we are doing to our flat. It’s like they think we are either lazy or lying! Can you see me struggling with this kitchen and my 1830s walls made of flint, fluff and horsehair that won’t hold a screw? Yup, it’s tough. Even tougher without workmen to help or an endless budget 😉

    Anna, you really are my DIY hero, so much kudos to you and Evan on your ongoing house / apartment projects. I often read your archives when I feel like giving up on ours.

    • Anna @ D16 June 8, 2011 at 3:32 pm

      Oh yes, I have to explain that all the time! It’s especially frustrating when someone says, “isn’t it amazing was a coat of paint can do!”—because, as I’m sure you know, it’s always a LOT more than just paint!!

      It’s okay, though. We’re going on year six, with no end in sight. I figure anyone who’s got a problem with that is just going to have to get their own house. 🙂

  • Reply amy good house June 6, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    1) Do you use Adobe programs to design book covers? Any other graphic programs you recommend?
    2) I didn’t realize you don’t drive until I saw Pati’s question. I’m like little miss scaredy pants with driving and have a million rules as to the conditions I will drive a car under. I’d like to hear more about that!
    3) How do you manage time – working plus husband? equals barely any free time for me sometimes 🙂

    • Anna @ D16 June 6, 2011 at 9:33 pm

      1. For print design work, I exclusively use the Adobe CS suite (Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator). I do web editing with Coda.

      2. I just never learned how! I went to college when I was 17, and it just never came up. I moved to Brooklyn when I graduated, and I never really thought about it unless the subject came up. Now, of course, I’m TERRRRRRIFIED of driving, and I get very upset when pressure is put on me to try. I’ve never driven a car (ever!), and I have absolutely no desire to. Maybe I’ll write a post about it sometime…it’s a pretty emotional issue for me.

      3. I don’t manage my time! I’m always overbooked, overtired, and overworked. I am a terrible scheduler and an ever more terrible procrastinator, and this leads to an awful lot of stress and anxiety.

    • Julia June 7, 2011 at 9:07 am

      I’m not alone not wanting to drive!!! I can’t believe it.

    • L June 8, 2011 at 1:10 pm

      Y’know, if I’d lived in a place with public transportation and walking-distance everything (instead of the north woods), I probably would never have learned to drive either. Driving was just not interesting, and although I can, and do, I’d really rather not have to. Don’t let ’em get you down!

    • Anna @ D16 June 8, 2011 at 3:33 pm

      Well, there’s no real public transportation in Newburgh, and we’re not exactly walking distance to anything…

      But we work it out. 🙂

  • Reply Soapwalla Chef June 6, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Hi Anna, I’m a ongtime lurker who’s just now commenting!

    My question: what’s your favorite food/cuisine/meal? Mine is, hands down, Mexican. I could eat vegan tacos, burritos, enchiladas, a nice bowl of plain ole’ beans and rice every meal of every day and still not get my fill.

    • Soapwalla Chef June 6, 2011 at 5:45 pm

      *longtime*, not ongtime!

    • Anna @ D16 June 6, 2011 at 9:11 pm

      Hmmm…everything?! I really LOVE food. Like, a whole lot. I usually say that Indian food is my favorite, but honestly I love it all.

      My favorite individual food items are popcorn, toast, bagels, garlic, tater tots, broccoli, potato chips…anything salty and/or greasy. 🙂

  • Reply Ginger June 6, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Hey, Anna. Long time reader, first time commenter. So, before I ask a question, I have to say how much I enjoy your blog, and how much your passion for the things you write about (Michael Jackson in particular) shines through.

    My question is actually very boring; in your Tourist #4 post, I was wondering what app/s you used on the big(ger) picture of the model on the side of the building with folk walking in front of her? I love the way it turned out, and as I’ve recently gotten into iPhone photography and apps like Instagram and Hipstagram (in part due to your enthusiasm and great pics), I’d love to know how it came about.

    Thanks so much for your time.

  • Reply Kate June 6, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Hi Anna!

    While I scoured the FAQ’s for an answer just in case, I apologize preemptively if you’re sick of/have been asked this question to death: Why is your wonderful blog called Door Sixteen? I love how it just rolls off the tongue.

    I admire your dedication to making your house your own, blogging, and designing book covers. I’m a graphic/web designer, but my true love is book cover design! I’m that nerd in the bookstore ONLY judging books by their covers.


    • Martha June 6, 2011 at 7:13 pm

      I feel like a weirdo for answering a question instead of asking one, but this might help:

    • Kate June 7, 2011 at 5:27 pm

      thank you! it makes SO much more sense now, though I liked the name anyway 😀

    • Anna @ D16 June 6, 2011 at 7:48 pm

      If Martha’s answer didn’t take care of your question, let me know. 😉

    • Anna @ D16 June 6, 2011 at 7:57 pm

      p.s. I wish I could find the comment, but someone once told me that they had told their (friend? husband?) about this blog and its name was misheard as “dorsal steam”. 😀 😀

    • Kate June 7, 2011 at 5:28 pm

      door sixteen is much cuter than dorsal stream, which i can’t really picture.. dolphins? and i LOVE the numbers.

  • Reply Julia June 6, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    (I hope this isn’t overly personal.)

    With all of the design blogs and wedding blogs and well-designed weddings out there to inspire us non-wedded folks, it’s made me wonder what yours was like?

    • Anna @ D16 June 6, 2011 at 7:50 pm

      We got married in 2004 at City Hall in Manhattan in a private ceremony, and then the next day we had a vegan lunch with our friends and family at Gobo. It was all very low-key and unfancy. While we’re both definitely into marriage, neither of us is too keen on ceremonial events or weddings themselves. 😉

  • Reply Crystal June 6, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Your household projects are so inspiring. My question is about your bathrooms. I’m very interested to hear how the powder coated bathtub is working out and if that is your primary shower.

    • Anna @ D16 June 6, 2011 at 8:42 pm

      The powder coating on the bathtub, sink, and radiators is holding up beautifully! It’s really like having a brand new bathtub. The finish is rock-hard.

      There’s no shower in there, though—it’s just a bathtub. 🙂 Our shower is in the downstairs bathroom.

    • PhillyLass June 8, 2011 at 8:43 am

      Do you have to be careful about abrasive cleaning products? For example, is softscrub out of the question on those finishes?

  • Reply md June 6, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Ok, hopefully this isn’t too intrusive, but can you take us through a weekday that starts in Newburgh? What time are you up, is there breakfast, how much time do you take getting ready, when do you have to get the ferry, when do you get home and what time do you go to bed … I did a hell commute (150 miles roundtrip in Silicon Valley) for a few years and I always felt undone.

    • Anna @ D16 June 6, 2011 at 9:09 pm

      Hi Mary 🙂 I don’t really want to get specific about times and stuff (and it really does vary from day to day), but generally speaking, it takes me about two hours to get completely ready and out the door. I intend to eat breakfast, but it doesn’t always happen. When it does, it’s usually muesli or something like that. And always coffee! Always.

      Commuting from Newburgh takes about two hours door to door (1 mile to ferry, 7 minutes across river, 70 minutes on train, 10 minute walk to office…plus waiting time), and commuting from the city apartment takes me about 45 minutes door to door.

      The bulk of my getting ready time is spent applying my face. 😉

  • Reply Katie June 6, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    Thank you for sharing yourself with us.

  • Reply Camille June 6, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    Now that you have been living in Newburgh for a while now do you feel like it’s gentrifying? In a good/bad way? Are there more restaurants, cafes, shops? Are you involved in community events or do you guys keep to yourselves? Have you discovered any new, hidden gems, tucked away spots you didn’t notice until recently about the town that made you love it even more?

    • Anna @ D16 June 8, 2011 at 3:49 pm

      I guess Newburgh is probably gentrifying, but it’s so incredibly slow that I’m not sure it’s fair to put that label on what’s happening there. Are there more people buying houses and fixing them up? Yes, but it’s not as though the housing costs are increasing or people are flipping properties left and right. Houses there are still REALLY inexpensive, and there may be as many “newcomers” leaving every year as arriving…I’m really not sure.

      But yes, we are committed to being a part of Newburgh’s future going forward, both as homeowners and as active members of our community.

  • Reply lindsay June 6, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    Hi Anna,

    We are currently house hunting. We are looking for a nice piece of property first and foremost. We figure we can change the insides of a house. However, some of the properties we are viewing really take more vision than I can muster. Everytime we go see something, I mentally try to renovate the place while we’re there.

    When you purchased your house, how did you know you could turn it into what it is now? Here’s a property I really like—>
    It’s on two acres, plus there’s another 5 acre lot next door. It needs completely redone inside & I’d have no idea what to do with the brick/stone/wood exterior. It looks like it could have a modern feel to it, if done right…

    Did you have all your plans in line before you bought?

    • Anna @ D16 June 7, 2011 at 10:00 am

      I don’t think we really knew what we were doing at all, we just loved the house and wanted to take care of it. I love Victorian row houses, and this one was mainly intact in terms of original moldings, fireplaces, etc., and we both thought the amount of work it needed was manageable for us over time. The proximity to the river and the niceness of the block it’s on also helped us to fall in love with the house.

      But no real plans beyond that!

  • Reply paule June 6, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    I love your eyebrows. You dont need to answer anything about this statement. 🙂

  • Reply LookWhatICanDo June 6, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Hi Anna
    I love your blog and am a long time reader!
    Do you eat soy?
    I have been a vegetarian since 1986 but still eat some dairy…
    I have a lactose intolerance so yogurt, Swiss & cheddar (small amounts is all I can do) but now… Soy is not working as I can not digest it!!!!
    I drink rice milk and eats loads of veggies & fruits.
    What is your favorite movie?
    I love mid century modern and am finally on the road to minimalism 🙂
    If you could own any piece of mid century furniture what would it be?
    If you could own a piece of artwork from any current artist what piece of who’s artwork would it be????

    • Anna @ D16 June 7, 2011 at 10:05 am

      I do eat some soy, yes, but it’s not a primary component of my diet. When I do eat it, it’s in forms like tofu and edamame for the most part rather than processed soy fillers, etc. If you can’t digest soy, then obviously I don’t recommend eating it. 😉

      My favorite movie is probably Manhattan, but I’m not big on picking favorites!

      If I could own any piece of furniture I don’t already own, it would be Prouvé EM table.

      Any piece of artwork from a current artist? Gosh, I don’t know. I guess I’d really like to own one of my father’s larger works.

  • Reply nancy June 6, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    I hope I’m allowed to ask another question that I thought (while in the shower– I get my best ideas in there! :))

    A few weeks ago, I vegan-ized a cookie recipe. The taste was okay,the texture, not so much! I realized that maybe you can’t do a 1-1 replacement with the ingredients (I used EarthBalance and I used flax meal to replace the eggs.)

    So, do you have any reliable online sources for vegan baked goods recipes? There’s a lot of vegan food blogs out there!

    PS I just got Appetite for Reduction. So far, I’ve made the Goddess Dressing and the “ricotta cheese” from the lasagna recipe. Thumbs UP!

    • Anna @ D16 June 7, 2011 at 10:07 am

      I don’t really do much baking (even pre-vegan I was never much of a baker), so I’m probably not the right person to ask! Isa Moskowitz has a couple of baking books, too, and there are some recipes on her website that you could try out to see if you like them:

    • Peetu June 9, 2011 at 7:36 pm

      (Disclaimer: a reply from a long time reader)
      You can replace eggs with super-ripe bananas. The cookies do come out a ‘lil bit on the cake-y side. But you can play around with the temperature for that.

  • Reply Bronia June 7, 2011 at 12:23 am

    I’ve been reading your blog for so long and this is the first time I’ve managed to comment. Something I was wondering was a simple question… how’s it going with that beautiful yellow planner, have you managed to keep using it?


    p.s I heart Instergram too!
    p.s.s your new hair cut is splendidly awesome!

    • Julia June 7, 2011 at 9:11 am

      I second the haircut part!

    • Anna @ D16 June 7, 2011 at 9:46 am

      Well, it’s only been a couple of weeks since I got the planner, but so far so good. We’ll see how it goes!

  • Reply Donald June 7, 2011 at 7:44 am

    When Morrissey and I finally marry (probably a winter wedding); (a) would you be able to attend without sobbing or objecting, and (b) what would you give us as a wedding gift?

    • Anna @ D16 June 8, 2011 at 3:50 pm

      I don’t know you, so I’m not sure how to answer that question! I’m sorry…I wish I could come up with something witty to say.

  • Reply Nicole June 7, 2011 at 8:45 am

    So did you definitely get over your “red lips make me feel like a drag queen” thing? And if you did how do I do the same? I have this gorgeous stack of red lipsticks but here I sit, bare lipped…

    • Anna @ D16 June 7, 2011 at 10:07 am

      Nope, not over it! I don’t wear red lipstick, though—I’m pretty sure I’ve never actually left the house with it on. Orange is a good substitute for me. 🙂

  • Reply Patrick June 7, 2011 at 8:56 am

    I’m slowly working on my house and use everyone else for inspiration since I am creatively challenged. I really love the look of the black and white rooms but was wondering your thoughts on if it needs to be maintained through the entire house or if you are able to mix it up? I am looking at the black and white layout for the kitchen and bathroom, but don’t necessarily think it would work for me in the living room/bedroom. Anytime I try and mock up a design for my kitchen involving black/dark wood floors and white cabinets (or white tile and black cabinets), I wonder if you’d approve.

    Thanks for any input and for the inspiration you’ve already provided.

    • Anna @ D16 June 7, 2011 at 9:51 am

      I don’t think of myself as having a “black and white house”, that’s just something other people say about it! There’s bright color EVERYWHERE, and I’ve never had any kind of goal to keep things all one (or two) colors. I’m not a fan of “themes” of any kind when it comes to homes/rooms, and I always think the best goal to keep in mind when making decisions is what looks best in a given space. It’s going to be different in every house depending on the architectural style, the light, the condition of the existing finishes, etc.

      I do think it’s important to think about the house as a whole, though—not necessarily to make rooms “match”, but to think about how to bring your personal style to all aspects of your home in a way that feels right as you move from space to space.

      But yeah, the “black and white” thing? That’s coming from other people who aren’t looking past my wall colors. Look around my house—it’s FAR from being “black and white”!

  • Reply Barbara June 7, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Hi there, love your blog. I have been thinking about blogging for awhile and was wondering….do you find yourself struggling with boundaries about what to put out there and what not to? On a personal level, I’m an open book, but there are some boundaries that I think are prudent for security and safety. Just wondering if you’ve ever found yourself struggling with those kinds of issues. Thanks much — love your work!


    • Anna @ D16 June 7, 2011 at 10:11 am

      Nope, no struggle! If something doesn’t feel right to share, I don’t share it. Period. I only write about things that I am 100% comfortable sharing with the entire world. That goes for everything I put on the internet. I ALWAYS use my real name, so I’m acutely aware of my accountability at all times.

      That said, I don’t think that blogging leaves you any more open to issues of security and safety than anything else we do on a day to day basis in the modern world. We’re exposed to all kind of people in so many different places and in so many different contexts. After 12 years of blogging, I can say in all honesty that the people I’ve met through the blog world have turned out to be far LESS “creepy” than anyone I’ve outside of the internet. 😉

  • Reply Ceci June 7, 2011 at 9:25 am

    You’re fabulous! And a great inspiration! Thanks!

  • Reply Nick June 7, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Anna, you always manage to come up with something worth looking at.

    This is really more a comment than a question, but I just wanted to say that I grew up in the same circumstances, without any impetus to drive, and at 29 am having to learn. UGH! It’s not fun at all, and completely terrifying — trust me, I get the fear factor. Like you, I also had/have an overall distrust of the whole thing. BUT it is getting better, and I find myself less anxious each time I go out — also, it makes me pay much closer attention when riding with other people. Friends and family who I always assumed were great drivers are proving to be complete cheats!

    Bravo to Evan, and hopefully be continues to be happy to drive — I have not been so lucky with my (speeding) partner.

    • Simone June 8, 2011 at 5:43 am

      I got my driving license when I was 39 or something like that. Now I absolutely LOVE driving. It was not that I was afraid of driving I was afraid of the exams and costs involved with getting one. But our childeren go to a school pretty far away so I HAD to be able to drive. Now I am so happy I have my license. It is world of freedom that I have gained. And with kids you know, you chuck everything into the car and take it out when you arrive (this isn’t always the case when you take the bus).
      Of course it is hell on the environment so I try to be concious of that. We have a very energy efficient (and old) car.

  • Reply Christine June 7, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Silly, random question, but hey, since you’re offering…

    Have you ever removed any of the radiators when painting? Is it possible/easy for a mere mortal? I’ve got a house full of the things and all the walls need to be painted. For the moment I’ve been sneaking a paintbrush as far as I can behind them… not the most thorough solution!

    • Anna @ D16 June 7, 2011 at 11:26 pm

      We had two of them (back room/office and upstairs bathroom) removed by our plumber when we had them sent out to be sandblasted/powdercoated, but we’ve never removed one ourselves—nor are we interested in trying! I just use a really skinny, long-handled roller to get behind the radiators—you can actually buy ones made specifically for that purpose!

  • Reply chrispito June 7, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    WOW–I totally relate to the driving thing…huge phobia, very emotional topic. I’m 34, never has been a real issue to learn, living in Europe and yes–now the city.

    Also, thanks for your encouragement to continue with my BFA last year. I’m getting closer…less than 10 classes left!!

    My question–are you a Virgo? Sorry–I’m an astrologer. If you ever want a free chart reading, let me know:)

    And PS. You are always so kind and classy to people. Thanks for cultivating a nice internet hangout.

    • Anna @ D16 June 7, 2011 at 11:27 pm

      Thanks for the nice words, and good luck with completing your BFA. That’s great! 🙂

      I’m a Libra (October 21), but I don’t believe in astrological influences on personality or fate.

  • Reply Wendy June 7, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Hi Anna. I’m also a full-time book jacket designer who bought a Victorian 2-family wreck of a house 3 years ago in Jersey City. I’ve been working on it “sans contractors” due to money issues. I have to say that I really admire your “can-do” attitude with the reno. I often say to my boyfriend as I grab a bag of 90 minute mud and head upstairs to skim coat that “I need to channel some “Anna at Door Sixteen energy.” I don’t he think he has any idea what I’m talking about. Your attitude toward the work is very confident and very joyful so my question is –Did you ever feel whiny or sorry for yourself because of the all the time and work involved in renovating?

    • Anna @ D16 June 7, 2011 at 11:32 pm

      I’d say I spent 90% of my life whining and feeling sorry for myself, so yes, I definitely understand!! I hate to break it to you, but “Anna at Door Sixteen energy” is a bit of a myth. I know it might SEEM like I’m doing a million things all at once, but I think that’s only because I don’t write about all of the downtime in between projects. Evan and I are both insanely slow when it comes to house projects, actually—we joke sometimes that we’d be great contractors, as long as our clients didn’t mind us taking three years for us to finish their bathrooms! 😀

      Honestly, it’s just as hard for me to get up the energy to do stuff as it is anyone else. Starting is always the hardest part, though. Once I get going, I’m unstoppable—but if you’re working on your own reno right now, I’m sure you know what I mean. 😉

  • Reply annette June 7, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Love your blog!
    How safe/unsafe is Newburgh? Do you feel safe there?

    • Anna @ D16 June 7, 2011 at 11:36 pm

      Newburgh has problems just like any other urban area, but I’d never live somewhere that didn’t feel safe. I’ve never felt threatened or scared or in any kind of danger in Newburgh—ever. I know we get a bad rap in the press, but the majority of the crime here is confined to drug-related violence, and it’s very easy to avoid that on a day-to-day basis. I really do believe that most of the negative reactions to Newburgh from outsiders come from people who are actually afraid of poverty and decay than they are bodily harm, and that’s very unfortunate.

      The biggest problems Newburgh faces are with its government officials and its budget/taxes—but that’s another subject for a different day.

  • Reply Suzanne Tison June 7, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Do you wear perfume? If so, which ones?

    • Anna @ D16 June 7, 2011 at 11:37 pm

      Not really. I used to have a bottle of Stella McCartney’s perfume, but I used it up and never bought anything else. Sometimes I think about it and wish I had a “signature scent”, but then I forget. 🙂

  • Reply kristina June 7, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    HI Anna! I love your blog, your photos and interior are so inspiring. I’m grabbing the opportunity to ask you – where did you get the hot pink pillows for your living room? We have the same sofa and I’m thinking they’ll look great. As an international reader, I’m hoping to find them online..

    Kristina, Norway

    • Anna @ D16 June 7, 2011 at 11:39 pm

      You’re in luck, Kristina! They’re from IKEA. 🙂

    • Kristina June 8, 2011 at 9:44 am

      Yay! Is it this one?:
      This look more red, but yours is pink.. Hmm.

    • Anna @ D16 June 8, 2011 at 9:48 am

      No, that’s not it. They’re actually covers that are sold separately from the inserts, and they’re made of washed silk. I can’t find them on the site, but I imagine they still carry them! The name of the line is FELICIA.

  • Reply Laura June 7, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Hey Anna!
    Your blog is amazing… in fact, it got me through a very rough period while we were renovating our house. I was so inspired and hopeful from reading your posts that it would actually look like a home again!

    So… as we gear up for more demolition… I would like to know…

    What do you do to “cope” with the construction mess (ie. the dust that gets EVERYWHERE) and big things being unfinished for an extended period of time?

    • Anna @ D16 June 8, 2011 at 3:52 pm

      Well, to be honest, I don’t really cope with it. I hate the mess that’s created by construction work, and I find living in it extremely stressful. I can’t count the number of times I’ve wound up in tears as a result (I don’t think this is something that people who haven’t been through major reno can understand!). I guess I get through it by crying and and sleeping…?!

    • Laura June 9, 2011 at 7:18 pm

      Thanks… now I don’t feel so alone 🙂

  • Reply Grace June 7, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Hi Anna! I’d love to get your idea on what color I should paint my bedroom. I’ve got medium-toned wood furniture and floors. I can’t paint out the furniture because it’s heirloom and my mother would kill me. I so fear looking country. Any suggestions for how to achieve modern with wood furniture? Thanks. LOVE D16.

    • Anna @ D16 June 8, 2011 at 2:18 pm

      Grace, if you want to introduce a modern modern feeling into a room with traditional furniture, I would do it with cool-toned neutral wall colors (black, pale gray, white) and simple, clean accessories—simple white bedspread, modern ceramic lamps, etc. If you’re looking for inspiration, there are always lots of rooms that combine traditional and modern elements on Desire to Inspire:

  • Reply Anya June 7, 2011 at 8:34 pm


    When will you hang your Random light? I’m dying to see it hung up 🙂
    Love the blog and I think you and Dan from Manhattan Nest should have a reality based home design show.

    Keep up the good work!

    Anya in Denver

    • Anna @ D16 June 7, 2011 at 11:40 pm

      I’ll hang it up when I have time and remember to do it! But first I have to get some hardware for it…so we’ll see. Eventually!

      Maybe I’ll ask Daniel to come up and do it for me. 😉

  • Reply Steve June 7, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Ok, this actually involves Evan , now that you’ve shown photos with his guitar rig. What kind of music does he play? Do you ever have jam sessions over at your house? Do you play an instrument yourself? If not, do you have any issues with sound levels between the two of you, or with your neighbors?

    • Evan June 7, 2011 at 10:59 pm

      I play rock, never had people over to play. I’m pretty sensitive to noise levels (mine and others), so I can’t imagine cranking some amps and having a drum kit in our place. It’s been difficult to find the right people to make music with anyway, that’s why I generally end up recording. I don’t mic any of my equipment, I just go out of an amp and into the computer so sound is never a problem.

    • Anna @ D16 June 8, 2011 at 2:18 pm

      (And no, I don’t play an instrument!)

  • Reply MKH June 7, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    A dog question: I just recently rescued a Yorkshire Terrier, he is two and came from a very bad home. He is a lovable dog but hates to go outside but won’t use pee pads and given your two dogs I was just wondering if you had any suggestions. My little rescue is all of five pounds, two years old and he was basically kept in a crate for the entire time he was owned by his previous owners. He now has much more freedom, easy access to outside but seems to have no idea. I’m trying everything I’ve read but just wonder if you have any ideas. I don’t care if he goes outside or uses pads, I just don’t want him peeing everywhere.

    • Jessica June 7, 2011 at 9:39 pm

      Can I field this one? I have two rescued dogs, that came from puppy mills, so their situation is very similar to your dog. It really just takes time, it’s taken about two years for one of ours to turn into a dog. It might seem counterintuitive, but you might try giving the dog less space instead of more, gating them into a backroom or something. It’s also helpful if you have another dog who can hang out with them to teach them the ropes, a low energy or senior dog to not freak them out. Puppy mill rescue sites have some good guides, but it’s key to remember not to rush the dog, they don’t know what the heck we want from them or if they can trust us. Just try to keep them on a flooring with less impact from pee or use a carpet full of pee pads. It should work itself out in time, but some traumatized dogs never become “normal.” they might not work out for every home, but they still need love and a home. When in doubt, enzyme cleaner works wonders.

      Sorry for butting in Anna 🙂

    • Anna @ D16 June 7, 2011 at 10:10 pm

      Thanks, Jessica! You covered the subject much better than I could have. 🙂

  • Reply Paul Munford June 7, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Hi Anna,
    My girlfriend and I have just bought a wicked new house (it’s a fixer upper!!). We ripped the carpets up to reveal beautiful hardwoods. The trouble is………… the hall and kitchen area there is terrible vinyl that is glued to the hard woods making them unusable. Can you think of any flooring products we could use? We were maybe thinking a white high gloss laminate (I think ikea has something like this). I work for a furniture company and have a design background, but I just cant find a product that isn’t, well, boring.
    Love your blog

    • Anna @ D16 June 8, 2011 at 3:53 pm

      Paul, if there are old, beautiful hardwood floors under the vinyl, I’d rip the vinyl up and rehab the original floors. This isn’t something I’ve had to do, but I know people who have. It’s a lot of work, for sure, but worth it in the end!

  • Reply Lauren June 7, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    It’s nice to read a blog from a fellow Orange County resident! Growing up close to Newburgh I was always told to stay out by my parents. But when a friend moved into the city, I found so much of it charming, and it seemed to be cleaning up. Do you think that Newburgh is getting safer and going through a renewal?

    • Anna @ D16 June 9, 2011 at 11:26 am

      I definitely do, Lauren, and I’ve never felt unsafe here. Have a look at my reply above to Annette. I love Newburgh! 🙂

  • Reply Lauren June 7, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Hi Anna,
    Piggybacking on Amy Good House’s question: Do you have any recommendations for stellar web servers? I know you designed a couple of blogs/websites and was just wondering what platform or host you used. Or did you just work within a blogger or wordpress site? Thanks in advance! Love your blog!

    • Anna @ D16 June 7, 2011 at 11:48 pm

      Hi Lauren, I think some terms are getting confused here, so I’ll just tell you what I do. 🙂

      As far as web hosts (companies that provide server space where websites can “live”) go, I always recommend Dreamhost. I’ve been with them since 1999, and I truly believe that there is no other host who gives such good service and offers so many premiums for such an affordable price.

      Door Sixteen has always run on the Wordpress platform. WP (the .org version) is software that you can install on your web server and use to build and update a website (usually a blog, but not always). Wordpress is an incredibly flexible and customizable platform. All of the blogs I’ve designed have been running on Wordpress.

      There are some free blog-hosting companies out there (Blogger, Typepad, the .com version of WP, etc.) who provide both the software and free space on their server, but I don’t have any experience with them.

    • Lauren June 8, 2011 at 6:08 pm

      Ooops. You are correct! The terms and I are just getting acquainted. Thanks for your help! Hugely helpful!

  • Reply kris June 8, 2011 at 12:52 am

    I was wondering if you and Evan are married and if so, why don’t you wear a wedding band?

    Love your site and your new do!

    • Anna @ D16 June 8, 2011 at 6:11 am

      Yes, Evan and I have been married for 7 years (together for 9). I don’t wear a ring because I don’t have one…no reason beyond that!

    • kris June 8, 2011 at 10:32 am

      Thanks for answering and thanks for sharing your style! I love your home(s)!

  • Reply Sanne June 8, 2011 at 9:49 am

    You mentioned up above somewhere that you would like one of your father’s paintings. Your parents sound wonderful and so cool 🙂 Is there anywhere on the www that one can see his paintings?

    Thanks for a great blog 🙂

    • Anna @ D16 June 8, 2011 at 11:25 am

      My parents are both pretty wonderful and cool, yes. 🙂

      I don’t really like to link out with family members’ names on my blog, but it’s pretty easy to find my dad (he’s a painter) if you’re interested. We have the same last name and live in the same city!

    • Sanne June 9, 2011 at 8:10 am

      Understandable! But thanks for the clue 🙂

  • Reply Slightly Embarrassed To Be Asking June 8, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    So… I’m a graduate student in an interdisciplinary field. Over the last year, I’ve become increasingly involved with a locally-based digital publication, which has meant designing advertisements, logos, and laying out the publication itself. I’ve also done some work for my university as part of a my fellowship that has involved graphic work. I love it. The more I do it, the more I realize that I love it. The problem is that I’m already 2/3 of the way down a career path that I like, but don’t love. I’d like to apply for a design school, but with an already-hefty student debt and a child to support, I can’t afford to just torque off for a year and try to support myself while working (I would like to actually see my child at some point in the next two years). The only answer I can think of is graduate schools in design, which often offer funding.

    So, now that the context is in place, here’s the question: do you think it’s possible to get into such programs without a degree in fine art or a diploma in design etc.? Are there any programs you’d recommend? Am I going about this the wrong way, or just totally off my rocker?

    • Anna @ D16 June 8, 2011 at 5:20 pm

      I can’t speak to whether or not graduate programs with accept students with undergrad degrees in different areas (I imagine it’s different everywhere? I never went to grad school…), but my best advice to you given your current situation would be to find out if you can sit in on a course or two at an art school with a good design program. Colleges will often allow moderation of classes without credit, and that could a good way for you to decide if you are interested in pursuing a career change.

      The problem with forgoing formal education in graphic design (which would include much more than just computer classes—design theory and design history are incredibly important!) is that you may wind up hitting a wall as you try to progress in your career. It’s one thing to be doing work for a local digital publication, but if you try to branch out further into more high-end design work, you will find that the level of client work you’ll be expected to have in your portfolio will need to be more sophisticated. And yes, degrees DO matter, particularly when looking for on-site or agency work.

      I’m not saying that there aren’t self-taught designers out there doing good work and making advancements in their careers, but they are few and far between when you look at a certain client level (high-end campaigns, bestselling authors, etc.). As someone who has been working at that level for a number of years now, I can honestly say that we have never brought in a new designer without a formal design education.

      Of course, I don’t know where you live or where you’re planning to look for work in the future, so your experience may be completely different—I can really only speak to the commercial market (publishing, advertising, etc.) in New York City. To be sure, there are plenty of graphic designers working freelance and doing work for local companies in other parts of the country who are very happy—that’s just not something that I have experience with.

      I realize you want to stay anonymous, but can you say what state you’re located in?

    • Slightly Embarrassed To Be Asking June 9, 2011 at 10:51 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to answer this! It honestly never occurred to me to try and go without education… I need the training, and the experience. I have a background in theories of aesthetics and art, but only through socio-cultural and historical lenses. Nothing actually tangible for the real world!

      Also, I’m not actually in a State – I’m in Canada. East coast. But I’m more than willing to move!

    • Anna @ D16 June 9, 2011 at 10:56 pm

      Sorry for assuming you’re in the US—my bad! I’m afraid I don’t know anything at all about Canadian design schools, but I’d start by looking at community schools in your area to see what they offer. You never know!

      I wish I were better at answering this kind of question, but the truth is that I went in pretty much a straight line from high school to college to the workplace without anything resembling a break in between (no joke, I started at my current job—which I’ve been at for 13 years—within two weeks of finishing my BFA), so I’ve never really had a time in my life where I’ve had to contemplate a “next step” professionally. I admire people like you who are open to change and growth!

    • Simone June 9, 2011 at 11:03 am

      I’m not Anna, but go for what you love. If you have an eye for it and keep yourself disciplined and awake f.i. when you see graphics you like or do not like try to discern why you feel that way about them. How do they make you feel? Technically what do you think they have done in order to reap the effect it has on you? Is it all done by computer or are there things done by hand? Is they way they look and feel congruent with the message they are trying to convey? To what kind of people does it try to appeal? Do you think it is succesful in that? Or are there improvements possible? What type have they used (there is a fashion in typography as well as clothes)?
      What kind of things are the things you would like to make? What kind of computers and programmes do the people in that field use? Try to get your hands on a similar programme and practice it so you will have some experience.

      Honestly if you are good enough to venture out in this area you will know soon enough because things will start coming your way, if you speak to people who are in the “know” they will respect your opinion, input and insight because what you say will make sense.
      And last but not least, a degree is not everything. A good eye for quality, keeping your word and personal integrity will take you a long way. Le Corbusier is one of the most famous and productive architects of the 20th century and he didn’t have a degree.

    • Slightly Embarrassed To Be Asking June 9, 2011 at 10:56 pm

      Hi Simone,

      Thanks for this. I can tell when looking at my own work that there are things I just can’t do (traditional mediums are beyond me), and things I don’t do so well (I spend hours agonising over fonts – HOURS). Schooling is needed! Then again, the fact that I do “waste” time on these things when I have “more important” things I should be doing might be a sign that my heart lies elsewhere… So “follow your heart” is totally relevant here!

  • Reply Abbie June 8, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Hi Anna! I’m a first time poster, long time reader. Quick question… in your apartment you used BM’s simply white (matte) on all walls-is that including your ceilings?
    Really love your blog! I always come away inspired 🙂

    • Anna @ D16 June 8, 2011 at 1:32 pm

      Yep, you got it! 🙂

  • Reply Cecilia June 8, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I admire people, like you!, who renovate their own house, paint, tear things down, change etc. I’m determined to become one of these DIY godesses! So I know that you have all these super handy tutorials but it’s impossible (unless Im searching in the wrong place) to find all these in one spot. Would it be possible to create a folder that only shows tutorials? For example, trying to find the one where you modified an IKEA blind, one of my own home projects. Love the blog, always an inspiration!

  • Reply Susan June 8, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Do you have any thoughts on how the whole dwelling blog world (reno/diy/design sites) will effect us? Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing the same type of design aesthetic in home after home (online), and it seems as if everyone was informed by the same design rules.
    For instance, when AT* did Small/Cool this year, a lot of the homes definitely shared a “look”.
    Do you think this actually reflects a general direction of design? Or do you think new-ish, young homemakers are just being too easily influenced?

    *no dis on AT. I love it, read it every day.

    • Anna @ D16 June 8, 2011 at 4:01 pm

      I don’t think design trends are any more pervasive now than they were 30, 50, or 70 years ago—I just think it’s easier for us to spot those trends in “real time” because we have access to so many homes from all over the world via the internet/blogs. When I look back on photos of interiors from the 1970s, there are just as many trends that carry from one home to another as there are now.

      Honestly, I think the best thing that’s come from reno/diy/design blogs is that good style and good design have become SO much more accessible. It’s so inspiring to be able to look at another person’s house and see that they’ve done their own tiling and have found great stuff at thrift stores, and then know that you can turn around and do the same thing in your own space.

      I believe really strongly in people making their homes into places that make them feel good about themselves, and I think the LAST thing we should be worrying about is whether something we like is too trendy or overused.

  • Reply Angela June 8, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Anna. I have no questions…just comments…

    I am not the blogging type. In fact, too much time spent on a computer and I complain about my eyes hurting, etc. All this to say, I ran across your entry on Apartment Therapy and I liked it so much that I saved your blog to my favorites bar. Also, you introduced me to “Sweetfineday” and I enjoy reading her blog now, too. So, thank you.

    You and I are about the same age and I identify with your viewpoint. I don’t drive either. It’s not emotional for me. I just don’t like to drive. I have had many cars and can always do that again if I want, but I feel that NOT driving is a feasible choice. I have lived in Houston, DC, and now LA with no car. I walk to work and take public transpo. It’s doable and I wish more people would get on board.

    Anyway, thank you for taking the time to write well, not allow any adverstising, and for adding lovely photos.

  • Reply jacobspence June 8, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    I was over at a friend’s house last night and recognized your handiwork when I spotted Jennifer Weiner’s Fly Away Home on their side table. I had to explain to them why I kept staring at it… Anyway, I know you’re probably not the boastful type, but do you ever get goosebumps or a little thrill out of seeing your work in places other than on your computer screen?

    • Anna @ D16 June 8, 2011 at 3:54 pm

      Haha! Did you flip it open to the back flap so you could see my name? 😀

      I really DO love seeing covers I’ve designed outside of the office and bookstores. It’s so fun to see someone holding one on the subway especially. 🙂

    • jacobspence June 8, 2011 at 5:27 pm

      Dang. I didn’t think to do that. Though I did go to Simon & Schuster’s website… eesh – it kind of a kick in the face. I was hoping for a more simplified layout as their buildings nameplate (from Jason’s IG post today) suggests.

    • Anna @ D16 June 8, 2011 at 5:29 pm

      I have nothing to do with that part of the biz. I just design covers! 🙂 The company is almost 90 years old, though, so brass nameplates might not reflect current marketing trends. 😉

  • Reply Gee June 8, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    1. I’m echoing some other commenters in that I’d be interested in hearing more about being a non-driver. I’m also a non-driver and am honestly really embarrassed about it. Personally, I’m more afraid of other drivers than I am of driving itself.

    2. I tried searching the blog for info on the patting technique for the Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado that I think you shared once but wasn’t able to find it. Do you mind describing it again? Is this still your eye cream of choice? I’ve never used eye creams before (should’ve started long ago!) and I’m thinking of trying it.

    3. Do you have a favorite Mario Badescu product w/ SPF? I saw the Oil Free Moisturizer SPF 30 in one of your photos and I was thinking of trying that out as well.

    4. Do you happen to recall a tweet from one of your followed twitter accounts that linked to a blog post about using apple cider vinegar as part of a skincare regimen? I forgot to bookmark it but have been using some of the tips that I remembered and they’ve been amazing. I think it was part of a dialogue about using natural beauty products. It’s driving me crazy that I can’t remember the blog!

    I feel so weird asking about skin care products as there are so many things I love about your blog but they’ve been on my mind so much because of this dreadful East Coast summer.

    • Anna @ D16 June 8, 2011 at 6:16 pm

      1. There’s not really much more that I can say! Maybe someday I’ll write a post about it, but the fact really is just that I put it off for so long…and now I’m terrified of the prospect of driving and have no desire to learn.

      2. I don’t remember ever posting anything about that, but here’s the post where I mentioned the avocado cream (I still use it from time to time, yes).

      3. During the winter I use the one in the picture, but in summertime when I’m outdoors more I use this spray from Paula’s Choice.

      4. Was it this post on my friend Tamera’s blog?

    • Jessica June 9, 2011 at 8:59 am

      Regarding the Paula’s Choice sunscreen spray…Is it scented? I’m extremely sensitive when it comes to scents (especially on my face). It sounds like a great product.

    • Anna @ D16 June 9, 2011 at 9:37 am

      Nope, no scent. If you follow the link, all of the ingredients are listed. 🙂

  • Reply Bee June 8, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Any images of your hands always show such lovely manicured and polished nails. My polish never lasts more than a day without chipping, regardless of brand. Any tips?

    • Anna @ D16 June 8, 2011 at 6:10 pm

      Yes—be sure to only take photos when you have a fresh manicure (and Photoshop any flaws when you don’t)! My nail polish chips just like everyone elses—I’m a mess in real life, believe me!

    • Bee June 8, 2011 at 6:12 pm

      aww I was hoping for some magic formula that would ensure a chip-free week. Glove wearing it is then!

  • Reply shashi June 8, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    I am so happy to see that other people have either a fear or dislike of driving. I fall squarely in the middle. I can drive (or many years ago I could) and didn’t love it. And now it’s become a fear after so many years of not driving. Thanks Anna for bringing this to light. I feel like there is a tiny community of non-drivers out there. It makes me happy.

    With that said, here’s my question:
    I often pass by Newburgh (as a passenger naturally) on my way back from visiting friends in the catskills and always wonder if there are good antique/used furniture stores worth checking out. Do you have any recommendations?

    • Anna @ D16 June 9, 2011 at 11:24 am

      I don’t, Shashi, sorry. There are several on the other side of the river in Beacon, though—just travel the length of Main Street!

  • Reply Joy June 8, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Thank you for your inspiring and ad-free blog!

    As a vegetarian who is having a hardcore fling with veganism, I took your advice and picked up “Appetite for Reduction.” I love it, so thank you for that recommendation.

    Here’s my question: I am having a hard time transitioning to a vegan diet because of Greek yogurt. I tried straining soy yogurt through cheesecloth and that was pretty much a failure (I don’t love the flavor of the stuff anyway). Do you have any tips or advice on a vegan replacement for Greek yogurt? It has been a staple in my kitchen for years. Thanks for the Q&A session!

    • Anna @ D16 June 9, 2011 at 9:45 am

      Hi Joy, no, sorry—I don’t have any experience at all with Greek yogurt substitutes. Googling “vegan Greek yogurt” gives a lot of results, though, so maybe someone out there knows something. 🙂

  • Reply sarah j June 9, 2011 at 1:46 am

    I’m a librarian in the Portland (PDX, not ME) area who loves your blog. Since I harbor a belief that all creatives eventually pass through Portland, may I ask if you’d consider speaking to library patrons about the cover design process, should you ever wind up in this corner of the country? I think there’d be a lot of interest.

    • Anna @ D16 June 9, 2011 at 9:39 am

      I have no interest in speaking about anything to anyone (well, you know what I mean!), but thank you for thinking of me. 🙂 I’m sure some day I’ll visit Portland, though!

  • Reply chairsmith June 9, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Anna, hello. Would you share with us the significance, if any, of your use of teardrops?

    • Anna @ D16 June 9, 2011 at 9:39 am

      I like the shape!

  • Reply Regan June 9, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Hi Anna!

    I wasn’t planning on asking you any questions- usually I just enjoy your great posts- but yesterday I was in the bookstore and I thought of you! I was admiring the great cover for ‘The Help’ with relief that I could still buy it before they put a silly movie cover on it with a bunch of credits for people who, um, had nothing to do with the actual book (Starring Dakota Fanning! Directed by Steven Spielberg!) I always assumed it was my own personal pet peeve when a book gets made into a movie and then you can’t find the original covers.. I’ve even found it discourages me from buying the book, not because I plan on seeing the movie, but because I’m silly enough to be embarrassed seen with a “movie cover book”. I guess I’m vain enough to think: 1. People will notice me, and 2. People with think I’m only reading the book because of the movie.

    Anyway, I was wondering if you had any opinions on “movie cover books” (maybe there’s even an industry term for this). Please tell me I’m not alone on this one?

    • Anna @ D16 June 9, 2011 at 10:56 am

      Hi Regan, yes, I know exactly what you mean…I always feel vaguely embarrassed to carry around a book with a movie tie-in cover (that’s the industry term), too! The fact of the matter is, though, that there will always be MORE people who buy books with movies based on them because the movie has drawn attention to its source material. It’s a VERY effective marketing tool for publishers, and it really is industry standard. Snobs like us just have to put up with it. 😉

      It’s often the case that once the movie buzz dies down, though, future printings of the book either revert to the old cover—or change to a new cover entirely. For example, Jennifer Weiner’s In Her Shoes was originally designed with this cover years ago, then changed to this cover when the movie came out, and now has this new cover (which I designed two years ago).

    • Regan June 9, 2011 at 6:25 pm

      Thanks Anna!

  • Reply June 9, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Hi Anna!

    Any regrets in your home? Things you pass by and wonder ‘what was I thinking?!’

    Any projects gone horribly awry?

    Your house is too beautiful, there has to be some upside down wallpaper somewhere!

    • Anna @ D16 June 9, 2011 at 12:22 pm

      I don’t really see anything as being permanent/fixed, so I’m sure I’d ever really have the kind of regret. We’re not tearing down walls or building additions or anything like that—the house itself is really kind of dictating the choices we make. If we ever decide we don’t want a black wall in the bedroom, we can paint over it. You know what I mean?

      I guess the only two things I might approach differently would be the kitchen floor (I wish we’d at least made an attempt at making the subfloor into a usable finished floor—probably wouldn’t have worked, but at least we could’ve tried instead of just covering it up immediately) and the upstairs bathroom floor. I love the marble hex tiles, but I wish we’d had the confidence to lay it ourselves instead of hiring someone. The work wasn’t done with the love and care and time we’d have put into it, and the quality of the grout work shows—it’s cracking and lifting like crazy. We’d have done a much better job!

  • Reply genevieve June 9, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Hi Anna!

    You’ve motivated/inspired me….I’m thinking of taking on the ENJE roller shade project – are they holding up well? Any additional tips aside from what you’ve posted before?

    • Anna @ D16 June 9, 2011 at 1:14 pm

      I’ve been using ENJE shades for years, and they’re great. No complaints whatsoever.

      That said, I’m pretty sure they’ve been temporarily discontinued while IKEA redesigns the cord mechanism to accommodate new US regulations—check your store before you go. 🙂

  • Reply Giselle Medina June 9, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    What school did you go to?
    I know you’ve mentioned this before, but I can’t find the post.
    I’m thinking of moving up North in a few years, and I’m really interested in learning about different art school in New York. Of course theres hundereds, but me not knowing anyone in NY, I just don’t where to start looking.

  • Reply Louise June 9, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Hi Anna:

    1) Do you ever have anxiety about the in-progress state of your house? I just bought a house this year and there are parts of it that are so hideous and embarassing (fiberglass modular shower, country clutter kitchen) that I can’t bring myself to invite anyone over, except immediate family.

    2) Fur: Do Bruno and Fritz shed a lot? Your furniture and clothes always look amazingly fur free!

    • Anna @ D16 June 9, 2011 at 2:01 pm

      1) Yes, constantly! I’m an anxiety-ridden freak (about everything, not just my house). You can ask anyone who knows me and they will confirm this.

      2) No, not really. Long-haired dogs shed much less than short-haired. That said, Evan and I both do our fair share of lint-rolling in the mornings! There’s also no way I’d take a photo of the house without vacuuming first. 😉

  • Reply nicolezh June 9, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    I like your outfits quite often, as you dress simple with that little special twist. Do you have a favorite shop/brand for clothes? Is there something you could recommend in the clothes department where to look for decent non-frilly outfits?

    • Anna @ D16 June 9, 2011 at 7:19 pm

      I appreciate the comment, but the truth is that I really own very few clothes—a couple of pairs of jeans (one from Old Navy, another from Lucky), a few cardigans from H&M, and some cheap t-shirts. I’ve added in a few items here and there recently, but nothing fancy or from any special stores.

      I loathe clothes-shopping, honestly! It’s one of those things I could have someone else do for me.

      I think the secret is a great scarf, maybe. 🙂

  • Reply heather @ living in color June 9, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    love the blog! i’m really glad i stumbled upon it, as my husband and i have just started a blog about our new home, and we have a very similar aesthetic. and also <3 morrissey.

    no questions right now -- just want to chime in and say that i, too, have a major phobia of driving (i have my license, but haven't really driven in over 10 years, and have no intention of ever doing so again). it's really comforting to know that there are other people out there in the same situation who have made peace with it! thanks to anna for talking about it, and cheers to all of you. 🙂

  • Reply Vibeke June 9, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Hi! So we can ask you almost anything;) the question I have is I was wondering if you would like to take a look at my work if you have the time some day;) you seem to have a great style and I would love your opinion. I hope you don’ t find it rude!

    You can see my recent projects here;

    And my prints here:

    Have a nice evening!

    Big smile from Norway

    • Anna @ D16 June 9, 2011 at 7:17 pm

      Critiquing other peoples’ work isn’t really something I want to do on my blog, Vibeke, sorry!

    • Vibeke June 10, 2011 at 12:48 am


  • Reply Peetu June 9, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    I love your blog. We just got a house and want to fix up stuff around the house. But we’ve never done any kind of DIY. How & where do we start from? And I love wallpaper, what is a small enough project to get initiated into wallpapering?

    • Anna @ D16 June 9, 2011 at 10:47 pm

      How and where do you start? Identify the project, establish a budget, and then start Googling. Also, buy the Reader’s Digest Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual. It’s not actually complete, of course, but it’s a GREAT overview and reference for common home repairs and DIY projects—all of the facts, none of the frills. I have a copy from 1972 and the new one from 2005, and refer to them both constantly.

      As far as wallpapering goes, it’s really not that hard as long as you have (a) two people, and (b) patience. And maybe a glass of wine at the ready. It’s one of those activities that feels really hectic and impossible while you’re doing it…but then all of a sudden its done and it looks amazing. (And then you have your wine.) I recommend starting with a wall project that has a minimal number of corners and doorways/windows to deal with. 🙂

  • Reply Kylie Meller June 9, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Hi Anna, just wondering I know you have mentioned you own ALOT of fonts, just wondering where you like to source them from? Also when it comes to your book cover designs, do you work directly with the author?

    • Anna @ D16 June 9, 2011 at 10:51 pm

      I’ve had many many many sources for fonts over the years (and at work these days I go through a font buyer who works for my company), but if you’re just starting out and are looking for a place with a LOT of selection, I recommend diving in to MyFonts. Sign up for their newsletter, too—it’s a great way to find out about new font designers and see stuff that’s new on the market.

      I typically don’t work directly with authors, no. You can read all about how I work here! 🙂

  • Reply Lyndsee June 10, 2011 at 12:12 am

    Hi Anna, I really appreciate your honesty, wit, and style on D16. My question is footwear related. I assume you walk a fair amount, and I’m wondering if you have any tips for choosing comfortable, decent-looking shoes.

    • Anna @ D16 June 10, 2011 at 12:52 am

      I don’t own a lot of shoes, but I do own several pairs of very good quality shoes. I do indeed do a lot of walking, and I’m very hard on my footwear—I tend to latch on to one pair at a time and wear them every day for months at a stretch. Comfort is absolutely essential for me since i have a grouchy lower back and even grouchier knees, so I try to keep the high heels to a minimum and stick with flats/low heels. I also generally stay with classic styles like equestrian boots, and I never buy anything with a visible logo.

      I’ve had very good luck with Frye boots in particular. I own four pairs in different heights/colors (black, white, brown and gray), and they’re really top-notch. My main qualification when buying shoes is that they be repairable—I don’t want to have to throw them away after a year or two. I have a good cobbler (everyone should have a cobbler!), and I’ve had my Fryes resoled several times as they wear down. It’s like having a brand new pair of shoes when I get them back! I love that I’ll be able to wear these boots for the next 20 years (at least) and not have to replace them completely. Last year I also bought a pair of simple black Frye ballet-style flats after going through dozens of pairs of lesser-quality similar shoes, and they were well worth the price. Again, I love knowing that I won’t need to replace them for YEARS, even if I wear them all summer long.

      Clogs are also great. I have a pair of Swedish sandal-style clogs that I can walk for miles in, and they’ll also last forever. The leather is thick, and the soles are solid wood. I have another pair of clogs with a higher heel on order right now—those are going to be my “fancy” orthopedic shoes. 🙂 I never wear sneakers or flip-flops or anything like that, but I do have a couple of pairs of simple, inexpensive (H&M, Old Navy) pleather sandals that I just wear for fun when I don’t have to do a lot of walking. Of course, I also have some CRAZY shoes like these, but I don’t wear them all that often—definitely not when I have to walk for miles!

      I know it might seem like buying leather shoes is incongruous with a vegan diet, but the fact is that non-leather shoes really are just not at the same quality of performance level as leather (yet). Since my goal is really to consume LESS and replace items less frequently, I still believe that buying the best quality shoes has a greater ecological/environmental impact in the long run. Plastic/petroleum products often used to make fake leather shoes are incredibly bad environmentally (both during production and after disposal), and I’m doing my best to avoid putting more money into disposable goods.

  • Reply Anna @ D16 June 10, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Thanks for all of the great questions, everybody! xoxo

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