Life + Health

Go Ask Anna.

The result of last week’s haircut. I had about 3″ taken off the overall length, and I’ve gone back to a deep side part…and black dye!

Somehow I’ve managed to let more than a whole year pass since my last Go Ask Anna Q+A session! I think Twitter has a lot to do with that—it’s just so easy to get engaged in dialogue over there. It’s high time for another free-for-all on the blog, though, so let’s do it. All aboard the ego train, haha…

You have between now and Thursday, August 9th to get your questions in! I’ll answer in the comments as the questions come in, and as always, if a lot of you are interested in something specific that requires a long-form answer (like how to make a circle in Photoshop or cut an ENJE window shade), I’ll do my best to turn it into a future post.

✚ You can ask anything you want, but please remember that everyone has boundaries.
✚ If I feel a question is either overly-personal or creepy, I reserve the right to not publish (or answer) it.
✚ Please check the FAQ page first.

p.s. I can’t believe I missed my blog’s birthday! Door Sixteen turned FIVE YEARS OLD in June. Does that mean it’s ready for kindergarten?

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Other Stuff You Might Be Into


  • Reply Deborah August 6, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    I would like to know more about your choice to eat mostly vegan, giving up processed foods, cutting out dairy, juicing, etc. What inspired you to make these choices? For someone looking to make similar choices, how do you recommend they get started – any good books, websites, blogs? I do promise I am going to try your vegan chili recipe. It looks amazing! Thanks, Anna!

    • Anna @ D16 August 6, 2012 at 4:55 pm

      Hi Deborah! I’ve had an all-vegan diet for about 3 years, and was a vegetarian for about 20 years before that. My reasons are primarily ethical (I wrote a lengthy post on that subject a few years ago that’s worth reading if you’re curious!), but my health and well-being has increasingly factored in as I eliminate the majority of processed foods from my diet and make better choice within the realm of veganism.

      The book I wrote about in the post I linked to above (Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer) is hugely inspiring on many levels, and I recommend it highly to everyone, everywhere. Really. It’s an important book.

      If you’re new to vegan cooking, I can’t recommend Post Punk Kitchen (and ALL of Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s books) enough. There’s a great community forum on the PPK website that’s well-moderated, friendly and supportive, too—it’s just a great resource all around.

      p.s. I hope you like the chili!!

  • Reply tracy August 6, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Anna! I feel like I know your most of your tastes—food/beverage/design/decor-wise thanks to the internet & instagram. BUT! What about smell? What’s your favorite smell? What are your favorite perfumes/colognes? Lay it on me!

    • Anna @ D16 August 6, 2012 at 4:59 pm

      Wow, that’s a tough one! I have to admit that I’m not much of a perfume gal. I’ve made a few half-hearted attempts a few times in the past, but I’ve never had a “signature scent” or stuck with anything for long. I will say that I tend to like things that smell earthy and warm (yup, even patchouli, though I spare the rest of the world and don’t wear it!) more fruity or…um, I don’t know any perfume lingo, so I’ll just stop there.

      I love the smell of popcorn, does that count?!

  • Reply Monica August 6, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    What eyeshadow do you have on in your twitter profile photo and the photo posted for this entry? Looks grayish?

    Is your flannel Crux blanket holding up well, would you recommend it?

    Do the Truman sconces in your main floor washroom provide enough light to be used as the only source of light in a washroom, or is some type of overhead lighting also needed in other areas to illuminate properly?

    thanks for doing this!

    • Anna @ D16 August 6, 2012 at 5:07 pm

      Monica, in the photo above I’m wearing a combination of various shades from Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips in “Smoky Hazel Eyes.” It’s cheap and it’s good quality!

      The Crux blanket is AMAZING. The quality is really excellent (the dogs have given it many, many test drives, believe me!), and it looks every bit as good today as it did when it was brand new. Marketing it as “flannel” is really a mistake, I think—yes, it’s cotton, but it’s heavyweight. It doesn’t remind me at all of what I think of when I hear the word “flannel.”

      I think the lighting question really depends on the size of space and on what kind of lighting you want. We do have a small overhead light in that bathroom (the Alabax, also from Schoolhouse Electric), but most of the light comes from the Truman sconces. The light is bright enough for me to do my makeup—but I tend to prefer softer lighting so I don’t feel like a leper when I leave the house! 😉

  • Reply Allyson August 6, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Hi, I’m not sure if you’ve done this in the past or not, but I’d love a post on your favorite typography/fonts!

    Thanks 🙂

    • Anna @ D16 August 6, 2012 at 5:10 pm

      Hi Allyson! I don’t really have a favorite font. I love them all! OK, not ALL of them, but too many to list. 😉

      There’s a little advice about where to start out with font research on my FAQ page, I think…

  • Reply Sybil August 6, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Ooh, I’ve always wondered how you and Evan met.

    • Anna @ D16 August 6, 2012 at 5:11 pm

      We met on JDate.

      (No, not really, but that’s a better story than the truth!)

  • Reply Nancy August 6, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    When you bough the house in Newburgh, did you always intend to keep a “pied-a-terre” in the city? Do you think you’ll ever stop going back and forth? (Do you even want to?)

    • Anna @ D16 August 6, 2012 at 5:12 pm

      Oh no, definitely not! We commuted every day from Beacon and then Newburgh for six years before we rented the apartment. I developed some health problems that made the choice necessary. At this point in time, we have no plan to give up the apartment.

  • Reply Hannah August 6, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    So, it’s a bit niche, but I’ve always wondered how it works with you living between two places and having dogs – how do you organise it? How do the dogs cope? Do you have two sets of everything (food, beds, bowls, coats, leads etc) or do you carry them to and fro?

    I live in London with two dogs and have debated the pied a terre/house in the countryside thing. It’s a few years off yet, but I am still curious. Our doggies are big (greyhounds) and they just have So. Much. Stuff. I can’t imagine the organisation!

    Also, your dogs are GORGEOUS.

    Thanks, and hope that isn’t too personal!!


    • Anna @ D16 August 6, 2012 at 5:17 pm

      I’ll pass your compliment along to Fritz and Bruno—they’re incredibly vain. 😉

      Our dogs don’t really have much stuff. Their harnesses and leashes go on them when we travel back and forth, so only one set is necessary. We do have two sets of bowls and food, but beyond that there really isn’t anything! They’re pretty un-fancy, I guess. We have a car seat (it’s like a big foam block that elevates them to window height) that keeps them comfy and free from motion sickness in the car, so they really do travel quite well.

      I think Fritz and Bruno like being at the house better just because there are more places to wander, but they get to go to work with Evan when they’re in the city, so it’s really a win-win. They’re happy little guys!

    • Hannah August 6, 2012 at 5:27 pm

      Aw that’s awesome, they are such cute little guys. Our two, Eric and Luna, just seem to expand to fill whatever space they are in, I can’t explain it. I don’t *think* they have much stuff, but I guess it just multiplies.

      I love the idea of them on a car seat!! Haha, so cute.

      It’s my dream to take my dogs to work – one day!

      Thanks for answering!


  • Reply Hannah August 6, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Oh, and I would love to know how the juicer works out.

    Your healthy eating has really inspired me, and I am about to embark on some vegan experiments and juicing, so thank you for that.

    (I have been reading your blog for years, maybe 3 or so, and i’m pretty sure this is the first time I have ever commented, so thank you for Ask Anna!)


    • Anna @ D16 August 6, 2012 at 5:18 pm

      I’ll definitely update on the juicer once I’ve had it for a while!

  • Reply Lena August 6, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Love your jacket(?)! As a Swiss the many crosses I spy in your wardrobe/house always remind me of the Swiss cross (although of course the colours are wrong).
    Did you order iphone cases from blissful case? If yes, hows the quality?
    Could you do a post about your Brooklyn apartment living/kitchen/eating room? I am sure its not done but I would love to see it anyway!
    Thank you so much for all the work you put into the blog!

    • Anna @ D16 August 6, 2012 at 5:24 pm

      It’s a dress, actually! The crux quadrata is one of my favorite symbols in art and design—to the point of obsession at times. I discussed it a bit in the comments on this old post.

      Yes, I did order a Blissful case. The quality is fine in terms of construction, but I don’t like the way it feels in my hand. There’s a weird ridge around the perimeter that’s unpleasant to hold, and the white color isn’t bright enough. The price is right, though, so I can’t complain—but I also don’t think I’ll ever use it.

      I’ll get around to posting about the not-so-new apartment eventually, I promise!! It’s as “done” as it’s going to get, but I’ve been too lazy to take photos!

  • Reply Julia August 6, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Hello Anna!

    If you’re OK with it, obviously, I’d like to read some stories about you and MJ. Did you ever meet him? What was your favorite song? Any milestones or particular anecdotes (like, if you worked or saved money especially to buy an album, or was given as a present by someone special… things like that)?

    Thank you for this Ask Anna!

    • Anna @ D16 August 6, 2012 at 5:37 pm

      Awww, no, I never met MJ. I have a few friends and acquaintances who both met and spent time with him on multiple occasions, though, so I live vicariously through them. I have never heard a first-hand account of meeting MJ that didn’t involve the work “magical.”

      Michael Jackson (and the Jackson 5) are very, very special to me and are really inseparable from my memories of childhood. I didn’t fully realize the extent to which that was the case until he was gone, and suddenly I started thinking of how many events in my life could be played out to a soundtrack of his career over the course of many years. I’ve always admired him as a person in addition to his musicianship, and if there is any positive side to his death (it feels horrible to say that, but hopefully you know what I mean), it’s that the world has had a chance to look beyond the lies and the jokes and remember everything he gave us when he was alive.

      I don’t think I have a favorite song, but “I Can’t Help It,” “Human Nature,” “Can You Feel It,” and “Leave Me Alone” are definitely up there! Along with dozens more…I hate making favorites lists because I immediately want to change/add to them, haha. 😉

      In case you missed them, here are a couple of posts in which I got a little deeper into the whole MJ thing…

    • Julia August 7, 2012 at 10:04 am

      Thank you for this reply! I did read your posts when you first published – I just wanted you to know that I enjoyed them enormously and should you find yourself in the right mood to write some more, I’d love to read them.

      All the best!

  • Reply Stacie August 6, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    I’m a huge fan of your work! I was wondering if you work independently or for an agency/company. I am really curious about working for myself but am concerned about getting new work on a consistent basis (I’m a graphic designer/web developer). I also have two blogs I’m trying to get off the ground. Any advice you could give a creative girl about going out on her own would be amazing 🙂

  • Reply Kim August 6, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Hi Anna! I’m a first time commenter, but long time reader. I love your renovation projects and your style. Sometimes on a sad day I like to flip through your before and after pictures of your Newburgh house and I forget everything in all the awe 😀

    My one question would be: what’s your favorite skin product? You have flawless skin! I would love to try something new and would much appreciate a recommendation that is accessible online or not-only-available-in-NY-stores (greetings from San Diego!)

    • Lauren August 6, 2012 at 6:43 pm

      I second this! I’m trying to find a skin care regimen that is as natural as possible (paraben/SLS-free, etc.) but also incorporate SPF in my daily routine. I feel like you have some secrets. 🙂

    • Anna @ D16 August 6, 2012 at 7:04 pm

      Hi Kim. Glad you decided to comment after all this time, haha!

      First of all, I assure my skin is FAR from flawless. If you don’t believe me, you can call my dermatologist and she’ll confirm that. 😉 I only take photos on “good” days, I always wear makeup, and if I look bad in a photo I either don’t post it or I let Photoshop have its way with me. Really.

      My skin is a never-ending source of consternation for me. I’ve been struggling for years to find the path to “perfect” skin, but unfortunately I haven’t found it yet. Even if I had, the truth is that it’s really different for everyone. Skin is so specific to the individual, and everyone will react differently to products.

      I know that’s not a very satisfying answer, but it’s really all I can offer you.

    • Kim August 7, 2012 at 6:04 pm

      Totally understand and respect your response 🙂 I hopped on a bandwagon product a while back and broke out in hives! Which is why I like to scope out what works for real people out there and investigate some more to see if it would work with my semi-sensitive skin. Thanks again and I’m sure you have plenty “good” days with your skin!

    • Simone August 7, 2012 at 6:23 pm

      I really like water, for baths etc. I use Weleda (bathstuff) or Dr. Hauschka (creams and make up and suntan lotion (now discontinued)). All natural, handmade good stuff, smells great as well.

    • Anna @ D16 August 7, 2012 at 9:47 pm

      I looooove Weleda hand creams! Sadly I’ve had nothing but horrible experiences with Dr. Hauschka products, but like I said…people react very different to things.

    • Mariane August 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm


      just want to say, I order my skincare with dress green on etsy , i just LOVE those products and they are so unexpensive!

  • Reply kay* August 6, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    I’ve been meaning to ask you how you introduced Fritz into your household (I think Bruno was first?) and how he Bruno was with him in the beginning. Did you have them “meet” before and suss things out? Did you do anything to get them to become friends? As I’m preparing to move I’m kinda considering perhaps adding a second dog to the mix..I think it’ll be good for Howard..but I’m not sure. Still in the consideration phase so curious how it worked for you.

    • Anna @ D16 August 6, 2012 at 7:26 pm

      Hello there!

      Yes, Bruno came first. He was six years old when we brought Fritz home, and while there wasn’t any fighting or anything like that, it definitely didn’t go smoothly. It took Bruno about six months before he would tolerate Fritz, and he actually got really sick from the stress initially. I wrote a post about that:

      Time and love and patience eventually paid off, though, and now they’re best buddies. Yes, Bruno does get annoyed by Fritz sometimes, but it’s really just a matter of having different personalities. I don’t think there’s any way to predict how dogs will react to each other. Most of the time, though, F+B are snuggled up on the sofa together and generally working as a team. I think adding Fritz to the family is the best thing we ever did for Bruno, honestly. 🙂

  • Reply Beth August 6, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Hi Anna,

    I love your blog, been following for a while. My husband and I are in the midst of fixing up our first home, and right now I am in the middle of a concrete countertop project that is not going super smoothly, so out of pure schadenfreude, I would just like to know if, in the process of making your beautiful home, you’ve ever messed something up (in a big way), or had to just throw in the towel on something. And if so, could you please share? I realize this is the most selfish and evil question ever. But thanks anyhow if you choose to answer.


    • Anna @ D16 August 6, 2012 at 7:36 pm

      Um, just about everything? Seriously…hardly any project in our house has gone smoothly, and there are at any given time at least 2 or 3 projects that we’ve abandoned (dining room bookshelves…basement…garden…kitchen…hello) because the constant screw-ups just got to be too frustrating.

      This is also why it took us something like 8 months to renovate a small bathroom. And then a year to do the other one. EVERYTHING goes wrong. Everything. The thing is, though, that once it’s done (and re-done) and looking gorgeous, you don’t really care so much about all of the hard parts and difficulties. I guess it’s kind of like when people talk about the pain of childbirth, haha.

      I don’t often blog about the hard stuff, I know. That’s not because I don’t want to be forthcoming about it, though, it’s really just because I get incredibly emotional when things go wrong, and the last thing on my mind is documenting my suffering!

    • Chris August 20, 2012 at 6:56 pm

      Beth I sincerely hope your concrete countertop goes well! If it’s any consolation my best friend’s husband is a professional contractor (and a good one at that)….he did a concrete countertop in his own kitchen and yes–nightmare. He also swore he’d never do one for a client because the amount of work was just too much.

      Of course…no one cares about that when they’re dancing on it;)

      Good luck!

  • Reply shana August 6, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    my question is…how do you make your coffee? your coffee looked so good in your juicing post, i just had to ask.

  • Reply Rosa, Copenhagen August 6, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Hi Anna, –

    I’m a long time reader and I know that you have personal (family) bonds to Scandinavia . I also know that you like a lot of Scandinavian designs – The Kobenstyle is a good example – so I wonder:

    Have you ever considered visiting Scandinavia and if – what would you like to see in terms of design?
    Where would you like to go (museums, shops etc)? Where would you stay? And what would you buy to take home?

    Glad to see you back on the blog again:-)

    • Anna @ D16 August 6, 2012 at 7:44 pm

      Hej, Rosa! Yes, my mother is from Sweden and her parents were Danish. I’ve actually only been to Sweden once, and it was when I was 8 years old—nearly 30 years ago! Sadly, I haven’t done much traveling outside of the US. I’m hoping to change that in the future, though.

      I haven’t actually thought about where I’d like to go when I do finally have a Scandinavian adventure, but I imagine when the time comes I’ll consult with my mother—and with Daniel’s amazing posts at Manhattan Nest about his recent trip. 🙂

    • Rosa, Copenhagen August 6, 2012 at 8:32 pm

      Yes – of course I’ve read Daniel’s post – I actually learned something there;-)) Great post! Just too bad he didn’t visit DK 🙂

      Thank you for your answer. I hope a Scandinavian adventure is in your near future – we’re such great folks here – and we roll around in fab design!

    • Nina August 8, 2012 at 9:45 am

      If you ever travel to this part of the world, why not make a trip to the Nordic countries, including Finland! The latter isn’t part of Scsndinavia, so I’m voicing a special request here, haha.

  • Reply Anna August 6, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    This isn’t a question at all, but it seems like a good time to comment. I’ve often thought that it’s a neat coincidence that we’re both called Anna and design book covers (I do a lot of book editing as well as the designing, though — equal parts of both, at least — so fewer covers per year than you do). And then I was reading about the Linus saga over at Manhattan Nest, and I was so surprised to learn that your mother’s name is Kristina — mine is Kristine! Okay, not EXACTLY the same, but pretty close, and unusual to be spelled with a ‘K’.

    That’s all! I love the blog + your style!

    • Anna @ D16 August 6, 2012 at 7:46 pm

      Hooray for Annas! I’m assuming from your last name that you also are of Scandinavian heritage, yes? I guess something like 75% of Swedish women are named Anna, and the other 25% are either Kristina or Inga, right? Tee-hee. 😉

    • Anna August 6, 2012 at 7:58 pm

      Well, I’ve got German / Eastern European blood, mostly, but the -org ending on my last name is a puzzler — definitely seems more Scandinavian than German. I’ve never thought about it, but is your name pronounced the German way, or does it rhyme with ‘banana’? I’ve got the German pronunciation (like ‘fauna’), but I tend to assume everybody else uses the short A sound.

    • Anna @ D16 August 6, 2012 at 8:00 pm

      My name is pronounced the same way. I usually say it rhymes with “iguana”…or “piranha.”

  • Reply kimberly August 6, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    i know that you no longer have them but i used to read about your rats every now and then. in fact, your posts are what convinced me to adopt two ratties of my own. they were the greatest joy but they passed away earlier this year. i would love to find a shelter where i can adopt two more. where did you adopt yours from?

    also, have you seen or heard anything more about hank?

    • Anna @ D16 August 6, 2012 at 7:58 pm

      I’m sorry to hear about your rats, Kimberly. They are such wonderful little animals, and my heart broke each and every time I lost one of mine. Their lives are all too short.

      When I had rats, I was actually really involved in rat rescue groups. I don’t think I ever adopted one directly from a shelter—it was always a situation like a lab getting rid of its “overflow” or a hoarder with out of control litters where an intervention was needed. I also took in a few that had behavioral problems, or elderly rats with health problems that their previous owners couldn’t manage treating.

      It’s been at least a decade since I was part of any rat organization, but it looks like the Yahoo Group that I was actively involved in back then is still active! I’d suggest joining up and asking if any folks in your area might know of a pair of ratties in need of a home.

    • Anna @ D16 August 6, 2012 at 7:59 pm

      Oh, and about Hank…no, sadly I have not heard anything more about Hank since his owners came to claim him. It still makes me so sad to think about. I hope he’s OK. 🙁

  • Reply Ilana August 6, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    What are some of the best and worst things about blogging? Do you ever feel a sense of pressure associated with being someone whose style is so admired?

    • Anna @ D16 August 6, 2012 at 9:47 pm

      Ack! Well, I feel pressure now that you’re asking that question, hahaha… (just kidding)

      I do sometimes feel that kind of pressure, yes, but it’s not really because of this blog. I worry a lot about running out of ideas as a designer, and I think that’s true for a great number of people working in creative fields. When I run out of ideas and I can hear a clock ticking behind me, I start to veer off in directions that really aren’t true to who I am stylistically. Sometimes that can actually be a good thing since I might discover new things about myself, but most of the time it’s just a hot mess that I don’t want to put my name on! It brings me a lot of happiness when someone tells me they were able to identify a book cover or a website as being my work without even seeing my name, though—all designers like to hear that. 🙂

      And about the best/worst aspects of blogging…

      BEST: Definitely meeting cool people. I’ve made a number of friends through blogging (and Twitter, too), several of whom I consider to be very close—and who I know I’ll be friends with for many years. I tend to be extremely reserved socially and I am most definitely an introvert, and I think you can say the same thing for a lot of other bloggers. Those are the people I wind up connecting with. It’s been wonderful.

      My absolute FAVORITE thing about blogging, though, is when someone tells me that I’ve inspired them to do something they didn’t think they’d have been able to before—whether it’s buying an old house that’s down in its luck, becoming vegan (or even just eating less meat!), adopting an animal in need, learning how to tile a bathroom, or taking the time to make their surroundings as comfortable and happymaking as they can. That’s really the whole reason I have this blog.

      WORST: There are some people like to say that if you make your writing/life public in any way, that you should expect to be injured by that public—and that you should accept that injury. I don’t believe that, personally. I think people should treat each other as decently as possible online, and that they should use their behavior offline as a guide. When someone decides to be cruel in a comment (and it’s always anonymous—usually with obviously fake, profanity-laced email addresses attached), it hurts. It’s so rare that this happens, but when it does…it sucks.

      The other “worst” part (which really isn’t so bad!) is when I get recognized on the street or in a restaurant or wherever. I honestly don’t mind being approached and I actually think it’s very sweet, but I always worry that I’m disappointing that person or like I just don’t know what to say or anything. I get very nervous! That’s my problem, though, not something that anyone else is doing wrong!

  • Reply Anya August 6, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Hey Anna-

    How is Sylvester doing? Did you ever get him the little heated cat house? Also, has Haggis been back?

    Love your blog!

    • Anna @ D16 August 6, 2012 at 9:53 pm

      I love when people ask about the little animals around my house…and by name, too! 🙂

      Sylvester is just fine. We were actually just hanging out and having a snuggle yesterday! I see him a little less these days because another neighbor started leaving food out for him as well, and she has a nice covered porch that serves as good shelter for him when the weather is bad. He’s such a good cat, and everyone on my block knows it! Everyone looks out for Sylvester. (Side note: We’re the only ones who call him Sylvester. I’ve heard other neighbors refer to him as “Blackjack” and “Beauty”!!)

      We haven’t see Haggis (or Scarface or Fatback) this summer, so I suspect the original groundhog colony has relocated. We DO have another little guy hanging around this year, though—he’s just a baby! No name yet, but we’re working on it. 🙂

  • Reply Taryn August 6, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Hi Anna,

    You have a very distinct and recognizable style. I have been renovating my house for a couple years now and am having a difficult time creating a cohesive look. I often swoon over so many different styles, and it is very difficult to harmoniously include everything I love. It takes a lot of editing and a lot of vision- all of which you appear to have! My question to you is: do you have this problem too? If so, how do you create such a cohesive look?

    • Anna @ D16 August 6, 2012 at 10:08 pm

      Hi Taryn! I love this question, and to be honest, I don’t think I can easily answer it here in these comments. I’m going to have to think about it for a while. I feel like this could actually be a good topic for me to address in a full-length post in the future. Thank you for the push. 🙂

    • kay* August 6, 2012 at 10:17 pm

      Thanks for asking this! I wanted to ask the exact same thing but couldn’t put it into words in a coherent and cohesive way.

      Anna–I look forward to the post on this topic!

    • Anna @ D16 August 6, 2012 at 11:28 pm

      It’s going to be tricky to write that post because it’s not really something I do consciously…but I’ll try my best!

    • Mikaela August 14, 2012 at 8:00 am

      I third this question! =)

  • Reply Tania August 6, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    You look gorgeous in that pic. I love your faaaaaar left part! Very cute.

    I have an unusual and selfish question for you. I ordered the BluePrint Foundation juice 3 day course after reading your post and checking out their competitors… but… I’m an Australian, living in New York for a few months… they are coming tomorrow. How much do I tip the delivery man? My housemate said 10-20% of the product price. that would be $15-30 dollars! I understand that the minimum wage here is pitiful and people rely on tips to make a living, I just wanted to hear your personal opinion. (In restaurants I leave at least 20% then round up to the nearest dollar.) But I never know what to tip for a coffee (late) that I have in a ‘to go” cup but drink on the premises. If it’s $4.25, I put the .75 cents in the tip jar or leave a dollar. Is that stingy?

    What would you recommend?
    PS: I love your Bolt / Zeus / Electric zebra pants. Wear them outside. The world deserves to see them and you in them. Think of them as a walking installation.

    • Anna @ D16 August 6, 2012 at 10:06 pm

      Hah! That’s a great question, Tania. In New York City, I think people tend to err on the side of tipping high. Like you, I always tip at least 20% in restaurants—though sometimes as much as 50% if it’s a small check and I’ve been sitting and chatting with a friend for a long time.

      Food delivery is a different story, though. The “official” rule is 10% or $2, whichever is greater. I personally would NEVER tip $2 for delivery on ANYTHING. I just think that’s unfair, especially if the weather is bad (very hot, very cold, or rainy). If I’m getting prepared food delivered, I typically tip $5-8 regardless of the total (obviously if I were placing a very large/heavy order I’d give more, but that’s never happened).

      When it comes to counter-service coffee, I usually just leave my change in the jar. If that’s 95¢, cool. If it’s 30¢, also cool. I don’t sweat it. I figure it balances out in the end.

      Now, about the BluePrintCleanse delivery (since that WAS what you were wondering about, right?!), I’d suggest tipping $5. Those guys aren’t riding bikes or walking—they’re driving vans. It’s a totally different thing. Now, if you’re living on a third-floor walkup (no elevator) and the guy has to carry it all the way up, you have to tip more…say $8-10.

      These are just my own personal guidelines, mind you, but I’ve never had a delivery good look disappointed by my tips (if anything they usually seem happily surprised), so I think I must be getting it kind of right!!

      I hope that helps…and GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR CLEANSE!!!

    • Tania August 20, 2012 at 10:43 pm

      Thanks for your thorough response Anna. After all that I can’t remember how much I tipped! It was something like $5-8 I think.
      I might report back on my blueprint experience under your blueprint entry… and thanks for the heads up on the Fab discount.

      Also, I think people who know you (or think they do, like me – those who read your blog) would know that you’re not paid to write articles about things you like… I mean for one thing you have no advertising whatsoever on your blog. That’s I sign, I would think. So pffff to those people that accuse you of doing otherwise.

      Oh, and in other news… I saw a cute little dress up MJ paper doll set which came in a box at Urban Outfitters… I thought of you.

  • Reply kris August 6, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    How did you meet Daniel from Manhattan Nest?

    • Anna @ D16 August 6, 2012 at 11:25 pm

      Through blogging! He used to comment here, and then he started his own blog. Then we started hanging out all the time!

  • Reply Janel August 6, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Feel free not to answer this if it’s too personal, but I’m just curious since you don’t seem to eat real food. How much do you weigh and how tall are you?

    • Anna @ D16 August 6, 2012 at 11:46 pm

      Heh. I’m 5’6″ and I weigh about 145 pounds. Usually a size 6 or 8. I think it’s silly to keep things like weight secret. All that does is lead to shame and obsessiveness.

      Oh, and I definitely eat “real food.”

  • Reply (another) Anna August 7, 2012 at 12:52 am

    Hi Anna!
    I’m from Paris, France, but I’m here in New York for 10 days, do you have recommendations for some cool stuff to do in the city that are not too touristic? Cool places to visit, bars, vegan restaurants, shops etc?

    Thank you!

    • Anna @ D16 August 7, 2012 at 5:58 am

      Hello! My (non-)answer to this question is on MY FAQ PAGE, but as far as vegan restaurants go, these are my favorites…

      Cinnamon Snail (truck)
      Sacred Chow
      Souen (they serve fish—otherwise vegan)
      Cafe Blossom
      Gingersnap’s Organic
      Lula’s Sweet Apothecary (ice cream)

      I’m sure there are LOTS of other great vegan restaurants, but I haven’t been everywhere. 😉 NYC is a very vegan-friendly city, and I really recommend spending some time over at SUPERVEGAN and checking out the specific neighborhoods you’ll be in.

      Enjoy your trip! 🙂

    • simone August 8, 2012 at 6:21 am

      I haven’t been to New York for a long time now, but when I was there I thought the Noguchi Garden Museum was absolutely amazing and worth while. Only open in summer, at the time there was a bus that leaves from Moma.

  • Reply Carlina August 7, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Hi Anna
    First off I have to say I don’t comment very often but I read your blog all of the time. I love your style-in design, clothing etc. I’m a designer who is currently looking for a newer, more creative job. It seems like nowadays companies want a do-it-all designer. My skills are in print and I know some html. I have applied but never hear back. I’m not sure if my work portfolio is helping me, since it’s geared towards utility companies. Do you have any advice on expanding my portfolio so someone will give me a chance. Geez I sound desperate lol. Thanks Anna! I’ll be heading to Greenpoint and Manhattan in October and will try to hit up some of your suggested vegan restaurants.


    • Anna @ D16 August 7, 2012 at 9:34 am

      Unfortunately, I’m not at all equipped to answer that question. I’ve been working for the same publishing company as a book cover designer for about 15 years, and it was my first job right out of college. I have no experience whatsoever with applying for jobs or with knowing what should and shouldn’t go in a portfolio. I’m sorry! It just isn’t an area I know anything at all about, especially not in the current job market.

      You might try taking a look at the ‘Ask Nubby’ column at Nubby Twiglet’s blog—she’s very good at addressing this kind of thing!

  • Reply Carlina August 7, 2012 at 9:37 am

    No worries.Thanks for the response though ; ) I’ve contemplated kind of assigning myself “projects” and trying to create a portfolio from those. It could also be I live in northern MA where the design jobs are all in Boston and the ones that are around are hard to get your foot in the door. Thanks anyway : )

  • Reply X. August 7, 2012 at 10:07 am

    I’m in college. I’m sharing a place with 2 other girls for a semester but it’s not furnished at all? How do I do it cheaply (but still make it mine) and what do I do with the furniture after I leave?

    • X. August 7, 2012 at 10:10 am

      It’s also in Manhattan so it’s very small. Less than 10×10 feet. So I guess it’s also about maximizing space. I have ALOT of stuff (clothes, lotions&potions, books, etc.)

    • Anna @ D16 August 7, 2012 at 1:35 pm

      That’s tricky since it’s just one semester! I’d suggest looking for IKEA stuff on Craigslist, personally. It’ll be cheap, simple and decent quality. You can make things more “you” with textiles and artwork and stuff like that…and all of those things can go with you when you leave! Maybe you could work out an arrangement with the other tenants as far as the furniture goes. It might benefit them if the room can be rented as being already furnished in the future?

      I like nice baskets for storing all of the random crap that accumulates. Whatever you do, stay away from plastic storage tubs. Nothing feels less homey!

  • Reply Taylor August 7, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Have you always considered (do you consider) yourself a person of influence?

    Also, I’ve been meaning to tell you about a crazy dream I had about you. How to explain this….You and I were friends (we don’t know each other in real life, by the way) and as an adult you were you, Anna of Door Sixteen repute. But as a child you had another a brush with fame as Sophia Grace Brownlee, the squishy pre-pubescent Brit who covers Nicki Minaj raps. Anna was Sophia, Sophia was Anna. The dream was quite interesting as it told the story of you leading a fascinating life where you had achieved mild levels of fame at different times of your life for very different things. And the public that knew you as one didn’t commonly know you as the other. A true reinvention story with originality!

    I think I’ve said enough.

    • Anna @ D16 August 7, 2012 at 1:11 pm

      Wow! My goodness…that’s quite a dream, haha!

      I think everyone is a “person of influence,” really—what does that even mean? Other than when it comes to talking about politics and social ethics, I don’t really think at all about whether or not what I say is going to influence someone else. All I can really do is speak my mind and share my ideas, and whatever comes of that is either agreement or disagreement (or disinterest). I follow trends and emulate other peoples’ style just like anyone else does, and any interpretations beyond that are my own—I assume that others will create their own take on outside influence, too.

      Now, if I could influence everyone to stop eating animals, give up believing in God, embrace social welfare, and live their lives in a way that supports a democratic, fair and equal society, then we’d be onto something! Alas, I’m not that powerful…

    • Gracie August 12, 2012 at 9:49 am

      I’m glad you’re not that powerful Anna, I love God! And your blog, ha ha.

    • Anna @ D16 August 12, 2012 at 10:32 am

      Sadly the Christian Right is the single most powerful group in this country, and everyone who is part of any other religion or no religion is pummeled into submission. You are free to love whatever and whoever you want, but that shouldn’t dictate the laws that govern my country.

  • Reply sue bohorquez August 7, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Hi Anna!

    Thanks for doing this “Ask Anna” post and taking the time to answer questions that some followers might have…

    Like I tweeted before my question about skin products is more a question about your opinion on skin sensitivity/products..etc, you have posted and tweeted about some things in the past and I found myself experiencing some of those as well, of course everybody is different and is going to react in a different way to products/foods and the environment around… see I was recently diagnose with “rosacea” (I don’t quite believe it, well I don’t quite believe rosacea is rosacea) and after dermatologist(s) visit(s) … “stress” “hormonal changes” “age”… blah blah blah-answers with a prescription for antibiotics and crappy creams, I respect their opinion, but it seem so vague to me… I do think that with age obviously our bodies are changing and adjustments have to be done but I started just reading a ton about it and making changes all around, I think that all these skins issues are mostly toxins in our bodies and its inability to get rid of these toxins whether is products or foods that we are consuming/using that are adding to the issue and then our more sensitive areas, like our face or all together our skin starts “trying to get rid off” these toxins somehow… I might sound crazy and tent to over analyze things like this… What do you think from your experience?


    • Anna @ D16 August 7, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      Hi Sue, I’m afraid I just don’t have the knowledge to answer this question. Even having a very “clean” diet and eliminating as many toxins as possible from my life for extended periods of time has never made a difference in my skin, but plenty of people have had the opposite experience. All I can say is that everyone is different, and that is can be a long, difficult struggle to figure out a solution that will work for you.

      I wish I knew more, but I’d really just be making stuff up! Sorry I can’t be more helpful.

    • sue b. August 7, 2012 at 2:08 pm

      Actually, I have had that experience, I eat a ton of veggies now, and it is weird how much I crave them (Kale, spinach and broccoli are my to go foods), no desserts unless I bake them, reduce caffeine and no sugar, I use agave in my coffee instead, daily multivitamin and I add ground flax seed to a cup of kefir, which has probiotic… I use dr. weil – origins for sensitive skin and laura mercier tinted moisturizer for make-up, I guess…little by little I have found what sort of works for me…

      Actually you have been helpful, I think I looked for the tinted moisturizer after reading a post on your blog! so I went to get a sample and tried it…. love it! so thanks!

    • Anna @ D16 August 7, 2012 at 3:39 pm

      Yes! The Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer is great stuff. Glad you like it!

  • Reply Sarah August 7, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Oh I hope I can think of a better question but seeing that photo, I love your top (or is it a dress?). Where is it from!? Also, can I be you when I grow up? So admire your home and style and your work!

    • Anna @ D16 August 7, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      It’s a dress from Urban Outfitters, and you should definitely be YOU, not me!

  • Reply Lizzie August 7, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I’ve personally always been really curious about your music preferences, since you have such good taste in so many other things. You share music from time to time of course — and it’s always cool, so I was just wondering who you consider your… let’s say, top ten favorite bands / musicians ever to be? I hope that’s not a difficult question! I went with ten, because five somehow seemed harder to choose, hah. (I would over-think and stress over picking just five.)

    Your hair looks great, by the way! Love that dress as well.

    • Anna @ D16 August 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm

      I’m not sure I can even pick just ten! Hmmmm…without counting, I’ll make a list of whoever comes to mind in the next minute or so…
      The Cure, Morrissey + The Smiths, The Chameleons, Prince, Bauhaus, The Banshees, Joy Divison + New Order, Michael Jackson, Beastie Boys, And Also The Trees, Lowlife, Cocteau Twins, The Clash, A Certain Ratio, Felt, Lou Reed, Talking Heads, Tom Waits, Devo, Adam Ant, Tears For Fears, Hendrix, Wire, Suede, Cornershop, A Tribe Called Quest, Public Enemy, Bowie, Death In June, Echo & The Bunnymen, Psychedelic Furs, Elvis Costello, NWA, John Lennon, Nick Cave, Stereolab…

      ACK ACK ACK! I’m cutting myself off now because otherwise we’ll be here all day!

  • Reply Ryann Moore August 7, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Hi ANNA,

    Love to see you doing another Q&A session, clearly we all love it! I wish I had more of an Anna/Doorsixteen/Fritz & Bruno question – but I have been reading your blog for so many years now, that my brain can’t seem to think of something as I feel like I already know you pretty well. Instead, like some other readers I have a bit of a selfish – design challenge question.

    I just moved with my husband (and doggie) to a one bedroom by the water, from a large two bedroom, inland. It has an amazing view, which we are just dying over, and naturally has sliding glass doors facing the ocean so we can get the maximum enjoyment out of our close proximity. Problem is, these are the only “windows,” and more than anything I am struggling with how to dress them. Currently there are some curtains left over from the previous tenant (which need to go ASAP) and the more I look at curtains, which I find to be the obvious/only(?) choice, the more I just can’t bring myself to buy any. I had always planned on installing the beloved ENJE shades from IKEA throughout my next place similar to your beautiful home/Manhattan Nests apartment/The Brick House, but I don’t think it could work on sliding glass doors. Do you have any other modern/clean looking suggestions or do you think the ENJE might be able to work? Even some ideas for some less-offensive curtains?

    I have a lot of plans for our new little apartment and have started a blog to document the process – if a picture would help to understand the sliding door dilemma, you can somewhat see them in one of the “before” photos in this post (and if you look at it please know that I have already started painting those awful purple and brown walls a clean, crisp white with maybe a black wall/door or two)

    Thank you again for being so open and welcome to questions – it’s such a special treat for us! And since I don’t comment enough – thank you for being a constant inspiration, for all things – apartment design/clothing choices/music/food/general outlook on life!

    • Anna @ D16 August 7, 2012 at 1:27 pm

      Hi Ryanne, I don’t have any personal experience with sliding doors, but my first instinct is to say just leave them exposed…especially if they’re facing the ocean! If that’s not an option, what about window frosting? Aside from the plain stuff, there are some really nice patterns from Emma Jeffs that could look amazing:

      I don’t see how roller shades could work, but there are these panel track curtains that can look nice:

      My vote is still to leave them bare, though! 🙂

    • Ryann Moore August 7, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      Thank you for such a quick reply – and for so many great ideas! Unfortunately, because we are in an apartment, leaving them bare would allow neighbors to see into our place – but I do plan to leave them open any time that I am not needing privacy for sure. =) I appreciate you humoring my more selfish of a question.

      I was able to think of something else I wanted to ask you (if I am allowed to ask more than one question) – I was wondering how you manage to keep your house clean? I know it is a large place, but on top of your work hours and time at your apartment, not to mention the time you devote to DIY projects or home improvement work; do you hire some help or do you have a system? As I have mentioned, I have a tiny place, but I really want to keep organized here and stay on top of it, but its so distracting and less fun than the other work I would like to do on the place.

      This question also makes me wonder – how is Evan with keeping tidy? My husband does alright but obviously has some different priorities than I do, or rather doesn’t have pet peeves like me (electonics cords – anyone?)

      Thanks again, Anna, you’re the best!

    • Anna @ D16 August 7, 2012 at 4:11 pm

      Hello again! And you can ask as many questions as you’d like 🙂

      See, the problem with blogs is that you really only see a tiny slice of someone’s life. It’s rare that I take/post photos of my house, and when I do, I make sure the house is clean, tidy and looking its best before I do so (unless, of course, it’s a picture of a gutted bathroom or something like that!). I don’t take photos of dusty shelves, dirty bathtubs, or hallways filled with boxes of “assorted things to sort through,” but I assure you all of those things are in my house. At the moment, I haven’t vacuumed in over a month and the house is basically in a state of total disorder. It’s a mess, and that’s not just me exaggerating for sake of sounding “human.”

      I don’t have any real system, unless you count making sure that I have at least one guest in my home every two months, since that seems to be the only thing that motivates me enough to clean these days! I get very lazy with that kind of stuff. (And no, I’ve never hired anyone to clean my house. I can’t imagine ever doing that…)

      Evan is a pretty tidy guy! He’s much better than me in some areas (like treating his clothes nicely and keeping his closet in order), actually. No complaints!

  • Reply martha August 7, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Hi Anna!

    “Why can’t I be you?” 😉


  • Reply Rachelle August 7, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Hello Anna! I don’t have any questions for you but one of the ones above reminded me of this story so I thought I’d share:

    I’ve read your blog off and on since almost the beginning and once during a period where I wasn’t really reading any blogs, I was in a bookstore with my husband and I noticed that the book he was looking through seemed extremely familiar. I said, “I think I know the girl who designed that cover! Well not ‘know’, but I used to read her blog.” So we looked for the credit and sure enough, it was one of yours. I think you had done a post on all the various iterations it went through before getting to the final one and that’s why I remembered it. Anyway it was a really neat experience and it reminded me to go find your blog and start reading again, which I’m happy I did 🙂

    • Anna @ D16 August 7, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      Welcome back, Rachelle 🙂 Was it the cover for Elf Girl? I think that’s the only book I’ve posted the rejects for here on the blog. That cover was so fun…I got to work with a friend of mine on it, Nubby Twiglet. I love how it came out!

  • Reply Iris Vank August 7, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I don’t have any questions Anna, but have to say I loved reading these questions above and especially your answers. You are such a clever and witty woman, how I love the internet and it’s ways to show me parts of your life and inspiration. Thank you.

    Well, I do have a question I guess, ‘witty’, is that a word people still use nowadays? I just couldn’t think of a better one.

    • Anna @ D16 August 7, 2012 at 3:39 pm

      Thank you, Iris! That’s nice of you to say. 🙂

      And I think witty must still be in use…you just said it!

  • Reply Viktoriya C. August 7, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Hi Anna, glad to see you’re back!

    Your style is such an inspiration to others, I was wondering what are your inspiration sources?
    Have you always been drawn to modern, industrial-inspired designs for your home?

    p.s. love your hair back to this darker color.

    • Anna @ D16 August 7, 2012 at 3:47 pm

      Thanks, Viktoriya.

      Hmmmm…I’m not sure that I have any specific go-to sources for inspiration. I really do take inspiration from everything around me all the time, and it’s not necessarily linear—a piece of music can make me think about typography in a certain way, for example. As far as interiors go, I think the longest-standing sources of inspiration for me are Charles and Ray Eames, Terrance Conran…and my mother. 🙂

      More than anything, though, I’m inspired by people with passion who take chances and push themselves to try new things. That sounds like a cliché, I know, but it’s a rare quality! I am lucky to have a small handful of close friends who fall into this category, and my admiration for their determination keeps me going.

      If you take a look at the “inspiration” category here on the blog, you’ll see all kinds of sources…

    • Viktoriya C August 8, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      Hi again, thanks for the reply!

      I totally agree, I love it when you find those few who realize that life has so many dimensions, and that we don’t “grow” as people unless we push ourselves to make new discoveries, therefore learning new things about ourselves! 🙂

  • Reply Bethany August 7, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    After reading all the other great questions, I’m almost too embarrassed to ask this very mundane question, but I have not been able to stop thinking about it so here goes. I loved your post on the hair styling tools and products you use. From the way you describe it and looking at your photo, I think we have similar hair. I’m going to check out everything you recommended so thank you for that! You mentioned you wash your hair every day and blow-dry it during the week. I’m wondering, how long does it take you to dry it and do you use a brush or just your fingers while drying? If you use a brush, what kind – round or flat?

    Love your blog! I gobble up every post!

    • Anna @ D16 August 7, 2012 at 4:02 pm

      Hair is FAR from mundane, Bethany! As a very wise man (that would be Morrissey) once said, “I do maintain that if your hair is wrong, your entire life is wrong.”

      Even on weekdays, I let my hair air-dry for a least an hour while I’m putting on makeup, moisturizing, feeding the dogs, getting my bag ready for the day, etc. The last part of my routine is doing my hair, so it’s well on its way by the time I pick up the hair dryer. The Blue Bird dryer I mentioned is pretty high wattage, so it probably only takes about two minutes to get my hair completely dry. I don’t use a brush at all, just my fingers. I don’t think I’m coordinated enough to use a brush! I also have fears of getting a brush tangled up in my hair, hahaha…

    • Bethany August 7, 2012 at 4:15 pm

      Ahhhhhhh! I may have to revamp my morning routine! As I was drying my hair right after my shower this morning, I was thinking, “god, how does she do this” Thank you!

    • Anna @ D16 August 7, 2012 at 4:19 pm

      Yeah, I’m way too lazy for that! Sometimes I do blow-dry my bangs (JUST my bangs) right after my shower if I know it’s going to be really humid that day and I’ll be spending time outdoors. Just a little extra protection against frizziness…

  • Reply maggie August 7, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    I don’t have a question but just wanted to say I have that dress too and when I bought it I thought, “oh this is very Door Sixteen with the crosses.” Ha! It’s so cute – I love the hemline.

    • Anna @ D16 August 7, 2012 at 5:29 pm

      Hee! Yeah, I snatched it off the rack the second I saw it. I’m not normally a dress-wearer, but I feel like this one was made just for me!

  • Reply Stephanie August 7, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Mine are all very random but… What’s your favorite Prince song? Favorite David Lynch movie? Do you have a favorite or preferred color to use in your book cover designs? How do you like your Leica? Will you be posting a full review at some point?

    • Anna @ D16 August 7, 2012 at 10:06 pm

      Wow, my favorite Prince song? That’s totally impossible for me to answer. I’ve been obsessed with Prince since I was about 8 years old…there’s no way I can choose one song (or even five…or ten)! Off the top of my head, though…”Mountains,” “If I Was Your Girlfriend,” “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man,” “Computer Blue,” “Sign ‘O’ the Times,” “Head,” and…yeah, there’s no way I can narrow this down!! I think I have about 50 favorite Prince songs. (Have you seen my post about seeing him in concert last year?)

      It’s a tough call, but my favorite David Lynch movie is Blue Velvet.

      I don’t have a favorite color for book covers—it really depends on the book and the market it’s most likely to appeal to.

      I LOVE my Leica. No regrets! (My only regret is that I use my iPhone way more than I should…) I don’t think I’ll write a review, though, because I just don’t know enough about the technical aspects of cameras or photography for it to really be worthwhile. I just put it on “auto” and hope for the best!

  • Reply X. August 7, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    What’s you take on renting in NYC?

    Also, what about DIY painting the room and other things(like wall to wall shelving). Should you ask the landlord for permission?

    Also, can you point me towards an idiot-proof painting guide?


  • Reply Karen August 7, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Hello there!

    Mine is also random … after reading through this Q&A, I am wondering if it is just me that cannot open the comments for the older Ask Anna – June 2011?

  • Reply Trent August 7, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    I was wondering (if not too personal) if you’d be willing to elaborate on your atheism. I know it can be a polarizing subject, but as a young “heathen” in the bible-belt, I think these are great times we live in, if for no other reason than being introduced to likeminded people on the Internet… Were you always an atheist/agnostic/freethinker/humanist (I know you have a history with Judaism?), did you come to it gradually? Any difficulty with family/friends/the general public? I’m sure it’s easier and more accepted in NYC than here in central Illinois, but this is America– to be openly and unappologeticly atheist is brave no matter where you are… For someone who literally knows no other out-proud atheists, people like yourself are an inspiration:) (I’m sure you’re tired of hearing that hahaha)

    • Anna @ D16 August 7, 2012 at 10:30 pm

      This is probably too big of an answer to really get into in a blog comment (so much easier to discuss these things over coffee!), but briefly…

      My father is Jewish. My mother was born is Sweden and is therefore by default a Lutheran, but neither of my parents have practiced either religion in any kind of non-secular way for as long as I’ve been alive. We did celebrate the major Jewish and Christian holidays when I was growing up, but it was really all about tradition and nothing more than that. To be completely honest, I don’t think I realized until I was a teenager that there even was such a thing as religion in terms of believing in God/gods/higher power. I just had absolutely no idea—it was a totally foreign concept. I really only knew of religion as a cultural identifier.

      I guess you could say that I became an atheist by default. From the time I first discovered that there are STILL people alive who believe in mythology and spirits and so on, I had already rejected all of it without even being aware. I was (and still am) flabbergasted that anyone ISN’T an atheist.

      And no, I’ve never had any issues within my family (there’s no shortage of atheists among us, believe me!) or any of my friends. I do have a few friends and colleagues who believe in God, and as much as I think it’s about as sane as admitting to believing in the Tooth Fairy, I accept that it’s a part of who they are and how they were raised, and I respect their right to have a different belief system. As someone who believes fervently in the separation of Church and State, I will also defend ANY religious group’s right to practice that religion as they choose—provided it does not infringe on the rights of anyone else or affect the rule of law in this country.

      A friend of mine refers to himself as an “Evangelical Atheist.” I like that idea! I am absolutely open about being an atheist, and I never ever try to hide that fact or gloss over it. If Americans actually came to terms with what they REALLY believe (and don’t believe) and were freed from the burdens of whatever brainwashing they were subjected to as children, I suspect we’d see atheism levels rise to 50% overnight. As it stands now, 55% of all American atheists are under the age of 35, so let’s see where we are in 50 years! (Let’s hope we keep evolving…)

      I always say that when I meet a new person, I assume right off the bat that they are a gay, Jewish, atheist until I’m proven otherwise. This rule of thumb has served me quite well. 🙂

    • Anna @ D16 August 8, 2012 at 9:24 pm

      NOTE: Yes, I deleted the rather lengthy discussion that followed my original reply to Trent. It had descended into areas of discussion that were rife with homophobia, and frankly, there is no place for that on my blog.

      I will quote myself from the response above, and leave it at that:
      “I will also defend ANY religious group’s right to practice that religion as they choose—provided it does not infringe on the rights of anyone else or affect the rule of law in this country.”

      Thank you.

    • mikaela August 14, 2012 at 8:29 am

      Anna, I love your reply 100%.

  • Reply Heather August 7, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Hi Anna! I always wonder… what does Evan do? I love all of his music equipment in your office in Newburgh, and wonder if he works in the music industry.

    PS – we’re neighbors, of sorts! I live in a small town on the Hudson, too – Esopus. 🙂 What are your favorite things to do in the Hudson Valley?

    • Anna @ D16 August 7, 2012 at 9:52 pm

      Evan is the Technology Director at Domani Studios, a digital ad agency in Brooklyn. That means he’s really smart…and that he works really, really hard. He also writes, plays and records music in his free time (with a band and alone), something he’s been doing since he was a teenager.

      My favorite thing to do in the Hudson Valley is look at the river! I grew up in Rhinebeck, and I’m fairly certain the Hudson Valley is the most beautiful place in the world…

    • Heather August 8, 2012 at 8:43 pm

      Funny – my husband works in digital marketing as well! There’s a great little agency in uptown Kingston that he works for – DragonSearch. 🙂

  • Reply Heather August 7, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Whoops! Forgot this one – where are your favorite places to go thrifting/furniture shopping in the HV? Have you been to Stan’z or the Zaborsi Emporium, both in Kingston?

    • Anna @ D16 August 7, 2012 at 10:14 pm

      I don’t really do much thrifting or shopping at all, honestly. There used to be a really good store in Beacon called Iron Fish that I’d check out a couple of times a month, but it’s (sadly) closed now.

      And yes, I love Stan’z! I’ve been going there since I was a kid. That’s where I found this bar cart:

    • Heather August 8, 2012 at 8:34 pm

      I thought that was the junk shop you were talking about! I drive by that place all the time & am dying to go in there…

    • Anna @ D16 August 8, 2012 at 8:46 pm

      It’s been there forever! You should go in…and walk around in back!

  • Reply Janelle August 7, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    You talked about how you always wear makeup AND how you are trying to cut out as many toxins from your life. What brands do you use when it comes to makeup, hair styling, face wash, etc?

    Also, I am slowly trying to cut out as much toxins from my life. I know you’ve been at it for a while but do you have any tips for people just starting out on the path to being healthier?

    • Anna @ D16 August 7, 2012 at 10:33 pm

      I’m DEFINITELY failing in the toxins department when it comes to cosmetics. Alas, at this point in time my vanity supersedes my desire for better health. It’s a balancing act! If you click on the “vanity” category over in the right column, you can see several posts I’ve done over the years about products I like—I just did one last week about hair stuff.

  • Reply Caroline August 7, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    Hey, Anna!

    Greeting from Albany! I just love that you’re a New Yorker but you also have a residence (that you love) in the Hudson Valley, in a beautiful old city that reminds me a lot of Albany. I love my old house, but being relatively close to the greatest city in the world, too.

    Question! My partner and I recently got engaged, and we’re coming up with ideas for the feel of the whole thing. What was your wedding like? I feel pretty connected to your aesthetic and love to hear about other folks’ weddings, especially those who are less traditional and more creative.

    Also: What’s the name of the sans-serif all caps font you use on your colorful banner/captions on your images when you make posts?

    Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions! You are super inspiring!

    • Anna @ D16 August 7, 2012 at 10:51 pm

      Hi Caroline, (I actually address this in the FAQ)…I use a lot of different fonts on this blog! The one I used in this post is Futura Bold, but lately I’ve been using Brandon Grotesque a lot, too.

      In 2004, Evan and I had a civil ceremony at City Hall in Manhattan. The next day, we had a big vegan lunch with our friends and family at Gobo, a great restaurant in the West Village.

      And no—I didn’t wear a wedding dress, make favors, or do any decorating whatsoever. I don’t personally believe in ceremonies of any kind. I think the structure of the actual relationship is far more important than a wedding.

  • Reply demi August 8, 2012 at 12:34 am

    Hi Anna! You rule, such an inspiration!

    My question is, what is your bedtime!

    Also, you don’t write much of Evan. Is this because he’s asked not to be written about, or out of respect for your relationship? Just curious.

    • Anna @ D16 August 8, 2012 at 7:24 am

      I don’t have a bedtime. I go to bed when I’m tired, or, if I’m busy working, when I can’t stay awake any longer!

      I don’t write much about my personal life here at all, actually. I write about health sometimes, yes, and about things related to my house, but I really don’t discuss my family or anything like that. I’m very very very careful about what I will and won’t discuss on my blog on on the internet in general. This blog is very much about things that interest ME on a day-to-day basis. If Evan wants to start a blog to write about himself and what he’s interested in, he can certainly do that…but I think it would very weird if he wrote about me on that blog!

  • Reply leelupiku August 8, 2012 at 2:11 am

    Your blog and twitter feed are fab! Thanks for taking some questions. We recently moved from Seattle to Portland, Ore., and are working on our new place. I often head to your blog for inspiration when I’m feeling overwhelmed. Here’s one of the challenges: I have a tendency to select darker fabric colors – similar to some of yours. Do you have any advice on how to protect darker upholstery from fading due to sunlight? I didnt think it would be that different here lightwise. We have semi-transparent cellular shades, but it seems like the color is definitely fading.

    • Anna @ D16 August 8, 2012 at 7:19 am

      Sorry, no, this isn’t something I’ve ever worried about. I guess I don’t really care if stuff fades (and it does).

      I think that might be a question better directed to Martha Stewart. 🙂

    • Leelupiku August 9, 2012 at 12:10 pm

      Hee! That question does sound a little martha-esque.

      Ah, screw it. I’ll let it fade. It’s nice to have a bit more light in the house.


  • Reply adair August 8, 2012 at 10:47 am


    first of all – your blog is wonderful. i happened upon it a while ago when i was searching for some photoshop tips and found your ‘how to make a circle in photoshop’. anyways, that kind of relates to my question. i have hardly any skills in photoshop, etc. and i desperately want to learn. in all reality,i would really like to go back to school and get a degree in graphic design, but having a full time job really hinders that; so i am relying on teaching myself how to use photoshop and i am not sure where to begin.
    do you have any suggestion of good books and/or online tutorials/programs that you use/d or find helpful? anything really to get me started?

    thanks so much anna!

    • Anna @ D16 August 8, 2012 at 11:11 am

      Hi there! The only time I ever had formal Photoshop classes was in art school, and it was a much less sophisticated program back then. That was about 17 years ago (yikes!), and I’ve just been continually growing my skills since then through no other means than daily use. It’s a necessary tool for doing my job. I really don’t refer to Photoshop tutorials myself, but I love Katrina’s Pugly Pixel blog. I always recommend it to people (particularly bloggers!) who are interested in learning neat tricks and techniques for photo editing.

      That said, PHOTOSHOP IS NOT GRAPHIC DESIGN. I cannot stress this enough. Just like someone who knows how to operate a scalpel is not a surgeon, someone who knows how to use Photoshop is not a graphic designer. If you want to learn about graphic design, that needs to start with design history, color theory, typography, and all of the other basic fundamentals of design. This doesn’t necessarily need to come in the form of a formal education, but I definitely think a GOOD (emphasis on the good) graphic design program at a university within a Fine Arts program (culminating in a BFA) is an excellent route to choose if that’s an option for you.

      A good friend of mine, Nubby Twiglet, took a much more non-traditional path to becoming a professional graphic designer, however. She’s addressed this question in various ways on her blog in the past, and you may find her answers helpful:

    • adair August 8, 2012 at 1:21 pm

      you answered my question and even more so.
      if you have any favourite books on design history, color theory, typography, and all of the other basic fundamentals of design, etc i’d love to check them out.

      thanks for being so nice — i feel like a complete newbie and just needed a push in the right direction. so THANK YOU.

  • Reply Ali August 8, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Hi, Anna!

    I never commented before, but I too wanted to express my appreciation for your blog. I love your aesthetic and the fact that you restored your house, rather than just replacing old items with new. I moved into an old house about a year ago and the sash cord on every single window was broken. I never would have thought that I could fix it myself, but, thanks to your post on the topic, I thought, “might as well try, right?”

    So, I suppose that there’s no question from me, just a gush fest. On my final note, I would like to add that your relationship with Daniel is incredibly adorable and I cannot fathom the level of awesomeness that must exist when the two of you are together.

    • Anna @ D16 August 8, 2012 at 3:17 pm

      Oh, thank you, that’s very nice to hear! Aren’t old windows great? Once you figure out how they work and how to fix them, you really do have to wonder why anyone would replace them with new ones.

      And yes, Daniel and I make a pretty good team! He’s a great friend and a wonderful person. I’m lucky to know him.

  • Reply Paige August 8, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Hi, Anna! Thanks for doing this post! It’s great to learn so much about you that you don’t necessarily write about in your regular blog posts. I’ve been reading for a long time and never commented before, but here goes nothing!
    First off, I’m curious about your take on curtains also (I read the question up above about curtains on sliding doors) because I recently moved into an old school building (I live in a tiny town in Vermont) where we have 12′ ceilings, and 6′ windows–I keep going back and forth on whether I should look for curtains that would essentially fit the window space (like hang just below the sill) or curtains that I could hang from the mid-point of the window down, or whether the curtains should hang quite a ways below the sill because it seems like cutting them off at the sill would look as if I just couldn’t find long enough curtains. I though you might have a good idea for me considering you live in an old house and your last apartment seemed to have nice big windows as well.
    Secondly, a quick (and very random!) question about your veganism. I have a few friends who are vegan (I am not but most, if not all, animal products I consume are locally raised) and my boyfriend is vegetarian so I rarely eat meat at home but I’ve recently started to kind of despise (or at least have little interest in) meat/dairy substitutes (like packaged fake chicken and Earth Balance, specifically) simply because they are processed products and usually are not any better at all for you than the “real thing” and I’m wondering if there are certain vegan substitutes that you try to avoid, or what kinds of things you use as “main courses” in your meals. I’m trying to cook and eat much more healthily and we eat lots of veggies and fruits, but sometimes that’s not enough to build a meal.

    Sorry I went off on a bit of a tangent there, but I hope my questions make sense.

    Thank you!

    • Anna @ D16 August 8, 2012 at 1:08 pm

      Hi Paige! First of all, I don’t do curtains. I just don’t. I gave up trying a long time ago, because I can just never get them to look right. I’m really not into the whole “wall of fabric” thing—it’s just too fussy. Also, in an older home with more details (window casings, etc.), I’d much rather have the focus be on the windows and the light they allow in. I always default to light-filtering roller shades, like the ENJE from IKEA.

      So I’m not help there, haha…

      I don’t eat much of those packaged meat/dairy substitutes. I think they’re great for people who are trying to wean themselves off of meat or for vegetarians and vegans who want to feel “normal” when they’re out to dinner with friends or at a cookout, though—it’s just a nice option to have, and certainly having processed foods in your diet occasionally isn’t the end of the world. (I bake cookies maybe once or twice a year, for example, and use Earth Balance when I do. I think it’s OK to eat cookies that aren’t “healthy” every now and then!)

      I suggest checking out the Post Punk Kitchen website and Isa Moskowitz’s cookbooks. She rarely (if ever) uses processed substitutes in her recipes, preferring to make everything from scratch.

  • Reply Annie August 8, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Hey Anna, do you participate in social media? I know you use twitter, and hate pinterest, but what about facebook? I don’t want to add you or anything, I’m just curious because I find that it wastes a lot of my time, and it seems like you get a LOT of shit done.

    Thank you!


    • Anna @ D16 August 8, 2012 at 12:44 pm

      Yes, there’s actually a link to the D16 Facebook page in the sidebar! Posts from here feed through automatically, and a few times a week I’ll share an Instagram photo or a link to something I find interesting. It takes up a maximum of 5 minutes per day for me. (I do also have a personal account, but it’s mainly for keeping up with my family’s photos.) Beyond that, I don’t really have much interest in or attraction to Facebook.

      Twitter is a different story! I love Twitter, and I find it keeps me stimulated and aware during the workday. It’s a help, not a hindrance—the stress relief it provides is much needed. If I need to focus on something without any distraction, I simply close the window.

      Also, for what it’s worth, I would never actually say the words “I hate Pinterest.” I disagree with their business practices and policies and choose not to use the site myself (or permit my content to be subject to their TOS), but making a statement like that is really not in keeping with the kind of person I am or the language I choose to use when speaking critically. Just want to clear that up.

  • Reply Annie August 8, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to put words in your mouth. I should take a tip from you and start paying attention to how I say things.

    • Anna @ D16 August 8, 2012 at 1:09 pm

      That’s OK! I just want to make sure my feelings are represented accurately. 🙂

  • Reply Elena August 8, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Hi Anna. I know you love coffee but do you drink alcoholic beverages? If so, what is your favorite cocktail/wine? Thanks, Elena

    • Anna @ D16 August 8, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      No, I don’t drink any alcohol at all.

  • Reply Simone August 8, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    OK, I thought about this and have the following questions (in random order; they’re not really that relevant, just asking out of interest):
    1. What is -at the moment your favourite thing at IKEA?
    1.b. what is your favourite thing from the new IKEA PS collection?
    1.c. What is our favourite thing from the IKEA-Stockholm collection?
    2. Do you like the Talking Heads?
    3. Are you going to do a post on your mother(‘s house)? I heard she has great style.
    4. Did you get your driving license yet? (I got mine when I was 38 -I think (so basicly yesterday because I am not very old LOL)- I love driving now)
    5. What is your favourite museum in New York and do you ever go to the museum?
    6. Do you have a favourite furniture brand?
    7. Do you have a favourite architectural designer or interior designer?

    And a tip: if you would like to see a program -that in my mind- has a wonderful Swedish atmosphere (maybe your mother would like it as well) and is also really great TV, is Wallander (a detective), the BBC-version starring Kenneth Branagh. It all happens in Ystad on the coast. Maybe you already know about it… (The writer of Wallander is a son-in law of Ingmar Bergman, by the way.)
    P.S. If you like I can give you my answers to these questions in exchange.

    Have a wonderful day!!!

    • Anna @ D16 August 8, 2012 at 3:14 pm

      1. Do they still sell the Hella Jongerius pots? If so, those.
      1.b. I haven’t seen it yet!
      1.c. B&W striped RAND rug.
      2. Very much so, yes.
      3. I don’t know, that’s really up to her.
      4. No.
      5. MoMA and yes…
      6. I like too many different things to have a favorite.
      7. Charles & Ray Eames.

      Thanks for the TV show tip, I will look it up! 🙂

  • Reply Lena August 8, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    I’ve already asked my questions but just wanted to say how much I liked your answers about religion and marriage! The structures of the relationship are more important than ceremonys more or less describes my thoughts on its as well! (I mean, my sister and her boyfriend have been together for more than 10 years, live together for about ten years and decided to have a baby about a year ago (she’s now pregnant) if they ever marry or not won’t change a thing about their relationship).

  • Reply Lyndsee August 8, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Hi Anna. As always, really enjoy your blog. The Q&A posts are always fun.

    On to my question. I’m in the market for a new bed. I’d like to invest in something comfy and good quality. Do you have an IKEA bed? I can’t tell from the photos. If so, how do you like it?

    • Anna @ D16 August 9, 2012 at 9:44 am

      Yes, we have three IKEA beds and three IKEA mattresses—two at the house (bedroom and guestroom) and one at the apartment. They’ve been great, no complaints!

  • Reply Luisa August 8, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Hi Anna, I love your blog, and you have great style! Will have to try the hair products you recommended!
    I am just curious, since you work with books, do you still enjoy reading books on your off time? What are some of your favorite books, or books you read recently that you really loved?

    • Anna @ D16 August 9, 2012 at 11:26 pm

      Hi Luisa, yes, I’ve always been an avid reader! That’s really how I wound up going into book cover design—I just really want to be around books all the time.

      I’m really bad a picking favorites (as you can tell from all of the other replies above, haha), but some of my favorite authors are Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen King, Jonathan Safran Foer, JD Salinger, Arthur Nersersian, Douglas Coupland, Bret Easton Ellis, Nick Hornby, Meg Wolitzer, Tove Jansson, David Sedaris, David Rakoff, Charles Bukowski, James Whorton…this is really just off the top of my head and is obviously limited to a very small number! I don’t like making favorites lists! I tried. 😉

  • Reply Kelly August 9, 2012 at 12:30 am

    Hi Anna! Long time reader, first time poster. Like you, and for work purposes, I commute between two cities, but back in the late 80s I lived on Water Street in Newburgh, specifically in the Ferry Crossing Condos. Are they still standing?

    Also, how do you manage your wardrobe living between two places? That’s most frustrating for me, as it always seems as though the item I want is at the other place. (I exclusively wear black, gray and white, so I can usually make do.) Any tips? Duplicates? Separate wardrobes?

    Anyway, I really LOVE your blog and FB updates. Thank you for having such a fun spot on the Web. Be well.

    • Anna @ D16 August 9, 2012 at 9:49 am

      Hi Kelly, yes, the condos are still there.

      I’m probably not a good person to ask about wardrobe-related stuff, because all of my clothes pretty much look the same…and I don’t have a very extensive wardrobe (that’s putting it mildly). I have a dress, two pairs of jeans, a couple of t-shirts, and several cardigans (all of which are hole-ridden and ratty). I don’t really think about what to wear on any given day, and I have no issues with wearing the same clothes two (or three!) days in a row. Aside from a couple of pairs of sandals, I also don’t have “seasonal” clothes—yes, I wear cardigans and jeans all summer. The only thing I really have to remember to keep track of is my coat in the winter.

      Sorry I don’t have a more interesting answer, haha! Anyone who knows me can tell you I’m a “uniform” kind of dresser…

  • Reply Jeanne August 9, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Hi Anna!

    I’ve thought long and hard about what to ask you and the only thing I can come up with is about mail polish. I bought a bottle of Seche Vita top coat after you recommended it on instagram. How exactly do you use it? I have applied it once with the nail polish totally wet and it was a disaster. I’ve gotten the best results from
    painting all the nails on one hand then applying the top coat, then move onto the other hand. It seems to work just fine, but I was wondering how you usually apply it. Do you use a base coat also? How long do you expect it to last?


    • Anna @ D16 August 9, 2012 at 6:04 pm

      Here’s how to do my nails:
      1. Nail polish remover (even if nails are bare)
      2. Smooth edges, push back cuticals
      3. Base coat (I use Barielle Instant Liquid Nail Hardener) / let dry completely
      4. Two coats polish (mostly Essie brand) / let dry for 5 minutes between coats
      5. Seche Vite top coat / applied about 30 seconds after I finish painting the 2nd coat of color on all 10 nails
      6. One drop of OPI Drying Drops on each nail

      I hope that helps! 🙂 I can usually expect 3–5 days of wear before I get chips, but I’m pretty hard on my nails.

  • Reply eMILY August 9, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Hi Anna,

    I’ve been a reader/fan for several years now and am always inspired by your creative home design, and respect your strong personal beliefs on many issues (whether or not I agree with you). My question is a follow-up to one listed above. I’ve wondered if you drank alcohol only because its something you don’t see on here and now we know you don’t, but I am curious to know why? I myself don’t drink either and my reasons are very personal so I’m wondering what are yours? If you don’t mind sharing…

    Thank you for doing these, btw. Its an interesting thing to see other people’s questions 🙂

    • Anna @ D16 August 9, 2012 at 5:47 pm

      Hi Emily, I’ve never been a big alcohol drinker, but I cut it out completely for personal reasons about a year ago.

  • Reply Emma August 9, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Hi Anna!
    Just wanted to say that it was so refreshing for me as a Swede to read your views on religion. It’s still really hard for me to comprehend how religious the US really is, to think that many people are actually offended by atheism. For me and 99% of my friends and family in Scandinavia it’s the most natural thing in the world.
    Oh, and I love your blog and your style!

    • Anna @ D16 August 9, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      It’s funny, I guess it’s because I live in New York, but I don’t personally have a sense of the US being very religious at all on a day-to-day basis. It’s really only when you start hearing bigoted right-wingers trying to use their religious beliefs to dictate rule of law that I realize how pervasive religion (or at least Christianity—all others are expected to shut up and be quiet, I guess!) is culturally and, sadly, politically.

    • Lorie August 9, 2012 at 11:51 pm

      “Ouch” says this right-wing, Christian conservative that loves your blog… 🙂 And let me take it a step further by saying I homeschool my kiddos too! lol Which I never thought I would as I don’t wear jumpers or bake my own bread, you know?? Seriously, I love that we live in a country that allows the freedom of religion and the freedom to not have any religion. And I never want anyone to shut up and be quiet! Religion and politics are two of my very favorite things to discuss. Much to my husbands dismay at times… lol

      Love reading thru your q&a… Always interesting!!! And I have always had issues with curtains too. They cause me much stress!!!

    • Lorie August 9, 2012 at 11:53 pm

      And that reads like I have more than one husband. Which I don’t. I promise. 🙂 I don’t have that kind of time… lol

    • Emma August 10, 2012 at 10:04 am

      Yeah I know, what if the president said that he didn’t believe in God – that would probably be a huge no-no in the US, which I find weird. Like being religious is the starting point, the default mode. Well, at least he was able to say that he supports gay marriage, and that’s a big step in the right direction! 🙂

  • Reply Mariane August 9, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Hi Anna!

    Thank you for doing this, I understand how time consuming this is! Also, I’m glad you are back! So, I would like to know if you are still happy with your cold brewing bodum machine?! Also, do you think the lumix camera is good in very close close-up? Yeah weird question but I need a camera for taking pictures of my jewels!
    Thank you!
    Have a great week end!

    • Anna @ D16 August 9, 2012 at 10:59 pm

      Yes, I still use my Bodum press all the time!

      I don’t use a Lumix anymore (I have Leica), so I’m about 5 years behind the times as far as their current models go. Mine was great with close-up, though. I’d suggest you take a look at some of the camera review sites for the specific models you’re interested in and see what you think. 🙂

  • Reply Demetra August 9, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Hello Anna,

    A few questions, s’il vous plaît :

    – What is your favourite colour?
    – What kinds of things inspire you, for your job AND your home? (I’m sure you’ve been asked this a thousand times, sorry.)
    – Do you listen to any podcasts, or the radio?
    – If you had to choose one thing to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be!

    Thank you!

    • Anna @ D16 August 9, 2012 at 5:58 pm

      Hi Demetra!

      I don’t think I have a favorite color, but I’ll just say white or black or gray since that’s easy. I like all colors, really, it just depends how and where they’re used.

      It’s very hard for me to answer the inspiration question. I wrote this in another reply above, and I’ll repeat it here:
      Hmmmm…I’m not sure that I have any specific go-to sources for inspiration. I really do take inspiration from everything around me all the time, and it’s not necessarily linear—a piece of music can make me think about typography in a certain way, for example. As far as interiors go, I think the longest-standing sources of inspiration for me are Charles and Ray Eames, Terrance Conran…and my mother. 🙂

      More than anything, though, I’m inspired by people with passion who take chances and push themselves to try new things. That sounds like a cliché, I know, but it’s a rare quality! I am lucky to have a small handful of close friends who fall into this category, and my admiration for their determination keeps me going.

      I listen to the radio (WNYC, a National Public Radio affiliate) from morning until night! I don’t really watch television aside from a show or two—radio is IT for me.

      That’s an impossible question! Hmmm…if I didn’t think it would eventually kill me, I guess I’d go with popcorn. Preferably with liquid aminos, nutritional yeast, and dried kale sprinkled on top!

  • Reply Bernadette August 9, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Have you just recently stopped drinking alcohol (I recall a photo of a delicious looking white russian)? Was this a decision made on health grounds?

    • Anna @ D16 August 9, 2012 at 5:48 pm

      I stopped drinking alcohol completely about a year ago for personal reasons, but I was never much of a drinker to begin with.

  • Reply Jessica August 9, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Hi Anna,

    My questions are…

    1. —
    2. I know your vegan, would you have any good suggestions on what type of foods someone who is considering going that route can try? Or perhaps a restaurant to check out that can convert me lol?
    3. What type of juices and smoothies you like to drink?

    • Anna @ D16 August 9, 2012 at 11:16 pm

      Hi Jessica,

      Sorry—I deleted your first question. That’s beyond my public boundaries. 😉

      If you’re interested in being vegan, I think the key is really to approach it not from the standpoint of being swayed by specific foods but rather from an ethical and ecological standpoint. I know I’d already said this in a couple of other replies, but I really do recommend reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s book Eating Animals. You can read my review of it and learn a little bit more about my history with vegetarianism and veganism in this post:

      Again, I know I’m repeating myself from earlier comments, but I’d suggest trying out the recipes at the Post Punk Kitchen (there’s a great community forum you can join, too!), as well as the books written by its founder, Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

      (Do you live in NYC? If so, scroll up a bit and you’ll see a list of recommended restaurants!)

      I don’t have a juicer yet so I haven’t been experimenting with making my own juice, but I tend to opt for more veggie-based juices than ones with lots of fruit in them. Lately kale, apple, cucumber, parsley and ginger has been my favorite! My favorite smoothie comes from Terri on W 23rd St: kale, pear, banana, almond milk and almond butter.

  • Reply Jill August 9, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    I’ve been trying to come up with a stumper of a question for a couple of days now. 😉 Here goes:

    I know you love Evan / your job / your house / your apartment in BK / ad naseum, but if you had to choose ONE parallel universe fantasy to live in, what would it be? Sky’s the limit.

    • Anna @ D16 August 9, 2012 at 11:05 pm

      I know this might sound like a cop-out, but I don’t really think about life like that—ever. I don’t even think about my current life as some kind of set unit of being, nor do I ever think it’s the perfect existence. I’m too much of a realist.

      Sometimes I think it would be nice to open a vegan coffee shop. Or to have been born with a bigger brain and be an architect. That’s kind of the extent of it, though. I’m just not the type to fantasize! I don’t really even have any goals or ambitions beyond what I can foresee within the near future and taking into account my life as it is.

      There is no parallel universe, so I don’t consider it. I’m much more concerned with being content with the here and now.

      I feel like that’s a really dry, serious answer to what should be a fun question! I’m sorry. I know if I tried to come up with something better that I’d just be making stuff up, though—and that wouldn’t be me.

    • Jill August 9, 2012 at 11:15 pm

      yawwwwwn. Guess I won’t forward that email I got looking for Morrissey world tour promoters. 😉

    • Anna @ D16 August 9, 2012 at 11:17 pm

      Hahaha! Sorry, I know…I’m boring! Everyone who works with him winds up being hated by him, so I’m probably better off at a distance anyway. 😉

  • Reply Lorie August 9, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    This may sound really weird but I stumbled onto your blog looking for ways to wear Frye boots. It was after my first miscarriage (Dec 2008) and after I left the drs office my husband wanted to know what I wanted to do and I wanted a pair of boots. It didn’t take away the pain but it def gave me something else to think about. Mainly sticker shock. 🙂 But I still have those boots and I still LOVE them!! I have the Campus boots and unfortunately have never found any other Frye boots that fit me as well as they do. What are your fave Frye boots and are there any other styles you are itching to put your tootsies in??

    • Anna @ D16 August 11, 2012 at 11:14 am

      Oops, I missed this question!! Sorry, LoriE. 😉

      Well, I would LOVE to have a pair of Campus boots! I’ve actually never even tried that style on. Let’s see…I have three pairs (distressed white, brown, and gray/cream ombré) of the Veronica Slouch style, one pair (gray) of Paige ankle boots, and one pair (black) in a style name I can’t remember—they’re knee-high and kind of “scrunchy.” I love my Frye boots, and knowing that they’ll last for decades really eases the sticker shock. Once a year, I have the heels rebuilt (if necessary) and a thin piece of rubber put on the bottom to extend the wear. I also have them cleaned and waterproofed before winter kicks in since I’m really hard on my shoes and do a lot of walking outside in the snow, slush and salt. Every few years I might need to get the soles totally replaced, which only costs about $30.

      They’ve definitely ruined me for lesser-quality footwear, that’s for sure!

    • Lorie August 12, 2012 at 3:02 pm

      I never thought about having a piece of rubber put on the bottom. I may have to have that done before fall gets here. I have always used Doc Marten stuff (is it a wax? Dunno) on mine. It kind of changed the color a bit but so far so good at protecting them. Do you have yours professionally cleaned and treated?

  • Reply joana August 10, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    i don’t know if anyone asked this before… i loved your washington heights apartment, and i was wondering where did you get the light fixtures on your living room walls? i was looking for something simple to replace the ugly gold/brassy ones that come with nyc apartments.

  • Reply Donna August 11, 2012 at 12:28 am

    Do you ever fret about your career or think about what might come next in that regard? Also, would you say you know Indesign, Illustrator as well as you know Photoshop? I’m a self-taught, inhouse, corporate designer and I feel like I will never know everything I need to know where the apps are concerned. I’ve been at the same place too long but don’t know where else to go. I can’t compete with agency/advertising designers and their amazing portfolios. I constantly worry about this and sometimes it makes me want to throw in the towel especially since I am primarily a print designer and know very little web beyond some basic code, making static banners (I don’t know Flash, After Effects). I am going to take an intro to web dev course soon but I wonder why sometimes since there will always be someone more talented than me. I only have to look at Behance to see that.

    • Anna @ D16 August 11, 2012 at 11:06 am

      Hi Donna, yes, I use the entire CS suite when I work. Each of those programs has its own purpose, and I use them as needed. Photo editing is done in Photoshop, vector graphics are created in Illustrator, and layouts are put together in InDesign. As I said in an earlier comment, I haven’t taken any classes for these programs since I was in art school (and never when it comes to InDesign, which didn’t exist then), but I learn as I go. I think it’s a huge mistake for designers to worry too much about the technology side of things—yes, of course you need to know how to use the tools required, but it’s far more important to focus on being a better designer. Good design is independent of the software used to carry it out.

      And no, I never fret about my career or worry about the future. I’ve been a book cover designer for 15 years, and have no interest in moving into another field. For what it’s worth, I’ve never worked at an agency or in advertising, I am primarily a print designer, I don’t know Flash or After Effects nor do I have any desire to learn, and I’ve never taken a course in web design or development. I also don’t look at other people’s portfolios and I don’t know what Behance is, so maybe that’s the key to happiness. 😉

  • Reply zivar August 11, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    hey there,

    i found your site through sweetfineday and i’m quite curious about your transition from brooklyn – newburg. my fiance and i are moving to beacon on sept. 1, after returning from a year in san francisco and realizing that ten years in brooklyn is enough.

    i would love to hear about your local favorite food spots/music, newburg vs beacon, and any other tips and thought… where i could take a photoshop class or two? nadav, my fiance, will be commuting more often to the city for meetings and other filmmaking mysteries and i will be spending most of my days in beacon working on my photography and pie skills.

    thanks and lots of good things on this saturday afternoon..

    • Anna @ D16 August 12, 2012 at 1:19 am

      Hi Zivar, I’ll do my best to answer some of your questions! We actually rented a house in Beacon for a year before buying our place in Newburgh.

      I actually haven’t eaten in Beacon in years (we rarely go over there anymore since our favorite antique store closed a while back), but there’s a place called Zora Dora that has good frozen deserts. In Newburgh, I love Caffe Macchiato for breakfast and lunch. There’s also a good restaurant/bar down the street called Wherehouse that’s really fun. They have live music, but I don’t go on those nights (I don’t like to combine music and food!). I don’t know anything about live music in Beacon. There are tons of restaurants down by the river in Newburgh, but we never go because virtually nothing is vegan.

      I don’t know anything about Photoshop classes, sorry!

      Hmmm…I think this isn’t very helpful! To be honest, we really don’t go out to eat much at all up here. The options are just so limited for vegans, and I prefer to cook at home when I’m not in NYC.

  • Reply Anna @ D16 August 12, 2012 at 1:20 am

    OK, time’s up! The cutoff was actually two days ago, so on with the show…

    Thanks for all the great questions, everybody!! This was really fun. 🙂

  • Reply Lucy August 12, 2012 at 5:30 am

    Hi Anna!

    You say comments are closed but I am going to be very cheeky and try to get one last one in…

    I am have been reading your blog for a few years now and I enjoy it very much, so thank you. I think one of the things that fascinates me most about what you share is the degree of order, exactitude and consideration that seems to go into your life. What you eat, what you buy, what you wear, how you organise your home, and so on.

    It is something that I aspire to, and I wanted to ask, do you have any philosophies on how you curate your possessions? Not so much new purchases, as much as deciding how to cull and ensure your home and life remains clutter free? Although if you have anything to share on the front end (bringing it into your home), I am all ears too.

    I sometimes struggle to cull due to ‘just in case’ thinking. And, mainly with clothes, I sometimes wind up with things that aren’t ‘quite right’ and end up just taking up room in my cupboard. The wastefulness irks me!

    If you choose not to answer, that’s ok, I’ll wait until next time!

    • Anna @ D16 August 21, 2012 at 10:13 am

      Hi Lucy, sorry for the delay in replying! I really did have to cut off comments on the 10th because my schedule was so crazy, but I have some time again now. 🙂

      I’m not sure I’m the best person to comment on the clothing thing since that’s an area where I repeatedly fail miserably and am forever wearing the same two things and sending everything off to Goodwill!

      Beyond that, I definitely wouldn’t say that my home and life are “clutter free.” I constantly feel disorganized…both when it comes to my possessions and my frame of mind. I don’t fear clutter, though, and I’m by no means a minimalist! I think my only conscious “rule” (if you want to call it that) is to only buy things I really like, but that’s probably true for everyone unless they’re caught up in some kind of status spiral.

      And finally: “Curating” is for museums. I believe in “moving stuff around until it looks nice.” 😉

  • Reply Fritz August 12, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    wow that was an interesting read…best of luck to you

  • Reply kat August 13, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Not fair! I was on vacation last week and am just catching up. 😉

    I think you mentioned quite a while back that you were going to address the question about non-edible animal products (leather, hides, etc.). I’m very curious about your take on this, as I’m close to being full-on vegan and I do struggle with this issue. If I missed something along the line…well…I must have been on vacation. 😉

    Thanks so much for putting yourself “out there”, Anna. 🙂

    • Anna @ D16 August 21, 2012 at 10:16 am

      I don’t remember saying that? Hmmm. Well, I can definitely keep that in mind for a future post.

      I don’t self-identify as a vegan, though, for what it’s worth. I see all of life as a series of ongoing choices that you make on a constant basis. I don’t believe in subscribing to a preset list of ethics.

  • Reply Jennifer Vercelli August 13, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Shoot, I missed the cutoff. What I wanted to ask is if you can give me a tutorial on recreating your eye makeup in the pic heading this post. I’m so lame when it comes to makeup and when I saw that pic I instantly wanted to fly you to LA for a personal lesson!

    If I’m too late, I will save this question for the future.


    • Anna @ D16 August 21, 2012 at 10:20 am

      Hah! Well, there’s a link to the shadow I used in my reply to the third comment on this post. Beyond that…

      1. Curl eyelashes
      2. Mush some black eyeliner on with your finger
      3. Mush some brownish eyeshadow on with your finger
      4. Apply mascara

      That’s about it! I definitely do NOT ever do anything fancy with eye makeup. I never “contour” or whatever or use little brushes or liquid eyeliner. I think the fact that I’m looking down in the photo maybe creates an illusion there’s more fanciness happening than there actually is. 😉

  • Reply mopar August 25, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Hi Anna — Would love to know more about what you’re planning for your kitchen in Newburgh. The basic configuration is similar to ours, and I do love how you’ve set it up currently. We also had to move our fridge out of the spot where yours is. I agree you don’t need much besides tile, if that. If you were going to add something, maybe more built-in type units? We also have lighting issues. We put in two pendants over the sink, but in retrospect sconces all around on the walls might be a good idea.

  • Reply Anna @ D16 August 25, 2012 at 11:50 am

    No more questions on this post, please! The cutoff was August 9th. Thank you. 😉

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