packing for Europe.

packing for travel | dotted design

There are few things as exciting as looking forward to travel. Brendan and I are about to embark on our first international trip since we went to Iceland and visit Prague, Vienna, and Budapest. If you’ve been to any of these places, I’d LOVE to know your tips or recommendations, {especially on food!}. I love just wandering around cities looking for little gems, observing the culture, and of course finding beautiful pieces of design. I’d much rather see gorgeous architecture and sample bakeries than lay on a beach any day!

Though I haven’t quite carved out the time to pack yet {!}, I’m conducting some last minute research on the best items to bring on a trip where I want to bring as little as possible. The weather should be around the low 60s during the day, so layers are going to be my best friend. I always try to pack a lot of neutrals so I can mix and match everything throughout the trip. The hardest thing for me to find when traveling is shoes – there are so few that are both comfortable for walking dozens of miles a day and not too sporty or geriatric-looking. I’ve read good things about these loafers, but it’s always scary to make the investment without a test run. I’ve also got to load up on good books for the plane, and I’m aiming to finally finish The Goldfinch – only 600 pages to go!

While I won’t be posting while I’m away, I’ll be back in the saddle the first week of October. In the meantime, you can follow along on Instagram for some glimpses into our adventure.

What are your favorite items for travel? And send me those Prague/Vienna/Budapest ideas!

long cardigan | weekender | scarf
coin purse | the goldfinch | loafer
notebooks | crossbody handbag | jacket

style it / send it {13}

style it/send it on dotted design

Style It / Send It is back! I’m getting into fall so fast – the temperatures always seems to drop overnight. While I get reacquainted with scarves and sweaters, I’m loving these cozy-feeling cards to send warm wishes to anyone with a mailbox.

I have a backlog of design projects I’m just itching to share with you: stay tuned for some recent work coming soon to the blog! 

STYLE IT sweater, zara with ginger statement, kendra scott // SEND IT herbs and spices, rifle paper co. 

STYLE IT holly street jeanne, kate spade // SEND IT cocktails, the social type

STYLE IT embellished sweatshirt, loft // SEND IT marble, the social type

pattern play

Pattern Play on dotted design

One element of design that always fascinates me is patterns. They seem so simple, yet creating one can prove to be more complicated than one might think. It is all about combining the right amount of open space with the feature, whether that is polka dots, flowers, animals, or what not. And, this perfect balance might vary greatly across projects.

I’m currently working on a web design project that will be subtlely incorporating some patterns into the design, and it has made me obsessive in noticing beautiful patterns. I see them on people’s clothes on the streets, in the clouds, and [obviously] all over Pinterest. It can be hard to explain what draws me to some patterns over others. I’ve rounded up some of my current favorites here – what makes you love a pattern?

floral skirt | dotted pants | geometric flats | napkins | pearl clutch | pencils

chic desk accessories.

chic desk accessories | dotted design

Every August I get the itch to go shopping for school supplies. While it doesn’t make sense for me to stock up on Lisa Frank folders and stacks of notebook paper anymore, I do take this late summer opportunity to evaluate my office space.

One of the most important ways to feel motivated while you work is to have an inspiring workspace. Whether you have a home office, a cubicle, or a comfy couch that you work from, pretty accessories and organized surroundings can do wonders for your energy. When I come home to a desk piled in papers and notes scribbled on tiny yellow post-its, I don’t feel ready to conquer my tasks. When I take the time to organize and invest in cute notebooks and supplies, I can’t wait to make to-do lists, file my items, and design away!

I’ve rounded up some of the cutest office items around – dream office in the making! What are some of your go-to desk accessories?

nate berkus file folders because who doesn’t love a touch of metallic? // nasty gal peony rose & vanilla good smells are e-scent-ial // agenda to keep you on track // kate spade dear me notepad: perfect for to-do lists // kate spade bow push pins for starting that real life moodboard // kate spade bow usb a chic way to carry files // nate berkus stapler keep those papers together! // acrylic tape dispenser never know when you’ll need tape! // field notebook for notes during your calls // mint julep cup, design darling perfect for pens! // threshold letter sorter keep those papers somewhere

mint & mustard moodboard.

mint-mustard-grey moodboard | dotted design

It has become an funny pattern that every summer I seem to work with clients who love bright, bold colors and patterns. While those are always such fun projects, by the time August rolls around, I am ready for something softer. I love matching up these mint, mustard, and grey tones for this moodboard, and mixing in some block type and handwritten words.

Now, time to savor the few weeks that are left of summertime. I’ll be headed to northern Wisconsin in a couple weeks to spend a few days at a cabin on a small lake with plenty of time to relax (and let’s be honest, probably spend plenty of time on Pinterest). I also need to up my frequency at Purple Door, a local ice cream shop. What are your end of summer plans?

images via 2 3 4 5 6 7

free font Friday

free uppercase fonts on dotted design

In honor of the excitement that Friday brings, I’m rounding up some of my favorite free uppercase fonts as of late! How FUN is that?

Ostrich Sans: A nice thin, condensed font, this all-caps typeface is great for headlines or in logos.

Mensch: I love Lost Type Co-op, and this one has great rounded edges for a less harsh look.

Bebas Neue: Another all-caps friend, this is a bit more bold and always clean and sassy.

Haymaker: Another Lost Type creation, this one has some great character for when you have a project needing something more vintage yet refined.

Abraham Lincoln: The serif one of my collection today, this font feels stately, yet not too wide to take over a visual space.

Intro Inline: The bold one of the group, this typeface has some geometric sass going on.


Have a relaxing weekend, and if you want to keep up with my random sightings, hop on over to Instagram.


*Just a reminder, some of these are free for personal use only. Make sure to take note if you are using them commercially!