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Inspiration From Faraway Places

I’ve been looking over a lot of Dutch decorating magazines lately since a friend recently sent over a stack of magazines from the Netherlands as a present. It’s so exciting to see fresh ideas and new products, and I remain a fan of decor magazines from Australia, England, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands and France. I’m sure that you are fascinated with magazines outside of your home turf, you can learn so much about a culture and expose yourself to fresh decorating ideas that you may not have thought of before.


I especially like magazines that stay true to their voice. For instance, a theme I see in Swedish and Dutch magazines is their connection to simplicity, the outdoors, and on the other side, there is this folk style that I also like. But they are true to their culture and this is so important to me. They are innovative, constantly looking to make everyday objects more attractive, and nature is a constant theme. As a result, they feed the creative mind — you can’t help but feel your own wheels turning when you either visit these places or take a vacation through the pages of their popular design mags. Same with French magazines, like Marie Claire Id?es – so fabulous.


Some want to know the secret to pulling together a perfect room. There is no secret, no perfect room. Like art, I believe that decorating is open to interpretation. What one believes to be flawless another will criticize even when all of the principals of design are followed to absolute perfection. It comes down to personal style and emotion, how much of yourself you allow to shine through in your design, and believing in your own ability. I’ve been in homes where nothing made much sense from a design perspective, chairs out of scale, proportion all wrong, but the home felt far more welcoming than some of the showroom homes I’ve toured where perfection is the ultimate goal.

Decorating outside of the box is something many of us desire, we crave alternative ways to decorate so that our home doesn’t look like a catalog or ‘common’. To me, decorating is all about using our imagination, getting creative, and translating our personal style into our rooms so that our unique personalities shine through. Remaining true to yourself, decorating from an authentic place, that will ultimately make you feel more comfortable and safe in your abode. It’s inspiring to view how others decorate and to learn new tips, we often seek the advice of a pro and turn to the pages of our favorite glossies because they give us fuel. But ultimately we need to process these images through our own filters and see what results.

In the end, you will love your home if your energy, spirit, and style flow freely through it.


Speaking of inspiration and magazines, I find Dutch magazine VT Wonen a very good read. In this post I’ve included photos from homes of their readers homes featured on their site. You can view more of these lovely rooms right here.

(images from vt wonen magazine online)

Posted by decor8 in inspiration on June 13, 2008

Your comments...

  1. Betsy commented
    June 13th, 2008 at 6:14pm

    so simple and comfortable. such a refreshing look when compared to the excess of some american interior design.

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  2. paige commented
    June 13th, 2008 at 7:02pm

    oh, thanks for sharing this site. Great stuff!

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  3. SimplyGrove commented
    June 14th, 2008 at 6:29am

    Lovely stuff you have found!! Thank you Holly!!

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  4. Abbey Goes Design Scouting commented
    June 14th, 2008 at 2:41pm

    I love that pink ming armoire type thing!!!

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  5. The Lil Bee commented
    June 16th, 2008 at 2:45am

    What a cool trend, decorating only part of a wall with wallpaper. I really like that! I’ve been seeing pink accents a lot lately and I love the ones you’ve featured here. Like those tall vases in the window…LOVE! Thanks:)

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  6. Sarah commented
    June 16th, 2008 at 3:23pm

    I love VT Wonen! Every time I go to the Netherlands I pick up copies, and then hoard them!

    Wish we could get mags like this in the states for sure.

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  7. KarenB commented
    June 16th, 2008 at 3:49pm

    I love Marie Claire Ideas, too. I only wish it was in English. Do you have a way to figure out the instructions?

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  8. Honeygo Beasley commented
    June 16th, 2008 at 5:47pm

    Painting everything white seems to help make your accessories pop.

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  9. Femme Details commented
    June 17th, 2008 at 7:08am

    Really interior design… thanks for sharing

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  10. Anonymous commented
    June 18th, 2008 at 1:09pm

    Love the cow print & pretty much everything against the white environments. Would you know of an artist that accepts commissions for original oil paintings? I have a photo I’d like converted to a big painting for my living room…Thanks, James

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