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Catherine Ledner {+ Her Animals!}

If this isn’t the cutest way to start the weekend… Say it along with me, awwww. If you are an animal lover like I am, you’ll want to hug and kiss Catherine’s crew. Just look at these darling creatures modeling in front of some of our favorite wallpapers, including the lovely Cole & Son Cow Parsley in yellow. I love this little owl, I have always wanted to own either an owl or a trained falcon that I could send off on little missions. :) I dreamed of them as a little girl. I think in reality keeping one would not be practical for me, so I have set my heart on brightly colored finches or a lovely little blue + yellow parakeet instead. Off topic, but do you have a bird or have you ever enjoyed one as a pet? Tell me, tell me! I love the little guy shown below. He’s darling!


Okay back on topic. This is the work of Californian photography Catherine Ledner who is a professional photographer with an impressive list of clients that include Vanity Fair, Travel & Leisure, and New York Times Magazine to name a few. I can’t stop looking at her photos, such personality!


I can only imagine the patience and skill involved in photographing animals — I think she must snap a thousand photos and spend days in the field to capture the perfect image. These limited edition prints range in price from $250 – 1,700. To view more of her work, please visit her website + store, Catherine’s Animals where she features an array of animals from A-Z!

(photography: catherine ledner)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, Rooms on June 13, 2008

Ah, Summer!

Today has been the first beautiful day all year, at least according to me, so I spent most of it outdoors enjoying the sun and working on an assignment since I really needed to step away from the computer for a day. Ever get that feeling? I couldn’t sit at my desk any longer! I didn’t walk away from my corporate career to spend summers locked indoors in front of a computer all over again, so I felt like today was my chance to show myself why I decided to pursue a freelance career in the first place: Creative freedom and the ability to call the shots from time to time. Today I gave myself a break and it was really nice.

“Be Kind To Yourself”

After being out and about, I am now at my desk once again but this time I feel refreshed, totally inspired, and energized. I’m thinking about all of the fun summer plans I have, my upcoming 7 week painting class, my 7th year wedding anniversary next month, and all of the lovely decor8 readers who visit me here each day. I cannot tell you how much I love knowing you all through this blog.

Just one day of being in the sun can truly make a difference and I have a new tan to show for it. :) Anyway, thank you for allowing me this mini vacation day off, please join me here tomorrow for a full day of blogging and lots of links to take you into the weekend and keep you clicking around. See you tomorrow!

(photography by holly becker)

Posted in uncategorized on June 12, 2008

Sponsor Savings

A few decor8 sponsors asked if they could offer readers a special discount and I couldn’t refuse given how we all love to save money! You can find the full scoop from Fabulous Stationery and Penny People Designs listed below. I hope that some of you are able to cash in on these great deals!

Save 20% on everything (except gift certificates)!
You can also get a free eco tote when you purchase any of the eco notes
or spend $25 or more elsewhere at Fabulous Stationery.
Valid until: June 23, 2008
Enter code: decor8 at checkout.
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Save 20% on everything including custom work
at Penny People Designs.
Valid until: June 27, 2008
Enter code: decor8 at checkout.
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Thank you both for these terrific offers!

(images from fabulous stationery and penny people)

Posted in stationery on June 11, 2008

Get Real: e-Decorating – Your Thoughts?

There’s a new crop of decorators out there offering what is called e-decorating that may well be the next big thing in design. I took on some e-clients a few years ago, I met them through decor8 and offered them consulting (for a fee) via email and telephone. It was so much fun but quite time consuming so I decided to step back for a bit. I’m still trying to figure out if it is something that I would like to do again, I see so much value in it as I love the idea of being available to all — not just greater Boston. I also completely ‘get’ that people have busy schedules and a limited budget and need to connect to someone for decorating help via the web – fast and easy. I think many would love to tap into the brains of some of our favorite decorators (or bloggers!) for their personal opinions about our space or for much more… help in pulling together a complete room simply through email. Someone to look at our photos, review our floor plan, make suggestions, send us a few mood boards to select from, and email lots of product links our way. Doesn’t that sound heavenly?

Well this service exists and it’s called e-decorating. Did you know that the Betsy Burnham offers a similar service called Instant Space (I’ve heard that it is amazing)? It is still out of reach for most when it comes to pricing, it’s not something all can fit into their budget since prices range from $895-1,495 per room. Of course, hiring Burnham’s firm to design in real time would cost way more than her through-the-mail decorating service, so it is a great way to save money if you look at it from that perspective. And c’mon. It’s Betsy Burnham. I would hire her in a second just for the tips as I’m sure she could teach me a thing or two, or ten thousand.

Then there are other amazing designers out there who are a lot more affordable like Vanessa De Vargas who runs the LA-based design firm Turquoise. You know Vanessa because she writes here on decor8 from time to time. She just launched an e-decorating service that is doing quite well. Everyone loves Vanessa. The girl is just contagious, from her personality to her style and ability to connect to ‘real’ people on budgets. I love that about her. She doesn’t refer her clients to $700 lamps, if they want something from IKEA she’ll find them a $30 pendant and because she knows how to pull a room together, that $30 light will rock like it’s $700. Her rates range from $450-500 per room. Considering the time and energy it takes to do this work, she is keeping it real without losing money herself. I think her prices are quite good.

I simply cannot mention e-decorating and not highlight the lovely Elfya Van Muylem, lead designer and founder of NYC-based Home Refiner. This lady is amazing on so many levels. I blogged about her diy videos back in February if the name sounds familiar. Above is a photo of a package she sent over that usually goes to her prospective virtual clients. I had a phone conversation with Elfya a few months ago and she was enthusiastic, professional, and extremely knowledgeable. I thought her presentation via mail was just great, and the package contained client worksheets and questions so she could better understand personal tastes and needs. I’m not exactly sure of her rates, but I heard she is within reach. And you know something that is totally unrelated but shows how classy Elfya is? Her website. You have to click here, turn up the sound, and listen to the gorgeous music. I’ve been listening the entire time of writing this post, I think you’ll really like it. It shows me that she has layers to her personality, she’s emotional, warm, connected, I like that. And her taste in music is great.

So ladies and gents, what do you think about e-decorating? Is it something you’d consider? What would you call an ‘affordable’ per room fee? What do you expect as a client?

(photography by holly becker)

Posted in get real thursdays, inspiration on June 10, 2008

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