Monthly Archives

March 2009

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How Much For This Room?

March 20, 2009

Working from home and in need of a little office inspiration? You’ll like this week’s edition of How Much For This Room? because it’s a great example of budget friendly design in action. This is the workspace of decor8 reader Maryse who lives in Montreal, Canada. What I love the most is that this talented lady hacked some IKEA products and built her desk out of doors. I also love her creative use of wallpaper, sweet!

How Much For This Room?

“As you will see, I bought a lot of my items from IKEA. It was the cheapest way to create a custom desk that answers all my needs and looks built in. I was to personalize the result by modifying things with wallpaper and spray paint.”

About Maryse: “I’m a 26-year-old French Canadian girl living in the suburb of Montreal. My boyfriend and I bought our first home (a triplex and it’s a major renovation project — I think we qualify as crazy) last year. I work from home as a project manager for a publishing house (so I need lots of space to pile manuscripts and drafts), but I wish to become a writer and publish young adult novels set in magical, dark and mysterious worlds (so I need an inspiring office, a place that connect with my imagination). I’m also an avid crafter, fortunately, I have a place in my basement to be messy which is also in need of a total makeover, and I write a blog in French about my creative pursuits.”

How Much For This Room?

How Much For This Room?

How Much For This Room?

General expenses: 1) Ceiling and window trim paint, Cloud White, Benjamin Moore, 35$. 2) Wall paint, Sketch, Sico, $35. 3) Pendant light FADO, IKEA, $29.99. 4) Curtain fabric, Hollywood, Alexander Henry, $ 70. 5) White wood curtain rod, Club Tissus, $30. 6) Wallpaper, Ferm Living, $115. Total : $314.99

Tips for applying wall paper in the back of a bookcase: “You have to prepare the surface by sanding it and applying a wallpaper primer (even if the instruction for the glue doesn’t say so). We had not done this at first, and had to redo it all again! While the glue was wet, everything looked OK, but as it dried the wallpaper curled and totally detached from the panel. A friend is always useful to keep moral while applying wallpaper (unless I’m the only one with an incredibly bad wallpaper karma)”.

Desk area: 1) BESTA high shelf unit, IKEA, $160 for 2. 2) BESTA small shelf unit, IKEA, $60. 3) TOMBO door, IKEA, $ 135 for 3. 4) BESTA legs, IKEA, $20 for 2 pairs. 5) INREDA pull-out frame, IKEA, $80 for 2. 6) Keyboard drawer, Staples, $47. 9) Birdcage, Home Sense, $15 (I spray painted it black, as it was originally white… What I like about birdcages is the silhouette, and for this you need contrast with your walls). 7) Chain and hook for birdcage, local hardware store, $5. 8) Flower pot and artificial plants (I’m a black thumb), bought in a local shop while they were running a big sale to make place for spring stuff, $30. 9) BEKVÄM step stool, IKEA, $19.99 + $13 for paint (I should have spray painted it, I’m disappointed in the result). 10) Transparent chair mat (not very stylish, but…), Staples, $25. The task chair I already had. Total: $609.99

“I made the table myself to keep cost low, and because there were no pieces of wood long enough for my needs, otherwise I would have used a wood counter top from IKEA. I used two hollow doors to keep the table light that I cut and assembled with dowels and wood glue. I had never work with dowels, and it was a learning experience! You have to take careful measurements so that your pieces fit perfectly… The problem is that doors are not a perfect rectangle, and the sides did not match exactly in size. I sanded and planed it the best I could.. I veneered the assembled doors with an affordable maple wood veneer and contact glue (another learning experience). I then stained and varnished it.”

Here is the breakdown cost : 1) VIKA BYSKE adjustable leg, IKEA, $30. 2) Hollow doors, $35 for 2. 3) Mapple wood veneer, CEDAN (bought at my local hardware store), $55 for 2 24? by 96? sheets. 4) Stain, $15 (I mixed different colors together. The result was absolutely not what I wanted, but I like it anyway). 5) Varnish, $6. 6) Desk grommets for cables, $6 for 2, local hardware store. Everything else I already had: wood dowels from IKEA furniture we apparently didn’t assemble correctly, trims from another project, wood glue, tools, etc. If you don’t have tools, it obviously would cost much more. Total : $147.00

Storage area : 1) TROLLSTA sideboard, IKEA, $349. 2) BESTA small shelf unit, IKEA, $180 for 3. 3) TOMBO door, IKEA, $80 for 2. 4) KASSETT boxes, IKEA, $6.99 to 9.99 for 2. 5) KASSETT magazine files, IKEA, $11.97 for 3. Total: $644.94

Art cost : 1) Art above my desk by Anne-Julie Aubry, Art & Ghosts and Heisuke Kitazawa, around $35 (3 of the 5 artworks are actually promotional postal cards or art that they sent to me with another purchase). 8) Art on sideboard by Heisuke Kitazawa, $25. 9) Keep calm and carry on poster, BluLima, $12. 7) FANAHOLM frames, IKEA, $5.99 to 16.99 depending on the size, + $20 for spray paint primer and 2 bottles of black satin spray paint. I purchased mat boards at my local art supply store (from $2- 6) and a mat cutter ($100). Having them made by a professional would have cost me about the same price (around $10-30 per mat board), but I’m glad I made the investment and bought the mat cutter, since I have a whole house to decorate! I strongly recommend to buy a board mounted cutter to have professional and very straight cuts. Total : $286.96

Grand total: $2,003.88

If you are curious, you can see view BEFORE photos of her office renovation here on her blog.

If you have any questions for Maryse, please just ask below in the comments section!

(images from maryse)

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Inkspot Workshop

March 20, 2009

I stumbled upon Inkspot Workshop a few minutes ago via my Twitter page so this is definitely a fresh find (yeah I know, har har). Stacy owns a small, home-based business in Atlanta called Inkspot Workshop. This is one lady who loves paper because she does it all — designs, cuts, glues, folds, photographs and packages everything herself. Wow!

Inkspot Workshop

Inkspot Workshop

Inkspot Workshop

During the day, Stacy sells medical supplies but at night and on the weekends you will find her busy with her lovely paper goods or spending time with her family. I love seeing ladies out there who are able to strike a balance and mix a day job with a passion on the side, which is hard to do with a family so I applaud her for such hard work and dedication. I couldn’t believe it when I read that she has a 2-year-old son and pets, she’s definitely one organized woman. Stacy sets a good example for modern moms!

Find Inkspot Workshop here: {etsy} {blog} {twitter}

(images from inkspot workshop)

Ramblings

Creativity Series: Just Do It! {10}

March 19, 2009

Thank you. You have been so gracious to give me the space to go off on a tangent each Thursday to write the 10 week series on creativity, a topic I’m so passionate about. This series really ties in nicely to the overall content and vibe on decor8, don’t you think? I’ve grown quite attached and find it hard to imagine giving it up but I did tell you this would only run for 10 weeks and today well…we’re at week 10. Now I’m wondering if this should really be the end of the road. I’ll think about it and let you know.

Are you ready for our final topic in this series? It’s a good one and I even have a very special podcast and guest sharing with us today.

Trust yourself.

Allow for some trial and error and nip negative thinking in the bud while you are capturing. Imagine that you are painting. While you are capturing, or creating, be careful to not become overly critical of your work or to allow what others may think to come into play. That’s the fastest way to shut yourself down. It’s fine to evaluate your work as you go along, but it’s best to not over-analyze while you’re in “the zone”. Trust your creativity, believe in what you are doing. Avoid allowing the opinions of others to form the one that you have of yourself. Trust your inner compass because it WILL lead you if you tap into it, listen, and obey. It also keeps you on track when others start to throw darts or challenge the authenticity of your work. Trust in your unique voice will help you to stay on track, focused and forward moving.

“When I first started working creatively, my former manager told me that there really are no new ideas in the world,” says Marisa Haedike of Creative Thursday, a successful artist living and working in Los Angeles, California. “Though I tend to agree, there is originality in this world and that originality stems from each one of us.”

Haedike continues, “We can trust that what makes something unique can be as simple as our interpretation, our expression of an idea.” She not only coaches people wanting to live more creative lives through a series of podcasts on her website, but has thousands of devoted customers who love her artwork. Through expressing herself without judgment, not allowing negative comments to penetrate, and by embracing her originality, Haedike has learned to trust her creative voice. For this reason, I’ve decided to wrap up this series with a very special podcast from Marisa herself, a gift from me to all of you for following this series. You can click below to listen, it’s just under 15 minutes so enjoy!

Now it’s your turn to comment on trust. You may also comment on the future of this series with any tips you may have. I’m interested in hearing how trust in yourself is helping you during these economic times and how it helps you to deal with other fears outside of money.

(image from creative thursday)

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Bedding & Things By Linda Barker

March 19, 2009

I’m currently on the prowl for new bedding and I really like these bold, graphic floral duvets from the Victoria Linen Company designed by UK television host and interior designer Linda Barker. Linda also has a website where she sells lots of products for the home like these feather and fairy lights that I adore and imagine hanging over a mirror in the bedroom. This twinkle light globe is equally enchanting and would look gorgeous on top of a high cabinet. Twinkle lights add such romance to a space, especially the bedroom because the soft glow makes the room peaceful and cozy.

Bedding & Things By Linda Barker

Bedding & Things By Linda Barker

Bedding & Things By Linda Barker

Bedding & Things By Linda Barker

The chartreuse is clearly my favorite of the three. I want to mix in some turquoise accessories and drape those feather fairy lights from the headboard. :)

Speaking of bedding, last night while at Macy’s I looked through all of the Spring Martha Stewart bedding and I don’t know, I like it but nothing really popped out though the radiant blocks quilt set in blue/lime was quite nice and much prettier in person than on the Macy’s site. Tip: It’s also cheaper in-store, online it’s marked down to $125 but in store for a queen it’s $99. I often feel extremely bored with the bedding selections locally, I usually have to shop online because locals stores just don’t do it for me but then again, I live in New Hampshire so I can’t expect much in this neck of the woods as most of the stuff I like seems to be in the cities or online these days. So online it is (though I still have plans to make my own duvet cover and pillowcases later this year).

Where do you shop online for bedding anyway? And if you’re in the UK, is Linda Barker big over there? Is she considered a household name? I’d not heard of her before I don’t think….

{bedding via The Style Files}

(images from victoria linen co. and linda barker)

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Handmade Apartment in Germany

March 19, 2009

I’m thrilled to share this apartment with you today, it’s so welcoming, organized, happy and ‘real’ and since this apartment dweller is also my friend I can say that her home truly reflects her personality 100%. This space belongs to my dear pal Anne in Hannover, Germany and she is just as excited as I am to share her apartment on a blog for the very first time. I hope that you will make her feel welcome because I can tell she was a bit shy about the whole home tour thing but I’m very happy she did it because I think her place is adorable.

Handmade Apartment in Germany

Handmade Apartment in Germany

A few deets on our apartment dweller: Her name is Anne Wendlandt, also known as Enna, and she is a product and graphics designer, online shop owner and she has a lovely storefront (I featured a tour of her shop here along with her photo) recently featured in the popular German magazine, Princz. She clearly has a lot on her plate, but she loves her work and is very talented and dedicated to what she does.

Anne lives with her boyfriend in a 65 square meter apartment or roughly 700 square feet directly in the city, her district is called Hannover Linden which is about 15 minutes by train from my place. One of the many things I love about Anne’s apartment is that at least 40% of what you see she has made with her own hands. Pillows, curtains, art, lamps, wall hangings, bags, crafty things, the patterns that you see on a variety of items like trays and clocks… I have a lot of creative friends but she is by far one of my most creative. Below you’ll find lots of photos along with questions Anne has answered for us regarding her decorating style and life in Germany, too.

Welcome to Anne’s Homemade Apartment. I love her front door!

Handmade Apartment in Germany

What inspired the decor of your living room?
It took me a while to put this apartment together because I pretty much started from scratch. My former apartment was tiny and all I had was some basic IKEA furniture. When I moved in, my budget was very limited but I refused to just go ahead and buy everything at IKEA just because it’s cheap. So I was patient and kept looking for furniture at thrift and charity shops. The first thing I bought was the Scandinavian style sofa from the 60s with two matching chairs. A little later I found a secretary with sliding doors next to the dumpster behind my shop. It’s missing one leg but you can’t tell, since it’s in the back. The sideboard is another find from the charity shop.

Handmade Apartment in Germany

Handmade Apartment in Germany

Handmade Apartment in Germany

Handmade Apartment in Germany

Handmade Apartment in Germany

Handmade Apartment in Germany

Handmade Apartment in Germany

How about the kitchen?
The kitchen was a mess when I moved in! There was nothing but the stove and ugly papered walls. I took advantage of the fact that there were no tiles and decided to make something very unique. I didn’t even ask the landlord for permission – I wouldn’t have accepted a NO anyways :-). So here’s my space invaders kitchen. I was inspired by the works of a French street artist. You can find his mosaic invaders on walls in New York, Barcelona and lots of other places.

Handmade Apartment in Germany

Handmade Apartment in Germany

Handmade Apartment in Germany

Handmade Apartment in Germany

And the bedroom?
All the rooms in the apartment are very colourful, so I wanted the bedroom to be more neutral – a place to relax and calm down. I created a little forest by putting cut-out wallpaper trees on one wall. Then I picked the same shade of warm grey and painted the opposite wall. The black and yellow accents bring in some contrast to all the cream, gray and white in the room. We love hanging out in there. It’s so sunny and placid.

Handmade Apartment in Germany

Handmade Apartment in Germany

Handmade Apartment in Germany

Handmade Apartment in Germany

Handmade Apartment in Germany

Handmade Apartment in Germany

Handmade Apartment in Germany

How would you define your personal style?
Playful, graphic, inspired by childhood memories, with vintage influences.

What do you love most about living in Hannover, Germany?
First of all, this is my hometown so I naturally feel attached to this city through all my memories and little stories that belong to certain places. I love that it’s so green and it’s just the right size. It is so flat that I can ride my bike anywhere without having to go up and down big hills. I don’t have a car so I value Hannover’s great public transport system. Living close to my family and friends makes this city even more attractive. Objectively, Hannover has a growing art and design scene which I’m proud to be part of.

Handmade Apartment in Germany

What do you do in Hannover for fun/inspiration?
One of my favourite things is riding my bike across town, soaking in all the different impressions: the great “Eilenriede” park, the “Maschsee” lake, …people with all the different styles and cultural backgrounds. I go to the “Strandleben” bar right on the riverbank in the summer, watching the sunset and sipping a cold drink. Boy, I can’t wait for summer!

Have you ever lived anywhere else in the world, if so where and for how long?
I was an exchange student in Hazleton, Pennsylvania back in 1997-98. I spent a year there, went to high school and experienced classic suburban American teenage life. :-)

Handmade Apartment in Germany

Did your experience living in America influence your personal style at all?
Perhaps living in a wooden house in the middle of the forest with deer, skunks and bears jumping around has influenced me in a way. I am always drawn towards the woodland theme and you can find trees and forest creatures in most my designs.

What did you want to be (as a child) when you were a grown up?
I aaaalways wanted to be an artist – interrupted by a short period of wanting to be a vet, until I realized I’d have to see little creatures suffer and perform surgery. :(

Handmade Apartment in Germany

How did your family encourage you as a child?
All the women on my mother’s side of the family were artists, only my Mom herself being a physical therapist who attended a Waldorf school. Our house was full of old paintings, art supplies and creative activities. Drawing was my favourite thing to do as a kid and I remember some of my playdate friends being so annoyed because I was the girl who always wanted to draw.

Do your parents have an interest in what you do, even now that you’re in your late twenties?
Definitely! They live in the same city so they stop by at the shop regularly and help out wherever needed. I’m very happy to have their support, whatever my plans are!

What is your educational background?
I went to art school and have a degree in “visual communication” – another term for graphic design.

What are some of your future goals (business and personal)?
I have to admit that currently, my urge to make big plans is a little bit on hold. I’m very happy with my shop and my career as a designer. I just keep going and wait for what comes next. I feel like anthing is possible: bringing in a business partner and sharing a bigger shop, relocating to another city or even another country, … we’ll see! A smaller goal, I am already working on is getting more organized and structured, as I tend to let the creative chaos overflow.

Handmade Apartment in Germany

Tell me about the friends you have in your city…
Most of my friends live in Hannover Linden. I actually don’t have to leave this neighborhood very often, it’s all here! I enjoy having someone stop by in the afternoon, friends will join me for coffee and pastries at the Portuguese café next door and that way I get a refreshing break from work every once in a while. Some of my older friends have moved away from Hannover for college or business opportunities but I try to keep them updated regularly on what I’m doing. They find it exciting to watch my business grow and see my products in magazines and such. I’ve also become friends with other young entrepreneurs who also have shops or art galleries locally. We get together on a regular basis to make plans and to encourage and support each other – and for fun, of course!

When you need feedback on a design or decision, who do you turn to? Working by myself all day, it is very important to get some kind of feedback on the things I make before going into “mass production”. My boyfriend Claudio is usually the first person who gets to see a new design and he’s become a very good reviewer, always offering constructive criticism!

Thank you Anne for visiting me today on decor8, I’ll be seeing you in person soon sweetie! Thanks for stopping by. :)

If anyone has a question for her, please comment below.

(images from anne wendlendt)

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