Monthly Archives

June 2009

Inspiration

Photography By Tia Borgsmidt

June 25, 2009

I was browsing the BoligLiv website this morning when I stumbled upon Danish photographer Tia Borgsmidt. The photos of these homes shown below are perfect examples of the home decor that I like. Especially the top two images and the dining room shown in the last photo. Wood floors, check. Transom window over interior door, high five. Gorgeous lighting, yup yup. Pairing vintage with modern, yes sir re bob. Soft fresh color palette, sign me up. Showing restraint in design, amen. Though I confess, I have problems with the restraint part so I have to continuously fine tune when I’m decorating or else I risk over styling a dresser or putting too much art around, etc. Tia Borgsmidt’s photos are so inviting, don’t you think? You can view more of Tia’s portfolio online right here.

Photography By Tia Borgsmidt

Photography By Tia Borgsmidt

After googling Tia, I found that the dear Marion Hearts wrote about her too and I’d love to show you her post here where she shows additional work from this great photographer.

(images: Tia Borgsmidt)






Round-ups

Here Comes The Sun

June 25, 2009

It’s been rainy here for like, ever. It’s as green as Ireland though and the birds won’t stop singing so at least nature is having fun! I thought that I’d pull together a few things today based around a sunshine theme… you know if you say something enough it just may come true. Sun. Sun. Sun. Sun…. Say it with me. Sun. Sun. Sun. Not working. Well then here’s a mini happy sunshine round up to chase away the floodwaters.

Here Comes The Sun

a. You are my sunshine print by The Wheatfield, b. Jane Street Creative Becca pencil case from Kate Spade, c. Hello Sunshine cards from Kate Spade and d. Sunshine Friend print by Laura George.

Psst: This Yellow Composition Journal from Paper Source is sure to brighten your day, too.

(images linked to thier sources above)






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Shelf Lust & Random Musings

June 25, 2009

Don’t worry, I’m not going to wax on about PB and I know these ladder-esque shelving units have been around forever so I’m certainly not trying to call out some new trend, but I can’t take my eyes off of this shelf and how badly I want it for my kitchen. Only one though, not 3 or 5 or 100. One will do.

Shelf Lust & Random Musings

Shelf Lust & Random Musings

And yes please Pottery Barn people, I’ll take the baskets along the bottom because even though I’m not basket obsessed I definitely like a few in the right place for the texture and this is indeed the right place. I imagine glass bottles of juice and water concealed inside, golden shiny lids and pretty labels peeking from the top. And of course I want to stack loads of white dishware and other miscellany on them because well, it’s the simple pleasures in life and white pottery is just so delish. And the wine rack in the natural wood, that’s a nice touch and I think they sell those for like .05 at IKEA.

White dishware is a huge trend right now, have you noticed? It dominates most store displays and magazines. I think it’s due to all the foodies and this huge trend wave of chefs and chef-owned this and chef-owned that. Whoever told their kid that growing up to become a cook was stupid and they should get into stocks just may be regretting that advice these days. Foodies abound in every shape and form from shop owners obsessed with strainers to food photographers, books, celeb owned restaurants, you name it… and it’s only growing. Who ever thought you’d hear the word “celebrity” and “chef” in the same sentence? That time is now and I say it’s about time because a good chef is the bomb.

I went to the bookstore recently and found about 5 new magazines devoted to cooking. And of course, the naked chef Jamie Oliver is the male Martha Stewart abroad and I’m guessing he is America-bound to conquer and dominate over here too because I’m starting to see his face everywhere and it’s great. My local Barnes & Noble has a monster size section devoted to cookbooks. It makes the interior design section look like a joke – we have about 3 aisles of cookbooks vs. the one aisle for home decorating and architecture. And speaking of books, Stephanie Meyer started some kind of vampire trend. Sheesh. Every single teen book (even tween) out there right now is about some teen angst/vampire drama. I can’t wait to see the next Twilight though, so I’m on the bandwagon with the best of ’em. I guess when it comes to trends, when it rains it pours!

The food culture is a huge “trend” thing right now along with kitchen gadgets and food shows. I imagine it’s due to all the staycations Americans are taking, and I imagine other cultures feeling the economic crunch are staying in and dining out less too. Then of course there is that film that just released, Food Inc. which I’d like to see on one hand but I’m terrified on the other because I hate the mistreatment of cutie animals and may just cry my eyes out. I’m so sensitive to things like that. Have you watched it? What are your thoughts? I think it’s really important that as a culture we are better educated because only through knowledge and passion can change occur, so I’ll go see it before I move and have a good cry. I know once I do I will most likely make a lot of changes in my own diet. It will also make me more aware of how food is handled and processed before it lands on my plate and being a research nut I will look into how German farms handle their animals and overall production of goods. I heard that in Germany things are pretty strict and food is of much better quality than in most other western countries, so we’ll see. All I know is that when I am there and have yogurt I nearly fall off my chair because something that amazing without the words REALLY BAD FOR YOU on the container can’t possibly be healthy. But it is.

Now back to decorating and kitchens. When it comes to the kitchen I’d say this look about nails my style. My style if I had $100,000 to renovate a kitchen that is. So for now we’ll keep the lust list attainable with an inexpensive spruce up, namely one Pottery Barn Studio Wall shelf in white. I could even go wild and paint each shelf light gray for a little contrast action — oooo wild times!

Seeing all those flags reminds me that July 4th is right around the corner. Where is the year going? Is it just me or what?

(images: pottery barn)







Shopping + Products

Natural Beauty of Simrin

June 24, 2009

I’m so inspired by natural beauty found on simple paths, flower beds, or while strolling on the beach. A pebble, a fallen leaf, a pinecone… everything so beautifully designed and special that you can’t help but appreciate these free gifts all around us. Often when I need to collect my thoughts or just draw inspiration, I go into the woods on a short hike near my house or I venture to the coast and just walk the beach where the world seems to go on forever as you look over choppy waters as far as your eyes can take you. When I was little I thought that if I looked hard enough, maybe I’d see France!

Natural Beauty of Simrin

I’ve been thinking about nature a lot this week because it’s been raining for so many days now, and cold, that there seems to be no end and I can’t get outside as much and I’m starting to feel it in my bones. Like I need to get out and just be with nature! My town does not have sidewalks and I live on a very busy road so I can’t just go do a few laps around town with an umbrella in hand so I’m thinking of just grabbing my raincoat in a moment and head into the apple orchards or the forest to breathe in that fragrant scent of apple, wet wood and brush combined with pine.

Natural Beauty of Simrin

Natural Beauty of Simrin

Natural Beauty of Simrin

Because nature has such a healing power over those who let it work it’s magic and who make time to really enjoy it, I reason that this explains my attraction to bringing the outside in through patterns that mimic nature. I’m a lover of florals and leaf prints, so the moment I saw Simron towels over at the Le Souk Shop I felt an instant attraction to them.

Natural Beauty of Simrin

I love their simplicity and beauty, rooms that feel very connected to the outdoors give me a sense of calm but also my mind becomes more centered when I’m around simple beauty and small luxuries. It’s confirmation of the truth that less is more, don’t you think?

What do you like about bringing natural fibers, textures and patterns indoor – what connections to do make, feel, remember from the past that causes you deep appreciation for the natural world?

UPDATE: Daneille from Le Souk just informed me that she’d love to give decor8 readers a discount on the Simrin products that she carries in her shop. She’s giving you a 20% discount, just place your order via email: info AT soukshop.com and she will reply with the total after discount and shipping costs.

(images: simrin and le souk shop)







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Winners: Jonathan Adler Giveaway!

June 24, 2009

Drum roll please… We have our Jonathan Adler gift card giveaway winners! I combined the 350+ entries from the original contest post and the 130+ comments left on the new post (sorry for all the confusion but everyone’s entry was accounted for by me personally so you can be sure your entry was received) and using random.org our winners are…

Winners: Jonathan Adler Giveaway!

Grand prize: $150 JA gift card goes to: Kate F.

Runner Up: $100 JA gift card winner: Liza.

Congratulations ladies!

And a big thanks to Jonathan Adler and his team for this fun giveaway and to all 500 entries we’ve received, thank you for participating. Stay tuned for another fun giveaway in the weeks to come!

Kate and Liza, please email me to claim your prize: holly at decor8blog dot com.

(image: jonathan adler)






Interviews

Meet Amy Atlas

June 24, 2009

I’m excited to share a chat I recently had with event planner Amy Atlas, owner and founder of Amy Atlas Events in New York City, who specializes in creating high end dessert tables. Her words may prove to be helpful and inspiring to small business owners or to those of you looking to launch your own event planning business. Amy wrote in a few weeks ago and the minute I saw her work I knew I had to learn more about the person behind it. In this interview, Amy talks about her life as an event planner but what I was surprised to learn is that she is an attorney with no design background. This is encouraging because I know lots of you have told me that fear pursuing your creative passions without a background in design. Many conclude that making a huge professional leap, from attorney to party planner for instance, is just not possible or practical. In some cases it may not work but only you know the answer and I believe that passion and talent ultimately will help you eventually to overcome your fear and go for it — just like Amy! I also found it interesting how her friends and family helped her to consider event planning as a business. It’s good to listen to the popular opinion of your friends! Let’s read what what precious pearls of wisdom she shares here today… and if I missed asking a question you’d like an answer to, please use the comments section and leave your question for her there.

Meet Amy Atlas

Meet Amy Atlas

When and how did you start your business, in other words, how did you go from idea to execution?

In 2007. I’ve always loved to entertain and create my signature dessert buffets. It was a hobby of mine, and it organically grew into a business through word of mouth. Friends and family encouraged me to make a business out of it. After practicing law and having two children, I decided I wanted to tap into my creative side. I started by creating dessert tables for friends and then friends of friends. Because no one had taken the candy buffet to the next level, I recognized that there was a niche that could be filled. I worked hard to perfect that niche and developed a reputation as the go-to-girl for dessert bars.

What is your background?

I am an attorney. I don’t have a design background, but like many, have always had a creative side.

What types of events are you doing?

We do all types of parties from weddings, corporate, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, to graduation and birthday parties.

Do you do everything alone or do you have staff?

If you have employees, how many and what are their functions? I have a boutique firm with a small staff. I am involved with even the smallest details of every party. People hire me for my signature style and I want to make sure that my clients get that.

What do you enjoy most about event planning?

I love seeing a client’s inspiration develop into a story for their event. It is extremely gratifying turning a client’s vision into reality and seeing their response (as well as their guests) to the design at the event.

Meet Amy Atlas

Meet Amy Atlas

I noticed recently on your blog you talked about a baby naming event you recently planned. For those who don’t know what this is, can you explain?

A baby naming is a ceremony commonly held by Jewish families to introduce their new baby to their network of friends and family. At this ceremony, a Rabbi officially gives the baby her given name. It is a chance to present a baby to the community to which he or she belongs.

What is a constant challenge for you?

A constant challenge for me is taking my designs to the next level. I work hard to make sure that each client has a signature dessert bar that is made just for them. It is a healthy challenge, however, that I gladly welcome!

What trends are you seeing out there in event planning?

I see that more and more hosts want to have a design for their event and for that design to be carried out from the very beginning to the very end of their event.

How did you develop your aesthetic and when do you feel like it all came together?

I don’t feel like there was a moment when everything came together. I have always had a distinct sense of style and thought that it would translate well to events. I’m thankful that people have responded well to it.

Meet Amy Atlas

InStyle magazine recently referred to you as a Tastemaker. What do you think earns you that title and sets you apart from others in your field?

We are so fortunate to work with so many talented people in the event world, but what sets us apart from others in our field is our signature style and our specialty in dessert bars. We are known for having taken the candy buffet to another level with the stylized dessert bar, and it has now become a trend. No detail is overlooked when we are creating each one of our custom, signature dessert bars. As for taste, we have the great good fortune of being able to sample desserts from the best bakers and candy purveyors from around the nation. We have samples of delectable sweets sent to us daily and we document all of our findings. We taste everything so we can ensure that our clients are getting the most delicious and beautiful desserts for their event. Not only do we have relationships with the best bakers, but we also have sources for every detail that goes into creating a stunning dessert display.

Has the economy slowed your business at all? If so, what have you done to stay afloat?

Thankfully, the wedding season has kept me busy, even in these tough economic times. Everyone loves dessert, and brides in particular really like to showcase dessert beautifully on their special day. Because of that, I have remained busy.

On your website you have some gorgeous photographs of your work. Do you also take photos or are they shot by someone else? If so, who?

The photographs on my site and blog were taken by Gemma Comas and Karen Mordechai.

What would be your dream event (to plan) and is their anyone you’d love to work with and why?

Perhaps an Inaugural Event. My former career was in politics as a lawyer, and it would be exciting to bring my experiences together. I’m working with Mindy Weiss this fall and am really excited about that!

Meet Amy Atlas

Meet Amy Atlas

Meet Amy Atlas

Meet Amy Atlas

How do you encourage and support other woman in the business?

I’ve been so fortunate to work with many talented women in my business. I work with a lot of young women who are trying to break into the event planning business. I’ve had gifted young pastry chefs and graphic designers participate in my internship program. I embrace opportunities to work with new and small businesses and am always searching for new, talented vendors to work with.

How do you market your business and what tips do you have for others who are looking to spread the word about what they do?

While I’ve been approached by a lot of wonderful pr companies, I still handle the pr for my company. Thankfully, the press and blog world have been very receptive to my designs and I haven’t had a need for pr representation yet. With all of the social networking tools like twitter and blogs, it has made it easier to promote small businesses. I would encourage any small business owner to engage in these forms of social networking. I also engaged in a lot of grassroots marketing. I made a list of the press that I wanted to target, found out the appropriate editors who covered stories for each publication, and pitched my story to those editors. If you are passionate about your business, then the story really sells itself.

Thank you Amy for these insights and all the best with your business!

(website) (blog)

Readers: If you have a question for Amy, please don’t be shy — ask her below in the comments section.

(images: Gemma Comas and Karen Mordechai.)






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