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August 2009

Home Tours

Stevens Happy Accidents: My Favorite Things

August 10, 2009

A few of my favorite things: Stevens Happy Accidents.

Hello everyone, I’m Steven from the blog Stevens Happy Accidents (and etsy shop), and I’m so happy to be visiting decor8 whilst Holly is moving, as part of her guest series “a few of my favorite things”. I live in a tiny rented house just outside London, I’m close enough to use and abuse everything the big city has to offer, but far enough away to feel like I’m in the countryside. I live here with one husband, one unloving cat, an overly needy dog, and two greedy fish. And here are a few of my favorite things.

Stevens Happy Accidents: My Favorite Things

(home..) This is the place where I sit and smile, with colour and texture all around me. It’s from here where I visit every corner of the world and make my heart go boom boom boom, by seeing whats new on my favorite blogs and places I have to click into every day, be it an amazing new wallpaper or the latest celebrity scandal. It’s from here where I pull up a tiny table and get out my sewing machine to create whatever happy accidents happen that day, it’s from here I laugh out loud at the silly dancing my David does, it’s here where most nights we eat dinner and watch Dynasty (I love Jeff Colby) and it’s here where I could and would, given half a chance stay and smile forever.

Stevens Happy Accidents: My Favorite Things

(vintage pinball..) This corner of my home is where I proudly hang a vintage wooden tabletop game that I rescued from the evil clutches of someone at a car boot sale here in London, and to think I almost walked away from it, because it’s now one of my favorite things. It’s a fair point to say that one persons trash is another persons treasure, and I love that forever now it will be part of my life, it might hang on many different wall’s and be positioned alongside many different things, but it will be seen and loved, never discarded and sold.

Stevens Happy Accidents: My Favorite Things

(bedroom..) This is my side of the bedroom, the side where i dream a happy adventure, where I bury my head under my brightly coloured pillows and hide, where my dog whines at 3 in the morning to be let out. It’s where I refresh and start every day new, it’s where I talk too much, and apparently snore too loudly, it’s where I look up and plot my world travels. It’s where I sleep with my feet out..and never under the duvet. It’s my bed, and I love it, and you can’t have it. :)

Stevens Happy Accidents: My Favorite Things

(hi..) This is without doubt, the greatest thing i have ever rescued from a car boot sale, and one of the best things in my home. Please imagine the scene, early morning, coffee in hand, and I suddenly sprint across the field at the sight of these big chunky letters just sitting under a table, I’m screaming on the inside “oh my god oh my god“…… I ask how much for them, expecting to be told a stupid amount, and the man says “£10 mate”, “yes please” I scream back at him. Sprint off again to get some money from David, and finally walk away, now out of breath with my best ever find. One day I will attach it to a wall and fit lights on the inside.. but for now, I love my Hi.

Stevens Happy Accidents: My Favorite Things

(bathroom) My bathroom was already painted these colours when we moved in, and the landlady refuses to let us paint over them, but I have come to like it. Whoever knew aqua blue and lavender would work well together? But mixed in with my own little additions its a room I do love. It is big, it floods with light, and its got in it one of the greatest inventions ever…the bath, where like the pig I am, I wallow, and soak away any cares I might have had. Where I read the trashiest of books, and make the best magazines all soggy and wet. The getting clean part is just an added bonus of this room, my aqua blue and lavender bathroom.

(inspiration) I remember many years ago, on a school trip to the Louvre in Paris, I got told off by a security guard for trying to reach over and touch a painting, I just wanted to feel the texture, feel what the artist felt, and its this tactile nature I have that inspires me to this day. I have come to realise that fabric is my material of choice, I like many different crafts, but give me some fabric and a sewing machine and ill make you something unique. I don’t plan my work too much, and call most things I make a happy accident.. and I’m usually happy with my accidents, be it a pillow, a bag or a plush toy and if it sells in my shop its just a bonus, never the aim.

(advice) I used to live with my grandmother, and she would always tell me off for cooking too fast, being impatient, heating things too quickly, and would always say “never let baked beans boil” and I always remember this advice.. and it reflects onto my life daily… because instead of thinking things through, I usually just dive in and try, instead of making plans and following them through, I quickly rush at the last minute, missing a few things on the list along the way. And I suppose it’s because I always want my “beans cooked” quickly, when maybe I should just let them simmer.

(images: stevens happy accidents)






Stationery

Owls To Download!

August 10, 2009

Don’t even try to resist this cuteness. These wise guys are available for download (only £1.00) on the Mibo website. Look at the little one on the far left — he’s looking a little stunned while the tiny blue one looks a bit buzzed. Then you have the sleepy green one and the black owl that is hungover from too many pints the night before. Silly owls! Which owl are you this morning? I’m the sleepy owl for sure!

Owls To Download!

Woot! Woot!

(image: mibo)






Bloggers

Heather Ross Blog

August 10, 2009

Good morning friends and happy Monday, though Mondays are never quite that happy are they? Well, I promise to make today and all week good days for you because I have lots of fantastic posts lined up for you here on the blog. First, I’m starting out with Heather Ross whom I wrote about just a few moments ago over at Real Simple (post here).

Heather Ross Blog

Heather is one amazing lady and I just love the details she paid attention to for while planning her recent wedding inspired by a children’s book. I was so inspired by her lovely wedding that I’ve decided to make her blog the blog of the week here so you’d be reminded to visit her throughout the week if she already isn’t on your regular list of blog reads.

(image: heather ross)






uncategorized

Happy Weekend!

August 7, 2009

Hallo everyone! I hope that you have a wonderful weekend, I plan to be very busy visiting with friends and family, unpacking, cleaning our apartment and getting it stocked with groceries because there is nothing in the cabinets! I will also sort through lots of mail and magazines that have been arriving since we were here last in December — 8 months of mail is quite daunting but I have lots of German and Dutch design magazines in the pile waiting for me along with some nice catalogs so it will be FUN to sort through it all. I love fun mail (no bills, yet). The weather is beautiful here – tons of sunshine and warm temps – so the welcome to Germany couldn’t be any nicer.

Happy Weekend!

Here’s some loot from London, I picked these magazines up yesterday there before catching our flight. I couldn’t believe it when our flight was only 55 minutes from London to Hannover – wow! I can’t believe how close I live to one of my favorite cities in the world. Exciting! Watch out London, I’m flying back up to visit you knowing how close I am and how cheap it is to grab flights.

I hope you have a nice weekend my dear friends, I’ll be popping in over the next few weeks to say hello and post from time to time, but I have lots of lovely guests sharing their favorite things to keep you busy while I’m getting my life set up and such. Hope you’ve been enjoying My Favorite Things… I think it’s a wonderful way to not only learn more about some great people, but through their words (I’ve been editing them so of course I’m reading along too!) I think each of them are inspiring in so many different ways — though the message running through them all is clear — we all have cherished things in our home and it’s important to pause and reflect on that fact and realize that we don’t always need to run out and shop or be like anyone else when we’re decorating. We can decorate using what we love as all of my contributors have been showing on decor8 over the past week.

Remember — the best things in life are really are free — our cherished possessions but also our memories and interactions with others — who inspires us, what advice we’ve heard that made a difference, these kinds of things,  don’t you think? I hope that as you’ve been following My Favorite Things that you’ve been putting together a mental list of some of your favorite things too. What would you list? What is the best advice you’ve been given? Who has inspired your life? Feel free to tell me below if you feel like sharing… I’d love to know. :)

See you again on Monday!

xo,

Holly

(image: holly becker for decor8)






Guest Bloggers

Bodie and Fou: My Favorite Things

August 7, 2009

A few of my favorite things: Bodie and Fou

Bonjour… I’m Karine Konh, co-founder of chic online boutique BODIE and FOU and writer of the Bodie and Fou Blog. I’m visiting as part of decor8’s August guests series “A few of my favorite things” while Holly is moving to Europe. When I started working on this I never expected the result to be so personal, but I guess if you really spend some time thinking about the things that you love the most at home, then it is bound to become very personal. So this is it — I hope you enjoy it!

Some of my favorite things at home…

Bodie and Fou: My Favorite Things

1. I like this photo a lot because it’s representative of all the things I love – my family, B&W photography and family portraits, colourful toys, crosses, vintage objects and inspiring books about interiors and design. So here is a little tour clockwise from the top left. The large B&W photo is a portrait of French singer/actress/fashion icon & Johnny Depp’s wife Vanessa Paradis, which I got when I was working at Universal Music International; a B&W photo of my sister Elodie, which I took when she was 15 years old. I bought myself the orange robot in Lille (north of France) because its shape and colour cheered me up and I thought it would be perfect to sit on my desk and send me good vibes each day. Next is a photo of my daughter Mila taken at the beach near our holiday home in France when she was two; beside this, are 3 orange notebooks which I initially bought for her, but which never fulfilled their original purpose because they just look perfect where they are! There are also four books from Paumes, the Japanese Publishing house which are the most inexpensive and inspiring interior books (we will have them on our website soon). Below these is a portrait a friend of mine did for me 20 years ago, a vintage French box of sweets I bought at Petersham Nurseries in London because I loved the colour; photos of Mila, my partner, Steve, and I, and a bunch of crosses I hung together – I have a thing for crosses, especially if they are very simple. Finally, in the apple crate at the bottom (the one you can’t see), I’ve stored interiors books.

Bodie and Fou: My Favorite Things

2. This is a plaster head that my mum bought for my bedroom when I was 16 or so and which now sits on top of the shelves in Mila’s bedroom (out of reach of little hands). I’ve always thought it was beautiful and when I looked at the things my mum bought me when I was young, I realized that she had fantastic taste. Like most teens, I had a troublesome relationship with my mum but now we are extremely close and I can talk about everything with her. Now that I’m older and wiser & a mother myself, I realize that my mum would have fought like a tiger for us if she had to. It saddens me when I hear that people are not close to their family or siblings because, like anything, it takes work, understanding and forgiveness. My parents do things that still frustrate me and I know I drive them nuts when I go back to France with thousands of DIY projects in my head but I’ve learnt to accept that as parents you only do your best, nothing is written in stone and really you learn as you go along. I wouldn’t change any of the deliciously passionate, often funny and sometimes heated conversations we have when we are all together in France.

Bodie and Fou: My Favorite Things

3. This is a photo of my dad (the one with the ball), taken by a professional journalist. My dad was a rugby hero in South West France in the 70s. I remember going back to school on Mondays after he had played on Sundays and all my friends would congratulate me on his game. I have another photo of him tackling the ball, which won the photographer the Pernod Ricard Prize for the best sports photo in 1971. My father still lives and breathes rugby. We’ve all learnt to switch off when he tells the same story over and over, but that doesn’t seem to bother him. He is an incredibly passionate person, especially where human rights are concerned. He is very much into the French ‘Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite’ and has no fear about speaking his mind even if he is going to upset people. He doesn’t really do the ‘politically correct’ thing and in fact I think he just enjoys provoking people. He used to enjoy challenging me about some of my own life decisions and I would react to it straight away, but then I eventually found out that he would tell other people how proud he was of what I had achieved, so now I just agree with him….

Bodie and Fou: My Favorite Things

Bodie and Fou: My Favorite Things

This is Mila!

4. These are Mila’s first shoes, I’ve also kept her first pink converse and anything small and cute she was wearing when she was a baby. I love her to bits. She is my first child and I hope that as she grows up, our relationship deepens and that she becomes a wonderful, balanced, healthy and happy young woman. She is only 4 and already bilingual which amazes me. She is very social and smart and always amuses me. She will hide things that she has broken at the bottom of her basket of toys where I will find them eventually or tell me to skype my grandmother who is 90 years old! She is in France at the moment on holidays with her 5 year old cousin Lily and neither of them are missing us! Each time I call, she talks for about 10 min, then tell me to count to 3 and ‘un, deux, trois’ she puts the phone down… no tears…job done!

Bodie and Fou: My Favorite Things

5. These shelves are in Mila’s bedroom. I found them when we were relocating BODIE and FOU from our Bristol warehouse to London. It’s a mail sorting shelf unit and it fits perfectly in her bedroom. It looks a bit messy but it’s in fact super organised. At the bottom, there are Mila’s books and games. Then in the middle anything to do crafts: her pens, playdo, chalks, pearls and her kitchenware. The two top shelves are mine where I store notebooks & sculptures I did a few years ago or things Mila broke that I need to fix/glue. The family’s straw hats when we hang out on our roof terrace, a vintage globe I bought in London’s Bricklane, photo albums, interiors books & my collection of retro cars. Her bedroom is white with gorgeous, distressed white floorboards, white walls and the best natural light so these shelves are where colours, emotions & loving things go. It’s like a mood board in 3D!

Bodie and Fou: My Favorite Things

This is a close up from things on these shelves I really like… A B&W photo of Mila at the beach in France (where obviously the water was far too cold for her), a wedding thank you card from my friend Mandy (Mila was her flower girl). I bought the plaster letters from a shop called Shelf in Bricklane to make up Steve and my nicknames. He is Vert (for Vertigo, a nickname I gave him after reading Paul Auster’s book) and I’m Fou (well I also need to fix the F there). Fou means mad in French and this was what Steve called me when we first met. Four years ago when Elodie & I were looking for a brand name for our chic online boutique, we decided very quickly that BODIE (which is what we’ve called Elodie since she was little) and FOU was perfect and personal. Last but not least, the 3 little feet are plastercasts that Steve made of Mila’s foot when she was a baby.

Bodie and Fou: My Favorite Things

The things that inspire me…. are mostly visual things. I have the memory of a goldfish for mundane things, phone numbers or what I did 3 days ago but I’m a sponge when it comes to interiors, photography, design and typography. I need to be visually inspired and stimulated so I like going to places that have something to them like Story Deli in Bricklane, Daylesford Organic farm in the Cotswolds or concept store Merci in Paris and of course NYC, Amsterdam, basically anywhere I can go, discover new things and open my eyes. And it’s really not about expensive designer spaces or pieces. I need places that are going to make me feel something inside, something that I want to take with me and re-create in my personal life and sometimes it’s just a beautiful and inspiring way of displaying some objects, a decorative idea and other times, it is an emotion, it’s something that I want to become as an individual, as a mother to Mila, as a partner and as a woman. I cut out magazines a lot to keep my favourite shots, styling, interiors, page layout or font at hand and I take a lot of photos, mostly of my family because getting inspiration is also surrounding yourself with people you love.

Blogging and setting up my own interior shop have also been a tremendous source of inspiration and widely opened up my tastes. I think blogging nowadays is a huge haven of inspiration and creativity. I have come across so many stunning designs and talented designers from all over the world, which I may have never heard of if I was just reading interior magazines. And the people who inspire me the most in no specific order are: my sister Elodie – I can’t describe well enough how much I love her – her style, her outlook on life, her personality and how happy and proud it makes me that we have made our dream come true with BODIE and FOU. Steve the father of my little girl Mila and my soulmate but also the necessary pain in the bum who will tell me what to do, mainly to achieve balance between the business & our family! My mum for making my childhood full of holidays at the beach, flea markets and sewing, and for being liberal enough to let me do my own things and never pressurizing me into anything.

My design hero is French interior designer Jacqueline Morabito who always blends beautifully, contemporary interiors and furniture with vintage and antique pieces. Finally, although I’m not a star-truck person, my heart will always belong to Vanessa Paradis and Charlotte Gainsbourg. Two beautiful, talented French women that got it right from an early age, and are living their public lives on their terms and continuing to work with amazingly talented photographers, designers and musicians.

Bodie and Fou: My Favorite Things

The favorite advice I’ve heard….. Well because of my ‘selective/deficient’ memory, I can’t remember anything someone would have told me, but the things that worked for me are ‘never give up on something you believe in because friends/family don’t share your vision’ and also ‘don’t spend your time checking out the competition and freaking out’ – focus on your thing, your vision of what you want your business to be about and if you put your heart into it, people will follow. Finally, ‘be patient’. I’m not but I wish I had been the first two years of setting up our business because I would have probably enjoyed the journey as much as I love it now! –Karine

(images: karine kong)






Guest Bloggers

Imedagoze: My Favorite Things

August 7, 2009

A few of my favorite things: Imedagoze

When Holly invited me to share some of my fave things on decor8, I was surprised and thrilled. I’ve been out of touch with my fellow bloggers for quite a while now, so it’s nice for Holly to remember me. Thanks, Holly! So! Hello everyone. I’m Imelda. I run Imedagoze, a design blog, and koultura ), a newly-launched art blog. My home is a four-bedroom apartment in Singapore, where I live with my husband and two young daughters, 4 and 6.5 yr olds. Nothing big, nothing fancy, only plenty of colors.

Imedagoze: My Favorite Things

The entrance hall is one of my favorite sections of the house. It is where I feel welcomed by seeing things I adore once I get home. On the wall is a painting by Jose Tence Ruiz, a social-realist painter from Philippines. I waited for almost a year to finally find the right piece for me. I love his works, he’s one amazing artist. And on the right side of the hall is my husband’s recently-bought bicycle, which explains why it’s being kept there.

Imedagoze: My Favorite Things

The lounge seat seen in this picture is part of our L-shaped sofa, placed just right next to the balcony. A nice spot for me to enjoy the city and greenery view, or to snuggle with my daughters.

Imedagoze: My Favorite Things

This corner of the study room is where I run my blogs from. So obviously, this has to be my favorite spot too. The study room probably has the most clutters in the house, mainly because I keep some leftover stock and product samples from my past business here. And that’s a screenprint by Shepard Fairey on the wall, bought from a gallery in New York. Oh yes, I’m a fan.

Imedagoze: My Favorite Things

Amongst the walls in our home, this is the happiest of all. My daughters love doing art, and both of them proudly paste their works all over the house. And this wall has the most artwork displayed. There are occasionally one or two in the other rooms, but I usually take them down after two weeks and keep them in the children’s drawer. This picture says everything about my daughters. They love playing pretend and dress up (see the shoes, sunglasses, and handbag). And yes, they looooove stickers (on their room door and everywhere else in the house), and colors (just like their mom). ;-)

Imedagoze: My Favorite Things

Imedagoze: My Favorite Things

I have stacks of textile collection from a fancy tablecloth, handkerchiefs, tea towels to fabric scraps. Mostly are from Scandinavian countries. In the picture, you can see some of my most loved metered fabrics. I’m so fortunate to have a husband who could live with many(!) of my obsessions.

Other favorite things…Speaking of obsessions, I have to admit that everything started from blogland. Finding one exciting thing in blogland had led me to more exciting things, and made my fascination of art and design grow. I became more attentive to culture, stories, details and originality of every art/design object I see. Next, appreciation came along. And now, I can say that I love everything that is “rich” and well-presented. A photograph of beautiful unnecessary object(s) that has plenty of stories to tell. Movies/performances armed with good picture/screenplay, or great costumes, or great animation, or great humor. Trips to museums, galleries, and design stores. Courage and determination of admirable ordinary people that made them creators, innovators, and leaders in my own eyes. Or, just a simple hand-written/hand-drawn birthday greeting.

There has been some good advise that I’ve heard and read over the years, but the only advise that has made a significant change in my life would be the advise from my dad, given years ago during my baby blues period of being a new mother. When I shared some of my frustrations with him, he just blurted out a short message to me. He said, “It’s just part of life”.  Short it is, but I thought of it deeply. It somehow made me realize that happiness and hardships are merely the positive and negative “illusions”, created by human thoughts and senses. So when I lifted the negative illusion slightly toward the positive one, things didn’t feel as hard anymore. It became… just a part of life. Since then on, everything feels much lighter. And I value more the simple moments and things in life, whether they are good or bad. Anyway, a treasured life needs both, good and bad – right?

Well, I hope everyone enjoys my share of favorite things, as much as I enjoy reading other visiting bloggers’ favorite things here. Thank you all for reading, and thanks again to Holly for inviting me to visit decor8 while you are moving to Germany. Hope everything goes smoothly there and that you will be back blogging on decor8 soon, Holly! –Imelda

(images: imedagoze)






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