A few of my favorite things: Shannon Fricke
Hi Holly and everyone at decor8. I’m just over the moon to have been asked to be a part of your August series and to share a few of my favourite things with you. So, here we go! My name is Shannon Fricke and I’m an interior stylist, decorator, writer and mother of two lovely children. I live on a farm close to Byron Bay in Australia. I love hanging out at home – in fact my life ambition is to spend as much time at home as possible and so I have created a career that gives me an excuse to do just that! I spend a lot of my time at home writing – my column for Inside Out magazine plus my sense of style interior books (and my blog of course!) – and so I need it to both comfort and inspire me. Here are a few of my favourite little nooks from around my old farmhouse which fuel my inspiration and get me through the days. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do…
I love little vignettes of colour, pattern and detail in a house – and my heart jumps for joy every time I see this little corner of the kitchen. These plates were designed by Jasper Conran for Wedgewood and are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. The patterning is in perfect harmony – with enough detail to create interest for the eye and enough solid space to not overwhelm. Secretly, I wish that I had designed them myself and I hope that one day I will develop the skills to be able to create such beauty as he has done. The blue glass vase is a recent purchase from IKEA and reminds me of how beautiful a simple, organic shape can be. The tile was a present given to me by a friend for my 40th birthday. The artist is local to Byron Bay, and I just love the combination of colour and form. Decorative tile work is such an inspiring art form for me – in fact, I’ve just spent a few weeks in Spain on a Spanish tile pilgrimage where I was completely ‘blown away’ by the magnitude of styles and colours! The sprigs of mint are from my garden and bring the beauty of nature indoors. Pure heaven…
What can I say – I just love little bits and pieces – particularly when they are glassware and ceramics. I’m not sure why I’m so drawn to such things – perhaps it has something to do with their tactile nature – meaning that you can pick them up, touch and interact with them. Glass and ceramics can be for display but they can also be used and I do love my pieces to have a dual purpose. I’m not a big believer in keeping things for ‘good’ and so very often these beautiful vessels will be called upon to perform a function in my life – sometimes to support herbs picked from the garden, or as a vase for a little bunch of flowers. And many times they have been used for the purpose in which they have been created – as tea cups and drinking goblets. Many of these were sourced from Spin Ceramics during a trip to Shanghai for a friends birthday a few years ago. Some pieces were found at local antique stores and others were passed on to me from my mother. I love looking at them because they remind me of my life…
Well, what a crazy little nook this is! Dare I say it, but this wall, which is in my office, is a little like the inside of my mind. A little messy at times but with a thread of continuity that somehow seems to keep everything chugging along! An inspiration board is a must if you are at all creatively minded and this wall is full of magazine tear outs and colour copies of things that I love, pics of photo shoots that I have been involved with and gifts of creativity from my children. As you can imagine, it’s changing all the time – to reflect where I’m at in that moment and where I hope to be heading. But it’s what keeps me going – particularly if I’m having trouble making sense of the ideas that are springing to my mind.
I am completely in love with my macrame owl – created by my incredibly talented friend Tamara Maynes from The Six Week Boutique. This creation is called To John Denver, With Love and reminds me of my childhood – growing up in 1970s Australia with a mother who had a particular penchant for all things macrame! I’m always in awe of people who can create things by hand, such as this – and I love to be surrounded by other people’s creativity as well as my own. This modern take on an old craft inspires and reminds me that life is an evolution – and that there is much value in what came before us as there is with what lies ahead of us. For me, this owl brings together the old and the new – which is exactly how I like to mix both the decoration of my home and my life…
How about the shape of these gorgeous timber and rattan chairs that started their lives in Burma and found their way to me in Byron Bay! They are a lovely design being gentle and organic to look but at the same time they are strong and sturdy enough to be able to cope with the weight of a person. These chairs live on my verandah, an enclosed space with large windows that perfectly frame the picturesque view that lies beyond the house. In terms of furniture, there’s not much else happening on the verandah just yet – in fact, it’s rather empty and probably will be until I work out exactly how I’d like the space to look and function. And so these chairs mark the beginning, of what I hope will become an inviting and happy place to hang out…
My house is not always perfectly put together – actually, with two kids and a rather untidy husband, it can look kind of messy at times! I’ve never really been into houses that feel totally complete – that are ‘done’ in a way that doesn’t allow for evolution and change. Sometimes, the most comfortable and the most beautiful houses appear to be merely thrown together and so that is my reasoning for this little vignette – a corner of the house decorated merely with a mattress, a throw rug and a couple of cushions. Funnily enough, this is one of my favourite spots in my house – a comfortable place to hang out and laze away the hours. It reminds me to relax and to go with the flow of things. And to remember that not everything in a home (or in life) has to be perfect. At the end of the day, your ‘home sweet home’ has to make you feel good about yourself, about where you’re at and where you’re heading.
Thanks for reading everyone and happy moving Holly!
(images: shannon fricke)
Martha, Martha, Martha! Am I the only geek in the room or do products like this really get you all hot and bothered like they do for me… Sheesh I love hand crafts and especially things from the Martha Stewart collection. I have to order a few and have my mom ship them over. That is what mothers are for with daughters living in other countries, right? Oh mom…
I love these little swirls, they remind me of hostess cupcakes. :) And by the way — for a limited time, you can enter code PUNCH20 upon checkout at the MS Craft Store online to receive 20% off of your purchase.
Click here to view a video to learn how to use these punches…
P.S. Martha’s online craft store ships worldwide!
(image: martha stewart)
Well it’s about that time to throw on some cute shoes and something shimmery and paint the town red — it’s the weekend, baby! But first, how are you all doing? I’m loving my new life here, I feel so energized by the sheer newness of it all. I’m well aware that the honeymoon period will eventually come to its lusty end, but for now I’m gathering all the breadcrumbs and bits that I can as I explore my new surroundings spending hours perusing grocery store aisles and drug stores trying to translate everything because nothing is in English here (not even as a second language — when it is, it is in French!).
A funny experience I had was in the local grocery store tonight, if you are American you’ll understand this… You know how in America we have a salad dressing called “Russian” dressing? It’s sort of flesh-toned peach and in my opinion, pretty gross. Well in Germany, they have this exact same dressing and you know it’s not called Russian dressing here. It’s called American dressing. Why? I have no clue. And after visiting about 100 stores, I finally found a can of peanut butter imported from America. It’s a small jar but good enough for me because I rarely eat it but it’s nice to know I at least can have it if I want too. Imagine walking into ONE American store without finding PB? Simply not possible!
The sheer experience of living as an expat in a foreign country is beyond my wildest dreams. I still sit here thinking, pinch me, did this all really just happen? If you’ve been following me for some time you know that I’ve wanted to live in Europe since I was pretty young and in my 20’s I set a goal for myself to eventually land here. Then I really started working towards this goal years back and now I AM HERE. I’m happy I settled on Germany, my husband and I entertained the option of other countries in the EU or other cities within Germany but this is the city where I feel the fit – and if the shoe fits my friends, you cannot wear anything else!
I hope that for any of you reading this blog entry right now, who have big dreams for yourself but feel like you are pretty far from reaching them, or perhaps that they’re unattainable altogether please please please let me be your example that if you want something bad enough, and work towards it, you will ultimately find yourself either reaching the goal or even another one you hadn’t thought you had until you started walking towards the initial one.
Who was it that said “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”? Well it’s very, very true.
We often want it all, and we want it now (or yesterday). But the good stuff in life takes patience to cultivate but come harvest time, you will see that the wait was absolutely worth every ticking minute on the clock that you endured, sometimes painfully. And now I find myself setting new goals since reaching this one, my confidence is soaring more than before, and I feel like since I was able to do this then I can certainly reach the next goal that I’ve set for myself and so on. And I have many new goals that I’ll share with you in the months ahead.
There is no magic formula when it comes to happy living and reaching goals. I am saying this to encourage you because I get emails from a lot of amazing people who are frustrated, drained, even ready to give up because they feel like life isn’t giving them what they’d hoped for. I understand these feelings so well. I often looked upon people who I deemed a success and felt like they must have some help, a rich family, connections, money, something that made them different from me so that I could justify why I didn’t have what they did. Then I started to see that the one thing I needed was inside of me — I just needed to ignite the fire — the passion that I had for certain things and then set goals and go for them. When you have passion that is sincere, nothing can stop you and this is a confirmed fact whenever you find a successful person living an authentic, happy life. The key is to figure out your passion and set goals and with time and consistency, you can be those whom you envy. You can stop watching others live your dreams.
None of us are outsiders when it comes to living our life, there is no glass to look through — we are in fact living it right here, right now — this is not a dress rehearsal, this is real life as I once heard. And it’s true. There is no future time when you or I are officially allowed to live our life and be joyous and happy in doing so. And hey, I’m not stuck in some fantasy happy-joy land where life is always perfect. I get frustrated, annoyed, angry, depressed… just like you do. But the key is to stay positive, afloat, make progress, move forward and to not allow yourself to stay in a rut once you’ve taken a fall into one.
Why am I writing all this on a Friday? Pretty heavy stuff, huh? Hey, it’s the weekend, time to live it up and have some fun! But with all of my heart I wanted to say these things simply because you are my friends and this is what friends do, talk to one another openly and freely when certain chatty moments hit. I guess this was my chatty moment.
In closing, I want to say that I am so lucky to have you to share this experience of relocating with. I cannot imagine not being a blogger and doing all of this without the support and comfort (and advice!) of my friends online. I love you all so, so much and thank you for supporting decor8 and making this move possible for me because in a way, you have. I’m working freelance as a writer because of your support and this newfound career as a writer/blogger since 2006 has paved many fantastic roads for me and I greatly owe this to my husband and family and next, to all of you.
I’ll be back again next week, part-time as I still have a slew of favorite things guests that want their turn to share (big smile), but I’ll still be here writing from time-to-time and sharing as I am able. I’m still working on legal paperwork and banking stuff and a bunch of other appointments but it’s all starting to level out now as I’ve been getting so much accomplished working only 30 hours a week. Again, thank you for giving me the time that I need to settle in. Have you been enjoying my guests? I edit all posts and read all comments, and I’m gathering that you are indeed enjoying them based on your feedback but I thought I’d ask anyway. :) It’s so important to me that you are continually inspired and that your soul is fed with good positive energy while I’m out and about. You deserve those things.
See you on Monday, make this weekend a good one! x0 Holly
(image: holly becker for decor8)