It’s funny to live in a country where you cannot find Martha Stewart anywhere. It’s like, kind of weird, surreal, strange… no problematic but just odd because she is everywhere in the states. I don’t see her publications on newsstands (only one that I know of in the train station carries random issues of Weddings, but they haven’t had one since I arrived so perhaps they’ve discontinued selling it), I don’t see her products in stores, nothing. The average housewife/mother/other here, I’m guessing, doesn’t even know who she is. Jamie Oliver, Donna Hay, and Nigella Lawson are known and esteemed but try to find a Martha book and you’re up a creek without a mint green paddle. It really floors me. I guess I just assumed she was big over here.
Why isn’t Martha in Germany? Is she in France? The UK? Martha Martha, where art thou Martha? I don’t get it, truly. I think Germans would love her. She is everything they admire — she’s a perfectionist, she’s organized, and she’s an exceptional cook and homemaker. Europe would love her (I’m assuming she’s not a household name in the surrounding countries as well after a quick google search), right? And in a country where modern crafting is starting to really take shape, she could dominate the market here. Germany needs you, Martha Stewart. Or do they? It’s a lot to think about. And for selfish reasons, I need to see your face a little more because seeing you on the internet just doesn’t cut it. It’s not the same as holding your products in my hand or watching your show where you invite rappers to dish and comedians to dine. In fact, I don’t see a “celeb” culture here when it comes to crafting and decorating… Hmmm.
(images: martha stewart)
I have a few lovely pages to share with you sent in by Melinda, designer/owner of Dandi in Australia, who recently assisted Wedding Style Guide (leading Australian bridal magazine that looks divine) with some gorgeous products and ideas for a wedding theme. People generally don’t think of a wedding magazine as anything they’d pick up unless they are getting married or helping to plan one, but I refer to them constantly as a source of decorating ideas and for color palette and pattern inspiration in addition to styling ideas for parties. I find some of the most exquisite color medleys in bridal magazine spreads so I insist on finding a good bridal magazine and subscribing to it because it can really help train your eye and develop your own personal style and creativity. I believe the more you look at beautiful, well edited and carefully styled things, the more you are training your eye for good design and you may even start to see your own wardrobe, home and even food preferences improve. I notice that after several years in this profession, my taste (which was a bit all over the place when I started), finally developed into a coherent style that fits me and my personality and lifestyle perfectly.
I always had good taste in things like most of you, but I needed to refine and trim and work out exactly what my own personal style statement really was so that when I shop or flea market or anything else, I’m not carrying home things that I liked in-store but that do not work in my home. Some people are always very surprised at how I am able to do this but it comes from years of training in addition to being born with a certain fascination for decorating that became evident to my family when I was a very young girl who was obsessed with decorating and constantly flea marketing and shopping at my mother’s side — trading in trips to amusement parks and waterslides to accompany her instead or sitting by her side watching her patiently sew for hours — everything from shower curtains to drapes to the clothes that I wore. My mother was a domestic goddess and I was happy to be in-training by her side. She also loved to landscape and was known in our neighborhood for having the best yard ever. When I’d go outside to look for her, it wasn’t uncommon to find her chatting up the neighbors, giving them planting tips on on her knees in their yard showing them how to arrange and plant things. She was also trained in her twenties as a floral designer, so we had flowers in our home at all times. I was also very keen on the neighborhood paper goods shop and would blow my entire allowance every Friday on Japanese “Sanrio” products from pencils to smelly erasers and diaries. Then I’d head to the bookshop to buy books and magazines. Hey, it was the 80s.
In fact, all I ever wanted when I was really young was to have my own home one day – I didn’t think about having babies, playing mommy and I gave little thought back then to having a husband or even a career as much as I thought about how fun it would be to have an entire house to decorate and “play” in. I’m sure many of you can recall your own memories of when you were very young, before you had external influences to tell you to be “this or that” profession, when all you loved to do was play “house” or be a mommy. It’s fun to think about how those days influence who you are now and what you like. As I grew older, my preferences remained strong on decorating and moving the furniture all over the house, but then I learned how to read and write and would spend hours (after decorating and cleaning and perfectly arranging everything in my room) writing in my journals or making my own little books with my horrible illustrations. I learned early on that I would not be an illustrator, but I still loved to try. And because I hated doing homework, the only way I could do it was to “teach” it before my class of stuffed animals lined up on my bed with name tags. It’s no surprise that I still love all of these things. Blogging, in particular, has helped me immensely when it comes to getting in touch with what I loved to do as a child. In school, particularly high school and college, I lost touch with who I really was deep inside because I just needed to get a job, pay the bills, and work. And I did this for many years until I decided to get back in touch with my first loves, I guess you could say. And from there, things have gone so well. I find that once you do what you were sorta created to do in life, things just flow… And you start to really figure stuff out. Like personal style. You wouldn’t believe how greatly personal joy and happiness affects your ability to get in touch with your personal style and to know yourself. Now what does all this have to do with an Australian wedding magazine? I’m getting there…. :)
Decorators, designers, stylists and people with good taste in general train this by carefully choosing, knowing their style, and often carrying with them swatches from things in their home so that when they shop there isn’t a bad decision made that one pays for later. There is not much more of a secret to shopping than that – honestly. To know thyself… this is the way to avoid picking up things that you don’t like when you get home. So! This is why I always encourage people to surround themselves with things and places and even people that inspire their own creativity, happiness and help them to train their eye so that there is a greater sense of peace when at home amongst all these “things” collected out in ones journey. And having a good solid collection of books and magazines that reflect YOUR vision is vital to all this as well. So next time you see a beautiful bridal magazine with a focus on tabletop decorating, floral arrangements, favors, etc. don’t pass it by discarding it as not applicable. It is! It is! If you’re not convinced, head to a magazine rack and see if you can be swayed… Check out wedding blogs too (they’re magnificent resources with often über creative authors) Or simply view these shots within this post. I particularly love the styling but also the colors (yellow and aqua, which has to be one of my favorite color combos) and ideas in general. Have a look, I think that Melinda did a beautiful job.
(images: wedding style guide)
Happy Friday to you! I hope you’re ready for the weekend, I sure am! But first, I have a shop tour to share from Sweden. And… well I hope to do a lot more of these again in the future so if you have a lovely shop that you’d like to show off, and you want thousands of eyes to see it outside of your local neighborhood, please contact me (holly at decor8blog dot com) with a few preview photos so I can see your shop! Don’t be shy, it’s a great way to share your passion and a good way to market yourself at no charge — something small businesses really need to do in order to stay afloat. You can’t sit behind the cash register thinking some magazine editor will find you, in this day and age you have to get online and share your store with blogs. I’ve had many magazine editors connect with those I’ve featured on this site — and those are the people you want to get in front of and this is often impossible so please, take this opportunity to share your shop! Really! AND if you are an indie designer, scroll to the bottom of this post…
I cannot share all shops that are submitted but I can tell you this: I’m looking for stores that are unique, interesting, creative and one that you can imagine seeing on this blog — fitting within the aesthetic and mood here. I think the shop I’m about to show you is a great example of what I’m looking for — small, local, unique, with strong attention to detail when it comes to visual merchandising and overall layout. I also love the way these were photographed in natural sunlight vs. harsh overhead lighting or worse, with flash photography. I hope my submission guidelines don’t come across as too snobby, but I’m very dedicated to sharing beauty on this site and great decorating ideas that inspire so I have to maintain a few house rules. But, I’m very open to sharing and connecting people so if you are too and want to show us your retail shop, please have it photographed or do-it-yourself and send them to me so I can schedule you in. If I receive enough submissions, I’ll turn this back into a regular weekly “event” here on Fridays and revive Shop Talk along with it – a column I once ran where we talked about small business related topics. I think it’s more important than ever to share the small retail establishments that give so much to a community because we want them to thrive and stick around. Here in my city, more and more small stores are opening and I’m so happy to see this growth. Go indie!
With all that said… here is a special shop in Malmö, Lutterlagkage, that I’ve been dying to share with you, owned by Stine Holm Weirsoe originally from Denmark. She JUST opened, so these photos were just submitted to me by Stine this morning. Hot off the press! With the photos, I’ve asked her a few questions so please join us today as Stine and I have a chat about her new storefront. Please click on these images to see the details.
Good morning Stine! Tell us, what do you sell in your new shop? I mainly sell children’s clothing and accessories. The shop is centered on my own designs sold under the name “lutterlagkage.dk” I have added some of my favourite brands in children’s wear like Swedish “DUNS” and Danish “Milibe”. I focus on sustainability and great design with character. What I really want with the shop is to create a place that is brimming with colour, joy and creativity. A place where you can let your hair down and have fun. That is why I also sell interior details such as handmade vintage fabric cushions, vintage wallpaper silhouettes and handmade porcelain jewellery, all products to help spark the lutterlagkage lifestyle.
What are some of your favorite things about this space? One of the favourite things is that I have a big window which is great for displays and for being in touch with the world! Being at home with only the website to showcase my things has been fine but I missed the part where you put your things on display and enjoy them and feel proud because they work as well as you had imagined. I also love the white floors, the fact that I have three rooms – one for the retail space, one for offices space and storage and then a workshop in the back. And I love to be out there, in the real world!
Did you DIY anything we’re seeing here as far as the design of the space goes — and if so, what? I basically DIYed everything with the help of friends and family. I painted, put up the wallpaper tree, a design from Holland that I carry in the shop, put up shelves and wallpaper, mounted the lamps, assembled numerous IKEA items…
I noticed the clothes rack is floating from the ceiling, so that’s something you also did yourself? Yes! My friend Katrine came up with the idea of a rack hanging from the ceiling. It proved to be so much harder than we thought ;) But I think it looks great.
Okay, I am dying to know… what does Lutterlagkage mean? Lutterlagkage is a Danish manner of speaking used to express that all is well, that you are happy with something and that you think that everything is crème de la crème! The English equivalent is “peaches and cream”. In Danish we often use the term in its negative form, saying that this or that is NOT “lutterlagkage” and that is said very often about life. But I insist! Life IS lutterlagkage! There is another catch to the phrase; lagkage is the traditional birthday cake, the notorious three-layer-cake. What could be better suited for bright, bold and colourful design than that?
And lastly, what inspired your overall design? My design is very much inspired by my clothing design. I wanted surroundings that communicated the basic values I have built my brand upon; fun, retro eclectic style with a clear inspiration from childhood memories (yes, those were from back in the early seventies :)) and an obtainable DIY-edge. I also wanted my shop to ooze of that Danish design aesthetics well known abroad. That is why I went for classic Verner Panton FlowerPot pendants (reproductions from the 60s) and classic vintage desk lamps, known in Denmark as “architects lamps”. I also wanted the design to reflect my focus on recycling, up-cycling and sustainability so I made sure to use what I had and what was there as a starting point (the counter and the hand was left by former tenants), I had the lamps and the display table and some of the shelves. That is always my starting point because I like that warm welcoming ambiance that comes with beat-up furniture and miss-matched item – if it’s done cleverly and stylishly. I wanted my shop to have that lived-in ambiance that makes you go “ahhhh” and makes you want to stay and visit again
Stine you’ve done a beautiful job with your shop – thank you for sharing it with us today on decor8!
Shop address: Online and Hyregatan 7, 21121 Malmö, Sverige.
Indie Designers: Stine is offering a few spots for other indie designers with similar design aesthetics and feel to sell in the shop on commission. Contact Stine for more information: stine AT lutterlagkage.dk
(images: Stine Holm Weirsoe)
The season is starting to change from Summer to Autumn and Oktoberfest will kick off next week. This is my favorite time of the year, the time for new beginnings, leather jackets and layering clothes, pretty bags and boots, and patterned tights. It’s also a great time to layer the home, decorate, and enjoy candles and warm meals with your family.
The leaves are starting to change (we have the same beautiful Fall as in New England, thankfully, so I’m not missing out), acorns and chestnuts are all over the walkways and streets, the red squirrels are busy collecting (here’s what squirrels look like here), the air is changing to crisp and slightly cool, and at night I can smell the stoves burning — that lovely smell of wood combined with the smell or plants and earth from the nearby largest urban forest in Europe just two blocks away (side note: it has a ancient nine-ring turf labyrinth that my husband played in as a child, it has existed since 1642, isn’t that cool?).
So, on with the point of presenting Terrain! I was so happy to learn that Terrain at Styer’s in Pennsylvania, a garden shop, greenhouse and cafe, now has an online store. Has anyone been to their PA location? It really reminds me of some of the garden centers that I see over here… I love the organic feel and how cozy everything is — plus their attention to detail and their design eye is absolute perfection. It’s great that their shop is now online for those who don’t live anywhere near Pennsylvania but who would enjoy some of their product offerings. Here are some views of their store in case you’d like to travel there today… And below, are some views of products that I love – my wish list. :) Please click images to enlarge.
a. Open weave teak sofa (for the patio), b. rust wire edging for the garden, c. romantic mood lighting for the patio, d. a unique metal & rope pendant, e. Hadley Hutton prints (just because), f. Tretorn boots for planting, g. ruled vase (love!) and h. nesting bowls (double love!).
1. natural nail brush (we have these everywhere here, Germans are big on natural brushes of all shapes and sizes!), 2 + 3. yummy candles from: Le Conte in pear or fresh mown grass from Mark and Sally Bailey, 4. carrot hand cream, 5. alaska mud mask and brush (after a long day in the garden), 6. homemade pie fillings, 7. glass and rope terrarium (wow, imagine several grouped on a buffet?), 8. bird trivet, 9. culinary lavender (great for breads and chocolates!), 10. and a jute log basket because it’s important to keep that firing burning and 11. a good book: natural garden style to relax with.
What are some of your favorites from Terrain? What does Fall look like in your part of the world? Isn’t it Spring in South Africa and warming up in Australia too?
This morning I’m delighted to share a few corners of the home of photographer, blogger and etsy shop owner Danielle Thompson. Note: This post also includes a link to a DIY tutorial for the greenish blue plastic doilies that you see on her wall below, so don’t miss that. I thought that I’d have Danielle tell us about some of her inspirations and ideas for her home, so I’ve asked a few questions that I was curious about… Let’s get started and view the nooks in Danielle’s home!
Danielle and her family (2 young boys, a dog and a turtle) live in metro Atlanta, Georgia in a ranch style 3-bedroom home (approx. 1,800 square feet) circa 1962 with 2 baths. Just when you thought you could say, “This lady obviously doesn’t live with any men!”, well I guess we’ll all wrong!
What inspires you Danielle? As obvious by my photos, I take huge inspiration from vintage. Especially from the 60′s and 70′s. I love to mix many different patterns, colors and textures and I often have little forethought in how a room will turn out. I collect items randomly for a while, and then I just sort of throw it all together and see what happens. Sometimes it doesn’t work, but sometimes it does. :) Most of all, I always want to create rooms that have a sense of nostalgia and whimsy, that always take you back to a certain time in your past and most of all, rooms that don’t take themselves too seriously. I have two young boys as well, and that plays into my furniture choices – I don’t splurge on furniture because little boys are quite wild! But I can splurge on vintage accent pieces that are placed “up high” where the boys can’t get to them. It creates a good balance of practicality and my love of vintage.
How to for the doilies shown above on the wall: “I cut them in half with a craft knife and adhered them to the wall with adhesive spray. On two of them I accidentally used permanent adhesive, and on the others I used temporary adhesive because I was worried about them messing up the walls if I took them down. But after seeing them up for a while, the permanent would be fine on all (they come off just fine). I really love how they “frame” this little grouping of items. This is essentially what you see when you walk in the front door, so the doilies give it a lot more presence.” – Danielle
What do you do for a living? I’ve been a graphic designer for over 10 years now, and I do (very) part-time work with that. I spend most of my time designing my digital and printable craft/scrapbooking kits, Kitschy Digitals. I have also designed several things for the crafter: paper goods, polymer stamp collections and embroidery patterns.. all of which you can find in my Etsy shop, Tiny Bazaar. I also have a line of Vinyl Wall Decals (one is shown above framing the prize ribbons) and prints of my photography, also in my Etsy shop.
What inspired your selection of your newly decorated living room, “The Blue Room”? The blueish/grayish room with lots of horse imagery… well that room was previously a very dark cranberry red. I’ve been slowly redecorating my house. After 10 years of much more vibrant, rich colors on my walls, my aesthetic has changed. I wanted to do something more subtle and soothing with this room, and less clutter. We have very low ceilings, the rooms are small, as are the windows, so our home does not get a ton of good natural light coming in. So we went with a much lighter, less saturated, light blue. We really love the room. The decor is much more spare which creates a relaxing atmosphere – and of course the change from a very warm red, to a soothing blue helps so much in the relaxation factor. I really wanted the decor that I’ve collected to provide the color and interest, instead of the wall color.
Thank you Danielle for visiting all of us here today! We’ve enjoyed these colorful glimpses of your home so, so much!
(photography: danielle thompson)