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Tea Time!

Tea Time by Dylan Gunnett

Posted in uncategorized on September 27, 2009

Happy Weekend!

I’d like to take a moment before signing off for the weekend to thank you for visiting me here on decor8 this past week and for all the wonderful comments you’ve left that I enjoyed reading so very much! I’ve had a great week and I hope you have enjoyed the content that I’ve presented as much as I have. There is more in store for next week, so I’ll return again on Monday with a new batch of posts and experiences to share.

Happy Friday!

But before we part, I have a few things to share with you that I’ve been enjoying. First, these vintage bottles from the local pharmacy, they used them years ago and recently sold 4 to me for 2- euros each. I use them to place beads inside, also for flower stems and other miscellany. I added Japanese masking tape because you can barely see them otherwise. But just for today. Tomorrow they may hold a few stems of wild flowers instead. The pharmacy has additional larger ones available too. I am so tempted… If only the had the space!

Jöhrenshof Shop

Next, this design store in Hannover that I visited on Tuesday called Jöhrenshof. Part florist, part garden center and gift shop with home furnishings, bedding and more. The store is grouped into rooms and is just the most beautiful shop ever). They have wonderful bath products. I love my new home!

Fresh Heather

And finally, fresh heather for my mother-in-law’s patio. :) It’s in bloom here and grown in the state where I live so you can find it everywhere for around 2,50- euros per pot. Oh and these handpainted soup bowls are ones I just took out of my china cabinet this afternoon for the hot homemade soup that Thorsten made for me since I seem to have caught a cold since last night… He made veggie soup and it was divine — as is everything he cooks. He is very Nigella in the kitchen and so no recipes are used and only fresh ingredients are chopped, peeled and placed into a hearty broth – all with love.

So I will go now with my bowl of steaming hot vegetable soup and get on with my weekend. I’m wishing you a wonderful few days until we meet again — be safe, be happy, and most of all, be creative in some small way if you can!

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in uncategorized on September 25, 2009

Book Review: Perfect English Cottage

Time for a little book review of a most glorious decorating book that would do any coffee table proud: Perfect English Cottage by best selling author Ros Byam Shaw with photos by one of England’s most sought-after photographers, Jan Baldwin. Ros Byam Shaw is a freelance journalist and writes for design magazines in addition to being the author of a bestseller. A former Features Editor at The World of Interiors and Deputy Editor of the British edition of W magazine, she lives in a restored Elizabethan manor in Devon, England where she penned this inviting and informative book. Care to sit next to me on the sofa and flip through with me today? Oh good! Because you have no choice. :)

Perfect English Cottage

The publisher of this title, Ryland Peters & Small sent me a copy and not only did I fall in love instantly, I was so hungry for English that I read most of it too! I don’t review all the books sent in because I will not review just any title — if something doesn’t fit my taste or interest (no matter if it is free or not), I don’t bother. But this one — well it’s special — I had to share because it’s quintessential Britain. Whenever I’ve visited England, I always enjoyed strolling around the charming villages mostly for the ambiance — stone homes and pathways, rolling hills, traditional thatched roofs, and wooden floors… Along with the cozy, inviting rooms and rustic fireplaces. The perfect vacation spot in the Autumn is to break free from the modern conveniences of city life (or inconveniences, however you see it) and head to a cottage of any kind really, but an English one is like a big, warm hug. It’s where you go for a few weeks to roll out dough, bake apple pies and curl up under plaid woolen blankets with a mug of cocoa or hot mulled wine. No diets. No laptop. No television. That is what Perfect English Cottage feels like in book format – a big cozy vacation space meant for dreaming.

Perfect English Cottage

Perfect English Cottage

Perfect English Cottage

Perfect English Cottage

Perfect English Cottage

Perfect English Cottage

So, what do I like about this book? Nothing. I was so disappointed! Ha ha! No seriously, it is fabulous and I won’t at all be surprised if it becomes the authors next bestseller. For one, it’s huge and the photographs are inviting and vivid. For $22 (at least at Amazon), it’s a steal because I think it’s worth $50 due to book size and the amount of photographs inside. I love a good coffee table book. Photos are not used over and over again on different pages throughout the book, either. Each page is different from the last, each photo new and beautifully shot – the mood of the space reaches out from the pages and pulls you in like cookies beckoning you from the oven. And it was published, in my opinion, during the perfect time of the year (it just released) because it fits the weather and how I imagine England as I’ve only been there in the Autumn months.

I also like it because it  features real homes, 18 of them, and all categorized so you have rustic, whimsical, historical and cottages by the sea to name a few, all styled with absolute perfection. It is divided, by style, into five key chapters: Character, Holiday, Romance, Simplicity and Elegance. It reminds me so much of some of the homes I’ve either lived in or visited when I lived in New England back in the states, which is another reason why I love this book so much — it’s a reminder of a bit of where I’ve been and experiences I’ve had. The medley of patterns, prints, colors and textures in each room lures you in and holds your attention — and one theme I see through the photographs is simplicity, creating a retreat, layering experiences and years into the home decor, and infusing rooms with character while still using careful restraint so as to not overwhelm the space or yourself with too much clutter. These rooms are edited beautifully.

Perfect English Cottage

Perfect English Cottage

Perfect English Cottage

Perfect English Cottage

Perfect English Cottage

Bottom line: If you love a good English cottage, take it from me — this is a great addition to your decorating library.  This book won’t disappoint!

Please note: As most of you know but I’ll say it again… all book links to the title are associated with my Amazon store and will link to Amazon where you can purchase it. If you purchase the book, I earn 6% of the book total ($3.85 USD before tax).

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Books + Magazines on September 25, 2009

Martha, Where Art Thou?

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.

Martha Stewart Where Are You?

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)

Posted in uncategorized on September 25, 2009

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