I just realized that I need to update the blog of the week and so while I was reading Door Sixteen this morning, I found the blog that I would put in the featured spot until next Monday. It’s called Nestled In and is written in English by Finnish couple, Katja and Minna, who have the best taste and who are quite fond of IKEA. These two will change the way you look at IKEA, especially if you’re one to dismiss them as either the last resort for something or not grown up enough, or simply for the college crowd as some may say.
Here in Germany, and I’m assuming most of Europe in general, this store is what Target is to Americans — the place to go for those staple items you need in the home without spending a fortune and of course they’ll have style, your bowls and table linens will be in either fun patterns and colors or in the best modern shapes. Not only the college crowd shops IKEA here, but many others do as well… including me! Some buy the furniture, others just accessories like lamps and trays, and still others go for the textiles available on the bolt by the meter for sewing up projects at home. I like their plastic trays, food containers, appliances and kitchen cabinetry, and office furniture for example. I also like their plants and flower pots. And of course all of the opportunities to repurpose or paint some of your finds.
What I love about Nestled In is that Katja and Minna seem to take those things in-store that you may have walked right by not even giving them a second look — but then you spot them on their blog and think, “Hey, that thing is cool – how come I didn’t notice it in the store?”. Whether from a big box store or a thrift shop, they score some of the best pieces! This is the sign of a person with a good eye, they spot the things that others often overlook which is why reading a blog like Nestled In (or any other blog written by someone with obvious good taste) can train the eye. If you don’t feel that you are currently that type of person, the one with the good eye, then blog reading can definitely aid in becoming better at sourcing finds in the future and in developing your own sense of style.
I hope this doesn’t sound conceited but I’ll say it anyway, those of you who know me know I’m not a show off, but I’ve always had a good idea of what I liked and some refer to this as good taste, and this is why I started decor8 in the first place. I’ve always had a knack for finding things that others didn’t see. However, I must confess, that blogging for nearly four years now has definitely improved my eye and sharpened my ability to curate and pull things that fit into my aesthetic.
I believe that blogging, based upon my own personal experience, works wonders in this area. The more you “curate”, the more you come across a sort of pattern or spot a theme – you’ll notice that your tastes and interests start to become very, very obvious to not only your readers but to you. It’s one of the many reasons why I always kept a written journal since the age of 7 or 8 and why I still do — I can go back and see a pattern to the way I’ve always thought or felt, or see what dreams I had 10 years ago that are still very much alive today. Like my dream of relocating to another country. And now that I’ve done it and can go back to entries in my journal 15 years ago talking about my trip to Paris and how much I’d love to relocate to Europe (I never had my eye on one particular place, I thought about England and France, but doesn’t every American?) and seeing now that I’ve accomplished that goal I feel very happy and confident that I can reach the other goals that I wrote down years ago (and currently) as well.
Same with blogging. I think putting yourself and your likes out there you can find your personal taste and even your calling in a particular profession. That is also why I don’t highlight things on my blog that I dislike, or that others try to pressure me to write about (I get that a lot), I only want to curate things I like from my heart, things that I want to be part of my online journal – those I want to influence my taste and style further so that I can stay on course with exactly what I like versus things I sorta like or am not so sure about. So when people ask me, “How did you find your style?”, one reply I have that makes the answer short and easy for others is: through consistent research and blogging. I mean, there is much, much more that has to do with how I grew up and what I was exposed to from the time I was born but these are not things that make others feel like what you have is also possible for them since we cannot change how we were raised. I was lucky to be raised by a highly creative family of mostly small business owners. But not everyone else had this kind of expose from birth. So if you did not grow up this way, you can still get a sense of your style and become more creative by starting a blog or even a written journal where you collect your inspirations in one spot through photographs, tear sheets, even paint swatches from the hardware store, fabric samples and leftover pieces of wallpaper. Your blog, or book, can be the space in which you collect everything that inspires you and makes you happy. You know who does a beautiful job at this? Yvonne from the Yvestown blog. She has another blog, but it’s more of a drop box for things that she finds and loves with little text, and it’s called Today I Love. Check it out. This is another way to blog your inspirations if you’re not big on writing. Visual blogging as it is commonly referred to.
Okay so I’ve gone a bit off track but oh well… If you are still reading and haven’t completely zoned out or fallen asleep, then perhaps you’ve enjoyed hearing my thoughts on this whole topic of developing ones own personal style. Now, let’s return back to the original reason for this post…. :) Let us resume regular programming…
I hope that you enjoy reading Nestled In this week as the blog of the week, and I hope that you’ve enjoyed the images I’ve shared with you in this post from Katja and Minna’s beautiful home in Oulu, Finland. They’re quite inspiring, don’t you think?
(images: nestled in)
I noticed recently that artist Geninne Zlatkis, whom I’ve been following for several years now, has a series of art videos over at Vimeo sharing how she carves stamps, paints with white ink, and some of her watercolor techniques. I love this and wish more of my favorite artists would give online instruction a whirl because it’s so exciting to watch the process and feel as though I’m seated in the same room taking part in it all.
I think they’re very helpful and motivating, I love watching an artist at work so I’ve already viewed them all with my morning tea. I hope that you enjoy them! And to view more of Geninne’s art and learn about her work, you can visit her beautiful blog, Geninne’s Art Blog.
P.S. Don’t you just love her art studio and art wall?
(images: geninne zlatkis)
Hello Friends! It’s me, Leslie and it’s time for Color Me Pretty again. Are you ready to see what I’ve come up with this time around? Today I am using different shades of mauve, magenta and deep purple combined with lots of aged paper for a more nostalgic feel. What do you think? I also wanted to paint some Anni Albers (German textile artist and printmaker, read more here) inspired patterns in watercolor to bring geometric elements to the mix as I always like it when different styles converge, don’t you? Some of the dahlias I photographed also inspired me to paint a few which brings a softness to some crafts I made for you. I really hope you enjoy this little investigation.
Decorating ideas: As you know vintage papers of any kind can provide an interesting texture to your home decor. Old books with worn spines on a shelf, maps of cities you love or images from bygone eras can help to create more flavor to any room. I have noticed that vintage post cards are widely available at my local flea market and they can be an instant way to add color and a little bit of history to your walls. It is also fun to turn them over and show the old handwriting and stamps on the back. I could imagine some tacked in a group or clipped to a string hung on a wall, some showing the images and some showing the back. The postcards I picked up were fifty cents to a dollar with some dating back to 1910.
DIY Ideas: Garlands (above) are featured everywhere these days but they are also nostalgic and so sweet, I just had to try making one for you in this color scheme! After scanning in some of my watercolors I then printed them out on textured paper, cut the triangles, and then quickly glued them to a ribbon. I hope you like it and I will try to sew one next time!
Another DIY idea — Lastly, I scanned in some old German text book pages to use as a background texture for some of the photographs and for some little gift tags that I made. I just didn’t feel right about cutting up the book for my crafts! Are you the same way when it comes to cutting up books? It’s hard, isn’t it?
I really look forward to seeing you back here in a couple weeks!- xo, Leslie
(images: leslie shewring)