Monthly Archives

January 2010

Decorating Tips

Blossoms & Blooms

January 20, 2010

I need flowers in my life! I’ve been buying some here and there, but not weekly as I usually do and I can definitely see a difference in how my home looks and feels. Maybe some are not as sensitive to whether or not they have flowers around, but I am. My mother was trained in floral design before I was born so you can imagine how our home and yard looked growing up – flowers and plants and a gorgeously landscaped yard that was the envy of the neighborhood. In fact, our neighbors loved our yard so much that they’d ask my mother for tips and often when I couldn’t find her I’d see her planting and digging next door as the neighbor stood there grinning ear-to-ear. It was just her way. She planted, cultivated, picked and styled flowers, shrubs, trees, you name it… The flowers would often end up in pretty containers in our home and she even painted them onto canvas with oil paints simply because flowers inspired her and they just made her happy and still do.

Blossoms & Blooms

Illustration by Jennifer Murphy, photo from Domino.

Watching a mother so passionate for these things couldn’t help but leave an impression on me. But it wasn’t just her, my grandparents lived on a working farm where she was raised and so this passion was also planted in me at a very young age whenever I would visit them. And no doubt if and when I have children, I’ll be teaching them at least how to arrange flowers as I didn’t inherit a green thumb — though lately I’ve noticed my plants are no longer dried up and withered but healthy so perhaps my black thumb days are over.

Blossoms & Blooms

My own arrangements are shown above in both my current and last home.

Blossoms & Blooms

Nicoletter

Blossoms & Blooms

Rie Elise Larsen

What about you? When you look back on your childhood do you recall any experience or even a parent or sibling, aunt or uncle, even grandparents who had a deep appreciation for nature, namely plants and flowers, that they passed on to you? How did this influence your adult life? Or perhaps you did not have this influence early on but rather, picked it up as an interest later in life? And if so, what made you think more about bringing plants and flowers into your home? And how are you doing with raising them? How often do you buy flowers and style them? How does the experience make you feel? I ask all of these questions because I believe that demanding schedules and life in general gets in the way of slowing down to consider how and why we do certain things, why we have specific rituals around the home and how they make us feel and contribute to our overall sense of well-being. And by the way, the common expression, “Stop and smell the roses” is so true! As you are styling your arrangements at home, take time and really get into the moment as it can be quite an enjoyable experience of the senses.

Blossoms & Blooms

More generic arrangements but beautiful flowers from 1-800 Flowers. Note: Once they are delivered you can add in some of your own store bought blooms to design a custom bouquet.

This week I plan to buy some flowers that I’ve never bought before, lately I’ve been bringing home mostly tulips and roses and orchids. I will go to the farmers’ market tomorrow and try something new. The thrill of the hunt, even for something as simple as a bunch of flowers, can turn a rather mundane task into something pleasurable. There is nothing wrong with making some of the simple things in life matter in some way. It’s comforting somehow, like days aren’t running into weeks and months without me slowing down to feel all of these precious moments.

Blossoms & Blooms

Just a simple plant…Stella Nicolaisen

Blossoms & Blooms

A Creative Mint

Blossoms & Blooms

Flores Del Sol

Blossoms & Blooms

Heather in my living room from last Autumn.

Blossoms & Blooms

Shana Rae

Blossoms & Blooms

Sunday Suppers, Karen Mordechai.

Blossoms & Blooms

Wood & Wool Stool

Blossoms & Blooms

MayaLee Photography

Blossoms & Blooms

Spagat

Well, who thought that simply thinking about flowers this morning would lead to an essay? Aren’t flowers uplifting and altogether lovely? I can’t stop but appreciate them whenever I pass by an intriguing flower shop window. I peeked into a shop yesterday around the corner from my home and saw some sweet mini cypress trees that I may buy for my windowsills, or perhaps a small potted olive tree for my kitchen window. I can’t wait until Spring so I can hunt for some flowering branches to put in my living room, they make such a difference in the mood there and it only takes one or two in a tall vase. All of these beautiful photos show, whether large or small, flowers have a profound impact on our mood as well as our interiors. Don’t you think it’s time you took a walk over to your local flower shop?

(images linked to their sources above, please click on them to find the work of some pretty amazing creatives out there!)

Etsy Faves

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

January 19, 2010

Hello everyone! It’s time for Etsy Take Five Tuesday… are you ready? First let me say that I’ve been a busy beaver over the past few days with my e-class that kicked off yesterday and today a mountain of paperwork to do in addition to an open house to go to as we’re still on the prowl for a new place to live. It’s been one thing after another, I feel like a little hamster in a wheel! Oh wait, I’m a busy beaver… well you catch my drift. :) I’m so glad to finally sit down before I start recording my podcast for tomorrow’s class to talk to you and let you know that I’ve been thinking about you. How are you doing? Good? Bad? Just okay? Blah? I’ve been feeling a lot of chaos and nervous energy around me lately, especially online, people seem to be a bit unfocused and even uninspired and I want to tell you straight up that it’s the beginning of a new year, this is common and shall pass. Now let’s look at some beauty, shall we? These etsy stores have been on my radar over the past week or so, some you may know already, others not but all are equally beautiful and lovely to look upon. I hope that you enjoy my picks!

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

F2 Images has some of the best prints for the home, I love this photo featuring so many designs featuring insects… Aren’t they the best? Talk about an amazing product shot, this makes me want to own them all!

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

Next up is Claudia Pearson in Brooklyn who is an illustrator with an impressive portfolio – her work has been published in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Elle, Communication Arts and more, including books. In her shop she carries colorful prints and cards, the pink row houses are a personal fave because they are so very American to me even though they originate in England, and I love them because they remind me of some of my favorite neighborhoods in America. And funny thing is, I appreciate them even more now that I’m on new soil abroad because I no longer have exposure to them in Germany and things are always easier to see when you step back vs. when you look at them under a microscope.

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

Now let’s look at Nut and Bee in New Zealand. Oh my, the cuteness just kills me here! I love the bubble tea print, the tea looks so happy and that is nice because who wants to drink sad tea? It makes me miss going into Boston’s Chinatown for my monthly bubble tea boost. We have it here as well, but only in the summer months so I’m starting to crave it even though I have to wait until May. Nut and Bee has stickers, notepads, cards and prints along with other paper goods like sticky notes. Very sweet!

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

Cynthia Vardhan is a successful potter in Ohio with a degree in fine arts and a beautiful body of work that will have you swooning. Such talent! Her work is available in fine boutiques across America in addition to shows that she participates in and of course, her etsy shop.

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

Stuart Kolakovic is one to watch. He lives in Staffordshire, England and has some of the best work, the most unique, that I’ve seen in a while. Looks like he is closing up his etsy shop soon to reopen on his own website, so definitely check him out on etsy while you can. Great stuff.

See anything you like? I know, I know… it’s all good. :)

(images linked to their sources above)

Contests

West Elm Winners

January 19, 2010

It’s time to announce the five winners of the decor8 West Elm Giveaway! If your name appears below please double check that the comment number and the city/state is also a match. You have until January 31st to contact me via email (holly AT decor8blog.com) to claim your gift card. In your email please include your full (legal) name and mailing address so that I can pass on this information to West Elm who will take it from there. I’d like to thank ALL who participated in this giveaway but of course, we could only have five winners so…drum roll please!

West Elm Winners

Winners who will receive a $75 West Elm gift card according to random.org:

  • #49 Cheryl Oz, Lincoln Park, Michigan
  • #868 Kara, Cardiff By The Sea, CA
  • #976 Brigitte, Chicago, IL
  • #1008 Merrilee, South Pasadena, CA
  • #1017 Bree, Las Vegas, NV

C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S

And last but certainly not least, I’d like to personally thank West Elm for supporting decor8 and for your generous gift card giveaway. I hope to work with you on another giveaway in the future!

(image: west elm)

Decorating Tips

Just A Peek

January 18, 2010

Decorating comes in all shapes and sizes yet time and time again my eye gravitates towards homes that are well edited and creative, places where you know details matter. My friend has a very well edited home — even shampoo bottles are discarded and contents poured into clear plastic bottles instead so that the tub looks simple and neat. THE TUB. Hello. I am detailed-oriented and even I don’t do that! But it’s something to aspire to so I think I’ll talk to my husband because I often close the shower curtain to hide all of the ugly labels anyway. In the states it was different, the shampoo and conditioners that I used had the best packaging but here product packaging is a bit more generic and the good stuff in the gorgeous bottles is expensive. I simply do not want to shell out $25-30 for an 8 ounce bottle of shampoo.

Just A Peek

Sweet Berry Me

But shampoo bottles aside, I really appreciate people who put SO MUCH into their decor. It’s extremely energizing and motivating! So, with that being said, would you like to peek in on a few spaces today of your neighbors in the online decorating and crafting community?


Just A Peek

Dottie Angel + souvenirs du passé récent

Just A Peek

How Now Design + jasna janekovic

Just A Peek

ishtar olivera + Mundo Flo

Just A Peek

Simply Grove + herz allerliebst

Just A Peek

Trisha Brink Design + miss vu


How inspiring! What did you like in the photos above? I really like Simply Grove and her well arranged bookcase. I love all of the photos above, of course, but that one really stood out as I can only imagine the thought and care that went into such a gorgeous arrangement. And are her books facing pages outward and spines in or am I seeing things? How cool is that. And what about you? Spot anything above, in particular, that stood out? Another detail I noticed is the globe in How Now Design’s workspace. Scroll back up and see for yourself. Neat-o.

(images linked to their sources above)

Arts + Crafts, Etsy Faves

Wilkintie Letterpress Prints

January 18, 2010

Hello and welcome to a new week on decor8! I hope that each of you had a very nice and restful weekend, did you? I had plans to attend a rug design show (I know it doesn’t sound too exciting does it?) but I ended up staying home and organizing and thorough cleaning my living room, going through stacks of magazines, and writing, writing, writing course materials for my e-class which kicks off today for the next 7 weeks! And what about you, what do you have going on in your life currently? I like to catch up with you so feel free to share! And speaking of sharing…

Wilkintie Letterpress Prints

Wilkintie is a lovely etsy shop that I just discovered and shared today with my Real Simple audience, you may want to visit there for the full scoop on this exciting design duo based in Australia. This is truly fantastic letterpress work in which Wilkintie collaborates with some of their favorite artists to turn their work into prints with those lovely, deep impressions known as letterpress. There’s nothing like it in my opinion, it’s tactile and truly gorgeous – everyone should own at least one letterpress print or some cards because they feel almost like a luxury item, like sheets with a high thread count, LOL. :)

Wilkintie Letterpress Prints

The rabbit print is my favorite as feels very folk art inspired and I’m always eager to see modern interpretation of Finnish, Swedish, Russian, Czech and Polish folk art.

Happy Monday to you! I’ll be posting more goodies to share and inspire us both soon so stay tuned!

(images: wilkintie)

uncategorized

Happy Weekend!

January 15, 2010

Have a wonderful weekend friends and I’ll meet you back here on Monday for another week of fun on decor8 — and I’ll be announcing the winner of the decor8/West Elm gift card contest on Tuesday so you have all weekend still to enter if you haven’t already. Here’s the link to that post with details on how to win.

Happy Weekend!

Oh and a little Friday treat for you today, here are some CDs that you may want to check out over the weekend if you have time. I think they’re just love to play as you organize, tidy up, cook, play with your kids, or get ready for that hot date.

La Roux, The Resistance by Muse, Contra by Vampire Weekend, Lungs by Florence and the Machine, Seldom Seen Kid by Elbow and Rebkka Bakken.

And by the way, if you are a part of the eclass that I’m teaching with Leslie that begins on Monday, your login information was sent out this week so make sure you have it and have those pencils sharpened as class begins bright and early on Monday.

Make your weekend a great one!

(photo: hybris from my Interior Styling group.)

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