Tea With Camilla Engman

February 1, 2010

Artist Camilla Engman just made a few of her tea towels, designed alongside Third Drawer Down in Australia, available in her web shop. I particularly like the yellow and white towel and enjoy seeing it simply tacked to a wall above a chair – nothing fancy but quite lovely and relaxing to look upon – don’t you think?

Tea With Camilla Engman

One does not need to fuss around perfecting their interior environment, often a simple statement makes the biggest impact and can also cost the least amount of money. I often wish those who stress about decorating their homes thought about design in the way that I do, that you do not have to buy extremely expensive things or go into debt to impress others — but to simply challenge yourself to not spend a lot of money and still create an environment that speaks to you.

Some try to make their home fit the expectations of others or to fit a popular lifestyle trend simply “fit in” that their own heart and soul has been removed and replaced with brand name chairs and fancy wallpaper. Some crave that others will like their style and see them as cool or stylish — they want them to be impressed, but they’ve forgotten a key element — a truly stylish space is one that reflects the authenticity of those living in it and the life and joy and experiences they have had in the past.

When I see such beauty in simple touches that look and feel very cozy and personal I cannot help but think some worry way too much and if they’d only relax and decorate from the heart then their spaces would magically fall together. Perhaps that is the missing link in design, what sets apart one space from the next, not expensive things or copying the ideas of others or even replicating some common style or catalog theme but to simply do what you want to do – decorate from the heart – how would you decorate your bedroom or living room if you knew that no one would ever see it – only you and your family? And then perhaps with that thought in mind, you can feel free to paint birds on your ceiling and paint your moldings black against white walls and paint the legs of your dining room table chairs bright yellow. Maybe one just needs to free themselves from the expectations of others and pretend for a moment that only your decorating sense matters and go with it.

What do you think?

(image: camilla engman)


  • Reply ishtar February 1, 2010 at 5:49 am

    couldn´t agree more with what you´ve written! absolutley true!
    style is not about money at all but good and creative ideas that reflect your peronality : )
    .-= ishtar´s last blog ..Inspiration Monday =-.

  • Reply My Owl Barn February 1, 2010 at 6:36 am

    When it comes to decorating a home, I always think less is more. You should surround yourselves with only those things which you want to live with each day.
    .-= My Owl Barn´s last blog ..‘Owl Always Love You’ Body Butter =-.

  • Reply Floss February 1, 2010 at 6:45 am

    I agree we need to decorate for our own lives and hearts. I also find that I’ve felt more free and creative in decorating since I’ve leant more about it and seen more TV shows, magazines and blogs – the thing is to be inspired by all the good ideas but not slavishly copy.
    .-= Floss´s last blog ..The Masterpiece =-.

  • Reply Cheryl February 1, 2010 at 7:25 am

    so well said. I visited a home the other night, clearly ‘a showpiece,’ and the crystal in the hutch was enough to blind me. A ‘notice me’ home not a ‘this feels so good, I don’t want to leave’ home. It is all about heart.

  • Reply Ivy style33 February 1, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Oh I so, so much agree that everything should come form the heart, not to mention our living spaces! What else should they be, other than expressions of who we are, what we like and enjoy in life!
    …just a slight objection to the part about ” pretend for a moment that only your decorating sense matters “…how about actually feeling and doing so?
    After all, these are OUR spaces!
    This is why, I find it to be very important, when working with other people, advising them on how to live better in their homes, that lots of care is put in to finding out what they want ,who they really are and bringing the best out of them. We are ALL unique, wonderful in our own special ways and nobody else can be better us than….ourselves! And the same goes with our living spaces.

    Lots of love and wishes for a good month, yes, Holly, one month closer to Spring as you said : )
    .-= Ivy style33´s last blog ..Happy wishes : ) =-.

  • Reply Krystle Rose February 1, 2010 at 8:05 am

    I live in an apartment with typical apartment carpet and vertical blinds. I admit to feeling a little jealous of all the beautiful interiors I find on blogs with pretty wood floors and classy furniture. I was inspired by your words and completely agree that I don’t need to spend a fortune on brand name furniture. Instead I will focus on surrounding myself with things I love, even if they’re beat up a bit and chewed on by my cat.

    Thank you for this lovely post.

  • Reply Fresh Design Blog February 1, 2010 at 8:08 am

    I love using tea towels as wall art, especially as so many are so nicely designed. Camilla’s yellow and white tea towel looks especially effective against the white wall.
    .-= Fresh Design Blog´s last blog ..French fries chip and dip set =-.

  • Reply Gosia February 1, 2010 at 10:15 am

    This truth resonates with me to no end. It takes practice and time to pick up on the sense of one’s own style. I remember times when I would swoon over a design in a magazine, put energy and money to “achieve” the look and then cringe every time I entered the room. Identifying the moment of this uneasiness, I believe, is critical to developing, and learning, one’s own stylish personality. I love the simple elegance you exude through your blog, pictures, and words, it’s a treat to be trailing along. Thank you, Holly.
    .-= Gosia´s last blog ..Picture a Day: White on White =-.

  • Reply Meredith February 1, 2010 at 10:51 am

    I so agree with you. My husband and I are trying to redo our 110 year old house on a limited budget, which doesn’t leave alot of money left for decorating. I’ve been amazed at how beautifully using things we already have, or inexpensive touches, has worked! And the final product has more sentimental value than it would have if everything was bought new.
    .-= Meredith´s last blog ..Flirting 101 =-.

  • Reply Natalie from MD February 1, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Great Blog! I find myself stuck in a situation where I am half way decorating for others and what is in style, and partly for my own comfort, which leave my house in a confusing state. I have a hutch filled with beautiful papers I’ve bought, one on a memorable trip to Florence, I think I might pin it up in my dining room when I get home!

    Thanks for reminding me that I need to stop worrying about others, and find what makes me and my family comfortable.

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente February 1, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Oh yes! I completely agree….not that I don’t feel unsure a lot of the time because I do….but, what I always come back to is “Melissa, you can only pick and do what you love, because that is what you know and who you are” I know my home isn’t for everyone but, I love it. Thanks for this Holly!
    .-= Melissa de la Fuente´s last blog ..Monday: Inspired by doe c doe =-.

  • Reply Mama Without Borders February 1, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    I find that I’m much better at decorating just for myself and my family as I get older. I sometimes get comments that my home is a little quirky but I don’t really care what others think. Those comments actually make me laugh. I enjoy that my home is so much a reflection of my family and I and not a copy of a catalogue page. That said, I do read a lot of blogs and magazine for inspiration on ways to execute my vision for my home.

    As for everyday objects as art, I think almost anything can be art on the walls, it just needs to be artfully executed. ;-)
    .-= Mama Without Borders´s last blog ..A $5 table transformed =-.

  • Reply frauheuberg February 1, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    …read it now…and its right…you never need much money to make you a cozy place…you only must follow your heart and the feelings you have…and then you can create something personal, something special in the way you like…and that is it what make a place to your “home”…;)…
    .-= frauheuberg´s last blog ..collector´s passion =-.

  • Reply Julie Thompson February 1, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    I just stumbled upon your blog – what a delight to read! You are oh so right about decorating – personal authenticity is *so* important! My tastes are rather eclectic- earth tones, woodsy colors, assorted collection of antique items handed down through the family…but it’s personal and feels comfortable, and that’s what’s important.

  • Reply jenn February 2, 2010 at 10:30 am

    well said!!!
    .-= jenn´s last blog ..snow day fun! =-.

  • Reply Yasmine February 2, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Your post is so inspiring that it could become a manifesto of decorating “by heart”. I’ve seen so many heartless and cold spaces and I never understood how one can hire a decorator to create a space that should be your own?! Thank you Holly for never ending inspiration!
    .-= Yasmine´s last blog ..Wonderful Cinnamon Swirl Cake Recipe =-.

  • Reply blue bicicletta February 3, 2010 at 1:19 am

    I really appreciate this idea—most especially because I am on a very low, mostly non-existent budget for decorating. I’ve noticed that I’ve started to accumulate many interesting small objects recently—because I love them. These items are beginning to add flair to my home—case in point are some giant letters I got last summer when I saw a workman pulling them off the side of the building I was working in. They’re now hanging on my wall and make me smile whenever I see them. It may be a little slower when you’re on a tiny budget, but each item can be that much more meaningful and thoughtful.
    .-= blue bicicletta´s last blog ..In Appreciation of the Slow Build =-.

  • Reply ninainvorm February 3, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Amen! ;)
    I think it’s possible to create something nice under all (financial) circumstances. Yes, you can have a great home with beautiful pricy furniture… But yes, you can also have a great home with affordable stuff that you put your heart and creativity in!

    • Reply decor8 February 3, 2010 at 1:12 pm

      Nina – I was JUST thinking about you today, and here you are commenting on my blog. Funny how this works sometimes, isn’t it? So I was thinking of you because, can you believe, I finally pulled out the magazine that you sent to me months ago and looked at your beautiful home inside… it was lovely! I thought I had misplaced the issue when it arrived, and have been looking for months, and I finally found it two days ago. I am so happy that I did. You must be so proud of that article. :)

  • Reply ninainvorm February 4, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Oh that’s a funny coincidence indeed Holly! In fact the header above that article on my home says ‘Found objects’ and the article is a lot about how I find affordable things on flea markets and in thrift shops, so that goes along with this post you’ve written here pretty well! I’m happy you liked the article! ;)

    • Reply decor8 February 4, 2010 at 12:07 pm

      Nina – That is funny, especially since I cannot read a word of Dutch! LOL

  • Reply Tess February 5, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Thank you for reminding me of what I have always known to be true, but sometimes forget. Very well said.

  • Reply emily February 10, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    well said. decorating should be like being 5 again and doing a giant finger painting. pure joy.
    .-= emily´s last blog ..my new mobile from Bookhou =-.

  • Reply Rhiannon June 10, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Love the tea towel and completely agree with you that interior design done well has little to do with big budgets. If you start with an object or picture that you love and work from there it is hard to go wrong.
    .-= Rhiannon´s last blog ..Exhibition Video – Islands and Cities. =-.

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