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The Homemade Home by Sania Pell

I must show you my new favorite book but first, I’m embarrassed to make this confession… You see, before my copy of The Homemade Home by Sania Pell arrived this morning I had never heard of this talented lady before. How could this be, she is so amazing and I’m always online and reading everything I come across! Oh well, I am so grateful that this has changed because Sania Pell is my new obsession. In fact, I just spent the past hour researching everything I could find online about her. I also snapped a few glimpses of her new book, The Homemade Home, that is available now to order on Amazon. Published by CICO Books, this gorgeous 192 page full-color book features 50 stylish and affordable projects that show you how to customize your home on a budget. All 300 photographs are by Penny Wincer, a favorite photographer of mine, so I knew the moment I saw her name on this book that I’d love the visuals. And I do — so, so much.

The Homemade Home

This book makes me happy! Do you own such books — ones that you open and immediately all is better in the world? The Homemade Home is my happy place because it embraces what I’m all about — sharing ideas and inspiration that are both accessible and give all an opportunity to inject individuality into our space to avoid that familiar catalog-feel that we want to avoid. Let’s look at some more of this book together, shall we?

The Homemade Home

The Homemade Home

The Homemade Home

There isn’t one photo I don’t like, and not one project I wouldn’t try in this book — I really like how many projects encourage you to use things that you already have – upcycling and recycling them into new items. Author and stylist Sania Pell lives and works in West London where she is married with two children. Her degree is in textiles from the Edinburgh College of Art when, after graduating, she worked for one of London’s top textile studios where her designs were brought to prestigious fashion labels such as Marks & Spencer, The Gap, Monsoon, Armani and Laura Ashley.

The Homemade Home

The Homemade Home

After 7 years in that field, Sania decided to join Elle Decoration magazine to train as a stylist and now she works for publications in England including The Sunday Telegraph and The Mail On Sunday in addition to her work as a visiting lecturer at the Edinburgh College of Art. The Homemade Home is Sania’s first sole book (congratulations Sania if you read this review)– here’s to hoping there is a second and third… I could flip through books like this all day long.

Bottom line: This book is one of my new favorites. It’s imaginative without being over-the-top,  handmade without being kitschy and tacky, and it’s a book that will encourage crafty beginner’s without frustration while equally challenging advanced creatives with new and rewarding projects.

Psst: I’m an Amazon affiliate so the links in this post to Amazon are part of my affiliate program.

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Books + Magazines on April 12, 2010

Stylist Maria Grossmann + Career Hopping

My friend Ingrid told me about German stylist Maria Grossmann who lives in Hamburg and who works mainly in Europe. Her website is so cool. Seriously. Check it out and make sure when you do that you drag the arrow around the screen to explore all that is there. Maria began her career as a photographer but realized that she was more interested in creating a scene to photograph than the actual art of photography itself so she switched careers and began her path as an interiors and food stylist. I find this quite common with creative types — we tend to embark on one thing but ultimately land on another. Why is this? Thoughts?

Stylist Maria Grossmann

Perhaps it’s just how the creative mind works — seeing no boundaries, the thrill of exploration, the excitement of “what if”… I personally experienced this myself. I started off studying interior design and ending up writing for magazines, websites and this blog along with my current book. I realized that designing from start to finish with clients wasn’t for me as I had thought. I’d much rather do consulting work — walk into someone’s home and tell them how the space could work differently, how to organize it better, colors that they may want to add, and ideas for furniture and accessories. I then like to leave them with a POA – plan of action – and point them to all of the resources needed to get the work done and then leave and that’s that. Not that I didn’t like seeing a project through to completion but I think my idea of design and what decorating and design mean to me personally have evolved with this blog and I’ve come to realize that I’m an “editor” which applies to all things. I can edit anything – words, wardrobes, bookshelves, rooms, you name it. And I’m quite good at it. But what I don’t enjoy is starting with a blank slate where I am asked to do something entirely for someone else. I don’t enjoy working 100% for people — I enjoy working with people. The only exception to this is to create my own work. I do enjoy starting at zero and building something up on my own. But with others I like to show them how to do things better but not how to do things entirely. I like to show others how to fish, not give them the fish. “Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime”.

Stylist Maria Grossmann

And so as I evolve personally and professionally speaking, I can relate to Maria with her decision to switch paths. I also think it’s great that she did because her body of work testifies to her magnificent talent. Of course it’s good to note that having the photography experience no doubt makes Maria a skilled stylist. I think this is evident in her work. I believe that this is true in many, many cases and so if you fear a career change perhaps look at this perspective: you can no doubt apply many of the skills acquired in your current profession in your new one. Even professions that appear on the surface to not relate at all. I never thought my past life would be even remotely linked to my current career but daily I find more and more links to my former career. No doubt Maria does too. I’m willing to bet you do as well.

I feel so proud to highlight some strong leaders in Germany when it comes to interior photography and styling. I’ll share a German photography today as well. I often thought all of these talented creative types lived only in select cities and countries — at least it seems this way when we flip through magazines and books. Almost as though you must live in Paris to be hip or in London to be stylish. But this is absolutely not the case. There is a lot of untapped talent in this world. Or in the case of Maria, not untapped just not widely known due to mostly language differences. Who would really know about her in America when her work is primarily featured in publications abroad — especially in German ones? This is why I try to show little blips of  what’s happening in Germany and everywhere else in the world as I find people who interest me or as they find me and write in. I like to be a global scout and have my eye all over the world without feeling limited to specific culture or country.

Stylist Maria Grossmann

This is the beauty of blogging with the world as my demographic so to speak. I want to reach out to English speaking people who live everywhere — Americans, Swedish, Germans, Japanese — and show the things that make this global art and design community so enriching and lovely — like a patchwork quilt. I also love to escape through my work, as you love to escape through blog reading, and so part of my intent lies in my interest to explore without jet lag and lost luggage. With a blog you can go everywhere!

So back to my earlier question as I got carried off a bit… why do you think it is that creative types seem to jump around more often when it comes to work? Do you? What drives this?

(images: maria grossmann)

Posted in inspiration on April 12, 2010

Petrina Tinslay Photography

Pink and black is a stunning, sensual color combination don’t you think? Together it can be so many things – moody, sexy, girly, happy, energetic, melancholy… Here are a few examples of this taken from the portfolio of pro photographer Petrina Tinslay whose work has appeared on Vogue Living and more. Along with pink and black, you can also find a striking color combination by combining white and black, red and black as well as neutral colors and bold patterns with black. And of course, pink can support itself quite nicely even without the presence of black…

Petrina Tinslay Photography

Petrina Tinslay Photography

Petrina Tinslay Photography

And people say pink is for little girls! Not! I really enjoy Petrina’s work, she sees beauty in things the common person would pass by. Like the black fish in it’s lovely globe – how many would even give this a second glance? I’m so glad that Petrina did — it’s beautiful, the fishy silhouette floating so peacefully there, it’s exotic and serene. To view more of Petrina’s work visit her portfolio online. You may also learn more about her via her biography here.

(images: petrina tinslay)

Posted in inspiration on April 12, 2010

Blik + DIY Decal Headboards

Good morning and happy Monday + new week to you! Let’s jump right in – head first – and get inspired by some decorating ideas shall we? What do you see when you try to imagine a vinyl wall decal of a headboard? Do you see something as cool as these from Blik? I personally love this idea but I may change things up though because it’s fun to customize and get creative! After checking out these images together I’ll give you some creative ideas on how to use them, below.

Blik

Decorating idea: Okay so I’m thinking that it would be really fun to buy one, install it, and then with a pencil trace around it and then remove it. Now you can handpaint, apply fabric or wallpaper or do whatever you would like now — you can use the vinyl as a giant stencil of sorts. You could also use Nessa in a pretty cool way — trace the outline very lightly (the inner edges not the outer) and remove the decal. Paint only the inner section of the silhouette in your favorite color or even wallpaper it in a fun pattern. Once everything is all set and dry, put the decal back up. Viola! Wouldn’t that be sweet?

Blik

Blik

Blik

All of the above photos show vinyl decals but you must know that all decals are available in a range of colors so if those shown down appeal to you then click here to see more. The Nessa in yellow is my favorite. What design appeals to you?

(images: blik)

Posted in bedroom on April 12, 2010

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