Monthly Archives

May 2010

Decorating Tips

The Allure of White

May 17, 2010

Hi there! My name is Brigitte, and I blog over at Covet Chicago. I’m here to chat with you a bit about white spaces, while Holly is off writing her best seller. I hope it’s ok to confess that I’m unbearably nervous, because Holly is like a rockstar to me. But, luckily, I am uniquely qualified to share some tips on designing dazzling white interiors, because I cannot have white walls in my own home. And, of course, we tend to obsess about what we can’t have, don’t we?

The Allure of White

Skona Hem

I’ve always known that those gorgeous white walls (and glossy floors!) that I lust over in design mags and on my favorite blogs won’t work in my home. And, I always had a hunch that it had something to do with the very minimal natural light that I get.

But my resolve wavers. Until a few weeks back, when one of my favorite bloggers, Penelope Trunk (who does not write about design at all, coincidentally) tipped me off to the blog Colour Me Happy. I heart the interwebs. A few reads in, I hit gold with the post White is a Snob. Finally, truth acknowledged. In the post, Maria laid out advice from the book All About Colour.

The Allure of White

Skona Hem

According to the book (and Maria), good white rooms always meet three demanding criteria. They must have: 1. Good light, 2. Harmonized proportions, and 3. A few attractive objects artfully arranged. Sadly, my home is lacking the first condition, which I find to be the most important.

The Allure of White

See what I mean? I want to pack up my cats and move in! Not only is this image, found in BOLIG magazine, flooded with dazzling white light, but the hot pink accents are killer .

The Allure of White

Ivy style33 and Real Living

The next rule is one I actively avoid. Mainly because I’m a perfectionist who could all too easily become overly adherent to the rule. But!

The Allure of White

Domino

Or…

The Allure of White

Perfect proportions by i l’aria.

Which brings me at last to #3. The biggest challenge. The styling trick that slays me, even though I purport to write a design blog myself. Ha!

The Allure of White

Veranda

And!

The Allure of White

Livingetc

There is one rule that I would add, and it’s evident in all of these images save two. It’s a taste thing. I like my home to feel eminently livable.

The Allure of White

1.Veranda. 2. BOLIG 3. Country Living 4. Domino

Now that I’ve teased you with these images, I’d like to know…how many of you are in my boat?

And, what would you add to these criteria?

– Brigitte

uncategorized

See You On Monday!

May 13, 2010

Well this is it, I’m off to London and I won’t return until May 21st though I’ll still post from time to time and I have two guest posts for you while I’m away so next week decor8 will be on schedule with daily goodies, though a bit light because I have much to do while I’m away.

See You On Monday!

I have my house sitter here all ready to sit (ha ha), my bags packed, camera batteries charged, iPod Touch prepared to do some tweeting, and well… so long to you and have a really nice weekend! Tomorrow (Friday) will be quiet here (you may hear crickets if you visit, or perhaps frogs in a faraway pond) but please visit again on Monday for the usual fare. See you soon!

(image: The London Cushion)

Books + Magazines, Round-ups

e-Magazine Round-Up

May 13, 2010

There are many design e-magazines popping up, also known as online magazines, paperless magazines, or digital magazines (I vote we drop the name game and call them simply: e-mags!) that I decided to pull together some of my favorites in one place. When it comes to e-mags, some say that they are the future of magazines but I don’t believe that they will replace print but I think that they can easily live alongside our favorite glossies, don’t you?

In today’s fast-paced world, you really need both with so many of us online receiving and sharing information at the speed of light. Exclusive content is becoming more and more of a hot topic with the bevy of blogs out there and this is where e-mags can really deliver as they have the staff and sponsorship to run almost exactly like a print publication without most of the major financial stresses that have sadly forced some of our favorites to fold. Many bloggers are talking about their favorite e-mags lately so my goal is to give you a mini round-up of the ones that have blog authors a-buzz with hopes that you’ll help by adding your comment to include those I’ve missed that make your heart go pitter-pat too! Here we go…

e-Magazine Round-Up

Sweet Paul NEW! – Food + Entertaining

e-Magazine Round-Up

Lonny – Decorating/Design

e-Magazine Round-Up

Antler – Fashion

e-Magazine Round-Up

BY FRYD NEW! – Scandinavian Lifestyle

e-Magazine Round-Up

Paper Mache – Kid’s

e-Magazine Round-Up

Small Magazine– Kid’s

e-Magazine Round-Up

la petite – Kid’s

e-Magazine Round-Up

Utterly Engaged – Wedding

TIP: If you are considering to author an e-mag yourself, I’ve noticed a trend when you’re out shopping for a domain name — Add “mag” after your magazine name — Lonnymag, antlermag, sweetpaulmag and so on… It’s a good thing!

I’m heading to London now so while I’m traveling these links will provide you with plenty of inspiration to last until Monday when you can stop by decor8 for a few guests posts (I’ll drop in to say hello as well) to hold you over until I’m back in full gear on May 21st.

Out of those listed above, what do you read and why? Do you like digital magazines better than print, if so why? If not, why? Did I miss an e-mags that you read? If so, please post the name and link in the comments section below – all I ask is that you list only those about decorating, design, art, craft, kid’s, food, wedding, fashion…

(images: linked to those mentioned above.)

Arts + Crafts

Sweet William

May 13, 2010

Sweet William is one of my favorite shops because I adore their prints and handmade goodies and really like the illustrative characters, patterns and colorways. My current favorite is the print of the chairs on notebook paper shown below, it’s the best! I bought some things from them over a year ago as gifts for some friends in Germany and they loved their Sweet William pouches and prints! I kept a print for myself and cherish it so much. I really get the sense that all of these nice things were created in love and it makes the purchase feel good because the items come from a happy place inside of one’s soul — produced out of passion and a genuine love for handmade craft.

Sweet William

Sweet William is a very small company formed by sisters Shelley Gardner in New Zealand and Paula Mills in Australia and though they live thousands of miles apart they share a connection through Sweet William, “We share a passion for all things creative, we make, draw, sew and collect lots of lovely, sweet things and we are so excited to share them with you.”

Above there is another print that I like in addition to the hand drawn chairs, it’s with a girl and an elephant (I happen to love elephants) and it says, “When choosing friends one should be wise.” This is a very good reminder even when you are all grown up! We often tell children to choose their friends carefully but it’s equally important that this pattern continues into adulthood because friends can really make or break our spirit. I was watching a TED lecture recently (do you watch TED? I barely have time but try to when I can) about social networks and how we can impact one another negatively or positively and why it is important to consider who we call our friends for this reason. I don’t believe in dumping friends when they are going through hard times simply because it could be hard to deal with — but I do believe in distancing myself from those with whom I am not close to through years or blood if I sense that the friendship is weakening me in a way that begins to negatively impact my life. Online this can happen in the social networks we form and so it’s a good idea to watch how certain interactions impact your health and well-being. It’s tricky sometimes isn’t it? But this sweet print is a nice way to remind us of how vital good friends really are.

If you like what you see above (I know you do!), you can also follow Shelley and Paula on the Sweet William blog.

(images: sweet william)

Arts + Crafts

Katie Kirk + EightHourDay

May 12, 2010

As you can imagine, I am exposed to the design work of so many that some conclude it must be easy to forget who’s who and and sometimes it can be! Truth is, no matter how many illustrators and graphic designers that I find and feature here, I tend to remember them all (even if I forget their names!) because what I write about strikes a cord with me and so they stick in my mind like glue. And some, like EightHourDay, really stand out as exceptional and it’s then that I find myself revisiting the work that I love regularly to see what’s new — no doubt just as you do with the faves that you collect. Katie Kirk is an illustrator and graphic designer based  in Minneapolis and with her husband, Nathan Strandberg, they own EightHourDay and if you’ve not seen their work before then perhaps they’ll become one of your favorites, too.

Katie Kirk + EightHourDay

Katie Kirk + EightHourDay

This multi-disciplinary design boutique has been raved about by Print Magazine, PDN Magazine, HOW Design, and Communication Arts. “Most often found either at the studio, the dog park or an antique shop they aspire for the designed life(style), a place where work, life and inspiration are all equal and integrated organically.” Above is just a glimpse inside of their portfolio… you can view more on their website, her illustration blog, or in their etsy shop where you can purchase some of the prints shown. Enjoy!

(images:eighthourday)

Home Tours

Scandinavian/Japanese Living in Canada

May 12, 2010

If you love a good mix of Scandinavian and Japanese style with a Canadian twist, you’re going to love the many spaces of Mjolk. Last week I shared a special blog called Kitka that some of you went bonkers over (if you missed that post you can refer to it here) and so today I thought I’d give you a glimpse into the people who author that blog, John Baker and Juli Daoust. This couple lives and works in Toronto, Canada and in addition to their blog they own Scandinavian/Japanese lifestyle store Mjolk. Baker and Daoust also happen to have an 800 sq ft apartment above their shop and a 1,000 sq ft summer home on Georgian Bay. Today they’ve prepared some photos of these spaces to share with us in addition to a mini interview that I had with them. Ready to be inspired?

Scandinavian/Japanese Living in Canada

Scandinavian/Japanese Living in Canada

Scandinavian/Japanese Living in Canada

Mjolk shown above. Store tour available here, photographed by Emma McIntyre.

When did you launch Mjolk and why? We launched December of 2009 because we were frustrated shopping for items for the home. It seemed that it was all about big box stores and boutiques that were not on the same wavelength as us. The closest we got to what we wanted was in the vintage shops, but at the end of the day, you need useful and beautiful new everyday objects as well. We just wanted to fill that need while giving people like us a whole new and interesting experience.

You have a city apartment and a summer house. Wow. Tell us more. We are living our dream, having our home above the shop. It’s really urban being on a major street so we forget about things such as trees and flowers, which is sad. One day we hope to renovate and incorporate a sort of courtyard so we can have some nature around us at all times. The summer house is located on Georgian Bay, home of the best swimming in cottage country, gorgeous sunsets and the feeling that you might just be on the ocean.

Scandinavian/Japanese Living in Canada

Scandinavian/Japanese Living in Canada

Scandinavian/Japanese Living in Canada

Scandinavian/Japanese Living in Canada

Scandinavian/Japanese Living in Canada

Above: Their apartment located over Mjolk.

What attracts you to Scandinavian and Japanese style? It’s just a natural attraction for us. We appreciate simple everyday objects, natural materials, and a focus on craftsmanship.

How would you define your style? We strive for simplicity — think Swedish apartment, light, airy, white and black.

What are 5 of your favorite things in your city apartment? The main living room is spacious and has a big bright bay window; the white floor makeover; it’s not too big to handle; short commute to work; and it’s potential.

Scandinavian/Japanese Living in Canada

Scandinavian/Japanese Living in Canada

Scandinavian/Japanese Living in Canada

Above: Their cottage on Georgian Bay.

What are some features in your summer cottage that you enjoy the most? Since the renovation, it feels so big, bright, fresh and open; the view, thanks to Juli’s parent’s initial vision of switching out the closed in porch with wall to wall windows; that we had free range to do whatever we wanted and we did so almost exclusively ourselves; experimenting with plywood; the future.

What are some key decor tip if someone wants to duplicate your look? You can never have enough white paint! White walls give a beautiful backdrop to our furniture, while white floors/ceiling really brighten a space. Also, don’t be afraid of using unconventional materials (plywood has become our best decorating friend, especially since we don’t know how to drywall). Always bring something home from your travels—big or small, they serve as little reminders once the day to day humdrum sets in. Definitely combine a little old with a little new. Vintage or antique pieces have a history, add warmth, and add uniqueness plus they are oh so fun to hunt for!

Thank you John & Juli for these very special glimpses into your life and home!

(images: john baker & juli daoust)

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