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Decorating Tips From Denmark

Hello Friends, it is Leslie here dropping in for a moment with some design tips from the Danish magazine Bolig. Since Holly was recently in Denmark (and I just got back) I though it would be nice to highlight some lovely images featured on this magazine’s ever inspiring site. I know she is fond of their aesthetic and posted about them here in April. I am starting with a pretty kitchen that has some good ideas.

Decorating Tips from Bolig Magazine

1. Nook: This image reminded me of how useful little sitting nooks are for hanging out and feeling cozy! It is a great way to make a small or awkward space feel perfect don’t you think? I remember an old apartment I had where the eating area was too small for a table and this would have been perfect. You can use a simple bench or a couple square stools lined up and then top with some foam covered in fabric. Throw on a few pillows and some cushions and you are ready for tea and a book in your cozy little nook!

2. Kitchen Island Carts: A really pretty kitchen! I like how they painted the carts that make up the island with the same color as the cupboards (at least it looks similar). Usually carts like this are always silver metal but there is something about the paint that looks really fresh. There was a Martha Stewart issue years ago that discussed taking metal furniture to an auto body shop to get powder-coat painted or sprayed. Does anyone remember this? Have you tried it and was it expensive? I am curious because it does create a nice look and then you can fasten a counter on top.

3. Pretty Kitchen Clutter: Displaying beautiful packaging like these Kusmi Tea tins and the jewel toned tea cups in the same palette as the kitchen is visually inspiring. Even if this look has been styled for the magazine shoot it is still a reminder of how to display your own collections that may be hiding in your cupboards and if you are going to fill some counter or shelf space have it be with you nice stuff!

Decorating Tips from Bolig Magazine

The use of pattern in these images is really fresh and creates a unique look in the white spaces. Instead of just using just plain blocks of color the patterned elements add a little more decorating power!

4. Patterned Cushions: I know this is simple but I must say effective. The cushions would read very differently if they were just solid blasts of color on the bed. The look is a little more delicate and detailed now.

5. Quilted Bean Bag: The patterned bean-bag and chair cushion are fun and modern in this more rustic space.

6. Orange Mirror: The intricate frame pattern around the mirror painted with bright orange is bold and interesting compared to a plain rectangle frame painted orange. The pattern adds that extra wow factor.

7. Clean Palette: A simple light blue and green palette with subtle patterns looks inviting. There is that “nook” look again with the day bed creating a comfortable space in a narrow room.

8. Patterned Storage Boxes: A pretty alternative to baskets in the bathroom and there seems to be many tutorials on how to do it yourself like this one online.

9. Towel Cover: This bench cushion in a bathroom seems to be covered with a brightly covered towel, which seems fitting – right? There are so many affordable printed bath sheets available now that would make a practical fabric covering for a seat in a bathroom like this or outdoors.

Decorating Tips from Bolig Magazine

Lastly, I had to share with you this charming black painted house. Maybe it is not a west coast thing because I rarely see ranchers, bungalows or cottages painted this lovely black or shall I say “ink” color here in California. I am curious to learn more, is this popular in Scandinavia, as it definitely seems warm for absorbing light? What do you think, am I alone in my adoration of this black house? –Leslie Shewring

(images: bolig magazine)

Posted in Decorating Tips on June 22, 2010

Marie Nichols Blog

I just discovered interior stylist and blogger Marie Nichols from the Whole Lotta Lovely blog and had to make it the blog of the week. Her Sydney apartment is featured in the July 2010 issue of Real Living magazine that just arrived – her place is so sweet.

Whole Lotta Lovely

Whole Lotta Lovely

Whole Lotta LovelyAnother moodboard, this time in yellow glossy paint over her desk.

Whole Lotta Lovely

Red isn’t even my thing but her bedroom is so adorable I can’t stop looking at the details – love the dotty bedding and the art over the bed. She is clearly a Rob Ryan fan!

I think my favorite spot is her bedroom and I love her inspiration board next to her sofa, too. I’m so happy I read about this talented lady! Here is a glimpse of the article above, though you’ll need to pick up the issue if you want to see more and read about Marie or pop on over to her blog: Whole Lotta Lovely.

Psst: View her online styling portfolio here.

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Bloggers on June 21, 2010

Alvhem Inspiration

I was reading Sandra Juto’s blog last week admiring photos of her recent vacay to Berlin (these are some of my favorites) and came across an apartment that she featured belonging to her friends in Gothenburg and noticed that it is being offered by a company called Alvhem, who is responsible for lots of properties in Gothenburg.


I first blogged about Alvhem quite some time ago because I was impressed by how they style and photograph their properties so perfectly — they make one from the outside think that every home in Gothenburg looks like it is from a magazine! It even appears as though they use lots of the same furniture and repeat ideas in many of the homes and so it’s an inspiration to comb through their properties to see what they’ve done to enhance the space.







I wish they’d set up offices in other parts of Europe as they have immense talent and get their hands on some of the best property. I frequently find myself on their website looking through their for sale and sold files for interior inspiration and well, to daydream a bit too! You can view all of their properties for sale on their website here, but it’s in Swedish so good luck with translating it (sorry).








So what can we learn from an Alvhem-inspired home? Here are some repeat ideas that I’ve noticed.

1. A big black flat screen television is your friend. We are always trying to conceal them yet Alvhem allows them to be out and proud.

2. Keep walls and molding bright white.

3. Floors are wood, and the same tone in all rooms with the exception of wet areas.

4. Some walls with accent walls in pretty pattern.

5. Sofas should be a solid color, fabric with the exception of black leather. Colors commonly used for sofas: white, black, beige and gray.

6. If you don’t own a ladder to lean against the wall to drape things from, get one.

7. Fresh flowers in simple vases look best on your bedside table, dining table, entry way table, kitchen counter, bathroom, floor, fireplace mantle and coffee table. Okay everywhere.

8. Windows should be large and amazing.

9. Flat should be extremely sunny.

10. Put a shelf over your bed.

11. Rugs are mostly solid neutrals with an occasional stripe or ethnic design thrown in.

12. Rooms should all “flow” in design, from one to the next.

13. Most art on the walls look best in black frames.

14. Add plants to windowsills (topiary, ivy, etc.).

15. Try to live without curtains and blinds. Who cares about privacy? :)

16. Every sofa and bed should have one throw casually draped in an accent color.

17. Kitchen cabinetry should be white. Bonus for shiny white.

18. Mix IKEA with flea market finds and some industrial pieces.

Do you spot a few repeating themes as well? I love the work of Alvhem and find so much inspiration from this company!

(images: alvhem)

Posted in Decorating Tips on June 21, 2010

Pink, Green + Purple

Hello Friends, it is Leslie here with another Color Me Pretty series – the June edition. This time around I played with fruity pinks and purples along with a little chartreuse. Since summer is here for some of us why not liven things up!

Color Me Pretty

In this collection I attached some goodies to a manila folder inspired by Holly’s post here. The cute card of the girl’s head is by Fifi Mandirac who has a fun and color inspiring line. You can also check out more about her in this post with glimpses of her home in Paris. The other pretty floral card is by Elum Designs.

My daughter and I have been mailing out lots of collage work to her grandma’s and aunties lately. It is a fun project for her and keeps her busy while Mommy is trying to work. We use semi-transparent glassine envelopes so that her artwork shows through and then we continue collage on the exterior of the envelope. The little works of love have the potential to bring a smile or at least a glance of interest to those who see them along the way to their final destinations. She loves going to the post office or finding a mailbox to drop her treasures into and I love witnessing her process.

I am still obsessed with roses after my visit to Rose Story Farm last month. All the fragrant varieties are available right now at the flower markets and I have a hard time resisting! In the bouquets some of the roses are David Austen’s Phoebe rose which has a strong sweet scent and Yves Piaget, which also smells divine. Both would work well for a special occasion bouquet.

I hope you have enjoyed this series today, a fresh way to kick off a Monday morning! I look forward to seeing you back here with a few more posts tomorrow and Wednesday while Holly is working on her project. Until then, take care. – Leslie

(images: leslie shewring)

Posted in Color Inspiration on June 21, 2010


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