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Inspirational Styling & Ideas

Looking through the pages of VTWonen is always a beautiful adventure for me. When I came back from the states, a fresh new issue awaited me in the mailbox and it filled me with pleasure as I examined its contents – so fresh and inspiring! I think the stuff coming out of the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden are super interesting and fresh — VTWonen is a Dutch magazine — and I delight whenever I see the styling work coming out of these countries… their take on interiors and objects is very creative don’t you think? Here are some examples of what I am referring to… I’ll take you through each photo with some of my own notes and ideas for you today.

VTWonen Inspired

If you carefully cut floral patterns out of your favorite wallpaper, you can adhere them to a cabinet like this one. Lovely! You can do the same with fabric.

VTWonen Inspired

You don’t always need a proper coffee table, why not use a stool instead?

VTWonen Inspired

Try using buttons as hooks – this is a sweet idea, isn’t it?

VTWonen Inspired

Do you knit? Why not knit up some socks for your tables, chairs or stools?

VTWonen Inspired

Try making (or shopping for) a quilt made out of wool squares? It’s tactile and adds warmth to your home and to you during cold weather. While you’re at it, why not be inspired by the wool squares and build a palette for your room? You can pick up the colors in the throw also on your shelves and throw pillows. Another tip: You do not need to place objects on ALL of your shelves… a little breathing room goes a long way as you can see above.

VTWonen Inspired

I’m not sure what is on this wall, but upon closer inspection it almost appears to be squares of plywood white-washed. If so, what a lovely idea! But that is not what attracted me to this arrangement — it’s the patchwork throw rug on the floor. I am dying to either make one or buy something similar this winter. I love the idea of using a bunch of vintage kilim rugs in this way.

VTWonen Inspired

I guess you can call this photo the ultimate chair shot. I mean, c’mon — isn’t this shabby-terrific chair to die for? I love it in all of its raggedy charm.

VTWonen Inspired

Hello pretty decor idea. Jars on a shelf with little sprigs of lavender, a walnut, some ribbon inside? I mean, this is so sweet, affordable and easy. I use jars for vintage photos of my family (see mine here) but this is a pretty idea, too.

VTWonen Inspired

A. Love how simple paper is collaged on a wall with a deer head sitting on top of the arrangement. The wall color is gorgeous, too. B. I love this piece of furniture, if you don’t have something like it you can try the idea of simply painting a dresser gray and your drawer fronts in cream for a similar look. C. A branch painted white and used to display your kitchen utensils? BRILLIANT. D. I love the idea of using metal glass cabinets on top of tables to display certain precious things that you don’t want little hands to grab at (or big curious hands to pick up!).

VTWonen Inspired

E. I really like the whiteness of this dresser with the hardware in white, too. Something about it is soothing… Though I’d have to add some pattern so perhaps I’d line the drawers with colorful wallpaper and paint the exteriors of the drawers in bright yellow so there is a little surprise when you open them. F. What a pretty idea for displaying your cherished jewelry! Put a jewelry tree and a pretty stem in a display box on top of your dresser. Lovely! G. Painting a wall a super electric color like this, then wallpapering a thick border around it like this one in a patchwork style takes a lot of guts, doesn’t it? But with results like this, courage really pays off! H. This sofa almost looks like something a kid would have in a collage, almost futon-like, right? But with a beautiful patchwork wool throw spread across it, and simple surroundings that are quite neutral, it went from collage dorm to casual and chic. There is hope for a futon!

VTWonen Inspired

I. It can be a lot of fun to play around with scale as this example shows. What makes this arrangement work though is that no single item is the main star, they are all equals, so your eye just follows the arrangement with ease. J. I have come across a ton of these rattan chairs, in natural wood, before but the idea of spray painting one black never crossed my mind until I saw this photo. It really made the lines of this chair so much more pronounced and interesting. The massive rug is lovely too, the pattern is gorgeous in black and white. To create this look on a budget, I saw a round maize rug like this in Los Angeles at the World Market store on Fairfax in green/white, chocolate/white and red/white for only $19.99 and wish I could have fit it in my luggage — gorgeous! K. The massive pleated drum pendant steals the show but it’s the table cover that attracted my attention the most with it’s almost tie-dyed border and uneven hem. Fab. L. Plaid pizza restaurant wallpaper in blue and white? In a bedroom? Why not! This works, doesn’t it?

VTWonen Inspired

1. I like the idea of displaying only white objects like this – it is very attractive and makes for a interesting, soft focal point. And if you happen to have a lot of white ceramic pieces like I do, it can control the clutter of having them spread all over the home by grouping them in a single space. 2. You barely notice a sofa with an outstanding throw laid on the sofa like this one. So if your sofa is a bit blah, try placing a gorgeous throw, scarf, or blanket on it neatly to draw the eye away from the couch and onto the bright, happy fabric that you love. 3. Show of hands, how many of you own this shelf/ledge from IKEA? I do! Most people tend to keep it white but this one is the hottest pink in the world and well, it’s fun and interesting. So why not paint your shelf in a complementary color that will add a little spark to your space? 4. I really love it when people adhere their favorite fabric to those boring white pull-down plastic shades. It is so pretty to have pattern on the windows like this, especially for those who rent and cannot add color to the walls. It’s a good way to bring pattern to eye level.

VTWonen Inspired

5. While finding a fabulous drum pendant like this one may be a chore, you can easily duplicate the look of this table by simply painting your tabletop in a rad color that makes you happy. 6. Do you have pillows and blankets that you could fold neatly and stack near your sofa or fireplace? If you never thought about it before, this pile of pretty things may inspire you. 7. If you want to add storage to your workspace, try arranging boxes and bins on a wall in a similar fashion as shown above. It’s interesting to look at and will help you to enjoy work a lot more when you know where everything is! 8. A bright bowl with some favorite photos and postcards inside against a lovely tablecloth is sometimes all it takes to give a kitchen a boost!

I hope that you have enjoyed some of my decorating and styling ideas today as I was quite inspired by VTWonen and wanted to share some of my own thoughts with their gorgeous photography. Now I’m curious though, out of all of the ideas above, what stands out the most to you? What would you try at home? What have you already tried?

(images: vtwonen)

Posted by decor8 in Decorating Tips, inspiration on July 21, 2010

Your comments...

  1. Ludmila {} commented
    July 21st, 2010 at 2:13pm

    Aw Holly I so much missed your inspiring posts! This one is no exception, love every single picture and the styling ideas are so easy, but so beautiful! Thank you for this review! xoxo
    Ludmila {}´s last blog post ..Alexandra Grablewski Photography

  2. My Owl Barn commented
    July 21st, 2010 at 2:17pm

    Holly, It’s so good to have you back! This is a great post with tons of wonderful ideas. I really liked the idea of making quilt with wool squares.
    My Owl Barn´s last blog post ..Dicky Bird

  3. cris camarena commented
    July 21st, 2010 at 3:06pm

    I loved most of them, but number 1, with the floral patterns looks awesome!!!
    cris camarena´s last blog post ..Color en la cocina

  4. Jane commented
    July 21st, 2010 at 4:17pm

    The cabinet with the floral wallpaper cutouts reminds me of a family heirloom made by my interior decorated grandfather–and my mom knits socks for chairs as well!

  5. Renate commented
    July 21st, 2010 at 4:38pm

    Good to see you’re back, Holly! It’s just not the same here when it’s just guest posts all the time, lovely as Leslie is…
    I love VT wonen, I often buy it and otherwise flip through it online. Just wanted to comment because of the kelim patchwork rug – I recently came across these at an online carpet shop, at
    They’re really affordable, too! Though DH won’t let me paint the bench yellow… :-(

  6. Marisa commented
    July 21st, 2010 at 5:03pm

    The heart over the shabby-terrific chair is awesome! Great DIY project…maybe??? Thank you for the inspiration!

  7. Shelby commented
    July 21st, 2010 at 6:33pm

    I look forward to reading my decor8 emails everday. I LOVE them! But this post was fabulous and I finally was compelled to comment. I appreciate the beautiful photographs with your wonderful suggestions. So inspiring! I can’t wait for your book to come out!! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Emma commented
    July 21st, 2010 at 9:16pm

    This would have to be my favorite collection of interior design ideas – EVER! It is so cool. I love how crisp and clean everything looks. I am completely in love with the deer head!
    Emma´s last blog post ..Old-fashioned Handwriting On the Wall

  9. leslie commented
    July 21st, 2010 at 9:30pm

    Over the top wonderful post -I too would love a patchwork floor rug!!! I have been on the look out and never thought about making one, great idea! xo
    leslie´s last blog post ..A Little Blue and Some Yellow

  10. Julie the Alkaline Sister commented
    July 22nd, 2010 at 1:27am

    Wow… this was a decorating feast of a post! Loved every scrolling second of it! I especially loved the white display unit filled with white accessories. I have a fetish for white pitchers and white ceramic or cast birds- could look awesome all together-now I am inspired-just need a wall!
    Julie the Alkaline Sister´s last blog post ..Herbed Quinoa w- Roasted Tomatoes &amp Nasturtium Salad- benefits of Quinoa

  11. Casa e Cose commented
    July 22nd, 2010 at 4:44am

    oh the buttons on hooks – such a great idea! I have 1000000 of them at home so now i will just go home and hammer some.

    Casa e Cose´s last blog post ..LUTZ &amp PATMOS

  12. Chris from commented
    July 22nd, 2010 at 4:55am

    I absolutely love the warm touch the quilt made of wool squares adds to the room. I should start knitting.
    Chris from´s last blog post ..When to use Contemporary Bathroom Vanities

  13. Margarida commented
    July 22nd, 2010 at 5:21am

    Loved the chair with the big heart above it! Just perfect :-)
    Margarida´s last blog post ..Até já See you soon

  14. Brooke H commented
    July 22nd, 2010 at 10:53am

    The white milk paint looking heart on the wall and knitted stool socks take the cake. Love them, and feeling like they are both super easy to duplicate.
    Brooke H´s last blog post ..Bridal Illustration Art Wall

  15. Manette commented
    July 22nd, 2010 at 11:42am

    Welcome back! The wool patch quilt is beautiful and reminds me of one we used to have as a kid that my grandmother made. Back then everyone thought it was a ugly, but we all reached for it on a cold night on the couch. Now I wish I had it – it looks beautiful. Funny how our tastes evolve and change over time.
    Manette´s last blog post ..Calm Waters Soft Aqua Blue Sea Glass Necklace

  16. Joana commented
    July 22nd, 2010 at 12:01pm

    I loved that idea of socks for tables or stools!

  17. PriscilaPetersDecor commented
    July 22nd, 2010 at 12:31pm

    Very interesting combination of colors. The photo number 2: gray couch with beautiful blue pillow and throw is to die for.
    PriscilaPetersDecor´s last blog post ..Wish list white sofa

  18. beth cupitt commented
    July 22nd, 2010 at 1:21pm

    well, hello miss holly. that was some entrance! that’s quite a post. you must have missed us! :)
    beth cupitt´s last blog post ..Watermelon

  19. decor8 commented
    July 22nd, 2010 at 1:33pm

    Beth he he, I did. :) :) tons.

  20. Coco commented
    July 22nd, 2010 at 3:02pm

    Funny that you mention Dutch, Denmark and Sweden in one sentence as it comes to decorating. I’m from the Netherlands but always find the Norwegian, Denmark and Sweden magazines sooo inspiring. Of course i like Vtwonen as well ;)

  21. Emily commented
    July 22nd, 2010 at 3:22pm

    Wow! That was the Mother-Post! So many inspirational goodies- I’ll be coming back often just to peruse this one:) Thanks for sharing all your wonderful photos!
    Emily´s last blog post ..Tote Bag Tutorial

  22. Sarah commented
    July 22nd, 2010 at 5:07pm

    Looks like that World Market rug is available online for the $19.99 price too –

  23. Kelly Swallow commented
    July 23rd, 2010 at 1:20am

    I love the bright wall with patchwork of wallpaper! A brave choice but doesn’t it really work against a white backdrop. I make patchwork chairs and this is just the type of colour palette I love to work with! What an inspiring selection of photos.
    kelly swallow

  24. decoracao facil commented
    July 23rd, 2010 at 3:39am

    Lovely combination of colors.
    I loved the buttons on hooks.
    decoracao facil´s last blog post ..espelho decorativo stellar

  25. cadeiras de escritório commented
    July 23rd, 2010 at 3:42am

    The floral wallpaper looks awesome!
    cadeiras de escritório´s last blog post ..cadeira de escritório ergoHuman

  26. Jannet commented
    July 26th, 2010 at 4:02pm

    Now you know why VT Wonen is my favourite interior magazine since I was a child! Regards from the Netherlands

  27. Stacey commented
    July 27th, 2010 at 7:23pm

    I love everything about this post! I saved so many of the pictures for future decorating ideas. My favorites were the floral wallpaper cutouts on the cabinet, and the table and chair knitted “socks,” as those are two things that I would actually be able to do at a very low cost in my current apartment.
    Stacey´s last blog post ..The time I played dress-up as an adult

  28. Yoko commented
    September 2nd, 2010 at 11:51am

    I love bright colors and flowers in an interior decor!

  29. courtney commented
    January 9th, 2011 at 7:57pm

    i love the wall prints that are above the buttons! where are they from??

  30. Stephanie Henley commented
    January 15th, 2011 at 11:41am

    I love the ‘button hook’ idea – will most def have to share that!
    Stephanie Henley´s last blog post ..Perpetual Button Calendar Tutorial

  31. shari commented
    February 1st, 2011 at 5:34pm

    I’m kvelling. GORGEOUS blog post. I am totally and completely inspired!!!

    shari´s last blog post ..This Past Weekend

  32. Elissa commented
    February 3rd, 2011 at 9:31pm

    I heart the magenta overdyed rug. Any ideas on where one can get their hands on something similar???

  33. Inspire Me Heather commented
    March 4th, 2011 at 2:01pm

    Ooo fantastic post! So many ideas – and most of them are budget friendly too. I linked this to my project: decorating post too, it’s too good!
    Inspire Me Heather´s last blog post ..project- decorating

  34. Michelle commented
    March 25th, 2011 at 1:16am

    I love how loaded this post is with awesome pictures. It really gets my creative juices flowing. I especially love how vivid that yellow bench is.

  35. Christine commented
    October 16th, 2011 at 2:03pm

    I would get a jewelry tree like the one inside the glass cabinet in the photo F, it’s gorgeous! someone could tell me where I can I find it? I will appreciate it very much. Thanks for sharing these wonderful ideas!

  36. tess0910 commented
    August 10th, 2013 at 10:08am

    So many good ideas….love the fresh skandi style…I am going to make some button hooks!

  37. ellee commented
    October 13th, 2013 at 10:53pm

    Any idea where the white deer is from and/or how it is made? It almost looks like it too is made from paper.

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