Inspirational Styling & Ideas

July 21, 2010

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.

Inspirational Styling & Ideas

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.

Inspirational Styling & Ideas

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

Inspirational Styling & Ideas

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

Inspirational Styling & Ideas

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

Inspirational Styling & Ideas

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.

Inspirational Styling & Ideas

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.

Inspirational Styling & Ideas

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.

Inspirational Styling & Ideas

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.

Inspirational Styling & Ideas

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!).

Inspirational Styling & Ideas

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!

Inspirational Styling & Ideas

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?

Inspirational Styling & Ideas

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.

Inspirational Styling & Ideas

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)


  • Reply Ludmila {} July 21, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    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

  • Reply My Owl Barn July 21, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    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.

  • Reply cris camarena July 21, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    I loved most of them, but number 1, with the floral patterns looks awesome!!!

  • Reply Jane July 21, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    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!

  • Reply Renate July 21, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    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… :-(

  • Reply Marisa July 21, 2010 at 5:03 pm

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

  • Reply Shelby July 21, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    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!

  • Reply Emma July 21, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    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!

  • Reply leslie July 21, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    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

  • Reply Julie the Alkaline Sister July 22, 2010 at 1:27 am

    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!

  • Reply Casa e Cose July 22, 2010 at 4:44 am

    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.


  • Reply Chris from July 22, 2010 at 4:55 am

    I absolutely love the warm touch the quilt made of wool squares adds to the room. I should start knitting.

  • Reply Margarida July 22, 2010 at 5:21 am

    Loved the chair with the big heart above it! Just perfect :-)

  • Reply Brooke H July 22, 2010 at 10:53 am

    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.

  • Reply Manette July 22, 2010 at 11:42 am

    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.

  • Reply Joana July 22, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    I loved that idea of socks for tables or stools!

  • Reply PriscilaPetersDecor July 22, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Very interesting combination of colors. The photo number 2: gray couch with beautiful blue pillow and throw is to die for.

  • Reply beth cupitt July 22, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    well, hello miss holly. that was some entrance! that’s quite a post. you must have missed us! :)

    • Reply decor8 July 22, 2010 at 1:33 pm

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

  • Reply Coco July 22, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    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 ;)

  • Reply Emily July 22, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    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!

  • Reply Sarah July 22, 2010 at 5:07 pm

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

  • Reply Kelly Swallow July 23, 2010 at 1:20 am

    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

  • Reply decoracao facil July 23, 2010 at 3:39 am

    Lovely combination of colors.
    I loved the buttons on hooks.

  • Reply cadeiras de escritório July 23, 2010 at 3:42 am

    The floral wallpaper looks awesome!

  • Reply Jannet July 26, 2010 at 4:02 pm

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

  • Reply Stacey July 27, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    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.

  • Reply Yoko September 2, 2010 at 11:51 am

    I love bright colors and flowers in an interior decor!

  • Reply courtney January 9, 2011 at 7:57 pm

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

  • Reply Stephanie Henley January 15, 2011 at 11:41 am

    I love the ‘button hook’ idea – will most def have to share that!

  • Reply shari February 1, 2011 at 5:34 pm

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


  • Reply Elissa February 3, 2011 at 9:31 pm

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

  • Reply Inspire Me Heather March 4, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    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!

  • Reply Michelle March 25, 2011 at 1:16 am

    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.

  • Reply Christine October 16, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    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!

  • Reply tess0910 August 10, 2013 at 10:08 am

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

  • Reply ellee October 13, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    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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