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Hello from Amsterdam!

I’m in Amsterdam now, we wrapped up in Belgium which was a great shoot and here I am blogging from a cafe enjoying some quiet time before my appointment to meet with a designer at her atelier. I will interview her for the book and I am excited to meet up and see her place. I love the idea of doing in-person interviews so much more than the typical telephone or email chats that I usually have. If you have the chance to meet someone in their creative environment, on their turf, there can be that added layer of intimacy that chatting at a bistro just wouldn’t give you… Agree? I think that if I interviewed celebrities for a living that I would insist on going to their home to meet them. After visiting all of the beautiful houses that I have been honored to be welcomed into over the past several months I know for a fact that people are so much more themselves within their own four walls. Getting a glimpse of that person in action is a real honor, I think. And so, in a moment, I’ll be on my way to meet a talented lady on her turf here in lovely, inspiring Amsterdam.

In honor of being in Amsterdam today, I thought I’d post some photos from a home I saw recently on the 101Woonideeen blog. I met the editors of this magazine a few years ago, they showed up at a decor8 meet up in Amsterdam and passed out free issues of their magazine. They also regularly read decor8, in fact one of my friends in Hannover will be in their magazine because they tune in so frequently which is always nice to see — I like when magazines find content on blogs because some people would be hard to locate otherwise so blogs feed magazines and magazines, in other ways, feed blogs which means both are needed and both create a sort of energy that keeps this creative cycle turning.

Anyway, these photos from 101 Woonideeen above show a look that always has Dutch style written all over it — at least, to me. Of course there are many other ways the Dutch decorate their home that look nothing like this but I see this style as quite sweet and personal and very Dutch. It seems to be more about upcycling and recycling and less about designer pieces, doesn’t it? Many cannot afford uber expensive things (like me!) or they do not want to own them with young children in the house. This is a relaxed home environment that gives you lots of options to customize, make do and as needed, mend. :)

(images: 101 Woonideeen)

Posted in Decorating Tips on August 04, 2010

The Lovely Home of Lark

I really like all of the decorating ideas that can be found in the charming cottage of shop owner and designer Allison Jones who lives in the countryside near Melbourne, Australia. Allison owns the Lark shop, are you familiar with it? You may remember Lark because I shared a special tour of her store in Daylesford when it first opened. Let’s examine some of her clever decorating ideas for a moment, shall we? Do you have time? I hope so… there are many to examine!

Storage lockers in a bold color as storage for a dining room.

“I live in a pretty country town in the forest near Melbourne, Australia, with Paul and our kids. Besides mum & dad duties and trying to patch up our old cottage, we also run Lark, a craft and design company I started four years ago whilst living in the UK, which is where I grew up. I am obsessive about vintage design and illustration – 1930s advertising, old shops, vintage children’s books, travel posters, 1950s fabrics, Ladybird books, old postcards and greeting cards, vintage wallpapers, and I have lots of little collections.”

A vintage poster adds color over a fireplace, and a few daffodils in old bottles (sans labels) adds color and interest to this display.

Vintage wallpaper applied to the wall in a patchwork style, some crochet doilies hung on the wall, an old school chart on the wall with a giant number leaning against the wall, a fireplace in the kid’s room with his name displayed above…

Something as simple as old rolls of wallpaper stored in a wooden crate can add so much charm to a corner. It’s a great idea to keep the things that inspire you and your creative ideas out in the open so you use them more frequently.

Shelving in a boy’s room with a sweet faux leather suitcase on top, retro tea cups and saucers displayed on a cabinet, an old needlepoint of a windmill coupled with books on European art and design give this corner an old world feel, a bunch of framed scraps of old wallpaper — perhaps these would look pretty on your wall?

Red stools give this kitchen some heat against the cool blue walls, the old black typewriter with spicy coral and fresh green is bold and works together nicely, grandmother’s quilt works on the seat of a cozy chair for afternoons reading your favorite book, a grouping of art centered above a sideboard.

You can really see that Allison’s home closely reflects her personality and interests. It’s a beautiful thing to behold — homes that feel genuine and mirror the people living there. It’s the greatest feeling to not only get your home to the point to where it looks and feels like you, but also to live in a space that is so personal as much as this one. Home is the one place where you can really let your spirit and creative passion go free so why not decorate with passion and authenticity?

(Photography: Rohan Anderson.)

Posted in uncategorized on August 03, 2010

Photographer Virginia MacDonald

Ready to be inspired by some lovely interiors photography today? Meet Virginia MacDonald, a successful and very talented photographer based in Toronto who has a passion for interiors, food, still life, lifestyle and bonus: animals! Her animal shots are so cute, you have to go to her website to spend time browsing through them to put a little smile on your face today. Before you run off to see those cuties, stay with me a moment to browse some of my favorite photographs from her stunning online portfolio.

I love flowers, don’t you? I always knew that I did, but I discovered just how much over the past few months as I styled so many different homes for the book I’m working on. I realized that in any space, no matter how glamorous or simple, flowers can add that final touch. In fact, I noticed this right away so from the beginning I insisted on using flowers in nearly all of the homes, not in every photo of course, but when you get the book next year in the spring you’ll see them throughout in various rooms. I don’t know, maybe it’s my signature now? :) But they had to be there in order to “feel” the space. Something about flowers really connects me to a space. Their color, fragrance, and how quickly and easily they can make a room or a nook feel so chic — the frosting on a cupcake! In addition to flowers, I also like the look of a topiary trees in modern pots, rosemary plants and other herbs in the kitchen, a giant leaf in a vase on a table or some branches on a shelf, flowering or not, as their shape can be a nice sculptural touch to a room and provide texture, color and a focal point as well.

(images: virginia macdonald)

Posted in Decorating Tips on August 03, 2010

DIY Paper Lanterns

Are you ready for a little DIY action this week? Tina Fussell (aka Traveling Mama) told me about a video tutorial that she shot in her home recently showing how to make these sweet lanterns over this bed below with paper and string. You can easily make these babies on a budget and they are pretty for indoors or out – they’d be so sweet on a porch for a fun party!

To view Tina’s quick and easy how-to video, click here. The one that she makes in the video reminds me of a watermelon which makes me want to have a BBQ and decorate with only green and pinky red lanterns! Thank you Tina for the great DIY!

(image: tina fussell)

Posted in DIY on August 02, 2010


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