If you are looking for some creative DIY ideas for your home to inject a little personality then I have a few ideas to share! I recently picked up a copy of Creative At Home in Germany and found some sweet projects. If you live in Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and of course Germany then you can find it where most magazines are sold. You’ll need to buy the magazine to get templates and instructions but here is a glimpse of a few that I liked…
I normally do not by Creative At Home since I but so many mags as it is — I like the projects and overall layout/style of Dutch DIY mag 101 Woonideeen (I wish they’d publish that mag in English) but this copy of Creative At Home had a nice cover and so I picked it up and instantly found a few projects that I could connect to. I sometimes find the crafting ideas and styles in magazines looking a bit too crafty if you know what I mean, whereas the ones in mags like 101 Woonideeen usually look more artistic and creative and less “glue guns and bead projects gone wild” if you catch my drift.
I like the idea of handpainting a coat rack like this one above, which show deer. If you cannot paint you can always cut out images from wallpaper or even fabric and use Mod Podge to adhere and also to seal it. Another fun DIY is to take two branches and use them to form a deer head and paint eyes on it – sweet art for a kid’s room! I think my favorite idea from the magazine is to paint a wooden table silver. It works here because they’ve used a table with lots of texture — it could look slightly tacky on a smooth table with no visible grain. I like how they’ve applied it very lightly, you can still see the wood in some parts making it a bit more weathered. It’s great that they skipped painting the legs silver, that would have looked very kitschy.
It’s all about knowing when to say ENOUGH when you are making things at home, isn’t it? Editing is so important but as important is self control and pulling the plug because often you can overdo a project and it comes out looking like an art project from a 5th grader. It’s a fine line, isn’t it? LOL.
Great job, Creative At Home!
(images: creative at home scanned)
While we’re on a roll today showing gorgeous stores, I thought I’d share some impressions with you of a gorgeous Parisian shop called Merci. Perhaps you’ve been? Or have heard of it before? I’ve not visited Merci but after seeing these photographs I couldn’t help but think I really need to hop on a train and visit sometime later this year.
I really need to go, I haven’t been to the city of lights in years (1998 was my last trip!) so I think after 12 years it is time to travel there again. So much has changed since I was in Paris last — I got married, I moved to Europe, and I finally have a little bit of pocket change to bring home some goodies other than a little metal Eiffel tower and a tee shirt. :) Next time I’m in Paris, I’m visiting Merci — but today, we’ll all visit virtually. Ready?
I love their cafe lined with books, the spools hanging from the ceiling, the sparkly chandeliers (I want a small one in my new bathroom – we’ll see!), and the giant “wig” on the sweet vintage red fiat. What a riot!
Thank you Jillian for sharing your photos with decor8 readers (and me!) today, I’ve loved your take on this pretty shop!
(images: jillian leiboff)
I was shopping at Anthropologie on Regent Street in London recently and saw so many gorgeous displays of everyday things that I left feeling so inspired by them all. I wasn’t able to photograph the store as I was with a friend and didn’t want to spend the time shooting it while she stood there waiting — so when my Australian bloggy friend and pro photographer Jillian Leiboff asked if I could share her impressions of the same store on decor8 I said, yes, yes, YES! I know this space has been shown on a billion blogs, but since the installations and window displays are forever changing, I never tire of seeing what the creative team at Regent Street is up to!
So here are Jillian’s beautiful photographs of Anthropologie in London. If you are ever in London, definitely go to this location — it’s 3 floors of loveliness and the “living wall” is a gorgeous focal point with fresh greens everywhere.
See anything that you like? I really enjoy the displays most of all… especially the Styrofoam cups and silverware on the ceiling — love!
Psst: If you find yourself in London soon, here is a quick shopping/eating guide that I made for you based on my most recent visit. I hope that you enjoy it. It’s brief, but it highlights some of my favorite stops.
(images: jillian leiboff)
After a long day on a shoot in Amsterdam last week, the home owner was such a sweetheart and so she offered to take me shopping and we hit Sissy-Boy Homeland and Pols Potten (which was LOVELY).
I have a Pols Potten porcelain flowers lamp that I purchased a few years ago from Danielle since she sells them online in her shop, Le Souk. Most who visit my home always ask me where I found it — it’s quite a popular piece. If you ever find yourself in Amsterdam seek out this store and thank me later. :) You will really like it — there are so many wonderful things from porcelain lighting and tableware to knit tea cups and pots, furniture, and very clever artsy displays to inspire you as you roam around the store (secretly wishing you could buy it all!).
(images: pols potten)
I have to show this fab place I stayed at in Amsterdam last week called Hotel Arena suggested to me by a friend. It was in this old gorgeous building, a former hostel I was told, along a canal. It had the best lounge and restaurant downstairs…. but the room, oh the room! I loved it! It was fun to be in such a massive space all alone — I felt like jumping up and down on the bed! Here is my lovely room by day…
As I threw open the big windows and listened to Usher’s OMG (hey, I couldn’t play my music so I put on MTV), I fell backwards into my delightfully soft bed… I truly felt OMG being in such a fun room. The bathroom was this giant black glass cube with an open shower (meaning no walls) and a giant bathtub. It made me want an open bathroom and a massive shower just like it, I loved the concept.
I loved the clean design of the room, the soaring ceilings and old windows, wood floors, and the beyond lovely gold shimmery bedding and pillows from Mrs.Me. I have to buy some Mrs. Me bedding for my new bedroom — I kept thinking that while I was at this hotel as I loved it so much. The combination of gold on the bed and gray curtains was such a great combination because it added warmth to the room at night. Between the lighting and bedding, the room became very warm and the walls appeared to be a creamy white at night but by day, the white walls looked very crisp white due to the natural lighting combined with the gray drapes and white furniture which cooled the room down. I thought the design was very clever! I photographed it at night to show you what I mean… See how creamy the whites look now? And how romantic?
I will request this exact room again when I return in the Fall — it’s only 40 minutes by plane or 4 hours by rail, so I’ll definitely go back to hang out only next time I’m bringing my honey! Hotel Arena was definitely a place to bring a special someone. :) Hubba hubba. It had that “vibe” in the hotel, you know? I saw this 70+ year old couple with gray hair, slumped over, emerging from a room one morning — he had the biggest smile and twinkle in his eye and she shyly looked at me like she had just been a very naughty girl. It was so adorable, I loved seeing their cute little sparkle and resolved at that moment — when I am 70, I am staying at sexy hotels with my husband too! :)
So yes, after working and shopping this room was a lovely place to relax and enjoy the beautiful canal views. Ah, Amsterdam. I’ll be back to see you again soon….
(images: holly becker for decor8)
While in Amsterdam last week I had an entire day off between shoot days so I made a special appointment to visit the home and atelier of Leslie Oschmann of Swarm because I’ve been hoping to meet her for a few years now. I finally got the courage to just approach her! I don’t know, something about meeting someone so talented who spent many years at Anthropologie in such a creative role can be a bit intimidating but I figured I had nothing to lose so why not call her up?
Fortunately, she was quite welcoming and lovely even… so I ended up in her pretty Amsterdam apartment/atelier last Wednesday morning. It was such a nice visit, she gave me her full attention explaining her process, showing me around, sharing secret upcoming projects, and giving me a glimpse of her most recent work including these gorgeous bags that I photographed here to share with you.
Leslie sources paintings from mostly flea markets and reinvents them so they can become chairs, bags and so much more — but she also allows some to remain simply as she found them — as paintings only stitching in a fabric tie on the portrait of a man or a silk scarf in punchy colors as a jacket for a lady or the vase of a flower (example below as seen in Anthropologie ). I loved looking at the old chairs that she covered in vintage oil paintings to give them a fresh, new look.
She sells lots of her work to Anthropologie, but if you would like to buy something directly from her for you or your own little shop, you can contact Leslie directly (l.oschman AT chello.nl). Leslie is currently making more bags so please contact her if you like what you see.
Leslie so nicely sent me home with one of her bags — I was so surprised and honored that she’d do something so kind, it really made my day because I’m rather shy about taking things but when someone gives you such a special gift it’s one you always remember. And so I will always remember this special meeting whenever I use my pretty bag (I’ve already tested it in all of the rain I got hit with after leaving her flat and it held up just wonderfully!) Thank you again Leslie for the bag and for the lovely time that you so generously shared with me.
(images: holly becker for decor8)