Yearly Archives

2010

Objects

Paula Arntzen – Lighting Love

November 23, 2010

How truly amazing are the Petit Trianon and Grand Trianon lights from Dutch artist and designer Paula Arntzen? They are available through Artecnica and their list of exclusive retailers — I’m hoping they have one in Germany because I am dying to buy one for my office or living room because it’s exactly what I’ve been looking for. Have you heard of Artecnica before? If not, they are a design company in L.A. that collaborates with both emerging and established international designers and together they create inspiring decorative objects for the home and workplace. Can you imagine this light in your home office? I can! Totally!

Paula Arntzen - Lighting Love

About these lovely Trianon lights Artecnica explains, “Named after the palace of King Louis XIV, Grand Trianon is a large, lightweight chandelier made of post-consumer coated Tyvek. When lit up, the Grand Trianon emits a soft checkerboard glow from behind its surface of folded slits.” The Petit Trianon is a smaller, detailed version with identical texture and pattern.

Paula Arntzen - Lighting Love

Paula says of her inspiration behind these lights, “Both lights are a result of a unique experience I had at the Palace of Versailles combined with my love for this elegant material”. What a lovely design, I can’t wait to get my hands on one someday, what a lovely score that would be!

(images: paula arntzen)






Bloggers

Sweet Paul Blog

November 23, 2010

I just shared the decor8 book of the week, Romantic Style, so now I’d like to highlight the blog of the week, Sweet Paul. This is one heck of a blog to read if you are dieting, so calorie counters beware! But it’s just too yummy to pass by and reading and looking at gorgeous imagery is fat-free, so I guess that’s fair enough. Feast your eyes!

Sweet Paul Blog

Sweet Paul is a delicious blog authored by stylist/crafter Paul Lowe, who develops recipes and crafts for editorial and commercial projects. Can you believe that he has published 22 cookbooks in 12 languages? Amazing! He also has an online magazine (here) that is gorgeous and on his Sweet Paul blog he publishes inspiration and new recipes several times a week! How’s that for an all-star blogger?

Sweet Paul Blog

Sweet Paul Blog

Sweet Paul Blog

Sweet Paul Blog

Paul Lowe is a huge inspiration to me personally which is why I wanted to talk about his work today — I find his blog and magazine a delight and I think that you will to if you haven’t already heard of him. His eye is amazing, and his styling work always feels modern and clean while also being quite soulful, welcoming, calming and crafty.

Originally from Oslo, he moved to New York and now works with some of the best photographers and clients in the industry and his prop styling is nothing short of perfect. I was reading that he started out as a florist and now here he is today. I love this interview with him on the Spoonful Blog, it’s amazing to read about this bloggers experience attending a shoot that Paul directed and styled, so I encourage you to read more about her experience along with an interview, here.

(images: paul lowe)






Books + Magazines

Romantic Style by Selina Lake + Sara Norrman

November 23, 2010

I’ve been wanting to review this book ever since it released but between traveling, teaching online and off, moving, working on my own book — there hasn’t been a lot of time for me to sit down and read the book and then pull together a proper review! Today I vowed to write one, even though it’s not as thorough as I would have liked — for a simple reason: I adore Selina’s latest book, Romantic Style, and I want to show my support. Selina did a fantastic job on this title and I feel like shouting it from the rooftops, I am proud of her and her accomplishments. I also just-so-happen to love her photographer Debi Treloar because she and I worked together this year to shoot Decorate and Debi is a real gem. Anything Debi does, it comes out so, so nice. And so, this book review is to celebrate Selina’s new book and to give a high five to her great photographer, Debi and fantastic writer, Sara Norrman!

Romantic Style by Selina Lake + Sara Norrman

Romantic Style is a beautiful book published by Ryland Peters & Small with luscious images, lots of them full bleed (which I love), and I really liked how Selina groups Romantic Style into specific categories because I’ve not seen that done really before. Usually people just call Romantic Style, “Frilly, girly, sweet, pink Shabby Chic”, when really there are many different types of ways to bring Romantic Style into the home without buying a big white slipcovered sofa and a worn chippy sofa table! Of course, that is what most people associate with Romantic decor, but Selina was clever enough to show Romantic Style in many different ways through her styling work, Debi captured it perfectly with her camera, and the text which was written by Sara Norrman, supported the visuals so well. With every paragraph I found myself wagging my head in agreement as the imagery around the text fit so expertly. I love how well Sara captured Selina’s vision, it is a joy to read.

Romantic Style by Selina Lake + Sara Norrman

Romantic Style by Selina Lake + Sara Norrman

And so, with that, I encourage you dear readers to take a look at Romantic Style online (a sneak peek can be found here) which is also the decor8 book of the week. If you already have a copy, please tell me what you think (Selina will be reading your comments, too!) because I’d love to know what you thought about the book overall. If you don’t already own it, you can purchase it online at Amazon — if you’d like to order through me (I am an Amazon affiliate) you can click here and if you purchase the book 6% of the total sale goes to me so I can keep buying beautiful books to review on decor8. Fun stuff!

(images: ryland peters and small – photography by debi treloar.)






Inspiration

Richard Powers (+ How I Choose Images)

November 22, 2010

Richard Powers is an amazing talent that I have to point you to today for interiors and still life eye candy. Based in the UK, Powers is a sought-after pro photographer who shoots for top magazines like Elle Decoration, Livingetc, Dwell, RUM, AD, Elle Decor and many more.  He is currently shooting the home of someone I know, but I’m not sure that I am allowed to say who just yet so I may have to tell you later when the article is published. For now you can enjoy some of the views through Powers’ lens below..

Richard Powers (+ How I Choose Images)

A lot of friends ask me how I choose the images that I show on decor8, what thoughts run through my head as I place photos one by the other… Truth is, it’s intuitive and emotional for me so it’s hard to explain but I’ll try with what I’ve shown above… Okay, so I selected images above from Powers’ portfolio that fit my current mood and also palette, colors that I am inspired by… violet, green, turquoise, a dash of yellow or pink or red. I also tried to show some of my current favorite textures – because texture makes a room you know… rough, soft, smooth, crinkled, torn, silky… I love the mix of high and low, old and new, worn and untouched. I think it’s the combination of these things that make better collages when mixing imagery, at least for me. I also like to try to find something in one photo that is also in the one that I want to lay near to it. It could be a color, a texture, a pattern or something less obvious like the way a photo smells to me (yes, smells!) or how it feels (warm, loving, cold, welcoming, sharing, cozy).

Allow me to illustrate…

In the very first grouping, the two images that I have placed a white frame around, I selected them to sit together because the top image is very violet and traditional and bottom image is very modern and graphic with black and white but I loved pairing the two because though they seem to have nothing in common, they do both contain the color purple in very different doses which I think nicely illustrates how violet can work in both large and small doses in a room.

Richard Powers (+ How I Choose Images)

In the next grouping above, I really like the top two side-by-side for no other reason outside of the shapes. In the image on the left, the door and chair look similar in composition to how the ceramics in the right photo are placed. In the bottom two images, I love the idea of having an abundance and having very little — a lot of dinnerware and then on the table, very little. I also like the worn shelving against the clean, streamlined tulip table and I like how the curves in the china on the shelf mimic the curves in the furniture shown to the right. Another similarity I liked is seeing the handles on many mugs and pitchers and on the table seeing only one handle. Lots of ways we look at things can seem quite abstract, often we think they are not that important because there is no rational, practical explanation behind our thinking, but oftentimes this is the more interesting viewpoint to me – the less obvious, abstract, way-out-in-left-field viewpoint.

Richard Powers (+ How I Choose Images)

And for my final illustration, in the collage above the top two images obviously work well together because of the colors – that strong turquoise is mesmerizing. But more enticed me to pair them side-by-side. I like how in the room, the background is a very soothing scene on wallpaper that is quite muted and serene, and then to the right you have an urban setting with a worn wall that also feels serene and provides for a perfect backdrop. In the bottom two images, I found the curves of the chair very sensual, and strangely enough, I found the collection of bowls sensual as well. I also really like that creamy white in the chair that is also in some of the bowls and how that gorgeous violet in the left hand image works so beautifully with the turquoise found in the photo to its right.

Altogether dreamy.

Do you have any impressions that you’d like to share from these same images above? How do decide how to pair images that you use on your blog? I’m curious to know…

(images: richard powers)






Arts + Crafts

Fresh Wreath Ideas

November 22, 2010

I’ll share some more inspirations from Istanbul throughout the week but I don’t want to overwhelm you with too many travel notes, I know that can be a bit much and I like a good mix on decor8. :) How about a little winter decorating inspiration? Whether you are looking for holiday ideas or simply enjoy decorating for the season well past December 25th, I think wreaths are a great way to cozy up your home for the winter. I usually make my own wreaths out of yarn or flowers, but this year I may give a photo wreath a try. The moment I spotted this one over at Country Living magazine online, I had to share with you because I bet you’ll love it.

Fresh Wreath Ideas

Here is another wreath idea, this time it’s a bit more crafty. These lovely poinsettia blooms crafted out of felt are part of a kit that you can buy here and make yourself — then place them in a frame (with no glass). Very fun and somewhat easy to DIY.

Fresh Wreath Ideas

What do you think, any ideas for wreaths this year?

Psst: More tips on seasonal decorating here.

(images; country living magazine)






Objects, Shop Tours, Travel

Tulu: Gorgeous Shop in Istanbul

November 22, 2010

Traveling gives such creative inspiration but also a lovely opportunity to explore a different culture. Of course, there is the added bonus — we tend to learn more about ourselves as we venture new grounds — there are spiritual discoveries, emotional breakthroughs, I could go on and on but if you travel you must know what I mean…

Tulu: Gorgeous Shop in Istanbul

One small but interesting fact that I learned about myself in both Marrakesh and Istanbul is the kind of shop environment that I enjoy the most. I found shops of all shapes, styles and sizes — kiosks, carts on the street, ladies with handmade goods displayed on blankets in the park, men selling bread that they carried on their heads, souks, bazaars, flea markets, you name it I shopped it. But what I found fascinating was that in each country I was easily lured in by the shops (and flea market tables) that had a more western sense of merchandising – where displays were carefully thought out, merchandise curated, and the selection being moderate — not too much of a single item but more of a mix of things to discover as I shopped. When products were shown in ways that got my creative juices flowing, I had no problem buying them. In stores where I found thousands of the same item, or things just tossed randomly in baskets or pinned to walls, or stores with aggressive sellers, I shopped very little and found them to be a bit depressing and ho hum.

I also found the more western sales style much more inviting than having to barter when it comes to pricing. I prefer items with tags on them, so I know where I stand, and I like to be told a little about a product but then left on my own. That way, I could see an item and have the mental space (and quiet) to imagine this or that piece in my home, where, how I would use it, etc.

When bartering is involved well that is also fine to a point but if I say, “No, thank you” I really don’t want the reply to be, “But lady look at this, I can give you a better price” followed by more and more of the same… I also don’t like to have a seller tugging on my arm, and I don’t like shop owners chasing me after I leave their shop trying to offer me the same goods at half the price. That is one thing that I found very annoying when I shopped the souks in Marrakesh, after the first day the excitement of bartering really became stressful and draining because most of the souk sellers are in your face the minute you enter the medina and you have little to no physical or mental space as you shop — it’s just one after another coming up to you trying to lure you into their shop and some even pull you in — grab you — and this was not enjoyable after the “new” wore off.

Tulu: Gorgeous Shop in Istanbul

I found Istanbul a much more delightful place to shop because the Grand Bazaar wasn’t nearly as intense as the souks in Morocco when it came to the sales approach, also more stores had a fixed price. Some of the bazaar shop owners were also be a bit intense (mostly the young guys), but they seemed to know when to back off and let you have your fun, go your way, etc. And I loved how hospitable they were — always offering us tea and if we purchased something, closing the deal with tea and conversation. I could really think when I shopped in Istanbul — I could take time to imagine, create and design things in my head as I walked around and browsed each shop in the Grand Bazaar and in the Spice Market — this made the trip very special to me. Istanbul is more expensive compared to Morocco though, so I guess you have to decide what matters most to you, price or peace! :) Though I’m first to admit, if invited back to Morocco I’d go in a heartbeat because I loved it there, too. :)

In addition to the 4,000 + shops in the Grand Bazaar, you also have many small privately-owned shops peppered around in the same neighborhood. One such shop, shown in the photos above and below, is Tulu located in the old part of the city called Sultanahment. Tulu is owned by American textile dealer, Elizabeth Hewitt, and has three floors of gorgeous items for the home as well as fashion accessories that I highly recommend. I left with only a few things, though my husband purchased a beautiful rug from Tulu for his office. We both will go back to Tulu when we visit Istanbul in the future.

Tulu: Gorgeous Shop in Istanbul

I first discovered Tulu online in October 2009 and blogged about it here (thanks to Raina’s tip), so I’ve been wanting to visit for a year now and so walking in and seeing it was quite exciting for me and certainly did not disappoint. The selection ranged from Turkish finds to gorgeous Indian textiles and the shop was loaded with pattern and color — I have to vote Tulu as one of my top five favorite stores in Istanbul and a definite must-see if you ever travel there. You can find bags, bracelets, fabrics by the meter, rugs (mostly vintage), pillows, tin heart mirrors, hand-painted boxes, ceramics, plates, journals, so many beautiful things that your eyes won’t know where to look first. And their staff is so helpful and lovely — and no pressure — they offer help and then let you alone to wander and imagine. I love that.

Tulu: Gorgeous Shop in Istanbul

And good news for you if you’re not traveling to Istanbul anytime soon… You can buy Tulu goods at select stores in the US, like Layla in Brooklyn (another favorite shop of mine) and Nest in San Francisco.

A special thank you to Azmi for being such a great help in this shop!

I hope you enjoyed my photos — I took them at night so forgive the exposure… I did my best! :)

(images: holly becker for decor8)






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