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Decorating Ideas + Ist Option

I wrote about London locations company 1st Option today over at Real Simple, though as I scoured their website I started to think about why some of my favorite rooms in their portfolio worked and so I thought I’d share a few quick decorating tips along with their gorgeous locations… One thing I have learned over the years is to dissect everything and really ask yourself WHY? a lot when it comes to what you naturally are drawn towards.

1st Options

Why does this work? What do you like?

1st Options

If this appeals to you, what exactly lures you in? The mirror? The many tones of white? Do you simply like the no-frills feel? Maybe it is old books that you love? Is it the white walls and floors?

1st Options

1st Options

1st Options

I try to avoid rushing through magazines and blogs but instead, I take time to really look at the images that attract me. I think about what exactly is pulling me in, and I ask, Why does this or that work? I made little notes above on these images to illustrate my point. After looking at them I was able to pinpoint why these arrangements appealed to me. I also ask when viewing images that I like, What do I like about it? Why is the room appealing? And if I cannot seem to figure it out I won’t let myself walk away until I’ve identified exactly what drew me to it in the first place. This type of thinking if very active and “in touch” — I don’t do it every single time I pull out my favorite magazine (I often zone out and relax without thinking much as I look at images, too), but spending extra time to really pick apart what you love is so rewarding in the end because you train your eye, figure out your taste and style, and learn a lot about yourself in general but also about interior decorating and what themes or objects that you see repeated in some of the best rooms that designers are using today — and then you can try doing something like it in your own home.

We learn through observation and also through imitating what we see — it starts when we are infants and we watch our parents, often copying their behavior — but after some time, we mature and desire to no longer copy but to try to make something we saw personal to us or to improve it somehow. That is always the goal when we find inspiration — to either figure out how we can do something similar but with our own personality in the mix or how we can change it up a bit (or completely) and make what we saw even better in our own eyes.

Do you like to pick rooms apart and figure out what works, too?

(images: 1st option)

Posted in Decorating Tips on December 24, 2010

Artist Paola Zakimi

I came across the illustrations and paintings of artist Paola Zakimi of LaSrtaPil yesterday while I was out shopping with a new friend, Katja Behre, who is visiting from London. I found Paola’s work while flipping through a DaWanda lookbook at the Snug shop and instantly fell in love. Would you like to see why?

Paola Zakimi Illustrations

Paola Zakimi Illustrations

Paola Zakimi Illustrations

What’s not to love, right? And here are some of her paintings in-situ — I always like to see the art living in a space to get a better idea of how it would work in my own. These paintings are very interesting… I like the contrast of the black art against the crisp white wall. Her work would be beautiful in a children’s book.

Paola Zakimi Illustrations

Paola, who lives and works in Argentina, can be found online at her DaWanda shop, on Etsy and at her personal blog. In addition to her beautiful art, she also is a doll maker. Her drawings really speak to me… I wonder if her style speaks to you and if so, what does it say? Okay, other than “buyyyy meeeee”. :)

(images: paola zakimi)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on December 23, 2010

Nesting

Nesting is a new interiors book published in Sweden and calls itself, “The Scandinavian version of The Selby,” and was shot by photographer Pia Ulin who collaborated with Swedish author and stylist Cilla Ramnek. It features 26 homes shot over a period of 7 years, all homes were “barely” styled so what you see is what you get…

Nesting Book

Nesting Book

Nesting Book

Nesting Book

Nesting Book

Nesting Book

Nesting Book

I was talking to someone lately who advised me to stop writing about decorating books until after the launch of my own, that I should not direct my readers to other books to purchase when I myself have a title coming out soon. Hmmm. While I understand where she was coming from and respect her business opinion immensely, I do not share this view. In fact, I walked away from that conversation feeling a bit flat because I simply do not believe in keeping it all to myself. I believe in sharing the wonderful talent that exists out there, which is why I will continue to praise and review the many beautiful decorating books currently on the market and those that will come, including my own.

I’m proud of all of us who are out there taking risks, making things, writing stuff, publishing in unstable environments, opening new stores, starting new blogs — we’re all part of this community and as long as people show respect for the work of others and play by the rules, we can all exist together just fine — in fact, we can all help one another to flourish. What comes around goes around anyway, right? The day that I stop praising others then my work will officially be boring and worthless to me because I could never get through to the next day without encouraging and raising others up today.

And with that, I will continue to review books that inspire me now and for months and perhaps even years to come, like Nesting — peeks into this lovely book are shown above. If you like what you see you may purchase it at Swedish bookseller Papercut. Enjoy!

(images: pia ulin)

Posted in uncategorized on December 23, 2010

Neëst: French Shop With Japanese/Scandinavian Style

I’d like to share Neëst with you today as I know you will love all of their natural wood products which makes my heart so happy. Based in Paris, Neëst is an online shop which merges Japanese and Scandinavian style resulting in a natural, simple style that so many of us are drawn to like a moth to the light. Are you attracted to this look as well? Curated and owned by the talented Sandrine Pigeon, I’m sure you will find her shop, blog and her home very inspirational — it oozes with pure + natural style. See for yourself…

Neëst

Neëst

Neëst

Sandrine also has a beautiful home tour over at the Stir, you can see it there if you’d like. She lives there with her husband and two teenage children and the space is simply divine — mixing lots of mid century classics, pure white walls, small floral prints, linen, and natural hardwood floors. Here is a glimpse below…

Neëst

Neëst

Neëst

Neëst

Everything is so sweet in Sandrine’s world including her adorable kitty Pompon shown above… that cat in the basket photo has to be one of the sweetest photos ever. :)

(images: neëst)

Posted in shopping on December 23, 2010

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

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