Yearly Archives

2010

Inspiration

Stylist Ali Bradshaw

March 1, 2010

I’d like for you to write this post today, want to play along? Okay so UK freelance stylist Ali Bradshaw, who contributes to BBC Good Homes magazine and Country Homes & Interiors, requires few words of review from me… have a look and tell ME what you think. I’d love to hear how you would write this blog post so have a crack at it — I’d like get YOUR take on this stylist today. Here are some views from her portfolio to get you started…

Stylist Ali Bradshaw

Stylist Ali Bradshaw

Stylist Ali Bradshaw

How do these images make you feel? What do you sense about her work as you look at them? How would you describe her sensibility? I’d love to get your fresh take on these images so then, have a go at it! It’s a fun creative exercise I think!

(images: ali bradshaw)

Arts + Crafts

The Owls Are Hunting

March 1, 2010

Pinch me. What a way to kick off a new month. I’ve fallen head over heels with these retro-inspired lamps by newly launched shop The Owls Are Hunting this past weekend. Talented founder/owner Jo is from England but now lives in Australia where she takes vintage lamps and gives them a bit of love and then tops the bases with handmade shades. Oh my, this lamp below gives me such goose bumps!

The Owls Are Hunting

I’m crazy about the base and the shade is just perfect (above), don’t you think? I would love to order the exact same one for my office. Well the office I plan to have once I find a new place to live! Ah, so fresh and vibrant. Here are some additional views of the lamps that Jo creates and a few glimpses of her work studio in Canberra. See if this doesn’t brighten your day…

The Owls Are Hunting

The Owls Are Hunting

The Owls Are Hunting

The Owls Are Hunting

If you would like to order a lamp, visit Made It where she has a little shop. You may also see more lamps on her website. Also check out the Made It blog for a terrific in-depth interview that they had with Jo in February. Enjoy!

(images: the owls are hunting)

Arts + Crafts

Anna See

March 1, 2010

Good morning and happy monday and even more, happy March to you! My windows are open where I sit in my office/dining room and I can hear the birds singing as the sun shines in on my face… the skies are blue and I’m ready for spring! And how are you today? I was born on the first day of spring and so I have a special fondness for March… Though I must confess that while living in New Hampshire & Boston winter often skipped spring taking us straight into summer and I really, really missed those glorious months that I loved so much as a child growing up down south. That is why I’m excited that for the first time since I was a teenager that I can enjoy a proper spring! Which brings me to introduce you to Anna See, an illustrator living in California who created these lovely bird block prints that to me, welcome spring in!

Anna See

I enjoyed reading her refreshingly honest bio this morning and I’d like to share it with you because I think it may resonate with those of you who may feel a bit scattered when it comes to your interests or even your own portfolio. I appreciate how Anna has so openly expressed her viewpoint, “After often being admonished for being all over the place, Anna finally realized that it’s okay to challenge yourself and explore, and that versatility can be a strength.” Anna adds that,  “Style should not drive the picture; the picture should drive the style.”

Which explains why her portfolio is not unified by a particular style… interesting viewpoint, right? Do you ever feel like Anna? If so, I hope you can find peace in the fact that it’s okay to accept it and go forward with your passions, doing what you love.

You can purchase some of Anna’s affordable work here.

(images: anna see)

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Make Your Weekend Great!

February 27, 2010

How are you doing? Is everything well today? Before I sign out for the weekend I thought I’d share some inspiration from the pages of Country Living magazine because I’m in a country sort of mood lately… Spring and Autumn are the two seasons when I feel most like staying in a stone cottage for a few months to do nothing but cook, pick wildflowers, take photos, and play board games with my friends and family.

Make Your Weekend Great!

I’m looking forward to the weekend because I have a lot to do but the projects are all fun and inspiring so it will be nice. One project is that I’m working on some art journals for a book that I’ll be contributing to that is about art journals and inspirational handmade books. I’ll tell you more about it in the months ahead.

Make Your Weekend Great!

I’m also busy with a group of designers that I’ve corralled to launch a really fun (and important) project that I was determined to begin once I relocated here and it feels SO GOOD to be working on a long-term dream and goal that I’ve had. Once I can discuss it freely with you, I certainly will because I think that the project will inspire you, too.

Make Your Weekend Great!

In addition, the final week of the Blogging Your Way e-course that I am teaching alongside Leslie Shewring is next week and the last week of class is always difficult to wrap up because I do not like to bid farewell to my students. I’ve been working so closely with a class of over 200 students that I feel connected and close to them now, and I’m quite involved and invested in their plans as they’ve shared so much over the past 6 weeks. It’s been a really nice path that we’ve all traveled together.

Make Your Weekend Great!

And how are you doing and what is new with you? I wish you all a fantastic weekend and I’ll meet you back here on Monday with more good things to share. Make your weekend a good one!

(images: country living magazine – visit their website for more beautiful homes.)

Decorating Tips, Interviews

Meet Decorator Jan Eleni

February 25, 2010

Are you ready to read a refreshingly honest interview with an interior decorator? I encourage you to read this interview that I had yesterday with interior decorator Jan Eleni Lemonedes from Jan Eleni Inc. in New York City. She speaks boldly and from an authentic place and I really value the time that I shared with her to develop this feature for you. I hope that you like it, too.

Meet Decorator Jan Eleni

First, a bit of history about this talented lady. Jan once had a little shop in the 90’s in New York City’s east village also under her name. About her store she told me, “It was quaint with unique decorative pieces for the home and garden and became a creative outlet for me.” She offered an eclectic mix of early primitive with industrial pieces, along with garden and architectural elements. A lady who loves to “hunt”, she filled her shop with anything and everything that caught her eye and her husband also maintained a loft for her to keep her ever-rotating stock. She calls this period in her life, “A fun time.” But then she was approached by ABC Carpet + Home and went to work there. “It was a different ball game then I was used to. A sort of crazy arena – but where anything was possible – we had to fight for our ideas, it was wonderful to be part of a creative team,” Jan told me. She eventually left the company to spend more time with her little girl, “It was a hard decision – but one that I don’t think twice about.”

So now that you have some history, let’s talk to Jan about her work.

Meet Decorator Jan Eleni

Holly: Why did you decide to decorate for a living?

Jan: I am a self taught designer and at a young age I always loved and appreciated beautiful things. I became obsessed with children’s spaces here in the U.S. because I felt like their were all these cookie cutter rooms that lacked any nourishment for an imagination – and so I started a business based around just that – creating spaces and really listening to what can nurture children in an everyday way.

Holly: I also noticed that in addition to decorating, you are also an artist. Can you tell us more?

Jan: While I was working on children’s spaces – I wanted to time capsule their moment in art – and I started making these beautiful art frames – a way to archive your child’s art in a modern way. It is a labor of love – a time consuming process – the end result is a grid of hand cut miniature images – a gathering of your child’s artwork. It is amazing if you think of how we can influence the next generation of artists and creative types.

Meet Decorator Jan Eleni

Meet Decorator Jan Eleni

Holly: You mentioned earlier that you do not have a formal design education but are self-taught. How do you think self-taught differs from someone with a degree when it comes to decorating and creativity?

Jan: We are born with visual senses – just like someone who excels in math – one can excel in the visual area and I have that gift. My daughter also has this. I also have an eye for products – I adore looking, finding and choosing. Not having a degree allows one to break the rules – and to come up with ideas off the book. One who holds a specialized degree is not necessary more creative – passion and creativity can not be taught. A piece of paper does not state that I have an A+ in creative ideas – although it probably should! Also when I was young, education was different – I am a product of NYC Public School, having grown up in upper Manhattan. Options back then weren’t available – the sky was not the limit – today children have so many choices and so many opportunities. My teachers did not encourage me – if you were not the smartest in the class then sadly you were not important. Our schools were over crowded though I did join a program in high school that instead of going to school – I worked at The Soho News for an entire semester. This was an amazing experience for me, to see the art world up close was a very special unique experience. Soho in the 70’s…

Holly: From a professional standpoint, what do you think needs to change about the interior design profession as a whole?

Jan: At the moment I think we are experiencing design overload – every where you turn – there is an ultra-designed home or a product more outrageous than the last. I think so much of it is silly. Too contrived. You can start to lose perspective on what is good design.

Meet Decorator Jan Eleni

Meet Decorator Jan Eleni

Holly: I’m delighted by how open you are, I feel so energized by your words. I think many feel these ways and appreciate hearing a professional with clearly so much talent, expressing them. Okay, so this leads me to my next question, living in such a highly competitive city such as New York, how do you manage to stay positive and on top in your field?

Jan: In all creative fields, everyone has a ego bigger then the next. I hate to play that game. I am a collaborator. I recently worked on a home – with architect Peter Himmelstein and it was a wonderful experience. The project was a brownstone – the home of a celebrity actor, his wife and their family. We all worked as a united team – there was a mutual respect across the board.

Holly: Can you share some of your thoughts on what works best when dealing with clients, any tips to share?

Jan: I love to work with my clients and get an understanding of what they like. There needs to be a mutual respect between the client and designer. Listening is key, as is confidence. My advice is to remain as honest and sincere if you truly don’t think something will work.

Meet Decorator Jan Eleni

Meet Decorator Jan Eleni

Holly: What is often a challenge in your profession?

Jan: What I realize in my experience is that many people are not educated in understanding the value of what we do. Often others take for granted and don’t understand the simple fact that ideas cost money. Time costs money. The value of a good eye – having a vision – it’s hard to put a price on.

Holly: Who has influenced your work?

Jan: A big influence was my grandmother – from Greece. When she was a young girl she would make raw silk from the cocoon – and make silk lace. Pillowcases, bedspreads, tablecloths – it is an incredible lost art. My love for textiles started early.

Holly: And what about your current inspirations, can you tell us a little about what inspires your creativity?

Jan: Much of my inspiration comes from my travels – I love Asia, I spend most of my summers abroad. In Bali there is a carefree feeling of the homes. They are inside out. I love the wood found in Indonesia. Europe holds me – having a Dutch husband we have spent much time traveling about. Absorbing an environment is the best learning tool. I am also an avid fan of the internet – picking up inspiration from all the excellent blogs out there as well as online magazines. Of course nothing beats picking up your favorite magazines – and letting your mind wander – watching your own ideas gain momentum. Pure inspiration is really all around us.

Jan thank you so much for spending time with us here today on decor8, it’s been a pleasure and honor to have you!

(images: photographer Luc Roymans)

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H&M Home and Julie Verhoeven

February 25, 2010

I’m the first to admit that this collection is geared more towards girls about 10 years younger than me (grin), I still like these colorful things from H&M Home that just released bearing the cheerful, sensual illustrative works of fashion illustrator, artist and teacher Julie Verhoeven.

H&M Home and Julie Verhoeven

I think I’ll pick up a tote because I can use it for groceries and the weekly farmers’ market. My current cloth bags that I bring to the grocery store are a bit boring and standard so these totes from Julie Verhoeven for H&M Home just may do the trick since they are so light and perfectly sized.

What kind of bags do you bring to the grocery store anyway? Cute? Boring? Admit it if yours have stains and holes, no one will judge! :)

(images: H&M Europe)

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