Monthly Archives

January 2011

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Heading To Hamburg

January 11, 2011

I’m leaving for Hamburg for some girl time with a friend but don’t worry, I’ll be back on Wednesday with posts and inspiration, and I will also post the Etsy take five on Wednesday as well so you won’t miss your round-up for this week. We can’t have that, it’s business as usual — well, sorta. :)

Heading To Hamburg

We’ll be hitting some fab design stores and eating out, you know — doing what two friends passionate about design do best! I will share some of my Hamburg moments with you when I return because I’m bringing my new camera and lens with me to practice. I hope to get some good pics to share, especially of a store I can’t wait to visit that specializes in vintage and industrial decor. I’m bringing some Euros because I hope to come home with a few things for my apartment so if I score some finds I’ll share them with you.

While I’m away you can catch a blog post that I wrote for designer Vicente Wolf while he is in Istanbul. I was so honored that he asked me to guest post for him. It will go live here sometime on Tuesday, so keep refreshing his blog until you see a post from me. It’s about the importance of social networking for designers but really it can apply to all creatives who are looking to get the word out about their business. Enjoy!

By the way… thank you SO MUCH for leaving your nice comments on Anna-Malin’s first post today. She was so happy to receive your warm, virtual hugs and nods of approval regarding her first installment on decor8. It’s always scary to go before a new crowd, but she handled it just lovely and her project was tops.

Okay then my sweet friends, see you soon!

(image: anthropologie, I’ll share more photos and tell you about these limited edition products when I return.)






DIY

DIY: Affordable Branch Pendant

January 10, 2011

I’m so excited to bring you Anna-Malin Lindgren, a new decor8 columnist based in Sweden, who will produce a special project for us to share on the 2nd Monday of each month. She isn’t really writing a DIY column, so all of the details will not be provided step-by-step, but she will be sharing things that she makes for her home along with how she used them to decorate a room for a little decorating inspiration. I’m going to hand the mic over to Anna-Malin now, so please, take it away and show us what you’ve made!

DIY: Affordable Branch Pendant

Hello decor8 readers! Today I’ll show you a nice, personal lamp that I made from simple means and how I decorated my dining room around the light so that you can get a double dose of inspiration. I will do this in all of my columns because showing only what I made may not be that helpful but seeing something handmade in the home — “in-situ” — just may give you a different perspective on how you can decorate nicely on a budget by making things yourself. If you want to try to make this affordable branch pendant you’ll need only a few key ingredients: an electrician, a branch from a tree (quite large) and 4 fabric-covered cables with either plastic or porcelain white sockets (try NUD Collection for a variety of cord colors). I got the idea for this lamp when I saw a picture in a magazine a year ago (inspiration below) and I thought to  myself – I can do this! Here is my inspiration…

DIY: Affordable Branch Pendant

I kept this tear from a magazine, I can do this! So I did!

I had the branch already for several months. It was brought home by my youngest son when we were out walking in the woods last summer. I started by hanging the lamps on the branch to figure out the perfect placement. When they had the right amount of space in between them, I used ordinary black tape to secure them in place. The next step was to measure the distance from the ceiling and then I selected a point where I gathered all of the cords and taped them together, tightly. Tip: When you finish, make sure you use clear bulbs – not frosted ones!

DIY: Affordable Branch Pendant

DIY: Affordable Branch Pendant

DIY: Affordable Branch Pendant

Taping them into place…

Next, I cut the cords (with a few inches to spare) and called my “hubby” — he did all the electrical stuff and fixed it so that the four cords connected to only one. You can use a terminal strip for this but I suggest calling in a friend who is an electrician because you can seriously cause problems or worse, burn your house down if you do this wrong – I nor decor8 can take responsibility for your safety, so check with a trained electrician! My husband also removed the tape and secured the cords onto the wood with u-shaped nails.

DIY: Affordable Branch Pendant

DIY: Affordable Branch Pendant

DIY: Affordable Branch Pendant

DIY: Affordable Branch Pendant

DIY: Affordable Branch Pendant

Voilá! Not hard at all. Now I have a unique, personal lamp for not much money at all. The cords were about 10 euros each (so 40 Euros) and the branch was for free! Of course, you’ll have to pay for the time of an electrician (I was lucky to have my husband) but if you have a friend who is one, or relative, perhaps this light will be an affordable option over your dining room table, too.

Did you like this? Next month I will surprise you with something fresh and fun (and affordable) so stay tuned. If you have any questions about this project please ask in the comments section below.

See you with another project on February 14th! Anna-Malin Lindgren.

(images: anna-malin lindgren)






Arts + Crafts, Guest Bloggers

New decor8 Column: Handmade Home

January 7, 2011

I have some exciting news that I must share before the weekend begins. I hired a second columnist to write on decor8, so in addition to the lovely Leslie Shewring and her wildly popular Color Me Pretty column I now have the talented Anna-Malin Lindgren from Helt Enkelt, a Swedish blogger, photographer, illustrator, craft lover, wife, mother and DIY-queen joining us. I can’t wait to work with her, I’m so happy she has accepted!

New decor8 Column: Handmade Home

I met Anna-Malin last year (I wrote about it here) and saw her beautiful home and was so impressed that I knew that somehow I would think of a way that we could work together — so of course, parts of her home is in my upcoming book but beginning next week, you can expect Anna-Malin to visit us once a month for the entire year with a DIY project that she will produce especially for decor8 readers that she’ll share in English. I agreed to let her show it on her own blog in Swedish a week later, but we have first dibs and she is creating them with the decor8 reader in mind so we can count on her to share projects that we’ll all love.

New decor8 Column: Handmade Home

New decor8 Column: Handmade Home

New decor8 Column: Handmade Home

New decor8 Column: Handmade Home

New decor8 Column: Handmade Home

In this post you can see some photos from Anna-Malin’s beautiful blog to give you a glimpse of her fresh, Scandinavian style — and to whet your appetite for the projects that she’ll be sharing with us! And stay tuned, because next week her column will debut and she will demonstrate how we can make a very cool pendant lamp on a budget.

My goal is to have 4 columnists on decor8 so I’m looking for 2 more to join me so that I can have Mondays each week devoted entirely to our visiting columnist of the week. I’ll let you know how my search goes!

Thank you Anna-Malin for accepting my offer to work with me on decor8, I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us.

(images: anna-malin lindgren)






Decorating Tips

Freunde von Freunden

January 6, 2011

My friend Jeannette reminded me of this great interiors/lifestyle site based in Berlin called Freunde von Freunden that I’ve been meaning to tell you about for months. If you’re curious to see how lots of creative people live and work in Berlin, this site is for you. There are interviews (some of them in English), video, and most importantly — lots of inspiring interiors to enjoy. I think you may like seeing what old German city apartments look like — at least in the altbau buildings (photos of them are here thanks to Google images) – which basically means “old building” in English but goes a bit beyond that as I’ll get into below…

Freunde von Freunden

The altbau is typically very charming as many are Jugenstil dating back to around the 1900’s; I live in an altbau and some of the features in my building include huge windows, a balcony, soaring ceilings and original wood floors — some of us are lucky to have the herringbone hardwood floors which are quite handsome. Also the building entryways are typically grand and very large. Unfortunately, just like old buildings in the states, landlords tend to modernize them by removing the beautiful old details to install more “functional” and very typical things like boring bathroom tiles (replacing the gorgeous old tile), but if one is lucky enough they can still find an altbau apartment that has many of the original details still intact.

Freunde von Freunden

I laughed when I saw this bathroom above. These windows are so typical here in most of the government buildings, law firms, doctor’s offices, museums, etc. I guess that this could be only in the big cities, but in my city many old buildings are occupied by businesses. The bathroom above looks just like the one where I had to go to sign off on some paperwork recently. I don’t know, I love these bathrooms. Whenever I am in old buildings I want to photograph the bathrooms. Strange hang up of mine. Perhaps I should do it? Hmmm…

Freunde von Freunden

I totally love this kitchen. It’s feminine but not too much… Someday I will have either vintage Belgium or Portuguese tile in my kitchen OR hardwood floors. Help me to get rich and famous so I can fulfill my dying wish, please? Thank you. :)

Freunde von Freunden

Oh I like the built-in shelving in this kitchen above and that print, yes, that is a great one. Did you notice the detailing on that antique cabinet? I bet a husband somewhere just about died when his dear frau painted that cabinet white, but honestly I’ve seen them in their original state (regular wood) and they just don’t have the same sex appeal. I know, I know, antiques lovers everywhere are cringing as I speak…

But back to Freunde von Freunden, it’s a terrific site founded by Berliners Frederik Frede and Tim Seifert with beautiful photographs taken by Ailine Liefeld. Some say it is like The Selby, but I don’t see that — I find it to be a different experience entirely. FvF focuses on featuring those who are creative and working in creative industries and not so much on hipsters or how edgy one can be…  or how racy even… Though I love The Selby it really does focus on the uber hip which is why we love it whereas FvF tends to tap more into real people and they dig deep into the world of those featured, capturing some of their life through video (not all, but some) and it is Berlin-focused so the local content is especially nice for those who are either living elsewhere but are Berlin-curious or who live in Berlin or nearby, like me, and have no clue who really works and lives in Berlin because like any big city, it’s often hard to find other creative types and typically you either find them at parties, exhibitions or online — at least that is how I find others who are working in creative industries.

Freunde von Freunden

Freunde von Freunden

Freunde von Freunden

You can ask anyone in my life and they’ll tell you that I have wanted a black Kit Kat clock (I call it a Felix clock) since I was 18 years old and saw one in the home of my friend in Boston. I can’t believe I still don’t own one. This photo above sent me over the edge, I may just have to hunt one down… I wish someone would buy the rights and reproduce them in ceramic (the one above is plastic) without the jeweled eyes (the vintage ones are ceramic with jeweled eyes).

There are so many amazing people who live in this fascinating city and because it is still so affordable, it continues to draw artists and dreamers from all over the world which is exciting because it’s rare to find a city that has beautiful property left that is also in good neighborhoods and affordable! Plus, Berlin is great for families and lots of the apartments are quite large so there is room to spread out a bit. I like that for many of the FvF interviews, they show the workspace of the person interviewed, which often means showing two separate spaces — the living space and the office or atelier. They recently interviewed an American artist living in Berlin, Kelsey Brookes, and I found the way he got into art so fascinating and since the interview is in English, I encourage you to read it here because it’s pretty inspiring how this guy found his calling.

Freunde von Freunden

Freunde von Freunden

I want glass domes and a mirror like that, don’t you?

Freunde von Freunden

The photos throughout this post are some of my personal favorites, though you really need to dig in and spend time on Freunde von Freunden because it is a great way to blow off a few hours. :) I am now a regular Freunde von Freunden reader and look forward to seeing who will be featured next.

P.S. This site made me realize that the author of those Japanese Paumes books need to do a Berlin interiors book, huh? I mean, there is none for Berlin yet and why? I haven’t the slightest clue… Especially after visiting this site!

(images: Freunde von Freunden and Ailine Liefeld)






Bloggers

Have Cake Will Travel Blog

January 5, 2011

One of my readers over at haus maus, artist Nicomi Nix Turner, left me a great link to a food blog called Have Cake, Will Travel. Have you seen this gem of a site? If you are dieting, you may not want to, but hey, the photography is very inspirational so just focus on that — the lighting and angles and props as you try not to notice the amazing food. :)

Have Cake Will Travel Blog

Have Cake Will Travel Blog

Have Cake, Will Travel was founded and is written by foodie Celine Steen who was born in Switzerland but currently resides in California. Her blog focuses on mostly vegan recipes and she prefers taking photos of her yummy concoctions in natural morning light with her Nikon D700, fitted with a 50mm f/1.4 lens. I love when photographers reveal what equipment they’re using… but even more so, when they share the beauty that comes from their soul through a lens. Magic.

(images:celine steen)






Inspiration

Photographer Melanie Acevedo

January 5, 2011

As I was writing 8 Interiors Books On My Wish List For 2011 on Real Simple earlier today, I bumped into the online photography portfolio of Melanie Acevedo and had my own little swoon party at my desk. Ah, yes — Melanie Acevedo, that Melanie… the one who shot tons of interiors for Domino magazine. Here are a few favorites of mine, though you simply must see her site for many more inspirational images that you’re sure to love.

Photographer Melanie Acevedo

Her website is this gorgeous space where you can spend lots of time being dazzled and ooo-ahhhed. You can also walk away feeling a little bit uncool because it seems her clients are either famous, rich, gorgeous or all of the above but that is the magic of a great photographer so perhaps if Melanie shot an image of you at home it would be equally stunning.

Photographer Melanie Acevedo

Photographer Melanie Acevedo

What a great way to kick off 2011 — with gorgeous rooms and inspiring homes by the oh-so-talented Ms. Acevedo.

(images: melanie acevedo)






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