Monthly Archives

March 2011

Arts + Crafts

Chocolate Creative: New Products

March 28, 2011

I love the new batch of fresh and modern Chocolate Creative products that are available! Shown below are peeks from her collection including some prints from the Decayed Glamour line that I think look just great (and are styled quite well, I must add!).

Chocolate Creative: New Products

Margarita Lorenzo is the designer behind this company, she also authors a fantastic blog, and I had the pleasure of meeting her in January in London during a press event for my book and in addition to her great smile I took note of her adorable tote (I want one now!). It was such a pleasure to get to know the lady behind the brand in person and I’m inspired by what she does. Margarita has a love for vintage textiles, antiques and traditional craft so she infuses her line with her inspirations for a fresh, modern interpretation of these things. Her brand focuses on handmade, sustainable products for the home that combine the traditional skills like embroidery and cross stitch that she loves so much with silkscreen printing. The results are just lovely!

Chocolate Creative: New Products

Chocolate Creative: New Products

Chocolate Creative: New Products

Chocolate Creative: New Products

Margarita will be taking part in the Dulwich Festival artists open houses soon so please stay in touch with her via her newsletter to learn more. Nice work, Margarita! xo

(images: chocolate creative)

Decorating Tips

Industrial Chic In Buenos Aires

March 25, 2011

Ready to see a lovely industrial chic loft in Buenos Aires, Argentina? Karina Manghi is a photographer (with an etsy shop) and blogger who authors site Le Blog Secret. Her loft has lots of bohemian elements to it as you will soon see. It’s a happy mix. It’s a home with a creative soul.

Industrial Chic In Buenos Aires

Karina and her husband decorated the house around the idea of being industrial with a touch of chic that would accommodate their family and not be too fussy since they have kids and entertain their friends and family often. She said the hardest part, because her taste runs the gamut, was to edit as she decorated. I think that this is a issue many face, especially when you are mixing and matching and have a more eclectic sensibility.

Industrial Chic In Buenos Aires

Some of her favorite prints look fresh and modern against that gorgeous vintage tile on the floor.

Industrial Chic In Buenos Aires

Industrial Chic In Buenos Aires

Industrial Chic In Buenos Aires

Her son’s bedroom – love the giant batman!

Industrial Chic In Buenos Aires

Her lovely daughter in their entryway, a festive welcoming with the fantastic assortment of colorful balloons! Nice idea for a party.

Industrial Chic In Buenos Aires

A quiet afternoon with mate tea…

Industrial Chic In Buenos Aires

Karina’s bedroom – lovely quilt…

Industrial Chic In Buenos Aires

A simple way to display photos on a wall – tape! No frills! Let the images speak.

Industrial Chic In Buenos Aires

Industrial Chic In Buenos Aires

Her daughter’s bedroom, complete with adorable dog and vintage bed found at a flea market!

Industrial Chic In Buenos Aires

Industrial Chic In Buenos Aires

A curious assortment of things.

Industrial Chic In Buenos Aires
Her amazing closet. Drool. I love the polished concrete floors, they reflect so much light and illuminate the space beautifully, naturally.

Industrial Chic In Buenos Aires
Don’t you love seeing her photographs taped onto that old green folding door? Pretty. And the lighting here is gorgeous. It reminds me of an old film…

Industrial Chic In Buenos Aires

Karina admits to not liking clutter but she does love to display illustrations from independent artist, beloved objects, her own photographs and those of others, her kids artwork, and travel souvenirs. Since she cannot fall back on a big box store like IKEA (there isn’t one there), she said she has had to find ways to be more creative and had built many affordable things by hiring a carpenter. She also hits flea markets for one of a kind vintage items.

Karina thank you so much for sharing your home with all of us today!

(images: karina manghi)

Decorating Tips

Corners of a Farmhouse

March 25, 2011

Are you a fan of farmhouse style? I find that depending on where you live in the world, this style can change which has a lot to do with local culture and what is available among other things. For instance, farmhouse style in America vs. farmhouse style in France or Sweden is somewhat different but they still share a golden thread that links them together — the love of vintage! Other similarities include soft colors (grays, blues and greens are popular), mixing in antiques, making lots of things by hand, and fresh flowers are usually in the mix.

Corners of a Farmhouse

Heather Anderson’s farmhouse in Michigan is more the American idea of farmhouse style which is quite popular and most who follow this style tend to be very creative and love to make things themselves to personalize it a bit. Heather has a gorgeous stream of photos on Flickr where I discovered her and fell in love with some of her DIY projects that I discovered over on her blog like this frame and this bunting. She also has a vintage goods shop over at Etsy. I asked Heather to send me her personal favorite photos of her home to share with decor8 readers – I have to say, she selected some beautiful views that provide for some great Friday inspiration. I also asked her a few questions about her home that I think you’ll enjoy…

What is the inspiration behind your style and how do you define it? I am inspired by farmhouse living. I love the simplicity and the lived in, loved in look. My style is fresh farmhouse with a dash of romance. I love a collected-over-time feel. No rules, just useful and beautiful. I stick with non-breakable, fuss-less items that don’t break the bank or my heart if my baby bears, I mean boys, get a hold of them.

Corners of a Farmhouse

Where do you find ideas and inspiration? With a wealth of blogs and magazines to read, it is not hard to find inspiration! However, my favorites come late at night when the house is (finally) quiet and I have time to just sit and imagine.

What do you love about your home? I
love that our home is in the country. I also love that it is open and airy (a must for long, dark Michigan winters). But my favorite part about our home is that we built it ourselves. It will probably never be “completely” finished, but what fun would that be? I love dreaming up our next project and renovating, decorating, re-decorating… It is humble, yet it is still the house of my dreams.

Corners of a Farmhouse

What makes a house feel like home to you? A house is a home when it is a reflection of you and filled with those you love. Decorating should be fun, not some standard that you have to live up to. It can happen very gradually over time. Layer upon layer, you find, collect, build, and it becomes a labor of love. That is what makes house a home.

Corners of a Farmhouse

Corners of a Farmhouse

Above: Bottles Heather spray painted in matte white paint to give them a chalky finish – I love these!

Corners of a Farmhouse

Heather’s home is filled with projects that she did herself. For instance, if you like the bunting in her kitchen shown (first image above), here is a terrific tutorial where she’ll show you how to make it! You can also learn how to make that terrific frame/message board that you see in the 2nd image above right here. Again, great ideas and a lovely lady who is being creative at home, keeping it real, and loving to decorate!

(images: heather anderson)

Inspiration

Inspiration Is Everywhere!

March 24, 2011

I recently came across the work of 27-year-old graphic designer and photography Julia Dávila in Madrid. Julia is so talented and I love how she finds inspiration everywhere – from her travels, on the streets where she lives and in the subtle way she uses flowers and other objects to tell a story in her home. Julia is a contact of mine on Flickr and I find her photographs quite transporting and so I asked her if I could share them with you today to inspire you.

Inspiration Is Everywhere!

I think it’s important to be on the look out for inspiration no matter where you are. The details are there, you just have to look for them and if you have a camera or even a camera phone, capture them somehow and see where those captures lead. Perhaps after seeing these photographs you will feel motivated to take more photos. I have to make a point of it more myself so today I plan to go out and grab a few bouquets from the farmers’ market for myself so that I can photograph them at home tomorrow. I’m dying to see what is selling at the market now that spring has sprung!

Inspiration Is Everywhere!

Inspiration Is Everywhere!

Inspiration Is Everywhere!

Inspiration Is Everywhere!

Julia told me that her source of inspiration comes from the changes in nature as the seasons unfold with new flowers and colors in the nature environment around her. She is also inspired by the many marvelous photographers out there who, “Capture the wonders of nature with great finesse,” and their work plays an important role in the progress of her own. Julia dreams to someday cover the walls of her home with her own photographs and also put flowers of all kinds on her walls (I must admit that sounds quite avant-garde and intriguing) as part of a beautiful installation to inspire her work further which instantly made me think of this photo showing tons of silk flowers in a dining area.

Beautiful!

(images: julia dávila)

Shopping + Products

Get Organized With Manostiles Boxes

March 24, 2011

This weekend is my big Spring cleaning weekend and it’s funny but I can’t wait to get started! I’m ready to donate a bunch of clothes and buy some plants for my balcony and get my home ready for the season. Also, my goal for Spring is to get a better system in place when it comes to organization. Today I was in touch with Manostiles, a Danish company that designs home items, and found their boxes to be quite lovely and perfect for storage. The key to good organization is to have specific places for everything and if you are using boxes like these, to have a good labeling system so you know what is inside of them. I have a few boxes similar to what you see below that are covered in Indian prints and I think Leslie and some others online have similar boxes too — I’ve seen them around the web in mostly people’s home offices, so they seem to be a storage solution that many enjoy. I guess it’s hard to resist pretty boxes with things tucked inside!

Get Organized With Manostiles Boxes

Get Organized With Manostiles Boxes

Get Organized With Manostiles Boxes

Get Organized With Manostiles Boxes

Get Organized With Manostiles Boxes

Get Organized With Manostiles Boxes

If you would like to order these great boxes, you can purchase them online at Cahetu, they ship worldwide and I imagine rates would be okay since these boxes are very lightweight and many can fit inside of other ones… Manostiles will begin selling them on their website in April if you want to order directly from them.

I personally love the magazine holders and the clear shoe storage boxes that could store anything really. I particularly like seeing the clear ones stacked in a work room or above, as shown by a bed doubling as a bedside table which is clever and budget-friendly. But back to those magazine files, I can never get enough of gorgeous magazines and since I refer back to them so frequently, having them tucked away in pretty holders nearby my desk is practical and inspiring. I love to be surrounded by things that spark my creativity!

(images: manostiles)

Decorating Tips, Home Tours

Corners of Home: From Bosnia With Love

March 24, 2011

What do you think about when you imagine how people are decorating in Sarajevo, Bosnia? Perhaps photographs of this gorgeous apartment in Sarajevo with decoration inspired by the city may give you a fresh impression. This apartment belongs to blogger Sabina Cudic who says, “This corner of the world has not been covered (in the world of decorating) and I hope this little submission serves to change that.” Yes, it will! In addition to her blog, Sabina teaches Political Science and International Relations at the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology. She is also an avid former competitive debater, is passionate about photography, fashion, interior decorating and of course politics and international affairs.

Corners of Home: From Bosnia With Love

I asked Sabina about the design scene in Bosnia and she wrote such a great reply that I didn’t want to water it down by revising it or turning it into my own words so I’ll let you read her reply. It’s fascinating!

About design in Bosnia: “Decorating resources in Bosnia are, as you can expect limited. There is not a single major/international furniture chain present (the closest IKEA is more than 400 kilometers away and majority of on-line shops shipping policies tend to avoid Bosnia), however I still wouldn’t consider it to be a deprivation – and would go as far as to argue that this type of “isolation” encourages organic creativity!” I have to agree with her on that point, having fewer options does lend to finding creative alternatives.

Corners of Home: From Bosnia With Love

About her apartment: “My boyfriend and I purchased a 60m2 apartment several months ago and having spent our entire budget on basic renovations, we are left with nothing more than creativity for decorations. This means that we used mostly our old furniture which we upholstered in new (and I have to admit, very cheap and sold by kilogram) natural and neutral fabrics. I purchased the doted fabric which we used for chairs on a major sale at an IKEA in Germany, together with other couple of decorating details which I could “smuggle” back to Sarajevo. Stubbornly setting my mind onto something also means that I sometimes spend an entire flight back home holding a lamp shade in my lap, or a ceramic deer that I cannot live without. This also means that on more than one occasion I chose “luxury” over necessity, clearly indicated by the fact that we still do not own a TV or furnished bedroom (Bosnians are known for, here and there, acting on emotions and not reason.) But it also encapsulates my home decorating policy of ensuring that we are surrounded by things we love and cherish and that necessities will eventually take care of themselves.” I like that as I can relate — it’s better to decorate with what you love than to just buy something for the sake of filling a room.

Corners of Home: From Bosnia With Love

Her decorating style: “The palette we chose for the apartment is neutral with decidedly white walls everywhere but in the bathroom which we cozied up with the shades of cream and gray and stone tiles. As the entire apartment is facing south and is on the eighth floor, we enjoy the enormous amount of sunlight and prefer serenity of whites, creams and natural wood, adorned with objects and pictures we collected over time, instead of explosion of colors.” To that I say, beige is not boring!

Corners of Home: From Bosnia With Love

What makes Sarajevo special: “There are several aspects that make home decorating in Sarajevo a pleasant challenge: there is a great number of extremely talented artisans whose work is unfortunately severely undervalued. Beautiful carpets and rugs, fabrics and upholstering, as well as hand made furniture are among the cheapest and least discovered in Europe. For those with a curious, patient and creative mind Sarajevo can be a heaven.”

Corners of Home: From Bosnia With Love

Where do you shop for the home in Bosnia?“There are several shops and artists whose work I would highly recommend: A nearly hundred year old family business called Rukotvorine from a small town of Konjic in Hercegovina and Artisan from an even smaller town of Tesanj. Rukotvorine’s work is rooted in Bosnian tradition – it’s sideboard called the Wave is poetry and needs to be felt by hand to be fully appreciated. Artisan is more influenced by the Dutch and Danish schools of design, and offers equally beautiful, Bosnian solid wood hand made pieces. There are of course plenty of other artist and designers whose work unfortunately cannot be found online.” It sounds like there are many untapped treasures there…

Corners of Home: From Bosnia With Love

Why does Sarajevo inspire you? For those with a less ambitious budget several antique stores offer a variety with an occasional true gem in a form of a beautiful carved wooden storage boxes, mid century pieces or glass kitchen cabinets. Naturally, peaking into elderly neighbors’ apartments can be equally exciting and a habit that Bosnians with their laid back neighborhood relations do not mind. This leads me to the ways in which this city inspires my decorating – Sarajevo is a place where friends and family knock on your door unannounced and the interiors often reflect that. Comfort, gracefulness, surrounding ourselves with people and objects that mean something to us and unpretentious entertaining is what inspires me in decorating and making sure that there is always an extra pillow and a blanket. Considering that my boyfriend is from Kosovo, I look forward to incorporating those cultural influences in our home. Having lived in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany I can also trace those aesthetics in my decoration daydreaming. So if and when in Sarajevo decor8 readers should feel free to wave and stop by, and perhaps we can give you a little tour!” Oh, how sweet you are, Sabina!

I don’t know about you dear readers, but I took so much away from this interview, but mainly the value of using what you have and appreciating what makes a house a home – family, friends and meaningful objects with meaning. Thank you Sabina for visiting us today!

(images: Sabina Cudic)

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