Monthly Archives

May 2011

Shop Tours

Vancouver Welcomes Anthropologie

May 17, 2011

I’m so happy to see more Anthropologie stores moving into other parts of the world. I know my Australian friends are begging to have one down under, and that little me here in Germany cannot WAIT for one to open in hopefully Hamburg or Berlin at some point – my fingers are crossed! And then the Canadians… tempted right over the border for so long, poor things! They waited long enough so now that Anthro has moved into the land of the infamous “eh?” I am so happy for my friends there.

Vancouver Welcomes Anthropologie

This is their fifth store in Canada and Vancouver was a great choice because my friend Julie Cove lives nearby and I know she’ll keep them in business. ;) Seriously, so many stylish people live in Vancouver and neighboring areas, like Vancouver Island, that I’m sure they are just tickled pink having a new Anthro shop nearby. I know blogger and photographer Amanda Gilligan from Mocking Bird is. In fact, she asked me if she could shoot the store on opening night for decor8 (and for her own blog, of course) and I told her to go for it! Would you like to see some glimpses of the store?

Vancouver Welcomes Anthropologie

Vancouver Welcomes Anthropologie

I love that bold kelly green wall color…

Vancouver Welcomes Anthropologie

Aren’t those wooden pendants the best? Anyone know who designs them? I also love the tabletop, it looks like a painting and so I wonder if it’s a table design by the amazing Leslie Oschmann of Swarm in Amsterdam? Hmmm.

Vancouver Welcomes Anthropologie

I love seeing magnetic timers-as-art. Fun!

Vancouver Welcomes Anthropologie

By the way, Amanda took lots of shots of my book, I know, but I swear I didn’t ask her to – in fact, when I got her email with the photos I thought it was really sweet of her because I really do love seeing it in their new Vancouver store on opening day! Yay! Thank you Amanda and I hope you’ll visit again in the future with other nice shops that you’ve photographed.

(images: amanda gilligan)

 






Rooms

Plates Wallpaper + Why Limited Color Palettes Can Work

May 17, 2011

This wallpaper is inspired by vintage blue tableware and has a uniquely Dutch vibe, doesn’t it? It’s designed and printed by Studio Ditte in the Netherlands and sold in stores worldwide, I found it today over at Catkin Collection. I’ve blogged about Studio Ditte before (here) but this is their latest pattern and I just love it — it’s so fresh and clean.

Plates Wallpaper + Why Limited Color Palettes Can Work

I fancy the different scenes and also the various shades of blue, don’t you? The birds and the windmills are very sweet. I find it so interesting to see products that stick to very limited color palette yet look amazing and inspirational. And I often wondered why that is – how can a product that is basically just blue (and white) be so captivating? If you were to create a blue and white room, would it equally charm you or?

Plates Wallpaper + Why Limited Color Palettes Can Work

After much thought I’ve come to realize that is really has to do with tints and tones of that color and how well you use them. It’s not about using a single tone – say indigo blue – and mixing it with lots of white and putting a room together. In a room, there is also lighting and texture that come into play to create a gorgeous space with a limited palette. But it’s really about using different tints and tones of blue, often ranging from light to dark, to add visual interest, depth and of course, personality and life.

Plates Wallpaper + Why Limited Color Palettes Can Work

Lots of people fear a limited palette – it’s almost suffocating to them to imagine using only a few colors in a room. Everyone is different, and since decorating is subjective, it’s all about what works for you personally. Some people like to put labels on others and feel that if they don’t use tons of color they really don’t have a good understanding of color or are “cop outs”, meaning they are just using it as some strange excuse for being unable to successfully marry colors into a environment for a cohesive look. Like they can’t — so they just fall back on white or beige because they don’t know how to work with color, for example. I don’t buy into that. We decorate using colors that we love – even if that means using color in small doses. We are all so unique, some can live in neutral spaces and others simply cannot, there is no wrong or right.

Wait.

There is a wrong – wrong is when you decorate according to what you think others want you to express or share or pretend to be and not according to who you truly are, so wrong decorating is to deny yourself the freedom of displaying your authentic expression of self in your home – no matter how “white” or “neutral” or “colorful” or “pastel” that is may be. It’s your home, your way.

I don’t find a limited palette suffocating, in some ways for me it is total freedom because the less visual stimulation in my, say work space, the more the images and ideas in my head can rise to the top and be freed and transformed into actual work.

Plates Wallpaper + Why Limited Color Palettes Can Work

When my surroundings are too stimulating with tons of bright, energetic colors and patterns all around, my brain freezes and I can’t accomplish much. I was never the kid that thrived in primary colored classrooms. I thrived in art class with the white walls, art wall with taped works pinned up, smell of clay and paint (very earthy and exciting to me), the large wooden work tables, the potter’s wheel in the corner… I still remember each art room that I had at school since grade school with absolute clarity. I thrived in such spaces where we had less clutter around us, when everything was in its out container, and where color and pattern was placed in very specific locations and not scattered everywhere but then when you did find that location, it was a bit chaotic — randomly tacked and taped things on walls, for instance — but altogether on a single wall. Which made me realize that I thrive under situations that could be described as organized but also chaotic – but mostly organized chaos. I wouldn’t want everything neat and in a row, paints can all be thrown into a big bucket without rhyme or reason, but they still all need to be in that one big bucket.

Something about a lot of white space around, or neutrals with splashes of color here and then, definitely works for me in my home office as an adult, too. However, a wallpaper like this one shown above would be fun in a dining room on one wall (or on the ceiling with deep indigo walls and crisp white moldings!) or in the kitchen — because in those places I’m social and I want to feel energetic so strong graphics as a focal point – for instance a wall with this paper behind my stove, could be absolutely perfect, quirky and fun.

I wonder if you think like I do when you see things that you are naturally drawn to – do you intentionally try to figure out what about it works or where in your home you could imagine enjoying it, or do you simply like it but could never imagine living with it? For me, I love the blue porcelain plates wallpaper by Studio Ditte and could absolutely use it in a small dose somewhere in my home but definitely not in my office space!

(images: studio ditte)






Arts + Crafts, Rooms

ixxi: Make Your Own Wallpaper, Art + Room Dividers

May 16, 2011

This amazing press kit just arrived in my mailbox and I can’t stop thinking of the things that one could do with a product like ixxi! This hasn’t been blogged anywhere yet so I’m so proud to give everyone a first peek at this amazing new product. I have to thank my friend Yvonne for sending it to me, she has been working on this ixxi project for awhile now and it’s finally been released and I love it. Here is glimpse to whet your appetite. I. LOVE. THIS.

ixxi: Make Your Own Wallpaper, Art + Room Dividers

Dutch company, ixxi, is so innovative and I love the things that you can do with their x’s to connect their cards that you can either upload and design yourself OR find images in their online image bank to create your own art, wallpaper and room dividers. Here are a ton of gorgeous visuals that will no doubt get your wheels turning – I adore this idea and can’t wait to try it out with some of my own photographs.

ixxi: Make Your Own Wallpaper, Art + Room Dividers

ixxi: Make Your Own Wallpaper, Art + Room Dividers

ixxi: Make Your Own Wallpaper, Art + Room Dividers

ixxi: Make Your Own Wallpaper, Art + Room Dividers

ixxi: Make Your Own Wallpaper, Art + Room Dividers

ixxi: Make Your Own Wallpaper, Art + Room Dividers

ixxi: Make Your Own Wallpaper, Art + Room Dividers

ixxi: Make Your Own Wallpaper, Art + Room Dividers

ixxi: Make Your Own Wallpaper, Art + Room Dividers

ixxi: Make Your Own Wallpaper, Art + Room Dividers

ixxi: Make Your Own Wallpaper, Art + Room Dividers

ixxi: Make Your Own Wallpaper, Art + Room Dividers

ixxi: Make Your Own Wallpaper, Art + Room Dividers

What is ixxi? “ixxi is a modular connecting system. With x’s and i’s you can make your own photo enlargement or photo collage in any format possible.”

How do I ixxi? “Create your personal ixxi using the easy online module, or select an image from the ixxi imagebank (art and photography). Upload your photos and choose how large your photo enlargement or photocollage should be.”

Does ixxi offer cutout patterns or something transparent, for instance? Yes! “ixxi has designed a collection of (interior) products with the use of alternative materials, modular patterns and graphic imagination.”

Does ixxi also work with companies on projects? Yes, yes, yes! See examples here.

…And — THEY SHIP WORLDWIDE — so no one can get upset at them! Or me! :)

(images: ixxi)






DIY

Tabletop Styling DIY Projects: Recap

May 16, 2011

Hello! For those of you just tuning in, I asked London-based author/stylist Sania Pell to drop in today to share some inspiring DIY projects for your next party, wedding, or really any decorating scenario because all of these beautiful things could be used in so many different parts of the home from a kid’s room to a kitchen. I hope that you have enjoyed meeting Sania today and that if you haven’t seen her posts yet that you will visit them, as shown in order from the first to the last, below.

Tabletop Styling DIY Projects: Recap

Spring Flower Garlands (shown in examples b and f above).

Fabric Wrapped Lampshade (b).

Liberty Flower Napkin Rings (e and d), How To Button Covers (d) and Sequin Glamour (a).

Little House Mobile (c).

Thank you again Sania for joining me today on decor8 and I wish you loads of luck on your new blog and on everything else you do going forward with all of your creative energy and cheerful can-do attitude. You made my launch party in London such a success thanks to your enthusiasm, friendship, support and hard work and I’d like to thank you for all of it — including your hospitality, good laughs, and endless bottles of wine and yummy treats in your kitchen. You are such a doll!

Readers: Can you do me a favor? Can you visit Sania’s blog and leave a comment for her over there, she is working in her craft loft all day and I want her to return to her computer with a big, warm surprise waiting from her with your comments! Thank you so much. I remember how it felt to start blogging, how scary it was, so your comments will make her day! I’m going over there now to do the same so please join me.

(images: sania pell)






DIY

DIY: Little House Mobile

May 16, 2011

Hello again everyone, it’s me Sania Pell. Following my last posts about how to make lovely Liberty garlands, flower napkin holders and fabric wrapped lampshades, next I’ll be explaining how to make the hanging house mobiles that we suspended above Holly’s signing table as a little visual eye-catcher away from our main table setting.

DIY: Little House Mobile

As the party was to celebrate Holly’s book launch, I had the idea of creating a hanging mobile that linked to the theme of her book – decorating! The flower and leaf garlands were very much about Spring but these mobiles are all about houses and homes. Here is how to make your own little house mobiles.

DIY: Little House Mobile

DIY: Little House Mobile

(Click HERE to download the steps in XL size.)

DIY: Little House Mobile

DIY: Little House Mobile

DIY: Little House Mobile

DIY: Little House Mobile

We made three variations of this house and suspended them close together at slightly different heights. At home you could hang it on the wall using the hook of the hanger or use fishing line or cotton to suspend them from your ceiling and watch them moving around. The doors and windows spin independently in a breeze.

For my photos I opted to ‘frame’ the little house by hanging it on an old picture frame I had painted duck egg blue and simply propped it against the wall.

This is another little project that costs next to nothing and can easily be done with things you may have at home already. I do hope you’ve enjoyed this project and that it has inspired you to try something new. If you have any queries about this project please put them in the comments and I’ll help if I can. And if you tried making your own Spring garland or wrapped lampshade after my last post, let us know how you did in the comments, we would love to hear about it! Thank you all again for reading and happy making! – Sania x

(images: sania pell)






DIY

DIY: Liberty Flower Napkin Rings

May 16, 2011

When thinking about a tabletop, it was important for us to use handmade elements along with Liberty products during our styling demonstration in-store. Sania, Leslie and I all place extreme importance on personalizing things and the best way to do so is to make things by hand.

DIY: Liberty Flower Napkin Rings

In my book, Decorate, there is an entire section devoted to the importance of details. That section, Attention to Detail, begins with an image from Sania’s home that was taken for my book at her house. I chose that image to open the section because it really spoke to me. You’ll have to locate a copy of Decorate and turn to page 237 to see it and once you do, you’ll know exactly why I selected that photo to open the section. A little insider’s note… Attention to Detail came to be in the 11th hour and wasn’t even mapped out to be IN Decorate but I wanted to include more detail shots that Debi had taken as we traveled so the publisher agreed to it and Attention to Detail was born and I’m so glad it was since many of you have commented that it is your favorite part of the book! But I digress…

But yes, back to our tabletop styling demo and the idea to create a Springy tabletop with pretty details using a combination of products found in Liberty that were already made (like the Lisa Stickley placemats and napkins that we used) along with things from Liberty’s fabric + notions department showing customers how to use Liberty patterns in a fresh and new way to create their own products. Sania is very passionate about making things by hand so she was more than happy when I asked if we could take this in a handmade direction. In fact, she was delighted!

For the next tabletop DIY idea, Sania will walk you through how to make gorgeous Flower Napkin Rings using linen (that you can purchase anywhere) and Liberty patterns though you can use any fabrics that you like. Please note that she purchased a very basic, affordable linen since my budget for buying all of these things was pretty low — but had I done this at home I would have purchased a thicker, more tactile nubby linen to give the flowers more bulk. It’s up to you – but bare in the mind the weight of the fabrics determines how the flowers look in the end. You also may need a stronger needle if you use heavier weight fabrics. We used inexpensive cotton linen and lightweight cotton fabric from Liberty.

Let’s go to Ms. Pell reporting live from her craft loft in London… Sania, you have the mic girlfriend!

Hi again everyone, it’s Sania Pell here and now I’m going to explain how to make the flower napkin rings used for our table setting at Holly’s Decorate book launch styling demo at Liberty last month.

DIY: Liberty Flower Napkin Rings

The wonderful thing about these pretty flower napkin rings is that they have multiple uses. The way they were designed for the table setting was that they would be little favours for each guest to take home with them. As they are simply safety-pinned to the napkin ring, our guests could remove them and pin them to their outfit or bag and take them home with them. A little bit of fun that would make our guests remember their time with us when they were back at home. They can also be pinned onto cushions (pillows) to add detail too. Some were even pinned to the tablecloth along the edges, as you can see if you click here.

DIY: Liberty Flower Napkin Rings

DIY: Liberty Flower Napkin Rings

(Click HERE to download XL version of the above steps.)

DIY: Liberty Flower Napkin Rings

Lay out your cut pieces

DIY: Liberty Flower Napkin Rings

Sew them together in the center by hand.

DIY: Liberty Flower Napkin Rings

Place safety pin on the back along with ribbons of your choice.

DIY: Liberty Flower Napkin Rings

We coordinated these with our overall table setting style for Holly’s book launch, using the Liberty fabrics we had chosen. By using lots of different fabrics and making these by hand you can ensure that each one is unique and individual – something your guests will love and can help be a little ice breaker and conversation starter for your dinner party.

I mentioned in the steps above the idea of creating your own fabric button for the centers of each flower. Covered-button kits are available from most haberdashers, they have little hooks to grip the fabric and a snap-on back to finish it off and keep it neat. They have a loop (shank) on the back for attaching. Here is how you can make them.

Tools: Button covering kit (buttons can be bought in various sizes and are not too expensive), needle and thread,
scissor, scraps of fine/thin fabric and safety pins.

How to: First, you cut out a circle of fabric with a diameter slightly less than twice the diameter of the button. Next, and this is optional, but using a needle and thread you can sew running stitch around the edge of the circle and place the button upside down in the center of the circle and pull the threads together to gather the fabric around the button and knot. Then, snap the back on so it clamps the fabric in place and finishes the button. If your fabric is thick it can be quite difficult to push the back on. A cotton or fine linen works well and finally, if the shank sticks out too far you can push it in so it is flatter to the back.

Ready for a little bonus material before I move on to the final DIY project? Great, here is a mini styling tip for your next dinner party… I call this one Sequin Glamour.

DIY: Liberty Flower Napkin Rings

The sequins in the small glass vase, add a little glamour. Some float, some sink, but they are a really easy way to make your table interesting. It is the same with the sequins scattered on the table, they just add a little sparkle, fantastic for a celebration.

DIY: Liberty Flower Napkin Rings

The beautiful handmade plates are by Brickett Davda, the napkins are from Habitat and the little glass vase is actually a tea-light votive from IKEA. The cutlery is vintage from a car boot sale bought for next to nothing. I’ll be back in a moment with a final DIY project. Happy making! – Sania x

(images: sania pell)






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