Skip to content

Photography by Andrea Hübner

I was recently wasting time doing research over at deviantART and stumbled across German photographer Andrea-H or Andrea Hübner, who also goes under the name Quadratiges (or Square in English) and my, my, my how brilliant she is! It was love at first site the moment I laid eyes on her stunning portfolio.

Andrea’s photographs radiate such emotion because her gorgeous composition and use of natural light is breataking but also her wistfully thoughtful models are quite intriguing too. I feel bathed in peace and quite relaxed just looking at each photo. I appreciate that so many are in square format (hence the name Quadratiges) or diptych as both styles really appeal to me currently. The best part about Andrea’s work though is that you can purchase it so this is not merely about having a one-time dose of inspiration but instead it is an opportunity for you to own some of her work to enjoy at home.

All  photographs above as well as many more are sold here and ship worldwide – I have my eye on several that would work beautifully in my home. What about you, do you see anything that you like? She even has a beautiful calendar available for 2011 that you simply must check out and she designs CD and book covers on request… I can totally see her work on novels!

(images: andrea hübner)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on May 11, 2011
decor8 great.ly shop

A Pretty Home in Norway

Don’t you love how spoiled we are? We can sit before our screens and travel to faraway places in seconds, free of charge, to peek in on the life and decorating styles of others. I mean, it’s amazing and whenever I start feeling sick of the internet I remind myself of how valuable it really is and how I really couldn’t live or work without it.

I’m fascinated by trends in other parts of the world and love to see how people decorate and thanks to blogs, there is no end to the inspiration that exists online. In fact, I spend most of my time on blogs that I cannot even read because they are in French, Swedish and Danish for example. Today I came across a beautiful blog called Rosaliga (which seems to translate into English to mean Pink League) in Norway and wow, it’s so pretty!

Blogger, passionate decorator and jewelry designer Randi Andreassen (her things are sold in her Epla shop — Epla is like a Scandinavia Etsy.) created her inspiring blog and on it, she shows many photos from her home, travels and of her interests from the magazines that she reads to the decorating projects she undertakes.

Love this wall color and these trees-as-coat hangers designed by Swedish design firm Swedese.

Randi has such a great eye and I spot lots of things in her home from some of my favorite designers like Tine K Home and Rie Elise Larsen.

Amazing, right!? So many ideas to use from this gorgeous home from the handmade wooden headboard to the wooden coffee table on wheels and the hints of pink here and there to be girly and still grown up. She has many of the same things that I have – like the IKEA natural rug in her dining room and the white metal chairs around her table, so it’s fun to see how she is using them differently in her space vs. how I use them in mine. Do you do that? Look for similar pieces in your favorite rooms to see if you could try taking something from one room to use in another to create a new “inspired by” look based on your favorite image? Try it sometime, it’s fun!

(images: randi andreassen)

Posted in blogs, Decorating Tips on May 11, 2011

Music To Inspire

Lots of people ask me how to create a mood in the home. It’s very, very easy. Turn on some music! In addition to food (cooking makes the home come alive), cozy nooks, lighting, including candlelight, and dimmer switches (a must!), music is another instant way to add a special vibe to your home. Think about it: when you are in a cafe with great music, doesn’t it feel better to be there? When you’re shopping say, Anthropologie, don’t you feel more inspired because of the sounds floating through the air and into your ears? I do. Music sparks imagination and definitely puts me in a better frame of mind if I happen to be in a rather bleh mood.

Musical Inspiration

Lately, I’ve been listening to these cd’s shown on my table above and below. I also found another favorite, a Dutch jazz singer (not shown), who I’m a bit obsessed with at the moment and her name is Caro Emerald and I love her song Night Like This. You can see a video and listen to it here.

In addition to lovely Caro Emerald, these are the tunes I have on rotation in my office linked below. I hope you find some new music in my collection to inspire you at home, on the road, etc. You’ll notice half of it is in German. I listen to German music because 1) It’s good! and 2) I’m studying the language and it helps me while I’m living here to connect more to the culture and language. If you like diversity in what you listen to, want to be transported to another place, or simply want to brush up on a foreign language I also encourage you to listen to foreign language music or even music in English from different parts of the world like Australia or the UK. It’s inspiring to hear what people are being influenced by outside of your home country. I started listening to French pop when I was around 12 years old, thanks to that store Limited Express,  now called Express. Do you remember it had a distinctly French flair at one time? I would buy their French pop music compilations along with my clothes! It was great and I felt very international. For a young girl living in South Carolina at the time, I felt quite international and chic. :)

Musical Inspiration
Shown above: Hurts (great song/video), Charlotte Church (Welsh singer, in English): Watch this video to get a feel for her vibe, Adele, Swedish House Mafia (from Sweden music in English), Pixie Lott (English pop singer) and Katy B (also English pop).

Musical Inspiration

Clueso (German – love his chilled out sounds), Lisa Bassenge (German), Lena (German pop star from Hannover where I live but she sings in English), Frida Gold (German – watch this video to get a feel for what she does, love it!!!), Annett Louisan (German, you must check out her brilliant website, some clippings below – but don’t miss THIS VIDEO – interiors eye candy all the way!!!), Anna Depenbusch (German), Sia (from Australia), Chapel Club (from England), Lenka (from Australia).

Photos of lovely German singer Annett Louisan who lives in Berlin.


What are you listening to for inspiration lately?

(images: top three: holly becker for decor8 bottom: annett louisan)

Posted in inspiration on May 10, 2011

Storage Wish List (+ some organizing tips)

I can really get into wish listing things. Are you with me? They are a lot of fun to pull together but even more, they often motivate me to get things done or to have a certain goal to work towards. Currently, I’m wish listing storage items for my home – everything from zip bags for blankets to bins and magazine folders. There is no doubt about it, when I’m organized I can do my best work. What about you? Some function really well in chaos but I need definite places for everything and a neat space so that my ideas can flow freely. If I’m not organized, I feel like I’m walking in wet sand up to my knees. To motivate myself to get organized at home, I created a wish list for furniture that I’d like to share with you that is both good looking and practical that I also know can help me to get my act together. Introducing my storage wish list…

Storage Wish List

Pretty, right? I love wooden cabinets, preferably vintage, in gray tones, gray-browns, creamy whites and pure whites… I like them painted inside in a favorite color that is really striking or wallpaper inside. I like hardware that is pretty like hand-painted ceramic knobs. But most of all, I like containing my stuff in set places so I can have some peace of mind! I don’t know if you are the same, but when I can’t find my scissors or packing tape for a box I’m about to send I get a little peeved!

I believe that everything in the home should have a place. Keys, spices, dish towels, linens, tacks, scissors… you simply must devote a space to everything, including spare buttons and stamps, because those are always the items that you turn over your house trying to find the second you need them and you know you have a stamp laying around somewhere! Another organization tip is that you have to return items to their nook immediately after use to avoid clutter and chaos as well.

I’m currently in the process of organizing my home and for me it means buying furniture. I’ve not purchased much for my new place since moving in last October. I know, eek is right! The space I had before this one was significantly smaller (550 sq ft) so I had all of the storage and furniture that I needed in a one bedroom apartment. But now that my home has 2,300 sq ft and huge open rooms, I need to furnish it properly. First though, I’ve spent a lot of time THINKING. I really needed to get a feel for this massive city apartment – a feel for the space, what I want to do in each room, etc. before investing in furniture. It’s natural when you first move in to a home to go out and buy everything and be done with it within a few weeks. Problem with that is, you make purchases you often regret later on. You have to get a feel for the space before investing in quality pieces of furniture.

Would you like to see the first item that I purchased on my storage wish list? Here it is….

Wish List Storage

Above you can see my new cabinet shown in the Lys Vintage shop in Hamburg. I first “met” it several months ago in person and fell in love at first sight. I particularly love how solid it is and that it’s this gorgeous gray brown wood with glass doors. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a new piece but made from vintage wood and that it is from France. It will arrive in just a few weeks and I cannot wait to use it. Once it arrives, I’ll show you where I’ve placed it in my home and what I’ve put inside so perhaps it will motivate you to get organized if you’re not currently. I ordered it from Simone who owns Lys Vintage and curates the lovely selection in this favorite shop of mine located in nearby Hamburg.

Now I’m looking for a closet with a single door, in wood, that I can put in my guest bedroom. We will use it to store winter coats and also as a place for guests to hang some of their garments. I am sourcing for something like this one currently, can you see it there in the left corner in creamy white? I think Simone sold this one, so I’m in the prowl for something similar, definitely an antique and not a reproduction piece, for the guest room.

Wish List Storage

My next dream storage cabinet is shown below, it’s a photo taken by Debi Treloar for my book, Decorate!

Wish List Storage

This beauty is tall, antique, from France, gray, solid wood, and inside it has only shelves so it would be perfect for my work room to use as a crafts/props closet where I can store everything that I use and love but can also hide stuff in an attempt to have less visual clutter in my work area since it distracts me quite a lot. I’m not sure where I can find a cabinet like it, most likely a flea market or eBay, so I’m on the prowl… This one is in Tine’s dining room, owner of Tine K Home. Does anyone have some leads for me? Ideally I’d love one in gray like Tine’s but I have plenty of paint and so I don’t care what color the cabinet is in because if it’s wood, I can paint it! I also want to wallpaper inside… Because Shannon Fricke’s cabinet below that I wrote about nearly a year ago hasn’t left my radar.

Shannon Fricke

And finally, do you remember Atelier Charivari that I wrote about awhile back as well? I fell head over heels in love with this cabinet below with the green interior. See…

Atelier Charivari

And yes, I’m also looking for something like this for my home too. I hope to eventually find all of the storage that I need (German homes and apartments typically do not come with closets so no room in my home has one except for the kitchen, hence my need for storage!). Remember, I’m American. I come from the land of walk-in closets so this has been an adjustment for me.

So those are my dream storage cabinets, currently on my wish list with the exception of the one I will soon own and the others that I hope to have the patience to source and find.

What’s currently on your wish list? Does your wish list motivate you or depress you? Do you have links to share to pages where you keep your wish lists?

(images: first two: lys vintage, third: debi treloar for decorate.)

Posted in shopping on May 10, 2011

Books:

Available now on Amazon

Further editions available include: Portuguese, Danish, Czech, Slovak, French

Courses:

Next dates

Blogging Your Way for Beginners
e-course, April 17 – May 15, 2014
Find out more and sign up now.

Styling With Holly Becker
London, May 2014 (Date TBD)