Lots of people ask me what some of the trends are in Europe overall and how they compare to the United States. It’s a hard question to answer because decorating styles vary from region to region in the states just as here in Europe from country to country as well and even within countries, by regions. What’s hip in London may not cause a stir in Hamburg and what Rome loves may not be what the Dutch want in their home. But of course, that’s being very “correct” about it and the fact is that there really is an answer because there are definitely more dominant styles that you tend to see in most places as you travel around Europe. Today I thought I’d highlight 8 trendy things that I notice as being popular in northern Europe and the UK and I’ll try to tie them in to things you can find in American stores, too. 1. Industrial lighting is a big deal over here. I see it more and more in commercial spaces but also in homes. Particularly in white, black and either polished or brushed silver. I have two white industrial lights in my hallway and a third, a bit different but also industrial style, in my kitchen. Here is the style in which I am referring to… these are from West Elm and are available in red, black, white and yellow.
2. Porcelain hurricanes. Also from West Elm are these porcelain hurricanes. We have them here as well. You tend to find these in every type of shop from HEMA to Depot and even random dollar stores – porcelain hurricanes with holes or patterns so the light dances through them for a romantic mood. Some even have handles on them so you can carry them from room to room easily or hang them on your porch. Still others are available as lamps, like these from Pol’s Potten via Le Souk.
3. Mixed chairs around a table or even a bench and some chairs. You can bring in a little Eames, Phillipe, and an Arne along with some IKEA chairs and form your own little grouping around your dining table, or you can place 3 chairs on one side and a long wooden bench on the other with some cushions. You can even mix in stools! Mixing chairs is a trend here, you see it some of the more hipster eateries and cafes and you’ll notice it in people’s homes when you’re flipping through magazines.
4. Tolix chairs. While we’re on chairs, tolix chairs are quite a hit on this side of the pond. You an spot them everywhere, with or without arms. from Liberty in London to basic home stores in Germany for $100 or less. White and silver are the most common colors, but you can find peachy pink, lime, aqua, black… They are great in a kitchen or even around a dining table. I have a few white ones in my office around my big work table. You can get them in the states at lots of stores, like Pottery Barn, for example.
5. Rustic furniture. Anything that looks slightly worn like this sideboard from Graham & Green would be considered a hit. It’s gorgeous, natural and warm but still the lines are very clean and modern.
6. Reclaimed wood furniture and accents in various muted colors. Okay so this is also rustic furniture but it really is in it’s own class. I was at a craft market yesterday and a lady who was selling jewelry had the most clever displays in her booth using wood scraps from the attic in her 400-year-old German farmhouse. She turned these pieces into tables and mounted them on trestles and then used a pale mint paint to wipe over the wood to create this fantastic hint of color. Along with her gold jewelry and porcelain pendants, it was a gorgeous combination, so gorgeously tactile. Piet Hein Eek comes to mind as a leader, but there are hundreds of other ways to bring reclaimed wood into the home from installing it on walls and ceilings to using wallpaper from Studio Ditte that looks like reclaimed wood. This is my dream cabinet. In America you can find reclaimed stuff at lots of stores, Sundance comes to mind (here).
7. Glass display bell jars. Or you may call them glass domes, cake domes, cloches, they go by many names. My goodness, these are everywhere and used for everything! Cakes, cupcakes, books, flowers, trinkets, there is no end to the creative uses of display domes. Those with a black base are common (my favorites are from House Doctor in Denmark) or you can find the domes sold without a base and then you place them on top of white ceramic cake stands, for instance. For the romantics, you have ones that are etched with a handle. For the modernists, you have the smooth domes without etching and no handle on top and for everyone else you have those with a round knob on top to use as a handle but no etching on the glass.
8. Liberty-esque prints. Whether from Liberty (my preference) or not, you cannot avoid the sweetness and popularity of tiny floral prints that seem to be everywhere these days from clothing stores like H&M to fabric shops and home accessories stores. Introduce them in small ways in the home and you’ll go far – as napkin ring holders, wallpaper behind your guest bed, lining in a drawer. That way, your home won’t come across too girly. Mix tiny florals with solids, stripes and over-scale florals to “grow them up” a bit, too.
What trends have you spotted that you love and that you not only see in Europe but in America or wherever you live, too? I’ve just skimmed the surface, there are so many more!
Oh and while I’m at it — here’s a bonus trend — APPLE CRATES! Read all about those here.
(images linked to their sources above.)
Ah yes, it’s Monday. Welcome, Monday! Somehow that happened and last week was a bit of a blur for me while Boom! a new week is front and center. I blogged quite lightly last week but I’ve been running around a lot and this week it will be very light on decor8 as well since I have a big week ahead of me in Amsterdam (for this) so I won’t be home again until June 27th but you can count on June 27-August 18th (the date I fly to the states) to be hoppin’ on decor8! I have so much trapped inside of my head waiting to burst out to share from things I’ve found to people I’ve met and it’s just a matter of me getting through this week first so that then my calendar opens and I’m all yours again. Just how I like it.
A glimpse into my weekend above.
This past weekend was very nice and inspiring. I did so much that I still cannot believe all of that took place between Friday and Sunday! I went to a few music festivals, a huge outdoor fabrics and notions market (photos can be seen here if you want to know what it’s like), shopping in the city, and I attended a lovely party on Saturday night to send off two friends as they move to America. I also did lots of errand running and chores around the house, answered a ton of email and then spent yesterday with a good friend at an outdoor crafts market (high end stuff, gorgeous!) and we went to dinner at a cute cafe in the old part of our city overlooking a church from the 11th century, which always fascinates me as I come from a relatively young country so the sheer history that I now live around. I also watched a few films, I guess you could call them “fluff” films but they gave my head some room to chillax so I guess we all need the fluff sometimes, right?
What about you, how was your weekend? What did you do? I’m happy to see you again and to get back to blogging!
I’ll be around all day today and tomorrow and I’ll post on Wednesday as well from the train but I won’t be posting on Thursday or Friday so just remember that in case you wonder where I’ve roamed. See you back in a moment or two.
(images: holly becker taken via iPhone app Instagram. Do you have it? If not, it rules!)
I’ve known artist Lisa Congdon for a million years, well not really but because internet years are like dog years, my knowing her since 2005 feels like forever. I first met her when she was still working as a Director of Program Development at a San Francisco non-profit education consulting organization and not yet a full-time artist as she is now. Back then, she was blogging under the name A Bird in the Hand to share her creative process and thoughts about everyday life, the work she created after work and on the weekends (pillows, collages, paintings, etc.) and to connect with other creative women (read an interview that I had with Lisa in 2006 here). Like most of us who took a leap of faith to leave our comfortable careers behind, I was cheering on Lisa as I watched her make that big leap and I’ve been cheering ever since.
I’ve always liked Lisa and have enjoyed watching her career blossom and grow throughout the years. She became a full-time artist and is involved in so many projects these days that I can’t keep up with her and I love seeing her talent being appreciated and well, seen everywhere. I’m so happy that she now has a book that has been published my Canadian independent publisher Janine Vangool of UPPERCASE called A Collection a Day. I was wondering when someone was going to be smart enough to approach her to do a book!
Why collections? For those of you unfamiliar with Lisa’s obsession with collections, she has been crazy for collecting random objects for years now – since childhood really, and she even started a blog dedicated to them with photos that span one full year where she shared her collections one by one in many interesting compositions. Her goal was to give herself a creative challenge by photographing all of them for the 2010 calendar year and her passion resulted in many online fans who grew to love her bloggy project. Very cool, right? I think so… Each page in her book shows the collections that she shared on this 12 month long blog project and I love seeing it as a book because her collections really shine so much more in print, plus I can flip through it over and over again for inspiration and well, the sheer pleasure that book flipping brings. :)
I love seeing talented people like Lisa who are online connecting with their readers, forming a tribe, and then being recognized by others including publishers who then take their work and publish it in print. So much of what we blog gets lost in the archives — I’m so happy that Lisa’s project didn’t.
I’m proud of you Lisa and congratulations on the new lovely book! xo
You can purchase Lisa’s book here.
(images: holly becker for decor8)