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Authentic Interiors

Hello everyone and a very happy Friday to you! I’m back from Munich and had the best time. I won a reader’s choice award from Myself magazine (Conde Nast), which was a real honor for me – I had my red carpet moment and everything. A big thank you to Myself magazine and their readers for presenting me with that award. I especially loved meeting German television personality and singer, Barbara Schöneberger, who interviewed me and gave me the award and I want to thank the very special and talented team who shot the video for the awards show of me and my work studio here in Hannover, especially the video art director and German actor Lutz Winde. So! I’m back home working now and have so many blog posts to write.


First though, have you recently visited the decor8 Interior Styling group on Flickr? With nearly 3,500 members and over 6,500 photographs, it is quite an inspiring and very international place filled with authentic interiors that are spontaneous and casual. I encourage you to visit and join (it’s free!) if you’d like to share the corners of your home.Real decorating, real homes — that’s what I love the most because that’s what I’m all about.



I recently met up with a friend in Frankfurt at the book fair and you know what was funny about our conversation?  He was convinced that all homes in America were huge and gorgeous because each time he sees them in films, books and magazines, they always look that way. I laughed, not trying to be rude of course, but my natural reaction was, “You must be joking!”, which was exactly what I said. In a very serious voice he replied, “Um no, I’m serious. Americans have the best homes ever.” I grinned because I was unsure of how to break it to him. You know, tell him the truth because for the most part we sorta don’t live as large as the rest of the world thinks. Or as posh. We are real people with real homes just like every other country and we make the best out of whatever it is that we have in our own way. In fact, the trend for interiors is leaning more and more towards authenticity and less bent on looking constrained and artificial.


debee{art & emma lamb

Makingchickensalad & Deva


Danielle T

Danielle T

It’s easy to assume that the homes in our favorite books and magazines are perfect and that’s usually because they are. What do I mean? Most homes featured are styled for the photograph and there are even times when furniture is brought in to make the space look more like the magazine’s aesthetic. Yes, really. But of course, to be fair, lots of homes are just plain gorgeous and some people REALLY DO LIVE LIKE THAT. Like JLo and Will Smith and big name designers – yes, they do live that way for sure. Even creative types who are in the business of fashion or interiors, you can expect that they’d live quite lush. Then you have people who are just really into design and hire professionals to make their homes look perfect. So yes, these gorgeous jaw-dropping homes do exist but reality! check! that’s only a fraction of the population.


Citrus and Orange


To be fair, some countries do tend to be more “in tune” with style than others, like those amazing Danes, and even we Americans do have our radars more in tune than some countries that don’t place a priority on a good table runner. I don’t know if that’s a great priority, but yeah, some of us do put a lot of time into how our homes look. As an American though I can say we are a pretty big country with a ton of people who have never heard of an Eames chair or who know (or care) about “design blogs”. That’s not being critical, that’s being perfectly honest. As for those gorgeous New York apartments in every chick flick out there? That’s not our reality. Most of my German friends are convinced that all New Yorkers have giant lofts with shiny concrete floors or massive pre-war apartments. Yeah, those secretaries in Manhattan, the ones who star in our films at least, can afford those penthouses but not the rest of us.



Most of the homes that belong to my friends are not magazine – ready or film – worthy. Does that mean Americans have no style? Or that all Americans possess amazing style? No and No. It’s just that we’re real people like the rest of the world and some of us care about decorating and some could care less. Some of us care but can barely afford what we want and some of us have way too much money and way too little taste. Those who care about design are always trying to influence the could-care-less crowd and the could-care-less crowd, though some do cross over to the bright side of decorating, usually are found wagging their heads wondering why the h-to-the-ell we bother spending weeks to research the best wallpaper options when we could simply drive out to the hardware store and pick from the 25 options on display – like that pretty vinyl floral pattern in peach, for instance. But to be fair, didn’t most of us go to stores like that 10+ years ago to select our wallpaper?




Only recently have we been introduced to so many options. The ability to order wallpaper from websites or even better, from cool places like London, transformed us. Options do that I guess. But we’re still just real people decorating our very real homes. A majority of us dislike more about our home than we love but we do our best. I’m inspired by all of it. The most amazing home on the beach to the carefully renovated on a budget one bedroom in Detroit – they are all special. I like to see how those interested in decorating show their personality at home and in how they select and then arrange, their things. It has always fascinated me and groups like Interior Styling continue to fuel my excitement when it comes to such spaces. I love watching how others have trained their eye and then work magic on their space. All of the photos above are from many contributors to my interior styling group and are from all over the world – and are excellent decorators with amazing style and talent. I’ll take that over those carefully arranged, extremely expensive and almost snobby looking interiors any day.

I don’t want decorating that is contrived, I want authenticity in interiors.

Do we all live in the perfect home? For most of us, no way. But style isn’t a state of the wallet, it’s a state of mind, right? Doing the most with the least is a challenge but one that can be met and in the end, it’s exciting to see what creativity can do to even the simplest of homes.

(images: linked to their sources above.)

Posted in Decorating Tips on October 21, 2011

Inspired By Bodie & Fou

I’m a huge fan of Karine Kong, she is one half of the sister duo who runs online shop Bodie & Fou but who also writes a lovely blog… and I’ve met her in person several times and can confirm that she’s even sweeter in person than I had imagined. That is why today I am thrilled to help spread the word about her brand new print + digital catalog!

Bodie & Fou

What I love about it is that it’s a bit like a magazine that you can shop from – so nearly everything you see you can purchase. Karine did a lovely job setting up the shoots, her styling work is very strong and she often uses corners of her own home to show how she uses the things in her own shop at home. I love that – a very unique approach for sure. Here are some lovely spreads from her catalog that she sent over to me to share today.


Bodie & Fou


Bodie & Fou

I’m swooning over her workspace shown above — it’s so chic and just great! I love all of the House Doctor products that she sells too – I’m sure a fan of their things. Karine – congrats on the catalog and much success to you!



Posted in shopping on October 20, 2011

Munich: Meet Me Wednesday + Berlin: Mark Your Calendar!

Hello to those living or visiting Munich, Germany currently! I am traveling there in the morning for an awards dinner for Myself magazine as I was nominated for their Lieblings award, but I’ll also be visiting my friends at the sweet little shop, Nostalgie Im Kinderzimmer, who will have a little party for my German decorating book along with a few things to drink + eat. If you would like to join me, please do! RSVP email: [email protected]

Book Party + Blogger's Night in MUNICH

You’ll need to RSVP (RSVP email: [email protected]) right away though so I can make sure there is space as it’s going to be just a little pre-launch event since the official launch party will be in Berlin at Soho House on November 12th and is sponsored primarily by BRIGITTE magazine. I’ll be joined by co-sponsors Callwey Verlag, Etsy, Dialogue Books and more! I’ll post an announcement detailing the Lust Auf Wohnen Book + Bloggers Party next week on decor8 as you won’t want to miss it! Cupcakes, cocktails, goody bags and lectures all about blogging, writing and more from some incredible speakers that we’re currently lining up – we’ll even have a fun interactive project for everyone to get involved in – can’t wait to show you that when you arrive.

But first…

Until the official launch….

I’ll be hanging in Munich with the lovely Angela at Nostalgie Im Kinderzimmer who thought it may be a nice way to say hello to a few of my friends and readers in Munich this week for a cozy event in her darling shop. I couldn’t agree more and I’m really looking forward to it.

19 Oktober, 2011 – Mittwoch, 17 – 19 uhr
Nostalgie im Kinderzimmer
Herrenchiemseestraße 4
81669 München-Ramersdorf
Tel: +49 (0)89 / 44 10 90 15
RSVP email: [email protected]

(photo: holly becker)

Posted in events + markets, travel on October 17, 2011

Gorgeous Paris Apartment of Jean-Christophe Aumas

I’m so smitten by the Paris apartment of Jean-Christophe Aumas that has been in numerous decorating magazines over the past few years – I spotted it in Maire Claire Maison first where these images are from below. This home is totally Palm Springs mid century meets Paris, right!? HOW FUN.

So pretty in paris

The decorating idea that I’m taking away from these photos is the painted firewood shown above. Brilliant. I really, really love it. I’d like to try it in 80’s neon hues. Fab!

So pretty in paris

So pretty in paris

So pretty in paris

So pretty in paris

You have a bit of pink, black, grey, red, teal and eye-catching acid green. If you don’t know Jean-Christophe, he is a talented art director who has worked for such high end labels as Chloé, Diptyque, and John Galliano. He obviously has an amazing eye and the bones of his flat are splendid. His collection of art and furniture is impressive. When can I move in?

(images: marie claire maison)

Posted in Decorating Tips on October 11, 2011


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