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West Elm Wish List: 14 Favorite Things

I was thinking recently about American interiors retailer West Elm and how much I miss having a store nearby (or even in my country!) where I can go for inspiration and to buy great decorating objects from lighting to furniture and beyond. For those of you who once lived in America and who now live abroad you must be able to relate to sometimes feeling cut off from the mother ship, right!? Shopping in the states is always a huge draw for me when I visit home and I can’t wait until I’m back in NYC this January to hit the stores and indulge again – even if only to window shop!

West Elm Wish List - 14 Favorite Things

1. Owl dessert plates, 2. Turned-Leg Dhurrie Ottoman, 3. Marquis Rug, 4. Field Study Rimmed Dessert Plates.

When I’m missing a particular store, as dorky as this sounds, I’ll often visit their website and daydream about the things that I’d love to have but  today I thought I’d take it a step further and pull together a little West Elm wish list to inspire you, make home feel a little less far away for me, and hopefully to highlight some things that those of you living stateside may like to check out for yourself.

West Elm Wish List - 14 Favorite Things

5. Deco Sequin Pillow, 6. Long arm chandelier, 7. Taper shade sconce, 8. Chalkboard Candlepot.

West Elm Wish List - 14 Favorite Things
9. Porcelain ring dish, 10. Finn pendant, 11. Chevron shower curtain, 12. Turned table lamp.

westrl

13. Floating lacquer frames (love! eek!).

West Elm Wish List - 14 Favorite Things
14. Paul Loebach Dining Table.

Though most of these companies (like West Elm) do ship internationally now, it’s not the same experience as walking into an actual shop to touch and experience the product in person, especially for a very tactile person like me but I can’t complain AND that chevron shower curtain IS calling my name, what about you!?

I hope that you’ve enjoyed my 14 faves…

(images: west elm)

Posted in shopping on November 30, 2011

Natural Look: By Nord

I find the natural, rustic look so appealing especially this time of year when the air is crisp and the smell of hot mulled wine fills the air from the many wooden glühwein huts dotted around town for weihnachtsmarkt. It’s such a gorgeous time! I love the coziness of it all. The products sold by Danish brand, By Nord, come to mind when I think about seasonal winter decorating in a very natural style – I just love their products and I’m crazy about their shower curtains and simply must order one because it’s rare that I find a shower curtain that I like — most do nothing for me! Do you have that problem as well?

By Nord

But yes, back to winter and why freezing cold weather doesn’t have to fill one with absolutely dread! My co-author Joanna was just here to visit me for two days from London and she felt inspired by the spirit in the air as we sat outside around a cozy fire last night enjoying dinner. It’s quite crisp outside yet the smell of burning wood and the sheer ambiance an outdoor crackling fire brings is so comforting — especially when huddled around an old wooden table with friends, noshing on good food and sipping hot mulled wine with both mittens firmly holding the cup to enjoy the heat. This traditional German outdoor market “experience” got me to thinking about the sheer joy that comes from doing the most down-to-earth (primitive even) of activities – sharing conversation, looking for a heat source to be warmed by, cooking outdoors, eating well prepared and nourishing food and a crackling fire casting a warm glow while creating a special mood that only gathering around a fire can bring. I think the photo below is a gorgeous example of natural style and I imagine having a fire outdoors at a home like this would be magical at night, don’t you? And how many of us would love to live like this?

By Nord

So simple, so pretty… Some of the best things in life really are the simplest of things. This makes me think more and more about decorating the home for winter and how we don’t need to spend a lot of money to create a little magic. Pine cones, branches, handmade objects, simple bowls and vessels, cheap pillar candles, twigs, pine, twine… Anything can change the look of a room so simply while adding warmth and beauty.

By Nord

By Nord

By Nord

By Nord

I recently found a pretty branch in the nearby forest and put it in my entryway in a large green vintage jug on the floor and decorated it with a few special things and it isn’t for any particular holiday or reason, just because it adds warmth to my entryway along with a bit of personality and natural style. Have you down anything lately in your home to bring in nature? I’d love to know!

By Nord is available in England here or in their online shop here. They are also available in other parts of the world so email them for their nearest retailer: info [at] bynord [dot] com.

(images: by nord)

Posted in Decorating Tips on November 30, 2011

Decorating Tip: Learn To See Things Differently

I find it so inspirational when I see people take products and furniture and use their imaginations to personalize somewhat mundane things into something special. That’s the beauty of IKEA. Their price point is affordable and nothing feels precious which gives you freedom to explore your ideas – perhaps a lamp base would look better decoupaged in a favorite paper or a cabinet would be far better with new hardware and wallpaper hung on the inside.

learn to see things differently

(Tip: Stack wooden storage boxes and drawers and paint them inside to create a bookcase – this is a look I’m seeing more and more and I love it!)

That’s what I love about buying things at vintage stores, flea markets, yard sales and shops that are priced reasonably – like IKEA – you have the freedom to go a little crazy and exercise your creativity. You have the right!

learn to see things differently

(Paint a thick stripe down the center of a table as a “runner” to customize and add visual interest.)

I thought I’d share some of my favorite IKEA inspirations today from their beautiful blog, Livet Hemma. I recognize all of the pieces shown but love seeing the fresh updates each have been given by the creative team behind the Livet Hemma blog. It’s so inspirational and fun! It also shows that IKEA pieces can be quite special and do not have to be left ‘as is’, but can become something special to you and your family.

learn to see things differently

(Tip: Some vintage pieces add character to a space so consider using them to avoid your room from looking like it all came from a single catalog.)

learn to see things differently

(Tip: A low cabinet works nicely for displaying favorite things and for storing boxes and books underneath. In a mostly white space, use different tones of white to avoid a clinical look and by all means, go with lots of different textures to warm up white – wool, knit, ceramic, glossy, matte, cotton, linen, etc.)

learn to see things differently

(Tip: Add a little green to all white space, plants give texture, color and are good for purifying the air in your home.)

learn to see things differently

(Tip: Paint furniture in chalky matte colors to make them look vintage.)

learn to see things differently

(Tip: Paint cabinet doors in different colors that you love.)

learn to see things differently

(Tip: Try layering mirrors and frames, leaning them against the wall.)

Another decorating tip: When you look at anything for your home, it’s great to use your imagination and to not always see what you’re looking at but to imagine how it could be. Look at the shape of a piece, think of alternate uses, imagine how it would look painted in a fresh color, visualize a dresser for instance without the drawers and used as a bookcase instead… There are so many things our imagination can dream up if you only give yourself the permission to do it and so I say, have fun, follow with your heart and happy decorating!

(images: ikea livet hemma)

Posted in uncategorized on November 29, 2011

Love Mae Fabric Decals + Gift Wrap

I spotted these frame wall decals today from Love Mae and had to share as they’re quite cute along with their fabric pantry labels, sweet nothing messages and message tiles… I’m also liking their wrapping papers and that they ship worldwide – yay for all of us!

Love Mae

Love Mae

Love Mae

Love Mae

Love Mae

Love Mae

Love Mae

Pretty, right!?

(images: love mae)

Posted in uncategorized on November 28, 2011

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