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Sweet Ideas By Sweet Paul

I know, I know. I must be the last blogger in the universe to write about crafter and blogger Paul Lowe’s most recent issue of Sweet Paul. It’s not that I live under a rock — I’ve been following the praises echoing through the blog circuit for weeks and read it cover to cover the moment he sent me a link when it went live. Oh yes, I know Sweet Paul. Who doesn’t these days!?

Sweet Paul

Paul so nicely sent a printed version of this issue and it arrived with a loud thud through my door which meant nothing but good things, and lots of them, could be expected in this jam-packed issue. I found it completely exciting to flip through Sweet Paul with my bare hands as I compared how the digital version stood against the print, deciding which came up the winner and honestly…. My verdict is, I still adore Sweet Paul and all his digital radiance. Even after indulging in the print version, I love how the light emitting from my mac gives his gorgeous images an almost angelic glow and I like that I can bring it with me anywhere on my iPad to show my friends. I thought I’d share a few spreads from it that I found inspiring. What about you, print or digital when it comes to e-mags that you first fell in love with online? Preferences, c’mon, anyone?

Sweet Paul

Sweet Paul

Sweet Paul
Sweet Paul
Sweet Paul

Sweet Paul

Such a well done magazine, Paul! We are all proud of you and can’t wait to see what 2012 brings!

(images: sweet paul)

Posted in Books + Magazines on December 16, 2011

So Leb Ich: Decorating in German

Hello everyone and happy Friday to you! I’m so glad it’s the weekend because I’m going to some fun markets and will spend lots of time around creative people – what’s not to love about that!? How are you doing? After today, I’ll be taking a few weeks off for vacation until January 2nd but decor8 will still have posts waiting for you each weekday so don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of Holly time to keep you warm, cozy, inspired and creative during the holiday season.

So! I thought for a moment I’d show you a site called So Leb Ich which is dedicated to the German-speaking community online who loves to decorate. You may really enjoy seeing what homes and apartments look like over here, at least some belonging to those who love to decorate! It’s a fun site, I encourage you to check it out whether you speak German or not.
So Leb Ich

top row and lower left: MiMa9308, bottom right: lulu041283.

At So Leb Ich, you can find photos uploaded by their members showing corners of their home. You can also read articles in German about books, shopping tips, trends and ideas for decorating and home stories. It’s fun to drop by and browse because I like to see if I can spot any spaces I’ve not seen yet in blogland and quite often I do. Here are some photos from homes in Germany uploaded by their members that give you a glimpse into what So Leb Ich is all about, showing real homes for real people in many different styles. If you don’t understand German, open the site in Google Chrome and let it translate the page automatically for you. It won’t be a perfect translation and will read a lot like Yoda speak, but it’s not that bad and you’ll be able to figure it out.

So Leb Ich

_frida_

So Leb Ich

oceanside

So Leb Ich

Vinyl-LP

So Leb Ich

katharinak

So Leb Ich

philuko

So Leb Ich

And of course I cannot leave out creative and lovely eva who lives near me, she also has a lovely blog and store in Hannover and she’ll be at Designachten this weekend with a pretty booth selling her handmade things.

I hope that you enjoyed this tiny peek into homes in my part of the world – and remember, to see more visit So Leb Ich. I also have to thank site founder/editor Nicole for reviewing my book in German (here), thank you again Nicole!

(images: so leb ich)

 

Posted in Decorating Tips on December 16, 2011

The Very Dear Emily Chalmers

Today I want to share one of the most talented flea market junkies that I know, London-based author, shop owner and stylist Emily Chalmers. Her work has made a difference in my life and in how I look at interiors. She really stands out as one of my top 10 favorite creative women. I’ve always loved the finer details but through her, I’ve come to appreciate the little things even more that can be easily overlooked in the hustle bustle of the everyday. Some of most cherished collection of books in my library are yours, which have served as my primary connection to your marvelous brain and have given me loads of joy and inspiration. Through Emily, I’ve learned how to delight in more than just the beautiful “perfect” things that as an American, I am naturally drawn towards — my culture is all about perfect packaging and perfectly made crafts and perfect looking interiors (being part of the Martha Stewart generation).

Dear Emily

Dear Emily

Through her book, Flea Market Style, so many (me included) felt set free from all of the poshness that exists in interior design and instead, were exposed to a world where perfectly symmetrical and stuffy rooms are unknown and instead, rebellious rooms with plenty of quirk and character are the norm. All who know her work are well aware that she was there celebrating this trend of imperfect interiors long before it became cool to publicly confess to liking it. In fact in 2005, her book introduced so many to the chic side of Flea Market Style and after that, there was no looking back. To me, she is pioneer of flea market style, granny chic and boho chic.

Dear Emily

Her eye and talent have given so much to so many and I hope that she recognizes this. So often as a pioneer of a movement, it’s easy to feel like you’ve been left behind by what you yourself started. She may or may not feel this way, I don’t know, but I feel this way sometimes as a blogger as I enter my 7th year of doing this “professionally” and sometimes wonder if anyone remembers that I was writing in this space long before it was cool or the press gave a damn about me or what I had to say. I remember writing 10 articles a day on this blog during a time when few people even read design blogs. I didn’t know where it would lead me but I had a desire to connect and share and get noticed so that I could one day write for magazines. I know other “old school” bloggers like me who are reading this right now wagging their heads thinking of those early days when blogging didn’t have any drop of coolness associated with it. Today it seems everyone wants a piece of the blogging pie and for good reason, it’s a great pie! It takes a true love affair though with what one is doing to stick through it through the “thin” because god knows it’s easy to love it while it’s “thick”, isn’t it? But I digress…

But yes, it’s easy to forget how key Emily was to what is happening today in interiors. She is one who paved the way for so many closet flea market junkies to come out with confidence and share their own love for granny chic, homespun, flea market and the fabulous mix of old and new. I see so much of her work in the work and even retail spaces of others. What an amazing thing for her to witness all of this – she can see what has become of her willingness and courage to share her vision and how it’s taken off. Her courage to go out there and tell the world what she thinks and loves really rocks.

I’m also so inspired by the many intricate pieces that make up the whole of who Emily is, from her sweet emails to how she made a special effort to meet me at my book launch in London. Her reputation is unblemished – everyone who has met Emily says she is gracious, generous and a kind and caring soul. This means a lot because it’s not common in interiors to find down-to-earth people who happen to be trendsetters. She uses good old-fashioned warmth, talent, hard work and honesty to advance herself and I admire that. Emily is the real deal!

Dear Emily

Emily, you have made an enormous difference to me and so many others and if you didn’t know this already, well now you do.

(photography: inga powilleit)

 

Posted in Designers + Stylists on December 15, 2011

Paintings + Portraits Love You

Vintage and reproduction landscape and portrait paintings can be found in so many spaces around the globe from grand castles to tiny city apartments. Thankfully they’ve been popping up more and more (especially portraits) and are being used in fresh ways (on pillows, bags, ceramics) though I still love them installed on a wall in interesting arrangements. Most recently, vintage portrait paintings have made their way to gift wrap… And seriously, this is awesome.

Portraits

Wow, right?!? So on trend, too. Above we have the clever and stylish design duo behind Something’s Hiding In Here to thank for this. I love their clever how-to on the Martha Stewart Craft blog – brilliant idea, “You can directly color copy an old portrait or bring a digital file to a copy center to be printed for you.” Oh yes, please!

Portraits

These photos show the home of stylist Emily Henderson who shared her California digs with super cool lady Victoria nearly a year ago and I noticed that nearly every room had a portrait or two. Hot!

Bags by Leslie Oschmann

Ever since Leslie Oschmann gave me one of her vintage painting bags when I visited her in Amsterdam in 2010, I’ve had vintage paintings on my brain!  We have tons of them at flea markets in Germany selling for nearly nothing. I’ve seen so many of these same paintings adorning walls in numerous homes featured in chic magazines and as props in catalogs throughout the years and I’ve noticed portraits quite often in the homes of stylists, bloggers and my online friends. Above you can see a photo of Leslie’s bags made from vintage landscape paintings that I took. You can lay your sweet little eyeballs on more work that she’s done on her inspiring super fab blog.

Portraits

Leslie also designed a series of portrait pillows for Anthropologie recently as well as numerous other things from quirky altered chairs to travel bags and you can view all of Leslie’s work here. The photo of her pillows on that pretty disheveled bed above was shot by Pia Jane Bijkerk.

Portraits

See that vase above? Oh yes, of course you do. It’s a beauty. I love the Adam Harvey ceramic collection, I picked up a vase and a bowl at Anthropologie when I was teaching a mood board workshop in their London store this past September. The moment I spotted Adam’s work with the pretty ladies on them I grabbed a vase and a tiny bowl and made a very spontaneous purchase! But I don’t regret it, I love looking at both of my Adam Harvey pieces each day. They sit on my IKEA cabinet – I think they cost more than the cabinet but that’s how I roll… High and low, old and new, I love a good contrast as I’m sure you do as well if you think of how you decorate. Anyhoodle, you can view more of his crazy intricate work on his website. Speaking of modern interpretations of portraits, I also really like this screen printed scarf on the wall as art from Dutch mag VTWonen and this more modern portrait on a kitchen door, also from VTWonen but the poster is from France I believe. It’s not vintage but I still love a good portrait and digital modern work suits me just fine.

Portraits

Here’s something else that is quite fresh and modern from Dutch design firm ixxi. I really like what they are doing with the old masters but you can also upload your own image or images to their site and create your own great work of art.

Portraits

This is a well composed display of portraits in this photo from Homelife. I’m a fan of this look.

Portraits

You can also try some landscape vintage paintings in case portraits creep you out. Seriously, some people don’t like eyes on the wall staring back at them! The above pic is from Better Homes & Gardens and looks sooooo cozy. I want to clear that table and lay out a massive handmade pizza with some red wine and play a little Frank, Dean and Sammy, baby!

Portraits

I really love this dining room, looks like something I’d see in Berlin for some reason. Maybe it’s the fact that nothing works but everything works. Berliners are good at that. :) This is from my new favorite Tumblr blog, Convoy. If you know the origin of this photo, please let me know. The downside with lots of Tumblr accounts is the near impossibility of ever finding the owners of the photographs. :( Drives me a bit bonkers.

Portraits

How about a little George Washington action from Lonny mag. It’s subtle but obvious at the same time. And yes this room was designed by design giant Jonathan Adler!

Portraits

If paintings aren’t your thing, maybe you can try sketched portraits or vintage photographs? I shared this photo before on decor8 but it’s one I keep going back to. You must have rooms that you keep going back to a million times. This one really resonates with me and funny thing is, there isn’t a drop of sweet or cute or girly in it. Telling, I think. Perhaps my taste is evolving as I am? One thing that it is though is quirky and I’ve always been quirky and abstract and quite spontaneous when it comes to decorating…

Portraits

Have you thought to add a portrait painting to a kid’s room? What do you think of this idea? Also from Lonny.

Portraits

This is quite a fancy writing desk set up, don’t you think? The portrait of the pretty blonde who seems to be gazing outside (certainly not concentrating on her work!) is nicely placed, it tells a bit of a story or it could just be my own imagination….

Are you a fan of vintage landscape paintings, portrait paintings or modern interpretations of them? Where do you display yours if you have them? Where would you like to display them if you currently do not? Do you think they work in a child’s room? Or?

(images linked to their sources above.)

 

Posted in Decorating Tips, Rooms on December 14, 2011

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