A few of my favorite things, 10 of them…
Thank you Nostalgie im Kinderzimmer!
Yes, I know… I’ve been a bit on a pillow kick lately. Today I heard from interior and textiles designer (and blogger) Caitlin Wilson who told me all about her new fabric and pillow line under the brand Caitlin Wilson Textiles and I went a bit bonkers. Not only because they are gorgeous and totally versatile and can fit nearly any style – love that – but because Caitlin turned her frustration into a business and I’m always so energized by stories like hers (more about that below). But first, aren’t these patterns and colors so fresh and gorgeous?
Caitlin launched her design practice, Caitlin Wilson Design, in 2007 and has been designing spaces from San Francisco to the Cayman Islands every since with her work appearing in top magazines and books. Here is a glimpse from her design portfolio that covers every style from African to Eclectic and beyond… If you’d like to view more, her entire portfolio can be viewed here.
Blue + Orange = great color combo!
Geometric neutrals in a kitchen adds class.
A touch of ethnic pattern makes this kitchen a bit more playful.
Pear + lilac work beautifully together in a nursery.
Add some bright violets to punch up a pastel palette.
Black, white and goldenrod with a little blue and a lot of pattern. Perfect!
This art display really works – I love how close the bottom picture is to the floor – fantastic!
An all white kitchen gets a dress touch with bold pink as an accent through tea towels and a simple floral arrangement. Budget decorating!
As she designed all of the spaces that you see above, you can imagine she had to dig through a lot of resources to find the gorgeous things that she used to decorate and layer each room. In the process though, Caitlin found a void in the market when it comes to colorful patterns at an affordable price point so she decided to give her own brand a try and design what she felt was missing. Instead of simply living frustrated like so many, complaining about what they cannot have or find, she decided to create it herself. You go, Caitlin! Now she has these beautiful textiles that you see shown below (and many more right here) that you can order and enjoy in your own home. Yum!
In her online shop, you can purchase fabric by the yard and pillow covers. Try the fabric to upholster chairs, a headboard or to make a duvet for your bed. I personally love her collection and hope that you do too!
(images: caitlin wilson)
Hello friends, it is Leslie here with Color Me Pretty for October. I recently visited a beautiful apple orchard on Vancouver Island because it is that time of year here. The days are crisp, the leaves have changed color and the nights are getting very cold. Having lived the last fourteen years in Los Angeles, I have forgotten how cold nights can get back up here in Canada!
While I was wandering (and shivering!) around picking and photographing all the fruit, I got really inspired to bake. There is something about apples and cinnamon that just gives me a cozy home feeling. Especially when you come into the house smelling them cooking after freezing yourself outside. How about you? There is usually some combination baking in the oven that makes you feel like home, right?
Keeping with this simple pairing I thought it would be fun to use my apples in the kitchen as inspiration for this months column. A classic favorite of red and pale cinnamon brown from my home to yours.
One of the apple recipes I used was this rustic looking apple crostata, it got gobbled up by my family pretty quickly which is a good sign of a recipe success.
I also made some cranberry and apple conserve which, looks really pretty for gifts in some glass jars and tastes great with poultry or as a condiment for a cheese platter.
Since the days are getting shorter, I have been lighting candles later in the day. Old jam and mason jars look pretty filled with a little water and a tea light. The water helps keep the glass from cracking from the heat of the candle. You can line these inexpensive candle holders along a window or group them on your kitchen table. These recycled jars are always pretty.
You can even use twine, ribbon and/or washi tapes from Japan to dress up plain bottles and add them to a shelf or windowsill. Decorating doesn’t have to be expensive – just think outside of the box and customize what you have with what’s laying around your craft room.
Try translating what inspires you from nature, for instance a trip to an orchard, into something handmade. You can try making your own cards, a notebook, or simply pinning things according to a specific palette onto your mood board to inspire you and decorate your work room.
Lastly, I have been seeing coffee filters used for wrapping all over lately. I had first come across this funny use of filters in some Japanese craft books and was not entirely convinced. However, for a small gift I now think this ruffled thin paper looks quite sweet for wrapping. I am partial to the unbleached natural color of the basket filters paired with baker’s twine and a little red accent. Of course they are food safe so I can also imagine using them for wrapping holiday cookies in a couple months.
I hope you have enjoyed this apple inspired post and I look forward to seeing you here next month. Until then take good care and maybe take some time to bake something yummy. – Leslie Shewring.
(images/styling: leslie shewring)
Have you heard of Finnish photographer, stylist and product designer Riikka Kantinkoski? I love her home in Finland and the beautiful photos that she takes for magazines, but also the snaps of her own house that she shares on her beautiful blog called Weekday Carnival.
I found her work through Susanna Vento’s site and I’ve been in awe of Riikka ever since – especially of the things that she sells in her Big Cartel shop. Wow, I love it all, but especially her jewelry and these wooden knobs. Her soft color palette with shots of black definitely resonates with me as I love soft colors, too. Check out these images from her home. I especially love how she incorporated a West Elm comforter into her Finnish home – gorgeous!
Another version of her kitchen before she decorated it in shots of pink and black – this one is from a few months ago and will appear in a Paumes book about Finnish homes very soon.
I’m so inspired by the way that Riika decorates but also of the wares in her very special online shop. What a creative and clever lady!
What do you like about these spaces above?
(images: riikka kantinkowski)
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.
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.
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.)