Yearly Archives

2011

Decorating Tips

Inspired By Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer

June 20, 2011

I’ve been a fan of Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer for many years now, ever since finding her work in a German magazine while browsing a newsstand in Berlin and I own several of the books that she has photographed. Do you know of her work? I’ve talked about her before but in case you missed it, Birgitta is a talented Danish lifestyle and interiors photographer with a fashion background for over twenty years and her work feels both raw and rustic but also feminine and casual. She is excellent with lighting and creating moods with it, her photos feel so real and not at all staged or pretend. She has photographed a lot of products and stills for lifestyle brand Tine K Home, most of those photographs are very moody and dark while those shown below tend to lean more towards light and bright. I love her for this diversity in moods and find so many others now out there recreating what Birgitta herself is a pioneer of, in my opinion.

Inspired By Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer

Inspired By Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer

Inspired By Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer

Inspired By Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer

Inspired By Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer

Recently, I was reading Skona Hem and found photographs of her own home and felt so inspired by how very white it is, especially since she’s a busy mother with a booming career. It’s amazing! You can see her entire home on their website, but I’ve included a few of my favorites below so that you can get a sense of her personal style and her love of white.

Inspired By Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer

Inspired By Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer

Inspired By Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer

Inspired By Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer

She’s a lady after my heart with her love of white with touches of pastels and hints of gray and black! If you’d like to see more inspiring spaces photographed by Birgitta, do visit the French home of designer Jane Whitfield. Oh la la! It’s lovely.

Did you notice the notes on the photos above? It’s a good habit to get into and I talked about this in my book in the mood boards section. As you are collecting inspiration, it’s really important that you identify with post-its or some type of noting system what you like about the image. It could be that you really only like the curtains or the lighting or even the floor. It’s crutical to pinpoint your likes as this helps you immensely when it comes to developing your own personal style. I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager in both fashion magazines and decorating ones, but if you are new to this it’s a fun exercise but also very telling!

Are you a fan of pugs, by the way? The little one on her sofa made me smile today. I have this animal pinboard that I’ve been working on over at Pinterest that, if you’re an animal lover, I do think you’ll like it so please have a visit. I think my many cute creatures will bring a smile to your face and warm your heart.

(images: birgitta wolfgang drejer)

Trends

8 Trends That You’ll Love

June 20, 2011

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. 8 Trends That You'll Love 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.

8 Trends That You'll Love

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.

8 Trends That You'll Love

(1st option)

8 Trends That You'll Love

(boligliv)

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.

8 Trends That You'll Love

8 Trends That You'll Love

(from skona hem via style files)

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.

8 Trends That You'll Love

5. Rustic furniture. Anything that looks slightly worn like 8 Trends That You'll Love

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). 

8 Trends That You'll Love

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 Trends That You'll Love

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.)

uncategorized

Monday, Monday!

June 20, 2011

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.

Monday, Monday!

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!)

Decorating Tips

Creating My Dream Patio

June 14, 2011

Today decor8 columnist Anna-Malin is back to visit us from Sweden sharing her recently redecorated patio. I love seeing how people treat a patio space – some fancy tables and chairs with a big umbrella, others add a water feature or fire pit and still others incorporate hammocks or even build a koi pond. It’s amazing to see the difference from patio-to-patio as you browse magazines and books for outdoor spaces, isn’t it? I think you’ll love Anna-Malin’s patio because it’s more of a second living room and lounge space for relaxing, reading and entertaining during the warmer months and can take her straight into the Autumn. I’ll let her take it from here…

Creating My Dream Patio

Hello everyone it’s Anna-Malin! For my June column I wanted to share my newly decorated outdoor patio because I am very proud of it and feel that it could be an inspiration to many of you who are unsure as to how to decorate your outdoor space. Last summer my husband and I built a wooden frame in the backyard to create a room in our garden area (below). Since we have full sun in our yard all day long we needed a place with some shade for relief! On top of the wooden frame we put branches and twigs to create a rustic, natural ceiling. On the concrete wall to soften it a bit visually, we added a shelf and some wood for vines.

Creating My Dream Patio

This year I bought new furniture — a sofa, a big round table and a chair — all in bamboo. I wanted the feeling to be calm and relaxed
so I added a lot of pillows in a mix of patterns, shapes and colors and I store them when I’m not using the patio to protect from fading and water damage since they are not waterproof. I also bring in the sheep skin when I’m not using my patio. A sheer panel (below – you can’t see it in the photo above) not only looks pretty swaying in the breeze but filters the light as well.

Creating My Dream Patio

Creating My Dream Patio

Creating My Dream Patio

By mixing the bamboo furniture with my old white rattan armchairs and a really old bench from the flea market, I achieved the feeling that I was looking for – rustic, modern, clean and very “me”. I like to have a space that feels very personal, even outdoors. The string of lights were added to the fence to give a warm glow at night and lanterns create a romantic ethnic bohemian vibe in the evening along with some good tunes from my iPod.

Creating My Dream Patio

Creating My Dream Patio

Creating My Dream Patio

Creating My Dream Patio

Creating My Dream Patio

With beautiful weather finally here, this my favorite place right now, especially in the evenings with lots of candles, a cup of tea and a good book. I hope my outdoor space inspired you – do you have a place in your backyard to create something similar? Do you already have a patio that you’ve recently redecorated? You can link it in your comment if you would like to show and tell!

I’ll be back in July with another Handmade Home story from you, until then, goodbye! Anna-Malin Lindgren.

Books + Magazines

A Collection a Day: Book by Lisa Congdon

June 14, 2011

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.

A Collection a Day: Book by Lisa Congdon

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!

A Collection a Day: Book by Lisa Congdon

 

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. :)

A Collection a Day: Book by Lisa Congdon

A Collection a Day: Book by Lisa Congdon

A Collection a Day: Book by Lisa Congdon

A Collection a Day: Book by Lisa Congdon

A Collection a Day: Book by Lisa Congdon

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)

Arts + Crafts

Gemma Milly Illustration

June 13, 2011

Oh oh oh oh everybody! Red alert! Gemma Milly, an artist and illustrator in southeast England, has taken my heart captive today. Her work is such a delight and I’m certain it will tickle you too. I’m so happy that I found her today via lovely Mary Beth on Pinterest. I adore her painterly style and colorways and well her drawing of William and Katherine kissing on the balcony and Buckingham Palace is just so charming (you can buy it here). I hope they somehow see it — I’m sure they’d love it to pieces that cute Will and Katherine.

Gemma Milly Illustration

Gemma draws her images first by hand using  pen or pencil, then adds ink and watercolor, and finally she digitally enhances them to give them that final “just so” touch. I love how she uses her color outside of the lines at times. This is gorgeous. Her inspiration comes from, “The ethereal, the sensual, the female form, the exquisite and the beautiful. Her aim is to create strikingly beautiful images that please the eye and delight the senses.” I’d say she accomplishes her goal!

But she hasn’t always been an illustrator… Gemma once worked in advertising and design for six years at a traditional desk job, but like so many creative types who dream of “what if”, the atmosphere wasn’t for her and she started to wonder about her future… So she jumped ship, returned to university where she earned her Master’s in Illustration and Animation and now she is a happy freelancer.

Gemma produces prints, greetings cards, portraits and fashion illustration for her big cartel shop and for her clients and well… we’re all happier for it – but most importantly, Gemma found her calling and we all love those kinds of stories, don’t we?

Isn’t Gemma divine?

(images: gemma milly)

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