Good morning everyone! I hope that you had a delightful weekend. I must apologize for not giving you much notice last week but I left quickly on Thursday to travel to Hamburg, Germany for a consulting job at a huge magazine and was pretty busy or a few days. I spent a full day in their offices — first I gave a morning lecture followed by a Q&A about blogging and an afternoon “mini” version of the Blogging Your Way workshops that I typically do online with Leslie and Thorsten only tailored for a magazine staff. It was a lot of fun to take BYW offline and teach in a corporate setting… as most of you know, I come from a corporate background and spent years teaching workshops to employees so it felt a bit like deja vu. This time, I was able to teach about something that I truly have a passion for, it wasn’t that way in the past when some of my workshops centered around sexual harassment, new employee orientation and immigration law! Blogging was a topic that was fun and energizing! I had a nice time (the weather was amazing) and yes, I even fit in a little shopping which I’ll share more on tomorrow.
To get started today and with a new week of blogging, I thought I’d first welcome my friend, stylist and author Sania Pell in London, to the world of blogging! I know I’ve talked about her a million times on decor8 since she helped me so much to prepare things for the launch party for my book (details here), Decorate: 1,000 Inspirational Design Ideas For Every Room In Your Home, at Liberty last month… But did you know that before today Sania didn’t have a blog? Oh yes, that’s right. In fact, she just launched her new blog this very day and I’m so proud of her! That’s why we have to give her a big round of applause for jumping in and getting started. She first found out that blogs even existed a year ago and has been plotting her “entrance” into blogging ever since and so today she rolls out her super shiny new blog called At Home that, thanks to her husband Mark and his amazing design skills over at his company MWA Design in London, it came out just beautifully. I do hope that you’ll visit.
Speaking of Ms. Pell, she has prepared a few DIY projects for you taken directly from the table styling demonstration that we dreamed up for Liberty. She’ll be back in a moment to visit us today with all of her gorgeous DIY photos and how-to instructions – you’ll love it.
In addition to her posts coming up, I have lots of other great things to share and our monthly guest columnist, Anna-Malin Lindgren from Sweden is back with her monthly post too so stay tuned, Monday is going to be a great one.
(images: penny wincer, styled by Sania pell)
I was recently
wasting time doing research over at deviantART and stumbled across German photographer Andrea-H or Andrea Hübner, who also goes under the name Quadratiges (or Square in English) and my, my, my how brilliant she is! It was love at first site the moment I laid eyes on her stunning portfolio.
Andrea’s photographs radiate such emotion because her gorgeous composition and use of natural light is breataking but also her wistfully thoughtful models are quite intriguing too. I feel bathed in peace and quite relaxed just looking at each photo. I appreciate that so many are in square format (hence the name Quadratiges) or diptych as both styles really appeal to me currently. The best part about Andrea’s work though is that you can purchase it so this is not merely about having a one-time dose of inspiration but instead it is an opportunity for you to own some of her work to enjoy at home.
All photographs above as well as many more are sold here and ship worldwide – I have my eye on several that would work beautifully in my home. What about you, do you see anything that you like? She even has a beautiful calendar available for 2011 that you simply must check out and she designs CD and book covers on request… I can totally see her work on novels!
(images: andrea hübner)
Lots of people ask me how to create a mood in the home. It’s very, very easy. Turn on some music! In addition to food (cooking makes the home come alive), cozy nooks, lighting, including candlelight, and dimmer switches (a must!), music is another instant way to add a special vibe to your home. Think about it: when you are in a cafe with great music, doesn’t it feel better to be there? When you’re shopping say, Anthropologie, don’t you feel more inspired because of the sounds floating through the air and into your ears? I do. Music sparks imagination and definitely puts me in a better frame of mind if I happen to be in a rather bleh mood.
Lately, I’ve been listening to these cd’s shown on my table above and below. I also found another favorite, a Dutch jazz singer (not shown), who I’m a bit obsessed with at the moment and her name is Caro Emerald and I love her song Night Like This. You can see a video and listen to it here.
In addition to lovely Caro Emerald, these are the tunes I have on rotation in my office linked below. I hope you find some new music in my collection to inspire you at home, on the road, etc. You’ll notice half of it is in German. I listen to German music because 1) It’s good! and 2) I’m studying the language and it helps me while I’m living here to connect more to the culture and language. If you like diversity in what you listen to, want to be transported to another place, or simply want to brush up on a foreign language I also encourage you to listen to foreign language music or even music in English from different parts of the world like Australia or the UK. It’s inspiring to hear what people are being influenced by outside of your home country. I started listening to French pop when I was around 12 years old, thanks to that store Limited Express, now called Express. Do you remember it had a distinctly French flair at one time? I would buy their French pop music compilations along with my clothes! It was great and I felt very international. For a young girl living in South Carolina at the time, I felt quite international and chic. :)
Shown above: Hurts (great song/video), Charlotte Church (Welsh singer, in English): Watch this video to get a feel for her vibe, Adele, Swedish House Mafia (from Sweden music in English), Pixie Lott (English pop singer) and Katy B (also English pop).
Clueso (German – love his chilled out sounds), Lisa Bassenge (German), Lena (German pop star from Hannover where I live but she sings in English), Frida Gold (German – watch this video to get a feel for what she does, love it!!!), Annett Louisan (German, you must check out her brilliant website, some clippings below – but don’t miss THIS VIDEO – interiors eye candy all the way!!!), Anna Depenbusch (German), Sia (from Australia), Chapel Club (from England), Lenka (from Australia).
Photos of lovely German singer Annett Louisan who lives in Berlin.
What are you listening to for inspiration lately?
(images: top three: holly becker for decor8 bottom: annett louisan)