Yearly Archives

2011

Shopping + Products

Get Organized With Manostiles Boxes

March 24, 2011

This weekend is my big Spring cleaning weekend and it’s funny but I can’t wait to get started! I’m ready to donate a bunch of clothes and buy some plants for my balcony and get my home ready for the season. Also, my goal for Spring is to get a better system in place when it comes to organization. Today I was in touch with Manostiles, a Danish company that designs home items, and found their boxes to be quite lovely and perfect for storage. The key to good organization is to have specific places for everything and if you are using boxes like these, to have a good labeling system so you know what is inside of them. I have a few boxes similar to what you see below that are covered in Indian prints and I think Leslie and some others online have similar boxes too — I’ve seen them around the web in mostly people’s home offices, so they seem to be a storage solution that many enjoy. I guess it’s hard to resist pretty boxes with things tucked inside!

Get Organized With Manostiles Boxes

Get Organized With Manostiles Boxes

Get Organized With Manostiles Boxes

Get Organized With Manostiles Boxes

Get Organized With Manostiles Boxes

Get Organized With Manostiles Boxes

If you would like to order these great boxes, you can purchase them online at Cahetu, they ship worldwide and I imagine rates would be okay since these boxes are very lightweight and many can fit inside of other ones… Manostiles will begin selling them on their website in April if you want to order directly from them.

I personally love the magazine holders and the clear shoe storage boxes that could store anything really. I particularly like seeing the clear ones stacked in a work room or above, as shown by a bed doubling as a bedside table which is clever and budget-friendly. But back to those magazine files, I can never get enough of gorgeous magazines and since I refer back to them so frequently, having them tucked away in pretty holders nearby my desk is practical and inspiring. I love to be surrounded by things that spark my creativity!

(images: manostiles)






Decorating Tips, Home Tours

Corners of Home: From Bosnia With Love

March 24, 2011

What do you think about when you imagine how people are decorating in Sarajevo, Bosnia? Perhaps photographs of this gorgeous apartment in Sarajevo with decoration inspired by the city may give you a fresh impression. This apartment belongs to blogger Sabina Cudic who says, “This corner of the world has not been covered (in the world of decorating) and I hope this little submission serves to change that.” Yes, it will! In addition to her blog, Sabina teaches Political Science and International Relations at the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology. She is also an avid former competitive debater, is passionate about photography, fashion, interior decorating and of course politics and international affairs.

Corners of Home: From Bosnia With Love

I asked Sabina about the design scene in Bosnia and she wrote such a great reply that I didn’t want to water it down by revising it or turning it into my own words so I’ll let you read her reply. It’s fascinating!

About design in Bosnia: “Decorating resources in Bosnia are, as you can expect limited. There is not a single major/international furniture chain present (the closest IKEA is more than 400 kilometers away and majority of on-line shops shipping policies tend to avoid Bosnia), however I still wouldn’t consider it to be a deprivation – and would go as far as to argue that this type of “isolation” encourages organic creativity!” I have to agree with her on that point, having fewer options does lend to finding creative alternatives.

Corners of Home: From Bosnia With Love

About her apartment: “My boyfriend and I purchased a 60m2 apartment several months ago and having spent our entire budget on basic renovations, we are left with nothing more than creativity for decorations. This means that we used mostly our old furniture which we upholstered in new (and I have to admit, very cheap and sold by kilogram) natural and neutral fabrics. I purchased the doted fabric which we used for chairs on a major sale at an IKEA in Germany, together with other couple of decorating details which I could “smuggle” back to Sarajevo. Stubbornly setting my mind onto something also means that I sometimes spend an entire flight back home holding a lamp shade in my lap, or a ceramic deer that I cannot live without. This also means that on more than one occasion I chose “luxury” over necessity, clearly indicated by the fact that we still do not own a TV or furnished bedroom (Bosnians are known for, here and there, acting on emotions and not reason.) But it also encapsulates my home decorating policy of ensuring that we are surrounded by things we love and cherish and that necessities will eventually take care of themselves.” I like that as I can relate — it’s better to decorate with what you love than to just buy something for the sake of filling a room.

Corners of Home: From Bosnia With Love

Her decorating style: “The palette we chose for the apartment is neutral with decidedly white walls everywhere but in the bathroom which we cozied up with the shades of cream and gray and stone tiles. As the entire apartment is facing south and is on the eighth floor, we enjoy the enormous amount of sunlight and prefer serenity of whites, creams and natural wood, adorned with objects and pictures we collected over time, instead of explosion of colors.” To that I say, beige is not boring!

Corners of Home: From Bosnia With Love

What makes Sarajevo special: “There are several aspects that make home decorating in Sarajevo a pleasant challenge: there is a great number of extremely talented artisans whose work is unfortunately severely undervalued. Beautiful carpets and rugs, fabrics and upholstering, as well as hand made furniture are among the cheapest and least discovered in Europe. For those with a curious, patient and creative mind Sarajevo can be a heaven.”

Corners of Home: From Bosnia With Love

Where do you shop for the home in Bosnia?“There are several shops and artists whose work I would highly recommend: A nearly hundred year old family business called Rukotvorine from a small town of Konjic in Hercegovina and Artisan from an even smaller town of Tesanj. Rukotvorine’s work is rooted in Bosnian tradition – it’s sideboard called the Wave is poetry and needs to be felt by hand to be fully appreciated. Artisan is more influenced by the Dutch and Danish schools of design, and offers equally beautiful, Bosnian solid wood hand made pieces. There are of course plenty of other artist and designers whose work unfortunately cannot be found online.” It sounds like there are many untapped treasures there…

Corners of Home: From Bosnia With Love

Why does Sarajevo inspire you? For those with a less ambitious budget several antique stores offer a variety with an occasional true gem in a form of a beautiful carved wooden storage boxes, mid century pieces or glass kitchen cabinets. Naturally, peaking into elderly neighbors’ apartments can be equally exciting and a habit that Bosnians with their laid back neighborhood relations do not mind. This leads me to the ways in which this city inspires my decorating – Sarajevo is a place where friends and family knock on your door unannounced and the interiors often reflect that. Comfort, gracefulness, surrounding ourselves with people and objects that mean something to us and unpretentious entertaining is what inspires me in decorating and making sure that there is always an extra pillow and a blanket. Considering that my boyfriend is from Kosovo, I look forward to incorporating those cultural influences in our home. Having lived in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany I can also trace those aesthetics in my decoration daydreaming. So if and when in Sarajevo decor8 readers should feel free to wave and stop by, and perhaps we can give you a little tour!” Oh, how sweet you are, Sabina!

I don’t know about you dear readers, but I took so much away from this interview, but mainly the value of using what you have and appreciating what makes a house a home – family, friends and meaningful objects with meaning. Thank you Sabina for visiting us today!

(images: Sabina Cudic)






Rooms

Budget Bedroom in Fresh Green and White

March 22, 2011

Love green and white? Need bedroom decorating inspiration? Looking to give your sleeping quarters a spring makeover? I have a great budget bedroom to share with you today that decor8 reader Marlise Kast-Myers wants to share with you. She wrote in from San Diego to tell me about her recent decorating project — her five bedroom home! When you think about decorating such a large space, you instantly imagine investing thousands of dollars and going wayyyy outside of your budget, don’t you? Think again…

Budget Bedroom in Fresh Green and White

Marlise was determined to stay within budget so she was smart about it — she did a lot of her own work alongside her husband, graphic designer Benjamin Myers. Together, they installed floors from Lumber Liquidators, made their own light fixtures, Benjamin made the framed art and the work above the bed. They also handcrafted their bed frame and headboard and sourced for furniture at antique/vintage shops and craigslist. For a personal touch, because every room decorated from scratch needs a few items that connect you with cherish people or memories, Marlise incorporated a special trunk given to her by her parents to serve as both functional and beautiful storage. The entire renovation of their five-bedroom home was under $4,000 and their bedroom was less than half of that!

Budget Bedroom in Fresh Green and White

Budget Bedroom in Fresh Green and White

Budget Bedroom in Fresh Green and White

Budget Bedroom in Fresh Green and White

Budget Bedroom in Fresh Green and White

Budget Bedroom in Fresh Green and White

Going for a vintage modern vibe, Marlise explains her jumping off point for her bedroom, “Our inspiration came from the boutique hotels we have visited around the world. Ben is naturally artistic so sometimes it is difficult for me to see his vision until it all comes together. I sort of go along for the ride! He loves the clean fresh look of white with only a splash of one other soft color so we tried to keep the room somewhat minimal so that the design could speak for itself.” It’s not surprise that Marlise has stayed in a lot of hotels — she has co-authored several travel books including many Fodor’s guides!

Budget Bedroom in Fresh Green and White

One her favorite pieces in the room is the mint green metal steamer trunk that carried her grandparent’s belongings when they migrated from Africa to the United States, you can see a peek of it above. I love the patina. The antique tiered dresser is gorgeous too and I like how they cleverly used vintage printing press drawers as statement art over their bed. Her husband is a fan of green so he opted to paint some of the squares in the drawers in green to tie in with the trunk. An old metal fan, other shabby worn trunks with handwriting on them in black ink, sheep skins from IKEA, candles, and soft flowing drapes give the room a warm, tactile feeling. The various tones of white that are used range from pure white to cream so the room is not at all stark but warm and inviting. This budget bedroom looks lovely and proves that you don’t have to sacrifice style to stay within your budget. Beautiful!

(Images: dna wylie photography)






Shopping + Products

Spring With West Elm

March 22, 2011

West Elm contacted me last week with their latest offerings for spring (wowie zowie, so pretty!) but I’ve been a bit behind this month since I’m also teaching a huge class online so I’m reviewing this a bit late (eep!). I know that it’s been hopping around blogland already but I feel inspired by it so I’m posting anyway since I’m a huge David Stark fan, I know who isn’t, and the David Stark Collection for West Elm is gorgeous!

Spring With West Elm

David was inspired by the Mediterranean light and the clear blue sea along with his own roots as a painter — so he decided to combine raw canvas and gesso to create baskets and bottles wrapped in artist’s canvas and porcelain soup cans that can be used as vases. I love his dinnerware splashed with gorgeous blue tones with that painterly vibe to them — it’s a treat to see this! Blue and white is such a great palette for warmer weather, I always feel so invigorated when I view various blues that resemble ocean water, they can range from moody blues to exhilarating blues. Paired with white along with modern lines and lots of natural texture and the look can suddenly become quite nautical chic with a more high end Greek resort vibe.

Spring With West Elm

Spring With West Elm

Spring With West Elm

Spring With West Elm

Spring With West Elm

I also like seeing Tennessee-based husband and wife design duo Bill Pritchard and Jane Gray from Stray Dog Designs with a collection at WE as well because I’ve followed their work since 2006 and love what they are doing with papier-mâché and I think that in the right setting their pendant light is divine and a statement piece. I don’t want to gush but by golly gee I love seeing what’s coming out of WE lately… how inspiring. And the styling and photography – spot on!

(images: west elm)






uncategorized

Happy Spring

March 22, 2011

Hello everyone! I hope your week is going well so far. I’m so glad to that it’s officially springtime and feels like it where I live as well — the weather has been beyond gorgeous with lots of sunshine and temps around 60 which is perfect for March. I love the things that springtime brings, like clear blue skies, daffodils and aisles of amazing Easter candy in the stores over here – Germans really get into Easter let me tell ya! Man! I am amazed by the variety, quality and packaging. I also love the way the locals decorate this time of year — hanging branches adorned with ornaments (like eggs or painted rabbits) for instance…. And there is a lot of energy in the air because you can feel that everyone’s spirit has lifted after two months of a very gray blanket and darkness falling by 3:00 p.m. which can really suck the life out of even the most positive person.

Happy Spring

The grass is getting green, the birds are singing, there is magic in the air for sure. Yesterday was my birthday and so today I woke up into a brand new year of my life thinking of all that I will do and want to do. I am very pleased to welcome spring and equally happy to be experiencing my second spring abroad as I feel it is a genuine accomplishment, a milestone, I’m really making it in a foreign country on all new turf and so I have this extra confidence boost from the goals I’m reaching.

Happy Spring

By the way, I’d like to share a random thought I had recently… It’s amazing how the internet has brought so many passionate, talented, and sincere people into my life — your life — all of us really… I know I would not have met most of you without having a blog. It is likely that you are also blogging or using other means to network and so I’m sure you can relate. We’re a lucky bunch, aren’t we?

Back in a moment with a few inspiring posts for today!

(image: holly becker for decor8)






Color Inspiration

Fresh For Spring

March 21, 2011

Hello friends, it’s Leslie here with Color Me Pretty for March. With all the heartache over the last ten days I wanted to focus on spring with the sense of hope, creativity and new life it brings. I thought I would revisit one of my favorite palettes, which includes pale blue, watery aqua, minty green, and splashes of dark coral. To change it slightly I added some chalky looking lavender. I have been seeing this palette in various forms lately and thought you may enjoy it.

Fresh For Spring

Cheerful poppies have been blooming in my garden and I decided to place these ones in a spray painted mason jar. I further decorated the jar with ribbon and a few strips of Japanese washi tape. Decorating some white floral containers with tape is simple, quick and adds a sweet handmade quality don’t you think?

Fresh For Spring

Fresh For Spring

Fresh For Spring

I was really inspired by the work of Thomas Campbell who Holly introduced me to in her post a few weeks ago. I couldn’t help but get back to my sewing machine to sew more paper together. I made some interesting wrapping paper quickly as well as some larger pieces I may frame and use as wall hangings for my home. When I did not have the right color of paper I used watercolors to create the tones I needed.

Fresh For Spring

Fresh For Spring

Fresh For Spring

Fresh For Spring

I filled my journal pages with pieces of freshly colored paper and photographs. I love having this record to go back and look at when I want to create something down the road and am lacking inspiration. My journals have always helped keep my visual ideas organized. They act as mini mood boards that are portable, easy to keep and refer to. Long after my tack boards have been cleaned off I still have my journals waiting neatly on the shelf.

Fresh For Spring

I hope I may have sparked an idea or two for you to carry out in some of your creative projects. Please take a moment this week to stop and notice the flowers of the season. Even if they are just the ones on display at the market! I will see you back here next month, until then take good care and thank you. – Leslie.

(images: leslie shewring)

Leslie






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