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From Pinterest With Love: Soft + Pretty

I decided to start four new columns on decor8, three that I’ll write and another authored by a dear friend who will join me once monthly for a brand new styling column. Yay! I’ll share them all with you soon but for today I want to get started on the first, my new once weekly post scheduled to run on Thursday called From Pinterest With Love. I know, I’m the queen of corny titles! But I was thinking… as I pin things over on the Pinterest site I see lots of themes in color palettes and vibes as I pin and find myself continuously inspired by the process of it all. However I am saddened at times because I want to do more than pin things, I want to point to the sources in an attempt to introduce you to the talented people + makers who created the beautiful images in the first place. And so with that, From Pinterest With Love has been created to highlight favorite finds with links to their sources so you can learn about new sources of inspiration running around out there. Here are my Pinterest Picks that I’m calling Soft + Pretty, for this week.

From Pinterest With Love

Do you spot a theme? I certainly do! Watercolors, cozy comfort, freshly picked hues, gorgeously soft and natural light and handmade touches. Ah, a soft and pretty springtime vibe.

Nikki McWilliams, cannelle-vanille, Stevi Savage of Avery House, traveling mama, Sophie Allen, Dottie Angel, happenstance, Old Brand New.

style me pretty, Marie claire idees, somethings hiding in here, steve steinhardt, scrapbooks etc, tocotoco.

Do any of these images inspire you? How about the colors? Patterns?

View April 28th Pinterest Board Here.

(images linked to their sources above.)

Posted in inspiration on April 28, 2011

6 Candles I Love

I was thinking yesterday about all of the candles that I own because I was organizing a cabinet where I keep my mini candle store (ha ha) and felt a bit ashamed of how many I have still unopened… And funny thing is, I was deciding what was missing from my stash so that I could restock. Sigh. The life of a candle addict. Funny thing is that I have mild allergies to fragrance so I’m careful when it comes to stronger scents, like lilac and jasmine, since they make me very sick. Did you know that until I was 25-years-old I suffered from chronic allergies to perfume, hair spray, candles, anything and everything seemed to trigger intense headaches and flu-like symptoms? Oh yes. I didn’t wear perfume until I was 25! Then, one day, the allergies just vanished. Poof! I have no clue how or why that is even possible, but they did and that is when I went a little nuts buying everything scented that I could pack into my cabinets from cleaning supplies to shampoo. Sure, cigarette smoke still makes me sick, as does newspaper ink, certain paints, strong perfume, etc. but I’m pretty much a perfume and candle-aholic now though the scents need to be fresh, natural and certainly not heavy. I thought I’d share some candles that aren’t obnoxiously strong that I love, 6 to be exact, that add a slight fragrance without overpowering me or my guests. I photographed my current 3 favorites at home today and listed the other 3 below as I need to replenish my supply so I couldn’t take a picture of those.

6 Candles I love

1. Le Labo vintage candle (love the packaging!) that was a gift to me from Liberty actually and I love it. The scent is Santal 26 and is an, “aristocratic scent, at once gentle, smokey and leathery, that will fill your space and give it true personality.” All I can say is that I’m already on my second Le Labo candle and I can’t get enough. Great for couples, as it’s a bit masculine and slightly feminine which I also love.

6 Candles I love

2. Bailey’s Mown Grass candle. I love Mark & Sally Bailey’s gorgeous creations for the home, this candle being one of them. My husband bought it at Liberty and as you can see, he’s been using it in his office each night. It smells delightful, and it’s at all over-the-top as some grassy scents can be. It’s light and breezy, almost as if you woke up in your stone cottage, opened your windows, and took a deep breath as the gentle Spring air caressed your nose with the scent of green. In the states you can buy it online at Terrain.

6 Candles I love

3. Diptyque Feuille De Lavande (Lavender leaf) is so perfect for this time of year but I mostly burn it in the Autumn, early winter. I love the way it makes my home smell – so clean, but also how it makes me feel – so calm! It’s worth every penny.

Not shown: 4. Jo Malone: Grapefruit (love this), 5. DayNa Decker Bardou (the wick crackles when you burn it so it sounds like a fireplace!), and 6. Candied Fruit Candle by L’Occitane. Yes, that one is very sweet and über fruity but in a big room it’s quite delightful, especially when the sun is shining and the windows are open. I don’t suggest burning it with the windows closed, it’s a bit overwhelming!

What are your favorite scented candles? Now I’m wondering, do you even use candles? Are you allergic to fragrance? Were you once allergic and miraculously healed without reason like me?

(images: holly becker for decor8)

 

Posted in shopping on April 28, 2011

Inspiring Spaces From Decorate

I thought I’d share some inspiring spaces from my book, Decorate, that are currently floating around on the web (and some are part of this interview that Janet Reynolds had with me for her print magazine Life@Home) that you may actually want to add to your Pinterest account, desktop inspiration folder, or wherever you see fit. If you happen to own the book already, then you forever have these images in your possession, beautifully printed and bundled if I do say so myself. ;) But in case you don’t own the book you may delight in seeing these photos that were shot in beautiful homes in both Europe and the US by talented interiors photographer Debi Treloar. Debi shot the entire book using only natural light, something that drew me to her work in the first place years ago – her photos feel so inviting and casual as a result.

Ceramic pieces in Copenhagen home of ceramicist Karen and her husband Mads Hagedorn-Olsen. P.S. He makes the most beautiful insect art – see it here.

A sweet little girl’s space in London belonging to the daughter of stylist/author Sania Pell.

A bedroom nook in Los Angeles belonging to photographer Amy Neunsinger, Charlotte’s mud room (from RICE), Yvonne from Yvestown’s Belgium kitchen, a gorgeous London flat belonging to Sisley UK cosmetics executive Christine D’ornano.

Charlotte Hedeman Gueniau’s dining room in Denmark – I had fun styling this tabletop for the photo with mismatched things from mostly her company, RICE.

Debi was a saint to work with — she was such a lovely person to spend time with as we flew around for a period of four months working together, mostly her and I, in people’s beautiful spaces. I hope that you enjoyed a teaser peek into my book! If you use them on your blog or Pinterest, all I ask is that you say that they were shot by Debi Treloar, link to her site, and link to this page: http://decor8blog.com/decorate-book mentioning that they are from the book, Decorate. That’s all I ask. :)

Decorate stocklist here.

(images: debi treloar for decorate)

Posted in Decorating Tips on April 28, 2011

Gardener & Marks + Noticing The Details

I’m a huge Lyn Gardner fan so naturally, I love browsing her decorating portfolio over at Gardener & Marks. Their business is so intriguing to me, Gardener & Marks, because it’s a full service decorating and props firm in Australia and I think their work comes across as very relaxed and personal yet also with such care over the details that you want to examine everything you see.

What I admire so much about Lyn, aside from her wild and very big hair and quirky personal style is her decorating work — she is a very detail-oriented person and I love that. I delight in the details, I can get so hung up on them though! Are you keen on the little bits and pieces? The photos throughout this post are from Gardener & Marks and show homes that they’ve decorated, Lyn and her partner Amanda Hendersen-Marks (please read their bio here). So pretty!

By the way, have you heard of The White House Daylesford? It’s Lyn’s amazing property that you can use as a location home OR you can vacation there — it’s quite drool inducing — you simply must check it out here. As you are browsing, notice bedroom two with that gorgeous black and white toile wallpaper and hints of emerald green around the room – so pretty.

It’s funny, because I’m very big picture which is why I was once a project manager. But I’m also creative and imaginative — I’m big on details and I notice every little corner and creation whether I’m shopping, staying in a hotel, riding on a train… I see it all. My friends often say that this is the writer in me – to notice things that most people breeze right by. And it’s true. I can be with friends and they’ll be chatting or zoning out on their iPods and I’m chatting and on the iPod too yet I’m also scanning the room, noticing every detail of what each person there is wearing – stripey socks, cuffed jeans, man who looks bored, woman who has lost an earring, boy with a chipped tooth.

You’ll laugh at this, but do you remember that scene with adorable Matt Damon in the first Bourne film when he is in a roadside diner in France with German supporting actress Franka Potenta and he tries to “prove” that he isn’t normal so he immediately starts to recite each detail about their environment while looking straight into her eyes – and he gets all of the facts right – he had memorized everything including how many people were in the room? Okay so he’s an assassin, I’m not (ha ha), but I can relate to that scene so well as I can do the same thing when it comes to noticing everything around me. I don’t always remember things that were said, I’m more visual I think, but I do remember things that I see or words that I can see on paper… In fact, that is what is helping me to learn German — not to hear it but to see it on signs and in textbooks.

When I shop, it’s the same. I think lots of us creatives notice the details, from the Lyn Gardeners of the world to everyday people like me who love to decorate and write for a living. Perhaps you too? I see everything and often can scan an entire section, zoom in on what I’m interested in and disregard the rest — I’m not one to waste time as I know right away whether or not I’m attracted to something. I often got annoyed with this personality trait, to see everything, to notice the good and the bad, to be able to “weed out” things that I don’t like or need almost instantly. In some ways, I had to get it under control in order to live a productive life. What I mean is that by noticing everything I’d often return home feeling absolutely overwhelmed by the sheer stimulation of it all. Or I’d be so overwhelmed by what I’m looking at in a store that I’d leave empty handed.

It took me years to modify my behavior so that I could use this sensitivity of mine to my own advantage, and now that I’m older I definitely can see a huge improvement and my life is so much better now that I can edit and sort ideas, sensations, emotions, external data, all of it — quite efficiently without draining myself. I have noticed that one of the best ways to curb over-sensitivity is to simply acknowledge it first of all and then use it only in situations when you really need it. I use it when it comes to projects, work-related tasks, etc. I’ve learned to ignore it (sometimes to forcefully ignore it) when I’m in the train and everyone around me seems to be drunk or acting obnoxious which I find often on the train when I’m riding at night. I have to forcefully flip the “off” switch whenever I see things that cause me pain, annoyance or anger – those are the details in life that I’d rather not pay attention to.

A darker side to this though is that I pay attention to details but I also miss other things as I’m so intently focused on something else that the other important thing slips off my radar. My husband laughs, I have a short attention span, I am like a golden retriever in some ways — I can be running after a stick and the moment I notice a cat off in the distance, I start running towards the cat forgetting all about what I was retrieving in the first place.

I wonder, do any of you notice the details, even to a fault, and how have you managed this? Luckily, I’ve managed well over the years and now I feel very confident to speak about it publicly and to use it in areas of my life where paying attention to details matters, like decorating and writing. Please share your views, I’d love to learn more about you and creatives out there in general who are very detail-oriented and how you edit, sort, disregard some date, absorb others, etc. It’s a fascinating topic I think!

(images: gardener & marks)

Posted in Decorating Tips, real talk on April 27, 2011

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

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