Hello everyone! Before I say goodbye for the weekend and get ready for the big David Guetta show tomorrow night (yay!), I want to share something that is quite exciting to me… And near to my heart. As many of you know, Leslie Shewring from A Creative Mint has been a friend of mine for over four years and we’ve been working together on this and that – currently a book – and for several years she has been writing her Color Me Pretty column for decor8. She has been taking some time off from the column recently because she was hard at work on hand-painting patterns soon to be launched as her brand new fabric line for Cloud9 Fabrics. I’m extremely proud of her as I’m sure you are too. Here are her new patterns to launch this Fall – aren’t they gorgeous?
From the Cloud9 site about this collection, “This delicate watercolor voile collection by Leslie Shrewing of A Creative Mint, was inspired by where she use to live in Palos Verdes, CA. The warm blush tones of the sandy and clay packed earth along with the architectural patterns inspired by some of the local sites. She was also in awe of the endless array of wildflowers that grew all over the hillsides and down the trails to the beach.” I can’t wait to own all 6 of these and am thrilled for Leslie!
What do you think? Are you in love???
Hello everyone! I was thinking how I’ve not interviewed anyone lately and how I should change that so today I’m chatting with the radiant LA-based interiors stylist Justina Blakeney who describes herself as a, “Creative free bird, a traveler, a jungalow-dwelling mom, a thrifter, a stylist, a designer and a merry-maker”, which I think just about sums her up beautifully! This vibrant, lovely lady and her beautiful blog has grabbed my attention over the years so I had to pin her down for a little chit chat. If you don’t know her, Justina has styled for editorial and commercial clients mostly in the United States ranging from shelter mags to books and she has over 1.2 million followers on Pinterest. Her global boho style is colorful and approachable and today we’re going to get inside of her head a little and see what makes this creative soul tick – we’ll talk about decorating, blogging and some of her favorite things. Are you ready?
decor8: Thanks for visiting us on decor8 today, Justina! Where do you live and where were you raised?
JB: I live in my plantastic Jungalow on the east side of Los Angeles. I was raised in Berkeley, California but lived abroad in Switzerland for two years as a teen-ager, and then spent seven years in Florence, Italy in my 20’s.
decor8: How much do you think living in Southern California affects your decorating style?
JB: My style is an amalgamation of the many of the places I’ve been, and the people I’ve grown up around. Being raised in a multi-racial family that loved to travel, our home was always filled with objects from all over the world: Hamsas and African masks, Ethiopian paintings and Mexican artifacts, Indonesian shadow puppets and Mexican textiles. My grandparents have lived in Los Angeles my whole life and I remember coming to visit them as a little girl. I was always in awe of LA’s palm trees. My grandmother had a tropical printed wallpaper all over their Ladera Heighs home and it stuck with me. SoCal also has so many cultural enclaves–did you know that Little Armenia, Thai Town, Little Ethiopia and Korea Town are all within a few miles of each other in LA? Seeing all of these diverse cultures, eating incredibly diverse foods, shopping in ethnic grocery stores–it all fuels my imagination wildly. I think in those ways I think SoCal has had a profound affect on my style.
decor8: How far back can you trace your passion for decorating?
JB: My big sister (who also grew up to be a designer) and I used to play with doll-houses a lot. I even built my own doll house in a carpentry class when I was ten. Playing around with the dollhouse was my first experience with decorating. I remember saving random pieces of paper we’d glue them to the walls for wallpaper. We also used to spend a lot of time rearranging the furniture in our bedrooms and painting and repainting our rooms–even building our own furniture pieces. We were super lucky to have parents who let us do what ever we wanted with our rooms and we experimented all the time—I would steal items from the livingroom and put them in my bedroom. I painted murals on my walls. My mother would take me to the fabric store and I made my own curtains and pillows. I loved to sew from a very young age. I remember distinctly the first curtains I made were these crazy mirrored curtains—almost like a disco ball. Very ‘80’s. Ha!
decor8: When did you start your blog and why?
JB: I started blogging in 2008 when I moved back to the U.S. after living in Italy for seven years. I had a series of craft books out and started the blog initially as a way to connect with readers and share news and DIY projects. I got really into it and started blogging more and more until I realized how much I really loved it–and made a commitment to myself to blog everyday as part of my creative practice–you know, like going to the gym or something. That was in 2009 and I haven’t looked back since.
decor8: What else do you do for work outside of blogging?
JB: People hire me as a creative consultant–that can mean anything from decorating and styling to art-directing, shopping and branding. Sometimes I get paid to craft pretty stuff out of crazy materials, and curate art works and wares–which is pretty great too. Basically, if it’s creative, fun and fresh, chances are, I’m down to work on it! I’m pretty nerdy so I geek out a lot with graphics and stuff, but the hands-on stuff is what I find the most fun.
decor8: How many daily readers do you have on your blog?
JB: Give or take 4,000 readers a day and growing more and more every month!
decor8: Do you find that Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter helps you reach people beyond the blog?
JB: I use Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram pretty religiously. I have met so many incredible people through social media–people that came to my wedding, that came to meet my daughter in the first days of her life–people that I hope will continue to be a part of my life for years to come. I get so much from it. I’m reaching a lot of people–and a lot of people are reaching me, too! (I use facebook for family and old-school friends, mostly.)
decor8: How do you grow your blog?
JB: I try lots of different things out on my blog–and I’m not a very regimented person, so my blog is not very regimented either (besides that I post something at least five days a week.) After I try something new, I use analytics to see which features are the most popular and I do more of that until I get bored—then I switch it up. I do my best to present an honest picture of who I am and I think (and hope!) my candor and sense of humor resonate with people, and when people genuinely like something, or find something inspiring, they tend to share it. Personal posts are very popular on my blog, as are my DIY posts. My large audience on Pinterest has also helped grow my blog. Collaborations with other designers and bloggers, for example my “Like She Said” series, is another way I grow my audience.
decor8: Do you have any other website or social network where you are also talking about design?
JB: I have been lucky enough to have contributed to quite a few sites around the web — from West Elm, to Martha Stewart and many others in between. I also have guest curated for a number of sites on Pinterest including Etsy and 1st Dibs. I can also be found on Houzz and Luvocracy, Tumblr and on Skillshare, as well. (Yikes! I’m kind of a social media whore. Hahaha!)
decor8: There are lots of amazing design bloggers where you live… Do you meet up regularly to connect or share blogging tips?
JB: Good question. I am very lucky to live in a place so packed with so many talented bloggers and designers. I do have quite a few blogger friends that I love hanging out with: Dabito from Old Brand New, Jessica Comingore, Satsuki Shibuya, Bonnie Tsang, Victoria Vu, Jon Lo, Joy Cho—to name a few — but mostly when we hang we end up talking about a million other things besides sharing blogging tips! Joy was enormously helpful and supportive throughout my pregnancy and still is a great friend to get mommy tips from. Bonnie and I end up talking about food all of the time… and Dabito and I always end up doing impromptu photo shoots when we hang — it’s hilarious. I had lunch with Emily Henderson and met her for the first time a couple of months ago and she’s a firecracker — I just adore her.
decor8: Is there someone else that helps you with your blog, or only you?
JB: Right now I’m pretty much a one woman show, besides my enormously talented friend, Caitlin Levin, who sometimes pops by to share her simple and delicious recipes with us.
decor8: What are your favorite topics to blog?
I like to switch it up a lot, but topics that are thought provoking or even kinda hard to talk about are fun to me. I love hearing what my readers think about, say, body issues, lack of cultural diversity represented in the design-blog universe and breast-feeding. I also love to share new ways of looking at things, whether it’s an upcycled object, turning instagram photos into imaginary wallpaper or transforming a Enoki mushroom into a pendant lamp — I have fun getting deep, kooky and being unpredictable! Oh, and I LOVE plants!
decor8: What can people really learn from bloggers that they can’t get from a magazine?
JB: I love that I can be TOTALLY real on my blog. And I am. I write what I want—when I want. I think that this is so important because in mass media and culture articles and editorials pass through so many eye balls, so much editing and so much pressure from publishers and advertisers. Because of this, I think that at times the soul can get sucked from the stories. Fashion magazines time and time again share the same, trite, old, standards of beauty — I’m REALLY sick of that. On my blog I can take the status quo and turn it upside down and give a voice to a minority (be it curvy ladies, people of color, people in underserved communitires…etc.) without worrying (or caring) if I’m alienating a large demographic. Often times, I think that people read through magazines and by the time they’re through they dislike themselves and their lives more than when they opened the magazine—because they are not thin enough, not rich enough, not interesting enough…I hope that on my blog, readers leave feeling inspired, empowered and like they love themselves a bit more than when they first landed in my Jungalow.
decor8: How do you define great personal style?
JB: To me, great style is confident, bold and unapologetic. It’s surprising, thought provoking and groundbreaking — it’s the authentic manifestation on the outside, of what’s happening on the inside.
decor8: Name some creative people who really inspire you…
JB: I’m inspired so much by people who are skilled craftspeople along with having a great eye and a unique perspective. This month, I’m crushing on Ariele Alasko of Brooklyn to West, Adam Pogue and Todd Selby also does it for me pretty much every time.
decor8: You use a lot of bold color in your posts – why is color in the home important to you?
JB: Color invigorates me. It really sets the tone in a space. I believe that color has an effect on people’s moods and can make you feel clean and fresh, or alive, or tired or cheerful or uneasy…it’s so important to get the color right because of the profound effect that it can have on quality of life.
decor8: What are some current trends that you really love?
JB: I love what I love and it doesn’t change so much with the trends. My style is pretty consistent regardless of what’s trending… But if I had to name a few things that I love and also happen to be kinda all over the place right now, I’d say brass finishes, Moroccan rugs, kilim pillows and textile arts, especially macramé.
decor8: What are some trends that really annoy you?
JB: Is it OK to say that all trends annoy me? Haha. No, but seriously, it annoys me when living things become trendy — like a certain kind of dog. Somehow the word trend to me connotes a disposable culture and that is bothersome when speaking of inanimate objects, but down right wrong when speaking of living things.
5 Quick Q’s:
decor8: Favorite color combination right now?
JB: Kelly Green and Brass
decor8: Favorite room to decorate?
JB: It changes all of the time, but right now my baby daughter’s room
decor8: Accessory that must be present at all times?
JB: My iphone! (is that what you meant?) if you mean home stuff—than PLANTS!
decor8: On your playlist you’re listening to…
JB: Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Zap Mama, Fleetwood Mac.
decor8: Stores that you love online?
JB: Plumo, Furbish Studio, ethanollie, Totokaelo.
decor8: What is your ultimate career goal – where would you love to be in 5 years?
JB: Let me confess first that I am a VERY ambitious person, probably almost to the point of being a little nuts, but that having been said…. I look at Jonathan Adler’s amazing career (of potter, designer, author, and personality with a home furnishing collection and boutiques) and I think to myself… THAT is where I want to be with my stuff (but it may take more like ten years!) ha! If, in five years though, I am still able to support myself and my family, work from home and collaborate with other inspiring creatives, blog and continue consulting, I won’t complain.
Justina thank you for hanging out with me today on decor8! So happy to have you and enjoy the weekend!
Readers if you have ANY questions for our lovely friend, Justina, please ask in the comments section below.
(images: styling- justina blakeney)
Hello everyone, it’s me Holly and I thought I’d pop in for a moment to say hello! I hope you have been enjoying the sweet posts left by some of my contributing guests – it’s been lovely having them. Tomorrow I’ll welcome yet another to inspire you – a stylist living in LA. But first, I thought I’d check in to see how you are, what you’ve been up to lately, etc. I also thought I’d show you a few things that I’ve been loving this week. Twelve to be exact!
1. The new FABRIKÖR cabinet available in green, cream or black from IKEA. This is a must-buy, I have to pick up one for my entryway to display some of my Rosenthal vases.
2. Arne Jacobsen cups – I just bought four with my own letters – what would you spell? The temp+files thought SLOW was a good thing to spell. I agree!
3. A wood table like this one found in a Scandinavian online mag – which I cannot find now to properly link to it (please help me if you know!). I’m thinking to ask a designer here in Hannover to make it for me since I know she would do a great job on something similar. Just a little wider and no shelf. But chunky and thick. I’m in love.
4. Seems like everyone is into Astier de Villatte ceramics all of a sudden. I wonder why? Do you ever wonder that stuff too, like what happens when stuff you’ve known about for years suddenly is all over the place? We photographed vignettes that I styled in their Paris shop in Feb 2012 for my book, Decorate Workshop, which was quite an honor! I walked away with loot too that I love.
5. I’m cRaZy in love with Scandi food blogger, Call Me Cupcake. Look at the cakes she bakes! Oh la la!
6. I want these Folklore window decals from Haijke sooooo much. I have plans. When I order them and stick them up, I’ll share on decor8 for sure.
7. A simple necklace how-to from Tina at Travelling Mama inspired me so much. I want to go back to the craft store to shop for big beads now! I also LOVE her hot pink needle, I have to be on the look out for one of those!
8. Very pale, simple wallpaper like this found on Pinterest first by Wimke Tolsma.
9. Speaking of walls, I also love this pop of peach from Hannas Room. So creative and simple!
10. And I’ve been just a tad bit into (okay more like massive overload obsessed) with the French Carnets Parisians blog lately. Oh it’s wonderful there… H E A V E N L Y.
11. Oh and Carnets Parisians has an etsy shop too called Asleep From Day. Swoon.
See you tomorrow – hope you are having a great week! xo
(images linked to their sources above.)
Hello decor8 readers! I’m Raina Kattelson from A Stylist’s Life visiting you today with part two of a mini series that Megan Camp and I pulled together for decor8 (her part one is here) while we were out shopping at Brimfield this month. I’m a NY-based stylist who has worked most recently with Anthology magazine, Country Living magazine and for designer Thom Filicia. I thought I’d share some of my personal highlights from Brimfield this year along with some tips of my own, so let’s get started!
Brimfield Antique Show & Flea Market is a stylist’s playground with acres and acres of super cool treasures. And since my idea of a perfect day is to get up before sunrise and spend hours walking around searching for potential props for shoots, and lugging them home that’s where I happily headed this month. Most years I spend several days there but this time around could only spend one day – which is hardly enough to see 1/4 of what’s there…agony!
So in the early dawn light I happened upon a booth calling to me with pottery in my favorite blues and greens. I scored a rectangular Italian blue vase decorated with charming flowers and an interesting glaze. I also added to my collection of Dansk cookware with a casserole dish in the most perfect shade of turquoise. The quirky chartreuse warming dish kept calling me so I couldn’t resist. It’s often the strange things that I wonder why I bought that become my most favorite props!
I usually go to a market with some sort of rough wish list, which of course means I won’t find any of it – that’s a flea market curse. This time I was looking for a sideboard, marble sink, and bathroom mirrors for our new house, so zippo. Instead I found a groovy mid century hand made tile top bench/coffee table, which I have absolutely no use for but LOVE! The best part is the secret compartment at the bottom with extra tiles. It will happily find a home somewhere in my house. I also found my dream chair a Bruno Mathsson “Eva” chair with leather straps in great shape, that alone made the whole day worth it.
After wandering the fields to the point of total exhaustion I can’t say I saw too many new trends this year. Industrial, taxidermy and horns, signage and shabby chic seem to be sticking around. I saw a lot of brass and lucite, including a table that was reminiscent of a table in Celerie Kemble’s new line. Worn leather sports equipment was in quite a few booths, though some of the larger pieces are best left as props.
I’ve been shopping flea markets since I was a kid and for years as a pro so here’s some super important tips so you can score the best pieces and not find yourself an exhausted puddle on the ground. Here are my 7 top tips:
1. Arrive early, I know everyone says it.. But it’s true! I hate getting up early, but for a flea 6am on the fields is the time to find the best pieces.
2. A list is good even if you don’t ever find them it’s easy to forget that you needed a new coffee table and quickly blow your money on yet another chair you don’t need. If you don’t believe me check out my basement – it’s filled with chairs!
3. Shop for larger pieces first (like furniture) – they go quickly.
4. If I see a piece I like but am not sure, I ask the price, take the booth number down and walk away. If it’s still calling to me a little while later I go back and get it. But if you really love it, jump on it right away. There’s nothing worse then going back and seeing your beloved piece with a sold sticker on it. And do write the booth info, no matter how much you think you will remember – you don’t. I have wasted precious shopping time trying to remember where something I now desperately wanted was.
5. Bring lot’s of cash and in small bills! It’s easier to haggle and then hand the dealer a small bill rather then whip out a $100 for a $10 item.
6. Look for shape – you can always repaint, refinish, reupholster.
7. Important things to bring: Cash, water, snacks – flea food usually stinks unless you are at the Brooklyn flea or Paris where the crepe truck is fab. Sunscreen, bags, bubble wrap and packing blankets are always in my trunk. There’s nothing worse then getting your piece home and finding it broken.
I hope that you have enjoyed my flea market tips! It was nice to be a guest on decor8 – thank you for having me Holly! If you missed Part One, click here.
(images/text: raina kattelson)