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CAMP

With parents planning which summer camp they’ll send their kids to this season, have you ever wished you could take your very own summer camp? I definitely have been dreaming about going away on a creative adventure – where I could maybe teach one day and be the student on other days. And speaking of camps, I must comment that I’ve seen CAMP-related photos pinned on Pinterest numerous times lately which sparked my curiosity… because CAMP all in caps seemed to be more than just a random summer camp, but a business, so I began to wonder, “What is this CAMP thing?”.

CAMP

There are many new businesses popping up left and right so I never know which ones will stick around (or not). But CAMP seems really different because it’s got the right people behind it, it’s unique, it’s beautiful and it feels like a business that has real staying power. And while everyone and their sister is teaching a workshop these days (Am I right?!? Huge blogger trend!), when teachers who have experience in their trade, know how to actually teach (key) without boring their class to death, and who fill their students with knowledge, hope and joy – well, there is never too much of that to go around.

What is CAMP exactly? CAMP stands for Creating Art, Meaning, Purpose (love that) and is a fresh, new company based primarily in Atlanta, Georgia launched in 2012 by stylist Ginny Branch along with her creative companions Amy Osaba, Erica Loesing, Maria Taylor, and Max LeBlanc. CAMP seeks to help students to develop their creative intuition and to cultivate their individual aesthetics. They teach everything from tabletop photography to styling, floral arranging for entertaining, upholstery how-to, bridal makeup, business basics and more. They develop new classes, retreats and workshops regularly, so it’s best to check out their website often to see what they’re up to – you can see classes that will run from now until August here.

CAMP

I think that it is a fantastic business idea to collaborate like this and do classes locally and I love the idea that they’re all working together towards something special and meaningful to them and their students. I enjoyed a post over on 100 Layer Cake recently about a summer event CAMP held, what a stunning post that was, so make sure to check it out here.

CAMP

CAMP

CAMP

CAMP

CAMP

CAMP

CAMP

Congratulations Ginny, Amy, Erica, Maria and Max. Gorgeous concept and lovely classes. I wish you nothing but the best.

Has anyone taken a CAMP class before? Or another in-person workshop? What did you think overall?

(images: CAMP)

Posted in inspiration on June 28, 2013

Thoughts On Mindful Living at Home

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about serenity, peace, simplicity and uncomplicated, mindful living. As much as I crave those things in my own life, I can never seem to get to that “place” because I am constantly seeking new territories and adventures; it’s very hard for me to sit still. My mind is constantly onto the next thing. Can you relate?

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via beeldsteil

I am fueled by others, fueled by my own mind and constantly fueled by imagery online. Yet, through all of the colors, sounds, shapes and the drive I have to do more, I still go back to serenity, peace, simplicity and uncomplicated living. And I still love blogs that give me this feeling of being mentally clutter-free.  So I’ve been thinking lately – how can I get these things that I desire so much, despite how big my life is? How can someone who can’t sit still have space enough to think, breath, reflect and enjoy the moment? My friend is a mindful living coach and has consistently been trying to help me to learn how to really get into the moment. I’ve tried so many times to listen to her wisdom, apply her practicies and breath in… breath out… Yet I am an unstoppable force. What can be done?

Thoughts On Mindful Living at Home photo home1.jpg

via woon blog

Recently my husband said something that made me think. He said, “What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?”, the classic irresistible force paradox. I thought about it and my conclusion was that one had to give up, or destroy, the other. I see this in society a lot lately. One person has an immovable opinion and the other, an unstoppable opinion – in other words – both feel strongly about their beliefs and neither will stop until they overtake the other or covert them totally.

So I asked my husband, “Ok, so what should happen when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?”. His answer was completely opposite of mine. I wondered if it was because I am American and as a culture, we tend to be right or wrong, left or right, black or white. I notice in Europe there is a lot more gray, and not just in the weather! His answer was much less threatening. It made sense. It actually warmed my heart and made me feel quite eager to explore this topic, this classic paradox, even further. He said,

“It’s simple: when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object, they surrender.” He also said that you need to know when you need to be unstoppable and when you need to be immovable, within reason.

What a beautiful statement. Isn’t it? So I then applied it to me and my need for serenity, peace, simplicity and uncomplicated living when I am, by nature, such an unstoppable force. I simply need to surrender. I simply need to cease resistance and just go with the flow. I need to respect the need I have to run fast yet feel at peace and live slow. But how?

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via jeltje fotografie

I thought more about this for days and days and I then I thought to take out my recent book, Decorate Workshop, and I went through my own words line by line. I don’t know how many authors out there read their own books months after they’ve been published, but I do. I am a big believer in, “Practicing what you preach”, so this was my way of doing just that. As I read, I started to think more about my home, my personal style, my systems of organization (and lack of), my “clutter” problems around the house and after some time my own book made me realize that this was exactly how I could have the simple life I crave while still being me.

I need to redecorate.

I need to view my home in a fresh, new, uncomplicated way. I need to scale back, sell things, move things around, and get rid of things that I simply don’t use because I may use them “someday”. I need to reconsider my color palette. I need to think about the floor plan, the flow, the focal points. As I started to think more about my home and how I live in it, I started to see why I’m often stressed at home. I have, for my personality anyway, too much visual clutter. Too many “stories” going on around me with my objects. I am easily distracted anyway so I certainly don’t need help with my wandering mind. Do I really need magazines that are 8 years old? Do I really need design books that I don’t even feel a connection to? Do I need to keep all of the sewing books that I own because I never use them anyway? As for my clothing and shoes, that’s a completely different area of concern altogether. Do I still need size 7/8 jeans because I’m not a size 8 anymore and once I am again, will I really want THOSE jeans anyway because aren’t “mom jeans” with zippers at the ankles terribly outdated anyway?

Thoughts On Mindful Living at Home photo home2.jpg

via behance

And so I’ve been thinking about SO much over the past few weeks and I wanted to share these thoughts with you. I’m going to work on my home this summer, scale back on stuff I don’t need, I’m even thinking to throw a sale in my home (by invitation only) to sell the many gorgeous things that I have that I no longer need. This is the one part of my life that I can simplify – my home/work environment. I’m confident that once I do, then I’ll feel more balance and peace. Your home is so integral to professional and personal growth. I wish more people believed in this fact.

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via: aya goa

Do you have any thoughts to add on this topic? I’d love for you to chime in! I find your comments so encouraging. And please, visit all of the links below the lovely photography above – they are all people and sites whom I admire deeply and find much inspiration from.

Have a lovely weekend! – Holly xo

Posted in real talk on June 28, 2013

Vividgrey: Brand Launch!

I was sent a press release this morning from a the founder of a new European brand called Vividgrey who manufactures, “Modern heirloom furnishings for a home shared between children and grown-ups. The brand encapsules the diversity held within its name, balancing the imagination and vividness of children with a refined, sophisticated adult world.” Sabine Fajana seems so passionate about her business and I find her collection to be so unique and stunning that this was one press release I devoured. Handcrafted textiles, lighting and other furnishings are made-to-order from her workshop in Vienna. I’m drooling… Just look at these gorgeous things. And so sophisticated, yet simple. But first, here is a peek at her workshop.

Vividgrey: Brand Launch!

Vividgrey: Brand Launch!

Quilts and lighting – so pretty.

Vividgrey: Brand Launch!

Linen bedding with tiny keys.

Vividgrey: Brand Launch!

Mobiles with a gorgeous sheen.

Vividgrey: Brand Launch!

Vividgrey: Brand Launch!

Spiderweb linen curtains.

Vividgrey: Brand Launch!

Vividgrey: Brand Launch!

Fringe pillows. I’d love a stack of these on the floor in my living room.

Vividgrey: Brand Launch!

Linen bedding with tiny heart accents. I wish these were available as curtains!

Vividgrey: Brand Launch!

Vividgrey: Brand Launch!

Leaf rugs that you can opt to also use as a kid’s blanket.

Vividgrey: Brand Launch!

Vividgrey: Brand Launch!

Wooden boards for organizing the kid’s room.

Vividgrey: Brand Launch!

Lighting with a frog inside (on the bottom) that you can see when the light is on.

Vividgrey: Brand Launch!

About Vividgrey, “Vividgrey exclusively uses local or organic materials sourced through certified fair trade suppliers and all fabrics are dyed, customized and screen-printed on the premises. The brand is the ‘second child’ of the Interior Architect and Designer Sabine Fajana. It evolved from working with prestigeous luxury brands while being the mother of a small son, Raven. Both experiences lead her to develop an authentic brand that manufactures precious furnishings of longevity through aesthetics that connect with grown-ups and children alike. The careful selection of contrasting textures is at the heart of the collection – curtains made of coarse linen voile are refined with the subtle complexity of a cobweb, super soft bamboo quilts are wadded with thick natural cotton and embellished with little leather hearts. This balance between raw and refined materials is found throughout the collection.”

To learn more about this line or to stock it in your store, please contact Sabine: studio [at] vividgrey [dot] co

CONGRATS on your new company, Sabine – it’s wonderful! I hope personally that you expand on your curtain collection because it’s so hard here in Europe to find curtains that are large enough (length-wise) for my altbau windows!

(images: sabine fajana)

Posted in design on June 27, 2013

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

Hello everyone, this is Emilie, I usually write Playing With Food for decor8 but this time, I’m doing something a little different for you. Last week, Holly was invited to Copenhagen because Muuto presented their latest collection. She wasn’t able to attend so she sent me as her reporter instead and so I’m here to give you my report. Located on the top floor (under the roof) of a beautiful building in the heart of Copenhagen, Muuto is both a showroom and office space where their team works. It’s paradise!

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

For one day, I was given the opportunity to explore this creative brand and its spirit. Founded in 2006 by Peter Bonnén and Kristian Byrge, they are now a team of 35 people working at this location shown in central Copenhagen (but with many more virtual teammates!). But Muuto, what is it? Muuto is primarily a Nordic and Scandinavian brand that designs and manufactures furniture, lighting and other small objects with a single mindset: GOOD DESIGN. Their main material is wood. Tables, chairs, new vessels (which consist of a piece of wood and glass), wall dots … Wood is the center of their creativity.

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

Despite a range of recognizable color, Muuto is not fixed and allows for creativity to each designer to offer new colors, shapes, objects. It’s a real creative and collaborative work environment, an exchange. The mantra of Muuto is: Be pro active in the design process and work in excellent conditions for successful collaborations.

Kristian and Pete, the founders, were not at all predestined to work in design. Training “commercial” (strategic management for Kristian and Economics for Pete) the field of a creative was not initially in the program. But their passion for architecture, supplies, design, brought them to work with designers and to develop Muuto. In fact, they knew immediately that they enjoyed to be surrounded by creative minds and designers. Their focus? Working with only Scandinavian designers to keep the spirit of the brand. All products are not exactly from the same place either, they know how to use the skills of each Scandinavian country to choose the best products for their line.

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

muMy Visit To Muuto in Copenhagenuto-37

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

Their inspiration? To become THE “new” design in Scandinavian. I’d say they are already a success! The Scandinavian design very popular 50-60 years begins to turn forward to give way to this new generation. Muuto philosophy could be summed up by their democratic design. Their furniture design often designated by three creations around the same ideas: basic, elaborate, inventive. Kristian said that it’s much like your wardrobe — you still need basic black jeans and a white tee shirt, then one more elaborate unique piece. It is the same with the Muuto collection!

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

Currently being sold in over 100 stores globally, Muuto extends its notoriety worldwide. What are their bestsellers? The dots coat hooks, available in 10 colors…

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

The E27 lights… Available in 11 colors!

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

The studio pendant lamp, available in 5 colors.

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

And the Around table available in 2 different sizes and 6 different colors/finishes.

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

What’s new? This incredible chair in gray, natural and black…

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

… And these vessels designed by Thomas Bentzen.

My Visit To Muuto in Copenhagen

Thank you Muuto (and Holly!) for giving me a lovely trip to Copenhagen to explore this collection and for the extra “free” day that I had to explore your beautiful city. What do you think about Mutto? Do you own any of their pieces? - Emilie

(images/text: emilie gupta)

Posted in design on June 26, 2013

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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