Monthly Archives

November 2013

Arts + Crafts

Colorful Artwork of Ana Montiel

November 12, 2013

The artwork of London-based, Spanish visual artist and designer Ana Montiel takes me to a happy place today. The first two works were part of a show at the Pop up Galerie recently in Paris. Artists were invited to choose an album cover and revisit it for the show. Ana combines her passion for flowers with a favorite album, New Order’s iconic “Power Corruption and Lies”. About this project she says, “I love the album, the original Fantin-Latour still life and the Peter Saville album design. I originally made the drawing with watercolour and sumi-e ink to then translate it to a 3 ink composition ready to be screen printed.” The album is shown below the first two paintings below. Lovely, right? By the way, I know we’re heading into Christmas but I’m really into yellows and greens lately. Crazy!

Colorful Artwork of Ana Montiel

Colorful Artwork of Ana Montiel

Colorful Artwork of Ana Montiel

I really like seeing work like this because I’m a music lover and actually miss the care that I feel once went into album covers. It seems thoughtful covers are a dying art these days, at least in mainstream music. In fact, the last more mainstream album art that I got excited about was Keane’s, “Under the Iron Sea“. I must confess though, my ultimate favorite record cover was from The Smiths, This Charming Man, which I have framed on my wall at home. I love the image showing Jean Marais from Cocteau’s film Orpheus.

Below you can see more stunning watercolors by Ana for the ultimate eye candy escape today. You can also learn more about Ana here (I love her bangs!) and watch this charming video about her life and work. What an interesting woman! I especially enjoyed seeing her paint and hearing her thoughts about, “Living in the NOW”, which I feel are so important. Some of her clients include Anthropologie, Carolina Herrera, Jo Malone, Nina Ricci and Rolling Stone Magazine to name a few.

Colorful Artwork of Ana Montiel

Colorful Artwork of Ana Montiel

Colorful Artwork of Ana Montiel

Colorful Artwork of Ana Montiel

Colorful Artwork of Ana Montiel

Colorful Artwork of Ana Montiel

Colorful Artwork of Ana Montiel

Lucky for us, she has an online shop where you can purchase lots of these paintings as prints to frame. Aren’t these pretty?

By the way, do you have a favorite album cover? I’d love to know more!

(images: Ana Montiel)






Inspiration

Currently Crushing On…

November 11, 2013

Good morning everyone and welcome to another week of inspiration and joy! I thought I’d round up a few interiors and notes from my style files lately so you can see what I’m inspired by at the moment. Some things are rather random and have more to do with non-decor stuff, which may seem funny but so many of these ideas generally cross over to interiors eventually for me. Perhaps a few of my notes will inspire your next decorating project! While looking through my notes below, you simply must listen to this mega sweet song, “Subtle (feat. Mikky Ekko)” from Active Child.

Currently Crushing On...

A yellow framed window – love! By stylist Tina Hellberg who is represented by Söderberg Agentur.

Currently Crushing On...

Okay, another one from Mokkasin but I can’t help myself, this over-scale floral wallpaper by Mr Perswall that she installed on a single wall in her home BLEW MY MIND.

Currently Crushing On...

Push Pop confetti from Umba. Just because. And for New Year’s from my new balcony! Also, the colors make me happy. Imagine filling a present with confetti mixed in with tissue paper. What a treat for the recipient!

Currently Crushing On...

Always will be inspired by big, gorgeous shelves filled with kitchen things. This is from a favorite blogger of mine, Mokkasin.

Currently Crushing On...

I also LOVE the color palette in this moody floral shot taken by Mokkasin. Such a great palette for a room, don’t you think?

Currently Crushing On...

Pale green walls above staircase, floral wallpaper below. Yum. (Lovely Life)

Currently Crushing On...

Black countertops, mint tiles. (Lovely Life)

Currently Crushing On...

Multiple strips of wallpaper – fab! (Lovely Life)

Currently Crushing On...

This home (4 images above) in Sweden from Lovely Life. Oh my, a bevy of decor ideas. Love the green doors and this gorgeous geometric tilework.

Currently Crushing On...

I really like the home of my friend, Berit, from Snug Studio, who is a new mom and has the sweetest apartment nearby to me. I like this pendant that she created and hung above her dining room table.

Currently Crushing On...

I love this gray/brown script in this Home Beautiful Australia article snapped by the Sweet Style blog. Not only does it look so warm and inviting this time of year for a magazine spread, but it’s also a paint color I imagine to be quite gorgeous on my living room wall!

Currently Crushing On...

Wooden walls, a running shelf around a room (love) and copper pendants as seen in Elle Dekoration DK, shot by Line Klein. Stylist : Mille Collin Flaherty. Home of Tanja Vibe.

Currently Crushing On...

Working by a window (what my goal is for my next apartment – I’ll show you once I move in). Seen in Elle Dekoration DK, shot by Line Klein. Stylist : Mille Collin Flaherty. Home of Tanja Vibe.

Currently Crushing On...

I know every blogger has one, but I still want a Moroccan Beni Ouarain rug like this. I wish I had taken a vintage one home with me when I was in Marrakesh visiting Maryam back a few years ago – I came THISCLOSE too. Ugh. Photo: House & Hold.

Currently Crushing On...

Fresh flowers. I can’t get enough. Beautiful mix shown above by Willow & Jade.

Currently Crushing On...

Half painted walls by VTWonen.

Currently Crushing On...

And more partially painted walls from Farrow & Ball. Only this time, from the top down. Love the green door, too.

What’s inspiring you at the moment?

(image sources appear directly under photos shown above.)






uncategorized

Old Furniture, New Life

November 10, 2013

I was so happy when I came across a lovely article in Boston Magazine today featuring the New Hampshire summer home of my friend and interior designer, Fernanda Bourlet, from Simplemente Blanco. You have to click here to read and see the many photos of her white-washed interiors, but a favorite photo had to be shared below… And in a moment I’ll tell you why I love it so much.

Old Furniture, New Life

Why I love it: Okay, aside from the fact that it’s white and I love a few white pieces of wooden furniture in my home… I really like that the piece is old and was painted to give it a fresh, new life. I imagine it was once very dark brown and for me, it wouldn’t be the same piece and would look a bit granny in brown. But in white, it looks current and fresh and fits perfectly in Fernanda’s country farmhouse. I like the combination of both straight and curvy lines along with the glass front so one can show off prized treasures inside… The rugged leather suitcase on top and the dainty vintage lamp top it off so nicely – understated yet charming. And the birch in the corner, how lovely is that? Here’s another great example from Fernanda’s home…

Old Furniture, New Life

I know lots of people see cabinets painted white and right away think Shabby Chic or Country Style but I look at them and think of how unique these pieces can become when given a few coats of paint. For instance, imagine this in glossy black? Or lacquered canary yellow? Maybe a matte gray? There are so many options, you could even wallpaper the interior of the glass cabinet for a little ka-pow! While I wouldn’t paint a prized antique – most of the stuff I see that’s been painted and/or restored genuinely needed love and new paint saved them from abandonment in the attic.

Now that I’m moving, all I can think about is changing up my interiors, painting walls and furniture, and making everything more interesting. I badly needed to freshen my space and purge of stuff I’d grown tired of so moving gives me the perfect chance to do precisely that. And though I sprained my ankle last night (great timing, right?) and will be limping around for 6-8 weeks, and my baby is due in 11 weeks, I’m surprisingly optimistic and excited about this move. The wood flooring will be installed this week – so things are moving along. I honestly can’t wait – I keep going upstairs (we have the keys now) to look around and measure and just BE in the space so it slowly becomes more familiar to me. It’s such a luxury to have this property while we still live two floors down – so we have several weeks to get everything together. With winter coming, and the Christmas markets beginning here November 25th, I have to stick to my spreadsheet and keep ticking things off because it’s so easy to get distracted by the holidays and the many fests here. And my mom will be visiting for a few months after our son is born, so I also have to prep the guest bedroom for her! Busy times people. Let’s hope I can manage all of this!

Do you have a piece of furniture that you’ve painted and given new life too? Please share a photo and tell us what you did in the comments section below. I’d love to peek!

(images: Nat Rea for boston magazine)






Objects

Happy Lamps by Retro Print Revival

November 10, 2013

Mamma Mia! I came across these lamps and I’m smitten by their serious retro throwback – fun and funky! Such total sweetness from Retro Print Revival today. On this gray, overcast Autumn day all I can say is that accessories in the home with punch, like these lamps, are certainly needed to bring in a little cheer – don’t you think? The first shown below is my fave, but I love the one with the stars, too.

Happy Lamps by Retro Print Revival

Happy Lamps by Retro Print Revival

Happy Lamps by Retro Print Revival

Happy Lamps by Retro Print Revival

Happy Lamps by Retro Print Revival

Are you as obsessed with lamps (and chairs) as I am? I am thinking to buy a few new pendants when I move next month so I’ve been scouting for something unique and eye-catching. There are so many choices. So I think I’ll have to keep pinning to my Lighting Pinboard on Pinterest to help me narrow down my selections. I’m usually Pinterest for that a lot more these days – for shopping! But before lighting is seriously considered, I have to select paint and wallpaper for the new apartment. But then most definitely, pendants are next on the ever-growing renovation and move to-do list…

Hope you’re having a great weekend so far!

(images: retro print revival)






Interviews, Shop Tours

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7

November 8, 2013

Hi again! Next, I want to share this incredible homewares shop called Shelter 7 that I found through Tara Pearce, a brilliant photographer who wrote in earlier this week about Shelter 7, since she recently shot it and hoped I’d be open to sharing it on decor8. Of course, I said YES!

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7
Styled by Sami Johnson, this shop shoot came out so nice! I thought though that I’d go above and beyond sharing her amazing visuals and so I made contact with the shop owners to learn more about who they are and what they do. I’ve included my interview the Shelter 7 founders, husband and wife team Rebecca and Terry Meyer, below.

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7

 

For a jumbo-sized view of the above image, click here.

First of all, where are you located?
S7: We’re at 131 Ryrie Street, Geelong, Victoria Australia

How did you come up with the name Shelter 7?
S7: The name took a long time to come up with. We wanted an original name to capture the essence of where we live, so we went back to basics and came up with Shelter 7.

Can you tell us about your shop – the inspiration behind it?
S7: The shop is very much an extensions of mine and my husband’s love of unique and inspirational pieces. A combination of travel and vintage pieces sourced across the globe and some unique and very clever Australian designers.

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7

 

For a jumbo-sized view of the above image, click here.

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7

Describe your style in a few words:
S7: A combination of old, new, unique and well designed.

What are some popular brands in your shop?
S7: Pony Rider, Kip & Co, and La De Dah Kids for children’s toys.

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7

 

For a jumbo-sized view of the above image, click here.

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7

 

For a jumbo-sized view of the above image, click here.

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7

Tell us about La De Dah Kids because I heard that this is also your company. What do you design?
S7: La De Dah Kids is our toy and kids accessories brand and our own unique designs. We design two ranges a year with the aim to design quirky and unusual pieces, with an ever-present emphasis on both affordability and quality. For our niche product range, we use old school making techniques such as knitting and crocheting. Our products are all made from the finest 100% cotton yarn and produced ethically in the comfort of our producers homes enabling them to work around their family needs such as child care etc. Our La De Dah Kids products are not only our own unique designs but are also made with love. They are tailored towards both children and the child at heart, lovers of the quirky and unusual, and anyone who reaches out to the amazing world with imagination, wonder and creativity.

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7

The bicycle print over the stairs – can you tell us more about that?
S7: This is created by Australian designers Pony Rider. They create versatile and inspiring pieces that look great thrown across your sofa, bed or hung as an artwork in the home.

Can you tell us about the shop space – it looks old and interesting. Did you have to renovate?
S7: The space had amazing light – but needed a huge amount of work to bring it back to life. It previously had been a costume shop for about 10 years. After a long 3 months of renovating and many late nights we found that we had uncovered the beauty and old character of the building. This gave our collection of sourced products the perfect home.

What challenges do you face as a shop owner?
S7: The work life balance is a big one and something that we have to constantly reassess.

How?
S7: We know that whilst the business is in it infantile stages this is difficult to overcome. So being aware of these problems and planning ahead the best we can.

What advice to do you have for others who want to launch a shop, whether online or brick and mortar?
S7: Ensure that you have a strong product line and strong and unique imagery that sets you apart from all your competitors.

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7

Can you tell us more about the candles with the rifles on them? I want one!
S7: These are amazing aren’t they? This is a beautiful boutique brand in Sydney called Pigeon and Weasel. Their Triple scented soy wax candles are hand poured here in Australia into recycled glass beer bottles that the two co-founders collect from there local drinking hole. The scents are beautiful.

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7
Can you tell us about the textiles on the hooks and the pillows? I’m in love!
S7: These are created by the very talented local Australian girls Kip & Co. They make the most beautiful bedlinen, towels and now rugs. Their designs are very unique and inspired by unique, wild, and brave art and nature, soaked up on their backpacking adventures around the globe.

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7
Who makes the big pillow shown above?
S7: Again this is another of the lovely Pony Riders designs. These cushions are perfect for lazing around on a slow sunday afternoon.

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7

Where do you source products for your store?
S7: We source products all over — from local designers here in Australia. We produce our own kids range and next year we will launch our adults line of homewares under the Shelter 7 brand.

Where do you go online for inspiration?
S7: Pinterest, photographers and decorating blogs are my biggest inspiration for the home.

Do you find blogs helpful in promoting your work and shop and if so, why?
S7: Blogs are very helpful in promoting our work on a global platform and also for finding shops. I know before I go on holidays I often research my favourite blogs for the “go-to” places and bloggers definitely do a great job of keeping us up to date on new and interesting places to visit.

Thank you so much, especially for sharing your gorgous shop and tips on new and inspiring products, with us today. Have a great weekend!

(images: tara pearce with permission)






Blogging

Blog Tip: About Page Photo Idea

November 8, 2013

I have a blogging tip that I think may help those of you looking to pretty up your About page on your blog while also keeping things comfortable from a privacy perspective. I am currently immersed in teaching my online class, Blogging Your Way, and my students are keeping me on my toes for sure! It’s amazing to me how C R E A T I V E my brain becomes when I’m surrounded by curious students – their questions challenge me and for this I am grateful. It’s so easy once you been doing something like blogging professionally for 8 years to stick with what you know.

Blog Tip: About Page Photo Idea

For instance, one student recently asked about online privacy. She wants people to see what she looks like but isn’t entirely comfortable posting her photo on her blogs’ About Page (bio). I totally get it. You may want to grow your readership and you know to do this, readers enjoy seeing you in some form – even if you’re not looking straight into the camera, because it helps build trust and credibility online. So, how do you maintain a bit of anonymity while still fostering an environment of trust if you’re going to show your photo – doesn’t that sorta blow it? One way, as I explained to her, is to work with an illustrator to create a fun sketch to show who you are without filling in all of the details. It could be watercolor, pencil, whatever… As long as it matches your blog template and overall vision. You are still sharing your identity but also, in a way, you’re not. And that can feel really good for some people and I respect that.

Blog Tip: About Page Photo Idea

Blog Tip: About Page Photo Idea

These examples are illustrations that are both affordable and not super-detailed that I think could work, by Todd Borka. Based in Lyon, France, he creates the sweetest custom portraits and ships worldwide so you can frame them, etc but also you can talk to him about obtaining a small digital file that you can use on your blog. In his Etsy shop, you can see the images each of his illos are based on which I also liked and helped me to see that though they are close matches, they’re not identical so most likely, your blog cover wouldn’t be blown since an illustrated version of you is not the same as the real deal.

What do you think, do you like this blog tip? Have you already done something similar that you’d like to share? If so, leave the link to your About page in the comments section so everyone can have a peek.

Happy Friday!

(images todd borka)






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