Monthly Archives

December 2013

Events + Markets

Wow! The Design Files Open House

December 23, 2013

Good morning friends! Can you believe it’s nearly Christmas? I feel like Autumn totally flew by, don’t you? Our baby boy will arrive in just five weeks (eeeeee!!!!) so I’m over-the-moon excited about it and busy prepping his room and getting massive butterflies as I think about how much we have to look forward to. I’m also in the midst of renovations on our new apartment, though I’m only overseeing things, but it’s still “work” and I’m happy to report that it’s nearly finished! We will move in 2 1/2 weeks! Yeah, wow is right. But all is well – the paint smell is gone, the new floors are installed (and gorgeous), and everything looks so fresh and pretty that the effort involved in sprucing has totally paid off. It’s a total clean slate. I can’t wait to move in and DECORATE! Yay! I will definitely share photos as I go with you, so expect to begin seeing those in January.

Wow! The Design Files Open House

And speaking of decorating, I simply must share the lovely event that recently occurred in Australia hosted by design blogger Lucy Feegins from The Design Files. She contacted me over the weekend offering me first dibs on this content and sharing it here on decor8 so I couldn’t turn her down. I’m super behind her amazing concept and love how she and her team convert an empty house into a pop-up showroom all in the name of design and promoting local talent in Australia. Items are sold, they have hundreds of visitors, and then the home is cleaned out and is returned to whomever owns the property. What a cool concept, right?

This year for the first time they held the event in Melbourne (Lucy’s home town) and then again in Sydney 2 weeks later. Normally she only does it in one location so this was quite an undertaking. You can see the inspiring TDF Open House 2013 Video here or simply watch it below. This video was shot, directed and edited by Jessica Leski.

And here are some more photos for you to drool over, taken by Brooke Holm, of the Melbourne open house event.

Wow! The Design Files Open House

Wow! The Design Files Open House

Wow! The Design Files Open House

Wow! The Design Files Open House

Wow! The Design Files Open House

 

I love all of the bold accent walls – especially the blue tones and that gorgeous watermelon-y color. Super pretty and so interesting to look at – the art by Melbourne artist Miranda Skoczek is amazing. I also love all of the colorful rugs and textiles, and the white wooden blinds in the bedroom shown above (I’m soooo into wooden shutters at the moment and want to install them in my bedroom, but these blinds are lovely too).

Isn’t this a lovely project? What do you think of the color palette and use of pattern? See any objects in particular that inspire you?

I’d like to wish you all a very lovely day! I’m going to finish up on some shopping, then it’s time to bake cookies and relax… Hope you make some time to relax, too.

AND a special thanks to Lucy for sharing this content with us today!

(images: brooke holm)

Home Tours

Home Tour: Scandi Style in a Dutch Cottage

December 20, 2013

Hello readers! Are you ready to tour a light and bright Scandinavian style Dutch cottage? It’s Holly Marder again and I am back with my Homes With Heart column. While many vacate their summer homes for the winter season, warm textures, endless light and understated Christmas touches make this petite residence the perfect winter escape for owners Nathalie Fransen and Bas van Egmond, and their three children.

Home Tour: Scandi Style in a Dutch Cottage (click to enlarge)

Interior designer Nathalie Fransen and co-owner of NU interieur | ontwerp, and architect Bas van Egmond purchased this 38 square meter vacation home late last year as a place for them to escape to the Dutch countryside on the weekends with their children. Once a brown, dark and dated interior, Nathalie and Bas spent the summer creating what is now a light, bright and welcoming space.

Home Tour: Scandi Style in a Dutch Cottage(click to enlarge)

Home Tour: Scandi Style in a Dutch Cottage
“We live in a really small apartment in Delft, the Netherlands. While we love our urban lives, we wanted to compensate it with a bit of nature,” Nathalie says. “We were really lucky to find this space. It was owned by an old couple who had lived here for 17 years. It was no doubt already dated 17 years ago, but they didn’t change a thing. You could feel that they really loved the space, as if it was some sort of treasure.”

Home Tour: Scandi Style in a Dutch Cottage(click to enlarge)
Home Tour: Scandi Style in a Dutch Cottage

Home Tour: Scandi Style in a Dutch Cottage

The first thing Bas and Nathalie did was coat the dark interior with white paint, replace the kitchen and bathroom and infuse it with their minimalistic sense of style. “We decided that painting it white would freshen it up, but would also make it look and feel a lot larger,” Nathalie explains.

Home Tour: Scandi Style in a Dutch Cottage
Home Tour: Scandi Style in a Dutch Cottage

White floors infuse the space with light but are also surprisingly low maintenance. “I want our kids to have the freedom to be children, but I really like neat spaces,” Nathalie explains. “Therefore, I seek solutions that can ensure the space can be tidied up easily after the kids are in bed, such as smart storage.” As a designer, Nathalie, with her business partner Tessa Weerdenburg, strives to offer the same combination of practicality and aesthetics to her clients.

Home Tour: Scandi Style in a Dutch Cottage

Home Tour: Scandi Style in a Dutch Cottage
Home Tour: Scandi Style in a Dutch Cottage
Home Tour: Scandi Style in a Dutch Cottage

Design classics and inexpensive Ikea products combine with a black, white and wood colour scheme, making for a charming Scandinavian style retreat for this family of five. “We love to combine old and new, sentimental items that have been handed down, with new pieces and also inexpensive items. We were lucky to inherit design pieces from Bas’s parents because they know we appreciate them.” The family escape to their cottage most weekends, and love to continue that tradition through the winter. And though they don’t make as much use of the garden as they do during the summer, they enjoy creating a warm and cozy cottage to enjoy when the temperatures drop.

Spot something that you love? Here are some of the items in Nathalie and Bas’s home: Lamp above dining table: Vintage Arne Jacobson AJ Royal Louis Poulsen lamp; Royal Shelving System: Poul Cadovius; Dining table and stools: Ikea; Sofa: Ikea Soderhamn; Coffee table: Montis Tor Table; Paper star; lanterns: Snug Studio; Paper lantern bags: Broste Copenhagen; Wooden bird: Architect Made; White vases: Snug Studio; Kitchen / storage: Ikea; Grey throw on bed: Zara Home; Graphic throw blanket on sofa: Hema; Cushions on sofa: Dille & Kamille (green); Marble cheese board: Lijns

I hope you enjoyed this fresh and festive cottage tour! Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and New Year, and I’ll see you back here next month with another Homes With Heart column. – Holly

(text/photos: holly marder)

Travel

Celebrating In Ireland

December 19, 2013

Hello friends! It’s Rincy again with a little post on the holiday season here in Dublin. I love this time of year, similar to spring, it feels as though there is a secret promise of a new beginning just around the corner. It can either be a frenzied blur of events or the slowest of periods and I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all had our fair share of both (takeout food and Friends re-runs, I’ve been there done that). But every now and again a funny thing happens in the midst of the chaos of presents, crowds or family politics, there is a moment of contentment. Bliss. Joy. Love. Gratitude. Ever so brief or all at once, it happens.

Celebrating In Ireland

Last week, we celebrated our friend Emily’s birthday in the midst of the holiday season. It was an evening full of collaborative efforts, DIY touches and a family whose love is incredibly palpable- it was beautiful to be a part of it. It was without a doubt, one of those moments.

Celebrating In Ireland

Celebrating In Ireland

Celebrating In Ireland

Celebrating In Ireland

Celebrating In Ireland

Celebrating In Ireland

Emily’s sweet take on the evenings events: “When I moved to Ireland just over five years ago, there were a lot of things that necessitated adjustment: driving on the other side of the road, not being able to buy anything in bulk at the grocery store, those kinds of things. What didn’t take any time at all to adjust to was how the Irish celebrate the Christmas season. They gather, they linger, they spend time around a table or a fireplace. They chat and they sing and time stands still for a few hours. On the day of the dinner party, I pulled my car over by the coast of Dublin Bay and trekked down to the water line. I pulled out a big old piece of driftwood and squeezed it into the back of the car. We suspended it above the table, and from it we hung the most beautiful geometric Christmas ornaments. Candles placed throughout the room twinkled and sparkled. We held hands around the table while my husband prayed grace over the meal. Then we ate, drank wine, shared stories and laughed. Time stopped for a few hours; there were no phones or work. We were right there, together, celebrating exactly the way I’ve learned to in my time in Dublin. Truly present, with nowhere else to be but right there.” – Emily

Celebrating In Ireland

Whatever way you choose to spend your holiday, I hope bliss, joy love and gratitude are a plenty. Wishing you a very happy holiday season from Ireland. – Rincy

(Styling: Ciara O’ Halloran, Flowers: Claire Ryan, Cake: Kate Packwood, Photography/text: Rincy Koshy)

Recipes

Pavé aux Chocolat Recipe

December 19, 2013

Looking to make Pavé aux Chocolat? Would you like an easy recipe for baking it this Christmas? It’s Jillian here with a special Christmas Delicious Bites post for you. When Holly asked me to come up with a simple Christmas dessert, I have to say I was stumped. In the Leiboff household, we’re nothing but traditionalists when it comes to our Christmas Day menu. Despite the 32°C heat outside, we always have roast turkey with all the trimmings for Christmas lunch followed by a traditional steamed plum pudding, well spiced and heavy with fruit and nuts. My work holds a Christmas lunch each year where we’re asked to bring along a dish to share. I’m sure it’s no surprise to you that I always bring along dessert so today I’m sharing with you a recipe for a favourite dessert of mine, a Pavé aux Chocolat.

Pavé aux Chocolat Recipe

It’s almost a family heirloom recipe because my Mum used to make a version of this when I was growing up, which she called Biscotten and it was one of her dinner party staples. Mum used to soak sponge fingers in a mixture of brandy and milk, layered them with a chocolate cream filling then covered the cake with whipped cream. I found this version in an English magazine long ago, wrote it out by hand and it’s been in my recipe box ever since. Pavé aux Chocolat is more about assembly than cooking so it’s easy to put together once the chocolate cream has been made. It’s not a last minute dessert though. You do need to make it the day before it’s served to allow all the flavours to develop and for the sponge fingers to soften. The sponge fingers are lightly soaked first and you might want to do a practice run on a few. Soak the sponge fingers for too long and they’ll be too soggy. Don’t soak them for long enough and they’re too crunchy.

The recipe is pretty flexible as well. I used rum but you could alter the flavour of alcohol used to soak the sponge fingers or skip it entirely. For an alcohol free version you could use some vanilla extract instead of the rum or you soak the sponge fingers in coffee or coconut milk instead. If uncooked eggs are a concern, I’m sure you could leave the egg yolks out of the chocolate cream entirely. The egg yolks add richness to the cream so perhaps you could add 100 mls of cream while melting the chocolate to make it more ganache like or maybe fold 100 g of mascarpone through the filling. I topped the Pavé with some chocolate curls but you could always top the Pavé with a layer of whipped cream just like my Mum used to.

Pavé aux Chocolat Recipe

Pavé Au Chocolat: Here’s the recipe for you:

Ingredients:
185g (6 oz) dark chocolate
125 g (4 oz) unsalted butter
125 g (4 oz) sifted icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
2 tbs Dutch process cocoa, sifted
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup rum
1/4 cup milk
18 – 24 sponge fingers (Savoiardi)

To decorate:

Chocolate curls/whipped cream

Filling

Melt the chocolate in a small bowl over hot, not boiling, water or in the microwave. Set to one side and allow the chocolate to cool a little. Cream the butter, icing sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the cocoa and mix until well combined. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, stirring them in thoroughly. Gently mix in the melted chocolate. Refrigerate the cream while preparing the sponge fingers.

Pavé aux Chocolat Recipe

Pavé aux Chocolat Recipe

Pavé aux Chocolat Recipe


Preparation

Combine the rum with the milk in a shallow bowl. Dip the lady fingers into the milk mixture and make a row of one-third of the lady fingers down an oblong platter. How many sponge fingers you use is determined by the size of your platter. Cover the lady fingers with a third of the filling. Build up two more layers of lady fingers ending with a layer of chocolate. Refrigerate the cake overnight to allow the flavours to develop. Decorate the top of the cake with chocolate curls or cover with whipped cream if you like. Bring the cake to room temperature before serving.

Pavé aux Chocolat Recipe

Pavé aux Chocolat Recipe

Wishing all of you a wonderful Christmas and New Year with your family and friends. See you all again in 2014 with some more Delicious Bites. – Jillian

(images/text: Jillian Leiboff)

Recipes

Christmas Cookies Recipe

December 18, 2013

Hello everyone! We are Liz & Jewels with another episode of Food In Motion! Every month on decor8 we want to show you a video with a beautiful recipe that we like. Since we began in March we’ve alternated months, so I take one month and Jewels takes the next… This month we have a special Christmas gift for you! The concept of our blog is that we challenge eachother every week: We cook, style and photograph the same recipe on two continents. Liz in Muenster, Germany and Jewels in Brooklyn, USA. So for this Food in Motion episode we exchanged a christmas cookie recipe and we both made the cookies at the same time! We didn’t know what the other one was up to and were thrilled when we saw eachother’s films! Jewels (and her dog Lola!) made a darker version of the “Almond Sugar Cookies” in Brooklyn, sprinkling them with black and gold sugar (which she had never heard or seen of!) and I called the kids together and had a fun, but also a little bit crazy afternoon, baking a more colorful version of the same cookies in my German home. We’ve combined both very short videos into one below, so please watch it and let us know what you think.

Liz: The kids just loved helping. Putting on aprons, washing hands, kneading the dough, selecting the cookie cutters…. But the best part was decorating them! They just loved the colorful sprinkles and couldn’t wait to use them. It was a little bit tough baking, keeping an eye on the cookies and on the three cuties, but it was worth it and they had tons of fun!

Christmas Cookies Recipe

Jewels: My dog Lola volunteered to help my with the baking of the cookies, but I thought that lovely friend Kristen was a better choice. Lola kept a close eye on us though, to make sure we would follow the recipe to the tee. The three of us a had a beautiful, calm afternoon because my husband had taken our baby Clementine out with him. It probably was a bit more quiet than Liz’ kids afternoon, but isn’t it great how one recipe can have two so different outcomes? I made the darker, more “Brooklyn style” version of sugar cookies, but they tasted great and we all loved them. And of course – one moment of not paying attention and Lola got her share of cookies, too. She loved them!

Christmas Cookies Recipe

 

Almond Sugar Cookies
1 3/4 sticks of cold butter
1/3 cups of sugar
pinch of salt
1 egg
3/4 cups ground almonds
1 1/3 cups of flour

Toppings
powdered sugar
colorful sprinkles
or colored sugar

 How To: With an electric mixer, cream butter, salt and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg. Gradually add the flour and the ground almonds, beat until combined. Place the dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment. Roll out the dough on flour dusted kitchen counter and cut shapes with cookie cutters. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool before decorating.

We wish all readers around the world wonderful holidays and thank you so much for all your great feedback, inspiration and warm words during our Food in Motion time this year on decor8! See you in 2014!

Liz & Jewels

(images/video: liz & jewels)

Trends

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013

December 16, 2013

Do you want to know what some of the hottest Holiday Decoration Trends are for this year? Of course you do! To finish off this year with a trend post, what better than to talk about the current five decoration trends of this festive season? I’m going to highlight branches, wreaths and 3 different kinds of trees! Ready?

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013 Agent Bauer, styling work of Tina Hellberg

1. Branches: There’s a lot more than Christmas trees to decorate now such as lovely branches! When added to large jars and vases, they make a great holiday display! Natural wood, white and black, add a real Scandinavian style and radiates quite a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere. If it feels a bit minimalist and you find that you crave more color then just add red berries or colorful ornaments to hang.

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013

Walther&Co

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013

Walther&Co

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013

Cathrine Aarsland photography

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013

Kristina Dam

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013

Stilzitat

2. Mini Trees: I have never seen so many small Christmas trees as this year and I love the idea of putting them in a glass jar and also that you can plant them again after the holidays. Holly had a row of them down the center of her table last year when I visited her home in Hannover, each wrapped in burlap. Stylish yet sustainable – a great way of decorating! Their main characteristic and the trend is that they are not adorned (well, maybe one or two small ornaments!) and just stand as a statement by themselves. You might want to give a little festive twist when displaying them in different jars, ceramic pots, buckets, crates or whatever you feel like.

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013Varpunen

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013 Silje Vaniljeis

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013 Dreamy whites

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013 Tyrifryd

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013 Inspirations Design

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013Lily

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013 Coco Lapine Design

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013 Style me pretty

3. Faux Trees: Last year we discovered some nice alternatives to the traditional Christmas tree by creating several designs directly on the wall. I have loved observing how so many people get creative and come up with different designs for their faux trees. It’s a nice way too to work with your children and create something together, right? I believe this will be an on-going trend for years to come, there is such a wide possibility of working on designs with different materials, shapes, sizes and colors, don’t you agree?

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013Minted via Sweet Paul Magazine

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013 Free People blog

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013 101 Woonideen

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013 Sköna Hem from Helt Enkelt

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013 Down to the woods

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013 Silvia Radmakers Styling

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013 Kotivinkki

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013 StudioDIY

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013 BijzonderMooi

4. Bottle Brush Trees: If you have the time to create some fun DIY Christmas decorations, this is your trend! You can reproduce these using a very mundane kitchen utensil – the bottle brush! Simple give them a hair cut and dye to resemble a Christmas tree. If you want to make it look even more authentic add some glitter, stars, ornaments or vintage figurines.

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013 A beautiful mess

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013 Apartment Therapy (vintage trees)

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013 Ashley Ann Photography

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013 Going home to roost

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013 Going home to roost

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013 Yvestown

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013 Little lovelies by Allison

5. Wreaths: Is there a hotter trend right now than crafting your own wreath? Use unexpected materials foraging your local farmers market, pluck pictures from a family album, add paper elements or whatever you feel like. These kind of wreaths offer a more personal way to celebrate the season. We have even started to spot oval, drop, heart and square shapes this season!

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013

Gang and the wool

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013
Sweet Paul Mag

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013 Stillblog

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013 Bildschoenes

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013 Styling Marie Delice Karlsson & Johanna Flyckt

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013 Weekday Carnival

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013 Dwell Studio

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013 Wild Ridge Design

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013Thomas J. Story for Sunset

Holiday Decoration Trends 2013Victor Schrager for Country Living

I have worked this year mainly with several wreath and different natural branches storing my usual ornaments away.What is your favorite trend of these five? Have you seen anything else that might be on raise this season? I have truly enjoyed your thoughts and comments over the past month and wish you a merry and mindful Holiday season.

(text: gudy herder/editing holly becker, images linked to their sources above.)

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