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The Unicorn Diaries {and favorite things}

I felt so inspired as I looked through The Unicorn Diaries that I couldn’t simply save it for myself, it’s a blog meant to share so I’ve decided to make it the decor8 blog of the week. I’ve been so taken lately by soft colors of plum, pink, gray, pale mocha, beige, muted yellow, and gold to replace silver for at least a few months. I cannot stop thinking about texture from nubby raw silk to fine vintage French linen and thick knitted wool throws. Ahhh.

Watercolor pastels, texture, candlelight (it’s been getting dark here at 4 pm each day), necklaces with multiple vintage-inspired charms (tiny Eiffel towers, owls, ribbons), and layering my clothes (blouses with frilly cap sleeves over turtlenecks for instance). I’ve also been big on layering my socks, which is fun because here in Germany they sell these gorgeous crocheted footless socks that are meant to be layered over socks with toes and they look so pretty with heels. Another layered look I love is mismatched china in a buffet, a stack of patterned tea towels on the counter, and a bed with many patterns and colors layered into a big fluffy wonderland of comfort.

And there’s more. Much more. Like ornate Moorish-inspired tile work, ethnic patterns from Turkey and Morocco, wooden bird cages (in white) with twinkle lights inside atop an old wooden cabinet. And speaking of light, I love it filtered light through windows at midday… and photographing it to remember the glow for a bit longer. The smell and beauty of freshly fallen snow. We’ve had our first snow already and it was quite a treat. Swans on the lake and the rippled patterns of the water as they float by. Tim Walker. Still. A Fine Frenzy. Still.

I’m also thinking a lot lately about hats, my husband started this because he keeps insisting I buy a cute hat for winter, t-strap heels, plum tights, Mint & Vintage, candles that smell like baked goods, art journals, mini paintings, movies with gorgeous sets, ballerinas in white puffy tutus, Kindred, old books and portrait paintings, and a new bakery that just opened nearby with two large crystal chandeliers and fresh baked buns topped with candied walnuts, cardomon, and cinnamon. Mmmm. Perhaps I can photograph it and share this special little bakery with you tomorrow, would you enjoy seeing my new favorite place?

Though these are all things that have been on my mind lately, it seems another blogger shares some of my passions and this is exactly why I want you to visit The Unicorn Diaries in England because her blog is so visual, romantic, and somewhat emotional — I really, really think you will like it because it makes you feel like a very young girl again and sometimes that is what all grown up girls need. :)

What are a few of your favorite things at the moment?

(images from the unicorn diaries, more gorgeous images here)

Posted in blogs, inspiration on December 02, 2008

Blog of the Week: Shabby Chic

I just posted the new blog of the week but it’s one you may not expect: Rachel Ashwell! Yes, she now authors a blog and I’m so glad that she does because it is simply lovely. Care to take a peek?

You may know Rachel from her brand Shabby Chic based in southern California. I had the honor of meeting Rachel in 2005 and she is a great lady, very humble, charming, and she has a warm and sweet spirit. Here are some images from her blog that I fell in love with this morning… The perfect way to begin the week for me.

I love this photo. The floors, the room, a faded rug, the pretty vent cover on the wall, the chandelier, the table… Okay everything. But what I love most is a raw space like this. So many options. This makes my heart swell…

This dining room is so pretty, but a bit ornate for my taste. I’d remove the wall sconces and that large ornate mirror, but the chandelier would stay though I’d hang it a bit lower. I’d also paint the ceiling pale blue. I’d have to add flowers to the table and of course my Turkish teapot… But I still really like this room! The lighting is just great, makes me long to live in southern California or someplace where the lighting is always perfect. :)

These are photos of some of the Shabby Chic retail stores, I’ve only been to two: the flagship store in Santa Monica, CA (my favorite) and her new shop in Natick, MA just outside of Boston. They are absolutely transporting, you should try to visit one sometime.

Here are some clippings of vintage wallpaper that Rachel is currently drawing her inspiration from. Most of us find bits and bobbins from the past, connect to them, and translate what we see into something modern with a twist – our personal style – making them fresh and new again. You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel!

I had the opportunity to interview Rachel for decor8, you can read our chat here if you’d like. Browsing her blog this morning, I noticed the web-famous Keep Calm and Carry On posters in her shop (wow!) and I spotted some more good things in her newly designed web shop, would you like to see them?


Candles from Voluspa that smell like a little piece of heaven, stamped leather card holders (my favorite find), a crown doormat so everyone knows you are the queen of your castle, and a gorgeous union jack wall hanging in fabrics from Shabby Chic.

Very feminine throw pillows. (not shown but worth a click: Milly curtains)

A delicious gold bordered calendar. This is super pretty!

Psst: You can purchase these things so matter where you live because Shabby Chic ships worldwide!

Welcome to blogland Rachel and everyone else please go see what Rachel is up to, I’m sure you’ll find some of her inspirations most interesting and of course, beautiful!

(images from shabby chic)

Posted in blogs, Decorating Tips on November 24, 2008

Blogs to Love

Just when you thought your reading list was long enough… I have more blogs to share with you. Some you may already look to for your daily fix, others may be brand new to you, but I’ve added several new blogs to the decor8 visual blogroll here: A-M and N-Z. I’m so happy to welcome these blogs aboard!

And they are…

Welcome friends!

(images linked above to source)

Posted in blogs on November 12, 2008

Blog of the Week: Mer Mag

I’d love to introduce you to the decor8 blog of the week: Mer Mag! I’ve been reading this blog for only a few weeks but I’ve been enjoying it and really like some of the finds there so I felt it was time to introduce it to those of you not already reading.

On Mer Mag you can find:

How pretty the Lillberg chair from IKEA can look when creativity is applied in huge doses. I don’t know where she found this ‘after’ but it’s just the best.

The styling, photography and fashion of Bea Szenfeld.

Her love for pinks and grays. Oh me too, Mer… we’re all suckas for this.

Romantic rooms also top her list of loves.

And she adores Liz Tran as much as I do.

Mer Mag is authored by Merrilee in Tennessee, a mother of two, married to an actor (Jon Liddiard), and she herself is an illustrator for her company Tuesday Mourning, painter, and designer. You can learn more about her illustration work here in a Knoxville newspaper. She also was part of the decor8/Amy Butler contest back in June (view her submission here). Her blog really reminds me of Creature Comforts, Bloesem, and decor8 come to think of it, which could be why it appeals to me so much as she is definitely of the same mind, for sure. So pretty!

Psst: I also discovered that she is a Stephanie Meyers fan. :) Who isn’t, huh?

(images from mer mag blog)

Posted in blogs on November 11, 2008

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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