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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

Southern Weddings & Katie Elfers

How many of you are married but still love to flip through bridal magazines for decorating inspiration? Me me me me! I find many great ideas in wedding mags from the dreamy color palettes to floral arrangements, wedding favors, the general styling of receptions, it’s all simply amazing. That’s why when I noticed that an editor by the name of Madelyn kept visiting decor8 leaving comments that linked back to Southern Weddings I had to see what the blog was like because their print magazine is pure bliss.

The Southern Weddings blog maintained by the editors of the magazine has now occupied my time for the past 30 minutes… And I’m married already! If you are looking for inspiration either for your own wedding, one that you are helping plan, or you simply love to look at beautiful photographs, head on over to the Southern Weddings blog. That’s where I found floral designer Katie Elfers and in this blog post you can see some of her work, however there is lots more on her website.

I can’t get enough when it comes to floral design, I love all of the latest techniques that I see whenever I scan bridal mags or blogs. I make it a habit to buy flowers each week from the local farmers’ market and I take about 30 minutes to style them in a way that is just a little different from my last arrangement. It’s a very peaceful 30 minutes for me, I usually stand over my kitchen sink arranging them in one hand as my mother taught me, then tying them, I set them in a vase and often I’ll secure a pretty ribbon around the vase or maybe use small paper butterflies or some other accent from the hobby shop and glue it onto a thin stick and stick it into the arrangement to make it look a little more interesting, not too kitschy though as I don’t want to take away from the beauty of the blooms.

I just love the portfolio of Katie Elfers and the talented editors of Southern Weddings magazine and blog, which they’ve pulled together so nicely. Thanks Madelyn for stopping by!

(images from katie elfers, photographed by german photographer Tine Hoffman.)

Posted in blogs, inspiration on November 03, 2008

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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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