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The New Bohemians: Book Review

Do you love cheerful rooms packed and layered with color, objects, pattern and texture? Are you a fan of a more bohemian eclectic style at home? LA-based blogger and designer Justina Blakeney debuts her first book, The New Bohemians, this week which spotlights 20 creatives living in the United States (mostly west and east coasters) who range from shop owners and entrepreneurs to urban farmers, parents, city dwellers, artists and bloggers. If you like to break decorating rules and welcome total creative freedom in how you dress up your space, this book will feel like a warm, validating hug. Justina even shares corners of her own home and rooms in her sister’s house which are totally color-drenched and piled high with curious objects to explore – so much eye candy!

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The New Bohemians reminded me that there really is no single way to decorate that is “right”, which is important especially when you have both print and new media promoting only very specific looks – you can feel a little left out if your home doesn’t fit what is considered on-trend. This book is perfect for all of the bohemian spirits out there – the rebels who want to mix their foo dogs with Etsy finds, mid century credenzas from craigslist topped with pottery from the 70s scoured at the thrift shop and globe collections displayed in the fireplace alongside vintage Suzani’s used as wall or bed coverings. I found this book to be a completely authentic glimpse into the mind of Justina and what she loves the most and shares frequently online which is how I first discovered her a few short years ago. She shows homes in her book that in her signature Jungalow style and the homeowners, well, “They embrace free-spirited, no-rules lifestyles and apply that attitude to all areas of their existence, including their homes,” which is the absolute message you get with the flip of every color-drenched page.

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In addition to showing out-of-the-box spaces, Justina shares 12 DIY projects inspired by the objects found in some of the homes, so there are projects for you to try. I also like the Adopt An Idea pages (see above image) throughout the book that encourage readers to try the look at home and how.

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This bedroom is in the home of Justina’s sister and I just love it – so perfect for a little girl and loads of fun too.

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This black cabinet above is MAGIC. I would definitely own that and make it work in my house. Definitely a rare and beautiful object of art. The lamp shade and the touch of greenery creates such nice balance too and I like the wall treatment too. This is a trend in Germany at the moment, people living particularly in the more creative cities like Berlin love to leave some walls in their old apartments very bare by tearing off the wallpaper and exposing the plaster and whatever was there before. My friend did this and found newspapers layered into the plaster from 1901. What a wonderful surprise!

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I really like framed butterflies suspended from the wooden branch from the ceiling and that squishy leather sofa. The wooden star is a nice way to conceal the radiator too without blocking the heat.

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When I see anything draped from the ceiling, I think of the 60s and 70s. I was born in the 70s and so I don’t remember a lot about our home but I do remember my mother loving her macrame classes, plants, draping things from the ceiling, bold wallpaper, chinoiserie anything, Chinese black lacquer furniture (with Ming details), shag carpet and color, color, color! In many ways, Justina’s book reminds me of my mom and the style of homes in the 70s and 80s. For instance, my mom would have totally rocked this pendant light shown in the photo below.

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Oh and another bonus that I like about this book is that some of her tips from her Skillshare class on styling, Style Your Space Like a Pro, ended up in the book like how to style a bookshelf in 10 steps. So if you took the class, you can have all of her ideas in one place, with photos and of course, completely gorgeous and new content to inspire you. For me, this was such a big plus because so many times when I see people teach online I often wished they had books that contained all of their knowledge so I could refer back to it for years to come.

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You may purchase your own copy of the book today right here and a big congrats on Justina for her book and thanks for including me in your book tour!

(images with permission from The New Bohemians)

Posted in Books + Magazines on April 15, 2015

Decorate With Flowers For Spring!

Hello everyone! I want to begin the week with a post that simply oozes springtime cheer! We had beautiful weather for the past few days, sunny and nearly 60, so I have a mega dose of spring fever all of a sudden!

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We’ve had a very gray few months and though we didn’t get snow this winter, the gray days are super draining. These colorful photos are out takes from Decorate With Flowers (a list of the current 8 language editions with 2 more on the way at the end of this post), which is my latest book authored alongside of lovely Leslie Shewring. If you don’t already have a copy, it’s truly the perfect title for easter, Mother’s day and all of the spring, summer and early autumn gatherings you’ll host when flowers are a must. You can read the 5 star reviews here if you’re on the fence. Jump off and order! :)

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In our book, we show so many ideas for flowers and their containers inside and really teach you flower basics in such an easy way that you’ll be styling your own gorgeous arrangements in seconds, really! We also break the book up into 8 styles showing 8-12 homes that we worked in to style up our ideas from Canada to Germany and California. We also included a mood board for each style to show you how we translated what was in our heads for each look. There are even break downs for how-tos from arrangement making to container creation. We wrapped up with our little black book showing you were to find the best of the best floral products and vessels and a summary of our favorite flowers.

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US English – Decorate With Flowers
UK English – Decorate With Flowers
Asia – English – Page One
French – Fleurs et déco
Dutch – Bloemen In Huis
Italian – Decorare Con I Fiori
German – Wohnen mit Blumen
Japanese – 花と雑貨で楽しむナチュラルインテリア (I will show you in another post because this edition looks so beautiful!)

Denmark + Mexico Coming soon!

Shown: Leslie Shewring and Jessica Senti (my assistant).

(Photos: Janis Nicolay)

Posted in Books + Magazines on March 09, 2015

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

You know how I was talking recently about buying a little home, a sweet cottage, somewhere in Germany, Denmark (or possibly the Dutch/German border near the coast) that we could visit some weekends and in the summer? I still haven’t decided where and when yet, but I stumbled upon this sweet and very tidy example of a cottage that could be a nice option only this one is for rent via Red Cottage Inc. and it’s a tad far from home now because it’s in Freehold, New York! But wow, doesn’t it look so European, like it’s been plucked straight from the French or English countryside? And so simply decorated.

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Seeing this place and thinking further about buying a cottage has made me think that when I do find the perfect place, it needs to be decorated very simply and definitely uncluttered. In fact, I’ve been reading a great book about organizing and removing clutter from the home that my former book publicist, Lorraine Woodcheke, sent to me now that she’s working for Ten Speed Press called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Japanese de-cluttering expert and cleaning consultant Marie Kondo and I just love it. I’m working currently to apply it to my great annual spring clean that I’ll soon get started on.

This little book is already an international bestseller with millions of copies sold and is a best-seller in many parts of the world like the UK, US, Japan and Germany. Wow, I can see why the moment I started reading it back in October! It’s so easy to follow, compact and you get through it quickly — plus the most important part is that I found so much of what Marie said both practical and necessary.

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Marie’s tips on sorting papers and storing books are ones I really need to listen to. Marie believes that, “Letting go is even more important than adding,” and “The fact that you possess a surplus of things that you can’t bring yourself to discard doesn’t mean you are taking good care of them. In fact, it is quite the opposite”.

She also believes that the things that we own, when we look at them, evokes emotion within us and that these very real feelings give us the energy for living and that putting your home in order can create a vibrant and happy life. I absolutely agree. Her book is so popular in Japan that it was turned into a television series. I had no idea that Japanese society had a problem with clutter!

Have you read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up? What did you think?

(images: red cottage inc. and seattle refined)

Posted in Books + Magazines on February 16, 2015

Giveaway: Free Books! Win IN DETAIL By Hans Blomquist

I have a GREAT giveaway for interiors enthusiasts out there today. You can win one of FIVE copies of the stunning brand new title by stylist and art director Hans Blomquist, IN DETAIL, from Ryland Peters + Small. Photographed by both Hans and professional photographer (on the world’s best) Debi Treloar, this is THE coffee table book of the moment. Would you like to WIN a copy? C’mon, of course you would! And since it doesn’t release until next week – and I’m kicking off his blog tour online – 5 days, 5 bloggers — I’m also including a book review and some brand new images from the book to feast your eyes upon that you can pin and click on for a larger view.

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I’ve snapped a photo of the book on my coffee table above so you can see how lovely it really looks as a decorative object in addition to a learning tool.

About the author: Hans Blomquist is a renowned art director and stylist whose evocative, painterly style is highly sought after by a multitude of prestigious brands. Hans started out working for IKEA in Sweden at the tender age of 16 and ended up art directing their catalogue. He then moved to London, where he was based for eleven years working as a freelance art director for clients such as Harrods, Marks & Spencer and John Lewis. Hans now lives in Paris where he recently directed campaigns for H&M, Monoprix and Zara.

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Description: In Detail takes a closer look at the details behind international interiors stylist and art director Hans Blomquist’s unique and idiosyncratic take on the world. In hundreds of ravishingly beautiful, inspiring pictures, he encourages the reader to see the world through his own eyes, revealing the possibilities in even the humblest of items and putting together pieces to create striking, painterly and evocative rooms and displays. Chapter by chapter, Hans focuses on and discusses the key ingredients of his distinctive look: Nature, Texture, Colour, Textiles, Collecting and Display. He explains the creative process, offers up his own treasures and puts inspiring ideas for beautiful interiors within every reader’s reach.

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5 Things I Liked About This Book:

  1. I love that it is split into the very details that make a house a home. Nature, Texture, Color, Textiles, Collections and Display.
  2. I love the paper quality, the jacket image, the jacket texture, the size, the overall quality of the book makes me happy.
  3. The moody, gorgeous photography – each photo has a cinematic feel to it – like you are watching a gorgeous film.
  4. That Hans has a conversation with the reader. He doesn’t ramble on and on. He gives food for thought. Lots of it.
  5. Hans offers styling tips and ideas throughout. He doesn’t show, he also tells. Often stylists have a hard time putting into words what it is that they do, which often means that books by stylists can lack real advice and are mostly filled with inspirational imagery. These days, we can get all of that on Pinterest and blogs. Content is king. What does the author have to teach? Knowledge is what I think we’re going for when we buy interiors books today. Hans doesn’t show elaborate step-by-step projects for any of his ideas, but he does talk through the images explaining the thinking behind how he has styled it or what you, the reader, could try at home yourself.

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5 Things That I Learned By Reading This Book:

  1. I learned that you can take a large branch and simply prop it against your wall at home or turn it into a lamp by wrapping a long cord around a couple of the stronger branches, adding a decorating light bulb to, “create an unusual and cozy corner” (page 28).
  2. You can make plant pots for growing cuttings or smaller plants using newspaper. I love this idea! (page 37)
  3. Vintage wooden clothes pegs can be used to display posters instead of picture frames (page 51).
  4. Use painted backdrops in a home because they are a, “brilliant way to add interest to an interior, and they can be repainted at any time to ring the changes” (page 87).
  5. Use luggage labels and rubber stamps to make hand-printed labels to kitchen storage jars. Simple tie them with twine (page 186).

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5 Ways I’d Like To Use This Book:

  1. To wrap in brown paper and give as a gift.
  2. To showcase on my coffee table.
  3. And later, to display on my bookcase with his first book, The Natural Home, published in 2012. My review of The Natural Home can be found here.
  4. To read it from cover to cover and try to apply some of the ideas.
  5. To identify some of the vintage objects that I like and hunt for them at the local flea market.

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Visit the rest of my blogger friends this week to see their reviews too. You can stop by Lobster & Swan, The Lifestyle Editor, Such Pretty Things and Decor Art all this week.

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Now it’s time for FIVE of you to win a copy of this book! The contest will wrap up on Friday October 17th at 11 am EST and I will announce the winners at the end of the day this Friday. To enter, please leave your first name, blog URL (if you have one) and tell us what 5 things you love about interiors books in general.

UPDATE Oct 18, 2014: Winners have been chosen and will be contacted. Books will be sent to winners directly from Ryland, Peters and Small in London. A warm thank you to all who entered. Comments on this post have now been closed.

WINNERS: #23 Irene, #36 Marilen, #44 Lesley, #151 Emma, #189 Aga,

xo,

Holly

Posted in Books + Magazines, contests on October 13, 2014

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