Hello dear friends! I want to quickly pop in to say hello to you, are you doing well today? For many of you this is a holiday, but for me I worked. I am based in Copenhagen this week but today was very special because we went to Sweden for the day and had the best time on our first shoot. We shot the beautiful home of Anna-Malin from Helt Enkelt who is a former montessori school teacher and artist but also a fantastic blog author and decorator. She is very talented. I loved spending the day in her beautiful home and learning of her inspirations and the many handmade things in her home.
Today was the first official shoot for the Decorate book so I was a bit anxious to get started and Anna-Malin made us feel at home — and she prepared a delicious lunch for us. In this photo above you can see Debi (left) and I (right) working. Debi Treloar is the photographer with whom I am working with for the summer and it is an extreme honor to be with such an incrediable talent but also a very sincere and charming woman! Debi has shot many books including Flea Market Style for Emily Chalmers (from the shop called Caravan in London) and many others and I have followed her work religiously for many years and so it is a bit surreal to work with Debi. We had such a great time today with the dear Anna-Malin who even took us shopping afterwards at Indiska and for Swedish design magazines. :)
Thank you so much for opening your home to Debi and I and for making the first shoot for this book so memorable and special to me. Anna-Malin I am so happy to know you!
I will be posting again tomorrow — some inspiration and such — so I’ll meet you back here tomorrow everyone!:)
(image: anna-malin lindgren)
While at the farmers’ market this morning gathering peonies, freesia and veggies for my table I came across a kiosk and spotted a brand new decorating magazine called We Love Living. Great title! The magazine is very similar to Living & More (also published in Germany) but has a bit more English text in it and feels fresher and younger which I love.
Their motto is to, “Be the change you want to see in the world”, a familiar expression but so powerful. I like the message behind this magazine as it supports what I stand behind so fully — the idea of loving your life and being happy THEN tailoring your home to meet the needs of you and your family — to support you spiritually, emotionally, physically… in every way. I think for a long time we were more interested in impressing others and less so in living at home – really living there and loving it – this is how it should be but how it wasn’t for awhile as the trend was to simply fill your home with what would make the neighbors say, “Ooooh my”.
These days I feel this shift, it’s been going on for awhile but getting stronger, but I feel a shift in how people live at home and how they are decorating — don’t you? In more affluent parts of the world in pockets where there is wealth there is always a feeling that one must have the biggest and best to beat out all of the others. But in my circle of friends, and no doubt in yours too, there is more of a feeling now to personalize the space and to be a bit different from the pack.
Truly, the home is the only place on earth where we have absolute freedom of self expression. We can run nude from room to room if we choose, eat cereal for dinner from time to time, throw our clothes on the floor if we’re too tired to bother, and dance in the shower singing Donna Summer tunes with a shampoo bottle as our mic. It’s not just where we can be 100% ourselves, but it’s also where we can show our personality through how we choose to decorate and live — the colors we select, the crafts we make and display, all of it gives us a unique opportunity to surround ourselves with what makes us, well, us. I’m still a student of German so I cannot read all of the text in We Love Living as well as I wish I could — but I get the sense that this magazine supports how I feel about the home and it precisely why I like it. It’s also very affordable, only 2,90 Euros per copy and it is sold all over Germany, Austria and Switzerland, 10 issues per year beginning with the one shown in these photos – their first of what I hope to be many, issues to come.
I wish the team in Offenburg at We Love Living, Caroline Vogel, Angelika Wuenscher, Stephanie Volk and Petra Weissburger all the best with their new magazine!
(images: holly becker for decor8)
Visiting Amsterdam soon? You’ll want this book in your bag! When Pia sent me an advanced copy of Amsterdam: Made By Hand I knew that the moment I had some time to read it, that I would love it. This past weekend I had a little time on Sunday night to flip through the pages and read her lovely introduction which feels so personal, and some of the shop profiles, and all of the images (because let’s face it, the visuals are always the best in books like this)… and well it’s quite charming and certainly worthy of a review. I’m sure that many bloggers who have the opportunity to pick this book up will give it a glowing review in addition to my own because it’s one that will appeal to so many I think.
Amsterdam: Made By Hand is a compact guidebook, published by Little Bookroom in New York, that has around 171 pages with many pretty photographs taken by the author, Pia Jane Bijkerk, and it captures how Amsterdam looks and feels through her eyes along with some of her most cherished shop suggestions. This book is ideal for those looking for a bit of an “off the beaten path” guide to where one can find shops catering more to the handmade, upcycled, vintage-loving crowd.
Here are some peeks from my copy:
Swarm – Shop shown above.
Juffrouw Splinter Curiosa – Shop glimpse above
The Frozen Fountain – Shown above.
“As a stylist, I am always on the lookout for objects that are distinctive and alluring—which is why I adore all things handmade. Amsterdam: Made By Hand is an insider’s guide where you’ll discover Dutch ateliers tucked away on the cobble stoned backstreets of the old canal district, and boutiques that Dutch designers and stylists have kept well-hidden inside their black books. . . until now. Between its pages you can expect to find woodworkers, flower artists, jewelry designers, dressmakers, ceramicists, and more: with the backdrop of Amsterdam’s beautiful canals and wonky buildings, you can expect to see this quaint old city in a whole new light.” – Pia Jane Bijkerk.
Another view of The Frozen Fountain shop.
Tesselschade Arbeid Adelt shown above.
Not all of us traveling want to shop only at big department stores – many delight in finding things that feel like no one else has ever found them before and most of the shops in Pia’s book feel exactly like this – mini hidden treasure boxes tucked away on random side streets owned by passionate people who have made their retail store and the products in it their entire existence. It’s hard to find shops like this in cities nowadays, even in Europe, as more and more chain coffee shops and stores move in paying top dollar for property forcing long time tenants out and sometimes not just out to another neighborhood but out of business altogether. Don’t get me started on this topic though as it makes me quite warm and my cheeks get a bit red! Ha! But yes, this is happening because how can one compete with paying top dollar costs for renting a shop when your store is really more about passion and community building than counting stacks of bills at the end of the day?
Fabrics at Tinctoria.
Cute things at Happy Red Fish.
Gorgeous and a bit edgy – jewelry at Gild Goldsmith Atelier.
And so, when you go to cities you often only find these big stores in the main sections and sometimes it can seem as though a city lacks a local identity, the very identity that is found from the shops that had to move out to make way for the big boxes. Fortunately, in Amsterdam, many sweet stores do exist but often tucked away here and there and Pia has found them and placed the gems lovingly into this book. This is the real value of a book like this – it supports those who are happy to stay small and leads us who are happy to shop there to them. Thank you Pia for your efforts in pulling together this sweet glimpse of your Amsterdam and I hope that anyone interested in handmade goods will pick up this title the next time they plan to visit there.
Psst: If you are in Amsterdam on June 5th see the above image for a fun signing party that you can attend! If you go, have fun!
Psst Psst: I’m an Amazon affiliate so the links to Amazon are part of my affiliate program.
(images: top 5 photographs taken by Holly Becker for decor8, all others submitted by Pia Jane Bijkerk for this review.)
There are many design e-magazines popping up, also known as online magazines, paperless magazines, or digital magazines (I vote we drop the name game and call them simply: e-mags!) that I decided to pull together some of my favorites in one place. When it comes to e-mags, some say that they are the future of magazines but I don’t believe that they will replace print but I think that they can easily live alongside our favorite glossies, don’t you?
In today’s fast-paced world, you really need both with so many of us online receiving and sharing information at the speed of light. Exclusive content is becoming more and more of a hot topic with the bevy of blogs out there and this is where e-mags can really deliver as they have the staff and sponsorship to run almost exactly like a print publication without most of the major financial stresses that have sadly forced some of our favorites to fold. Many bloggers are talking about their favorite e-mags lately so my goal is to give you a mini round-up of the ones that have blog authors a-buzz with hopes that you’ll help by adding your comment to include those I’ve missed that make your heart go pitter-pat too! Here we go…
Sweet Paul NEW! – Food + Entertaining
Lonny – Decorating/Design
Antler – Fashion
BY FRYD NEW! – Scandinavian Lifestyle
Paper Mache – Kid’s
Small Magazine- Kid’s
la petite – Kid’s
Utterly Engaged – Wedding
TIP: If you are considering to author an e-mag yourself, I’ve noticed a trend when you’re out shopping for a domain name — Add “mag” after your magazine name — Lonnymag, antlermag, sweetpaulmag and so on… It’s a good thing!
I’m heading to London now so while I’m traveling these links will provide you with plenty of inspiration to last until Monday when you can stop by decor8 for a few guests posts (I’ll drop in to say hello as well) to hold you over until I’m back in full gear on May 21st.
Out of those listed above, what do you read and why? Do you like digital magazines better than print, if so why? If not, why? Did I miss an e-mags that you read? If so, please post the name and link in the comments section below – all I ask is that you list only those about decorating, design, art, craft, kid’s, food, wedding, fashion…
(images: linked to those mentioned above.)