I’m crazy about the 10th Anniversary Issue of Australian interiors magazine Inside Out. It just arrived in the mail 3 seconds ago (I subscribe but sadly I didn’t get the tea towel designed by the Rob Ryan with mine — wah!) and I’m already drooling on the spread called Desktop featured on pages 151-157 styled by Vanessa Colyer Tay (a favorite style editor of mine). Desktop shows how to create a space on your desk that reflects your own personal style but that also inspires you — it doesn’t give tips in text as much as visual inspiration showing a natural theme, a vintage-inspired one and finally a feminine approach — and all are stunning! In case you do not have access to the magazine, here is a glimpse of what I’m talking about… you may click to enlarge each image below to see some of the details. Because people, it’s all about the details in life – am I right?!?
I love both the natural and feminine desktops the best. The photographs were shot for the magazine by Sam McAdam who has one of the most beautiful portfolios that I’ve ever seen online — her work is styled to perfection but not fussy and it’s just gorgeous….
Isn’t this inspiring? LOVE. IT. In fact, something as simple as a few pages, expertly done of course, can give me inspiration for weeks to come…which is what makes Inside Out such a treat because with each issue I know I’m going to find plenty of goodies to satisfy the cost of my foreign subscription to their delightful magazine. If you are able, definitely pick up this issue –or subscribe — you will adore everything in it though their 10th Anniversary Issue is by far my favorite to date. The spread on Lee Mathews and their Art Market article are also faves of mine along with the colorful home of fashion stylist Nicole Bonython-Hines – her black “Japan” flooring is stunning.
(images: holly becker for decor8)
Someday when I become rich and famous I want a townhouse in London. I mean, who doesn’t? And surely it’s the in thing to have when you are of the upper class… for all wealthy folks have a townhouse in some major city — and for me it shall be London. If you were rich and famous where would your townhouse be? Well dreaming aside for a moment, let’s peek at the home of Christine d’Ornano in London’s Notting Hill who comes from a truly royal cosmetics family… Her grandfather co-founded Lancome; her father launched Orlane, and later he and his wife started Sisley.
Christine currently oversees the operations as Executive Vice President of Sisley in the UK and her modern eclectic townhouse is in the current issue of Elle Decor (April) and is fantastic in every way. Have a peek and read the article and see more photographs here.
I love the splashes of bold color, the combination of red, pink, royal blue and green in the living room, and all of the gorgeous books and flowers. The massive windows are also to die for. This place makes me think of the summer when I was a nanny many, many years ago for the daughter of the CEO of Laura Ashley and how much I loved hanging out in their exquisite townhouse in Boston’s Back Bay. That summer was the closest I ever came to townhouse life and let me tell you… it was everything you’d imagine and more. All three floors and a roof deck more.
(Photography: Simon Upton for Elle Decor)
I’ve been dying to pull together this book review for you because I just know that you’ll love it as much as I do! The book is called Table Style and was written by Rebecca Tanqueray, former Deputy Editor of Elle Decoration (UK), photographed by the fantastic Debi Treloar and styled by Liz Belton who has styled many books published by Ryland Peters & Small. To say this book is perfect isn’t enough. I need to expound. And expound I will, with some gushing too!
Table Style is the decor8 book of the week and I’ll tell you why: it’s inspirational, beautiful and practical with many helpful tips that can be applied rather easily. Table Style is all about making any dinner, whether a casual one with family to a themed dinner party, a lovely occasion by making the most of what you’ve got. So many of us have things laying around that we may not have thought to use on the dinner table but this book will help you to get your creative wheels turning so that next time you see some empty canning jars in your cabinet awaiting your next jam session, well perhaps you will pull them out and display them as they are shown on pages 123-124 and also below you can catch a glimpse. It’s really a lovely and most affordable idea — in fact one of my favorites from this book.
The book is divided into two main sections, the first is The Elements and it examines the components of a properly laid table because we all know how good a proper lay can be, right? :) Okay, sorry. I need to keep this professional. But I couldn’t resist. So yes, this section explains how dinnerware, flatware, napkins, flowers and candles can really influence the look and feel of mealtime.
The second section, The Occasions, is brilliant. For one, I’ve not seen any of these photographs floating around on blogs so each and every view is fresh and new (which is exciting). And the occasions aren’t centered around keeping tradition as much as reinterpreting them. The Holiday table isn’t bogged down with gold, red and evergreen – rather it’s fresh and modernized with red, gray, white, natural linen and felted wool place mats and napkin rings. The 19 beautiful occasions include; classic elegant dining, a vintage tea party, children’s party, baby shower, father’s day meal, autumnal dinner, supper for two, cocktail party, relaxed supper, eastern banquet, weekend breakfast, lazy brunch, summer bbq, chic contemporary dining, mother’s day brunch, picnic in the park, christmas lunch and a garden lunch. There isn’t one that I didn’t connect with on some level, I loved them all!
And then there is a final part of the book that examines place settings and shows exactly how to set your table according to the type of meal that you plan to present. I particularly loved learning how to set up for British Afternoon Tea and English Afternoon Tea and I never realized that there was a difference! Other settings include American formal, French formal, Chinese informal and Japanese informal. We love Japanese food but I never knew how to properly set the table for some of my favorite Japanese bites until now.
I highly, highly suggest this book to any lover of entertaining, styling, food and those of you who simply love to look at beautiful, inspirational images for ideas and inspiration. Table Style is a joy!
Disclaimer: As an Amazon affiliate, I earn 4% on the sale of this book if purchased through this link.
(images: holly becker for decor8)
There is one thing I think that we can sometimes misplace during the course of a lifetime. Of course we can get it back again, but it’s good to try not to lose it in the first place. It’s our sense of curiosity. Not really for things we’re naturally interested in, but for those in which we are not.
Children tend to explore a lot more than adults, when we age we start to fall into comfort zones and ruts and forget that once in them we can always crawl out and allow ourselves to become curious explorers once again. That is why I frequently reference things that are not always associated closely to decorating, but that I think can help us all to stay out of comfort zones and ruts because I believe they can be comfortable little traps, we become like birds in cages and forget how flying really felt.
So when you are out and about, look for things that you would not normally find yourself trying to find. In a bookstore, go to a section that you never visit. In a store, hit a food aisle with things that you normally do not buy, and buy them — I like to experiment in the international foods section and in the organic areas because if I had my way I think I would eat the same food every single day.
And this brings me to the point of this blog post: Real Simple Weddings. Huh? You say? Well I believe that a creative person can find inspiration from random places, not always in your favorite design showroom or boutique. In my case, I find lots of inspiration in Bridal magazines, not so much the white flowing gowns but all of the little embellishments and flowers and just the sheer delightful details of it all — and I often think of ways to interpret what I see into the home. For instance, in the 2010 issue of Weddings by Real Simple there are many gorgeous images to enjoy that show several combination’s of colors and patterns that perhaps you’d not thought to combine before. You can interpret them into your wardrobe, home, even your makeup palette. I sat here this morning flipping through it after breakfast and felt inspired to share some of my favorite pages with you.
And yes, I am a columnist on RealSimple.com (for two years already!) but they are not paying me to say any of this and trust me, I get zero brownie points for this post. This is merely a sincere observation that I had concerning how so much can inspire us that we often fail to notice. If you happen to pick up this issue, it’s a special edition so it costs around $14, turn to pages 72-75. These are my absolute favorite parts — two pages show color palettes that I think can be amazingly helpful in many ways — you can cut them out, clip into small sizes, and laminate — keeping them in your wallet or purse for quick reference when you are shopping. Having a palette on you can be extra helpful when you are looking for gift wrap + accessories, clothing, even flowers and of course, home accessories.
Sometimes I stand in the middle of a flower shop feeling overwhelmed by the color choices that having a quick cheat sheet, a palette reference, would certainly help me. Then I could focus and quickly select colors that I may not naturally put together, or even pair certain ribbons or vases with my flowers that I may not have thought of before. Then the palette suggestions in the magazine are followed by two pages of flowers, illustrations of some of our favorite blooms with text that lists the flower name, season, color, along with important facts like the Anemone, “The blooms’ back centers add a striking graphic quality to bouquets”. I found that a simple yet helpful thought. So in the home, they would do the same in a vase on the coffee table.
If you happen to grab a copy of this issue, let me know if it inspired you or not and whether or not you found the color palette and flower tips to be helpful.
(images: holly becker for decor8)