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Homes & Gardens Inspiration

Looking for a little roomspiration today? I have some beautiful rooms that I’d love to share with you that have appeared in previous issues of Homes & Gardens (UK) magazine. Are you a regular reader? I usually find my copy at the train station here and really love many of the rooms that they feature. Let’s have a look together below at just a few of them. If you’d like, you can tell me which ones you favor and why. I’ll number them to make it easy for you to reference them in your comment. Ready?

Homes & Gardens UK

(1) This space feels very warm and glamorous to me. I really like the trimmed pillows and that mix of lilac and yellow here. The painting marries everything below it. So, so welcoming.

Homes & Gardens UK

(2) I think the person who owns this home clearly has the same obsession with chairs as I do. I laughed a little when I counted 7 in this living room, in 3 separate groupings (which is how, I imagine, the owner justified owning so many chairs). I like the scale of this space too, it’s very grand and palace-like. The crown molding, mirror and curtains are so insanely beautiful! Come into my parlor for tea, ladies…

Homes & Gardens UK

(3) What’s not to love here? First, that green wall. Wow. And those petite chairs, like the ladies perched atop them must be size zero as they look almost like they’d break otherwise. Like dollhouse furniture…  The lighting is extraordinary as well. And then, with so much perfection you have a very imperfect floor and a cover tossed over the table to appear almost like a casual break for tea and cookies… And aren’t the seat covers unexpected?

Homes & Gardens UK

(4) This is so serene and I like how the fabric is acting as a headboard here. A very low-budget DIY way to make a bedroom beautiful with a striking focal point. And it’s smart, because if you tire of the fabric you can swap it out for something different. I also like that the lamps aren’t taking away the powerful print of that fabric – clear glass just seems so perfect for the lamp selection. And then you have all that mint and beige, and the bed that is slightly messy… I want to do a running jump onto it right now in fact.

Homes & Gardens UK

(5) Here we go again, pastel hues that feel so feminine and welcoming… And what a sweet sofa, the bottom cushion looks like silk doesn’t it? Maybe raw silk (my favorite)? Whatever it is, I love this choice for the sofa as it could look too serious otherwise. The stripe adds personality.

Homes & Gardens UK

(6) I think this room comes closest to my style, because it’s very calm and casual, almost beachy-in-the-city and since I was raised on the beach and spent my adult years in the city, I know why my style is a little of both. I love the chair and the curtains, and of course the blues and violets with shades of creamy white..

Homes & Gardens UK

(7) This room is a bit more modern, less relaxed but more curated… I imagine the owner to be a very posh socialite or something. (not me). Doesn’t that rug look like heaven for the feet? Yellow and gray works so nicely in this space…

Homes & Gardens UK

(8) Another well edited space. A little too perfect for me to actually live in, but if I add a few of my own touches here I can see myself enjoying this living room. The shelving is a nice choice for a small room like this, and I like the small white table near to the chair, the scale of it is perfect for placing a cocktail or some magazines.

Homes & Gardens UK

(9) I’m going to cheat with this one because what I like most is the lighting and the view! Look at the balcony railing, it’s so ornate and reminds me of London for some reason…

Homes & Gardens UK

(10) I love this sofa and the pillows on it. I imagine this room much differently if I were to occupy it, but I could see myself working in that sofa somehow. It would be fab in a bedroom that was large enough to have a sitting area, wouldn’t it?

Okay, your turn! :)

(images: homes & gardens uk)

Posted in Books + Magazines, Decorating Tips on September 22, 2009

Elle Decoration South Africa

I’m on a magazine kick today, right? I can’t help it. Once I get on these topic rollercoasters I have a hard time breaking free. My current fascination is with Elle Decoration South Africa because Heather Moore, an editor on their blog (thanks, Heather!), sent me an issue. I love it, especially this particular one shown on my table below with the cherry blossoms in all their glory on the cover. Flowering branches in the home, outside of rosemary and olive topiary trees and peonies, are my favorite things to put on display — though very hard to always find since they are seasonal and not all flower shops carry them even when they are in season. So when I cannot have real cherry blossoms, I will casually lay my pretty magazine on the coffee table to bring in these beautiful blooms.

Elle Decoration South Africa

This magazine is not only gorgeous on the outside but the guts of it are ever so tasty! It’s too good to pass up. Elle Decoration whether in SA or other countries, are all quite amazing publications. Nothing at all like Elle Decor (US) which is beautiful as well but on a very different level, much more high society I think. Elle Decoration, on the other hand, feels more creative and approachable to all income levels in my opinion, like a lot of the things you see you could almost reproduce yourself if you had the right color of paint or the patience to hand create something that inspired you.

Here’s a peek of ED South Africa Spring 2009 (current issue) below, these are my low res scanned copies but hey it’s some bait to entice you. To enjoy the full high res beauty and perfect photography on every page you’ll need to purchase a hard copy or visit their website. I particularly LOVED the home of stylist Tracy Lynch, the dresser below is her magical creation. Of course I love the use of doilies over the bed and all of the butterflies. It reminds me of the decor8 blog logo/template if interpreted into decor. :)

Elle Decoration South Africa

Elle Decoration South Africa

Elle Decoration South Africa

Elle Decoration South Africa

Now let’s talk about magazines in general for a moment because like you, I’m addicted to them and I want to talk about why and what we can all do to keep magazines in circulation. First of course, to really help magazines we need to be careful about how much of their content we show on our blogs. If we scan in every page then no one will buy a hard copy, right? Though, I know this won’t sit well with some of you, but I had to say it. Think about it when you blog though. It matters.

And next, I must confess that when it comes to magazines I prefer print over digital sometimes because I think there is nothing better than holding a book and reading it or sitting on the sofa listening to your favorite music with a mag in hand that you’d saved for that exact moment.

Online, I have blogs and online mags that I go to for inspiration — but it’s a different medium and a different feeling altogether. Not better or worse, different. It’s like saying Italian food is better than Thai food. How can you say this if you love both equally. And that feeling of blog/online mag love is often centered around the fact that what I find online is often of-the-moment and so this often fuels my need to know about the best and latest. As a writer, I need to know these things to stay on top of what’s what in order to produce interesting content. Print publications, due to schedules and such, cannot generate content as quickly which is why most of your popular magazines have blogs with experienced editors writing about those must-have items that didn’t make it into the magazine.

But a print magazine is a bit of history in your hand, you can reference it at anytime in the future as long as you keep your copy in good shape. And the smell of paper, yum. Same goes for books. I could never get into reading books online or even on handheld devices kindle (sorry, kindlers out there) because I love the paper smell so much, holding something vs. scrolling through, and of course you cannot read everything online because not all you find it fact-checked, verified, or even true. Plus, it’s not always good for your vision to only read from your computer. Plus there is something long lasting about a book. You cannot (oops!) delete a book but you can delete a blog post by accident as I’ve done many times in the past – then that content is gone for good. You cannot fry a magazine but you can fry your harddrive. Things like that make me cherish print stuff in addition to the digital goodies.

I think blogs and books and magazines call all live happily together in the same universe though. I don’t think one needs to push out the other. Currently publishers are battling over this topic and some are really upset that blogs exist, others still don’t understand the fascination with blogs, and still others just want nothing to do but work with bloggers because they know that we have a powerful position here on the web with all of us pulling together to form this great big community of friends and colleagues. But I say both magazine and blog and digital mag can live in harmony.

To illustrate: People still go to the movie theater despite that they know in a few months the same film will release on DVD, which they can show in their home with their pimped out audio/visual system for a lot less money than a movie night out. But they still go see movies just the same. It’s a different experience — the crowds, the smell of popcorn, the sounds of others reacting to the picture before you. I love that moment when you enter your favorite newsstand and spot the latest issue of the magazine you anticipate each month. It’s a fleeting moment, but a moment just the same that matters and brings a burst of joy. I’m all about these mini bursts and love to feel excited over something now and then. That’s why I still love to see a movie on opening weekend vs. a month later. Of course, we’re all so different in this respect but this is how I see it.

Free Wallpaper

(download this as wallpaper here.)

But I’ll say it again and again on this blog, print magazines will always remain one of my favorite purchases to make and I’m very brand loyal to several ones out there. Which is why when Domino crashed and Blueprint fell apart, then all the others afterwards, I almost felt like there was something lost in the design community in the states that once drew us all together. There was, and still is I think, a HUGE hole that nothing else is filling with some of our favorite magazines gone. Whether that will change or not still remains to be seen. But certain movements or feelings or things, I believe, cannot be replaced and one just has to move on. Perhaps that whole Domino/Blueprint era was only a stepping stone. But it’s still sad. Often when my friends here ask me what magazines I miss the most from the states I cannot point to very many because most of my favorites folded. I want to encourage you to continue buying and supporting magazines you love even though you read tons of blogs. Print is really good, print is your friend. :) Sure, you can flip through them at the library or magazine stand, but if you really love and want to see your favorites stay around, buy them and encourage your friends to buy them too. A world without magazines would be a world that I hope I never have to live in! We have to work to make sure that this never happens.

Okay, I’m off for the day… I’ll spiral no more down into my rabbit hole of thoughts and dreams of what ifs and how cans. I’ll simply go out and buy a coffee and then, a magazine. :)

(images: holly becker scanned images from elle decoration south africa for decor8)

Posted in Books + Magazines, inspiration on September 16, 2009

Antler Magazine

I’ve talked about Antler magazine before but this time it just feels better and yes, it’s possible! I also want to promote those who put so much heart and soul into independent publishing because I am sure there is so much work involved and such a limited budget for advertising and getting the word out. I’m swept away by their dreamy aesthetic – such a popular “vibe” right now in publishing (especially indie fashion/art mags) and their photography is lovely… I love their models, beautiful but in a “real girl” sort of way and not in a supermodel unapproachable way. I also appreciate their illustration spotlights, this month they’ve featured a few of my favorites so it was fun to flip through their online pages to see their work in full view and to read the interviews with some very talented indie artists who have made quite an impact online.

Antler Magazine

Antler Magazine

Antler Magazine

The magazine is free so definitely check it out — it’s inspiring and so, so nicely done up all girly like – so feminine and informative… Make sure you click on the last image (above) to enlarge it and read what their take is on a typical Antler reader… Lovely!

(images: antler magazine)

Posted in Books + Magazines on September 16, 2009

CUT Magazine: New

This is a happy day for me because my friend Anne blogged about the new German indie DIY fashion/craft magazine called CUT which looks absolutely cool. Though I’m told it deals more with fashion than crafts and decorating/design, but still…I can’t wait to find a copy and preview it for myself so I can see what it has to offer. I value Anne’s opinion though, very much, and if she likes it then I’m sure it’s pretty good.

CUT magazine

CUT magazine

CUT magazine

If you live in Germany or can read German I suggest you visit their site. And CUT staffers if you are reading this, I just moved from the states to Hannover and would love to know where to find a copy locally. I haven’t seen it around here yet. :)

9/18 UPDATE: This magazine is available in Hannover in the bahnhof in the “crafts” section near the wedding magazines at Quick Press. I went today and looked at the magazine – it’s wonderful. I highly suggest buying a copy.

(images: cut magazine)

Posted in Books + Magazines on September 16, 2009

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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