When I travel outside of the states I have this must-visit on my list that I often hit the second I’ve unpacked: Locate a book shop! Not only because I need to find magazines, cookbooks, interior design and craft books but I must locate the children’s book section. One can learn a lot about a culture by visiting a local book store, don’t you think? Illustrated books provide me with endless inspiration and are such a huge personal pick-me-up. I often flip through them imagining the day when perhaps I’ll author my very own, and if it’s not meant to be that I write a one that is sold in bookstores then I will write them once I become a mother for my own kids.
My aunt was a great lover of illustration and sent me books ever since I was a baby that made a deep impression on me. She paid such close attention to illustration and had great taste, as a fine artist and illustrator herself I now understand why she so carefully selected books for me. My favorite book was The Maggie B, I still have it and when I’m missing my aunt (she passed away at age 41)… I take it from my bookcase and read it because the story so perfectly captures the meaning of comfort and the joy of having a rich imagination, you instantly feel warm the moment you read it and the illustrations convey care and comfort so beautifully.
Here in Germany I escape to the bookstore whenever I need a break and recently discovered publisher Annette Betz and in particular the German illustrator Silke Leffler. I REALLY find her illustrations so full of whimsy and they have a definite fairytale feel to them. I immediately purchased Das Andersen M?rchenbuch because I really like the full page color illustrations. I’m studying German right now and such books help me to learn the language since I’m so visual, and you can’t even believe how I use this point to my advantage when it comes to justifying the purchase of beautiful kiddie books. :)
If you also like Silke’s work you can purchase a print from her at a website in the UK called EasyArt. She has designed bedding for IKEA that Inspire Co. blogged about here that is really sweet, too. I think it’s available in the states in addition to IKEA in Germany.
Now I’m wondering… what is your favorite children’s book? I like so many, but the Maggie B is at the top of my list because it’s a very emotional imaginative tale and connects me back to my Aunt.
(images from silke leffler)
Sidsel from the Spagat design studio in Denmark sent me a gorgeous interiors magazine called RUM featuring design and homes from all over the world. I am really enjoying this magazine with my tea this morning Sidsel, so thank you!
Ferm Living has a new collection of wallpaper and I found the beautiful Fairy Flowers on page 122. Oh my goodness! oh my goodness! OH. MY. GOODNESS. Get the point!? I’m dying to own this wallpaper. I cannot take my eyes off of it. I’ve been adding in gold accents into my living room lately so seeing this made me quite excited as it’s so fresh and the patterns make me drool… This is on my wish list for sure. I want to paper my kitchen with this now or my bedroom. P.S. Ferm also has a new kids collection here.
Next up is the new Cycle of Life pouf from Nicolette Brunklaus in Holland. I love this modern take on poufs incorporating photography into the design. Very nice. She has new pendants in her collection too. I’ve been following her work for a few years now and just love how she uses photographs in most of her work, it’s really inspirational to see photos used on household items without it looking tacky. Her modern laser cut pendants are great looking as well and also a new addition to her line.
Ah Andrew Tanner… What you do to me! This contemporary ceramicist blows my mind. Look at these plates, created back in 2005 but still relevant today. I think this is amazing work and a great example of being original.
I also found a kids shop in Copenhagen called Cr?me de la Cr?me ? la Edgar. I want so badly to book a flight and go up there for the weekend in November. It’s only 45 minutes by plane…
I also found out about Steen Drabik and his artwork that he shows on his website called Stonys. I LOVE his mobiles, you should see it in person – wow! Steen is super artistic, I really can get into his work and loved reading his interview over at the Saatchi Gallery. His work is really out there and I appreciate that because it is uniquely Steen.
Another fun link I found was an etsy seller called Odelia Lavie who is currently in the spotlight on their website. I was so surprised to find an etsy seller in the spotlight of such a posh design magazine. I LOVE seeing this, it’s really amazing as years ago the only names you’d see were the big guys. Now smaller independent designers sit near the great ones. Yay Indie! Odelia Lavie is from Jerusalem and designs fun softies that have a bit of an artsy vibe — they could live alongside contemporary art so I’m thinking parents that are drawn towards more modern things would really like to have Odelia’s dolls in their home. These are great for the kids with all the shapes and colors but equally fun for those without children because softie love knows no age – my grandmother still gets excited when I visit her with plush toys.
Someone once wrote to me after reading a post I had written about softies and she thought that most people consider them childish and that this holds her back from owning them. I’d like to quickly address this concern. You cannot live to please the design tastes of others — only the taste that you have and love should be embraced and shown in your home. I am so tired of mainstream design lately that I almost want to encourage a bit of rebellion — be YOURSELF and put things around in your home that reflect your unique self. I guess I’ve always encouraged this on decor8 which is why I show a diversity of styles here, but I thought I’d voice this today because there is no better time to start living in a home that sings your life than NOW. There is no future point when you are allowed to love your home. And there is no looking back to a home you once enjoyed more than your current place. Today is when you should consider where and how you live and what little things you can do to create an environment that gives back to you. A place that encourages, refreshes, stimulates, gives you pleasure and a sense of well being. I had a conversation with a lady over the weekend (who will go unnamed) and she kept telling me how she hates her apartment, this or that isn’t perfect enough, and so she is working extra hard to save for the home of her dreams that she will own in a few years. In the meantime, she admitted, “I’m comfortable being uncomfortable”. In other words, she is content to be miserable as she has a goal ahead. This bothered me very much. I think that part of the idea of having a dream is to enjoy the process of living in the ‘what if’ moment. You know, like it’s more fun sometimes to dream than to actually have. I dream of many things and often the dream is satisfying enough. When the reality of hopes unfold,? often we are no longer excited because we have ‘it’ now. Then we’re onto the next dream! I think dreams are rewarding and should be had, you should aim high and hope and wish and work hard for the ‘next’ step in life that you want to take. But to simply wait for that time to occur without really living today is not the best way to enjoy life in my opinion. Years slip through the fingers so quickly. So if you have an apartment or home you dislike, or you live in a city or country that you do not enjoy, set a plan to make changes in the near future but while the plans are working themselves out, look for ways to improve your life today. Find ways to enjoy what you have now. The grass is always greener they say. I hope what I’ve said here doesn’t come across as preachy or ‘know it all’. I am not a therapist but I have lived in many homes and apartments and states and now I’m in two countries living in each part-time, so I have some life experience to support my words. Enjoy your home today as it is, do little things to make it better, look for ways to enhance what you have, and keep dreaming and working for your future. Please do not settle into this thinking of being comfortable in an uncomfortable life. This is also how I would answer anyone who asks me if being an adult (without children) and owning softies is okay. Own whatever makes you happy. Don’t wait until you have children to own softies. You don’t need an excuse! :) Okay… Enough on that!
A few things I noticed in RUM magazine… Lots of floral motifs, cut out patterns on lights, plates, you name it — silhouettes are still hot… Also many different takes on poufs, seems like they are all the rage and for good reason, they are very practical and can be used in so many different ways, stack them as a side table, use one for a coffee table, sit on them, place them at the foot of your bed or beneath a entry table as ‘spare’ additional seating or in place of a bench. They really are great!
I’ll be back in a few hours with Etsy Take Five Tuesday, so stay tuned for that! :)
(images linked to sources above)