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Decorating Tips

Relaxing + Cozy Tabletop Decor Inspired By Finland

December 12, 2016

Hello decor8 readers, this is columnist Anke with my monthly column so please have a look at my recent dining room tabletop styling if you’d like. I have been inspired recently by a short trip to Finland. While doing window shopping I spotted interior design in moody colors like bordeaux, masala, dusky pink, mossy green, grey and black everywhere. Though this isn’t your typical Christmas motif, and now Finland is decked out in the most traditional holiday colors, my trip last month still left an impression on me. I really enjoyed to see these dark shades in combination with plain Finnish design — they just know how to create a relaxed and calm atmosphere, right?

Relaxing + Cozy Tabletop Decor Inspired By Finland

I thought to bring my impressions onto our tabletop at home by using candle and tea light holders in different shapes and sizes, made of glass and wood. Furthermore on my table – this season’s most popular ceramics – tableware in black, the “black coal” series by Broste Copenhagen. I found it at my dear friend’s online shop Wunderschoen Gemacht.

Relaxing + Cozy Tabletop Decor Inspired By Finland

Instead of flowers, I decided on different branches which I will now use for making Christmas wreaths. I picked eucalyptus, olive, pine and twigs with tiny acorns and pale pink berries and I liked having them in a vase until I have to cut them into small bunches for the wreaths.

Relaxing + Cozy Tabletop Decor Inspired By Finland

Relaxing + Cozy Tabletop Decor Inspired By Finland

Relaxing + Cozy Tabletop Decor Inspired By Finland

When it comes to trends, I usually need some time until I give an interior trend a try. This “boho” Woven Wall Hanging for an example! A “Dust catcher” was my first thought. But well, you see, I obviously changed my mind. The best about this DIY was spending two snugly evenings with my boys who keenly wove their own ones with me. Now I know why we send them to Waldorfschool! ;-)

Last but not least, a salted dark chocolate tarte with whipped cream and red berry sauce went on the table and made me happy. I am really into sweets with a salty twist and love dark chocolate desserts combined with red berry anything! The berry sauce you see on one of my pictures is the easiest ever. In Germany we have a classic called “Rote Grütze” which is a compote of red berries you can buy ready to eat in every supermarket. I just put this one into my blender and mix it until smooth, that’s it. Sometimes one is allowed to take the easy way out, agree?

Relaxing + Cozy Tabletop Decor Inspired By Finland

It’s impossible to finish this post without giving thanks to Holly for my highlight this month! Your book party launching “Decorate for a Party”/ “Feierlaune” ($12 on Amazon this week only!) in Hannover with so many inspiring guests, a beautiful table decoration and those blissful cakes by Mundus was such a treat, dear Holly! It was so great to have spent time with you and I enjoyed very much!

Have a wonderful start into the month of December and make yourself comfortable at home, dear readers! I hope to see you again soon with some Christmas decoration for the table! – Anke

(Styling, Text and Photography: Anke Illner)






Decorating Tips

9 Easy Ways To Decorate For a Party

November 8, 2016

Oh my goodness the American election is such a nail biter! So let’s escape a little and think about nice party decorating ideas for a total girl night indulgence, ok? Maybe it will be a post election party idea? Hmmmm…  Today I have my friend and fellow author Leslie Shewring, an artist and designer from Victoria, Canada, who will share her recent book party night with us along with 9 easy tips for making a gathering special on a budget. This party was recently held to celebrate the launch of our book, Decorate for a Party, which is sold where all fine books are stocked. It’s available in Australia, Canada, United States, UK, German-speaking Europe (in German), France (in French), and Italy (in Italian). We are so happy to see our project around easy, simple decorating ideas for meaningful gatherings attract so much attention. It’s very heartwarming.

9 Easy Ways To Decorate For a Party

Leslie’s goal for her book party wasn’t only to celebrate the launch of our book. In fact, Leslie isn’t the type who likes the spotlight on herself or her accomplishments. She is very humble and prefers intimate and meaningful gatherings over large crowds and fanfares. In this way, Leslie pulled together only her nearest and dearest for an evening of girl power inspiration and it made her evening nice because it was in harmony with how she likes gatherings to be when gathering girlfriends – inspiring, feminine and at ease.

9 Easy Ways To Decorate For a Party

She decided to teamed up with her friend and local lady boss, Pam Lewis from Moonrise Creative, and together they hosted a talk show style party where guests were taken into the lives of creative women and allowed to chime in with views of their own to create a fantastic, insightful dialogue. I love the spirit of this evening, the magic shared together as women discussed stories, laughed and walked away with cake in their bellies and love in their hearts.

9 Easy Ways To Decorate For a Party

I’d like to share 9 easy decorating ideas with you for your next party, all styled by Leslie Shewring and photographed by Kelly Brown. Then, I’ll show you some photos of the ladies gathered in her studio and of Leslie signing the book because I just love how at ease she is and joy that she radiants. These photos made me so happy and I hope that somehow they do too.

9 Easy Ways To Decorate For a Party

1. Tiny white bunting and pretty white lights make a party feel special. Keeping it simple with white is also very classy. Scroll down to see how effective this look can be when you add lots of bunting and lights…

9 Easy Ways To Decorate For a Party

2. Large wooden beads in glass cylinder vases. A grouping in an odd number (3) with beads at different levels looks pretty and is very simple. Another tip is that if you don’t have a large painting on the wall and you wish you did, opt for something easier – hang a framed poster, macrame or a beautiful grouping of inspirational photos in a mood board style.

9 Easy Ways To Decorate For a Party

3. Carnations in glass jars and bottles. The key to making this work is to stick to one color and to group them.

9 Easy Ways To Decorate For a Party

4. Keep snacks simple but gorgeous and delicious. These cakes were made by Susannah Ruth Bryan from Ruth & Dean Baked Goods and work beautifully with the space. They are simple and elegant. With coffee, tea and champagne, you don’t need much more to satisfy a group of friends if they’ve already had dinner or if it’s a mid-afternoon event – cake always makes people happy.

9 Easy Ways To Decorate For a Party

5. Mix in warm wood when you’re working in a mostly white space. Mismatching chairs is always nice. The key styling trick here is to keep the most dominate ones the same (in this case, the wooden chairs) and then the less dominate (white) can all be different.

9 Easy Ways To Decorate For a Party

6. Style flowers simply. Sometimes we think we need to go to great lengths to style the perfect arrangement. You really don’t! The styling trick with flowers is to use solid vessels that work together and then flowers grouped by type. Anyone can arrange flowers like this – it’s really easy. Styling tip: Clean off leaves that will be showing beneath the water line.

9 Easy Ways To Decorate For a Party

7. Add fresh greenery. Plants are a big trend currently but we’re hoping that, unlike the 1970s, plants stick around this time. When you add a plant or in this case, a giant ceramic vase filled with Eucalyptus leaves, you’ve instantly added freshness and life to the space, making it feel less clinical while still feeling pure and modern.

9 Easy Ways To Decorate For a Party

8. Group paper lanterns together to create a focal point. They also look like balloons but last a lot longer so you can use them for other parties. Such a pretty corner!

9 Easy Ways To Decorate For a Party

9. Add wooden beads to lengths of ribbon to create pretty wall decor. This is easy, fun, and can be used for other projects later on.

Now let’s look at the room after the sun went down and the room was a-buzz with creative women sharing their stories and Leslie leading the discussion on the topic of creativity.

9 Easy Ways To Decorate For a Party

9 Easy Ways To Decorate For a Party

9 Easy Ways To Decorate For a Party

9 Easy Ways To Decorate For a Party

9 Easy Ways To Decorate For a Party

9 Easy Ways To Decorate For a Party

9 Easy Ways To Decorate For a Party

9 Easy Ways To Decorate For a Party

9 Easy Ways To Decorate For a Party

9 Easy Ways To Decorate For a Party

9 Easy Ways To Decorate For a Party

9 Easy Ways To Decorate For a Party

9 Easy Ways To Decorate For a Party

Doesn’t this party inspire you to not only keep things simple and elegant, but to get the girls together and share stories of love, creativity, encouragement and promise? I certainly want to do this now, it makes me smile to see my friend having such a beautiful evening with so many women that make her happy in her part of the world. Leslie, you rocked your party, so proud of you girl!

(Styling: Leslie Shewring. Photography: Kelly Brown)

 






Decorating Tips

17 Tips For A Beautiful, Organized Office Space

September 8, 2016

My friend Holly Marder, who lives in the Netherlands, has such a beautiful home-based office that I thought I’d share a tour of it with you today along with my 17 tips for a beautiful, practical office space that I took from each view of her space. Located on the top floor of her home, this open concept, large loft space is flooded with natural light and as a stylist and photographer, Ms. Marder definitely required this for her work. I visited her here last summer and just loved it! It feels like the best spot to be creative and that is exactly what she uses it for. From her client work to her photography and writing assignments, it’s the place where all of her creative ideas see the light of day and where others are born. Would you fancy a look?

17 Tips For A Beautiful, Organized Office Space

1. Neutral palette – I love how neutral and natural everything looks while also feeling very modern, light and fresh.

17 Tips For A Beautiful, Organized Office Space

2. Lots of pattern – From the weave on the chair seat to the subtle pattern on the Superfront cabinet, the herringbone patterned rug, the wood grain on furniture and accessories, the beams in the ceiling, lines in the floorboards, watercolor prints by Silke Bonde that are available at The Poster Club (I also have these in my home), and the cushion covers (many of which are African Mud Cloth, I get mine on Etsy at Homegirl Collection and One Fine Nest), there is an abundance of pattern in this room – mostly subtle, but sometimes bold. The mix keeps the room tranquil but still lends a cozy vibe and keeps the space from looking boring which can easily happen in mostly white or neutral rooms.

17 Tips For A Beautiful, Organized Office Space

3. Accent piece/s – This cabinet by Superfront is a real stand out piece despite being subtle, it’s still very noticeable when you enter the space. It’s unique and the minty color is just fabulous combined with those perfect brass handles.

17 Tips For A Beautiful, Organized Office Space

4. Organized – This space has a sense of clarity and openness yet it’s not entirely empty – there are things out and displayed yet they are stacked and positioned so neatly and with great care, so you feel more like you have entered a retail space and not so much like the prop space of a stylist where things are constantly being rotated in and out according to her client’s orders.

17 Tips For A Beautiful, Organized Office Space

5. Open storage – I really like how Ms. Marder uses every chance to showcase the things she loves and to tuck away the bits she doesn’t. These fabrics, some from Molle, are far too pretty to place inside of a cabinet, so she has displayed them on this wooden leaning rack by Walden.

17 Tips For A Beautiful, Organized Office Space

6. Texture – Holly has a nice mix of texture in the space from wood to ceramics and textiles. Some of her ceramics from Anne Black and just gorgeous. Mixing in ceramics always brings in a sense of personality but also warmth, especially pieces that look made by hand versus mass produced and perfect.

17 Tips For A Beautiful, Organized Office Space

7. Lighting – I can’t say how much I love how her space is bathed in natural daylight. It’s just gorgeous, isn’t it? And I love her lamps and pendant lighting too in brass and wood (wood pendant over her round table is by Iumi, wall scone by Schoolhouse Electric and desk lamp from House Doctor). Natural light doesn’t always come easily. Sometimes you have to remove a wall, pop in a skylight, remove heavy window treatments opting for lighter ones (i.e. simple roman shade), even install windows or replace old ones with those that allow in more light. There is usually expense involved in making your home light and bright when you aren’t blessed with natural light. No matter the expense or hassle though, it’s worth it if your mood and work depend on it.

Note: Look at this room before (HERE) and (HERE). See what I mean? A white wooden floor bounced the natural light back up and painting the walls made it even brighter so those two tricks really gave the loft an airy, bright mood. Definitely worth the time and expense to renovate.

17 Tips For A Beautiful, Organized Office Space

8. Massive desk area – I have had a full wall with my desk like this for the past 5 years and I honestly could never go back to working on a single desk. I love it so much and I find that most creatives, after they try it, also can’t go back to working on a single desk. To spread all of your work out on a surface and be able to stand and move around as you shuffle papers and work – it’s great. Add good music to the mix and the basic tools you need to work (printer, computer, paper, etc.) and you’ve got everything you need.

17 Tips For A Beautiful, Organized Office Space

9. Open Space. When I look at this office, I don’t feel like it’s packed. I don’t feel overwhelmed or stressed. I don’t feel like there isn’t a way to quickly transform it for a workshop or photo shoot or to welcome a client. It does feel very flexible and open. I like this sense of open space. Everything feels like it can be moved around and used in a new way. Even her desk – nothing except her minty green cabinet is screwed into a wall. Everything else can be moved about so she has total creative freedom here.

Note: You can see how this space has been used in the past for workshops (HERE) and (HERE).

17 Tips For A Beautiful, Organized Office Space

10.  Character. This sofa! I really adore this wicker sofa, more than I should because it’s a special piece and I’ll most likely never be able to find one like it. But I do adore it. And this is what every room needs, those special pieces that only you can have and that are special – you sourced it from a flea market, it was handed down from family, a few pieces that have a story to tell. They add soul.

17 Tips For A Beautiful, Organized Office Space

11.  Fresh Greens – While not the focus in the room, I like how she has added some plants in the space to bring in some natural greenery and life. When it comes to plants, I’m a bit of a minimalist and though jungle fever is trending and I love how it looks in the homes of others, I prefer only a few per room. Same goes for flowers, I like some dotted around a space – mostly those that look fresh picked from an English garden, but I’m also not into perfect arrangements that overtake a space.

17 Tips For A Beautiful, Organized Office Space

12. Mood board. I know everyone organizes their thoughts differently, I admit to using Pinterest more than pinning on my own walls these days, but I still love a nice arrangement of things pinned to a wall near my computer. It gives my eye a place to rest during the day that often centers me and helps clear my mind.

17 Tips For A Beautiful, Organized Office Space

13. Texture. When you have texture, you bring in warmth. The more natural texture (vs man-made cheap synthetics) the better – wood, wool, clay, wicker, straw, cane. It also adds dimension and makes you feel good. Stepping on a soft wooly rug with bare feet is so nice in any season.

17 Tips For A Beautiful, Organized Office Space

14. Pillows. Maybe it’s the American in me, but I love throw pillows. Stacked on a cabinet, in a cabinet, positioned nicely on a chair or sofa, on my bed, on the floor – I really enjoy having them in a space – and why not a work space? Sometimes you may need to sit on the floor to work on a project, or you just require an extra one for your back while seated. They add a element of home to what could easily turn into a boring, generic work area, don’t you think?

17 Tips For A Beautiful, Organized Office Space

15. Contrast. You always need heathy tension in a room or else it can quickly look to too same-y or boring. This wooden cabinet, because it’s so dark and unexpected since it’s old and everything else in the room is somewhat new or modern, is just perfect. Because the doors are glass, it’s not too heavy looking and it houses fine textiles and pieces worth showcasing.

17 Tips For A Beautiful, Organized Office Space

16. Pretty objects on display. This space definitely has a lot of beautiful objects in it. Even simple pots for plants and baskets for storage, though currently not in use for their intended purpose, look beautiful displayed simply on a bench like this. Some are tempted to store everything behind closed doors if not being used, but often objects that are pretty to look at can make an impact when not tucked away.

17 Tips For A Beautiful, Organized Office Space

17. Styled right. This work room is styled like a store. In fact, when I look at it, I think Ms. Marder has a retail space in her future or an online shop because she has the eye of a shopkeeper for sure. I really love how she folds and drapes and stacks her objects that eventually go out to her design clients. Working daily in a space where such care and love is given to objects can’t help but inspire your work!

I have to add that whenever I think about the day when I worked with Holly in this space, I hear the Australian band Boy & Bear. Do you know them? It’s all I heard when I looked at these photos this morning while writing this post. They’re a great band and super nice for listening to while working.

For more resources and ideas of how this space was put together, refer to Avenue Lifestyle here.

(Photographs + Styling: With Permission from Holly Marder. Text: Holly Becker)






Decorating Tips

Micro Trend: Float Frames For Photography + Art

September 7, 2016

One trend I’ve spotted lately when it comes to wall art and photo framing is the gorgeous, light and airy-looking float frame. Have you noticed this too? Generally made of acrylic with brass bolts and screws, they are modern and clean — just perfect for fine art photography, family photos or special documents or keepsakes. I’ve been spotting them around and noticed that Artifact Uprising rolled them out in five sizes just this week so I thought to highlight them as I really love this look and they carry them in 12×14, 17×20, 26×26, 24×30, and 30×42.

Micro Trend: Float Frames For Photography + Art

Micro Trend: Float Frames For Photography + Art

Micro Trend: Float Frames For Photography + Art

What do you think of this look? I love it – such a nice change from traditional frames.

(Photographs: With permission from Artifact Uprising)






Decorating Tips

Clean, Clear Laid Back Green and Peach Interiors

July 8, 2016

I’m REALLY feeling this laid back summer home style that’s so clear and clean, so coastal, so boho minus the patchouli 60s vibe… It’s just great. Breezy, easy, tactile and lots of pretty green tones and shades of pale orange. So summery and just yum.

Clean, Clear Laid Back Green and Peach Interiors

Clean, Clear Laid Back Green and Peach Interiors

Clean, Clear Laid Back Green and Peach Interiors

Clean, Clear Laid Back Green and Peach Interiors

Clean, Clear Laid Back Green and Peach Interiors

Clean, Clear Laid Back Green and Peach Interiors

Clean, Clear Laid Back Green and Peach Interiors

Clean, Clear Laid Back Green and Peach Interiors

I’ve been thinking a lot lately when I look at the photos I love, reminding myself to stop and consider WHAT I FEEL when I gaze upon a photo that feels as though it’s speaking to me.

  • What is it saying exactly?
  • What do I like about it?
  • How does it make me feel?
  • Do I smell anything?
  • Do I hear a particular song?
  • Or another sound, is there something else coming to my ears when I look at the image?
  • What about the scene is vibing with me, the composition, colors, location?

It’s so important to explore the way work we like is REALLY truly impacting us. We are always so quick to say, ” This inspires me sooooo much!” or “I love this  photo, pin!!!”. But maybe try to think a lot more about what’s resonating with you exactly. This is so interesting and it gives you a real sense of self and can help you to tap into your personal style.

Have a nice weekend!

(Photo credits: Alexandra StrongLine Thit KleinElle Denmark, House of Valentina, Apartment TherapyBonbon Oiseau, Greenbody Greenhome, David Waves, Serax, SFGirlByBay, UO Blog, Cup of Joe, Over The Ocean, The Glitter GuideCarrie Waller, Aww Sam)






Decorating Tips

Modern + Clean Rustic Lodge Style

July 4, 2016

Hello everyone and to my American friends, Happy 4th of July! I’d like to be in Boston right now awaiting the big fireworks fest (or in Manhattan) as this was our annual tradition when we lived stateside. To bring a little festivity to my July 4th weekend as an expat in Germany, I went to a Schützenfest parade followed by a large fair. It has nothing to do with American independence day but it felt nice to do something festive and funny as it sounds, I left inspired but in a most unexpected way. As the bands marched by, I couldn’t stop thinking about Autumn interiors.

Modern + Clean Rustic Lodge Style

I’ll get to that in a moment but first you may be wondering what is Schützenfest? In short, it’s a marksmen’s festival with a target shooting competition popular in both Germany and Switzerland. And don’t worry, no animals were/are harmed! “At a Schützenfest, contestants compete based on their shooting abilities, for example by shooting at a wooden representation of an eagle. The winner of the competition becomes the ‘king of marksmen’ (“Schützenkönig“) until the next year’s competition.” Quite harmless but there is still a big culture around it. Some men that I saw had over 50 badges on their jackets as they proudly marched by in their traditional gear.

Modern + Clean Rustic Lodge Style

I happen to live in the city where they host the largest Schützenfest in the world with over 5,000 marksmen, 250 rides, multiple large beer tents and a parade. This is not your typical parade though with over 13,000 participants from all over the world, 100+ marching bands covering a little over 3 kilometers though the length is nearly 12 kilometers – so it’s the longest parade in the world and takes HOURS to observe – half a day!

As you can imagine, my two-year-old son (he will be 2 1/2 next month) LOVED the parade. As he chomped on a giant pretzel and watched the bands stomp by, his eyes were huge and curious. It was so cute. Later, we took him to the fest with his oma (grandma) and played the typical carnival games and he ran around pointing to all of the fun signs and lights. I saw everything through much younger eyes and it was all really sweet.

But interiors. Somehow I made a connection to home being there. No clue why. Inspiration is like that though isn’t it? No rhyme or reason. Perhaps after being immersed in this marksmen culture seeing all of those traditional costumes, with lots of green, blue and crimson tones, was the jumping off point. I began to think about how these outfits could translate into interior design but in a fresh, light way and not so much the heavy hunting lodge motif that we immediately call to mind. I imagined rooms like these shown below… Modern farmhouses and lake houses with a bit of a lodge vibe.

Modern + Clean Rustic Lodge Style

Modern + Clean Rustic Lodge Style

Modern + Clean Rustic Lodge Style

Modern + Clean Rustic Lodge Style

Modern + Clean Rustic Lodge Style

Modern + Clean Rustic Lodge Style

Modern + Clean Rustic Lodge Style

Modern + Clean Rustic Lodge Style

Modern + Clean Rustic Lodge Style

GET THIS LOOK:

COLORS: Green, gray, rust, crimson, black, charcoal, cream, white

KEY ELEMENTS: Woven rugs in natural fibers, sheepskin throws, taxidermy, tools, antlers, images of the outdoors (forests, mountains), plaid throws, wool blankets, black iron, suede and leather, woven hangings on the wall, brass, pendant lights with exposed draping cords. Concrete, Raw, natural wood. White paneling. Reclaimed wood. Cement. Matte paint in natural tones. Linen bedding. Horses and livestock in photography, Ceramic tableware in natural tones. Very little pattern except through texture. Plants and herbs and green wreaths, Stripe and plaid is okay for blankets, throws and rugs. Rough surfaces. Most of the pattern is brought in through texture.

SCENTS: Lapsang souchong, fir, bergamot, tobacco, white tea, cinnamon, pine, sandlewood, No.92 Objets d’Amsterdam candle by Marie Stella Marais, SKOG candle by Skandinavisk and Diptyque Feu de bois candle.

AVOID: Glamorous accents that sparkle and shine, jewel tones, white furniture (except like a Ghost sofa or a small stool), Metallic silver, pastels, formal lighting, large area rugs in bold colors, floral patterns, bold geometric patterns. Nothing that feels too special or delicate, roses and delicate flowers, succulents.

What do you think about this look? Does it speak to you?

(Photo credits: Vogue Living Australia, The Estate TrenthamKara RosenlundAirows, Disc Journal, Baobab Interiors, The death of cool, Stitch & Hammer, Kinfolk, Ultralinx, Gracious Home)






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