Would you like to see romantic and sweet corners of a German home today? This inspiring space belongs to blogger Yvonne Bauer (aka Frl.Klein on Flickr) who is married with two daughters living outside of Munich. She likes to combine things that she finds at flea markets with brand new items from some of her favorite stores. She also loves flowers and ethnic touches along with products from Danish brand Tine K Home.
Yvonne also has antique furniture that was handed down to her husband from his family that she loves very much. She feels that the eclectic mix of everything living together, cozy, in one space makes for the perfect home. She does not consider her look to be of a certain style, though as an American living in Germany I think it’s representative of the country style that is clean, very white with modern lines, a touch of the ornate, lots of texture and an attention to detail that is prevalent in Scandinavian country styles with a touch of German country combined. Here in Germany we have tons of magazines catering to this style of decoration so it’s no wonder that Yvonne is inspired by books, magazines and blogs for visual eye candy. I don’t know if you’ve ever given much thought to which room in your home is your favorite but Yvonne views her most inspiring room as her kitchen because its the hub of activity and, “I love to cook and chill out there,” she says. From the looks of this table setting below, it’s obvious that she puts a great deal of love and care into meal planning and presentation which is so inspiring to me because I only wish I had the time to lay a table like this on a regular basis… It’s something I aspire to though – what about you?
(images: yvonne bauer)
Ready to see a lovely industrial chic loft in Buenos Aires, Argentina? Karina Manghi is a photographer (with an etsy shop) and blogger who authors site Le Blog Secret. Her loft has lots of bohemian elements to it as you will soon see. It’s a happy mix. It’s a home with a creative soul.
Karina and her husband decorated the house around the idea of being industrial with a touch of chic that would accommodate their family and not be too fussy since they have kids and entertain their friends and family often. She said the hardest part, because her taste runs the gamut, was to edit as she decorated. I think that this is a issue many face, especially when you are mixing and matching and have a more eclectic sensibility.
Some of her favorite prints look fresh and modern against that gorgeous vintage tile on the floor.
Her son’s bedroom – love the giant batman!
Her lovely daughter in their entryway, a festive welcoming with the fantastic assortment of colorful balloons! Nice idea for a party.
A quiet afternoon with mate tea…
Karina’s bedroom – lovely quilt…
A simple way to display photos on a wall – tape! No frills! Let the images speak.
Her daughter’s bedroom, complete with adorable dog and vintage bed found at a flea market!
A curious assortment of things.
Her amazing closet. Drool. I love the polished concrete floors, they reflect so much light and illuminate the space beautifully, naturally.
Don’t you love seeing her photographs taped onto that old green folding door? Pretty. And the lighting here is gorgeous. It reminds me of an old film…
Karina admits to not liking clutter but she does love to display illustrations from independent artist, beloved objects, her own photographs and those of others, her kids artwork, and travel souvenirs. Since she cannot fall back on a big box store like IKEA (there isn’t one there), she said she has had to find ways to be more creative and had built many affordable things by hiring a carpenter. She also hits flea markets for one of a kind vintage items.
Karina thank you so much for sharing your home with all of us today!
(images: karina manghi)
Are you a fan of farmhouse style? I find that depending on where you live in the world, this style can change which has a lot to do with local culture and what is available among other things. For instance, farmhouse style in America vs. farmhouse style in France or Sweden is somewhat different but they still share a golden thread that links them together — the love of vintage! Other similarities include soft colors (grays, blues and greens are popular), mixing in antiques, making lots of things by hand, and fresh flowers are usually in the mix.
Heather Anderson’s farmhouse in Michigan is more the American idea of farmhouse style which is quite popular and most who follow this style tend to be very creative and love to make things themselves to personalize it a bit. Heather has a gorgeous stream of photos on Flickr where I discovered her and fell in love with some of her DIY projects that I discovered over on her blog like this frame and this bunting. She also has a vintage goods shop over at Etsy. I asked Heather to send me her personal favorite photos of her home to share with decor8 readers – I have to say, she selected some beautiful views that provide for some great Friday inspiration. I also asked her a few questions about her home that I think you’ll enjoy…
What is the inspiration behind your style and how do you define it? I am inspired by farmhouse living. I love the simplicity and the lived in, loved in look. My style is fresh farmhouse with a dash of romance. I love a collected-over-time feel. No rules, just useful and beautiful. I stick with non-breakable, fuss-less items that don’t break the bank or my heart if my baby bears, I mean boys, get a hold of them.
Where do you find ideas and inspiration? With a wealth of blogs and magazines to read, it is not hard to find inspiration! However, my favorites come late at night when the house is (finally) quiet and I have time to just sit and imagine.
What do you love about your home? I love that our home is in the country. I also love that it is open and airy (a must for long, dark Michigan winters). But my favorite part about our home is that we built it ourselves. It will probably never be “completely” finished, but what fun would that be? I love dreaming up our next project and renovating, decorating, re-decorating… It is humble, yet it is still the house of my dreams.
What makes a house feel like home to you? A house is a home when it is a reflection of you and filled with those you love. Decorating should be fun, not some standard that you have to live up to. It can happen very gradually over time. Layer upon layer, you find, collect, build, and it becomes a labor of love. That is what makes house a home.
Above: Bottles Heather spray painted in matte white paint to give them a chalky finish – I love these!
Heather’s home is filled with projects that she did herself. For instance, if you like the bunting in her kitchen shown (first image above), here is a terrific tutorial where she’ll show you how to make it! You can also learn how to make that terrific frame/message board that you see in the 2nd image above right here. Again, great ideas and a lovely lady who is being creative at home, keeping it real, and loving to decorate!
(images: heather anderson)
What do you think about when you imagine how people are decorating in Sarajevo, Bosnia? Perhaps photographs of this gorgeous apartment in Sarajevo with decoration inspired by the city may give you a fresh impression. This apartment belongs to blogger Sabina Cudic who says, “This corner of the world has not been covered (in the world of decorating) and I hope this little submission serves to change that.” Yes, it will! In addition to her blog, Sabina teaches Political Science and International Relations at the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology. She is also an avid former competitive debater, is passionate about photography, fashion, interior decorating and of course politics and international affairs.
I asked Sabina about the design scene in Bosnia and she wrote such a great reply that I didn’t want to water it down by revising it or turning it into my own words so I’ll let you read her reply. It’s fascinating!
About design in Bosnia: “Decorating resources in Bosnia are, as you can expect limited. There is not a single major/international furniture chain present (the closest IKEA is more than 400 kilometers away and majority of on-line shops shipping policies tend to avoid Bosnia), however I still wouldn’t consider it to be a deprivation – and would go as far as to argue that this type of “isolation” encourages organic creativity!” I have to agree with her on that point, having fewer options does lend to finding creative alternatives.
About her apartment: “My boyfriend and I purchased a 60m2 apartment several months ago and having spent our entire budget on basic renovations, we are left with nothing more than creativity for decorations. This means that we used mostly our old furniture which we upholstered in new (and I have to admit, very cheap and sold by kilogram) natural and neutral fabrics. I purchased the doted fabric which we used for chairs on a major sale at an IKEA in Germany, together with other couple of decorating details which I could “smuggle” back to Sarajevo. Stubbornly setting my mind onto something also means that I sometimes spend an entire flight back home holding a lamp shade in my lap, or a ceramic deer that I cannot live without. This also means that on more than one occasion I chose “luxury” over necessity, clearly indicated by the fact that we still do not own a TV or furnished bedroom (Bosnians are known for, here and there, acting on emotions and not reason.) But it also encapsulates my home decorating policy of ensuring that we are surrounded by things we love and cherish and that necessities will eventually take care of themselves.” I like that as I can relate — it’s better to decorate with what you love than to just buy something for the sake of filling a room.
Her decorating style: “The palette we chose for the apartment is neutral with decidedly white walls everywhere but in the bathroom which we cozied up with the shades of cream and gray and stone tiles. As the entire apartment is facing south and is on the eighth floor, we enjoy the enormous amount of sunlight and prefer serenity of whites, creams and natural wood, adorned with objects and pictures we collected over time, instead of explosion of colors.” To that I say, beige is not boring!
What makes Sarajevo special: “There are several aspects that make home decorating in Sarajevo a pleasant challenge: there is a great number of extremely talented artisans whose work is unfortunately severely undervalued. Beautiful carpets and rugs, fabrics and upholstering, as well as hand made furniture are among the cheapest and least discovered in Europe. For those with a curious, patient and creative mind Sarajevo can be a heaven.”
Where do you shop for the home in Bosnia?“There are several shops and artists whose work I would highly recommend: A nearly hundred year old family business called Rukotvorine from a small town of Konjic in Hercegovina and Artisan from an even smaller town of Tesanj. Rukotvorine’s work is rooted in Bosnian tradition – it’s sideboard called the Wave is poetry and needs to be felt by hand to be fully appreciated. Artisan is more influenced by the Dutch and Danish schools of design, and offers equally beautiful, Bosnian solid wood hand made pieces. There are of course plenty of other artist and designers whose work unfortunately cannot be found online.” It sounds like there are many untapped treasures there…
Why does Sarajevo inspire you? For those with a less ambitious budget several antique stores offer a variety with an occasional true gem in a form of a beautiful carved wooden storage boxes, mid century pieces or glass kitchen cabinets. Naturally, peaking into elderly neighbors’ apartments can be equally exciting and a habit that Bosnians with their laid back neighborhood relations do not mind. This leads me to the ways in which this city inspires my decorating – Sarajevo is a place where friends and family knock on your door unannounced and the interiors often reflect that. Comfort, gracefulness, surrounding ourselves with people and objects that mean something to us and unpretentious entertaining is what inspires me in decorating and making sure that there is always an extra pillow and a blanket. Considering that my boyfriend is from Kosovo, I look forward to incorporating those cultural influences in our home. Having lived in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany I can also trace those aesthetics in my decoration daydreaming. So if and when in Sarajevo decor8 readers should feel free to wave and stop by, and perhaps we can give you a little tour!” Oh, how sweet you are, Sabina!
I don’t know about you dear readers, but I took so much away from this interview, but mainly the value of using what you have and appreciating what makes a house a home – family, friends and meaningful objects with meaning. Thank you Sabina for visiting us today!
(images: Sabina Cudic)