I was reading Sandra Juto’s blog last week admiring photos of her recent vacay to Berlin (these are some of my favorites) and came across an apartment that she featured belonging to her friends in Gothenburg and noticed that it is being offered by a company called Alvhem, who is responsible for lots of properties in Gothenburg.
I first blogged about Alvhem quite some time ago because I was impressed by how they style and photograph their properties so perfectly — they make one from the outside think that every home in Gothenburg looks like it is from a magazine! It even appears as though they use lots of the same furniture and repeat ideas in many of the homes and so it’s an inspiration to comb through their properties to see what they’ve done to enhance the space.
I wish they’d set up offices in other parts of Europe as they have immense talent and get their hands on some of the best property. I frequently find myself on their website looking through their for sale and sold files for interior inspiration and well, to daydream a bit too! You can view all of their properties for sale on their website here, but it’s in Swedish so good luck with translating it (sorry).
So what can we learn from an Alvhem-inspired home? Here are some repeat ideas that I’ve noticed.
1. A big black flat screen television is your friend. We are always trying to conceal them yet Alvhem allows them to be out and proud.
2. Keep walls and molding bright white.
3. Floors are wood, and the same tone in all rooms with the exception of wet areas.
4. Some walls with accent walls in pretty pattern.
5. Sofas should be a solid color, fabric with the exception of black leather. Colors commonly used for sofas: white, black, beige and gray.
6. If you don’t own a ladder to lean against the wall to drape things from, get one.
7. Fresh flowers in simple vases look best on your bedside table, dining table, entry way table, kitchen counter, bathroom, floor, fireplace mantle and coffee table. Okay everywhere.
8. Windows should be large and amazing.
9. Flat should be extremely sunny.
10. Put a shelf over your bed.
11. Rugs are mostly solid neutrals with an occasional stripe or ethnic design thrown in.
12. Rooms should all “flow” in design, from one to the next.
13. Most art on the walls look best in black frames.
14. Add plants to windowsills (topiary, ivy, etc.).
15. Try to live without curtains and blinds. Who cares about privacy? :)
16. Every sofa and bed should have one throw casually draped in an accent color.
17. Kitchen cabinetry should be white. Bonus for shiny white.
18. Mix IKEA with flea market finds and some industrial pieces.
Do you spot a few repeating themes as well? I love the work of Alvhem and find so much inspiration from this company!
I’m so sorry that I was absent from class yesterday. I wish I had some amazing excuse to impress you (ha ha) but alas, I have none. I am fighting a nasty cold so I’ve been doing little more than trying to get better since I leave for London this weekend for another week of shoots ‘n styling for next week. Well, not a full week – but I do have many homes to work in on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and then a meeting on Thursday along with a few visits to some favorite stores so I have something fun to share with you from my next adventure! With a jam-packed week coming up, I have to be healthy and ready so that I can be as creative as possible because it’s hard to do your best work when you are run down. And so this is my reason for being absent yesterday. But today, I’m here as I will be tomorrow and Friday as well. Next week, Leslie will fill in for me with posts while I’m away, including her June Color Me Pretty column, so stay tuned for that!
So for a moment can we just escape together? I would like to journey to the land of painted furniture and daring homeowners who simply GO FOR IT. Furniture painted in colors like turquoise. Seriously, how stunning is the table shown above from Danish company Oi Soi Oi (Vietnamese for goodness gracious me) in that gorgeous hue? For those who have shopped Pier1 imports or import stores in general where there seems to be a lot of very dark wood, you really have to rethink what you are looking at and imagine color instead. Just look for something with great bones and try to imagine it in your favorite color as you stand in the store. Look for pieces that have nice curves or decorative edges or perhaps some unique carving or hardware. Furniture that looks the best wearing your favorite color usually involves pieces that have something interesting about them concerning shape, proportion or details.
There is no crime in painting a dark wood cabinet in your favorite color – the furniture police won’t cuff you for it (I mean the mattress police never show up when we cut off the tags, do they?) because painting wood on furniture, at least pieces that are not antique, in my eyes is a-okay. I’ve seen people paint antiques too, but that really isn’t for me to say because it depends on the condition and value of it doesn’t it? But for new furniture that you are finding at import stores or even on sites like Overstock.com, why can’t you slap on some gray, red, turquoise or pink paint on an Asian-inspired cabinet or nightstand to brighten your space? Take inspiration from the fabulous Oi Soi Oi and see what you can come up with if ethnic boho modern is your thing. It’s totally my thing.
For more Oi Soi Oi goodness, visit them online…
(images oi soi oi)
I felt inspired by a few rooms found in Homes & Gardens today and thought I’d share 6 of my favorites with some notes as to where you can locate some of the things that you see. I think it really is all in the details when it comes to decorating and making a house a home and not a boring box showroom. One thing I am learning all over again through new eyes while working in homes of those whom I admire is how much attention to detail they really paid when decorating their rooms. No stone is left unturned. In some homes I’ve styled, I’ve unearthed some treasures in boxes and even closets that made me drool — so many little things that homeowner’s have, each with a story, is really what makes a home a meaningful, supportive space. Maybe some of these images below will give you some inspiration, decorating ideas, or just a deeper appreciation for what I’m talking about. And maybe, while looking at them, you can think of some of the little things you have around you at home and remember why they are there and what memories they bring.
Window film on glass (better than soap film!) with lettering from Brume.
Fabric on the wall by GP & J Baker.
Birdhouses by Tamar Mogendorff.
Oratoria wallpaper from Osborne & Little resembles distressed plasterwork on stone.
Spot a photo that makes you think, “Hmmmm…. I can try that!” Or? Your thoughts?
(images: homes & gardens UK)
I recently had a chat with Jan from Martensen Jones Interiors and she arranged to have all of these beautiful images from their portfolio sent my way to inspire decor8 readers today. I also asked her a few questions about Martensen Jones in Dallas, which has been in practice for four years, to learn more about this design studio and so you can find my questions and her replies below.
First, a little about the lovely ladies behind the firm. “Lisa Martensen and Jan Jones have each worked in the advertising, editorial, and retail industry for over 25 years as make-up, fashion, and interior stylists. Lisa has a degree in Interior Design and Jan has a BFA in Art History.”
What inspires you both? FASHION! Also movies, travel… staying in beautifully designed hotels, museums, architecture, nature: the colors of the sky and water. Who are some of your favorite interior designers? Vincente Wolf, John Saladino, Susan Ferrier, Suzanne Kasler, Thomas O’Brien, David Hicks, Billy Baldwin, Michael Taylor and John Dickinson.
What are some quick design tips you can give decor8 readers today?
- Go with white slipcovered sofas… the easiest to maintain because they don’t fade and can be laundered and bleached.
- Every room needs black and punches of WHITE.
- Every chair needs a place to set a drink.
- If you can’t afford good art, buy a great mirror.
- Never buy an antique unless you can use it.
- Seagrass is like a classic pair of khakis.
- Never underestimate good accessories…they are like a great pair of shoes!
- Skirts on upholstered furniture make a room less nervous.
- Even a period room needs a mod piece to shake it up.
- Buy good quality and buy once.
- Educate yourself.
“They attribute their vision and sense of style in their design of interior spaces to their extensive travels, passion for found objects, and experience behind the camera.”
Ladies can you please give us a list of trends that are currently hot…
- White French plaster
- Brutally modern lighting
- Cerused oak
- Modern wicker
- European rustic
- Jade green
- Bollywood glamour
- Navy blue
- All shades of pink
- All shades of gray
“Their eclectic approach is classic, contemporary, global, and comfortable which often results in pairing a pedigreed antique with an economical piece. The final product can result in rooms that are timeless, have style and are fresh and personal.”
Thanks for visiting us today on decor8 and thank you for the tips and the gorgeous glimpses into your portfolio.
I wrote about Olioboard today over at Real Simple but in case you didn’t see it I have to show and tell here too! Olioboard is a new web app for creating your own moodboards online that you can save, share and also click on products to shop for them. It’s such a clever app that I’m sure many of you will like. I bet this will be one of those, “Oh why did Holly have to tell me about THIS?” websites though because I imagine it could be a major time robber. But hey, have fun (and free!) and perhaps after trying it a bit you can let me know what you think.
Note: The above board was not created by me, it was made by a Olioboard member.
I just created an account called decor8, if you want to connect with me there. See you at Olioboard!