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Decorating Tips

Decorating Tips

Simple Flower Arrangements

September 22, 2010

I love casual flower arrangements. I don’t feel comfortable fussing with things too much. In fact, the more I fuss the worse things usually look anyway because then my original vision gets lost. I’ve learned to just go with my first instinct and to be happy with what comes the most natural to me. I tend to like flowers in a variety of containers and I enjoying mixing blooms so that there is plenty of texture and color, even if I’m using mostly pink flowers I find that the many tones give such depth and personality to an arrangement.

Simple Flower Arrangements

I also like white carnations and find that they get such a bad rap for no reason, a carnation is a feminine flower with lovely ruffled layers. I think the carnation is a tricky bloom though, it doesn’t play well with others and looks best when it’s paired with other carnations and in my opinion, looks best with others the exact color — a carnation can suddenly look so sophisticated bunched together. In addition to flowers, I also love flowering branches in my home and recently I’ve been getting more and more into plants like olive and rosemary topiary trees and succulents. What about you, do you like simple flower arrangements or do you tend to spend a lot of time putting yours together?

Simple Flower Arrangements

One lady in blogland, Constança Cabral, does such a nice job arranging casual bunches and displaying them in her home. She just may inspire you — her many lovely photos are shown above. She is from Lisbon but currently living in England where she has an apartment in the countryside with a small garden where she picks most of her lovely stems. Constança makes things by hand and sells them in her etsy shop and she also blogs quite frequently so if you like flowers you will love her blog.

(images: Constança Cabral)






Decorating Tips

Faux Fireplaces: Your Thoughts?

September 20, 2010

Okay I seriously need YOUR help – yes the tables have turned! :) To faux or not to faux, that is the question and currently my new home dilemma. I move next week on Friday and I’m starting to think about decorating and how I seriously want to put a faux fireplace in this room below… but is that tacky? I was reading one of my favorite decorating books by Mark & Sally Bailey, Simple Home, over the weekend and they are seriously against it – that one must be true to the home and its history. I’m sure this home had a ceramic stove at one time, it was built in 1900, but that was long removed so now I’m trying to figure out if I should add a faux fireplace or not. This will most likely be my living room, though that is still under discussion as I have 3 different rooms that could all easily be a living room due to the incredible floor plan. But for the sake of keeping things easy, let’s go with this room being the space for the living room.

Faux Fireplaces: Your Thoughts?

The wood herringbone floors are original (110 years old!), as is the ornately carved ceiling — you cannot see them too well in this picture but there are flowers carved in two rows across it along with beams… so it’s a pretty lovely living room. There are no windows on either side, but where I stood to take this photos there is a wall of folding glass doors leading into what will most likely be my office.

Anyway, what you are seeing in the back there are double doors leading to a very large tiled “wintergarten” that happens to be heated so I can use it year round… and out there I plan to cozy it up with plants and a place to read and relax. But back to the idea of a faux fireplace. I would look for something vintage — not new — but I think the real draw is to have a focal point but also to create something cozy — a mantle with a mirror above it and space below for stacking wood and some candles just seems like the right choice. But Mark & Sally Bailey would be against this decision, and so would a slew of other designers out there, yet I still want to do it. What do you think? Any tips? I guess I could also just buy a fabulous dresser or low cabinet and put a shelf over it and a big mirror on top but I have this fireplace idea stuck in my head.

Thoughts?

(image: holly becker for decor8)






Decorating Tips

House & Home Design Contest 2010

August 24, 2010

Canadian House & Home (a lovely magazine that I miss since moving to the other side of the world!) is hosting their annual Design Contest once again. This is one winning entry from last year that I loved – the bathroom is gorgeous, don’t you think? I adore the graphic floral wallpaper in black and white, so fresh and clean, with that red chair adding just the perfect bit of color to break things up. It’s a truly lovely space. And the tub! Oh how nice to paint it black and to use those gorgeous tiles on the floor. I think the bathroom is the one room in the house that I don’t mind looking absolutely catalog-perfect. I don’t know, I expect other rooms in the house to feel lived-in, but the bathroom I always expect to be simple, clean, spa-like and styled perfectly. I don’t like a lot of clutter in a bathroom, less is more! That is why this space appeals to me.

House & Home Design Contest 2010

If you feel you have what it takes to enter their design contest this year, why not click here to learn more about it and to see what you could win. Go for it, why not? You may walk away with a nice prize and a feature in their smart magazine.

House & Home Design Contest 2010

Simply take a photo of any space you have renovated or decorated yourself and enter it into any of the six categories that it would fit in — like the best use of color, kitchen, best budget style, small space, best house and best decorating, Remember, read the contest rules first and note: you must enter and submit your photos online by October 13th and the contest is open to only residents of Canada. That means the rest of us have to simply wish our Canadian friends the best of luck and wait for the big reveal online! Until then, here are some more smart rooms from the magazine that I found interesting enough to share today. Do any of these rooms speak to you?

House & Home Design Contest 2010

House & Home Design Contest 2010

Bold never grows old, does it? Above I’m seeing a little Palm Beach, a little Morocco, some coastal blues, and some over the top graphics. It’s all so, so good.

Do you ever watch House & Home TV online? It’s great, especially when you don’t have design television (me!) and only have the web to turn to for design programs. I love their design editor and host Cameron MacNeil — I’ve followed his work for years now since he was super young and love watching him now on video, he’s even better than I had imagined!

(images: house & home)






Decorating Tips

All In The Details!

August 24, 2010

I was just talking about how I want to decorate my bedroom first when I move over on haus maus since I’ve been pulling together interior inspiration in binders and in file folders on my desktop…. You know, all of the beginnings of any decor project! And I was thinking about all of the little details that really MAKE a room. It’s so exciting to move and have all of these visions in my mind soon to be realized but it’s funny, when I think of decorating I do consider foundation pieces (sofa, flooring, window treatments) important but above those, I consider the little details even more so. The sofa matters (it’s the most important piece of furniture in the living room just as the bed is the key piece in the bedroom), but it’s what I have around the sofa and on it (a soft throw, some pillows) that I delight in hunting and gathering as I begin a decorating project. I love the details, right down to the fine stitch work on a cushion or the beads carefully sewn around the edges of a curtain. It’s all in the details, baby!

All In The Details!

While searching for interiors inspiration I came across the home of Ingrid and Vidar from the Fjeldborg blog and fell in love with her space because she is detail-oriented too. I found Ingrid via Jeanette who runs the lovely Fryd+Design blog and well, I fell in love with the sugar sweetness of Ingrid’s decor. I have a bit of a different direction in mind for my own space, but there are definitely parts of this home that inspire me. I hope it inspires you today, too.

All In The Details!

About her home Ingrid says, “I like both the one and the other: white and shiny, rough and worn, black, pastel, retro, real wood floors, painted panel… I love flea market finds and painting projects, and at times I am good friends with the sewing machine.”

All In The Details!

Bonus: Like what you see? Jeanette photographed this home for her upcoming second issue of her e-mag so watch this page for that issue to appear around September 1st. I can’t wait! I love Jeanette’s online magazine soooo much.

All In The Details!

I’m on deadline all week with the Decorate book so blog posts will be a bit more tortoise-like and less hare-like, but I’ll be doing my best to get up a post or two each day between now and Friday. Bare with me! :)

(images: ingrid from fjeldborg blog)






Decorating Tips

We’re Movin’ On Up

August 20, 2010

The movers came! The movers came! They gave us an estimate on our October 1st move and I’m thrilled because it’s a little under budget and that is always a good thing. So it’s done, we are packing during the month of September and heading around the corner to our new place. I can’t wait. Okay that’s the understatement of the year. I CAN’T WAIT. That’s better. It needed to be all in caps because I’m in an all caps mood today. I feel like screaming from the rooftops, but I’ll scream out into blogland instead — I’m moving! I’m moving! Yay, yay, yay! Are you moving soon too? Are you equally thrilled?

We're Movin' On Up

{images: ethanollie, mes petites curiosites, jessalyn hope (notice the kitty on the bed? cute!), a few things from my life, jardino Me and Live Bohemian}

It feels so good to know that I’ll be living in my big new pad soon with lots of decorating projects to work on, a shiny new office to call my own, and a guest bedroom and guest bath for friends — I feel like my life is starting to come together after living in Germany for a year now and being a bit in limbo. I am not homesick at all, but I am tired of living in our former vacation apartment because it was never meant to be our full-time digs. I furnished it for vacation purposes only, so lots of IKEA and stuff from big box stores, and then flea market finds and things from local shops but still — it’s mostly IKEA and though I don’t mind a piece or two, I really miss the feeling my former home had because I had accumulated lots of mid century pieces and some pretty Room & Board stuff over time, along with Eames chairs and lots of art and stuff… So my home felt more like home, with feeling and warmth because it took time to pull it all together and lots of searching for the “right” piece. In my next place, I plan to take time to furnish it and slowly sell off the IKEA stuff from this vacation flat and slowly build my life back up again — my home decor life anyway. It took us a little longer than I expected to find the perfect place to move into, but the wait and frustration are over and the time has come to start packin’ (insert celebratory gesture, like a fist pump, here) and plannin’,and  decoratin’ and shoppin’ (mostly flea markets and eBay)… we’re movin’ on up people!

We're Movin' On Up

{images: Kristena Derrick, Studio Meez, Les Tissus Colbert, Dottie Angel, l’aria and Mundo Flo.}

If you’ve followed this blog for some time you’ll recall that back in June of 2009, I packed an entire house in New Hampshire, minus the furniture which I sold, to relocate to Germany and my boxes arrived in October 2009 and guess what? Those boxes are still waiting in our basement to be unpacked. I don’t even know what is in them anymore, I mean I know my wardrobe is down there, and my art work, and all the things that I love and need — but I badly want to open them and organize my life because I crave to have places to put everything and to have some kind of inventory system. When I need a stamp and envelope, I want to go to my mail drawer. When I need supplies to make cupcakes, I want to refer to my baking cabinet. When I need to find a back issue of Domino magazine, I want to go into my office, open a cabinet, and find them neatly cataloged there. Are you with me on this? It’s nice to know where your stuff is!

We're Movin' On Up

{images: Les Tissus Colbert, Les Tissus Colbert (what can I say, I love Karin’s work!), Emma Lamb and Jutta.}

So yes, very soon my chaotic two room apartment lifestyle with both of us working full-time from home will come to a happy ending. My office is currently in the living room, his is in our bedroom – a real romance killer all around because candlelight dinners have been replaced with my laptop and piles of paperwork! Today is a very good day friends because of those darn movers — the move is on – and I say bring it!

We're Movin' On Up

{images: ish & chi, ish & chi, wood & wool stool, Facily Sencillo, Miss Vu, jardino Me, ATLITW and Wood & Wool Stool.}

Okay so what is this post really about anyway, besides me, me and more me? Ha! I know, right? Well it’s about home and the importance of feeling at home, having a space that supports you and your lifestyle, and being productive at home — which usually involves being organized because the more organized you are, the less time you spend wondering where something is and the more time you spend on using it to create stuff (a shelf, a piece of art, a cake).  Do you agree?

In this post, I’ve rounded up some spaces from the many creative contributors to my Interior Styling group on Flickr (over 2,350 members!) to share some inspiring rooms and nooks with you today. Perhaps these corners will get your wheels turning for the weekend — a new project to try, a cabinet to organize, a flower arrangement to pull together as a centerpiece for your table. No matter what little improvements you make at home, they all add up and serve as real well-being boosts so why not make some time this weekend to give your home a chance to make you a bit happier? I have about 10 minutes to myself this weekend, but I plan to sit down and draw up some floor plans for my new place so I can get a sense of what I have, what I need and just so I can have crazy fun playing around with ideas because isn’t it exciting to move and decorate? Weeee!

(images linked to their sources above)






Decorating Tips

Samantha Pynn Interiors

August 4, 2010

Any Samantha Pynn fans in the house today? Throw your hands up and say, Oh yeah! I honestly know little about her, she hosts a show on HGTV in Canada called Pure Design, do you watch it? I read somewhere that she is soon to launch her own show in 2011 which may be quite inspirational. I just had a peek at some of her recent interiors and thought you’d be inspired by them so here are a few of my favorites from her online portfolio.

 Samantha Pynn Interiors
 Samantha Pynn Interiors
 Samantha Pynn Interiors

 Samantha Pynn Interiors

 Samantha Pynn Interiors

 Samantha Pynn Interiors

 Samantha Pynn Interiors

 Samantha Pynn Interiors

 Samantha Pynn Interiors

 Samantha Pynn Interiors

Do you like these rooms? Do you have a favorite? I like the kitchens because that is the one room that I’m thinking of now that I have to design mine and only have between now and mid September to decide and order what I want. We may do IKEA again, I’m not sure… but there is a kitchen designer living near to us that I may tap into for some help since the space does have some challenges and I want to utilize all of the nooks in the best possible way. I am not a kitchen designer by any means, but I do know what I like and I know how I want everything laid out!

I also love the color palette in the living room shown in the second image from the top. A little charcoal, some pink… yet something about that green pillow really gives that palette energy – it’s so unexpected, I love that. Yet in nature, this is completely normal to have fresh green with pink, isn’t it? Just look at your garden and let it inspire your next room design. Oh and you cannot deny the drama of that stunning over-the-top entryway in the large scale bold black and white pattern. Fantastic! You can really do something like this in an entryway as it’s not a room you plan to relax in so you can experiment with an use an energetic pattern in this space of a home, don’t you agree?

(photos: Virginia Macdonald)






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