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Decorating Tips

Color Inspiration, Decorating Tips

Photographer Anitta Behrendt + Turquoise

January 25, 2010

Let’s dive into the week with the inspiring work of photographer Anitta Behrendt who lives in Copenhagen whom I found back in September 2008 in German decorating magazine Living & More (blogged here).

Photographer Anitta Behrendt + Turquoise

I recently saw her on someone’s tumblr site and now I cannot remember who… but anyway if you read design magazines in this part of the world chances are you may be quite familiar with her work already. And if not, perhaps seeing these photos today will be a fresh glimpse into some very lovely interiors shot by a talented lady who makes beautiful rooms even more radiant. While peeking through the photos shown please be on the look out for buttons hand sewn onto a sofa. You’ll want to run home and duplicate the look!

Photographer Anitta Behrendt + Turquoise

With turquoise being the “it” trend color for 2010, some of these rooms may even give you a few ideas on ways to introduce it into your home if you don’t already have this breezy blue… one of my favorite colors. Especially since you will likely find it readily available in most stores so if you’re out shopping it should be easy to find.

Photographer Anitta Behrendt + Turquoise

How can you bring turquoise into the home? You can paint an accent piece, like a cabinet, bookcase or table in turquoise, even something smaller like a picture frame or a stool. Or if you’d like to be subtle, paint the inside of a cabinet with glass doors and inside, place all of your china and/or white porcelain so that the white really jumps out from the turquoise background. You can add a print from Etsy to your walls which lots of turquoise in it, or look for solid or patterned throw pillows to toss on the sofa or bed. Even glass bottles and vases, or pots, turquoise is nice as a bold statement or as a simple accent. You can even use clothes, jewelry and handbags as decorative accessories so pull out those turquoise beads and place them on a hook over your dresser. It goes with so many other colors from red to black, yellow to green, and looks especially nice with chocolate brown though I tend to prefer it with white and black and a touch of lilac and pale lime. In my home, I use turquoise in all of my rooms as an accent, for instance my taper candles are a light shade and my candle holders are white and silver.

Photographer Anitta Behrendt + Turquoise

Aren’t these rooms beautiful? I hope that you’ll take a moment today to look at Anitta’s online portfolio where you can be exposed to more of her lush interiors. Some days I just want to move to Copenhagen because I’ve not been and for a small city it certainly seems to have a lot of talent living there… Perhaps I’ll drive up this Spring or take the ICE. I need a mini break and I just have to see this city to believe all the hype for myself. Since moving to northern Germany I’m exposed to Danish life + culture so much more, time to get up there and shake a tail feather! Ha ha! Does anyone even say that anymore? I feel so behind with American slang it isn’t even funny!

Anyway, enjoy Anitta and I’ll be back with more goodies in a few…

(images: anitta behrendt)

Decorating Tips

Blossoms & Blooms

January 20, 2010

I need flowers in my life! I’ve been buying some here and there, but not weekly as I usually do and I can definitely see a difference in how my home looks and feels. Maybe some are not as sensitive to whether or not they have flowers around, but I am. My mother was trained in floral design before I was born so you can imagine how our home and yard looked growing up – flowers and plants and a gorgeously landscaped yard that was the envy of the neighborhood. In fact, our neighbors loved our yard so much that they’d ask my mother for tips and often when I couldn’t find her I’d see her planting and digging next door as the neighbor stood there grinning ear-to-ear. It was just her way. She planted, cultivated, picked and styled flowers, shrubs, trees, you name it… The flowers would often end up in pretty containers in our home and she even painted them onto canvas with oil paints simply because flowers inspired her and they just made her happy and still do.

Blossoms & Blooms

Illustration by Jennifer Murphy, photo from Domino.

Watching a mother so passionate for these things couldn’t help but leave an impression on me. But it wasn’t just her, my grandparents lived on a working farm where she was raised and so this passion was also planted in me at a very young age whenever I would visit them. And no doubt if and when I have children, I’ll be teaching them at least how to arrange flowers as I didn’t inherit a green thumb — though lately I’ve noticed my plants are no longer dried up and withered but healthy so perhaps my black thumb days are over.

Blossoms & Blooms

My own arrangements are shown above in both my current and last home.

Blossoms & Blooms

Nicoletter

Blossoms & Blooms

Rie Elise Larsen

What about you? When you look back on your childhood do you recall any experience or even a parent or sibling, aunt or uncle, even grandparents who had a deep appreciation for nature, namely plants and flowers, that they passed on to you? How did this influence your adult life? Or perhaps you did not have this influence early on but rather, picked it up as an interest later in life? And if so, what made you think more about bringing plants and flowers into your home? And how are you doing with raising them? How often do you buy flowers and style them? How does the experience make you feel? I ask all of these questions because I believe that demanding schedules and life in general gets in the way of slowing down to consider how and why we do certain things, why we have specific rituals around the home and how they make us feel and contribute to our overall sense of well-being. And by the way, the common expression, “Stop and smell the roses” is so true! As you are styling your arrangements at home, take time and really get into the moment as it can be quite an enjoyable experience of the senses.

Blossoms & Blooms

More generic arrangements but beautiful flowers from 1-800 Flowers. Note: Once they are delivered you can add in some of your own store bought blooms to design a custom bouquet.

This week I plan to buy some flowers that I’ve never bought before, lately I’ve been bringing home mostly tulips and roses and orchids. I will go to the farmers’ market tomorrow and try something new. The thrill of the hunt, even for something as simple as a bunch of flowers, can turn a rather mundane task into something pleasurable. There is nothing wrong with making some of the simple things in life matter in some way. It’s comforting somehow, like days aren’t running into weeks and months without me slowing down to feel all of these precious moments.

Blossoms & Blooms

Just a simple plant…Stella Nicolaisen

Blossoms & Blooms

A Creative Mint

Blossoms & Blooms

Flores Del Sol

Blossoms & Blooms

Heather in my living room from last Autumn.

Blossoms & Blooms

Shana Rae

Blossoms & Blooms

Sunday Suppers, Karen Mordechai.

Blossoms & Blooms

Wood & Wool Stool

Blossoms & Blooms

MayaLee Photography

Blossoms & Blooms

Spagat

Well, who thought that simply thinking about flowers this morning would lead to an essay? Aren’t flowers uplifting and altogether lovely? I can’t stop but appreciate them whenever I pass by an intriguing flower shop window. I peeked into a shop yesterday around the corner from my home and saw some sweet mini cypress trees that I may buy for my windowsills, or perhaps a small potted olive tree for my kitchen window. I can’t wait until Spring so I can hunt for some flowering branches to put in my living room, they make such a difference in the mood there and it only takes one or two in a tall vase. All of these beautiful photos show, whether large or small, flowers have a profound impact on our mood as well as our interiors. Don’t you think it’s time you took a walk over to your local flower shop?

(images linked to their sources above, please click on them to find the work of some pretty amazing creatives out there!)

Decorating Tips

Just A Peek

January 18, 2010

Decorating comes in all shapes and sizes yet time and time again my eye gravitates towards homes that are well edited and creative, places where you know details matter. My friend has a very well edited home — even shampoo bottles are discarded and contents poured into clear plastic bottles instead so that the tub looks simple and neat. THE TUB. Hello. I am detailed-oriented and even I don’t do that! But it’s something to aspire to so I think I’ll talk to my husband because I often close the shower curtain to hide all of the ugly labels anyway. In the states it was different, the shampoo and conditioners that I used had the best packaging but here product packaging is a bit more generic and the good stuff in the gorgeous bottles is expensive. I simply do not want to shell out $25-30 for an 8 ounce bottle of shampoo.

Just A Peek

Sweet Berry Me

But shampoo bottles aside, I really appreciate people who put SO MUCH into their decor. It’s extremely energizing and motivating! So, with that being said, would you like to peek in on a few spaces today of your neighbors in the online decorating and crafting community?


Just A Peek

Dottie Angel + souvenirs du passé récent

Just A Peek

How Now Design + jasna janekovic

Just A Peek

ishtar olivera + Mundo Flo

Just A Peek

Simply Grove + herz allerliebst

Just A Peek

Trisha Brink Design + miss vu


How inspiring! What did you like in the photos above? I really like Simply Grove and her well arranged bookcase. I love all of the photos above, of course, but that one really stood out as I can only imagine the thought and care that went into such a gorgeous arrangement. And are her books facing pages outward and spines in or am I seeing things? How cool is that. And what about you? Spot anything above, in particular, that stood out? Another detail I noticed is the globe in How Now Design’s workspace. Scroll back up and see for yourself. Neat-o.

(images linked to their sources above)

Decorating Tips, Inspiration

Interior Styling: Real Spaces

January 7, 2010

My little interior styling group has grown so much in just a week, we’re up to over 500 600 742 800 members! And the photos being contributed are just lovely. The January challenge was posted a few days ago and I love seeing what some are doing, it’s inspiring to say the least. If you want to take part in this group, you can — but please know that I’m curating all of the photo submissions to ensure that the quality of the photos, lighting, and overall style fits the theme of this group as well as my aesthetic so that the group has a very specific look and feel. I find that some groups on Flickr do not have that many rules and as a result, they’re chaotic and hard to really see the point of joining the first place. Most act more as a no rules photo dump but Interior Styling is different and I’m so proud of my fellow group members, you are all so talented and I love visiting each day to see what new submissions have arrived. Would you like to catch a glimpse of some member photos? Here you go… And be sure to click on the links below to visit the Flickr pages of some of these terrific peeps!

Interior Styling: Real Spaces

Nestled In, the Purl Bee, Candi Mandi

Interior Styling: Real Spaces

ethanollie, Dora iz Londona, lulaland

Interior Styling: Real Spaces

june craft, emma lamb, tovemichelle12

Interior Styling: Real Spaces

the happy home, nest decorating, souvenirs du passé récent

Interior Styling: Real Spaces

pink loves brown, kflaim, dottie angel

Interior Styling: Real Spaces

elena, Saídos da Concha, cupcakes & cartwheels

Interior Styling: Real Spaces

yvestown, kitsch cafe, imacookoo

Bottom line: Anyone can make their home beautiful and stylish with or without being a “pro”.  With consistent practice, editing, and patience you can create rooms and vignettes with style and impact, too. Most of the above images are from talented people who are creative but do not necessarily decorate for a living. You have the work of jewelry designers, artists, writers, graphic designers and stay-at-home mothers who have never worked in a creative field in their life. These photos demonstrate what all can attain – a fantastic “real” space that reflects the style and taste of the owner that also happens to be styled nicely to show thought and care. THIS IS something attainable, so I encourage you to join the group and practice, practice, practice! And if you’re already a pro, you can join the group to teach and show an example of professional work to other members so they can follow your lead (Interiors Stylist & Author Selina Lake is a member!).

I hope that you find Interior Styling inspirational and fun!

(images linked to their sources above)

Decorating Tips

Refreshing Your Home: 8 Tips

January 6, 2010

I’ve talked about this a few times before, but these tips never go out of style or season because they’re timeless tricks that decorator’s everywhere turn to whenever a client asks them to help refresh their space. Okay, perhaps not all of them but you’ve stepped into my world for a moment so let me tell you how I personally refresh my home to kick start the new year. The rollercoaster ride, er holiday season, has ended (whew!) and life is s l o w l y getting back to normal (it’s like trudging slowly over wet sand, huh?) the decorations are coming down and most are left with a house that feels rather, well, un-festive like. Maybe even depressing. Perhaps a bit naked? Well that’s not a bad thing because now you can start on a clean slate. Here are some new year’s ideas for freshening up your space.

Refreshing Your Home: 8 Tips

(image: haust)

1. Bring in some fresh flowers and starting forcing those bulbs. That’s a big thing here anyway, bulbs galore in every store. I have to get started on that myself, but I picked up two tone tulips in pink and white already in bloom, which look really nice as they typically remind me of spring and the guarantee that winter will eventually end! Though don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying winter very much thanks to all the cozy elements in my home that make me feel comfortable and happy. Winter isn’t half as bad when you stop thinking about warm weather and enjoy what you have, right? That’s the idea of this post, I want to help you to enjoy more of this moment as we all tend to concentrate too much on what we don’t have instead of what we do, right? If tulips aren’t your thing, try buying some succulents and make a terrarium (here’s a helpful how-to or have a look at mine here), go to your local florist and see what grabs your attention. And when you bring your little blooms home, arrange them with care so that you are also experiencing the moment of (sorry I’m about to get weird on you) touching and smelling and feeling them as you carefully snip and create a pretty little arrangement. I personally love that moment when I’m standing over the sink unwrapping my flowers, thinking of nothing more that what is happening in that space and time. It’s relaxing, and if you love classical music, put some on and hum along as you create. I find piano very relaxing so I play a lot of Yann Tiersen. Look him up, you’ll be surprised to see what lovely film he composed a soundtrack for. If that doesn’t get you in the mood to arrange flowers nothing will!

2. Warm it up! Since in my part of the world, it’s cold outside, I try to warm things up a bit with candles. I tend to use more tapers and tea lights, simply because I burn through so many and their often the cheapest to buy, but pillars and scented candles are equally nice. I have them on my windowsills, table, coffee table and in the bathroom for relaxing soaks. I group 3 tapers and 2 pillars on my coffee table and several tea lights on a shelf behind my sofa. It gets dark here around 3:30 each day, so the candles are aglow around that time to make the transition from day to night less painful. I also like to put candles in front of a small mirror like this, which is on the windowsill in my bedroom as it doubles the glow and looks really pretty. Remember, I grew up in a resort area on the beach with plenty of sunshine year round which means I’m not naturally a northern “cold weather” person. I had to learn to like winter, trust me.

Refreshing Your Home: 8 Tips

(image: elena)

3. Make paper snowflakes, create a new wreath for winter, leave the white twinkle lights up (just hang them over the bookcase, over your bed, or along the fireplace mantle vs. on the tree which you’ve no doubt removed by now). Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean you cannot still celebrate the winter season. Try wrapping your candles in pretty paper shown above. Yes you can wear white after Labor Day and yes you can leave your twinkle lights up until Spring or even later if that’s your thing. Who cares what people say, start your own traditions because we’re not put on earth to do things only one way and follow the masses. Can I get an amen?! I once had twinkle lights in a massive glass vase on top of my bookcase and left it as a light source year round. Hey, I was single and broke, it was the cheapest light I could make using things I already had, and it turned out to be a hit — my guests, and I, loved it. You can even still use your ornaments, just in fresh new ways. I wrote about this recently over at Real Simple, perhaps you’d like to check out my tips and photos there for a little inspiration?

Refreshing Your Home: 8 Tips

(image: haust)

4. Drag out your cd collection and play some music you’ve not listened to in a long time, music that uplifts and makes you feel positive and energetic since energy is a big thing we’re all in need of right about now, right? I just took out my Amy Seeley cd. Lovely, lovely. I’ve missed you, Amy. I haven’t listened to her since last April before my relocation madness began. Great winter music.

5. Break a sweat. Grab a pilates, yoga, or any other fitness DVD and move your butt. Nothing makes you feel better post-holidays than exercise and if it’s too cold to go outdoors then move it! move it! indoors. I like to move it! I love to move it! Do you like to, move it? Ha ha. We also tend to like our homes more and complain less about the weather when we exercise regularly because it puts us into a more positive frame of mind. If you don’t want to exercise to a video, think of other options, like a fitness ball or weights. Or, try exercising the old-fashioned way and take a weekend to thorough clean and organize your home. Which reminds me, I need to practice what I preach and go organize my entryway, it’s mitten and boot chaos out there.

Refreshing Your Home: 8 Tips

(image: hannah honey + jam)

6. Edit! Winter is a good time to photograph your space, look at the photos four hundred times over, and consider what works and what doesn’t work. And start editing from there. Edit, edit, edit! Do you really need 3 throws in your living room and that snuggie blanket from your mother-in-law? Maybe you can keep 2 and store 2 or donate them to those in need. Are 8 pillows on your bed a bit much? Is your linen closet bursting from the seams with 50 towels, some you’ve had since college? Maybe it’s time to simplify because there is a lot more time and energy involved in maintaining lots of things vs. less. Clean out your china cabinet while you’re at it, too. If you need some help editing your space and organizing your home, get a jump start on spring cleaning with Erin Doland’s book, Unclutter Your Life In One Week. She’s a peer of mine over at Real Simple and her book is both practical and very helpful.

Refreshing Your Home: 8 Tips

(image:simply grove)

7. Move things around. Maybe your pendant over the dining room table would look better in the bedroom? That’s what decorator/blogger Kirsten Grove from Simply Grove thought anyway and viola! she painted her dining room fixture glossy black and hung it over her bed. Fabulous. I also love the throw on the bed, it really warms up her bedroom for winter. Try that too, you can grab those pretty throws at IKEA, here some use them on their dining room chairs and even on the sofa. Talk about cozy! And you know why moving things around is so smart? Because chances are you are home a little more than you will be when the weather warms up so it’s the perfect time to shuffle things around – who wants to decorate when the beach is calling your name? So move the sofa, move the chairs, swap out your current prints for other ones (even fabric or wallpaper can be framed and used as art), move it baby, go go go!

8. And… if all else fails, there is always hot cocoa. :)

How are your refreshing your home this month? Share your tips, link to your photos, share, share, share!!! :)

(images: credits linked below each.)


Books + Magazines, Decorating Tips

Budget Apartment By Tim Neve

December 29, 2009

Hello! Okay so I know I’m not really supposed to be blogging as I’m on vacation but I have to bust in today to share a few hot tear sheets from the latest issue of Real Living magazine (my fix post Domino). I’m so happy I bought myself the gift of a subscription to their magazine from Mag Shop, it’s fabulous and I highly suggest getting a full year of decorating goodness for yourself. It wasn’t that expensive when you consider it’s coming all the way from Australia and the subscription rate includes shipping, which we all know to send anything from Europe or North America to the land down under is crazy expensive alone. You simply must see this apartment, decorated under $1,000 Australian dollars which is just incredible. The talent who pulled this cottage together is editorial stylist and publisher Tim Neve who happens to have a great blog too. Take a look at this neutral nest (view larger images here).

Budget Apartment By Tim Neve

Budget Apartment By Tim Neve

Budget Apartment By Tim Neve

First, I love the lamp. I didn’t see a source listed for it though, does anyone know where it is from? Next, the coffee table. Where is that beauty from? I also cannot find it listed in the article but it’s the best. The breakfast table where the model is so joyfully stacking dishes is an IKEA hack — it’s an IKEA tabletop updated with new Vika Oleby legs from IKEA. Clever! I’m always inspired by the creative minds out there who mix and match things from IKEA to create their own custom piece. I also like how Tim used various tones of white and dare-I-say the word, beige, in such a way that gives the room warmth and texture, it’s cozy. The variety of textures also helped the apartment from feeling sterile – the leather sofa, the wool, linen and cotton fabrics, the woven stool and rug, all this texture makes for an inviting space. Even the lampshade has texture, did you catch that? It’s subtle but it’s there. I’m guessing Tim is a tactile kind of guy. Same goes for the bedroom, from the bedspread to the pillows and the art over the bed. Texture! Texture! Tone! Tone! Another smart move Tim made was to remove the dated mirrored door in the bathroom of the wall cabinet to expose the shelves, leaving them open for practical purposes but also for decorative arrangements of toiletries and candles – things that will be used but also admired vs. hidden away behind some oddly placed mirror.

And all under $1,000! Eek! How inspiring. I bet the whole of Australia will want to hire Tim after reading this article, I think his approach is creative and fresh but in this economy, everyone is looking for creative solutions that won’t put them in debt. It feels better to sleep on a bed that you’ve already paid off. With a space like this, anything is possible when it comes to colors too. You can add new hues with each season and pull them out and bring in others later and so on. Why, you could go nuts! Nuts I tell ya! With a canvas like this to work with, a splash of red in the winter, lilac and sage green in the Summer, or pink and yellow, maybe some Orange and turquoise, see what I mean? Endless. This neutral palette is so versatile — you’re not stuck using certain colors – great for spontaneous decorators who can’t be pinned down.

(images: real living magazine)

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