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Decorating Ideas By Me And Alice

The Me And Alice blog is so charming with a lovely country home as the focus, located in Dalarna, Sweden. The homeowner is Susanne, a talented stylist and writer who infuses her home with many clever ideas that, whether Swedish Country is your style or not, you can still find some great ideas from some of these photos below because many of them can cross over and be applied in a home that looks very different – be it mid century or a modern ranch. If you don’t believe me, I think you’ll be convinced once you’ve had time to see for yourself…

The casual beauty of this scene makes me smile. It’s my favorite of the bunch because it feels so inviting and reminds me of the naps I once took (when I had time!) on Sundays after spending the morning on the beach, coming home for a cool shower, and smelling like coconut and salt as I climbed into my bed for a cat nap. I particularly love the stripey pillows, without them it wouldn’t be the same photo! I also like the black letters on the wall.

This is a vintage mirror from a car that has been repurposed into a makeup mirror. What a smart great idea for something that would otherwise not be used and abandoned in a junk lot!

Just look at these floors! I know they are your standard hardwood but look at that color and texture, it really warms up the all white space and how many of us would love to have them!

Using baskets to store vintage cutlery is a nice idea. You could do the same with your modern tableware too, especially if you have decided to serve a very casual buffet-style meal at home whether indoors or out.

Lovely storage ideas on this kitchen shelf but mostly I am impressed by the styling – very casual yet there was obviously some thought behind it. This is how I style things and decorate my home, casually but at the same time, you know that I put a little effort into the arrangement. :) I also like how there is a chair that tiptoed its way into the table arrangement, hoping no one would notice he has made himself a guest at the family table. Well, we notice him and I think he looks quite smart there, don’t you? I like a little tension in mostly white space, you really need it!

I like the floor plans and various papers that she has framed for this quiet corner. There are many things in this space, but it doesn’t feel cluttered because the tones used are mostly white so the eye perceives this as less busy than say, if there were many colors and patterns used.

So many goodies here, I spot several nice jugs and jars. I think the mostly white palette is a hard one to stick by, but if you love white and really enjoy living in a space with lots of it, then go for it!

Susanne’s writing desk is such an inspirational spot! Storage in glass containers, while nothing new, always looks fresh to me depending on what has been chosen to be on display. From candy to shells, spools of twine to buttons, crayons, and bath soaps… there is no end to what you can collect, store and display! Her yarn basket is lovely on the floor, too.

While in Cyprus, Susanne gathered these beautiful stones and has now arranged them in a few glass jars – a simple, inexpensive yet special decoration because no doubt memories of her trip wash over her whenever she sees them. Much nicer than memories of buying stones at some department store and filling jars, right? I think it’s important to put some extra thought in the way you decorate your home so that objects tell a more personal story. A jar like this also creates lovely conversation opportunities for when guests have stopped by because when they ask you where you found something that you have on display, you can tell them about your little (and big) adventures.

Any ideas above that you’d like to take away and use in your own space? Which ones? Could you live in a white space? If not, why? If so, do you currently?

(images: me and alice)

Posted in blogs, Decorating Tips on July 28, 2010

Inspiring Home in Uruguay

Here’s a pretty room (or six!) to inspire all the bohemians and romantics out there today who like an open yet rustic feminine space. These photos are from the 1850’s home of Argentinian couple Federico Bonomi and Cynthia Kern who run clothing company Kosiuko and currently live in Uruguay with their children. These photos are from Mixr in Sweden and I simply have to share them as the look is very unique and you may be able to take away some inspiration from the arrangements.

Uruguay home via Mixr

Uruguay home via Mixr

Uruguay home via Mixr

Uruguay home via Mixr

Uruguay home via Mixr

Uruguay home via Mixr

This casual home merging old with new looks like a creative center of activity, doesn’t it? I love how it has some very elegant touches but that it also feels lived in and that it’s not overly styled or designed to perfection. I also like some of the whimsical touches, like the mismatched tilework around the fireplace. I’m seeing more and more wood encased tubs lately, especially salvaged wood, and I find this inspiring and original.

These were forwarded to me by Emma who I had the pleasure of hanging out with in Stockholm a few years ago. Emma, thank you for these photos!

(images: mixr)

Posted in Decorating Tips on July 27, 2010

Inspirational Styling & Ideas

Looking through the pages of VTWonen is always a beautiful adventure for me. When I came back from the states, a fresh new issue awaited me in the mailbox and it filled me with pleasure as I examined its contents – so fresh and inspiring! I think the stuff coming out of the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden are super interesting and fresh — VTWonen is a Dutch magazine — and I delight whenever I see the styling work coming out of these countries… their take on interiors and objects is very creative don’t you think? Here are some examples of what I am referring to… I’ll take you through each photo with some of my own notes and ideas for you today.

VTWonen Inspired

If you carefully cut floral patterns out of your favorite wallpaper, you can adhere them to a cabinet like this one. Lovely! You can do the same with fabric.

VTWonen Inspired

You don’t always need a proper coffee table, why not use a stool instead?

VTWonen Inspired

Try using buttons as hooks – this is a sweet idea, isn’t it?

VTWonen Inspired

Do you knit? Why not knit up some socks for your tables, chairs or stools?

VTWonen Inspired

Try making (or shopping for) a quilt made out of wool squares? It’s tactile and adds warmth to your home and to you during cold weather. While you’re at it, why not be inspired by the wool squares and build a palette for your room? You can pick up the colors in the throw also on your shelves and throw pillows. Another tip: You do not need to place objects on ALL of your shelves… a little breathing room goes a long way as you can see above.

VTWonen Inspired

I’m not sure what is on this wall, but upon closer inspection it almost appears to be squares of plywood white-washed. If so, what a lovely idea! But that is not what attracted me to this arrangement — it’s the patchwork throw rug on the floor. I am dying to either make one or buy something similar this winter. I love the idea of using a bunch of vintage kilim rugs in this way.

VTWonen Inspired

I guess you can call this photo the ultimate chair shot. I mean, c’mon — isn’t this shabby-terrific chair to die for? I love it in all of its raggedy charm.

VTWonen Inspired

Hello pretty decor idea. Jars on a shelf with little sprigs of lavender, a walnut, some ribbon inside? I mean, this is so sweet, affordable and easy. I use jars for vintage photos of my family (see mine here) but this is a pretty idea, too.

VTWonen Inspired

A. Love how simple paper is collaged on a wall with a deer head sitting on top of the arrangement. The wall color is gorgeous, too. B. I love this piece of furniture, if you don’t have something like it you can try the idea of simply painting a dresser gray and your drawer fronts in cream for a similar look. C. A branch painted white and used to display your kitchen utensils? BRILLIANT. D. I love the idea of using metal glass cabinets on top of tables to display certain precious things that you don’t want little hands to grab at (or big curious hands to pick up!).

VTWonen Inspired

E. I really like the whiteness of this dresser with the hardware in white, too. Something about it is soothing… Though I’d have to add some pattern so perhaps I’d line the drawers with colorful wallpaper and paint the exteriors of the drawers in bright yellow so there is a little surprise when you open them. F. What a pretty idea for displaying your cherished jewelry! Put a jewelry tree and a pretty stem in a display box on top of your dresser. Lovely! G. Painting a wall a super electric color like this, then wallpapering a thick border around it like this one in a patchwork style takes a lot of guts, doesn’t it? But with results like this, courage really pays off! H. This sofa almost looks like something a kid would have in a collage, almost futon-like, right? But with a beautiful patchwork wool throw spread across it, and simple surroundings that are quite neutral, it went from collage dorm to casual and chic. There is hope for a futon!

VTWonen Inspired

I. It can be a lot of fun to play around with scale as this example shows. What makes this arrangement work though is that no single item is the main star, they are all equals, so your eye just follows the arrangement with ease. J. I have come across a ton of these rattan chairs, in natural wood, before but the idea of spray painting one black never crossed my mind until I saw this photo. It really made the lines of this chair so much more pronounced and interesting. The massive rug is lovely too, the pattern is gorgeous in black and white. To create this look on a budget, I saw a round maize rug like this in Los Angeles at the World Market store on Fairfax in green/white, chocolate/white and red/white for only $19.99 and wish I could have fit it in my luggage — gorgeous! K. The massive pleated drum pendant steals the show but it’s the table cover that attracted my attention the most with it’s almost tie-dyed border and uneven hem. Fab. L. Plaid pizza restaurant wallpaper in blue and white? In a bedroom? Why not! This works, doesn’t it?

VTWonen Inspired

1. I like the idea of displaying only white objects like this – it is very attractive and makes for a interesting, soft focal point. And if you happen to have a lot of white ceramic pieces like I do, it can control the clutter of having them spread all over the home by grouping them in a single space. 2. You barely notice a sofa with an outstanding throw laid on the sofa like this one. So if your sofa is a bit blah, try placing a gorgeous throw, scarf, or blanket on it neatly to draw the eye away from the couch and onto the bright, happy fabric that you love. 3. Show of hands, how many of you own this shelf/ledge from IKEA? I do! Most people tend to keep it white but this one is the hottest pink in the world and well, it’s fun and interesting. So why not paint your shelf in a complementary color that will add a little spark to your space? 4. I really love it when people adhere their favorite fabric to those boring white pull-down plastic shades. It is so pretty to have pattern on the windows like this, especially for those who rent and cannot add color to the walls. It’s a good way to bring pattern to eye level.

VTWonen Inspired

5. While finding a fabulous drum pendant like this one may be a chore, you can easily duplicate the look of this table by simply painting your tabletop in a rad color that makes you happy. 6. Do you have pillows and blankets that you could fold neatly and stack near your sofa or fireplace? If you never thought about it before, this pile of pretty things may inspire you. 7. If you want to add storage to your workspace, try arranging boxes and bins on a wall in a similar fashion as shown above. It’s interesting to look at and will help you to enjoy work a lot more when you know where everything is! 8. A bright bowl with some favorite photos and postcards inside against a lovely tablecloth is sometimes all it takes to give a kitchen a boost!

I hope that you have enjoyed some of my decorating and styling ideas today as I was quite inspired by VTWonen and wanted to share some of my own thoughts with their gorgeous photography. Now I’m curious though, out of all of the ideas above, what stands out the most to you? What would you try at home? What have you already tried?

(images: vtwonen)

Posted in Decorating Tips, inspiration on July 21, 2010

Call For Home Submissions: Decorate Book!

Good morning and welcome to a new week on decor8! I had such a nice weekend, did you? I spent Saturday out and about, hitting a flea market (my loot), eating at an organic cafe outdoors, grabbing a cone of ice cream and wondering a bit aimlessly… And then yesterday chillin’ at a gorgeous beer garden on the edge of the forest near my house watching the FIFA games and couldn’t believe how many people showed up – over 1,000 at a beer garden! It was a fun time and the weather was gorgeous – and of course, because Germany won, the crowds were going crazy screaming and chanting ole, ole, ole, ole! It really feels fun to be a part of the soccer craze, it’s such a major event and so fun for me, as an American, to get into a sport that doesn’t have such a major following back home. I also don’t mind the whole beer garden setting while watching the games… that of course, makes the sport so much more enjoyable! How about you, what did you do?

Color Me Pretty: May

I have a busy week ahead of me since I leave on Saturday for New York and have lots to do to prep for that. It will be fun to spend the 4th in NYC and to hit some of my favorite parks, museums and shops for a few days until Debi meets up with me and we get to work! Part of my work for this week involves grabbing another space or two to shoot while we’re there since we have some more days added to our schedule. If you would like to have your home photographed by Debi Treloar (she shot the Emily Chalmers books and those for Mark & Sally Bailey, along with lots of other Ryland Peters & Small/CICO books) and if you’d like for it to appear in the Decorate book that I’m working on for Chronicle Books and Jacqui Small Publishing (it will be published in the USA and in the UK simultaneously, early next year), please email me with some pics ASAP (decor8blog{at}! We are looking for homes that are inspiring, preferably in NYC or within an hour by train, and that have a personal, creative touch — homes with sweet details, interesting furniture, etc. — styles can range from eclectic to mid century, flea market, bohemian, ethnic, modern… We are trying to represent many styles in this book but they do need to be beautiful and book worthy!

We also could use 1-2 in Paris for later in July since we’ll be shooting there — and we need one more in Amsterdam. Also if you know of any locations in Germany – I’m open to ideas and submissions, especially in Berlin. We have already completed shoots in London, Denmark and Sweden so those are all set.

Not all submissions will be accepted, obviously, but all will be considered so please don’t be shy!

If used in the book, your home will be fully credited with your name and link to your website and of course, I will style the space and interview you as well so that we can grab some of your decorating advice!

I can’t wait to hear from you!

(image: leslie shewring)

Posted in Decorating Tips on June 28, 2010


Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.


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