Hello Friends, it is Leslie here dropping in for a moment with some design tips from the Danish magazine Bolig. Since Holly was recently in Denmark (and I just got back) I though it would be nice to highlight some lovely images featured on this magazine’s ever inspiring site. I know she is fond of their aesthetic and posted about them here in April. I am starting with a pretty kitchen that has some good ideas.
1. Nook: This image reminded me of how useful little sitting nooks are for hanging out and feeling cozy! It is a great way to make a small or awkward space feel perfect don’t you think? I remember an old apartment I had where the eating area was too small for a table and this would have been perfect. You can use a simple bench or a couple square stools lined up and then top with some foam covered in fabric. Throw on a few pillows and some cushions and you are ready for tea and a book in your cozy little nook!
2. Kitchen Island Carts: A really pretty kitchen! I like how they painted the carts that make up the island with the same color as the cupboards (at least it looks similar). Usually carts like this are always silver metal but there is something about the paint that looks really fresh. There was a Martha Stewart issue years ago that discussed taking metal furniture to an auto body shop to get powder-coat painted or sprayed. Does anyone remember this? Have you tried it and was it expensive? I am curious because it does create a nice look and then you can fasten a counter on top.
3. Pretty Kitchen Clutter: Displaying beautiful packaging like these Kusmi Tea tins and the jewel toned tea cups in the same palette as the kitchen is visually inspiring. Even if this look has been styled for the magazine shoot it is still a reminder of how to display your own collections that may be hiding in your cupboards and if you are going to fill some counter or shelf space have it be with you nice stuff!
The use of pattern in these images is really fresh and creates a unique look in the white spaces. Instead of just using just plain blocks of color the patterned elements add a little more decorating power!
4. Patterned Cushions: I know this is simple but I must say effective. The cushions would read very differently if they were just solid blasts of color on the bed. The look is a little more delicate and detailed now.
5. Quilted Bean Bag: The patterned bean-bag and chair cushion are fun and modern in this more rustic space.
6. Orange Mirror: The intricate frame pattern around the mirror painted with bright orange is bold and interesting compared to a plain rectangle frame painted orange. The pattern adds that extra wow factor.
7. Clean Palette: A simple light blue and green palette with subtle patterns looks inviting. There is that “nook” look again with the day bed creating a comfortable space in a narrow room.
8. Patterned Storage Boxes: A pretty alternative to baskets in the bathroom and there seems to be many tutorials on how to do it yourself like this one online.
9. Towel Cover: This bench cushion in a bathroom seems to be covered with a brightly covered towel, which seems fitting – right? There are so many affordable printed bath sheets available now that would make a practical fabric covering for a seat in a bathroom like this or outdoors.
Lastly, I had to share with you this charming black painted house. Maybe it is not a west coast thing because I rarely see ranchers, bungalows or cottages painted this lovely black or shall I say “ink” color here in California. I am curious to learn more, is this popular in Scandinavia, as it definitely seems warm for absorbing light? What do you think, am I alone in my adoration of this black house? -Leslie Shewring
(images: bolig magazine)
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)