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Decorating Tips, Home Tours

Inspiring Canadian Home

September 19, 2008

I recently stumbled across the lovely home photos of freelance children’s book illustrator Claire Louise Milne on Flickr and asked her if she’d like to share her space on decor8. Lucky for us she said yes! Here’s a little peek at her darling abode in Toronto, Canada where she resides with her husband Bradley. In addition to photos, I asked her a few questions so that you could gain a little insight into what inspires her and where she finds her cool stuff. :)

Inspiring Canadian Home In this photo I’d like to not only highlight the lovely orange and purple combo, but the wood storage box from IKEA that Claire painted and added wallpaper to. I’m going to run to IKEA next week to buy one of these for my new kitchen to store my tea bags in. Love this idea — so creative!

How do you find time to decorate?

“It’s just over a year since we bought our first house, so there is still so much to do! Most of my projects tend to be driven by the same goal, to make a tiny house (1-bedroom) as light and airy as possible. I work at home (as an illustrator) which really helps because I putter around tidying when I’m procrastinating. Also because I’m a freelancer there are sometimes gaps between projects which gives me more time. Also our house is tiny which forces you to edit all the time because there’s just no room! I find it hard to concentrate on work when things are too cluttered around me.”

Inspiring Canadian Home Here’s a better view of Claire’s IKEA hack. :)

Inspiring Canadian Home I really like her craft studio, especially that glass cabinet with those fancy doors. She used wallpaper in similar cabinets to give them a bit of a transformation, which you will see in the next photo, but either way the cabinet looks lovely to me. Claire recently blogged about her craft studio in case you’d like to read more about it just click here.

Where do you find the things that you use in your home?

“I find a lot of things at flea markets, antique shops, craigslist or thrift shopping. Mainly because I love vintage or antique things. I also find lots of good basics at places like IKEA.”

Inspiring Canadian Home Here are her secretary desks with wallpaper inside. So pretty!

What are some of your favorite things in your home?

“I love my old singer sewing table which is actually a very practical way to have a dedicated sewing corner without taking up much space. Also the box you’ve seen was a very simple project but I loved the results.”

Inspiring Canadian Home This is one very organized lady!

What inspires your decorating projects?

“I’m inspired a lot by pictures in books and magazines. Whenever we’re starting a new decorating project I go through a big stack of books to get ideas. Also there are a few decor blogs I like too – such as decor8. :) I’m also addicted to decor programs on TV.”

Inspiring Canadian Home This is a really pretty view of her kitchen, I am LOVING the curtains with the tiny dots… I have a blouse like this that I think I wore every day this summer. :)

Inspiring Canadian Home Another kitchen view… Great gray walls I think.

Inspiring Canadian Home A collection of vintage tins for sewing supplies keeps things neat and pretty.

Inspiring Canadian Home More tins and stacks and stacks of fabrics for her quilts – yes she makes quilts too! I love this lady, she can quilt and draw. Some people have all the luck!

Inspiring Canadian Home Here’s a glimpse of her dining room with cabinets from IKEA (Liatorp bookcases to be precise).

Find Claire here: Flickr: Needle Book, her blog, professional portfolio, and a list of her published books.

Thanks Claire for visiting all of us today on decor8!

(images from claire louise milne)

Books + Magazines, Decorating Tips, Inspiration, Rooms, Stationery, Travel

Living & More = Magazine Heaven

September 17, 2008

I thought I’d introduce you to my favorite magazine in Germany, Living & More. Their website is pretty bad, but the magazine is above and beyond the website (thankfully) so don’t let their online look spoil your fun! German magazines are still working to get their act together when it comes to web presence but they are making progress slowly but surely. Anyway, this magazine is just great. Many of you who read decor8 do not have access to decorating magazines here so this little post is dedicated to you!

Living & More = Magazine Heaven

I must say that I know nothing about the publisher behind the magazine except they are called Living & More Verlag GmbH and are based in Offenburg, Germany, so I can’t give them a very good introduction. I do hope though that the images give you a nice preview of what you can except from this publication. Color, style, and lots of inspiration. I find that in most Dutch and German magazines though that many of the homes featured are from Australia and Scandinavia. I find this strange because there are PLENTY of stylish people living in Holland and Germany and I’m certain they live in magazine-worthy homes. I wonder why this is? I have several friends here in Hannover that live in magazine-ish homes but they’ve never been published. So very odd. Anyone know why this is so often the way it is? American design magazines are much different, the focus is always on American homes.

Living & More = Magazine Heaven A gorgeous desk organizer DIY project from the current issue of Living & More (Oktober 2008, Nr.7, page 34. Photo by Linnea Press.)

Living & More = Magazine Heaven The city apartment of Parisian designer Vanessa Bruno. (Living & More, Aug/Sept 08, Nr. 6, pages 24-33.) Photos by Brigetta Wolfgang Drejer/Sisters Agency.

Living & More not only produces 8 issues per year under the same name, but they also run these ‘specials’ like Wohnen & Wohlf?hlen and Living & More Premium – the edition that just hit newsstands here is called Country Tr?ume Wohnen and it’s amazing.

Living & More = Magazine Heaven The living room of homeowner Pia Aardestrup based in Copenhagen. (Living & More, Oktober 2008, Nr.7, pages 6-15.) Photos by: Anita Behrendt/Linnea Press.

Living & More = Magazine Heaven More images of Pia’s very blue and beautiful home. (Living & More, Oktober 2008, Nr.7, pages 6-15.) Photos by: Anita Behrendt/Linnea Press.

Living & More = Magazine Heaven I can’t take my eyes off of Pia’s gorgeous cabinet, I love this washed look. (Living & More, Oktober 2008, Nr.7, pages 6-15.) Photo by: Anita Behrendt/Linnea Press.

Living & More = Magazine Heaven This is a great spread, it features several fun DIY projects involving painted flowers on walls and furniture, complete with stencils. (Living & More “Wohnen & Wohlf?hlen” issue, LI039, pages 37-39, 60-61) Photos: Linnea Press.

Living & More = Magazine Heaven The home of Australian shop owner of Empire Vintage and stylist Lyn Gardner. (Living & More Premium “Country Tr?ume Wohnen” issue, LP003, pages 52-67.) Photos by: Mikkel Vang/Taverne Agency.

Living & More = Magazine Heaven More of Lyn Gardner. (Living & More Premium “Country Tr?ume Wohnen” issue, LP003, pages 52-67.) Photos by: Mikkel Vang/Taverne Agency.

Living & More = Magazine Heaven Lyn Gardner. (Living & More Premium “Country Tr?ume Wohnen” issue, LP003, pages 52-67.) Photos by: Mikkel Vang/Taverne Agency.

I think that you can purchase all of these issues shown here in this post on this website, though I’m not sure if they ship outside of Germany. Give it a try though. I know you can also email them to order magazines: email: abo [dot] livingandmore [at] guell [dot] de

I hope you had fun peeking inside of the pages of my favorite German decorating magazine today!

(images photographed by holly becker for decor8)

Decorating Tips

Nicole Balch Office Redux Under $200

August 26, 2008

Hello there! It’s me Nicole again from Making it Lovely. I’m transforming my so-so house into a lovely home, and I thought I’d share a little of my process with you while Holly’s away!

My office was one of the first rooms I finished when my husband and I moved into our home last year. As you know, I own Pink Loves Brown and I work from home, so I needed my office to be functional as soon as possible. Unfortunately, I didn’t put all that much thought into the design of it. It’s really not that bad, but I’m ready for a change.

Nicole Balch Office Redux Under $200(photo by Evan Thomas, from my Apartment Therapy House Tour last year)

Here’s my office as it is now:

Nicole Balch Office Redux Under $200

The basics of the room will be staying. That means I’ll be keeping my desk, chair, bookshelf, lamp, and several other items. I’m even keeping the paint color! Normally, paint would be the first thing to go because it’s such an easy way to change a room for little money, but I think the color will work really well so it’s staying!

Nicole Balch Office Redux Under $200

I’m only changing four things. That’s it! I think it will make enough of a difference to keep me happy for a while though.

I can make the curtains out of Robert Kaufman’s Purple Utopia fabric for about $50 and then splurge on a Thomas Paul Flourish violet linen pillow for $100. I’ll attempt to make a slipcover for my desk chair (around $10), and then I’ll pick up a new Helmer drawer unit in white from IKEA for $40. The red one I have now could be spray painted if I wanted to do this all for even less, but I actually need another draw unit in my studio so I’ll just bring the old one up there.

So with two purchases, two sewing projects, and $200, I can have a whole new look! That is unless I change my mind and go with something else first. It’s been known to happen. ;) So what do you think about my office ideas? What are some quick changes you’ve made to spruce up your home office lately?

(images linked to sources above, layout and text by nicole)

Decorating Tips

Reader Q: Help My Ugly Front Porch!

August 4, 2008

Jen is a reader looking for some help today with her front porch. She cannot make any structural changes but needs help with color and perhaps some furniture ideas and placement.

Reader Q: Help My Ugly Front Porch!Jen’s stoop – Any suggestions?

Jen says, “It’s a fairly useless porch and it’s waaaaaay too white. We are going to replace the screen door and I’m thinking of painting the front door a bolder color (it’s now black). The walls of the porch have been primed and I’m just trying to decide what color it should be painted. I’d like to warm up the house a bit. And I’d like the porch to reflect the style within our house, not necessarily the 60’s split level style. Our *style* could be described as eclectic–contemporary cottage, perhaps. Cozy with lots of books and comfy furniture but not cluttered. Oh–and the picture does not properly show the planting that is to the right of the front step. I’ve got a huge bunch of black-eyed Susans there right now, but would happily change it if someone has ideas. The whole area is just plain awkward.”

Hmmm… Perhaps a lovely before and after from blogger Tissue Papers may inspire Jen a little?

Reader Q: Help My Ugly Front Porch!
Reader Q: Help My Ugly Front Porch!

Or maybe Martha Stewart can help (link)? Do you have some tips to help Jen add a little curb appeal to her porch? Thanks for writing in, Jen!

(images: top from reader jen, bottom two from the tissue papers blog)

Color Inspiration, Decorating Tips

Got a Passion for Purple?

March 31, 2008

PointClickHome just posted a slideshow with lots of purple finds, including some of their favorite paint colors by Benjamin Moore. They didn’t highlight Passion Plum 2073-30 but I have to add that to the list because it’s a deep hue that is so rich and delicious…

Got a Passion for Purple? I really like this cane coat stand from Red Egg – the materials and design anyway. I can’t say I like it in this color because it’s a bit too Golden Girls for me — I’d paint it bright red, crisp white, tulip yellow, or black. I’d also love to reupholster that chair in perhaps that Duralee animal print and paint the frame white. Or reupholster it in some red and white geometric print and lacquer the frame in black. I know, I know, the whole point of this post is to highlight purple finds but I can’t help myself since I love to alter things, editing is in my blood. The Tokyo Dahlia wallpaper is lovely, it’s from the Oriental Garden collection over at Designers Guild.

To learn more about the color Purple and to view rooms in this sassy hue, here are a few decor8 links to inspire you:

Color of the Month: PURPLE
Lavender Love from The Washington Post
Poppin’ Purple

(images from pointclickhome)

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