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).
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)
Ryan Korban is a twentysomething interior designer in New York who designs both residential and commercial spaces and who has recently been featured in a number of design blogs, including The Selby. It seems he has a knack for creating warmth with a touch of glam through layers, textures and deep, moody colors. Add to that a dash of shine through a lamp or two, a carefully placed teapot, a sculptural flower resting on a stack of books and a sexy side table with a horn base and you have Ryan’s signature look — nothing is overly styled or stuffy, things are somewhat sloppy in a very good way and his vibe is without fuss and quite cozy.
I’ll admit, I’m not a big leather sofa fan, nor do I care for faux fur rugs, horn tables or shiny ornate table lamps, but Ryan has a way of putting things together that I’m not naturally drawn that makes me pause and think, “Okay, maybe“. I think that this is a sign of a good designer that we often overlook and do not discuss to often on design blogs. We’re often so fixated on finding designers who share our aesthetic — but when you notice an eyebrow being raised as you stumble across work you’d not characterize as your sensibility then that’s something to pause and think about. Hmmm.
I compare this to a good makeup artist or hair stylist. Sometimes we get stuck on a look, some may even say in a rut. Fringe with blond highlights, blunt cut with caramel highlights, curly hair, straight hair, the “Jennifer” hair cut. Or how about makeup — smokey eyes for going out, a nude and pale palette with a touch of pink lip gloss by day. Let’s say your stylist thinks that with your coloring and personality, you should experiment a little and go with auburn highlights instead and lose the fringe because it does not complement your face shape. And the makeup artist suggests peacock green eyes for night with faux lashes and by day a bit more color – a soft gray eye with a just-bitten red matte lip. You may shrug, thinking it’s, “Oh no — not me” but perhaps you try this new look out and you can’t believe your eyes — stunning! Pros who work with color, proportion, texture, etc. all day tend to have a broader vision. They also deal with many personalities and income levels so they have a lot of experience that we sometimes forget to take into consideration.
And so I ask… shouldn’t anyone you hire in a creative field give you a bit of an Aha! moment and share something that you may NOT have considered before? That is a part of interior design that makes hiring the right one worth the investment. A fresh, new custom-tailored perspective can be quite an eye opener.
So. I’ve been trying to locate a silver or black mirror to go above my dresser and I found a lovely one at Esplanade (a store in my neighborhood) and when I flipped it over I noticed the brand: Bloomingville. Hmmmm I thought. I googled it and found their website which has many beautiful products from Danish company TrendKompagniet. Bloomingville is part of their company specializing in home goods.
If you pay attention to the details, you may notice subtle differences from how you arrange things in your part of the world. In northern Germany where I live, this one of many styles for seasonal decor, one of many because you have (like any country) lots of people with a variety of tastes and backgrounds so the decor varies by home. But, this is one style that is very popular in the part of the city where I live — I find shops with many of these products or ones identical to them. Some of these accessories include mercury glass, candles in many shades, white porcelain, and the colors gray and lilac along with many ethnic influences and details like punched tin and sweet little motifs — deer, mushrooms and snowflakes to name a few.
My friends like to use found items for decorating too – and traditional pine is another element brought into the home and displayed on a coffee table next to a platter or included in a floral arrangement for instance. Candles are used very informally, not just for fancy dinner parties or special occasions. I have candles burning most days — they warm the heart and heat the space. I love candles and burn them twice as much now that I live in this part of the world. I have two silver antique candelabras on the windowsill in my living room with gray candles that I love and light almost daily as it starts to get dark now around 4:15 each day. But I like it, the mood is serene and charming.
I really, really like the decal accent on the weathered bench above. Did you see that? It is great idea to give a bench a hand painted feel for those who don’t have a steady hand to diy it. Try a decal inside. Brilliant! This makes me like decals a little bit more because I never in my life thought to stick on on a rustic bench.
So, there you have it — Bloomingville products. Do you like this style?
By the way… If you’re a interiors stylist and are lucky enough to live nearby to them in Herning, Denmark well I have good news for you — they’re hiring a product stylist! More information here.
Soothing and elegant, right?
If you have orange and brown on the brain today (the stores are packed with it), you’ll love to see the colorful home of artist Jenn Ski that I wrote about this morning at Real Simple. I shared some photos of her home taken by Boston photographer Bob O’Connor and find her pad a delightful mix of old and new.
I know lots of you are are fans of the mid century style and will really love Jenn’s gorgeous home and be inspired by her fresh take on it. Enjoy!
(images: bob o’connor)