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New decor8 Column: Handmade Home

January 7, 2011

I have some exciting news that I must share before the weekend begins. I hired a second columnist to write on decor8, so in addition to the lovely Leslie Shewring and her wildly popular Color Me Pretty column I now have the talented Anna-Malin Lindgren from Helt Enkelt, a Swedish blogger, photographer, illustrator, craft lover, wife, mother and DIY-queen joining us. I can’t wait to work with her, I’m so happy she has accepted!

New decor8 Column: Handmade Home

I met Anna-Malin last year (I wrote about it here) and saw her beautiful home and was so impressed that I knew that somehow I would think of a way that we could work together — so of course, parts of her home is in my upcoming book but beginning next week, you can expect Anna-Malin to visit us once a month for the entire year with a DIY project that she will produce especially for decor8 readers that she’ll share in English. I agreed to let her show it on her own blog in Swedish a week later, but we have first dibs and she is creating them with the decor8 reader in mind so we can count on her to share projects that we’ll all love.

New decor8 Column: Handmade Home

New decor8 Column: Handmade Home

New decor8 Column: Handmade Home

New decor8 Column: Handmade Home

New decor8 Column: Handmade Home

In this post you can see some photos from Anna-Malin’s beautiful blog to give you a glimpse of her fresh, Scandinavian style — and to whet your appetite for the projects that she’ll be sharing with us! And stay tuned, because next week her column will debut and she will demonstrate how we can make a very cool pendant lamp on a budget.

My goal is to have 4 columnists on decor8 so I’m looking for 2 more to join me so that I can have Mondays each week devoted entirely to our visiting columnist of the week. I’ll let you know how my search goes!

Thank you Anna-Malin for accepting my offer to work with me on decor8, I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us.

(images: anna-malin lindgren)

Guest Bloggers

Pikaland: Favorite Things

August 31, 2009

Hello everyone! While I’m back blogging full-time here on decor8, I have some lovely “favorite things” to still share with you from some fellow bloggers… I ended up having so many accept my invitation to participate that more favorite things will be included this week so that I can get them all up for you to see. :) Enjoy! –Holly

A few of my favorite things: Pikaland

Hi everyone! I’m Amy Ng from Malaysia and I write the Pikaland blog – a blog about living the illustrated life – and I’ll be showing you a few of my favorite things as part of Holly’s guest series while she is settling in her new country.

Pikaland: Favorite Things

I recently moved house and one of my first priorities was to make my own working corner as comfortable as possible. I love cheery colors and lots of light, so I chose a spot by the door. The shawl was given by my best friend in Japan when I visited, and it’s always been with me ever since. The drawers were a vintage find, while the bookcase is from IKEA – I taped a patterned paper to the back of it (to avoid dust and to add a pop of color!)

Pikaland: Favorite Things

I have a lot of books and I just moved it upstairs into a mini library of sorts. The books shown here are what I like to flip through when I’m trying to sort through mental clutter.

Pikaland: Favorite Things

We have a yellow feature wall that was supposed to be filled with art, but right now we’re still organizing things, so it has to wait. I love this particular nook because of the contrast in color that seems to make the space bigger, and of course, there’s Camilla’s print on the wall! My husband loves to collect sculptures/3-D items while I like paper/2-D items.

Pikaland: Favorite Things

Our bedroom is black and white, but the walls are a deep orchid purple, so it’s one of our favourite places to lounge about and talk about what happened during our day. Our room’s layout was a little odd, so we decided to drape a patterned fabric and hung it from the ceiling, and it also acts as a divider – the best part is that we instantly had a walk-in closet! Those little sticky notes you see in the picture was one I left for him under the pillows when I had to go away for the weekend – he likes to read it over and over again, and so there they will stay.

Pikaland: Favorite Things

This is a little embarrassing to say, but I find myself dressing in colors that have brown or aqua blue in them. I have my favourite bag in there, as well as my jacket that makes me stand out among a sea of boring corporate types, and these lovely new heels. I am a collector of shoes with t-straps and I love seeing variations of patterns and styles for it. I love bangles, and I must have one on my wrist — without them I’d feel a little naked! I also collect books that I find inspiring and I am in love with my collection of vintage children’s books that were handed down from my cousins which I now display in my library upstairs.

My inspiration comes from reading lots of books – I still have a stack of illustrated children’s books from the 1970s which are almost falling apart (no thanks to silverfishes.) My imagination is able to conjure up images just from reading, and is one of the reasons I don’t watch movies based on books, especially if I have read the book before – most of the time I prefer the reels that are showing in my mind! I also love to travel and wish I could do more of it – I’d love to be able to meet some of the friends I have made over the internet.

My favorite advice is one that my teacher told me: “Don’t be afraid to buck the herd and be yourself. When the whole herd jumps over the cliff – will you be one of them too?” I took this advice literally and it changed the way I looked at life forever.

I hope you enjoyed that little sneak peek of a few of my favourite things — thanks so much Holly for inviting me over! : )- Amy

(images: amy ng)

Guest Bloggers

This is glamorous: Favorite Things

August 28, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Things: This is glamorous

Hello everyone and happy weekend to you! I’m Roséline from the blog {this is glamorous}, visiting while Holly is in the middle of beginning a new life in Germany. It’s lovely to be here and to share a few of my favourite things which just may get you in the mood for the weekend…

This is glamorous: Favorite Things

{mirrored storage boxes} Open plan living means the need for storage — favourites are glittering and etched venetian glass boxes to hide clutter and hold pretty little things.

This is glamorous: Favorite Things

{the perfect handbag} I am rarely without my blackberry, ipod, a camera, a variety of lip balms and glosses, a compact, a daybook and many other things, so a great handbag is necessary — this sandy suede Phillip Lim is perfect and a Summer favourite.

This is glamorous: Favorite Things

{heavenly scents} There is always a scented candle burning somewhere and never leave the house without wearing a beautiful scent – current favourite is Tom Ford’s Black Orchid, which is warm and heady and really quite sexy.

This is glamorous: Favorite Things

{shoes, shoes, shoes} Current favourites — from the UK, the softest suede and go with nearly everything.

This is glamorous: Favorite Things

{little luxuries} Perfectly chilled champagne, pretty pastries and bouquets of roses are a few of the little things that add a little elegance to the end of a busy week.

{inspiration} Always so many beautiful things to be inspired by, but the things I always return to are: bright summer afternoons, dinners for two, crème brûlée, being on the water, late-night conversations, morning coffee, discovering new things, and traveling, which is the best inspiration of all.

{good advice} Spent one summer in a beautiful art gallery where the very wise and talented gallery owner once told me to think about where I wanted to be in ten years and to do one thing every day that would take me a step closer to that goal — it was such a novel idea — tend to live in the moment and ten years seemed like an eternity away, but it reminds me to take a moment every once in a while to look at the big picture…

Also love this quote: “A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are for.” Thanks so much, Holly, for inviting me to be a part of this lovely series — warm wishes + best of luck in your new adventure! Have a beautiful week everyone, ~ Roséline

(images: this is glamorous)

Guest Bloggers

Parallel Botany: Favorite Things

August 27, 2009

A few of my favorite things: Parallel Botany

Hello everyone, this is Lisa from Parallel Botany! As a participant in Holly’s “Favorite Things” series, I am thrilled to be here today to share with you a few of my most cherished belongings, as well as some of the things that inspire me daily.

Parallel Botany: Favorite Things

My dog art! Ever since I was a little girl, I have had a deep and abiding affinity for the canine character.. Looking at my collection on the wall is an automatic mood booster for me. I’ve even got a print of the American kitsch classic “Waterloo,” also known as Dogs Playing Poker—a piece which is at once hackneyed and transcendent. By the way, the dark pink screenprint in the upper left corner is my corgi, Barkowitz. He’s a handsome fellow with personality to spare.

Parallel Botany: Favorite Things

This hand-carved wooden box, a gift given to my grandmother by her brother upon his return from World War II, holds faded family snapshots. Some of the photos are so degraded at this point that it’s difficult to make out any likenesses at all. I know I should probably put them in an acid-free archival album, but I enjoy handling the haphazard stacks of photos as I sift randomly through the box. I find this “system” more satisfying than flipping through an album.

Parallel Botany: Favorite Things

Childhood artwork, vintage keepsakes, and souvenirs displayed in shrine-like vignettes, to be arranged and rearranged again and again. This is something I have done since I was a kid, making little tabletop displays of objects on my dressers, desks, and windowsills, and I still find it a very relaxing and serious-fun activity. By the way, is that more dog art in the background? Yep, it’s a huge portrait I painted of my family’s dog when I was twelve (as you can see, the dog art thing runs pretty deep in me!).

Parallel Botany: Favorite Things

My precious mixtapes. A few years ago, I went through a phase of putting together mix CDs with very elaborate packaging—fancy cardstocks, handmade paper that I had made myself, ribbons, collages, watercolors. I really went to town on these things! My taste in music might have shifted a bit since then, but as personal documents these CDs have become more meaningful to me over the years. They really are my journals from that period.

Parallel Botany: Favorite Things

This is my favorite window. I have taken so many photos from this vantage point. I know it’s not the most spectacular vista, but I’m drawn to the oblique, glancing view down the street. When I am experiencing a mental block, I will often go to this window, look out over the rooftops, and let my imagination carry me away.

I also receive daily doses of inspiration from nature. I especially enjoy taking my dog for walks in nearby Inwood Hill Park, which boasts the last bit of natural forest in Manhattan. Back on the forest trails, it’s very easy to forget that I’m in the city, which is sometimes necessary when I start to feel frazzled by the pace of urban life.

After visiting neighborhood parks, I always return home invigorated and brimming over with new ideas. In his book Easy Living, the designer Terence Conran writes, “The least inspiring displays are composed of objects you expect to see, or those that remain in the same dusty corner year after year. By contrast, objects that mean something to you, that enshrine memories of a favorite place or time or person, always have vitality: they actually have something to say…[There] really are no hard and fast rules for display except to surround yourself with things you positively enjoy.”

This wise statement is something I like to keep in mind when I consider ways to honor objects and memories in my home. I try to stand back and let my collections of much-loved items speak for themselves. – Lisa

(images: parallel botany)

Guest Bloggers

Design Evolution: Favorite Things

August 26, 2009

A few of my favorite things: Design Evolution

Hello all, this is Michelle from the blog Design Evolution stopping by decor8 for a visit while Holly is making her big move. When Holly first asked me to participate in her August guest series, “A few of my favorite things” I was super excited to be a part of it. I must admit putting this post together turned out to be an interesting exercise as I realized my home is full of many “things” but not too many of them favorites. Taking a little journey through my space with a camera in hand I was able to find those few things that bring me peace or make me smile and a room where I feel truly relaxed and at home.

Design Evolution: Favorite Things

My house didn’t really start to feel like a home until I brought in some artwork. While I can’t quite afford original art pieces I have begun collecting prints from my some of my favorite artists. It is such an inexpensive way to fill your home with beautiful images. Online marketplaces like etsy, artfire, etc. have introduced me to so many independent artists and I’m so thankful for them. Before I discovered them I could only dream of owning works from independent artists and now I have many.

Design Evolution: Favorite Things

My grandfather was a meticulous photographer who kept amazing notes about the exposure, f.stop, film type, etc. for every photo he took. He was also great at organizing his photographs into albums and cataloging many family events. I’m so grateful to have these photo albums that track my family’s life in Cuba from even before my father was born. I know I will never be as disciplined as he was but he certainly inspires me to better organize photos of family and friends now because I know future family members will appreciate them.

Design Evolution: Favorite Things

This little corner of my kitchen is my happy place on early mornings. You can not expect me to complete a coherent sentence until I have had my first cup of coffee. The routine has become cheerier with the addition of two Orla Kiely canister that hold my coffee and sugar and print from one of my favorite etsy shops Yumi Yumi.

Design Evolution: Favorite Things

Some part of my home is often torn apart or in the middle of a crazy home improvement project that is no doubt over my head. During the chaos my bedroom is always the place where I can escape the mess and relax. There are no jarring colors and while there are certainly things I would like to change about the room I hold back while the rest of the house is torn apart. I close the door, curl under the covers, turn out the light and everything is right with the world.

Design Evolution: Favorite Things

And my most favorite thing in my entire home, except for my boyfriend of course, is my puppy Milo. He is number one on my list of things that I would grab if there was a fire and I had to run out the door. A puppy can certainly drive you nuts at times (especially those times when they chow down on your favorite pair of shoes) but you quickly forget those times when you walk in the door after a particularly rough day and that adorable little face couldn’t be more excited to see you and only you. It’s also very rewarding to know that I’ve made this poor abandoned puppy’s life better then he could have every imagine it would be. Holly I know you’ve mentioned that you might like to get a dog once you’re settled in Germany and I definitely recommend it. I wonder if he will only understand German commands :)

So there you have it, a few of my favorite things. Leave it to Holly to sneak some healthy introspection into what appears to be a fun and light assignment. Must be what makes Holly such a great teacher. Taking this photo journey around my home has made me realize that I need to work a bit harder to fill my home with only things that I really love and not just things that I think I need.

Good luck on journey and best wishes to you and Thorsten. We will all miss you while you’re settling and can’t wait to follow along on your new adventures. Finally, Holly asked that I end a favorite piece of advice. At this stage of my life these words from the Persian poet Rumi, “Let What You Love Be What You Do” resonate quite strongly. Life is too short to be dragging your feet. Embrace every moment running, jumping, playing and most importantly doing what makes you truly happy. –Michelle

(images: design evolution)

Guest Bloggers

Sarah Hardaker: Favorite Things

August 26, 2009

A few of my favorite things: Sarah Hardaker

Hi, I am Sarah Hardaker and I am visiting while Holly does her big move. I am a fabric designer from the UK and also the co author of Hardaker and Pope blog and these are a few of my favourite things at home…

Sarah Hardaker: Favorite Things

My dining room is one of my favourite rooms in this house. It is flooded with light all day and evening, it has floor to ceiling windows which look out over the garden. It has a vintage chandelier that has moved from 4 different houses and never hung until we moved here, french linen sheets as curtains and a panel of my chinoiserie grand wallpaper on one wall. This room has seen so many lovely meals with friends and family, and I sometimes work in here if I fel in need of sunshine.

Sarah Hardaker: Favorite Things

I love original paintings, I never seem to have the time to sit and paint myself. This one is by my husbands uncle Robert Lee- Wade RA, It is of the footpath above our house in the snow earlier this year. I like to create little ‘still life’ settings on surfaces, our old house had lots of interesting nooks and shelves and was perfect for these little vignettes. This house is not so good yet, but I am slowly bending it to my will and creating some little spaces. It appears after taking these photos I have something of an addiction to Diptyque candles…. I get one every year from my lovely husband in my christmas stocking – Cannelle is my favourite.

Sarah Hardaker: Favorite Things

I had thought I would only photograph the house for this post, but our garden is such an integral part of our lives here, all of the rooms have big windows or doors out onto it. We grow lots of our own fruit and vegetables, and if I need a break from designing I will often go and potter around in the green house or the vegetable garden with the children. They both have their own little patch!

Sarah Hardaker: Favorite Things

From fork to fork! from the garden to my plate. I LOVE to cook. I find cookbooks a huge source of inspiration. I have a shamefully large collection, I like to sit in my chair under the shelf and have a good read, especially on a Saturday morning after a trip to the farmers’ market. Food is definitely a big part of who I am, and how I live.

Sarah Hardaker: Favorite Things

The Rose Garden. I sit here and think about new designs. Lots of my fabrics and wallpapers are based on natural elements, such as flowers and seed heads. I find great colour inspiration here and it changes throughout the seasons. The smell is amazing too.

Sarah Hardaker: Favorite Things

Colour. As I have said, lots of my designs are inspired by nature, I love the pure colour you get in flowers. This is a David Austin William Lobb rose, and I drew its shape over and over when I was doing my chinoiserie design.

Things that inspire me… This is a really tough one as I am a very visual person and feel inspired by everything and anything, from awesome architecture to the mundane things around me. I love colour even though I use it sparingly in my home. I love accents and unusual combinations. You can’t beat nature for this, the beauty of a dark pink Gertrude Jekyll rose with lime green alchemilla mollis – perfection. I use the flowers in my garden all the time for design inspiration and also for colour inspiration. I have been incredibly lucky to have traveled extensively both with my family and for work. India and Italy totally blew me away. I always look at colour and pattern when I am traveling. Food plays a huge part in our lives, we grow a lot of it and I think its really important that my kids know where their food comes from and are happy to try new and exciting flavours. I always think that cooking is very like designing, in that you have a palette of flavours rather than a palette of colours, but it works the same in that you have to understand what goes with what or it will be a mess. I have a shamefully huge cookbook collection!

I could talk for Britain so am constantly inspired by people around me, I love having Jo in the studio with me to talk about ideas. I think blogging is a great outlet for anyone creative and is also a great source of inspiration too – its almost like working in a big communal studio. If I am feeling uninspired my top three (not including decor8 because that’s a given) are lobster and swan, sam’s notebook and snippet and ink. All three have the ability to infuse my with creativity. I was incredibly fortunate to work with Nina Campbell and Anthony Little both of whom taught me so much about how to design, they are amazing people. They always remembered the little things about people and would treat the lady in the printworks canteen with the same respect as the CEO – a great rule for life. I love art and if I were a wealthy lady I would buy a lot of it. My favourites (probably because they inspire me) are Kate Loveday an artist based in Stroud in Gloucestershire, my lovely uncle Robert Lee-Wade RA, and Elaine Pamphillon. All of them totally understand colour.

My favourite advice is, “Nothing is ever irretrievable” from Antony Little, and he is right, no matter how bad something is, or how wrong its gone, you can usually pick yourself up and start all over again.

Also from my great friend Versha (CEO Intelligent Exhibitions) “If you want to play with the big boys, you’ve got to look like the big boys… even if you are actually running your company from your dining table, they don’t know that!!”

Thank you for having me here today Holly and everyone else tuning in! – Sarah

(images: sarah hardaker)

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