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English Muse: Favorite Things

As promised, I have a few more guests joining me here on decor8 this week with their favorite things… so I’m going to let them have the floor and talk to you about their cherished possessions and what inspires them. First up today is the English Muse. Enjoy!

Hello from Pasadena, California. I’m Tina from English Muse and I’m very happy to be visiting the lovely decor8. I live with my husband, my daughter, two cats and a little mutt dog in a small English Tudor style house on the edge of the San Gabriel Mountains. I have many favorite things gathered from years of prowling the flea markets and raiding my father’s art studio. They form a colorful hodgepodge in every room in the house. Many of my parents’ friends were artists–their homes filled with folk art, pottery, hand-carved furniture, Chinese antiques and bookshelves lined with English literature. Stepping into their haciendas was like wandering through a magical paradise of erudite pursuits. It’s a sensibility I love, which is why I wanted to start my blog. Beauty comes in all colors and from all cultures.

English Muse

Everyone needs a favorite chair. This one is mine: an old club chair covered with an antique suzani from Uzbekistan. (Bought on eBay). The fabric is soft after years of wear, faded to a deep rose-red. The swirling, colorful embroidery is so beautiful, made with thick strands of silk. At the moment, this chair is stacked with magazines and catalogues — as are many of the flat surfaces in our house. My plans to get organized continue….

English Muse

My elderly father has been very sick lately, so my most cherished possessions are his gorgeous paintings and watercolors. With their colors of blue and green, they form mini-galleries in various places in our house. I especially like this collection, lit by a skylight in a long hallway.

English Muse

Of course my most favorite things: The people and animals who live with me in this little house.

English Muse

I hated the idea of keeping all my Polaroids in a box. I put together this art installment of sorts on the refrigerator. The picture of my daughter in the bunny ears is my favorite. There’s also a picture of my husband with one of his funny grins. It makes me laugh.

My inspiration: I grew up in New Mexico where the sunsets are purple and pink, the furniture and doorways are often painted blue, and the mountains are named for the color of the soil: Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ.) I’m convinced that a beautiful home is all in the little details: A pretty perfume tray, textiles from locals around the globe, whimsical things like a bouquet of colorful umbrellas, weekend papers spread across the floor for reading, art with deep grooves of oil paint, dried flowers on a dressing room table. Thank you for letting me visit! – xo Tina

(images: english muse)

Posted in guest bloggers on September 03, 2009

siagrafica: Favorite Things

Hello decor8 readers, I’m Sia from siagrafica, an illustration and (graphic) design blog. I’m visiting today to share with you, “A few of my favorite things”… I am super excited that Holly and her husband have recently relocated to Hannover because it is only a train ride away from Rotterdam, The Netherlands! I just moved back here after living in Amsterdam for six years and here are some favorite things in my apartment…


This vintage dress form was a gift from Richard, my former boss at Dutch department store De Bijenkorf. Richard also gave me the advice to stay true to myself – it’s a waste of time living up to other people’s values…


One of the things I really like about this apartment is the fact that there is stained glass in every room.


I also love my day bed from Habitat – it used to be my bed when I was in college – I love sitting here while flipping through magazines.


This “I love my clothes” cup was made by Femque van Geffen and Janneke Dröge – together they are BLOND Amsterdam. I bought this cup back in 2003 at their tiny studio/shop at the Spuistraat in Amsterdam. Nowadays, their Flagship store is located at Gerard Doustraat 69.


Another item I bought when I was still in college: this painting by Italian-Dutch artist Selwyn Senatori. I remember eating ramen noodles for the rest of the month but I’m still in love with this cute Vespa!

I am inspired by everyday life (I always carry a moleskine notebook and some TOMBOW pens with me), illustration + graphic design blogs and small shops like the Otherist (formerly known as egg mercantile) selling items by independent artists.

Another source of inspiration: films such as The Science of Sleep, Delicatessen or Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (ssshhh… the credits are pure eye candy)! –Sia

(images: siagrafica)

Posted in guest bloggers on September 01, 2009

Pikaland: Favorite Things

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.


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!)


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.


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.


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.


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)

Posted in guest bloggers on August 31, 2009

This is glamorous: Favorite Things

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}

{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}

{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}

{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}

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

{this is glamorous}

{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)

Posted in guest bloggers on August 28, 2009


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