A few of my favorite things: Happy Mundane
Hello! I’m Jon from Happy Mundane. Holly kindly invited me to share a few of my favorite things from my home, so I walked around my place and here are a few things that always make me smile…
Every morning when I wake up, one of the first things I see is this view of my bathroom. Originally I had painted the back wall a very light pale blue, and the decor was pretty fun and casual. But last year, after installing some new tile flooring, I decided to switch it to a dramatically darker shade. This changed the entire feel and consequently motivated me to “glam” things up a bit, (I guess it makes me feel a little bit more like a grown up, hehe- I think that’s a good thing?) However, I didn’t ditch all the fun. This little cup, which I found in a thrift shop, acts as my toothbrush holder. I have no idea what the writing says (I hope it’s nothing bad), but I just love the little drawing (I think it kind of looks like me when I have glasses on!) and the fact that it says “Los Angeles.”
I have a lot of artwork in my place, but most of it is from thrift shops, estate sales, or gifts from friends. Just a few months ago, I made my very first artwork purchase from a gallery. I saw this piece from So Cal artist Andrew Holder at the Subtext gallery in San Diego and just had to have it. Kind of an impulse buy, but I love it. Currently it sits at the top of my staircase and greets me with it’s bright bold colors every time I walk in.
I’m a big fan of adding in a touch of the unexpected when it comes to decor. This pillow by Dermond Peterson sits on my living room couch and is a great example of that. I love the raw linen with the subtle white silkscreen. At first glance it just looks like a nice flourish-y pattern- but when you actually look at it, you realize it’s a big kooky octopus! All of Dermond Peterson’s graphics are hand block printed, so each one is a little unique.
Speaking of my living room… it actually blends right into my dining room area. I’m not a big flower guy, but I do think adding some sort of living plant always warms up a space. This summer I got some silver dollar eucalyptus for the dining table, that sits next to my next favorite piece- these incredible “tumi-ishi” wood pieces. I’ve been drooling over these ever since I saw a post of them a few years back. They’re from Japan and actually are a children’s game. Fast forward a little bit and the cool folks at Umbra picked it up for larger distribution, and a few months ago I saw they were finally available stateside, now called “Pile-on”. (you can get them here.) I confess I’m a big fan of the whole faceted trend, as well as natural wood, so this is the perfect marriage of the two.
Summer is all about spending some quality time outdoors. I’m extremely fortunate that I have a small patio, and one of the first things I got when I moved in was a fountain. There’s nothing like the sound of dripping water to get you relaxed and cooled off. And since we’re on the subject of water, another thing I’ve been obsessed with this summer has been simple clear bottles. A few months ago I got to visit the newly opened Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs. If you haven’t been yet, I highly recommend it- and you HAVE to have a meal at their restaurant, Kings Highway. It was there that got me started on this whole clear bottle thing. They serve their ice tea and water in plain wine bottles and I thought it was such a clever idea. Now all my drinks are served like that. You may also notice my cheap attempt to recreate those gorgeous Edda carafes that have been making the blog rounds. I love the idea of using a simple wood ball as a cover, so I purchased a blank wooden doll head/knob at the craft store and made my own version with a carafe I already had.
My most favorite thing this summer has to be the arrival of my wonderful Egg chair! This was a major splurge, and those of you that follow my blog will know how much I had been longing for it. It’s made this summer sooo much better (and Pepé loves it too!)
Holly asked me to talk about where I find inspiration… Whenever I’m in a creative slump, I usually just jump in my car and get out somewhere. Normally I seem to end up at, well… the mall. Don’t laugh. It’s true. But there’s a good reason for this. Around here where I live in suburbia, it’s where I can find a huge amount of everything, from all over the place, all in one convenient location. There’s the book store, there’s home decor stores, fashion boutiques, sometimes grocery stores, and then just fun people watching. One thing that I’m always on the lookout for is juxtapositions. It could be one color next to another, or contrasting textures, etc…. By the time I’ve walked around for a bit, I’ve generally seen something that sparks some ideas.
Do any of you do the same?
Finally, I leave you with a quote that has been helpful for me when I’m working. It’s from filmmaker, Jim Jarmusch:
“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.”
Thanks to Holly for inviting me to be a part of this series, and thank you for indulging with me a few of my favorite things. Hope you all are enjoying your summer! – Jon
(images: happy mundane)
A few of my favorite things: Shannon Fricke
Hi Holly and everyone at decor8. I’m just over the moon to have been asked to be a part of your August series and to share a few of my favourite things with you. So, here we go! My name is Shannon Fricke and I’m an interior stylist, decorator, writer and mother of two lovely children. I live on a farm close to Byron Bay in Australia. I love hanging out at home – in fact my life ambition is to spend as much time at home as possible and so I have created a career that gives me an excuse to do just that! I spend a lot of my time at home writing – my column for Inside Out magazine plus my sense of style interior books (and my blog of course!) – and so I need it to both comfort and inspire me. Here are a few of my favourite little nooks from around my old farmhouse which fuel my inspiration and get me through the days. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do…
I love little vignettes of colour, pattern and detail in a house – and my heart jumps for joy every time I see this little corner of the kitchen. These plates were designed by Jasper Conran for Wedgewood and are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. The patterning is in perfect harmony – with enough detail to create interest for the eye and enough solid space to not overwhelm. Secretly, I wish that I had designed them myself and I hope that one day I will develop the skills to be able to create such beauty as he has done. The blue glass vase is a recent purchase from IKEA and reminds me of how beautiful a simple, organic shape can be. The tile was a present given to me by a friend for my 40th birthday. The artist is local to Byron Bay, and I just love the combination of colour and form. Decorative tile work is such an inspiring art form for me – in fact, I’ve just spent a few weeks in Spain on a Spanish tile pilgrimage where I was completely ‘blown away’ by the magnitude of styles and colours! The sprigs of mint are from my garden and bring the beauty of nature indoors. Pure heaven…
What can I say – I just love little bits and pieces – particularly when they are glassware and ceramics. I’m not sure why I’m so drawn to such things – perhaps it has something to do with their tactile nature – meaning that you can pick them up, touch and interact with them. Glass and ceramics can be for display but they can also be used and I do love my pieces to have a dual purpose. I’m not a big believer in keeping things for ‘good’ and so very often these beautiful vessels will be called upon to perform a function in my life – sometimes to support herbs picked from the garden, or as a vase for a little bunch of flowers. And many times they have been used for the purpose in which they have been created – as tea cups and drinking goblets. Many of these were sourced from Spin Ceramics during a trip to Shanghai for a friends birthday a few years ago. Some pieces were found at local antique stores and others were passed on to me from my mother. I love looking at them because they remind me of my life…
Well, what a crazy little nook this is! Dare I say it, but this wall, which is in my office, is a little like the inside of my mind. A little messy at times but with a thread of continuity that somehow seems to keep everything chugging along! An inspiration board is a must if you are at all creatively minded and this wall is full of magazine tear outs and colour copies of things that I love, pics of photo shoots that I have been involved with and gifts of creativity from my children. As you can imagine, it’s changing all the time – to reflect where I’m at in that moment and where I hope to be heading. But it’s what keeps me going – particularly if I’m having trouble making sense of the ideas that are springing to my mind.
I am completely in love with my macrame owl – created by my incredibly talented friend Tamara Maynes from The Six Week Boutique. This creation is called To John Denver, With Love and reminds me of my childhood – growing up in 1970s Australia with a mother who had a particular penchant for all things macrame! I’m always in awe of people who can create things by hand, such as this – and I love to be surrounded by other people’s creativity as well as my own. This modern take on an old craft inspires and reminds me that life is an evolution – and that there is much value in what came before us as there is with what lies ahead of us. For me, this owl brings together the old and the new – which is exactly how I like to mix both the decoration of my home and my life…
How about the shape of these gorgeous timber and rattan chairs that started their lives in Burma and found their way to me in Byron Bay! They are a lovely design being gentle and organic to look but at the same time they are strong and sturdy enough to be able to cope with the weight of a person. These chairs live on my verandah, an enclosed space with large windows that perfectly frame the picturesque view that lies beyond the house. In terms of furniture, there’s not much else happening on the verandah just yet – in fact, it’s rather empty and probably will be until I work out exactly how I’d like the space to look and function. And so these chairs mark the beginning, of what I hope will become an inviting and happy place to hang out…
My house is not always perfectly put together – actually, with two kids and a rather untidy husband, it can look kind of messy at times! I’ve never really been into houses that feel totally complete – that are ‘done’ in a way that doesn’t allow for evolution and change. Sometimes, the most comfortable and the most beautiful houses appear to be merely thrown together and so that is my reasoning for this little vignette – a corner of the house decorated merely with a mattress, a throw rug and a couple of cushions. Funnily enough, this is one of my favourite spots in my house – a comfortable place to hang out and laze away the hours. It reminds me to relax and to go with the flow of things. And to remember that not everything in a home (or in life) has to be perfect. At the end of the day, your ‘home sweet home’ has to make you feel good about yourself, about where you’re at and where you’re heading.
Thanks for reading everyone and happy moving Holly!
(images: shannon fricke)
A few of my favorite things: Selina Lake
Before you head off for the weekend don’t forget to visit me!! Hello, I’m Selina Lake, Freelance Interior Stylist and Author from London and I’m visiting while Holly is getting adjusted to her new living quarters over in Germany. I had the honor of working with a fantastic photographer Max Attenborough to produce these shots of my favourite things in my home for decor8 today so I hope that you enjoy them! I think it’s a nice way to end the week here on the blog since these photos may provide some inspiration for you to carry into the weekend.
1. Inspiration Wall - I love sticking inspiring postcards and pictures up on my wall, I buy vintage postcards from flea markets and junk shops and keep pretty greetings cards which people send me. I also can’t resist lavender hearts!!
2. Vintage China – My collection of vintage china keeps growing, I enjoy drinking tea out of this pretty teacup! I buy lots of plates from Charity Shops and Flea Markets.
3. Interiors books & magazines - I have a massive collection of Interior books and magazines, this is my biggest passion! After the success of my 1st book Bazaar Style, I’ve recently had my next book commissioned. I’m currently working on at the moment with photographer Debi Treloar
4. Tea Lights — There’s nothing more romantic then candle light, these Moroccan tea glasses give my living room a lovely pink glow. I bought the pouffes in a souk in Marrakesh last year.
5. Fresh Flowers – I always like to have fresh flowers at home, I love peonies, hydrangea’s and roses. I’m lucky to have a really good flower market nearby. I also often bring flowers home after a shoot.
6. Vintage Eiderdowns – Whenever I go to antique fairs, junk shops or flea markets, I look out for eiderdowns and vintage fabric! Here are are a few of my latest buys from Kempton Antiques. I’m really into romantic peachy pink tones at the moment.
Enough about me… I’m turning the table here on you – decor8 readers… What about YOU? What are some of your favorite things in your home currently? - Selina xx
(images: Max Attenborough)
4/6/10: Editor’s Note: Images and text removed at the authors request.
A few of my favorite things: Hygge House
(images: alex beauchamp, hygge house)
A few of my favorite things: Stephanie Levy
Hi, I’m Stephanie Levy, an American artist and illustrator who has been living abroad in Germany for the last 13 years. In 2005, I moved to Munich with my husband, and we share our city apartment with our two little girls, Sophia and Lucy – also known as the two tornados with legs! I’m very excited that Holly is now living here in Germany, and I’m honored to be a guest blogger on decor8! I’ll be sharing “a few of my favorite things” today with you :)
As you can see, we are a family of artists. My husband is a painter and sculptor, and we have tried to create a very open and creative atmosphere in our home. One of my favorite spots is the children’s art table, which is in our work/living area. I always keep a stack of paper and plenty of drawing materials available, so that my children can make a new picture whenever they feel inspired. The result is that some of our walls are a constantly changing compilation of artwork by various artists. Lately, the children’s artwork has started creeping into the empty spaces between my “Trendfarben” wall elements. I love the cheerful, vibrant mix of line, form, and color.
Baking cakes, making dinner, and throwing wild tea parties are among my daughters most treasured activities. Sometimes they do get a little out of control however, and ahem, they are solely responsible for the lovely wallpaper patterns you now see here in their room.
When I am ready to begin with “serious” work, I escape to my little studio. I am always happy when I can sit at my art table for a few hours, surrounded by heaps of fun materials, and create new drawings, paintings, and collages.
There are also times when I want to relax, and get away from our creative chaos. Our sunny bedroom is very light and minimalist, and it’s the perfect place to steal away and read a book.
Perhaps my very favorite spot in our apartment is our kitchen window. I try to always keep blooming flowers on the windowsill, and this summer I’ve been growing fresh mint and basil to use in special dishes. It’s the perfect spot to drink a cup of tea, and gaze out onto our ivy covered courtyard.
Some of the things that inspire me most are picnics, German bakeries, Italian wine, traveling anywhere – even for a day trip, starry skies, and bubble baths.
One of the nicest pieces of advice I’ve been given is: “When children are young, give them roots. When they have grown, give them wings.”
Thank you for visiting with me today, and I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know some of my favorite places at home. It’s always wonderful to have guests and meet new readers. I love sharing peeks of my life in Europe, travel, and artwork with my blog visitors. Thank you Holly for this opportunity, and I can’t wait to keep up with your new European lifestyle here in Germany. – xoxo Stephanie
Editor’s Note: You’ll find a wide selection of Stephanie’s collages and artwork in her online shop where she is currently have a sale!