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Random Images to Inspire

We spent the day roaming the cobblestone streets of Hannover Linden today, where I met an old friend who is the largest book seller in Germany, with over 1 million books for sale on Amazon. We browsed his extensive collection on towering bookshelves, all which overflowed with rare titles, mostly published between the early 1900′s-1985.
I loved the children’s books I found, and he was nice enough to give me 3 of my favorites, which I happily accepted. Not only do they help me practice my German, but the pretty illustrations and typefaces are so lovely, I can’t stop looking at them. Two appeared as good as new, but it’s the one that is clearly used that appears to me the most. Inside the front cover, there is a handwritten dedication from oma to granddaughter Nadine. Nadine stamped her Berlin address, along with a maus sticker, inside. To think that a little girl from Berlin once owned this book in 1972, a book that now belongs to me… I don’t know, it’s somewhat touching. This story was once read to her and tucked away on a bookshelf… I wonder what became of young Nadine?


While roaming the narrow halls of books, I noticed an old poster taped to the side of a wooden bookcase, and thought it was lovely enough to capture and share with you. The print was already in sephia, so I think the photo came out rather nicely… Her porcelin complexion and his adoring gaze couldn’t resist my lens. Too bad they’re smoking and not simply about to engage in a kiss.

After visiting the warehouse, we stumbled upon my new favorite coffee shop, Cafe Petit in Hannover Linden.
I snapped a few photos while there, and since I’ve been big into sephia shots lately, I thought I’d experiment a little. I clearly need more practice with my camera, but I really like how these came out.

Note: I’ll be returning to Linden on Saturday for a studio tour and to meet a designer that I love, so I will post some photos from that tour on Monday. See you later today with some great design finds! I’m off to dinner, but upon my return, I promise to post some more goodies for you today.


(images from holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, inspiration, shopping, travel, walls on October 19, 2006

coffee + cre8tive {oct 3 ’06}

Today is a holiday here in Germany, the Day of German Unity, so we spent time eating with the family (homemade German food is so yummy) and taking walks through the forest and then, the city. Overall, it’s very quiet here today, it is nice just to rest, grab a cafe latte, and stroll around the nearly empty city streets. We popped into a cafe called Am Thielenplatz, and fell totally in love with the decor in mostly red, white, and black with hints of canary yellow.
You can relax here and enjoy a simple cup of coffee in a most chic atmosphere. Don’t you just love it? I could have stayed for hours, and here in Europe, you can linger at these ultra chic establishments just as you would back in the states at Starbucks.

Notice the chandeliers with shades over them? I especially enjoyed those, along with the wallpaper, which was applied to one wall and then extended onto about 70″ of the ceiling. The rest of the ceiling was white. It looked great, I wish I would have thought to photograph it for you.

Up today… A factory tour of a ceramics company based in California, an interview with a Boston interior designer, and some fresh finds to give you something to spend your money on! :)

(images from decor8, click on them for full size)

Posted in inspiration, shopping, travel on October 03, 2006

Adorn Magazine – NEW!


Have you heard of Adorn magazine, the new craft mag on the block for women? Geared towards ladies that love to create as well as those that never progressed beyond 1st grade macaroni necklaces, if you’re willing to learn something new, Adorn delivers. It’s well-written (short + sweet!), informative, fun, and packed with DIY projects from totally kitschy stuff to projects that have a more grown up appeal.


I think it’s a great magazine for all ages, perfect for mom and ‘tween daughter to come together for an afternoon of crafting with her friends, terrific for you and your friends for a Friday night craft meet. Despite how much I tend to dislike craft magazines, this one is actually a huge step up from the typical country kitchen stencil, silk flower wreath, and glue gun galore that’s so present in most DIY publications. Adorn is smarter, hipper, and even smaller than your standard size magazine. The fresh cover first caught my eye, and as I flipped through, I was impressed by the layout and design, full-color photos that inspire, and the appealing typefaces. Adorn touches on trends, party planning, DIY fashion and accessories, and cool projects for embellishing the home. They throw in a little bit of everything, but for some reason, it doesn’t feel like it’s missing focus (no signs that the entire staff has ADD -smile-).


The message Adorn sends forth is clear – carve out time to be creative, whether you consider yourself a lost cause or a crafty diva. Flipping through that pile of magazines on your floor or drooling over what others create isn’t half as fulfilling as making something with your own hands. It also helps you find your own personal style and create a home that oozes with personality and charm.

I found my copy at Borders, however I’ve since spotted them at Barnes + Noble and a few local craft stores, too. You can preview their premiere issue online, and you can check out their blog if you’d like a glimpse of Adorn behind the scenes. Their Fall/Winter issue will hit newsstands on November 7th, so you still have time to pick up their Summer premiere.

Psst: Some of the items created for the product shots are being offered by etsy seller Indie Craft Movie, like these crochet embellished pillow covers and this funky hobo handbag.

(all images from adorn)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, diy, inspiration on September 01, 2006

Country Living: Before/After in a City Apartment!


Did you catch Country Living magazine for August yet? I was tickled to see their city apartment freshen up, Two-Day Decorating Makeover (pages 32-40).

For one thing, it’s rare to see Country Living (or any of the home magazines that feature primarily the cottage/farmhouse style) spotlight a city apartment with, what appears to be a single girl, at the helm of a makeover.

The best part about the makeover?

That’s hard to narrow down. Although I loved that they show an IKEA bag in one of the photos filled with pillow inserts for the renovation project and, hold your squeals of delight, a Saarinen table. Yes, in Country Living. This is a breakthrough moment, people.

The bones of this apartment are stunning, it resembles one you may spot in an east coast city, soaring 10+ foot ceilings, hardwood floors, prewar details, huge windows. The color palette for the apartment is simple: blue, gray, silver, white, beige – very subdued, on the cool side, with a somewhat Scandinavian slash London apartment vibe going on. With before and after photos, a cool stencil idea for the walls (don’t stress, this really is a hip stenciling project using a baroque floral pattern and silver paint against Ben Moore’s Regal Aquavelvet, eggshell finish, Sapphire Ice). The room was pulled together on a budget too, another strong point of the article.

Surprise bonus: There wasn’t a dog, husband, picket fence, cooing baby, or massive 4,000 square foot midwestern farmhouse home in sight. Not that I have anything against those things, but it’s nice to see a country living magazine step into the concrete jungle for once. Not everyone in the city dreams of monochromatic loft spaces, nor do they shop at high end Italian contemporary stores. Country Living is catching on, and I’m liking it.

If you’re not a big Country Living fan, grab the August issue and see what you think. Seems they may be interested in appealing to a broader demographic, and this article in particular has a very Domino feel to it with the fonts, arrows connecting tips to photos, and the style in which it’s written.

What would I change about this makeover? Hmm. First, I’d purchase a real sofa for the living room (vs. the twin bed with bolsters) and a much larger rug. The rug selected for the living area is to small. I’d also paint the walls to the ceiling, although above the molding I would have went a few shades lighter for the paint (they stopped at the crown molding about 20″ from the ceiling leaving the top half of the room white, which is standard. I’m not a standard girl). I believe that if you have high ceilings, don’t try to minimize them. I’d also highlight all of the fabulous picture and crown moldings in either white (for a crisp look) or two shades lighter than the Sapphire Ice (more subdued, yet still highlighting the gorgeous details of the molding). I think the stenciling idea over the eating nook could have been repeated in the living room, as well, confined within the boundaries of the picture molding.

The bedroom was very serene, I can’t see much about it that I would change except for the bed – I would bring in a crisp navy/white Scandinavian floral print and add a touch of butter yellow or lilac somewhere in the room – a vase or fresh tulips would suffice. I’d like to see some clean white ceramics displayed on a shelf, too. Ones that have a very organic feel with lots of detail, all of them in white.

In the end, I’d say the makeover is a great success on a budget, and with it’s vintage modern appeal, I’m a big fan.

If you’d like to check out this renovation, pick up the August copy of Country Living and turn to page 33 (pull out this section and save for your look book). For quick candy, you can view the renovation online, too.

Psst: Love what they’ve done to this vintage suitcase – so girly!

Your comments on this renovation?

Related posts: My DIY Look Book Project, 4.11.06

(images from country living)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, bedroom, diy, inspiration, walls on July 28, 2006

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

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