Hello, how are you doing today? I hope you’re well and enjoying summer so far because I sure am. The weather is warm and sunny now (it was horrendous last week, I was becoming a bit blue by the grim temps) but it’s all good now… Everyone is out and about shopping and chatting it up on the streets. My neighborhood is very cozy and friendly, we have a pedestrian only shopping street that is one mile long and filled with a variety of shops and restaurants and there is a weekly farmers’ market and festivals from time to time, too. There’s also lots of street musicians and ice cream shops. I think everyone had a cone in hand today and I’m inspired by the buzz outside because people energize me along with sunshine. I needed the boost that this gorgeous weather has brought. Now that I’m home it’s time to blog and share with you some really nice things to inspire you so here with go… the first post of the week.
First up is Svenska Stylistgruppen which means Swedish Stylist Group. They are a group of talented stylists, photographers and journalists who specialize in fashion, interior design, beauty, food and gardening and work on a freelance basis for newspapers, advertising agencies and publishers. This group is a strong one with a good range of styles to choose from. In this post, I’ve outlined a few of my personal favorites noting both the photographer and the stylist so please click on all of the links to see more!
Really nice, right? I love creative people, such a breath of fresh air. If you are looking for stylists, writers and photographers the Svenska Stylistgruppen is a good start!
(images: via svenska stylistgruppen)
It’s interesting how a culture is influenced by what is being shown as a “trend” in its leading magazines. In many ways magazines and books (and now blogs) have a very strong influence on a culture more than all of us are even aware of. When I first started reading German decorating magazines in the late 90’s they were very different from what you’ll find on the newsstands today which of course, is a good thing because moving forward and embracing change is good for everyone. As a result, what you found back then in stores and in people’s homes was also reflective of what you’d find in magazines.
I think that people nowadays expect magazines to push the envelope a little and show them something they can’t find on a blog or in a shop display or catalog already. People want to be pushed a bit I believe. I like magazines that push their readers to feel more confident about their own design decisions as well versus giving in to what the “norm” is doing. I like it when they take products in stores and style them up to show them being used a bit differently, repurposed even, and how to look at things differently. When I see some of the photographers and stylists in this country, like photographer Julia Hoersch who lives in Hamburg, Germany and who does lots of work for magazines and books, I think of how inspired those living in other parts of the world would be by her work so I want to briefly share a few glimpses of it in this post because I love her work but also the stylists she works with. You can tell there is a good relationship between her and the stylists because creative work always comes out more beautiful in my opinion when the photographer and stylist see eye-to-eye.
Julia Hoersch is a lady whom I’d like to meet someday. She’s living only an hour away from me so perhaps it will be possible. I find her vision very fresh and her eye is very well trained. I love how well she captures the arrangements of the stylists’ work with her camera and that she brings her own personal aesthetic into each shot because there is a lovely cohesiveness to her portfolio despite the many different types of settings and objects, and well clients, that she has shot and worked for. I also love her angles and compositions, she really moves around a lot and experiments and as a result, comes up with some really nice photographs.
Quite drool inducing, right?
(images: julia hoersch, stylists katja gaumann, maria grossman and dietlind wolf )
I see more and more watercolor-y accents popping up in blog and website design, in magazines, and painterly patterns on clothing and textiles too. It’s a lovely trend that I definitely can ride from here until eternity. The ever talented photographer Jen Huang inspired me so much today with this introduction of watercolors that she offers to her clients along with her fantastic photography, something I’ve only seen before with Leslie’s work and a few others, as well as some Japanese books that I own. I think it’s gorgeous and it just made me happy.
Oh swoon. I love flowers, don’t you? I could write an entire book about them and I owe the love to my mother who was trained as a floral designer – our home was always filled with her arrangements. Some of you will meet her when I’m in Boston in August. She also loved to paint. I should take out my paints sometime and play around and see what I come up with. I really need to make some time to do that again soon. It’s funny, both my mother and aunt were painters, my aunt was a fine artist and art teacher, but I didn’t seem to get the urge to become a painter myself. Until I see work like Jen’s. Then I feel this gentle nudge to play a bit. I adore paintings, especially mixed media collage and watercolor work – two of my favorites – and so perhaps I should experiment a little. It’s been awhile… Do you paint?
I found out about Jen’s paintings on the 100 Layer Cake blog and so I hope you’ll click over to visit that gorgeous wedding wonderland when you have time. It’s a sweet, pastel-filled dream world.
(images: jen huang)
Lots of people ask me how to create a mood in the home. It’s very, very easy. Turn on some music! In addition to food (cooking makes the home come alive), cozy nooks, lighting, including candlelight, and dimmer switches (a must!), music is another instant way to add a special vibe to your home. Think about it: when you are in a cafe with great music, doesn’t it feel better to be there? When you’re shopping say, Anthropologie, don’t you feel more inspired because of the sounds floating through the air and into your ears? I do. Music sparks imagination and definitely puts me in a better frame of mind if I happen to be in a rather bleh mood.
Lately, I’ve been listening to these cd’s shown on my table above and below. I also found another favorite, a Dutch jazz singer (not shown), who I’m a bit obsessed with at the moment and her name is Caro Emerald and I love her song Night Like This. You can see a video and listen to it here.
In addition to lovely Caro Emerald, these are the tunes I have on rotation in my office linked below. I hope you find some new music in my collection to inspire you at home, on the road, etc. You’ll notice half of it is in German. I listen to German music because 1) It’s good! and 2) I’m studying the language and it helps me while I’m living here to connect more to the culture and language. If you like diversity in what you listen to, want to be transported to another place, or simply want to brush up on a foreign language I also encourage you to listen to foreign language music or even music in English from different parts of the world like Australia or the UK. It’s inspiring to hear what people are being influenced by outside of your home country. I started listening to French pop when I was around 12 years old, thanks to that store Limited Express, now called Express. Do you remember it had a distinctly French flair at one time? I would buy their French pop music compilations along with my clothes! It was great and I felt very international. For a young girl living in South Carolina at the time, I felt quite international and chic. :)
Shown above: Hurts (great song/video), Charlotte Church (Welsh singer, in English): Watch this video to get a feel for her vibe, Adele, Swedish House Mafia (from Sweden music in English), Pixie Lott (English pop singer) and Katy B (also English pop).
Clueso (German – love his chilled out sounds), Lisa Bassenge (German), Lena (German pop star from Hannover where I live but she sings in English), Frida Gold (German – watch this video to get a feel for what she does, love it!!!), Annett Louisan (German, you must check out her brilliant website, some clippings below – but don’t miss THIS VIDEO – interiors eye candy all the way!!!), Anna Depenbusch (German), Sia (from Australia), Chapel Club (from England), Lenka (from Australia).
Photos of lovely German singer Annett Louisan who lives in Berlin.
What are you listening to for inspiration lately?
(images: top three: holly becker for decor8 bottom: annett louisan)