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Inspiration

Inspiration

Bookworm Design: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

May 18, 2010

Hi there! It’s Brigitte again. Apparently my last guest post tricked Holly into thinking you’d enjoy another post. :) Today, I’d like to take on a different topic. You see, I may write about design, but I am a bookworm to my core. And, recently I read a book that drove my mind in a thousand directions. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Have you read it? WARNING: It is not for the faint of heart. Seriously. But…in my mind, the payoff is worth it. Intriguing mystery. Interesting characters. And a little (ok, a lot) of social commentary mixed in. And, the “girl” is pretty interesting. She’s anti-social, a bit punk and generally counter-culture. And the book is set in Sweden. The land of put-it-on-an-alter decor. But this girl, she’s not exactly rich. And she wears t-shirts with messages like “I am also an alien.” Much of her decor comes from a dumpster. Of course I immediately set to designing a living room for this intriguing character which I’m gong to show you now.

Bookworm Design: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

It’s a little punk. A tad bit edgy. And very industrial. And then I noticed, much of the Swedish decor we so admire is a bit industrial — and even a little hard.

Bookworm Design: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Skona Hem

Bookworm Design: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Elle Interior

Bookworm Design: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Hus & Hem

Collage sources from first image: Hemispheric Disconnect Print, Cross the Tracks Print, Rustic Industrial Typewriter Telephone Table, Work Lamp – Gold, Compass Desk Lamp, Sahara Chair, Hundtand Rug and Ikea Leather Sofa.

I like the idea of actively seeking out the outliers in many of the design styles idealized around the world (French decor also comes to mind). And, as a former punk myself, I loved designing an edgier type of room.

Who else harbors these same counter-culture tendencies? Don’t you think it keeps things fresh and interesting? I’d love your thoughts! – Brigitte.

(images: linked to their sources above)

Inspiration

Emily Gilbert Photography

May 10, 2010

Perhaps you are in need of some interior inspiration today? Oh yes, you say. You’d like to escape from your job for just a few moments and slip into the comfortable magical world of interiors. This is no problem and is precisely what I am here for — to inspire and share and make your eyes dance. Thanks to Emily Gilbert Photography in New York we can enjoy a few rooms together right now in fact…

Emily Gilbert Photography

About Emily: After her post collegiate career as a set dresser in the television and film industry, Emily developed a passion for photography. Don’t see a connection? Here’s how you go from a set dresser to a pro interiors photographer, “Her fascination with lines, space, and repetition coupled with her experience as a Set Dresser lead her to the art of Interior & Architectural photography. Her interest in environments both meticulously designed and those that exist in nature is what drives her to capture the essence of each space she sets out to photograph.” Interesting, right?

Emily Gilbert Photography

Do any of the spaces above speak to you? I want the pink bathroom! And I love the idea of wallpaper on the ceiling — the black and white stripe wallpaper is fresh!

(images: emily gilbert photography)

Inspiration

IKEA Family – LIVE Inspiration

April 26, 2010

Hungry for some budget interiors inspiration today? Well, here you go! IKEA Family has a website called LIVE that launched awhile ago and it is such a fun place to play peeping Tom and to view some nice spaces from around the world in their home stories section. I’ve been watching it grow and waiting until more content was added before writing about it, but now I think there is enough on the site that you will really like visiting it for decorating inspiration. There are so many fun homes there, particularly the compact Berlin apartment by a very cute couple here and as shown briefly below. I think their style is so sweet, I really like how their kitchen looks like a cafe — I don’t think I’d ever have to leave the house!

IKEA Family - LIVE Inspiration

IKEA Family - LIVE Inspiration

IKEA Family - LIVE Inspiration

IKEA Family - LIVE Inspiration

IKEA Family - LIVE Inspiration

IKEA Family - LIVE Inspiration

And the adorable designer Nina van de Goor is on the site too. Here is the full story but some glimpses are below…

IKEA Family - LIVE Inspiration

IKEA Family - LIVE Inspiration

IKEA Family - LIVE Inspiration

IKEA Family - LIVE Inspiration

IKEA Family - LIVE Inspiration

IKEA Family - LIVE Inspiration

And some more views of various homes featured on the LIVE site include…

IKEA Family - LIVE Inspiration


IKEA Family - LIVE Inspiration

IKEA Family - LIVE Inspiration

IKEA Family - LIVE Inspiration

IKEA Family - LIVE Inspiration

IKEA Family - LIVE Inspiration

And to break up all that white… this charming entry!

IKEA Family - LIVE Inspiration

About IKEA Live: “Our new website LIVE is the place to go for tips, ideas and inspiration for your home. A place where you meet others around the world sharing the same interest.”

Aren’t all of these rooms great!? Which ones do you like the most? Any preference?

(images: IKEA)

Books + Magazines, Inspiration

Flowers: Chic & Cheap

April 26, 2010

I just received the most beautiful floral design book called Flowers Chic & Cheap by Carlos Mota who is the Elle Decor editor at large. There are so few “good” floral arranging books and magazines on the market in the US — my friends and I always comment that such a huge hole exists in the bookstores when it comes to floral design books that are modern, fresh and well… not kitschy or packed to the gills with silk flowers. Flowers Chic & Cheap is a beautiful book and it came at the perfect time as I just picked up bunches of ranunculus, freesia and bi-colored carnations today at the flower shop after being so inspired yesterday by my visit to the Herrenhauser Garten. I’ll take some photos of this beautiful book later this week and share a proper review of it then but for now I’ll leave you with some floral inspiration with photos that I took yesterday at the garden.

Flowers: Chic & Cheap

Flowers: Chic & Cheap

Flowers: Chic & Cheap

Flowers: Chic & Cheap

Flowers: Chic & Cheap

Flowers: Chic & Cheap

All of these colors and patterns really make me feel energized and inspired – and I hope my snapshots inspire you as well. Please note I do not use a digital SLR camera and I have little clue what I’m really doing with camera settings but I think these photos came out nice considering all of that — and so perhaps if you feel up to it maybe you can find a park or garden in your local area, bring your camera and find some memorable shots for yourself too. Nature always has such a perfectly composed palette, doesn’t it? Flower gardens never clash and patterns always look so fresh and lovely together no matter what the scale or shape. And nothing goes out of style – imagine that! There is so much for us all to learn from the examples provided in the natural world around us. And another big thing to consider with flowers is the broad range of color. Of course, I always lean towards the pinks (you know me!), yellows and violet tones but there are also oranges, reds… the colors are endless so the bottom line is really this: don’t be afraid of color!

Next week I’ll give you a full review of Flowers: Chic & Cheap!

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Books + Magazines, Inspiration

Inspired by Bolig Magazine

April 15, 2010

I was hopping around Facebook today to check in on some of my friends and noticed this terrific link to Bolig that Tiger posted. And then down the rabbit hole I fell into the beautiful Scandinavian interiors featured in Bolig magazine online. Here are some views into some of my favorite rooms which make me all the more excited to move into a new flat and decorate!

Inspired by Bolig Magazine

I have so many ideas for my new space that I want to execute soon — my dream is to find a flat soon enough so that I can decorate it and include it in my decorating book that will be out next spring. So the apartment search continues but I am hopeful because hey, I have to find a place sooner or later. Be positive, right?!

Inspired by Bolig Magazine

Inspired by Bolig Magazine

Aren’t these spaces so clean and lovely? If you’d like to join in on the drool fest and leave some of your thoughts below please do — I’d love to know what room you like the best and why, what elements you see that you’d like to try at home, etc.

I like the bold yellow in the kitchen above, the light wood floors (and the white ones, swoon!), the “ruler” table runner (did you spy that too?), the giraffe art, the shelf over the bed, and the shiny black smeg fridge. :)

(images: bolig magazine)

Inspiration

Stylist Maria Grossmann + Career Hopping

April 12, 2010

My friend Ingrid told me about German stylist Maria Grossmann who lives in Hamburg and who works mainly in Europe. Her website is so cool. Seriously. Check it out and make sure when you do that you drag the arrow around the screen to explore all that is there. Maria began her career as a photographer but realized that she was more interested in creating a scene to photograph than the actual art of photography itself so she switched careers and began her path as an interiors and food stylist. I find this quite common with creative types — we tend to embark on one thing but ultimately land on another. Why is this? Thoughts?

Stylist Maria Grossmann + Career Hopping

Perhaps it’s just how the creative mind works — seeing no boundaries, the thrill of exploration, the excitement of “what if”… I personally experienced this myself. I started off studying interior design and ending up writing for magazines, websites and this blog along with my current book. I realized that designing from start to finish with clients wasn’t for me as I had thought. I’d much rather do consulting work — walk into someone’s home and tell them how the space could work differently, how to organize it better, colors that they may want to add, and ideas for furniture and accessories. I then like to leave them with a POA – plan of action – and point them to all of the resources needed to get the work done and then leave and that’s that. Not that I didn’t like seeing a project through to completion but I think my idea of design and what decorating and design mean to me personally have evolved with this blog and I’ve come to realize that I’m an “editor” which applies to all things. I can edit anything – words, wardrobes, bookshelves, rooms, you name it. And I’m quite good at it. But what I don’t enjoy is starting with a blank slate where I am asked to do something entirely for someone else. I don’t enjoy working 100% for people — I enjoy working with people. The only exception to this is to create my own work. I do enjoy starting at zero and building something up on my own. But with others I like to show them how to do things better but not how to do things entirely. I like to show others how to fish, not give them the fish. “Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime”.

Stylist Maria Grossmann + Career Hopping

And so as I evolve personally and professionally speaking, I can relate to Maria with her decision to switch paths. I also think it’s great that she did because her body of work testifies to her magnificent talent. Of course it’s good to note that having the photography experience no doubt makes Maria a skilled stylist. I think this is evident in her work. I believe that this is true in many, many cases and so if you fear a career change perhaps look at this perspective: you can no doubt apply many of the skills acquired in your current profession in your new one. Even professions that appear on the surface to not relate at all. I never thought my past life would be even remotely linked to my current career but daily I find more and more links to my former career. No doubt Maria does too. I’m willing to bet you do as well.

I feel so proud to highlight some strong leaders in Germany when it comes to interior photography and styling. I’ll share a German photography today as well. I often thought all of these talented creative types lived only in select cities and countries — at least it seems this way when we flip through magazines and books. Almost as though you must live in Paris to be hip or in London to be stylish. But this is absolutely not the case. There is a lot of untapped talent in this world. Or in the case of Maria, not untapped just not widely known due to mostly language differences. Who would really know about her in America when her work is primarily featured in publications abroad — especially in German ones? This is why I try to show little blips of  what’s happening in Germany and everywhere else in the world as I find people who interest me or as they find me and write in. I like to be a global scout and have my eye all over the world without feeling limited to specific culture or country.

Stylist Maria Grossmann + Career Hopping

This is the beauty of blogging with the world as my demographic so to speak. I want to reach out to English speaking people who live everywhere — Americans, Swedish, Germans, Japanese — and show the things that make this global art and design community so enriching and lovely — like a patchwork quilt. I also love to escape through my work, as you love to escape through blog reading, and so part of my intent lies in my interest to explore without jet lag and lost luggage. With a blog you can go everywhere!

So back to my earlier question as I got carried off a bit… why do you think it is that creative types seem to jump around more often when it comes to work? Do you? What drives this?

(images: maria grossmann)

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