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Arts + Crafts, Inspiration

Inspired by Natalie Ferstendik

October 1, 2008

A pair of tweezers introduced me to the work of designer/illustrator Natalie Ferstendik. Yes tweezers, see?

Inspired by Natalie Ferstendik
Inspired by Natalie Ferstendik

These were purchased at HEMA in Amsterdam last month, not because I needed them, but because I loved the product packaging. After a little research I found out that the illustration is by Natalie Ferstendik who has worked for a slew of fashion and publishing clients including Elle and Vogue and is known as one of Europe’s leading illustrators. See how much you can learn by being a curious shopper? This is something I’m known for though… when I shop I soak up as much as I can so I can take all of the info home to google it! I’m a sneaky spy shopper!

Inspired by Natalie FerstendikInspired by Natalie FerstendikInspired by Natalie FerstendikInspired by Natalie Ferstendik

Maybe you’ve heard of Natalie before, but she is new to me… her illustrations have graced the pages of the fashion magazines all over the world but somehow I’ve missed them. Not anymore. Now I will be on the look out for Miss Natalie. I love how glamorous and colorful her work is and since I can’t get enough of a good fashion illustrator then Natalie has officially been added to my list of favorites right up there with Sweden’s Liselotte Watkins and Brooklyn artist Samantha Hahn (whom I absolutely adore as a person and artist).

Inspired by Natalie FerstendikInspired by Natalie FerstendikInspired by Natalie Ferstendik

Psst: If you like Natalie’s work, you can purchase this limited edition print, “Pearls”, from online shop Nelly Duff here.

Natalie is represented by the New Division Illustration Agency.

By the way, don’t these images make you want to redecorate a room in your home? I look at the colors and bold graphics and think of a palette for a living room, for instance. Some of these illustrations also give me inspiration for pulling together an outfit for Fall… My goal for this season: USE MORE COLOR!

(images 1. Photo by Holly Becker for decor8, all others from New Division & The Society of Artists Agents, the last image from Nelly Duff.)

DIY, Etsy Faves, Inspiration, Interviews, Objects, uncategorized

Hallway Decorating Day!

September 26, 2008

Hello and happy Friday! I’m so pleased that you’ve visited me here because I owe you a huge apology. You see, I’ve been blogging like a mad woman over at Haus Maus today and then PING! (brain light bulb goes on) I realized how I’ve been neglecting YOU over here on decor8. I’m so sorry! I must confess that today has been just super because the furniture for my lonely, sad little hallway arrived and I am super pleased with it. I also have new dining room chairs and a table, all delivered this week as well. My kitchen is in (at least most of it) and installed, and my large vintage kitchen cabinet will arrive on Sunday. It’s wonderful that our apartment here in Germany is ‘on-schedule’ according to the project I laid out before I flew over. I wanted to have all of the furniture ordered and in place by the end of September and so far, so good. I love when the stars and planets line up for once! It’s such a load of stress off of my back to have our place nearly furnished. We leave the third week of December to return back to the states for the winter but we’ll now have October, November, and most of December to decorate and entertain, enjoy Oktoberfest and all of the outdoor markets, you know LIVE in our space without constantly having to shop for things to fill it with. I’m so extremely happy with how it’s coming along. Here is our hallway, it started off with old wallpaper, a bad vintage chandelier, and brown tile floors. Then the floors were installed and the walls repaired and painted (we didn’t do this part, only specified to contractors what we wanted). This is how it looked 6 weeks ago…

Hallway Decorating Day!

And here is where it stands today. Not finished but getting there… Yay!

Hallway Decorating Day!

And I’m so, so pleased. Our apartment only has a hallway, bath, kitchen, living room/dining room, and one bedroom — it’s 60 square meters so not at all large, but who needs a big apartment in the city anyway? We love our place and though we will eventually buy a 3 bedroom apartment (or house) here, a 1 bedroom is perfectly fine for a family of two. Plus we are only here 3-5 months at a time, how much space is really required?

Hallway Decorating Day!Hallway Decorating Day!Hallway Decorating Day!Hallway Decorating Day!Hallway Decorating Day!Hallway Decorating Day!

Here is a list of resources from the hallway in case you are interested…

Bench – Esplanade, Hannover (sorry no website)
Cushions (Purple) – Esplanade, Hannover (sorry no website)
Pillow – Orike Muth
Pendant – IKEA
Mirror and Coat Rack – Car Moebel
Tin boxes – Local imports shop in Hannover, Germany
Bear photo on mirror – “Sylvia” by Wren & Chickadee
Painting on top shelf – Mati Rose (Mati McDonough) via Nahcotta Gallery, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Straw Tote – Red Chair Antiques, Peterborough, New Hampshire
Plant/Pot – IKEA
Notebook on bench: Bubbo-tubbo.

Now I’m thinking of adding some paint or wallpaper to the walls and perhaps putting a few photos or prints on the left wall… And I may be replacing the pendant with something more decorative (I have this one in mind, or perhaps a lantern), we’ll see… But considering that this room was empty a few hours ago, I’m pleased with the flash decorating job I’ve done here today, ha ha! See what you can accomplish in a short period of time? Just scare the neighbors by drilling holes into the walls, blasting Hed Kandi, and sliding furniture around and viola! You can also have an insta-hallway like mine.

One little feature I love that I didn’t plan: I like that I can make the hallway look more in tune with the seasons by simply removing the bench cushions and adding plants, etc. in the warmer months. It’s a really simple change. Laying all of the cushions across the bench in the Fall/Winter warms up the space and also makes the bench look less summer-y.

I can’t wait now to finish the hallway and move onto the kitchen! It’s fun starting from scratch in a new place… Do you have any home projects that you’d like to tackle this weekend? Tonight is date night (with Tee) and it’s nearly 6pm here so I’m signing off for the weekend… But I’ll meet you make here on Monday. See you soon!

(images from holly becker for decor8)

Books + Magazines, Decorating Tips, Inspiration, Rooms, Stationery, Travel

Living & More = Magazine Heaven

September 17, 2008

I thought I’d introduce you to my favorite magazine in Germany, Living & More. Their website is pretty bad, but the magazine is above and beyond the website (thankfully) so don’t let their online look spoil your fun! German magazines are still working to get their act together when it comes to web presence but they are making progress slowly but surely. Anyway, this magazine is just great. Many of you who read decor8 do not have access to decorating magazines here so this little post is dedicated to you!

Living & More = Magazine Heaven

I must say that I know nothing about the publisher behind the magazine except they are called Living & More Verlag GmbH and are based in Offenburg, Germany, so I can’t give them a very good introduction. I do hope though that the images give you a nice preview of what you can except from this publication. Color, style, and lots of inspiration. I find that in most Dutch and German magazines though that many of the homes featured are from Australia and Scandinavia. I find this strange because there are PLENTY of stylish people living in Holland and Germany and I’m certain they live in magazine-worthy homes. I wonder why this is? I have several friends here in Hannover that live in magazine-ish homes but they’ve never been published. So very odd. Anyone know why this is so often the way it is? American design magazines are much different, the focus is always on American homes.

Living & More = Magazine Heaven A gorgeous desk organizer DIY project from the current issue of Living & More (Oktober 2008, Nr.7, page 34. Photo by Linnea Press.)

Living & More = Magazine Heaven The city apartment of Parisian designer Vanessa Bruno. (Living & More, Aug/Sept 08, Nr. 6, pages 24-33.) Photos by Brigetta Wolfgang Drejer/Sisters Agency.

Living & More not only produces 8 issues per year under the same name, but they also run these ‘specials’ like Wohnen & Wohlf?hlen and Living & More Premium – the edition that just hit newsstands here is called Country Tr?ume Wohnen and it’s amazing.

Living & More = Magazine Heaven The living room of homeowner Pia Aardestrup based in Copenhagen. (Living & More, Oktober 2008, Nr.7, pages 6-15.) Photos by: Anita Behrendt/Linnea Press.

Living & More = Magazine Heaven More images of Pia’s very blue and beautiful home. (Living & More, Oktober 2008, Nr.7, pages 6-15.) Photos by: Anita Behrendt/Linnea Press.

Living & More = Magazine Heaven I can’t take my eyes off of Pia’s gorgeous cabinet, I love this washed look. (Living & More, Oktober 2008, Nr.7, pages 6-15.) Photo by: Anita Behrendt/Linnea Press.

Living & More = Magazine Heaven This is a great spread, it features several fun DIY projects involving painted flowers on walls and furniture, complete with stencils. (Living & More “Wohnen & Wohlf?hlen” issue, LI039, pages 37-39, 60-61) Photos: Linnea Press.

Living & More = Magazine Heaven The home of Australian shop owner of Empire Vintage and stylist Lyn Gardner. (Living & More Premium “Country Tr?ume Wohnen” issue, LP003, pages 52-67.) Photos by: Mikkel Vang/Taverne Agency.

Living & More = Magazine Heaven More of Lyn Gardner. (Living & More Premium “Country Tr?ume Wohnen” issue, LP003, pages 52-67.) Photos by: Mikkel Vang/Taverne Agency.

Living & More = Magazine Heaven Lyn Gardner. (Living & More Premium “Country Tr?ume Wohnen” issue, LP003, pages 52-67.) Photos by: Mikkel Vang/Taverne Agency.

I think that you can purchase all of these issues shown here in this post on this website, though I’m not sure if they ship outside of Germany. Give it a try though. I know you can also email them to order magazines: email: abo [dot] livingandmore [at] guell [dot] de

I hope you had fun peeking inside of the pages of my favorite German decorating magazine today!

(images photographed by holly becker for decor8)

Inspiration, Stationery, uncategorized

Postcards from Amsterdam

September 12, 2008

I can’t wait to tell you about my recent journey to Amsterdam. Would you like to travel to this lovely Dutch city with me today? Please, be my guest. Here’s a recap of my adventures in Holland. At least the Friday evening part. I may have to wait until Monday to share the rest…

Okay, first let me say that I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I arrived last Friday. You see I had arranged to go meet with my friend Danielle and do some shopping for my apartment. Then as our plans were confirmed, I decided that since a few decor8 readers heard I was going to be in town and they wanted to hang out with me, that it would be really fun to meet them so I decided to blog about a small meet and greet. You know, nothing formal, just dinner and drinks. So last Friday evening a small group of peers — bloggers, blog readers, designers, creative types — joined me and my husband for dinner and drinks at De Kroon. In the end, we had 25 show up, between 8-10 per table (3 tables) and wow! What a great night! Would you like to see a few photos?

Postcards from Amsterdam Business cards collected from our meet and greet.

All I kept thinking before the meet and greet was that I’d arrive in Amsterdam wildly enthusiastic about meeting people and no one would show up. I was nervous to meet people who read this blog, I sometimes feel like in person I won’t ‘measure up’ to whatever image people form in their mind as to what I’ll be like. Of course, I don’t let stage fright stop me, but it was definitely in the back of my mind. I think that it’s part of being human, we all wonder how others will perceive us especially when one takes a friendship from the internet to the real world. In fact, I’m willing to bet that others felt much like I did as they entered De Kroon but you know, we all walked through those doors, cast our fears aside, and my goodness what a great evening we had. I felt completely comfortable with everyone there. Some I’d known already from following their blogs, so it was just as exciting for me to meet them in person as it was for them to meet me. I felt such enthusiasm, warmth, and an overall gracious spirit — all were super appreciative that this event was planned and that they could participate. We even had a few editors show from one of the Netherlands top decorating magazines, 101 Wohnideeen, and they arrived with a huge bag of magazines to share with every person in attendance. They also brought back issues and gave those to us as well so I now have about 6 issues to look over. What an honor to have these ladies attend!

Postcards from Amsterdam Yvonne from Yvestown (left) and me on the right.

I was over the moon to see how many showed up, and eagerly, each enthusiastically introduced themselves and took a seat next to complete strangers chatting and becoming quick friends. The vibe was very positive, the energy level was high, and the result was better than I had imagined. I have to thank everyone reading who attended for making my visit to Amsterdam so very special and memorable.

Postcards from Amsterdam
Danielle from The Style Files and I.

Postcards from Amsterdam
Per, Sia, Pia, Riley, and Emma. I’m next to Emma but you cannot see me. :)

Postcards from Amsterdam

Who showed up? Danielle from the Style Files (blogger and Le Souk owner), Emma from Emmas Designblogg (all the way from Stockholm!) and her friend Per, Pia Jane Bijkerk (amazing stylist and blogger) and her partner Roman, Sia Grafica (lovely illustrator and blogger), Fab fashion designer Riley Salyards from Jackson, Johnston and Roe, Yvonne Eijkenduijn with the lovely home from Yvestown and her husband Bo, Femke de Bont and her boyfriend Peter, Claudia Brown from the Sofa Blog, Ingrid Quinn (not a blogger but a blog reader and soon to be in Sri Lanka as Women’s Advisor to the UN), the very dear Jane Schouten from All the Luck in the World and her lovely daughter, Two editors from Dutch decorating magazine 101 Woonideeen magazine (Ann-Marie Ross and Kim van Rossenberg), Nina van de Goor from Nina In Vorm (blogger and ceramicist who also has a great house), Erika from Miko Design (you must visit her etsy store), Dane from Leilialoo, and a few others that I didn’t have an opportunity to exchange cards with (or meet) so I’m very sorry for that if you are reading. Please comment and let me know who you are if you’re reading this. :)

Postcards from Amsterdam More great ladies!

Postcards from Amsterdam Anne-Marie and Kim from 101 Wohnideeen.

Other than drink and eat, we chatted about design, art, culture, entertainment, decorating, and of course blogging! Our favorite subject of the night. My hope is that these ladies will form a little ‘creative girls’ night out now and then to keep the lines of communication freely flowing because it’s not only motivating for creatives to get out there and meet people but it can stimulate new ideas and alternate ways of thinking. Sometimes we get so holed up in our ateliers or offices working primarily alone on our projects of blogs that we can lose touch. I can go for several days without leaving my house! This isn’t good and I’ve come to realize that I need to get out more and meet some of my online friends and have these much-needed exchanges with them. If you are a blogger and have local readers, I encourage you to arrange for ‘real life’ meet and greets in your city because it can be a lot of fun to take these relationships from virtual to real time. Go for it! Who knows what can happen. I met Danielle in 2006 and Emma in 2007 and we’ve remained friends ever since, all because we took our online friendship into real time and it really worked out nicely.

So after this fun evening that ended pretty late, we went back to our hotel called NL Hotel (13 room boutique hotel on the edge of the Jordaan district around the corner from The Frozen Fountain) and called it a night. The rest of the weekend (up until Monday evening) was spent shopping, taking a canal ride, and enjoying the Fall-ish weather that was a bit moody but overall nice, cool and crisp.

Next let’s talk about some of the shops that I visited and a few good restaurants that I highly recommend. But this part has to wait until Monday because I’m ready to say goodbye and start my weekend. I have a flea market to hit in the morning, so I need an early start. Until Monday then! Have a lovely weekend!

More photos here from our night out.

(images from anne-marie ross, me and others from my cutie husband thorsten)


I’m Listening To…

September 10, 2008

I always love it when some of my favorite bloggers take a moment to share something a bit more personal on their blogs, usually things they do for fun like the films they watch or the music they’re currently into.

I'm Listening To... Keren Rose

I'm Listening To... Nylon

If you are a blogger I invite you to post the music that you’re listening to this month on your blog and link your post back to this one and in the comments section below, share the link to your post so decor8 readers can click over to see what you’re listening to. Consider yourself tagged! :) This will be quite fun and may open us all up to some new music. Honestly there is nothing better than a home filled with fresh flowers, good food, and good music in addition to a nice interior and some yummy cookies baking in the oven. :)

I'm Listening To... Klee

I'm Listening To...Room Eleven

So fellow bloggers, what you are listening to? I just pulled the stack of CD’s on my shelf that I’ve purchased since coming here to Germany last month. See if we have any favorites in common and please, excuse my obsession with Greatest Hits CDs lately. I’m a bit obsessed with old school hits right now. I know, I know… Will Smith? you ask. I was listening to “A Nightmare on My Street” yesterday and nearly died laughing at the memories it brought back. After that I played MJ’s, “Don’t Stop ‘Til Ya Get Enough” and couldn’t help but recall when my mother bought me my first vinyl as a child and I played it so loud I nearly broke the speakers in my little orange record player… Talk about a blast from the past! Here is a taste of what I’m listening to lately…

  • Klee (German), Title: Berge Versetzen (crazy about!)
  • Keren Rose (French), Title: Rose (the best Sunday afternoon music)
  • Nylon (German), Title: 10 Lieder ?ber Liebe (oh this band is so jazzy and good)
  • Thomas Godoj (German), Title: Plan A (German pop but his voice is great)
  • Morrissey, Title: Greatest Hits
  • Abba, Title: Gold: Greatest Hits
  • Michael Jackson, Title: Off The Wall
  • John Mayer, Title: Heavier Things
  • Babyface, Title: Greatest Hits
  • Will Smith, Title: Greatest Hits
  • Ne Yo, Title: Because of You
  • Iron Man, Title: Movie Soundtrack
  • Moccabar Vol. 2 (Italian)
  • Room Eleven (Dutch) Title: Six White Russians and a Pink Pussycat (love!)

Your turn! You can either blog your favorites or if you don’t want to blog them or if you do not have a blog, comment below. Can’t wait to see your faves.

(images linked to bands above)

Inspiration, Travel

The Importance of Taking Time Out

September 10, 2008

Hello friends! How are you today? All is well here in Germany, we are experiencing summer weather still so it’s warm and very sunny. It’s been really hard for me to stay home and work! One year ago today Thorsten’s oma passed away so we took his mother out for the day to ease the sadness for her. My mother-in-law is such a wonderful lady, every moment I spend with her is always so refreshing, so the least I could do was to take the day off and spend time with her. It was such a pleasure, we went to the zoo here and had such a great time enjoying the animals and even enjoying dinner there under the warm sunshine at this traditional German restaurant dining outside on a small farm. Would you like to see a few photos that I took today?

The Importance of Taking Time Out

It never ceases to amaze me how much inspiration one can draw from observing animals and nature in general, I feel so energized and creative after spending the day at the zoo – the least likely place I thought I would find this sort of creative energy. Funny how this is, don’t you think?

The Importance of Taking Time Out

I still want to write all about my weekend in Amsterdam and the blogger meet and greet, but I’m still waiting for my husband to re size the images so that I can upload them to Flickr so please be patient with me. I will definitely be blogging about Am’dam soon though, I have so much to tell you!

The Importance of Taking Time Out

The Importance of Taking Time Out

All this talk about nature and inspiration, I’d like to ask you… what have you done lately to relax and recharge? It is vital to take time away from the normal routine — something that doesn’t involve a cell phone, computer, or entering a retail space! For instance, after walking around a zoo for six hours I am now on my bed blogging (my desk hasn’t arrived yet), sipping chai, and listening to a new CD (Nylon: 10 Lieder ?ber Liebe) as I watch the sunset and feel the warm summer air blowing through my window. I have candles flickering on the window sill and ah yes… this is the life. This special time right before the sun goes down to write, reflect on my day, and enjoy the good feeling of being alive and to live on a planet with so much to explore and enjoy. We are so lucky just to be alive and healthy, to have our families and friends, to enjoy the luxury of sitting before a computer and communicating with people in other parts of the world.

The Importance of Taking Time OutThe Importance of Taking Time OutThe Importance of Taking Time OutThe Importance of Taking Time Out

So again I ask, what have you done lately to refresh yourself? Do you have a special routine? What do you like to do to chill? Why do I care? Well truth is I like to hear from you because I learn? a lot from the comments left on this blog. You may look at decor8 as an inspiring blog, but I look at all of you as inspiring people that I enjoy being around here each and every day. I look forward to your comments and learning about you. Never be too shy to share!

See the little cuddle action above? Aren’t they the sweetest little creatures? I cannot stop looking at them… They look like little people in fur coats. :)

(photographs taken by holly becker for decor8)

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