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Homes with Heart: Scandinavian Pretty Home Tour

If you love sweet pastels, Scandinavian style and the domestic talent that lies behind the blog Yvestown, then you’ll love this home tour because today I am taking you through Yvonne Eijkenduin’s beautiful Belgian abode. Hi guys, it’s Holly Marder back this month on decor8 with another home that’s nothing short of inspirational for my monthly Homes with Heart column. It’s fresh, summery and brimming over with heart. Let’s go, oh and you can click on any image to enlarge and pin!

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Photographer, blogger and author of the book Yvestown in de Keuken, Yvonne and husband Boris have poured their heart and soul over the past 6 years renovating their 1896 home on the Belgian border. Originally a six bedroom family home, the house was built for a family and their next door brewery. More than a century after it was first built, the Dutch couple (the home’s third owners) have tackled one section of the property at a time, reviving the home’s own original features and creating a space that exudes love, light and Yvonne’s feminine sense of style.

Whimsical florals layered upon a fresh white base set the stage for a striking collection of vintage finds as well as contemporary pieces. And though Yvonne can’t quite pinpoint the look of her interior to any singular style, she agrees with “Scandinavian Pretty”, a description once made of her home by Joanna Copestick, co-author of Decorate, in which Yvonne’s home featured. “It’s mix ‘n’ match, blending Scandinavian and English design styles,” she says.

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The first room in the house for renovating was the kitchen, undergoing a fresh color scheme of crisp white and blue, with hints of red, pink and mint green weaving it’s way through accessories and wallpaper. A zinc-topped kitchen island, open shelving and a traditional range hood gives the room a country look and feel, while wooden countertops, simple white cabinetry and clean lines make for a fuss-free, contemporary country kitchen. The fireplace doubles up as storage, where the couple stash cookbooks and mason jars. “I wanted too have a clean kitchen, that wasn’t too girly, mixing industrial, antique and modern styles,” says Yvonne. The blue door in the kitchen leads to the cheerful guest bathroom, employing a palette of pale blue and white, with charming Portuguese tiling underfoot.

Off the kitchen and in the mud room, a favourite piece adorns a Cath Kidston clad wall, Yvonne’s Tala Vegetable Rack which she picked up in an antiques shop on a trip to the UK. The rack is used to store the couple’s fruit and vegetables and has become one of their favourite vintage finds. “I love that it is in my favourite fire engine red and it looks so great against the floral wallpaper in our mud room. It’s very useful but also very photogenic.” Through the mudroom and into the back garden, Yvonne has poured her love of gardening into a thriving space offering fruits, vegetables and flowers in abundance.

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The living room is the couple’s most recent project. Walls were painted a soft creamy colour to add warmth to the large space, while white wooden floors and sporadic pops of pink make for a fresh and feminine space. A penchant for combining furniture styles, and a special sway towards vintage finds, the room effortlessly strikes the balance between the old and the new. Natural weave rugs ground each area and add texture to the space, while the couple’s mantle, refurbished with a fresh coat of paint, Cath Kidston wallpaper and a wood burning stove, breaks the space between the living and dining and creates a focal point. The vintage 1920s Ercol chair is a favourite.

“A vintage Ercol chair was on my wishlist for a very long time but I couldn’t find one in the Netherlands because they’re very British. I kept track of online marketplaces until I found one from a man who was selling his for an absolute steal at just 50 euros.” Yvonne had it reupholstered and it has found a permanent home in the couple’s living room. “I like the design, it’s quite Scandinavian in shape but it’s actually a quintessentially British piece. I always like to mix Nordic pieces with English, and it’s funny because the chair seems to have both of these qualities.”

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The newly renovated dining room features a pastel pink painted hutch custom made out of repurposed vintage wood, accented by a spray of vintage plates. “I think plates are a very nice decorating alternative instead of paintings and art. Sometimes you don’t want to eat off a pretty plate but would rather hang it on the wall because it’s a piece of art.” Yvonne has combined both new plates with favourite vintage pieces to modernise an old fashioned concept. The hutch houses a precious collection of vintage china which she has collected over several years. Yvonne began her collection of 1920s Johnson Bros china when they were relatively unpopular and she now has a complete set of what has become a rather valuable collection. “I was recently in the UK and was at a little antique shop that was asking about 15 pounds per plate. I feel as if I have a gold mine in my cabinet now!”

A vibrant acrylic painting in this space makes a striking statement atop a contemporary sideboard, a vignette which offsets the farmhouse farmhouse feel of the rest of the room.

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The second living space is where the couple come to relax, read and unwind. The piece of art above the piano is a piece by a close friend of Eijkenduijn’s, Dutch artist Auk van Hilten.

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Yvonne runs her blog Yvestown from the light and sunny front room, which features a French antique round table and mix of vintage chairs. Some of Yvonne’s favourite finds are her vintage Eames Bertoya wire chairs which she found on the Dutch online marketplace, Marktplaats. “I have wanted to buy a pair for quite some time because they are such a lovely design. When I finally found some for sale they were selling them in a set of four so I shared the purchase with a friend and we each kept two,” Yvonne explains. “In a way they are not really farmhouse vintage which is a style I like, but they compliment the rest of the pieces. They are still vintage but they have very clean lines and therefore go with a lot of things.”

The fire engine red bench is another favourite, the ‘Småland’ bench by the Swedish designer Yngve Ekstrom, scouted for Yvonne by her blogger pal Caroline from Lille Lykke. “I loved it immediately for it’s shape and the bentwood feel and went to pick it up right away for an absolute bargain, much less than it is worth.” Yvonne kept it’s vibrant red colour to add contrast to a wall of Cath Kidston floral wallpaper. “Every room in my home needs a bit of red to offset all the pastel colours.”

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Delicate floral wallpapers by Cath Kidston, Eijkenduijn’s favorite designer, can be seen throughout the couple’s home, bringing each space together to form one harmonious picture derived from a palette of pastels. “I just love her aesthetic, her clever floral patterns for the modern day women,” she says. “Cath Kidston is great for mixing and matching, and in combination with a lot of white.”

Eijkenduijn owes her interior design success to understanding her own style. “I know my style. I stick to the palette (white, pink, red, blue, green) and style and it just works,” she says. “If you have a good concept and it flows, stick to your guns.”

So what’s Yvonne’s secret when it comes to combining vintage pieces with newer items? “If you want to mix modern vintage with antique vintage, you have to make sure the lines are very clean. I don’t have a lot of frilly antiques, but I go for the cleaner lines with that Scandinavian feel to them.”

So guys! What do you think? I have visited Yvonne’s home several times now and never fail to be inspired by her consistent sense of style and all round love of interiors. Ah, and her cooking! Make sure you get your hands on a copy of her book. She has some delicious recipes and fabulous interior inspiration in there too.

Spot anything you love? Feel free to ask about it in the comments section below! - Holly

(photos/text: holly marder with the exception of 1st image by Yvonne Eijkenduijn)

Posted in Home Tours, Homes With Heart on August 07, 2014

Homes With Heart: Dutch Design Duo Family Home

Hey guys! Hope you’re ready for some Dutch interior design inspiration because today I (Holly Marder, your Homes With Heart monthly columnist on decor8) am taking you through the home of an inspirational young design couple’s home filled with pastel tones, unique one-of-a-kind finds and lots and lots of heart. Let’s go!

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Design duo Tineke Beunders and Nathan Wierink, behind the Dutch label Ontwerpduo, live within meters of their design studio, making their Eindhoven, Netherlands, family home as practical as it is pretty. With a flair for design in all it’s forms, the couple have infused their modern home with quirky details and pops of colour, exercising restraint when it comes to the details. “We both love a clutter free home. The workshop is already enough mess during the day, so there shouldn’t be too many things in the house,” Beunders says. “We like things that have a function and are beautiful at the same time.”

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The couple began their design label while they were still studying at the Design Academy Eindhoven and having built up a network in an around Eindhoven, they decided to stay put and love the creative energy that surrounds their home town. Having worked together for 10 of the fourteen years they have been a couple, the duo’s home is testament to their refined and perfectly aligned sense of style. “We developed our style more or less together. In fact, design choices at home is something we never argue about,” Beunders says.

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At home, they endorse their own designs as well as the work of fellow designers. “All of our belongings have a story attached to them. Rather than just buying stuff, we have traded work with other designers, searched long and hard for the right pieces on Marktplaats or at second hand fairs, made things ourselves, or had things given to us by friends.”

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When it comes to colour, the couple prefer to go all out in their studio using signature hues of dark grey, blues and pastels in their designs, keeping colour in their home sporadic and spontaneous. “Colour in our home is less important than it is in our work, as our use of colour is something that people recognize us for,” Beunders explains. “The colour in our house is less thought-out than in our work. Of course colour needs to be there, but the house also needs to be light and white.” The couple painted the concrete floors of their newly built home a subtle shade of pink, which slightly offsets the white but doesn’t compromise on the natural light on their interior. In their bedroom, they prefer neutral tones and natural materials, while the children’s bedrooms are a little more outspoken. “We like archetypes, so used reddish/pink for our little girl, and blues for our baby boy.”

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The couple combine their design know how to come up with their own unique ideas at home. “While living in your house, you notice things that would be more convenient, functional, cosy or light, etc,” Beunders says. “And because we can make so much ourselves, we can really make the house work well for us.”

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All over the house are concepts they devised out of a particular need or desire, such as their built-in bed, a favourite for the design duo. “We have a very weird bedroom. The 2×5 meter space was the only room in the house which would accommodate a double bed and a wardrobe, so Nathan built our bed between two walls, with curtains at the end of the bed for privacy and also a kind of luxury,” Beunders explains. “It feels very large, despite the size, but it also turns out to be a very useful bed because the baby can’t fall out of it. In the weekend we love to spend our morning hours all together here.”

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The couple also enjoy meal times together around the dinner table, the Slim Table by Bertjan Pot for Arco, which is surrounded by industrial style dining chairs. When not conceptualizing design at work, Beunders enjoys nothing more than preparing wholesome meals in the family’s contemporary kitchen. “The house came with the kitchen. We are lucky it is white,” she says. Warm wood tones, pops of colour and striking earthenware vessels brighten up the simple, white and grey modern affair.

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A penchant for industrial style continues to the living room, where the couple display all their favourite knick knacks in, on and around a cabinet filled with old zinc boxes from the metal industry in their surrounding neighbourhood. Above the cabinet hangs the couple’s most prized piece of art, a self drawn map illustrating all of the bike routes they have taken together over the years through Europe.

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Quirky and original design combines with vintage and second-hand finds, while products and prototypes from their own collection have also found their way into the savvy young couple’s interior. The coffee table configuration is their own design they came up with for the dutch brand Pode. The rug in the living room was an Etsy find.

In their newly built abode, pastels, muted tones and the odd shock of dark colour breathe life into what is now the warm and bright home of a fun-loving family of four.

So tell me: what did you love about Tineke and Nathan’s home? I always love to read your comments. I’ll be back for another Homes With Heart later this month. See you then! – Holly

(Photographs, styling and text by Holly Marder)

Posted in Home Tours, Homes With Heart on June 06, 2014

Moody + Inviting Home Tour Of Designer Tracie Ellis

This home is so gorgeous, I simply must share it as I wrap up a week’s worth of posts on decor8! It’s definitely moody, inviting, warm and very stylish for sure. Owned by Tracie Ellis of the brand, AURA, her country home in Victoria’s Kyneton, Australia, is a real stunner. Especially if you’re a fan of grays and blues and a home that feels like a very sophisticated take on Sherlock Holmes. Maybe actor Benedict Cumberbatch (as Sherlock on the BBC) could live here? (And by the way, are you a fan of Sherlock because I totally am…) Anyway, I digress. Let’s look at Tracie’s fab home, shall we? I also interviewed her for this piece, so you can follow along below to learn more about Tracie and what inspired this space!

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Okay, now that we’ve had time to drool over her lovely home, let’s talk to Tracie a little about it.

What do you do for a living?
TE: I am the creative director for AURA by Tracie Ellis

Tell us more about your company?
TE: AURA is an uninhibited, stylish range of homewares; including bedlinen, cushions, throws and rugs. Designed in Melbourne, Australia and inspired by years of global meandering, AURA is about extravagant colour, grand shapes and daring patterns.

What do you love about your home the most?
TE: The space & the proportions – when we first viewed the house I remember my husband being quite taken aback from the grandness of it all. But now we have created a family house that is warm and inviting. I love that when I arrive I relax straightaway, I don’t do that in the city. I also love my garden, we have a fabulous Veggie Garden & the most beautiful roses.

What are some of the favorite pieces in your home?
TE: The lighting, we have a mix of traditional crystal chandeliers, that where in the house when we brought it, and I have added a Dutch brass chandelier in the entrance hall, the stunning Dutch style glass lanterns, and industrial lighting. Also the Portrait in the Lounge room, titled the Academic by an unnamed artist and The Thonet no.16 Settee in the entrance hall.

What makes a house a home in your opinion?

TE: The family and friends who share your space and the love that is there.

How would you define your personal style?
TE: Elegant, with a modern relaxed aesthetic.

How long did it take you to get your home to where it is today?
TE: It took us 9 months to paint and decorate the house, and we still aren’t finished it is a work in process.

When you begin designing a room, where do you begin and why?
TE: When we began designing the house I made mood boards for each room & the exterior. I don’t think you can do a project without mood boards. I had too many ideas, so I called on my friend and interior designer Amanda Lynn, who helped me turn my ideas into reality.

When was your house built and how many rooms do you have?
TE: The house was built in 1857 and has 12 rooms – happy to send you a floor plan if of interest?

Who lives in this space? Spouse? Kids? Pets?
TE: Myself, my husband David and our spoilt miniature Schnauzer, Max.

Tell us how to mix in color in small doses in neutral spaces… You do it so well with the ottoman, old books, cushions. Etc. Any tricks of the trade?
TE: I’m a colour person, always have been, the colours we have used in the house have been inspired by Belgium interiors. All from the same neutral based palette, we have used tones of the same colour through the house, in and out (all wall paint is from Resene). While we have used quite strong colours in our scheme, it is not overwhelming, and each room flows into the next. We have been able to mix old and new in the same space through light and colour, by using traditional serene colours I believe we have been able to add a feeling of another time to the space.

So decor8 readers, do you have a favorite nook in her home? I really LOVE the rustic, inviting living room and that Thonet settee in the hallway because I’ve always wanted one to pair with my white round table in my workspace.

(images: aura home)

Posted in Home Tours on March 14, 2014

Our Baby Boy’s Nursery Before + After

This is a very exciting post to write, especially since today begins week 40 of my pregnancy (I’m due any day now!). In fact, this post is right up there one that I wrote last summer: My Biggest News Yet. I honestly cannot wait to show you our baby boy’s finished nursery and a few shots of pregnant me.

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Other than a custom made roman shade, this room is all set. My husband and I finished it a few weeks ago but needed to get everything up on the walls – so we did that part last week. I wanted so badly to finish the room before our baby boy arrives so to have met that goal, amidst moving into a new home, made me unbelievably happy. Like it’s the first thing I accomplished as his mom. He won’t be sleeping in the room for the first 4 months but in a bassinet near our bed, but at least when I feed and change him, and when we play and have other babies over to play with him (like his niece who was born last January), we’ll all have a cheerful space to enjoy as a family and it’s not a full-on construction site so I really hustled to put our little guy first and to get this room finished along with our bedroom so the back of the house where we all will sleep and enjoy those first moments after birth will be chaos-free and baby/midwife-friendly.

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I need to first shout out someone extremely special to me for making all of this come true because I never would have been able to pull this room together on my own. My husband! He has been amazing – helping to get everything prepped and he even styled some of the baby’s room and picked out lots of the art (he made the star wars art using a shadow box frame and vintage characters, bought the art showing the moon against the black sky at an indie fair last month and he framed a favorite vintage German plane illustration to the left of the window). He also gave me the idea to washi tape some of the prints on our little gallery wall to make it more casual and creative and so it can be versatile for when our son gets older, we can swap out images and there aren’t a thousand holes in the wall. He also bought and added little things dotted about here and there, including a few bits from his own boyhood, which made decorating the room so much more personal and loving for us both. I feel so glad that he willingly jumped in and wanted to be part of it all. I didn’t even have to ask or beg or bribe him! He put all of the furniture together and in place too – which was an enormous help. I owe so much to my husband for making this baby room a cozy haven. Now I can go into labor and delivery with a big smile on my face because everything is finished  and I no longer feel like my house looks like a hurricane hit it. Everything is peaceful and boxes are nearly unpacked in every room – I feel very zen. To top it off, he photographed the room and took a bunch of pregnancy photos of me, most of those we’ll keep private and for family, but some are included below. I can’t stop bragging, seriously, thank you Thorsten!

BEFORE: Okay so here is where we started (below). This was taken in November when we got the keys to our new place (we rent but received full written permission to remodel as long as the owner approved). At this time, the walls were a mess – covered with old, stained raufasertapete (wood chip wallpaper with millions of lumpy bumps), dirty trim in off-white and a very old vinyl linoleum fake wood floor that was not only peeling up in places and scratched to death, but was almost a glossy orange and was super shiny so you could see every flaw. It was also installed on floors that were never evened out so it felt a little like you’d had too much wine when you walked in.

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Once I saw what I was up against, I started to cry. Then I started to doubt myself. Then I started to doubt that things would get done in time. Then I cried again. Then I started to brainstorm. I’m very visual so I got started with a mood board first, you can see it below. This part of the process chilled me the hell out because honestly, I wasn’t feeling very zen when I looked at our new place and realized that every single room needed work.

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This mood board (above) inspired the room, as detailed in this post: Decorating Our Baby’s Room: Part One. In that post, I’ve included the 12 steps that I took to pull to the room together in case you need some help. You can click on the mood board to enlarge it if you want to examine the details.

DURING: Here is a photo showing our progress. The raufasertapete/wood chip paper was stripped, the walls were smoothed and primed, glattvlies was expertly applied (we hired out for this work!) and all seams removed, then two coats of Farrow & Ball’s “Cabbage White” were applied. Walls here are very expensive to renovate, each room (for us at least) cost around 800 Euros for this process. If we wanted to have the walls completely smoothed out (drywall process like in the states), it would have been several hundred more and could potentially start to crack since the walls are over 110 years old in this house. Glattvlies was the perfect solution. The trim, door and ceilings were painted crisp white. I had Ferm Living’s “Kite” wallpaper installed only around the window for a bit of pattern and contrast. You’ll see that in a minute…

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After all of the paint and wallpaper was complete by a local painter, our carpenter came to install our new oak plank (eco!) floors from Weitzer Parkett. I choose them but thankfully the lady who owns this house paid for the flooring and installation for the back of the house where eco-oak flooring was both needed and installed (our bedroom, baby’s room, hallway, eating nook, guest bedroom), this was for around 780 square feet of flooring, including sound proofing and leveling them out. I selected the flooring out of around 30 different samples and I love it – it’s gorgeous. The best thing about wood, outside of how natural it looks, is that it’s so much warmer and lasts ages longer than laminate. Laminate is a huge trend in Germany – it seems all apartments have it and though it’s certainly not horrible, real wood is the better and more affordable flooring long term. We’ve had extremely cold weather over the past week and the floors are always warm and our heat is barely on because of the flooring.

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After the flooring was installed in the back of the house, it was time to clean the room, unpack the new furniture and put it all together (a huge thanks to my husband Thorsten and his friend Alexander for their hard work putting everything together on Christmas Day for me! :) Here’s the first piece of furniture, the eco-friendly Oeuf Sparrow Crib in White, that they placed in the room. This was the starting point for me to begin decorating. This was my dream piece for the room, so it had to go in place first. In fact, I always place the most important/focal piece in a room FIRST and build around it. Do you do that too?

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AFTER: Next came everything else! Here is how the rooms looks AFTER. I will link the major brands below but if I miss anything, just ask me in the comments section and I’ll provide brands and links if I can recall them all! Some things I repurposed from other rooms in our home (like the black Eames rocker), the pendant (which was formerly in the guest bedroom) and the wooden task lamp (this was in my office).

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More links to explore that relate to this room:

* Nursery images that inspired me that I wrote about are here.

* My Pinterest mood board, which was kept “private” until today. Pinterest is a great place to create a private board and to pin your inspirations while you’re working on a project that you don’t want to share with the whole world. You could once add only 3 private boards, but now you can add 6 – yeah!

* A  progress update on the room renovation was blogged about: Baby Boy’s Room – Progress

* Essential baby things that you see in this room above: Baby Essentials For The First Year

* Having a baby? My top tips on how to decorate a nursery: How To Decorate a Baby’s Room

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SOURCE LIST:

Paint: Farrow & Ball “Cabbage White” which changes with the light – it’s usually pale mint green but can change to a gray or even blue depending on the time of the day. It’s wonderful!

Crib: Oeuf “Sparrow” Crib in White

Bookcase: Ouef Mini Library in White/Baltic Birch

Dresser with changing table top: Oliver Furniture “Nursery Dresser” in White

Wooden Closet: Car Moebel

Felt Gum Ball Rug: Olli Ella (custom ordered in colors that I wanted)

Flokati Rug: Easy Carpet (on ebay.de)

Nursing Chair: Olli Ella (custom ordered with a natural base which is not typically available and in dove gray/cream)

Eames Rocker: I brought this in from our living room; you can get them at DWR or just google them.

Face Storage Boxes, wall boxes above dresser, bear quilt & wallpaper: Ferm Living

School chart above crib: Vintage, I bought this at a local flea market

House-shaped handmade raffia storage box: RICE “airport”

Pendant: White paper, unknown. When I remember, I’ll let you know!

So, what do you think? I am soooo happy with this room. I can’t wait to get the roman shade in and hang it – then the room will be complete. My heart is so happy about the room and most of all, our baby boy whom we are waiting for now… We cannot wait to meet him! While Thorsten was taking some pregnancy photos of me today (a few are included above), I started crying tears of just the most overwhelming happiness. This is truly one of the BEST times of my life you guys. I mean it. We have been married for nearly 13 years (in July) and so we’re both so excited about this life change and to walk into that hospital a couple, and as one of my reader’s told me, walk out of that hospital a family. Thank you so much for sharing this special part of my life with me, it means so much to be able to put all of this out there so publicly to some of the most dear people – all of you have been so kind to me during the past 9 months with your comments and emails (and gifts in the mail)… Really, I couldn’t feel more love. Thank you (hug).

xo,

Holly

(Photos: Thorsten Becker)

sponsors

This post was sponsored by Oeuf, Car Moebel, Farrow & Ball and Oliver Furniture. Products shown from these companies were donated to this project as gifts. I’m so grateful and honored to have been able to work with these four generous and wonderful companies. Thank you!

Posted in Home Tours on January 27, 2014

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