We always hear about beautiful homes in San Francisco, Paris, London… but how about giving the lesser known spots on this planet a little love, like Olomouc in the Czech Republic! If you have no clue where Olomouc even is, then visit this link for an overview. I recently talked to 26-year-old graphic designer and photographer Jan Skácelík via email about his great apartment which I found because he posted shots of it in my Interior Styling group on Flickr where he is a member. And since his home hasn’t appeared on this blog yet, I figured it would be fun to share something fresh with you today.
Jan says that he is inspired by design blogs like Apartment Therapy and decor8 and is a big fan of mid century modern design and illustrations from that era and his books from the 50s and 60s give him a lot of inspiration too. I think you can really see this in his amazing apartment. Don’t you love it? Someone recently posted on decor8 in the comments section that they have the impression that in Europe homes all have high ceilings and white walls and I just smiled because that is mostly what European blogs, at least in the northern parts, show the most but of course not everyone lives in old buildings here with white walls.
I personally love white walls and apartments that are flooded with light, particularly now because here in northern Germany the days are not so long and it can be mostly gray during the winter so the more light I can trap in the house the better! Plus where I live you can find lots of old buildings with apartments for rent and the standard look in most of them is white walls and high ceilings along with other things like large windows which are typical here. Especially in the buildings from the late 1800s and early 1900s. Most northerners use either bright colors on the walls or white because it helps to brighten the rooms during the cold long winter. You can find some homes with really bright yellow and orange walls here too because these hues warm up a space and give the feeling of light and sunshine. But, because I personally like to have flexibility with my decorating and tend to pull in different colors each season, I usually change the prints on my walls and the cushions on my sofa to bring in new colors and so I keep my walls white though I have wallpaper that I am dying to hang in yellow so that should be installed within the next year or so when I find a new flat. I digress…
But yes, back to the clearly talented Jan who obviously is inspired by the mid century color palette so I can see why he has chosen such bold choices and think that they are quite lovely – a yellow sofa, bright red accents — it’s all just great and he does what some who have mid century modern furniture have a hard time doing — his finds look very modern, fresh and current because he mixes them with energetic colors and newly purchased finds. Some have similar pieces but mix in colors that make them look almost older and not so fresh but with all that white, bright red, yellow and blue he really injects spirit and makes his pieces come alive so that they fit this century. Great style, Jan!
(images: Jan Skácelík)
I need to take a break from reading and approving contest comments to sink into a lovely little home tour for some inspiration. Are you with me? Good. So let’s visit the home of Katrin who is known online as Lillian’s Diary — she has a Flickr page where you can follow her as she shares her home and inspirations. I found her via Flickr recently so I contacted Katrin to see if she’d like to share her home on decor8 because it’s a small space and so very charming. I’m happy that she has given me permission to share her warm nest with you — it’s too cute!
I took a moment to have a rather informal interview with her as well and it really helped me to understand her style a little better once I learned more about how she approaches decorating. Are you ready to visit a sweet spot in Vienna, Austria today? Let’s go!
Katrin is a PR spokesperson who, like most Europeans, speaks more than one language — she knows German, English, and basic French. She has lived in Austria for 4 years now with her fiancé Moritz (they are both German) and has rented the 1950s apartment shown here for 3 years and it is 60 qm (which translates to approximately 650 square feet). It has 3 rooms if you count them the German way (a kitchen and bathroom do not count as a room). Together with 2 cats Marlene and Lulu, they have a kitchen, living room, small office, one bedroom and a garden.
What do you love about your city? Everything in Vienna is old/historic. When we first moved here we used to say that Vienna is an open air museum. I still love that about Vienna.
Favorite vacation spots in Europe? The Northern part of Portugal. It’s beautiful, incredibly inexpensive and more or less undiscovered by tourists.
Please tell us about your decorating style: So hard to answer! I just pick what I like! :)
What inspires your decor? Design blogs (like decor8!), Magazines (love Living Etc.), people and their spaces on Flickr.
How would you define your style in 3 words? Colourful, clean lines, cheerful.
Where do you shop for your home items? IKEA, Habitat, eBay… and Etsy mostly for art. I love Etsy.
What are 5 decorating tips that you’d like to share with decor8 readers?
- If you can’t afford something, try a DIY version. Buy a sewing machine. Try stencils on a wall. Spray paint lamps. Don’t be afraid.
- Paint is a cheap but very effective way to transform spaces. In my opinion you don’t need outstanding furniture if you have the right paint color on your walls.
- Don’t be afraid of big furniture pieces in small rooms. Our huge gray chair is working well in our small office. You don’t necessarily need tiny furniture for tiny spaces. (Restrain to one big piece though).
- Pare down. Everyone who visits our house asks me where our “stuff” is. Seriously, you don’t need “stuff”.
- Keep everything organized. This is key especially when living in a small space. All our storage spaces are neatly organized and everything has its place.
Thank you so much Katrin for sharing your decorating tips and your pretty home with us today!
So tell me friends, after careful inspection of her little nest, what did you find personally inspiring? Did you notice the kitchen wallpaper? It’s not wallpaper! It’s stenciled by Katrin. And did you see that she also painted her heat radiator in her kitchen navy blue? I love that touch. Her kitchen is so charming, I like how it is very functional and everything is out in the open yet it looks so neat – really, really great.
(images: lillian’s diary)
I feel in the mood for a little interior inspiration, how about you? Today I want you to come along with me to visit the red and aqua blue home-based craft studio of mixed-media artist and mom Karen Andersen in Hervey Bay located on the southeast coast of Queensland, Australia.
Karen sews, quilts, embroiders, and creates jewelery, “I just cannot have idle hands — I am always making something!”, which is one reason why she just launched her new etsy shop to sell some of her wares – to satisfy her need to create. Currently, she has glass tile pendants but in the early part of 2010 she will expand her selection to include some of her original art, prints, beaded jewelery, totes and pouches, paper goods and more. Here are some things that she has made an a glimpse into her studio space.
How did I find Karen? On Flickr! I was looking at her inspiration journal set and then noticed that she had photos of her studio and I had to contact her to ask if I could show a glimpse of it here. I also asked Karen which artists inspire her, which she has so nicely answered below (thanks, Karen!).
Karen is inspired by many things, one being, “Independent artists/makers who are living their dreams of creating for a living”, like Elsie Flannigan, Rachel Denbow, Kelly Rae Roberts, Mati McDonough and Lisa Congdon. Also Australian artist Ken Doneis her all-time favorite. Thank you Karen for sharing a corner of your world with us!
(images: karen andersen)
I had the honor of profiling a few rooms in the home of Swedish graphic designer Helena Schaeder Söderberg, also known to her Flickr friends as Craft & Creativity, this past May for Cookie magazine (here).
Ever since I wrote that article for Cookie, I’ve been following Helena and enjoy all of the photos that she uploads on Flickr. Helena has delightful spaces carved out for her two toddlers, but also many for her and her husband and their cats in their Vallentuna, Sweden home. I’d define their nest as bright, loving, spirited, creative and so very inspiring.
Helena describes her personal style as, “A neutral base, we use a lot of white–then accentuate with happy colors and a mix of old and new stuff. And add a bit of romance to that. My husband prefers more strict designs, but he often surrenders to my ideas and luckily enough seems very satisfied with the result.”
Helena shares many views of her home on Flickr and I’ve rounded up only a few glimpses today that I thought you’d enjoy because they celebrate creativity and cozy living. I find so much inspiration from her arrangement of things and through the many patterns and colors in which she surrounds herself. And I love her beautiful cat! :)
Would you like to know three of her decorating tips? Helena shared these with me…
1. Keep it simple: use one base color and accentuate with color in the details.
2. Be creative: make things yourself that are unique and
3. Put away stuff that you don’t like and highlight the ones you love.
Doesn’t this space make you feel right at home?
(images: helena schaeder söderberg)