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Home Tours

Handmade With Joy

February 18, 2010

Today I want to share a sweet space that I recently discovered on Flickr. Would you like a little “real home” inspiration? Good! Me too! After this one, I’ll share another from Sweden, but first we’re going to England. So! Let’s visit Lova and her whimsical home + sewing space, shall we? Her colorful, authentic decorating style is refreshing and natural. Lova was born in Madagascar, grew up in Paris and now lives with her partner just outside of London where she works as a Therapeutic Counselor. I can really see some French influence here, can’t you?

Handmade With Joy

I’m so inspired by how she speaks of her life and so I’ll just quote her because she says it so well.

“I have made a conscious decision a while ago to truly enjoy life and be happy and as a result I made a lifestyle choice where I stay at home most of the time (doing what I love which at the present is sewing, baking bread… enjoying being a domestic goddess) while having some part time activities such as counselling and various studies (I love studying). This will surely change once I start considering having a baby, but for now I love my life.”

Handmade With Joy

Handmade With Joy

I think these few tiny glimpses of her home reflects her words so well, don’t you? Lova makes a lot of the things that you see in the photos — you can purchase them in her etsy shop. Lovely!

(images: handmade with joy)

Home Tours

Happy Corner in the Czech Republic

February 5, 2010

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.

Happy Corner in the Czech Republic

Happy Corner in the Czech Republic

Happy Corner in the Czech Republic

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)

Home Tours

ici et la in Paris

January 25, 2010

Australian photographer Jillian Leiboff recently visited ici et la, a store in Surry Hills Sydney that is known as a source for stylists because it stocks lovely French finds both new and old. I’ve spotted their name in some of the Australian magazines that I subscribe to, so when Jillian offered to share her visit with decor8 readers today I grabbed at the chance to take a peek inside of their new Nickson Street location. Maybe as you review the images below you can look for the shop dog… easy to find and so cute!

ici et la in Paris

ici et la in Paris

ici et la in Paris

ici et la in Paris

ici et la in Paris

ici et la in Paris

From lighting to vintage linens, signs and toys you can find so many things to bring back to your nest. At least if you live in Australia. For the rest of us, we can simply look upon this beautiful store and do a little window shopping and dream of Spring when we can find similar things at a flea market near to home.

What caught your eye? I love the striped fabrics and the ribbons the most, but the linens and vintage books stacked neatly tied with a bow really appeal to my romantic side.

Thank you Jillian for sharing your photos with us, I wish I had a Jillian in every city of the world sharing shop tours, this is always such a treat for me! Thanks again!!!

(images: jillian leiboff)

Home Tours

Lillian’s Diary House Tour in Vienna

January 12, 2010

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!

Lillian's Diary House Tour in Vienna

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!


Lillian's Diary House Tour in Vienna

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.

Lillian's Diary House Tour in Vienna

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.

Lillian's Diary House Tour in Vienna

Favorite vacation spots in Europe? The Northern part of Portugal. It’s beautiful, incredibly inexpensive and more or less undiscovered by tourists.


Lillian's Diary House Tour in Vienna

Please tell us about your decorating style: So hard to answer! I just pick what I like! :)

Lillian's Diary House Tour in Vienna

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.

Lillian's Diary House Tour in Vienna

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)

Home Tours

Crafty Studio in Australia

December 16, 2009

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.

Crafty Studio in 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!).

Crafty Studio in Australia

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)

Home Tours

Bison Australia Shop Tour

December 10, 2009

Would you like to travel to Sydney for a moment to view brightly colored stoneware ceramics and tour the light-filled store of Bison with me? Photographed by the talented Jillian Leiboff, prepare to be transported to sunny Australia! Jillian photographed Bison’s brand new shop recently and is sharing her visit with all of us today… are your ready?

Bison Australia Shop Tour

Bison, which was founded by principal designer Brian Turks who trained in archaeology, first discovered his love of ceramics from his Greco-Roman excavations in the Middle East. Fascinating source of inspiration! You will love all of Bison’s brightly colored stoneware ceramics — I see so many things that I want to buy and use in my kitchen. The store design is quite lovely and simple, the neutral foundation highlights the colorful vessels and the natural light that floods the space is breathtaking. I also like the shelving and the remarkable height of the overall space — it feels airy and inspiring!

Bison Australia Shop Tour

Bison Australia Shop Tour

Bison Australia Shop Tour

Bison Australia Shop Tour

Bison Australia Shop Tour

Bison Australia Shop Tour

Bison will soon have an online shop opening up later this winter so bookmark them and return early next year if you’d like to purchase a few of their beautiful wares. I sure do — especially after seeing Jillian’s mouth-watering shots!

(photography: jillian leiboff)

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