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Daily Discounts: Pink Loves Brown {+ studio tour}

I have a total girl crush on Nicole Balch, the brains and the hotness behind the brand Pink Loves Brown and the blog Making It Lovely. Nicole is a really nice and supportive person and I’ve always liked her Chicago home (I think it’s so cute) and how sweet her stationery line is. Have you seen her new sets with the adorable suitcases? Oh you must. Look…

And here are some of her products…

And this is where all the magic happens in her 1920′s bungalow in Chicago in a charming pink office.

So now for the really fun part… Nicole is cutting us a discount! Oh yes! Use code “iIheartdecor8″ to save 20% on everything in her online shop. Offer is valid until November 21, 2008. Nicole ships outside of the U.S. too. Yay! Have fun and pick up some paper suitcases for me…

(images from nicole at pink loves brown)

Posted in Home Tours, uncategorized, workspace on November 12, 2008
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Inspiring Canadian Home

I recently stumbled across the lovely home photos of freelance children’s book illustrator Claire Louise Milne on Flickr and asked her if she’d like to share her space on decor8. Lucky for us she said yes! Here’s a little peek at her darling abode in Toronto, Canada where she resides with her husband Bradley. In addition to photos, I asked her a few questions so that you could gain a little insight into what inspires her and where she finds her cool stuff. :)

In this photo I’d like to not only highlight the lovely orange and purple combo, but the wood storage box from IKEA that Claire painted and added wallpaper to. I’m going to run to IKEA next week to buy one of these for my new kitchen to store my tea bags in. Love this idea — so creative!

How do you find time to decorate?

“It’s just over a year since we bought our first house, so there is still so much to do! Most of my projects tend to be driven by the same goal, to make a tiny house (1-bedroom) as light and airy as possible. I work at home (as an illustrator) which really helps because I putter around tidying when I’m procrastinating. Also because I’m a freelancer there are sometimes gaps between projects which gives me more time. Also our house is tiny which forces you to edit all the time because there’s just no room! I find it hard to concentrate on work when things are too cluttered around me.”

Here’s a better view of Claire’s IKEA hack. :)

I really like her craft studio, especially that glass cabinet with those fancy doors. She used wallpaper in similar cabinets to give them a bit of a transformation, which you will see in the next photo, but either way the cabinet looks lovely to me. Claire recently blogged about her craft studio in case you’d like to read more about it just click here.

Where do you find the things that you use in your home?

“I find a lot of things at flea markets, antique shops, craigslist or thrift shopping. Mainly because I love vintage or antique things. I also find lots of good basics at places like IKEA.”

Here are her secretary desks with wallpaper inside. So pretty!

What are some of your favorite things in your home?

“I love my old singer sewing table which is actually a very practical way to have a dedicated sewing corner without taking up much space. Also the box you’ve seen was a very simple project but I loved the results.”

This is one very organized lady!

What inspires your decorating projects?

“I’m inspired a lot by pictures in books and magazines. Whenever we’re starting a new decorating project I go through a big stack of books to get ideas. Also there are a few decor blogs I like too – such as decor8. :) I’m also addicted to decor programs on TV.”

This is a really pretty view of her kitchen, I am LOVING the curtains with the tiny dots… I have a blouse like this that I think I wore every day this summer. :)

Another kitchen view… Great gray walls I think.

A collection of vintage tins for sewing supplies keeps things neat and pretty.

More tins and stacks and stacks of fabrics for her quilts – yes she makes quilts too! I love this lady, she can quilt and draw. Some people have all the luck!

Here’s a glimpse of her dining room with cabinets from IKEA (Liatorp bookcases to be precise).

Find Claire here: Flickr: Needle Book, her blog, professional portfolio, and a list of her published books.

Thanks Claire for visiting all of us today on decor8!

(images from claire louise milne)

Posted in Decorating Tips, Home Tours on September 19, 2008

What Inspires a San Francisco Girl?

Hi! This is Victoria from sfgirlbybay dropping in on decor8 today while Holly is away. One of the more popular, regular posts on sfgirlbybay is called ‘Unexpected Guests’, and since Holly is a fan, she’s asked me to turn the tables on myself and to answer the questions I so often ask of others on ‘Unexpected Guests’. So without further adieu, here goes. I never realized before how tough this is!

Where do you live?
I live in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of my favorite city in the world, San Francisco.

What is your idea of a perfect day in your city?
This is tough because San Francisco has a lot of diverse things that I love to do. But a favorite day would be waking up early, grabbing a coffee from my corner coffee shop, Tulley’s and heading over the Bay Bridge to the Alameda Flea Market with my girlfriends. We’d shop ’til we dropped, and then probably indulge in one of the yummy grilled sausages with sauerkraut that you can buy there. Then we’d head back to the city and I’d do a little home decorating with my new flea market purchases. After a nice nap, I’d take a long bubble bath with a book and just enjoy the luxury of that. Then I’d dress and head out to meet friends at Zuni, one of my favorite restaurants for a Bloody Mary, oysters on the half shell, Caesar salad and we’d all share Zuni Cafe’s famous roast chicken with bread stuffing. San Francisco is for food lovers, and as you can see, I am one of them!

What don’t you leave home without?
My camera. A comb, lipstick, and my wallet.

What’s your favorite local shop?
I love Nest on Fillmore Street, with Swallowtail on Polk Street a close second. I probably love them equally and would love to have a shop of my own that would emulate their aesthetic. I love the eclectic, vintage and cosmopolitan items they carry.

What’s on your wish list?
I’m searching for the perfect daybed for my bay window. I’d really love an Eames Case Study Daybed.

What’s your favorite bargain find?
My buffet, which I found at a yard sale for $5. It was covered with awful creme-colored paint and I stripped it myself, sanded and refinished it.

What is your biggest interior design nightmare?
I hate that too-perfect look of cookie-cutter furniture from a chain store. Brown plaid sofas and neon beer signs are pretty awful, too.

Who is your favorite artist? And why?
I think my favorite artist is photographer Diane Arbus. I love the way she photographed outsiders, and captured their dark souls with her camera. I also love the work of William Eggleston.

Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere, really. A lot of my friends are really talented artists, photographers and crafters and their work constantly inspires me. Magazines, other blogs, films, galleries and museums.

Who do you admire and why?

I admire my friends. They are a constant support system for me. I don’t want to name them all here, but you know who are. The people who came to my side through broken ankles, surgeries, the passing away of my beloved dog Cooper – good times and bad. They are the friends that don’t ask what you need, they just show up. I love you all.

What’s the last great book you read?
I used to read a ton, but with the blog it seems I rarely have time to read these days. But I recently read The Night Watch by Sarah Waters which took place during the blitz in WWII and is the story of three women’s lives converging. It was beautifully written, very descriptive, and I loved it.

What’s your favorite film?
Hands down, Breakfast at Tiffany’s with Audrey Hepburn, one of my personal heroes. I also love anything from Wes Anderson, and Sophia Coppola.

If you could photograph anyone in the world, who might that be?
Wow, who came up with these questions, this is tough! ;) I love photographing a special friend of mine and capturing his happiness.

Who would you like to sit down to drinks with?
Jon Stewart. I love him and it would be great to chat with such a smart, funny man. If we could bring along Dorothy Parker, that would be cool, but she’s deceased!

Do you have a guilty pleasure?
I’ve got some pretty cheesy songs on my iPod that I sometimes listen to while working out, or walking… Faith Hill, Britney, nsync. It’s sad, really.

What would you eat for your last supper?
I believe I would like my mother’s breaded veal cutlets with mashed potatoes. For some reason, I can eat stacks of these – it’s quite disgusting.

What is your most treasured belonging?
My cameras.

What souvenir did you bring back from your last trip?
My last big trip was to Italy, and I bought a small oil painting of the countryside from a local artist in Venice. I love it’s soothing colors.

Greatest indulgence?
It used to be books – I could never be just one. I always bought them in triplets. But lately it’s camera equipment.

What is your idea of living hell?
A nine to five job in a bank, having to wear skirts and nylons everyday. And, a tract house in suburbia. It’s just not me.

What are some of your favorites websites/blogs to visit?
I love Poppytalk, design*sponge and decor8 (not just saying that – I find tons of inspiration from these women). I also love dooce, Letters From The Consumer End and The Sartorialist.

Thanks Holly!! xx,
victoria

Thank you so much Victoria for joining us today on decor8! It was fun to get into your head a little so thanks for telling us about yourself and what inspires you. Readers: All photos above are of Victoria’s apartment in San Francisco… Don’t you just love her aesthetic? So pretty! - Holly

(images and text from victoria smith, sfgirlbybay)

Posted in guest bloggers, Home Tours on August 15, 2008

The Home of Talented Emma Cassi

My friend Kat just wrote in to suggest that I feature French stylist and jewelery designer Emma Cassi. I’d not heard of her before but the interior of her home blew me away this morning. I’m smitten. The casual elegance, the soft color palette, all of the texture and natural light… Thanks Kat!




This really inspires me because I am about to embark on furnishing a one-bedroom apartment from scratch and though I have plans laid out, seeing interiors such as Emma’s goes a long way right now since I’m eager to get started on my own place.

With so many of the same elements already in place that I hope to put into my own home, Emma’s space gives me a huge dose of enthusiasm and hopefully the same will be for you as well. What a glorious space, Emma — You possess a style that clearly extends beyond what is considered mainstream decorating and I love it.





Don’t miss her beaded jewelry collection — it’s as exquisite as her home. And don’t miss her professional portfolio, lovely.

UPDATE: Aug. 4th@ 10:18 PM EST. My bloggy friend Irene from Bloesem wrote in to let us all know that she has an interview with Emma Cassi on the BKids blog. You can read it here (I’m on my way over myself.) Thanks so much, Irene!

(images from emma cassi)

Posted in Home Tours, inspiration on August 04, 2008

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