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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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?
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).
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
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).
(Photos: Thorsten Becker)
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!
Happy Friday everyone! It’s Holly Marder here with another gorgeous home tour for you in the Netherlands for my Homes With Heart column on decor8! This time, I am taking you through a Scandinavian-style renovated family home in The Hague that I photographed so you are seeing the photos first here! Interior designer Hedda Pier and her husband Michiel Lenstra saw immediate potential when they first laid eyes on their three-story home dating back to the 1800s. Period details, space and light were a few key factors that sealed the deal, launching them into an experimental renovation which resulted in a well thought-out, not to mention gorgeous, home for their growing family.
Considering both aesthetics and functionality, they re-thought the entire layout of the house to maximize light and their quality of life as individuals and as a family. As Hedda operates her interior design business Saus Design from home, she placed her studio space right at the entrance. A large window facing the street floods the space with light and provides a cheerful place for Hedda to meet with prospective clients and carry out her design work.
Through the office space is a contemporary live-in kitchen, which is where Hedda and Michiel spend most of their time as a family with their daughter Stella. An eclectic mix of chairs surround their custom made oak dining table. Though there were concerns that the kitchen would be too dark with small windows placed high up, Hedda is particularly proud of how the kitchen worked out. She owes much of the light and bright results to the clever use of fresh white and pale wood, with her signature blue accents (hello, gorgeous SMEG fridge and Eames chairs!).
The living room on the first floor carries through Hedda’s Scandinavian style, with white painted floorboards, natural light by the bucket load and an eclectic mix of furnishings both old and new. Though they stripped the interior back to its bare bones during the renovation, Hedda and Michiel were careful to retain some of the property’s original charm. An original fireplace with marble mantel as well as classic cornicing echo the era in which the property was built. White painted wooden floorboards enable the couple’s many works of art to really stand out.
In the living room, they painted the lower half of the walls in Farrow & Ball’s ‘Mizzle’. I love how this muted color adds warmth and life to the space while complimenting the bolder teal and red highlights seen through the artworks and accessories.
From teal to turquoise, from sky to powder, Hedda’s obvious love affair for the color blue follows her to the master bedroom, where Piet Hein Eek’s ‘Scrapwood’ wallpaper adorning a singular wall commands the palette. Various shades of the cool hue are striking against charcoal bedding and white floors, while soft and floaty lace curtains add a feminine touch to the space.
The couple chose to have built-in plywood wardrobes installed, much to their contractor’s hesitation Luckily, the end results are as fabulous as they are functional. When it comes to design choices made during the renovation, Hedda admits, “much of what we did was purely experimental.” The bedside tables were repurposed from old Ikea kitchen cabinets. Vintage accessories, such as the industrial pendant and yellow lamp on the bedside add a touch of fun. The print, I could fall madly in bed with you, is by Therese Sennerholt.
On the home’s third level, the couple’s daughter Stella enjoys a cheerful bedroom bursting with color and hand-crafted accessories. “Creating a happy but also functional space for Stella to enjoy was my main focus,” Hedda says. “All too often, people design their children’s rooms to echo their own style.” Low placed shelving enables Stella to easily reach books and toys, while pops of color positioned low add fun and visual interest.
Wanna know my favorite item in the whole house? That gorgeous vintage cognac leather armchair, which Hedda gave to Michiel as a gift.
The latest addition to their home’s interior has been the creation of a bedroom for their second child, due this month. Not knowing the child’s gender, they have gone with a neutral space with muted green and yellow as the primary colors, with a few vibrant colors thrown in for good measure. Exposed woodwork, fine lacy curtains and little hand-painted birds here and there give the space a soft, almost ethereal feel.
Hedda approaches all of her design work in much the same manner she did her own home – with a strong emphasis on functionality, the courage to experiment ever so slightly with a vibrant look and feel to finish things off. “My home is an extension of brand and my most successful experiment,” she says. A winning combination? I think so.
Tell me: what do you love about this home? I’d love to know.
Thanks for having me, Holly! See you all next month with anther inspiring interior! – Holly
(text/photos: holly marder)
Hello everyone! It’s Holly Marder from Avenue Lifestyle visiting you today on decor8. I thought I’d stop by to bring you all some some inspiration in the form of a wonderfully eclectic and colorful family home in the Netherlands. I showed these images to Holly and she immediately accepted my offer to do a post about this fun home, so let’s get started!
I am so fortunate with my work to be able to peek into beautiful homes on a regular basis to document the style and personal stories of their owners, and one look at this home and I was bursting at the seams to share it with you! Owned by interior designer Femke Dekker of Femkeido, you’d better believe it’s a colorful feast for the eyes!
This is her more “formal” living room off of the dining room and kitchen area.
And this is her more informal living room…
The way Femke layers color upon color is nothing short of inspirational. Her modern home, which she shares with her husband and three young children, blends both old and new items against a neutral backdrop, upon which she cleverly weaves in colors of all shades. “I don’t think too much about how I decorate my home, I just do what feels natural and add pieces that I love,” Femke says. “When I work with clients, I really think about the space and how it all comes together, but my home really is my playground.”
Downstairs, a single wall drenched in charcoal grey extends the length of the open living, dining and kitchen while the rest of the space relies on crisp white as a canvas upon which neon and pastel hues come alive. Concrete floors throughout and a couple of masculine pieces contrast Femke’s playful use of color, giving her home a feminine but ultra sophisticated vibe. So what tips does Femke have for those of us looking to add color to our homes without going overboard?
“I always start with a neutral base, which gives me flexibility for when I want to use color. I like to add color in the accessories, so will layer in pastels and soft tones. What I then do is take a step back and if I feel that it’s lacking something, I add a strong, bold color. The finishing touch for me is always the strongest color, which can then be taken away later on if my taste changes.”
What I personally love about Femke’s space is that her color choices always return, so while the space is fun and bright, it’s also very consistent. A couple of examples are that fabulous antique buffet cabinet painted in pastel blue, which comes back in the pendant lamps, or the various neon pink touches seen throughout. “The blue cabinet was originally white, but because the wall behind it was also white at the time, I decided to paint it. I chose this pastel blue because it matched the pendant lamps. I was so surprised at how fabulous it looked against the wall once we had painted it grey!”
Femke finds inspiration in bold, graphic prints and quirky accessories, but also in the work of designers such as Ilse Crawford. “Her work is a bit quirky. Her interiors combine modern with authentic details and fun wallpapers but never over-the-top. She really creates interiors that are livable but very different.”
I hope you enjoyed that little peek into the home of a Dutch interior designer. Femke, thank you for opening up your home for us all, and a big thank you to Decor8 for having me!
So. Are you feeling inspired to get colourful at home, or what?! -Holly
(text/photos: holly marder)
Hello friends and welcome to a new week on decor8! I have so much to share this week including a fun surprise, but first… I thought I’d share a beautiful peek into the new studio space in Skien, Norway that belongs to fellow blogger and friend, Jeanette Lunde from By Fryd (which means Joy). She recently formed a new “side” company with her friend, Hilda Mork, called HYSJ and so this studio is also where they can work and dream together but it is primarily where Jeanette blogs and works on her exciting projects. Once an old barn (before photos here), Jeanette restored it with the help of her husband and of course, contractors, and now it is a heavenly workshop for her creative endeavors. There is nothing like having a dedicated space to craft your dreams, is there?
As you can see, there is a kitchen with a space to eat and seating area for clients. There are more photos below that shown other glimpses, including her work table. I love all of the space and natural light and the overall simplicity. Here is also a little interview that I had with Jeanette about her new business and partner. Would you like to follow along?
Do you both work from this studio each day?
So far Hilde has been working in the studio when we have projects together, so not everyday. It’s more our base where we create. At the same time we are totally free, so some times we chose the coffee shop other days the studio. Love how we can be anywhere, who knows, some day we sit in south of France and are working. Such a lovely dream.
What are your plans for your company?
From the start we decided to work from our hearts. So where we’ll go feels like an open flower meadow. So far we have HYSJ which is our online shop with prints and then we have Lunde & Mork, where we style, write and shoot. The HYSJ shop is slowly growing with more products, and to collaborate when it comes to interior projects is just amazing. To have a creative soul partner. (Three of their prints, which can be purchased here, are shown below in-situ.)
How did you meet?
We met because of our blogs, but only online, until I wrote Hilde and asked if she wanted to meet. I had this really strong positive feeling…
How did you know it was a smart idea to work together?
My gut feeling told me. It clicked from the first minute and it felt like we had known each other forever.
How did you come up with the name and what does it mean?
HYSJ means hush, and is illustrative to how we see the world, our work and our beliefs. At the same time it starts with a H for Hilde and ends with a J for Jeanette. Just magic ;)
Were you searching for a creative partner or was this just a happy accident?
I would say more like a happy accident. I found out that having a creative partner is not something you can just apply for. It’s how we work together that makes this so amazing. Hilde was there when I needed her and i was there when she needed me. I truly believe this was meant to be.
What are your dreams for your company?
That it will keep on giving us freedom, as it already has given us.
Will you continue with your blog and magazine or merge it with your new business and partner?
We will keep on having our own separate blogs. We find it important to have our own private voice in this collaboration. After all we are not one person.
More work space photos…
Thank you Jeanette for this lovely peek into your new space!
(images: jeanette lunde)