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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

Homes With Heart: Light Living in a Dutch Family Home

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.

Homes With Heart: Light Living in a Dutch Family Home

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.

Homes With Heart: Light Living in a Dutch Family Home

Homes With Heart: Light Living in a Dutch Family Home

Homes With Heart: Light Living in a Dutch Family Home

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!).

Homes With Heart: Light Living in a Dutch Family Home

Homes With Heart: Light Living in a Dutch Family Home

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.

Homes With Heart: Light Living in a Dutch Family Home

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.

Homes With Heart: Light Living in a Dutch Family Home

I also adore the vibrant artwork above the sofa, by Anna Taratiel from Battalion Gallery in Amsterdam.

Homes With Heart: Light Living in a Dutch Family Home

Homes With Heart: Light Living in a Dutch Family Home

Homes With Heart: Light Living in a Dutch Family Home

Homes With Heart: Light Living in a Dutch Family Home

Homes With Heart: Light Living in a Dutch Family Home

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.

Homes With Heart: Light Living in a Dutch Family Home

Homes With Heart: Light Living in a Dutch Family Home

Homes With Heart: Light Living in a Dutch Family Home

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.

Homes With Heart: Light Living in a Dutch Family Home

Homes With Heart: Light Living in a Dutch Family Home

Homes With Heart: Light Living in a Dutch Family Home

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.

Homes With Heart: Light Living in a Dutch Family Home

Wanna know my favorite item in the whole house? That gorgeous vintage cognac leather armchair, which Hedda gave to Michiel as a gift.

Homes With Heart: Light Living in a Dutch Family Home

Homes With Heart: Light Living in a Dutch Family Home

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)

Posted in Home Tours, Homes With Heart on October 11, 2013

Homes With Heart: Funky Netherlands Home Tour

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!

Funky Netherlands Home Tour

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!

Funky Netherlands Home Tour

Funky Netherlands Home Tour

Funky Netherlands Home Tour

Funky Netherlands Home Tour

 

This is her more “formal” living room off of the dining room and kitchen area.

Funky Netherlands Home Tour

Funky Netherlands Home Tour

Funky Netherlands Home Tour

Funky Netherlands Home Tour

Funky Netherlands Home Tour

Funky Netherlands Home Tour

And this is her more informal living room…

Funky Netherlands Home Tour

Funky Netherlands Home Tour

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.”

Funky Netherlands Home Tour

Funky Netherlands Home Tour

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Funky Netherlands Home Tour

Funky Netherlands Home Tour

Funky Netherlands Home Tour

Funky Netherlands Home Tour

Funky Netherlands Home Tour

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.”

Funky Netherlands Home Tour

Funky Netherlands Home Tour

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Funky Netherlands Home Tour

Funky Netherlands Home Tour

Funky Netherlands Home Tour

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!”

Funky Netherlands Home Tour

Funky Netherlands Home Tour

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)

Posted in Home Tours, Homes With Heart on August 01, 2013

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