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decor8 Reader Spaces: Tour a Vermont Nest

Have you ever visited Vermont? We live less than two hours from the border so Tee and I try to get over there whenever we can, we usually visit Brattleboro since it’s the closest and has some neat little stores and a few galleries that we enjoy browsing. Vermont is a beautiful state, it’s definitely worth a visit for either skiing in the Winter or for visiting a working farm in the Spring (I really want to do this). And from an interiors perspective, it’s a pleasure to step out of the mid century modern or ultra contemporary spaces for a little Country Chic. Ready to visit the home of an Interior Stylist based in Shelburne, Vermont?


Nest Decorating is a small design firm and art studio owned and operated by the talented Tamar Schechner, a Parsons grad who spent twenty years creating photo shoots and spreads for several magazines as Stylist and Creative Director. Now Tamar is out on her own doing what she loves – decorating homes in Vermont, dreaming up crafty projects to sell in her etsy store (she also sells wholesale to stores), being a good mother, and blogging. As for her design practice Tamar’s mission is to, “Make my clients as comfortable as possible, to truly understand the way their home functions and to work around their needs and possibilities creating a great inspirational space for them to live in and come home to.”

The stairs once had a tired berber rug but when they purchased the home the rug was removed to reveal plywood (eek!) so they painted it a fun green.

Work studio space


Her mother’s painting, “Spring” (part of a series of four) installed above the back door. It’s beautiful above the door and yes, that is a pink door.

This Japanese kimono belonged to her mother when she was little, she was born in Shanghai in 1931 so this is a most cherished piece deserving center stage above her chest of drawers.

The patterned blanket at the foot of the bed is from Urban Outfitters, the chair cushion is a tea towel, and the red floral painting (in the black frame) was painted by her mother.

A clever way to display her earrings – a window screen repurposed!

Some of the things she makes and sells in her etsy store.

A cozy spot to read complete with a rug from IKEA and an old chair with fabric tacked onto it.

Looking into her kitchen.

A country kitchen is hardly complete without colorful dishware.

Thank you Tamar for allowing us into your country home today – it’s colorful, creative, and full of life, warmth, and positive energy. I really enjoy all the art in each room and the stories so many of your things can tell. That’s truly what makes a house a home. Thank you again!

(images from tamar schechner)

Posted in Home Tours on January 18, 2008

Reader Spaces: Visit the Chan Nursery

I have a few pretty spaces to show you today, the first is of a modern nursery in Vancouver, Canada. I rarely feature kid’s design but since these parents use many things that can be placed in an adult space, such as independent art and a fantastic tile rug, all can find inspiration from this colorful nursery. The space belongs to Tracy Harvey-Chan and her husband Francis Chan, Tracy proudly expressed that Francis was just as responsible for the design as she was. It’s great to see both parents having equal input on the design and I love that they teamed up to pull it together.

And if you wonder why there’s a sofa vs. a chair, well this first pregnancy is quite exciting for them as they’re expecting twin girls, hence the sofa for both parents to spend time with their little cuties. Let’s visit the Chan nursery, shall we? I asked Tracy a few questions…

decor8: Tell us about your inspiration…
Tracy: The walls were white and we weren’t allowed to paint, so we wanted to create a sense of nature and warmth. We started to do this through color – woodsy browns, mossy greens and sky blues, the reclaimed lumber shelf and the animal theme which runs throughout. We also liked the mix of modern, clean lines with the antique, ornate frames and shelf.

decor8: What was the first thing you picked up for this room?
Tracy: The first would be the squirrel painting which was given to us by a good friend, in fact all the art came before any of the necessities!

decor8: How did you decide on the colors?
Tracy: We started to decorate before we knew genders, so we wanted gender neutral colors that weren’t typical baby colors. We wanted muted colors that were drawn from nature rather than pink, blue or yellow.


decor8: Where did you find most items?
Tracy: The art came from several different artists on Etsy, the Numbers poster from Binth, antique stores, our friend Lara painted the squirrel, an old Richard Scarry book and our first Ultrasound. The baby furniture is from the Oeuf line and the carpet tiles are from Flor.

decor8: What are your 5 favorite pieces?
Tracy: The wooden plank shelf (from reclaimed lumber), ALL the art, especially the first ultrasound photo, 3. the throw (stag print) which covers the sofa is made by David Fussenegger, an Austrian designer, 4. The Jonathan Adler giraffe lamp, and 5. the stuffies above the crib (I believe this is a local artist, but unfortunately cannot remember the name).


decor8: Where do you like to shop online?
Tracy: Etsy!

decor8: Where do you click when you’re looking for design ideas and inspiration?
Tracy: Swiss Miss, Cookie magazine, Design Mom, and Fine Little Day. Most of these blogs have links to other baby type sites – an endless list to get lost in!

decor8: Any Vancouver stores you suggest for baby gear in your local hood?
Tracy: Crocodile Baby, Modern Kid, TJ’s Kids, Dandelion Kids and the Inhabit Shop.


Thank you Tracy and Francis for allowing us into this great nursery, lovely job pulling it together! Congratulations on your pregnancy, yay!

(images by tracy harvey-chan)

Posted in Home Tours, kids on January 14, 2008

decor8 Reader Spaces: Samantha + Grant (part two)

Just in! Samantha would now like to share photos of their previous apartment – total eye candy. Are you ready to pack everything and relocate to Sweden? Oh you will be. Get a load of this kitchen! The moment I saw it, I thought about Susan Serra, the amazing New York kitchen designer who loves Scandinavian design and how much she’d love cooking up something delicious in this space. I also thought about how much I love Europe and how I miss seeing apartments like this. :)


Things I love: The building architecture overall, the gothic pew seating, all the industrial furniture, white walls, the transoms to die for, and the gorgeous light in the space. This home gives me a very serene feeling – it’s a look I love but in reality I realize that my love of color and animal/girl art would eventually take over and I’d add lots of pillows, flowers, and throw rugs. :) So it would be much more girly girl. But Sam and Grant have this editor’s eye that I appreciate because I don’t think I could have such restraint. Could be a cultural thing as Thorsten’s family (my husband) in Germany and some of my Swedish friends live like this, it’s part of their upbringing to be more frugal and to purchase things you plan to keep for many years. Plus store return policies aren’t nearly as generous, so if you buy it you can’t easily return it if it doesn’t work. And Craigslist isn’t all the rage. Perhaps all the options we have here in America is both bad and good. It makes it much harder to live like this Swedish couple, that’s for sure.


Sam and Grant, thank you for all this sharing today on decor8, I’m basking in the glow of all this gorgeousness – oh la love!

(image from Samantha and Grant Nixon)

Posted in Home Tours on January 07, 2008

decor8 Reader Spaces: Samantha + Grant in Malm?

A series showcasing reader spaces was launched in ’06 here on decor8 and since last year I put that on pause, for 2008 I want to start up this series again. To kick things off I thought today you may like to see the home of readers Samantha and Grant (and 18 month old daughter Charlie) who live in beautiful Malm? Sweden. Sam loved this post featuring Liza Giles’ apartment and believes her style is quite similar so she wants to welcome us into their world. This apartment just so happens to be on the market, so if you’re interested in owning in Sweden, please contact Sam and Grant for more information sam_nixon{at}yahoo.com.


Sam says, “I didn’t know what our style was, but I think Boho Modern might describe it. We have collected our stuff over years and years and it’s not all the same style or era, but we love how it goes together.”

About the space, “It’s a not so good 80’s attic installation but we repainted everything white, including the so-so quality wood floors and it made a huge difference.” Ah white wood floors. So many dream of these beneath their feet. I asked Sam what inspired her to paint them white, “We loved the look (first spotted in Elle Decoration and Living Etc.) but at the time we had beautiful floors so we didn’t want to take the risk with the white paint. When we bought this apartment the light was not as good, we thought the white floors would help with that, which they did — They made quite a big difference to the light in the apartment and give the illusion that the apartment is bigger than it actually is.”

When I asked her about the actual task of painting them, she said that is was hard to find someone in Malm? to paint them, their painter did not want to do it! They asked a friend who did the job for them using a, “long armed paint roller and lucky for us he did an excellent job. They do take a lot of work to keep clean, more so than unpainted floorboards. You tend to notice dust and spills a lot sooner! But when they are clean they do look fabulous.”

Since Sam is such a sweetheart, she allowed me to ask a few more questions about her style that I was curious to know. Like where do they find such great furniture? “We found most of our furniture in the UK, and our favourite shops are metro retro in London and Castle Gibson, also in London. We really love metro retro and we have had excellent service from the owner Saxon.”

After looking at their style, I think this stylish couple would love to connect with my favorite shop in northern Germany for vintage modern furniture, ComingHome Interiors (shop tour here, they ship all over Europe and to America). In addition to brick and mortar stores, Sam and Grant are also keen on flea markets and find their favorite ones are in Copenhagen.

I asked if she had a favorite piece and of course it was hard to pick just one, “But if we have to, then it would probably be the big desk which you can see in the picture with the computer on it. We found it in Zurich and it was originally used in a Zurich hotel,” she adds, “And maybe also the 1930’s theatre light you can see by the sofa.”


How does she keep it so clean? Sam tells us, “The apartment as seen in the photos is a bit more tidy/sparse than usual as we are selling it, and the Swedes are not so into the Boho Modern look, so some of our collections and art (which includes more than a few etsy finds found via decor8!) are packed away for the minute.” That explains how amazingly tidy things are, which also makes me breathe a sigh of relief as I can’t imagine anyone with a toddler living in such absolute perfection! Thank you Samantha and Grant for allowing us to visit your home today, it’s both beautiful and filled with fun decorating ideas and inspiration. May you sell your home and find another amazing space to fill with your well curated selection of beautiful things. Lovely!

(images from samantha and grant nixon for decor8)

Posted in Home Tours on January 07, 2008

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Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

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