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Home Tour: Monochromatic Condo In Italy

November 17, 2014

Good morning everyone! I met a nice blogger in my recent blogging e-course, Aga from Passion Shake, and she told me about an apartment that she recently styled for her client in Italy so I asked if she wanted to share the space on decor8. I like the bathrooms and overall clean look to it – lots of IKEA stuff since it’s a “show home”, very simple elements, but the condo looks nicely styled and since this is what she does for a living, I thought it would be good to share some work from her portfolio. This is Agata Dimmich, from Poland, working in Italy in her client’s space below.

Home Tour: Monochromatic Condo In Italy

Aga loves to create and style spaces that feel personal,”I like white, neutral interiors as a background for displaying personal objects, design pieces, art and details, which I believe make each space special and unique. To me home needs to reflect personality of the people, their lifestyle and passions. When designing and styling apartments for sale, I often imagine the fictional potential, future home-owners – who they are, where they work, what they love to do in their free time, what they eat, what souvenirs they bring from their holiday, what they wear and what are their secrets and then I create the space around the image I have in my mind. It’s so much fun, almost like directing a movie!”. I like her approach, don’t you?

This was her moodboard for the space – her starting point…

Home Tour: Monochromatic Condo In Italy

Her client wanted the space to have an Autumn mood, be black / white / brown and needed the style to be modern yet inviting with a touch of vintage flair. Here are the results below. What do you think?

Home Tour: Monochromatic Condo In Italy

Home Tour: Monochromatic Condo In Italy

Home Tour: Monochromatic Condo In Italy

Home Tour: Monochromatic Condo In Italy

Home Tour: Monochromatic Condo In Italy

Home Tour: Monochromatic Condo In Italy

Home Tour: Monochromatic Condo In Italy

Home Tour: Monochromatic Condo In Italy

Home Tour: Monochromatic Condo In Italy

Home Tour: Monochromatic Condo In Italy

Home Tour: Monochromatic Condo In Italy

From her blog, Passion Shake, to her work, her passion is clearly decorating. I asked her why and she explained that she is a visual person and, “I would be happy to spend my entire life just staring at pretty things but it is much more fun to play with them and see how they can transform four walls into a beautiful and inspiring space. Once I start decorating, I can’t stop, I keep on decorating and redecorating and it gets really addictive. I love to see the final effect, when all the elements come together, as a complete visual story.” Decorating for many years, she’s been collecting magazine clips for her handmade “decorating diary” and then, practiced applying what she saw into the rooms in her own home.

B/W Decorating Tip: Black and white interiors can quickly feel cold and are often said to lack character but with plants, fur throws, warm wooden furniture and accents, woven baskets and flowers, a monochromatic space can become quite cozy while still remaining minimalist and modern.

Thank you Aga for sharing this space!

(images: aga for passion shake)

Home Tours

Studio Tour: Artist Emily Jeffords

November 4, 2014

Looking for artistic inspiration? Feel the need to make something with your hands? How about a studio tour and some advice from a fine artist for those of us who want to try our hand at painting? I first found out about fine artist Emily Jeffords (and blogger) through Minted – I was shopping their site for work to install in my home and came across these. And swoon. It was love at first sight.

Studio Tour: Artist Emily Jeffords

Then a funny thing happened. Out of the blue, Emily contacted me about possibly appearing on my blog. Fate? I’m not sure how many of you know this about me, but I grew up on the coast in South Carolina, just south of Myrtle Beach. Finding out Emily was a SC girl too (she’s in Greenville) sealed the deal – I had to learn more! So I asked her for an interview and studio tour and well, that’s exactly what I’m about to share. I found this interview particularly inspiring for mothers with careers and aspiring painters. Let’s get started.

1.  Hi Emily! First, a little about yourself…
I am an artist and mother of two, working in a 100-year-old light-drenched studio & gallery called the White Whale in Greenville, SC. I create impressionistic landscape oil paintings on canvas featuring lively colors and slightly abstract skies.  My desire is for viewers to be reminded of sweet times past while bringing some beauty to life in the present. I began painting as a child and never stopped! Something about the creative process lets me say things that I cannot say with words – expressing feelings and emotions is so exciting to me.

Studio Tour: Artist Emily Jeffords

Studio Tour: Artist Emily Jeffords

2.  Were you classically trained or self-taught?
I graduated with a BFA in 2D fine art, which was so helpful and gave me the confidence to officially call myself an “artist”. However, one of the most helpful things for my artistic career has been doing painting-a-day challenges. The discipline and challenge of creating consistently has taught me SO much about myself and about art.

Studio Tour: Artist Emily Jeffords

Studio Tour: Artist Emily Jeffords

3.  What was an advantage of studying fine art and what is your advice for those who didn’t study but want to become a working artist?
It helped me think about creativity in a whole new way. However, I really don’t think you have to go to college to achieve that. In a way, all artists are self-taught. No one can train your eyes or your hands. That’s all on you. If you’re interested in becoming an artist (sans school) here is what I would do: try everything, test out new tools and materials, study the masters, attend workshops taught be professional artists, and soak up as much inspiration as you can!

Studio Tour: Artist Emily Jeffords

4.  What do you love about being a mother and also working as a painter?
Having my girls in my studio brings life and joy to my space and to my work. I can see their influence on my color pallete, subject matter, everything. They make me stop, notice, and enjoy life a little more.

Studio Tour: Artist Emily Jeffords

Studio Tour: Artist Emily Jeffords

5.  What do you find challenging about having kids and a career?
My girls have grown up in my studio and around artwork, so they understand the ebb and flow of the creative process. But, they are young, and they are normal kids! When I create, it is so easy to slip into a wonderful focused “headspace”: I block out the world, getting lost in the movement and motion of the process. That’s a little hard to do while also parenting.

Studio Tour: Artist Emily Jeffords

Studio Tour: Artist Emily Jeffords

6.  How did you handle that challenge?
When I moved into a studio outside of our home I really wanted to be sure that my girls felt like this is their space to learn and create as well. When they feel involved in the creative process they’re on my side. I talk with them about my ideas and deadlines and in return they tell me about theirs! — we have “mini art” shows pretty frequently and they’re always working on a painting for someone special. ;)

Studio Tour: Artist Emily Jeffords

7.  How do you balance family/work –what is a day in your life like?
Oh goodness, no day is the same … but, if I were to mash them together and come up with an average: mornings spent with my girls at home, some days their tutor comes to the house, others they come with me to the studio, but either way, I head to the studio around 11 am where I spend about 2-3 hours painting. In the afternoon my intern and studio manager might join me, we’ll package prints, mail goodness, send emails, keep all the wheels turning… We have dinner together as a family as often as possible, the girls go to bed and my husband and I relax and do a little more work. Work/life balance is a myth. It’s more of a juggle. The key is communicating with the people in my life, coordinating our needs and finding ways to support each other as often as possible.

Studio Tour: Artist Emily Jeffords

Studio Tour: Artist Emily Jeffords

8.  How have you marketed your work?
My “marketing strategy” feels incredibly natural and organic. I simply make an effort to share my artwork and process consistently. I’ve found that people want to take part in creativity – even if they cannot create it themselves every day.

Studio Tour: Artist Emily Jeffords

9.  What is your greatest achievement so far as a painter and what goals do you have for your work going forward?
I think the process; the days all stacked together are my greatest achievement. There are highs and lows and many days in between, but maintaining my passion throughout the journey is something I am super proud of. I would love to collaborate on some more artistic collaborations with some dreamy brands and fashion designers over the next couple years to create products that mix fine art with everyday objects. Having people interact with art in every day ways is super exciting to me.

Studio Tour: Artist Emily Jeffords

Studio Tour: Artist Emily Jeffords

10.  What advice can you give those who want to paint but are too scared to “mess up”?
The scariest thing is to start a painting, or anything, really, telling yourself that this thing must be Perfect. It won’t be. Every painting is a practice. Some are going to please you more than others, but the process is the art. Giving yourself space to practice and to try new things is so healthy for your creativity.

Beautiful! Inspiring! Now I want to paint! That’s what a great interview and studio tour does I guess. Motivates.

Tip: Check our Emily’s photos on Instagram here. And you can purchase her work in her Minted shop here.

(images: emily jeffords // paige french)

Home Tours

Studio Tour: Designer Leslie Shewring in Victoria, BC

October 6, 2014

As I am walking down a small alleyway in the heart of Victoria, British Columbia’s Chinatown, I am amazed as I step into this beautifully bright and open, perfectly simplistic yet creatively rich studio space. Hey guys, its Kelly Brown and I am back to share with you a favorite here at decor8, Leslie Shewring’s studio. You probably know Leslie from her and Holly’s book, Decorate With Flowers and now you can see the place where her creativity comes to life.

Studio Tour: Designer Leslie Shewring in Victoria, BC

Studio Tour: Designer Leslie Shewring in Victoria, BC

Her studio is like a crisp, white canvas, constantly changing and evolving depending on what projects she is working on. A woman of many talents, Leslie uses her studio for photography, styling, floral design and painting. Many of her paintings have been turned into fabrics and made into dresses, blankets, bags and adorable stuffed animals.

Studio Tour: Designer Leslie Shewring in Victoria, BC

Studio Tour: Designer Leslie Shewring in Victoria, BC

Studio Tour: Designer Leslie Shewring in Victoria, BC

Studio Tour: Designer Leslie Shewring in Victoria, BCStudio Tour: Designer Leslie Shewring in Victoria, BC

Studio Tour: Designer Leslie Shewring in Victoria, BC

Studio Tour: Designer Leslie Shewring in Victoria, BC

Studio Tour: Designer Leslie Shewring in Victoria, BC

Studio Tour: Designer Leslie Shewring in Victoria, BC

Studio Tour: Designer Leslie Shewring in Victoria, BC

Studio Tour: Designer Leslie Shewring in Victoria, BC

Studio Tour: Designer Leslie Shewring in Victoria, BC

Studio Tour: Designer Leslie Shewring in Victoria, BC

Studio Tour: Designer Leslie Shewring in Victoria, BC

Studio Tour: Designer Leslie Shewring in Victoria, BC

If you just can’t get enough of this woman’s style, you are in luck! Leslie is always posting to her instagram feed so check it out for a daily does of inspiration.

Even more exciting, Leslie will be teaching a photography and styling workshop with Ace Camps in Mexico next month and there are a couple spots left. For more information and to register visit here.

Thanks for sharing your gorgeous studio with us, Leslie! xo – Kelly

(images/text: Kelly Brown)

Home Tours

Home Tour: Quirky and Collected Living

September 23, 2014

Hello everyone! It’s Holly Marder back this month with another gorgeous home for you to peek inside. This month, feast your eyes on the quirky and collected home of Marlous Snijder, the blogger behind Planet Fur and founder of Oh Marie! magazine. Filled with thrifted treasures and bold bursts of colour, this home tour is sure to leave you with a smile and have you heading for your nearest thrift shop, guaranteed!

Home Tour: Quirky and Collected Living

Marlous and her husband Pim were looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and escape to the country when they first laid eyes on a semi-attached 150m2 house, built in the 80s, and all plans fell by the wayside. “We fell in love instantly, though it desperately needed to be modernized. The kitchen was brown, the brick walls in the living room were still brick coloured. There were outdated brown tiles on the hallway floor, but boy, it was love at first sight,” Marlous admits. The bright, spacious and promising space became theirs and renovations began swiftly, lasting 3 months. With the help of friends and family, the kitchen and floors were replaced, the walls were freshly painted, and huge amounts of outdated wallpaper were removed. 

Home Tour: Quirky and Collected Living

Home Tour: Quirky and Collected Living

Home Tour: Quirky and Collected Living

Home Tour: Quirky and Collected Living

Home Tour: Quirky and Collected Living

“Located at the edge of our city, on one of its oldest roads that leads to the countryside, we now have best of both worlds: the advantages of the city, but the calm and quiet of the countryside too,” Marlous says. “I can’t exactly point out why, but this house gives us the ultimate feeling of being home. We love, love it. It’s got some kind of x-factor.”

With an eye for unique vintage finds and a penchant for creating a happy yet calming space, Marlous regards decorating her home as a way of life.  “Designing the interior isn’t just the thing I do to pass time with. It’s much, much more than that. Creating a still life that looks good and balanced is like oxygen to me,” she explains. “My home is my happy place, my safe zone. I look at my surroundings like a photographer that is about to take a picture: everything needs to be in place, the image needs to be right. I have a need to see the beauty in things, no matter how small. I suppose it’s a way of shielding myself against the ugliness in this world. Picking out ‘gestures of beauty’, no matter how small, makes me a happy person. So, interior design is more a way of life than just a hobby or a job.”

Home Tour: Quirky and Collected Living

Home Tour: Quirky and Collected Living

Home Tour: Quirky and Collected Living

In her home, Marlous is drawn to decorating with vintage finds and bright colours, mixing styles and hues to her heart’s content until she finds balance and harmony. “My style is pretty eclectic and it’s always a challenge to make a beautiful blend of all those different items from different eras together. It’s a nice and very rewarding challenge though. I love the whole concept of recycling and that one man’s trash can be another man’s treasure.” And though her style has evolved and shaped over time, Marlous wasn’t always so sure about her own aesthetic.

“It took a while for me to realize that this odd-bod bunch of styles really is my style. I really felt my style was all over the place and not very ‘recognizable’ for an outsider,” she admits.

Home Tour: Quirky and Collected Living

“Over the years, I have come to accept the fact that my style is best described as an odd mix of different styles, ‘eclectic’ would best describe it,” she says. “It’s why I can fall for a watermelon coloured 80s vase and a retro blue-and-white jug on one second-hand shopping day. I’ve always followed my heart when it came to decorating though: no matter how many ‘rules of styling’ (if there is such a thing) I was breaking. If something makes my heart leap for joy, I take it home and integrate it into my interior.” 

Her regular second-hand shopping sprees, the thrill of finding something unique and integrating it into her eclectic interior is what brings Marlous the most joy in designing her home’s interior.

“Since thrift finds are generally pretty unique, I can create my own, unique and personal interior blend with items that have a past life and have a kind of spirit,” she says. “My second-hand finds also inspire me for little easy DIY projects, such as block stamping a vintage tablecloth, or making cushion covers out of old bed sheets.” 

Marlous’ trick to finding balance in her eclectic interior is combining her colourful, thrifted finds with clean, contemporary lines. “Because my home accessories are brightly coloured, sometimes a bit kitsch and slightly whimsical, I have kept the home’s base (floors/walls) white or neutral like a white canvas. And though she loves to display all of her treasures, she prefers to keep clutter at bay. “This is why I combine vintage with contemporary.” she explains. “For example, the Moldavian kilim is paired with our invisible Kartell side table. The table is modern and sleek and because of its ‘invisibility’ it doesn’t outshine the kilim it stands on. In my opinion an eclectic mix of accessories works best on a neutral or modest base.”

Though spontaneous in nature, Marlous has learned to be patient when it comes to designing her interior, being elective and bringing home the right pieces. “I’m a very impatient person, so it took some years and mistakes to learn, but there’s nothing more satisfactory than the search of that perfect piece and the thrill of finding it.” 

The rug in the couple’s living room was the result of patience and persistence. “I have been craving for a Moldavian kilim since I don’t know when, so when we bought the house, the first thing we did was purchase the rug in the living room,” she says. “In fact, when we found it, we were heartbroken to learn that someone had already reserved it because we instantly fell in love with this particular pattern. Eventually it turned out to be too big for their home and it was returned. I guess it was meant to be!” 

Other favourite pieces in the couple’s living room include a vintage Panthella semi-circular shade lamp by Verner Panton and the vintage zebra rocker. “Years ago I fell for this super-cute looking rocking zebra. There was something in his expression that I really liked. Like he appealed to my inner child or something. Now that I think about it: my favourite items are often animal-shaped.” 

“I have always had a love for the quirky, playful, colourful and eclectic. Items that immediately catch my eye often have a toy-like appearance, they often even come from the children’s department of a thrift shop. I’m not sure why I like those so much. Perhaps I never let go of my inner child.” 

The couple’s bright yellow cabinet is an absolute favourite. “It was already yellow when I found it. I was looking for a cabinet like it when I stumbled upon this one in a second hand store. The guy at the store couldn’t believe his ears when I told him it would stay yellow!”

Some of Marlous’ favourite thrift shop finds are the various artworks adorning her walls. “I have a love for old, thrifted prints and posters, we mounted my most favourite ones above the dinner table.” Other favourite pieces of art are the rare vintage Dick Bruna posters Marlous thrifted recently. “I found five of them, stashed in a corner of a thrift shop for €0.20 each. I had to pinch myself when I saw Dick Bruna’s signature on the corner of each poster. I walk on sunshine for days when I find something like that.”

Home Tour: Quirky and Collected Living

Home Tour: Quirky and Collected Living

Home Tour: Quirky and Collected Living

Home Tour: Quirky and Collected Living

The couple’s dining room combines delicate vintage finds with wooden dining chairs by the well known Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek and contemporary white drum pendant lights overhead. In the kitchen, a baby blue Smeg fridge inspired a kitchen overhaul. “We actually designed our kitchen around our baby-blue Smeg. We bought it when we moved into a temporary home and so we had to think of a way of integrating it into our new kitchen plan.”

Though much of her home is comprised of inexpensive pieces from second hand shops and vintage markets, Marlous appreciates a splurge is sometimes necessary for the right piece. The couple decided to invest in a good quality designer bed for their new baby, the ‘Kili’ bed by Sebra, while the rest of the room decor comes from second hand shops, Etsy or Marktplaats (the Dutch version of Craigslist).  “I love the way the room worked out and I like the fact that, after much debate, we went for the Kili bed there. We don’t often spend money on something so expensive, but I’m glad we did this time!”

The couple’s baby daughter Jet’s bedroom mixes both bright and pastel hues against a calming white backdrop. The antique rag rug was an Etsy find from Vintage Home Stories.

One of Marlous’ favourite baby room features the ‘ABC of birds’ print from Etsy seller Geninne. “She sold it years ago in her shop. When I found out she didn’t sell it anymore, I realized how much I wanted to have it. When she announced on Instagram that it was back in her shop again, I literally didn’t wait a second and purchased it right away.”

In their own bedroom next door, the couple prefer a neutral palette, offset by Scrapwood Wallpaper by Studio Ditte, which they brought along from their previous home. 

On the same floor, the couple enjoy a cheerful home office, though it wasn’t always that way. “The sloping ceilings we have at the first floor were a real design challenge. They cast a shadow over everything and, during winter especially our workroom was pretty gloomy and not a nice spot to work. In the end, we replaced the previous black worktable with a white one and moved it in front of the window. We also papered the wall underneath the sloping part with a brighter pattern.”

Home Tour: Quirky and Collected Living

Marlous finds her inspiration in blogs, magazines and interior books. “My blogger friends are very inspiring people because they ‘feed’ my creative flow. They make me feel home in the creative community and feeling good is the best way for ideas to flow,” she says.  “One of the first interior books I bought featured the home of Emily Chalmers and I think her great sense of style and the way she blends all kinds of different styles together planted the seed for my current interior style.”

Marlous enjoys nothing more than filling her home with rescued items and creating an ever-evolving, though always inviting home for her growing family. “Our interior will always be changing.” she says. “It’s so very different from the 2010 version. Or the February 2014 version! As I’m currently on maternity leave, I have finally time to work on DIY projects again and to spend my days blogging, photographing, writing and making exiting new creative plans for the future.”

So what’s Marlous’ secret to decorating? “I don’t think one is ever too old to put playful, colourful things into their home, and I also don’t think that there are exact rules that need to be followed when decorating. It’s more important to just follow your heart and surround yourself with things you like to look at. I don’t select items especially on their appearance to make it easy to ‘merge’ them. The only thing the items in our home have in common is that they stole my heart.”

Home Tour: Quirky and Collected Living

I hope you guys enjoyed touring Marlous’ home! I’ll be back next month with another inspiring home. But before I sign off, tell me: what do you love about Marlous’ home? Love her mix and match style, or too quirky and colourful for you? I’d love to read your thoughts, and if you spot anything you love, feel free to ask Marlous directly in the comments section below.

Holly

Home Tours

Studio Tour: Artist Melissa Milakovic

September 9, 2014

Hello there! It’s Kelly Brown, Holly’s roving reporter (really, photographer!) and I am back to share with you a bright, eclectic studio tour of artist Melissa Milakovic of Love Like Red, a charming creative paper company based out of Victoria, British Columbia.

Studio Tour: Artist Melissa Milakovic

Melissa’s home studio is her creative sanctuary, filled with little treasures and inspirations. Its bright, bold, and colorful with energetic and vibrant details everywhere you look. Melissa says she doesn’t ever try to match anything. She finds something she loves and finds a place for it in her home.

Studio Tour: Artist Melissa Milakovic

Studio Tour: Artist Melissa Milakovic

Studio Tour: Artist Melissa Milakovic

Studio Tour: Artist Melissa Milakovic

Studio Tour: Artist Melissa Milakovic

Her studio decor blends seamlessly into her art as well. Take on look at her paper goods and you can see how they are inspired by her studio environment. Holly put together a little round up of some of her favorites below, they can all be purchased here. Its the kind of space that welcomes you and makes you want to create all day!

Studio Tour: Artist Melissa Milakovic

Studio Tour: Artist Melissa Milakovic

Studio Tour: Artist Melissa Milakovic

Studio Tour: Artist Melissa Milakovic

Studio Tour: Artist Melissa Milakovic

Studio Tour: Artist Melissa Milakovic

As an artist, Melissa believes in keeping love and life fun, honest and sweet by inspiring you to share your own stories through the gift of a handwritten note.

(images/text: Kelly Brown)

Home Tours

Home Tour: Tiny Stylish Scandinavian Apartment

September 4, 2014

I came across this lovely tiny apartment that I wanted to share with those of you who live small but have great aspirations for your home anyway. Because really, the size of a home doesn’t matter at all as much as how well you are using those square feet and how much love is there. I’ve lived in homes of all shapes and sizes (I’ve never owned a house either! Even now, I rent.) and some of my favorite homes were not always the largest ones but those where I felt in tune with the space around me, loved and most of all, cozy and cared for. Doesn’t this apartment look so cozy and cared for? Click on any of this images for an extra large view.

Home Tour: Tiny Stylish Scandinavian Apartment

I love the stacks of magazines along the left wall. Looks so cool and cozy like that. All of those loose throw pillows make this space look super inviting.

Home Tour: Tiny Stylish Scandinavian Apartment

The bedroom may be tiny but it still looks so sweet. And I like that HAY dots rug on the floor. And let’s talk about those herringbone wooden floors. Don’t you love them?

Home Tour: Tiny Stylish Scandinavian Apartment

This pendant light is a favorite. I wish I knew who made it, I want it for my own living room!

Home Tour: Tiny Stylish Scandinavian Apartment

A fireplace with white candles inside? YES! This is such a sweet corner.

Home Tour: Tiny Stylish Scandinavian Apartment

What a great use of this nook – for a dining room. The mirrors on the wall really open up the space. I have the same table too – what a coincidence.

Home Tour: Tiny Stylish Scandinavian Apartment

Those round mirrors on straps are SO popular right now. Again, there are those stacked magazines. So pretty topped with boxes and a plant.

Home Tour: Tiny Stylish Scandinavian Apartment

This light is the best, I really like it.

Home Tour: Tiny Stylish Scandinavian Apartment

The grid tile on the walls is interesting, I’m not sure it’s “me” but it’s still interesting. The floor is nice! I love the mini radiator beneath the window, it’s charming.

Home Tour: Tiny Stylish Scandinavian Apartment

What a romantic bed and I love the linen draped overhead. You don’t see that much anymore. I did this in my bedroom in the 90s.

Home Tour: Tiny Stylish Scandinavian Apartment

These images are from the lovely Stadshem Fastighetsmäkleri, a realtor in Sweden who sells gorgeous apartments and homes. In fact, this is one of them that you can buy. I found it via the Nordic Design blog.

(photos: Jonas Berg)

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