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Studio Tour: Dear Colleen

I love a good studio tour and this one in New Zealand doesn’t disappoint! It was submitted by Colleen who runs her own design firm called Dear Colleen who specializes in hand lettering, fashion and homeware design. It hasn’t been shown yet online so I wanted to give you a first peek!

Studio tour

Colleen’s studio sits on the second floor of an old shared building for artists and creatives. The building is nearly 100 years old and has amazing features like large metal framed window and wooden floors. Colleen is based in Dunedin which is in the south island of New Zealand. Here is her studio from start to finish in a video shot by Scott Savage.

About her space Colleen says, “I did the studio up in a week with a lot of help from my boyfriend and a budget of around $300. I bought filing cabinets from op shops and gave some of them a new lease of life by having them powder coated in a bright green. The wood desk was dirty and abandoned in the room so I sanded it, added casters that I had saved from another piece and added new handles.” Being on such a small budget forced Colleen to get creative!

Studio tour

Studio tour

Studio tour

Studio tour

Studio tour

“I painted large wall graphics to add interest to the space, which took time but pretty much cost me nothing. All the furniture in my studio is second hand or salvaged. I love rescuing pieces that are destined for the dump and giving them a second chance.” Well done, Colleen!

(photos: Emily Hlavac Green.)

Posted in Home Tours on June 20, 2012

Lovely Home of Cotton & Milk Designer Justine Glanfield

I came across the darling home of Justine Glanfield last year – she is the founder of Cotton & Milk in England – and have been saving it for months in a file to eventually share on decor8. When I found photos of the home on the MILK website today I knew to couldn’t wait any longer so please see their site for a complete home tour featuring her wonderful 5 story home. My favorite glimpses are below.

Cotton & Milk

How charming to see something that almost could be a linen tablecloth doubling as a curtain? Adore this…

Cotton & Milk

That balcony looks so inviting and by the way, opening a door or a window in a room that you are photographing is a trick used in interior styling that I practice more and more in my own styling work. It makes a space feel more inviting and gives a casual touch to the photo, too. What do you think? Imagine the door closed and tell me if it would be the same photo….

Cotton & Milk

I like the many different surfaces and walls in this home – painted, brick, different types of wood, stains, it’s lovely!

Cotton & Milk

A gorgeous olive green vintage leather tufted sofa! A mouthful to say and an eyeful to behold.

Cotton & Milk

Cotton & Milk Love the idea of using a former fireplace as a bookcase.

Based in Brussels, this English designer lives there with her son and partner and has such a gorgeously personal decorating style that seems so considered and yet full of detail while remaining simple and understated. What a beautiful, delicate balance to acheive! Her dining room and son Oscar’s bedroom are my favorite spots and I adore everything that I see. So sweet and harmonious!

(images: milk/Muriel Frances/Louise Desrosiers)

Posted in Home Tours on May 22, 2012

Creative Studio Tour of Photographer Jeremy Harwell

Hello friends! How are you today? I’m so happy to be back home from NYC because I’ve missed blogging daily and feel so energized and motivated to write and connect with you once again. I thought I’d begin with a lovely post created exclusively for decor8. Ready?

Creative Studio Tour of Photographer Jeremy Harwell

I love a good tour – especially of a creative workspace since so many of us dream of having a nook (or entire studio) where we can do the things that we love in an environment that supports us in every way. This is the studio of photographer Jeremy Harwell who recently built a new studio for his photography and he wanted to share it with all of you today. I think it’s a gorgeous space and I hope that it inspires you!

Creative Studio Tour of Photographer Jeremy Harwell

Creative Studio Tour of Photographer Jeremy Harwell

Creative Studio Tour of Photographer Jeremy Harwell

Creative Studio Tour of Photographer Jeremy Harwell

Creative Studio Tour of Photographer Jeremy Harwell

Creative Studio Tour of Photographer Jeremy Harwell

Creative Studio Tour of Photographer Jeremy Harwell

Creative Studio Tour of Photographer Jeremy Harwell

Creative Studio Tour of Photographer Jeremy Harwell

Creative Studio Tour of Photographer Jeremy Harwell

Creative Studio Tour of Photographer Jeremy Harwell

About Jeremy, “He started his own freelance business in 1992 working as a photojournalist for several newspapers, covering news events as well as professional sports. He recently spent 8 years at Ralph Lauren, where he was the Creative Director for the New York stores as well as shooting fashion and interiors. In 2003 Jeremy and family moved to Georgia to live the simple life and start a studio in Senoia… Jeremy has won numerous awards including Wedding and Portrait Photographers International Accolades of Excellence. He has also been published in Bride and Modern Brides magazine.” I love reading about his journey and how long he has worked in his field – his blog shows so many gorgeous examples of his work, I encourage you to check it out for loads of eye candy inspiration!

What do you love about his photography studio? I love that it is both masculine and a bit feminine, I think the interior is well thought out as he deals with a lot of brides so having that feminine touch is essential in the decor. I adore the soda, that pale salmon is gorgeous and works so nicely with the brown and green tones. I also love his big silver LG monitors, they look great but also quite classy for a monitor. What do you think?

(images: Jeremy Harwell)

Posted in Home Tours on March 15, 2012

Visiting Rachel Ashwell at Home

When I was in LA this past July on my book tour, I had the honor of meeting Rachel Ashwell who attended my signing and mood board event at Anthropologie. It was surreal to meet her for a second time, the first was in 2005 when I went to one of her warehouse sales and shyly asked for an autographed copy of one of her books. It was amazing to have the table turned and I felt a huge shift inside when she was at my signing… so much HAS happened in my life since 2005 that even I can’t believe it sometimes.

Visiting Rachel Ashwell at home

Rachel, who most of you know as the founder of Shabby Chic and who created the Shabby Chic decorating style in the first place, has had a very full career as a designer, author, television personality and so much more. Currently, she’s celebrating the launch of her latest book, Rachel Ashwell: Shabby Chic Inspirations and Beautiful Spaces (which is lovely) and hosting book signings in these locations. In this post, I’ve snapped photos from my visit in her home and shop, including her inspiration journal that I kept peeking at while she spoke over tea and sweets. I am forever inspired by handmade books packed with collected images and things – loosely curated but always a theme when those doing the collecting have a good sense of personal style. Below are more photos from her home in LA…. This one is from the tabletop where I sat with Rachel discussing her new book, my book, blogging, social networking, her roots, business in general… It was a very full and memorable discussion that I’ll never forget.

Visiting Rachel Ashwell at home

In addition to products, Rachel is also enjoying these girly gorgeous retreats that she sets up for creative ladies in her ranch in Texas called The Prairie, decorated in her signature style, of course. Her successful Simply Shabby Chic line at Target is still going strong and she has an online shop and four boutiques called Shabby Chic Couture located in London, New York, Los Angeles and on her property at The Prairie B&B in Texas. Despite the peeks and lows of being such a massive brand with a huge cult following for over 20 years, Rachel has found her comfortable landing spot after lots of change in her own company and is completely at ease being smaller but better than ever. My kind of lady.

Visiting Rachel Ashwell at home

I’m sure you are wondering how I was able to get into the private home of Rachel Ashwell. I wondered that through most of my visit, in fact! Well, it was quite easy – she openly invited me and my friend, Leslie Shewring. She’s been following my blog and knows of my book because she contributed to Decorate. We also share a connection — one of her best friends, Amy Neunsinger, is someone I know as well – we shot her home for Decorate and if you have the book, you’ll see it throughout.

Visiting Rachel Ashwell at home

A glimpse into Rachel’s home office and mood board

Visiting Rachel Ashwell at home

A fireplace mantel with leaning art work and an old, battered wooden cabinet from Texas in soft blue in the living room.

Visiting Rachel Ashwell at home

Even her office was loaded with feminine details like this boho style pillow lazily lounging on her office chair and a big basket of ribbons on her file cabinet.

Visiting Rachel Ashwell at home

I love how she displayed vintage ceramics on the ledge above her kitchen sink just at the window. It was beautiful to look at them but also to see the garden view outside. I also appreciate details like beads and ribbons adorning cabinet handles. I do this too, so there was a sense of familiarity when I came across them throughout her home.

Rachel Ashwell's Kitchen

Her kitchen is a little old and new. I personally love hardwood floors in a kitchen combined with stainless appliances so I think this looks a bit country but also smart.

Visiting Rachel Ashwell at home

This corner in her dining area was so pretty, I loved how the light streamed in…

Visiting Rachel Ashwell at home

I found mirrors throughout her home, in every room it seemed… I love how they add a sense of space. In this one, you can see the reflection of her guest bathroom. Isn’t the wallpaper lovely?

Visiting Rachel Ashwell at home

Rachel had a rack of vintage clothing randomly placed in her living room – rather unexpected, but very Rachel. I couldn’t stop looking through them, each piece was unique and had some sweet detail from smocking to decorative buttons…

Rachel Ashwell's Living Room

A view of her living room… the ethnic touches on the sofa make it very global, which I like.

Details

More details from adorned handles to rustic finishes and embroidered vintage art work.

Visiting Rachel Ashwell at home

Rachel is a very spiritual person, evident throughout her home. All of the saints were represented and even a Buddha. Her en suite bathroom had gorgeous tile on the floor and felt very serene in gray, pale blue and white.

Visiting Rachel Ashwell at home

Her bedroom was paired down, simple, pretty…

Visiting Rachel Ashwell at home

Another bathroom in her home had some vintage details I had to capture, though I didn’t have my DSLR on me and my amazing lens so I had to make due with my old point and shoot. After taking the photo on the left, I grabbed the flower and a necklace from an adjacent room and placed it on a table in front of a window – the lighting was so perfect, I had to capture it somehow.

Visiting Rachel Ashwell at home

The artwork in her dining room was particularly pretty and varied. I also liked this golden headboard in a spare room upstairs.

After visiting Rachel at home, we left feeling elated and energized. We grabbed a snack at Le Pain Quotidien and then hit Shabby Chic Couture in Santa Monica. Here are a few snaps of some things in the store that caught my eye…

Shabby Chic Couture Shop, LA

Shabby Chic Couture Shop, LA

Shabby Chic Couture Shop, LA

What a special treat to spend hours chatting with such an inspirational lady in the world of design. I mean, seriously, imagine creating a decorating style that is known around the world? That’s quite a contribution and something that will always be associated with the one and only Rachel Ashwell. Thank you Rachel for inviting me into your home.

(images: holly becker, taken with a basic point and shoot)

Posted in designers, Home Tours on October 07, 2011

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