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Michele Varian in NYC

November 16, 2012

Hi it’s Jillian here with a very special shop girl visits column! I recently traveled to the states and coming from Australia, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arranged to photograph Michele Varian’s shop for this column — though I knew it was likely to be filled with beautiful things after I read about it in Sibella Court’s book. It also came highly suggested by Holly since Michele has been so supportive of her and she’s met Holly a few times already so it was in the stars: this was the shop I’d shoot!

Michele Varian in NYC

On the day of my arrival, I made my way to the shop to find the street closed to traffic and lined with movie trailers. A NYPD car was parked outside and it all felt very “CSI New York” to me and a bit exciting. Michele’s store was open though and so I made my to the lovely entrance. The store is located in a historical building with beautiful light and to say it’s a treasure trove of prettiness is an understatement. It was gorgeous!

Michele Varian in NYC

Michele Varian in NYC

Michele Varian in NYC

Michele greeted me and from there I received the grand tour – though it was a bit overwhelming — I almost didn’t know where to start shooting! In the end I decided to take a systematic approach. I started at one end of the shop where the beautiful pillows are displayed and made my way to the other end. So what did I find?

Michele Varian in NYC

Michele Varian in NYC

Michele Varian in NYC

Michele Varian in NYC

Michele Varian in NYC

I discovered quite an eclectic mix of beautiful pillows in jewel tones; furniture – some new and some vintage; jewellery; Michele’s new line of wallpaper; lighting; artwork; books; tableware and gifts for the special people in your life.

Michele Varian in NYC

Michele Varian in NYC

Michele Varian in NYC

Michele Varian in NYC

As I knew so little about Michele’s work I asked if she could answer a few questions for me and she very kindly agreed.

Q. What is your design philosophy?
MV: My philosophy is nothing remarkable, mostly, it’s just to have things that you love around you and figure out how to put it all together as you go. I like living in a space that reflects who I am and that means it didn’t happen overnight. It also means that it is constantly evolving.

Q. How did you first get into design?
MV: I moved to NYC from Detroit to go to Parsons to study fashion design. I worked in fashion for 10 years, but when I started my own business, I decided to make home accessories. I had always enjoyed entertaining at my NYC apartment, and loved creating a cozy and fun environment to hang out in. My primary collection is decorative pillows, which is textiles based with a lot of my knowledge coming from having worked in fashion design. I just launched my first line of wallpapers, which also takes advantage of my experience working with prints while working in fashion.

Q. Where do you source your products – the US, Europe, Asia?
MV: I try to support local artists, designers and manufacturers as much as possible. I also really like having things in the store that are a range of prices, so we have some things that are made overseas that are more affordable. I try to keep at least half the store filled with products that are made in North America or Europe by their designers, but these pieces are usually more expensive.

Q. The cushions are lovely. Do you still make all the cushions in NYC?
MV: Yes. In the very beginning though, I made them all myself, but now I have some lovely seamstresses here in NYC who do the sewing for me.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, I’d like to thank Michele for taking the time to answer my questions and for welcoming me to her shop to spend time chatting and taking photos You can find her her store at 27 Howard Street, New York and her blog here.

See you all again next month with another New York gem! – Jillian

(images: jillian lieboff)






Home Tours

Debi Treloar’s London Home

October 29, 2012

I have two posts to dedicate today to one of the best interiors photographers in the world, Debi Treloar. Debi has photographed both of my books, Decorate and Decorate Workshop (which releases in the UK in mere days), and working with her on both projects was always a joy. From the first shot which was in Sweden back in April 2010, until our last shoot, which was in my home in April 2012, we had a nice two years working together on two books and I’m so proud that she was part of both projects.

Debi Treloar's London Home

Debi is a breeze to work with and always so professional but in a laid back way, so even though she knows what she’s doing, she is still quite chill in the process which makes it nice for those working around her as time with Debi doesn’t feel stressful or over-bearing. It’s nice to work with someone at the top of their field who has such patience and charm. In this post, you can see some pics of Debi’s beautiful home which radiates her personality perfectly. She rents her home out as a location space (more pics here) via Light Locations for shoots but primarily, this is where she lives with her lovely family. I think she decorates with soul and so much joy and I just love her style – it is so inspiring to see how she uses color and pattern, too. No fear! Visiting Debi is always such a treat because her home is also always changing – she adds or takes away bits and makes it more charming each time. It’s always nice to see what she’s up to and she adores turquoise and pink and really embraces her inner girly, bohemian rock star and I think that’s way cool.

Debi Treloar's London Home

Debi Treloar's London Home

Debi Treloar's London Home

Debi Treloar's London Home

In my next post, I’ll share something else special and very dear to Debi, her new rental property that she leases out to stylish guests, blog readers and anyone else looking for a sweet little studio escape to stay in on their visit to London. I can’t wait to show you what she spent the summer working on – it’s lovely. Back in a moment!

While I’m working on the post, please check out her beautiful blog – Double Exposure.

(images: debi treloar)






Home Tours

Lotta Jansdotter’s Studio in Brooklyn

October 22, 2012

Good afternoon decor8 readers, it is Jillian here with another edition of Shopgirl Visits — fresh off the plane from New York! When planning my New York trip a few weeks ago, I decided to arrange some shop shoots. I used Sibella Court’s ‘The Stylist’s Guide to NYC’ as a starting point but I also asked Holly for a few suggestions and she pointed me to Lotta Jansdotter. Photographing Lotta’s Brooklyn studio was at the top of the list so I sent an email and an appointment was scheduled. Mission (almost) accomplished!

Lotta Jansdotter's Studio in Brooklyn

You know who Lotta Jansdotter is, right? Just in case you don’t, she’s a Swedish designer extraordinaire who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York and you’ll find her distinctive designs on fabrics, clothing, greeting cards, rugs, bags and crockery. She’s also absolutely lovely and I was made to feel very welcome during my visit in her light-filled studio located in an old warehouse in the district of Gowanus in Brooklyn. Would you like to join me on a little tour of her workspace?

Lotta Jansdotter's Studio in Brooklyn

This is the main work area.

Lotta Jansdotter's Studio in Brooklyn

Lotta Jansdotter's Studio in Brooklyn

Lotta Jansdotter's Studio in Brooklyn

Lotta Jansdotter's Studio in Brooklyn

Lotta Jansdotter's Studio in Brooklyn

Lotta’s studio space has a Scandinavian design aesthetic, which really appeals to me.

Lotta Jansdotter's Studio in Brooklyn

A mood board.

Lotta Jansdotter's Studio in Brooklyn

Lotta Jansdotter's Studio in Brooklyn

Some lovely little vignettes.

Lotta Jansdotter's Studio in Brooklyn

Lotta Jansdotter's Studio in Brooklyn

Lotta Jansdotter's Studio in Brooklyn

Colourful fabrics, tape and garlands. These pretty washi tapes with her designs and the wonderful decals make me want to get crafty!

Lotta Jansdotter's Studio in Brooklyn

Lotta Jansdotter's Studio in Brooklyn

Lotta’s new collection in shades of blue for the iconic store, Fishs Eddy.

Lotta Jansdotter's Studio in Brooklyn

Lotta Jansdotter's Studio in Brooklyn

Lotta Jansdotter's Studio in Brooklyn

Lotta Jansdotter's Studio in Brooklyn

Some tools of the trade.

I hope you enjoyed my little tour of Lotta’s studio, located at 131 8th Street Brooklyn NY. Lotta has a blog which you’ll find here and she also runs printing workshops from the studio. You can get all the details about the workshops here.

I’ll see you again in November with another fabulous New York find. Until then, – Jillian

(photos & text: jillian leiboff)






Home Tours

Sandra Juto’s Berlin Apartment

October 17, 2012

I was so excited when I woke up this morning to finally see the long awaited feature that FvonF, a German interiors blog based in Berlin, had planned for my friend, Sandra Juto, and her husband Johan Pergenius! Here is a quick peek into their Berlin apartment, located in Friedrichshain, but the FvonF blog has many more photos plus a lovely interview.

Sandra Juto's Berlin Apartment

I put FvonF in touch with Sandra and Johan not long after they moved to Berlin from Sweden, so it was good to see that FvonF fell in love with Sandra and Johan too. It makes me happy to see more of Sandra’s apartment online – I’ve often wondered what her kitchen looks like – now I know. Her pretty apartment is so inspiring to me – I love the old German ‘altbauwohnung” details seen in so many of the turn of the century buildings that we have here. The herringbone wooden floors, high ceilings, plasterwork on the ceiling, it’s all so inspiring to me. I love the natural light and the painted wooden floors in Sandra’s office. Don’t forget to notice how she arranged her Polaroids on the wall…

Sandra Juto's Berlin Apartment

Sandra Juto's Berlin Apartment

Sandra Juto's Berlin Apartment

Sandra Juto's Berlin Apartment

Sandra Juto's Berlin Apartment

Sandra Juto's Berlin Apartment

I LOVED the part of their interview where they went into a bit of the emotional process involved in finding their apartment. I’ll quote Sandra and Johan directly from FvonF . Sandra explained, “The online photos of the apartment looked so terrible (in an intriguing way) that we had to come see it to compare it to the other, more polished, places we had looked at. When we stepped inside we looked at each other and we couldn’t ignore the fact that we both had fallen in love with the place. The condition of the apartment was more or less a disaster. The previous tenant lived here for 40 years before she died and seemed to like chain-smoking more than cleaning.” And I couldn’t help but laugh at how Johan described the first viewing, “When we showed up for the viewing, the real estate agent said we were brave to come see it. He was sitting in his car outside because he was so sure that no one would come.” What a riot! And what a good example of how one has to believe in something for themselves – who cares what others think – even when it comes to home selection. YOU have to love it.

View the entire interview here.

(images: Philipp Langenheim)






Home Tours

Greg Hatton Studio Tour

September 26, 2012

Hi decor8 readers, it’s Jillian here bringing you another Shopgirl Studio Tour. When I visited Koskela a few months ago, I was introduced to the work of Greg Hatton. Greg is a furniture maker, lighting designer and recycle extraordinaire who’s made his home in an old butter factory in the village of Newstead, Australia. You may have seen his work here before on decor8.
Greg Hatton Studio Tour
Greg Hatton Studio Tour

When I saw his work, I was so intrigued I wanted to see more and knowing I was going to be in Melbourne on a work trip, I emailed him to arrange a visit. In one of those extraordinary quirks of fate, I discovered Greg lived a short drive away from one of my dear friends, with whom I was to stay.

Greg Hatton Studio Tour

On a gorgeous sunny day, we drove to the Butter Factory. The countryside surrounding the factory is just gorgeous. The Old Butter Factory is an extraordinary building that Greg has resurrected. He’s painstakingly stripped it back to it’s current state – part workshop/part furniture showroom/part garden with a dash of accommodation thrown in for good measure.  The garden has some intriguing outbuildings and remnants of it’s previous life as a factory.

Greg Hatton Studio Tour

I also spied one of Leila Sanderson’s cute teepees in the garden.

Greg Hatton Studio Tour

I roamed around with my camera — In the workroom I spied the fixings for some of Greg’s Fowler jar pendant lights and a Beetle Track stool in production. The main area of the Butter factory is enormous and I think it would be a great venue for a unique wedding celebration. Much of the furniture has been named like the aptly titled Flying saucer light, one of my favorites; the fantastic smooth sticky ball light and the upcycled bee box sideboard in the entry.

Greg Hatton Studio Tour

Greg Hatton Studio Tour

Greg Hatton Studio Tour

Greg Hatton Studio Tour

Greg Hatton Studio Tour

Greg Hatton Studio Tour

Greg Hatton Studio Tour

Greg is in the process of building some self contained accommodation to be furnished with his designs, all of which will be for sale. What a great idea to be able to take a little bit of something home with you! I was so inspired by the countryside, I’m now dreaming of my own little country getaway. Do you have similar dreams?

Greg Hatton Studio Tour

This talented man is on a mission is to combine art and nature with function and I think you’ll agree he’s managed to achieve this and much more. Many thanks to Greg and Katie for allowing me into their home.

Greg Hatton Studio Tour

How’s this for a modern interpretation of a Christmas tree?

I’ll be traveling a bit for the next several weeks and will visit some inspiring spaces in NYC that I hope to share with you upon my return. Until then! – Jillian.

(text/photography: jillian leiboff)






Home Tours

Home Tour: Greetings From Vienna

September 18, 2012

Would you like a little home tour from Vienna today along with some insights into the homeowner’s decisions and feelings about decorating? I came across a lovely home recently over on Flickr in my Interior Styling group (nearly 4,000 members so please join if you’d like) and had to reach out to both the photographer and home owner to ask about a possible tour on decor8. I am thrilled to say that both were willing and ready… Sooooo let’s get started with a little home tour action today, shall we? We shall indeed!

Home Tour: Greetings From Vienna

This apartment belongs to Verena Stummer, an Art Director at Screenagers and owner of the small cooking brand, “Schön und gut“, in Vienna, Austria. It’s so quirky and well organized but above that, I like how it really seems to reflect the style of Verena. It shows that she is inspired by flowers, color, vintage finds and food – the exact things that she told me inspires her in general. It’s nice to see that she lives around what she loves and what drives her and is fuel to her creative soul.

Home Tour: Greetings From Vienna

Home Tour: Greetings From Vienna

I thought it would be nice to chat with Verena to get a better sense of her space so I’ve included just a wee interview below. I’d love for you to read it as it won’t take much of your time today but she makes some really neat points that may stick with you like happy glue on the heart. :)

Home Tour: Greetings From Vienna

decor8: Where do you begin first when decorating or redecorating a room?
Verena: I have a picture of the room to be in my mind, and try to get as close to it as possible. But sometimes it turns out that it actually works better in another way. Which is ok, I love surprises and I let coincidences have a great part in what I’m doing.

Home Tour: Greetings From Vienna

decor8: What do you love the most about your home?
Verena: That it reflects me. I love that guests often tell me “All of this is so you!”. I also like to keep my furniture and decoration modular and mobile. The fact that I can change the layout of a room by easily moving things is something of a great quality. And that, as you can see, without making it look “nomadic”.

Home Tour: Greetings From Vienna

decor8: What do you want to change?
Verena: My flat would be the PERFECT place if it was a bit sunnier, since it being in the raised ground floor makes it a bit shadowy.

Home Tour: Greetings From Vienna

decor8: Tell us about the inspiration behind your current decorating scheme…
Verena: Well, I collected many items throughout my life in Vienna and I love to arrange them so they reflect me and my mood. There is no big “scheme” I guess. But I DO love vintage things that have a history.

Home Tour: Greetings From Vienna

decor8: What do you think makes a house a home?
Verena: I know it’s been said often before, but as soon as a house represents yourself by the way you live in it and is filled with your objects it becomes a home. I love it to to glaze over my home and remember all the stories behind the objects.

Home Tour: Greetings From Vienna

Home Tour: Greetings From Vienna

Home Tour: Greetings From Vienna

Home Tour: Greetings From Vienna

Home Tour: Greetings From Vienna

Home Tour: Greetings From Vienna

Home Tour: Greetings From Vienna

Home Tour: Greetings From Vienna

Home Tour: Greetings From Vienna

Home Tour: Greetings From Vienna

Home Tour: Greetings From Vienna

All of these gorgeous photos were shot by photographer Gregor Hofbauer – visit his site to learn more about him and his work. Thank you Verena for visiting us today on decor8 and for sharing your apartment with us!

(photography: Gregor Hofbauer)






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