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Impressionen {Germany}

I’m perfectly aware that posting about Impressionen (and other non-U.S. websites) can frustrate (sorry!) but decor8 is not merely a blog about shopping. While I want to be a resource that you think of when you’re looking for the perfect sofa or some art, decor8 is a catalog of ideas, places, people, and things that I find inspiring enough to share no matter where they may be based in the world. Of course, I try to make sure that things are available online for purchasing in case I found the ideal piece you’ve been seeking, but unfortunately not all websites ship to where some of us live and not all of them are even in English. Like Impressionen.


My goal is to expose you to design that you may not see in your part of the world, and though many read this site from America, there are others tuning in from parts of Europe, South America, Asia, Australia, I’m often amazed when I look at my stats! And while a store like Impressionen isn’t in English and doesn’t ship to America, I have to consider that German readers and others may really enjoy this resource and for the rest of us we can simply enjoy viewing how products are arranged, checking out current trends, and to see how you may be able to use some of the things in your home currently in new ways (like a standing mirror shown above, for instance. Looks great arranged in this way, doesn’t it?).


Sometimes a reader will write in upset with me (with CAPS on!) asking why I bother posting stuff they cannot buy from time to time. Well it’s simple and I’ll quote Morrissey (a personal favorite singer-songwriter), “America is not the world”. There is much more out there to embrace, more to see and be inspired by, than what’s available on our own shores. And while I love American design and support designers here (obviously because I write about them a majority of the time), I’m forever fascinated by what’s going on in the world of design in other places to.


Back on the subject of Impressionen, though they are based in Germany I think their products reflect what is equally trendy in Scandinavia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, even regions of France and beyond. When I’m in Germany each year I hop on trains and planes and buy heaping truckloads of European design magazines that I cannot buy here in the states so I can see what’s going on. And I visit tons of stores and interview designers there. I also recently started attending design trade shows since ’06, so I’m starting to recognize what some of the current trends are over in northern Europe like gray paired with pale lilac, Modern with lots of white and pops of color, silver with gold, black with white, cottage, rustic (atlers, twigs as mirror frames, etc.), and ethnic eclectic in bright colors like chartreuse, fuschia, teal… Plus with blogstars like Emma in Stockholm, Danielle in the Netherlands, and Bowie in London, how can any avid blog reader not start to catch on to these design trends over time?


And of course, though the trends abroad are similar to what we see here in America, the decorating styles and overall taste level differs according to culture so how one country translates Ethnic style (for example) can look a little different from how say, we Americans perceive it. It’s important to look outside of your home country to see what’s hot — it keeps our minds open and helps us to see some of the things we currently own in a different light. Remember how Kylie had a negative view of IKEA until she went to Europe? Kylie returned to America with a whole new perspective on IKEA finds and now she’s a believer. It’s all about exposing yourself to new ideas when it comes to design and decorating!

(images from impressionen)

Posted in shopping, travel, trends on February 12, 2008

Creative Collections

You know that Creative Collections group that I started on Flickr recently, well I can’t stop peeking in to see what photos have been added – I’m a girl obsessed with collections right now and creative styling in general is forever a passion. It’s fun to see how others put together things that they love. Their creativity is evident as I browse the many photos in the group. If you’re a collector or would simply like to sit back and observe how others arrange things, you may want to join in. And who knows, all of this inspiration just may lead you on your very own relentless pursuit of pulling together the perfect arrangement to fit your personality.

Top: elsiemarley has four shelves above her sink where she creates little vignettes like this grouping of natural things called “brown”. The next photo shows a few tiny houses that she likes. Bottom: retro dresser with a great photo collection proudly display above in the home of ATLITW, vintage clothing displayed on the wall from ninainvorm.

This grouping over the bed belonging to arthur’s circus is simply the best for two reasons. The composition and colors are great but beyond that, they are photos that she took herself. Love that personal touch! You can view her professional portfolio here, she’s an amazing photographer.

ATLITW’s white pottery collection, of which I love.

Starting a small art wall by ninainvorm.

And this is ATLITW’s yellow collection.

Cookie jar collection from arthur’s circus, cute little people as shown in the home of elsiemarley (they were handmade by her friend, she blogged about it here), winter scene arranged by paper-flower-girl.

Some of my nesting dolls, the ones to the far left I found in Paris in 1997 in a Russian gift shop. If you’re wondering about the unfinished dolls they’re for an upcoming project I plan to work on in February. I’ve always wanted to design a set of nesting dolls so I’m thinking of a few ideas for these ladies.If you look closely not all are nesting dolls, there’s a little guy hiding amongst them. He like a lady with a little meat, so these girls had him at hello. Can you find him?

Related post: More Collections {we love ‘em}

(images linked to source above)

Posted in inspiration, trends on January 15, 2008

Boho Modern

I’m thrilled by the response to this post about London stylist Liza Giles and cannot believe the amount of emails flooding in about this style overall. Many have challenged me to define this look into a name but that’s not really my thing as I’m sure it’s already been categorized by designers… But for fun, I did do some research and now I know what I’d like to call this style when I write about it in the future: Boho Modern.


Let’s see… We have mid century modern, Hollywood regency, modern, minimalist, retro, but what do we call this one? Not vintage modern, that makes me think of Thomas O’Brien and I don’t think his look fits this one since he’s more traditional, clean cut and uses lots of beige and blue. Certainly my friend with her Crack House Chic comment was off base, that raised a few eyebrows and made most of us laugh and cringe simultaneously, and CHC is not even close to what this style should be termed. All things considered, let’s give this look the term Boho Modern. As in Bohemian. How does this sound? It’s a little old with new, less rules with more play.


I did a little research to see if Boho Modern really works. Wikipedia describes Bohemian, “In modern usage, the term bohemian no longer refers to the Roma but can describe any person who lives an unconventional artistic life, where self-expression is their highest value; art (acting, poetry, writing, singing, dancing, painting, etc.) is a serious, if not central, part of their life.” Okay good. That sounds about right.


I researched fashion, too. Boho Chic already describes a style of fashion (think Anthropologie, Noa Noa, Odd Molly), and some stylists call it Modern Boho as well. So you can go with Boho Chic or Boho Modern, too. In the land of interiors, I’ve noticed this style referred to as Flea Market Style, Global Decor, Shabby, and Ethnic Chic, Midwest Modern, Modern Euro Country, and though they fit to a degree, I think Boho Modern works best. Flea Market Style is a close runner up, but because it’s more about self expression and less about where items are sourced – lots of us don’t have access to good fleas, so we shop on eBay or second hand stores – or we pick up new things at Ikea and paint them to give them a little age appeal, I don’t know if Flea Market Style is what I would call this. But I get the point because the rooms end up looking a little bit like everything was found at a flea.

When it comes to Flea Market Style, that can come mean something different for everyone as it’s all about where you live. In my part of the country, most markets do not carry any of these gorgeous things. If you pulled together a room using things from MY local flea market here in New Hampshire, you’d have a room filled with discarded dollar store ceramics, shot guns, pocket knives, beat up action figures, and dirty movies. If you shopped a flea in San Francisco or London, you may have a different ‘vision’ when you think of Flea Market Style.


Suggested reading: New Decor by Elizabeth Wilhide is a lovely book embracing this very style, I suggest picking it up, it’s brilliant. I reviewed it here in case you’re interested. Creating Vintage Style and Flea Market Style by Emily Chalmers is another that I . (Has anyone ever visited Caravan, her London shop?).


Boho Modern is: Mixing old with new. Building your space over time. Taking formerly functional items and transforming them into either purely aesthetic pieces – a collection of vintage keyholes or door knobs mounted to a single wall, or using functional items in fun new ways – a vintage umbrella stand becomes a place to store rolls of wrapping paper or vintage sheets transformed into a duvet, for instance.


Boho Modern feminine with an edge. It’s deeply personal. Mixing periods and ethnic styles is highly encouraged (i.e. Indian prints mixed with Aboriginal). Color can be subdued, rich, bold, or barely there. It can be neat with few objects or items arranged in collections, or a bit disheveled. Traditional design “rules” are thrown out the window, replaced by a casual beauty that comes from the heart. It’s all about textures and details. It’s about living a more creative life and decorating from the heart. Eclectic living.

Looking for some inspiration from “real” homes? Visit these homes from a few decor8 readers living the Boho Modern life: AB Chao, Jasna Janekovic in Germany, Victoria in San Francisco, Yvonne in the Netherlands, and my friend YIPPIEYEAH in Hannover.

(images from caravan, living etc, and odd molly.)

Posted in inspiration, trends on January 04, 2008

More Collections {we love ‘em}

Since this post, our Creative Collections flickr group has grown to include some of you eager to show and tell. Here are some recent photos from the group that inspired me, each so very different from the next but all are quite well arranged and interesting I think. Check out these creative ideas…

A collection of art over the sofa in the home of flickr member ATLITW. She has a great collection of necklaces on display, too. It’s smart to create a focal point out of items you actually use, don’t you think?

Pretty things from Amsterdam artist, Rinske Dekker, also known on Flickr as Apple Blossom Girl. From plants to precious antiques, her arrangements make you pause and think, maybe if you were visiting Rinske you would like to ask her questions about these items? I know I would. And this is precisely why I love unique arrangements of things, maybe you can call them offbeat collections, but they stimulate the best conversations. When you wear an interesting necklace or a pin on your jacket, don’t you get a few curious passerbys wanting to know more about this piece? Same goes at home. Your guests will appreciate that you’ve opened up your heart to them by showing things that are uniquely you. I prefer rotating “living” displays in the home because they are very present tense. They speak loudly about who you are today, what inspires you and brings you joy. Try pulling together a little collection and see what happens.

Ready for this collection? Very unique and eco-friendly. Abbey, the New York blogger behind Aesthetic Outburst and esty store owner of How Now Design, collects all sorts of delightful, some may call them odd, objects. Here you can see a collection of bread bag tags beneath a glass cloche. Clever. And cloches are still hot by the way, so give one a try.

More from Abbey over at How Now Design. This time, bundt pans in the kitchen. Abbey mentions that she still needs 1 more bundt to complete this wall. Any leads for her on something cute and unique? Here’s a vintage metal pan from Germany, but I tend to think she could use another brightly colored one.

Abbey collects vintage birdies along with bundt pans and bread tags. Isn’t this lady someone you’d love to know? Her collections reveal her playful side, the ability to really enjoy living in a space and decorating it according to exactly who you are. Isn’t that what we’re all after, and what makes our homes so wonderful? Enjoying our abode and allowing them to reflect who we are is far more interesting than copying some trend or catalog.

Amy Gross ( amyla174 on flickr) is a mixed media artist (etsy store here) and has lots of interesting collections around her home. Here are some doll heads she collects. Doll heads are right up there with clowns for me, they absolutely creep me out, so I give anyone a high five who can sleep beneath a shelf of little heads. But I appreciate her collection and still think Amy is one cool girl. It would be fun to walk through her home and ask her about all the things she loves there. I bet even these heads have a story, huh?

More collections from Amy Gross, this time, pottery arranged on a pretty shelf. No heads here, just some natural beauty this time.

Nina van de Goor is a flickr girl who lives in the Netherlands, she collects vintage modern ceramics. I like the fishy bowl in the bottom left corner in gray and mustard yellow. Nice colors and the pattern would be fun for serving something from the sea.

More on collections, how to get started, and some inspiring displays can be found here.

(images linked above to their photo bugs)

Posted in inspiration, trends on December 17, 2007

Books:

Some of my books...

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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