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Eclectic Second Hand Charm in the Midwest

January 23, 2012

Would you like to visit an eclectic home today belong to a blogger who shops mostly second hand? Oh yes, of course! Lovely Amanda from Here’s Looking at Me, Kid and her partner Phil want to share their cozy Ohio home with you. I thought it would be fun to get her thoughts on decorating so in addition to her photos, here’s a mini interview too. I hope this gets your creative wheels spinning and pay extra special attention to the many details – very sweet!

Eclectic Second Hand Charm in the Midwest

What is the inspiration behind your eclectic second hand home decorating style?
Amanda: I’m really inspired by eclectic places that aren’t too carefully decorated. I like to see homes, like the loft space of Emily Chalmers (of the book, Flea Market Style), that look like the contents have been collected over a period of years and where everything is truly loved — though might not perfectly fit. We’ve only been on our own for just under five years and have been in this apartment for under two, so collecting and curating is something we’re just beginning to figure out. We are moving into our first house soon so I’m looking forward to wallpapering (yippee!) and arranging beautiful treasures that will add a nice, cozy feeling to our home. It’s also important to note that in addition to the dream homes of admirable artists and designers, I’m also heavily inspired by our tiny budget. If it’s free, made by me, or found at a thrift store, it’s much more likely to take a place in our ever-changing home.

Eclectic Second Hand Charm in the Midwest

Eclectic Second Hand Charm in the Midwest

Eclectic Second Hand Charm in the Midwest

How do you define your interior style?
Amanda:
My style used to be much more modern, wavering between an intense appreciation for minimal Swiss design and American mid-century modern style. Since moving into this 1920’s Tudor revival apartment, I found my tastes encompassing more of a crazy variety of styles- like a mix of kitschy vintage, traditional, and a dash of the sort of mid century style I can afford.

Eclectic Second Hand Charm in the Midwest

Eclectic Second Hand Charm in the Midwest

Eclectic Second Hand Charm in the Midwest

Where do you find ideas and inspiration for your home?
Amanda:
On blogs, online and in magazines. I appreciate referring to my inspiration folder, where I had adhered all of my favorite tear sheets from Domino, Metropolitan Home and Elle Decor. Since most of my inspiration is found lately in the digital world, my inspiration folder resides at Pinterest these days. It is tremendously important to save images of homes and styles I love because it can be so difficult pin-pointing my exact style. I appreciate all good design but don’t necessarily want to live with all of it in my home! Keeping inspiration folders online or otherwise makes everything much less overwhelming, helps me detect trends I enjoy, and encourages me to figure out ways to bring similar elements into my own home.

Eclectic Second Hand Charm in the Midwest

Eclectic Second Hand Charm in the Midwest

What do you love about your home?
Amanda:
I really adore the high ceilings, unique architectural elements, and even the squeaky old wooden floors that hint to our apartment’s mysterious history. The structure of the space really sets a nice vibe for everything we’ve put inside. We appreciate the things that fill our apartment and are quite proud that none of our home furnishings and accessories are monetarily valuable. Almost everything has been purchased second hand, and that sort of responsibility makes for guilt-free enjoyment of everything we have.

Eclectic Second Hand Charm in the Midwest

Eclectic Second Hand Charm in the Midwest

What makes a house a home?
Amanda:
We host lots of parties in our apartment, so it’s important for our space to seem approachable, comfortable, and intimate. I love that when new guests arrive and proclaim that “everything is just sooo you!” To me, that means our apartment hasn’t been just a living space, but a home that says something about the people who live there. I love to be here, our friends love to be here, and happiness abounds in our home. And that’s why it’s more than just a house.

Eclectic Second Hand Charm in the Midwest

Eclectic Second Hand Charm in the Midwest

Eclectic Second Hand Charm in the Midwest

Lovely, right!? What caught your attention? I love that striped light green sofa shown directly above because my mother had this in our home when I was a child and it made me happy to see it again! I also love all of her rugs, they are fun!

(images: amanda johnson)

Color Inspiration, uncategorized

Color Palettes From Design Seeds

January 12, 2012

When undertaking a decorating project, one of the first considerations is color and what your overall palette will be in addition to floor plan, furnishings, lighting, etc. Color sets the mood. If you need color inspiration, check out Design Seeds founded by color consultant Jessica Colaluca. Here are 8 of my favorite palettes at the moment, all dreamed up by talented Jessica.

Color Palettes From Design Seeds

Fun for a kitchen or living room: Treat Tones.

Color Palettes From Design Seeds

Very relaxed for the bedroom yet also a bit energetic for mornings when you don’t want to get out of bed: Produced Purple.

Color Palettes From Design Seeds

This could be a nice entryway, I see a very glamorous chandelier in silver discs suspended from the ceiling and a huge mirror above a lacquered white entry table: Glamorous Escape.

Color Palettes From Design Seeds

I love this palette – so fresh and inspiring – perfect for a child’s playroom or a crafting space for mom: Boxed Palette.

Color Palettes From Design Seeds

I see this and think of a nursery for the newest gift to the family: Present Tones.

Color Palettes From Design Seeds

A very happy and stylish palette, this looks like the office for a fashion designer or for a magazine editor: Glow Brights.

Color Palettes From Design Seeds

Very cottage in the country, a nice palette for a guest bedroom in your country home: Pink Plans.

Color Palettes From Design Seeds

I imagine a room with super dark walls so this could be charming in a very little nook in your home where you read and relax: Bouquet Hues.

Design Seeds even has lovely color palette books on Blurb and she has a zillion of them that you can view on her blog by color. Her “Creature Color” book is a favorite of mine, combining sweet animal shots with color palette ideas.

Color Palettes From Design Seeds

If you are not interested in using these for your next decorating project, why not think of other clever ways you can put these palettes to good use. If you design websites, these could be a great jumping off point. Perhaps you are a book cover designer? Scrapbook queen? Maybe you can put together a wedding using a palette from Design Seeds? Or compose your next outfit? Maybe plan out how you will wrap presents or something as simple as using one of these palettes to base your own mood board from over your work desk?

Psst: Design Seeds clearly even explains in THIS POST how to use her palettes to match the color and convert them to Pantone colors exactly – brilliant!

This is such a great resource, isn’t it!?

(images: design seeds)

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Leela Cyd Ross Photography

January 4, 2012

I’m still on vacation but here’s a little eye candy to hold you over… And I have more to come later today too. But first, I’ve talked about Leela Cyd Ross before but who can ever have enough of this lovely lady? A photographer based in Portland, Oregon, Leela is a features contributor for Apartment Therapy, The Kitchn, Unplgged, Re-Nest AND is Apartment Therapy’s photo editor in addition to her work for newspapers like The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. Here are a few of my favorite spaces from her website, pretty swanky portfolio!

Leela Cyd Ross Photography

Leela Cyd Ross Photography

Leela Cyd Ross Photography

Isn’t that bed with the twinkle lights the best???

(photography: Leela Cyd Ross)

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Inspiration While I’m Away

December 20, 2011

During the next few weeks on decor8, posts will be very light as I’m taking a break from writing to enjoy a mini vacation. I plan to read a few books, decorate my home, eat a little, drink a bit more than usual and be merry a lot.

Inspiration While I'm Away

I’ll still post lightly during the weeks ahead but mostly visual inspiration with very little text and of course, some lovely links. My regular schedule of blogging will resume on Monday, January 9, 2012. When I return, I will have some great news to share as this winter will be a very busy time for me with lots of new projects to share with everyone. That’s why I need a break to breath and organize before the big things start to consume my life entirely in the new year.

Much love and enjoy this most beautiful ending to what was, for me, a very happy 2011. With 2012 drawing nearer and nearer I wonder what it will bring for us all, don’t you?

(Photo by Jamie Beck for the amazing Cup of Jo.)

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Stylist Barbara Groen

December 8, 2011

Dutch stylist Barbara Groen has been on my radar for well over a year now since I first fell in love with her work in VTWonen magazine when she styled a story about diverse work spaces. I’ll quickly show a quick glimpse below — I fell in love with these three magical spaces instantly.

Stylist Barbara Groen

Stylist Barbara Groen

Stylist Barbara Groen

After finding her work, I’ve been following her ever since. Here are some more views from the portfolio of this talented stylist. To see many, many more you’ll need to visit her online portfolio here.

Stylist Barbara Groen

Stylist Barbara Groen

Stylist Barbara Groen

Stylist Barbara Groen

Stylist Barbara Groen

Stylist Barbara Groen

Stylist Barbara Groen

Stylist Barbara Groen

Yeah, that is some SERIOUS inspiration overload. I love how she uses color and generally sticks to three colors in each of her stories – maybe it’s just a coincidence but it seems to be her recipe. I also admire how creative she is – I found so many fun decorating ideas simply from studying the images above. She also loves to use paint and doesn’t have any problem putting very bold colors on cabinets, inside and out – love it! Her use of pattern is minimal, she relies more on objects, color and displays to tell her story. I like many of her wall arrangements and how she uses tear sheets as decorative elements. What an inspiring person Barbara is!

(images: barbara groen)

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Decorating Tip: Learn To See Things Differently

November 29, 2011

I find it so inspirational when I see people take products and furniture and use their imaginations to personalize somewhat mundane things into something special. That’s the beauty of IKEA. Their price point is affordable and nothing feels precious which gives you freedom to explore your ideas – perhaps a lamp base would look better decoupaged in a favorite paper or a cabinet would be far better with new hardware and wallpaper hung on the inside.

Decorating Tip: Learn To See Things Differently

(Tip: Stack wooden storage boxes and drawers and paint them inside to create a bookcase – this is a look I’m seeing more and more and I love it!)

That’s what I love about buying things at vintage stores, flea markets, yard sales and shops that are priced reasonably – like IKEA – you have the freedom to go a little crazy and exercise your creativity. You have the right!

Decorating Tip: Learn To See Things Differently

(Paint a thick stripe down the center of a table as a “runner” to customize and add visual interest.)

I thought I’d share some of my favorite IKEA inspirations today from their beautiful blog, Livet Hemma. I recognize all of the pieces shown but love seeing the fresh updates each have been given by the creative team behind the Livet Hemma blog. It’s so inspirational and fun! It also shows that IKEA pieces can be quite special and do not have to be left ‘as is’, but can become something special to you and your family.

Decorating Tip: Learn To See Things Differently

(Tip: Some vintage pieces add character to a space so consider using them to avoid your room from looking like it all came from a single catalog.)

Decorating Tip: Learn To See Things Differently

(Tip: A low cabinet works nicely for displaying favorite things and for storing boxes and books underneath. In a mostly white space, use different tones of white to avoid a clinical look and by all means, go with lots of different textures to warm up white – wool, knit, ceramic, glossy, matte, cotton, linen, etc.)

Decorating Tip: Learn To See Things Differently

(Tip: Add a little green to all white space, plants give texture, color and are good for purifying the air in your home.)

Decorating Tip: Learn To See Things Differently

(Tip: Paint furniture in chalky matte colors to make them look vintage.)

Decorating Tip: Learn To See Things Differently

(Tip: Paint cabinet doors in different colors that you love.)

Decorating Tip: Learn To See Things Differently

(Tip: Try layering mirrors and frames, leaning them against the wall.)

Another decorating tip: When you look at anything for your home, it’s great to use your imagination and to not always see what you’re looking at but to imagine how it could be. Look at the shape of a piece, think of alternate uses, imagine how it would look painted in a fresh color, visualize a dresser for instance without the drawers and used as a bookcase instead… There are so many things our imagination can dream up if you only give yourself the permission to do it and so I say, have fun, follow with your heart and happy decorating!

(images: ikea livet hemma)

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