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Beautiful Norwegian Home

November 25, 2010

Would you like to see a lovely Norwegian home today? I was so excited when fellow design blogger, Siw Haveland of Design Shimmer in Norway, wrote in to ask if she could share 12 corners of her home with decor8 readers today. Of course! Of course!

Beautiful Norwegian Home

My favorite corner – this is so charming! Everything about it speaks to me…

I’m always keen on sharing inspirational, cozy spaces that ooze with charm and creativity — so let’s see what Siw’s gorgeous home looks like. This was shot by Oslo-based photographer Sandra Aslaksen and some of these images recently appeared in Norwegian design magazine, Bonytt but other than that, they’re pretty new to the web so we’re all pretty lucky to have this pretty place to check out today. Thank you Siw for sharing your home with us…

Beautiful Norwegian Home

Her floors look a lot like mine, I have these amazing chevron-patterned wooden floor myself (called technically, herringbone floors). I like the fresh green accents, unexpected and great in a mostly neutral space.

Beautiful Norwegian Home

What a clear, modern entryway. This is such a great welcoming space, don’t you think? The twinkle lights were the perfect addition. I love how everything Siw does is super affordable and creative. With very little, she does so much!

Beautiful Norwegian Home

I adore this dressing table, the gorgeous high heels lined up on the floor, the white wooden floors, the mirror, the lamp… okay, ALL OF IT. It’s one of those spaces that makes me feel like it’s just the best thing in the world to be a girly girl.

Beautiful Norwegian Home

Her tactile, feminine bed covers have to be the most beautiful ones that I’ve ever seen in my life. I’m not even exaggerating when I say that. I have a crochet coverlet, a vintage one, in white but it’s no where are detailed and amazing as Siw’s cover. I also love that big creamy beige throw on top. It’s such an inviting spread. The rug is perfect as well, I have 3 of them in my home — I love warm, cozy rugs. I also like her closet-as-headboard. Very different and this works perfectly if you have lots of pretty clothes like she does in many different colors and patterns.

Beautiful Norwegian Home

I like her use of linens and the wooden “DS” for the name of her blog, Design Shimmer, on her inspiration board. I also have a board in the same size that I’ve leaned against the wall in my new workspace too, I have to show you it when I finish my workspace. I’m getting there! Soon!

Beautiful Norwegian Home

And here is the pretty homeowner and her great glasses. I just love her look, she matches her home I think – don’t you?

Beautiful Norwegian Home

If you didn’t catch this arrangement of jewelry above her dressing table a few images above, then you can see a closer view… this is a simple wire hanger transformed into a place to display her necklaces. Now this is absolutely budget-friendly!

Beautiful Norwegian Home

Siw is not scared to mix high and low – in this example an IKEA cabinet with a mid century classic chair and a Kartell Bourgie lamp.

Beautiful Norwegian Home

And here’s a view of the entire room where that lovely Kartell lamp is on the IKEA cabinet. It seems she used three of those lockers to form a credenza of sorts – what a clever idea!

Beautiful Norwegian Home

Here’s a view of her very, very white kitchen. Wow!

Beautiful Norwegian Home

Do you spot anything above that you are particularly drawn to? Anything you’d like to try at home?

I’m always looking to share inspirational homes on decor8, so if you have one — send some photos to me (decor8blog at yahoo dot com) and I’ll check them out for sure! :)

(images: sandra aslaksen)

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I’m Back!

November 10, 2010

Hello everyone! How are you? I have missed you all soooo much and thought about you as I snapped photos of Istanbul and asked a few stores for photos — I can’t wait to get them all together and share my impressions of Istanbul, Turkey! It was a great trip and I can’t wait to show you why through the photos I’ve taken…coming up tomorrow and Friday! So much that will no doubt inspire you, I’m sure so stay tuned for that.

I'm Back!

I also have some great news to share with you…  I’ll be back with the big surprise in just a moment!

(image: villa collection)

Round-ups, uncategorized

2011 Calendar Round-Up: Part 1

October 28, 2010

It’s that time of year, and to keep tradition around here I’m rounding up the best of the best calendars for the coming year (and some Advent Calendars for this year) just as I have now since 2006. When I started this column, no one was rounding up calendars but I had this wonky idea to do it and hey, it caught on! Why do I do this year after year? I want these amazing artists to have their work promoted and their calendars purchased so I figure a great big ‘ole round-up is the best way to do it.  If you have a blog and want to round-up some calendars of your own, by all means go for it! Share — this is a community built on sharing (blogging is all about each of us taking part in a global, online conversation) so link to this post, write your own calendar round-up, spread the love people and let’s help these artists sell their calendars for the coming year!

2011 Calendar Round-Up: Part 1

Maria Helena calendar, love!

Here how it will work… Today and tomorrow I’m going to post several calendar posts because I’m trying to include as many as I can — there is no favorite, no best calendar, and certainly no order to these posts — I’m simply going to show you all of the calendars that I can possibly squeeze in and then it’s up to you to decide on those that you’ll display with pride in your home. I cannot include ALL of the submissions in my inbox (I received hundreds!) but I’ll do the best that I can to include as many as possible to appeal to all tastes and budgets.

2011 Calendar Round-Up: Part 1

Uusi Advent Calendar, Calendar Plate by Le Papier Studio (limited copies).

2011 Calendar Round-Up: Part 1

Field Study and Modern Whimsy calendars from Emmylu. Pistachio Press letterpress Fabulous calendar.

2011 Calendar Round-Up: Part 1

Custom calendars from Stephanie Levy and illustrated calendar by Flora Douville.

2011 Calendar Round-Up: Part 1

Ink + Wit Totem Animals At Play and Cats Let Nothing Darken Their Roar Calendar.

2011 Calendar Round-Up: Part 1

Three By Sea tea towel calendars and Jane Davenport’s Sea Party.

2011 Calendar Round-Up: Part 1

DIY paper calendar by Smil and Paintings by Cathy Nichols.

2011 Calendar Round-Up: Part 1

Fresh Flowers + Creatures of the Deep calendars by Gallardo Works and desktop calendar by Grace Hester Designs.

2011 Calendar Round-Up: Part 1

Miss Moose, Right Brained Gal Designs and printable calendars by Mufn Inc.

2011 Calendar Round-Up: Part 1

Good Old Dog Days Calendar by Donna Geissler, Rincon Road, Tanya Gilmartin and Eigenwerk.

Calendars make lovely gifts and there is really no limit — you don’t need only one in the home, you can add one in the rooms that you find yourself needing them the most. I like to put one in the kitchen, my office and in the hallway. Where do you display your calendar/s?

MORE TO COME! This is just the first batch…

(images: linked to their sources above)

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Decorating Ruts: Stuck In One?

October 26, 2010

I hope it’s okay that I make a confession, me the decorating queen, because I’m a bit embarrassed to say it but I’ve always been a very open person so why not? Plus, I think blogs lose their zest when they become too perfect so I’m about to reveal a great, big issue in my life currently. I Am Stuck.

Decorating Ruts: Stuck In One?

(Working on the floor with a friend, sorting through piles of fabrics, as I decide which to use for the bags that I designed for my students in Morocco.)

I feel creative, ready to execute on all of my work-related projects, empowered to kick start some fresh ideas, and launch a few new treats for your enjoyment next year. When it comes to my job and what I do, I’m pumped and love my life. I couldn’t be happier or more ready to get moving on decor8-related initiatives.

But when it comes to decorating… lately… I don’t know. I feel stuck. I’m not sure why exactly. I moved into this gorgeous, massive flat with all of the most beautiful details and in the eyes of most, I live the dream life in my swank new digs. But sitting here, on the inside of my world, the perspective is different. I feel like I can’t get started. I don’t know where to begin. I don’t know where to shop even, I got so pampered and babied in the states with all of my resources and friends and connections there… and now I’m starting from absolute zero with hardly any furniture, no place to store everything in my boxes which are laying all over the freaking place… And I feel frustrated and sorta overwhelmed.

I’m going to work on my house slowly but I cannot work as slowly as would feel the most natural to me as I have a huge magazine that wants to shoot here in January and I don’t even know where to begin to prepare for that. I just want to collect over time, be true to myself, put into action all of the things that I have taught so many of you throughout the years… But I need a giant kick in the butt to just DO IT and I have no real time to do it so I have to throw it together within a few months in order to make the magazine’s deadline. Oh my.

What I plan to do is this —  start working on mood boards and rent a car and see where I can find things for my home. I have a big entry room, living room, dining room, kitchen, office, massive hallway with a nook, two bathrooms, two wintergartens, a balcony, a bedroom, a guest bedroom and my husband has an office (which he is nearly finished decorating and it looks so lovely!). I have 2,200 square feet of HOME to decorate in two months. I think that is what has me frozen – the sheer thought of it. When I go to Istanbul next week, I’m going to bring back treasures for the floors — large, gorgeous rugs — because a good rug is such a great start to decorating a room from scratch.

I have SO many great ideas, so much to accomplish in just a few months (my book publishes in the UK in March and in the U.S. in May!!!) and so many reasons to get this place whipped into shape and so I will march onward, get this place together, and work a little Holly magic. But wow, I sure could use a few of my “safe zones” to shop at over here. I feel really lost but I also feel like I need to pull from within — tap in to my ideas and get my home together already!

And so… I’ve confessed this publicly before the masses to say that well, I’m REAL and I get stuck sometimes too. I can’t wait to share with you how my project here on the homefront turns out. It was hard to sell everything that I spent YEARS collecting to move to a new country realizing that things are not only much more expensive here but a lot harder to source and without a car, I’ve been a bit up a creek. I know, excuses, excuses. We always have plenty of them when we are not doing what we are meant to be doing, don’t we!?

How do you get out of decorating ruts? If you are an expat, how did you build your new home from scratch without resorting to IKEA for everything or mail order (I’m trying to avoid mail order finds because the few things I have ordered via catalogs have been a disappointment). I’ve been shopping local boutiques, but spending hundreds on things that normally would have cost me $30 in a states. Which is another consideration — I need to find great things on somewhat of a budget. Every single sofa I find is in the thousands and I’d like to ideally not go over 2,000 Euros for one. I want to have FUN with this great process of decorating a home in a new country, but without a car and limited time (my schedule has been nuts), I fear boxes will go unpacked for a very long time and I’ll continue to sit on the floor working on my projects as you can see in the image above!

Any advice to share? Any encouragement to lend? Some virtual hugs would be lovely — anyone who settles into life living abroad faces similar challenges and so I know that I am not alone. Even those who have never left their homeland find decorating projects surely induce much stress and often discomfort whether it is budget-related, limited resources, time constraints, etc. I’d love to know how you grin and bear it.

I’m having company this evening so I need to go sort through some boxes and clean up a bit to make my beautiful home presentable. I’m going to light a new candle from L’Occitane that I picked up at a home fair this past Sunday in Hannover, it’s called Candied Fruits and is a scent that one of my first decorating clients tipped me off to back in 2004… Whenever I feel in a decorating rut, I always try to find this candle because it reminds me of Julia and how I transformed her Boston condo into a lovely home during a time when I was so new to design and so anxious to get started. The scent brings me back to her apartment, I always smelled it the moment I entered her home, and for some reason I feel empowered and ready to do stuff whenever I smell it – the pressure just rolls off my back and I get into my Holly zone. Do you have a scent that does that? If not, get one. It’s crazy helpful.

You know, just putting my feelings out there — unedited — felt really great. I already want to get decorating — and go forth with some of my ideas. And so there is the result of a natural, no-BS post — I feel encouraged, no doubt you feel like someone gets you as I’m guessing you’ve been “there” before, and now we’ll all feel a bit more invigorated to stop whining and start making our magic at home. I so love you guys.:*

(image: holly becker for decor8)

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Home Tour: Sara Hicks Malone

October 25, 2010

Today I had a nice chat with the talented Sara Hicks Malone from Hicks Paper Goods where she is a designer who works with owner Whitney English and who also authors the blog Sara’s Party Perfect. Sara lives and works in Nashville and has such a fantastic home that I simply had to share a tour of it with you here today. Her home was built in 1967 and she completely renovated it three years ago into a gorgeous gem…

Home Tour: Sara Hicks Malone

Home Tour: Sara Hicks Malone

I asked Sara some questions that I thought decor8 readers would be interested in learning about her personal style and home so sit back, sip a cup of hot tea, and read along as Sara tells us about her lovely abode.

Home Tour: Sara Hicks Malone

Home Tour: Sara Hicks Malone

How would you describe your personal style, Sara?

Evolving. I think I’m often trying to discover ‘who I am’ through home decor. I haven’t figured it out yet. My first house was very beige and matchy. Pretty but didn’t have much personality. My second home was full of really bold color, but ultimately it didn’t feel like me. This house, to be honest, doesn’t quite feel quite right either… I think I’m much more gray and muted with subtle pattern and hints of color instead of the knock-’em-down pink and yellow in parts of the house. But this color palette felt appropriate for the house because of all the white (white walls, white exterior) — it needed some major hits of color to keep it from being bland. I love the house itself, but if given the budget and the go-ahead of my husband, I would probably redecorate in a heartbeat.

Home Tour: Sara Hicks Malone

Home Tour: Sara Hicks Malone

Home Tour: Sara Hicks Malone

What are some favorite pieces in your home?

The Saarinen table was the first big investment piece we purchased that I truly feel like we will have forever (I’ve bought ‘forever’ pieces before but quickly realized that they were not FP’s). The peony painting was a $40 bargain on eBay 5 years ago, I still love it. The gateleg table has been in my family forever. I’ve struggled to find a space for it in this home because it is in stark contrast with the contemporary architecture, but I did not want to keep it locked away in storage. Our white dining table was designed and built by a friend. The dining chairs were a gift from a friend (she found them at a flea market). I love anything with meaning or connection to people I love.

Home Tour: Sara Hicks Malone

Home Tour: Sara Hicks Malone

Home Tour: Sara Hicks Malone

How did you decide on the Cow Parsley wallpaper and why yellow?

I had a really hard time making design decisions for the house while in the renovation process, but the yellow wallpaper was the one thing I knew I wanted. It gives our home personality, it’s a very pretty shade of yellow, and just about everyone who comes in the house loves it. That wallpaper has taught me to trust my gut and really only get things that I have a visceral ‘I must have that’ reaction to. I really wouldn’t describe myself as a yellow sort of person, but this wasn’t a scary yellow decision. I think because it is yellow wallpaper, and not yellow paint (notice there is no yellow paint in our house other than the front door!), it was much easier to digest.

Home Tour: Sara Hicks Malone

Home Tour: Sara Hicks Malone

Home Tour: Sara Hicks Malone

When people visit your home, what are some common opinions about the decor?

Well… I can definitely tell right off the bat whether or not someone likes our house. People tend to have strong reactions to it one way or the other. The house is in direct contrast to the typical traditional homes in this area. But people who ‘get it’, whether or not they like the style, tend to be complimentary. I think there is an edited feel to the house, and oftentimes people ask ‘where is all your stuff?’. And then they tell me they want to go home and take some of the ‘junk’ out of their own homes.

You mentioned earlier that this home doesn’t exactly fit your personal style and I’d love to learn more…

I feel like I’m constantly experimenting with my personal style. Sometimes I have imaginary critics in my head telling me what’s right or what’s wrong. The older I get, the more I am starting to feel comfortable listening to myself, listening to what I want, and not so much decorating for an imaginary audience. I think some of the decisions I’ve made in the past (and some in this home, initially) were made because I was designing what I thought people expected from me, not necessarily what I wanted/needed. Don’t know if that makes any sense. So I guess to answer the question, parts of the house feel like they reflect my personal style, and other parts are evolving.

When approaching the redesign or even “spruce up” of a room, what advice can you give decor8 readers?

My husband will laugh at this and probably disagree (that I do this), but I’d say spend as little as possible! I find the more money I spend on something the more stressful and less enjoyable the purchase becomes, because I tell myself I *have* to like it. Small splurges at thrift shops, consignment stores, and on Etsy tend to give me much more pleasure than buying big ticket items. I also once read that you should never purchase anything for your home when you’re in a bad state of mind (you + your husband just got in a fight, someone close to you died, etc.) because every time you see that piece it will bring back a negative connotation, whether or not you like the thing itself…which I think is so true. So I try to not do any shopping when I’m feeling down!

Home Tour: Sara Hicks Malone

Home Tour: Sara Hicks Malone

Home Tour: Sara Hicks Malone

Home Tour: Sara Hicks Malone

Home Tour: Sara Hicks Malone

What are 5 things that you love to do at home?

Our home is my haven, i love to relax here. Our home is also my office, so I have tried to carve out a creative space as well. Our home is where I prefer to entertain (smaller parties are much more my style), so I love to have dinners here. Our home is a play space for our two kids (almost 1 and almost 3), so I’ve tried to make a home that is completely accessible to them. Our home is in a beautiful setting, so I feel connected to nature and ‘spirit’ here. We feel very fortunate to call this our home!

Thank you so much Sara, this is a gorgeous space and I can’t wait to see what decor8 readers have to say about it. Lovely, lovely!

Does anyone else ever feel like Sara – unsure whether or not your home reflects your personal space or you love your home but aren’t sure it’s really YOU? It’s an interesting topic to ponder, isn’t it???

(images: sara hicks malone)

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