I came across this Swedish home at Elle Interior Sweden and had to show and tell a little bit about it because if you’re not Swedish, you may have missed it. I happen to be one of those people who subscribe to all sorts of newsletters and magazines and blogs that are in another language unknown to me simply because style is style and language isn’t going to hold me back from seeing it! Are you the same? Plus with all of the “translate” buttons these days on browsers and websites, we don’t have to guess nearly as much as we once did. Oh, internet. I love you.
This home, a former schoolhouse from 1890, was renovated for living and now belongs to Swedish artist and glass designer Gunnel Sahlin who has designed for companies like IKEA and Kosta Boda. She lives in this home with her 13-year-old son, imagine all of this space for only two people? I love the spacious rooms and the general bones of this place – floors, windows, ceilings, walls… It’s all very lovely and grown up, isn’t it? For me, the appeal isn’t so much the decorating but the overall space and the history of it. I delight in learning the history of any home. The home I live in here in Germany was built by my landlord’s grandfather and finished in 1900. Before the war, a Jewish family lived here and immigrated to America since discrimination against Jews was huge across all of Europe (not just Germany) and they knew fleeing over the border wouldn’t necessary be any better so off to America they went. After the war, my apartment had a different family living in each room. My neighbor told me when she tore down her wallpaper she found turn-of- century newspapers. It’s all so amazing, right? And now I’m here – an American in Germany!
But back to this house – it’s interesting isn’t it? I like the shiny wooden floors in her living room – they were painted by Gunnel using enamel paint. Because the surface is so reflective, the home is always bright even when the weather outside is not cooperating. And don’t you LOVE the kitchen? I like the natural wooden floors in her eating nook and kitchen area. I notice that all of the floors in her home are different, in some rooms shown HERE there are even chevron wooden floors shown. What an eclectic mix of surfaces! And did you see the bathroom floor? It’s interesting to note that the bathroom was once the schoolhouse entry area. What an interesting place this is!
(Photos: Elle Interior/Martin Löf)
Hello everyone! Before I say goodbye for the weekend and get ready for the big David Guetta show tomorrow night (yay!), I want to share something that is quite exciting to me… And near to my heart. As many of you know, Leslie Shewring from A Creative Mint has been a friend of mine for over four years and we’ve been working together on this and that – currently a book – and for several years she has been writing her Color Me Pretty column for decor8. She has been taking some time off from the column recently because she was hard at work on hand-painting patterns soon to be launched as her brand new fabric line for Cloud9 Fabrics. I’m extremely proud of her as I’m sure you are too. Here are her new patterns to launch this Fall - aren’t they gorgeous?
From the Cloud9 site about this collection, “This delicate watercolor voile collection by Leslie Shrewing of A Creative Mint, was inspired by where she use to live in Palos Verdes, CA. The warm blush tones of the sandy and clay packed earth along with the architectural patterns inspired by some of the local sites. She was also in awe of the endless array of wildflowers that grew all over the hillsides and down the trails to the beach.” I can’t wait to own all 6 of these and am thrilled for Leslie!
What do you think? Are you in love???
I have so much to write about today, lots of great stories, but I’m tired so I’m going to take a blog break since I have loads of prep work to do for next week! What is happening next week??? Ohhhh fun times! My dear friend and creative partner-in-crime, Leslie Shewring, will fly to Hannover to work with me for a week! We begin the styling and photography part of our book next week and I can’t wait! It will be very satisfying to see our ideas come to light and she and I work so beautifully together that I know nothing but love will go into this project which will show in the work, I’m sure. Creative work is like that, you get out what you put in it emotionally. I’ve been very busy ordering props and getting what is needed in order for us to make a huge dent in this project with her and well, it’s Friday afternoon and I’m tired after running around all week. I want to have a glass of white wine after my final skype meeting today and chill out. You know that feeling, right? When you just need to rest and get yourself mentally prepared for a huge project? It’s funny, I felt today like I really needed fresh flowers – but nothing from the store – something wild. And I was thinking where in the world I would find them as you can’t just run into someone else’s yard with a pair of scissors, right? So after my husband and I went on a lunch date, there was this random lady selling lilacs on the street that she cut from her yard – a bunch for only 2 Euros, and well… I couldn’t resist. And I couldn’t believe it. Look at these beauties in deep purple and a pale violet…
My home smells like a dream. That is definitely enough to make a weekend more beautiful, isn’t it? And so affordable and special. I love that this stuff happens when you need it the most. I was really craving fresh cut blooms and these are just perfect. They looked so pretty wrapped in newspaper with their perky blooms peeking out as we walked home. I kept thinking of how much it’s those little moments in life that mean more than anything else. The simple things. Do you find this too? Like things happen at the right time and often you are struck by the fact that they were the easiest and most simple things?
And by the way, the trick with preserving floral branches is to either cut an “X” at the bottom of the stem to open them up or hammer the bottoms lightly. You want to spread the bottom of the stem so they can drink water easily. As we were walking, this lady came out of her little clothing shop and told my husband how to preserve them longer – out of the blue – she just walked out from her shop and explained to him how to gently hammer them. I just smiled. I love my town. I love openness and caring and simple, beautiful little things. I hope you can find something simple and beautiful to cheer you this weekend too. Try hard to find something while your out and about that is cheap or free but that warms your heart and take note of what it is. That way, the next time you need a lift, you have a note of what lifted your spirits the time before. For me, it’s always flowers, good friends and well, the love we feel from others who care.
It is a holiday here in Germany on Monday, so I’m taking off, but I’ll be back on Tuesday to blog so I’ll meet you back here then. Have a wonderful weekend!
(images: holly becker)
I love white ceramic keys, don’t you?! I started to fall in love when I was working with my dear friend Sania Pell in March 2011 on a display we were prepping for Liberty London and she was showing me her vintage key collection that she picked up at car boot sales… The ones she had painted gray. Such a clever lady. And being a creative person, this also set my creative wheels in motion! I started thinking about how great they’d look in matte white and so I painted one that I had at home and it looked just like ceramic and I was a fan ever since. Now, whenever I’m shopping at flea markets, I love to grab old keys and paint them in white or neon colors and add them to lampshades, frame them as art, or pop onto ribbon and add as a decorative accessory. All because of Sania and her small, but great, idea.
In 2012, I came across the work of Shan Annabelle Valla in London at a show I attended there and instantly fell in love with her ceramic keys. See this one below, this is from Shan’s collection and I love it.
These aren’t painted-over vintage keys from some car boot sale, rather, handmade porcelain that is simply gorgeous and keys that anyone would love to own and display. I am equally captivated by her mini vases, which I photographed and shared on decor8 awhile ago, but these photos below are so much better! You can shop for Shan Annabelle Valla’s work online in her web store, so enjoy!
I dare you not to buy all of those cute little vases! Eek! Design crush alert! And did you see these porcelain button earrings over here? OH MY!
(images: Shan Annabelle Valla)