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Notes on finding refreshment…

Flickr is still my favorite site, hands down. There is no other website on earth that does it for me quite like the fantastic images that I discover in the many photo streams there.

A fabulous 50s kitchen from Crafty Beaver

I think it’s important to use our time wisely, even when it comes to mundane pursuits and what others may consider “time suckers” when referring to hobbies involving entertainment – like watching movies, television, surfing the web, etc. I have to defend this by saying that to me, it’s not a time sucker if it’s productive in even a small way. If you’re parked in front of television, glazing over as you half watch a program, that’s a bit of a waste. One would be better using their time sleeping as that is at least repairing the body! But if you are watching a program that, when you walk away from it, leaves you feeling energized and refreshed, then that’s positive, and that is using free time wisely. Sure, we can’t over-analyze everything we do because that’s no fun. But if we are devoting considerable time to something, it’s good to ask whether or not it really is refreshing or is it simply a time sucker, energy sucker, and altogether draining. This spans everything, from friendships to hobbies, even career, but I’m focusing more on websites and the time spent online. And this leads me back to Flickr.

A colorful corner from Wisecraft with curtains that I really like. :)

A nature-inspired grouping on a simple shelf from Little Birds.

Ivanka Trump’s Living Room from In Style magazine via SarahLeeAb. Spot the foo dogs?

A gorgeous fireplace decorated by Abigail Percy. What a dreamy blue background.

An IKEA paper lamp with an added touch from two straight lines – handmade butterflies! This is a nice way to add some charm to something that all your friends may have… You don’t have to accept something as is. Look for inexpensive ways to make things more personal, and beautiful!

Jeana_Sohn’s cozy kitchen nook. I love this little space because it’s simple. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in dotting all the i’s. Maybe we can give some corners of our homes a little “less is more” treatment? Just a thought…

Great use for library card catalogs – a craft room must for bitsandbobbins.

Kitchen flowers from GMW.

Ships ahoy! Amazing sailboats handcrafted by Ann Wood. (She is something else!)

A Brooklyn brownstone in the heights, snapped by Alternate Words (also my husband). This place had a ton of pendants hanging inside, see them? It isn’t a reflection, there must have been at least 6 of them. This is from our June trip to NYC. We both agreed that Claire Huxtable and Heathcliff had to be due home any moment.

Sleepy kitty from Accolady. Zzzz. I want to kiss its little nose.

A fabulous inspiration wall from Matirose.

Altogether gorgeousness from Annamariahorner. What colors!

A pink beetle in Mexico via ***anahita.

And finally, a lovely arrangement of things by mizutamago.

On Flickr, I see people living life. Tons of images showing families spending time together, great food shots from devoted cooks and newbie chefs trying out a recipe for the first time. Pet photos, images of handmade crafts (lots of soft toys!), and travel shots that will take your breathe away. It’s also fun to peek inside the homes of others, even to look at the self portraits people snap of well, themselves. When I look at all of these images from my nearly 1,300 contacts, I walk away feeling like a new standard for living has been set.

It’s not about just accepting what we’ve been given. It’s about being more.

To borrow from the army, Be All That You Can Be. I like that expression. I walk away from Flickr feeling inspired to bake more, plant more, and just be a little more than I may be today. Not in a do-it-or-die self-promoting way, but in a let’s take it up a notch way. This is what I call finding refreshment from the whole online experience. For me, it’s through the blogs I read and the lovely Flickr site.

Your turn. What are your thoughts on this? Do you have Flickr favorites that you would like to link to in the comments below? Go for it!

I have to mention that this post is a result of a lovely conversation that Marisa and I had today. She is wonderful. :)

(images: sources noted beneath each photo)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, inspiration, walls on July 10, 2007

Visiting Orla Kiely London (+ new pendants)

The second Anh-Minh mentioned her London vacation and that she’d like to contribute a post about Orla Kiely’s flagship store on decor8 (she knows how much I love Orla), I knew I couldn’t resist! And this isn’t your ordinary shop tour, as you’re about to catch a sneak peek of some brand new lighting that hasn’t yet launched, and I’m extremely excited about it because the moment these beauties do hit the streets, I’m posting about them on decor8 and pulling out my charge card (great find, Anh-Minh!).

Visiting Orla Kiely London
By: Anh-Minh Le, decor8 contributor.

Whether you?re browsing or buying, Orla Kiely?s flagship store in London is a real treat for fans of her organic yet modern graphics. The merchandise is gorgeous, but so are the details found throughout the Covent Garden shop.


I couldn?t help but inquire about the pendant lamps on display. The sales associate informed me that they were originally created as store props, but have (understandably) garnered so much interest, that the company has decided to market them. The pricing is still being worked out, but they will soon be available for purchase ? including online (good news for those of us living outside England!).


In case you just can?t wait or are concerned that the price may be a wee bit high: The latest issue of British Elle D?cor includes a DIY Orla Kiely lamp. (Nice coincidence!) The ?Flower Blossom Lawn? wallpaper, which is carried at Anthropologie, adorns the shade of a table lamp.


Back at the Orla Kiely store, the wallpaper is also used to spruce up wood furniture. This is an idea I just might have to steal to spruce up a piece in my own house!


In case you?re lucky enough to be heading to London soon, you can check out the goods for yourself at 31 Monmouth Street.

(images from anh-minh le for decor8)

Posted in guest bloggers, lighting, shopping, travel, walls on July 09, 2007

The Little Kandi Shop

Kandi from Oslo has the sweetest little blog and now, an etsy store called The Little Kandi Shop where she sells her prints. Isn’t it great how some of her images contain lights that illuminate on her cute little characters?

(images from the little kandi shop)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, etsy, walls on July 02, 2007

Just Add Orange!

Flickr user Robertspeg sent me a lovely little note a few days ago that I’d like to share with you since it gave me a few thoughts on orange that I’ll mention below. She begins, “I loved your orange post today. Orange is a color I never thought I would use in decorating. Then a couple of years ago, I found I really loved it with pink. Now I use it all the time.”


Peggy is right, orange doesn’t always “click” with everyone at first, at least until they spot it mingled with colors they do love. Eureka! A feeling of surprise sets in, orange suddenly becomes your new best friend. Peggy adds that for her, there was a certain something that she had to do to make orange click in her apartment, “I painted the walls white and now I find I use orange, blue and pink constantly. I never thought I would use such a strange color combination.” And it works, as you can clearly see from Peggy’s photos above.

Orange looks great with pink, also with blue (remember this mood board from Starlee Matz?), and of course, green and cocoa brown, too. They all work nicely together in nature, which is where a lot of designers draw their inspiration, so of course they’ll work indoors, too.

Consider the colors of the desert, the coast, a sunset, or those in your flower garden. When I see color combinations in nature that interest me, I photograph it and save for future reference, as these often inspire my own work. Even if you don’t consider yourself a shutterbug, purchase a digital camera and carry it with you at all times. Just the other day, I saw the most beautiful whitetail and I asked my husband to photograph it (I wasn’t patient enough to chase it as he was!) because it was so pretty – the gorgeous blue body combined with silvery gray wings with cocoa accents. It made me think of a room where the key color is blue, accented with gray and of course, some cocoa and silver.

Artists have looked to nature for inspiration over the centuries, so when decorating your home, look to color combinations outdoors as your guide and let them ignite your creative spark. With every photo I take, I’m stopping to “smell the roses” and it feels so good. Not only am I looking for terrific color combinations, but in the process I discover beautiful little creatures, flowers, plants, all that I may have missed otherwise.

Maybe this weekend, you can carry your camera with you and snap some photos of terrific color combinations in nature? It’s a fun study and will most definitely fire up your imagination. You’ll be surprised to see what you find. :)

(images from robertspeg)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, Color Inspiration, inspiration, walls on June 29, 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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