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Fresh Wallpaper Patterns For Your Home

When it comes to pattern in the home all I can say is, YES, PLEASE! Yesterday over at Real Simple I wrote about my favorite wallpaper prints from York Wallcoverings and I’d like to quickly share them along with two others from a company called Kreme Life… But first,  the two Kreme Life patterns that caught my eye – I love these. The pink pattern is called Giraffes and the other is Yellow Birds. These are not for the color shy or those in fear of bold statement making pattern! Bold papers work so nicely in small spaces as well as larger rooms – for instance inside of a glass cabinet or in a small guest bathroom. I imagine the pink and orange paper shown below featured behind a bed in a guest room – fun and bright – with a duvet and bed linens in stripes and tiny floral patterns with a retro feel. I can see it in little girl’s bedroom, to0. It’s very retro and charming, don’t you think?

Kreme Life

Kreme Life

Kreme Life

Kreme Life

Next, let’s look at these papers below from York Wallcoverings. You can find them all on their website.

York Wallcoverings

York Wallcoverings

These patterns are quite smart looking, don’t you think? I love the “mix + match” combination using two different patterns in blue and white – very chic! I appreciate all styles from retro to modern and find that if you tap into your creativity a bit and use your imagination, you can mix lots of different styles as long as your colors match and some pieces in the room are tame – for instance, wild and crazy wallpaper with furniture that has clean lines and then for fun, one funky chair or a crazy lamp — that is the way to go for me. Of course, we all have our own personality which should be directly translated into our room decor, so you may love tons of busy patterns in a single space (or none at all) and well, if you love it then knock yourself out because it’s your home – you can do whatever you want!

BUT for those of you who currently get stuck with mixing patterns and color then a good decorating “rule” to follow is to pick a focal point in the room – a good leading lady or man –  (wallpaper, art, your patterned sofa) and then mix in your “supporting actors” around the focal point being careful that everything complements the star of the show — though as you experiment and gain decorating confidence it’s a good idea to throw in a little healthy competition and to not play it too safe which is why I suggest adding in something that competes with the focal point – like a lamp that is out of scale in the opposite corner from the focal point or a chair off to the side in a wild, totally bonkers pattern. Healthy tension is good but if every single thing in a room is fighting for attention it all can be very overwhelming and draining to the person living there and to your guests.

With everything though – edit, edit, edit! I preach the power of editing because often it’s the few pieces that you remove from a styled bookcase that ends up making the display look finished and gorgeous.

One last bit before I go, remember what Coco Chanel once said, “The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.” I believe this applies to decorating – it takes courage to bring your ideas to life through your interiors but go for it and enjoy the process and the results. Think for yourself, aloud, in your interior style.

Do you have wallpaper? How do you use it at home – on walls, ceilings, in cabinets, in drawers?

(images: york + kreme life)

Posted in walls on October 06, 2011

Spotlight On: Fiona Wallpaper

I love this website and wallpaper company, Fiona, which doubles as a play zone for people like us who like to experiment with different wallpapers in-situ to see how they could look in our home. This site is so brilliant, I love the locations – you can choose between Danish country or Danish city – and then different rooms in each location which give you a chance to play around a bit more. The Danish country location is the home of Tine Kjeldsen, also found in my book, so some of the rooms may look familiar to you — if so, that’s why. :)

Fiona Wallpaper

Interesting to see the same wall five different ways above, isn’t it? My favorite one ended up being the last one – funny!

Have fun playing and hopefully you’ll find a beautiful wallpaper to use in your home – you can buy directly from Fiona online.

(images: screenshots from fiona wallpaper.)

Posted in walls on July 26, 2011

Vintage Wallpaper + Music To Make You Smile

Oh do I love me some vintage wallpaper, don’t you? It’s so pretty and whenever I see it I think of all of the great patterns out there still laying around waiting for us to buy and do something amazing at home. Vintage wallpaper can be used for anything – to make cards, frame, make napkin rings for the table, line a drawer, put on an accent wall, use on a wooden headboard, cut a piece to size and paste to the top of a table, I mean the list goes on and on and on… It’s insanely beautiful and I’ve found a few great patterns today over at Retro Villa in Denmark. To add a little fun to this post, please click on each image for a little musical surprise. :)

Retro Villa

Retro Villa

Retro Villa

Retro Villa

Hope you enjoyed a little fun with patterns and music – and that they made you smile today. xo

(images: retro villa)

Posted in walls on June 01, 2011

Plates Wallpaper + Why Limited Color Palettes Can Work

This wallpaper is inspired by vintage blue tableware and has a uniquely Dutch vibe, doesn’t it? It’s designed and printed by Studio Ditte in the Netherlands and sold in stores worldwide, I found it today over at Catkin Collection. I’ve blogged about Studio Ditte before (here) but this is their latest pattern and I just love it — it’s so fresh and clean.

I fancy the different scenes and also the various shades of blue, don’t you? The birds and the windmills are very sweet. I find it so interesting to see products that stick to very limited color palette yet look amazing and inspirational. And I often wondered why that is – how can a product that is basically just blue (and white) be so captivating? If you were to create a blue and white room, would it equally charm you or?

After much thought I’ve come to realize that is really has to do with tints and tones of that color and how well you use them. It’s not about using a single tone – say indigo blue – and mixing it with lots of white and putting a room together. In a room, there is also lighting and texture that come into play to create a gorgeous space with a limited palette. But it’s really about using different tints and tones of blue, often ranging from light to dark, to add visual interest, depth and of course, personality and life.

Lots of people fear a limited palette – it’s almost suffocating to them to imagine using only a few colors in a room. Everyone is different, and since decorating is subjective, it’s all about what works for you personally. Some people like to put labels on others and feel that if they don’t use tons of color they really don’t have a good understanding of color or are “cop outs”, meaning they are just using it as some strange excuse for being unable to successfully marry colors into a environment for a cohesive look. Like they can’t — so they just fall back on white or beige because they don’t know how to work with color, for example. I don’t buy into that. We decorate using colors that we love – even if that means using color in small doses. We are all so unique, some can live in neutral spaces and others simply cannot, there is no wrong or right.

Wait.

There is a wrong – wrong is when you decorate according to what you think others want you to express or share or pretend to be and not according to who you truly are, so wrong decorating is to deny yourself the freedom of displaying your authentic expression of self in your home – no matter how “white” or “neutral” or “colorful” or “pastel” that is may be. It’s your home, your way.

I don’t find a limited palette suffocating, in some ways for me it is total freedom because the less visual stimulation in my, say work space, the more the images and ideas in my head can rise to the top and be freed and transformed into actual work.

When my surroundings are too stimulating with tons of bright, energetic colors and patterns all around, my brain freezes and I can’t accomplish much. I was never the kid that thrived in primary colored classrooms. I thrived in art class with the white walls, art wall with taped works pinned up, smell of clay and paint (very earthy and exciting to me), the large wooden work tables, the potter’s wheel in the corner… I still remember each art room that I had at school since grade school with absolute clarity. I thrived in such spaces where we had less clutter around us, when everything was in its out container, and where color and pattern was placed in very specific locations and not scattered everywhere but then when you did find that location, it was a bit chaotic — randomly tacked and taped things on walls, for instance — but altogether on a single wall. Which made me realize that I thrive under situations that could be described as organized but also chaotic – but mostly organized chaos. I wouldn’t want everything neat and in a row, paints can all be thrown into a big bucket without rhyme or reason, but they still all need to be in that one big bucket.

Something about a lot of white space around, or neutrals with splashes of color here and then, definitely works for me in my home office as an adult, too. However, a wallpaper like this one shown above would be fun in a dining room on one wall (or on the ceiling with deep indigo walls and crisp white moldings!) or in the kitchen — because in those places I’m social and I want to feel energetic so strong graphics as a focal point – for instance a wall with this paper behind my stove, could be absolutely perfect, quirky and fun.

I wonder if you think like I do when you see things that you are naturally drawn to – do you intentionally try to figure out what about it works or where in your home you could imagine enjoying it, or do you simply like it but could never imagine living with it? For me, I love the blue porcelain plates wallpaper by Studio Ditte and could absolutely use it in a small dose somewhere in my home but definitely not in my office space!

(images: studio ditte)

Posted in walls on May 17, 2011

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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