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Dreaming of a Summer Cottage

Sometimes I just crave simplicity in my interiors, like this beautiful home in Norway from Boligpluss magazine — a white blank space with loads of natural light near the coast – just as in my childhood days. I often daydream about a coastal vacation home in northern Germany or Denmark so little Aidan can enjoy holidays in a second home, a small and simple one, a place where we can all find comfort and create memories. I wonder if I should start cottage hunting in Denmark? Or perhaps coastal Germany? And I wonder where, what towns I should look at? We live in northern Germany and plan to stay here, and don’t want to drive more than 5 hours to a vacation home. Less is more and I don’t want a weekend trip to be spent with a full day on the road. Anyone have thoughts on this? Know of any charming seaside towns?

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This home below is in Norway, and I’m smitten with it. It’s gorgeous. And makes me very happy.

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I imagine a cottage much like this one for my very own. Definitely nothing large though it must have a lawn where I can set up an English-style flower garden, herb garden, shed, patio and a sandbox and swing for our little boy. It all sounds so charming as I type this and makes me smile big. I also imagine painting the outside with black paint and leaning a canary yellow bike against the porch. It all sounds so silly, I know. But I’ve been having this vision of owning a small second home for a very long time so perhaps it’s time to stop dreaming. There is no perfect someday, right? You either do things now or you risk never having them at all.

A summer cottage and an office space/shop out of my current home studio. These are my two big dreams at the moment. I’m curious, what are yours?

(images: boligpluss)

Posted in inspiration on February 10, 2015

Honey & Bloom

I just recently came across Becky Hui Chan and her small biz, Honey & Bloom, based out of San Francisco and fell in love with their cards, jewelry, market totes and lovely art prints. Becky once worked as an Art Director and Designer for companies like SYPartners, the former ReadyMade Magazine, and Wired Magazine and was a finalist in Martha Stewart’s American Made in 2014. I thought that during the weekend you may like to check them out too and share them via your social media channels if you like what you see. And like always, click on any image to enlarge.

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I find that the more a blog becomes popular, the voice starts to disappear. In comes a bevy of sponsored posts and sponsored everything else really – from Instagram to Pinterest, tweets, etc. and all of that beautiful ‘from the heart’ content and sharing that launched the whole blogging community in the first place, and set it apart from mainstream magazines and media, is slipping away. It worries me a lot, especially since a small business cannot afford to pay thousands for a sponsored post so how can they get shown on popular blogs these days to spread the word?

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Hope you have a wonderful weekend! I’m throwing a party tomorrow, so I’m busy prepping the house, decorating, laying the table, cooking and baking! It’s a busy but happy day here today. xo

(images: honey & bloom)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on February 07, 2015

Homes With Heart: Bright + Cheerful Dutch Row House

Hey guys! Are you ready for a gorgeous home tour that I photographed for decor8 this month? Hello, it’s Holly Marder back again to take you through another lovely interior. For February, to chase away those winter blahs, it’s all about this bright, peppy and fun family home, packed with sweet accessories and pops of cheerful color. Are you ready? Let’s go, and remember, you can click on any image to enlarge!

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Pastel hues and quirky pops of neon layered upon a crisp white base have transformed a 1935 Arnhem, The Netherlands, row house into a  home with heart belonging to Antoinette te Pasher partner Henk Jansen and their two sons, Teun and Roef. With a penchant for Scandinavian style, a charming blend of old and new and a feminine color palette, Antoinette has created a happy haven that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

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In search of a new home with a garden and space for a growing family, Antoinette and Henk became the owners of their 125 square meter abode in 2001. Though much needed to be done, it was love at first sight. Over the years, the couple renovated the kitchen and bathroom, removed a wall that once separated the kitchen and living room and replaced the downstairs floor. “To start with we painted everything white, and each time we saved some money we had something refurbished,” Antoinette says.

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Starting with an all-white base for the floors, walls and furniture, the couple slowly infused their home with bright pops of color and large doses of personality. “I love adding pretty colors to the white backdrop,” Antoinette says. “Although a light base is very risky with a dog and two kids, it makes things so crisp and bright.” The peppy, cheerful atmosphere of Antoinette’s home is largely owing to the accessories and art thoughtfully placed throughout, many of which are by Antoinette’s favorite brands such as HAYDonna Wilson, Foekje Fleur and Ferm Living. “I shift things around at home often, and really enjoy shopping for and finding beautiful accessories,” Antoinette continues, “Creating a setting where my family and I feel comfortable is what I love. Sitting on the sofa surrounded by beautiful accessories in a neat and tidy home makes me really happy.”

The sofa, purchased locally 6 years ago, remains a favorite spot for the family of four, who can often be found unwinding together, “I love relaxing on our sofa reading a magazine and drinking a cup of tea during a rare moment alone,” says Antoinette.

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The couple’s most prized possession – and undoubtedly the most eye-catching item in the room – is an original Herman Brood painting above the sofa. “I bought this years ago at Herman’s atelier. It was a really fun experience to have a look ‘behind the scenes’. Now that Herman is no longer alive, the painting must be worth a lot more than what we paid for it, but I will never sell it for any price.”

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Allowing the striking blue hues of the painting to lead the way, Antoinette acquired a blue replica Eames chair with contrasting pink accessories dotted throughout. A pink Studio Snowpuppe origami lamp and poster by Zilverblauw are a couple of Antoinette’s favorites. “I have been following the blog Zilverblauw for quite a while now. I have a few more posters by her hanging around the house.” Among other cherished pieces is the vintage IKEA ‘Järpen’ wire chair that was rescued from the attic of Antoinette’s mother which was left unused there for over thirty years. Another IKEA piece is the ‘PS collection’ dresser, originally natural wood and white, which Antoinette painted all white and updated three of the handles for a fun and colorful look. She’s added additional whimsy and intrigue to the space with a Kartell gnome stool, too.

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The dining room connects the living room through an ensuite walkway with built-in shelving and employs the same white base punctuated by colorful lighting, accessories and fresh flowers taking center stage.

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The couple gave their scrap-wood dining table a fresh new look last year by painting it mint green, offsetting their ‘Brakig’ chairs from IKEA creating cohesion with the neighboring living room and kitchen color schemes.

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The antique corner cabinet was painted white and was a gift from Antoinette’s  aunt. The yellow HK Living pendant light above the dining table is a cheerful addition to the space. So many details abound in this home!

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There are vignettes in every corner and the dining room is no different as Antoinette created a small exhibition of plates on the dining room wall, which includes pieces by Donna Wilson, House of Rym, HAY and a metal letter by Stoer Metaaladding a sculptural element to the vignette. Antoinette uses the shelf below to display accessories and favorite items along with fresh flowers.

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The kitchen is filled with color, happiness and is accented by a black and white tiled floor, chalkboard wall and a large yellow cabinet with double glass doors providing storage for the small and very sweet galley kitchen.

The couple’s sons, Roef and Teun, share a large bedroom on the first floor of the house. “They used to each have their own room but Roef always slept with us. One night he slept in Teun’s room on a mattress on the floor, which he really liked, and since then they have shared a room,”Antoinette says. Roef’s former room has become a dressing room.

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The bedroom features vibrant Ferm Living wallpaper and a teepee (tent) – adorned with a string of Cotton Light Balls – made by their children’s grandmother. The horse and pouf are by Colorique. Next to the bed is a Fur Neil poster by Martin Krusche.

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The boys’ bunk bed is centered in the room, creating various cozy areas within the single large space. To the right of the bed, an oversized vintage map of Holland is suspended above two vintage school desks and chairs, giving the children space to do their homework and create. The map was an online find, the desks came from the kid’s school and the chairs were purchased at Stoer Metaal. Behind the desks, along the back wall, a reading nook has been created out of mattresses placed on the floor – the covers made by their grandmother out of blankets – giving the boys a cozy and comfortable spot to unwind, relax and read.

The master bedroom blends Nordic simplicity with touches of romance and whimsy. The white foundation is offset with grey ‘Brakig’ wallpaper by IKEA, while a single shelf displays a collection of vintage favorites. Playful posters by Sammy Rose and Seventy Tree hang above the bed and a mint green Studio Snowpuppe lamp mirrors the geometric lines seen in the wallpaper. The Tomado-look-a-like book rack was purchased at Bol. The bed and nightstands are IKEA.

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Antoinette finds inspiration in magazines, blogs and from her favorite interiors shops, thrift shops and flea markets. “It’s not so much that I want to create a specific style, I just put some accessories together that look pretty. But there are definitely Scandinavian influences here and there.”

The couple has plans to continue fine-tuning their home’s interior, starting with the painting of a few doors and minor adjustments made to the family bathroom. Long term however, they’ve set their eyes set on a larger scale project promising more space and quality of life for them in their family home. “Our biggest wish is to redecorate the attic because it’s old and neglected with a lot of potential and space. A perfect spot for the kids to play and chill. As soon as our budgets allows it, this project will happen!”…. And we can only imagine how gorgeous it will be, right decor8 readers?

What do you think about this home?

Photography/Text: Holly MarderEditorial assistance: Jessica van der Liende / Editor: Holly Becker

Posted in Home Tours, Homes With Heart on February 05, 2015

WIN! New Farrow & Ball Wallpaper + Giveaway!

I’m such a fan of Farrow & Ball and I’ve really enjoyed working with them on campaigns over the years. As most of you know, I turn away work frequently because I don’t work with just any interiors brand unless I really love and support what they do. Farrow & Ball is just a great company and they produce beautiful wallpaper and paint. Exquisite really. Half of the rooms in my home have F&B paints. I love their chalky, matte finish and gorgeous hues and that I’m not the only one in love… But that everyone who sees my home raves over the green-blue, very pale paint color in the nursery (Cabbage White) and my gorgeous gray in my dining room (Dimpse) that looks amazing against bright white trim work. Gray and blue-green paint colors are really hard to get right, as any decorator knows, so when you find a paint company that creates such perfect hues you become very brand loyal. Here are some of their patterns from previous collections…

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Their wallpaper looks stunning and works perfectly with their paints. I’ve not yet used their wallpapers, but dream of someday papering a wall in my home with one – for instance the wall behind my sofa in the living room. The wall is so big, so boring, so meh. I love the large-scale patterns in the new F&B 2015 collection. All of their papers are a more modern version of the vintage papers you see in old French and English homes – oh how much I love those! Here are some views of their new collection below, hot off the press!

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To celebrate the new wallpaper collection for 2015, I asked them to make one of YOU a very lucky decorator and give you 4 rolls of wallpaper (valued at over $600/540€!) so you can do a small room or a feature wall somewhere in your home. What do you think about that? Oh, yeah! Please see below for details on how you can enter to win. But first, a glimpse of their new collection…


Here’s how to enter:

  • Visit Farrow & Ball and check out their wallpapers here.
  • Return to this post and comment below telling us what your favorite pattern is, and color, and how you would use it in your home.
  • Visit the Farrow & Ball Deutschland (German) Facebook page and also post your answer (in English or German) there and use hashtag #decor8 and add @decor8 to your post on their wall. You can LIKE their page too if you genuinely do, of course!

Note: You must be 18 years old or older to enter this giveaway. Winners receive 4 rolls of in-stock wallpaper, YOUR (the winner) choice of pattern and color, (A roll starts at $152/135€ however some rolls are priced at $181/160€, so the total prize value is over $600/540€) to be selected by winner no later than March 1st or else another winner will be selected. All wallpaper must be selected at once and can only be shipped to the winner. No exchanges or special requests. Wallpaper is for your personal use only and may not be sold online or in-store, or offered as a giveaway on your own blog. You may enter once daily until February 14th. One winner will be chosen via drawing and contacted by email so please use a valid email when you comment below but do not put your email address in the comment – use the appropriate boxes please. This contest is open to readers worldwide. You need to complete all of the steps above in order to qualify, unless you don’t have a Facebook account, then commenting here will suffice.

Thank you Farrow & Ball, and good luck to all of you!

UPDATED: The winner is Maria from Villa Stoff. Thank you for entering everyone and congrats Maria!

(images: farrow & ball)

Posted in contests on February 02, 2015

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