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Homes with Heart: Scandinavian Pretty Home Tour

If you love sweet pastels, Scandinavian style and the domestic talent that lies behind the blog Yvestown, then you’ll love this home tour because today I am taking you through Yvonne Eijkenduin’s beautiful Belgian abode. Hi guys, it’s Holly Marder back this month on decor8 with another home that’s nothing short of inspirational for my monthly Homes with Heart column. It’s fresh, summery and brimming over with heart. Let’s go, oh and you can click on any image to enlarge and pin!

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Photographer, blogger and author of the book Yvestown in de Keuken, Yvonne and husband Boris have poured their heart and soul over the past 6 years renovating their 1896 home on the Belgian border. Originally a six bedroom family home, the house was built for a family and their next door brewery. More than a century after it was first built, the Dutch couple (the home’s third owners) have tackled one section of the property at a time, reviving the home’s own original features and creating a space that exudes love, light and Yvonne’s feminine sense of style.

Whimsical florals layered upon a fresh white base set the stage for a striking collection of vintage finds as well as contemporary pieces. And though Yvonne can’t quite pinpoint the look of her interior to any singular style, she agrees with “Scandinavian Pretty”, a description once made of her home by Joanna Copestick, co-author of Decorate, in which Yvonne’s home featured. “It’s mix ‘n’ match, blending Scandinavian and English design styles,” she says.

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The first room in the house for renovating was the kitchen, undergoing a fresh color scheme of crisp white and blue, with hints of red, pink and mint green weaving it’s way through accessories and wallpaper. A zinc-topped kitchen island, open shelving and a traditional range hood gives the room a country look and feel, while wooden countertops, simple white cabinetry and clean lines make for a fuss-free, contemporary country kitchen. The fireplace doubles up as storage, where the couple stash cookbooks and mason jars. “I wanted too have a clean kitchen, that wasn’t too girly, mixing industrial, antique and modern styles,” says Yvonne. The blue door in the kitchen leads to the cheerful guest bathroom, employing a palette of pale blue and white, with charming Portuguese tiling underfoot.

Off the kitchen and in the mud room, a favourite piece adorns a Cath Kidston clad wall, Yvonne’s Tala Vegetable Rack which she picked up in an antiques shop on a trip to the UK. The rack is used to store the couple’s fruit and vegetables and has become one of their favourite vintage finds. “I love that it is in my favourite fire engine red and it looks so great against the floral wallpaper in our mud room. It’s very useful but also very photogenic.” Through the mudroom and into the back garden, Yvonne has poured her love of gardening into a thriving space offering fruits, vegetables and flowers in abundance.

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The living room is the couple’s most recent project. Walls were painted a soft creamy colour to add warmth to the large space, while white wooden floors and sporadic pops of pink make for a fresh and feminine space. A penchant for combining furniture styles, and a special sway towards vintage finds, the room effortlessly strikes the balance between the old and the new. Natural weave rugs ground each area and add texture to the space, while the couple’s mantle, refurbished with a fresh coat of paint, Cath Kidston wallpaper and a wood burning stove, breaks the space between the living and dining and creates a focal point. The vintage 1920s Ercol chair is a favourite.

“A vintage Ercol chair was on my wishlist for a very long time but I couldn’t find one in the Netherlands because they’re very British. I kept track of online marketplaces until I found one from a man who was selling his for an absolute steal at just 50 euros.” Yvonne had it reupholstered and it has found a permanent home in the couple’s living room. “I like the design, it’s quite Scandinavian in shape but it’s actually a quintessentially British piece. I always like to mix Nordic pieces with English, and it’s funny because the chair seems to have both of these qualities.”

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The newly renovated dining room features a pastel pink painted hutch custom made out of repurposed vintage wood, accented by a spray of vintage plates. “I think plates are a very nice decorating alternative instead of paintings and art. Sometimes you don’t want to eat off a pretty plate but would rather hang it on the wall because it’s a piece of art.” Yvonne has combined both new plates with favourite vintage pieces to modernise an old fashioned concept. The hutch houses a precious collection of vintage china which she has collected over several years. Yvonne began her collection of 1920s Johnson Bros china when they were relatively unpopular and she now has a complete set of what has become a rather valuable collection. “I was recently in the UK and was at a little antique shop that was asking about 15 pounds per plate. I feel as if I have a gold mine in my cabinet now!”

A vibrant acrylic painting in this space makes a striking statement atop a contemporary sideboard, a vignette which offsets the farmhouse farmhouse feel of the rest of the room.

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The second living space is where the couple come to relax, read and unwind. The piece of art above the piano is a piece by a close friend of Eijkenduijn’s, Dutch artist Auk van Hilten.

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Yvonne runs her blog Yvestown from the light and sunny front room, which features a French antique round table and mix of vintage chairs. Some of Yvonne’s favourite finds are her vintage Eames Bertoya wire chairs which she found on the Dutch online marketplace, Marktplaats. “I have wanted to buy a pair for quite some time because they are such a lovely design. When I finally found some for sale they were selling them in a set of four so I shared the purchase with a friend and we each kept two,” Yvonne explains. “In a way they are not really farmhouse vintage which is a style I like, but they compliment the rest of the pieces. They are still vintage but they have very clean lines and therefore go with a lot of things.”

The fire engine red bench is another favourite, the ‘Småland’ bench by the Swedish designer Yngve Ekstrom, scouted for Yvonne by her blogger pal Caroline from Lille Lykke. “I loved it immediately for it’s shape and the bentwood feel and went to pick it up right away for an absolute bargain, much less than it is worth.” Yvonne kept it’s vibrant red colour to add contrast to a wall of Cath Kidston floral wallpaper. “Every room in my home needs a bit of red to offset all the pastel colours.”

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Delicate floral wallpapers by Cath Kidston, Eijkenduijn’s favorite designer, can be seen throughout the couple’s home, bringing each space together to form one harmonious picture derived from a palette of pastels. “I just love her aesthetic, her clever floral patterns for the modern day women,” she says. “Cath Kidston is great for mixing and matching, and in combination with a lot of white.”

Eijkenduijn owes her interior design success to understanding her own style. “I know my style. I stick to the palette (white, pink, red, blue, green) and style and it just works,” she says. “If you have a good concept and it flows, stick to your guns.”

So what’s Yvonne’s secret when it comes to combining vintage pieces with newer items? “If you want to mix modern vintage with antique vintage, you have to make sure the lines are very clean. I don’t have a lot of frilly antiques, but I go for the cleaner lines with that Scandinavian feel to them.”

So guys! What do you think? I have visited Yvonne’s home several times now and never fail to be inspired by her consistent sense of style and all round love of interiors. Ah, and her cooking! Make sure you get your hands on a copy of her book. She has some delicious recipes and fabulous interior inspiration in there too.

Spot anything you love? Feel free to ask about it in the comments section below! - Holly

(photos/text: holly marder with the exception of 1st image by Yvonne Eijkenduijn)

Posted in Home Tours, Homes With Heart on August 07, 2014

Jane Wilder Photography

I got a very sweet email submission this morning from Jane Wilder, a photographer in California, who wanted to share news about her Etsy shop. I’m running out in a bit, so I thought to quickly share them with you in case you’d not heard of her before. I really like her cheerful, bright and positive works and can definitely see a few of these in my work studio renovation so maybe I’ll have to grab some in the next month or two. Here are some of my favorites from Jane’s shop below. I love the sunflowers and the palm against that peach background, oh and the girl facing the pool. Definite faves! Which do you fancy? photo_etsy_2_wilder photo_etsy_1_wilder Here is a link to her shop – enjoy! (images: jane wilder)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on August 05, 2014

Bloomingville Autumn/Winter 2014-15

I love sharing with you all of the companies that I shop at over here in Europe. I know that it may be frustrating for those of you living stateside who do not have access to buying these products, however I remember when I lived in Boston and read blogs based in Europe – I loved seeing what was going on in foreign markets and also catching what was on trend there. It gave me excellent and interesting decorating ideas that I felt no one else had in my local area. That is why I was living in Boston decorating with European touches since the 90s, I was locked into international magazines that I would buy at Barnes & Noble and then later, I started reading European blogs. This all broadened my view and definitely helped me to not only sharpen my eye for design but also to find my personal style. I’m hoping posts like this, now that I’m living in Europe, do the same for those of you who don’t have exposure to the same things in your part of the world. Remember, keep an open mind. You may also find similar products where you live and a post like this can help you see how to put things together a little differently than what magazines are showing where you live. It’s fun to try new ideas and to stand out from the pack. At least, I always liked it.

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So there’s this company, Bloomingville, that is based in Denmark but is a huge name in Germany… And I really like many of their products. I don’t own many, just a few ceramic cups and two pendant lamps in my hallway, but I’m very pleased with what I do have so I can vouch for their quality and style. In this post, I’m giving you a glimpse of their A/W 2014-15 catalog. You can see more online here. For the upcoming season you’ll spot lots of pastel blue and violet, gold, copper, marble, natural wood and shots of gray and black. Not your traditional Autumn/Winter colors in North America, I know, but in Scandinavia and Northern Germany, even in the Netherlands, this palette is much more common since we have less light during the cold months so these colors keep our rooms light and bright as it can feel really heavy and depressing otherwise.

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Do you see any products that you’re dreaming of? My wish list: Gold skull, marble gemstone candle holders, plywood and blue side tables for my bedroom, rattan seating for my wintergarten and an organic-shaped marble cutting board to serve cheese and some plant pots.

What color schemes are you seeing in interiors where you live? Are pastels big at all?

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Posted in design on August 05, 2014

Delicious Bites: Petal Cupcakes Recipe

Ready to bake some cupcakes with me? Hi everyone this is Jillian with some pretty cupcakes for you to make on Delicious Bites for August. Although I bake regularly, I’m not much of a cake decorator so I turned to the internet for some inspiration. I found lots of pretty images and decided to decorate my cupcakes with petal decorations made from coloured marshmallows. The base is a classic vanilla butter cake recipe and I decided to include some plain flour in the mix to prevent the cakes from peaking too much.The icing is my all time favourite cream cheese icing (frosting) which I whipped for 5 minutes until it was very light and fluffy. I refrigerated the icing for about 20 minutes until it was firm enough to pipe.

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I topped each cake with a rosette of the icing then decorated the cakes with a chocolate button and 4 marshmallow petals. The petals are easily made by snipping a marshmallow horizontally and like magic, the marshmallow forms the shape of a petal. You can let your imagination run wild while decorating the cupcakes. I tried out a few designs and combinations using different coloured marshmallows and different coloured chocolate buttons but decided I liked a single colour petal topped with the same coloured chocolate button grouped together en masse. Here’s the recipe and instructions for you.

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PETAL CUPCAKES (makes 12)

CUPCAKES
3/4 cup self raising flour
1/4 cup plain flour
100 gm (3 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup caster (superfine) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk

CREAM CHEESE ICING
30 gm (1 oz) unsalted butter, softened
60 gm (2 oz) cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sifted icing sugar
1 tablespoons milk

TO DECORATE
24 coloured marshmallows
Coloured chocolate buttons or Smarties

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Line a 12 hole muffin tray with cupcake liners. Preheat a conventional oven to 180C/350F. Sift the self raising flour and the plain flour together into a small bowl and set to one side. In a large bowl cream the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract until light and creamy. Gradually mix in the beaten egg, adding a tablespoon or so of flour if the mixture starts to curdle. Add the remaining flour and sufficient milk to form a soft cake batter. Spoon tablespoons of the cake batter into the cupcake liners. Bake the cupcakes at 180C/350F for 20-30 minutes or until the cupcakes are golden and cooked when tested with a fine skewer. Allow the cupcakes to cool a little before removing to a wire cake rack. When completely cool decorate or store undecorated in an airtight container. To make the icing, cream the butter, cream cheese and the vanilla extract together in a small bowl until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. Mix in the icing sugar and sufficient milk to make a soft icing. Whip for 5 minutes until the icing becomes very pale and refrigerate until the mixture is firm enough to pipe.

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To decorate, pipe a swirl of cream cheese icing over the top of one of the cupcakes. Cut 2 marshmallows in half horizontally. Pinch the ends to make petals. Place a chocolate button in the centre of the icing, then arrange 4 of the marshmallow petals on top. Put the cupcake to one side and decorate the remaining cupcakes. Set the cupcakes to one side to set before serving.

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Today is my final Delicious Bites column for decor8. I’ve been contributing to decor8 for 5 years now, initially contributing with photos to Holly’s blog posts (since 2009) then with my own column shooting shops for the Shopgirl Visits (May 2012 – December 2012) before turning to writing about my great love, food, in February 2013 and wrapping up the column here today. So after all these years on decor8 I will miss you all. I’ll still be baking and photographing for my own blog though, so please drop by to see what I’m up to. Wishing you all the best, Jillian.

(images/text: Jillian Leifboff)

Posted in Delicious Bites on August 05, 2014

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.

eCourses:

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