I am so honored to have Vosgesparis and snapshots from her lovely Amsterdam apartment on decor8 today! Vosgesparis is a decorating blog authored by blogger Desiree who I first featured on decor8 in 2011 (here). I met Desiree at a blogging event that I helped to organize in Amsterdam and stayed in touch with her ever since because I thought she was a really nice down-to-earth lady with a passion for living. I love her eye and taste and enjoy looking into her world because I find there is a lot to learn from those who have different decorating ideas. Since meeting Desiree, I have learned some great decorating ideas and have a much greater appreciation for black and white decor.
If you remember, this mini series called “Snapshots of Home” will appear sporadically over the next few months and is meant to highlight the beautiful homeowners behind some of the homes in my book, Decorate Workshop. In addition to crediting their homes and referring to them by name throughout the book, I thought to feature them in a fresh, new way by blogging about them too. So that is why I’m giving some shout outs to these amazing people.
Today I’m talking with the talented Desiree who is the queen of black and white decorating. And I don’t mean black and white with accent colors or black with different shades of white. I mean straight up black and white, period. This kind of restraint amazes me and I can sit for a long time staring at photos like the ones in this post blown away! I just had to have a house like Desiree’s in my book because it’s not only a big trend in Europe among bloggers to author black and white blogs but to also live in a black and white interiors, but because I think this whole way of decorating is so super cool and edgy. It’s fascinating and I love it! Let’s get started and talk to Desiree now, ok?
What do you do for a living?
I would love to say I blog full time, but I am not there yet! I have a part time job and I’m a part time blogger, too. I take blogging very seriously and have my own company as a blogger. I run ads on my blog and occasionally work for interior or lifestyle magazines online or in print. My other job is at a children’s health care center where I work with parents and young children. My work is all about connecting people — I give parents a place to go and meet other parents while their children learn to play and share their toys with each other. I am an observer and keep my eyes and ears open for all educational issues parents may have. I love the buzz of having children and young parents around. They give me energy!
What is your favorite thing about Amsterdam?
What I love most is that it is a really small city. We mostly use our bikes but in the city center you can easily walk from one part to another. I also love that there are many cool concept stores opening lately where they combine the work of young artists with home decoration and furniture and a coffee, tea or lunch corner.
What are 5 of your favorite shops in Amsterdam?
1. Harvest and company — Absolutely on top is ‘Harvest and company’. This is a project from a friend of mine… At Harvest they make, restore and sell (interior) products and they also gather there for meetings and dinners, roast and brew specialty coffee, host exhibitions, and work on interior projects. It has an amazing atmosphere that inspires, excites and feels comfortable.
2. Pols Potten – I pop in very often to drool over Paola Navona’s couches. What you see at Pols Potten is the result of their dedication to artists, designers and producers. I really like to walk around in this beautiful, sometimes strange, and yet so familiar world. It inspires me every time.
3. Sukha Amsterdam – This concept store changes the total look of the store from time to time and it is always a pleasure to have a peek at the big shop window and find out what’s new in the collection. At Sukha you will find fashion, books, accessories, presents and unique handmade products. I love the brightness in this open space and it feels really relaxed.
4. Marqt – A chain of bio super markets where I love to buy my groceries,
5. Options! - A concept store that works with changing themes. I have made it a habit to pop in now and then to see what is happening. Options is part of a concept, attached to the shop is a cafe called Stock and a fashion boutique hotel (Hotel Exchange).
What is your passion and what inspires you?
I want people to understand that you do not need to be perfect or to have the perfect home to be happy. I want them to see the beauty of imperfection. Happiness is something inside you that you can get out of lots of different things. I think it is the best feeling ever if you can stand still for a second and realize you are feeling totally happy inside.
What are some favorite things in your home currently?
My absolute favorite item in my home is my clothes rack. I designed it some years ago and got a blacksmith to make it for me. I also recently changed the wall with the low cabinets, the one on picture at the intro page in Decorate Workshop. I get many questions on how I made them and see others doing the same thing and although that is a compliment, I realize now that it’s time for something different. Instead of the big black and white frames I used the back of simple canvas frames to exposure a few pictures, instead.
What are some dream items you’d love to own?
I really would love to have the white Ghost sofa by my design hero Paola Navone! I love the way she decorates her home in Paris and Milan. But there is more: A small industrial cart as a coffee table and another bamboo lamp from Ay Illuminate and maybe some new chairs around my kitchen table, the white About a Chair from HAY being one of them.
What do you think of Decorate Workshop?
First of all I really love the fact that this book is written by a blogger! Every time a blogger comes out with a book it feels like a little celebration to bloggers in general. And of course I love the fact my home is featured in this book because with my own blog I try to inspire my readers and I hope the pictures of my home among all others will inspire the readers of Decorate Workshop. But more important the book is a guide for both those who are planning to change little things in their home and to those who can start from zero with a new home.
Is this your first time in a book?
My home and blog have been mentioned and shown in several magazines but never in a book until now. Seeing your home in a book is really something else. A magazine you might find occasionally half a year later at the hairdresser or dentist but a book like Decorate Workshop will stay on display for years.
What are some memories you have of my visit to your home with Debi Treloar?
I remember the first thing you did when entering my home was taking off your shoes and putting on some comfortable shoes – this made me feel like you felt at home. It was fun to see you and Debi working together and sometimes I wondered why you styled certain things in a particular way but. now that the book is published and I have seen the pictures of my home it all falls into place. It shows you were working with a clear vision towards the final result that you had for your book!
What is one of your favorite photos of your home from the book?
I think it is the opening shot of the book (very proud of that), shown below!
What do you love about interiors books in general?
The visual aspect! I love to look and analyze pictures and interior books are great for that. I often display them and it inspires me, while looking at the pictures I can be caught by a detail and create new ideas for my own home.
What about magazines and blogs, what do you love about them the most?
What I love most in magazines are the home stories — reading how people found their dream home or how they renovated their place, how they live and what inspires them. Some homes you never forget and remain my favorite for many years. I also love it when bloggers write about their own homes and show photos of little corners they re-decorated.
What are some of your favorite blogs and magazines?
I really love Scandinavian blogs, Emmas designblogg is one I’ve been reading for many years and I love Pella Hedeby’s blog Stil Inspiration because our decorating tastes are very similar. My favorite magazines are vtwonen and Elle Decoration.
Desiree is was such a pleasure spending time with you today, thank you so much!
Thank you Holly ;) XXXX
(photos: vogesparis and debi treloar)
Hello everyone and happy Monday! I just ordered some gorgeous gift wrapping paper books by Pepin van Roojen from Pepin Press in Amsterdam. I just have to share them with you. I found them when I was ordering more origami paper and they popped up in a search. I love the Kimono patterns. I want to see more Japanese papers used in decorating and gift wrapping so perhaps this will be trending soon, who knows? I love the prints and patterns in Pepin’s books and hope you will too.
To find these papers, go to Amazon and search under, “Pepin van Roojen”, and type in “Kimono Gift Wrapping Paper Book” or “Art Noveau Gift Wrapping Paper Book” and see what you come up with. She has released many of these books including themes for Barcelona, Turkish designs, India, Florals and more.
There are so many fun and creative projects that you can use these for. Here is something creative that I whipped up lately – maybe you can try it too?
I love the home of fashion designer Martin Grant, an Australian who made it big in fashion who currently designs and works in Paris. His home is brilliantly chic with a subdued palette and bright bursts paired with clean lines just like the clothing he creates. But let’s talk about the chair in his living room.
You can see his entire home at Making It My Style, but I want to highlight the living room because I really want that lounge chair. It looks comfy but also light and airy, which I love. At first glance, I thought it was Ligne Roset but I cannot seem to find it on their website.
Do you know where I can find this chair? C’mon design enthusiasts – help a girl out.
(image: martin grant)
I was happy to hear from Michelle Smith, a designer, photo stylist and blogger whom I’ve known in the blogging world now for like, ever. Her new line of Spring-y tea towels puts me in total Sunday brunch mood, complete with twinkle lights and Carla Bruni’s new album, Little French Songs. I also think her pillows and prints are super pretty and I love the mood boards she made that inspire her designs. What do you think?
You can buy these in her online shop so definitely head over there if you want to support an independent designer and own something special that is handmade in North Carolina.
Thanks Michelle for sharing with me your pretty designs!
(images: michelle smith)
Hello everyone, it’s me Holly – how are you? After reading Jillian’s cookie recipe (here), I’m hungry! It also got me thinking about food. That is why I have to point you over to my friend Marta Majewska and her lovely e-magazine, Luscious.
Marta works on Luscious with a designer and her friends and family which gives her work such soul. I love the homegrown warmth and love that circles around this project – though she produces a quality product that is professional, clean and packed with healthy, delicious recipes that she makes in her very own “test” kitchen at home. She uses lots of ingredients like spelt, agave syrup, chickpea flour and soy cream, for instance…
Originally from Poland, Marta lives in Belgium and writes a blog called Princess Misia. By day, she is the Head of Digital for Porter Novelli but by night (and on weekends) she’s writing on her blog and is the food blogger for ELLE Belgium. And now, she is producing an e-mag, too!
I met Marta last summer in Weimar when I gave a lecture on food styling and styling trends – she was one of the students and I loved watching her style and shoot during the working sessions in class. We bonded really fast and have stayed in touch every since. She’s like the European version of Zooey Deschanel so you really can’t help but adore her.
What do you think of this magazine? Here is a link to it in case you want to see more – there is over 130 pages AND a special travel section all about her recent trip to Austin, Texas. Enjoy Luscious!
(images: luscious magazine)