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Homes With Heart: Classical Modern Family Home

Hi guys, do you want to see another inspiring home this month shot for decor8, one that is positively dripping in deep blue and grey tones and classical modern style? It’s Holly Marder and I’m here with my Homes With Heart column to show you another gorgeous space that I styled and photographed. Ready? Let’s go!

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Dutch designer, freelance editor and stylist Haikje Verberk and her partner Rik Lebouille immediately fell for the authentic 1920’s detailing of their South Holland row house and purchased it within a week of their first viewing, turning it into a cozy yet cool and ultra sophisticated home for their family of four.

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“Though the house was in a very original state, in that all the old authentic details were still intact, there was no central heating, we had to renew the electrics and rebuild the kitchen and bathroom. Everything needed to be updated. But that was a beautiful chance to create our own perfect home.” The renovation took four months, revealing a fresh new kitchen, new floors throughout, smooth plastered walls and a blank but beautiful canvas upon which the designer could decorate. Expecting the couple’s second child, she was very motivated to get their family home up to scratch before the arrival of their daughter. The couple managed to unpack and decorate their home in the two short months after having moved in, just in time to welcome baby Fiene into the world.

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I still don’t know how we managed to do so much in that short period, but we did,” Verberk marvels. To speed the process along and ensure as much was done as possible in the time frame they were working with, Verberk created moodboards of every room mapping out her ideas and made organisation a priority, preparing as much as possible before the move so all that was left was the decorating. With just the finishing touches yet to be realised, the couple had created a warm, personal and contemporary yet cozy place to call home.

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 “To this day we are very happy with the way we remodeled our house. We preserved the beautiful old details while adding the comforts of central heating, a luxurious kitchen and bathroom in exactly the way we wanted,” Verberk says. But like many renovations, this one also came with its fair share of obstacles. “The entire renovation was a challenge,” confesses Verberk, “We had to design and decide how we wanted the house in a very short period of time.” To speed the creative process up, the designer prepared drawings from the layout including all of the furniture placement, alongside the mood boards she had created for each room. “In this way we knew exactly what needed to be done in every room from sockets to lighting points to which colours or wallpaper were to go on each wall.” 

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The couple infused their home with a contemporary take on an essentially classical aesthetic. “I consider myself a contemporary romantic. I like to design new contemporary products which find their inspiration in old products or craftsmanship,” Verberk says.

The first styling project Verberk undertook in her new home was the feature wall in the dining room laden with custom consoles displaying favourite items. “I am a collector and I like to display precious little items in a special way,” Verberk explains. “My uncle Thijs is a carpenter and can make the most beautiful things with his hands, such as these consoles. I liked the museum kind of feel it gives the items you display on them so I decided to do a whole wall with them. Everybody loves them and they are so popular now that my uncle even makes them on demand.”

Original paneled sliding doors lead from the dining room through to the living room at the front of the house. The couple’s affinity for classical modern style continues into this space, with cool blue and grey tones setting the stage for a striking collection of antique plates above the sofa. Mostly flea and antique market finds, Verberk collected the plates during market trips with her mother. One piece is a particular favourite, a plate which dates back 39 years to Lebouille’s birth. A mix of design items and marketplace finds, the room is a blend of the old and the new with Verberk’s signature classical modern aesthetic.

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The children enjoy separate bedrooms on the first floor infused with natural light. The couple’s bedroom on the same floor is a serene space of crisp whites and grey tones throughout.

The designer, a graduate of The Design Academy Eindhoven, has infused her home with the product that began as her graduation project and led to her career in interior styling and design, window and wall stickers. “At the Academy I was fascinated by lace, which is how my collection window stickers started. I wanted to give old lace curtains a new and fresh look and designed a stylized lace sticker for on a window. It was instantly a big success and picked up by the magazines. A dream start for a young designer and now 10 years later the Lace window sticker is still one of the bestsellers from the collection!” The stickers can be seen on the living room windows and in all the bedrooms.

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Upstairs in her studio is where Verberk is her happiest, surrounded by creativity and the tools needed for making and designing her stickers and various other projects. “The room has a cozy feel and a nice view of the street below,” she says. “I have a great passion for design and decorating and am happiest when I create something beautiful.” The pixeled floral wallpaper behind the custom made craft supplies cabinet are a favourite feature.

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Despite the rush to create a cozy and inviting home for their growing family, Verberk and Lebouille are ecstatic with the results of their home remodel, “We are absolutely in love with our whole house. It has everything we ever wanted from a house and feels very much our own.”

So guys, what do you think? If you spotted anything you love or have any questions, feel free to ask Haikje in the comments section below. See you back here next month for a beautiful tour of a Scandinavian pretty country home in Belgium. – Holly

(images/text: holly marder)

Posted in Homes With Heart on July 07, 2014

Liberty Heritage Fabrics

You know how something comes out and you’re like, “Oh yeah, I want that NOW”, but then you think that maybe you should wait a bit because it’s expensive and you fear that in 6-12 months time you just won’t be into it the same. And then you wait and you’re all like, “Yeah I still love it” (6 months later), or “What, huh? Oh yeah, that… Sooo NOT interesting anymore”. Well when it comes to Liberty Fabrics for sewing, I’ve always had a mega love affair. Their interiors fabrics though, particularly those out since last Fall, I wasn’t so sure I’d be into them down the road. But yeah, I’m still positively smitten by Liberty Heritage Fabrics for interiors, particularly the Jubilee and Nesfield collection, so I have to share a few fave looks below with you today. Just look at these rich, moody and well, decadent fabrics (there is wallpaper too! Swoon!). I’d love to work on an interiors project incorporating these beauties. Perhaps my own home? I have some ideas…

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These prints (especially the photo of the cushion on the white chair above) makes me want to make seat cushions for my white Eames Eiffel chairs for my dining room, and to trim out some linen drapes for my living room, and yes, to maybe make roman blinds (or have them made) for our bedroom. That would be super lux. Now to just find a huge wad of cash laying around so I can throw my money into these projects because the fabric alone would be an investment. And I have an object of desire long on my list: a cozy chair covered in Liberty fabric. Would that not be truly grand? Perhaps once Aidan is older and can understand that no, he cannot jump on mommy’s sacred most holy chair.

Aren’t these prints just the cat’s meoooooow though? Oh my god yes. YES! YES! I’m feeling a Meg Ryan/When Harry Met Sally moment coming on here…

(images: liberty london)

Posted in uncategorized on June 26, 2014

Food in Motion: Watermelon Salad Recipe

Are you ready to watch a quick and inspiring video showing you how to make a refreshing watermelon salad? Hello, it’s Jewels again from Liz & Jewels, here to share another one of my little Food in Motion videos! As you guys know I’m still kind of a new mama. My daughter Clementine is 11 months old now. She just learned how to crawl and is keeping us on our toes! She spoiled us pretty well by starting to get mobile so late. For the first 10 months we didn’t really need to worry about the outlets, the pointy table corners, the remote control, our dog’s water bowl, the bottom drawers, the open dishwasher, etc. Now, many water puddles, a few accidents, and a couple of dog treats in Clementine’s mouth later, we have gotten used to constantly following her every step. If it gets quiet in the bathroom we know: she got tangled up in the toilet paper again.

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I love being a mom but I sometimes miss a night all by myself on the couch, with no one to worry about – just me, myself, and I with my tv show (currently Orange Is the New Black!) and a bowl of food just for me. When I cook for my husband and myself, I try to create a legitimate meal with the usual components. But when it’s just for me, I like a huge bowl of kale salad with parmesan or greek yoghurt with berries or one of my summer favorites is this watermelon salad.

It is so refreshing! The watermelon has such a beautiful sweetness to it, the jalapeño give it some heat, the feta cheese adds the necessary creaminess, and the cilantro adds the special flavor. I sometimes mix in veggie bacon if I have it around and of course you can use real bacon, too! I can eat so much of this salad and then pass out happily with a round watermelon belly.

As you can see in the video, the recipe is super easy:

1/8 of a watermelon
1/2 of a green apple
1/2 of a cucumber
1/2 of a jalapeno (depending on how spicy you like it!)
juice of 1 lime
1/2 block of feta cheese
a few cilantro leaves

Chop up the watermelon, apple and cucumber into bite size cubes. Cut the jalapeno into tiny pieces. Drizzle the lemon juice on top of everything. Finish up with the minced cilantro. Eat all by yourself.- Jewels

(image/video: julia cawley)

Posted in Food In Motion on June 26, 2014

Decorating With Godetia: 3 Ways

Welcome to a new week everyone! How are you? I love summer because flowers are everywhere and super cheap to buy. I just picked up a bunch of Godetia from my favorite seller who has a weekly stand at the local farmers’ market for only €5! You really can’t go wrong with flowers that cheap. And godetia are nice because they last and as they expire, they open more and more and their paper-like beauty becomes even more spectacular. Mine still look gorgeous and it’s been nearly a week, and I have them in the sunlight too (a mega no-no when decorating with flowers!). Would you like to see three ways to decorate easily with Godetia? Here is what I did with my bunch after plucking them from the market.

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1. As a bunch. One easy way is to arrange them in your hand and remove some of the leaves on the lower portion of the stems that will be immersed in water. Tie the bundle with a pretty ribbon. In our book, Decorate With Flowers, we show another version of this on page 43 in the Pastels + Neons section – we simply have one ribbon tied around a single stem and placed into a vase. In the example here, I’m taking it a step further to show an entire bundle. This is such an easy-not-cheesy idea because it’s obvious you put thought into it, choose the ribbon, propped them nicely on an angle in a vase (never upright!), so it looks casual and cool. It’s like you are saying to the world that you’re such a decorating diva, such a total bad ass, that you don’t need to fuss with your flowers – you just tie ‘em and plop ‘em in a clear glass vase! Boho chic.

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2. In small cups. I bought these Arne Jacobsen cups last May at Raumformplan when I was working with Leslie on our book. We use these same cups in our book in the Black + White section showing how to decorate for an anniversary party – you know, XOXO, kisses and hugs? Yeah, I’m clever like that. Anyway, I like how the godetias look in something modern and graphic, especially since they are so paper-like and romantic. I like the contrast of hard and soft, don’t you? Against a gray table or on a dark bookcase – really nice.

BONUS TIP: If you don’t have Arne Jacobsen cups, then just use white cups and grab some black (or any color) washi tape and make your own letters or designs on them.

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3. Tape ‘em to the window. And the third way is to use washi tape and tape these suckers to your window during a party. You can tape dozens and dozens and go crazy over-the-top borderline nutcase or be modest like me and tape 3, 5, 7, 9… Whatever makes you happiest.

BONUS TIP: They’ll die faster without water (duh), so the best way is to tape them up right before the party starts and remove them at the end – they’ll go about 8 hours before wilting. When you remove them, instantly clip the bottoms and place them in cold water with a little sugar in it to liven them up. A little sugary cold water is flower Viagra, y’all.

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So yeah, those are some easy, budget-friendly and fun little ways to decorate with flowers… Nice, right? You don’t need to drop wads of cash on flowers or style up something florist-worthy at home. The key is to get creative and do things that take only a few minutes yet add impact and style that gives  you a chance to get creative and use your hands. Once you start decorating with flowers in easy, creative ways you will never go back to the typical pre-made arrangement plopped into a vase. I swear! You’ll really love getting creative with blooms if you give yourself the creative license to just GO FOR IT and not to fuss too much or try to be some flower guru with all the right decor ideas.

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They key, like with anything intimidating or new, is to JUST GET STARTED and take the first step. So why not go buy some flowers this week and see what magic you can create? This isn’t rocket science you guys, we’re not putting people on Mars… This is simply exercising the creativity you were born with and having some fun without judgement or having to be perfect because how boring is perfect anyway? I’m so over it.

Do you like Godetia? Have you seen it in your local flower shop or farmers’ market lately?

Love flowers? If you want to see how I Decorated With Delphiniums last week, then by all means, check out this post. I also showed a few weeks before how to Decorate with Roses that I found clipped ready to be discarded at a local garden and I also shared how to Decorate With Anemones last month in another post here.

(images: all by holly becker for decor8 except for image 6, shot by thorsten becker)

Posted in Decorating Tips, Flowers on June 23, 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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