Decorating Tips

Modern + Clean Rustic Lodge Style

July 4, 2016

Hello everyone and to my American friends, Happy 4th of July! I’d like to be in Boston right now awaiting the big fireworks fest (or in Manhattan) as this was our annual tradition when we lived stateside. To bring a little festivity to my July 4th weekend as an expat in Germany, I went to a Schützenfest parade followed by a large fair. It has nothing to do with American independence day but it felt nice to do something festive and funny as it sounds, I left inspired but in a most unexpected way. As the bands marched by, I couldn’t stop thinking about Autumn interiors.

Modern + Clean Rustic Lodge Style

I’ll get to that in a moment but first you may be wondering what is Schützenfest? In short, it’s a marksmen’s festival with a target shooting competition popular in both Germany and Switzerland. And don’t worry, no animals were/are harmed! “At a Schützenfest, contestants compete based on their shooting abilities, for example by shooting at a wooden representation of an eagle. The winner of the competition becomes the ‘king of marksmen’ (“Schützenkönig“) until the next year’s competition.” Quite harmless but there is still a big culture around it. Some men that I saw had over 50 badges on their jackets as they proudly marched by in their traditional gear.

Modern + Clean Rustic Lodge Style

I happen to live in the city where they host the largest Schützenfest in the world with over 5,000 marksmen, 250 rides, multiple large beer tents and a parade. This is not your typical parade though with over 13,000 participants from all over the world, 100+ marching bands covering a little over 3 kilometers though the length is nearly 12 kilometers – so it’s the longest parade in the world and takes HOURS to observe – half a day!

As you can imagine, my two-year-old son (he will be 2 1/2 next month) LOVED the parade. As he chomped on a giant pretzel and watched the bands stomp by, his eyes were huge and curious. It was so cute. Later, we took him to the fest with his oma (grandma) and played the typical carnival games and he ran around pointing to all of the fun signs and lights. I saw everything through much younger eyes and it was all really sweet.

But interiors. Somehow I made a connection to home being there. No clue why. Inspiration is like that though isn’t it? No rhyme or reason. Perhaps after being immersed in this marksmen culture seeing all of those traditional costumes, with lots of green, blue and crimson tones, was the jumping off point. I began to think about how these outfits could translate into interior design but in a fresh, light way and not so much the heavy hunting lodge motif that we immediately call to mind. I imagined rooms like these shown below… Modern farmhouses and lake houses with a bit of a lodge vibe.

Modern + Clean Rustic Lodge Style

Modern + Clean Rustic Lodge Style

Modern + Clean Rustic Lodge Style

Modern + Clean Rustic Lodge Style

Modern + Clean Rustic Lodge Style

Modern + Clean Rustic Lodge Style

Modern + Clean Rustic Lodge Style

Modern + Clean Rustic Lodge Style

Modern + Clean Rustic Lodge Style

GET THIS LOOK:

COLORS: Green, gray, rust, crimson, black, charcoal, cream, white

KEY ELEMENTS: Woven rugs in natural fibers, sheepskin throws, taxidermy, tools, antlers, images of the outdoors (forests, mountains), plaid throws, wool blankets, black iron, suede and leather, woven hangings on the wall, brass, pendant lights with exposed draping cords. Concrete, Raw, natural wood. White paneling. Reclaimed wood. Cement. Matte paint in natural tones. Linen bedding. Horses and livestock in photography, Ceramic tableware in natural tones. Very little pattern except through texture. Plants and herbs and green wreaths, Stripe and plaid is okay for blankets, throws and rugs. Rough surfaces. Most of the pattern is brought in through texture.

SCENTS: Lapsang souchong, fir, bergamot, tobacco, white tea, cinnamon, pine, sandlewood, No.92 Objets d’Amsterdam candle by Marie Stella Marais, SKOG candle by Skandinavisk and Diptyque Feu de bois candle.

AVOID: Glamorous accents that sparkle and shine, jewel tones, white furniture (except like a Ghost sofa or a small stool), Metallic silver, pastels, formal lighting, large area rugs in bold colors, floral patterns, bold geometric patterns. Nothing that feels too special or delicate, roses and delicate flowers, succulents.

What do you think about this look? Does it speak to you?

(Photo credits: Vogue Living Australia, The Estate TrenthamKara RosenlundAirows, Disc Journal, Baobab Interiors, The death of cool, Stitch & Hammer, Kinfolk, Ultralinx, Gracious Home)






Shopping + Products

8 Exotic Wallpapers I Love

July 1, 2016

Okay onto some very lovely wallpaper patterns from Milan today… I’m a bit into wallpaper at the moment so indulge me please. These are from Wall & Deco. I really love how exotic and moody these patterns are. Swoon.

8 Exotic Wallpapers I Love

8 Exotic Wallpapers I Love

8 Exotic Wallpapers I Love

8 Exotic Wallpapers I Love

I like these patterns but the leaf print top image to the right, in white and green, speaks to me the most. I imagine it in a very big room with polished concrete floors and large windows paired with contemporary Danish furnishings. It would be on a focal wall to provide depth and interest to the room, to really draw in the eye. I’d love to bring in some boho vibes too through texture like rattan, macrame and ceramics.

Ciao bella!

Holly x






Decorating Tips

Faux Tile + Marble Wallpaper

July 1, 2016

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about wallpaper that looks like tile or marble. It’s been a trend for awhile but often things resonate much later than when the trend hits. Trends aren’t always coming at the right moment for me. I often need to let them rest for a bit, observe how they are being used, and then I decide for myself if something trending has legs to stand for a bit longer than a season or two. I want to be more intentional in my shopping decisions and less driven by trend or emotion.

Faux Tile + Marble Wallpaper

Let’s discuss faux tile wallpaper first… Have you ever thought to use it on stairs, in the kitchen or bath, or perhaps in another room in your home? If not, why? If so, do you have some good resources to share in the comments section of this post? I’m going to share some of mine below in case you would like to try this idea at home.

About the application and use for faux tile, Graham + Brown says, “Tile wallpapers are mainly used in kitchens and bathrooms, as an easy alternative to ceramic tiles. If you have a small room with lots of corners and windows then ceramic tiles can be difficult to apply. Our tiled wallpapers are easy to apply and many provide a splash resistant surface suitable for kitchen and bathroom conditions.”

Great option for renters! Honestly though, I’m more keen on the faux tile wallpaper that looks like old Portuguese tile work or something else uniquely European, like floor tiles you may see in Barcelona or Berlin, patterned and definitely not overly modern or clean. Like typical white square tile found in so many rentals.

I also imagine decorative European-inspired tile used on stairs (like this) or perhaps sparingly on a bathroom wall or kitchen backsplash. It would be nice to use it to mimic some of these rooms – the examples below are showing the real deal, ceramic tile, BUT you can imagine using wallpaper tile in the same way, can’t you?

Faux Tile + Marble Wallpaper

Faux Tile + Marble Wallpaper

Faux Tile + Marble Wallpaper

FAUX TILE SOURCES

Graham + Brown

Zoffany Spark Wallpaper

Better Homes + Gardens shop

Burke Decor

Now, let’s look at some good examples of faux marble wallpaper. This is extremely interesting because I’ve never imagined marble on MY walls except for a bit in a kitchen or bath. But even then, I envision a backsplash or marble underfoot. Yet, seeing it in these examples causes me to think more broadly about this application… It’s actually quite interesting to behold.

Faux Tile + Marble Wallpaper

Faux Tile + Marble Wallpaper

Faux Tile + Marble Wallpaper

Faux Tile + Marble Wallpaper

What do you think about this look, faux marble on walls?

SOURCES

Tapeten web shop

Ferm Living

Lime Lace

Of course, the real deal is always the preference but when renting or on a budget, it’s not always possible so you have to find creative ways to still have what you want, just tweaked a bit… And c’mon, how many of us want to invest in real marble from floor to ceiling? It’s fun to have creative options.

In my next post today, I want to introduce you to some gorgeous wallpapers from Milan, you will gasp.

xo

Holly

PS You may also love this post about other faux wallpapers I found in the past.

(Tile photography: My Domaine fireplace/Tessa Neustadt, Rug Knots, Design Milk, My Domain kitchen)






Shopping + Products, uncategorized

Tables With Porcelain Legs In Barcelona

June 30, 2016

I came across this gem of a collection in Milk Magazine (France) by Barcelona-based designer and potter, Xavier Mañosa, and just had to share it. His tables are made with oak tops and legs from porcelain and stoneware. Excuse me while I geek out but his work is amazing in my eyes. I love the simplicity, clarity, texture, use of natural elements, and the overall idea of it. Also the colors, wow, great palette right?

Tables With Porcelain Legs In Barcelona

Xavier is part of Apparatu which is a design studio, pottery workshop and family business which sounds like such a nice place to spend your days as a designer, doesn’t it? They work on commission and also develop in-house projects. They also have an online shop.

Tables With Porcelain Legs In Barcelona

Tables With Porcelain Legs In Barcelona

Tables With Porcelain Legs In Barcelona

These tables and ceramics are from the Fang collection offered through b.d. Barcelona.

(Photography: bd Barcelona via Milk Magazine)






Travel

7 Ways To (Sorta) Go Offline During Vacation

June 30, 2016

Confession. I went on a photography retreat and I didn’t bring a laptop, Lightroom, Photoshop or any of the usual gear a photographer should bring on shoots and especially into a learning environment when your teacher specifically says BRING YOUR LAPTOP.

7 Ways To (Sorta) Go Offline During Vacation

I remember packing to leave with my laptop ready to go and I intended to place it in my bag, but then I looked at it and instantly felt super stressed and a bit uncomfortable, my gut told me it would hold my creativity back. I remembered it was listed in our “things to bring” so our teacher and fellow students could look at our work each morning. Yet I still felt like I needed my journey to be without the machine that I’ve become so dependent on each day.

Can you believe I walked away to grab my shoes, looked right at my laptop, and without even thinking I walked away and drove to the airport? I didn’t make a real decision to leave it, I just sorta flaked and started thinking about other things. In a way, my subconscious was giving the laptop the bird, like #FUlaptop, I’m outta here.

When I had to tell my teacher Dietlind Wolf, one of the top stylists and creative visual story tellers in the world that I forgot my laptop, I was so embarrassed. You know when your cheeks go red? I could feel the heat in them as I spoke. I felt like it wasn’t even day one and I had failed my assignment. I didn’t want to let down my teacher or make her feel as though I wasn’t there to learn, just the opposite. But I also felt like having a laptop wasn’t going to help me dig in and really immerse myself in the materials and exercises she had planned for us.

Dietlind’s reaction wasn’t one of panic or irritation. Thankfully. Quite the opposite, she was encouraging and gently explained that this was the way it needed to be, for whatever reason, and that we would find a work around.

And she was right. And we did find a work around which I will explain in a post tomorrow so stay tuned… It was so great easy!

But yeah, not using my laptop for 6 days, no iPad, just my iPhone… was amazing. Here’s how I successfully took a sorta internet vacay for 6 days in case you want to give it a try this summer.

  1. FACEBOOK. I only logged onto Facebook once or maybe twice a day to post something quickly and then I bolted. I didn’t linger. I avoided the negativity and rants that I usually come across each day. Plus, the Facebook app on the phone isn’t as tempting to click around and end up someplace else. You can just post and run and be done with it.
  2. WHATSAPP. I checked my phone to see if my husband had left any messages about our little boy. But even that, I exercised great discipline. I only had brief Whatsapp conversations with 2 people. Not the usual 30 or more in the span of a week.
  3. BLOG. All blog posts that went up on decor8 were prepared in WordPress and scheduled in advance. Didn’t need my laptop to publish those…
  4. DAILY NEWS. I read the NYTimes app at night after dinner. Also, I have the app set to give me a quick alert on my phone in case of world catastrophe. The app lets me know breaking news that I would NEED to know. But other than that, I didn’t spend my mornings scanning the news as I usually do. No one needs to know about all of the shit going on in the world every second of the day. It’s true you guys. We don’t need to be so informed, my god. And to read all of this first thing in the morning from bed, well, it’s a terrible way to begin your day because rarely what makes the news is positive.
  5. PINTEREST. Didn’t bother with my Pinterest. Why? I wasn’t there to be inspired by others, I was there to be inspired and guided by my inner voice.
  6. INSTAGRAM. I love traveling and sharing with Instagram, it doesn’t stress me out. You can be selfish. You can simply post and go. You don’t feel the need or pressure to read, share, comment or even see other people’s photos if you don’t want to.
  7. EMAIL. I didn’t check them. Period. If someone needed me they’d have to wait because I was there to put myself first and I was okay with that. I’m not doing a job that requires hostage negotiation or world peace. Few of us are so important that we need to be connected to everyone, everyday, every moment. It’s hard for the ego to absorb that truth sometimes. We reason we are too important to log off. But it’s total BS! The world, your career, none of it will fall apart if you don’t read your email for a few days, even a week. Plus I have an amazing assistant, if it’s big enough news she will get in touch with me anyway. Before I left, I told everyone that I was working on a project with that I’d be offline so I felt confident that I wasn’t leaving anyone hanging anyway.

I hope these 7 ideas will help those of you with upcoming summer vacays to log off and enjoy the time away. YOU CAN DO IT. And you don’t have to go cold turkey. Just be super selective and choose to connect in ways that don’t stress you out. Sometimes we have to stop and realize that our joy and inspiration is often right inside of us or in a moment, we don’t need Pinterest, the internet or anything else to find it or feel it. We just need to log off and tap in.

xo
Holly






Ramblings

An Honest Cup of Coffee

June 29, 2016

I’m in the office today, for the first time in a long time, and it feels right. It’s good to be outside of my home office so I can think more clearly without my little son frequenting my space, “Mama, mammmaaaaa”… And to be with others who are inspired by aesthetics and design is very nice, and to be surrounded by the beautiful things because adjacent to where I sit are showrooms with the latest collections from several Danish brands.

An Honest Cup of Coffee

But there is more to this office today than some pretty things and nice co-workers. There was an honest cup of coffee with a dear friend who surprised me with a text to stop by, and we talked from the heart, and it was enough to push me forward and onward and ahead. We shared where we are in life, for we’ve not talked in awhile, and spoke in a warmth and honestly that I genuinely valued. So much that I felt a lightness and joy that I hadn’t felt in months.

Life is so short, so full, but so short. And it’s the honest cups of coffee with people who know us and accept us exactly as we are, that makes living our short, full lives so enriching and meaningful. I type with tears in my eyes and a happy skipping feeling in my heart because I, for the first time in a long time, spoke with my friend in a way I’d not done before. I was present, I was there, I made eye contact, I really listened.

My retreat in Sweden with Dietlind Wolf was to explore photography and styling but it ended up becoming a deeper exploration of self – because ultimately our photography IS who we are, revealing our inner world. And since that week away, I have come in contact with my unique voice and authenticity in a way that feels so natural. Finally. I hadn’t realized for how long I stuffed all of this. I can’t believe how open I always thought I was (my whole life is online!), but I learned that I’m not as open as it seems. I am selective in what I reveal and with friends, I’m always trying to stay positive and “super happy” even in times when I want to run and hide. And it’s draining to maintain that strength when it’s not really a strength, when it’s an act. It’s a defense – like when a cat arches it back. You try to pretend you are so big and can handle everything when inside you feel like you are on the verge of tears.

Release, breathe, reveal what you conceal. You will draw in the right people and those who cannot relate will retreat. Maybe they aren’t ready for a “real” connection yet or perhaps they aren’t interested in knowing the real you. And that’s okay. Share more coffees with people who are looking to make a connection. I don’t mean selfie shots and food shots and geeking out over shoes. Sometimes that’s fine but why not use every opportunity you have with your good friends to make a connection that goes beyond the superficial. So many of us are just longing to be heard.

Listen.

Try to pause today if you can, find someone you love, and share an honest cup of coffee. Peel back those layers. Allow yourself to be truly seen. Don’t worry if a tear gently rolls down your face, please don’t quickly wipe it away so your friend can’t see. Who you are, what you feel, that single tear in its fragility —  it’s beautiful.

(Photo: Anoluck, Inspiration: Sara & Nanna ::kiss girls::)






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