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Sandberg Raphael Wallpaper + Hehlen Castle

On Valentine’s Day we went with our little son to Schloß Hehlen (Hehlen Castle), a very sweet castle built in the 1500’s located about an hour away and enjoyed the most beautiful cakes in their cafe, Kaffeewirtschaft, on the castle grounds. Aidan enjoyed his babycino so much and when I took his little hand and walked him around the cafe, he was thrilled. I was too and I particularly loved the wallpaper near the fireplace, so I snapped it and posted on my IG. Within seconds, the wallpaper manufacturer identified it as the Raphael in Green by Sandberg. I didn’t even tag it! That’s the beauty of Instagram – you can post nearly anything and someone will identify the place, the product, even the person within mere minutes.

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(my iphone photo above)

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After visiting the Sandberg website I also found it in a few other colorways but the beige instantly resonated with me as the room it’s shown in looks exactly like my living room – the large window to the right, the linen sheer curtains, even a similar pendant light! You can imagine how this reawakened my need to wallpaper a feature wall in living room! Now I’m trying to decide – will it be a Sandberg, Designers Guild or Farrow & Ball wallpaper? Hmmm.

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Isn’t the lovely? I particularly love it with the marble table and the pretty plants and wooden seating. Fresh and simple with a touch of rustic romance.

(images: sandberg //the snap of me and my little one by his papa)

 

Posted in walls on February 16, 2015

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

You know how I was talking recently about buying a little home, a sweet cottage, somewhere in Germany, Denmark (or possibly the Dutch/German border near the coast) that we could visit some weekends and in the summer? I still haven’t decided where and when yet, but I stumbled upon this sweet and very tidy example of a cottage that could be a nice option only this one is for rent via Red Cottage Inc. and it’s a tad far from home now because it’s in Freehold, New York! But wow, doesn’t it look so European, like it’s been plucked straight from the French or English countryside? And so simply decorated.

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Seeing this place and thinking further about buying a cottage has made me think that when I do find the perfect place, it needs to be decorated very simply and definitely uncluttered. In fact, I’ve been reading a great book about organizing and removing clutter from the home that my former book publicist, Lorraine Woodcheke, sent to me now that she’s working for Ten Speed Press called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Japanese de-cluttering expert and cleaning consultant Marie Kondo and I just love it. I’m working currently to apply it to my great annual spring clean that I’ll soon get started on.

This little book is already an international bestseller with millions of copies sold and is a best-seller in many parts of the world like the UK, US, Japan and Germany. Wow, I can see why the moment I started reading it back in October! It’s so easy to follow, compact and you get through it quickly — plus the most important part is that I found so much of what Marie said both practical and necessary.

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Marie’s tips on sorting papers and storing books are ones I really need to listen to. Marie believes that, “Letting go is even more important than adding,” and “The fact that you possess a surplus of things that you can’t bring yourself to discard doesn’t mean you are taking good care of them. In fact, it is quite the opposite”.

She also believes that the things that we own, when we look at them, evokes emotion within us and that these very real feelings give us the energy for living and that putting your home in order can create a vibrant and happy life. I absolutely agree. Her book is so popular in Japan that it was turned into a television series. I had no idea that Japanese society had a problem with clutter!

Have you read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up? What did you think?

(images: red cottage inc. and seattle refined)

Posted in Books + Magazines on February 16, 2015

The Cozy Seattle Home of Interior Designer Brian Paquette

I’m a fan, like everyone else, of Berlin-based online publication Freunde von freunden and of course, their two very cool books are prominently displayed on my bookshelf. I particularly love this newish profile they have up on their site sharing Rhode Islander Brian Paquette who is now Seattle-based and working as an interior designer. His home is so cozy and warm, a mood I’m really into at the moment and not so much light, bright spaces with bright colors… More moody, deeper hues, very tactile, lush plants and definitely a smell of wood burning in a nearby fire complete with crackling timber. The crocus may be popping up here in Germany, and yes we are quite lucky as it’s nearly 50, my bones still feel very much like it’s the dead of winter and though spring is in sight, I crave the warmth and seclusion of a warm winter interior with masculine touches.

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As a New Englander myself, I could tell right away that Brian was from the northeast before reading his FvonF interview. Something about his home feels very familiar to me. My mother is from Rhode Island and I went to school and lived in Boston for ages though I was raised in South Carolina. But still, I can sense a definite New England flair to his Seattle abode and I love it. He’s mixed the best of both worlds and has done it quite beautifully.

Thanks to this profile, I found Brian’s blog and I love it. He writes so well and shares so deep. I particularly found his post about love quite touching. He also shared a most beautiful thought on his blog about what we can each add to the creative conversation that touched me too, I’ll quote it below:

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open… No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.” – Martha Graham 

(Photography: Dorothée Brand / Belathée Photography via FvonF)

Posted in designers on February 16, 2015

Cityscape Photography Crush

I’ve been really into cityscape photography for the past year. But not just any cityscape because I think the generic ones are cheesy (sorry). I’m dying for a print like this one below that I found at Yellow Bungalow (it’s sold out) and it has to be a landscape shot. Whenever I find something that I love though it seems that it’s sold out, impossible to source, too expensive or not available to ship abroad to Germany (big tears). I am completely, utterly hooked on owning a cityscape like this one, in these gorgeous clear blue and neutral tones… What a stunner.

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It can be of New York, London, I’ve been to so many cities I really love them all, though this Manhattan photo takes the win – it captures the true essence of a splendid city that I spent a lot of time working and playing in for years. Living in Germany but being an American from the northeast, I crave a few visual connections in my current home, through objects, to create an invisible thread from here to my world over there across the Atlantic. This photo above the bed in the swoon-worthy home of Andy and Amber Bell can be found on the Design Files. Here’s a full view of it below.

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From Tucci Brown.

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Petra Bindel for Elle Decoration Sweden – see image far left on wall. It’s not Manhattan, but a similar cityscape that I also love.

PB_teatime2_0494_8bitHere it is again. Still sourcing. No luck yet.

Do you dig cityscape photography as much as I do at the moment? Do you own one? If so, who is the photographer and what city is proudly displayed on your walls?

(images linked to their sources above)

 

Posted in shopping on February 16, 2015

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