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OYOY Living

There are so many great interior firms in Denmark, which sometimes makes me wonder how those Danes do it in such a small country – there are so many collections! I came across OYOY Living recently, based in Copenhagen, and since I’ve not seen them blogged anywhere yet in my travels, I thought I’d share them with you guys. Check out their product line, simple yet bold.

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About OYOY, “The name OYOY is inspired by the letters OY, which since 1929 has been written on every Danish aeroplane regardless of where in the world it may be located. The letters indicate that we are a Danish company. OYOY creates high-quality products focussing on form, function, colour and exquisite materials. We are inspired by the classic, Scandinavian style, adding undertones of simple, Japanese design and a passion for combining colour and materials. The result is a unique blend of simplicity and colourful design. The primary designer of OYOY is Lotte Fynboe, who was educated at TEKO in Herning with a speciality in interior and furniture design. At times OYOY has an external designer – for example Kristina Dam, who has designed the Nordic print series. Shape, graphic, colour and clean materials inspires Lotte Fynboe and her motto is “less is more”. A lot of the products are redesigns of childhood memories.”

A few of my favorites from their product line include: leather trays, “knut” polar bear cushion, Japanese cushions, penguin, step cushion in neon orange, bobbels mini candleholders, button cushion and the bobbel high candleholders.

I think this line is really pretty, the only thing that is starting to bug me in Denmark about design there is how so many of the brands look the same these day. Like OYOY Living looks a lot like Ferm Living. Which makes me confused because why does everybody have to look the same? Let’s hope that Danish firms start to value more their individuality and style again as they did years ago, which put their design on the map in the first place and later, made it so enviable worldwide. But for now, we have to just wait and see I guess – wait and see what the future holds for design in Denmark.

(images oyoy)

Posted in inspiration on April 05, 2014

My Top 14 Favorite Floors

I’m floored! I was so inspired by Gudy’s trend post that I wanted to pull together my top 14 favorite floors, at least for now until I spot something else that oozes awesomeness. I don’t know, maybe you don’t care, maybe you do, but I love flooring and think it’s totally worth the investment. In fact, I know it’s worth it because we recently had hardwood flooring installed in the back of our house and it made a HUGE difference in our life and also in our heating bill already! Here are some floors that I’m into at the moment, I’m curious to see if any of these appeal to you or if you already have one of these looks at home?

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1. Floral floor tile? OH YES PLEASE. This is just the cutest, I’m in love. And check out the tile in the adjacent room too in those sexy hexy shapes. Now I want to see all of the other rooms in this home, the beauty must just go on and on and on… In fact, did you check out the doorways – each trimmed inside with black paint? Pinch me. via: remodelista

f2ba4f8b24011c63efdf98175560996b 2. Washi tape as rug. I love how this rug outline was taped beneath the table. You could go nuts with this idea if you have solid flooring (meaning, pattern-free). It may not last forever, but who needs it to? Who cares about forever, my god, just get me through today. I personally love changing things up so this is a great option for the non-committal types. Via: zsa zsa bellagio.

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3. High gloss grey wood. This is such a modern, clean look. You can’t drop anything on it though so this is definitely a good look for clean freaks. So shiny and pretty but also very classy. Via: Stellan Herner/Skarp Agent

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4.”Escher-esque” tiles. This is just TOO MUCH SEXY in one space. I love it. It’s very graphic so it must be easy to keep clean since I imagine the pattern makes you a bit too dizzy/loopy if you stare toooo long – unlike my white tile bathroom floors that I have to constantly wipe down! White tile in the bathroom only works if every member of your household is blonde – otherwise dark hairs are a royal pain to constantly scoop up with kleenex (I hate seeing hairs on bathroom floors, I know hair happens but it’s a pet peeve). Photographer: Linda Bergroth

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5. Dark Polished Cement Floors – This is in a house outside of Paris that we nearly shot for my second book, but we couldn’t budget in the extra shoot day. Too bad. I love the floors! via: elle interior

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6. Rustic wide plank floors in black, gray and brown – love! This just screams, “I am one HOT bachelor and this is where I impress the ladies”, right!? This is a floor I want to get on top of! I’d like to add a black worn leather sofa to this space, an art wall and a big flokati rug on the floor so I can get cozy because that sofa, though cute, is NOT curl-up-able.

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7. Diamond Patterned Wood - More wooden floors, this time in a very cool diamond pattern that looks washed out in a grey-brown. Would we call this Grown, like Frown? Again, a floor can really make a room, right? Via: oyoy

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8. Stenciled rustic wooden floors. This is a great look for a porch or kitchen because it has this whole boho vibe. I imagine this floor in a room oozing with plants and stuff from Anthropologie. Via: From London With Love.

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9. Wood laid many ways –  I adore this stylish way to install a wooden floor, don’t you? Really amazing. Definitely on my love list! I love the whole apartment too though, I mean wooden paneling on the walls, that sofa, the high ceilings, it’s definitely a hot property.

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10. Old European tiles: Particularly those from Portgual, Spain, France, Belgium and Germany. This kitchen and the tiles have been a major LIKE of mine for a long time now.  via: no cheap thrills

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11. Wood + Tile Combo - I know it’s pretty mainstream to see natural wooden floors but I still ADORE them. Especially when they’re matte and not super shiny. What I really love about this hallway though is the tiles at the entrance. This is a favorite look of mine that I would LOVE to have in my home someday.  via: Valvet.

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12. Hardwood painted mint (or any gorgeous color): This is such a serene and pretty floor. I like seeing wood painted, white, mint, gray, black… It’s all good to me. via: shape+space

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 13. Tinted wood flooring (in indigo): I’ve never laid eyes on a wooden floor quite like this. It’s so unique and breathtaking but also very subtle and natural. I can imagine a tinted wooden floor in so many different colors. I personally would love a silver tinted wooden floor, that would be so amazing as I’ve not yet come across metallic wooden floors before but imagine they’d look stunning. via: color me indigo

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 14. Painted rug on concrete floors: This is such a great look, don’t you think? Placed a painted rug beneath that table really gives such a large area a defined eating space. Clever and affordable. via: merchant design.

Okay, it’s your turn? What are YOUR top favorites from my finds above? Any that made your knees buckle?

(images linked to their sources above)

Posted in inspiration on April 05, 2014

Studio & Photographer: Alexandra Grablewski

Hello everyone! How are you today? Let’s talk about beautiful photography for a minute and check out an inspiring studio in Brooklyn. If you’ve already caught the link in my recent post about Sweet Paul’s new book (here), then you may have clicked over already and discovered Alexandra Grableweski for yourself. If not, you’re in for a real treat. After reviewing Paul’s book, I wanted to create my own little post highlighting her most gorgeous images because seeing her portfolio made me feel creative and sparked the need in me to start using my Canon 5D more and really LEARN photography and no longer accept being comfortable with the same old settings I often fall back on which produce very mediocre results.

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In other words, her work gave me a swift butt kick! Alexandra’s photos are a combination of technique and a clever eye, which to me are the key ingredients in taking photos that stand out from the pack. You can’t have one without the other because you can have the best angles, gorgeous subjects, and the awe-inspiring surroundings, but if you don’t know how to capture them correctly on a technical level (lighting is key!), then you may never be fully satisfied with your photographs. I must add though that you also need a lot of patience because working with people (especially pets and children) requires a lot of it. We had an infant photo shoot in my home last month 10 days after my son was born (see the results here) and our photography, Christin Lange, was so perfectly patient with our baby despite how she’d position him a certain way and immediately he’d move and she’s have to do it all over again and again and again. I observed her patience and it brought baby and child photography up to a whole new level of respect in my eyes. I had no idea how much work it was to get babies posed well for a single image.

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For those of you who aren’t familiar with Alexandra’s work, she is professional photographer based in Brooklyn who specializes in food, still life, children, and travel photography. When she’s not on location, she is shooting from her home which doubles as her studio space for client work. She recently shot the new book by Paul Lowe called Eat & Make, which you can win a copy of here until April 8, 2013. Here are some glimpses of her home studio below to give you a peek.

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What an interesting concept to keep your home tidy and spare so that you can use it as your studio space in addition to living. I find it so interesting that she can even live that way, I tend to have so much stuff that is personal that I’d have a hard time loaning my private space out to clients or shooting in all of the rooms in my home. I admire her tidiness and dedication to her work so, SO much. I also love that despite being in New York City, her three-story city home looks like it’s located in the middle of a scenic countryside. It has a very Connecticut or New Hampshire vibe – very New England – so charming. All of the white and wood makes for the perfect backdrop for so many different types of photos, too.

Here are some of my favorites from her portfolio. I particularly love the ones that center on lifestyle and children, for obvious reasons given I just had my first child! I also need to get a marble work surface like the one shown in the below photo. I love marble surfaces that are white with gray because you can really let things melt and smear nicely on them and they won’t dry as quickly or absorb into the surface as they would if placed on a wooden surface. Truth be told, I’ve been really attracted to them lately because my neighbor and friend Susanne, who writes the blog Milas Deli, uses one in lots of her IG stream photos and I really like how it looks. I’m on the prowl for one to buy for my kitchen now so I can start showing some of my own food photos that I post on IG with a marble background instead of always relying on my wooden table. It’s getting boring. I need to try some new surfaces and experiment a little bit.

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So what do you think, gorgeous or what?

(images: alexandra grablewski with permission)

Posted in inspiration on April 02, 2014

Delicious Bites: Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies Recipe

Ready for a delicious recipes for brownies? Why not, right? Hi everyone, it’s Jillian here with this month’s Delicious Bites post. With Easter just around the corner, my initial thought was to do something chocolately, then my thoughts turned to cheesecake, as they often do. I try to keep my chocolate consumption down to a bare minimum but sometimes nothing else but chocolate will do. Do you feel the same way? With both chocolate and cheesecake on my mind I decided to put the two together and came up with this, a recipe for chocolate cheesecake brownies. These little squares are an absolute favourite with my workmates and when I take them into work for morning tea they disappear in a flash.

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There’s something about the combination of cheesecake with just set chocolate brownie that’s irresistible. The secret ingredient is the potato flour (starch) which helps keep the brownie mixture moist and squidgy while the cheesecake part is cooking. The swirl is important but you do need to do it gently to keep the 2 mixtures separate. I used the closest thing I had at hand to do this, which in this case was a chop stick.

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The brownies are very rich so I normally cut them into squares but if you’re brave, then cut them into bars.

Here’s the recipe for you and trust me, you’ll be glad you made them.

Brownie Ingredients:
125g (4 oz) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
185g (6 oz) dark chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup plain flour
1/4 cup potato flour (starch)
1 1/2 (20 ml) tbs cocoa

Cheesecake Ingredients:
250g (8 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large egg
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Grease and line the base and sides of a 8 inch (20cm) square pan with baking paper or aluminum foil, making sure the paper goes up all four sides. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (conventional). Sift the flours together with the cocoa into a small bowl. Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl placed over a medium saucepan filled with simmering water, stirring until smooth. You could also do this in the microwave. Remove the bowl from heat and mix in the 2/3 cup sugar, then the eggs. Mix in the flour and cocoa mixture and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until the batter becomes smooth and glossy. Spread half the brownie mixture evenly in the prepared pan. In a separate bowl, beat together the cream cheese, the egg, 1/4 cup of sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. You could also do this step in a food processor. Dollop the cream cheese alternately with the remaining brownie mixture over the batter in the pan, then take a knife or spatula (or even a chopstick) and gently swirl the cream cheese mixture with the chocolate batter.

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Bake in the preheated 180°C/350°F oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the batter in the centre of the pan is just set. Leave the brownie in the switched off oven with the door slightly ajar for a further 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack, then lift the brownie out of the tin and peel away the foil. Cut the brownies into squares or bars. These will keep in an airtight container for a couple of days. They also freeze well.

 

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Wishing all of you a vert Happy Easter and Passover! I’ll see you all again next month with some more Delicious Bites for you, Bye for now – Jillian

(images/text: jillian lieboff)

Posted in Delicious Bites on April 02, 2014

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