Hi guys, it’s Holly Marder and I am excited to show you around a harmonious French apartment with subtle wintry and rustic touches to kick off March. This home, a culmination of two buildings – a former post house for horses dating back to 1755 and its hay reserve – has been lovingly melded into a family home for webshop owner Fanny Roux, her husband and two children. I’m sure you will love the open layout, moody kitchen and the many delicate details to be found in this chic Saint-Germain-en-Laye home, which is located in the western suburbs of Paris about 11 miles away from city center. I hope you love it just as much as I did photographing and styling it together with Fanny!
Well hello decor8 readers! Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Rachel Korinek and I’m a professional food photographer from Melbourne, Australia. I run a blog called Two Loves Studio, a space where you can come hungry and leave inspired with a new perspective on your passions. I feel really excited and humbled to be able to share this column with you for 2016! I am sure many of you share my ‘two loves’, food and photography.
To kick start this year’s column I am sharing with you a Gingerbread Snack Cake, but first a little bit about me. I am a self-taught freelance food photographer currently living in Melbourne. I love the outdoors, hiking and camping in national parks, I’ve studied business and education and have been lucky enough to have travelled the world. I love Asian food and can’t get enough of dishes that call for homemade broths. Over the past few years of sharing my journey into food and photography on Two Loves Studio, I’ve made invaluable and unexpected friendships with other passionate creative and readers alike. I am eager to get to know all of you and my aim is to inspire you to live a life you love, what ever that may entail!
Being aware of the seasonal differences between hemispheres and that Australia is out of sync with the vast majority of the world’s population, my aim is to give you recipes that can span multiples seasons without missing out sharing my favorite creations that use much anticipated seasonal produce. Despite the seasons, good food enjoyed with loved ones is what is most important.
I have just spent a month in Canada with my husband’s family for the holidays and made a point of heading to the grocery store to check out what was available during the winter for this column. I was totally surprised by the availability of summer produce that gets shipped up from the warmer countries around the Caribbean region. It is perhaps a little alarming at the amount of food that we ship around the globe to ensure we can always have produce that would normally be out of season. There is a big trend in Melbourne of supporting locally grown produce and sustainable businesses. Being a food photographer, this isn’t always possible, as you have to adhere to what a client needs for a recipe to be shot, but for my personal consumption of food – I try to shop local where I can.
Now onto the recipe. With the holidays and endless hours of prepping and cooking delicious food long behind us, I’m sure many of us are longing for an enjoyable yet simple recipe to share next time we get together with family and friends. This may also be a nice treat for your Easter table?
I am a total advocate for ginger. I am always pushing for it to be included in our dinner dishes, much to the debate of my husband Matt. “Mmmm, I don’t think that goes together” he’ll often say, (I won’t get into who’s right or wrong!). I feel like my ginger tolerance is like that of chilli. It builds up over time and I need more and more. Don’t however be alarmed by the amount of ginger in this recipe. You want to be able to taste it right? It is also totally fine to halve the amount of ground ginger if you’re not its number one fan.
Ginger is such a versatile ingredient. It can warm us up on cold days, yet refresh us on not ones, help us when our tummies are upset and when our body is suffering from inflammation and pain.
1/2 cup pain, all purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ginger, finely minced
110g butter, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup golden syrup or molasses
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange zest (optional)
1 free range egg
Icing sugar to dust
Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F. Grease and line a 20cm x 20cm (9” x 9”) cake tin. In a small bowl, add baking soda and boiling water and stir. Once combined, add finely diced ginger. Set aside. In a large bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, allspice, baking powder. Add salt and mix until combined. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together. Add both syrups, vanilla, orange zest and baking soda mixture and beat until fully incorporated. Slowly add the flour /dry ingredients into the mixture and beat until fully combined. Add in the egg and continue to beat until the egg is incorporated.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly golden and the cake is bounces back at the touch. Remove and allow to cool.
With a sharp knife, trim the edges of the cake and slice evenly into small serving squares. Dust with icing sugar and serve.
NOTE: This cake is best served in small bit sized squares, and can make an impressive stack dusted with icing sugar. Accompanied with a cup of tea in one hand or a gin and tonic in the other.
This is NOT a sponsored post but we do want to thank West Elm for supplying the serve ware. The gorgeous colors of slate and gold go perfectly with the warm tones of the gingerbread. Shop list: Coloured Glaze Pinch Bowls, Coloured Glaze Prep Bowls, Raw Wood Boards, Scrape Serveware, Gold Flateware Set, Ikat Mini Lattice Napkin Set and Slate Placement.
See you next month, decor8 readers – Rachel.
(Photography, Styling and Text: Rachel, Two Loves Studio.)
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE
Hey friends, it’s me Holly and I want to show you what I’ve done with my bedroom this week to turn it more into a cozy nest. I still have some changes to make around the rest of the room, but I’ll show you how I’ve added bedding from Pine Cone Hill and a gorgeous rug from Dash & Albert to kick off the process of redecorating my very boring bedroom. I must highlight that I’m not a bright color person in my bedroom, I tend to take muted tones over saturated and I love neutrals, blues and greens in sleep spaces with a touch of shell pink. I also like deep gray and charcoal which is what I may end up painting my walls in the next few months, I have to think it over first because it’s a big step to go dark in my bedroom but I’m nearly ready and think a good deep gray would look gorgeous and dramatic, so we’ll see… But first, let’s look at what I’ve done.
Before I got this lovely Chelsea bed from Fashion For Home in Berlin, I had a bed that was basically just a frame and a white headboard – very boring. (Don’t look at the radiator, we can’t do anything about it’s placemat at the moment so we’re just pretending it’s not there.) For the flooring, I have gorgeous hardwood but I still love the feel of a carpet beneath my feet when I step out of bed in the morning so I ordered this gorgeous Moroccan-inspired rug from Dash & Albert. It’s the 8×10 Masinissa Hand Knotted Rug and I just adore the geometric pattern but also the warmth it adds to the space. It’s perfect for year-round use because the palette is neutral but could look very summer-y if I change up the bedding or look cozy and warm for the winter months. This rug is thick, extremely well made, and I enjoy the pile height because it’s thick enough without being so thick that you trip over the edges. It’s also very cozy to step on barefoot.
For the bed, I have three different looks. This is the first look:
On the bed I have the Queen Esha Sheet Set, 1 standard pair of white classic ruffled pillowcases, 1 Full/Queen Stone Washed Linen Pearl Grey Duvet Cover, and at the foot, the Full/Queen Matte Velvet Glacier Quilt. For throw pillows, I have the Ibiza Shale Decorative Pillow and the 20″ Rajasthan Decorative Pillow. In the basket to the left of the bed, you can barely see it above but I have an extra blanket for cold nights, there is a Full/Queen Gradation Ticking Blanket which you can see below laid out on the bed.
I love all of the texture. That is a decorating must-have in a bedroom especially. TEXTURE. It’s sensual and inviting. Stacked near the right side of the bed (you can see in the first image at the very top of this post) is a euro-size Nimbus Slate Matelassé Sham and a giant Selke Fleece Slipper Pink Decorative Pillow which my son loves to pull out and lay on (he’s two). Here they are shown on the bed for a good view.
A few details above of the bedding, etc. I love having a candle near the bed and some linen spray and a little something natural, a plant or flowers. You too? For the next look, I just made a few subtle shifts in how I’ve dressed the bed using the same pieces.
For this look, I’ve pulled the Full/Queen Matte Velvet Glacier Quilt over the entire bed to give the bedroom a bit more subtle color and texture. This quilt is absolutely gorgeous, even more so in person, and I adore the color because it reminds me of my favorite place on the planet – the coast! In fact, my bedroom palette is very coastal and I noticed that only after I put everything together and styled it. I stepped back and instantly realized why I’d chosen all of the colors that I did – it’s very natural and coastal without being beach-themed. I just love it. For this look, I also stacked the pillows on top of the other, with the pattern on the bottom and the white crisp pillowcases on top.
I’m back to reading (and writing) poetry again thanks to a dear friend, so all I do lately is read poems. I’ve become a bit obsessed by it in fact. It makes me feel more alive and in touch with my feelings and that of others. It’s making me more imaginative again too and open to others. Poetry is a beautiful thing to read before bed, don’t get into bed with your phone, get in bed with a book of romantic poetry and a cup of tea, a candle and kick back. That’s such a beautiful way to close the day.
For this look, I exposed the linen duvet again, put the velvet cover back at the foot and placed the patterned pillowcases in the front and added the pillows stacked by the right side of the bed onto the bed – so you can see the pillow and slate pillows there. I didn’t add the striped pillow or the patterned pillow to this look. I kept it very simply and relaxed. I love the drama from the big gray pillow, it feels very dominant but also quite masculine and cozy.
So here are those three looks again. Which one do you like? I like the middle one best, but I do love the addition of that slate sham to the far left. All looks are very subtle but I like that you can just switch up so little but give the room a fresh look. When I finished dressing the bed this morning, my little boy came in and started stroking the velvet cover on the bed and laid on it and said, “Pretty, mama, prettttty”. He really liked it and kept touching everything, he was so appreciative of the bedroom redux, too.
By the way, if you see anything that you’d like to buy shown above, their Presidents’ Day sale for 20% off is valid through midnight PST tonight only and free shipping. So don’t delay! Also, visit the Fresh American blog from Annie Selke, the lady behind these brands.
(Photographs: Thorsten Becker, Holly Becker. Styling: Holly Becker. Text: Holly Becker)
This bedroom redux was brought to you by Pine Cone Hill and Dash & Albert. All opinions and product choices are my own.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE
Hello! It’s Agata here with a design and travel inspired DIY story. But first, I am extremely excited to be a part of the all new decor8 team and to share my ideas with you guys in a monthly home-related column. In my projects, I’ll aim to create pretty details for your spaces following recent trends and styles, but no rocket science, I promise! All of my tutorials are very easy to follow, so you can try them at home with no stress. Having said that, it’s time to get creative and design some Moroccan coasters. Are you ready?
Undeniably, there has been a lot of excitement surrounding Arabic fabrics in the last couple of years. And, when I say a lot, I really mean a lot. It seems like we are slightly obsessed draping every surface around our homes with the Beni Ouarain rugs, cushions, blankets, table runners, and everything else we can find with fluffy ends and zig zag lines. In fact, it appears the trend is still very hot as I saw Moroccan curtains the other day.
In keeping with this Moroccan trend, I came up with a new accessory. It’s something I haven’t seen yet, a mini version of the rugs for our hot drinks or our plants. Before we get into the details I have a confession to make, I love pretty fabrics and all sorts of textiles. My cupboards are filled with many materials I bring back from my travels or find digging in the street market baskets, but when it comes to sewing, I’m not the girl for the job. Seriously. My skills allow me to sew a button to a jacket, but that’s about it. Any sewing jobs involving a sewing machine scares me, so I always look for alternative ways to bring my ideas to life. And, here it is, a very simple way to make no-sew fabric Moroccan coasters. Your drink will be dying to rest on these!
You will need:
– Thin layer of cork
– Arabic style fabric in beige color
– Craft knife
– Fabric pens – black and blue
– Strong hardware double-sided tape
1. First, you will need to decide how big you want your coasters to be – the standard size is 4 in x 4 in but since we are going for the look of the rug I thought 4 in (+1 in of fluff, 1/2 in on each side) x 3.5 in was perfect.
2. Draw the desired shape on thin layer of cork and cut it out, using a craft knife.
3. Cut the right size fabric for each coaster, adding 1 in to the long side for the rug edge fluff and be sure to leave enough fabric to wrap it around the cork.
4. Cover both sides of the cork with the double-sided tape making sure to cover the entire surface.
NOTE: The hardware double tape is so strong that if you want to readjust the fabric at the later stage you might not be able to, so make sure to be as precise as you can from the beginning.
5. Remove the protective layer from the tape and place the cork right in the middle of the fabric. Then wrap the fabric around it and press to the cork to the other side. At the end you should have cork tightly secured to the fabric.
6. Unravel a thread at the edges of your coaster, until you reach cork and tape. Then repeat it on the other side of the coaster.
7. Once you finish unraveling the edges of your mini rug coaster, stick double sided on top of the fabric ends to prevent from unraveling and give the bottom of the coaster a nice finish.
8. Now comes the fun part! It’s time to make your own your pattern! Get the fabric pens and get creative. The good thing is, the lines on the original rugs are never perfectly straight so it can’t go wrong.
The best thing about this DIY is how easy they are to make. I do have an insane amount of coasters at home, suitable for different occasions, but I have to say, these are particularly eye catching.
What do you think of them? Are you also into the Moroccan trend? Have a great day and I’ll see you back here with another DIY story in March! – Agata.
(Photography, Styling and Text: Agata Dimmich. Editor: Jessy Senti)
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE
Hello everyone, are you ready for some gift wrap inspiration for Spring? I really enjoyed putting together this post for you about gift wrap ideas for your upcoming celebrations. My fingers are crossed that you will like it too. Using some wrapping paper from Zazzle along with goodies from my craft closet, I pulled together 5 pretty gifts for 5 different types of people and occasions, all with a fresh Spring theme.
Before deciding how to wrap your present, you have to consider who it is for and the colors that you think the recipient will like the most. Collect all of the little elements. You won’t use them all, but at least you have them laid out before you to build your ideas from.
1. TEENAGE BOY BIRTHDAY – My first gift is for a pretend nephew with the first name Andrew, and he just turned 12. So I went with something that could be a little childlike but also cool teenage boy, too.
I used two gift wraps from Zazzle, the Black and White Modern Concrete Pattern Wrapping Paper and the Customizable Black & White Grid Pattern Gift Wrap. I created a band using the Grid Pattern wrap, then I pulled out a straw from my kitchen stash and formed an “A” using scissors, then with black washi tape, I wrapped it together and added copper wire to the top.
I really love the Black and White Modern Concrete Pattern Wrapping Paper. I have so many more ideas for it but this one works for a teenage boy. I added some stars for a little fun and tied the A with gold leather.
For these two gift ideas, I’ve used the Modern Black and White Dalmatian Spots Wrapping Paper and the Black & White Grid paper. With various papers, handmade crepe paper flowers, washi tapes, etc. I created these two gifts shown below. I find it really helpful to decide on everything you want for the gift by land things side by side on a white bare table so it becomes a bit of a mood board to you. As you look at everything with a critical eye, you start to come up with some clever and creative combinations. The key is not to stress or think to hard. And have fun! Create some fun arrangements with color and pattern. Inject your own style and personality into your wrapping as well as taking into consideration the recipient – their age, gender, occasion, etc.
BIRTHDAY TODDER BOY (OR GIRL) – This little gift, using the Modern Black and White Dalmatian Spots Wrapping Paper, is for my little boy who turned TWO this week. Instead of hiding such a pretty card away, I thought it should be part of the display so I folded back the envelope flap and tucked it into the front. I really love this paper, it’s so versatile and I can see doing all sorts of creative projects with it.
EASTER BRUNCH FOR FEMALE FRIEND – Here is what became of the Black & White Grid paper and the flowers I showed a moment ago (above) laid out. I formed a little paper cone, put the flowers inside and hung some ribbons through the bottom and secured around the cone. It’s so simple and easy but very graphic and makes a bold statement. This is a gift for a stylish girlfriend, one who is a Kate Spade kind of girl – a bit preppy and definitely loves bold and graphic design.
MOTHER’S DAY – My next gift idea is with the Gold Foil Polka Dots Modern Teal Mint Metallic Wrapping Paper and some supplies from my closet, including origami papers and washi tape. This is a very Japanese-inspired look. It’s for Mother’s Day, I know she loves pretty pastels and delicate prints.
BABY SHOWER – I did the same thing with the card as I did earlier, I let the card show on the front of the package. I’ve used the Faux Bois Wrapping Paper and then the Herringbone Pattern Faux Gold Foil Teal Geometric Wrapping Paper to create a thin band around the gift. You’ll notice that I didn’t end up using a lot of ribbon on any of my gifts. I think it’s because I’m currently not that into it as much as I was in years’ past. We all go through phases. Currently, my obsession is paper of all kinds. Oh, and I tucked a Aqua Blue Very Merry Christmas Gift Tag inside, I just used the opposite side so you can’t see the “Very Merry” message. I believe in reusing Xmas tags all year round so they don’t go to waste.
Those are some of my gift wrap ideas. I hope they’ve inspired you.
Other papers I have from Zazzle that I have used and love (not shown on my gift ideas) include:
Tiny Trees Wrapping Paper
Gold Foil Polka Dots Modern Holiday White Metallic Wrapping Paper
Herringbone Pattern Faux Gold Foil White Geometric Wrapping Paper
Black and White Stripes Wrapping Paper
Coral and Blue Girly Plaid Gift Wrap
Fresh Winter Evergreens
Faux Gold Foil White Arrows Pattern Wrapping Paper
This post was created in collaboration with Zazzle. All words, text and opinions are my own.
(Photography, Styling, Text: Holly Becker)
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE
Hi there, I’m a brand new columnist here on decor8 and my name is Gintare Marcel. I’m a cookbook author (4 of them so far) and an avid traveller. I’m originally from Lithuania, but now I divide my time between the mountain covered Swiss countryside and sunny Provence with my French husband, with a few other stops here and there. I’m very excited to join Holly and the whole team at decor8. Each month I’ll be sharing a delicious recipe and sometimes a glimpse of food from my travels. I hope to inspire you to roll up your sleeves to cook, enjoy food, and perhaps dream a little. To begin, I have something very indulgent and all about chocolate since February 14th is just around the corner.
Chocolate seemed like an appropriate topic for Valentine’s Day to linger upon and it is my firm belief that chocolate is indeed a quintessential ingredient to a happy life. What do you think? There can never be too much of it. So, how about a smooth and decadent cup of chocolate for you today?
Pot de crème is a French classic that has as many variations as stars in the sky but for a good reason. It is a quick and easy dessert that results in wonderfully indulgent chocolate cups with delicate orange notes and a touch of liqueur, if you like that sort of thing (wink).
However, the unsung hero of this desert is the rosemary. Yes, really. I love to add a bit of a savory kick to my desserts and rosemary goes so well with chocolate. It makes an easy dessert a little more special. The rosemary cream is simple to make and you can use the same method to infuse any regular cream with lavender, thyme or any flavor of your choice for experiment.
Chocolate Orange Pot de Crème
130g dark chocolate (70% cacao), finely chopped
4 egg yolks
1 tbsp sugar
1 orange zest, finely grated
1 cup/250 ml milk
½ cup/120 ml cream
1 tbsp Grand Marnier
½ cup/120 ml cream
a few rosemary sprigs
1-2 tsp sugar
Place the chopped chocolate in a blender, set aside. Heat milk and cream until just simmering. Beat egg yolks with sugar and zest and pour in the milk stirring vigorously. Stir in Grand Marnier. Return to the stove and continue stirring on medium heat until it starts coating the back of a wooden spoon (it will take a minute or two). Pour everything on top of chocolate and blend till smooth. Divide between 4 cups or glasses and refrigerate for about 2 hours. Take out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving.
To make rosemary whipped cream, bring cream with rosemary sprigs to simmer and let it steep for at least 10 minutes. Then, strain and chill until needed. Whip cream with sugar and top each pot de crème with a spoonful.
Enjoy, Happy Valentine’s Day, and I’ll see you in March with another delicious recipe from my kitchen to yours! – Gintare.
(Photography, Styling and Words: Gintare Marcel. Editor: Holly Becker)