I always like to peek in on what my friend James Leland Day is up to on his website. He has a few new style stories on his site that inspired me today to take a country drive. James is an American professional Style Director and Interior Designer who lived in Paris for years and who now is based in Berlin and has quite an extraordinary eye and vision and is a really lovely person to boot.
If you were at my book launch in London at Anthropologie on Regents Street awhile back, you will remember meeting him – he was one of my special guests who spoke about decorating. Here are some inspirations from his portfolio to inspire your weekend. I’m feeling Fall-ish after seeing these images and then spending the afternoon in the German countryside picking flowers, pumpkins, squash, sunflowers… So I’m ready to work on preparing the house for more of a Fall mood this weekend to welcome in September. What about you, what will you do? For my friends stateside, have a lovely Labor Day weekend.
I’m so happy that it’s nearly the weekend because we’ll be visiting the Lüneburger Heide (or heath in English) with the baby. I love it there this time of year, imagine acres and acres of nothing but gorgeously wild heather growing thick all around you with the very rare, local Heidschnucke sheep native to Northern Germany casually grazing here and there. I’m hoping that, like our last visit in 2013 when I was 5 months pregnant, that this year the same big puffy white clouds will hang from bright blue skies in slightly crisp Autumn air. I vowed to return with the baby this year and walk the same path my pregnant feet carried me last year, and so I will. Plus, it’s nearly sweater weather so I’m in love. I picked up a gorgeous navy cashmere sweater the other day and can’t wait to wear it – I just need some Autumn boots. Any tips?
So let’s talk about decorating (always a fave topic around here!). I’m pulling together my new work studio because I realized when I had the baby that my studio isn’t really working for me and until I can find space outside of my home to work (I’m currently looking in Hannover for a office with a storefront to rent in List or Oststadt), I have to make THIS space work for me and my baby who spends a lot of time with me while I’m working from home. We don’t have childcare or send him to a crèche, so we’re doing 50/50 parenting and it’s working out great so far. Aidan will be 7 months old September 9 and life is pretty good despite how many people warned me that the first year with a baby is both heaven and well, hell. I’m having a hard time balancing things out, my roots are showing, my nails are screaming for some polish, I am still wearing my pregnancy jeans (yeah, I’m not proud of that but I’m also not ashamed), and with my window cleaner not showing up last week and my house cleaner being on vacation for a month now, the house isn’t looking so shiny lately and my work studio is littered with two monstrosity Fisher Price things that entertain my little boy while I write blog posts and sing him nursery rhymes simultaneously so he doesn’t feel dissed by the computer. Yet all of this seems so fun and natural and I could never go back to my old life. I thought my old life was so fancy and free but honestly, being on the other side of it with a baby, it was lonely and me-centric. I like having a baby to remind me that more important things exist and that very basic things are often the most important ones. When I watch his eyes light up as he does some crazy air tap dancing moves in his high chair as I introduce him to a new food (avocado yesterday, which he LOVED), I am reminded that even eating a simple piece of food should be pleasurable and worthy of a little tippity tap dance.
But back to the point. Decorating. My Studio. My color palette is above. What do you think of it (see above mood board)? I love it.
Colors: Mint, Nude, Blush, Coral, Shots of red, Shots of neon yellow, black, gray
Materials/Etc.: Natural wood, white glossy furniture, marble, metallic gold, lucite, glass, lots of pattern and fun!
Mood: Quirky, fun, a bit fashion, feminine but not little girl, artsy without the fartsy, bold yet soft, clean, functional.
I’ve been eyeing this palette since I was in Paris working a few years back. I was with my team and I was doing some styling work at Astier de Villatte for my book. It was such a great trip. And I ended up at Merci with James Leland Day having lunch. And I saw this very palette above splattered on the concrete floor in their women’s fashion section, photographed it with my iPhone and vowed to someday use it somewhere in my life. So now it will be in my office. Yeah to snappy pics on the road and Instagram! Here is the art I’ve selected for my art wall so far, it’s all from Minted. I went a little crazy! Once it all arrives, I’ll give you the sizes, frame types and names of all of the work so you can buy it. That will be in another post though next month. A girl needs time. Plus it’s all still being printed and framed in San Francisco and then, it will need to be shipped abroad to me in Germany. God I’m scared of what the VAT is going to cost! Some of the art will have natural wood frames and other, white. The art will go above this sideboard from Fashion For Home, Sideboard Helvig I. Most of you LOVED the sideboard I originally thought I’d go with, but then I decided that a few of you who loved this one below had some good points about the drawers and storage in general, so thank you for that. So I’m going with the Sideboard Helvig I. I can’t wait for it to arrive so I can show you how the art and the sideboard work together. Not ALL of the art will go over the sideboard, I have other walls in my room reserved for it as well as the adjacent workspace where I host workshops, so it will be evenly dispersed.
Okay so that’s where I’m at. I’ve ordered the sideboard and the art. Trust me, this took for damn ever. But I can’t wait to pull it all together. So now I’m on the prowl for a little two-seated sofa, a round sofa table, MAYBE a rug though I may just use the flokati that I no longer am using in Aidan’s room (unsure), and a new bookcase. I also plan to disassemble my work station (see my current work studio disaster here) and reconfig my desk. I have some cool stuff planned for the walls too.
I really like the work of Mae Engelgeer who is a Dutch textile designer located in Amsterdam. Her blankets, weavings, placemats and tablecloths are just lovely. See what you think…
Her bio is too lovely to chop up so I think I’ll share it with you in part, “One thing immediately stands out in Mae’s approach to design: she isn’t afraid to show color. Her approach to design and her working method is really instinctive, sensory and natural. Her work can be described as fresh, modern and eye-catching. For her it is really about the ‘feel’ of a fabric and she tries to ‘bring a fabric to life’. Mae Engelgeer has a background in fashion (Amsterdam Fashion Institute) and autonomous arts and design (Sandberg Instituut), which adds up to a versatile education. Underneath this diversity runs a very clear thread, a heartbeat of ikat patterns, a close collaboration with the TextileLab, and of course the baseline of pop coloring. All of those elements emerge from Mae’s intuition, ultimately coming together into a unique sensible whole.” I can definitely see the ikat inspiration, can’t you?
(images: Mae Engelgeer via Passion Shake)