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13 Trendy Decorating Ideas + Bolia: Now Delivering To EU Countries

Want to see 13 trendy decorating tips for Autumn/Winter 2014? Danish design brand Bolia has gorgeous furnishings and accessories for interiors but there are also some design tips you can pick up from their deliciously inspiring catalogs that I’ll highlight below… And Bolia has some good news! They’ve only been available to those of us living in Denmark, Germany and Sweden until yesterday. Now they’ve launched an English version of their shop online and will deliver to all EU countries. Also until tomorrow August 31st, you can get 25% off many items in their online shop. Yes, really. A big sorry to my American friends because I know this post is a real teaser but at least you can see the creativity and gorgeous designs coming out of Scandinavia so you can look for similar things stateside to add to your homes for a more international flair. Ready for some decorating ideas?

Flower$3s_zoom1. Decorate with flowers, real or faux, stuck to the wall. Or buy this Floral wallsticker.


2. Decorate with plates arranged a bit imperfectly. I love a simple collection of plates randomly hung on a chalky gray wall, so subtle yet striking.


3. Decorate with framed artwork tightly arranged. I love concrete exposure on walls and floors, so this image really made me smile. But more interesting is this tight grouping of frames. It looks easy to hang frames touching like this but trust me, it’s not. In the end though it is worth the time and F bombs.


4. Tape lots of stuff up and mix with framed art. I love all of these things taped and nailed to the wall, it’s a giant mood board really. Of course the furniture and herringbone wooden floors aren’t too shabby either.


5. Try a high contrast work studio in black and white. In a creative studio, this super large illustration looks totally cool too don’t you think? But check out the contrasting work stations. Luke join me on the dark side.


6. Decorate with butterflies. This is definitely one of those rooms you’d never have that is purely meant to inspire the viewer. But I do think that chair is gorgeous and the table too. Those butterflies caught my eye, wouldn’t it be pretty to use fishing wire and string up something like it using a simple butterfly shape craft puncher and brown paper from bags you’ve recycled from the grocery store?


7. Decorate with wall panels and a paint your sideboard in fun colors on the doors only. The sideboard is really the coolest, at least if you intend to keep those colors in your home for a wee bit. And that chair, YES. I do love me a good lounger with a slim profile. I’m a little over the arching floor lamps, I guess I’ve seen them too much. The coffee table must be a bit of a statement or art piece unless perhaps they are trying to make the point to consider childproofing your room before buying that new coffee table. The gold metal backdrop is very cool. I love the idea of adding focal points like this because you don’t have to paint, wallpaper or do whatever to all four walls in a room, heck you don’t even have to do “it” to the whole of one wall. Five panels of whatever works. Wallpaper, metal, wood, stone, whatever. Even the faux equivalent of stone and wood as wallpaper. My final comment is that is it my monitor or is there a ghost in the room? Who ya gonna call?


8. Do buy a gorgeous sofa that is cozy and good for sinking into. Let’s just get this out of the way (sorry Bolia). I don’t like this bookcase. It feels like the room is slidinggggg. But the rug, though too small for this sofa width, is great as is the upholstery. Looks super duper cozy for window. Side note: I love how the home owner cleverly concealed their wall radiators on the left with those built-ins beneath the window. If I owned my apartment I’d do that too. It’s so much prettier than radiators sticking out unless you have those old gorgeous ones (you know what I’m talking about). But most of us don’t.


9. Decorate with boxes, stacked, to form a bookcase, credenza or whatever. Secure them to the wall if you have littles. But oh my goodness you guys! Stackable boxes are SO bad a$$ over here. Everyone really likes them. So versatile.


10. Add greens and flowers to your space and don’t be afraid of a sofa that’s a color but still could pass as a neutral. So let’s talk about this photo for a minute. Sofa. Want. Desk. Yes. Chair. Maybe. Plants and light placement – must be an art statement. Flowers on the wall – in my current book on page 57 in the Market Style section – love that look so much. This clearly isn’t someone’s home or meant to be an example of how to decorate, I know that. It’s funny to see this shot though as an outsider because we often look at catalogs and think everything is in a real room and most of the time, it’s not. It’s furniture dropped into a big light studio with panels brought in and flooring, etc. I’ve never worked on a set like this, but would honestly love to style an entire catalog – perhaps I’ll get around to that eventually.


11. Decorate with exposed concrete walls or find concrete wallpaper. Not sure if that wall is real or faux but I’m liking it. Yeah, it’s not the warmest room in the world mood-wise but once you add some soft furnishings to the mix and a little color you could add a little heat. That cabinet is sweet.


12. Decorate with wall illustrations. Oh the time when we had phones with cords… Okay so I’m not even close to ever owning a white sofa like that, even with slipcovers, because I live in jeans and couldn’t bare to ruin my stylish sofa with denim smudges. But that wall illo is very cool. I wouldn’t do it in my living room but I would consider a wall illo in an office or kids room or playroom for sure.


13. Decorate in this color palette that takes you from Fall to Winter with one simple swap out. I guess you can say I’ve saved the best for last. I am CRAZY about this color palette for Autumn. It’s so nice! You can pull the pumpkin during the winter months, or just slip cover that ottoman in a gray or deeper rose tone and top it with a white lucite tray and a nice little fir tree in a pretty pot to winter it up. I love this unusual color pairing though, what do you think?

And for fun you have to click on the Bolia sofa website called Find True Love At Last, it’s the cutest thing ever. It matches you to the sofa of your dreams.

(images: bolia)

Posted in Decorating Tips on August 30, 2014

Inspired By James Leland Day

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.

jamesleelandday4 jamesleelandday2 jamesleelandday3 sweaterweather jamesleelandday5 harvesttime jamesleelandday1   Are you feeling Fall-ish too? (images: james leland day)

Posted in inspiration on August 29, 2014

My Work Studio Redux: Update 01

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?

mood-board-office (click to enlarge)

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! artminted sideboard-helvig-i-weiss-53ad9a3711dbdSome 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.

And yeah, here is a Pinterest board where you can follow my office redux progress… And here is a post with my floor plan and before shots.

(images: fashion for home, griottes, minted, nordic leaves, breakfast at yurman’s, fab sugar, est magazine)

Posted in workspace on August 28, 2014

Textiles From The Amsterdam Studio of Mae Engelgeer

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)

Posted in textiles on August 25, 2014


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