Travel

Afroart (Stockholm)

October 10, 2007

I loved Afroart and could have lingered in this gorgeous color-filled shop for hours sifting through the endless piles of rugs, blankets, textiles, ikat fabrics, woven this, embroidered that… Oh it was just such a great place to discover, and it was a block from our hotel. Heaven.

Afroart (Stockholm)Afroart (Stockholm)Afroart (Stockholm)
Yum! All so very delightful and the greater good is accomplished when you shop here as it is owned by a group of Swedish designers who work directly with artisans all over the world and purchase directly from them. They have lots of information on their website about their cause, you should read it for all the details.

Afroart (Stockholm)
I couldn’t take it all home with me, so I decided to locate one item that I would forever keep – something special. And this was easy, as it was the first thing I spotted the moment I stepped into the door. It was on a wall ladder that I found my dream blanket, which will go in my living room when I return to the states, a queen size hand-embroidered 100% cotton blanket from Bangladesh with the most beautiful birds on it. It was around $1,200 kroner which was maybe $200 USD (I think, I have to check with my bank). There was also a stuffed elephant and bird to match, as well as a small blanket for kids that was around 400 kroner. I love ethnic stores like this one because the designers select things that are very hip and colorful, bright, fresh – some stores offering ethnic things tend to go more towards the dark woods, colors, and lots of kelly green and orange. Not this place – it was a hue-infused exotic paradise.

Afroart (Stockholm)Afroart (Stockholm)Afroart (Stockholm)They have two stores in Stockholm, but I preferred the one on Hornsgatan 58, in the S?dermalm district because it’s much larger than it’s newly opened sister store. I highly suggest Afroart when in Stockholm, it’s a must-see for those in love with ethnic prints and patterns, helping the environment and villages around the world, and of course, recycling.

(images from holly becker for decor8)






Travel

Stockholm Scoop!

October 10, 2007

I hope you’re prepared to travel this week, because I’m back from Stockholm and ready to give you the full scoop. So if you’ve ever wanted to travel there, this will be your virtual vacation. I can’t wait to share the ‘best of’ highlights from this delightful travel destination. You’re in for a treat this week!

Stockholm Scoop!
But first, a big thank you for your patience while I’ve been away. I think all bloggers battle with taking time away from their blogs and although I was only out for 3 days, it feels like eternity! But no worries, I’m back in full swing now!

Ah Stockholm. What a terrific time away and certainly one of the most inspirational — everything is super stylish, from fashion to interiors, and the people are friendly and helpful, streets are clean, food is amazing, magazines and books are filled with color and character, I’ll have great memories of this city for the rest of my life. What I appreciated the most is that despite ‘having it all’, the people are the most laid back and unpretentious in the world despite how they hold the key to so much beauty, talent and style. There’s no “too cool for school” vibe like I sometimes feel back home in America in certain areas, where you almost think you aren’t good enough to run with certain crowds. I’m sure some of you know exactly what I mean. It was just so nice to land in a place where I instantly felt accepted and welcomed by the people, but that I in turn felt an attachment to – like I could live in Stockholm because I had the feeling that living there could work. It’s not a feeling I have too often.

Stockholm is welcoming, open minded, confident, modern, vibrant, and if you love design and food (as I assume you must), you have to visit at least once in your lifetime. It takes a lot for a city to impress me these days, due to my own age and experience I guess, but wow – it’s a fascinating, beautiful spot that I can’t wait to share with you.

Stockholm Scoop! Book from DesignTorget, ceramic pieces by Karin Eriksson via Cosas.

Oh, and if you like the horse from the first image above, he’s also from Cosas, a gorgeous Swedish online store that I was able to shop from in person at their booth at the Hem ’07 show. I love his little wool saddle. :)

…Back soon!

(image by holly becker for decor8)






uncategorized

Vacation Time!

October 4, 2007

Time for a girls’ getaway! I’m signing off now because in the morning I’m heading up to Stockholm to meet up with Danielle, who is flying there to meet me for holiday. We’ve both wanted to see Stockholm for many years now, so it’s exciting that the time has finally arrived and that we’ll be taking in the sights together, with Emma and a few other friends as our trusty guides. (Psst: Emma wrote a terrific guide to Stockholm if you’d like to see some of things we plan to do while there.) I can’t wait to finally meet Emma!

Vacation Time!I’ll be away from the blog until Wednesday, October 10, so please feel free to browse through the archives and some of my favorite blogs in the left column while I’m away. And when I’m back, I’ll share with you all the highlights from our little adventure in Sweden, from the stores to hotel photos, and a ‘best of’ round up from the Hem design show. I’ll see you back here on Wednesday, October 10th! – xo Holly

(Image: Rob Schoenbaum for the NYTimes)






Inspiration

Mijn Moodboard

October 4, 2007

Want to have a little fun? Time to play! If the idea of creating a moodboard today sounds good to you then visit the Dutch site Mijn Moodboard from VT Wonen and enter your email address to the right, check the box, and click login – that will take you where you need to be to create your very own inspiration board. Here’s one that I quickly pulled together to show you an example of what you can do.

Mijn Moodboard
This little tool/toy is in Dutch, so you’ll need to be patient with yourself to get through it. But once you figure it out, since it’s a highly visual tool, you’ll be on a roll.

I hope an American design magazine eventually integrates something like this into their website because it’s quite a helpful tool and from a marketing/sales perspective, it would be a clever way for a magazine to obtain sponsors, at least I would think. Imagine a site where you could build a moodboard using products that are each linked so you can purchase them if you decide to? I think I’m onto something. Anyway, have a good time, it’s addictive!

(image from mijn moodboard)






Inspiration

VT Wonen

October 4, 2007

Have you heard of the Dutch home interiors magazine VT Wonen? Oh it’s great, for me it’s right up there with Living Etc., Elle Decoration, Skona Hem, and Domino. Swoon!

VT Wonen
Since I don’t know Dutch, I’m a bit lost if I try to read some of the product blurbs, but I still enjoy all the trend pieces, the overall presentation, and the big glossy pages of gorgeous rooms – all in the delicious boho-euro style that I love. If you don’t have access to a copy, no worries because you can browse their inspiration galleries online – so many great images to motivate your next room redux.

VT WonenVT WonenVT WonenVT WonenVT WonenVT WonenVT Wonen

(images from vt wonen)






Trends

Power Poufs!

October 3, 2007

No matter what you call them, pouffes, floor pillows, cushions, poufs — whatever — these beauties are the it accessory for the home right now, and I’m willing to bet into the new year and beyond. Loved for their versatility (foot stool, place to sit, or table), within reach pricing (at least most of the time), and overall cuteness factor, it’s hard to go wrong with something so right. Take this felt pouf from one of my favorite designers, Chris Labrooy. How can you not desire one of these in your home?

Power Poufs!
With so many hunting for durable pieces that perform double duty without taking up much-needed floor space, the pouf is perfect because you can easily tuck one away beneath a table. I think they look so stylish and often bring in the pattern, color, or texture that a room needs – the icing on the cake. In all its available shapes and sizes, why not check out a few of my favorites to see if anything clicks with you, perhaps you’d like one for yourself? I’ve included a few inspirational images from Living Etc. so you can see them in actual spaces.

Power Poufs!Power Poufs!
First off, the Morrocan pouf – it’s the first thing I think of the moment I hear the p word. I love them in soft leather with the handstitched patterns, they’re very bohemian I think, they have that come relax in my casbah appeal. White leather is my favorite, but a close runner up is pale pink and then the turquoise ones – or something in a pale mustard. Aren’t these beauties from Graham and Greene the best? I like them around a coffee table for dining with friends. Also great for the patio in the warmer months, with candlelight of course.

Power Poufs!
This one from Shabby Chic is gorgeous, I saw it up close and personal in their new Boston/Natick store and it’s worth every penny. Even if you do need several hundred pennies to buy one. :)

Power Poufs!
Of course, you can get them in felt too, which really appeals to those living in colder climates I think. Leather is nice, but if you live in a region that is cold for most of the year, then you may be more inclined to find something in wool or cotton. I like this felted pouf from Danish Bohema (a site I found thanks to Leah) because it has an embroidered pattern much like the Moroccan ones above. This one is made by En Gry & Sif of Copenhagen, distributed by Danish Bohema in the U.S. for $113 – which I think is a terrific price.

Power Poufs!
Shirdak out of the Netherlands also has some in felt showing off some bold ethnic patterns. I see floor cushions and poufs everywhere in decor over here, in all the magazines I flip through they’re in so many rooms – and also in the homes of my friends.

Power Poufs!

The Alseda is another that I really like, it’s a very affordable option for under $30 at IKEA and it’s very natural – made from banana fiber so it’s eco-friendly, too. Top it off with a silver tea tray set, Danielle from the Style Files uses hers for this purpose and I think it looks great near her fireplace.

Power Poufs!

Big on color and pattern? Although these are ottomans, they’re a great alternative if you seek something soft with a decorative pattern. I like these three from Anthropologie, some are under $300 on sale, so click here for the full scoop on that. Or this floor cushion made to resemble an ethnic style pouf from Urban Outfitters for only $40.

Power Poufs!

And of course, some more pouf inspiration in case you wonder about how to place them in your home. They aren’t just for the living room, you can use them just about anywhere you’d like.

Power Poufs! Power Poufs!Power Poufs!Power Poufs! Image from Het Kabinet.

And you can even sew a few up yourself. Amy Butler recently released a new pattern called Gumdrop Pillows, aren’t these the best?

Power Poufs!
And blogger Yvestown from the Netherlands got her hands on a pattern and using fabric from Cath Kidston, she crafted one for her home. (By the way, if you like CK stuff, you can now order a catalog right here at no cost.) Yvestown said that many more gumdrops will follow, as she seemed to really enjoy making this one. Isn’t it gorgeous? Here’s her photo below. I purchased fabric from Amy Butler to make one for my own living room when I’m back in the states (a winter project).

Power Poufs!
Looking for additional seating options that are pouf-like? Try Fat Boy, Livingstones by Smarin (shown below), and Blog Beanbags.

Power Poufs!
Hope this pouffe post gave you some decorating inspiration for today. I know it did for me, now I have to reupholster my ottoman and make a few gumdrop pillows. :)

{Sorry blogging has been light the past day or so, I’m still getting settled here in Germany, our schedule has been nonstop since we landed. I’ll see you tommorow!}






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