Pure Deco, L?onor Mataillet, and Atelier LZC

September 27, 2007

I never tire of fluffy colorful pillows, it’s a sickness I have and baby, I’m not looking to be cured so don’t even try! It’s the one accessory that I turn to when I need to freshen a corner of my home. I’ve confessed a million times before that I’m completely aware of my design ADD and tire of things quickly, but I’m not the only one. It’s perfectly normal for design addicts like us to tire of things we look at each day. Since most of us can’t replace the sofa that we’re not sick to death of, we have to find alternative solutions to make things fresh and current. This is where our puffy friends step in…

Pure Deco, L?onor Mataillet, and Atelier LZCWhen designing on the cheap, I look to pillows, throws, area rugs, affordable art, and mini collections of things carefully styled to turn up the volume. A tip for pillow addicts, try to purchase pillow covers that either zip or button on and keep reusing the inserts as you swap out the patterns each season. They’re also easier to store this way, just fold and tuck away into your linen closet. And always use down inserts because they make the entire pillow look better and more relaxed than those overstuffed polyfil ones, and never, ever karate chop them because despite how many times you see this done on television, it really does look dumb. Freshly chopped pillows arranged like little bow ties give me that same oh-no-please feeling that I have whenever I’m watching some design show on TV and there’s yet another throw rug shown on an angle. I think Becky from Design Public’s blog Hatch will laugh when she reads this, as I know we’ve had many a conversation about weird design ‘tricks’ we’ve seen on reality shows that in real life, look odd and dated – not in a cool vintage find way, more like in a parachute pants way.

I just adore the bold graphics on these L?onor Mataillet pillows available at Pure Deco, and of course the folkloric prints on the Atelier LZC cushions.

(images from pure decor)


Barbara Vos

September 27, 2007

Barbara Vos is an extremely clever designer from the Netherlands with her degree from the esteemed Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague, the oldest art academy in Europe.

Barbara Vos
As you browse her projects online, you’ll immediately sense that this lady is constantly thinking of ways to improve both the form and function of many things, from interiors to products. I particularly like how she added buttons to the inside of this drum shade, it’s around 399,- Euro, but if you have the time and can craft something like it yourself, I would suspect this would make for another creative craft project for you to try. Isn’t this great idea for those jars of spare buttons you collect?

(image from barbara vos)


101 Woonideeen

September 27, 2007

While I was in Amsterdam over the weekend, I had to pick up a recent copy of 101 Woonideeen, a Dutch home magazine first introduced to me by Danielle that has turned into an addiction for me.

101 WoonideeenIt’s easily one of my favorite Dutch magazines right now because of the clever and quick budget DIY ideas. It’s fun to spruce things up around the house each season, take a few of these simple ideas that I came across – you’re sure to like them.

101 Woonideeen Here are some simple ideas. The first one is a fun and functional solution for magazine storage using white plastic hangers. I think this would be great for a workspace to display pretty papers or fabrics, too. And the next is even easier – tie pretty ribbons around a lampshade – something you can change per season. You can even embellish them with brooches, don’t you think? You don’t even have to use glue to secure them, but of course if you’d like to go for it. You can try double-sided poster tape cut to size.

101 Woonideeen Another simple touch I love – using old belts, you can create colorful and sturdy handles for storage boxes. I’d go a step further and display a pretty gift tag from each identifying the contents.

101 Woonideeen This would be a fun rainy day project. Sew buttons onto a table runner to spell something out. Of course, the shorter the word, the easier the project. Supercalafragalisticexpialladocious may require too much patience. :)

101 Woonideeen Although this page from 101 Woonideeen isn’t to show a specific project, it’s more of product spotlight, I couldn’t help but think that you could take a plain vase and decorate it for Fall/Winter by slipping on a sleeve from a sweater that you no longer need. If your vase is quite slim and your sleeve is a bit to large, opt for children’s sweaters from second-hand stores. It’s a great way to recycle and decorate on the cheap. Knee socks work great, too.

(images from 101 woonideeen)

Arts + Crafts, Etsy Faves

Etsy Art Guide: Nature Prints

September 26, 2007

In case you’re interested, here is the 2nd of a series of 5 slideshows that I’ve pulled together for Domino magazine online around affordable art on Etsy. From silkscreened logs to fanciful butterflies and kaleidoscopic pods, I’m sure you’ll find something that appeals to you. And because I own two of the 15 suggested prints, you can be sure that I’m walking the talk!

Etsy Art Guide: Nature PrintsA special thanks to all 15 of the etsy artists for their prompt response, and to Jill from Small Stump who styled then photographed the lead photo shown above for me to use on the site. I really appreciate it when others go above and beyond to work with writers like me, so Jill – and everyone else – thank you.

Domino will soon post 3 additional slideshows: animals, girls, and prints that are best for gifting.
Stay tuned!

(image screenshot from dominomag.com)


Hello Friends!

September 26, 2007

I hope all is well, I just had to check in today to say hello and to let you know that I’m now blogging from the other side of the pond in Germany. Let’s just say that life here is a lot different for me from where we spend most of the year back in the states in New Hampshire.

Hello Friends! Looking straight ahead from our balcony.

We live in the country usually (photos here) but now this country maus is a city maus again and I love it. It’s like living in Boston all over again as I did when I was single, only better (sorry Boston) because well, it’s Germany and everything here fascinates me despite that I’ve visited here 1-2x per year for the past 8 years.

Hello Friends! Notice the late 1800’s, early 1900’s architecture, the art deco details, the brick roofs? I’m very fond of this style of architecture. It’s easily one of my favorites. Plus these are standard apartment buildings here now, with soaring ceilings, huge windows, some with balconies, very Elle Decor UK or Elle Decoration for sure. :)

We’ve been so busy with family and friends since our arrival that my head is completely spinning so I’m trying to figure out what to tell you that would interest you about it here. Maybe you can give me some ideas, what questions do you have, what would you like to know, etc.? I will do my best to blog my finds and keep the blog focus on interior design and decorating, but I hope you’ll forgive me if I weave in other finds as well, including fashion and architecture, photos of cool typefaces I find on signs, interesting crafty things I pick up from friends, etc.

Hello Friends! Looking to the left… If you walk one block this way, there is the subway station – two stops (5 min) and you are in the city center. If you walk past the subway stop, you are at the entrance to the Eilenriede, Europe’s largest urban forest spanning over 1,500 acres. With it’s many trails, this is where I take my morning walks to clear my mind and relax. I also love to look for the red squirrels with the big ears. :)

Since we’ve landed here, I’ve already been all over the city, to the art museum (walking away completely inspired, again), and of course to the farmers’ markets and little boutique stores and bakeries every chance I get. Whenever I’m here, I can’t get enough – there’s so much to see and do. I spent nearly two hours in the train station at the book store browsing books and magazines. There are magazines here from all over Europe, and to my surprise, a Russian Elle Decoration. Imagine.

Here’s a few views from where I sit and blog each day. I’m usually out on the balcony , this is my view, or I’m seated at my desk overlooking the same street. It’s heaven, isn’t it? This is something I never tire of, a view of beautiful buildings, children laughing in the playground next door, and the church bells ringing quite often. :) It’s all so quaint here. I want to take photos of everything, I held myself back at the farmers’ market this morning – there were so many carts and tables overflowing with flowers and foods, many of which I’d never seen before. All the colors and textures completed inspired me.

Hello Friends! Looking to the right. If you walk 1 block north from here, you are at my brother-in-law’s house, another 2 blocks, and you are in a square with places to eat and a weekly farmers’ market on Wednesday. If you walk right, you are 2 blocks from where my mother-in-law lives along with many of our friends. It’s great. Also to the right of this photo there is a kiosk and playground.

Back in a moment with a few posts for today. And please, let me know if you are interested in learning or seeing anything over here – I am happy to share with you what I can. That’s the beauty of the internet.

Psst: If you’d like to read an article about Hannover, the city where we are staying, here is one that I wrote in April of 2006 for a Canadian website.

(images from holly becker for decor8)


Auf Wiedersehen!

September 22, 2007

We’re leaving for Germany now for our usual Autumn stay, I’m so excited to be based in Europe for a few months, it’s something I really look forward to each year with my husband. For those of you who have asked what my German connection is, it’s my husband. Click here to read the story of how we met in case you are interested.

Auf Wiedersehen! Photo taken 10/06, In the gardens behind the
Wilhelm Busch Museum, Hannover, Germany.

I’m taking the first half of the week off – to settle in, shop for the mundane things we need to set up house, and visit family. I plan to blog regularly for the next two months though, so meet me back here on Wednesday, September 26th. See you then!


…and extra thanks to j + h for house sitting while we’re away, you’re the best!

(image from holly becker for decor8)

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