Decorating Tips, Tabletop

Tabletop: Easter Dinner Decorating Ideas

March 7, 2016

Hello and happy Monday dear readers! This is Anke with some March-inspired ideas for your coffee table, Easter gathering or any upcoming celebration with family and friends. This year still seems so very young to me – but Easter holidays are already in sight. Easter is a big deal in Germany and aside from its traditional meaning, it also makes us feel excited because when Easter comes we know that SPRING is in sight, which is so exciting, isn’t it? Easter lends a pretty good reason to set a Spring-like table in tender colors. And speaking of color, did you read that rose quartz is one of the two Pantone colors of the year for 2016? Their website said something rather interesting about their reasoning behind their pastel color choices, “As consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses, welcoming colors that psychologically fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security are becoming more prominent.” I have to agree, rose is such a serene color and perfect for the spring tabletop. Leave your stress and worry behind, sit down, relax and enjoy… In fact, I did not hesitate to use rose quartz in my Easter tabletop shown below. I hope that it inspires you to try a little rose quartz at home, too.

Tabletop: Easter Dinner Decorating Ideas

As you notice in my columns each month, I always decorate this little corner in my dining room near the pocket doors where the bench is. I like to make that corner fit the decor I have on the table for a cohesive look. For this look, I’ve styled some pretty flowers, hard-boiled eggs and a simple handmade wreath on the wall. The giant pleated vase was given to me by a dear friend to use for this setting, my ultimate favorite —  such an eye catcher, don’t you think? It was on the table when guests arrived, but to make room for serving, I moved it over to the bench as decor. I created a loose arrangement of ranunculus, tulips, pussy willow, white anemones, wax flowers, eucalyptus and catkin branches.

Tabletop: Easter Dinner Decorating Ideas

While creating this look, I discovered that wax flower is a dream candidate when it comes to crafting with flowers. The fine branches are very flexible and the flowers durable. You will find them in white and pink and in my opinion, nothing is easier than making tiny wreaths out of wax flowers! I’ve even used them to embellish the breakfast eggs on each guests’ plate.

Tabletop: Easter Dinner Decorating Ideas

As Easter breakfast may be more opulent than usual I thought Raspberry-Cream and Almond Sponge Cake might be a good idea! On top you see fresh raspberries and sugar-coated nougat eggs. This candy is very popular in Germany at Easter, they are called Möveneier (seagull eggs) and I love their speckled surface. The plates are simple white ceramic, topped with speckled gray plates from House Doctor to mimic the speckled chocolate egss on the table. For an simple, quick and classy Easter decoration I placed some edible white eggs over a simple white linen tablecloth. The eggs are hard-boiled and I cleaned the shell with pure household vinegar.

Tabletop: Easter Dinner Decorating Ideas

Tabletop: Easter Dinner Decorating Ideas

Tabletop: Easter Dinner Decorating Ideas

 

How will you spend your Easter holidays, dear readers? I’m afraid I will be away from home working, but hey – I had some Easter spirit already when decorating this table for decor8, right? ;) Have a beautiful month of March and I will see you again on April 4th with another entertaining at home idea for your tabletop! – Anke

(Photography, Styling and Text: Anke Illner. Editor: Holly Becker)






DIY, Flowers

DIY: Wreaths With Eucalyptus and Ruscus-Leafed Bamboo

March 5, 2016

Hello dear decor8 readers! My name is Anastasia Benko and I am a stylist, artist and vintage shop owner based in Germany. Holly’s blog has always been a constant source of inspiration to me and I am honored to be part of the amazing team of decor8 now! In my monthly flower column for decor8 I will create seasonally appropriate floral arrangements that will hopefully inspire you to bring the outdoors into your home too!

DIY: Wreaths With Eucalyptus and Ruscus-Leafed Bamboo

Before I share my first arrangement with you, I’d like to tell you a little more about my philosophy. For my arrangements I love to use what my surroundings offer. For me, a house doesn’t feel like a home without flowers and plants! This is also the reason why you always find natural elements in my home, I never come home empty handed from my walks in the nearby forest. I love to challenge myself and try to stick to the changing seasons to reflect the nature of the season. Of course there are occasions where only a lush flower arrangement makes sense but I also think that branches can make a huge impression and almost look like beautifully arranged sculptures.

DIY: Wreaths With Eucalyptus and Ruscus-Leafed Bamboo

After several years of working with flowers and plants I realized that no matter what time of the year, I am always drawn to wreaths. Wreaths have the most perfect form for me, a circle that is connecting one end with another – it’s beautiful but yet complex. This time I wanted to make 2 super-sized wings out of eucalyptus that can be arranged in two different ways: an open half wreath and a more wreath-like, round installation. These are my mood boards I created for the stylings: Continue Reading…






Recipes

Recipe: Rhubarb, Blood Orange and Almond Crumble

March 2, 2016

Hi everyone, it’s Gintare with a new recipe that can hopefully help us all to welcome the long-awaited spring that is soon to come. It’s still very much winter here in the Swiss alps, a snowless one, I might add, but I just came back from visiting my family in Provence where there is a distinct spring vibe lingering in the air. Every March, while the fields and trees are still bare, and lavender is missing its purple hues, yet there are almond trees blooming all around. They’re like messengers of spring and rather pretty to look at. I always try to catch the groves for the most spectacular sightings, but this time I only caught a few lonely trees on a hill close by… Yet was enough to get me inspired to use almonds in something in the kitchen.

Recipe: Rhubarb, Blood Orange and Almond Crumble
Recipe: Rhubarb, Blood Orange and Almond Crumble

Having stumbled upon a few rhubarb stalks and blood oranges in a market on the way back, I decided that a rhubarb, blood orange and almond crumble would be my creation. Blood orange and rhubarb season overlaps just a little, making them a wonderful dessert pairing, as blood oranges have a bit more gusto than the regular oranges. Not to mention that a crumble is possibly the easiest and most comforting dessert to rustle up quickly.

Recipe: Rhubarb, Blood Orange and Almond Crumble

To save time (and washing up) I usually mix everything up in the same baking tin and sprinkle with the crumble. Half an hour later the bubbly and heart warming dessert awaits and only calls for a generous dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. A word must be said about mint in this dish. I find that so many desserts employ mint purely for its lovely look though it does close to nothing to the dish itself. In some cases, mint not only adds zero to the dish but also puts the whole dessert out of balance. Here, on the other hand, mint is an ingredient on its own and adds a wonderful freshness and even more of a spring feeling to this sweet plate. So, if you happen to have rhubarbs and blood oranges at hand, I cannot recommend enough to make it but also to add some mint.

Note: This dessert, has just enough sweetness to balance the sour notes of rhubarb, but it is not very sweet, so you cannot taste only sugar. If you do fancy extremely sweet desserts, you might want to add a bit of extra sugar to it.

Variations: Once blood oranges are out of the picture and strawberries come to farmstands, you can make the same crumble by switching blood oranges with 1 ½ cup of sliced strawberries and ¼ cup of crème de cassis liquor.

Rhubarb, blood orange and almond crumble

FILLING
5 large rhubarb stalks
1/4/ 50 g light brown sugar
1/2cup/120 ml blood orange juice (about 2 oranges)
1 orange zest
5 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tsp corn-starch

TOPPING
60g/4 tbsp butter, chilled
1/3 cup/65g flour
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 cup/ 65g almond flakes
bunch of mint
vanilla ice cream and/or whipped cream

Recipe: Rhubarb, Blood Orange and Almond Crumble

MAKE: Preheat the oven to 180°C/375°F. Slice rhubarb and mix it with orange zest, sugar, corn-starch and juice. In separate bowl, mix butter, flour and sugar together, till crumbs form and then mix in almond flakes. You could also do it in a food processor, but it’s rather quick and this way there’s less washing up to do.

Recipe: Rhubarb, Blood Orange and Almond Crumble
Recipe: Rhubarb, Blood Orange and Almond Crumble

FINISH: Top rhubarb with crumble and bake for about 30 minutes, till it’s browned and bubbly. Take out of the oven and let it rest for a few minutes. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream and fresh mint.

Recipe: Rhubarb, Blood Orange and Almond Crumble

Please feel free to share on your social media if you love this recipe, we’d appreciate the love and I’d like to see my recipe make it into kitchens all over because it’s so yummy! See you on March 30th with another recipe from my kitchen to yours, decor8 readers! – Gintare.

(Photography, Styling, Text: Gintare Marcel. Editor: Holly Becker)






Home Tours

Home Tour: Harmony in a Rustic French Home

March 1, 2016

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!

Home Tour: Harmony in a Rustic French Home

Continue Reading…






Recipes

Recipe: Gingerbread Snack Cake

February 25, 2016

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.

Recipe: Gingerbread Snack Cake

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.

Recipe: Gingerbread Snack Cake
Recipe: Gingerbread Snack Cake

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.

Recipe: Gingerbread Snack Cake

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.

INGREDIANTS

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

DIRECTIONS
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.)






Decorating Tips

My Bedroom Redux By Pine Cone Hill and Dash & Albert

February 16, 2016

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.

My Bedroom Redux By Pine Cone Hill and Dash & Albert

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:

My Bedroom Redux By Pine Cone Hill and Dash & Albert

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.

My Bedroom Redux By Pine Cone Hill and Dash & Albert

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.

My Bedroom Redux By Pine Cone Hill and Dash & Albert

My Bedroom Redux By Pine Cone Hill and Dash & Albert

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.

My Bedroom Redux By Pine Cone Hill and Dash & Albert

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.

My Bedroom Redux By Pine Cone Hill and Dash & Albert

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.

My Bedroom Redux By Pine Cone Hill and Dash & Albert

More detail above. Stitch work, woven carpet, velvet, linen. I love it all. Here is the third look below. Again, subtle but still nice. The framed prints are from Minted and The Poster Club.

My Bedroom Redux By Pine Cone Hill and Dash & Albert

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.

My Bedroom Redux By Pine Cone Hill and Dash & Albert

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.

 






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