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15 Things I Love From Japan and Denmark For The Home

Good morning everyone! I’ve been working diligently on redecor8ing my home and while it’s been fun, it’s always a challenge because I find that most of what I love is either too expensive, not available for months or the shipping and/or installation is a pain or insanely expensive. I guess that’s the problem with good taste and living outside of America where great design is so affordable. In Europe, it’s definitely much more expensive to create a home that you love.

On the brightside, I do find some amazing brands that are exceptional in all areas. For instance, Connox is a local firm with an outstanding website and they are always such a pleasure to work with and they carry stuff that is often hard to source on your own. They not only stock everything that I have on my wish list currently, but they send products quickly and directly to my front door (versus leaving it on the sidewalk which is standard “delivery service” for furniture and larger items where I live. With a baby and living several floors up, it’s tough to deal with furniture orders that are left on the sidewalk!

Since I like Connox so much and have ordered from them several times and am impressed by their products and service, I want to round up of some of my favorite products that they carry on their site so you can see what I mean about their great and varied selection. Funny thing is, all of these things come from either Japan or Denmark. I guess I’m feeling quite Denpanese or Japanmark at the moment.

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Okay first up, these tables. Oh my goodness, I cannot take my eyes off these colorful wooden beauties by Karimoku New Standard. I want one so bad now that I’ve spotted them. This Japanese label is such a winner in my eyes. I’ll show you a few other things from Karimoku that I like below.

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Also from Karimoku New Standard, these stools

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These wooden platters from Karimoku are definitely wish listed. So on point with trends right now, too. I love the hot colors mixed with the more pastel-y ones too.

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The invisible table from Kartell (still have a thing for transparent tables and chairs) because I’d love to stack my design books and a gorgeous plant on top, the HAY strap mirror (mirrors with straps are trending, have you noticed?) for over the dresser in my bedroom, this HAY lounge sofa is still huge on my wish list after a few years already and these HAY trays are still something I covet even though they’re everywhere!

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This concrete vase from Menu A/S because I love the idea of concrete and glass and this new trend of vessels that combine glass with metal, concrete or wood.

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Stacked bookcases in all colors and configurations from Muuto. I have these in my home and LOVE THEM. I cannot tell you enough how sturdy, gorgeous and totally cool they look but beyond that, they are so easy to move around if you want to try a new configuration.

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I want to eat more healthy and these Georg Jensen salad bowls would be a great start.

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The Skagerak pots for my kitchen to grow herbs, I have this tea pot and warmer but I’ve not ordered the coffee pot yet but it’s the best tea pot I’ve ever purchased, and I have the Ferm Living brass salad servers on my wish list.

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I bought this multi-basket awhile ago from Connox and put it next to my stove and I store all of my oils and my popular cooking spices and cooking wines inside, and it’s great. It is one of of the best ways to organize everything while still looking stylish and it’s easy to clean, too.

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The lovely leaf light from Muuto – I have a green one and find it so nice to look at and the perfect size and I love reading beneath it late at night once my little one is asleep.

So what do you think of my wish list? Any of these items also on yours?

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Connox because I’ve shopped them and love their products and site so I approached them to work together. All products shown are my own picks and none of them were given to me in exchange for this post.

(images: connox)

Posted in round-ups on March 10, 2015

Decorate With Flowers For Spring!

Hello everyone! I want to begin the week with a post that simply oozes springtime cheer! We had beautiful weather for the past few days, sunny and nearly 60, so I have a mega dose of spring fever all of a sudden!

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We’ve had a very gray few months and though we didn’t get snow this winter, the gray days are super draining. These colorful photos are out takes from Decorate With Flowers (a list of the current 8 language editions with 2 more on the way at the end of this post), which is my latest book authored alongside of lovely Leslie Shewring. If you don’t already have a copy, it’s truly the perfect title for easter, Mother’s day and all of the spring, summer and early autumn gatherings you’ll host when flowers are a must. You can read the 5 star reviews here if you’re on the fence. Jump off and order! :)

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In our book, we show so many ideas for flowers and their containers inside and really teach you flower basics in such an easy way that you’ll be styling your own gorgeous arrangements in seconds, really! We also break the book up into 8 styles showing 8-12 homes that we worked in to style up our ideas from Canada to Germany and California. We also included a mood board for each style to show you how we translated what was in our heads for each look. There are even break downs for how-tos from arrangement making to container creation. We wrapped up with our little black book showing you were to find the best of the best floral products and vessels and a summary of our favorite flowers.

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US English – Decorate With Flowers
UK English – Decorate With Flowers
Asia – English – Page One
French – Fleurs et déco
Dutch – Bloemen In Huis
Italian – Decorare Con I Fiori
German – Wohnen mit Blumen
Japanese – 花と雑貨で楽しむナチュラルインテリア (I will show you in another post because this edition looks so beautiful!)

Denmark + Mexico - Coming soon!

Shown: Leslie Shewring and Jessica Senti (my assistant).

(Photos: Janis Nicolay)

Posted in Books + Magazines on March 09, 2015

Slow Sunset Cocktail Recipe

Hello everyone and happy Monday, this is Liz & Jewels again! You might have missed us, we took a little break from our Food in Motion series. It ended up being a lot of work producing food videos, to be honest, and with both of us being so involved in book writing, teaching and our small children, it’s simply not possible to produce videos too. We’ve decided that for now, we’ll discontinue Food in Motion and go back to straight up, pinnable, yummy recipes.

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I know this is a funny post for the first thing on a Monday morning BUT hey, it’s never to early to think about cocktails right? :) And when it comes to cocktails, we are such girls! We like sweet, fruity, light, creamy… Not so much smoky, bitter, and strong. We like when our cocktails tastes like a drinkable dessert. When we have friends over, we like putting on a little show by making something memorable. For instance, these super cute berry ice cubes. They are incredibly easy to make but the result is nice because as they melt in the cocktail, they change the color of the drink – like a slow sunset. So lovely… This is the perfect drink to start a fun evening with your friends.

Slow Sunset Ingredients (for 2 servings):

Fruity Ice Cubes

  • 1 cup of frozen blueberries, raspberries, or even sliced mango
  • a few mint leaves
  • water
  • ice cube tray

Put the frozen berries into a food processor with a little bit of water (about half a cup). Puree until smooth. Pour into an ice cube tray and cover each cube with one mint leaf. Freeze for at least 3 hours.

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Cocktail

  • 1 cup of sparkling water
  • 1 cup of rum (I like the sweeter kinds, even the Malibu Rum with Coconut Liqueur)
  • juice of 3 limes
  • 4 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • mint leaves

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Stir everything together. You don’t want to shake it because you would lose the carbonation. Serve with the berry ice cubes and enjoy with a friend! If you try this recipe, let us know what you think and how you modified it at all, we always love to see how people recreate cocktails to their liking. Perhaps a shot of vodka would be nice in this also?

Enjoy!

(images & text: liz and jewels. editor: holly becker)

Posted in Sips on March 09, 2015

Abigail Ahern’s Living Room Wall Before + After

Hello everyone and happy Friday! Let’s jump right in today, shall we? Okay so I’ve been following London-based interior designer Abigail Ahern for several years, especially since meeting her in London when she spoke at one of my mood board workshops at Anthropologie in 2011. In fact, you can see her below speaking at an event I had with her as a guest sharing her very own mood board. I remember thinking at that time that we’d have to stay in touch because I really appreciated her vision and thoughts around design and I appreciated how she pushes the envelope when it comes to decorating – that nothing should ever be boring or perfect. That BOLD is very, very good.

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I recently noticed that Abigail was renovating a wall in her living room which has become a bit of the iconic Abigail design feature as I always think of this living room and the bookcase wallpaper as being very Abigail. When I saw she would be ripping it down, I had to ask her why and if she’d share the new feature wall with all of us today and she agreed – so here it is along with a short interview.

B E F O R E

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A F T E R

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Okay so my first question, why Superman?
AH: My studio desk is on the balcony overlooking this wall, so I needed something inspiring. When I’m having one of my many conundrums or 12 hour working days, I can glance across at him and be reminded to never give up. Superman is my motivation! (Note: Painting is called, “Look! Up in the sky!” by artist Barbara Smith).

Why did you remove the bookcase wallpaper?
AH: I’ve had the bookcase wallpaper for yonks, ever since I first painted the house dark. Although I really loved it I felt like it was time for a change with the darker palette. Plus the paint looked so beautiful on the walls I wanted everything in it. I ummed and ahhed a lot before doing it but now I wonder what took me so long!

Seems you went from colorful moody (before) to natural moody (after). What inspired the lack of color?
AH: Nowadays I opt for a more reigned in colour palette and sophisticated glam vibe, rather than bright pops of colour. When I developed my paint range I painted the whole house out in my new colours, which are deeper, darker and more saturated than I’d ever gone before. Suddenly the bright pops looked a bit too garish for my liking! So rather than using colour, the wow factor now comes from either playing with scale (like the oversized art pieces and jumbo cactus) or from using intriguing texture and materials (the almost “caveman”-esque Dawlish console!)

What is the paint color and brand? Why dark with spring/summer approaching?
AH: The paint colour is Madison Grey from my own paint range – a beautiful, bottom of the lake grey hue with undertones of green. It changes subtly with the light, and it’s my all-time favourite, all year round. Plus in the summer all the greenery stands out beautifully against dark walls, with my forest-y garden beyond.

What inspired the green thumb? Are the plants real or faux?
AH: Every single one of the plants are faux, from my new own-label. When I was designing my SS15 collection I took a cowboy theme and ran with it, so we have all these incredible desert-inspired botanicals and jumbo sized cactus. A huge delivery of the cactus turned up on my doorstep when we were working on the samples, and since then I’ve been obsessed with adding them to every room in the house.

Where is the credenza from and the print?
AH: It’s the Dawlish sideboard from my store. The print, Lelia, is by photographer is Hannah Lemholt.

I love the placement of your tv – yours is so cleverly concealed. Can you give readers some tips on concealing a TV?
AH: The TV is mounted on a swivel arm, so it can be tucked quietly away when we’re not watching it. It’s important for me to be able to disguise it, as I would never ever want the telly to be a feature! The simplest trick you can do when it comes to concealing TVs is to paint the wall out behind it in a dark hue (yes, I am on a mission to try to convert everyone to the dark side!)

What’s the secret of going dark and moody in a space without it feeling depressing?
AH: That’s an easy one to answer, because I never find dark interiors depressing! They’re incredibly comforting and cocooning, while still being glam. The trick is to reign in the colour palette, and let the walls create all the drama. You also need to nail the lighting, and add a few more lamps than you normally would, but that is pretty much it.

What’s in the pipeline for you Abigail (any projects we should look out for)?
AH: My new book, COLOUR, is out on 23rd April. It’s a much bigger, fatter tome than my previous books, packed with my top tips for bold colours, and beautiful photos that we shot in some of the coolest homes around the world. I’ve wanted to do something on colour forever, so I’m really excited about it. I’m also in the process of tweaking my AW15 own label collection, whilst at the same time working on SS16 Finally, if I can squeeze it in we’ve got plans to take the Design School to Australia and American this year so its pretty full on!

Thanks Abigail for dropping in today – have a great weekend and much success on your upcoming book!

(images: top: Mark Wilson living room before: rebecca bond. living room after: Abigail Ahern)

Posted in Decorating Tips on March 06, 2015

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