Shopping + Products

Lovely Dutch Brand: Marie-Stella-Maris

May 30, 2016

I was just in the Netherlands this past weekend and came across Marie-Stella-Maris, a brand based out of Amsterdam that offers a lovely range of home products (candles, fragrance, etc.) along with skin care and gorgeous bottled waters. Their skin care products are supposed to be wonderful; I have to check them out for myself… I love their mission and their product packaging.

Lovely Dutch Brand: Marie-Stella-Maris

Flagship store in Amsterdam

“Water, sanitation and hygiene are the basis elements behind Marie-Stella-Maris. To realize access to clean drinking water, it is of great importance to also focus on sanitary services and hygiene. The direct link between clean drinking water and hygiene has inspired Marie-Stella-Maris to introduce natural care products Continue Reading…






Shopping + Products

Botanical + Boho Style Prints

May 27, 2016

I just adore illustrated artwork in my home. I like to mix it in with original paintings, typography prints and photography. I came across OHMYHOME today and thought they’d be a lovely share for you to enjoy on this FriYay! I’m packing for a weekend trip away – going over to The Netherlands with a good friend, so it’s definitely going to be a nice few days away for me. What about you? Do you have plans too?

Botanical + Boho Style Prints

So, I’ll tell you a little bit about OHMYHOME… First, they have an online shop where they sell prints and (this is cool…) they are looking for illustrators worldwide who fit their vision. So if you like what you see and you are an illustrator, connect with my contact over there, her name is Continue Reading…






Travel

Gorgeous Cafe: PLUK Amsterdam

May 26, 2016

I love a great cafe, don’t you?! Something original and unique. When I was in Paris, my friend and I ate at this tiny Italian bistro near our hotel in Pigalle, it sat maybe 20 people, but the interior was very well considered and the food, a delight. The best was when the three cooks, also the owners, prepared our dinner right in front of us in their open kitchen. I often think of opening a beautiful cafe eventually; and I might just do that in a few years because it would be the chance of a lifetime to bring my own concept here. In fact, I found a cafe in Amsterdam when I visited last Autumn shooting for my next book that comes pretty close to how I envision my very own cafe… It’s called PLUK and it’s just amazing – light, bright and the food is light and vibrant too. We have nothing like this where I live.

Gorgeous Cafe: PLUK Amsterdam

Next time you are in Amsterdam, go here to relax between all of the shopping you will do in the lovely “9 streets” (De Negen Straatjes) area where it is located. You can sip a fresh pressed juice or a smoothie, chomp down a healthy salad, buy a PLUK chocolate bar (wrapped in pretty marble paper), take a slice of cake or bread, get some decorating objects for your home, it’s all very sweet. They have candles, kitchenware, postcards, aprons. There is even a little garden in the back of the cafe. Swoon!  Continue Reading…






Designers + Stylists

Marbled Wood Flooring By Snedker Studio

May 25, 2016

I came across some magical wood flooring (and decorative wood for walls too!) last week and still days later, I can’t stop thinking about it. This is always a sign that I have to share with all of you! I feel like I could write a glorious intro but the photos so beautifully speak for themselves that I’m not sure I could do better in words. All I can say is that this is wood and these floors and walls make me so deliriously happy.

Marbled Wood Flooring By Snedker Studio

Designed by Pernille Snedker Hansen of Snedker Studio, these surfaces definitely satisfy my love of interesting floors which is why I adore decorative tile so much. She is both an artist and designer who loves to explore color and patterns and is fascinated by the traditional craft of marbling, a technique she has brought to her wooden surface designs. Her work reminds me a lot of Suminagashi (floating ink) marbling, a Japanese technique that was practiced in the 12th century long before it landed in western cultures.

Marbled Wood Flooring By Snedker Studio

In 2012, Pernille won the Wallpaper Design Award and currently exhibits her work in conjunction with the Danish Crafts Council. Beginning today, she is also exhibiting in Copenhagen as part of 3 Days of Design at KONTEMPO, so go and check that out if you can. Continue Reading…






Recipes

Recipe: Tonka Bean Semifreddo

May 25, 2016

Hello everyone, hope you are all enjoying the blooming spring. We’re heading into the time of the year where it is becoming rather indecent not to have a pint of ice cream hidden in the depths of the freezer for those moments when sun comes out in all its glory and all you want to do is sit outside and indulge into a frozen cream, custard or yogurt. Last year was our first summer in Switzerland and by the time June came around we were quite literally cooking, which meant banana ice cream topped with granola for breakfast and all sorts of frozen concoctions throughout the day.

Recipe: Tonka Bean Semifreddo

Gintare Marcel for decor8

Having a job that keeps me thinking about food almost every day, I am always on the lookout for interesting ingredients to work with. Now, for those who do not know, I happen to live in the beautiful Swiss countryside where more exotic ingredients aren’t always easy to come by, so when the lovely lady selling spices in our market procured some tonka beans, I jumped and bought them all.

Tonka bean is a curious little thing. It has a particular taste somewhere between almond and vanilla that comes even more alive once a little vanilla is added to it. There are even very delicate tobacco notes that are barely felt, but it makes for a more interesting spice altogether.

Recipe: Tonka Bean Semifreddo

Gintare Marcel for decor8

Tonka beans work not only in sweet things where they can be baked in or just grated on top of desserts to finish them off. They are great with shellfish, though I feel a note should be made here. When it comes to vanilla undertones and shellfish the world is divided into two groups: one says they should never be seen together and the other thinks it’s like biting into a piece of heaven (when done well, of course). I belong to the latter, having tried scallops with vanilla hollandaise some four years ago and still dreaming about it to date, so I would surely recommend giving this flavur marriage a try.

If you have never worked with tonka beans on the other hand, dessert is a good place to start and a semifreddo is a wonderful way to showcase its flavor (and keep in your freezer for when the sun is out). The art of making a semifreddo is rather basic. You need to beat the eggs over a double boiler till they become light and fluffy (cooking them at the same time) and after tossing with some cream freeze completely, though it will start melting almost immediately after leaving the freezer so do take it out the last minute. I like to add a bit of crunch to my semifreddo in the form of meringues and berries for freshness, but it will taste great on its on too.

SHOPPING LIST:
2 egg yolks
1 egg
4 tbsp sugar
2 tonka beans, grated
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
1 cup/ 250 ml
Meringues (optional)
2 egg whites, room temperature
pinch of salt
1/2 cup/115 g caster sugar
berries to serve
edible pansies, to serve (optional)

PREPARE
To make the semifreddo, line a large tin (or 6 small ones) with cling film. Set aside. Place a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water with eggs, sugar, grated tonka beans and scraped vanilla seeds beating for 5-6 minutes, till thick, pale and double in volume. Take off the heat and continue to beat for a minute or two, till the bowl cools down. To speed things up, you can place the bowl over ice. In a chilled bowl beat cream till soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into eggs. Pour into tin and freeze for at least 3-4 hours.

To make the meringues, preheat the oven to 110C/ 250F. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt till stiff peaks. Gradually add the sugar beating very well after each addition. Then continue to beat till the meringue looks thick and glossy, but do not overbeat. Pipe out mini meringues on a lined sheet and bake for 1 hour. Then switch off the oven and let them cool completely.

To serve, take out the semifreddo, top with berries, meringues, pansies and serve immediately.

Recipe: Tonka Bean Semifreddo

Gintare Marcel for decor8

Enjoy the sun and frozen treats, I will be back with another recipe on 15th June! –Gintare

(Photography, Recipe, Text: Gintare Marcel)






Decorating Tips

7 Great Ways To Display Photos At Home

May 23, 2016

Hi friends! I want to quickly share with you a project that I worked on for Canon Europe in 2013 that I can finally share publicly. It was for an advertorial that was seen in hundreds of magazines across Europe, the UK and Russia. I was asked to comment on and show ways to use photos for decorating the home. And of course, I had to take the photos, print them all out, and then style them in my home in a creative way. The ideas are still very current so I thought to share them with you today.

7 Great Ways To Display Photos At Home

7 Great Ways To Display Photos At Home

1: GRID. I spent a day in the greenhouses at the Berggarten in Herrenhausen located in Hannover taking photos. It was amazing! Their orchid collection alone is one of the best in Europe. After a day shooting, I did some light post-processing in Lightroom and then printed my favorites out on Canon matte photo paper. I cut them all with a paper cutter. Then I pinned them in a grid format onto my mood board in my former work studio (I’ve moved since). This inspired me for a few months, I had my very own indoor botanical garden and it was so nice to look at each day. Continue Reading…






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