Posts in Interiors
Tour This Fun Eclectic Family Home in Scotland

Would you like to see a lovely Scottish home to brighten your day today? You'll see why I say, "brighten" in a moment! This is decor8 columnist, Alison Gibb, reporting in from Scotland today and I am here to share the beautiful space of designer, Donna Caira. She lives in Fife with her husband, Anthony and their two daughters, Julia (20) and Olivia (17). Donna runs a fine art print and interiors business called We Are Amused with a friend, Susan, who lives nearby.

   The chimney wall is painted in ‘Downpipe’ by Farrow & Ball

The chimney wall is painted in ‘Downpipe’ by Farrow & Ball

Donna trained as a lawyer originally, but when she started her family she found she enjoyed staying at home and looked for a career with more flexibility. Interior design was an obvious choice, Donna being both practical and creative in huge doses.

 The framed print on the mantelpiece is a classic image of a Burmese Girl, by sir Gerald Kelly. 

The framed print on the mantelpiece is a classic image of a Burmese Girl, by sir Gerald Kelly. 

In her home, Donna likes to mix things up. Her eclecticism has resulted in a bohemian vibe. Not afraid to experiment, Donna has created unpredictable choices to every room, from the shocking pink paneled wall in the traditional Victorian kitchen to the faded floral sofa and raspberry toned armchairs in the more severely decorated drawing room. The occasional ‘pink moment’ comes as a refreshing surprise in this edgy home. "I think I have a bit of Rock Chic in me", she admits.

   The shocking pink MDF paneling is painted in ‘Flamingo’ by Dulux. The pendant light above the island unit was an investment buy from Best Lite.

The shocking pink MDF paneling is painted in ‘Flamingo’ by Dulux. The pendant light above the island unit was an investment buy from Best Lite.

They bought the house in 1999 and their daughters grew up here. The large Victorian house is located on a beautiful leafy street. The décor, when they bought the house was tasteful, but over coordinated and too chintzy for Donna’s taste. They undertook the transformation slowly, knowing that it takes time to get things right. "A house needs to evolve", Donna believes, "especially if you want the resulting scheme to be really individual".

  Cabinet painted in Purbeck Stone by Farrow & Ball.

Cabinet painted in Purbeck Stone by Farrow & Ball.

The large kitchen is Donna’s favorite room, the wall dividing it from the dining room had been removed by the previous owners, but the results were uneven and needed resolving. "We got a quote from a plasterer to smooth the wall but we were shocked at the amount, so we came up with the idea of MDF paneling, surprised at how much cheaper this option was." Once complete, Donna knew that she wanted to paint it bright pink. "It was the perfect contrast to the black Ikea units.

   A selection of prints from We Are Amused are artfully arranged, unframed, held up by white tack, bulldog clips add a functional, decorative note.

A selection of prints from We Are Amused are artfully arranged, unframed, held up by white tack, bulldog clips add a functional, decorative note.

The fun, retro Smeg dishwasher was a much-wanted replacement when the original, integrated model broke down, "unfortunately, it did not fit under the worktop, but we were able to insert it into the original Victorian press, which we then paneled over, giving it a semi-fitted home after all", Donna recalls.

Tour a Bright Eclectic Family Home in Scotland

In the bedrooms, just like the public rooms, occasional luxury purchases are cleverly combined with funky, junk shop finds, bargain buys and homemade solutions. The antlers above the master bed are from Cox & Cox. Anthony’s sister, another creative wing of this talented family, made the bedside lampshades. Donna made the upholstered headboard herself. The luxurious, grey velvet throw is from H&M Home.
 

I never normally buy from interior chains, but I do love a rummage around TK Maxx. Great style does not have to cost a fortune!
— Donna Caira
Tour a Bright Eclectic Family Home in Scotland
Tour a Bright Eclectic Family Home in Scotland
  Two prints sit atop the mantelpiece, one is from We Are Amused, the other is an enlargement of a gorgeous photograph of Donna’s father as a child.

Two prints sit atop the mantelpiece, one is from We Are Amused, the other is an enlargement of a gorgeous photograph of Donna’s father as a child.

Tour a Bright Eclectic Family Home in Scotland
Tour a Bright Eclectic Family Home in Scotland
Tour a Bright Eclectic Family Home in Scotland
Trust your instincts when you are decorating, you will grow in confidence.

— Donna Caira
Tour a Bright Eclectic Family Home in Scotland
   The orange wall is painted in Mustard by Dulux.

The orange wall is painted in Mustard by Dulux.

The whole house is bold, dramatic, moody and fun. Random salvaged pieces of furniture, vintage treasures and bargain buys have formed a happy collective in this characterful home. Not a fan of symmetry, Donna prefers unpredictability and always looks for solutions that are quirky rather safe. Her natural wit and spontaneity ensure the results are always successful. There is an air of Alice In Wonderland in this dwelling - expect the unexpected when you enter!

  MDF painted in ‘Clunch’ by Farrow & Ball.

MDF painted in ‘Clunch’ by Farrow & Ball.

3 Ideas To Steal:

1. Wall paneling in MDF can be done very cheaply – it covers a multitude of sins and can be painted any color you like.

2. Hang artwork simply with bulldog clips or white tack – it does not have to be framed.

3. Breathe new life into old furniture by giving it a lick of paint.

What do you think of this home, any touches that you love? - Allison

(Photography: Douglas Gibb / Text: Alison Gibb for decor8)

Natural + Wild Home Decor Trend

I'm inspired by the current trends in home decor, especially those which feel very casual, harmonious, quiet, neutral, coastal and simple while also being stylish and a bit classy. Think Tulum style - see the Instagram of @passion_shake currently, a glimpse is shown below.

I found the rest of these images (below) today while shopping online at H&M, who have two fabulous collections out at the moment - Wild Wood and Natural Beauty - both really demonstrate a current natural home trend movement in motion. I love how woven things are big at the moment too - like rattan chairs, baskets and the trim on mirrors. I also enjoy seeing lots of natural wood left unfinished, in-the-raw combined with touches of stone and chalky or smooth concrete.

H&M Home on decor8blog.com

I was just in Denmark on the coast taking a family holiday. I saw lots of driftwood, whitewashed stones, shells, dried grass from the sea, blue mussels and many other fabulous, natural objects that really left me inspired (and now I long even more for my previous beach life). I once lived directly at the beach - a few times, it was in my backyard growing up. I was on the coast from the time I was little all through my childhood and teen years. In fact, I didn't move away from the sea until I was 31, and even then, I was only 45 minutes away from coastal New England which was gorgeous. Then, moving to Germany in 2009, with a beach drive at least 2-3 hours away, wow - it's been a struggle for me - I won't lie! I often feel like part of my life was taken away. And with a young boy now who also loves the sea like I do, I feel more torn that I'm so far from it because I spent my childhood combing the beach for shells and rocks with my mother - and I want so badly to share this with him regularly too. 

I'm lucky if I get to the coast twice a year for a day trip. However, I have changed my mind about my sea visits and their regularity going forward. I'm either going to relocate further north in Germany to Hamburg or around that area OR I will buy a small home in southern Denmark or northern Germany where we can vacation whenever we wish - and rent it out the rest of the year. I really need my beach life back again. Life is too short to not have what we really want, right?

Ah yes, back to interiors trends. These images and products really show what's trending but even more, what I love currently because natural and wild aren't the only trends out there - yet these are what I keep going back to. Each year, there is always a natural trend for interiors and sometimes, it's hard to find the difference between this natural trend and the previous one. I would say for this year, the look is more refined, a stronger edit, not SO casual, a bit upscale even and definitely has a wild side - think Australian coast, Southern Indonesia, South Africa, Tulum... If anything, the current trend feels like the wild wind-swept coastlines in often exotic destinations has met up with classic, Scandinavian simplicity and this look is the result. 

H&M Home on decor8blog.com
H&M Home on decor8blog.com
H&M Home on decor8blog.com

Here is a short list of the core "ingredients" to this interior recipe:

CORE NATURAL AND WILD HOME DECOR: INGREDIENTS

  • Bamboo
  • Seagrass
  • Natural wood
  • Canvas
  • Linen (not ironed)
  • Baskets
  • Black metal
  • Graphic patterns (and llama motifs - llamas are trending!)
  • Prints and patterns from North Africa (Morocco, mostly)
  • Natural, earthy colors
  • Stripes
  • Ceramics
  • Stone + Cement
  • Plants
  • Natural throw rugs
  • Touches of leather (accents only)
  • Dried foraged flowers, weeds, herbs, pampas grass, anything dead is in! But for good reason, dried things are gorgeous when used sparingly in a minimalist arrangement - a few stalks of pampas in a vase, for instance, not a cramped bunch. See this post, Why Dried Flowers Aren't Just For Grandma, for total dried flower inspo.
H&M Home on decor8blog.com

What do you think? Does this look work for you?

Love,

Holly

(H&M Photos: Art Director: Therese Sennerholt, Styling: Lotta Agaton, Photographer: Pia Ulin)

12 Inspiring Decor Tips To Try From Restaurants You'll Love

Hello everyone! How are you doing? The Restaurant & Bar Design Awards, now in its tenth year, is a globally recognized competition dedicated to the design of food and beverage spaces. I thought today we could look at some of my favorites from their 2018 entries, and with each, I will give you a tip on how to bring some of the ideas home. So often, I've been out lunching with a friend and spotted a good design idea to apply in my living space. You too?  So let's look at 12 great interior examples below and see what we can learn from the talents firms who designed them.

superbaba
superbaba
superbaba

1// Above: Superbaba (Vancouver, Canada) Studio Roslyn

DECOR TIP: Color Blocking with paint! Be daring!

the budapest cafe
the budapest cafe
the budapest cafe
the budapest cafe

2// Above: The Budapest Cafe (Chengdu, China) Biasol

DECOR TIP: More color blocking with paint on walls and stairs, and sticking to a limited palette.

Sean Connolly
Sean Connolly
Sean Connolly

3// Above: Sean Connolly (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) Alexander & Co

DECOR TIP: Mix in brushed metals for elegance.

4City
4City
4City
4city
4city

4// Above: 4City (Odessa, Ukraine) 2b Group

DECOR TIP: Add texture to the walls

ATX Cocina
ATX Cocina
ATX Cocina
ATX Cocina

5 // Above: ATX Cocina (Austin, United States) Michael Hsu Office of Architecture

DECOR TIP: Mix warm colors and wood with gray for an unexpected mix.

Don Francisco’s Coffee Casa Cubana
Don Francisco’s Coffee Casa Cubana
Don Francisco’s Coffee Casa Cubana

6// Above: Don Francisco’s Coffee Casa Cubana (Los Angeles, United States) Omgivning

DECOR TIP: Add decorative tile as an  accent, not in the entire space.

Le Petite Tree House Cafe
Le Petite Tree House Cafe
Le Petite Tree House Cafe

7 // Above: Le Petite Tree House Cafe (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) Sneha Divias Atelier

DECOR TIP: Work around a theme and build from there.

Mana 75º
Mana 75º
Mana 75º

8 // Above: Mana 75º (Barcelona, Spain) Turell Sorensen Arquitectos

DECOR TIP: Mix nautical stripes with patterns that are unexpected, like from textiles found in Turkey, for instance.

Neobio
Neobio
Neobio
Neobio
Neobio
Neobio

9 // Neobio (Shanghai, China) X+Living

DECOR TIP: When designing a kids' room, mix patterns and colors and have fun first of all. The sky is the limit!

Pot Bellied Pig
Pot Bellied Pig
Pot Bellied Pig
Pot Bellied Pig

10 // Above: Pot Bellied Pig (Dublin, Ireland) Kingston Lafferty Design

DECOR TIP: Grab two colors that work together and experiment with them in different tints and tones.  This lesson in restraint can have lovely results.

Spooning
Spooning
Spooning
Spooning

11 / Above: Spooning (Berlin, Germany) Zentralnorden

DECOR TIP: Pick a main color and add accent colors very sparingly (yellow on counter, blue stools).

Romola
Romola
Romola
Romola
Romola

12 // Above: Romola (Madrid, Spain) Office for Political Innovation

DECOR TIP: Play with shapes, materials, and scale if you are daring enough. Be bold. You only live once, right?

(Photos from The Restaurant and Bar Awards)

4 Simple Ways To Decorate for a Garden Party at Home

Would you like to see 4 very easy and affordable ways to create an indoor garden dinner party for summer? Hello, this is Anke with another tabletop-column, cherishing the month of June and the color green! I love the rich green outside that come with summer season! Most of us like to spend as much time as possible outdoors during this time of the year, right? But as not all of us has a garden so thought about bringing the garden-party theme inside.

Indoor Garden Party Theme on decor8
Indoor Garden Party Theme on decor8

1/ Start with Flowers & Branches

First for this theme, I cut wild Mock Orange Bush (which is known under the name „Farmer ́s Jasmine“ in Germany because of its stunning citrus fragrance) and arranged the branches in a tall glass vase. The smaller vases on the table are filled with white Peonies, Nigellas, Grasses and Matthiola.

Indoor Garden Party Theme on decor8

2/ Simple Tableware & Linens

For a very natural look, I opted for plain white plates, small water glasses, and green linen napkins. Crystal glasses for the summery aperitif add a little nostalgic glamour. In addition, I decorated with just a few green accessories -- like a dark green little bowl with a floral decor and a rose-shaped candle holder.

Indoor Garden Party Theme on decor8

3/ Affordable & Pretty Wall Decoration

Another idea that is easy, quick and affordable is this wall decoration. I searched through all of my favorite magazines for green, garden, and countryside-themed pictures and attached them to the wall in my dining room using masking tape. The result is a big green mood board which beautifully emphasizes the theme of my indoor garden party.

Indoor Garden Party Theme on decor8

4/ A Signature Summer Drink/Aperitif

Next, how about a toast with a Peach, Thyme & Elderflower Cooler? You can pour some elderflower syrup in a carafe, then add just-sliced peaches, thyme twigs and fresh elderflowers. Top with sparkling wine and some sparkling water. Cheers to summer!

Indoor Garden Party Theme on decor8
Indoor Garden Party Theme on decor8

Let me wish you a beautiful summer season with many memorable moments with your loved ones outside in the garden, on the balcony, at the lake, by the sea or indoors in your dining room!

I will see you again here at deco8 in August when I return from our annual family vacation!

Love, Anke

(Photography, Styling, Text: Anke Illner)