Posts tagged decorating
DIY Wallpaper Your Stairs
wallpaperstairs.jpg

Botanical Style is a big trend in home decorating, from Boho to Country, to Minimalist and Clean, everyone wants to bring in more plants and flowers at the moment - real, faux and through prints and patterns. Some want a ton, some like only a few. Have you thought to bring in floral and plant patterns though? For instance, through wallpaper? And in this case, add it to your staircase? Yes, wallpaper the stairs. RPS1833_STROMMA_HALLWAY_01_lowres

Why not? It really works in an old farmhouse or country home, but if you go with a more modern pattern, you can apply this look in a more modern city townhouse too. Author Selina Lake visited me this morning in celebration of her latest book, with a great tip shown in new book, Botanical Style, published by Ryland Peters & Small. I'll share more photos from the book and Selina will be back with more tips later this week but for now, here's a great project outlined by Selina that you can try at home.

Selina says, "Wallpapering the stairs is a wonderful way to bring vintage botanical pattern to a plain staircase. Rip out any old carpet and remove any tacks or nails, then sand the stairs and paint them with floor paint (I used Farrow and Ball wood primer & undercoat followed by ‘All White’ Floor paint) Gather up a collection of wallpaper offcuts or rolls of the same print for a more uniform look. Measure the top stair and cut out to size using desired paper. Attach using PVA glue or wallpaper paste, starting at the top means you can work your way down while leaving it alone so the glue will set."

That's it! Flowers on the stairs! Done! And if you want to see more, you can buy her book here.

(Photography by Rachel Whiting © Ryland Peters & Small)

Spring Entertaining Ideas

Hello dear blog readers, this is Anke with my monthly tabletop column for decor8. How are you? I hope 2016 started off well for all of you! Are you enjoying wintertime or longing for spring like I am? At our home, it has been the same process as years past. I cannot replace the glitzy Christmas decorations with plain elements and early bloomers quick enough. So, here are some spring tabletop ideas for you!

fantastisch-earlyflowering-6.jpg

My table is set in bright colors with white tulips, hyacinths, and snowdrops. Light-colored wood, glassware, and straight, clean shapes give your table decoration a modern, Scandinavian look. The great thing is that one doesn’t have to spend much money on it! Jam and preserving jars in different sizes will act perfectly as flower vases, and there is good news for those who like the tablecloth. It's from IKEA from their 365+ collection.

fantastisch-earlyflowering-3.jpg

I chose small enamel cups to plant the snowdrops. Look for similar vintage ones at the flea market. Enamelware from Falcon would be just as beautiful, as would their mugs or mini tumblers.

fantastisch-earlyflowering-13.jpg

Of course I had to put something playful on the wall again. Keeping up with the latest trend I went with a pennant wall hanging. There is special t-shirt transfer paper that allows you to print text or an image of your choice and iron it onto fabric. Check your local craft store - just ask one of the employees for fabric transfer paper. Easy-peasy! For the next step I cut the fabric to size, created a fold at the top and stitched, then folded in the bottom edges and ironed it, then sewed the hem at the short end of the pennant. To finish this DIY, just thread a wooden stick or even a cooking spoon through the hole you've created. Add baking string to the top to hang.

fantastisch-earlyflowering-10.jpg

The small culinary delight on each guest's plate was juicy lemon-rosemary-cake. If you like the combination of fruity cake and sweet garden herbs you should definitely have a look at the Lemon & Thyme Syrup Cake from Holly's new columnist Emma. I will be giving it a try soon, that's for sure!

fantastisch-earlyflowering-15.jpg
fantastisch-earlyflowering-7.jpg
fantastisch-earlyflowering-1.jpg

I wish you all a beautiful month of February! I am looking forward to meeting you here again on decor8 at the beginning of March! - Anke

(Photography, Styling, Text: Anke Illner. Editor: Jessica Senti)

Home Tour: Family Friendly Home in Australia

Hello friends, how are you today? I received such a nice email from Stella, a blogger and homeowner living along the central coast in Australia with her family, who wanted to share her home with all of us. Yay! It is surprisingly quite rare that homeowner's contact me, why is this? I don't get it, I'm not a tiger, I won't bite. They seem so shy or think I would not be interested for some reason but please don't be, I love seeing how people live and though I cannot publish all home stories, my goal is one per week so help me people! Saratoga-5017

Ok! So come out from hiding you people with your stylish homes, because we want to feature your world on decor8.

Okay, enough about that. How about a little show and tell? Stella, her husband Michael and their children Eva Grace (2.5 years old) and Luca (14 months) live in this lovely space in a part of the world that I'm longing to visit- Australia. What's with Australia anyway? Beautiful beyond words but then you have all of these great blogs and foodies there, incredible stylists and the homes. Oh the homes. Always so light-filled and posh.

Saratoga-5082

Stella teaches English studies and literature at their local University and her husband owns a golf business and they live about an hour away from gorgeous Sydney. That's their dining room above. Their home was built in the mid century and hasn't been renovated in about 30 years so, despite how aged it was, when they were shopping for a home in a neighborhood they'd be hoping to live, they snatched it right up in "as is" condition because all of the homes were selling so quickly and they were tired of missing out. 

When they viewed their current home they commented that, "We instinctively sensed this was an opportunity that we had to jump on. The waterview, the outlook, were its greatest features. Other appealing features were; loads of natural light, north facing, corner block, high ceiling and of course its natural backdrop. The home is very bright and airy." Since moving in, they knew it was the best choice as they never tire of the water views and find it a tranquil spot after a long day chasing toddlers.

Saratoga-4752

"Another plus to our home is the layout. It feels seamless and flows well from one space to the other because it is so open I can be preparing dinner in the kitchen and I can see the kids playing in their rooms." When Stella mentioned this is made me think about how layout is so critical when you have children. When you are a single couple, you have more freedom at home. You don't think about whether the children can hear the television at night or whether you can see the baby playing on the living room floor while you are preparing dinner. These things suddenly become very important once children arrive.

Saratoga-4575

I asked Stella where they like to shop for furniture and decorating objects and she confessed, "Our home is littered with bits and pieces from our travels, flea market finds and some pieces from furniture stores like FreedomCountry Road and for the furniture in the kids room we love Ikea because it is extremely functional and durable." Stella loves Scandinavian style best and tries to bring a nordic vibe to her home, "Our home feels open and fresh, we don’t have a lot of accessories. I like functional furnishings with a neutral palette. We have clean lines, whitewashed floors and a warm colour theme," all are the hallmarks of Scandinavian decor.

Saratoga-4878

There is lovely Stella and her little one shown above and below, there is a bit of an interview I had with her so she can share her house pride with you in her own words. I love it when people talk about where they live and you can tell their faces are glowing as they speak...

Saratoga-5150

Saratoga-5199

Saratoga-5167

What do you love the most about your home? 

Stella: Being so close to the water is a blessing. We often take the kids down to the water for a picnic and to feed the ducks and see the pelicans. We find it such a joy to unwind at the end of the day in a home we love with the people we love. When we have no schedule or events to attend, we love our time together as a family. Most weekends will start with eating pancakes around the kitchen breakfast bench. Michael loves to cook on his days off and the open plan kitchen makes it possible to be cooking and still engaging and interacting with the family. The kids will usually do some craft and drawing on the dinning room table and then we might go for a walk to see the ducks and fish at the waterfront. At the end of the day Michael and I will unwind with a cup of coffee on our deck, catching up on some reading and watching the sunset over the water. Our home is bright and charming and it’s always easy to just stay at home.

Saratoga-5206

Saratoga-5252

Saratoga-5226

What is your favorite piece in your home?

Stella: The cream David Edmonds Platter on the bench top is one of my favourite pieces in the home. My husband bought it for me soon after we got engaged. It is a sculptural piece that adds a touch of art to our kitchen. Also our bed linen is Vintage Washed Linen. It is pure, lightweight linen and gives a lovely lived in look. It is extremely soft and durable and always looks so fresh. 

How do you define “home”?  

Stella: Simply this -- All the riches in the world mean nothing without a home. 

What are some tips for keeping a stylish home with children? 

Stella: When you have children it’s important that they know where their things should go. That way tiding up time is more easier.  We have baskets scattered around the house, canvas bags and natural baskets that store lots of books and toys. It helps us feel organised gives everything its place.

Saratoga-5127

Saratoga-4455

Saratoga-4503

Saratoga-4668

What is your dream piece for your home?

Stella: I would love to find a piece of art that I can not live without. That would make a statement and would stir something in me overtime I looked at it. 

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to decorating?

Stella: Trying to find pieces that are multifunctional and still beautiful. 

What comes natural when you're decorating?

Stella: Matching things with our clean lines and natural tones because I know our palette and the colours I am drawn to... I know if something will find its place in our home fairly quickly (or not).

How do you make simple, easy changes to the style of a room when you get bored and how often do you redecorate?

Stella: I play around with a vignette and change pieces around, I might add an unusual look vase with fresh flowers- that is a quick easy way to add life to a space. I am often rearranging things, I'll be looking through an interior magazine and walk away to change a single item around, for instance. It might be moving a frame or pulling similar items together like a vignette of similar coloured vases. I find inspiration to decorate all around me. 

Thank you Stella for sharing your corner of the world with us today. And dear readers, you can follow Stella on her Instagram if you'd like - just click here.

(photos: Maree Homer via Homes+ magazine)

The Shopkeeper's Home Book Review

It was such a pleasure to learn that my publisher in the UK, Jacqui Small, signed new author Caroline Rowland because it's always nice to have talented new authors in your circle. Caroline's first book just launched called The Shopkeeper's Home and so I had to offer to help spread the word to support her new book writing career. I had a virtual coffee and chat with her this morning and she gave me a few insights into her book and tips for those of you who may be interested in getting a book deal of your own. I thought I'd share our chat with you now along with some beautiful photos from her book that will definitely have you running out to buy The Shopkeeper's Home. Ready? 140704-Loop-Home-0023-print1040

decor8: Caroline, can you please tell us about your background?

CR: I studied photography at university, then worked on picture desks mainly at the Financial Times. I set up my blog, Patchwork Harmony, in 2008 and 91 Magazine in 2011 while still working full time but finally went freelance in 2013. 

decor8: How did you get a book deal, what are some tips for those who want to get into books?

CR: Jacqui Small was aware of my work with 91 Magazine, and we had a meeting way back when I still worked for the Financial Times, but it was only after I went freelance that I approached them with my book idea and things went from there. I think it's good to build a brand/aesthetic first so publishers can see what you are about. Think about unique ideas that might work as a book. It needs to be something you're really passionate about too as you'll be working on it for quite a while!

decor8: What is this book about?

CR: It features beautiful shop interiors from30 independent stores from around the world and the shopowner's homes. I wanted to explore whether there was any relationship between their professional & personal spaces, and also gather inspiration from these highly creative people. I wanted to compare their work & home spaces to see if they influenced each other, as well as the fact I imagined these people who have created stunning retail spaces would probably have done the same at home. And they did!!

SU500_JS_DustyDeco_Shop4_1040

decor8: Tell us about the book sections and why did you choose them?

CR: The first half is decorating ideas, from walls & floors to display and storage. These all were obvious areas that both shop & home interiors had lots of ideas to steal. The second half profiles the shops, split into lifestyle, vintage, homewares, crafts, cafe/shops. These are the types of shops I personally love discovering when I travel so these seemed the obvious ones for me to feature.

decor8: Did you get to style the spaces photographed for this book and how did you find them?

CR: Unfortunately I missed the majority of the shoots as my daughter was due the week we started shooting! I managed to make it to a few which I loved working on so it was a shame I missed the rest. I found the shops as a result of a LOT of online research! Although some I knew of before. As above, I didn't get to travel to many sadly.

finalbookcover_1040

decor8: Congrats on your new baby and on your new book! What inspired you to do a book like this and which shop featured is the closest to your personal style?

CR: My combined love of interiors & shopping was my greatest inspiration. As far as the shop that is closest to my style, that's a tricky one! Perhaps The Hambledon which features on the book cover as I love their mix of vintage and contemporary.

140711-Caravan-Shop-005-printdecor8

140711-Caravan-Shop-003-printdecor8

SU494_JS_BlackOveja_Home_4_HERO_1040

decor8: Would you ever want your own shop and if so, how to you envision it?

CR: I used to have an online shop but after a few years I realised retail isn't really my thing, my passion is publishing. 

decor8: What is the practical takeaway people will get from reading this book?

CR: There are loads of decorating ideas for the own home and it is also partly a shopping directory, so the next time that you are visiting London or New York (for example), you can check out the featured shops in person. 

OHF_1467decor8

RareDevice_2154_1-40

SU499_JS_RoomToDream_Shop3_HERO_1040

Thank you Caroline for sharing your beautiful book with us today, we are so happy to have you join us on decor8 and to kick off your online book tour. All the best to you!

(images: Jacqui Small LLP)

 

Midsummer Entertaining Ideas

Hi everybody! This is Anke Illner and usually I post about table decoration on my blog but today I'm both very happy and excited to be sharing my first new column on decor8 all about tabletop decorating. I'll show you the same table in my dining room each month styled a different way to hopefully inspiring your next gathering. Entertaining is a big trend, wouldn't you agree, and it will only become stronger since many have come to discover that gatherings at home are more intimate than meeting up at restaurants - and a lot more affordable and give you a chance to be creative. Okay, time to get started with my first installment in my tabletop series. For this look, I'm bringing you some late summer inspiration.

fantastisch_featured.jpg
fantastisch-september-14.jpg

I always liked a table styling that tells a little story about the current season of the year. And I love the month of September. The warm light, fresh air, luscious colors and opulence make me happy all round. It is the best time of the year to ramble around the farmers markets, if you ask me. During my last visit, I could not resist the dahlias and small yellow plums (called Mirabellen in German). In good company with a homemade marzipan pound cake I set my September themed table with floral bouquets in small vases (formerly jam jars), rustic-style ceramics and linen-napkins. A big round wooden board functions as the centerpiece, giving the cake a perfect stage. Last but not least, I scattered some small yellow plums. Not only do they add some spots of yellow color to the table but also make the guests happy.

fantastisch-september-11.jpg

When guests come, I mostly arrange several medium-sized bunches of flowers as they allow everybody to see each other. You`ll find a step-by-step tutorial for medium arrangements in Holly & Leslie's, "Decorate with Flowers". Furthermore, I discovered beautiful images of floating flowers in their book, the inspiration for my mini version on every guests' plate. My flower choice this time: multicolored dahlias, white phlox, sage and some grass. I can highly recommend sage as an add-on, its delicate scent is just wonderful!

fantastisch-september-9.jpg
fantastisch-september-2.jpg
fantastisch-september-5.jpg
fantastisch-september-16.jpg

Along with coffee and cake I prepared cucumber and ginger infused water. I tried this for the very first time when visiting Amsterdam this summer and was surprised about the fresh, aromatic taste. Have you given infused water a try? Which variation? I hope you liked this table setting and I wish you the most beautiful late summer, dear readers! See you again in October for my next tabletop theme! - Anke.

(photography and styling: anke illner)

Before & After Entry With Superfront

I'm excited to share the big before and after reveal of how our project with Superfront* came out for the entry, which is perfect if you're looking to update your mud room or entry with a stylish storage solution. Organization doesn't have to be ugly! But first, if you don't know who Superfront is, they're a Swedish firm that specializes in designing and making gorgeous quality doors, hardware, sides, legs and tops for Metod and Besta IKEA cabinets. Everything is designed in Sweden and made there, too. They also ship their legs and handles worldwide, with the rest of their products shipping throughout Scandinavia and Europe, so there is no reason not to check them out. If you're like me, and you like IKEA but don't want your IKEA stuff to look like everyone else's, I highly suggest working with Superfront to elevate your Metod and Besta cabinetry. I'm all about customization and making something mainstream into a more personal style statement. Superfront04

In fact, Superfront can be seen on the pages of magazines like Elle Decoration for this very reason - people are using their products to breath new, stylish life to IKEA cabinets. You can customize your entire kitchen, office, sideboard or entry cabinet for maximum impact. Superfront has many colors to choose from, lots of different legs and a lovely selection of hardware. You can see a little glimpse above of how I pimped my Besta, but would you like to see the big before and after reveal, where I turned a depressing corner with white wood chip wallpaper and a lonely gray cabinet into a statement making entry?

Okay here's the big before and after reveal below. First though, let me lay a few things straight because it's not where I want it to be yet (the decorating part). I want to install a large mirror above the cabinet to reflect light from the facing windows (that you can't see) from the adjacent dining room. That alone will REALLY brighten the entry, which has no windows (only doors leading to other rooms). I also want to add a medium-size plant to the top of the cabinet (far left) and switch out the paper and bamboo pendant light currently installed for a large gold brass light. I haven't found the perfect one yet, so I've been holding off... But the search is on. I also need a new lamp for the cabinet but I can't find the right one so this is also a work in progress. I honestly find lighting such a hard thing to buy, not because there is no selection but because there is such a massive selection and often too much choice paralyzes me.

As for the cabinet, I'm 100% in love with it! It's perfect and I'll tell you why below because there is drama behind every pretty photo.

Superfront01

What we were up against:

In the before photo, there was a radiator on the wall that we had professionally removed since the entry doesn't require a heater - it stays warm enough in the winter. I also hated looking at the ugly thing and knew that once it was out of the picture, I could put a big unit against this wall for storage. Thing is, once we removed it, we had all of those giant metal pipes and things sticking out of the wall. We couldn't remove those, we are renters, so I was having a "moment" when I saw these 4 metal pipes sticking out of the wall. That's why I knew I had to get a cabinet that was high enough to cover them but no so precious that I wouldn't mind drilling through the back of it to fit the pipes through into the cabinet.

Yeah I know, crazy stuff you don't think of until AFTER a radiator was removed.

While in discussion about what to put on the wall to replace the radiator and the gray wood cabinet, we had the walls stripped and then had our Aimee Wilder wallpaper installed. Once that was up, I really started to see a cabinet on this wall that would take up nearly the entire width of it that had a little glamorous edge to it. I didn't want a sideboard that was standard sideboard size (low) because my little boy who would be constantly opening and closing the doors and grabbing our keys and things off of the top. I wanted high cabinets with high hardware so he can't reach up to open the cabinets until he's old enough to know better! And that would drive me crazy so whatever I bought needed to be safe and childproof.

I also couldn't have a wall-mounted floating piece because the walls wouldn't support it since the house is 114 years old. Legs were needed, but not any kind of leg since the floors are super uneven since they are as old as the house. I know, right... So much to think about for a cabinet!

Oh yeah, we desperately needed storage. This old apartment, and well homes and apartments in Germany in general, never have closets. It was the strangest thing to me when I first relocated here 6 years ago, but now I totally love it because you can decide where to put your closet by having a freestanding one. We need to store shoes, mittens, hats, scarves, handbags -- everything you need in an entry before you run outdoors. We go outside each day, we live in the city, and take our little one to the nearby forest and playgrounds. This means we were in need of storage but I didn't want my entry to look like a cluttered mess yet we genuinely use everything we keep in our entry and I wasn't going to compromise style for storage. I knew I could somehow have both. The IKEA Besta cabinet I went with has 3 units, so one for each member of our little family of 3, and 3 shelves in each though you can add more if you'd like.

What we went with:

We decided on a white cabinet because I wanted the room to be light and bright and also didn't want to distract from the bold wallpaper. I selected the Illusion front because it goes best with the pattern of pineapple. I selected the Circus brass handles, round, to mimic the shape of the fruit and also to pick up the gold a little. For the legs, I originally ordered the Captains legs, but they not only made the unit too tall but with the uneven floors, it kept teetering back and forth and because the walls are weak, I can't secure the cabinet to the wall. The legs were the most difficult part to finalize. In the end, we went with the Big Balls because they are low, super stable and they are understated and the shape complements the pineapples and hardware on the doors. They also were the easiest to adjust to the height of the floor.

Superfront03

Here's our recipe from IKEA for the sideboard as shown:

Here's the recipe from Superfront for my sideboard as shown:

Superfront02

Misc. items in this space: Marigold Weave Hemp Rug is from Armadillo, Tweetable Birdcage designed by Alessandro Dubini from Komdo, Ceramic jar pineapple from Strauss Innovation, Pina Sola (in Spinx) Wallpaper by Aimee Wilder, Gray Arod light from IKEA, Shoes are Cross Strap Debutant Swedish Hasbeens in Natural, 1938 print by Teresa Esgaio is limited edition from AUPrints and the frame is from IKEA.

Do you like it? What do you think?

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Superfront —a brand I've been personally using in my home and have tested quite thoroughly. All content, ideas, photography and words are my own.