Posts tagged decoration
DIY: Pure + Natural Spring Mobile

Hi readers, this is Kerstin from Hannover, Germany and I'm really excited about being a member of Holly's team on decor8 going forward. Once a month I will visit you here to share some lovely handcrafts that you can make yourself. Here is my first DIY inspiration for you, I worked on recently and it's a nice welcome project to spring. I love to work with a variety of materials and create some simple, nature-inspired items for home decoration or for yourself in the form of simple jewelry. Today we're going to make the elements shown below in my photo that we will then use to create a mobile. But first... Kerstin Reilemann for decor8

Sunday was the first day of spring, does it feel that way where you live yet? It's still not feeling like spring yet so I decided to create a light and poetic mobile for you because it is a nice symbol for the season. As the days warm up and the sun is out longer, why not go out and see what you can find from a nearby park, garden, forest or your backyard to use for this project? Nature thrives on opposites, which are brought into harmony – it is the same with my mobile. I decided to use various materials, like finds from nature which include birch branches, stones and blossoms and I've combined with wooden beads and nature-inspired paper cuts - light and heavy, round and angular, rough and soft.

Kerstin Reilemann for decor8

For showing you how easy you can create some of these elements, I made some photos to visually share my steps with you.

MATERIALS: Modeling clay for the leaf (no baking required, I used white) Colored paper Various wooden beads Some veil herb, because it is nice when dried Birch branch Stone Clear stringing wire natural-color thread 4 bamboo skewers 1 glue stick X-ACTO knife hand saw wire wire cutter Cutting mat Bone folder All-purpose scissors Sewing needle

Kerstin Reilemann for decor8

STEP ONE: Trim sharp ends from wooden skewers so they don't pierce you or anyone else! You will use 4 skewers to create a mobile like mine.

Kerstin Reilemann for decor8

STEP TWO: On the skewer at the top, add a fancy end so it looks like a long swizzle stick. Cut a strip of your favorite color paper 2-3" long and cut into the paper but not to the bottom forming lots of thin strips. You most likely learned this in school as a child, right? So I don't need to explain too much. Anyway, wrap the paper around one end, rolling with your fingers as you go, securing with glue to the stick.  This is the top of your mobile so set it aside to dry.


STEP THREE: Quickly make these three elements for your mobile. The first is simply to cut a circle of paper in a color you love and thread through a bead in the center, then fold the circle over to create a half moon shape. Remove the needle, you will eventually tie this element to the mobile. The next element is to use 6 wooden beads and some thread, and simply thread the beads on and then twist to form a shape, then tie at the top. Make any shape you choose. The final element is to take a large wooden bead and glue something natural to it, like dried flower as I did. This bead will eventually be added to the end of the 2nd skewer on your mobile.

Kerstin Reilemann for decor8

STEP FOUR: I bet you made these in school too, paper fans! All you need is a bone folder for creating the best folds, thread, needled, scissors and paper. These are fun, you can see easily above how to make them so I don't think I need to go into detail! When you finish making one, just set aside for now.

Kerstin Reilemann for decor8

STEP FIVE: Using a found branch and a hand saw, saw off a round disc for one element and for the other, a 2-3" stump. Create looped wire piece you can see in image 2, you need to make two of these. Now, make small holes in the top of your disc element and in the stump element, and insert the ends of the loop pieces into the wood. Use glue stick first to add to end of wire for extra support. Tie thread to each to create two ornaments that you will hang onto your mobile later on.


STEP SIX: Create some leaves with your modeling clay using your hands and then lay over a bottle to dry, wrapping them around curve of bottle so they have a natural, curve shape once dry.


STEP SEVEN: Use paper, an X-ACTO knife and a cutting mat to create a leaf pattern like mine. You can use a template if you wish, or free form. It's easiest to first use a template, trace with pencil onto your paper, and then cut shape from there. When finished, place aside.

Kerstin Reilemann for decor8

Kerstin Reilemann for decor8

Kerstin Reilemann for decor8

Kerstin Reilemann for decor8

STEP EIGHT: Use clear stringing wire (or strong thread), and begin securing each skewer to the wire (or thread). I used one long piece of wire and tied to the first skewer, then the second, then the third, then the fourth, leaving some skewers off center. As you tie your elements to each skewer, pay attention to how well everything is balancing out so that the mobile is straight and not lopsided.

By choosing my elements, shapes and colors carefully, creating this mobile was more than just craftwork. It was a relaxing and enjoyable project; I loved to watch it grow by slowly testing out various combinations. During my experimental work, I love to play some good music and drink a good cup of coffee. Do you? I hope I will inspire you to do the same, no matter if your mobile or decorative wall hanger will look like my example or show your personal style, that's up to you.

Let me know if you have any questions, you can ask me in English or German in the comments section below. Thank you for having me for my first column today, readers! I'll be back in April with another pure and nature DIY idea for your home! - Kerstin.

(Photography, Styling, Concept, Text: Kerstin Reilemann/ Editor, DIY Text: Holly Becker)

Home Tour: Modern Farmhouse with Global Touches

Hey everyone, it's Holly Marder back again this month with another beautiful interior to show you! I have a sneaking suspicion you’ll love this modern home in the country so let’s jump straight in! IMG_2847lowres11

Webshop owner and interior stylist Nicole de Ridder and her partner Michiel Kok live reside in this renovated farmhouse in the Dutch countryside with their baby boy Tyn. After years of remodeling, the results are a calming and contemporary family home that boasts all the characteristics of an old farm.

Michiel purchased the 140m2 property a decade ago prior to meeting Nicole. The building, which dates back to 1922, was in a sorry state of affairs and he commenced reconstruction right away, a job which took him more than six years. After meeting Nicole, they decided to live together however Nicole felt that much was needed to complete the renovation, including a full restyle of the home’s interior. “The furnishing of the farm was pretty dark and rural, not my taste,” admits Nicole. “To feel at home, we did some redecoration together and decided to finish the job.”




The former living room consisted of two smaller rooms. Nicole and Michiel broke through the wall separating the two rooms, resulting in a large L-shaped living space. They removed a large window and replaced it with French doors which gives them access to their garden. “We thought the adaptation would take two months at most, but in the end, it cost us more than nine months,” Nicole says. “Once you start, new things will pop up. The good thing is: now the whole house is finished right down to the last details.”

Their home is a mixture of styles. “I love to combine vintage with modern items and design,” Nicole explains. “The base colours in our home are white and grey. To create some warmth, I add warm colours such as brown, yellow, orange and red. I think wood is also a great way to give a room some extra warmth.” Nicole loves bringing souvenirs home from her travels, bringing with her unique accessories with a story and sweet memories. Her favourite pieces include the large wooden sculptures from the Philippines and the souvenirs in the shelving unit from Thailand and Laos.

Nicole and Michel do have different styles when it comes to decorating. “That can be difficult sometimes,” Nicole explains. “But finally, when Michiel sees how it turned out, nine out of ten times, he will like it anyway.” Michiel’s proudest accomplishment is the master bathroom, which he designed and created himself. The walls of the bathroom were given a ‘tadelakt’ finish, giving them a rustic aesthetic.

The size of the property commanded a lot of furniture, so the couple shopped together to fill each space. With an eye for beautiful products for the home, this was a process Nicole thoroughly enjoyed.

“Through my work, I find so many treasures. My apartment in Amsterdam was too small to collect things, but the farmhouse allowed me to finally get some of these pieces and give them a nice place in our home.” One of Nicole’s favourite brands is House Doctor, a Danish label she also sells in her webshop “It’s affordable and of good quality,” Nicole explains.

The grey corner sofa in the living room is an item Michiel purchased when he lived on his own. The cushions on the sofa are from La cerise sur le gateau, a brand Nicole endorses in her webshop. Beside the sofa, is a second hand black vintage chair. The couple drove to Brussels to find one at an antique market and design fair, but didn’t succeed and drove back to the Netherlands with an empty van. In the end, they found the black vintage chair on Marktplaats, and online marketplace for used and vintage items in the Netherlands (similar to Craigslist). Small coffee tables, one white one and a black one by Hay, maintain a sense of spaciousness in the room. The hand-knotted carpet, as well as the one in the dining area, was purchased at De Munk Carpets.


The couple’s self designed and made floor-to-ceiling bookshelf was created using MDF boards. Michiel did all the carpentry and Nicole the polishing and painting. “It was not an easy job, but I really wanted this bookshelf,” Nicole says. “One day, we will move back to Amsterdam and the knowledge that we won’t be able to move this bookshelf with us makes me sad already.”

A segment of the bookshelf continues around the wall, connecting both parts of the living room and acting as a display for Nicole’s favourite objects.


The couple purchased their dining table at Raw Materials, an Amsterdam-based furniture shop. Above it, are two white Muuto lamps. The white Panton chairs were a Marktplaats find, while the yellow one was purchased new from Loods5, a large Dutch furniture store where Nicole sells her products.


The couple painted their monochromatic kitchen, brining in blue accents for a bright and cheerful space to begin the day. The kitchen table is by House Doctor and the blue cabinet was purchased at Loods5.




Adjacent to the kitchen is a guest room, where the couple accommodate their friends and family, boasting the same light and airy aesthetic as seen in the rest of the house. Many of the accessories can be purchased in Nicole’s webshop. The dotted cushions are a La cerise sur le gateau creation, while the concrete light beside the bed is from CP Collections.






The couple cleverly created a workplace in the hallway upstairs, a cosy space just under the diagonal roof that would otherwise have remained unused. Nicole uses this space to update her webshop, create new items for her own label Studio Circus making posters and postcards for kids rooms. A newly placed roof window means the space received ample light, while the black modern lights above the staircase add a modern touch to the rustic space.






Upstairs, the master bedroom features the original wooden beams, painted white. Mint green and pastel tones create a fresh and light atmosphere, offsetting the old vintage chestnut desk and chair which belonged to Michiel’s great-grandmother. Wooden blinds in chestnut and a bamboo light overhead add warmth to the space, while the carpet brings the full colour palette altogether and adds a playful element.



IMG_3160lowres13 Tyn's nursery features crisp whites with blue accents and naturally, a few posters from Studio Circus, a co-creation from his own mum.


With ample space to spare, the couple were able to turn one of the upstairs bedrooms into a dressing room, which displays all of the couple clothing on neatly organized black clothing racks from IKEA. The runner is an item from Nicole’s webshop.


Light and bright, yet with the characteristics of the old farmhouse it once was, Nicole and Michiel created a comfortable family abode blending Nordic sensibilities with subtle ethnic touches. “For me it is important to be happy when I come home, it has to feel right and this house does,” says Nicole. “Besides that, a house needs enough space to draw back whenever you feel the need.”

Well guys, I hope you enjoyed today’s tour! What are some of your favourite things about this home? My favourite things about this home are all the old wooden beams throughout and the huge self-made bookshelf and the cheerful blue cabinet in the kitchen. See you here again soon – Holly M.

(Photography, words and styling: Holly Marder | Avenue Lifestyle | Editorial assistant: Lotte Herink)