Sabtu, 30 November 2013

Simple Christmas decorating

  Margaret Ryall

We all have our Christmas rituals and mine usually start December 1st..  I  always make something for my entrance first.   I am not one to overdo things.  I re-use what I have or forage in  my garden or the gardens of friends. Then I added some LED lighted twigs and silver balls and a hit of mesh ribbon.   The purple connects with my front door. The blown leaves remind me that we are between seasons.

Margaret Ryall

 Each year I allow myself one  or two new purchases and send at least one small bag of assorted objects to a local charity shop.   I'm extravagant this year with two purchases.  I've been looking for a plain wreath to change around each year and found this great one with LED lights  for 25% off at Canadian Tire.  This year the theme is snow flakes and silver... just because.

 Margaret Ryall

 This year I embraced our new Target ( very near my home) and purchased three  dark silver vases that you will be seeing around my house through out the coming seasons.  I love repetition in threes as you can see.   A little sparkle with red is refreshing.

   Margaret Ryall

I have a fondness for trays to corral objects into a composition.  This lovely white one was a gift from my husband last year. It has silver leaf leaves and birds on it (see below). 

Candles are always a must at Christmas time and I usually arrange those I have on a tray, add in some flowers and ornaments and call it a day.  I am still fiddling with this arrangement and I may need to invest in some new candles  because these are looking a little worn.  There's nothing like a photo to help you refine a composition.   The finials are going and I must put in one more pillar for a chubby candle.     Love plain white mini carnations because they last forever.

 The new  version with finials removed. Looking better.  Every time I pass by I move something!

That's it until December 14 when I usually add the second layer of decoration and put up the tree.

I hope you are putting a little sparkle in your home. 

Jumat, 29 November 2013

A Skåne sitting room beautifully decorated for Christmas

Since many of us will be celebrating the first weekend of advent over a glass of steaming glögg this weekend it's time for a little more Christmas inspiration. These lovely pictures are from the sitting room of the talented and inspiring Swedish blogger Anna-Malin of Helt Enkelt blog from here in Skåne. I love the way she's styled her sitting room for Chrsitmas it looks so pretty and cosy don't you think?

Anna-Malin, Helt Enkelt with kind permission

I love the mini Christmas trees that are trending this year. I've started to dot a few Christmas decorations around our home but we won't head out to the forest to chop down a tree for a few weeks yet. When will you start decorating (if you celebrate Christmas that is :)?

In case you're looking for more beautiful Scandinavian Christmas decorating ideas check out this white home, this Norwegian home and this Swedish home. Oj oj oj so lovely and Christmassy!

PS if you're in need of a little present inspiration or looking for something new for your home, check out my latest guest edit (click on the My Scandinavian Home banner). So many great things! And if you love wrapping you'll love the personalised gift wrap you can find here, I'm on it!

I hope you have a lovely weekend and Happy Thanksgiving to those of you on the other side of the pond!

Kamis, 28 November 2013

8 Ways to fill empty corners

The four corners of a room are often a no man's land when it comes to design.  I am not saying that you have to fill up every corner with something, but I am advocating thinking about your space to determine if  it might need to look more "fulfilled". Here are some of my favourite solutions:


8 Ways to fill empty corners
Using Art to fill an empty corner
Margaret Ryall

 Usually you can't walk right up art you place in a corner,  so choose something that can be read from a distance. This lovely matted and framed wood sculpture is stunning for corner purposes.  It brightens up the space, fills it nicely, provides a backdrop for the dark table and lamp base and is a bit of a conversation piece. I was so excited when it was hung on my clients' wall.  

 using art to fill empty corners

This colourful mid century modern space needs art work to match.   It creates another layer for the space that invites the eye to roam and then return to the equally colourful lamp and chair. 

 Round table and two chairs

two chairs round table  in  corner

Round tables are great for corners because they allow you to fill the awkward space and at the same time move your eye around so you don't get stuck there visually. The addition of the lamp provides the third height thus creating a more interesting design.

Tall  floral arrangement

round table and ottomans foyer

 When you have the height why not go for it and use something tall to fill the space.  Again a round table is the mainstay for  this foyer area. 

 Built in bookcase 

corner bookcase workspace
Vicente Burin Architects

This beautiful set of bookcases  tucks effortlessly into a corner.  The colour adds to the whole space and the minimal arrangement of objects and books ensures it isn't too busy. 

Chair and floor lamp 

vignette chair ottoman lamp corner
 Cravotta Interiors

A round floor lamp behind a chair is a perfect and quite functional solution for a corner. 

chair ottoman floor lamp in corner

In larger spaces the addition of a round table helps to fill the corner and provide variety in heights. 

 A  workspace 

desk chair art in small space
Siemasko + Verbridge

Tidy and interesting  art too. 

built in office desk under stairs
  Leslie Goodwin Photography

Or perhaps a larger space to make use of a corner under a stairs.  

 built in  workspace desk in corner
SchappacherWhite Architecture D.P.C.

Large scale vases/urns

large urns in dining room
InHouse Design Studio

Sometimes you need a certain something to complete a design and these two large scale floor vases do just that.  Imagine the space without them.  

large vase with greenery and sticks kitchen

 This arrangement is not in a corner, but it very well could be.  Rather than bamboo you could use birch sticks if you wanted a more rustic look.

 Corner mirror and two chairs

corner with two chairs table and mirror

Love this solution because it expands the space making it seem like it goes on forever. The glitz and sparkle doesn't hurt either . 

Then there's tall plants, built in benches, screens .... The list is as long as your imagination.  Do you have any bright ideas for filling corners?

A Swedish home with black floors and a mid-century touch

I arrived in London yesterday for an over night stay. It's always a treat to come home not least because my Mum is the best cook in the world! She also showed me something she bought at an antique auction yesterday and it made me think I should spend more time hunting for vintage / mid-century / antique items. there are so many beautiful items to be found! Today's home currently for sale through Fantastic Frank blends Scandinavian mid century furniture with modern touches and black floors. Perhaps dark floors are a great alternative to the latest trend in Scandinavia dark walls. I love the contrast but the apartment still appears lovely and bright. What do you think?

Fantastic Frank

Are you more of a light or dark wood floor person? or perhaps you have gone for carpets?

I spy: the SNOW chest of drawers, Svenskt Tenn elephant print on the chairs, and a lovely grey sheepskin rug. I find Lauritz a great source for Scandinavian mid-century furniture. I recently received a Frame 20 as a gift and it looks perfect on my mid-century coffee table - just a tip if you're looking to decorate your finds!

For a little inspiration on mid-century inspired homes check out these here and here. And other beautiful homes with dark floors here and here. I think I'm sold?

Have a lovely day and see you tomorrow for a Christmas inspired post!

Rabu, 27 November 2013

Children's room from Bang Bang Copenhagen / Ollie & Seb's Haus

My older little girl is keen to update her bedroom and never one to turn down a decorating opportunity I've been pouring over children's room inspiration on Pinterest. One of the coolest children's rooms I've seen is from the home of Deborah of Ollie & Seb's Haus. The fab room has been styled for an A/W 2013 cushion shoot for quirky children's clothing and accessory brand Bang Bang Copenhagen.  Last week I was admiring the sofa in the kitchen - today I'm dreaming of my children having a big enough bedroom to fit a sofa like this one - so comfy!

Ollie & Seb's Haus, Bang Bang Copenhagen. with kind permission. 

I spy the white rabbit lamp (I also love this cute rabbit one from Made in Design and get 10% discount with code SCANDI-HOME!), apple papple print, and Brio stove (my little girls have this and I've had many a fake meal served to me from this oven, they love it!), Tam Tam stool (10% off with code SCANDI-HOME) and Bang Bang Copenhagen cushions

You can see more pictures of Deborah's little boy's wonderful room here as well as get some more tips on where to buy some of the items you see. 

Other children's rooms I love: this, this and this one. So fab!

Since it's the first advent this weekend I'm planning a Christmas post on Friday with lots of Christmas decorating ideas so if you're looking for a little inspiration pop back Friday with a cup of coffee. And of course there'll be tomorrow's usual Scandinavian home tour....

Have a lovely Wednesday!

Selasa, 26 November 2013

The serene home of a Swedish fashion blogger

Hello! I can't believe how popular yesterday's home was, I really enjoyed reading all your comments both here and on Facebook (where it got over 245 likes!), it was indeed a beautiful apartment and I too could move in tomorrow. To continue the theme of homes for sale in Sweden I was extremely excited to come across the Stockholm home of Swedish fashion blogger Elin Kling which is currently for sale through Per Jansson. It's a picture of calm. I am particularly loving the bedroom - I'm sure it's impossible to have a bad nights sleep there, what do you think?

Per Jansson
Such beautiful images!

On Sunday we had a Facebook discussion on whether to go for less or more based on this post. Elin's home is definitely 'less' and the beauty of that is that it feels incredibly serene. Are you a less or more person?

Thank you so much to Sofia for today's tip. Have a lovely day!

Senin, 25 November 2013

A beautiful, classic Swedish apartment

Hello, how was your weekend? It's getting so cold here now BRRRRR and my hibernation instinct is starting to set in. This makes a cosy home even more important don't you think?! I thought I'd start the week with this very classic and beautiful Swedish apartment. Light wood floors, white walls, light coloured furniture, a white and light grey colour teme and there's that firepace (kakelugn)  in the bedroom again (imagine reading the papers in bed on a Sunday next to a roaring fire? Love that!). I could live here, could you?

I spy the Eames DSR and Thonet 214 chairs (15% off with code MYSCAN). The Cross blanket. Visit BLACK SHEEP (WHITE LIGHT) for beautiful sheepskin rugs. The armchair and blanket are both IKEA (I think). For beautiful prints try Silke BondeElina Gardin or OHMYHOME.

You can see more pictures of this beautiful home over at Alvhem. For more inspiration on white and light grey Swedish homes check out this and this - oj oj oj så fint! and actually, even my bedroom!

PS If you're looking to get organised in the new year you have just three days left to sign up for the Nest newsletter and be automatically entered into the prize draw to win a Uten.Silo (sign up before 28th November). Like!

Have a lovely Monday!

Minggu, 24 November 2013

Accessories: Making it all work

 Decorators get all kinds of requests for services from furniture layout to full home designs. I like the variety of smaller jobs with  the ones that go on forever.  Two of my favourite tasks are rehanging art to best advantage and providing the last layer of accessories in a home. Sometimes I get to do both in the same house!

Over the next several posts I want to provide a glimpse into the thought processes I use when accessorizing a client's space.   Think about it as adding the icing to an already great cake. If you do it for your own home or as a professional service, the task is really the same. You have to juggle design principles with individual taste (both decorator& clients) and existing elements in the home.

 Sometimes homeowners have  objects  to incorporate in the design and other times you may  start with a clean slate.   As a decorator, I find  a  clean slate  more difficult  because I want to choose accessories that are "sensible" for the homeowner.  By that I mean  I want to select objects that relate to  family composition, budget, existing objects  and  interests.   Here's a little of how it goes.....

Use what is important to you

Re-use objects from other rooms

Mix shapes and scale

accessories: Making it all work

 This is a perfect example of  how existing objects  can  form the backbone of a great vignette.  The crystal vase was a wedding gift and  the lamp was in another room, but the scale was too small for that space. The homeowners had the mirror from their previous home.  When I saw the silver cut edged design in the frame that  mimicked the cuts in the crystal, I knew it would work.  I have to admit I am a firm believer in giving  new life to "previously loved" things.

There is  variety  in the  shapes in this vignette.  The major objects (table and mirror) are rectangles,  the bottle, vase and lamp are cylinders, the ceramic bowl a softened square.   Spheres are introduced in the top of the bottle and the floral shapes.  The leaves serve to soften all the shapes with their lovely droop.

 Have a mix of warm and cool tones

The homeowner wanted something to put keys in so the soft white ceramic bowl with a  coppery/bronze interior was chosen.  If everything is silver why add  warm tones ?  I like to mix metals for interest.  The jar behind  the bowl is mercury glass and it has a bronzy metal top- both work with the warm tones in the orchids.   So three cool tones and three warm tones.   I always mix warm and cool. 

Choose an accent colour from other objects or art

Move the accent colour around the vignette and the  larger space 

 Pay attention to the geometry in a space

Move  colours around the vignette.  This is a must for success.  When you have a mirror and a small space you can depend on what is on the opposite wall to add to your vignette.   You can see glimpses of  the opposite side of the porch  in the mirror. 

Choosing an accent colour
All the walls on the main floor are a cool blue gray.  You already know I like to mix warms and cools in any scheme, so I wanted a warm colour to offset the cools.   The first thing I chose for this room was the art. The pillow was second. The art was chosen based on what I observed hung in the home on my first visit. Two of the pieces had orange as a primary colour and both had elements of  landscape in them.  This is a more interpretative landscape which is also usually  a safe purchase.  The lines of design in the painting  bring the viewer in an up thus adding depth and height to this small space. it works well with the scale of the bench and the the nine foot ceiling.

I couldn't pass up the repetition of the back shape of the bench in the pillow.  It serves to break up the dark in this small space and moves your eye around.  I also love how the diamonds duplicate the linear quality of the trees but in a more complicated way.

 Choose items that can work in several formations

 If you choose your objects wisely you can move them around and add seasonal items to the decor when needed. And most importantly of all do not get over stressed when things mysteriously get bumped or shoved off centre as the table in the above shot!  People live there.   

And that is why homeowners call a decorator!

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