Kamis, 30 Januari 2014

A fresh, bright and beautiful Dutch cottage

I do love a weekend escape. This white country cottage belonging to interior designer and co-owner of NU interieur /ontwerp Nathalie Fransen, architect Bas Van Egmond and their three children in the Netherlands hits the mark! The Dutch cottage has been renovated into a beautiful, fresh, light space using among other things, a lick of white paint, a new kitchen and bathroom. For a relatively small space of 34 metres square this family weekend retreat gives an illusion of space. Take me there!

Holly Marder for Decor8

I love this cottage, it has everything I could dream of in a holiday cottage, how about you?

You can see more pictures and read more about this Dutch space here

For more Scandinavian retreat inspiration you might want to check out this page (warning: you might want to pour yourself a coffee first, you could wile away a good hour looking through these Scandinavian rural retreats!). 

Have a lovely weekend!

PS we're off to the jungle here in Thailand for the weekend, exciting! See you Monday. 

8 Simple ways to make your space interesting

Details in decor can make or break a design especially when you have a more minimal look (not a lot of stuff around).  You need something interesting  to draw the eye and provide a  momentary resting place.  It might be a texture, a beautifully shaped stool, or an embellishment.  A space without details is immensely boring and who wants a boring home?   Here are simple ways to add some pizazz to your space. Each  space will have a different starting point.


1. Use art  to create a vignette

art vignette yellow interesting space
Eye catching art anchors design

Choose eye catching art and use it to create a vignette.  In this space the yellow chair creates a visual flow from the artwork and it is anchored by the stripes in the rug. Books provide a casual look but other items could be added to the bench to continue the tone set by the art.

   2. Add pattern and texture

greek key pattern texture interesting space
Greek key detailing adds interest

The addition of pattern to any space instantly makes it more interesting .  Also consider using texture for a quiet way to add additional interest.

 3. Bring the outside in

wood stool bathroom interesting space
 Add outside materials inside

 Who wouldn't notice the natural wood element in this stool in a hard edged bathroom.  The repetition of natural shapes from outside to inside woks so well to move the eye to the welcoming outside view.

4. Layer furniture and accessories

bookcase wallpaper focal point interesting space
Patttern and colour with accessories create a complex focal point

 Some focal points are large and a room is created around them.  Other times a secondary focal point can be introduced in a quiet corner of a space. This solution works when there are several seating areas in one space. Layering furniture and accessories is one way to create interest.

5. Choose spectacular lighting

Tom Dixon lighting interesting space
 Spectacular Tom Dixon lighting

 Who could ignore the variety of shapes in these black pendants  that anchor the dining space in an open concept home? There are all kinds of lighting choices to adorn your space.  Find the one that is right for you.

6.  Use geometry

black white stripes hexagons gold  interesting space
 Black and white is always eye catching

When you combine several geometric shapes in one vignette, it can create a powerful focus.  When you add high contrast it is difficult to ignore.  Pop some gold into the combination and you have to look - more than once!

 7. Use common items in unique ways

starfish mirror interesting space
 A simple starfish repeated many times

Take one starfish and it has an interesting shape.  Repeat that shape many times by overlapping and you have a sculpture that begs to be looked at and touched.

8. Use pops of  warm colours

Red is an eye catcher

If you want instant attention choose red, yellow or orange as an accent.  Warm colours beg to be noticed by advancing visually in your space.

Now that was easy.  If you have a space you aren't pleased with perhaps one of these suggestions might help to create more visual interest. Do you have favourite ways to create interest in your home?

Rabu, 29 Januari 2014

The black and white workspace of a Finnish blogger

A few weeks ago I posted a beautiful collaborative workspace in San Francisco and it was so popular I thought I'd post about another inspirational office today (because we can't all be on holiday in the Philippines!). This black and white work corner belongs to the editor of Finnish blog Lily. One of the things I love most about this corner is that it totally blends in to the area around it (love the black leather sofa). I could certainly sit here and blog, could you work here?

Lily with kind permission
The space includes an Eames DSR chair (15% discount with code MYSCAN) and the Aröd task light from IKEA.

You can also see her mix and match dining space here. Love the way she's photographed it don't you?

I also love this Norwegian work space, this beautiful white and light wood work area and this art studio. How about you?

Have a lovely day!

Selasa, 28 Januari 2014

A little piece of paradise in the Philippines

I was at an event recently and met a girl who grew up on a tropical island off Japan. I was fascinated. She said she didn't appreciate her surroundings as a child but loves to go back and visit as an adult. Many people feel like that about their own home towns. But could you imagine if yours was as stunning as Dedon island in the Philippines? Created in collaboration with designers Jean-Marie Massaud and Daniel Pouzet with the ethos of eco-friendly tourism and barefoot living, it is a little touch of paradise and the ultimate winter escape. Pass me the sun screen.

Dedon Via Style Files

I'm adding this one to my wish list for 2015 (but will need to save up a little first!).

When I post design hotels in tropical places (see also this fabulous hotel on Mykonos) I sometimes get comments asking what this has to do with Scandinavian homes. Well not much! But I think it's inspiring to show get-aways all the same - after all, everyone needs an escape from the Scandinavian winter from time to time or what? As you know I'm currently travelling in Thailand with my family (feeling like the luckiest person in the world) and am so inspired by the beautiful places we have seen and stayed in.

Do you have a place you long to visit?

PS if you'd like to donate to the Philippines following the typhoon on 8th november and read more about aid visit this page.

A Stockholm apartment with an industrial touch

I absolutely love window room dividers. They are the perfect way to separate living areas without blocking light. And they look cool too! This Stockholm apartment is currently for sale through Per Jansson. I love the industrial / vintage touch and the white walls and floors.

Per Jansson

Could you live here? It's styled for sale but if it were mine (and I wish it was) I'd add a few rugs and perhaps a wood burning stove and then it would be perfect!

For more inspiration on window room dividers you might want to take a peek at this, this and this home. So fab!

Have a lovely day!

Minggu, 26 Januari 2014

The fantastic home of a creative Finnish duo

Just hearing a home is owned by Finnish interior architect Joanna Laajisto and photographer Mikko Ryhanen I already know the space is going to be pretty fantastic. And that's exactly what this apartment is. Located in Helsinki and decorated in mainly white, black and grey, this family home marries vintage finds with scandinavian contemporary pieces. Love.it.

Photography: Mikko Ryhanen with kind permission. Interior designer Joanna Laasjisto via Emma's Design Blog

So fab don't you think?

I spy: Thonet 209 chair (15% off with MYSCAN),  Louis Poulsen AJ table lamp, Knoll Platner Coffee table  and the Knoll Bertoia dining chairs.

You can see Joanna's wonderful previous apartment here.

Looking for more Finnish inspiration? There's lots and lots of beautiful Finnish home inspiration here!

Have a lovely day!

PS We're in transit in Singapore airport - there's a play area for children with free wifi. It's the simple things in life.... :)

Leaning art: 4 Guidelines to make it work

Art warms a home, makes it interesting, provides topics for conversation and contemplation , adds colour,  the list goes on indefinitely.  There are various ways to display art; some are more successful than others.  One option is leaning  art against a wall rather than hanging it, but this display option isn't always successful for a variety of reasons.  If you want to try leaning art, consider the following factors.

1. Scale - Choose artwork large enough to read from standing or sitting  position

leaning art

 The size of a piece of art in comparison to the space and objects around it usually determines successful placement. This painting fits the bill perfectly.   

leaning black and white large scale art
 Large scale images work best

When you want to lean work on the floor it needs to be large enough to observe from standing position and bold in imagery so it can be read at a distance. Even the dog get this!
 The photo on the right works better than the  the art to the left of it because the image is tiny. 

large leaning abstract art dining room

Perfect scale and beautiful work that can still be seen and read while sitting or from other areas of the room. 

simple black and white composition leaning art
Bold form and simple composition

The boldness and simplicity of this painting  make viewing it easier when leaned on the floor.  The objects in front of it enhance the placement and help to anchor it safely. They do not interfere with the reading of the image. Which leads to the next guideline...

2. Layering: Don't cover major parts of an artwork

abstract leaning art with chair
Successful layering

Layering other objects in front of an artwork is a tricky business.  This vignette is successful because the image is large, dark and has quite a bit of space where there are no details.  The chair and table lie in areas without too much detail.  You don't feel as if you are missing  important elements of the work. 

large leaning artwork behind table
Do you want to remove anything here?

There are so many things about this vignette I love, but I want to see all of the artwork and part is hidden by the table and books.  Even removing the books would help things considerably.   Love the candlesticks and the table, both really work with the artwork.

leaning art on mantle
Successful layering where each image is clearly seen.

 Layering art on shelves, consoles, and mantles can be very interesting. It is a way to display smaller pieces  to good advantage.  While this is a very simple vignette with the branch acting as a consolidating element, it is possible to have more complex collections of objects.

3. Colour scheme:  Restrict colour combinations in  leaning gallery display

gallery wall limited colour scheme
Limited colour scheme provides cohesion

 There are lots of small pieces in this display but they read as one unit because of the colour cohesiveness.

4. Image: Choose the right image for the space

red airplane leaning art
Art with simple bold form

I think the work that layers best in a vignette has bold form and colour.  It can compete with the other objects for your viewing attention.

Now it's your turn.  What do you think of this arrangement?

 framed art leaning

Jumat, 24 Januari 2014

The stunning home of stylist Nathalie Schwer + give-away winner announcement

This space belongs to the stylist Nathalie Schwer and was shot by one of my favourite interior photographers Line Klein. Working in close collaboration with Line, Nathalie is a new force to be reckoned with in the Scandinavian interiors world. I absolutely love her home which was recently captured by Line for Elle Decoration DK in association with Mille Collin Flaherty.

Nathalie Schwer, Line Klein with kind permission. For Elle Decoration DK. 
This is one of my favourite spaces in a long time. I love the personal items including the coffee table books, ceramics and prints. And  of course the mid-century furniture. What a fab apartment?!

If you do one thing today it's pour yourself a cup of fresh coffee and take a peek at other Danish homes photographed by Line Klein herehere and here.

I do so love the Danish style, don't you?

Before we all head off for the weekend (yay!) I would also like to announce the winner of the St. Valentine's Day give-away  in association with fab online shop Self Packaging. Thank you so much for all the wonderful entries! The winner is (drum roll.....) Zdenka of blog Zdenin Draws. Congratulations! I will contact you via e-mail.

This Sunday my family and I are going to Thailand  for a break (exciting!). It's been a really tough week for various reasons so it comes at a great time. However, I'll still be blogging daily (I do love to blog, it gives me so much energy and that's definitely thanks to you - thank you!) so do stop back but bear with me in case I have problems with wifi!

Have a lovely weekend and see you Monday! 
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