Senin, 31 Maret 2014

Dining room solutions

In January during a blackout our pipes broke resulting in water damage to a number of rooms in our home. What was a bit of a disaster turned into a positive for me because it finally got me moving to do something about  one of my biggest decorating problems.  That would be my dining room.... See my complaints in this  post .  It's quite a list. 

Too much of a good thing

This is how it all looked  in early 2000 .....

problems furniture arrangement dining room
Wood, wood and more wood

Problem lines  

Wood everywhere isn't the only problem.  Note the all the horizontal lines from the buffets to the railing,  a light hung too high and a window that has a view of the window next door.   Below is my first attempt to solve some of the highlighted problems.

arranging dining room furniture
 A different orientation solves some problems

Rearrange and add

I liked the changes and that satisfied me for a short time.  The new light was a good height and the roundness worked well against all the rectangles.  I also added longer (very temporary and too short) drapes to break some of the horizontal lines.    I moved the art work from  the living room to dining room,  and created some height and brightness on the dining table.  Still seriously problematic in my book because I did nothing to alleviate the wood issue, but it was improved but sorely lacking  pizazz.

Enter 2014... 

The power of paint and fabric

One of the cheapest updates you can make to any space is to paint something.  I don't care if it is furniture, accessories or walls, it works every time. Since we had to repaint all the walls (BM Glacier white) I continued on to paint quite a few things which I will reveal over the next several posts.  

painting upholstery dining chairs gray circles
 Bringing  it into 2014

To break up the wood and the set,  I was determined to sell all the dining chairs and buy new ones. I still don't know how I got hubby to agree to selling 8 hand made solid ash chairs because they were too matched. He was probably fed up listening to complaints!

After an extensive search,  I realized the chairs that looked best with the table  were the ones my husband made for it. I don't like sets, but in this case I had to concede.  So ... after much discussion with sister and daughter and varying opinions, I found a fabric I loved and then choose spray paint to work with it. 

I would like to say that cleaning and spray painting 8 chairs was exciting.  Not so.... But I got to use my favourite motif (circles) and my favourite colour gray. What could be better!   Part 2 coming soon... new problems and solutions. Hint:  Look at the vignettes on the buffet and table.

What do you think?  

A very cool Toronto apartment

Hello! I hope you had a wonderful weekend? Did you get a chance to enter the give-away to win the t'shirt soft bed linen yet? This fabulous Victorian Toronto apartment belongs to John Baker and Juli Daoust and is located directly above their beautiful shop Mjölk (meaning 'milk' in Swedish). -how's that for a commute?! You can definitely see John and Juli's love of all things Scandinavian and Japanese shining through and I also like the brown accents they've used throughout. I once featured their cottage on here which is equally beautiful but in a different way.

Johan Baker and Juli Daoust of Mjölk, Featured in Dwell. Via Miss Moss

*sigh* such a perfect way to brighten up a Monday morning don't you think? Is there anything you love in particular about this space?

I'm all over that wall of dried wild flowers (could this image be from their shop?), I wonder if this can be re-created as a DIY project? It would be so fun for spring.

By the way, I came across a competition over at FinnStyle at the weekend asking people to choose which Marimekko pattern they like the most. They're now down to the final four and would love some help choosing the winner, one lucky participant could win a 100 dollar gift card for their efforts (please let it be me....or you...or me....!)

Have a lovely Monday!

PS Thank you to Miss Moss and Dwell for the inspiration. 

Minggu, 30 Maret 2014

Spring give-away: t-shirt soft luxury bed linen

To celebrate the clocks going forward (yay! hello spring!) I've collaborated with Southern Sweden firm Beach House Company, the leading supplier of soft t-shirt bedding, to offer you the chance to win a set of luxury jersey sheets (either two single duvet covers with two pillow cases or a double duvet cover with two pillow cases ) in a colour of your choice. I've had the pleasure of testing the jersey bedding in smoke (as pictured on my bed below along with the oh so soft Alpaca Line throw), and it's like sleeping in your own little cocoon, it is so a-ma-zingly soft. Details on how to enter below.

To enter all you need to do is:

- Visit the Beach House Company website and in the comment section below write which jersey sheets
   you'd like to win and why.
- Visit the Beach House Company Facebook page and follow if you'd like to receive all the latest news.

And that's it! The give-away is open to everyone. Be sure to enter latest midnight GMT Saturday 5th April 2014. Don't forget to include a way for me to contact you. The winner will be announced here and Twitter on Sunday 6th April 2014. Good luck!

Beach House Company jersey sheets are available to purchase at Scandinavian Design Center and Kings of Sweden.

Jumat, 28 Maret 2014

The happy home of Jenny Brandt

Friday definitely calls  for colour. I've shown other images of this fab home before and now new pictures have emerged in the wonderful April edition of Inside Out magazine (available at Google Play and the Apple Newstand). It's the bright coloured and relaxed family home of Swedish blogger, illustrator and photographer (yes, she's one multi-talented lady), Jenny Brandt here in Skåne. Jenny and her family renovated the home from scratch, painting the floors (if you look closely, they're different throughout the house), adding more windows to create natural light as well as a unique personal stamp to everything within. Perfect inspiration for the weekend!

Photography / interior design Jenny Brandt, Shoot styling Kicki Wieslander via Desire to Inspire 

I love the wall of prints. I spy the Fine Little Day Apple Papple and Pirum Parum prints from Mokkasin as well as the Blushing Carl print from Jenny's shop.

For more happy homes with a splash of colour I'm loving Elina Dahls family space, this bright coloured Malmö home, and a vintage inspired Swedish apartment.

Speaking of happiness, do you have any plans for the weekend? P and I have been invited to a 'Lost at Sea' themed party. We're thinking if going as Life of Pi - with P as Piscine and me as the zebra (I definitely got the short straw didn't I?!).  The problem is we'd like to go for a pre-party drink in town and call me a party pooper but I'm not sure I'm willing to do that clad as a zebra? What do you think?  Other ideas welcome!!

Also the clocks finally go forward this weekend. This definitely calls for a celebration so I'm throwing a very exciting give-away here on Sunday. Make sure you stop by - it's open to all!

Have a very happy couple of days and see you Sunday!

Kamis, 27 Maret 2014

The beautiful relaxed home of Anne Ziegler

Hello, how's your Thursday? It's so grey here in Southern Sweden I am in desperate need for something to brighten up my day and I think I've found it in the form of this beautiful house. It's the white, light and airy home of Anne Ziegler, a trend, retail and brand consultant for companies such as Ann Taylor and Victoria's Secret, in Laurel Canyon, California. I love the wide planked light wood floor, layered textures of white and that fab spotted bed spread (anyone know where it's from?). Oh how I love  the whole look and feel of this space.

Photography: Brittany Ambridge (shared with kind permission) for  Domino Magazine via French By Design

What a beautiful relaxed, home don't you think?! Anything in particular which catches your eye?

More lovely white homes can be found here, here and here (and no grey in site!).

I hope this space has brightened up your day too!

PS Thank you French By Design for the inspiration - I love your blog! And to Brittany Ambridge for the kind permission to use the images.

Have a lovely day!

Rabu, 26 Maret 2014

The oh so cool home of a Swedish photographer

Morning! This is the oh so cool home of talented Swedish wedding photographer Therese Winberg. Shot by Therese and styled by Anna Malmgren for Plaza Interiör, the space appeared on several blogs late last year and I missed it (I know, I think I was to busy enjoying my Christmas glögg!). It's such a fabulous home I thought I'd better share it in case you missed it too?! The space is the perfect blend of old and new and teeming with the latest design trends (hello geometric kitchen floor, scallop fronted dresser, grey marble surfaces..) . There is so much inspiration from this place I'm not sure where to start, but I'll certainly be pinning every picture!

Photography: Therese Winberg (with kind permission), Styling: Anna Malmgren. Plaza Interiör. via Coco Lapine

What do you love most about this home?

Personally, I'd like Therese's bright coloured collection of sneakers!

Because it'd be rude not to:  here are some beautiful homes tours of other Swedish photographers: Jakob Nyland, Helena Blom, and Jonas Ingerstedt.  It's official: Swedish photographers have fabulous homes!

Have a lovely day!

Selasa, 25 Maret 2014

Do you need a little luck?

We just finished two months of renovations after our broken water pipes  and I wanted something fresh and green  for my living room. I went to the florist to get a....

shamrock plant for good luck Irish

 lucky shamrock seeing it was St. Patrick's Day  and my ancestors are Irish.  The best laid plans often fizzle in the face of something more interesting or inviting. The poor old shamrock didn't get a second look when I saw this....

lucky bamboo pillar
Lucky bamboo pillar

I couldn't help myself.  I was pulled in by this  lucky  bamboo. Most bamboo plants grow into a leggy, somewhat untidy mess, and for that reason I've never bought one.  I didn't realize  there were different ways of braiding or shaping them.

So I am  now the proud owner of a lucky bamboo.  Here's my Cole's notes (am I dating myself?) version of my research on understanding them a little more:

10 facts about lucky bamboo

The lucky bamboo:
  •  has been used for 5,000 years in the practice of Feng Shui
  • arrangement can have  5 essential elements of Feng Shui- earth (rocks or pebbles), wood (stalks), water (for growth), metal (add small coin or ornament), and fire (red or orange   object added) 
  • is not a real bamboo, it is an Asian tropical water lily, botanical name "dracaena sanderiana" 
  • does well in low light, but needs a constant supply of  water (keep at 1 inch)
  • likes distilled water  or tap water left out overnight ,
  • doesn't like  water with flouride 
  •  needs a water change once a week 
  • brings luck (amount of luck it brings depends on the number of stalks) check this link
  • leaves can be toxic when ingested
  • designs are trellis, pillar, tower or "random"

Special designs

spiral triad lucky bamboo
Spiral triad

lucky bamboo pineapple braided pillar
Pineapple braided pillar
simple braided pillar lucky bamboo
Simple braided pillar
two tiered tower lucky bamboo
Two tiered tower
serpentine wall lucky bamboo
Serpentine wall 
trellis lucky bamboo
Trellis lucky bamboo 

If you want a plant in your home a lucky bamboo is your best bet if you don't have a green thumb.  It may even survive for awhile.

Using lucky bamboo in decor

lucky bamboo arrangement dining table
Using repetition of small arrangements in a dining space

lucky bamboo curled centerpiece coffee table
The sculptural quality of curled lucky bamboo makes a stunning centerpiece
curled lucky bamboo zen bathroom
Lucky bamboo in a simple design works well in a Zen bathroom 
spiral lucky bamboo arrangement console table
An  arrangement of curled  stems needs no other adornment 

The stunning malibu home of a creative couple

Take a cottage in Malibu and combine with a creative couple. The result is going to be fabulous right? The Californian home of LA stylist Becks Welch and film and music cinematographer Darek Wolski (best known for films such as Alice in Wonderland and Pirates of the Caribbean) is just the right blend of modern and contemporary, industrial and cosy, dark and light. Thank you My Paradissi for leading me to this home and to Swedish photographer Martin Löf for the kind permission to share this home. You've made my Tuesday!

Photography Martin Löf for Elle Decoration via My Paradissi

Could you live here?!

I love how we start to see outdoor spaces creep into the home tours, it's a sign that spring is finally here! I've been pinning images of beautiful swimming pools onto my 'Alfresco' board on Pinterest (a girl can but dream right?!).

In case you're mind is also turning to the great outdoors here are some of my favourite outdoor spaces of all time: an oh so stunning montreal oasis (take me there now!), rustic outdoor dining inspiration for those balmy evenings (bring them on!) and the very alternative garden shed.

Have a lovely day!
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