Friday, August 31, 2012

Happily Ever After: Autumn With Rowen & Wren

We can feel September approaching. And autumn. But with every new season there is something to look forward to. Like all the new autumn collections that keep popping up and that boost our craving for a little change in our homes. Changing the colour palette, textures, patterns goes hand in hand with a changing feeling induced by the season's changing.

With Rowen & Wren, one of my favorite British home accessories brand, this autumn will be everything but dull. Nature inspired details bring the outdoor freshness into the homes, mellow hues of white, grey, blue, mint and aubergine diffuse a calm atmosphere with warmth and sensibility. With this charming collection I am more than ready to welcome a new season in my home. Are you too?

Photography via Rowen & Wren

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sneak Preview: French Connection Home

After a successful premiere with its spring/summer collection, British fashion & home brand French Connection heralds the new season with the launch of its autumn/winter collection in September. If '50 Shades of Grey' was a success, then this is the ongoing feast of grey hues for colder days. 

The premium collection continues to expand the product offering with a strong focus on occasional furniture, lighting, and decoration. Colours remain muted with neutral shades of white, grey and taupe taking center stage. A subtle introduction of somewhat stronger colours is seen across living textiles with earthy tones of khaki, rust and indigo complementing the usually neutral colour palette.

French Connection continues its summer success with a selection of refined products for a design-savvy home. The details are kept clean and simple, the colours muted, the textures rich - all this results in a calming sense of living with an injection of warmth for the upcoming colder days.

I love the chunky knit throw, the rustic coffee table with an industrial feel and the grey rug. With these accessories I am more than ready to welcome autumn!

Photography by French Connection

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

5 Happy Inspirations: Hearty Finds

If you read my blog I take it as a natural that you love beautiful goodies for the home. So I guess you are one of my fellow sufferers when it comes to home accessories. Sometimes I walk through an interiors store and I literally feel my heart skip a beat when I encounter something hearty. Most of the times it is a challenge (to me a kind of Olympic discipline) to withstand the immediate urge to grab that little something and buy it. But as I grow older and wiser (with a supernatural effort to make the former less intrusive and the latter more distinctive) I sort of get a hold of this and manage to pull myself together. But sometimes...sometimes I am just a mess altogether and an unteachable home accessories shopper. These '5 Happy Inspirations' would most certainly bring that unteachable side of me to the foreground.

1. The Ay Illuminate pendant would be perfect in my bedroom. Seen on Vosgesparis

2. The Malin Figur bedsheets from Ikea plays with one of my favorite colour combinations.

3. The Mega Knit plaid by Hay from La Maison d'Anna G. features yet another favorite colour combo of mine.

4. Colourful trays with funky fonts - big like! By CADA Design as seen on designbotschaft.

5. This clothing rack from Strek Collective is super sleek and ideal for minimalistic interiors.

Happy hump day!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Giveaway: Win An Art Print By Minted

I am a self-confessed sucker for art prints. If I lived in a bigger apartment, I'd probably have a serious budget problem. But hey, how can you not be a lover of art prints with companies such as Minted who offer incredible designs with a more than teasing price tag? Well, when the guys from Minted approached me and asked if I'd like to host a little giveaway on Happy Interior Blog I was more than - you guessed right - happy!

To give you a glimpse of the beautiful selection offered by Minted, I've chose just a few of my favorite prints here for you. But you are free to choose any art print you like for up to $65. And the best thing: This giveaway is open to all international readers and all you have to do is leave a little comment under this blog post and tell me which of your rooms could get along with a fancy art print from Minted. The giveaway is open until Tuesday, September 4th, when a winner will be drawn randomly and announced here in the comment section, on Twitter and on Facebook.

Oh and a little tip for the upcoming holiday season: Minted offers super cute holiday photo cards for a personal message of love. Feel free to send me many of them:-)

Happy Tuesday, folks!

Photography via Minted

Monday, August 27, 2012

From Place To Space: Blogger Fun In Munich

First of all: I am sorry for not taking you to a new destination today but staying local. Yep, this time I am Munich bound. But I had a very good reason to stay in Munich: I was expecting one of my favorite fellow bloggers and good friend Will aka Mr. Bazaar from London for a visit. Moreover, we had a little but totally international blogger meet-up by welcoming our Canadian fellow blogger Tim from Designmaze on Sunday, too. 

You might remember Will's and my adventures through xmassy Munich last year. This time, we explored a more summery version of the city and discovered a few exciting places. Friday was the best time for an after work drink and chat at the stylish Aroma Kaffeebar in Munich's hip Glockenbach quarter, whereas Saturday was reserved for a more extensive shopping & shooting endeavour throughout the city. 

We started the day with a good brunch at the lovely Café Fräulein with its charming vintage décor and shabby chic feel. I love the fact that styles that do not necessarily reflect your personal taste (like in this case) can nonetheless enchant you when they're well executed. After the refreshment we headed to a few inspiring stores and snapped along the way. We foraged through the vintage furniture store Delikatessen and encountered some amazing retro light pendants and rustic industrial stools. 

To counteract the somewhat industrial and rustic feel of the first store, we headed over to Ladoug - a tiny boutique with a well chosen selection of beautiful furniture, textiles and decoration accessories, many of them with an artisan origin. The overall feel is more natural, ethnic and full of textures. A great place to satisfy all senses!

Walking through Munich downtown dragged us involuntarily to some of the high street stores, too. We hopped into Butlers to examine their colourful table settings and once again I fell in love with the Hamam inspired table cloths and picnic blankets. Saturday night was rounded up by a fantastic dinner in one of Munich's 'places to be' Theresa restaurant. I blogged about that restaurant here and believe me - if you ever come to Munich, you will want to go there and satisfy your palate and your design craving eye. 

Sunday was reserved for a meet-up with our blogger friend Tim and we took him for a drink and walk through Munich's several parks to enjoy the war sunrays and a leisurely Sunday. And in between all these undertakings, Will and I managed to style up my little abode, buy some extra props and shoot my apartment for an upcoming little home story. So stay tuned! Enough for now, happy Monday friends!

Photography by Igor Josifovic

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Ideas For A Happy Weekend

Happy weekend, friends! This one will be pretty busy and inspiring here in Munich. After last year's winter expedition in Munich, my fellow blogger and friend Will aka Mr. Bazaar of Bright.Bazaar is inspiration chasing with me in Munich. I have prepared a long list of great cafés, restaurants, and interiors stores. All to be carefully examined, photographed and covered for a Munich special. I won't reveal more, Mr. Bazaar will tell you in due time. 

So while we will be hopping from one location to the other, giggling like nuts, shopping like maniacs, and snapping like weirdos, I wish you all a lovely weekend wherever you are. And don't forget to add a bit of colour and happiness!

Photography via Planete Deco

Friday, August 24, 2012

Happily Ever After: Flair Magazine

How about a brand new fashion & home magazine to kick start the approaching weekend? We all love a good read for a relaxed weekend, right? Here we go. With Germany's 'dernier cri' on the magazine racks: Flair Magazine.

Flair is sassy magazine combining fashion, beauty and interiors. While I do indulge in the latter, I am pretty sure many stylish ladies won't neglect the first two sections. Flair's cover suggests a high-gloss lecture, but once you open it and touch the first page you will sense the tactile feel of raw, eco-friendly paper that is pretty much zeitgeisty. Glancing on, you will enjoy not only a visual feast but a tactile one, too. Like!

The first issue sparkles with a plethora of features: a trend radar suggests goodies for the ongoing month, the fashion category covers the looks of the season while the beauty column outlines the latest trends and products in cosmetics. My personal focus is on the home section though: A New York penthouse with vibrant colour accents, the eclectic home of Margherita Missoni, and statement sofas to awe your guests - quite a selection to please an interior loving eye. 

Personal verdict: A great first issue with coverages that are spot on. Personally I'd add a few more pages to the home category, but then again I am interiors obsessed. Grab a copy if you're in Germany or have a look at your international newsstand. It's worth a look. Happy Friday!

Photography by Igor Josifovic / Flair Magazine

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Style It Up: Bathroom Idea

When I get up, it's the first room I enter. Before I go to sleep, it's the last room I leave. The bathroom. Interior design and decoration doesn't stop in the living room, bedroom, or kitchen. A beautifully styled bathroom is actually a must: it pays aesthetic tribute to the bathroom's purpose - perpetuating personal hygiene, beauty, and aesthetics. 

The picture above got me swooning over a black and white schedule for a sleek and stylish bathroom. Whether you are going to redo the entire bathroom by choosing new tiles, faucets, sinks, showers, tubs, and furniture or you're going to add a few new accents like accessories, textiles, and decoration items: decide on an overarching theme and scheme, and work your way until you've reached your aesthetic standards. And then enjoy spending hours dedicated to your personal aesthetics.

Photography: Bathroom via Loftenberg; 1. tiles via Lapicida
2. shelving unit via Ikea; 3. faucets via Hansgrohe; 4. cup via Ferm Living; 5. towels via Bed, Bath & Beyond; 6. basket via Ferm Living; 7. shampoo via Stop The Water While Using Me; 8. candle via H&M Home.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

5 Happy Inspirations: Happy Algebra

Is it just a cliché or is it true that people who are more adept in arts, languages and the like are somewhat weak when it comes to mathematics and algebra? Well, I admit maths was not my favorite subject, indeed. Luckily, I've found the kind of algebra that works perfectly for me. The kind of algebra where you add one goody for your home, then another, plus yet another, and all that equals happiness for you and your home. Now don't you agree with me? Are you an advocate of 'happy algebra', too?

Today's algebra task was inspiring and rather easy: I started with a profound and happy basis aka retro double-seater by designer Alex Valder, I added a divine coffee pot by Kähler Design, enriched it with a limited edition cushion by Lucille Clerc via Cocoon Fabric Art and a porcelain platter by Liebe Shop, spiced it up with Helbak cups via Story North - and all that equals happiness. Lesson accomplished! Your turn!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Disney Happiness For The Home

Here in Munich, I enjoy a great advantage. I live downtown and there are many interior decoration and homeware stores just around the corner. One of them is Butlers, a German home & interior store, that has spread its wings to the UK and other countries recently. Truth be told, it keeps distracting me whenever I am on the way home after work - I always have to take a little tour just to grasp some inspiration from their lovely displays and table settings.  

When I heard that they are launching a new Disney collection for the home, I was all ears. The Disney characters have been the heroes of my childhood so I was imagining a renewed friendship on plates, mugs, totes. So here is just a little sneak peek of the upcoming collection that will be available from August 27 in stores and online, including kitchenware, home accessories and gift goods.

Moreover, Butlers is organising a great in-store event with a Disney illustrator in Germany, Austria and the UK. I will attend the Munich event and secure my own, bespoke Disney illustration. If you fancy one too, make sure to check it out in these cities: Cologne (August 28), Munich (August 30), Vienna (August 31), Berlin (September 3), Hamburg (September 5), London/Notting Hill Gate (September 6).

Make sure to come back here after the Munich event - I will be sharing some pics with you! Happy Tuesday!

Photography via Butlers

Monday, August 20, 2012

From Place To Space: Serbia

After my ten days family getaway to Serbia, it was more than clear that I need to share a few snapshots of the country of my family's origins. Well, here we are. Join me on a little walk through the Serbian countryside.

To me, holidays in Serbia are all about family, nature, time off. It is the place where I unwind completely. No internet, no duties, no rush. It's all about catching up with my family, strolling over the farmers market with my auntie, wandering lush gardens full of grapes, plums, figs, medlars, gardens rich with tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers. It is about visiting century old monasteries and churches, reminiscing about past times, thinking about future plans, and living for the very moment.

Serbia is not a typical country for holidays. To swim in the Mediterranean you have to sit in a car and take a few hours of driving to get to Montenegro or Greece. But it is a great place to discover the past and forgotten treasures. In Serbia, a farmers market is not a hotspot for a sustainability conscious crowd of hipsters. It is the daily 'supermarket' for the normal folks. Old, weathered facades speak of past times and the urge to renovate and upcycle seems to have come to an eternal halt. 

Much of it might be a side effect of decades of war and uncertainty. But some of it is the result of the Serbian mentality. Like every other mentality too, it has its drawbacks. But I cherish its good sides: the endless hospitality, the ability to smile and joke in all circumstances, the high appreciation of family bonds. 

Holidays in Serbia are not about lifestyle, chic hotels and lush beaches. They are about unwinding, evaluating what counts in life, and cherishing the simple things. And you will leave with the ability to smile at any obstacle in your life. That's what I bring back as a souvenir from Serbia! 

Photography by Igor Josifovic

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Ideas For A Happy Weekend

Punk it up this weekend, friends! Be it a crazy outdoor adventure, be it a spontaneous weekend getaway, be it a dash of punk attitude for your home! Throw in a scheme ripping cushion, hang that dust covered piece of art, get a furious clean out and rearrange everything. Free the punk within! Sometimes I just feel I am getting too comfy in my self-made 'comfort zone'. You know, that daily routine we create to make us feel at ease. Yet, that comfort zone quickly turns into an uncomfortable infinite loop that benumbs our ability to break our conventions, breathe freely and live our life in full scope. So here's to life! Here's to the punk in all of us! Happy weekend!

Photography via Abigail Ahern

Friday, August 17, 2012

Happily Ever After: Designer Ana Kras

Before I left for my family vacations to Serbia, I cheered you good bye with a picture of the 'Bonbon Lamps' by Serbian designer Ana Kras. Today, I want to use the opportunity to present this amazing (and beautiful) designer to you in more detail. 

Ana was born in Belgrade in 1984 and works on different personal and commissioned projects. Today, she lives and works as a designer, photographer and illustrator in Los Angeles. Ana creates pieces with a great deal of handwork. Probably a fact that reflects her Serbian roots. 

We all grew up with grandmothers and aunties that made pullovers, socks, cardigans by hand. We all had grandpas and uncles working with natural materials and creating pieces for the home. I sort of read this in her 'Bonbon' and 'Hive' lamps and the quirky, slightly retro 'Ksilofon' coatrack. Her colour codes speak of the abundance of nature and happiness - the Serbian countryside, summers on the Adriatic Sea in Montenegro, lush farmers' markets in the cities. Her urban upbringing in Belgrade seems to be mirrored in the sleek, sophisticated designs such as the 'Moon Table', the 'Noodle' sidetables, or the 'Hug Chair'.

Probably I am making up a lot of these, but sometimes this makes design and art so appealing to me. It's about what it speaks to me. It's about the story behind. Sometimes it's a story based on facts and the designer's actual background. Sometimes it's our interpretation, our vision of design and the way we reflect it. It's always a story that makes a design complete. And from what I've seen, Ana Kras has a lot to tell. 

If you want to know more about her, read a great interview with Ana here.

Photography by Ana Kras

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