Wednesday, February 29, 2012

5 Happy Inspirations: Vive La France!

Today was a pretty exciting day. I started a French conversation course after a ten years break of actively using French. I felt like a freshman at university. My bag, my French book and an outdated vocabulary were just the things I needed to travel back in time and be happy and laid-back after a long office day. So from now on I will be attending my French course every Tuesday evening and since I am in the mood, it is inevitable to make a '5 Happy Inspirations' post with a French 'je ne sais quoi'. Alors, on y va!

1. If you love Paris but live somewhere else (just like me), think of bringing Paris to your home. For example with this stunning wallpaper depicting a historic map of Paris as seen on Design*Sponge.

2. When I think of France, I also think of the French countryside style. I love the use of antique mirrors in varying shapes, rustic linens and worn textures for the touch of an easy-going countryside life, as seen on Rose & Rust.

3. Don't want a bold statement? Opt for a decorative cushion with a France inspired print, like this Paris Icons cushion by John Lewis

4. Nothing beats a fresh baguette from a French boulangerie. To be honest, it is one of the first things I do when in Paris. Baguette galore seen on Life Love Paper.

5. Close your eyes, think of Paris. I imagine Haussmann facades and airy apartments. Wooden floors, old fireplaces, high stuccoed ceilings, contemporary furniture. As seen on Marie Claire Maison.

Vive la France!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Brand New: Sister Magazine

Today I am very happy to introduce the brand new sisterMAGAZINE to you. As you know, I am based in Germany, and I am more than excited to share news from the German creative scene with you. This new e-magazine is published in both, German and English and thus addressing an international readership. It is run by one of my great blogger friends, Thea Neubauer and her sister, Toni. These two digital and stylish ladies have reinterpreted the concept of a lifestyle magazine and refreshed the German market with this idea-, inspiration- and information-packed first issue of sisterMAG. 

Readers are guided through 'rooms' instead of classical magazine categories and discover a plethora of articles focused on the kitchen (recipes, food expert interviews, table settings etc.), the living room (home décor, interior bloggers, artists, literary etc.) or the studio (DIY ideas and projects etc.). 

Although the main target groups are 'digital ladies', everyone will find inspiring and informative articles in this ample first issue with a total of stunning 250 pages. So make sure you take a few minutes of rest and comfort and glance through the first issue of sisterMAG. I am pretty sure you'll find something interesting for you. Enough said, I need to read a bit now. Enjoy my friends!

Photography via sisterMAGAZINE

Monday, February 27, 2012

From Place To Space: Cyprus

To celebrate upcoming spring, I am taking you today to the sunny island of Cyprus. The mythical birthplace of the Greek goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite, the island of ancient culture, old villages and lush beaches. Now let me tell you one thing: If you ever plan on visiting the island in the eastern Mediterranean, please consider staying in one of the mountain villages. You will find old, renewed farm houses that are the best space to 'feel' the place you're in. Those old stone houses are usually dotted around a little, secluded courtyard with a swimming pool and the interiors are carefully restored to keep their traditional look and feel. It is the best way to spend relaxing days on this island. Way better than staying in one of the many recently built hotel complexes down on the coast. Discover the mediterranean colours in those old interiors such as on those pics here, enjoy the artful use of wood and stone in Cypriot traditional homes that perfectly adapt to the island's hot climate. 

Don't forget to take a ride to the leafy Troodos mountains in the island's center, stop by at one of the many monasteries, visit the magnificent ancient theater at Kourion, take a bath at Aphrodite's beach and tour the amazing Akamas peninsula in the northwest. Don't limit yourself regarding culinary delicacies - the Cypriot cuisine offers a delicious blend of eastern mediterranean treats. And I kept the best for last: this island is certainly one of the best places for romantic slash kitsch sunsets. Enjoy!

Photography: Colourful home via Zeospot; Modern-traditional home via Home Furniture Catalogs; all other photography by Igor Josifovic.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ideas For A Happy Weekend

Some of you who are regular readers will know that I love to stress the importance of relaxing and spending quality time with people you love. And that is exactly what I am about to do. I am off to Austria to my family's home to spend some time with them and old friends. And I will make a stop over at the local flower market. I don't know about the place you live in, but here temperatures have gone up these days and believe me or not, I can smell spring! It must be around the corner. And there is nothing more springlike for me than going to the flower market, absorbing the charming scents, enjoying the bright colours and picking that bunch of spring for your home. With this in mind, I'm wishing you a happy, springlike weekend!

Photography via Real Living

Friday, February 24, 2012

Happily Ever After: Illustrator Blanca Gomez

Let me tell you how I decide on what to feature on my blog. I either see something in a magazine, I get inspired on-the-go or - yes - I browse the internet for inspiration. Then the progression goes something like this: I open a website and then it happens - the first sight puts a big smile on my face. Yes, beautiful and inspiring content makes me happy. And then it is more than clear. That has to go up onto Happy Interior Blog. Now that exactly happened when I opened the site of Blanca Gomez, 'Cosas Minimas', a talented Spanish illustrator and designer from Madrid. 

Her playful illustrations inherit a healthy dose of happiness and cheer. Bright colours, fine lines and a pinch of wit makes her illustrations the right choice for a happy home. Don't you agree. And the best: Her designs are all available through her Etsy shop. Well, sometimes happiness is just a click away. 

Photography via Cosas Minimas

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Home Tour: Eclectic London Home

This Hampstead based eclectic home is the humble dwelling of Sam Roddick, the daughter of Body Shop founder Anita Roddick. The Victorian house is a real masterpiece of interior design. The eclectic interior results from a refined mélange of a variety of styles. Romantic corners counterpart the clear, strict minimalism of the dining room with a touch of mid-century. The industrial kitchen is juxtaposed to a vintage styled living room, the modern bathroom in enriched by baroque elements whereas the master bedroom opens the doors to a disco glam world of glitter and vibrant colours. I love the abundance of style, details and colours in this home. While I usually love white, bright Scandinavian spaces, I must admit, I'd move into this Victorian gem right away. Glam it up, babe!

Photography via Marie Claire Maison

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

5 Happy Inspirations: Design Chairs

Today I am focusing on five design classics. I love chairs. And I'd love to own one of these amazing design chairs. I am seriously considering to buy a Hardoy Butterfly chair but still pondering on where and how to arrange it in my small apartment. If I had a bigger space and - yes - a bigger budget, I'd go for all of these:

1. Acapulco Chair: The iconic 1950s Mexican chair combines both retro and contemporary coolness. The turquoise version is an amazing eye catcher for bright apartments.

2. Eames DSW Chair: Another 1950s classic by Charles and Ray Eames. I love the DSW version with maple wood legs is a subtle yet stylish accent for any modern home - be it as a dining chair or home office chair.

3. Hardoy Butterfly Chair: This chair was designed in 1938 by Jorge Ferrari-Hardoy and has been reproduced in so many versions. The framing comes in varieties such as stainless steel or black and the changing covers ensure an individual fit for any room. My favorite would be a brown worn leather version with black framing. 

4. Bertoia Diamond Chair: Yet another mid-century superstar, the Bertoia Diamond Chair available through Knoll Studio, is a masterpiece of bent metal with a typical mid-century fixture. It's classic and modern - and upholstery solutions add comfort. Or you simply throw a sheep skin on it - effortlessly classy. 

5. Hans J. Wegner Shell Chair: Danish designer Hans J. Wegner created this stunning chair in 1963 made of bent plywood thus achieving a floating lightness due to its wing-like seat and the arching curves of its tapered legs. Sometimes it's also referred to as 'smiling chair'. It certainly puts a smile on my face. 

Happy hump day, folks!

Photography: Acapulco Chair via Acapulco Chair; Eames DSW Chair via Vitra; Hardoy Butterfly Chair via circa50; Bertoia Diamond Chair via Knoll Studio; Hans J. Wegner Shell Chair via Design Within Reach.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Organizing + Storing

Maybe some of you will now roll their eyes and click away. But hey, let's face it. Winter is ending, spring is approaching. And with it comes one thought: spring-cleaning. To be honest, I like it. Cleaning out after a long, cold season. Uncluttering the home, cleaning out closets and drawers, organizing books, magazines, household goods, washing all blankets, covers, cushions, linens. Creating new storing solutions for home office supplies, paperwork and textiles.

It also is the season when I get rid of many things. And it feels so good and liberating. Some things I give away, others I sell on flea markets, and some are simply going right into the trash bin. I reorganize my magazines and books, clean and unclutter the kitchen shelves, sometimes I change rugs, pillow covers and blankets on the sofa. I add a bit more colour and spring feeling. How about you? Do you love or loathe spring-cleaning? And do you have some tricks and tips?

Photography via Martha Stewart

Monday, February 20, 2012

From Place To Space: Prague

The advantage of living in a city like Munich that is located in the heart of Europe, is the proximity of other European capitals. Like Prague. It is a few hours drive away and definitely worth a weekend visit. The medieval city center bursts with picturesque sights like the Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge and the Old Town Square. Don't be surprised if you're not all alone there - Prague has been discovered by many international tourists and has become a bustling city with a wide touristic offer. Try to discover the city off the beaten track and you will find charming little cafés and bars mainly visited by locals that will give a more genuine flavour of the Czech capital. 

But not everything is historical in the metropolis on the banks of Vltava river. Prague hosts some very refined, modern homes like this airy loft designed by local A1 Architects. Or a growing number of cool, urban design hotels like the Moods. Might be a good option for your weekend trip. Happy Monday, folks!

Photography: Loft via A1 Architects; Hotel pics via Hotel Moods; all other by Igor Josifovic.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Ideas For A Happy Weekend

It is a sunny and mild weekend here in Munich. My window is wide open while I type these words to share them with you. I had another long and busy week at work. And as you know me by now, weekend's here at Happy Interior Blog are all about enjoying life, rebooting and remembering the beautiful and nice things in life. So this weekend's mission is: Surround yourself with beautiful things. We all love a beautiful and cosy home. We all put a lot of effort into transforming our habitat into our own personal and safe haven. Don't blame me for being superficial or material, but I gain so much happiness and comfort from a nice piece of home decor, a great illustration, a beautiful throw. I could continue all day long. So I want to share the super duper nice things from the Australian brand Country Road. Simply looking at those cuties makes for a happy weekend. This said, have a fab one, friends!

Photography via Country Road

Friday, February 17, 2012

Happily Ever After: Mini Moderns

To set things straight: Right now I am sitting on my sofa, leaning on a Whitby cushion and sipping a double coffee out of my beloved Whitby mug. Both made by the fabulous creative folks at UK based Mini Moderns. So I thought it is about time to dedicate a 'Happily Ever After' blogpost to my favorite British designers. Especially since they launched a brand new range of wallpaper right now: the 'Camberwell Beauty' - the first wallpaper to launch from their forthcoming 2012 collection entitled 'The Buddha of Suburbia'. For the new collection, Mini Moderns designers Keith Stephenson and Mark Hampshire have gone back to the decade they grew up in - the 1970s in Britain and transferred the memories into the wallpaper's decadent look with calligraphic butterflies.

But be warned: When you jump to their website, you will find many more wallpaper designs - from modern, to retro and quirky, everything's there to please a design loving heart.

Moreover, their recognizable designs can be found on other products, too. Fancy rugs, stationery, kitchenware, cushions? You won't be disappointed. So, that's it for today. Gotta finish my yummy coffee. And cherish my Whitby mug. 

Photography via Mini Moderns

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Home Tour: Style + Kids At Home

I don't know how many of you are already parents, but having small kids around is certainly a beautiful and joyous feeling and experience. I am a happy uncle of two little nieces and two little nephews, and every time they are around I have a real kiddo blast. However, I must prepare. Breakables and beloved memorabilia have to be lifted to 'higher grounds' and the place needs to be 'kid safe'. 

Sometimes it looks as though, once kids are moving in, you have to let go of your desire for styling, home decoration or expensive design furniture for your interiors. This little Scandinavian home proves that wrong. Style and kids can be at home, simultaneously! Truth be told, it won't be always neat and tidy, but life is a mess, well, at least sometimes. The magic seems to be in a somewhat more playful approach to design and interior styling. Another big plus is to keep enough free space for the little ones to have enough room to play and feel free. And yes, remember the one with breakables and beloved memorabilia. After all, nice floating shelves are pretty stylish, too. Do you handle kids and interior design simultaneously? I'd love to hear your story!

Photography via Bolig Magasinet

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

5 Happy Inspirations: Moroccan Delights

When it comes to home decoration I have yet another soft spot: Moroccan inspired goodies. I am thinking of hammered metal trays and candle holders, side tables made of wood and hammered metal, rich oriental mirror framing, colourful tea glasses, sensuous hamam towels and other handmade textile goods. Sometimes it is so easy to add a little bit of '1001 night' magic into your home. For example with these '5 Happy Inspirations':

1. These handmade copper-ware hamam bowls make a statement in every bathroom. Seen at Ottomania

2. Nothing beats beautiful, handmade hamam towels like these as seen at Ottomania.

3. Colourful tea glasses can add interest to a rich, oriental table setting. Seen at Casablanca Market.

4. A few more months and then Maryam's book 'Marrakesh by Design: A Journey Into Moroccan Style' will be available on Amazon. I already preordered a copy. By the way, Maryam is writing the beautiful blog 'My Marrakesh'.

5. These Moroccan inspired tea light lanterns by Raft have won my heart!

Photography on top by Sparrow & Co.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Here it is. February 14th. Valentine's Day. And you know what I think about it? I love it. I think it is a perfect day. So, I decided to take a day off of work. No matter whether you are in a relationship or you're single - this day is about love. To love someone special. Be it your husband, your boyfriend, your girlfriend. Or - one of the most important persons in our life - you yourself. Don't forget to love yourself. For who you are. For what you bring to this world. For what you can change. For what you are cherished and loved for by others. Surround yourself with beauty today. Buy (or get) a fresh bunch of flowers. Redecorate a little corner of your home. Go out and have a fab day. It's Valentine's Day for God's sake! Enjoy and love life! Have a happy one my beloved friends!

Photography: Eames chairs via Solid Frog; sideboard via Design Sponge; flowers via Style Me Pretty.

Monday, February 13, 2012

From Place To Space: Cape Cod

By now, I hope many of you got used to our little inspirational trips on Mondays. To keep the tradition, let's buckle up and head off to a new destination where we'll discover nature, sights, food and interiors. Today we are visiting one of the most beautiful corners of the United States - Cape Cod. I spent beautiful, sunny autumn days in Cape Cod. Staying in a local cottage satisfied all my cravings for coastal interior design and decoration. Blue hues, handmade quilts, cushions with local toponyms, stripes, wood as dominating material and a very relaxed and laid-back lifestyle made this vacation unforgettable. 

Traditional clam chowder, bike rides in beautiful nature, long beach walks and sunbathing plus a vibrant nightlife combined with beautiful coastal New England homes left such a good impression on me - and I am sure I'll be back one day. 

Have you been to Cape Cod? If so, did you like it and what left a strong impression on you? Happy new week, friends!

Photography: Cape Cod map via BHG; Interiors 1/2/5 via A Life's Design; Interiors 3/4 via HGTV; cushion via Catstudio; all other photography by Igor Josifovic.
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