Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy Holidays From Paris!

Here it is, the last weekend before Christmas. Now since we've all survived the day yesterday (you know,  21.12.12) we can look forward to happy Christmas and a great new year. As you might know, I arrived in Paris yesterday and my quest for the fabulous Paris gift box (yes, for one of YOU) starts now. Follow me along on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #happyParis. You will get a glimpse of the little goodies I scout for the gift box. Oh, and festive Paris, too. 

In order to fully dedicate my time to my beloved ones and my gift scouting, I am taking a little blogging break. I will see you back on  January 3rd here on Happy Interior Blog. In the meantime I wish you a very happy holiday season, lots of presents, good food and a relaxed time with your family, partners and friends. Take it easy, slow down and enjoy life. After all we only have one. And a very happy new year 2013: May it be a successful, challenging, simply fabulous new year! Here's to all of us! Santé!

Photography by Igor Josifovic

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Guest: Xmas in NYC By Urban Gardens

Hello Happy Interior readers, I’m Robin from Urban Gardens here to share with you the holiday season from my part of the world.

Sparkling lights are glowing everywhere in Manhattan. The city is alive with crowds enjoying the festive Christmas window displays in the shops along Fifth Avenue and all across town. People are ice skating or sipping hot cocoa while watching the skaters glide and twirl across the Rockefeller Center Skating Rink with the giant Christmas tree sparkling behind them. 

Shops are decorated to the hilt, tricked out to create merriment with their yuletide frills.

The windows of the city’s major department stores are always a big production that often include moving parts and music. Bergdorf Goodman, the grand dame of holiday windows, presents five holiday windows inspired by the Jazz Age.

The first,"Tuning Up," features an all-female orchestra and of course everyone is decked out in fashions from the 1940s. "Rhapsody in Feathers," is next with white peacocks and a fan dancer. Then comes "Follies in Miniature," displaying tiny antique mannequins from the era. Moving along, "Canine Daredevils," includes a series of dogs and one actual Alexander McQueen gown. But the big finale, "The Mirror Kaleidoscope," takes your breath away with a bright rotating starburst and two mannequins dressed in custom outfits by designer Naeem Khan.

Bloomingdale's teams up with Cirque du Soleil to present an acrobatic extravaganza in windows depicting scenes from Cirque du Soleil's new film, Worlds Away. Mechanical acrobats fly through the air in colorful costumes and there are interactive windows too where a camera captures the viewers face and they become part of the scene. (That was pretty cool.) 

Partnering with the Brooklyn Museum, Henri Bendel unveils storefront displays harking back to the roaring ‘20s when people partied and frolicked away. The main window replicates the department store's interior of 90 years ago, with mannequins dressed in couture from that era inspired by actual Bendel designs. Inside the store, a two-story gold foil tree is topped with a giant champagne glasses, toast to the season.

Although this New York area has experienced much tragedy in the past two months, the holiday season is all about hope. We are lighting up winter’s darkness, but as we move forward, each new day will bring more light and more hope for the coming year.

Happy Holidays!

Text & Photography by Robin Horton/Urban Gardens   

Thursday, December 20, 2012

From Paris With Love...A Gift For You!

In a few days it's Christmas. A couple of days more and it's New Year's Eve. And I will be celebrating both holidays in my second home city - Paris. I will be off tomorrow evening and thus I will take a little Christmas blog break. But I won't leave you empty handed. You know that my mission is to spread happiness. Happiness for your homes, happiness for you. And this mission will continue in 2013. 

Now back to Paris: I want to share my Paris happiness with one of YOU. During my Paris stay, I will take you along via Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #happyParis and I will collect little gems on the way. Follow me to my favorite shops, boutiques, cafés, bakeries. See what I discover and pick for YOU. I will collect many little goodies and pack them into a special Paris gift box. I hope the Paris gift box will bring a lot of happiness to one of you and make you feel a bit of Paris wherever you are. How do you like the idea?

To join in, just leave a comment here and tell me what you'd love to find in the Paris gift box. Everyone can join and the winner will be chosen by on January 3rd, 2013. This is my little present to YOU. From Paris with love.

À bientôt mes amis!

Photography via Olive Manna

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

5 Happy Inspirations: Style Finds For The Home

Can you believe there are just a few more days left before Christmas? Towards the end of the year the days seem to race and you finish this and accomplish that and suddenly it's Christmas. And before you're all done with the food feast and unwrapping your presents, it's New Year's Eve. And then a new year starts, new projects, new resolutions, new challenges. But hey, it seems I'm racing here, too. So let's slow it down a bit and wallow in the joyous pre-holidays season. And to sweeten the pot, I've curated five stylish finds for the festive home. 

1. The 'Surface Tension Lamp' by Swedish design group Front is a masterpiece of lightness and style. The bulbs resemble airy soap bubbles and add a sense of sophistication to the room. Love them clustered.

2. The bottle shaped candleholders by Peter van de Water look stunningly sleek on a sideboard or coffee table. 

3. A dash of festive glam for the home is just right during holidays. I love the Form Bowl Set by Tom Dixon.

4. How about a happy Christmas breakfast with homemade pancakes and yummy maple syrup? Yes. But I want the Old Field Farm maple syrup with the fab designy packaging. 

5. Cuddle up with your beloved one, this warm blanket by Country Road and a cup of hot cocoa and rejoice in the best present ever - more time for each other. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Why This Room Caught My Eye

Every Tuesday I like to ponder over beautiful and inspiring rooms that I've found on the web. I love to break it down to three reasons why that certain room caught my eye. Today I am sharing a great Scandinavian living room that I've spotted in the Danish magazine Bo Bedre. Truth be told, Scandinavian interior design never disappointed me. The Nordics, they just know how to do it! So here are three reasons that made me go ahhh...ohhh:
  • Louis Poulsen pendant: This is one of the most salient Danish design classics when it comes to lighting. With a Louis Poulsen pendant you will set the tone to a sophisticated Scandi style interior.
  • Acapulco chair: Nothing bores me more than one style executed to the very finishing detail. Be brave, be individual, make your character shine through. Here, the iconic 1950s Acapulco chair adds a Mexican vibe to this Scandi home.
  • Sleek Scandi furniture: For a refined interior style, opt for sleek, elegant Scandinavian furniture design. Depending on your budget, you either go for one of the big names such as Arne Jacobsen, Finn Juhl, Hans J. Wegner or for the more affordable options at shops such as BoConcept.
Do you like Scandinavian interior design? Anything that caught your eye here?

Photography via Bo Bedre

Monday, December 17, 2012

Xmas Special: Baking At A Friend's Place

Happy new week my friends! As you see, today is a Monday off the beaten path - I am taking you today very local: Join me on my Christmas cookies baking session at my friend Claudia's home in Munich. A sort of very personal 'From Place To Space' if you want so. Last weekend a few friends of mine gathered at Claudia's home for some fun Christmas cookies baking and I've decided to cover that fun day for my blog and share it with you.

What I love about the advent time here in Munich is that I tend to spend more time with my friends during this period. Mostly, we take the Christmas markets as an excuse to meet up, but Christmas cookies baking is as good as an excuse, too. So while it was snowing outside, we were baking four different cookies: simple cookies, German traditional 'Bethmännchen' (the round cookies with almond halves), 'Angel eyes' (the cookies with the raspberry jelly in the middle) and Nutella sandwich cookies. If you're still up for some Christmas baking, find all recipes linked by clicking on the names. Oh a little tip: Make sure you squeeze in a little champagne break to keep the spirits high!

As I clicked away with my camera, I felt like I could spice up the blog post with a few snapshots of my friend's abode. Her home is very lived-in and authentic, it is absolutely like my friend Claudia: a tad chaotic, feminine, playful, warm and welcoming. I love her mix of mid-century finds, flea market goodies, Ikea basics and tchotchkes from her travels - all added together into a very personal home style.

Have you been baking for the holidays already? 

Photography by Igor Josifovic

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ideas For A Happy Weekend

The Christmas cards are sent. The presents are bought and wrapped. The home is decorated. Now it's time to lean back and enjoy a comfy weekend with my family in Austria. But, I am already scheduling and planning in my mind. Because I will be off to Paris on Friday for the holidays. Yes, I am off to my second home in the City of Lights. I will spend Christmas and New Year's Eve with beloved ones in Paris and I have to plan ahead. The shops I want to cover. The exhibitions I want to visit. The goodies I want to buy. Oh, and I have decided that I want to offer a little special something to one of you my dear readers. A little something from Paris. As a new year's gift and a 'petit merci' for making my year a spectacular one. More on this will be published here on Thursday. So keep an eye and come back for a great surprise. Till then, have a happy one!

Photography via Commune de Paris

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday's Favorite Snapshots

This week I was invited by fellow blogger Christine of 'Somebody's Home' to guest blog on the topic 'home away from home'. As a passionate globetrotter and someone who has lived in various cities across Europe, I could easily connect to the topic of a home away from home. And this made me think: what makes us feel at home? What gives us the soothing comfort of our safe haven even when we live abroad, far away from our beloved ones? And what gives us the good feeling of being an eternal traveler, someone who's at home wherever he settles? 

I won't give any answers to those questions, in fact I can't cause I think it is a very personal idea of feeling at home. I tried to grasp my idea in the guest post here. And I snapped these pics with little memories from my times abroad. Knickknack that makes me reminisce of happy times abroad and that come in handy to decorate my little home. My home away from home. Happy Friday!

Photography by Igor Josifovic

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Three Gift Wrapping Ideas

Yesterday I was blogging about Christmas gift ideas, today it's time to think of creative ways to wrap your holiday pressies. When I am looking for buzzing creativity and fabulous graphic design, I like to stop over at one of my favorite German blogs, Funkytime. Well, and I've found some amazingly cool Christmas gift wrapping ideas for you!

I love the quirky black and white Christmas tree and snowflakes wrapping paper with the surprising colour pops and the different ways of wrapping your happy presents. How about simple rectangular packages or you go for the fun cone-shaped pressie? Spice up your gift wrapping by adding colourful stickers or washi tape to highlight the details or tie your super cute cracker style presents with neon hued twine. My this year's wrapping preference is: black and white wrapping paper with colourful details and varying shapes! And the best: you can get the designs as shown above as free downloads here.

Which one is your favorite?

Happy gift wrapping!

Photography via Funkytime

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

5 Happy Inspirations: My Xmas Wish List

'Tis the season to make a little wish, right? Are you in full holiday mode already? I certainly am with heaps of snow in Munich, festive Christmas markets all over town and yummy cookies that I made with friends last Sunday. Truth be told, I am a bit behind with my Christmas gift shopping but I am positive that I will manage to round things up by the end of this week. How about you? All presents shopped so far? Well, if you happen to feel the inexplicable desire to offer a Christmas gift to me, don't curb your urges (LOL). And even if you don't feel like spending your money on me (believe me, I understand), here is my little happy Xmas wish list with a strong 'want factor':

1. The Portland Pennant Pillow wins my typography loving heart! Seen on Schoolhouse.

2. Have I been mentioning typography? Well then there is hardly anything to add when it comes to this cute salt and pepper set as seen on ModCloth.

3. My next DIY holiday cards would look much happier with the lovely stamps from the 'Yellow Owl Workshop'.

4. and 5. This Granddad cardigan and leather laptop bag by Selected are just my kind of thing - want & want.

Happy holiday season, folks!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Why This Room Caught My Eye

If you want to catch my attention, colour in interior design and home decoration is a good lure. Now I don't have to outline the fact that the colour blocking in this room has definitely caught my eye. The bright yellow table? The turquoise chair and the petrol sofa? And have you noticed the neon orange line functioning as a visual structure between the floor and the walls? Genius! What else caught my eye in the office of Latvian interior designer Anna Butele? Here we go.
  • Dramatic chandelier: With such a chandelier in your room, you can tone down on the rest. Because this is a highlight and stands for itself. 
  • Colour blocking: Use bold colours to structure your room. A boldly coloured table set against differently hued seating furniture in an all white setting - perfection!
  • DIY art piece: For that very personal touch create your own piece of art. Like here, lay out white A4 sheets and draw something or write your favorite quote over multiple sheets. Put them together in the right order and simply stick them with washi tape to a big, empty wall. A real gallery feel!
Anything you like in particular here?

Photography by Ingus Bajärs via Dezeen

Monday, December 10, 2012

From Place To Space: A Winter Tale In Salzburg

Some of you have followed me along on my weekend trip to Salzburg through Instagram and Twitter - now here is the full coverage as promised. It was a real winter tale trip to the Austrian city of Mozart and 'The Sound of Music'. From the moment of my arrival until I departed it was snowing. And the old town was literally one big Christmas market. A real winter tale atmosphere!

If you have never been to Salzburg let me tell you one thing: It is well worth a visit. However, you have to acknowledge the fact that many, many other tourists had the same in mind so it can get a bit packed in the old town. Nevertheless, the baroque city center, the overlooking fortress 'Hohensalzburg', the winding river and the ringing bells from countless churches will make you travel in time and space and set you in a magic surrounding amidst the Alps. 

Salzburg is not too big so you can basically visit most of the main sights by foot. Don't miss the fortress (there is a funicular, but you can walk up there and take in the beautiful panorama of Salzburg), the Salzburg Dome, the St. Peter monastery hosting Europe's oldest restaurant - the 'Stiftskeller St. Peter' (the food and service are top notch), visit Mozart's birth house, enjoy a play of classical music in the famous Salzburg festival hall. Of course you should buy some traditional Salzburg Mozart chocolates (yummy dark chocolate filled with marzipan, nougat cream and a pistachio cream heart) and local handmade ceramics from the nearby town of Gmunden sold in a beautiful boutique in the old town. Oh, and don't forget to taste the local traditional dessert, a 'Salzburger Nockerl' (it's the dish you see on my pics here).

During December the entire city is turning into one Christmas tale. All little squares and places are turned into Christmas markets with festive lights, Christmas trees and booths selling local food and artisanal products, mulled wine and homemade gingerbread. Choirs are singing in front of the Salzburg dome and the atmosphere is truly enchanting - I felt like in Dicken's 'Christmas Carol'. I hope I could convey a bit of this feeling through my pictures. Have a great week, friends!

Photography by Igor Josifovic

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Ideas For A Happy Weekend

Happy Saturday my lovely readers! I hope you're spending this weekend in sheer bliss and happiness. I am in mission for you out and about - I am off to nearby Salzburg to discover the city's charms during winter with its enticing Christmas markets, the smell of mulled wine and gingerbread, the sound of Mozart and 'The Sound of Music' - all packed in one charming city. If you want to follow me in real-time, make sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter. For the rest of you, make sure to tune in on Monday here. I will set up a full coverage for you all.

Up to then, big hugs my friends! Oh, and don't forget to put a smile on your beautiful faces!

Photography via Etsy

Friday, December 7, 2012

Happily Ever After: Bloomingville

As an avid traveler, I have to admit that there has been one particular city on my travel wish list for quite a while: Copenhagen. The Danish capital seems to be a real design hub in northern Europe and hosts some of the finest design brands and interior stores. Luckily, the web allows us to travel across boarders with one or two clicks and so I've decided to take you on a little inspiring visit to a fabulous Danish home decor brand: Bloomingville.

The unique Bloomingville style is a mixture of raw products with a nostalgic Scandinavian twist and reproductions of fantastic pieces from times past inspired by French brocante. Whether you're looking for an accent vase, beautiful kitchenware or fine home textiles, Bloomingville has a vast range of beautiful pieces for happy homes. 

My personal highlights are the transparent, slightly irregular vases in different hues that seem to glow when daylight shines through them. And I am in love with the vintage inspired boards, especially the one saying 'Happiness is not a destination, it is a way of life'. What a perfect sentence to round-up this Friday post!

What do you think of Bloomingville? Have you ever been to Copenhagen? If so, do you have tips for me?

Photography via Bloomingville

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Stylish Christmas Tree Alternative

In the spirit of the festive season, designer Deborah Bowness has created an ingenious and beautiful alternative to real and artifical trees: the Wallpaper Christmas Tree. With two designs to choose from, both in Deborah's signature trompe l'oeil with a twist style, these tree panels can either set a one-of-a-kind statement for Christmas or cover up an entire feature wall for a natural vibe and cabin feel to your interior design. 

So if you decide to avoid chopped trees or if you simply lack the space for a real Christmas tree, opt for this wallpaper. Deborah's winter wonderland wallpaper scenes will fill a room without taking up space and won't leave pine needles all over the floor. Moreover, you are free to embellish your faux Christmas tree panel with DIY paper ornaments - I'm all set! You can find the fabulous Deborah Bowness wallpaper here.

Photography via Deborah Bowness

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

5 Happy Inspirations & Advent Gifts For You

What's one of the exciting tasks during the advent period? Yes, it's christmas present hunting. Looking around for creative finds, shopping, wrapping and then offering them to our beloved ones. So I've decided to dedicate my December '5 Happy Inspirations' to gift ideas. And to kick it off properly, I've decided to offer YOU a few advent gifts.

If you want to be one of the lucky winners, all you have to do is leave a short comment under this blog post and like my dear sponsors on Facebook. Here's what's in for you:

1. Win one medium sized green Kaleido tray from Hay offered by Like them on Facebook by clicking here

2. Win one lush scented sachet from the new winter collection by Paris based Mi-Septembre. Like them on Facebook by clicking here

3. This scented candle by Astier de Villatte is on my Christmas wish list!

4. Tine K Home is always a safe source for great home style. I particularly like this silk cushion with soft tassels.

5. Make your Instagrams into cool magnets by PicPack. Win on of three sets of 12 Instagram magnets. Like PicPack on Facebook by clicking here.   

This advent giveaway is open till Sunday midnight and five happy winners will be chosen by and announced here on the blog, on Twitter and Facebook!

Have fun my friends & happy advent time!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Why This Room Caught My Eye

Sometimes I am having a hard time to nail down three things that caught my eye in a particular room. Just like today. I mean seriously, is there anything that doesn't catch your eye in this happy bedroom? It just takes a few tweaks to design an amazing bedroom. In this case, these three design factors caught my eye:
  • Supersized art: Go big! Supersize it! And don't waste too much time with searching for that unique art piece to embellish your bedroom. Instead, get artsy and make your very own art to hang above your bed. Opt for a large canvas with light wooden framing to make sure it won't do any harm, even if it fell down (just in case).
  • Vintage blanket: It's time to go through your mother's or grannie's pool of home textiles to find that beloved vintage blanket for your bed. Use it to cuddle up and reminisce about joyful childhood times or cover your bed for a style statement. If you are short of vintage finds, check out Ebay or Etsy for vintage throws.
  • Yellow chair as bedside table: Add a bit of playfulness and personality by adding a stark yellow chair as a bedside table. Perfect to host your alarm clock, books, your watch, a scented candle. And it comes in handy for that extra guest who needs a seat!
Anything you like in this room? Let me know what you're thinking!

Photography via Interiør Magasinet

Monday, December 3, 2012

From Place To Space: Festive Munich

With the debut of the first advent week I thought it might be a good idea to take you along a stroll through the festive city I live in, Munich. In Germany, the advent period is a festive and traditional one. Christmas markets pop up throughout the cities and the scents of mulled wine, gingerbread and caramelized almonds fill the air. 

These images portray three Christmas markets in Munich: The central and most traditional one happens on the main square Marienplatz with wooden huts, local artisans exhibiting Christmas decoration and all this is set against a very picturesque background composed by the magnificent town hall and the towers of the landmark church Frauenkirche.

A few steps further the market gets smaller and less crowded. The intimate atmosphere is centered around a wooden stall and surrounded by many illuminated Christmas trees. The little square is named Rindermarkt, literally meaning 'cattle market' - its name stemming from its historical origins. 

A 15 minutes walk further, in the hipster district of Glockenbach, the 'Pink Christmas' set another tone for the festive advent period. Nomen est omen - pink it is here with flashy pink Christmas trees, white booths, and Christmas songs entertaining the mixed crowd of hipster families, the gay community and local inhabitants. 

So whether you like it traditional, intimate or glamy pink - Munich is the city to be during the advent period. Plus it's snowing right now! Happy first advent week, folks!

Photography by Igor Josifovic

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