Thursday, February 28, 2013

Waiting For Spring With Rowen & Wren

There is one thing I really don't like: nagging about the weather. I mean honestly, that is some kind of odd smalltalk topic and gap filler when you have nothing better to say, right? Yet, I am doing it constantly over the past few weeks. And I have a good reason - just yesterday I saw on the German news that this winter is one of the dullest and greyest ones in 70 years. One way to fight my winter tedium is to rejoice in all the new and upcoming spring/summer homewares collections. Such as the beautifully curated spring & summer 2013 collection by Rowen & Wren.

The charming couple created three collections slash topics called 'Timeless Living', 'Refined Rural' and 'Distant Home' that group key pieces like furniture, accessories, home textiles every season. I've selected some of my personal highlights here for the blog, but make sure you check out their entire collection on their website and get inspired for a refreshing start into the new season - in your happy home!

Photography via Rowen & Wren

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

5 Happy Inspirations: For 'Your' Habitat

It is a matter of fact, there's been a lot of ups and downs for Habitat lately. But with its latest collection, Habitat seems to resurrect like the mysterious Phoenix out of the ashes. Now if you are looking for great furniture and home accessories for your private 'habitat', you might want to pop around Habitat's refreshed website with a fine selection of reasonably priced home goodies. Here's my five happy picks that I would get in an instant for a new room:

1. The 'Cori' sofa looks so puffy and soft yet it is so grown-up and chic with its anthracite colour.
2. The sleek 'Avery' pendant in black is made of rattan and combines a bohemian and urban style.
3. These little dessert plates are definitely happy: The 'Pudding' collection has a retro vibe and fruity decor. Made for delicious sweets or as decorative wall hangings.
4. The vibrantly red stool by Naoko Kanehira is part of the exclusive Habitat collection in cooperation with the Japanese designer.
5. The vintage rug 'Bessa' is very now and adds so much character to a room. One of each to go, please!

Do you like the new Habitat pieces? 

Happy hump day!

Photography via Habitat

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Why This Room Caught My Eye

Yesterday, while I was on Twitter I got into a little conversation with one of my blogger friends, an Australian who lives in Paris and designs jewelry. Olivia told me about the book 'Gypset Travel' by Julia Chaplin (which is now on my wish list) and this got me daydreaming of bohemian style interiors, lush and rich with textures, patterns and colours. This thought led to the next one, being a soft, velvety emerald sofa as a key feature in a bohemian chic interior design. A few clicks later I stumbled over this inspiring room that caught my eye and illustrates my bohemian interior idea. These reasons caught my eye in particular:
  • Soft, emerald sofa: Pantone's colour of the year 2013 is noble, decadent, bobo (bourgeois-bohème) and I love it on a big, soft sofa in particular. To be honest, I am thinking of a new acquisition for myself.
  • Hairpin legged coffee table: Almost juxtaposed to the bohemian chic of the rich sofa is the somewhat retro meets industrial hairpin legged coffee table with wooden top. I love its contradiction - made of heavy wood and cast iron, it still has an airy lightness in itself.
  • Vintage kilim rug: The decadent chicness of the velvety emerald sofa is once again juxtaposed by the worldly, time travelled vintage kilim rug with its vibrant colours. It entails the magic of past times and far away cultures and perfectly completes the bohemian chic styling of this room.
What caught your eye today? Let me know!

Happy Tuesday!

Photography via Bohemian Treehouse

Monday, February 25, 2013

From Place To Space: Quaint Regensburg

Every Monday I try to take you with me on a little inspiring voyage to discover new places and spaces. It is my way of fighting the Monday blues of returning to offices, duties and chores. So today, let us discover the quaint town of Regensburg in Bavaria, Germany. I spent a weekend there recently and brought back a few lovely shots from this charming, medieval town in southern Germany. I was staying in the city center, that is the old town of Regensburg in the fine Hotel Goliath. Soon after my arrival I realized that my stay in Regensburg will be a colourful one - full with soft sherbet shades.

Regensburg can easily be discovered by foot. The old town is compact and not too big, it lies on the northernmost point of the Danube river and is the capital of the Bavarian region called Upper Palatinate. The gothic cathedral and the medieval stone bridge are the town's main sights and definitely worth a visit. 

The weekend in Regensburg was a wintery and cold one. While strolling the narrow, cobbled streets of old Regensburg on a misty Saturday morning, I couldn't help but think of the Brothers Grimm fairytales that I read as a kid in Austria. The town itself seemed like a sleeping beauty waiting for prince charming to wake her up. I did the best I could by snapping around pictures and gasping a few oh's and ah's. 

Walking around has a good side effect. You get thirsty and hungry after a while and thus you embark on the adventure of finding inspiring places to meet your culinary and visual design desires. I was lucky enough to pass by a fabulous 'bakery meets café' place called 'Anna'. Like most of the gastronomical places in the old town, this one was in a historical building with thick stone walls and great arches. Their bread is very famous and they serve yummy slices of German dark bread with various toppings as well as delicious cakes - the apple and cream cake was divine.

Invigorated after the break, I went on devouring the beautiful facades and building of old Regensburg. A short sunny break was the perfect moment to realize how much impact sunlight has on the perception of colours. It was even brighter and more colourful than before. Some other places I've discovered and loved: What I call 'the Starbucks of Regensburg but with a cuter logo' is the local café 'Kaffeelotte' - so cute and comfy. And for dinner, I went to the fabulous French restaurant 'L'Orphée' and enjoyed a delicious lapin provençal and French cheeses accompanied by French wine (the Francophile in me couldn't resist). By the way, next to the restaurant is the equally named hotel with stunning rooms in a medieval building. Definitely worth a stay if you ever decide to visit this little corner of Germany.

And for now, let's get back to Monday and its pros and cons. Happy week, friends!

P.S.: Have you noticed the new font I am using for my blog posts? I hope you like it. I think it is more legible than the previous one.

Photography by Igor Josifovic

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ideas For A Happy Weekend

Happy weekend, my friends! Finally those so precious two free days arrived and I am out and about to accomplish my little tasks: Going to my favorite bakery to buy fresh, dark German bread and pastries, I will fetch a bunch of fresh tulips on the market, snap a few pics in my apartment (oh it's only on weekends that I can take pics with natural light at home), I will meet up with a friend for an afternoon coffee and I will cook some  'soul food' to fight the snowy days - a winter minestrone as seen HERE and I will bake a Swedish almond cake as seen HERE. I think that's a pretty good weekend ahead, right? Have a fab one!

Flower Photography by Ngoc Minh Ngo, Winter Minestrone by Sweet Paul Magazine, Swedish Almond Cake by Zucker, Zimt und Liebe

Friday, February 22, 2013

Happily Ever After: Studio Meez

In today's 'Happily Ever After' post I'd like to present you a super cute Etsy shop with a small but fine selection of home goodies. I really love handmade, unique products because they are the best way to add something to your home that is not available in stores around the world. And Studio Meez is certainly a good source if you like something playful for your happy home.

I instantly fell in love with the soft apple cushions in grey, pale green and soft pink. They would be a great accessory for a nursery as well as for a grown-up scheme in grey on a bed or sofa. Well, plus it is supposed to be healthy. You know, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Even an apple cushion. 

You can find all goodies on sale in the Etsy shop HERE and more inspiration on their blog HERE.

Happy Friday my friends!

Photography via Studio Meez

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Home Decor Trend: Little Houses

To set things clear: I don't claim to be a trend scout. Most certainly I am not. But this post has evolved through my recent experiences at some home decor trade fairs and my own home. I am talking about houses, to be precise: little, decorative houses. I've been seeing them everywhere recently and I myself fell for them, so let me presume it is a home decor trend.

Those tiny little houses come in various shapes, colours, materials. Sometimes they have a practical function such as a shelf, sometimes (more often) they are merely decorative. Placed alone or grouped into little villages, this home decor elements seem to evoke some daydreaming in us. We imagine those little villages where life is quite and happy. We shuffle and reorganise them thus creating new vignettes and new imagery villages. 

As for me, I have a beautiful little white ceramic house with stenciled windows that serves as a tealight holder and glows from within like a warm and cosy home (see it HERE). And a little ceramic house hangs as a bell above my bed. I got this in Paris and it is made by the fabulous 'Le Petit Atelier de Paris'.

What do you think of those little decorative houses? Would you put one on your sidetable, windowsill, shelf?

Happy Thursday!

Photography via Bloomingville; Ferm Living; My Little Fabric; Say Yes To Hoboken; bell pic by Igor Josifovic

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

5 Happy Inspirations: A Summer Home Story

Today's five happy inspirations are the ingredients of a little interior styling fairy tale told by - well, myself. It is a story without a theatrical pretense, without surplus phrases or literary embellishments. It is a plain story of visual stimuli that generate a quick idea of a happy home. Let me tell you the short story.

Deep in February I'm starting to feel the fatigue of ongoing grey and dusky days. So I keep thinking that while we're not able to change the weather outside, we can create a brighter home. I'm thinking of an all white room with a white, soft sofa against the wall and a stark blue art photography of a beach scene on the ocean (1) that would be prolonged with blue cushions on the sofa. The holiday feeling can be extended to the bathroom with a funky seaside shower curtain (2) and a few nautical details. Apart from blue hues, warm and sunny yellow is a colour to add summer to any season. Why not think of an unusual way and place to inject yellow? Like on hangers (3). Ever thought of that? 

Oh well, summer at home, it certainly adds a smile on my face. Even in the cramped metro on the way to work on a misty, grey day. Maybe I am that easy going due to one more fact: I sort of always have my ticket to Paris. Yup, that's it. And in the meantime I can work on my 'Paris-ness' by reading this book (4). But enough with my daydreaming. I should place back this glass of good red wine. Luckily, I have fantastic summery coasters (5) to host my glass. Here's to summer. And happy interiors.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Why This Room Caught My Eye

Hello my friends! I am back after a wonderful weekend getaway to a quaint little German town and a busy Monday full of interviews - yesterday I gave my first radio interview to the German national broadcaster WDR. You can here me speak HERE (in German) and I must admit - I loved it! Radio is fun. But I digress. Let's get back to Tuesday eye candy and my regular column entitled 'Why This Room Caught My Eye'. 

Well just look at this fabulous picture! It is a detail shot with a close angle from what could be a dining room or a kitchen. It combines so many beautiful details and styles that it naturally caught my eye. But let's structure it a bit:
  • Personal Gallery: I absolutely love the idea of a personal gallery that can be changed from time to time. This is the ideal way of exposing your latest flea market finds, heirloom pieces, recent buys.
  • Fresh Blooms: Hands up who's tired of the grey and cold weather! I am raising both my hands! For a fresh breeze of spring in your home it takes as little as a bunch of fresh blooms. Grab a bunch on your next market visit!
  • Vintage Wooden Table: Such a vintage wooden table is a big wish of mine for one of my future kitchens/dining rooms. I love the tactile feel of an old wooden table, the history you can feel while touching its surface. Bliss!
Do you like this room? What caught your eye?

Photography via Forever Love

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Ideas For A Happy Weekend

Happy weekend, my friends! What are you up to? No matter to tell you how much I love weekends. Sometimes, I also like to plan my little 'Ikea weekends'. Like in most other cities, Ikea is located on the outskirts of Munich so I only get to go there on a weekend (after I've convinced some friends with a car to join me - and consequently drive me there). And after seeing this month's new products, I must plan a weekend trip to Ikea very soon. I mean, how cute is this little blue bedside table? 'Selje' comes in bright blue and white and is definitely a happy fellow for a cosy home. I really have to consider revamping my bedside styling and adding a dash of bright, Mediterranean blue to visually welcome the warmer season. How do you like the cute sidetable? Blue or white for you?

Oh, this time I am off to a little weekend getaway and I will discover the beauties of a historical town in southern Germany for you. I will see you back on Tuesday here on the blog and in the meantime I will snap along my weekend inspirations on Twitter, Instagram and Vine (only on iPhone). Feel free to join me along!

See you soon!

Photography via Ikea

Friday, February 15, 2013

Happily Ever After: Villka Hillka

It is an open secret that I have an issue with cushion. I have too many. Even my mum told me during her last visit: enough cushions! Well, luckily she left in the meantime and I got to play along with two new cuties - two adorable, handmade felt cushions by the German design label 'Villka Hillka'.

The creative mind behind the label 'Villka Hillka' is the designer Zuzana Hillenbach whose motto is to create with lots of love handmade homewares for a wonderful home. I would put it in my words and add wonderful and happy homes. Her portfolio encompasses selected furniture, poufs, rugs, lamps, accessories, a kid's line and cushions. 

I particularly love her handmade felt cushions. They are super soft, perfectly sewn and happily coloured. I mean, look at the pompom cushion - isn't that a happy eye-catcher for every bed or sofa? The softness of the felt cushions stems from the exquisite material chosen - every felt cushion is made of 100 % merino sheep wool. 

Check out the wonderful selection of 'Villka Hillka' HERE.

Happy Friday, folks!

Photography by Igor Josifovic

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Breakfast For One: Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day my friends! Today, I want to underline one important fact for a happy life: Never, and I mean never, forget to love yourself! I don't mean the sort of egocentric love. I rather speak of the healthy and essential love for yourself, your being, your life, what you accomplish every day. This deserves your love! So on a day like today, when happy couples surround us and we all get the idea that love is only available as a couple, I want to remind you that love is available in you. No matter if you are in a happy relationship, if you are part of a little happy family or if you are a (hopefully happy) single: in order to be loved by others we first have to love ourselves. Ok, I think I used the word 'love' fifty times now but it should be allowed on Valentine's Day, right?

Couples will have their lovely plans today. And if you're single or you live apart from your love, treat yourself today. For example with a happy breakfast for one. 

Love yourself - happy Valentine's Day to everyone!

Photography by Igor Josifovic

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

5 Happy Inspirations: Neon & Fun

Last month I was basically drowning in inspiration when I visited the imm Cologne and Maison & Objet design fairs. Pastel hues were one of the major trends. But vibrant colours such as neons were trending, too. In order to brighten up this snowy hump day here in Munich and all over the world, I've picked five happy neon finds that would add fun and joy to any home, don't you agree? 

What is your stance on neon hues? Do you actually have something neon coloured at home? I bought the NUD pendant light in a flashy pink for my hallway. I will add a cool Plumen bulb and my hallway will hopefully be happily welcoming new guests. Now I only have to fix it to the ceiling. But that is another story...

Happy hump day, friends!

Photography: Throws with neon brims by Bloomingville; neon stool by Rat In My Kitchen; neon ornaments by Mini Eco; neon cushion by Ferm Living; neon pendant light by NUD Collection.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Why This Room Caught My Eye

Do we share the same weird experience? I refer to that feeling when we enter a home or a single room for the first time and we get hooked by a few salient interior design details and can't help but admire them repeatedly (and sometimes ask the host or owner about the origins, the inspiration, the source etc.). Well, this happens quite often to me. Sometimes it is something very general like a special wall paint or flooring, other times it is a tiny little detail, like a decorative element or an art piece. This was actually the idea behind my Tuesday series 'Why This Room Caught My Eye'. So here is another web finding that caught my eye and these are the three reasons why I got hooked by this room:
  • Open fireplace: I have never lived in an apartment with a fireplace so I get instantly exciting when I spot a fireplace. Especially such a stylish open one like here.
  • Soft colour palette: I really like the soft colour palette in this room. Dusky pink, bright beige, grey and brown hues create a harmonious entity in this romantic room.
  • Tactile surfaces: The use of various fabrics and tactile surfaces makes the interior styling perfect. The soft rug, the furry pouf, the velvety cushions and sofa - who wouldn't love to cuddle up in this room?
Is this room catching your eye too?

Photography by Anne de Leeuw, styling by Marianne Luning, via vtwonen

Monday, February 11, 2013

From Place To Space: Creativity in Munich

A little while ago I attended a creative workshop organized by the DIY selling platform Dawanda in a cute little café in Munich. Café Lotti is the right place for romantic souls with a passion for baby pink. Well, I went there for the first time for the creative workshop and I was predominately convinced by the good coffee and the delicious homemade cakes. But I wasn't there to only indulge in the yummy offerings or ponder over baby pink as a wall paint - during the workshop I was challenged as a DIY person. 

Truth be told, I am not a big DIY person. I just think I am not that handy when it comes to those filigree works. However, I tried my best and activated every creative cell in my body in a paper workshop organized by Makaba Design. Back then, I made my first Xmas cards. All by myself. I was pretty happy with the outcome and a few friends got my handmade cards - I hope they liked them!

Apart from my cutting and glueing, I walked around the café and snapped photos of the creative peeps. I was really amazed by the creative drive and passion of the attendees - they created lovely stationery, textile works, jewelry and more. Well, I hope this Monday post will kick off a creative week for all of us!

Are you a DIY person? Do you sell your creative work? If so, please tell me in the comment section and share your shop link!

Happy Monday, friends!

Photography by Igor Josifovic

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Ideas For A Happy Weekend

My biggest plan for almost every weekend is to have a good downtime. Time to relax and zoom out, sleep in and have looong breakfasts. However, this weekend is a bit different as I am in the middle of a few projects and need to finish some planning this weekend. A rather adorable 'little project' is the upcoming Valentine's Day. Yes, next Thursday it's time to pop the question again: Do you want to be my Valentine? Luckily, I've sorted my planning for a fabulous and romantic Valentine's Day, to be precise, Valentine's weekend. What about you? Are you getting ready for Valentine's Day?

Happy weekend!!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Happily Ever After: Art By Tush Tush

These days I am hooked on Etsy. It so happens that I have periods where I can't stop browsing Etsy and one click leads to the other and before I notice, hours have passed. Can you relate to this? Well, in one of my last browsing sessions I've stumbled upon a fabulous Etsy store called Tush Tush. It is the creative outpost of an Israeli artist who has recently moved to Canada and sells über-cute tiny drawings and paintings, mostly on canvas. Those kind of little art pieces that are ideal as accents for gallery walls. 

You can find a few original paintings made with acrylic paint as well as reasonably priced canvas prints. I am no art historian, but last December I visited the Edward Hopper exhibit in Paris and I must say, these works remind me a bit of the artful play of light and shadows that are distinctive for Hopper's oeuvre. 

My personal favorite is the guitar playing seaman (probably because of my soft spot for stripes and anything nautical). Which one do you like in particular? If you like to see more, click HERE to visit her Etsy shop. Happy Friday, friends!

Photography via Tush Tush / Etsy

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Home Tour: A Gallery Home In Berlin

Seven years ago I lived for a short period of time in the German capital Berlin. Ever since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the German metropolis has transformed itself into a vibrant hub for creatives from all over the world. Galleries, shops, museums, restaurants and cafés keep popping up all over the city. No wonder Berlin has become also an epitome for cool, urban interior design. 

A few days ago I received an email from a Danish company called Dinesen. I admit, I have never heard before of them. I quickly found out that they produce and sell high quality wooden plank flooring and then I got hooked - wooden planks are a dream of mine. One day I just wish I could live in a spacious apartment with great wooden plank flooring. Dinesen produces extraordinary planks - up to 15 meters long and extra wide. Wow. No wonder they furnish numerous galleries and museums with their products.

Well, speaking of galleries: Dinesen sent a set of pictures from a fabulously inspiring gallery home in Berlin to my humble email inbox. And yes, I've decided to share this interior design inspiration with you. This is the home of the Danish gallery owner Mikael Andersen in Berlin and his gallery is just one floor lower. The whole building is full of history as it is an old brewery dating back to the 1800s. The airy loft character, the design classics and the vibrant art speak of its owner. You can clearly tell that this is the home of a creative person with refined aesthetics and a sophisticated design approach. Oh, and a good taste when it comes to flooring. Obviously.

Photography via Dinesen

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