Friday, May 31, 2013

Happily Ever After: The New 'Starling Store'

This Friday I would like to introduce you to a brand new and happy online store called 'Starling Store'. The starling bird is part of the store's logo but I also like to think of the fun word play of star and darling which is wonderfully portrayed by the site's photography - convince yourself! 

'Starling Store' was launched just last week by Nicola Eslick and features a lovely range of contemporary homewares sourced from all over Europe. Many of Nicola's picks are designed and made in England and Wales. What I really like is the fact that Nicola curated the homewares into stories with cheerful names such as 'Sugar Hiccup', 'Silver Soul' or 'Islands'. 

So how about a gold fragment plate or a confetti cushion? Or would you prefer Mexican string lights or  little sailboat salt and pepper shakers? Whatever fancies your home desire, hurry up an use the 20 % off prices for the store's launch and don't you worry - Nicola ships worldwide! 

Happy shopping & happy Friday!

Photography via Starling Store

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Happy Pinterest Love!

The good thing is: I don't have to praise the virtues of Pinterest here. I think most of you are on Pinterest (if not everyone) and enjoy pinning along. Nevertheless, I always feel so inspired while pinning. When I look at my pins right after a pinning session, I sort of trace a thread, let's call it a visual story. What seems to be a random game while pinning along, puts itself together like a puzzle and tells a little inspiration story. So here I've compiled one of my latest four pins that I've pinned in a row and loved when looking at them together. Even though they don't have a lot in common, they seem to fit together. Somehow. 

Have you ever paid attention to your pins after a session? Have you deciphered an inspirational story that you put together unconsciously through your pins? It is incredibly inspiring!

Oh, and if we're not connected on Pinterest yet, please follow me HERE.

Happy pinning!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

5 Happy Inspirations: Cute Frenchies!

Now aren't they cute, the Frenchies? Ok, ok, I am not referring to the people this time (although there are some real cuties there, too) but some happy French finds from Etsy. Since this week is pretty 'French' here on the blog, I thought it would be a nice idea to have a closer look on home accessories from France, too. 

I was browsing the online marketplace and found '5 Happy Inspirations' that could go instantly into my happy home. A dotted set of vintage saucers, a neon tea towel, triangle patterned planters or yellow antlers? And what about the watercolour painting of a French fig jam recipe? Swoon! Which one would you pick?

Photography via Etsy: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Why This Room Caught My Eye

Sometimes we look with awe at fancy living rooms, swanky bedrooms, gleeful nurseries, colourful kitchens. But what about the hallway? Sometimes this link between rooms gets pretty neglected. It is this 'pass through' area that has to host many practical facilities and notoriously frequented by the owners, guests, kids. However, as much as it is important to link our entire home, it's also important to put some attention to its styling as it is the first impression people get when entering our home. So today's 'room' that caught my eye is actually a hallway. It is the hallway of LA based wardrobe stylist Shirley Kurata. This simple yet super happy hallway has not one but three aces:
  • Yellow stairs: Can stairs get any happier? I mean seriously, who wouldn't love stark yellow winding stairs in his home?
  • Greenery: Inside a home, plants do not only look decorative but they also act as natural humidifiers and refresh the air. And yes, they do please the eye!
  • Patterned rug: To balance the stark colour blocking from the stairs, the owner has placed a patterned colourful rug in front of it. Its pattern and texture serve as the third ace and make this hallway a little masterpiece.
What caught your eye? And would you like such a hallway in your home?

Photography via Nothing Major

Monday, May 27, 2013

From Place To Space: Grasse, the Capital of Perfumes

Hello friends! Today we are continuing our voyage through the beautiful south of France. The first stop I'd like to take you to is Grasse, the world acclaimed capital of perfumes. Grasse is located in the Provence in the south of France. It is pitched on a hill facing the wide plain of the southern Provence and overlooking the Mediterranean coast and the coastal town of Cannes.

The center of Grasse is an old, medieval town with stone buildings and narrow streets that end up in little squares with water fountains and stairs. But the real fame comes from a century old tradition - Grasse is the epitome of the perfume industry. The area around Grasse is very known for its rose production, lavender fields, fragrant jasmine. Since the end of the 18th century the perfume industry has been prospering in this quaint little Mediterranean town and is very present nowadays, too. The big names of the French perfume industry have their own houses and production facilities in Grasse. Moreover, they also have museums, villas, boutiques and most of the factories offer free guided visits.

I took the opportunity to visit the museum and the factory of renown Fragonard Parfumeurs and got an interesting insight into the production of perfumes from the early beginning up to today. I also learned that every perfume consist of three odorant levels, the head, the heart and the base (la tête, le coeur, la base). And did you know that there are but 50 perfume experts worldwide (the so-called 'noses' or in French 'les nez')? They are able to distinguish more than 2000 scents with their noses. Consequently, they have to lead a very healthy and dedicated life - no alcohol, no smoking, no spicy food and more. 

I was pretty lucky to be in town during the annual 'Expo Rose' festival. It is an international rose exhibition and the entire city is transformed into an fragrant rose capital. Rose petals lead the way through the old town, a big rose exposition showcases rare roses and a market with local produce bedazzle the senses - I had to give in and try a rose icecream, rose macarons and rose madeleines. It was incredibly delicious!

I need not mention that I left Grasse packed with perfumes for my family, friends and myself and keep reminiscing about this charming Provence town whenever I smell fresh roses, lavender, jasmine…

Happy Monday, my friends!

Photography by Igor Josifovic

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Ideas For A Happy Weekend

On a weekend things seem to be simpler, easier to handle or live with. The same counts for the miserable weather out there. I mean seriously, this morning I wanted to put on my gloves while going to work. But I don't want to nag about the weather. This week was way too cool and fun as to be in a nagging mood.

This week I've announced my participation for a blog tour in Copenhagen, Denmark for the Design Trade show, I gave two interviews this week, one for 'The Sofa & Chair Company', the other one for the blog 'Style Mummy'. I had a fun food blogger event for my employer and cooked heaps of asparagus and yesterday I enjoyed a great evening with my friend Claudia over sushi and cake. So, who could complain about the weather, right? I will cuddle up this weekend with tea, some favorite movies, a book in bed and I'll be grateful for all the good things that happen in life. 

Happy weekend, friends!

Photography by Igor Josifovic

Friday, May 24, 2013

Happily Ever After: Artist Serena Olivieri

What happens if you put a charming Italian into the Spanish capital Madrid? I tell you what - creativity happens! Serena Olivieri is Italian, lives in Spain, is charming and super creative! I've followed Serena's  work through her blog and social media for quite a while and fell in love with her whimsical paintings and delicate watercolour illustrations. Patterns, colours and even textures come to a vibrant mix and you can sort of see the warmth and easiness of a south European mind as well as the vibrancy and delicacy of a female artist. 

What I admire about Serena's work is the way she is inspired by the world around her. Whether it's her mother's herbs on the balcony, an afternoon in the park, a bike ride in the city or a summer outfit - she transforms those moments into witty illustrations. 

I've selected a few of my favorite works of Serena Olivieri here. For more inspiration and colourful happiness make sure to visit her website.

Happy Friday, friends!

Photography via Serena Olivieri

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Quick Home Decoration: Simple Console Styling

With today's post I would just like to stress how easy it is to redesign a certain area of your home by just switching through a few things. I live in a super small apartment and it's always refreshing to change the vibe and atmosphere - and this can be achieved in just a few steps!

I am not highlighting the exceptional vignettes on my little living room console, I am rather drawing the attention to the fact that both stylings worked in my apartment and changed the atmosphere consequently. Whereas the first styling is more neutral and and with references to the Mediterranean culture, the second one is vibrant, exotic and colourful. 

In both cases the vignette was rooted in one central piece - the pictures. In the left styling it is a black and white photography of cubic buildings on the Italian island of Stromboli. This inspired me to create a Mediterranean atmosphere by adding blue hues (the books, the blue eye from Greece, the Aloe Vera and cactus, the vintage elements). The second styling was rooted in the large canvas print with a Mexican theme (kindly offered by, thank you!). It brought its colours into the vignette as well as the use of fruits (handy as a snack in the living room) and again my beloved Aloe Vera plant from Spain. One, two, three and it was done. All with things that you have at home. So what about you, do you like to create little vignettes at home?

Photography by Igor Josifovic

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

5 Happy Inspirations: Simple Pleasures!

This week I've collected five happy inspirations that recall the feeling of simple pleasure to me. I don't know why. Maybe it's the rustic, vintage look of some of them. Maybe it is the idea that they evoke in my head of a lazy day at home with a good cup of tea, an interesting new magazine and little bells above the window rang by the warm breeze that blows into the home. A summery afternoon where sweet fruits scent the air. Well, I am daydreaming, I know. But aren't these '5 Happy Inspirations' just ideal for such a dreamy day at home?

1. Storage basket via Sunday Morning Shop; 2. Vintage bells via Sunday Morning Shop; 3. Chest of drawers via; 4. Handmade tea bowls via Leif Shop; Mood Magazine via Sunday Morning Shop.

Happy hump day!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Why This Room Caught My Eye

Like every Tuesday I like to play 'visual cues' with random rooms I find online. Today, I've picked a pretty stylish example: This room combines a vibrant and a more masculine look in one. At least this is what I think. But let me guide you through the visual cues that caught my eye in this particular room:
  • Abundance of natural light: To start off, can we please speak about the abundance of natural light in this interior? I mean seriously, who wouldn't love such a light flooded home? In interior design nothing beats natural light. This is the Alpha and Omega of any good interior, right?
  • Velvet sofa: This grey velvet sofa looks so cosy and inviting that I'd like to jump on it instantly. But more importantly it adds a certain cool, urban vibe to this room. The grey colour is ideal to match any other colours through decorative elements like cushions or rugs (which is why I am going to buy a new grey sofa soon, too). Speaking of rugs, let's get to point three.
  • Colourful Boucherouite rug: The Moroccan Boucherouite rugs seem to be the new must-have when it comes to interior design elements. They are suddenly everywhere and the colours and patterns appeal to many tastes. Their fluffy texture is also ideal to add interest in interiors. 
So what caught your eye? What do you like or maybe dislike in this room? Let me know!

Photography via Fossik

Monday, May 20, 2013

From Place To Space: Hotel L'Ecrin in Honfleur, France

Traveling is one of my unrivaled passions besides interior design. Traveling the world invigorates my senses, liberates my mind and deeply inspires me - in any aspect of my life including the decoration and styling of my own home. Now when it comes to choosing a suitable hotel at my destination, I tend to favor hotels with a designy edge. Last month, when I went on a weekend to the Normandy in northern France, more precisely to the quaint town of Honfleur (I blogged about it HERE), I'd gone for a completely new approach: I picked a hotel that took me on an inspiring nostalgia trip to past eras. Welcome to the hotel L'Ecrin in Honfleur!

The hotel L'Ecrin is a former mansion and located in the old town of Honfleur. The building reflects the traditional Normandy architecture and its surrounding garden full of blossoming trees and flowers is more than inviting for a sunny breakfast alfresco. 

The entire atmosphere commences right at the check-in. The reception desk is located in a former salon with a huge marble fireplace and ancient furniture. The ground floor consists of two more salons for the guests - these are fabulously equipped with a decoration of the French bourgeoisie of the past century. A piano, massive chandeliers, big oil paintings, busts and voluptuous flower bouquets reminded me of a film set. To be honest, I felt a bit like in Downton Abbey, one of my favorite TV series.

The rooms are on the first floor and take you back to the 19th century, too. Canopy covered beds, massive wooden furniture, huge mirrors, chandeliers and heavy velvet curtains as well as classical lamps and vintage rugs make for a full 360 degrees experience - you'll feel like a lord or lady, hello Downton Abbey!

Well, for the rest I'll let the pictures speak. Even though this is not the kind of decoration and interior design I would ever consider for my own home, it was beyond beautiful and inspiring to be surrounded by a completely different look and style than I am used to. Sometimes we need this kind of contrasts to clear our mind and freshen up our view on new endeavours. Happy new week, my friends!

Photography by Igor Josifovic

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Ideas For A Happy Weekend

A long weekend is ahead and I have loads to do. After my last holidays in France I have heaps of pictures to sift through and select for my upcoming blog posts. So be prepared for very French coming weeks. I will kick start on Monday with the enchanting hotel in Honfleur (see the travel report HERE) and then continue with weekly posts from the Provence and Paris. But as you see, I couldn't keep it all for me until then so I am sharing a wild mix of shots from my last trips, among them a store front in Aix-en-Provence, colourful soaps from Marseille, a real 'Salade Niçoise' from Nice, the beach in St. Tropez, a vegetable market and roses in Grasse. Be inspired, be happy and enjoy the long weekend! À bientôt!

Photography by Igor Josifovic
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