Thursday, July 31, 2014

Book Review: The House Gardener

As an avid 'Urban Jungle Blogger' I was very impatient to get my fingers on the latest book of London based author Isabelle Palmer, 'The House Gardener'. After her successful first book 'The Balcony Gardener' (I reviewed it HERE), the new book focuses on small-space gardening in interiors. Small-space gardening? Interiors? I think this book has my name all over it! 

'The House Gardener' is all about innovative ways to display your houseplants and unexpected, creative plant arrangements. The author structures her book in various project chapters: Enclosed in Glass, Hanging Gardens, Old Finds and Just Outside. These chapters are followed by a comprehensive basics section with great tips on which plants to choose for your home and lifestyle, different planting techniques and tips on plant care. While going through the book I had to bookmark a few projects that really caught my eye. And I really loved the 'Top 10 House Gardening Tips' - very helpful for urban gardeners like myself!

'The House Gardener' was published by CICO is available online or from all good bookshops. For my German readers here's a hint: The German version will be launched in September by DVA publishing and can be preordered HERE.

I hope you enjoyed this little book review. I can recommend the book to any 'Urban Jungle Blogger' out there. If you love plants and indoor gardening, this books offers a great selection of ideas how to display and arrange your plants. And it is suitable for all kind of levels - for beginners as well as for more advanced urban gardeners. 

Happy reading & planting everyone!

Photography by Igor Josifovic

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Happy Interior Blog Recommends...

Hump days are shopping days! Well, at least they're shopping inspiration days here on Happy Interior Blog. I've said it a few times, I am the first victim of my product recommendations for happy homes as I tend to buy some of them myself. Just like with this week's recommendations - yet again, I've bought one of the pieces you can see here. I'll let you guess what I got for myself.

This week's product recommendations are inspired by a modern-bohemian style with touches of ethnic vibes, contemporary styles and Scandinavian inspiration. I hope you'll like today's suggestions and maybe you will find something your your happy home, too:

1. 'Sasha' art print by Sofia Bonati via Redbubble
2. Beep Table Lamp by Conran via JCPenny
3. Wooden candleholders by Bloomingville via Stilherz
4. Handmade ceramics by Robert Blue via Mociun
5. Kilim bed cushions by Barrington Blue

Enjoy my friends!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Why This Room Caught My Eye

Last week I was going through my stash of throws and blankets and found my Mexican throw that I bought in a store in Seattle last year. I decided to throw it over my bed cause I love the blue and earthy hues with the ethnic pattern on it (see it HERE). Shortly after that I stumbled upon a great article on Apartment Therapy with an ethnic patterned throw used as wall art in a bedroom. I loved it instantly as well as the overall interior styling of the room. Here in a nutshell what caught my eye:
  • Ethnic Wall Art: Well this ethnic textile as wall art is an instant eye catcher. I would try the same in my home I think if only I had a normal wall behind my bed (but I have a pitched roof wall). 
  • Earthy Hues: The entire bedroom styling is tied together with an earthy colour scheme. It perfectly matches the wall art and brings a serene and cosy atmosphere to the bedroom.
  • Monstera Leaf: Monstera leaves have become a major styling trend. From Scandinavian interiors to American homes - people place one or severals Monstera leaves in a large vase and the room gets a very modern and natural touch. The best side effect: Monstera leaves develop roots when kept in water - so after the styling project you can simply plant them in soil and enjoy them for a long time as happy houseplants. 
Would this bedroom catch your eye too?

Photography by Jenny Kaplan and Chris Corrado via Apartment Therapy

Monday, July 28, 2014

From Place To Space: Château de Chantilly

A few weeks ago I traveled to Paris not to stay in town. From Paris I headed north to the Picardy and - more precisely - the Oise department. This region is just about 35 kilometers north of Paris but you will find yourself in the middle of a beautiful countryside, far away from the bustling city life in Paris. Wide and golden cornfields, little villages and towns scattered along the Oise river, sunny glades and a gem of the French nation and its history: the Château de Chantilly.

Many insiders claim that it is way better to go and visit the Château de Chantilly than the over-famed and tourist-drowned Versailles. Now since I have never been to Versailles (so far), I can not confirm or neglect that stance, but I can surely recommend a trip to the beautiful Chantilly castle. The château is not too big thus a pleasant sight to visit without being overwhelmed by endless rooms and exuberant decor. The Château de Chantilly is interesting in different aspects: first of all it is magnificent as a sight itself including its vast gardens and stables. It also hosts a rich collection of art, ceramics, decorative objects and it showcases many important moments of the French history. Plus the castle is located just at the outskirts of Chantilly town, a charming little town, somewhat sleepy but nonetheless quaint. 

After the visit to the Château de Chantilly I continued on a little road trip around the Oise department. Little villages like Ermenonville look so peaceful and give the impression as if time has stood still for a while. You can wander around and discover lots of beautiful nature, charming cafés, old abbeys and romantic churches. Who knew that the countryside is just a 40 minutes drive from buzzing Paris? Even though I am a city boy, I really love countryside escapes from time to time. And after this one I know I need more French countryside escapes in my life. Let's make it a mission and - as always - I will take you along. If you like of course. Happy Monday, friends!

Photography by Igor Josifovic

Friday, July 25, 2014

Design Apartment To Rent In Germany

In Germany's east there is a city called Weimar. I have never been there. But for those among you interested in European history this might be a name you've heard of. Or for those among you interested in literature - you might remember something with Goethe and Weimar. But today I don't want to talk about history or literature here. I will talk about interior design in Weimar. To be more precise: About a fab design apartment to rent in Weimar. Actually they have two of them, but today I want to show you the latest addition.

When I saw the pics for the first time my instant feeling was: I like this! The apartment looks airy, spacious, modern, light-flooded, with a strong Scandinavian vibe and vibrant colour splashes. In a nutshell: my kind of interior. But there is more to this apartment than just a lovely interior concept: The apartment is equipped with design classics (evident on the first glance, right?) and designs from the local Bauhaus University of Weimar. Thus, this is not only a stylish holiday home but also a great example of how to exhibit local, young design.

To be frank, I have not planned any trip to Weimar so far. However, I feel like I have to overthink my planning as this apartment seems to be very attractive and inviting. And after all, I could also brush up my history and literature skills a bit. Even though the booking website is called 'Hier war Goethe nie' (literally: Goethe was never here) I think I could bring a long one of his books. Design, history, literature - sounds all well worth a trip to Weimar.

Happy weekend, friends!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Urban Jungle Bloggers: Watering Your Plants

I have a crush on plants. Big surprise, ha? Well, I was trying to figure out what's behind that crush: Was it my mum's eternal jungle at home when I was a kid with a Monstera plant that looked like Tarzan could swing around on the aerial roots? Is it my longing for a bit more nature in an urban habitat? Don't know exactly, I just feel like they are perfect roomies - less demeaning than a pet yet still alive and thriving. And yielding joy and happiness. Like anything alive, they too need some care. Most above all they need water. Especially now during summer. That's why my fellow Urban Jungle Blogger Judith and I have decided to dedicate this month's edition to the topic: Watering your plants.

Admittedly, the topic sounds a bit unspectacular but we thought there might be some good tips regarding watering houseplants out there. Especially for someone like me. Most of my plants are cacti and succulents and they require just a little bit of water. During the winter period I water them scarcely like once a month and during summer I water them either every week or every other week, depending on the weather and temperatures. Every other week I add a liquid fertilizer to the water and I take care that the soil is well hydrated without any dammed-up water. That's all!

But there is one more watering trick I want to share with you. To give you an example: Last year when I prepared for my 3-weeks trip to the US and Canada, I was wondering how I am going to handle the watering problem for my pilea plant which is actually the only plant I have that demands more regular watering. Since I live alone in my apartment and I don't really know my neighbors, this was a pretty crucial question. So what did I do? 

The solution was so simple as if created in a kindergarden group. All I needed for this was a glass, mug or any other vessel filled up with water and an old shoe lace. I've filled up the glass with water, placed one end of the lace into the glass and the other end in the soil of my pilea plant. Result? When I returned after three weeks of holidays the glass was empty and the pilea was all green and happy! The shoe lace transports the water slowly from the vessel to the plant pot and secures a constant hydration without overwatering your plant. Perfect and easy! I repeated the same strategy during my Israel trip this spring and it worked again! I will stick to this!

Last but not least: I really wanted to share my new watering can with you as I've found a fabulous designy watering can by Swedish designer Kristina Stark but it didn't arrive in time for my little photo shooting.  

I hope this comes in handy for the summer season and your plants at home. If you have some more advanced watering tips, join our Urban Jungle Bloggers edition and share them with us! Happy planting!

Urban Jungle Bloggers is a monthly series initiated by 2 bloggers: Igor (Happy Interior Blogand Judith ( Every month we share ideas to create an urban jungle through styling ideas, DIYs and green tips & tricks. You can find additional inspiration on our Urban Jungle Bloggers Pinterest board and keep up-to-date on our Facebook page. Want to join? Use #urbanjunglebloggers on Twitter and Instagram. Or let us know and we'll share the badge and upcoming topics with you. Let's bring some green into your homes and blogs!

Photography by Igor Josifovic, last pic by Pflanzenfreude
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