Sunday, October 30, 2016

Halloween Party Decor

It is Halloween again, and if it is Halloween, it is party time! If you like Victorian style and wearing black, this is your season. You don't have to own a crumbling maison, with a bit of work and some accessories you can turn your home into a place that Count Dracula would be envious of. 

Method no. 1.:
- close all your shutters and stop cleaning in mid-March. Period. 
Method no. 2.: 
- try those party supplies that are available in the shops. It is also easy to create some of them if you are a DIY enthusiast.

If you chose method no. 2., here is a guide for you:

Halloween decor design elements:
- pumpkins - either in lantern form or as painted/decorated version
- repelling animals like bats, spiders, insects
- fantastic creatures: vampires, Dracula, ghosts, zombies, witches and their accessories (black cat, hat, broom, magic ball)
- dead branches (preferably black, you can hang things on them) or flowers (I skipped them in this moodboard) and anything related to dead things: skeletons, skulls, bones, coffins, zombie bodyparts, tombes
- cobwebs with or without spiders 
- candleholders, candles and lights
- moon and stars to provide background against the shadow of bats/witches
- you can add garlands, lanterns, 'dark' animals like rats, owls or crows

- velvety black
- ghostly white
- pumpkin yellow
- shadowy grey
- magical green or purple 
- gold or silver if you are extra posh

I chose a composition based on bats, pumpkins and cobwebs, creating a somewhat spooky but elegant decor set, but next year I could center the decor around something else. Using all possible elements is not really my cup of tea, I would direct the decoration towards a certain theme, this way you can keep an elegant vibe (if it is your intention). 
This year I was inspired by nature, hence came the pumpkin - branches - bats and cobwebs combo. I picked the Philippe Starck Ghost chairs - the orange colour and the name comes handy, the chair itself is elegant. Using pumpkins in painted version is also a stylish feature, and you can do it at home. 
Halloween Interior Mood Board
Now... Trick or Treat?

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Ultimate Autumn PicnicGuide

It is still not too late! (But almost.) You can still organize a fantastic picnic outdoors that you can take cool photos of. Autumn is a beautiful and colourful season even without filters, so call your friends, this weekend might be your last opportunity. 
Autumn Moodboard
What you need:
- tartan plaids (no, other patterns are NOT okay)
- an extra blanket to wrap yourself in just in case it gets cold (make sure it is colour co-ordinated)
- picnic basket (you have the freedom of choice on this one, but make it a wicker basket, please)
- thermoses (red and dark blue are allowed colours. Tartan pattern is always a bonus)
- emamel mugs that look like tin mugs (it provides you the credibility of a camper, even if you got as far as your back garden)
- small jars with lid, because they are so cool (tip: you can store food or cutlery in them)
- cutting boards - if you are extra stylish, get one with the look of sliced wood (should you buy them in a shop, they are adequately treated with finish. Should you slice up a log on your own, you might end up with an arista in your tongue)
- napkins and flatware. In fact, you can bundle silverware in cloth napkins
- bin bag for trash and leftovers (as you do not want to throw anything away)
- tweezers (for the aristas in your tongue. I told you to try the shop.)

Autumn food ideas:
- sandwiches (so obvious, really)
- cheese
- apples or pears
- pies - you can try small ones, they are easier to carry
- salad in jar
- extra tip: place soft items on top!

Autumn drinks:
- cider (you can wrap bottles in blankets)
- hot cocoa
- hot tea
- maybe some wine
- extra tip: label up jars and bottles (it looks good and you might forget what you actually brought)

Beware of:
- bears and other dangerous wild animals (if you got out of the city)
- scary neighbours (if you got as far as your back garden)
- being too noisy (because you will wake up bears, other dangerous wild animals and scary neighbours)
- drinking too much alcohol (you do not want to get drunk, get lost in the wood, and wake up bears, others dangerous wild animals and scary neighbours... wait a sec... what are the scary neighbours doing in the woods??)

- respect nature
- play games with friends
- enjoy a day out in crisp air
- collect beautiful leaves

Do not:
- bring the charger for your phone (I mean, really)
- bring extra leaves, pumpkins, mushrooms to take cool Instagram photo
- hang on to your phone all the time
- take selfies with bears, other dangerous animals and scary neighbours
- take this post too seriously :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Global Inspiration: Denmark

Somewhere I read that if you are lucky enough to get an invitation into a Danish home, you will find that it has been most likely designed by a famous interior decorator. And if you visit the home of another Dane, you will find that they also hired the same designer. And if you visit further Danish homes, you will find that there is only one interior decorator working in the whole country.
Well, it might be a bit cruel joke, but it shows that Danish interior design has its distinctive fingerprint and compatriots of H. C. Andersen have good sense for decorating. 
Danish design has gained fame in the 1950s (see my post about Arne Jacobsen, one of the most famous designers in the world), and Scandinavian design, let it be the cheaper or more exclusive part, is a style sought after anywhere in the world. 
Interior Moodboard
I have always thought that a typical Danish interior is more urban, more streamlined and less rustic than a Swedish one. However, many houses have low ceilings, that I find overwhelmingly depressing, especially when they do not get a white coat but show their natural wooden colour. 

The key design elements are:
- white walls to make the interior light and airy
- light oak or even white floor
- some small black accents are welcome
- oak is the most popular type of wood: check out this wonderful coffee table (also comes in side table version) - so typically Nordic
- colourwise black, white and shades of grey are used, sometimes with a pastel accent or a bright colour
- mixing vintage items with modern ones is common (by vintage I also mean an iconic piece from the 1950s)
- there are so many famous Danish designers and brands, an authentic Danish home is not complete without their work
- there has to be at least one chair by Charles Eames. I am sorry, you can not skip this one. 
- designer lamps! Make sure you get one, there are so many to chose from. Most of these lamps have a retro touch, which seems to be a feature of Danish homes.
- remember, less is more. (Mies van der Rohe said this. Maybe he was also Danish by heart.)

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Just a Fall Afternoon

There is nothing quite like a fall day. I spent the afternoon outside, collecting leaves and walnuts, chasing the cat around the garden (and also chasing the neighbour's cat who was also chasing my cat) so I can say business as usual. 
By the time I finished collecting and chasing, the garden looked like as if no work had been done there - the tree is big, has too many leaves and drops one every ten seconds, so I can start again tomorrow. Yeah, this is autumn for you. 
The air cools down quickly, so after a day like this I could really do with a blanket and a cup of nice tea warming me up. Luckily the cat has also calmed down, and curled up in my lap. 
What else do you need in a fall day like this?

Friday, October 21, 2016

Feminine Home Office

Don't let the photo of Carrie mislead you. This moodboard does not have much to do with her, but I liked the colours, and I was inspired that scene I remembered, when the camera shows Carrie from the outside, sitting at her desk, as if the TV-watchers were peeking into her room from the street. 
Interior Moodboard
I was thinking about a mature, delicate and feminine home office. A classic but light environment for someone who has settled down and knows what she wants. The colours used are creamy and soft, baby blue mixed with rich dark wood and dark beige. The furniture design is kept simple, because the wallpaper has a vivid flowery pattern. 
The overall effect is calm and soothing for a woman who wants to escape a bustling city life. 
I am sorry, Carrie, this is not the room for you. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

It's Tea Time

I can really feel autumn now. Not only did the temperature dropped low enough to make me shiver in the morning, but the leaves are turning yellow very quickly. Even if it is not raining, when it is so humid and cold like today, it feels so much better to be inside, with a lovely cup of tea and a good book. Normally I am a coffee person, but in cold seasons a cup of tea - with honey, cinnamon and spices - just feels so right. Especially when it is accompanied by some biscuits. Mmmm...
Interior Mood Board

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Pie, Pie, American Pie

As I mentioned previously, among all the things made from apples are the pies. My favourite taste is sour cherry mixed with vanilla. It would be perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon, like now. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Fall In (Love With) New York

New York has been my big inspiration for a while - I am sure I am not the only one with this. If I had to pick one season, fall would be the time to visit this city. I want to see the stylish Brooklyn brownstones, feel the vibe of the buzzing Manhattan and take a walk in the leafy Central Park. Many films and series picked the Big Apple as their shooting location, I can hardly tell my favourite, but there is one I loved last year, and it was The Intern.
The movie made me drooling for brick walls, subway tiles and the eclectic chic of industrial and classy. Production designer Kristi Zea did a stellar job on the sets of the film, but instead of the movie's cool colours I was inspired by a warm palette here just to keep the autumn theme. The moss green sofa is in nice contrast with the burnt orange and rust colours of the rug and the brick wall. For a bit of sparkle I added a lamp in warm copper tone. The dark shades in the paining bring back the dark colour of the vase and the plaid; I could also place an old fashioned black cabinet with glass inserts somewhere in the room.  
Interior Mood Board

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

How to decorate a Dorm Room?

Autumn means back to school to students. Below you can find a moodboard about how to style a dorm room. I would say it is an unisex style, the black goes well with the bright colours, that are youthful, but gender-neutral. It is a practical and more mature environment, with a bit of colour to make it cheerful. 
For a dorm room - depending on the space you have got - furniture with function and storage come handy. Colourful box shelves provide space to your things (you can put thing on and inside), and the desk is especially good, with open-up storage and integrated sound system. 
I would definitely recommend even a small pin-up board to put memos and photos on. 

Interior Moodboard

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Music Corner

John Lennon would be 76 years old today. I have always wanted to make a 60s and Beatles inspired music corner and eventually got round to finishing it today. Although I think music corner generally refers to a place with music instruments, I envisaged a Beatles fan's own place in the house, where he keeps his vinyl collection and other Beatles merchandise. This is also the place where he retreats to unwind after a long day. 
Mid-century music boxes and sideboards have always fascianted me, so that was the starting point for this moodboard. As these are low cabinets, there is huge wallspace above them offering many possibilities to decorate. I chose a Beatles poster and a light coloured retro wallpaper. If the wallpaper had brighter colours, I would not use this poster, but the colour palette is very muted and balanced, so it looks good. Notice how the lampshade brings back the wallpaper motif, and also the square shape of the photos appears on the sideboard.
Yellow ochre is a great retro colour, that is why the modern armchair matches the environment. The yellow vase and retro bowl bring back the colour of the chair, and also provide and accent hue. The overall colour scheme would not look out of context in a Scandinavian setting, but the patterns bring it back to mid-century. Even the fan ceiling light is atomic age inspired, too. 
I included a briefcase-style record player, because vinyl is back, too!
Interior Moodboard

Friday, October 7, 2016

What is the Connection between Art Deco and H&M Home?

This spring I was not happy about H&M's home collection (see my post here), but now the brand really suprised me. I am not sure if it was their intention, but some of their items can find their way to an Art Deco style home very easily. I never thought about such a pairing - H&M Home and Art Deco -, and maybe the brains behind this collection also did not, but just take a look at this moodboard. With the exception of the table -  see retailer here - the rest of the items are by H&M Home, and make a perfectly modern, stylish Art Deco set. Combine them with black, white, marble and shiny brass. 
H&M Home Moodboard

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Autumn Spiced Cider

Fall is the ultimate apple season. Only good things come from this fruit: pies, drinks, cider. The latter is one of my favourite alcoholic drink, I prefer it way above beer, but never tasted it hot. Well, autumn seems to be a perfect occassion to try something new. The recepie is not mine, I found it here. All you need is cider, orange juice, cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg, spices, orange, and about 20 minutes to mix it and boil it. Interestingly, honey is not on the list, but adding some probably does not do any harm.
Mmm... I think I am in the spirit of an autumn picnic now. 
Autumn Moodboard

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Autumn Afternoons

Autumn arrived precisely on the second day of October. It started as the day before, blue sky with no clouds, the sunrays powerful enough to warm up his back while sitting alone on the porch. 
Then, before the night fell, it started to rain. He listened to the raindrops on the window for two days, and when he saw the sun next, suddenly all the leaves on the trees turned into yellow. The air was crisp and cool, and he never went out anymore without a warm sweater. He did not leave his house much, though; he could not walk long before feeling pain in his knees, so preferred the comforting warmth of his den. 
He's been owning a grandfather's chair in brown leather for decades. He remembered it now as he had seen in first, in the window of the furniture store, looking classy and inviting. The store assistant had told him it would develop patina over time, and made him promise to take care of the leather. 'Fine things last longer if you take care of them'- he had told him. He knew this, but was not sure if his children knew, too. They hardly visited him anymore, always referred to 'business' and 'hectic life'. His grandchildren were greatly missed, too. In the summer they came over often, but now he has not seen them for weeks. He could always see that picture, his little granddaughter hopping up the stairs, sporting yellow dress, two plaits and bright smile with missing tooth. 
He let out a heavy sigh.     
Interior Mood Board
The leather armchair still looked fine, and he directed it so that he could easily look out of the window, and enjoy the sight of the golden leaves. His afternoon routine was simple: he put on the kettle for tea and placed a tin of biscuits on the side table. The table had a fabric pocket hanging underneath the top, making it a perfect place for his newspapers. A soft blanket lay in a woven basket on the other side of the chair, right in his reach, ready to warm his legs when the sun disappeared behind the houses. After finishing the papers he picked up a book. In the evenings he even lit up the fire in the fireplace, and read by the light of the pear-shaped table lamp. 
Now he contemplated the sight on the other side of the window. The sun felt warm through the glass, making him sleepy. It was a quiet leafy street with almost no noise. Nothing to disturb his solitude.  

Then he heard it. 

Someone was hopping up the stairs.