Happy Easter & Say Hello To Color!

From my home to yours — wishing you a Happy, Colorful Easter!

And with colors in mind, did you all see Julie Paulino’s home in the latest issue of Rue Magazine? She is a good friend of mine and I am always so proud of her! Her home feels so grown-up relaxed, warm and inviting.

Those raspberry leather chairs should really be living with me…

She has a most fantastic eye for mixing colors and textures. I mean come on! Look at her happy eating nook!!

Another close friend of mine, Interior Designer Jill Sorensen (who I have on speed dial!) is also a star when it comes to creating vibrant chic and pleasing rooms. I call her “The Colorful Swede” (which of course makes me look very gray and dusty…).

She just added gray to her own Jill Sorensen bed linen brand. And her Marks rugs now come in new vibrant colors. All current and sassy!

Make sure to visit Julie here, and Jill here. They are fab & fearless!

Ok, folks. I am off to tend to sick kids. We might stay home in our PJ’s and scrap the CA trip we had planned for Easter. Bohooo! I hope the Easter bunny will find us…

Written by Splendid Willow in: Designers, Illustrators, Photographers, Stylists | Tags:


Renewed Energy & Focus For 2013

Hello everyone. I am back in the saddle again! Thanks to so many of you for reaching out and wondering what (on earth) I was up to and asking when I was coming back. All is good, friends! I just needed some more time to get back to normal after an insanely busy holiday season for the store and my family. Thank you for thinking of me though.

I am also busy working on a couple of big new projects — you will of course learn here first.

So, not starting a new year without some serious focus and a few new resolutions.

1) Think Green

After spending some time before Christmas with my Dear Mom who sadly is ailing and seeing my extraordinary Mother-In-Law having a mini stroke on Christmas Eve (we had Ambulance people dancing around the Christmas Tree – thankfully it all ended on a positive note!) 2013 will be the year when I take better charge of my own health. I am already fairly active, healthy and happy but I can do so much better. An energy filled green smoothie (min. 16 oz all organic greens + berries – no fruit) in the morning is now as part of my morning ritual as brushing my teeth!

2) Embrace Emerald Green

The Yellow Brick Road leads to Emerald City.

It works for me that Pantone announced “Emerald Green” as the color of the year. Finally they got it right. I love that color! (Always wanted a sassy, modern evening gown in Emerald Green. Perhaps this will be the year.).

To add a little bit more Emerald Green into my own home, I purchased this print on Etsy – a loosey-goosey, fun cameo portrait drawing. I find the illustrator Kathryn with hhop so creative and fun. Of course I ended up buying other things as well!

3) Don’t be a design/brand snob (Note to myself!)

I am proud to say that my absolute favorite daily china right now are these practical gray-blue, glazed stoneware dishes (Dinera) from Ikea! I love the color, the look, the material and the price. Come on, the large bowls are $12.99 for a set of four! You could not entice me away with anything fancy from Bergdorf Goodman. I swear this is better!

I also snapped up this pretty velvet-like pillow at Ikea for a song (here in our family room). There was just something familiar and calming about it.

4) Less stuff

Filling an entire cart with gray-blue china might not go hand in hand with wanting less stuff in the house. January is usually the month when people do some serious personal and home cleansing. I am hoping 2013 will be the year when I start really thinking through every single purchase. Do I Need It – do I Love It? And with everything I buy, AT LEAST two things need to go (yep! friends, charity, dump whatever — but they are not staying!).

In 2013 I will strive for piece, calm, serenity and a happy, healthy heart. And with all that renewed energy, I also hope to give more to you! What are your personal commitments for 2013?

Hugs to you all. It’s good to be back.

Image no. 3 via Katie Rosenfeld Design, no. 4 via hhop, no. 5 via Ikea , no. 6 + 7 via Splendid Willow.


Written by Splendid Willow in: Designers, Illustrators, Photographers, Stylists,My Home |


Lovely Swedish Home & Lovely NEW Brand In My Store

Did you read the latest issue of Rue? Lots of inspiration, folks! Some time ago Rue’s brilliant Editor In Chief, Crystal reached out looking for a cool home in Sweden to be featured in Rue Magazine. I immediately suggested the home of Ylva Skarp. You might recall that name from before. Yes, she is that ueber talented calligraphist who lives in an old converted school house! I adore her. (Read my previous post here).

Rue sent a wonderful camera team (Woodnote Photography) to the north of Sweden and I think the results are beautiful. (I also want to live in an old, red, Swedish school house!).

Splendid Willow Avenue is the only store in the US to carry Ylva Skarp’s beautiful products with her personal calligraphy writing.

I have just added a new brand to my store — Aspiga. Remember that brand. It just officially arrived it the US and I expect the brand to be as popular here as it already is in Europe. Aspgia is a UK based company selling quality sandals and beachwear — all with a clear and strong commitment to their partners in developing countries. Aspiga’s leather sandals have been featured in Vogue and Marie Clarie as well as many other leading fashion and lifestyle publications.

The founder and owner of Aspiga, Lucy MacNamara, started her business six years ago after spending some time in Kenya and falling in love with the people and their leather craftsmanship. Today she engages local suppliers in Kenya (where the majority of our products are made), who are (not large factories) giving much needed jobs to local men and women in their community.

Aspiga also donates a percentage of their profits to The Brydges centre, a children’s orphanage just outside Nairobi.

I am super happy to now be carrying sandals from Aspiga’s classic collection in my store. Well made and stylish leather sandals. They are all handmade and have a thin non-slip sole. I hope you like them as much as I do. 

For all models and colors go to Splendid Willow Avenue — here.

In a couple of weeks I will announce L.O.T.S of newness to my store.  You will be the first to hear more.

Happy & Long Summer Days!

Images: No. 1, 3-5 via Rue Magazine, no. 2 via Woodnote Photography, no. 6. via Ylva Skarp, no. 7-12 via Aspiga.

Written by Splendid Willow in: Designers, Illustrators, Photographers, Stylists,Store News | Tags: ,


Oh My! (This Makes Me Purr)

I am thankful every day for the many fun, interesting, kind and lovely people I have met and meet, on a daily basis. I have a fun gig in cyberland, I must say!

There has been a lot of customer interactions in the last couple of days. And let me just tell you that there will be a lot of styling women wearing Ilse Jacobsen’s flip-flops this summer (see previous post)! My shop has already sold out of many sizes/colors. (Upon request I will soon carry them in black). Thank you for trusting me with your business.

A person who makes me purr (sorry Marianne, I know you prefer doggies!) is Marianne with Style For Living who has become a really good, close friend who I can chat design (and other phenomenally important things !) with, 24/7. There are a lot of phone calls and running between houses with family members in tow. All great fun. Marianne decided a while ago to put her high-paying corporate job aside and instead focus entirely on her design business. I am so proud of her. Her business is growing and lots of exciting things are happening for her!

She just gave a client’s ottoman a much needed makeover.



Can you all say in chorus – OH MY! Can you even believe it is the same piece. What a transformation!

For more on her design services — hop over here. Marianne gets my highest recommendations (well of course!).

In cyberland I also recently met another fabulous lady, Ms. M. She bought not one but two of my Scandinavian wool blankets.

She told me she is a designer and of course I got quite curious. She sent me this picture the other day and sent her back an e-mail saying – yes, just that! – OH MY!!!

I mean hello! She lives in a super cool loft (with a working fireplace which apparently is rare in loft spaces). And do you see my blanket on the chaise? Ms. M (I am keeping her name a secret for now) is a well established designer who is busy with all kinds of fun design jobs (including set design for TV shows). Soon, very soon, I will show more of of her home and you will all flip out! This girl also treasures Swedish antiques. I am just saying…. I can’t wait to introduce her to all of you! You will love her as much as I do.

More Oh-My’s. I am always out treasure shopping in cyberland. Yes, I am still collecting vintage leather postcards. Here is my latest purchase! Ha ha! (Purr purr).

My very latest crush is antique wax seals. I just came across a good sized lot and I am quite content over here.

I love the texture and the history behind these antique beauties, they add that extra punch of color to a room. I just have to figure out how to best frame them.

Do you know what is so cool about both of these collections? They work in both traditional and contemporary rooms. I like that.

That’s it for now. Need to roll up my sleeves and get more flippies out the door!

I hope this post finds you well.

Hugs to you all!

Images: No. 1 via Ticklish From a Distance, no. 2, 5, 6-9 via Splendid Willow/Splendid Willow Avenue, no 3+4 via Style For Living.

Written by Splendid Willow in: Designers, Illustrators, Photographers, Stylists | Tags: ,


Brick Led Me To This Fabulous Architect

I love brick. Always have, always will. This weekend I was in “cyberland” for more brick inspiration when I came across this home. Holy Cannoli! This home has my name on it! Two fab houses connected into one! One white more modern main house and one “newtrad” brick house to host cars and perhaps a work loft. And both buildings are connected! I am vibrating at the spot over here.

And would you believe that another image I have saved on a stunning brick wall I just realized comes from the very same architect – Hugh Jefferson Randolph. I love a brilliant man who talks brick!

A little bit of exposed brick in the foyer.

Another stunning home by Mr. Randolph. I sure would like to see more of that kitchen I spy to the right.

For all of you following my blog you know that gray kitchens always get my attention but I also have to say that I have seen zillions of gray kitchens that are just plain cold. You can’t fool me with just color, people. A kitchen (or any room for that matter) must be foremost inviting (and functional).

This kitchen has made its rounds in blogosphere — and rightfully so. What a nice & inviting room! And what do I see in the very back? White brick… I am just saying..!

Designer: Nam Dang-Mitchell, Photographer: Colin Way

I read that Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects of Austin, TX received Houzz’s 2012 ‘Best Of Remodeling’ Award.

Imagine my surprise when I was contacted by Houzz, a while ago and learned that I had received Houzz’ 2012 “Best Makeover” Award – for “creative, beautiful and intelligent residential spaces.” It was William’s big boy bedroom makeover that apparently had gotten some attention. Who would have thought!

I am deeply honored, judges over at Houzz! Thank you for the nice recognition.

Houzz ( is the leading online platform for home remodeling. Houzz features the largest residential design database in the world and has 3.5 million monthly unique users.

What else? Well I have to say (and it always comes with so much guilt) that I have had to step away from blog land (or at least the networking) for a while because I am busy, busy with so many things right now. So to all my blog friends — don’t for a second think that you are not special. You are. I have absolutely not forgotten you — I just need a little time to focus right now. I will check in as soon as I can.

Hugs to you all and Hi & Welcome to all new subscribers!

Images: 1-4 via Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects, no. 5 via House & Home., 6-7 via Splendid Willow.

Written by Splendid Willow in: Designers, Illustrators, Photographers, Stylists,Thank you! |

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