Houzz & Great Partners

I am very proud to have been invited to be a regular columnist for the hugely popular Houzz, which is the Internet’s largest database of design and decorating ideas. Here you will find literally hundreds of thousands of interior design & garden photos from homeowners and design professionals that you easily can put in your Houzz ideabook for personal home inspiration. Perfect if you are remodeling your home or just needing some great design ideas. It is all there.

It was humbling to see that my own little blue chest project from my bedroom has ended up in some 1500 different idea books. Who would have thought!

In my first Houzz segment I am sharing:

“20 Chic & Affordable Furnishings For The Living Room”

Pop over and see my suggestions if you have a moment. Go here.


More sharing. My recharged store, Splendid Willow Avenue, is off to a flying start and I could not be happier!

Now is the golden time to acknowledge some fantastic and creative people who helped me give “voice” to my vision.

Firstly Ms. Shari who I started following a long time ago (she has an incredible eye for design). Blog communication ended up in friendship and now professional collaboration! She helped me with my lovely new banners and various online design elements including my new business cards! Easy to work with and such a pro. I adore her.

Rachel was introduced to me by a lovely friend. I had a really hard time finding a web designer/developer and had almost given up when Rachel came along, and with a great attitude took everything over and built my entire on-line shop. I love everything she came up and will team up with her again! She is wonderful!

I met Dorothee when she came to my home to take pictures for the Rue Magazine. (Dorothee seen to the right next to her business partner Annabel). We clicked right away and a few days later I put her in charge of my store’s front page images. With offices in NY and Seattle, this pro is asked to capture weddings and events all over the planet. She is fantastic!

Susan (who I met thanks to our kids!) just recently decided to take her photo hobby to the next level and is now focusing on photographing families and pets. She helped me with my new product images. For my Seattle friends, you might want to team up with her before she gets too pricey because this girl is really good and also easy to work with!

And finally a big thank you to my dear girlfriend Stacey (our kids brought us together and now also our hubbies hang out!) my beautiful model. It makes my business so much more meaningful and personal if family and friends are involved. Stacey is stunning on the outside and inside and has been one of my strongest supporters. She is used to my high energy and nutty Swedish behavior and we always have the best of time together!

Thank you all, ladies! You are the best.

Tomorrow you need to stop by again. And I really mean it. I have teamed up with a couple of other phenomenal ladies and you do not want to miss what we have in store for our readers!

Warm hugs. See you tomorrow!

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


Patina Style

A couple of days ago the much anticipated book, Patina Style, arrived in my mailbox. It is written by the creators of the successful Velvet & Linen, Brooke and Steve Giannetti, together with Sara Bliss and what a page turner it is!

It is easy to get lost in all the beautiful images and inspirational vignettes. But it offers yet another level of value by featuring personal, valuable and “to the point” design tips and advice from the designer/architect couple. Patina Style is more than a pretty coffee table book — it is a great design guide.

One of my favorite rooms. (Sorry for the crappy resolution, I scanned the image). I love the mix of different textures (metal, leather, stone, grass, linen etc.), the colors and the styling. Check out the pendant light. Note to myself: I need to find some lovely outdoor shutters and use them as decor!

Photo credit: Lisa Romerein

In the book Brooke and Steve share how they create their signature patina look by using soothing colors, mixing antiques (and a lot of Swedish, folks!) with new furnishings, re-purposed and salvaged objects and creating livable yet beautiful rooms.

I have known Brooke for quite a while in blog land (she is a lovely friend) and had the opportunity once to interview Brooke in my “In The Spotlight Series”. I must say that for everything this couple has going on (beautiful family, lovely homes, successful design and architecture business, a must read blog and now a new book — a book, people!) she is phenomenally humble. The success has not gone to her head which makes this book even more special. It is beautiful and the real deal.

I highly recommend Patina Style. You can find it here.

Recently my very close friend Greet had the opportunity to have the entire Giannetti  family over to her own gorgeous home in Belgium (read here) and my lovely blog friends Angela & Renee got to spend some quality time with Brooke and Steve in California (read here). Lucky — everyone!

Happy weekend friends! You will rarely find me at the computer — summer is in full swing — and we are busy exploring and reading great books in the hammock!

Images via: No.1 Velvet and Linen, No. 2 via Veranda Facebook, no. 3 via Patina Style (photo credit: Lisa Romerein, no. 4 via Velvet and Linen.

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


I Spy Beautiful Rugs In Portland

I just got back from a trip to Portland, OR. (I will tell you more about my trip in my next post). My wonderful sister-friend Kendra took me to the Pearl District for some lunch and from the corner of my eye I noticed a rug store in a wonderful warehouse setting. The name is Kush Carpets, and it is a local Portland store offering handmade rugs from all over the world, with quality and eco and social environment in mind. I just had to pay a visit.

I had a little chat with one of the store owners, Rebecca, and I must say that I was quite impressed. Rebecca, together with her business partner Brian have been in business for a decade and many interior designers team up with them — and rightfully so. They offer a selection of stunning, handmade rugs of very nice quality. (The pictures on their website do not even do the store justice). Trust me when I say that there are literally hundreds of stunning art piece you just want to take home.

I really took a liking to these felt rugs made  in Kyrgyzstan. They are known as “shyrdaks” and use shapes from the natural and spiritual worlds. The designs represent harmony and coexistence. I wouldn’t mind one of these.

Hard to not like this Suzani patterned rug. For $6000 it wasn’t exactly a steal but it is so beautiful.

The owners scout the world to find hand-spun wool and resilient dyes in modern area rugs and traditional oriental carpets to add to their unique collection of hand-knotted carpets. Kush also offers custom designs.

I ran my hands through a very similar rug (below), and what a feeling. It felt so incredibly soft — like butter. Amazing workmanship and material. Imagine landing your feet on a piece like that when you wake up in the morning.

Another lovely carpet is the Antique Agra. It is hand-knotted in China with hand spun wool. The field and the patterns are hand-trimmed, giving the rug real depth and texture ( looks even better in real life). .

Rebecca was one of the designers behind this contemporary rug. The design is based on a photo of a rusted fence dripping down on a concrete wall. The rug is hand-knotted with Himalayan wool in Nepal. 

Once you get a chance to feel real quality carpets, it is hard to want anything else.

I am so going back to this store on my next visit. And if you ever visit Portland, I recommend you do the same. You will not be disappointed.

Thank you for all your sweet comments & e-mails regarding our Swedish midsummer tradition. It warms my heart to hear that so many of you are interested in learning more about my culture. I am a very proud Swede!

Warm hugs to you all!

All images via Kush Carpet.

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


Rustic Chic

Rustic chic. You have heard the term a lot this year in the design world.  The concept of mixing rustic looking pieces with modern edgy objects.

Above is a an image from one of my photo shoots with images of Ilse Jacobsen’s high-end rubber boots from my store Splendid Willow Avenue here, where I plan to use a few rustic and modern elements. (The store is going through a much needed makeover — you will see more soon!)  

Doesn’t this image from Elle Decor capture the theme beautifully? I love this room! This long table just invites long and fun dinner conversations. A rustic cabin with added modern accent pieces. A very lovely mix and atmosphere in my book. And the tall shelves are to die for.

My close blog friend Jill with Live Like You (who I have bragged about in the past ) recently launched her design business + store on-line. She keeps adding wonderful and smart design concepts to her store and her latest is called Earthy Modern. You will find lots of great inspiration and lovely objects for your home here. And Jill is definitely someone to team up with if you are looking for professional design help. Right now she is offering new customers all kinds of great discounts. Hop here to find out more! (And say hi from me if you team up with her!).

Another good friend/blogger/writer/artist, the wonderful Michele with Hello Lovely Inc. had a semi-soft launch of her new Etsy store. She has a great eye and I know that everything that comes from her is thoughtful, professional and filled with a lot of heart. Her things get snapped up pretty quickly (especially her art pieces which often don’t even make it to the store before they are sold!) — and more things will be added as she goes along. (She mixes her own art pieces with vintage jewelry). To celebrate her store she is offering a giveaway. And you can win as many as three (3) pieces from her store. All seen here.

Of course I am hoping that I will win (ha!) because I have my eyes on her quote board! Fits well into the rustic modern theme.

Go here to enter Michele’s giveaway. It ends on June 19th.

Hope everyone is having a splendid week! 

Images: No. 1 via Splendid Willow, no. 2 via Elle Decor, No. 3 + 4 via Live Like You, No. 5+ 6 via Hello Lovely.

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


I Am So Proud Of These Ladies


The blog world has connected me with some amazing people and I am proud to say that many have become personal friends outside of cyber land. How can I not be in total awe of these creative and driven women!

First up is Janell with Isabella and Max Rooms. That gal has more energy than all of my blog friends combined!

She is the queen of fabulous DIY projects, she is visible on TV shows and in shelter magazines to the left and the right and to top it off she just launched her own magazine. Yep. Janell’s business card now reads Founding Editor of her new on-line magazine, House of Fifty. A great magazine jam packed with terrific articles, ideas and gorgeous photos. Go, Janell, go! (Of course you will no longer have time to have grab a coffee with me in Portland — but I will forgive you!).

In the premier issue of House Fifty you will find a segment by my dear and close friend Ewa who is the food contributor.

Ewa runs the terrific food blog Delishhh and I am one of the lucky ones because I get to taste her recipes in real. And I absolutely LOVE her cooking. I mean LOVE!

Every time I visit her home I know I will be in for a treat. Following her you will get tons of great recipes, many with a Swedish flair. (Yes friends, that includes delicious Swedish meatballs).

Last Summer, when visiting Stockholm, I hooked up with Mia from the wonderful blog Solid Frog. After spending a day together and recording a segment about Swedish design we finally got some time to talk in private and she whispered that she was pregnant. Like 11 weeks. I remember telling her that I had such a good feel about her pregnancy. And last week she gave birth to her first child — a little “Lasse”, short name for Lars! I spoke with her on the phone the other day and I can report that there are some very happy parents over there who hardly dare to sleep because they don’t want to miss a second with Lasse. Congratulations!

Now this gal is also very driven. Listen to this. Coming fall Mia and her husband will open an Art Gallery in Jonkoping, in the southern parts of Sweden.

I cannot wait to visit her gallery. Knowing Mia’s good taste and style — this  is going to be something extraordinary!

And lastly my friend Jill with Live Like You who I am looking forward to meeting in person!

This stylish, vibrant and colorful Swede (based in Washington DC) is TODAY launching her brand new on-line design studio and boutique Live Like You.

Here you will find tons of lovely things for the home. Jill offers a great mix of products — brand new, vintage, green and fabulous pieces she found and turned into one-of-a-kind pieces. Now that is the way to decorate, folks! Some lovely furnishings from her store:

I also really like her category “Personality” were you will find sketches of moodboards and suggestions for paint colors. Brilliant, Jill!

So there, some new faces and/or new places to visit. You will quickly learn why I am so very proud of these ladies.

Warm hugs to you all!

Images: No. 1 via The Kelly Scope. Other images via resp. blog.

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

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