Calming Rooms & Objects

Is it this time of the year or is it me? All I long for is tranquility and serenity. I don’t want more stuff (as a matter of fact I want to get rid of half of my house), I don’t want noise. Stress has been kicked out the door (and is not allowed back in again!). All I want is easy living, peace & harmony. And to be able to sit — for real… Preferably in a striped wing-back chair.

Brown cottages and cabins have never been my cup of tea but look how lovely this wood paneled room is with all white slip covered seating. I would be phenomenally content here.

 I find a collection of Staffordshire ironstone and American stoneware calming.

And from now on I think that my kids can sit on simple, old milk chairs! (Admit that you will look for some at your nearest antiques fair!).

Happy 4th to all my American friends!

You will find me at a party — seated — and with my shoes kicked off!

Images: No. 1 via Note to Sarah, 2,4 and 5 scanned via Country Living July/August 2012, no. 3 scanned via House & Home July 2012.

Written by Splendid Willow in: Lovely Rooms,White rooms | Tags:


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: ,


Three Perfect Books To Give Away

The girls finished their last day of the school year yesterday and I have my life back (with some extra strands of gray hair…).

A lot of parties and events lately and I have given away many books as small tokens of appreciation. Here are three of my favorites (the first two I also gave to Moi!):

1.  One Line  A Day

One Line A Day — a pretty little Tiffany blue book with some purpose. Write a sentence a day and go down memory lane and compare that entry with five years of entries in total. What did I do and how did I feel that very same day 2012, 2013, 2014 etc.? I write a sentence every night before I go to bed. A sentence. Anybody can do that!

2. Q&A A Day

Hubby and I went to a fun Seattle restaurant this past weekend (Poppy) and the evening ended at the legendary Seattle book store — Elliott Bay Book Company. I found this pretty little thing with a similar five year diary concept called Q&A A Day — 365 questions — 5 years — 1,825 answers. I like the questions. Can’t wait to fill out August 6th – Who Am I? (It will be interesting to see what I have to say five years from now!).

3.  For kids – anything Sven Nordqvist

Sweden can be very proud of the very many fantastic authors they have shared with the rest of the world. Swedes have a great sense of humor (witty dry!) and it lends itself very well to children’s books. We have bookshelves packed with great Swedish children’s books at our house and an author that all Swedes know about — and you should too — is Sven Nordqvist. His texts and illustrations are ingenious and readers, young and old, will spend happy hours pouring over them and laughing out loud.

Pettson is a Swedish farmer who lives alone with his spunky & creative cat Findus and as a reader you will be part of their delightful adventures. Sven Nordquist adds funny little bonus characters on almost every page.

In one of his books “A Rumpus in the garden”, Findus is trying to get the hens aways from the meatball he’d just planted (hoping to grow meatball plants?;).

And just last night (after reading this book for the 50th time!), I discovered these three little characters on the left hand side corner of that page. They have paid for tickets to watch the drama unfold! Ha ha! Now that is funny to me!

Several of Sven Nordqvist’s “Pettsson & Findus” books have been translated into English. I go to Amazon Elliott Bay Book Company for mine.

There. Three perfect little book gift ideas — and none of them have anything to do with design! (:

Off to see what my good blog friends are up to.


Images via Splendid Willow.

Written by Splendid Willow in: Just Because I Like It | Tags: , ,


6 Things I Go Nuts For

I am counting the days till this household is breathing normally again. Talk about T.E.M.P.O over here (or insanity). Kids’ last day is school in on Monday (of all days). Oh boy will I be celebrating with them!

But I took an hour off today in the sun and caught up on some magazine reading. Here are some things I immediately ear marked.

1. Book wall paper

You might recall this Andrew Martin wallpaper that I hung (yes, myself – mighty proud!) in my home office. Still like it a lot.

I have now came across this white beauty by Y & B. First time I see all white books on wallpaper. Very pretty and soothing. But how many wallpapers with books can a gal have?

2. An old b/w photo enlarged on canvas

Yes, we have seen zillions of kids and wedding images enlarged on big canvases but I am very tempted to enlarge a b/w picture of my parents in their younger days together. (My Dad passed away when  I was 14).

3. Worn shutters

I don’t have any old ones at home, and that is a shame. They can be used for so many decoration purposes and they can add a good backdrop for most vignettes. Don’t forget to snap some up if you come across nice ones with good patina at a local auction or flea market! Send me a picture if you do! (Or if you use some today as part of your home decor).

4. DIY lamp

My two girls are begging for separate bedrooms (they have been sharing a room for the last 6 years). I have finally caved in and we will give them separate rooms and create their personal spaces over the summer. I came across this DIY project and immediately pinned it. How pretty is this for a gir’ls room? The creative lady behind this lamp went to work with layers of paper flowers, butterflies and a glue gun! Add a sparkly branch and you will have one pretty and personal rice lamp. MUST TRY. (Learn more here).

5. One Day Design

I am happy to announce that my close friend/sis Marianne is (now also) offering a terrific One Day Design package for Seattle’ites (and those from nearby communities). She will help you with any of your interior design needs — and it will be money well spent. She is so talented. Go here to see what she offers. And say hi from me if you contact her!

6.  Blue tufted headboard

I thought I was going neutral linen for the headboard in our “new” master bedroom but then I stare at this pretty blue and start questioning my own design thinking. Doesn’t this color add so much happiness to a room? A soothing bedroom is a must but soothing does not necessarily mean neutral. I find this color soothing and happy! (Still going with whitewashed hardwood floors though).

Ok, off to climb back on the hamster wheel…  Next time you hear from me I will be much calmer and back to my social myself.

Hugs to everyone.

Images: 1 + 2 via Splendid Willow, 3-5 & 10 scanned via Living Etc. – June 2012,  no. 6 via Glue Arts, no. 7+8 via Marianne Simon Design.


Written by Splendid Willow in: I Go Nuts For | Tags: ,


Fresh, Bright & Soothing Living

I see this and I just want to re-do my entire house. Simple, fresh and soothing. Edgy and interesting — all with a relaxed feel. But it really just comes down to the space being decluttered (farewell unnecessary stuff!) and the light floors. (Yep,  similar floors are moving into our master bedroom this year. I crave a calm bedroom).

Take note of the pretty vignette in the back of the room.

Also, pay attention to the emerald color on the old door glass. A little goes a long way.

Busy, busy times over here. School finals, parties and graduations x 3 kids. Summer officially starts for us on June 22nd. Can’t come soon enough!

Finally, HAPPY, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all wonderful Dads and Dads in training out there!

 Warm hugs to everyone!

Images: Inspiration and image 1-2 via Purple Area. Image no. 3 via The New Yorker.

Written by Splendid Willow in: White rooms | Tags:

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