Mar
26
2012
40

“My 2 Cents On A Room I Am Totally Smitten With” (Via Blog Friends)

Time again for a little chat with blog friends I find inspirational. (And if I follow your blog, you know that you will be drafted too!). I always look forward to my friends’ input because I know that they will bring something fresh to the table and I love learning from them.

Today I have asked seven talented, smart, good hearted and creative friends to share with us:

I could hardly wait for their responses and loved reading through each and every detail. This segment is a good one! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

I am overjoyed to introduce you to these terrific & stylish bloggers! Savor what they have to say.

I’ve been drooling over this airy outdoor lounge since (you guessed it – see the pumpkins?) Autumn! Recently, I’ve developed an appreciation for neutral spaces that exude a combination of rustic appeal and contemporary flare. The antique bottles are one of my favorite elements; they remind me of my town near the beach, and here, really stand out against the white paneled walls. I could easily see myself enjoying a lazy afternoon in this room; catching up with friends, sipping some iced tea, and of course, reading my favorite design blogs!

Visit Kristina’s lovely blog – here.

I picked this room by Madeline Stuart because of its drama. The soaring fireplace, the tribal rug and the bold lighting all make such a statement! Even though the chairs and ottomans aren’t colors I would have normally chosen, the punches of color add that dose of the unexpected to make the room lively and interesting. I tend to be too safe with interiors, so this room also reminds me to take some risks for a much more intriguing space. I also love that the room invites you in with lots of natural light and that welcoming fireplace. There’s just some type of magic about this room that makes me love it every time I see it!

Visit Barbara’s lovely blog – here.

Note: Barbara has just moved to my home town Seattle. Can’t wait to meet with her in person!

I have two living rooms that I go back to time and again, and this is one of them. The room was designed by the talented Suzanne Tucker of Tucker & Marks. I love the eclectic mix of the abstract art, the traditional upholstered furniture, the brass ornamental table, the glass table, the ceramic lamps, and the gorgeous rug. The different textures and contrasting colors work well together.

Visit Teresa’s lovely blog - here.

I love this man’s study designed by Jan Showers for a home in Dallas, TX (my hometown). It’s such a bold, enveloping room, yet totally inviting. With the contrast of navy lacquered walls, zebra rug and old leather chairs it says “I’m stylish, but don’t take myself too seriously”. Couldn’t you just see yourself curled up with the Sunday paper and a cup or tea or entertaining friends for a cocktail hour here? This room turns my head because it begs to be lived in!
Visit Elizabeth’s lovely blog – here.

I absolutely love this space with it’s mix of traditional and modern design. It’s actually a pizzeria in Greece (!) however I think it would be great inspiration for a rustic kitchen too. The lighting and tiles are amazing and together with all the wooden elements, it makes a wonderful atmospheric and cosy space.

(Image via Yatzer).

Visit Lana’s lovely blog-  here.

For so many reasons, I am in love with this great room designed by Eve Robinson Associates. I am a true fan of open-plan living; in my Colorado ski town it encourages big family vacationing and also big, easy entertaining. I usually gravitate toward calm, neutral spaces with lots of natural elements and light. This room has it all: creamy walls, the big dry-stacked stone fireplace, gorgeous metal stair and balcony railings, exposed steel beams, so much natural light, a warm hardwood floor with big area rugs, miles of french doors (love the steel frames) and those built-in bookshelves reminiscent of something Frank Lloyd Wright.

All of the furnishings are right up my alley too. I adore iconic, sculptural 20th-century design and clean-lined, unfussy beauties of any era. (Pay attention to those marvelous David Weeks’ chandeliers!). The one love of mine you don’t see in this image is big colorful art, but it’s definitely elsewhere in this home.

Visit Liza’s lovely blog - here.

Since starting on our kitchen renovation, I’ve become less interested in appliances and cabinetry and more into creating a space that’s really about hanging out and everyday living. A comfy banquette with lots of pillows in soft patterns and textures softens what can be a cold, functional room. I imagine feet up, reading the paper, long, lingering meals, and easy conversation here. Warm woods, cool neutrals, and of course, huge windows to bring in tons of natural light all add to the easy, breezy, calming mood.

Visit Casey’s lovely blog – here.

Wasn’t this educational & fun! I loved learning from these blog friends and seeing through their design eyes. Thank you so much ladies!

I follow all of their design blogs. And you should too. (Blog link below each room image).

The series is to be continued…with more information and ”personal 2 cents” from other good blog friends.

Hugs to you all!

Written by Splendid Willow in: 2 cents | Tags: ,

Nov
17
2011
36

My 2 Cents On A Design Trend I Heart (Via Fab Friends)

Time again for my series, 2 cents, which you all know I personally enjoy so much. This is the closest to having really good friends over for dinner and quizzing them about topics I am interested in.

Today you will meet six wonderful, smart and design savvy friends each with a global perspective. I adore them all and follow them loyally.

With passion and personal touches (that is why I love them!) they are each going to share their:

Pay attention to what these lovely ladies have to say! You will love their thoughts & maybe even learn something new. ENJOY!

A design trend that I am totally digging and {have always loved} is an eclectic gallery wall. A well-curated gallery wall tells a story, whether it contains photographs, art and framed treasures, there is a story behind each piece. It represents who you are and what you love. I abhor gallery walls with quick slapdash art, just hung for “cute” sake. I feel it needs to have a sense of history and meaning, a reason to be displayed. Do I have a well-curated gallery wall in my home? Sadly not yet, but slowly I am collecting photos, frames, art that is near and dear, and quirky finds that speak to me and my family. But that is what is so fantastic about a gallery wall, is that you add to it piece by piece, building your collection, slowly unveiling your story.
 
 
 You will find the talented Barbara over at Hodge:Podge.
 
 
Copper, brass, iron, or aluminium (aluminum), I love a touch of semi-precious metal quirkiness! Two of my current favourites are Tom Dixon’s ‘Bass’ and Greta Grossman’s ‘Grasshopper lamps. Unique, well designed, and timelessly stylish!
 
 
You will find the talented Charlotta over at Space For Inspiration.
 
Trends can be fun, but I am personally not that big on them. I try to let my ideas come from a place deep inside me and to surround myself with objects that I really love. I can’t point to a specific design trend right now and say “I want this for me”. A design trend or a room from a magazine doesn’t have all my personal preferences, the things that inspire me or that I bought during my travels, my story – where I grew up, what I love, how I changed with the years, what I have experienced. When I look at an interior from a magazine I look at it as a painting. I enjoy its beauty and just try to learn from it – the balance, the rhythm, the scale, the transition, the emotion. A Coco Chanel quote says “An interior is the natural projection of the soul.” I always try to let my own home be an authentic projection of my soul at that moment of my life.
 
 
You will find the talented Maria over at Design Elements.

I’m not the kind of person that breaks the bank for a trend. Does it mean I don’t like trends? It depends. I’m always looking for what’s new in the market but I also like to keep my eyes open and ask myself is this a trend that’s here to stay or if it will look really outdated in a couple of years? I usually like to add trendy pieces that are easy and inexpensive to change. We’re seeing grey more often than ever now and I am loving it! Take for example “Sarah’s house 4″ that’s being aired here in Canada (soon to be in the US). If you’re a fan of Sarah Richardson you know she’s very careful with her designs but also adds some fun into the mix. I love the latest kitchen she has designed. It’s grey but it’s also easy to change in case you get tired of it in ten years. For me, the important thing to keep in mind is to use the trendy things you love in a classic and timeless way.

You will find the talented Luciane over at HomeBunch.
 

A design trend I am digging now is definitely lucite/acrylic pieces. I love them especially if they are modern interpretations of classic silhouettes such as the iconic Louis Ghost Chair or the Bourgie Lamp. Lucites/acrylics are stylish, versatile and blend well with any decor styles. Additionally, they carry little visual weight and are perfect for small spaces. That is why they are clearly (pun intended!) my favorite design trend of the moment!

You will find the talented Jessie over at Mix And Chic.

To me, there is nothing sexier than marrying masculine industrial ruggedness with feminine glamour. Think of a gold mirror against exposed bricks or a beautiful French desk juxtaposed in an otherwise industrial work space. My toughest challenges as a designer are actually at home where my husband and I both have strong views on interior style; industrial glamour is our happy common ground! Restoration Hardware’s Foucault’s Orb chandelier is a perfect example of this style: a sparkly chandelier encased in an iron frame. This beauty got two thumbs up from my husband who is usually not a fan of chandeliers. Result!
 
 
You will find the talented Meera over at First Sense.
 
Thank you so much ladies! How fun was that! I really enjoyed  learning more about which trend (or no trend!) you have taken to heart lately. One thing that you all have in common is TIMELESS style.

The 2 cents series will continue and yes, ALL of my blog friends will be asked to contribute. No one will be forgotten. You see, there are reasons why I follow you all! (:

Happy rest of the week everyone!

 

Written by Splendid Willow in: 2 cents | Tags: ,

Aug
24
2011
19

2 Cents On Appetizers Guests Love (Via Fab Friends)

 

Time for the next segment in my 2 cents series where I let blog friends share their heartfelt opinions on topics I find interesting. Today I have invited a few wonderful friends to share their favorite appetizer recipes! It is a real mixed group, just the way I like it! Two terrific food blogs (I have eaten a lot of their foods and I love their cooking styles. Uncomplicated and really good comfort food!) mixed with three super stylish design & lifestyle blogs.

But they all have something in common, the people behind the blogs. Good hearted, fun friends (I hang out with several of them) who are creative, have great style and who just like me, like food and people! I am over the moon delighted that they all wanted to share their:

2 CENTS ON APPETIZERS GUESTS LOVE

And pay attention! Not only did they contribute the recipes, most of them also created their own master pieces and took their own pictures! Enjoy!

 

Inspired by the classic salmon, caviar and cream combo, this appetizer is as easy to make as it is on the eye and is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser!  Serve as amuse or appetizer. Enjoy!

 

 

For pumpernickel crouton recipe — go here. For more on Manvi’s lovely blog — go here.

This is absolutely the easiest and most delicious appetizer I know of. I keep the ingredients on hand at all times for unexpected guests. It is always gone by the time a party ends and the recipe is asked for every time. I am not even sure if you can consider it a true recipe with how simple it is though!

 

For more on Paula’s lovely blog — go here.  

When it comes to appetizers, especially at parties, I usually make a beeline straight for anything “mini.” I love the idea of nibbling on delicate looking, tasty bites that are packed with fresh and savory ingredients. So of course when I think about what to take to a party or serve at my own gatherings, I’m all about ”mini” and “tasty” and these little quiche hors d’oeuvres definitely hit the mark. They are easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time which adds to their winning combination. The only drawback is that you may be tempted to dip in before the guests arrive!

 

 

 

For full recipe — go here. For more on Jodi’s lovely blog — go here.

These are delicious and so simple and easy to make that they are a hit at any party! They are great appetizers since they are finger food. You can make these ahead of time and warm them up when guests arrive.  The caramelized onions and the soft melted feta cheese makes each bite heavenly!

 

 

 

For more on Ewa’s lovely blog — go here.

Be ready for bursts of flavor! I love that this dish is simple, fresh and healthy, and that this time of the year everything is in season. I really enjoy cooking with the seasons. 

 

For more on Joanna’s lovely blog — go here.

There you have it – some new, great appetizers! Fun to to see what these friends came up with, don’t you think? And don’t you love the photos they took? Make sure to visit their blogs for more loveliness!

I will continue to make my way around blog land and tap into the smarts of my friends. They are all sitting on a wealth of information and I can’t wait to share with you!

Hugs to everyone!

Pssst… Don’t forget to enter the Haute, Right and Splendid Willow Giveaway!

 

It ends this Friday. Someone out there will win a pair of Ilse Jacobsen’s high-end boots (visit From The Right Bank here) and a stunning necklace (visit Haute Design here)  from my store, Splendid Willow Avenue.

Written by Splendid Willow in: 2 cents | Tags: ,

Jul
21
2011
40

2 Cents On Summer Obsessions (Via Fab Friends)

Time for the next segment in my 2 cents series where I let blog friends share their heartfelt opinions on a topic I find interesting. Today’s topic is about summer obsessions. For us in the northern half of the world we are living & loving it right now (or pretending we are living it since the weather in the NW has been anything but charming)!

Today you will meet five incredibly talented ladies and friends. They are creative, stylish and successful designers/artists/writers/bloggers and even a magazine owner! It is an honor to know them all. I follow their blogs loyally and I always know that I will learn something new when hopping over for a visit.

With passion and personal touches (that is why I love them!) they are sharing their:

Personal & Educational. Take your time time to read what they have to say.

You will learn a lot from these talented friends. Enjoy!

This summer I am loving the look of the gray Kooboo wicker chair. Perfect in any room, but I’d use just one to mix up my dining seating. I had seen one recently for a good price in a local shop. I looked longingly at it for some time but then left without it. Of course, you know how the story ends, when I went back – the chair was gone!

 For more on Donna and her lovely blog, go here.

When it comes to personal appearance, one of my biggest struggles has been figuring out how to deal with the dry skin on my feet! As a result I’ve tried virtually everything on the market, because really, what ruins a great look faster than less than pretty feet?! However, it wasn’t until I was introduced to Blue Cross Cuticle Remover did I find a solution. I take the time to soak my feet for a few minutes in Blue Cross each week, buffing them with a wash cloth afterwards. And presto, I’m ready to put on those cute sandals!

 For more om Janell and her lovely blog, go here.

My summertime obsession is a tranquil place: A BEACHY STATE OF MIND. The beach is where I feel at home and that much more special since I live in the landlocked midwest. It’s where time stands still, where I can hear myself think, where I find God, and where He shows off. It is where the best colors live: golden sand, white capped waves, and aqua all around. It’s a place adored by my children and where we have discovered sea turtles. It inspires how I live, decorate, dress, and even what music soothes me!    A beachy outlook says slow down and acknowledge that earth is indeed crammed with heaven.

 For more on Michele and her lovely blog, go here.

What am I obsessed about in the summer? Farmer’s markets! I feel so fortunate to have a lot of local markets in my area and of course the ultimate farmer’s market, Pike Place in Seattle. I love to wander from stall to stall and look at the most beautiful flowers, delicious fruit and freshest seafood around. Raspberries are a favorite and I make a batch of jam each summer to use throughout the year. Who doesn’t love fresh homemade jam?! I think I’ll make a batch this week!

For more on Marianne and her lovely blog, go here.

This summer you will find me equipped with a good paintbrush! Yes, really! What can transform a room quicker? What usually takes the least amount of money (unless you have a castle to paint) and gives you instant gratification. Paint can even help you edit a room…as you usually have to take everything out to paint and then you will be more selective about putting it back in! In this before and after of my client’s master bedroom even if we had not changed out things….the old curtains and bed would have looked so much better after painting out all the trim and walls to a pretty chalky white! So get to it! Alternate your beach days with some fun painting projects!

P.S I also go nuts for air conditioners this summer….because it is hot as Africa here!

(Look closely! Can’t even believe it is the same room!/ Monika’s comment)

For more on Sherry and her lovely blog, go here.

There you have it – some personal summer obsessions. Fun to get to know these talented  ladies and see their beautiful faces, don’t you think?

I will continue to make my way around blog land and tap into the smarts of my friends! Some of my lovely most long-term friends I have not even featured yet! So there is no ranking order, folks. It is all topic based.

Hugs to everyone!

Written by Splendid Willow in: 2 cents | Tags: ,

May
05
2011
37

2 Cents On Antiques (Via Fab Blog Friends)

Time for the next segment in my 2 cents series where I let blog friends share their heartfelt opinions on a topic I find interesting. Today’s topic is about antiques. I used to import Swedish antiques to the US before my blog adventure started, I grew up with them and I have always found pieces with some history facinating. You sometimes wish they could talk and tell you what they have seen and heard!

Today you will meet five incredibly talented ladies. They are all successful entrepreneurs and designers, they love to incorporate antiques into their interiors, they have impeccable style and really good eyes for quality and craftsmanship (and you should see their homes). They know what they are talking about and I am absolutely thrilled to have them here today sharing their…

TWO CENTS ON ANTIQUES CLOSE TO THEIR HEARTS

Personal & Educational. You will learn a lot from these talented friends. Enjoy!

My favorite antique piece is an Italian gilt wood architectural element that hangs above our master bed. Steve gave it to me for a surprise holiday gift a few years ago and it has real sentimental value to me. But that isn’t the only reason why I love this treasure. It actually is the perfect embodiment of my design aesthetic. Although this piece is beautifully carved, it doesn’t feel overly precious because of its fantastic weathered patina. Over the years the gilding has worn off in places to expose the grayed wood underneath, adding a bit of rusticity to my fragment. It is the balance between these two worlds:” the elegant” and “the everyday” that makes my heart beat a little faster.

For  more on Brooke and her great blog, visit Velvet & Linen here.

One of my favorite antiques is my Swedish “Mora Clock” which I purchased in Europe over 20 years ago. I had been searching for a very long time when I spied it in a small antiques shop. I immediately fell in love. You should choose an antique which really speaks to you -– if you find one that really resonates with you; you will keep it and love it forever. The most wonderful thing about my Mora clock is that even though I have moved so many times, it has found a home in some of the most unexpected places. The clock has stood proudly in my bedroom, my kitchen, my living room, my dining room  and my entry way. Do not be afraid to buy an antique because you may move to a different size or style of a house. A cherished antique generally can find a suitable place in any room. Just make sure to buy what you love and what speaks to you!

For more on Gina and her great blog, visit Willow Decor here.

To me a Swedish Gustavian Bench is one of the most beautiful and elegant seats you could ever have in your home! You can place it in a room that is more traditional or classic or you can place it in a room that is more of rustic style. If you ever want to change the style of your interiors completely you can still keep the timeless Gustavian bench. It is a real piece of art! The bench even lends itself to being mixed with contemporary furnishings.

Two years ago I discovered a pair of Italian walnut cabinets at a local antiques dealer. And I fell in love! Don’t ask me why, it is not easy to explain. Maybe it is the wonderful proportions or the beautiful stained and aged walnut wood.  Look at the gorgeous paneling of the doors. I would be so happy to own only one of these stunning cabinets! You don’t need much more in a room. (But first I need to raise the ceiling at my house! These cabinets are tall!).

For more on Greet and her great blog, visit Belgian Pearls here.

Anything fabulous, old, and time worn makes my heart beat faster! I believe a personal collection of well chosen furniture, antiques and one of a kind objects is what makes a home uniquely yours. My (I work as a team with my lovely sister) design philosophy centers around this pairing of old and new. I am on a constant search for interesting and unusual pieces. If I had to choose one, it would be a unique antique architectural piece that could either stand alone, be incorporated into the homes’ structure or fabricated into a piece of furniture. It just doesn’t get any better than that!

A couple of images from my own home: In this  first image…three antique marble fragments mounted in the wall above the master bath tub surrounded by mosaic tile.

Here, an old stone bowl made into a sink and reclaimed ballusters support a fabricated cast stone counter top in the powder room.

The history and character of such pieces turn the ordinary into the extraordinary!

For more on Mona + her sister and their great blog, visit Providence Ltd. Design here.

Years ago, out of a basket in the flea market of Vernaison, Paris, I saw some old print blocks that were used on Les Indiennes print fabrics in the South of France. I bought three of them and have enjoyed looking at them ever since. One was used as a border, one was used as a floral stamp and the third was used as a paisley stamp. (That one was darker than the other two). Evidently these Indiennes fabrics were sent from India in the 1600′s and the bright colors from Madder (red) and Indigo washed up just fine on the light cotton fabrics sometimes referred to as “chintz”. They became sought after and were embraced by the French and by Queen Mary in England. We know them today as Provencial prints from the South of France like Souliado. So, since the cotton fabrics became so popular, the silk and linen makers basically objected to them and the prints were banned in both France and England. In a proclamation, England “forbade the wearing of apparel in imported chintz, and also it’s use in any bed, chair, cushion, or other household furniture” (boy did that ever work!! NOT!). By this time the French had already started to make their own blocks. But many of them were ordered to be burned and most of the ones that survived were in the South of France.  

So what did I do with my blocks? Inspired by Monika, I got some fabric paint and took them for a test drive.  This picture shows the results. The three prints are in a bluish (indigo-like) color which I stamped on linen. So, what is the RED?? As I was rinsing off the color of the third and oldest block, I put it down and noticed COLOR coming out of it. I put it upside down on the fabric and guess what it was….The original MADDER RED!!!!  .

For more on Maryanne and her great blog, visit Beadboard UpCountry here.

Thank you so much ladies, it was so much fun to find out which antiques you consider close to your hearts!

The 2 cents series will continue and yes, ALL of my blog friends will be asked to contribute. No one will be forgotten. You see, there are reasons why I follow you all! (:

Happy rest of the week everyone!

Written by Splendid Willow in: 2 cents | Tags: ,

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