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:


Scandinavian Fashion Beauties

So what about the notion that Swedish women are so beautiful. Is it really true? I certainly think so (perhaps that is why I had to move abroad. Ha!). As a generalization, Swedish women are healthy, fit, young looking, equipped with good skin and into natural beauty (and yes you will find more blond, blue eyed and tall women in Scandinvia than in many other parts of the world). Swedes like to look fresh and to keep it natural. (Aging is beautiful, people!)

The top model Emma Wiklund personifies Swedish beauty to me. She is 42, which is hardly considered old age in Sweden, where 70 year olds look 20 years younger. (It is all those power walks, long vacations (6 weeks/year is the law!), the love connection with Mother Nature, healthy diets and lots of fish oil!). Emma is not only stunning she is also famous for her always upbeat and friendly attitude (the key for true beauty). This busy mother of two recently launched her first skincare line. I look forward to checking in out on my next trip to Stockholm. I find this girl so inspirational!

When it comes to fashion, Sweden acoounts for a whole slew of fashion designers who do very well on the international scene. (For a country of only 9 million + people, Sweden keeps winning a surprising number of prestigious international awards for both fashion and gastronomy). The fashion style is more young looking and relaxed. Simple, uncomplicated cuts and good materials. Understated chic. And a lot of natural colors. (No surprise there!). Here are a few of the leading Swedish fashion brands.

Odd Molly

Filippa K.


(I want that Japanese cut sweater. In light blue).


Acne (famous for its very trendy denim).

Recently, I had fun putting together a couple of fashion boards for the Danish brand Ilse Jacobsen which I sell in my own store (Splendid Willow Avenue). I have to pinch myself every day that I get to work and have fun with such a great brand! (And I am also a lucky owner of that Odd Molly dress).

Stylish In The Rain

Stylish In The Rain by SplendidWillow featuring knit shawls

MURUA High Waist Army Shorts
$67 – maruione.jp
Army shorts »

Love Quotes Eyelash Scarf in Caviar
$86 – shopzoeonline.com
Knit shawls »

Animal Print Border Birdcage
20 GBP – houseoffraser.co.uk
Umbrellas »

Ilse Jacobsen
$179 – splendidwillow.com


I am very proud to be a  Scandinavian!  (Even though I am a petite gal with dark hair and green eyes and hardly any legs to write home about…). Warm hugs to you all.


Message for Pernilla: Pernilla Dear — you are the inspiration for this post. Thank you so much for the Swedish magazines. What  a nice surprise. I miss you TONS! And little Ville misses his girlfriend. Enjoy the snow in Stockholm!

Images: No. 1 + 3 via Damernas Varld. no. 2 via Ecco, no. 4 via Gorseller, no. 5 via Le Web Pedagogique.

Written by Splendid Willow in: Fashion & Trends | Tags: , ,


A Few New Ilse Jacobsen Items In My Store

Hello to week no. 2 in 2011!

I hope you all had a relaxing weekend. I went on a fun camping adventure with my oldest daughter and her Girlscout friends. It was heavenly to be out in the woods with no computer, cell phone and no TV. A power outage was just what the doctor ordered!

This weekend I also added a few more items to my store (here) from the high-end brand Ilse Jacobsen. I am so proud to be representing this hot Scandinavian brand.

NEW! Brown and Yellow Lace-Up Boots (tall).

I have fast access to more/different colors and models too. Just ask!

NEW! I now also carry the rain jackets (short model) from Ilse Jacobsen’s popular rain gear (lined with cotton fleece, 100% water proof + many designer details).

NEW! As of next week I will also be carrying the purple jackets and coats. Let me know if you would like me to put one aside for you.

Both the coats and the jackets are fitted and very flattering.

Click here to visit my store, Splendid Willow Avenue.

Finally, a BIG thank you is also in order to these wonderful & talented blog friends.

Marianne with Style For Living. Thank you dear for the nice shout-out to my store! (Read here).

Marianne  just presented me with a “Stylish blog” award (here). Thank you so much my friend! I hope you don’t mind if I refer to these previous written lists about myself. (Here and here).

We just realized that Marianne used to live in my town and now only lives 15 minutes away from me. We are having coffee this week. I am so thrilled to have a blog friend close by. I can’t wait to meet her!

Two more BIG Thank You’s to these wonderful ladies:

Thank You to my good friend MacKenzie with Design Darling. I adore her and her blog!

And Thank You to my good friend Sue with The Zhush. Another girl I absolutley adore! (And don’t forget to pay attention to HER fabulous store – The Zhush store, filled with tons of heautiful things for you and your home.

Both MacKenzie and Sue have pushed me hard to come up with my first store ad, which is now being featured on both of their blogs. Both blogs recently started to accept outside advertisers. You will get a lot of ad attention and good traffic advertising with them.

A warm hug to all of my readers. Thank you all for your tremendous support and friendship.

Image no. 1 via Ngawangchodron, image no. 3,4 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12 via Ilse Jacobsen, image no. 2, 5, 10 and 13 (Ad for boots) via Splendid Willow.

Written by Splendid Willow in: Store News | Tags:


I Need Cognac


Cognac has been on my mind a lot lately. Pantone just announced “Honeysuckle” as the color of 2011. I personally would have voted for cognac. I find it so handsome together with white and black. Just a touch of cognac here and there.

I could also use some real cognac (yes the one you carefully sip!) after my whirlwind week! I launched my store Splendid Willow Avenue last Thursday and I have been so busy that I literally had to hold on to my hat. I am so proud to be representing such a design icon brand as Ilse Jacobsen. I love the products and I have a close and fun relationship with the local Ilse Jacobsen team. This is so me! And I am so glad I went for it!

Some serious Thank You’s are in order.I had no real launch strategy in place for my store. (Everything happened very quickly). I did not do any pre-briefings or blog alerts. I just decided to launch it without bells and whistles. I trust myself and the brand and I trust my readers. Something good would come out of this.

Several of my wonderful close blog friends did not agree with my low-key launch. They started to tweet, e-mail and post about my store right away and I have been swamped with e-mails and phone calls! 

I am surrounded by some really wonderful, smart, generous, loyal and interesting people in blog land (women and men!). l love my group of blog friends and many have become friends outside of cyberland. 

It was very heartwarming and not expected at all that so many of you, during this this busy season, decided to give my store a shout-out. Thank You. You are amazing!

In no particular order.

Thank you Willow Decor! Read here.

Thank you Haute Design! Read here.

Thank you Bijou and Boheme! Read here.

Thank you Belle Vivir! Read here.

Thank you Space For Inspiration! Read here.

Thank you Mochatini! Read here.

Thank you Belgian Pearls! Read here.

Thank you Providence Design! Read here.

Thank you Komma Hem! Read here.

Thank you Designer’s Block. Read here.

Thank you Delishh for being my No. 1 store mentor!

Thank you One Sydney Road! Read here.

Thank you to my brilliant and close friend Manvi with Mochatini for including me in her Holiday Inspiration Issue. She mentioned that she was working on a little “Holiday Inspiration Post”. That little post turned out to be a beautiful and inspiring Holiday MAGAZINE (yes an entire magazine whipped up in a couple of days!) featuring Manvi’s own lovely holiday table top decor and tips for entertaining. VERY inspirational. You will find ideas for your own home. Make sure to visit here

And Thank You to the friendly and generous Julie with with the unique and inspirational blog Inspired, Live Simply. I won her blog giveaway! A vase from one of my favorite stores — Anthropologie! Thank you, Julie. I love it!

And lastly a big thank you to my wonderful friend Lana with Lanalou Style. She included me (and Charlotta!) in her Wish list for the Holidays. Yet another creative and wonderful blog to pay attention to.

A lot of appreciation in this post: For cognac, Ilse Jacobsen, fantastic friends and loyal readers. Love to you all.

Today is the last day to order from Splendid Willow Avenue if you want your Ilse Jacobsen items before Christmas and with FREE shipping.

My giveaway ends tonight (Thursday night Dec. 16th). Go here to enter.

Images: No. 1 via Enterase, no. 3 via Design Elements, no. 4 via the Design Traveller, no. 5 via Skona Hem.

Written by Splendid Willow in: Store News,Thank you! | Tags:


Launch of My New Store (Giveaway) & Buy Ilse Jacobsen Here!

Some of you might remember when I purchased some beautiful rubber boots in Sweden this past summer and how I was going all nuts for them. Well, little did I know back then that I, some 5 months later, would be representing this fabulous Scandinavian brand via my own store!

I am proud to tell you that as of today will be offering the best and most stylish rain gear that I have come across. In Scandinavia they have become design icons. I am talking about Ilse Jacobsen of course.

I will sell the coats and rubber boots to start with. Two products that represent everything I like — quality, functionality with a classic and edgy style, and a Scandinavian design twist. I used to import Swedish antiques a few years ago and I am always drawn to unique pieces and design.

So, welcome to my new store — Splendid Willow Avenue!

Visit the store here.

(You will also find my new clickable store button over on the right hand column).

To celebrate the launch I am offering a giveaway.

How about a really great design book? — Danish Modern by Andrew Hollingworth. (I want it myself!). The book highlights the birth and growth of Danish Modern furniture designs (and all the design icons such as Hans Wegner, Borge Mogensen, Frits Henningsen and others) and illustrates stunning and inspirational photos.

I am also encluding a Holdiday CD by Pink Martini, Joy To The World.  (Now this is a surprise. Who would have thought the Portland, Oregon, pop exotica troupe Pink Martini would come up with one of the most diversely designed holiday albums in years?).  The total value for both is $60.

This will be shipped off to one winner on Dec 17th. (I will make sure you get it before Dec. 25th if you live in the US).

To be eligible for the giveaway:

1) Leave a comment about which product in my store you like the most.

2)  “Like” Splendid Willow’s Facebook page (started it today). Click on the Splendid Willow Facebook button here. (Or find it in the right hand column).  

(If you don’t have a Facebook account – spread the word to a couple of your friends who might be interested).

For additional entries (enter them yourselves):

Tweet about the store (Splendid Willow Avenue) = 1 additional entry

Spread the word on Facebook = 1 additional entry

Mention it on your blog = 2 additional entries.

The giveaway is open to all readers. Wherever in the world you may reside.

The giveaway ends on December 16th, midnight, US west coast time.

There you have it. I now have little boutique, Splendid Willow Avenue. I could not be more excited!

To all my friends who have been supporting and helping me during my exercise of putting it all together. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I could not have done this without you. And to all bloggers who thought I had abandoned them. Thank you for your patience. I just needed some time to put all of this together. Love to you all.


Images: no. 1 (store button) via Splendid Willow, no. 2-4 via Ilse Jacobsen, 5-8 via Splendid Willow.
Splendid Willow’s  and Splendid Willow Avenue’s images may not be used without permission.

Written by Splendid Willow in: Giveaways,Store News | Tags: , , , ,

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