I’m continuing with my Christmas decorations inspired by Audrey Hepburn. Today I like to give you a sneak peek at my ornaments and baubles to create the Audrey style. Again, I used my moodboard to extend the concept I had in mind. As with my Audrey Hepburn wreath, I use bows, bling and pearls, and lots of feminine touches. Are you anxious to see my tree?
I just love the Advent Sundays. They are perfect to stay inside while it’s cold and dark outside. They are perfect to enjoy your Christmas decorations and add more seasonal touches to your home, or to read a book or magazine and drink hot chocolate. Advent Sundays are perfect to bake cookies, or cook a stew, to make chocolate spoons for your holiday guests, to watch a classic Audrey Hepburn movie, or gift wrap Christmas presents. I love Advent Sundays! Have a good second Advent Sunday, and enjoy the little things.
I’m burning lots of candles these days, and with Christmas and advent even more. That means I also use a lot of matches. In several stores I saw beautiful boxes for Christmas, but often quite costly. That gave me the idea to spruce up an ordinary cheap match box. It looks much more attractive on your coffee table or kitchen counter and that way you don’t have to tuck them away but can leave them within reach and within sight. Just pick your most beautiful gift wrapping paper, and cut and paste it on your match box. It can’t get any simpler.
Gift wrapping is so much fun. I love to wrap my presents myself instead of leaving it to the store’s wrapping counter to do it for you. I feel it makes your gift extra special and shows consideration. Last year I had everything wrapped in a red and white theme. This year I’m going for black and white. To get inspired I always go to Pinterest. I created a special board with over 165 pins of inspiring gift wrapping ideas. (visit my inspiration board here). To give you a feel of it, here are few examples that caught my eye.
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My Christmas tree is up in full galore, and my whole house has been transformed in a lovely winter wonderland. I know some of you are curious about my tree and decorations, but I want to add the finishing touches before I share it on my blog. I can show you my Christmas wreath I made myself. Remember my Audrey Hepburn moodboard? Again, I used it as a reference point to create my wreath. I used two ribbons and pearl beads. Pearls, soft pink, black and white, champagne, and bows are so Audrey, don’t you think? Not groundbreaking, but just timeless classic elegance.
- Deck the Halls Audrey Hepburn style: Moodboarding
- An Audrey Hepburn inspired Christmas tablesetting
- Drinks and Dessert with an Audrey Hepburn theme
I am thrilled to share this news with you: I contributed to the latest ‘Winter White issue’ of the American magazine Gatherings Magazine! When the chief editor and founder Heather Spriggs Thompson approached me, asking me if I wanted to collaborate on this issue, I instantly said yes. I had been reading the magazine online, for a while and loved the concept and inspiring features. So I’m very happy to be part of the creative contributors team in putting this stunning Scandinavian winter edition together. There is a digital and paper version available. In my article, I share my personal tips for creating the perfect setting to entertain your guests (pages 59-63). But of course there is more… [continue reading after photos]
Tracey Castro shares her creative gift wrapping ideas, Maaike van Koert shows us how to make DIY Scandinavian Christmas ornaments, and Clarice Fox-Hughes teaches us the recipes of Nordic cuisine. There are also loads of ideas to deck the halls with simplicity and Scandi charm, be it with handmade ornaments or the use of black and white floral arrangements.
So get your own issue now, be it the digital or print one, and start to enjoy the cold yet cozy winter nights again and again. Please let me know what you thought of my article, and tabletop styling. I’m curious about your thoughts.
Le Pari(s) Merveilleux, meaning wonderful Paris as well as wonderful effort, is the name of the latest Unicef project in collaboration with designers like Jean Paul Gaultier, Prada, Miu Miu, Gucci, Louis Vuitton en Chanel. The top fashion designers were to design dolls inspired by Paris. Today, December 2nd, the design dolls are auctioned in the Four Season Hotel George V in Paris. All proceeds will go towards providing vaccinations for children in the Darfur region of Sudan. Wouldn’t you love to get your hands on one of these bespoke dolls? (1. Chanel by Karl Lagerfeld, 2. Chantal Thomass, 3. Dior, 4. Dolce & Gabbana)
Happy first Advent everyone! This year, I kept my advent candle arrangement simple but beautiful nevertheless. The ombre candle was a gift by the designer Ulrike Jurklies and therefore extra special. There is no better candle to represent Christmas that is all about love and giving. The countdown has begun…
The ombre candle is available in different colours in Ulrikes online shop, Momantai Design, together with other exquisite and unique Christmas designs. The clay labels are easily made with your kids’ clay. See my tutorial here.
After creating a moodboard and yesterday’s Audrey Hepburn dinner tablesetting, it’s time to carry the concept through in your desserts and drinks table. Finish your sophisticated night of Christmas wining and dining with an Audrey desserts table. Cupcakes, macarons, icecream, and champagne, and cocktails are perfect to create the style. Put some diamond ribbon around your ice cream bowls to make it bling. Paint wooden spoons Tiffany blue and give it a sparkle with adhesive faux gems.
- pompoms, honeycombs, paper straws, paper cups - Lang zal ze leven
- dotted fabric Hildis – Ikea €2,99/m
- black square plate fargrik – Ikea €10,43
- whiskey glasses Frasera – ikea € 2,49
- water decanter Hamta – ikea €6,99
- blue serving tray Omväxlande - ikea €7,99
- candle holdrs Skimmer – ikea €7,99
- dotted champagne glasses julfini – ikea €5,99
- champagne cooler Godkand – ikea €9,95
- diamond shaped light – Hema
- diamond ribbon – Xenos
- blue cupcakes and pink macarons – cupcake chic
- napkins – flying tiger
- dotted balloon – A day with Kate
Yesterday I showed you my Audrey Hepburn moodboard to create a Christmas decor. Coming days I will show you how I translated that into my decor. I’m kicking off with my dinner table setting. Tomorrow I’ll show you the dessert table.
striped plates Tickar – Ikea €5,99 | blue and white plate 365+ -Ikea €2,49 | black bowl Dinera – Ikea €1,49 | water tumbler Bedårande – Ikea €1,49 | red wine glass Bedrånde – Ikea €1,99 | turquoise vases Olik – Ikea €1,49 | white lanterns Skurar – Ikea €4,99 | black fabric Ditte – Ikea €2,99/m
Another great store in The Hague is @Heart Home and Gifts in the Babylon shopping mall. This lifestyle shop carries brands like Laura Ashley, and Pols Potten. Beautiful ethnic accessories and quirky modern designs are mixed and matched in this colourful concept store. No more words neede, just see for yourself:
Warm mittens, rustic boots, exquisite jewelry and hip furniture. This and much more is part of the assortment of the new conceptstore Northbound in shopping mall Babylon in The Hague. Northbound is a fashion and lifestyle store specialized in Scandinavian design. Quality brands and one-off pieces make a shopping spree at this store rewarding and interesting. I loved the distinctive jewelry of Pernille Corydon, that is inspired by Scandinavian simplicity and geometric shapes. Or the addinterior Angel stool: A sculptural stool with a shape that evokes an angel shaped shadow. The Fabulous Goose blankets are fun and comfy. Other brands you’ll find here are Void, Roros, Triwa, and Korbo. Under the watchful eye of a senior viking lady you can shop your heart out.
Fresh homemade tomato or pumpkin soup, a crispy grilled cheese sandwich, warm panini, freshly squeezed orange juice, or a cup of cappuccino just the way you like it. A new favourite lunch spot is the Eat Company in the Hague. The interior underlines the concept: pure and simple, with wooden stools, wire baskets and an oversized tree mural. They even serve my favourite tea: Clipper tea. It’s the perfect spot for a break or just to meet up with friends. There are two locations: at the Groenmarkt and at the Herengracht. Thumbs up for both!
Your balcony is easily transformed into an inviting winter sanctuary to enjoy the crisp air, your view and a cup of hot milk with cinnamon. Because life outside doesn’t have to come to a complete halt even in the dead of winter. Add seasonal plants like heather, or bushes that produce berries in winter to add a pop of colour. Hang a few bird feeders to attract wildlife. And don’t forget to include evergreen needles to catch snow and leave your outside space like a winter wonderland. To enjoy this extension of your home, put in rustic accessories on a plate, plenty of candles and lanterns, and lots of fur throws and plaids to keep warm.
Fur plaid -IKEA Ludde sheepskin €34,95
fur blanket white – Riviera Maison (last year’s collection)
basket – Kwantum
A current trend that is on the rise is using dark colours in interiors and thus also in Christmas styling. I see a lot of grey hues like charcoal and granite, or dark hues of blue, like dark petrol in Christmas tablesettings. The traditional white or red and white styling is making way for moody colours paired with dark green and burgundy or deep red. It gives your styling a classic, sophisticated look. I kind of like it, because it diverts the focus to the food and makes your candles twinkle even more. What do you think of this trend? Yay or nay?
White, pink and grey are a trending colour palette in home interior this season. Last week I went to the Intratuin, our local home and garden centre. I noticed a lot of pink there as well so decided to create a moodboard for the Christmas tablesetting as inspiration. What do you think of this style?
Pink plate Arv – Ikea € 5,99
small white plate Arv – Ikea € 2,99
wine glass – Blokker €1,50
pink water glass Krokett – Ikea € 0,99
pearl white bowl – Zara Home (last year’s collection)
Visit 30s Magazine special Christmas inspiration section for more ideas.
Each year Helmi opens her pop-up store in the Breestraat in Leiden’s city center. Although it is a small shop, it is the best place to spot Christmas trends and get the most unique and exclusive baubles. Florist and shop owner Helmi is always ahead of the curve and isn’t afraid to select different styles in contrast to all the other shops. She also makes the most beautiful flower arrangements and wreaths. If you’re in the area, do stop by this lovely pop-up Christmas shop Floreest at Breestraat 137 in Leiden.
Here are the trends of 2013 that caught my eye:
Music and the Swan Lake
Cute ballerinas, pianos, and musical merry-go-round boxes make a Christmas tree a dream for small girls and young at heart women. The style pairs well with pearly white and pink baubles.
Imagine yourself in a beautiful sea world where you discover beautiful shells, colourful fish, magical seahorses and intriguing jelly fish.
Cats and dogs
Are you a pet lover? Make a statement with a pet loving Christmas tree, the fashionable way.
Beautiful handmade Matryoshka dolls and folklore fashion. These baubles are real pieces of art.
Cupcakes, popsicles, ice cream cones, donuts and macarons.
Toys for boys
Marie Antoinette and gold splendour
Are you a traveller? You are in luck cause like last year, the big city landmarks are still trendy. Reason enough to extend your collection.
Other trends this year are: peacock, nordic nature with lots of white, ice and snow, and Santa’s village with the traditional red and white accents.
I’m already counting down to Christmas, but officially you shouldn’t start until the first of December. That leaves us ten more days to make an advent calendar. Here is a round up of ideas to craft one that stands out.
1. Carnet Parisiens fill up a pine wooden tree with small origami pyramids. Just go to her blog for the tutorial.
2. This small bags bunting from Ahoimeise is perfect to stuff with pretty gifts.
3. You can buy these small craft houses at Mokkasin and decorate them anyway you like. So cute!
4. Fold small boxes and top them with tiny pine trees. Find the tutorial and free printables here. Thank you Oh Happy Day blog!
5. Get the free printables and collect your toiletpaper cartons and you are off for some good old fun creating these fellows.
You might also like last year’s round up of Advent calendars. Have a look here.
Or check out this playful take on the Advent wreath.
The holidays are coming, the holidays are coming….I’m so excited, because December is one of my favourite months in the year. Despite the weather this is the only cold month I do like. I love to go shopping an indulge in the festive lit and decorated shop windows, pretty gift wrapping services, and glamourous clothing collections. But what I also like is to scout for exclusive finds online at Dawanda. Dawanda is a portal or market place for unique, handmade and customisable products by independent sellers. Artists, designers, and craft makers or sellers who are part of a small family run business introduce you to their handmade, one-off pieces. You’ll find anything from furniture, jewelery, digital art, clothes, music, art, toys, as long as it’s not mass produced.
Would you like to see my holiday gift guide with all my favourite finds from various small shop owners? Have a look here.
Do you know Quintessential Magazine? I only discovered this (FREE!) e-magazine a few days ago and I instantly fell in love with the concept, the photography and the subjects. After browsing the latest holiday edition I couldn’t stop and also read their previous issues. The latest issue is an inspirational resource for the festive season with beautiful vintage finds that give character to a Christmas home. In the ‘A Christmas Past’ story, styled by Glen Proebstel, and photographed by Sharyn Cairns, they “embrace the beauty and character of vintage treasures that evoke memories of a time gone by in a discerning and creative way”. I also love the gift wrapping feature by Stephanie Somebody. Their edition from last year is just as inspiring with the deep colour blue as a backdrop. No more words needed, just take in the photos and dream away…
All photos are ©copyright Quintessential Magazine
My favourite part of the holidays or dinner parties is setting the table. I like it so much that I made a small business out of it, and style tables for people in my network. Everyone has its own signature or distinctive way of doing things. Therefore I was thrilled to learn that California based top stylist Justina Blakeney is giving an online tabletop styling class on Skillshare, just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas. In this class you will learn how to create tablescapes with a wow-factor or how to style a place setting that makes a statement and has a memorable impact.
Justina shares her key tips and tricks and 5 principles of Table-top styling. The class will also include floral design tips from floral designer Kelly Cuadra of Brown Paper Design and tablescape photography tips by Jennifer Chong.
The e-course Style memorable tablescapes for every season starts on November 21st. Do you also want to shine as a host coming Thanksgiving and Christmas? If you enroll via my blog you will get a $10 DISCOUNT. So instead of $19, you’ll pay ONLY $9 with life time access to the online classroom. If you can’t make it on the 21st, you can still enroll and take it at a later time in your own pace. Hope to see you in the online class room! Enroll here
Only twelve more days till Thanksgiving. Have you decided on your tablesetting yet? Last year I posted a few inspirational tablescapes: modern crafty, shabby chic white with green, and a sophisticated and chic table. This year I would like to inspire you with a white and golden styling with pink and purple natural accents. As you might know by now I have a distinctive style and signature to recognize my tables: I always incorporate natural elements, I try to avoid traditional symmetric styles with an abundant centerpiece, and I always add a DIY project to my tablescapes. By playing by these “rules” your table becomes less formal and more personal.
Spray paint pressed autumn leafs and baby pumpkins gold, and pine cones white. When dry you scatter them across the middle of the table as being a table runner. Also spray paint small clay pots gold and fill them with white pumpkin pods and a candle. For the place card I used white gift labels, silk leafs (available at garden centers) and gold ribbon.
For more Thanksgiving inspiration and tablescapes visit the special Thanksgiving section.
For the best and latest in interior design shopping in Leiden you go to De Klare Lijn. They have all the renowned brands like Moroso, Ahrend, Hay and Moooi, perfectly styled in their shop. The owner, a former math teacher, selects the items on quality and timeless appeal. From large furniture pieces to small accesories, the designs are all distinctive and interesting. The shop excels in its quirkiness and beautiful arrangements. It’s an ideal place for extensive rummaging, both for true connoisseurs as the ones who happen to pass by. The multitude of different styles and art movements continues to amaze you: everything from Art Deco and Biedermeier to contemporary design.
Art by Joyce de Gruiter
This week is Leiden week on the blog. I’m sharing all my favourite addresses in this renowned university town with its quaint streets, bridges and canals. A local favourite and hot spot for youngsters, hipsters, and urban professionals alike, is the always bustling Italian Bar Bistro City Hall. It is situated in the heart of the historic center and, as the name suggests, an extension of the monumental city hall. The architecture, location and interior design make this restaurant interesting and unique.
Olive green tiled pillars, industrial pendant lamps and bar stools, an open kitchen with copper lamps, and ceilings covered with doodles and inspirational quotes on chalk board, make the atmosphere: a rustic and warm interior with a contemporary look and feel. The food is delicious. Indulge in a variety of bruschettas, pastas, fish or meat, and pizzas. There is also an outdoor terrace with lounging area to have a wine and watch the shopping public pass by.
For more hot spots, shopping and eating tips in Leiden, go to my special Leiden city guide
A shopping spree in Leiden isn’t complete without a good brunch or lunch. Grand cafe van Buuren is located in an eighty year old building. The original high ceiling and oversized windows are the only reminders of the once renowned cafe Rutecks, the first grand cafe in the Netherlands. In 2012 they renovated the space to its current design: in the back part of the space a Brooklyn restaurant inspired interior with industrial pendant lamps, bare brick walls, and chalk boards with doodles as art. Leather booths provide a nook for more privacy. In the front of the grand cafe another style, namely classic aristocratic with rustic elements. Here you’ll see black vintage chairs, big candle holders, a dramatic fireplace, a deer head above it, and antique paintings on both sides.
The kitchen serves sandwiches, soups, pasta and salads. A great place to rest your feet, have a cup of coffee, or meet with friends for a drink.
Day two of my Leiden city guide. Today the most fun and adorable lifestyle shop of Leiden: Pluum. The owner of Pluum is Nathalie whose signature is very palpable in her shop. She loves pink, white and grey, and she ha a soft spot for hearts. She has been collecting hearts for over 20 years. Her shop evolved out of home party sales that were so successful that she decided to open her own shop Pluum, first in Bussum and then a second store in Leiden.
If you’re looking for a gift, or throwing a party Pluum is your address. From tea towel, masking tape, and honey combs to beautiful home accessories, candles, and glass ware. You’ll find mostly Scandanavian brands but also table ware from Sabre, or Dutch design. In addition there are also exclusive delicacies for the kitchen and table to add to your gift basket.
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With the holidays on our threshold, we all make shopping a national sport again. So therefore, coming weeks I would like to promote the city Leiden for shopping. Leiden is where I did my freshman year of college, and it’s the city where I live. Well, actually, I live in a village that borders to Leiden, but doesn’t have all the city’s convenience. So everyone from my village goes to the city center of Leiden for shopping and leisurely activities. Each day I will post another must visit shop, or restaurant. Today I’m kicking off with Pot & Pan. Pot & Pan is a small store that sells kitchen and cooking ware. It is however not the ordinary kitchenware shop because everything is sustainable, recycled or eco-friendly and mostly produced in Europe. The non-European products are fair-trade like aprons from India or glassware from Syria.
In a special corner you’ll find recycled and vintage kitchen ware. The interior of the shop is also a mix and match of old and new furniture.
Beside pots, pans, textiles, ceramics and wooden cooking utensils, they also carry a wide range of organic delicacies like honey, syrups, and herbs. While you peruse the many wannahaves, the shop owner is busy in the open kitchen, cooking fresh food on her little stove. And every weekend you can also get limited bouquets of fresh handpicked field flowers.
You’ll find the following brands at Pot & Pan:
• Skeppshult (Swedish cast iron);
• MasonCash (English eathenware);
• Inoxibar (Spanish pans);
• Bialetti (Italian espresso pots);
• Revol (French porcelain pots);
• Solinger (German knives);
• De Buyer (French pans).
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Visual Contrast, the art of display and arrangement by Tim Rundle with photography by Polly Wreford, is probably the most beautiful book I got this year. It has been on my pile of “things to read” for three months now, and I regret that I didn’t get to it sooner. The book is an indispensable resource to anyone who would like to learn more about what works well in decorating and why some arrangements of objects look more interesting than others. Stylist Tim Rundle shares his secret: visual contrast.
Tim Rundle, stylist, traveller, collecter and curator shows us in his own distinctive style how to arrange your treasures, art and objects to bring out the best of them in your interior. There is no need to buy new things if you know how to stage them and how to pair them with other accessories. Tim Rundle is a master in mixing and matching different styles using juxtaposition and contrast. He gives us tips and tricks, explains the process, discusses the main points of contrast, and how to use them effectively.
The book is also unique for its many fold out pages, and smaller booklet like add-ins to carry through the visual contrast in the book production as well. How creative is that? I also love the moodboards it features to illustrates the process from collecting your objects, to selecting and styling. The book has four chapters with several subchapters. Chapter one focuses on shape, scale, dimension and form. The second chapter breaks down how to work with colour. How do you style light vs dark, or a cool colour temperature vs a hot one? The third chapter lays down placement options. Rundle gives practical tips about orientation, order and quantity. How do you create interest? And when do you opt for a single object, and when for multiple? The last chapter is all about personality. Mixing serious and playful accessories, or ethnic and European styles gives a space character.
Visual Contrast, The Art of Display and Arrangement, Tim Rundle with photography by Polly Wreford, 2013, Ryland Peters & Small, ISBN 978-1-84975-360-9