My Mini Chandelier

Before our big move I got the chance to spend some marvelous days in Amsterdam with my favorite girls travel group.

We always try to do some sight seeing, but at the end of the day what we always get accomplished is – shopping!

So while my dear friends tried on silly shoes

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…I had decor in mind and spotted a small deco chandelier on the wall.

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It was mine for Euro 5!

Now in Texas we started to hang art.

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And the Mini Chandelier found a new home. I think it goes well with the other piece of art by Ingrid Wild in my kitchen and just gives it a spin to the not so serious style in our home.

Someone once asked me why we painted the house white, just such a boring and bland color. Well, you know we are not boring and our art is not boring. We think that is enough color in our house!

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And on a totally different note: this was street art in Amsterdam. Fake poo and pee!

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the thing with decor trends

The decor trends. Well, we all know what they are. It is just amazing to observe the trend setting industry – it is so transparent. A trend is born, we see some eager early adapters and then we see the crowds follow and the early adapters withdraw and make snarky comments.

Beautiful styles become trendy, then get overused, then get dissed. What a shame!

Come on! Who are you to judge other peoples homes? It is way more brave to live in an individual and creative home than to rush from trend to trend and then finally burn out, design -wise I mean.

Take cowhides for example. They were considered redneck until they appeared all over the blogosphere and then later on pinterest of course. Stained, zebra-striped, gold-speckeld. Now it seems it is a staple in every home, even Ikea carries them. Overused by the million. So should I get rid of mine? Just because I am not special and unique anymore?

I say: no way! We bought ours in Argentina and we hunted thru so many stores there for the right color, then schlepped them back in our suitcases. A friend lived in South Africa and brought hers back with the move. So of course, they are staying – emotionally valuable.

So if you stil like the overused Morrocan wedding blankets,

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the Benni Ouran rugs,

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the chevron pattern,

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the  all-over-the-place Serge Mouille lamps,

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the endless beach scene prints,

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even the inflationary flea market oil portraits.

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go for it if you feel like it and keep it – guilt free. Because you like it – not because it is a trend! It is your house after all.

Stay true to your style and likes and dislikes and don’t let anyone judge your decor choices. Do you decorate your home for others? Do you buy a rug to impress? Do you pick art based on others opinions? Or do you even pick your friends based on their interior styles?

I really hope not.

So decor trends coming or going – be yourself and do what you want in your home. Be brave and be individual! This will make you happy.

I hope the future will bring more and more unique homes – away from the perfect. Try to add more personal touches, having some funky things sitting around your house. Things that make you laugh when you pass them on a daily basis.

If everyone followed their heart, trends would not have a chance. Forget about  “tastemakers” and get to the bottom of your own taste.

How do you fell about trends? How do you handle the overexposure? How do you stay individual?

aligning the lines

As  I mentioned before – my eyes need to be able to relax before my body can.

Looking at a place where too many lines are not aligned makes me restless. The least thing you want to feel in your own home. I am no architect and could never construct a house but am saying that there are some architects that can do their job better than others.

My parent’s home is a superb example of how important it is that a house has straight lines and that this concept is followed throughout the house. An electrical outlet aligned with a doorframe or shelf. A window aligned with the door across. The height of doorframes versus window frames. Position of doorknob to light switch. It is endless. Once you got used to that you are addicted.

Unfortunately many of the cookie cutter developer homes do lack this thought. I takes me a while to figure out what is off with a room but then it becomes very obvious.

This house in Texas I would rate a 6 out of a 10. Some changes are possible, others will never be solved. We do our best, we are no builders and money does not grow on trees.

One example were the ornate window frames we had in a few rooms. Easy to be solved. Done! 

Here is our living room built in wall before. A lot of crazy non-aligning going on there. Do you see? Shelves versus mantle, top of cut out versus wall on the left, doorframe in the back hallway on a totally different height, etc. ImageAt first I only wanted to get rid of the arch on top and the little overhang to the left. But the domino effect hit us hard in the living room! Oh, my dear! It was the last built in that we agreed to stay in. “People want that in their living rooms”, we were told. And we wanted to stay within our budget and willing to compromise here – to compromise a lot.

As always one thing led to the other and long story short: All is gone now!

And while at it, we took off the wooden panel over the fireplace and opened up the drywall up until the ceiling.

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Oops, shit happens! The fire place exhaust duct on the right side could not be removed so easily. So we had to close it up again but were aligning the lines! We stayed within the same height than the opening on the left side of the room.

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While at it, the fireplace mantle was made a little thinner, too.

Before:

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after:

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The fireplace is in need of some changes for sure. But no granite for me! Most likely just paint. We already went overboard with the rest of this room…

On a different note: the hardwood floors had been in and out again within 24 hours. Long and frustrating story to be told another time.

white walls for art

We love to live with art and the best canvas for art display in my eyes are white walls.

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Sure, I have been down the accent wall road and we do have some accent walls in our home right now. But I am willing to give them up, we will see. I am not a fan of trends, so I do not care if they are “in” or “out”. It is our home, we can do whatever we like!

If we feel like another accent wall, we will go for it.

If we do not feel like one, we will pass. That easy. Why would you care what others say about your home? Those wanna-be designers who want to dictate the rules in your house? Really?

But for this project we choose all white. We grew up with white walls and feel most at home with them.

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Today in the world of pinterest and with the blogs it is easy to loose track what you really want from deep inside. It is tempting to just go with the flow, since you are exposed to the mass of pictures all around you. But I like to do what our family feels most comfortable with. And of course sometimes it is hard to tell whether you like some style because you have seen it so many times that you finally feel comfortable with it or because you really loved it from the beginning.

Everyone is collecting inspiration everywhere. Everything is inspired by something. No one is really “inventing” interior design in my eyes. It is the ability to sort your inspirations and transfer them into your own style or your clients style.

That said, I might have another accent wall in the future…

And, I will always love buddhas. Not because they are trendy, but because our collection reminds us of our travels and how we transported them back. As I mentioned before, every piece of art in our home has a very unique story to tell. And sometimes it is a story about the struggles with carry-on restrictions on the plane.

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The painting is by Vladimir Prodanovich. We happened to find him on a trip to California several years ago when he used to have a studio in Laguna Beach. He now works out of Florida.