Friday, 20 June 2014

Midsummer decorating: simple and sassy

Summer solstice, the longest day of the year is around the corner, marking the official kick off of summer. Finally!

There's no time to spare, let's plunge into the season, letting simplicity and a no-fuss approach be our guidelines.

That's exactly what my fellow Swedes are doing right now. Midsummer garners big celebrations there, and Swedes, who are known for their simple aesthetics, don't tend to complicate things as they embrace the season. "Easy and practical" is the mantra of the day. Sounds good to me!

Here a five things that we can copy from this approach this summer:

Photo: Livet Hemma.
1) Bring the outside in
Flowers, flowers everywhere we look. Fill a tall glass vase with some greenery - even one single fern stem can transform a whole room. My best pick right now: lupins in a range of blues, purple and pink.

2) Ditch the curtains
I recently removed the curtains in my dining room, which made it feel like new. I love the clean look, and the fact that it allows more light to come in and more of the lush greenery outside to be visible.

Ditch the curtains for a summery look. Photo: Bemz.

Photo: Livet hemma.
3) Create outdoor destinations
Make sure you enjoy the outdoors. Introduce at least two seating arrangements in your yard or patio, which you can use at different times of the day, depending on the location of the sun.
4) White base - colourful accents
A vibrant summer palette looks modern, clean and happy combined with lots of white - the ultimate summer colour.
5) Less is more
Our summer rooms are best kept clutter-free and easy to clean, to allow for a care-free life style. Keep only what is truly functional, beautiful and what you really love. Happy summer!
Photo: Bemz.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Vintage pieces I wish I'd bought

Something old, something new... Nice interiors are often filled with both. And while new furniture is great for updating a tired room, few things beat vintage pieces when it comes to injecting personality and charm.

Summer is prime season for vintage hunting. Garage sales, outdoor antique shows and flea markets abound, and we're in the mood for fun and adventure, which is exactly what these places offer.

Butterfly chair.

Interestingly, when it comes to vintage, I only regret the things I didn't buy. And I regret them a lot! Years after the fact I still cringe when thinking about pieces I left behind. Like the ten dollar iconic leather "Butterfly chair", or the 30 dollar mid-century dresser, both from one of our local thrift stores. Or the beautifully ornate screen from an antique store in Cambridge. Why I didn't buy them? Because I didn't really need them at the time, because our storage room was full, and because they required some TLC. Three good reasons, I thought. What a mistake!

Lesson learned: this summer I'll just follow my instinct. When the price is right and the piece is irresistibly unique, iconic or charming, I'll just buy it. I'll find a space for it and I'll fix it up (eventually). 

Most importantly, I'll certainly have fun looking for it, and I hope you will too. Happy vintage hunting!

My latest obsession: vintage plates.
Definitely a low commitment, you
can get a whole set for less than
$10. If I ever get tired of them,
I'll simply pass them on. In the
meantime, I'll have fun varying
plates according to meals and mood. 


Sunday, 1 June 2014

Vested Interest: The exotic side of Callander

Vested Interest is back in Callander, and continues to take us on exotic and flavourful trips around the world. 

Filled with peaks and rafters and a beautiful wooden staircase, the bright red building that houses the new store is almost worth a visit in itself.

Although Vested Interest has something for all seasons, it's in the summer that the store excels, with its colourful accessories that will bring joy to your home. 

Here are some of my favourites from my first visit to the Callander location last week:

Fish swimming in formation, adding a touch of fun
to any summer display.
More fish. I love this trio of hot pads/trays.

I was thrilled to find this stylish and sturdy design classic
among the kitchen accessories! The Margarethe mixing
bowl by Swedish designer Sigvard Bernadotte, makes 
whisking, beating, or stirring delightful. Great for a hostess
All-weather cushion in happy colours.
Paddles with patina
will bring interest to a
lonely corner.
Great for lounging on the deck, headrest included.
Interesting cups and decorations in a thin layer of tin.