1 Shelf 3 Ways.

July 1, 2015

How to Edit a Shelf-74I have that one shelf in my living room that I never know how to arrange. We ditched most of our books back home in the U.S., so we don’t have enough to fill up a whole shelf at this point. Over the past few months living in Europe, I’ve collected a small treasure trove of keepsakes that I want to display, but admittedly, arranging or merchandising a display has never been a huge talent of mine. So I decided to try the shelf 3 ways to see which fit the best in this small corner of my home. On each shelf, I kept one thing in place and switched out the rest to accessorize. The top shelf has a black and white framed design, the middle shelf has two boxes that store photos and cards, and the bottom shelf has a stack of books.

1.) The Green Shelf

How to Edit a Shelf-42I like this simple take using lots of green plants. It doesn’t say a lot but that’s why I like it. And it’s nice to have bright green colors as a focal point in the room.

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I love buying these big, green, tropical leaves in leui of flowers.

2.) The Sentimental Shelf

How to Edit a Shelf-15This shelf is a little more cluttered but is full of things special to me. Photographs of my family, a couple of Colin’s toys, some baskets from a friend, a small collection of rocks/sea shells I keep from each of our family trips. How to Edit a Shelf-61 How to Edit a Shelf-59

3.) The Tchotchke Shelf:

How to Edit a Shelf-11This arrangement was fun to make because I was moving the items around like chess pieces. This arrangement seemed to work the best.How to Edit a Shelf-75 How to Edit a Shelf-74 How to Edit a Shelf How to Edit a Shelf-60Which way do you like the best?

Visiting Stavanger, Norway: Scandinavian Design

June 17, 2015

Scandinavian Accessories

I’m sitting at our hotel in Stavanger, Norway, a place so far off my radar until now it might as well have been on Mars. My husband had a three week long work trip here, and in lieu of sitting home alone in Paris on my birthday, we decided to take the two hour plane ride to visit for 10 days. Upon landing in Stavanger, I was immediately captivated by the landscape – you could see the low sitting mountains and hills and beautiful farmhouses from the plane, not too mention the navy blue sea on either side of the city. I was nervous because I don’t understand even a small inkling of the Norwegian language, but luckily, everyone (and I mean everyone) speaks English here. It’s impressive and almost erie how Norwegians go from perfect native language to perfect English in one sentence.
It’s no surprise, what with Stavanger being the oil capital of Norway – they are used to visitors.
Also not surprising is how cold it is here. We are right on the water, which I need to point out, is the most beautiful blue color of any ocean water I have ever stood next to. The fish that come from that water are also equally as beautiful and delicious.
However my favorite part about being here in Norway is getting to creep on all of the gorgeous Scandinavian design. It’s everywhere. Every store front is taunting. My favorite spot to drool over Scandinavian design so far here in Stavanger has been ting, a two story boutique with tons of choices for kitchen wares, home accessories, furniture, beauty products and gifts.
I have always loved furniture coming from this part of the world, but this trip introduced me to the side of Scandinavian design that is more attainable for me – accessories. I discovered three new Scandinavian brands here that I love, and wanted to share- some of my favorite picks from the three are below, left to right:

1/ Muuto “Restore” Small Item Storage
2/ Menu Stone Storage Jars
3/ Muuto Visu Woodbase Chair in Pink
4/ Menu Tribeca Reade Table Lamp
5/ Menu Wire Base
6/ Normann Copenhagen Tablo Table
7/ Menu Chamber Light Candle Holder
8/ Muuto “The Dots” Wall Hanging System
9/ Menu Steel Wall Clock in Green
10/ Normann Copenhagen Block Table (tea cart)

Our Airbnb in Cormolain, France: An old Norman Farmhouse.

May 4, 2015

Colin's First Birthday-62Last weekend we took a train from Paris to Bayuex, France, a small town just south of the Normandy coastline. Bayeux has the oldest tapestry known to date, as well as a beautiful cathedral that was built in the same era as Notre Dame. I found an amazing old farmhouse to stay in on Airbnb, a.k.a. my favorite way to travel. The farmhouse we rented was in Cormolain, about a 25 minute drive south of Bayeux, and was recently converted into a loft on the top floor, with 3 beds, a small toddler sized bed and a beautiful bathroom overlooking a wood storage space and the prairies behind the house. There are a few things I look for in an Airbnb. One is obviously space. Since we were travelling with 5 people (one being tiny, but still), I wanted to make sure we had enough room to sprawl out and get comfy, and not feel on top of eachother. Also, travelling with a baby makes hotel rooms virtually impossible – we need a kitchen to clean bottles and make small meals for him, and we need room for him to crawl/toddle around in. This Airbnb had all of those things, and more!

Norman Farmhouse Colin's First Birthday-18 Colin's First Birthday-5Corinne, our wonderful host, did a really amazing job making this space feel huge, open, and contemporary, while still adding in a few details that made the space feel old world French. We definitely felt like we were on a farm – there were sheep outside and a beautiful little garden. Still, it was so clean and contemporary – we really had the best of both worlds here.

Colin's First Birthday-38 Colin's First Birthday-34The white paint, unfinished wood and sky lights created the most dreamy light I have ever seen. I seriously could not believe how gorgeous this room was at any time of day.

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Every single detail was perfect and in it’s place…

Colin's First Birthday-28 Colin's First Birthday-69Another interesting feature was the huge picture window in the bathroom that looked out into a small cave that housed fire wood (there was a small fournace in the living room downstairs. Corinne had a fire going for us when we got there to “warm the place for the baby”). The wood cave also had a huge picture window looking out onto the prairies of the farm. It was so beautiful.

Colin's First Birthday-79 Colin's First Birthday-82 Colin's First Birthday-66 Colin's First Birthday-86For so long, I have been striving for a minimalist aesthetic in my own home, and often things can look a little cold or too contemporary. Corinne mixed both modern and traditional design aesthetics perfectly. It was so inspiring! I need to head back to the flea markets here in Paris soon so that I can start adding some details like these to my home.

 

 

Canola Fields Forever.

May 3, 2015

Colin's First Birthday-48It’s been almost a month since I have posted anything here, and that’s because we have been busy having visitors, traveling and having a one year old baby (HOW?!?!). My in laws came to Paris and after a week of site seeing here, we traveled to the beaches of Normandy, France and then to Chinon to taste wines along the Loire Valley. I really hope to write a few more posts about the trip because it was truly amazing and the landscapes were breathtaking.

Colin's First Birthday-50 Colin's First Birthday-47

Until I can get my act together, I wanted to share a few of my favorite photos from our trip. These bright, yellow canola fields were all over France as we drove around. These flowers are pressed to make Canola Oil, hence the name. They colors were so vivid and contrasting that I had to turn my settings on my camera waaaaay lower than i usually do. It was even more beautiful in person, if you can imagine that. Just fields and fields of yellow.

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Make: A Leather Scarf Organizer

April 10, 2015

untitled-35I don’t know about you, but my scarf collection is a little out of control. I’ve tried several frustrating ways to store them, and despite my best efforts, I’m always left with a mountain of scarves piled on my chair in the bedroom.

I came up with a solution to this problem by making this simple leather chain to hang by the door for guests or in our closet. It was easy to make and only requires a few materials:

untitled-3I used two straps of leather (the kind you can buy to make a belt), post & cap rivets, and a rivet setter. You will also need a hammer or rubber mallot, and a pair of scissors. Start by cutting the leather straps into equal** lengths.

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A leather hole punch would be a helpful tool for this project, but I don’t have one so I just used my trusty ol’ shears.

SCARF

Use your scissors to make a hole in each end of a strap. Place the post rivet into one end and make a cuff, putting the post through the other end as well. Place your cap rivet on top of the post.

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Use your rivet setter and rubber mallot to hammer the rivet into place. Also, please don’t judge my “manicure”.

untitled-21You should have a cuff that is set together like so. Go ahead and repeat this step as many times as you like, but cuff each strap around the last one to make a chain.

untitled-22 untitled-23This is, like, kindergarten art class easy.

untitled-30I used leathet twine to hang it. I’m sure there’s a more sophisticated solution for hanging, but I was being resourceful, so this works.

untitled-35 untitled-36 untitled-40I was hoping that this method of hanging would cut down on bulk in my closet. It’s definitely a little bulky, but not wide like many scarf organizers, so I like that aspect. What do you think? Do you have any closet organizing secrets??

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**you and I both know I’m basically incapable of making anything “equal” in length.