Monday, September 30, 2013

decorating never should be intentional

Decorating never should be intentional. Your home should change as you change. Let it evolve and transform slowly and carefully. Add things you like one-by-one and your home will start reflecting your SELF. Never force anything. Allow only things into your home that come to you naturally. That you feel comfortable with. YOU are the king of your home. You can do whatever you want. Let your home be the place that nurtures YOU emotionally, physically and intellectually.  
 all photos - via the absolutely amazing OLD CHUM - are linked to their sources

Sunday, September 29, 2013

easter in france no. 1





first destination: colmar, alsace, france

it was like a fairy-tale...
I am in love with france more than ever...

easter in france no.2







next destination: strasbourg

an utterly beautiful, vivid city with a charming historic downtown and a good laid-back french atmosphere

just lovely!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

small measures

The process of making our rental friendlier and more interesting is under way. This is what I have accomplished this weekend:

I started a herb garden. (please forgive the dirty windows, shame on me) As our kitchen is the most basic thing ever with the cheapest laminate flooring+cheapest white IKEA cabinets+cheapest grey laminated worktop, these two wooden pots with the herbs in them add real warmth to this place. Some more changes are foreseen here and I hope that the herbs will survive.

herb garden beginning

I said good-bye to the ugly brown plastic pot and our (so far) one and only plant was transferred into a lovely grey terracotta planter and found a new place next to the French doors.

new pot

Recently I scored three really old almost antique school posters on e-bay and one of them is now in my sons' bedroom. I have to tell you that the other two are in much better condition and are far more interesting and attractive (one of them is the anatomy of a sheep while the other one is a photo of Reykjavik), but Marci wanted this one. And he loves it. I'm afraid that he is becoming a nerd...

kids room

I think their bedroom is looking very cheerful now, but they just do not like being here. I think the simple reason is that it is on the first floor while the living room where we usually are is on the ground floor. And they just love being around us.

So this is a rather rare moment...

daniel in his room

Notice the giant Bumblebee car on the table. That's what we bought on the flea market today. That place is filled with lovely vintage toys, but they wanted transformers...

Marci and I made this artwork. I bought him a craft book and he dyed paper towels. (Yes he has a flair for maths and art...) These are his color choices... afterwards I tried to display them tastefully with more or less success. Plus I bought a succulent!!

we made art

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

simple moments to remember #1

mid-century modern reading corner
Animal Jazz Band Fountain in sunset, Tervuren, Belgium
When we were walking to the kindergarten with Daniel this morning a lovely woman stopped me. She told me how much she admired me. In that moment I felt truly shocked. For what reason could anyone admire me, I thought. It turned out that she saw me every morning walking with my son hand-in-hand and she thought that I always looked so calm and peaceful. Me? Peaceful? I have never thought about using the words 'I' and 'peaceful' in one sentence. No way. But you know what? She was right. During that ten-minute walk I am really peaceful. This is actually the best time of the day. No rush, no noise, no worries. Just a mother and a son hand-in-hand. This is our quality time. We always walk very slowly stopping often to admire snails, birds, worms. There is something very simple and old-fashioned about it. I have never thought about it before, but this is a great way to sense the changing of seasons, something that we could never do if we were going by car. It was a great reminder for me to see how truly lucky I am and how sometimes the simplest things bring the biggest pleasure.

Friday, September 6, 2013

luxurious minimalism or something like that

As you may have noticed I have a thing for minimalism, frugalism, down-sizing, simplicity, etc. Recently I started to read blogs about people who successfully managed to simplify their life in many aspects. What I am really curious about is how to design and decorate a home that is simple and minimal, but looks warm and welcoming.
My ideal home
a) is low-maintenance
b) purpose-built
c) has a harmonious, visually pleasing decor which reflects its dwellers' personality
d) allows its dwellers to pursue all kinds of activites smoothly and comfortably
e) is welcoming and nurturing
f) has nothing that is not practical or does not have any emotional value for its dwellers
g) has a strong connection with the surrounding nature
I think this vacation home in Uruguay meets all of the above requirements.
It exists in symbiosis with nature and the architect managed to make the best use of its surrounding. Except for one guest bedroom each room has an amazing view of the ocean. The use of natural materials is a great idea to make a minimalist space look warm. In this case rough concrete walls are combined with wood surfaces and furniture. Hand-woven rugs and traditional textiles evoke a sense of simplicity. Nothing is too fancy or pretentious here (only the swimming pool, but it is a forgivable sin in my opinion) and yet the whole place looks sophisticated. This is a home that makes its dwellers calm, relaxed and happy. And that is the most a home can offer.

Horacio Paone for The New York Times
Horacio Paone for The New York Times

Horacio Paone for The New York Times
Horacio Paone for The New York Times

Horacio Paone for The New York Times

Horacio Paone for The New York Times
Horacio Paone for The New York Times

Horacio Paone for The New York Times

all photos by Horatio Paone for the New York Times are linked to their original source

dull vs. understated


NY Times has recently featured musician Moby's house, a rather modern and minimalist home clearly influenced by its owner's personality. At least this is what I think and this is why comments like 'soulless, boring and impersonal' made me think about simplicity once again.

Some of my most determined readers must be familiar with my journey of 'finding my real self' which caused me a lot of headache. Right now I am closer to accept that I am an understated person than I was a couple of weeks ago, but I still fear that my understatedness is perceived as being boring/dull/soulless, etc.

Just like in Moby's case. Although I am not sure if he is responsible for the d├ęcor, I think it fits him very well. (Let's not discuss the building itself now because that would be a completely different story.) The surrounding nature was successfully 'brought inside' which is all positive in my book.


There are objects in every room which I think tell a lot about the person who owns them. They may not be too 'over the top', but they add a personal touch anyway.


I also believe that creative people always have so many things going on in their head that they can find true comfort in paired-down spaces. Sometimes all you need is a guitar, right? Or a typewriter or a piece of paper and a pencil...


Clearly Moby has his own issues (read the article if you are interested) and I think a home like this can have a truly healing and soothing power on a wounded soul. It allows to breathe, to think freely and to shine through. Because this is what homes are for.

all photos by Trevor Tondro for The New York Times
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