Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Halloween

One more day and counting till Halloween, so I went online and found a few inspiring pictures to get in the mood. It's not the big deal here that it is in the States, but in the past few years Dutch retailers have caught on and you know what that means? The kids know about it. And when they kids know about it, they won't let us forget! So, tomorrow the boys get to go trick or treating with their friends and I get to spend this afternoon making them bat wings...and I can't sew!!

All images via Pinterest

Monday, October 28, 2013

Take it like a man

The current line-up of oversized coats has me in a state of perpetual bemusement. No matter how often I see all those huge overcoats, whether in black, camel, print or Carven's baby pink version, I just can't seem to get on board with the trend. The massive, sloping shoulders and shapeless silhouettes, often executed in an unforgiving hard wool, remind me of men's fashion circa 1950. And it's not even worn ironically, as is the case in the picture above. See, now that, I get. But all that shapelessness just isn't doing it for me. I can appreciate the fact that many of these women are totally on trend, and many are helped by the fact that they are built like goddesses, statuesque and slim. But take your average petite female (i.e. me), factor in the 40+ age issue, the less than fabulous shoe collection (although my sneaker collection is rather enviable, even if I do say so myself- although apparently that's not something to be too proud of!), and it just doesn't work. 

Aarrggghhh, those shoulders! Why? Having said that, those metallic shoes are so cool. A little Tin Man, maybe, but she rocks them.

Wow, not a good look for me!

I  do love a good menswear-inspired look, however. Strong shoulders, bespoke details, a bit of tweed here and there, the ubiquitous Brogues or a great pair New Balance sneakers - I'm down with that (ugh, forgive the lingo), but if it's not helping to make me look a little better or hide any flaws; when, in fact, the fashion only manages to magnify my flaws (real or perceived), I give it a wide berth. 

These looks ( the 3 images above) remind me of  my university days. I used to have a camel coat (normal shoulder width) that was way too long, and I'd wear it with scruffy jeans and sneakers. A friend of mine pointed out to me that I stood out in that outfit before we ever officially met (hmmm, perhaps a trend setter after all?) Of course, I never carried a quilted bag or looked nearly as good as either of these women.

Woman above on the left: say WHAT? Although I love those shoes, and she's obviously a model. Woman on the right: now there's a masculine inspired look I can get on board with. Love, love, love this look! I guess it's just more stream-lined and wearable.

The only woman on the planet who could conceivably wear this trend well is Miranda Kerr (above). But let's face it, she's a Victoria's Secret model with haute fashion taste and legs that won't quit. 

Anna dello Russo, above, does masculine in her own inimitable style.

All images from Pinterest

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Hue du jour: pop of pink

The days are now officially getting shorter and there's nothing like a little pink to lift our moods with winter rapidly approaching. Whether it's a loud, brash fuchsia, an electric pink, a warm coral pink or a softer dusty rose, pink has a proven positive effect on our psyches. So I leave you with a couple of happy images. Enjoy!

via Style at Home

via Erin Ever After 

Source: J + G Design in Elle Decor

via The Interior Archive

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sweat it out

You can hardly walk into a store these days without running into a rack of statement sweatshirts. From the designer boutique to the market stall, there they are: those ultra comfy, jersey pajama-worthy items that you would never have been caught dead in outside of your house or the gym are now being worn together with pencil skirts and killer heels. Whether it be a big, cheeky shout-out, a colourful print of a wild animal (no points for guessing who) or beading and rhinestones, sweats are BIG right now!

I admit, I own one. A sorry copy of the above mentioned wild animal sweatshirt (I would never pay hundreds of euros for sweats, designer or not. Really, no deal people!) that I thought my kids - who love all manner of tigers, lions and bears ...oh my - would get a kick out of. I have yet to wear it to anything other than the gym or school pick-ups, but I'm starting to develop an appreciation for the trend - particularly because it's just so damned comfortable!! So, if you run into me enveloped in jersey, featuring an in-your-face cartoon adorning my bust - even long after that ship has sailed - my apologies. I'm often late to the trends, but this is one so deliciously wearable, it might become a staple.

via Le Catch

Christopher Kane

J Crew

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Design crush: Jeffrey Bilhuber

So here's someone I haven't talked about before, but on whom I have a major design crush: Jeffrey Bilhuber. This New York based designer counts Anna Wintour and Iman and David Bowie among his clients. I remember, back in my Beige Period, I saw the image below of the sun room done in shades of muted coral and beige, and I promptly fell in love with the room and the designer, whom I had never heard of at the time. The beauty of Bilhuber's work is that, as my design aesthetic has changed and my colour choices have become bolder, so have his.

I think I may already have posted one of Bilhuber's interiors, where a high gloss wall features prominently. I love his use of high gloss paint to up the ante, but there are other surprising tricks he uses that may be quite popular across the pond, but that are definitely new to certain parts of Europe. To name but a few, his colourful, glossy ceilings and nailhead trim on walls to create architectural depth and detail. Another favourite: 360 degree checks - on the walls, as window dressing, furniture upholstery. I love how cosy it feels, yet the over the top element keeps it from feeling...well, hokey, for lack of a better word.

Source: Architectural Digest

How beautiful is this soft yolky yellow combined with the aqua in the bookcases?

What a great vignette!

Source: Elle Decor

Source: Architectural Digest

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Inspirational people we love: Emilie Kröner

Last week we took a trip to Amsterdam to visit Emilie Kröner, an interior designer turned ceramics designer with a twist, whose brainchild Piselli Projects is making waves in the design world. The first project consists of a series of all white table accessories called 'White Animal Life', which were inspired by 17th and 18th century animals featured on tureens as decoration. The oversized napkin holders, carafe's, salt and pepper shakers and salt and vinegar dispensers - all in the shape of wildlife - are excellent ice-breakers at a dinner party, which is exactly what Emilie was going for when she dreamed them up. 

The visit to Emilie and her husband designer Bart van Heesch's home - an abandoned school they moved into about a year ago - was incredibly inspirational. The space they live in is absolutely huge, yet Emilie managed to make it feel cosy and lived in. Her design aesthetic is relaxed, humorous and bold (not unlike her design hero Jonathan Adler) and utterly unique in our little country. For that reason she was our first pick for our new segment, Inspiratonal people we love. We took the opportunity to ask her a series of design and beauty-related questions. Here's what she had to say...

Name your favourite design chair and design lamp.
- It's a tie between the hand chair by Pedro Friedeberg and the Peacock Chair.
Favourite design genius?
- That's easy. My husband Bart van Heesch.
Favourite interior designer
- Also very easy. Definitely Jonathan Adler. I love his sense of humor.
Which beauty product can you not live without?
- Rosebud Salve
What is your favourite holiday destination?
- Morocco, absolutely.
Which is your favourite restaurant in Amsterdam?
- Speijkervet in the Speijkerstraat. It's so delicious.
What's your go-to house cleaning trick?
- (laughs) My husband. He's extremely handy around the house.
Your favourite high street label?
- I wear a lot of H&M.
Where do you go for the best design bargains?
- Thrift stores. I'm addicted to them and am constantly finding the most amazing things like this beautiful mid 20th century desk I got Bart, which is so perfect for him.
Which fashion trend do you hope never to see again?
- Massive shoulder pads.
If you could have dinner with any fashion or interior designer, architect or decorator, who would you choose?
- Jonathan Adler and his partner, Simon Doonan, and Kelly Wearstler.
If you could choose to live in any house in the world, which would it be?
- Jonathan and Simon's place in New York. Did I mention Jonathan's sense of humor? Their home oozes whimsical charm, humor and colour. I love them and I love their apartment!

If you're interested in the Piselli Projects, check them out here.

The Flamingo carafe - oversized and awsesome!

Leopard napkin holder

The oversized rhino olive oil and vinegar dispensers enjoy a lofty position on the bookcase

A view of the totally cool bookcase designed by Emilie's husband Bart van Heesch

A view of the living room - how cool is all that art?!

A view of Emilie's desk from the living room - notice the cute elephant lamps she managed to find

One of Bart van Heesch's awesome copper bikes - definitely drool-worthy and so cool!

Copper bikes in Bart van Heesch's workshop - the school gym!

Prototype chair designs by Bart van Heesch