Friday, August 30, 2013

Summer's End Colors and Decor

Are you tired of seeing our living room yet? For some reason, I love changing the look of this little space probably more frequently than is healthy. Change makes me happy...almost as happy as coffee, Indian food and wine (not together). So, my dear internet friends,  bear with me as I spruce up for the end of summer, which is the sprucing up, before the sprucing up of fall. Yep. 
While most of the world is starting to put together Fall decor, I am holding on to the last little bit of summer that we have here in Germany. Summer this year was insanely short and I want to stretch it out as long as possible. While our summer coastal decor was super fresh and bright, the change in weather and lighting in the sky called for a more rich color scheme that will segue nicely into our Falliday decor. This may only be up for a week or two before I deck the place out with gourds and leaves but I am enjoying our navy blue, plum, gold, green and aqua color scheme for now. When I decorate for the seasons I try to spend no money and shop around our house instead. I trade items from room to room and swap out pillowcases, rugs and flowers.

 I was inspired by the table runner  that my folks bought me for Christmas last year. It is from our favorite shop in San Gimignano called Le Sorella. Everything they have there is stunning and unique. I love the watercolored look of this piece and let it be the jumping off point for my inspiration when I styled our living room. There are so many gorgeous colors in that piece and I am hoping to pull out some of the yellows and oranges to add into the jewel tones I already have, for fall. 

We brought in our cowhide rug from the dining room and it really warmed the space up! The natural look of the fur is just what our living room needed!

 I kept our mantle super simple with candles, flowers and pictures.This is the perfect time of year to whip out gold, copper and bronze. 

The combination of the gold gilding, modern chevron, and shabby old barn door is so satisfying to my eyes. I love when things contradict each other and provide a visual contrast. 

An old shabby olive bucket, from my friend Jurgen at European Vintage Chic, houses some snuggly blankets for the crisp evenings. We plan on turning these buckets into light fixtures (like the oyster basket light fixture) when we get to our  forever home. That's right, forever home is used for both abandoned puppies and for us military folk and dependents. Every time I hear the words "forever home" associated with military families, I see us military dependents and military folk I shivering in a cage to Sarah Mclachlin. Do you guys remember that commercial?? The one with the dogs, not us obviously.

I sure love how everything has a golden hue when summer comes to an end. 
Do you do any summer's end decor? Or, do you jump right into fall??
It's time to kick off my flip flops and sip a pumpkin spiced latte, while I dream up how to decorate for the falliday season and watch shows that I am embarrassed to say I watch, Ahem... The Real Housewives of Everything...

Ciao lovelies! 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Kiss of Folk Decor

Most of us, including myself, "ooo" and "ahhhh" over the Italian and French design styles... They are stunning, and I love having a large portion of our barn decorated in a Frenchy, rustic style. But, what about quirky and cheeky folk art? Every country from Russia, to Norway, and France to Switzerland has its own version of brightly colored folk art, furniture and architecture that helped keep things sunny and cheery during dark, grey winters. It is a style that is making a huge come-back and that I find myself drawn to it more and more since we moved to Germany. This comforting and endearing "story book" style inspired Disney a little over 60 years ago and it sure puts warm feelings in my heart too.

 As you know I am a huge advocate for changing out accessories and pillows, so you can get a "new look" seasonally and here is how I added a little bit of this look to our barn without the major commitment! 
Below, are a few snapshots I have taken of some "folk" style in our region and the Alsace Region of France. 
 Now, before you go nuts Tole painting your walls, you can add a "kiss" of this look to your home in a new updated way by mixing it with contemporary fabrics and unusual colors! I found some items, while in The States, that fit in perfectly with my colorful Polish Pottery as seen in the picture below!

Let me introduce you to my beautiful, little Matryoshka, nesting doll, measuring cups! (Insert excited, high pitched, inner 13 year old girl voice) They are so stinking cute and funky!!! They add just a touch of this folk style to our mismatched eclectic kitchen! I found these bad boys (or girls) at Cost Plus World Market and was suckered in by their adorable, beady, little eyes.

They are even cute decapitated. "Awwww".

"Take us home with you..."

Also, while I was home in CA, I discovered this large vintage-looking fork at Kirklands for only $10. Mixed in with authentic antiques, it looks pretty cool! I use it to eat pasta on my "fat days".

It finishes off this corner nicely, if I do say so myself.

Another way I add bold colors and patterns in my kitchen is through tea towels and aprons. The apron on our cow is from one of my besties, Florence, and was purchased at my all time favorite store, Anthropologie. The tea towels pictured above are from Tuscany and the one below is from Cost Plus World Market. 

Even Target has hopped on the band wagon and is offering playful decor and prints. The "spoon" towel below was purchased there. 

An updated twist on folk painting is popping up everywhere too! I may have to get some of these from one of my absolute favorite artists, Katie Daisy, for our place!  Check out her gorgeous shop, The Wheatfield! She. Is. Brilliant.

What do you think of our new additions? Will you be adding a touch of European or Americana folk to your home any time soon?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Charming Strasbourg, France

In the same weekend that our friends and us went to see the lovely Burg Eltz, we decided to mosey on over to the Alsace region of France to visit fantastically Germanic-French city of Strasbourg for a little day trip. By the way, I love how the colors of the buildings there match my blog...that worked out nicely! In fact, the colors of all these buildings are what inspired me when i was designing our barn!
 Strasbourg was yanked back and forth between Germany and France over its long history and finally decided to join France after it was completely vacated (all 120,00 people) during WWII. Because it is so close to the border of these two countries, it has a unique blend of both French and German architectural and design styles and cuisine. This spectacular city is bursting at the seams with colorful buildings, canals, and interesting people. Strasbourg is reachable by train and has something for everyone. It's a decent sized city with small town charm. It is like a Germanic french version of Venice! Come on a little tour of this enchanting, and upbeat city with us!
Wouldn't you just love to live in the stunning home pictured above?!?

I am in love with all the unique pastel colors of the buildings! What do you think?
Be sure to get lost wandering down the little crooked alleys of the old part of the city.

The spectacular Gothic cathedral is a surrounded by quaint little restaurants and shops. You can find people walking their dogs, sipping coffee and admiring accordion players down the streets of this lively city.

Be sure to stop into the delicious "PAUL" cafe to get some eclairs and delectably rich hot chocolate.
I am pretty sure the hot cocoa is a chocolate bar melted and mixed with heavy cream... yum.
While in France, you must indulge in some delicious escargot and fried frog legs! AMAZING!

Thank you so much for viewing this gorgeous city with us! If you ever get the chance to go there in person I would love to know what you think of it! xo

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