Saturday, November 9, 2013

The 'statement' chair we love

When we moved into our first house, we were looking for a chair to read in, next to a couch, yet not part of a set. We love indestructible leather for the obvious reasons when raising a young family, a dog running and scratching every surface. 
We like an eclectic mix of old and new, modern and antique. After a little while we settled on a leather chair with sleek lines, low and extremely comfortable. A small ottoman completes the set.
It is the Montis LOGE  chair, by the Dutch designer Gerard Van den Berg. Masculine and elegant, it fits sleek into any eclectic design scheme. The chair invites a relaxed leaning, a cozy fit, the chair envelopes you and one can actually take a comfortable nap in it too.


After moving into our current home, it has become my husband's chair, his outline by now visible even when he is not sitting in it! This cozy corner is always calling his name. 

A few weeks ago I was ask by One King's Lane to write about a special chair in my home, using their resource guide as a help to describe it. Well, it would fit into the style section of modern European design chairs, and, although the chair was not listed as an example of the style period, it gives the searching person an idea where he or she might want to begin looking for something to purchase, or, if one comes across a particular model to look for guidance of style and possible period.

The chair has seen some changes, sometimes a blanket will be draped over an arm or, lately with the beginning of the colder season a huge sheepskin rug fills the length of the chair for more cozy reading time. 
The chair is a part of our home,  the music room truly unthinkable without it. After 15 years of daily use, the chair shows no signs of aging.... It might outlive us....

Images private except as indicated. Please do not duplicate or use unless permission is given from the blog owner.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Autumn post

As usual, fall had come way too fast, but now, that I am surrounded by pumpkins, scarecrows and Halloween decorations I have made peace and feel again quite at home with autumn. It helps, that the golden light filters through freshly cleaned windows, all in preparation of the next, highly awaited day: Thanksgiving.
It's the holiday I love the most, for it lets me us experience one of the loveliest traditions the American culture has to offer: To be grateful, share the good fortunes and come together with friends and family, no matter what the distance! 

Such abundance

The visits to the farmer's markets are the highlights of my weekly shopping tours and the vegetables are at their best at this time. What abundance everywhere.
It helps too that the days are bright and the leaves have turned into the brilliant colors, so telling of the season.

In this time of year I feel being a homebody, I do not have to go far to enjoy these days, unlike summer, when the travel bug always bites me and I want to explore the world, or winter, when I try to escape the cold...

Sourdough spelt bread, I baked last week in a Dutch oven.
And this week....

Now I enjoy staying close to home. I cannot wait to get to our wood stash behind the house to pull out logs for a good fire and I have begun to bake bread, and ferment a few vegetables for the winter. 

I cleaned out the closets and managed to reduce all my summer clothes to what I really will wear next year and gave the rest away. The same with all the winter things, neatly sorted and a joy to go to very morning and night. Instead of fighting the tiny closet space I had decided, a while back, to reduce my belongings, realizing that I do not need that much to feel up to date and happy.
I will give you a rare look into my two closets, one of which I actually share with my husband....I do have a dresser for the more personal stuff, but that is all. 
Do not feel sorry for me, I am so delighted to have shed all this weight. Literally and figuratively speaking!

The mess during the clean up....

After; the painting is reflected in the door mirror, just in case you think I have twice the space....
my younger self helps me keep an critical eye on everything!

After, this is still shared with hubby's sweaters and the table clothes....

That's all, folks!

On the other hand the reading stack grows taller every week and my writing hours stretch into the evenings, I am in no hurry to stop. It's the time to nest.

Fun with witches!

Do I need to say more?

Not sure anymore, but it sounded promising...LOL!

Supporting inner peace

Food for thought

This must be good to be sure, it's the imagined story of the Bennet household's kitchen maid....

These are the books on my fall reading list and perhaps you will find some inspirations. As you can see, it will last me through winter....

Dining room window

The window ledge has gotten changed too and this year owls reside there, watching with solemn eyes the daily show at the dining table. 

Fresh Eucalyptus, fragrant from the market at the music room window

These days I feel inwards, I remember things from the past, times long gone, I remember my grandmother, who passed 12 years ago  and I feel a connection to the times gone by more then at any other time of the year. It's a sweet melancholy, but one which carries no pain. 
I am in a pensive mood...

I wish you all peaceful days, filled with abundance, from heart to table.

All images my own.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Giveaway Winners

The book giveaway is closed now and my three (only) readers are the winners of it!
Congratulations to Helen Tilston of the Helen Tilston Painter blog.

A big hug goes as well as to my dear friend Patricia of PVE Design and a new reader, 
Pat of Napkin Writing Mom.

I am happy for you all, the book is very interesting and informative.
I will forward your contacts to the distributer (Helen, Pat: please email me) and they will mail the book directly to you!

Happy weekend!

Image via EMG productions.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Great Design - a triple giveaway

I felt it would be wonderful to start the new season with a great giveaway! I had the chance to review the Smithsonian's GREAT DESIGN book, written by Philip Wilkinson and published by the British DK publishing house.
Wilkinson takes the reader through an awe inspiring and thoroughly collection of the world's best design. 


I am quoting from the front flap since I could not sum it up any better:

"The book is an extraordinary photographic tour of more then 100 of the world's greatest designs. From the Red Blue chair to the Ekco Bakelite radio, the Vespa scooter to the Verdana typeface, the book tells the story of this modern art form from its birth during the industrial revolution to its high - profile status today. It explains the unique blend of aesthetics and engineering involved in the designing of a product that is both completely fit for purpose and unrivaled in appearance.

GREAT DESIGN takes you on a personal guided tour of each artifact, highlighting the main features and elements. By deciphering key points of style, it helps you to understand what design is and how it works."

click to enlarge

I had felt  almost a little wary of yet another design book, but to my great surprise I was captivated and pulled into it immediately. This book collects and displays a wide range of designs, from patterns to pitchers and cars to clocks, all in the most pleasing and easy to understand way.
A book, as well designed as its context. 

click to enlarge

GREAT DESIGN captures not only the world's most notable design of today, but gives a wonderful introduction to the development of design over the last 140 years.
One of the early designers is one we still remember well today: Michael Thonet. The German cabinet maker became famous for his revolutionary bentwood chair, still produced today. The simplicity and beauty of form and function captures all what great design entails. 

Some other examples are less known today, but well worth remembering. 

Other design objects were new to me, like the Kilta tableware by Kaj Franck (1952) or Konstantin Grcic's Miura stackable stool (2003) for the Italian design firm Plank.

But most of the objects were old acquaintances of mine, some of which I can find in my own household.... 
And of course, as always with beautiful objects, I get inspired....

click to enlarge

The book is categorized by decades rather then similar items or grouped by materials. This is a great feature since the time period brings many different design objects together and the reader gets a feeling for the trends in design in general and in particular. Design in all periods had far reaching impacts. Clearly, there are many more examples of great design and the author had to restrict himself, I missed a few things, like Ingo Maurer's light fixtures or any of the Mercedes automobiles or some Liberty of London fabrics.... but this is just me. I am fully aware of the difficulties to pull out just the most important objects in design over such a long period. And, like all books,  dedicated to time sensitive materials, it will need a new edition in the future....
The book is equally perfect for the design novice or the connoisseur, students of design and homeowners with a distinguished taste, in short, it's a great treat for all interested
in great design. 

The Smithsonian Institution was established in 1846 and is today the world's largest museum and research complex.
It includes 19 museums and galleries as well as the National Zoological Park.
The total number of artifacts, works of art, and specimens in the Smithsonian's collections is estimated at 137 million, much of which is contained in the National Museum of Natural History, which holds more then 126 million specimens and objects. The Smithsonian is a renowned research center, dedicated to public education, national service and scholarship in the arts, sciences and

The Smithsonian's Cooper Hewitt, national Design Museum is the only museum in the nation, devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. Many of the objects in this book can be found in the museum's collection.
And befitting a museum dedicated to great design, it is housed in the landmark Andrew Carnegie Mansion on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Only a few steps away from the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan, it is a delightful place to visit.

The book will be available in September 2013.

This giveaway is open to all residents in the United States.
Three books will be given at random to lucky readers.
If you are not already a follower, please follow this blog, leave a comment and make sure I can contact you back.

The winners will be announced in two weeks time. (09/14/2013)
The winners will get the book directly shipped from the US marketing firm responsible for the distribution of GREAT DESIGN.

Good luck, dear readers!



All images through EMG promotions.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Forgotten pages?

Life has its twists and turns.
Mine has been packed with summer visitors, construction, day travels, writing, gardening, reading, cooking, cleaning. Doing things, you know.

The usual. I felt I would just bore you with my reflections on daily details.
There seemed too little to share other then things I have been talking about already.
And I have to admit it, I had gotten a little bored.

I took a good long break, with the risk of losing you. I know how much the blog world relies on the daily feed and responses. But the pressure was simply too much for me.

These pages have not been forgotten, but I needed the time to focus on other things.
Once school starts, I will return more often and hopefully some of you might join me again.

I have learned much over the years I have been writing. About writing itself, about design, human nature and our need to be heard. I have learned of friendships, grown and nourished through unusual pathways, some entirely virtual. What a wonderful thing.

I have learned that my thoughts can mean something to strangers, people I have not met and I might never see in my life.

It's forever a wondrous thing to write and send my words and pictures into the universe out there, where they might bounce around and find resonance. It never seizes to amaze me.
So, if you like, join me again in a little while, when the last summer days fold into autumn.

Maybe you remember, at the beginning of the year I thought of reducing and clearing out of stuff.

I have managed quite a bit, but there is still a lot more to be done. My goal is to reduce it all further. Clutter is my enemy, I love too many things, but I feel burdened down. Yet, reducing is hard.

I will share my thoughts on this and on the things which feed me. Books, ideas, new concepts of living and food, literally. As some of you might know, over more then a year now I have changed my lifestyle and studied nutrition intensively. Much has changed for me and many things I thought I could not live without have made themselves obsolete.
This new freedom has translated itself into other newly won insights: Things I can live without. Perhaps a strange concept for a design blog, but it rather makes sense to me.

I will take you with me, as I further try to clear out and bring fresh air into my closets, cupboards, bedrooms and kitchen. Will you come with me?

It interests me more and more how we live, not so much with what and how much we have. Less is certainly more in my mind and it counts what it all means. 

There will always be things in abundance: My curiosity, my hunger for knowledge, a little bit more wisdom, more peacefulness, more love, more reading, more history, more gratefulness.
More travel...if possible.
Less nonsense.
Less stress.
Less fear.
Less stuff.
Less talk, more listening.

See you soon!

All images by V.Zlotwoski

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hot day

This hot day calls for something refreshing...


Something to dive right in....


Or to stay cool like that...

Vintage fan unknown source


Images as indicated. Not mine!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

In and out

Arrived have the weeks, when I almost forget, that interiors are my foremost passion. 

I am occupied with all the others: my family
(as always), the garden in spring, cooking, reading and writing. I feel like these busy birds in my backyard: RUSH to make it all happen, before the season ends....
I have planted roses and enjoy the lilacs, which are at the height of their splendor, as are the azaleas. 

The young oak tree has grown another foot or two and stretches way above the fence. 

Blackbird singing in the bush under my window at 5 AM

I wake up at 5 in the morning and watch the cardinals flit between the branches of the Japanese maple, the robins with their youngster hoping on the lawn, test flying....

And the neighbor's cat needs to be kept in check, I watch out for him all the time, last year he ate the nest full of chicks when I wasn't looking. : (

But still, I have been also silently watching the interior design books at my local store and online and, as always, I find some, which have drawn me in....

I have had again a late night affair with  Susanna Salk's 'Be Your Own Decorator', a book which I have had for a while and always go back to. It so encircles my own design philosophy and style. A wonderful mix of old and new, precious and mundane, flee market and heritage pieces. Fabrics and wallpapers. It's like finding a soul sister, again.
Could that be my house? Yes.... but a little enhanced, I have to admit : )))

Well, I've got the tulips....

And another enticing one, which I am waiting for, being on route... Nicky Haslam's 'Folly De Grandeur'! I feel like flying to England and spending the summer in this house.

What else have I been reading?
Gwyneth Paltrow's latest cook book, which has gotten already much use:

Her recipes are largely vegan or vegetarian based, often gluten and dairy free. There are a couple of great meat dishes and splendid deserts. But all are so appetizing and the book is also wonderfully written.   

I just met Alexandra Aldrich at a book reading in my neighborhood and have been devouring her unusual story of her childhood, filled with memories of the faded glory of the once grand Astor family. At least her family branch is the faded one....  It is very interesting. 

Another find is this one, 'The Camomile Lawn' by the British authoress Mary Wesley. I am fascinated by her writing. She began in earnest to publish when she was over 70! Yes, you read that right. She died at 90 in 2002 and had more then 9 novels out in the years between.

And the latest RH catalog arrived at my doorstep, weighting a ton, but having a few treasures of it's own, worth a post by itself. But since I am so very busy, I will send you here, and show you a few images to wet your appetite.

There are different sections, for which I am grateful, like Small Spaces (which still seem rather large...) and Objects of Curiosity. Which I love! Check it out...

So long, I am off to shop for our cooking session this afternoon: My daughter  and her friend will make Gnocchi
from scratch.... Hmm. I'll give them a hand...or two!


Images by V.Zlotkowski and the RH website (last four).

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