Friday, 27 January 2012

Elegant art: The beautiful works of Casper Faassen

I am a huge fan of the concept of renting art. I think it’s a fabulous way to introduce art in your home, without having to save your pennies for it before being able to really enjoy the piece you love. I have several friends who rent art, and they all have great pieces in their homes, which they pay for in monthly instalments.

The wall behind our couch is just begging for beautiful piece of art. Sadly, art is about the last item on our list of priorities, but since learning out renting art, I have actively started looking around for inspiration. There are so many styles to choose from and endless amazing artists to discover. My search has uncovered a fabulous Dutch artist called Casper Faassen. His works are elegant, understated and bursting with emotion.

Simply put, I NEED to have this piece of art in my home. Yesterday, if possible. How poised and lovely she is. The thing I love about this piece is the simplicity of the lines, but also the emotions that are so clearly evident. I also love the subtle texture the artsist has incorporated. 

A friend of mine has a Casper Faassen piece in her home. She once said about her piece, also a silhouette of a woman, “it’s so multifaceted. You never quite know what she’s thinking. She has something very melancholic about her. You can keep looking at it and discover something every time... it’s a little bit like looking at a fire - you can just look at it to enjoy looking at it.”

I couldn't agree more. 

While I think Faassen's best works are the sihouette's he paints of women, he does so much more. I love this piece's bold lines and stronger colours. This lady's got attitude.

This is another of my personal favourites. I adore the soft charcoal and gray colours. 

Happy weekend, readers. I hope yours is as inspiring as mine is going to be. After writing this, I think I might just go and view some art galleries.

Love, Holly

Thursday, 19 January 2012

11 Rules for Creating a Home Library

Via Where Is The Cool

1.  Draw inspiration from as many wonderful old and ornate libraries as possible.

via head strong foolish girl
via head strong foolish girl

2. Go big! Centre your room around your books. Line your walls with the covers all of the greats (and some of the ones only you would deem great). 

*Note: A fireplace will enhance the old world feel.

Via Tudorks

3. If you have bookshelves reaching to your ceiling, add a chandelier or statement light to draw the eye upward and to meet all your sparkly lighting needs. 

Via Apartment Therapy

4. If you are lucky enough to have a spare closet lying around, take off the doors, line with shelving and fill it with all your pretty paper backs. 
*Note: for extra charm add a distressed wooden ladder for reaching top levels.

Via Hue

5. Make sure you add a comfortable couch nearby so once you find the book you are searching for you don't have to take your eyes off the words while you find a soft place to collapse.

Via Splendid Williow
Via Interiors Addict

6. Or better still, keep your favourite reads on the couch itself for easy access.
*Note: A throw blanket here essential for all reading under a blanket cravings.

via West Elm

7. To assist in quick retrieval of the book you are aching to read - make sure you alphabetise.
Typo have a great range of metal and wooden letters perfect for this task.

Via Oh Lucia

8. For those with more time (or money) at their disposal - get creative!!

Via Creative Fan

9. For those short on space but tall on book collections - go narrow and go up!

Via Design Within Reach

10. For those who can't bear to be separated from their books long enough to replace them in their rightful place - the floor is an acceptable substitute...

Via A Minute of Perfection is the staircase.

Via We Heart It

11. Finally (and most importantly) remember to start your children's love of books early with their own library. Narrow shelving allows for books to be displayed face up.
*Note: ladders are not encouraged here for all those wishing to avoid bedtime ER trips.

via Pintrest

Happy library creation dear readers.


Wednesday, 11 January 2012

In the land of Lola...

When I first discovered we were going to have a baby, and once I had sufficiently wrapped my head around the idea, I dove into the search for items we would need once bean arrived. It was a never-ending rabbit hole of prams, cots, nappies...the list goes on and on. The search for the perfect cot came to an abrupt halt when I first laid eyes on the pretty Leander cradle.

It was on the higher end of our budget and, due to its design, is only safe for baby to sleep in up until about 6-9 months. As much as I loved it, we just couldn’t justify the expense knowing it would be used for such a short time, only to have to replace it with something wriggle-worm friendly. I was, as you can imagine, hugely delighted to discover that my group of girlfriends had banded together to give us our very own Leander cradle as a gift for my surprise baby shower!

Our darling little girl, Lola, is now 7 months old and it pains me to say that she seems to have filled out the cradle. The tiny dreadlocks on the top of her head (from rubbing against the top end of the cradle in her sleep) are a sure sign that we are moving on to bigger things.

Before we do, I would like to share her bedroom with you before packing up the cradle for storage.

Welcome to the land of Lola…

As we wanted to keep the sex of the baby a surprise, we went for a soothing bedroom of neutral hues that would be suitable for both a boy or a girl. I think I must have known deep down that I was having a girl because, come to think of it, it's quite a feminine room! I also wanted to try to create an original space with vintage and home made touches, while making use of items we already had to save on the expense of it all. 

I had a nine month surge of nesting behaviour, having me reaching for the needle and thread and creating all kinds of cute things for the baby, including these wall flags. I used patchwork fabrics I had bought while on holiday in Australia last Christmas. The flags were slowly created over a couple evenings in front of the telly, and were so simple to make! I didn’t want to be too matchy-matchy, so went for a few different pattern and colour choices that would work well together, for a girl or boy.

Our changing station is one of my favourite items in the room. It is an antique TV cabinet that we fished out of Dirk’s parent’s attic about two years ago. I instantly loved it and knew that one day it would be used as a changing table. I didn’t know that day would come quite so soon though!

Apart from some flaking varnish, it was in mint condition. We gave it a very light sanding, replaced the handles as they were broken and used it to house our TV. When we were ready to start working on the baby room, we added a shelf and placed some woven baskets inside it to use as storage. Don’t get me started on how hard it was to find the right sized baskets, hence them not matching! Trip after unsucessful trip to various stores on my bicycle, tape measure in hand, left me a little less picky when it came to being precise, but I now like that they are a little different.  The mix n' match baskets give it a country charm. Each basket has it's own use. We have one for nappies and baby wipes, one for rompers, pants and skirts, one for Pjs, one for cloths and rags and one for socks, tights and odds and ends. Underneath, we have a basket for soft toys and a basket for shoes.

When one of my best friends sent me a collection of hand made fabric birds she had created, I knew I had to find a special use for them. Using a twig I picked up while walking with Lola one day, I created a mobile to hang above Lola in her cradle. Dirk stripped the bark, sanded the wood down to make it smooth and created the cross for me to hang the birds from. The birds are sewn to pieces of ribbons, which are adorned with buttons, bows and little flowers. The pretty decoration has Lola squealing with delight before nodding off, and has become one of the most sentimental items in the room.

My feeding chair is simply an Ikea chair that we already had. I liked the pale wood in combination with the other shades. Though it’s a little bit contemporary, I dressed it up with a couple of cushions to tie in with the rest of the space.

I used the left-over hearts cut out of the wall flags and attached them to a simple cushion to bring together the fabrics and colours of the room. I also added some cute buttons to the centres of each heart for fun.  

Storage space was lacking in this room, so we created a wardrobe type affair from the shelving unit already there. We painted the entire room a soft shade of mushroom, including the inside of the shelving unit, added a charcoal coloured blind we bought for a steal at Ikea and filled the shelves with clothes, books and a basket on the bottom shelf (found on the side of the road!) for Lola’s bed linens.

Over the back of my feeding chair is a darling cotton blanket for chilly middle-of-the-night feeds. It was one of my very first gifts for the baby from my oldest sister.
I hope you enjoyed this little tour of my sweet girl’s room. Stay tuned for the next instalment as we move on to new horizons with a new bed and new wall art.

Love, Holly