mercredi 17 juillet 2013

Comparing Old European Kitchens with Today's Modern Style

European interior design and architecture have always been on the flamboyant side. They really play on the aesthetics while maintaining functionality at the same time. In short, European-inspired rooms are very beautiful to look at, but being pretty is not the only thing they can boast. These rooms last for a long, long time, as evidenced by the countless old homes all over the continent that have stood for over hundreds of years. Kitchens are most especially resilient through the years.

General Description

If you take a look at European rooms, it appears that many similarities remain between kitchens in the regency era and present-day ones. Things may have since toned down, but the underlying elements still remain.

Stone floors and large cupboards are traditional in a European kitchen. Photo by ChalonHandmade at

Stone floors and large cupboards are traditional in a European kitchen.
Photo by ChalonHandmade at

For example, a standard kitchen will usually have a stone floor. Kitchens preserved for hundreds of years would have stone walls as well, with hewn rocks mortared to look like large bricks. This is why if the kitchen is built from the ground up, designers will often incorporate a stone wall or archway into the room. These features contribute to the European feel of the kitchen. Some would even include a stone hearth.

Most European kitchens also have one or more kitchen tables at the center of the room. Benches or stools are tucked underneath, although most of the tables also double as storage units. Shelves and drawers are built beneath them.

Speaking of storage, kitchen cabinets are usually elevated from the floor. Some are even as high as a foot off the ground. There are plenty of cabinets above the counters too. All shelving units are subtle and designed in such a way that guests will not easily find the doors to open them. Hinges are concealed behind overlay details, drawer handles are unobtrusive and majority of the cupboards have doors.

Smaller appliances are tucked into cabinets. Photo by ChalonHandmade at
Smaller appliances are tucked into cabinets.
Photo by ChalonHandmade at

Counters with granite tops line the walls, and appliances that no longer fit into the shelves and overhead cabinets are placed neatly on top. You can expect that a large portion of the counter will remain vacant though since Europeans love using the space for preparing food. Italians, for instance, are known to knead dough and cut pasta slices atop their kitchen counters.

A kitchen island, which is big enough to serve as a kitchen table, with built-in shelving and stool Photo by ChalonHandmade at
A kitchen island, which is big enough to serve as a kitchen table, with built-in shelving and stool
Photo by ChalonHandmade at

There is also a kitchen island in a European kitchen. Sometimes the sink is found here, but with enough space left for food preparation or a basket of fruit.

The stove is the prime attraction of a European kitchen. Old-fashioned stoves are big and made of stone. They are built with stone vents that taper upward and through the roof. This is where smoke from cooking escapes out of the kitchen.

European kitchens tend to be bright and airy too, except for those that are built in the basement level. The windows are high up the wall, so there are fewer overhead cabinets and more floor-length cupboards.

Modern European Design Concepts

Interior designers will strive to preserve the traditional and trademark features of a European kitchen, and at the same time give it a modern look.

For people who are not fans of stone walls and floors, they can still have a European-designed kitchen even if the floors are paneled with wood. They just need to compensate by choosing wisely the furniture and accents in the kitchen. A kitchen island with counter and stools, for example, can lend a European touch to any kitchen.

Grow your own basil and other herbs in your kitchen. Photo by Brian Warren at
Grow your own basil and other herbs in your kitchen.
Photo by Brian Warren at

You can also take to hanging bunches of herbs above the island, like cloves of garlic and onion springs. Keep a pot of basil plant on the counter too, so you can just cut fresh leaves to garnish your dishes anytime. Many rustic, European households do this.

Of course, it is also possible for European houses to have themes different from the traditional style. Instead of a large stove, an ultra-modern kitchen will probably have one of those slim, state-of-the-art flat stoves with glass covers. The color palettes will also depart from the traditional warm tones in favor or all white, all black, or a combination of bright and quirky colors.

What Makes a Kitchen European?

In the end, the appearance of the kitchen matters less than the cooking activity going on in the kitchen. That is ultimately what makes the room feel European.

For example, if the homeowner is an avid fan of Italian cooking methods, he will arrange and design his kitchen in such a way that there won’t be anything that would disrupt the flow of his cooking. There will be a granite-topped kitchen counter, lots of spices in easy reach (meaning they are displayed in open cupboards, if not permanently placed on the kitchen table), and a large stove and oven.

Tina (picture)

Tina Madsen is a design enthusiast who brings her passion for modern décor and writing to her role as the blogger.  She also specializes in turning small living areas into spacious social hubs with bar stools and counter stools

lundi 24 juin 2013

A Passion for Vintage Style - Purple Spaces

Hi, I'm Susi from the Arcadian Home Blog where I write about lighting trends and decorating ideas using amazing home decor and light fixtures. In both fashion and décor, smoky purple is a stylish choice. Smoky purples can range from reddish plums to silvery lavenders. The darker shades of smoky purple are often called plum. Whatever you call it, smoky purple makes for a stylish color in decor and decorating.

Purple Interiors

Smoky purple walls and upholstery give this living room a sophisticated look. Smoky purples can range in hue from deep to plum to lavender, and this vintage round mirror adds a decorative element to the space.

Purple Interiors

Love the dusty, smoky purple of the curtains in this formal antique filled room. Smoky purple is gorgeously paired with browns and golds in the form of buffet lamps and soft textures.

Purple Interiors

There is a huge range in colors that fall into smoky purple. Love the purple upholstery on the sofa in this atmospheric room. It has a nice cool grey undertone to the color.

Purple Interiors

Like most deep saturated colors, smoky purple looks great paired with lots of white. If you paint a wall a smoky purple, offset the dark color with white trim, and perhaps add in vintage bathroom light fixtures for character.

Purple Interiors

Smoky purple pairs well with metallics in silver and gold. Along with white, metallics in lamps and furnishings can bring light to a darker color on the walls or upholstery.

Purple Interiors

Smoky purple can also be used as a neutral when paired with brighter versions of cool colors. Smoky purple with aqua has a lot of energy, while smoky purple and navy would be more dramatic.

Purple Interiors

Some smoky purples are more smoke than purple, like this wall color. Purple tinted grey is a gorgeous neutral choice for walls. Amazing contrast between the taxidermy on the wall and the sparkling chandelier.

Purple Interiors

Smoky purple, or plum, can also be paired with warmer tones, like pink. Dark and dramatic, plums and smoky purples are sophisticated colors. Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

What do you think of these purple color inspirations? Don't forget to visit our blog for more home accessories and decorating ideas!

lundi 10 juin 2013

What Is Eco-Paint And Why Is It Important

Green paint or eco-paint as it’s often known is becoming increasingly popular as an option for decoration at home.

Of course, there are a number of reasons why people tend to choose green paints over the traditional sort. Conventional paints are full of VOCs, otherwise known as volatile organic compounds. These are known to cause all sorts of issues with health and the emissions that come from them last for years.

These compounds are added to conventional paint to speed up the drying time and also the thickness and coverage of the item. However, there are plenty of raw and natural alternatives out there that have similar benefits and have been in existence for hundreds of years.


VOCs as we’ve mentioned are blended into traditional paints to allow it to be more effective as paint. These cause a number of problems however; the VOCs are bad for the respiratory system and can cause a range of illnesses.

One of the biggest things to look out for when purchasing paint of this sort, is the incidence of paint companies posing as a green option to paint buyers. There are limits to the amount of VOCs that can be placed in paint, however many companies will lower these to relatively miniscule levels and then sell paint as a green alternative. This is not the case and many of these reduced VOC paints still contain a number of toxins and are still bad for health and for those that have to spend time around them.

Green Paint

There are plenty of paints that have low levels of these toxins, though only eco interior paint has none and very little or no environmental impact. These paints are free of all the toxins, VOCs and plasticizers that come in other paints and will not cause damage to your home or the people who live there.

If you are looking for these eco paints you will often find they are accredited by green companies who have tested them to be of the very highest standard and will certify their green credentials. This is something of a benefit and will showcase the differences between these completely VOC free paints and paints that merely have low VOC content and still cause damage.

These paints are often made from foods and proteins found in things such as milk, lime and also plants. The will be non-toxic and are eco-friendly. The paints are tested to the highest standard and in most cases are found to be almost as durable if not equally as durable as many of the traditional paints with high levels of VOCs. These paints can be used in everything from compressors to the end of a brush too.

This means that there is little or no excuse to purchase the alternative. They also don’t cost a significant amount more than the paints with high levels of VOCs, cementing their place as a choice for people looking for paints.

Purchasing eco-paint can really make all the difference to your home, health and that of your family and should be considered for your next project.
James Smith has written a number of articles on eco paint and is a lover of the environment and also DIY and often paints his furntiure using eco-paint and compressor hiren Bestahire.

samedi 8 juin 2013

La langue d'Ikea

Il y a plein d'outils pour apprendre la langue de Shakespeare ou Dante sous forme de CD, DVD ou doctionnaires et livres de grammaires .

Dès à présent et tout nouvau sur le marché, vous pouvez également apprendre la langue d'IKEA. En effet, pour comprendre une culture ou un univers il faut en connaître la langue.

Le suédois est à la portée de votre souris grâce au site "IKEA in Swedish". Vous cliquez sur la photo désirée et la voix douce d'une dame s'entend. Vous pourrez cliquer à foison pour l'entendre répéter!

Elle vous dira des mots comme Jämka, Marius ...

IKEA in Swedish

mardi 14 mai 2013

Le ciné en 1927 ... un retour nostalgique et coloré

Après des semaines de silence radio, j'ai enfin trouvé quelque chose à partager. ;-)

C'est en fait un petit film, un des premiers en couleurs, montrant le Londres de 1927. Ce film a été tourné par un certain Claude Friese-Green, un cinématographe londonien né en 1898 et mort en 1943. Il est connu pour sa collections de films appelée "The Open Road"  (1926). Il est également l'inventeur du procédé "Biocolour".

Je vous laisse apprécier.

La musique est de Jonquil and Yann Tiersen.


via PetaPixel

vendredi 12 avril 2013

Relooking d'un mur de mon bureau

Lors du weekend pascal dernier, le temps était tellement gris que je suis  restée à la maison ...

En fait non, il a fait beau mais je suis comme même restée enfermée pour relooker mon bureau. Dingo, n'est-ce pas?!

Rangement et ordre

J'ai besoin d'ordre pour bien travailler. Et donc il me fallait des étagères pour ranger mes papiers et autres outils de travail ... mais aussi pour mieux disposer mes poteries vintages. On ne se refait pas n'est-ce pas! ;-)

C'est ainsi que j'ai placé des étagères vintage et allemandes de la marque "Element System". Cette marque existe toujours mais mes étagères datent des années 70. Je les ai achetées chez Troc International pour 29 euros. La bonne affaire !

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400"]Element System - Les planches Element System - Les planches[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400"]Element System - Les barres et équerres métalliques Element System - Les barres et équerres métalliques[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400"]Element System - La première pose de la première barre métallique Element System - La première pose de la première barre métallique[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400"]Element System - Les équerres posées ...cela donne. Element System - Les équerres posées ...cela donne.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400"]Element System - Le tout posé. Element System - Le tout posé.[/caption]

Je suis très contente du résultat. Le noir, le bois et le mur vert se marient parfaitement. Une atmosphère vintage que j'adore!

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400"]Element System - Le résultat final Element System - Le résultat final[/caption]

Qu'en pensez-vous?

Sources Photos: Faites par MesDécoVertes. Demander accord au préalable.

mercredi 10 avril 2013

Le festival du film fantastique (BIFFF) 2013 - Bruxelles

Aller à ce festival c'est vivre une expérience cinématographique complètement différente. On peut dire que c'est aller à la rencontre d'une autre culture avec ses propres us et coutumes.

Rentrez dans une salle du BIFFF et vous pénétrez un univers parallèle. Vous ne serez pas là seulement pour regarder un film comme dans une salle de cinéma classique mais pour le "transcender". En effet, les "grands" habitués du BIFFF apporteront leurs visions et commentaires totalement décalés. C'est comme une deuxième bande-son ! Et donc une nouvelle histoire!

Ce festival prenait ses quartiers normalement chaque année au Passage 44.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="477"]Passage 44 - Bruxelles Passage 44 - Bruxelles[/caption]

Après un passage à Tour et Taxis, il a pris possession cette année du Palais des Beaux-Arts (BOZAR).

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="551"]Les Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles - Entrée Le Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles - Entrée[/caption]

Oui! Un de nos hauts lieux culturels bruxellois construit par Victor Horta (Mouvement Art Nouveau): Expositions et rétrospectives artistiques, concerts de musique classique, ... y sont organisés.

Mon premier film a été projeté dans la prestigieuse salle Henri Le Boeuf ... Un pari inimaginable mais 100% réussi.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640"]La salle Henri Le Boeuf - Le Palais des Beaux-Arts - Bruxelles La salle Henri Le Boeuf - Le Palais des Beaux-Arts - Bruxelles[/caption]

Le BIFFF est le festival de cinéma le plus fantastique (à mon humble avis ;-))

A côté des projections de films d'horreur, sci-fi ou fantastiques, le festival est connu pour le body painting et make-up fantastique.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400"]BIFFF 2013 - Des personnages étranges hantent les Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles BIFFF 2013 - Des personnages étranges hantent le Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400"]BIFFF 2013 - Envie d'une séance de maquillage? BIFFF 2013 - Envie d'une séance de maquillage?[/caption]

Et pour terminer voici quelques photos "atmosphères" de l'évènement:

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="407"]BIFFF 2013 - Un hamburger aux oignons frits ... bon par trop pour moi! BIFFF 2013 - Un hamburger aux oignons frits ... bon par trop pour moi![/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400"]BIFFF 2013 - La salle de "réunion" BIFFF 2013 - La salle de "réunion"[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400"]BIFFF 2013 - Défilé des affiches officielles du BIFFF, depuis l'année de création, signées par de grands noms de la B.D. et autres dessinateurs. BIFFF 2013 - Défilé des affiches officielles du BIFFF, depuis l'année de sa création, signées par de grands noms de la B.D. et autres dessinateurs.[/caption]

Sources Photos: Faites par MesDécoVertes. Demander accord au préalable.

lundi 8 avril 2013

How To Spot Vintage That's Less Shabby And More Chic

It’s clear that vintage furniture is back in vogue; it can add such character to a house and is often cheaper and better-made compared to buying brand new furniture.

However, like anything else, furniture ages and you need to be careful when buying vintage homeware, because sometimes you can be left with something that is more ‘shoddy cheap’ than ‘shabby chic’. Let me let you in to a few secrets when it comes to furnishing your home vintage style.


It is possible to get some great wooden buys from charity shops and flea markets - however you want to look out for wooden pieces that have scratch-resistant surfaces, this will ensure that it is as durable as possible. This is easy enough to test before you purchase it – attempt drawing a thin line with your fingernail across the wood to see if it makes a visible dent, if it does then it will be worth looking around for something of better quality.

Also check for veneers — a veneer is a thin piece of premium wood that covers a lower-quality piece of wood. Double-check that the base piece is solid wood or plywood, the only problem with veneer is that it limits the number of times an item can be refinished.

If you can see that a piece is being held together by staples or nails, or whether there is any visible glue lines, this is an indicator that it is not the best quality. You should only choose wooden furniture that has been held together by dowels and screws, this will make it much more durable.


It is easier to tell quality-vintage homeware when it comes to upholstery. More often than not, you can see if the piece is clean, well looked-after and good quality from the fabric. If your sofa has removable cushions, you will be able to have a look inside - good quality sofas will have a block of foam that is wrapped in a protective cover, this is to make it long lasting. It is thought that foam only cushions are much less comfortable and they are also less durable, meaning you will get much less wear from them.

In terms of comfort, the best way to test the feel of the specific piece is by sitting in various spots to see whether you tip or sink.

Another quick handy tip – if the cushions are reversible, you’ll get twice the wear!

However, if you really like a piece that isn’t well-made, these tips shouldn’t stop you from buying it. Just don’t expect it to last as long as you’d like!

Becky is a vintage-lover and often shops in flea markets and charity shops. She also likes shopping for inspired vintage homeware from

vendredi 5 avril 2013

London For Nature Lovers

While in London, most people enjoy taking in all of this historic city’s sights and sounds, including the local culture and cuisine as well as the museums, shopping, and royal sites. But if you love the outdoors and the natural environment, you can find ways of fulfilling your need for fresh air and outdoor fun while you are enjoying everything else that London has to offer. Take a look at some of the more popular natural spaces throughout London, listed below, and make sure to squeeze in some time during your stay in this magnificent city so that you can reconnect with nature and wildlife while having fun with your entire family.

Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park

This 4-acre wetland, marsh, and meadow also features lovely lakes and streams that are perfect for calming your frazzled mind and reconnecting with the natural habitat that is host to a variety of plant and animal species. This is a bird watcher’s paradise, as there are so many different bird species that call the meadows and marshlands home, but you can also look for smaller animals along the trails, including frogs, toads, dragonflies, and newts, to name just a few.

London Wetland Centre

This 105-acre wildlife preserve, which is a nice escape from the nearby bustling, crowded city streets, was created in the year 2000 by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. Here, you can enjoy beautiful and tranquil lagoons, pastures, and islets, as well as view a variety of birds or just sit and relax on one of the many benches. Visit the centre to find out how you can participate in one or more of their special activities, including guided walks, educational tours, bat watching walks, pond-dipping sessions, and even wildlife photography classes. Or, if you prefer to go it alone, you and your family can walk the trails and enjoy the serenity, as well as the abundant animal and plant life that surround you. A café with an outdoor terrace is perfect for getting a refreshment at any time, but you are also allowed to bring your own foods to enjoy a peaceful picnic on the grounds of the London Wetland Centre.

Boat Tours

See London from a whole new perspective by purchasing tickets for one of its many boat tours. Whether you are looking for a high speed ride to get your adrenaline pumping or a more relaxed cruise that will take you along the city’s main rivers and canals, there are many boating companies that each offers their own specialised, guided tours on the waters that surround the city. Enjoy moving along the River Thames or simply take the opportunity to see London’s major sights from the water for a whole new view.

Ice Skating

If you are visiting London in the winter, take advantage of some outdoor ice skating fun. You can choose from a variety of outdoor ice skating rinks that allow you to enjoy the physical activity while breathing the fresh, cold air and taking in the sights around you.

Jeffery Durrans 

mardi 26 mars 2013

Unusual Fashion Choice Of The 1970's

I was recently reviewing some of my photographs from the 1970’s. The exercise was a useful reminder of how we all dressed in that era and inspired a few fond memories of some of the unusual choices I made for my own clothes. I say unusual because that is how they appear now but at the time they were all the rage. I was clearly heavily influenced by celebrity endorsement before the concept had even been invented!

The Bay City Rollers

For those who are too young to remember, the Bay City Rollers were a pop sensation in the mid 1970’s inspiring hysteria in young girls that was up there with Beetle Mania. Looking back it is hard to see why! At the time I got wrapped up in the whole phenomenon which naturally meant that I had to wear the band’s signature outfit. This consisted of calf length trousers with tartan stripes up the side, a tartan shirt or shirt with tartan trim and a tartan scarf around the wrist. You will have guessed by now that the band members were Scottish! Seeing the fashion as a passing fad (how insightful) my mum made my trousers from an old pair of jeans and some tartan ribbon. What no one at the time seemed to register was that the calf length bell-bottomed trousers were highly unflattering, particularly on women and only served to thicken your waist and make your legs look enormous! It all goes to prove that no matter what it is, if a celebrity is wearing it, people will buy it.


The flares of the 1970’s were another trend which for most would have been best ignored. These trousers and jeans created an unflattering silhouette and flapped around your legs. Another unfortunate side effect was their tendency to drag along the floor and then soak up any and all moisture which would rise inexorably up the legs making it look like you had taken a paddle. Whatever the fashion world dictates that I should be wearing in future years this is one style to which I will not be returning!

Starsky and Hutch

This American cop show was another 1970’s sensation with the principle actors, David Soul and Paul Michael Glaser becoming major sex symbols. These days it is strange to imagine that a cop show could spawn a fashion trend but this iconic show had achieved such stature that this is exactly what happened. Detective David Starsky’s signature cardigan became highly prized and I was the proud owner of a close copy! The cardigan was a chunky garment fashioned from cream Aran wool which featured a dark Mexican motif around the middle and was tied with a belt. It made me look fat which was quite an achievement as I weighed all of 7 stone but I loved that cardigan anyway. I note with interest that people are still looking for Starsky knitting patterns and that one is available on Ravelry, the knitting social network.


It is easy to write off these ridiculous fashions as the result of my impressionable youth but the truth is that people of all ages make the same mistakes. Never mind what suits you or what you actually like, if one of your heroes is wearing it you have to have one. No wonder celebrity endorsement has taken over the world because it really works!

Sally Stacey is a frequent guest blogger and a fashion fan. 

Picture License: Creative Commons image source

lundi 25 mars 2013

Des designers belges avec un amour du bois - Salon Bois&Habitat

Vendredi dernier je suis passée au salon Bois & Habitat (édition 2013). Ce salon avait lieu au Palais des Expositions de Namur (Belgique).

Juste à l'entrée se tenait un long podium mettant en scène des objets et meubles créés par des designers belges. Le dénominateur commun de tous ces objets design? Je vous le donne en 1000: le bois ! 15 objets, pour 15 ans d'histoire du Salon.

Les designers présents:

Mathias Van De Walle, Elric Petit, Irina Scrinic, Gaultier Poulain, Emmanuel Gardin, Michaël Bihain, Hélène Boularan dite LN Boul, François Dedeur, Nicolas Bovesse, Marina Bautier, Thierry Bataille, Kaspar Hamacher, Mathieu Gabiot, Gaëtan Van de Wyer et Jean-François Parisse.

Voici quelques photos:

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="480"]Bois & Habitat 2013 - Designers Belges Bois & Habitat 2013 - Designers Belges[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="360"]Bois & Habitat 2013 - Designers Belges Bois & Habitat 2013 - Designers Belges[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="360"]Bois & Habitat 2013 - Designers Belges Bois & Habitat 2013 - Designers Belges[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="360"]Bois & Habitat 2013 - Designers Belges Bois & Habitat 2013 - Designers Belges[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="360"]Bois & Habitat 2013 - Designers Belges Bois & Habitat 2013 - Designers Belges[/caption]

Une mini expo en partenariat avec le magazine Déco Idées.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="360"]Bois & Habitat 2013 - Designers Belges Bois & Habitat 2013 - Designers Belges[/caption]

Sources Photos: Faites par MesDécoVertes. Demander accord au préalable.

vendredi 22 mars 2013

Creating The Perfect Vintage Home

Vintage is a lasting trend in both fashion and home-wares; from the house with a singular 1890s vase, perched on the mantel, to a terrace crammed to bursting with 50’s Americana.

Vintage Home Interiors

It’s best to start with the basics. A house from your chosen time period is a good blank canvas. From here you can use vintage decorating materials to adorn your home. There are dealers who sell vintage wallpaper, paint and curtains; curtains in particular are highly sought after. In terms of colour and style, consider the room you will be decorating. Small rooms will look tacky if crammed with memorabilia, while larger rooms can look cold and bare if minimalism isn’t achieved correctly.


· Be careful with the paint however, as health and safety was not as stringent in the past as it is now, and some old paints can be toxic.

· Remember to steam curtains and any other soft furnishings to ensure pests are not brought into your home.

· Vintage fabrics tend to be delicate. Handle carefully.

Vintage Furniture

License: Image author owned
License: Image author owned

When your home is decorated to your satisfaction, it’s time to pick furniture. One of the cheapest – and most earth friendly – ways to do this is to buy old classics and have them professionally restored. A beautifully made chesterfield or vintage leather sofa can be worth thousands; the cost of re-upholstery is a small price to pay for restoring a stunning piece of retro chic which will be passed through your family for generations. Vintage Ercol furniture is particularly worth restoration; especially as the frames are carved from quality wood, and curve sensuously.


· Check for woodworm on all wooden objects – the creature can decimate a house’s woodwork in very little time.

· Measure the cost of restoration against buying an item in better repair. Buying vintage is better than buying new, but some vintage items are too far gone.

· Keep vintage furniture out of bright sunlight if possible to reduce sun bleaching.

Vintage Home Accessories

JukeboxTheJointJune2008.jpg - Creative Commons

Time for the finishing touches - the little extras that give your home that real vintage sparkle. I would strongly suggest setting up a Pinterest board or using a notebook to gather clippings. You can get inspiration anywhere – a fascination with dark Americana means I love defunct / half blown neon signs, coca cola memorabilia and diner chic. There are hundreds of magazines extolling the virtues of the perfect plates to adorn a Welsh dresser, or where you can get an authentic absinthe trowel. Once you have a look you like, acquire pieces slowly. Going overboard, filling your home with cheap approximations, or wasting thousands on average tat simply because it bears the label ‘vintage’ – just say no.


· Inspiration is key. Trawl Pinterest and ask friends for any old magazines.

· Hunt everywhere. Etsy, eBay, jumble sales, car boot sales, charity shops.

· Choose carefully. 5 exceptional pieces will have far more impact than 200 dancing Tiki girls.

Written by Helen Mitchell, writer for Plumbs Reupholstery.

lundi 18 mars 2013

Recycling Oak Pallets Into Furniture

Using Oak pallets is amongst some of the more unusual and unique ways of making furniture. Many companies may often be giving them away or selling them off cheap, as they have them in bulk quantities.

Considering the usual price of oak they can be a great bargain but of course you can’t expect them to be a top grade suitable for fine furniture. You can certainly make a nice piece of bedroom or living room furniture though.

Pallets are made to be strong and able to hold a lot of weight, so this also means they are fitted together extremely well. One blogger even likens them to being held together with ‘kryptonite’. Of course this is not the case but as intended and suggested they are hardwearing so the best way to use a pallet (if you do not need it in its original shape) is to saw it, rather than trying to disassemble it.

Other types of pallets would also be fine for making furniture; however oak will be more the hardwearing source compared to the likes of pine, so consider that when deciding on what you will make.

Pallet desk overall
Photograph of Pallet Desk by Pierre Vedel Via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

One of the easiest furniture ideas using a pallet, is to make a coffee table. If you take one pallet and add wheels to the bottom, it will make a very low table. Alternatively you can stack a few together, or add pieces of wood between two to make up the height. Then it’s up to you to pick a finish to suit your room. Bold colours can give the room a real colour pop effect and would look great in a loft style apartment. Or if you just lightly stain it, it will have more of a rustic feel.

Pallet Chair and Unit
Pallet Chair and Unit

Of course this twist on oak may not look great with expensive and well crafted oak living room furniture, but the use of pallets is endless and you can even make your very own decking.

The main thing here is you will need to lay them on a flat surface, so may need to do some groundwork first. But the idea is literally as simple as laying a few pallets down, fitting them together as closely as possible and waterproofing them with a decent wood sealant. You can also stain them whatever colour you like, and using something like a warm terracotta could brighten up your garden and give it a real Mediterranean feel.

Some of the more crafty types online have made toys, beds, cupboards and much more. Although these would not be the best choices for a novice, as they could be a safety risk. One wouldn’t want to be awoken in the night a collapsing bed!

J. Hawkes is a guest author and writes on a number of topics relating to DIY, recycling and the environment.  Hawkes regularly submits to a number of different blogs including National Furniture UK's where discussion is usually about Oak living furniture.

 License: Creative Commons image source

vendredi 15 mars 2013

Du vintage aux couleurs pop sur @HyggeHour

Chaque vendredi, je présenterai un objet vintage qui sera vendu prochainement sur mon e-boutique HyggeHour (sur BigCartel ou ETSY).

Dimanche dernier j'ai trouvé ce lot de 9 tasses aux couleurs pop 1960/1970 pour punch. Elles n'ont pas du tout été utilisées. Elles seront vendues par 3.

Elles feront une très belle addition lors de vos lunches ou repas d'été au jardin ou en terrasse. Ou encore pour la kids party d'Elsa ou de Thomas, non?

Voici quelques photos.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Tasses aux couleurs pop 1960/1970 - Objets à venir sur la boutique Hygge Hour Tasses aux couleurs pop 1960/1970 - Objets à venir sur la boutique Hygge Hour[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400"]Tasses aux couleurs pop 1960/1970 - Objets à venir sur la boutique Hygge Hour Tasses aux couleurs pop 1960/1970 - Objets à venir sur la boutique Hygge Hour[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400"]Tasses aux couleurs pop 1960/1970 - Objets à venir sur la boutique Hygge Hour Tasses aux couleurs pop 1960/1970 - Objets à venir sur la boutique Hygge Hour[/caption]

mercredi 13 mars 2013

Des salades sur nos toits

Dans le Joske, un mensuel communal et maintenant appelé le 12 10 suite au changement de bourgemestre, je lisais un article assez intéressant et qui m'a fait pensé à la publicité de Grany de Lu.

Vous vous imaginez un jour la nature prendre sa place dans nos villes?

La Région de Bruxelles-Capitale (je vous épargne les explications de pourquoi je parle de Région de BXL ... des explications longues sur la politique belge nécessiteraient un nouvel article) vise à faire de ma ville un exemple en matière d'alimentation durable.

Apparamment, le territoire bruxellois possèderait 900 hectares de terrains et 400 hectares de toits plats qui pourraient être transformés en cultures maraîchères. Soit 2000 terrains de foot pour cultiver des fruits et des légumes sans sortir de Bruxelles.

En 2014, il y aura même une ferme urbaine de 3000 m² qui sera établie sur les toits des abattoirs d'Anderlecht. Une grande première en Belgique.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="576"]Les Abattoirs d'Anderlecht Les Abattoirs de Cureghem à Anderlecht[/caption]

Quels sont les bénéfices d'un tel projet?

Outre la verdurisation d'un monde citadin bétonné, l'accès à des produits frais et de qualité en sera facilité et la facture énérgétique en sera ainsi diminuée. C'est également une manière de préserver la biodiversité urbaine. Et la cerise sur le gâteau: 6000 emplois sont à la clef.

Avec Bruxelles qui participe à l'initiative européenne "Green Capital 2015" ... il faut mettre toute les chances de notre côté. Non?

Vous pouvez trouver plus d'information sur Bruxelles et sa participation ici:

mardi 12 mars 2013

Ahhh Mad Men - Saison 6

Ohhh un rayon de soleil à travers cette neige.

Mad Men - Saison 6 nous revient. Et voici le Poster qui l'annonce aujourd'hui.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="560"]Mad Men - Saison 6 Mad Men - Saison 6[/caption]

Non pas une photo ... mais du dessin. On est absolument dans le ton de la série!

J'adore !

lundi 11 mars 2013

Interior Design Ideas For A Small Living Space Like An Apartment Or Loft

Small spaces like lofts and apartments can present some design challenges, but you can also allow yourself to be very creative when space is limited. There are many interesting things that you can do that add character to your space and make it more functional. There are ways to decorate a small space to keep it stylish and efficient.

The Kitchen

Kitchens can be a difficult room to decorate when they are small, but they can become a major place to create storage. If you only have a few upper cabinets to stash dishes and other kitchen essentials, try building some open shelves on the walls. This is easy because all it takes is some wood and a few brackets. Then, you can place small appliances, extra dishes and serveware and even small decorative items like cases and bowls on these shelves. Stick with metal brackets and paint the shelves in a dark wood to keep them modern.

The Bathroom

Bathrooms are often neglected because they tend to be small and we do not spend a lot of time in there. However, you can make a few small changes in your bathroom to create a more modern look. First, change out your mirror. Go for a new mirror with a brushed nickel frame in either a squared or oval shape. On either side of this, place modern sconces. If your vanity is outdated, paint it and then replace the handles with more modern ones in the same finish as your mirror frame. You can also replace towel bars, sink faucet and the shower/bath faucets for a quick and inexpensive modern update.

Living Room

If you have older furniture that you cannot afford to replace, you can update each couch, loveseat and chair with slipcovers and modern pillows. This actually makes quite a big difference. You can find more modern-looking tables for good prices at big box stores, second-hand stores and flea markets. If these are a little banged up, simply sand them down and then restain or repaint them. Replace your lamps with more modern ones and declutter the room. Modern looks are never cluttered. Simply keep decorative items to a minimum and space them out.


Sometimes creating a modern bedroom that is still comfortable can be a challenge. However, a few simple changes can make a difference. First, simplify your room. Declutter all shelves and tables and make sure nothing but furniture is on the floor. Choose a modern vase and put simple flowers in it in more neutral colors, like pastels or white. Place this on the dresser along with a more modern mirror. Switch out your bedding to a more simple arrangement. For example, a less puffy comforter, more luxurious sheets and fewer decorative pillows. Make sure your window treatments are just simple curtain panels or wooden blinds.

General Modern Changes

Look at your wall color and make sure that every room is a more neutral shade. Neutral colors are the cornerstone of modern design. Keep every room in your home clean and uncluttered. Make sure all furniture is simple and made up of clean lines. Try a consistent color theme throughout your home for a cohesive look and modern feel. If you are able, consider installing wood floors throughout your home and only using area rugs as decorative objects.

About the author: Robert Mansions is a writer for Apartments Management Group. Aside from constantly reviewing Chicago Apartment Rentals, Robert also enjoys keeping up with the real estate market and reading the newspaper.

samedi 9 mars 2013

Tips for choosing the Perfect Colours when decorating - Guest blogging

Many homeowners feel overwhelmed and worried when choosing colors for their home, even though they one of the basic elements within decorating. Part of this is due to the wide variety of colors and shades; once you pick the color, there are many other decisions.

How light should the colour be? Will you get away with darker shades? Should you opt for warmer or cooler tones for the room? Is paint the best option or will another material, like fabric, work better?

The problems do not stop there. The impact will depend on the way that they are used and the type of room. Once you paint the walls, you may stand back and wonder if that really was the shade your selected. Too many people think that it means they have failed in decorating their home but it just means trial and error is required.

But how do various factors affect your decision and view afterwards?

The first consideration is the lighting when picking the samples or the type of material used to select the samples. Small chips of the color will not give the same view of a full wall or even the room. Different types of lighting in the home and using natural light will lead to the shades looking completely different than under the store’s tube lighting.

You will also need to consider the flooring, the colour of the ceiling and the furnishings around you. These can change the way the color looks and it may give an unflattering look.

That doesn’t mean you have to start using creams, whites and other neutral colors. Even the most professional interior designers don’t get it right the first time with every single job. The difference is they know how to take everything into account to get a rough idea that they can easily refine.

For help with choosing, use one of the tips from Better Homes & Gardens’ book, Colour: The Complete Guide for Your Home”. One recommendation is to start with colors that you know you like; you don’t need to know a lot about them to make them perfect.
There are other tips that the book offers to help you decide:

  • Be guided by your instincts. Your gut is a great way to make an instant decision. You can then refine the choices afterwards with some practice and theory.

  • Be guided by the colors of your clothes and furnishings. You will usually pick your favorite colors without really thinking about it. You could also look through various decorating magazines or books for style ideas and be guided by the ones that you like. Also, consider the architecture that you like as these often involve various colors that you can use.

  • Use the entry way of the home as way to bridge the gap between outside and inside. Earthy tones, such as greens and browns, can help to be ready for a step into the home or for getting ready to face the weather outside. This can be incorporated into other rooms around the house.

  • Do everything in stages. Doing it all in one go can lead to disaster, especially if you decide you don’t like the color. If you are working on many rooms in the house, focus on them one at a time to refine the process for choosing the color and make your home more personalized.

About the author: Stuart is an experienced builder in Sussex and runs Bem Builders LTD. 

vendredi 8 mars 2013

Hygge Hour ... Happy hour en ligne !

Hygge Hour - le logo

Lorsque j'avais annoncé mais sans les dévoiler les raisons du changement de la skin de mon blog ... et bien voilà on y est. Roulement de tambour. Le coeur qui bat la chamade!

Mon projet sera lancé ce soir, à la fin de cette belle journée des femmes.

Je devrais plutôt dire "NOTRE" projet car je le fais avec une amie, Katja, la blogueuse derrière Fat Cat, qui partage la même passion que moi.

Ah mais alors ... c'est quoi ce projet? Oh rien de très révolutionnaire : Joindre mes 2 passions que sont Internet et le vintage.  J'ai arpenté les brocantes, magasins de seconde-main et autres magasins depuis que je suis jeune ado ... je préférais dénicher la perle (à mes yeux) vintage que de fumer ou de boire (bon depuis je me suis rattrapée ;-) ! )

Mes affaires vintage

Notre boutique en ligne s'appelle Hygge Hour

Hygge? Hour?

Hygge est un mot danois qui désigne un moment et lieu chaleureux (pour faire court). Hour fait référence à un magnifique programme de la BBC 2 "The Hour" dont nous sommes hyper fans! Cette série a pour cadre la BBC dans les années 50's. Tout comme Mad Men, un véritable festin pour les yeux!

On a décidé de commencer avec des objets vintage liés à la cuisine. Petits. Faciles à envoyer. Mais on espère que notre activité se développant ... on touchera à d'autres objets vintages.

Vous pouvez retrouver notre boutique en ligne  sur Etsy et sur Big Cartel.

Qu'en pensez-vous?


jeudi 7 mars 2013

The Desktop Wallpaper Project - Par Fox is Black

Je recherchais un nouveau fond d'écran pour mon PC (Desktop wallpaper). J'aime changer.

Pour le moment j'ai un fond d'écran de Chris Maynard, "Feather Shadowboxes". Une vision de volatiles découpés dans des plumes.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="448"]Siblings - Chris Maynard Siblings - Chris Maynard[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="448"]Peacock Attraction - India Blue Peacock feathers - Chris Maynard Peacock Attraction - India Blue Peacock feathers - Chris Maynard[/caption]

Et donc en cherchant le web, j'ai trouvé. J'ai découvert le projet "Desktop Wallpaper" par Fox Is Black. Un blog qui parle d'art et de design (tout ce que j'aime !).

Et là j'ai enfin trouvé de quoi remplacer l'offre des fonds d'écran de Windows !

Et je me suis choisie "March into Spring" ... Je trouve que cela colle avec ce beau début de mois de mars! Ce fond d'écran a été dessiné par Marisa Seguin et Juilianna Brion du site Ten Paces and Draw.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="576"]March into Spring - Marisa Segion et Julianna Brion March into Spring - Marisa Segion et Julianna Brion[/caption]

Il y en a plein d'autres! Faites votre choix! Et puis vous découvrirez de nouveaux artistes ...


mercredi 6 mars 2013

How Modern Design Influences Contemporary Interior Design Styles - Guest blogging

The Evolution of Modern Design

Contemporary Design

Modern interior design has evolved and become a prevalent element in contemporary style. The sleek and unadorned sophistication of modern design has become a popular trend, with not only interior designers, but also with mass produced retail outlets such as IKEA. This style is emphasized by strong lines and shapes that contrast with neutral color palettes. Modern interior design is a unique style that has generated a popular resurgence in today's aesthetics for a number of reasons. While modern and contemporary are often used simultaneously, they are not synonymous definitions. Before breaking down the elements of modern design, it is important to understand the categorical distinctions.

Why Sets Modern Apart from Contemporary?

Modern and contemporary, by basic definition, sound interchangeable. This is a common misconception by many. In the simplest terms, modern refers to a specific style originating in the early 1900s and coming to fruition in the 1950s and 60s. Contemporary, on the other hand,


represents a pliable, ever changing category of trends and popular styles. Because it represents moment driven fades, contemporary interior design is very eclectic, pulling from a number of popular styles. Modern design is currently one such trend. Modern interior design is commonly referred to today as retro.

History of Modern Design

To understand the concepts and foundations of modern interior design, it is important to recognize the conceptualization and influence of modern art itself. Modern art was the influential predecessor to modern design. This influence went on to affect not only interior design but also architecture. This movement has its first ties in the post-World War I European influence that saw art and style under the premise that "form follows function." This was then coupled with the art styles in the United States and drawn from aspects of the impressionist movement.

In the 1920s, art and design was highly influenced by the jazz age as well as America's continuing industrial innovations. These socio-economic factors inspired the Art Deco, Streamline Modern and Machine Age styles. Concepts were based on principles such as Italian minimalism with design schemes that were vastly open and large, while for the most part unadorned. There was an underlying functionality to this style.

As World War II concluded and America saw an exponential boom in population, modern design was further influenced by concepts of mass production. Machines were created to produce furniture in mass quantities. Materials such as plastic, steel and plywood became popular. Modern interior designers had access to a larger number of products that were both functional and economical. This design style, as we know it today, is often referred to as "Mid Century Modern," as it reached its pinnacle during the 1950s and 1960s.

What are the Distinctive Qualities of Modern Interior Design?

Form and Function

Modern interior design is similar in form to that of modern architecture. Shapes are geometric and angular with distinctive lines, often asymmetrical. The use of squares and rectangles are often rigid with smooth, even curves. Circles and ovals are also popular and are usually perfectly shaped. Lines are unbroken and rigid. This is a key component of both furniture and art. Modern interior designers will often use striking forms and shapes in artwork or furniture pieces to serve as a focal point or accent piece. These particular pieces are often further highlighted through the use of lighting. Otherwise, there are fairly limited ornamental flourishes. Overall, the design aesthetic remains minimalistic.


The color palette for a modern interior designer is always neutral. Contemporary interior design has emphasized this trend with the popularity of white in wall color and furniture. The aforementioned functionality of accent pieces are typically back dropped by white walls. Color is used sparingly, so neutral palettes are common for not only paint choices but also furnishings, accessories and fabrics alike. If a contrast in style is to be made, it is generally through a unique furniture piece or artwork and not through color. The neutral colors help create the desired feel of openness and expansive interiors.


Retailers like IKEA embrace the sustainability and use of natural, organic materials popular with the widespread green movement and an important element of modern interior design. The prominent use of natural materials has further increased the popularity of this style. Furniture and accent pieces often make use of wood, leather and linen. Contemporary interior design uses furniture of molded plywood, plastic and polished metal. When artificial shapes and materials are used they are often harmonized through the use of expansive windows and open landscapes. There is almost always a draw back to the natural elements. Accent works, such as table legs and cabinet details, are commonly stainless steel and other glossy metals. These, coupled with the popularity of glass and plastic, create smooth surfaces that are complimentary to the form and shape of the furnishings. Modern interior designers often create similar aesthetics with flooring such as granite, concrete and linoleum.

Is Modern Interior Design Here to Stay?

The popularity of modern design stores such as IKEA have proved the sustainability of this particular style. While contemporary interior designers are allowed the ambiguity of a vast style market, modern themes are continuing to increase in popularity. The combination of functionality and style certainly helps establish the longevity of the modern interior design aesthetic.
Source de l'image: Photo provided by:

Susan Slobac is very familiar with information about on how to fix up your house to a contempory style. Susan refers to modern interior design to find out further information about how to complete your ideal look. Add Susan on Google Plus.

mardi 5 mars 2013

La "Cat Map" - Localiser les chats dans le monde

Je n'ai pas pu résister de vous parler de cette carte.

Donc à côté de Google Map et même MapsGL (pour visiter les lieux célèbres en 3D), il y a maintenant la Cat Map. Vous pouvez faire une recherche d'un chat par sa couleur de poils, son sexe et même son nom. Vous pouvez même rajouter votre (ou vos) chat sur cette carte !

Maintenant on ne pourra plus dire J'ai perdu mon chat (???).

Pourquoi une telle initiative?

La ZSL de Londres ( Zoological Society of London) est derrière cette initiative et veut communiquer interactivement avec son public sur un projet bien spécifique. Le 22 Mars prochain s'ouvre "le territoire des tigres" (Tiger Territory) qui acceuillera les tigres de Sumatra. Ces tigres sont une espèce menacée d'extinction.

Je vais y enregistrer mes 6 chats (Lily, Robin, Tibou, Mabelle, Léo & Bobby). Je vous tiens au courant quand cela est fait (via HC et Twitter)!

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="549"]Cat Map by ZSL Cat Map -  by ZSL[/caption]