Sunday, 31 July 2011

french inspired boudoir

This would be my Marie-Antoinette-meeting-Sofia-Coppola-colour-inspired post. As you know already, I've been reading Antonia Fraser's biography of the queen and I recently saw Coppola's film in full length. Those of you who have seen it are aware that the colours are absolutely sensational; the film is a feast for the eyes. Marie Antoinette loved pale blue, pale green and lavender-grey colours, but she hated orange. I was doing a little search online when I came across these French inspired images. This is the work of a woman named Catherine, a lawyer who lives in Mill Valley, California. [Update: it turns out that she has a blog: the golden touch] She obviously has a passion for interior design and in 2007 she won the Domino magazine design contest (oh, how I miss Domino magazine!). They called the space a French boudoir. I just had to share these photos with you because even though I wouldn't decorate my own place that way, I simply love the colour combination – beautiful and so feminine. I wouldn't mind having the chair with the flowery patterned backside in my own bedroom.

Have a sweet Sunday!

photo credit:
Catherine, Mill Valley, CA for Domino magazine

Saturday, 30 July 2011

joy pockets

It's a cloudy Saturday, without rain though. The children are tidying the big room and then we're off to the Nightingale Park. I'm bringing Marie Antoinette with me and I'm looking forward to reading and drinking latte while the children play. It's a good day for joy pockets; the moments we cherish no matter what is going on in our lives. If you want to play along then join Monica at Bohemian Twilight. Here are the ones which came to my mind:

  • fresh flowers
  • turning on my laptop in the morning these days to find emails from hubby that start with hi darling
  • custom stamps, like the one above from Primele on Etsy
  • films starring Meryl Streep
  • browsing in the iittala shop in the city centre
  • my son's negotiation skills. This morning it was: "Mom, if you make pancakes today I'll … I'll give you a hug" – of course he struck a deal
  • next week's weather forecast that shows the sun
  • August 2011: my best friend is visiting and hubby comes back home
  • comments from blogfriends
  • the beautiful antique cup in the photo below that a friend of mine in Winnipeg (Manitoba, Canada) gave me on my birthday with the words: "I'm keeping this one for you until we meet again in person." The cup even has a name: American Beauty. This friend of mine is an avid cup collector and you should see her gorgeous collection. One day the cup will be formally handed over in either Antwerp, London or Iceland.

I hope you have a wonderful day. I'll be viewing you blogs when I come back from the park.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

blue in noirmoutier

Right now I would like to stay on the island of Noirmoutier in France, relax, go for walks and feel the wind from the Bay of Biscay in my hair. I wouldn't mind staying in a house decorated in blue. I'd eat croissant, baguette, cheese and grapes with my morning coffee. And I'd probably do as Tolkien's hobbits: have second breakfast – exactly like the first. I would definitely read a book; maybe reread Victor Hugo's Les Misérables. After all, this is France. So let's see, relax, go for walks, eat and read. Yeah, that's pretty much everything I'd do in Noirmoutier.

Hope this Thursday is treating you well!

photo credit: Charly Erwin for Art&Décoration

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

the things I got & saw

I'm sitting in the dining room with latte and organic chocolate, listening to my YouTube favourites. Right now U2 and Bruce Springsteen are singing I still haven't found what I'm looking for. Well, I have found what I'm looking for but I can always find some more!

So, let's talk about the things I found yesterday, shall we. Actually, I'm not a big shopper, I think I'm fairly innocent in that field. We started with the craft supplies and by visiting two shops the kids got everything they needed: oil paint, paper, glue, stickers and all kinds of things. The bags were so heavy but luckily the rain treated us kindly and we enjoyed a lovely moment in a café. In the magazine shop I was uninspired and bought nothing because I had already seen most of the editorials online. By the way, when our son saw the cover of Vogue Paris he exclaimed: "That woman is ugly!" Lara Stone, please excuse my son!

I went to a bookshop instead and found a beautiful book, INSPIRATION Dior by Florence Muller. I didn't buy it, mainly because it was so heavy, but it was cheaper than on Amazon so maybe I'll have to go back one day and get it. It would look seriously good on my coffee table. After one hour or so in the bookshop (luckily for me, the kids love bookshops) we headed over to Habitat and I bought the two cushions in the photo below. The turquoise one is called Armure and they have those in a few colours. The other one was on sale and it's intended for outdoors, but it looked so cute and summery so I decided to give it a new home.

We were close to Groenplaats square carrying all those bags when I was thinking where to go next. Then our 9 year-old said: "Mom, you've bought enough, now we'll go home!" Then I said: "But I haven't bought the flowers yet!" and was about to head over to the florists. Then she said loud and clear: "No, mom, you have enough flowers, now we'll go home!" That kid is horribly strict, don't you think?!! You can never have enough flowers. Well, I simply bought them today and decided to take a photo for you of that part of my dining room window.

I hope you're enjoying a wonderful Wednesday.

PS. I must be the ultimate guest post rookie because again I forgot to tell you about a post I wrote for Christel at Captivated by image on Monday. And let me add, thank you for all the birthday wishes for my son.

photo credit: Lisa Hjalt

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

off to the city centre in the rain

Believe it or not, but yesterday we actually saw the sun here in Antwerp. Even though it didn't stick around very long, and it began raining again, it was wonderful to see that yellow friend in the sky. Yesterday our boy turned six and the kids and I invited a friend to our home for a very long lunch. We enjoyed lasagne, berry cake and biscotti, and coffee, of course. Actually, we celebrated his birthday on Saturday because on Sunday hubby had to go to the USA and is staying there for three weeks. That makes me a grass widow.

Right now we are getting ready to go to the city centre in the rain. On my to-buy list are magazines for me and craft supplies for the kids. We're also visiting the florists on Groenplaats square (see photo below) to find some gorgeous flowers to bring with us back home. After that I'll grab a latte at Mockamore café, the white house to the right, with the red awning.

When we come back home I'm taking a time to view your blog posts. Enjoy your day!

photo credit: Lisa Hjalt

Sunday, 24 July 2011

for norway II

Since the incomprehensible events in Norway on Friday I've been feeling more connected to my Nordic roots than ever. When following the Icelandic media it's clear that the Nordic bonds are strong; the hearts of Icelanders are mourning with their Norwegian neighbours. People have added the Norwegian flag to their profile picture on Facebook, people are lighting candles, and yesterday there was a candle floating and a memorial service by the Pond in Reykjavik city centre.  I dag er vi alle norsk is a sentence written in Norwegian that kept popping up on many websites and blogs yesterday. It means today we are all Norwegian.

Johanna Sigurdardottir, the Prime Minister of Iceland, said that all government buildings would be flying flags at half mast and encouraged all Icelanders to do so too. She said: “We are thinking of the Norwegian nation at this terrible time. Our thoughts are with the Norwegians and not least with the victims and families of those who are maybe going through the most trying times the Norwegians have had to deal with” (IceNews).

There is a lump in my throat and inside is this indescribable feeling of sadness. For this humble post I chose a photo by my friend and nature photographer Daniel Bergmann, taken in Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon in the south-east of Iceland. The song Hunting High and Low is by the Norwegian band A-ha, here performed by Icelandic tenor Gardar Thor Cortes.

photo credit: Daniel Bergmann
YouTube: Gardar Thor Cortes / Hunting High and Low
music: A-ha

Saturday, 23 July 2011

for norway

Friday, 22 July 2011

malmö home

This is the home of singer/lyricist Nina Persson from the Swedish band The Cardigans (I love their song Carnival). I find the herringbone floor in the living room and dining room so beautiful, not to mention the use of white paint, the wall panels and gorgeous ceiling. It's such a cosy home. Click on the Bolaget link below to see more photos.

Malmö is a beautiful city in the south of Sweden. I visited it twice during spring 2010, at the time we were living in Denmark. If you happen to be in Copenhagen then it's ideal to visit Malmö because the train ride across the Öresund Bridge is only about 35 minutes or so and the central station is very close to the city centre. Furthermore, it's cheaper to shop in Malmö than in Copenhagen. I'm just saying.

PS. I totally forgot to tell you that last Wednesday I was guest posting for Ada at Classiq while she's vacationing.

photo credit:

Thursday, 21 July 2011

dries van noten on national day

Today is the National Day of Belgium so it seems fitting to give you a big dose of designer Dries Van Noten who, in case you didn't know, happens to be an Antwerp native. I'm giving you a taste of two seasons: above are some of my favourites from his Spring 2011 Collection and below from the Autumn 2011. (Remind me to snap a few photographs for you of his shop on Nationalestraat street.)

A little history lesson is bound to follow: Belgians revolted in the year of 1830 and gained independence from the Netherlands. On 21 July 1831 Leopold I (House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha) became the first King of the Belgians. The two largest regions in Belgium are Flanders in the north, where they speak Flemish/Dutch, and Wallonia in the south, where they speak French. In Eastern Wallonia there is also a small community of German speakers. Brussels in the south is the capital and Antwerp, which I'm proud to call my home, is the largest city in the north.

It's a bit ironic that the country's motto is 'Strength through Unity' because Belgium is still without a government, more than one year after the elections in 2010 (here's an interesting BBC clip). Maybe the unity thing doesn't apply to politics, but who cares about politics anyway when there is gorgeous fashion to be looked at? wink

I'm off to the kitchen to make pancakes. I hope you're enjoying a wonderful day! 

photo credit:
Spring 2011 collection: Marcio Madeira for Vogue US
Autumn 2011 collection: Yannis Vlamos for Vogue US