Friday, 30 November 2012

charming spaces: minimalist holiday decor

It is time to bring in the holiday decor, isn't it? This Upper West Side living room of Susan Becher that appeared in Lonny last year is my idea of decorating a home before Christmas. I'm a holiday decor minimalist; I cannot stand decor clutter. All I need is a decorated tree, an Advent wreath, and of course a beautifully decorated table. When I see houses with all windows blinking and a life-size Santa or the nativity play set in the garden I just want to run and hide.

Speaking of the holidays, I'm pretty sure had the Creator gone Christmas shopping for four days in a row he would have rested on the fifth day! I'm exhausted after going to a few stores and carrying bags and I'm not even buying much! But I have to say that it is truly wonderful to walk the cobblestone streets in the city at this time of the year. The holiday decor makes the city even more beautiful and the people of Luxembourg are obviously not stressful; the atmosphere is festive and relaxed.

Have a wonderful day!

photo credit:
Patrick Cline for Lonny, November/December 2011, p. 200-201


Thursday, 29 November 2012

drawing with light 10

photo credit:
Patrick Demarchelier | Jac Jagaciak for Dior Grand Bal Haute Couture Watches

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

notes à la mode 23

Earlier this year I introduced the Icelandic slow fashion label ELLA on the blog with, as some of you may remember, an ELLA fragrance giveaway. This is the latest campaign from Elinros Lindal and her team of designers in Iceland. Vetur in Icelandic means winter.

I love the coat and I think I would also be dancing in the street if I had that awesome hat.


  I wasn't going to include links today but I changed my mind yesterday when I found a message from my cousin Helga of the SoupDesign blog (she also designs the layout for the e-magazine Home & Delicious). She sent me this interesting link to an illustrated Ink Fabric editorial (D&G preview to the right). It was Andrew Ivaskiv who photographed model Myroslava Dronyuk and illustrator Julia Slavinska beautifully created the outfits. I was impressed; it's such a fresh take on fashion editorials
  Continuing with the Christmas windows theme from the last two Notes à la mode posts. Angela Leland of Life, Love & Luxury shared photos of the Bergdorf Goodman holiday windows this year
  I found such a fun Louis Vuitton video on the Hanneli blog that almost makes me want to skip winter and head straight to spring. It features Hanneli Mustaparta, Mira Duma and Elin Kling and plenty of LV mini bags that will be out in January. I love the song too. Think pink and Paris!

photo credit:
1-4: ELLA Winter 2012 ad campaign - photos from the ELLA website and their Facebook page / 5: Andrew Ivaskiv for Ink Fabric | illustrator Julia Slavinska via Trendland

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

interior design: brussels townhouse

Perhaps 'fireplace envy' would have been a more honest and proper title for this post. I think there is a fireplace in almost every room of this townhouse in Brussels, Belgium, built in 1907, that was featured in the May 2011 issue of Elle Decor. I love the room above with all that natural light and bleached oak floors. Probably the fireplace isn't functioning, as I think I spot candles in it, but I love the room anyway.

Even though I wouldn't choose it myself, there is something about the colour palette of the living room/library below that appeals to me, it feels balanced and I like the harmony in there. The mantel is original and that gorgeous ottoman is custom-made. I think I have said it before that bookshelves with a ladder make my knees weak.

There is something about that white hallway. It's so simple looking and yet so elegant. The room with the small desk and chaise lounge is the guest room, which makes me want to be a guest in that house.

If you want to see the rest of the house then visit the link below.

photo credit:
Simon Upton for Elle Decor, May 2011

Monday, 26 November 2012

brighter shade than pale 04

Is time flying? Have we really reached the last week of November? I'm not the I-don't-like-Mondays type but I admit that I was hoping it was Sunday when the alarm clock woke me up this morning. I guess I wanted to prolong the weekend, which was wonderful.

Well, I only had to push the button on the coffee grinder to feel ready for the new week. It will be a busy one with some Christmas shopping. Santa arrives in Luxembourg next week and with the man of the house abroad I have to arrange things. Next Sunday the children will decorate the tree while I prepare the advent wreath. Then we plan to bake some cookies and maybe write Christmas cards. I love December.

Have a wonderful week!

photo credit:
1, 3 & 4: Millie Holloman Photography via Style Me Pretty and Style Me Pretty Gallery / 2: from the book Things We Made by Roman and Williams via Old Faithful Shop / 5: Alexander Wang Autumn 2012 via Vogue US


Saturday, 24 November 2012

a good week

When I look back on this week I think of carnations, magazines, books, coffee and home-made bread, dark chocolate and nuts in a bowl, and bedtime stories told by my seven-year old. My son tests me the day after to make sure that I am indeed listening to his stories and you should see him rolling his eyes when I cannot remember a certain detail. Despite A being away it was a good week, a very quiet one. It got even better when A decided to come home to spend the weekend with us.

One of the magazines I bought this week was Travel + Leisure, the November issue, which I haven't read in a long time. It had a short article about the 3rd district of Paris with interesting addresses. In the article they speak of the Merci store (which I visited and loved) and many other places. I think I may have to plan a day trip to Paris and check them out.

Yesterday when we knew that A was on his way home the kids watched a film and I opened the laptop to discover that I had won the Suzani cushion giveaway on Igor's Happy Interior Blog. This is my first giveaway win ever! Now I'm expecting a beautiful red and colourful hand embroidered cushion cover in the mail all the way from Igor's sponsor in Uzbekistan. My son is super excited because red is his favourite colour!

Speaking of giveaways, have you entered the Besotted Brand giveaway on my blog? Besotted Brand is giving one LatteLisa reader a set of beautiful hand-printed 'thank you' cards. If you are a lover of penmanship and stationery then please feel free to enter the giveaway.

I'm wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

photo credit:
Lisa Hjalt


Friday, 23 November 2012

charming spaces: dining room with a soul

This Friday's charming space is a dining room in Paris, with white glass doors that open into the living room. I'm calling it a dining room with a soul because the paintings are by a friend of the owners, Sebastianne Fourreau, and the lighting, by the German designer Ingo Maurer, has been decorated with personal quotes and drawings.

Have a wonderful day!

photo credit:
Antoine Baralhé for Le Journal de la Maison


Thursday, 22 November 2012

interior design: the right touches

First I would like to wish all the Americans out there a Happy Thanksgiving. I wouldn't mind spending the day preparing for a feast. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

Remember my hallway headache post from last week? The above hallway look is my latest crush. I have been admiring that photo since yesterday. I found this renovated duplex in Madrid while browsing the Nuevo Estilo website. A console table with contemporary art and books ... I'm sold. This is the look I need for my hallway; this is what I want to greet people when the front door is opened. For those interested, the sculpture on the table is by Pinuccio Sciola and the photograph by Ruben Tortosa.

I had to include the bright dining area with its clean lines. That room, just like the hallway, has all the right touches: a Le Corbusier table, lighting designed by Elio Martinelli and the wall decorated with a piece by Toof, a French artist.

Design perfection!

photo credit:
Nuevo Estilo



Tuesday, 20 November 2012

coffee break & grass-widowhood

I am taking a long coffee break in a very foggy weather, reading my new magazines while dipping chocolate almond biscotti into my coffee and devouring incredibly tasty clementines. I had to go grocery shopping yesterday and I had to restrain myself from hugging the pile of clementines when I spotted it. I love clementines! The magazine shop was too tempting so after a little browsing in there I brought home the December issues of Art & Décoration and Vogue Germany. In the former I'm reading a short article on Brussels. It has plenty of photos of beautiful architectural details and I'm realising that I didn't visit Brussels enough while living in Belgium. There are so many places there that I haven't been to.

Are you familiar with the term grass widow? A left for Switzerland on Sunday to attend a workshop and he is staying for three weeks. That makes me a grass widow. Well, I got an email from him this morning where he said he might be able to come home this weekend, which would be nice. My son is sleeping on his father's side these days; telling me stories before we go to sleep and falling asleep in the middle of a sentence. Priceless moments.

How is this Tuesday treating you?


photo credit:
Lisa Hjalt

Monday, 19 November 2012

giveaway: hand-printed 'thank you' set from besotted brand

With the holidays coming up I was in the mood for a GIVEAWAY to say thank you to loyal readers of LatteLisa and to welcome new ones. I am proud to say that I have teamed up with Tristan B, the owner of the beautiful online shop Besotted Brand (perhaps you remember the post I wrote about them last August), and she is happy to give one lucky reader the chance to win the Calligraphy 'Thank You' Hand-Printed Stationery Set.

Besotted Brand has a beautiful range of products for lovers of penmanship: stationery, stamps, twines and everything you need for your handwritten anything. They also offer custom-made products. Everything is ready to gift so if you are thinking about holiday presents already then please visit the online shop. The products are shipped worldwide and Tristan and her team do combine shipping, which means they refund any excess shipping fees. No need to be scared of shipping cost when doing business with Tristan and her team, if buying more than one item you only pay for the weight of the parcel itself.


Besotted Brand is giving away my personal favourite, the beautiful set of hand-printed 'thank you' cards to a lucky reader of LatteLisa. The giveaway is open to all followers of the English and Icelandic version of LatteLisa.

The set contains 10 hand-printed fold-over cards (and envelopes) created with Besotted Brand's crimson rubber 'printing plates'. The cards are 100% cotton imported from Italy, exuding a sense of luxury. Each 'thank you' is painstakingly printed by hand. Due to the process no two cards will be exactly alike, the little imperfections add to the charm of the cards. The set comes in a two-piece kraft box on a 'nest' of wood shred with a natural twill ribbon.


Simply follow LatteLisa on Twitter or Facebook or Google+ (there is no need to follow everywhere, one place is enough) and leave a comment below this post. It would be nice to hear which products of Bestotted Brand you like the most. (To those following on Pinterest or Bloglovin': I'm sorry but I'm not able to reach you there if you win so you must choose one of the three aforementioned options.) If you are a new follower of LatteLisa or not a regular visitor on the blog then please write in your comment where you are following so we can look you up and contact you if you win.

The final day to enter is Saturday 8 December 2012. The winner will be announced Monday 10 December.

Once you have entered the giveaway here are some ways to increase your chances of winning:

a. One extra entry (total of two):
Do you use Pinterest? You can repin this photo of the 'thank you' set or this one. Repinning both gives you a total of two extra entries.

if you repin on Pinterest then please write 'pinned one' or 'pinned both'
in your comment below and I'll know what you're referring to

b. One extra entry (total of three):
Tweet about this giveaway mentioning @LatteLisaBlog in your tweet and remember to include the link to the giveaway. You can tweet about this giveaway once per week until Saturday 8 December and each tweet will give you one extra entry. Feel free to copy the text below and tweet it:
Just entered to win Besotted Brand thank you set @LatteLisaBlog #giveaway

remember that you can tweet once per week
and please leave a comment below to let me know you did, simply write 'tweeted'
c. Five extra entries:
If you have a blog you can blog about this giveaway. You can borrow either of the photos or both of the 'thank you' card set for your post (give Besotted Brand the photo credit, please). Please make sure to include a link to this giveaway in your post and include a link to the Besotted Brand website.
if you blog about this giveaway please leave a comment below
after you have done so and include the link (URL) to your blog post


Friday, 16 November 2012

one fine moment & books

Because I have a busy day tomorrow and won't be blogging, I decided to skip today's charming spaces post and share with you a photo of what I can only call one fine moment. I took it earlier this week when I had spread some of my cookbooks all over the table while enjoying a late lunch. You know how much I enjoy books; I love the moments when I can just be in my own world with my books and notebooks. Add some rice and curry in a bowl and I'm feeling more than fine.

The book in the foreground is Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky. I borrowed it the last time I went to the library and I find it quite interesting. It's not a cookbook, just a book about salt. I use salt sparingly but I believe I have been taking it for granted.

Yesterday I started reading Gielgud's Letters, which contains letters written by English actor John Gielgud (1904-2000), who was also a director and a producer. He wrote letters almost every day of his adult life, no matter if he was at home or on location. It's interesting to read this book now because when reading the diaries of Cecil Beaton (see this post), which I really enjoyed, he sometimes mentioned Gielgud. I feel like Cecil has given me a preview of Gielgud's character, and I get the feeling that I'll be "meeting" the same people I met in Cecil's diary entries. Another book on my table is Of Human Bondage by one of my favourite authors, W. Somerset Maugham. He also appears in Cecil's diaries where ... ahem ... some friend of Cecil describes him as a bastard. Ouch!

What are you guys reading?

I'll be back on Monday with a giveaway, open to all followers of LatteLisa. Have a wonderful weekend!

photo credit:
Lisa Hjalt

Thursday, 15 November 2012

my hallway headache

I am the type of person who can easily picture the ideal look of a room in her mind. Just give me a few minutes and I will know exactly how to arrange my things in it, though I may change my mind about some items when the actual decoration starts. Alas, this is the person I was until I met my new hallway. I am suffering from what I can only call a hallway headache.

Those of you who have been following my blog for some time know that we moved last spring. It's now November and we have done nothing for the hallway. It's a nice neutral space, spacious with white French doors leading into the living room and kitchen, and white doors to other rooms on the floor. There is a staircase that leads to the top floor so it has a high ceiling. When we moved in I knew exactly how I wanted it to look. First, I put a neutral sisal rug on the floor and a rack on wheels for our coats, which of course was only a temporary solution. (I may need to redefine temporary!)

I have tried putting a chest of drawers up against two walls and it looked too heavy. It was just wrong. When we bought wardrobes for our bedroom we used them to see how a wardrobe would look in the hallway. It was just wrong. I put a chair in one corner to see how that looked and, yes, you guessed right, it was just wrong. What on earth am I supposed to do with this space?

Maybe, just maybe, there is a light at the end of the tunnel because my latest crush is these storage baskets to the right. I like their natural look. I also like these storage trunks that are available in a few sizes and come with a removable lid. I could keep either in a storage unit or I could get a bench, preferably with a shelf under it and keep them there. This beautiful hallway designed by Steven Gambrel gave me that idea.

I have been viewing endless photos of hallways to get other ideas. Should I rather put a console table up against one wall and put a mirror above it or should I buy a large mirror, as in one of the photos above? My mind keeps going back to the basket idea. I haven't decided anything but maybe talking about this has reduced my headache just a little. Just a little.

photo credit:
1: Spike Powell for Ideal Home / 2: House to Home / 3: Maisons du Monde / 4: Niall McDiarmid for 25 Beautiful Homes /
5: via Wovenhill

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

notes à la mode 21

Today I was in the mood for haute couture and I remembered last year's haute couture supplement of September's Vogue Italia. It was photographed by Paolo Roversi, who used a mirror to get these beautiful effects. Models Frida Gustavsson, Jac Jagaciak and Kristina Salinovic were styled by Lori Goldstein in autumn 2011 couture collections.

I didn't want to post all the photos so if you are interested in viewing more, and watching a short video from behind the scenes, then click on the Vogue Italia link under 'photo credit' below.


  I enjoyed watching that Dior video which takes us to Paris to have a look at the Christmas windows at the Parisian department store, Printemps ... I told you earlier that I was already feeling the Christmas spirit
  There is another short video on the Dior channel on YouTube where you can meet the stars of the Christmas windows and see the ateliers of the fashion house dressing 74 dolls in specially created iconic outfits
  In case you didn't know, Anne Hathaway is the cover girl of the December issue of Vogue US, photographed by Annie Leibovitz. There is something graceful about the cover and I like the joy in this photo, but I'm not impressed by the rest of the photos. I find some of them too posed; a bit forced

photo credit:
Paolo Roversi for Vogue Italia, Haute Couture, September 2011 / 1 & 4 via Trendland
YouTube: Dior Noël au Printempts - Windows

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

paris: l'hôtel de la marine

Just to be clear, these are not photos from my recent Paris trip. These appeared in the October issue of Art & Décoration, their 115th anniversary issue, and are from their exclusive visit to the Hôtel de la Marine.

In French the word hotel doesn't have just one meaning, so this is not a place where you can spend your nights when visiting the City of Lights. As the name indicates, the Hôtel de la Marine houses the headquarters of the French Navy, which has been there since the year 1789. In 2014 they plan to relocate.

This magnificent building is by the Place de la Concorde, the square that separates the Tuileries garden from the Champs Élyssées. It was designed by architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel and built between 1757 and 1774. It served as the furniture storage house for the Crown. As you can see, its halls are filled with antiques and paintings (see the famous painting by Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun of Marie Antoinette and her children in the photo below).

photo credit:
Christophe Rouffio for Art & Décoration