Thursday, 17 November 2011

Map of my heart

Travel will always be one of my first loves. I love the excitement of buying your plane ticket and knowing that the action you have just taken is about to change your life in an unpredictable way. I love imagining how it will feel to be where you are heading, and knowing that, even if you have been many times before, it will be so different and so much more than you expect. I love the rush of take off, smiling nervously at your neighbour, the mystery of what is under your foil wrapped plane food and pretending you feel completely at ease in a metal missile miles above the ocean. I love counting the hours backwards and forwards and trying to imagine what time it is at home, and what time it is where you are going, and how you don't belong in either place high above it all.

I love the first glimpse of a new place, and the excitement that bubbles over as you realize that soon, it will belong to you and your story.  I love the way new languages and accents flow over you and change the way you think about your own language. I love returning to a place you have loved, to people you never stopped loving. I love everything about travel. Even the difficult things. It is all beautiful. So for me, to leave a place I have come to love, is as difficult as leaving a loved one. 

Hi Fi Weddings

In order to keep some connection to the streets I have walked and loved, I try to find  beautiful maps of each place I go to have on display when I return to my home life.


There are many options to displaying maps in your home, whether you are looking for a very big display or an understated glimpse of the places you have loved. Cutting special parts of your map into small shapes to frame is a lovely and subtle idea.

Adorable Life

Was there somewhere that meant a lot to you and your significant other in your travels? Why not use your map at matting for  a photograph of the two of you in that place? It will strengthen the memories you both hold about that special time.

The Wives Book

Large scale maps of entire countries or continents can fuel your desire to travel to a new place and allow you to plan your route while adding quirky charm to your house.

Come Spy With Me

Securing a map with colours in harmony with your home behind glass doors adds interest and extra privacy. 

AMR Design

I love the idea of using maps in your child's room. The colours are not only calming but they provide an opportunity for your child to become familiar with what their world looks like (plus it's never to early to inspire a love of travel).

Super Punch

Soft neutral toned maps can be utilized as beautiful wallpaper in many different rooms  to bring your travels home with you.

AMR Design
Honestly wtf

For the more adventurous travelling souls, large bright maps can add major impact to a room. This one below may work for your teenager's room or a dorm room.


For a calmer approach, choose your favourite map and use it as your accent artwork. Hanging your map over your bed may just help you dream of all of your many adventures and inspire you to get back into that travel agent and purchase your next love affair.

paonote_room 269

Happy travels lovely readers.

Tremendous Twigs

Here in the Netherlands, the fall is finally in full swing. Trees are sporting bald patches here and there, but I don’t mind. I have a thing for bare branches (you thought I was going to say bald patches, didn't you?). A weird thing to have a thing about, I know…

I was sitting down to a cup of tea in my living room two days ago, and I noticed that the neighbour has given the one and only tree in her back yard a haircut, and there’s a massive branch now sitting in my back garden. I have been contemplating what to with it. Throw it back over the fence, take it out to the garbage disposal, or… strip it, dry it and display it inside? So after an extensive inspiration hunt, I have unearthed some ideas on how to bring the outdoors in and use twigs, branches and limbs in your home design.

Life in the Fun Lane

This is the first image that springs to mind when I think about what to do with the branch I have found, and with this image in mind I have been on the hunt for two more large twigs to complete the scene. I love the simplicity and natural beauty of using three dried branches to adorn a wall.

I also adore the below two ways of using a large tree branch indoors. The subtle creamy colours of the room in the first image, injected with dramatic black accents, gives this contemporary space an organic edge. Beneath, the Scandinavian vintage inspired space is given a romantic edge with the addition of a more detailed branch. I just love this!

via Remodelista

by Kelly Ishikawa of SBX Creative.

The vased twig in the following image is the perfect addition to the rustic space below.

Interior Alchemy

The decorated branch hanging above the bed in the image below adds visual interest and a natural aesthetic to the rustic space, particularly as the bed is central to the room and is thus the focal point.

Via Toast

The use of several branches as a headboard is as interesting as it is lovely. This would be right at home in a coastal style house by the sea. The simple design makes this headboard an easy one to try and recreate yourself.

79 ideas

I also love the simplicity of using a few twigs to adorn thewall behind the bed in an all white bedroom. The textures against the pale palette is just so soothing...

Lisa Madigan via Little Lovables

The next image demonstrates how a nice solid, semi straight branch can be used for practical purposes. I adore the use of this dried branch as a kitchen rack to hang tea towels and kitchen utensils from! Quite possibly the simplist and most (cost) effective way to add interest to your kitchen.

Another practical use for a thick branch, if you are lucky enough to find two that are symmetrical, is to use them to suspend a decorative shelf, as illustrated below.

Living Etc. via Remodelista

The branch below feels right at home in this neutral hued, coastal-come-rustic style nook. I adore that massive shell, and the vintage dresser too! The whole thing looks pretty to me, though wouldn't a mirror inside that gorgeous wooden frame complete the picture?

Covetable Designs via CreatingThis Life

When my very good friend sent me a package of handmade fabric birds after the birth of my little girl, Lola, I turned them into a pretty mobile to hang from my daughter’s bed. I have suspended the birds from ribbon, and adorned the ribbon with buttons, bows and little flowers. She loves gazing up at her birds and I often her her chatting away to them!

Holly Marder

Here is another gorgeous example of a bird mobile for a baby’s room. This one was handmade by Laura from Spool Sewing. Make these little fabric birds yourself using this pattern and then attach them (with glue, I presume) to branches before attaching the whole thing together.

Spool Sewing

Keeping in with the nursery theme, how about using a branch to hang teeny tiny clothes from? This would look delicious in my little girl’s bedroom!

Project Nursery

Christmas is fast approaching and I’m thinking of ways to decorate the house without going overboard with shiny tinsel and kitsch decorations. A branch adorned with a few baubles is a gorgeous idea, particularly above the Christmas tablescape.


The baubles used do decorate this Christmas tree are simple and understated and tie in beautifully with the minimalistic theme of this space.

Life in the Fun Lane

Life in the Fun Lane

Even if it’s not Christmas, a single branch suspended above the dining table with a few simple bulbs for lighting is so pretty and is a beautiful accent to this contemporary Scandinavian style tablescape.

The Syle Files

I hope you are as inspired by nature as I am to add a touch of the outdoors to your home this fall.

Love, Holly

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Love letters

Mango wood, aluminium, distressed wood, vintage… in all materials and styles, letters around the house are fun and quirky, and increasingly popular.

Give your home some typographic flair. Dot letters around the home or use them individually to spell out a special word. Here are some ways that letters have adorned some stylish spaces.

Profound Magazine

Via Emma's Design Blog

I love the use of an oversized letter used to decorate a home office space. It makes the space really personal and it looks fun too!

Alexander Grablewski via Sweet Paul Magazine
This is a clever way to incorporate a word into your space. Simply create a bookend out of a few individual letters by glueing them together in whatever order you like with a glue gun.

Via Practically Modern

Penny Farthing Design House

I love the random placement of these letters in the two retro spaces above. The red in the top picture adds a pop of colour and a hint of fun to a potentially monotonous palette.  The choice of word is also one of the best. Just L.O.V.E. ly! (Ok, that was corny!)

Fresh Home

Wallpaper has made a serious comeback in recent times. Why not try a more non conventional print and opt for a fun letter design for a feature wall? This would be fun in a kid’s bedroom, but I also like it for big kids too!

The Shabby Nest for Houzz

This bedroom is so pretty. I love how they have used the mantel as a gorgeous rustic headboard, and I am also loving the gold painted letters that balance on the mantle ledge. A great way to personalise a bedroom and also to ascertain whose side is whose!

Via Pinterest
This letter B is a gorgeous and personal addition to this vintage room. What a lovely way to adorn the wall in a baby’s bedroom.

Via Art & Decoration

This room is modern and rustic at the same time, with a just hint of vintage. That rustic flair is largely thanks to the gorgeous mango wood and aluminium letters, which tie in beautifully with the rustic wooden panels on the chest and bookcase.

Rue Mag

What stands out the most in this minimalistic vintage dining room is the bold, black word EAT, spelled out with individual letters. A quirky way to add interest to a quirky space. I am loving the simplicity of this dining room too!

Elise Blaha
While hunting around for letter inspiration, I came across this fun DIY project. Using scrap wood, nails and string, blogger Elise Blaha created this charming decorative ampersand.  It has both modern and rustic charm and is simple to make. You will need:
  • 1-2 inch thick piece of wood (Elise's is 24x24" square)
  • lots of nails
  • string - any color you want
  • paper for creating a template

Penelope Tom

If you are looking for letters to buy, have a look at Penelope Tom, Not on the High Street or The Letteroom.
Grace Graffiti

Grace Graffiti also make rustic looking letters and sell them via their Etsy store. I like the look of a rustic letter against exposed brick for an industrial look. 

Enjoy the rest of your week!
Holly x