From habitat

Backyard Bliss with Moroccan Flavor

The backyard seating area is one of my favorite spots of our house. Here I enjoy my first cup of coffee in the morning and plan the day ahead while listening to the birds. It’s also our second dining room and a perfect place to relax with a glass of wine at the end of the day.

To create a warm and inviting space we painted the rear wall of the house a soft yellow and hung an array of lanterns from the rafters. A large mirror reflects their light as well as the greenery from the garden. Additional candle holders on the table and jewel tones round off the dose of Moroccan flair. An old street sign adds a touch of tongue-in-cheek.

 

“Beco do Motta” , a narrow alley a stone’s throw away from the Cathedral, was Diamantina’s red light district through the 1970s. It has been immortalized in a song by famed Brazilian musicians Fernando Brant and Milton Nascimento. We found the battered street sign in the rubble of a renovation site.

 

Jewel tones and Moroccan lanterns set the mood.

 

There’s nothing like candles to create a warm atmosphere.

 

Glass varnish and dimensional paint transformed an ordinary tomato sauce jar.

 

The mirror was rescued from a New York City sidewalk.

 

Lulu photobombing.

 

A detail of the garden is reflected in the large mirror.

 

As night falls the mood grows romantic.

 

Bliss.

 

I hope you enjoyed our little tour. Please stop by again. I invite you to sign up for e-mail notifications or follow on bloglovin’ , facebook or instagram. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

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Living in White – Greetings from Denmark

Villa Fryd means Villa Joy in Danish. A perfectly appropriate name for this centennial home bought by Charlotte and her husband more than 10 years ago. Since then the owners have invested countless hours and their prodigious creativity to restore it and filled every nook and cranny with cheerful bright Nordic country style and shabby chic seasoned with French country elements.

Amazingly most of this transformation has been achieved on a shoestring budget, in part thanks to Charlotte’s singular ability to uncover hidden beauty in unlikely places.Her motto is: “Everything can be used and anything can be beautiful.”

 

The entry hall of the house welcomes guests with a display of vintage gems. The floor is original from 1914 and was discovered under layers of linoleum and chipboard.

 

The piano was a gift from a friend. Originally a glossy Mahogany, Charlotte painted it white to blend in with the Scandinavian decor.

 

A baby carriage and the dog bed sit next to a bench under the stairs.

 

Decoupage and white paint transformed this simple metal container.

 

In the reading room.

 

The guest bedroom with its luxurious linens and painstaking attention to detail is worthy of a queen.

 

Reflection.

 

The large kitchen window allowed for a shelf to be put up halfway. On it Charlotte displays some of her  lovely glass dishes. The counter holds a collection of retro sugar dispensers.

 

A wish fulfilled: after a long search Charlotte finally found the perfect vintage butcher scale.

 

Kitchen detail.

 

The glass house was built exclusively of reclaimed material.

 

Sitting and dreaming on the porch.

 

In the Summer most meals are taken outdoors.

 

Charlotte’s husband built the green house – or l’orangerie as they like to call it.

 

I would like to thank Charlotte for letting me share her awesome home with you. All the images are hers. In case you want to explore more please visit her blog Hos Villa Fryd.

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A Functional Office Tucked Under the Stairs

After “only” two and a half years living at our house we finally managed to design and install our computer workstation. The goal was to maximize functionality in the limited space under the stairs. The previous setting consisted of a charming, but not very practical writing desk and an odd assortment of mismatched cabinets. Computer, printer and other peripherals cluttered the surface and left next to no room to work. Since day one it was to be short-term, but as the saying goes: “Nothing is more durable than a temporary arrangement.”

Well, here is the final result (almost final, I should say, as the ergonomically correct desk chair is still missing). I like the streamlined look of the built-ins, and thanks to the customized pull-out shelves behind cabinet doors most of the hardware elements are hidden from view when not in use.

 

Local craftsmen executed our design for a custom-fitted office under the stairs leading to the mezzanine.
Local craftsmen executed our design for a custom-fitted office under the stairs leading to the mezzanine.

 

CPU and peripherals are housed in customized pull-out shelves
CPU and peripherals are housed in made to measure pull-out shelves. When not in use they are hidden behind cabinet doors.

 

Recessed doors conceal the outlets and wires.
Recessed doors conceal outlets and wires.

 

However when necessary they are easily accessible.
However when necessary these are easily accessible.

 

Floating shelf round off the look.
Floating shelves round off the look.

 

IKEA pot holders have been repurposed to hold pictures and notes.
IKEA cork pot holders have been repurposed to hold pictures and notes.

 

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Sharon’s Fabulous French Inspired Kitchen

This gorgeous kitchen is the heart of the home of South African blogger Sharon Lee Johnson. Sharon is a declared Francophile and French country elements add special charm to the space.

Brick backsplash and open shelves - classic ingredients for the French inspired kitchen
Brick backsplash, open shelves  and plenty of wrought iron details – classic ingredients for the French inspired kitchen

 

The kitchen is literally the center of her home, a dramatic chandelier draws the attention to the double height ceiling.

Sharon's Kitchen 7
The impressive chandelier came from the Artscape Theatre Complex in Cape Town.

 

Overall view of the kitchen bathed in the warm glow of the chandelier
Overall view of the kitchen bathed in the warm glow of the chandelier

 

bread boards
Bread boards hang from a beautiful wall rack

 

Sharon's kitchen 4
View from the kitchen island to the dining area. A glass fronted cupboard  shows off vintage china

Sharon has this to say about her kitchen: “Instead of making the kitchen the heart of your home, find the heart of your home and make it your kitchen.”

 

The layout of the house is L-shaped. Looking straight ahead from the kitchen to the entry area.
The layout of the house is L-shaped. Looking straight ahead from the kitchen to the entry area.

 

Wonderful china is displayed on a cupboard shelf.
Wonderful china is displayed on a cupboard shelf.

 

A silver bowl holds cooking staples.
A silver bowl holds cooking staples.

 

I would like to thank Sharon for letting me share her beautiful home. The pictures are from her blog Roses and Rust, I highly recommend you check it out.

It’s always great to hear from you! So feel free to leave a comment.

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My Love Affair with Cement Tiles

I absolutely love cement tiles. They evoke the vast living rooms and shady verandas of traditional Mediterranean homes and summon memories a of lazy hot summer days, inviting you you to kick off your shoes and feel their smooth coolness underfoot.

“Cement tiles are made by hand, one at a time, using mineral pigments, cement, a mold, and a hydraulic press. The metal mold is handmade following specific design drawings. The pigment composition is a mixture of high quality white (…) cement, marble powder, fine sand, and natural mineral color pigments. Cement tiles being handmade are expected to have slight imperfections, which give them character and depth.” (Wikipedia)

Also known as encaustic tiles, they’ve had quite a revival in recent years. Their traditional patterns have also been reproduced in porcelain tiles. While these are probably more resistant to damage, in my opinion they can’t compete with the real thing: it’s precisely the little imperfections and variations between individual pieces that make for  their special appeal.

 

Cement tile envy: this navy and white entryway floor is an exquisite example of a traditional design with its typical border. (image source)

 

In contemporary settings different patterns are often arranged in a mix and match style. This is a great way to use vintage pieces that might only be available in small quantities. New tiles can also be purchased in patchwork kits. Personally I prefer a more traditional approach. (image source)

 

Because of the time consuming manual production process, cement tiles are far from cheap, thus finishing the floor of an entire room with them was out of the question for us. The alternative was to use them as highlights in small areas.

 

The fireplace is framed by a traditionally patterned "rug".
The fireplace is framed by a traditionally patterned “rug”. (3)

 

The risers of the stairs also are cement tiles. We chose a model that is typically used for base boards.
The risers of the stairs leading to the bedrooms also are cement tiles. We chose a model that is typically used for base boards. This accounts for the rounded upper edges. (4)

 

fireplace with stairs sm
Living room detail with stairs in the background. (5)

 

 

A row of vintage tiles accents the transition from kitchen to pantry
A row of vintage tiles marks the passage from the kitchen to the pantry. (6)

 

In the bathroom small tiles are used as accents between terracotta floor tiles as well as on the wall separating the shower.
In the bathroom small pieces are used as accents between terracotta floor tiles as well as on the wall separating the shower. (7)

 

As shown in a previous post, our "mirante" also features a detail of vintage tiles.
As shown in a previous post, our “mirante” also features a detail of vintage tiles. (8)

 

In Diamantina the cement tiles form a transition area between the outside and the wood floor of the main room.
Here the cement tiles form a transition area between the outside and the wood floor of the main room. (9)

Photo Credit (3) through (9): Jorge Vasconcelos

 

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A Touch of Vintage to Add Charm to Your Kitchen

There are several kinds of kitchens. Some have every imaginable gadget to make the cook’s live easier. Some are so minimalist it’s hard to imagine they are actually ever used to produce a meal – and some are a combination of the two.

And then there are the ones that immediately make you feel at home. The ones everybody squeezes into during gatherings, no matter how spacious the rest of the house. Rarely are they flawless, but their chips and chinks and mismatched decor only enhance their appeal.

With a little imagination it’s possible to recreate this well-worn lived-in feel. A distressed cabinet or table, some vintage items hung on the wall or displayed on open shelves – be they family heirlooms or flea market finds – go a long way to make your kitchen everybody’s favorite place to hang out .

 

The chipped dresser used as an island creates contrast and turns focal point in this contemporary kitchen. (1)

 

Salvaged windows gained a new lease on life as doors for this distressed hanging cupboard, an eye-catching complement for the simple white lower cabinets. Its use to showcase a collection of vintage china  rounds off the effect. (2)

 

Lace curtains, a vintage scale and an antique silver tray. Lovely. (3)

 

Weathered cast iron brackets form the only contrasting element in this white on white display. (4)

 

A simple raw wooden stick hung from the ceiling accommodates copper pans, wire baskets and an assortment of herbs. (5)

 

Metal garden chairs  have moved indoors and found a new home in this all white kitchen, adding charm as well as a touch of color. (6)

 

An array of vintage beauties on open shelves. (7)

 

Textiles inject this cozy cottage kitchen with vibrant colors. (8)

 

In our own kitchen a cookie jar sits on the counter. Vintage baking molds and other items create a backdrop.
In our own kitchen a revolving candy jar sits on the counter. Vintage baking molds and other items create the backdrop. (9)

 

Please click on the number below each picture for links to image sources.

I hope to have inspired you to add your own vintage touches to your kitchen. As always I’m looking forward to your comments!

 

 

 

 

European Flair in an Australian Brick Barn

The Red Brick Barn is a rustic retreat located about 90 minutes from Melbourne. It was created by Daniel and Glenny with  acute attention to every detail, blending European and Early Australian antiques with flea market finds to bring about a charming laid back atmosphere brimming with great style.

Many of the materials used in the construction and decoration were repurposed or recycled. Wood is dominant throughout and accounts for the inviting feel of the place.

The barn
The barn surrounded by blooming vegetation.(1)

 

Dining and living space
Dining and living room. (2)

 

 

Living room detail. (3)

 

The kitchen. (4)

 

Kitchen detail. (5)

 

Blossoms on a distressed wooden cabinet. (6)

 

The bedroom features an antique metal bed
The bedroom features an antique metal bed. (7)

 

The sleeping loft also accommodates a single bed
Another corner accommodates a single bed – a folding screen provides privacy when needed. (8)

 

Chair
Antique chair and pillow. (9)

 

The resident donkeys
The resident donkeys. (10)

 

Aren’t you in love with the place already? Best of all you can move right in, as Red Brick Barn is available for vacation rentals.

All pictures by Red Brick Barn, photography by Simon Griffiths. (3), (4), (5), (6) via Côté Maison

 

Inspiration Africa

The world is getting smaller, cultures mix faster than ever. What was exotic yesterday may be part of our everyday experience tomorrow. Add to that the mind-boggling amount of information available at our fingertips. For those looking for it, inspiration from around the globe abounds, be it in the arts, design, fashion, architecture, just to name a few.

Interior decoration is a way to make this inspiration come to life, be it a reminiscence of past travels, a dream of future ones or the simple desire to bring a distant corner of the world into our home.

Brazil owes a large part of its cultural heritage to Africa. Music, dance, visual arts reflect this legacy, but also religious traditions, food and even superstition.

So I think it’s only fitting to start the journey in that fascinating and for many of us mysterious continent. The earthy color palettes, natural materials and geometric patterns set a mood that is warm and inviting yet at the same time sophisticated.

inspiration africa 20 wisteriacom
The vintage inspired game boards make eye-catching wall art and are a perfect complement for the kuba cloth pillows. (1)

 

Dining in style: the wicker objects on the shelf add texture and form a striking backdrop for the contemporary table and chairs.
Dining in style: the wicker objects on the shelf add texture and form a striking backdrop for the  sculptural table and  and modern chairs.(2)

 

In this bedroom kuba cloth pillow cases and raw silk in earth tones pair off perfectly with the wooden end tables. (3)

 

Juju hat, animal prints, natural materials and a neutral color palette give this room an appealing and relaxing atmosphere.(4)

 

During royal court affairs, tribal chiefs and dignitaries in the Cameroonian kingdoms wear a spectacular headdress known as the tyn, or juju hat. The feathers are symbols of prosperity, and represent the wealth of positive qualities associated with birds. The pieces, in natural hues or bright colors, which are woven onto a raffia base, splay out into huge circles and make impressive wall art.

 

Three brightly colored juju hats are the focal point of this wall. (5)

 

Here very few items – kuba cloth, a woven basket, a traditionally patterned rug – create a splendid contrast to a contemporary setting. (6)

 

Splashes of color offset the neutral tones of the ethnic elements in this room. (7)

 

Topanien.com This decorative African Pillow features the hand made Bogolan, or mudcloth from Mali. The mudcloth is a traditional, woven textile of Mali.
These gorgeous decorative  pillows feature the hand made Bogolan, the traditional mud cloth from Mali.(8)

 

African masks can be paired with almost any setting and make a fabulous impact. (9)

 

 

Earth tones and natural materials set the stage for this rustic interior. (10)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Hope you enjoyed the trip. Stay tuned, as we will continue to bring you inspiration from the four corners of the world.

Image sources:   Wisteria (1),  Decor4all (2),  DESIGNindulgences (3),  Decoholic (4),  about home (5), J. Ingerstedt (6),  Apartment Therapy (7),  Topanien (8), Wunderweib (9), Camel&Grey (10)

Pennsylvania Farmhouse

Restoring a 1867 Pennsylvania farmhouse is the mission Megan and Neil have embarked on – with stunning result. Each room is painstakingly and lovingly decorated. Many of the items are salvaged or flea market finds, attesting to Megan’s keen eye for beauty in disguise. It’s also proof that you don’t have to spend a fortune to create a living space that’s at once stylish, individual and comfortable.

 

The dining room

 

Family room
Family room

 

Vintage linens

 

Kitchen detail

 

Kitchen and family room

 

Cozy corner

 

Guest bedroom

 

Dresser in the guest bedroom

 

Welcoming the new baby

All images from FARMHOUSE 5540

 

Thanks for visiting. Please click on the post title to leave your comment.

A Colorful Home in Buenos Aires

This cheerful and inviting house in Buenos Aires is the home of  artisan Pato, director of photography Pablo and their two children Catalina and Juan.

In the 15 years they’ve lived here, the house has undergone several transformations. It is mainly Pato who is in charge of the interior decoration. Frida Kahlo and Beatriz Milhazes are two of her favorite artists and not surprisingly Mexican arts and crafts and vibrant colors are defining elements of the decor.

 

A beautifully aged farmhouse table sets the stage for family meals.

 

The combined dining and living room; high ceilings visually open up the space

 

The same room from a different angle

 

Splashes of color

 

Vivid colors,  Mexican decor and Pato’s paper art are key ingredients to the feel of the home

 

Stylishly arranged wall display

 

The kitchen receives tons of light from a big window and skylight

 

Outside the kitchen window – Buddha statues, one of Pato’s passions, can be found  all over the house

 

Vignette

 

The large mirror reflects the master bedroom

 

Strong wall colors make a bold statement in the outdoor area

 

All images via http://www.casachaucha.com.ar

To find out more about Pato’s work go to http://www.arteypapel.blogspot.com.ar

 

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