Formland: The Most Inspiring Nordic Design Fair

Meet me soon at ! Yes, I'll be back again this year after attending for my first time last year as their keynote speaker. I also gave some lectures and covered the fair on my social media, which was really exciting and we all had a great time together. I really love Formland, it's very unique in that it's large enough to be inspiring so you can take away a lot of great new ideas and meet great people, but it's small enough to not feel exhausting and overwhelming. I find that really large fairs that take days and days to see are of course, lovely, especially Salone in Milan, but I need the smaller fairsin between too in order to REALLY let everything that I see - to let it all sink in and to thoroughly experience things in a much deeper way. I like the feeling of not having to "rush" through a fair and I love how a smaller fair gives you a chance to make connections with real people offline. Formland is well attended, but it's not loaded with wall-to-wall people so you can actually breathe and enjoy what you're seeing.

Below are some photos from my participation in their fair last year, here is blog post where you can find the brands, too.

Formland really won my heart last year, I'm so happy I was invited back again and this year, I'll be giving two lectures on STYLING (weeeee!) and moderating TWO panels. I am quite excited to be a moderator once again at a fair. It's my newest passion - my first time moderating was at a fair I was on earlier this year, it felt really natural for me after years of public speaking. I was terrified at first, but it quickly felt "right" as I stood up and looked over at my lovely line up of experts sitting on stage, smiling back at me. The energy was fantastic and it inspired me. After 5 minutes, it was like the audience had disappeared and it was just me and my panel together in my living room talking about what we all have total passion for - design and social media.

I love the idea of getting together a bunch of smart people on a stage again, this time in Denmark, and to just chat very casually - and encourage an open and honest dialogue. Nothing scripted or overly rehearsed, just straight from the brain to the mouth - it's often best that way and gives a fair such an edge when they are providing educational lectures that are also fun to listen to, dynamic and totally engaging.

I've sat (I mean slept) through many lectures at design fairs in the past, so I'm determined to never be THAT kind of speaker. Let's hope not, anyway! I will really try to keep the energy high and get the audience involved too - as time allows. Also, I'm not the kind of speaker who exits the stage and disappears. Come up to me, talk to me, let's grab a coffee. I'm totally interested in making new friends and connecting in that way - if I have time, I will make it.

If you want to come to Formland to see me and my friends, Swedish Trend Expert of Trendstefan, Danish Trend Expert and TV Presenter , Danish Interior Designer/Stylist and Blogger Laura Trøstrup from , and Danish Trend Expert from Eckmann Studio, please do! One of our panels, at the end of the day on Saturday, will be How social media and networking can make your business grow. The other, which is on Friday, will cover current interior and lifestyle Trends & Tendencies where we will, as a group, call out the current trends. The full schedule is .

  Brands I loved to see last year at Formland in Herning, DK.

Brands I loved to see last year at Formland in Herning, DK.

At Formland this year, there are MANY stands that I want to visit, but I'm particularly looking forward to the HOUSE OF FREAKEBANA trend zone (last year it was truly incredible by the two ladies behind ), and to experience a new trend cafe - this year it is a Japanese cafe called MA by who have worked on styling projects for Kinfolk magazine, Notem, The Poster Club and more. I truly can't wait!

Will you join me at Formland?

I will be there from opening day until Saturday afternoon, I'll leave after my final lecture so around 4:30/5:00. I hope you will look for me. Also, when you're at Formland, make sure to check out the trend hallway where you can find the curators the fair invited to show their current favorite things. You can see mine there as well.

See you in a few weeks!

Love,

Holly

Studio of Swedish Textile Designer Ulrika Gyllstad

Swedish style is known not only for its clean lines but also for its bold fabric designs, both working so well in highlighting the other. Hi guys, this is Mel, and I'm back this month reporting live from Stockholm to introduce you to , a textile designer here whose graphic patterns are created with nature and architecture as its muse and with a strong environmental conscience. 

Tour The Studio of Swedish Textile Designer Ulrika Gyllstad

Recently I paid Ulrika a visit to her studio and was greeted with a warm smile followed by a chat, the good Swedish way –  over fika (a typical Swedish coffee break). Here she told me about the early days of her career, working as a pattern designer for H&M and GANT after graduating from Beckmans College of Design. “I really enjoyed working and learning much from these fashion companies, but I always felt the pull towards my love of interior textiles.” She moved in that direction in 2006 before founding her own company, Gyllstad in 2014. 

  Textile Designer Ulrika Gyllstad

Textile Designer Ulrika Gyllstad

Ulrika not only created a brand with her own designs but being fully aware of the undesirable footprint many traditional textile companies have left thus far, she began to explore ways in which she could create not only a beautiful product but something that is as environmentally friendly as possible. This has become somewhat a passion of hers and she has gone on to ensure that her fabrics are certified organic and that the designs are pressed with traditional screen technology using certified pigments. “This helps me sleep at night,” she says. I told her that from a consumer point of view, I have to say that this kind of a commitment from a maker or company is a huge for me. 

Nature and architecture are Ulrika’s biggest inspirations and whether it’s the lines and form of a leaf, the perfection of a cut kiwi, or the twirl of a spiral staircase, she always has a collection of photo books on these subjects on hand to find her next motif. She then gets sketching, and I was surprised to learn that all of her designs are done in freehand.  

Tour The Studio of Swedish Textile Designer Ulrika Gyllstad

All of the fabrics are weaved here in Sweden, another feat in the environmental commitment by keeping things as local as possible. The other advantage of having this done in locally is that Ulrika has been able to work closely with Swedish artisans to experiment with new weave structures for some of her cushion covers in solid colors that will sit beside and compliment her striking bold designs.

Tour The Studio of Swedish Textile Designer Ulrika Gyllstad
Tour The Studio of Swedish Textile Designer Ulrika Gyllstad
  Textile Designer Ulrika Gyllstad

Textile Designer Ulrika Gyllstad

Tour The Studio of Swedish Textile Designer Ulrika Gyllstad
Swedish Textile Designer Ulrika Gyllstad
Tour The Studio of Swedish Textile Designer Ulrika Gyllstad
  Textile Designer Ulrika Gyllstad

Textile Designer Ulrika Gyllstad

Looking through her collection, it’s hard for me to find something that I wouldn’t love in my home. Her fabrics are designed to mix and match and her cushions are an easy way to inject some new life into a room and her fabric, sold by the meter, can be made into a tablecloth. Patterned tablecloths are very popular here in Sweden and something that I had never considered until living here. It brings so much warmth and cheer to a table don’t you think? - x

 (Text/Photography: )

Tour This Fun Eclectic Family Home in Scotland

Would you like to see a lovely Scottish home to brighten your day today? You'll see why I say, "brighten" in a moment! This is cattledogs columnist, Alison Gibb, reporting in from Scotland today and I am here to share the beautiful space of designer, Donna Caira. She lives in Fife with her husband, Anthony and their two daughters, Julia (20) and Olivia (17). Donna runs a fine art print and interiors business called with a friend, Susan, who lives nearby.

   The chimney wall is painted in ‘Downpipe’ by Farrow & Ball

The chimney wall is painted in ‘Downpipe’ by Farrow & Ball

Donna trained as a lawyer originally, but when she started her family she found she enjoyed staying at home and looked for a career with more flexibility. Interior design was an obvious choice, Donna being both practical and creative in huge doses.

 The framed print on the mantelpiece is a classic image of a Burmese Girl, by sir Gerald Kelly. 

The framed print on the mantelpiece is a classic image of a Burmese Girl, by sir Gerald Kelly. 

In her home, Donna likes to mix things up. Her eclecticism has resulted in a bohemian vibe. Not afraid to experiment, Donna has created unpredictable choices to every room, from the shocking pink paneled wall in the traditional Victorian kitchen to the faded floral sofa and raspberry toned armchairs in the more severely decorated drawing room. The occasional ‘pink moment’ comes as a refreshing surprise in this edgy home. "I think I have a bit of Rock Chic in me", she admits.

   The shocking pink MDF paneling is painted in ‘Flamingo’ by Dulux. The pendant light above the island unit was an investment buy from Best Lite.

The shocking pink MDF paneling is painted in ‘Flamingo’ by Dulux. The pendant light above the island unit was an investment buy from Best Lite.

They bought the house in 1999 and their daughters grew up here. The large Victorian house is located on a beautiful leafy street. The décor, when they bought the house was tasteful, but over coordinated and too chintzy for Donna’s taste. They undertook the transformation slowly, knowing that it takes time to get things right. "A house needs to evolve", Donna believes, "especially if you want the resulting scheme to be really individual".

  Cabinet painted in Purbeck Stone by Farrow & Ball.

Cabinet painted in Purbeck Stone by Farrow & Ball.

The large kitchen is Donna’s favorite room, the wall dividing it from the dining room had been removed by the previous owners, but the results were uneven and needed resolving. "We got a quote from a plasterer to smooth the wall but we were shocked at the amount, so we came up with the idea of MDF paneling, surprised at how much cheaper this option was." Once complete, Donna knew that she wanted to paint it bright pink. "It was the perfect contrast to the black Ikea units.

   A selection of prints from We Are Amused are artfully arranged, unframed, held up by white tack, bulldog clips add a functional, decorative note.

A selection of prints from We Are Amused are artfully arranged, unframed, held up by white tack, bulldog clips add a functional, decorative note.

The fun, retro Smeg dishwasher was a much-wanted replacement when the original, integrated model broke down, "unfortunately, it did not fit under the worktop, but we were able to insert it into the original Victorian press, which we then paneled over, giving it a semi-fitted home after all", Donna recalls.

Tour a Bright Eclectic Family Home in Scotland

In the bedrooms, just like the public rooms, occasional luxury purchases are cleverly combined with funky, junk shop finds, bargain buys and homemade solutions. The antlers above the master bed are from Cox & Cox. Anthony’s sister, another creative wing of this talented family, made the bedside lampshades. Donna made the upholstered headboard herself. The luxurious, grey velvet throw is from H&M Home.
 

I never normally buy from interior chains, but I do love a rummage around TK Maxx. Great style does not have to cost a fortune!
— Donna Caira
Tour a Bright Eclectic Family Home in Scotland
Tour a Bright Eclectic Family Home in Scotland
  Two prints sit atop the mantelpiece, one is from We Are Amused, the other is an enlargement of a gorgeous photograph of Donna’s father as a child.

Two prints sit atop the mantelpiece, one is from We Are Amused, the other is an enlargement of a gorgeous photograph of Donna’s father as a child.

Tour a Bright Eclectic Family Home in Scotland
Tour a Bright Eclectic Family Home in Scotland
Tour a Bright Eclectic Family Home in Scotland
Trust your instincts when you are decorating, you will grow in confidence.

— Donna Caira
Tour a Bright Eclectic Family Home in Scotland
   The orange wall is painted in Mustard by Dulux.

The orange wall is painted in Mustard by Dulux.

The whole house is bold, dramatic, moody and fun. Random salvaged pieces of furniture, vintage treasures and bargain buys have formed a happy collective in this characterful home. Not a fan of symmetry, Donna prefers unpredictability and always looks for solutions that are quirky rather safe. Her natural wit and spontaneity ensure the results are always successful. There is an air of Alice In Wonderland in this dwelling - expect the unexpected when you enter!

  MDF painted in ‘Clunch’ by Farrow & Ball.

MDF painted in ‘Clunch’ by Farrow & Ball.

3 Ideas To Steal:

1. Wall paneling in MDF can be done very cheaply – it covers a multitude of sins and can be painted any color you like.

2. Hang artwork simply with bulldog clips or white tack – it does not have to be framed.

3. Breathe new life into old furniture by giving it a lick of paint.

What do you think of this home, any touches that you love? -

(Photography: / Text: for cattledogs)

Natural + Wild Home Decor Trend

I'm inspired by the current trends in home decor, especially those which feel very casual, harmonious, quiet, neutral, coastal and simple while also being stylish and a bit classy. Think Tulum style - see the Instagram of currently, a glimpse is shown below.

I found the rest of these images (below) today while shopping online at , who have two fabulous collections out at the moment - Wild Wood and Natural Beauty - both really demonstrate a current natural home trend movement in motion. I love how woven things are big at the moment too - like rattan chairs, baskets and the trim on mirrors. I also enjoy seeing lots of natural wood left unfinished, in-the-raw combined with touches of stone and chalky or smooth concrete.

H&M Home on cattledogs.info

I was just in Denmark on the coast taking a family holiday. I saw lots of driftwood, whitewashed stones, shells, dried grass from the sea, blue mussels and many other fabulous, natural objects that really left me inspired (and now I long even more for my previous beach life). I once lived directly at the beach - a few times, it was in my backyard growing up. I was on the coast from the time I was little all through my childhood and teen years. In fact, I didn't move away from the sea until I was 31, and even then, I was only 45 minutes away from coastal New England which was gorgeous. Then, moving to Germany in 2009, with a beach drive at least 2-3 hours away, wow - it's been a struggle for me - I won't lie! I often feel like part of my life was taken away. And with a young boy now who also loves the sea like I do, I feel more torn that I'm so far from it because I spent my childhood combing the beach for shells and rocks with my mother - and I want so badly to share this with him regularly too. 

I'm lucky if I get to the coast twice a year for a day trip. However, I have changed my mind about my sea visits and their regularity going forward. I'm either going to relocate further north in Germany to Hamburg or around that area OR I will buy a small home in southern Denmark or northern Germany where we can vacation whenever we wish - and rent it out the rest of the year. I really need my beach life back again. Life is too short to not have what we really want, right?

Ah yes, back to interiors trends. These images and products really show what's trending but even more, what I love currently because natural and wild aren't the only trends out there - yet these are what I keep going back to. Each year, there is always a natural trend for interiors and sometimes, it's hard to find the difference between this natural trend and the previous one. I would say for this year, the look is more refined, a stronger edit, not SO casual, a bit upscale even and definitely has a wild side - think Australian coast, Southern Indonesia, South Africa, Tulum... If anything, the current trend feels like the wild wind-swept coastlines in often exotic destinations has met up with classic, Scandinavian simplicity and this look is the result. 

H&M Home on cattledogs.info
H&M Home on cattledogs.info
H&M Home on cattledogs.info

Here is a short list of the core "ingredients" to this interior recipe:

CORE NATURAL AND WILD HOME DECOR: INGREDIENTS

  • Bamboo
  • Seagrass
  • Natural wood
  • Canvas
  • Linen (not ironed)
  • Baskets
  • Black metal
  • Graphic patterns (and llama motifs - llamas are trending!)
  • Prints and patterns from North Africa (Morocco, mostly)
  • Natural, earthy colors
  • Stripes
  • Ceramics
  • Stone + Cement
  • Plants
  • Natural throw rugs
  • Touches of leather (accents only)
  • Dried foraged flowers, weeds, herbs, pampas grass, anything dead is in! But for good reason, dried things are gorgeous when used sparingly in a minimalist arrangement - a few stalks of pampas in a vase, for instance, not a cramped bunch. See this post, Why Dried Flowers Aren't Just For Grandma, for total dried flower inspo.
H&M Home on cattledogs.info

What do you think? Does this look work for you?

Love,

Holly

(H&M Photos: Art Director: , Styling: , Photographer: )