Posts in Interiors
Summer Floral Party Ideas

I don't know about you dear readers, but at the end of July/beginning of August I love to be surrounded by luscious, rich colors and lush flowers! Plenty of those, please! You will find all kinds of roses in full bloom where I live and it is just wonderful to stroll along the flowering gardens and through the local market to check them out. For this month, let's lay a summer table in shades of pink, red and apricot, sip on a berry-infused drink, munch on some bread sticks before lunch is served and enjoy a rela gathering with friends, what do you think?

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You might have noticed my preference for small bouquets on the dining table in columns past as they allow guests to see each other, which makes conversation much easier. This time I combined various types of roses with Milfoil, Hydrangea Annabelle and some sprigs of Mint.

When the weather is beautiful I do not want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen and so I prefer quick and easy recipes such as a Raspberry & Plum Secco! All you need is Prosecco, berries or suitable fruits of your choice, a little bit of syrup like raspberry, elderflower or blackcurrant and ice cubes. I also added some thyme and wooden sticks adorned with ribbon flags that I simply tied on.

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Below I've included an easy recipe for homemade bread sticks that I found on  Blog, and they are delicious and perfect for a starter to munch on right before you serve your salad and pasta dish.

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The crispy sticks taste particularly good when dipped into flavored olive oil. I brought the small pink tins of marjoram olive oil that you see here back home from Cote d'Azur last week and they worked perfectly as small gifts for my guests.

As I am a big fan of paper I often use beautiful wrapping paper as a wall hanging to decorate for a special occasion. My flowery gift paper teamed up with a matching magazine tear showing roses, a welcome message I made using rubber stamps and a simple tassel made of tissue paper and ribbon - my DIY decor idea was ready for the wall. Easy and with little effort!

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Maybe you feel like adopting one or another idea from this posting for your summer party. I would be very happy if you did. Have a beautiful summer vacation if you plan to go away soon and if not, simply enjoy a staycation with plenty of (hopefully) sunshiny weeks at home until we meet again here on cattledogs in late summer. All the best, -

(Photos, styling and text: . Editor: Holly Becker)

Pick Your Own Flower Fields
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If you live in the city like me, chances are you get fresh flowers at a farmers' market, florist, grocery store kiosk, maybe your backyard or balcony (if you have one) or a delivery service. In Germany, and I believe also in some other EU countries, you can take a short drive out to the countryside and you'll spot "Selbstschneiden" Flower Fields or Pick Your Own. I love these fields! vasestripeFLOWERS-4LOWRES

Pick Your Own is based on a sorta honor system - the field has no one visible to buy the flowers from, rather there is a little stand with a list of how much a flower costs (like a Sunflower may be between .25 -.80 per stem) or you can buy in bunches by cutting your flowers, tying them and inserting into 3 various holes on a board at the stand - each hole is labeled with the price for that bundle.

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The stand has small vegetable knives with the ends cut off, small scissors and a donation box with a lock. Also string for binding and a big basket or bin on the ground so you can clean the stems of excess leaves before you go.

It's such a pleasure that I've indulged in since moving to Germany. There are so many of these fields in my region, some are as close as 15 minutes by car, that I've lost cost. The typical flowers are gladioli, sunflowers (large and small) and dahlias in all colors. You can also find daisies, poppies and much more depending on how creative the person planting the field is. Some have only 3 varieties of flowers or only sunflowers, others have dozens and go all out - you can tell flowers are their passion! The fields typically . Here is the one that we enjoyed just a few days ago.

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It's such a beautiful and rela afternoon to take an hour or two and just spend them roaming the fields to pick flowers. My little boy and I had a snack of blueberries and read storybooks while my husband was off cutting sunflowers. Then, as I cut, he took our son to see the cows across the street so I was able to relax and enjoy myself. I've been bringing my son to these fields since he was 6 months old and today, he loves to walk through them and sniff as many flowers as he can.

From those fields above, here are my flowers at home below.

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I didn't bother to invest much thought into how I would arrange them, my goal was simple - to make the arrangement look straight from the field and un-styled. I really like taking a casual approach to flower arranging. When I about flowers and flower styling when I was pregnant, I intentionally left the more complicated arrangements to my co-author who is great at mastering both looks, though casual is also her preferred approach.

I choose to place these flowers in a Nordic-inspired vase - the Omaggio vase with the mother of pearl stripes is by Danish brand . I love the subtle stripes and the slightly off white color because it doesn't fight with the flower textures or colors, but also wanted something non-transparent to hide the stems - I wanted the focus to be on the bright colors.

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Do you have flower fields where you can go to cut your own? Do we have this concept in America yet? There are even that specialize in setting you up in Germany so you can own your own. I find this a terrific business concept. When I left the states in 2009, I don't recall it. Corn, blueberries, strawberries, etc. are common but I don't ever remember driving by a field without anyone watching you where you can just pick flowers and donate the amount you estimate they should cost. I think it's a really beautiful system!

Hope you have a happy day!

Holly x

Summer Inspiration For The Home in Peach + Green
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I love this fresh, summery palette. Imagine having a summer home on the coast in pale shades of melon, mint and clear blue - that would be heavenly, wouldn't it? I was dreaming of Autumn tones and colors last week but this week, I'm definitely back on summer mode. All I can think about is the beach! Coastal living! Weeee! Anything to get my mind off of all of the violence and the crazy politics, especially in my country at the moment. My goodness, it's definitely draining. So for a moment, I hope that these images inspire you and some of your decorating projects at home as you look at them... And I hope you are having a very nice and happy summer despite this crazy news lately. Stay positive! summerpastels3

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I love this palette. In fact, it's the same as my office, the photo with the gladioli in the clear vase was taken by me where I work.

Do you like this palette too?

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10 Rooms With Plants For Minimalists

Let's talk about plants, baby! I have to admit, the indoor jungle trend is lovely but hasn't (and won't) hit my home anytime soon because I'm a total plant minimalist. I like plants but not enough to follow the trend the way some of my friends have. Is there anyone out there who is also like me? You love plants but not a ton of them? In this post, I'm gonna show you 10 rooms that show you how to bring plants into your home without them running the show. stadthem

1. WINDOWSILL. How simple is this? One barely-there little plant friend on a bedroom windowsill. It's a sweet addition. It is understated. 

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2. OFFICE. Here are some nice plants scattered around yet not overgrowing and overtaking the room. 

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3. GROUPING. A tiny grouping on a sweet dresser. There but also not there, ya know? 

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4. ENTRY. One big plant in a basket near the front door. That's it. Not 30 or 20 or 10. One. Nice. 

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5. BATHROOM. One big plant, again, it's the best look for some rooms isn't it? I like this one propped up on a stool near the tub. .

6. LIVING ROOM. On a coffee table, on a windowsill, then repeated in the patterns on the sofa cushions. LIKE this. 

leader_plants 7. BOOKSHELF EDIT. Mingle books with greens. Just don't overdo it.

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8. SMALLISH PLANTS. These little guys scattered around are simple and sweet especially since the room is already very natural and minimalist. It works. They look lovely in the room too because of the gorgeous natural light. Small and scattered. 

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9. DINING ROOM. Here is that big focal point plant again. I can't get enough, I really like this look of having one big boy stealing the show - it's Magic Mike XXL! .

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10. OVER THE TOP. Okay so I have to throw in what I think is over the top to show you a bit of a contrast to the other images... This is too much greenery for me though it's a beautiful styled shot for Inside Out magazine in an article they wrote about plants. I would prefer only the wall plants with one on the table and nothing in the green floor jug... Or the focus being on the tabletop and one plant in the background, minus that trellis thing. THAT SAID, it's still pretty... 

How do you use plants at home if you take a less is more approach to indoor gardening like me?

Clean, Clear Laid Back Green and Peach Interiors

I'm REALLY feeling this laid back summer home style that's so clear and clean, so coastal, so boho minus the patchouli 60s vibe... It's just great. Breezy, easy, tactile and lots of pretty green tones and shades of pale orange. So summery and just yum. cleanboho

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I've been thinking a lot lately when I look at the photos I love, reminding myself to stop and consider WHAT I FEEL when I gaze upon a photo that feels as though it's speaking to me.

  • What is it saying exactly?
  • What do I like about it?
  • How does it make me feel?
  • Do I smell anything?
  • Do I hear a particular song?
  • Or another sound, is there something else coming to my ears when I look at the image?
  • What about the scene is vibing with me, the composition, colors, location?

It's so important to explore the way work we like is REALLY truly impacting us. We are always so quick to say, " This inspires me sooooo much!" or "I love this  photo, pin!!!". But maybe try to think a lot more about what's resonating with you exactly. This is so interesting and it gives you a real sense of self and can help you to tap into your personal style.

Have a nice weekend!

(Photo credits: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Modern + Clean Rustic Lodge Style

Hello everyone and to my American friends, Happy 4th of July! I'd like to be in right now awaiting the big fireworks fest (or in Manhattan) as this was our annual tradition when we lived stateside. To bring a little festivity to my July 4th weekend as an expat in Germany, I went to a followed by a large fair. It has nothing to do with but it felt nice to do something festive and funny as it sounds, I left inspired but in a most unexpected way. As the bands marched by, I couldn't stop thinking about Autumn interiors. MinimalLodge4

I'll get to that in a moment but first you may be wondering what is Schützenfest? In short, it's a marksmen's festival with a target shooting competition popular in both Germany and Switzerland. And don't worry, no animals were/are harmed! "At a Schützenfest, contestants compete based on their shooting abilities, for example by shooting at a wooden representation of an eagle. The winner of the competition becomes the 'king of marksmen' ("") until the next year's competition." Quite harmless but there is still a big culture around it. Some men that I saw had over 50 badges on their jackets as they proudly marched by in their traditional gear.

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I happen to live in the city where they host the largest Schützenfest in the world with over 5,000 marksmen, 250 rides, multiple large beer tents and a parade. This is not your typical parade though with over 13,000 participants from all over the world, 100+ covering a little over 3 kilometers though the length is nearly 12 kilometers - so it's the longest parade in the world and takes HOURS to observe - half a day!

As you can imagine, my two-year-old son (he will be 2 1/2 next month) LOVED the parade. As he chomped on a giant pretzel and watched the bands stomp by, his eyes were huge and curious. It was so cute. Later, we took him to the fest with his oma (grandma) and played the typical carnival games and he ran around pointing to all of the fun signs and lights. I saw everything through much younger eyes and it was all really sweet.

But interiors. Somehow I made a connection to home being there. No clue why. Inspiration is like that though isn't it? No rhyme or reason. Perhaps after being immersed in this marksmen culture seeing all of those traditional costumes, with lots of green, blue and crimson tones, was the jumping off point. I began to think about how these outfits could translate into interior design but in a fresh, light way and not so much the heavy hunting lodge motif that we immediately call to mind. I imagined rooms like these shown below... Modern farmhouses and lake houses with a bit of a lodge vibe.

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GET THIS LOOK:

COLORS: Green, gray, rust, crimson, black, charcoal, cream, white

KEY ELEMENTS: Woven rugs in natural fibers, sheepskin throws, taxidermy, tools, antlers, images of the outdoors (forests, mountains), plaid throws, wool blankets, black iron, suede and leather, woven hangings on the wall, brass, pendant lights with exposed draping cords. Concrete, Raw, natural wood. White paneling. Reclaimed wood. Cement. Matte paint in natural tones. Linen bedding. Horses and livestock in photography, Ceramic tableware in natural tones. Very little pattern except through texture. Plants and herbs and green wreaths, Stripe and plaid is okay for blankets, throws and rugs. Rough surfaces. Most of the pattern is brought in through texture.

SCENTS: Lapsang souchong, fir, bergamot, tobacco, white tea, cinnamon, pine, sandlewood, by Marie Stella Marais, by Skandinavisk and candle.

AVOID: Glamorous accents that sparkle and shine, jewel tones, white furniture (except like a  or a small stool), Metallic silver, pastels, formal lighting, large area rugs in bold colors, floral patterns, bold geometric patterns. Nothing that feels too special or delicate, roses and delicate flowers, succulents.

What do you think about this look? Does it speak to you?

(Photo credits: , , , , , , , , , , )