Posts in Interiors
9 Easy Ways To Decorate For a Party

Oh my goodness the American election is such a nail biter! So let's escape a little and think about nice party decorating ideas for a total girl night indulgence, ok? Maybe it will be a post election party idea? Hmmmm...  Today I have my friend and fellow author , an artist and designer from Victoria, Canada, who will share her recent book party night with us along with 9 easy tips for making a gathering special on a budget.

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This party was recently held to celebrate the launch of our book, , which is sold where all fine books are stocked. It's available in , , , , German-speaking Europe (in ), France (in ), and Italy (in ). We are so happy to around easy, simple decorating ideas for meaningful gatherings attract so much attention. It's very heartwarming.

Leslie's goal for her book party wasn't only to celebrate the launch of our book. In fact, Leslie isn't the type who likes the spotlight on herself or her accomplishments. She is very humble and prefers intimate and meaningful gatherings over large crowds and fanfares. In this way, Leslie pulled together only her nearest and dearest for an evening of girl power inspiration and it made her evening nice because it was in harmony with how she likes gatherings to be when gathering girlfriends - inspiring, feminine and at ease.

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She decided to teamed up with her friend and local lady boss, Pam Lewis from , and together they hosted a talk show style party where guests were taken into the lives of creative women and allowed to chime in with views of their own to create a fantastic, insightful dialogue. I love the spirit of this evening, the magic shared together as women discussed stories, laughed and walked away with cake in their bellies and love in their hearts.

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I'd like to share 9 easy decorating ideas with you for your next party, all styled by Leslie Shewring and photographed by . Then, I'll show you some photos of the ladies gathered in her studio and of Leslie signing the book because I just love how at ease she is and joy that she radiants. These photos made me so happy and I hope that somehow they do too.

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1. Tiny white bunting and pretty white lights make a party feel special. Keeping it simple with white is also very classy. Scroll down to see how effective this look can be when you add lots of bunting and lights...

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2. Large wooden beads in . A grouping in an odd number (3) with beads at different levels looks pretty and is very simple. Another tip is that if you don't have a large painting on the wall and you wish you did, opt for something easier - hang a framed poster, macrame or a beautiful grouping of inspirational photos in a mood board style.

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3. Carnations in glass jars and bottles. The key to making this work is to stick to one color and to group them.

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4. Keep snacks simple but gorgeous and delicious. These cakes were made by Susannah Ruth Bryan from and work beautifully with the space. They are simple and elegant. With coffee, tea and champagne, you don't need much more to satisfy a group of friends if they've already had dinner or if it's a mid-afternoon event - cake always makes people happy.

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5. Mix in warm wood when you're working in a mostly white space. Mismatching chairs is always nice. The key styling trick here is to keep the most dominate ones the same (in this case, the wooden chairs) and then the less dominate (white) can all be different.

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6. Style flowers simply. Sometimes we think we need to go to great lengths to style the perfect arrangement. You really don't! The styling trick with flowers is to use solid vessels that work together and then flowers grouped by type. Anyone can arrange flowers like this - it's really easy. Styling tip: Clean off leaves that will be showing beneath the water line.

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7. Add fresh greenery. Plants are a big trend currently but we're hoping that, unlike the 1970s, plants stick around this time. When you add a plant or in this case, a giant ceramic vase filled with Eucalyptus leaves, you've instantly added freshness and life to the space, making it feel less clinical while still feeling pure and modern.

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8. Group paper lanterns together to create a focal point. They also look like balloons but last a lot longer so you can use them for other parties. Such a pretty corner!

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9. Add wooden beads to lengths of ribbon to create pretty wall decor. This is easy, fun, and can be used for other projects later on.

Now let's look at the room after the sun went down and the room was a-buzz with creative women sharing their stories and Leslie leading the discussion on the topic of creativity.

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Doesn't this party inspire you to not only keep things simple and elegant, but to get the girls together and share stories of love, creativity, encouragement and promise? I certainly want to do this now, it makes me smile to see my friend having such a beautiful evening with so many women that make her happy in her part of the world. Leslie, you rocked your party, so proud of you girl!

(Styling: Leslie Shewring. Photography: )

3 Autumn DIY Entertaining Ideas You Will Love

Hi dear cattledogs readers! How has your month of October been so far? A golden one – is what I hope! As for me it caught me again, the joy of decorating with autumnal colors such as ochre and amber. This is with my monthly column around tabletop settings. So have a look at the one I decorated some days ago if you like!

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Last week, I welcomed my girlfriends with whom I meet for regularly for cooking dinner together for many years. For our ladies gathering I combined flowers in warm yellow shades and pale pink nuances, accompanied by autumn leafs, pink cloud berry and eucalyptus branches.

1) MENU CANDLES. Usually my brainstorming for a table decoration begins with thinking about which flowers I would like on my table. Not this time! When browsing through Holly & Leslie's brand-new book "", the Calligraphy Candles ( made by Canadian Artist and Calligrapher for the book) were love at first sight! As I've never tried calligraphy before (but wish to do so soon) I thought about a version easy to DIY. Result: I chose a calligraphy-like font and printed the menu on transparent bright white paper (100g/m2) and wrapped it around a candle glass. Happy me, as the candles I found at amazon look precisely like the ones in the book. I like the clean style so much!

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You could also write/ print the names of your guests or a beautiful quote, that would be lovely too, what do you think?

2. EMBELLISHED FRAMES. On the wall next to our dining table, which I mostly decorate when having guests or shooting for my blog and this column, you will find a small autumnal mood board. I created a tiny graphic design by using photoshop, a chrysanthemum illustration and the color palette of my bouquets.

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This was a very good occasion to hang up my MOEBE frame for the first time. I first heard about these gorgeous frames by Copenhagen-based brand when Holly introduced them after finding them at the fair in Hamburg. Those of you living in Germany can order the frames online at  like I did.

In addition, I embellished a simple white frame with flowers. I did this the same way I make wreaths, which means I tied tiny bouquets overlapping to the frame. I used raffia but floral tape might be a better idea! And patience! A little patience is useful also!

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3. DELISH COCKTAIL. As an aperitif I offered a Sage Ginger Prosecco Cocktail. Here is the recipe below by Beth Kirby who blogged it on . I modified the recipe to add thin slices of pear as a garnish. Cheers!

STORE LIST 2 cups water 2 cups sugar 2 bunches of fresh sage leaves chopped or one bundle dried sage (about 1 cup or 1/2 a cup respectively) 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger Bottle of Prosecco or Champagne

1. In a saucepan bring water and sugar to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Once the simple syrup, which is what you now have, reaches a boil remove it from the heat and stir in the sage and ginger. Cover and let the syrup steep until it’s completely cooled to room temperature, 2-3 hours. Refrigerate after making.

2. To make cocktails, simply pour an ounce or two of syrup into a champagne flute depending on how sweet you like it and top with prosecco! Garnish with sage.

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Enjoy autumn with all its blessings and see you again here on cattledogs in November dear blog readers! Also, I will be in Hannover at  on 19 November at  so if you are coming, I would love to meet you - say hello to me! You can attend her party by .

And also... thank you so much for your lovely words in the comments on my last post! Your comments made me happy! -

(Text, photography and styling: )

4 Color Trends For Interiors 2017

Hello everyone, how are you? I hope well! I can't believe it's Autumn now and the holidays are only a few months away, and then 2017 is just around the corner! But first, the American election... Wow what an election, right? I honestly can't believe it when I read the news and Facebook each day. So many different viewpoints and arguments. It's so heated, I've never seen an election quite like this one before in my lifetime. With so much going on right now, I thought today I'd just bring some visual inspiration and keep things light and easy. So much of life is heavy, sometimes you just need to zone out - not because you are ignoring what needs to be done but because you need to rest your brain so you can make the best choices after your break. I particularly need a break now because I've been really busy with lots of things in my life.

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Travel, childcare (we lost our daytime childcare so we are balancing our son full-time until we find a solution), book promotion, new business collaborations, projects, upcoming travel... It's all very exciting and some of it, stressful, but what keeps me in balance is allowing myself time to take a mental break and zone out a little. Early bedtime when I can. Eating light. Exercising more. These things greatly contribute to my overall well-being. Today, let's look at some color forecasts for interiors from , an American leader in paint, for 2017. They've predicted these 4 palettes to be big in the new year. After looking at them and reading the description, I'd love to hear from you - which one is your favorite? I'll tell you mine at the bottom of this post.

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Intrepid - The virtual and the real are blurring in the form of seamless commerce and “office anywhere” collaboration. Impatient for social and political change, we’re reinventing ourselves first. Identity has never been more fluid. “You do you” is the mantra of a generation primed for self-expression, cheered on by their own #squad and tossing aside old categories. There’s a feisty energy to our present moment, arriving in fiery tones and vibrant, kimono colors.

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Noir - It’s among our most precious commodities: night. We’re craving a refuge from urban streetlights and glowing screens, space to turn our gaze inward and recharge the spirit. Mindful melancholy is fueling a new romanticism marked by medieval patterns, revived customs and bittersweet beauty. The Dutch masters knew the secret: dark hues set a dramatic stage for sensuous luster. This palette is rich with vine- ripe fruits, Nordic blues, moody neutrals and golden yellows.

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Unbounded - Global immigration is redefining borderlands, national identity and our sense of coexistence. We’re all citizens of the world now. Brands are becoming more purpose-driven, communities more connected. Design is adapting to more diverse populations. Overconsumption is, well, over. We’re more likely to invest in the best we can afford — crafted and customized — and then keep it forever. Global consciousness is a mural painted in earthy mustards, ocean blues, corals and mud.

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Holistic - Sustainable design and radical transparency are the new standards. As our daily transactions move further into the cloud, acquiring experiences is becoming preferable to buying more things. “Doing good” is the new looking good, and it’s taking the form of “voluntourism,” healing retreats and eco-travel. We’re in pursuit of an elusive ideal: a fair luxury. The roads of this journey are lined with arctic neutrals, blush rose and wild browns.

Which is your favorite? I really love noir. I love how they've described it as "Mindful melancholy". I normally gravitate towards light, soft hues and a more Scandinavian palette, but moody tones are definitely on my radar at the moment and have been for a few months now and I imagine will continue from now into the new year.

(Images: Sherwin Williams)

Late Summer Tabletop Style In Rich Colors

I hope all of you had a great summer season, soaked up a lot of sun and enjoyed long warm days. This is Anke and I am back from my month-long summer break with a new table styling for you while Holly is away this week in London and Amsterdam launching her new book, . Are you ready for autumn? I guess I am a bit ambivalent (as every year) as on the one hand I love autumn with its rich colors, warm light, fruit and veggie crop, then again I don't really want to let go summer.

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Happily there is the wonderful month of September which is actually always sunny and warm in Germany and makes the goodbye to summer easier. For this month's table I ordered a white chain of lights, a typical decoration for a garden party and I think also a matching tool for a late summer gathering inside. This one comes from (Sweden) and can be used inside and outside.

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To attach the chain, which is very light and for that reason easy to hang, I used two parts of a table clamp from . I continued with this simple and natural look by using Ball Mason glasses as flower vases and filled them with different kinds of dahlias, chrysanthemum, white bush roses, Astrantia and rosehip twigs.

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On the plates are mint green linen napkins and tiny blossom bowls.

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The green tumblers made of cut glass are my favorite souvenirs from our summer vacation in the Netherlands! I found them at Sissy Boy shop and they are not only good looking but also a delight in the hands. In German we say "Handschmeichler" which I think is the perfect word to describe it. :-)

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Another discovery recently was cookbook (= fruit). I knew immediately that I would have to bake one of her delicious fruit cakes for this shoot! My choice fell on her Upside-Down Plum Cake and oh my! - it just tastes of late summer! No wonder as the recipe includes olive oil, blossom honey, vanilla and semolina. I served it with some crème fraîche which I sometimes prefer with cake instead of whipped cream.

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And while we're on the subject book recommendation... I am waiting in suspense for my copy of Holly and Leslie`s new book ! Do you already own one? Without having seen it I know it is a firework of beautiful ideas, images and inspiration! Hopefully it arrives... delayed... next week so I can find inspiration for my next column's theme for October. :)

With this in mind, I am looking forward to see you again next month and wish you a great start into a golden October! -

(Photos, Styling and Text: )

9 Decorating Ideas From J.Crew Ready-To-Wear

I don't know about you, but I'm currently so inspired by the recent  ready-to-wear show that had social media all a-buzz. Yeah, of course I love that they skipped hiring fashion models to walk their runway using everyday beauties instead... but the clothes. Oh the clothes! Everyone was wearing just the smartest looks in this presentation of beauty - so radiant.

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I love the color combinations, the feminine touches, the combination of a beige work shirt with a very sweet pink hand embellished skirt, it's all such a great combination of contrasts -- and I love contrasts in interiors and fashion so much. I have used the olive with pale pink, bright pink and champagne tones in projects before and even in my new book for one of the party scenes; I really love it for interiors so seeing it in fashion gave me goosebumps.

Here are 9 ideas that I had as I looked through these images that you may be able to apply to your home.

  1. Unexpected color scheme. Olive green, champagne, gray, nude and bright pink.
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2. Mix materials to add dimension and warmth - cotton, linen, satin, netting, cement, tulle, canvas, leather, metal, wood.

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3. Be playful. Pink loves copper. Pink also loves plaid and cargo shorts and cement floors and nautical stripes and big floppy flower brooches and olive satin ponies. See how playful and fun this is?

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4. Don't fear a good ruffle and a bright accent - perfect in a space that has a lot of clean lines and is very spare. Adds an element of fun and surprise.

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5. Beige is NOT boring. I am so tired of hearing people say that about beige but perhaps vision is needed because beige can be a great base for fun things to happen. Think about your face. Your foundation/skin tone is beige or a tone of beige and then you add shine, sparkle, color, etc. It works. Your face isn't boring! Same with a room with lots of beige. With texture, a variety of tones and mi in a strong navy, some olive and accents of bright pink and orange - well, beige is still the most dominant color in this palette but it comes across as anything but boring now!

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6. Dress up the casual with accessories and attention to detail. Jeans with satin heels. A stripe shirt worn off shoulder. A lace up a-line skirt. Wild beautiful hair. A big black flower on a skirt waistband. Ruffles, fringe... A very calm palette with natural materials suddenly feels very new and fresh through a good attention to detail and lovely accessories.

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7. Combine "grown up" with sweet. Try to drop the idea that grown up spaces have to be very, well, grown up. Add some sweetness. This salty caramel work shirt with a very sweet and over-the-top skirt creates tension that ends up balancing this look out so well that it matches beautifully.

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8. Do use classic prints. Stripes and checks and dots. Classic prints that never go out of style in fashion also look great in the home. I can see this translated into a room scheme or party, can't you? Or a little nursery? Perhaps an office for you or your partner? A three-season-porch? Your beach house?

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9. Messy is good. A perfect house with no sign of personality or life is super boring and nowadays, dated too. Update your home by allowing your personality to shine. Those pants and that shirt both look like someone's toddler had fun with a can of white paint. But it's so good looking, right? I mean, I would wear these looks, no problem. So why not add your kids art to frames and put on the wall? Or your own? It doesn't have to be perfect to look good. Notice the shirts have tucked in? This look has been around for a bit, but it has staying power because it looks quirky and cute. The modern woman is WAY to busy to fuss like the ladies from the Mad Men era. Slouchy cushions, a worn leather sofa, handmade elements in the room, and most of all TOTAL ROOM CONFIDENCE. That's how you pull it off. You love your home and well good, who gives a damn what anyone else thinks. And with THAT attitude, everyone magically loves your room. The end. :)

Imagine these outfits as room schemes or as party decor in your home. How would you translate these runway looks into the home?

PS: View the entire ready-to-wear collection on .

(Photos: J.Crew and )

6 Ways To Decorate With Plants

Want to learn 6 great ways to decorate with plants? Before our guest authors share 6 fabulous tips, I simply must tell you about their beautiful new book for plant lovers called (German) and in English,  Who wrote it? Igor Josifovic (from blog) and Judith de Graaff (from ) with photography by and illustrations by  What a great team! This lush, green beauty came about three years after Igor and Judith initially formed their online community, "Urban Jungle Bloggers" with a under the same name. Maybe you've heard of it?

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 (the book) is fabulous guide to decorating with plants and the focus is really on the plants - from the best to use to proper care, DIY projects and so much more. If you love plants this book is definitely going to make you smile. I have the English copy and it's a beautiful book filled with green inspo for every corner of your home and office. The 5 European homes inside are so fresh and very natural, not fussy, and don't intimidate - the focus isn't on fashionable high style or over budget decor and properties - it's on the plants and how people use them to create a home filled with the beauty of plant life.

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In Urban Jungle, you'll meet the homeowners for each of the five stories who are based in Turkey, France, England, Germany and the Netherlands, and tour their homes to see how they style and live with plants. There are 18 bloggers who also took part in the book sharing their own nooks filled with green style. AND, if that isn't enough, you will also learn all about (and how to care for) Cactus, Succulents, Aloe Vera, Monstera, Oxalis Triangularis, Ficus elastica, Calathea, Palms, Sanservieria and Pilea Peperomiodes under Plant Portraits along with 6 crafty DIY projects and loads of plant styling tips throughout from 18 bloggers who contributed to this book, too.

Here are some of my favorite images from the book with tips on living with plants beneath each from authors, Igor and Judith.

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1. Airy and playful: The plant arrangement in the living room of the French blogger and creative professional in Toulouse features a charming Oxalis and Pilea plant in hanging planters among other houseplants in this green corner.

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2. Mix your pots. Dutch blogger and vintage expert waters her plants in the hallway. Marij loves to combine vintage plant pots with contemporary versions and adds her own twist with DIY-planters.

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3. Across a window.  is the lush plant studio of Istanbul local Fem Güclütürk who runs her plant business close to her home and both, studio and home, boast with an eclectic mix of plants of all kinds and sizes, such as these wonderful hanging plants in her studio. It's a great way to use the vertical space for hanging plants when your room is too small for bigger plants.

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5. Mix plants & matching art. In the home office of German blogger in Heidelberg, her style aesthetic mixes Scandinavian influences with ethnic patterns and handcrafted items. Extra visual effect for your plant styling: Match your plant with the adequate botanical illustrations!

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6. Go Non-Toxic for the kiddies. The bright kids room at the home of German blogger features among soft toys a few plants too. In kids rooms opt for non-toxic plants without spikes or keep the cacti out of reach of your toddler!

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MEET IGOR AND JUDITH: Watch Igor and Judith present their book and do a signing at  on October 1 (tickets ).

Good job Igor and Judith, thank you so much for sending me your book to review and I can't wait to see your presentation at Meet The Blogger!

(Photography: Lina Skukauskė with permission, Book cover photo: Holly Becker for cattledogs)