Sunday, 7 April 2019

Living with Plants

I've always felt deeply connected to Nature! Being around plants is in all senses an inspiring experience -- comforting, harmonizing, refreshening, energizing and healing! Whether it is a private garden, terrace, a tiny balcony or only a couple of narrow windowsills in your urban dwelling - there is always an option to green up your space. I noticed that even a few minutes spent wholeheartedly with my green friends increases my concentration and nourishes my creativity.

I always love to know about new ways of styling and displaying indoor plants and  creating smart, harmonious indoor oases. Also, I keep constantly discovering innumerable kinds of plants -  my Pinterest Wishlist is ever-growing!๐Ÿ˜Ž

For this post, I've gathered some ideas on how to enliven interior spaces with plants & bring more plants-inspired layers to our daily DecoLiving...

upper left -
 upper right -  
bottom left -

Besides my special love for succulents, I'm also fascinated by plants with large, burdock-like leaves,
no matter whether patterned or with just plain green foliage!
Here's a couple of stunningly looking Alocasias...

LEFT: One of my IKEA crushes, FABRIKร–R Glass-door cabinet adorned by
a whimsical  A l o c a s i a  & Co.:)... via
RIGHT:  Another impressive species of Alocasia, also known as Elephant's Ear,
here as an  a c c e n t   p l a n t ... via

upper left - A lovely  i l l u s t r a t i o n  by Saar Manche
 upper right - A stylish corner with a jar terrarium @ MadameLove .instagram
bottom left - Some pretty  s e w n   a p p l i c a t i o n s  in embroidery hoops via Lia Griffith
  bottom right - Photography by Luisa Brimble via

Now, if you are like me, amazed by the  p l a n t  theme in fashion and home decoration, 
you'll defenitely like these finds of mine - charming gifts to treat yourself  and someone you love!
๐Ÿ” Tropical Palm Box of Long Safety  M a t c h e s  from Rexlondon  £3.95
๐Ÿ”  Cactus necklace  c h a r m s  by Stephanie Jones 
๐Ÿ”  Center:...yeah, i happened to have lost the link to this adorable enamel pin!;( But, I suggest you another source for this kind of beauties - Hemleva shop where you'll find lots of  amazing botanical pins and other little gifts.
๐Ÿ” Vinyl  B r o o c h  - Palm and Philodendron from Karteko .etsy  $24.30
๐Ÿ”  Terrarium  P o s t c a r d s  Set of 4 from Quill & Fox .etsy

Well, I hope you enjoyed the post!
Also, you might like to visit my GIUNGLA DI CITTร Pinterest board (yes, inspired by Adriano Celentano's famous song with the same title as it siuts so well to the board's content:). I collect there wonderful ideas of indoor plants, plants-inspired DIYs and shopping, including the best books about plants and their caring.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Coffee Table Styling

One of my most favourite decoration related activities is arranging my fav objects around the house. In this post, I've put together some attractive coffee table styling examples (no, not mine yet, but i am really dreaming of planning to share  photo-stories from our house and garden once i am ready with it. Yeah, i know, it took me a lot more time than i could have ever imagined, but I'm doing my best to make it happen the soonest possible! :)

๐Ÿ“ Let me begin by sharing a few rules I've developed when styling for my house or working on any creative projects:

๐Ÿ”ผ First of all, no tension, at all!:) My  a p p r o a c h  is always about being playful and allowing mistakes - either to learn from or see them lead to unexpected discoveries, it happens quite often... i mean, discoveries!;)
๐Ÿ”ผ Decide upon the  s t y l e   in general -- it may be e.g. Coastal Glam, Rural Seaside or Modern Nordic, or whatever visual and emotional story you may want to convey.
๐Ÿ”ผ Then, think of a desired  c o l o u r  p a l e t t e  - firtsly, all the colours you wish to be present in your project, then define primary & accent colours.
๐Ÿ”ผ As for the styling itself, you might like to start with certain  i t e m s  you already have and play the whole story around them. Add new objects taking into account shapes, heights, colours & textures of all the 'characters' in your deco-story. Play also with a-symmetry and repetition to maintain visual harmony.

upper left -
upper right - Hadley Court Interior Design 
bottom left -
bottom right -
๐Ÿ“ Now, some BASICS  for a surface to be styled:

๐Ÿ”ผ High quality BOOKS about decor & design, art, travels, history, fashion or landscape designs whatever your interest is...

๐Ÿ”ผ JEWELRY BOX to display favourite jewelry pieces or curious finds of any kind...

๐Ÿ”ผ And, of course, no way without FLORALS! It may be just any kind of bouquets put in a vase, or it may also be an unusual succulent or a group of potted plants adding a dash of personality to your style story.

๐Ÿ”ผ CANDLES, especially aromatic ones, nowadays coming in countless designs... yes, my soft spot!:))

๐Ÿ”ผ Creating a moment of surprise with QUIRKY STUFF - a freestyle ceramic piece or humorous objects, - just something unexpected,  reflecting your character and interests...


↓ Now, a completely different style from what we've just seen -- a Hawaii apartment of Kelsi Vande Velden and her partner Garrett Ahrens. Kelsi is an interior designer and also a creator of PANDEIA unique compass sundial watches - do have a look, they are striking!! ...I'd like to call this amazing apartment with a global feeling, A COLLECTOR's NEST!

Photography by Ashley Camper  .via ...

↓ ...a few tips and tricks from MARGO & ME on how to style a coffee table effortlessly like a pro:)

 It's time for shopping! 
My top 5 that i'd love to feature in my personal coffee table story:)

๐Ÿ” I am always keen on ...fancy matches! These are from FRANKIEANDCLAUDE $16.50
๐Ÿ” Candlefish ceramic candles from ANTHROPOLOGIE $28
๐Ÿ” And how do you like this mysterious looking ceramic mug?! It's from ESSARAI CERAMICS
๐Ÿ” Amethyst Iridescent Glass Display Box from JACQUIESUMMER .etsy  
Simply can't take my eyes off all those wonderful display boxes they offer in their shop. I really want them all!:)) So, you have to check it out if you love such kind of items, they have a wide range of stuff to choose from - 290 items at the moment!

No no no! I just can't finish without sharing one more video where a Spanish interior designer and a proprietor of gallery/shop in Barcelona OBJETO DE DESEO, Jorge Subietas! He is sharing his love for objects (oh, we are so much on the same wave!)) and revealing a few secrets on smart styling.
The video is in Spanish, but even if you don't know the language it's still really enjoyable to watch!↓

Monday, 26 February 2018

Dark Interiors... why not?

I guess, not many of us would immediately fall in love with an idea of painting a room... black! First I've been like this too... I may wear black occasionally and feel comfy, but  b l a c k  in a much greater proportion is usually perceived quite negatively. Yet, here and there images of smartly styled dark interiors kept coming my way, and the idea has finally grown on me.
I like the aura of mystery the black imparts to a space. It creates a feeling of power, stability and sophistication. Also,  b l a c k  results to be a beneficial background to display things.
So, for my today's post I've gathered up some eye-catching examples of all-black rooms which, thanks to a proper styling and colour balance, don't look that oppressive, as we might have expected. You're going to be surprised to see how comfortable and at times even cheery dark rooms may appear to be...

on the left:  My favourite combination of black & cool tones of yellow! And, in love with the chair!...or, at least, its visible part:) Here you can also see my current obsession -- a collector's cabinet with a shade of light-yellow background!   ↑ And, the bedroom on the right  is my favourite kind of all-black interiors!  Rocky beaches in the foggy morning somewhere in Iceland... do you imagine the same when looking at this space? : "...Designer Hubert Zandberg’s own London townhouse reflects both his passion for collecting, as well as his South African heritage. The eclectic sitting room mixes contemporary art, animal ephemera and vintage weaponry for a chic, cabinet-of-curiosities effect. The oval mirrors are by Tommi Parzinger and the cushions are upholstered in Paul Smith fabrics."
Photo by Simon Upton.
↑Another great idea of placing a couple of display cases on either side of the wall to create symmetry in the space for more balance and harmony.

↑ These rooms are for those of us who still think that pure  b l a c k  is really too extreme. Smart decision  - lighter shades of black and grey colour palette. Here we have soft charcoal grades. The rooms seem to be enveloped by a gentle light! 
Use of muted gold, glass surfaces, bold ceramics in light tones and comfortable textiles -- all this makes for a cozy atmosphere and lightens up the spaces even more. ๐Ÿ’™Mat glass pendant bubble lights, like a big cloud floating under the bed on the right is simply amazing!

on the left : The magnificent home of Swedish interior stylist Lotta Agaton | Photo by Pia Ulin for Residence Magazine
↑ Both rooms here posess more of a stern, masculine atmosphere. Large posters on the wall, white potted flowers are serving as indoor sources of "light..."

on the left: Great idea of bringing into a dark space architectural shapes, as an accent. Wood is always about bringing warmth into whatever kind of interior it may be. via interiorsbystudiom
on the right: Another idea of trying  b l a c k  in your house without going radical is... painting only one wall black or any of its lighter shades! Or you might like to experiment with a large built-in black bookcase and fill it with decor objects taking into account the key principles of interaction with the colour b la c k like e.g. those we're discussing today...

on the left: Photo by William Abranowicz.Art + Commerce : design by Mark Cunningham.
on the right: interior designer Dirk Jan Kinet.
↑Dominating  b l a c k  as on the right can also surprisingly make an old-world style interior dramatic and curious. Again, my fav juicy  y e l l o w  here completely satisfies the thirst for colour.

๐Ÿ“ Well, and finally, here you have my 5 tips on

๐Ÿ”ผ  Be flexible with DOMINANT COLOURS! Don't get stuck on just pure black as the dominant colour, but
use any of its lighter shades - e.g. charcoal, ebony, taupe, raisin black or onyx...
Check out wikipedia for more shades of black๐Ÿ–Š...

๐Ÿ”ผ SUBSIDIARY COLOURS: Use proper amount of w h i t e, also
making accents with one or two bright colours of your choice.
As I've already said, I love black paired with y e l l o w  -- acid yellow and cool lemon tones are the best. 
Anything  n e o n (that is to add playfulness to a space) --  e.g. green, pink and blue would look also just great glowing in the dark!

๐Ÿ”ผ TRANSPARENCY & TRANSLUCENCY: clear, mat and smoked glass will lighten the heaviness of a dark ambience and make for the variety of textures. 
๐Ÿ”ผ LIGHT, both natural and electrical, is very important in making dark interior look and feel comfortable.
Even an angle of light streaming in can be determining.

๐Ÿ”ผ and lastly, the fun part of the game -- f i l l i n g  the space with QUIRCKY DECOR OBJECTS

⏩ SHADES OF GREY: Decorating with the most elegant of neutrals by Kate Watson-Smyth
⏩ ROCKETT St GEORGE: Extraordinary Interiors by Jane Rockett and Lucy St George
⏩ BLACK & WHITE (and a Bit in Between) by Celerie Kemble

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Khaleeji Cookies: Ghraiba

Now, I'd like to share one of my all time favourite yummies - arabic/khaleeji cookies called 'ghraiba.' The cookies are also popular in North Africa and well, all over the Arab world. Ghraiba is a round cookie which have a perfect sandy texture mmm...๐Ÿ˜‹ and made with 3 kinds of flour, icing sugar & oil/butter. Sometimes powdered almonds may be added as well. 
Actually, you may find several versions of this recipe only very slightly different from each other. As for me, I prefer the version presented in the 'Lime & Cardamom' cookbook by Sarah Al Hammad. Well, easy to make and you'll have some yummy stuff enough for a series of teatimes - why wait?, let's make it!

  • 200g wholemeal flour
  • 100g plain flour
  • 100g chickpea flour
  • 150g icing sugar (optionally: +extra for dusting)
  • 180-200ml vegetable oil (or melted unsalted butter, but in this case, you will need it a bit more )
  1. Preheat the oven to 170℃ (gas mark 3)
  2. Sift the flours into a large bowl then mix in the sugar and vegetable oil. With your hands, knead the flour until moist and crumbly yet firm enough for a cookie to hold its shape.
  3. Take the dough by small portions, press between both palms and shape into rounds. The dough should be cracking on the sides. Press down your thumb or index finger lightly on the top of a cookie to make slight indentation.
  4. Lay out on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until lightly golden.
  5. You might like to dust the cookies with icing sugar, but that's of your choice.

Interior Trend: Solid Wood Objects & white ambience

Here's one of my recent interior design trends' favourites -- curious hardwood objects and freeform seating furniture against white or subdued earth tones background...

MidCentury Home in Berlin of Emmanuel de Bayser, the owner of a concept store called The Corner.
Sofa and armchairs are by Jean Royere.

Family Home by Kelly Wearstler, Inc. in Malibu, CA

Family Home by Kelly Wearstler, Inc. in Malibu, CA

↓... I'm loving how the coolness of marble harmonizes with the warmth of wood.   

๐Ÿ“Now, summing up all of the above, I suggest a few key steps in
styling a smart interior with solid wood objects...

1. ...bringing into the space  s o l i d  w o o d   f r e e f o r m  accent furniture and decor pieces such as
v a s e s,  s c u l p t u r e s,  j e w e l l e r y  b o x e s  etc... Artisan  c e r a m i c s  are to be another 'must'.
2. ...think also about  h a r d w o o d   p l y w o o d  s t a t e m e n t  f u r n i t u r e, plus...
3. ...c o s m i c  style o b j e c t s, e.g. lighting, like those mushroom shaped lamps in Kelly Wearstler's Malibu living room [the second picture from above]
4. ...and that's not to forget about lots of  w h i t e and its natural shades which play a major role in the given style background colour scheme.

 As a conclusion, here are my top 5 finds for an outstanding styling...
1 Glass Pot or Terrarium with wood root Base .BALIEXCLUSIVO  $69.95
2 Set of Tables CODIT by DOBREDREWNO  .DAWANDA 181.85
3 Katie Gong Stump side table .westelm $249 $329
4 Natural Wood Sofa Table  by NEVASTARR  North Carolina, U .ETSY  5,164.08
5 Ash Wood Bread Board handmade in Kyiv, Ukraine by Bukke .DAWANDA 45.00