home decor

Living Room Textures

January 31, 2020 • Home Decor

i love the idea of a home as an infinite succession of layers. you start with a blank canvas – every room just a space defined by blank walls, the ceiling and the floor. then you start adding the most basic, functional elements – a couch, a table, chairs. then you might start decorating to make the space look more beautiful, more like a reflection of what you like. most of what you add will still be functional – a table cloth to protect the table top, curtains to keep the light out, a rug to warm your feet. and then finally comes the most interesting layer – the additions that you didn’t exactly plan, that don’t serve some kind of essential function.

when interior decorators talk about ‘adding texture’ to a room, i always roll my eyes a little bit. yeah, sure, if you choose a different fabric for the couch, curtains and pillows, you’ll technically be creating textural differences in the room. but when i think of texture, it’s a more soulful definition of the concept. it’s not a rational but emotional approach – being led by items that you love for some reason or other and then throwing them together hoping they will work. and you know what – it works because you’re the one who throws it all together. your interest in the objects is what ties them together. and that’s the kind of texture that i’m talking about.

it’s displaying your favorite books on top of a cabinet and then placing a framed photo or candle on top of the books. it’s being gifted a cute set of wooden birds, not really knowing what to do with them and then suddenly stumbling on a little space on a shelf that ends up being perfect for them. it’s adding one more pillow because you fell in love with it, not because your couch needed one or even that it really matches the color all that well. you can’t ‘decorate’ a space all at once. it’s a process that invites constant change – little details that are added or taken away, little pockets of meaning that didn’t exist before. it’s like writing a story chapter by chapter, not really knowing the ending.

you didn’t really ask for my philosophical thoughts on home decor but i shared them anyway – do what you will with them! in the meantime i’m happy as a clam with the latest random addition to our living room – the DOT PILLOW from HAY. the velvet is absolutely perfect, both the color and its softness. i know the trend is mixing and matching lots of colorful DESIGN PILLOWS with all kinds of different prints, but i really like keeping it simple, subtle and monochrome. there’s enough color seeping into the living room already – with the girls’ books and toys inevitably ending up all around.

speaking of the girls – i resisted the idea of getting a new television for a loooooong time, for the same reasons any design-loving person hates the tv in the living room. they’re just all so ugly – even if they’re a nice design an sich, the black hole they create messes up whatever carefully curated and balanced color scheme you have going on. but when the husband suggested getting this one (it’s the samsung frame) i was on board immediately. with the wooden frame and mounted all the way against the wall it looks just like, well, a frame. and there’s a handy function to display whatever photo you want. though the overall effect is still a bit too ‘light box’ for my taste, it’s a lot nicer to look at juliet and eloise at their most angelic, than at a big, black hole.

HAY STUDIO PILLOW gifted by my partner misterdesign.be • as usual – all opinions, stories and photos are my own

Golden Details, Fall Vibes

October 31, 2019 • Home Decor

do you remember what it felt like first moving into a new home? were you like me – obsessing over every detail, trying to make every space look and feel as ‘lived in’ as possible right from the start? it doesn’t work that way of course – that true sense of ‘home’ needs to grow, as you learn more about a space you realize you need different things than you thought, and stuff that bothered you before stops bothering you after a while. and no matter how hard you try – you never ‘finish’ a new home. there will always be that one little detail you never took care of. a frame still leaning against the wall, waiting for someone to finally drill a hole in the wall and put it up? yeah, after five years you realize that’s not happening. or maybe it’s a light fixture you still need to go out and look for, to replace that stupid bulb hanging from a hole in your ceiling? yeah, that was us. did you know there is even a word to describe the ‘blindness’ you create to little details like that after living in a home for a while? i remember having read it somewhere, in a very clever essay in an anthology about interiors or homes. but i can’t for the life of me remember which book it was, and so i can’t even tell you which word. but you definitely recognize the feeling. right? (this is where you leave a comment to make sure i don’t feel like the only slacker in the world).

yet today i am so proud to say that i finally – after having lived here for five years – took care of that awkwardly hanging light bulb. after a friend remarked that it was not my style to let such a detail go unnoticed, i finally started browsing for DESIGN LAMPS and landed on the perfect one: the COLLECT SOCKET HIGH HANGLAMP designed by TRINE ANDERSEN. i knew i could size the cable to perfectly fit the awkwardly low height of our ceilings. most hanging lamps are way too long and hang too low for this area, which is not above a table but right in the middle of our living room where people actually walk through. add to that we’re both pretty tall adults, and you can imagine the head-bumping scenarios. so, this lamp was absolutely perfect in that respect.

but it was even more perfect in another way, thanks to the brass material, it blends into our living area so well. seamlessly, i’d say, if that didn’t imply that it becomes nearly invisible. i like how this lamp is very subtle, but it is decidedly beautiful in its own right. you may not notice it right away, but when you do, you realize it just ‘fits’. especially during this season, when i simply can’t have enough of the brass and messing details around. there’s something about the toned-down golden hue that just feels so cozy and festive – ideal for fall, but perhaps more importantly setting the right tone for the upcoming winter.

ok so now dish, please. what detail is still left unfinished in your home? what has been on your to-do list for so long, you don’t even notice it anymore? and i totally recommend tackling it this weekend – it gives such a ridiculous feeling of satisfaction to finally scratch that thing off your list!

photos by stephanie duval • FERM LIVING lamp kindly gifted by MISTER DESIGN


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my name is stephanie duval, and i am a storyteller. this blog is where i share my favorite stories about design, travel, fashion and the nice things in life.


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