Indian Summer With Ikea

September 27, 2015 • Home Decor

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we’ve been experiencing a wonderful end of summer here in switzerland, with sunny mornings and balmy afternoons. which is always nice of course, but especially if your home has an outside area to enjoy those last beautiful days of the season. when we originally moved to geneva, we were incredibly lucky to find an apartment with a gorgeous balcony, so when we moved last year (almost a year ago – time really does fly!) we were really hoping to find a similar place in our new hometown. we hit the jackpot when we found our current apartment, which has a supernice terrace. it is partly walled off, as if it were more like an outdoor room than a terrace, and i really liked the idea of decorating the place like it was an actual extension of our open plan living room.

after our fun collaboration for JULIET’S NURSERY, i decided to team up with IKEA again for this project. ever since seeing the patio make-over on A HOUSE ON THE HILLS using those gorgeous ikea loungers, i couldn’t get them out of my mind. so obviously, they were first to end up on my shopping list. i love how they add a kind of mid-century vibe, but are still quite minimal pieces that don’t overpower their surroundings.

next was a dining table and chairs, and that is where i messed up a little bit. we decided to order our furniture online and have it delivered to our home, so as not to have to load up our car ourselves – which is a bit difficult with a baby car seat in the back. i originally ordered a huge table of 2 by 1m, because we both love having friends over for dinner and imagined enormous feasts taking place on our terrace. when the furniture was delivered however, i realized i had been a tad optimistic taking our terrace’s measurements. the table took up the entirety of the space, and the chairs could barely fit around it. #epicfail much?

thankfully ikea has a really good return policy – they take back products that are in pristine condition and their original packaging. so we loaded up our car after all, and went to exchange the table and chairs. we looked around for something a bit smaller, and finally noticed our ikea location still had some of the very cool ps 2014 picnic tables and benches in stock. they were the very last pieces, and i scolded myself for not thinking of them earlier. so easy to pack up, easier still to assemble and so pretty – it now is my favorite place for sunny lunches and some quiet alone time with coffee and a magazine. i love the minimal look of the benches instead of chairs, too. if i want to make them a bit cozier, i just put some pillows or a nice throw on them.

to really make the terrace feel like a living area, i spruced up the lounge corner with some greens and an outdoor carpet. simple details perhaps, but they really tied everything together. add to that the SERAX planters from our wedding and the string lights we had put up last year for the holidays (and i had refused to take down), and it really has become such a cozy and warm place to spend quality time with friends and family. we inaugurated the terrace when belgian photographer (and blogosphere friend) KELLY STEENLANDT came over to take some family pictures. obviously we had to celebrate with some veuve clicquot bubbles and a summery lunch of parma ham and melon parts. it was a beautiful weekend i hope to share more about very soon.

greens, carpet, table, benches, lounge chairs and cushions from IKEA // grey tableware by VIPP // cement plant pots on the table by SERAX // morrocan throw bought on ibiza // juliet is wearing an EMOI EMOI romper and HAPPY LEONIE headband // i’m wearing a striped G-STAR top // photos by stephanie duval

Winter Greys

December 6, 2014 • Style

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see how i avoided a ‘fifty shades of’ title there? anyhow. winter is here, at least in our corner of the world, and it’s turning our days into one long blend of greys. i’m partly responsible for that of course, as 80% of my wardrobe currently exists out of neutral grey tones, and our interior is definitely on the monochrome side of the spectrum, too.

when i started creating MY CAPSULE WARDROBE, i knew i needed at least one or two extremely cosy cashmere sweaters or cardigans to get through the winter (which, let’s be honest, takes up 7 to 8 months of the year around here). when VINCE generously offered to participate in my quest for the ultimate pieces of clothing that could help me transition to an ‘adult’ wardrobe, i was so excited. ever since i discovered the brand on one of our trips to the states, i’ve been such a fan of their quality and modern aesthetic. they make the perfect basics that don’t look like basics at all. those two cardigans you see lying and hanging around? yeah, i’ve pretty much been living in them. they’re perfect to accommodate my baby bump right now, but i just know i’ll love them for years to come. i really can’t compare their quality to anything else i own. if you’re sans bump, make sure to check out THIS sweater (and while you’re at it, THIS ONE and THIS ONE, too!)

other random thoughts // those two ladders in the pictures are the fruits of a recent diy project my husband was kind enough to help me with (in that he did everything while i stood by and delivered live commentary). we couldn’t get them straight if our lives depended on it, but we like how they turned out anyway. want to try your hand at it yourself? we followed THIS TUTORIAL on jennifer’s beautiful blog (her ladder is far superior to ours, by the way). // the candle holders are a design by catherine lovatt for SERAX, the vase holding all the eucalyptus is SERAX, too. i love how cheap and fragrant eucalyptus is – i’d prefer an armful of these branches over a bouquet any day! // i really need to get around to hanging our posters, but i keep changing my mind about them. i’ve been pinning lots of interesting examples of decorating with them, and that’s not making the decisions any easier. i do know that i love this mountain abc by COCO LAPINE DESIGN though. // i searched high and low for cute string lights – until sweet isabel of MWORDMAG directed me to THESE. now all i can think of is that i want them in black, too.

for your information – VINCE kindly donated these sweaters to my CAPSULE WARDROBE PROJECT. however, they only did so after i selected and loved them. as usual all opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way.
photos by stephanie duval


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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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