Happy Halloween….

Happy Halloween….gorgeous wreaths to celebrate this fun time of year….it means lots and lots of candy for kids and adults alike, scary costumes and of course…trick or treating! And finally……cool weather!

image via martha stewart
image via country living magazine
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Fabulous New Fabrics…

One of my favourite bloggers Caitlin Wilson has recently launched her own range of fabrics and they are really wonderful…fresh, colourful and best of all, really easy to coordinate!

I love the range and I am dying to use them on a project…even better, in my own home, but that will have to wait!

image via caitlin wilson design
image via caitlin wilson design
image via caitlin wilson design

Aren’t they just amazing? I am dying to request some samples and see them “in the flesh”so to speak……See the whole range here.

Shiny white and fresh………

image via arianna belle

While browsing through design blogs this weekend, I came upon these two pristine kitchens…..I really don’t have strong feelings about kitchens for myself….mostly because I don’t own my apartment. As long as it has  enough storage and good lighting I am happy….as I am a renter, there is also not too much I can do about the kitchen I have. We are definitely not encouraged to paint cupboard doors by  landlords and most apartments here are built and designed with heavy dark wood doors, frames and cupboards and the ubiquitous marble or granite counter tops.

image via coco-pearl

Lately I have really been lusting after a bright fresh kitchen and these two tick all the boxes! Oh to be able to paint all my (fake) mahogany  cupboards white and give the kitchen a total makeover……………….this obsession with dark wood and black granite must come to an end now!

Views of Dubai…….

When I was off work sick last week I cleaned up my computer and went through the thousands of photos I have collected over the past couple of years….here are some which I kept and I decided to share them here.

sunset over the desert
the incredible Burj Khalifa
my favourite fountain at the Dubai Mall
another view
water feature at Bab Al Shams
sunrise on the road to Bab Al Shams

All images taken by me.

I have to have one of these………..

I know I am late in coming to the Moroccan pouf party, but hey, better late than never….I LOVE this silver one and I have got to get one as soon as Global Village opens in December. Each year, Global Village opens for two months , to coincide with the Dubai shopping Festival and this year I will most definitely be heading off there to source a Moroccan pouf or two!

image via villa von krogh blog

I have seen them popping up everywhere on blogs and designer portfolios and I must say that this one in particular, adds a touch of sparkle to a room…especially a lovely neutral or all white room.

Amazing blogs…….

image via my home inspiration blog

I know I been absent for a while……I have been busy trying to finalise a few details for my two big projects I am currently busy with and also all the furniture I mentioned in a previous post!

I have been obsessed with Swedish , Norwegian and German blogs lately…wow, but those chilly countries certainly inspire incredible creativity! I love their style and I am fascinated how most of the decor is predominantly white, accented with dark greys, taupes and black. Very, very stylish and incredibly easy to live with.

image via villa von krogh blog

They also seem to combine a lot of vintage items with good old Ikea furniture…..although I am not a huge fan about most  Ikea furniture, I do think that that it is the easiest and most cost effective way to add “trendy” furniture to your home without breaking the bank. (My sofa is from Ikea and I love it…I searched for about 6 months to find something I could just flop into and I finally found it at Ikea of all places….)

image via my home inspiration blog

I am sure it also helps to have loads of markets and fairs to source gorgeous vintage  European pieces…something we really lack here in the Middle East! I love all the neutral tones…the key, as always with white rooms and white decor in general, is to layer with textures and tones and these very talented ladies seem to do this beautifully, with different tones of white  and off-white.Then there are the natural greys and taupes of cane and wicker , plants and slubby linens….delicious! Add a punch of black or charcoal and you get magic…..perhaps its the light in these Nordic countries that is very white and which just seems to highlight the beautiful combination of these colours……..

image via my shabby chic house blog

Take a look at these gorgeous blogs…they really have some amazing creative ideas and photos!

http://finallywhite.blogspot.com

http://amtolula.blogspot.com/

http://white-impressions.blogspot.com

http://homesweethome-bitte.blogspot.com

http://myhome-inspiration.blogspot.com/

http://camillaathome.blogspot.com

http://www.villavonkrogh.com/

http://myshabbychichouse.blogspot.com

Reducing waste….

image via zerowasteblog

As I mentioned in a recent post, I have not been well and I have been amusing myself by reading some new blogs…one in particular caught my eye and has really resonated within me. As my good friends will all tell you, I am a bit of a ‘tree -hugger”and consider myself to be  concerned about our impact on the environment , particularly here in the Middle East.

A  positive side effect of the worldwide recession for me has been a massive downsizing of all aspects of my life-car, apartment, travel, shopping…..I have come to realise how little one actually needs to live on….not luxuriously, but just using the basics and I have managed to reduce the minimum amount of money I need to live on by over half what I used to spend a few years ago.(By moving to a MUCH smaller apartment, I have managed to reduce my electricity bill by 60% and my rent by 20%. I drive a very small car which uses half the fuel my 4 x4 used to use!)

image via zerowasteblog

This blog has made me further consider how we live….I am a hoarder…I love my “things” and being a decorator, I love to display art, books and pieces I have collected from travels  on my shelves, so I am extremely conflicted while reading this blog…on one hand I am in awe of the amazing household Bea runs and on the other hand I think…..aaaagh…I could never get rid of all my lovely things and live a minimalist life!!! Yet…she has certainly inspired me and I have been thinking of nothing else for the last few days….while I am not quite ready to be zero waste just yet, I am definitely going to reduce RADICALLY the amount of plastic I am currently bringing into my house.

Bea’s blog is a commentary on their life ,trying to live with creating as little waste as possible and they , as a family, have managed to reduce their waste to almost nothing. Her philosophy is to not bring things into the house in the first place…for example: the plastic grocery bags we all grab when buying healthy vegetables….well, the plastic is not healthy and when discarded, simply ends up in landfills or our oceans , and will last thousands of years before disintegrating. Her solution is to use mesh laundry bags to put the vegetables into and to then weigh them in these bags….no plastic and no waste..genius! The family composts all fruit and vegetable peels and they use the compost in the garden. This would not be practical for me in an apartment, but after seeing how much plastic and junk I generated after a week of being sick in bed, I feel motivated to do something by at least trying to reduce packaging as much as possible.

image via zerowasteblog

As you can see from the images, the family home is clean, bright and very stylish……Do take a look at The Zero Waste Home…..it is a well written and informative blog full of really practical tips and ideas for reducing our wasteful ways and making the world a better place.