Simply Scandinavian

I found a lovely book called Simply Scandinavian by Sara Normann, Magnus Englund and Caroline Clifton-Mogg. It features inspiring homes that reflect the simplicity and elegance of the Scandinavian style, a style that originates in the Nordic countries of Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland.


The Scandinavian style is simple, relaxed and unpretentious. It focuses on pale and muted colors, especially white. The color palette is light and airy focusing on bringing the outside in.

Simply Scandinavian

The Scandinavian style encompasses many aesthetics from vintage-inspired to modern and contemporary rustic.


I love the collection of small wall reliefs (above) displayed within the calm Nordic interior. Many Scandinavian interiors bear traces of journeys and collected treasures from exotic lands.

While much of the Scandinavian style emphasizes a calm quiet, accessories can often be loud and colorful.

Rustic accessories compliment simple and clean geometric backdrops.

Simply Scandinavian

I love the metal wire picture holder above the natural wood table (pictured above). The whole room is airy and open reflecting the outside light.


Nature is the main inspiration in Nordic homes. Wool rugs, wooden floors, natural stones, pewter and animal hides are prevalent in the Scandinavian style.


Modern and rustic elements sit side by side in the Scandinavian design style. I especially love the bobbed wire pendant hanging from the ceiling (below).


Natural textiles like linen and wool are common elements. Wicker baskets and light wooden furniture are characteristic of the Scandinavian aesthetic.


Modern items like the vertical bookshelf and interlocking stools used as a coffee table (below) are typical of the Scandinavian style:  using old materials and techniques in a new way.


The simplicity of the Scandinavian style can be replicated easily and affordably. Mixing rustic, vintage, modern or contemporary elements within a light, airy and always white space is easy to emulate. It is a relaxed way of living that is timeless.

Che figata FRIDAY! (That’s cool, in Italian)

While I was vacationing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California I visited a little town called Jamestown. It’s a quaint spot just off highway 108 in the center of California gold country. The buildings are reminiscent of the 1840s and 50s gold rush, and several antique stores take you back in time. I came across some very cool wire fishing baskets.

wire baskets

By inserting a light bulb they could easily be transformed into very cool light fixtures similar to the ones featured below.

Che figata! Very cool! 

Che Figata FRIDAY! (That’s cool, in Italian)

In the latest issue of Sköna hem magazine I came across these hanging glass lamps called Hänglykta Glas from Granit.

They are basically wine bottles with a metal hanging device for tea lights on the inside.

You just pull the wine bottle up to insert the tea light. You can purchase a chain separately. I’ve seen wine bottles up cycled into candleholders, but not like this.

hanglykta2Very cool! Che figata!

J’aime le chemin de table en toile de jute!

J’aime le chemin de table en toile de jute! I love a burlap table runner! I saw one in Pottery Barn recently for $69.00 USD. Rather than buy it, I decided to knock-it-off!

Burlap can add a rustic or cottage feel to an elegant table.

A burlap runner placed over a white linen tablecloth exudes an organic simplicity.

Burlap can be dressed up or dressed down. You can leave as is, paint on it, add a lace trim or monogram it.

It can be incorporated into a provincial exterior or a modern interior.

I love the french country tablescape (below) layering burlap with linen and lace.

A burlap table runner can be kept simple, have fringe or sewn.

I like the white burlap (below) on a dark wood table.

Because my dining room table is made from a dark wood, I decided to buy a white burlap. I simply cut it and pulled strands off the edges to make a fringed border.

My own burlap table runner!

My own burlap table runner!

J’aime le chemin de table en toile de jute!

Inexpensive Decor Ideas

If you’re anything like me:  you love and appreciate interior design and décor but the practicalities of life get in the way, specifically money. Here are some inexpensive décor ideas that I think you’ll love.

From  Lina pa Landet (above and below) comes the inexpensive idea of using an old door as a headboard and a simple wine crate as a nightstand. Inexpensive while also being modern and cool.

You can also use simple frames and rope or twine for wall décor (also above), without worrying about the expense of prints and mattes.

From My Scandinavian Home, I love the idea of a simple branch with a simple garland or string of white lights being transformed into wall décor (above). And the star made from twigs is an easy diy project.

Using paper lanterns (above) is another cheap way to add texture and interest.

Make your own artwork. Knock-off artwork you see in magazines or in galleries (I like the image above). A simple white canvas with paint or colored paper can add a modern and original touch.

I love the idea of bringing the outside in (above). Use tree branches for art. Adds a modern 3-dimensional touch.

From HGTV comes an easy and inexpensive décor idea:  use rope or twine to hang curtains. Adds a fun rustic feel!

Another way to “bring the outside in” is to use a log or tree stump (above) as an end table.

Can’t afford expensive dining chairs? Find miscellaneous chairs at estate sales, consignment stores or thrift stores and paint them all the same color.

Again, using thrift store finds and old wooden crates (above), a room can be fabulous.

Decorating with rocks, sand and pebbles is an easy and inexpensive way to fill up a sparce space.

Incorporating iron gates and ladders (above) and other unusual elements adds a rustic and unexpected touch.

Use your own old books or find some at thrift stores and paint them all white. Stack and glue. Voila! A stack of old books becomes a night stand. Love this idea!

Take a simple pallet (above), paint it and attach industrial wheels. Great coffee table! Or stain it and use it as a display rack for dishes (below).

Use a simple inexpensive string of lights (usually on sale at the end of a season) in place of an expensive lamp. Very modern.

Great idea to use wooden skirt hangers (above) or metal clasps (below) to display art.

I love the idea (below) of using an ordinary ladder as a bookcase.

I hope you are inspired by these inexpensive decor ideas to create your own masterpieces. I will definitely be knocking-off some of these unique low-cost design concepts myself.

“Tee-se-itse (Do-it-yourself) TUESDAY!” A Simple Garden

It’s “tee-se-itse TUESDAY!” That’s “do-it-yourself” in Finnish! If you’re like me, you’d love to have a beautiful vegetable or herb garden, but just don’t have the time. Why not create your own simple “tee-se-itse” simple garden? It can be as manageable as you need it to be. For me, a few herbs in pots will do!


Kristin Fagerskjold

I like the idea of making your little garden decorative and using out-of-the-ordinary items like tea cups. You can recycle and use ordinary aluminum cans.

Simple terra cotta pots on a window sill in your kitchen can make you smile.

I rediscovered an old white bench I had in our garage and moved it to our garden. I planted oregano, thyme, basil and strawberries in inexpensive terra cotta pots. I placed it in a sunny location.

I smile everytime I see it.

My son, Constantine, likes to put our bunny, Snowball, near the herbs to see if he’ll eat them. Constantine also loves watering the herbs and watching them grow.

I love my simple and manageable “tee-se-itse” garden!

Che figata FRIDAY! … Patterned Paint Rollers.

It’s “Che figata FRIDAY!” (that’s cool, in Italian!) I stumbled upon the coolest thing ever! Patterned paint rollers! You can use the rollers as an alternative to wallpaper. Or paint a pattern on a piece of furniture or fabric.

You no longer have to worry about being an amateur artist. The roller does the painting for you.

These patterned paint rollers come from Clare Bosanquet at The Painted House. She brought the idea to the UK from Romania.

Che figata FRIDAYSo adorable! And very affordable. Che decisamente figata! (That’s definitely cool!)


Global Design & Decor… literally!

Nothing is as classic as a map. Nothing says, “world traveler” or adventurer” more.[1]

Incorporating a map into your home’s interior design is a great way to express your globe-trotting spirit. (from Elle Maison above).

You can use wallpaper with map designs or a framed image. A vintage old-world look can accentuate a home library or the classic style of a bedroom (Vim & Vintage above) as well as offer a strong yet elegant contrast to a modern interior (Regards et Maisons below).


I love the idea from Sfizzy (below) which literally maps out a cherished destination. What a unique way to remember a special trip, a romantic place or your family’s origin.


Want to give a unique gift to someone you love? Sfizzi commemorates special locations on a map (such as a destination wedding or marriage proposal) with a red stitched heart. So cute!

Another way to add old-world charm to your décor is to decoupage a map onto furniture. I love the little blue nightstand (below) from Primitive & Proper which integrates an old Atlas map and a simple hand-painted table.

From Ikea Hackers, comes this wonderful map chair (above) using a Nordmyra chair from Ikea. She was inspired by some tables and chairs she saw in London.

I love the map dresser (above) from Homedeco2u.httpwww.recyclart.org201308recycled-stools

From Recycleart (above) comes some very clever stools that were inspired from the London tube map. They feature the colors of the metro lines and locations in London.

From Paper Blog (above) comes a very unique decorative diy project that combines wooden letters with maps. Using your own initials and maps that point out special locations is great way to customize your wall décor.

From Martha Stewart, I found these adorable ways to celebrate a destination wedding. Using a map that features the location of the marriage (above & below) on a frame, candle holders or on vases is both unique and fun.

Another cute decorative item for a destination wedding or a bon voyage party is this map heart garland from 10PaperLane on Etsy (below). You could easily make this yourself.

Ten Paper Lane onEtsy

Have an old globe in your attic, or did you find one at a thrift store? From Viaggiare Oltre comes this unique decorative bowl (below) using half of a globe. I think this would look beautiful containing simple olive tree sprigs or eucalyptus.

A great way to add a touch of New York sophistication into your décor is to knock-off these illuminating candle holders (below) also from Viaggiare Oltre. You could also use maps of Paris or Rome. Or apply the maps you actually used from a city you visited. What a great souvenir from your travels!


Applying a map to a lamp shade is another great way to celebrate a favorite location or turn a traveling companion (a map) into a treasured souvenir. I love the two map lamp shades from Not On The High Street (below). One offers a soft pale green pallet while the other contrasts it with a vintage old-world feel.



Check out another unique way to commemorate a great trip? From Map Motifs, comes this very creative light switch cover (below). My niece gave us one that featured Thessaloniki and Halkidiki, Greece – where she visited us while we were vacationing.



Our own light switch cover featuring Thessaloniki and Halkidiki, Greece.

I love the idea of incorporating actual globes into interior design. The 3-dimensional quality adds a pizzazz that a 1-dimensional map can’t do. From Benoit Vieubled comes “World Upside Down,” a chandelier like no other (below)

From Pinterest, comes this hanging globes light fixture (below).

hanging globe lights

And last but not least, my niece, Kathleen’s, own globe lamp shade creation (below)! She added a beaded fringe and used an antique lamp base. Beautiful.


There are countless ways to incorporate maps and globes into interior design and décor. From world travels or thrift store finds, global design elements emphasize adventure and an enthusiasm for life. I encourage you to share your love of travel and your favorite destinations in your own home’s décor.

Majolica Pottery At It’s Best…

On a recent trip to San Francisco, I walked through it’s Italian district, North Beach. I came across this wonderful shop called Biordi Art Imports ( They feature classic Italian majolica, an earthenware pottery covered with a white opaque lead glaze that includes tin, and then painted and fired. Using the opaque white glaze is a style of painting particular to the potters from the island of Majorca in the Mediterranean (hence, the name Majolica).

Majolica vases

Majolica pitcher

Many majolica artists derive their inspiration from nature featuring exotically painted fruits and landscapes.

Majolica bowl

Majolica Pot

Majolica tray

Majolica vase


Princeton in the Spring

After a very long cold winter, Spring is finally here. I thought I’d share the beauty of Princeton, New Jersey with you (my home) during this much-anticipated time of year!


Witherspoon Street leads directly up to Princeton University. If you visit, make sure to grab lunch at Olives deli. It features wonderful Greek dishes! One of my favorite restaurants for dinner is The Ferry House. It is a bit pricey, but well worth it. Both are on Witherspoon.


At the end of Witherspoon is one of the entrances to Princeton University. The first building you will see is Nassau Hall, the oldest building at the university, built in 1756.


Make sure to visit the shops on Palmer Square. It features wonderful shops and restaurants. My favorites shops are The Famhouse Store which specializes in home décor, and Kitchen Kapers – a specialty kitchen store with all kinds of unique gadgets and accessories. I also love Carter & Cavero – old world olive oil company. You can sample a bountiful of tasty olive oil varieties. And, stop by Indigo by Shannon Connor Interiors. They have elegant and unique home décor.





Make sure and drop in to the Princeton University Chapel. Its beautiful tudor Gothic architecture is worth seeing!


I also love visiting the Yankee Doodle Tap Room in the basement of The Nassau Inn. It is a great place for a casual dinner or warm spirits beside a warm stone fireplace. You can also sit outside during the warmer months and watch passerby’s while you eat.


There’s more to Princeton than the picturesque downtown and University. Some other sites I would highly recommend are…

  • a 15 minute walk to Princeton Battlefield State Park and The Thomas Clark house (1772) on Mercer Street
  • a walking tour of the town’s historical sites that begins at the Bainbridge House – Historical Society of Princeton
  • a visit to Terhune Orchards where you can go pumpkin picking in the Fall and visit their country store to purchase their homemade pies, cookies, and cider
  • a visit to Princeton University’s Art Museum
  • a 35-40 minute drive to New Hope and Lambertville (beautiful artsy towns on the Delaware that are separated by the New Hope/Lambertville bridge)
  • dinner at The Blue Point Grill (wonderful seafood) on Nassau Street
  • a visit to Nassau Street Seafood & Produce Co. (very fresh!)
  • coffee at Small World Coffee (on Witherspoon Street)
  • dinner at Camillo’s Italian Restaurant (in the North Harrison Shopping Center in Princeton)
  • window shopping at Design Within Reach on Nassau
  • ice cream at Halo Pub
  • gelato at The Bent Spoon