Sunday 27 February 2011


Hi Everyone,

Myself magazine had a special online shopping guide insert a little while ago and one of their 'insider' tips was for swedish online shop Cosas. I instantly fell in love with their product range. Their goal is to sell unique items of high quality that cannot be found just anywhere. They also have a strong focus on sustainability and ethical manufacturing conditions.

Here is a little glimpse into their product range, but be sure to visit their website. Good to know they ship to all European countries - my wish list is as long as my arm.

Home accessories are really important in making a home unique. Because we move house so often and the majority of our furniture is stored in New Zealand we ended up buying mainly IKEA furniture to fill our German flat. As much as I like the Swedish giant it's not exactly unique - and this is where having unusual or one off home accessories makes all the difference. I tend to rotate mine to keep things interesting and not put out everything all at one. Also some are more seasonal than others. Some little things have followed me around the globe and have been in every single home I've lived in. 
Owl candle stand here -  Dalecarlian horse of rubber wood (Elin Tidbeck) here - Vase uneven (House Doctor) here

My mother is a ceramic artist and I know how much time, effort and love goes into creating unique pieces. These mugs are beautiful in their colour and detailing. All Mia Blanche: Drumglass Svennis (Dalecalian horses), Mug Grandma, Drumglass Svennis (Dalecalian horses) here

Everyone needs storage and why not make the items beautiful pieces in themselves. No need to hide these boxes and tins away in a cupboard. Storage boxes here - Tin Albertus (House Doctor) here - Clip boards here

I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend. We are off now to visit my grandparents. They absolutely love spending time with their great-grandsons. It'll be traditional german "Kaffee & Kuchen" let's see how long we can keep the boys sitting down for. 

Also, I am taking the Blogging Your Way course with Holly Becker from decor8. The course starts on Monday and I am super excited to meet new bloggers and learn loads of new things. If you are visiting for the first time and connected to me through BYW: Welcome! It's nice to have you here.


Thursday 24 February 2011


For a long time I have been thinking about what 'home' means to me. From a very young age I became used to shifting around the globe and that has remained my way of live until now. Home has been more of a feeling rather than an actual place. I never got too attached to a physical house or place and it was more the people that I shared my life with at the time (first my parents and siblings and now my own family) that made a house a home.

If there is anywhere in the world I feel a strong connection with, it would have to be Christchurch in New Zealand. I absolutely love the city and my best memories are in that city. My husband grew up in Christchurch and his family, which I feel very close to, is still there.

Christchurch's wounds were just healing from the September earthquake when on Tuesday 22nd the earth shook again - this time more violently than ever. Precious lives have been lost and the heart of the city has been devastated. 

It's effected me more than I ever thought possible. Although I am so far away I feel this huge sense of loss. Christchurch won't be the same on our return and I have so many memories that are directly connected with the buildings damaged. For example we were married in the catholic cathedral, which is severely damaged and we lived in the city centre a stones though from some of Christchurch's most iconic historic buildings. 

Jonas Salk once said you need to give your kids roots to grow and wings to fly. And as they are very much still in the growing phase I feel at this point in my life I want to create a home for my children - a physical place that gives them comfort and a sense of belonging. 

Christchurch is this place and although our immediate plans to return are now a little up in the air I see our future in this city that will no doubt retain its spirit because of all the wonderful people that live there.


(image: Timo Schneider)

Monday 21 February 2011

DIY Projects

Hi Everyone, great to have you visiting today. I am heading into the new week full of energy. The weekend was wonderfully relaxing. My husband got back on Saturday night and I surprised him with a special dinner. I made him some homemade mince pies - I know you'll think that's a bit odd for a romantic meal but I knew he would be super happy about my little surprise. He misses good old New Zealand pies and I hardly get around to making them. I had filled the room with candles and we had a nice bottle of Australian red wine.

I spent Sunday cutting up my husbands old jeans and turning them into cool little harem pants for the boys. I think worn denim looks much better than new fabric.

I really want to get some DIY projects done before spring arrives - will that ever happen? I have been inspired by the following projects.

(image: via desire to inspire)

I love driftwood lamps. They give a room a nice warm beachy feel - just the right thing in grey-old Germany. The only problem I'll have is getting my hands on the driftwood. Might have to make a 3 1/2 hour trip to the Dutch coast.

Currently I have a huge world map poster in the boys room but I think a painted world map or even wall sticker would look nicer. Less educational value but more style - mmmhhh

(image: Warren Heath via decor8)

Holly over on decor8 blogged about photographer Warren Heath a while ago and I adored the polaroid heart installation. It's a very cool way of displaying family photographs - another project for the boys room. 

I think these projects aren't too ambitious for the moment and I'll keep you posted with my progress.


Friday 18 February 2011

the best 5 years of my life...

I am a little relieved this week is finally coming to an end. My husband has been away all week and I realise every time he's on a business trip how much help he is with the boys. I have the biggest admiration for single mothers - god knows how they do it. It's not so much the work he does to help out at night it's more about having someone to talk to and chill out with after a busy day with two active little boys. 

Today is our 5th wedding anniversary and I feel a little sad that we're not together to celebrate. All the more time for me to plan something special for Sunday. We have been together for 10 years and married for 5. It's been such an amazing time and I feel utterly blessed to share my life with such a wonderful man. We talk a lot and laugh even more.

I have a little surprise planned for him but I won't spill the beans here as he's my most loyal reader.

I hope you have a great weekend with your loved ones too!


(image: Nina Lamb)

Thursday 17 February 2011

KML Design

Today I want to introduce you to KML Design, a danish design consultancy owned by stylist/writer Katrine Martensen-Larsen. I could easily spend hours drooling over the website. KML Design's portfolio is impressive ranging from sleek urban interiors to rustic country retreats. Here is a little glimpse into their work thats speaks to my personal aesthetic, but be sure to check out the website here for more beautiful homes.

(images: KML Design)

Monday 14 February 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

My husband and I don't tend to celebrate Valentines Day as we have our wedding anniversary coming up on the 18th of February. He'll be away but we will no doubt celebrate in style when he returns.

I thought I would share some romantic beauty with you today. Enjoy!

left column top to bottom: 
  • A great idea for a unique headboard. Could easily be changed according to your mood (sorry, I don't have the source for this image).
  • Bloomingville via Stilkiste
  • I love this dress from MANGO - I need to find an occasion to wear it, anyone getting married soon?
right column top to bottom:
  • How would you like to spend a relaxed Sunday in this Kimono from Lisbeth Dahl
  • An image I took of a beautiful rose in the Christchurch Botanical gardens
  • Always a must to set a romantic mood: candles from House Doctor via Stilkiste.
  • Ohhh how I love this beautiful neckless - definitely on my wish list (from Happy Hummingbird via Dawanda)

Saturday 12 February 2011

Have a great weekend!

(image: Nina Lamb)

I love looking at this headpiece sitting on my dresser as it reminds me of my recent 30th birthday party. I had such a wonderful time. I think it's important to display items in your home that you connect with in some form. I can't wait to unpack all the treasures I own when we return to New Zealand. Don't you think collecting special things over time is what makes a house a home and gives it a soul?

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Thursday 10 February 2011

If I was looking for a place in Gothenburg...

well, then I would most certainly be contacting Alvhem real estate because they have the most stunning apartments on their books. I know they have been featured all over blog-land but I simply had to jump on the bandwagon.

Grab a coffee and dream along...

Wednesday 9 February 2011

DIY shoe & coat rack

Hello again,
I am about to dash off to Oscar's kindergarten council meeting. Not sure if all boys are the same, but I've had to pretty much get myself voted into the council in order to find out anything at all. On asking what he did all morning or who he played with I might get something like: "the witch gave me a gummi bear"????? Didn't know there were witches and I thought gummi bears were banned.

I do hope that being a mum of two boys doesn't mean I will have to resort to talking to myself during mealtimes - I hear it only gets worse when they hit puberty.

Today I want to share another DIY project with you. This one took a loooooong time from planning to execution.

Anyone with kids will understand that keeping the entrance clear of clutter if you don't have a coat room is almost impossible. Jackets, shoes, bags... and in winter hats, scarfs, gloves... I wanted something that is easily accessible and open but still kept everything looking reasonable tidy.

(image: Pottery Barn)

I came across these locker inspired entryway systems on Pottery Barn. I knew I had to go DIY because a) they don't ship to Germany and b) they retail at around US$1500 - so not an option.

I drew up a plan on the dimensions and had the pieces of wood (I used pine) cut to size by our local hardware store. The tricky part (according to my husband) was drilling into the ends of the 2cm wide boards. He used dowels and glue plus screws in the side and top pieces to hold it all together. I was so happy when it was done and felt bad for being so pushy and impatient. The paint I used is actually window paint. I wanted to have the wood grain still showing and give it a bit of a used look as it will no doubt get quite a beating in our house. The final pieces were the hooks from the hardware store and the wicker baskets from IKEA. I put some black and white wallpaper down on the shoe shelves - it can easily be changed when dirty. The whole thing came in at around 100 euros. (That's $100 NZ as everything here is pretty much double the price as in New Zealand).

(images: Nina Lamb)

Monday 7 February 2011

This week I am loving my...

In this regular post I share with you things that I own and love to use, wear or look at over and over.

I bought this handbag for my birthday last month after I had searched high and low to find a brown leather bag that had just the perfect shape and size. A good friend pointed me to this brand which I had previously never heard of: Aunts & Uncles. They are a german company and make functional attractive bags of really high quality. I love mine! It can be worn with a short strap over one shoulder or across the shoulder with a longer extension. It's beautifully lined and comes with a cute mini bag for makeup or bits'n pieces.  The model I have is called Mrs Pumpkin Pie.


DIY Lamp

Happy Monday! Once again the weekend was far too short. The weather was lovely, fresh but blue skies. We went to a wildlife park with the boys on Sunday and stopped by at my parents house for a traditional german "Kaffee und Kuchen" (coffee and cake).

Today I want to share a DIY project with you. This is my second attempt at making a string lamp. The first one I made about 2 years ago collapsed on me after a few months. I wasn't sure why but it was either not wrapped tightly enough or the thread was synthetic and didn't absorb the glue properly.

So after we had a bare bulb hanging of our double height ceiling for ages I finally got my act together and had another go.

For anyone looking at making one, it's pretty easy but does require a bit of time and lots of patience.

You will need:
a gym ball (or if you want to do a mini version a balloon or any deflatable ball will do)
2 buckets
1 packet of wallpaper glue
about 5 rolls of cotton wool yarn (I used crochet wool at 1 Euro each)

  • First cover the entire ball in vaseline (this helps prevent the wool sticking to it when you deflate it.
  • Draw a round circle of about 15cm to leave for the opening.
  • Mix your wallpaper glue in a bucket and soak the wool in it. 
  • Start wrapping tightly. (I did this while the ball sat on a bucket)
  • The tighter you wrap the ball the stronger the lamp will be. 
  • Leave to dry for at least 2 days.
  • Deflate the ball and pull it out.
  • You can wash and re-use your gym ball afterwards.

Turning the shape into an actual lamp was my husbands superb job. Being an electrical engineer he's very good in that department. I'll try and explain how he put the fitting in, but I suggest you get it done by someone who knows what they are doing to prevent injury.

We used a white metal ring that sits inside the opening and is about 2 cm wider than the opening. I attached the ring to the lamp with thin cotton thread. We used a basic fitting from IKEA and attached it to the ring with some wire. I would also recommend using a dimmable bulb as that makes for a much nicer light at night.

Even though they are having a bit of a revival, string lamps have been around for a long time. I remember having a small one in my kids bedroom that my mum and dad made with coloured string - that was in the 80s. 

Moooi sells this style of lamp if you don't want to go through the hassle of making one.


Saturday 5 February 2011

Boden Spring/Summer Collection

Let me introduce you to one of my new favourite online clothing shops: Boden. I received their beautiful catalogue last week. They are a UK clothing label and you can now order from Germany. The winter collection was very bold and colourful with lots of rich pattern and layered textures. Spring/summer is much softer with lots of pastels but they continue to mix patterns beautifully.

Here's a peek into their new collection - makes me forget about the cold and excited about spring.

(images: Boden)

Friday 4 February 2011

Swedish dream home

Yay it's Friday. It's been another miserably cold winter day and I couldn't help but reminisce about our summer holiday to Sweden last August. I adore Sweden. Not only is the countryside beautiful but I love the simple clean design esthetic that is evident all over. Scandinavian interiors fascinate me and I couldn't help in buying loads of interior magazines - never mind not understanding a word in them. There was one feature in Hus & Hem magazine that has remained one of my all time favourites.

Let's take a look inside shall we?

I have been thinking of purchasing an old sewing machine table here in Germany and taking it back to New Zealand. You can pick them up quite cheaply here. I particularly like this one with its glass top.

Ahhh where do I start. This room to me is near perfection. Having a plain canvas to work with is key -white walls, white floors but then the nice wooden beams add character. I love how the cowhide, cushions and sheepskin ad warmth to an otherwise cool interior.

A mix of art on narrow shelves makes for an eclectic gallery that can easily be changed and rearranged - always good when you're like me and you like mixing things up a bit. Letters are so in right now and even though I can't quite get my head around them they work really well in this arrangement.

Yes, white kitchens are a must for me but how about spicing them up a bit with some brightly coloured
bar stools? The industrial style black lamps are a big favourite of mine. The old wooden clock makes me wonder if my husband's cuckoo clock wouldn't work equally well (more to that in another post).

Bedrooms to me must be tranquil and toothing, without too much colour and clutter (I wish!). After a hectic day I need to retrieve to my calm haven. This bedroom makes me want to grab a book and snuggle up in one of those chairs.

Essential to a clutter free bedroom would have to be a walk in wardrobe as I am incapable of keeping my clothes off the floor - that though is a distant dream.

I hope you have a lovely weekend!

(images: Hus & Hem)

Thursday 3 February 2011

Arne Jacobson Series 7 chairs

The boys are in bed for their midday sleep and after a very hectic morning I am finally able to sit down with a cup of coffee. I went through my interiors folder yesterday to get some inspiration on dining rooms and I noticed that about 90 percent of all dining room images I have saved have Arne Jacobson’t Series 7 chairs in them (Not all are the original design classic). I adore them because they seem to work in all sorts of interior styles and look particularly great paired with a nice solid old table.

I think it gives a dining room a more interesting eclectic feel when chairs and table don't match. I also noticed that half the images above have traditional glass chandeliers - I love that look. 

My next dining room will most definitely feature these chairs but I doubt I can afford the originals.


(Images: left column top to bottom: via, via, via, via, right column top to bottom: unknown,, unknown, Anna Kern via

Wednesday 2 February 2011


So I am finally taking the plunge into the blog world. I have been following mainly interior design blogs for quite some time now and my inspirational & ideas folder on my computer is taking on astronomical proportions. 

This blog will mainly be my personal creative outlet but I hope to inspire others along the way.

Interior decorating and design will be my main focus but I am also very interested in fashion and art. I believe they are all interconnected and influence each other.

Having access to so many interior magazines, blogs and of course books is fantastic but it can also lead to a certain restlessness – at least for me. I constantly am inspired and feel like changing my surroundings all the time. It’s always been that way for me. Even as a young girl I would rearrange my bedroom almost every week and mum struggled to locate the bed when walking into the room every morning. My life up until now has been a rather nomadic one, in the last 10 years alone I have moved house 10 times. The upside of that is never getting bored with a home but having the opportunity to start with a more or less blank canvas all the time.

Currently we are on a “Germany” adventure and will be here until the end of this year before returning home to New Zealand. “Home” in this case is where we store the majority of our belongings (furniture, books etc).

Life as a mother of two boys (1 1/2 and 3) certainly keeps me busy but I love being at home while they are young and I never tire of creating a happy home for them.

images: Nina Lamb

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