Category: Seasonal Living

Astrid’s secrets for the perfect summer!

 

Summer is those precious few warmer months when days are longer and life just feels a little bit more care-free. Summer is for outdoor lounging, al fresco dinners, fun parties, spontaneous trips, gelato and catching fire flies.
Don’t let summer pass you by! Here a few of my favorite ideas and products to make the most of your summer!

 Outdoor lounging

Nothing feels more like summer than lounging outdoors. I am not talking about just eating outside, but about bringing your reading, your tea time, your games and conversations outside.
Outdoor rugs and pillows are a great way to define a space and invite to stay and linger. I love the fresh colors and patterns of these outdoor rugs by Worldmarket.

 

You cannot always lounge outdoors as often as you would like. Bring the blue skies into your bedroom by changing up your headboard. A clear customer favorite is Blue Sky with friendly Clouds, comes in all standard bed sizes.

There are many more summer designs to choose from, check them out by selecting the “summer icon” on the Shop page – which one is your favorite?

Dining al Fresco

Food is especially delicious when you enjoy it during its Season, when Nature provides it for us and you can find it in your local Farmer’s Market or in your own garden. I am thinking juicy tomatoes bursting with flavor, crunchy salads with a variety of greens and veggies topped with edible flowers and delicious meats and fish directly from the BBQ. My go to source for mouth-watering recipes is Bon Appétit magazine, always at the pulse of what is fresh and new, yet wonderfully connected to where our food comes from and when and how it is best enjoyed. Check out the May issue for great summer recipes.

 I dress my Al fresco dinners with plates and trays by Paola Navone. I have long been a fan of this Italian Architect, Designer, Artist at Life and all-round Renaissance Woman.

Her work spans over 30 years of brilliance, both in Italy and abroad, but her latest collection for Crate and Barrel is a stroke of genius. I love using these dishes as they instantly put me in a great mood.

Fun parties

Summer parties are the best! All you need is some easy to prepare delicious umber treats (see Al Fresco Dinners), summery drinks and cocktails. Create a summer vibe by lighting up the night with colorful lanterns. I love the ones from Cottonlight on Etsy. They have texture, interesting shapes and come in a  whole rainbow of colors and shapes. Now just add music that makes you want to tap your feet and enjoy your summer party.

Gelato

Why resist the temptation of Ice Cream and Gelato, especially during these warm and balmy summer months. My go-to Gelato is my draw friend Margaret’s Lickt Gelato, right here in Maplewood.

If you are lucky enough to be near a store or restaurant that sells Lickt Gealto, try the new Kale/Blueberry or the summer favorites Salted Caramel, Cram Raspberry Lemon Sorbet and Watermelon Basil Sorbet and let her know how you like it.
If you live outside her reach, try finding an artisanal Gelato maker in your area by googling “artisanal gelato” or “gourmet ice cream” and support a local small business in the most delicious way!

Spontaneous Trips

Whether you are a planner or an improviser, spontaneous trips are a treat and add some spice to your everyday. It can be a humble trip to a new farmers market or trig out a new restaurant. Or you venture further afield by exploring a new park. Bring a pic-nix basket and a blanket, kick off your shoes and take in the taste and scent of summer.

Catching fire flies

Most of us have memories of catching fire flies or lightning bugs on warm summer nights. Many people keep them in jars – sometimes a jar full of fire flies can produce enough light to read by.

If you want to catch fire flies, take tips from the experts of firefly.org to help you along!

What makes your summer special?
Live it up and Enjoy the Season

Color your world!

Do you love color but are unsure how to apply it?

Want to get fresh color combos and great ideas on how to work with color?

Look no further – here are some really cool apps and sites I found that help you find your hues in a flash.

Go ahead and add a splash of color to your home, hour closet and your face. 

 

Picture Perfect
App PLUM PERFECT

Not sure what lipstick works for you? Snap a Selfie using the new Plum Perfect App, which instantly analyzes your skin tone and hair color to recommend tons of products in your ideal spectrum. (Free, available on iTunes)

 

Your secret interior decorator
App COLORCHANGE

So you don’t have an interior decorator for your next project – no problem! Take a photo of the room you want to transform to the Colorchange app, and you can virtually alter the colors of your space to visualize what a new palette would look like. Genius! The “magic” selection tool lets you fine-tune even the smallest objects, like a bedside lamp. If you do not like the new hue, just shake the photo to undo. ($1, available on iTunes)

 

Short cut to great color combos
App InStyle “What to wear with every color”

If you want quick answers to color dilemmas, this one is for you! Just 30some pages with color palettes and a short description about the designers. The color palettes are fantastic, really neat and bold! The app is easy to use, just flip through the pages, look for a color you love and see 4 more colors that would look great with it. These 4 extra colors are great for accessories for your wardrobe (think bags and shoes) and your home, like accent pillows, picture frames, lampshades and more. ($1, available on Google Play)

 

The ultimate color guide
App MYPANTONE

Call it the Nirvana of color! The app quickly identifies tone from photos you’ve snapped or sourced online, and matches them to Pantone’s library of 13’000 (yes! 13’000) hues. Get expert tips on what to pair with each shade and share favorite combinations with your friends. ($10, available on iTunes)

 

Be colorful and enjoy the Season!

 

 

Astrid

 

Put some spring in your home

March is the month of spring with the light of beginning new life at the end of a long winter tunnel. While Nature prepares for another splendid season of life and color, I feel the strong desire for change and something new. I am inspired to make small changes around the house to refresh my home with more color, more spring blooms and new ideas.
Let these styling ideas inspire you to put some spring in your home.

More flowers for more style

Fresh flowers are the fastest, simplest and most cost-effective way to give your home a boost of style and color. If you choose fragrant flowers- like pictured hyacinths- you get a subtle spring scent too.
This and more great ideas on how to work with flowers and creative vase options at Inspired by Flower.
Leave it to the Danes to master the art of “less is more”. I love the magazine Bo Bedre and find it to be a source of bountiful inspiration. Check out this lovely springy window sill…..

More color for more joy

Use spring colors in unexpected places. Your fireplace might be out of commission until next fall, but the logs can pull double-duty in spring. Karen Bertelsen, who blogs The Art of Doing Stuff, brightened up her hearth by painting the ends of the logs in cute colors.
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You can create the same feeling by color-grouping your accessories. Group some vases by color, sort the books by color or invite for an afternoon coffee and serve on colorful plates and cups.
Using bold color accents to wake up a space is a simple and effective way to invite spring into your home. What an impact these pink roses have combined with the yellow low table and matching pillow.
 

More softness for more relaxation

Soft colors are not necessarily sweet and babylike, the art is in the mix. Just in time for spring we are launching a new collection – sassy solids- to bring color to your bedroom, in a new way! I selected beautiful solid colors from the pantone rainbow, and paired them with yummi textures like leaf, knit, fur, feathers, roses and more. The result is a very “wearable” collection of solid headboard covers with depth and attitude.
Check out my combinations of Sassy Solids and let me know which ones you like best.
If you have a specific color that you would like for your headboard, let us make it for you: just tell me what Pantone number (use the “Pantone coated” code number) and which texture you would like to marry.

More color for more time spent outdoors

After a long winter I do feel itchy, need to get outside to get my hands dirty, dig, prune, pull some weeds, power wash something. And after a good days work, I love to relax outside where colorful patio furniture and flowers abound.
 
Enjoy the Season!

Color of the Year 2014 : Radiant Orchid

Move over eggplant, lilac and plum, there is a new Orchid in town: Radiant Orchid! Named color of the year 2014 by Pantone this captivating color ” blooms with confidence and magical warmth that intrigues the eye and sparks the imagination. It is an expressive, creative and embracing purple—one that draws you in with its beguiling charm. A captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid emanates great joy, love and health.” (Pantone Press release)

“While the 2013 color of the year, PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald, served as a symbol of growth, renewal and prosperity, Radiant Orchid reaches across the color wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.”

images by thewellappointedcatwalk.com and realstylenetwork.com

Radiant Orchid for Fashion

Radiant Orchid’s rosy undertones radiate on the skin, producing a healthy glow when worn by both men and women. A dazzling attention-getter, Radiant Orchid permeated the runways during the spring 2014 fashion shows and is already making its way onto the red carpet. Fashion designers are incorporating Radiant Orchid into their spring collections and variations of this hue will carry into men’s and women’s clothing and accessories throughout next year.” My personal favorite is this fabulous oversized wrap by Echo. Wear it now to energize your basic blacks, come spring don it with a white blazer for a bit of dazzle. 

Radiant Orchid for Interiors

Spruce up interior spaces by incorporating this eye-catching hue in paint, accent pieces and accessories. As adaptable as it is beautify;, Radiant Orchid complements olive and deeper hunter greens, and offers a gorgeous combination when paired with turquoise, teal and even light yellows. Likewise, the vibrant color is sure to liven up neutrals including gray, beige and taupe. Uplifting and bold without being overpowering, Radiant Orchid reenergizes almost any color and provides a unifying element for diverse spaces.”  Check out the beautiful arranged paint colors by Lisa Mende

Do you dare using Radiant Orchid in your bedroom? Here are some ideas from Heincker Design on how to use Radiant Orchid in well chosen doses across the home. I especially like  the beautiful tone in this bold print which makes an mostly neutral bedroom sing.

Maybe you’re not scared of color, but maybe the price tag that comes with investing in it? A little bit of art and accessories gets you on the trendy train, easy to switch out next year when we get another color calling from Pantone. From our NOYO custom headboard collections, check out these designs for a dash of color of Radiant Orchid to brighten up your days and nights. How about City Sketch for an urban expression?

Or a dash of color delivered by the ever sexy Marilyn Monroe as seen in Paris

Happy 2014 from us at NOYO – be bold, be radiant and do add a splash of color to your every day! Live it up and enjoy the Season!

Feng Shui for your bedroom

What is Feng Shui?

Feng Shui is an ancient practice based on the idea that our homes are a mirror of what’s happening inside us. The purpose of feng shui is to get your environment in alignment with who you are and where you want to go – to harmonize your energy with your home’s energy. How to do it is to carefully consider what you bring in, how you arrange your rooms and how you maintain the place. Everything has energy, even inanimate objects. Feng shui helps guide that energy and let it flow freely through your home. 

While feng shui flows through your whole home, there are many thoughts on how to best use feng shui for your bedroom. Not surprising – it is your personal sanctuary where positive energy should reign and flow abundantly. 

Feng Shui for your bedroom

It is best to have an interplay of feminine and masculine details. For example create a bed that feels solid but sumptuous by combining a wood bed frame (masculine) with an upholstered headboard (feminine). Check out Mosaic design by Jessica Swift. The contrast ensures that the room feels balanced: energized, yet restful.

Where should the bed go?

Ideally, the head of the bed is on the wall farthest from the door but not directly across from it. Feet pointing directly out the door is known as the “coffin position” and should be avoided. A sidewall is also OK – but no matter what, make sure you have a clear view of the door.

If you are stuck with a layout that demands the coffin position, put a settee or a high bench at the end of the bed that ‘s slightly higher than the mattress, or place an upholstered screen between the foot of the bed and the entry to shift the energy.

Can one side of the bed be against a wall?

It’s OK for kids. But for adults, leave space on both sides. Think about how both people feel in the room. Each should have adequate lighting and easy access to the bed without climbing over the other person. 

How do you get that calm, feng shui feel?

It’s a combination of safety, with an enveloping bed; coziness, with soft materials; and symmetry, with table lamps and nightstands that create a bookend effect. The bed feels like a little room within a room. Combined with Victoria Falls headboard your bed can feel like an oasis. 

What about a light plugged in behind the bed?

That’s tough to avoid. But keep lighting soft – unless you read in bed, in which case you can have good, focused lights on your nightstands.

Storage under the bed?

Stuff under the bed sends out energy all night long. The bedroom is a private space, and it’s important to honor that. You need to protect your bed.

Assume no TV in the bedroom?

It’s not the best. Bringing a public thing into a private space disrupts your energy. If you do have a TV in your bedroom, make sure it is not a focal point and maybe keep it in a cabinet.

In review, looking at flow, layout, lighting, and clutter clearing, how do we even start?

Sit in a  room, close your eyes, relax, and breathe for a minute. Try to determine how it actually feels to be in the space. Open your eyes and slowly look around as if you’ve never seen the space before. Try not to label things, like Anna’s chair of uncle Frans’ painting. Just look and consider: is there room to move freely? Is one side of the room much heavier? Is there enough light in the corners? Does anything drive me crazy? How does the color make me feel? Note anything that feels off. Then make a list of adjustments to tackle one at a time, at your own pace. Feng shui is like life. It can be directed and guided, but not forced.

If you only do 3 things….

1. Clear clutter: mess is the number one enemy of feng shui. Dead or uncared-for piles sap your home’s stregth and block positive energy from entering. 

2. fix or toss broken things: they’re impediments to vitality. Toss chipped plates, burned-out bulbs, and clothes with holes. Repair stopped clocks, clogged drains and loose cabinet pulls.

3. clean the windows and oil the doors: in feng shui, the windows are the eyes of a home, and the front door is its mouth. To bring clarity to the space (and to yourself), maintain them, making sure that they open, close, and lock well. 

 

Enjoy the Season

 

 

 

For more insights on feng shui throughout your home contact feng shui master and interior designer Catherine Brophy

Full article in January Issue of Real Simple by Nicole Sforza.

 

 

XX

Color of the Year 2014: Radiant Orchid!

Move over eggplant, lilac and plum, there is a new Orchid in town: Radiant Orchid! Named color of the year 2014 by Pantone this captivating color ” blooms with confidence and magical warmth that intrigues the eye and sparks the imagination. It is an expressive, creative and embracing purple—one that draws you in with its beguiling charm. A captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid emanates great joy, love and health.” (Pantone Press release)

“While the 2013 color of the year, PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald, served as a symbol of growth, renewal and prosperity, Radiant Orchid reaches across the color wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.”

images by thewellappointedcatwalk.com and realstylenetwork.com

Radiant Orchid for Fashion
Radiant Orchid’s rosy undertones radiate on the skin, producing a healthy glow when worn by both men and women. A dazzling attention-getter, Radiant Orchid permeated the runways during the spring 2014 fashion shows and is already making its way onto the red carpet. Fashion designers are incorporating Radiant Orchid into their spring collections and variations of this hue will carry into men’s and women’s clothing and accessories

throughout next year.” My personal favorite is this fabulous oversized wrap by Echo. Wear it now to energize your basic blacks, come spring don it with a white blazer for a bit of dazzle. 

Radiant Orchid for Interiors
Spruce up interior spaces by incorporating this eye-catching hue in paint, accent pieces and accessories. As adaptable as it is beautify;, Radiant Orchid complements olive and deeper hunter greens, and offers a gorgeous combination when paired with turquoise, teal and even light yellows. Likewise, the vibrant color is sure to liven up neutrals including gray, beige and taupe. Uplifting and bold without being overpowering, Radiant Orchid reenergizes almost any color and provides a unifying element for diverse spaces.” 
 
 
Check out the beautiful arranged paint colors by Lisa Mende
Do you dare using Radiant Orchid in your bedroom? Here are some ideas from Heincker Design on how to use Radiant Orchid in well chosen doses across the home. I especially like  the beautiful tone in this bold print which makes an mostly neutral bedroom sing.
Maybe you’re not scared of color, but maybe the price tag that comes with investing in it? A little bit of art and accessories gets you on the trendy train, easy to switch out next year when we get another color calling from Pantone. From our NOYO custom headboard collections, check out these designs for a dash of color of Radiant Orchid to brighten up your days and nights. How about City Sketch for an urban expression? 
 
Or a dash of color delivered by the ever sexy Marilyn Monroe as seen in Paris
 
Happy 2014 from us at NOYO – be bold, be radiant and do add a splash of color to your every day! Live it up and enjoy the Season!
 
 

 

 

Make your own Ice lantern

Making your own ice lantern is an easy way to bring light and magic into cold and dark winter nights. I like mine with cranberries, twigs, leaves and other beautiful objects I find in the yard and around the house.

 

I borrowed this beautiful image from Songbird until my own ice lantern freezes – after a cold spell we are currently in the high 40s, way too mild for my ice lantern! 

Start with a mold – your bunt cake form, a bucket, a water bottle – and get your ingredients ready. I use fresh Cranberries.

 

Here we start with a bunt form and fresh cranberries.

 

 

Add the cranberries to the mold and fill the mold with water.

 

 

Put your composition outside to freeze!

 

 

 

Once frozen solid, turn it over to reveal the beautiful ice lantern, place a candle in its middle and enjoy!

Since the temperatures in Maplewood jumped from below freezing to upper 40s, I cannot show you my frozen ice lantern yet. So let me show you some beautiful examples I found on Pinterest.

 

As soon as the temperatures drop again and my ice lantern freezes I will share images! Until then, happy hunting and gathering for your own ice lantern.
Enjoy the Season!

 

Today is St. Nikolaus day!

The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas whose day we celebrate today December 6th. Occasion for a joyous celebration in my home country Switzerland. St. Nicholaus -or Samichlaus as he is called in Lucerne where I am from- was born during the third century in the village of Patara, on the coast in Turkey. Nicholaus was from a wealthy family and when his parents died young he used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships. On December 5th, the eve of St. Nicolas Day, villages around Lake Lucerne glow with the light of hundreds of enormous, heavy paper-cut bishops‘ miter/hats, iffele, paraded through the streets by men and boys in white robes. The headpieces are artistically designed, intricately cut out of cardboard, and lit by a candle within. Theiffelen, from three to six feet tall, have been made for over 100 years. Each is a unique piece of art.

When St. Nicholaus visits homes, he may be accompanied by Schmutzlis. He goes over a list of the good and bad things the children have done. Good children receive candies, nuts and mandarines. 

While St. Nicholaus brings Candies, nuts and mandarines, families celebrate his day by baking Grittibänze, a delicious sweet bread formed into darling little bread men and women

Bake your own Grittibänz , get creative and enjoy this  joyous time of the year! Happy Samichlaus!

 

 

5 easy ways to Celebrate Fall – no pumpkins necessary!

As the colors change and the temperatures drop, get your home ready for Fall with a few easy twists in your home.

 

1. Deck your mantel

A mantel is an easy way to celebrate the season and display seasonal plants, decoration and accessories in a playful way. My mantel is toped by a large and quite dramatic sailboat during the summer. Shells and beach accessories – the playful whale is a new addition and a gift by my dear friend Theresa- round the picture. Come Fall is swap the sailboat for beautiful Fall leaves, preferably with berries and colorful fruit. I round it up by bringing out pottery made by my daughter Elina in earthy colors to create a warm and inviting collage.

 

2. Pick your flowers 

I love fresh flowers and bring them inside by the armful! In summer I love my odes for their delicate colors and wonderful smell. Small arrangements throughout the house make me happy! In Fall I go into the woods to find beautiful branches with colorful leaves and berries.

 

3. Dress your bed

Changing my headboard cover is an fast and easy way to change the mood, vibe and feel of my bedroom. Here in Elina’s room, we move from a summery sky with friendly clouds and cheery striped sheets to a warm and rich urban landscape in bold orange and blues, combined with coordinating sheets. 

 

4. Change your pillow covers and area rugs

Pillow covers and area rugs are an easy way to change the look, feel and touch of any room with minimal effort and expense. I swap mine 4 times a year to celebrate the Seasons. Color but also texture are important elements for making room feel “right”.

 

5. Choose your art and details with love and pleasure!

I enjoy changing out some of my art and accessories with the Seasons. When I put something away for a couple of months and bring it out again, it feels all new and wonderful. My lighthouse from brittany -Ar Men, my favorite!- makes for a cheerful summer living room but is peacefully stored away in the basement during the cold winter months. In Fall I bring out my Sculptor by local Maplewood artist, bought at my beloved Open Artist Studio Tour in our town years ago.

 

Live up the Seasons with these easy twists and share the result with me. Looking forward to your solutions and ideas,

 

 

Try this Christmas cookie!

If you are only baking one ind of cookie this year – try the Swiss all time favorite Mailänderli – milanais in French or, literally, “little milano” in English – is the most popular Swiss Christmas cookie. It’s an egg-enriched shortbread with a hint of lemon. Get out the cookie cutters! This cookie is easy to make, for small and big hand, for seasoned and novice bakers. 

Roll out cookie dough about 1/2 inch thick on a flour dusted clean surface. The thicker the dough the more buttery the taste. Remaining dough just gets rolled up into a ball and rolled out again!

Cookies ready to bake! Either coat them in a  thin egg wash (see recipe), or bake as is and cover with a think sugar coating when still warm.

Enjoy!

 

Recipe: Mailänderli (Swiss Shortbread)

Quantities in weight – scale required!

250 g butter
250 g sugar
3 eggs + 1 egg yolk (for egg wash, keep separate!)
1 lemon, zest only
500 g flour

confectioners sugar

egg wash: beat 1 egg yolk with a bit a water, brush on cookies before baking

sugar icing: mix confectioners sugar with fresh squeezed lemon juice and food color

Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare baking sheets (line with parchment paper).

Using a standing or hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and make sure everything is well combined. Add the 3 eggs, incorporate on low speed, then beat on higher speed until mixture is light and homogeneous. Mix in lemon zest, and finally the flour.

Gather the dough together. Flatten into a disk and place in fridge for two hours.

Dust counter with flour. Roll out dough to 8 mm thickness. (Yes, the Swiss are very exact! I think the main thing is not to make them too thin.) Cut out cookies using cookie cutters. Place on baking sheet.

In a bowl, prepare the egg wash by lightly beating the egg yolk and diluting with a bit of water or milk. Brush cookies with egg wash.

Alternatively, bake cookies as is and coat them with a sugar icing after baking. Sugar icing can be colored with food color and enriched with sprinkles. Bake approx 10 minutes or until golden.

Cool. Store in an airtight container. Makes 50-80 cookies!

 

Enjoy the Season

NOYO.Terry.web-button.936p.v1-2

Today is St. Nikolaus day!

The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas whose day we celebrate today December 6th. Occasion for a joyous celebration in my home country Switzerland. St. Nicholaus -or Samichlaus as he is called in Lucerne where I am from- was born during the third century in the village of Patara, on ...

Try this Christmas cookie!

If you are only baking one ind of cookie this year - try the Swiss all time favorite Mailänderli – milanais in French or, literally, “little milano” in English – is the most popular Swiss Christmas cookie. It’s an egg-enriched shortbread with a hint of lemon. Get out the cookie cutter ...

Make your own Ice lantern

Making your own ice lantern is an easy way to bring light and magic into cold and dark winter nights. I like mine with cranberries, twigs, leaves and other beautiful objects I find in the yard and around the house.   I borrowed this beautiful image from Songbird until my own ice lantern free ...