Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Welcome Charlotta Ward

Today at The Shiny Pebble we are welcoming Charlotta Ward, an inspiring blogger who writes Space for Inspiration, a talented artist who produces fantastic children’s murals and posters found in homes around the world (see the blog Charlotta Ward), and also a sweet friend who helped me develop the ideas for the Designer Challenge.  I know you are all looking forward to seeing what this very creative woman has to show us, so without further ado…


Hi I am Charlotta from Space for Inspiration and I am very excited to be here today to share some of my vision for Catherine's dining room.

Contrary to many of the other 'designer challenge girls', I am not a practicing interior designer - in fact it is many years since I worked in the field. Instead I am a 'brand creator' and marketing specialist gone artist. Since I had kids a few years ago I swapped a hectic career for a much slower life where I spend most of my days creating bespoke original art for children of all ages and from all corners of the world. I originally stem from Sweden however have moved around for the last 20 years, and currently call Sydney home. My blog reflects my nomadic and culturally eclectic background and I enjoy sharing a wide variety of posts that in one or another way reflect who I am and what I like. I am highly creative, visual and thrive on arty projects where I can let my brain loose in the wonderful meadows of design and decor.

To be here today to serve up a visual smorgasbord for Catherine's lovely dining room is fun and I hope you enjoy what I have to share.
  • How do you define your style?
Though I am not a huge fan of minimalistic, or starkly bare environments, I have a tendency to feel more at home in simple and uncluttered rooms. My Swedish heart usually craves a neutral somewhat classical & sober base, with a mix of objects of various & contrasting styles & materials to create intrigue and edge whilst adding texture and colour. Very Swedish indeed.

An organic element is also important to me, and I need to surround myself with grounding materials like wood, rock and natural fibers but like to contrast these with crystal, metal, fur and glass. I also find it impossible to live without flowers, twigs, candles and all those little extra touches that makes a house a home. I am big on cozy and soothing comfort.

Ambiance, balance and harmony are also important be that in the basic lines of a decor, the structure of a room, the colours used or the light/lighting. The latter plays a huge part in my home environment and I tend to feel very unsettled in rooms that deprives me of flow of light and air.

I also like it when the soul and personality of a person come through in a home, and like a dash of humour and quirk. Design also has to have a deeper level of relevance and thought for me to fall head over heels. I like things that are genuine and have heart.
  • What inspires you?
Actually most things in life inspire me. I am by nature very inspired and energetic as a person, and my brain actively draws inspiration where ever I am or do. I thrive on conversations, books, blogs, pictures, nature, an article, a doodle, a colour combination, a cloud formation - pretty much everything is a source for me and I try to keep an open mind at all times.
  • Which designer or life experience has influenced your design aesthetics?
My designer preferences constantly evolve and I have found that over the years I am increasingly influenced by 'life experiences' and the 'life stages' I go through.

At the moment I have young children and our home has evolved to cater for their needs and our priorities as a family. This means more focus on practicality over pure aesthetics, and I find myself far more relaxed and spontaneous in my general approach to design these days.

My aesthetic preferences are also very much depending on where in the world I live and on the kind of dwelling. Having moved around a lot over the past 20 years has definitely also changed my approach to decor however I can safely say that my Swedish DNA is still fairly intact and I gravitate towards the simple, light and white design aesthetics of my home country.

  • What is your go to source?
I feel very lucky to be born in an age where we have the world at a tap on a keyboard!
The internet (including all amazing blogs!) is an invaluable source for me, as are trade shows, magazines, art exhibitions, libraries, real-life environments and personal contacts.
  • What were your thoughts on designing my room?
As it was many years since I actively practiced interior design and I moved into the field of brand creation and marketing instead, my approach to this project has been broadly 'conceptual'. I have had fun creating some collages with the focus on general mood & ideas as opposed to detailed solutions and executions.
Seeing your beautiful dining room in context of your initial request of updating it, my initial thought was to simplify and de-clutter it. In my mind, less is usually more when wanting to make a more current impression. This approach also harmonizes well with my Nordic origin where simple structure and scaled back harmony rule.

The very first concept I visualized was spurred by your innate love for the ocean (beach), however this does not mean I wanted to create a nautical or typical maritime theme. Instead I dreamed up a room that was inspired by the deeper blues of the ocean, the golden reflection of the surface and the soft browns and whites of the shoreline.

I imagined walls be painted a deep husky storm blue with white detail in the woodwork and ceiling to form a classic timeless base.

As I know you enjoy a dash of glamour, I thought we could add a cluster of Tom Dixon copper ball pendant lamps, a nicely arranged group of vintage sunburst mirrors or a fabulous panel of antique smoky mirrors.
I also imagined the floor to be a varnished a darker and less rich brown colour, and layered with nude or gold laminated cow hides. To draw on your heritage, I thought it could be fun to find a fabulous Brazilian tribal or feathered (carnival) head-piece to work as key feature on one of the walls.

*** * ***

My second concept is based on a more monochromatic decor. The base palette would consist of light greys, browns, cognac, with accents of white, black and gold. Again, the floor would be varnished a deeper brown and dressed with cow hides or alternatively a nicely worn & faded Persian rug. I think the stronger and deeper accents are important as I know you are not a huge fan of decor that is too quiet, plain or too neutral styles (what you refer to as 'Belgian Style').

I would hang a few large pendant lamps or a dramatic chandelier above the table. Again, I quite like Tom Dixon's designs and think a group of the hammered gold/black 'Beat' pendants could look quite cool.

The windows would be fitted with stacked Roman blinds in raw coarse linen. Alternatively vintage Parisian floor-to-ceiling shutters would look stunning, however I am not sure there is actually enough room on far sides of the room?. Either way, I know light is important to you and I would strive to avoid lengths of draped fabric. Further, I like the idea of cognac coloured worn leather in combination with this palette, and can also see a few edgier industrial details being mixed in with antique objects to create an individual & quirky impression.

Just generally (for either base concept), I think it would be fun to include some texture and dimension to the walls. Scale is of importance to create a dramatic focal point, and I personally like the idea of over-sized art & objects on the walls. To mix your current collection up, I would suggest you hunt for a some large blown up black & white photographs, big frame-less pieces of abstract modern art or unusual sculptural objects that can be hung on the wall or propped up against it for an unusual twist.

I generally think that fewer & bigger pieces gives a more modern appeal, and I would encourage you to think 'less is more' when rearranging the walls. Any smaller pieces of existing art could be arranged in little clusters to minimize the clutter and give a more contemporary look.

As for the rest, it will be up to the dressing of the table, bouquets of cut flowers and/or twigs, as well as candles and the general touch of fabulousness.

I know for a fact that you are very good at this and that you have a very special way with flowers and plants! x

That's all my dears. I had fun putting this together. I hope you enjoyed it too.

xx Charlotta

The images and inspiration for this post have been collated via a various blogs and websites: Space For Inspiration, Holding Court, Elements of Style, B&B Italia, Splendid Willow, Appartment #34, Conversation Pieces, A Perfect Gray, Elle Decor, Living Etc, The Shiny Pebble, Design Crisis, Emmas Designblogg, Apartment Therapy, Lonny, Sydney Dance Cafe, Ticklish from a Distance, From the Right Bank, Ralph Lauren Interiors, The Weekend Host, Frank Features, Sarah Claasen, 100 Layer Cake, Mochatini, Ada & Darcy, Brabourne Farm, Aubrey Road and many more.


Some of these pictures just took my breath away!  I love how deeply her review of me as a person has affected the ideas behind the concepts.  That is a true testament of Charlotta’s sweet, caring and nurturing nature.  She has even added a couple of my own pictures to the bunch.  I adore the soothing palette taken one level up by the luxurious touches.   Ebonized floors have always been a dream of mine…

Now, hop on over to Splenderosa's Blog to see what loveliness she has put together for me this week.  I enjoy these posts as much as the makeovers. 
If you all enjoyed this makeover as much as I did and would love to see more entries and related posts, please check out the links below:

Christina Fluegge’s (Greige) Transitional Eclectic Mix

Mark your calendars for next Wednesday, when Leigha Oaks from elle oh will be doing her own version of this room.  I am thinking traditional pieces shown together with industrial ones and some earthy, sustainable decor sprinkled about…

Once  again, thank you  The Daily Basics for helping us spread the word of the challenge.

Hugs and Kisses!

Linking to: Woo Hoo Wednesday, Make it Yours Day, Tablescape Thursday, Friday Remodelaholic, Fabulous Nest Friday, Metamorphosis Monday


Will @ Bright.Bazaar said...

A lovely round up and interview with Charlotta - enjoyed reading it, thank you. Plus, what inspiring images...that bathroom with the huge glass!

Charlotta Ward said...

How wonderful to see this up! I am so glad you like my thoughts and that the pictures spoke to you. I can so see you in the blue room with all the rich layers of colour.
My mother always said that a girl should decorate her home in a way that is flattering to her personality. Isn't that wonderful and corny at the same time!?

Marsha - what a wonderful piece you have chosen for Catherine! It's perfect and she'd rock those gold coins with elegance and grace.

xx Charlotta

Splenderosa said...

I love every element Charlotta has chosen, the little details just shine...especially the floral arrangement down the center of the beautifully set table. Many hours & much thought was put into this project by our splendid designer this week and it certainly shows...just beautiful. I'm feel so fortunate to be included as well.

Thank you Catherine for allowing me to "dress" you again this week.


Unknown said...

I love reading each and every one of your new introductions! It is amazing how many interesting, talented people surround us and feel grateful that I get to meet them thorugh you. Thank you for the wonderful interview once again!
Thank you for the wonderful words under my Atelier post. I have put so much effort into it and appreciate every compliment!:-)I would absolutely love to have you as my guest any day!:-)

Allie and Pattie said...

LOVE, LOVE it! Love her lighting ideas and simply adore some of those wall treatments. I love the idea of minimizing "stuff" and using texture (such as the white raised panel wainscot full wall in the mosaic) as a design element. And dark floors are my absolute weakness
xoxo Pattie

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos. Thanks for linking to Woo Hoo! Wednesday.

Verdigris Vie said...

What fabulous style Cahtherine.. I love your look, and i love the wonderful gallery here...

Anonymous said...

Fresh, modern and twists on classics!
Love it all...Catherine, how will you ever decide? All have such wonderful inspiring ideas! This has been a fabulous series and can't wait to see more! xo

Cathy~Mille Fleur said...

Wow! I am stunned by the beauty of these photos! What a talented designer! You are so lucky to have access to all of these talented women!

Thanks for sharing!



Such a beautiful and inspiring post! I love the monochromatic vignettes and the tablescapes are fantastic,especially the long, thin table. Have a fantastic day! Barbara

Raina Cox said...

Such a fantastic portfolio of images!

Beautiful boards, Charlotta.

Splendid Willow said...

Catherine what a wonderful forum for absolute loveliness!

And Charlotta Dear, your dining room x 2 - what is not to love! Worldly, chic and inviting! And with my passion for art and yes Juju hats!, this pretty much sealed the deal for me! BRAVO! Five stars!

Love, Mon

Unknown said...

loving her sense of style and new to her work! i can't tell you how much i'm loving this series and how much i'm looking forward to seeing which direction you choose to go in!

Averill said...

Some great ideas here. Love the ebonized floors, cluster of pendants, storm blue walls....

And yes, we need to meet up for some bargain shopping! TM, HG, Cost Plus....

FTRB said...

What a great post, both of you! Charlotta has an amazing eye and that fantastic Swedish style. I loved everything she's selected here. :)

Unknown said...

I love hearing about stories of people shedding their careers for better more fulfilling ones. Love the inspiration board, just gorgeous!

myletterstoemily said...

i loved charlotta's ideas and look forward
to next week's!

A Perfect Gray said...

charlotta is such a beauty inside and out - and doesn't she just create beauty as well. That was breath-taking and so much fun read about her process and how much she thought about what you, Catherine, would like...

this series has been a delight to much talent here in the blogging world...thanks to you all for your hard work and time in putting it together

Unknown said...

Loving these mood board images! No matter what you choose to do with your dining nice to always have these amazing images to come back to and be inspired by! Great interview too, love Charlotta's blog as well!

Donald's Garden said...

I love the ideas in Charlotta's make over. I tend to be an 'outta the box' type who likes to see someone do the unexpected - mix it up a bit! Charlotta's vision is quirky but sensible.

The like the idea of the huge B&W photo --- Wouldn't a Mapplethorpe fruit or flower image look great!

Catherine - this is so much fun --- Makes me always look forward to Wednesday! Thanks!

Susie @ Maddie G Designs said...

Oh, I have not yet found her blog....but am off to visit! What beautiful inspiration....I am really loving this series.

BTW, I love the photo with the hopscotch game on the floor. And, completely relate about design changing to fit the needs of various stages of life. With a 2 year old...I hear that loud and clear.

OneCraftyFox said...

Such gorgeous and mature looks, I only wish my own home would look so good!!

Great feature as usual, Catherine!

Have a gorgeous day :)

susan said...

I just found your blog--nice to "meet" you! I love what I see and I will be back!

The Shiny Pebble said...

Thank you all for stopping by and leaving a message. I love hearing from you and look forward to Wednesdays myself.

Thank you again Charlotta and all of the talented designers who have dedicated their time and talent to make this such an enjoyable read for us all.

escapade said...

Love Charlotta and these selections are amazing!

Hope you're having a lovely week so far!

Barbara said...

This is such an inspiring post, both in photographs and words. It really made me think about what I want around me. Thank you!

Mary Ann said...

i know i said this before, but i think this is it for me. love her style, and that jewelry- to die for! have a great day catherine. verbena cottage

Pemberley said...

Very rich and soulful, I get a sense of Charlotta’s sprit here. Well done, full of depth and personality.

Marija said...

Charlotta this is truly inspired. Your second board is spectacular. The moodiness of the floors and walls would be perfect paired with the traditional elements in her home. I love the dramatic chandelier above the table...a little rustic, a little dark, a touch of traditional glamour. And yes to the pink touch of texture for the walls! Wonderful!

La Boheme said...

Charlotta is such an inspiring blog friend. Her boards were spot on and full of love. Love this post!

Gwen Driscoll said...

I am speechless. I knew Charlotta was amazing but this is just a stunning display of beauty everywhere I look.

You are one brilliant girl for coming up with this idea. Can't wait to do your room. Pulling it together!

Kirsten Randolph said...

What you have create on this wonderful blog is a "Designer's Showcase" for lovers of lifestyles and art..Brava! Your love, passion and dedication to the artist goes hand in hand resulting in a beautiful collaboration, again love and beauty everywhere. Thanking you for sharing such great talent. See you next wednesday.
Kirsten (or Kjersten spelling in danish)

Coryanne Ettiene | Kitchen Living with Coryanne said...

I just love watching your blog grow and grow -- so fab....I must have the hopscotch and the I'd rather be here now -- right up my street. Thanks for linking along to the Fab Nest Friday. Less than a week to go before the movers come -- looking forward to being able to catch up properly soon. Have a fab weekend darling.

My Galveston Cottage said...

I've been enjoying these regular posts of yours. They each offer different but, yet, equally inspiring ideas. Lovely, peaceful, elegant....-s

Fargerike Dagny said...

OOohhh, chicness overload!! There's too much yummy stuff here, feel like saving all of it to my inspiration folder!

Rikke has that cowhide with silver splattet all over it, SO glamorous!!


Linda Merrill said...

Another great collection of inspiration images! I can't imagine you're not going to do a total makeover after all this!

ashlina {the decorista} said...

wow. how did i miss this? wonderful interview..... great read! xo

My Dream Canvas said...

Wow...great interview. I love your ideas and your blog. I am also hosting my very first giveaway so please stop by.
Take care Anu


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