Tuesday, September 28, 2010

First fall decorations

This time of year lends itself so much for decorating and I always like to do it with something harvested, flowers from my garden, fruits and vegetables from the farm stand.

Candles make it warm and inviting, to sit and share a cup of tea!

As you can see I have been playing with my photo program on my new Mac! It's much fun!
Also today I found some great new books, fitting to my design philosophy to use things at hand, working with objects found in nature, the garden or around the house.
I will introduce them in the next few days on the Interior Design blog... I'll keep you posted!

Also as a little reminder, if you want separate updates from the design blog, please became a separate follower!

And just speaking of garden, look at this sweet visitor, even in the rain she came and ruffled her feathers, looking for last nectar! Perhaps click on the pictures so you can actually see the small hummingbird!

Much love to you all!


Pictures by V.Zlotkowski

Monday, September 27, 2010

Things I adore

I adore old things, vintage pieces, old lovely books, dresses, hats or furniture...
Today I bought a lovely hand bag, which will be send to me from France! I just love this!

And this cute book, found at Etsy (seller: vintagedazzle)! I did not buy it (yet)...

Or that? By seller Subtextstyle!

Do you buy vintage? Or second hand?

Wishing for sunshine!


Pictures via Etsy

Friday, September 24, 2010


This week has passed by so fast, having family visiting makes the days go by much quicker...Last Sunday is still in my mind. We spend the afternoon at Wave Hill, a beautiful estate with wonderful gardens, well kept and of Botanical Garden quality.
A late summer concert was the highlight of the afternoon and listening to Mozart, looking outside the windows overlooking Hudson Valley and the Palisades was just what my heart desired.

It was such a lovely way to begin a new week.

A few days ago I had to pick up some paint and soil at a home improvement center, when I came by painter's drop cloth and my mind started working: Hmmm, I could perhaps use it as a table cloth? The investment was small ($ 9.00) and the effect could be quite charming. Certainly a great idea if you need to cover a larger area, let say for a party in the garden or to cover an unsightly piece for a while. I immediately thought of multiple ways to use it. Halloween is coming, you can paint it, print on it or decorate it otherwise! It is washable too...

Last night we came to the city for a night at the ballet, still a gift for my birthday and it has been wonderful. I love the gracefulness and elegance of dancers and the evening was simply unforgettable. Danced to music by Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Moretti.

The latter was the most impressive of the evening for me. A vibrant, cinematic score set the tone for bold movements, moonlike golden discs illuminated the dancers below, transforming them into exotic creatures, oriental and Egyptian influences could be felt.
It was mysterious and and mesmerizing! Standing ovations and many shouts of appreciation rewarded the fabulous cast!

This morning as the the sun comes up over the trees outside my window I am sitting here, writing this and I am still in awe by the impressions of the last night. This week has been framed by gorgeous art: Dance and music! It fills me with happiness and I am so grateful!

Have a wonderful weekend, fill it with beauty and grace!


Pictures by V.Zlotkowski, ballet image via google image,The Telegraph,UK not an image from last night.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


The last days have been filled with so many events, I had a hard time following up with the writing of my posts... My oldest son is visiting from Europe and I so enjoy to spend as much time as I can get with him and his darling girlfriend! Combine this with the regular school life and the needs of the other children we are more then busy and I have become a organizing juggler...

As you heard before my son has practically turned my old blog upside down and created what still seems like a little miracle. I have a professional blog now and it makes me very happy.

Yesterday was my birthday and I have been lucky enough to get my very own fantastic new Mac laptop. I am still in shock...This is wonderful, not only will my Mac 'baby' give me more options to work on my pictures and blogs, but I am mobile and this is great! I have never used Mac, always PC, it's time for something new!
Now I am getting lessons as how to use it, get to know so many ways of dealing with presentations and photos, I am afraid to forget half of it all, unless I keep on working on it! So, if I am not blogging as usual, it's for this reason...
Soon you will hopefully benefit from my newly aquired knowledge!

It's the first day of autumn, this makes me happy, I love this season, change is literally in the air and I love to slowly find coziness in the house.

Soon we can sit by a crackling fire and apple picking awaits us! There will be pumpkin soup and plum cakes, apple pies and spiced cider...We love to go for walks under the changing leaves and Indian summer is something we all look forward to every year!

I wish you a great beginning of the new season!


All pictures by V.Zlotkowski

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Sometimes I find things I have not really been looking for, but they call out to me, plead and I listen!
I am sure you know what I mean.
Today at on one of my rather mundane errand routes I happened to walk by a cigar store, which I usually do not frequent, but a small bundle of beautiful boxes in front stopped me in my tracks. As I learned they sell empty cigar boxes for a Dollar a piece quite regularly and I had immediately an array of uses in my head. For small things always looking for a home in my house, buttons, knick knack, pencils, bracelets...
They will need a good airing before...

So I grabbed the prettiest of them all and afterwards at my book store stop found some more bargains...

Among them a small daily planner in a beautiful turquoise cover.( How can I resist?)I am an old fashioned writer and love to write in a daily planner, despite my IPhone! I pull it out of my purse, add notes, memos, some reveries, recipes, phone numbers, book titles, add business cards, well, by the end of the year it looks fat and holds plenty of memories.
Even though I paid full price it's a bargain in a way, since I can refill it next year.(Don't I think long term ahead?) They came in more gorgeous colors...

I have read The Ya-Ya Sisterhood books and loved them. I guess this is a good read, judging by the cover text..
And Gene Wilder is one of my favorites! Read another book by him and loved it too! All from the bargain section. Don't you love this?

And look, I found this wonderful small oil painting in a tiny thrift store in Venice, among lot's of junk...paid only a couple of Euros and it was mine, framed!!!! I still cannot believe my luck!

Now it reminds us all of the most wonderful summer in Italy!

I am sure you find treasured bargains here and there! Tell me about it!


All pictures by me.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mini makeovers

I love a quick pick me up make over which takes not too long, but has a nice impact, leaving you feeling accomplished and ready for more...
I had for a while contemplated to paint these small rattan tables white and now it finally happened.

In our family room before...

They are useful in our family room, holding a tray with our fish and a small loud speaker. Doesn't it look so much better?

And a mini re-do in our basement, a major hangout for the teens and occasional sleepover spot for friends and family...
Before a big mess...

And now...ready for the arrival of my oldest and his girl!

Cost for both: two spray cans, elbow grease and the new sofa ($399), two tables ($14)and carpets ($80)from IKEA. It has now a capacity to sleep 4 easily and six with an additional air mattress...

My next project is already waiting for me!


Pictures by me.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Blue gray day

Today is a blue gray kind of day, I cozy up with a magazine or two, hot tea and dream ahead.

Found in the last Vogue so many gorgeous tweeds and mohairs coats to arm against the chills to come.

Why do I love Chanel? The elegant lines, the feel and the great colors?

I wish for timeless beauty!
Well, fall is still a little away, but I start to prepare my dream collection....


Monday, September 6, 2010

Sunny mornings - sunny days

At the window this morning.

Being housebound I enjoy the wonders of the sunny mornings, those glorious late summer days with a stillness in the air!

Little salt and pepper pigs from Berlin...

I love the dark blue sky above me as I recline on an easy-on-my-back-chair in the garden.
The children are jumping with much delight on the new trampoline, truly a live saver for my son, who misses his soccer pals and structured exercises. I am amazed how they enjoy literally hours of jumping...

Just one more day and school resumes! Hallelujah!

I have begun to edit the thousands of pictures we have taken over the last 8 weeks and there is so much, so many memories attached, so many things I want to show you still...
But, life goes on and somehow I feel we must go with it and therefore I will only show pictures which fit into the context of the coming blog posts.
While I am still under the last German design impressions I'll show you some rooms from the homes of my friends, all no decorators and true showcases of styles in Germany!

First the newly renovated house of our good friends in Munich:

And here some impressions from my wonderful girlfriend's home in Berlin, where I have enjoyed many happy times of hospitality!
She is a whirlwind of energy and joyfulness, her home a mirror image of her happy attitude to life.

Some images of my parent's lovely little nest, in which they have lived for the last twenty years! When I see their place, warm memories of my childhood years come back to me, since my parents kept many of their original pieces from the years in Dresden and brought all with them after their move to Munich! This always reminds me how wonderful continuity can be. When I visit, it is always like coming back home, even it is neither the location nor the era of my childhood...
The set up of this living/dining room has not much changed since I have been a little girl! I love this room!
The year clock, named for the fact, that it only needs winding once a year, has fascinated me since I was small. Do you love coming back (home) and finding all in it's place? Somewhere else? I feel often like that when I go back to former familiar places, where I feel a little pang, when things have much changed...I love to find what I remembered!

The embroidered linen table cloth and napkins which my sister and I gave my parent's to their beautifully celebrated 50th weddding anniversary in August!

All these places are very different and yet, they all demonstrate quite clearly a certain German way to live. Modern, bohemian, traditional. And there is so much in between!

I hope you liked this little insight into German homes.


All pictures taken by me.
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