How to create a gallery print for your home

ANZEIGE

It feels like a milestone! No, let me start over: not only does it feel like one, it IS a milestone. At least to me it is! From this day on, I truly hope, you will enjoy traveling this road with me… I started developing my photographies as art prints now and I can’t stop…It’s captivating, it brings back precious memories and it adds so much beauty to our home that I can barely breathe when I look at it! Too much of a praise? Wait until you see the result! But let me start at the very beginning…

Anastasia Benko moody white roses print
Anastasia Benko moody white roses print

From a very early age my mom started to take me to museums, so the love for every kind of art is innate to me! Not only have I been a frequent visitor to museums – I have been a keen artist myself, but somehow only drawings and paintings were put down to paper. After my very first SLR camera broke at the age of 15 I never returned back to analogue photography. The absence of printed photo works must be the reason for my new found enthusiasm about those gallery prints! Ironically, I have been producing photographies all my life but never considered having art prints in my home.

A warm late summer weekend changed it all: it started in September, with a book.
This September weekend was all about photography: I created a workshop at the Photokina for a beautiful CEWE photography event. As a surprise or maybe more of a special treat CEWE printed a book with my work. It was one of their new products, a very large format with fine art paper. Indeed, this book wasn’t that simple at all. Everything about it, the size, the weight, the quality of the paper and the prints had the feel of the luxurious coffee-table books I was usually swooning over at book stores. What happened from there was simply magical! Everyone was so thrilled with the book, I even got multiple requests to produce a coffee-table book myself. So it felt only natural to CEWE and myself to start collaborating. CEWE is known for making high quality products at affordable prices and I am so proud to partner with them on my very first print collaboration. I had so much fun working on this gallery print and I truly hope, you feel the joy and you love it just as much as I do!

white roses floral arrangement
white roses floral arrangement

As a regular reader, you know I cherish every season, but ever since I started gardening, the end of summer, the end of flowering roses is really painful to me! It takes weeks to recover from having cut the last blooming rose. So this year I decided to capture the beauty of my favorite white roses for eternity!

white roses from the garden
white roses from the garden

As soon, as I realized that some of the roses were starting to fade, I cut off the prettiest heads and arranged them on a dark velvet background. This way I added a deep contrast to the installation and all the beauty came out even more.

arranging white roses on a dark background
arranging white roses on a dark background
arranging white roses on a dark background
arranging white roses on a dark background
arranging white roses on a dark background
arranging white roses on a dark background

As soon, as I realized that some of the roses were starting to fade, I cut off the prettiest heads and arranged them on a dark velvet background. This way I added a deep contrast to the installation and all the beauty came out even more. In the end I only had the choose my favorite gathering of white roses. In the end this was my favorite image:

moody white roses print
moody white roses print

I sat on it for a few days, as I always do with special images and every time my eyes kept going back to this one image. So in the end I knew that I had made the right decision with this lush collection of my favorite roses. This way I will never forget the variety of summer!

Once the gallery print was here, I could hardly contain my excitement and placed it on our black wall. This way the black background works as a frame and brings out the beauty even more! Having thought about placing different low furniture in front of the gallery print, I decided to only go with a few large vases as companions for this work of art. Dressing up for this occasion and wearing heels gives you a little insight of my celebration of this milestone 😉

Anastasia Benko moody white roses print, photo by: Christian Schäfer
Anastasia Benko moody white roses print, photo by: Christian Schäfer
Anastasia Benko moody white roses print
Anastasia Benko moody white roses print
Anastasia Benko moody white roses print
Anastasia Benko moody white roses print

TO CREATE YOUR OWN GALLERY PRINT, YOU NEED:

-beheaded roses or any other flower you like

-a dark background

-eventually you will need a few pins to secure the flowers

-styrofoam as a reflector

Spread your dark background ( in my case it was a dark green cloth of velvet). Once you cut the fading flowers from the stem, place them on the dark underground and arrange them as you like. Make sure to place your favorite flowers at a prominent spot this way you will always have them on your photo. If their ‘faces’ don’t look in the camera, you can also fix them with a few pins to your background. Rearrange the flowers until you love the composition and take a picture. I promise, there is no better feeling than having home made art in your home, you will love it!

What is Color Harmony and how can you apply it to interiors?

ANZEIGE

Color is the first thing you notice and the last thing you remember: no matter the perception and no matter if you are fully aware about the effect it has on you. Even if you notice it subtly, on a subconscious level, the brain will deliver an opinion. Color is one of the most powerful tools stylists and photographers use for a great impact and picking the right colors for a certain assignment { a job for a client or the wall color of a room you spend most of your time } is essential for the success of a project. You want to feel comfortable with the chosen color… Of course, everyone of us favors a different color, but this is also the magic of it, the application of color becomes simply endless…

selecting a color with Farrow and Ball
selecting a color with Farrow and Ball

Knowing this, you can turn color into one of your most effective styling instruments. Next to other fundamental design principles, I teach the importance of color harmony in my workshops. Last week I was able to create a workshop with the brilliant team of the Farrow & Ball Showroom in Munich. Places were limited and this is why I would love to provide a little insight into this lovely afternoon.

Color Workshop at the Farrow and Ball Showroom in Munich, Germany, styling: AD Germany
Color Workshop at the Farrow and Ball Showroom in Munich, Germany, styling: AD Germany

Color harmony is a small part of color theory, based on the color wheel we all learned at school. This styling technique for combining colors can be split up, for example in concentrating on Complementary – or Analogous Color Schemes. Here I would love to focus on Analogous Color Harmony, I personally love to work { and to live } with.

The Analogous Color scheme concentrates on colors that are next to each other on the color wheel, for instance red, red-orange or orange. Here it does not matter, what colors you choose, the only thing that matters is to choose three colors that are neighbors on the color wheel. I love neutral and gray colors and will show you how I applied this styling device in my kitchen. But before I show you the gray combination in my kitchen, I would love to exemplify how you can select your favorite color and create a moodboard. This moodboard, created by the Farrow & Ball team in Munich, shows three clippings that start with one main color and choose two or three colors on either side of it.

mood board example for color harmony - seen at the Farrow & Ball Showroom in Munich
mood board example for color harmony – seen at the Farrow & Ball Showroom in Munich

The application of these tones can create a monochromatic look for small vignettes or large interior projects, very much harmonious to the eye. Usually, it matches well, as those combined colors are often seen in nature. For my kitchen I decided to use a gray palette, ranging form very dark gray to almost white…

gray colors used for both, furniture and wall
gray colors used for both, furniture and wall

If you wish to recreate a similar look for your home, you can follow these quick steps, using you favorite colors & hues.

MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT COLOR HARMONY:

  • color harmony is a part of color theory
  • can by used as a powerful stylistic device
  • choose three colors that are neighbors on the color wheel {e.g. red, red-orange, orange}
  • first and main color dominates, second one supports and third one to set accents
  • choose colors with enough contrast, otherwise it may look like tone-on-tone {which is another, very powerful way of styling}
  • often seen in nature, because of this familiar view pleasing to the eye
  • creates a harmonious, rich and monochromatic look

I promise, you won’t regret having created a corner that sparks daily inspiration with your favorite colors!

A HUGE Thank you to everyone who dropped by and also a HUGE thank you to Farrow and Ball, especially for the chance to create a workshop at the Showroom in Munich! I loved spending this lovely afternoon with you, sharing your knowledge and thank you so very much for providing such an incredible insight – to my readers and myself.

getting creative at Farrow&Ball Workshop in Munich
getting creative at Farrow&Ball Workshop in Munich
getting creative at Farrow&Ball Workshop in Munich
getting creative at Farrow&Ball Workshop in Munich

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getting creative at Farrow&Ball Workshop in Munich
getting creative at Farrow&Ball Workshop in Munich

DDN Blog Safari at Salone del Mobile

A week has passed since I returned from Milan and I am still overwhelmed with all of the impressions from Salone del Mobile. This has been an unforgettable week and from now on I will be planning my travels around this special week in Italy! Hopefully I won’t miss a single Salone for the rest of my life!

Never ever have I experienced a week so full of mind-blowing inventions and alluring designs! Driven by the impulse that kept me looking for new trends, I was so excited to spend a week in Milan. I have been a dedicated follower of everything connected with the Salone and for years I have been observing every single story that my friends uploaded during this most important design week! Little did I know – it was much better than I expected it to be!

I am still paving my way through hundreds of pictures that I would love to share with you, but let me start with one of the first events that I attended at the Salone – The DDN Blog Safari – organized by one of the most influential design magazines in Italy!

During the tour, a group of international bloggers was given the chance to take a peek behind the scenes of a few major italian interior brands and also speak to their designers. I am very honored that I was given the opportunity to be part of this tour! Being an artist myself I am always very interested in the creative process every designer experiences.

classic details at Gianfranco Ferre
classic details at Gianfranco Ferre

The visit to the different designers allowed me to keep my eyes open for a look that transcends all styles, and let’s begin with one of the most exuberant styles: Gianfranco Ferré and Roberto Cavalli. Both do evoke a luxurious and an elegant atmosphere, each one of them in a slightly different way. You know, I am a big fan of classic details in interiors and these snapshots prove that it is been a fest for me to swoon over their elegant details like antique plastering, soft velvet drapery or lavish prints of plants!

velvet drapery at Gianfranco Ferre
velvet drapery at Gianfranco Ferre
lush prints at Roberto Cavalli Home
lush prints at Roberto Cavalli Home

It was very interesting to be able to listen about the design process of Gallotti & Radice and to get to know that they cooperate with some of the very best young designers like Studio Pepe. It’s like I told you, I am not only still going through the hundreds of images from Milano, but I am also ‘going through’ my memories and talking to some of my friends from Milano made me realize, that I was not the only one who discovered the big presence of gorgeously colored mirrors.

Golden geometric details - a collaboration of Gallotti & Radice with Studio Pepe
Golden geometric details – a collaboration of Gallotti & Radice with Studio Pepe
colored mirrors by Gallotti&Radice, Copyright Gallotti& Radice
colored mirrors by Gallotti&Radice, Copyright Gallotti& Radice

Artemide left me speechless! Maybe it was my personal background, because we are working on our home and still are in need of gorgeous lighting, but Artemide’s lamps were pieces of art with slight interpretations of details from the age of Art Nouveau. For me, a never ending love affair! ❤

Spectacular lighting at Artemide
Spectacular lighting at Artemide
Spectacular fringe lighting at Artemide
Spectacular fringe lighting at Artemide

One of the very raw and minimalistic approaches was JCP – by using materials like metal wires, leatherstraps, stones in a very unique way, I truly loved their quote on their way of seeing design:  “JCP is an imaginative universe that transforms our normality by encouraging us to reflect on our own way of life, here on Earth.”

fine details from JCP interiors
fine details from JCP interiors
JCP stand at Saloni der Mobile, copyright JCP
JCP stand at Saloni der Mobile, copyright JCP

Also, love at first sight was the stand of Artflex. Lots of velvet with moody hues mixed with fresh splashes of yellow.. The striking lamps left a great impression – simply because they look like art installations on the wall! ❤

Colorful details at Artflex
Colorful details at Artflex
Colorful, moody details at Artflex
Colorful, moody details at Artflex

Kartell does not need to be introduced to interior design fans, but still, let me tell you, the product display alone left us speechless! Design fairs tend to be challenging when it comes to photography, and some photos do not do justice to the installations and objects. Still, I am trying to translate all the beauty of Kartell at Salone in only a few images – challenging to make images as vivid as reality but just take a look at this colorful looks:

Colorful details at Kartell
Colorful details at Kartell
Colorful details at Kartell, copyright Kartell
Colorful details at Kartell, copyright Kartell

And here goes an incredible fun fact – when you see Mr. Berlusconi himself hanging at the very same stand, as you do, you simply KNOW you are experiencing one go THE MOST important designers of the fair! Thank you, Poliform and Natuzzi!

moody details at Poliform
moody details at Poliform
Poliform Desk at Salone del Mobile, photocredit: Poliform
Poliform Desk at Salone del Mobile, photocredit: Poliform

Talking about the creative process of the designers, it was truly interesting to experience the history behind the creative sketches of Claudio Bellini for MDF  !

sketches by Claudio Bellini for MDF, Copyright MDF
sketches by Claudio Bellini for MDF, Copyright MDF
sign filo sedia design by MDF, copyright MDF
sign filo sedia design by MDF, copyright MDF

If you need gorgeous shelving ideas, you can find them here at Annibale Colombo – here is a wonderful example for all kinds of interiors:

Mettitutto Stefano Boeri for Annibale Colombo, Copyright Annibale Colombo
Mettitutto Stefano Boeri for Annibale Colombo, Copyright Annibale Colombo

Usually, interior fairs do take a lot of energy but this time I came back as energized, as I have never been before! Ok, and the LA DOLCE VITA didn’t hurt either;-)

Thank you for this gorgeous opportunity DDN – and for all of you, if you like to see the video of the tour, you can take a sneak peek here...

Westwing Christmas Workshop

It was late summer and one of the hottest days when I started to work on the concept of this very special project with Westwing. Speaking of working anti-cyclical as a stylist: ideas for Christmas have to be finalized when it’s blazing hot outside! Well, this is what I did when everybody else was laying by the pool, enjoying the warm weather. I am so happy, that Westwing approached me this early during the year: the clear, light & bright atmosphere outside certainly had a big impact on the concept we finally created for Christmas. It was November, when we finally came together again & now that I can see the results, I am more than happy we created a concept for a white Winter Wonderland!

white balloons and art deco ceiling
white balloons and art deco ceiling

I was asked to create a workshop for a special & festive mother-daughter day. Celebrating the love between mother and daughter is something very close to my heart. I know from experience how shared adventures strengthen the bond between mother & daughter – something that we experience together can never be taken away from us. It simply is the the best memory you can create ❤

Westwing Christmas Workshop, mother - daughter day
Westwing Christmas Workshop, mother – daughter day

This is why I was so excited to create this day filled with beauty for these two gorgeous mom & daughter couples: Delia & Johanna, and JudithLou  ❤ Just take a look at these B E A U T I F U L ladies – such a treat to spend a day with such breathtakingly talented & wonderful women!

Delia Fischer at Westwing Christmas Workshop, mother - daughter day
Delia Fischer at Westwing Christmas Workshop, mother – daughter day

But let me start from the very beginning: the location of our workshop was the absolutely breathtaking apartment of my beautiful, beauuuuutiful friend Susanne. One of my resolutions for next year is certainly to pay her another visit in Munich!

Westwing Christmas Workshop, mother - daughter day
Westwing Christmas Workshop, mother – daughter day

I certainly love to decorate the table, especially for special occasions. If you are a little like me, you probably have been to a few events where the decoration was so exuberant, that you could barely see the person seated across from you. Of course this can a relief at times 😉 but I wanted to keep the decoration as low, as possible. The garland you can see on the table above is one of my favorite things to make for Christmas, it is so easy but so impressive. The wonderful team of Westwing also created an exclusive video, especially for you, if you would love to learn how to make a low & asymmetrical floral arrangement for the table… Also, imagine my excitement: I could decorate with the brand new Basic Line of Westwing products that will be available next year! A dream come true to every stylist to be able to work with shiny new products!

Westwing Christmas Workshop, mother - daughter day
Westwing Christmas Workshop, mother – daughter day
Christmas Balloon with Hellebore (Christmas Rose) baby breath and spanish moss - staying Anastasia Benko for Westwingnow.de
Christmas Balloon with Hellebore (Christmas Rose) baby breath and spanish moss – staying Anastasia Benko for Westwingnow.de

Even though the table garland & the cute Christmas balloons were our favorites, something was missing! The scent of Christmas & this is also a reason why I decided to create a Christmas wall made of fir, pine & white flowers like baby’s breath.

Christmas Flower Wall made of pine,fir & baby's breath
Christmas Flower Wall made of pine,fir & baby’s breath
Christmas Flower Wall made of pine,fir & baby's breath
Christmas Flower Wall made of pine,fir & baby’s breath

Yes, this is me above, looking very happy to be working on one of my dream projects! I hope, we have brought lots of inspiration for your holiday season! I know for sure, that I will be making a Christmas wall again next year!

Christmas Flower Wall made of pine,fir & baby's breath
Christmas Flower Wall made of pine,fir & baby’s breath

Thank you so much to the wonderful team of Westwing for giving us the opportunity to experience such a beautiful day!

Have a gorgeous holiday season, A. XO

copyright photos: Westwing 

Autumnal Flower arrangement

moody autumnal flower arrangement with chrysanthemums and dried leaves
moody autumnal flower arrangement with chrysanthemums and dried leaves

Every year I am having a difficult time saying goodbye to summer. This year was even more difficult, because I invested so much time into my brand new flower bed in front of our house. But then again, year after year, I discover new colors and forms of autumnal leaves, sticks and branches… By adding those abstract looking pieces to my arrangements all the abundance of summer seems to be forgotten and the arrangement gains a charming, yet lavish look. There are ways to make rich flower arrangements at any time of the year, even in autumn or winter! This arrangement was made with four chrysanthemums and gathered branches & sticks from the woods. A gorgeous addition to interiors and cozy days at home, don’t you agree?

A. XO