See you next year, Christmas!

moody interiors with a larch wreath
moody interiors with a larch wreath

I hope all of you had a magical Christmas!

moody interiors with a larch wreath
moody interiors with a larch wreath

Now it’s time to say bye-bye…

seasonal winter decoration with a wreath made of dried grass
seasonal winter decoration with a wreath made of dried grass

See you next year, Christmas!
A. XO

seasonal winter decoration with a wreath made of dried grass
seasonal winter decoration with a wreath made of dried grass
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Tone on Tone Chiristmas decoration

wreath made with dried clematis seeds
wreath made with dried clematis seeds

Last Tuesday I was able to share this DIY over at my favorite interior community SoLebIch. And tell me, who doesn’t want to create an easy Christmas decoration, especially as all of the festive holiday chores can turn into the biggest stress ever? If you are a little like me, you would not want to neglect your table and this is why I came up with this fast & easy DIY for our Christmas table.

Easy Christmas DIY with dried Clematis - tone on tone Christmas interior decoration
Easy Christmas DIY with dried Clematis – tone on tone Christmas interior decoration

You can probably tell, that I love chalky colors in my interiors, and this is why I didn’t need a lot of additional things for this festive decoration. I gathered a few dried grasses and clematis from the garden and it also comes handy, when your friend owns an interiors shop: I got some gorgeous table ware from her over at DECORETTE and was ready to go.

All you need for this simple DIY is:

a wreath body made of straw

fine wire

dried grasses and flowers

scissors

candleholders & candles

simple wreath DIY - a wreath made of dried flowers
simple wreath DIY – a wreath made of dried flowers
Easy Christmas DIY with dried Clematis - tone on tone Christmas interior decoration
Easy Christmas DIY with dried Clematis – tone on tone Christmas interior decoration
Easy Christmas DIY with dried Clematis - tone on tone Christmas interior decoration
Easy Christmas DIY with dried Clematis – tone on tone Christmas interior decoration
Easy Christmas DIY with dried Clematis - tone on tone Christmas interior decoration
Easy Christmas DIY with dried Clematis – tone on tone Christmas interior decoration

Dried grasses are easy to bend and because the straw body of the wreath has the same color, you don’t need to work very neat. It is ok, when the grasses bend irregularly, it creates a natural look and this is what I love most about creating seasonal wreaths. Simply add the dried grasses to your wreath by curling the wire around the wreath until you are satisfied with the volume of the wreath. When you add the candles, make sure that not one part of dried grasses or flowers gets close to the candles! The rest of the table decoration was easy, as I added a single twig of a dried clematis in the middle of the table and was ready to add the table ware. Et Voila – my festive table was ready fort the big day.

Warm Season’s greetings, A. XO

Broste Copenhagen table ware - festive Christmas table decoration
Broste Copenhagen table ware – festive Christmas table decoration
Broste Copenhagen table ware - festive Christmas table decoration
Broste Copenhagen table ware – festive Christmas table decoration
Easy Christmas DIY with dried Clematis - tone on tone Christmas interior decoration
Easy Christmas DIY with dried Clematis – tone on tone Christmas interior decoration
Easy Christmas DIY with dried Clematis - tone on tone Christmas interior decoration Easy Christmas DIY with dried Clematis - tone on tone Christmas interior decoration
Easy Christmas DIY with dried Clematis – tone on tone Christmas interior decoration

Wie gegensätzlich jeder von uns auch Weihnachten feiert, bei den ganzen Unterschieden bleibt ein gemeinsamer Nenner – wir alle feiern sehr individuell und heute möchte ich mein ganz persönliches und blitzschnelles Advents DIY vorstellen. Ich liebe es regionale Blumen und Pflanzen für meine Dekoration zu nutzen. Jedes Jahr aufs Neue bin ich von der Vielfalt saisonaler Schönheiten überrascht, die der Winter zu bieten hat. Nachdem die letzten Blumen des Jahres verblüht sind, findet man draußen immer noch wunderschön getrocknete Gräser oder pastellig verblasste Blüten. Um Zeit und Ressourcen zu sparen werde ich genau diese für meine diesjährige Deko benutzen.

Ich glaube, jeder möchte, dass die Feiertage ruhig und entspannt ablaufen. Wären da nicht die vielen Dingen wie Geschenke verpacken, Familienbesuche und Vorbereitungen des Festmahls… Da bleibt oft wenig Zeit für die Tischdekoration. Deswegen möchte ich ein schnelles und schönes DIY vorstellen, denn so kommt man auch mit minimalem Einsatz zu wunderbaren Ergebnissen.

Dieses Weihnachten habe ich mich für eine saisonale Dekoration entschieden, die auch Ton in Ton zu der Einrichtung passt. Helle Wände, eine helle Tischdecke und sandfarbene Gräser zaubern eine feierliche Stimmung herbei.

Ich hatte fast alle Zutaten zuhause, gefehlt haben nur noch die getrockneten Gräser und die fluffige Clematis. Auch wenn man nicht alles griffbereit zuhause liegen hat, die Liste der Zutaten für diese Tischdeko ist minimal:

-Für die Tischgirlande habe ich einfach eine längere Ranke einer getrockneten Clematis gewählt (falls man keine Clematis finden kann, kann man bei einem Waldspaziergang auch ein paar wunderschöne, abgefallene Zweige und Äste einsammeln und diese locker in der Mitte des Tische platzieren)

Für den Kranz braucht ihr: 

-einen Kranzrohling aus Stroh

-getrocknetes Gras und getrocknete Blüten aus dem Garten ( abgeblühte Hortensien eignen sich auch sehr gut für diese Deko und wenn man keinen Garten hat, kann man auf Feldwegen getrocknetes Gras finden)

-Draht ( dabei bleibt die Farbe jedem selbst überlassen )

-Schere

-Kerzenhalter

-Kerzen

1: zuerst habe ich den goldenen Draht am Kranzrohling befestigt

2: ich habe etwa 6 längere Gräser genommen und diese schon mal in Form gebogen. Gräser lassen sich leicht biegen und die etwas festeren Halme knicken ein, so entstehen ganz nebenbei schöne geometrische Formen. Den ersten Teil der Gräser habe ich gleichmäßig um den Kranz drapiert, damit das Binden am Kranz einfacher wird. Sobald der Rohling von dem Gras umschlossen war, habe ich angefangen die Gräser mit dem Draht am Kranzrohling zu befestigen, indem man den Draht einfach immer wieder um den Kranz führt. Dabei kann man bewusst grob arbeiten, denn das verstärkt den natürlichen und rustikalen Charakter.

3: nach der ersten Bindung habe ich den ersten Vorgang wiederholt und ein paar zusätzliche Gräser um den Kranz gebunden. Dabei habe ich darauf geachtet, dass der Draht locker sitzt und nicht alle Gräser zerquetscht. Dort, wo schöne Blätter waren, habe ich versucht den Draht unter dem Blatt herzuführen, damit die schönsten Blätter nicht eingequetscht werden. Diesen Vorgang kann man so lange wiederholen, bis man mit der Fülle des Kranzes zufrieden ist.

4: sobald genug Gras auf dem Kranz war, habe ich den Draht unter dem Kranz fixiert.

5: dadurch, dass der Kranz so locker gebunden ist, kann man nun ganz einfach die Kerzenhalter befestigen.

6: erst, wenn man sieht, wo die Kerzen sein werden, kann man noch als letzten Schritt ein paar zusätzliche getrocknete Blüten reinstecken. Denn dann kann man auch besser einschätzen, wo die Kerzen abbrennen werden und die vertrockneten Blüten nicht zu nah an die Kerzen stecken. Ich habe ein paar der getrockneten Blüten von meiner Tischgirlande abgeschnitten. Falls man keine getrocknete Clematis finden kann, kann man auch auf verblühte Hortensien oder andere getrocknete Blumen zurückgreifen.

Der Arbeitsaufwand beträgt ungefähr 20 Minuten und man hat im Handumdrehen eine unaufgeregte, aber elegante Tischdeko, die zudem auch sehr preisgünstig und saisonal ist!

Ich wünsche Euch eine wundervolle und gesegnete Weihnachtszeit!

NOTE!!! because of the dried grasses and flowers, it is important to add longer candles and watch the wreath at all times, do not leave the wreath unattended, as it can catch fire very easily! 

ACHTUNG!!! Da der Kranz aus getrockneten Materialien besteht, bitte keine Teelichter, sonder längere Kerzen verwenden und die brennenden Kerzen nie unbeaufsichtigt lassen!

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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!

Summer workshop with SoLebIch

This weekend will stay in my heart forever! But judge for yourself, the pictures of this spectacular weekend will hopefully speak for themselves. Here and there I will add a few words. It was a weekend full of beauty, celebration and sharing the love for interiors! Enjoying every minute of it was my priority and moments like these make me put down my camera. Fortunately this video was recorded and illustrates some of the beauty and happiness of this weekend!

I have been invited to join the 10yrs anniversary of the largest online interior community SoLebIch in Munich, Germany and to give a floral inspired interior workshop. The festivities lasted for 2 days and the most exciting part of it was, that I was able to join the jubilee with my workshop!

PART 1

Arriving at Pasing Station, Munich, Germany
Arriving at Pasing Station, Munich, Germany

After having arrived in Munich Pasing (just look at that insanely gorgeous train station!) I quickly found the Headquarter of SoLebIch and was welcomed by a enchanting courtyard and gorgeous wisteria and garden roses, not to forget, the fabulous team!

HQ of SoLebIch in Munich, Germany
HQ of SoLebIch in Munich, Germany
wisteria in the sun
wisteria in the sun
garden roses in front of our workshop space
garden roses in front of our workshop space

I always get excited about the second bloom of wisteria in one season but later the flowers for the workshop were delivered and left me speechless and tollwasblumenmachen, one of the generous sponsors for this weekend, overdelivered! It was a hot summer day and I had to rush to put them in water containers, so I could only snap a few images before the actual workshop started. Just take a look at this super cute entry, exactly the interior mix, I love so much. Design pieces, like this gorgeous chair by Vitra, with a few vintage additions! A perfect backdrop for the workshop we had planned!

entrance to the workshop area
entrance to the workshop area
charming vintage details at entrance to SoLebIch HQ
charming vintage details at entrance to SoLebIch HQ
chamomile
chamomile
Queen Anne's Lace
Queen Anne’s Lace
deep purple astrantia
deep purple astrantia
Queen Anne's Lace and Osram bulbs in front of window
Queen Anne’s Lace and Osram bulbs in front of window

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Queen Anne's Lace in vintage sink
Queen Anne’s Lace in vintage sink
garden table setting at SoLebIch Workshop with stunning moroccan table ware
garden table setting at SoLebIch Workshop with stunning moroccan table ware
Colorful summer floral arrangements
Colorful summer floral arrangements

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I am so honored to have been asked to give a workshop at these anniversary festivities! Finally I could get to know so many of the community members in person, we ran wild, decorating the gorgeous interior settings! In between the learning, working and long conversations, we have been able to enjoy the beauty of flowers and saved many of summer bouquets to bring to the next location:

PART 2

Schloss Nymphenburg, Munich, Germany
Schloss Nymphenburg, Munich, Germany

For the second time this weekend we went to the Nymphenburg Palace. The first day we spend a gorgeous afternoon in the gardens of the palace, for a wonderful summer picnic. The second day, right after my interior workshop at the HQ, we changed locations and ended the festivities with a dinner and a party at one of the historical glass houses. Please, see for yourself:

the garden area of Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany
the garden area of Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany
the garden area of Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany
the garden area of Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany
inside the Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany
inside the Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany
inside the Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany
inside the Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany
inside the Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany
inside the Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany
inside the Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany
inside the Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany

Being able to work with such a fabulous team, in such an exclusive location, will be a memory I will cherish for the rest of my life! Here you can see the glass house and our spectacularly long table for the dinner party, quiet before the storm!

Iron House, a glass house at Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany
Iron House, a glass house at Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany
Pink flower at the Iron House, a glass house at Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany
Pink flower at the Iron House, a glass house at Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany
window view at the Orangerie at the Iron House, a glass house at Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany
window view at the Orangerie at the Iron House, a glass house at Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany
at the Iron House, a glass house at Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany
at the Iron House, a glass house at Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany
Iron House, a glass house at Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany
Iron House, a glass house at Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany
at the Iron House, a glass house at Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany
at the Iron House, a glass house at Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany
Ruinart champagne
Ruinart champagne
Iron House, a glass house at Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany
Iron House, a glass house at Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany
10 years anniversary of SoLebIch at the Iron House, a glass house at Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany
10 years anniversary of SoLebIch at the Iron House, a glass house at Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany

Here and here you can see so many more inspirational images from this gorgeous weekend! Enjoy browsing and I already know, I can’t wait for next summer to host a big garden party!

The most humble THANK YOU goes out to the team of SoLebIch and their generous sponsors tollwasblumenmachen, Thonet, Ruinart, USM, Vitra, bulthaupt, Luiz, Louis PaulsenOsram, Elitis for the weekend! It was a weekend to remember and I am eternally thankful to have been able to experience such an unforgettable weekend!

A. XO

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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