2 Flower Girls – Carnations

The theme of the week is flower and plants it seems. After introducing my new column Room and Flower on Monday, I am super happy to be able to join once more the 2 Flower Girls, Inga and Elodie. This month’s edition is dedicated to carnations. Although it is actually not a flower I am very much in love with, it is one that is easy to find here in Madrid and the beautiful flower shop I discovered past week had a beautiful selection in soft colors. I chose some pink and peach ones and paired them with those green flowers, whose name I can’t seem to remember as I am writing this post. I had purchased a few crespedia stems for a different purpose but ended up adding them into the bouquet because I loved the additional pop of color and their quirky round shape. I chose a simple antic milk jug my mother had purchased and given me a few years ago to host them, and set the bouquet on the fireplace mantel. I think that I might be changing my mind about carnations already.

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A few days earlier I had already purchased a bunch of small carnations which didn’t hold very well. So I ended up cutting the ones that were still looking good very short, tied them together with some raffia, and set them in a recently purchased white geometric vase from Natuzzi. Here is my mini bouquet set between a few of my cacti as a bonus picture.

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I look forward to the next edition of 2 Flower Girls and wish you a lovely day.

* Photography by Corinne Kowal

I like your bouquet very much! The colours are so delicate! So happy you managed to join this time. Elodie

Room and Flower

It’s been again a busy week away from the blog but unless the previous ones this one has brought plenty of inspiration and ideas for the blog. If you have been following me here for a while you know that I love flowers and beautiful bouquets. I participated in quite a few editions of 2 Flower Girls and have also joined quite recently the Urban Jungle Bloggers followers. It has come as quite a frustration since moving to Madrid not to find the fresh cut flowers offering I was used to in Paris, Berlin or recently Brussels. The few flower shops I found in our neighborhood carry only a few variety of flowers (usually roses, carnations, lilies, alstroemeria and gerbera) but their main offering is plants and artificial flowers. It seems that there is no real culture of fresh cut flowers here, which might have to do with the harsh climate.

Last week I was in town for a meeting and stumbled upon one of the most exquisite flower shops I have seen in a very long time. Sally L. Hambleton has been running for the past ten years the flower shop she wasn’t able to find in Madrid and has turned into a successful business. Browsing through her shop and seeing the beautiful bouquet compositions was so refreshing and inspiring. I love composing bouquets and carefully choosing varieties to have them assembled into something unique. It is very similar to creating an interior; it’s about choosing colors, varying their proportions, adding texture, shapes, and elements of surprise. Since I haven’t grown my color inspiration column recently I thought that you would enjoy a new column showcasing a matching interior and flower composition. So here is to Room and Flower. I hope you’ll love it!

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I’ve finished quite some work in the house and am currently busy taking pictures to share them with you. Have a beautiful Spring week.

* Source: RoomFlower

Oh Corinne: I love it!!! Love the title, the images, and the idea of the column. Very nice. And this is just lovely. Glad you found such a great shop for flowers…yes, they are a total necessity in life!

[…] theme of the week is flower and plants it seems. After introducing my new column Room and Flower on Monday, I am super happy to be able to join once more the 2 Flower Girls, Inga and Elodie. This […]

Libby, thank you so much for your kind words. Can’t wait to share more with you.

What’s next for Emerald Green Interiors?

I’ve been quite absent around the blog. Fact is I have been busy working on a clients proposal for a complete flat renovation in the heart of Madrid. I don’t know yet if my offer will be chosen but I certainly worked hard on it to offer interesting ideas to optimize a small attic space that needs a lot of it. This project has already taken a particular meaning for me. Not only does it entail everything from reformatting completely a flat and managing contractors, which will be a new and challenging task for me, to furnishing and decorating it completely to have it rented to tourists. What makes it so special is that this project will potentially be my first in Madrid.

I launched Emerald Green Interiors in 2010 a year after the birth of my first son and had the immense opportunity to work on a large scale residential project in Saudi Arabia for one of my husband’s MBA co-student as he had pitched my business to his class. Saying that he was instrumental in the launch of my business is quite inaccurate. Over the years it took to launch my business and since then he has been my strongest supporter, boosting my self-esteem, challenging my actions and questioning the way I thought. A daunting task really with someone like me who always refused introspection. I owe him a lot.

When we moved to Brussels, Emerald Green Interiors survived mainly through the existence of the blog, while I was gaining hands-on experience working for nearly two years for Farrow & Ball both in the showroom and as the showroom’s in house color consultant.

We relocated a little over four months ago to Madrid and at this point I asked myself about what I would do. Even though I hadn’t worked on a huge amount of projects or with dozens of clients, Emerald Green Interiors had taken a very important place in my life and I just knew then that I wanted to take it a step further. So instead of looking for excuses to delay or to avoid taking steps for my business, I started to look for solutions and I found them. It might have or not to do with the fact that I am nearing forty. On February 1st, three months after our arrival in Madrid my status as a freelancer was formalized. So here I am, relaunching my business in a country whose language I barely speak yet, taking all the necessary steps to get known, to market my services and to find clients. It is a lot of work and very scary at times but the challenge is so worth it. I am the lucky mother of two wonderful boys and wife to a very special husband and it’s about time I show them what I can achieve. Because today I have the confidence to say that the question is not about whether I’ll achieve my goals but in what time frame I will. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt so alive and empowered and it’s a great feeling.

So wish me luck! I certainly hope that I will be able to realize this upcoming project. Below is a mood board I created after seeing the apartment which has a terrace overlooking the roofs of Madrid. I felt that the blue grey and the terracotta colors of the city would work wonderfully mixed with a lot of white and raw materials, to create a relaxing and elegant setting mixed with typical Spanish accents such as the encaustic tiles.

Emerald Green Interiors Madraid flat mood board

How do you feel about this combination? I hope I haven’t bored you today with my life story but what’s the point of a blog if it’s owner never shares any personal insight in its content. I wish you a wonderful week and look forward to coming back soon. Igor and Judith have a new #Urbanjunglebloggers styling exercise going on and I certainly want to participate even if I am behind schedule. I wish you a great day!

Hi Corrine, I just wanted to wish you all the best with your new venture. I’m so excited for you and I hope it all goes well with the client. The moodboard is wonderful. I loved reading about your story, I feel I know you a little better. xDoris

Dear Doris, thank you so much for your kind words!

Corinne: Not at all! I think the personal stories are what make a blog. I tend to pull back and be business like on the blog, until my “editor” aka daughter (!) says no, put more of yourself into it. As Holly says, if you write from the heart, it will speak for you.
I think your story is amazing! I can’t imagine doing what you have done with two small children plus a move. And yes, husbands can, in a sense, make or break a wife/woman’s business. I’ve seen those who give no support at all and it’s such a hardship on the wife and her business. My husband, like yours, catches me when I fall short and is always there for support.
Anyway…. you are doing an amazing job on all fronts and I admire you!

Hi Corinne

This are great news! I wish you all the best for your projects! I think we should take the opportunities life offers to us even if they need courage and more effort.

I like your blog very much. It’s so inspirational for me. Hope you will show more of your lovely work. I left my comfort zone (did I have one?;-) too last autumn. I’m nearly 42 and felt I had to change my professional life a bit. Now I’m studying Interior Design instead of working in my known field which was advertising.

All the best,

Hi Corinne,
I hope you will get the job. Your mood board is beautiful. I can imagine it is hard to be in a country where you don’t speak the language but with your visuals I’m sure you will thrive anyway and just take your time to learn the language. Before you know it, you will speak Spanish fluently

Dear Libby, Masha and Louise, thank you so much for your encouragements and support. Libby, sometimes I do feel I might not have chosen the easiest time, yet the time felt right so I guess this is all that counts. As for writing something more personal, this post has actually been the easiest to write in a very long time. Louise, speaking fluent French is certainly helping me a lot to get a grip on Spanish even though I think that the kids will master it before me. Thank you again and have a great weekend!

Super! Bonne chance Corinne! Tu parles déjà tellement de langues, je suis sure que tu vas te mettre très vite à l’espagnol.

This sounds so exciting, Corinne! I’m sure your enthusiasm, dedication and motivation will shine through in your presentations to potential clients. Show your 3 boys what you got! And Spanish will come naturally, with your knowledge of French & English you’ll master it in no time. bisous!

Corrine, what exciting times for you. I have to say that you sound so strong and empowered and a real example! I love how you said that it’s not about if, it’s about whether you’ll achieve your dreams but in what timeframe. I wish you the best of luck although I know you don’t need it. M xx

Simple Things

I’ve been busy like a bee spending a lot of time away from the blog. A pity and yet a choice, the choice to enjoy full-heartedly the time spent with my family. This Sunday morning we went for a walk in a historic park near our home. The almond trees are starting to bloom and they are not the only ones. Spring is around the corner and my heart rejoices at this symphony of pinks and yellows.

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The Mimosa isn’t blooming yet except for one or two isolated buds impatient to take a peek at the sun. But aren’t they lovely just like this?

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I hope that you had a lovely Sunday and that you enjoyed the presence of loved ones at your side.

* Photography by Corinne Kowal via Camera+ for Iphone

Lovely! I always like a little flower inspiration!

A Colorful Home by Maven

I need to start this post with a huge apology to Patricia McGinnis. She owns Maven in Belfast with her sister Catherine and was so kind to send the high resolution pictures of this interior design project only a day or two after returning from Maison & Objet in Paris, when she probably had thousands of other things to do. I had initially planed to publish this post two weeks ago and, as it sometimes happens got swamped by the many things on my to-do list, my lovely toddler who hasn’t yet understood the concept of sleeping through, the kids vacations, a suspended week long internet connection and a few other things that I have already forgotten. Although I did get things done, the blog unfortunately didn’t make it to the top of the list.

On my recent search for Chartreuse inspiration I stumbled upon the picture below which got me swooning because as much as I like the bare Nordic and Scandinavian interiors that are trending right now, my heart lies with color and homes that reflect true personality. And this home designed by Maven is certainly not lacking any. I mean, truly, how often do you see a room that pairs dark grey, chartreuse and orange and looks fabulous at it?

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The home mixes iconic design pieces and contemporary furniture from Scandinavian design firms, with quirky accessories and vintage pieces. The well chosen art piece as focal point in the dining room and a collection of plants in various planters show that this is not just a set of pretty styled vignettes pictures but the home of a happy family

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Emerald Green Interiors Bladon 2

What’s your take on it? I really love seeing interiors such as this one where it is clear that the designer has listened to its clients needs and desires and crafted something that would truly fit its personality instead of just applying the same recipe over again. Kudos to you for this beautiful work and for your bold use of color. I wish I lived in Belfast to visit your shop and talk color with you.

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absolutely gorgeous and so well written