Finding Inspiration: The new Rijksmuseum

Finding inspiration is not simply about collecting pretty images on line and in magazines. Finding inspiration is about discovering and learning and above all about having an open mind. I love to visit museums, but to be honest I’ve been really bad at it since we moved to Brussels. Blame it on the kids, on the busy schedule, but I haven’t even managed to see the MAS in Antwerpen. It is still on my to-do list and I hope I manage it before we leave the country. Not knowing Madrid, I plan to take the complete tourist program and to discover the city and some of its secret areas as soon as possible.

The beautiful Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam reopened it’s doors in April after ten years of renovations, and the result is absolutely stunning. On it’s website the museum features images of the renovation and they are fascinating. A couple of years ago, while living in Berlin I had the chance to visit the Neues Museum, renovated by David Chipperfield, before the collections were reinstalled and it was a real treat. When visiting museums, we are often so absorbed by the art displayed that we forget to look at the architecture and decor of the place. Those pictures bring the architecture back into the limelight. I absolutely love the way darker colors are often used in museum scenography to showcase antique paintings and their golden frames.

Emerald Green Interiors Rijksmuseum 2Inhuizing RIJKSMUSEUM Amsterdam. foto VINCENT MENTZEL 2012 - 2013Emerald Green Interiors Rijksmuseum11Emerald Green Interiors RijksmuseumEmerald Green Interiors Rijksmuseum3Emerald Green Interiors Rijksmuseum4Emerald Green Interiors Rijksmuseum6Emerald Green Interiors Rijksmuseum2Emerald Green Interiors Rijksmuseum8Emerald Green Interiors Rijksmuseum10Emerald Green Interiors Rijksmuseum13

I am sorry for the overload of pictures but aren’t they gorgeous? Which was the last museum or pubic building/space that inspired you?

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Adding color with Flowers – 2 Flower Girls

Did I really miss a post yesterday? Looks very much like it. Does sitting in front of the computer in the evening with eyes barely open count as an excuse for not posting? Hmmmm I guess I owe you an extra post.

Well today’s post isn’t exactly home decoration in a strict sense, although this point can very much be debated. I am participating once again in Elodie‘s and Inga‘s monthly column #2flowergirls where everyone can submit their styled version of the month’s chosen flower. This month is all about dahlia and you can see Elodie and Inga take on the fall flower here. I really loved how my June peonies pictures turned out so I used the same dark background technique today. I found some white and pink dahlia on the market and added some foliage as well as those white berries. I don’t know what they are called. I just remember that, as a kid, we used to pick them up and walk on them to hear them pop.

Flowers are one of the easiest way of adding a dash of color and life in any room. Please stay away from fake flowers, just the thought of them gives me goosebumps and believe me, not in a good way. As great as they can sometimes look on pictures (no one can see that they are fake) they are just dreadful in real life and no one is ever going to get me to think otherwise.

Emerald Green Interiors Dahlia 3Emerald Green Interiors Dahlia 4Emerald Green Interiors Dahlia 5Emerald Green Interiors Dahlia 1Emerald Green Interiors Dahlia 2Emerald Green Interiors Dahlia 6Emerald Green Interiors Dahlia 7

Since I had many questions last time about the way I achieved the dark background, I added a “behind the scenes” picture where you can see that my black background is simply a large sheet of black art paper popped up against the mirror on my art deco buffet. I invite you to participate to #2flowergirls and to add colors to your home with fresh cut flowers!

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Madame Love

Oh Corinne! So lovely! I love everything about your styling: the black background of course, but also the smaller and bigger varieties of dahlias and the white berries. This is gorgeous. Thanks!
xxx
Elodie

Emerald Green Interiors

Madame Love Merci Elodie! This was so much fun again and I love to see my style and photography skills evolving. Long life to #2flowergirls

Sue Higson

what a cool idea, so simple. I must try it. Although as i only have a white board, i might go for the white background instead

Kathrin Michelsen

What a lovely combination. I just found your blog through BYW and am now stuck. Instead of going to be I am intrigued by your blog!

Lille – From light to dark

We are spending the weekend in northern France where we have family. It’s only an hour and a half away from Brussels and it often gives us the opportunity to stroll through Lille which is a lovely city. The old part of the city, “le vieux Lille” consists of beautiful houses mostly from the 17th and 18th century, some older.

I loved the unexpected aqua color on this magnificent old door, color which I found a couple of streets further away on all the windows of another beautiful building. The exterior aspect of your house is as important as the interior one. You don’t have to have an 18th century mansion to create surprise with a beautiful door color. I love how subtle the addition of color on the windows is. The color is present, adds a lot of charm yet is elegant.

Emerald Green Interiors Door LilleEmerald Green Interiors House Lille

After our little walk we headed to “Le Barbue d’Anvers” a nice restaurant set in one of those houses. You can eat either in the vaulted cellar or in a nice room on the second floor. The floors are connected by an old staircase painted in a dark greenish grey and adorned by crystal chandeliers, antique engravings and other memorabilia. The entire place is lit almost entirely by candles or low intensity lights which gives it a particular and welcoming feeling.

Emerald Green Interiors Barbue D anvers

Emerald Green Interiors Barbue D anvers 2That’s it for today. My post will remain short as it is late already and I need to catch up on sleep. My almost 6 month old son still wakes up twice a night. I hope you enjoyed it nonetheless. “See” you tomorrow! I hope you are having a great weekend.

Using Color – Where to Start

You’ve come to terms with the fact that, yes you like color, and yes you definitely want to bring some into your home. But now you wonder where to start because to say it mildly you are kind of clueless about it. Color does look great on the walls of the houses you see in magazines but you wonder if it will look the same in your own home. (No it will not, be prepared for it). And how on earth are you supposed to choose colors for your walls out of the endless possibilities offered by paint manufacturers?

Before you head out to the paint store know what you like and have a general idea of what you are looking for. It may sound obvious but many clients coming into a paint store don’t know what they want. They come in looking for ideas and counseling. Here are a couple of tips to help you find inspiration.

1. Collect images in magazines. The pictures don’t have to be interior related. They could be fashion, art, botanicals or whatever other subject. The colors and color harmony should speak to you.

2. Alternatively use Pinterest and create a virtual pin-board. Start pining images you like. After a while you’ll start to see a trend emerging. Watch closely: this is your style.

3. Look at your closet’s content. Chances are that the colors of your wardrobe elements are colors you feel comfortable around, so why not use them in your home?

4. If you are totally at loss about what you like, start with what you dislike. Talking the reverse approach of eliminating first can get you to the same result and is easier for some of us.

5. Once you have a sense of the direction you wish to take, look at all your fixed elements such as flooring. It is usually an accepted fact that every color can go with different wood tones. This, however is not true for tiles, stone floors, or bathroom and kitchen counter-tops in fancy finishes. So check out the colors of those finishes as they will impact your choices. (See the post I wrote about my sister’s study and the green marble insert that impacted the color we chose).

6. Head to your paint store with an open mind and once you have found the perfect shade, make sure to get a sample to test it in your home. (I’ll write a post dedicated to this). You might not find it right away, but once you do it will bring you much joy.

I hope that those few tips will help you. If you have any questions you’d like me to answer during the 31 Days series, please do not hesitate to comment below. I am away tomorrow, but I’ll try to get a post up. Have to keep up with the challenge….

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Pretty useful! Choosing a color for a room could be overwhelming. But if we use some of the tools you listed we won’t fell like we are picking the color as blind :)