Monday, February 23, 2015

How my blog, photographs and styling has evolved since I started blogging




Today I would l want to share the story of how I started this blog and how my style and photography has evolved since then. My decisions, some tips and how I create my photos!If you are interested keep on reading :)




When I first came to Norway I went through a period where I was obsessed with everything crisp and white. How could I not when Scandinavian style embraces these values so much and I managed to land right in the middle of it. I have always been a blog fan and I already had some interior blogs on my feed but I found myself searching for Scandinavian style blogs to add to it. I found so many inspiring ones, all dressed in white and I was so enamored by the style I decided to create my own and document the renovations of my home. 

In the beginning of course I tried to only take white on white photos. I would overexpose my photos in order to create this effect that I loved so much seeing from other bloggers. I can't say I was very successful but I kept on trying to imitate the style. I was officially obsessed. So what if my photos were destroyed and grained in the process? In my eyes they were white and beautiful. I was so afraid of darkness and shade I would try to photoshop as much as I could out. I have been editing some of old posts so you will not find the worst ones but if you scroll back at the beginning you will see what I mean. There was a constant thorn however and that was our dark floors. In all the beautiful blogs I admired their floors were white and that was something I could not replicate. There is no chance we are changing the floors of our house or painting them over. 
My solution was to hide them as much as possible or overexpose them so much that they would seem as bright as possible. When I tried to hide them I would overexpose my photos regardless in order to make them seem as white as possible and this would result to burned areas in them (either completely black or completely white). Here and here are some examples of what I mean about trying to change my floors in photoshop although these are not the most severe (the worst ones I have already re edited and removed from the blog).  The result of all this? The quality of my photos was not up to any standards and that bothered me. It took me many months to slowly realize that instead of  trying to imitate something I couldn't have right now, I should instead embrace reality and find beauty in my dark floors and other details I didn't like about the house. Here and here you can see how the floors are slowly showing for what they really are. Also the photos become softer on their own. I finally see value in soft shadows and grey tones. I would have never created this photo or this when I just started my blog and that is such a shame as they are full of colors and beautiful tones. You only need to look at the photos featured in this post today and see exactly what I mean. I still love white and crisp spaces but I love even more natural tones and beautiful shades. There is a place and time for everything and my blog right now fully reflects that. There are white corners and more colorful or monochromatic spaces in my house and I love photographing and sharing them all equally. My instagram also changed to reflect this, you can scroll down and see what I mean although instagram photos are small so they don't reflect how their quality is not up to my standards today. You can see how I was actively trying to change them in order to be white, while today I just let the white shine through rather than force it and let the rest of the details be what they really are. My blog design also changed to reflect this and I wish I had a shapshot to show you of how it was back then! (Spoiler : I will be changing it again soon and I couldn't be more excited about it!)

I have come a long way since I started my blog, but I do not regret the decisions I made. Everything led me to where I am today and I only hope I keep learning as fast and becoming better and better. Nothing would make me happier if a year from now I look back to this post thinking my photos today are as bad as I think my first ones were. I had to take all this journey to end up to how I take photos and edit them today so if I have one piece of advice to anyone starting a blog or just picking up a camera today is the following.

It is not bad to be obsessed or enamored with someone else's blog or photos. It is not bad to try to imitate their style (as long as you don't straight up copy the elements of the photo as well). You will eventually find your own style down the road but you have to keep trying and learn from your mistakes. It is impossible to start at the top of what you can achieve. You need to climb to reach that and I promise you the journey will be worth it. 

One last thing...I don't think the journey ever ends.
And that is wonderful.




I wanted to share tips on how I edit my photos also today, however I realized this blogpost has already been so big and I want the editing part of my photos to have its own post. So keep an eye for it in the near future!


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Photographs taken by Katerina Dima unless otherwise stated.  

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Cozy Living Room



Lately I have been enjoying the coziness of my home a little too much. I like changing things around, especially adding layers during winter, and creating cozy corners. I love sitting in a warm soft spot by our fireplace close to the couch while drinking tea and catching up to my favorite interior magazines. 
Today I decided I wanted a little bit of extra color around me so I brought out my favorite colored blankets. The plaid one is from Nordic Tales ( you can previous post for more photos here) and the mohair one in the basket is from Zara Home, although I am not sure it is available anymore in this color. Colorful details make me happy today. By the time I took the first photo I also added one of my favorite posters back up on the wall (see below) from Playtype, what do you think? 
This weekend I am going to be busy painting downstairs and designing the walk in closet. The plan is to get most of the things needed from IKEA so some planning is in order before our trip to Bergen next week. I am also planning a visit to Illums Bolighus, I can't resist getting some candles from Scandinavisk. Candles is something you have to smell yourself before you buy so I am eager to try the new fragrances!






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Photographs taken by Katerina Dima unless otherwise stated.  

Monday, February 16, 2015

Walk in Closet Update




 I have been trying to finish my walk in closet for a while now and while my clothes are literally lying on heaps on the floor on top of each other (or in suitcases) I still can't find time to paint the last parts of the room and shop for it. I get consumed in short term projects or just having fun (like learning how to ski) and my time just flies away. 
I am determined that I will have finished this by the beginning of March however. I can't wait to be able to organize all my clothes and my make up in one place. Right now in one of the corners I keep all my everyday basics while on the other side where the window is (photo below), the corner serves as temporary storage place for miscellaneous objects or whatever I happen to have on my hands at the moment. Not very much interior design worthy but I find the monochrome tone very soothing. I am going to be shopping in IKEA for this project and I think the result will be great! 




I think you can see that I have an ongoing obsession with Dior cosmetics lately. That is not to say that my whole make up kit is full of Dior but some key pieces I will almost never change. Dior Iconic mascara and Dior addict lip glow are on top of my list. Especially the Lip balm lipstick is probably the best I have every tried. In Norway it can get really cold and lips are always so sensitive to low temperatures. The Lip glow balm will stay in my lips for hours after application and it will protect my lips without feeling I am wearing anything more than a light non sticky balm. I cannot recommend  this product enough.





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© 2013-2014 ONLYDECOLOVE.COM
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Photographs taken by Katerina Dima unless otherwise stated.  

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentines Day



It would be a big omission from me not to post anything for Valentines day. I know a lot of people frown upon it but I find nothing wrong celebrating with our loved ones! The tulips above were purchased a couple of days ago but I love how the bloomed just today. We didn't arrange anything special for today, skiing in the morning and a nice brunch, followed by a nap and a tuna salad for dinner. A regular day after all but I really enjoyed how my social media was filled with love , flowers and chocolates (which were in abundance in our home today as well). I hope everyone had a day filled with joy and hugs from your loved ones!



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Photographs taken by Katerina Dima unless otherwise stated.  

Friday, February 13, 2015

February Favorites







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Photographs taken by Katerina Dima unless otherwise stated.  

Thursday, February 12, 2015

New in : Daniel Wellington Classic Southampton Lady



My lovely Daniel Wellington wristwatch arrived today in the mailbox and it made me wish for nothing else but spring to come swiftly. Given how much I love winter and snow this is a tremendous achievement. I have been wanting a DW watch for a long time and I am so happy I finally got to own one! I chose a Rose gold version with a pink white royal blue wrist named Classic Southampton Lady, I think it fits my personality the best. How do you like it?

If you want to also own one before spring I have a surprise for you! You can use the code "onlydecolove" when you buy one to receive a 15% off from your purchase until March 15 :) This is valid for all your purchases and there is no limit to how many people can use the code!

And something else only I could be excited for.I can't wait to have this watch on display in my walk in closet when I finish with its renovation. I don't always use watches everyday, I consider them more of an accessory rather than a necessity to read time, so having it on display will really be a nice detail in the walk in closet. 





Disclaimer : I received this watch from Daniel Wellington. There are no affiliated links in this blogpost and I do not receive any payment whatsoever from any of your purchases either by using the code or by clicking on the links of this post. 



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© 2013-2014 ONLYDECOLOVE.COM
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Photographs taken by Katerina Dima unless otherwise stated.  

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Living Room Favorites



I love how the living room looks today. While there are no big changes, subtle details make a lot of difference. For the winter I have chosen to drape the couch with plaids that give a little bit of depth and also can be be used to snuggle and get cozy. Sheepskins are really important as well when it comes to my winter styling. I like using them as rugs or placemats on the floor or else as footmats at the end of the couch. I love stretching my feet and a sheepskin under them feels great plus it protects the couch from dirt while looking great. I get my sheepskins in various places, mostly from stores locally but I do have two old ones from IKEA as well. IKEA has a decent quality of sheepskins (not the fake ones) that hold well and feel lovely to the touch. Personally I  prefer Icelandic sheepskins, they are very soft with longer than usual hair. They are also bulkier and larger sized while the skin under the hair is treated in a way that is extremely soft and will assume any shape. You will find sheepskins in almost every Scandinavian home but I do believe they make an excellent addition to any home anywhere in the world for winter. So what are you waiting for? February is perfect sales month to get new blankets and sheepskins for your home and there is plenty of winter still left to thoroughly enjoy them!








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Photographs taken by Katerina Dima unless otherwise stated.  

Monday, February 9, 2015

Free Chalkboard Antlers Wallpapers



A while ago I created the Reindeer Wallpapers for both iPhone and PC/Mac versions. I know you loved them and I loved them too so I decided to make  black chalkboard version of them! Go ahead and click on the photos to download them and use them as your background. I have been using mine for a few weeks now and I love it! 

The versions include black washi tape on black chalkboard and white washi tape on black chalkboard.






Click on the images to download the wallpapers!



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Photographs taken by Katerina Dima unless otherwise stated.  

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Kitchen Details




Our kitchen is in need of a desperate renovation. I have talked about this before but as the time goes by I am faced with the dilemma of what to do about it. My plans include bringing down two walls in order to halfway unite the living room with the kitchen and removing the storage room thus creating a bigger space. There are only upsides about this and if our budget wasn't limited I would have already gone through with it. My design allows for all the windows to freely shed light throughout the top floor. Also by removing the wall that divides the living room and the kitchen my idea is to create a breakfast area that will be accessible from both sides. Hopefully I will get to do this sooner than later. Right now I am focusing in creating small corners to fit all my kitchen things without over cluttering the limited space. Today the light was just lovely in the kitchen so I couldn't resist snapping some photos before I left the house. I woke up to really gloomy day but just a few hours ago snow started falling again, making everything white and serene. Perfect timing for my morning run!






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Photographs taken by Katerina Dima unless otherwise stated.  

Friday, February 6, 2015

Brunch after Ski trip



Yesterday was a beautiful day so we decided to go on a mini ski trip. 
Located less than half an hour drive from home, SeimsÃ¥sen is absolutely lovely this time of year. 
While skiing the snow fell softly and there was no wind whatsoever. For a beginner like me, these were perfect conditions. The landscape was absolutely captivating.
We spend two hours on the easiest route and I couldn't have had more fun even though skiing proves much more difficult than I had anticipated!  My only problem was that my gloves were not quite up for the challenge and even though I had brought two pairs, I soon found why people wear specifically designed ski gloves. I fell quite a few times and I have to say getting up is even harder than actually moving. Good thing snow was extremely fluffy and I always landed softly. 

After returning home we lit up the fireplace and prepared brunch. Baked sausages with eggs and cherry tomatoes never tasted better. Added bonus the snow falling out of the windows. I really want to keep on trying to learn how to ski properly so I thought it was a good idea to invest in ski gloves. I added a beanie as a pat on my back for completing the whole trail. Now I think I am ready to start over again, hopefully each time will get easier and maybe at the end of winter I might be able to ski properly ;)


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Photographs taken by Katerina Dima unless otherwise stated.  

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

My Home office got a Playful look



Sometimes you fall in love at first sight.
Rare but it happens. For me my instant interior love moment of the month was when I found about Tellkiddo shop on etsy. Owned by Maria Sabbah based in Stockholm Sweden, this little shop sells the most beautiful illustrated paper storage bags I have ever seen. While it is oriented towards children, I have no problems using these bags in plain sight at my home office that is situated in my living room. They look playful and give a happy tone to my space that I love. Not to mention they are big enough to hold all the clutter and mess that is usually surrounding my office. Double win. I bought two bags, the sleepy and awake bear although only the sleepy bear is shown in this post. You can catch a glimpse of the awake one on top of my desk still folded. As an added bonus the shop also sells their illustrations as posters or postcards. I immediately hung them above my desk next to my Polaroid wall. 




When you know it's right :

When I ordered the bags little did I know they would come in this lovely packaging. I have said so many times over how much I appreciate when companies put effort in their packaging. It shows how much they care for their product and therefore for their customers. This was an added welcomed surprise when I received my Tellkiddo box. I loved how it was wrapped, so stylish and tasteful.






Paper bags are great when you need an affordable storage solution for any space. While they will last for a long time during to their durable material, there is always the option of buying a linen bag instead! Tellkiddo just launched their bear fabric bags  and I think they will look great in my laundry room, don't you agree?



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Photographs taken by Katerina Dima unless otherwise stated. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Headphone Search



A little corner of my home office. I am a big fan of the Steelseries Siberia Elite headphones. Steelseries was kind to send me the ones featured above a year ago and I have come to love them even more than my previous Siberia V2 I was using up until then ( you can see numerous photos of them here or you can see both of them side by side here ). However much I love them though they are quite big and not necessarily the easiest to carry around with you. I have grown tired of using in ear headphones as they eventually hurt my ears so I am looking for a nice pair of stylish on or over the ear headphones that are reasonably sized, impeccably stylish yet deliver a punch when it comes to sound quality. I have a few options I am looking at so when I do decide I will definitely let you know. 

If you have any suggestions please let me know below in the comment section or for easier access ,I know how much you love commenting, on my Instagram!






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Photographs taken by Katerina Dima unless otherwise stated.