Do we style our house for comfort or trends?

June 16, 2019

Just recently a friend of mine from US , Willow from Willow Style co , asked me my opinion on a cover for her sofa. “Should I choose a loose linen or a fitted cover?” Arguably at the end I cannot know which one is the best for her, however I do know that if it was me I would choose the loose fitting version. Both will look great but as you know lately loose linen covers are not trending,which is why she asked for my opinion to begin with. Contemporary is my bread and butter, and some of the designs for new sofas and chairs look fantastic, however at the end , there is a certain amount of “new” items you can buy for your own house, we are not all infinitely rich after all. How to style your home? Do you style for current trends or for personal style and comfort that derives from that? Which is the correct answer? There is no correct answer really. As I told Willow, our houses are not here to house all the latest trends. And our blogs and social media spaces are not for that either. If I want to see all the latest trends, I will go to fairs, check various websites where one specializes in this, the other in that etc. In my house you will always see a selection of my favorite things, old and new, classics, contemporary, trending or just plain old loves everyone has long forgotten of. It is my personal style that brings them together and I hope it is for the same reason you are reading this post or you check my media. 

Todays post is a reflection of what I am talking about above. This super beautiful apartment is definitely not following any trends, maybe still riding the beige one but probably not even on purpose. With a classic kitchen (with modern details though), with a loose fitted sofa in the living room, everything is picked out to the owners personal style (the couple behind concept store Ingredients LDN )

Would you have this kitchen? I would in a heartbeat. Probably not an answer a lot would expect to hear from me, but I have always loved a more classic style. The kitchen is a Sebastian Cox Kitchen by  deVOL Kitchens , if you are not aware of them you really should take a look at their fantastic range of designs.  Will this be how my next kitchen will look like? I honestly have no idea. I always take my cues for design from my environment, my thoughts and where in my life I am at the moment, not to mention influences, budget etc. All I am saying is, as I am always doing, you should also follow your own style. It is what sets you apart and what makes your space , you.

// Photos via deVOL Kitchens , Photography by Ingredients LDN  


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Styling and Photography by Katerina Dima unless otherwise stated.


Its all in the details : Does it spark joy ?

January 27, 2019

There’s a huge difference between a purposefully left empty, to an accidentally bare space. And even though usually my advice is “If you are in doubt of what add to a space, better leave it empty even temporarily”, unless you have arranged for a corner to be vacant, then it will always just look like it misses something. Following my own advice I had left the top of some cabinets completely unattended after we put the TV up on the wall, so today I added a few details to warm up the corner. All the things spark joy as the Japanese minimalist tidying guru Marie Kondo will advise, and indeed, every single thing is something with a little bit of a story behind. Surely it should be like so, even if the idea might sound funny at first, but why would you keep something that you dont like? This has further implications that we should be all thinking at this point, consumerism is at an all time high with devastating ramifications on our planet. At this point we should all be thinking about how to improve efficiency by reducing waste, a notion that has been thought extensively about since the 1900 in Japan. As early as in early 20th century, the “scientific management” methods of Frederick Winslow Taylor took Japan by storm, and it was after World War II and the need for modernization and house management that the “Japanese art of de-cluttering,” as Kondo calls it grew roots. You need only to watch a few episodes of the Netflix hit to get itchy about decluttering as well, but try to apply this as a lifestyle choice, not just as a hit trend. Kondo with all her good intentions does not either deal with the roots of the problem (why did these homes became so cluttered to begin with,) neither do we see any snippets of advice or solution about waste management (where will all the discarded accumulated things will go?). It appears we thank them for their service and then we let them go, but it’s also crucial to solve where does it all go, because at the end it will solve why did it clutter our space to begin with. What I have chosen to do from now and in the future, is to really think about everything that I am buying in regards to waste. It is not just if it makes you happy, after all when we buy something probably it makes us happy even if temporarily,  but how long am I going to use this item? Where will it go when I eventually throw it away? Does it serve a specific purpose or its an impulse purchase? Does it then have good resell value? I am not saying do not ever buy anything again lest the world ends ( in fact there are a lot of news coming out this spring that I am looking forward to) , but thinking  carefully about what we bring in our house and asking a certain number of questions cannot be underestimated in value. 

// Photography and Editing by Katerina Dima


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Styling and Photography by Katerina Dima unless otherwise stated.

Friday Thoughts : Ads, sponsored posts, gifted items , when is disclosing too much disclosure?

January 25, 2019

It’s been a few days now that the new set of Advertising/marketing rules and regulations in UK have been in place and already there is much discussion about it. Having to clearly mark what posts are ads or what posts contain sponsored or gifted items has always been very important in Scandinavia, so it is nothing new to us, however the extend of the UK rules surprised even myself. I say this with maybe a little bit of naivety from my part, but I have always felt I am very transparent with advertising and/or sponsored posts. Not just because the law requires me to do so, but because I feel it is this very transparency that allows you and me to have a good relationship based on trust. But how much can, a blogger for example, share that is not too much sharing? From what I have been reading these days it feels like there is great diversity of opinion on this, so much so that I have been amazed to find out that in fact what I thought was enough disclosing, it might have been less than desirable for some.

1 :: According to UK new set of rules  when you are paid for a post you need to clearly specify this is an ad, so far so good. I think this is very important part of advertising, if you want to have a good relationship with your readers. And further, I read a lot of blogs, I follow a lot of people, I can see when something is an ad and I appreciate when they are up front about it. When they aren’t, it leaves me with a bitter taste, do they think I dont know this is an ad? Will that make me want to buy what is advertised less or more? I tend to say less in this occasion when clearly its an ad. But what if an item is gifted and there was no payment involved. Is this still technically an ad? And how should this be labeled as?

2 :: To answer to the question above, in addition to the latter, you now need to specify that a post is sponsored and still label it as Ad and specify which items are gifted or loaned, if any are included in the photo, regardless of if the post has nothing to do with them. I am not so sure about this, if I am not talking about an item that is on the background, what does it matter if it was at some point gifted? What if there are multiple items in the same photo, even though I am not highlighting them? If I did speak of a gifted item I would say it is gifted of course, I also specify when something is loaned ,even from a friend if I am even mentioning it. But if I am talking about the new lamp I bought from a brand, or my best friend gifted me something for my birthday, what does it matter if the rug under the sofa was at some point gifted from another brand 3 years ago? What if there are more items in the photo like this? How long will that disclaimer be and to which purpose does it really serve ? Which brings us to the last point ⇒

3:: Now it is required (only in the UK so far), that even if you have bought an item from a brand, to declare any previous relationship with said brand and also label this as an Ad. This is really blowing my mind away. If the only thing I am showing on the post is a pencil I bought from “insert brand name”, what does it matter if said company at some point gifted me with a pencil sharpener any amount of time ago? The item that is in the photo was bought by me, clearly because I wanted to buy it (and isn’t it so surely, that I always buy something or endorse something that fits my style anyways), whether I have worked with the brand before in any way, surely it shouldn’t matter? Transparency is essential above all, but there is a clear divide between opinion and advertisement here, if I label this kind of post as an ad, it denotes some kind of formal agreement with the brand of which there has been none. In this case there was no transparency at all, in fact for me it gives out an intention from my part that is completely false.

On the first point I have seen no conflicts, but on the second and third point I have been shocked to read that in fact, a staggering amount of people, not in the industry, do want to know every single detail. Is it because it gives a more realistic view and insight into the reality of my life for example? There is nothing more I would hate than knowing I am projecting an unrealistic and unattainable lifestyle, so much so that it makes whoever reads my blog feel bad about their own lives. I have always worked with the assumption that you know that some things are gifted, some things I have bought on discount, some are loaned then returned. And I can only hope that you know that regardless of if I am paid or not to showcase something, it is something that I like and believe in. I am here to inspire you, which is why I do not like the word “influencer” nor do I wish to be put into that category. I do not want to influence anyone into mindless consumerism. I am only here to say what is on my mind occasionally, and share my sense of style, and I hope you are here for that.

While maybe everyone is aware I dont only own items I have exclusively bought, I am aware that the overall picture might project a sense of lifestyle, that cannot be achieved if you have a set amount of money coming in every month, without really sacrificing something else on its altar. If you want to copy my living room in Oslo I can definitely tell you that will set you back a few salaries probably if you go ahead and order everything today. But hold on. The couch was there when I moved in from the previous owner, I would not take it with me when I moved out. The white shelf system I found on a great discount at a store,  I happened to work for them privately so the amount I was paid I used immediately to buy the shelf system (basically what you call an impulse purchase, even though I needed a shelf system). The beautiful and very expensive plinth table, I saved up for almost a year for it, and while I did get a special price, since it came from Denmark I had to pay import taxes that almost made it so there was really no discount. My benefit was that it was delivered in just a few days while the waiting period is usually a few months, that was really the perc for me. The TV is mine, bought a few years ago, the black marble table was a loan for only several weeks that is long gone now and I did state several times that this was the case when I had it, the plant I bought super cheap from a market that since shut down and I bought the pot for it at discount at my florist because he gives me a percentage off just because I shop there a lot (doesn’t that sort of happen to everyone?).  As you can see, my living room furnishings are I would say mostly circumstantial (though always per my style), and definitely not something that just popped up in one day out of the blue.And talking about gifted items, on the photo above the lamp was gifted. But I originally bought it myself! It was after it was broken and I posted about it that the brand send me a replacement as a gift. How can I categorize this ? I find it is more of a funny story rather something that matters enough to be disclosed, after all I did buy the original one. But do you need all this excruciating detail in order to know that I also live a real life ? Dont you live a real life? Do you get no percs from your work? Granded, I dont get to see your percs and you get to see mine, and what we dont see doesn’t affect us as much as what is paraded in front of our faces. Didnt you, like me, furnish your living room  little by little? Maybe you didn’t know thats was my process as well if you just recently started following, but for those that followed me when I moved I m sure they were more than aware correct?

So is it that we must make allowances for new readers possibly? These new rules were set to address problems. Which problems though? If people feel bad that they cant afford their favorite blogger lifestyle, that is definitely a problem. Will it make them feel better if they know exactly what was gifted, or bought, or if there has been a previous relationship to the brand? Personally I want to see when something is an ad, but too many details do the opposite for me, in a sense they break the fourth wall or so to speak which takes away from my fantasy and makes me feel awkward. There is the difference for me, when I follow a fashion blogger for example that I like, I kind of like the fantasy they create, and I am well aware they aren’t always wearing things they bought themselves. If I feel they are not genuine and I can’t trust them  I stop following them, I dont allow myself to feel bad for things I can’t afford (and there are sooo many bags and shoes and clothes I would love to have believe me). But maybe I am old enough to realise this, the fantasy I just talked about. Maybe younger more impressionable generations aren’t always able to take things with a grain of salt and maybe these are the ones that the new rules are relevant for.

Even so, I have to ask at this point, why aren’t other media affected by these guidelines? Newspapers, TV channels etc, athletes dressed head to toe from their sponsors, ads are running wild and they are almost never disclosed. I feel that at this point we should all strive to be more transparent, but I also feel that instead of implementing more complicated rules we should first look to put in line those that are not following existing guidelines first.

As for you my beloved readers, I hold you at high enough esteem to know that you are aware that I am as human as you are, that I am honorable when it comes to what I choose to endorse, and that if you are ever in doubt, you would be kind enough to tell me. After all, the reason this blog exists is to communicate with each other, so please, do share your opinion, do tell me if you think I m wrong, if I am making you feel bad in any way, I want to know. So I can fix it.

Always with respect,




// Photography and Editing by Katerina Dima


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Styling and Photography by Katerina Dima unless otherwise stated.

I moved my blog to WordPress , first impressions

July 15, 2018

Onlydecolove cacaoIt has been a very busy summer for me already, one of the most noticeable for me and for you was the change of course of the theme of the blog, but as I mentioned earlier I actually moved my blog to WordPress from Blogger! I am already quite happy with the change, WordPress is offering many more tools that Blogger does ( regarding SEO , insights, easy integration of plugins ), really in all honesty my experience so far is that it is superior in every way. Of course it takes a little bit of getting used to so please excuse my posting schedule, but it is going to get better and better as weeks go by and I get used to the new platform.

Onto the technical stuff, I used a service to move my blog from blogger , the same that provided with the theme called Pip Dig and the theme I used is Opulence. I have nothing but good words for Pip Dig and the service, the only thing I had to do was provide with some information and after a few days my blog was completely moved without any hiccups, while there was no downtime time. I am not self hosting my blog so I can create a custom theme for the blog, and this is exactly what you can expect in the next few months. I will share more details as  I am ready to launch , but for now I think the theme from Pip Dig looks quite nice!

Impressions and why I decided to move my blog to WordPress

1. I own my blog now

Blogger is owned by Google, and while it has been reliable ( and most importantly free ) , the blog technically does not belong to you, it belongs to Google. And whenever Google seems fit, they can take it down without even a notice. I did not want to loose access to my blog, but most importantly I needed the tools that WordPress provides for self hosted blogs, so the change was necessary. I now use WordPress as my hosting provider but the domain and the site are mine.

2. I can create my own blog and custom theme

As I explained above, I am on the process of launching my own custom website/blog, and this could only be done in WordPress, since WordPress is an open source software you can easily extend it to add new features.

Even if you are not interested in a completely custom theme , WordPress still wins in comparison since it provides with thousands of well tuned themes for any kind of website. My personal issue? There were almost zero plugins for Blogger, and even worse, the ones that existed were so outdated and not including social media etc, something so basic these days!

The only downside I have seen really is that of security, since Blogger is backed up by Google I never had to think about it, but now I will have to make backups of my blog on my own. I am using a plugin to backup my blog automatically on my Dropbox every week, it is easy to set up and honestly it is not even a problem for me. Here are some options if you are interested however!

All in all, I couldn’t be happier for the move, even though I miss seeing the overall views old number on Blogger ( hint, it was millions since I’ve started it and I couldn’t be prouder!)

If you have any questions let me know in the comments below, I ll be more than happy to answer anything that might help you make the move!


// Photography and Styling by Katerina Dima



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