interior style

“Hot” from The Furniture Show “Salone del Mobile 2016”, Milan

I have just returned from a spectacular furniture show “Salone del mobile Milano”, held in Milan, for the 55th time in a row. It is one of the largest events in interior design sphere, where many furniture manufacturers introduce and predict hot trends every year; and every other year, also manufacturers of kitchen and domestic appliances at the same place with the event “Euro Cucina”.

There is so much happening, not only at the “Fiera Milano”, but also in the heart of Milan. Streets, squares and museums are lively in accordance with the big event. The city is filled with visitors from all over the world! The atmosphere is mixed with the inspiration and expectations!

Among the most spectacular exhibitors at the fair are found big names, such as Fendi, Trussardi, Versace, Knoll, Minotti, Natuzzi, and many others. Designers, interior designers, architects, journalists, bloggers, students and other visitors, all meet at one point, looking for innovations, which have been prepared by the companies in cooperation with the designers, who create and suggest new trends and concepts.

"Momenti" - when a wallpaper turns into an art

“Momenti” – when a wallpaper turns into an art


"Momenti" - when a wallpaper turns into an art

“Momenti” – when a wallpaper turns into an art

I extremely enjoyed the atmosphere at the show; experienced high scale designed exhibitions, gathered the innovations, inspiration for decorative ideas, and perceived what is hot on the market! After the visit I felt exhausted, but despite this, I feel fresh and full of inspiration!

Bedroom atmosphere by "La ebanisteria"

Bedroom atmosphere by “La ebanisteria”


Playful animal print by "La ebaniesteria"

Playful animal print by “La ebaniesteria”


Impression from the show by exhibitor "Cattelan Italia"

Impression from the show by exhibitor “Cattelan Italia”


Little sitting area by exhibitor "Cattelan Italia"

Little sitting area by exhibitor “Cattelan Italia”


Nostalgic loveseat by "Meritalia"

Nostalgic loveseat by “Meritalia”


Living room coziness brought into bathroom by "Duravit"

Living room coziness brought into bathroom by “Duravit”

Are you interested in what’s “hot” this year? Which colors, materials, patterns are going to follow interior designers? Follow me; I’m going to reveal what trends have caught my eye in the world of interior design; room by room, from a living room, to a kitchen, and a bathroom.



Before and After: Home Office with an Art Gallery and Hobby Corners

The client, who rents a home in a charming building from 1930’s (in Arnhem, The Netherlands), asked me to recreate her home office with mostly the same and some new furniture (limited budget), to give it more modern twist. The room would serve several purposes; as an office, as a place for herself, where she could enjoy her hobbies in spare time, and also as a place where she could meet up with her clients and friends. She likes to collect artwork, make jewelry, read and play a piano.


When I examined the room for the first time, I could see lots of potential! The most charming features of this room are classic French doors, which open to living room, there is an original 1930’s open fireplace, and the room has a high ceiling and large windows that fill the room with plenty of natural light.

 2015 - Manuela's galery-hobby room1

After detailed conversation with the client, I quickly envisioned furniture centered by the fireplace to create a cozy feel and a better flow. I took detailed measurements of the room and the furniture for space planning. With reconfiguring the furniture arrangement that would accommodate each and every activity going on in this room, allows the space to be better utilized, with a new fresh flow, and serve the client’s needs.


During the years my client collected some new furniture and some antique items, different textiles, amazing artwork, all in different colors and styles! Mixing the styles, textures and shades together, bringing them closer to a more balanced eclectic color palette, I blended in grey window blinds, a grey floor lamp, new decorative pillows and accessories, finished with grey satin (re-upholstered the antique chair and custom made number of items like decorative pillows, curtain ties and jewelry display).




As mentioned before, the client’s wish, among others, was to have also a home art gallery in this room. Therefore, as a final touch to the whole atmosphere, carefully chosen collection of stunning paintings from a local artist, were hanged against pure white walls.


Having an inspiring work office is essential in order to keep working time pleasant and efficient. Would you like to work in a home office like this?

Would love to hear back from you :)


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Cupcake Shop Interior Design Story

Today I am writing about my recently finished retail interior design project for a cupcake shop.

The “Cupcakes4Ever” shop is located in the heart of the city of Arnhem in the Netherlands. Designing the interiors was an exciting task. Goal of whole interior design of the shop was to promote and reflect new brand or concept on the market, and deliver message about the irresistible “home made style” cupcakes to the potential consumer. In addition, the design reflects a cheerful personality of the owner, Charlotte Jensen Pauly, who is the founder of the “Cupcakes4Ever”. This is her first shop and also the first cupcake shop in Arnhem.

The project had to stay within the low to moderate budget. It started with ripping out the old interiors. Space was then divided into two areas, shop in the front and a kitchen in the back.

Cupcakes4ever shop - new floorplan

Cupcakes4ever shop – new floorplan

Image: Shop before

Image: Shop before


The choice of color palette has been created in harmony with existing logos, which include a happy, playful frog character with cupcakes, a boldly printed shop name in bright yellow and red, along with slogan: “love at first bite”.

The main focus of the space is the cupcake display, custom made from white glossy material, glass and stainless steel. Each delectable cupcake is displayed at eye level, as a piece of art, engaging with the consumers, and emphasizing that effect in the mirror on the wall.


The colorful and bright acrylic lamps above the counter radiate playful light and link the dazzling cupcake display with flow of stripes on the walls.

In order to keep place connected with the charm of old town brick buildings, accenting the sentiment of “home style” baking, contrasting with clean lines and glossy finishes, the existing characteristic brick walls got only a fresh layer of creamy white paint.

The wall that has been constructed in order to divide the kitchen from the shop has the passage and a framed window, which both let customers to have a pick into the kitchen to see where yummy, freshly baked cupcakes are being made. That way the kitchen atmosphere is brought into the shop.

Besides the cupcakes, shop is offering also coffee and tea “to go”. To accommodate that, there has been designed a self-service “coffee & tea station” with a curved serving table.

For those who like to read a magazine, watch people passing by, or rest their tired feet from walking the paved streets for too long, there has been designed a sitting area along the window with cute glossy “cup-like” sits.

Already first days after official opening of “Cupcakes4Ever”, the shop with its lively atmosphere attracted many visitors and customers to stop by. Charlotte and I were happy to see such positive response and comments of first customers. Atmosphere of shop in combination with yummy cupcakes made the ambient perfect. I am sure this trend of visits will continue and that shop will be a great success “4ever” :-)


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Decorating for Xmas 2014

Each year at this time, since I have been living in The Netherlands, I visit my favorite Christmas decoration shop, called the Intratuin. They are known for the most inspiring Christmas Show in the country. However, I went there to get some inspirations and decorating ideas for the coming holiday season, and to see what’s new this year.

What I saw was almost overwhelming! Let me share some bits of that with you :-)!

1. Naturals & Wooden Trees!

Simple charming wooden trees, can be frosted, and decorated with other naturals, such as cones, leaves, berries, copper, and much more!

2. Red & Green!

Classic, but for some there is no Christmas without those colors :-). Bulbs, flowers, matched with black for very formal atmosphere.

3. Gold

Irresistible sparkling golden bulbs, matched with lace and satin would sure create that lavish magical feel during the holidays.

4. Copper, copper, copper!

I love copper! That was the most inspiring and the hottest trend I have noticed in 2014, comparing the event with last year. I would say, copper is a new gold. Paired with naturals, antic pink, peach, bronze and dark green, would jazz up any Christmas tree.

I really hope this post would help you finding your favorite decorations, which would invite the magic spirit of the holiday season into your home.

Happy decorating :-)





Classy Copper is Back in Trend

One of the latest trends that really inspire me lately, is seeing copper in interior design and architecture. I remember orange-redish glossy copper pots and dishes from my grand mother’s kitchen. They have such a nostalgic impact on me!

Walking through old parts of cities, my eyes would stop at the green oxidized copper roofing of churches and impressive older buildings. Copper had been around for centuries, and now is back in trend!

That means that silver, nickel, and stainless steel, which have been seen as metalic decorating materials in modern interior design for years, got a respectful company. Copper is used in interiors and exteriors. Indoors is mostly seen as wall covering, light fixtures, bathroom fixtures, cookware, and even furniture! Outdoors you can find it on roofs, gutters, front doors, pergolas, and more.

Usually metals give luxury, but slightly cold feeling. Copper is one of rare metals that warm up the space. Because it has been around for centuries, it has a nostalgic impact on people. Depending on what style are the products, and how they are incorporated into style of spaces, that can change the feel from homey, rustic, modern to classy, with a strong taste of luxuriousness.

Bellow you can see some examples of copper in interiors and exteriors:

Copper in the kitchen for nostalgic, rustic and homey feel, but also modern if looking at the modern kitchen appliance on the picture.

Copper lighting for modern, subtle or rustic atmosphere.

Furniture made of copper – from modern to traditional.

Copper makes every bathroom luxurious!

Exterior copper finishes nowdays!

How do you feel about letting copper into your home or other spaces?

Decorate with Souvenirs – Global Style

In my previous post, I promised that I will be writing about the native Sri Lankan masks and wooden crafts, since I have just returned from there. The thought of that actually made me think of broadening the topic on decorating with souvenirs – creating a global style.

Global style is exotic and very personal. It shows cultures and traditions around the world and mixes them into a complete story. Color schemes are neutral, earthy or can be vivid and colorful.

If you like to travel like myself, then you most probably like to stop at local markets, galleries, boutique shops, and workshops etc., from where you end up leaving with a mask, a painting, textile products, pottery, and maybe even with a piece of furniture! Weather it is a mask from Sri Lanka, a wool rug from Peru, or a painting from Italian street artist, each personally chosen piece, large or small, inspires and reminds us of the beautiful places, different cultures and special moments that we spent there. Every memento carries a story!

Anyway, whatever treasure you bring home from your trip, if incorporated into your home with a proportion, can greatly add on to your home décor and home atmosphere. Weather it is a collection or many different pieces that you collected over many different trips, you would want to avoid creating a “museum” or a “souvenir shop” in your home.

Here are my tips what to consider when intentionally blending your travel mementos in your home decor:

Stick to your color scheme already when shopping: If you are shopping for your existing color scheme, work with the hues you already have, unless you are creating a new color scheme. If that is what you want, you should keep the new hues in mind when choosing your souvenir.

Artists at work!

A mask and a painting, both from Sri Lanka, incorporated to my color scheme at home.

Textures and patterns: For example, if your space is already decorated with mostly shiny objects, then you would look more at the dull objects. Well balanced textures create pleasant home atmospheres.

Wonderfuly combined textures with a selection of African souvenirs. Source: Pinterest

Match it with your room style: When traveling, being present in a new place, and enthusiastic exploring a new culture, all the fresh around you can easily take you over, without a great effort you forget about your style at home! Anyway, when decorating you should let your heart guide you, but keep your decorating intentions in mind. Talking about styles, eclectic style would give you the most freedom when placing your souvenirs, although you would also need to carefully mix varieties of colors and designs together to achieve an impressive look. If your style is contemporary, modern or minimalistic then you would follow the rule “less is more”. Stick to your color story, and try to choose only one or two favorite pieces, or group a collection of similar objects or picture frames together. Place your selection in designated spot for a sophisticated and bold effect.

Global style in this tastefully decorated modern minimalistic space. Source: Pinterest

Find the right spot for your souvenir: Regarding to the size, shape, texture, color, and purpose of your precious piece, you thoughtfully find best place to fit it in your space. In order to avoid over stuffiness, you should not regret to store some of your souvenirs for some time, if you realize that they just don’t work with your color scheme and interiors.

Souvenirs from Marocco in this cheerful eclectic room. Source: Pinterest

However, global style is not only for travelers! If you don’t get a chance to go on a journey, but still get attracted with crafts from all over, you can visit your local home decorating store with an exotic section. Hopefully you can find the product, which would get a special place in your home, and take YOU :) around the world!

Inspired by Sri Lankan Interior Design

I have just returned from a wonderful family vacation in Sri Lanka, and feeling more than inspired by the Sri Lankan interior design. Visiting Asia for a second time after more than ten years, I really looked forward to the trip!

I have learned that Sri Lanka means ‘Sunny Island’, and from my experience it truly is!

Being in love with the interior design, I always see, find and look for some inspiration when traveling and exploring around.

In my excitement, I always keep my camera ready to capture things that draw my attention. During our trip we stayed at several resorts and private villas. I saw some interesting and beautiful designs, local products and crafts, so I would like to share these things with you in this post.

The first thing that really caught my eye was polished concrete/cement finish, which was popular in the nineties and came back in the past few years and can be found mostly in industrial and modern interior design. I have seen it across Sri Lanka, and I dare to say that is seems to be the most popular interior design trend at the moment. Many newly built or renovated resorts and homes have finished floors, walls, kitchen or bathroom counters, shelving, etc. with polished cement.

Concrete cement as a finish in interiors seems rough, unfinished. It actually feels smooth on touch and could have more or less glossy shine due to the polishing effect. With its natural grey colour, it radiates the warmth of natural material and contrasts well with white. As with every other finish, this one also adds its own texture to a space. When used in combination with fine, smooth contemporary furniture rooms and other spaces, or with natural materials, such as different woods, metals, etc., it sure creates a well balanced, modern and stylish space.

Next time, I will write about the native Sri Lankan masks and wooden crafts.

Kitchen with open concrete shelving in the beach villa

Kitchen with open concrete shelving in the beach villa

Concrete cubbies in bedroom used as storage space

Concrete cubbies in bedroom used as storage space

This is polished concrete bathroom in a beach villa

This is polished concrete bathroom in a beach villa

Concrete shelving blended with wood

Concrete shelving blended with wood


Lovely concrete outdoor sitting area…

Polished cement bathroom counter

Polished cement bathroom counter

Polished cement shelving in a hotel room

Polished cement shelving in a hotel room

Decorative concrete pool with fresh jasmine and other tropical flowers in the hotel lobby

Decorative concrete pool with fresh jasmine and other tropical flowers in the hotel lobby

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