• DESIGN TIPS!
  • August 25, 2014



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    Our house in Sweden has a little guest cottage on the land that the farm workers lived in back in the 1800′s.  It was a charming little cottage right on the lake, but by the time we bought the house the guest cottage had become a sauna with a depressing bedroom with no windows.

    My plan was to turn it in to a complete little guest retreat with mini kitchen, sleep hall upstairs, with plenty of space for friends and their families.

    So this summer it got a “budget” makeover….  Besides a couple of items from my line,  every single thing was bought second hand or vintage.

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    (The Swedish Flag)

    All images by Mehreen Qudosi.

    This is what the cottage bedroom looked like when we bought it.

    1Swedish guest bedroom-before

    The first this we did a few years ago was to rip out plastic flooring, paint everything white and install old windows.

    I kept it pretty old classic for a couple of years, but this summer I added some more color.

    This is what it looks like now.

    JillSorensen-Sweden lakehouse

    Monogram carpet-LavenderKobalt Bang Bang duvet

    Happy & Bright.

    Here are some simple ideas I used for the cottage make over.

    1. GET A VINTAGE DRESSER AND PAINT IT A BOLD COLOR.

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    2. HANG CURTAINS THAT WON’T HIDE THE VIEW.

    I got see through West Elm drapes with sea shells for the entire cottage.  They are from a few years back and were never used.

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    When I say I don’t want anything to spoil the view I mean it.

    Here is my snapshot of the view!

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    3. PAINT FLOOR, CEILING AND WALLS WHITE

    Again to let the view be the star and create an environment of peace I stayed away from a energizing color as a back drop. A white back drop is the eternal white canvas for when the decorating bug strikes again.

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    4. ADD COLORFUL THROW PILLOWS.

    The quickest and easiest way to redo a room is always throw pillows!

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    Turquoise Embroidered Monogram Pillow, Zebra pillow, Lavender Velvet Regency Pillow

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    I highly recommend small busy body helpers…haha

    My funny niece Zoe had her own ideas how the pillows should go.

    5. ADD BEDDING THAT PACKS A PUNCH!

    I didn’t want the cottage to feel too country so I added our Bang Bang bedding that’s bold and fun. Just like Zoe. I also want good quality and durability. Second hand is great for a ton of things, however I like my bedding spanking new!

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    Cobalt Bang Bang Bedding

    6. DECORATE WITH LOCAL VINTAGE FURNITURE & ACCESSORIES

    Exploring local vintage stores is one of my favorite things to do. Another mans trash can be your treasure!

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    7. CUT UP VINTAGE FABRICS AND USE AS BED SKIRTS AND CHAIR COVERS

    I found a fabric I loved in a second hand store, cut it up and used it as bed skirts. I also used a vintage table cloth as chair seats that we stapled on.

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    The cottage THE KITCHEN AREA…which was a sauna ( I’m still trying to hunt down the horrid before picture!!)

    It looks like this now.

    JIllSorensen Lake cottage

    It has a latter you can climb up to sleeping hall.  Always a hit with kids.

    My adorable nephew Viggo and  Zoe.

    Jill Sorensen

    8. BUY TEXTURED VINTAGE DRAPERIES IN A STRONG COLOR

    Most second hand stores have tons of discarded curtains that you can buy for a couple of dollars. Have a look – you can find amazing quality. So if the size and color works, why not?

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    9.  ADD COLORFUL LIGHTING

    When the background is all white I like color on the light sources.

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    10. FILL UP THE KITCHEN WITH FLEA MARKET FINDS

    Stick to one or two colors so there is a unifying theme, and don’t buy anything that is chipped.

    Then they look like new!

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    11. INSTALL A $ 110 SMALL KITCHEN FROM IKEA

    My dad installed this for me last summer.  Yes folks $ 110 dollars!

    Lakecottage JillSorensen

    12. STICK TO A COLOR SCHEME OF JUST A FEW COLORS

    I LOVE color and think you can never have enough color.  However when the view outside is so insanely pretty, then too many crazy colors indoors will take  away from the view and peacefulness. A good idea is to stick to a few colors, and bring in some of the hues right outside the window.

    Jill Sorensen

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    Soft Sky Monogram Carpet

    Hope you have  fantastic week and enjoy the last few days of summer!!

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  • August 18, 2014



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    My dear friend Julie is sending her daughter Emily off to boarding school next week.  Knowing the stress and worry she is going through to prepare for it, I wanted to create some chic & inexpensive dorm room ideas that might make the planning for some parents out there easier.  (I of course could not resist but to mix our bedding…Make sure you’re signed up to our mailing list to get the 20% off BACK TO SCHOOL discount code this week.0

    A dorm room big on style, with a cheerful color scheme might make living at school the best year yet! Screen shot 2014-08-17 at 3.47.51 PM 1.CARPET // 2. LAMP // 3. BEDDING // 4. SHEETS // 5. TABLE WALLCOLOR Screen shot 2014-08-17 at 3.47.42 PM 1.CARPET // 2. LAMP // 3. BEDDING // 4. SHEETS // 5. TABLE WALLCOLOR Screen shot 2014-08-16 at 11.55.31 PM 1.CARPET // 2. LAMP // 3. BEDDING // 4. SHEETS // 5. TABLE WALLCOLOR Screen shot 2014-08-17 at 3.42.34 PM 1.CARPET // 2. BEDDING // 3. LAMP // 4. SHEETS // 5. TABLE WALLCOLOR – any existing white. Screen shot 2014-08-17 at 3.46.11 PM

    1.CARPET // 2. LAMP // 3. BEDDING // 4. SHEETS // 5. TABLE

    WALLCOLOR

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  • July 7, 2014



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    If you want an inviting, comfortable home, nothing perhaps is more important than picking the right color scheme. Finding the right paint colors for your home is a source of great frustration to many.  It’s the question I get asked the most, so I thought I would take you through the process I use when I pick a color scheme for an entire home or a color for a room.

    I’m revamping our Swedish house this month, and needed a new color for our TV room, so I will use my home as a guide. Here is a process I use to come up with a color scheme.

    Jill sorensen-foyer

    1. DECIDE THE VIBE AND FEELING YOU WANT FOR YOUR HOME

    The first thing to ask yourself is how do you want to feel in your space. Do you want a space that makes you happy? A space that calms you down? Colors have a strong effect on the way we feel and the selection of the right colors is more important than you think.  Brighter hues such a red, orange and yellow gives us energy while pale blues and greens have a calming effect. Some lifts us up and some brings us down.

    When we bought our house in Sweden I wanted a place I could come to and relax. It needed to be PEACEFUL and stress free. It could also not feel too “serious” and needed a touch of a playfulness yet still feel really “Swedish”.  Knowing all this I knew the colors had to be pale and soothing, and to use fun stronger colors only as accents.

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    This is the view from most of the house.

    2. LET WHAT’S RIGHT OUTSIDE YOUR WINDOW BE A GUIDE

    Look outdoors, what do you see? Do you have a view? What are the colors you see? Is it an urban landscape, is it a lawn? Sunset or sunrise views?  Whatever you see outside, or don’t want to see outside, decides what color you might pick inside.

    For example, in our house, from almost every single room we have an incredible view. Therefore I didn’t want to use a busy wallpaper or a color that would take away or distract from the beauty right outside. I wanted nature to be a guide.

    JIll Sorensen swedish guest house

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    Selecting hues that already where outside added a cohesive and soothing effect. (All color chips are from Benjamin Moore.)

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    3. DETERMINE YOUR HOME’S NATURAL LIGHT

    What is the natural light like? In Sweden there is almost no daylight for many months of the year, therefore a white background is often painted to allow sunlight to reflect off the walls, and let the home feel brighter. Rarely do you see a Swedish home painted in dark colors for this reason.

    You can brighten a dark room in the house with a light color, or magnify what is already is there by painting it a dark engulfing color.

    Since there is an extreme lack of sunlight here most of the year, I picked white and yellow paint colors for several rooms to reflect light or  mimic sunlight.

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    4. LET THE LOCALE INSPIRE YOU

    Where is your house located? Downtown? Mountains? Horse country? If your home is downtown Manhattan versus out on a farm you might want a different feeling. Let the history of the town and area give you ideas.  Read old books, pick up some local vintage treasures, watch TV shows from the place.  There can be some amazing colors you find that could be used in a new fun way.

    Since we spend a limited amount of time here,  I wanted a very Swedish vibe and welcomed using some traditional Swedish colors.

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    Turn of the century department store chandelier.

    I picked up local vintage pieces that had colors of the area and let them inspire me.

    Jill Sorensen-Sweden

    Swedish “trasmatta” woven with tons of leftover colors are very common here.

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    I love Pippi Longstocking (she’s my hero) and the TV show from the 60-70′s is a great source of fun and unusual colors.

    5. MAKE THE TRANSITION OF COLORS RUN SMOOTH FROM ROOM TO ROOM

    When you stand in one room and look in to another the colors have to flow peacefully.  From every single angle of your home the colors have to harmonize as far as your eye can see. Here it was easy since it’s so white. But this can also be achieved very well with tons of strong colors as long as your overall color scheme “plays” together.

    JIll Sorensen Lifestyle-Lavender Monogram

    6. DON’T LET IT BE TOO EXPECTED – ADD AN ELEMENT OF SURPRISE

    Never let a room be boring, choose something in your overall scheme that adds an element of surprise. Too much of the same color in a room, can make it boring.

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    7. DETERMINE THE COLORS IN YOUR SCHEME THAT SHOULD BE USED FOR THE WALLS 

    When you have gathered a bunch of colors. Go back to the questions. What do you want your home to feel like?

    For me it was PEACEFUL and RELAXING with a touch of fun. So peaceful hues had to be the wall colors and the fun tones would become accents.

    Natural light needs?  Yellow and White.

    What did I see outside? Blue and Green.

    Sense of playfulness and local inspiration?  Accent colors: Turquoise, Orange, Blue, Lavender.

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    This became our full color scheme, for the main house and the guest house. The guest house since small is only in blue hues mixed with the whites.

    Vintage Josef Frank chair-Jill Sorensen

    I’m repainting our TV room this week. Although it’s already painted in a grayish yellow, somehow the space too cold. To find a new color I went back to my original scheme and decided what I wanted more of.  I needed a warm hue.

    And I decided I wanted more of Pippi Longstocking 70′s TV show vibe.

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    I selected these colors above to go with the already orange accents in the room.

    Pink color scheme-Jill SorensenLifestyle

    The wall color would be a pink/coral tone for warmth.

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    The carpet has orange accents and the cabinet if I ever finish it will have orange accents. ( This room is half way through makeover…) Will share more on that in a later post.

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    Picking colors is a really fun process.

    I hope I have not been rambling and that this gives you some kind of guide to pick a color scheme for your home.

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    P.S. If you feel you still need help. Stay tuned for my affordable color scheme service coming soon.

     

     

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  • February 17, 2014



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    Screen shot 2014-02-17 at 10.24.50 PM

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    Monogram carpet in lavender

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    beigeregency

    Beige Regency Pillow

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    Lavender Ice Regency Pillow

    Sea Green Monogram

    Sea Green Monogram pillow

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    Amethyst Regency Pilllow

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    Marmalade Interiors

    Beige Lucky Bedding

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    Beige Lucky Standard sham

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