Need some motivation? Read those books!

I recently went, and still am, going through a little bit of a self-doubting and questioning time. I am in my thirties, I am married, I am not ready for a baby yet, what should I eat tonight, why am I so afraid of flying, and what’s the meaning of life???

That escalated quickly! But that’s my thought process most evening before to go to bed at the moment… I have been feeling a lot like I am living the life I am given instead of owning it, and being a very anxious person the feeling of being out of control is very difficult for me to manage. Anyway, enough of the self-introspection and on to what I have been doing to help and move forward.

Well, I have been reading a lot! I find dedicated time to think and learn very restful and almost a little bit like meditation.

And because sharing is caring, I listed below the books I have found the most useful! Some helped me being more productive with the blog, some helped me with confidence at work, and others helped with my general anxiety.

Inspirational and motivational books

So when you feel overwhelmed, keep calm and read a book!

Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg

This book needs no introduction. It is very famous for a good reason! Sheryl Sandberg shows you how she navigates work and life as a woman and a mother, so you can do it too. You will finish this book feeling empowered and ready to ‘sit at the table’.

Read it if:

  • You are looking for motivation in the workplace
  • You need to boost your self-confidence as a woman in the workplace
  • You feel a little left behind and not very valued at work or at home

Girlboss, by Sophia Amoruso

You may have heard about Sophia Amorous when shopping for some clothes or watching Netflix. But before being the controversial business woman she is today, she was a young and poor woman trying to make money selling clothes on eBay. This book shows you that all you need is a good idea and motivation!

Read it if:

  • You want to own your career
  • You need inspiration and motivation to create a business
  • You have limited resources but you want to achieve big things

Artist in the Office, by Summer Pierre

You are stuck in a very uncreative job or work environment? This interactive book will show you how to inject creativity in your everyday life, from making coffee to writing and drawing.

Read it if:

  • You want to inject creativity in your daily life
  • You are stuck in a very non-creative job and are looking to change that
  • You are an artist but cannot live off your art and had to take an office job

The Working Woman’s Handbook, by Phoebe Lovatt

A guide to help you plan and organise your career around the life you want, from budget, to execution, to taking vacations!

Read it if:

  • You need inspiration to change and/or better own your career
  • You like guidance and actionable tips
  • You struggle finding the right work-life balance

Don’t Get a Job…Make a Job, by Gem Barton

This book is useful if you are looking for your next job but find nothing you like on LinkedIn. Maybe your dream job doesn’t exist, maybe you have to create it?

Read it if:

  • You are a young graduate and are starting to look for your first job
  • You want to get away from the conventional 9 to 5
  • You find the task of looking for a new job daunting and you need motivation

Blog, Inc., by Joy Deangdeelert Cho

A little blogging bible! It guides you through the steps to follow to create and grow your blog. It also shares some successful bloggers’ stories which are very inspiring, and show you that everybody had to start somewhere.

Read it if:

  • You want to start a blog and need some guidance
  • You have been blogging for a while but you need a refresher
  • You are planning your blog strategy and could do with some inspiration

The Inside-Out Revolution, by Michael Neill

This book was a recommendation from my therapist as I suffer high anxiety and a phobia of flying. It hasn’t completely cured me but I had a few ‘light bulb moments’ while reading it. A good read to get a different perspective on your feelings and how to manage them.

Read it if:

  • You suffer anxiety
  • You want to better manage your fears and worries
  • You want to get more control over your feelings

Now breath in, breath out, read a bit, it’s all going to be okay!

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Corridor/Entrance hall – Reveal

I shared with you the other day my sources of inspiration for our entry hall and corridor and today it is time for the big reveal!

You would think that decorating a hall wouldn’t take that long, right? Coat hanger, shoe storage, boom, done! Well, I wish it would have been the case. We had made very good progress back in January after I completed our black wall. We had furniture, the room was painted, and then… We spent MONTHS looking for the right mirror. Yep, we have been delayed by a bloody mirror…

But not any mirror, a hexagonal mirror. I developed an obsession for a six-sided piece after watching Kate La Vie dreamy house tour. This West Elm mirror was EVERYTHING. I needed it in my life ASAP. And because I am a very lucky person West Elm decided to discontinue it in the UK just when I was about to place my order. Great. Guess what though? It then came back on their website at a significantly higher price… How could I justify paying north of £200 for it? Well, I couldn’t, so I went on a six-months hunt to find a cheaper yet as good looking alternative, and eventually did find one.

Enough talking about first world problems though, and welcome to the first room you will see when entering our house!

Entrance hall Corridor Interior Design

I really wanted a Nordic vibe for this room. It rains a lot in London and temperatures are never really high, so I want to feel like I am entering a warm cocoon when I go through the door.

Entrance hall Corridor Interior Design

When you first enter the space, you will find this beautiful Heal’s storage bench where all our shoes live. It is pricey but we wanted something organic yet modern which we could also sit on.

Heal's Brunel blanket box

Our house has close to no storage so we needed something big to fit all our footwear, and only something like a blanket box could do. I styled it with an Ikea sheepskin to give a Nordic cosy feel to the room. It is all about the hygge people!

Heal's Brunel blanket box Ikea sheepskin

Above the Heal’s storage bench, we have a La Redoute coat rack. The wood and metal give it a rustic look in keeping with the general Scandinavian vibe.

La Redoute coat rack

On the right of the corridor, you will find an Ikea blackboard, where all our mess, such as vouchers and Japan cheesy pictures, live. The magnetic pen pot is from Flying Tiger.

Ikea black board

Move forward into the space and here it is! The (not hexagonal but octagonal) MIRROR! Isn’t it beautiful? It lives on a black-brown Ikea chest of drawers with so much storage that even my pyjamas are in there!

Hexagonal mirror Maison du Monde and Ikea Chest of drawers

I found this mirror at Maison du Monde, it isn’t brass like the West Elm one, but it is a lot cheaper! Plus, I can always sand the wood frame and paint it brass if I fancy it. I have bad news though… Maison du Monde seems to have now discontinued it too! It is a geometrical curse!

Hexagonal mirror Maison du Monde

I kept the accessories on the chest of drawer to a minimum as I wanted to make sure we always have space to drop a bag or some groceries on it without knocking something over.

On the left, I have a small seagrass storage box from Ikea and a frame from Paperchase with one of our civil wedding pictures in it. There is also our beautiful house alarm keypad.

Ikea seagrass box Paperchase picture frame

In front of the mirror, I have a trinket dish from Joy (old collection).

Trinket dish Joy

On the right-hand side, I have an H&M Mahogany candle, on an H&M metal trivet (similar here). Next to these, I have another frame from Paperchase in copper to match our lamp shades.

Mahogany candle and metal trivet H&M copper picture frame Paperchase

Facing the mirror, I hung a print of Strasbourg’s cathedral (my hometown) merged with Big Ben (London is Andrew’s hometown) in a Habitat oak frame.

Entry hall wall art

We got the copper pendant light shades from B&Q. It was surprisingly difficult to find just the shades and not have to replace the whole light fitting, but these are perfect and really good value.

Round copper ceiling lamp shades

Finally, our corridor ends with our black wall which doesn’t need any more introductions.

Black wall inspiration

Here you go guys! I hope you like my Scandinavian-inspired entry hall!

Scandinavian inspired corridor and hallway

Our beautiful planet

Not one to make a political statement, but we do live on a beautiful planet which deserves to be protected. Let’s cherish it and make sure future generations can see its beauty too. It starts with us! 🙂

Inspiration – Outdoor

Our outdoor space is TINY (never trust real-estate agent pictures!).

I wouldn’t even call it a garden, it is more of a courtyard. As you can see below, it was very bare and red bricks ‘overdose’ when we moved in.

Outdoor Courtyard Before

It is also in the shade most of the day, so I didn’t want to aim for a garden and end up with a plant cemetery. I therefore tried to create a space reflecting our indoor space, some sort of outdoor dining-room.

But before the big reveal, as usual, find below the images I used as inspiration to create a modern courtyard!

Outdoor courtyard and garden inspiration
Outdoor courtyard and garden inspiration
Outdoor courtyard and garden inspiration

Room inspiration – Kitchen gallery wall

I have to come clear… I have an addiction… I cannot stop buying wall art…

Prints, paintings, posters, etc. It’s becoming an issue and some of my friends make fun of me saying that I could open a gallery if I wanted.

I just cannot help it, I love curating bits and bobs for walls I don’t have. A very expensive hobby? Only if you make it expensive! I personally prefer to shop in little markets and local galleries where the biggest and most expensive piece is around 200 pounds. I am also lucky to have a very talented grand-mother and painter.

In our new house, and with the living-space being completely open plan, I am limited to four walls for about 20 items and three spaces (kitchen, living room, dining room). The solution? Gallery walls!

This is the only way to be able to display most of what I own in an aesthetically and pleasing way. The risk with a gallery wall though is that it can easily become too much and create unbalance. I therefore limited myself to two spaces, the wall behind our TV (not complete yet) and the wall in the kitchen (complete and coming up soon on the blog!).

But before you see the results in the kitchen, I wanted to share some sources of inspiration.

Gallery wall interior design inspiration
Gallery wall interior design inspiration
Gallery wall interior design inspiration
Gallery wall interior design inspiration

Room Inspiration – Reading Nook

The main challenge with new builds in England is the absence of storage and the main challenge with our living-space in the new house is the absence of walls. As you can see on the picture below it is completely open plan with double-height ceilings.

reading nook before

I therefore needed to create in this space a wine-cellar/bar-cart/book-storage, while still making it stylish and cosy with the double-height ceiling… Challenge accepted!

But before I show you how I created a cosy library-liquor-store area, have a look at the pictures I used for inspiration (thank you Pinterest!)

reading nook inspiration interior design
reading nook inspiration interior design
reading nook inspiration interior design
reading nook inspiration interior design
reading nook inspiration interior design

Find out how the reading nook turned up here!

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Room Inspiration – Dining Room

Our dining room isn’t really a room but a dining space as our living area is all open plan.

For this area I wanted to create something contemporary and fresh with a rustic twist. Below is a picture of the space I am re-designing (apology for the low quality, it came from the estate agent). As you can see it was previously fairly well decorated so no need to repaint, but the furniture just isn’t my style. I am not big on warm colours (especially orange) and the whole look was a little too seventies/plastic for me.

dining room before

I knew from the start that I wanted modern miss-match chairs and a rustic solid wood table. I used the below pictures as inspiration for my ‘modern-rustic’ dining room and you can see how it turned up here!

dining room inspiration
dining room inspiration
dining room inspiration
dining room inspiration
dining room inspiration

See how my new dining room turned up here!

You go girl

Inspirational quote of the day (and a little dachshund drawing).

#girlpower 🙂

New York – 2012