The winter garden ~

... how is a little winter garden tour for a Tuesday's post? 
; )
Do blame it all on being busy for the fact that I missed the chance  
 to wish you a wonderful  & positive in every way new week

Styling & photography sessions have been scheduled to be taking place.

Speaking of which, in case you feel that your products & the styling line presented here
can be good friends & make the best out of a cooperation
with each other, domesticstorieswithivy@live.com
is the address to drop your mail to.
I'm happy to give you quotes & arrange working with you,
even when we are not living physically close to one another.
Everything is possible here.

So, "polishing the space" where it is all going to be happening,
has been priority number 1.

Asides form a studio, our winter garden serves as an everyday dining area,
since it is also connected to the kitchen via a 2 meter wide opening.

It measures 2,5 (width) x 4, 07 (length) m
and consists of metal poles, which hold altogether
6 vertical windows {of which one is opening}
6 more widows making up the sliding glass roof.

If you are wondering if it is a lot & hard work to keep those windows clean,
 you are SO right.
For about €300 and more a cleaning service would cost,
{yes, life in Germany can be expensive, too}
I climb wherever I have to in order to make these babies clean & shiny.
Yes, I so do.

Other than offering an amusing show to the neighbors,
I exercise myself & also have the satisfaction
of somehow contributing to the household.

Upon purchase, this very promising room of the house
was not exactly in its best condition.
{I will skip before pictures in this case, even though I know I'm missing a guaranteed "wow"
response from you}

Rusted, poorly isolated with sloppy silicon work,
we spent winter days almost unable to use the room
{despite it being equipped with floor heating like the whole apartment}
due to very low temperatures & dripping water.

Proceeding with placing the new floors
was getting postponed till the isolation works were finished.

After a few days, much more hours & quite a few tubes of silicon,
each & every window in all its width & length has been
siliconed in pure perfection by the patient & capable hands
of our German technician.

Pretty white lines underline the windows, while it can rain cats & dogs
and we'll be sitting comfortably underneath watching
it all happen, not needing to run for paper & towels to 
dry everything out.

Floors have been put.
White wooden skirting is to be ordered & placed.
Windows have received jalousies,
{these ones, which were cut to fit exactly each window}
offering us the choice between openness & privacy
most of all providing the necessary backdrop for
product photography & styling.

The roof that you see in the picture below,
where green moss has been growing,
belongs to the barn /office of our neighbors.

I'd love for them to agree that something nicer
is made with its surface,
even when the costs will obviously be on us,
but till then, 
I have work to do 
in order to be able to afford that,
plus finding an equal communicative level
with them, which doesn't exactly seem like a piece of cake currently.

Nothing like mutual understanding & good intentions though,
while respecting one another.

So I trust the time shall come for that, too
and it' ll all somehow work out...

for now back to our renovated interiors ; )

Since many of you while getting inspired here are using these posts are a reference,
I think that sharing some product links,
would be helpful.


dining table ~> Bjursta in white
bench ~> Bjursta in black
chair ~> Urban 
{found at the "as is" section in perfect condition asides its layers of dust
for less than 1/3 of its original price}
metal shelves ~> Lergerg 
white ceramic pots ~> Bladet 
{found in February while they were €2,99 each in our local Ikea store, so three were purchased}
a little ceramic pot with vertical lines ~> Kardemumma
a beige one with plate  ~> Mandel
and a few other white ones which are no longer available

All plants & succulents except from the two species of Rosemary,
which came home this Saturday,
have been found over the years at Ikea
& have been part of our plant family.

The garland is handmade by me from vintage Albert Van Luit Wallpaper
dating back to the 1960s.
There is enough material left to make one or two more for you too, 
in case you'd like to have one.

The two wooden lanterns in Asian style in white & grey,
were a Christmas present for the new home,
which I was happy to make since they were also found half price.

If you notice me too often referring to prices & the fact that things 
are quite often bought when on offer or a reduction,
is because I enjoy spending less for more whenever possible
 cause these posts sharing the making of our home
do not in any way intend in being a showing off of what money can buy.

Our line of thinking here is that money should  be invested in good services
rather than on products carrying a label.
Not that we don't like and appreciate pretty & expensive things,
just do not believe that there should be a confusion between
living with flair & living with money.

And however money is a valuable asset of our modern societies,
the need to also use it & invest it wisely & correctly
highlights the ethics of this company.

Yes, I just referred to Domestic Stories as a company, God knows why & it was about time.

The intention is to share that beautiful style,
serene interior environments & a high quality of living
can be achieved with correct, inspired planning.

Now let's return to some product facts, shall we?

The square linen cushions measuring 50 x 50 cm are from h&m home
and I'm very proud to have already bought them for €4.95 a piece instead of €17, 95
as early as in October, before we actually moved to the new place,
when my plans for the winter garden were being made.

Speaking of fabrics, the pillow with the black & white New York illustration
is also from h&m & it is identical to {this} one in green we have.
Ordered years ago when found for €1.95 per piece.

Not only do I love h&m home online service,
I also love the fact that when someone conquers his/ her need to have something 
as soon as it is thrown in the market,
has the ability to actually have more than one might be able to afford in total.

The only expense that I have for that is patience & good timing.
On line sites are regularly checked a few times a month
there is always a little amount in reserve for some extra expenses such as
ordering 4 + 2 pillows for €24 when they would have actually cost

Now isn't that nice?
Unless my yearly earnings severely multiply & with my current life attitude,
I just can't justify spending €90 on 6 pillows.
I'm also not willing to put my need for pretty things aside though.
So, I welcome alternatives.
Indeed I do.

oh, looking back up , I see that I forgot to mention what on earth  is {this} custom made by me bench without legs doing on the floor.
Well, nothing in particular my dears,
just practicing its soon new role,
when some birch branches will be brought from the woods
to make up the new legs.
hoping for some awesomeness... swoon!

Here are some more shots, as I truly loved the bright, white light
the space was taking this past, rainy Sunday...

Below, you can see the direct view to the woods in between our neighboring house.
Also my favorite vintage, glass pear, which has seen its more glorious moments as part of {this}
set up in our previous home.


And here are some shots, experimenting with natural light & camera settings,
as seen when one enters the kitchen:

And to bring you back inside the winter garden,
to its right side, it consists of all windows,
some of which have been dressed with curtains,
perfectly hand sewn {!} by my mother from {this} fabric
{poor woman came to visit & all she did was sew curtains, 
that's how bad of a daughter I can be}

and a little glimpse of the right part of the kitchen,
placed opposite the cooking area
{those promised floor plans I know!}
where you can see
our refrigerator & freezer
all secretly hidden behind white shiny doors,
so that the space looks more cohesive, calm & bigger.

Remember our bread bag from {here}?
It now hangs in the opening between the kitchen & the dining area,
so that it is easily accessible,
while its linen texture & ruffles soften a bit the space's many lines.

More on the right corner of the winter garden soon.
I have been taking so many pictures these days!

Last but not least, need I say that making these pictures & putting together a post such as this one is a lot of hours of concentrated work?

Domestic Stories are opening their doors to Sponsors,
cause they SO much want to go on existing,
 not on such a huge personal expense though.

Cause time & effort is precious.

Sponsoring concept soon to be shared, still you may already contact us in case you are interested in acquiring a spot in our stylish family ; )

And not to forget, the Fabric & Handle Tote Shopping Bag give away winner is to be announced.
The lucky one will find a notification in her/ his mailbox.

See you here very soon with lots of inspiration & more my dears  ~
Have yourselves a great day!


  1. Beautiful! I'd spend hours and hours in a winter garden like that. You really have a nice place. Also - thanks for the reference links!

    1. You are welcome & many thanks for your lovely comments. At this time of the year, the winter garden gets lovely warm light in the early afternoon till sundown... it's a nice place to be at indeed :)

  2. Just found your blog. Wonderful pictures and style.
    Lovely hugs

    1. Welcome to Domestic Stories blog then Molly! Happy you are liking being around :) Thank you for your nice comments!

  3. Hi, everything is again very beautiful! Love the black and white wallpaper! hug:-) Anja

    1. Thank you my dear Anja! Hugs from me, too ;) xx

  4. Replies
    1. Hello Simona, many kind thanks.
      Lovely work you do yourself as I saw. Glad you found this place :)

  5. amazing corner my dear! i simply adore the natural light on your winter garden. it seems that there wasn't much sun on this day and i love that beautiful light. i could see myself taking so many pictures at that corner! beautiful, just beautiful :) you did one great job! and i'll get back at your emails today! ;) hugs!

    1. Thank you Claudia for your lovely comments!
      Have no worries for the mails, as they were mostly meant as a reply to yours. There is no need whatsoever for a rushed reply. But still if you feel this way, a few lines would be welcome :)

  6. Iro, have I ever told you that your home is sheer bliss? Well, it IS!

    1. Well, in a way you have my friend, but this might the first time you are so enthusiastic. Thank you very much Igor! xx

  7. Oh Iro! The light is your winter garden is better and better! Either you are adjusting your photo skills to it, or the change of season is changing the light... But these images are DELICIOUSness for my eyes :)

    I'm glad you are taking sponsors soon! I'm sure many will be glad to support your work. Anyways you've created a lovely place here that I'm sure sponsors will be happy to be a part of!

    I also agree with a lot of what you say about respecting our budgets. If we live beyond our means, we are bound to be unhappy.

    Have a lovely day sweet lady! And thank you for sharing these pics and your wise thoughts here xoxoxo

  8. Iro, this is by far and above truly one of the most concise efforts to explain details I have ever encountered. Well done! I needed to come for a visit to get a dollop of the serene environment you so often provide for us...as you know I'm a color riot girl...but sometimes one needs a place for the eye to rest. You are the expert; hands down. :)

    Hoping you will see glimpses of Spring soon...and that you can enjoy every minute of it.