grayish inspirations with tinekhome and nordal….

I like the pure, clear colour palette of different gray tones in addition to white and black. We just painted some walls in our studio in a nearly bluish dark gray tone, it’s remarkable what gray does with your interior, especially with wooden items or art prints on the wall. And it is able to add a saturated deepness to a nordic interior I really cherish. An inspiring book for gray walls in Interiors is “Hans Blomquist: In the mood for colour”, by Ryland Peters & Small. More about the book here.

And here are some gray inspiration from Tine K: We ordered these plates of Tine K for Christmas dinner. They are amazingly beautiful, in a light gray tone, each of them one of a kind. You actually don’t need much further decoration, we just added rough and heavy linen table napkins in dark gray from Greengate. But back to Tine K, here are my favourite plates and some other Tine K items I adore:


Tine K sent me some kitchen towels with my gray plates and I must say I never had such a quality in my hands, you can’t stop touching them, a really heavy cotton, but it looks like precious linen.


And I like this grey Cotton quilt, available in 260 x 260 cm:


and this soft table cloth in dark grey:


© all pictures tinekhome

More information about these items here.

And here are some grayish inspirations from Nordal, they sent me an email lately and I thought some items and interior atmospheres might be of interest for you:


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© all pictures Nordal

You will find a list of Nordal dealers and webshops here.

A wonderful weekend my dear readers! It’s such a windy and rainy season at the moment, good time for rearranging interior settings at home.

Take good care of yourself! Melanie

Iceland by Jonathan Smith

Winter inspiration before Christmas break with Jonathan Smith and his wondrous images of Iceland- a truly magic land. He captures the colours and soft light that winter reveals in certain moments. Just let indulge without too much words:










13_neg0510 13_neg0436 © all pictures Jonathan Smith with kind permission

more about Jonathan here.

His work consists of large scale, highly nuanced color photographs of the natural and breathtaking beauty of landscapes. He has been the recipient of a number of awards for his work that appeared in the Smithsonian and View magazines, PDN, Art and Architecture and The Royal Photographic Society Magazine. Thanks Jonathan for the cooperation with NORTHLETTERS!

A wonderful Christmas time dear followers, I am already looking forward to this peaceful season with long walks in still dark mornings, some chilly barbecue at the dawn, snow, ice flow on the sea and icicle on the roofs. I like all the lights outside, illuminated gardens and balconies in the darkness. It is my favorite time of the year because it is so dreamy and cozy and the air is fresh and cold…take good care of yourself and see you in January! Yours, Melanie Kettner

“The stuff of life” by Hilary Robertson

For This weekend I want to share with you “The stuff of life” by Hilary Robertson, published by Ryland Peters & Small. The way persons display objects in their homes reveals a lot about themselves. It is a little bit kind of magic how certain people arrange items, like Hilary Robertson does. She names this way of creating arrangements at home “personal altars”. These spots tell a story about journeys, memories or dreams. I think a lot about shapes and forms of objects to arrange at home. Nothing is more inspiring for me than a book like Hilary’s, showing the work of creatives displaying items in a way that magic occurs: Poetic still lifes, collections of vintage, salvaged and recycled objects or charming curiosities. The arrangements are always surprising, fresh, different in thinking and feeling. I love exactly this combination in interior styling. Let’s have a peek inside the book:

The Stuff of Life by Hilary Robertson (Ryland Peters & Small, £25) Photography by Anna Williams
The Stuff of Life by Hilary Robertson (Ryland Peters & Small, £25) Photography by Anna Williams
The Stuff of Life by Hilary Robertson (Ryland Peters & Small, £25) Photography by Anna Williams
The Stuff of Life by Hilary Robertson (Ryland Peters & Small, £25) Photography by Anna Williams

She describes how she and her husband built up a collection in New York, how they started trawling markets together. At home they display useful or unuseful things in eclectic compositions. One chapter is named ” stories told by real homes” and deals with “neatniks”, per definition persons who are extremely neat about surroundings. I suppose I am little bit a neatnik. Hilary describes so well in this chapter, how you can be a neatnik and nonetheless have some collections and a breathing and living home.

The Stuff of Life by Hilary Robertson (Ryland Peters & Small, £25) Photography by Anna Williams
The Stuff of Life by Hilary Robertson (Ryland Peters & Small, £25) Photography by Anna Williams

In the introduction Hilay writes: ” For me, making a home really was about the layers of things that are acquired over time; things that have stories and remind you of places and people and a feeling of discovery. It’s always a way of showing the world who you are: the museum of me; a key to your personality. I think that all ‘stuff ‘, even the most quotidian, can be beautiful if it is arranged as if it is important. And beauty (whatever beauty is to you) is balm for the soul.”

The Stuff of Life by Hilary Robertson (Ryland Peters & Small, £25) Photography by Anna Williams

So, if you need a book, which is a pure delight to watch and read and which surely will lead you through your home with a complete different sight on every angle, than Hilary’s book is a the perfect choice.

Thanks so much Hilary and Ryland Peters & Small!

You can order your copy of the book here.

A wonderful weekend for you, dear followers! Hope you are all well! In two weeks I will publish my last article here before Christmas holidays with stunning and poetic pics of Iceland. Take good care of yourself and a peaceful and calm Advent season! Melanie Kettner

The black kitchen….

Recently we were looking for a functional industrial kitchen and again I came across this one:  The black kitchen of VIPP, a Danish company standing for product design with a strong focus on quality materials and mechanics. This is reflected in their kitchen, where all choices concerning aesthetics and technical details have already been made in advance. Thus the kitchen appears with a coherent design all the way trough. The functionality is industrial: Fronts are made of stainless steel, the sink and countertop are made in one seamless piece. The back of the handles and the inside of the drawers are lined with soft rubber that is pleasant to touch. All these details guarantee durability, functionality without sacrifying aesthetics.


VIPP considered the question: what would a Chef value: ” A solid grip when opening drawers and turning the gas button. A kitchen raised on legs for easy access to clean the floor. A steel table top that can handle hot pots and pants.Our inspiration is taken from the professional market, where a kitchen is a tool and not decoration. We bring this philosophy in the private home.” Let’s have a look how this stunning kitchen surprisingly fits in very different surroundings:




Vipp was born out of a need for functional tools in the professional market. Just like Holger Nielsen, who crafted the famous VIPP bin for Danish clinics, the company considers itself as ‘tool builders’: “Our driving ambition is to bring functional principles found in the professional market into the private home with genuine, industrial design objects. Our ambition is a world with fewer but better products.”




The company: “We only make one type of each product. Because once you have captured the essence of a product and done your utmost in its conception, what else is there to achieve? Therefore, you will never see a younger model of an existing Vipp product.”

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All pictures © VIPP. Photographer: Anders Hviid

A wonderful relaxed weekend dear followers with lots of inspiration for your kitchen design. We just ordered two new black bins, black and white kitchen towels and the durable black dish washing brush of VIPP with a replaceable head. It is really pleasant to work with. Surprising how new “accessories” kann give your kitchen a new appearance.

The VIPP kitchen collection can be seen here and the dish washing brush here.

Take good care of yourself! Yours, Melanie Kettner

The Cycles of Fäviken

Remarkable this in many ways secret place: Restaurant Fäviken Magasinet in northern Sweden located in complete solitude, shortly before nowhere land, 600 km north of Stockholm. If you want to have dinner here, like in a fairy tale you have to make a long trip first. Chef Magnus Nilsson acclaimed two Michelin stars, his restaurant is fully booked several months in advance, he cooks for max. 16 persons. His food philosophy deserves attention:




Being tired of his life in Pairs, he decided to stop cooking and went back to where he comes from. By accident he returned to the kitchen in an apparently inhostible area: Faviken stands on a 20,000-acre hunting estate and nature reserve in Jamtland with long white winters. The challenge Magnus Nilsson imposes on himself and his team is: the surrounding nature decides what comes on the table and this even in winter. Incredible how this task elicits Magnus Nilsson’s creativity in his own little universe, impressive the many different methods of conserving food in summer he developed for the long winter months. Magnus cooks for just a few people about 30 courses in the evening.



At Fäviken they do things as they have always been done at Jämtland, they follow seasonal variations and traditions. During summer and autumn, they harvest what grows on their land and prepare it using rediscovered rich traditions, or with methods they have created through their own research to maintain the highest quality of the end product. Magnus Nilsson: “We build up our stores ahead of the dark winter months. We dry, salt, jelly, pickle and bottle. The hunting season starts after the harvest and is an important time, when we take advantage of the exceptional bounty with which the mountains provide us. By the time spring and summer return to Jämtland, the cupboard is bare and the cycle begins again.”

Magnus Nilsson

© all pictures: Erik Olsson with kind permission

Magnus Nilsson saves nearly lost and secret recipes and  transforms them in something new. His important message for us all: Magnus Nilsson is following his own path, always seeking development. I bought his new cookbook lately with the title  “The Nordic Cookbook”. It seems like an outstanding and very giant bible of northern cooking with stunning images, wonderfully written, and it really is a kind of bible. What I like most of this book is that Magnus Nilsson reflects the cultural background of the recipes and poses the historical question of how a recipe develops this way and not another one. It is not an idealization of a dreamed nordic kitchen, he documents things as they are. He started with a collection of recipes people all over the nordic region sent to him and so this book has a historic and cultural character. Then he started traveling meeting the people of the recipes, eating with them and saving the recipes. This huge book is a beautiful Christmas gift, as you may guess, for interested persons in this subject. I love this book and gave it as a birthday present to my husband. It’s such a  treasure to learn from day by day….

Thanks Magnus Nilsson & Fäviken for the kind cooperation!

More about an adventurous dinner at Fäviken & booking information here.


A wonderful week and weekend  dear followers! See you here in about two weeks! Take good care of yourself!

Melanie Kettner

To resist the appeal of distraction….

Inspiration for the weekend: “Less is more” to apply to daily life with the aim to acquire more tranquillity, even if it may mean to resist media entanglement and the appeal of distraction. At home and in our agency we try to live accordingly f.e. by arranging some kind of blankness, with every item having its own place with not to much around. Our long white table for lunch, dinner and meetings for example has always to be blank in between, so that one can sit there with a scratch book and order one’s thoughts. It’s important to integrate isles of calmness in the sometimes hectic world of work, in our case film and photography, as often as one can and on different levels. Not an easy task. Therefore we cook and have lunch together with our team everyday.

The awesome pictures are from Dominik Tabaranski, conceptual fashion photographer based in New York, shot for Kinfolk. They show the principle Less is more in a beautiful and playful way.






© Dominik Tabaranski for Kinfolk with kind permission

Inspiration for the weekend therefore: “Voluntary simplicity means going to fewer places in one day rather than more, seeing less so I can see more, doing less so I can do more, acquiring less so I can have more.”- Jon Kabat Zinn.

That means: To accept some kind of voidness to find some other sort of enlightenment, to withdraw from the fast, superficial aspects of life and to look for the tranquillity and imagination daily life offers when our mind is not distracted from too much visual and auditive noise around us. Dominik too believes that less is more. His work has been shown in more than 30 exhibitions worldwide, he is represented by Marek & Associates. More about his work  on

Thanks Kinfolk and Dominik for for sharing their pictures with NORTHLETTERS!

Take good care my dear followers and see you here in about two weeks and meet the Swedish Chef de Cuisine of Fäviken Magnus Nilsson! Yours, Melanie Kettner

On the look for inspiration…

Today let’s go on the look for inspiration with Myriam Balaÿ Devidal and her creation of a collection of bracelets. Pretty adorable her work progress one can observe while dreaming over her fabulous pictures. You can see how the inspiration finds its way and how playful she is discovering it again and again. I am not so keen on colours, but this is a kind of colour enchantment playing with light and shadows you are automatically driven in. Myriam graduated in Industrial Product Design in France after numerous collaborations on stage sets, theater, television and cinema. She then entered the textile world and had memorable experiences in the Haute Couture with Chanel and  Dior for instance. Today she works at “L’appartement” on materials, colors, objects, scenography and image.



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© All pictures with kind permission Myriam Balaÿ Devidal

To have a look on her beautiful bracelets and for orderings go here.

I’m not keeping updated my Facebook page anymore regularly. So please keep in touch on my webpage. Wish you a wonderful weekend, in two weeks photographer Dominik Tabaranski and the topic “Less is more” or to resist the appeal of distraction on this site.

Yours, Melanie Kettner







Wondrous Chateau de Beauvoir

I am wondering lately how daily life in a château must be like, with all its defiances and duties. The history of ancient buildings enthralls me. We are are living in very huge rooms with high ceilings with stucco. Quite often I am thinking about the stories the long history of our home silently has to tell. Gifted artist Claire Basler lives and works in CHÂTEAU DE BEAUVOIR. Her fabulous art includes outstanding mural paintings, magically displayed throughout the castle. Wondrous her giant flower paintings on mural and the rooms partly overgrown by branches and leaves…








Claire:”During the first days of spring a multitude of primroses awakens the garden next to the orangery. Then the surrounding prairies are covered in colour. Beauvoir opens out onto the sky and cops, its other side embedded in the romantic shade of large trees.”




Some of Claire’s poetry:

“clothing painted rooms in dreams, walls that come to life, unbounded freedom, telling stories, transforming space, time, adding volume to a room, clothing it in shadow and light encouraging the backlight surprising the sun, lightly touching transparency, close up or far away to lose oneself, to look, to create what I have held dear for so long.”



Claire: “I like daisies, fragile and passionate poppies, breezes, wind, grace, gentleness and it’s force, storms, the mystery of still waters, the vast sky in the puddles that line a dirt road and the tree that forces me to be silent, patient.”


© Claire Basler with kind permission

You can order her wonderful book about her work and Chateau here.



Venice in older days….


In summer break I want to share some pictures with you, my husband Thomas Kettner send to me from Venice a few weeks ago. He shot them before working on a fashion production, very early in the morning and in the evening. I think they are so special…they show Venice as it formerly was, like a theatre setting, with this magic, melancholic atmosphere and these soft, earthy colours. You sense the church bells, the carnival costumes, the palaces of the Venetian countesses, the market near the water, the pigeons, the musicians on the street, some juggler in the evening….

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Lucky me to have a husband sending me pictures like these ones, suggesting such a peaceful world….And  here some of his stunning pictures, he took late in the evening, shortly before it was raining:



© All pictures Thomas Kettner

A good advice to visit Venice is directly after the Carneval in winter, then this fabulous, magic town is nearly deserted for just a few days. I’ll be back here soon. Take good care of yourself! Yours, Melanie Kettner



A lonesome stone house….

Northern chilly summer sometimes is a challenge. But I really love northern summer with all its different faces, wind, storms, cool morning swims, fire on the shore. This wonderful feature shows the inspiring site of the light, smell, colours and interior atmosphere of nordic summer. Some  inspiration from a lonesome stone house in Scotland with photographer Kate Sears:






© All pictures Kate Sears with kind permission

More of this beautiful picture story here.

Take care, Melanie Kettner