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Janet Parrella - van den Berg



    My favourite chapter in my book Beauty Restored starts on page 123, the beauty of flowers.

    To be honest, I had written the complete book already and went for the last time through all the
    photos. My heart skipped a beat when I came across some old photos that I took of roses and
    other flowers in the beginning of the White & Faded years... There was something fragile,
    beautiful and still in these photos.
    There and then I decided they need to be shared in the book... but what about them... what to
    write? I struggled a lot for words.
    After several tries I decided to ask the Creator of these beauties to inspire me.
    I couldn’t put my pen down afterwards!
    The whole chapter was written within half an hour and it became the favourite of many!

    Here is a extract from that chapter:

    What joy rises in me when I fill a basket or a vintage bowl with different kinds of flowers - such diversity of colour, type, shape, freshness and positioning; individually beautiful, together amazing!

    It's so encouraging to see how my story has influenced others to step out of a damaging environment and discover freedom for themselves.
    And likewise I'm so inspired by others telling me how they have fought their battles and regained confidence and purpose.

    Wherever you place flowers, they change the atmosphere. Their fragrance fills the space and everyone entering that place is drawn to them. They invite you to
    smell them and then they capture your heart with their simple beauty and frailty.
    I will often go to my local florist to ask if I can pick the roses out of her compost bin that were nearly over and couldn't be sold any more. Their imperfections make them perfect when placed in the right bowl or vase. Most of the time they need support from the stronger flowers; sometimes I need to cut the stems really short to get that support from the bowl they were lying in.

    One person’s rubbish becomes someone else’s treasure!

    Is that not just precious and beautiful?

    I want to encourage those of you who are reading this and feel lonely or sad, to reach out... to share, be open about how you feel, and to share your beautiful fragrance...

    It's the season of singing and you’re invited to join the choir.

    My book 'Beauty Restored' is currently discounted! Find it in our online store.



    So a year after my book got published I see my own growth in becoming who I am, partly through my return to the style I had before I got into antiques and the start of White & Faded. Some of my followers don’t get why I change things, or even told me that I don’t like new things, but they are wrong... I like change, I come alive when I change things and yes I have added ‘new’ things in my interior. They are either classic designer items or vintage mid-century items. I love the mix of the really old and the ‘new’. 

    My favorite item at the moment is an antique Swedish candlestick made in 1700s. Such craftsmanship! I love the contrast of the chippy wood on my glossy white coffee table. 

    Mixing old and new items can be tricky for some of you, as to what is a good balance in old towards new (read modern and designer) 

    So here is my guide that works for me... A total modern interior with one antique cupboard, or a pair of chairs looks classic, chic and interesting. A complete antique interior with just 1 modern chair looks odd, out of place... It's all about the balance... 

    I feel in my personal life that I’m in a time of transition... and because I’m very expressive through the things around me, you will find that in my interior design. My creative juices are slowly flowing again, and with that the energy to change, uplift, encourage and discover. Old canvases that have been in storage for over 10 years have found daylight again, and paint that was used only for walls, floors or furniture is used to cover them. 

    I’m feeling alive and excited for what is coming!




    Is it things like a new dress or that fabulous pair of jeans? That perfect lamp, pillow, piece of furniture, … fill in the blanks. 

    I’ve fallen myself in the trap of wanting more, more clothing, more furniture and more other things, in the hope that they will bring happiness. But it was almost that they disappointed me  more and deeper when I didn’t fit that perfect jeans, or the cupboard I wanted for so long was too large etc. The things brought stress, depression, self-doubt and a feeling I don’t care about anything anymore.

    There is and was nothing wrong with these items, it was deep inside of me…

    I want to share some extracts from my book Beauty Restored. This book takes you on the journey through my pain of losing my confidence and identity and finding joy, hope and love again.through  photos of items I’ve collected and furniture I’ve restored. 

    Here I’m describing how my love for restoration started:

    One of my most treasured mirrors is a great example of this. The left side has damage, broken in parts and missing some flower decorations, but the right side is complete with all its parts in place. Even so, it is one mirror, one piece, beautified through the life it has lived and faithful in its reflection. I see restoration more as a renewed or re-discovered value that is given, placed in a position of honour and being loved again for what it is; being rescued from a dark place and being brought into the warmth and light of a loving home. Restoration isn't merely covering up the past with a layer of fresh paint, but much more about embracing the damaged parts, the scratched surface and chipped paint with a hug of acceptance - just like being loved for who you are.  Page 39

    I’ve come so far from what I describe about myself in the book, but the journey continues… like life is… a constant going in ups and downs, but slowly moving forward.

    It is sometimes difficult though with the fast pace that Dino has, to move slowly :P 

    More next time...



    By Janet Parrella-van den Berg 

    The last couple of weeks, probably around the New Year, I felt the need to write a blog, or something like that, as I have never read a blog or had a desire to write one, so I don’t really know what you would call this. :P  I don’t know where that feeling came from, even why my lack of interest all of a sudden changed.

    I do like to write though, my morning ritual is to write in a journal, I write to myself and to God, trying to make sense of what I feel and experience. And I write in my personal  Instagram an usually longish post, even though I know that the majority of my followers don’t read what I write, but I know there are those who do.

    So what is this blog going to be about?

    I would say life, just simple life in all its ways. Sometimes exciting, and sometimes nothing special…

    If you’re interested, welcome! If not, that’s ok, I’m not quickly offended. :)

    The story behind this picture I posted on my personal IG. 

    On New Years Eve, I decided that this new year I’m going to work on my life-long shyness for the camera. Well to be in front of it, not behind it.

    In my own comfort of my home, I set up the camera and I practised how to pose… which sounds incredibly silly for those of you who know that I worked as a photographer and worked with models and inexperienced models for years and gave them all the tricks for how to pose for the camera.

    Anyway, back to my photo.. So my camera is set up and I’m standing nervously in front of it, clicking on my remote, but nothing happens, I had forgotten to check the settings and it was set on a long shutter time… So I’m standing there, feeling even more awkward, and decide to walk away and check what has gone wrong… 

    The result of that photo amazed me completely… something magic, something that I have felt like for so long, captured in this ‘failed’ image. That's not me, but the Interiors I create matters, that you have to be a model for photoshoots, and the why people would be interested in what I look like or find important. 

    But you know, actually that makes me really sad, it makes me sad if we think that nobody wants to see the real life and struggles of our favorite Interior IG account holders.

    So I made a decision to change that for me. And that's why I’m writing this blog, this is me, with all my ups, downs, interior adventures and just life.

    I hope you will join the journey…