Decorating Tips

Sign Up For Free decor8 Newsletter – Brand New!

June 18, 2017

I am so excited to tell you about this. But first, hello everyone! Okay, so I decided after 11 1/2 years of blogging to finally start my first ever decor8 newsletter. Many of you subscribe to decor8 via RSS or Bloglovin’, which is great because you get my feed daily in your inbox so you don’t miss a beat! However, in addition to the feed, my new decor8 newsletter will be a personal note written from me to you once weekly where you’ll see things that I don’t show on my blog or social sites. I’ll include behind-the-scenes stuff with my projects and collegues, trend reports, European travel tips, personal essays to motivate and inspire you, decorating tips, organization ideas, thoughts on current decorating trends, discount codes from favorite online shops, up-and-coming designers, favorite products of the moment, shopping round-ups and much, much more.

Sign Up For Free decor8 Newsletter - Brand New!

Photography: Holly Becker for decor8. Location: Salvatori Home, Milan, Italy

Think of the all-new decor8 newsletter as your weekly letter from a dear friend who can tune you in to the BEST of the BEST in the world of interiors, decor and design. I’m that friend, I’m going to work hard to deliver something very special to all of you that will become something that you look forward to receiving.

To register (it’s free), just CLICK here and enter your email address. It’s really THAT easy. My first newsletter will be sent on Friday, June 23rd so sign up between now and then to get the decor8 debut newsletter.

Weeee! I’m so excited! Welcome decor8 readers to something new!

xo

Holly






Tabletop

8 Easy Steps For a Romantic Summer Gathering

June 14, 2017

Would you like 8 tips for hosting an easy little party at home this summer? Hello everyone! This is Anke, I’m on decor8 once monthly with my entertaining column and today I have a very romantic tabletop story for you. But first, how are you? Did summer arrive where you live? Here in Germany it has, and the blooming flowers overwhelm as does the lush green everywhere. I also love the long, light evenings — they are definitely more than welcome. Today I have a romantic, floral tabletop story to inspire you for a summer gathering at your home indoors or out on the terrace. Let’s follow nature as a good example and not hold back on color and light! This is more or less the motto for all of my columns, but this time each year I sorta flip out even more with pastels such as pink and peach when decorating. And I know you are out there, pastel-lovers!

8 Easy Steps For a Romantic Summer Gathering

1// CHOOSE YOUR FLOWER.  The peony is probably my favorite flower. What is yours? I can’t pass by them when I spot the splendid bunches at the flower shops and the weekly markets in town. For this story, I’ve let them team up with sumptuous field-grown roses. Together peonies and roses are masterpieces made by nature, don’t you think?  Select your flowers or greenery for the party and let them guide your theme. This can be your first choice of inspiration or something you do in the middle or end of your shopping. In this story, the flowers inspired everything else. Some people begin with the food they will serve or the pattern on their dinnerware. It’s up to you.

8 Easy Steps For a Romantic Summer Gathering

2// MAKE SOMETHING. Guests love it when a little attention to detail is on display. I never tire of admiring the tender blossoms of roses, they are tissue paper look-a-likes – so poetic and delicate! This association between petal and paper gave me the idea to fold small blooms out of heart-shaped paper I bought from an online shop. Moreover I “filled” some flowers with pale pink, fringed paper centers by cutting off a narrow stripe of paper, then cut-in with very little distance on the long side and rolled it up. Easy, I promise! I scattered a few on my tabletop and others became part of the decoration on each plate as you will see later on…

8 Easy Steps For a Romantic Summer Gathering

3// ADD A GARLAND.  Nothing says party time quite like a garland (or you may call it bunting?). One more detail made of silk paper I chose was the garland you see in the background. Garlands are such a perfect adornment for a summer celebration. They make everything festive. You can buy them pre-made or make your own. You can also embellish pre-made garlands by adding balloons and ribbons for a little personalization.

8 Easy Steps For a Romantic Summer Gathering

4// DRESS THE TABLE.  A  simple tablecloth and napkins made of white linen were added along with very plain white tableware. I placed arrangements in simple glass canning jars and a single large glass vase to keep it light and bright. I didn’t add ribbons or anything else, I figured the roses were enough and I didn’t want the theme to get too girly. I liked the simple glass because it reflects natural light so well and visually the flowers become the focus, not the vessels.

8 Easy Steps For a Romantic Summer Gathering
5// MAKE PLACE CARDS.  Instead of traditional place cards I tied tiny golden frames onto napkins using jute cord and embellished each one with a paper blossom. I printed out the little tags on my computer using a favorite font.

8 Easy Steps For a Romantic Summer Gathering

6// HAVE A SIGNATURE PARTY DRINK.  I offered Rosé Secco poured into simple glasses filled with ice cubes, peach slices and fresh mint. Every gathering, no matter how simple, needs a signature drink – alcoholic or not. What do you like to serve? Gin tonic with slices or cucumber and mint are nice for summertime, too. “Cheers to summer!”

8 Easy Steps For a Romantic Summer Gathering

7// ADD SIMPLE PARTY DECORATION. A small party can still feel festive! If you have an extra 30 minutes, print out some words in color and frame them for your wall in the space. If you are good at hand lettering, use your favorite color marker or paint and paint some words – Happy Birthday, Welcome Summer, It’s a Boy!, or anything else that fits your theme.

8 Easy Steps For a Romantic Summer Gathering

8// PLAN YOUR PARTY MENU. What will you serve? Food is key to making a party (or breaking it!). For this little gathering, serve a roasted chicken dish with roasted veggies or maybe some pasta or a salad dish — something very summery and fresh. You can also opt for a simple spread, like a cheese and meat board with fresh bread and toppings, buffet style. Another idea is for a casual afternoon cake and coffee party only without cake and no coffee – go very light. You could plan this for after work on a Friday with the girls before a long weekend or on a Sunday afternoon. For my setting, I served one of my favorite summer desserts which is oven roasted peaches with Greek yoghurt, topped with crushed Cantuccini (Biscotti), pistachios and fresh mint. So simple and so good! Drizzled honey on top is also a good idea with some orange zests. My kids prefer vanilla ice cream, it’s your choice.

I’d like to wish all of you many beautiful, sunny, memorable and relaxed summer moments (filled with a party or two) in the upcoming weeks!

If you have some nice parties this summer and want to share them with decor8 readers, post your tabletop on Instagram and use hashtags #decor8 #decorateforaparty so we can see what you’ve done. We’d love to see and if we have some nice submissions, we can feature our favorites on decor8!

I’m looking forward to returning with my late summer column after I return from our summer vacation, so expect to see me here again in early August with another tabletop idea for end of summer. – Anke.

(Photography, Styling, Text: Anke Illner. Editing: Holly Becker)






Home Tours

Lovely Paris Apartment of Paola Navone

June 13, 2017

I just spent an hour wildly researching the source of the first photo found on Pinterest, and decided that after all of that effort, I simply had to share the image with you along with all of the others as it is the Parisian apartment of one of the most famous Italian designers, Paola Navone. It is one of the most beautiful that I’ve come across in awhile. The space is an old converted silk and tobacco factory with hints of Asian and Mediterranean influences. Not sure if Ms. Navone still resides here, but I’m certain if she does, it is altogether different today as it is shown below. A designer is known to change things around frequently and these photos are at least 4 years old. Yet, they still serve as an inspiration to behold and are still so relevant which is always the sign of a good designer or artist. The cheerful colors are so very elegant and made me smile as I recall my week in Milan in April where I saw this cheerfulness in action time and time again – playfulness meets poetic, imagination boldly takes on upper class confidence. It’s so very in at the moment – to be quirky and cheeky but also high end and luxurious! I love the rebellion against what is right and perfect. It’s edgy, bring it on!

Lovely Paris Apartment of Paola Navone

Lovely Paris Apartment of Paola Navone

Lovely Paris Apartment of Paola Navone

Lovely Paris Apartment of Paola Navone

Lovely Paris Apartment of Paola Navone

Lovely Paris Apartment of Paola Navone

Lovely Paris Apartment of Paola Navone

Lovely Paris Apartment of Paola Navone

Lovely Paris Apartment of Paola Navone

Lovely Paris Apartment of Paola Navone

Isn’t this altogether stunning and magnificent? Doesn’t it remind you to live however you want, decorate how you wish, and just love the home you live in?

(Photos: Trendland)






Decorating Tips

Farrow & Ball Wallpaper In My Living Room

June 8, 2017

I’m off to Hamburg today but first, I have to show you something that I’m very excited about! My wallpaper! I worked on a beautiful project for Farrow & Ball that gave me a chance to select any wallpaper for my home that I wanted for one room, so I scooped up the Hornbeam pattern shown below. Why? It’s neutral, understated and just so pretty – I kept going back to it again and again. I love that it goes with anything. I wanted time to live with the wallpaper before reviewing it here on my blog to see how it would look over time – would it stand up, would it peel, would it fade, could I still even live with it after time passed… In fact, that was always my decorating fear. Choosing a pattern and then feeling stuck with it or getting sick of it in a month. Luckily, I chose the perfect pattern for me because I actually like it more today than I did when we had it installed – and I loved it then!

Farrow & Ball Wallpaper In My Living Room

When I was looking for the right pattern, I made of short list of what I wanted. First, it needed to have a natural, organic pattern. We live on the border of a massive forest in the city, so it needed to feel urban enough but also forest-y. I also didn’t want anything geometric and whatever pattern I went with had to complement the ginko leaf stucco on the ceiling. Another essential was that it needed to be strong and somewhat thick because the walls are 117 years old and not perfectly smooth. We smoothed them out but still, you can’t get perfect in a home this old. I also wanted it to feel a bit feminine and curvy. I know that sounds strange, but the windows and the room itself has a lot of lines. The room itself is a massive rectangle. That’s why I went with a soft, feather pendent light to work with the wallpaper and soften the lines of the room too. Another must was that it can’t fade and in this spot in my living room, wallpaper is prone to fading because it’s in the sun all day long (I never close my linen curtains). Hornbeam ticked off all the boxes, so I ordered it!

After two years the wallpaper looks the same as it did the day we installed it – the color and pattern are still perfect.But the wallpaper did exactly what I set out for it to do.

Farrow & Ball is a gorgeous company through and through but keep in mind that it’s not budget. It will not be at the same price point as something Made in China or in some massive factory. I toured their small but mighty workshop in southern England (remember this post?), met their Head of Creative, Charlotte Crosby and watched their elaborate process for both making paint and producing wallpaper – it’s intensive, expensive to manufacturer, and they have to employ true experts to work on every part of the process. I met many workers in the factory and all were like a part of the F&B family; their pride was evident. I left with nothing but respect for the brand.

Thing is, when you make something time-consuming, beautiful and of quality, and have to pay experts to make it, your products will not (and should not) be at the same price as what is cheaply made in sweat shops. That is the beauty of Farrow & Ball, it is a pure luxury to have them in your home and you take pride in that ownership. It’s not just wallpaper or paint, it’s Farrow & Ball wallpaper and paint produced in England by a company who really, truly loves what they do.

Here is the Hornbeam BP 5002 wallpaper in my living room, shown throughout this post. While I’m currently on the hunt to add-in some art and a few pieces of furniture, I am very happy with how the wall looks. It’s just the right amount of pattern without overwhelming my moody and calm living room.

Farrow & Ball Wallpaper In My Living Room

Farrow & Ball Wallpaper In My Living Room

Farrow & Ball Wallpaper In My Living Room

Farrow & Ball Wallpaper In My Living Room

If you have a copy of my latest book, Decorate For a Party, this room may feel familiar to you. You can see it in the book only not as a living room. For the party theme in the book, I transformed this space =into a dining room and worked the theme around the Hornbeam-patterned wallpaper. This paper works beautifully in any room of the home.

I hope that you like my choice, it was definitely a great pick and came out exactly how I had envisioned it. My next goal: Add color to the room through accessories. I really want a cozy new sofa, more comfortable chairs, a large round white marble coffee table, art for above the sofa, new table lighting, new sofa side table. What will I do with everything currently here? Move it to another room and use in other ways, of course. But the wallpaper STAYS.

Thank you Farrow & Ball for the beautiful wallpaper, what a truly lovely statement it makes in my space.

(Photography: Holly Becker for decor8)






Decorating Tips

8 Ways To Transform Nursery to Kid’s Room

June 7, 2017

Hello everyone, I hope you’re doing good. I’m heading off to Hamburg in the morning so before I go, I thought I’d share a project that I recently finished and photographed to appear in a big magazine later this year – my little boy’s updated bedroom! I took it from being a baby nursery to a room fit for a three-year-old boy complete with a new bed, some new art, a drawing table, new rug and a few other things you may spot that are a little different from before. I love how it came out.

8 Ways To Transform Nursery to Kid's Room

I’ve not changed much in his bedroom since I designed his nursery (before and after here) but I did exchange his crib for the beautiful Wood Day Bed from Oliver Furniture (which we love) and I added a small table with a bench from Bloomingville along with a Bloomingville wooden toy box on wheels (not shown). I also mixed new rugs, linen curtains, new bedding, a few new cushions and I switched up the art on one of his walls. So I guess I did change a few things! It really needed a facelift and he was so happy when he saw the finished results! I imagine his room will stay this way (more or less) for another 3-4 years, and then we’ll update again with new wallpaper on the back wall, new paint, new scheme… But for now, this room is definitely made to grow with him.

8 Ways To Transform Nursery to Kid's Room

Ready to check out his updated room with my 8 steps? It’s very gender neutral, so it’s great for a boy or girl!

  1. Switch out the crib with an adaptable, quality bed. I didn’t want to buy a toddler bed, then have to buy a twin bed or a full bed a few years later, too much shopping! We opted for the Wood Day Bed from Oliver Furniture because it’s made very well, handmade in fact, and is a beautiful Danish design so if he tires of it in a few years, it will fit beautifully into my guest bedroom where I currently have a very boring twin bed. This day bed also has an organic allergy-free mattress and an extra insert to extend the current mattress with any extra peice, so when he is taller, the day bed grows with him – the frame pulls apart and you place in two new railings. Then it’s the length of a normal twin size bed.
  2. Update the bedding. This is such an easy but dramatic change because the modern bunny pattern still works with the wallpaper yet makes the room look like it’s a for an older child now and not a baby.
  3. Update the art. Also easy. You don’t have to change or get rid of everything, of course, but swap out prints and just move things around. The papier mâché mask went from over his changing table to above his bookcase. The wall chart stayed because he still likes it and I knew when I first put it in his nursery that we could keep it for years before the cars and superheros posters take over. Some of the art I just taped to the walls with washi tape just as before when I put together his nursery. Washi tape lasts for years, at least the MT Tape brand, so prints won’t fall off the wall no matter how humid or cold the room gets.
  4. Add curtains that hang to the floor. I like these because they are linen and light, but also block out the light even during bright daylight. I opted for a black trim on the curtains to make them look a bit more grown up so he’ll hopefully keep them for years and if he doesn’t, I can easily pop them into the guest room or another spot in my home. I always think like this when I shop – where else can I use the item if I tire of it in the room I’m buying it for today? It’s a great thing to do when you shop, especially for the investment pieces like drapes. Can you imagine them in another room or reimagine as a shower curtain, cafe curtain, pillow covers or a bench cover?
  5. Work table – a must! A baby isn’t able to sit on a bench and color but a little child loves being creative so give them space to do so in their room on a little table, mine is from Bloomingville. I have two benches for this table but the other one stays in the guest room with plants on it for now, but when he’s friends come by and they all want to sit at the table, I can pull the second bench out and they can go at it. He also loves that he can pick up the bench and move it around his room. He likes to move it below his window so he can peek outside throughout the day.
  6. New rugs for playing. I picked up a flat weave rug so he can race his cars on it and also be comfortable since the floors are hardwood, but I also exchanged the fluffy flokati rug I had in his nursery for a flat surface, but still cozy to sit and place legos on. You can’t play legos on a deep, fluffy rug! I imagine I’ll change the rug again in a year or two, but this one was under 100 Euros and can go into another room in my home or I can give it away to a friend.
  7. Flexible dresser/changing table top. I was THRILLED that I ordered a changing table/dresser combo from Oliver Furniture before he was born because the changing surface came off easily and now he still has the lovely white dresser that he’s had for over three years now. I lost the handles though (I took them out when he was crawling and emptying out the drawers constantly) and haven’t found them since so now I am looking for new pulls. But other than that, the dresser is still in beautiful condition and we really love it. He can keep this dresser for years and years, and it’s wood so we can paint it black when he goes through his teen angst years or whatever. ha ha!
  8. Restyle things. Move stuff around and add in new things that your child loves and plays with. Don’t be afraid to move out the baby stuff – even if you can’t part with it yet, store things someplace until you are ready to pass them on to another child or maybe your own next child! I switched around things on his bookcase and on the shelves over his dresser that paint of a picture of his life today.

8 Ways To Transform Nursery to Kid's Room

Updated bedding

8 Ways To Transform Nursery to Kid's RoomNew curtains, table and chairs

8 Ways To Transform Nursery to Kid's Room

Updated art above bookcase

8 Ways To Transform Nursery to Kid's Room

8 Ways To Transform Nursery to Kid's Room

Updated rugs, new bed, new laundry basket, new lamp

8 Ways To Transform Nursery to Kid's Room

His shelves now have more personal things inside included his wrist band from his birth, birthday candles, gifts from friends, things I’ve made, his belly button clamp from infancy, etc.

8 Ways To Transform Nursery to Kid's Room

Now for a little shopping list!

Also, you can shop more of my favorite things for kids at Bitte where I have my very own shopping page set up.

Thank you so much Oliver Furniture for donating the beautiful bed and to Bloomingville for the table and bench – and to all of my readers, if there is anything I’ve missed, please let me know. I’m so happy that I could share this space with all of you today – it makes me so proud and is truly one of the happiest rooms in my home.

Holly

(Photography: Holly Becker for decor8)






Trends

14 Ways To Decorate With Terrazzo

May 31, 2017

Hey, hey, hey! Have you noticed? Terrazzo is trending and I love it. I found so many examples of this trend over the past year while attending Europe’s largest design fairs. Are you seeing more and more Terrazzo where you live too? Today I have pulled together some ways to use it in your home, from the real deal (flooring) to patterns on objects for the home, including textiles. But first, how about a little design lesson, what is terrazzo exactly?

14 Ways To Decorate With Terrazzo

For those of you who aren’t sure, terrazzo is, “A composite material, poured in place or precast, which is used for floor and wall treatments. It consists of chips of marble, quartz, granite, glass, or other suitable material, poured with a cementitious binder. Metal strips divide sections, or changes in color or material in a pattern. Additional chips may be sprinkled atop the mix before it sets. After it is cured, it is ground and polished smooth or otherwise finished to produce a uniformly textured surface.” – Wikipedia.

Now let’s explore some modern ways to use it in the home AND see some beautiful examples of it on floors, too. For more inspo, visit and pin from my Pinterest board: Terrazzo Trend.

14 Ways To Decorate With Terrazzo1. Terrazzo coffee table from Anthropologie

14 Ways To Decorate With Terrazzo2. Terrazzo kitchen floors and counter, House Deurne by MADE Architects/Olmo Peeters (also shown in opening photo and below).

14 Ways To Decorate With Terrazzo

14 Ways To Decorate With Terrazzo3. Terrazzo-patterned shower curtain, Urban Outfitters

14 Ways To Decorate With Terrazzo4. The home of Nikki McCullagh in Venice, Italy courtesy of The WSJ

14 Ways To Decorate With Terrazzo5. Overscale terrazzo floor from AREA Architecture

14 Ways To Decorate With Terrazzo6. Paradiso is a coffee shop in Geneva, photographer Miguel Guzman, from Divisare.

14 Ways To Decorate With Terrazzo7. Besler​ ​&​ ​Sons bookends

14 Ways To Decorate With Terrazzo8. Handmade terrazzo bowls and serving boards at 12Thirteen Store

14 Ways To Decorate With Terrazzo9. Terrazzo pencils from HAY

14 Ways To Decorate With Terrazzo10. Terrazzo table base from HAY

14 Ways To Decorate With Terrazzo11. Terrazzo wallpaper from PaperMint

14 Ways To Decorate With Terrazzo12. Terrazzo Max Lamb countertop, London, Play Associates

14 Ways To Decorate With Terrazzo13. Oliver Bonas terrazzo lamp and pillow

14 Ways To Decorate With Terrazzo14. Maison Kitsune terrazzo heaven in Paris (I was there in March, it’s better in person!)

Have you seen an terrazzo inspo lately that caught you eye? I’d love to see more of it, I think it’s absolutely great – it’s like crazy confetti and looks so cheerful to me. Let’s hear it for terrazzo – the forgotten flooring that’s making a strong comeback and not just for floors, but in interiors objects and fashion too.

See you tomorrow with a post about how I turned my son’s nursery into a big boy’s room!

Holly






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