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Decorate With Greens + Blues From Neptune

July 13, 2017

Hola amigos! ¿Que pasa?! I’m back from Barcelona and all I can think about is green and blue! If you wonder why, please visit my @decor8 Instagram and check out my manyyyyyy Barcelona photos – you will spot a definite color palette shining through of mostly green, blue and then some pinks and terra cottas… That’s why when I discovered this beautiful English home brand today called Neptune, I had to share them on decor8. Why? I spotted lots of green on their site and it made me feel cozy and happy right away. Especially emerald green. I’m really smitten with it lately. And their press release today shared lots of yummy deep blues for Fall/Winter 2017. I feel like velvet is here to stay but also these dark rich tones, don’t you? Blue and green (dark tones) are all I think about lately. You have to be really daring to decorate with dark tones, but I really think it’s worth it whether you accent your space with them or you go all out and paint your walls deep, dark tones.

Decorate With Greens + Blues From Neptune

In regards to Neptune, they have been in business already for over two decades and I haven’t the clue who they are, so I was happy to learn of them. I am sure my many English friends know all about them. Perhaps they are a big brand in the UK, who knows. But I really like some of their interiors products and kitchens, they look and feel so quintessentially British in my American/European eyes.

Neptune specializes in beautiful, well made furniture, kitchens and decor objects and browsing their website earlier today, I couldn’t help but wonder why I’d not heard of them sooner… And if I’ve not heard of them, perhaps many of you hadn’t either so do take a moment to click over and check out their website. You won’t be disappointed.

Decorate With Greens + Blues From Neptune

Decorate With Greens + Blues From Neptune

Decorate With Greens + Blues From Neptune
Decorate With Greens + Blues From Neptune

Decorate With Greens + Blues From Neptune

Decorate With Greens + Blues From Neptune
Decorate With Greens + Blues From Neptune
Decorate With Greens + Blues From Neptune
Decorate With Greens + Blues From Neptune

They have lots of shops all over England, one is shown above. Some also have flower shops inside. There are several pieces I would pick out and mix in with my own style at home. They also sell tile, plates, lamps, baskets and so much more. Imagine having a little summer cottage decorated in this English country style? So pretty, right?

(Photography: Neptune)






Business

6 Reasons We’re Moving To Squarespace

July 7, 2017

6 Reasons We're Moving To SquarespaceAfter months of wondering what the best decision would be, my husband (who runs the backend of decor8) and I decided to move decor8 from WordPress (WP) to Squarespace and try something completely new. This isn’t purely about aesthetics, following trends, or even because we’re bored with WordPress. It’s actually none of that. Our reasoning is based on more of what’s happening behind-the-scenes that you never see or hear about. The stuff that kills creativity.

6 Reasons We're Moving To Squarespace

Before I detail why we’re moving to Squarespace, let’s talk about blog platforms in general. If you’ve been wondering about which blogging platform is best for you, I encourage you to think about your needs and do a lot of research. Ask around for help from people with a tech background, but also talk to bloggers who are using these platforms each day. Also read through our 6 points below and see if anything feels familiar to you. Every platform out there serves different needs and people. You have to find what works best for you.

Like me, maybe you’ve been battling with whether to try Squarespace or not. When I started blogging, it was easy. I used Blogger.com and a boring polka-dot template because that was one of the only templates I thought was cute. Back then, nothing was happening yet with blogs (2005) so you took what you could get. Things have gladly changed in incredible ways. That’s why in 2009, I dropped blogger and hired a template designer and moved over to WordPress. It was a smart decision at the time and I’m glad I did it.

Now, it’s time to move on! Next month, decor8 will have a new look and feel and move over to Squarespace. It will be very stream-lined and basic, as I really want my blog to look and feel like a blog and not a news or media website. I know I’ll write on it more frequently and feel more excited to write regularly if I have some of the tech stress removed from my work life. I’ll detail those current stresses below.

6 Reasons We're Moving To Squarespace

Here are our top 6 reasons for changing platforms:

1. Security. Our site has been under permanent attack for the past several years, from brute force attacks (password guess attempts) to DDoS (denial of service). The attacks require our constant attention and prevention. This is expensive and time-consuming, taking us away from doing more interesting work.
2. Server cost. We are currently hosting WP on our own VPS (virtual private server), with considerable cost, which is needed to keep the site running smoothly under WP. While there are more affordable hosting options none proved resource sufficient enough for a site of our size (visitor wise).
3. Server maintenance. We do all our own server maintenance. While our server comes with basic tech support we still need to maintain several site critical aspects ourselves. Again, time-consuming and costly on our end because this takes us away from doing work that could be much more exciting for us and for all of you.
4. Non standardized framework. While WP can be easily extended with plugins, most of which are open source, many of these plugins may contain security risks. Plugins also often cease to be maintained by their developers, unless they are commercial, posing further security risks. They can also add considerable resource load on the sever, risking the site going down. Plugins are generally needed to go beyond the rather basic options available with vanilla Worpdress, e.g. there is no built-in ecommerce functionality.
5. Adaptable design. To this day, WordPress still does not ship with a flexible, fully visually customization template. Such templates need to be purchased from external vendors, adding cost and uncertainty (see plugins above).
6. No support. Any issues that arise with a local install of WordPress are on us to deal with. While there is a WP support forum it has proven non helpful with most issues we faced over the years.

We are both happy to make this change, and ready! We will keep running Blogging Your Way on WordPress and my personal expat blog, Hausmaus, on Blogger, decor8 will be best served on Squarespace. I may eventually run them all on one platform, but first I want to see how the big move goes for decor8 and to give it time on the new platform.

If you’d like to give Squarespace a go, you can sign up for 14 days risk free to check it out – no credit card required. When you’re ready to subscribe, just enter code DECOR8 to get 10% off your first domain or website purchase.

Time to run to the airport to catch my flight to Barcelona, bye!!!

Xo

Holly

(Photography: Holly Becker)

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Squarespace. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep decor8 blogging for over 11 years. :)






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Mapiful: Beautiful + Meaningful Wall Decor

July 6, 2017

Mapiful: Beautiful + Meaningful Wall Decor

I’m sure you’ve seen Mapiful on blogs and Instagram because this small Swedish start-up has really made a name for themselves in the social media and design world! Not only are their black & white designs the perfect minimalist addition to any home, but their theme satisfies the explorer in us all – whether you’re dreaming of a destination, you live in a spot you love or you have been to a special place that forever stays in your heart (like where you had your honeymoon). Mapiful lets you showcase that favorite place in your home through their customized posters.

Mapiful: Beautiful + Meaningful Wall Decor

If you’re familiar with the expat life, then you probably have a few favorite places. I’m an American expat living in northern Germany and next month I celebrate 8 years (!) of living full-time abroad, 10 years total if you include the first two years where we lived in both the United States and Germany (we had two residences) before we made the big jump.

Mapiful: Beautiful + Meaningful Wall Decor

A decade of life in Europe changes you. As any expat will tell you, you’re not the same person once you leave your home country and make a life in an entirely new culture, speaking a different language each day. I arrived with an open heart and dreams of what my life could become and living abroad has changed my life completely – and I surpassed all of the dreams that I had, quicker than I’d imagined, and now I’m dreaming of what’s to come. I’ve also had some unbelievable challenges and moments when I felt very much like an outsider; it’s not all been perfect.

Mapiful: Beautiful + Meaningful Wall Decor

Yet, I’m so happy that I relocated and I just love the access that I have to other countries and cultures here because Europe allows you to be in so many different places in such a short time, and is very affordable, so I can drive to places like Denmark, the Netherlands and Poland in just a few hours. I take a train to Paris when I feel like I need to relax in one of my favorite cities. It’s a total luxury if you love (or like me, crave) adventure, to live in Europe. On Friday morning, I’ll be in Spain for holiday. Then, I’m off to Finland in September. Yet, I can’t put my finger on a “favorite” spot in Europe. I tried to, but failed because I enjoy so many different cultures and cities for so many different reasons. That’s why I wanted my Mapiful poster to feature all those places- it doesn’t center on one spot, but on all of Europe instead.

Mapiful: Beautiful + Meaningful Wall Decor

When it comes to the design, you can choose from several different layout options- Modern, Pantone, Strict or Clean. Modern is the classic style, and highlights your beloved place in bold. Pantone, Strict, Clean are for the minimalists out there looking for clean lines and subtle details. If you have a special neighborhood you want to highlight, then you can zoom in and add houses/buildings to your map. You can even zoom out to feature not just one city, but entire countries (or in the case of my map, an entire continent)!

Mapiful: Beautiful + Meaningful Wall Decor

If you want to create a Mapiful poster of your favorite place (or places), you can easily design one by visiting Mapiful. For a flat rate of $60, they will ship it in a tube anywhere in the world, no shipping fees and you will have within a week or even less.

I just love Mapiful and I hope that you have fun designing a poster on their site. If you order before July 30, 2017, they will give you 15% OFF of your map if you use the discount code DECOR8.

(Photography: Holly Becker for decor8)

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Mapiful. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep decor8 blogging for over 11 years. :)






Travel

Barcelona Tips?

July 6, 2017

Hello everyone! I’m packing for Barcelona and will be taking you with me via Instagram @decor8 if you’d like to join! I’ll post Insta Stories and photos there beginning tomorrow (Friday) until next Tuesday or Wednesday. I can’t wait to show you what I’m seeing for the first time. I’ve never been so I’m quite excited. I’ve done little research on what to expect and what to see so if you have some good tips for my friend and I, we’d be so happy to hear them in the comments below.

Barcelona Tips?

Barcelona Tips?

Barcelona Tips?

Barcelona Tips?See you in BCN! Adios!

x Holly

(Photography: Unsplash)






Home

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






Home

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)






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