Monthly Archives

March 2010

Home Tours

Samantha Robinson Studio Tour

March 31, 2010

Time to go on a mini shopping trip with me today, a little desk vacay. Let’s visit Samantha Robinson’s ceramics studio in Sydney and fight over which ones we’ll take home with us, okay?

Samantha Robinson Studio Tour

I have dibs on nearly all of them (kidding, I’ll share!) and I am especially excited that photographer Jillian Leiboff shot this studio with Samantha’s permission to share here on decor8 today because these photos really capture the essence that is Samantha Robinson. She creates art capturing it in a most functional way to show that everyday objects need not be mundane. This ceramicist is one of my favorites and so for me it’s a real treat to peek in on the space where she creates such precious pieces. I particularly like how fragile some appear, and how others look like paper, painted glass, and even plastic. Gorgeous.


Samantha Robinson Studio Tour

Samantha Robinson Studio Tour

Samantha Robinson Studio Tour

Samantha Robinson Studio Tour

Samantha Robinson Studio Tour

Samantha Robinson Studio Tour

Samantha Robinson Studio Tour

Samantha Robinson Studio Tour

As I look through these photos I can’t help but smell the earthy clay and paint — and imagine how beautiful these vessels would be to hold in my hands — some to drink from, others for flowers, still others for fruit. I get the sense from her studio that she is truly happiest when she is potting. I would like to own a few for my home but I don’t know of any shops in Germany or Europe who would ship them to me… so I guess I will have to drool along with the rest of you who also have little to no access to Samantha Robinson’s beautiful works. I’m sure the more we blog about her online, the more shops will carry her fine things locally. So spread the word!

Thank you Jillian for the photographs and also Samantha – thank you for giving us permission to share them publicly!

(images: jillian leiboff imaging)






Books + Magazines

Table Style: Book Review

March 31, 2010

I’ve been dying to pull together this book review for you because I just know that you’ll love it as much as I do! The book is called Table Style and was written by Rebecca Tanqueray, former Deputy Editor of Elle Decoration (UK), photographed by the fantastic Debi Treloar and styled by Liz Belton who has styled many books published by Ryland Peters & Small. To say this book is perfect isn’t enough. I need to expound. And expound I will, with some gushing too!

Table Style: Book Review

Table Style is the decor8 book of the week and I’ll tell you why: it’s inspirational, beautiful and practical with many helpful tips that can be applied rather easily. Table Style is all about making any dinner, whether a casual one with family to a themed dinner party, a lovely occasion by making the most of what you’ve got. So many of us have things laying around that we may not have thought to use on the dinner table but this book will help you to get your creative wheels turning so that next time you see some empty canning jars in your cabinet awaiting your next jam session, well perhaps you will pull them out and display them as they are shown on pages 123-124 and also below you can catch a glimpse. It’s really a lovely and most affordable idea — in fact one of my favorites from this book.

Table Style: Book Review

The book is divided into two main sections, the first is The Elements and it examines the components of a properly laid table because we all know how good a proper lay can be, right? :) Okay, sorry. I need to keep this professional. But I couldn’t resist. So yes, this section explains how dinnerware, flatware, napkins, flowers and candles can really influence the look and feel of mealtime.

Table Style: Book Review

The second section, The Occasions, is brilliant. For one, I’ve not seen any of these photographs floating around on blogs so each and every view is fresh and new (which is exciting). And the occasions aren’t centered around keeping tradition as much as reinterpreting them. The Holiday table isn’t bogged down with gold, red and evergreen – rather it’s fresh and modernized with red, gray, white, natural linen and felted wool place mats and napkin rings. The 19 beautiful occasions include; classic elegant dining, a vintage tea party, children’s party, baby shower, father’s day meal, autumnal dinner, supper for two, cocktail party, relaxed supper, eastern banquet, weekend breakfast, lazy brunch, summer bbq, chic contemporary dining, mother’s day brunch, picnic in the park, christmas lunch and a garden lunch. There isn’t one that I didn’t connect with on some level, I loved them all!

Table Style: Book Review

And then there is a final part of the book that examines place settings and shows exactly how to set your table according to the type of meal that you plan to present. I particularly loved learning how to set up for British Afternoon Tea and English Afternoon Tea and I never realized that there was a difference! Other settings include American formal, French formal, Chinese informal and Japanese informal. We love Japanese food but I never knew how to properly set the table for some of my favorite Japanese bites until now.

Table Style: Book Review

I highly, highly suggest this book to any lover of entertaining, styling, food and those of you who simply love to look at beautiful, inspirational images for ideas and inspiration. Table Style is a joy!

Disclaimer: As an Amazon affiliate, I earn 4% on the sale of this book if purchased through this link.

(images: holly becker for decor8)






Press

Podcast + Big News!

March 30, 2010

Well it’s time to reveal some big news! I have been busy working on two projects — one local and the other definitely more of a gift to you, and I talk about them for the first time publicly during a podcast interview with Darren from Problogger. I wanted to tell you my big news vs. write it down because I wouldn’t email my mother to tell her something important — I would call her and that’s how I feel today too, like this is my way of calling you and letting you know. It’s a long discussion but I tried to make it interesting so that you can take away some tips away for yourself. You may click here to listen. Turn the sound down though, it is quite loud otherwise and you don’t want your boss to catch ya when you should be working. But who cares about work when you have online things to do, right?!? :)

Podcast + Big News!

Here are some things that I talk about:

  • the story behind starting decor8
  • content ideas
  • what type of posts attract more comments
  • ideas on advertising and how it works
  • how to deal with negative comments and what positive things can come from them
  • what I want readers to gain by reading decor8
  • how I’ve built my readership
  • how I make a full-time living from my blog
  • why I had to outsource technical and ad space management
  • and I talk about my other projects, which until today, have not been shared publicly. :)

Thank you Darren for the chat, it was fun to go live as most of my interviews are text-based. I giggle a lot because it was nearly midnight when we recorded and I get silly late at night — but I like that it’s natural and real and I hope that you d0 too.

You may click here to listen

(image: collage by holly becker)






Etsy Faves

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

March 30, 2010

Ready to see five shops that I’ve marked as a fave this week? In this week’s mix you will find prints, original paintings, pillows, jewelry, mousepads, pillows, storage bins and more so c’mon… Let’s get this party started!

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

First up is, United Thread. Could these watercolors be any prettier?

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

Next is artist Mindy Lacefield of Tim’s Sally who I first found today since she’s the featured shop on etsy’s main page. You can learn more about Mindy here. Prints, rings, coasters, necklaces, pocket mirrors, mouse pads, original paintings and more!

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

Kinrisu is just draw dropping. I love these prints, I mean, I lurrrrve them. :)

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

Let’s check out Lilydove & Chou Chou now, gorgeous, right?

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

Finally let’s ice this cake with the lovely Jenna Rose.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my finds for the week! Feel free to add any of your favorite shops in the comments section below. I just ask that you please do not link to your own shop because the goal is to highlight places where you shop on Etsy. :) :)

(images: linked to their source above.)






Travel

Hamburg Bound: Tips?

March 30, 2010

My new friend at TineKHome in Denmark is traveling down to Hamburg on Thursday and would like some advice on what to see there. She’s looking for some stylish shops and cafes. I have a little list below of some of the places I suggest… If you’ve been to Hamburg what suggestions do you have?

Hamburg Bound: Tips?

Shops:

  • Habitat – Downtown near the water and old town hall – and by the way, you cannot go to Hamburg WITHOUT seeing the old town hall. My goodness, it’s amazing. Wow.
  • While you are downtown make sure you go to the store/cafe Flamant. Very, very nice and quite large so plan to spend at least 30 minutes browsing. They also make their own paint in some of the best chalky colors. If you have time for cake and coffee, visit their cafe.
  • Stilwerk: a large building with design shops, mostly Knoll and big names, but also a great tea cafe/shop with Hamburg’s specialty tea brand, Samova. It’s also near the port and all the yummy places for fresh seafood.
  • milchmaedchen: small shop owned by a nice lady who has lots of independent brands). I visited and photographed the shop here in 2008.
  • craft2eu: small gallery shop with mostly ceramics and contemporary art and sculpture. Nice.
  • Die Wohngeschwister – furniture and home accessories.
  • TH2 White – Gorgeous! That’s all I can say! Go!
  • Eden Living (I loved this store – typical “Hamburg style” which is a good thing!) It’s also nearby to other nice cafes and shops — pretty area.
  • Lütt & Fien – shop for mostly children but very unique and special. Also happens to be in a very nice part of the city with other shops and cafes nearby. I wrote about them recently here.
  • Andreas Linzner – shop with mostly plush animals but also very original and he is just the nicest man, I met him a few years ago at his shop. He is also located in a very busy area with lots of stores.
  • Charlotta’s – Lots of Amy Butler fabric, patterns in English, Amy Butler books, and fabric from all over the world, lots from America. The shop owner, Karin Fuchs, is a delight and her store is stocked with beautiful things. It’s near craft2eu so you can hit both at the same time.
  • Herzallerliebst – More pretty things, fabrics and notions, gifts, but most of all they have gorgeous leather bags and wallets that they make. They even sell my favorite tea, The o dor, from Paris. This shop is around the corner from milchmaedchen so you can see them both easily.
  • Dedon – Gorgeous furniture showroom.
  • Patio Antiques – came suggested to me by my friend Yvonne as a “must-see” shop.

Food:

  • Personally, I’ve not dined out too often in Hamburg but when I have I found East to be exquisite for dinner and cocktails.
  • I also loved TH2 for breakfast and lunch, it’s near the shop Eden Living so you can hit both at the same time. TH2 is such a pretty cafe and is owned by a couple who are both named Torsten and who happen to be designers who own TH2 White.
  • I’ve also been told by the owner of Milchmaedchen to try Bistrot Vienna (cozy and great food) and
  • Rocco (Italian)

Okay so I know I’ve missed a ton of shops and cafes — and I personally would like to know what you do in Hamburg — so please comment with your suggestions below!

(image: holly becker for decor8, taken of the milchmädchen shop)






Shopping + Products

Patch NYC at West Elm

March 29, 2010

I’ve been meaning to ask your opinion on the recent collaboration between West Elm and Patch NYC. What do you think about them teaming up with design duo John Ross and Don Carney? I personally think it was a good move on the part of West Elm and I hope that they continue to go in this direction by bringing more small firms under their wing to not only diversify their range but to spotlight the work of talented designers out there who may be interested in taking that next step to become more of a household name. John and Don are so talented, they got started in 1997 and have been producing hats, scarves, handbags and jewelry ever since. Their new home collection for West Elm is quite nice I think… Here are their designs as prints, pillows and plates.

Patch NYC at West Elm

I imagine bringing on Patch NYC for a limited time was a big move for their brand but it’s a smart choice and I think it’s fun to see a collection that merges the talent of Patch NYC with the clean, modern aesthetic of the West Elm brand. I hope that this is the start of more collaborations in the years ahead; I’d like to see them work with other small to mid-size names.

From the Patch Blog about this collection John says, “After many months of design and development, we are very excited to introduce our first collection of home accessories created exclusively for West Elm!  We worked from Don’s ink drawings to create a cohesive group of new designs: small rectangular dishes and serving platters, metallic silkscreen on linen pillows and letterpress prints in lacquered frames.”

What do you think about this collaboration?

(images: patch nyc & west elm)






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