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Happy Long Weekend!

I felt inspired this morning by a few photos that I found awhile back on a blog and so I did some research to find exactly where I saw them first and it was on Emma’s blog. And the company behind the photographs is paint manufacturer Jotun. I really like these shots, though they are clearly styled for print and reflect that they were meticulously produced, I still like the rather random feel of them. I think that should be the goal of an interiors stylist for books, don’t you? To have a sort of laid back, “this is my life”, approach to producing a photo-worthy display.


When things look too staged it doesn’t feel like something one can relate to, does it? Of course, product shots are always very “staged” looking and stuff for magazines often looks more set up than the shots you find inside of books, but I am finding the more natural approach much more interesting to capture and show these days. As I fly to Copenhagen this weekend (thankfully it’s a 50 minute flight so I don’t have to spend hours in the sky), I will try to produce work next week that will reflect my own sensibility more than ever before. This is the first time that I will direct and style for a book and I have been “trained” by some lovely people, including the book co-author Jo, so I feel like I have everything under control. I am ready to jump in and work hard! I can’t wait to work alongside the photographer and also to interview each homeowner to understand how they live in their space – this really excites me the most about the entire project – getting to know the homeowner and their space thoroughly so I can communicate it to you through the pages of the Decorate book. I want you to feel, as you are reading it, a connection to each home — a connection that I already have since I have personally scouted the locations. I have all of my questions prepared and my tool kit ready to go in case I need to pin or tack something (knowing me, I will!), and I am ready to get going on this project.



I have to pack today, and prepare more things for my trip, but next week Leslie Shewring will be here with a few posts, and I have Etsy Take Five Tuesday ready to go thanks to another guest who will be dropping in, and I will write a bit from the road and share some posts with you — so that’s how the schedule on decor8 will look next week. A bit light, but bright and inspirational as usual. Then the posting schedule will go back to normal for the rest of June. No matter where I am or what I’m doing, I always think about you and how I wish I could share everything here and how much I miss writing in this space. I also promise to collect my finds and experiences along the way, take some photographs, and share a nice Copenhagen round-up upon my return so stay tuned for that if you have an interest in Danish life and culture (and shopping!).

Have a nice long weekend and I’ll see you on Tuesday reporting live from Copenhagen (Monday is a holiday)!

P.S. I think we have a new flat to move into on September 1st! Yay! We will have the paperwork around June 7th so once it is “signed and sealed” I will tell you more about it and share some of my decorating plans as I go so you can see what I do to it if you’d like. :)

P.S.S. I’ll be tweeting from the road as I travel next week so you can follow my adventure if you find it interesting enough (ha ha) by clicking here and then clicking “follow”.

(images: Jotun)

Posted in uncategorized on May 28, 2010


There is this natural wood desk light that I’ve been spotting more and more, last week in London it waved to me from a shop window and this week in Hannover it called out to me from another store yet again. Thinking it was a million dollars, I didn’t bother to investigate further. Then last night at home I decided to google it and discovered that it is called the Wood Lamp designed for Muuto, a company inspired by the Finnish word muutos which means “new perspective” and this is exactly what they give everyday objects – a new take on the ordinary. And it’s affordable, well you know… sorta. It seems to be around $200 USD which I guess is fine if you compare it to most designer lamps on the market.





By teaming up with some of the most talented Scandinavian designers they are able to not only represent the best in modern Scandinavian design but also to give each designer an opportunity to share a personal story through the objects that they design for Muuto. I could easily have any of these things in my home — but it’s the wood lamp that I crave most for it’s simple form and materials yet strong presence – a good conversation piece!

P.S. If you love wood, don’t miss the blog of the week: I Heart Wood. It’s great!

(images: muuto)

Posted in Objects on May 28, 2010

London Quick Guide

I thought it may be nice to pull together a quick guide to some of the places I visited while in London — if you are a regular decor8 reader and click with my style then these addresses will be ones that hopefully you’ll like as much as I did. I don’t have maps or anything fancy-like, just a few snaps and some addresses and web links. Here is “my” London…

London Trip Impressions


Selfridges – 400 Oxford Street. My favorite. You can find a Cath Kidston on the lower floor near to the cute yellow and black cafe (where they have great snacks by the way). Their is a section for Designers Guild linens upstairs, a Muji section, a Diptyque candle department, and a big Jo Malone counter where you can find the limited edition candles for Farrow & Ball which are delightful. There is even a great book shop on the lower floor, too. Don’t miss their new perfume, exclusively made for Selfridges by Maison Martin Margiela. I am kicking myself for not buying it because my sample ran out and I became quite addicted. If you are bringing your guy with you, show him to the men’s departments — my husband picked up several things from English designer Ted Baker there. Oh and their is The White Company also in this stores upstairs, too.

Another must-see store is Liberty. Don’t miss all of the Amy Butler fabric in the bits + bobbins section, and check out the great lighting, stationery, and their current “Target” shop in the rear entrance to the store which is a real treat to be able to purchase some of the merchandise that sold as part of their collection at Target. Spend time browsing their sunglasses and jewelry, they have some very unique pieces. Their stationery section is nice, too.

Anthropologie – It’s gorgeous, both of them! Don’t miss! I liked the one on Regent Street a lot with the living plant wall and 3 floors of gorgeousness. You can hit Anthropologie, Liberty and Selfridges in the same day since they are all nearby. Tour it on YouTube here and here and here.

Japan Centre – This is such a great store in Piccadilly, especially if you love all things Japanese from ceramics to foods. It’s mainly a really nice grocery store but a really nice one with lots of great things to look through – even books, though not many home books sadly.

Harrods – Well, I only go here for the food halls  (great cupcakes!) but around the corner on the side of Harrods there is a huge Laduree that you must visit! Wow! They have a beautiful tea room and macaroons galore.

HMV – Great for cheap CDs and DVDs. Another great music store is Fopp in Covent Garden at 1 Earlham Street.

Top Shop – Clothes! Yay!

Zara Home – Home goods by Spanish clothing company Zara.

Habitat – Home goods from lamps to furniture and beyond.

London Trip Impressions

London Trip Impressions

Susannah Hunter


Susannah Hunter – Handbags in leather with floral appliques, gorgeous shop. Also available, custom chairs, trunks, pillows and more in leather. Make sure you visit her store at 19 Connaught Street so you can go to the Cocomaya cafe across the street for pastries or afternoon tea. What a treat!

Cath Kidston – of course. If you don’t have time to hit one of her shops (I visited the one in Notting Hill on Portobello Road and another at 51 Marylebone High Street) then you can see her pop-up shop in Selfridges department store at 400 Oxford street

The White Company – You can visit this shop after hitting Cath Kidston at 12 Marylebone High Street.

Designers Guild – Also stop at this store after Cath Kidston and The White Company since one is located at 76 Marylebone High Street. Don’t miss the downstairs, which is easy to do. Lots of pretty things you’ll want to see. I heard that her flagship store is better, located at 277 Kings Road, but I did not have time to visit.

After Noah – in Islington – Lots of nice little vintage-y things, furniture, books, cards, a “general store” type of place. Very sweet! Located at 121 Upper Street.

Atelieir Abigail Ahearn –  in Islington – This dark, moody shop is small but delightful. The owner/author has a really amazing eye and gorgeous things to see. 137 Upper Street.

Toast – in Islington – For clothing and such. Plain and simple but really nice. Located at 133 Upper Street.

Paperchase – These shops are all over London but I went to one at 21 Parkfield Street in Islington and liked it very much (and stocked up) on gorgeous stationery and things. Definitely a shop worth seeing if you want great paper products.

Caravan – Owned by stylist/author Emily Chalmers, you can’t miss this shop.

Squint – Another great store, I just reviewed it here on decor8 a few days ago but it’s near Caravan and the Albion cafe so do all three in the same afternoon.

London Trip Impressions

London Trip Impressions


London Trip Impressions



La Fromagerie – Gorgeous cheese shop by author Patricia Michelson that you can visit while at the above addresses since it’s located on Moxton Street just off of Marylebone High Street. Make sure to hang out at the tasting cafe for a quick bite around a large family-size wood table. It’s heaven!

Cocomaya – Fine chocolates and artisian bakery. It’s heavenly. Don’t miss it. Eat outside if the weather permits! I went twice! It is located at 12 Connaught Street. Go to their chocolate shop just behind the bakery/cafe. Heaven.

Albion at the Boundary hotel. This cafe is around the corner from two must-see shops, Caravan and Squint, on Red Church Street. Dine in or outside. They also have a nice little food shop where you can buy jams and such in addition to pastries and breads if you don’t have time to sit down for a meal. If you order a sandwich for lunch, split it with a friend because one sandwich has two sandwiches on the plate – I’m not kidding!

Ottolenghi – Go here and eat and enjoy everything about this lovely cafe! They have a great cookbook too. I went to their Islington cafe at 287 Upper Street – definitely go! They have several London addresses though.

Carluccio’s – Had breakfast here at their Islington location at 305 Upper Street, but they have many addresses in London.

Euphorium Bakery – I had coffee here, also in Islington on Upper Street, and thought it was lovely.

Pandora – A very odd Japanese crepe place in Chinatown on Newport Place that has crepes stuffed with fruit and ice cream. Yum. Next door on the corner there is a hidden gem — a little Chinese restaurant, Jen Cafe Tea Specialist, and though it doesn’t have a fancy interior it has great food and is very affordable (and packed). I had steamed veggie dumplings and a pearl tea there and it was a great energy boost midday.

Pizza Express – A chain restaurant but very good! I ordered a salad and wine and everything was fresh and delish. Try the one located at St Christopher’s Place, that’s where I ate (at night, nice atmosphere), In that area there are many other restaurants situated in a square so if you don’t feel like salads and pizza you can find pretty much everything else!

Laduree – Go to their tea shop at Herrods in Knightsbridge. It’s lovely!

Napket “Snob Food”- I ate at this place and really liked it. You can find several in London.

London Trip Impressions



There is this fun shop called Lomography if you are lomo fan don’t miss it. It was a fun place to look around.

Also Carnaby Street is a great place for shopping, it’s near Liberty so you can do both in the same time frame.

And of course there are a billion things I did not mention above, many great shops that I could not fit in since I got sick during the final 3 days of my vacation with food poisoning, but that is a bit of “my” London for you. I hope that if you visit some of these shops above that you enjoy them as much as I did! And a VERY SPECIAL thank you to so many dear readers who gave me some lovely suggestions, I had a great time!

xo, Holly

(images: holly becker for decor8 except for Caravan images, shot by Debi Treloar)

Posted in travel on May 27, 2010

Color Me Pretty

Hello Friends! It is Leslie here with this month’s Color Me Pretty. For some reason I can’t stop thinking about blue. Maybe it’s all the denim in fashion or maybe it’s my daydreams of exotic vacation spots like Marrakesh or Ibiza. Needless to say blue is on my mind and I cannot help but pair it with a little strawberry red. This traditional mix can still be fresh for your creative projects big or small. I do hope you enjoy this series.

Color Me Pretty: May

I had fun gathering all my blue vintage stamps together and arranging them on my scanner to make an interesting piece for hanging on the wall or for use in a paper craft. Quickly scanning and printing out the image was easy and would be fun with any collection of stamps or tickets. I may use my stamp scans to create a cover for my travel journal.

Color Me Pretty: May

Color Me Pretty: May

Color Me Pretty: May

Color Me Pretty: May

Color Me Pretty: May

Color Me Pretty: May

Color Me Pretty: May

Color Me Pretty: May

I do not have a lot of red in my home but I love adding simple dabs of it once in a while. Like a red vase on white tile or red stitching on linen tea towels. It is hard to resist the color of strawberry jam with warm scones or a fresh bowl of berries on a white tablecloth. Red gingham is charming too and speaks about summer picnics like nothing else.

Outdoors, even the most basic red geraniums look fabulous with classic Mediterranean blue and loads of white. I also love using a little red in small art projects like collage and wrapping.

What about you? Do you use red in big bold ways or do you tend to use it on a much smaller scale like me?

I really loved creating this column for you and I hope you have enjoyed it. I will see you back soon. Until then, take care and enjoy the rest of May. — Leslie

(images: leslie shewring)


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