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Decorating & Other Stuff

Hello friends, how was your weekend? Did you do anything fun? I had a great shopping weekend, I found some things for my new place simply by staying at home and shopping online — we got a lot of snow so it was the perfect plan of action! I’m dying to pull in all of the key foundation pieces so that I can start decorating, sewing, and crafting together my new apartment from there. I ordered a new sofa last month, but it won’t arrive until mid January, so until then I’m trying to pull things in piece-by-piece, as I bring together my crafty, eclectic, old-meets-new home. I will show you some of the pieces that I picked up over the weekend so you can get a sense of where I’m going with all of my decorating plans… To refresh your memory, my place looks like this: Click Here for my new apartment tour.


What’s what: 1. Vintage chandelier won on the German eBay site. 2. Desk for my sewing machine “area” from Jantuma, 3. Vitra MedaPal chair in black/white purely purchased based on comfort, 4. Another vintage chandelier from (I am only doing chandy’s in two rooms, the rest of the rooms will have mid century classic modern lighting in mostly white, 5. Muuto all wood desk light, 6. Chevron-patterned 240 x 170 cm jute/wool rug from Impressionen for my eating nook located in the hallway outside of the kitchen (I haven’t shown you photos of that space yet. 7. IKEA PS Sinka to organize things and 8. White table with birch trim from Danish brand HAY in the 250 x 92,5 cm size for my actual work desk – it will hold my iMac, MacBook and Epson color printer plus I can lay things out on it as I work.

My Dresser

Here’s a little glimpse into my everyday world, a polite corner of my dresser —  “as is” in my bedroom. Here you can clearly see my very organic, natural way of putting things together. Which is also why I don’t work on one room at a time but all of them together as part of this experimental composition of sorts. When I worked with clients in the past, I did the traditional room-by-room mood board. With my own home, I don’t bother. I do pull together mood boards but end up referring to them only as loose ideas as I improvise constantly since my budget is so strict. Plus, I believe that your most authentic creative expression is the best to use in your home. I also learned after styling all of those homes that you’ll soon see in my upcoming book — what you see in books and magazines is not an exact image of how people really live. I think writing the book and working in so many homes this past year made me much more aware of that fact than ever before.

It also helped me to feel more comfortable in my own decorating skin now that the smoke and mirrors have lifted. You become quite hazy when you live so much of your life online and with beautiful books and magazines surrounding you each day. You start to develop this fantasy that all homes look like the ones you see in print, or online, and that no one ever stains their white sofa, that the dog doesn’t occasionally pee on the patchwork rug and that your kid doesn’t run wild with markers on your newly applied wallpaper. It happens, it’s called life.

Living Room

Above is some artwork and handmade things on a bookcase in my living room. Nothing is arranged with skill, in fact none of the art is staying there — it will be hung in other rooms… but it’s pretty just the same, because reality can be just as fantastic as the dream.

I hope that through decor8 I can somehow help you to feel safer in your decorating skin, too. I try to keep it real around here and I have some projects brewing for next year that I can’t wait to share as I continue my journey forward into my 6th year of blogging. The more e-mags popping up, and lifestyle magazines, and cooking magazines… well they are all very beautiful and inspiring but it’s very easy to feel as though that is how we each must live to be happy and it is not. If anything, we should pull ideas from these beautiful resources that we have and apply them in our own unique way. That is exactly how I decorate, from the heart, not to impress or pretend to be more than I am. What you see with me in real life is what you get, and online it is no different.

In fact, everyone who has met me, and you can comment to verify this if you have in fact met me in person, realizes right away that I am the same warm, friendly and down-to-earth Holly offline as I am here online. I don’t play games, I don’t gossip, I’m not negative but I love to point out stuff that irks me but always in a funny way, and I’m encouraging. But I also am real, I have bad days, I get down at times about myself, I often fear things, I worry for instance that if I do have a book signing that no one will show up, stuff like that. I take great pride in the fact though that I’m the real deal. And so does my home – what you see is definitely what you get here! And I’m proud of it.

I was starting to get in a decorating rut, you may remember this post (CLICK HERE if not), but I realized that the rut was one I’d dug myself. I was putting too much pressure on myself to be perfect. I was listening more to others than to my own heart. I was worrying that if I didn’t create the perfect “decor8″ house that no one would take me seriously as a writer, a book author, a human being. How stupid and petty this all is when you have people dying all over the world from hunger, aids, and cancer to name a few. Children are being abducted. Bad stuff is going on worldwide yet I was hung up over how well I decorated my house? What a bunch of rubbish, how self-centered of me — and if you are a blog author and you worry about how you present your life online and get so caught up in it that family members get ignored, chores go undone, your stress level soars, or anything else negative is resulting from your own quest to please others and have some pretend amazing life then let me tell you it’s absolutely nuts and a waste of time to bother. Just be yourself, show your friends and readers your real life and be proud of it and own it.

But we’re all only human. An example of this: yesterday I won those two great chandeliers that you see above from eBay and one of my “anon” readers told me how kitschy and more-or-less terrible they were and how much I let her down because she relies on my style so much. Imagine being told that? But you know, I’m not calling anybody out or saying that it was wrong of them to hate my lighting. They have the right just as much as I have the right to like it. Thing is, when you put yourself out there like we bloggers do and share things from your heart, you often wonder why someone who doesn’t know you would put the energy into commenting that your ideas are bad or have let them down. Like so many women out there (can you relate?), I am a people-pleaser so it actually bothered me for 3 seconds that I let someone down.

That single comment made me think about the expectations others have of me and it made me realize that the most important expectations to meet are those that I have of myself, then those from family, friends, business colleagues, customers and so on. But the first person is you, you have to live up to your own expectations, meet your goals and even exceed a few, and just be happy. If you have taken good care of yourself you have automatically taken care of others. That is why people love to be around those who have their act together. It’s just the best feeling to be in the company of a really down-to-earth talented person who put themselves first in the most unselfish sense. And if people don’t like your lights, well whatever man. You’ve got to let stuff like that go. The most impressive people are people who try not to be impressive, right?

Truth is, the decorating rut I was in is over. I’ve climbed out, readjusted my approach and for 2011 (I’m making advanced resolutions, gang) and I’m going to decorate my home and have a heck of a time doing it.

I’m digressing big time. Today I just felt like talking. I hope you do as well, I wonder what I’ve said here that you’ve thought about recently, or that you never thought about before, that resulted in some of your own food-for-thought? If so, and you feel like sharing, please do.

So those are some updates from my little world here in northern Germany where it is so cold, but with all of the Glühwein stands sprinkled on so many corners around the city, you barely notice the temps. Your outsides are freezing but your insides feel real nice. And speaking of nice, did you know that Nichole and Even from Little Brown Pen are flying to Paris next month to sneak away with my husband Thorsten and I? Oh yes, we are. And I promise to share some of the shops we find, but also I’ll be attending for the first time Maison & Objet where I plan to meet up with Aphrochic who will be there, too. Can’t wait!

(images: linked to their sources above)

Posted by decor8 in Decorating Tips, real talk on December 06, 2010

Your comments...

  1. Andrea commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 7:24pm

    I love Little Brown Pen – I bought my best friend their Perpetual Calendar of Paris photos for her 40th birthday, as she’d lived five years in Paris and missed it still so much. Lovely!

  2. Michaela commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 7:31pm

    I agree with everything you said. Be yourself, be real, and don’t let this blogging world get in the way of your family, friends and personal life. Sometimes I get obsessed with how my home looks or upset if I can’t find the perfect thing to put in this one spot, but really, that’s trivial. Decorating should bring us joy! So here’s to decorating our home from our hearts, like you said (: Beautiful post– Oh, and I happen to love your lighting choices!
    Michaela´s last blog post ..Houses Covered in Ice Cycles

  3. Heather commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 7:32pm

    It’s really tough to pull a home together, and make it look reasonably “put” together. All you can do is just keep going, and your style will shine through. I do have areas of my home that I wish were more finished than they are, and I do put a lot of pressure on myself about it. But, between work and playing w/ my 2-year old son, and spending time w/ my husband and family, it really IS much lower on the priority list these days!
    Heather´s last blog post ..Santas Coming! by boat!

  4. Tania commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 7:32pm

    Amen to each and every word! I think whatever we do if done authentically & organically is always “perfect” because it reflects who we truly are. It’s so easy to get lost in this online world of beautiful things & blogs that are always so impeccably curated. I certainly love them all! Yet, it is the blogs, online mags, etc. that have that “real” essence & a sense of approachability that really speak to me.

    Bravo for “getting real”! :)


  5. Janneke commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 7:33pm

    Thanks Holly, for this great post! You’re such an inspiration. The pictures show some fab decorating, can’t wait to see when you’re new house is finished. And whether it meets my expectations in the end or not, don’t bother, as long as you feel fine with it! xo Janneke
    Janneke´s last blog post ..Scout magazine

  6. Ariana commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 7:35pm

    Oh, it’s so disappointing that someone would take the energy to say something so unkind to you! You are always really sweet and bring so much inspiration and positive energy to your readers. I know that if it were me, it would be hard to move on in three seconds– it’s amazing how much more impactful negative comments can be than positive ones. But thank you for continuing to put yourself out there anyway. And I do like that you are just being yourself in your home, and making it a place that is for YOU.
    Ariana´s last blog post ..Cozy-ness

  7. Laura commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 7:37pm

    That big vintage chandy is awesome, Holly. A perfect contrast.

  8. Madison commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 7:37pm

    I understand where you’re coming from Holly. I’m sort of known in my school as someone with “good style” who dresses well. People always tell me that my look is uniquely my own, and that they know it only works because I am my own person. Lovely compliments, great to hear, right? Except sometimes when I’m tired or not feeling like putting a ton of effort into my clothes, some “friend” will say “Madison, why are you wearing that? You usually look so good…” It makes me sad because I want to please people, just like you said. But then I remember that my style is –my style– and I can do whatever I want, and it will still be my style. So I totally get where you’re coming from. Sometimes we feel like we need to please others first, and do something a certain way so that they will like it. Anyway, great post, thank you for sharing!
    Madison´s last blog post ..Color Inspiration- Navy and Burnt Orange

  9. Stephanie commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 7:39pm

    I think we all struggle with finding that balance. It’s incredibly easy to get too caught up in your online persona. I just try to remember why I started my blog in the first place – to have an outlet to organize ideas. Yes, followers are always nice. It makes you feel good.

    I received a comment once that my decor style looked like I was “trying too hard”. I wasn’t sure what to make of that either. If a reader, like in your case, puts all their stock in your ideas, what does that say about them? That they are incapable of any original thought? Design is so subjective anyway. You can’t make everyone happy 100% of the time. I think you have a good attitude here.

  10. Stina commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 7:48pm

    “That is why people love to be around those who have their act together.” This is so, SO true. Well said. And I sometimes catch myself comparing myself to others. Sometimes, when you link to pretty things that are way beyond my budget, I’m tempted to whine. “She can afford a table that’s almost half of my paycheck! Why not meeeee?” But then I realize that is silly. I can’t wait to see what you come up with in your home. Looking forward to lots of inspiration! :-)
    Stina´s last blog post ..Und plötzlich ist später jetzt

  11. Bree commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 7:53pm

    Holly, my sweets.
    Of course we look to you for decor advice. You are amazing at what you do and your accomplishments prove it. But indeed you are only human with feelings. My advice: Take a deep breath. Have you ever thought if you were being tested? People come across your path and throw rocks at you and you are to either get hit in the face or dodge those suckers and keep walking forward. I have noticed along with a few blogger gals pals, that when this happens it’s a form of jealously. I absolutely despise that word, “jealously”, because we shouldn’t have anything to be jealous of. We are each our own. We have our own qualities, talents and abilities. If we didn’t then we would be clones. Where’s the fun in that? Take those nasty comments, wad them up and throw them away. Don’t ever doubt yourself and when you come my way for your book signing I will be in line to give you a great big hug.
    Bree´s last blog post ..On the 5th day of Christmas

  12. Janet commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 7:55pm

    Blogs I like have posted things like this before, and I just don’t understand why a commenter would bother to express negativity. It’s not like you asked for anyone’s opinion on those particular chandeliers! Not everyone is going to like everything, and I just can’t imagine telling a person that I hated a particular design decision. We all have different taste! I’m sure it’s really hurtful, but just try to ignore it, I think. Negative people get negativity back from the world, so really, I feel sorry for them.

    For the record, I think they’re great. :)

  13. Megan commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 7:58pm

    Wow – I think those chandeliers are beautiful.

    I’ve learned that no matter what, no one is ever going to agree 100% with your style and there is always going to be someone making an unnecessary comment. I’m glad that you have gotten past this person’s comment. I also work in a job where I am constantly criticized or nit-picked (often by people with less experience and knowledge than myself), so I know exactly how you feel. 10 years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to put on a smiling face and go on with my day, but that’s the beauty of these kinds of people, they make your onion skins a little thicker and harder to peel back. The world wouldn’t be the same without them, even though they drive you crazy sometimes.

  14. laura trevey commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 8:00pm

    Those chandeliers are so beautiful!!
    laura trevey´s last blog post ..Monday Inspiration

  15. karina commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 8:07pm

    Dear Holly, I love this post, it is soooo true.
    I like your way, I also decorate for me,not for showing off.
    About the chandeliers, I really like them, the thing is that they were a hot trend for a long time but who cares?, I put one in my daughter bedroom, I love it and trends come and go but I am sure I will like that chandelier for a long long time.
    karina´s last blog post ..These days

  16. Kelly commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 8:12pm

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot too – all of the beautiful images out there creating these false expectations about what life really looks like. Having tried styling a few events, I know the disconnect that you’re talking about. (The gorgeous party where no one was allowed to touch the food since it was being photographed, etc.) I try to keep it honest, but I don’t want to photograph the stuff that looks “too real” if you know what I mean – the laundry and the boxes stuffed in the corner of a room and the weird blank spot on the wall where I still haven’t hung any art and all that. I hope that honest and encouraging writing helps.
    Kelly´s last blog post ..The Most Beautiful Tree of All Time to me

  17. Krystle commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 8:31pm

    Hi Holly,
    I’ve been mostly a silent but daily reader and I too ventured into blogging about a year ago. As I read this post I related in my very own way in that I moved into a new apt about 6months ago and can’t seem to get it together, to the point where it reflects the picture in my mind. I aspire to be an interior designer and the state of my place can sometimes be discouraging; if I can’t get my place together then how can I be a designer? But then I do a little work on if every weekend, and feel a little better and more encouraged.

    I was so offended by what that reader said about your chandeliers. I said in my mind, “Who the heck is this anon commenter and why the heck is she even bothering to write such an insensitive comment!!! Is she a decor guru or something??” Then I became less offended as I proceeded to read the rest of your post. You see Holly, I feel in my own little way that I know you and I am happy you’ve lived up to my expectations (a lack of a better way to put it) as being a nice and reasonable person. I don’t know if your posts would be the same and speak to me as much as they do if you were different on the inside, but then again how would I really know! Long story short, your work speaks well of you and you do an even better job at speaking for yourself (this post among others). As with all things in life, some may like it and some won’t and we all fall short of sometimes making unintentional rude remarks to others (even though I know anon commenter was not unintentional). I LIKE your chandeliers and I can’t wait to see how you use them in the rooms and to anon commenter, you can take your expectations and __________ them! (Trying not to be rude ) ?

  18. LesleyG commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 8:33pm

    Great post! Many shared feelings, for sure. I think it’s great you do what you do. The reality is, none of us will ever please everyone, great blog or small, so that cannot be the goal. Keep doin’ what you’re doin’!

  19. Nat commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 8:35pm

    Love your new chandeliers :) Somehow they feel very YOU, without me actually knowing you… go figure. I sometimes feel the same way, like I’m trying to please people in my life through my decorating choices. And that’s not really my goal, but I still end up falling into the crown pleasing as a knee jerk reaction to criticism.

    Your apartment is amazing and i can’t wait to see what other things you will be doing with it. Please share the couch you got! :)

  20. Shaz commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 8:37pm

    as a person who reads but rarely comments, I just want to pass on that I read your blog from my desk in a financial firm, pretty much as far from the design world as possible. I relish in the beauty and positive energy of your blog. It’s such an escape for me. Thank you for today’s post!

  21. susan g. commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 8:39pm

    I love the chandeliers! I wish my ceilings were high enough, but, unfortunately they are not. I’ve got ceiling fans, which are so blehhh, but, living in the south of the good ole US of A you’ve GOT to have ceiling fans if you want to survive the summer humidity. You gotta roll with what works and makes you happy.

    I love looking at your little venues and white spaces. I can’t live that way (i’m a maximalist hoarder) but that doesn’t mean that i can’t appreciate others spaces. I love looking at Swedish and Japanese minimalism, just personally can’t live that way. To go all geeky on you Star Trek’s great contribution to philosopy; IDIC (Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combination) is a great outlook on life and something to strive for.
    susan g.´s last blog post ..Aurora Borealis Timelapse over Norway

  22. Danielle commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 8:45pm

    First of all, I can’t wait to get your book and if you came to DC, I would be in line to get it signed. Who wouldn’t? And I love the vintage chandeliers you won…they are gorgeous! Like my mother and now I say to my son, say ‘if you have nothing nice to share, then don’t share.’ I whole heartedly believe that. It always hurts my feelings when I see people put themselves out there and then get negative feedback. I see that on Apartment Therapy home tours and I always try and be the positive commenter.
    I had a wonderful weekend with my son and husband and am so excited to be redoing my kitchen the way I want it and yes on a very tight budget as well.
    Lastly, your new house is stunning!!! I love the doors, high ceilings, bathroom, actually I love it all and can’t wait to see how you make it a home!
    Danielle´s last blog post ..The Cool Club Part 1

  23. crystal commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 8:59pm

    Look how adorable your dresser is! This is what I want my home to look like. Natural and organic (plus some whimsy). Thank you!
    crystal´s last blog post ..Overstockcom commercial

  24. Couve Illustrations commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 9:00pm

    such a nice post.
    and so true!

  25. Karen commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 9:12pm

    I also do not like it when people are negative in a bad way. But I often wish that blogs and the comments in blogs were not only about consent and affirmation. I often find it a little boring when someone writes about something and everybody is cooing and applauding. I somehow miss a culture of discussion.

    Once you asked about peoples opinion on faux fireplaces. And a real good discussion was initiated. That was brisk, multi-layered and much more enriching than 20 commenters posting their adjusted “Hip, hip, hooray!”.

    A negative comment needn´t have a negative effect, it can be a gain! It just depends on the way in which someone puts her or his thoughts. And it depends on the way in which the blogger or the other readers welcome it.

    Someone does not like your new lamps and feels dissapointed because she did not expect you to like this style? What a good starting point for an interesting discussion!

  26. Kristin commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 9:16pm

    Thanks Holly for a great post and a reminder to not take ourselves too seriously. I believe your candor, as well as your great sense of style, is why you have such a faithful audience.
    Kristin´s last blog post ..You Can Find Culture Here…

  27. Nat commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 9:17pm

    Hi Holly
    Just love reading you coz you blog with much enthusiasm & passion, YOU are YOURSELF (so important) and YOU have YOUR style … and you talk, talk & talk and SHARE ! And I read, read, read ! A great way to improve my English (haha).
    Seriously have fun and keep sharing your BEAUTIFUL finds …
    In 2005 Steve Jobs said at the Stanford University “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice”. Everytime I feel depressed, i remember his sentences & I feel much much much better. He is perfectly right …
    Sending you a bunch of smiles from France. xx
    Nat´s last blog post ..Honore des Pres Parfums Bio – Collection NY

  28. Whitney commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 9:24pm

    Thank you for this post. It is so refreshing to hear that even those who live as beautifully as you get in ruts and feel overwhelmed by all of the inspiring resources available right now. It is very easy to lose your own original vision in the beautiful, fantastical and sometimes unrealistic interiors we see. I am not nearly as experienced and aspire to have my blog be as successful as yours, but I have been in such a design conundrum lately that I have avoided even thinking about this topic! I was feeling oh so defeated and decided I would send the honorable Vicente Wolf a message soliciting some much needed advice. I thought I would share his response here ( ) because it was straightforward and honest and I found it to be very helpful. Thanks for sharing this- can’t wait for the book!!
    Whitney´s last blog post ..Saturday Sun plus A Quiche

  29. Karen Beth commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 9:26pm

    I have the exact same chandelier as No. 4!!! I got it at an estate sale two weeks ago for $40! Absolutely GORGEOUS!

    Karen Beth´s last blog post ..Adores Classic Slingbacks Black Size 65

  30. elly commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 9:30pm

    7. IKEA PS Sinka to organize things

    i have this! i love it! of all people, my DAD suggested that instead of the little rope-ties that come with it that i use various ribbons/scraps of fabric to replace them! it will add a bit of color and variety to the unit!

  31. Shanon{MyFineGarden} commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 9:39pm

    I’m so happy to hear that you are out of the rut you felt you were in. That’s marvelous! And it’s neat to hear you say:
    “I was worrying that if I didn’t create the perfect “decor8? house that no one would take me seriously as a writer, a book author, a human being. How stupid and petty this all is when you have people dying all over the world from hunger, aids, and cancer to name a few. Children are being abducted. Bad stuff is going on worldwide yet I was hung up over how well I decorated my house?”
    It shows how balanced and real you are. Sometimes we worry too much. You are so very talented, and just listening to your heart and letting it flow is definitely the way to go. =)

    I will admit that at first I was confused by the lighting you were going for, only because you’ve had some really modern lighting in the past. But when I think of your new place, they are going to seem like they’ve been there forever, and they will be gorgeous. And you know, it’s really cool when something makes me think “I don’t get it” because it’s opening me up to see what I can learn.
    Shanon{MyFineGarden}´s last blog post ..I had a merry little weekend

  32. Jessica commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 9:48pm

    I thought this was very good. Just remember to ALWAYS be yourself.

  33. Janet commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 9:55pm

    I love it when you just feel like talking, Holly. I always feel refreshed and ready to find a new perspective (on decorating, on work, on life in general) when someone else puts into words some of the things that I’ve been feeling. You are always an inspiration.
    Janet´s last blog post ..Dont leave comfy things on the kitchen counter

  34. Margarita Lorenzo commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 10:00pm

    Good basic pieces in white so u can mix and match with different pieces, I LOVe the second chandelier I think they are a must!!!
    Margarita Lorenzo´s last blog post ..chocolate creative Christmas delivery dates

  35. Alyssa commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 10:08pm

    I like how natural everything looks. I’m decorating my new home now too and I’m realizing that it gets very complicated when I try to copy ideas I see in magazines. They do not reflect real life in anyway and only work in images. You have great style!

  36. Angelarosina commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 10:12pm

    I just wanted to say Holly something in your post really reached out to me today. The first thing that caught my magpie eye were the stunning dandy lights, it was so weird as just this weekend I decided that I wanted to hunt one down for our bedroom make over, and you have beat me to it.
    The second thing was putting pressure on yourself. I am trying to make the leap into event styling from corporate soul devouring marketing that I have been doing successfully but without soul for years. I have been feeling immense pressure on myself (not really from anyone else yet!) to be the best but I know all I have to be is me, and if people love it then that will be wonderful.

    Thanks as always for your down to earth inspiration.

    Night night.


  37. Allison commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 10:19pm

    It’s interesting how most negative comments are anonymous. I’d have so much more respect for them if they left their real name. We’re not all going to like the same thing – and that’s okay. I worked retail for many years and throughout the day we would have many lovely customers but occasionally there would be one angry/negative person and they were always the one you remembered – not the 100’s of nice people.

    I for one am loving this decorating period of yours Holly – over here and Haus Maus. I’m going through a period in my life that is the complete opposite. I’m selling up EVERYTHING I OWN to move interstate next year to study again and live on-campus. It’s scary/exhilaration and I’m holding on to some priceless words of wisdom from an old boss of mine. I remember her telling me that life is about the collection of experiences – not things. I saw a similar quote somewhere else just recently and it couldn’t be more fitting for me right now. So please keep showing us your finds (I for one love those lights) as I am going to live my decorating life through you for a little while if that’s okay Holly :)
    Allison x
    Allison´s last blog post ..Colour love

  38. Jill commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 10:25pm

    I have been following your blog for some time now, but have not yet commented. I couldn’t resist telling you how inspiring your words are to me. I am such a perfectionist and have let that get in the way of having people over or staying in touch with dear friends and even family. I have a major passion for decorating and have done very little in that area, because of the very reasons you describe. I am too afraid of failure and what other people might think. I always use the excuse that I will do whatever it is when something in my life is how I want it to be, but life is never perfect, and then it passes us by.

  39. riye commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 10:29pm

    I guess because its your blog you read all the comments but I’m surprised anyone would say anything nasty to you of all people. I’ve stopped reading comments on some blogs–these folks pick on everything and I’m tired of it. I see stuff online I don’t like but do I need to tell the other person I don’t like their chair or whatever? Not really.

    That said, I love your new chandeliers! They’re beautiful. Please take pictures and post them when they’re installed!

  40. decor8 commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 10:38pm

    @Whitney – Love that reply from Mr. Wolf. He is a very nice man with great collections of things in his home and a real talent for design. Thank you for sharing his feedback.

  41. Monica commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 10:39pm

    Great post.
    I saw that comment yesterday. Imagine being invited into someone’s home and saying something like that. Awkward. Anyway, was probably the same person who checked off boring on your Haus Maus poll.
    Monica´s last blog post ..Our town in lights

  42. decor8 commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 10:39pm

    @Nat – Oh what a great lecture that was, I remember listening to it on the TED website and it was super motivating. Yes, he is right, “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice”. AMEN!

  43. Lonely Wife Project commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 10:42pm

    What a great post. I have felt everything you described here. As much as I love the Internet, blogs and magazines, sometimes they just get me down because real life isn’t as perfect. I need to remember to put everything in perspective. I LOVE your lighting choices!
    Lonely Wife Project´s last blog post ..Black Beauty

  44. decor8 commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 10:43pm

    @Karen – I agree 100% which is why I ask my readers so many questions when I post, I’m hoping to hear all opinions as I value them immensely. I thought about how that comment left about the lights could result in something positive for me, and so I decided to really think about what could I learn from it and then today this post resulted. I always try to find value in even the negative experiences because so often there is something to learn which is great. Sure, we’re only human and the initial sting can hurt but then you think about how a butterfly comes to be, or a diamond, and it’s never an easy evolution. Yes, I loved that post about faux fireplaces too, it was great and made me think quite a lot about the idea and I know it also helped other readers so I really liked that discussion and walked away super inspired by it.

  45. Mindi commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 11:02pm

    wow – looks great Holly, I wish I could start decorating my place all over again! Not possible though because a) some of my pieces are from my grandmas and have sentimental value whether or not they are perfect b)I have a real problem throwing things away (hoarder!!) c) money money money! so in the meantime I’m really enjoying these posts as they are like virtual decorating for myself! xx

  46. Genevieve Gail commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 11:04pm

    Maison + Objet is insanely awesome! You are going to have a blast and be super inspired!!! Crossing my fingers for a Holly-fied recap when you get back ;)
    Genevieve Gail´s last blog post ..Fancy Feet

  47. Sanja commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 11:12pm

    I love it when ‘real talk’ comes up. You said some things here that I recognized and can relate to easily. You can’t always fulfil everyone’s expectations, and why should you? Staying true to yourself is the safest way to go, and the most honest one, too.

  48. Vanessa Elizabeth commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 11:27pm

    I love the craft storage unit! It’s almost hard to believe that that came from Ikea.

    I completely agree with what you said about being yourself when decorating. Oddly enough, the post I wrote today was about that same thing!

  49. jenn commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 11:41pm

    Great post — and I agree with everything you’ve said. You have to keep it real, and you have to fill your home with decor that works for you and your husband. That’s it. I think it’s easy as a design blogger to get hung up on whether others will like what you’re sharing, your home, etc. But I’m finding that people will like you for better reasons if you keep it real. :)
    jenn´s last blog post ..inspired wish list

  50. Tracy Kunzler commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 11:41pm

    Your blog is always a happy, wonderful, DREAMY escape or mini-vacation in my day. The most scrumptious eye-candy. I think all the comments attest to how well-loved you and your blog are! There are, unfortunately, always going to be haters. I heard a quote not long ago (sorry, my menopausal brain can’t remember who said it!) that went something like this, “You have enemies? Good! That means you’ve stood up for something!” You can please everyone – you stood up for your own unique style! It’s a unique style that so very many love! Keep on being true to yourself – it’s made so many happy, but most important – YOU!
    Tracy Kunzler´s last blog post ..Personalized Dog Print With Your Choice of Dog Breed

  51. Traveling Mama commented
    December 6th, 2010 at 11:50pm

    Holly, I think it’s really sweet that you are trying to learn from someone else’s rudeness, but I think negative comments would be better received if they are said with a little more grace. You have never tried to convince any of us to become “Little Holly’s.” In fact, you have done the exact opposite by telling us not to copy you but figure out our own style. That is a lesson that I have really taken to heart and has truly had a tremendous impact on my life. It was liberating to realize that I could be trusted with my own designs because it’s not about the stuff… it’s the heart and soul behind our homes that really make them special. Sure, it’s fun to shop and have special things and it’s fun to see what others have done with their homes for ideas and inspiration but ultimately it’s my home and I want to come home to a place that feels like our family rather than someone else.

    Regarding your upcoming book release and books signings and such… TRUST Me, lots of people will buy it, they will love it, and many of them will line up just to meet you! There will be those who do not buy it and others that buy it and don’t like it… but who cares?! There will be thousands of others that will think you are the hippest and coolest blogger, writer, and decorator alive. Do what makes you happy because for every one person that tells you they don’t like your chandelier, there will be thousands of others that love it and wish they had one just like it.
    Traveling Mama´s last blog post ..celebrating advent

  52. kj commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 12:00am

    i like the chandeliers that you purchased. and good for you thinking outside the box and purchasing something unique and special instead of just going online and purchasing from a name brand store.

    That is what your house is suppose to represent–YOU! I can’t believe a reader would send an email to you stating they were let down…they have too much time and bitterness on their hands.

    Your blog is successful because you are giving readers a look into a different point of view and as a reader of your blog, I love coming to it everyday and celebrating the “not-cookie-cutter” approach to styling and decorating.

    It seems like your found your voice again and I am glad.

    Congrats on your place and I can’t wait to see the pictures of your beautiful chandeliers in use.


  53. winter commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 12:19am

    When your book signing start I have a feeling there will be friendly welcoming crowds:)

  54. Sarah commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 12:30am

    Hi Holly: its very cold here in New Hampshire and we did have a few flurries today! I love your post – you are right, you must stay true to yourself and not do anything just to impress…with that is a saying my husband likes: ‘if no one had eyes, you wouldn’t worry about it’ – so, your home has to be comfortable for you, not your neighbors or friends or family! Touche!! :)) PS: love the chandeliers and all your choices, looking forward to the pics and your book!
    Sarah´s last blog post ..Spaahhh on Sunday

  55. Sarah commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 12:53am

    I needed to hear those words especially today. Thank you.
    Sarah´s last blog post ..Sakura &amp Natsukis room

  56. casapinka commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 1:07am

    I LOVE your chandelier choices! And hey, I’ll even put my rose hued name to it! Blog negativity giving you a sinking feeling is more proof of your humanity. Remember that your positive comments so exponentially outweigh anything negative.
    casapinka´s last blog post ..Dior Cruise 2011

  57. Dana @ House*Tweaking commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 1:50am

    Oh, Holly, you really rang my bell with this one. I, too, like to be liked. In the past, if someone criticized me or my work, I would take it personally. However, after living for others for 30+ years, I’ve finally realized that the only person I need to please is myself. And it’s funny, you know, as soon as I gave myself permission to do the things I like, I’ve found a new happiness and fulfillment that can’t be found through others. It’s such a great way to live and be. Our egos can sometimes get the best of us and just realizing that is usually a step in the right direction.

    I know what you mean about this beautiful blogland, too. It’s so wonderful to ‘visit’ places and interiors that I wouldn’t see otherwise but it’s very easy to get caught up in all the goodies…wishing…lusting…and gawking. For a frugal family of 4 who lives in the Midwest US with modest digs, it’s better for me to take inspiration from it all and turn it into something I can afford and love in my home. I don’t own the most stylish furniture or art because I can’t afford it {along with food and kids and all the other things that come with all that} but I make do with what I have and my budget. Having a glorious home without my finances in check would cause me a lot of stress.

    You don’t know how much I appreciate your honesty. All the lovely things I see on your blog and of your apartment and life in general, I think, “wow! she’s so perfect, why even try?” But I think what makes you {and your blog} most appealing is your genuine voice and human side.

    Thank you from one people-pleaser to another…
    Dana :)
    Dana @ House*Tweaking´s last blog post ..Our DIY Holiday Pics &amp A Free-For-All- Picnik Premium

  58. Monicalee commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 2:43am

    I like it when you get chatty, Holly! And I have an old brass chandelier that I love in my house. I hang all sorts of cup and trinkets on it next to the crystals and it makes me happy.That is what matters most, does it make you happy?

  59. Juliet | Urban Nest commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 2:44am

    Holly, I adore your style. It isn’t exactly mine, but it inspires me — my design, my projects, and my creativity in general. I tend to think when style is exact, we are shopping the showroom and that’s no fun, at least not for me. Nor do does it hold a meaningful story or intimate emotions, both of which are really important components of home.

    Anyway, I really just wanted to say I LOVE your eBay lighting treasures. Tons of character, glam, texture and style.
    Juliet | Urban Nest´s last blog post ..Take 3- A Christmas Tree

  60. deneise bucko commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 3:04am

    Holli- great post and great point of view. I see decorating like I see individuals, God make us all different , so why would we all decorate the same? You inspire me with all you do!

  61. Collette commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 4:06am

    I visit here frequently. I enjoy and really like a lot of what you share. Do I like every single thing? No! Would it be realistic to think I would? No! I don’t have the expectation that I must like every single thing you share. My point being, I can’t really understand why someone would feel you have let them down regarding your design choice of chandeliers. Two chandeliers are not a deal breaker. I always appreciate what you share but of course we all gravitate or connect with different ideas/products/styles/etc. that speak to us. It’s about grabbing the ideas that do speak to us and taking those bits and pieces of inspiration with us.
    I’m glad you brought up what we ‘see’ in a styled photo and what the reality is are not one in the same. You are right that there is much more to concern ourselves with than getting caught up in all that. Life is meant to live and enjoy, not to impress. We all just need that gentle reminder sometimes so it’s good when it comes our way.
    Not that it matters but I personally love the chandeliers and wow I was really smitten with the items you have purchased. I think the photo layout of all of them is super strong and makes them stand out. I desperately need a new home for my sewing machine and a new desk for my iMac and work area combined and I absolutely love both desk/tables you chose. I’ve already looked at the IKEA item online here to get a price. (Can put it on my wish list anyway!)
    Collette´s last blog post ..Fabric Scraps Note Cards

  62. sarah commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 4:08am

    *happy sigh* thank you for always talking with us Holly, so good to read after a long day. :)
    sarah´s last blog post ..Personal Shopper

  63. erin commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 4:12am

    Holly, I love your blog and I come here for an escape from some of the other blogs I used to read on a daily basis. What’s with all the negativity going around lately? Yeesh. I used to read one blog in particular and the blogger started to offend me in her posts and comments back to readers. She was always talking about how “everything takes so long to get done” and “you all think i’m pretty but i’m actually really ugly”…it was no longer an inspiration to visit, it was more of a “holy shit, if you think creating your home is taking YOU long, and you can buy whatever you want whenever you want, then geez- I really feel like crap about the pace that my home is coming together…and if you think you are ugly, then what do you think about ME?” aah.

    When I come here, on the other hand, it feels so welcoming and open arms. Not to sound cheesy, but it really does. I love how YOU it is and how real the things you choose are. You have a great style and such a positive tone in your writing. I really enjoy visiting.
    erin´s last blog post ..Cards

  64. Alexa commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 4:12am

    I am usually a silent reader but I just had to comment as I found this particular post, and everyone else’s comments, so interesting. Why do any of us go out and spend our time reading blogs? To see something new and get new ideas! I want to be exposed to a different way of looking at things so I keep getting new ideas and keep things fresh. How boring if we all were the same or liked the same things.

    I work at a home furnishing store right now and trust me, I wouldn’t pick all of the furniture, bedding, etc. that my customers buy, but I can completely see how they would work in that person’s space or fit that person’s personality. They provide me a way to think differently about design. Those chandeliers wouldn’t fit in my home but looking at your photos of the new place, I can completely see how they will be at home there and I can’t wait to see what more comes to you as you work through the evolution of this new space. What a fun project you have ahead of you. While we all enjoy seeing and reading about your discoveries and ideas, you are the one living with this space so you are the one who needs to be happy coming home to it. Enjoy!!

  65. Rachel @ Little Bits of Lovely commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 4:26am

    Great post Holly! I agree that it is very easy to get swept up and carried away with making your own home look like a picture in a magazine. My hubby is very supportive of my love for interiors, but is the first to always remind me that ‘life happens’ and its not realistic to place all of these ridiculous expectations on myself! PS love the chandeliers! Rachel xx
    Rachel @ Little Bits of Lovely´s last blog post ..5 lovely things I cant live without Sarah Klassen

  66. Alpha commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 4:58am

    Hi Holly! I take inspiration from you everyday. I enjoy all the things that you share on your blog. Keep up the great work you are doing.

  67. Allison Blass commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 5:07am

    It’s so refreshing to hear honest opinions about how hard it is to be a “role model” blogger that people look up to. I think most readers would expect you to just “know” exactly how to be perfect and have everything together, and the fact that you were in a rut or sometimes doubt yourself or that sometimes you pick things that other people don’t like is actually really nice to hear because that means you’re a real person and not a freak designing robot or something! I just moved into a new apartment and I’m kinda freaking out about the whole decorating thing, about spending money and how I might hate something, so it’s nice to hear that this is a process and to just be calm and take it slow and ignore others and just do what I like, not what would be in a magazine that I will most likely never appear in anyway! You can’t live life expecting it to look like a magazine.
    Allison Blass´s last blog post ..Reverb 10 Spokane

  68. Gosia Maj commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 5:37am

    Holly, you are and have always been as authentic as one can be – successes and doubt, all curiously intermingled at times. You don’t need answers from any of us, you have them ready in your heart all the time. I adore seeing you create every day and your home is one more splendid creation of yours. Enjoy the journey. xoxoxo
    Gosia Maj´s last blog post ..Desert Colours

  69. Cathy commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 5:45am

    Hi Holly, thanks for sharing your thoughts about decorating, blogging, and being “you.” I’m only a couple months in with my blog and am still trying to find my niche and writing style. As for the snarky comment about your lamps, the reader needs to get that. It’s “your” style and “your” lamps. I’m sure the finished product will be fantastic and I’m really enjoying following you on your new apartment journey.

  70. Marianne commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 8:30am

    I am glad you only worried for 3 secs. In the end you have to decorate your home they way you like it. BTW The lights are lovely!
    I am looking forward to all the developments next year!
    Marianne´s last blog post ..give them cake

  71. juliette commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 9:15am

    I like the lights! =)

    Our home isn’t perfect (neither is my blog), but I think both are cozy spaces in their own right. Both host their own familiar cast and crew, both try to spread the love and be real.

    As I was pulling together my 24 bloggy Advent calendar ideas (so fun!), I also noticed I was feeling down, despite enjoying my little hobby project. I was in a very ‘not good enough compared to others’ phase. Ugh, I hate when I realize I got sucked into that feeling! Actually though, it’s a good thing, b/c then I jump away from it as fast as possible! Doing my Advent Sunday post was a nice way to ‘come down’ after a week of ‘stuff’ (albeit cute and fun stuff!).

    Focusing on getting our home ready for a big Christmas party has also been a good ‘reality check’. I want to freak that things aren’t perfect, but then I think, shoot, I just can’t wait to serve dinner and then I can kick back and chill with people! Honestly, we have the best memories from when something has been a total fail – laughter is the best medicine!
    juliette´s last blog post ..Advent Blog Calendar- Projects and Freebies 7

  72. ana commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 10:05am

    I totally get what you’ve explained. That’s right you have to be truth to yourself. Thank God everyone is different & have the hability to prefer different things, otherwise we would be like lambs in a grass field.

    Just do what you’re doing & be in peace & 100% happy with that.

    I love the chandeliers, by the way!!! :P

  73. Kirsten commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 11:19am

    Very well written and said, Holly! Thank you for writing this blogpost, it made me think about my own people pleasing ways and so on. If you’re not pleased with yourself than what is the point in pleasing others, right?

    Oh, and did you know that a Hema store opened in Paris a few weeks ago?

  74. decor8 commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 11:22am

    @Kirsten – No I didn’t, I have to go when I’m there next month — thank you so much for telling me. I bet their postcards will be so cute in French. :)

  75. Iris commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 11:58am

    I am with Karen #25. I feel it is good if people are critical; you really learn from criticism (provided it is given in a constructive manner of course). I once heard a chef say to one of the competitors in a cooking competition on television (after the guests had commented on his cooking in writing) that he should throw away all the positive comments and cherish the negative ones. That is a bit far fetched, but it demonstrates that you can only grow if people keep being critical and by turning the less positive comments into something good. Maybe you should also keep in mind that a lot of readers comment in English while it is not their mother language and that the message may not always come across in the way they intended it… The way I read it, the comment was not that harsh at all, it was just honest. Hope this helps!

  76. Halen commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 12:27pm

    The work chair in one of the picture seems comfy & stylish.. i am looking to buy one for my husband as a Christmas gift :)
    Halen´s last blog post ..Decor lighting

  77. Kirsten commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 12:44pm

    I quickly looked up the address for you: rue Rambuteau 118 across from Forum des Halles which is within walking distance from the Louvre :)

  78. Irene Insigne commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 12:53pm

    Holly, you continue to inspire me…with or without words, your blog is lovely! If only I can have a fraction of what you’ve contributed to the blog world! I’m barely 5 months old in the blogsphere and decor8 was one of my inspiration in coming up with Hope you can visit when you get the chance. I know you’re the busiest woman in the blog world! ;-)

  79. Donna commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 1:10pm

    Hi Holly, my first ever comment on your beautiful blog – hoorah! Just wanted to say I applaud your honesty regarding the ‘chandelier comments’. Its very easy for someone to be negative by leaving a silly comment like that from the anonymity of their home office, when you are putting yourself out there, and sharing your wonderful design ideas and creativity with us everyday. Keep doing what your doing. I for one will be checking in everyday from Australia to see whats new on your gorgeous, honest and inspiring blog.

  80. Juliana commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 1:37pm

    i think you have to see that comment in the context…i am from germany and the majority of germans would agree that a chandelier is total kitch and old-fashion. when i bought mine i got laughed at because they thought i had no taste. when we grew up chandeliers really hang in our grandmother houses, mostly with fake candles as lightbulbs and lots and lots of crochet peonis (?) on every sidetable, under all the tablelamps just everywhere. so when somebody with that history sees that you like them it`s obvious that that person associates it with an old fashioned grandma house.

    the goal should be to show that person how beautiful something that “old-fashioned” can actually look in a modern interpretation. i am sure once you integrate them into your appartement it won`t look like my grandma`s living room at all ;-)

    stick with your taste no matter what people say and be proud that your readers not just blankly copy your style, but have their own taste everyonce in a while…
    Juliana´s last blog post ..Women to watch- Photographer Bethany Nauert

  81. Laura Gaskill commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 1:59pm

    Oh Holly, this is why I come to decor8 each day, year after year :) You are such a positive, encouraging person and through decor8 and BYW, you have really helped me become so much more comfortable in my own skin both in decorating my home AND as a blogger and frankly, as a person. I recently started taking design courses, and the confidence to finally pursue my passions is very much thanks to you!

    Your new pad is simply amazing, and I for one L O V E your chandeliers and think they suit the kind of old-world feel of a flat in Germany, though I know once they are in place the overall aesthetic will feel very fresh and eclectic, in other words very Holly.

    Hope you are having a lovely day over there!! xo Laura
    Laura Gaskill´s last blog post ..Saturday Favorites

  82. Leonie commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 2:02pm

    Such a great post and how true! I also do not understand that particular negative comment. Your blogs and style inspire me a lot Holly, although (or maybe because) it is not quite the style I am living in myself. And how boring would it be to only see things you know and like all the time! I know where Anon is coming from, since I have also seen a lot of boring flats with chandeliers like your #2, but all of these flats were boring because of the overall styling or non- styling, not because of the chandeliers. And I trust your style enough to know that you will totally make them work in your place!
    And that big table is just perfect. I clicked on the link to HAY right away, but didn’t see anything about delivery to Germany… Do you know anything about that? I’d be so happy if you could help me out on that!

  83. decor8 commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 2:29pm

    @Leonie – Yes, you can order HAY from Connex in Hannover:

  84. Carmella commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 2:34pm

    Holly, what a great post! I think you are right on the money on every point! The authenticity with which you write really comes through, and is so refreshing. I think it causes the reader to breathe and relax into his/her own style and abilities. You’ve always been good at showing that the path to a reachable design aesthetic is not hard to attain. And, by the way, LOVE the lighting you won on eBay!! GREAT choices, I say!
    Carmella´s last blog post ..Wallpaper Stars

  85. decor8 commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 2:35pm

    @Juliana – I understand completely, I think chandeliers and lace doilies are the hallmarks of “granny design” in most western cultures – same in America. You can find chandeliers still in nursing homes all over the U.S.
    I think it comes down to the young generation showing how these things can be used in new, modern ways in order to preserve them, make eco shopping choices, and save these vintage treasures from a landfill. The Dutch
    do this so, so well – they love to create fresh interpretations of granny style to pull it into the here and now. This is occurring more and more here in Germany in young design circles, too. Look at all of the mid century modern furniture – my grandmother has TONS of it in her farmhouse in Rhode Island and I always thought it was horrible. Today, lots of her stuff is being sold at top price around the states when back in the 1980s you couldn’t sell it for more than $20 at a local Salvation Army shop. Try to find a good mid century modern piece of furniture at thrift store in America these days for $20 – not happening! I guess the classic, good design always makes a comeback. But also the kitschy stuff we cringed at before (wallpaper, chandeliers, doilies) they also are having their “time” once more because we’ve chosen to resurrect them and show new ways to use these things in modern interiors to make them desirable all over again. It’s all about a new way of looking at old things, I guess.

  86. Iris commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 3:30pm

    In addition to my earlier comment #75: I do like your chandeliers a lot and I do get the point! I also like to mix the granny (and sometimes even a bit kitchy) style with new; I even have a christal chandelier over a very modern design table in shiny white. For me, that is a perfect combination, but others may find it odd.
    Iris´s last blog post ..Kerst inspiratie

  87. Melissa de la Fuente commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 4:00pm

    Holly…I adore you. Truly…you are a very real, impressive, honest, uplifting presence in this online world. I couldn’t agree more with everything you said here & have felt all of the same things. ( except for the “no one showing up for my book signing” cause I don’t have a book! ;) Oh, and you know I will be there, with bells on! :) I recently have tried to adjust my way of thinking about things in my home too, to get back to what I originally felt about it. That it is for me & my family…what we think is beautiful. And I know it is passed but, I just want to say that I love your chandys and have complete faith that they will be a gorgeous addition to your gorgeous home. I also put a LOT of importance on authenticity, though I am certainly not perfect and it means so much to me that you are a strong, lovely, talented authentic voice who is so supportive and encouraging. Not to mention inspiring…thanks for writing this, I think I will bookmark it to re-read whenever I need a reminder or boost. :)
    Melissa de la Fuente´s last blog post ..Cheap &amp Chic

  88. MariaInes commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 4:28pm

    Thanks for helping go thru my day, everyday. <3

  89. Julia commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 5:38pm

    I’m with all the people who enjoy your honesty and love your work, Holly, so I second plenty comments here.

    You know, it’s interesting… like that anon reader I rely a lot on your eye for style (I ask often “what would HB say/think/do”?) but I don’t like the chandeliers you bought. However, that’s why I follow you! Because it’s not the chandeliers themselves what I find inspiring but the fact that your style is so incredibly personal and harmonious that you can bring together things so different and dare to take the challenge.

    So YAY for the personal style and fun in home decoration! As much as I love perusing Ikea catalogs, your rooms give inspiration at a whole other level.

  90. Kim B. commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 7:00pm

    A little bit along Juliana’s lines: I think it *is* important to take “anonymous'” comment in context. From what I remember, she was saying that in the cultural context in which she grew up — that, I gather, of a former Warsaw Pact country — fittings like those remained for so long because no one was able to replace them, and so were ultimately seen as representative of the ennui and entropy that these authoritarian systems produced among the people. Because she was coming from that place, it was just hard for her to re-conceive of these lights having a place in a cool and modern home. I didn’t think she was being critical, I think she was just honestly expressing the confusion that she confronted when she saw that you — whose style she adores– had made such a choice.

    As for the tone of the email, I guess we should also consider that English is not her first (or maybe even second or third?) language. I thought she tried to convey that she was truly bewildered and generally really does love your style. I liked the comment for what it demonstrated about the breadth of readers whom you reach. It didn’t seem nasty to me (but then that’s easy for me to say, I know, as it wasn’t directed at me. When it’s directed towards you it feels totally different).

    Just my thoughts. Hope to make it to see you at Maison & Objet . . .and must check out Hema.

  91. sandra lund commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 9:12pm

    When I started reading blogs I got so surprised that anyone would make a comment that would insult or hurt the writer… I guess it is easier to do when there is a computer instead of a real person in front of you. Of course people have different opinions, and that is totally ok.
    Like I wrote on your other fabulous blog, hausmaus, you really inspired me with your picture of the dresser with personal and beautiful things displayed on it, it made me think of the stories that lies behind so many of my heirlooms and other jewelery and furniture, thanks !
    sandra lund´s last blog post ..Christmas wishes vol 1

  92. becca commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 10:27pm

    Intuitive mindfulness is essential to honoring our creativity. When we are distracted by others, we lose sight of our purpose.

  93. Brigitte commented
    December 7th, 2010 at 10:55pm

    I don’t think that I could have understood this post in the same way before I started blogging. The feeling of responsibility and accountability to your readers. The desire to be inspiring without being fake.

    And then to have someone leave an anonymous comment, which is in such contrast to the thoughtfulness you put in all your work.

    Bah humbug!

  94. Marie @ etincellestudio commented
    December 8th, 2010 at 3:37am

    Oh! I have seen that comment about the chandelier and I thought it was pretty rude to tell you that. I personally adore them (if anyone here can be bothered to know that). I don’t understand people sometimes, your blog is reflecting who you are and of course you can’t please everyone! Just keep going and stay true to yourself, we love witnessing the changes in your life and all the good stuff happening :)

  95. Shelley commented
    December 8th, 2010 at 3:43am

    What a great post! I really appreciate what you say about being “real” in your decorating and in blogging. Very well said and inspiring as well. Thanks for keeping it real!

    For what it’s worth, I think your blog is beautiful. Just keep being you!

  96. Kim Smith commented
    December 8th, 2010 at 7:45am

    I love what you’ve written here. I have a phrase that I tell myself: “Believe in your own wisdom.” It helps me often.

    Keep up the good work. You have a lot to be proud of.

  97. Marissa commented
    December 9th, 2010 at 4:46am

    Rock on, Holly. Your post served as a really great reminder that it’s important to find yourself before it gets caught up in what other people think. Thanks for putting it out there!

  98. Nicole commented
    December 9th, 2010 at 9:55am

    Dear Holly,
    Thank you for being you! And encouraging me to be me! I have a different interior style from you but I LOVE your blog! I LOVE what you do and how you do it! Have a wonderful time in Paris. I can’t wait to hear about that trip and enjoy your amazing photographs (as always). You are inspiring.

  99. Tiffany ~ The Fancy Farmgirl commented
    February 8th, 2011 at 5:22pm

    so inspiring and beautiful Holly!
    xoxo, Tiffany

  100. Courtney commented
    February 26th, 2011 at 5:21pm

    I am totally loving your chandeleir finds! I have not ventured into the world of ebay decor yet, but now I am tempted! Nice work!
    Courtney´s last blog post ..Blogging Your Way class!

  101. Nicole commented
    May 26th, 2011 at 6:50am

    I’d like to tell you how much I love old chandeliers, and those you have are timeless classics that will last through fads or trends. I love that you’re so real. We forget sometimes that blog writers are human too. People obviously follow your blog because they like your style, and it is true that no one style fits everyone. I realize very early when I design my jewelry that you can’t design something to please everyone. It’s just not possible. You either like it or you don’t. And so the world still revolves…I just tell myself moan & bitch about it with a friend, get over it & move on. It’s another beautiful day! :)
    Nicole´s last blog post ..Dahlia Ring available in selected colors

  102. Nicole commented
    May 26th, 2011 at 6:54am

    I forgot to say, your style rocks!
    Nicole´s last blog post ..Dahlia Ring available in selected colors

  103. Angie commented
    March 14th, 2012 at 3:32pm

    I love your blog! It fits the style of my house. Can’t wait to try your suggestions.

  104. Gay commented
    May 5th, 2012 at 3:10am

    Please add me to your subscription list.

  105. fotistika commented
    November 26th, 2012 at 10:45am

    Amazing blog. Just love the ideas…

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