I wasn’t sure what to call this post since I’m writing about two French companies with names that are too long for a proper blog post title. As I thought it over, the word charm just kept popping into mind along with quirky as I think lots of the French design that I see is very charming but also quite quirky, which is a very positive thing as I am quirky myself and tend to like things that are unusual way more than the typical stuff you can find in any store. It seems that French design, as least their more homespun stuff, is so delightfully charming that you often sit in your chair thinking, “How is it that that hasn’t become a global trend yet?” because it’s just so, well, cute and almost in a contagious way.
Since the French seem to be big on torn and shredded fabric, making things by hand and flea market finds, as am I, I thought I’d share two companies with you who have me really charmed today. The first is Desaccord which means disagreement in English and I’m thinking they came up with that name because their products are very untypical and even disagreeing with what is out on the market as they are anything but normal. They partnered up with Les Petits Bohemes, another French business that specialized in vintage furniture, to do some lovely photo shoots together mixing their products (mostly handmade knits and sewn things like animal heads) with Les Petitis Bohemes’ vintage finds that range from antique carriages to old metal beds from France. I’m so glad that I visited the MILK website today and found both of these shops because seeing these products made me feel very energized!
I love the branch wrapped with fabric – I tried this for my shop window in Amsterdam before even seeing this but I couldn’t figure out how to get the branches to Amsterdam so I decided not to do them. When I got home and saw this I was reminded that I have to try it again, perhaps just for a home installation above a window or my guest bed. I would spray paint my branches white though and wrap more fabric around them but the idea is along the same train of thought.
I love the marriage of hand craft with vintage finds along with that element of forward thinking, for instance a knitted cable cozy for a light cord, because then you have old, traditional and innovative design rolled into one product which is an amazing joining of things in my opinion. Aren’t all of these products in this post just delightful? Oh, Oui, oui! If you see anything that you like, please also visit their big cartel shops below and support these small companies because I imagine the people behind them are just sooo creative and wanting to make more and more things so by supporting them, we can continue to see this creativity and to become inspired by it.
(images: desaccord + les petits bohemes)
I had a chance to meet the founder of the Nordic Design blog recently, Catherine Lazure-Guinard, and she was so nice but her blog is also gorgeous since she is a talented curator with great vision. Catherine is a public relations and communications manager by day and a blogger by night who is from Quebec, Canada but now lives in the Netherlands and writes a blog about Scandinavian style. Hey, good for her for being so open-minded to change and new culture! Love it! Here is just a glimpse of some of the things she shares on her blog…
How sweet is this bedroom with those gorgeous painted wooden floors, the wonky lamp on a stool near the bed and that messy bed? This is so typical Scandinavian to me, casual but something to envy.
I like this messy work area that I’m thinking, doubles as an eating space or perhaps a client meeting area. The mismatched chairs in lacquered black are simple, understated beauty along with that vintage table.
Another wonky little lamp, this time with some taxidermy – a duck! I like the openness of this space and how welcoming it feels.
With Catherine’s strength being in corporate branding and public relations, I can see why her blog is so well laid out and designed. Catherine is obviously drawn in to the homespun charm that Scandinavian design embodies — something so many of us love — and that is all about hygge – the Danish word for cozy, acceptance, well-being. I think that’s why when you see a Scandi home, you can smell fresh rolls, flowers, see magazines laid out on the table, a sweater draped over a chair, a casual lived-in elegance that is imperfectly perfect as I always refer to these casual styles as being on decor8.
I hope that you’ll visit Nordic Design and check out Catherine’s finds today – it’s the decor8 blog of the week so enjoy!
I’m so in love with the illustrative style of the amazing Aussie James Gulliver Hancock who is currently based out of Brooklyn, New York where he is working in a super cool project called All The Buildings In New York. His goal is to draw all of the buildings in New York, and I’m thrilled he has taken on that challenge as the architecture there is just so diverse and beautiful and I know so many would love to see their buildings drawn by him – how nice to own one of his prints if you happen to live in the building that he so nicely sketched and painted.
There’s no question, illustrations are a huge trend at the moment. You see them everywhere now, on books, on magazines, on fabric, product packaging, cd covers, on magazines, inside of them, more than ever before illustrations are on and in everything. It’s a trend I love! What do you think of James’ work? I can’t get enough of what he’s doing personally and I feel so inspired by it and his gorgeous colorways and how he embellishes his images beyond the house to create doodles and such. I wish he’d come to Germany and draw some of the Jugenstil buildings where I live, or can you imagine him drawing the buildings in Amsterdam or Greece or perhaps modern homes in LA? I wonder what he’ll draw after he finishes his New York project?
I’m sooo lovin’ James at the moment though… you too?
(images: james gulliver hancock)
I have some sweet news! I just found out that Chronicle Books just kicked off the blog tour of Decorate! I can’t wait to tell my co-author Joanna, she’ll be equally excited to follow along to see what all of these lovely friends and bloggers have to say about our book.
I was so excited when last Friday, Maxwell at Apartment Therapy gave it a glowing review (thank you Maxwell!) and so after that huge high I’ve been flying on, to hear about the book tour that just kicked off is quite exciting especially since another blogger I adore, Oh Joy!, was the one who kicked things off – I am very honored that Joy did that (thank you, Joy!).
Below is the official listing of all those bloggers who are part of the Decorate Blog Tour that will run between now and July 15th, the day after my 10 year wedding anniversary so the timing of this is quite perfect – yay!
AND if you want to win a copy of the book, please leave a comment on the Chronicle Books blog HERE and they’ll randomly pick some winners for the contest.
I want to give everyone a big hug for being part of this blog tour for me, thank you a million times thank you!
(image: holly becker for decor8)
Hello everyone! I’ve finally sorted through a bunch of photographs and made some time to pull together a few images from our Meet The Blogger event in Amsterdam this past Saturday. I have a million photos in this post to share, but there are nearly 200 more in this flickr album… First of all, it was a huge success and exceeded my expectations as I think was the case for all who attended. The space was packed with stylish, inspiring lifestyle bloggers from various parts of Europe so together we had over 120 (mostly ladies) gathered to listen to lectures, eat cupcakes and have a glass a wine but the focus of course, was to mix and mingle and walk away feeling confident and ready to take on the world! How did Meet The Blogger come to be? I’d had meet ups in Europe before in places like Berlin, Stockholm, London and Amsterdam but hadn’t hosted a meet up in awhile and wanted to do one again now that I’m living in Germany. I just needed a little push… And wasn’t sure where to even begin as I’m in the midst of so much right now in my life.
But then, out of nowhere, that push came from the lovely and organized Lise, who has a job in corporate by day but who blogs by night over on the Urban Style Vibes blog in the Netherlands, and she too was dreaming of pulling together a meet up for bloggers. I’d not known Lise until she contacted me so I had no idea we shared a similar dream to host a blogger’s event. She was a bit farther ahead in her dream than I, she already had chosen a name (Meet The Blogger) and talked about the idea to hold the first event in Stockholm or maybe Amsterdam. I guess we can call this kismet because she had heard about the launch of my book, Decorate, and so she emailed me to see if I wanted to get involved in something she had only just started to plan called Meet The Blogger. I had no clue what it was about, but she told me some of her ideas and then I shared some of my own and Lise had a logo created and started to set the whole thing into motion because I wanted to do another book launch party and a blogger’s meet up combined, only this time in Amsterdam since my book is sold there in English at the American Book Center.
Since then, Lise and I have talked a lot since February to work out how this event would run – it didn’t come together overnight! She was so easy to work with though at times it was tricky as we had to do everything by phone and email. That’s why when Lise flew up to London to meet me in person at the Decorate Liberty launch party in April, the whole idea of working with her made me much more comfortable. I thought it was very kind of her to connect with me so personally. While Lise and I were busy behind-the-scenes planning Meet The Blogger, we decided to pull in some sponsors so our guests wouldn’t have to pay for the event and we thought a goody bag would be a nice incentive to get everyone there – who doesn’t want free stuff?
As our ideas grew, Lise connected a fellow blogger, Janneke Romijn, who got involved — she happens to be a writer and publicist. Janneke is another amazing woman. I got to know more about her recently and she really inspired me with her personal story, she is such a determined woman and very strong and I admire this so much. So between Lise, Janneke and I this dream to host a blogger’s event started to take shape.
I worked on finding a location for the event, at first Lise found something outside of the city but my eye was on doing it in the city to encourage people to come. The location sort of fell into my lap because The American Book Center wanted to get involved and since they are friendly with Hotel V thanks to Rick Lightstone (Rick you’re the best!), they were able to get us that space for the event at no charge to us. Great!
Once we had the location it all felt very real and exciting and Lise and Janneke met with the hotel to work on the details while I made it my mission to tell everyone about the event so that we’d have lots of people invited and involved — who wants to host an event and have no one show up? So I literally told the whole entire internet. And people responded and before we knew it, we had sold out and had to actually turn people away as the space couldn’t hold everyone comfortably otherwise.
As one domino fell, effortlessly pushing the next, we started to pull together our sponsors. In the end, British designer Kelly Hoppen sponsored all of our drinks (sadly, she wasn’t there but her lovely publicist came) and Lily’s Cupcakes kept us all saturated in sugary sweet goodness. Flavourites came to talk about their blog and business and we had Dutch designer Mariska Meijers give everyone a lovely bookmark for their very own copy of Decorate (placed in our goody bags) and Dutch interiors magazine 101 Woonideeën gave everyone a few copies of their magazine and talked about the event on their blog too (here). The name tags that everyone wore came from Wolfie and the Sneak. The American Book Center gave away a few copies of Decorate and co-author Joanna Copestick, also attended which made me so, so happy as she was such a huge part of making Decorate come to life and though she’s shy about attending signings, I’m just so happy she flew in from London to be a part of it all. I even got her to sign some books with me not only at Meet The Blogger but at The American Book Center later that day.
I was personally thrilled to have VTWonen as an official sponsor, their editor-in-chief, Monique de Ruiter, attended Meet The Blogger and that really impressed me and I enjoyed meeting her very much. VTWonen so generously gave us our own photographer, Jurriaan Hoefsmit, for the day to shoot the event and they gave everyone a copy of VTWonen as well. They also announced the event in their magazine before the event and gave us a wonderful shout out on their blog yesterday, which we are so grateful for. My husband, Thorsten Becker, also took photos which was great.
The event was so wonderful, I really enjoyed meeting so many bloggers in this part of the world and it really impressed upon me the need to get bloggers over here together again in the future because they certainly are interested in these events and many asked us when the next blogger’s networking event will take place! That’s exciting! I’ll announce something on decor8 in the near future as I’m looking at BERLIN, GERMANY for an event in October and that one will really rock as I love Berlin and already have a few great sponsors on board for that one. Yay for bloggers in Europe, what an inspirational bunch of people who came out on Saturday, it was so encouraging and lovely for me but also for all – the buzz in the air was contagious and the vibe was so positive.
If you missed this event I hope that you’ll come out to Berlin in October for another blogging event to network and learn — the date will be announced on decor8 sometime this summer so you can get it on your calendar. It will also be in conjunction with Callwey Verlag, a huge German publishing house who will be releasing Decorate in German around that time with the title, Lust auf Wohnen, so I’ll have copies of it available in German at the next event which will be really fun for me to share!
By the way… I wanted to add captions to all of the photos with everyone’s names but I just cannot remember all of the wonderful people I met so I decided to not list anyone because some I do know but I felt like it would be unfair to list them without listing everyone. I hope that you understand. If you are shown in any of the photos above, please comment and say hello so people know who you are!
And well finally I need to point out the real reason behind a mix + mingle for blogger’s like this. I want people online to make lasting connections. I’m a connector, and through my online Blogging Your Way class that I teach along with Leslie Shewring and Thorsten Becker, I’ve always taught my students to not be scared of taking risks and to try to meet up with fellow bloggers in their own cities from time-to-time just to solidify those online relationships. I believe that relationships can only deepen when people take their virtual friendships offline for a bit to share, connect, laugh and run around with their cameras snapping a zillion photographs as you simply cannot get two blogger friends in the same room without cameras click, click, clicking!
I love sharing my book with everyone, I’ve had so many ask me to share it and sign their copies and events like this allow me to connect with people, which I love. It means a lot to me to be part of your life, offline too, as a personal friend and even a bit of mentor because I want to encourage women to just go for it when it comes to realizing their dreams and I want to help them to see a way out if they are currently stuck. So I hope this blogger’s event, the book signings that I do, classes that I teach both on and offline, continue to encourage and motivate people to connect, mingle, share and to learn and grow together.
To conclude this super long post, I want to thank all of our sponsors and also to my partners-in-crime, Lise and Janneke. I’m happy that together we were able to put Meet The Blogger into motion! We love you Amsterdam!
Update: A VERY special thank you to our volunteers for helping us to set up the event and for registering our guests as they arrived: Kate Baxter, Carole King, Jantine Vaartjes and Caroline Sleijffers.