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Party Decorating DIY

Hello everyone! Are you doing well today? I’ve been busy working on other projects, including the decor8 blog redesign (very excited to show you the all new site in the Spring!), so my days have been long and filled with much thought. What is best, how should I, is that the right direction, should I try… The many things that pop up that lead me to grabbing my trusty notebook and scribbling down pages of thoughts. Minutes turn into hours and before I know it, another day crossed off of the calendar. But enough about me! I’m here to inspire and energize YOU. :)

diy project

I thought today I’d share a little something that I produced for 101 Woonideeen magazine out of The Netherlands. I’m in their February issue (Yay!) and additionally, on their website sharing an easy party decorating DIY. It’s in Dutch so here are the instructions in English that I wrote for you below.

diy project

Step 1: Lay out all of your materials. You can use paper parasols or round paper lanterns from a shop like IKEA. Both would work nicely. I like to work with odd numbers, so I suggest grouping 3 or 5 above your table (or as many as your little heart desires!). You’ll need parasols, ribbon, transparent cord from the craft store, scissors, tags, fabric scraps and screw hooks to put into the ceiling. Next, screw the hooks into the ceiling allowing enough space between them to hang your parasols.

Step 2 : Take your fabric and snip in about 1″. The strip should be no more than 2″ wide. Once you’ve cut into the fabric, tear the strip all the way down to the end of the fabric so you have a very rough, torn edge. You can also cut the strips with the scissors if you want a neater look, but I prefer the torn edge. Cut several lengths, just make sure the fabric doesn’t hang too long or else it could catch on fire if you have candles on the table! You also don’t want the fabric touching the food or your guests. Now cut your ribbons at various lengths.

Step 3: Open and flip your parasol upside down (or your round paper lanterns). Tie your ribbons onto it along with your fabric strips in different lengths. Add pretty tags that you stamp with images that you like or make your own tags with the names of your guests on them. You can attach the tags to the parasol with ribbon, too.

Step 4: Turn the parasol right side up and adjust the ribbons as needed, you may need to snip some of them. Hold the parasol over the table to make sure the ribbon and fabric isn’t too long because if you plan to have candles on the table, the whole house may burn down!

Step 5: Tie your strong, transparent cord onto the top of each parasol and then tie securely onto the hooks in the ceiling that you hung earlier.

Step 6: Finally, hang all of your parasols and add more ribbons as needed. As mentioned earlier, you can add gift tags or get really creative and add photos of your guests, tiny flowers, hang whatever you would like from them as long as your embellishments are lightweight. I added gift tags to mine that I decorated with Japanese washi tape and at the top of the parasols I added neon pink and orange grosgrain ribbon for an added burst of color.

Isn’t this a pretty, inexpensive and simple decorating idea for your next party at home?

Thank you 101 Woonideeen for letting me share this idea with your Dutch readers and for the lovely feature in your magazine. I can’t wait to get a copy so that I can see it with my own eyes.

(images: holly becker)

Posted in DIY on January 18, 2012

Rug Trends 2012 + Domotex Hannover

Today is a holiday in the states and though I live abroad, I typically observe them for purely selfish reasons — an excuse to take a day off! In reality, it’s not really a day off though because there is always something to tend to when you’re a freelancer isn’t there?

Domotex Hannover 2012

How was your weekend? I had a refreshing time with friends which really made me feel inspired because Friday was one of those days where everything felt really out of balance and wrong. I hope that you had a good weekend and woke up today feeling ready to conquer a new week! To kick things off on decor8, I thought I’d begin by talking about rug trends. Yes, ha ha, I know that’s random but the world’s largest and most important rug fair is currently taking place in Hannover (where I live) and so I had to check it out and share some impressions with you.

Domotex Hannover 2012

Domotex is held in the winter each year in Hannover, Germany and is the world’s largest flooring trade show. If you care about flooring as a designer, manufacturer, buyer, journalist… this is where you should be each year to see what is hot in flooring. My coverage is on area rugs because I have a passion for them BUT Domotex shows everything from wood flooring to wall-t0-wall carpets, tiles, carpet tiles and beyond. All flooring is represented and seen by over 44,000 international visitors each year. This year they also had 1,500 vendors so plan to spend a few days if you decide to visit next year. The theme of Domotex for 2012 was, “Customized Living”, which is what I’m all about – making design more personal to the homeowner.

Trade show posts can be quite a snooze fest, I know, so I’ll go easy on the photos and blah blah and get straight to business and highlight THE area rug trends for 2012 because that’s what we all want to know! Ready!? There are THREE big ones to watch according to Domotex and their trend guide.

Domotex Hannover 2012

1. Runway-Inspired “Statement Makers”: The first trend for 2012 is to make a statement! Whether that is through bold color, high-quality materials, uncommon texture, quirky pattern… Remember, a rug doesn’t have to JUST serve a function but can also be an object of art for the floor. For many designers, it’s often the jumping off point for an entire room scheme. Floral themes are still popular as are over-dyed Oriental carpets and even your traditional Persian rug is given an update with refreshing new colorways (thank goodness). Some patterns are partially printed for a faded effect, others have bold, quirky frayed edging in strong colors, still others are hand-dyed in specific spots of the rug to give it pizzazz. Patchwork rugs are still hot – whether as individual floor tiles placed together in an arrangement of your liking, new rugs in patchwork motifs or antique rugs that are pieced together patchwork style (my personal favorite). Fashion is truly influencing carpets this year with an introduction of bold color straight from the catwalk: cobalt blue, mustard yellow, hot pink, petrol, leaf green, turquoise…

2. Natural “Organic” Look: The focus is still strong when it comes to sustainability and green living (as it should be!). Nature produces an abundance of materials like sisal, silk, hemp, yarn and plant fibers from cacti and un-dyed Himalayan wool to name a few examples so why not use them? Natural patterns are always popular and continue to march forward with motifs that include flowers, leaf patterns, butterflies and insects, etc. The attention to texture, especially more unusual texture (multi-layered and more dimensional surfaces), is also apparent as is hand-woven rugs with extra long pile and the use of leather and crochet. The palettes are often warm and natural to further enhance their beauty or dyed with natural plant-based color. I’m a big fan of this trend.

Domotex Hannover 2012

3. Classic, Timeless Design (with a twist): The final trend, and I love this once because it’s innovative and fascinating to see old things reinterpreted in fresh, new ways… This trend may or may not be part of the first trend, Runway Inspired, but it does mix in some elements of fashion for instance the over-dyed Oriental carpets in bright colors and a traditional Persian rugs updated with a entirely new color palette (love!). Color splashed patterns, overly-faded rugs (take for instance a traditional Persian rug washed out of nearly all of it’s color, given a single color wash, revealing only bits of the original pattern – a favorite look of mine.) And of course, it’s not just about classic patterns being faded or given new colors, there are even new rug patterns out there that challenge the common stripe or block patterns with tartan-style checks and triangles.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed learning about some of the big trends in rugs this year from my impressions at Domotex 2012. I must add though that I’m always so surprised when I don’t see some of my favorite companies like Amy Butler, Madeline Weinrib. Angela Adams and The Rug Company showing there along with FLOR, Jonathan Adler and others from the states who produce amazing rugs. Perhaps in the future? There are a lot of Americans who attend but few who show and I just know that European buyers looking for interesting rugs to sell to their customers would love these companies. The day Madeline Weinrib has presence here like she does in America or England well, I’ll be leaping for absolute joy… Anyway, just a casual observation. I wonder if anyone has an opinion on this?

Spot any themes that interest you?

I’ll see you tomorrow for some more inspiration for the week! Big hug!

(images: domotex, christiane kroening)


Posted in Objects on January 16, 2012

NEW: Tine K Home for Spring 2012

I recently ordered a few things from Tine K Home and was happy to learn that they are soon to roll out their Spring/Summer 2012 collection at fairs across Europe as I type. I really like this collection because it’s very well curated due to Tine’s expert eye and everything is quite neutral and for me, this provides the perfect base to work off of when I decorate. Don’t you love all of the old books that she uses as props? It looks as though she has raided my husband’s library. I love old books, don’t you?

Tine K Home Spring/Summer 2012

When it comes to decorating, to some it may seem boring to pattern and color lovers out there to work from a neutral foundation but I prefer a say, gray linen sofa, because then I can pile on decorative cushions and change up the mood of the entire room as it strikes me and it strikes me very often lately since winter is here and I’m home a lot more. I really like a large neutral floor rug (sisal or wool is good, even leather rugs) and wooden floors because I can work up from there to layer in personality as I go.

Tine K Home Spring/Summer 2012

Tine K Home Spring/Summer 2012

Tine K Home Spring/Summer 2012

Tine K Home Spring/Summer 2012

It’s fascinating how we each have our own system that works for us when it comes to decorating. It’s such a personal process and rightly so, our home is a direct reflection of who we are and if it’s not, most of us are working hard to make it that way because then everything feels just right. There is no single decorating recipe but still we do end up following a certain path each time we redecorate a room, don’t we? For me, I look for my palette and focal point and work from there, being careful to layer in texture and various tones of the same color – even white – because white comes in a millions tints and tones and by experimenting, you create mood and dimension which can help one to avoid that sterile hospital-esque room that using mostly white can result in . Tine has used a lot of white in her latest collection but she’s added chalky, smoky gray and natural wood tones along with hints of blue and violet, stripes and ethnic prints, to give this mostly white collection personality. I think in many ways, her collection allows me to think and be creative. When I look at her items, I imagine them in different rooms with different colors and patterns around them…

The Tine K Home collection for Spring/Summer is very warm, natural and subdued yet there is a certain coziness to it that I find appealing. It’s neither shabby nor chic which white and linen can quickly lean towards — rather it’s clean, wholesome, modern, a little rustic, a tad ethnic and altogether attainable and classy.

Tine K Home Spring/Summer 2012

Tine K Home Spring/Summer 2012

Tine K Home Spring/Summer 2012

Tine K Home Spring/Summer 2012

Tine K Home Spring/Summer 2012

I LOVE her new collection of ceramics for the tabletop the most! What do you like? And since I’ve shared a bit of my decorating process, I’m now curious… what is your “process” for decorating or redecorating a space?

(images: tine k home)

Posted in Decorating Tips on January 13, 2012

Color Palettes From Design Seeds

When undertaking a decorating project, one of the first considerations is color and what your overall palette will be in addition to floor plan, furnishings, lighting, etc. Color sets the mood. If you need color inspiration, check out Design Seeds founded by color consultant Jessica Colaluca. Here are 8 of my favorite palettes at the moment, all dreamed up by talented Jessica.

8 Palettes from Design Seeds

Fun for a kitchen or living room: Treat Tones.

8 Palettes from Design Seeds

Very relaxed for the bedroom yet also a bit energetic for mornings when you don’t want to get out of bed: Produced Purple.

8 Palettes from Design Seeds

This could be a nice entryway, I see a very glamorous chandelier in silver discs suspended from the ceiling and a huge mirror above a lacquered white entry table: Glamorous Escape.

8 Palettes from Design Seeds

I love this palette – so fresh and inspiring – perfect for a child’s playroom or a crafting space for mom: Boxed Palette.

8 Palettes from Design Seeds

I see this and think of a nursery for the newest gift to the family: Present Tones.

8 Palettes from Design Seeds

A very happy and stylish palette, this looks like the office for a fashion designer or for a magazine editor: Glow Brights.

8 Palettes from Design Seeds

Very cottage in the country, a nice palette for a guest bedroom in your country home: Pink Plans.

8 Palettes from Design Seeds

I imagine a room with super dark walls so this could be charming in a very little nook in your home where you read and relax: Bouquet Hues.

Design Seeds even has lovely color palette books on Blurb and she has a zillion of them that you can view on her blog by color. Her “Creature Color” book is a favorite of mine, combining sweet animal shots with color palette ideas.

Creature Colors Book

If you are not interested in using these for your next decorating project, why not think of other clever ways you can put these palettes to good use. If you design websites, these could be a great jumping off point. Perhaps you are a book cover designer? Scrapbook queen? Maybe you can put together a wedding using a palette from Design Seeds? Or compose your next outfit? Maybe plan out how you will wrap presents or something as simple as using one of these palettes to base your own mood board from over your work desk?

Psst: Design Seeds clearly even explains in THIS POST how to use her palettes to match the color and convert them to Pantone colors exactly – brilliant!

This is such a great resource, isn’t it!?

(images: design seeds)

Posted in Color Inspiration, uncategorized on January 12, 2012


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