I have two posts to dedicate today to one of the best interiors photographers in the world, Debi Treloar. Debi has photographed both of my books, Decorate and Decorate Workshop (which releases in the UK in mere days), and working with her on both projects was always a joy. From the first shot which was in Sweden back in April 2010, until our last shoot, which was in my home in April 2012, we had a nice two years working together on two books and I’m so proud that she was part of both projects.
Debi is a breeze to work with and always so professional but in a laid back way, so even though she knows what she’s doing, she is still quite chill in the process which makes it nice for those working around her as time with Debi doesn’t feel stressful or over-bearing. It’s nice to work with someone at the top of their field who has such patience and charm. In this post, you can see some pics of Debi’s beautiful home which radiates her personality perfectly. She rents her home out as a location space (more pics here) via Light Locations for shoots but primarily, this is where she lives with her lovely family. I think she decorates with soul and so much joy and I just love her style – it is so inspiring to see how she uses color and pattern, too. No fear! Visiting Debi is always such a treat because her home is also always changing – she adds or takes away bits and makes it more charming each time. It’s always nice to see what she’s up to and she adores turquoise and pink and really embraces her inner girly, bohemian rock star and I think that’s way cool.
In my next post, I’ll share something else special and very dear to Debi, her new rental property that she leases out to stylish guests, blog readers and anyone else looking for a sweet little studio escape to stay in on their visit to London. I can’t wait to show you what she spent the summer working on – it’s lovely. Back in a moment!
While I’m working on the post, please check out her beautiful blog – Double Exposure.
(images: debi treloar)
I posted about this once already but today, October 26th, is the LAST DAY that you can enter to win this gorgeous gift box valued at $500.00 USD with things inside that I hand-picked. You simply MUST enter!
Inside you will find…
- Signed ADVANCE copy of my new book Decorate Workshop
- Signed copy of my first book Decorate
- Au Revoir Simone –The Bird of Music CD
- ASOS Moustache Face Expander Watch
- Limited edition print, Upside Down by Jennifer Davis
- Rifle Paper Co. Botanicals Garlands
- Jonathan Adler Utopia Williamsburg Vase
- Liberty Floral Notebook Set
- Liberty Floral Notecards
- Ceramic Flower Pins
- Voluspa Cut Glass Jar & Candle
- Squirreled Away Tape Dispenser
- Globe Trotter Calendar
- Pretty Paper Parties by author & blogger Vana Chupp
- West Elm Stone House Doorstop
Valid only for U.S. Residents (per the request of Chronicle Books who is the official sponsor of this contest.)
** DEADLINE: OCTOBER 26, 2012 midnight **
Sorry, the contest is now closed.
Good luck everyone!
A funny thing happened to me recently. I don’t recall when exactly, but let us say it was this past Spring because I really believe it was then. Anyway, I was perusing the Wednesday morning farmers’ market in the local square, strolling from the flower stall to the bread cart, when someone most pleasant with clear eyes and an overall lovely appearance, looked straight at me to exclaim, “Holly! You are from the blog decor8….”, and well taken a bit off guard (as you can imagine) I agreed that indeed I was and asked whom she might be and a conversation ensued. I learned that she reads decor8, runs a beautiful blog herself and that she goes by Milas Deli or Susanne Irmer.
From there, we exchanged emails and she shared a link to Milas Deli with me. Upon clicking, my jaw dropped. It was one of the most beautiful food blogs I’d come across in awhile…
In fact, Milas Deli left me with a very calm feeling, it made me FEEL something for food much like Nigella does – and unlike some cooks and food blogs out there which often make me overwhelmed because they’re so perfectly perfect (who really serves perfect food night after night) and overly propped, Milas Deli felt natural and light and the way I feel when I’m eating with friends… Completely in love with the wine, the food and the friendship – not the perfectly perfected recipes and the over-the-topness of the table decor – but of the beauty found in a more relaxed approach to eating that so many westerners are seeking to get back – pleasure, joy, simplicity. I need to connect emotion to food. It cannot be all about overly propped food shots and recipes that are so complicated that I feel discouraged and slightly unfeminine trying to cook them. When I cook, I want to feel like a woman – feeding my family and providing something with soul. Yes, that’s it – I need a soul connection or in this case, a head-to-heart-to-stomach connection. A blog like Milas Deli gives me good energy when it comes to food – from presentation to cooking to licking your fingers clean. I commend her for authoring such an inspiring space.
Truth is, Milas Deli has really had an influence on me ever since I first found Susanne in the farmers’ market here in Hannover, Germany where I live. I read her blog whenever I can, though I do cheat a bit and read in Google Chrome often after translating it into English because I don’t want to miss out on anything until my German is fluent. Plus, no matter how well I learn my new second language, English is my mother tongue and so there is comfort when reading it especially if a topic is somewhat emotional in the first place. And food is so super emotional. The way you prepare it, the love you put into it, the passion.
My husband is the male version of Nigella. When he cooks you see his passion in action. He prepares without following a single recipe yet the things he makes evokes feelings that only food from a dear husband or your grandmother can bring to the table – his food is comfort, soulful, made with love, nourishing. He made a simple chicken vegetable soup last week that felt like a bowl full of love. I imagined as I ate it (I can be very animated truth be told) that little hearts were floating around in the broth. I felt love with each bite. I often wish my husband would make a cookbook and write stories around his recipes but because he does his best work when he’s not in the spotlight, he most likely will save the kitchen for his family and I respect him for that. It’s sexy to watch someone cook like that though, isn’t it? (Nigella is so sexy when she cooks.)
But I digress. Back to Susanne and her blog. Her photography is stunning but she also takes a very journalistic approach to her work and the stories she tells, the shoots she produces, the locations she captures. Her story angles are great and so are her literal angles as she moves around her subjects from cafes to chefs to a plate of ravioli. I admire the work that goes into a blog like hers so very much. In fact, I was stunned and happy when she enrolled in my online course, Blogging Your Way, this past June. What an honor to have her. I felt like she could teach me a thing or two about taking photos!
I recently ran into Susanne with another friend of mine, Berit, in the local forest. I didn’t recognize her at first – she had her hair up (I first met her when it was down) and it was a bit wet out – but the moment she said her blog name I knew immediately who she was and felt so embarrassed that one of her biggest fans had a momentary lapse of memory, forgetting those very eyes and the warmth that greeted me on that day in Spring when I first met a talented new friend. I’m sorry Susanne but hopefully this post makes up for that and perhaps it will win me a spot near to her one day for a cup of coffee and a friendly chat. I’d like that.
(Photography: milas deli/Susanne Irmer)
I heard someone predict recently that Pinterest will ultimately kill off our blogs. I felt a bit put off by that. Maybe they don’t realize that most of what is pinned is from blogs. If there are no more blogs, where are people going to find all of the fab DIY projects bloggers are posting, the great decorating tips, home tours and inspiring art and graphic design… Sure, people will pin from websites but when you look at what you are pinning, isn’t most of it from blogs? That is why I think that this prediction is a bit off. But…
BUT there is one thing that rings VERY true and that is this: Pinterest can kill SOME blogs, or shall I say, harm some bloggers. Here is why: Pinterest forces bloggers to STEP IT UP a notch simply because Pinterest is showing our readers EVERYTHING in one place. Pinterest is like a boat with a massive trawling net catching everything thanks to its massive member base. This sheer volume of stuff forces bloggers, magazines and even book publishers to step it up. I don’t think that is a bad thing, the better we each nudge one another to become a bit more polished, then there is nothing wrong with that. Iron sharpens iron.
The point is that none of us can repetitively toss up photos and leave it at that on our blogs. A little chit chat is needed. A little of, “I love this because…” and “This works because…” and “I think you can learn from this because…” goes a really long way for any blogger. If you want to add value through your blog content then put your heart into it. Be a bit more bold and lay your opinions openly out there, express yourself more freely than ever (as long as you don’t become a meanie, not what I encourage), be honest and funny (if you want to be funny), be yourself… Blog YOUR way. That will set you apart from the pack. Then Pinterest does not threaten your beautiful blog – you can use it to promote your blog and Pinterest will continue to tap in to all of us who are using it for their content. Currently, Pinterest drives more traffic to decor8 than Google.com – so I’m not complaining – that’s good stuff. Thanks, Pinterest.
I wonder what your honest opinion is when it comes to Pinterest. Do you think it is killing blogs? Do you think it is making bloggers step back and reexamine their blogging approach? Do you USE the content you are pinning on Pinterest to create anything – are you doing anything with all of that inspiration? As a blogger, are you finding more traffic coming in to your blog from Pinterest? I’d love to hear your take on it.
By the way, I’m on Pinterest. Follow me if you’d like, I’m @decor8.