Designers + Stylists

The Very Dear Sania Pell

April 12, 2013

Hello friends, how are you doing today? I’d like to share my love once again for all things Sania Pell. Sania Pell is an interiors stylist and best-selling author of two books, Homemade Home and The Homemade Home for Children (I have and love them both), and lives and works in London as a freelance stylist for magazines and catalogs. She has a super lovely home in Chiswick and a beautiful family with a great designer/photographer husband, Mark Wilson, who actually redesigned decor8 for me once and did a beautiful job. Sania is such an inspiration to me. I really adore her style and how she looks at the world. I also like how take charge she is. She makes stuff happen and doesn’t sit idle. I love that about her.

The Very Dear Sania Pell

The Very Dear Sania Pell

The Very Dear Sania Pell

Ever since first having dinner with her in Camden Town in 2010, I knew she’d be my friend. She showed up at my hotel with a gift she had handmade for me – a project from her first book – a beautiful wall hanging that she presented rolled up in a tube. I was so overwhelmed by such a generous act of kindness. It’s on my wall to this day and every time I see it, I think of our first meeting and how lucky I am to have met Sania in person. I couldn’t believe she was a fan of my blog and that she even read the review I posted about her first book so much that she wanted to meet me to thank me personally. No one does stuff like that anymore, really. She is super special.

Since that day, we’ve been friends – something I value immensely. We’ve done many nice things together ever since in-person, including her wonderful help in planning my book party at Liberty in 2011. I can’t believe it’s already been so long already, time flies! She’s let us shoot in her home on two occasions, so when her living room ended up on the cover of my first book, Decorate, I couldn’t believe Chronicle Books had chosen the room of my dear friend Sania! To have her home on my book cover is such a big deal to me. Whenever I look at Decorate on my coffee table, I don’t just see my book but I think about her.

Sania is so talented and giving through her blog. I love that she has e a blog and that I can keep up with her there because honestly, when I am feeling a little homesick or a bit uninspired, I have these plug-in points for inspiration and her blog is high on my list. I visit nearly every day to see if she has posted. From her posts about travel to shops she’s been to, shoots she’s done on location, her book projects, pictures she takes of landscapes that I love so much (because they remind me of a gorgeous painting she did in her bedroom)… Whenever I visit her blog, I feel like I’m at her home and I recall the times I’ve spent with Sania in her craft loft or kitchen and feel really cozy and happy.

The Very Dear Sania Pell

The Very Dear Sania Pell

The Very Dear Sania Pell

The Very Dear Sania Pell

Thank you Sania, you are a beautiful friend that I admire so much. I imagine being grannies looking back at this “blog” era saying to one another, “Well wasn’t that something else.” I am so glad your first book, which resulted in my blog review, which caused us to have dinner one summer’s night in London, turned us into friends. Thank goodness for blogs and books but even more, thank you for reaching out to me in the first place because London wouldn’t be the same without you there. In fact, whenever I go to London, I’m always excited because I know we’ll meet up and be total girls together and I love that so much. You’re the best.


(images: sania pell)


  • Reply ale norris April 12, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    this is great! i absolutely love how light & airy all of the photos are. definitely will be looking in to one (or both) of her books.

  • Reply geraldine tan April 12, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Holly this is such a wonderful way to connect with your true friends and beautifully written too. xx

  • Reply Dana April 12, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    One of my favorite posts, Holly! Enjoyed your heartfelt appreciation for someone so special to you – and, now I will also think of this when I look at the cover of your book which happily sits on my coffee table.

  • Reply Des Biniares April 13, 2013 at 1:01 am

    Beautiful and inspirational

  • Reply Lauren April 13, 2013 at 3:38 am

    I love this! I always find it fun and sweet to find out how people get connected. It’s like a little love story:) My favorite post I’ve ever written on my blog was a letter I wrote to my son on his 7th birthday last September. Some simple (but very true) life lessons:)

  • Reply Chris April 13, 2013 at 5:35 am

    I don’t have a blog but would like to thank YOU Holly for the inspiration you have given me every time I have visited your blog over the years. I can always really on beautiful images, fresh content and great links and advice on decorating. I visit YOUR blog every day to see if it is updated and enjoy savouring all you share so generously!
    Thank you so much x

  • Reply Camilla Floweret April 13, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Lovely idea, I think I have to write such a post to my sister who lives far away but still is such an inspiration for me. Thank you for starting again with this kind of post and always fun to read your blog.

  • Reply Lallabel April 13, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    It ‘a nice way, very sweet, to make it clear to a friend how much you estimate her and how much you care about her!
    Have a nice weekend!
    Lallabel (Laura Anna)
    from Italy

  • Reply Meowa April 13, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    So sweet…. I like this

  • Reply stefanie April 13, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    In my ears and in my heart “you´re the best” sounds fake when you keep saying it to many different people.

    • Reply decor8 April 14, 2013 at 3:20 pm

      @Stefanie – Could be a “lost in translation” thing. Germans aren’t AS emotional when speaking with friends like we Americans are. We tend to say things like “We LOVE it” or “I LOVE” a lot too, though we aren’t IN love with it, we just like it a lot. “You’re the best” to American ears, means that you are really special or you do great things or you always do the best things. It’s like saying, “Du bist wunderbar!”. You may say that in German to many of your very dear friends, or not, depending on how expressive you are. I am VERY expressive – I always say how I feel!

  • Reply Kate @ Songs Kate Sang April 14, 2013 at 5:45 am

    Dearest Holly, I want you to know that I adore this project. I am the managing editor of a website called Create+Focus and YOUR project inspired our entire April 2013 theme – thanking others for the inspiration they have provided.

    Here is a link to the site:

    Here is a link to my personal post thanking Ashley Ann:

  • Reply elisa April 14, 2013 at 6:35 am

    very sweet. i’m very glad that her first book turned you two into friends, and that your first book turned sania and i into friends! to books, blogs, and more and more friends because of them. x

  • Reply Tracy A. April 14, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    Lovely idea.

  • Reply krisha April 15, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    At the risk of going on a tangent; Thank you for the follow up explanation of “you are the best” more girls and women should say that to each other, when their friends are great at something. A friend is not a spouse, we may have many and love them all a lot for as many different reasons as there are stars in the sky!
    Have a lovely Monday.
    Best regards from K in Oslo.

  • Reply Charlotte April 16, 2013 at 3:14 am

    I find private thank yous without an audience more heartfelt and sincere. The ego tends to get involved when there is an audience “listening”. I would be embarrassed if I was the object of such outpouring.

    • Reply decor8 April 16, 2013 at 1:03 pm

      @Charlotte – Thanks for your comment! To give someone a public shout out, in my opinion, takes a lot of courage – not ego! We review books publicly on Amazon and on blogs, we review products, we are always throwing around our opinions publicly online – look at you even, you left your comment publicly on my blog versus emailing me privately – what is wrong with public expression anyway friend-to-friend? If I can write a rave review about an object, why not a person whom I care for?

  • Reply Sarah April 16, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Thank you for posting this letter. Although I wasn’t the one to receive it, it touched me. I hope that one day someone will write a letter like this to me (publicly or private). It takes a lot of courage to do it and I can tell you put a lot of thought into this.

  • Reply Sania Pell April 16, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Thank you Holly for your very kind and sweet post! I arrived home at the weekend after a long adventure abroad with a very tired family and your post brought a huge smile to my face – what a lovely welcome home. I love how we met through books and blogs, and it was your gentle encouragement that led me to start my blog! Thank you for all your kind words along the way over the last couple of years and for being a friend. As good as the internet is, there is nothing like having a proper catch up with a girlfriend over coffee – or a cocktail or two! – and I look forward to doing that with you again soon.
    Lots of love Sania x

  • Reply sue April 17, 2013 at 11:53 am

    hi Holly, a lovely idea, and one I have followed with a letter to my daughters on my blog today.
    I also checked out Sanias blog – beautiful, I added it to my favourites.

  • Reply Rosie August 5, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Hi Holly, what a lovely tribute to the fabulous Sania. I have just looked at her site and you are totally right, it’s stunning! Thank you for sharing and don’t even think about the haters! Rosie x

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