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Twitter Party Summary + Winner!

Hello again dear friends. Last night we had an amazing LIVE 60 minute Twitter party and it was such a great event. So many showed up and left us blown away with so many thoughtful and informative answers to 5 questions that the editors of Couch Magazine asked me and then the “panel” which consisted of ALL involved in this party, or chat (you can see lots of those who took part pinned here). It was nice because not only could I give my advice but I could enjoy the great comments rapidly streaming in. The chat was so fast but I used Twubs #decor8couch on “Slowest” for the feed speed because tweets were literally flying in!

Ryan Pickart

Here are the questions and my answers for the chat in case you missed it. Couch will do a full summary on their blog in the upcoming weeks.

Where do you find ideas and inspiration? My answers:
* I pay attention to what I naturally respond to. It can be anything, a film, a shop or a magazine. Everything holds a clue.
* Inspiration may be everywhere, but it still takes EFFORT to filter out the good stuff that ultimately means something to you.
* Look inside of every cloud.Inspiration can come in times of great despair. Allow hard times to open your heart to new ideas.
* Many say “inspiration is everywhere” and while true, it does take effort to filter out the good stuff. What inspires you may not inspire me

2) How can you develop your personal style? My answers:
* Develop self confidence and personal style will follow. If you don’t believe in your ideas, how can you share them?
* Filter! Edit! Be picky with what you look at. Follow only those who inspire you, read what inspires you, pin what you love.
* Avoid copying the personal style of someone else or becoming a trend slave. Stay true to what naturally attracts you.
* Style is about being authentic, bold, confident. Embrace what you love, who cares to impress others? Be totally unapologetic
* Be kind to yourself. Learn, and appreciate, your talents. Style flows when you know what you’re good at.
* Read foreign design/fashion mags, travel, follow taste makers, attend workshops with other creative people, start a blog.

3) What are some tips on how to style & photograph your home that would be helpful for bloggers?My answers:
* Find images that fit your style aesthetic and study placement and angles. You can learn a lot through careful observation.
* Learn basic design 101 principles. Buy design books that are very informative and that show rooms you love.
* Top stylists know how to edit or when to stop “adding”. Learn when enough is enough and show restraint for the best photos.
* Display only favorite things and store the rest. Declutter before shooting. Hide cords and trash cans. Clean surfaces.
* Don’t overload surfaces with “stuff”. Find the focal point of the room and focus there. Think of the story you want to tell.
* Shoot from the belly button or waist, not at eye level, when shooting room views. Don’t shoot “down” into a room, or “up”.
* Remove objects that overlap other objects in the photo for cleaner shots. Add life: fowers, a pet, plants, a cup of tea.
* Buy a DSLR if you can afford it then invest in a great lens. Take a photography class. Volunteer to assist a stylist.
* Learn how to REALLY USE your camera. Turn off lights, natural light only. No flash! Use a tripod if lighting isn’t optimal.

4) What makes a room perfect? My answers:
* When I turn the key, drop my bags and stand in my entryway feeling like there is no place I’d rather be than in my space.
* Home decor affects everything: job performance, relationships, stress levels. Not just about aesthetics, but peace of mind.
* When you learn “perfect” doesn’t exist and embrace imperfection as ideal. When you stop trying so hard.When you are content.
* Experiment, express yourself, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Don’t strive for perfect, strive for personal.
* When a home is unique, personal, and has a feeling of comfort. A space filled with love, acceptance and thoughtful style.
* When a visitor says, “Your home is exactly as I imagined, it’s an accurate reflection of you and decor8, I love it here.”

5) Little changes, huge effect – how can you make small rooms look larger on a budget?My answers:
* Don’t let any space go unused. Consider clever storage ideas. Work with ceiling height to create vertical storage solutions.
* Create zones in multipurpose areas. If living room is also for dining, put a rug beneath each zone to define the space.
* Avoid dark wall colors unless you use a dramatic color on one accent wall. Keep the rest light and bright.
* Avoid furniture that sits against the floor. For an airy feel, opt for pieces with visible legs so you can see the floor.
* Don’t be too stressed over how small your space is. A home is like your body type and wardrobe, accentuate the positives.

That’s it!

WINNER
We also have a winner selected a random, Laura Redburn from Cardboard Cities, who will receive a free seat (valued at $129) in the next Blogging Your Way e-course in October/November this year. In fact the collage above is from her blog and shows the art of Ryan Pickart. Isn’t his work stunning? I cannot take my eyes off of it. Congratulations, Laura!!

Thank you again to everyone who was involved in our chat! xo

If you would like to add your own answers to the questions above, please do so below. We’d all really love your input, too!

(images: art of ryan pickart)

Posted in events + markets on August 30, 2013

Baby Update!

It’s Friday, it’s Friday! Woo hoo! How are you doing today? I’m really excited for this weekend to come and go because on Tuesday, we will have that big ultrasound that will let us know if we are welcoming a baby boy or a baby girl in January. Monday begins week 19, I’m pretty much halfway through pregnancy already and so extremely in love with being pregnant – despite that the first 16 weeks were hell on earth with illness. It’s been better but I’m still nauseous daily and feeling only momentary bursts of energy.

Lilacs

I’m definitely no where near feeling the amazing energy that everyone promised me would be the case right now. But I do have a bump (which I’m quite proud of) and I have had some friends rub my belly (which I love) so I know I’m looking a little pregnant by now which is really nice. I bought and wore my first maternity dress and though the stomach part has plenty of room to grow into, I’m in love with my stylish gray knit dress. It will look so cute with tights and boots this Fall. I think being pregnant is wonderful, it’s like you can finally not give a crap about your weight. You can love seeing your stomach get larger without guilt and when people see it, they don’t think, “Oh boy, lay off the chips”, they think, “Ahhhhh she’s pregnant, how cute!”. How can anyone not love being adored for having a big stomach?

My appetite has returned but only a little – though I’m not losing more weight so that’s good. I was worried for awhile after I dropped 20 pounds in my first trimester. Yet, I’m only growing in my tummy – no where else – and only slightly, a pound or two. The best thing is that I crave salad, quiche, fruit and healthy drinks. Everything else turns me off. I can eat salmon and eggs but not chicken or turkey. I haven’t had cheese in months, no desire for it. I don’t eat bread, it turns me off whenever I see bread or sweets in the bakery. Candy repulses me – like I cannot have a tiny piece of chocolate without feeling like I’m going to spiral down into total nausea again. If I even think of pasta I feel queasy, so none of that either. It makes me laugh because this baby seems to be whipping mommy here into great health and good shape because I only crave healthy stuff. Ice cream also makes me sick, imagine!? I definitely am the exception when it comes to pregnancy cravings, all of my girlfriends only wanted sweet food, or salty food, or both. And they ate and ate constantly, some craved McDonalds and other craved cake and candy. But here I am, craving a big slice of watermelon.

Could be worse. And for this I am actually quite grateful.

I have so much to plan now that I am close to hitting the halfway mark. Organizing my home. Cleaning out the room that will become the nursery. Buying furniture for the baby, and other necessary things… Touring and selecting the hospital. Etc. etc. etc. I have a lovely midwife now and the program in Germany allows for you to have your midwife and your OB/GYN working with you simultaneously whenever you need them throughout pregnancy, then after the baby arrives, insurance here covers 100% for the midwife coming daily to the house for the first 10 days after birth to coach you on everything from breastfeeding to changing diapers, and they can administer acupressure or acupuncture, etc. After those 10 days, you are allowed up to 16 more paid home visits by your midwife for the first 6 months. I will also be receiving free post natal therapy for getting my body into good shape, flattening my stomach and feeling good again after the birth. It’s such a beautiful arrangement for which I am so grateful! If we were below a certain income level (which we are not), we would also get money every month from the government called “Kinder Geld” to cover expenses for the child from diapers to babysitting services and whatever else. It’s amazing how the German government has these special services in place for families.

So that is my pregnancy update! The moment we find out the gender, I’ll let you know. I can’t wait to begin shopping for adorable little mini outfits. Until now, I’ve purchased nothing for the baby but I’m getting ready to begin ordering sweet stuff the second I know what we’re having. I still don’t have names decided, though I do have a very short list, yet nothing is coming to me yet… Maybe later right? There is still plenty of time!

I’ll be back in a moment with another post or two before I let you go for the weekend. See you soon!

HOW ARE YOU DOING?!?

(image: holly becker)

Posted in kids on August 30, 2013

Swedish Photographer Hannah Lemholt

Let’s delve further into neutral bliss, shall we? After writing a moment ago about Love Warriors I realized that I should shine a special spotlight on their lead photographer and partner, Hannah Lemholt. Hannah shoots most of what you see on the Love Warriors website and, being an accomplished photographer, she also takes on clients and does her own work separate from Love Warriors. Her blog, Honey Pie Living, is my dream space. It’s where I go when I need to clear my mind, replenish my soul and just escape reality. It’s calming, though-provoking and imaginative. Hannah is so talented that her work will leave you breathless, especially if you appreciate a very artistic approach to photography. I refer to Hannah as the Swedish Angelina Jolie. One look at her, and you’ll see why…

Photographer Hannah Lemholt

What a stunning lady. Her self portraits, shown in abundance on her blog, are pure magic and never feel staged or show off-y like lots of these typical fashion and lifestyle bloggers are these days constantly trying to hard (ha ha sorry, I had to say it). Her presence on her blog is there but quiet and gentle and never screams, “Look at me! Give me attention! Like me!”. It’s natural and graceful, and I love that so much.

And beyond her external beauty, her soul is filled with creativity and passion for finding and creating beauty in the world around her. I can easily get lost in her wardrobe too. There isn’t a single piece that she wears that doesn’t appeal to me on some level. Everything looks so casual, balanced, cozy and feminine with a definite rustic, bohemian spirit.

Photographer Hannah Lemholt

Photographer Hannah Lemholt

Photographer Hannah Lemholt

This photo, above, makes me feel so calm and protected. I guess it’s because I still believe that we all have our own angel. It’s a belief I’ve held since childhood and no matter how many people may feel otherwise, or think it’s crazy, religious, or somehow odd to imagine life beyond what we see – I still believe in the magic and beauty that exists elsewhere and I still, despite how much religion has let me down, believe that there is more to life than the seen – and that belief has held me safe for my entire life – it’s given me hope and above all other things, has given me wings of my own. HOPE does that. And as long as there is hope, there is light and a belief that more can come to us.

Photographer Hannah Lemholt

Photographer Hannah Lemholt

Photographer Hannah Lemholt

Photographer Hannah Lemholt

Photographer Hannah Lemholt

Photographer Hannah Lemholt

This is a glimpse of her home – I’ve seen the entire apartment in a German magazine not to long ago and remember swooning over her personal style and feeling so deeply moved by how much care and attention she gives to every detail. People who are this detail-oriented really move me. I guess it’s because a huge piece of me longs to live this way yet with my brain racing and the attention problems I’ve dealt with since I was a small girl, it’s also a part of me that I may never see truly manifest itself outside of my own imagination. It’s a battle. I wonder if you battle this too?

Photographer Hannah Lemholt

©HannahLemholtPPhotographer Hannah Lemholt

Hannah (shown above) has the same camera strap that I do from Bloom Theory. It really is this beautiful in person, too. I gave one away not too long ago in a contest I hosted on Instagram  (@decor8) and had a ton of entries – my readers love these straps!

Hannah thank you for your endless inspiration – so many people who don’t know about you will now – and so many who already in love with your work, like me, are so grateful for your endless exquisite creativity that inspires us all.

(images: hannah lemholt)

Posted in inspiration on August 29, 2013

Love Warriors of Sweden

I adore this Swedish shop called Love Warriors because the overall vibe is super slick and stylish and the concept is the just best – it was formed by a group of four friends who have exceptionally good taste and they scour the globe for the best interiors products to sell in their online shop. This creative team (composed of Yvonne Arentoft, Hannah Lemholt (who takes most of the photos), Per Sandahl and Sara Bergman) specializes in design, architecture, styling, photography, construction project management, purchasing, logistics, brand building, flow optimization and sales – so they not only run a shop but they take on both commercial and interior spaces, both large and small, to spread their magic touch. They also love to recycle materials from demolitions like flooring, doors, glass and oil drums and combine the “rough” with natural elements like leather, linen, sandstone, shells and ceramics.

Love Warriors of Sweden

Aside from their creative vision and products for their shop, I’m so impressed by the restraint they show in their very monochromatic palette and find their styling so super gorgeous. I’ve seen lots of other websites try to copy their look but it’s just not the same – Love Warriors is just so unique and the best of the best.

Love Warriors of Sweden

Love Warriors of Sweden

Love Warriors of Sweden

Love Warriors of Sweden

 

Don’t you just love this quote from Eckhart Tolle, “If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place”. What a powerful thought. I will hang on to this one for a long time.

Love Warriors of Sweden

Love Warriors of Sweden

Love Warriors of Sweden

Their photo art is among some my favorite things on their site. I can get lost in these stunning images and am trying to decide whether or not to add one to my own home. So in love…

Love Warriors of Sweden

Love Warriors of Sweden

 

Another great thought to ponder, “Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option”. Wow, right? I wish more people in relationships would give this some serious consideration. So much unhappiness in the world due to poor pairings and unhappy couples that are so unbalanced and broken. But onto happier things…

Love Warriors of Sweden

 

Coffee Made Me Do it! Yup! Or margaritas…

Love Warriors of Sweden

Love Warriors of Sweden

I love that image above – I have a real thing for masks that’s been going on since childhood. I think it started when I was around 5 years old and my mother made me the cutest Minnie Mouse outfit for Halloween and she painted my nose black and painted my whiskers – I loved looking into the mirror with my big mouse ears on and this “mask” on my face of nose and whiskers – it was a moment for me – I felt really excited and loved the idea of being something else – and when I wore the tail with the outfit I was in heaven. It was so much fun to play pretend and slip into this world where imagination and fantasy exist.

As an adult, I still love a little magic – the dark side, and though you won’t find me in a bondage club anytime soon, I still love the whole appeal of role playing, dress up and the mystery of masks. It’s a peek into my darker more mysterious side maybe? Yeah, most likely. I even have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to my affection for masks and a little taste of the dark side. I dream of hosting a party someday where guests can only hand make and wear their own masks. Wouldn’t that be so fabulous?

If you are looking to read a lovely blog that is quite poetic and deep, you have to spend a moment delving into their blog. It’s seriously wonderful and a big bonus – it’s in English.

P.S. THEY SHIP WORLDWIDE – so have fun!

(images: Hannah Lemholt of Love Warriors)

Posted in shopping on August 29, 2013

Books:

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Next dates

Blogging Your Way for Beginners
e-course, April 17 – May 15, 2014
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Styling With Holly Becker
London, May 2014 (Date TBD)