Monthly Archives

September 2013

Inspiration

Interior Inspiration From VTWonen

September 27, 2013

I love reading the vtwonen blog, a Dutch magazine that I’ve been subscribing to for eons now, because I always find some fresh interpretations of trends and themes that I thought had long faded. I also love how the Dutch use lots of older things in very modern interiors – like these oil paintings and this antique cabinet, for instance…

Interior Inspiration From VTWonen

They really seem to have a thing for revitalizing what’s old and grandmotherly and transforming it into a very youthful, energetic new look that often becomes part of a trend movement. Take beige for example. So often disregarded or dubbed BORING. Such a shame! It is a warm and versatile neutral that has loads of potential. If you are really creative, you can work with all colors and create something beautiful I believe. I often wonder why some put beige in the corner with a cone hat on, it’s not naughty in the least. If anything, outside of gray, it’s a perfect neutral. At least that’s my belief. These photos below are such a fitting visual example of what I’m trying to say. Beige can be so warm, relaxed and when paired with various tones of brown and white, can create a most soothing space to find comfort and peace.

Interior Inspiration From VTWonen

Interior Inspiration From VTWonen

Interior Inspiration From VTWonen

I always encourage venturing outside of your own comfort zone, even if it means visiting websites that you think you’d have no interest in, because suddenly you can see something and BOOM, a new world appears before you. It’s super important to go beyond what you know, isn’t it? Your creative ideas can begin to stagnant otherwise.

Interior Inspiration From VTWonen

Interior Inspiration From VTWonen

Interior Inspiration From VTWonen

All of these lovely rooms were shot for vtwonen and now appear in back issues and on their website. Looking to different cultures to see what inspires them can help us all to see our interior world a little differently. I love the style in each of these places and hope that you’ll refer to vtwonen for more inspiration because they certainly have tons of it packed onto their gorgeous site. I love these felted ivory beads shown below. Or perhaps they are wooden? I have the felted version hanging in my living room in a similar fashion, you may have spotted them in my most recent book. I’ve been looking for a new way to use them and this image below gave me a few good ideas. That’s what I mean, keep your eyes OPEN and see what you can find in rooms from magazines that look similar to your current stuff at home – perhaps you’ll discover a new direction for the things that you own. I always do.

Interior Inspiration From VTWonen

Interior Inspiration From VTWonen

Interior Inspiration From VTWonen

Any impressions so far that give you a dose of inspiration? I’m in love with this house and with this house, both are located in Amsterdam. They are my two favorites from the batch.

Interior Inspiration From VTWonen

What draws me to each of these homes is the naturalness. What draws you? I love the harmony in both palette and material – both are soothing and easy to change up and the natural materials make me feel at one with nature. I can imagine feeling peace and joy in these spaces. Are you attracted to this natural style?

(images: vtwonen magazine)

Blogging

What Blogging Means To Me Now + Tomorrow

September 26, 2013

Hello dear readers. I want to talk to you about something that I wonder if others out there battle with that I’ve been battling with A LOT lately. It has to do with blogging and my career as a “pro” blogger and deciding just where I’m at with it all. And I need to share this because it comes from the heart and I’ve always prided myself on being as completely transparent as possible because I think you deserve it as my friends and readers.

What Blogging Means To Me Now + Tomorrow

You may not have seen me a lot on my blog this summer. I was sick for months during my first trimester (thankfully that’s over!) and had a book to produce, then write. During my quiet pause, I’ve been blogging weekly but also mix in posts from some wonderful columnists whom I’ve hired to write on decor8, and they’ve been doing a beautiful job providing quality content covering everything from trend reports to home tours. And I love them so much because they are the best bunch of women ever. I feel so blessed!

But I miss blogging full-time, daily, tremendously. In fact I feel concerned over my lack of full-time presence here, not because I’m trying to be the queen of some popularity contest because frankly, my blog is still receiving amazing press coverage each month from magazines, newspapers and television networks all over the world. I’m not worried about advertisers or numbers or anything at all related to income. It has to do with JOY. You can ask my husband, I am one of those rare people whom success and money does nothing to contribute to my joy. I was as joyful before blogging as I am today, just in different ways, and I’m happy to report that I had little monetarily in my life ten years ago – I went from zero to financial hero thanks to starting my own business and I’m proud of that but it only makes me proud in the sense that I like doing what makes me, and others, happy. If it ever becomes miserable, or dishonest, or “selling out”, I will quit immediately and become a full-time interior designer or shop owner or whatever else – anything to avoid doing something that isn’t genuine and meaningful. JOY MATTERS PEOPLE. Really.

What Blogging Means To Me Now + Tomorrow

I’ve seen a lot of blogs go pro and those blog authors change. Their blogs are like infomercials and peppered with links and sponsored everything (without bothering to disclose it) and while that works for them, I don’t read blogs like that because their voices have changed. I prefer to earn money through books, teaching, consulting and the many other ways that help me to personally monetize my brand without feeling like my advertisers own me. Lots of bloggers are doing very honest and lovely things to monetize their blogs and I’m super proud of them, some have great videos and gorgeous photos and work with sponsors to produce wonderful things but others are completely forgetting the values that made blogging successful in the first place – which is not only going to damage them in the long run but could ultimately damage all of us if we don’t fight hard to stay true to our own vision and voice. It’s okay to have ads, and sponsors and whatever else you can do to drive your business forward – I do it – and so do the best of the best on the web who write on their blogs. But we have to remember why blogging became so successful in the first place…

Bloggers became popular for ONE reason. Sincere, honest reviews.

Before bloggers were deemed cool and lonnnng before sponsored posts, ads and affiliate links, we just wrote stuff from the heart and sometimes, we even bitched and moaned about things we didn’t like which then motivated a lot of large companies to stop playing around with the little guy and to listen more to their consumers. Now that companies see the ENORMOUS income potential by working with bloggers, because frankly our audiences come to us FOR our honest reviews, they’ve entered our space and often try to change us to become more like them – a bit sly, thinking about our bottom line despite whether or not we feel good about it. And though I love working with companies that respect where I draw the line, and have partnered with some amazing companies on advertorials for magazines, etc. many of my own blogger friends have stepped wayyyy over their line of comfort to a zone that they cannot return from once going over “there”. But this blog post isn’t really about all of this. It’s about ME and where I’m personally at as a blogger. It’s about whether I’m blogging for money or blogging for me.

I’m blogging for me. Then for my brand, because blogging has given me a way to grow it out and reach more lovely people. Then for money because I need to earn a certain amount of money to survive – my husband and I both freelance, it’s not an easy life. So I wanted to level with everyone and tell you where I’m at.

So here’s where I’m at.

I will take a year off from book writing and from accepting a million projects that don’t fuel me and traveling a ton for the sake of booking speaking engagements – some of which I feel no personal connection to. I want FOCUS. If I get on a plane, it will be to connect with you or to teach, not to stand before an audience at a trade show where I often feel incredibly uncomfortable. In 2014, I’m not going to write a single book. I’ve been writing a book-a-year for the past 3 years and I’ve loved every second of it, and I can’t WAIT for you to see my next title set to release next Spring – we’re throwing a big party in London in May and hopefully a few more in America – and I’d love to see you. But you won’t see anymore books or book launch parties or book tours from me after that for at least another 1-2 years.

I want my focus to go back to where my heart really is which is RIGHT HERE with all of you and in my e-classes and teaching live workshops as time (and my new baby on the way!) permits. I have so much to give to you all, especially as I get older and just see MORE at this age than I did when I started 8 years ago, and I want to do that on decor8 more and through Blogging Your Way… And I have learned through all of the other wonderful jobs that I’ve taken over the years as a blogger, that blogging is my absolute joy. It’s where I can always be spontaneous, where I can be me, and where I have never cared what advertisers or sponsors wanted from me – and this will never change.

So that’s where I’m at. I’ve been quiet around here lately but I’m planning to be here a lot more the moment my book is finished, which will be in October, then I’m back daily to share with you along with my columnists at least until the baby comes, then I may be blogging with baby on my lap as he merrily taps on the keys along with me.

Remember friends and fellow bloggers – finding balance and joy trumps ALL other things.

Much love,
Holly

(image of me by thorsten becker, outtakes from my upcoming book)

uncategorized

The Results Are In! Boy or Girl?

September 23, 2013

Hello my dear friends! I have been wanting to tell you the good news about our baby – we will have a baby boy! We just found out last Wednesday and had promised to tell our family first before taking the news online so that we didn’t hurt the feelings of our in-laws (as you can understand). But wow, how much I’ve wanted to tell you since last Wednesday! It’s been hard to control myself.

The Results Are In! Boy or Girl?

My mother guessed it was a boy and so did my mother-in-law, in fact when I was 6 weeks pregnant my MIL gave me a pair of little baby boy shoes and I asked her, “Why!?” and she said she thinks it will be a boy! Yeah, it was a little interesting to say the least… Such an early prediction, but she meant no harm and was just having fun with us – BUT both mothers were right! And a little secret is that I also knew early on. I told my husband the second we found out that we were having a boy and I kept referring to our baby as he, our boy, son, etc. It is just a feeling I had, though really only a good guess. I wanted a boy OR a girl equally, I had NO preference whatsoever – just a healthy child. That’s still all I think about – healthy and happy.

The Results Are In! Boy or Girl?

We also have a name but are waiting until the day he arrives so he is the one to hear it first from our mouths. We want to keep some things in our life secret, it feels nice to have your own couples secret, don’t you think? Do you want to hear how we chose the name? It’s fascinating! For a few weeks, I started to research names and so did my husband. I was on a bevy of websites and he was using websites and a baby names app. After much research from us both, and ZERO discussion about it, we both were sitting at the breakfast table recently and he said he thinks he has a nice name in mind if it really is a boy. I asked him what it was and when he said the very name I had chosen (without his knowledge), I nearly fell out of my chair. This is a name neither of us have ever heard of, or read or saw in a film or anything and absolutely nothing associated with our families. I ran to my bedroom to grab my iPhone to show him the name I had put in my Notes and he smiled. It was the same name.

How’s that for a good story?

I have one final bit of news to share. I’ve started writing a journal to my baby boy. I’m telling him about how I feel now, my pregnancy, things his daddy and I talk about, what I’m doing, etc. I hope to share it with him someday when he is old enough to understand it and cherish my words. I’m writing in a beautiful journal that I was given by the shop owner of Astier de Villatte in Paris back in February 2012 when I was styling their shop for my book. I had been saving the journal ever since for a special moment, and you really cannot get more special than this!

As I’ve said all along, the baby’s gender WAS NEVER IMPORTANT to me. I would have been thrilled to have a girl, too! Gender is a non-issue, good health is the most important. So I’ve been taking extra good care of myself and feeling stronger and healthier each day. But when the doctor asked me last week if we wanted to know, well… We said YES! Especially since we are having our baby in the dead of winter and need to make preparations in advance so we can really nest this winter and not have to run around after the baby arrives to shop for necessities, this takes an incredible lift off of us.

So that is my news. I’ll be back tomorrow with a gorgeous home tour and some more goodies. And by the way, if you are looking for darling baby clothes, I just had a great time shopping the new MINI collection over at Zara. Super sweet stuff.

(photos: zara mini)

DIY

DIY: Scrap Fabric Tassels

September 18, 2013

Hello, it’s Lisa and I’m ready to get creative with you again this month for my Make Me column on on decor8. For September, we’re going to make pretty decorative fabric tassels and I’ll show you some fun ways to use them.

DIY: Scrap Fabric Tassels

Supplies
You’ll need: Fabric scraps, ribbon or twine and scissors… That’s it!

Step 1: Tear fabric strips
To make fabric scrap tassels you can use any fabric including thrifted garments or linens, or leftovers from your sewing stash. As long as they are consistent, the fabric strips can be any length. I used 8 inch strips to make small tassels. Cut the fabric into pieces about 8 inches square. Along one edge of the fabric make small cuts about an inch long and three quarters of an inch apart. Then, with the cuts to start you off, tear the fabric into strips. Keep the different fabric strips grouped.

DIY: Scrap Fabric Tassels

Step 2: Select colours
For each tassel you’ll need about fourteen strips. Design your tassels using a mix of all the fabrics or make them with select colours. Lay the strips in a group with the printed side facing up, and shuffle them around so there is a pleasing combination of colours and patterns on the top.

DIY: Scrap Fabric Tassels

Step 3: Make the tassel
Take a piece of ribbon and tie it around the centre of the tassel with a double knot. Fold the fabric strips in half, then take another strip and tie it around the tassel, about three quarters of an inch from the top. Tie a double knot and flatten the ends of the tie down so they merge with the tassel.

DIY: Scrap Fabric Tassels

That’s all you need to do to make fabulous scrappy tassels! They’re so fast and easy to make and they add a decorative touch to many different things.

DIY: Scrap Fabric Tassels

DIY: Scrap Fabric Tassels

DIY: Scrap Fabric Tassels

DIY: Scrap Fabric Tassels

DIY: Scrap Fabric Tassels

Decorating Tips:
Try placing them on your mood board for a dose of inspiration, hang them beneath a lampshade, from a door knob, off the back of a chair or around a vase. Tassels also look great on purse zip pulls and totes, not forgetting that they are always a fun way to jazz up gift wrapping.

I’ll look forward to helping you with handmade again next month in my Make Me column. In the meantime I hope you find some me-time to try this or to do something else creative. It really is great for your soul! – Lisa xo

(text/images: lisa tilse)

Trends

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

September 12, 2013

Hi everyone, are you ready for a new trend report on the Maison&Objet show in Paris that I attended a few days ago? Funny thing is, and don’t let this discourage you, but there are not that many striking new trends right now! You might find a new colour or a different combination of colours in one product range, but nothing unusual. For metals, copper is still hot and since we have seen and talked about copper a lot, I have skipped metallics for this report. The brands at this show basically offer what they have tested in the past month to be accessible for the final consumer relying on their catalog and on recent bestsellers. Even still, with 9 huge pavilions there was a lot to see at Maison&Objet and I returned home to Barcelona feeling very inspired! I highly recommend this show – the next ones will be held in January and again in September of 2014.

Color Trends
BLACK IS STILL TRENDING
Black is an evergreen color, in some markets such as in the Scandinavian countries more than in others but yes, there is a common trend back to dark greys such as kohl and black. You will find black as an accent color or total look on accessories and outdoor furniture turned into indoor pieces (Sika Design). Or you’ll find black mostly combined with metallics (copper and gold) and/or white, and any material goes: wood, resin, glass, ceramics, textiles, etc. Walls are painted black again.

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Sika Design

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Guaxs

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

House Doctor

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Brokis

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Normann Copenhagen

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Pomax

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Tina Frey

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Bleu Nature

BRIGHT PRIMARY COLORS
Bright colours are linked to geometric patterns and strong graphics. Black and white underline its boldness and play on patterns like grids and checkerboard many times. Red, blue, yellow, green and orange are still a big hit in interior design for accent pieces but look also for packaging, tableware, consumer electronics and graphic design.

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Parsy Debons Design

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Asia Tides

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Asia Tides

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Asia Tides

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Parsy Debons Design

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Girardeu

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Mariska Meijers

PASTELS + GREY
Pastels, mainly in combination with powder shades become more serious. Or shall I say less feminine? Pearl grey, slate grey and even kohl are the new partners to combine with. It gets cooler and all shades of grey play a major role again in the interior world. It is understated, sophisticated and most interesting when metals such as copper get into the mix. I think the new pastel + grey combo is truly elegant and perfect for the season to come!

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Broste Copenhagen

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Broste Copenhagen

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Eight Mood

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Eight Mood

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

House Doctor

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

House Doctor

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Muuto

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Muuto

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

&Tradition

BURGUNDY
Do you recall the shy appearance of the new terracotta colour from my visit to the Milan Show Il Salone in Spring? Well, there is a similar novelty now. Burgundy has been spotted on the catwalks last Fall/Winter 2012/13 and is now hitting fashion stores this year. Since fashion and interiors merge with an awesome velocity for the past two years, we already have seen a few nice examples of the colour to come.
Are you ready to embrace the wine-soaked color trend?

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Arcade

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Guaxs

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Normann Copenhagen

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Normann Copenhagen

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Normann Copenhagen

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Normann Copenhagen

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Serax

Accessories
INKED CERAMICS
Ink stains and/or watercolour effects on ceramics are one of the hottest trends of the season. The clash of mostly blue hues is intense and resembling illustrators’ work.
Watercolours have been around quite some time now in fashion, stationary design, packaging, web design and textiles. As for tableware, watercolours or ink stain effects seem to be most effective when used with ‘less is more’ and reduced to a few colour shades.

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Asia Tides

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Grass Scent

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

leezeesoo

METALLIC EFFECTS
Shiny metallic reflections on glass is one of the latest innovations capturing light and creating stunning mirror effects. Glass design is exploring new fields in colour, shape, mixed materials and finishings. The An&Angel collection has been awarded for High Design Quality with the “Red Dot Award Product Design 2013”. There has never been such a variety and even not spotted at the M&O since I visited an excellent exhibition of Werner Aisslinger in Berlin) this past Spring and would like to add an extra image of his Mesh Vases since they fit perfectly here.

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Aisslinger

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Angel

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Pulpo

WALL WONDERS
Clustered framing is not new but what caught my eye is the tendency of hanging similar pieces with almost no or few space in between. Trays, plates, frames – there is no limit. It is not about preserving a memory with photos or to hang art on your wall but to decorate the wall with anything collectable.

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Asia Tides

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

iBride

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

iBride

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

iBride

ESCHER PRINTS
I am happy to see one of the many Escher prints back. I have always been a fan of his work. The classic black and white is the most applied and recognized pattern but there where some color pops too.

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Serax

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Asia Tides

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

astier de villatte

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Rouge Du Rhin

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Myer

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Ferm Living

Materials
WICKER, WOOD, BAMBOO CHAIRS
There is a throwback to the Emmanuelle armchair with the oval back rest and peacock pattern! Whenever I visit our local flea market here in Barcelona I am looking for a reinterpreted object or the original itself! But there are many other wicker and rattan armchairs now edited without compromising the spirit of the original design. The most characteristic feature is the very high back rest.

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Asia Tides

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Asia Tides

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Asia Tides

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Bleu Nature

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Sika Design

NATURAL FIBER CONTAINERS
Everything related to weaving, space-dyed knitting and natural fibers is the biggest trend right now. Due to the growing number of aficionados, new colours and materials are now combined mixing fabric structures with glass, wax, polyethylene, etc. Natural earthy colours are still the most popular but colourful fibers are expected to grow soon. Plus, there is a lot of black now too. This interior throw-back look is back and very popular again! Basket weaving is applied for different types of containers used for several purposes. In the process of weaving vegetable fibers, new materials such as wax or metal structures can be integrated giving a modern look and new style credentials.

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Grass Scent

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Grass Scent

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Grass Scent

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Grass Scent

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Grass Scent

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Serax

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

Serax

Trends: Maison&Objet Fall 2013

tinekhome

I’d love to hear your comments on those trends. Is there anything special that caught your eye and if so, why? Have a wonderful day and enjoy the upcoming weekend!

(text/images: gudy herder, ferm living, tinekhome, editing: holly becker)

Recipes

Blueberry Meringue Recipe

September 5, 2013

Hello everyone, it’s Jewels here in Brooklyn with another episode of Food in Motion! I am one half of Liz & Jewels and each month Liz and I show you a little video here on decor8 of a recipe we made and liked. Ready to see what I’ve prepared for you this month? Here’s a short video to whet your appetite. I shot this myself at home while my sister, who was visiting from Germany, watched my newborn daughter. It was a lot of fun!

My husband claims not to like eggs, so whenever I put eggs in something I have to do it secretly. Because in most recipes you can’t even taste the eggs but you need them to make the dish work! When I made this meringue dessert with blueberries and crème fraîche he looked at it with greedy eyes, “Wow Jewels! This looks delicious – are there eggs in there??” And of course I go, “Nooooo.” And then he tries really hard to believe me, eats whatever I made, and loves it!

I like desserts that have a good balance of sweet and tart, and creamy and crunchy. This blue and white dessert is just that! The crème fraîche is tart and of course creamy, the meringue is sweet and crunchy, and the blueberries add the fruity touch. Of course you can use whichever berries you like. I imagine that this would taste especially good with red currant berries because they are so sour, but for some reason, they are hard to get here in Brooklyn!

Blueberry Meringue Recipe

So for now, I’ll stick with blueberries. Here’s what you’ll need to make this yummy treat:
YOU NEED:
* 2 egg whites
* blueberries!
* 1/2 cup of white sugar
* 1 cup of crème fraîche
* 1 cup of plain yogurt (unsweetened)
* 1 tablespoon of brown sugar (or raw sugar) 1 cup of blueberries
* 1/2 cup of chopped up white chocolate

HOW TO:
Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Whip the egg whites until you have a thick foam. While whipping, slowly add the sugar until the meringue is stiff and shiny. Form circles of meringue on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Each circle should be as small or big as you want to serve the dessert eventually. You can make many small ones or one big one. Mine were about 2 inches wide. Place them in the preheated oven and turn the oven off as soon as you put the meringue in there. Let it sit in the closed oven for at least 5 hours. Don’t open the door to check on it constantly! Even though it’s tempting, you have to trust the process!

Blueberry Meringue Recipe

Right before serving mix the crème fraîche with the yogurt and the brown sugar. Assemble all components in layers, starting with the meringue, then the crème fraîche yogurt mix, then the berries. Then drizzle some white chocolate on top and serve. That’s it! Well… not really. Time to EAT!

(Photos/video: Julia Cawley, Music: “Dreamliner” by Podington Bear)

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