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Get Real: Are Celeb Designers Sharing Enough?

It’s fun to get inside the mind of a creative type! We’re curious to learn about the lives of strangers but learning more about those we feel we already know through the media … Well that’s totally exciting, right? We love learning about their favorite artist, who inspires them, where they shop, even what they eat and where they like to go on vacation. But how much is enough?

Part of me wishes that more decorators and designers would author blogs revealing such things, at least here in America where it still seems that blogs for the most part are divided into two main groups. In my opinion the groups are a.) the unknowns who are out there making a name for themselves and due to their taste level and uncensored opinions, are drawing in a crowd of fans going from unknowns to better knowns and b) the shining stars in the design industry who are household names (at least to design enthusiasts) and then decide at some point to blog or shall I say, sorta blog. They delegate the task to their staff or secretary or who blog but they aren’t really all that engaged or uncensored — you can tell every word is guarded and there is a strong leaning on pushing and promoting themselves and their product (if they happen to have products). Where are their inspirations? Can’t they share? Why don’t they tell us how they really feel about design instead of feeding us what they know we want to hear or what their publicist told them to write? Is there a danger for them if they cross that line?

I still see the guard up amongst stylists, decorators and designers, at least in America. I wonder if this will ever change and the guards will come down, or at least, lower a bit. Not just through blogs, but in everyday conversation. Try asking a peer where they found something for a client that you admire and most of the time they’ll reply, “My secret source”. So many avoid sharing their insider sources, favorite shops, and how they work. Not because they are just being modest, it’s mostly about fear and protecting what one feels they found that should be kept secret. In design school I attended a workshop given by a NH Designer. Instead of having it in a classroom, she invited us to her home just outside of Concord. She revealed to us all of her tricks and tips when it came to how she pulled together her gorgeous farmhouse and then she told us to grab our pens and take notes because she was going to reveal her local favorites, even the ‘secret’ ones. I was completely in awe of this woman and today I still think of her as a confident leader, a woman secure and willing to share. She had no fear when it came to revealing her sources. Years later, she is still in business and doing well. Revealing her sources didn’t ruin her career.

But that’s an isolated case and not everyone is willing to open up so freely.

Just when you think all you need to know is already out there you realize it’s really not, the images you see in magazines are merely the results of all of the scouting, styling, photographing… The end result. What about sharing the process involved in all of that. Would it be so wrong? I’m still waiting to see more. The end result isn’t enough for me and I think that most of you will agree. We want details, step-by-step instructions, we want to truly tap in. Will enough ever be enough though?

That’s why I think that Shannon’s blog, the Aussie celeb-decorator I wrote about earlier, is a good example of what I’d like to see more of in America. We aren’t there yet. Will we ever be? That is the question I ask myself most. Shannon is a lady who has books, appears on television, and has her work in magazines and yet her blog is so natural. She muses about this or that visit to an event, who she met there, what she learned, it’s all very unfiltered and authentic. I wish more ‘celeb’ designers in America would go for it and do the same. I understand time is an issue but reaching out to their fans in this way would be such a refreshing change. Why hide what you love and have passion for? Ah yes, the fear of others stealing your ideas, tapping into your sources. Well honestly if you are secure and have built a name for yourself I doubt there is much to fear. Anyone who owns a shop with a regular celeb designer visiting has already told all of their friends anyway and it will eventually end up on some blog so nothing is really all that secret.

I wonder if the design world will always remain somewhat untouchable? Are celeb designers sharing enough? Who would you love to find out authored a blog? Are there dangers in sharing too much? Feel free to relate this to art and crafts as well.

Your thoughts?

(images from the fully saturated abode of talented Danish illustrator Lisa Grues of Underwerket via Bolig magazine)

Posted in blogs, get real thursdays on July 31, 2008

Decorator Shannon Fricke

Shannon Fricke wrote to me about her beautiful blog and as I scrolled down the page I found myself seeing many new things, then realizing why – Shannon is lives and works in Australia. Shannon is a decorator and I fully embrace her design philosophy, “I believe that the way you decorate your home can influence the way that you feel about your life and so I love to inspire people to create a home that suits their individuality”. Right on, Shannon!

I cannot figure out if these are windows to another room or mirrors.Then I thought if they are mirrors then this look is easy to duplicate with full length mirrors sold at any big box store. I don’t think I would have thought to arrange so many together on a single wall like this…

In addition to her blog, she has a lovely website containing a plethora of images that surely will inspire you this morning. Seems she makes regular television appearances, conducts decorating workshops, and has a series of books (that I want just when I thought I was all set with book purchases for the next few months). Here are some images from her blog so you are able to get a sense of the style Shannon gravitates towards, much like that of my own – laid back, natural meets bohemian with lots of natural elements in the mix. There is a cottage meets the sea feel with a dash of urban through in to make things feel a bit edgy.

Kids art offers an affordable (and cherished!) option for adorning the walls. A cute, perfectly placed, pastel yellow bike never hurts along with polished cement floors!

I’m so attracted to the look of a tiled back splash. Subway tiles, hand painted ethnic patterns from faraway lands, it’s all good.

Note: I don’t believe that these are rooms that Shannon has styled or anything but are sources of her own inspiration taken from various places that I found on her blog.

Thank you Shannon for sharing a glimpse of your world, I’ll be turning into your blog regularly now that is for sure!

(images from the blog of shannon fricke)

Posted in blogs, designers on July 31, 2008

Please Read This Post {important notes}

When you visit decor8 on Monday, July 28th you be automatically redirected to a new URL and a completely new decor8 blog. It looks nothing like this one, so please don’t assume you are in the wrong place! :) I’m spending the day finishing up on last minute site details so I don’t plan to blog again until Monday.

Please note: comments left on this blog after 6am EST Saturday morning (7/26) will not move over to the new decor8, so please either comment today or wait until Monday.

It’s time for change!
(clock from
Decoy Lab, $30)

And two final notes to share. First, we have a good conversation going here thanks to reader Pippa if you’d like to jump in with your thoughts. We’re basically talking about art vs. craft, how taking a risk is defined, and other thoughts on this topic so please join us. It’s a good one! Again… Comments left on this blog after 6am EST Saturday morning (7/26) will not be moved over to the new decor8, so please comment either today or wait until Monday. I wouldn’t want your thoughts forever lost!

And finally, the Inspire Me! contest will wrap up at midnight tonight. All comments left until then will be considered for the giveaway so please make sure to enter if you haven’t already. I’ll post the winners on Monday so meet me back here in a few days to see if you’ve won and to visit the new decor8.

See you on Monday and have a lovely weekend… xo, Holly

(image from decoy lab, text/border added by decor8)

Posted in blogs on July 25, 2008

I Heart Design Freebies

I’m in love with this new blog called Free Design authored by Summer Allen-Gibson, the same lady behind Design Is Mine and who co-authors Bread & Honey alongside pal Alicia Carrier. Design Freebies is a brilliant idea for a blog, I’m loving some of the more focused blogs out there because now I know exactly where to go for really nice free stuff on the web.

Summer, with her impeccable eye for beautiful things, scours the web and posts lovely freebies that I know I’ll like and I bet you will too. She found out that the The Small Object has free downloads on her site and she even discovered Amelie wallpapers. Big smiles for all!

In addition to her three blogs, Summer just launched her own collection of t-shirts that read, “Be kind, design” for $19 over on Etsy. How fab is this lady, huh? She wears so many hats, each one as pretty and special as the next.

(images from small object)

Posted in blogs on July 22, 2008


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