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Books + Magazines

Highlights From London + Amsterdam

October 5, 2016

Hello everyone, how are you? I’m so happy to be back at my desk writing to you today. I am so energized and inspired after my trips to London and Amsterdam, I did so many wonderful things that later, I have to write a post about some of them so you can add to your travel itinerary. But first, how are you? I loved being away again for a book tour. I spent 4 days in London and 3 days in Amsterdam and got to meet so many friends and fans that my head is still spinning from all of the conversations, dinners and meet ups. Here is a photo I took from the stage before my audience at Meet The Blogger (#mtbams) – nearly 170 people! I spoke before them for an hour and after so many years of public speaking, this was one of my favorites to date. I really felt relaxed and I was 100% myself. I think as we grow more confident in our profession and learn more about ourselves, fear seems to slip away and we just OWN the moment and go with it. Don’t you think so?

Highlights From London + Amsterdam

I lost my voice shortly after arriving home, it came back on Monday afternoon – ha ha but hey, that’s a great reason to lose your voice – connecting live with inspiring and enthusiastic people. I signed lots of books at both Anthropologie London and at Meet The Blogger Amsterdam. Sometimes I can’t believe how starting this blog has impacted my life and career. I nearly didn’t become a blogger. To think of that truth is scary a decade later.

I have to thank both Anthropologie Europe and Meet The Blogger for receiving me so kindly and rolling out the red carpet, and to my friend and co-author Leslie Shewring for joining me in London for the launch party. It was great having Leslie there. I wish she could have joined me in Amsterdam too but she had to go back to Victoria, BC (where she lives) to tend to family business. Yet, she was still with me somehow – Leslie is always near, good friendships are just like that.

Highlights From London + Amsterdam

(me, @leeuwro from VTWonen magazine (our book will be in their November issue, look for it!!!), Suzanne from @ensuus and Meet The Blogger Founder Liselore of @tulipamedia).

Highlights From London + Amsterdam(Haikje Verberk from Studio Haikje at Meet The Blogger after I signed her book)

Highlights From London + Amsterdam

Anabella from My Washi Tape who flew in from Rome, me, Leslie and wonderful Ishtar Olivera at our book workshop and signing event at Anthropologie on Kings Road in London last Wednesday evening. I was SO HAPPY to see these ladies and everyone else who joined us.

All of these photos in this post are iPhone photos shot in store and conference room lighting, so not the best quality, but I still love having the memories and the chills I get when I see them. Every book still feels like the first time, and now I’m working already on finalizing my concept for the 5th book! Crazy but great!

Highlights From London + Amsterdam(Styling our tabletop to show how to set the table in a creative and fun way for our guests at Anthropologie.)

Anyway, I’m so encouraged by the conversations I had and that I met so many new faces and also saw old friends whom I love dearly. I’ve set new career goals since returning as a result so being with out with my friends and fans was definitely what I needed. Getting out to connect with people in person really touches my heart but also refuels me. I’m such an extrovert in this way. I require outside energy to move forward so traveling and connecting in person with others is absolutely essential. As I was teaching the crafting component of the workshop, I stood there and thought that I have to teach workshops more frequently because it makes me feel so alive and cheerful. It’s also very effortless for me and often, what we do that comes easy we think may not be that important or that what comes harder is the better skill to have, but I’ve read that you have to really let those effortless jobs be part of your life too because what comes naturally to us is something we should embrace and enjoy.

Highlights From London + Amsterdam

(Our book spotted at Anthropologie on Regent Street in London, where I bought both of my dresses that I wore for MTB and the Anthro book launch – links here: )

I can’t wait to plan for 2017, I have many ideas I want to launch next year and am excited to bring you on the journey with me. For everyone I’ve met on the road recently, thank you for your love, support, and for buying our book because supporting authors is how we can keep writing, without that support we really can’t make much of a dent. And to those who are leaving feedback on Amazon (you can leave feedback even if you didn’t buy the book on Amazon, did you know that?), WE REALLY APPRECIATE the feedback left there. It impacts book sales and the success of books, so all the feedback is super essential. So thank you from the bottom of my heart.

You can also buy the book at Anthropologie here. They have some gorgeous photos of Decorate For a Party on their website too. See below.

Highlights From London + Amsterdam

Highlights From London + Amsterdam

Highlights From London + Amsterdam

Highlights From London + Amsterdam

 

I cannot close this post without giving a very special THANK YOU to: JACQUI, LIZ, SAM and KATE  at Jacqui Small Publishing, CHARLOTTE and SOPHIA at Anthropologie London and LISELORE, KIRSTEN and LAURA at Meet The Blogger for ALL of your help with everything! We had a great time launching our book in London and Amsterdam and are so honored to have your support.)

I’ll be back to share some of the highlights from my trip which include great shopping and eating tips in London and Amsterdam. But for now, I wanted to simply pop my head in the say hello and give you a big hug and let you know I am back and blogging!

xo,

Holly

 






Books + Magazines

6 Ways To Decorate With Plants + Urban Jungle Book Review

September 20, 2016

Before our guest authors share 6 fabulous ways to decorate with plants, I simply must tell you about their beautiful new book for plant lovers called Wohnen in Gruen (German) and in English, Urban Jungle. Who wrote it? Igor Josifovic (from The Happy Interior blog) and Judith de Graaff (from Joelix) with photography by Lina Skukauskė and illustrations by Saar Manche! What a great team! This lush, green beauty came about three years after Igor and Judith initially formed their online community, “Urban Jungle Bloggers” with a blog under the same name. Maybe you’ve heard of it?

6 Ways To Decorate With Plants + Urban Jungle Book Review

Urban Jungle (the book) is fabulous guide to decorating with plants and the focus is really on the plants – from the best to use to proper care, DIY projects and so much more. If you love plants this book is definitely going to make you smile. I have the English copy and it’s a beautiful book filled with green inspo for every corner of your home and office. The 5 European homes inside are so fresh and very natural, not fussy, and don’t intimidate – the focus isn’t on fashionable high style or over budget decor and properties – it’s on the plants and how people use them to create a home filled with the beauty of plant life.

6 Ways To Decorate With Plants + Urban Jungle Book Review

In Urban Jungle, you’ll meet the homeowners for each of the five stories who are based in Turkey, France, England, Germany and the Netherlands, and tour their homes to see how they style and live with plants. There are 18 bloggers who also took part in the book sharing their own nooks filled with green style. AND, if that isn’t enough, you will also learn all about (and how to care for) Cactus, Succulents, Aloe Vera, Monstera, Oxalis Triangularis, Ficus elastica, Calathea, Palms, Sanservieria and Pilea Peperomiodes under Plant Portraits along with 6 crafty DIY projects and loads of plant styling tips throughout from 18 bloggers who contributed to this book, too.

Here are some of my favorite images from the book with tips on living with plants beneath each from authors, Igor and Judith.

6 Ways To Decorate With Plants + Urban Jungle Book Review

1. Airy and playful: The plant arrangement in the living room of the French blogger and creative professional Morgane Frimane in Toulouse features a charming Oxalis and Pilea plant in hanging planters among other houseplants in this green corner.

6 Ways To Decorate With Plants + Urban Jungle Book Review

2. Mix your pots. Dutch blogger and vintage expert Marij Hessels waters her plants in the hallway. Marij loves to combine vintage plant pots with contemporary versions and adds her own twist with DIY-planters.

6 Ways To Decorate With Plants + Urban Jungle Book Review

3. Across a window. Labofem is the lush plant studio of Istanbul local Fem Güclütürk who runs her plant business close to her home and both, studio and home, boast with an eclectic mix of plants of all kinds and sizes, such as these wonderful hanging plants in her studio. It’s a great way to use the vertical space for hanging plants when your room is too small for bigger plants.

6 Ways To Decorate With Plants + Urban Jungle Book Review

5. Mix plants & matching art. In the home office of German blogger Pepper Schmidt in Heidelberg, her style aesthetic mixes Scandinavian influences with ethnic patterns and handcrafted items. Extra visual effect for your plant styling: Match your plant with the adequate botanical illustrations!

6 Ways To Decorate With Plants + Urban Jungle Book Review

6. Go Non-Toxic for the kiddies. The bright kids room at the home of German blogger Pepper Schmidt features among soft toys a few plants too. In kids rooms opt for non-toxic plants without spikes or keep the cacti out of reach of your toddler!

6 Ways To Decorate With Plants + Urban Jungle Book Review

MEET IGOR AND JUDITH: Watch Igor and Judith present their book and do a signing at Meet The Blogger in Amsterdam on October 1 (tickets available here).

Good job Igor and Judith, thank you so much for sending me your book to review and I can’t wait to see your presentation at Meet The Blogger!

(Photography: Lina Skukauskė with permission, Book cover photo: Holly Becker for decor8)






Books + Magazines

Decorate For a Party + Olive Box!

September 12, 2016

Great news for those of you who cannot come out to our book events… Leslie and I have partnered with Grace Kang from Pink Olive in New York City to offer you a very special box-of-the-month on her Olive Box website! You can order exclusive signed copies of our book (not available anywhere else online) as part of the Lifestyle Box subscription. You can sign up here and each month, you will get a beautiful box of goodies but your first book will contain a signed copy of Decorate For a Party from Leslie and I – we hope you love it!

Decorate For a Party + Olive Box!

Thank you Grace for your support and to all of you who would like a signed copy, remember to order from Olive Box because we won’t have signed copies available online elsewhere, only if you come to our in-person events.

Upcoming event locations:

London, 28 September at Anthropologie (register here, includes a workshop with us!)

Amsterdam, 1 October at Meet The Blogger (register here, includes a 45 teaching lecture from me!)

Victoria, BC in October, date TBD, with Leslie Shewring

Berlin in November for WestWing (date TBD)

Zurich, 26 November at Blickfang (info here, includes a workshop with me for Annabelle magazine)

Hannover in December (date TBD)

If you can’t make these events above, you can get your signed book copies through Olive Box and she will ship to you right away. xo

(image: olive box)






Books + Magazines

Blog Book Tour UK: Decorate For a Party

September 6, 2016

Hello everyone! Today is a very special day because it begins a full two week period of reviews for our new book, Decorate For a Party, by bloggers in mainly the UK with the exception of Avenue Lifestyle since she helped us shoot the book! Each day, for the next two weeks, someone will review the book on their blog. Holly Marder, one of the wonderful photographers who helped Leslie and I take photos for the book, kicked off the reviews today on her blog Avenue Lifestyle and we are really pleased and happy by what she’s said because even though this is my 4th book, each book always feels like the first all over again – the anticipation, the shaking knees, the pounding heart… It’s such a rush to see what people think about your projects and ideas once they are out there. Leslie and I really hope that you will enjoy it.

Blog Book Tour UK: Decorate For a Party

Here is the line-up for the next two weeks if you’d like to follow the reviews, I can’t wait to see what each person thinks and what they are responding to from the content and photos.

Monday 5th September – Avenue Lifestyle – READ REVIEW HERE
Tuesday 6th September – Try Small Things
Wednesday 7th September – Wee Birdy
Thursday 8th September – My Sweet Savannah
Friday 9th September – 91 Magazine

Monday 12th September – Color Outside the Lines
Tuesday 13th September – Lobster & Swan
Wednesday 14th September – The Relished Roost
Thursday 15th September – Heart Home Magazine
Friday 16th September – The Decorista

Blog Book Tour UK: Decorate For a Party

Blog Book Tour UK: Decorate For a Party

A big thank you to Jessica for planning this blog tour and to all of the bloggers who will do the reviews, thank you so much!

Pre-order your copy here:

USA/CANADA: Blog Book Tour UK: Decorate For a Party

UK: Blog Book Tour UK: Decorate For a Party

German edition: Blog Book Tour UK: Decorate For a Party

Italian and French coming soon!

xo Holly

(photographs Holly Marder)






Books + Magazines

Decorate For a Party: Cover Reveal + Pre-Order!

July 5, 2016

I’m so happy that today I can finally share the name of my next book, my fourth (!), and it’s called Decorate For a Party: Stylish And Simple Ideas For Meaningful Gatherings! AND…. We have a cover, which I styled and photographed myself. In fact, I took over 100 photos that appear inside of the book, and my co-author Leslie Shewring shot even more along with Janis Nicolay, Holly Marder and Laure Joliet. Girl power for sure! Leslie and I so much fun and loads of help on this project between friends helping us set tables, home owners modeling for photos, friends helping to break down rooms, talented girls doing calligraphy, others running errands, we made huge messes with paper… Our friends appear in this book, my little boy, my home, Leslie’s studio, homes in Europe, California and Canada… Here’s the cover…

Decorate For a Party: Cover Reveal + Pre-Order!

This project means so much to Leslie and I and we are happy to share it with you too. I CANNOT BELIEVE this is happening, another book, and on a topic I’m so passionate about – gathering friends and family at home and how to decorate for your party that is stylish and pretty but not overly time-consuming, very budget-friendly without looking cheesy, and quite easy to pull off.

If there is one thing that drives me crazy, it’s having to worry and fuss when I have people over. I want the parties I plan to feel like I went out of my way, so guests feel special, but I don’t want them to think I went over-the-top which could intimidate them and make them afraid to invite ME over to their parties in return. I hate doing that – setting a scene so perfectly that people are almost afraid to be themselves and relax. I’ve been working on this book for over a year now with Leslie, we teamed up because she is the queen of entertaining with her annual Christmas parties for 25-30 family members and the many birthday parties and fests she throws throughout the year. I have been throwing parties for as long as I can remember too, so to team up was a lot of fun for us because we love the topic.

The cover is embossed with copper foil lettering and cloth and it’s loaded with ideas, full color images, DIY projects, and gorgeous parties that we created and photographed specifically for this book.

Decorate For a Party: Cover Reveal + Pre-Order!

The best part is, you can pre-order the book today! It comes out in September in English in both the UK and North America AND in October it will be available in German. More languages will follow in the months to come.

UK on Amazon
US on Amazon
US at Barnes & Noble
Canada at Indigo
In German at Amazon.de, the title is Feierlaune- Die schönsten Deko- & Food-Ideen für entspannte & fröhliche Feste
#decorateforaparty

What do you think about the cover? Are you excited to see inside? I can’t wait to show you more in the weeks to come and Leslie and I really hope that you love it.

xo,

Holly

 






Books + Magazines

7 Easy Ways To Create Botanical Style At Home

June 14, 2016

Hello everyone! I’m so glad that you’ve visited today because plants and flowers are such a big trend in home decor and today we have a special guest with us, British Author and Stylist Selina Lake, who is giving us 7 tips for decorating at home to create a style she’s called Botanical Style. In fact, you can see this style in her beautiful new book under the same title published by Ryland Peters & Small.

I’ve photographed some spreads at the end of this post — each page is one beautiful example after another of how to live with plants and flowers and it’s as intoxicating as it is informative and idea-packed. Would you like to see some of my favorite rooms from the book and hear some of Selina’s decor advice especially for decor8 readers today? Good!  All 7 tips below are based on the photos directly above them, each tip is from Selina and the styling in the photo is also her own work. Let’s see what she has in store to inspire all of us today, shall we?

7 Easy Ways To Create Botanical Style At Home
1. Bring the plants to the mantel
I’ve styled my marble mantlepiece using some key accessories to create the botanical mood. Vintage botanical prints are a great starting point, here I used a Marcus Ward & Co plant print by F.Edward Hulme, which I bought from a vintage fair to hang in the centre of the chimney breast wall. A great tip for hanging old prints is to use wooden trouser hangers, I buy mine online.

To add some pattern I have placed a large round tray adorning a Michael Angove Fennel & Dill design from Hus & Hem adjacent to the print. I love scented candles so I always have a couple ready to burn on my mantel, my favorites are Diptyque Bais and Moroccan Rose by True Grace.

Finally I add the botany, a Fittonia plant sits happily in its own microclimate under a glass dome. A lofty penstemon with coral pink flowers that I will plant out in my garden after a few days sits alongside lacy delta maidenhair ferns, with a faux tropical leaf stem from Abigail Ahern and fresh cuttings from my garden arranged in jam jars.

7 Easy Ways To Create Botanical Style At Home

2. Don’t paint over the shabby and worn
There’s something really romantic about the bringing together something old with chipping paint or peeling vintage wallpaper and combining with beautiful botanical blooms. Here an amazing wall in a charming Swedish Farmhouse has been left with layers of old wallpaper visible in patches.

When restoring old buildings its tempting to rip out everything and start again but to save the vintage appeal and character of a space theres a fine balance between modernizing and making a space livable while still maintaining the glorious patina and charm. I’ve used cool blue hydrangeas along with flowering horse mint and displayed the stems in a array go simple glass vases.

7 Easy Ways To Create Botanical Style At Home
3. Plants work great in an Industrial space 
This fabulous plant shop is part of The Fresh Flower Company in East Dulwich, London and doubles as a workshop space were floral and plant demonstrations and botanical crafting take place. The rough brick walls of the former industrial space make the perfect backdrop for all the leafy plants, succulents and cactus that are for sale.

To recreate a full on industrial botanical display at home, your need an old piece of furniture which was once used in a factory, school, shop or a place of work. Think old wooden display cabinets, metal trollies and rough wooden tables with metal legs, then start collecting a variety of plants and use the surface of your industrial piece of furniture to create the display. Use concrete and metal pots to house the plants to keep the industrial theme coherent throughout.

7 Easy Ways To Create Botanical Style At Home

4. Be dramatic
The trend for all things dark and floral has migrated from the fashion catwalks into our homes. In the living room of this London townhouse owned by Wild at Heart Florist Nikki Tibbles, ‘Dark Floral’ wallpaper by Ellie Cashman makes a dramatic statement. The large-scale floral is inspired by the still life paintings of the Dutch Golden Age, Its majestic with its rose and peony cascade and showy background. There’s no need for blousy, fresh flower arrangements in this room as the walls do the talking. The modern copper table lamps establishes a modern feel while pops of color ensures the room isn’t gloomy with the botanical green cushions and colorful tapestry pouffe by Frédérique Morrel.
7 Easy Ways To Create Botanical Style At Home

5. Create a natural look that is still well-planned
This multi functional living space in Carole Poirot’s London apartment has been carefully divided into zones that are united by houseplants, poppy seed heads and foliage. The low white display cabinet on the right separates the dining areas from this end of the room, where a daybed loaded with cushions and throws provides a cosy spot for relaxation. The book cabinet and desk on the left make a compact home office area. Unite your own open plan space with botanicals by choosing a selection of houseplants which suit your furniture pieces. Use trailing plants up high on the top of tall cupboards or bookcases and gather small pot plants together in another area maybe on a coffee or side table.

7 Easy Ways To Create Botanical Style At Home

6. Cover Your Headboard (and footboard)
Botanicals make an appearance in this glam London bedroom on the bed! It’s been upholstered in a digital print floral fabric. To try something similar in your own room, recover a padded headboard with a bold floral fabric or choose a full on floral quilt. The cushions have a luxury feel and are made from vintage silk scarves. Placing fresh flowers next to your bed is always a good idea, especially if they are scented like these roses.

7 Easy Ways To Create Botanical Style At Home

7. As a Bold Pattern In a White Room
I love this Castanea wallpaper by House of Hackney which I have on one wall of our otherwise white bedroom. My tip here was I positioned our bed against the wall so it sill felt like a calm sleep space, while keeping a fun element. I’m normally not one for the ‘matchy matchy’ look but I’m such a fan of this particular design I needed the matching linen cushions to complete the look. A simple filament bulb with black flex makes a great bedside light and there’s always a suitable corner for a potted palm.

Wow, thanks Selina for those tips… So readers, here are some shots of the book from my personal copy so you can get a sense of what it looks like inside…

7 Easy Ways To Create Botanical Style At Home

7 Easy Ways To Create Botanical Style At Home

7 Easy Ways To Create Botanical Style At Home

7 Easy Ways To Create Botanical Style At Home

Thank you so much for visiting us today on decor8 Selina with your great tips for bringing Botanical Style to our homes. It was such a pleasure having you and I’ve loved looking at your book so far, it’s gorgeous and I wish you all the best with it!

(Photography: Rachel Whiting © Ryland Peters & Small – Book spreads photographed by Holly Becker for decor8)






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