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UK Blog Book Tour: Decorate With Flowers, March 10-21, 2014

Hello friends! Today begins the UK blog book tour of Decorate With Flowers, the brand new book that Leslie Shewring and I produced that is now available for pre-order online in the UK, North America and Germany. In fact, if you order now via your local Amazon store online, you’ll get the book at a reduced price and it will arrive as soon as next week (I’ve been told) so you’ll have it before anyone else – in Germany you will have it this week if order here. I wanted to shout out the wonderful bloggers who will be sharing their reviews of our book beginning today through the release date of the book, March 21, which also happens to be my birthday. The lovely team at RED magazine in London will finish up the book tour on the 21st with a post on their blog, too. I’m a huge RED fan and specifically requested them to wrap up our tour, so I’m thrilled they’ve agreed!

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LONDON: Leslie and I will be in London during the week of the Chelsea Flower Show (end of May, date to be determined soon) to do a very special flower party at one of our favorite places, so stay tuned for the date which we’ll blog about soon!

Here’s the book tour line-up, starting today. I want to thank each of these wonderful ladies personally for supporting Leslie and I and our first book together. We’ve been wanting to do a book for a few years now as a team so this is a very special moment in time for us both.

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Again, many heartfelt thanks to these wonderful magazines, bloggers, stylists and other pros who are sharing their reviews of our new book over the next few weeks.If you want to follow the book tour, here is the schedule below:

Monday 10th March Flowerona | Twitter @Flowerona

Tuesday 11th March Trend Daily | Twitter @Trend_Daily

Wednesday 12th March Curate & Display | Twitter @TiffGrantRiley

Thursday 13th March Sania Pell | Twitter @SaniaPell

Friday 14th March Fabric of my Life | Twitter @fabricofmylife

Monday 17th March Heart Home Magazine | Twitter @hearthomemag

Tuesday 18th March Lobster & Swan | Twitter @lobsterandswan

Wednesday 19th March Bodie and Fou | Twitter @BodieandFou

Thursday 20th March Arianna Interiors | Twitter @Arianna_Trapani

Friday 21st March Red Magazine | Twitter @RedMagDaily

Thank you everyone! xo, Holly

(image: photo by leslie shewring)

Posted in Books + Magazines on March 10, 2014

Geometric Florals

For the past six months or so, I’ve been a big fan of geo florals using triangles in particular… Though I’ve always loved geometrics combined with floral prints, the whole triangle with flowers obsession began when we were working with our book designer and she wanted to add a geometric touch to our end papers and book jacket spine… We first thought a small floral pattern, hand painted by Leslie, would have worked nicely but Helen loved the triangles that Leslie had painted and motivated us in that direction instead. Once I saw it, I was in love and ever since, I’ve been loving the look of geo florals with triangles. I’ve seen the combination plenty of times before but for me, it suddenly made a connection with me personally. I found this pattern below, made by Sesame & Lilly, and it pretty much nails the look I love – which is overlaying the two.

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I’d really like to have a scarf like this or a piece of clothing or even art framed on my walls in this collage-y effect. Do you like geometries and florals together too? How do you like them, overlaid or side by side (like geometric prints on pants with a floral blouse)?

(image: sesame and lilly)

Posted in Books + Magazines on March 06, 2014

Our New Book Has A Website!

Hello everyone! I’m so happy to be here today because when I’m not blogging, I’m thinking about blogging and all of the things that I want to share and show to you. I thought I’d first share a project I’ve been working on this week – the new website for Decorate With Flowers, my latest book in which I’ve teamed up with Leslie Shewring this time to produce a decorating book with a very floral point-of-view. I am so proud of it and what Leslie and I created together! We wrote it when I was pregnant, so I will forever cherish it based on that alone. I loved working so closely with Leslie on this title – she was my partner-in-crime throughout the entire project from beginning to end and we also were able to spend a special week together in my home when we began shooting the book back in May 2013 which has a little background story to it…

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OK so a funny side story to share: Leslie and I went out each night for dinner after our shoots and our conversations kept going back to how much I wanted to have a baby and that it’s an important “next step” for me and that maybe after the book I’d get pregnant (since I planned to do a big book tour for Decorate With Flowers). During those conversations, Leslie kept giving me great tips and encouragement and basically was my pregnancy cheerleader. The only thing was, while we were out talking about my desire to start a family, I was ALREADY pregnant with Aidan! In fact, I found out 3 weeks after she left Hannover and I couldn’t believe it. Isn’t life funny?

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DECORATEWITHFLOWERS.COM

So this is our new website for Decorate With Flowers… It is here that we’ll drop extra bonus content from the book, an image gallery where you can grab images to use on your blogs and pin for inspiration, press stuff (so if you write about us send your link to my assistant jessy [at] decor8blog [dot] com and we’ll link it to the press page), tour related information since Leslie and I plan to do some events in the UK, Europe, Canada and the United States… Though we won’t be doing a full on book tour together with West Elm and Chronicle Books as we had hoped since my son is only 18 days old, we will be visiting different cities to meet you guys and give workshops… And in May, in London, we’ll be together to do a lovely launch event with Anthropologie and Jacqui Small Publishing.

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Decorate With Flowers will be published in 6 editions currently as outlined here. Foreign language editions include Italian, French, German and Dutch. The UK, US and German versions are shown photographed above. Purchase information here.

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We sincerely hope that you enjoy, and will share, our book website! It’s something I thought to do for my second book but didn’t have the time so I definitely wanted to try it for the third! I find that nowadays online, you really have to look for interesting ways to promote your work that adds value and isn’t just another “look at me!” opportunity. That is why I think this website is so helpful – it makes it easy for others to find and use images from our book, find out where to buy them, the available languages, publication dates, who are publicity team is and also just background info on us and bonus content that we think readers, fans, friends and journalists who are looking for a story angle may find super helpful. It’s a good idea to pull everything together in one place. I don’t know about you guys, but these days we have social media connections all over the place and we can be found everywhere online – so I like the idea of having one spot where people can go to find out everything they need to know about Decorate With Flowers. If you are an author or due to become one, why not try creating your own book website too?

xo, Holly

(images: 1. Caitlin Sheehan 2. Screenshot 3. Leslie Shewring 4. Leslie Shewring)

Posted in Books + Magazines on February 28, 2014

10 Must Have Decorating Books

Hello friends! How are you doing? We moved last week! Yep, I’m two weeks from my due date and we’ve moved. I know, nuts right!? I’ve been very busy with packing, unpacking, sorting… You know how it goes – I was freaking out a bit last week but once we moved, it was all good. And then we had a big flea market this past Saturday morning where we held a private sale to only my local readers and close friends. It was so nice, my husband ran it for me so I stayed in our new place cozied up with cake and tea. Some of my friends came by over the weekend to visit and some came bearing the sweetest little presents for the baby and I which warmed my heart. Our friends can really do the best things during times when you feel a bit like having a nervous breakdown.

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Now that we’re in the new space, THANK GOD, I’ve been obsessed with how I will plan everything out and decorate it though I’m trying to hold back a little and rest – but man, it’s HARD to rest when you are surrounded by boxes, am I right? It’s fun to visualize how you’ll live and then to see if you can create that vision in real life – which is really what decorating is all about, isn’t it? But first you need the vision and sometimes we just lack that, even the best of us. I thought that I’d show you where I’m collecting inspiration lately and some general great books that I think you should have in your library just because they’re so good… And I’d LOVE for you to add to this post with decorating book suggestions of your own that you own and refer to for inspiration, too. Ready to get started? Drool fest to follow…

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1. Gypsy by Sibella Court – This book is so visual and perfect for times when you’re in a creative rut or feel a tinge of wanderlust. In this special creation, you’ll find Sibella’s latest inspirations as part travel / part decor book, where she takes us to the Galapagos islands and Ecuador, Indochine, Transylvania, Scotland and Turkey. Out of those destinations, I’ve only been to Turkey (and loved it!) so it was fun to travel with Sibella to see the more uncharted places, like Transylvania, through the eyes of a stylist. I appreciate how she didn’t go to the typical destinations – Paris, London, New York, Sydney… But her approach was to comb destinations a bit out of the ordinary to shed more light on exactly what each offer to the world of design from patterns to colors, that are so often overlooked. A mix of photography shot by herself and her brother, Chris Court, it’s jam-packed with beauty. Aside from the gorgeous full-page photography, she gives us glimpses into her process – how she approaches her work – and shows a color board for each of her destinations which is becoming more and more popular in decorating (and wedding) books these days – color palettes and mood boards – they are all the rage because most of us genuinely want to see how collections of things can be organized into a definite palette that can later inspire an interior. Sibella’s palettes are very earthy and rustic, deep and intoxicating. You won’t find that many pastels or primary colors in this book, Sibella just isn’t a pastel kind of girl. My favorite palette is Scotland where I fell completely in love with all of the green tones. Buy Here.

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2. A Life Less Ordinary by Alex Legendre and Zoe Ellison - Authors Alex and Zoe are the shop owners behind i gigi in Brighton, England and do a brilliant job translating their shop aesthetic directly onto the pages of this gorgeous book. Known in England for their covetable style, I really like the restful muted tones and the rustic, vintage recycled vibe in this book along with their styling – so many gorgeous arrangements to look at and try at home. Their design philosophy boils down to this, “The most important thing for us is to create a space that is practical and can be lived in, as well as looking beautiful and feeling relaxed”, which is completely in line with how I feel about decorating… Living in a non-fussy space that is still lovely, organized and practical is the ultimate goal for me, always. The pages are so stunning, I’d like to turn them into prints to hang on my wall! In addition to decorating, this book also discusses their friendship and business, which I found interesting but honestly it is the photography that tickled my heart strings the most. Stunning! Buy Here.

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3. Creative Spaces by Geraldine James - Author Geraldine James, a home buying manager at one of the most gorgeous department stores in the world, Selfridges, travels extensively to source products for the store and so her vision is crystal clear and extremely trained. With a background in fashion and design, her passion for collecting and finding gorgeous things shows through each page of this book – her eye is nothing short of inspiring. When her first two books released, Creative Walls and Creative Display, I immediately bought and read them cover to cover which was quite easy as they’re mostly visual with her interesting thoughts seasoning the overall feast but never covering the delicious presentation. In Creative Spaces, she takes you on 20 very personal home tours of those whom she knows personally, people whom she thinks we should know and be inspired by, too. She takes us from Italy to London to New York to share the way her creative pals live in spaces of all shapes and sizes. I definitely recommend this book along with her two others. All are a perfect addition to the library of any decorating lover. Buy Here.

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4. Couture Prairie: And Flea Market Treasures by Rachel Ashwell – If you’ve ever longed to live in whimsical prettiness right to the heart of cowboy country, complete with cowgirl boots and ruffles, this book is for you. What I found so inspirational about this book is that I’ve met the author a few times, I even visited her at home a few years ago in LA for tea and a chat, and her book is completely in line with who she is without any “fluff”. This lady is the real deal and doesn’t care if you love ruffles and lace, she loves it and has a massive following of fans who do as well. Rachel has been authentic from the start, way back when I used to watch her flea marketing shows on television in the 1990s. This book shows her gorgeous ranch in Texas and the homes on it, where she teaches and allows others to teach as well as host retreats and fun flea marketing excursions. It’s all so interesting as I’ve often dreamed of having a big house in the middle of nowhere where I host retreats and vacations, too. A sort of blogger retreat. This book is big, gorgeous and completely perfect for dreaming those home on the range dreams, whether Shabby Chic is your style or not, there are so many elements of it that have been brought to other design styles, so much cross-over, that you’re bound to find elements that you could easily work into your home no matter what the style. Buy Here.

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5. Remix by Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason – I had the pleasure of meeting both authors at my own book signing in Philly a few years ago and felt such an immediate connection with them because they radiant warmth and enthusiasm. Remix is all about decorating with cultural objects and soul (some refer to this style as Ethnic Chic). As the bloggers behind AphroChic and the designers under the same name, Jeanine and Bryan share only homes where cultural, global style (they term this soulful), is key as they show you how to decorate with bold colors and patterns from around the globe to create cozy and stylish rooms. I like this book because I adore the authors and find their approachable decorating sensibility a nice break from the usual titles floating around that talk at you more than with you. This book is like sitting down with friends, and I love that personal flair. It was also such a nice bonus to see their own home towards the end. Great job, you guys! Buy Here.

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6. A Place Called Home by Jason Grant – Most of my friends don’t know who interior stylist Jason Grant is, which is a bit of a shame because he is SO GOOD. He hasn’t had much exposure yet in the states or Europe, he is however a styling rock star in Australia and is one to definitely watch elsewhere, too. He has a bright, happy design approach with loads of clear, fresh color in mostly yellows, reds and blues which you can see more on his website and blog. He also has his own paint line with Australian company Murobond, and now this glorious book which just became available in the UK (here) and in the US (here) so definitely grab a copy and check him out. If you like interiors with a casual, joyful spirit and aren’t big on reading a lot of text (perhaps you’re more visual like me), then this book is one to pick up and cherish. It covers everything from inspiration to styling and storage and Jason’s personal approach along with photos from his travels and quick tips throughout that are just great. Bravo, Jason! Buy Here.

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7. Decorating With Style by Abigail Ahearn – Far from minimalistic and cheery, Abigail has a unique sensibility that is all her own which is often described as edgy, dark, moody, eclectic and quite quirky. This lady definitely has an unexpected, yet refreshing, voice in the design world. Based in London, Abigail also owns a shop (which I visited), blogs, and teaches out of her home when she’s not doing client work. I was so pleased when I met her and she spoke at my book party at Anthropologie not too long ago – she brought her mood boards and explained her process and style. I have a soft spot for any designer who blogs, especially with the passion – and she clearly has passion in her posts about decorating. It’s not the typical designer fluff blogs that are out there which are constantly pushing the next product. Her blog is intimate and funny and completely not textbook designer. This is my favorite of her two books, because it feels much more in tune with her voice and style, and because it’s full of interesting perspectives on decorating, styling and her overall philosophy. Buy Here.

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8. Paper to Petal by Rebecca Thuss and Patrick Farrell – Okay so this isn’t a decorating book but I’m going to review it anyway on this list because you can decorate with these projects in your home, so it sorta fits here. It’s more crafty and entertaining-related, just so you know… Anyway, the talented Rebecca Thuss has long been an inspiration to me, ever since her days at Martha Stewart, who happened to write the foreword. This gorgeous, huge book is LOADED with 75 paper flower projects so you can make your own by hand for crafting, decorating, events and beyond. I grew up with a mom who was trained as a floral designer and so you can imagine how much influence flowers have had over my life. My mother was a flower whiz but not just with the real ones. She also made tons of paper flowers too – she found them to be a nice complement to her fresh arrangements. I remember when I was little and she taught me how to make paper pom pom flowers out of tissue paper and how she loved making tiny blooms using crepe papers and fabric, too. Years later, when I worked in a millinery shop in Boston making headpieces for brides, I was trained to sew and create fabric flowers. Several of the projects in this book took me back a bit to crafting with my mother, and to my days in the millinery shop, which brought a smile to my face. Today, I’m still a lover of blooms – both fresh and paper (I’m not opposed to great looking silk ones too, if used in a quirky untraditional way). This book is a must-have for anyone who crafts and loves flowers. You will seriously eat it up. In addition to the step-by-step projects, there are gorgeous photos showing how to use your paper creations as well as a hearty section of templates in the back. Stunning, really. Buy Here.

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9. Bring The Outdoors In by Shane Powers – This book has been out for a bit, but I find myself flipping through it whenever I need garden project ideas for indoors. I have to admit, that unlike my mother and husband, I’m not a big collector of plants indoors with the exception of succulents (which I adore). In fact, I own only a few, including an aloe that I proudly raised from infancy when blogger Iro gave me a single stem that she brought back to Germany from Greece. Now it’s a big, happy aloe on my windowsill and I feel like a bad ass because I haven’t managed to kill it yet. Plants add so much beauty to a home and are so good for the air quality, but are also trending at the moment – have you noticed? More and more designers, stylists and bloggers are getting into plants which before, were mostly seen in very contemporary, minimalistic spaces or those with a more boho, hippie vibe. Plants are great in all homes, all styles, it’s just a matter of finding those that you click with and can maintain since plants do require regular care just like kids and dogs. This book is a delight because American stylist Shane Powers gives you a briefing into to plants before showing 22 simple yet stylish projects that will enable you to work plant magic into your decor without turning your space in creative ways. Buy Here.

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10. Creative Family Home by Ashlyn Gibson – I’m going to have a baby in two weeks, have you heard? ha ha. Anyway, he’ll be my first child, so you can only imagine what I have running through my head at the moment… Topics ranging from breast feeding to sleep schedules and the best way to decorate his nursery and child proof the house, to name a few of the fifty thousand thoughts I’ve had about this whole mommy hood thing. There is so much to think about, good grief, yet I do love exploring this new world. All of this exploration brought me to this book by Ashlyn Gibson which covers a slew of delightful spaces for creative families with a focus on kids’ spaces. My husband and I consider ourselves a creative family (we love neat and orderly but not minimalistic by any means), so the eclectic mix of homes shown really speak to me. Ashlyn takes you home-by-home by theme from the Urban Hub (a personal favorite) to Ship Shape and Mediterranean Heights. I like the intros to each family throughout along with the home tours. What a pleasure. Great read. Buy Here.

SO IT IS YOUR TURN! What book do you currently own (not upcoming titles please!) and refer to often for decorating inspiration? Please comment below and share! :)

(images linked to their sources above. Also, I’m an Amazon affiliate so I may earn a big fat 5% if you buy a book. Woo hoo.)

Posted in Books + Magazines on January 15, 2014

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

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