Hello friends! I have an interview and book review to share quickly if you have a moment… I’d like for you to meet German stylist, photographer and debut author, Peter Fehrentz. I wrote about him last year but with the launch of his gorgeous book, Made By Yourself, I had to see if he would be free for a chat and he was! Peter is very talented and is a real inspiration to me so I am honored to feature him today. The projects in his new book are so innovative and fresh, I can’t wait to show you a few of them!
His publisher, DVA, gave me some images from the book to share with you so I’ve included them in this post along with some snaps that I took of my own copy of Made By Yourself. Won’t you join us for our little chat? Good! Meet Peter Fehrentz, everyone!
First of all, where do you live and what do you do for a living?
PF: I live in both Hamburg and Berlin and I am an Interior Stylist, Set & Product Designer and Photographer.
How did you get into this profession?
PF: I studied product design and after getting my degree, I did an internship as an editorial stylist at Schöner Wohnen magazine in Germany.
Do you find Germany in general supportive of those in creative fields?
PF: Currently it is changing a lot because there are many design schools that are very supportive and there are many fairs for young designers to show their work and to get in touch with industry professionals and potential clients. So, yes there is support here!
What do you appreciate most about German life and culture?
PF: Germans are very open and curious about other cultures – it influences our daily life wherever you go. Germany is a great place for doing straight forward business, especially in the northern part of the country.
Where do you go for inspiration in Hamburg and Berlin, where you split your time?
PF: I always go where there is art – galleries, museums, cinemas and theaters. Also simply nature.
Where do you look for inspiration online?
PF: There are some blogs (like decor8) that I visit frequently but also art and style websites that are sometimes good for creative input depending on what subject I am working on.
Where has your work been featured?
PF: There are many magazines and companies that I’ve worked with here throughout the years, for instance Living at Home, Brigitte, Schöner Wohnen and also foreign press such as Elle Decoration, Inside Out, etc. I work with companies too, for instance Parador, Alape, Dornbracht, Duravit, Hansgrohe, JAB Anstoetz, etc.
Where did you get the idea to write, style and photograph your own book?
PF: I’ve always produced DIY stories for magazines anyway, but it was when I started to photograph my own ideas in 2009 that I started to feel ready for more – for a book project.
What was the process like for you to do a book – how did you get a book deal, how long did it take to do the book, etc.?
PF: First, I approached my favorite publisher, DVA, about the idea in general and they were very interested and open to it. After negotiating the contract I had about 1,5 years time to produce the book. I didn’t work on it the entire time though because I had a lot of “daily business” and other jobs to do that were separate from the book. I’d estimate that the core amount of time it took me to do the book was about 6 months.
If someone living in Germany wants to get into interior styling, what would they need to do to be taken seriously and break into the profession?
PF: The best thing is to assist a stylist who is very talented and very busy in the industry for a long period of time (years not months). There is so much to learn and explore and this will not happen overnight. It takes patience. After assisting for awhile, and once one feels secure and ready, you have to find magazines, photographers, clients and agencies that fit your style and – very important – like you personally. Then you proceed from there to pitch some of your ideas and see what happens!
What do you think makes a stylist “good”?
PF: When styling is not only decoration but also has a certain twist. I like work that tells a story in a subtle way and it’s even better when this is done with a little irony. Not only one the surface but something deeper with many layers.
In Germany, there aren’t many gurus in design like we have in America, there are not a lot of well known names like Jonathan Adler or Kelly Wearstler. Why do you think this is the case?
PF: Germany doesn’t have a strong decorating tradition like some other countries. Sometimes I think one reason could be due to World War II. Right before the war, we had the Bauhaus which is still very popular and adored all over the world. After the war everything was about rebuilding and escaping the trauma for a long time and it is still not very popular to hire an interior designer here. I am not sure though if that really can be a reason, it makes sense to me, but perhaps it’s just in the German nature.
Would you like to be better “known” in Germany – famous for style and design for instance?
PF: I just like doing what I do and I am not really keen on being famous. I like the idea of reaching a large number of people and sharing my passion for what I’ve explored and what I believe in though. It’s always great getting response on your work.
Tell us about your book! What do you love about it?
PF: From the beginning, I always wanted the book to be about inspiration so people who love books can feel joy by looking at the photos but it should also work for those who love to build and handcraft things. When I peruse the pages of my book, I still like to look at all the pictures, the layout and design, and the colors. I hope that those who bought the book have the same feelings, too!
What is your favorite project in the book?
PF: There is not one in particular but two of my many favorites are the concrete lamp base (p.101) and the drop shaped mirrors (p.16).
What is a really big dream of yours?
PF: This book! I had wanted to do a book for a long time and I am really grateful that I found a publisher who gave me the freedom to make it a very personal piece – a true reflection of my taste and style.
If you’d like to see a video interview with Peter (in German) or watch him make a project for the book, you can click here for two videos on his site. To buy a copy of his book, please visit Amazon or his publisher, DVA (Random House).
Thank you Peter for the interview – so nice to get to know you better! If anyone has questions for Peter, please ask him in the comments section. Thank you!
(images: peter fehrentz (styled shots), book photos: holly becker for decor8)
You may be hearing a lot about my book on decor8 for the next week or so. There is a blog book tour being sponsored by my publisher, Chronicle Books, and so each day 2-3 bloggers in North America are reviewing the book publicly on their blogs. The schedule is listed here, but I want to thank all of the bloggers who participated this week – each of them are listed below.
Poppytalk review, “The process Holly has come up with is really practical and is a brilliant way to approaching your space.” You can read this post too where Poppytalk had an interview with me.
Sacramento Street review, “I’ve been following Holly Becker of Decor8 for years and years (since 2006) – it’s one of the first blogs I started reading. It ultimately inspired me to start Sacramento Street over three years ago… In Holly’s second fabulous book, she shares all of her design secrets and also the eight step process/workshop to help you transform a home or room that will reflect your personal style. Holly asks questions throughout the book that will have you getting one step closer to your perfect interior style. It’s a brilliant way to approach design!”
A Creative Mint review, Decorate Workshop is the, “Second fabulous decorating book by Holly Becker of Decor8. I have had the absolute pleasure of knowing Holly for three and a half years now, we have worked, traveled and spent countless hours laughing and chatting together. She is a fantastic teacher and wow, does Holly ever have an incredible eye for design. She just gets it, design and decorating are innate for her.”
Horray review, “One of my favorite details is the cover jacket that unfolds to a poster-sized page full of photos.”
Design For Mankind review, “Read It… Decorate Workshop is the perfect go-to book… A workbook for the decor-obsessed, it’s filled to the brim with color schemes, pattern ideas, space planning, budget tips and even radly helpful checklists.”
Decorology review, “Great tips and eye candy!”
Bloesem review and interview with me. “I really enjoy how Holly writes both on her fabulous blog as in her books…What makes ‘Decorate Workshop’ different from her first title… well … lot’s more interaction with us the readers. Yes, Holly makes it easy via a ‘one step at the time’ guide throughout the book helping you to start decorating or renovating your own space. It’s almost like she’s there with you, telling you what you should be doing next. The book helps you come up with your own ideas instead of Holly telling you what’s nice and what’s not. That’s what we believe the best part.” Win a copy of Decorate Workshop on Bloesem here.
Design Muse review, “One of my favorite sections is “Organize Your Ideas” where Holly talks about how to create mood boards. I love creating mood boards and use them daily in my own graphic design process. They are a great tool for decorating and any other creative project.”
The City Sage review, “Nothing will ever replace the satisfaction of holding a book in our hands, of smelling its fresh pages. And a book by a blogger and community leader like Holly Becker of Decor8? That is a triumph for us all. Holly brings us her second book, Decorate Workshop. It’s the follow up to her her hugely bestselling Decorate, but I have to say that as much as I loved her first volume, this second offering is even better. Don’t get me wrong, I love interiors eye-candy as much as the next girl, but the how-to approach of Decorate Workshop is so darn useful!”
It’s so exciting to read what each one had to say about the book and also to share what they liked about it. I think it’s really cool to see how some took photos – I can wait for next week to see how the bloggers participating will present the book. It’s extremely exciting for me and I also want to thank you all for your support and encouragement, I had a really tough summer as you know in my personal life but now I’m back to normal and feeling fine (which is really nice because I felt like I would be in that little mouse hole feeling sorry for myself for a very long time!). Now that the book is out there, and I’m reading your reviews, I feel comforted and happy. And I’m glad I came out of my mouse hole, too. Thank you for your love!
AND there are some other special bloggers out there who recently ordered my book and were so kind as to post reviews on their blogs this week which felt like a huge celebration for me online all week long between the blog book tour and the other supportive friends posting about Decorate Workshop. Here are reviews that came in from some very nice blogs…
Apartment Therapy review, “From blogger to bestselling author, Holly Becker brings you fresh ideas and endless inspiration. Decorate Workshop is a valuable planner for any home stylist.” You can also enter to win a copy of the book here.
IDA Interior Lifestyle review, “I like the personal approach of this book, like an informal chat with a friend, the same attitude that she (Holly) shows writing on her blog; I like that in every section you can find blank pages to “interact” with Holly. She asks you to answer on several questions, she gives you the tools to find your decoration way and she offers her experience; and finally we can see the pictures of the lovely apartment that she shares with her husband in Hannover!”
Do What Your Love review, “Fab new book! It is full of inspiring images (think the best of Pinterest interior pictures in a book!) and walks you step by step through the decorating process. Holly helps you analyse what kind of style works for you and helps you plan exactly what kind of rooms you want to live in.” You can also win a copy of the book here.
I want to personally thank each of you ladies for being part of my book tour this week and I can’t wait for the final group of bloggers next week to see what they have in store for me. This is fun and gives me such a glow, so thank you again for the support and encouragement. :)
(images by the wonderful hooray blog)
Hello everyone! I’m back from London and will blog about my shopping adventures on Columbia Road later today, but first I simply MUST thank Jan at Poppy Talk for kicking off the bloggy book tour yesterday for Decorate Workshop AND for offering her readers a chance at winning a signed copy – her drawing will be on Wednesday, November 28th so enter Poppy Talk yesterday, here is her post with a review about the book AND a chance for you to win a signed copy! Click here to check it out. Also, she’ll be posting an interview that she had with me tomorrow when she announces the winner.
Here is a photo from the book from Emma Cassi’s home photographed by Debi Treloar. Isn’t this an inspiring nook in her office space? She is a jewelry designer in London and frequently has buyers stop by to see her latest collections, which are stored in this magical cabinet. She changes the wall frequently to fit her collection as well. I was so inspired by Emma and her home, I met her through Sania Pell, so I had to have it in my book.
Thank you again Jan for launching my blog book tour! Readers, you can see her post and book review here. Today, the book tour continues with Sacramento Street and A Creative Mint – You’ll LOVE to see what those ladies have in store for you!
(photo: decorate workshop by holly becker for chronicle books, photographer: debi treloar)
I am sitting here blushing because my friend did a sweet thing and surprise me with a video! I’m so touched by this! Me, speechless – get a camera because this is first! Thank you Steffi, I love this!
I think it’s such a creative way to review a book, don’t you? It makes me think that together, we bloggers have so many options and ways to present information on our blogs – we are so lucky! The book can be found here (UK) and here (US).
Psst: Can everyone who has the book do me a huge favor? Can you leave a review on Amazon? Thank you, that would be just super. I hate to ask but it would be so helpful!
This really made my day. Thank you again Steffi and happy Friday everyone!
Hello everyone and happy Friday to you! I’m so pleased to share some photos from my book launch party for the UK edition of Decorate Workshop, photographed by London-based photographer Lucy Lu. Most of these photos (unless noted otherwise) are from Lucy, thank you Lucy! The lovely party at Anthropologie on Regents Street was a huge success – it was packed with more people than we had expected, which is never a problem and always an honor BUT it was tough to fit so many comfortably so needless to say we had standing room only by the time we began our lectures. Decorate Workshop fans filled the 3rd floor and we had a great night. Want to see for yourself?
I was joined by one of the UK’s top bloggers, Will Taylor, from Bright Bazaar and American stylist James Leland Day, who lives in Berlin (his home is in Decorate Workshop and his living room shown above) who spoke alongside of me about the book from what inspired it to how one goes from blogger to author, the process of writing an interiors book and how to style your home with tips from James and later, I chimed in with tips on how to pull inspiration from the many images you see and translate them into something that works. I have to thank both of these fab guys for being there and presenting so well – Will is a natural and James has such a strong background in styling – they both were such a nice addition to the party and guests really loved having them, too.
Will showing everyone the inside of the French fold book jacket – all editions have a special jacket that you can unfold, iron and display on your wall. Mine is above my desk in my work studio.
I really love bringing together special guests in all of the events that I do – last year for Decorate some of my special speakers included Abigail Ahern, Leslie Shewring, Sania Pell, Betsy Burnham, Nicole Balch, Fernanda Bourlot, Zia Priven, Matt Stinchcomb (co-founder of Etsy) and many others. In fact, whenever I host events I always try to add a few guests to accompany me because I enjoy the support and friendship – it makes doing events a lot more exciting and a lot less about “me” and more about “we”.
Will interviewing me during the launch party – I was trying to focus, I was a bit nervous because we had problems with the sound system – we were able to fix it later on but it kept throwing me off track at first. We did our best – thanks to everyone who endured the first 10 minutes!!!
I love this photo – it looks like this cute lady is embracing my book. It actually made me feel emotional seeing this. The idea of giving a little slice of happy to someone is quite a nice feeling for an author to have.
Will is such a charming and caring soul but also has an excellent business brain behind all those bow ties and polka dots. James was really getting into how he designed his living room – shown on the board to his right. That is an image from my book as well.
A closer shot of the board showing James’ living room as seen in Decorate Workshop.
Between all of the beautiful cakes that Anthropologie laid out for us to feast on, the prosecco, the inspiring space and the entire 3rd floor being filled with design lovers and bloggers, it was quite a lovely experience. Anthro even gave everyone who bought my book a 15% coupon for their next purchase and a linen Anthro tote. What a nice touch! Along one wall, I had a bookcase in my honor titled, Holly Becker’s Favourite Things” where I had shopped the day before for things that I loved from their home & fashion accessories floors so that my guests could check out a few of my favorite things. Problem was, the event was so packed that it was hard for people to go examine all of the pretty things there!
I had a rough summer, filled with a lot of ups and downs in my life (mostly downs) so to be here with all of my fans and have them so excited to see me and celebrate my new book was nothing less than a fantastic boost for me personally – and of course, it was cool to sign and hold up my book for the camera – I loved celebrating this accomplishment with all who came out.
I love this shot of me talking to Ari from Arianna Interiors who is also co-founder of Heart Home magazine. Ari is one of those people who is genuinely so sweet and charismatic, there is nothing fake about her. I think she was admiring my hair or necklace in this photo – she always has a way of making you feel at ease and taking you beneath her wing. I really adore this lady!
This photo of James made me smile. He really loved being a part of the festivities and he walked away feeling inspired by everyone, too. The energy was so positive. It was a truly lovely event.
I only wish that I could have spoken to everyone – I know I missed out on meeting so many of you and for that, I’m sorry! It was my intention to meet everyone but the event was too full and once the book signing begun I was there until after the store closed dedicating books to some genuinely lovely guests.
I felt honored and inspired by the event and to think the day before, I ran into a street concert with Robbie Williams performing right before my eyes and the same evening after the book party, I ended up in a private bar at a hotel where a friend Charlotte was staying and who walks in and says hello to us, American rapper/actor Ludacris. Yeah, really. He was so chill and his friends and I chatted about the south (where we are all from) and later, my book and blog! Riot! It was funny to see him and how normal they all were but the best part was when one of them googled me and said, “Hey you’re famous too!”, that was a riot! Here’s a photo of me with Ludacris who is currently in London filming Fast & Furious 6 – funny right?!
So that was my book launch party. I hope that you liked it. If I missed any of the photographers who took the photos above, PLEASE let me know so I can link you below. A big thank you to Jacqui Small Publishing (Jacqui, Joanna, Sian, Sarah, Anabel, Jessica and Sam), Anthropologie EU, Lucy Lu, Will Taylor, James Leland Day, Debi Treloar and some of the homeowners who attended in addition to James like Sania Pell, Emma Cassi, Stephanie Rammeloo and Yvonne Eijkenduijn.