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Decorating Tips

Decorating Tips, Inspiration

Thoughts On Styling

September 2, 2014

Studio Besau-Marguerre is design duo Eva Marguerre und Marcel Besau, a talented couple who founded their studio in 2011 in Hamburg, Germany. Their projects include visual communication, interior design, editorial design and styling. I’ve seen their work before in German interiors magazines, such as in Living At Home and fashion mag, Brigitte. Here are some photos that I find best represent what they do on the styling side. Or maybe it’s that I find these the most appealing because they are a bit “less is more” than their other projects, which I like. Check them out…

Thoughts On Styling

I really like the color palette in this image. It’s a bit odd but in a good, quirky odd way. That table is rather interesting too with all of those legs, isn’t it?

Thoughts On Styling

I really love the color palette here. Reminds me of what I’m going for with my new work studio.

Thoughts On Styling

Everything about this image speaks to me, it’s not really the individual pieces as much as the sum of all parts – what they are sharing together, a sort of crazy harmony that manages to be relaxing and warm. And okay I really like the lampshade, a lot actually. Plus the peek through into the next room is always a nice touch when you are styling interiors. It adds interest.

Thoughts On Styling

Seeing a herringbone natural wood wall is such a creative idea in my opinion, because I’d actually love to see that applied to a lake house or country cottage. It’s such an imaginative way to make wood walls cool again.

Thoughts On Styling

I love seeing rolls of wallpaper falling out of windows. Of course, it’s only for a photo and only for a few hours, but the idea of it is so appealing to me. It makes me wish you could buy patterned wooden shutters to add to the outside of your home and have a big white house like this with patterned shutters and a bold blue or canary yellow front door or something. I often wish I lived in a world that was more experimental. So many people claim to be but in the end, most of us just conform. It’s a shame. Because I bet lots of us would have way cooler houses – I’m talking about exteriors – curb appeal.

Thoughts On Styling

I’d really like to know more about this X panel with lights. I wonder how they made it. I missed the issue of Living At Home that it was in so I missed the project. But it looks funky and affordable, too.

Thoughts On Styling

I was just picking flowers in a field nearby to Hannover, where I live, and while there I met the owner and she went bonkers when she learned of who I was and what I do. She loves flowers. So she instantly wanted to know everything about me. And I told her what I could. While there, I imagined going back and shooting a field scene similar to this one, so maybe I will next Spring.

Thoughts On Styling

Maybe these candles were drawn on with markers? I can’t tell. But you know what I really love about this photo? I love that smoke. I just do. It really adds atmosphere and imperfection in a good way.

Thoughts On Styling

This looks like a really fun and happy corner of someone’s creative studio, doesn’t it? I love that acid yellow too. It makes me happy.

Thoughts On Styling

I imagine the word YES was made from washi tape? If so, YES YES YES! Good idea!

Thoughts On Styling

 Drawing on cups and pots? Sounds (and looks) like a great idea and something you could do with the kids, too.

These are all nice and interesting concepts, don’t you think? I especially like the series on cross stitch and applying the look of it to objects like ceramics and lighting. What I find so interesting about styling overall is when you are given a project, you can have so much fun developing whatever theme you either pitched or were given by the firm who hired you. Many times, though the sky is the limit, you also have to consider what is practical and functional depending on the client and their market. I honestly love the work of magazine styling and also book styling, though I find magazine styling such a different field altogether because you really have to pitch, develop, order product, make, pull everything together, etc. so it’s such a reflection of YOU. Interior styling for books, like the line of work I’m in – well, it’s just different though the title is the same. I’m thinking to add magazine work to my resume, I’d love to work on location and pull together something I’ve envisioned. I was able to this with my new book that just came out, Decorate With Flowers, because it required my co-author Leslie and I to brainstorm all of the ways we do and would use flowers and then create stories around themes and colors for each, plus add DIY projects… So it was really my big break into doing a book that required a lot of careful planning.

My decorating books before that were a little different since I styled homes on location and for the most part, I only brought and styled flowers for the rooms and then styled the rooms channeling my vision and aesthetic, which I felt was important to not only apply that but to maintain the homeowner’s voice too. It was a challenging balance but I achieved success with those books and the homeowers felt delighted to be a part of those projects.

I’m developing concepts now for books 4 and 5, and I’m thinking of mixing interiors with my own styling but also to add interesting projects and things that can, like Decorate With Flowers, give me a chance to really show my more artistic and creative talents. But yes, back to styling and images above, I really did enjoy them and also liked that they are doing so well here as a creative design firm. I often feel this market has so many gaps and there are so few “names” when it comes to interiors. I cannot think of anyone in particular that is a household name in Germany when it comes to interior design or styling. It’s so different where I come from. In America we are just saturated with names and talent in this field. I wonder if Germany will ever see that? I would be happy to step up and nominate myself but in many ways, I’m unsure what people here would think or how they would react to an American being one of the voices of German interiors?

I’m thinking out loud. I need to get some work done around the office today, some consulting for a NYC startup, but I’ll be back online a little later with some more finds and words to share.

(images: Silke Zander and Peter Fehrentz)

Decorating Tips

13 Decorating Ideas + Bolia

August 30, 2014

Want to see 13 trendy decorating tips for Autumn/Winter 2014? Danish design brand Bolia has gorgeous furnishings and accessories for interiors but there are also some design tips you can pick up from their deliciously inspiring catalogs that I’ll highlight below… And Bolia has some good news! They’ve only been available to those of us living in Denmark, Germany and Sweden until yesterday. Now they’ve launched an English version of their shop online and will deliver to all EU countries. Also until tomorrow August 31st, you can get 25% off many items in their online shop. Yes, really. A big sorry to my American friends because I know this post is a real teaser but at least you can see the creativity and gorgeous designs coming out of Scandinavia so you can look for similar things stateside to add to your homes for a more international flair. Ready for some decorating ideas?

13 Decorating Ideas + Bolia1. Decorate with flowers, real or faux, stuck to the wall. Or buy this Floral wallsticker.

13 Decorating Ideas + Bolia

2. Decorate with plates arranged a bit imperfectly. I love a simple collection of plates randomly hung on a chalky gray wall, so subtle yet striking.

13 Decorating Ideas + Bolia

3. Decorate with framed artwork tightly arranged. I love concrete exposure on walls and floors, so this image really made me smile. But more interesting is this tight grouping of frames. It looks easy to hang frames touching like this but trust me, it’s not. In the end though it is worth the time and F bombs.

13 Decorating Ideas + Bolia

4. Tape lots of stuff up and mix with framed art. I love all of these things taped and nailed to the wall, it’s a giant mood board really. Of course the furniture and herringbone wooden floors aren’t too shabby either.

13 Decorating Ideas + Bolia

5. Try a high contrast work studio in black and white. In a creative studio, this super large illustration looks totally cool too don’t you think? But check out the contrasting work stations. Luke join me on the dark side.

13 Decorating Ideas + Bolia

6. Decorate with butterflies. This is definitely one of those rooms you’d never have that is purely meant to inspire the viewer. But I do think that chair is gorgeous and the table too. Those butterflies caught my eye, wouldn’t it be pretty to use fishing wire and string up something like it using a simple butterfly shape craft puncher and brown paper from bags you’ve recycled from the grocery store?

13 Decorating Ideas + Bolia

7. Decorate with wall panels and a paint your sideboard in fun colors on the doors only. The sideboard is really the coolest, at least if you intend to keep those colors in your home for a wee bit. And that chair, YES. I do love me a good lounger with a slim profile. I’m a little over the arching floor lamps, I guess I’ve seen them too much. The coffee table must be a bit of a statement or art piece unless perhaps they are trying to make the point to consider childproofing your room before buying that new coffee table. The gold metal backdrop is very cool. I love the idea of adding focal points like this because you don’t have to paint, wallpaper or do whatever to all four walls in a room, heck you don’t even have to do “it” to the whole of one wall. Five panels of whatever works. Wallpaper, metal, wood, stone, whatever. Even the faux equivalent of stone and wood as wallpaper. My final comment is that is it my monitor or is there a ghost in the room? Who ya gonna call?

13 Decorating Ideas + Bolia

8. Do buy a gorgeous sofa that is cozy and good for sinking into. Let’s just get this out of the way (sorry Bolia). I don’t like this bookcase. It feels like the room is slidinggggg. But the rug, though too small for this sofa width, is great as is the upholstery. Looks super duper cozy for window. Side note: I love how the home owner cleverly concealed their wall radiators on the left with those built-ins beneath the window. If I owned my apartment I’d do that too. It’s so much prettier than radiators sticking out unless you have those old gorgeous ones (you know what I’m talking about). But most of us don’t.

13 Decorating Ideas + Bolia

9. Decorate with boxes, stacked, to form a bookcase, credenza or whatever. Secure them to the wall if you have littles. But oh my goodness you guys! Stackable boxes are SO bad a$$ over here. Everyone really likes them. So versatile.

13 Decorating Ideas + Bolia

10. Add greens and flowers to your space and don’t be afraid of a sofa that’s a color but still could pass as a neutral. So let’s talk about this photo for a minute. Sofa. Want. Desk. Yes. Chair. Maybe. Plants and light placement – must be an art statement. Flowers on the wall – in my current book on page 57 in the Market Style section – love that look so much. This clearly isn’t someone’s home or meant to be an example of how to decorate, I know that. It’s funny to see this shot though as an outsider because we often look at catalogs and think everything is in a real room and most of the time, it’s not. It’s furniture dropped into a big light studio with panels brought in and flooring, etc. I’ve never worked on a set like this, but would honestly love to style an entire catalog – perhaps I’ll get around to that eventually.

13 Decorating Ideas + Bolia

11. Decorate with exposed concrete walls or find concrete wallpaper. Not sure if that wall is real or faux but I’m liking it. Yeah, it’s not the warmest room in the world mood-wise but once you add some soft furnishings to the mix and a little color you could add a little heat. That cabinet is sweet.

13 Decorating Ideas + Bolia

12. Decorate with wall illustrations. Oh the time when we had phones with cords… Okay so I’m not even close to ever owning a white sofa like that, even with slipcovers, because I live in jeans and couldn’t bare to ruin my stylish sofa with denim smudges. But that wall illo is very cool. I wouldn’t do it in my living room but I would consider a wall illo in an office or kids room or playroom for sure.

13 Decorating Ideas + Bolia

13. Decorate in this color palette that takes you from Fall to Winter with one simple swap out. I guess you can say I’ve saved the best for last. I am CRAZY about this color palette for Autumn. It’s so nice! You can pull the pumpkin during the winter months, or just slip cover that ottoman in a gray or deeper rose tone and top it with a white lucite tray and a nice little fir tree in a pretty pot to winter it up. I love this unusual color pairing though, what do you think?

And for fun you have to click on the Bolia sofa website called Find True Love At Last, it’s the cutest thing ever. It matches you to the sofa of your dreams.

(images: bolia)

Decorating Tips

3 Decorating Ideas With Flowers: Godetia

June 23, 2014

Welcome to a new week everyone! How are you? I love summer because flowers are everywhere and super cheap to buy. I just picked up a bunch of Godetia from my favorite seller who has a weekly stand at the local farmers’ market for only €5! You really can’t go wrong with flowers that cheap. And godetia are nice because they last and as they expire, they open more and more and their paper-like beauty becomes even more spectacular. Mine still look gorgeous and it’s been nearly a week, and I have them in the sunlight too (a mega no-no when decorating with flowers!). Would you like to see three ways to decorate easily with Godetia? Here is what I did with my bunch after plucking them from the market.

3 Decorating Ideas With Flowers: Godetia

1. As a bunch. One easy way is to arrange them in your hand and remove some of the leaves on the lower portion of the stems that will be immersed in water. Tie the bundle with a pretty ribbon. In our book, Decorate With Flowers, we show another version of this on page 43 in the Pastels + Neons section – we simply have one ribbon tied around a single stem and placed into a vase. In the example here, I’m taking it a step further to show an entire bundle. This is such an easy-not-cheesy idea because it’s obvious you put thought into it, choose the ribbon, propped them nicely on an angle in a vase (never upright!), so it looks casual and cool. It’s like you are saying to the world that you’re such a decorating diva, such a total bad ass, that you don’t need to fuss with your flowers – you just tie ’em and plop ’em in a clear glass vase! Boho chic.

3 Decorating Ideas With Flowers: Godetia

3 Decorating Ideas With Flowers: Godetia

3 Decorating Ideas With Flowers: Godetia

2. In small cups. I bought these Arne Jacobsen cups last May at Raumformplan when I was working with Leslie on our book. We use these same cups in our book in the Black + White section showing how to decorate for an anniversary party – you know, XOXO, kisses and hugs? Yeah, I’m clever like that. Anyway, I like how the godetias look in something modern and graphic, especially since they are so paper-like and romantic. I like the contrast of hard and soft, don’t you? Against a gray table or on a dark bookcase – really nice.

BONUS TIP: If you don’t have Arne Jacobsen cups, then just use white cups and grab some black (or any color) washi tape and make your own letters or designs on them.

3 Decorating Ideas With Flowers: Godetia

3. Tape ’em to the window. And the third way is to use washi tape and tape these suckers to your window during a party. You can tape dozens and dozens and go crazy over-the-top borderline nutcase or be modest like me and tape 3, 5, 7, 9… Whatever makes you happiest.

BONUS TIP: They’ll die faster without water (duh), so the best way is to tape them up right before the party starts and remove them at the end – they’ll go about 8 hours before wilting. When you remove them, instantly clip the bottoms and place them in cold water with a little sugar in it to liven them up. A little sugary cold water is flower Viagra, y’all.

3 Decorating Ideas With Flowers: Godetia

3 Decorating Ideas With Flowers: Godetia

So yeah, those are some easy, budget-friendly and fun little ways to decorate with flowers… Nice, right? You don’t need to drop wads of cash on flowers or style up something florist-worthy at home. The key is to get creative and do things that take only a few minutes yet add impact and style that gives  you a chance to get creative and use your hands. Once you start decorating with flowers in easy, creative ways you will never go back to the typical pre-made arrangement plopped into a vase. I swear! You’ll really love getting creative with blooms if you give yourself the creative license to just GO FOR IT and not to fuss too much or try to be some flower guru with all the right decor ideas.

3 Decorating Ideas With Flowers: Godetia

They key, like with anything intimidating or new, is to JUST GET STARTED and take the first step. So why not go buy some flowers this week and see what magic you can create? This isn’t rocket science you guys, we’re not putting people on Mars… This is simply exercising the creativity you were born with and having some fun without judgement or having to be perfect because how boring is perfect anyway? I’m so over it.

Do you like Godetia? Have you seen it in your local flower shop or farmers’ market lately?

Love flowers? If you want to see how I Decorated With Delphiniums last week, then by all means, check out this post. I also showed a few weeks before how to Decorate with Roses that I found clipped ready to be discarded at a local garden and I also shared how to Decorate With Anemones last month in another post here.

(images: all by holly becker for decor8 except for image 6, shot by thorsten becker)

Decorating Tips

Decorating With Flowers At Home: Delphiniums

June 18, 2014

Today at the farmers’ market I couldn’t resist the Delphiniums! I just love their elegant stature and particularly the ones in astounding blue and violet tones! I also enjoy them in white with crisp, black centers. I scooped up 3 stems for €5 (steal!) and as I walked home I kept thinking of where to put them and which containers to use. I knew that I didn’t want them all together in one clump nor did I want to hide their stems in vases that were opaque, so when I got home I opened my gardening + containers cabinet and selected some clear, glass vases, one with a greenish tint to complement the flower stems. I unwrapped my flowers in our formal dining room and did a quick walk-through around the house to see where I best imagine placing my new finds. Would I display them in one space or in different areas?

Decorating With Flowers At Home: Delphiniums

Decorating With Flowers At Home: Delphiniums
Decorating With Flowers At Home: Delphiniums

Decorating With Flowers At Home: Delphiniums

I decided to place them together on the table in our second eating area, which was formerly a very dark and boring hallway that I turned into an eating nook since it’s directly off of our kitchen. It has new flooring (hardwood), the walls were resurfaced (old wallpaper stripped away) and was painted crisp white. This space (below) still needs work (like art work and the rug needs to be pulled away from the wall, also I will have a simple radiator cover made so I can remove the leaning mirror, etc. etc. etc. BUT for now this space was the chosen area for my delphinums. It needed color and life! I decided to go with 5 arrangements and used little scrappy spares in a porcelain Rosenthal vase and others in a simple brandy glass and grouped the larger ones in big vessels across the tabletop. I am very pleased with the results. I walk through this area constantly to Aidan’s nursery, so seeing these gorgeous blooms will definitely perk up my travels back and forth. Quite a statement maker, too – aren’t they!? Love it!

Decorating With Flowers At Home: Delphiniums

Decorating With Flowers At Home: Delphiniums

Decorating With Flowers At Home: Delphiniums

Decorating With Flowers At Home: Delphiniums

Note: I mixed in a few spare godetia flowers (they look just like paper!) with the delphiniums because I wanted the arrangement to be quirky and imperfect, which I achieved. Decorating with delphiniums really made this area look great. Now I’m motivated more than ever to really decorate this hallway space and show you how it looks when I finish in the next month or so… Wish me luck!

But seriously, see how easily you can transform a space with flowers that cost so very little yet add such a massive impact?

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Decorating Tips

Decorating With Roses On Your Wall

June 4, 2014

Would you like to see a simple floral project that came from discarded roses? Yesterday I was with my baby, mom and husband in the gorgeous Herrenhausen Garden and I came across a most beautiful site that everyone else seemed to walk right by… A massive pile of rose heads that had been trimmed from the Rosengarten and were getting ready to be discarded. The pile was massive, see?

Decorating With Roses On Your Wall
My husband was sweet enough to venture in to fetch some of the best heads for me. Here are the fruits of his labor here in my hands…

Decorating With Roses On Your Wall

I decided to take them home, so I tucked about ten of them away from the sun into my cooler bag and, despite knowing we wouldn’t be home for hours, I thought I’d risk it anyway and hope for the best. By the time we arrived back home, they were slightly wilted so we placed them in the fridge in a bowl (without water). Here is what they looked like this morning – plump, perky and lovely! And they smell divine…

Decorating With Roses On Your Wall

Because they lack stems, and I wanted to decorate with them, I thought to simply tie neon yellow string to them and tape each onto my dining room wall with some Liberty washi tape that I bought at Merci in Paris. They can dry this way but be decorative too.

Decorating With Roses On Your Wall

Decorating With Roses On Your Wall

Decorating With Roses On Your Wall

Decorating With Roses On Your Wall

Decorating With Roses On Your Wall

It’s always so amazing to me how little things make a big impact – even flower heads found alongside of a rose garden (meant for the trash!) can be a thing of beauty. It’s important to look at everything a little differently, to see the potential in all things, don’t you agree?

(images: third: thorsten becker, all others: holly becker for decor8)

Decorating Tips

Decorating With Anemones In Your Dining Room

March 13, 2014

We were out with the baby today at the farmer’s market and I felt so inspired by the sunshine, mid 60s temps and gorgeous flowers everywhere on the market that I had to select some blooms for my home to bring a little springtime indoors. Plus, we’re having guests this weekend so flowers are a must. I came across two bundles of fuchsia anemones and couldn’t resist for only 6 Euros. We went home and I instantly selected some of my favorite white vases from my cabinet, snipped the stems and added them to the vases arranging them down the center of the table. I’m not one who likes to “fuss” with flowers and definitely go for a more relaxed vibe when I work with them, so here is what my dining room looks like after a few pretty anemones.

Decorating With Anemones In Your Dining Room

By the way, this is the dining room in December before we moved in and had the room painted with Farrow & Ball “Dimpse” gray and added my furniture along with a gorgeous overhead light. Pretty dismal right?

Decorating With Anemones In Your Dining Room

With a little spruce-up it’s already looking worlds better and wayyyy more “me”. This room doubles as my work studio where I teach classes, so it’s a room where I frequently get creative – I really love the natural light in this space.

Decorating With Anemones In Your Dining Room

Here are some more pics of the lovely anemones in my home. I hope this little post inspires you to go out, find some pretty springtime blooms, add them to a space in your home in a very simple way and just ENJOY the beauty of nature.

Decorating With Anemones In Your Dining Room

Decorating With Anemones In Your Dining Room
Decorating With Anemones In Your Dining Room
Decorating With Anemones In Your Dining Room

(images: Holly Becker except image #3, taken by Thorsten Becker)

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