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Decorating Tips

10 Ways To Create Hygge At Home

December 22, 2014

My friends at Skagen invited me to share some views on Danish life and culture since they consider decor8 a great source for Scandinavian design. I decided to write about a Danish word that has meaning that is very close to my heart. Let me give you some background as to why I choose to a single word as my topi and how it applies to the home in particular.

10 Ways To Create Hygge At Home

When I began traveling to Germany over 15 years ago (I met a guy, fell in love, and have been with him ever since), I picked up on German words that quickly became a special part of my vocabulary based purely on phonetics – most how funny they sounded. I laughed a lot back then because the language is tricky and to a foreigner, words can feel like massive tongue-twisters especially when coupled with a deliciously thick German accent — well, it all seems almost comical. In American English, our goals over the past 20 years have been to abbreviate everything. Americans generally call me “Hol” instead of “Holly”. Americans are the king of short cuts, and not just when it comes to language. We like everything fast, we eat fast, work fast, live fast and relax fast. Germans are so much different – some things here can take forever and the very complicated language is no different, there are no short cuts. Germans work incredibly hard to protect their language and when they do dream up new words, the goal is make them longer and more difficult, not to shorten them because they pride themselves on their ability to be the most clever in the room when it comes to word games – the longer the better.

Since moving to northern Germany in 2009 (I’m a few hours south of the Danish border), I’ve built quite a vocabulary which I’m so proud of… So when I’m interviewed by German journalists, many ask what my favorite word is. I always say Gemütlichkeit which is from the word Gemütlich and means, “a space or situation that is warm and cosy, that induces a cheerful mood and peace of mind, without a need to hurry or worry, and with a connotation of belonging and social acceptance”. Journalists usually laugh or tell me how cute that is, that this word is so old-fashioned and sweet, etc. Even though it’s a wonderful word with an even more beautiful meaning, younger Germans don’t seem to embrace it like the old-timers do. Everything is “sweet” nowadays, not “Gemütlich” and honestly, I think that’s a pity because this is one word that just embodies everything I love about strong families, friendships and even communities. Plus, there is no English equivalent which makes it even more special to me. Some say it means cozy but Gemütlich or Gemütlichkeit is far from cozy because you can get cozy beneath a warm blanket. It’s a state of mind. It’s being at home around friends and family sharing a meal and unconditional love just flows in that space, a feeling of warmth, a sense of belonging, come one, come all.

Germans may not embrace Gemütlichkeit as much as I think they could in modern times, but the Danes certainly do. The Danish have a word that means the same but to them, it’s embedded in their culture, in their DNA, and goes much deeper than in the German culture because to the Danes, Hygge has a much broader social component.

The word is Hygge.

Hygge is a comrade, an affectionate teamwork. For a country that has long, cold winters with little light after 3pm, I guess this comrade works well. Hygge is a cozy pulling together but also a state of mind where Danes just know the weather is horrible but they still make the best of it. So why not fill the home with friends and family, light some candles, bake cookies and sit around the fireplace?

I thought that, in the spirit of winter, I’d create my top 10 ways of how to create Hygge at home. My neighbors and close friends downstairs are Danish, I have lots of good friends from Denmark and my husband’s sister is partnered with a Dane… Oh and my aunt was an art teacher for a Danish school outside of Copenhagen, so I do have some insight into life and culture up north. Not to mention, I work with a lot of Danish firms and my home is filled with interiors objects from Denmark. I also have worked in Denmark styling homes so I’ve experienced a lot of Hygge from the homeowners first hand.

10 Ways To Create Hygge At Home

10 Ways To Create Hygge At Home

1. Make interior design important to you and your family. This means considering what you have, edit when needed (try to avoid being a pack rat!), and decorate with intention and style. Not all Danish homes look like those you see in their magazines BUT they definitely are very aware of design and many families put a lot of care and attention into their home. It’s a source of pride. It’s a statement of who you are, at any income level.

2. Don’t wing it or buy something just because it’s on sale. Danes aren’t known to be wasteful. In fact, they tend to save up for that favorite design piece vs. running out and buying a knock-off or something they don’t really like just because it’s cheap.

3. Instill a sense of respect in your children for the home and the things in it. While kids will always trash their rooms, contain their mess to their space. I noticed in Danish homes, kids don’t run the household. Parents still had stylish interiors and the kids are still kids. It’s all about letting them know early on that a home needs to be shown some respect. This carries well into their adult years, too.

4. Always ask your guests, upon entering, if they want food or drink. To me, this is SO Danish. I can’t enter a Danish home without the second question after, “Hello How Are You?” being, “What can I get you to drink or eat, we have….” It’s a great way to show manners but is also caring and warm. This means to always keep a few bottles of wine or a favorite beverage in stock and something to munch on – so no empty refrigerators! I’m thinking to have a shelf in our closet that is reserved for guests – munchies, drinks, etc.

5. Linger. This is HARD for most Americans. We often clean up the plates the second guests finish! Danes linger. Dinners in Germany are the same, they go on for hours and hours, especially at someone’s home (but even in a restaurant). Lingering affords time to relax and unwind, have deeper conversations and enjoy the moment. I think that is why “mindfulness” is such a huge trend in thinking currently in the states. Most of us aren’t so important that we can’t take time out to eat and enjoy being with those whom we love. It’s hard to slow down at first, but if you practice mindful eating, you will learn to linger, and lingering is very “Hygge”.

6. Enjoy what you have. The grass is always greener. A Hygge home is the greenest to the owner. Sure, they may love to have the latest kitchen or a newest sofa, but you better believe what they do have is cared for and they’re still entertaining family and friends whether the sofa is perfect or not. A sense of contentment is important.

7. Perfect is boring.
 Don’t invite friends over only when you’ve created an elaborate spread. A simple wooden bread board topped with cheeses, some olives, fresh bread, butter, a glass of wine… Or maybe a cake you’ve made that may not look amazing but it tastes great and took you only a few moments to make. Those kinds of gatherings are beautiful too.

8. Sharing is caring. Don’t just invite over your friends and let them sit there while you slave in the kitchen. A true Hygge home says YES when guests offer to help. Let them help with the salad prep. The cookie decorating. Setting the table. Community and sharing is something I always see when I hang out with my Danish friends.

9. Light candles and cozy up! Often the most inexpensive things can create a cozy space – like candles. Candles are always aglow in Danish homes the moment the sun goes down, especially in the winter. Even at cafes, you’ll see people sitting outside in late Fall all the way until March with candles on their tables, lap blankets and a cup of something warm. Candles on the balcony, the patio, on the windowsills, in the fireplace, on the table, they instantly create a mood. Natural daylight and candlelight are two of my favorite ways to light a home and both require little to no money which is even better.

10. Embrace who you are. This is hard to do when you are constantly running back and forth and even at home, constantly tidying up or running after the kids and never really pausing. Embrace that you are only human and deserve to take time out each day just to have some tea, do yoga, read a chapter or two of a book, whatever works. This is very Hygge, and very Danish, to pause and sit inside of yourself for a moment, to let your soul catch up to your body as I’ve heard some say.

10 Ways To Create Hygge At Home

I could add so much more to this list. Would you like to add some thoughts? Please do so below, I’d love to hear your take on this.

Note: This post is in partnership with Skagen. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting those who help me to maintain this blog that I love so much.

(photos: holly becker)






Decorating Tips

How To Choose Art For a Gallery Style Wall

November 14, 2014

Last we, I gave you a little decorating 101 with 8 Easy Steps For Planning A Gallery Style Art Wall, part of a series of three posts that I’m working on in collaboration with Minted to inspire all of you to be fearless with art and support independent artists through the purchasing of affordable prints – something I’ve been promoting on this blog for eons. This is part two and it’s all about choosing art for a gallery style arrangement.

How To Choose Art For a Gallery Style Wall

Decide on a theme – pick art that works together.

What do you want to say? Think of  a vibe, a mood, a style, a theme… For instance, you want this wall to showcase your love of travel. Or maybe it’s to display your son’s grade school art mixed in with modern art. Perhaps it’s black and white photography you’ve been collecting. Your love of abstract shapes and vibrant color. Whatever it is, try to find something, a red thread, that goes through each piece connecting them in some way. Even if only YOU see the connection, that’s okay, but there needs to be some meaning to you on an emotional level because that is why we display things on our wall in the first place right? Because we’ve emotionally made some connection to it – we like it – whether that be the color, mood, subject matter, whatever… It evokes emotion and that’s good. And in addition to emotion, the work as a whole should connect somehow. Like sure, you could display WWII photography alongside your daughter’s finger-paints, a standard issue Le Chat poster from your Paris vacay, a snapshot of your poodle, a Monet reproduction and nudes of gorgeous men all together on a dining room wall. I mean, it’s your home, your decision (no judgement!).

But.

Does this stuff really work in context, you know? Does it make some sense or tell a story or is everything its own focal point and together, the story becomes terribly muddy or chaotic even (and not in a good way)? Work that doesn’t fit together shouldn’t be displayed together.

How To Choose Art For a Gallery Style Wall

Mix and match.

Art prints, paintings, kids’ artwork, Polaroids, photographs, drawings, sketches, personal photos of a family trip. Mix it up and include what fits the story behind this wall of art your are creating. You can even frame precious mementos and include dimensional objects too – like a ceramic tile, a porcelain head, an old mirror.

How To Choose Art For a Gallery Style Wall

Decide on frames and mattes.

I’m not that bold with mixing frame styles, but perhaps you are. I like to stick to a few colors (white and natural wood) then through in a few color frames or black or something with a clean slim gold frame, for instance. Also decide on mattes. I think all mattes should be the same color on gallery style walls but then you’ll sometimes see a wall that breaks every design rule and it works beautifully. If you have that knack, by all means mix and match. I honestly don’t have that knack of mixing matte colors and frame styles and colors with amazing results. So I have a formula I work with and that usually is the one I work with successfully time and time again.

How To Choose Art For a Gallery Style Wall

Lose the obsession with frame size.

If it fits on your wall, it can fit the arrangement. Salon style, or gallery style, is generally a really loose casual arrangement of art that grows over time. It begins with some work and spreads over time. That’s the beauty of it. If you are obsessed with frames all being the same size and installed in a grid, you’re not really a gallery style wall person so steer away from this and try the grid arrangements because they’ll ultimately fit your style and make you happier.

How To Choose Art For a Gallery Style Wall

Over the weekend I plan to install my art sponsored by Minted, all work that I selected, along with some original paintings I’ve collected over the years and add a few special bits here and there unframed. Then next week, for the third installment from this series, I’ll show you the big reveal on how it all looks on my wall with a shopping list for everything.

A big thanks to Minted for sponsoring my salon style art wall project – I love all of the work that I was able to choose from your shop! Thank you again.

(images: holly becker for decor8)






Decorating Tips

Before + After: My Entry With Pineapple Wallpaper

November 7, 2014

Want to see some embarrassing before photos of my home followed by some inspiring after ones? Okay so I’m totally psyched to share this with you because I love, love, love working on decorating projects and this wallpaper project, which I’ve teamed up with Aimee Wilder in Brooklyn on, is just bananas. Or in this case, pineapples. Remember this paper from the other day?

Before + After: My Entry With Pineapple Wallpaper

That’s what has transformed my entry. But truthfully, outside of designing my son’s nursery before his arrival this year, I’ve not done much of anything in my home except think about things I need to do before I lose my mind. Despite my love of motherhood, I also love my home. I can’t deal when rooms are upside down or incomplete, this makes me feel chaotic in my head. Can you relate? Home is my sanctuary, my place of love, peace, dreams and aspirations. If it’s a cluttered dump or piled with half-finished projects, I can’t give 100% to my family, friends or job.

And you know that expression, don’t do anything half ass – use your whole ass.

So I decided to use ALL of mine and work on a project this week that has been annoying me the most – my depressingly unwelcoming entryway. But first. Three truths.

  1. I rent.
  2. We aren’t moving anytime soon.
  3. I have to live my life NOW because none of us are getting any younger.

BAM! All are challenges and inspirations. And they affected this project. I think the hardest thing is to pay for stuff in a rental that you can’t take with you when you move. But unless you imagine having the same wallpaper on your walls for the REST OF YOUR LIFE then wallpaper really isn’t as hard to commit to as you may think. Sure, it’s an investment. But it’s a bigger emotional investment to come home to a space that doesn’t have YOU written all over it. That is depressing. It drains you.

I have this philosophy that I’ve written in my books already but in case you missed it, I believe that if you make your home a great place, even if it’s a rental, you will become more successful in other areas of your life. That may sound really far out, but in my life, it’s just how it is. I have always been the most productive, the slimmest, had the most money and been the most energetic when I lived in a space that was decorated and organized well. My hope is that this wallpaper will make me rich and thin. (smile)

Before + After: My Entry With Pineapple Wallpaper

I’m also not one to wait until I own my home before I properly decorate it. Never have been. I remember gut renovating my first apartment when I was 22 years old living on my own in Boston. While I won’t install something like a new bathroom into a rental, I am willing to work on smallish projects that have major impact. Like paint and wallpaper. And while wallpaper and installation aren’t cheap by any means, it is so worth it to do at least one complete room in a home and/or a feature wall somewhere. I have one wall in my tiny half bath with wallpaper and now, my entryway in giant golden pineapples – and to borrow from Jerry MaGuire – It “completes me”.

Am I crazy? Yup. Positively mad.

But that’s a good thing because crazy people take risks and have more fun. Just like no one ever wrote a song about a skinny flat butt, no one ever wrote a hit song, film script or book about a normal person doing normal things. Bleh. We all crave a little crazy.

Where I’m from (I grew up in South Carolina), a pineapple was the welcoming fruit. It meant hello, we love ya, have some iced tea on our front porch, tell us about your day. We had a brass pineapple door knocker (always). We had a brass pineapple on own living room bookcase because that was the 80s, brass was were it was at. I’ve never not lived in a home without a pineapple somewhere – until now. I gave away my gorgeous white ceramic pineapple to a friend before I relocated to Germany and I’ve missed having it around. Seeing one always made me think happy thoughts associated with home and love. My fruity talisman. And now I have a billion of them! The moment I step into my home I’m greeted with an explosive reminder of warmth, welcome and love. Everywhere. It’s bonkers and I love it. When I walk in, my view sure has changed from before…

Before + After: My Entry With Pineapple Wallpaper

Before + After: My Entry With Pineapple Wallpaper

Before + After: My Entry With Pineapple Wallpaper

Before + After: My Entry With Pineapple Wallpaper

Before + After: My Entry With Pineapple Wallpaper

Above: The view from the main stairwell into our apartment after I’ve opened our double doors. 

This transformation was done by removing an ugly unused radiator from the right wall, stripping old wood chip wallpaper off the walls and replacing it pineapples and getting an inexpensive pendant from a local shop, handmade in Thailand. Now I can’t wait to finish the room with furniture, a rug, coat hook, etc. I’ll show you the finished room soon! But doesn’t it make a huge difference to add a little wallpaper?

Designer: Aimee Wilder
Wallpaper: Piña Sola
Color: Spinx
Note: You can order a sample, single roll, double roll, or a gorgeous sheet of it if you don’t want to wallpaper with it but frame instead which would be gorgeous. Please note: I didn’t install the paper myself, I hired out for the work, so if you ask me questions about installation I’m not your girl. All I can say is that this is the most gorgeous paper and in person it’s even more stunning than in my snapshots.

I’d like to thank Aimee Wilder and her team for sponsoring this project by donating this beautiful wallpaper. I contacted them with my idea and they were so supportive and lovely, which gave even more good energy to the project. Thank you ladies!

SO DO YOU LIKE IT?

(images: holly becker for decor8)

 






Decorating Tips

5 Things I Look For When Shopping For Throw Pillows

September 18, 2014

We could all use a little interiors inspiration for Autumn/Winter 2014, don’t you think? What are you planning to do to add warmth and a fresh touch to your rooms once Fall kicks in? I’m still on the fence, but I’ll definite add new drapes for my living room (I’ll share the before and after next month) and I plan to hang some art over the sofa and buy a new coffee table as I attempt to baby proof things around here since our crawler is super active and pulling himself up on everything at only 7 months old. And of course, a good throw pillow or ten! Here are some from Lauraloves, designed exclusively by Laura Nicolson in England who so nicely reached out to me today. I love the peacock silk cushion and the olivia silhouette with that chic herringbone pattern. That looks so Fallish.

5 Things I Look For When Shopping For Throw Pillows

Since so many of you enjoy it when I share decorating tips, here are five things I look for when I’m shopping for cushions:

1. Zippers! They need to have them so I can easily swap out the cushion covers with each season and rotate through my favorites year round without having to store bulky cushions.
2. The fillers definitely need to be down or down-like because I love a relaxed look – they can’t be overly plump – they need to be squishy
3. Natural materials… Silk is great for a glam look, cotton for a bit more of a natural, relaxed home and you can even go with texture like leather, wool, knit, etc. For spring I like cotton and linen and for cooler months I’m a lover of leather, wool, knit and nubby linen. Silk is nice for all seasons but not so much to lounge on, they’re meant to be more decorative I think and to simply sit on a sofa and look good.
4. Something fresh and trendy. I know, lots of you don’t like the word trend but honestly, I really love trends as long as I have some balance and don’t go overboard. I really enjoy wearing trends from time to time (Birks were trending this summer, did you notice? We can thank Jenna Lyons and J.Crew for that I think) and I love adding stuff to my home that is trendy because I feel it freshens the space and adds a different vibe. Sometimes I can get really same-y same-y with my interiors – I think lots of us can when we decorate for years and years – and trends pull me out of that and force me to try something I may not have attempted before. Like adding a certain color, motif or texture to my space. And cushions are perfect for adding a bit of trend into a room because they’re not that expensive and they can easily be swapped out when you tire of them, stored easily and reused later or you can donate them or sell them on eBay or your next garage sale or something. In fact, I think the easiest way to experiment with a trend is through soft furnishings, particularly cushions, as they are small enough and can be budget-friendly.
5. I need to love it. This point should have been first maybe? But yeah, I have to love it. Even something as seemingly mundane as a cushion. I need to feel a bit of excitement when I see it and when I bring it home, it needs to give the space that needed touch.

5 Things I Look For When Shopping For Throw Pillows
5 Things I Look For When Shopping For Throw Pillows
5 Things I Look For When Shopping For Throw Pillows
5 Things I Look For When Shopping For Throw Pillows
5 Things I Look For When Shopping For Throw Pillows

What do you think of these throw pillows by Lauraloves? Do you look for anything in particular when you shop for pillows?

Please Note: I do not own nor have I experienced this product in person so my opinion is based upon what I saw on her website and lookbook only.  Products that I own and use will be noted going forward with “decor8 tested and approved” at the end of the post to help you to better find products that I personally love and recommend for purchase.

(images: lauraloves)






Decorating Tips

14 Creative Ideas For Pegboard

September 4, 2014

I’ve had this thing for pegboard lately. First time in my life really. A sorta crush. It’s not that common where I live so I’m not even sure where to buy it in Germany but I’ll begin my search soon since I want it in my new work studio. It seems very smart and functional but also looks good if done right. I think it’s all of the dots. My favorite color is white but it seems to come in a myriad of colors, unless the colorful ones that I’m seeing are paint jobs. I know so little about this material, we never used them in my nearly 10 years designing corporate offices. But then again, how creative and fun is office design for mutual fund companies and banks, right? If I had spent that time designing graphic design and creative studios, I would have run into pegboard a lot more often in my adventures I’m sure. The one thing that I noticed while looking at pegboard is the many different ways it is used – not just in an office! I’ve included 14 examples in this post. In the nursery? Yes! In the garage? Yes! Over the bed in a kid’s room? Yes!

14 Creative Ideas For Pegboard

1. To organize clipboards in a work space or hallway. I love this found on The Design Files.

14 Creative Ideas For Pegboard
2. Pegboard cut in a letter shape. This is a fun DIY on Rue Rococo. I just love it. A for Aidan?
14 Creative Ideas For Pegboard
3. A sideboard with pegboard doors. Super brilliant. This is from Home Base Collections designed by Leanne Culy (in love, want!).

14 Creative Ideas For Pegboard
4. As doors for wooden cubes near a desk featured in VTWonen.
14 Creative Ideas For Pegboard
5. As a modern headboard – this DIY is on MSN.

14 Creative Ideas For Pegboard
6. Over the bed in kid’s rooms. This clever idea is from Land of Nod.
14 Creative Ideas For Pegboard
7. A DIY memo board from Lowe’s for the kitchen…
14 Creative Ideas For Pegboard
8. A pegboard coatrack with cross stitch detail by Beci Orpin.
14 Creative Ideas For Pegboard
9. As a backdrop for displaying art at home from The Design Files.
14 Creative Ideas For Pegboard
10. To display cards or as a seating chart at a wedding as found in the beautiful book Handmade Weddings (DIY online here).

14 Creative Ideas For Pegboard

11. Go monochromatic above a desk in the home of Mandy Pellegrin from Fabric Paper Glue. Oh this looks so good.

14 Creative Ideas For Pegboard

12. Painted cross stitch pegboard in the office of Craft and Creativity (DIY here). Another fun idea!

14 Creative Ideas For Pegboard

13. In a baby’s nursery above a changing table. What an interesting idea, I like it. You don’t have to put so many holes in the wall, either. Photo by Erin J. Saldana for 100LayerCakeLet.

14 Creative Ideas For Pegboard

14. In a workshop. This is where jeweler Kim Victoria Wearne makes her gorgeous jewelry, I want to own the entire collection by the way… As seen on The Design Files.

Do you like pegboard? Any of these examples appeal to you? Where do I find it in Germany and what is the German word for it? Stecktafel doesn’t seem to be the right term. Werkzeugwand seems to be made of metal and for tools. In Dutch it seems the word is geperforeerd hardboard, so maybe it’s similar in German… It’s basically just particle board with holes in it. Help!

(images linked to their sources above).






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)






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