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Wow! The Design Files Open House

Good morning friends! Can you believe it’s nearly Christmas? I feel like Autumn totally flew by, don’t you? Our baby boy will arrive in just five weeks (eeeeee!!!!) so I’m over-the-moon excited about it and busy prepping his room and getting massive butterflies as I think about how much we have to look forward to. I’m also in the midst of renovations on our new apartment, though I’m only overseeing things, but it’s still “work” and I’m happy to report that it’s nearly finished! We will move in 2 1/2 weeks! Yeah, wow is right. But all is well – the paint smell is gone, the new floors are installed (and gorgeous), and everything looks so fresh and pretty that the effort involved in sprucing has totally paid off. It’s a total clean slate. I can’t wait to move in and DECORATE! Yay! I will definitely share photos as I go with you, so expect to begin seeing those in January.


And speaking of decorating, I simply must share the lovely event that recently occurred in Australia hosted by design blogger Lucy Feegins from The Design Files. She contacted me over the weekend offering me first dibs on this content and sharing it here on decor8 so I couldn’t turn her down. I’m super behind her amazing concept and love how she and her team convert an empty house into a pop-up showroom all in the name of design and promoting local talent in Australia. Items are sold, they have hundreds of visitors, and then the home is cleaned out and is returned to whomever owns the property. What a cool concept, right?

This year for the first time they held the event in Melbourne (Lucy’s home town) and then again in Sydney 2 weeks later. Normally she only does it in one location so this was quite an undertaking. You can see the inspiring TDF Open House 2013 Video here or simply watch it below. This video was shot, directed and edited by Jessica Leski.

And here are some more photos for you to drool over, taken by Brooke Holm, of the Melbourne open house event.







I love all of the bold accent walls – especially the blue tones and that gorgeous watermelon-y color. Super pretty and so interesting to look at – the art by Melbourne artist Miranda Skoczek is amazing. I also love all of the colorful rugs and textiles, and the white wooden blinds in the bedroom shown above (I’m soooo into wooden shutters at the moment and want to install them in my bedroom, but these blinds are lovely too).

Isn’t this a lovely project? What do you think of the color palette and use of pattern? See any objects in particular that inspire you?

I’d like to wish you all a very lovely day! I’m going to finish up on some shopping, then it’s time to bake cookies and relax… Hope you make some time to relax, too.

AND a special thanks to Lucy for sharing this content with us today!

(images: brooke holm)

Posted in events + markets on December 23, 2013

Twitter Party Summary + Winner!

Hello again dear friends. Last night we had an amazing LIVE 60 minute Twitter party and it was such a great event. So many showed up and left us blown away with so many thoughtful and informative answers to 5 questions that the editors of Couch Magazine asked me and then the “panel” which consisted of ALL involved in this party, or chat (you can see lots of those who took part pinned here). It was nice because not only could I give my advice but I could enjoy the great comments rapidly streaming in. The chat was so fast but I used Twubs #decor8couch on “Slowest” for the feed speed because tweets were literally flying in!

Ryan Pickart

Here are the questions and my answers for the chat in case you missed it. Couch will do a full summary on their blog in the upcoming weeks.

Where do you find ideas and inspiration? My answers:
* I pay attention to what I naturally respond to. It can be anything, a film, a shop or a magazine. Everything holds a clue.
* Inspiration may be everywhere, but it still takes EFFORT to filter out the good stuff that ultimately means something to you.
* Look inside of every cloud.Inspiration can come in times of great despair. Allow hard times to open your heart to new ideas.
* Many say “inspiration is everywhere” and while true, it does take effort to filter out the good stuff. What inspires you may not inspire me

2) How can you develop your personal style? My answers:
* Develop self confidence and personal style will follow. If you don’t believe in your ideas, how can you share them?
* Filter! Edit! Be picky with what you look at. Follow only those who inspire you, read what inspires you, pin what you love.
* Avoid copying the personal style of someone else or becoming a trend slave. Stay true to what naturally attracts you.
* Style is about being authentic, bold, confident. Embrace what you love, who cares to impress others? Be totally unapologetic
* Be kind to yourself. Learn, and appreciate, your talents. Style flows when you know what you’re good at.
* Read foreign design/fashion mags, travel, follow taste makers, attend workshops with other creative people, start a blog.

3) What are some tips on how to style & photograph your home that would be helpful for bloggers?My answers:
* Find images that fit your style aesthetic and study placement and angles. You can learn a lot through careful observation.
* Learn basic design 101 principles. Buy design books that are very informative and that show rooms you love.
* Top stylists know how to edit or when to stop “adding”. Learn when enough is enough and show restraint for the best photos.
* Display only favorite things and store the rest. Declutter before shooting. Hide cords and trash cans. Clean surfaces.
* Don’t overload surfaces with “stuff”. Find the focal point of the room and focus there. Think of the story you want to tell.
* Shoot from the belly button or waist, not at eye level, when shooting room views. Don’t shoot “down” into a room, or “up”.
* Remove objects that overlap other objects in the photo for cleaner shots. Add life: fowers, a pet, plants, a cup of tea.
* Buy a DSLR if you can afford it then invest in a great lens. Take a photography class. Volunteer to assist a stylist.
* Learn how to REALLY USE your camera. Turn off lights, natural light only. No flash! Use a tripod if lighting isn’t optimal.

4) What makes a room perfect? My answers:
* When I turn the key, drop my bags and stand in my entryway feeling like there is no place I’d rather be than in my space.
* Home decor affects everything: job performance, relationships, stress levels. Not just about aesthetics, but peace of mind.
* When you learn “perfect” doesn’t exist and embrace imperfection as ideal. When you stop trying so hard.When you are content.
* Experiment, express yourself, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Don’t strive for perfect, strive for personal.
* When a home is unique, personal, and has a feeling of comfort. A space filled with love, acceptance and thoughtful style.
* When a visitor says, “Your home is exactly as I imagined, it’s an accurate reflection of you and decor8, I love it here.”

5) Little changes, huge effect – how can you make small rooms look larger on a budget?My answers:
* Don’t let any space go unused. Consider clever storage ideas. Work with ceiling height to create vertical storage solutions.
* Create zones in multipurpose areas. If living room is also for dining, put a rug beneath each zone to define the space.
* Avoid dark wall colors unless you use a dramatic color on one accent wall. Keep the rest light and bright.
* Avoid furniture that sits against the floor. For an airy feel, opt for pieces with visible legs so you can see the floor.
* Don’t be too stressed over how small your space is. A home is like your body type and wardrobe, accentuate the positives.

That’s it!

We also have a winner selected a random, Laura Redburn from Cardboard Cities, who will receive a free seat (valued at $129) in the next Blogging Your Way e-course in October/November this year. In fact the collage above is from her blog and shows the art of Ryan Pickart. Isn’t his work stunning? I cannot take my eyes off of it. Congratulations, Laura!!

Thank you again to everyone who was involved in our chat! xo

If you would like to add your own answers to the questions above, please do so below. We’d all really love your input, too!

(images: art of ryan pickart)

Posted in events + markets on August 30, 2013

decor8 + Couch Twitter Party: Online Thursday Aug 29th!

On Thursday, August 29th (that’s tomorrow, word!!!) TODAY, August 29th, I will be on Twitter for about one hour along with Antonia Michael and Annika Kapischke, the editors of COUCH magazine (a gorgeous home/fashion magazine in Germany) for a bilingual chat about decorating, styling and even some tricks for bloggers who want to shoot their homes for their blogs. I can’t wait to tweet up with ya! So please join us on twitter and follow hashtag #decor8couch – you will see lots of tweets from the editors (@CouchMagazin) asking me (@decor8) questions and of course, you can jump in and take part, too! In fact, we want you to get involved! ALL WHO PARTICIPATE in our chat will automatically be entered to win a FREE SEAT in the next Blogging Your Way e-course (a $129 value) that will run in October/November and is dedicated to styling, photography and blogging! I’ll announce the winner on decor8 later this week!

Twitter Party Online: Thursday Aug 29th!

Here are some of the questions we will cover – so if you want to prepare in advance with your own answers, please hop in to add your thoughts. As you tweet, please use hashtag: #decor8couch and put the question number in front of your answer so there is no confusion. You may reply in ENGLISH OR GERMAN only please. I will be tweeting in English.

Decor8 & Couch TWEET UP
Thursday, August 29, 2013
GMT +1 time (west coast USA – 11 am, east coast USA – 2pm, UK – 7pm)
Languages: English and German

Q U E S T I O N S:
1) Where do you find ideas and inspiration? / Wo findet Ihr Ideen und Inspirationen für Euer Zuhause?
2) How can you develop your personal style? / Wie entwickelt man seinen eigenen Einrichtungs-Stil?)
3) What are some tips on how to style & photograph your home that would be helpful for bloggers? / Holly – hast du als Stylistin und Bloggerin Tipps, wie man sein Zuhause optimal für den eigenen Blog fotografiert?
4) What makes a room perfect? / Was macht für Euch einen Raum perfekt?
5) Little changes, huge effect – how can you make small rooms look larger on a budget? / Kleine Änderung, großer Effekt – wie verändert man kleine Räume mit wenig Budget?

Twitter Party Online: Thursday Aug 29th!

So your never miss a tweet and our fun party, please try TweetDeck, TweetChat or HootSuite. These dashboards and apps will help you keep track. Simply register, create your own column with the hashtag #couchdecor8 and you can see the tweets and the party can start.

Couch will also be summarizing the tweets and putting together an article about our chat, so make sure to join in as your tweet may stand out and they just may mention something clever you’ve said! In fact, I’m sure they will!

We may even have time for a few bonus questions… See you Thursday August 29th on Twitter! Can’t wait! :)


(images: couch and decor8)

Posted in events + markets on August 28, 2013

Martha Stewart American Made: Vote!

I loved recently learning about the Martha Stewart American Made audience choice award in her most recent issue of Living magazine. This is a contest that I can really get behind and I don’t generally even LIKE contests – but yet this seems so good for all of those involved from an exposure standpoint – and also simply the excitement of being nominated and recognized in the first place, that you can’t help but get excited for everyone despite who wins. They’re all winners anyway, right?

Martha Stewart American Made: Vote!

Currently, you can go to the Martha Stewart American Made website where you have until September 13, 2013 to vote for your favorite makers in 6 categories: food, craft, design, style, technology, and garden. You can vote up to SIX TIMES per day for your favorites. Each vote enters you into a weekly drawing to win a book signed by Martha Stewart, American Express gift cards, and other prizes.

The six nominees with the most votes in each category (food, craft, design, style, gardening, or technology) will receive an American Made Gift Basket and be featured on their website and on Sirius radio. From this group of finalists, the audience will then choose the Grand Prize Winner between September 17-23 and on September 24th the winners will be announced.

The 2013 Audience Choice Winner receives $10,000 to further their business plus a trip for two to New York City to attend the American Made Workshop where for two days, Martha Stewart Living magazine will transform New York’s Grand Central Terminal Vanderbilt Hall into the American Made Workshop and showcase the best artisanal and handmade crafts, gifts, foods, gardens, projects, and designs. They will also be given a feature on Not bad!

A major German fashion magazine owned by Conde Nast called Myself had a similar contest a few years ago for a reader’s choice award and I won in the design category. I was so thrilled. I was given a trip for two to Munich, they shot a video of me working at my home, I was featured in their magazine, photographed with my husband at their red carpet awards gala, honored on stage before a large audience and given a lovely prize that I still cherish and display in my home. These types of things can really mean a lot to those of us who are working independently, at least it meant a lot to me. I was just nominated for a German media award called the Lead Award but we’ll see… I’m up against some amazing writers and bloggers! I just feel honored to have been nominated in the first place. To me, that’s already a win. I’m sure all of the current American Made nominees must feel the same and if they don’t – they should. It’s an incredible honor!

I wish ALL of the nominees the best of luck and I hope all of my readers will get involved and vote!


Posted in events + markets on August 27, 2013


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Next dates

Blogging Your Way for Beginners
e-course, April 17 – May 15, 2014
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Styling With Holly Becker
London, May 2014 (Date TBD)