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A Dreamy Apartment From Fantastic Frank

This is a really nice apartment, featured not too long ago over at Fantastic Frank, as styled by Ida Cederlöf and photographed by Jessica Silversaga. I particularly love the natural light but even more, the color palette in the bedroom and the open plan kitchen and dining area. I want to cook for friends and eat in this space! Whenever I entertain, everyone ends up crammed into my tiny kitchen so I dream of having a big, open cooking and eating space like this. If you want see all of the details, click on any image below. First I want to start with this fan and flowers photo styled by Maria Kangärde and photographed by Emily Laye because I think it’s just so simple yet dreamy!

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Any particular features about this space that you also like?

(images: fantastic frank)

Posted in inspiration on January 28, 2015

French Joie de Vivre + Wanderlust + Former Selves

I’ve been thinking a lot about France, and relationships, and past versions of myself and my friends and it has all meant that I’ve spent a lot of time deep in thought. And lots of these thoughts keep going back to France, particularly Paris. Looking at the gorgeous IG stream of Jessie from Supply Paper Co. and then her website, also helped bring back a lot of old feelings. That, and the fact that my son’s uncle is half Danish, half Italian but raised in the south of France so I hear him reminiscence about French life quite often. I recently introduced him to a friend who also speaks fluent French and we had a chat together and that was enough to bring back my once obsession with all things French. Just listening to them speak with such passion for food and travel sparked something inside of me. I watch French films as much as I do American ones, but that’s not really the same. When you are around those who lived there once and speak the language, as you listen to them excitedly speak about “the good old days”, you are suddenly filled with curiosity and joie de vivre. You suddenly want open windows like these below, windows that overlook slate gray rooftops, with sweet little lace cotton curtains. You want to hear the sound of pigeons cooing and the smell of fresh baked bread making its way up the staircase. You want France.

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I used to go to Paris a lot when I was single. Did you know that? I lived in Boston, but distance (nor being broke) didn’t stop me. I remember once in ’98, my friend found a great deal on a last minute flight to Paris so I told my boss that I needed Monday off (it was a Thursday) and after work, I transferred most of my closet into a suitcase, raced to the airport, and landed on French soil the next morning with no clue what the hotel would be like that I booked 5 minutes before my cab arrived. That trip was one of the highlights of my single years —  just doing crazy, last minute vacations to anywhere and everywhere. Looking back, each spontaneous journey helped me to find myself and get closer to the future Holly. Each trip got me to where I am today and for that, I am grateful.

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I remember roaming narrow cobblestone streets,marveling at the architecture, the chalky-colored buildings, smacking my lips on yummy crepes, buying colorful scarves and perfumes at Galleries Lafayette, shopping in tiny grocery stores enjoying all of the product packaging… And snapping photos with my trusty film camera in only black and white because I wanted to be just like one of my favorite photographers, Robert Doisneau. Cheesy, I know. I remember listening to Morrissey on the plane as I flipped through French magazines feeling so invigorated and full of wonder as I journeyed back to Boston to my boring office job. That same year, I met my German husband online so then I got into German life + culture, traveling to Germany a year later. Though my big dream, since I was a teenager, was to move to England, Paris was always a spot that I wanted to visit regularly for inspiration so I reasoned England was close enough so I could easily live a double life if I lived in or near London.

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Plans change. I’ve been living in northern Germany for over 5 years and I truly love my life here. Yet I’m wondering what happened because I don’t travel nearly as much as I imagined I would if I was ever lucky enough to live in Europe. So I’m thinking it’s time to change that and stop thinking so much and start doing. It’s time I drive over the border to France and to the many other countries that I have easy access to.

On a side note, I often wonder if some of us were meant to roam, to wander, to have 9 lives like a cat? I often thought that maybe we’re meant to have a new partner each decade since we change every 10 years anyway and if there are no kids involved and both are in agreement, a change could be good. So a new partner, a new city or country, a new language, a new life every decade. Can you imagine? Does this sound even a little bit fun to you or does it make you sad or feel lost? I think that once you’ve done the decade thing 3 or 4 times, you’d settle down with a partner and stay with them, in that place, forever – but only when and if the person and the place felt right.

I moved a lot as a child. Moving to Germany was a seamless transfer for me. I still haven’t been homesick. Not once. I’ve never thought of moving back. But in my heart, I don’t have a set home. I guess now with a baby, he’ll need to have stability, and my husband treasures his home and stability here, so for them their experience is different from my own childhood experience. But all of the moving left me with a roaming spirit. I often identify myself with birds and butterflies and things with wings because I like to take flight, whether that be in my heart, my mind or in real-time. I’ve always loved to explore and see new places. Yet I crave stability and home, too. So my heart is wandering on one side and very content and very “found” on the other. I often wonder if my stable husband finds this side of me very annoying and hard to please. I don’t complain but I think my actions may show my lust for life and travel. I think it’s obvious to all who know me well that I have passion for things that require traveling to really experience and enjoy.

My friend once lovingly criticized me saying that all cities look alike – you’ve seen them all if you’ve seen one. She thought I was crazy for loving Montreal so much, for example, “What’s wrong with Boston that you have to drive 5 hours to Montreal for?”, was her argument. But Montreal is French and felt different and the experience of being there was new and the possibilities felt endless. I never saw all cities as being just cities, places that were more or less the same. I’m a people person and I study people when I out. I watch everything. I see each detail. I don’t miss a thing. So all cities may have big buildings and a Starbucks, as she noted, but they each have their own culture and blood and that is the big draw for me. The action. The possibilities. The stories I imagine as I study its inhabitants. The architecture, the smells, the sounds. The what if. The expectation.

I often wonder what happens to our former fun-loving younger versions? The me that hopped on planes to foreign countries with just 8 hours notice, a few hundred bucks, and no hotel? My baby has made me realize how much I miss my younger Holly. He is so full of wonder and so keen to explore and see and touch everything. We adults may not be able to turn the clock back but we can bring the best parts of ourselves forward with us into the future so why not bring along the spontaneous screw it side? For instance, I’m longing for bad coffee, rude waiters, gorgeous streets and flaky croissants. And since it’s been a few years, perhaps Paris is calling. I think Paris with a baby boy would be just beautiful.

I don’t really know where I’m going with this essay, I didn’t have a point to make to be honest. So I’m ending it here. Yet perhaps maybe you see something in yourself as you’ve read this. I often wonder how many of you have wanderlust, too? This strong desire to see, and do, it all. My wanderlust is not felt consistently though, only during certain months or periods in which I’m feeling uninspired – like the end of gray, dreary Januarys!

(images: Supply Paper Co.)

Posted in inspiration on January 28, 2015

decor8 Collaboration with Pinterest

Hello everyone! I have to mention this fun collaboration currently going on between Pinterest and decor8. But first, are you following my boards? And are you on Pinterest too? Because if so, leave your @ name in the comments below so I can check out your pins. Ok, so anyway, they approached me to represent them as their Pinterest expert and of course, I said heck yes because I’m such a fan and use their site daily to share my own work and the many inspirational lifestyle-related things that I find online plus I create tons of private boards to plan the various projects I’m working on at the moment.

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Pinterest is a terrific resource for a small business owner like me. It’s always there too – your very own giant virtual mood board that you can access from nearly any device no matter where you are. I pin from my iPad, iPhone, desktop and laptop. During my bedtime ritual after my little one has fallen asleep, I love to put on my cozy pajamas, enjoy some tea (Winter in Lov is my current favorite), read a chapter or two of a good book and when I’m tired of concentrating, zone out and enjoy Pinterest on my iPad. My guilty pleasure for sure.

As their expert, I pulled together three boards around New Year’s themes that I thought were important TO ME for 2015 – I was hoping to gain some inspiration through the repetition of pinning mostly to three main themes for several weeks. Here they are:

 

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1. Living with plants and decorating with flowers (Go green).

 

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2.Tapping into our creative side as much as possible to challenge us (Sei kreativ).

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3. Healthy, mindful living (Gesund leben).

A funny thing happened as I was creating and pinning to these boards, which I’ve been working on since the beginning of December until now. They really inspired me to take action on a few big goals in my life! I think it was because I’ve been pinning to mostly these three boards so my focus has narrowed which gave my brain more space and enabled me to feel less overwhelmed. I’m usually pinning to 100 boards all at once, and I think this hurts me personally on a creative and emotional level – I don’t get anything done! So I’ve learned through this exercise that if I focus my pins and work on only certain boards during a specific period, I accomplish so much more than just mindless pins. I discovered the art of mindful pinning!

For instance, next week begins my first of several private yoga and mindfulness lessons for 90 minutes in a local studio –all thanks to the Gesund leben board. The next inspiration which has resulted in action is the Sei kreativ board because now I’m in the beginnings of my 4th book which will be published in Spring 2016 and I’m more excited to finish decorating my studio and move onto the bedroom and living room now. And finally, the Go green board has encouraged me to add plants to my home in small, manageable doses and to care better for those I already have which has resulted in them flourishing – becoming greener and fuller – and my home feels more energy as a result.

Here is the splash page they’ve created for our partnership. Other pinners we’ve included in this campaign include Lu loves handmade, 23qm Stil, Titatoni and Sodapop to name a few. This partnering has already resulted in press mentions for me too on Wunderweib, Wohn Idee and Lecker, which was an unexpected and nice surprise, so thanks to Pinterest for that.

How are you using Pinterest differently for 2015? Will you use it to encourage action in your life as I have done? What are some of the goals you’ve set for yourself this year?

(Top photo: holly becker for decor8. All others: screenshots from Pinterest)

 

Posted in inspiration on January 23, 2015

12 Creative Things To Make & Do – Sei kreativ

I’m working with the new Pinterest headquarters in Berlin (weee!) on an amazing campaign and it includes putting together some pinboards for them. One is all about Creativity and it’s called Sei kreativ. You can see it here but I want to share 12 creative things to make and do below. These are definitely some creative and inspiring ideas. I really love the twinkle twinkle hand lettering on the glass cabinet. I have some white glass markers and a glass cabinet so I’m going to totally try that this week and Instagram it for ya (Follow me if you’d like @decor8).

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1. Writing on cabinet doors with white glass markers – Dutch photographer Ernie Enkelaar

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2. Installing a wall of empty frames and vintage mirrors. This is photographer Mari Eriksson’s home.

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3. Make some colorful trivets. Sugar & Cloth and their super awesome DIY Colorblock Trivet diy.

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4. String some ornaments grouped by color. Sugar & Cloth *I love her blog*

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5. Use a wall-mounted kraft paper holder. So good for busy families or a cafe seen on Design Milk. You can buy this beauty by George & Willy here.

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6. Make your own gift wrap using photos you’ve taken. Fall for DIY *awesome blog, must read* I love this photo gift wrap.

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7. Get craftin’ and make some candlestick holdersDIY candlesticks from Design For Mankind by Laura Parke.

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8. Make some cardboard playhouses for your kids. I saw this on BKids and went bonkers. So sweet.

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9. Think of a word and put it on your cozy sweatshirt. This sequin sweatshirt diy is from A Beautiful Mess. Oh yeah.

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10. For your next party, make up some glittery ice cubes with edible glitter. A Subtle Revelry has a great diy up so check it out.

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11. Make some massive tissue paper flowers for a celebration. These are from Mokkasin *the world’s most amazing mother of a small tribe and small biz owner to boot*.

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12. Create a lovely jewelry display above a dresser in your bedroom. This is a mere branch cleaned down to the bones, photographed by Garance Dore.

Aren’t these great ideas? I thought so too. Tomorrow I have a lovely share for you from a student that my friend met in one of her classes recently far, far away. I can’t wait to introduce you to this very creative, amazing woman and her photos and a short interview, too. See you tomorrow.

(images: linked to their sources above.)

Posted in inspiration on December 16, 2014

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