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Amsterdam + Highlights From My Next Book

Hello everyone! I’ve been missing in action, I know, but I had such a great week and wanted to share some highlights with you in case you will be visiting Amsterdam soon. I am working with Debi Treloar on my next book, so we have been in The Hague and Amsterdam the past few days on shoots and have had a great time. A snowstorm left me stranded in a town called Haarlem tonight but I found a HEMA around the corner from my hotel so I’m all smiles because I can hit it tomorrow before heading back home to Germany. :) There is a silver lining inside of every cloud so they say, right?

Amsterdam Highlights

Never tire of the homes along the canals…

Amsterdam Highlights

A little highlight from my next book…

Amsterdam Highlights

Spotted my current obsession in Sukha.

Amsterdam Highlights

Loved everything in this shop called Restored. I highly suggest shopping here!

Amsterdam Highlights

Amsterdam Highlights

Amsterdam Highlights

Our shoots have been so much fun and I’m really loving all of the photos we’re producing together for the new book. While in Amsterdam I also got to spend a day with my friend, stylist extraordinaire, Stephanie Rammeloo and we she took me to some great shops (listed at the bottom) and to an amazing community dining experience that I absolutely loved at an Italian deli and kitchen called il Mattarello owned by an amazing guy and his wife and business partner. He cooked for us and then sat down and ate at our table. The entire experience was so inspirational. I got to meet a TV presenter from the Netherlands who also is a journalist writing about food, Stephanie’s business partner and friend, and a bunch of other very nice people that I would have never met if I didn’t try out this dining experience. If you are ever in Amsterdam you have to sign up for one of their private dinners – it’s the best thing! The address is on the bottom of this post.

Amsterdam Highlights

Debi at work on our book… She’s brilliant and a joy to work with. I’m so honored to be working with her again, we’ll go to Paris next and then London and the countryside there, followed by NYC in March and then she’ll come over to Germany to shoot my house for the book as well. How neat is that!? I’m pretty excited about it.

AMSTERDAM SUGGESTIONS from this trip from me to you:

eat:

  • Il Mattarello, Dinner “Theme” Nights, info [at] mattarello [dot] nl, Westerstraat 77, 1015LW Amsterdam
  • Bar Moustache, amazing food and always call for a reservation, the steak was amazing, Utrechtsestraat 141, 1017 VM Amsterdam

shop:

  • Athenaeum Boekhandel, Awesome international magazine shop where I got the latest copies of UPPERCASE magazine, Flow and Donna Hay.  Spui 14-16, 1012XA Amsterdam
  • Options! is an amazing store, especially if you love a Danish-meets-Dutch-marries-Japanese experience. I couldn’t leave this place without dropping some cash. I was particularly inspired by their pastels combined with neon colors with splashes of metallic bronze. It was a gorgeous color palette that I can’t stop thinking about. Damrak 49, 1012 Amsterdam.
  • Restored is another great store you can’t miss. Loaded with local and international independently designed and handmade merchandise. I loved the jewelry there from jonghlabel, copper lighting by David Derksen, necklaces from Fleur Goedendorp, necklaces and bags from Halona, Maartje Van den Noort fabric pendants and quilts and Mae Engelgeer blankets in bold neons. Haarlemmerdijk 39, 1013 KA Amsterdam.
  • Sukha – What a great “green” shop! I loved this place, I didn’t want to leave. It’s retail heaven with lots of fashion and things for the home combined. What a gorgeously curated shop! It’s near Restored so you can visit them both easily. Haarlemmerstraat 110, 1013 EW Amsterdam.

At the magazine kiosk grab these Dutch magazines:

  • Flow - Creative, craft, lovely.
  • vtwonen – Gorgeous interiors and trends, best mag ever.
  • 101 Woonideeen (I’m in this month’s issue!). – DIY and decorating
  • Delicious – Gorgeous foodie mag.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I’ll be back for a full week of blogging beginning on Monday. Loads of love to you! xo

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Books + Magazines, travel on February 03, 2012

The Homes of Freunde von Freunden

Isn’t it inspiring to see how people live in other parts of the world? If you hop on the train near my house and travel for 90 minutes just east from here you will be in Berlin and I’ve said it a million times already but that city is nothing short of inspiring. The many apartments and homes there blow my mind too because the old buildings ooze with character because all of the original details that make me so happy from ceramic-tiled stoves to herringbone wooden floors and original ceiling medallions (not the plastic press and stick kind!) are delightfully intact.

The Homes of Freunde von Freunden

I first introduced you to interiors blog/website Freunde von Freunden when they launched but they’ve since published a book based on their site that I flipped through in their cafe and thought it was nice and definitely a great way to give the creative community in Berlin a platform to show how they live, work and decorate there. Love it! I visit Fvf a few times a month for inspiration and comb their wonderful stories and videos for inspiration yet I always find myself back on their Berlin-based properties which are cleverly cool though admittedly mismatched, wonky, undecorated, edgy, unedited, yet still super appealing, charming and a delight to behold. Berlin style is very laid back, lived-in and personal and I find that alone incredibly inspiring.

The Homes of Freunde von Freunden

The Homes of Freunde von Freunden

The Homes of Freunde von Freunden

The Homes of Freunde von Freunden

The Homes of Freunde von Freunden

The Homes of Freunde von Freunden

Fvf has recently expanded their views outside of Berlin to include studios and homes in places like New York City and London. I selfishly hoped they’d venture further to explore places like Poland, Czech Republic, Croatia, Turkey, Russia and even more German cities but it doesn’t look as though I’ll get my wish anytime soon as the more popular locations (London, NY)  seem to be calling their creative hearts.

I believe strongly though that whoever starts venturing into the lesser-known spots (not just the recognizable design meccas – too easy!) to find inspiration and shoot homes that they could OWN a completely uncharted market — especially in cities that you barely see in glossy mags and books. It takes risk and courage but I’d love to see someone do something that hasn’t been done yet. Most publications here and especially in the UK and US simply don’t have the budget to run to Warsaw for a shoot so I wonder why Fvf doesn’t just jump in and go for it? They have a wonderful platform for this and are evidently very creative and not geographically challenged at all – Berlin is only a trade ride away from the often unexplored east. If I had a crew of people and the budget for it, I’d do an entire book centered on creatives living and working in cities like Moscow, Budapest, Bucharest, Warsaw, Prague and yes, Berlin (of course). Just a few thoughts…

Homes shown in this post are from Magnus Reed in Berlin-Schöneberg, Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel in Berlin-Mitte and Silke Neumann in Berlin-Moabit. Such beautiful light-filled spaces and gorgeous classical details!

(images: Fvf)

Posted in Books + Magazines, Decorating Tips, travel on January 20, 2012

Strolling Through Berlin (Mitte)

You may enjoy some peeks around Berlin that I shared with illustrator Sandra Juto while we were out and about on Saturday in Berlin (Mitte). It was such an inspiring day, Sandra fills me up where sometimes people can only take, she is such a giving person… Thank you Sandra for being a total rock star!

Berlin Travel Diary

I laugh so much with Sandra and for me, this is what I need when I’m away from my desk because I often get so caught up in only talking about design, decorating, blogging with my friends that there is never any down time for me to just “be” the crazy, playful and very silly Holly that I have been since I was a child. I don’t always want to be the leader, the teacher or the business idea generator. I love to follow, to share, to fade into the back of a room with a glass of wine surrounded by good friends crammed together on a sofa. We can often get so consumed with our projects that they take over our entire existence, have you noticed that with your own life and business? Especially as creatives, and for me as an American, business is sometimes all I think about. I learn with my German and Scandinavian friends over here that the topic of conversation is so much different when out socially than what I’m used to – we barely speak about business and when we do, it’s for a few minutes and then we move on to other topics. My goal for the new year, and yes I’ve already started to set them, is to think and talk less about business in social settings and to spend it instead on being more mindful, joyful and playful. I want to clear my head to make space for new things to flow in. That way, when I am back at my work desk, I can work with more passion and more efficiently. Sounds like a plan, man.

Berlin Travel Diary

A few days in Berlin with my dear friends and students and I already feel revived and ready to take on all of my projects and this is a very good thing. I even went to the spa in my hotel for some relaxing treatments and as I looked out from my massage table to the glimmering Berlin TV tower, which reminds me of a huge disco ball, I felt nothing but total bliss. And that evening, when my friends and I opened a bottle of Sekt and shared it on the roof terrace of my hotel overlooking the city, I felt so grateful for all that I have in life and all that this blog and my presence online in general, has brought to me.

Now back to the point of this post! Would you like to see what Sandra and I saw while out on Saturday? I’ll also link below to some places that we ate at and shopped so if you are in Berlin sometime soon, you can visit them too. All of these places are in the same neighborhood called “Mitte”, so you can easily visit them all in within a single afternoon.

Berlin Travel Diary

Berlin Travel Diary

Berlin Travel Diary

Berlin Travel Diary

Berlin Travel Diary

Berlin Travel Diary

 

Places I Visited:

R.S.V.P. – Stationery shop, very sweet and organized. Lots of great washi tapes, too.

Marron – Great interiors shop, many things from Donna Wilson whom I love and furniture from companies like HAY. The overall style is very Danish.

The Barn – For coffee and pastries. Loved the decor in this cafe with the deep grays and rustic woods. So calm. Delicious cafe latte.

Do You Read Me? – A delightful magazine shop and some design books too. I bought the new Milk Deco, and interiors book from France made by the same people who publish the gorgeous Milk magazine. I’ll show you some peeks on decor8 later today.

Monsieur Voung – Delicious Vietnamese food, great prices, lovely atmosphere. I had the glass noodle salad with chicken and it was light and fresh.

Cafe Fleury – We ate brunch here on Saturday, charming little French cafe with great breakfast. I’ll definitely return again + again.

Barcomi’s Cafe & Deli – Delicious cakes and cookies – we split carrot cake, had it packed into two little bags, and walked around eating and exploring. It’s delicious and was the first “American” style carrot cake I’ve eaten here in the past few years so for me, it was a real treat.

No More Sleep – A small and very cozy coffee bar owned by Frederik Frede who is the founder of Freunde von Freunden and they’ve now printed their blog as a book and I saw it in his cafe and it looks great inside, very happy for them all! It’s near to R.S.V.P. so you can grab some Japanese washi tape and then go over for a coffee! :)

Pizzeria I Due Forni – Best pizza in town, it reminded me of the pizza napoletana my friend used to make… With the amazing flat delicious crust and really good house red wine served in no frills glasses – loved how relaxed and loud this place was – lots of energy!

Others:

Cupcake Berlin – 100% American style cupcakes – the baker is American so it’s a pleasure to go to Berlin just for a little comfort food fix. Note: They catered my book launch at the Soho House a few weeks ago and they also catered an event that I had with DaWanda in 2008… Everyone loves Cupcake Berlin!

Green Tea Café MAMECHA – Such a sweet interior and the menu items looked delightful. (Note: I didn’t eat there, only peeked in from the street).

Dudu – For sushi, recommended to me by a reader, though I didn’t go in. Everyone told me though that it’s great.

That’s all I can think of for now… Berlin is a big “foodie” and cafe place. There are also tons of places to buy clothing and shoes. I didn’t see a lot of interior design stores though, I found more in Hamburg, but maybe I wasn’t in the right neighborhood.

I had such a fun time in Berlin thanks to my friends and will return again when I can! A special thank you Sandra, Johan and Lutz for making my visit memorable and fun!

(images: holly becker)

Posted in travel, uncategorized on November 28, 2011

Munich: Meet Me Wednesday + Berlin: Mark Your Calendar!

Hello to those living or visiting Munich, Germany currently! I am traveling there in the morning for an awards dinner for Myself magazine as I was nominated for their Lieblings award, but I’ll also be visiting my friends at the sweet little shop, Nostalgie Im Kinderzimmer, who will have a little party for my German decorating book along with a few things to drink + eat. If you would like to join me, please do! RSVP email: press [at] decor8blog [dot] com

Book Party + Blogger's Night in MUNICH

You’ll need to RSVP (RSVP email: press [at] decor8blog [dot] com) right away though so I can make sure there is space as it’s going to be just a little pre-launch event since the official launch party will be in Berlin at Soho House on November 12th and is sponsored primarily by BRIGITTE magazine. I’ll be joined by co-sponsors Callwey Verlag, Etsy, Dialogue Books and more! I’ll post an announcement detailing the Lust Auf Wohnen Book + Bloggers Party next week on decor8 as you won’t want to miss it! Cupcakes, cocktails, goody bags and lectures all about blogging, writing and more from some incredible speakers that we’re currently lining up – we’ll even have a fun interactive project for everyone to get involved in – can’t wait to show you that when you arrive.

But first…

Until the official launch….

I’ll be hanging in Munich with the lovely Angela at Nostalgie Im Kinderzimmer who thought it may be a nice way to say hello to a few of my friends and readers in Munich this week for a cozy event in her darling shop. I couldn’t agree more and I’m really looking forward to it.

19 Oktober, 2011 – Mittwoch, 17 – 19 uhr
Nostalgie im Kinderzimmer
Herrenchiemseestraße 4
81669 München-Ramersdorf
Tel: +49 (0)89 / 44 10 90 15
RSVP email: press [at] decor8blog [dot] com

(photo: holly becker)

Posted in events + markets, travel on October 17, 2011

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