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Books + Magazines, Decorating Tips, Travel

The Homes of Freunde von Freunden

January 20, 2012

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)






Travel, uncategorized

Strolling Through Berlin (Mitte)

November 28, 2011

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!

Strolling Through Berlin (Mitte)

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.

Strolling Through Berlin (Mitte)

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.

Strolling Through Berlin (Mitte)

Strolling Through Berlin (Mitte)

Strolling Through Berlin (Mitte)

Strolling Through Berlin (Mitte)

Strolling Through Berlin (Mitte)

Strolling Through Berlin (Mitte)

 

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)






Events + Markets, Travel

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

October 17, 2011

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

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

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)






Events + Markets, Travel, uncategorized

Blogshop Visits Berlin!

September 9, 2011

I was psyched to finally meet Bri Emery recently in Los Angeles while on my book tour – she came to my workshop and signing at Anthropologie and we got to chat for a bit… And now she’s heading to Germany along with co-teacher and photographer Angela Kohler to bring her Blogshop Photoshop classes to Berlin for ONE weekend only! If you don’t know Bri by name, you must know her work – she is the designer of the beautiful interiors e-mag, Rue!

Blogshop Visits Berlin!

It’s been Bri’s dream to teach in Berlin and visit Germany in general so she is quite excited about flying over next month. In fact, Bri approached me months ago looking for help getting over to Berlin, for some contacts, etc. and I immediately put her in touch with my friend Matt who heads up Etsy Europe out of Berlin. Pairing them was the perfect way to get Bri over and so now she’s working with Etsy Europe for Blogshop (details here) and I’m so happy for her!

Blogshop Visits Berlin!

Blogshop Visits Berlin!

Blogshop Visits Berlin!

Blogshop Visits Berlin!

About Blogshop: Blogshop is a Photoshop bootcamp. It is a full weekend spent stuffing your brain with ideas on how to make images on your blog unique and eye catching. Angela and Bri teach the basics in addition to more advanced techniques and then help you to apply your own perspective to layouts to make your work uniquely YOU.People who have no experience with Photoshop will leave the course with confidence to create layouts, prep images for mood boards and collages, retouch skin and color correct images, animate gifs, add textures, borders, type and drawing to their images to make each of their blog posts or other visual materials special. At the end of the first day we will have a portrait session, so on the second day you can work on your own pictures which will be perfect for contributor photos and bio pages.

What: Blogshop
Where: Etsy Labs in Berlin
When: October 15-16
Price: $750 U.S. dollars for two days, includes lunch and a goody bag!
Class size: We hope to keep the class under 20 people
Sign up email: blogshopla [at] gmail [dot] com

What to peek in on what a class is like? Check out these super fun videos – this one is from a Chicago class and this one is from an LA class.

Register today before seats are full!

(images: angela kohler)






Events + Markets, Travel

Meet Me at The Creative Connection in St. Paul Next Week!

September 6, 2011

I’m heading off to St. Paul, Minnesota next week for The Creative Connection where I am speaking and signing copies of Decorate, so I’ve already started to prepare my speech and to examine my wardrobe to see what I can wear as standing before hundreds of people giving a keynote is a brand new experience for me! I’m excited, very much in fact, but also a bit shy about the whole hair and wardrobe bit! I’ve been thinking a lot too about what I’m going to do in St. Paul for 7 days, I know nothing about the city, and this has given me a curiosity now that I’m trying to satisfy through google. :) I found this, which helped, but I’m eager to find out more about St. Paul!

 

Meet Me at The Creative Connection in St. Paul Next Week!

Thankfully, lots of my friends will be at TCC like Leslie, Matthew, Julie, Leigh… but also I’ll get to meet Kelly Rae, Heather Bailey and a bunch of other creatives so I’ll no doubt have plenty to occupy my time there! I’ll also be taking some classes, including those that Leslie is teaching (if you go, you simply must sign up for hers as she has a ton of greatness to share!), and I plan to hit what is a dream pop-up art show for me – one put on right across the street from where The Creative Connection is held, featuring the work of Amy Rice and Jennifer Davis. I adore both of these ladies and everything their hands touch, so the timing couldn’t be more perfect. I collect Jennifer Davis’ work, I own about 8 original paintings and 1 limited edition print. I’m such a fan girl!

Will you be at The Creative Connection? If so, look for me on Thursday night as I’ll be speaking as a keynote during the welcoming dinner and then I’ll be answering audience questions so you’ll have me for a few hours to ask anything and everything that you wish. I’ll be talking about how I built my business, blogging and how to use it as a catalyst to live a better life, tips on blogging better and from the heart, I will fill your plate with plenty of advice and inspiration as I plan to give you every single drop of myself — in order to encourage and motivate YOU.

If you’re not attending TCC and want to pop in anyway to listen to me speak, along with Oprah’s right hand lady in the kitchen, Celebrity chef Cristina Ferrare, then please register ASAP for only the welcoming dinner on Thursday evening, September 15th. It will last about 3 hours and your ticket will include the two lectures, Q&A session, a full dinner and of course, you can meet me immediately following the event because I’ll stick around to meet as many of you as I can. The ticket for that event only is $125 and I heard there are only 25 seats left so act now if you want to be a part of the welcoming dinner.

Registration is super confusing so let me walk you through how to register for the dinner where I’ll be speaking:

1. First go to this page.

2. Next, enter your email address then select “à la carte”.

3. Click Continue.

4. Fill out all of the needed information.

5. Click Continue.

6. Now you are on the page for activities happening on “Thursday 09/15/2011”. To attend my dinner, click on “Keynote Dinner: Cristina Ferrare And Holly Becker $125.00”.

7. Click Continue and go through the rest of the pages until you get to the end, complete the payment information and you should be all set!

See you next week at The Creative Connection! xo

BY THE WAY: Help! Any must-see shops or restaurants with organic food that I should visit? Any boba tea shops in St. Paul? Many thanks in advance!!!!

(images: artwork by jennifer davis)






Shop Tours, Travel

Inspired Shops: Bell’occhio in San Francisco

September 6, 2011

My book tour was amazing, surreal, an absolute dream come true BUT I had little time in each city to shop! Boo hoo! Fortunately though I did get to hit a few nice shops thanks to my friend Leslie who introduced me to this fabulous notions store in San Francisco called Bell’occhio. This store left me inspired and deliriously happy and now I have to play it forward to inspire you as well through this post. I loved the whole European vibe of it, it’s always interesting to see how an American translates their European travels and inspirations into something that feels authentic to them. I do this when I travel and bring things home as well, it’s a fascinating process with often equally interesting results.

Inspired Shops: Bell'occhio in San Francisco

(above: a gorgeous Polish paper chandelier – I blogged about these awhile back, you can read the post here for more info.)

Have you heard of Bell’occhio before? Oh dear, it’s quite the store for those who love the finer things when it comes to ribbons (imported from Switzerland and France), paper products, jewelry (made by the shop-owners husband), threads… I could go on and on.

Inspired Shops: Bell'occhio in San Francisco

(above: I love faux wall treatments done right. This faux bois is done so, so right!)

Leslie and I were in heaven, nearly getting a parking ticket since we overstayed our welcome by at least 30 minutes. I didn’t want to leave, and when I saw the adjacent studio space to the shop where she handles her online business, I was even more inspired by the sheer beauty of it all. What a gorgeous space!

Inspired Shops: Bell'occhio in San Francisco

Inspired Shops: Bell'occhio in San Francisco

(above: this looks very German to me – maybe it’s the pretzels? I also love the peek-a-boo ceiling.)

Inspired Shops: Bell'occhio in San Francisco

Inspired Shops: Bell'occhio in San Francisco(above: such a nice display idea for ribbons)

Inspired Shops: Bell'occhio in San Francisco(above: the storefront made me smile, so pretty)

I snapped some photos with my iPhone, so the quality could be better, but at least you can get a sense of this store so that if you are a lover of all things pretty you may be enticed to visit Bell’occhio in person or online.

THANK YOU LESLIE for sharing this shop with me!!!!

(images: holly becker for decor8)






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