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Inspired Shops: Bell’occhio in San Francisco

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.

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.

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!

Bell'occhio in San Francisco

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.)

Bell'occhio in San Francisco

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

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)

Posted in Shop Tours, travel on September 06, 2011

Next Stop, Philadelphia!

Hello everyone! The LA event was excellent – I had so much fun! I want to thank my two special guests, interior design extraordinaire Betsy Burnham of Betsy Burnham Design and Instant Space along with stylist/photographer Leslie Shrewing for being such great speakers – they did such a great job and to meet Betsy was a total dream come true for me as I’ve followed her for years. A big thanks to all who came out to meet me – it was great and I loved all of the warmth and enthusiasm in the room. An extra big thanks to the ladies who took me out afterwards too —  you know who you are, and it was totally sweet of you.

Book Signing Event Only

Okay, so! I thought I was stranded in Los Angeles since my flight to Philadelphia this morning had been canceled and I couldn’t get another flight over to the east coast or even Chicago until September 1st. This scared me so I kept talking to the airlines (United) and they were THE BEST – I am forever a United Airlines fan after this experience… I explained that I was on a book tour, I just had taken multiple flights with them, and to pretty please help me get to the east coast. After at least an hour on the phone, the manager told me he could get me to Washington, D.C. because there was one open seat and that they wouldn’t charge me a dime extra. Thrilled, I took the flight, and was seated in Economy Plus which was such a huge seat and extra comfy… and I  found a hotel in D.C., bought an Amtrak ticket and here I am! I’m on the east coast and I’m READY to finish my book tour on schedule. YAY!

Tomorrow I’ll be on a train to Philadelphia in the afternoon and though I’m cutting it close, I’ll be ready for all those coming to the event in Philly! I have a special guest who I know you’ll love and lots of people are coming from Anthropologie headquarters so I’m very excited to meet everyone and be a part of such a fun event. After Philadelphia I’ll be taking the train to NYC to wrap up my book tour, flying home on August 31st. I can’t believe it’s almost over — I’ve had SO MUCH FUN.

See you in Philadelphia – the details are shown above, I can’t wait to meet you guys!

(image: anthropologie)

Posted in travel on August 28, 2011

Meet Me Tonight in Chicago!

Hello! I’m in Chicago on stop #2 of my Decorate US Book Tour and tonight I’ll be doing a workshop and hanging out with the locals  at Anthropologie on 111 E. Chicago Ave. (across from Marshall Field’s). See below for your invitation – if you can RSVP please do, but if not, the event is open to the public so you can get in with no problem! The mood board event at 6:30 is full but you can arrive after that to hang out with all of us, get your book signed and enjoy a fun, creative night together at Anthropologie.

Book Signing Event Only

See you tonight Chicago! I also can’t wait to introduce you to my very special guest – you’ll love her I’m sure!

(image: anthropologie)

Posted in travel on August 23, 2011

Boston Highlights From The Decorate Book Tour

Hello everyone! As promised, I want to keep you in the loop as I’m on my book tour in the U.S. to let you know where I’ve been, where I’m going and how each city has received me – so far, so good! One city behind and 5 more to go! Tonight is my event in Chicago at Anthropologie and then I’m off to San Francisco first thing in the morning. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind but I am not jet lagged, feel great, and am enjoying each moment of it because the last thing I want to do is return home and have it all be a bit of a blur. So I guess you can say that as much as I possibly can at least, I’m savoring the moments.


photos above by the lovely Kim Lucien

Boston was a joy. I was careful to not invite all of my friends because I thought it was better to get together with them separately, but I did invite 10 or so of my closest and it was so nice to see them again after being away for two years. I also was able to see lots of my Blogging Your Way students – I really loved putting a face to their names. I was able to meet so many people who, up until now, I’d only “known” online and so I think it will help to strengthen these already good friendships now that we’ve seen one another and know we are the real deal.

Decorate signing in Boston - me and Matthew Mead

Me and Matthew Mead – weeeee!

When I arrived to Anthropologie on Saturday morning, I was greeted by an enthusiastic staff who were all so happy to see me. This instantly put me at ease. My good friend, Boston designer and Decorate contributor, Fernanda Bourlet, was there to greet me as well as she was my special guest for the event. She was going to speak for 5 minutes about mood boards but in the end we ran out of time but I want to thank her for being there with me – the support meant a lot. Fernanda is a very talented and special lady!

Boston Decorate - Mimosas and brunch!

After arriving, I was lead upstairs to the area where I’d be doing a mood board demo and they set everything up so beautifully I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was like going to a wedding with a buffet of baked goods, mimosas, bottled waters hand decorated with fabrics and a huge bookcase that they decorated with my book and fabrics, swatches, everything I had asked for and much, much more. There was even a huge mood board for me to work on and above it, tissue paper pom poms hanging from the ceiling.

Decorate boston

Decorate boston

Decorate boston

Decorate boston

My signing table was on the 1st floor, they wanted me to be more centrally located for that part of my event which was a great idea. The table was gorgeous and completely set up with pens, flowers in an “H” mug, stacks of Decorate, a big poster and more of the tissue paper pom poms suspended overhead that were also upstairs. No detail was overlooked. Even the “rope” used to corral people into line was handmade with fabrics. It was all so impressive.

So pretty....

Photo by: Desha Peacock

Decorate boston

Me presenting in Boston

Photo by: Amisha Thakkar

Decorate boston

Above: Flowers to sent to wish me well on my book event – so sweet – from Rag & Bone Bindery in Providence. VERY nice gesture.

Aside from having a book signing in Anthropologie (a dream come true), I was able to meet so many readers of decor8 and now, Decorate, and I made sure to spend a little time with each person because the last thing I wanted was for someone to stand in line and then be brushed off. I was very happy when people thought to give me their business cards because it helps me later on when I want to keep in touch. I also brought my signing book so while everyone was standing in line, they could sign my guest book while I was signing at the table. When I went home that day, I read each entry and it made me smile to know them all now in a much more personal way.

After my 30 minute presentation, I was going to take a 30 minute break but when I walked downstairs and saw a huge line I knew it was time to meet and greet everyone so I took my seat and started signing. I signed books non-stop from 11:30-1:15 and the event was supposed to end at 12:30! THANK YOU BOSTON! That was an amazing kick off event for me and I’ll never, ever forget it. I also have to thank Chronicle Books for getting me over here in the first place and sponsoring this tour along with the generosity of Anthropologie and their creative ideas – I am still blown away by how much thought they put into the event.

For everyone I met – I’m honored that you took the time to come out to meet me on a beautiful Saturday morning when you could have been at the beach! Thank you for taking time to see me and I’m so happy I was able to sign your book. I also want to thank everyone who wanted a photo with me – this may sound funny but it is also a real moment for me when someone asks that. :) Thank you for making this blogger feel like a superstar, it’s a nice feeling sometimes – we all need a little love and encouragement.

Boston Luncheon

Ladies who took me out to lunch after the Anthropologie event. I’ll post all of their names next week so you can meet them, too! Photo by: Monica Lee.

Embarking on this book tour alone was one of the scariest things I’d ever done. Flying to the states unsure of what would happen at the first event was a challenge for me on all levels but I’m glad I just went for it – my determination to meet as many of you in person as possible paid off and I’ll go home next week with the satisfaction of knowing so many more of you than before on a much more personal level.


(images linked to their sources below, if unlinked, I took them.)

Posted in travel on August 23, 2011


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