You are going to love this home + lifestyle brand from the Netherlands! I wrote about HK Living over the winter since I first found them during a business trip in Hamburg at that time, but they’ve since launched gorgeous new products and offered to give decor8 readers an exclusive first peek – so here you go my friends! Drool like a fool along with me! :)
As you may have noticed, the whole industrial ethnic chic vibe is huge over in my part of the world. My home has touches of this trend as well. How about where you live?
I personally LOVE all of the natural materials combined with gray and black with shots of bright color, ethnic touches, and the overall relaxed vibe. It’s so inspiring, global and attainable. What do you think? See anything that you like from the photos above? What is missing in a collection like this that you’d like to see more of?
(images: Isabella van Reeuwijk for HK Living)
It’s no secret, Berlin is the creative capital of Germany. While Hannover may have just been voted the greenest city in the country with 20% being parks, forests and gardens (we have the largest natural city forest in all of Europe behind my house), Berlin definitely has earned its reputation as an international city where creatives work and play. It’s an inspiring place – gritty and pretty in some parts – eclectic, quirky, etc. The cost of living is still relatively low compared to other cities in Europe, especially for the types of living spaces that you can rent in comparison to say, Hamburg, London or Copenhagen. It’s nice to be able to actually afford to live nicely while still pursuing creative interests and even starting your own business. Right!?
So many love Berlin for many reasons, but for me, I feel inspired when I’m there surrounding by its 180 museums, stores, quirky districts, flea markets, Turkish market, exhibitions, random art galleries sometimes hidden behind buildings, music fests, cheap eats… That is why in mid October I will co-host yet another creatives & bloggers meet up there in collaboration with some incredible people and sponsors so we can make it happen – inspire each other, share, learn and create a positive energy that will motivate all to leave with a good feeling of community and support. We need that. I’ll post more about the event as plans are confirmed.
Loved this video of Berlin-based fashion designer Esther Perbandt, her clothing is amazing and I like how she collaborates with others who inspire her to create her collections. See her workspace here.
Great room divider idea!
Fun, quirky table
If you are curious about Berlin and the types of people living there then you have to check out “online interview magazine” (or blog), Freunde von Freunde. I’ve talked about them before, but they have lots of new content and they are even taking their concept to London and Paris to spotlight creatives living in those cities as well. I was selfishly hoping we could keep FvF for ourselves in Germany, but that’s okay, their goal is to open eyes and share what’s happening all over Europe and so by creating new city spotlights on their site, they are able to reach more people. Good for them.
I must admit though, major cities get plenty of press when it comes to who is living in them and how they live and work — there is no shortage on the web of inspiring homes in Paris and London. Same goes for print publications as well. But most of the world isn’t really in the know when it comes to what Berlin is like, or even Germany and the creative indie scene here for that matter as in who lives there, the cost of living, what people do for fun, what people are creating and where. Before I started visiting in 1999, I had no idea what was going on in this part of the world when it came to design and art. With so many in this country working hard to make a name for themselves (and for their country), there has been a lot of change in the last decade so definitely visit FvF to tap into what is going on in Berlin — a fascinating, creative German city.
My hope though is that instead of focusing on London and Paris because those places get plenty of attention, that FvF will share the way people live and work all across Germany and German speaking countries — not just Berlin but in Hannover, Hamburg, Munich and over to Vienna, Zurich, etc. And of course, cities that don’t get so much “love” outside of Germany like random towns in Belgium or even parts of Poland. I mean hello, who wouldn’t love to see how creatives live and work in Warsaw with English text so the rest of us can learn? Sign me up. I’d love that. There are plenty of us with interesting lives who live in un-hip cities that may even be called boring cities — but we are still doing creative work so I’d love to see more diversity online and in print when it comes to showing how and where people live. But Berlin is a great start, and while it’s a massive city, it’s still underexposed to the rest of the world so I’m all for FvF and their mission in opening eyes to what’s happening there. Great stuff.
I’d like to wish each and every reader out there, well friend really, a wonderful long weekend! I say long because in the U.S. it is our 4th of July holiday and though I live abroad I still keep very much to the holiday schedule back home so for me this means a long weekend. I’ll be back to blogging again on Tuesday, July 5th.
I wish you a lovely weekend – I’ll be playing around in my craft studio, decorating my work room, and taking some photographs for Dutch magazine 101 Woonideeën who will publish photos of my work room in an upcoming issue along with a four page interview about my life and book that one of their editors just had with me while I was visiting Amsterdam. I’m very excited to see how it comes out and I can’t wait to show you. A big thanks to Janneke Romijn for setting this interview up in the first place.
UPDATE: The Decorate Blog Book Tour is in full swing. Here is a list of all of the blogs my book has visited with this week and surprise, Chronicle is so generously giving away copies of the book so below you can find a list of all of the places online where you can win a copy RIGHT NOW by simply commenting and being a little bit lucky. You can enter on all of the blogs if you like to increase your chances, but you can only win once!
- Oh Joy! - No giveaway but a lovely review from one of my favorite bloggers ever.
- TomKat Studio – Giveaway and review right here – 232 entries so far!
- Chronicle Books - Giveaway on their blog – 178 entries!
- Plush Palette – No giveaway but a fab review from Rue’s own Crystal Gentilello.
- Bloesem – Another favorite blogger giving away Decorate, thanks Irene so much! 166 entries so far!
- Tulips & Flight Suits – A lovely, heartfelt review and a giveaway of the book – 21 entries so far!
- Hooray - Another beautiful review and a chance to win Decorate – 23 entries so far! Go, go, go everyone, win some books!
Oh this makes me so happy, seeing all of these blogger collegues of mine on this book tour with me. Thank you Hooray and everyone for your participation this week!
See you on Tuesday!
(images: holly becker for decor8)
When food stylist, photographer and writer, Mowie Kay, showed up at my book launch at Liberty in London just to give me a hug and wish me well with my new book I knew that this was a guy that I wanted to work with someday. He was charming. And social. And I liked him. I just didn’t know how we’d ever cross paths again because we are in two completely different circles with me in interiors and him being an over-the-top foodie. Well, kismet has its way and after the party Mowie told me about his magazine idea and that he’d like to shoot me cooking in London and have me pull together an article featuring some of my favorite recipes. Gulp. Well…
I was flattered, but I don’t cook a single meal that is so amazing that it deserves to be in print (!) and I’m completely fine with admitting it because I’m not a foodie and tend to admire the whole food craze from afar. I’m perfectly content to press forward with my often fusion style cooking as Julia Childs and Nigella feel simply unreachable to me. I love to eat out, once a week (sometimes more), at foodie types of places though along with those ethnic eateries that are complete hole-in-the-walls but have drop dead amazing meals. Tony Bourdain is my food idol and there is nothing styled up about what he eats. And I have a ton of cookbooks, though I am first to admit that I buy them for mostly their design and photographs though I have most recently experimented with the Ottolenghi cookbook gifted to me by Leslie. I read food blogs, but I don’t really read them, I scan to see the pretty photographs because I can’t imagine making the things that I see.
I often feel like it’s a patience thing. But it’s also a free time thing. I don’t have hours to spend on meal planning, preparation, cooking and clean up each day and some of the meals I see would take an unskilled cook such as myself quite awhile to whip up, never mind to be photo worthy. Long story short, I’m not the perfect candidate to contribute to a beautiful foodie magazine! I don’t fit the profile, my piece of cake on a plate looks like a piece of cake on a plate, not artful or overly styled at all.
My goal with food is to make it with love, from my heart, and then put it in surroundings that make it look so much more enticing. So I thought about Mowie’s offer and was tempted to kindly turn him down… But then I thought, “Hey, I love to style tabletops and I adore entertaining, and I do know how to create a good mood around food… So perhaps there’s my angle for a story in a food magazine”. And so, with shaky knees, I pitched to Mowie an alternate idea and since I know Mowie loves pink, I tried to make it as close to his aesthetic as possible without compromising my own. Ah, a story was born and he accepted my idea! You can find my story on pages 61-73!
I spent a day prop shopping (mostly in my own china cabinet), making things by hand, ironing linens, and then I went to work during day two to pull it all together and photograph it and now it’s in Mowie Kay’s beautiful premiere issue on computers everywhere – click here to view the entire magazine and to read my story beginning on page 61. I also give lots of tips in my story on how to make a tabletop come alive on a budget and I’ve included a luncheon playlist on page 73. I hope that you enjoy it. The tabletop was definitely a spin off from the one Leslie, Sania and I did for Liberty in London – for my table at home, I was able to use stuff I had already and channel some of that Liberty inspiration into it as well.
In the article, I mention my friend Anne Wendlandt (above on page 69), you can see more of her work on her blog since she’s not linked in the article (sorry, Anne).
There’s even a nice page in the magazine where Mowie interviewed me (that was fun!) and he is giving away 3 copies of Decorate, thanks to my London-based publisher, Jacqui Small. If you would like to win a copy of Decorate just comment on his blog HERE and you’ll be entered to win one of 3 copies. :)
Thank you Mowie for including me in your premiere issue and I wish you loads of success with your e-magazine!
(images: holly becker for mowie kay)