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Beautiful Barn & Willow Drapes

Hello friends! Do you remember how I recently blogged about how I needed something to lightly frame my windows and provide some warmth at night? Well I went for it, I ordered new Belgium-grown flax linen drapes, also woven in Belgium, then sewn to my specs thanks to the lovely Trisha at Barn & Willow and her artisans who did a gorgeous job on my massive windows and double doors leading out to the wintergarten. I can’t wait to redecorate this room now – so I started with my drapes and I’m going to work from there.

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I love how they puddle lightly on the floor and the oyster sheer linen is just gorgeous for letting in light but also, at night, this window becomes a big black box so when I close them, the room is cozy and feels so home-y and nice. I wish I could have taken better photos but the house has been so dark for the past few weeks (particularly in the living room) since winter is swiftly approaching and Germany goes under a blanket of gray from now until next March. Thrilling! NOT! So it’s time for candles, good music and decorating the home as this gets me through the dull months.

I love my drapes, don’t you? They are just perfect. They don’t take away from the gorgeous 115 year old doors and windows and they add a beautiful airy vibe. They looked particularly lovely a few weeks ago when it was still sunny and I opened the doors to let the sunlight and breeze from the forest in. I loved the way the linen danced in the air.

Please note: This post is NOT a paid post but was sponsored by Barn & Willow who supplied the drapes with the agreement that if I liked them, I’d install and if not, they’d be returned – no hard feelings. Lucky for us all, I really love them. I’ve been looking for the right drapes and these definitely fit the bill. The rod and rings, in gold, were found on Amazon.de – if anyone living local wants to know more, ask me in the comments section and I’ll leave the link.

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in uncategorized on November 15, 2014

How To Choose Art For Your Gallery Style Wall

Last we, I gave you a little decorating 101 with 8 Easy Steps For Planning A Gallery Style Art Wall, part of a series of three posts that I’m working on in collaboration with Minted to inspire all of you to be fearless with art and support independent artists through the purchasing of affordable prints – something I’ve been promoting on this blog for eons. This is part two and it’s all about choosing art for a gallery style arrangement.

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Decide on a theme – pick art that works together.

What do you want to say? Think of  a vibe, a mood, a style, a theme… For instance, you want this wall to showcase your love of travel. Or maybe it’s to display your son’s grade school art mixed in with modern art. Perhaps it’s black and white photography you’ve been collecting. Your love of abstract shapes and vibrant color. Whatever it is, try to find something, a red thread, that goes through each piece connecting them in some way. Even if only YOU see the connection, that’s okay, but there needs to be some meaning to you on an emotional level because that is why we display things on our wall in the first place right? Because we’ve emotionally made some connection to it – we like it – whether that be the color, mood, subject matter, whatever… It evokes emotion and that’s good. And in addition to emotion, the work as a whole should connect somehow. Like sure, you could display WWII photography alongside your daughter’s finger-paints, a standard issue Le Chat poster from your Paris vacay, a snapshot of your poodle, a Monet reproduction and nudes of gorgeous men all together on a dining room wall. I mean, it’s your home, your decision (no judgement!).

But.

Does this stuff really work in context, you know? Does it make some sense or tell a story or is everything its own focal point and together, the story becomes terribly muddy or chaotic even (and not in a good way)? Work that doesn’t fit together shouldn’t be displayed together.

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Mix and match.

Art prints, paintings, kids’ artwork, Polaroids, photographs, drawings, sketches, personal photos of a family trip. Mix it up and include what fits the story behind this wall of art your are creating. You can even frame precious mementos and include dimensional objects too – like a ceramic tile, a porcelain head, an old mirror.

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Decide on frames and mattes.

I’m not that bold with mixing frame styles, but perhaps you are. I like to stick to a few colors (white and natural wood) then through in a few color frames or black or something with a clean slim gold frame, for instance. Also decide on mattes. I think all mattes should be the same color on gallery style walls but then you’ll sometimes see a wall that breaks every design rule and it works beautifully. If you have that knack, by all means mix and match. I honestly don’t have that knack of mixing matte colors and frame styles and colors with amazing results. So I have a formula I work with and that usually is the one I work with successfully time and time again.

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Lose the obsession with frame size.

If it fits on your wall, it can fit the arrangement. Salon style, or gallery style, is generally a really loose casual arrangement of art that grows over time. It begins with some work and spreads over time. That’s the beauty of it. If you are obsessed with frames all being the same size and installed in a grid, you’re not really a gallery style wall person so steer away from this and try the grid arrangements because they’ll ultimately fit your style and make you happier.

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Over the weekend I plan to install my art sponsored by Minted, all work that I selected, along with some original paintings I’ve collected over the years and add a few special bits here and there unframed. Then next week, for the third installment from this series, I’ll show you the big reveal on how it all looks on my wall with a shopping list for everything.

A big thanks to Minted for sponsoring my salon style art wall project – I love all of the work that I was able to choose from your shop! Thank you again.

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on November 14, 2014

Greetings From Me + My 9 Month Old Lou Ferrigno

Hello dear friends! This week has been CRAYZEEEE. Really crazy! I mean, beyond crazy! We had our wallpaper finished in the entryway (LOVE) but some needed to be stripped and reapplied because it was installed wonky. Ugh. But it is all set as of today. Plus I’ve been supah busy with my little boy because he is mega active crawling and practicing his mad walking skillz — we are just a non-stop party here at planet baby from dawn to dusk. AND. WELL…

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(There is always an “AND, WELL…” with little ones) Our baby has entered some new stage – it’s like BOOM! – he turned 9 months on Sunday and the next day he was having major attachment anxiety whenever we laid him down to sleep at night and during the day, my little scheduled napper (2x a day, sometimes 3!) from the day he came home suddenly turned into I SLEEP WHEN I WANT napper. None of this bothers me, I mean what can you do, he’s a baby for God’s sake. I can’t take away his iPhone or ban him from using SnapChat, so I’m just rollin’ with it.

But man, my little dude turned his new age and yowser… It’s like HELLO NEW BABY and what did you do with the son I had just gotten used to for the past 9 months?

And there is something else. He is expressing frustration in ways that make me want to laugh really hard. But I don’t. But I want to because his frustration is always shown in the most comical ways. So okay, imagine this scenario. Him: Sitting in his high chair eating his carrot puree something or another. Me. Facing him, also seated, making faces, singing songs and coaxing him into eating because suddenly mealtime went from normal eating to let’s! play! with! our! food! and! grab! the! spoon! non-stop! Eating has turned into a 45 minute circus and I’m the clown.

There I am feeding him and suddenly with the force of 100 men, he grabs the spoon that I’m using and tries to flip it so the food goes everywhere. What I then usually do, depending on my own schedule, is:

  • Option 1. Could care less, let him grab it, throw it, smear it, play with it, whatever. Puree for all!
  • Option 2: If we need to leave soon or I have work to get to, I usually pry the spoon from his hand using the jaws of life take it gently out of his hand and try to continue feeding him.

BUT.

A highly emotional domino reaction usually follows if Option 2 was deployed. First, a long very deep grunt. Then, his face reddens. He sticks his arms straight down and makes very tight fists. His grunt gets more intense and deeper. A moan. A bit intimating honestly. He stares into my eyes. His eyebrows go dark red. He wants the spoon back – he did not like that I took it from him. He is literally turning into the Incredible Hulk. I wait for his buttons to fly off his shirt.

The whole time I want to burst out laughing (it’s super cute watching all of this because there is clearly no reason to express so much emotion) but I need to respect his emotions because it feels wrong to invalidate him. So I just talk him down out of his tree in my gentle mommy voice, remain caring and sweet and change the subject. Usually he’ll move on quickly shown by laughing at nothing in particular or planting big wet kisses all over my face.

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This has to be a stage. Right? Or is he a teenager trapped inside of a 9 month old body? But wow, baby emotions are something else. Intense. And also very hard to make much sense out of.

Yeah so because his sleep schedule has changed and because I have so much stuff already going on in my life (new book deal I’m negotiating, house redecoration project, tons of work stuff, wrapped up my current 4 week long Blog Boss e-course today with 400 students (!), prepping for 5 business consults next week) it really is bonkers crazy here. Which is why I went missing on decor8 this week.

But you know something that is funny about all of this baby stuff? I don’t mind it now that the sleepy swaddled child changed into an energetic fireball that is apparently a very passionate little person. And I swear I’m not playing Pollyanna to save face nor am I secretly smokin’ funny things in the laundry room so I can fool all of you because truth be told some days I’m like SERIOUSLY? This? Again? But through it all I am learning a lot about myself (I’m a damn patient women and a really committed, good mother, a surprise to me because you never know what kind of mother you will be until you have a child)… I also love having this little boy to care for – my little son – because it’s rewarding and gives me yet another wonderful thing to live for — another reason to get up, work harder, be better. I like the “crazy” in it all. I like that there are new emotions in our home, this new energy, so young and spirited. It’s nice to have a little challenge, some friction, a new opinion around here to shake things up and bring in a fresh new perspective. I’ve always loved having change and movement and zeal in my life and now I do. An 80cm tall tornado.

See you tomorrow, I’ll be back to blogging regularly again.

By the way moms out there, is all I just talked about a 9 month old thing?

(images: holly becker for decor8)

 

Posted in baby on November 13, 2014

5 Sunday Things That Make Me Happy

Sundays are always so pleasant in Germany. I’ve been living here from my native Boston for just over five years and the slowness of Sunday has always inspired me. Most shops are closed except for the flower shops and bakeries, as German tradition dating back many years say that on Sunday you are to visit the ill, your family, and then after the visit, go for a nature walk together. So cake and flowers are certainly mandatory offerings for such visits, which is why these establishments keep their doors open for a few hours each Sunday. I really love a day where you feel like there is a page break between last week and the week ahead. Like Monday begins a new chapter because Sunday concluded the week. While I’m waiting for our family to come by with some cake (the baby gets a visit from grandma/oma each week), I want to share five very random things that made me feel joyful today.

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1. This gorgeous photo of Amber Rose in celebration of her new book, Nourish: Mind, Body and Soul. I love the basket, her outfit, the color palette. It’s so inviting. There is so much coziness in this single shot. The stunning cover over this book, another favorite thing, is below.

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2. This print from my class. Tomorrow my month-long e-course, Blog Boss, concludes. We taught 400 students worldwide how to blog like a boss. It was so much fun, I loved all of the hard work of my students. In every class, I hire a graphic designer to design prints themed around the class that students can have to download, print and frame or tack to their pinboard. This is one of them from this class that Corina made for us. She made several more, all of them look quite different, so I can’t wait to show my students all of them tomorrow. But seriously, isn’t this one lovely?

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3. These holiday orbs filled with cut papers and pretty things are by Ashley Goldberg — I loved them the moment I saw them on her Facebook update today and had to share. I’ve done this before, only with little plastic deer and clippings from pine trees inside, but this is equally darling.

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4. This book cover. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been on my knees begging politely asking my publisher for a jacket on one of my decorating books like this above. Three books later, I’ve not yet won. Ok so I’m not complaining, I know they have their reasons, but someday I hope I get my dream cover. Patience… I just SO love book covers like this – the simplicity of the words combined with the busy collage of inspiring shots. Do you like this too or are you a fan of the more traditional single shot full page image with a title overlay? I like both but also love experimenting with something that feels fresh that not everyone else has.

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5. My beautiful son! Look at those feet and his adorableness! He seems to love my camera and lens cap, he is studying it here (right before it went into his mouth since he is teething). Aidan turned 9 months old today and I nearly cried because he started taking his first steps! It was so cute, he was marching around as I held his arms, just like Max from Where The Wild Things Are. So I had to put on his metallic leather crown and let the wild rumpus begin! I kept saying he’d be walking by Christmas because he is such a little overachiever (he started crawling as 6 months to the day) so this came at no surprise when he stood up while I was taking photos of him and boom – one foot, then the other, then the other, forward forward forward. Seriously this is the stuff that nothing materially can give you – it’s a joy I’ve never known. I am so touched by motherhood and the emotional roller coaster of it all.

Why didn’t I just pin these on Pinterest and skip posting here altogether? Isn’t that the trend these days? Pinterest is great but it also has cased a lot of us to stop the conversation. We just post and pin stuff but we don’t take the time as we once did to say WHY we like something, WHY it moves us, WHY we are drawn towards it. These conversations still need to happen. There is more than meets the eye to visuals, no matter how beautiful. The pretty girl isn’t interesting until she has something intelligent to SAY. The handsome man in the corner booth is only as good as he looks if he speaks kindly to others. Pinterest is only skin deep.

Hope your Sunday is slow and meaningful.

xo, Holly

(images linked to their sources above. photo of my son by me)

Posted in inspiration on November 09, 2014

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

eCourses:

Next dates

Blogging Your Way: Blog Boss
e-course, October 10 - November 10, 2014
Find out more about this exciting class by bloggers, for bloggers, teaching you how to blog like a boss!