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A Monochromatic Condo In Italy

Good morning everyone! I met a nice blogger in my recent blogging e-course, Aga from Passion Shake, and she told me about an apartment that she recently styled for her client in Italy so I asked if she wanted to share the space on decor8. I like the bathrooms and overall clean look to it – lots of IKEA stuff since it’s a “show home”, very simple elements, but the condo looks nicely styled and since this is what she does for a living, I thought it would be good to share some work from her portfolio. This is Agata Dimmich, from Poland, working in Italy in her client’s space below.

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Aga loves to create and style spaces that feel personal,”I like white, neutral interiors as a background for displaying personal objects, design pieces, art and details, which I believe make each space special and unique. To me home needs to reflect personality of the people, their lifestyle and passions. When designing and styling apartments for sale, I often imagine the fictional potential, future home-owners – who they are, where they work, what they love to do in their free time, what they eat, what souvenirs they bring from their holiday, what they wear and what are their secrets and then I create the space around the image I have in my mind. It’s so much fun, almost like directing a movie!”. I like her approach, don’t you?

This was her moodboard for the space – her starting point…

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Her client wanted the space to have an Autumn mood, be black / white / brown and needed the style to be modern yet inviting with a touch of vintage flair. Here are the results below. What do you think?

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From her blog, Passion Shake, to her work, her passion is clearly decorating. I asked her why and she explained that she is a visual person and, “I would be happy to spend my entire life just staring at pretty things but it is much more fun to play with them and see how they can transform four walls into a beautiful and inspiring space. Once I start decorating, I can’t stop, I keep on decorating and redecorating and it gets really addictive. I love to see the final effect, when all the elements come together, as a complete visual story.” Decorating for many years, she’s been collecting magazine clips for her handmade “decorating diary” and then, practiced applying what she saw into the rooms in her own home.

B/W Decorating Tip: Black and white interiors can quickly feel cold and are often said to lack character but with plants, fur throws, warm wooden furniture and accents, woven baskets and flowers, a monochromatic space can become quite cozy while still remaining minimalist and modern.

Thank you Aga for sharing this space!

(images: aga for passion shake)

Posted in Home Tours on November 17, 2014

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

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!