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Holiday Gifts From Small Labels With Heart

I’m having so much fun working with makers in my decor8 shop! It’s been really easy to manage and a lot of fun to curate. I’ve pulled together a fun Hollyday Shopping collection with a festive happy theme (not your traditional evergreens and reds, so be warned!) if you want to check it out. And below, I have a few of my favorite things in my home that I plan to use and enjoy for this season and beyond like the gorgeous handmade ceramic bottle by Texan ceramicist Keith Kreeger, hand thrown in Austin who happens to be a Martha Stewart American Made Finalist this year. Nice!

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It’s always such a pleasure to have things that were handmade with love and care, crafted by those who also designed them vs. the design process being done in-house and the manufacturing in mass production plants abroad. Though truth be told, I am not a snob about it – I do shop both local and small as well as factory-produced (in fair conditions of course), because who can afford to always shop handmade and it’s also not so practical as many things that you need aren’t even produced by hand these days. But, when I’m giving gifts or need something extra special for my home, I definitely look at the small guys first to see what makers are offering on sites like Great.ly and my local craft and art fairs. If you’re like me and are looking for something lovely to give, a truly cherished piece, please do check out my shop and support those who are working mostly from home-based studios and small shops this season.

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Shop these above: CERAMIC BOTTLE by Keith Kreeger $190 //2. LINEN NAPKINS set of 4 by Celina Mancurti $62// SERVING BOARD in maple with black handle by Araya Jensen $62 // PRINT 8×10 “I’m Sorry For What I Said When I Was Hungry” by Colour Moon $25.

I can’t wait to put a few sprigs of fresh eucalyptus in the ceramic bottle and serve an assortment of dessert cheeses on the maple serving board with, of course, those gorgeous tactile linen napkins. The print is so funny, I’m sometimes a little bratty when I’m hungry (so is my husband), so this print needed to be in our home so it’s going in our kitchen. Do you become a crabby when you need food too??!?

Psst: I have lots of my other favorite things on Pinterest now too, so follow this board if you want to keep on top of my frequent updates there.

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on November 19, 2014

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

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!