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Win a Signed + Dedicated Sweet Paul Book: Eat & Make!

Want to win a copy of Eat & Make by Sweet Paul? We’re giving away 5 signed and dedicated copies… But first, I’m a friend and fan of Paul Lowe, we met once in New York City when I was teaching there and I wrote for his magazine last year. Bottom line – I really admire him; Paul is hands down the real deal and he has built his business from the ground up which I find so inspiring since I remember when he was just starting out online. He has always been consistently authentic, kind and supportive of the online community, and so unselfish with his time giving me advice and direction on things most people wouldn’t share so freely. I really have a soft spot in my heart for Paul as a person, but there is so much more to him than his relaxed and generous nature – he’s a terrific talent with loads of creative vision as we’ve all seen demonstrated in his issues of Sweet Paul magazine over the years — but now there’s even more… A BOOK. (swoon!)

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His debut book, Eat & Make, drops today (April 1) and to celebrate, I’ve teamed up with Paul and his publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, to offer you a chance to WIN a signed and dedicated copy from Paul himself of Eat & Make. Here is a little video that he made just for decor8 readers…

Eat & Make merges cooking (loads of delish recipes, I’m definitely trying his fish taco recipe this summer) with kitchen crafting (salad bowl pendant lights, anyone?) for a creative spin on your typical cookery book. I love the combination of crafting with cooking and especially enjoy how personal this book is with photos from his own life and friends dancing around each chapter, I find it all to be quite endearing. I’ve written 3 books and haven’t had the courage to do that yet, to get so personal with photos of me throughout, so perhaps I’ll really bare all and be more like Paul in my next book. He can really pull this off so well because he is quite charming!

Another point about the book that grabbed my attention instantly was the book cover – showing his photo, recipes and crafts, it really told a story to me so I instantly new what the book was all about before even reading the title.

I also LOVE the watercolor-y illustrations by Susan Evenson throughout, I’m a big fan of watercolor so this was a big plus for me. The over book design by Joline Rivera and Nellie Williams is hands down stunning. I am so particular about book layout, and this one feels like something out of South Africa or Australia to me – very fresh like I found most cookery books from those parts of the world. The photography by Alexandra Grablewski makes the book because let’s face it, you can style and cook something wonderful but your photographer can ruin it with a bad angle or poor lighting – Alexandra doesn’t disappoint – the photos shine through and through. I also must mention that in addition to Paul Lowe (Sweet Paul himself) his collegue Paul Vitale worked on lots of the writing in the book, so it’s a real collaborative effort with a talented team of people.

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If you want to win a signed and dedicated copy of Eat  & Make, comment below with the reason why you LOVE SWEET PAUL! That’s it! (Originally I asked people to tweet but lots of you wrote in stating you don’t use/want to use Twitter so I want to take everyone into consideration and open this contest up to ALL.) you’ll need to tweet and complete the following sentence and tell us why you love Sweet Paul’s style. Cut and paste the following, filling in your thoughts in the blank and make sure to end the tweet with @sweetpaul and @decor8 so we see them!

#ilovesweetpaul because _______ @sweetpaul @decor8″

Then comment below letting us know who you are and what you tweeted. The winners will be announced on April 8th!

Good luck everyone! And if you simply cannot wait to own a copy of Paul’s gorgeous book, click here to order a hard copy of kindle version on Amazon.

Update: The WINNERS are: #3 Lou, #11 Cintia, #15 Ann, Boheme Circus #26 and Sarah Lou #63. If you are listed here, please contact jessy [at] decor8blog [dot] com as soon as possible and let her know what you would like for Paul to write inside of your book, in addition to his signature of course, along with your mailing address. Thank you!

(images: holly becker)

Posted in contests on April 01, 2014

Blogging Your Way e-course Winners!

Did you win? You’re about to find out! It’s April 1st so for those of you who entered our contest you know what that means! Time to announce the 3 (I changed my mind, I’m giving away 5 seats!) lucky winners who will win a free seat in our April/May blogging e-course! But first, I want to thank everyone who entered, it was so encouraging to see the excitement this contest generated online and to read your comments and tweets. I’m so pumped and inspired to really rock the upcoming course with Tina Fussell so watch out! :) For those of you who haven’t registered yet, we are nearly sold out so please don’t delay if you want in since once we close registration, it’s closed for good, since we only reserved a set amount if seats for this particular class so the group is smaller. If you want to learn about our class, beginning online April 18, CLICK HERE. If you want to join in on the fun, CLICK HERE.

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Okay…. Drum roll and envelope pahleeseee!

The winners are… Click here.

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Posted in uncategorized on April 01, 2014

Homes With Heart: Nordic Simplicity Meets Lighthearted Dutch Design

Hi guys! Would you like to see another home tour I’ve shot this month for decor8? It’s Holly Marder and I’m back with my Homes with Heart installment. Did you love last month’s black and white home? Well this time around, I have more Nordic interior inspiration, with a touch of colour dotted throughout. I hope you enjoy touring the home of Jessica Peters, the owner of the online interiors boutique DesignLemonade. Let’s go!

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After a long and tiring house hunt, Jessica Peters and her husband Olivier Tardieu fell in love with the historical appeal of their 92m2 Amsterdam home. Majestic, authentic door frames leading out to an elegant closed verandah with quaint window frames and original stained glass were some of the details that caught the couple’s eye, just enough for Peters to see through the uninspiring wall colour, lack of flooring and less than ideal kitchen and bathroom. “It was so basic that there was room to make it ours – and the moment I saw the house I thought, ‘this is perfect.’”

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The fine art black and white photograph perched on the fireplace is a personal favourite, displaying a set of open windows. “It feels as though it gives the room an open, airy quality. It is very hard to find authentic, easy, simple pieces to put on your walls, so I’m glad I found it,” she says.

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The couple began renovating the home in stages, starting with the kitchen. They wanted a live-in kitchen central to the main living area to bridge the living and work spaces. Offsetting their home’s historical architecture, they chose a sleek, minimalistic kitchen with plenty of storage in the centre island so that the walls would be free of cabinets and the space would remain open. Being a classic ‘Pijpenla’ home (which means a narrow drawer-like home typical to Amsterdam), the middle of the house is very dark but large windows infuse each end with light, so keeping the kitchen as sleek as possible was important to ensure the natural light in the space was not compromised.

“I wanted the kitchen to be a real piece of furniture in the living room. We chose an elegant design. Everything is very slender, which I feel corresponds with the stained glass, narrow window frames of the verandah, and the original details.”

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In the space of three months the couple changed the entire layout of their home to end up with the current design. In the initial layout, the bedroom was where the bathroom now is, and the kitchen is what is now the bathroom. Rethinking the layout and centralising the kitchen meant the couple had gained the space for a large family bathroom, which they realised three years into owning their home. “We were young and were on a very limited budget as I began studying shortly after we bought the house,” Peters says.

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Posted in Homes With Heart on March 29, 2014

Micro Trend: Creative Floors Combining Wood and Ceramic Tile

There is so much going on in the field of flooring! Hi this is Gudy and I’m here with another trend post for the month of March. Let’s talk about floors. I have seen beautiful ceramic tiles for floors that have become a highly valued option with the much seen white subway tiles, beehive or hex shapes and the herringbone pattern. If you are much more into a material that feels and looks cosy, you’ll probably go for parquet but for those who want to try something new, mixed flooring options such as ceramic tiles AND wood are really trendy now.

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Est Magazine | Paola Navone

I started seeing this material combo last year when Paola Navone’s residential project in Italy was published. Still until now there is no other space I have seen that beats it. The color and shape remind me of a sea of clouds where the wooden tiles are perfectly cut to fit into the ceramic pieces. The contrast of the warm wood and cooler colors chosen for the tiles is really working here.

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Here’s another look (above) shown over at 41zero42 in Italy that I love, it’s a beautiful look in a kitchen/dining space. What I like about this trend is you are defining your own style. Combining the two materials in a single room creates a customized look where you can work your design skills and get a unique look & feel. You decide on the shape, colors and pattern.

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Kitchens and bathrooms are ideal locations to combine hardwood and ceramic flooring because the materials are durable and easy to match to counters and cabinets. And it looks great!

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And then you have the ‘high traffic’ areas. Hallways and entryways receive traffic that can wear down natural hardwood floors over time. Plus, many times your wipe your (wet) shoes of in this area. It is not just a question of trend but a practical solution for certain areas in your home too.

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Posted in Top Trends, uncategorized on March 29, 2014

Books:

Available now on Amazon

Further editions available include: Portuguese, Danish, Czech, Slovak, French

Courses:

Next dates

Blogging Your Way for Beginners
e-course, April 17 – May 15, 2014
Find out more and sign up now.

Styling With Holly Becker
London, May 2014 (Date TBD)