Decorating Tips

8 Trendy Pieces For Spring Decorating

March 8, 2016

Today’s post is all about sprucing up my nest for spring and the 8 things that I recently ordered from American online shop, Lulu & Georgia, whom I love because they have the best taste in the world and curate the best products. And I love that. There is little from Lulu & Georgia that I would NOT buy, everything is just lovely. When they went above and beyond and shipped stuff to me in Germany, I was so pleased because lots of American products (like Jonathan Adler, Kate Spade, etc.) are not easy to find in stores here, and are non-existent in my city. If I drive over to Berlin, sure, I can find a few options but still, nothing like the great stuff Lulu & Georgia stocks so it was pure pleasure for me to be able to get stuff from America from one of my favorite web shops. Do you want to see glimpses of these 8 pretty things I have added to my home for Spring?

8 Trendy Pieces For Spring Decorating

But first, I just love to spruce up my home in March to welcome the new season. March is also my birthday month (21st) and so I find it important to my emotional health to do some home detox around my birthday each year. In fact, I’ve been reorganizing a lot, throwing stuff away, donating things and in April, I’m even hosting a ‘hausflohmarkt’ in my home next month – a flea market! I can’t wait.

So… In the process of the detox, I’m also shopping online for replacement pieces. In fact, more than usual, because I find so many great products online. I LOVE that I don’t have to leave the house and carry back bags and boxes from stores. With a two-year-old that I take care of full-time, plus a business, I don’t have a ton of spare time to even shop or run errands during “normal” hours so I shop after he’s in bed each night from the comfort of my computer. It’s the BEST, I never knew how amazing online shopping really is until I had a baby. I have everything delivered from diapers to protein bars, and of course, decor items for my home, gifts for friends, you name it and I’ve most likely purchased it online. Are you shopping more online too because if you’re not, let this post inspire you to go for it!

Alright, so now the big show and tell. Would you like to see what I got from Lulu & Georgia for my Spring spruce up?

8 Trendy Pieces For Spring Decorating
1. Jonathan Adler Horse Head Match Strike, $42. This will go in my living room on the bookcase far away from my little boy of course.

8 Trendy Pieces For Spring Decorating
2. Jonathan Adler Brass Hand Ring Holder, Brass, $128. I love this for my office to hold business cards and my rings since I always remove them when typing.

8 Trendy Pieces For Spring Decorating

3. Kate Spade Acrylic Stapler, $28 and 4. Molli Tray, Mustard Zig Zag, 11×17, $71. I love pretty staplers and trays – they are great for containing clutter in the office.

8 Trendy Pieces For Spring Decorating

5. Mini Dot Dinner Napkins, Deep Sea (set of 4). 20×20, $23. I have 8 of these napkins and plan to use them for my next party. The dots are happy and fun!

8 Trendy Pieces For Spring Decorating

6. Bayala Organic Cotton Tea Towel, 18×24, Deep Sea, $11. I love these tea towels for drying up the dishes and displaying on hooks in the kitchen for some pattern.

8 Trendy Pieces For Spring Decorating
5. Alma Sheepskin Rug, White, 2×3 (shown above on my sofa) and 6. Tinke Rug, Ivory & Charcoal, 8×10 (in LOVE!). I really like putting sheepskin on the sofa, even in the Spring since it still gets so cool at night. Plus texture just is the best thing to integrate into a space when decorating – adds dimension and warmth without cluttering up a space. This rug is the bomb. I really cannot stop gushing over it. I never will replace this thing, it’s plush and I mean look at it, how gorgeous against hardwood floors?

8 Trendy Pieces For Spring Decorating

8. OOH LA LA Tray, $74 – This tray is great for a coffee table because it can be a nice spot to lay the remote, though I removed the remote for the photo of course. :)

How do you like these things and even more, how do you imagine them in your home? Have you checked out Lulu & Georgia lately online? They are just beautiful. I will definitely shop with them again, I’m smitten for real.

Have a lovely day, I’m off to take my little boy to music class – bye!

(Photography & Styling: Holly Becker for decor8)

(Note: This post was sponsored by Lulu & Georgia. All product choices are my own. All opinions are my own.)

Decorating Tips, Tabletop

Tabletop: Easter Dinner Decorating Ideas

March 7, 2016

Hello and happy Monday dear readers! This is Anke with some March-inspired ideas for your coffee table, Easter gathering or any upcoming celebration with family and friends. This year still seems so very young to me – but Easter holidays are already in sight. Easter is a big deal in Germany and aside from its traditional meaning, it also makes us feel excited because when Easter comes we know that SPRING is in sight, which is so exciting, isn’t it? Easter lends a pretty good reason to set a Spring-like table in tender colors. And speaking of color, did you read that rose quartz is one of the two Pantone colors of the year for 2016? Their website said something rather interesting about their reasoning behind their pastel color choices, “As consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses, welcoming colors that psychologically fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security are becoming more prominent.” I have to agree, rose is such a serene color and perfect for the spring tabletop. Leave your stress and worry behind, sit down, relax and enjoy… In fact, I did not hesitate to use rose quartz in my Easter tabletop shown below. I hope that it inspires you to try a little rose quartz at home, too.

Tabletop: Easter Dinner Decorating Ideas

As you notice in my columns each month, I always decorate this little corner in my dining room near the pocket doors where the bench is. I like to make that corner fit the decor I have on the table for a cohesive look. For this look, I’ve styled some pretty flowers, hard-boiled eggs and a simple handmade wreath on the wall. The giant pleated vase was given to me by a dear friend to use for this setting, my ultimate favorite —  such an eye catcher, don’t you think? It was on the table when guests arrived, but to make room for serving, I moved it over to the bench as decor. I created a loose arrangement of ranunculus, tulips, pussy willow, white anemones, wax flowers, eucalyptus and catkin branches.

Tabletop: Easter Dinner Decorating Ideas

While creating this look, I discovered that wax flower is a dream candidate when it comes to crafting with flowers. The fine branches are very flexible and the flowers durable. You will find them in white and pink and in my opinion, nothing is easier than making tiny wreaths out of wax flowers! I’ve even used them to embellish the breakfast eggs on each guests’ plate.

Tabletop: Easter Dinner Decorating Ideas

As Easter breakfast may be more opulent than usual I thought Raspberry-Cream and Almond Sponge Cake might be a good idea! On top you see fresh raspberries and sugar-coated nougat eggs. This candy is very popular in Germany at Easter, they are called Möveneier (seagull eggs) and I love their speckled surface. The plates are simple white ceramic, topped with speckled gray plates from House Doctor to mimic the speckled chocolate egss on the table. For an simple, quick and classy Easter decoration I placed some edible white eggs over a simple white linen tablecloth. The eggs are hard-boiled and I cleaned the shell with pure household vinegar.

Tabletop: Easter Dinner Decorating Ideas

Tabletop: Easter Dinner Decorating Ideas

Tabletop: Easter Dinner Decorating Ideas


How will you spend your Easter holidays, dear readers? I’m afraid I will be away from home working, but hey – I had some Easter spirit already when decorating this table for decor8, right? ;) Have a beautiful month of March and I will see you again on April 4th with another entertaining at home idea for your tabletop! – Anke

(Photography, Styling and Text: Anke Illner. Editor: Holly Becker)

DIY, Flowers

DIY: Wreaths With Eucalyptus and Ruscus-Leafed Bamboo

March 5, 2016

Hello dear decor8 readers! My name is Anastasia Benko and I am a stylist, artist and vintage shop owner based in Germany. Holly’s blog has always been a constant source of inspiration to me and I am honored to be part of the amazing team of decor8 now! In my monthly flower column for decor8 I will create seasonally appropriate floral arrangements that will hopefully inspire you to bring the outdoors into your home too!

DIY: Wreaths With Eucalyptus and Ruscus-Leafed Bamboo

Before I share my first arrangement with you, I’d like to tell you a little more about my philosophy. For my arrangements I love to use what my surroundings offer. For me, a house doesn’t feel like a home without flowers and plants! This is also the reason why you always find natural elements in my home, I never come home empty handed from my walks in the nearby forest. I love to challenge myself and try to stick to the changing seasons to reflect the nature of the season. Of course there are occasions where only a lush flower arrangement makes sense but I also think that branches can make a huge impression and almost look like beautifully arranged sculptures.

DIY: Wreaths With Eucalyptus and Ruscus-Leafed Bamboo

After several years of working with flowers and plants I realized that no matter what time of the year, I am always drawn to wreaths. Wreaths have the most perfect form for me, a circle that is connecting one end with another – it’s beautiful but yet complex. This time I wanted to make 2 super-sized wings out of eucalyptus that can be arranged in two different ways: an open half wreath and a more wreath-like, round installation. These are my mood boards I created for the stylings: Continue Reading…


Recipe: Rhubarb, Blood Orange and Almond Crumble

March 2, 2016

Hi everyone, it’s Gintare with a new recipe that can hopefully help us all to welcome the long-awaited spring that is soon to come. It’s still very much winter here in the Swiss alps, a snowless one, I might add, but I just came back from visiting my family in Provence where there is a distinct spring vibe lingering in the air. Every March, while the fields and trees are still bare, and lavender is missing its purple hues, yet there are almond trees blooming all around. They’re like messengers of spring and rather pretty to look at. I always try to catch the groves for the most spectacular sightings, but this time I only caught a few lonely trees on a hill close by… Yet was enough to get me inspired to use almonds in something in the kitchen.

Recipe: Rhubarb, Blood Orange and Almond Crumble
Recipe: Rhubarb, Blood Orange and Almond Crumble

Having stumbled upon a few rhubarb stalks and blood oranges in a market on the way back, I decided that a rhubarb, blood orange and almond crumble would be my creation. Blood orange and rhubarb season overlaps just a little, making them a wonderful dessert pairing, as blood oranges have a bit more gusto than the regular oranges. Not to mention that a crumble is possibly the easiest and most comforting dessert to rustle up quickly.

Recipe: Rhubarb, Blood Orange and Almond Crumble

To save time (and washing up) I usually mix everything up in the same baking tin and sprinkle with the crumble. Half an hour later the bubbly and heart warming dessert awaits and only calls for a generous dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. A word must be said about mint in this dish. I find that so many desserts employ mint purely for its lovely look though it does close to nothing to the dish itself. In some cases, mint not only adds zero to the dish but also puts the whole dessert out of balance. Here, on the other hand, mint is an ingredient on its own and adds a wonderful freshness and even more of a spring feeling to this sweet plate. So, if you happen to have rhubarbs and blood oranges at hand, I cannot recommend enough to make it but also to add some mint.

Note: This dessert, has just enough sweetness to balance the sour notes of rhubarb, but it is not very sweet, so you cannot taste only sugar. If you do fancy extremely sweet desserts, you might want to add a bit of extra sugar to it.

Variations: Once blood oranges are out of the picture and strawberries come to farmstands, you can make the same crumble by switching blood oranges with 1 ½ cup of sliced strawberries and ¼ cup of crème de cassis liquor.

Rhubarb, blood orange and almond crumble

5 large rhubarb stalks
1/4/ 50 g light brown sugar
1/2cup/120 ml blood orange juice (about 2 oranges)
1 orange zest
5 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tsp corn-starch

60g/4 tbsp butter, chilled
1/3 cup/65g flour
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 cup/ 65g almond flakes
bunch of mint
vanilla ice cream and/or whipped cream

Recipe: Rhubarb, Blood Orange and Almond Crumble

MAKE: Preheat the oven to 180°C/375°F. Slice rhubarb and mix it with orange zest, sugar, corn-starch and juice. In separate bowl, mix butter, flour and sugar together, till crumbs form and then mix in almond flakes. You could also do it in a food processor, but it’s rather quick and this way there’s less washing up to do.

Recipe: Rhubarb, Blood Orange and Almond Crumble
Recipe: Rhubarb, Blood Orange and Almond Crumble

FINISH: Top rhubarb with crumble and bake for about 30 minutes, till it’s browned and bubbly. Take out of the oven and let it rest for a few minutes. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream and fresh mint.

Recipe: Rhubarb, Blood Orange and Almond Crumble

Please feel free to share on your social media if you love this recipe, we’d appreciate the love and I’d like to see my recipe make it into kitchens all over because it’s so yummy! See you on March 30th with another recipe from my kitchen to yours, decor8 readers! – Gintare.

(Photography, Styling, Text: Gintare Marcel. Editor: Holly Becker)

Home Tours

Home Tour: Harmony in a Rustic French Home

March 1, 2016

Hi guys, it’s Holly Marder and I am excited to show you around a harmonious French apartment with subtle wintry and rustic touches to kick off March. This home, a culmination of two buildings – a former post house for horses dating back to 1755 and its hay reserve – has been lovingly melded into a family home for webshop owner Fanny Roux, her husband and two children. I’m sure you will love the open layout, moody kitchen and the many delicate details to be found in this chic Saint-Germain-en-Laye home, which is located in the western suburbs of Paris about 11 miles away from city center. I hope you love it just as much as I did photographing and styling it together with Fanny!

Home Tour: Harmony in a Rustic French Home

Continue Reading…


Recipe: Gingerbread Snack Cake

February 25, 2016

Well hello decor8 readers! Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Rachel Korinek and I’m a professional food photographer from Melbourne, Australia. I run a blog called Two Loves Studio, a space where you can come hungry and leave inspired with a new perspective on your passions. I feel really excited and humbled to be able to share this column with you for 2016! I am sure many of you share my ‘two loves’, food and photography.

Recipe: Gingerbread Snack Cake

To kick start this year’s column I am sharing with you a Gingerbread Snack Cake, but first a little bit about me. I am a self-taught freelance food photographer currently living in Melbourne. I love the outdoors, hiking and camping in national parks, I’ve studied business and education and have been lucky enough to have travelled the world. I love Asian food and can’t get enough of dishes that call for homemade broths. Over the past few years of sharing my journey into food and photography on Two Loves Studio, I’ve made invaluable and unexpected friendships with other passionate creative and readers alike. I am eager to get to know all of you and my aim is to inspire you to live a life you love, what ever that may entail!

Being aware of the seasonal differences between hemispheres and that Australia is out of sync with the vast majority of the world’s population, my aim is to give you recipes that can span multiples seasons without missing out sharing my favorite creations that use much anticipated seasonal produce. Despite the seasons, good food enjoyed with loved ones is what is most important.

Recipe: Gingerbread Snack Cake
Recipe: Gingerbread Snack Cake

I have just spent a month in Canada with my husband’s family for the holidays and made a point of heading to the grocery store to check out what was available during the winter for this column. I was totally surprised by the availability of summer produce that gets shipped up from the warmer countries around the Caribbean region. It is perhaps a little alarming at the amount of food that we ship around the globe to ensure we can always have produce that would normally be out of season. There is a big trend in Melbourne of supporting locally grown produce and sustainable businesses. Being a food photographer, this isn’t always possible, as you have to adhere to what a client needs for a recipe to be shot, but for my personal consumption of food – I try to shop local where I can.


Now onto the recipe. With the holidays and endless hours of prepping and cooking delicious food long behind us, I’m sure many of us are longing for an enjoyable yet simple recipe to share next time we get together with family and friends. This may also be a nice treat for your Easter table?

I am a total advocate for ginger. I am always pushing for it to be included in our dinner dishes, much to the debate of my husband Matt. “Mmmm, I don’t think that goes together” he’ll often say, (I won’t get into who’s right or wrong!). I feel like my ginger tolerance is like that of chilli. It builds up over time and I need more and more. Don’t however be alarmed by the amount of ginger in this recipe. You want to be able to taste it right? It is also totally fine to halve the amount of ground ginger if you’re not its number one fan.

Recipe: Gingerbread Snack Cake

Ginger is such a versatile ingredient. It can warm us up on cold days, yet refresh us on not ones, help us when our tummies are upset and when our body is suffering from inflammation and pain.


1/2 cup pain, all purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ginger, finely minced
110g butter, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup golden syrup or molasses
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange zest (optional)
1 free range egg

Icing sugar to dust

Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F. Grease and line a 20cm x 20cm (9” x 9”) cake tin. In a small bowl, add baking soda and boiling water and stir. Once combined, add finely diced ginger. Set aside. In a large bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, allspice, baking powder. Add salt and mix until combined. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together. Add both syrups, vanilla, orange zest and baking soda mixture and beat until fully incorporated. Slowly add the flour /dry ingredients into the mixture and beat until fully combined. Add in the egg and continue to beat until the egg is incorporated.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly golden and the cake is bounces back at the touch. Remove and allow to cool.

With a sharp knife, trim the edges of the cake and slice evenly into small serving squares. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

NOTE: This cake is best served in small bit sized squares, and can make an impressive stack dusted with icing sugar. Accompanied with a cup of tea in one hand or a gin and tonic in the other.

This is NOT a sponsored post but we do want to thank West Elm for supplying the serve ware. The gorgeous colors of slate and gold go perfectly with the warm tones of the gingerbread. Shop list: Coloured Glaze Pinch Bowls, Coloured Glaze Prep Bowls, Raw Wood Boards, Scrape Serveware, Gold Flateware Set, Ikat Mini Lattice Napkin Set and Slate Placement.

See you next month, decor8 readers – Rachel.

(Photography, Styling and Text: Rachel, Two Loves Studio.)

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