Ramblings

A Baby Update

April 4, 2015

Hello dear friends! I want to wish you a lovely and relaxing Easter weekend, whether you celebrate or not, please be safe and enjoy your friends and family and hopefully a long weekend with Monday as a vacation day! We are taking off on Monday to spend with Aidan’s grandma so I won’t be back on decor8 until Tuesday. Next week, I will pick the winner of our Aether Cone music player giveaway so please don’t forget to enter here. You just may get lucky. Someone has to, why not let it be you?

A Baby Update

That’s my “little” boy above in his Petit Bateau overalls and onesie. He looks so handsome in a fresh, clean stripe! He started crawling at nearly 6 months, walking before Christmas at 10 months and on April 9 he will be 14-months-old and he’s already so clever and lovely and always running around and just so happy, happy, happy! He loves to open every drawer and cabinet, turn every key, go out each day in his stroller for long walks, play in the sand pit in the park with his friends who also have American mamas, and said Mama awhile back as his first word and hasn’t stopped saying it since. Just this week he has now added Mommy. He loves to eat everything from bananas to Japanese mochi, croissant, smoked salmon, olives, avocado and shrimp. He adores books but at his age they usually end up in shreds so I’m saving the good ones, and those I had as a child, for later on when he doesn’t eat them.

He sleeps from 7:30 – 7:00 each night – I know, right?! A blessing! He started sleeping through the night at around 10 weeks old so we got really lucky with this little guy, our only child. We’ve decided to just have one baby so he’s always going to be an only and that’s fine by us because I always said I only wanted one. Though after having a baby, if I were 30 again I would definitely have more kids. But my life is already so big, you know? I have so much going on and with one child, it all still feels so manageable and everyday feels busy but normal busy, not chaotic… When he goes to bed I’m not wiped out exhausted, and I can’t be because I work until midnight or later once he has fallen asleep. I’m both career-oriented and family-oriented so I feel with one child, I get the best of both worlds and I don’t want to rock the boat for me personally. I don’t know if I could be like these super moms out there who can do it all. I feel like that’s not my destiny. So I’ve decided that being content with my little guy is just fine.

He is everything and more as far as babies go – bright, curious, compassionate, caring, smart and very friendly. He has 7 teeth, very blue eyes like my mother and her side of the family, is about 82cm tall and wears a shoe size 22 – so he’ll definitely be tall like me and my husband.

I still maintain that this little boy is THE best thing in my life that has ever launched through me. My books, this blog, all of the great successes I’ve had career-wise, I’m extremely grateful and hold all of them in very high esteem too. But nothing is like having my own child. I can’t believe sometimes that I was on the fence for many years, waiting for the perfect time to have a baby, always wanting to have a family but also not willing to have one until things were just so. But then the clock ticked louder and louder as I approached 40 and thankfully my good friends gave me a “talkin’ to” which is southern for a healthy lecture, and my baby came soon after. Good girlfriends ARE gold, the ones who say what you need to hear, not the ones who just support everything you do whether or not it’s good for you.

Yeah so life is really nice with a baby. I feel so lucky to have him, especially as an older mom though it seems most moms over here are beyond 35 and just jumped over the 40 mark so I’m not alone. It’s nice to have a little person who is so in love with me and even though a lot of times (he is already in his toddler stage with meltdowns, etc.) he is angry because I won’t let him play with the knives or drink the shower gel or spray the glass cleaner into his mouth (!), I still see his big love for me the moment he falls or needs a hug or wants to cuddle. He knows his mama will love him forever and I will. When he runs to me in the playground with tear-stained cheeks because some kid stole his toy, I just want to press pause and have him stay this little forever. But then I think about how he’ll someday be a teenager that I can watch Fast & Furious with (by then we’ll be on what, number 30?), well that sounds pretty good to me too. I look forward to all of the stages of his life, but this toddler stage is definitely pretty hilarious at times then extremely heated and then in the flip of a switch, quite touching and sweet. You know, typical little one.

So that’s my baby update. I try to keep him off of my blog and a healthy distance from my career but I know so many of you have followed me since I got pregnant and then, when I gave birth so many were very encouraged by his birth story, so I want to give you mini updates from time to time.  I post his photos a little more on my Instagram account @decor8 if you want to follow me over there but even on IG he’s not splashed all over the place but he’ll pop up over there more than here in case you would like more regular updates.

Have a lovely weekend everyone, whatever you do or with whomever – enjoy yourself!

Love,

Holly

(Photo: Holly Becker for decor8)






Trends

Trend: 3D Artwork To Wallpaper Design

April 3, 2015

Would you like to see your favorite artist with a line of wallpaper? Technology has allowed us to do so much in the world of interiors. In fact, I love seeing how artwork can be translated into wallpaper, as in actual paintings, mixed media pieces, etc. I see this as a micro trend at the moment with real growth potential. Common surface materials such as wood, tile, tin, concrete and brick are still trending on wallpaper creating faux finishes but because this is no longer considered “new” anymore, trends are moving us forward in new ways.

Trend: 3D Artwork To Wallpaper Design
Biblioteca wallpaper by Russian artist Ekaterina Panikanova

For instance, I can see actual artwork by mixed media artists and painters coming to the surface (pun intended!) as the next wave of wall-covering trends. It’s been done before but I’m hearing about it more and more and I’m liking what I see so far though I imagine a lot more room for more diversity and fun. I imagine though that it must present a significant challenge to translate a painting or collage to a repeat wallpaper pattern. I would think a lot of the challenge is just getting an artist to feel comfortable enough to agree to it! Here are some examples of what I’m seeing.

Trend: 3D Artwork To Wallpaper Design
Remixed Wallpaper by Dutch artist Arthur Slenk

Trend: 3D Artwork To Wallpaper Design

Biblioteca wallpaper by Ekaterina Panikanova

Trend: 3D Artwork To Wallpaper Design
Remixed Wallpaper by Dutch artist Arthur Slenk

Trend: 3D Artwork To Wallpaper Design

Remixed Wallpaper by Arthur Slenk

Trend: 3D Artwork To Wallpaper Design

Jessica Zoob wallpaper

Trend: 3D Artwork To Wallpaper Design
Remixed Wallpaper by Arthur Slenk

This is such a outside-of-the-box way for fine artists to showcase their work in a new yet still very special and meaningful medium. I think this works best if the wallpaper is done very well and sold at a medium to high price point in limited runs to maintain that special quality to the work. I can’t see this working on the mass market because I think most fine artists wouldn’t want to see their work on just any wall of any residential or commercial space. I imagine some of my favorite artists and can really see their work showing up on wall-coverings or even large murals – wow – it would be so stunning.

I hope to see more and more of this micro trend, don’t you? Do you know of any artists who have done this successfully? If so, I’d love if you could tell us in the comments section. I’d like to see what you’ve been seeing out there!

(images linked to their sources above)






Shopping + Products

Ellie Cashman Wallpaper

April 3, 2015

I found out about designer Ellie Cashman this morning while combing my submissions inbox to see if there was anything that grabbed my attention there – and sure enough, I came upon a little pot of gold! I am positively smitten with these cushions in their large moody florals in dark lush tones. Ellie also has wallpaper (adore!) and curtains among other products, but the cushions definitely made me smile. These are so pretty and would fit nicely into a light, bright room on a big white Ghost sofa or in a dark, dramatic room with a gorgeously worn black leather sofa.

Ellie Cashman Wallpaper

Ellie Cashman Wallpaper

I also LOVE how her patterns look in a gorgeously dark and rich commercial space like this tapas restaurant in Salt Lake City called Finca designed by the very talented CityHome Collective. You can see more photos on their website here. What a sexy space, right? Spot the floral Ellie Cashman wallpaper?

Ellie Cashman Wallpaper

Ellie Cashman Wallpaper

Ellie Cashman Wallpaper

Ellie Cashman Wallpaper

Psst: Find the cushions at Design Hunter or visit Ellie’s site for more information.

Happy Friday everyone! Back in a moment with another great interiors find!

(images: ellie cashman)






Designers + Stylists

Stylist Luke Edward Hall

April 2, 2015

I was recently introduced to Luke Edward Hall, a British interior designer, prop stylist, illustrator and protege of Ben Pentreath, and found his new line of home decor so very English and inspiring. My favorites are the “Delicious” plates and the hand drawn tiger cushions. Here is a glimpse of some of his styling and illustration work below along with a photo of him from a great story I read in Lonny mag. I’ve included some shots from his IG account too since I found it very inspirational to follow.

Stylist Luke Edward Hall

Stylist Luke Edward Hall

Stylist Luke Edward Hall

Stylist Luke Edward Hall

Stylist Luke Edward Hall

Stylist Luke Edward Hall

Stylist Luke Edward Hall

Stylist Luke Edward Hall

Stylist Luke Edward Hall

Stylist Luke Edward Hall

Luke Edward Hall (25) is an interior designer, stylist and illustrator. After graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2012 with a degree in Menswear Fashion Design, Luke and two like-minded friends ran Fox and Flyte, a thriving online antiques shop. Combining his passion for design and retail, Luke founded his eponymous range of homewares and fabrics in 2014 and has been carefully growing his interior empire into a full home offering. Luke also currently works in the interior decoration department of the acclaimed architectural designer Ben Pentreath, in London’s Bloomsbury and is about to launch a new collection of illustrated plates through his online store.

This moody dark English style is so appealing to me. My father used to own an English pub (in addition to his daytime career) and the bar was shipped over from England to South Carolina where we lived and it was such a moody, dark place that the locals really loved. I used to go there every day after school and wait for my mother to bring me home since she managed it during the day, and I remember it being such a cozy space in all of the dark moody greens, navy, burnt umber, dark red, mustard… Leathers and woods. Very Sherlock Holmes (Cumberbatch version).

It was such a contrast to our family home, which was light, bright and very colorful like my mother. It was even in such contrast to the neighborhood – a beachfront community. You could escape the sunshine for the pub and instantly feel like you were on vacation in England ordering a pint. My father’s family has English blood, which was why he had such a passion for opening a place like that. Whenever I see spaces like this, I think fondly of my father and his decorating style.

In fact, whenever I’m in London I think about my English ancestry and understand why I like it there so much – there is part of me who definitely feels a link despite how very American I am.

Isn’t Luke on such a great path for his age? I’m always so impressed when I see people in their early twenties, fresh from design school, with product lines already. It seems like today there is nothing stopping anyone with ambition as the start up costs of getting things made and the whole “free” internet makes it so much easier than in times’ past. I think he has a lot of potential and can’t wait to see what else he does down the road.

Do you find this eclectic mix of objects coupled with lots of dark hues to your liking? 

(photos: Lonny, Luke Edward Hall and 2LG)






Blogging

Partnering With Others

April 1, 2015

Ready for a creative boost and a fun way to grow as a blogger? To continue with my blog trends column (#20blogtrends), for this 5th installment I want to talk about partnering with others and why it’s so valuable to more than just a small business, but to our mental health/emotional well-being too.

Partnering With Others

I had such a positive and wonderful experience lately and want to share it with all of you. (That’s me above working on Monday with local photographer, Susanne Irmer.) You know how sometimes you wonder if you are meant to be living where you live? I moved a lot in my life which has resulted in always feeling at home no matter where I am because I don’t attach “home” to a specific space or location. It’s always inside of me and with my family and friends. I’ve had homes all over and I never complained when my family moved, I felt excited and couldn’t wait for the next adventure. Some kids have no problem with moving around a lot and lucky for me, I was one of those kids and continue to love the new adventures that come with relocating to this day. Because I love to move, I am always up for trying something new, especially if the current location is no longer working for whatever reason.

If you’ve followed this blog for some time, you know I’m American and we relocated here to northern Germany from Boston in August 2009. Lately I’ve been starting to wonder if this is the place for me to stay ultimately. As in, until I die. My husband has said he wouldn’t mind living in southern California, especially since it appears as though I have SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and I often wonder if I’d feel better being in a sunny place despite my love for four seasons. I also have a lot of friends in California and the west coast in general and am a beach fanatic so I could absolutely get into living somewhere in the OC near the coast. My husband is also happy to relocate to the UK because we both adore London. But that almost makes me scared as the weather there is much worse than in Germany – it rains about twice as much in London…

So all of this wondering lately about where to live, or if we should just stay in Germany,  has also made me think about why. As in WHY am I even thinking about moving and it mostly comes down to weather, the general energy where I live (how ambitious and creative people are, or not) and feeling like I cannot find others like me who want to work together on fun, creative projects. Then I thought about if where I live is really SO BAD. Because there is so much good here, my husband loves this city (he was born and raised here) and his family is here, I have lovely friends, the cost of living is great and my work is really respected and valued here – my books sell extremely well and I have a lot of great opportunities offered to me on a regular basis because of my books and online presence. Which is why I did what I always do when I’m having a hard time sorting ideas and embarked on some mind mapping and list making, both of which are critical when my brain feels like it cannot find the right answer.

After filling many pages, I discovered that the most important thing right now, since I cannot move today, is to take positive action on what I can change. My mindfulness professional life coach Laurie Cameron, is helping me with this too so I cannot take all of the credit. She is an amazing resource and I love our weekly sessions via Skype. What could I do in my own local area to improve my mood and feel more creative despite the fact that we’ve had hailstorms for several days now?

All of the writing and listing and mapping made me think about a project that I needed to do for work and how, instead of working alone or with my husband to produce the photos that I need for the assignment, that I’d hire help to see if the creativity of others could somehow brighten my day and bring in sunshine to a place where there is currently none. So I hired a photographer, two models and a makeup artist. I started to brainstorm on how I wanted the photos to look and how I’d be using them. This past Sunday was day one and on Monday, was day two – the final day – and I am now flying high! I’m happy with the work, I’m excited to work with Susanne to do more work in the future together, and everyone involved was also inspired and felt the magic in return, so the goal was met – good work was produced and a positive, happy vibe for all!

I took control and feel better because of it!

When you are feeling down or affected by the weather, or people, or whatever else or you just need a creative boost, think of partnering with others and see what comes from it. Lots of bloggers are doing this and it makes a huge difference. It may also help you to get your mojo back like it has always done for me in the past, including the most recent past just a few days ago.

If you’ve missed my other Blog Trends post in this series of 20, here are the ones we’ve discussed so far:

What do you think, have your partnered with others? What has been your personal experience? Do you have any questions for me or anyone else about how to partner with others or tips to share?

(Photograph: Susanne Irmer)

 

 






Shopping + Products

Aether Cone For Music Lovers + A Giveaway!

March 31, 2015

If you want a stunning well-designed music player that you can speak to (and it listens, unlike your children!) and it delivers the music (or podcast, program, etc.) that you’ve asked for while also being portable and beautiful, then the Aether Cone will rock your world.

Aether Cone For Music Lovers + A Giveaway!

I placed my Aether Cone in white/silver on my shelves in my dining room where I entertain the most and after testing it for several weeks now, I found it to be the perfect addition to the space without cluttering it up with cords, clunky equipment or having to dock my phone (I’ve always hated doing that with other players). It’s also cordless because the battery lasts for 8 hours (there is a cord for plugging it in to a power source too in case you need it). I listen to my many playlists wirelessly and love it.

Aether Cone For Music Lovers + A Giveaway!

The Aether Cone is obviously wireless but also multi room, meaning you can pair multiple cones so you can hear the same song (or program, podcast, etc.) throughout the house without a single cord. I also like the discreet intuitive dial on the front on the rim of the cone so you can simply turn it and hear something similar to what you’ve been listening to. You can speak to it to change what is playing – there is no screen needed to change the song. It’s seriously so cool.

Aether Cone For Music Lovers + A Giveaway!

With this cone you may also control your playlist by speaking to it as I’ve mentioned already OR by logging into your Rdio account (or other playlist) and stream music from there. You can play music from Spotify, Beats Music and Pandora and also from a phone, laptop or iPad or other tablet because it has Bluetooth. I really LOVE this feature.

Aether Cone For Music Lovers + A Giveaway!

Aether Cone For Music Lovers + A Giveaway!

To celebrate this wonderful product and my collaboration with Aether, we are giving away one cone valued at $399 USD in your choice of either black/copper or white/silver.

To win a cone please:

* Follow Aether on Instagram (if you have an IG account)
* Comment below and tell us where you’d like to put your aether cone in your home and what some of your favorite music is
* Leave your comment by Tuesday, April 7th, 5pm CET
* This giveaway is for residents of the USA, UK and Canada only
* Winner will be announced on my twitter account and this post will also update once the winner is chosen, between April 8-10th

This post in partnership with Aether but please note that I made an agreement with them that if I didn’t like this product I would not review it, and because I fell in love with it, I was excited to bring this review and giveaway to all of you. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that allow me to do work that I love.

Updated April 14: The WINNER is Yvonne from Following Breadcrumbs! Congrats! 

(Photography: Thorsten Becker)






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