I am typing with excited fingers because the decor8 booth at the imm Cologne + Living Kitchen fair is up and running! The imm is one of the most important interiors and kitchen fairs in the world and certainly, in Europe. If you’re an American, imagine being asked to have your own booth at the ICFF in New York and to share your inspirations and ideas as a stylist and blogger. Well, it’s like that. A big deal. And not just a little booth, an entire 11 x 7 meter space where you can create a kitchen, living room and dining area! You can find me in Hall 4.1 Booth C022 so please stop by all week or come on the weekend to meet me personally all day on Saturday and Sunday – I’ll be there from opening time until the fair closes each day.
That’s me chatting with visitors from Dedon, was such a pleasure to have coffee with them and relax.
I was honored to accept the challenge for my first trade show booth and jumped right in. But it’s not just an honor for me but for bloggers everywhere because this could be the start of something new. Imagine more fairs having booths from bloggers + influencers sharing their inspirations? It brings such a fresh flair to an interiors trade show, don’t you think? To see your favorite blog come to life and to get to meet the blogger that you love so much. Perhaps this is the next step for bloggers – to have their own trend shows at trade fairs so they can share what’s happening online and what they, and their readers, are interested in the most at the moment. I actually LOVE this concept!
I’ve done a lot to get to this point of being recognized and I’m proud of this – and also proud of what this means for bloggers globally. I want to do video work and television next. In fact, I would love to have my own show. But I’m proud that bloggers are being seen, no longer invisible. And though print publications still battle their feelings with having us out here, I’m happy to tell them that we must learn to live and work together because bloggers and influencers are not fading out anytime soon. So it’s time to team up or just accept us as being important content providers too.
Bringing together my ideas and inspirations for a trade show booth was one of the most exciting projects I’ve had because it’s totally new. I love a challenge. And to have only started in November, and only finalizing everything a few weeks ago, well… It’s an understatement to say that I worked really hard to pull it off in record time. But I didn’t do this alone. Not at all. I hired Morten Toni Vinther to help me, he helps me on special fair projects and when I travel to do consulting jobs. If you remember, we worked together in Paris a year ago for Maison + Objet and for Merci. This time, I pulled him in to help me with the booth as the Project Manager. I have an enormous amount of respect for this man, an Engineer who comes from the Automotive Industry, who has a rich background also in sales and really understands the importance of building good, but also very sincere, personal relationships with others. He speaks 5 languages, another rich asset, and he loves design and especially details – how something is made, what it is made from – and by whom. He wants to know the story behind the material and the maker. Morten has been the backbone of this project and I couldn’t have pulled this off in record time without him.
I also can’t thank Tinna and Morten Pedersen enough from Agentur Pedersen. Both worked with us very closely to loan out Skagerak and Ferm Living products for the decor8 booth. I also worked closely with Muuto, Connox, Woud Design, Piet Hein Eek, Atelier Suhka, N by Naber, LYS Vintage, Farrow & Ball and Menu to supply the major pieces for the booth which are on loan and to be returned after the fair ends. And of course Eike Fuchs, the Project Manager for Living Kitchen, Judith Mader, Charlotte Guyout, Ann-Christin Mai, Jan Wefelnberg and Markus Majerus. All were tremendously supportive and helpful throughout this project and none of this would have happened without them. And lovely Jenny who helped us build the booth! She was fantastic!
This was the first time the imm has ever had a Bloggers Trend Show, so we all learned so much together on this project and my hope is that the imm will continue to partner with bloggers in the future for more trend shows.
So! here is the booth on Sunday, the day before opening day…
Ann-Christin Mai, Charlotte Guyot and Judith Mader – Charlie’s Angels for sure!
And the floor plan… A rough copy but at least you can get a good idea of the layout and dimensions. I wanted the back wall to be plywood because I see it as great material to use on the wall in the home, particularly in the kitchen, and hope to see it even more in the future.
I’m VERY visual, so I always work off of mood boards. I find a starting point and then work from there. For this project, the starting point was a beautiful scrapwood table from Piet Hein Eek. I have loved his work for eight years and finally had a chance to approach him to work with me on this project and he accepted. From there, I decided on the plywood wall and the color scheme and overall vibe I was going for. Here is my mood board.
From this point, I started to make calls and send emails. Because time was so limited and Christmas was coming, it was critical to get all of our big pieces ordered before the holidays and gladly, we accomplished this. After I secured the large pieces, I did more mood boards just to see how the pieces were working together as I worked, you can see these below. I also had a mood board on Pinterest that I kept secret until now – you can see it here.
Dining area major pieces: Pause dining chairs from Woud Design, Afternoon Side chairs from Menu, Ply Rugs from Muuto, Waste Scrapwood Table in high gloss from Piet Hein Eek (This isn’t the exact table, I selected one in richer deeper tones and lots of white), Harrison lighting in white from Menu.
Kitchen corner major pieces:
Concept Kitchen (shelves and bar) from n by Naber, Blue Triangles Kelim rug, Triangle rug and Dip mat from Ferm Living, Pause Bar Stools in Light Blue from Woud Design, Collect lighting from Ferm Living, Kuvert Shelving from Skagerak.
Mood board area major pieces:
Lean wall lights in white from Muuto, Vivlio shelving and frame from Skagerak. This area ended up NOT being for the mood board, we moved it to another wall, and instead installed original painting from Sania Pell above the Vivlio shelving instead.
Living room major pieces:
Outline 3 seater sofa covered in Steelcut trio 133 Kvadrat textile and designed by Muuto, HAY Tray table in soft yellow from LYS Vintage designed by HAY, Basil cork table from LYS Vintage designed by Petite Friture, Muuto Leaf floor lamp in green (from my home), Visu Lounge chairs covered in Blue Umami 3 743 Kvadrat textile and designed by Muuto, Vivian Blanket from Atelier Suhka (from my home), Turning Table from Connox designed by Menu (from my home), Alma Sheepskin rug from Lulu & Georgia (from my home), Large 200×300 Black White PLY rug from Muuto, Square Magazine Holder in Black from Ferm Living, Assorted cushions from Ferm Living, Small, Medium and Large Dot Pendants from Woud Design.
Last weekend, we put it all together and on Monday morning, I went live on Instagram Stories to show you how it came out – and the fair officially opened. They’re expecting 70,000 visitors so it’s just a wee bit of pressure when a fair approaches you and asks if you’d like to be part of an international trend show and they’d like to give you a booth to share your personal inspirations in and some of the trends that are on your radar. With only two bloggers participating, it was such an honor to be asked but also to share the project with Desiree from Vosgesparis, a friend and fellow blogger living in Amsterdam whom I’ve known for years. We photographed her home for my first book, Decorate! She has always inspired me with her monochromatic living and tight editing and her eye for raw, edgy and everything graphic. I’m decorating in a different way from her, which was also great that we were both assigned this project because her booth came out so differently from mine. You can see her booth here on her beautiful blog.
Ready to peek in at the booth?
This is AFTER. Note: I didn’t select the floor, I had to use the standard trade show floor which is black cement. I also did not select the wall height. I had to use what they gave me, the height of 2,5 meters. Everything else though, I selected and nothing is “sponsored” and no one is giving me perks or anything special if I asked them to be part of the booth. Everything was chosen for one reason: I liked it! Also, 90-100 items that you see are from my own home. This makes the booth feel like home to me.
I love the wall decal on the back wall, a tree, by Sian Zeng. She’s lovely. She gave it to me as a gift about a year ago and I was going to put it in Aidan’s room but decided now that the booth was were it needed to go.
I like seeing visitors relaxing and chatting in my space. These guests are flipping through BELONG magazine and Decorate For a Party. I’ve added magazines and books from some of my favorite authors, including Fete Press, KOEL, my four books, Sibella Court, Hans Blomquist, Igor from Happy Interior and Urban Jungle Bloggers with lovely Judith, Kinfolk Home, and many more. The Lyngby porcelain vases that you see are from LYS Vintage in Hamburg, a favorite interiors shop of mine that I tell everyone who visits Hamburg that they must visit. Those vases are on my wish list for sure!
These pretty ceramic spoons are from my private collection, made by Anna Westerlund.
Don’t worry, I tucked away all of the cords on the floor to the left of the shelving, you can’t see them anymore, they drove me nuts!!!
These are so precious and special to me, on loan from my friend Dietlind Wolf in Hamburg.
Morten Toni Vinther, who managed this project for me (to the far left), speaking with a booth visitor.
So! that is the decor8 booth! Since the fair is still on, you can also come by and see it live and visit Desiree’s booth too! At the fair, you can find some of the best brands in the world of interiors and kitchen exhibiting their new collections AND the small makers too at the Blickfang designers market which is also part of the imm this year for the first time.
imm Living Kitchen – decor8 BOOTH – HALL 4.1 – STAND C022 (near escalators)
All week at the decor8 booth, we have a wonderful hostess there, Ayse Alkan (@missmorpho on Instagram) to make you a coffee, help you pin to the pinboard in our booth (you can win prizes!) and to answer your questions… Then, I’m back on Saturday and Sunday to be in the booth all day myself – I’ll be there with Morten and Ayse from opening to closing hours both days but away for lunch. If you stop by and I’m not there, ask Morten or Ayse to text me and I’ll come back to see you – I may be chatting to someone in another booth, etc. But I’m there!
On Saturday, we have a blogger tour and lots of my blogger friends are coming to see me and participate in my growing mood board project in my booth. We have cappuccino, expresso, etc in my booth too -so stop by and sit at the bar and relax with us. There is wifi, plenty of books and magazines to peruse and a very laid back and relaxing environment that I’m sure you will enjoy so definitely spend some time with us.
Thank you again to the imm and Living Kitchen for having me. From Friday-Sunday please watch my Instagram and hashtag #immspired to see my trend repots from the fair and I’ll see you on Saturday and Sunday in my booth too!