Interiors

Dutch-Inspired Party Ideas with Chocolate Beet Brownies

March 22, 2017

Hello everyone, it’s Anke and I’m here today to share my once-monthly column about tabletop styling and food. I’m German, yet our annual family summer vacations in Holland for the past thirty-seven years (I’m only 40!) shaped me and my sense of style. I love the the laid-back, relaxed and joyful lifestyle of the Dutch and whenever opportunity arises to visit Amsterdam I use it! For March, I’ve created an Amsterdam-inspired tabletop idea to inspire you for spring.

Dutch-Inspired Party Ideas with Chocolate Beet Brownies

I just returned from the city of canals and bridges with my dear friend Dunja last month and though spring seemed far away at that time we still enjoyed strolling through the streets and tiny alleys for hours. The beautiful canal houses are one of the most typical symbols of the city, so I started to search the web for a DIY everyone can implement without spending much money to their tabletop to bring in a little Dutch charm.

Dutch-Inspired Party Ideas with Chocolate Beet Brownies

I ended up finding a Dutch Canal House Luminaries DIY at Kate’s Creative Space. All you have to do is to print the templates and cut out the houses/ windows. Lucky for me, cutting out the small windows a little inaccurate gave my houses an even more charming look! Haha! Happy accidents are nice, aren’t they?

Dutch-Inspired Party Ideas with Chocolate Beet Brownies

The perfectionists amongst you can also glue transparent paper behind the windows which looks wonderful when you are planning to illuminate them with candles in a jar. You can also use craft knife and self-healing mat.

Dutch-Inspired Party Ideas with Chocolate Beet Brownies

Dutch-Inspired Party Ideas with Chocolate Beet Brownies

There is no Dutch-themed table decoration without tulips, agree? In our local flower shops we are experiencing tulip high season right now and one can draw from the full range. I picked different shaped tulips in rich shades of pink and red and placed them in my vases from Lyngby Porcelæn.

Dutch-Inspired Party Ideas with Chocolate Beet Brownies

Furthermore a little treat in the form of Chocolate and Beet Brownies with a cream cheese topping and cute canal house biscuits for ornament went on the table for my afternoon coffee gathering. You will find the brownie recipe at La Tartine Gourmande.

Dutch-Inspired Party Ideas with Chocolate Beet Brownies

Dutch-Inspired Party Ideas with Chocolate Beet Brownies

The pretty chocolate bars you see on one of my images are from PLUK Amsterdam, definitely one of the most popular locations for breakfast, lunch, coffee&cake and decoration shopping in Amsterdam currently! They also run an online shop in the meantime. Their chocolate, postcards and candles are the perfect souvenirs! The bars are the perfect hostess gift to your guests.

Dutch-Inspired Party Ideas with Chocolate Beet Brownies

Have a beautiful time welcoming spring… soak up sun, light and colors! I am looking forward to see you again with a new column posting in April everyone! Tot ziens & veel liefs!

(styling, text and photography: anke illner)






Interiors

8 Design Tips For The Perfect Modern Country Kitchen

March 15, 2017

All I have been thinking about for the past several months now are kitchens and bathrooms! What is your current design obsession? I came across the Park Kitchen Nottingham by DeVOL today, so very English I think, and I simply MUST how you some of the details because it’s like one of those kitchens that you imagine having if you took a place in the country in addition to your city apartment. I decided to put together a little 8 step guide to creating a modern country kitchen like this one.

8 Design Tips For The Perfect Modern Country Kitchen

1. Lighting from a different era and style. I LOVE this. When I see a kitchen like this, I expect the typical overhead lighting that is generally used to complete the look – something country, for instance. This feels very modern, classy and definitely very early turn of the century. You’d imagine this in a sleek New York City penthouse in the 1930s for instance, not in an English country home. It’s a great contrast. The understated oragami-like pendant above the sink is also very unexpected in a country kitchen but it’s definitely working! It’s modern and the form is just lovely.

8 Design Tips For The Perfect Modern Country Kitchen

2. Naked windows. If you don’t worry about people looking in on you at night while washing dishes, keep the windows naked and fabric-free. If you must add a little something, opt for a barely there white shade that you can just roll down in the evening. Less is more, and if you want lots of light in your kitchen, naked windows are the way to go. I have white Plissé shades and will never go back to roman blinds or anything else in my kitchen. Plissé shades are amazing.

8 Design Tips For The Perfect Modern Country Kitchen

3. Retro minimalist touches. I love the retro touches – the radio on the countertop and the smeg – perfect. You don’t need to go for an American diner look or cheese it up when it comes to retro hints. Keep them very spare but there. This smeg is honestly gorgeous in the space.

8 Design Tips For The Perfect Modern Country Kitchen

4. Hardware that doesn’t look like a kitchen anymore. These handles look like something from your bedroom cupboard, right? They give this kitchen such a cozy and warm vibe, not clinical or typical kitchen with sleek this and sleek that. Warm brass hardware dresses the space up without making it glamourous. I also like these types of handles in a kitchen because of the way they age over time, brass is beautiful like that – such character.

8 Design Tips For The Perfect Modern Country Kitchen

5. Mix of work surfaces. I spot some hardwood on the island and marble on the countertops. This is a nice mix because if the island was also marble, the kitchen would look more sleek and modern. If the countertops had been all wood like the island, the gray cabinetry wouldn’t have stood out as crisp and fresh. This mix works. Plus, on a center island, a wooden prep space in a family kitchen is so nice because you can really roll out cookie dough and get to work!

8 Design Tips For The Perfect Modern Country Kitchen

6. Simple open shelving. I like how this shelf isn’t loaded with visual noise like product packaging and things to read. Instead, it’s simple and clear – glassware, ceramics, a few sprigs of flowers, a wooden cutting board. Sure, you can drink from the glasses and use the cutting board, but it’s more of a beautiful display area in my opinion. If you have enough storage below the countertops, who needs cabinetry on all of the walls in the kitchen?

8 Design Tips For The Perfect Modern Country Kitchen

7. Glass top dining table. In this room, I love the table the most not only because it looks vintage, but because it has a glass top which is not so common these days AND because I love how it reflects all of the natural light from the bright and sunny kitchen. Wood would have absorbed all of that light and the dining space wouldn’t be nearly as vibrant. Such a great trick when you have a large room and you need to balance the light and the window sources aren’t available to do it for you naturally – add glass and/or mirrored surfaces.

8 Design Tips For The Perfect Modern Country Kitchen

8. Nearby storage. I LOVE this massive cabinet in the dining room that joins the kitchen. Oh goodness, it makes me so happy. It’s very robust but also so simple looking that you barely notice it. But look at what it holds inside…

8 Design Tips For The Perfect Modern Country Kitchen

8 Design Tips For The Perfect Modern Country Kitchen

What a gorgeous space! This is a little fantasy of mine now for many years – a country home with a lovely kitchen in perhaps this gray, shaker style. This kitchen is by deVOL and is absolutely stunning and indeed fits my happy country life fantasy very well.

Photography: deVOL






Places

Meet Me In Paris On March 24th: Décors de Fêtes

March 13, 2017

Hello dear readers and friends! The book Leslie Shewring and I wrote, Décors de Fêtes, will soon have its official launch party in Paris! I am over the moon to announce this special event on March 24th from 7-9 pm where I will be making a special appearance in Paris at the beautiful shop of Adeline Klam to celebrate Décors de Fêtes published by Éditions Marie Claire.

Meet Me In Paris On March 24th: Décors de Fêtes

If you would like to attend the book party, PLEASE get your free tickets by clicking this link and RSVPing since the party is after store hours and we need a headcount for drinks and snacks. Or, you can email your name to Jessy [at] decor8blog [dot] com. Also, if you attend the party, the first 10 people to buy the book will get two very special gifts from me. :)

Meet Me In Paris On March 24th: Décors de Fêtes

I am very excited because I’ve never been to France to meet fellow bloggers and friends of decor8 there at an official party. I can’t believe it, especially since I’ve been to Paris so many times in my life! This is why I decided to take this trip and go there to just see who shows up to say hello. I want to meet friends and fans and see some of my blogging peers, too.

It’s the same week of my birthday, so I’ve decided to make a special weekend out of it so I’m staying in a nice hotel and treating myself to a spa treatment there too. A book party, a nice hotel, walking around Paris with my camera in the Spring, it’s not such a bad idea! In fact, if you have ANY inspiring suggestions on what I should do on March 25th for the day (or evening) or the morning of Sunday March 26th, please list them in the comments section below because I’ll be roaming the city on the look out for inspiring things to do and see in addition to Merci and Astier de Villatte of course!

Meet Me In Paris On March 24th: Décors de Fêtes
Meet Me In Paris On March 24th: Décors de Fêtes
Meet Me In Paris On March 24th: Décors de Fêtes

By the way, if you missed our book trailer, here it is… This is for the English version, Decorate For a Party, but the content is the same as the French edition.

Video Credits:
Videographer + Director: Koen Folkerts, Narratief // Creative Direction + Styling: Holly Becker // Location: Morten + Tinna Pedersen, Hannover, Germany
Models: Emma Pedersen, Nora Hartmann, Nanna Eriksen // Music: By Film Composer Steven Gutheinz – Isle (Licensed through Music Bed)

Meet Me In Paris On March 24th: Décors de Fêtes

See you March 24th, Paris!!!!!

Love,
Holly x

 

(Photos: Leslie Shewring for Decorate For a Party)






Business

DIY Website in 6 Steps With Squarespace

February 28, 2017

DIY Website in 6 Steps With SquarespaceI’ve been collaborating with Squarespace for years, in fact I remember when they were in beta and we spoke about their exciting new website in 2006. Here I am, 11 years later, and I’m still a fan of their site and what they do. But what exactly DO they do, you may wonder? Well, it’s simple. If you don’t have thousands to spend on a website but you want it to look expensive and gorgeous, you can shop Squarespace for everything from a domain name to a website template and even a logo for your site. It’s easy to pull your entire website together in a day (maybe more if you are a perfectionist like I am). BUT you COULD DIY your own website in 6-8 hours.

Today dear readers, I’m going to walk you through how to create a Squarespace website in 6 Easy Steps. Ready?

1. DOMAIN. Visit Squarespace and if you don’t already have a domain name, search for one to see if what you want is available. You can search at the top of the main page on the site. Need to learn more about domains? Then click here. If the domain you want is not available, they will suggest a list of alternatives. If you don’t need a custom domain name and just want to use the preassigned name from Squarespace or you ALREADY have a domain name and want to use that, no problem because Squarespace now offers domains transfer. Move to the next step.

DIY Website in 6 Steps With Squarespace

2. TEMPLATE. From the main page click on the button far right that says GET STARTED which will bring you to the Choose a Template page. There are many categories along the left sidebar for you to peruse. This step will be where you will spend the most time, because there are many to browse and I’m guessing you will have a few that you won’t be able to decide on in the end. This is where you need to call in a friend OR just close your eyes and pick. Don’t try too hard to have the perfect template right now, as Squarespace puts it, “Pick your template based on how close it is to your ideal website, but don’t worry about an exact match. Your pages, content, fonts, colors, and more can be changed after you sign up.” You may want to write that down so you know what you’re looking for. Big photos, contact page, about page, portfolio, shop, or something else? List it and then look.

DIY Website in 6 Steps With Squarespace

3. SIGN UP AND START CREATING. After you find the template (for instance I love the Greenwich and this is one I want to work with for my new website) click on the button in the upper right hand corner when you are viewing the template that says, “Start With This Design”. Then complete the short form and click on “Sign Up + Create Site”. Next you will be asked some questions like, “What is your site for?”, “What is the website about?”, “What are your goals for this site?”, and then you are prompted to fill in the site title.

DIY Website in 6 Steps With Squarespace4. PERSONALIZE. Next, your “new” site will open and this is where you can personalize everything for your own custom website. Along the bottom of the site, you will see a black bar alerting you that you have a free 14 day trial. If you want to actually go beyond that and purchase a package, you can use code DECOR8 for 10% off your first purchase. Okay, so now it’s time to get to work. This is the other step in this 6 step process that will take you the longest but if you are clear as to what you want and work quickly, it may be quite quick. I know what I want so I’m willing to guess this will be a fast step for me. Fast as in, 8 hours max. Trust me, to build and launch a website, that’s lightening speed.

DIY Website in 6 Steps With Squarespace

5. ADD LOGO + IMAGES. Upload or create logos, add your own images to the “gallery” on your site, customize and tweak until you have exactly what you need and like. It’s best to have a folder on your computer that you title “Squarespace” or something so you can drop ALL of the files you put on your Squarespace site in that folder first and then drag and drop. I really like to be organized when working on projects so I have folders for everything.

6. SPELLCHECK, EDIT, GO LIVE. With the design in place and ready to go, edit all of your text, check for spelling errors, and go through the site, page by page, to tweak as needed. Then go live and ask your friends what they think and even share the new site screenshot on your social sites like Instagram. If you do, use hashtag #squarespace so we can see your new site!

SMILE, you did it! Next month, I’ll post again to show you the part two with my shiny new website. Stay tuned!

If you want to build your own Squarespace website or shop, go for it, and use coupon ‘DECOR8’ for 10% off your first purchase.

DIY Website in 6 Steps With Squarespace
This is a sponsored post in partnership with Squarespace but all words and opinions are my own.






Interiors

8 Ways To Decorate Your Bedside Table

February 27, 2017

Last year, Etsy launched a campaign called #DifferenceMakesUs in celebration of the personal, sweet differences that makes us all so unique and which serves to unite us.
I like how they sum it up, “Difference makes us. Life is beautiful, not because of our similarities, but because of our differences. It’s our mission to celebrate those differences.” So true! Part of the celebration of this campaign is how our bedside table looks since Etsy believes every personality has a quite unique style, different accessories, lighting, etc. which shows the taste and lifestyle of the person who sleeps in that space. No two bedside tables are alike, even in a shared bed – my husband has different things on his bedside table – right down to his lamp!

8 Ways To Decorate Your Bedside Table

Etsy asked me if I wanted to show my bedside table so I agreed and so, here it it is. BUT. They asked me to shop Etsy for some items that I thought could be used to spruce it up and then, they’d offer ALL of the products in a contest on their Instagram (you can enter on Instagram.com/etsyde or @etsyde from your app) for one lucky winner. This is a value of €275.00 (not including what you would have paid for shipping) AND you get a bonus of 3 extra cups NOT shown on my bedside table. What???? Yup. You heard me right!

What did I pick from Etsy?

1. Ceramic black and white vase from 1220 Ceramics Studio (€34.06)
2. 4 Cups from 1220 Ceramics Studio (I use one for tea, the others are in the kitchen on my shelf, €66.18)
3. Ceramic flowers (3) from Lysa Creation Design on the wall near my prints and the handprints of my son (€80)
4. Candle that smells like leather and wood from Kaoriko Paris, Portofino in Copper with Soy Wax (€45)
5. Concrete Tray from Trend Bolt (sorry, cup wasn’t included in shipment, €49)

8 Ways To Decorate Your Bedside Table

8 Ways To Decorate Your Bedside Table

8 Ways To Decorate Your Bedside Table

8 Ways To Decorate Your Bedside Table:

  1. Use any table, chair, bench, dresser… Anything you like that looks good next to your bed and is not too high. Test first by laying in bed and reach over to the table to see if it’s too high. If you have to stretch too high or if it’s not feeling practical in any way, it’s not the right table.
  2. What are your storage needs? I don’t need much near my bed, a few private things and a few books. So the private things are in the box on my bedside table (beneath the lamp) and the basket below is where I store other things by mainly books and magazines.
  3. Take the decor up from the table to the wall. I like to create something that flows down from the wall to the table. Some people like to hang art work directly above their bedside table OR hang a pendant or a wall light. I always feel like there needs to be a little something above the bedside table, even if not DIRECTLY above it. Makes the bedroom feel more cozy.
  4. Flowers. Always. They don’t have to be expensive. Or a plant. Also a beautiful, natural piece to add to a bedside table. I love flowers because I can change them often enough to give the bedside table a new look. Tulips, daffodils, sprigs of eucalyptus, pussy willows, roses – the entire look changes with the addition of different flowers.
  5. Vase. I have to have a vase for the flowers! I also like to keep it empty sometimes because this vase is pretty enough to stand on it’s own.
  6. Lamp. A good lamp to read by, I like the wooden one I have… But also I like that it’s not a typical-looking bedside table lamp with a big shade and ceramic base. It’s fun to have something quirky in a bedroom that you may expect on a work desk or credenza, for instance. There are no rules, as long as the light shines in the right spot for reading and fits your style.
  7. Candle. Always a scented candle. In the winter, I like wood and leather or something that smells like a fresh walk in a snowy forest. In summer, I go with Grapefruit or Rose, or something more sensual. Candlelight is relaxing and romantic, too.
  8. Tray. I love a tray to catch things like a pen, bookmark, remote control (if you have a TV in your room, we do not), wireless speaker remote (which we do have), etc.

8 Ways To Decorate Your Bedside Table

Items also shown, not from Etsy include:

1. White Rectangle Table is from Bloomingville (It’s a kids table but I use it for my bedside since the height and width are perfect)
2. Basket beneath for books and magazines from Bitte
3. Wall art (except hand prints) from Minted.com
4. Wood Lamp from Muuto
5. Chelsea Bed from Fashion For Home
6. Velvet quilt from Pine Cone Hill
7. Large Euro cushion from Pine Come Hill
8. Paper box “Joe” on table from Atelier Sukha.

See this photo below? You will win ALL THIS STUFF if you go to the ETSY GERMANY Instagram and enter under the #DifferenceMakesUs photo (details and rules are there – we decided to move the contest from my IG over to Etsy so sorry for the confusion!).

Thank you Etsy for including me in this fun campaign!

(Photography/Styling: Holly Becker)






Business

Take Your Blog & Business to the Next Level e-course

February 18, 2017

I’m excited to announce an e-course like no other that you simply cannot miss… So in case you haven’t enrolled yet, the Blogging Your Way blog boot camp is a must-take! It’s all about taking your blog & business to the next level (or how to start it right if you are brand new). From March 3-20 I’m going to help a small group of you online to build the blog (or Instagram or business) of your dreams, and then how to use it once it has grown… So tell me… Are you in?

Take Your Blog & Business to the Next Level e-course

This class will teach you everything you need to know about profitable BOLD blogging and social media that slays. I’ve been supporting myself financially on my blog since I started in 2006. Yes, that’s ELEVEN YEARS. Talk about business sustainability – I will show you exactly how I did it and how I stay relevant in this ever-changing marketplace year after year. NO SECRETS. Come, learn from me.

Have a blog? Want to start a blog? Have a business you want to promote? Do you need help figuring out how to do something with all of the great fans you’ve amassed? Do you feel stale and in need of inspiration and brand new ways to work online?

This class WILL be a game changer for you.

I will solely teach this class and I will dedicate all of my time and attention for three weeks to ONLY you. This means that you will have direct access daily to talk to me online (except on the weekends) to answer your questions. You can even chat live once weekly with me in our mentor chat and ask any question you’d like and I’ll answer it. One or ten, I’ll answer them all.

This class will be like none before it because we are keeping it small and I’m not scheduling any other work or projects for the full duration so this class is the ONLY thing on my mind which frees me up to shoot above and beyond for my students.

It’s also for all levels but if you are a beginner, please note that we will not teach you HOW to set up a blog. So it’s a good idea to set one up first and then we will teach you what you need to know to get rolling with your blog. And for those of you already blogging, it’s time to up your game!

For more information, click here and SIGN UP because I’m only allowing 50 more students into the class and then that’s it – I’m closing registration. I won’t be doing another class like this until late Fall/early winter this year, so if you want it, come and get it!!!!

REGISTER HERE

Take Your Blog & Business to the Next Level e-course
Love,
Holly

(Top photo: Toni Vinther, bottom row all by Holly Becker except 2nd from left, by Martin Wehrmann)






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