Contests, Things

Win £3,000 Worth of Products From Amara Living

September 26, 2016

It’s Autumn, are you ready to redecorate? I am! That’s why I’m so excited to share such a MASSIVE GIVEAWAY with my readers today because ONE very lucky winner who comments below will receive £3,000 worth of stock from The Amara Own Collection from Amara Living (dependent on stock availability) and this contest is open WORLDWIDE. To celebrate the launch of their own label brand The Amara Collection for AW16, they wanted to collaborate with me to give decor8 readers a chance to redecorate for Autumn/Winter. Imagine winning £3,000 worth of products – your choice?! And entering is so easy, the directions are at the bottom of this post.

Win £3,000 Worth of Products From Amara Living

But first, a little about Amara Living. Co-founder Sam Hood has spent considerable time editing and curating a collection of brands which all appeal to the loyal Amara customer, she says, “My team and I have spent the past 11 years bringing together and successfully selling interior brands which we love and have a passion for. We have the knowledge of the industry and most importantly we know what our customer wants. The beauty of an online business is that we can see, in real time, the success of certain brands and products which has allowed us to react with speed to our customers’ needs. We’ve been able to highlight our customers’ buying trends and personal tastes which has in turn helped us to create a collection we know they will love and want to buy.”

By sourcing and co-designing pieces with some of the world’s leading craftsmen, each collection will embrace all that the Amara customer associates with the e-tailer; distinctive design, quality, timelessness, attention to detail and the most exceptional customer experience. Hood adds, “It’s been a great experience to work with some of the most talented and experienced people in the industry-I’m so pleased we’ve been able to bring together all of these beautiful pieces to create the new Amara Own Label brand. By combining our own expert knowledge with our chosen brands and manufacturers, my team and I have selected and created the very best pieces we know our customers will love to have in their homes.”

With each new season, the Amara Collection will share new collections that will embrace the latest trends. The season currently focuses on Fantasy, Heritage, Graphic and Luxe. You can visit their current look book here.

Win £3,000 Worth of Products From Amara Living

GRAPHIC – This monochromatic mix allows for shapes and patterns to take the spotlight. Sleek, modern geometrics and smooth materials.

Win £3,000 Worth of Products From Amara Living

FANTASY – A delicate mix of gentle grey tones and pastels, this look is feminine and elegant with contemporary details.

Win £3,000 Worth of Products From Amara Living

LUXE – Old Hollywood glamour inspired this look which mixes bold tones with lush texture such as silk and velvet. Luxe works well in urban dwellings and country hideaways by a cozy fire.

Win £3,000 Worth of Products From Amara Living

HERITAGE – This collection mixes glam with country. Rich colors and tones add warmth. Checks, plaids, furs and gold add a richness that is both classy and casual.

 

A Giveaway With Amara Living – To enter you need to do the following:

1. Comment below and tell us which is your preferred look from the collection (Heritage, Graphic, Luxe or Fantasy)

2. Follow @decor8 and @AmaraLiving on Instagram.

When a winner is selected, we will verify the above before announcing.

*This giveaway is open to readers located worldwide. £3,000 total value per winner. This is for £3000 worth of stock from The Amara Own Collection. Do not leave your email or web address in the body of the comment, only in the allotted boxes. Our winner will be contacted by email and announced at the bottom of this post. Contest closes October 10, 2016.

Good luck everyone!

 






Interiors

9 Decorating Ideas From J.Crew Ready-To-Wear

September 21, 2016

I don’t know about you, but I’m currently so inspired by the recent J.Crew ready-to-wear show that had social media all a-buzz. Yeah, of course I love that they skipped hiring fashion models to walk their runway using everyday beauties instead… but the clothes. Oh the clothes! Everyone was wearing just the smartest looks in this presentation of beauty – so radiant. I love the color combinations, the feminine touches, the combination of a beige work shirt with a very sweet pink hand embellished skirt, it’s all such a great combination of contrasts — and I love contrasts in interiors and fashion so much. I have used the olive with pale pink, bright pink and champagne tones in projects before and even in my new book for one of the party scenes; I really love it for interiors so seeing it in fashion gave me goosebumps. Here are 9 ideas that I had as I looked through these images that you may be able to apply to your home.

9 Decorating Ideas From J.Crew Ready-To-Wear

  1. Unexpected color scheme. Olive green, champagne, gray, nude and bright pink.

9 Decorating Ideas From J.Crew Ready-To-Wear

2. Mix materials to add dimension and warmth – cotton, linen, satin, netting, cement, tulle, canvas, leather, metal, wood.

9 Decorating Ideas From J.Crew Ready-To-Wear

3. Be playful. Pink loves copper. Pink also loves plaid and cargo shorts and cement floors and nautical stripes and big floppy flower brooches and olive satin ponies. See how playful and fun this is?

9 Decorating Ideas From J.Crew Ready-To-Wear

4. Don’t fear a good ruffle and a bright accent – perfect in a space that has a lot of clean lines and is very spare. Adds an element of fun and surprise.

9 Decorating Ideas From J.Crew Ready-To-Wear

5. Beige is NOT boring. I am so tired of hearing people say that about beige but perhaps vision is needed because beige can be a great base for fun things to happen. Think about your face. Your foundation/skin tone is beige or a tone of beige and then you add shine, sparkle, color, etc. It works. Your face isn’t boring! Same with a room with lots of beige. With texture, a variety of tones and mixing in a strong navy, some olive and accents of bright pink and orange – well, beige is still the most dominant color in this palette but it comes across as anything but boring now!

9 Decorating Ideas From J.Crew Ready-To-Wear

6. Dress up the casual with accessories and attention to detail. Jeans with satin heels. A stripe shirt worn off shoulder. A lace up a-line skirt. Wild beautiful hair. A big black flower on a skirt waistband. Ruffles, fringe… A very calm palette with natural materials suddenly feels very new and fresh through a good attention to detail and lovely accessories.

9 Decorating Ideas From J.Crew Ready-To-Wear

7. Combine “grown up” with sweet. Try to drop the idea that grown up spaces have to be very, well, grown up. Add some sweetness. This salty caramel work shirt with a very sweet and over-the-top skirt creates tension that ends up balancing this look out so well that it matches beautifully.

9 Decorating Ideas From J.Crew Ready-To-Wear

8. Do use classic prints. Stripes and checks and dots. Classic prints that never go out of style in fashion also look great in the home. I can see this translated into a room scheme or party, can’t you? Or a little nursery? Perhaps an office for you or your partner? A three-season-porch? Your beach house?

9 Decorating Ideas From J.Crew Ready-To-Wear

9. Messy is good. A perfect house with no sign of personality or life is super boring and nowadays, dated too. Update your home by allowing your personality to shine. Those pants and that shirt both look like someone’s toddler had fun with a can of white paint. But it’s so good looking, right? I mean, I would wear these looks, no problem. So why not add your kids art to frames and put on the wall? Or your own? It doesn’t have to be perfect to look good. Notice the shirts have tucked in? This look has been around for a bit, but it has staying power because it looks quirky and cute. The modern woman is WAY to busy to fuss like the ladies from the Mad Men era. Slouchy cushions, a worn leather sofa, handmade elements in the room, and most of all TOTAL ROOM CONFIDENCE. That’s how you pull it off. You love your home and well good, who gives a damn what anyone else thinks. And with THAT attitude, everyone magically loves your room. The end. :)

Imagine these outfits as room schemes or as party decor in your home. How would you translate these runway looks into the home?

PS: View the entire ready-to-wear collection on Vogue here.

(Photos: J.Crew and Daisy Chaussée)






Places

LONDON Meet Me Next Week : RSVP Here

September 21, 2016

Hello friends! I have very exciting news. In exactly ONE week from today, on September 28, 2016, Leslie Shewring and I will be in LONDON at ANTHROPOLOGIE on KINGS ROAD from 7-9pm for a very special meet up, book presentation, styling and DIY workshop all in celebration of Decorate For a Party. If you want to attend, since it’s after store hours and a private event, you have to register here to be on our guest list.

LONDON Meet Me Next Week : RSVP Here

 

 

Together we will:

  • Show you 6 Ways To Set a Table
  • Make a project together from the book that you can customize and take home
  • Have a group photo with us showing your finished projects
  • We’ll talk about the book and share some special highlights
  • We will have a book signing pause so you can buy a copy and we’ll sign and add any special messages, etc. We are happy to sign and dedicate books to your family, friends, customers, etc. for holiday gift giving, too.
  • You can meet up with other bloggers, journalists and our families and friends and enjoy some snacks and drinks
  • LIMITED SEATING + SUPPLIES so please register here. Note: Tickets cost £10, which is redeemable against purchases of £20 and over. If you only want to come to meet us quickly (or if you are a journalist and want to take photos or do a quick interview) and won’t be staying for the workshops, please send me a private email (holly@decor8blog.com) and I can put you on a separate guest list so you can still obtain entrance at the front door.

Because this is a private event, your name has to be on our guest list to get in to the store since it’s to be held after store hours.

Please register here to attend.

See you next week, LONDON!

FOR ALL WHO ATTEND please tag your photos #decorateforaparty

xo

Holly






Interiors

6 Ways To Decorate With Plants + Urban Jungle Book Review

September 20, 2016

Before our guest authors share 6 fabulous ways to decorate with plants, I simply must tell you about their beautiful new book for plant lovers called Wohnen in Gruen (German) and in English, Urban Jungle. Who wrote it? Igor Josifovic (from The Happy Interior blog) and Judith de Graaff (from Joelix) with photography by Lina Skukauskė and illustrations by Saar Manche! What a great team! This lush, green beauty came about three years after Igor and Judith initially formed their online community, “Urban Jungle Bloggers” with a blog under the same name. Maybe you’ve heard of it?

6 Ways To Decorate With Plants + Urban Jungle Book Review

Urban Jungle (the book) is fabulous guide to decorating with plants and the focus is really on the plants – from the best to use to proper care, DIY projects and so much more. If you love plants this book is definitely going to make you smile. I have the English copy and it’s a beautiful book filled with green inspo for every corner of your home and office. The 5 European homes inside are so fresh and very natural, not fussy, and don’t intimidate – the focus isn’t on fashionable high style or over budget decor and properties – it’s on the plants and how people use them to create a home filled with the beauty of plant life.

6 Ways To Decorate With Plants + Urban Jungle Book Review

In Urban Jungle, you’ll meet the homeowners for each of the five stories who are based in Turkey, France, England, Germany and the Netherlands, and tour their homes to see how they style and live with plants. There are 18 bloggers who also took part in the book sharing their own nooks filled with green style. AND, if that isn’t enough, you will also learn all about (and how to care for) Cactus, Succulents, Aloe Vera, Monstera, Oxalis Triangularis, Ficus elastica, Calathea, Palms, Sanservieria and Pilea Peperomiodes under Plant Portraits along with 6 crafty DIY projects and loads of plant styling tips throughout from 18 bloggers who contributed to this book, too.

Here are some of my favorite images from the book with tips on living with plants beneath each from authors, Igor and Judith.

6 Ways To Decorate With Plants + Urban Jungle Book Review

1. Airy and playful: The plant arrangement in the living room of the French blogger and creative professional Morgane Frimane in Toulouse features a charming Oxalis and Pilea plant in hanging planters among other houseplants in this green corner.

6 Ways To Decorate With Plants + Urban Jungle Book Review

2. Mix your pots. Dutch blogger and vintage expert Marij Hessels waters her plants in the hallway. Marij loves to combine vintage plant pots with contemporary versions and adds her own twist with DIY-planters.

6 Ways To Decorate With Plants + Urban Jungle Book Review

3. Across a window. Labofem is the lush plant studio of Istanbul local Fem Güclütürk who runs her plant business close to her home and both, studio and home, boast with an eclectic mix of plants of all kinds and sizes, such as these wonderful hanging plants in her studio. It’s a great way to use the vertical space for hanging plants when your room is too small for bigger plants.

6 Ways To Decorate With Plants + Urban Jungle Book Review

5. Mix plants & matching art. In the home office of German blogger Pepper Schmidt in Heidelberg, her style aesthetic mixes Scandinavian influences with ethnic patterns and handcrafted items. Extra visual effect for your plant styling: Match your plant with the adequate botanical illustrations!

6 Ways To Decorate With Plants + Urban Jungle Book Review

6. Go Non-Toxic for the kiddies. The bright kids room at the home of German blogger Pepper Schmidt features among soft toys a few plants too. In kids rooms opt for non-toxic plants without spikes or keep the cacti out of reach of your toddler!

6 Ways To Decorate With Plants + Urban Jungle Book Review

MEET IGOR AND JUDITH: Watch Igor and Judith present their book and do a signing at Meet The Blogger in Amsterdam on October 1 (tickets available here).

Good job Igor and Judith, thank you so much for sending me your book to review and I can’t wait to see your presentation at Meet The Blogger!

(Photography: Lina Skukauskė with permission, Book cover photo: Holly Becker for decor8)






Business

Thoughts On Depression

September 19, 2016

Hello everyone, it’s Monday so we are naturally looking at a new week with plans to set into motion, right? Feels good. I normally face Monday with a bit of hesitation at first but now, it has changed because I’m doing lots of positive events around my new book, I’m on the road meeting friends and fans, making new business contacts, and it’s very, very invigorating. I feel alive again. The last time I felt this good was at the beginning of the year when I went to Paris and then London. After those trips, I hit a very low point in my life – I felt really inspired and happy but returned to a reality that I didn’t really want to face.

Thoughts On Depression

The thing was, I had to be an “adult” in some things that I’d been putting off. I needed to REALLY fix things in my personal life, with my health, with childcare (lack of), with my career (felt a bit directionless), and with a few friends. Most of all, I had to learn to be more kind to myself, to really put myself first which has always been hard for me.

All of this reality put me in a depression period that I didn’t know how to get out of. I kept it hidden from most people and on my blog, but it was really a hard time. Fortunately, my good friends stuck around to help. I confided in them and they’ve lovingly listened, provided a shoulder to literally cry on, and have acted as strong and willing when it comes to jumping in and just caring for me. I didn’t have to beg my good friends to be there through my hard times.

I’m happy to say that the depression period has let up now, the dark shadow passed over. FINALLY. I have new goals and am doing a lot with my life that I don’t think a lot of people will believe or even recognize as coming from me in the months ahead but I’m gonna just go for it. I’m gonna jump and just do things with a sense of “screw it” because really, life is too short and precious to live a fake life or a life that you aren’t really happy with.

I have childcare now (lots of it). My nutrition and self care are on point. I have plans in place to take care of the bigger stuff in time but for now, I’m not feeling held back or scared anymore. I’m not frozen. The depression period has ended. And I’m out again doing events and scheduling workshops and my calendar is full until the end of this year and I love it. With each event, I am allowed to share and receive positive energy in return and that give and take is so healthy and beneficial.

But wow, that depression period. Shit, man. Yuck.

It was horrible.

Thoughts On Depression

Sure, I had felt the blues before, you know, days where you just can’t seem to make progress. Days when you don’t want to get out of bed but you do anyway. Everyone has those. But I’d never known sinking depression on that level since I was in my early twenties and experienced a really big break up with someone I thought I had loved.

I’m always very hopeful and optimistic. With that, you almost become responsible to be a light to everyone. You become known as a light. And then you just shine and shine and shine and even when you have nothing left to shine, you find something and shine anyway. And then you get drained after a long enough time. Then you start to fake or pretend that you are fine, because you don’t want to let anyone down. And of course, your ego is involved at that point. You are known to be shining and encouraging and motivating, you can’t possibly show people that you feel like shit inside and wish you could run away and go live on a secluded island for a year.

For me, it all started in March after my birthday and by end of May, I was hitting bottom. In June, I had a momentary lapse of “I’ve got this!” and then, boom. I didn’t have anything, I was a mess. The dark clouds came in fast and furious. And stayed.

July and August were horrific.

I didn’t want to get out of bed for TWO MONTHS. I have a toddler to care for, so he was my motivation to shower and get up and get the day started. But boy, I didn’t always want to be responsible. I wanted to go to sleep at 8pm and a lot of the time, I did. I felt guilty giving in to my feelings at first. “I’m strong”, I told myself, “why am I giving in to these feelings, I’m a mom for god’s sake, how can I be such a wreck, my son needs me?”.

But after awhile I stopped pretending to be strong and I started to allow myself to be vulnerable. Through the help of friends, I realized that I needed to drop the act and tell people how I was really feeling because I had built a WALL around me and it was not helping my friendships. I needed to learn what I craved the most in my life – intimacy – wasn’t what I myself was giving to others. I wasn’t open and working towards intimacy in my relationships yet I expected this from my friends. How about that?

What I realized is that I always thought I was so open – I have a blog, I write a lot of stuff here that I’d consider pretty revealing at times. I share my life on the internet, in the press, in my books… But this isn’t really being OPEN. Sure, I’m more open than the average person who would never dare write about their child birth experience online like I did, or they’d never show their home online, etc. But I still am open in a way that I am safe with. In other words, and I think a lot of us do this online, I am open when it comes to showing the good stuff in my life. I’m open with all of the positive things. Not to show off, but because I really want to inspire people to be happier and I think that sharing that I’m in a dark place isn’t going to help anyone else. So I stay quiet and I hide.

Yet, one thing I crave more and more, and maybe it’s because I’ve been writing professionally online for over a decade, is greater authenticity. No, I don’t mean showing my ugly disorganized closet or me not wearing makeup. What I do mean is being a bit more open to how I feel and expressing it openly. Sharing that yes, while we enjoyed our trip we also had to deal with a screaming toddler and 100 melt downs and I almost missed my flight because I was too busy texting someone. Or yes, our house looks great but before the photo was taken, it was a giant mess of toys and I decided to clean it to a take a nice photo for the internet. You know, just being more natural and more normal and stop fearing judgement because all of that can ultimately suck our life out and make others feel like crap too.

First world problem. I know. But it’s causing a lot of people to ultimately experience burn out, depression and a lot of other unnecessary problems because all of the perfect we see. It’s nice to hear the stories behind what we see online and to open up about our very human experiences. That is the definition of being open and authentic.

Now that I’m beyond the darkest darks, I’m doing a lot to change my life for the better. When I make my mind up, I really make my mind up. And for many things in my life that I’ve sat idle on for a long time… Well let’s just say I made my mind up to do several things very differently.

How about you, have you ever hit a period of depression? How did you end it? I’m glad my time is over with this but it was NOT FUN. But I learned so much, mostly what I learned is who my real friends really are. That was so revealing… To see who sticks by you when you’re not your best self and need help. Also, I learned what wasn’t working in my life and what needed to change. I’m taking steps each day to change those things and that movement alone, the new flow of energy the movement is creating, has helped tremendously.

Love you all.

xo Holly

(photography Holly Becker)






Things

Beautiful Ways To Add Fragrance To Any Room

September 16, 2016

Today the weather went from summer to autumn just.like.that. And I am inspired now by the moody things. Moody light, atmosphere, shadows, dark, a little sexy, romantic. Black lace and cigarettes. Leather. Velvet and wood, candles and the smell of the forest in autumn when the leaves are falling and people have their chimney’s on. And so I thought to bring a little bit of my moody mood into these photographs today of the most gorgeous products I recently received, botanical wax curiosities, from the Botanist collection by Peacock Parfumie and candles with packaging designed by Paris-based artist Nathalie Lété.

Beautiful Ways To Add Fragrance To Any Room

Beautiful Ways To Add Fragrance To Any Room

Beautiful Ways To Add Fragrance To Any Room

Beautiful Ways To Add Fragrance To Any Room

Beautiful Ways To Add Fragrance To Any Room

Beautiful Ways To Add Fragrance To Any Room

Beautiful Ways To Add Fragrance To Any Room

Do you remember years ago (maybe you were a child) when potpourri was all the rage? People had bowls of dried petals and spices all over the house and you could find it in every scent imaginable. Then, it became hugely uncool and most of us wouldn’t be caught with a bowl of it in our entryway. That’s why we have room sprays, scented candles and incense, right? Now add these botanical wax curiosities to the mix, they are scented and lay discreetly in your room, and give a lovely smell to the entire space. I placed one of the Bourbon Rose Flowers in the hallway and the room smells just gorgeous now.

“Peacock Parfumerie Botanical Wax Curiosities are handmade objects of art. Each figure is carefully filled with real botanicals and perfumed with our botanist fragrances. Lovely displayed on a dresser, bathroom vanity or placed in a drawer to scent delicate underthings.”

In addition to the pretty forms and nice, natural scents, the packaging is just gorgeous with a black box and illustrated sleeve. These make for the perfect gift. In fact, I gave the Prince Orange Geranium Hand to my dear friend Gabrielle and she has had it for a month now and still raves about how much she loves it.

I also love the tin candles with packaging designed by Nathalie Lété. Cathedral and Apple Tart are my favorites.

Just beautiful, right? Happy Friday everyone!

(Photographs: Holly Becker for decor8)






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