Here’s a super treat for all you home decor buffs out there: Holly Becker of the Decor8 blog and, now, her newly published coffee-table tome, called Decorate: 1,000 Professional Design Ideas for Every Room in Your Home, will be at the St. Louis Park Anthropologie for a signing and mood board demonstration. I have been a huge fan of Becker’s work—super stylish, but easily accessible at the same time. She’s really one of hte pioneers in online home décor blogging. I unfortuantely cannot be there, but you should be. The details: 6:30-8:30 p.m., Anthropologie, S Hoppes at the West End, 1622 West End Blvd., St. Louis Park. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
I got a chance to talk to Holly about her style, the book, and all kinds of fun things. Take a peek into our conversation:
Tell me a little bit about pulling the book together!
I wanted to challenge myself so I put on the location-scout hat and worked on finding spaces for several months, then booked them, arrived on location to style and work with interiors photographer Debi Treloar to get the needed shots. Back in the office, co-author Joanna Copestick was communicating with us as to what shots we needed to fit the text. It was vital to me to have original photographs for Decorate, nothing already blogged or seen on decor8 before, so I was determined to ensure that. I wanted to be present during the shoots to move things around, arrange the flowers, do the mood boards, etc. because the goal was for the book to feel cohesive and to flow well, that photographs should have a certain rhythm from one to the next and that the book should have a sense of my own style running throughout. Some books don’t pay attention to that and you find yourself stopping at a photo or a spread because it looks so out of place—that always bothers me when I’m reviewing a book. My eye is my strength, I needed to rely on that and be very critical throughout the project. We traveled from LA to Sweden over a period of four months because I wanted the book to have a good mix of styles and ways of doing things to represent how, despite our borders and distance between two points, we all have ideas that can be shared and there is so much to learn from this massive design community that transcends budget and home size.
What was your reaction seeing your baby in print, all bound and ready to go?
Extreme excitement, sense of satisfaction, butterflies, joy.
What have you learned about decorating while putting this together?
I think I learned to appreciate mixing high and low items like never before because all of the homeowners in Decorate did that so expertly and effortlessly—often using a lot of imagination. This inspired me so much.
What does good home décor do for a person/family whether they live there or they are just visiting?
It connects the family to their home and makes being at home a more pleasurable, nurturing and comforting experience. Your home is the only spot on this planet where you should be free to explore your creativity, have fun, and dream. It’s also your resting point, your healing zone, your nest. Putting attention into making it a sanctuary can lessen stress and improve health and better family relations. When your home is clean, decorated to your taste, functional, organized, well, life is so much better. And for your guests, they will benefit by feeling welcomed and comforted.
What are a few tips on how to find your style if you’re feeling lost or frustrated with a space?
Gather information and start to build files or folders based on rooms—for instance, “Dining Room”—then pull only dining room imagery, colors, patterns, furniture, lighting, etc. that you can imagine in your dream dining room. About 15-20 pages in, you’ll start to notice a theme. I’ll talk more about this at my event in St. Louis Park, MN at Anthropologie on September 14th – please come for my talk at 6:30 and I’ll definitely be able to answer this question more in depth and I can show you how it’s done 4 different ways.
What are some easy updates anyone can make?
Always paint! Paint a dresser, add new hardware, wallpaper the drawers inside – and you have a new dresser! Paint a wall in a favorite color! Paint the ceiling pale blue to mimic the sky. Paint the inside of a bookcase or cabinet.
You can also liven things up with wallpaper as an accent whether it’s one wall in your home or a ceiling, cabinet, etc. Pillows and throws always do the trick, too.
What about a big change–how we live or a new way of designing a room?
If you want to make a big change, remove all of the furniture from your room, do a mood board, and start to redesign it from scratch.
You can use some of your things again, even in different ways, but try a new floor, new wall color, new drapes… freshen it up! You can even opt to reupholster pieces of furniture or “shop” from other rooms in your home to repurpose things. Sometimes you just need to start with a clean slate. Happy Decorating!