We're Off To Milan! See You Again On April 23rd!

Hello friends of decor8! I am heading to Milan first thing in the morning, and a few of your decor8 columnists will be there too for Design Week and the Salone del Mobile. In fact, I'm working alongside Mary Middleton and Agata Dimmich at the fair on Thursday to cover a bunch of Italian brands, so follow my Instagram to see more @decor8. I'll also be working on a special assignment along with some smaller projects, too. It promises to be a very productive week!

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There's a lot happening, and I can't wait. The most exciting part though is to see my friends and colleagues and mingle in a beautiful city like Milan that is so vibrant and full of sunshine, great food, and nice people.

Have a fantastic week everyone! You can catch me blogging here again with my team on 23rd of April with lots to share from Milan, but in the meantime, I'll be sharing my inspirations from Milan through Instagram Stories and Insta photos all week, so please follow me @decor8 to be a part of the fun.

Love,

Holly

28 Favorite Interior Finds From Ambiente Fair 2018

Ambiente is the leading international consumer goods trade fair here in Europe, which naturally gets a lot of attention from people who love the worlds of dining, giving and living like I do. This was my second year at Ambiente and I must say, it was better (for me) than the year before because I decided to add a new hall to my list of "must sees", Hall 4, which was all about tabletop. I wrote all about My favorite tabletop trend for 2018 over on the Ambiente blog today, and I hope you will go check it out because I'm proud of the piece and was happy to see it published (special thanks to photographer Erik Schumacher for my portraits).

  Photographer:   Erik Schumacher

Photographer: Erik Schumacher

I also worked with talented Industrial Designer at Braun, Ben Wilson, and together, we walk through a few of our favorite tabletop stands in a video, you can see that here. I worked with both Ben and Erik last year at Ambiente and really enjoyed their energy and enthusiasm for design as well as their professionalism and talent. It is always such a pleasure for me to work with talented people at the various fairs that I attend, and to be inspired by not only show itself, but also by the people whom I get to meet and add to my network.

I thought that since my favorite tabletop trend is over on the Ambiente blog, that I'd highlight a few of my favorite stands because I found 28 that really caught my eye. I'll list them below so you can click around and visit their websites for further inspo.

  Photo: Ro Collection

Photo: Ro Collection

1. // Ro Collection - Home and tabletop brand out of Denmark with a nice mix of ceramics and wood.

  Photo: Holly Becker

Photo: Holly Becker

2. // Miyama Mizunami - Japanese porcelain that I went crazy for, especially the coffee collection.

  Photo: Holly Becker

Photo: Holly Becker

3. // I really liked the woven goods and bags from Kamaroan out of Taiwan. I met the founder and he showed me his gorgeous . Make sure you visit his website, and check out the lights...

  Photo: Lake Boutique

Photo: Lake Boutique

4. // Interacting with leather is always so pleasurable for me. I enjoy touching (and smelling!) it, so the Zambo collection from vacavaliente out of Argentina was naturally a favorite of mine. I met the owner, who was so kind, his passion for design and leather definitely shows in all of his products. P.S. You can buy them at Lake Boutique online.

  Photo: Holly Becker

Photo: Holly Becker

5. // The careful edit and overall simplicity of the Time + Style stand, a group from Amsterdam who import fabulous things from mostly Japan, was quite nice to spend time in.

  Photo: Holly Becker

Photo: Holly Becker

6. // I couldn't take my eyes away from the bowls by Ryota Aoki; Japanese pottery at its finest.

  Photo: Holly Becker   

Photo: Holly Becker
 

7. // The paper goods by Kartotek Copenhagen also made me take a second look. Really love their patterns and colorways.

  Photo: Holly Becker   

Photo: Holly Becker
 

8. // I couldn't stop touching the stunning Potpurri ceramic tabletop collections from Japan. I loved that their base is black clay with white glaze, my all time favorite materials to combine for dishware.

Merci for Serax
Serax
Serax
Serax

9. // Oh the creative, wonderful world of Serax. Such a mind-blowing crush on this brand. I could own every single piece. (Photos: Holly Becker)

  Photo: Holly Becker   

Photo: Holly Becker
 

10. // Nordal - Products for the home and garden, always a nice stand to visit. Love their coastal feel, reminds me of home.

  Photo: Holly Becker   

Photo: Holly Becker
 

11. // The designer from DAQI Concept, based in Taiwan, was such an interesting woman to speak with. I liked this bird cage... The porcelain bird, perched in her little cage, is one part ambient light and another part Bluetooth speaker so you can play your music through the cage and hang it anywhere you'd like as it radiates a peaceful glow.

  Photo: Holly Becker   

Photo: Holly Becker
 

12. // The cups and ceramics of Helen Blanchaert brought a smile to my face. You should visit her website, it's full of darling things.

  Photo: Holly Becker   

Photo: Holly Becker
 

13. // I found the new leather collection from Boqa really appealing, that's my new favorite chair for summer!

Reflections Copenhagen
Reflections Copenhagen

14. // Reflections - This is one of those brands that looks nothing like the country of origin - Denmark. It's bold, glamorous and colorful with lots of bling. Nothing Scandi Minimilist here! Love the mirrors and can't wait to soon add one to my home. (Photos: Reflections)

DOIY
DOIY
DOIY

15. // The fun storage stuff from DOIY made me smile. I could totally get lost in all the cuteness and humor. Loved it. (Photos: Holly Becker)

  Photo: Kristina Dam Studio

Photo: Kristina Dam Studio

Kristina Dam Studio
Kristina Dam Studio

16. // Kristina Dam Studio was such a pleasure to visit and chat with. You have to check her out if you don't already know her - what a talented architect-turned-designer - really clear vision and stunning interiors from furniture to ceramics. (Photos: Holly Becker)

  Photo: Holly Becker   

Photo: Holly Becker
 

17. // Designed in Finland, made in Kenya, I truly respect and adore the bags from Mifuko and the story behind them. I liked them so much, I now have one for myself shown above in my home.

  Photo: Holly Becker   

Photo: Holly Becker
 

18. // Candle holders from Just Right caught my eye, now they are in my home too. It's funny how visiting fairs also leads to adventures in decorating for me! (smile)

Meissen
Meissen

19. // I fell absolutely in love with the stand design of Meissen Porcelain (and of course, their gorgeous collections, too). It was so nice to see their molds on display as a wall panels. very creative stand, couldn't stop perusing this space. (Photos: Holly Becker)

IMG_0655.jpg
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20. // All of the colors and homewares from Blomus were definitely an inspiration to me. I think the linen pillows, concrete candle holders, and terrazzo serving boards made the biggest impression on me. (Photos: Holly Becker)
 

onshus

21. // I adore the affordable interiors collection from onshus. Always so nice to find their stand. So natural and carefree. (Photo: Holly Becker)

Ichendorf
Ichendorf

22. // Ichendorf Milano had an incredible stand of glassware, I couldn't stop browsing. They originated in Germany, but are now based in Milan. Fantastic designs and some are quite witty and playful, which is nice to see - we need more humor in design! (Photos: Holly Becker)
 

  Photo: Creative Lab Amsterdam

Photo: Creative Lab Amsterdam

23. // Creative Lab Amsterdam had fabulous wallpaper for kids, I found them all so unique from what is currently on the market and liked the colors and animal prints so much.

  Photo: Rig Tig

Photo: Rig Tig

24. // Rig Tig has the best of the best for the kitchen. Everything comes in great coordinating colors that are also very trendy, too. They make products that motivate you to cook!

Yamazaki
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25. // I can't forget the kitchen storage from Japanese brand, Yamazaki. Their pastel colors paired with white were fresh and clean, and also unique to see for the kitchen. I loved the mix of metal and wood, too. (Photos: Holly Becker)
 

  Photo: Holly Becker   

Photo: Holly Becker
 

26. // Teemu Jarvi Illustrations from Finland were gorgeous, especially his process - he takes ink, canvas and brushes out to the forest and just paints. How simple and pure.

  Photo: Holly Becker   

Photo: Holly Becker
 

27. // I met the owner of Like Concrete first in Denmark at another fair, but this time, I got to really know and chat with him at Ambiente and he was just lovely. His sustainable concrete collections are stunning - the concrete tablets are my favorite.

Guaxs
Guaxs

28. // I was in heaven the moment I discovered Guaxs. I loved those two white lamps (shown top left) and all of their glass vases were stunning. If I owned a flower shop, I'd stock them for sure. (Photos: Holly Becker)

  Photographer: Erik Schumacher

Photographer: Erik Schumacher

As you can see, I had a very busy time at Ambiente. One of the highlights, aside from roaming the halls and enjoying the many company owners and designers, was to hang out with my good friend Stefan Nillson from Trend Stefan in Stockholm. He was so kind to take me as his +1 to dinner for the press at the Frankfurt Natural History Museum (Naturmuseum Senckenberg), which was one of the most unique dining experiences I've ever had - eating next to dinosaurs! We had a great time, I'll never forget it! I am so thankful to Stefan and also the fabulous press boss at Ambiente, Erdmann, who treated me with such kindness.

I had a great time with Desiree and Karine too, and the many others whom I got to spend time with who were part of this assignment with me. I was so pleased when my columnist, Anke Illner, came to see me because she's such a dear friend. In fact, she was there when I was working on this video below.

The result of teaming up with the communications agency working for the fair was that I shot 24 Instagram Stories including 2 live videos with Meissen and Kristina Dam Studio, the above video with Ben Wilson, the blog post you are reading now, this blog post on the Ambiente site, and 25+ Instagram photos posted and shot live during the fair along with hundreds of photos.

I am so happy that I have been able to share my adventure to Ambiente with you, thank you for joining me today and a special thank you to Mai Communications for this assigment.

Love,

Holly

(This post was sponsored by Mai Communications for Ambiente Fair 2018. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting decor8!)

Holly BeckerComment
8 Ways To Decorate Around a Flat Screen TV

Let’s talk about your television for a moment, the pink elephant in the room of every interior design book… It is always there but please don’t look at it! I’m willing to bet that the rooms on websites and apps that you’re saving rarely show a TV – am I right? It’s just one of those things that stylists and photographers work hard to hide in photos, along with the other deadly sins of interior photography: most electronics and cords, oh the horror!

As you know, I’m one of these people who hide TV’s when I’m working on a styling assignment or producing content for my books or online content. But in my daily life, a TV is actually essential because I’m an American expat living in Germany since 2009; TV is a direct connection to my home country. If I had to live in Germany without access to American TV (Netflix?!), I’d be heartbroken. Seriously. I love hearing the latest American slang, seeing how people dress, overall trends (from wardrobe to set, theme, camera angles, etc.), and to simply feel like I’m still, “in the know” when it comes to my homeland and culture. It’s a bit of a portal for me to climb into whenever I need to. I also love watching music videos as much as I did when I binge-watched MTV as a teenager. Then there is YouTube, also a fun thing to lose yourself to now and then. I enjoy a good film and relaxing with my family and friends now and then too.

I thought that since I love TV but I'm also one of those people who hide TVs in the interior books that I write, that I should challenge myself and inspire all of you with a very uncommon partnership with one of my favorite electronics brands, Samsung.

I’ve owned a Samsung television for twelve years, I’m very brand loyal to electronics and cars, but never anything quite like the one the TV that Samsung sent over. Holy Smokes. It’s a beauty. I now live with a beautiful wall-mounted, flat-screen, 55” Samsung QLED! It’s nothing I care to hide in photos because it’s so slim and well-designed – and it looks really nice in my room. See for yourself...

8 Ways To Decorate Around a Flat Screen TV

INSTALLATION

Let's talk about installation before I get into my 8 tips for decorating around a flat screen. It was about 5 minutes to unpack and another 10 minutes to lay out all of the pieces for the back panel. Then we quickly put the easy wall mount piece on the back (a breeze!). After finding the right spot on the wall, then out came the drill and et voilà – finished. It was up and running within an hour after it arrived at our front door.

Here are some photos of it in my space along with 8 tips on how to decorate around a flat screen TV.

8 Ways To Decorate Around a Flat Screen TV
8 Ways To Decorate Around a Flat Screen TV

1. Mix It Up

The TV doesn’t have to be the only thing on the wall, add other pieces that fit the décor of your room around it, beneath, or above, on the sides. You an also paint the wall a dramatic color or use wallpaper. My walls are neutral, so I opted for adding in some unexpected pieces to the left of the television.

2. Experiment

I didn’t want to surround my TV with art because I think everyone does that and I wanted to try something different. I decided to work in an “L” shape so the eye could travel, and I wanted to rebel against symmetry.

8 Ways To Decorate Around a Flat Screen TV

3. Be Bold

When the TV is off, it’s a black rectangle on the wall for most of the day. Adding art that I already had in another room, the black rectangular TV becomes part of this graphic grouping and not the focus because the other art is black and bold, too.

4. Create Tension

I used one big art print about the size of the TV, only I installed it in a different direction (portrait vs. landscape TV), so there is some competition there, a little tension that works, along with the element of sameness that makes this coupling so successful.

5. Use Odd Numbers

I always like to work in odd numbers for groupings, for instance, groups of 3, 5, 7, etc. In this case, the TV was part of my grouping so I added 4 pieces to the wall for a total of 5. The odd number is great because then you are not automatically pairing groups of things, which is so common if you work with even numbers.

8 Ways To Decorate Around a Flat Screen TV

6. Add a Focal Point

I didn’t forget about the objects on the credenza or the entertainment unit owned by my husband that he can’t imagine not owning. (To be honest, after this photo shoot, his speakers and Playstation also came back out and are now on the credenza too.) I thought, “How can I make a cabinet full of black electronics stuff look stylish?”. This is always the “problem” isn’t it? Instead of removing the cabinet for the shoot (because that’s a bit unfair), I left it in and decided to tackle the problem head-on.

I decided the art and the things on top of the cabinet would become the focal point. I added a big white lacquered tray, stacks of books, candle holders and other favorite things all very neutral shades of white and beige, with black accents. This created a corner that, to me, suddenly looked very peaceful but also very stylish.

8 Ways To Decorate Around a Flat Screen TV

7. Add Texture

I worked in texture into the arrangement with a handmade art piece from Denmark. It softens the wall and the overall look because it’s made of cloth and wood and looks very inviting to touch. When electronics are involved, it’s nice to find something with texture to mix in. My next goal for this corner is to get an old piece of wood, measure to cut the length and width of the cabinet, and let the natural wood add more warmth and texture to this corner.

8 Ways To Decorate Around a Flat Screen TV

8. Include Additional Light Sources

I added additional light sources to this spot of the room because I want the corner to be cozy and nice at night when the TV is off. There are candles there and a gorgeous lamp, so the room will have an even balance of lighting when the television is not in use.

8 Ways To Decorate Around a Flat Screen TV

P.S.:

I’ve had this TV for over a month now and the clarity of the picture is unreal, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever owned before. The colors are vivid and the quality of the picture is the best ever. I also love the sound quality because the voices are very clear and easy to hear along with the sound effects. Bottom line, the picture gives you a true movie theater experience at home, especially in the 55” size. I also love the slim and beautiful remote.

8 Ways To Decorate Around a Flat Screen TV

It’s really fun to have a television like this one because it’s definitely top notch and from a pure aesthetics standpoint, it is so good-looking that I don’t want to hide it when I take photos of my space anymore.  It also has ONE cable, and it’s almost transparent, so it’s barely visible and so it’s nice to not have to deal with cord chaos or a cable duct to hide the cords. There is just a simple cable from the back of the unit running a few inches down the wall, disappearing behind my cabinet, and that’s it. I also want to note that I didn’t need to purchase anything in addition to the cable that came with the QLED because that was all that I needed.

I love the Samsung QLED and am so happy I got to share it with you today along with my tips on how to decorate with a TV. Have a nice day, everyone!

(This post is sponsored by Samsung Germany. All words and opinions are my own. Photography by Holly Becker for decor8. Thank you for supporting the brands who enable me to keep this blog running for over 12 years.)

[Photos, Text, Styling: Holly Becker. Location: Private Home of Holly Becker, Hannover, Germany. Model: Thorsten Becker]

10 Interiors + Lifestyle Things I Love For April

Hey you gorgeous decor8 readers, it’s me Mr. Allan again. Thank you for taking the time to check out yet another of my favorites. This month's column will be all Danish because I am Danish and since everyone seems to love Denmark and Danish design. The month's of darkness and way too much grey weather is finally over, and with longer days comes a good mood. Soon, we can even sit outside and enjoy a nice cup of coffee in the sun. This month I am also heading to Milan for the big furniture fair, so feel free to follow along on Instagram @bungalow5dk if you feel like coming along. Anyway. As I said, this column for April will be 100% Danish, even the grooming section, which I have really enjoyed testing for you guys. Ready?

10 Interiors + Lifestyle Things I Love For April
10 Interiors + Lifestyle Things I Love For April

 1 // FURNITURE:

I love when I stumble upon new design talents, Trine Poulsen being one of them. I absolutely love her oak wood bench. I really like the added perforated metal plates which offers great extra storage space whether using it in the living room for display or in the entryway for shoes, etc. Trine is very new to the design scene and got her breakthrough last year as she was lucky to showcase her work at the Milan fair, where also new Danish design company Designers First picked up on talented Trine. They now produce her designs.

 "Greenhouse"

"Greenhouse"

 "Lunch"

"Lunch"

 2 // ART:

I’ve been a fan of Silke Bonde and her watercolor technique for years I especially love her blue prints and one of newer art prints, “Lunch”, is such a playful and simple tribute to the kitchen. If you love the color green and plants, you’ll love her newest collection, “Greenhouse”, which captures the subtle structure of green plants perfectly.

10 Interiors + Lifestyle Things I Love For April

 3 // DECORATE:

A lamp designed in 1971, when the renowned, convention-defying Verner Panton joined hands with Louis Poulsen that, as we all know now, would become an icon: the domed Panthella, conceived to shape light as it gently illuminates its surroundings. Panton was nothing like any of the other designers of his time, he had a profound love for all the new materials turning him into a specialist in steel, plastic, plexiglass and fiberglass. His design work with synthetic materials was trail-blazing, and he was a pioneer in the field of designs that use circles and rounded shapes before they became mainstream style under the banner of ‘organic design’.

Danish Louis Poulsen has just launched a new MINI version of the iconic lamp in bright and shiny chrome.

10 Interiors + Lifestyle Things I Love For April

 4 // SLEEP:

Maybe one of the best kept secrets in Copenhagen – the newly opened hotel Manon Les Suites. The secret, their huge courtyard pool, which takes center stage of the 87 suites hotel in central Copenhagen. All rooms are greatly decorated in a darker more masculine style than normally seen and some come with beautiful city views from their big balconies. Best of all, you don’t have to be a guest at the hotel to spend time by the pool.

10 Interiors + Lifestyle Things I Love For April
10 Interiors + Lifestyle Things I Love For April

 5 // LISTEN:

More and more Danish artists make it big outside Denmark, you might already know both Mø and Lukas Graham. Last month, I also shared a Danish artist, so instead of sharing a new song for you this month, I’ll be sharing a podcast – with yours truly, me! On my last trip to LA I sat down with my friend Caroline Lee for her podcast Out Of Line. We recorded our chat on masculinity, and on the many layers of living life over two very different continents. It is in two parts, so do remember to listen to both.

 Part 1: https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-fh8gq-8dabf7

Part 2: https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-cgrh2-8dabfe

10 Interiors + Lifestyle Things I Love For April

6 // GROOM:

This product is basically the best thing ever made for people like me, someone who is in a long-distance relationship. Basically, every other month I jump on a 15 hour flight to see my boyfriend in Los Angeles. I probably do not have to tell you guys, but after such a long flight, you don’t exactly exude mental energy. However, Danish 100% natural skincare brand Nuori have developed my favorite on-flight mask. A supreme moisture mask which doesn’t show when applied, so you can easily apply first thing and let it work on the entire flight.

With the warmer weather in Los Angeles I have found aviendo natural to be an amazing product series. I apply the non-greasy and fast-absorbing sunscreen SFP30 in the morning and throughout the day. At the end of the day, I apply the cooling spray that actively soothes sunburned or irritated skin, while simultaneously healing it.

Although the name sort of suggests it could be something from your kitchen, Ecooking is simply food for your skin. I’ve found that the “rensegel” (cleansing gel) is a very good product to use before applying any masks. It cleans and prepares your skin and can also be used as a quick cleanser for everyday use. In the shower, I’ve used the two-in-one hair and body soap, which is ideal if you bring your own products to the gym or when traveling, less to carry.

This is not the product you want to apply on-board a plane, unless you are extremely carefree from what people think. JorgObé’s original BLACK peel off mask deep cleanses your face completely. If you have a tendency to have small blackheads across the nose like me, this product should be in your arsenal.

10 Interiors + Lifestyle Things I Love For April
Helt vildt_shop_spread

 7 // READ:

It is easier to name five contemporary Danish design brands than five living Danish designers. Or at least that’s the statement from the two authors of the book “Helt Vildt!”. The question points out a significant phenomenon in today’s Danish design: is it the brands – not the designers – that we hear about and refer to. How did this come about and how has it affected the values associated with the concept of Danish design and the country’s design industry in general? The purpose of this book, in essence, is to find answers to these questions and put them in their proper context — that is, in the second golden age of Danish design.

10 Interiors + Lifestyle Things I Love For April
10 Interiors + Lifestyle Things I Love For April

 8 // EAT:

Noma has reopened. Finally. And believe it or not, there are still seats to be booked. This world-renowned, once called the best in the world, restaurant first opened its door in November 2003 and they haven’t looked back ever since. From what I have seen, you should not be too picky about your food if you grab a seat at the table, as they serve mussels, jellyfish, and starfish. Sitting down at the table at Noma is not only a treat for the pallet, but also for the eye. The new interior was created by David Thulstrup, whom together with Brdr. Kruger has developed a range of amazing wooden furniture, especially the new Arv chair - which is a sight for sore eyes; a beautiful modern chair with a clear reference to Danish mid-century design.

10 Interiors + Lifestyle Things I Love For April
10 Interiors + Lifestyle Things I Love For April

 9 // SHOP:

Danish Mater have always been all about sustainability, something I really can relate too. Lately, they have worked a lot with Danish architect Eva Harlou on a range of new furniture, including a new daybed, which is a clear favorite of mine. Just recently Mater opened a new (and the first ever) concept store in Copenhagen in an old car repair store. The new store in Copenhagen is only the beginning of their retail adventure, not only will we see 5 new stores opening across Europe within the next couple of years, but also a fast-growing collection.

10 Interiors + Lifestyle Things I Love For April

10 // ONE LAST THING:

Louisiana, a modern museum 20 min. outside Copenhagen, is showing some of the late and lesser known – but very imaginative – work of Picasso. The exhibition, “A world of ceramics”, is the first of its kind in Scandinavia and is showing more the 160 art pieces by the famous Spaniard. The exhibition is open until May 27th.

See you for my May installment, well, in May! Bye everyone - Allan Torp.

 [Editor's Note: All grooming products are gifted as part of reviewing for this column in partnership between Allan Torp and the brands. This review is provided by Allan Torp for decor8, any collaborations are his own. All words and opinions are his own.]