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Get Inspired! Scandinavian Design Under One Roof: See You at Formland in August!
Let's Meet at Formland in August!

It’s time again for me to go to FORMLAND in Denmark this August to meet up with my good friend Stefan Nilsson (trendstefan) to see the sights and listen in on what the Scandinavians have to say about design up north. I really enjoy this fair and can’t wait until opening day on August 15th. Won’t you join me?


At Formland as a visitor, you can get an overview of the all the latest in Scandinavian design today and in the months ahead under one roof with 450 exhibitors in 10 halls including Hübsch, Normann Copenhagen, Georg Jensen, Kay Bojesen, Lyngby, Kähler, Holmegaard, Stelton, Humdakin, OYOY, Woud, HAY and more. I love meeting with the many exhibitors and agents face-to-face because I spend so much time online and appreciate just hanging out in person with people, listening to their stories and seeing what excites them at the moment.

See You at Formland in August!


I am always inspired too by the experts and stylists at the Trend zones. For the August fair, the annual Studio FLYHELSTED Trend Zone I’m excited about is called VÆRKET and will be in HALL D. I love the trend zone these two ladies put on, always so good! It’s about contrasts and the meeting between place between the handmade and the industrial, between global climate awareness and local and close relations. What does that meeting place, that middle point, look like? We’ll see in a few months.

Of course, SELECTED BY in Hall E is back again (I love this hall!) and this time, they have developed a concept where four experts on trends in Denmark will create their own environment showcasing their trend predictions. They all have selected beautiful products from exhibitors of the fair, which they later have styled. I am proud to see this happen because I always thought these stands work best when you can personally experience the creativity of talented trend spotters as they themselves style their own display. I can’t wait to see how this idea transpires.


I am also excited to see one particular Trend cafe this time called Café Composé in HALL H created in cooperation with HØEG+MØLLER. The inspiration behind the concept is a tendency where anything goes. A composite universe where colors, forms, patterns and materials are being mixed. Eclectic is in! There are other beautiful cafes to eat at at the fair too, in fact this fair as the best spots to eat out of all of the fairs that I’ve been to in Europe because they are all very trendy and themed with great food and lots of healthy, fresh options.

In addition to trend cafes, the trend zone, and all of the great exhibitors, there is also the food hall! Oh the food hall! I go there usually at the end of the day on Saturday before I officially leave the fair. It’s my final treat to myself. I sample licorice, teas, chocolates and a myriad of other things and chat up the vendors. Some offer me some wine, which I always accept gladly on the final day before signing off!

See You at Formland in August!


Oh and yes…. Another great pleasure are the talks and panels - I’ll be leading one in English about Trends with a few of my friends. My panel isn’t listed yet on the website, but I think my spot will be on Friday. I’ll let you know on July 31 here on the blog the exact details and who my guests will be. This year I read an English lecture about PANTONE colors will be given, I have to look for the details on that, but I’ll definitely be attending that one.


There will also be a very special spotlight on sustainability at this fair. “Let us take you on a zero waste journey at the brand new ‘We Care’ expo in hall E.” Doesn’t this sound interesting? Formland has teamed up with selected exhibitors to shine a spotlight on zero waste achieved by sustainable production methods like recycled plastic, glass, paper textiles, etc. I personally want to see an end to the use of SO MUCH PLASTIC. It drives me crazy!!!


Formland is a closed trade fair for the design and interior industry and reserved for professionals with registered companies. If you are a blogger in the design niche or a journalist, you are most certainly invited to attend. Getting there from northern Germany is very easy, I take the train from Hamburg to Flensburg to Fredericia and then to Herning. I can work on my laptop and chill and I like that. But you can also fly from Germany or from any other point in the world. You can fly to Midtjyllands Airport or Billund.

See You at Formland in August!


OKAY so I’ll be at Formland on the 15th, 16th and 17th - speaking most likely on the 16th about trends with my panel guests. I can’t wait to see you - so please try to get there and let’s have coffee or come say hello at my lecture or if you see me walking around!

See You at Formland in August!

All the best,


European Design Bloggers in Transylvania: Follow Our Adventures On Instagram @decor8 All Week!

Hello dear friends! How are you? Yes, you read the post title correctly - I’m going to Sibiu, Bogatu Român, Bran and Avrig in Transylvania, Romania tomorrow morning for 4 days with some good blogger friends (Niki, Mette, Igor, Agata and Desiree) sponsored by TISCA rugs!

TISCA is an Austrian rug company that has a factory there that we’ll tour and, a very exciting part for me is this: we each get the chance to weave a small rug on the loom! Yippee! That is one of the best parts of the trip for me - to be in the factory and to experience rug making personally. I hope to do a good job and craft something nice enough to display on the wall in my home vs. a total eyesore. :) I would really love to make something special that I can cherish and say, “HEY I MADE THAT!”. There is no better feeling than to display something at home that you, or someone you love, made with their own two hands.

TISCA rugs on floors and walls at Domotex 2018

TISCA rugs on floors and walls at Domotex 2018

A little back story about TISCA and how this whole thing started… I met the TISCA team at Domotex in Hannover this past year (and also last year too), through my job at the fair. Also, the other bloggers coming met them at the fair too so I am so happy to be reunited soon with my European blogger pals on this great trip.

You may also remember the name of this brand from my blog when, in 2018, TISCA appeared in a roundup of my favorite stands at Domotex. In fact, that very year, they had one of the most photographed stands at Domotex thanks to the design talent of Lotta Agatan and Pella Hedby from Sweden (Pella’s home tour and an interview will be on decor8 this Friday, June 14th so stay tuned!). Do you remember this post? That is the TISCA stand designed by Lotta and Pella…

Live sustainability, take on social responsibility and create jobs where for decades there have been none. Although these may be empty phrases elsewhere, they are a way of life at TISCA.

I have no clue what to expect in Romania as far as life and culture - but I’m about to find out and you can follow along on my Instastories and on my Instafeed starting tomorrow, 10 June until Friday the 14th of this week. All of my content this week on Instagram will be about my travels to Romania with my blogger friends so please follow me @decor8 on Instagram to see more (especially follow my stories there because I’ll put all of the behind-the-scenes stuff there, including our tour of the famous Dracula Castle and also Brukenthal Castle.)

TISCA rug samples on the wall, aren’t they beautiful?

TISCA rug samples on the wall, aren’t they beautiful?

TISCA rugs, established in 1963, are all handmade, which is something I’m very proud to journey all the way to Transylvania to witness firsthand. “From 26 structures and 96 colours, skilled weavers create a collection for individualists. High-quality new wool from New Zealand sheep, custom sizes, durability as well as reversibility are further specialities of TISCA Austria.”

I want to wish you all a fabulous start to a new week and again, follow me on Instagram this week to see the things we see and do in Romania with TISCA.



(Photography: Holly Becker)

The Etsy Design Awards - Enter To Win $15,000!

I am so excited to announce something I’ve been holding in as a secret for a few months - that I’m a judge for The Etsy Design Awards (aka The Etsies)! This is Etsy’s first-ever global award program which honors the work of sellers from around the world and across multiple categories. Submit your favorite piece – handcrafted, designed or vintage – for a chance to win $15,000 USD, a dazzling Etsie trophy, and more.

The Etsy Design Awards

The Awards will highlight the highest quality items found on Etsy and celebrate the talented people behind the winning products. With the help of a panel of 7 celebrity judges - including me, Garance Doré and Sophie Robinson, among others, one Etsy seller will be crowned the Etsy Design Award Grand Prize Winner, while five others will be named Etsy Design Award Winners in each featured category.

The Judges

The Judges

The categories are:

  • Inventive Decor (Furniture, home decor and accessories, kitchen & dining, art & illustrations)

  • Signature Style (Clothing, fashion accessories, Jewellery, bags & purses, shoes, swimwear)

  • Festive Celebrations (Wedding attire, wedding jewellery & accessories, decorations & party supplies, Invitations, paper goods)

  • Earth-Friendly (Items made using sustainably produced materials, items made using sustainable processes, products that encourage sustainable habits & lifestyle, items that are recyclable or biodegradable)

  • Creative Collaborations (Any handmade or upcycled item that contains a personalized, customized or made-to-order element)

To qualify for entry, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Your shop is not on holiday mode, and won’t be for the duration of the campaign.

  • Your shop has at least 5 listings.

  • Your submitted item has at least 5 photos.

  • You are the owner of the shop and are submitting yourself (please do not enter on another shop’s behalf).

  • You are only submitting one entry per shop.

  • Your shop and items comply with Etsy Guidelines and Etsy Seller Guidelines.

  • If your item is vintage or one-of-a-kind, we require that you put this item on hold from the time you enter until finalists are announced in August. If your vintage or one-of-a-kind item sells during this period, your submission becomes void.

  • Sellers in the following countries may enter: United States, District of Columbia, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam.

SUBMISSIONS ARE NOW OPEN until 28th May 2019, at 11:59 pm ET (29th May at 4.59 am UK time). Finalists will be notified no later than 1st August 2019 and winners will be announced in September 2019.

Etsy will narrow down all the applicants to a maximum of 175 total finalists across the five categories. After the initial review, the Etsy Design Awards judging panel (my job along with the others!) will be reviewing and selecting finalists to determine the five Category Winners and the Grand Prize Winner.

Read More IN German

German interview with me about The Etsy Design Awards in COUCH magazine

I wish all of you lots of luck, I’m so happy to be part of this wonderful competition!


(This post is sponsored by Etsy.)

Let's Talk To Oh Joy!

Today I’m talking to Blog royalty and total girl boss Joy Cho from Oh Joy! based in Los Angeles, California and I’m so happy to share insights from Joy about her life and work along with photos of her work space and shots of some of her designs. God, I like to learn how successful think, don’t you?

I first “discovered” this amazing lady through blogging wayyyyyy back in the dinosaur age, in 2005, about 4 months before I started this blog. We even spoke on the phone back then (no smart phones then, remember, most people still used a phone IN THE HOUSE) a few times. I remember one call, she was living in Philly and struggling with whether or not to relocate back to NYC for work. She decided not to, and put her focus on her blog. SMART MOVE.

Years later, Joy doesn’t need to rely on anyone or any location - she is a total BOSS who works with dozens of brands and is herself a brand - Oh Joy! designs for companies all over North America but the most impressive to me was her collab with Target - one of the most beloved chains in the United States. I am totally proud of her because she’s one of the few bloggers from back then who still keep in touch with me and who make time to reply to messages in spite of all of her success. You wouldn’t believe how many big bloggers don’t make that personal connection anymore, ignoring Insta messages, etc. NOT JOY. She’s on the ball and keeps it real. That’s one thing of many that I love about her.

Anyway, I had a chat with Joy and asked her a few things about her space, her business and how blogging changed her life. Wanna listen in?

Joy Cho - Let's Talk To Oh Joy!

 So tell me, what is Oh Joy! mainly doing these days as a business? 

Oh Joy! is a lifestyle brand that includes both daily editorial content and a design studio with a wide range of licensed products including home decor, baby & nursery, pet and accessories. Our goal is to bring joy to people every day in a variety of ways.

Have you ever thought to start your own company designing products under an Oh Joy! label, or do you prefer licensing and collaborating with more established brands?

I have manufactured my own product in the past, but for now, I prefer to partner with established brands that already make great products that I support and would love to work with. Licensing allows me to have my hands in a variety of different categories that I wouldn’t be able to design if we manufactured it all ourselves.

Oh Joy! Desk

Oh Joy! Desk

What do you enjoy most about your job each day?

My very favorite thing about having this job is that I’ve built a business from nothing doing the things I love. I have grown a talented team who I couldn’t do all of this without, and I get to show my daughters that you can be whatever you want to be with a lot of hard work and dedication to your passion.

Where do you see Oh Joy! in 5 years?

I would love to continue to grow our product collaborations into clothing (both for kids and for women), and I’d love to be able to get back to consulting for small business in some way.

You started off as a blogger, like me. How did blogging changed your life?

I started my blog in 2005 as a place to keep my inspirations during a time when I had a lot of transition - new apartment, new city, newly engaged, and job hunting! The site slowly became read by more and more people and it helped me to be able to launch my own design studio due to the clients I was getting from people who read the blog. It really changed the course of my career forever.

Oh Joy! Executive Office

Oh Joy! Executive Office

Blogging has changed SO MUCH since the early days though, what do you miss most?

I miss the interactivity of it. Blogs were king back in the day, and now we have Instagram and other social media sites that take up more of everyone’s daily attention. It’s the same interaction but you get it in different places and in different ways now. Everyone wants quicker and faster these days, so some of the content we could do 10 years ago isn’t the same as how people digest information now. It’s ever-evolving, and I do my best to keep up with what makes sense for now rather than live in the past.

What is your ultimate Oh Joy career dream? What would you love to do?

Oh Joy Mini Van, Oh Joy Airplane, Oh Joy Hotel ;)

Wow, you aim high! But you must have some lows. What do you battle with that you have to fight on a regular basis?

There is always the juggle to make every part of my life work—I have a very busy full-time job, a team to lead, children to raise into good humans, and a personal life which I'm trying to maintain on some level with friends and family. I think this will always be an on-going struggle but I do my best to let others help where I can and prioritize what’s most important.

Oh Joy! Craft Room

Oh Joy! Craft Room

Oh yes, #momlife. I totally understand the juggle. Tell us, for you, what have been some joys of motherhood?

Oh man, my favorite things are seeing how my kids pick up on what I teach them—whether it’s something I realize they are learning from me or not. They love to dance and I find them imitating my terrible dance moves. But it’s so cute on them!

I think you have some good moves Joy. In fact, I notice you dancing on your Instagram Stories all of a sudden and often. Good for you. So, what are some things you were surprised to learn about being a mom?

Children are always watching and always mimicking behavior.  I probably knew this before I was a mom, but seeing my children say things I say or use my gestures/walk like me, etc. is really wild.  It makes me very aware of the things I say in front of my kids and the way I behave. Of course, it makes me want to be a great example for them and inspire them!

Oh Joy! Office with Mural

Oh Joy! Office with Mural

What are some of the things no one told you about parenting that you’re glad they didn’t!?

They never tell you how emotionally exhausting it can be. Sometimes every single part of you is drained, but you can’t just stop and not parent. You’ve got to be “on” and helping these little humans become good people—it’s not easy!

Yes, I hear ya. But you do a great job momming, Joy. So now, I have to ask you about your space, because it’s so cute. What do you enjoy most about it?

We love the new(ish) Oh Joy! studio because we have tons of space as compared to our old studio. It’s large and open but  has clearly defined sections to maximize use for everyone’s work. Once we established various sections of the office, it made sense for me to have an "executive" office since I am in meetings and phone calls a lot and for the styling/craft team to have room in the back where they could work on messier projects and have easy access their everyday supplies. There is one larger space where more than half of the Oh Joy! team (design, e-commerce, social media, and admin) spends their day. We also have common areas like our kitchen and dining table that we use daily

Oh Joy! Kitchen

Oh Joy! Kitchen

Oh Joy! Kitchen

Oh Joy! Kitchen

Tell us more… Who designed it?

We have several spaces in our studio - the Craft Room, the Shoot Space, the Kitchen, the Main Office, and my Executive Office. The Craft Room was designed by the IKEA Home Tour Squad, and they used IKEA kitchen items to make it totally functional and amazing! The Kitchen, Main Office and Executive Office were designed by my talented friend, Sarah Sherman Samuel, who worked with my inspiration of Oh Joy! color and whimsy to make it just the right mix of sophisticated and whimsical.

What features in the space do you love the most and why?

I love the mix of openness that makes it feel airy and easy for everyone to communicate but also the clear division of sections. Our previous space was one open area so if one area was messy or in the middle of a project you could see it from anywhere, now it’s easier to content the beautiful messes when we need to have clients or visitors to the space and everyone can still go about their daily work.

Oh Joy! Main Office

Oh Joy! Main Office

Okay, quickly… Favorites!



Guilty Pleasure?

Massages once a month!


Fried Chicken Sandwich from Howlin’ Rays

Let's Talk To Oh Joy!
Let's Talk To Oh Joy!
Let's Talk To Oh Joy!

And before I go, one product that you designed last year really caught my eye, your new WASHABLE rugs. I can’t tell you much I think this concept rocks! Tell us more…

We have partnered with Lorena Canals (whose rugs we have used in the studio for years because we love the colors and patterns) to make a collection of HAPPY Rugs!  We have six patterns: Happy Hills, Happy Lanes, Happy Prism, Happy Day, Happy Party, and Happy Daisies. Each are about 4.5' x 6.5’ and the very best part of all Lorena Canals rugs - they’re machine washable.  Perfect for kids, pets, and honestly everyone! Just throw your rug in the washer - it’s that easy!  (Note: You can buy them online here.)

Thank you so much Joy for visiting us today on decor8, lovely to have you here and wish you a wonderful and delightful year and also, much luck on your first home the building project! Readers, Joy is building her first home in LA and she is documenting every detail on video HERE - don’t miss it! Also, Joy just started teaching online and created Oh Joy! Academy so definitely check out her classes HERE.



Photography with permission: Kitchen photos by: Monica Wang, Main Space (desks + mural) photos by: Jeff Mindell, Joy’s Executive Office photos by: Tessa Neustadt, Lorena Canals Rugs photos by: Lily Glass, Craft Room photos by: IKEA)

FORMLAND Nordic Design Fair - It's almost here - are you joining us?

FORMLAND is nearly here, I can’t believe it. You’ve heard me talking about it on Instagram for the past several weeks and also, there is a whole page in my new magazine (Living At Home + Holly) on page 67 with a special 75% off coupon, but if you still don’t know about Formland and if you don’t already have tickets, then get some as soon as possible and meet me there! You can easily drive up from Germany (or fly or take a train) to HERNING, DENMARK and see the most inspiring Nordic design fair together with me and so many others who are scouting this fair to find the latest and the greatest. I LOVE THIS FAIR, it’s where I find things that no one else has seen yet, and that’s always such a fun and exciting way to kick off a new year.



This is my third time at Formland and I’m so happy to once again visit and see the fair and discover new design since this fair has something very special included - the CREATORS COMMUNITY, a hall (Hall E) full of 50 young talents! I can’t wait to see what these “newcomers” have to show us. I get invited to work at over 20 fairs each year, but I only attend about 5 because I have a young son - so I have to choose VERY carefully. Formland is my top choice so far because it’s so well done and the fair organizers are so nice and kind to me - but also the brands whom I meet on the fair - they are always so excited to see me and look at my fair reports on my blog after or on my Instagram during the fair - to see how I’ve shown their brand on my social media. I love to help people to find a larger audience, so it’s fun for me to be at a fair and to shine light on people through my networks online who are talented, who I believe in. At many stands, the actual makers are present, and I love meeting them and hearing what’s new. I also love the friendly, open spirit at the fair, the joy that can be felt in the air, the concept pop-up cafes, the trend zone (which I find to be one of the best in Europe), and that nearly all of my favorite brands are exhibiting there.

What’s not to love.


Also, I’ll be leading a discussion with two trend experts, Stefan Nilsson (Trendstefan) and Mads Arlien-Søborg (We Made It), to talk about international trends for 2019, we will take the stage on Saturday, 2 February at 15:00 and the talk will be in English. You can join our discussion and relax with us while we talk about one of our favorite topics for 30 minutes.


Will I see you this weekend in Herning? The fair runs from 31 JANUARY - 3 FEBRUARY, I will be there the 2nd and 3rd, so if you see me in the Halls, please stop me and say hello. I’ll also have a mini trend presentation in the trend area called SELECTED BY, so look for it and see what you think! I’ve gathered a small collection of some of my favorite products from the fair, and I hope that you will love them as much as I do.



My Trend Stand at Domotex: The Design and Photos

I am thrilled to tell you about a design project that I worked on recently for Europe’s leading flooring and rug fairs, DOMOTEX, in Hannover, Germany. This was my second time working for DOMOTEX - the first was last year when they hired me as a consultant to help them form a blogger team and to get more social media presence on platforms like Instagram. Together, we developed a plan which included a blogger lounge, blogger tour of selected stands, and panels with bloggers moderated by me along with, of course, lots of fair coverage during and after the event by all of the bloggers. The first year was such a big success that they hired me for a second year to do it all over again, only adding a second day for the bloggers to be present at the fair, and for me to design my own stand around their theme for this year’s fair, “CREATE'N'CONNECT”. The stand needed to tie my life as a blogger, stylist, trend scout and journalist to their fair somehow. Would you like to see what I did?

Photo: Monsterscircus

Photo: Monsterscircus

Planning and Timing

First, I only had a few weeks to develop a concept and pitch it to them, then a few more weeks to figure out how I would get everything together to make deadline (shopping for products, deciding on stand design overall, paint colors, flooring, special features, etc.), then a few more weeks to finalize everything with Schmidhuber (and also Domotex) who were responsible for hiring the contractors to build the stand could get it up in time for the fair. The firm, Schmidhuber, is based in Munich so after our initial first meeting in Hannover, only email was our primary way of setting plans in place. But, because they are so professional and organized, it all worked out relatively smoothly because once I had my vision, it was easy to direct them as to what was needed in order to complete the stand. It was such a pleasure to work with them, particularly Susanne Schmidhuber, Martin Lersch and Veit Penzenstadler. Top!

The Hardest Part

I think the hardest part about the stand was to visualize it because Christmas break was looming and so I had to get it all finished in advance of the holidays while also engrossed in the the final planning and work on my design project with DEPOT (I created a collection for them to launch January 31 in stores and online) and my magazine project with LIVING AT HOME x Holly which was as exhausting to wrap up as it was exciting. A bit like the weeks before a baby is born, or your wedding. Fun… But a lot of “Oh My God I’m Tired”, moments! Another hard part was trusting my gut. My first vision is exactly what you see in these photos, and because I had no time to make any changes, I was forced to take my first vision and not to edit, edit, edit as I so often do in my home where there are no extreme constraints on time. I learned, once again, that my gut knows best and that I shouldn’t second guess myself and just execute on my initial plan. I will apply this to more projects going forward.



To say I was exhausted before the holidays is indeed an understatement. I was so tired and overwhelmed I got hit with a horrible dose of bronchitis and sore throat - some nights I couldn’t even sleep because of the pain.

Did I Learn My Lesson?

Yes. I learned that I will most likely do it again and again and again because I can’t say NO to such amazing projects - ha ha - I love the adrenaline rush but also the feeling of accomplishment. BUT. I really did learn that next time, I will utilize my assistant Jessy more and even hire another local assistant (Jessy lives in Malta) to help on the things that take so much time that I don’t really need to be involved in. Delegation is hard for me but I’m learning.

The Best Part

The best thing about the DOMOTEX “decor8/Holly Becker” trend stand was that in the end, it was truly beautiful and I felt it was a success - so I’m very, very pleased. As you know, I had a stand at the imm in Cologne exactly two years ago, and a stand with Annabella in Bologna at the Il Mondo Creativo craft fair (thought I did nothing to design it, she did it all herself) last year, and I’ve been curating collections for Formland at a mini trend stand where they have trend setters showing their SELECTED BY favorite fair products (and another next week where you can see my favorite products on display again from 31 Jan - Feb 3), but to design a complete stand from the ground up as I did for imm was very exciting because it’s 100% your own project from a creative standpoint.

Do I Like Designing Stands?

I thought I wouldn’t enjoy it, but after a few experiences behind me, I discovered that I actually love stand design because it’s exciting to see my vision come to life which, in turn, can inspire people visiting a fair in a new way - in a creative way. I would like to do more, especially for some of my favorite brands. I see so many brands at fairs who really need the vision of a stylist to make their products really stand out and also be more Instagrammable so people are motivated to not just visit them on the fair, but to take photos and share on platforms like Instagram. This is such an amazing marketing tool for them to tap into - to create stands that people want to photograph and share on social media.



My Concept

For this stand, because the theme of the fair was CREATE'N'CONNECT, I wanted to show how people are working online each day CREATING content (home design, styling, etc.) and then how they CONNECT with people globally through their networks to inspire them to live a better life, or simply to decorate in a new way using the things they are sharing.

I wanted to show, in the stand, a wall of inspiring bloggers who are doing this daily so I selected the bloggers whom I invited back again this year to work with me on my blogger team at DOMOTEX: Igor Josifovic (Germany) from Happy Interior Blog, Agata Dimmich (Italy) from Passion Shake, Niki Brantmark (Sweden) from My Scandinavian Home, Stefan Nilsson (Sweden) from Trendstefan, Desiree Groenendal (The Netherlands) from Vogesparis and Mette Jakobsen (Denmark) from Monsterscircus. We also had two new additions to our team, Michael Christie (Canada) from The Ruggist and Camillia Bellini (Italy) from The Diary of a Designer.

On one wall, I had a mood board using clippings from Bo Concept, Bolia, Bolon, Marrimekko, Ferm Living, HK Living and Bloomingville catalogs along with screenshots of the Instagram accounts from these wonderful bloggers. This was my way of showing how we are sharing things that we love each day online in the simplest way possible while still allowing the booth design to remain clear and stylish.

I also wanted to show in the stand how the stand itself was going to become content for my own Instagram (and for many others who visited the fair and photographed it), and would connect people to the fair through the photos created for Instagram (and now, my blog).

Photo: Domotex

Photo: Domotex

Photo: Vogesparis

Photo: Vogesparis

Photo: Vogesparis

Photo: Vogesparis

Photo: Vogesparis

Photo: Vogesparis

Photo: Vosgesparis

Photo: Vosgesparis

Holly Becker FRAME at Domotex
Holly Becker FRAME at Domotex

The Rugs + Overall Design

Because I only had two walls, I decided to use the largest wall to display some of my favorite rugs from DOMOTEX vendors (plus one vendor from last year): Edelgrund, Tisca, Mariantonia Urru, Bazar Du Sud and Natur Pur - to show rugs that I love and how I imagine them “living” in a room - the type of setting I would use them in. Please visit each of their websites to learn more about these gorgeous rug brands, many of them have won awards and are working in amazing ways - some with undyed wool, others are restoring vintage pieces and still others are working with artisans to handcraft each rug.

The rugs I shared in my stand are all with a story - and from the heart. I hand-picked each one of them and Mariantonia Urru was nice enough to ship two rugs all the way from Sardinia, Italy just to be part of the stand since they couldn’t be at Domotex this year. I was so honored because I LOVE their work.

The interior design of the space was my opportunity to show the type of room these rugs would fit.

The idea was to stimulate fair visitors to try to visualize rugs in a modern, fresh space even if the rugs were Boho style, or maybe very pure and natural, or even vintage or handmade as my rugs all were at least one of those things. I thought of the rack as a nice way to show these rugs and though my intended vision was to show 12 rugs hanging on the rack, because some rugs were very thick and heavy, I couldn’t show them all in this way so I had to show less rugs and hang one as art since it was too thick to drape, so it actually came out better than my intended plan. A happy accident for sure!

Photo: Monsterscircus

Photo: Monsterscircus


The interior design was so fun, I was told to find partners to work with to “loan out” furniture for the fair but I couldn’t imagine, with such short notice, that I could go to 3-5 brands and call in furniture as I would typically do for a magazine shooting. Instead, I went to my favorite furniture store in Hannover called Steinhoff, owned by the well-known designer Anard Steinhoff who also has Germany’s Smallest Design Museum on the top floor which is quite inspiring and cool. I asked them if they’d loan me ALL of the furniture so the process would be really smooth and easy for me. They agreed and I was so, so happy to work with Anard Steinhoff, Pola Sirowatka and their team.

I met with them a few times and then I spent several days and many hours alone at the store, combing through floor by floor, taking breaks to think and sketch out my ideas, and looking again. Steinhoff is huge and has 4 floors, and hundreds of gorgeous pieces. I found a fantastic B&B Italia chair on the 3rd floor in a corner, the perfect coffee table on the 3rd floor in another section, and my DREAM rug by Baxter on the first floor along with some chairs and stools that I loved. Then, I drew up a floor plan and asked their Interior Designer to render everything to scale so we could send it to the architects in Munich who would then render it in 3D and show me how the stand would look in real time.

I intentionally selected furniture that would make the room feel very welcoming, while at the same time, not look like a space where people would really want to hang out and chill because had I used a big, comfy sofa, I knew people at the fair would think it’s a lounge space to go on wifi and I didn’t want the stand to be a mess by the end of the first day. So I selected furniture that was beautiful but that didn’t scream out, “Come sit on me and spend the day surfing your phone!”. ha ha.

I also wanted black and white stripes and small stools and chairs, because I sensed this would be a trend (lots of small tables and chairs (and sure enough, at the imm last week, this look was everywhere and even the rug was the first rug on display at the Baxter stand!). I also sensed marble would be a big trend for 2019, which is why I went with a marble table. I also had to have black and cream as the base, with a natural wooden oak floor, because I felt with the mood board and colorful rugs on the walls, that I wanted the sitting area to not be too strong and bold since the walls were the real focal points.

As for the boho modern look, it’s my favorite look at the moment so I stuck with it. It marries my American aesthetic (very LA/California fresh) with Scandinavian and a touch of Morocco. I really love this look, as it comes across as stylish and well-traveled.

NOTE: If you have any questions about the individual pieces of furniture, please ask me in the comments section and I’ll contact the store to get all of the details - designer, make, price, etc. Or you may contact Steinhoff Hannover directly.

Photo: Passion Shake

Photo: Passion Shake

Wall Color + Flooring

This was very easy, I went with a white ceiling, and for the walls, I knew to partner with Farrow & Ball Germany because they are always so amazing to work with but beyond that, they also have the most gorgeous colors. I selected Pink Ground for the moodboard wall (I have this in my own home so I knew it would be perfect and cast a warm glow) and for the largest wall, I wanted the perfect white so I selected their newest white called Schoolhouse White and it was absolutely perfect.

Overhead Lighting

The lighting was an idea I had for awhile, that I wanted to do for Aidan’s birthday party a few years ago, but I found it too elaborate to bother for a few hours for toddlers and cake. I saved the idea in mind and decided one day, I could bring it to life. Finally, I could do it - and I knew it the moment I saw my stand in a PDF with all of the dimensions - and that I actually had a real ceiling in my stand unlike my stand at imm which didn’t have a “top”. The space was large enough to put this plan to action, but also small enough to not look crazy or over-the-top.

Anyway, last year, I saw the Noguchi Museum on Instagram, where they have paper lanterns on display hanging at many different lengths, and I thought that this original idea really would work because if the they can do it, well so can I. Only, my idea was to group lanterns all the same size in pure white, and hang them at the same length, to create a sort of soft dramatic statement while also being cozy and most importantly, to diffuse the light from the typical fair spots that are often so harsh (and ugly). I also wanted lighting that was very affordable - these paper lanterns all came from IKEA. I decided that I did not want them to be illuminated, I wanted them to not have bulbs inside and instead, to take on a soft glow from the spot lighting beneath them, so people would be encouraged to take photos.

I heard many comments from passerbys, and even the blogger team, that they really liked this idea and felt inspired by it and on Instagram, many people were writing to me about it saying they loved it - so the reaction was exactly what I had hoped for and I’m glad I went with my gut feeling on this one.

Photo: Monsterscircus

Photo: Monsterscircus

Photo: Monsterscircus

Photo: Monsterscircus

Creating Impact

Back to the lights… I wanted a “wow” statement because I believe that when you do a styling job, you have to make something stand out, something needs to be the “wow” or else it’s just another interior design “room” at a fair stand. You see hundreds of mock up rooms on fairs - beautiful spaces that look like showrooms from a furniture store. A stand at a fair, in my opinion, gives you a chance to take it to another level - something you most likely would NEVER do for a client or even in your own home or even in a furniture showroom because a fair is lasting only one week and because you WANT people to talk about YOUR stand so it needs to really have impact. You can do this through so many ways, my way was to make the rugs and the lighting draw people over to the stand to explore more.

But back to impact. Imagine having this many paper lanterns in your living room?! NEVER EVER, right? Too much dusting. I think of a fair like I do theater - be a bit theatrical and play. If I had more time, I imagine I would have really pushed my limits because I’m at that place in my life where I want to push more - but the lanterns made the statement that I wanted to make - and they lured people over to see the stand because once you saw them from afar, you had to get a closer look to see what’s going on.


In addition to the moodboard, I added some things from home like the wire portrait of my face since line drawings are really trending at the moment, wooden beads, vases, bowls and books (Chanel - Karl Lagerfeld - Die Kampagnen, my first book Decorate (only in the newly released Dutch edition with the beige linen cover), and This Is Home by Natalie Walton) on the coffee table and some pillows for the chair and floor. I wanted a piece of myself and my life present to warm up the space and make it feel like home. In fact, I loved the stand so much more once the mood board went up and some of my personal objects were laid out on the coffee table.

Suddenly, the space came to life.

I was happy when opening day came and I could share it with all of the Domotex visitors and the press. To my excitement, my stand was on television two days in a row on the subway here - showing on all of the televisions on the train platforms and in the trains and I was interviewed and on TV too, which made me very happy to represent my own brand but also Domotex, in such a positive way because I love this fair so much and the people I work with there.

Special Note of Thanks

I’d like to thank Domotex (Dagmar, Lars and your team), Steinhoff, Farrow & Ball, All of the rug dealers who loaned me these gorgeous rugs, the blogger team and especially Schmidhuber for making all of these ideas of mine a reality and to Veit Penzenstadler who was SO helpful in making sure I had my rugs, hooks, and lanterns in place for opening day - thanks a million everyone! It was a great experience.