Posts tagged decorate
5 Eye-Catching Black + White Party Ideas

Hello friends, I had a most lovely book party in Hannover before Christmas when I launched Decorate For a Party (or in German, the book is called Feierlaune) in the city where I live with my friends and family whom I love so much. A bonus was that my little boy Aidan Benjamin, who turns 3 tomorrow, was there with me watching mama talk about my book and showing how to create a beautiful party scene using only black and white. There I am below with my little one looking on...

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I love my son so much and to be "working" with him like this and to have him share in the festivities of my book party gave me no greater joy - in fact, this was such a special time for me to have him there. When I was styling the black and white gift giving party in my book, he was running around the room with me and Holly Marder (the photographer) along with Pamuk and Tinna, and he was so much younger! That was back in September 2014 when he was 19 months old. In this photo above he is already out of the toddler years and is a genuine little boy. The thing is, as he grows and works alongside of me as I produce my books and then, do book parties, I observe his growth and his maturity, how he went from not talking on the photoshoot to now, never being quiet and speaking in two languages fluently!

I've launched 4 books and have been to over 40 locations in North America and Europe since my first book came out years back... But never with him until now. He loved the cake pops and enjoyed meeting everyone and in the end, he did great being in a shop with nearly 100% ceramics and glass -he didn't break a single thing. Good boy! I was so proud and I'm happy I got to finally have a book party in Hannover with him with me -  this is something I'll never, ever forget.

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I was so honored to take Decorate For a Party to London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Hamburg, Hannover, Zurich, and even the imm in Cologne where it was proudly on display in my stand. And Leslie launched the book in Victoria, British Columbia. This weekend, I'll bring the book to Frankfurt to share at the Ambiente Fair in a video that they'll put on their Facebook page. Book #4 gave me some great adventures and now I'm finalizing the concept for book 5, which I will write as the sole author, and it will release end of 2018 or Spring 2019. It's going to be something very different from what you'd imagine and I'm breaking the "Decorate" series now so no more "Decorate..." books for the time being. I have decided to take a risk and try something very new. Let's see what you will think!

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Anke taking a photo for Instagram

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I'm very happy here to receive flowers styled by local florist Sonja Klein.

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Now I'll give you 5 black and white party styling ideas, particularly for the winter months (like RIGHT NOW!). Ready for some tips?

  1. PATTERN MIX. Black and white can go super clinical or super minimalist and modern - not so much playful or fun, right? But if you mix and match patterns you can definitely insert the fun factor. I've chosen linens and ceramics from Marimekko and made hostess gift boxes for each plate which double as a place card since everyone has their name on a box. The boxes were simple white boxes but I used black washi tape to create a "ribbon" and black dot stickers from the stationery aisle in the local drug store to add a pattern.
  2. NO TABLECLOTH. I like the way a table can look without a table cloth, especially if you have a beautiful wood or simple white table. For a black and white party, especially if you have a white table, use a patterned runner to warm up the table with fabric and leave the rest bare for a more modern Scandinavian look.
  3. CHINESE TAKE AWAY BOXES. I love these boxes, you can get them everywhere it seems lately and the solid white without any writing are the ones I go for. I like to fill them with nuts, candy and crackers. You can embellish with black washi tape or just leave them plain.
  4. SPRIGS OF GREEN. Every black and white party needs a natural element to warm it up. Because it's from nature, the color of it doesn't disrupt the flow of your monochromatic scheme. Add sprigs of pine to clear glasses vases (or in this case Finnish champagne glasses) or add other greens like Eucalyptus or potted plants. The key is to use only one type of green down the table center so that it creates interest without becoming a focal point or cheap looking.
  5. NO PLACEMATS. I like placemats but honestly, it's refreshing to drop them every once in awhile. Use large patterned napkins or solid black to give your plate something to rest against until guests take their seats.
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Here I am receiving so much warmth and love from my dear friend Dietlind Wolf.

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I had to create a place setting for my little boy!

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I made Finnish himmeli and hung them in the shop window using birch-patterned straws. The DIY project is in the book!

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Thank you to beautiful Eghlima Kiaei from Mundus for your bright and energetic spirit and your delicious cakes and cake pops - we love what you do and appreciate so much all you did to make this party so nice for us! Also many, many thanks to Hannover-based Photographer Martin Wehrmann for these lovely photographs and your happy nature and big smile. With special thanks to Imke Isermann at Kukkamari for allowing us to use this beautiful space for the afternoon. Finally, thank you to our German publishers, Random House/DVA, for giving Feierlaune to German-speaking Europe!

Oh and of course, thanks to everyone who came to celebrate with us (Anke, Gabi, Kerstin, Esra, Annette, Claudia, Kristina, Sean, Guru, Dietlind, Gundi, Anna, Sonja, Mary, Tinna, Sara, Emma, Jan + Wiebke, Berit + Heiko) and so many others for making this event so meaningful to me.

Love,

Holly

7 Easy Ways To Create Botanical Style At Home

Hello everyone! I'm so glad that you've visited today because plants and flowers are such a big trend in home decor and today we have a special guest with us, British Author and Stylist Selina Lake, who is giving us 7 tips for decorating at home to create a style she's called Botanical Style. In fact, you can see this style in her beautiful new book under the same title published by Ryland Peters & Small. I've photographed some spreads at the end of this post -- each page is one beautiful example after another of how to live with plants and flowers and it's as intoxicating as it is informative and idea-packed. Would you like to see some of my favorite rooms from the book and hear some of Selina's decor advice especially for decor8 readers today? Good!  All 7 tips below are based on the photos directly above them, each tip is from Selina and the styling in the photo is also her own work. Let's see what she has in store to inspire all of us today, shall we?

RPS1833_SELINA_SITROOM_05_lowres 1. Bring the plants to the mantel I’ve styled my marble mantlepiece using some key accessories to create the botanical mood. Vintage botanical prints are a great starting point, here I used a Marcus Ward & Co plant print by F.Edward Hulme, which I bought from a vintage fair to hang in the centre of the chimney breast wall. A great tip for hanging old prints is to use wooden trouser hangers, I buy mine online.

To add some pattern I have placed a large round tray adorning a Michael Angove Fennel & Dill design from Hus & Hem adjacent to the print. I love scented candles so I always have a couple ready to burn on my mantel, my favorites are Diptyque Bais and Moroccan Rose by True Grace.

Finally I add the botany, a Fittonia plant sits happily in its own microclimate under a glass dome. A lofty penstemon with coral pink flowers that I will plant out in my garden after a few days sits alongside lacy delta maidenhair ferns, with a faux tropical leaf stem from Abigail Ahern and fresh cuttings from my garden arranged in jam jars.

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2. Don't paint over the shabby and worn There’s something really romantic about the bringing together something old with chipping paint or peeling vintage wallpaper and combining with beautiful botanical blooms. Here an amazing wall in a charming Swedish Farmhouse has been left with layers of old wallpaper visible in patches.

When restoring old buildings its tempting to rip out everything and start again but to save the vintage appeal and character of a space theres a fine balance between modernizing and making a space livable while still maintaining the glorious patina and charm. I’ve used cool blue hydrangeas along with flowering horse mint and displayed the stems in a array go simple glass vases.

RPS1833_FRAN_WORKSHOP_01_lowres 3. Plants work great in an Industrial space  This fabulous plant shop is part of The Fresh Flower Company in East Dulwich, London and doubles as a workshop space were floral and plant demonstrations and botanical crafting take place. The rough brick walls of the former industrial space make the perfect backdrop for all the leafy plants, succulents and cactus that are for sale.

To recreate a full on industrial botanical display at home, your need an old piece of furniture which was once used in a factory, school, shop or a place of work. Think old wooden display cabinets, metal trollies and rough wooden tables with metal legs, then start collecting a variety of plants and use the surface of your industrial piece of furniture to create the display. Use concrete and metal pots to house the plants to keep the industrial theme coherent throughout.

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4. Be dramatic The trend for all things dark and floral has migrated from the fashion catwalks into our homes. In the living room of this London townhouse owned by Wild at Heart Florist Nikki Tibbles, ‘Dark Floral’ wallpaper by Ellie Cashman makes a dramatic statement. The large-scale floral is inspired by the still life paintings of the Dutch Golden Age, Its majestic with its rose and peony cascade and showy background. There’s no need for blousy, fresh flower arrangements in this room as the walls do the talking. The modern copper table lamps establishes a modern feel while pops of color ensures the room isn’t gloomy with the botanical green cushions and colorful tapestry pouffe by Frédérique Morrel. RPS1833_CAROLE_SITROOM_03_lowres

5. Create a natural look that is still well-planned This multi functional living space in Carole Poirot’s London apartment has been carefully divided into zones that are united by houseplants, poppy seed heads and foliage. The low white display cabinet on the right separates the dining areas from this end of the room, where a daybed loaded with cushions and throws provides a cosy spot for relaxation. The book cabinet and desk on the left make a compact home office area. Unite your own open plan space with botanicals by choosing a selection of houseplants which suit your furniture pieces. Use trailing plants up high on the top of tall cupboards or bookcases and gather small pot plants together in another area maybe on a coffee or side table.

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6. Cover Your Headboard (and footboard) Botanicals make an appearance in this glam London bedroom on the bed! It’s been upholstered in a digital print floral fabric. To try something similar in your own room, recover a padded headboard with a bold floral fabric or choose a full on floral quilt. The cushions have a luxury feel and are made from vintage silk scarves. Placing fresh flowers next to your bed is always a good idea, especially if they are scented like these roses.

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7. As a Bold Pattern In a White Room I love this Castanea wallpaper by House of Hackney which I have on one wall of our otherwise white bedroom. My tip here was I positioned our bed against the wall so it sill felt like a calm sleep space, while keeping a fun element. I’m normally not one for the ‘matchy matchy’ look but I’m such a fan of this particular design I needed the matching linen cushions to complete the look. A simple filament bulb with black flex makes a great bedside light and there's always a suitable corner for a potted palm.

Wow, thanks Selina for those tips... So readers, here are some shots of the book from my personal copy so you can get a sense of what it looks like inside...

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Thank you so much for visiting us today on decor8 Selina with your great tips for bringing Botanical Style to our homes. It was such a pleasure having you and I've loved looking at your book so far, it's gorgeous and I wish you all the best with it!

(Photography: Rachel Whiting © Ryland Peters & Small - Book spreads photographed by Holly Becker for decor8)

DIY Wallpaper Your Stairs
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Botanical Style is a big trend in home decorating, from Boho to Country, to Minimalist and Clean, everyone wants to bring in more plants and flowers at the moment - real, faux and through prints and patterns. Some want a ton, some like only a few. Have you thought to bring in floral and plant patterns though? For instance, through wallpaper? And in this case, add it to your staircase? Yes, wallpaper the stairs. RPS1833_STROMMA_HALLWAY_01_lowres

Why not? It really works in an old farmhouse or country home, but if you go with a more modern pattern, you can apply this look in a more modern city townhouse too. Author Selina Lake visited me this morning in celebration of her latest book, with a great tip shown in new book, Botanical Style, published by Ryland Peters & Small. I'll share more photos from the book and Selina will be back with more tips later this week but for now, here's a great project outlined by Selina that you can try at home.

Selina says, "Wallpapering the stairs is a wonderful way to bring vintage botanical pattern to a plain staircase. Rip out any old carpet and remove any tacks or nails, then sand the stairs and paint them with floor paint (I used Farrow and Ball wood primer & undercoat followed by ‘All White’ Floor paint) Gather up a collection of wallpaper offcuts or rolls of the same print for a more uniform look. Measure the top stair and cut out to size using desired paper. Attach using PVA glue or wallpaper paste, starting at the top means you can work your way down while leaving it alone so the glue will set."

That's it! Flowers on the stairs! Done! And if you want to see more, you can buy her book here.

(Photography by Rachel Whiting © Ryland Peters & Small)

DIY Bed Tray
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Hello everyone. How are you? Hope you had a nice weekend! I think you might agree with me, that Sunday mornings, or afternoons for that matter, feel best when spent in bed. And I don't mean sleeping, oh no! It's about having a cozy moment with a favorite book, sweet treats, magazines or a TV series watched on a laptop, while relaxing on soft layers of blankets and comfy pillows. Sounds very tempting, right? In case you wondered what I did yesterday, this is it - I had a little Sunday bed party with peach aperitivo, some good reads...and well yes, my camera to document it for you! The crucial item to make this moment perfect is to have a handy bed tray near you, where you can place a little plate with food, reading glasses - to be sure you don't sit on them or to place your laptop if you want to watch something. I know it's very mean to speak about lazy, bed moments on Monday but on your next lazy day, this bed tray has to be part of your morning ritual. I can guarantee you that once you have it - you will be wondering how you could have lived without it.

It is super easy to make and doesn't require advanced any carpenters skills to create it. Now that I (hopefully) convinced you to make it, let me show you how:

SUPPLIES * a 50 x 40 cm wooden plank * 2 rectangular shaped wooden sticks - 38 cm long each * very strong wood glue * sandpaper * white wood paint and black permanent marker * masking tape

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HOW TO * Start by polishing all the wooden elements with sandpaper, then rinse them with water to wash all the dust off. * Mark the area you want to paint with a masking tape then paint it. * When dry, using a black permanent pen draw little dots pattern on it. * Turn the wood upside down and glue the wooden 'legs' to it at the ends using a strong glue. * Leave the glue to dry well over the night.

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And taaa daaa! Now you can enjoy your Sunday mornings, with a breakfast in bed!

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This is my final post on decor8 so I want to say that it's been a great pleasure to share my DIYs with such a great audience and thank you for all your lovely comments and support! I hope you will keep in touch via my blog (Passion Shake) and social media. Wishing you all a beautiful Summer! - Agata

(Photography, DIY idea, Text, Styling: Agata Dimmich)

Decorate With A Tabletop Rod + Clamp

I have a very clever party decoration to share with you today, but first... Hello everyone it's Anke! Peony season is here and is one of the most beautiful times of the year, don't you think? In Germany it's one of our biggest and most celebrated flower seasons (here they are called Pfingstrose with the various shades of pink being the most popular variety found in every flower kiosk for very little money). As long as there are fresh, fragrant peonies in the flower shops, gardens and at the farmers' markets, they'll be in my house too! The same holds true for rhubarb, which is also in season at the moment. Yum!

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When decorating with peonies, my table setting almost always becomes a romantic one in soft colors. Who is playing the leading role in the following picture series is clear -- Miss Peony! For my tabletop, I chose four different types of peonies in shades of white and pale pink, some with yellow inside. I'm not sure of the name of this particular one, but if you have time maybe you can help me. Also, there is a list here for identifying the various peonies in English.

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As an additional eye-catcher, I ordered a white painted "Tafelklem" (*Dutch for "table clamp") online at Deens – and oh my! How great is this idea? Holly has one of them too, she found the idea first inside of a very famous Dutch design magazine called VTWonen and vowed she had to have one but hasn't used hers yet.

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Is this something that is available in your country? What would you add to yours? I wonder if you can buy clamps and DIY something like this? Hmmmm. Thankfully, Deens ships to Germany so I ordered mine from their site. There are so many creative ways to use this, it's definitely one of my favorite discoveries when it comes to tabletop decoration.

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Using the table clamp for the first time, I printed some peony images and floral patterns on heavy paper to hang the prints in the rack afterwards (mainly using the napkin pattern by photocopying it). This tiny picture gallery has been joined by a small hanging glass vase with a big peony blossom and some more attached with white raffia at one end of the pole.

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Speaking of pattern, you see one of my favorites on this table. It is called "flora dusty green" from the gorgeous Danish home brand, Bungalow. I made four napkins by sewing them out of two block-printed kitchen towels. The leaves could almost pass as peony leaves, right?

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What else? Yes – a sweet rhubarb dish for the guests invited! For my June table (aka my family and neighbors after the shooting) I made "Coconut Cheesecake in a jar". I crumbled coconut rusk/ zwieback, mixed it with melted butter and pressed it into small heatproof preserving jars. I filled in with a cheesecake mixture of your choice (maybe use a little coconut syrup?) and baked according to the recipe (mine went into the oven for 20 minutes/ 180° top and bottom heat). Nigella Lawson's Rhubarb & Ginger Compote (from the book Simply Nigella) was my choice of topping together with some zwieback crumble and fresh mint! Bon appétit! :)

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I wish you beautiful, warm and colorful first days of summer and I am already looking forward to see you again in July here on decor8! - Anke

(Photography, Text and Styling: Anke Illner - table clamp photos from VTWonen and Deens)

7 Great Ways To Display Photos At Home
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Hi friends! I want to quickly share with you a project that I worked on for Canon Europe in 2013 that I can finally share publicly. It was for an advertorial that was seen in hundreds of magazines across Europe, the UK and Russia. I was asked to comment on and show ways to use photos for decorating the home. And of course, I had to take the photos, print them all out, and then style them in my home in a creative way. The ideas are still very current so I thought to share them with you today. Canon_09

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1: GRID. I spent a day in the greenhouses at the Berggarten in Herrenhausen located in Hannover taking photos. It was amazing! Their orchid collection alone is one of the best in Europe. After a day shooting, I did some light post-processing in Lightroom and then printed my favorites out on Canon matte photo paper. I cut them all with a paper cutter. Then I pinned them in a grid format onto my mood board in my former work studio (I've moved since). This inspired me for a few months, I had my very own indoor botanical garden and it was so nice to look at each day.

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2. CIRCLE. I thought that it could be fun to try using a wooden hoop from the craft store in a fun, new way other than for needlepoint. I took some of my photos and used double-sided tape on the back to fix them to the wooden hoop. I then hung the hoop on my wall and there you have it, a sweet display that you can easily update with new photos, too.

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3. IN GLASS VESSELS. I started doing this with photos in 2006 using canning jars. On this fireplace mantle, I printed out photos I'd taken in London onto paper and just inserted them into vessels in various sizes. I don't suggest doing this with precious photos (vintage family stuff) because the photos will curve over time, but if you've printed them out yourself from your digital camera, there is no worry because you have the photos on your computer.

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4. ON A DOOR FRAME. If you have a series of photos in a specific color or theme, you could try this by just tacking them up with double-sided tape, but keep them in a straight line and color match them to the nearest piece of furniture or colors in the existing room.

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5. INSIDE OF WASHI TAPE FRAMES. This is such an easy way to show photos, and looks especially cute in a kid's room. Here, I printed out photos and used double-sided tape and fixed them to the wall, then used strips of washi tape from MT TAPE to frame them. I tried to coordinate the washi tape with the things on top of the dresser to keep everything color coordinated. I also mixed and matched the patterns on the tape and for some frames, I used wider tape and for some, I used two frames around one photo. It's fun to keep things interesting. I also printed out one photo and hand cut it "Polaroid Style" and used a single strip of tape to stick it on the wall (above the bird in the glass dome).

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6. INSIDE OF FRAMES (no glass). I had fun with this project because I got to use some ugly old frames in a new way. I first removed the back and the glass, then lightly sanded and washed them well, then once dry, I painted them in Farrow & Ball "Arsenic". It's the best green ever, seriously, so cool! Once they were dry, I hung them on the wall and just taped photos inside that I printed out.

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7. ON CLIPBOARDS. I picked up these nine clipboards from my friend Tinna years ago and put them above a makeshift desk I'd made using a deep LACK shelf from Ikea. I printed out 2 photos from my 2nd book, Decorate Workshop, taken by Debi Treloar along with some photos I'd taken, and just clipped one to each. Pretty, right?

Hope you like my ideas! I cannot believe how many years ago I styled this story, but it still feels fresh and I'm so happy I can finally share it with you.

(Photography: Close Focus Studios)