Posts in Places
Meet Me in Italy at Il Mondo Creativo in Bologna November 17 + 18, 2017

Hello dear readers, I am so excited to say that I'm going to Bologna, Italy this Thursday! I've been invited by Il Mondo Creativo, a leading trade show in Italy for crafts and decoration, to teach an Instagram and Styling workshop and give 2 live demonstrations during their fair, both with a book signing to show you my Italian book, "Decorare a Festa" which is Decorate For a Party in English.


I was invited as a special guest by Il Mondo Creativo thanks to my dear friend Anabella Veronesi from My Washi Tape. Anabella and I can barely communicate because she's speaking Italian and Spanish and I'm speaking English and German - so we talk a lot with hands and feet - and plenty of hugs, google translate, and emojis. Anabella is that special person you meet only a few times in life where you feel a genuine connection to from the start, a person who lights up a room but also who is helpful, kind and loving - not a superficial passing ship in your life - but a loyal and lovely friend for the long haul.

I'm so happy to see Anabella soon and to also say hello to my friend Charlotte Hedeman Guéniau, founder of homewares empire RICE in Denmark and the new Riceteria, who will present her latest book, Happy Home Outside: Everyday Magic for Outdoor Life, in Italian at the fair.

If you would like to see my live FREE demonstrations and buy a book from me to sign (optional of course), here is the schedule:

  • Friday, November 17th at 14:00

  • Saturday, November 18th at 16:00

Vuoi imparare a decorare con semplici ma bellissimi DIY la tua tavola e la tua casa? Holly Becker, autrice di “Decorare a festa” ci farà vedere come fare e ci darà preziosi consigli. Vi aspetta al Teatro Craft – Padiglione 22 // Venerdì ore 14.00 // Sabato ore 16.00

Want to take a private workshop with me at the fair?

If you would like to take a workshop with me and a small group of students, in English (but I'll have an Italian translator to help!), you can register for the workshop here. The class is 65 Euro and you get to spend 2.5 hours with me from 10:00-12:30 on Saturday, November 18th to learn all about Instagram and Styling your photos for Instagram.


The first hour from 10-11 we will learn about everything important when it comes to using Instagram from your brand identity to monetization, and then I'll take questions for 30 minutes from 11:00-11:30.

For the final hour, from 11:30-12:30, we will all move around the room to take photos and learn styling with me for Instagram.

NOTE: You can bring some of your products or anything you love to take photos of from home or your office, and we can work with them to take some nice photos and I can show you how to take the best pictures using your phone, the apps I use to edit my photos and how to style things to create a pretty picture.

Register for the Instagram Workshop here: INSTAGRAM – Come definire il tuo stile, far crescere il tuo account , creare contenuti e foto efficaci

See you in Bologna! Oh but wait, any travel tips for me? Anything I simply must see in Bologna? I have Thursday afternoon/evening free, and Sunday too for most of the day, so let me know what I should be seeing and doing in BOLOGNA! Thank you!

Follow my adventure on @decor8 INSTAGRAM from Thursday, November 16 until Monday, November 20 when I'll be posting all of my BOLOGNA inspiration and travel tips!





PlacesHolly Becker Comment
10 Lovely Decorating Tips From Haymarket Stockholm

Today I have 10 lovely decorating tips from my recent visit to Haymarket in Stockholm and I can't wait to share them with you.

Haymarket Stockholm

Haymarket which uses the English translation of "Hötorget", is the first signature hotel by the Scandic Group and today, you're going to check out their lovely cafe, Greta’s, and their restaurant, American, with me and see some decorating ideas that I found just by spending time in these spaces.

But first, a little history...

Haymarket is a hotel situated in Hötorget square, a popular downtown marketplace that has been in operation since the 1600’s. It isn’t just a hotel for international guests though; it’s a destination for many Stockholm locals to meet for lunch or for an aperitif after work.

The building once housed the fashionable and iconic PUB department store, where one of Sweden’s biggest Hollywood exports, Greta Garbo, began her career in the millinery department. The hotel restored the building’s historic art deco details with a nod to the history and glamour of the roaring twenties, yet giving it just enough of a modern twist. 

Whenever I’m in the area, I pop into the hotel’s café, Greta’s, (named after the one and only) for fika. They’ve decorated it with that winning combination of pink and green and just the right amount of gold accents. While millennial pink is certainly the color of the moment, their use of it has a classic edge that will no doubt stand the test of time. The cane chairs give a laid back vibe to the space and are set off with luxurious peacock cushions. I would never imagine using that combination until I saw it here and now if the opportunity arose, I might have to borrow the look too (wink).

While I’ve been known to enjoy a glass or two of champagne with friends at Greta’s, the place to go to for a touch of glamour and a good cocktail, is the bar, American, which overlooks the square’s marketplace. You feel the opulence the moment you enter. You’re greeted with plush velvet sofas in hues of moody blues and burgundies and brass art deco ornamental wall paneling. My all time favorite here is the statement black Atollo lamp. It just breathes luxury.  

The exquisite décor is a huge draw for me, and each time I visit, I soak up so much interior inspiration and I’m sure that you will too.

Would you like to take a look and to gather some decor tips for your home? Here are my 10 tips:

Haymarket Stockholm

TIP 1: Ceilings needn’t always be discreet. Here the color scheme and mood of the room continues above, for a sweeping and dramatic effect.

Haymarket Stockholm

TIP 2: By adding darker bar stools, the somewhat pretty room is finished feeling more grown up.

Haymarket Stockholm

TIP 3: The rattan chairs give a laid back vibe to the space and are set off with peacock cushions.

Haymarket Stockholm

TIP 4: Place fluffy feathers in a vase for a nice twist on flowers.

Haymarket Stockholm

TIP 5: Patterned floor tiles lend an extra wow factor to a room.

Haymarket Stockholm

TIP 6: Mirrors are the oldest design trick in the book but work beautifully to reflect natural light from the large windows and play with the eye making a room seem to go on and on....

Haymarket Stockholm

TIP 7: Table lamps add to the ambience of a room but can also be the perfect standalone statement piece, like this Atollo lamp in black.

Haymarket Stockholm

TIP 8: Velvet sofas are soft and inviting but it’s not always possible to buy a new sofa, or to reupholster your current one. Why not borrow from the look by mixing in velvet cushions to your current sofa to add a sumptuous feel?

Haymarket Stockholm

TIP 9: Plants bring the outdoors in and also visually fill boring corners and hide things like ugly outlets or your wifi router.

Haymarket Stockholm

TIP 10: Art Deco geometric patterns look striking when carried throughout a room like the designers have done here with the rug and screen.

If you find yourself in Stockholm, a visit to Haymarket is something you must tick off your list of things to do and see. Perhaps you could pop in for a dinner and drink after enjoying a performance at Konserthuset, Stockholm’s famous concert house, which is just opposite. Or for something really special, treat yourself and stay as a guest. Either way, I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do. 

Have you found any decorating ideas here at that you love?

(Article + Photography: Mel Chesneau)

See One Of The Best Interiors Shops In Stockholm

Are you like me and love window-shopping? This, I confess would have to be one of my favorite past times. When I arrive in a new city, finding a beautiful interior store is one of the first things that I need to do - even before the other attractions! To me, this, along with sitting in cafes and people watching, is where I get a real feel for a place.

Tambur Store Stockholm_ mel chesneau for decor8-3.jpg

Now I don’t mean just any shop full of lovely things, I’m looking for a place where I can feel inspired; somewhere that truly showcases their edit, along with reflecting the style and feel of the city that it’s in. Thankfully one of my friends here introduced me to Tambur, which does just that. It has since been my go-to-store for all things interiors. I’m sure you’ll love it. Shall I take you on a little virtual tour with me?

Tambur is situated in Södermalm, an area in Stockholm, that was crowned the third coolest neighborhood in the world a couple of years ago by Vogue magazine. Cafes line the streets with a mix of hipsters, young families and professionals taking time out to fika. There’s no pretentiousness here though, the locals take the title in their stride and are super friendly with their quiet Scandinavian confidence. 

Tambur Store Stockholm

Tambur means “entry hall” in Swedish. It’s the place to enter the home, hang your coat, leave your shoes, bag and relax.  Designer, Anders Widegren, founded the store two years ago with the idea to create a space that embodies a Nordic style, with a lot of clean lines, functional design and where less is more. A year later, Sebastian Bergström, came on board as a co-owner and stylist. 

Tambur Store Stockholm
Tambur Store Stockholm

The store is set up to reflect different rooms within the home and offers some great decorating inspiration. Both Anders and Sebastian aim to choose products that are made with care, and by natural materials. You can see this with the beautiful display of cutting boards, utensils, ceramics and accessories on show. This is very much the philosophy of Scandinavians. Choose well and you will have it for life. 

Tambur Store Stockholm
Tambur Store Stockholm
Tambur Store Stockholm
Tambur Store Stockholm


Since opening, Anders and Sebastian have given the boutique numerous makeovers to showcase how the products can work within different environments and color palettes. This makes it even more interesting (and dangerous) for regulars as we rediscover our favorite things styled in a fresh, new way. 

If you find yourself in Stockholm’s Södermalm, a visit to Tambur is a must. A little warning though, temptations run high here and you will be hard pressed to leave without getting a little something for yourself.

(Article + Photography Mel Chesneau)

Follow #BlogTeamDDW at Dutch Design Week!

Hey lovely friends and decor8 readers! I'm happy to be here today to say hi because I've been a bit absent due to getting a cold and from managing my family life and travel, etc. Right now, I have an intense travel period so I spend as much time as I can when I'm home to be with my little boy. When you are away 4-5 days at a time, you have to create balance by being very present when you are home and for me, this means blogging less and playing with him more. BUT the good news is, that I have a great schedule for daily blog posts from now until the end of the year - you will either be hearing from me or someone from the awesome decor8 team that I've newly formed... So you won't have to miss anything inspiring at all.

Design Academy Eindhoven

Design Academy Eindhoven

This weekend, from October 20-23, I will lead a group of 15 bloggers/influencers/vbloggers from all over Europe to Eindhoven for Dutch Design Week and we'll be using our hashtag #BlogTeamDDW. If you want to follow us, just search for that hashtag online or on Instagram and you'll see what we are doing and seeing as we go. I'm sure you will find our photos and insta stories inspiring, especially if you love art, design, conceptual design work, pretty cafes and shops... Oh wait a minute, OF COURSE YOU LOVE THOSE THINGS. Duh! So follow us!

I CANNOT WAIT to see the student work at the Design Academy Eindhoven and to visit Piet Hein Eek and see his new work for IKEA and NLXL and also to finally meet Paola Navone after so many years of following her work. It's going to be quite spectacular to dine with people who have inspired us all for so many years - older, wiser and certainly more experienced!

I formed this blogger group on a whim, I wanted to return to Dutch Design Week after 11 years of not going - it was the fair that started my career as a journalist since it was the first thing I ever wrote about for Domino magazine back when I lived in the United States! I don't see or hear as much about DDW as I'd like to from my fellow American bloggers and journalists, so I thought since I'm American and live over here AND live only 3 hours away from Eindhoven, why not take the lead and form a group and together, hit the fair and unearth gems to share with my followers and for all of the bloggers with me to do the same. Why not cover a fair that could be really inspiring to all of you, that isn't necessarily the typical type of fair showing products already in production? I love conceptual design and though so much of it never sees the light of day in the way it was originally intended, a lot of the ideas around the design can and do end up becoming actual things we use someday. I was told recently that what you see at Dutch Design Week as a concept this year, is what you just may see at a trend fair as a product in 5 years, which is why it's so important to go to these types of student fairs.

Here is the stellar group below that I've chosen so click on them all to follow them too -  we have a very lovely weekend ahead so again, do follow us from October 20-23 and like our photos and feel free to share as you go. If you want to be a part of future blogger groups that I organize to attend fairs or events, please reach out to me via my assistant, Jessy, who will let me know of your interest (

Here is our #BlogTeamDDW (in no particular order):

Desiree/Vosgesparis (NL)

Anastasia/Stilzet (Germany)

Stefan/Trendstefan (Sweden)

Wendy/BeeldSteil (NL)

Danielle/The Style Files (NL)

Agata Dimmich/Passion Shake (Italy)

Sandra Kaplanovic (Interior Design Student from Montenegro)

Mette/Monsters Circus (Denmark)

Mel/Styled Canvas (Sweden)

Marta/Everyday Marta (Belgium)

Yvonne/Yvestown (Belguim)

Judith/Joelix/Urban Jungle Bloggers (France)

Igor/Happy Interior Blog/Urban Jungle Bloggers (Germany)

Jantine/April and May (NL)

and of course, me.

To say I am happy THAT these bloggers and influencers accepted my invitation to join me in Eindhoven doesn't even capture the gratitude I feel (thank you guys so much!). I am deeply honored and can't wait!

And I owe Desiree so much for joining in my effort to help me organize everything because without her, it would have been a struggle with pinpointing exactly where to go as DDW is huge.

My only hope is that they all love it and we end up having a weekend to remember that gives us all lots of happy feels!

We have so many special events lined up, I hope that you will enjoy watching our Instagram accounts all weekend long - just use #blogteamDDW to stay in the know on IG.

See you all on Instagram in Eindhoven!



Must See: Arabia Artists' Studios + Art Department In Helsinki

Hello again friends! After sharing the museum tour from the Iittala & Arabia Design Centre yesterday here, I want to know show you glimpses of my private tour of the Arabia artists' studios located in the Arabia building on the 9th floor. I am proud to say that I took all of these photos myself and I really love how they came out!

My idea of heaven.

My idea of heaven.

If you missed my post from yesterday, Arabia is one of Finland's most respected and beloved tableware brands and has held this position for nearly 150 years. Finland has a very strong design legacy and Arabia is part of that, as a true pioneer of Finnish design. You can't walk into a Finnish home and not find something from Arabia there.

A wall covered in ceramic tiles made by the artists.

A wall covered in ceramic tiles made by the artists.


The Arabia Artists' Studios and Art Department was established nearly 15 years ago by Arabia artists and founders in order to uphold its traditions and ensure the continuation of the cultural heritage of ceramic art. Their goal is to promote Finnish and international talent with all who visit, including children who are invited to create in the studio space from time to time and workshops for adults are held regularly.

Work in progress.

Work in progress.

Today the Arabia art society includes artists Fujiwo Ishimoto, Heljä Liukko-Sundström, Heikki Orvola, Pekka Paikkari, Heini Riitahuhta, Kristina Riska, Kim Simonsson, Kati Tuominen-Niittylä, Jasmin Anoschkin and visiting artist Veera Kulju, who all have private studios along the long corridor shown below.


Touring the art department was awesome. In fact, when I was allowed into the locked studio of their current visiting artist, Veera Kulju, tears streamed down my cheeks immediately. I wasn't allowed to take a single photo in her space, but it was the hardest thing in the world to NOT take at least one. Out of respect, I didn't. But Kulju's work resonated with me on a very deep level and it felt so spiritual to connect to work like that. I will never forget when the door opened and I glanced at her gorgeous ceramic pieces in process, it was surreal and sublime. She is definitely now one of my favorite ceramicists and I am dying to know more about her and her work.

The work of Veera Kulju.

The work of Veera Kulju.

More work from Veera Kulju.

More work from Veera Kulju.

Another artist that I enjoyed very much is Heini Riitahuhta. In fact, I saw her work at the Habitare Fair and during our panel, when we each had to nominate two favorite things from the fair, I nominated her wall ceramics. It was strange how the next day, I found myself in the Arabia studios and saw Riitahuhta's work again and learned for the first time that she works with Arabia and has her studio there. What a small world!

Heini Riitahuhta's work in progress.

Heini Riitahuhta's work in progress.

Completed pieces by Heini Riitahuhta.

Completed pieces by Heini Riitahuhta.



I truly loved being enveloped in this creative environment and now, I want to take a ceramics class and try my hand at making a few pieces as a relaxing hobby. The smell of this space made me so happy, it brought back my favorite classes from school - art classes - and how deeply I wanted to paint and work with clay and make things with my hands back then... But my eye and my writing was always stronger than what I could physically create with clay and paint.

I enjoyed art so much though I never saw myself as that "good". Today, I am very open and willing to try again. Perhaps from my years of experience around art and design, I may have a deeper passion for handmade work than I did as a young girl and this could result in being a bit more talented with my hands.

In any case, I have resolved to find a class and start creating little ceramic items for my cabinet. I'm so happy that my trip to Arabia inspired me to pursue something I've kept on the back burner for so many years...

Do you dabble in ceramics? Do you like it?

Have a lovely day!

(Photography + Text: Holly Becker for decor8)

PlacesHolly Becker Comment
Tour Iittala & Arabia Design Centre Museum in Helsinki

Hello friends, how are you? I just had the honor to visit Finland, with thanks to Habitare who brought me there to give a lecture at their fair and to participate on a panel with experts in social media and design like Niki Brantmark, Mette Jakobsen, Katariina Kalda and Stefan Nilsson.

The ultimate cherry on top though was that Habitare further arranged for us to eat at some of Helsinki's best restaurants and they left their tour director, Annika Suomi, with us to share the city with her golden keys, contagious enthusiasm and fantastic energy level. Boy, did I love Annika - she just may be the best tour guide I've ever had in my life. She was also perfect with giving us time to look around and enjoy ourselves and though our schedule was full, the pace was perfect so we were not in vans very long and she didn't take us all over the country - we stayed in Helsinki and trust me, there was more than enough to do there. What a great city!


So now, let me tell you all about Arabia at the Iittala & Arabia Design Centre and my private tour that Annika arranged since I was the last of the group to stay in the city an extra two days on my own. My Arabia tour, of both the museum and the artists' studios, was wonderful and I'll never forget it.

Arabia is one of Finland's most respected and beloved tableware brands and has held this position for nearly 150 years. Finland has a very strong design legacy and Arabia is part of that, as a true pioneer of Finnish design. You can't walk into a Finnish home and not find something from Arabia there. Flea markets, second-hand stores, antiques dealers, eBay, you will find Arabia in all of these places in addition to shops all over the world.

Then there is the second iconic Finnish brand, Iittala. What started as a glass factory in Iittala, Finland, is also found in homes of design lovers globally, from glassware to kitchen cookery and decorative objects for other rooms in the home. I was invited to their glass factory but could not make it on this trip, though in the design centre on the 9th floor you could see some of the history of the brand, view iconic pieces and of course on the lower floor, shop for the gorgeous products of Iittala, including the beloved Alvar Aalto vase which I had the pleasure of also seeing very personally when I toured Aalto's private home in Helsinki just a day prior.

Would you like to see the Arabia building and particularly, the museum located on the 9th floor of the Iittala & Arabia Design Centre located at Hämeentie 135 in Helsinki? Of course you would! In a follow-up post, I'll show you the artists' studios too where some of the ceramics for Arabia are conceptualized and later, put into production.

The  Iittala & Arabia Design Centre  - in the museum on the 9th floor.

The Iittala & Arabia Design Centre - in the museum on the 9th floor.


Birger Johannes Kaipiainen, a great Finnish ceramicist and painter, did amazing work. A platter like this goes for around 10,000 Euros at a an antiques market today. His Paratiisi range is a well-loved classic of Arabia but personally, I love the original work they were modeled after best. Wow.

Birger Johannes Kaipiainen, a great Finnish ceramicist and painter, did amazing work. A platter like this goes for around 10,000 Euros at a an antiques market today. His Paratiisi range is a well-loved classic of Arabia but personally, I love the original work they were modeled after best. Wow.

Product timeline, very interesting to peruse.

Product timeline, very interesting to peruse.


While at Arabia on my tour, I learned something else. Book character Moomin by Finnish illustrator Tove Jansson, had their first products at Arabia with figurines, dishes and mugs releasing in the mid century. Today, Moomin is hugely popular, especially to Japanese tourists. In fact, whenever I saw Japanese tourists in the city, they were holding bags from Arabia or checking out in the Arabia shop with loads of Moomin branded products. I bought my son's first good quality silverware set after my tour, with Moomin on the handles, and he loved his gift when I got home. He proudly uses them each day since.

I hope that you have enjoyed touring one part of the Iittala & Arabia Design Centre with me today - the museum. Tomorrow, I'll share the studios were their artists create upcoming collections.

(Photography + Text: Holly Becker for decor8)