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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.



My Fair Schedule for Q1 2019 - Let's Meet Up!

Hello dear friends, I want to give you my fair schedule for Q1 2019 so bloggers and clients can meet up with me or arrange to attend some of my lectures, etc. I will also be scheduling video interviews at Formland in Herning, Denmark and at imm Cologne for brands and designers, and bloggers too, so if you’d like to be part of my video interview series, you can email my assistant and she’ll get you on the schedule.

Formland Favorites from earlier 2018

Formland Favorites from earlier 2018

Here is a full run of where I will be between January and April.

Domotex, Hannover

Dates I’ll be there: January 12-13, 2019

At this fair, I will once again welcome some of Europe’s top design bloggers: Desiree from Vosgesparis, Stefan from TrendStefan, Niki from My Scandinavian Home, Igor from Happy Interior Blog and Urban Jungle Bloggers, Mette from Monsterscircus and Agata from Passion Shake. We will also have a special guest, rug expert and blogger Michael Christie (The Ruggist) from Canada.

I will have a stand or “FRAME” showing favorite rugs from vendors and a large moodboard where I’ll show European design influencers and some of their favorite rugs, in collaboration with Steinhoff in Hannover who loaned all of the furniture and the most gorgeous rug for the design I’ve made for the space (A very special thank you to Anard Steinhoff and his fantastic team) and paint for the FRAME walls will by sponsored by Farrow & Ball. You can see the decor8 FRAME during all four days of the fair.

Additionally at Domotex, I’ll be with my expert panel (listed above) to deliver talks both Saturday and Sunday, 12 and 13 January, so please make sure to attend. If you are not a retailer or from the trade and cannot register for a ticket, please email my assistant and we will do what we can to get you in for the lectures/panels.

There will be a BLOGGER TOUR on Saturday, so any bloggers/influencers who are interested in attending should also email to get on the list.

imm, Cologne

Dates I’ll be there: January 14-16, 2019

I will be attending this fair on assignment for Living At Home magazine and also Living At Home x Holly magazine, so this will be a special assignment for me since I’ll be with an assistant from the magazine who will pre-arrange interviews for me and I’ll meet with some of the best and most interesting designers and brands in the world to produce videos and also photo essays from our trip. I will give you more information in the weeks ahead about this special assignment, but I can’t wait!

For the first day, I’ve been invited by special invitation from the Koelnmesse and the Verbandes der Deutschen Möbelindustrie for a special blogger tour and dinner in celebration of 100 Years of Bauhaus. I’m really looking forward to this special day, and to see Niki and Desiree again, too.

Formland, Herning

Dates I’ll be there: January 31 + February 1, 2019

This is a fair where I’ll also have a stand, in the entry hallway, along with 3 other influencers who have strong opinions on trends and interiors like me, including Stefan Nilsson and the ever-inspiring Anette Eckmann. In this stand, I’ll show you more than 40 of my favorite products from the fair so you can visit my stand anytime during the fair to see what I found that may be interesting for you to source during your visit, too.

Happily, I’ll again be working with Formland to produce a lecture and panel, so stay tuned to learn more about that. I’ll be posting again about Formland after Christmas.

Blickfang, Hamburg

Dates I’ll be there: February 2, 2019

This is a fair I’ve been attending and supporting for quite awhile because it centers on young design and new talent and I love the inspirational atmosphere and the overall energy from the exhibitors. I also launched my 4th book at this fair in 2016.


This time, I’ll be launching something else - the debut issue of Living At Home x Holly. It will release to the public on January 24 but at Blickfang, I will personally be there to show my magazine, sign copies if asked, and to welcome the press and bloggers/influencers to a very networking/meet and greet event (details to follow here in early January).

I can’t wait to tell you more… I would love to meet you there!

Salone del Mobile, Milan

Dates I’ll be there: The full week

I will definitely be back in Milan in April, just not sure who I’m working for there yet and what I’ll be doing. And I have NO CLUE where to stay overnight. Ugh. Milan is always a big headache when it comes to finding a hotel. If you have suggestions, please let me know! Just NO Air B&B, I have had too many friends book Milan dates with Air B&B only to have properties cancel the night before or the day of their trip. Anyway, I love being at the fair and seeing my friends and spending a week totally inspired by design and art. It’s fantastic!

Okayyyy so my dear friends, those are my fair dates for Q1 2019.



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My Next Big Thing & Why I've Been So Quiet Lately

Hello dear friends and longtime readers. I felt like sitting down before you today to talk a little about my future as a blogger, how I got here, the future of blogging in general and why I’ve been so quiet lately. I think I’ll first tackle my journey.


I started blogging nearly 13 years ago, in January 2006. When I started, I just wanted to write stuff. I had a lot of good ideas and resources, and I still do - I never got sick of it - I still LOVE decor and design. Someone once told me years ago to be careful when it comes to your heart. You can fool around with a person, thinking it’s just a game or a temporary passion, then suddenly you realize you need them in your life forever and this person was never meant to be “passing through” or merely a stepping stone in your journey. And if you fooled around with the wrong person, it can break your heart and leave a lasting wound. If you fooled around with a good person, it can result in the most beautiful romance and ever-after story that we pay money to see on film.

That’s kinda what happened when I started blogging. I never in my life imagined being influential as a blogger, and to earn a living from it. I was fooling around but this lover, my blog, became the best thing that ever happened to my career life. Blogging back then had ZERO respect, journalists thought it was all bullshit and would die eventually and magazines felt we were a nuisance and eventually, we’d blow up and die or something. And no one was making a living from it, I remember some bloggers putting “tip jars” on their blogs and readers going nuts about it, telling them they were selling out and no one will read them anymore for wanting money for their opinion. So the magazines hated us, journalists thought we were trying to take their voice (and many still do feel this way) and our readers loved us but only if we weren’t making money from writing a blog because if we made money, we were Satan.

Oh, I remember those days. I remember the comments sections on blogs heating up whenever a blogger had a new revenue idea. AND WHEN ADS started on blogs, oh my god. I remember the uproar, the “selling out” conversations, the moaning, the hate, the comments that often kept me up at night because I couldn’t understand why bloggers making money had become synonymous with selling your firstborn child to a brothel in India.

I, and many of my blogger “colleagues” back then, pressed on. No matter what. We were keen on writing and sharing but equally keen on finding a way to somehow make a living doing what we love because we saw no shame in earning money as bloggers. Many of us got picked up by magazines after a few years of writing online, because magazines started to understand our value and some respected us, others tolerated us, but together we sort of found a good working rhythm.

Other bloggers didn’t bother with working for magazines and instead, started online classes, Etsy shops, podcasts, videos, writing books, self-publishing e-books and magazines, starting online magazines, launching product lines, giving lectures, working for fairs, selling ads, working with brands on paid campaigns, selling sponsored content, etc… and others built a total rock-solid empire, like The Pioneer Woman who started blogging around the time that I did and today, she has her own BARBIE DOLL.

I did/am doing a lot of those things too. Not the doll (can you imagine a Holly doll who loves to decorate and is on her phone most of the day?), but most of the others. Readers started to understand that people with blogs who were talented had the right to earn a living from writing and also from their unique point of view and personality. It wasn’t such a sour topic any longer. Readers appreciated us and our work and as many of them also started their own blogs, they quickly understood the work that goes into it and respected the big guys a lot more.

Then Instagram swung open its doors and when they were beta-testing it, I was part of that (along with every other app out there, I was always in the first group testing things out) and though skeptical, I wondered about its future and how it could potentially change blogging.

And it has changed blogging. A lot.

Most people use Instagram more than write on their blogs. Instagram is #1 it seems for building and connecting with your audience. It’s the Flickr of our times (Flickr was once where most of the early bloggers met and connected, and chatted)… But I still believe in the power of blogs, vblogs, and in using ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING digitally possible to get your message out into the world and find your people. We all have success in some apps and failure in others - but for me, blogs and newsletters still work because we still have control over them - our content, who sees it, how we market it, the look and feel, everything. Don’t give up on blogging, gang. In fact, I vote to even reinstate BLOGROLLS (remember those????) because the link backs are what helped the early bloggers find new readers but also what helped all us on google to improve our SEO. I’m thinking to add a blogroll, because, why not?


I am willing to bet that the future of blogging has promise, but only if we level up and integrate more interesting and heartfelt posts, and see our blog as our MAGAZINE. People always called decor8 an online magazine or a blogazine and it’s true. It has been for over a decade. If you start to see yourself as boss, as Editor in Chief of your own online work, your blog becomes something more than just you sitting there pounding out content on your keyboard. It can become bigger and more dynamic and can stand up and out from the pack. The future of blogging is this: evolve it to higher level - only don’t editorialize everything and fill it with sponsored content because that’s not new or innovative. Think of new monetization opportunities for your clients and brands, think of new column ideas and most of all, develop it from your passions and from your heart. I truly believe that online, anyone can become the next big thing. Why not you?

As for Instagram, yes I believe it will continue on, but since the number of Instagram influencers is so high now, and these numbers are also hard to measure and convert into actual sales and/or loyal readers, eventually we will all tire out and move on to something else unless Instagram surprises us with something totally radical and fresh. What will that something else be? Have you imagined this? What do you think?

I believe that the future is what we make it. There are still people working in print who make a lot of money and do very well (KINFOLK and Monocle for instance), despite how people claim print is dead. You still have lots of books being sold in spite of how often others say they rather buy on kindle. There is a market for everything and so it’s not always about jumping on what is popular, but to create something for yourself that works for you and helps you to build your own mini empire. There is so much happening, so quickly, online - just try everything out and see what fits.

“Only Boring People Get Bored” - Betty from Mad Men


I guess a lot of reasons. A lot of work. A lot of travel. A lot of everything. And then this overwhelming feeling that I’m not doing enough, I’m not where I should be yet in my career, I’m not present enough for my friends, I don’t own a home yet, just stuff. Stuff like that.

Thankfully, I was born with a “cup half full” mindset. My grandmother Millie was exactly the same. She saw the positive side in everything. When she had to go into assisted living after her stroke, we were sitting around singing old Frank Sinatra music when her nurse arrived. He asked her if she needed anything. When he left, she looked at me and winked and said, “Now you know why I don’t complain about living here, with a man like that giving me a bath every night!” and she giggled. She was nearly 90 and still had that feisty, happy and funny spirit about her. Nothing to stop her or get her down, and when it did, she fought like hell to stand back up again. I’m the copy of her and I’m grateful for this. But it doesn’t mean I still don’t have negative moods and feelings. I have my share.

Signing the contract for my new magazine with LIVING AT HOME at G&J in Hamburg, Germany - THIS.IS.HAPPENING.

Signing the contract for my new magazine with LIVING AT HOME at G&J in Hamburg, Germany - THIS.IS.HAPPENING.

I guess I’ve been so quiet lately because blogging hasn’t interested me so much this year. It’s like that when you’ve been doing something for so many years. You need mini pauses so you can come back better or at least, stronger and more interested in your own blog.

I’ve been really keen on my other projects and seeing a big dream of mine come to light - well TWO of them. One is product design. I’ve designed a capsule collection for the home for a company here that will be seen in 500 (yes that’s 5 with two zeros) stores that has my name all over it. That will launch in January. AND THEN THERE IS THE MAGAZINE. If you read German, or want to try, or you want to use Google Translate, read these:

Influencerin Holly Becker bekommt ein eigenes Print-Magazin

Die Deutsche Medienmanufaktur kooperiert mit Design-Bloggerin Holly Becker und bringt 2019 eine neue Interior-Zeitschrift an den Start

Influencer beflügeln Printgeschäft: Gruner +Jahr will Magazin um Bloggerin Holly Becker auf den Markt bringen

SO!!!! That’s BIG News! I’ve been working this year on developing a PRINT magazine with LIVING AT HOME that will premiere with issue one on newsstands January 24, 2019. To say this is a dream come true is an understatement. With over 6,000 blog posts written and hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles I’ve penned, and 4 books in multiple languages, and after slews of podcasts and videos for over 8,000 students in my online classes since 2009, I figured the magazine is the one thing I’ve been trying to do since 2011 that just hasn’t happened yet. I wanted to try it in America but the fit was never right - wrong publisher or worse, no money (on their side). It almost happened in 2012 but a UK magazine stole my concept after multiple meetings, and did it without me because it was cheaper to steal than pay for my idea and work. Bah.

I felt so beaten down by that bad experience that my idea for a magazine just laid dormant for 5 years. I had my beautiful son and focused on him and the other parts of my career that make me so happy. I put my magazine idea on hold because I couldn’t go through another experience like that - to be so close and then have the idea stolen and legally, there wasn’t a thing I could do about it.

This magazine I’m about to launch alongside of Sinja Schutte and her LIVING AT HOME team, came about so naturally that I can’t even believe it. We were chatting about my column in a magazine she oversees, FLOW, and the magazine idea just came out of my mouth and hers at nearly the same time. The idea took root and we just kept having conversations about it, and I was super guarded at first, but I felt like I could really trust her and decided that one bad experience cannot ruin my chance at a dream, so I continued opening up to her and eventually, the magazine started to take shape.

Here we are today, November 6th, and the magazine news is official - we will produce TWO issues next year and if I have time and we think the project has interested readers and the market is ready to see what I have to show to them, then we may continue with more issues and see where it goes from there. It’s an experiment that we are putting our hearts into with faith that people will see the premiere issue and feel connected to it, a little happier through our stories, learn about lovely and talented people who mean a lot to me, and will walk about from the magazine hoping for an issue two for more of that good feeling.

That’s my dream. To have another platform to reach hearts, share stories, show beautiful things and give my friends and the people I’m meeting at all of the fairs I attend a space to show their work and to be seen and heard. I’m just going for it and am soooo excited to show you what HOLLY BECKER/decor8 in print will look like.


Maybe I will be the 97-year-old Iris Apfel of design blogging in the very distant future. One of the last ones standing from the first batch of bloggers who pioneered the movement. Maybe or maybe not. I just see myself as evolving still. I’m still young-ish and energetic enough to do lots of meaningful things. The magazine project is a big leap. The home products, another. Maybe I’ll have my own show or make the hundreds of podcasts I’ve recorded for my students since 2009 public for all to hear. I don’t know yet. I just want to be happy first, a great mama second and a really good friend and to inspire people to live their best life, to find their home and build dreams there, to create joy through their interiors and to feel like they matter and have a purpose in being alive because I meet a lot of people who still aren’t sure about themselves, their life or their calling. I love to help others to find themselves and a lot of the soul searching can be done starting at home through knowing ourselves and creating a supportive space to improve our heath and our life. What we do IN the home leaves with us every day, those feelings we create there, the memories… We wear our emotions so openly, we don’t always realize that. The home space is more than a physical spot, it’s also part of us, our core. I’ve never owned a home in my life but I always feel at home no matter where I’ve rented property, because I have a strong core and I know who I am. I don’t always feel confident or great about myself, but I do know absolutely who I am and what I stand for. I learned all of this through my home. Through my objects. My story is all around me and when I figured that out, I understood my place, my role, my life.

Anyway… I love you all and hope you will follow me on my next ride, a magazine, more books (I’m sure!) and whatever else I have energy and time for. I just want to make myself happy through my work and in the process, make you happy too. Let’s see how I do for 2019.



Essay: I Was Scared Of 4-Year-Olds Today But Learned Something Valuable

I want to write something personal here again because I’ve not done so in months… I guess it’s because something “personal” usually has to be inspired by a certain mood and then, I imagine if it’s really that interesting to belong on my blog or not. Well, I’m not sure how interesting this post will be, but I definitely got inspired by something funny that happened to me today and felt like sharing because I wonder if some of you are out there and can relate in some way to how I feel. Today’s experience was nice though, it resulted in me getting a big invisible hug - a hug that I really, really needed right now, a hug that I’ve craved for months.

Annie Spratt

First of all, I had a great day. It began with a smoothie and rewarding work in my office, then I met a friend and had coffee, and later, I went shopping in the city and got distracted by goddamn Gucci bags again (I can’t explain my sudden interest in Gucci, I’m not even a brand-y person, I blame Instagram), but then… An emergency text arrived.

My son’s pre-K needed me to watch the kids to fill in for my husband since he couldn’t do it. (There was a teacher’s meeting and parents volunteer to help at the school we belong to.) Anyway, I was feeling tired and not so keen on going in, mostly because I hadn’t planned on it and had a 4pm conference call with a brand I freelance for, so I knew being with kids from 3-4pm would be tough.

Thing is, I care about my son and I want the school and the kids to like me, because then he is treated well too. I also reasoned that if I timed it right, I could do the call on the way home from the school anyway, so everyone wins. The school, my client, me.

I rushed in panting a bit from running up 3 flights of subway stairs (which made me very aware that I have to work out more), literally dropped my shopping bags on the floor (H&M, not Gucci), and said hello to all of the cute little 4-year-old faces greeting me. They didn’t really know what to expect from me because this was my first time watching them. I usually go in and out of the school quickly to pick up my little boy, so they know me but they have no clue what my personality is like.

BUT I had a strange first thought when I saw them.

I’m embarrassed to admit this.

I was worried they wouldn’t LIKE ME. (I want to not publish this post after writing that.)

I was actually SCARED they wouldn’t like me.

Had my son been there, I wouldn’t have given it much thought, but he was already home with his father. So it was just me and 12 kids and another parent volunteering whom all of the kids seemed to know and love. But yeah, I was scared of these kids.

I didn’t know why I was scared and even intimidated by them, but I turned that mental switch off and smiled, delivered a good time to them, was totally myself and got them cracking up and some were even on my lap by the time I left. We danced and later, played on the floor with plastic animals. When their parents came to collect them, they didn’t jump up and run off, instead they made their parents WAIT until they were finished with me. Some asked what certain German words were in English and also taught me some new German animal names when I got stuck on a few of them (like Chimpanzee / Schimpanse - more or less the same word!). It was cute and very special.

When I walked home, I had my conference call and by the time I turned my key in the front door, I felt DAMN GOOD. No, actually, I felt GREAT.

After getting home and sorting through a few emails along with the dinner and bedtime routine for my little boy, I thought more about my feelings and tried to get to the heart of WHY I was initially so scared of a pack of kids. What was at the root of this?

The more I thought, the more I realized something. 1. You can’t bullshit kids. You can bullshit adults and they can bullshit you right back. With kids, they see YOU. It’s intimate. You cannot pretend to be happy or feel good if you don’t. You can’t pretend much of anything with kids because they see through it all and even call you out on it. 2. I often second-guess what people’s reasons are when they REALLY like me. Like, I think it’s because they need something FROM me, not because they just like me for me.

I didn’t realize the 2nd part of that until today, but when I think about it, I really, truly do get worn out by this - not ever knowing if people like you for you.

I never did this before I was in a position in my career where I was able to really influence and help other people as I can and do in my current role. When you have a job with a certain measure of fame and success, you sometimes DO wonder if people like you for YOU or do they like you for what you are able to give to them. Whether it’s in your company, your position in another company, or on the internet, sometimes a job can make you feel that way.

Even family. My little boy doesn’t mean to, but every day he asks that I buy him toys, or give him candy, or let him please please please watch a show on television… And when I say no, which I do a lot of, he gets so pissed and suddenly mama is no longer cool or special - mama is the bad one. This goes on all day and ranges in intensity, but I heard this continues for as long as your kids live at home with you, so this is something I need to learn how to manage emotionally (any tips?). I guess this is just normal family dynamics and a case of being married for a long time, because I often feel my husband doesn’t even “see” me anymore. Like what I do is just expected.

I hear a lot of women feel this way, especially mothers but few people talk about this stuff on the internet - because on the internet, your home has to look perfect, you have to look perfect, and your family life has to look like The Stepford Wives Instagram edition.

During my hour spent with kids who needed NOTHING from me but to give them a warm, happy feeling and to be playful - not to buy them something, manage something, sell something, hustle something for them… well it was BEAUTIFUL.

It made my heart feel bigger and fuller than it has in a really long time, to sit on the floor with those cute kids today. It was a wonderfully warm feeling to really experience unconditional love and I wondered about how to get this more in my life - not just sporadically but regularly.

Anyway, I wanted to write this because I had no idea how much it affected me, how much it was draining me, to not feel needed for just me being me. It reminded me of how basic humans really are, how at the end of the day, we really just want to feel needed. To make someone laugh. That’s it.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

When Everyone Goes Right, Go Left

Hey, hey everyone! How are you doing out there??? I'm good, just getting my groove and focus back after a long hot summer that had a lot of beach vacations and country drives on my agenda! In fact, I really lingered and spoiled myself this summer because we had the best summer weather in all of the 9 years I've lived here in Europe and I had to take advantage of it. It was like 4-5 months of non-stop sun and beauty. Even today, it's September 4th and 82 degrees and sunny. I feel like it's been a never-ending dream to have these sunny skies and beautiful, long days.

Minted Art decor8

I've also been working a TON on some secret projects - I'll reveal them later this year - but you really won't believe what I'm up to behind the scenes and fortunately, all of you will be (hopefully) happy when I make my big reveals. Let's just say that I have some big stuff brewing and I'm very excited to explore some new, uncharted territory for myself.

I've also decided to change DECOR8. I have some aesthetic changes to apply later this year, but for now, I needed to get back to my roots and just author the blog (mostly) alone. I'll have Anke Illner and her tabletop stories still, because they are infrequent enough to not feel like extra work for me but also they really inspire all of you (and me too) and I can't imagine not having those stories on my blog right now. I love all of my writers, but I really want to just write decor8 by myself again as I once did many, many years ago. I feel like blogs have evolved so much that most you barely recognize as a blog (they are more like magazines or websites), mine included, and I honestly MISS the times when blogs looked (and read) like blogs and were more imperfect and warm and where the author was truly present. 

I have this expression, "When everyone else goes right, I go left", and I really do live this way. Right now, everyone is on Instagram and, if they have a blog, are making them super gorgeous and full of perfect photos and amazing content. And I love that. But I also know I cannot deliver it and also that some diversity is nice and so why not take this as my opportunity to do something else and try a new approach - the approach that always feels the most authentic to me - to just write stuff here as I once did, regularly, and share what I love, what inspires me and to make is as non-commercial as humanly possible. I want to take a very organic and inspired approach to decor8 now. I don't have ads here and I don't use affiliate links and when a post is sponsored (which is not so common) it is clearly labeled as such.  But that's about the extent of how commercial I get on decor8. "I want to go left", I want to still have a blog and share a bulk of my content and creativity on here, not solely on Instagram.

So yeah, that's what I'm thinking about lately - getting back to my blog roots, saying goodbye to my beautiful team on the blog, and moving decor8 into a more personal space once again.

How are you lately? What's new for you? Are you blogging and if so, what is your blog URL so I can check it out? Any thoughts on blogging - do you still read them? Do you see value?



Is Your Business In a Slump? Or Are You? This Method Can Help...

Do you currently feel like your business, your ideas, YOUR LIFE, IN GENERAL, is in a slump? I totally can relate as a business owner/entrepreneur who has been working independently for 13 years - I get into these slump periods too. I have decided that they are healthy and good - we can hibernate and go inward for a short time, only to emerge like a butterfly from a cocoon. That's okay.

However, slumps can last sometimes for longer than is productive. A bear cannot hibernate until summer. There is a period of rest, then there is a period for action. If you have felt like your slump period has lasted beyond what you feel is healthy or productive, then I have the perfect solution for you. But first...

Photos: Unsplash, Collage, Holly Becker

Photos: Unsplash, Collage, Holly Becker

A little background... I started this blog in January 2006, nearly 13 years ago. I had NO CLUE what blogging was, so little of them existed and we didn't have this term, "Social Media", and we didn't have iPhones and apps and Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. Back then, you started a blog as a passion project, you couldn't yet earn money from it. I started my blog because I was working in design and wanted to segway into writing for design magazines and constantly got rejected by editors since I lacked sufficient experience. I started my blog to write about my passions and to hopefully, get in front of some editors and show them that I could write and that I had opinions.

Needless to say, it worked. :) I've done a lot of things I'm proud of, and some things I regret (decisions, mostly monetary ones because I always thought money wasn't important until I made decisions that showed me the truth!)... And I have had periods when I felt really sick of blogging and tired in general of showing up consistently, daily, on my blog or somewhere on social media, to "perform". 

Despite the down days, or the moments of mumbling swear words beneath my breath, I've maintained a consistent positive vibe. I've maintained a lot of good energy for my profession and the field I'm in overall. I still am really amazed by what people have accomplished - my peers and even new ones who are starting in this field daily. I am so curious by nature, so I just love the design that I'm consistently seeing and meeting - all of the new designers, the ones who are known as the trendsetters, the leaders... It's all interesting to me to watch and to actively participate in. 

Yet there are still phases where I want to pull the plug and open a design shop/cafe on the beach in the south of France and just BE DONE WITH IT. You know? Like just wear flipflops all day and white linen dresses with spaghetti straps, listen to great tunes, and sell pretty things and make coffees. Meet travelers and watch my son surf. I have these visions and think that maybe it's common for people so deeply involved in online media like me - to imagine these scenarios of unplugging and living life as it was when I was a little girl in the 80s - wild, free and not an iPhone in sight.

THEN REALITY CALLS. And the reality is - I LOVE FAIRS, PUBLISHING MY THOUGHTS, SHARING, BLOGS, MEET UPS, TRAVEL, SOCIAL MEDIA, COMMUNICATING, CONNECTING, MY BUSINESS and my LIFE in the city here in northern Germany. And I am super motivated to keep going in this forward motion and pursue my dreams in this industry because, well, why not?

However, slumps and down times and feelings of OMG I WANT OUT lurk in the hearts of all creatives and all who are making a living doing what they love because it's only human. You can also bet that even me as the shop/cafe on the beach owner would have days when I didn't want to be there, I wouldn't want to open up and make 100 coffees, or I'd feel sick or bored with being a shop owner. No matter what we are doing in life, there are always greener pastures. There is always MORE.

Photo: Susanne Irmer, Shown: Holly Becker

Photo: Susanne Irmer, Shown: Holly Becker

That is why I decided to teach my RISE Method to others because it's how I've stayed sane and inspired and how I've kept going, stayed profitable and accomplished all that I have in the past 13 years. I'd never really realized that I had a method to my madness, but I do and I sat down over the summer and really thought it through and imagined how I could help others and RISE was born, which stands for R= Reassess, I= Invigorate, S= Strategize, and E= Execute your plans and goals.

Now, for the GOOD PART. You can join me and a small group of students online where, for 3 weeks, from September 14 - October 8, 2018, you can get into a new groove - a new, positive, "I CAN DO THIS" state of mind. Our fun, self-paced online class will teach you the RISE Method.

R: With Reassess, we will teach you how to tap in to your energy, take care of yourself first, identify your strong points, and find the weak places in your business to stabilize and strengthen them. We will also cover how self-care is not selfish and why. This will be a super positive series that will jump start you right away.

I: With Invigorate, we will show you concrete ways in which you can organize your workflow, computer and office along with ways to get more positivity in your life, how to deal with downtimes and creative ruts, the importance of developing a strong support network (and how), and ways to develop courage and strength to rise up and power through. Self-confidence is key, so we'll help you with that before moving on to the next step...

S: For Strategize, it's time to set a plan. How will you do the things you want to do? We'll show you how to put together a solid plan of action, how other business owners do it with interviews and case studies, how we do it and lots of tips and ideas for planning using Milanote, basic organization, and follow through.

E: And finally, Execute. No more worries, no more excuses. This is where you will learn how to execute your plans fearlessly and with courage, how to market effectively on social media platforms, understanding SEO and how to use it to boost your business and get more eyes on your website/blog, various apps we love and our favorite things from the best newsletter apps to invoicing software, Instagram Stories apps we love, and more!

Bottom line: I want to help you to get the courage and energy to climb out of your current rut (or if you're just beginning a new business endeavor, this class will help you, too!) and work on your business and goals with tons of support from us, encouragement, tools and help along the way. The magic is inside of you already - we are going to show you how to tap into it, pull it out and use it.

You can register easily below. Hope to see you in class, it will be nice to work with you personally and you can also make new friends and network in our private student-only forum - which I encourage.


See you!