INTERVIEW: Holly Becker, decor8 |
September 2, 2011
One of the first design blogs I ever read was decor8, and there’s a good chance it was one of your first online decor reads too. Since 2006, Holly Becker curates all sorts of prettiness and serves her readers daily original content through her unique point of view. Holly has recently written a beautiful design book called Decorate (now a best seller!). A few weeks ago I had a chat with her about blogging, book-writing and decorating. A portion of it was first published in Israeli lifestyle magazine Go Style, and the rest is an exclusive bonus for you. Cheers!
Rooms & Words: As a leading design blogger you have already written a lot about design and reached a huge audience. What made you want to write a book?
Holly Becker: I’ve been wanting to write a book since I was a little girl playing on my bedroom floor where I would make books by hand and then have a “signing” where my dolls and bears would form a line at my signing table (my little desk) to receive an autographed copy by me, the author. When you dream of something since childhood, it’s only natural that you would want to see the dream come true. Though I have reached so many online through my blog, I felt that my dream of having a blog hadn’t been realized yet and now that I had such a large audience, it would be a good time for me to make this dream finally come true. Another motivation came from my readers – so many requested I write a decorating book so this is my gift to them. I think that it is a special book because all who read it, even 10 years from now, will be reminded of this “blog era” when everyone was online looking to blogs for ideas and inspiration. Who knows where blogs will be then? A book, for me, gives me something that I can hold in my hand that is living proof that I exist online – when I’m sitting with my grandchildren someday and my blog is long gone, I can say, “Grandma used to have a popular blog but since you cannot see it, this book will help you to understand what I liked back then and the ideas for decorating that I shared on my blog.” I also think that because there are still many people who are not online, that a book can potentially reach a new audience and inspire them as well.
RW: How was working on this book different from (or similar to) blogging?
HB: Working on a book is both spontaneous (like a blog) but also involves a great amount of time producing it (unlike a blog) and is a bigger risk than writing a blog post. A blog post eventually ends up in your archives but a book is on a shelf for a long time so you want it to be right and to represent your vision to a degree. This book has a co-author so I had to take her (Joanna Copestick) into consideration with all of my ideas and the homes that I selected. It was often hard to compromise on some things as her taste is different from my own — on my blog, I only have to please myself and because my readers come to my site for my style, my posts make them happy in return which fuels me to keep writing. On a book project, you have some say but not final say and you have some input but not 100% as you work on a team. You have to bend, yield, give in and sometimes even argue for certain things to make it into the book (or not). So working on a book was very different to blogging in that way. But I love collaborating and found it a refreshing change to work on a team so I loved the process and definitely would do it again.
RW: Working on the book with all those great photographers and designers must have been great. How were you inspired by them?
HB: I worked closely with photographer Debi Treloar and through her, I learned patience and to not be nervous because she was always so relaxed and often I would meet the homeowner and feel a bit nervous moving their things around and styling their house. But after the first few homes, I felt very comfortable and started to learn that my best work resulted when I felt relaxed and allowed my creative vision to flow through me into my work. In the end, I’m very proud of how I styled the homes as we worked together and I’m so happy that I had wonderful Debi to guide me and be a friend as we traveled during a span of 4 months throughout Europe and the United States.
- Introduce color and pattern to a rental through your accessories to personalize a rental – curtains, pillows, throw rugs, art work, etc.
- Don’t be afraid to paint – it’s affordable, easy, and you can paint before you move out so your landlord won’t even know your walls were once bright yellow!
- I mix high and low – meaning I save for things that I really want that may cost more money and I purchase inexpensive things at stores like IKEA so that I have a little bit of everything in my home.
- I also love to find cheap things at junk stores and flea markets and make them look new – for instance I’ll sand and paint a wooden table in a gorgeous glossy white or gray and I’ll wallpaper the surface to add some pattern.