Tour This Colorful + Cheerful Dutch Home

Hello lovely friends and happy Friday! I can’t wait to spend the weekend with my little boy, I want to play games with him and take him to the Christmas markets again, and invite his friends over to play. It’s such a magical time of year. What will you do this weekend?

Home Tour: Zilverblauw for cattledogs

Today, I want to inspire you with another home tour from the #mycattledogs series. You can follow more beautiful homes as part of this tour on Instagram by looking up hashtag #mycattledogs.

This colorful, cheerful nest belong to Anki Wijnen from who lives in Oisterwijk, the Netherlands. She owns this home, which is 175 m2, along with her husband, two sons, and a siamese cat named Pjoes, also known as #rotsiamees on Instagram. Below are photos from her home along with a flash interview, so you can learn more about Anki and her favorite things.

Home Tour: Zilverblauw for cattledogs

Anki, what does HOME mean to you?

A place where we can be ourselves, a reflection of who we are.

How do you describe your style?

Light, bright, with graphic elements.

Home Tour: Zilverblauw for cattledogs
Zilberblauw for cattledogs
Home Tour: Zilverblauw for cattledogs
Home Tour: Zilverblauw for cattledogs
Home Tour: Zilverblauw for cattledogs
Home Tour: Zilverblauw for cattledogs

What do you love to do at home?

Sit by our fireplace.

What do you love to cook?

Mexican food.

What is your favorite candle and scent for the home?

and by Danish fragrance brand .

Home Tour: Zilverblauw for cattledogs
Home Tour: Zilverblauw for cattledogs
Zilberblauw for cattledogs

What is on your playlist?

Lots of Christmas music, at the moment. I love Christmas. We have a radio station that broadcasts only Christmas songs and I listen to it almost 24/7 from November until the new year.

What do you love most about your home?

The old, authentic details.

What would you like to change?

We still need to renovate our studio, the former owners used it as a private pub and it still looks like that. It’s dark, with small windows. We want to turn it into a white, bright space, but I’m afraid it will take some time since we’ve just finished renovating the living room and are in desperate need for a break after all the renovating.

What is important to you when you visit someone else’s home?

Nothing really. I just hope they are happy living there.

Home Tour: Zilverblauw for cattledogs

When you have people over, how does that usually play out?

We have a large garden with a pizza oven (the from Dutch design brand ) so usually we make and bake our own pizzas. We even use the outdoor oven to bake pizzas in winter. It’s so cozy and warm around the fire of the oven and nothing tastes better than homemade pizza.

What is your dream piece to buy for the home?

I would love one of these wood burning stoves for in our studio from .

Fresh flowers or a plant?

Fresh flowers, although is high on my wish list from .

Red wine or white?

No wine at all, I rarely drink alcohol, although my last name is Wijnen, ‘wines’ in Dutch. What’s in a name, right? 

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Chocolate

Favorite city to shop for home and fashion and why?

Den Bosch is a nice city with lots of design shops, pretty restaurants and creative places.

Favorite Instagram accounts?

Thank you so much Anki for this lovely tour!

(Photographs with permission from )

 

Holly BeckerComment
Tour The Cozy Scottish Home of Nina Plummer

Hello friends! I’ve decided for the final month of 2018 that instead of sharing my favorite posts from the year, that I’d instead gather together a bunch of lovely homes and let you tour them to wrap up 2018 with gobs of beauty, inspiration and ideas. How does that sound? For our first home tour to kick off the selection I’ve made, I’d like to welcome Nina from Scotland and share with you her cozy home that is sure to give you a good feeling inside (and some nice decorating ideas, too!).

Nina Plummer Home Tour on cattledogs

Nina Plummer is a lovely and shop owner (Founder of ) from Edinburgh, Scotland whom I follow on Instagram (her account is: ). I find so much inspiration from her photos and home. She lives in a 2-bedroom home, 120 square meters, that she shares with her husband and her dog, Milo.

Nina Plummer Home Tour on cattledogs
Nina Plummer Home Tour on cattledogs
Nina Plummer Home Tour on cattledogs
Nina Plummer Home Tour on cattledogs
Nina Plummer Home Tour on cattledogs
Nina Plummer Home Tour on cattledogs
Nina Plummer Home Tour on cattledogs
Nina Plummer Home Tour on cattledogs
Nina Plummer Home Tour on cattledogs

I thought that I’d share her charming space with you today along with some insights into the mind of Nina with all of you based on a series of 16 questions that I’ve asked her. I’ve peppered the questions and answers throughout her home tour below. I hope that you enjoy the photos, the pretty thoughts she’d left, and her fantastic playlist along with some of her own favorite Instagram accounts. Enjoy!

What does home mean to you?

Home is anywhere in the world in the company of my husband.

What do you love most about your home?

The atmosphere. It has a wonderfully calming feeling.

Nina Plummer Home Tour on cattledogs
Nina Plummer Home Tour on cattledogs
Nina Plummer Home Tour on cattledogs
Nina Plummer Home Tour on cattledogs
Nina Plummer Home Tour on cattledogs

What would you like to change at home?

We have only just finished renovating, in fact, we are not quite finished yet, so nothing.

Favorite candle/scent?

Anything soulful like tobacco, frankincense or copal for eg. Tobacco Amber Apothecary natural soy scented candle from our homewares store .

Nina Plummer Home Tour on cattledogs

Favorite thing to do at home?

Conversations in front of the fire with our dog snuggled up in that ridiculously comfortable way dogs know how to sleep.

Favorite meal to cook?

Homemade .

What is on your playlist?

, , , .

When you have people over, how does that usually play out?

A home cooked meal and deep conversation. We love to create a seasonal feeling - barbecue outdoors in the summer and candlelit dinners in the winter.

Nina Plummer Home Tour on cattledogs
Nina Plummer Home Tour on cattledogs

Your dream piece for the home?

Any object that will look better with time and use. I love when the things we surround ourselves with invite us to use them and the marks and traces they acquire only add to their character - marble is a dream because of this reason. So is linen. 

How would you describe your style?

Natural materials, a neutral colour pallet and objects that come with stories whether it is the stories of the makers who made them, the stories captured in vintage and antique items or the stories of time preserved in materials such as copper or brass.

What is important to you when you visit someone else’s home?

The atmosphere, it's just wonderful when people can create a space that makes you feel relaxed and puts you at ease.

Fresh flowers or a plant?

Both! And dried flowers too.

Nina Plummer Home Tour on cattledogs

Red wine or white?

Ice cold white in the summer, deep mellow red by the fire in winter.

Chocolate or vanilla?

Homemade vanilla with real vanilla seeds that crunch under your teeth.

Nina Plummer Home Tour on cattledogs

Favorite city to shop and why?

Amsterdam - De 9 Straatjes (The 9 Streets) and area: the sweetest small and independent boutiques, the loveliest vintage and antique stores set in the most magical, beautiful setting. It's like walking through a quaint dream.

Nina Plummer Home Tour on cattledogs
Nina Plummer Home Tour on cattledogs
Nina Plummer Home Tour on cattledogs
Nina Plummer Home Tour on cattledogs

Your favorite Instagram accounts are…

an amazing visual storyteller and teacher who taught me most of what I know about styling.

just the most beautiful visual aesthetic (and of course the most divine kitchens).

my shop obsession.

another great visual storyteller and huge design inspiration for our brand.

Nina Plummer Home Tour on cattledogs

Thank you so much Nina! If you’d like to be part of our home stories on cattledogs, or be featured on my @cattledogs , simply tag your photos #mycattledogs.

 (Photos: Nina Plummer with permission)

Table For Two: Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake

Hi there, this is Anke with a new tabletop idea for you, dear cattledogs blog readers. “Think big” is a popular motto in this day and age and there’s nothing wrong with it, but sometimes it can be rela and quite inspiring to think in a smaller dimension. For instance, what if you celebrate the holidays with only your very small family or just one other person. Is it not worth a celebration when less are involved? Do we need to set a lovely table and make something nice only when many guests will join us? Of course not! Why not do something nice for just you and someone you love? That’s also a beautiful moment, but even more, a last memory.

That is why I would like you to enjoy my TABLE FOR TWO story today. Maybe this is something you can do with a single friend who may be lonely this time of year, or maybe your elderly neighbor who has no one during the holidays. Invite her by for cake and coffee and make things look special.

Table for two

The wall decoration

I can’t help decorating with paper. I know I’ve made a lot of leaf-shaped paper table decorations in the past, whether it was a garland or confetti-like sprinkled across the table. This time I cut out big leafs using recycling print paper. It is was easy!

I did not even make a template as it is rather nice when the leafs turn out unique and freestyle. Fold the paper sharply and cut it so that it results in a leaf when unfolding. Afterwards I arranged the leafs on the wall with masking tape on the reverse sides starting with the largest ones.

Flowers

The flowers

I shopped for these flowers at the farmers’ market recently and I went home with sunflowers, dahlias, chrysanthemums, asters and straw flowers. And though the sunflowers and giant chrysanthemums are the eye catcher in the bouquet, especially from a distance, I do have a crush on the little luminous yellow straw flowers looking like little stars. I guess I am trying to hold onto Fall. And for Americans who celebrate Thanksgiving this month, this palette is still on your minds so it may inspire you a lot to see the lovely oranges and golds.

Cake recipe

The cake

This cake screams EAT ME! I loved it and my family did, too. Even the neighbors got a piece. It’s a and the recipe comes from Julie Gransee’s blog . The cake is moist and heavenly aromatic and simply soul food. Same with the cream cheese frosting. As an add-on I topped it with a crunch made of roasted seeds with maple syrup and coarse sea salt! Try it!

Roasted seeds

The colors & props

Warm earthy shades are beloved companions in fall/ autumn and rightly so. I ordered a beautiful beige colored tablecloth which sadly did not arrive on time for the shooting and picked my white linen one instead. At least the curry colored napkins looked particularly beautiful forming a contrast with the white surface. Besides my plain white tableware I decorated with a wooden cake plate, a  stone-grey ceramic candle holder and amber colored tiny jar.

I hope you like this slightly different column story of mine and see you again before Christmas, maybe back on the big table then!

With a glass of sparkling prosecco I am saying cheers to Holly celebrating her fantastic magazine news! I am looking forward to the first issue of in January so very much!

Love,

 (Text, Photography & Styling: )

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.

HOW I GOT HERE

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 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 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?

THE FUTURE OF BLOGGING

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 cattledogs 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 ( and 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

WHY I HAVE BEEN SO QUIET LATELY

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:

SO!!!! That’s BIG News! I’ve been working this year on developing a PRINT magazine with 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 , 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/cattledogs in print will look like.

MY FUTURE AS A BLOGGER

Maybe I will be the 97-year-old 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.

Love,

Holly