Interior Trends On My Radar

Hello dear friends, how are you today? Would you like to begin the week by seeing a lovely interior "trend" that I'm (and so many of you) are really into right now? Oh good. But first, and wow oh my goodness just wow, I'm so glad to be back on the other side of the glass wall again, in the land of the living! I've been buried so deep inside of my book project and had to turn so much off to accomplish everything by deadline. I turned nearly everything in last week and sat back with a glass of wine and just felt accomplished and good. My soul felt full. After taking the weekend to process it all, I'm suddenly eager to move into the final weeks of the year with a renewed energy, to be on the other side of the glass able to see friends again, go dancing, host a few parties, blog more, travel and just surface for air. I also can't wait for the Christmas markets to begin on Wednesday throughout Germany because I love bringing my little boy and watching his eyes glow as he takes in all of the sights, sounds and smells. abc1

For book number 4, I ended up at the last minute becoming a co-photographer and so it was a challenging last few months for me to say the least. I have a high end Canon camera with some gorgeous lenses but that doesn't make me a qualified-for-books photographer. I see some invest in expensive cameras and have no clue what they are doing, don't really care to learn, yet call themselves professionals because of owning professional equipment. I'm not being negative about them, they can do as they wish, but I didn't want that "type" to end up being me. It's like claiming you're an athlete because you own the best workout clothes and shoes. I really want to get the most from what I own though it was hard for me because I have such little patience with myself when it comes to technology. So little. I want everything to just work with little explanation or practice. I often wonder if this is characteristic of my generation - wanting everything fast, now, sooner, better, bigger... Harder, better, faster, stronger... Isn't that how the song goes?

Yet, despite the fight I had with the tech side of my brain, I forced myself to learn more about photography as I took photos for this project... I continually referenced books and asked friends, I talked a lot to my husband, I shot more, I bought a different lens, I kept asking questions, I kept trying more more more... Sometimes a single photo took a few hours to compose and shoot because of low light levels and my inability to capture light and turn the photo into something lovely. Yet I tried and just kept at it. I learned Lightroom really well too and improved my Photoshop skills like I never thought possible. And now, I can proudly say that over 120 of my photos will be in book 4 (title is a surprise) which will release in September 2016 in English and German simultaneously. I'm not super pro or anything, god no, but I'm proud of the skills I'm developing as I go and super pumped to learn more by broadening my education so I can continue to supplement stories on cattledogs, and even future books, with my own photos. I've hired a professional photographer from The Netherlands to spend a few days with me next month for one-on-one training. She shoots for clients and her work frequently appears on the wedding blog, Style Me Pretty. I'm taking my photo studies very seriously and I'm willing to invest to get the results I want for the new year. It's my resolution in fact. I'm not going to title myself professional photographer, most likely never, but I will gladly shoot for projects and do so with passion and joy because I've realized what a great asset it is to be able to write, style and shoot in some instances. Not in all, because I believe collaborative projects often result in far better work, but for blog posts and client work, it definitely will help tremendously.


So yes, I'm on the other side of the glass now, no more book writing for another year, and now I'm ready to share things that have been on my radar, particularly trends, styles and products that I've been seeing like crazy in Europe and parts of North America and are inspiring me a lot. Let's get going now with this lovely, light handmade look that feels very global. This look that I love currently has some pieces in the curated product selection, , over at ABC Carpet + Home in New York City. (I also adore the  round up.) ABC is the hub of destination for interiors in New York, that's for sure. Look at this rug below and tell me it doesn't make your eyes roll out? Delightful, right?


Whenever I'm home, I make it a point to go to ABC. I find their trends directly inspired and influenced by what's happening in Europe; I often wonder if their buyers are over here more than over there because what I see so closely resembles what's hot at fairs and the best design sources on my side of the world. For instance, all of these things below are so European to me yet, combined, have a very American sensibility too.


This look that I see as trending includes peachy pinks and pink in general, very watercolor-y painterly motifs on fabrics, glass and wall coverings, chalky matte surfaces on plates and candle holders, cement, chunky wool anything that is handmade, copper copper copper (still!), handmade & fine ceramics ( is gaining more popularity again lately) and beautiful blown glass vases, rugs from Turkey, Morocco... But in fresh-picked colorways, this is a definite trend just as was the case last year. I like seeing it leaning even more this year into the world of handmade and organic shapes - things that are less perfect looking in form.



As for a product trend, I'm crazy about the French perfumer , and encourage you to check them out too. Hot hot hot. They are making (surprise!) potpourri (of all things!) which is quite good. In fact, I predict potpourri will make a comeback but in new and interesting ways and forms (in the shape of rocks, crystals, etc. more cool). You say I'm crazy but I don't think so... Check out their products and see for yourself. On the ABC website they brag about this brand and explain a bit of their process, "Each scent is hand-formulated in a small village near Grasse, France by a chemist using undiluted flowers, wood, spices, and house-aged essential oils: Moss, mushroom, violet, soil, oak, eucalyptus, cypress, and mint are just some of the notes present and accounted for in these intense, fragrant blends. These vegetable wax blends are then hand-poured into blackened iron vessels forged by hand by the town’s local blacksmiths (might we note they’re just as beautiful and functional with or without wax)." How nice.

I'll share some more trends this week that are worth checking out too in lighting, food and another style that has its origins on the west coast (USA) and is creeping slowly but surely into Europe in countries like Germany and Denmark.

See you tomorrow!

(images: abc carpet + home)


Tabletop Ideas for Holiday Parties

Looking for simple yet beautiful decorating and tabletop ideas for the holidays? Hello dear cattledogs readers, this is Anke back again with my monthly installment of tabletop ideas. This time I'm focusing on November to help prepare you for the holiday season with some simple yet classy tabletop ideas for a late November dinner party that feels a little bit like Christmas. For all of Holly's American readers, this could be a lovely presentation for your Thanksgiving holiday


Christmas Season is just around the corner. Looking at magazines and blogs I am amazed every year anew at all the creative activities. Personally, I'm a late starter when it comes to Christmas preparations (I fill the Advent calendars for my boys usually in the night of November 30th to December 1st!) But... I'm totally ready for an almost winterly table covered in green, white and natural shades right now - no need to wait for a little holiday preview on my tabletop.

I went with a fir tree theme as I like the beautiful forest designs of the Swedish brand so much! Their cute tray was used toput my menu card on the wall and give my guests an overview of dinner. If you want to try this yourself, just attach a poster-hanger on the backside of a tray and make sure the hanger holds the weight.


In keeping with the theme, my flower vases hold a variety of branches. Have a look in your favorite flower shop or at the farmers' market for coniferous sprigs other than the traditional ones and mix them together. I found branches of Juniper and added Seeded Eucalyptus and white Lesser Masterwort for a little floral accent.

In addition I made four fine circles out of black aluminum wire and tied some very small sprigs. It doesn't have to be a whole wreath to make an impact! Tiny candle arrangements took a seat in the middle of my "half wreaths". All you need are plain egg cups, Christmas tree candles and wax dots to fix the candles (just never leave candles unattended). You can find a step-by-step DIY showing how to add flowers to a circle in the book (under Coat Hanger Wreath) - you can download the book from Amazon .

As a starter I served Red Quinoa & Grape Salad with Almonds from the "" book. Such a treat! I could have it every day! Your guests will love it.

How about you? Are you at the ready for Christmas with all its glitter and sparkle or still enjoying everything autumnal? Should you have any questions about this post, please leave your question in the comments section below in German or English.

Have a beautiful start in the festive season and see you again in December! - .

(Text, styling, photography: Anke Illner)

Blickfang Design Fair Hamburg: Review

Want to see some fresh design that hasn't been all over the web (yet)? Well, I had the pleasure of attending the in Hamburg last Friday on opening day and found it to be so well done - beautifully curated and organized. Of course, the most important thing to me was whether or not the booths were interesting, would I like any of the designs, was anything looking new or fresh? Homebanner01

I'm happy to report - yes and what a great show! Of course, you always see things that look like a designer was heavily influenced by something already on the market, but this fair was actually very original and interesting to attend because I found a lot of the designers had their own sense of style and certainly were well trained and as a result, pride in developing a product from the heart was apparent at every turn. I imagine after spending years at design school, the last thing you'd feel good about doing is to copy what someone else's studio is producing already. I didn't spot a single copycat at this fair and that alone was both rare and refreshing.


I don't know if you follow me on , but I posted photos as I was touring the show with Johanna, the Blickfang press manager. She gave me some excellent insight into many of the designers as we perused the halls and I IG'd as we walked (and later from the train ride home!). A glimpse below of my Instagram stream from Friday... I was a busy bee and a quite inspired one, too.


Above: Row 1, Images 1-3 by . They are a German product design studio that creates contemporary nordic lighting and furniture (and now ceramics). Images 5 + 6: . Dutch design team, who are also husband and wife Tineke Beunders and Nathan Wierink, who create glassware, vases, candles and other lovely things for the home.

Row 2, Image 1 . Florian Vogel, the founder, once designed for the famous Ingo Maurer and since 2012, started his own lighting brand based in Hamburg, Germany. Images 2-3 . Table bases, vases and other furniture designed and crafted in the Czech Republic. Image 5 . This design firm, who specializes  is also from the Czech Republic. I went a little crazy for the  and their lamps. Image 6 - . This Australian lighting firm had these table lamps in black, copper and gold that made my heart pitter pat.

Row 3, Image 1. . Watches designed in The Netherlands that were affordable and had great colors. Image 2. . A Danish illustrator living in Hamburg with the cutest prints and cards. Image 3. Ontwerpduo (again). Image 5 from Denmark. The best frames ever. You can see them in this post in a few places. I wish I had taken a few home. Image 6 . Hamburg-based paper design firm and though I loved the products and grabbed some to take home, I really loved the founder and designer. She was so friendly and just lovely.






I'll definitely hit up Blickfang again next year in Hamburg - no doubt! The location was perfect (next door to the main train station) and beautiful, they had several places to eat there, you could buy what you saw, they incorporate interiors with fashion, there was even activities for kids and a special area for men to shop. I heard they had some lectures too but I missed those.

If you missed the show, you can see and even shop it online .

10 Perfect Gifts From Lulu & Georgia

I adore shopping so when American web shop asked me to work with them I immediately said yes because I've long admired their site and gorgeous products. And I thought, well if I shop there, why not suggest them to all of you? They asked me to select 10 things that I would love to give this holiday season and to host a little Instagram contest, so I have selected the beautiful items for the home shown below. LuluGeorgia


Shopping List: 1. , Coral $105 || 2. $55-285 (depending on size) || 3. $10 || 4. , White $130-177.50 (depending on size) || 5. $54 || 6. , Gold $25 || 7. $98 || 8. $260|| 9. $58 || 10. $26

Or for a one stop shop, shop all of my picks .

About that special Instagram contest... Go to my Instagram to enter (I'm ) when you see the image above, you may win a $100 gift card to Lulu & Georgia so please do check that out and enter today! You can enter until Friday, November 20th - the winner will be announced on Instagram and this post will be updated with the winner's name on November 23rd.

[Content sponsored by Lulu & Georgia. All product selections and opinions are my own.]

Photography + Styling For Your Blog + Instagram

Hello everyone! How are you? I'm going to Hamburg this week to attend a design show, , with my new French friend who is also working with me on partnerships and advertising for cattledogs. Not only does she have the perfect French name, Amelie, but she has the Garance Dore accent and this wonderful, positive spirit. I adore Amelie - we just started to work together a few weeks ago and it's been great having her around. So yes, I'm off to Hamburg soon and so I wonder, Hamburg experts, any good suggestions for shopping, eating, cafes, etc.? We'll have 5 hours to burn so we want to burn them wonderfully (wink). BYWInstagram1

Okay so onto the meat of this post. Blogging. What the heck is happening with blogs and the internet and what is the future? We can all speculate which is sorta fun but I firmly believe in one thing (the rest is a blur): that the folks behind blogs, Instagram, etc. for lifestyle categories, foodies, design, etc. only have a chance at reaching a certain status or level of success (or earning money) if they have great styling and photography. I could sit around and tell you it doesn't matter but I'd be a liar. It does matter. When I really put my all into my Instagram account (I'm if you are curious and wanna follow me), I get hundreds of new followers overnight. When I flake out, like I have been the past few months because I'm working on my 4th book (I turn it in in Sunday, omg you guys!), my followers massively slow down when it comes to interacting with me, liking my pics... Not to mention how few new followers I see. So yeah, I can bs you and say photography and styling aren't important, just wing it, but that is not the case at all.

In the Instagram e-course earlier this year, I promised a follow-up to that class. In it, we taught the nitty gritty on how IG works from algorithms (yes really) to "the grid" and the importance of this, that and the other. Now it's time for the follow-up, for you to LEARN how to style (aka arrange stuff in a nice way) and compose your shot (like angles, SO important) and how to take photos way better than you thought you ever could. And we're not just including Instagram for this class but bloggers in general who want to also style and take better photos for their blog.

I've teamed up with , and who will tell you everything they know and I've already seen their lessons - GUYS YOU ARE IN FOR A TREAT. Take this class!

The e-course is self-paced and runs for three weeks from 15 November until 7 December. Then you have all of the holiday break and new year to practice your new skills on friends and family! Weeeee! You will also walk into the new year with your head high because you have major ammo, mega mojo and monster-size mad skills so you're not starting the new year thinking, "Oh my god, resolution time, I don't know where to begin!", rather you are beginning the year thinking, "I've got this, internet WATCH OUT".

This is the last one we'll be teaching on these topics until Fall/Winter 2016 so don't wait another year, too much time to not make any progress! Come learn with us - see you soon!

 It's like unicorn magic how that works.

(images: holly marder, tina fussell, jack fussell)

Home Tour: Modern Farmhouse with Global Touches

Hey everyone, it's Holly Marder back again this month with another beautiful interior to show you! I have a sneaking suspicion you’ll love this modern home in the country so let’s jump straight in! IMG_2847lowres11

owner and interior stylist Nicole de Ridder and her partner Michiel Kok live reside in this renovated farmhouse in the Dutch countryside with their baby boy Tyn. After years of remodeling, the results are a calming and contemporary family home that boasts all the characteristics of an old farm.

Michiel purchased the 140m2 property a decade ago prior to meeting Nicole. The building, which dates back to 1922, was in a sorry state of affairs and he commenced reconstruction right away, a job which took him more than six years. After meeting Nicole, they decided to live together however Nicole felt that much was needed to complete the renovation, including a full restyle of the home’s interior. “The furnishing of the farm was pretty dark and rural, not my taste,” admits Nicole. “To feel at home, we did some redecoration together and decided to finish the job.”




The former living room consisted of two smaller rooms. Nicole and Michiel broke through the wall separating the two rooms, resulting in a large L-shaped living space. They removed a large window and replaced it with French doors which gives them access to their garden. “We thought the adaptation would take two months at most, but in the end, it cost us more than nine months,” Nicole says. “Once you start, new things will pop up. The good thing is: now the whole house is finished right down to the last details.”

Their home is a mixture of styles. “I love to combine vintage with modern items and design,” Nicole explains. “The base colours in our home are white and grey. To create some warmth, I add warm colours such as brown, yellow, orange and red. I think wood is also a great way to give a room some extra warmth.” Nicole loves bringing souvenirs home from her travels, bringing with her unique accessories with a story and sweet memories. Her favourite pieces include the large wooden sculptures from the Philippines and the souvenirs in the shelving unit from Thailand and Laos.

Nicole and Michel do have different styles when it comes to decorating. “That can be difficult sometimes,” Nicole explains. “But finally, when Michiel sees how it turned out, nine out of ten times, he will like it anyway.” Michiel’s proudest accomplishment is the master bathroom, which he designed and created himself. The walls of the bathroom were given a ‘tadelakt’ finish, giving them a rustic aesthetic.

The size of the property commanded a lot of furniture, so the couple shopped together to fill each space. With an eye for beautiful products for the home, this was a process Nicole thoroughly enjoyed.

“Through my work, I find so many treasures. My apartment in Amsterdam was too small to collect things, but the farmhouse allowed me to finally get some of these pieces and give them a nice place in our home.” One of Nicole’s favourite brands is House Doctor, a Danish label she also sells in her “It’s affordable and of good quality,” Nicole explains.

The grey corner sofa in the living room is an item Michiel purchased when he lived on his own. The cushions on the sofa are from , a brand Nicole endorses in her webshop. Beside the sofa, is a second hand black vintage chair. The couple drove to Brussels to find one at an antique market and design fair, but didn’t succeed and drove back to the Netherlands with an empty van. In the end, they found the black vintage chair on Marktplaats, and online marketplace for used and vintage items in the Netherlands (similar to Craigslist). Small coffee tables, one white one and a black one by Hay, maintain a sense of spaciousness in the room. The hand-knotted carpet, as well as the one in the dining area, was purchased at .


The couple’s self designed and made floor-to-ceiling bookshelf was created using MDF boards. Michiel did all the carpentry and Nicole the polishing and painting. “It was not an easy job, but I really wanted this bookshelf,” Nicole says. “One day, we will move back to Amsterdam and the knowledge that we won’t be able to move this bookshelf with us makes me sad already.”

A segment of the bookshelf continues around the wall, connecting both parts of the living room and acting as a display for Nicole’s favourite objects.


The couple purchased their dining table at , an Amsterdam-based furniture shop. Above it, are two white lamps. The white Panton chairs were a Marktplaats find, while the yellow one was purchased new from Loods5, a large Dutch furniture store where Nicole sells her products.


The couple painted their monochromatic kitchen, brining in blue accents for a bright and cheerful space to begin the day. The kitchen table is by and the blue cabinet was purchased at .




Adjacent to the kitchen is a guest room, where the couple accommodate their friends and family, boasting the same light and airy aesthetic as seen in the rest of the house. Many of the accessories can be purchased in Nicole’s webshop. The dotted cushions are a La cerise sur le gateau creation, while the concrete light beside the bed is from .






The couple cleverly created a workplace in the hallway upstairs, a cosy space just under the diagonal roof that would otherwise have remained unused. Nicole uses this space to update her webshop, create new items for her own label making posters and postcards for kids rooms. A newly placed roof window means the space received ample light, while the black modern lights above the staircase add a modern touch to the rustic space.






Upstairs, the master bedroom features the original wooden beams, painted white. Mint green and pastel tones create a fresh and light atmosphere, offsetting the old vintage chestnut desk and chair which belonged to Michiel’s great-grandmother. Wooden blinds in chestnut and a bamboo light overhead add warmth to the space, while the carpet brings the full colour palette altogether and adds a playful element.



IMG_3160lowres13 Tyn's nursery features crisp whites with blue accents and naturally, a few posters from , a co-creation from his own mum.


With ample space to spare, the couple were able to turn one of the upstairs bedrooms into a dressing room, which displays all of the couple clothing on neatly organized black clothing racks from . The runner is an item from Nicole’s .


Light and bright, yet with the characteristics of the old farmhouse it once was, Nicole and Michiel created a comfortable family abode blending Nordic sensibilities with subtle ethnic touches. “For me it is important to be happy when I come home, it has to feel right and this house does,” says Nicole. “Besides that, a house needs enough space to draw back whenever you feel the need.”

Well guys, I hope you enjoyed today’s tour! What are some of your favourite things about this home? My favourite things about this home are all the old wooden beams throughout and the huge self-made bookshelf and the cheerful blue cabinet in the kitchen. See you here again soon –

(Photography, words and styling: Holly Marder | | Editorial assistant: Lotte Herink)