Garden & Home Blog Awards In Berlin

Hello! Are you thinking a lot about plants and gardening at moment? How about fresh flowers? Well, this weekend, I'll be in Berlin for the event sponsored by , , , , ,  magazine from Burda, and , all in conjunction with the big garden show - . I can't wait to meet the many garden and home bloggers attending and to present the winning blog in the "Best Blog Design" category (see all of the finalists ).

I've been working hard behind-the-scenes as for the past several months and now it's time to go and award our winners! So ,  OR  will win in the category that I've been selected to present. I wish you three the best of luck, along with the other finalists in all of our categories.

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It will be so good to be back in Berlin for a few days, I'm taking the train Saturday morning and returning Sunday night so while it's only a quick trip, I will definitely be out and about and sharing my less than 48-hour adventure on - which by the way, I recently passed 100k followers - I am very excited about that! So if you would like to  to see what I'm seeing in Berlin, you are more than welcome to travel along. I'll include some IG Stories just for you, too!

Thank you Simone, Julia und Friederike from for including me in this wonderful and meaningful event for bloggers.

(Photos: Blumen's )

IKEA Kitchen Hack In Mint Green

I came across an ad on Facebook today and I clicked it (yes, horror!) and landed on the website for , a company that hacks kitchens with custom cabinets, counters, etc. I really like what they've done to this Danish home in minty green so I had to pop in for a moment to share it.

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I'm currently pretty dissatisfied with my standard IKEA kitchen (quality is good but everyone seems to have it so it feels boring) so I would love to customize it. Seeing made me feel a bit inspired and encouraged to perhaps give my kitchen a makeover. I am so bored with the shiny white cabinet doors and the standard metal hardware that my son sliced his head open on during the first year of his life and his scar is proof of those sharp IKEA handles - I am ready for safer hardware and something a bit more personal.

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Shown: homeowner Tikkie Elsøe

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Great touches of black throughout this open kitchen, dining and living space too - don't you agree?

Note: The kitchen is a Basis 01 design. The color of the fronts is S2005-G20Y (green), and the countertop and handles are in natural oak. Their fronts fit all the cabinets from IKEA’s METOD and FAKTUM kitchens.

(Photos: Courtesy of Reform, Taken by Karen Maj Kornum, Post processing/editing: Holly Becker)

10 Interior Design Color Palettes You Must See

Hi everyone! I've been thinking a lot lately about color and creative, fresh color combinations for interiors. Many want to make a fresh interiors start in the Spring in addition to a good thorough cleaning, so why not experiment with new colors? You can start small to see how they work. I add fresh flowers or flowering plants to experiment with color without a commitment.

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Once you see how a pop of red or bold pink looks in a room through a bouquet, and you've lived with it for a week, you may decide to experiment with that color in your soft furnishings or art. However you decide to add color, the first exercise is to find some color inspo and this post will definitely point you in the right direction. I found a great resource from based in Copenhagen -- it is their weekly colors and materials mood boards that they add to Pinterest. They are just phenomenal. You'll want to follow them on Pinterest, particularly their "" page. They're also on , which I only just found out a few minutes ago while looking around their .

Below are 10 of my favorite color and materials combinations from Studio David Thulstrup. Maybe it's time to add-in a fresh hue to your current palette, or a few? What do you think? And by the way, terrazzo is trending - have you noticed?

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1. Green marble combined with warm elements. Brass, perforated metal, velvet, wine, yellow, pink.

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2. Black and blush terrazzo. Travertine, linoleum, stone, pink, light blue, brown.

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3. Dark emerald green with pastel tones and a dash of red. Velvet, emerald green, purple, brass, terrazzo, wood.

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4. Pastel combo and travertine. Glass, dusty green, foam, velvet, cork, wool, pink, net, rubber, terrazzo, grey.

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5. Leaf green and gray. Pop of yellow, terrazzo, natural wood, suede, frosted glass, red, blue.

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6. Purple with mint green, lavender. Cork, stone, wood, chalk.

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7. Blush, gray and touch of forest green. Natural wood, terrazzo, acrylic, fern, stone.

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8. Shades of blue, yellow and orange. Ceramic tiles, colored wood, yellow, rust, orange, minerals, lavender, ceramic.

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9. Purple velvet and iridescent glass with pop of pink. White, marble, wood, metal, terrazzo, red, pastels.

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10. Pastels and lava stone. Aluminum, mesh, orange, blue, pink, yellow, stone, safe, pop of red, acrylic, glass pearls, mirror, resin, stone, steel.

Out of the 10 combinations shown above, do you have a favorite? 

(Photos + Styling: Studio David Thulstrup)

Milan Design Week Trends 2018

Hi again and a very happy Friday to you! I simply must report in with more trends and highlights from and Milan Design Week. It was such a fantastic citywide explosion of design, I'll definitely return in 2018 for more of Milan. I was honored to collaborate with  on this assignment as their eyes and ears to bring back trend reports for their global clients and customers - and now briefly, here in this post.

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Milan gave me the inspiration and interior design boost that I needed. I felt so fatigued by everything I've been seeing online, over and over again, that I found myself using Pinterest and Instagram less. Milan cured all of that for me with a fresh new outlook and I loved seeing all of the innovative, creative and clever ways that designers worked with not only materials in fresh, new ways but also in how they're working to conceal things like a/v equipment and that they're incorporating technology into kitchens, bathrooms and lighting that I found amazing to behold.

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A list of TRENDS that stood out:

  • 60s and 70s era throw backs
  • art deco influences
  • Bauhaus geometry
  • Memphis-era influence
  • 80s influences as well - like all of the salmon, teal and gold
  • Color color color. White walls were hard to find. Wallpaper was also not that common, bold solid walls and rooms painted in several different colors were the big highlight
  • Circular shapes were all the rage - curvy is in - from sofas and chairs to lighting and coffee tables
  • Seating that looked “hairy”
  • Woven rattan furniture and lighting
  • Cast resin
  • 80s tubular metal chairs
  • Fringe on tables and seating
  • Quirky ceramics with faces and in odd shapes
  • Colored mirrors and glass
  • Luxurious fabrics - mostly solids, not a lot of pattern on soft furnishings - mostly on the floors
  • Bold, colorful area rugs
  • Marble, marble and more marble - in different colors and with dramatic swathes and veining
  • Lighting that stole the show - especially when it came to pendant lighting - the bolder the better
  • Lighting designers playing a lot now with shadows - what shapes could they cast
  • Bathrooms and kitchens have gone dark - light and bright no longer on trend
  • Plants faded into the past, fresh flowers are back
  • Designers worked a lot with creating a sensory experience in their many pop-up installations throughout the city - cinematic and theatrical, too. Lots of candles, music, layering, designers were really looking to give visitors a feeling of coming home and nesting but also that it was perfectly okay to be over the top - more is more!
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Other Highlights

  • My first visit to . I'll be going back. It made no sense but everyone who was anyone was there, so why not?
  • Visiting the Gallery and basking in the beauty of it all. I also liked seeing Ms. Orlandi herself sitting in the cafe surrounded by red tape so no one could cross over to meet her - made me giggle - reminded me of a crime scene. She's such a great woman, I'd like to have had a chance to tell her so.
  • Eating lunch at , next to Rossana Orlandi, because the vibe was right and food was delish.
  • Eating with 13 amazing people, organized by , at . That place was fantastic. the chefs are all trained under Carlo Cracco, an Italian chef and television personality. Just go and thank me later. The interior alone was worth it, the cocktails, the food... But make a reservation well in advance or you can forget getting in.
  • My interview with Pavlo Schtakleff from  and later, running into him and his wife in downtown Milan (total coincidence) and his colleague and having dinner with them. What a gem this guy and his wife are and they have a three-year-old son like I do, so we had lots of funny stories to tell. I'll share Pavlo and his brand with you next week.
  • My lunch with Amélie Du Passage from  I'll share her interview on cattledogs next week.
  • The blog tour, I wrote about it .
  • Hanging out with and . Big, big highlight.
  • Attending the and Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture party, Nakuna. I got to see some great examples of design coming out of Finland and it was very interesting.
  • Visited the -- I enjoyed seeing the styled rooms by and and the many new products IKEA will have soon in-store - like a natural-color rattan cabinet that really stole the show for me.
  • Walking 55 miles in a week and not really feeling it/noticing it until I got home and had to sleep for AN ENTIRE DAY.
  • Experiencing burrata cheese for the first time.
  • How cheap and easy it was to get around using the underground.
  • Eating a healthy lunch and recharging my phone at Re:Charge cafe from in Brera -- And the excellent service.
  • Escaping the city and ending up on the coast in Genoa and Portofino. The most beautiful coastline I've ever seen, and I've seen a lot of them in my life. Wow. I will return next year and spend an extra week just lounging at the beach.
  • Seeing "The Visit" from  (I could have moved in right away), ,  (magical unicorn experience, no lie) and Home in Brera. All were huge highlights but Dimore was out of this world, I can't stop telling people about it.
  • Listening to Italian pop music for 7 days straight. I always try to do this when I travel - I bring my BoPlay and put it on in my room and synch it to my iPhone and go to the iTunes store, find the radio, and search for the pop music playlist for the country I'm in. Did this last month in Paris and found new music this way. Did the same in Milan, was great and definitely made me really feel "there", you know? Do you do this too?
  • Noticing the great ceramics of dotted around town. I first spotted her work at Ambiente in Frankfurt and felt they could be a real trend-piece, so seeing them around Milan was a real treat, especially when they were at some of the "it" spots.
  • Spending time with e, and .
  • Seeing the interior design of at Salvatori Home.
  • The fashion downtown - strolling by the windows of the big Italian brands - very over-the-top in the best way.
  • The friendly and lovely locals in the neighborhood where my hotel was - how nice everyone was, opening doors, just being natural and authentic. Was really great. I can't believe I'd never been to Italy before this.
  • Learning about the wallpaper designs of , a Brooklyn-based brand. Stunning and drool inducing.
  • Experiencing the massive lighting stand, , at . Amazing.
  • How Milan uses every balcony, patio and roof to garden. It was just unreal to see this.
  • Checking out the gorgeous masks up close and personal, designed by , at the Milan showroom.
  • Meeting the Editor of and seeing my good friend give a demonstration for them using . I loved also meeting so many Italian bloggers at her event, they were so warm and sweet to me. A real joy!
  • The colors of Milan - the buildings overall... Lots of mansions next to buildings in almost total ruins, but the gritty combined with the elegant was appealing to me thought I secretly wanted to take an old building, buy it, renovate and move right in. The overall palette of buildings in the city were very muted shades of orange, yellow, red and blue.
  • Seeing pastel tiles in their showroom.
  • Learning about p paints from Denmark.
  • Finding the work of . Love.
  • ALL OF THE SUNSHINE.
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Side Notes:

The one thing I wondered when I was in Milan though was why aren't more of the big brands involved in the massive and amazing show of design and art? You had IKEA and COS, Marni and Kvadrat, and of course AirB&B... But what about the big tech players like Apple? What about Nike, Pinterest or Instagram? And from the United States, where were some of the leaders in the American design sector? While they may not have a stand at Salone del Mobile, why not partake in a creative installation in the city, sponsor something amazing in Milan, or collaborate with some European brands to build a large area for people to co-work in the city during the week - which would have been amazing if the city had some satellite spots to plug in and work without having to search for a wifi spot or worse, cram into a cafe or pray you could find a plug in a restaurant during lunch.

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I would like to see the big players get more involved next year in Milan Design Week to not only help fund the smaller design studios who may not have the cash to do their own installation, but also to provide journalists with refuge spots for plugging in and working, etc.

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So... that's my week in Milan. Did you go too? What were your impressions? Did you write about it on your blog - if so, link it below in the comments section so my readers can follow along (and me too!).

Grazie mille! Holly x

Many thanks to Kvadrat and Kinnasand for this collaboration and for sending me to Milan.All opinions and photographs are my own. Please follow these brands who support me and my work on Instagram and . Thank you.

Italian Design Preview 2017 From Milan

Hi everyone, it's me Holly and I'm back from exciting adventures in Milan, Portofino and Genoa. I spent a week in Milan on assignment for to attend the wonderful . The Salone personally invited me as 1 of 100 journalists globally to attend as a special guest, too (Thank you Katie and !). If that weren't enough, I was also invited by Milan's to join a tour organized in collaboration with 11 major Italian design brands (listed below). The lovely Francesca Russo of  led us, a group of European design bloggers with cameras ready, through stands at Salone del Mobile - you can watch a video of it (you can see me speaking at 9:10). The day was fast-paced and interesting, so I'll spare you the details and present you with some of my favorite things from a few of the brands that we visited throughout this post.

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Isola Shelving System from  which just won the Wallpaper design award

Okay so, because this is a blog and it's my space to say whatever I want, I have to be honest here... Before this tour I wasn't that thrilled to visit Italian home brands because few of them appealed to me - too over-the-top and ornate for my taste. I was reluctant to go on this tour, but my friend sort of convinced me and because she has great taste and I trusted her I figured WHY NOT? Plus, I wanted to hang out with her and my other friends  and and going on this tour was a great excuse because they'd all be there!

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from JCP

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Cookie table from 

As I approached the fairgrounds, I thought that I really need to open up and stop being so stuck on Scandinavian design. This tour didn't have to ONLY be about being with Agata, Anastasia and Desiree and meeting the DDN team, it could also be so much more -- broadening my views in design,

I spent my teens and all of my twenties being positively addicted to French design and fashion and all of the interiors coming out of London. I nearly moved to Paris twice and London three times when I was single. I've only been big on Nordic design for a decade now, mostly since relocating to northern Germany where Nordic design was once considered boring but has sense grown to become the leading design style in the northern part of the country.

I love Scandi style, but I felt like I needed to branch out and get back to my roots of mi and matching themes again to make my home feel more personal but also warmer and more sophisticated. Going on this tour, and to Italy in general, changed the game for me. I'm back to my roots again. I can rock Scandi while bringing in things from all over the world, including the beautiful pieces from Italian designers shown throughout this post.

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Sign Filo chairs in gold and copper from

If there is one thing we ALL need to do more of, it's to pull out of our comfort zone and step wayyyy back and see everything we think we know, again. The last time I really LOOKED at Italian magazines was, well, too long to admit. I'd never been to Italy before last week. I obviously love Italian life and culture, half of my family in the states married into Italian families, my uncle is Italian and my mother remarried an Italian.... Some of my closest friends are Italian. What was my problem then with Italian design? Why did I only regard it as dated, stuffy and distasteful? I was so wrong and I'm glad my week in Milan gave me a brand new viewpoint because it was needed.

from JCP 

While some of the brands we visited didn't resonate with me, I was completely transformed not only by the presentation and design overall, but from visiting with the designers and hearing their perspective on what they'd created.

In fact, not only on the tour but also in the many design studios I'd visited throughout the city, the lighting brands, all of it - was really inspiring. And don't get me started on the Italian bathrooms and kitchens ( bathrooms left me speechless in Brera, and ask my friend Toni who assisted me on this trip, I am RARELY speechless), they were simply incredible.

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Cloud pouf from 

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Cozy sofa from in pink (love!)

Papillon wall lights from Arflex

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Chair and pouf from e

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from Arflex

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by Laufen mirrors and shelves

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Flow Color chairs from

Here are the brands that we visited, linked below:

I'm still not completely sold on the over-the-top luxury brands that just drip with luxury and look better suited to a hotel or casino than my humble home, but just as German design has evolved over the years, and American styles too, Italian interiors are experiencing a metamorphosis as well. I could feel a rumble beneath the surface while in Milan that the smaller design communities there are making - the shift - and I feel Milan is only going to get better and better in the years to come - stronger and stronger. I'm curious to see where the years ahead will take the fair and Design Week in general and I'm definitely going back to Milan next year because that was truly the best interior design fair and citywide design event I'd ever visited - five stars!

-Holly

Easter Party Decoration Ideas

Hello cattledogs readers! I am amazed by all of the inspiration for Easter in the online community right now, aren't you? Bloggers and IG'ers alike seem to be more than ready for the holidays. I decided to follow along! By the way, this is with my monthly Tabletop column for cattledogs and this month, I'm going for a very natural table decoration for a peaceful Easter. I hope that you will like it.

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I'm a big fan of colorful tabletop themes, especially in spring. However, I also like decoration that is reduced to a very natural palette in black, white, brown and green. Ever since I painted the popular floral motif of porcelain manufacture on blown out white eggs (with an ) two years ago, I always take them out shortly before Easter weekend. This year they teamed up with beautiful oval paper ornaments from Bungalow which can be found at .

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Some tableware turned into small tealight holders made the perfect match. A recurrent pattern always has an harmonic effect, don't you think?

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For the name tags I printed the initials of my guests on thin cardboard and cropped it in egg-shape. Afterwards I just tied it to the cake forks with some rustic twine.

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The napkins are checked cotton kitchen towels, I simply cut in two parts and lined the open sides.

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Where I live, it's easy to buy white, pink and peach-colored blossoming twigs at the florists and weekly market for a month or so. I used this slim window to go out and but some fresh branches as they are so typical for Easter season! On the branches, I hung the eggs I had painted and some of the ornaments from Bungalow.

Do you decorate branches for Easter in your part of the world too? It is very common here in Germany.

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The Easter cake you see consists of three layers of coffee-sponge-cake (just add some cold, strong Espresso to your fave sponge cake recipe), a mascarpone cream with finely chopped coffee-flavoured dark chocolate and all kinds of chocolate Easter eggs.

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So that is my tabletop for this month! I'm wishing you and your family a happy and sunny Easter holiday. Have a beautiful time until I see you again in the month of May! - Anke

(Photos + Styling - )