Posts in Objects
I Am Enough

Hello everyone, I have a little story to tell you today. I was thinking recently about my trip to Zurich last November, when I worked for , and how I fell in love with a very special little owl. Would you like to know more? It's short, and sweet, and just may make you feel all the feels but my goal is that maybe my story will make you see that you are enough, too. So there I was at a shop in Zurich, I cannot recall the name of it but it was so well curated and honestly, one of the best I'd seen in all of Zurich for interiors. In a corner, there sat a little owl and many of his friends. A real owl? To me, yes. But to everyone else, he was only porcelain and merely a decorative object for the home.

owl.jpg

That little owl represented more in my eyes though, so I looked a bit more closely to examine his details. Why was this little figurine calling to me, beckoning me to take a closer look? Upon closer inspection, I understood why I felt a heart connection with this lovely little bird. Let me explain.

Do you see the little mouse he is holding under his wing so gently? In nature, the mouse would have been devoured in a moment, owls are not vegetarians! They're hunters and must be in order to survive. The artist who made this owl though, , is of course allowed to tell stories through her creative expressions; to alter reality to create a new idea, a new way of looking at the world. That is the only job of an artist, if you can even call it that - to spark a reaction. If someone is drawn in, the artist accomplished a goal.

When I stood before the little owl, I was a little girl again. Not a strong woman with a family and a company. I thought about the owl as if it were going to start moving about on the table, making its way over to sit on my hand. It had a magical quality, but again, most likely only to me because the other shoppers walked on by.

I realized in that moment that the owl represented me but I couldn't quite figure out why. I thought some more. Perhaps it was tied in to my desire to heal, protect and show love. To be liked, to please others. To be kind. I am a caring person yet I often forget to show it and can come across as very headstrong - like I have no fears or problems, like I have it all under control. Yet, I have suffered from feelings of self doubt since I was a child. I always wanted to be protected and loved but losing my father when I was 18 was devastating. Not because he died, he didn't, but because he divorced my mother and started a new life and I never saw him again.

Over the years, I wanted to protect and heal everyone as a result so they didn't hurt as much as I had hurt. I didn't realize that getting hurt was character building and if faced and resolved, getting hurt can be a huge stepping stone. Guarding people from getting hurt emotionally is less important than helping to support them through the pain. It's like a caterpillar emerging from a cocoon, pushing its way through a tiny hole, the force of it all, the struggle, is making it stronger so once it emerges, it can fly. Did you know that if you cut the sack right before the butterfly appears, it will be limp and just lay there and most likely, die? This is because the force of pushing itself out is what the wings needed to become strong.

I read a quote once from that resonated with me, "You are enough". When I met the little owl in November, he reminded me that I am enough. That being human is okay and to focus on others and to guide them, while also caring for myself, is okay. But now in my life, the most important thing is caring for my son, being a watchful owl, a guide, a consistent source of love. He is my little mouse, I am his mama. That is enough because to him, I am enough. This owl made me see that I don't need to heal the world, I really just need to be there for my child and then, everyone else can come later as time allows. This was a refreshing perspective for me and a first, for sure.

eule_bg_01.jpg.5000x480_q90.jpg

Flashback to Zurich in that little shop... So you won't believe this... The next day after encountering the little own, unknown to me, I ran into the artist at the fair! In fact, I was a jury member and we had to pick nominees for an award. As I roamed the fair searching for a winner, looking at hundreds of products, there was the little owl! It couldn't be! And the artist was there with it and all of her other creations too. I was so shy to say anything to her, so I only grabbed her business card and later, returned to meet with the other jury members and told them, "I nominate !".

Months later, the little owl still stayed on my mind. I thought about it nearly every day. Then one day an email arrived and it said, "It was very nice meeting you at Blickfang Zürich. I would love to invite you to my open studio this Friday, if you are in Zurich!". It was from Babette. How could it be? She remembered me? I felt that the little owl was working behind-the-scenes. I felt he somehow wanted to live in my home.

Guess what? The owl lives in Hannover now. He arrived right before the birthday of my son. has a permanent spot in my heart now through this small bird. I've been wanting to tell you this story for months, but I've been so overwhelmed with travel in the past few months (Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne, Paris, Milan, Cuxhaven, Berlin, Oberhausen...) that I couldn't find a moment to type all of this out until today.

Thank you Babette for putting your work into the world and for touching hearts, like mine. Thank you for letting this owl remind me that to my son, and even to those I work with, and to my family and friends, that I am enough. What I give is enough. And that all of you reading are enough too. Focus on what matters and let the rest wait.

That feels nice.

Holly

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.

bookcase.jpg

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!

LEGO.jpg
legomancer.jpg

from JCP

Cookies_S.jpg

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.

MDF.jpg

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.

0007_CloudPouf_105.jpg

Cloud pouf from 

FLOWSOFA.jpg

Cozy sofa from in pink (love!)

Papillon wall lights from Arflex

cavalli.jpg

Chair and pouf from e

Corolle.jpg

from Arflex

kartell.jpg

by Laufen mirrors and shelves

FLOWCOLOR.jpg

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

Broste Copenhagen Teams Up With GRØD

I'm been living in Germany now since August 2009 and I'm always interested in the lifestyle trends here - mostly interiors but also product packaging, food trends, cosmetics, fashion, beauty treatments... It's all so fascinating to me. Lately, I've been wondering what the next big food trend will be. Maybe porridge? With food, it was cake pops and cupcakes... Then pulled pork and frozen yogurt... Now it's all about the burger and food trucks. Honestly, most of the food trends are very boring to me because what happens in Germany with food today already happened a decade ago in North America - so it's the least inspiring trend to follow.

broste4.jpg

BUT I could get behind the porridge trend if it hits Germany because it's big on Instagram for foodies and hey, it's healthy and there are so many creative things you can do with it. With that in mind, do you know about GRØD? If not...

I've long been a fan of so I'm happy to see beautiful food and ceramics combined in their latest styling though after reading their press release I realized this collection is more than what meets the eye. This is their GRØD collection. For those of you unfamiliar with , they have five in Denmark and everything for them revolves around the simple, typically Nordic, bowl of porridge. GRØD has spiced up this healthy and nutritious dish offering it in their restaurants in several tasty options on the menu.

broste3.jpg

In addition to porridge, their menu also consists of simple but refined dishes made with local ingredients which has made GRØD one of the most important and trendy restaurants in Copenhagen. Broste and GRØD have teamed up to create a small collection of earthenware that is traditional, minimalist and very Nordic.

broste6.jpg

When I see pieces like this, I just want to touch them and serve my own recipes out of them - they definitely have a sensual feeling to them and I just love the uneven edges of the bowls. Beautiful!

I'm packing now and getting ready to take the morning train to Paris. I'm excited because it will give me 6 hours to relax, read and write in my journal. Maybe I'll do a little Instagramming too. Once in Paris, I'll celebrate my book launch in French of from 7-9pm, if you would like to attend. Then on Saturday and Sunday I will roam the streets with my camera, so follow me on Instagram to see Paris through my eyes  for photos and IG Stories too.

Next week, I'll be in Hamburg and then, the week after, in Milan for a week so you will have lots to see on my IG in the weeks to come.

Bye! xo, Holly

10 Stylish Wallpapers For Teens

Let's talk about pre-teen and teen room decorating for a moment because so many girls are out there who love to decorate their rooms but aren't sure how to begin. I was once a teen obsessed with decorating my bedroom and today I meet lots of girls between 11-17 who ask me for tips and help with their rooms because they tag along with their mom to my book launch parties because they are curious. It's the cutest thing that I've observed over the past year - more teens coming to my launch parties because they're interested in decorating.

leader_wallpaper.jpg

No wonder Anthropologie is pulling back from the clothing space and moving more into the decorating world because the big trend in western society is definitely ALL ABOUT THE HOME right now. Fashion will always be important, but the home needs to look good too, right?

Even in Germany, a country where fashion was always first and few really cared about their home decor in comparison to Americans or Danes - it's becoming very important in German society to have a very well-decorated home with all the latest pieces from trendy ceramic pieces to a great sofa. In fact, many Scandinavian brands are moving into Germany now which is having a huge influence on the market here and overall decor style. Creating a home that you love is where it's at! Most of us start so young too. I was decorating before I was 10, in fact I remember having huge ideas for my room when I was 6. My opinions were so strong that my parents let me pick out my own bedroom furniture and didn't force their ideas - what I wanted was what I got and fortunately for them, even at the ripe old age of 6 (!) I had good taste. :)

Let's talk about teens and decorating. One thing I always tell young girls is to paint or wallpaper and go a little crazy if it fits their personality or to go glam or trendy if they prefer that route. Teenage girls love trends and glamour, they want to be grown up in one sense but totally girly in another.

I believe it's one of those spaces where you can go bonkers because you are young and free. Do it. Plus, it's a blank canvas and you are the artist so experiment and play. In fact, your bedroom as a teenager is the best canvas because in that space, you can learn what you like from color and texture to overall style. Though it will evolve over the years, it's a great way to get started and to decorate.

To inspire you a little, let's look at some patterned wallpaper from . They make HUNDREDS of creative, quirky and colorful patterns that I think work great in teenage sleep spaces and even dorm rooms. Here are my 10 picks, some even a mom may want to put out in the dining or living room space (like my favorite - the white faux brick).

142.2.04.jpg

1//

142.1.10.jpg

2//

142.2.07.jpg

3//

w138533.jpg

4//  (This also works for an adult space - I'd hang this in a second!)

142.1.04.jpg

5//

142.1.03.jpg

6//

142.3.01.jpg

7//

142.1.09.jpg

8//

142.4.01.jpg

9//

142.3.07-copy.jpg

10//

I wish we had these options for wallpaper when I was sweet 16. Go for it girls, you're only a teenager once!

xo - Holly

(photos: esta home)

8 Ways To Decorate Your Bedside Table

Last year, launched a campaign called in celebration of the personal, sweet differences that makes us all so unique and which serves to unite us.I like how they sum it up, "Difference makes us. Life is beautiful, not because of our similarities, but because of our differences. It’s our mission to celebrate those differences." So true!

win_from_cattledogs_etsy.jpg

Part of the celebration of this campaign is how our bedside table looks since believes every personality has a quite unique style, different accessories, lighting, etc. which shows the taste and lifestyle of the person who sleeps in that space. No two bedside tables are alike, even in a shared bed - my husband has different things on his bedside table - right down to his lamp!

cattledogs_bedside_4_blog.jpg

Etsy asked me if I wanted to show my bedside table so I agreed and so, here it it is. BUT. They asked me to shop Etsy for some items that I thought could be used to spruce it up and then, they'd offer ALL of the products in a contest on their Instagram (you can enter on or from your app) for one lucky winner. This is a value of €275.00 (not including what you would have paid for shipping) AND you get a bonus of 3 extra cups NOT shown on my bedside table. What???? Yup. You heard me right!

What did I pick from Etsy?

1. from 1220 Ceramics Studio (€34.06) 2. from 1220 Ceramics Studio (I use one for tea, the others are in the kitchen on my shelf, €66.18) 3. (3) from Lysa Creation Design on the wall near my prints and the handprints of my son (€80) 4. that smells like leather and wood from Kaoriko Paris, Portofino in Copper with Soy Wax (€45) 5. from Trend Bolt (sorry, cup wasn't included in shipment, €49)

cattledogs_bedside_1_blog.jpg
cattledogs_bedside_2_blog.jpg
cattledogs_bedside_3_blog.jpg

8 Ways To Decorate Your Bedside Table:

  1. Use any table, chair, bench, dresser... Anything you like that looks good next to your bed and is not too high. Test first by laying in bed and reach over to the table to see if it's too high. If you have to stretch too high or if it's not feeling practical in any way, it's not the right table.
  2. What are your storage needs? I don't need much near my bed, a few private things and a few books. So the private things are in the box on my bedside table (beneath the lamp) and the basket below is where I store other things by mainly books and magazines.
  3. Take the decor up from the table to the wall. I like to create something that flows down from the wall to the table. Some people like to hang art work directly above their bedside table OR hang a pendant or a wall light. I always feel like there needs to be a little something above the bedside table, even if not DIRECTLY above it. Makes the bedroom feel more cozy.
  4. Flowers. Always. They don't have to be expensive. Or a plant. Also a beautiful, natural piece to add to a bedside table. I love flowers because I can change them often enough to give the bedside table a new look. Tulips, daffodils, sprigs of eucalyptus, pussy willows, roses - the entire look changes with the addition of different flowers.
  5. Vase. I have to have a vase for the flowers! I also like to keep it empty sometimes because this vase is pretty enough to stand on it's own.
  6. Lamp. A good lamp to read by, I like the wooden one I have... But also I like that it's not a typical-looking bedside table lamp with a big shade and ceramic base. It's fun to have something quirky in a bedroom that you may expect on a work desk or credenza, for instance. There are no rules, as long as the light shines in the right spot for reading and fits your style.
  7. Candle. Always a scented candle. In the winter, I like wood and leather or something that smells like a fresh walk in a snowy forest. In summer, I go with Grapefruit or Rose, or something more sensual. Candlelight is rela and romantic, too.
  8. Tray. I love a tray to catch things like a pen, bookmark, remote control (if you have a TV in your room, we do not), wireless speaker remote (which we do have), etc.
cattledogs_bedside_5_blog.jpg

Items also shown, not from Etsy include:

1. is from Bloomingville (It's a kids table but I use it for my bedside since the height and width are perfect) 2. Basket beneath for books and magazines from  3. Wall art (except hand prints) from 4. from Muuto 5. from Fashion For Home 6. from Pine Cone Hill 7. from Pine Come Hill 8. on table from Atelier Sukha.

See this photo below? You will win ALL THIS STUFF if you go to the and enter under the #DifferenceMakesUs photo ( - we decided to move the contest from my IG over to Etsy so sorry for the confusion!).

Thank you for including me in this fun campaign!

(Photography/Styling: Holly Becker)

14 Stylish Prints For Your Walls at Desenio

I have a great offer for you today from   my 14 favorite prints so if you are a fan of stylish and minimalistic Nordic-inspired artwork, you're gonna love this (scroll to bottom of post for the special offer!) I'm such a fan of beautiful prints and frames and I tend to lean towards nature, women or very graphic prints in my home.

insp8223_1.jpg
desenio_1.jpg

What about you? What do you tend to see the most in your art collection? What themes do you see in your art that keep repeating room after room? Look carefully, some are obvious and others are not so.

Shown above: , Kate Moss  (I have this and love it,   and .

desenio_2.jpg

Shown above: , ,  Let's Do What We Love And Do A Lot Of It poster and .

In this post, I've chosen some of my favorites from Desenio, some I'll be ordering for my new work studio because yes, I finally have one! I sign the papers next week and I can't wait to tell you more about where cattledogs will be moving next. I've been looking for over 5 years so to finally have something is a dream come true. I CANNOT WAIT.

desenio_3.jpg

Shown above: , , , ,  and  (right).

Are you ready for your fantastic offer from my friends at in Sweden? Great. You can receive 25% off (posters/ only) between now and December 15 ONLY on  in any size. Just use the code holly25 upon checkout (all lowercase). Isn't that a great incentive to deck the halls and decorate the walls?

Note: Discount only on their , not frames or accessories.

Let me know which ones you buy!

(images: desenio)