Posts in sponsored
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.

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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.

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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

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 )

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

Why Blogs Are Still Important in 2017
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Hello everyone! I'm so happy it's the weekend because on Monday, I'm driving to Milan for the Salone del Mobile and to attend other design-related events, cocktail parties, and installations. Not a bad job. This will be my first time visiting Italy so I'm very excited. Before I hit the road though, I've been thinking a lot about blogging and the way content creators are reaching all of you, the loyal audience. I've been considering how we work with brands, what we do to get our work out there to expand, or at least become better at what we do. I've been thinking about whether blogs are still important.

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This post is sponsored by

I'm asked frequently how I see the future of blogging and if having a blog is relevant with all of the micro blogging platforms and visual content creators out there using platforms like Instagram to grow their brand.

ARE BLOGS STILL IMPORTANT?

Yes.

Here's why. Blogging has evolved but it has a future just as much as a website and email account both have a future, despite being around forever.

REMEMBER YOUR FIRST EMAIL ACCOUNT?

I created my first email account at Northeastern University in a lab there in 1995 during a marketing class. (Back when marketing classes didn't even use words like Social Media because none of that existed.)

Do we still use and need email so many years later? Of course. As much? Well, maybe not as much because we can Whatsapp, Snapchat, SMS, or Tweet without sending an email, sure. But email is primarily how we conduct a bulk of our business, especially professionals who have more to say than what can fit into a text message.

That email account was my entry point to the world and I'll never forget it. When I started blogging in 2006, it was my next big entry point into the online world. It was when I wasn't just talking to people in email or on forums, but was opening myself up to everyone who potentially visited my site and read my words. It was both exhilarating and terrifying.

Blogging is NO different than having email or a website. It may not be the ONLY way that we can transfer our ideas and opinions to the world, but it's still how we can present our work in the most personalized and creative way. And the best part is, it's our own content and we run the show.

A car isn't the only way we move from point to point. Neither is a train, a boat, bike, a plane or a skateboard. They are all ways to transport ourselves. We had to expect that communicating online would evolve, yet some things don't need to be reinvented. Like a blog and back to my earlier example, let's think about the car. It has, and still will continue, to evolve but it doesn't need to be replaced with a totally new way to move around on land.

Blogs are the same. They are evolving and certainly becoming much more robust, beautiful, user-friendly and savvy but they do not need to be replaced by something totally new because blogs, as a communication channel, work.

YOUR BASE

To me, a blog is the foundation to everything else that you're doing virtually. You can have Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. but your blog -- well that's YOUR base. Everything links from it. You can be found on search engines. You can use it to showcase your work, tell a story, share videos, podcasts and all sorts of media... It's robust. You can be super creative with it, from how you format your posts to how you lay out your images, write, or design your blog in general.

Blogging combines your visual content with your voice. It's where you can communicate with your readers for years and content is archived and can be found again (unlike Facebook content, where you have a great conversation going and a month later, can never find it again).

YOU CAN CREATE A SUBSCRIBER LIST

Also, people enjoy getting emails from brands and people whom they trust, and your blog is where you can still have a subscriber list. These mailing lists are so important because you can reach out personally to people who are asking you to. There are no strange algorithms where only a few people can see your content or worse, it shows up in the wrong order. When you send an email to your mailing list, it reaches your subscribers, period. That is invaluable. By the way, sharing how to grow your mailing list that is just brilliant.

REVENUE SOURCE

A blog is also a great space to create content that you can sell. Whether it's a sponsored or underwritten post, a sponsored video series, e-books you've created, other downloadable content for sale, products, services... It's a terrific space to get it out there and to reach your readers. You can also have your blog link from your website where your portfolio or shop is. It's better for a reader to get lost on your website than to get lost on Instagram or Facebook, because there, you just lose them to the millions of distractions in their feed.

Your blog is the best way to generate revenue YOUR WAY, because you have total control over how you will present it. You set all of the rules.

LONG FORM CONTENT

Blogs give us the ability to write long form content, like this piece, and I love it! Everything is so quick and fast-paced elsewhere, you don't really read anymore as a result. We scan. I've noticed when I read less, I don't write as well and I stop learning. Even how I speak changes. My sentences are choppy and short. I'm so busy swiping on my iPhone all day that I sometimes forget how to express myself verbally, how to present clearly how I feel.

Thing is, seeing and scanning content all day isn't necessarily making us smarter, more emotionally intelligent or creating genuine intimacy or connection between people. Reading does that. Your blog is where you can educate, share, connect and produce more longer form content that reaches others in meaningful ways.

While a picture is said to be worth a thousand words, I can't really say the content I see on largely visual social platforms of buddha bowls and cute shoes so moving emotionally as a thousand words might be. Let's face it, a lot of the content we absorb in a day isn't the stuff made of a thousand words.

Of course, you can find and follow the true photographers creating visual poetry out there and get enormously inspired. However, in all honesty, most of what I'm seeing in my various feeds contain a lot heavily edited glimpses into people's lives and on sites like Facebook where photos and brief thoughts are posted together, they usually center on the negative - political views and all of the horrible things happening in the world from pollution to crime and racism, and it overwhelms me. I am unfriending or hiding feeds more and more than engaging in meaningful conversations.

I love Instagram and use it multiple times a day in addition to my blog, but "in addition to". I want the best of both worlds, so I keep my blog while also focusing on my Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and my latest obsession, my LinkedIn account.

When it comes to longer form content, a lot of what is shared on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest is linked back to the longer form content on a blog anyway (or a website). Have you noticed this? These sites are linked back somewhere and usually it's to a website or blog. If you have a blog, you are part of that content still and that is GOOD.

TRUSTWORTHY CONTENT SOURCE

Now more than ever, people are looking for trusted new sources of information. Content providers, through their blogs, have the chance to really meet that need and deliver content in a truthful, trustworthy way that is also fun and can make an impact.

When it comes to a blog, since so many content creators are also using platforms where visual content is king, let's make blogs the space where educational and inspirational content lives. The space that touches hearts and where hope and guidance can sit. Real discussions on blogs may not take place in the same way as they did before, but on a blog you are still the author. You can write what matters to you. Many people are dying to read something heartfelt from you, I'm sure.

The writers, educators and those looking to go deeper with their audience will stay on board with blogs. Those who want to work more visually, or only visually, will move on to the other platforms suitable to the type of content they want to build. Some use a car, others a bicycle, walk or skateboard to work. In the end, we use what suits us best. The beauty of the internet is that there is something for everyone.

I'm a writer at heart and so using my blog regularly is a form of exercise for me. It helps me to become better at expressing myself. My blog gives me freedom and space to be uniquely me. I can express myself openly and no one can remove a post or edit my work. While other platforms make me better at creating stronger visual content, and I love and use those platforms daily, blogging is THE space where a writer goes to write stuff. That's ultimately why blogging works for me and will for many years to come. This is why I think blogging is still important: If what you have to say matters, so does your blog, use it and say those things.

What are your thoughts on this topic? I'd love to hear what you think below.

xo

Holly

This post was sponsored by , a platform for building beautiful blogs and websites. You can try Squarespace free for 14 days! Subscribe today and use code for 10% off your first purchase.

4 Interiors Trends + Why We Follow Trends

I find trends fascinating in the world of interiors because on one side, your home is a deeply personal space -- yet on the other, the more you entertain at home or share your space with the photos you share online, your interest in trends is definitely sparked. Decor hunter gatherers, at our core, delight in freshening our nests on a regular basis and trends seem to be at the core of that. But why?

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Holly Becker for cattledogs

It is only human nature to want to impress (for lack of a better word) those who are looking in on your life. It sounds icky to say that, I know, but I'm comfortable with that because it's part of our nature. It's not bad or wrong to care about how others perceive us. It's strange to wonder if how we (or our homes) look truly represent us because we want to send the right message out...

Today, our home is no longer reserved for the eyes of close friends and family - the entire internet can be involved if you choose. We DO care about our style because partly, it makes us HAPPY to share ourselves so openly, but we also care about what others think. There is nothing to be ashamed of here, this all begins in early childhood and continues on. It's just life.

With that being said, we share our personal style on the streets every single day, yet those on the train have no clue how we live. We may wear Versace but have a one room apartment above a gas station with 5 roommates. Our entire paycheck may have gone on that dress (a month's salary!).  This is perhaps not the best choice in spending a limited income but it does prove a point. You can't judge a book by its cover. The way we dress is not an indication of how we live and how big our home is.

BUT.

When we are using the web to share our life - whether it is fashion or our homes, cooking or our children, people do see glimpses of how we live. Take Instagram for example. Most of my friends are sharing how they live whether they realize it not. A selfie shot in their bathroom gives you insight into how their home looks and how they decorate. You get a sense of how they live. Others are baking and share glimpses of their kitchen. Same thing. You can see how they live.

Of course, you have others like me who post their entire home on Instagram. With the opening of doors done so freely, and daily, it's only natural that trends in decor and/or lifestyle are becoming more and more of a focus. We want to be part of a group. We want to find like-minded friends. We care about what others think -- but is it entirely for our ego?

I don't believe so. At the core, we simply want to find common ground and friendship and if it is through showing our black and white Berber carpet that is on trend and everyone cool seems to have one, then post the damn rug. Give yourself a break. You're not being egocentric or materialistic. You are just trying to connect with others who share your style.

There are hashtags for people who decorate in that typical "Kinfolk magazine" style. You may know about those. What was once indie and unique, is mainstream and not unique anymore. Kinfolk is mainstream pop decorating. Large big box stores copy the Kinfolk slow movement style. Interior designers are copying it. What was once interesting is less so.

People get bored with what they see and wish to expand and find what is fresh. Trends help them to do this when they have a hard time expressing themselves naturally through their own personal style. They want to keep the conversation going online.

Stagnant decor and yesterday's movements are not interesting, especially online where the speed of movements is sometimes baffling - one minute a trend is in and the next minute, totally stale. This saturation in content has created an insatiable craving to stay "fresh" and "relevant" online. No one wants to be seen as boring or dare I say, OLD. That is why they look to trends and even start movements of their own.

Photo:  Erik Schumacher

Photo:

When I was at Ambiente, a massive consumer goods fair in Europe based in Frankfurt, I was hired to go check out what's new and give my opinion on not only 2017 interiors trends but also on the fair in general. I also did some video work for them, you can see one of them where I share the trends at the bottom of this post (I did another if you are curious to see me live in action). You can also read a blog post I wrote for them on their blog a few weeks ago about how I feel about trends - you may .

Left: Holly Becker, Right: Toni Vinther

Left: Holly Becker, Right: Toni Vinther

(Me with , Industrial Designer from Braun by day and moderator on the weekends. We want our own design-focused internet show by the way, there we are shown above right, in our video for the fair)

Naturally, what I've said above is my opinion but it's also what I believe to be the truth. In the end, let's all be open to trends and let them inspire us. Look at what's out there objectively and see what others are doing with these trends. What can you can do to mix them up with your own personal vision? If you want to share your trendy new shelf or chair online, do it because there is no shame in that, it's fun and can connect you to others who also like similar things. It doesn't make you vain or shallow. TREND is not a dirty word to me.

But on the other side, trends are not to be taken too seriously, either. Don't deny yourself the things you love to be trendy or to fit in.

Look at what's other there and see if any of these trends interest you and then, add your own twist. If you dislike something, don't be afraid to voice it because I think the internet (especially blogs and Instagram) have become so fluffy and loaded with cheerful boastings of what! we! love! that we forget to talk about some of the things that we aren't finding so interesting at the moment. Discussing trends that you don't like can lead to movements and new trends, ones that don't aren't coming from large companies but from all of us who are out here experimenting with products each day.

So with that, I'm going to briefly highlight 4 key trends Ambiente shared in an exhibition space at their fair. They hired external agency to show these trends so guests could admire, walk through, photograph and be inspired by what they saw. Ready?

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

TREND 1: DELICATE STRUCTURES This was my favorite of the four because I loved the clean and clear feeling - very delicate and feminine, tactile, soft colors and nature materials.

Very sensual. The lamp shown above had a "shade" shown that was made with a 3D printer. I really can't wait to see what we can do with these printers in the near future.

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

honest_cattledogs_08.jpg
Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

TREND 2 - HONEST MATERIALS Form meets function.

High-quality craftsmanship coupled with great design. Keeping traditions alive, just reinterpreting them. Products that are unobtrusive. Durable, beautiful, sensible, aesthetic. Cement, ceramic, leather, felt, steel.

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Trend 3: JUMBLED PATTERNED Child-like, whimsical, quirky, loads of pattern.

Together, these objects didn't work for me as shown. Separately, or grouped in a more minimalist environment, I can see them working beautifully. Jumbled pattern was my least favorite of these three trends. I like the use of neon yellow but only as a small accent, not as a wall color. I think patterns have to be balanced to work in a room. What I took away though from this installation was that less is more and you need only a few whimsical pieces to make your point.

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

Trend 4: NOTABLE SHAPES Glamorous and clear with classic elements you can easily recognize. Strong silhouettes. Sculptural form, monolithic, structure, beauty, moody, upscale, desirable. Lots of metal and glass.

Which trend collection from the four shown above resonate the most with you, and why?

On Monday, I am driving to Milan and will spend a week there working on assignment for and their brand, Kinnasand, and I was hired by so you can follow me and all week next week to see what I'm finding at Milan - uncovering trends and beauty from all over the world of interiors. I can't wait to show you. I also can't wait to see if the trends shown above from the Ambiente in Germany will carry over into the Milan fairs and installations. I'll definitely be on the look out for that.

xo

Holly