Posts in sponsored
8 Ways To Transform Nursery Into a Kid's Room

Hello everyone, I hope you're doing good. I'm heading off to Hamburg in the morning so before I go, I thought I'd share a project that I recently finished and photographed to appear in a big magazine later this year - my little boy's updated bedroom! I took it from being a baby nursery to a room fit for a three-year-old boy complete with a new bed, some new art, a drawing table, new rug and a few other things you may spot that are a little different from before. I love how it came out.

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I've not changed much in his bedroom since I designed his nursery (before and after ) but I did exchange his crib for the beautiful  from (which we love) and I added a small table with a bench from  along with a Bloomingville wooden toy box on wheels (not shown). I also mixed new rugs, linen curtains, new bedding, a few new cushions and I switched up the art on one of his walls. So I guess I did change a few things! It really needed a facelift and he was so happy when he saw the finished results! I imagine his room will stay this way (more or less) for another 3-4 years, and then we'll update again with new wallpaper on the back wall, new paint, new scheme... But for now, this room is definitely made to grow with him.

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Ready to check out his updated room with my 8 steps? It's very gender neutral, so it's great for a boy or girl!

  1. Switch out the crib with an adaptable, quality bed. I didn't want to buy a toddler bed, then have to buy a twin bed or a full bed a few years later, too much shopping! We opted for the Wood Day Bed from because it's made very well, handmade in fact, and is a beautiful Danish design so if he tires of it in a few years, it will fit beautifully into my guest bedroom where I currently have a very boring twin bed. This day bed also has an organic allergy-free mattress and an extra insert to extend the current mattress with any extra peice, so when he is taller, the day bed grows with him - the frame pulls apart and you place in two new railings. Then it's the length of a normal twin size bed.
  2. Update the bedding. This is such an easy but dramatic change because the modern bunny pattern still works with the wallpaper yet makes the room look like it's a for an older child now and not a baby.
  3. Update the art. Also easy. You don't have to change or get rid of everything, of course, but swap out prints and just move things around. The papier mâché mask went from over his changing table to above his bookcase. The wall chart stayed because he still likes it and I knew when I first put it in his nursery that we could keep it for years before the cars and superheros posters take over. Some of the art I just taped to the walls with washi tape just as before when I put together his nursery. Washi tape lasts for years, at least the MT Tape brand, so prints won't fall off the wall no matter how humid or cold the room gets.
  4. Add curtains that hang to the floor. I like these because they are linen and light, but also block out the light even during bright daylight. I opted for a black trim on the curtains to make them look a bit more grown up so he'll hopefully keep them for years and if he doesn't, I can easily pop them into the guest room or another spot in my home. I always think like this when I shop - where else can I use the item if I tire of it in the room I'm buying it for today? It's a great thing to do when you shop, especially for the investment pieces like drapes. Can you imagine them in another room or reimagine as a shower curtain, cafe curtain, pillow covers or a bench cover?
  5. Work table - a must! A baby isn't able to sit on a bench and color but a little child loves being creative so give them space to do so in their room on a little table, mine is from . I have two benches for this table but the other one stays in the guest room with plants on it for now, but when he's friends come by and they all want to sit at the table, I can pull the second bench out and they can go at it. He also loves that he can pick up the bench and move it around his room. He likes to move it below his window so he can peek outside throughout the day.
  6. New rugs for playing. I picked up a flat weave rug so he can race his cars on it and also be comfortable since the floors are hardwood, but I also exchanged the fluffy flokati rug I had in his nursery for a flat surface, but still cozy to sit and place legos on. You can't play legos on a deep, fluffy rug! I imagine I'll change the rug again in a year or two, but this one was under 100 Euros and can go into another room in my home or I can give it away to a friend.
  7. Flexible dresser/changing table top. I was THRILLED that I ordered a changing table/dresser combo from before he was born because the changing surface came off easily and now he still has the lovely white dresser that he's had for over three years now. I lost the handles though (I took them out when he was crawling and emptying out the drawers constantly) and haven't found them since so now I am looking for new pulls. But other than that, the dresser is still in beautiful condition and we really love it. He can keep this dresser for years and years, and it's wood so we can paint it black when he goes through his teen angst years or whatever. ha ha!
  8. Restyle things. Move stuff around and add in new things that your child loves and plays with. Don't be afraid to move out the baby stuff - even if you can't part with it yet, store things someplace until you are ready to pass them on to another child or maybe your own next child! I switched around things on his bookcase and on the shelves over his dresser that paint of a picture of his life today.
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Updated bedding

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New curtains, table and chairs

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Updated art above bookcase

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Updated rugs, new bed, new laundry basket, new lamp

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His shelves now have more personal things inside included his wrist band from his birth, birthday candles, gifts from friends, things I've made, his belly button clamp from infancy, etc.

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Now for a little shopping list!

  • Bed: Wood Day Bed from
  • Table with bench: (available in USA/EU)
  • Bookcase:  (available in USA/EU)
  • Yellow lamp:
  • Miffy light:
  • Rugs: Large: , Small: 
  • Paint - Cabbage White from
  • Curtains - Linen from 
  • Shelves above dresser, wallpaper, boxes with faces on the floor -  (past season)
  • Cushions - , ,
  • Bedding - 
  • Elephant on bookcase from
  • Some of the prints -
  • Wooden toys (trucks, animals, etc.) all made in Germany but from
  • Black/white nesting dolls from
  • Wood frames from e via 
  • Bird wall chart - vintage from flea market

Also, you can shop more of my favorite things for kids at  where I have my very own set up.

Thank you so much Oliver Furniture for donating the beautiful bed and to Bloomingville for the table and bench - and to all of my readers, if there is anything I've missed, please let me know. I'm so happy that I could share this space with all of you today - it makes me so proud and is truly one of the happiest rooms in my home.

Holly

(Photography: Holly Becker for cattledogs)

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.