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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.

Meet Me In Paris On March 24th: Décors de Fêtes

Hello dear readers and friends! The book and I wrote, , will soon have its official launch party in Paris! I am over the moon to announce this special event on March 24th from 7-9 pm where I will be making a special appearance in Paris at the beautiful shop of to celebrate  published by .

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If you would like to attend the book party, and RSVPing since the party is after store hours and we need a headcount for drinks and snacks. Or, you can email your name to [email protected] Also, if you attend the party, the first 10 people to buy the book will get two very special gifts from me. :)

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I am very excited because I've never been to France to meet fellow bloggers and friends of cattledogs there at an official party. I can't believe it, especially since I've been to Paris so many times in my life! This is why I decided to take this trip and go there to just see who shows up to say hello. I want to meet friends and fans and see some of my blogging peers, too.

It's the same week of my birthday, so I've decided to make a special weekend out of it so I'm staying in a nice hotel and treating myself to a spa treatment there too. A book party, a nice hotel, walking around Paris with my camera in the Spring, it's not such a bad idea! In fact, if you have ANY inspiring suggestions on what I should do on March 25th for the day (or evening) or the morning of Sunday March 26th, please list them in the comments section below because I'll be roaming the city on the look out for inspiring things to do and see in addition to  and e of course!

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By the way, if you missed our book trailer, here it is... This is for the English version, , but the content is the same as the French edition.

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Video Credits: Videographer + Director: Koen Folkerts,  // Creative Direction + Styling: Holly Becker // Location: , Hannover, Germany Models: Emma Pedersen, Nora Hartmann, Nanna Eriksen // Music: By Film Composer - Isle (Licensed through )

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See you March 24th, Paris!!!!!

Love, Holly x

(Photos: Leslie Shewring for Decorate For a Party)

Live Trends from Ambiente: February 11 + 12

I am thrilled to announce my newest partnership with one of the most important trade shows in the world, , where I will be reporting to you live on Saturday, February 11 and Sunday, February 12. I'll tell you more in a moment, but first, how are you? It's Friyay and I hope that you have some nice plans for the upcoming weekend. If you don't, try to make some because it will make you feel better if you have something to look forward too. So...

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Reporting and trend scouting are double passions of mine and fairs give me a great way to do that, it's always so special to meet those whom I admire behind some of my favorite interiors and lifestyle brands. Working with Ambiente will be the perfect partnership because I can share two days of live coverage on Instagram through IG Stories, flash interviews and photos with all of you and later, a full report on my blog. You don't have to leave the house, just follow me on and you're going on a blog tour with me from your sofa.

I've already put together a company list charting my adventures into interiorsland and am looking forward to tuning you in on all day Saturday and Sunday, so mark your calendars for 11 and 12 February for the latest and greatest collections because if you are into interiors like I am, this show is one that you can't miss, and it's also so important for you to follow what's new so you can pass your inspirations to your own clients, fans, readers, etc. You can count on me to find everything that is worth your attention, trust me, because I'll sniff out the best of the best and provide you with links and photos on Instagram during those two days so that you can find new companies and be in the know at the same time that I am.

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I wish you a lovely weekend, I'll be back on Monday to talk about more partnerships and fun things that I've been up to and also to tell you about a big project that you may be able to actually be a part of (I would love that).

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Oh and don't miss this.... We are now enrolling for the always inspiring Blogging Your Way e-course which begins in just FOUR WEEKS from now so you have to register before spaces sell out. I have so much to share with you that will go beyond the curriculum, so brace yourself for a great class!!!

Love,

Holly

(Fair photos from 2016 by and , all others are my own.)

The Bloggers Trend Show @ imm Cologne + Living Kitchen

I am typing with excited fingers because the cattledogs booth at the fair is up and running! The imm is one of the most important interiors and kitchen fairs in the world and certainly, in Europe. If you're an American, imagine being asked to have your own booth at the ICFF in New York and to share your inspirations and ideas as a stylist and blogger. Well, it's like that. A big deal. And not just a little booth, an entire 11 x 7 meter space where you can create a kitchen, living room and dining area!

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You can find me in Hall 4.1 Booth C022 so please stop by all week or come on the weekend to meet me personally all day on Saturday and Sunday - I'll be there from opening time until the fair closes each day. That's me chatting with visitors from , was such a pleasure to have coffee with them and relax.

I was honored to accept the challenge for my first trade show booth and jumped right in. But it's not just an honor for me but for bloggers everywhere because this could be the start of something new. Imagine more fairs having booths from bloggers + influencers sharing their inspirations? It brings such a fresh flair to an interiors trade show, don't you think? To see your favorite blog come to life and to get to meet the blogger that you love so much. Perhaps this is the next step for bloggers - to have their own trend shows at trade fairs so they can share what's happening online and what they, and their readers, are interested in the most at the moment. I actually LOVE this concept!

I've done a lot to get to this point of being recognized and I'm proud of this - and also proud of what this means for bloggers globally. I want to do video work and television next. In fact, I would love to have my own show. But I'm proud that bloggers are being seen, no longer invisible. And though print publications still battle their feelings with having us out here, I'm happy to tell them that we must learn to live and work together because bloggers and influencers are not fading out anytime soon. So it's time to team up or just accept us as being important content providers too.

Bringing together my ideas and inspirations for a trade show booth was one of the most exciting projects I've had because it's totally new. I love a challenge. And to have only started in November, and only finalizing everything a few weeks ago, well... It's an understatement to say that I worked really hard with my assistant, Toni Vinther, to pull it off in record time.

I also can't thank Tinna and Morten Pedersen enough from . Both worked with us very closely to loan out Skagerak and Ferm Living products for the cattledogs booth. I also worked closely with , , , , , , , and to supply the major pieces for the booth which are on loan and to be returned after the fair ends. And of course Eike Fuchs, the Project Manager for Living Kitchen, Judith Mader, Charlotte Guyout, Ann-Christin Mai, Jan Wefelnberg and Markus Majerus. All were tremendously supportive and helpful throughout this project and none of this would have happened without them. And lovely Jenny who helped us build the booth! She was fantastic!

This was the first time the imm has ever had a Bloggers Trend Show, so we all learned so much together on this project and my hope is that the imm will continue to partner with bloggers in the future for more trend shows.

So! here is the booth on Sunday, the day before opening day...

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Ann-Christin Mai, Charlotte Guyot and Judith Mader - Charlie's Angels for sure!

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And the floor plan... A rough copy but at least you can get a good idea of the layout and dimensions. I wanted the back wall to be plywood because I see it as great material to use on the wall in the home, particularly in the kitchen, and hope to see it even more in the future.

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I'm VERY visual, so I always work off of mood boards. I find a starting point and then work from there. For this project, the starting point was a beautiful scrapwood table from Piet Hein Eek. I have loved his work for eight years and finally had a chance to approach him to work with me on this project and he accepted. From there, I decided on the plywood wall and the color scheme and overall vibe I was going for. Here is my mood board.

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From this point, I started to make calls and send emails. Because time was so limited and Christmas was coming, it was critical to get all of our big pieces ordered before the holidays and gladly, we accomplished this. After I secured the large pieces, I did more mood boards just to see how the pieces were working together as I worked, you can see these below. I also had a mood board on Pinterest that I kept secret until now - you can see it here.

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Dining area major pieces: from Woud Design, Side chairs from Menu, from Muuto, in high gloss from Piet Hein Eek (This isn't the exact table, I selected one in richer deeper tones and lots of white), in white from Menu.

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Kitchen corner major pieces: (shelves and bar) from n by Naber, , and  from Ferm Living, in Light Blue from Woud Design, from Ferm Living,  from Skagerak.

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Mood board area major pieces: in white from Muuto, from Skagerak. This area ended up NOT being for the mood board, we moved it to another wall, and instead installed original painting from above the Vivlio shelving instead.

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Living room major pieces: covered in Steelcut trio 133 textile and designed by Muuto,  from LYS Vintage designed by , from LYS Vintage designed by , Muuto in green (from my home), covered in Blue Umami 3 743 textile and designed by Muuto,  from Atelier Suhka (from my home), from Connox designed by (from my home),  from Lulu & Georgia (from my home), Large 200x300 Black White from Muuto, in Black from Ferm Living,  from Ferm Living, from Woud Design.

Last weekend, we put it all together and on Monday morning, I went live on Instagram Stories to show you how it came out - and the fair officially opened. They're expecting 70,000 visitors so it's just a wee bit of pressure when a fair approaches you and asks if you'd like to be part of an international trend show and they'd like to give you a booth to share your personal inspirations in and some of the trends that are on your radar. With only two bloggers participating, it was such an honor to be asked but also to share the project with Desiree from , a friend and fellow blogger living in Amsterdam whom I've known for years. We photographed her home for my second book, Decorate Workshop. You can see her on her beautiful blog.

Ready to peek in at the booth?

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BEFORE, remember?

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This is AFTER. Note: I didn't select the floor, I had to use the standard trade show floor which is black cement. I also did not select the wall height. I had to use what they gave me, the height of 2,5 meters. Everything else though, I selected and nothing is "sponsored" and no one is giving me perks or anything special if I asked them to be part of the booth. Everything was chosen for one reason: I liked it! Also, 90-100 items that you see are from my own home. This makes the booth feel like home to me.

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I love the wall decal on the back wall, a tree, by . She's lovely. She gave it to me as a gift about a year ago and I was going to put it in Aidan's room but decided now that the booth was were it needed to go.

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I like seeing visitors rela and chatting in my space. These guests are flipping through and . I've added magazines and books from some of my favorite authors, including , , my four books, , , Igor from  and with lovely Judith, , and many more. The  vases that you see are from in Hamburg, a favorite interiors shop of mine that I tell everyone who visits Hamburg that they must visit. Those vases are on my wish list for sure!

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These pretty ceramic spoons are from my private collection, made by .

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Don't worry, I tucked away all of the cords on the floor to the left of the shelving, you can't see them anymore, they drove me nuts!!!

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These are so precious and special to me, on loan from my friend in Hamburg.

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My assistant Toni Vinther (to the far left), speaking with a booth visitor.

So! that is the cattledogs booth! Since the fair is still on, you can also come by and see it live and visit Desiree's booth too! At the fair, you can find some of the best brands in the world of interiors and kitchen exhibiting their new collections AND the small makers too at the which is also part of the imm this year for the first time.

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All week at the cattledogs booth, we have a wonderful hostess there, Ayse Alkan ( on Instagram) to make you a coffee, help you pin to the pinboard in our booth (you can win prizes!) and to answer your questions... Then, I'm back on Saturday and Sunday to be in the booth all day myself - I'll be there with Morten and Ayse from opening to closing hours both days but away for lunch. If you stop by and I'm not there, ask them to text me and I'll come back to see you - I may be chatting to someone in another booth, etc. But I'm there!

On Saturday, we have a blogger tour and lots of my blogger friends are coming to see me and participate in my growing mood board project in my booth. We have cappuccino, expresso, etc in my booth too -so stop by and sit at the bar and relax with us. There is wifi, plenty of books and magazines to peruse and a very laid back and rela environment that I'm sure you will enjoy so definitely spend some time with us.

Thank you again to the imm and Living Kitchen for having me. From Friday-Sunday please watch my Instagram and hashtag #immspired to see my trend repots from the fair and I'll see you on Saturday and Sunday in my booth too!

Bye! xo

Holly