Posts in Places
Parisian Eatery With Beautiful Boho Design

I was utterly amazed when I read about this beautiful restaurant in the 16th arrondissement in Paris recently because I fell so deep in love with the decor! You have to check this place out, it's called , and it's definitely on my list for the next time I'm in Paris.

Photos : Yann Deret

Photos : Yann Deret

I love the classy yet laid back boho style. It's really chic. Designed by Architect Coup Laura Gonzalez, it boasts one of the prettiest terraces in the city that gives you a feeling that you are in Italy or Spain where terrace life is more typical than in Paris.

Photos : Yann Deret

Photos : Yann Deret

I find the color scheme really rela, don't you? I like the geometric patterns on the upholstery as it complements the pattern on the minty wooden walls. The pendant lighting is equally stunning, I have one of these Dutch-designed lights in my dining room but liked seeing multiples in a room. Of course, the addition of climbing roses, jasmine, olive trees (on the terrace) and banana leaf plants (interior) are perfect. Not too much, but enough to add warmth and natural beauty.

The menu equally is appealing with yummy little pizzas, risotto and mozzarella melts called arancini and burrata (my favorite!) with summer truffles. A foodie's paradise.

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On a side note, I was thinking when I got back from Barcelona that I really need a terrace. And that a lot of us really need more of them in cities. I know in northern cities with snow, it's not such a great idea but we hardly have snow where I live so it's not such a problem as long as you have a great drain system for the rain. But terraces give you such a different mood when you're crammed in a city with so many people - it's a respite from the concrete and subways. It's a piece of paradise in the sky.

I'm so happy I discovered this spot in . Now I'm thinking that maybe I need to get back on the train and go to Paris again... Last time I was there was in March, and as the saying goes, "Paris is always a good idea". This is one of the luxuries of living in Europe, to have access to all of these beautiful cities so easily and affordably.

I'm curious to know, where do you travel that is your closet point of total inspiration overload?

I have lots of cities in Germany that are very close by that give me a full feeling after spending the day there from a design standpoint. Berlin and Hamburg are 90 minutes away and both do that for me. Also Copenhagen, Paris, Amsterdam, London... These spots are close to (45 minutes by plane) but absolutely fantastic plug-in points for me creatively speaking.

My city isn't a creative or design hub, but it does offer some very nice spots where I can go for a day and just immerse myself in something visually interesting enough to fuel my tank.

Do you have an outlet locally where you live that does this for you? Where?

Have a nice weekend, I'll see you on Monday!

Shown: Brasserie Auteuil, 78 Rue d’Auteuil, 75016 Paris

Photos: and la Brasserie Auteuil

My Barcelona Review

Hello friends, happy Friday! I realized that I'd forgotten to tell you about my long weekend in Barcelona a few weeks ago, so today I simply must share some photos and my impressions, both good and bad, and then end my review with a bullet list in case you have plans to see Barcelona in the near future and need a few tips.

Our room at Casa Bonay

Our room at Casa Bonay

First, from an architectural perspective, there are many beautiful buildings to see from the residential districts to the old town, and of course, the , which will leave architecture and design lovers speechless. We saw the Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló, Casa Milà and part of Park Güell but there are many more.

Next, the beach is beautiful BUT it was also gritty with lots of trash, and dozens of men bothering you nonstop to buy cocktails, cotton blankets, beer and water. They literally swarm your blanket every 5 minutes for the entire time you are sitting there. I felt exhausted by this. It was just too much.

Casa Milà

Casa Milà

The same took place at Gaudí's - the "free" part of the park at least. Men selling things on blankets everywhere. You go to a park to be with your thoughts and with nature, not beat off peddlers. We didn't get into the side where you could see the works of Gaudi because you must book tickets online in advance during busy months and no one told us this. I wish our hotel had briefed us that these tourist attractions required tickets purchased in advance online. I was mega disappointed because as a fan of work, after seeing her inspiration from Gaudí in her Grotto in Hannover, I had to see the Gaudi park in Barcelona.

Then the was also a spot where we got turned away. That building is just insanely gorgeous on the outside, I was dying and nearly in tears that I could not go inside. The same thing - you had to bring tickets you'd purchased in advance a day or two prior online. Around the church peddlers were swarming and I felt like someone was going to pickpocket me any second. We felt really upset that these major tourist attractions were not better organized. I expected Barcelona to be more like Paris but with all the selling and pressure from peddlers, it really was more like Tijuana.

When it comes to the peddlers, let me note that I am compassionate to a point. Yet, I felt like Barcelona has lost all control. These people are mostly peddling to survive but it creates a terribly stressful atmosphere if you are there to relax on holiday and you are constantly being targeted. I know how much Barcelona relies on its tourism economically, so I believe tourists need to be heard on these issues. I've been all over, from Casablanca to Istanbul, Milan to Stockholm, and of course Mexico, Canada and to nearly all of the 50 Unites States. I'm not a diva who expects perfection at all. But the city needs to regain control. The peddlers at the tourist points, in the park, on the beach, at the Gaudi buildings... they were mosquito's - it was the equivalent to going to the souks in Marrakesh and having aggressive sellers begging you to buy from them. You expect this in the souks, not at a public beach.

The next point is that there is a real sewer problem in Barcelona - we barely ate outside unless it was on a rooftop because you could smell the sewers. Also, lots of public urination so when it's hot and humid... Some parts of the city were overwhelming.

Other than those few annoyances, Barcelona had lots of positives. But I suggest going off season if you want a more relaxed environment that's a bit more authentically Spanish. I imagine the city is different in October versus in the middle of July when we were there.

The food in this city is delicious - not so much the sweet stuff but the salty. We ate at some lovely places. I had the best Sangria ever. I enjoyed delicious tapas. I took a lot of photos of beautiful, historic buildings. I climbed to the top of the Gaudi Park (stunning views from up there) and made silly videos on my phone. I walked over 50km in 3.5 days, so I came home feeling really fit.

Out of everything about Barcelona, what I loved most was the weather, the tapas and the Sangria. The weather was super hot with a nice breeze and plenty of rooftop spots to run to for cool breezes and yummy drinks (but only if you know of them, they aren't obvious), ask around. I really love the rooftop culture here and vowed that someday I need to have a rooftop terrace with lots of plants and parties!

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I must wrap up by adding that I loved the Picasso museum (), his early works were stunning. exhibited extraordinary artistic talent right from the beginning, it was shocking really to see this and highly inspirational. My favorite had to be seeing his interpretation of Las Meninas, composed of nearly 60 paintings of the single painting by Diego Velázquez. It's the only complete series of Picasso that remains together in the world, so it was amazing to behold. I enjoyed seeing his blue period work as well since it was so somber and such a stark contrast to his rose period. I also liked seeing some of his early works on corrugated cardboard, it was magnificent to see how he could paint on anything and still amaze. Don't get me started about his ceramics. Yeah, he did some fantastic ceramics as well. I had no idea.

What inspired me the most about Picasso, and what I couldn't stop thinking about during my entire visit, was how he didn't have one particular style. In fact, you may not even had recognized his work from one period to the next had it not been signed and documented, there was no red thread. His blue period looked nothing like the early landscapes he painted or the portraits of his friends, nor did it look like the later work that most of us know the best.

I have the feeling that designers and artists are consistently told how important consistency is in their work in order for it to be somehow esteemed, valued even. You need to have a certain "look" to your "brand". I realize that this is, in most part, very true if you want to make money. But when I looked at Picasso's work, I realized how deceived I've been ever since studying marketing in college. What do I mean?

Modern day marketing and economy have changed the way creatives think about their work and how young creatives look at their body of work. It's a bit unfortunate. I rather like the idea of reinventing ourselves throughout the years, making what we want to make, being happy with the results regardless of whether it is selling well or not. I guess the best way to do it and make a living as an artist or designer in modern times is that you have your mainstream stuff to show the world, and late at night in your room you are doing the good stuff that sets your soul on fire that you know wouldn't sell. You make art for the sake of making art.

So that's my review of Barcelona. If you want some suggestions on where to eat, where to drink, etc. try the links below because they are very good. The first link is fantastic because I missed every spot in the guide and wish I'd seen this link before my trip.

  • We stayed at y in a room with a private terrace that had lounge chairs and a shower. It's loud on the weekends, so bring earplugs.
  • We did a lot of lounging in with free wifi. It's located in the same building as Casa Bonay.
  • - The best cappuccino I've ever had in my life (sorry Italy). Also the best glazed donuts. Also located in the Casa Bonay complex.
  • - At the top of Casa Bonay, there are two sides when you exit the elevator. To the left is for hotel guests only and where we basically lived when we needed to rest and refresh. To the right is Chiringuito, and is open to the public. Great spot.
  • . This looks like a gorgeous property to stay in, especially with their rooftop swimming pool, lounge area and bar. We stopped by the Claris to catch the views from the roof, relax on the lounge chairs, and enjoy some drinks. Great service and very welcoming.
  • I didn't find the sweets in Barcelona the big attraction, but when we had a sweet tooth we went to and it was perfect. Authentic and family-owned right around the corner from the Picasso museum.
  • Go to the , even if you can't stay there, go have breakfast, lunch or dinner. You won't be sorry. You can also eat outside but I loved the interior of the restaurant. Stunning. Totally Instagramable too.
  • There are not many interior design shops in the city, but I stumbled on one that was quite charming called . I'm sure others exist, but they must be hidden because I roamed the streets and googled and Instagramed myself into a coma trying to find them but couldn't. But I don't think people go to Barcelona for interior design shopping. Lots of fashion and great stores for clothes though!
  • I loved the leather handbags and shoes in the shop. Gorgeous. Highly recommend.
  • My favorite food experience was eating at . I wish this was a franchise and all over Europe. I've never eaten so pure, so whole, so fresh, so beautifully before. I give this place 5 stars all the way. Go go go! Also highly Instagramable!
  • (Spanish fashion label) has a nice outlet store (street address is Girona 38) with very affordable finds. I just loved their clothes! Someone highly suggested clothing store but I didn't get to go there, maybe you can.
  • I loved the foodie shop but even better was the secret little tapas restaurant in the back where we ended up totally pigging out and getting really tipsy on the best Sangria I ever had in my life. And the people are SO NICE in this place.
  • Neighborhoods to roam: El Born, Gothic Quarter, Barceloneta, Eixample, Gracia (more of a local flair).

Have you been to Barcelona? What inspired you there? What did you learn? Do you have any suggestions on where to shop, eat or go? Any insider tips?

Photography: Holly Becker for cattledogs

Barcelona Tips?

Hello everyone! I'm packing for Barcelona and will be taking you with me via Instagram if you'd like to join! I'll post Insta Stories and photos there beginning tomorrow (Friday) until next Tuesday or Wednesday. I can't wait to show you what I'm seeing for the first time. I've never been so I'm quite excited. I've done little research on what to expect and what to see so if you have some good tips for my friend and I, we'd be so happy to hear them in the comments below.

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See you in BCN! Adios!

x Holly

(Photography: )

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.)