Meet Me in Italy at Il Mondo Creativo in Bologna November 17 + 18, 2017

Hello dear readers, I am so excited to say that I'm going to , Italy this Thursday! I've been invited by , a leading trade show in Italy for crafts and decoration, to teach an Instagram and Styling workshop and give 2 live demonstrations during their fair, both with a book signing to show you my Italian book, which is in English.


I was invited as a special guest by Il Mondo Creativo thanks to my dear friend Anabella Veronesi from . Anabella and I can barely communicate because she's speaking Italian and Spanish and I'm speaking English and German - so we talk a lot with hands and feet - and plenty of hugs, google translate, and emojis. Anabella is that special person you meet only a few times in life where you feel a genuine connection to from the start, a person who lights up a room but also who is helpful, kind and loving - not a superficial passing ship in your life - but a loyal and lovely friend for the long haul.

I'm so happy to see Anabella soon and to also say hello to my friend Charlotte Hedeman Guéniau, founder of homewares empire and the new , who will present her latest book, , in Italian at the fair.

If you would like to see my live FREE demonstrations and buy a book from me to sign (optional of course), here is the schedule:

  • Friday, November 17th at 14:00

  • Saturday, November 18th at 16:00

Vuoi imparare a decorare con semplici ma bellissimi DIY la tua tavola e la tua casa? Holly Becker, autrice di “Decorare a festa” ci farà vedere come fare e ci darà preziosi consigli. Vi aspetta al Teatro Craft – Padiglione 22 // Venerdì ore 14.00 // Sabato ore 16.00

Want to take a private workshop with me at the fair?

If you would like to take a workshop with me and a small group of students, in English (but I'll have an Italian translator to help!), you can register for the workshop . The class is 65 Euro and you get to spend 2.5 hours with me from 10:00-12:30 on Saturday, November 18th to learn all about Instagram and Styling your photos for Instagram.


The first hour from 10-11 we will learn about everything important when it comes to using Instagram from your brand identity to monetization, and then I'll take questions for 30 minutes from 11:00-11:30.

For the final hour, from 11:30-12:30, we will all move around the room to take photos and learn styling with me for Instagram.

NOTE: You can bring some of your products or anything you love to take photos of from home or your office, and we can work with them to take some nice photos and I can show you how to take the best pictures using your phone, the apps I use to edit my photos and how to style things to create a pretty picture.

See you in Bologna! Oh but wait, any travel tips for me? Anything I simply must see in Bologna? I have Thursday afternoon/evening free, and Sunday too for most of the day, so let me know what I should be seeing and doing in ! Thank you!

Follow my adventure on from Thursday, November 16 until Monday, November 20 when I'll be posting all of my inspiration and travel tips!





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The Perfect Gift For The Holidays To Share Your Cherished Photos

I recently gave my husband a special anniversary present that combined his photos with some of my own. Do you want to see what I gave him and how I did it? I worked with in England, where you can commission a custom piece using your own photography or child's artwork, to create a very special work of art for your home. Here are some of our photos for the piece.


I'll talk more about the process in the moment, but I want to cut straight to when the piece arrived. I was so happy! I had tears of joy running down my face. It was so touching to see our family photos together in a grid of and so beautifully made. From the beautiful frame to the overall quality of the work, I was deeply touched and impressed.

My husband loved his gift and my little boy was happy too. From the birth of our son until this year (he's 3 1/2 now), we have made some of the most precious photos of him and included them in this piece. All who visit our home take time to look at each little square and comment on things they like -- a smile, a gesture, a memory, whatever it is that caught their eye. This is a great conversation piece. My little boy loves to look at it frequently too. We've installed the piece in our bedroom above my dresser, as you can see below.

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This artwork also gives my home a warmer, more cozy feeling because it is so personal. It shares the first three years of my son's life - his birth and toddler years, which I find absolutely the most precious, scary, exciting, nerve-wrecking, emotionally intense time of my entire life. Now that he's older, it's so much less intense (though we are currently potty training him - omg!) but I'll never forget bringing him home and how the things changed immediately upon his arrival. The feeling, the energy, all of it. It was magical and like walking slow motion through your own dream, yet you're awake.

I'll never forget the first three years with a new baby. It was surreal and wonderful and just every single emotion you could imagine having, all placed into a capsule of time that you can never relive, get back, change, or even fully remember in the years to come. Luckily, we can take photos and freeze memories and emotions. Yet, most of us have thousands of photos on our computers and phones just taking up space. Get those photos sorted and create a piece of art! Really! Do something with them to take them into your home and show them in a stylish, creative way.

For me, saving the first three years of his life in photos, was absolutely essential and why I choose this time period for the commission. Seeing the piece daily is a big reminder of phase in my life that I will always remember with the fondest memories. A child really changes everything and with that, comes great change in yourself and the dynamic of your family overall.

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I was thinking about something the other day, concerning photos and family. Do you remember when you used to visit your grandparent's house as a child, and you'd roam around looking at all of the framed family photos? They'd be all over the fireplace mantle, on a special "photo table", in a cabinet, and always in the hallway on the walls or along the stairs going up to the second floor. Then, the photo albums. So many! Grandma loved to drag them out and show every single photo. Mine did this so often, but I was the rare kid who happily flipped through those albums mesmerized by all of the people and places that I saw. I remember feeling so warm and connected to my family this way. I saw similarities in facial features, gestures, and even in personal style of some of my family members and me. It was so interesting. Plus, grandma always had good sweets to share as we flipped through her albums. She'd have the candles on, a tray of sweets, some tea out and the television on in the background - usually the evening news or some classic show like I Love Lucy, which back then, was a classic already.

You know what? When my grandparents died (a year apart), I went to their home and my mother told me to take what I wanted. I took the photos albums. That's all I took. And I'm so glad that I did because when I'm homesick for my life in America, or want to relive some of my family history, I take them out and spend time with these precious albums. They help connect me to simpler times with my grandmother sitting close by with her hand on mine.

 My little boy loves to look at his photos with mama and papa. :)

My little boy loves to look at his photos with mama and papa. :)

Nowadays, when I look through design books and magazines, I don't see anything really personal in most homes. I don't see family photos on the walls so much, I don't feel like I can get a real sense of the people living there because most homes appear to be overly styled, depersonalized, lack intimacy and warmth, and a bit like a boring catalog. I'm personally fighting against this now more than ever in my home. Since having a child, I've decided to bring back some of the earlier feelings I had when I was at the home of my grandparents as a kid.

I want Aidan to see his artwork on the fridge (and it always is!), his photos around our home, greeting cards from friends and postcards posted around the family calendar on the wall (yes, a real calendar, not on my computer!), and I want our home to feel like there are real people living here and creating memories. This commission was one part of my rebellion against overly-decorated fussy home decor that has plenty of style but no heart. Why can't you have BOTH?


worked closely with me to get the piece exactly as I wanted it. I thought to incorporate some seasonal nature photos so that not every photo was with a face. I liked mi it up and adding in nature shots since we spend so much time with our child outdoors. We had him in the forest on the 7th day of his life in the stroller, with his eyes to the sky looking through the leaves hovering over him. We are with our little boy in the forest nearly each day and on the weekends, in the countryside or mountains taking long walks and hikes.

I liked the care and attention of Natalie, the owner of , took in helping me to get the order of the photos right so that visually, the piece was rela, pretty and the colors were right. I went through and made sure all of the colors were correct before submitting them, but then she handled final tweaks and all of the cropping. I love her good eye and attention to detail.

I have to mention that I'm often a hard person to please when it comes to art and photography - and layout. I am so critical of the layout of most things - rooms, books, websites, art! Maybe you can relate. When Natalie sent me the first draft of the grid layout, I was shocked. There were so few edits on my part. This was a massive relief. I was worried that this piece would take weeks to get right because I'm a hard customer to please. It was refreshing to see that it took her very little time.

The piece came delivered to me in Germany from England and upon unbo, I stood in my dining room in awe. I'll never forget that feeling of being happy to the core over a material possession because in many ways, I've seen it all when it comes to decor - so I'm also not easily impressed. But this piece, it was absolutely touching and now that I've had time to live with it for 3 months, I can honestly say I like it more now than I did when it arrived. It really has a forever spot in our home.

Thank you Natalie and Little Squares Gallery for your lovely work on this photography commission!

NOTE: Holiday 2017 orders should be placed by 17th November. If you want to win a piece from The Little Square Gallery with , visit me on until November 15th to enter. You can enter showing the above art.

(This post was sponsored by Little Squares Gallery. All words are my own. I only share on cattledogs what I believe in and own myself when I decide to work with any brand or business. I am happy to suggest Little Squares Gallery to my readers.)


10 Interiors + Lifestyle Things I Love For November

Hi cattledogs readers! I am so excited to be part of cattledogs starting with this column, and am so happy to be taking my own “10 Things I Love” post to all new heights here for all of you! So first thing first: My name is (read my bio here), and on a daily basis I run Denmark’s leading blog on interior, design and lifestyle called Bungalow5 and will from now on, also share my favorites monthly here on cattledogs.

The concept is pretty simple, 10 more or less an identical set of categories where a few might change accordingly. I will focus mostly on what I know best, Scandinavian design, however, I am traveling quite a lot, so international things might show up and I will make sure, that you can order all items online for delivery wherever you are.

I hope you like what I share in my columns, you might find it a bit to the masculine side, but hey, I am a man. Plus, Holly loves my style so I think she knows her readers well enough to know that you will all find my angle interesting and fun to read. So let us begin!

1 // Furniture:

THE PENGUIN CHAIR. To me at least, this is a relatively unknown Danish design chair, which I recently saw on a visit at the in New York. It was designed by Danish designer In Kofod-Larsen. Even though Ib achieved international success in the 1950s, and his became one of Denmark’s best selling pieces in the US, he is almost nowhere to be found – and I hadn’t heard anything about him or his chair before I saw it in New York. Luckily for us, it is back in production by Brdr. Petersen and sold world wide.

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2 // Art

I am always looking for new and more art for my white walls. A new favorite of mine is , a Danish online gallery where all prints are super high quality and made-to-order in the size you want. I just brought home Bjarke Johansen’s cowboy to add a bit of the modern wild west to my Scandinavian modern, mid-century home.


3 // Decorate:

I am a collector. I have things everywhere. I am not a classic Scandi minimalist. Sometimes I have a hissy fit and get rid of a bunch of things, but magically, shelves, corners and side tables get packed very quickly again. This month I have my eye set on a few items from the newly opened one-of-a-kind objects shop . I really like the very unusual yet charming stoneware candle holders by Malwina Kleparska and the petrified wood trays that I am sure will be the next big thing. From Danish Menu, I really love the new , Designed by Aleksandar Lazic, it is even beautiful on its own without flowers and not too girly (nothing wrong with girly, just not my style, sorry). I simply had to bring home a bit of the new collection on a recent trip to Paris, too.

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4 // Sleep:

As a design capital, Copenhagen has really been lacking on proper, nicely decorated design hotels. Luckily that is changing rapidly. Skt. Petri finally got upgraded, SP34 has been among the favorites for a long time, but now both , , and opens their doors to beautiful interiors and very well-designed hotels. I cannot wait to be a tourist in my own city.

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5 // Listen:

While we wait for the long anticipated new Sam Smith album, I am very happy with his latest single release, .

6 // Groom:

As it gets darker and darker and the days gets shorter, I find it even more necessary to take good care of myself and my skin. This month I’ll make it goal to do a weekly facial with the new Masculinity series for men by , give my hands a daily rub with the salvia, rosemary and lavender hand crème, old lady like I know, but I like it anyway, and of course I am over the moon about the new unisex Hwyl eau de parfum -- smokey, woody, rich, perfect for a winter scent.

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7 // Read:

First, my own book - my debut title, ", published by . Holly will be reviewing it on cattledogs soon, but I had to share it in a photo I took in my home, below. I hope that you will order it, too!

Scandi book.jpg

Aside from my own book, I cannot wait to dive into the new . As an entrepreneur myself I am really looking forward to reading and being inspired by others around the world.


"Entreprenuer" Photos by @Holly Becker as my copy hasn’t arrived just yet.

8 // Eat:  

Right now I am working on making a menu at the Copenhagen restaurant , a newly opened restaurant owned by design hotel Skt. Petri. I am of course working closely together with the head chef Patryk Stafin, who used to work at Noma. Including in the menu are both a pre-dinner and after-dinner drink, just as I like it. So if you are in Copenhagen between end of November to mid February, you should really book a table. I promise you, it is delicious. Keep an eye out for the P Menu, which will be my menu. And promise me you’ll go all out, with drinks, wine and the entire menu – that’s how I designed it.


9 // Shop:

I am a frequent traveler to Los Angeles, and at the end of November I’ll be going again for three weeks. Once in LA, I’ll head straight to Main Street in Venice for the new From the looks of it, a calm cool space with a curious mix of far-flung and homegrown fashion and objects, I'll love it. I already love their shop in Silver Lake, so I am sure I’ll enjoy shopping in their new shop just as much. And I love Venice too, so mega win win.

10 // One last thing:

I have really been searching for the perfect office chair, right now, I have stolen one from my dining room, not ideal, but it works until I find the right one. I really like the look of , the all black version would be amazing, and they promise amazingly comfort.

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Hope you have a great day, see you in December with my next installation of "10 Things I Love". - Allan

NLXL Wallpaper: Designer Collections

Hi everyone! If you've been watching my feed on Instagram () for the past 5 days, you'll see that I was in Eindhoven for . I saw so much and met a lot of inspiring and talented people. Together, we shared many nice meals and moments, and a few definitely go up on my list of "unforgettable adventures" like the dinner with and his family, as our chef (!), the founders of , Rick and Esther Vintage, our team of 15 bloggers and and Dutch magazine.

 Daniel Rozensztroch - Super!

Daniel Rozensztroch - Super!

Let's talk about NLXL because I really want to share them with you today. NLXL is a Dutch wallpaper company from the north, who specialize in collaborations with special designers and artists from Europe.

Their curated group create patterns and then they produce those patterns into high quality wallpapers that have no repeat - so nothing is wasted. I really like the work they are doing currently with (remember my day at Merci Paris with Daniel here?) and , but also just saw they have a small collection with and , too. I'm including my favorites below so you can take a browse and see what you like.

 Piet Hein Eek - my favorite from his new collection called TIMBER STRIPS

Piet Hein Eek - my favorite from his new collection called TIMBER STRIPS

 Daniel Rozensztroch

Daniel Rozensztroch

 Piet Hein Eek

Piet Hein Eek

 Daniel Rozensztroch - I want this one for my guest bathroom! Really love it.

Daniel Rozensztroch - I want this one for my guest bathroom! Really love it.

 Piet Hein Eek - my nexy favorite from the new collection, understated and gorgeous.

Piet Hein Eek - my nexy favorite from the new collection, understated and gorgeous.

 Paola Navone - wild and fun!

Paola Navone - wild and fun!

 Piet Boon

Piet Boon

 Ekaterina Panikanova

Ekaterina Panikanova

I would love to see these papers used on accent walls in homes, on ceilings and even on floors if you apply a bit of sealer on top. Would be so interesting! In my second book, my friend Emma Cassi used one of Piet Hein Eek's timber strips papers from his first collection on her IKEA closet and it looked so great - was a really clever idea because you couldn't tell it wasn't real wood until you walked right up to it and touched it.

It was so great to meet Rick and Esther Vintage from this inspiring wallpaper company, they have been on my radar for a long time since I first found their tin tiles wallpaper at Merci many years ago when I went shopping their with my stylist friend, James Leland Day, who at that time lived in Paris. It was a pleasure to meet Rick and Esther because they had 9 lives before getting into wallpaper and I always love meeting entrepreneurs who reinvent themselves and keep trying out new things until they find their happy spot. I respect these two for their initiative, resourcefulness, imagination and business sense and I believe that they've found their spot in the world of interiors and hope to see more from this creative duo in the years to come.

Looking back on our dinner and conversations in general, I was really inspired by their warmth, generosity and how welcoming they were to all of us who came to their special dinner party together with the design gurus of Europe (Piet, Rossana and Paola). It was an inspiring evening, for sure.

Definitely check out NLXL - I can see them in so many shops that I go to and would love to see them continue to expand their business. They are just such nice people who also happen to have a great eye!

Have a nice day everyone...

(Photography: NLXL)