Holly Becker, editor of beautiful interiors blog Decor8 on finding inspiration, her first foray into the world of print publishing and her unashamed love of pop music (quite right, we say).
Describe your studio/workspace. Currently, it is in a small room in the back of our flat with a huge window, white walls, and high ceilings. I have a white wooden desk, a Vitra ergonomic chair, a Muuto wood lamp by TAF Architects, some etsy art prints framed on the wall, a vintage white bench from Sweden where my interiors books are stacked, and a rolling metal cart with wheels, in white, for storage. The main colours are white, natural wood, blue and yellow.
What’s on your desk right now? My Mac G5 and a MacBook Pro along with a natural wood stapler, a white Panasonic phone, JBL Creature Speakers in white and a vintage cup with big yellow flowers on it where I store my pencils and pens. I also have a few magazines stacked in a white leather tray – Essen & Trinken, Real Living and the new issue of Livingetc (of course).
Before you begin a new blog, you must… Figure out what you want to say, what you can bring to the online conversation that is perhaps a little different, and why you want to blog in the first place.
Who inspires your work? I’m very inspired by the many stylists out there, I find so many of them absolutely lovely as people but also enormously creative. I am also inspired by magazines that consistently bring fresh content and introduce products before I spot them online. I am inspired by music, nature and photography as well. When my husband composes a new song, I feel extra energised.
The thing about being an independent creative is… You are never truly independent. To survive and thrive, interdependence is key. You have to admit that you are not alone and that you need others to be successful. There is no room for inflated egos. People get tired of cheering on tribe leaders who ultimately don’t truly care about their tribe. It’s important to be authentic, fair and kind.
Why did you set up Decor8? I launched decor8 in May 2005 because I needed an outlet for my design finds that I could freely share with my clients and friends. I also wanted to eventually write for magazines so I figured a blog could be a good online portfolio that I could point editors to when I pitched a story idea. When I started decor8, I didn’t write on it for months. I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to take on a blog because back then, very few decorating blogs existed and I was the first in New England to have one, so I wasn’t sure what I’d accomplish. Facebook, Twitter, Etsy, magazine blogs, none of these things were in place. I was reading a few blogs at that time, but they were very focused on mid-century modern and contemporary styles, whereas I’ve always loved an eclectic approach – curated of course. So I decided to fill the void that existed and I posted for the first time on decor8 in January 2006 showing the things that I liked. I have been writing on it daily ever since. It was a very good decision to just get started and try something new.
What’s your favourite piece of design? I am most passionate about the process, I love to observe it and understand what went into something as it deepens my appreciation once I see the finished product.
Aside from interiors, I am pretty good at… Writing, connecting and encouraging others, and I’m a good curator – I know what I like. I am also very good at spending money in Liberty and Selfridges whenever I’m in London. You have the best stores, it’s not fair that you have such a massive selection all in one city. The world looks on in envy!
What music do you listen to while you work? It ranges from folk (Amy Seeley, Jann Arden) to R&B (Quincy Jones just produced an outstanding collaborative album), indie stuff, dance and techno. I’m an unapologetic lover of pop music, Ne-yo, The Killers, Justin Timberlake, Fergie, The Saturdays, Kylie Minogue…
In another life, you would be. A musician. I’d love to write inspiring lyrics, play piano and acoustic guitar, and sing really well. Just as long as I had an agent to promote it all because that part would be my least favorite.
What book is by your bed? None. I don’t read in bed these days. There are more fun things to do in bed, like sleep.
Describe the perfect weekend. Flea marketing on Saturday morning, long walks in the forest, doing something creative with my hands, dancing or doing something social on Saturday night. On Sundays, it’s family day. We take a walk, prepare a nice meal together, watch DVDs, listen to music, light candles, read… Sunday is a very lazy day, not spent on errands or shopping.
Any claims to fame? My blog, decor8, is what put me on the map thanks to my readers. My first decorating book, Decorate: 1000 Professional Design Ideas for Every Room in the House, has just come out. I’m very excited about it because I got to do a lot of the styling work in the book, met most of the homeowners, traveled a lot and got to hang out with interiors photographer Debi Treloar (who is simply lovely in all ways). I learned so much on the project from many talented people, I feel very blessed. I’ll no doubt do another in the future, I’ve got a taste for it now – there is no going back!
What can’t you live without? Magazines and books! I am a big fan of print publications even though I author a popular blog, funny, I know. I also can’t live without music. Never!
What invention would change your life? Something that would make it possible to feel great after sleeping for only an hour each night. What I could accomplish in 23 hours each day…