Holly's Hot Picks: Interview with Holly Becker of Decor8

Holly Becker, Founder/Editor of decor8blog, offers her 10 top picks for June from Clayton Gray Home. With about 25,000 visitors a day, Decor8 has become a must-see for designers, decorators, and consumers who want to stay on top of new and upcoming trends. Holly splits her time between her homes in New Hampshire and Germany, giving her an interesting perspective on emerging design movements in both Europe and the U.S.

Here's our recent Q&A with Holly, who offers her fresh, innovative views on current design trends and Clayton Gray Home products.

Why do you think the cane look has been around so long? Do you have anything in your home with the cane design?

Whether it's real or stylized, cane calls to mind my childhood — I had a white cane bedroom set growing up and still recall picking it out with my parents in Pawley's Island, South Carolina. I kept that set until I was 14 years old, and I loved it. My mother also was very fond of cane, she had cane wallpaper in the living room when I was a child and a cane mirror over a credenza for most of my life — she only recently sold it. For me personally, it reminds me of coastal southern living, but of course, that's not why it's a popular trend. To learn about that, I wrote an article for HGTV that you can read here:

What does your desk look like?

I have a parsons desk in white lacquer from West Elm with a sheet of glass custom cut for the top, beneath which I switch out a different sheet of wrapping paper or fabric to give it a customized look every season and keep me from getting bored with it. I love the clean lines, but would rather have a desk with a bit more flexibility because I've wanted to paint this desk a hundred times since purchasing it and I really can't. The Clayton Gray Home Cain Wooden Desk appeals to me because it's wood, so I could change out the color whenever I like. I also love the subtle detailing.

Why is the Moroccan-international look so popular and do you see it continuing into 2010?

The exotic Moorish patterns and colors allow us to create a more laid back exotic look in the home, plus it's fresh and unique since designers are interpreting what they see there in modern ways. With so many in America putting travel plans on hold (at least for foreign, more expensive destinations), infusing some accents that evoke travel and freedom can make a big difference in how one feels at home. You can create your own travel destination — on the

patio or in the bedroom — so you can stay home in your very own oasis. That's a trend now in America: making your home feel unique and special, but also creating spots within it for relaxation and escape. It's using what you have and learning to enjoy staying home a little more and appreciating your space for what it is.

Do you think there are other uses for unique, hand-painted containers like the Zebra Waste Basket?

Yes, definitely! You can drill (or cut depending on the material) the trash can, flip it upside down, and transform it into a pendant light. Plastic bins with patterns work best for this sort of hack.

You can also use a new trash can, never used, to store rolls of gift wrap. This is exactly what I do with one that I have in my office area — it's loaded with gift wrap from stores like Paper Source. That way, the paper is out and not hidden in a closet, but it's kept tidy in a pretty bin.

In general, are you drawn to circles or squares in design?

Circles, definitely. Circles represent the cycles in life that exist all around us, particularly in nature, but even in friendships and work relationships. I truly believe "what comes around goes around," and applying this in how I deal with others tends to keep me out of trouble. When I've slipped up, I've paid for my mistakes. The circle reminds me of this precious cycle and how we have to respect it in order for things to come back to us in a positive way.

What are your guidelines for choosing design accents for your home?

I don't buy things because of what they represent on a broad scale or even because they are trendy — most of the time it's all about feeling a connection to something emotionally when I spot it and also whether it is something I can use or enjoy in my own home. If I don't love something these days, I don't buy it. Love it or leave it!

You chose a lot of items with some shade of blue. Is blue your favorite color?

Yes, I love blue. I would have to say it's one of my favorite colors because it reminds me of the ocean, which is my favorite place on earth to be. Blue, in all of its tones, is such a relaxing color in my opinion and really goes with so many other colors — the versatility is great.

What colors do you think will be big in design for the fall?

I think for Autumn '09 it's all about pairing neutrals with strong, vibrant colors, and I heard that gray/brown will be in — the industry refers to the color as "iron". I think the color palette will include olive most likely, which is a great color to pair with blues, greens, violets, reds ... it adds a lot of warmth.

Is there a color or color combination that you think people are tired of seeing?

I think people are tired of, at least in America, chocolate brown combined with robin's egg blue. Or at least I am!

What drew you to the look of Clayton Gray Home?

I think Wendy has a great eye and her look is very fresh and coastal. Plus, she is a fantastic business person — she really cares about her customers and goes above and beyond to make them happy.

What are your three main goals for your decor8 design blog?

To be approachable, friendly and supportive — always. I desire to promote art and design worldwide while sticking to what I'm passionate about and what falls within my own aesthetic. I want to be consistent, encouraging, honest and authentic to who I am and what I enjoy.

Are there any European design movements you see coming to the U.S., or vice versa?

I see the handmade movement growing into a huge trend in Europe — more and more, some of your more "practical" cultures have some great designers emerging as young people start to shake things up a bit and make real progress thanks to the internet, but also due to sites like DaWanda and other online marketplaces rising up. People finally have a place to sell their goods outside of America. Also, handmade markets are popping up in Europe, which is exciting because it really helps to expose the designers in a particular region who, before going to a market, may not have been known. I also see a trend with blogging in Europe and more bilingual or English blogs in order to attract a global audience. In America, I see the green trend growing, but sometimes for the wrong reasons — people who don't care about the planet are jumping on the bandwagon simply because they hope to be profitable because of it. I think, because America is such a huge consumer nation, that green will not be as much of a trend, but a way of life in the future, and this will certainly challenge designers here who currently are not concerned about it or who are getting involved for the wrong reasons.

When is your next trip to Europe and where will you go?

In August I will go to London and then onto Germany where I'll go to Hannover where I live but also Berlin and Hamburg for day trips since they're close to where I'm based over there. I'm also hoping to get to Paris for a week in September and in October I want to go back to England and spend a long weekend, or possibly Denmark.

Holly Becker chose the following Clayton Gray Home products as her June Picks:

Clayton Gray Home appreciates her design expertise and support!


1 comment:

  1. Great interview! Holly has loads of style and was very instrumental in inspiring me to start my blog. She is so supportive.


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