Design Experts
Sep 26, 2011

A conversation with Holly Becker of Decor8

By: Elaine Song

A conversation with Holly Becker of Decor8 Author: Style At Home

Design Experts
Sep 26, 2011

A conversation with Holly Becker of Decor8

By: Elaine Song

Since Decor8 launched in 2006, it has climbed the ranks and become a must-read site for all things interior design and decor. This is no surprise considering the brains behind it all is Holly Becker. Whether you follow her online or offline, she is a reliable resource on design. Her wildly successful book, Decorate: 1,000 Inspirational Ideas For Every Room In Your Home, continues to grow in popularity worldwide, as does she. From international book tours, to public speaking and teaching, to her online blogging workshops, Holly Becker is an incredible example of how living true to your passion leads to success.

decor8-office.jpgPhotography by Thorsten Becker

1 If you could shadow any designer for a day, who would it be?
Holly Becker My dream is to spend a day with Australian designer and stylist, Shannon Fricke. I am so drawn to her as a person, but also to her aesthetic and attention to detail. But that's not all... My other big moment would be to accompany retail god, Keith Johnson from Anthropologie, on a shopping trip to simply watch him work his magic. I'd love to spend more time with Amy Butler combing flea markets because we did this in London together in April and I had so much fun! I'd like to spend a week with my friend, stylist and photographer Leslie Shewring, in her new home working on projects together. It would be fun to watch Sibella Court pull together a room, work with Sania Pell again on a project, spend time with stylist Maria Grossmann or watch Jonathan Adler work his magic. They are all so imaginative!

2 Where do you look for an obscure source of inspiration?
HB  There is this junk shop near my house. It is literally stacked with layers and layers of everything from old silverware to furniture, paintings, glassware, textiles. Everything smells old and looks unloved. The shop is completely disorganized and the people working there smoke non-stop and are quite disinterested in the store so the atmosphere is definitely far from charming, but it's one of those stores that I always find some very random bit that I buy and bring home and love – and it's usually a few Euros or less!

decor8-living-room.jpg
Photography by Debi Treloar, from Decorate: 1,000 Design Ideas For Every Room Of Your Home

4 Favourite restaurant?

HB My kitchen when my husband cooks! He makes the best hot dishes - total comfort food.

5 What's your favourite room to decorate?
HB My work room and living room since I spend so much time in both of them and because a bulk of my favourite things are in both rooms.

6 What's your current paint colour obsession?
HB I love charcoal gray walls at the moment that are very matte or with a bit of a silver metallic sheen to them. I also love dove gray walls combined with linen curtains because the combo of gray and beige is such a great foundation to work with – you can mix in teal and goldenrod in the winter or neon pink and chartreuse in the summer.

7 If one song could be the soundtrack to your life, what would it be?
HB There Is A Light That Never Goes Out by The Smiths for so many reasons that I don't know where to begin really. decor8-dining-room.jpg
Photography by Debi Treloar, from Decorate: 1,000 Design Ideas For Every Room Of Your Home

8 What's the one store you could spend hours browsing?

HB Liberty, ABC Carpet & Home, Designers Guild (flagship store in London), Merci, and Anthropologie – any location – they are the most inspiring stores! I also love the trim shop V.V.Rouleaux thanks to my friend Sania Pell who introduced me to them last spring.

9 London, Paris or New York?
HB London to shop, Paris to take photos and write, and New York for the energy and to connect with my friends and dance all night long.

10 If money were no object, what's one thing you would buy?
HB An old house with three floors in the city, but with a small yard, that I would gut, renovate and decorate with gorgeous things from all of my favourite stores. And I'd love a really cute Fiat in the driveway so I could zip around on the weekends. As for a single possession, I'd love the Moooi Paper Chandelier which I'd proudly install over my dining room table. I've had a crush on it for years and I still dream of owning one. I would also love to own the Poeten sofa by Finn Juhl and a few rugs from Madeline Weinrib and an Aquasilk rug from ABC Carpet.

11 What do you think is the best renovation you can do to your home?
HB Put your money into a great bathroom and kitchen. Always. You spend so much time in both of these spaces and if you sell, those are the rooms that matter most to buyers. decor8-vignette-display.jpg
Photography by Debi Treloar, from Decorate: 1,000 Design Ideas For Every Room Of Your Home

12 Favourite movie?

HB I love Blade Runner, but my favourite film has to be About A Boy. I really love that film because of the overall message, “No Man is an Island”, which is so true – we are so interdependent yet often we pretend we don't need anyone. Not true! It's easy to isolate ourselves with all of our gadgets and to think that existing online or via an iPhone is enough, but it's not – we need our community, friends and family. I also love the Bourne movies because Matt Damon is a doll and anything with Brad Pitt because, well he's Brad Pitt, um hello - total eye candy.

13 What's your favourite movie interior?
HB Again, I go back to About A Boy. I loved Hugh Grant's bachelor pad.

14 What do you think is the easiest way to update a room?
HB Paint! It takes an afternoon and a few gallons of paint and bingo! New room!

15 Best coffee table book?
HB I currently refer to Creative Walls by Geraldine James quite often – very imaginative wall displays and I think it's beautiful. decor8-open-shelves.jpg
Photography by Debi Treloar, from Decorate: 1,000 Design Ideas For Every Room Of Your Home .

16 What's your favourite way to spend a lazy Sunday?

HB Taking a long walk in the forest behind my house. Making hot cocoa or tea and reading magazines and books. Or taking a long drive in the countryside.

17 Do you like to be the entertainer or be entertained?
HB I love to entertain, definitely! Making others feel accepted, happy, encouraged, and inspired is something that I enjoy very much.

18 What's the biggest design faux pas?
HB Shopping from only a few sources, expecting to pull together an entire room in a weekend. It's often easy to visit a single store and buy everything in one go, but the real beauty and personality of a room shines through when things are collected over time from many different places, including other rooms in your own home, flea markets, hand-me-downs, and by upcycling and/or recycling pieces. Have fun decorating and enjoy the process!
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Design Experts

A conversation with Holly Becker of Decor8