An interview with decor8 blogger, Holly Becker
Explain to me how the concept of Decorate came about?
During the Fall of 2009 British author, Joanna Copestick, contacted me about a book project called Decorate. I had just relocated from the US to Germany and was still in the thick of settling in so I was unsure about starting a book at that time but I still listened to what she had to say as her ideas were similar ones I had when I envisioned someday writing my first decorating book. A few months went by, we continued talking on the phone, and as I settled in to my new country and culture, things started to take shape and I felt the timing was right. At some point in our conversations, I got my literary agent involved and explained in detail my vision, what I was passionate about and who I wanted to involve and to my surprise, the publisher (Jacqui Small) was receptive to some of my ideas. I think they wanted to work with someone with fresh ideas and I had plenty of them! I also knew that Chronicle Books would publish the book alongside Jacqui Small and since I had always wanted to be one of their authors I felt strongly to proceed forward into the unknown and go for it. From there, contracts were signed, meetings in London and Copenhagen took place, locations were scouted, trips were booked and we wrote and traveled from March-August then worked on edits in the Fall and that was it – finished in 2010 and released in April 2011, record time!
How would you describe ‘Decorate’ as an interior design book?
A thorough, inspiring, accessible, fresh, worth-every-cent decorating must-have for every library! It contains the best decorating ideas out there in one gorgeous package. It’s a design book you will actually read! I interviewed nearly 100 creative people from graphic designers to interior designers and stylists, then we sprinkled their quotes throughout the book because that way, readers would be enticed to read them and learn — not just look at the pretty pictures as is often the case with design books. It’s a very positive, encouraging book – you will walk away feeling motivated to decorate and much more confident. Decorate is for the coffee table and for the heart.
Decorate must be a dream come true for you….how are you feeling with the overall success?
Happy! Happy! Happy! I thought I’d have a book launch party at my house and sign copies for close friends… and that’s it! You can only imagine how I felt when it completely sold out during pre-orders in the US and became a Wall Street Journal Bestseller during the month of its release, at #2! That was the greatest confirmation of success, ever. I haven’t stopped smiling since March and constantly remind myself that my friends, decor8 readers and others, are making this happen and how grateful I am for their support and encouragement. The book will print a third time now in the US and UK and has been published in Australia as well. It will be translated and released soon in German, French, Finnish, Polish and there has been some interest in Swedish, Dutch and Danish translations so we’ll see! Decorate exceeded my expectations and I couldn’t be happier. I think one of the greatest moments was launching the book at Liberty in London and having a full house and a line to my signing table that wrapped around the room. I felt honored signing books and having people want their photo taken with me. The event sold-out and had to be extended beyond one evening, I ended up doing three events at Liberty over the course of two days, the reception was that incredible because people online who read blogs like decor8 are supportive, encouraging and extremely close knit. We all want to be a part of what the other one is doing because we’re a part of an important network. I will soon be off to America to celebrate the launch of Decorate at Anthropologie stores in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New York City and I can’t wait to see if these events are anything like the Liberty one because I really don’t know what to expect! Then, I’ll be back in the states in September to do a signing at The Creative Connection in St. Paul, and later in September I’ll be in London speaking at 100% Design, Decorex, Focus and hosting an in-store Decorate Brunch Event at Anthropologie on Kings Road on Sunday, September 25th — your readers are invited to drop by to learn about mood boards, participate in a group mood board project, and mix and mingle with others who love decorating and design! What a whirlwind this has been!
There are a few British homes in Decorate – tell me what’s your take on British design, how would you describe it?
I love the British sense of style — classic meets quirky, cozy, sometimes a bit sexy with a certain edge and boldness and I love that. British design embraces texture, color, pattern and the fine details. Some of my favorite designers and stylists include Abigail Ahearn, Emily Chalmers, Sania Pell, Emma Cassi, Squint, Susannah Hunter, Tricia Guild, Vicki Murdoch, Rosemary Milner, Catherine Hammerton, Deborah Bowness… I could go on and on and on!
What has been your favourite aspect of putting Decorate together?
I loved every aspect quite honestly, but if I had to pick one it would be meeting homeowners and styling their homes – I loved that part most because I could be creative and work one-on-one with Debi Treloar, who was absolutely lovely to work with. I learned so much from her and can’t wait to work with her again in the near future.
You are now an established book author, what does the future hold for you? Are there any exciting new projects on the horizon?
Yes! I want to do more in-store demonstrations and meet ups for bloggers and other creative types, continue teaching both decorating and blogging in my online classes as well as offline and produce and write more books – definitely!
Arianna Trapani is Editor-in-chief for Heart Home. She is an Interior decorator and Stylist with an extreme passion for interiors. Having studied art at a young age and worked for some very well known Interior designers there is no hiding her passion for design. She authors the award-winning blog Arianna Interiors and can be found on Twitter at @Arianna_trapani. Read more posts by Arianna Trapani.
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