It's Q&A time with one of our favourite bloggers – Holly Becker, owner and creative director of Decor8. decor8blog.com.
Interview by Hana Jo
What lead up to the creation of Decor8?
Holly: I was working with clients on decorating projects and wanted to have a place online where I could share some of my ideas and inspirations. I kept thinking about writing on decor8 but procrastinated until one day I heard some advice that changed my life at a writing workshop. The instructor said, “If you're not on the internet, you do not exist,” and that really prompted me to action! I immediately went home, logged into my blog and wrote my first post. My career really took off from that point and I have blogging to thank!
Did you ever think you would make a career out of blogging?
I had no expectations when I started except that maybe I could grow my design practice somehow and eventually supplement my income by writing for magazines. No blogs at that time resonated with me so I set out to inspire myself and others through decor8. Little did I know that my blog would become its own magazine in a sense as my readership certainly is higher than most on the newsstands today and I can support myself from my blog income alone which is pretty rare.
"What do you think makes decor8 so popular?"
Readers primarily respond to my aesthetic - my eye - the things that I find and share on the blog that resonate with so many but along with that, my voice and personality. I've been told that decor8 is all about being creative, encouraging, global, upbeat, approachable and consistent from the way my posts look to the opinions that I share. I love being able to connect and share with so many people each day and to be part of this global online conversation called blogging.
Finish this sentence: I hope my blog inspires...
Creativity, confidence, a sense of community, encouragement and action - I love it when readers write in to tell me how something I said moved them to action with positive results whether it was a business decision, a decorating idea, a blog tip -- when decor8 inspires someone on this level I am so touched and it motivates me to keep writing, too!
You’re a teacher, writer, blogger, public speaker – which “job” do you enjoy the most?
All of them because the core to each role is the same -- sharing, teaching, acting as a commentator, connecting others and being creative.
Name three designers whose style you admire the most.
I follow lots of stylists and admire their talent, mostly. I'm a fan of Dietlind Wolf, Rebecca Thuss, Randi Brookman Harris, Paul Lowe, Sibella Court, Emily Chalmers, Sania Pell and Leslie Shewring. In the world of interiors I really dig Abigail Ahearn because her work is edgy, moody, often theatrical and risky - things that I'm definitely not known for when it comes to decorating which is why I find Abigail so intriguing... She is the night to my day, I guess.
Many bloggers, like yourself, seem to end up publishing books. Why do you think successful online blogs usually end up as printed books?
There are hundreds of thousands of blogs but only those that are producing quality content and who have talent and vision, along with a strong following, are being approached by publishing houses to potentially author a book. I didn't decide to finally become an author until I was ready and felt that I had something to say that I'm not already saying on my blog each day. I wanted to also show my own work, which I don't have time to produce for decor8 but in my current book and in my upcoming book, I am able to show my styling work and mood boards and so readers are able to see lots of exclusive content that I don't share on my blog.
If you had one interior design tip for someone decorating their home, what would it be?
Decorate from your heart and, your home is the one place on this planet where you can be YOU so turn it into something that really fits your vibe or, if you don't feel you have a vibe yet, create a space that has the vibe you love that you connect to - your first visceral reaction to something is usually a cue to something more...
Did you ever expect your blog to become so successful? Do you think you would have continued blogging if it didn’t?
Not at all! In fact, when I began, I didn't even think about things like that – my goal was to share, connect and start building a writing portfolio. Yes, I would have definitely continued blogging and imagine someday I'll be blogging in my granny years too.
What are your top three websites for design inspiration?
I love Pinterest, so fun! I also visit Lucy's blog The Design Files and I really like reading Sandra Juto's blog because she is a Swede in Berlin and I love seeing that super cool city through her eyes. If I can name a fourth, I love the Anthropologie website because I can see where they are going with trends and I find this super inspiring.
What do you think sets you apart from other design blogs?
That I'm the author of it! Really, it's that simple. We either make or break our blogs. If they become popular then it is because we are doing something that people are responding to.
Are there any new or exciting plans in the mix for you, or the blog? Another book perhaps?
Yes, MWA Design in London is currently rebranding and redesigning decor8 to roll out a new site in early May and I'm currently writing my second decorating book that will release this Fall. I will also teach creative workshops from my home studio space beginning in April and the next Blogging Your Way online class will kick off in a few months, too.