Decorate Book Signing


Last Friday, I ventured out to Holly Becker’s book signing for Decorate.  This would be one of those times where I was extremely grateful to have a few friends to attend with me.  (I don’t know why — but I often find myself at these things completely solo and feeling like the most conspicuous person in the room.)  This time, it was a relief to meet up with Kalani and Jane from the Borrowed Abode.  (Thanks girls!)

There is something about attending a class in Anthropologie with fancy paper straws and mint lemonade and being expected to mingle with other people who are also wearing their nice shoes that day — well, it can be a bit intimidating.  And seeing as I managed to get chocolate frosting from fancy Anthro-cupcakes all over myself only a few minutes after arriving, well, you can see where a girl would need a wing-person or two.

Awkwardness aside, it was a treat to meet Holly and also Leslie of A Creative Mint — albeit briefly.  They were both very kind and gracious, and you can tell they really wanted each person there to have a positive experience.

I know some people are curious about the Mood Board event, so I thought I would share a bit more.   Although I’ve read about her approach to mood boards on her blog and in her class, it was another thing altogether to see her create one live.  This mood board was for a child’s room and the jumping off point is this postcard by Swedish artist, Camilla Engman (below).


She began layering in other pieces beginning with a piece of scrapbook paper that might serve as the inspiration for the wall color — or even the wallpaper itself.  Other textile and paint color swatches are pulled from the same color palette, and the teal/gold swatch (upper left hand corner)  is the “little bit of wrong” in the mix that gives it a bit of edge.

It was really nice to hear her say things to the effect of “I made this version fancy for you, but you don’t have to cut out the fabric perfectly like this.”  It’s good to remember that the mood board process doesn’t have to be a mini work of art.  It was more about combining ideas and colors and using that as way to mix and edit ideas.


Both Holly and Leslie talked about how they round up inspiration and keep it portable by carrying small notebooks with them.  Leslie’s example was more about exploring new color combinations and ideas, while Holly was talking about using a portable version of her mood board as a shopping resource.  Ever since she mentioned this on her blog, I’ve been borrowing this idea heavily — and it has been a huge improvement from cramming scraps of fabric in my pockets so I can color match at the store.

Holly also invited Betsy Burnham to speak, and it was interesting to hear the point of view of a professional designer.  She shared with us how her office keeps large binders full of inspiring room and decoration ideas categorized by the style and room (example – Classic Kitchens).  It’s interesting to see how professionals take these techniques of inspiration gathering that many of us do intuitively and do it on a grander scale.


All in all, it was a really nice event and a good jump start to the weekend.  What about you?  What’s getting your creative juices flowing lately? It’s so good to get yourself out there to meet new people and be exposed to some fresh, creative energy.  Anyone else have plans to go do something daring?!

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3 Responses

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  1. I am so jealous! What a great event and thanks so much for putting together this post. I so wish I was standing in line with you. I also find I am often going to these things solo (I went to see Martha Stewart by myself!).

  2. I’m so glad you talked about the mood board presentation because I missed that when I went to the signing in Chicago! Holly is awesome. And glad you enjoyed your time with Kalani– I had the pleasure of meeting her at a lunch when I was in LA. The BYW connections are a wealth of friendliness and support, aren’t they?

  3. Fun! Glad you got to go and meet up with some folks; I would totally feel socially awkward if I had to go alone and yeah, I’d totally have frosting on my face too, lol! Thanks for sharing the mood board feature, very fun.

    I’m delighting in my American craft supplies at the moment. I finally picked up some rubber stamps and had all sorts of fun trying out fun ideas with them!