May 18, 2011

Book Review of Decorate by Holly Becker and Joanna Copestick

You may remember a few weeks ago that I attended the London book launch of ‘Decorate‘, written by Holly Becker from the blog, Decor8 and Joanna Copestick.

Well, today’s post is a review of this amazing interior design bible.  It’s so comprehensive though that I’m only going to concentrate on the flowery sections (funnily enough!), of which there are two : Flowers and Floral Style.


The Flowers section of the book covers displaying flowers and containers.  It includes the two stunning floral images below, taken by the very talented Debi Treloar.

Holly and Joanna suggest that you make a list of flowers that you’re drawn to and think about the colours which will work in each room in your house. They also advise you to always keep an eye out for containers, be it a vintage vase, a colourful teapot or a rustic jug to set off your blooms.

I love the quotes throughout the book which include:

‘Using one type of flower either en masse or in individual pots is always more arresting than a collection of colours and varieties.  The repetition of an idea is a very simple yet effective way of designing with flowers.’ Paula Pryke, florist

‘I love using one large vase filled with flowers with a much smaller vase next to it with just one flower in it on my mantel.  Keep adjusting positions until you are happy with the display.  A good tip is to step back so you can see the overall display.  Most of all, have fun with it.’ Selina Lake, stylist

The image below was styled by Sania Pell.  And Sania’s recently given details on her new blog about how you can create your own version of this beautiful disco vase.

The image above (styled by Holly) shows blue scabious blooms in an assortment of jars and bottles.  It’s so simple, yet so effective!

Floral Style

The Floral Style section shows beautiful photographs of the home of Charlotte Hedeman Gueniau, who runs the innovative home furnishings company, Rice.  Charlotte’s house is on the island of Fyn in Denmark and is a riot of zingy colours.

There’s bold pink rose wallpaper in her kitchen, together with floral crockery and lampshades.

Charlotte’s beautiful floral-inspired dining room is shown in the image below.  And Holly has very kindly given me an ‘inside scoop’ into how the table was styled:

?’I laid the table with mismatched Italian ceramics, quirky candle holders in bright colours, mismatched crystal wine glasses in bold brights and a mix of bud vases with blooms that I popped in to add a floral touch for an afternoon lunch party.

The vibe is casual and pretty. Also, each napkin on the plate is different — all are floral patterns with solid borders.

I removed cushions from the chairs to make it less busy and to keep most of the pattern on the table with a pop of colour on the bench at the end of the table.

There is a desk behind the table below the two shelves on the wall.  I cleared it to stop it distracting from the table setting when Debi was taking the shot – I felt the busiest part of this photo should be on the table along with the gorgeous pendants above it – that is the focal point.’

Thank you so much, Holly!  It’s wonderful to learn about how the table setting came together. And I’ll definitely take on board these great tips for the next time we have people over for a bite to eat!

Holly and Joanna also lay out some Floral Style Guidelines, ranging from how to display real flowers to knitting or crocheting your own floral designs.  Plus there are some pointers on how best to use floral fabrics.

If you’d like to update your home, I can highly recommend reading ‘Decorate‘. It’s full of inspirational creative advice and really is a feast for the eyes!

Oh and if you’d like daily interior design inspiration, do take a look at Holly’s blog

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(Images : Debi Treloar)

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