Decor8 blogger-turned-author Holly Becker (above), spent more than 20 years in Massachusetts -- bouncing between Swampscott, Nahant, Revere, and Melrose -- before moving to Germany with her husband in 2009.
Before she makes an appearance, we snagged her for a few tips on home design:
Stylephile: What's the hardest part about being an American decorator in Germany?
Holly Becker: Having to navigate the hardware stores! The words here are super long so it's hard to put together what things mean. You'll be trying to find things like paint and nails, things you take for granted, and you’ll just be standing there with a wide open mouth. It’s like starting again in kindergarten.
Did you ever think you'd transition from blogging to books?
I always wanted to be an author since I was a child. I would write ten copies of the book and have a signing with my dolls and bears. Now to be an author and sign for humans, it's kind of an interesting twist.
What was your first home -- on your own -- like?
Once I got to be 19 or 20, I moved out [of my parent's home] and lived on my own. It was a one room apartment [in Revere] and it was a complete dump. I knew the people who owned the house and they trusted me with renovating it myself but I had to pay for the renovations myself.
It had paneling in the kitchen -- you what I'm talking about, those Boston apartments...
Paneling! So I stuccoed all the gaps and rented a hand sander and primed the walls. By the time I was done, it looked like there had never been paneling at all.
That sounds like quite a lot of work. What about for someone like me? What's a quick fix for a first apartment?
Thorough cleaning! A good thorough cleaning can really give you a good foundation to get started. You’d be surprised if you really scrub hardwood floors and walls well, you’ll reveal good quality materials.
Also, always divert the eye from the problem area. If your carpeting or flooring is absolutely hideous, go to West Elm or IKEA and buy a really large area rug. Try to accessorize things that will distract from the things you can’t change – patterned pillows, throws, artwork or prints you frame yourself.
Meet Holly Becker at her book signing from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20 at Anthropologie, 799 Boylston St., Boston.
[Becker's headshot by Tiffany Kirchner-Dixon; book images courtesy Chronicle Books]