Credit: Photo © by Anouschka Rokebrand.
1) All four of your books are dealing with living and decorating in a very personal style. What makes a house a home to you?
Holly Becker: »Aside from the obvious – love, family, pets, etc. A home needs to reflect the taste and lifestyle of those living there. A catalog home of perfection and serenity is not always an authentic picture and can only be found on Instagram! There are often other family members with their own needs, children with dirty hands, and furry pets. However, a home that feels good to wake up to each day and enter each night – a home that supports you and your family, a home that you are proud to share with others, a home that reflects your personality – this is what makes a house a home.«
2) Leslie Shewring and you are the author’s team for two of these books. How do you manage to work together living so far away from each other?
Holly Becker: »I am in Hannover, she is on Vancouver Island in British Columbia and we have managed to work together living on opposite sides of the world because we frequently use Skype, Whatsapp and email! It’s the only way! We communicate almost daily, even when not working on a book, because aside from working together on projects from time to time, we are also very close friends. This is another important key. We can make decisions often without consulting the other because we just “know” the other will be okay with us. We trust each other. We don’t allow any ego to come into our partnerships – we both respect and value the opinion of the other and me, being the stronger personality, have definitely had to learn to be less forceful and to yield more throughout the years – Leslie is much more laid back and I can be a bit more opinionated. However, I have learned to calm down a lot and to just enjoy the process more than anything else and when I let go of the stress, our work is more pure and relaxing – but also comes out better in the end. It’s not easy to work with a friend in business and usually people advise against it, but for her and I it really works just fine. Leslie cares me for and wants the best for me and I always want the best for her. When that is at the core of your relationship, you can do anything together.«
3) Creating a decorating style for meeting friends and sharing moments of life fills up your latest book »Feierlaune«. How do you create special elements at ease?
Holly Becker: »I don’t fear the judgement of others because honestly, the people in my life are not coming over to judge me or to find something negative – I don’t have time for friends like that! This is how I create my parties with ease, I create them to make my friends happy but equally to make myself feel good and to use my creativity – I like to be creative and I’m a natural maker – I am my happiest when I am able to do things with my hands and then share that work with others. I like to watch people walk into my home and smile and instantly feel loved and welcomed. It’s such a precious thing – friendship – and yet so often we take our friends for granted don’t we? Parties, no matter how small, are such a nice way to say, “Hey I love you, you matter to me, I did this for you”.«
4) How important are self-made things in life? Why?
Holly Becker: »In a world that is so consumed with mass-produced items, even our grocery stores and cafes are packed with over processed and mass made things – you can’t escape it. Then we constantly online scanning and scrolling and texting… There is no sense of connection yet we are the most connected – it’s crazy to think about! This is why self-made things matter. They bring a sense of connection and authenticity.«
5) Do you do all the craft work alone or are you sharing this with friends and family, too? Who may help?
Holly Becker: »Mostly alone. Later, I’ll recruit my little boy but he’s still too young!«
6) What’s the most important factor for a heartwarming party? The hostess? Meal & drinks? The decoration?
Holly Becker: »Atmosphere! And this is a combination of good decoration and food and a welcoming hostess who is happy to have you.«
7) What does slowing down mean to you? And what may it mean to your readers? Does it mean to switch off all electronic devices and get back to an “old school” life reading a printed Holly Becker book?
Holly Becker: »Slowing down is different for everyone. Some people are slowing down when they are reading news online, they enjoy relaxing with their iPad to pin things on Pinterest or read the New York Time online. I find Pinterest and reading books on my Kindle app very relaxing. I also love to read printed materials I can hold, like books and magazines. Honestly, slowing down is more of a state of mind than what you are doing. Some people do yoga and still can’t slow down in their mind (like me). If I’m doing a hard workout though listening to loud pop music, I slow down mentally. See what I mean? There is no “one size fits all”. Just find what works for you and practice it religiously, daily, even just for 30-60 minutes.«
8) Which are your favorite interior books on the shelf?
Holly Becker: »I love my books by Sibella Court, Ilse Crawford, Sania Pell, Emilie Gupta and Shannon Fricke. I find Ilse’s words incredibly sincere and Sibella’s aesthetic so unique to her, expressing a genuine sense of wanderlust and curiosity that resonates with me. When it comes to pure eye candy though for Interiors, that »Kinfolk Home« book is just unreal. I love that one.«