This month’s review is one I’ve been looking forward to since I’m a Decor8 fan from way back and have ‘met’ Holly through doing one of her online courses. I love her colourful style and warm personality and was curious to see how this would translate to a book. Here are my thoughts on Decorate by Holly Becker & Joanna Copestick.

My impressions

Within the first couple of pages I could tell that this was going to be a meaty decorating book, with a ton of information not just pretty pictures. The opening chapter ‘Space Matters’ deals with basics that are often overlooked on visual sources like blogs and Pinterest, including working with what you have, using or creating a focal point, maximising light, dividing spaces and floor & wall treatments.

The second chapter is all about Setting Your Style. The reader is guided through various styles (simple, natural, modern, flea market, colourful, floral and eclectic) with explanations on the hallmark signs of each. Holly is well-known for her 3-dimensional moodboards so it’s no surprise that she also explains how to create one to narrow down your style and create a vision for a room. I particularly liked the advice to ‘Be your own client’ and sit down and ask yourself (and partner/family) questions regarding the function of the space, budget and how you want the room to feel.

If you have a particular renovating project on the horizon, you’ll love the ‘Room by Room’ chapter, in which you’ll be walked through tips for layouts, planning, storage, furniture and fixtures for each room in your home.

Appropriately enough, the closing chapter’s aim is to develop our ‘Attention to Detail’. It goes through all kinds of finishing touches from rugs and lighting to pillows and mirrors, with special focus on displaying collections and flowers.


This is not some pretty cupcake that’s all icing – this is a real meat & potatoes kind of decorating book (in fact it took me a lot longer to read than expected!). These days, there’s no shortage of inspiration available online, so when I’m reading a decorating book I’m looking for juicy tips and advice. In Decorate, these come in various forms such as lists, case studies and floorplans, all interspersed with quotes from your favourite designers, bloggers and artists.

Better yet, it’s not just about tips to make your home look good, it’s about making it a functional space that works for the needs of your family (and you know I’m all about that). Every time they included tips about saving up for large pieces, using/creating heirlooms and letting your home evolve over time I was nodding away. I also appreciated that there were a lot of smaller houses/apartments and advice pertaining to making the most of small spaces.

Of course, all this information is illustrated by homes beautifully photographed by Debi Treloar. The houses covered a range of different styles, but they were all very appealing and fairly achievable. Even if your style isn’t specifically covered or if you have a modest budget, the photos and text are presented in a way that you’ll still find ideas that you can relate back to your own home.

Decorate didn’t read in the same way as the Decor8 blog (presumably partly due to there being a co-author Joanna Copestick and also the more formal nature of a book) but I didn’t even realise this until after I’d finished reading so it was not an issue for me at all. Regardless, there was plenty of personality coming through the homes, interviews with home owners and expert quotes.

I can see this becoming my go-to book whenever I’m redecorating a room or am stuck in a rut.

Buy this book if you:

  • Are trying to find your decorating style.
  • Know your style but are looking for tips to make it work within your space.
  • Are looking for a mix of information and inspiration.
  • Are new to decorating and aren’t sure where to start.
  • Love down-to-earth, relaxed and eclectic homes.
  • Have the basics down but need help pulling everything together.

This book may not be for you if you:

  • Are looking for pure inspiration.
  • Have a very contemporary, traditional or minimalist aesthetic.

Buy the book here!

Have you read Decorate? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!

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