Featured: Organic Herb Inspired Cheese Table

April 24th, 2014

Hey guys! I am excited to share a feature with you that I have held on to for quite a while now, a styled cheese table I created inspired by herbs and organic market fresh produce which, thanks to stunning imagery by Anouschka Rokebrand, has featured on the beautiful lifestyle blog Style Me Pretty Living. Here are a few of my favourite shots, but be warned, you’ll need a snack and a glass of wine on hand for this one because it has my mouth watering just thinking of all the delicacies I got to play with for this feature. Oh, and if you’re up for a giggle, there’s a video below captured by cinematographer Ray Pluym of me putting the table together {you’ll have to wait until the end for the bloopers, which almost always occur when one isn’t exactly comfortable with being on film!}. Enjoy!

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 8.59.44 PM

View More: http://anouschkarokebrand.pass.us/editorial-december

View More: http://anouschkarokebrand.pass.us/editorial-december

The inspiration behind this shoot was the organic simplicity of the pared down table, the use of local natural market fresh produce for a stylish, simple and fun setting for a gathering. It’s fun to entertain but preparing a full meal can be stressful, so this table was all about offering dinner guests a simple but delicious array of cheese, cold cuts, fruit and salty crackers.

View More: http://anouschkarokebrand.pass.us/editorial-december

View More: http://anouschkarokebrand.pass.us/editorial-december

View More: http://anouschkarokebrand.pass.us/editorial-december

View More: http://anouschkarokebrand.pass.us/editorial-december

View More: http://anouschkarokebrand.pass.us/editorial-december

View More: http://anouschkarokebrand.pass.us/editorial-december

View More: http://anouschkarokebrand.pass.us/editorial-december

View More: http://anouschkarokebrand.pass.us/editorial-december

For each place setting I created a bouquet garni of fresh oregano, sage, rosemary and thyme bound together with twine, as well as simple but pretty little jars filled with fig conserve (which pairs beautifully with cheese) decorated with a strip of linen and a piece of natural twine.

I also crushed sea salt and fresh herbs in a pestle and mortar for sprinkling on cheese for lots of amazing flavor. Flowers were kept simple and natural and were a mix of herbs (sage, rosemary and thyme) with some garden greens.

View More: http://anouschkarokebrand.pass.us/editorial-december

View More: http://anouschkarokebrand.pass.us/editorial-december

Didn’t Anouschka capture the table and all the details beautifully? The venue was just gorgeous too, with those large cathedral style windows. We actually shot the Delft Blue table in the same location and loved it so much. It is the industrial workspace belonging to a friend who owns the design studio Strack Stijl en Concept and allowed us to set up shop in there for a day to create this look.

And now for the video. I am not sure how I feel about me being on film and explaining something that comes so naturally and developed from within, but here goes, the bloopers and all! I am looking forward to working more with film though, and had a lot of fun messing around with Ray to create this one.

Well I hope you are inspired to get some mates together for a simple but delicious cheese platter. See you soon for some wedding updates! And for more from the whole shoot, click here or visit Anouschka’s blog.

Holly x

Photography: Anouschka Rokebrand | Styling: Holly Marder / Avenue Lifestyle | Cinematography: Ray Pluym |Porcelain Cheese Platters, Napkins, Jam Jars And Cheese Platter: Dille En Kamille | Venue: Strack Stijl & Concept, Maasland | Wine Glasses: Ikea

Bedroom Makeover: Before & During!

April 15th, 2014

Hi guys! A couple of weeks ago I shared a project I have been working on with the help of Histor. You can catch up on that post here. When the paint company Histor launched a new campaign offering people 20 minutes of free live advice from one of their trained stylist’s throughout April, I jumped on board. As you might know, we purchased our first home last November and have been working on fixing it up. It was in a bit of a sorry state but it’s a 1920s row house with some lovely original details and lots of natural light. As we have been bedroom hopping for the last 5 months while we work on the house, I thought that some advice and a solid deadline would go in handy and decided to make April the month of slapping our bedroom into shape.

I shared an inspiration board with you in the last post, but just to recap, this is what I am heading towards this month:

Bedroom Inspiration by Avenue Lifestyle

So with that lovely, light, bright and cool inspiration in mind, I’m back today to share the before and during shots with you! You ready? I wouldn’t normally post awful before shots but for the sake of this project, I thought you’d appreciate the full scoop. They are a little scary so brace yourself but here goes!

bedroom project before

So there you have it. The room, which is not very large, has two lovely original wooden framed windows that we wanted to be a feature in the room. For the to happen, some colour had to go!

Pretty much every surface in this room was painted in a different colour when we bought the house. The walls were bright orange and cerise pink , the wooden window frames were painted bright yellow and the ceiling was a soft shade of lilac. The original wooden floorboards were hiding beneath a dirty layer of orange vinyl. If there’s one colour that I just do not do, it’s orange. So that was the first thing to go!

bedroom project before 1

 

To get the space feeling fresh, we needed white paint, and a LOT of it. We wanted to get the space back to a white and bright space that we could layer in subtle colour and texture and create a soothing bedroom. Once the vinyl was out the window we cleaned, sanded and painted the floors white, and had the walls plastered as some of them were in really back condition, crumbling to the floor as a slight touch. We then painted the walls and wooden window frames white, as well as the ceiling to open up the space and promote light!

bedroom project during

With a clean slate to work with, I was excited to receive some advice from one of the stylists at Histor about how to get those awful heating pipes a little less visible and get a second opinion on the colour scheme. After our conversation, I received all I needed to get started.

bedroom project during 1

Old European homes usually have exposed heating pipes and radiators, which aren’t the prettiest but can easily be disguised with a lick of paint. After being advised to thoroughly clean the pipes and radiators to remove any dust or oil, give them a gentle sanding to roughen the surface, I applied two layers of Histor Radiatorlak Acryl which has a lovely chalky finish. It was a task that I had been putting off and it was done in a matter of an hour. And the results are much better. Once the furniture is in, we won’t even notice them. To give the room some contrast, I used a pale grey colour on one wall surrounding the door.

IMG_3447

I am so happy that this space is finally ready for us to move in. I’ll be back next week to share the ‘After’ photos of the space with our stuff in it.

If you are contemplating a DIY project and don’t know where to being, Histor are still offering free live advice via Skype, FaceTime or over the phone, giving both technical and aesthetic advice and tips. Sometimes even the simplest project can lead to stress as well as wasted time and materials so if you’re based in the Netherlands jump online and book your session.

See you back here for that soon!

Holly x

Image credits: Holly Marder / Avenue Lifestyle

 

Inside Scoop: Fresh Scandi Inspired Style in Amsterdam

April 7th, 2014

Hi guys! I’ve been prepping like a mad woman for a presentation I am giving tomorrow at Anouschka Rokebrand‘s photography workshop where I will be talking about working with a photographer from a stylist’s point of view. It’s a daunting task and I needed a slight diversion from it all so I thought I’d pop in to share with you a few snaps I took recently for my Homes With Heart column on Decor8. Step inside the light, bright Scandinavian style Amsterdam home of Jessica Peters, the owner of the lovely interiors boutique Design Lemonade. Her affinity for a muted palette and bright shocks of colour interspersed here and there and the charming vignettes throughout her home hit the spot for me. Enjoy!

Fresh Scandi Inspired Style in Amsterdam by Holly Marder/Avenue Lifestyle

Scandi Inspired Style in Amsterdam by Holly Marder/Avenue Lifestyle

 

Scandinavian Inspired Style in Amsterdam by Holly Marder/Avenue Lifestyle

Scandinavian Inspired Style in Amsterdam by Holly Marder/Avenue Lifestyle

Scandinavian Inspired Style in Amsterdam by Holly Marder/Avenue Lifestyle

Scandinavian Inspired Style in Amsterdam by Holly Marder/Avenue Lifestyle

Scandinavian Inspired Style in Amsterdam by Holly Marder/Avenue Lifestyle

Jessica and her husband renovated their home from top to toe, altering the entire layout of the 92m2 space in just three months. They updated the kitchen, bathroom and floors, careful to keep the historical charm of their home which they initially fell in love with, in tact.

With a keen eye for Dutch design and a love of the Scandinavian decorating ethos that relies primarily on light and furniture basics, Peters has infused their historical home with “a fresh mix of design items and basics, old items and new.” I personally love the display of boxes above the dining table, and Jessica’s simple yet cozy approach to decorating.

What do you love about this home?

For the full story about this home and more images, pop on over to Decor8 and have a peek. You will also find a selection of images from this home tour over at My Scandinavian Home.

Have a great week, guys! I need to get back to prepping for tomorrow’s presentation but I’ll let you know how it went! Wish me luuuuck!

Holly x

Image credits: Holly Marder/Avenue Lifestyle

Family Shoot with Hanke Arkenbout

April 3rd, 2014

Hi guys! If you follow me on Instagram you might remember that I recently had a photo shoot with the lovely Hanke Arkenbout. I shared a sneak peek of the shoot here. We had crossed paths at various events over the last few months, until she contacted me a couple of weeks ago inviting me to an impromptu photo session that same week. As I knew I would have my little girl Lola with me on the day she suggested we meet, I thought it would be a lovely idea to do a mother-daughter shoot as we haven’t had many lovely pictures taken of the two of us. I also knew that asking the big guy to do another photo shoot (the poor guy had done so well at our engagement session with Anouschka Rokebrand) might be pushing things a bit, so a mother-daughter shoot it would be! Hanke shoots mainly in film and did a beautiful job. These images moved me to a complete loss of words {which doesn’t happen very often} so it is with much excitement that I share some of my favourite snaps with you today.

Hanke Arkenbout Photography

Family Session with Holly of Avenue Lifestyle, captured by Hanke Arkenbout Photography

Family Session with Holly of Avenue Lifestyle, captured by Hanke Arkenbout Photography

Family Session with Holly of Avenue Lifestyle, captured by Hanke Arkenbout Photography

I had such a ball with my little munchkin. She was on her very best behavior the whole afternoon – I managed to get her to have a little nap beforehand so she wouldn’t be tired and grumpy, so the first half of the shoot she was super sweet and cuddly. Normally she’d be bouncing off the walls and talking {and singing!} non stop, the little fire cracker! We spent the afternoon at our local forest and lake, The Delftse Hout,  perched by the lakeside on a blanket under a beautiful old tree. I took a bag of snacks to keep Miss Lola happy and a book, so while mama was frolicing in front of Hanke’s lens, Lola was watching on, one hand in the bag, one hand pointing at her mama’s flowy {princess} skirt.

Hanke Arkenbout Photography

Family Session with Holly of Avenue Lifestyle, captured by Hanke Arkenbout Photography

Family Session with Holly of Avenue Lifestyle, captured by Hanke Arkenbout Photography

Family Session with Holly of Avenue Lifestyle, captured by Hanke Arkenbout Photography

Family Session with Holly of Avenue Lifestyle, captured by Hanke Arkenbout Photography

Family Session with Holly of Avenue Lifestyle, captured by Hanke Arkenbout Photography

 

The morning of the shoot, my husband-to-be surprised me by saying that he might like to join the shoot at the end, after work. So he cycled over to the forest to meet us and jumped in for the last few shots on Hanke’s film. It was so lovely and I’m thrilled to have these precious family photos.

Hanke Arkenbout Photography

Family Session with Holly of Avenue Lifestyle, captured by Hanke Arkenbout Photography

Family Session with Holly of Avenue Lifestyle, captured by Hanke Arkenbout Photography

Hanke Arkenbout Photography

Family Session with Holly of Avenue Lifestyle, captured by Hanke Arkenbout Photography

Hanke Arkenbout Photography

Hanke Arkenbout Photography

Hanke Arkenbout Photography

Gosh I love those two! They are my greatest gift.

A HUGE thank you to Hanke for capturing these beautiful moments with me and my family on your old Canon. You truly work wonders behind the lens and are incredibly gifted.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend,

Holly x

All images by Hanke Arkenbout Photography

Bedroom Restyle with Histor: The Inspiration

April 1st, 2014

Hey guys! Do you remember the Piet Hein Eek / Histor collaboration I participated in last year? I was asked to style and paint my very own limited edition designer cabinet using Histor’s lovely paints for a special campaign they were running at the time. The results were lovely and I really enjoyed doing it, so when Histor asked me to collaborate on a new campaign they are running this month, I was quick to agree! Starting today and throughout the month of April they are offering those undertaking a DIY job the opportunity to receive 20 minutes of live advice from a Histor stylist via Skype, FaceTime or over the phone, giving both technical and aesthetic advice and tips. I think it’s a fabulous idea because sometimes even the simplest project can lead to stress as well as wasted time and materials.

When I was approached by Histor, an idea was born to turn this collaboration into a renovation related challenge! As you know, we have been fixing up our house since we bought it last November, and  have been bedroom hopping ever since while we work on some of the other rooms. It hasn’t been ideal, and sometimes you just need a kick up the bum and a deadline to make some serious progress. For me, that kick up the bum presented itself in the form of this collaboration.

Bedroom Inspiration by Avenue Lifestyle

Our bedroom was in serious need of a restyle. When we bought the house, every single surface was painted in a different colour. The walls were bright green, orange, cerise pink and cobalt blue, the wooden window frames were painted bright yellow and the ceiling was purple. Yes, purple. (What the…?!) In fact it wasn’t even until we had three of the walls replastered that we actually noticed the colour of the ceiling, because the rest of the space was so overbearingly colourful! We have spent so much time and effort over the last couple of months turning that crazy space into the clean, white and bright space that I knew it could be. We stripped the orange vinyl floors and revealed the regional wooden floorboards. We cleaned, sanded and painted the floors white (the old wood wasn’t in the best condition so painting them was really our only option besides replacing them altogether). We have painted the walls and wooden window frames white, as well as the ceiling (that wasn’t a fun job!).

So now we have a clean slate to work with, I have naturally been wondering what to do with the room. I tend to be rather indecisive, and my style can change from one moment to the next, so getting some live advice from a stylist in the colour department (and testing the ideas I originally had on her) was super helpful. I knew I wanted a crisp, white base, but wanted to add some moody tones and texture to the space, while keeping it minimalist because the room isn’t all that large. I am rather drawn to deep blues at the moment, combined with natural textures such as the beautiful bed linen from Couleur Locale, perhaps some romantic touches such as some crocheted lace and maybe even a vintage kilim floor rug eventually with rusted, muted tones. So with this moodboard, a little sneak peek into what I’m working towards.

Over the coming month, while the Histor Live Advice campaign is running, I will be whipping our new bedroom into shape. A fun challenge with a deadline! In the next post I will walk you through what I will actually be doing and after that, I will reveal the shocking before pics, the less shocking during pics and finally some images of the (mostly) finished space. Sound like fun?

Is anyone else in the midst of a renovation and would like to share your experience or tips with me? Are any of you tackling your own DIY project at home?

Those based in the Netherlands that might just be in need of some  advice on colours and methods, make sure you jump online and book your free live advice session with your own stylist and make it happen! I am excited to see what my blogger pal Souraya from Binti Home comes up with after her live session. She’s got something really pretty in the making!

Holly x

Image credits: Moodboard compiled by Avenue Lifestyle; (from top left, clockwise) 1. Heidi Lerkenfeldt;  2. Toast; 3. Couleur Locale; 4. colour swatches via House Beautiful; 5. Madeylnn Furlong of wide eyed legless