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

The Scandinavian Style Interior

March 26th, 2014

Hi guys! As you know I spent four days last week in Scandinavia styling interiors for Jansje Klazinga to photograph for magazines. Day one kicked off with a visit to Tina in her beautiful neighbourhood of Osterbro in Copenhagen, and day two and three were spent in Malmo, Sweden, photographing the homes of Peggy and Niki before we set off back to Amsterdam on Friday evening. It was bliss. I had died and gone straight to heaven, and I cannot wait to share the results with you here soon. Jansje is the most talented interiors photographer, who regularly shoots cover stories for some of the biggest titles in the industry {such as this one which I styled that graced the March cover of vtwonen magazine}. She is a quiet achiever, calmly and efficiently snapping spaces to perfection, and I am so grateful to have crossed paths and to be working together.

Returning home, I am more inspired than ever by the kind of interior to be found in the north. I draw a lot of inspiration from Scandinavian interiors, as do the majority of the home owners I style and photograph for. In fact, if I don’t hear the word ‘Scandinavian‘ in any one of the interviews I have conducted with home owners over the past months for my Decor8 column, I’d be genuinely surprised. So what is it about nordic inspired interiors that has everyone in a tail spin? Today I want to share with you a few nordic inspired interiors {plucked from my Pinterest boards} and dig deeper into the style to find out!

The Scandinavian Style Interior by Avenue Lifestyle; Photography by Felix Forest and styling by Dina Broadhurst

HISTORICAL CHARM

Scandinavian homes, like a great many built before the second world war in Europe, ooze charm and character. Large windows, historical details such as beautiful woodwork, old fireplaces, exposed wooden beams, ceiling decoration and quirky tiling are quite commonly found inside a Nordic home. The Scandinavians really know how to make these lovely features stand out by decorating on the minimum and using subtle colour palettes, built upon a white base.

The Scandinavian Style Interior by Avenue Lifestyle; Design and styling by Hecker Guthrie and Photography by Derek Swalwell

CLEAN, UNCLUTTERED DECORATING

If anyone can take a long, white, narrow hallway look appealing, it’s a Scandinavian. They just seem to know how to edit their homes to a fine art by reducing clutter and keeping their spaces clean and bright. One key piece of furniture is that starting point, followed by a few well selected accessories, and finishing up with a hint of green. I think there’s a lot to be said about exercising restraint in the home and while it’s easier said than done, it sure would feel great to walk in the door to this simple but beautiful display!

The Scandinavian Style Interior by Avenue Lifestyle; Photography by Tigs Macallan

OLD MEETS NEW

One of my favourite aspects of Scandinavian decorating is that eclectic array of old, cherished items mixed in with new, sometimes design pieces that we so often see. The look is almost always seamless and is always inspirational because combining different design styles from varying time periods is not as easy as it looks. Keeping an underlying colour palette {whether you’re going all neutral or would like to throw in a few bright pops of your favourite hue} helps to bind the look together.

The Scandinavian Style Interior by Avenue Lifestyle; Photography by Bruce Buck for the New York Times

TEXTURE

Needless to say, when you live in a country that has freezing temperatures a generous portion of the year, you’ll want to have some cozy textures dotted around the house. I often see a sheep pelt draped across a dining chair, or perched on the floor in front of a reading chair to warm the toes. Whether it’s throw blankets of all weaves tossed on the sofa and beds, or rugs of the thick, fluffy and woolen type adorning the (often white painted wooden) floors, you can bet that the Scandinavians won’t be chilly in their pretty homes when the temperatures drop.

The Scandinavian Style Interior by Avenue Lifestyle; Muuto Stacked Shelf

BEAUTIFUL, FUNCTIONAL STORAGE SOLUTIONS

Ikea wouldn’t be the giant that it is if it didn’t offer well thought out, simple storage solutions for all types and styles that can be easily put together. But no matter the budget, Nordic homes often have storage solutions that are as pretty as they are practical. This open stacked shelving system by Muuto is a wonderful piece in which to store books and treasures, but editing is key. Stacking books and magazines every which way and adding accessories to the shelves is all well and good, but editing items away so as not to overfill the boxes is somewhat of a fine art!

The Scandinavian Style Interior by Avenue Lifestyle; Photography by Karen Dinesen for Femina

CALM, COOL, COLLECTED COLOUR

Colour is always an area that interests me because I use it sparingly at home. Not because I don’t like colour, but because I never feel as if I have struck quite the right balance of it around my home {I suppose we’re all most critical of our own homes}.  But Scandinavians sure know how to work a colour palette. Just one or two key pieces in a surprising hue is enough to turn a neutral based room into a cheerful and uplifting space.

The Scandinavian Style Interior by Avenue Lifestyle; Photography by Therese Winberg and styling by Anna Malmgren for Plaza Interiör

LIGHT, AND MORE LIGHT

Saving the best for last here, because light is perhaps the key ingredient to Nordic decorating. When the temps drop and days turn dark just past midday, it’s crucial that homes offer enough natural light that it’s owner doesn’t end up in an institution. Having spent 7 years in Europe, I understand this now more than ever. It makes a huge difference to your wellbeing whether or not you get enough natural light, so keeping walls white really helps, particularly in work spaces because the brain just doesn’t function like it should in darkness, and small spaces. Working all the white in with warm wood tones, as well as bringing some greenery indoors and weaving in a few of your favourite hues, keeps the space from looking stark.

Do you like the Scandinavian  style of decorating? Would you get tired of all that white? What are some of your favourite Scandinavian brands? I’d love to read your thoughts.

What I personally love about the Scandinavian interior is its ability to appear casual, yet elegant, refined yet inviting, and it never takes itself too seriously. And from someone who doesn’t commit to even the loveliest colour for more than five minutes, I particularly love the white base for it’s versatility.

Well, that’s it for me folks! Hope you’re feeling inspired by this post and have come away with a few ideas.

See you again soon,

Holly x

Image credits: 1. Photography by Felix Forest / styling by Dina Broadhurst; 2. Design and styling by Hecker Guthrie / Photography by Derek Swalwell; 3. Photography by Tigs Macallan; 4. Photography by Bruce Buck for the New York Times; 5. Muuto; 6. Photography by Karen Dinesen for Femina; 7. Photography by Therese Winberg / styling by Anna Malmgren for Plaza Interiör