Inside Scoop: Nostalgic Meets Modern

August 18th, 2015

So I thought it was time for another Inside Scoop and show you through this home I photographed for my decor8 column a couple months back. Literally, this is one of the most interesting and refreshing homes I have been inside with it’s eclectic but clean mix of retro and vintage pieces; bold lashings of colour throughout yet a calming palette resonates. It’s not easy to pull off this much vintage in one space but homeowner Guida, a delightful Portuguese woman sharing her waterfront home with her Dutch husband and two sons, gets it right. She strikes the perfect balance between old and new, throwing in the kitsch but not at the detriment to her sleek and sophisticated sense of style. And lucky for me, she lives a stone’s throw from my place so I get to pop in a marvel at her stylish sensibilities pretty much any time I want. In fact, that’s how I discovered her home, through peeking through her windows on my way into town pretty much daily for about a year! When I finally rang the doorbell, I was so glad I did. I was delighted to see that it was just as lovely from the inside as it was from the curb. Here’s the scoop!


You can read the full story and see more images over on decor8, but here’s a quick recap of the feature I wrote on this gorgeous home. Guida and her husband Bas bought this home, which dates back to the early 1900s after falling for the space, beautiful water views and close proximity to their home town of Delft, The Netherlands. Little was needed little to make it feel like home, though the couple broke through one of the walls to create a light and spacious open living and dining area and removed tired carpeting from the upper floors and stairs, giving them a fresh coat of paint. see more…

Native Line Wall Hangings

August 7th, 2015

For an interior project I’ve been working on lately, I’ve been shopping woven wall hangings. For the last year or so, hand woven textiles works of art have made a comeback from the 70s in a big way and have stuck around with boho interiors a big thing right now as well as trends in weaving and the growing culture surrounding craftsmanship. Wall hangings are not everybody’s cup of tea, sure, but I personally love me some textile art and the graphic lines, muted palette and use of materials in these works from Native Line are about the most beautiful I’ve seen yet.





Native Line is a convergence of creative works from the artist Justine Ashbee. After spending several months in the desert, the landscape that most speaks to her, her light inspired visions unraveled in new woven forms. Native Line consists of one off woven pieces which stem from her early explorations in weaving metal sculptures, as a textiles student, at the Rhode Island School of Design. Inspired by the timeless motifs of indigenous woven craft work, Justine combines geometric lines with shimmering metals, to create luminary pieces of woven art.




Aren’t they stunning? The delicate detailing, earthy tones and textures and subtle metallics make these true works of art. I see them as being an investment, an heirloom to move from generation to generation being adored in countless homes over countless years. The collection for sale can be viewed here. I hope these wall hangings have inspired you as mush as they did me.

So what’s been happening? Other than shopping wall hangings, I’ve been working several new interior projects for clients these last months, which I can’t wait to reveal to you. All in good time. The best interiors take time to evolve. It’s an organic process, as it should be. And if you’ve been keeping an eye on Instagram, you’ll have noticed I took a short break away to the Belgian Ardennes for the marriage between two very dear friends in a week-long celebration staying at a beautiful old chateau. I had a hand in the styling of their big day, did all the florals, was a bridesmaid and even sang for them as they walked down the aisle (I do a pretty mean Ave Maria, I’ll have you know), so as you can imagine I was a bundle of nerves. Despite the heavens opening the morning of the wedding and their outdoor soiree having to be pulled indoors at the last minute, it was a beautiful celebration. Head over to photographer Anouschka Rokebrand for a peek at the photographs.

In other news, I was out frolicking in sand dunes and forest with the ever amazing Hanke Arkenbout shooting a lifestyle session I can’t wait to share with you, and yesterday I had the new Sofacomany showroom behind my lens. Is it just me or is this year just dissolving? I feel as if everyone’s so busy at the moment, just running through life. Let’s make sure we stop every now and then to take it all in.

See you guys soon,

H x

// Photography original to Native Line

Enter the Loft | An Amsterdam Pop-Up

July 19th, 2015

The Loft is a fully designed and decorated loft space located along a canal in downtown Amsterdam, which is open twice per year for two weeks as a pop-up concept store for design enthusiasts to visit, be inspired and invest in an exclusive, lovingly curated collection of items for the home. Co-founder and head designer of The Loft, 28-year-old Kassandra Schreuder, invited me behind the scenes a few months ago to document the inspiring space for a 4-page feature in the Dutch magazine vtwonen. With the feature out this month, I thought you’d enjoy reading about The Loft and Kassandra’s role in the project. I translated Caroline Westdijk’s wonderful interview she wrote to accompany my images into English (you’re welcome) so those outside The Netherlands who are thinking of visiting Amsterdam could read along too. Get the full scoop, plus the full image collection I shot for vtwonen below!





After studying economics and consumer phycology, Kassandra started working at The Playing Circle, a company that rents out beautifully designed meeting spaces in unusual buildings throughout Amsterdam. It was during this time that Kassandra was given the opportunity to launch a concept called The Loft, a platform created to inspire those with an affinity towards design, art and interiors. Between the two-week, bi-annual pop-up events, design enthusiasts can shop the online boutique for a carefully curated selection of interior items.




“Our concept is very different from an ordinary shop, where you’d typically see ten items of a product that can be purchased at a checkout,” Kassandra explains. “When you enter the loft, it’s as someone really lives there, completely decorated from A to Z. For each edition we invent a fictitious person and we consider in detail how this person would live and how their interior would look like. I then create a design for the interior, complete with kitchen, bedroom and bathroom and start searching for furniture, design, art and handmade items to complete the picture. The idea is that everything that you see in the pop-up store is for sale, from the sofa to the artworks to the rugs, apron in the kitchen as well as the books on the nightstand. People visit The Loft to get inspiration for decorating their own homes. It’s far more interesting to see particular items in a particular context and setting, presenting you with ideas on how to bring together items in your own home.”



Kassandra searches all year for designers and artists that create products with the utmost care and attention. In particular, Kassandra was drawn to items that demonstrate craftsmanship, made in natural materials including leather, wood, steel, wool, glass, bronze, marble and brass. “They are designs in which the material is often used as a starting point in the design phase. The carpenter looks at the natural shape of a piece of wood, for example, which then evolves into a piece of furniture. In this way, the strength and natural beauty of a particular material is highlighted, resulting in authentic design with a tactile appearance you want to touch and feel from all sides. I call this crafted design,” explains Kassandra. Nowadays, more and more young designers are working in this traditional and handcrafted manner. One of The Lot’s most important goals is bringing to our attention this group that captures the zeitgeist in such aesthetic manner.

“During my search for beautiful products to decorate our lofts with, it struck me that it was sometimes very difficult to find such designers and crafters on the internet, so I blog on our website about the special people I come across in my work. In this manner, I bring their work together in one place and in doing so, inspire online readers. I also share images of beautiful products that I find  on Instagram to put crafted design as much as possible into the spotlight.”



“Though I attend a lot of fairs, studios, shops and markets, I also make use of other meeting venues belonging to The Playing Circle as an office. I often have an intern working alongside me brainstorm for The Loft, or I work on my blog. An environment designed with lots of love and care is far more inspiring than the standard gray office.




The building in which The Loft is located is also the working environment for other creative industries, including the advertising agency Delight Agency. I consider the people that work here my colleagues and we often eat lunch together in a common kitchen and lounge area down the hall from The Loft. It’s very inspiring to have regular contact with other creatives.”


With The Loft a great success, Kassandra has hopes to extend the concept to other countries in Europe in the future. ‘There are plenty of local artists and designers who create unique products all over Europe,” she says. “It would be amazing to design loft spaces in Barcelona, ​​Paris or Berlin to bring their special work in the spotlight.”


The next pop-up event at The Loft will be taking place from 22 August – 6 September 2015. A newly designed and decorated 350 square meter space will be open to the public for just two weeks. If you’re planning to visit, a phone call in advance is recommended and appreciated. The Loft is open from Tuesday-Saturday between 10:00-18:00, and on Sunday from 12:00-18:00. The Loft is located on Prinsengracht 583, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Thank you to Kassandra and her team at The Loft for inviting me behind the scenes and allowing me to capture their beautiful and inspiring spaces, and to the team at vtwonen for continuously supporting my work.

Photography: Holly Marder | Avenue Lifestyle for vtwonen // Words and interview: Caroline Westdijk (translated by Holly Marder for Avenue Lifestyle) 

Yvestown in the Kitchen

July 8th, 2015

My good friend Yvonne, a wonderful photographer, stylist, chef and the author behind the lifestyle blog Yvestown (mostly about Yvonne’s home and her life in Belgium), wrote a beautiful book last year all about food and living in the kitchen. As a foodie and someone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen, I’ve had my eye on the book for a while now so was delighted to see that the book is now available in English. This week I finally got my hands on a copy of the book, ‘Yvestown in the Kitchen‘ and it has left me utterly inspired and in awe of the work that Yvonne poured into this gorgeous book. Here’s a peek inside at some of my favourite bits.






In the book, Yvonne goes inside the homes of her closest friends and family, including her own home, showing us their different styles, pantries, crockery and favourite recipes. It’s a ‘nosy glimpse into someone else’s kitchen’, as Yvonne writes, and is both entertaining and inspiring, and packed with delicious recipes that I am looking forward to trying. The little vegetarian pizzas above will be making their way onto our dinner table this week.




Yvonne captures the spirit of each family she visits, allowing us to linger on every detail that makes each house she enters a home. She shows us families dining together, living in their kitchens and parts of their homes, and truly invites us to share in the simple joy of cooking and eating. Together. Because if there’s anything that Yvonne believes, it’s that a love of food goes further than that merely of cooking, but extends to a love of the kitchen in which the food is prepared and the way in which it is enjoyed.




I know from the many times I have visited Yvonne at her home on the Belgian border that her love for food and preparing it runs deep. She is a natural in the kitchen and her food tastes like love. Literally. Last time I visited her, to shoot this feature and this one, she made the most amazing scones that I still think about from time to time. I gave them a go but they didn’t taste quite like hers did that day. Sob.

As a photographer of interiors, I love nothing more than to step into people’s homes and capture all the details that make it authentic to the people living in them. Each family is unique and capturing their energy and the soul of their homes is true art form. In her book, Yvonne has mastered that art and I just loved peeking into the kitchens she has featured, not to mention all the tempting recipes to go with them. Beautiful job, Yvonne!

Yvestown in the Kitchen is available through Yvestown’s own book shop or through Amazon. Those who read Dutch will also find two more books Yvonne has authored inspiring called the Weekend DIY Boek (a book full of inspiring do-it-yourself projects) and Weekend Ontbijtboek (a breakfast book).

Holly x

All Photography by Yvonne Eijkenduijn | The homes featured in this post belong to: Karine of Bodie and Fou | Joscha of Muswerk | Ingrid of Wood and Wool Stool | Annemarieke and Gerard of Snor Publishing | Marianne of Vintage Room

Style Files: Studio LileSADi

June 30th, 2015

I love working with small design labels as they are often very personal and fun to work with, but even more than that, I love to learn about their story and how they got started in their industry. This little column I’ve been writing, ‘Style Files‘, features some of the talented people I come across as a blogger and stylist, where I go behind their product and get to know them as designers, sharing their story with you all. Today I am thrilled to feature the sister team behind a fresh and young Rotterdam based design label called LileSADI, with images I recently styled and photographed for their new collection. The design duo team up with co-designers Siebring & Zoetmulder and chat about collaboration and what it means to join forces in the creative industries.


// When did you start taking an interest in graphic and textile design, and what is your background?

Already as kids we loved to weave tiny carpets for our dollhouse and make our own silk scarves using aquarel paints. We have always loved to create textile! They are powerful in a way to completely change the look and mood of an interior, and can serve as mirrors of different cultures and times.

Dinah studied Textile Design in Florence. After gaining a wide ranch of experiences at various studios across Europe, she joined Sarah in Rotterdam to launch their own label LileSADi in 2012. Sarah has a background in communication and marketing, and possesses a strong affinity for design, interiors and styling. She is in charge of press, organisation and collaborations, but is also involved in the design process of new collections and the styling of the product photography. Together, the twin sisters complement each others’ own skill set and make a wonderful team.



// How would you describe your aesthetic and how did you develop your own unique style?

LileSADi stands for minimalistic design with a poetic touch. We love to combine soft with hard, fine with bold. Our first collection ‘Fluor UP’ was graphic flower prints with an architectural influence in flashy neon orange and carbon-blue. We draw a lot of inspiration from the architecture in Rotterdam, where we live. We are still amazed by the mix of shades, materials and the play of shadows, lines and reflections of the clouds in the buildings.


// Your pieces are designed in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Where are your products made and can you tell us a little bit about the people who make them?

We place a strong focus on the craftmanship and quality of our products and we want to keep production in Europe. We like to know the people who manufacture our products. Most of our textiles are screen printed by ourselves in our studio in Rotterdam. For some other designs, such as the monochrome pattern ‘Rainy Days’ we selected large format screen printing facilities in the UK. As the amount of orders grew larger we started outsourcing the sewing of our home textiles and the new kids fashion line to a Polish family business with a lot of experience and knowledge. We are in steady contact with the team to discuss the current orders and specifications.

In the future we dream about a small collaboration with handcrafters in Thailand to produce textiles inspired by ancient techniques translated with a modern ‘LileSADi’ twist. Our Mohair blanket 01 is produced in collaboration with the famous Textilelab in Tilburg. It was an exciting experience to follow and lead, from seeing the whole process from the design to the first test, selecting the final yarns, standing next to the machine, observing and hearing the machine weaving our final blanket.



// Was a joint career centered around graphic and textile design a long standing dream for the two of you? How did you come to work together and has it been a relatively easy process running a business together given that you are sisters?

The idea to open our own studio started taking form in our heads since 2010. At the time Sarah lived in Rotterdam and worked at an international internet marketing company and Dinah worked at a studio in Hamburg. After many visits and endless skype sessions in 2012 Dinah decided to join Sarah in Rotterdam and launch LileSADi. In the beginning it was challenging for us to be sisters and business partners at the same time. Talking too much about the studio work and not having enough distance where the main challenges for us. We are both a bit ‘in the clouds’, so we had to find our individual roles. Sarah took on the organisational part and Dinah the design part. At the same time, it is very beautiful to be able to create together and share the ups and downs together. We have the same style and ideas about how design should be and we complement each other with our varied talents.


// You work a lot with whites but also pastel tones and black. How would you describe your relationship with colour?

Our relationsship with colour has changed over time. In the last three years LileSADi evolved from flashy and a lot of pastels towards a more calm color palette with a lot of black and whites. We experiment with different textures such as stones and marble. We still use and absolutely love colour. We also like to play with soft shades and gradients. For us we do not follow trends or fashion, we decide about the final colours duringthe design process, it depends on the flow we are in.

// What or who inspires your creative process? How do you channel your inspiration? What designers of today inspire you?

We find inspiration in architecture, particularly in Rotterdam with its contrasts between graphic lines and rough textures and yet you stumble upon poetic little escapes with an industrial charm. We admire the work of Hella Jongerious, Lex Pott and Scholten and Baijings. At SaloneSatellite this year we met Ingrid Hulskamp we were amazed by her delicate poetic design.



// What does a typical day look like in the life of LileSADi? What do you love most about what you do?

We start the day with a coffee and discuss the tasks for the day. When the weather is nice it is a must to go outside for lunch in the sun.
A typical day looks like this: we pack the orders that need to go out that day, reply to blogger and wholesale requests and all other emails we received in the morning. After lunch we brainstorm about designs for a collaboration. At the end of the day we screen print new textiles and make some tests. No day is the same as the one before. We meet many interesting people and it is very exciting to create products that will be travelling to the homes of people around the globe and make them smile.



// Can you tell us a little bit about your latest cushion and blanket line? What will you be working on for Autumn/Winter 2015?

Our new Blanket 01 is woven in collaboration with the Textile lab in Tilburg. Since Dinah experimented a lot with weaving techniques during her textile design studies in Italy, she was inspired to create a high quality piece for the interior made of luxurious Mohair. The triangle pattern gives a very tactile effect and flows into a subtle gradient. It is very costly to produce so this design is for those who are interested in investing in a real eye catcher for their interior.

For our new cushion collection ‘Line and Gleam’ we drew inspiration from the lines and light effects in modern architecture. The textiles are hand screen printed and hand painted by us in our Rotterdam studio. Each cushion is unique and made of Gots certified organic cotton. They are designed to be mixed and matched and adding a minimialistic and fresh touch to any bedroom or living room.

For Autumn/Winter 2015 we are working on expanding the material compositions for the ‘Daily Gems’ wall cabinet with new exciting materials and patterns, and are working on an exciting collaboration with a Dutch design label.


// Can you share your 5 favourite places to eat and shop in Rotterdam?

Biergarten Rotterdam – a laid back atmosphere, fantastic burgers and in the heart of the creative scene of Rotterdam

& Designshop – Perfect place for interior decoration treasure hunters in the old North of the City

Dearhunter Vintage – The owner assists you in finding the hidden pieces

Nonna and Nena at Minimall  – Great lunch inspired by the Turkish and Italian grandmothers of the two owners

Mevrouw Meijer – French food by a Dutch Francophil. The interior is beautifully decorated with vintage wallpapers and small details. The menu changes every two weeks


// How did you come to collaborate on your ‘Daily Gems’ collection with Siebring & Zoetmulder?

We got to know each other while working at Schieblock, the creative hub in Rotterdam. When Lianne Siebring from Studio Siebring & Zoetmulder approached us to do product styling and photography together with our products we were instantly inspired. Our minimalistic and poetic style with soft pastels and blacks and whites worked really well with the light wood and architectural compositions of the furniture designed by Studio Siebring & Zoetmulder. After receiving positive feedback on our styled photographs we decided to exhibit our work together at SaloneSatellite 2015 in Milan. The idea of a common product grew in our heads and that was the start of ‘Daily Gems’.


// Siebring & Zoetmulder, what is your background in product design and how would you define your aesthetic as designers?

Lianne and Elise both studied interior architecture at the Willem de Kooning Art academy in Rotterdam. After completion Lianne participated in a masterclass Driving Dutch Design and Elise graduated from a Master Design lab at the Manchester School of Art.

In the work of Lianne Siebring, the user is central. From the choices of material to form, her work is characterised by clear lines that are connected in a smart way.

Elise Zoetmulder takes her inspiration from everyday life. During the design process she is conceptually driven to create functional products. Simplicity is key, using a wide range of materials, she relies on her intuition to realise an artistic and poetic yet functional design.

Since 2013, Lianne Siebring and Elise Zoetmulder have worked together on a collection of design storage systems. As multidisciplinary designers they aim to create trendy interiors and add value to spaces. Their designs are characterised by the careful composition of geometric shapes, resulting in an organic whole.


// Siebring & Zoetmulder, tell us a little bit about your product ‘Daily Gems’ and how the two design labels worked together.

The two studios combined their aesthetics to create an atmosphere that represents a delicate universe with a minimalistic touch. The graphic patterns and soft colours of the collection of LileSadi works well with the raw and light aspect of the proportions and materialization of S&Z. We believe through collaborating and focusing on our individual skill sets we can create better a more in-depth design.


// LileSADi, what was the inspiration behind the various design elements you brought to the ‘Daily Gems’ concept? What materials were used?

The idea was not only to create a functional organiser, but also a platform for a beautiful material collage – or as we like to see it, a physical and material still life. It’s a playground for aesthetic compositions of materials, structures and shapes. Suddenly your daily artifacts become part of what looks like a classical Dutch still life painting, the concept that gives roots to the name ‘Daily gems’.
The inspiration for the materials comes from the city of Rotterdam: where exciting architecture and industrial materials shape the landscape.

The Daily Gems cabinet features two boxes cleverly juxtaposed and interconnected, creating interesting and functional spaces.
The boxes are designed with beautifully milled lines all around the cabinet. They create a subtle pattern and rhythm, serving as rails for several different materials.

The materials were carefully selected and hand-crafted. Each one tells its own narrative: a circular screen-printed mirror, a perforated recycled metal square, a brass triangle with rain drops from Rotterdam and a hand-made cobalt blue porcelain circle. Their function is not just an aesthetic one, they also add value on a functional level. For instance, they can be used to lean a book against, hang jewellery on, display a plant, or store away your gloves.

These geometric textured shapes are made to feel, experience and create a sensorial poetic cityscape on the cabinet.


// Siebring & Zoetmulder – Do you see yourselves developing more products together with Studio LileSADi? How did collaborating influence the quality and end look of the product?

Our collaboration with LileSADi was a natural, organic process. Currently we are still collaborating and will hopefully continue in the future.


// Collaboration is a growing trend in the creative sector and between designers and creatives. What do you love about collaborating and how does it benefit you as a design label?

Firstly, collaborating is more fun! But apart from that, we can all focus on your own skill sets and complete each other. It creates a more in-depth multidisciplinary but also timeless design. In this time, where information is so widely available online, we think it is a must to develop specific qualities of design skills. Through collaborating this is possible!

Thank you to Sarah, Dinah , Elise and Lianne for allowing us to peek into your world for a bit and learn more about what you do.

To view more of the collection shown here, visit LileSADI and Siebring & Zoetmulder.

Have a lovely day,

Holly x

Styling and Photography | Avenue Lifestyle for LileSADi and Siebring & Zoetmulder | Photographed in the Avenue Lifestyle Studio; with thanks to Nathalie Fransen for loaning your living room (first 2 images)