Hey guys, not sure if you remember but about a thousand years ago (a thousand, three… same thing) I wrote about the kitchen makeover we were planning in our new home. I shared the inspiration with you thinking we’d whip it together in no time, but life happened and with two floors upstairs to work on, a growing business, full schedules and a toddler we had our hands full. Slowly we chipped away at it, taking breaks in between to concentrate on other spaces, but for several months our kitchen has been at a point where we are satisfied functionally and aesthetically. So without further ado, I am thrilled to share some images of our tiny but lovely kitchen having worked hard to transform it from a tired, drab old thing into a fresh, functional and pretty space, and all on a shoestring budget!
Since purchasing our place in November 2013, we’ve spent the best part of three years slowly renovating it, doing all the work primarily ourselves. Nothing major, but it was enough to keep us sufficiently occupied for a long time, drain a decent amount of energy as well as euros from the bank account. You know how these things go. They start small and then add up until the original plan gets out of hand and then you do nothing because everything just feels too hard. Renovating our home has been a slow, organic process as we tackled the never-ending list of jobs bit by bit. We had bought a house, a car and got married all in the same 5 month period, so pennies were flying out faster than we could earn them and pausing between each job was a necessity. Long story short, it took a while – as all the best things do – but let’s jump straight into the before and after, shall we? Get the full scoop
Hello! I am back in the swing of things again after a long, long blog break due to a super-charged first couple of weeks back at work. There are some big changes going behind the scenes here at Avenue and I am excited to share it all with you over the coming couple of months, but for now I am excited about something else – a gorgeous book entitled How to Hygge that hit the shelves late last year, featuring my own photographs on it’s lovely pages. And to celebrate this beautiful book, I will be giving two copies away as a very small token of my thanks for your support in 2016. Knowing that there are people out there who read and are inspired by this blog motivates and drives me to be better in a creative sense, gives me courage to grow and explore and for that I am deeply grateful.
In How to Hygge, renowned Scandinavian cook and writer Signe Johansen explores the culture of hygge, shares the secrets of Nordic living and shows you how to adopt these elements into your everyday life. She explains the secret to feeling contentment, inner happiness and the art to living your best life, which Nordic countries have long been experts at despite the cold and lack of light much of the year. Translated roughly as ‘cosiness’, Hygge (pronounced: Hoo-ga) is all about warmth, conviviality and community. Its the celebration of nature, simplicity and togetherness. Get the full scoop
Like many of you, my workspace doubles up as a guest room when we have friends to stay. Not all of us have multiple bedroom homes and when friends come for the night, I find myself scrambling around trying to make room for them, hunting high and low for the blow-up mattress, which never holds up for the whole night no matter how much you pump it up, and then worriedly lying awake wondering if they’re are comfortable or whether they’re lying with their bums skimming the floor. I thought it was time to add a new element to the studio that would comfortably accommodate our guests when needed while doubling up as a pretty prop in the studio the rest of the time.
I searched and searched for a sofa bed that would fit the bill but nothing was quite right. I didn’t want it to look to sofa-ish or chunky. I wanted slender lines and something that is quick and easy to turn into a bed. It had to fit the look and feel of the studio, which is very light and airy. At OTTO I found this wooden fold-out sofa and though at first glance it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for in that the pillow it came with was a little chunkier than I was looking for and the buttons made it look a little too classic, the base was gorgeous and simple however and I knew I had found the piece that would enable me to go from studio to guest room in one fell swoop, while still looking and feeling fresh and stylish. Get the full scoop
You’ll know from previous entries in the Style Files series that I love nothing more than discovering a young brand and learning about the creative process that goes into their product. When Swiss based independent homewares label Artha Collections reached out a few months ago, I was taken not only by their range of products but of their story and admirable vision to use modern day commerce to influence the lives of artisans around the globe. Their products are made in small creative communities spanning from Tibet to South Africa, Bengal and beyond and are of exceptional quality. So much so that I used two of their hand woven pieces in this recent bedroom project. It brings me so much joy to be able to work with independent labels in helping them to grow by collaborating together.
Knowing the kind of consciousness and responsibility that is behind the lovely Artha wares, it has been even more of a pleasure working with them these past few weeks to style and photograph their winter campaign. Below, a peek at some of the scenes I created for them in my home using their table linens, pillows and woven baskets.
Get the full scoop
While many exciting things are going on here behind these pretty scenes, all to be revealed in the new year, I am having a serious dusty pink and rusty red moment. I went on a rare solo shopping afternoon a couple of weeks ago for some autumn/winter wardrobe pieces and the shops were strewn with these warm pink and burgundy hues with earthy undertones. Here are a few of my favourite palette appropriate pins of late and why I think this combo works so well.
I am always a little surprised by how each new season brings with it fresh inspiration in colour combinations. We have enjoyed ‘Marsala‘ as colour of the year in 2015 and old pink has made a comeback in recent months too, but the combination of the two feels fresh and new somehow. Both hues feel distinctly 70s, particularly together, but are so very contemporary when used right. If my last blog entry is anything to go by, rust and dust are best combined with calming neutral shades to give a generous dose of colour while still being tranquil and relaxing. Here are a few spaces that exercise this theory, very well indeed. Get the full scoop