Beautiful Bedrooms for Little Girls

March 26th, 2015

My good friend Tessa Weerdenburg, one of the two interior designers behind Nu interieur|ontwerp, recently had her three little girl’s bedrooms featured in a beautiful children’s interiors book called Mini Woonboek, compiled by Tom Cole of the interiors blog, Woonblog. I have loved Tessa’s home for years now, and in particular, the bedrooms of her daughters Roos, Lieve and Bente. When I saw the images Tom had made for his book, I just had to share them. Each sweet space is positively brimming with personality, Tessa’s delicate decorating and hand made touches.

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NATURAL AND CALM WITH POPS OF YELLOW

Lieve’s bedroom is a sweet and calming space where shades of white, grey and ochre and delicate floral prints preside. I love the subtlety of hues in this room and the delicate polka dot wallpaper as a backdrop to the bed. Tessa made the floral throw blanket and cushion for her daughter, and paired them with bed linen by Tas-ka {in the same print as the cushion in my bedroom tour!}. The bed is a design by Nu interieur|ontwerp.

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PREPPY AND FUN WITH POPS OF BLUE

Tessa’s decorating relies largely on a clean, white backdrop allowing individual items and details to take centre stage. Roos’ bedroom is every bit as charming as Lieve’s, with bright pops of blue and shades of brown weaving their way into a neutral palette. I adore the little oak push pins above Roos’ desk. They are part of a new line of pins by Nu interieur|ontwerp inspired by washi tape but made out of various types of wood. You can see them in my studio here and here.

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FRESH AND FEMININE WITH POPS OF PINK

Bente’s bedroom is such a sweet, cheerful space, with pops of salmon pink and yellow. Her bedroom has a clever built-in bed with storage and a cubby house underneath, a genius use of space if you have little bedrooms.

Thank you Tessa, for showing us through your girl’s gorgeous bedrooms! They are truly lovely and have certainly inspired me as I decorate my little Lola’s bedroom {you can see a sneak peek I posted a while back here}.

Which room is your favourite? 

See also: Tessa’s country cottage and her business partner Nathalie’s cosy cottage in the Dutch countryside.

Holly x

// Image credits: Tom Cole for Mini Woonboek

Style Files: Anne Black + GIVEAWAY!

March 24th, 2015

One glance at my Pinterest boards and you’ll see I’m into ceramics, in a big way. I always feel a little buzz of pleasure each time I add a beautifully hand crafted ceramic piece to my growing collection and love how each piece has a story. I picked up the most beautiful hand made ceramic plate at a small studio we drove past during our honeymoon in France and though it was a pricy item, it will be forever treasured and will be a reminder of those perfect few days together in the French countryside. When I was recently introduced to Anne Black ceramics, I instantly loved her collection of simple yet stunning ceramic pieces. As I love nothing more than learning about makers, their craft and process, I couldn’t help but shoot some questions over to Anne and find out more. Hope you enjoy this little peek into the world of Anne Black today, and be sure to enter the giveaway below as we have a beautiful ceramic piece up for grabs!

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

I went to Waldorf School as a child and different craftsmanship was a part of school life which I always liked a lot. Such schools focus on hands-on activities that encourage creative play. So I was quite comfortable with making clay things at an early age. After graduating, I went to the design school in Kolding (a town in Denmark) and graduated in 1996 with a master in ceramic design. Actually I was told many times that I could never make a living being a ceramicist. That was a perception of ceramicists in those times. I am not saying that it was easy and I had other jobs to support myself, but I guess the dreams will always win if you don’t give up on them.

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

I tend to describe my work as handmade, simple, silent, Nordic… My style is an expression of me, it is like my own language I communicate in. I just make the things in a way I like and I guess my aesthetics is a reflection of my personality and my life.

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// Your pieces are hand crafted in Vietnam. What is the story on how your factory there cam about? Can you tell us a little hit about the people who work there?

After the positive response from the market, I started to make more and more porcelain pieces. At first everything was made by hand in various workshops in Copenhagen, but at some point I could not keep up with the demand anymore. On the one hand I really wanted to make everything by myself, but on the other hand I simply could not make so many pieces.  So for the next 3 years I literally travelled the world in search of a workshop, which would match the way I work and be focused on handcrafted, non-industrialized production and high quality. The solution was hiding in a small village in the North of Vietnam, where we have established a co-owned factory. The factory was developed in collaboration with DANIDA (a part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark focusing on development assistance and help in developing countries) and made conditions for the workers and the quality of production so much better.

I visit the factory, which is located outside of Hanoi, twice a year and it is always a great joy to work with people there. With most of them I can only communicate with a help of body language but still here is a feeling of understanding and I love these trips. I design new products in my studio in Copenhagen, travel to Vietnam to share it with local craftsmen and they reproduce the design by hands. We have been working with these people for almost 10 years now, and the owner is like extended family for us.

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// Was a career centered around ceramics a long standing dream for you?

I think I always somehow knew that I wanted to create beautiful things with my hands. It was while working on my final project in Waldorf School about Chinese art when I completely fell in love with porcelain. I applied to the design school to explore the world of clay quire early and was way younger than majority of other students. From that day it just became more and more obvious that I was going to follow that road.

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

In a world full of noise for our eyes and ears I try to make some quietness with my designs, both with shapes and colors. Our lives are filled up with too many different things and I want to fill it with new items only if they bring beauty and calmness.

// What or who inspires your creative process? How do you channel your inspiration?

The daily life is my main inspiration. My surroundings, my city, my work, the skies, the light…  Working with different materials in the shop is also very inspiring and it is reflected in my porcelain design. I also display beautiful goods in the store and at home. It gives me great joy to look at something beautiful and therefore I always aim to “create beauty” in my surroundings.

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// What does a typical day look like in the life of Anne Black?

In my life, there is no such thing as a typical day. Every day is so different. I run back and forth between the shop and my studio. I develop new designs and spend a lot of time on creative tasks, but I also have quite a lot administrative work both with the shop and porcelain products (sold under Anne Black brand). I handle the customers and have a lot of meetings, arrange exhibitions, handle PR-related activities, travel to buy the goods for the shop. And then I have three kids, so every day I’m trying to be a good mom.

// What do you love most about your work?

There are plenty of things I like about my work even when it’s hard, but what I love the most are moments where I am so deeply involved in the process of creation that I completely forget myself, time and space. I become so absorbed in the design process that it seems that nothing else exists.

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// You run a concept store in Copenhagen called Black. Can you tell us a little about this store and what kinds of pieces you stock?

It is a store, which combines selected pieces of clothing, shoes, jewellery, bags, perfume, hand-picked home accessories and decor products, magazines, books and more. High quality is the key word and all the brands are selected carefully. The majority of them are produced in really small quantities, so they are pretty exclusive, and many of the products are handmade. In this way, the concept store combines the best pieces out of different collections and labels. Personally, I was aiming for the combination of pure materials, quality, structure and functionality. For more information, you can check the website blackcph.com

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// What designers of today inspire you?

There are so many! But of course I am very inspired by the different brands we work directly with in the shop.  The uncompromising way they work with quality and materials is a great source of inspiration. As an example, I can mention Michele de Lucci from Produzione Privata (Italian company) and the design duo BCXSY from the Netherlands.

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

As I have a quite busy lifestyle, I usually stick to the places located in Frederiksberg area of Copenhagen. This is where my studio and the store Black are situated, so I almost only move around my little Frederiksberg “circle”. For a coffee I usually go to a cafeteria and coffee shop called Meyers Deli or a nice café Ipsen & Co, which together with Anne Black are located on Gammel Kongevej street. For a wine and a small delicious meal I prefer to go to a cosy restaurant Falernum on Værnedamsvej street.  On the same street there is also a nice florist shop Blomsterskuret, where I usually buy flowers (flowers in Danish are “blomster”). When I need books, I go to the books store called Thiemers Magasin. If one is interested in jewellery, I would recommend the shop Æstetik on Gammel Kongevej street and for clothes off course I go to black!

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// GIVEAWAY

Would you like to win one of these modern ceramic hanging planters by Anne Black? There is ONE white hanging planter up for grabs!

Want it?

Simply:

-> Comment below telling me where you would hang it in your home. Be sure to include your full name, email address and Instagram/Twitter handle so we can contact you if you have won!

-> Head over to Facebook and follow Anne Black and Avenue Lifestyle

-> Bonus points! Share this post on Instagram and Twitter with: “Loving these @anneblackDK ceramic and leather hanging planters found on @avenueblog!”

The winner will be announced on 1 April. Good luck!

Holly x

// Images courtesy of Anne Black / The final image is original to Avenue Lifestyle

Styling & Photography Masterclass at Vitra

March 20th, 2015

I recently had the pleasure of working alongside the immensely talented photographer, blogger and stylist behind beeldSTEIL, Wendy van Woudenberg. We were approached by the team at Meet the Blogger to present a styling and photography masterclass for aspiring photographers and stylists (most of whom are bloggers) at the Vitra showroom near Amsterdam. We were both delighted to be working together, and are thrilled that the masterclass was a great success! Below a little peek into our day.

IMG_7126 The day flew by for Wendy and I and we were both so busy we forgot to take our own pictures! The above image I took on my iPhone the day before while setting up for the event. There are a couple more over on my Instagram feed too. Wendy and I combined our very different styles and put together this little vignette, featuring our favourite design objects from the Vitra showroom, some vintage pieces we both loved, a vintage kilim rug that I badly wanted to take home with me and some greenery. It was a true mix of our two styles and made a pretty backdrop for our presentation, which was beamed onto the white wall above.

That was the extent of it for me photo-wise I’m afraid, but thanks to all the amazing attendees, plenty of gorgeous images were made in the stunning Vitra showroom, which really was the most inspiring venue with it’s jaw-dropping architecture and generous spattering of beautiful products for the home. The images below were captured by one of our attendees, Josette Alkema. She did a fabulous round-up of the event comprising of several different posts, which you can see on her Facebook page.

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The first half of the day was the ‘theory’ part of the masterclass, where Wendy and I spoke about the importance of images for your blog, business and brand, ran through the basics of photography, spoke about visual identity and defining your style, visual storytelling and took our attendees through some editorial and interior styling and photography examples. It sure was nerve-wracking to be in front of 45 eager faces, but it was fun and so rewarding to see how much we both had to share. Working with Wendy was an absolute pleasure!

After lunch, we hit the floor and our attendees got to go and explore the Vitra showroom. They were asked to bring an object from home to style with, and to photograph in as many ways possible. The goal was to practise and fine-tune their composition, styling and photography skills and step outside their comfort zones! They were allowed to use everything in the showroom, including the gorgeous BloomOn flowers, to style their own vignettes and it was so fun to walk around and see the different ways people were working.

Curious to see what our attendees thought of the event? Here is a line-up of what some of the bloggers have written about:

Nordic Blends

Act productions Blog

The au Citron

Debbie Schrijft

Designed Life

Droika Engelen

Galerie Lucie

Love the North

Roomservice 13

Van swart op wit

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To top off an inspiring day, Vitra announced that they are giving away 2 Limited Edition Panton chairs in their brand new colour ‘Summer Green’!

Bloggers have been given the opportunity to take part in a fun contest by blogging the event and sharing the chair via their social media channels. From these posts, five bloggers will be selected to receive 2 green Panton Limited Edition Chairs home delivered to style, photograph and share. From these five posts, two lucky winners will be chosen by a jury consisting of me, Wendy and two representatives from Vitra to KEEP their chairs! I’m so excited to see what they all come up with.

It was truly and inspiring day for all involved. Big high five to Vitra for being such fabulous, generous hosts, Meet the Blogger for bringing this event to life, and my awesome partner-in-crime Wendy.

If you’re interested in further photography and styling workshops, please comment below and I’ll be sure to inform you of any upcoming events! Wendy and I are geared up and ready to share a lot more, so watch this space!

Have a wonderful weekend, folks. I’ll be playing catch-up with the blog over the coming weeks to make up for my absence (sorry about that!) so see you here soon!

Holly x

Image credits // 1 and 2: Avenue Lifestyle; 3: Josette Alkema

Hôtel Henriette, Paris

March 3rd, 2015

There’s a little slice of heaven in the middle of Paris and it’s called Hôtel Henriette. I mentioned in my last post that I was sent over to Paris to photograph a family home in Saint Germain en-Laye, and was booked into a room at this gorgeous, gorgeous boutique hotel located on a little cobbled street in the south of the city, a stone’s throw from the Les Gobelins metro station. I won’t say any more. I’ll simply let these images of each and every thoughtfully designed space, speak for themselves.

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Every one of the hotel’s 32 rooms has it’s own colour scheme and a charming Nordic boho look and feel, all conceptualized by the hotel’s owner Vanessa Scoffier. Formerly a fashion editor, the designer has had an infinity for scouring flea markets from a young age. The rooms feature expertly sourced, quirky vintage mirrors and lighting fixtures, whimsical wallpapers, and a hand selected colour palette.

During my stay in Paris, we stayed in the room below with pale pink and turquoise walls and beautiful brass light fixtures above the bed. Our bathroom had the most lovely green patterned tiles. It’s those small details I appreciate a lot when travelling that make a place a home away from home. I only wish my stay was longer than two nights.

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Scoffier’s signature design style blends the old with the new, transforming spaces through recycled found and vintage objects, a creative use of colour and paint application, combining eras and styles to create unique places that breathe personality and livability.

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The clever blend of materials  and quirky use of colour made this little hotel really stand out. I just loved Hôtel Henriette. They were renovating the foyer and ground floor when we were there, making way for a breakfast corner I believe. The staff were amazing during our stay. I travelled with friends, one of whom became very ill and ended up having to go to the hospital, and both people attending the reception desk were extremely helpful and empathetic.

Charming, no?

If you’re heading to Paris and are looking for a lovely and convenient place to stay, take a peek at Hôtel Henriette.

Holly x

PS: Apologies for the long gaps between posts! I am working intensively on several interior styling projects at the moment and am preparing for a styling and photography masterclass I am presenting this Friday with Beeldsteil and Meet the Blogger. I’ll check in as often as humanely possible but your perseverance is greatly appreciated, thank you!

A Mini Getaway in Paris

February 25th, 2015

Helloooo! It’s been a long time. Longer than I planned, I promise. Things have become very busy on my end and then I took a little trip to Paris, a mini getaway of sorts, linked with an interior production I was sent over to photograph. If you follow along on Instagram, you’ll have had a glimpse into my Parisian getaway. As I went there for work {with my husband, our little girl and two very good friends who are over from Australia in tow} I made a conscious effort to leave my camera packed away when out and about. Photography for me tends to be all encompassing. I am all in or all out. I get totally in the zone and it’s hard to pull away again. When I shoot interiors, I sometimes get so in the zone I forget to eat, usually meeting four o’clock in the afternoon with a light head and shaky hands. So I decided to leave the photography side of things for the interior I shot {a beautiful family home in Saint Germaine en-Laye} and leave the camera at the hotel {more on that later!} the rest of the time. Except once.

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This, my friends, is the breathtaking view atop the Eiffel Tower. We’d spent the weeks leading up to our 6-day getaway reading to our little girl Lola about all the things we would see and do, and got her particularly excited about the Eiffel Tower. So despite the rain, wind and blistering cold, we ventured to the fourth floor with one very giddy and equally stunned little girl in tow to marvel together at the views.

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The grey, foggy skies made Paris all the more beautiful in my eyes. A Parisian skyline faded into the distance and gold clad spires peeking up through the fog. The sea foam waters of the Seine winding gracefully through the vast and beautiful capital. So beautiful. But so cold. These images were snapped in seconds; it was an in-the-bag-out-the-bag affair that relied largely on the ability of my frozen fingers to adjust the settings.

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One little lady was so impressed by the views below, she forgot all about the icy temperatures. Before heading up the tower I stripped one of my Australian friends of a cardigan, suspecting that it would be icy up there, and relinquished my scarf to wrap Lola up warm. Of course, as law would have it, the day you actually need the hat and gloves you packed for your child but hadn’t needed until now, they are nowhere to be found.

When finger tips were sufficiently frozen and lips were turning a pale shade of blue, we headed down again and straight into a cab bound for a warm cafe.

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So guys, that’s where I’ve been. Before this I was drowning under a very large to-do list but I am slowly emerging and have a couple of super cute somethings to share with you this week.

Thank you so much for following along on Instagram and checking back every day for new posts.

Holly x

// Images: Holly Marder