Bloomingville A/W 2014 Collection

July 24th, 2014

It’s been very hot here in The Netherlands for the last week so it’s strange to imagine that frosty temperatures are a matter of months away. And as much as we are soaking up every inch of the summer sun, after laying eyes on the new Autumn/Winter 2014 catalogue from the Danish interiors line Bloomingville, I must admit I suddenly have the urge to snuggle up into cosy evenings, light candles and fill my home with moody tones, textures and Nordic design.

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Bloomingville A/W 2014 | Avenue Lifestyle

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I’m loving the grey blue and deep purple tones in this new collection, as well as the textured natural baskets. Their storage solutions this season are also gorgeous. Would love to have one of those cabinets in my studio – just enough storage for stationary and books. I also love that geometric shapes and combinations of warm woods with cool metals have filtered into this new collection too.

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bloomingville a:w 2014 8

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Bloomingville products are available for purchase at various retail chains around the globe. Click here to find a store or webshop near you that stocks their items.

I hope this post has sent you off into the weekend with lots of inspiration. As for me, I will be pouring my energy and love over the next two days into the wedding of one of my very best friends, who has entrusted me with the styling and flowers for her special day.

See you back here next week,

Holly x

Images courtesy of Bloomingville

New Marz Designs Collection + Amazing GIVEAWAY!

July 21st, 2014

Kicking off a new week with something pretty awesome for you guys. When I was asked by the talented Australian lighting designer Coco Reynolds of Marz Designs to style and photograph her brand new ‘Bright Beads’ wooden pendant collection in Smoked Ash I was really excited as I adore her work and love working with inspiring designers and creators. So today I have for you a giant scoop of gorgeous images I snapped as part of this lovely new collection, plus the most amazing giveaway ever. You guessed it, folks. Avenue Lifestyle and Marz Designs are giving one lucky reader one stunning pendant light from the new collection. Read on to find out how to win, and in the meantime, drool a little bit over these black beauties.

MarzDesigns lighting - Styling and photography by Holly Marder / Avenue Lifestyle


Marz Designs is a young Sydney based design company in which timeless and innovative designs and functionality and quality are their primary focus. Marz Designs was established by Coco Reynolds. Constantly inspired to push the boundaries of various mediums and functions, over the course of her design career, Reynolds has developed her own quirky and unique style.

MarsDesigns 1 by Avenue Lifestyle


“I developed the Bright Beads in conjunction with How We Create for Saturday InDesign 2013 as a case study to represent the relationship between designer and manufacturer. We used local wood turners to lathe the timber beads on the day which form the basis of the pendants, so everyone could witness first-hand the process in which they are made and an insight into what goes on behind the scenes. The idea stemmed from making jewellery as a child, I would thread glass beads onto string to make necklaces and other embellishments. In the same way these pendants can be custom made to meet specific requirements, at any length and in any configuration.”




These newly released ‘Bright Beads’ pendants are made completely from Smoked Ash which is a solid oak timber that undergoes a special smoking process, a method that can attain an even and consistent dark colour to the heart or core of the timber. The process gives the timber a beautiful smokey fragrance.

Want to see more? Shop Marz Designs pendants.

MarsDesigns by Avenue Lifestyle


When asked to style and photograph this beautiful new collection, I knew instantly the direction I wanted to go was natural and neutral, employing various textures and a minimal use of colour to allow the product to strike the right contrast. My inspiration came from natural textures and materials such as linen, wood, marble and woven textiles.

I photographed three different pendants – the Art, Alice and Aztek – in three different settings to illustrate how and where they might be used. You might recognize the bedroom I used, and I also went into the homes of the interior designers behind Nu interieur|ontwerp. Tessa’s neutral living room {and adorable dog Saar, who clearly approved of what I was creating on that sofa!} lent a sense of comfort and cosiness that I wanted to give these smoked ash beauties, while Nathalie’s light, bright and white kitchen with it’s striking lines and simplicity made for a contemporary and calm backdrop for these shapely stunners.

And now, for the exciting part, the….

MarsDesigns 3 by Avenue Lifestyle

Alright, alright. So you wanna know how to be in the running to win one of these stunning ‘Art‘ pendants for yourself?

All you have to do is:

1. Tweet this post with the comment: “I’ve entered to win a stunning #MarzDesigns pendant on @avenueblog #brightbeadsgiveaway”

2. Then come back to this post and comment below stating what you love about the pendant and where/how you would place it in your home. * Please include your email address, twitter handle and the country in which you live

3. Head on over to Facebook and like MarzDesigns and Avenue Lifestyle. If commenting on any of our posts, use the hashtag #brightbeadsgiveaway

The winner will be chosen at random on Friday, 1 August 2014, and will be announced on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The pendant will be shipped out on Monday, 4 August. Worldwide entries are accepted.


Holly xo

Inspiring Art by Gretchen Kelly Studio

July 18th, 2014

This week I spent some time curating a gallery wall for a client for their living room. I love art, as you can see from my ever expanding art & illustration board on Pinterest, and love discovering new talent. While trawling Etsy late one evening searching endlessly for the perfect pieces, I came across Gretchen Kelly Studio. Find out about her artistic process.

Gretchen Kelly Studio

“My work is all about freedom. I love the beauty in the female form and in nature. I try to capture that beauty spontaneously with my brush and graphite on paper. I love playing with color and pattern as they bring life to each work. I experiment all the time with various techniques, mediums and surfaces.”

I personally love nude illustrations and Gretchen Kelly makes drawing the human form so easy. Her forms come about from what seems like a few simple lines followed by a mere flick of the brush, but her ability to achieve these lifelike forms with such minimalistic sensibilities is what makes her work truly admirable. “Simplicity is the ultimate goal for me as I make order out of chaos,” she says. I love her use of line, colour and subtle shadowing.

Gretchen Kelly Studio

Gretchen draws on her background in fashion, textile and home decor design in her approach to art, influenced by current style trends around the globe and from different eras and genres in history. “I like to experiment and keep it fresh and interesting. Pattern, color and texture are my thing. I can’t be held to one subject and you’ll see a range of genres.”

Don’t you just love Gretchen’s work? Make sure you pop into her shop on Etsy and see her collection. I have acquired two beautiful works of my own and am excited to get them framed and on the wall!

Have a lovely weekend,

Style Files: Claire Delmar

July 10th, 2014

I’m kick-starting a new column today called ‘Style Files’, where I introduce you to a various inspiring stylists with each new feature. As a stylist myself, I am always interested in discovering other creative talent and love to hear their stories. Today I’m excited to share with you the work of renowned Sydney-based stylist Claire Delmar, who recently launched a beautiful and beyond inspiring blog entitled ‘The Palate Project‘, where she offers readers a ‘how-to-style guide’ centering around the table top. With a signature style that celebrates simplicity and a 15 year career that has spanned the fields of fashion, interiors and food, earning her titles with acclaimed magazines including Inside Out, House Beautiful, LivingEtc and Elle Decoration UK, she’s pretty much the real deal and she’s sharing all the ins and outs of her work right here.

Style Files: Claire Delmar // Avenue Lifestyle // Photography(top left) Amanda Prior; (bottom) Sam McAdam

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

I was always interested in fashion and textile design throughout school. I did work experience at Marie Claire Magazine whilst I was completing my Bachelor of Media and I learnt about the world of styling and never looked back.

Your styling work merges from food to interiors. Do you have an affinity with working over one rather than the other? 

No I love them both. The techniques and method I use is very different when creating room sets in comparison to smaller contained shots and I love working across both formats.

Style Files: Claire Delmar // Avenue Lifestyle // Styling by Claire Delmar // Photography by Sam McAdam

Style Files: Claire Delmar // Avenue Lifestyle // Styling by Claire Delmar // Gourmet Traveller Magazine


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

I think it’s very hard to describe my own aesthetic as I’m constantly learning and evolving from every shoot I do. My style has developed over time and I would say that I often use grey as a base and prefer richer colours to pastels.

Tell us about The Palate Project.

It’s come about from a culmination of my love of food and interior styling. It’s a table setting styling blog that I hope inspires readers to entertain in a modern way.

Style Files: Claire Delmar // Avenue Lifestyle // Styling by Claire Delmar // Photography by Amanda Prior

Style Files: Claire Delmar // Avenue Lifestyle // Styling by Claire Delmar // Photography by Amanda Prior

What elements do you draw upon to conjure up the emotion that is so evident in your work?

A lot of the planning is done in my head dreaming about what I want the story to look like. Then on a more technical level I adopt the principles of design.

Was becoming a stylist a long standing dream for you?

No, it’s something that I just fell in love with the minute I found out it was a career option.

Style Files: Claire Delmar // Avenue Lifestyle // Styling by Claire Delmar // Photography by Amanda Prior

Style Files: Claire Delmar // Avenue Lifestyle // Styling by Claire Delmar // Photography by Amanda Prior

Style Files: Claire Delmar // Avenue Lifestyle // Styling by Claire Delmar // Photography by Amanda Prior

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

Reading, visiting design studios, my mum, so many triggers in everyday life inspire me. I channel it into different shoots and creating stories for my blog.

What does a typical day look like in the life of Claire Delmar?

It changes every day depending on what briefs I’m working on. I’ve also got a residential and commercial interior design business so some days are mixed with looking for tiles for bathrooms, sourcing props for hotels or meeting with publishing houses regarding photo shoots.

Style Files: Claire Delmar // Avenue Lifestyle // Styling by Claire Delmar // Photography by Amanda Prior

Style Files: Claire Delmar // Avenue Lifestyle // Styling by Claire Delmar // Photography by Amanda Prior

What do you love most about your work?

How it’s never the same and I’m always being challenged.

What designers of today inspire you? 

I love tactile pieces so often smaller local ceramic artists and sculptors. I also like the work of Tom Dixon and Matthew Hilton.

Thank you, Claire, for dropping in today to share a few snippets of your world with us, and all the very best with your work on The Palate Project!

Claire’s eye for detail and her eclectic, modern aesthetic has me in a complete tail spin. I just adore her work and hope you’ll pop over and visit The Palate Project for lots of beautiful inspiration.

Holly  x

Image credits: 1. (top left) Amanda Prior; (bottom) Sam McAdam; 2. Sam McAdam; 3. Gourmet Traveller Magazine; 4.Inside Out Magazine; 5 - 11, Amanda Prior

Inspiring Art by Andy Curlowe

July 7th, 2014

I’m really into art at the moment, and recently stumbled across an artist by the name of Andy Curlowe. His mixed media works are quite stunning and very unique. Graphic, bold, whimsical yet subdued, his work is pure eye candy and truly inspirational. If you follow me on Pinterest {in particular, my Art & Illustrations board}, you’ll know that I love bold, abstract art in muted colours and lots of texture. Curlowe’s work embodies all that I love about abstract art so I was thrilled to have discovered him.

Andy Curlowe

“Raised by a wildly independent and creative mother, Andy and his sister were encouraged to wander the woods and paint teepees made from old bed sheets.” These carefree childhood experiences formed the roots of Curlowe’s thought-provoking work that weaves graphic lines with whimsical colour pops and strong references to landscape and industry. I always love reading an artists perspective on his own work and found Curlowe’s description of his work fascinating.

“As society struggles, so does nature, yet we are one and the same. As humans, we struggle in vain to separate and distinguish ourselves from nature, these paintings seek to demonstrate the destruction, innovation and layered heritage of our landscape.” 

Andy Curlowe

Andy Curlowe

Andy Curlowe

The 29 year old artist studied painting and drawing at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly Massachusetts and now resides in Cleveland, Ohio, where he and his wife enjoy the city’s dynamic art scene. In his work he uses a mix of acrylic, collage, latex, shellac and pencil on canvas.

What do you love about Curlowe’s work? I personally love the way he marries sharp lines with soft billowing shapes, muted tones with bold brights. I’d love to see this piece in my home.

Holly x