Archive for March, 2013

Crazy for Kilim

March 29th, 2013

As many Europeans who are experiencing the everlasting drone of winter, I am desperate for some sun and light. Grey skies outside have had me critiquing my home these last months, and while the freezing temperatures relentlessly drag on, I am finding inspiration in brighter shades and bolder colours.

What has also dragged on for what seems like an age is our hunt for the perfect family home. Those who know me will know all about this! The more we look at homes ~ and there have been a great many ~ the more they all become a blur and the initial excitement and anticipation slowly fades away. Today, I am stepping away from Funda and visiting a pretty space in my mind’s eye, our future living room. In this space, there is a stunning Turkish kilim rug atop a gorgeous floor (oak or large stone tiles, please). Soft tones of red and peach are interwoven with deep grays. It is one of the few colourful pieces in the room, surrounded by an eclectic array of both modern and vintage pieces in neutral hues. Step inside my head for a few moments and be inspired by vintage kilim.


kilim 2 via Paloma 81





kilim in the kitchen


But it’s not the bold colours that meld so perfectly with a neutral backdrop, or the geometric patterns or even the stunning colours that kilim rugs have me swooning over. It’s the history that goes into each and every piece. The labour that goes into the making of them. These textiles have been skillfully produced by nomads and villagers throughout the Middle East and Central Asia for centuries, and are a true expression of tribal culture and a symbol of tradition. These flat woven beauties have become heirlooms in their own right, having been passed down from generation to generation through the years.

Each rug is different from the next, depending on the region it was created in, and the artistic personalities of it’s maker. They are incredibly valuable, particularly the genuinely old ones that are still in mint condition, and are made using natural dyes. I personally love the ones above for their simplistic patterns and palette of reds, pinks, grays and stone.

I love it in the living room. I love it in the kitchen. In the bedroom, I love it too. And I also love it in small increments.

Basically, I am crazy about Kilim!

Do you have a crush on these woven, colorful pretties, too?

Have a wonderful Easter!


* Image credits: 1 Patric Johansson; 2 & 3 Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer + Rug Store Online; 3 Rue Mag; 4 The Classy Issue; 5 Loom; 6 Pottery Barn; 7: The Marion House Book

The Vision Behind Avenue

March 24th, 2013

As you may already have seen, I am currently enrolled in the Blogging Your Way e-course BLOG BOSS run by Holly Becker of Decor8. The course runs throughout March, so I am entering the final week. This week’s homework was about identifying your dream blog, from aesthetic to content to goals for the future. We were asked to submit a mood board that conveys the vision behind our dream blogs. As Avenue only just launched just over a week ago, I thought I would share my mood board with you, to show you what you can expect to see, read and discover on Avenue in the coming months and years (eek! that last word felt a bit scary to write down). Though I actually created it for the Blogging Your Way Workshop I went to in Holly’s home in Hannover last December, it is what I presented to my graphic designer as a basis for the design of Avenue. The board really helped to show him (and me!) the kind of aesthetic and feel I was going for, and demonstrate the kinds of topics the blog will cover.





I wanted the board to convey topics related to interior design and styling, dipping into areas such as colour, food and florals. The aesthetic I was trying to convey was clean, simple, feminine but not too girly, contemporary with subtle craft/handmade elements, using only beautiful and enticing imagery, which is exactly what I wanted to achieve here on the blog eventually.

Though Avenue is still a work in progress, do you think this has been achieved? I would love to hear your thoughts!

The mood board now has a spot on my office wall with other special bits and pieces such as my little girl’s artwork. See more of what’s displayed {here}.

Hope you has a super weekend! I was treated to a sleep in (rare!) and pancakes this morning, followed by a lovely birthday lunch with a few close girlfriends. I’ll be celebrating 27 wonderful years this Thursday!

Holly x


* All images by Holly Marder

Colour Files: Dulux’s Home Factory

March 20th, 2013

I’m still reeling from my time in London a week ago. For me, one of the highlights of the Meet the Blogger conference was a presentation given by Dulux’s Louise Smith on the forecasted colour trends for this year. I adore colour and paint, so really enjoyed learning about the five trend stories that were presented to us. Each story was beautifully put together and very inspiring, so I am going to share my favourites with you here in the next couple of weeks.

The trend that resonated with me the most was ‘Home Factory’. This story is all about creating a better world for ourselves and living a happy, more authentic lifestyle. People are getting back to basics and creating more from their own homes such as beer, wine and food made from scratch. There is a growing emphasis on organic produce, and a healthier lifestyle seems to be a trend in itself these days. The pulled back palette of ‘Home Factory’ was inspired by natural food dyes. For me, the images below really draw on the essence of what this colour palette is all about: natural simplicity, bold colour meets neutrals for a soothing escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and honest living.





Don’t you just love the natural origins of these colours? Dulux’s colour of the year, Indigo Night, is such a striking tone that is beautiful when weaved into a neutral palette of putty tones with splashes of deep berry. It’s serious but at the same time fun and striking and makes the surrounding furnishings really jump to life.

All of this has made me feel like jumping on my bicycle and filling a basket with fresh produce from the market (one of my favourite things to do in Delft) and come home and get creative with the camera. Hurry up Spring!



* Images 1, 2, 5 and 7 courtesy of Dulux; image 3 by Ashes and Milk; image 4 by Desde my Ventana; image 6 by Cintamani; image 8 by Joseph De Leo Photography; image 9 via French by Design.

Meet the Blogger London

March 14th, 2013

Last weekend, I spent an exhilarating weekend in London for the Meet the Blogger conference at London’s brand new and ultra stylish ME Hotel right in the heart of the city. It was a very exciting time for me because something I have been working on for quite some time now came into fruition. On Saturday, Avenue launched while I was away! I hope you like the new look and feel, and appreciate all of the positive reactions I have received so far!


The weekend was loads of fun, and a much needed break away for me. In four short days I squeezed in happy reunions with family and friends, the inspiring bloggers conference which was bursting with positive energy and talented bloggers, and a spot of work too, profiling a stunning home in North London. Phew! With all that, the blog launch, studies, work and a sick little poppet waiting for me back at home, it’s taken me a few days to acclimatize.

Things got off to a fantastic start with a beautiful meal in the St Martins Lane Hotel restaurant, Asia de Cuba, surrounded by a bunch of my blogger friends: Louise from 30s Magazine, Dani from andCute, Geraldine from Little Big Bell and Bridgee from Little Star Blog. The restaurant, notably one of the hottest dining venues in the city, was buzzing with diners enjoying the restaurant’s signature fusion cuisine in ‘sharing style’. The restaurant’s innovative menu was a perfect match for Asia de Cuba’s equally impressive decor, with dramatic columns creatively displaying art, plants and books, and pendant lights strung like spiderwebs from the ceiling. The staff were so lovely and welcoming. A big thumbs up for excellent service, which is pretty hard to come by in the Netherlands.


Meet the Blogger was a brilliant event filled with talented bloggers, interesting workshops, good food and lots of fun. To be honest, I used me camera very little during the weekend because I wanted to soak up as much as I could without any distractions. Luckily, Meet the Blogger had their very own and highly talented photographer Yeshen Venema who took stunning images of the day.






The event kicked off with a keynote by the perpetually sunny Yvonne Eijkenduijn (pictured below) of the immensely popular lifestyle blog Yvestown. Sporting a bright and cheerful red spotted ensemble, Yvonne walked an eager audience through the tricks of her trade, and how she has grown her blog to be one of the most successful blogs in Europe. Small sidetrack, I photographed Yvonne’s lovely home a few months ago for Houzz. You can see it {HERE}.

MTB 12

I attended three of the programme’s fantastic workshops. The first workshop was given by London based photographer Paul Craig (pictured below), about going beyond the automatic settings on the camera with tips and tricks to photographing on the manual camera settings. I could literally hear the lightbulbs going off in my head! I then participated in West Egg founder Louisa Blackmore’s (pictured bottom) very informative workshop about revamping and restoring vintage and antique furniture. I have a couple of antique bedside tables that need the Holly treatment, but the sanding bit has been majorly putting me off. Did you know that if you use chalkboard paint, there is absolutely no sanding involved? (ahem…I didn’t). The last workshop I did was also photography based, about telling a visual story through interior photography. I could put into practice Paul Craigs tips straight away with the Houzz shoot I did in North London the very next day so excellent timing there!

MTB 10


It was a brilliant weekend! If you want to see what I got up to over the weekend, head over to Instagram!

Have a great day,

Holly xoxo


* All images copyright Meet the Blogger London // Yeshen Venema

* Image Asia de Cuba copyright Kavita Favelle

Goodbye Love, Thomas ~ Hello AVENUE!

March 10th, 2013

Hello there! I am so excited to be writing my very first post here on AVENUE. As you may or may not know, I have been blogging over at Love, Thomas with my best friend Lauren for nearly two years. Since I started blogging, sharing, writing and living a creative lifestyle has become a part of who I am.

This weekend, my brand new website, which I have designed and realised with the help and expertise of The Hague based graphic designer Machiel of Avec Pleijsier and web developer Matthias of Pas de Deux, was launched. I am sure you will appreciate the effort that went into designing the logo and custom details, many of which were hand painted. I absolutely love the new design and really feel that AVENUE is an expression of who I am both personally and professionally. I hope you love it too, visit AVENUE often for design and lifestyle inspiration from an interior design journalist, writer and stylist’s perspective.

If you would like to know more, you can read more about me {here}.

Naturally, there are a few things that need tweaking, which will be done in time. You may notice that I am pinning, tweeting, facebooking and instagramming by the name of Love, Thomas still, but that will soon be updated. I have brought over some material from Love, Thomas and can’t wait to get cracking on new material for you to read.

Thank you for stopping by, and see you again soon!


Back to the Books: BLOG BOSS Here I Come!

March 1st, 2013

It’s a very exciting day over here at Love, Thomas. As you may have seen in recent posts, I participated in Holly Becker‘s Blogging Your Way Workshop at her home in Hannover, Germany, in December. For two days, her home studio was filled with the most amazing women, all of whom were creative souls just like me. It was the most incredible weekend, being able to connect with like-minded people, be inspired and get creative. We went shopping, frolicked in the studio and brushed up on our styling and photography skills. I returned home fueled to take blogging to the next level, as well as my career as a writer and budding stylist.

So it was without hesitation that I signed up for Holly’s latest e-course BLOG BOSS, which she will be teaching this March alongside Steffi Luxat, author and the (gorgeous) face behind the German blog Ohhh Mhhh, and Irene Hoofs of the inspiring blogs Bloesem and Bloesem Kids.

The class is filled with blogging and creative talent (way too many to name!) and I know it will be a fabulous month of learning and connecting. Some of the students I met at the workshop in Hannover, and it’s great to be able to connect again. Phew! I have a feeling it’s going to be a super busy month, and Blog Boss is just the beginning because next week I am off to attend Meet the Blogger London where I will be doing several inspiring workshops and a whole lotta networking with more amazing talent. And just to add to it all, Love, Thomas is gearing up for a huge facelift. EEK! More will be revealed very soon…

Let’s get started, I say!

Have a wonderful weekend. Mine will be spent getting to know my fellow students and visiting a couple of pretty potential wedding venues  with my two favourite people 🙂


* Image by Holly Becker for Decor8