Archive for June, 2013

Hellopillow Giveaway

June 27th, 2013

Hello! Last week I told you that I have teamed up with Delft based interior designers and bloggers Nu interieur|ontwerp and Hellopillow from Paris to give 5 beautiful cushions away. With one week to go until d-day, I thought I’d bring you some more eye candy to lust after and remind you to enter to win one of your own. These images were taken at the lovely Nathalie of Nu interieur|ontwerp’s holiday home. Once again, we had fun styling these beauties, and we hope you like the results!






Want to know more about the Hellopillow? Find out {here}

To enter and be in the running to scoop one of your very own Hellopillows in either gold or black:

– Comment on the original post telling us what setting you would place your own Hellopillow
– Like Hellopillow on Facebook
– For an extra chance to win, leave a comment over at Nu interieur|ontwerp, and pop over to the Avenue Lifestyle and/or Nu interieur|ontwerp Facebook pages and give them a like too!

The winners will be drawn at random on Monday, 1 July. There will be five winners, each receiving one of the lovely pillows you see here.

Don’t miss out! Hurry and enter before next Monday!

* Image and styling credits: Holly Marder for Avenue Lifestyle and Nu interieur|ontwerp

Featured: Behind the Blog with Style Me Pretty Living

June 26th, 2013

Well, I have officially died and gone to heaven.

Just before hitting the sheets last night, after a gorgeous al fresco dinner with friends in our little courtyard, I discovered something that kept me up practically all night and has smeared a smile on my face that just won’t go away. I have been featured on none other than Style Me Pretty Living, one of the prettiest reads in the entire blogosphere, in their Behind the Blog series!

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To say that I am excited is a slight understatement. The introduction, written by Abby Larson herself (the founding editor of Style Me Pretty) near moved me to tears before giddy laughter took over as I stared in disbelief at images of me splashed all over the screen. So surreal! Beautiful photography by the mightily talented Anouschka Rokebrand capturing scenes from my remote workspace are even more beautiful than I remembered seeing them on SMP Living. Sigh. Such beautiful imagery should be shared, so below are some of my favourite shots taken for this SMP shoot.

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When I started blogging 2 years ago, a feature like this was something only dreams were made of. I was eager to share and inspire and in turn, to be inspired and to learn. I had a bee in my bonnet and I was yearning for a creative life that took me {even if momentarily} away from the computer and into beautiful spaces, amid talented and creative people. Relaunching and starting afresh with Avenue early this year {though scary} was a step in that direction for me, and I haven’t looked back since. I have met and connected with the most wonderful and inspiring individuals. I have been invited into the most gorgeous homes to document personal stories. I am joining forces with creatives I admire. This is a good place to be.

Admittedly, blogging means being online almost all of the time, so most of mine is spent in my home office. I am so fortunate to have the most beautiful office space, pictured here, within walking distance, where I can come to work, meet clients, be inspired or collaborate with the talented designers who work here full time, Nathalie and Tessa of Nu interieur | ontwerp. Lucky girls, right? The exposed brick, white floors and natural light are all to die for, so it’s no wonder this is my workplace of choice when I need a break from my own four walls.

Well, that’s enough from me and my smiling self! I hope you enjoyed this little insight into the blog and its author.

But before I sign off, I owe a gigantic THANK YOU to SMP Living for the feature, to Abby for introducing me so beautifully and of course, to Anouschka Rokebrand for capturing all of the above so very, very beautifully. I’m thrilled to have collaborated with such immense talent.

Holly x

Interested in the office items?
Desk: Functionals
Chair: Maisons du Monde
White chairs: Rex chair
Magazine rack: Serholt
Stool: Nu interieur | ontwerp
Cushion: Hellopillow
Rug: The go ‘round
Lamp: Artemide ‘Tolomeo’

The Bare Bulb

June 25th, 2013

Hello! This last week I have been working with a client to spruce up her studio space so that it resonates with her brand. The topic at hand these past few days has been lighting options, and an important one at that because the right lighting can do so much for a space. In fact, I was recently chatting to interior architect Chantal Dussouchaud about lighting during an interview and she told me that she always advises her clients to rather splurge on a stunning light fixture than a piece of furniture because of the sheer difference it can make to the room as a whole. With all of this lighting inspiration flying around me, I thought I would share a trend that has caught my eye for quite some time now, the exposed lightbulb.

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Delicate and unobtrusive, a single bulb suspended in just the right spot can really elevate a space, while a cluster of them can add a touch of drama.
I am crazy about these, particularly used in eclectic but minimally decorated spaces, and hope the trend sticks around for a while longer. That little wall sconce is so cute!
Have a super day, and see you back here soon.
Image credits: 1 Avhem; 2 Helt enkelt + Varpunen 3 & 4 Avhem; 5; Muuto

Inside Scoop: Eclectic Modern Apartment

June 19th, 2013

Hello! Back again today with more gorgeous home inspiration for you to feast your eyes on! This time, the eclectic modern home of Bianca Kempenaar, blogger and founder of a sweet online shop called A Day With Kate. I recently made my way up to her part of the Netherlands, camera in hand, to shoot her light and cheerful apartment for a feature on Houzz. I absolutely loved learning about her and her husband’s story, which you can read in more detail {here}, and discovering her deep appreciation of interiors and design. Her home is a carefully curated blend of retro-modern classics, vintage finds and bang-on-trend contemporary design pieces. With high ceilings and huge windows, the light just dances around the family’s open plan dining and living room, and bright colors here and there really pop against a backdrop of crisp white. Here are a few images from the tour that I’m so excited to share with you!


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I love how Bianca and her husband combine several different furniture styles to create a home that not only tells a story, but also gives a nod to their personalities. And trust me, Bianca is every bit as bright and cheerful as her home! Against a clean, white backdrop, bright colors are carefully interwoven into the home’s otherwise very neutral palette. Don’t you love the way Bianca layers colour and pattern in her home? Though she loves to use both vibrant colour and pattern, she shared with me that she incorporates them into her home with care, through art and accessories. I love the subtle touch of neon pink on her bed linen!

Thanks Bianca for having me in your home for the day and sharing your story with me!


* Photography by Holly Marder for Houzz

Giveaway, Giveaway: Win a Hellopillow!

June 17th, 2013

Hello! I hope you enjoyed a relaxing weekend and are all geared up for another week. I have some exciting news for you today. I am teaming up with Delft based interior designers and bloggers Nu interieur|ontwerp and Paris based Hellopillow, the creative minds behind the most gorgeous cushions and accessories.

Last week, I got together with Nathalie Fransen of Nu interieur|ontwerp at her home in Delft to style and shoot some of the pillows sent in fresh from Paris. For the shoot we selected a variety of cushions from Hellopillow’s Graphic Mood Collection made up of black and gold graphic designs incorporating beige linen. Against the crisp white backdrop of Nathalie’s newly renovated inner city apartment, in a Scandinavian style setting, the pillows looked fantastic.



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Parisian fashion designer Raphaëlle H’limi is the creative mind behind Hellopillow. With en eye for colour and textile, she launched the label in 2009. Her cushions are inspired by origami and children’s games and are designed employing an artful cutting and folding technique. The results are unique and timeless pieces made from quality natural fabrics and are produced by local craftsman in Paris.

We are so exited to announce that we are giving away no less than five beautiful pillows. To enter and be in the running to scoop one of your own:

  1. Comment below telling us what setting you would place your own Hellopillow
  2. Like Hellopillow on Facebook
  3. For an extra chance to win, leave a comment over at Nu interieur|ontwerp, and pop over to the Avenue Lifestyle and/or Nu interieur|ontwerp Facebook pages and give them a like too!

The winners will be drawn at random on Monday, 1 July. There will be five winners, each receiving one of the lovely pillows you see here.

Think one of these beauties will look great in your home? Hurry and enter!

Good luck!


* Image and styling credits: Holly Marder for Avenue Lifestyle and Nu interieur|ontwerp


A Summer Escape in Sweet Style

June 14th, 2013

Saving precious pennies for our wedding next May means that we won’t be going on holiday this summer. Instead we have opted to stay put here in the Netherlands, hoping like hell that the sun decides to behave itself and stick around for a bit! But, I’m not gonna lie, having discovered this gorgeous little cottage below, I am dreaming of a summer escape to somewhere pretty, remote and filled with light. Something a little like this…








This gorgeous little cottage is actually located in a London garden, but I can see a dreamy white little cottage like this one somewhere in the English country, surrounded by wildflowers and open land. I love the simplicity of the interior. White painted floor boards and panelling, and that darling little pistachio green kitchen sets a gorgeous light tone throughout for a relaxing summer escape. The sparse scattering of simple furnishings – because you don’t need more than just the essentials on holiday – makes for a humble but homely space in which to really unwind.

Does this cottage also make you long for a summer escape?

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a cottage like this in your own garden to enjoy year round? The perfect space to share with a good book and a cup of tea…

Have a wonderful weekend! We will be celebrating two whole years of parenthood with our sweet little girl.


Images from Light Locations

The Mill Blanket: All Natural Dutch Design

June 11th, 2013

Hello! How are you today? I just spent a gorgeous morning picnicking and frolicking about with my little girl (who turns two tomorrow!) with some very special friends. But before the day runs away with me, I wanted to share something pretty with you which recently landed in my inbox. One look at the images below and I had disappeared into a rabbit hole of gorgeous, all natural, Dutch design. The culprit? The brand new Mill Blanket by Dutch duo Eveline and Marianne Maat of the label By Mölle. Inspired by nature and made from undyed Scandinavian wool, these blankets are a little piece of heaven to wrap yourself up in when the nights get cool.




by molle

By Mölle hit the Dutch market in 2011 with the notion of promoting a conscious lifestyle through beautiful, thoughtful design.

The Mill Blanket uses pure wool from Norwegian and Swedish sheep, selected by colour and carefully spun into the delicate throw you see before you. The natural grey and brown shades of the sheep form the basis for the blanket’s graphic pattern.

Pop over to their website and you will discover a whole range of gorgeous things for the home, all made from natural, pure materials, created in close collaboration with European artisans and craftsmen. Their modern designs celebrate the world’s oldest materials: linen, wool and denim.

So where did the name ‘By Mölle’ originate? The home and showroom of By Mölle is a millershouse. The windmill next door – an all natural resource – has served as inspiration to sisters Eveline and Marianne.

Find out more about By Mölle by visiting the website and webshop.

Happy shopping!

I am off to squeeze in a photo shoot for an exciting project coming up. It’s been a mad house here lately!

Have a wonderful week,



Designer Profile: Rebecca Atwood

June 4th, 2013

I have a cushion fetish. Quite possibly thanks to my mother, who was endlessly throwing another pretty addition to the existing mountain of cushions on our couch growing up. I remember having to spend about ten minutes shuffling and reshuffling them and myself just so I could find a spot on the couch to watch TV. I now understand my mother’s addiction, because cushions add so much warmth and comfort to a space, and are a great way of quickly adding colour, texture and personality to a space. If you suffer from this weakness, you have come to the right place because today I am chatting to the ridiculously talented Brooklyn based artist and textile designer Rebecca Atwood, who launched a line of stunning cushions earlier this year.



These beauties draw on traditional textile and hand painting techniques, using natural materials and dye and gorgeous patterns. Each unique piece tells a story that traces back to Atwood’s upbringing in Cape Cod near the ocean and her appreciation for antique and vintage market finds, textures observed in nature and colors drawn from her travels. Atwood layers her experiences to inspire and craft these simple but beautiful works of art. Here’s some insight into what inspires this creative young designer!

Holly: You launched Rebecca Atwood designs just this year. Has this been a long standing dream for you?

Rebecca: It wasn’t something I always thought I’d do, although I did always see myself eventually doing something more independent.  It came down to not knowing where I would go next, and needing to create the job that I wanted to have.


Holly: You’re obviously passionate about textiles, colour and pattern. What inspires your creative process?

Rebecca: So many things inspire me, and it’s often a mixture of very different things. For example an idea for a pattern can come from anywhere – a vintage scarf from my great aunt, the shadows on a sidewalk, an idea in my sketchbook, or even painting directly onto the fabric with dye {that’s where the spots print came from}.  Giving yourself time off to do the things you enjoy – going to a museum, seeing friends, cooking – all give you time for the ideas to come. I think the big thing with inspiration is to keep making, keep looking, and give yourself time to edit. We live in a world where the internet allows for instantaneous sharing of ideas and images, which is amazing, but I also think getting away from that is crucial.


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

Rebecca: My background is actually in painting. I became interested in textiles when I was in college and I took a few classes. I then decided to try and find a job in that area and ended up working at Anthropologie in their home department. Home products combined with painting is really where my interest lies.

Holly: Your Blauvelt Collection employs a strong but soothing color palette of midnight blue, ochre and natural hues. What led you to selecting this colour palette for this collection and what ideas do you have for the next collection? 

Rebecca: I wanted to use colours you can layer and live with, and that you won’t be sick of in six months. I think my childhood, growing up on Cape Cod, has definitely influenced what colors I am drawn to. Blue was so much a part of the landscape that for me it is a neutral. For Fall, you’ll see the blues deepening to a navy and I’ll also be bringing in a tomato red.



Holly: What does a normal day at the office look like for you at Rebecca Atwood Designs?

Rebecca: Every day is different to be honest. Some days I’m working on more administrative things like book keeping, emails, packing orders, etc. On other days I can be printing, washing fabric, or maybe running errands in the garment district.

Holly: What do you love most about your work?

Rebecca: I love having the freedom to create an entire concept from scratch and make product I really believe in – not just following some fast fashion trend. I also really do love the process of making, and bringing that back into my life has been really fulfilling.

Holly: You currently create textiles for cushions, and artwork. Do you see yourself expanding into other areas in the future?

Rebecca: Yes – the plan is to expand to all home products but this will take time!



Holly: What designers of today inspire you? 

Rebecca: A lot of local and smaller designers inspire me. I find myself really drawn to the work of ceramicists – especially Michele Michael the talented woman behind Elephant Ceramics. I also love Frances Palmer’s work – I think what she has accomplished is very impressive and inspiring. I’ve recently discovered Emilie Halpern and think her work is beautiful as well. My list could go on! Doug Johnston who makes those amazing baskets, Caitlin Mociun and her amazing jewellery. I also think Dries van Noten, Suno, and Marni are great inspiration from high end fashion brands. I’m also always drawn to the work of artists like Agnes Martin, Matisse, Sonia Delaunay, Ellsworth Kelly, Louise Bourgeois. The women of Gee’s Bend and their quilts is another big source of inspiration.

Thank you so much Rebecca for chatting to me about your work and sharing a bit about yourself for us here on AVENUE. I just adore what you’re up to and cannot wait to see what you come up with for your next collection.

If you’re keen to find out more about Rebecca Atwood and see more of her collection and artworks, visit her website. She also writes a blog, where she shares some of her work and processes there.


Image credits: Rebecca Atwood Designs