Archive for December, 2014

Merry Christmas, Gift Wrapping Inspiration + The World’s Best Chutney

December 24th, 2014

It always feels strange to be rounding off another year, especially when it’s been a particularly good one. For us, the year 2014 will be remembered as the year we said ‘I do’ in front of all of our treasured friends and family who travelled far and wide to celebrate with us as we became husband and wife. We also made giant leaps in our careers this year, reaching goals we both never thought possible, and made progress with the renovation of our home. It’s been a busy year, tiring, overwhelming at times, but incredibly rewarding.

IMG_3283 I have collaborated on many beautiful assignments with immensely talented people, in particular, photographers Anouschka Rokebrand, Jansje Klazinga and Hanke Arkenbout, stylist Ciara O’Halloran, interior designer Hedda Pier and food stylist Ajda Mehmet. I shot so many beautiful homes and told their stories over at decor8 as part of my Homes with Heart column, with the immense support of it’s founder Holly Becker, of which I am deeply grateful. My work as a styling and/or interiors photographer has featured in several inspiring magazines this past year including vtwonen, Sweet Living magazin, 101 woonideeen, 91 magazine, Soffa Magazine, SisterMAG, Casa Deco and more, a goal I’ve held for years that I never thought would be possible to achieve in a foreign country. This goal wouldn’t have been made possible without the support of my agent Anne-Catherine Scoffoni.
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Food Files: A Christmas Picnic

December 23rd, 2014

Christmas is upon us and I am excited to share with you this Christmas Picnic shoot I styled and photographed for SisterMAG‘s latest issue in collaboration with food stylist Ajda Mehmet. Click here to see the published magazine feature, and scroll below for the full collection of images. I hope this post inspires you to gather together your nearest and dearest and celebrate Christmas {or New Year!} together in laid back style!

A Christmas Picnic by Avenue Lifestyle / Styling & Photography: Holly Marder (} / Recipes and Food Syling: Ajda Mehmet {} Christmas Picnic // Styling & Photography: Holly Marder {Avenue Lifestyle} / Recipes & Food styling: Ajda Mehmet

Click on the image to view a larger version

This shoot was all about celebrating the holidays amongst friends in a cozy but casual way. Cushions, rugs and an easy picnic style Christmas menu set the tone for a festive and fun Christmas on the floor! The whole idea behind this shoot was keeping the food and styling as effortless as possible, offering up an array of ideas that don’t involve excess hours of prep in the kitchen or formal table settings. Get the full scoop

Private Styling Workshop in the Studio

December 19th, 2014

This week I hosted a private styling workshop in my studio for the first time. Exciting to see the space be used for what it was intended – a place to inspire creativity! My ‘student’ Nailia recently began her wedding planning and styling business ‘Best Day Ever Events‘ and was looking to do a workshop with that yielded styling tips, tricks and inspiration that she could put into practice immediately, as her wedding agenda is already filling up for 2015.

Styling Workshop in the Studio // Avenue Lifestyle. Photography by Holly Marder.
Nailia assisted me a little while back when I was putting together a couple of styled tables for the Engaged event I was hosting a workshop at for over 40 people, and when he contacted me about a private styling workshop I was delighted. I mean, I’ll take any excuse to play around with props all day! Get the full scoop

Pantone Colour of the Year 2015: Marsala

December 15th, 2014

The world’s leading colour institute Pantone has announced their Colour of the Year for 2015. I’m excited because I always look forward to finding out what will be the hue that will influence product development and purchasing decisions in the fashion, beauty, interior and graphic design industries for the new year. The team at Pantone scour the world each year for that one colour, which they recently announced. Last year’s pick was Radiant Orchid, a dynamic and bold hue not for the faint of heart. This year, a little more subdued but equally as bold with a degree of luxury to it, Pantone have announced Marsala as the leading color for 2015.

marsala 1 Marsala is multifaceted colour with a sense of elegance and sophistication, while being earthy and somewhat neutral due to its brown undertones.

“The most interesting thing about Marsala,” Pantone’s executive director Lee Eiseman says, “is that even though it has this grounded influence – this kind of earthy undertone that we see in this wine red – at the same time it has a sophistication, so there’s something very versatile about the colour.”
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Inside Scoop: Vintage Meets Modern in Madrid

December 11th, 2014

It’s been a while since I took you guys into a beautiful space, but today do I have a treat for you! You may have read over on Instagram that I spent a couple of days shooting in Madrid a few weeks ago? Well today I’m excited to walk you through one of the interiors I got to capture – a light, crisp apartment in downtown Madrid, and the results of a mammoth refurb headed by interior designer and my blogger pal Corinne Kowal who turned it’s interior from dark and dated into a bright but soothing space full of charm. Let’s get this party started, shall we?

Inside Scoop: Vintage Meets Modern in Madrid // Photography and styling by Holly Marder {Avenue Lifestyle} // Interior design: Corinne Kowal {Emerald Green Interiors}
Inside Scoop: Vintage Meets Modern in Madrid // Photography and styling by Holly Marder {Avenue Lifestyle} // Interior design: Corinne Kowal {Emerald Green Interiors} Corinne, who is a designer and colour consultant and the face behind Emerald Green Interiors was introduced to the apartment in February this year when she was contacted by a house hunter who had found a flat for a client to purchase and was looking for someone to take on the renovation process. Get the full scoop

Food Files: Roasted Squash and Lentil Soup

December 5th, 2014

As the year draws to a close and icy temperatures prevail, I am turning my energies towards the kitchen and creating meals that are easy, nutritious, substantial and beautiful. And though I’m no Nigella Lawson, I do love food and cooking and the creative process that lies therein. But every now and then I hit a wall {read: my husband starts complaining} and am in need of fresh inspiration. Cue, food stylist Ajda Mehmet. A couple of weeks ago I headed over to Belgium with Ajda in tow to shoot a sophisticated Belgian interior with a food element to accompany the shoot. It was a big day for us both with lots of work getting the place styled up and ready to photograph {with, like, a thousand stairs to run up and down}, which wasn’t helped at all by the glorious fumes of Ajda’s roasted squash and lentil soup wafting through the house. I’m not sure if it was that I’d been teased into total submission all day by the heavenly smells rising from the stove or whether I was just so hungry by the end of the day that I would have gnawed on my own arm, but this soup? It was good! Now, I’ve been witness to the magic of Ajda’s cooking on several occasions now, so I knew it would be good {just the other week I posted about her apple and pear crumble, which I’ve made twice since!} but this soup has changed the way I view soups forever.

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Roasted Squash and Lentil Soup

You will need:

1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2 inch cubes

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2 inch cubes

1 large carrots, peeled and halved

2 onions, peeled and quartered

4 cloves of garlic, peeled

Handful of thyme

Olive oil

Sea salt and cracked black pepper

1 tsp garam masala 

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp smoked paprika

200g red lentils

2 litres of chicken or vegetable stock

Juice of 1 lemon

Sea salt and cracked black pepper


To garnish:

Crème fraîche

Hemp seeds

Garden cress

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Toss all of the prepared vegetables and sprigs of thyme into a large roasting tray, drizzle generously with some good olive oil and season with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Roast in the oven for approximately 45 minutes, turning halfway through, until all of the vegetables are soft and have begun to singe and caramelise on the edges. Get the full scoop

Christmas Gift Guide: 12 under $100

December 3rd, 2014

Hey guys! Can you believe it’s December already? The year has just sped by and as we approach Christmas, I thought I’d drop in with a Christmas gift guide with 12 fabulous pressies under $100 to help you with any Christmas shopping you might still need to do. All of these lovely items have come straight from my shop, where I have personally stocked and curated the prettiest of wares, all hand crafted with love by creatives around the globe. If you want to read more about and why I started a shop, click here. In the meantime, let’s get shopping!

Christmas Gift Guide by Avenue Lifestyle I’ve loved the linen napkins ever since I opened my boutique and would love a set of these in my Christmas stocking! I’d also love a Wild Folk candle to burn next to my bed and have my bedroom smelling like jasmine. Love the up cycled amber jar it comes in! My Mum, who was my first customer, purchased this gorgeous beaded necklace for herself and (not so secretly) wish she’d bought if for her darling daughter, so now I’ll have to steal it on my next trip home! There’s another one in my shop which is equally as lovely too. A great gift! And how darling is this little hand painted planter pot? Perfect for a tiny succulent, would love one on my desk.
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