February 12th, 2017
Hello! I am back in the swing of things again after a long, long blog break due to a super-charged first couple of weeks back at work. There are some big changes going behind the scenes here at Avenue and I am excited to share it all with you over the coming couple of months, but for now I am excited about something else – a gorgeous book entitled How to Hygge that hit the shelves late last year, featuring my own photographs on it’s lovely pages. And to celebrate this beautiful book, I will be giving two copies away as a very small token of my thanks for your support in 2016. Knowing that there are people out there who read and are inspired by this blog motivates and drives me to be better in a creative sense, gives me courage to grow and explore and for that I am deeply grateful.
In How to Hygge, renowned Scandinavian cook and writer Signe Johansen explores the culture of hygge, shares the secrets of Nordic living and shows you how to adopt these elements into your everyday life. She explains the secret to feeling contentment, inner happiness and the art to living your best life, which Nordic countries have long been experts at despite the cold and lack of light much of the year. Translated roughly as ‘cosiness’, Hygge (pronounced: Hoo-ga) is all about warmth, conviviality and community. Its the celebration of nature, simplicity and togetherness. Get the full scoop
December 21st, 2016
Like many of you, my workspace doubles up as a guest room when we have friends to stay. Not all of us have multiple bedroom homes and when friends come for the night, I find myself scrambling around trying to make room for them, hunting high and low for the blow-up mattress, which never holds up for the whole night no matter how much you pump it up, and then worriedly lying awake wondering if they’re are comfortable or whether they’re lying with their bums skimming the floor. I thought it was time to add a new element to the studio that would comfortably accommodate our guests when needed while doubling up as a pretty prop in the studio the rest of the time.
I searched and searched for a sofa bed that would fit the bill but nothing was quite right. I didn’t want it to look to sofa-ish or chunky. I wanted slender lines and something that is quick and easy to turn into a bed. It had to fit the look and feel of the studio, which is very light and airy. At OTTO I found this wooden fold-out sofa and though at first glance it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for in that the pillow it came with was a little chunkier than I was looking for and the buttons made it look a little too classic, the base was gorgeous and simple however and I knew I had found the piece that would enable me to go from studio to guest room in one fell swoop, while still looking and feeling fresh and stylish. Get the full scoop
December 9th, 2016
You’ll know from previous entries in the Style Files series that I love nothing more than discovering a young brand and learning about the creative process that goes into their product. When Swiss based independent homewares label Artha Collections reached out a few months ago, I was taken not only by their range of products but of their story and admirable vision to use modern day commerce to influence the lives of artisans around the globe. Their products are made in small creative communities spanning from Tibet to South Africa, Bengal and beyond and are of exceptional quality. So much so that I used two of their hand woven pieces in this recent bedroom project. It brings me so much joy to be able to work with independent labels in helping them to grow by collaborating together.
Knowing the kind of consciousness and responsibility that is behind the lovely Artha wares, it has been even more of a pleasure working with them these past few weeks to style and photograph their winter campaign. Below, a peek at some of the scenes I created for them in my home using their table linens, pillows and woven baskets.
Get the full scoop
November 15th, 2016
A busy lifestyle has meant that sleep has become more important that ever before for me and my family, so with an intensely few months behind us, today’s topic couldn’t have come at a better time. We are big sleepers in our house. Weekdays are tough getting out the house on time, but weekends don’t start for us until well after nine o’clock. Even our five-year-old likes to linger in bed (thank the stars!) and when she does get up she creeps downstairs, grabs and apple and turns on the TV while we get in an extra hour of shut-eye. It’s her little ritual that we are so grateful for (we know that all our friends’ kids wake up at sparrow fart, which, and I don’t know for sure, but can only assume occurs around 6am or earlier). Once up however, I have my own little ritual, which I thought I’d share with you. Making the bed. It is the first thing I do each day and something I regard as very important for my sanity, productivity and general happiness. Today I am excited to share with you 3 ways I make my bed each day with Emma. Who’s Emma, you ask? Keep reading.
I am often asked whether I make my bed every day the way you see them in my photo shoots, and I must admit, I do. Bed making is said to have profound affects on your mental health. Psychological benefits include the formation of good habits, the promotion of daily productivity, and a better night’s rest leading to a more positive day. A lot of people think I’m bonkers, but apart from my obsessive bed-making being a genetic thing (my mother was an avid bed maker), it is something that I genuinely do every single day regardless of my plans for the day or my mood. Unless I have a) just given birth or b) am dying, that bed gets made. Now, I don’t strive for perfection every day, but I do the best I can with the time I have.
Usually my husband makes breakfast while I make the beds, so time taken to straighten the sheets is usually dependant on what he makes for breakfast. Cereal means I have about two minutes to throw the covers up and wrangle unsuccessfully with pillows before throwing my hands in the air and moving right along. Eggs buy me about eight minutes and enough time to do a bit of tucking in, and porridge oats give me a good ten minutes. I have a few set ways that I tackle the task, each varying in complexity and style. But regardless of what I choose, a well-made bed that beautifully beckons me to slip between it’s crispy covers starts with a fabulous mattress, which is where Emma comes in. Meet our new (and dramatically improved) mattress that is as pretty without covers as it is with. Get the full scoop
October 27th, 2016
Hello friends! How are you all doing? We had a little rest for a week for the autumn break and of course I fell ill on the first day! Love how life throws you lemons like that. So I did what my body was begging of me and I took it easy with my girl and it was delightful and exactly what I needed after a very busy summer. Just before the break I went in to install and photograph a bedroom project I have been working on and I took a wild guess and thought you guys might like a peek at the results. So here you have it, a cool and collected bedroom makeover from a client I am referring to as Project Hof.
This has been such a nice project to work on for several reasons. I have been working with the couple that live here for several months doing not only their bedroom but also their living and dining area. Slowly they are revamping their home, which was initially pieced together by things they inherited or brought along with them from their student days. They are so excited to be investing in their home and I have really enjoyed helping them through this process of updating and decluttering. Together we have replaced pretty much everything in their bedroom except one piece and the results are fresh, calm and very inviting. Get the full scoop