Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

A Mini Getaway in Paris

February 25th, 2015

Helloooo! It’s been a long time. Longer than I planned, I promise. Things have become very busy on my end and then I took a little trip to Paris, a mini getaway of sorts, linked with an interior production I was sent over to photograph. If you follow along on Instagram, you’ll have had a glimpse into my Parisian getaway. As I went there for work {with my husband, our little girl and two very good friends who are over from Australia in tow} I made a conscious effort to leave my camera packed away when out and about. Photography for me tends to be all encompassing. I am all in or all out. I get totally in the zone and it’s hard to pull away again. When I shoot interiors, I sometimes get so in the zone I forget to eat, usually meeting four o’clock in the afternoon with a light head and shaky hands. So I decided to leave the photography side of things for the interior I shot {a beautiful family home in Saint Germaine en-Laye} and leave the camera at the hotel {more on that later!} the rest of the time. Except once.

IMG_7646 This, my friends, is the breathtaking view atop the Eiffel Tower. We’d spent the weeks leading up to our 6-day getaway reading to our little girl Lola about all the things we would see and do, and got her particularly excited about the Eiffel Tower. So despite the rain, wind and blistering cold, we ventured to the fourth floor with one very giddy and equally stunned little girl in tow to marvel together at the views. Get the full scoop

The Scandinavian Style Interior

March 26th, 2014

Hi guys! As you know I spent four days last week in Scandinavia styling interiors for Jansje Klazinga to photograph for magazines. Day one kicked off with a visit to Tina in her beautiful neighbourhood of Osterbro in Copenhagen, and day two and three were spent in Malmo, Sweden, photographing the homes of Peggy and Niki before we set off back to Amsterdam on Friday evening. It was bliss. I had died and gone straight to heaven, and I cannot wait to share the results with you here soon. Jansje is the most talented interiors photographer, who regularly shoots cover stories for some of the biggest titles in the industry {such as this one which I styled that graced the March cover of vtwonen magazine}. She is a quiet achiever, calmly and efficiently snapping spaces to perfection, and I am so grateful to have crossed paths and to be working together.

Returning home, I am more inspired than ever by the kind of interior to be found in the north. I draw a lot of inspiration from Scandinavian interiors, as do the majority of the home owners I style and photograph for. In fact, if I don’t hear the word ‘Scandinavian‘ in any one of the interviews I have conducted with home owners over the past months for my Decor8 column, I’d be genuinely surprised. So what is it about nordic inspired interiors that has everyone in a tail spin? Today I want to share with you a few nordic inspired interiors {plucked from my Pinterest boards} and dig deeper into the style to find out!

The Scandinavian Style Interior by Avenue Lifestyle; Photography by Felix Forest and styling by Dina Broadhurst

HISTORICAL CHARM Get the full scoop

Off to Copenhagen!

March 18th, 2014

Hi guys, how are you? Today I am jetting off to Copenhagen for four days with photographer Jansje Klazinga to style a trio of gorgeous homes to shoot! Tough life, I know. We decided very spontaneously to take a trip together late last year and I’ve been looking forward to it ever since. We will be shooting the homes of Tina from the blog Traveling Mama, Peggy from Paul & Paula and Niki from the blog My Scandinavian Home. A better line up you cannot get, and I’m eager to get together with these creative ladies and get inside their pretty spaces! We have a busy schedule, so I’m not sure how much of the city we will be able to soak up, but these snaps taken by Jack Fussell for Tina’s blog are so dreamy, I’m packing my camera just in case!

traveling-mama-aarhus-denmark-10-600x898 Get the full scoop

Scenes of Tuscany: Florence

February 1st, 2014

So yesterday I took you on a tour of the hilly Chianti region of Tuscany. I hope you enjoyed those scenes of the Italian countryside. Today, it’s the city of Florence that caught my eye {or lens}, which is where I spent the fourth and last day of my Italian getaway. Wandering the pretty streets with my stylist/blogger pal Ciara and new friends Jacob and Annie who are a husband-and-wife photographer duo, I couldn’t help savoring the sights. So it is with much excitement that I bring you the second installment of my journey.

Florence by Holly Marder

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Scenes of Tuscany: The Chianti Region

January 31st, 2014

It’s taken me a few days to get settled back at home again after a whirlwind long weekend in Tuscany, Italy. I arrived last Thursday evening to a rainy Siena, not that I cared very much because as I frolicked my way to the hotel, all I could do was smile, my eyes darting this way and that to soak up the Italian splendor that surrounded me. Even in the pouring rain, in the driveway of my hotel, it was just beautiful, so by the morning of day two, I couldn’t wait to get out there and capture some of the magic I was seeing. In case you missed it in last week’s post, I jetted over to Tuscany to join my friend Ciara from Style Serendipity while she styled the most incredible bridal shoot for Sibo Designs with the photographer duo Brumley and Wells. It was a busy two days spent with a wonderful team, but I managed to steal a few minutes away with my camera, and I’m so pleased I did. This beautiful part of Italy really needs no introduction, so I’ll let you get lost in the images and discover the magic of Tuscany’s Chianti region yourself.

Tuscany by Holly Marder

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Off to Tuscany!

January 23rd, 2014

Hello! It’s only Thursday and I haven’t been this excited about the weekend in a long time. That’s because today, I am jetting off to the Tuscan hills for a long weekend! I’ve never been to Italy but have wanted to ever since I came to Europe six years ago. In those first couple of years before I settled in The Netherlands I traveled Germany, France, Switzerland, Spain and spent time living in the UK, but never ventured over to Italy until just recently when the perfect opportunity presented itself and my ticket was booked before I could say, Ciao Bella!.

Siena Get the full scoop

Catching up + Meet The Blogger Amsterdam

October 2nd, 2013

Hello! How are you? You may have noticed things have been a little quiet around here lately, so I though I’d stop by to share a few things with you. If you’ve been anywhere near my Instagram feed, it’s because {among a million other commitments that have grabbed my attention lately and kept me away from the blog} I spent the last three days in Amsterdam for Meet The Blogger, an annual blogger’s meet-up and conference which always inspires and energizes me.

I attended the event in London in March just in time for the launch of Avenue Lifestyle, so I was thrilled that the event would be held a little closer to home this time, taking me to beautiful Amsterdam for a few days of connecting and being inspired. I was delighted to finally meet my blogger pal Ciara from Style Serendipity, who flew over from Ireland especially for the occasion. Though we hadn’t met in the flesh befotre the event, it was like catching up with an old friend. We literally did not stop talking the entire weekend! She arrived in the Netherlands on Sunday morning, and came to Delft to spend the morning with me and my family at home. From the platform at Delft station, until the moment we parted ways on Tuesday evening, we talked. And talked. And talked some more. If you love my blog, you will absolutely adore hers. Though she’s a trained violinist, she also does the most gorgeous prop and editorial styling, and is branching out into interior styling too. Naturally, that was the topic of most of our conversation and it was refreshing to swap notes with such a creative girl and plan exciting collaborations for the future.


We headed to Amsterdam on Sunday afternoon to soak up some gorgeous sights without a real plan in mind. By some strange coincidence, just as we stepped off the tram onto what looked like a promising area to explore, I ran into a friend whose Amsterdam loft I recently photographed for Houzz. Given that I don’t know the city at all and very few people in it, I was so surprised! She directed us to a beautiful little street called the Spiegelstraat which was lined with delightful little antique shops spilling their gorgeous goods out onto the pavement. For some reason there happened to be live jazz playing along the streets that day and the energy was buzzing. We trotted along together humming L.O.V.E, soaking up the stunning Dutch facades and gorgeous weather. We wandered past the Rijksmuseum and headed to meet a close friend Nathalie from Nu interieur|ontwerp for dinner. After a glass of wine and delicious sushi, we headed back to the loft that we were all sharing. Between the three of us, it was an absolute ball and perhaps a little too much fun as we hardly slept at all!

We hired bikes to cycle to and from Meet The Blogger, which was hilarious because Ciara hadn’t ridden a bike for about two decades and could barely propel herself forward before stumbling off the seat, which was far too high! A bumpy start and some road rage from crazy Amsterdam cyclists later, and we found ourselves at the Westergasfabriek, the chosen venue for the event. It is a beautiful industrial collection of old factory buildings. The day was made up of several workshops by inspiring women including Victoria of SFGirlbyBay, Tina of Traveling Mama and the legendary textile design queen Tricia Guild. A boat tour to the Designers Guild studio topped the day off, especially as I managed to chat to Tricia herself and get a photo taken of her for my mum, who is her biggest fan. What a gracious and inspiring woman she is.

Day two was held at the annual Woonbeurs, a gigantic lifestyle fair. I attended last year, so was excited to go back to see what’s happening in the world of interiors and lifestyle, and what the trends for the coming year would be. I decided against taking my camera because it is an extremely busy fair, and I wanted to enjoy it without being stressed out, and connect with some of the bloggers that were there too. I ran into Jansje Klazinga, an amazing photographer who shoots for the biggest lifestyle magazines in the Netherlands and abroad. She and I started working together on interior shoots a few months ago, so it was great to see her there. I was also delighted to meet and spend the afternoon with Tina from the gorgeous blog Traveling Mama. She presented a workshop at the event about staying positive and keeping inspired and it was a highlight for me and so many others. We shared lunch, exchanged photography stories, wandered the fair and enjoyed a lovely dinner together with Ciara at the end of the day, before she jetted back home to Copenhagen and Ciara caught a flight back to Ireland. After dinner I gave both girls a good squeeze and headed back home with a full heart and very, very tired eyes. What a wonderful few days spent in a beautiful city with the most brilliant company.

Back home again, I am now preparing for my workshop that I’ll be giving at the Engaged wedding event this Saturday so have spent the day gathering supplies and trying to keep calm!! I’ll be demonstrating crafty DIYs for people to make for their big day so it will be a fun afternoon. If you’re interested in coming, I will be giving the first workshop at 15:30, and then rotating slots with the girls at Nu interieur|ontwerp who will be giving a moodboard making workshop, for the rest of the day. Next weekend, I am headed to the Frankfurt Book Fair to sign copies of my book collaboration and meet some of my co-authors! After that, it’s full steam ahead for the move to our new home! Chatting about interiors all weekend has me so excited to start this new chapter of our lives.

Well, that’s it for me! I have more exciting news to share with you tomorrow, but the image above is a tiny hint 🙂

Until then,

Holly x

* Image by Holly Marder

Scenes of Provence: Gordes

July 17th, 2013

Good morning! Still reminiscing of our all-too-short recent trip to Provence, France, I thought I’d bring you another installment today. This time, join me on a quick trip to one of the largest hilltop villages in the region, Gordes. Wander the charming stone paved alleyways and soak up the stunning views of the city, which seems to cascade down the Monts de Vaucluse it’s perched upon.









IMG_9203 What a breathtaking view this was, with a clear view of the town’s castle, located right in the middle of the village. The stone structure dates back to the 10th century and was remodeled during the Renaissance in 1525. These sweeping views over the Luberon Valley left me utterly charmed and breathless, and eager to return. Sigh…

Have a wonderful day,

Holly x