Studio Makeover: Before & After!


So guys do you wanna take a peek inside my studio space? I walked you through the before’s and during’s and have promised you a tour for ages. I know, I’ve made you what for this one. It’s been so busy behind the scenes here and some things just take a little longer than others. I’ve spent many a late evening compiling this baby for you – sorry for making you wait so long but today I am excited to show you the full tour of my studio! The good the bad, and the ugly. I know you enjoyed peeking into my bedroom a few months ago, so I hope you enjoy today’s space just as much. Enjoy!

Avenue Lifestyle Studio // Photography: Holly Marder
As I mentioned in my last post, this is the place all my blogging happens, any product styling and photography I’m working on and also workshops have started taking place in here too. It’s where I come to be inspired, and it’s such an incredibly light space up here thanks to a four meter wide window and skylight that being inspired isn’t all that hard up here.

I must admit we still have some work to do in here {I wonder if it’ll ever be truly finished} but this is how things are looking right now. In case you missed it, here’s the moodboard I made to inspire the colour scheme and general look and feel:

moodboard studio 1

I wanted a primarily white, clean space but with some gentle smatterings of muted colour thrown in. I am sure the colour-phobe in me will tire of this palette but as we kept the base all white and added colour in accessories, it’ll just be a case of swapping out art and textiles if the mood should ever strike. But this palette of greens, blues, blushes and burgundys is really working for me at the moment! It’s fresh, feminine and peaceful all at the same time.

I wanted a degree of eclecticism in here but still for the space to be clean and uncluttered. I wanted  it to feel decorated but be practical enough so that when I need to move things around to shoot or host a workshop, I could do so easily. Lots of practical factors came into play up here because although it’s a part of my home, it is first and foremost my workspace.

studio before 4

studio during 6

studio during 7.1

Avenue Lifestyle Studio // Photography: Holly Marder

When we moved in, the room featured orange vinyl covered floors, off white walls that needed a fresher up, cream coloured woodwork and dated wallpaper lining the stairs. Not bad, by all means {it could have been a lot worse} but very dated and a little bit depressing.

Read the renovation process HERE. A quick re-cap on the room design:

When it came to decorating, there was one main goal:


The space needed to strike a harmony between decoration and function. It basically needed to be:

>> Flexible: To have the ability to accommodate the various activities that would be going on up here – workshops, product shoots, editorial productions, etc. – but still be ‘put together’ enough to be an inspiring space to work in

>> Multifunctional: All furniture and accessories should be easily moveable so that the space would remain versatile and multifunctional. So basically, I should be able to empty out the room completely in 30 minutes and then be able to easily put it back together again and for it to still look nice

>> Inspiring: I wanted to space to be calm and bright, comfortable to work in but inspiring enough to boost creativity. Lots of white space to reflect light with enough visual inspiration. Collected with vintage elements, but clean and not too ‘full’ or cluttered.

Avenue Lifestyle Studio // Photography: Holly Marder

I absolutely adore the new wooden pushpins by Nu interieur|ontwerp, which I have used to pin it up the things on my moodboard wall. Such a genius idea. They are based on the concept behind the ever popular washi tape, but made out of oak and walnut wood with either a much pin or magnet on the back.

Avenue Lifestyle Studio // Photography: Holly Marder

Avenue Lifestyle Studio // Photography: Holly Marder

Avenue Lifestyle Studio // Photography: Holly Marder

Here’s another before and after view of the desk area, which faces the window:

studio during 8

Avenue Lifestyle Studio // Photography: Holly Marder

I created a simple desk out of two sheets of multiplex wood, which I sanded down and applied a natural oil to protect the surface. The oil I used was this one from Dille en Kamille and it worked well in allowing the pale colour of the wood to remain. I used trestle legs on either end of the desk and two drawer units from Ikea to support the centre. The table leaves can be easily removed when needed so it’s a very practical option for me. Often, on days I am at home with my little girl, I work on the left and Lola plays and does art on the right side and it works well! I brought in neutral upholstered chairs from Fashion for Home which are streamlined and very comfortable.

Avenue Lifestyle Studio // Photography: Holly Marder

Avenue Lifestyle Studio // Photography: Holly Marder

Avenue Lifestyle Studio // Photography: Holly Marder / Textile flower by Puur Anders

On the wall beside my desk is a little growing moodboard of inspiring magazine tearings, fabric samples I love {I’m a sucker for linen and woven textiles}, a couple of favourite photographs of me and my studio I commissioned Hanke Arkenbout to take for my ‘About‘ page, and the most beautiful, delicate little fabric flower that was given to me by my friend Miranda from Puur Anders who makes them all by hand. It’s part of her ‘Rijksmuseum’ collection, in which oil paintings of Dutch masters have been printed onto fabric and then made into the most delicate floral decorations.

studio before 2

studio during 1

Avenue Lifestyle Studio // Photography: Holly Marder / Lamp: Iumi Steckdesign / Sideboard: Superfront / Art: Artsheaven

This is a little seating area where I have lunch, coffee, brainstorm sessions, interviews and meet with clients. I picked up the vintage Persian rug from a little clothing and interiors shop in Delft town called Bij Marlies, basically buying it off the floor of the shop. I have layered it over a simple textured rug made from natural fibres as it was a little on the small side. I had eyeballed so many vintage rugs on Etsy looking for one that would work well with the oil painting and when I saw dashes of turquoise in this one I knew it was the one. I love all the rough edges and like the dimension it gives to the space.

The light is a really cool piece by Iumi Steckdesign, a German based company that make laser cut wooden light fixtures that you assemble yourself at home. My husband had an absolute party assembling it! The round table is the ‘Docksta‘ from Ikea. The chairs are vintage Thonet.

The sideboard is an Ikea ‘Besta’ which was fitted with beautiful new doors, sleek sides and top and brass handles, all by Swedish based company Superfront. Have you seen what these guys do? They offer all sorts of goodies you can buy to pimp your Ikea furniture and I think their concept is brilliant. I featured them a while back, if you remember. I chose the ‘Illusion’ pattern for the doors, with plain sides and tops all in Aerugo Green. I absolutely love what Superfront has done to the Besta – it just elevates it to something more special and personal than a plain white Besta, don’t you think?

Avenue Lifestyle Studio // Photography: Holly Marder

Avenue Lifestyle Studio // Photography: Holly Marder

Avenue Lifestyle Studio // Photography: Holly Marder

Click on the above image for a larger view

I use the sideboard to store colour charts, brochures, files, admin stuff, inspiration and interior design related bits and pieces, including leather handles by NU interieur|ontwerp which I love and use a lot in my projects, to grab and show to clients as we chat. The artwork above the sideboard is an oil on canvas reproduction of a Henri Matisse nude study, which you can pick up at Arts Heaven. It was given to me and I just love the colours and emotion in the artwork.

You’ll recognise the hanging planters from a recent collaboration I did with Danish ceramicist Anne Black. Her work is simple and delicate, minimalist but organic. I have three planters in two sizes and in three colours – concrete, artichoke and white – and love them suspended above the sideboard!

Avenue Lifestyle Studio // Photography: Holly Marder

Avenue Lifestyle Studio // Photography: Holly Marder

Avenue Lifestyle Studio // Photography: Holly Marder

Avenue Lifestyle Studio // Photography: Holly Marder

The area on the platform to the right, despite being all tidy for the images of course, is where I store products for interior projects I am working on, or props for photo shoots, and an area I have decided to keep ‘as is’ for the time being so I can have more flexibility in the space. A few weeks ago I held a private styling workshop in here and used the platform to set up a styling area for my student to work at. All of those sliding cupboards under the eaves are storage space too, so I wanted to be able to access it freely, but I’m considering making a little sitting area up there.

studio before 1

studio during 2

studio during 5

Avenue Lifestyle Studio // Photography: Holly Marder

Here’s a view from the platform looking down to the desk area. The blank space to the left is used for shooting. I would love to style it so the above image would look a little more complete, and might do at some point, but for now there needs to be an empty, white space to shoot against. And it’s a gem of a spot with the skylight above it.

The window frames, sadly, are not made out of wood, making it a hell of a job to paint. They really were letting the team down once everything was all fresh and new and I struggled for a while with what to do with them. Paint them anyway and go through hell in the process? Hang curtains? Blinds?

With a 4 meter window I knew that having blinds was going to be a costly little exercise as the measurements were like, 3.76 meters, making it impossible to find cheap, standard sized blinds. And we have two of these widows – one underneath in Lola’s bedroom. Ka-ching! We left them bare for a long time but decided on taking the plunge for three reasons:

1. it’s actually a little too bright working under the window and on sunny days a shade is definitely needed;

2. as spring and summer were approaching we needed shades in Lola’s room, and I didn’t want to have to order blinds in two batches so the studio would get some at the same time;

3. they look nice! That counts, right?!

I ordered though Veneta, who sent a representative to come in and measure the windows and show us fabric samples. It was a very easy process which I’d highly recommend. I chose white linen Roman blinds in here and since hanging them up, hardly notice the drab window frames anymore. They are ideal, practical and soften the space beautifully.

Avenue Lifestyle Studio // Photography: Holly Marder / Light: Iumi Steckdesign / Sideboard: Superfront / Hanging planters: Anne Black Ceramics

Avenue Lifestyle Studio // Photography: Holly Marder

Avenue Lifestyle Studio // Photography: Holly Marder / Lamp: Schoolhouse Electric

Avenue Lifestyle Studio // Photography: Holly Marder

Avenue Lifestyle Studio // Photography: Holly Marder / Lamp: Schoolhouse Electric

I work a lot in the studio at night so I was looking for a good wall sconce to shed some light on my desk after hours. I adore the little Isaac sconce from one of my favourite brands Schoolhouse Electric and the touch of brass it adds in here.

Avenue Lifestyle Studio // Photography: Holly Marder

Avenue Lifestyle Studio // Photography: Holly Marder / Light: Iumi Steckdesign / Sideboard: Superfront / Rug: Bij Marlies Delft / Art: Artsheaven

So that’s it for now! I still have some things I want to do in here, like add a little sitting area – I have two gorgeous vintage chairs that will go here once they’ve been  reupholstered – and play around with art on the walls. I’m sure I will change things over time, which is normal for me, but this is a really happy place to be and much fresher and lighter than it was.

Hope you enjoyed this tour!

It might not seem so, but a LOT of work was poured into this room! I cringe thinking back to all the sawdust after the beams were sanded, all of us living up here for the first three months after buying the house, crammed in here with half the contents of our house, all the painting and all the while working downstairs on other parts of the renovation too. It has been an exhausting, tedious year but very, very rewarding.

And exciting news! The studio and a few other parts of my home will be featured in the June issue of vtwonen magazine, so those in the Netherlands be sure to pick up a copy! There’s a whole interview in there about my blogging and personal journey which I’m so excited to see in print and share with you all!

Find something you love? Click below for the resources.

I’d love to read your thoughts on this space,

Holly x

Photography/Styling: Holly Marder {Avenue Lifestyle} / Table: Ikea ‘Docksta’ / Rug: vintage from Bij Marlies / Natural rug: Qwantum / Chairs: vintage Thonet / Sideboard: Ikea ‘Besta’ (2 x 120cm x 40cm x 38cm), with doors, sides, tops and brass handles by Superfront / Oil on canvas: Arts Heaven / Leather handles: Nu interieur|ontwerp / Hanging planters: Anne Black Ceramics / Lamp: Iumi Steckdesign / Desk chairs: Fashion for Home / Wall sconce: Schoolhouse Electric / Desk: self made from multiplex plywood bought at a local building supply store / Oil for desk top: Dille en Kamille / Desk storage: Ikea ‘Alex‘ / Wooden pushpins: Nu interieur|ontwerp / Fabric flower: Puur Anders / Brass paperclip desk accessory: vintage from Microscope Telescope / Roman blinds: Veneta

61 Responses to “Studio Makeover: Before & After!”

  1. Like your bedroom I expect these pictures to be all over Pinterest soon. I really really like everything! Great job 🙂

  2. Janine Ross says:

    We’ve been richly rewarded seeing this transformation. Before, during and after, what a treat and what a fabulous space you’ve created. A true reflection of your style!
    Hours and hours of hard work and planning, very well done.

  3. Peachygoods says:

    Wauwie that looks great! Can’t wait to have my own studio one day ^^

  4. […] doen het ook altijd goed. 😉 Holly van Avenue Lifestyle plaatste foto’s van haar studio makeover, erg mooi geworden. En als ‘topping‘ een fijne quote geschreven met waterverf die […]

  5. Wonderful! Really fun to see all the work/thought that went into making such a beautiful space!

  6. Eduarda says:

    Your office looks amazing! I’m just in love with the colours and furniture. Job well done!

  7. Ilse says:

    I absolutely love it, as allways. Well done!

  8. katie says:

    I love it! I have been thinking of a desk like that for my boyfriend and myself, we currently have two separate desks

  9. […] visit her blog quickly and see the full scoop of this amazing studio makeover. And in case you missed another […]

  10. Maria says:

    Hi! Beautiful studio! Do you by any chance remember the name of the ikea drawers? Best regards, Maria

  11. Adrienne says:

    Really great transformation! Fresh, spacious and inspiring!

  12. christine says:

    It’s absolutely gorgeous!

  13. John says:

    I love it!

    I personally think the two most important spaces in the house is the office/studio and the kitchen.

    The kitchen is important because that where’s I cook, and its necessary to have a well organized and large space to come up with my culinary creations.

    The office/studio is important because that’s where I work, and I need a clean, clutter-free workspace that allows for maximum productivity.

    I don’t really care about my bedroom too much, since all I do is sleep there. I keep it nice and dark anyways so I get good sleep. I never got the whole “light” bedroom aesthetic where there’s ton of light filling in to the bedrooms. That just messes up with my sleep.

  14. […] Source: Avenue Lifestyle […]

  15. Poky says:

    Lo ame!!! I love it!!!!
    Kisses from Chile 🙂

  16. Tiffany says:

    Loved reading and seeing your stupid makeover journey form the inspiration bored to the final outcome! Would love to have my own studio like this one, such a great place to work in!
    Love it!

  17. […] Studio Makeover: Before & After 2: 33 Crazy Cool Home Office Inspirations 3: 45 Awesome Workspaces & […]

  18. Mónica says:

    It’s gorgeous!!!
    Could you tell me where is the ceiling lamp from? I love it!!!

  19. Simply gorgeous! The perfect studio!!

  20. Alexandra says:

    Love everything about this space! Thanks for sharing photos and sources. I’m looking at the IUMI lamps and see that this style comes in two sizes; did you select the larger, or smaller of the two?

  21. […] Paired with a Saarinen-style tulip table via Avenue Lifestyle […]

  22. Oliver Ng says:

    Love, love, love your studio. Where did you get the trestle legs?

  23. Ben says:

    Hi, I really like the desk space you have there and would like to do something similar, did you attach the desk top to the drawers and stands or did you just rest them on top?

    • Holly says:

      Hi Ben, the desk top simply rests on top of the cabinets in the centre and two trestle legs on either side. Easy!

  24. […] see where other bloggers work? I’ve been a little obsessed with it lately, and stumbled upon this light and airy studio makeover from Avenue Lifestyle that I love. Just the right dose of color, and plenty of white space for […]

  25. […] das imagens: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 […]

  26. […] como vais a poder comprobar en todas las fotografías del antes y después que ha publicado en su web y de las cuales aquí os traemos una […]

  27. Katrina says:

    Love your studio Holly – just wondering where you purchased your desk chair from – I’ve been looking for one like that!

  28. […] Hem, Tudo Orna, Flickr, HubDecor, Homey Oh My, Olivia Blog and Concept Store, Avenue Lifestyle, The UltraLinx, Ana Antunes Home […]

  29. […] à l’occasion. On visite aujourd’hui le studio de Holly, du blog Avenue Lifestyle (source). Un beau mélange de couleurs pastel, sur fond blanc et […]

  30. […] which has been a huge motivator to finish each room. I have shared our bedroom last summer, then my studio tour went live a few months ago, I did a studio update more recently and now I am excited we have wrapped […]

  31. Adriane says:

    Where did you get the trestles for the desk legs? I want to do something similar but am having a hard time finding them!
    Thank you!

  32. […] Source: Holly Marder/Avenue Lifestyle […]

  33. Matthias Chia says:

    Hi! A little late to the game but your studio is so prettt!! I’m trying to emulate it and was wondering what type of multiplex wood this is, birch or..? Thank you very much!

  34. […] DesignStudio; Avenue Design Studio; Blupics; Pavel Vetrov & Aleksandr Zenzura; Studio 13: Dearkids: Elayne Barre: MCK Architects; […]

  35. Amy says:

    Hi! Love this space! It could be my office! I’m curious how wide your desk space is. I am wanting to recreate in my office as well and want a sense of scale. I think I only have room for 1 drawer unit as support for the middle.

    • Holly says:

      Hi Amy, the desk is just shy of 4 meters wide, so we really did need two units in the centre as well as on either side to support it. Good luck recreating yours! Holly

  36. Claudine Gaudreau says:

    Hi! I just love your studio!

    I would like to ask how thick is the multiplex wood panel
    that you used to create the top of your desk…

    This is very inspiring, but I would like to be sure that my
    desk top is not too thick.

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