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Home Styling | A New Blog Series


I've finally felt like I've made some progress this week on both the work and work/life front. Being our summer holidays, the month of January always feels like a bit of a write-off in terms of gaining some control in these areas. While everyone is easing back into work, the kids are still off school so I feel like I'm muddling through, just taking it one day at a time. All the new year goals are on hold until they head back in February, but this month got off to a really busy start with travel and a magazine shoot. Now with March fast approaching, I realise it's taken me a few weeks to get back into routine. I've started tackling some projects around home, I finally returned to Reformer Pilates classes today, and I've had some time to consolidate my thoughts around the blog and styling work, which leads me to today's post. 

A photo from earlier this year, sneaking in some work time on my laptop while juggling school holidays 

Over the last couple of years I feel like my blog has been moving in a slightly different direction. When I started out it was a place to share what I loved, but also my vision for the house we were building at the time. As I carried out my own personal research around the interior design, putting together mood boards and honing in on my own personal style, I was able to share the journey, offering plenty of inspiration and ideas on the blog. Over the years our home and my style has continued to evolve, and I have been very lucky to have worked on some great styling projects. I've learnt so much along the way, and I'd love to share more of what I've learnt. I still want to continue sharing interiors that I love - home tours, design news, etc - as they will always be inspirational, but I'd also like to return to writing posts that help with day-to-day styling around home.

I get a lot of people asking me if I can help with their residential projects, and while I did go down this track at one point, I decided to focus on commercial styling and working with like-minded brands. There just weren't enough hours in the day to do both! But I'm hoping I can offer help in this area through the new series I'm kicking off today, Home Styling. 

With each post in the series I'll choose a new topic to write about, offering ideas and inspiration for styling areas or elements of the home. While I won't be building a new home any time soon, I may at times imagine that this is something I'm working on, as I find having a vision helps me to bring my ideas together. Just like when I'm creating a room setting for a magazine shoot, I'll envisage how I'd like the room to look and feel. 

Laying the foundation for these posts will be my own Nordic-inspired interior style which is pared-back and elegant with a relaxed feel. I love neutral palettes, and I'm a firm believer that you can use texture to 'colour' your home. I know many of you will be on the same page, but if not, that's okay too! The ideas I share can be translated to a more colourful world, if that's what brings you joy. Your home is your sanctuary, it's where you come home to, where you live, relax and recharge, so it's important that you create a space that works for you and your lifestyle. 

On that note, I thought it would be nice to start today with three ideas that I find integral to laying the foundation for creating a home infused with the Nordic style and way of life. 

— Buy Once, Buy Well —

I'm mortified to admit that many, many moons ago when funds were minimal I made some awful choices, buying cheap replica furniture. Having come a very long way since then, I now wouldn't dream of it. It's been a slow burn furnishing our home with pieces I love, even with a helping hand because of what I do for a living, but it's been worth the wait. My family and I get so much enjoyment from living with the beautiful furniture and lighting designs we now have from iconic Scandinavian brands. And I know that I will be passing these timeless pieces down to my kids and in turn, the grandkids. The 'Buy Once, Buy Well' concept was firmly cemented for me when I visited Denmark. Visiting showrooms and meeting designers whose great-grandparents had founded the company, the sense of tradition and history was palpable. For many people in NZ and Australia, this is still a new way of thinking. But when you do start to shift your mindset, the results are life-changing. Rather than being trend driven, I buy what I love. First and foremost, I look for authentic design and high quality materials. I have discovered that there is elegance in simplicity, and that I don't need to be surrounded by too many things. In fact, I am much happier in uncluttered surroundings. I look for pieces with both beauty and functionality - a combination that encapsulates the very essence of Scandinavian design, it's now what I live and breathe. 

Our dining area and deck have both been very slow works in progress, and with each element I have taken my time in selecting the right pieces

— Hygge —

While we may not experience the same levels of coldness and darkness in our lives, we can certainly take hints from the Danes' term Hygge. Used to describe a feeling or moment, one that is cosy, intimate and special, it's a great notion for creating a home that has soul and one that brings happiness. For me, I think of slowing down and being present. I might light a candle, make a cup of coffee and play some of my favourite music. Sitting down to eat dinner as a family is another Hygge moment for me - when the kids are behaving! And another is that moment where everyone has rushed out the door in the morning and I breathe a sigh of relief, embrace the quiet and get on with my day. I love working from home for this reason and I purposely created a workspace that has a calming effect. I chose a warm, muted palette and I surround myself with things I love such as postcards from travels and quirky objects. In case you missed it, I just shared my Workspace Update on the blog yesterday. 

My favourite place to relax at home - a coffee and magazine, fresh flowers, a scented oil burner or candle and music are my favourite elements to create 'hygge'

— Tone and Texture —

I touched on my love of using texture earlier, and it's something that is evident in all the Scandinavian interiors I admire. Adding warmth and softness to minimalist spaces is a true Nordic quality that I have embraced in my own home and styling. I love to achieve this through the use of natural materials with some of my favourite elements including warm wood flooring and furniture, natural stone for work surfaces and splash backs (marble and travertine are current loves) and wool rugs underfoot. For bedding I can't go past natural linen and I also use natural foliage to introduce further texture. I alternate between dried and fresh flowers and I also love using indoor plants to brighten a space.

When working with neutrals and muted colours, tonality is really important in creating harmony. I love playing around with different hues. For example in my Workspace Update that I shared yesterday, I placed some dried flowers with rich honey and caramel tones against the soft griege walls to add contrast. A topic I'm really passionate about, I am going to go into more depth with this one during the new series.

A calm and simple haven, our bedroom features textural elements including linen bedding and a beautiful marble bedside table top

Our dark flooring downstairs add depth and richness to the tonal walls and shelves, while black accents add further contrast

If you're still here, thanks for reading till the end - it's been a long one! I'm excited about this series and I hope that I can offer ongoing inspiration. Please feel free to leave a comment below, and if there's a specific topic you'd like help with, ask away! 

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  1. indeed buy once, buy well:))
    my choose as well.

    Have a great day!
    Martine / Via Martine

  2. You always propose exceptional Ideas..... Thanks for the share

    1. Thanks so much Elena, that's lovely to hear! x



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