I know I’ve said it before, but one of the best things about creating Style Serendipity has been the wonderful people it has put in my path who I would have never encountered otherwise. A couple of months ago I stumbled across the beautiful blog Avenue, created by interiors writer and stylist Holly Marder, and I loved everything about it. It was such treat to come across another creative who has a similar aesthetic style to mine, and in a quite uncharacteristic move I emailed her to let her know how much I admired her work. That little email led to a whole new friendship and we finally got to meet in person last week to enjoy a few days at the Meet the Blogger conference in Amsterdam! Meet the Blogger brought together 140 international lifestyle bloggers over two days, sharing inspiration and advice from amazing key note speakers like Victoria Smith of SF Girl By Bay, Tricia Guild of Designers Guild and Tina Fussell of Traveling Mama blog.
An additional treat involved special access and talks (you can see from my instagram feed I felt more than a little important swanning around with my press pass!) at the biggest interior design show in the Netherlands, De Woonbeurs. Considering how excited I get about wandering around an Ikea show room, the amount of interiors eye candy at this exhibition was enough to make me feel like I’d died and gone to heaven! De Woonbeurs highlights involved full spaces designed and styled by the biggest interiors magazines in the Netherlands including VT Wonen, Ariadne At Home and 101 Woonideeen. I’ll be featuring more images of these styled spaces soon but for today I just wanted to share a taste of the adventure and some of my snaps (from my iphone so excuse the quality!) taken over the few days.
It might have seemed like a strange move heading over to Amsterdam to meet and stay with someone I’d never met before, but Holly and I hit it off from the moment I arrived. Following a bright and early 6am flight into Amsterdam, she very kindly invited me to spend the day in Delft with her beautiful family and we literally didn’t stop talking about the wonderful world of styling, interiors, weddings, food, photography and everything in between until I left three days later. Sunday evening was spent wandering the shops near the canals in Amsterdam and thanks to a recommendation from a friend she happened to bump into, we found ourselves in the antiques quarter with live jazz spilling out from various stores. The amount of amazing props available there left me cursing my luggage restrictions for the flight back but I did manage to snag some beautiful antique cutlery for a future food shoot. The cutlery almost didn’t make it home thanks to my forgetfulness but that’s another story!
Holly’s good friend Nathalie from the interior design firm and blog Nu Interieur | Ontwerp also joined us that evening and the three of us stayed together which made the whole adventure all the more enjoyable. My face hurt by the end of the trip from laughing and staying up chatting until the small hours of the morning made it feel like I was a teenager at a sleep over again. I had been in Amsterdam once before almost twenty years ago, during a family holiday which involved driving from Ireland to Denmark (it sounds a bit mad but it was one of the best trips I’ve ever been on) so I was looking forward to exploring Amsterdam again as an adult. The design culture in the Netherlands is such a part of their daily life and Amsterdam has such a lovely relaxed vibe, I could have wandered the streets and explored the canals just looking at all the beautiful buildings for the whole trip. I was more than a bit envious to see and hear how ordinary peoples homes are styled so impeccably. Nathalie is selling her home at the moment, and it is absolutely stunning, it’s well worth a look here.
One part of the adventure that I wasn’t banking on was getting to the conference the first day on a bike! I knew cycling was a huge part of the culture there too and that it’s often the best way to get around but let’s just say it took more than a few false starts and lots of patient encouragement from Holly and Nathalie to get us there. I was just relieved I got there in one piece, and hey, if I can survive a cycle across Amsterdam in rush hour, I can survive most things, right?! I can’t wait to share more from the few days, there really are few things more inspiring then travelling somewhere new and meeting like minded, lovely people, and I’m looking forward to some exciting collaborations with these ladies in the future. In the mean time go explore Holly and Nathalie’s gorgeous blogs, perfect for whiling away a Sunday afternoon enjoy!
Image Credits: Ciara O’Halloran