Being a blogger means that I’m online all the time. Like 18 hours a day. And my eyes are constantly filled with colors and spaces and bright pops of ideas that force my brain to move far too quickly. So before I go to bed each night, I like give my over stimulated, over idea-ified, over everything eyes a place to just be. To soak in the beauty of design and life inspirations so lovely that you just feel like you can breath a little bit easier. And I do that with Holly and her beautiful blog Avenue Lifestyle. So today, we’re all about Holly. Her aesthetic, her taste, her sweet but forever sophisticated approach to all things lovely.


SMP: Some words you live by?
Holly: All things happen for a reason.

SMP: Any guilty pleasures?
Holly: Pinterest is a major guilty pleasure, and cheese {soft and gooey, smelly, strong…anything goes!}. My ultimate guilty pleasure? Both at the same time!

SMP: What did you think your dream job was before your dream job found you?
Holly: I have always known that I wanted to end up working in a creative setting with publications in some capacity, but my dream job would be to be responsible for the styling and production of inspiring lifestyle shoots, collaborating with amazing photographers, and dabbling in the editorial side of things too. Launching Avenue Lifestyle created a place for me to combine all the things I love to do in the realm of interiors, design, styling and writing, so in many ways, my dream job has found me. And it’s only the beginning, so I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

SMP: What’s your favorite quote that describes your creative process?
Holly: “Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn’t hear the music.” – Madame de Staël

SMP: If you had the opportunity to get a message across to a large group of people, what would your message be?
Holly: Trust your instincts, because that little feeling in the pit of your belly is always spot on. If something doesn’t feel quite right, then it probably isn’t.

SMP: If you could do it all over again, would you change anything?
Holly: Everything leading up to this moment has happened very organically, in the way that I believe was supposed to happen. Challenges and hurdles are bound to arise in any given situation, and it’s how those challenges are met that counts. Perhaps if there were one thing I would change, it would be to not stress the small things so much, because in the big picture, the small things don’t really matter all that much. I should really read and re-read to my own words, because I am a perpetual worrier!

SMP: What is one piece of advice you would give to a blogger just starting out?
Holly: Be authentic from the get-go. It makes what you do that much easier, a whole lot more natural and far more enjoyable than if you’re always trying to be someone else. It can be very overwhelming seeing so much wonderful content being poured out onto the web, but it’s also important to take a step back and reconnect with what makes you as an individual stand out. I also feel that while it’s important to be consistent with the regularity of posting, it’s much more important to put quality content out there. There is already so much clutter out there in the blogosphere that I don’t think it’s necessary to add to that for the sake of it. OK, that was more than one piece of advice!

SMP: What is your favorite item in your home?
Holly: In my home office, I have a little arrangement of pictures on the wall beside my desk – things my daughter painted, cute Etsy prints that haven’t yet made it into frames, an antique map and some left-over fabric and lace from my daughter’s first birthday party dress I made. In the midst of this fun little collection is a photograph of my mother aged about 3, and that is the one item I love the most. My little girl Lola looks exactly like her, it’s almost uncanny. I displayed that photo in my bedroom growing up and loved it so much I eventually brought it with me to Europe. About a year ago, I was looking at Lola and thought, “gosh, she looks just like someone I know” (and not me or her papa, because unlike us she is completely blond!). And then the penny dropped. I rushed to her room to retrieve the photo that was stashed away with a bunch of old photographs and the second I laid eyes on it, my jaw nearly hit the floor.

SMP: What’s your best tip for balancing work and personal life?
Holly: Oh, the life of a working mama is a juggling act! As I work a lot from home, it’s sometimes tough to strike the balance between my work and personal life. I am still figuring that out, to be honest, but one thing that helps is to make lists of the things I need to get done during nap times and before the days ends, so that evenings can be spent relaxing with my fiancé. We try to have an ‘offline time’ policy at home in the evenings, so that we don’t end up glued to our laptops on the couch!

SMP: What was the tipping point in your business that made you feel like your blog was going to thrive?
Holly: When my work started getting noticed by publishers and established bloggers within a month of launching, I realized that starting Avenue Lifestyle was the best thing I could have done. Though the blog is still very young, I feel like I’m on the right track. I get such a buzz every time I hit ‘publish’ that I must be right where I need to be.

SMP: What is the hardest lesson in business you’ve ever learned?
Holly: Prioritizing my time. With the little one almost always at my side, a heavy work load, launching a new career path, studying, and doing that all by myself, I must admit I have struggled with maintaining a healthy balance between work and everything that falls outside of that. It’s unrealistic to be all things to all people, and at some stage {very recently} I had to realize that if I didn’t learn to prioritize tasks with the time available to me, I would end up in a spiral of frustration. That’s why it has become so important to me to work away from home every now and then. When I need to be productive and surrounded by creativity, I work from my desk at the interior design studio of Nu Interieur|Ontwerp { http://nu-interieurontwerp.nl }. It’s a gorgeous white space with original exposed brickwork and lots of light.

SMP: Stranded on a desert island question… what’s the one cocktail you would take with you?
Holly: Oh, a Mohito, for sure!

SMP: What color do you think will stand the test of trend time?
Holly: Charcoal grey.

SMP: One thing every style savvy homeowner should have?
Holly: A great sofa. It’s the most prominent item in a room and the most well used item in the home – well, at least in our home it is!

SMP: If you could buy yourself a single gift of any cost, what would it be?
Holly: Haha, a fabulous sofa!

Photography: Anouschka Rokebrand