For nearly a decade, my boys have been sharing a room. At first it was a necessity as our New York apartment where we lived when Sam was born was tiny. When we arrived in Dubai, they started in separate rooms. But when I invested in the Oeuf NYC bunk bed (which had been on my personal wish list for a long time) the boys happily chose their obvious bunk. Jack up – Sam down. They loved being together in the mornings and evenings and I can tell you, it made the bedtime routine easy for me.
Visiting the Stockholm Design Week has been one of the highlights of 2020. And I can say that even though the year is just started. Being a Scandinavian design enthusiast, it was incredible to be in a part of the world where so many of my favorite designs come from. And I am not only talking about interiors. This also goes for fashion, styling and a new found interest: the Scandinavian food. Now that the stardust of my Nordic adventure is settling, I finally have the time to share the trends I found most stunning and memorable.
So… January just flew by before being able to reflect on the past decade. A decade in which I not only became a mother, I also moved countries twice and started up two businesses that I am very proud of today. It is always worth reflecting. Looking back gives you the opportunity to see what went well and what goes on the improvement list. Looking forward allows you to set our business goals for 2020. And being focused on those got me from being passionate about styling to running my own business.
We did not get here overnight. We suffered from imposter syndrome for years, because being a creative and doing what you love can feel like a hobby. But now, six years after arriving in Dubai with an idea, I can say that my gut feeling has been my biggest driver. It got me started with Live Loud Girl, a blog where I would share my love for beautiful interiors. It allowed me to build a team of people I trust and can share ideas with. It forced me to make bold decisions, bluff where needed and grab opportunities. It pushed me to start the furniture business Fronteriors with Kath from House of Hawkes – a partner who others will refer to as my competition. And it challenged me to rent a proper office. Moving into Studio Fronteriors last year, has been a dream come true. It is the home to the Live Loud Girl, House of Hawkes and the Fronteriors team and the place we use for photo shoots and brand styling.
As interiors is kind of our thing, we have put effort, time and money into making this studio an inspirational place for all of us. Painting the ceilings and walls, putting in a wooden floor and adding furniture and accessories that make us smile when we walk in in the morning all adds up to our output.
Taking ourselves seriously (but not too serious… fine line…) and being professional is important for building our brand. We stay very close to what we believe in. Because if we don’t, who will.
Growth is essential. We want to stretch a bit and do things we never would imagine we could pull off. Being scarred and biting some fingernails is part of the fun.
It is not only about how much we make. We focus more on how we make it. The creativity prevails the financials. The fun overrules stress. And coffee always, always beats water.
If starting your own business is on your new years resolutions list, go for it. Here are our cliche tips that have worked for us:
Stop saying you will start, just start!
Speak to people about your ideas. Getting feedback is so valuable
Get out there and sell your product. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one will
Work hard, work a lot. Having your own business means that you are working 24/7. If that does not excite you, make a new plan
The best thing about installatios is seeing things come to life. All the thought we put into the choice of materials, the color pallet and finding unique items to make it a whole are just thoughts on paper up to the moment they are put into place. Where we usually do this for clients, this time around the istallation was for my own holiday home: Live Loud Girl Stays. A little three bedroom home near the Dutch Coast.
You might have seen some of the things we had put on the wish list. And slowly but surely we found all the right items. Some were bought in vintage stores (who would have known this lamp would look so amazing), other items were carefully selected from some of our favorite brands and local Dutch stores.
Every project starts with inspiration (Pinterest, magazines, Instagram…). For the mood board we will choose items we want to use to see how they work in combination with the chosen colors. It then all comes together with the actual installation where you will find us on a latter hanging a lamp or applying the wall paper.
There are a few items that really make this place special for me. I can’t hide the fact that I’m a huge fan of cane webbing. I love it for chairs, stools, cabinets…you name it. So when the Dutch supplier NLXL launched their new range, I could not wait to get my hands on it. A statement wall does not get more statement then this! I am giddy as a goat to have not one, but 2 designs of this wall paper making their appearance in the home. One as backdrop for the pink cabinet in the living room, the other as a headboard in the master bedroom.
The kitchen had a make over thanks to these new cabinets from De Oude Interieurbouw. I might be biased choosing this supplier (yes, my brother is also into interiors…) but they are honestly incredible. We kept the base of the kitchen and changed the sink, the cabinets doors and the kitchen counter top to black.
For the bathroom we (read: I) went a bit bolder. Yet the gorgeous pink Design Tegels will make you feel like you are showering on a pink cloud. The finishing touch here is the Finnish Woodio wash bassin. The washbasin is 100% waterproof wood composite that consists of real wood chips. And did you see the stunning &tradition Journey wall lights next to the mirror. Talking about finishing touches!
For the soft styling there were also some items on my wishlist like the table and Flowerpot pendant from &tradition. And how I love this amazing chair from rattan chair in the living room. It contrasts beautifully with the softer tones of the sofa and accessories.
Just before the end of the year we finished up this cozy holiday home on the Dutch coast. We will be staying here when we are back home, yet it is also available to rent! If you are interested, get in touch! We would love to host you and give you the full Live Loud Girl experience during your stay!