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Photography set- Eclectic dark navy living room

It’s all systems go at Audenza HQ at the moment, so we thought we’d give you a bit of a behind-the-scenes look at some of the action over the coming months. Starting with our new photography studio!

So, we have just moved our photography set (posh word that for what is essentially a stage set of two walls) into Audenza HQ – at last. It makes everything so much easier as all of the products are here to photograph, so no moving massive amounts of products to another location. We can even stop for lunch in the middle of working which is an added bonus. As we are not able to make any changes to the fabric of the building (there is also a lot of pipework running up the walls), the whole set had to be made from massive boards of MDF, even the flooring!

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tropical patio ideas

What a glorious summer we are having – and long may it continue!  We all want to be able to sit outside and enjoy the warmth and sunshine in our outdoor space, be it a balcony, courtyard or full on acres, so here’s how to jazz up your seating area and make the most of it.  No green fingers required!  Accessories are the key and it’s so easy with an abundance of outdoor goodies to be had, you just need to decide which way you want to go – the same as with your interior décor – dark and moody or vibrant and colourful or maybe rustic and bucolic?  We picked a few of our favourite Instagram gardens to give you some ideas to get you started.  Better be quick though, surely this sunshine is too good to be true?!

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Karolina Barnes, Editor and creative director of ESTILA

Lack of inspiration was the driving force behind our next Fabulous and Fearless Woman’s successful business venture. Meet the lovely Karolina Barnes, editor in chief and creative director of bookazine, ESTILA. It was whilst running an extension of her family business and during her second pregnancy that Karolina was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour and went blind in one eye within 8 weeks. A few years later and not letting her illness get the better of her, she closed the business in order to find her purpose. Karolina retrained as an interior designer but was left feeling uninspired by the publications around her, so she decided to do something about it…

ESTILA was founded in 2015 and is a beautifully presented bookazine that empowers creatives and designers to share their inspirational business stories. Since then, the magazine has featured some pretty incredible people including renowned designer Matthew Williamson. Karolina shares more about ESTILA, living with an illness and vision for the future of the bookazine. 

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As you may already know, we launched a new hashtag and monthly competition on Instagram back in September last year to coincide with the vision for our rebrand, and we’re delighted to say that we’ve been overwhelmed by the response of our hashtag #livefabulousandfearless. So many of you have shared with us your utterly gorgeous, courageous and inspiring homes and we just can’t get enough! So today, we thought we’d share with you our top 13 #livefabulousandfearless homes…

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Destinations with colourful buildings- Chefchaouen- Morocco

I don’t know about you but there’s something visually pleasing about a row of colourful buildings or even just one brightly painted house that never ceases to amaze. I can remember my first visit to Portobello Road in London and being totally dazzled by the neatly lined town houses in an assortment of dreamy pastels and rich shades. Colour can often be tricky to work with which is why so many people shy away from its striking vibrancy, but if used correctly, it can leave a lasting impression. So, that said, to celebrate bold and daring architecture in all of its colourful glory, we’ve selected our top 10 destinations of colourful buildings that are guaranteed lift your spirits and put a smile on your face.

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You know how it is, you see a beautiful item of furniture and fall in love with it, but will it fit with your decor? Always a tricky one this, and it’s often hard to imagine how a product will fit with your scheme if you see it photographed in an entirely different setting to your own. Or maybe you are doing a complete revamp in a room and don’t know which way to go with a look? We love this fab blush pink velvet armchair, so we thought, let’s see how it looks styled 3 different ways to give you an idea of possibilities. So many choices, so many looks, how is a girl to decide!

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Our next Fabulous & Fearless Woman is one truly incredible lady! We’re delighted to introduce you to Jaz O’Hara, founder of The Worldwide Tribe. Back in 2015, Jaz had a ‘normal’ job working in the fashion industry for an ethical underwear brand. She’d always been interested in helping others, and during this time the refugee camp in Calais, known as ‘The Jungle’ had just started to appear in the news. Captivated by the devastating events, Jaz had so many questions about the people living in the camp, which the media had no answers for. It was these unanswered questions that motivated her to visit ‘The Jungle’ to find out the for truth herself, a life changing trip that would spark the idea for The Worldwide Tribe.

Since its humble beginnings, the organisation has become something bigger than Jaz had ever imagined, its first initial JustGiving page was the biggest crowdfunding campaign ever yet, she’s successfully fought for a bill to be passed in parliament and given a TedTalk. Today, she shares with us her remarkable story…

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As you know, we love sharing the fabulous homes of those who aren’t afraid to stand out from the crowd. You know, the kind that oozes personality and leaves you in awe as soon as you walk through the door. Well, our next house tour certainly does just that! Hayley Brooke has kindly let us take a nosey around her stunning home whilst sharing the inspiration behind how she transformed her dark and old-fashioned bungalow into an opulent and eccentric family space.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and where do you live?

My name is Hayley I’m 41 years old and I live with my 3 children and two dogs in Essex. I live in a 4-bed bungalow sitting on 3 acres of beautiful gardens. I moved here from Highbury, North London nearly 9 years ago. My eldest daughter is disabled and needs round the clock care so moving to a bungalow with lots of space suited us as a family.

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I’m so excited to finally be able to reveal my tropical garden room retreat – nearly finished, at last! This is my garden room (as I call it) and also Isaac (my grandson’s) playroom. In its previous life, it was an homage to vintage as a result of a collection of old furniture that didn’t fit anywhere else. For the garden room’s revamp, I knew I wanted a lush, warm, embracing feel, and to bring the outside in, so I had the amazingly comfy sofa reupholstered in a gorgeous dark green velvet as the starting point.  And then I fell seriously in love with this ‘Palm Jungle Wallpaper’ by Cole & Son – isn’t it fabulous?  I haven’t put any pictures or wall art up as I love the wallpaper so much I don’t want detract from it, and quite like the simplicity.  You know you’re a maximalist when you class heavily patterned wallpaper as ‘simplicity’.

The majority of the furniture is original to the room (apart from the Raspberry Velvet Pouf and the Mongolian Fur Chair), but I repainted the large old dresser and a side table in ‘Mallard’ by Dulux Heritage.  What do you think to the armchair recovered in a striking patterned velvet by Designers Guild?  I debated about this for a few weeks but…

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We all love and need a little design inspiration from time to time, am I right? Whether it’s flicking through glossy mags or spending hours on Pinterest or Instagram. Well, let us introduce you to a new inspiration source, which is launching on Friday 5th May: 4 Magazine.  Founded by multi-award winning interior design blogger and editor, Victoria Jackson. Not only is Victoria a very talented lady, she’s also incredibly lovely and very funny.  We were lucky enough to meet her at the Interior Blog Awards, where both of our blogs won!  Victoria shares with us how she developed her blog, Apartment Number 4 and put her editorial skills to good use to create her own online publication. Find out the beauty of 4 Magazine and why it stands out from other interior design magazines out there… we promise you won’t be disappointed!

Tell us about yourself and your background.

Hey guys! Well first of all, thank you so much for having me here on Audenza. Where do I start? I founded multi-award winning interior design blog, Apartment Number 4 back in 2009. For the last 9 years I’ve been running the blog as a hobby alongside my full-time career as the editor of a menswear magazine. In March of this year, I was thrown head first into the world of freelance and decided I wanted to turn Apartment Number 4 into much more than a blog…

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