15 Feb 2021

Styling + Product Photography for Hip Living


For a recent project I was given a brief to work on the styling and photography, for the launch of Hip's homeware and lifestyle department. The Leeds-based don daddies contacted me in November, and I had approximately two weeks to create a set of images using around 65 products from a range of brands including; Ferm Living, Kinto, Tanner Goods, Snow Peak and Aesop.

We separated the products into departments, and went about creating both natural and abstract set-ups in a few different rooms across our house. It was a massive job, but massively rewarding too - and recently the brand has started to roll out the images across their webstore and social media accounts. That's a proper buzz!

There's currently a journal entry on their store featuring an interview piece + further images from the project - all the products and photos can be found on Hip Living.

Mat.

20 Jan 2021

Salomon XT-6




By the end of 2020 I was ready for the break. Not so much switching off digitally speaking, but more-so from the feeling of not knowing when to down tools for the day. We didn't really know what was coming next; what a 2-0-2-0 Christmas would look like, how to plan, or when things would feel stable again. I can still only think 1 or 2 days ahead right now.

It was nice just sitting around, watching films, eating chocolate and staying home, but also, a part of me wanted in to be over. Not that it felt like "fake Christmas, but it just wasn't right. We didn't see anyone over the holidays, other than chatting to my mum from her front garden, and Hollie's parents alike. The DPD guy feel like best mates at this point. Wonder if he's take a fit pic of me...

I worked with Salomon in mid December around their XT-6 line. The deadline was short, and asked for this stand-out model to be worn in both urban and outdoor settings. Travel restrictions could mean only one thing, stay local.


        - Photography by Jake Millers

19 Oct 2020

All Parked Up - Our Print Shop

One thing that has kept me busy over the past few months is working on getting some prints ready. It's something I've thought about doing for a while, and after a fair few regular requests via Instagram, I finally got my act in gear and set up a super basic shop on Etsy.
 
Since July I'll shipped 50+ orders to all parts of the world; from Malibu, CA to a small coastal village in Australia. It seems folks are enjoying them in Scandinavia too, with the majority of international orders going to Denmark. Crazy.
 
Currently we have five prints available; three cars, One "Shopping Trollies in Orlando", and one of Hollie's It's a Love Story" print. We have plans to add a handful more in the run-up to Christmas. Each print has featured on my Instagram account at some point, so it's a lovely feeling to see them in other people's homes.
 

Thank you,
Mat.

8 Jul 2020

Easy Oven-Baked Carrot + Courgette Risotto w/ Lemon + Chilli Recipe

easy bake in the oven carrot and courgette vegtable risotto with lemon and chilli recipe

If my messages are anything to go by it would seem risotto is hot property right now. And if you're anything like me, most of your main meals include some form of heat, so this recipes is one that that I have adapted and tweaked over time to give me just the right zing-to-heat ratio I need. It's a super easy dish, made even easier (and much quicker) by the oven-baked method. 

Heat isn't everyone's bag, so I'm only using those chilli flakes as a garnish:

Easy Oven-Baked Carrot + Courgette Risotto w/ Lemon + Chilli

Prep time: 10 minutes - Cooking time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

(makes 4 big portions)

Olive oil
2/3 cloves of garlic
250g risotto rice
750ml veg stock (2 cubes is best if you can)
2 decent sized carrots
1 courgette (leeks also works nicely + adds extra sweetness)
1/2 white onion (don’t worry if you haven’t got any, no biggy it’s not essential)
1 lemon
Parmesan cheese

Yogurt / water on hand just incase

A big pan which is suitable for your oven (if you don’t have an oven-proof pan you’ll have to make it the old fashioned slow way on the hob; pouring in the stock gradually and stirring until all liquid is absorbed.

For the Garnish

1/2 zest of lemon
Chilli flakes (Hot sauce is a great alternative, especially Cholula)
Fresh basil
Parmesan cheese


Method

- Pre-hear your oven to 200c /180 fan

- Heat some oil in your pan. Combine grated carrot, grated courgette and finely chopped onion in a nice big pan + gently fry on medium heat for 6 minutes

- Add finely chopped garlic to your pan and stir for a minute

- When everything looks nice and soft add your risotto rice and veg stock to your pan, season with salt and pepper if that’s your bag and increase your heat for 2 minutes

- Pop the lid on your pan and place covered in the middle shelf of the oven for 10 minutes

- After 10 minutes remove from the oven + give it a big stir. Place back in the oven for a further 10 minutes uncovered (add extra time if it’s not the stock isn’t looking quite absorbed yet, likewise if it’s too absorbed we can fix that)

- After the further 10/15 mins take remove from the oven carefully - grate 1/2 zest of lemon, 1/2 juice of lemon + as much Parmesan as you fancy. If it’s looking too thick whack in a dollop of any kind of yogurt or water and give it a big stir. Place lid on for a few mins.

- Serve with a load of Parmesan, the rest of your zest of lemon, chilli flakes + basil. Squeeze the other 1/2 lemon juice on top if you need extra zing

PS it’s ace cold the next day, blob extra yogurt on top if its a little dry or make into arancini balls

Enjoy! Mat

@mat_buckets

17 Jun 2020

Coffee Roasters - Your Recommendations

Koffie Leute + Ohoj Roasters in Utrecht back in October

It’s fair to say that I can’t replicate the good brews that our coffee shops offer, but since lockdown I’ve been giving it a shot, trading off beans from a different roaster each month. Last week I asked for your favourite coffee roasters, via my Instagram Stories, so I thought I’d whack them into a list for future reference:

acoffee_melbourne
alakef_coffee
atkinsons.coffee
assemblyroast
-
boccacoffee
bonanzacoffee
-
Cartwheel
candycanecoffee
calendar.coffee
crafthousecoffee
cliftoncoffee
coaltowncoffee
colonnacoffee
coffeecollectif
curveroasters
canyoncoffee
-
darkartscoffee
dakcoffeeroasters
darkwoodscoffee
-
extractcoffee
-
fiveelephant
fortitudecoffee
friedhats
fritzcoffeecompany
-
girlswhogrindcoffee
-
hardlinescoffee
hasbean
holacoffee
-
invernesscoffeeroastingco
-
jacucoffeeroastery
-
kaffaroasterandstudio
koppi_roasters
kissthehippo
kofracoffee
-
lacabracoffee
lalchimiste_torrefacteur
lineacaffe
-
madheadscoffeeroasters
manhattancoffeeroasters
morgoncoffeeroasters
-
newgroundcoffee
nomadcoffee
northstarroast
-
obadiahcoffeeroasters
ohojcoffee
origincoffeeroasters
oldbarrackscoffeeroasters
-
penningtonsteacoffee
prologcoffeebar
pinklanecoffee
plotroasting
-
roundhillroastery
redbankcoffee
-
scarlettcoffeeroastery
seycoffee
sightglass
squaremilecoffee
-
thebarnberlin
thesparrowsgr
threemarkscoffee
timwendelboe
Trakerenkoffie
twobrotherscoffeeroasters
-
vervecoffee
-
weareseamoor
-
yallahcoffee
yellow_bourbon

5 Jun 2020

Copenhagen: The Audo

So much has changed since our visit to Copenhagen back in January; it feels like we're half way through a year that we will never forget. There's been a few flickers of hope coming from Denmark recently, a the "new normal" life starting to move forward and people being able to return to work in some cases. When I see some of the people we met on the trip sharing Instagram Stories of meeting friends, working on photogaphy projects and cycling along the river, it gives us a sense of hope that we can overcome the evolving battle against covid-19.

The Audo Hotel - from the collective design community behind Menu - is officically back open for business. We didn't stay here on our trip, but we did spend a very leisurely morning in and around this meticulously designed gaff - taking our time to drink in the tactile surfaces, neatly curated selection of reading material, multi-functional lobby / work space / meeting and studio spaces, and cafe-restaurant. Oh, I can't forget the bathrooms too - linen clothes, locally sourced hand wash and delicate room scents are just what the doctor ordered.

Maybe when travel does resume to some level of normality, we'll take a plum to book a room with a view of the harbour.

Mat - Instagram.

6 Mar 2020

Copenhagen: A Few Days In The City


It’s been a little while since we spent a few days over in Copenhagen, but I’m still thinking back to it two months later, which is a strong sign.

In fact, there was plenty of positive points about our visit; the inspiring interiors, outfit inspiration on every street corner, good food and drink combos, and the great company for sure. Me and Jord had both made a few connections in the city via social media over the past few years, and it was nice to finally turn those into real life buddies. One of the most rewarding things to come from “being online” is the real life relationships that come from it - and may I hope that continues.

An extended chinwag to the staff down at Mikkeller, a shared tasting menu of new receipes at Sidecar with local designers Monica and Alona of Mero Studio, a shared appreciation for considered menswear at Goods co, or even the late night jocularity with Jord back at the hotel. Honesty, it’s all excellent stuff.

But enough chatting now, here's some things that caught my eye:

ARKET Puffer Jacket | Oliver Spencer Jumper (gift) | Universal Works Trousers | Converse 70s Renew (gift)

Places we visited:

Coffee

Food + Drink
Sidecar   

Shop

Culture


Where We Stayed

SP34

I've got one last blog post from Copenhagen planned...then maybe I go back for more?

11 Feb 2020

Copenhagen: Frama Store

a visit to the design store Frama in Copenhagen display
a visit to the design store Frama in Copenhagen fragrance
a visit to the design store Frama in Copenhagen bicycle
a visit to the design store Frama in Copenhagen close up textures
a visit to the design store Frama in Copenhagen textures
a visit to the design store Frama in Copenhagen

My only previous connection to Danish design house, Frama, is from them popping up in Monocle mag, my mate Dan discussing their delights on many occasions and seeing their very beautiful showroom-shop front space appear on my Instagram feed from time-to-time.

It's a store that's been in my "places to visit" folder for a while now, and finally, a couple of weeks ago I placed a tick in the win column while we were visiting Copenhagen for a few days. Planned out by the hour, but regularly straying - due to the fact we didn't realise the city basically closes between Sundays and Tuesdays - we made our way through a very quaint neighborhood of picture-perfect washed orange cottages to find the unassuming residence of Frama.

What can be said has probably already been said about this store, but it's far more impressive that the photos may suggest. Set in an old apothecary shop, Frama's furniture, lighting and skincare can be found across several large rooms and small nooks, joined up by slightly creaky stairs and dark corridors. The airy spaces compliment the lower lit rooms perfectly - showcasing the brand's Scandinavian approach to creating a mood, taking you through their kitchen, living room and bathroom set-ups. If these guys did a hotel!

I left empty-handed, but Jordan treated himself to a new fragrance, as he was fresh out of his carry-on. What I did take away from my visit to Frama - and the city in general - was the way these guys marry textures, fabrics and finishes to create a unique environment. It's playful, subtle and aware of impact.

Frama: Fredericiagade 57, 1310 Copenhagen, Denmark.

3 Feb 2020

Copenhagen: Han Kjobenhavn Store

han kjobenhavn store in copenhagen, denmark
han kjobenhavn store in copenhagen, denmark green tiles
han kjobenhavn store in copenhagen, denmark mid century interior
han kjobenhavn store in copenhagen, denmark mid century interior
han kjobenhavn store in copenhagen, denmark mid century interior

When visiting a new place or old I'll always reach out to the people with their fingers on the pulse for suggestions for new cafe openings, freshly drawn up menus, visiting exhibitions and other general cool stuff. I truly believe great things stuff can be found anywhere, and that's probably due to my definition of coooool being pretty broad. I get excited about loads of stuff - and that general steams from other people's passion for what they do (for example; a vintage wrestling figure collector, a dude that does ace things with ceramics or a bakery playing around with unusual combinations). These quirks are there to be found and to be enjoyed.

I had high hopes for our recent 4-day trip to Copenhagen, because on my first visit to the city I was left wondering, "I'm not sure what all the fuss is about". Circumstance hey, turns out I now know what I was missing the first time around. 

One trustworthy looking chap on Instagram mentioned that Danish menswear brand Han Kjobenhavn had recently renovated their stand-alone store, right in the centre of town. Without even looking it up I added in to our Google Map and pencilled in a visit for when we were close. As soon as we caught a glimpse through the traditional mahogany wood doors we knew we were in for a treat.

The punchy hi-shine powder blue floor, perfectly panelled oak wood walls and the swooshing white ceiling was equally matched with mid-century furniture, signature Scandinavian globe-like light fixtures and custom-build clothing rails which mirrored the pleasing shape of the store's layout. Phwoah! Mirrored panels both made you notice details that may have been missed at first glace, and the green tiles seen on the central display evoked a sense of the brand's identity.

For me what makes the Han Kjobenhavn shop so special is the jux between the store design and the clothes themselves; they have an edge, a self-awareness and youth about them, and sat within the mature and meticulous feel of the store-fit is what makes this gaff so memorable.

Han Kjobenhavn: Vognmagergade 7, 1120 KĂžbenhavn, Denmark

25 Nov 2019

Teamwork

In Edinburgh | Outfit all by Oliver Spencer (gifted for a paid project)

Well this was unplanned...I've just realised that it's been waaaaay over a month since my last blog post. Honestly, I hadn't even thought too much about blogging for a while. It's not that I've fallen out of love with it as such, it's more, other things have taken priority and the projects that I have been working on have either not required any blog action, or the fact they've not left much time for me to put energy towards these pages.

My reasons for blogging have always been the same; to share things I think are cool - be that parts of my creative process, travel diaries and other bits I've found from around the internet. That will never change. Through blogging I've met many inspiring people, and some which have become best buddies. Work buddies, travel buddies, life buddies I reckon. The people who will offer constructive feedback, help out very last minute with no questions asked, chat for an hour on the phone about everything and nothing...even better when you get to work together and it just doesn't feel like work at all.

If there's a positive takeaway from my absence from blogging, it will be because I've been busy building meaningful friendships. And thank you to Jordan for being that guy.