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.

1 Oct 2019

From Light to Dark

transitions lens clear frame glasses by cubitts at palma cafe blackpool
old seaside typography inspiration in blackpool
transitions lens clear frame glasses by cubitts at parma cafe blackpool
transitions lens clear frame glasses by cubitts at parma cafe blackpool, wearing COS, Albam and Converse
transitions lens clear frame glasses by cubitts on blackpool beach

Light responsive lenses by Transitions Optical UK (gift) | Shirt by Albam (gift) | Jeans by COS (gift) | Trainers by Converse (gift by size?) | Cap by Brooks Brothers | Socks by MHL | Watch by Void Watches

Paid partnership with Transitions Optical UK

Back in the days when I was in short trousers - and we're talking late 80s / early 90s here - we were lucky enough to take our summer holidays in Orlando. Me, my Mum, Grandparents and my older brother and sister would pack our bumbags, lace up our rather ugly matching Airwalk trainers and don our colourful Disney baseball caps, in prep for two weeks of mega times in the Sunshine State.

And when I think about it now, not much has changed; we still live in the same seaside town as we grew up in, we still head to Orlando every now and again with the family, and we still all enjoy a good ugly trainer. Memories of my family wearing light sensitive glasses spring to mind when thinking back to those trips in Florida – they both took to wearing them in the early 90s, due to perpetual sunny days out at theme parks and lazy days by the pool. It’s quite a nice feeling to think that three generations of our family have been linked by something as simple as these lenses.

When you combine the craft of Transitions lenses and the design credentials of London's own spectacle maker Cubitts, the outcome is a modern, discreet design, good for any occasion.

These reactive lenses are UV sensitive, meaning they look just like regular optical glasses indoors, but when the lenses are exposed to UV rays they will automatically start to darken, with them becoming fully engaged outside in direct sunlight. I'm wearing the Cubitts Flaxman frames in quartz with Graphite Green lenses - somewhat of a dream combination of my love of clear frame glasses + anything that comes in khaki. So here's to not carrying around two pairs of glasses anymore!

Mat.

9 Aug 2019

Caminito Del Rey, Malaga | World's Most Dangerous Walkway?




Is caminito del rey the world's most dangerous walkway, hiking in malaga spain
Is caminito del rey the world's most dangerous walkway, hiking in malaga spain
Is caminito del rey the world's most dangerous walkway, hiking in malaga spain
Is caminito del rey the world's most dangerous walkway, hiking in malaga spain
Is caminito del rey the world's most dangerous walkway, hiking in malaga spain
Is caminito del rey the world's most dangerous walkway, hiking in malaga spain
Is caminito del rey the world's most dangerous walkway, hiking in malaga spain
Is caminito del rey the world's most dangerous walkway, hiking in malaga spain

"Risk taker" and "thrill seeker" aren't two words that would describe me. It's not that I haven't done some cool and slightly hairy things in the past, but on my recent trip to Malaga with AC Hotels I'd say I certainly ticked one of the boxes off properly - with a 8k walk along the "World's Most Dangerous Walkway". Well, that's what Google likes to label it anyway...

When Hollie saw that I might have the opportunity to explore one of Spain's more dangerous pursuits, it was a firm no...No way, no how. And I must admit, the articles and stories which I'd seen online didn't install me with the greatest of confidence either. But then, a little further digging suggested that the whole cliffside walkway - which cuts through one of Malaga's most beautiful regions, along with the early 1900s hillside railway - was actually fully renovated in 2015, taking on extensive repairs to tired parts of the hike, while also creating a whole new modern walkway which now sees thousands of visitor's feet each day. Sounded pretty resonable to me.

Sure, it could be very silly if you messed about or stay glued to your phone screen a little too long, but it would be wrong to label "The King's Little Path" as dangerous. It was definately high up, and and some points the pathway does become narrow, but to called it dangerous would be sensationalism.

That's not to say it wasn't a sensational experience. In fact, the hike through Caminito del Rey in 32 degrees heat was one of most amazing experiences of my life, and I'm so pleased I said yes to the opportunity. Scary at points, almost unbearable heat throughout, and some of the most stunning views I've ever seen in person. I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.

Mat.

18 Jul 2019

Malaga Travel Diary

ac hotels malaga review
ac hotels malaga review
ac hotels malaga review
ac hotels malaga review
ac hotels malaga review
 A stay at AC Hotels Malaga, the ideal location

Trip part of a paid project w/ AC Hotels

On the odd occasion when an exciting opprotunity drops in my inbox I start to feel very anxious and overwhelmed by the end of the email. These feelings hit when AC Hotels approached me with a travel commission; to visit two of their newly renovated hotels in the South of Spain and explore both cities while documenting my time via Instagram. Sounds ideal! But in the back of my head I was thinking about the other incomplete projects I was juggling with at the same time.

This is by no means a problem, a busy schedule is what I'm after as a full time freelancer, but I don't love the anxious feeling that can appear when my battery on low-power mode.

Then usually it just takes Hollie to snap me out of it - telling me to grab those exciting opportunites and make the most out of them, because you really don't know if that opporunity when present itself again. And I'm so glad I did.

So I found myself walking head-on into a wall of heat as I puffed across the sun-bleached runway at Malaga airport. Prepped as much as I could be with only a few days notice.

Hey Malaga.

mia coffee shop speciality coffee malaga
mia coffee shop speciality coffee malaga
A welcomed break from the direct heat at Mia Coffee House 
everyday street details in malaga
everyday street details in malaga
everyday street details in malaga beach
everyday street details in malaga

I've decided to lay low on the words and leave it to the photos this time. Next up, a hike around Caminito del Rey and 24 hours in Seville.

Mat.

9 Jul 2019

Our House Tour, Updated






Porch Tiles by Tops Tiles, Desk by Dan Marc, Wall Mounted Shelf by IKEA x HAY, Lamp by Anglepoise x Paul Smith

the porch, hallway and my office


[Features gifted items]

Whoa there, has been a long time coming! I seem to share an interior update maybe once a year, but this is probably the first time I've done the full shebang - the full house tour. It's pretty surreal to think we've been homeowners for nearly three years, and it honestly feels like yesterday since we were plastering white paper on to our windows for curtains and having dinner from the floor.

A lot has changed at number 23, both me and Hollie are incredibly proud of the work we have done on our humble 1930's semi-detached plot. The small tweaks, the big builds, the epic DIYs (if anyone remembers last summer's back garden fence project?!), the investment pieces and the last minute repair job - the whole thing is a massive learning curve, and something that has helped us grow as individuals.

So let's have a nose around:








Sofa, Coffee Table, Chair, Planter, Bar Accessories, Picture Frame by West Elm [gifted], Magazines via Coffee Table Mags, Byredo Candle via MR PORTER [gifted], Jacket by Kestin Hare [gifted], Bar Cart by West Elm

 the living room

About three months ago we embarked on an interior styling project with American furniture and homeware brand West Elm. We have a bunch of items by the brand already - including the mid-century walnut bar cart, which we received as a wedding present - and they'd been enjoying my interior content which I'd been sharing on my Instagram page. So they approached us with an idea; pick out some stuff from their website to integrate into our home, documenting the styling of each item across my social accounts, blog and follow up with a feature on their website. Ace!

It's an on-going project as things are always changing around ours; with corners taking a reshuffle on a weekly basis, new things being built [my father-in-law made our dining room table], and adapting the rooms depending on the weather, aka if the bi-fold doors are open we need to move certain things out the way.

So as you look though these photos you may spot a few things dancing around depending on when I first took the photo :) We both really love this space and spend most of our time there.

Dining Table create by us, Dining Table Chairs, Sideboard, Rug + Vase by West Elm [gifted], Serving Bowl + Wooden Block by ARKET [gifted], Candle by Wxy [gifted]

the dining room

This is the space I've always struggled to photograph, but still one of my favourite areas in our whole house. Where all the good stuff gets eaten. The slight jut-out from our living room / kitchen area was created by the previous owners, and if you look at the original plans for the house you can see that our now-dining room was once part of the back garden. 

The skylight brings loads of natural light in even when it's a dull day - slightly defused by the privacy glass we had installed (we don't want our neighbours seeing what we're eating!) - and the red brick wall is sympathetic to the original time period.

The West Elm sideboard and chairs worked perfectly with our style, which is somewhere between mid-century Americana and Scandinavian, but I would still like to add a little more colour and interest above the wall. New lampshades needed too.

Table Lamps by Menu [gifted by Utility], Vase by H+M Home, Drawers by IKEA, Hanging Lamps by Anglepoise

 the bedroom

One of the first rooms we decorated was the bedroom, and it's probably the most simplistic in the house. I'm terrible at sleeping, even at the best of times, so the idea was to create a relaxing space, free from clutter and void of anything too distracting. The result is a airy, neutral space, filled with soft sandy coloured walls, beige linen bedsheets and subtle brass fixings. 

For the long terms plan we aim to get rid of the grey carpet and restore the original floor boards to a liveable state, add a nice big rug, heavy curtains and away we go!


Sideboard by IKEA, Planter by West Elm [we bought that one], chair by Made, cushions by Anthropologie

the front room and back garden


One complete room vs one total work-in-progress. I realise that I'm not really showing off these spaces so well here, but I'm planning to do a full video house tour over on IGTV soon - then I'll be able to get in deets a little more.

The front room is a cosy kinda place, heavily influenced by the art deco and mid-century design movements, with an added bit of Asian travel and 50's Americana. Ok, that probably sounds well schmancy, but it works, honest. You'll see, soon.

And that leaves us with the back garden. The biiiiiig ongoing project. Currently we have four tub chairs, a small round table and two plant pots, sans-plants. We're planning to build some wooden planters around the edge in the same style as we built the fence, and create a dining area in the opposite corner, complete with pergola, tall plants and maybe a space for a small bbq. We'll make that happen soon!

I hope you have enjoyed a little look around our home. As things change I'll try to keep updated you via more blog posts and such, but until then if you'd like to see more of how we created each room then be sure to check out my highlight tabs on Instagram.

Mat + Hollie.