Dael & I are really excited to be bringing you a new series of blog posts called "Favourite Spaces". We are surrounded by amazing, clever people and we wanted to share these people with you, and show you the places they love the most. You'll usually find creative people in cool surroundings, and that's definitely the case with the lovely Florence Charvin.
Florence is an amazing photographer, and will be our photographer for all of our Fave Spaces posts. I've featured her on the blog before here and here. Originally from France, she's now a true blue Hawke's Bay-ite and has recently moved into a cute wee cottage in Clive with her three young children.
Florence's favourite space is her dining nook and kitchen. When she moved into the house the kitchen was very old and dated. Although she couldn't afford a super flash kitchen, she has managed to create a beautiful space on a tiny budget. The old cupboard doors and bench top have been replaced with plywood and cut-away detailing instead of handles. Planks of wood on metal braces provide more storage, and the wall hung cupboards were kept, but with the fronts removed.
The open storage means all of Florence's beautiful pieces are on display. Gorgeous pottery and old tins collected over the years, and jars filled with kitchen staples.
The bench seats in the dining nook are made from concrete blocks, topped with a wooden seat and layered with cosy throws - ingenious! So simple, really comfy, and in keeping with Florence's style.
Each "Favourite Spaces" post will have a wee Q&A so we can get to know our creative peeps a bit better...
What do you love about this space?
I love the fact that it's where we all meet to have our meals and be together, work, do homework, play games...
Who helped with your renovation?
I loved that space from the moment we moved in, and I knew I wanted it to look clean, open and cosy. So I painted it myself straight away in black and white, and my friend Rowe provided the plywood that replaced all the old surfaces and cupboards doors. My sister-n-law, Megan, was great with advice, like keeping the cupboard on the wall but getting rid of the doors so they look like modern shelves; and I also wanted comfortable window seats to go around the kitchen table, and she suggested using those concrete blocks, which were really cheap and really useful for storing my cookbooks.
Do you have any advice for people decorating on a budget?
Just work with what you've got and improve it with paint in a colour that's really you. Bring in some fun and modern items (like the concrete blocks, a nice table, plants etc).
Getting to know you better:
What's you favourite time of day?
When the light is soft and beautiful, either early morning or late at night.
Who or what inspires you?
There are a lot of clever, interesting people around, but I am the most inspired by people who are excited about life and it's possibilities.
What are you reading at the moment?
I love reading, in particular French writers. I am reading Marcel Proust's "In Search of Lost Time" (Swann's Way).
Sweet or savoury?
Savoury!! Even when I was little I would ask for cheese and olives as a treat rather than chocolate or cake.
Chai tea, and Champagne for special occasions.
Favourite thing in your home?
My vintage mirror collection. I have loads of them, I love their various shapes and the light they reflect back in the house.
Top of your wish list for your home?
A beautiful industrial lamp to go above my kitchen table and a large vintage Cathrineholm enamel bowl in black or yellow.
Thank you so much Florence for inviting us into your home, and for joining us on this journey of favourite spaces. I think you'll agree Florence has a beautiful style and you can see that reflected in her work - Fotographie by Florence Charvin. I hope you come along on the journey as well, and meet all of the clever and interesting people we know.