Year: 2020

"Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life" 

Barbarian days: A surfing life

I’ve recently ordered “Barbarian days: A surfing life” by William Finnegan It’s a book I meant to order a while back, then I forgot about it until I spotted it again on someone’s feed on Instagram. “Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life”  has won the Pulitzer Prize and William Hill Sports Book of the Year. I’ve just started reading it so I can’t tell you much about it yet but I love reading about surfing or watching movies. Momentum Generation (available on iTunes) was fascinating! I’ve watched it twice and could watch it again. It features all the kids and then champions that came out of the 80s like Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, Shane Dorian, Taylor Steele. The footage and photography in the movie are a massive inspiration for me. I met Rob Machado last year when Mila was competing in Hossegor. The weather was awful, I was running to the car to grab something and I spotted him with his daughter changing by his van. I nurtured a bit of courage and went up to him to say …

My favourite beauty products

Favourite beauty products

I’m a huge fan of AESOP and I love using this Primrose hydrating cream in the morning. Once I have finished the pot, I clean it and use it to store small things like elastic bands, rings, health supplements when I travel, etc. OLAPLEX Hair protector is a product Steve brought me back from Cult Beauty. Love, love, love that product. It makes my hair stronger and shinier. I came across THE ORDINARY range when I was looking for something to stop my skin from being so dry. I use the 100% organic Rose hip seed oil in the evening and alternate with the 100% organic cold-pressed Argan oil. KIEHL’S is one brand I always get at the airport. I recently bought a bottle of the amino acid shampoo after getting hold of a sample and refill the sample bottle each time I travel. How about you? Which one(s) are your current beauty favorites!? Photo taken in the ground-floor bathroom of CASA PYLA. The residence is available for summer rentals here or you can contact me directly.

Natural interior

Sunday in Casa Pyla

We’ve moved into CASA PYLA a week ago and I’m slowly making it a home. I don’t want to rush into adding too many things because I really enjoy the minimalism of the space. Plus we are going to lay down the polished concrete floor at the beginning of November and hopefully lay down the oak floorboards on the first-floor end of October. This means that each time, I will need the clear the whole floor so the fewer things I have to pack and move the better. Natural light is that space is amazing and makes those days where I have to spend hours in front of my computer editing pictures a lot more pleasant. The next big job in the house is fitting the final kitchen counter and some gorgeous brass sink and tap from Nivito which are currently sitting in the garage. For those interested, the HEADING HOME fine art print is available from my shop here. Let me know if you have any questions about the house, the renovations, or anything else …

A dark office corner with Hübsch

A dark office corner before and after

*This post includes gifted items During phase 1 of the renovations at CASA PYLA, I was keen to try out a really dark room for a change. With the help of Hübsch Interiors and Farrow & Ball, I created this intimate and minimalist workspace in one of the bedrooms. Just to give you a bit of a background on our house plans, we signed the deed for villa Bagatelles (which I rebranded CASA PYLA) on my birthday in March ’19. Given our project to rehabilitate this big house, I knew we couldn’t achieve all we wanted to do before Summer ’19. So I broke down the work in several phases. March-June ’19: Freshening up the house to make it welcoming and liveable for Summer ’19. December-June ’20: Tackling the major renovations (new windows, the concrete floor on the ground floor, new bathrooms, etc) September ’20: planning a series of creative workshops. As soon as we got the keys, I started three months of intensive renovations to create a natural, Summer vibe in this old house. The bedroom …

A minimal home in West London

A minimal home in West London

My heart skipped a beat when I saw the kitchen in this minimal home in West London. The layout and glass roof reminded me of our home in London (you can see some pictures from the renovations here). Before you ask, yes I miss it from time to time. Then I think where we live now… so close to the beach and realize that there is no way I will move back to London and leave the ocean behind. There is an energy there that I feel is extremely positive for our well-being. Plus we have CASA PYLA underway and soon, we will have a beautiful home to live in. Unlike this home, we laid down a concrete floor throughout the ground floor (kitchen and lounge) instead of this pale grey terrazzo flooring. Yet, there are many things I love about this minimal home. So let me show a few details I love about this extension designed by Al-Jawad Pike. There is a very soothing palette used throughout the house with soft tones of white, pale …

The Spanish chair by Børge Mogensen

The Spanish chair by Børge Mogensen

The Spanish chair by Børge Mogensen is one of my favourite mid-century Danish design. A black version of Mogensen’s Spanish chair was lent to us when we photographed our home in London (see the whole feature in Grazia UK here). I wish I could have kept it… It’s a beautiful, sturdy chair, extremely comfortable with a high-quality thick leather cover and wooden frame. Have you ever tried it? This month, Fredericia releases a Special Edition of the Spanish chair by Børge Mogensen in Deep Red saddle leather. It’s a beauty! Originally designed in 1958, The Spanish Chair has been manufactured by Fredericia ever since. It’s an iconic piece you will often find in corporate settings, hotels, galleries, and private residences around the globe, reflecting Mogensen’s unique angle on modernity.  What do you think of this new colour? Do you like it or do you prefer one of the other colours? What is your favourite mid- century classic chair? SHOP THE FREDERICIA CHAIR  

Off-the-shoulder dress

I love off-the-shoulder dresses or tops! I, like many women, could write a long list of things I don’t like about my body… However, I’m working on A-DO-RING (yes adoring not just loving) my body. So I will focus on the two things I like I find sexy and that is my shoulders and collar line. It is important to focus on the positive. There is always something positive about our bodies. This is why I always ask women who contact me to photograph them, what part of their body they love the most. They often love just one or two things about themselves. However, I see so much beauty in them. In their expressions, their smile, their energy, their personality and that’s really what I’m trying to bring out in all my portraits…but I digress. 16 years of classical ballet has given me a decent posture and the recent daily workout during lockdown has given me back a bit of arms definition. So I thought I would treat myself with a gown that would enhance the …

Intense cocoa muffin without added sugar

Chocolate muffins without added sugar

Like many of us during the Covid-19 lockdown, I turned to cook and baking. I’m not a natural Cook. In fact, I usually feel I don’t have time to do things in the kitchen and I’m known for walking away from the hob and leave things to burn. However, these past few weeks, things have changed a bit. I have cooked and baked a lot more and the crazy thing is, I no longer hate the whole thing. I’ve always admired my sister-in-law and mother-in-law in New-Zealand for their abilities to make muffins, scones, and other delicious things while we were sipping a cup of tea. They made it so easy… So now that I had a new-found love for cooking, I wanted to try a few recipes that Mila would love without them being a total sugar bomb. These intense cocoa muffins without added sugar were perfect. I highly recommend eating these muffins warm with a bit of yogurt. If you don’t want to be tempted, just keep a couple out and freeze the …