Weekend Links: productivity + rest – take an hour to …

time out in the park

It’s been a full week as usual in the run up to the holidays, but even moreso here in The Netherlands as the Dutch version of Santa (“Sinterklaas”) culminates in a present giving evening today, December 5th.  The kids everywhere have been beside themselves with excitement and the parents are running around like crazy to all the special events and parties that come with this time of year.  It IS lovely and a great way to distract from the cold, wet and grey days but I’m just about all partied out and it isn’t even Christmas yet!  Anyway, my plan for the weekend is to just get some things done so that I can spend time with my family but also have at least an hour to myself – something I suggested our PA also take ‘on us’, to do something to lift her soul. We all deserve at least an hour to stop, disconnect from all the beeping and buzzing and demands, and reconnect – with nature, with friends or simply, with ourselves. And I’d like to add that taking a break also helps our productivity – win win!

So this is what I wanted to put into our post today – some “ninja” productivity tips and then some space, for you to do whatever it is that lifts your soul (and no, that does not include kicking back with social media!)

Have a beautiful weekend & big love from myself & Natalie. Tipx


A recent blog find – Samantha has ninja productivity tips for you

My all time favourite productivity rule from our “Clutter Cure eCourse”

My Instagram week of get sh*t done rules that you can find here (You might also notice that I’m taking December off social media – I’ve managed to get a lot more done this week because of it! A post on taking a digital break is in the writing!)

A little video that might help you get some things started (so you can then finish them!)

A bit of interiors mmm – this Tamarama apartment via est magazine

Finally, on my wishlist: This lamp.  Prrr. (sorry, couldn’t resist – in case Santa’s reading)


Image links: 1


Digital Bravery eCourse – Early Bird Offer



We’re pleased to be teaming up with Blog Society to promote their Digital Bravery eCourse that starts on January 26th! It’s a practical, advice filled course designed for for creatives of all levels, regardless of whether or not you are a blogger or have blogging experience, to teach you the ins and outs of maintaining an online presence for your work.

Jaclyn Carlson has brought together her 15 years experience in the marketing, events and PR worlds, plus the skills and lessons she has learned from launching and growing Blog Society to the table, to teach you about Marketing, Branding, Social Media and Building Community in a four module course (run over 5 weeks). Just like our Declutter Cure course, you’ll also have access to a Facebook Community Page where you’ll share ideas and connect to others doing the course with you.

Just click on the pictures in this post or in our sidebar to find out more! Pay in full for an early bird discount of $100 from Dec 1 to 7 and make 2015 your best year ever! And do let us know if you go ahead with the course – we’re very curious what you think.



Guest post – Bloggers lunch at the 1st or 2nd store

Elma Coetzee, a photographer & illustrator friend of mine documented our bloggers lunch adventure recently at the 1st or 2nd Design Choices store (brainchild of April & May Studio):


On a crisp autumn afternoon I joined the lovely Tip from Apartment Diet at a bloggers lunch held at the new First or Second Store in Alkmaar. The lunch was hosted by Sandra from Accessorize your home and catered by Femke & Eddy from Hééérlijk. The shop was opened in September 2014 and is a work in progress with the upper levels yet to be updated by the talented team from April & May Studio.


The outside of the store certainly gives nothing away about the inside. I was happily surprised when I walked through the door hit by the welcoming smell of cookies and beautiful design furniture. The store is tastefully decorated in a minimalistic scandinavian style. Imagine clean lines balanced with subtle soft furnishings.


After a delicious lunch we had the store all to ourselves and received a tour from Jantine & Vivian. I love the way they play with art accessories. Posters, little drawings, black and white prints or even just a postcard taped to the wall. I found the store to be original, inspiring and I had a lot of fun taking photos on the day.


* For those of you in the Netherlands interested in joining a bloggers lunch hosted by Sandra / Femke & Eddy, check out the website.


All images shot & edited & owned by Elma Coetzee.






Featured: Natalie’s House Tour on The Interiors Addict!!!


Yes, its a triple exclamation mark title because I am just. so. excited!!!  So excited.

We’ve been sitting on a little secret, patiently waiting until the lovely Jen of The Interiors Addict posted the feature of Nat’s apartment reno on her blog … but the wait is no longer!  It’s up!!! (I’m still excited.) So head over here for the post and more pics of Nat’s gorgeous place and of the gorgeous Natalie herself (& her little cutie Luke).

What are you waiting for? Go!


Photography credits: Asaf Kliger / Alan Tzatzkin

Declutter Your Home – in time for a stress-free holiday season!

Grab your calendars and mark this date: NOVEMBER 17th

Why? Because that is when we are running our next group course “Declutter Your Home – create the home & lifestyle you love”, which will literally have your home stress-free in time for you to enjoy the holidays with family and friends. Registration opens today!


stress looks like mess declutter course apartmentdiet

Why should I do this course?

Imagine, being the host(ess) with the most(ess), welcoming your guests with open arms into your inviting, relaxing, fun, cozy, beautiful home … and the compliments that ensue. All your decorations are up (because you finally found the boxes they were in this year), the aromas of the meal you’ve cooked are wafting from your newly organised kitchen and you’re no longer on edge, worrying about what might happen should anyone open a cupboard or venture into a room that they shouldn’t…

Just imagine that. Feel it. See yourself laughing and experiencing a stress-free holiday season.

What’s the secret you ask? Well, for that you will have to join our interactive online course, where we show you exactly what to do, step-by-step, with simple exercises. Over 5 weeks.

BONUS: We’ll be facilitating the course and you’ll get access to a private forum.

Want to know more? Get more information and register here.

hem IS here!!!



So I’ve been meaning to tell you guys about this new concept store for a little while now, but with all that’s been going on for our impending launch (yes, we’re launching something too!!!), I’ve had my hands full.  But, it’s good timing anyway as they are now actually here and ready to take pre-orders. From the folk that started fab (which also bought out One Nordic) comes a brand that calls itself “High Modern Design Made Easy” – comes an IKEA flat-pack model but with private-label furnishings. A “luxury IKEA” as it were. Even better though is that you can order online and have it sent to you (IKEA has started but isn’t quite there yet as they have a different business model, unfortunately). Yahoo! No more dealing with furniture warehouses, wandering around for hours and then having to wait 6-8 weeks! BUT WAIT, there’s more – they also allow you to customise things some aspects! Very exciting stuff. Anyway, less yabbering from me, I’m sure that you want to see what they’ve got to offer so … some pictures for you to check out below.  For more, head over to hem’s webshop. Enjoy! Tipxo






A Love Letter

While Nat takes a well deserved break for Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) I would like to share with you one of my all time favourite Happy House Rules. It’s a bit like my “attitude of gratitude” that I use to help me deal with my depression – a way of changing your perspective on things but maybe it’s even more than that.  Anyway, here goes:

I would like to challenge you to write a love letter to your home.

(Yes, you can still do this while you’re resting.)

Cropped love letter with shadow border

Yup. That’s mine. I wrote it a few years ago and it is still there, in the mirror in our living room. We saw this idea via the genius that is Grace Bonney (a.k.a. Design Sponge) who usually gets folk to include them in her sneak peeks of their spaces and decided to try it out.  I have to say, that the effect it had on me was significant – so much so that I have fought to ensure that it stays as one of our key Happy House Rules.

Instead of focusing on all of the negatives and stuff I still had to fix in the this old home, I started focusing instead on the positives and appreciating what she gave me.  There’s a lot still to do here but I now love my home rather than feel weighed down by all the not so nice bits that I still have to deal with.  Of course, this lightness also has to do with a lot of the other Happy House Rules I’ve implemented across the years but this one is simple and easy to do (and it works!). Mine is a quick scribble (which is all that it needs to be) but here are a couple more for you to look at to get some ideas going.



There’s not much more to say beyond this as it’s pretty straight forward.  It’s quite a personal thing but if you’d like to share then we would love love love to see yours.  So, will you join me this week and

Write a love letter to your home?

In love and lightness,



Images 1 My home by BintiHome / 2 / 3

Lighting: Just Add Light

simplicity minimal light bedroom

“Simplify, then add lightness” ~ Colin Chapman

I saw this quote earlier in the week and thought that the concept of ADDING lightness was a bit strange. I totally get it, but if you think about it, it is an oxymoron.  That said, I love the quote as it describes a lot of what Nat & I do here. We help people “add lightness” – in their homes and their lives. And we discovered it along the way by adding it ourselves.


How do you let the light in?

I used to carry the weight of our entire household on my shoulders.

ALL of it. Trying to be the best mother possible to my two kids (one at the time was still waking 4x per night & would not take a bottle), delivering as required in my high stress finance position, trying to grow my own coaching business, participating in boards and other groups as a volunteer, studying for my diploma in interior design, being responsible for our finances at home and all the household administration as well as renovations, all the while trying to stay looking good, be a great partner to my husband and keep up friendships across the globe.

I tried to have it all and do it all – by myself.

The weight of it almost crushed me. At the end of 2010, I got sick. I lay in my bed unable to function for two whole weeks which gave me a lot of time to think (in between sleeping). I was in so much pain that I vowed to NEVER go back to that kind of stressful way of living again, to let some things go and to ask for help.

I realised that I wasn’t superhuman after all.

I took a year off work to regroup and focus on what I wanted to do. Fast foward 4 years and a LOT of self work in between (also with Nat) and I have learned to let the light in. We started the same way that we start with clients – with physical action to literally shift the weight. A process of simplifying (my home and then my head) and decluttering – letting go of the to-do list, of unfinished projects, of one-sided / unhealthy relationships, of expectations (of keeping up or of what/who I should be) and then adding lightness.


I changed the colours in my home from fiery reds and yellows with dark browns to the lighter hues of light blues, sea greens, greys and pinks with white as a basis. The furniture got lighter too – out with the heavy wooden tables and solid sofas and in with lighter alternatives. I even started to dress lighter (and definitely wear a lot less black these days).

With hindsight I also realise that I brought more light in by literally bringing more lighting into the house (the sparkly shimmery kind) and there are now also mirrors in almost every room, to reflect as much light around this dark Dutch terrace house as possible. Many of our floors are white and I have recently been pondering going for white floors in the living area too.

The more light in here, the happier I am!

Tips house taken by Binti Home

With the physical shifting of my house came much more though. As I have let go of the importance of things, they now actually feel less heavy.  I still have a family home full of stuff but I am no longer attached.  It is just stuff that is useful or makes me smile – I am still a huge fan of art and beautiful design and always will be. I am, however, worrying less about what other people think, what’s cool or trendy right now and focusing more on following my own inner light. I still occasionally fall into the trap of trying to keep up but soon realise that a purchase isn’t really me, and usually end up letting it go.

Nowadays, it’s the things that I love that have staying power (but I’m also OK when what I love changes too – life doesn’t stagnate, so why should our homes?). My work isn’t done, as there is still some weight now and then, but I am definitely living lighter (and happier).

alll white muuto stacked shelving apartmentdiet

So to bring my story back on point:

How could you add lightness? How could you let the light in?

Nat and I tell our clients to “just start with a corner” and that advice holds here too.  Pick a particularly dark one or one that bothers you perhaps, and think about how you could make it lighter – with actual lighting, lighter colours (or add bright art), mirrors, a lighter style of furniture, burning a candle etc.

Once you’ve done that, go spend some time there and contemplate the next corner that you’re going to let some light into. And while you’re contemplating, is there a corner of your life that you could add lightness to? A one-sided friendship you need to let go of, a project you need to finish (screw perfection) or simply let go of an expectation of how something should be? Start there. And repeat.

If you need help to get you living a lighter life of ease and grace, you know where we are.  Just hit contact and let’s start together.

With love and light,

Tipxo (& Nat)


Images: 1 / 2 / 3+4 Tip’s place by Binti Home56

Are rugs an “absolute necessity”?


“A rug is 100% hands down … an absolute necessity in most rooms”

I saw this quote recently by Lucy Fenton and it triggered a strange response as I wondered if rugs were an “absolute necessity” in most rooms – it seemed like quite a bold statement to make.

Then I started thinking about my own home and quickly realised that I have a rug or mat in every single space except the WCs (’cause that’s just, eeew – I have a 5 yo old boy – say no more!).

So in practice, it’s something I do but hadn’t even realised that I do.

Why I do it is to add some texture, interest, colour or coziness to our wooden floors (particularly in the winter where they also add a layer of insulation). I love the feeling of stepping out of bed onto a rug, so it’s an absolute must in the bedroom for me.

I also suffer from a dust(mite) allergy so I need to have a rug in the bedroom to catch all the dust that is floating around our 100+ year old home.

Most people think rugs or carpet are bad for allergy sufferers but in my experience, so long as you clean regularly, they actually help keep a lot of dust grounded rather than floating about in the air making me sneeze.

I know that rugs are hard – they can be expensive and it’s difficult to find the exact right one … this is why I do have a love-hate relationship with rugs sometimes BUT what I have now shifted to is the idea of layering rugs.

Using a few small ones to add a bit of interest over a larger plain area rug, for example. Abigail Ahern recently wrote about this so I suggest you take a look at her post if you want to get the lowdown on layering rugs. A great example that still comes to mind is Jenna Lyons living room (below).  Prrrrr.


Just think of the floor as your fifth wall and spend as much time thinking about it as you might about the wall paint and art.

So, after some consideration, I would agree that rugs are necessity in most rooms.  They’re an easy way of transforming a space, especially if you are unable to paint or hang anything on the walls (like in a rental, for example).

I’m curious – do you use rugs and if so, would you say that they’re “absolutely essential”?

Join the conversation and also keep an eye out for a visual feast of rugs later in the week!



Image 1 / 2