Holiday gift ideas: and so it begins…
Posted in christmas ideas, handmade, pia's photos December 7th, 2009 by pia


It’s that time of year again my friends! Whatever “that time of year” may mean for you. For me, it’s about holidays  – taking the time out to rejuvenate and reflect on the year passed. It’s a time for sharing, and giving – spending time with my family and friends. For those of you who are new to the (blog)house, my enhance the everyday holiday gift & decorating guides are a week-long series of posts, where I’ve put together ideas for your holiday gift giving, and holiday decorating. But it’s also a little more than that… perhaps you’d like to know what makes the enhance the everyday gift guide  different to other gift guides out there?

It’s simple: everything you will see in the next coming days are not only la classe, which means they are totally hip and stylish and chosen at the hand of a professional stylist BUT… and here comes to best bit… everything you see will fit all my necessary requirements for consumer items: that being vintage or handmade with recycled/renewable/biodregradable material and therefore sustainable.

Why? Because all ‘things’ should be. It’s as simple as that.


Last year’s gift guide says it all, you can click here to read more about it.

Before we get started though, I would like to share some simple gift shopping tips for you. Follow these tips and you will not only find the best gifts you have ever given, but you will also be helping our economy and environment:

1. shop locally: Support your local boutiques and artists + craftspeople. Most homewares boutiques these days stock vintage or locally handmade items so ask for these items when searching for gifts. Use my upcoming holiday gift guide as inspiration, and for the past one click here.

2. two words: Kris Kringle. If your family and friends don’t already do so, suggest ‘kris kringle’ from this year on – host a bbq or small get together now (thanksgiving is usually perfect for this) and have each person pull out a name from a hat. Each person then purchases a christmas gift for the person they selected from the hat, and only spend the amount allocated. The gifts are much more thoughtful and valued.

3. Create a wish list.To save on buying (and unfortunately receiving) gifts that are unwanted and therefore end up in the trash, make a wish list and pass it to those who you know will be buying you a gift this year. That way you receive what you want and your gift-giver is content to know that you will love it. You can also then be selective on your wish list and pick items that are sustainable.

4. Vintage or handmade with love. Last but not least, source out vintage (ie second hand) or items made with renewable/recycled/biodegradable materials. This might seem restrictive but there is so much scope in this that you may not be aware of including food (hampers!) and wine. Etsy and Dawanda are just two fabulous online sources for finding such goodies, and I have picked out some of my favourites from these great web boutiques, as well as from a few of my favourite boutiques around the world. And since I have readers in both the Northern and (sunny) Southern Hemisphere, I have tried to give you a selection that incorporates both warm and cold holiday climates, and local shops.


Happy gift giving, mes amis!

Next up: gifts ‘for the home’ (click here and here to go to last year’s ‘for the home’ gift guide!)…


All photographs and styling by Pia Jane Bijkerk. Props include: a crap crab! apple branch, baker’s twine, vintage French lace ribbons, turkey feathers, vintage wallpaper for gift wrapping, and baby silver baubles.

sneak peek: inside out christmas magazine…
Posted in christmas ideas November 5th, 2009 by pia

_ioxmas_glenproebstelwrappitheme party, styled by glen proebstel and photographed by sam mcadam for inside out

Can you believe it’s only 7 weeks until Christmas? I cannot. This year I’ll be spending it back home with  my family, soaking up the sun and enjoying the festivities, beach side. I am keen to do another holiday decorating ideas and gifts bonanza like last year, with my ‘enhance the everyday’ styling philosophy, I hope you are looking forward to it as much as I am. I’ve been collecting all sorts of goodies and ideas to share with you and I’ll start them in a few weeks (must finish book first!) but for today, I wanted to get you into the spirit and excitement of the holiday season with a sneak peek at the inside out Christmas issue. The Christmas issue is one issue I never miss – full of beautifully decorated homes, holiday decorating essentials that are often handmade, and a fabulous menu that is always a visual feast (I’ve heard on the grapevine that this issue features a wonderful maggie beer’s turkey story).   This year looks to be just as fabulous and I can’t wait to see it in person. Lee Tran Lam, deputy chief sub editor of inside out has kindly obliged and offered us (that’s you and me) a rather exclusive peek at some of the pages inside, would you like to see?



_ioxmas_vanessabestbuys4styling by vanessa colyer tay and photography by sam mcadam .

I love those paper and wood trees. The one on the wall reminds me of my cardboard tower, remember? Oh that was fun. Here’s another little sneak peek inside the magazine…




The story above is featuring some of the paper work of Jo Neville. Jo has a fabulous all-things-papery boutique in Sydney called Paper Couture.  It’s a destination for stylists and lovers of paper but not only for the incredible stock (and location) but also for inspiration.

You can find out a bit more about the Christmas issue of inside out by clicking here and here. Thank you very much for the  sneak peek Lee Tran!

amsterdam + sydney: markets this sunday!
Posted in amsterdam, christmas ideas, sydney December 12th, 2008 by piablog

This Sunday there are two christmas markets on, one in Amsterdam here in The Netherlands and one in Palm Beach, Sydney, Australia. Unfortunately I cannot be in two places at once, so I will have to forego one of them. Here are the details for both…


At the Cultuurpark Westergasfabriek near the Westerpark, you can take tram 10 there, it’s open from 10am-5pm. Looks like there will be lots of cool things, including this lovely reader’s creations!


Palm Beach, Sydney:

At Governor’s Park in Palm Beach, Sydney, there is a Christmas Market from 10am-3pm – perfect for catching some sunrays and surf by the beach and then strolling over to the market for some last minute christmas gifts.


Enjoy! I will be at the Amsterdam market on Sunday, if you plan to go, perhaps I will see you there!


behind the scenes…
Posted in amsterdam, behind the scenes, christmas ideas, recent work December 11th, 2008 by piablog

As promised, a few behind the scenes shots from the Maria magazine shoot! with many thanks to the lovely Sophie who was one of our dinner guests and is also a part of Yvette’s excellent restaurant team (Sophie is pictured in the previous post, offering wine to her fellow diners), and also with many thanks to photographer Jeroen who captured heaps of beautiful shots for both the story and behind the scenes. Above you can see Yvette and Roeland Fernhout preparing the meal and having an absolute ball doing so! They are very good friends and it was so much fun capturing their friendship on camera – always making each other laugh. Being an actor, Roeland made my job too easy as I didn’t need to art direct him or his guests at all. He knew just when to pick up the bread knife and pretend to cut the bread, when to pretend to offer his guests wine and pass empty plates around the table. He even bought all of us little gifts and put on some christmas music to get everyone in the mood! If only I could have him for all my lifestyle shoots…

(Click here to read more…)

a little christmas story…
Posted in amsterdam, christmas ideas, recent work December 10th, 2008 by piablog

(Click here to read more…)