Before I begin, I want to express my gratitude and thanks to all of you kindly left supportive words or shared encouraging stories and words of wisdom on my blog post yesterday, each one meant so much to both Toby and I. It feels very surreal that the day my book is officially released into the world has arrived – tonight the official UK launch for my first Bright.Bazaar book happens at west elm London! In honour of this exciting day, I thought it would be fun to kick off a new mini series on the blog! I’ll be sharing my favourite picture from each of the fourteen locations Andrew and I styled and photographed for the book. Kicking things off is the lovely home of Ingrid from Wood & Wool Stool. Ingrid and her husband Henk kindly welcomed us to their home in the Netherlands for an inspiring day (and evening; the shoot finished laaaaaaate!) of laughter, conversation and food. I loved seeing all of their amazing travel photographs and tactile introductions of colour via Ingrid’s handmade textiles. Plus, that blue dipped headboard? Hello, totes amazeballs.bright-bazaar-book-mariskas-home-photography-by-andrew-boyd
Next up is the fearless home of artist and inspiring businesswoman behind the brand Mariska Meijiers Amsterdam. Mariska and I have been friends for many years and her home was the first location I secured for the book. Mariska and I both started our blogs and businesses around the same time and I have always admired Mariska’s artistic talent and love her vivacious and spirited personality; the high gloss hot pink walls of the kitchen in her Amsterdam apartment are testament to this!bright-bazaar-book-jonathan-alders-home-photography-by-andrew-boyd
It’s a real ‘pinch me’ moment when I realise that we were able to shoot Jonathan Alder and Simon Doonan’s stunning Shelter Island home for this book. If you’ve been reading Bright.Bazaar from the early days you will know how much I love Jonathan’s work and approach to design, so it certainly felt very surreal last June when Andrew and I spent the day shooting his and Simon’s home. I adore the upholstery of their Warren Platner chairs (seen here) but it was tough not to pick a shot from the incredible outdoor area that surrounds the property. Seriously, guys, you have to see it inside the Outside Living section of the book. It’s pretty much Fabulous personified via design.bright-bazaar-book-rainas-home-photography-by-andrew-boyd
This picture is from another great friend of mine, Raina Kattelson, who I have been fortunate enough to meet through blogging. We first met when I was in NYC on Blog Tour NYC about three years ago and hit off! I was excited to shoot Raina’s home because I knew from her work as a stylist that it would be full of quirky objects and styling gems, but what really struck me was what a happy, welcoming and warm home Raina and her family had created. Of course, I completely fell in love with the family dog, Charlie, (seen here on my Instagram) and I felt so sad living him at the end of the day – look out for him on page 54 of the book! Aside from the wonderful family feel of Raina’s home, the way she used strong hues throughout the property really is a lesson in how to make brights work for everyday. When I saw her front door and the corresponding light blue shade of the hallway, I knew I wanted to get a perspective shot that showed how cleverly Raina had told a colour story in this space. I love how the shot came together. Thank you, Raina, for letting us shoot just weeks before you moved house!bright-bazaar-book-javiers-home-photography-by-andrew-boyd
Javier Requejo Fernandez’s home in Northern Spain was like no place I have ever seen. For starters, it is literally in the.middle.of.nowhere in one of the most peaceful countryside locations I have been. The farmhouse has generous proportions, with a cool feeling thanks for the stone underfoot. I liked how the bright and bold painted furniture served as a juxtaposition to the rustic textures of the building that surrounded it. As for the horse, oh my goodness me, that story needs a drink in hand to be told…!bright-bazaar-book-bradfords-home-photography-by-andrew-boyd

You’ve all no doubt heard of, right? Well this home belongs to the co-founder and creative director, Bradford Shellhammer, who has such a witty and playful take on design that I just can’t get enough of – check out this sneak peek I shared last week on Instagram. The one thing I took from Bradford’s home? That place was made for parTAYing! Thank you to all the homeowner’s who kindly opened their doors for my first book. Our homes are such personal places, so I’m grateful to you all for inviting us into your lives in order to inspire people across the world to embrace colour for some make-you-smile style. Which one of these first six homes are catching your eye, friends?

If you would like to buy the book, you can do so in the following places:

UK: Amazon UK / Waterstones / The Hambledon and many more.
USA: Amazon USA / Barnes & Noble / IndieBound and more.

// Photography by Andrew Boyd

I started Bright.Bazaar in 2009 when I was 22 years old and across those five years almost everything in my life has changed. Apart from one thing: my dear fiancé. Having been together since our first year of university we’ve stood alongside one another through the myriad of opportunities and obstacles that life has presented to each of us. I wish I could articulate just how much he means to me but excitable superlatives wouldn’t do my feelings justice: he is the first and only man in my life I’ve ever admired; the warmth and joy of my life – my heartmate.bb2
Bright.Bazaar has grown to a scale beyond anything I could have ever imagined when I clicked Publish on my first Blogger post all those years ago. At the time I was full of mixed emotions: recently out of university and trying to adjust to a new way of life, I felt lost working in an office job that stifled my creativity, but also excited as we embarked on the next chapter of our life together post-graduation. With all the wonderful experiences Bright.Bazaar has afforded me there have been times when I have felt young and impressionable; exposed and awash with fear; raw with hurt at being let down by those I thought I could trust.bb4
I’ve always been acutely aware how important it was for me to keep an element of humanity and personality at the blog’s core. In fact, this was the exact reason I started my 10 Things I Learned & Loved This Weekend series four years ago; it was the antithesis to the professional, magazine-style design reports I shared across the rest of the week. I wanted my readers to know that ‘Mr. Bazaar’ was in fact just a young guy, in his twenties, sharing his love for design and colour and navigating a new digital and physical world as he did.bb6
The lessons of life and business that one might learn in the relative comfort of an office with colleagues and co-workers during the early years of a career have often had to be learned on-the-go – I’ve dived in full of enthusiasm only to have my fingers burnt when it transpired the other party had an ulterior motive. I was on a conference call with someone recently and they said that I needed to become more ‘hard-nosed’ and ‘less concerned about how my actions might impact on others in business’. After the call I felt empty and kept asking myself: ‘Do I really I have to change my values and motives to be ‘successful’ in life?’ I remained resilient in my thinking; no, I don’t. OK, so I might not get the first exclusive or the highest rate of payment on a contract but you can be damn sure that I will have my integrity. I know that this means I will be susceptive to more let-downs and hurt, but I figure that I have also managed to achieve so many fantastic things by being who I am. And the main thing that gives me the confidence to know that I am on the right path and leading my life and business in a positive way is my fiancé. His wisdom, kindness and pure, genuine soul are of boundless guidance for me.bb8
As Bright.Bazaar grows I am being pulled in lots of directions and, while I am grateful for such opportunities, I’m finding it really hard to know who genuinely wants to work or collaborate because they admire my work vs. those who don’t. Right now I feel like I still have so much to learn and experience, so I’m just trying to absorb all of life’s experiences – good and bad. I hope that in doing so I will continue to build my confidence and broaden my horizons. And along the way, it’s of great comfort for me to be able to just hang out at home with my man.bb10
It’s for this reason that I felt compelled to share these intimate and personal photographs with you today. It’s such an honour that our living room made the UK cover of my first book, but with all of my tweets, Instagrams, blog posts etc. full of excitement about the book, it could be easy to forget that this is, at the core, the place we call home. The glossy image that graces my book cover is really just where we hang out together; bicker together; and hug one another through good times and bad. So it’s refreshing to share these snaps of our home today that aren’t styled or tidied – just natural pictures of what life looks like in our apartment day to day.bb12
Those who have read the Introduction to my book will know not only of the importance of Home to me, but also those I share it with. Book tours, photo shoots, travel – none of these things are a patch on the everyday life we share together inside these four walls. Hanging out in the kitchen chatting, baking (and sometimes bickering!) is what makes us happy – it’s those everyday moments that seem insignificant but are, really, what’s so important. I think that’s why I felt so emotional when I saw the picture of our slippers side by side; we both felt it was the pictorial description of the warm and welcoming feel of our life together at home.bb14
I’ve not written such a personal post, nor shared such intimate pictures, of our life before – to be honest, it’s just not ever been something I’ve ever even considered blogging about. Yet the conference call I had a few weeks ago really made me think – I’m proud of the life I’m living and have accepted that, in life, others will always have both positive and negative perceptions of you are. It doesn’t matter whether someone cures a disease, writes a book, works as a vet, is gay, straight, religious or not and so on; there will always be those who bring light and joy to one’s life, and those who bring darkness. I know that life ahead will no doubt hold great disappointments, alongside exciting adventures. However, throughout the ups and downs I feel blessed to be able to share my life with a man whose warm hug and soothing voice makes everything from a worldwide book deal to nasty backstabbing pale into insignificance. Toby, I love you.bb16

// Photography by Jean-Laurent Gaudy


1. I found a little spot for my recently acquired framed print of David Hockney’s A Bigger Splash.
2. The colour of this restaurant facade caught my eye.
3. If it was possible, my love for whippets grew even deeper thanks to my new print.
4. I was honoured to be featured in the Guardian’s Weekend magazine on Saturday. Click here to read the feature and see some pictures from my home.
5. The golden hours this weekend have been so rich and mesmerising.
6. I loved this shot I took with the suns final few rays streaming through this gate-in-a-hedge – so quaint!
7. An old school friend sent me this card out of the blue and it made my day.
8. My fiancé made 10-minute chocolate chip cookies on Sunday and they tasted AMAZING.
9. Just in case I didn’t have enough stripes in my life, I now have a stripy iPad Mini cover, too!
10. The covers and graphic design of Jamie magazine are so inspiring; I like to display them on this rack in my kitchen.