Time for a Reno?

Imagine finding your dream apartment, it has everything you want and then a kitchen straight out of the 80’s, well that’s what i found. Formica counters, formica cabinet doors with wooden beaded trims and floor to ceiling textured beige tiles, not your award winning kitchen but its an incredible space begging for a transformation – so here i am 2 years later doing just that! Its renovation time – for my very own kitchen.

So as with all projects lets start at the very beginning – Phase 1 – developing the look and feel for the space.

What i want to achieve in this space is a light and bright space that encompasses my design aesthetic of simple / modern while retro and quirky, with loads of white and also a whole bunch of blue ( i have a minor blue and white obsession ) whilst still being in keeping with the rest of the open plan living area.


So have a look through the images and let us know what you think!

What are some of your essential kitchen must haves?




Birthday Bedroom Makeover

This project has seriously been one of the most fun installations i have had! I have loved every second of pulling together all of the elements to make this space what it is.
Our challenge was to create a fun and sophisticated bedroom for a young girl turning 13, who wanted a turquoise and grey bedroom. We decided to add in  little pops of coral to take the space from being very serene to having a little bit more fun and energy. The ‘structural’ elements of the space allow for a timeless and long lasting decor scheme, while the scatters and accessories allow the space to be fun, age appropriate and cheerful.
One of my favorite elements is the rose gold sequined scatter, which helps to connect  the brass and coral elements used throughout the space. The formal elements of the space allow for a timeless and long lasting decor scheme, while the scatters and accessories allow the space to be fun, age appropriate and cheerful.
The room has a definite fun – sophistication about it, and i think i might be getting one of the sequined scatters made up for myself very soon.
Would love to hear what you think of the space in the comments below.

One year of abide

From small beginnings and the biggest challenge being trying to pick a name to opening up our first store space and stressing about admin, marketing and social media – this year has been full of many scary and wonderful surprises. I cant even begin to express how grateful i am to each family member, friend, client and supplier who has helped and supported me along the way, i would never have been able to achieve what i have this past year without your love and support.
I thought this would be an appropriate time to look back over the past year and pick out a few of my highlights and achievements from abide’s first year in business.
So here they are:
1. Design Indaba , Emerging Creative 2016
Being part of the emerging creatives group for 2016 was amazing. There are so many talented designers in South Africa and it was great to learn from them as well as all the mentors we had over the week of being in Cape Town.
How it worked was that they flew you there, put you up in accommodation, organized fancy events for us ( we literally had a private dinner inside gallery momo, like can you even ), gave us amazing food, met the most incredible people, it seemed like a dream. Everything always has its ups and downs, ( and there were a whole bunch of downs ) but all in all the experience was once in a lifetime and i feel totally privileged that i was able to be apart of the Design Indaba Emerging Creatives of 2016
2. Best Newcomer Decorex Durban
Decorex Durban was a collaboration between myself and Luhandra from Elle Kay fabrics. Both of us still in the early stages of our business – so we pooled our resources together to be able to pull off Decorex Durban.
I loved being apart of this well known durban exhibition. and even more i loved that we got a second space ( 2 days before the show opened – HECTIC – it was panic stations for a little while ) but  it was great to see our limits pushed and be rewarded for the effort it took to plan and install a new stand in under 2 days.
3. Launching our first wallpaper collection
Our wallpaper was launched at both Design Indaba and Decorex Durban. It has been so great to see how our wallpaper designs and the product itself have been so well received. I cant wait to begin work shortly on our new collection of designs ( botanically inspired, of course ) in early 2017, keep your eyes peeled for this one folks – i’m excited!!
I cant even begin to describe how appreciative and grateful i still am for all the support and love shown at our first pop up & Cuppa for CANSA event. We had so much support from our local community and were able to raise close to R8000,00 for CANSA.
We will definitely be hosting one again next year!
It was incredible to be apart of such a wonderful event. The Talloula team put together a wonderful group of traders and i was so honored to be among them! It was 2 days of trading i will never forget. A big thank you to the Talloula team for such a wonderful 2 days!
6. Opening in Anthology
This is seriously a dream come true! On the 1st November we partnered up with Terry Angelos, owner of Anthology  in Windermere centre, and we have taken up residence in her gorgeous store. If you have never visited it – it should go on your list of to-do’s as soon as possible! Its fantastic!
So we have officially been apart of the space for 14 days, and you can find a variety of our stationery items, home decor pieces, revamped furniture items, glassware and vintage accessories and artwork.

Decorex | The Conservatory

It was such an honour to be apart of Decorex Durban 2016.

Our stand was in collaboration with Elle Kay Fabrics, brainstorming this space and mashing our patterned textiles together was challenging, but i am so happy with the fresh, contemporary and monochrome look we achieved. Deciding to go monochrome was an easy decision, with monochrome being a trend i hold close to my heart. I absolutely adore when you are able to combine such an eclectic mix of patterns together – and its the monochrome scheme that links them together.

The addition of the non-typical occasional chair and vintage furniture pieces added to the character of the space, and then of course – whats a space without a little bit of greenery, or a WHOLE lot.

I still absolutely love this space, so many months later!

P.S This wallpaper is now up in my office! You really can just peel it off and reuse it somewhere else – its magic!

How abide happened

I’m  Jen Mckenzie, owner of the brand Abide.
I am also the designer, builder and manufacturer, homeware developer, illustrator & interior designer, and i absolutely love that i get to do what i love to do everyday ( cliche – but true )
Five things you should to know about me:
1. My full name is Jenni – Not Jenny / Jennifer / Jennyfer or whatever other variation you can think of. Im just  Jenni with an “i”
2. A good cup of coffee makes my world go round.
3. I had a pet tortoise growing up – it ran away from me 3 times before i painted a heart on its shell with nail polish so people knew who to return it to.
4. I am a Marvel comic fanatic, and my favorite character is James Buchanan Barnes, aka. Bucky  – because lets be honest that metal arm is HAAWT!
5. I am 100% afraid of Geckos.
I grew up in a small town called Richmond,  and had the best childhood filled with many silly stories and adventures. I am the oldest of 3 children – so naturally i am the bossiest, and i believe that’s what my parents love most about me ( insert emoji with sticking out tongue here ).  My mom and dad are seriously awesome, and i love them to  bits and pieces. They have been incredibly supportive and encouraging over the past year of abide finding its feet, and you may have even met them already – they are my unofficial delivery team.  I love that i get to call my family my best friends and that we are never too far away from one another, in fact my sisters and my front doors are about 10m away from one another and my brother is my roomie and private chef.
Growing up in the country instilled a value of the outdoors and an appreciation for nature in me ( i am by no means a camper – but i love being in my garden, getting my hands dirty and appreciating the beauty that surrounds us) so i naturally lean towards using botanicals, drawing botanicals and always being surrounded by whatever flowers and greenery i can get my hands on!
I have always had the dream of owning and running my own business – the job description in this dream has changed quite dramatically over the years, but running my own thing has always been the common thread. At age 5 i was going to be a hairdresser, age 8 a teacher, age 10 a wedding planner,  age 11 a florist and then  – owning a coffee shop, a decorator, a fashion designer, a hardware store ( i know right ), a landscaper, jewellery designer, pre school teacher?
I went to high school at St Johns DSG in Pietermaritzburg, as a Border. 5 years of pure joy that i treasure and wouldn’t change for anything in the world. Being a border changed everything  – it gave me my independence, challenged me to step outside my comfort zone and built friendships to last a lifetime.
After Matric i made the big move down to Durban, and i started studying Interior Design at DUT. I was introduced to Striking  and the wonderful ambience of the DUT city campus & its infamous pigeons! I loved every aspect of interior design… even model making. After completing my BTech i went on to lecture part time at DUT whilst starting up a small affordable artwork company called Jen Jen.
I then went on to work at Cecil Nurse as their in house Space Planner and product designer, whilst still running Jen Jen in the evenings and weekends. Cecil Nurse taught me so much by ways of furniture construction possibilities and processes, standards and regulations , spacial requirements, ergonomics and it started my love for Interior design in the Corporate Environment. After a few years at Cecil Nurse i decided it was time to give this ‘running your own business’ thing a proper go – but i ended up chickening out and started  as a junior designer at DNA Interior Design, a Durban based  Interior design firm that specializes in designing corporate interiors. DNA is the most incredible company, i got to work on some of the most amazing projects in some of Durban’s most prominent corporate environments and this just furthered my love for Interior Design in the corporate realm. Whilst working at DNA i realized that THIS is what i actually wanted to do! I wanted to run my own interior design firm but also incorporate the Jen Jen side to it. The practical and the pretty.
… and that is how abide was born. An Interiors and homeware brand with a focus  on creating bold and significant spaces that are considerate of the latest  trends and your budget! With the aim of designing products that can fit into a multitude of interior spaces, with an appeal to the younger working class – providing good quality designer homeware  with an affordable price tag.
That pretty much sums up me and how abide happened.
Thanks for reading