Friday, April 30, 2010

French Antique Key Necklace

I'm very excited as I've just had a peek at two mid-century chairs that my friends at S.H.E Lifestyle have been upcycling - sprucing and upholstering and waving their magic wand over - for me. And they super-kindly gave me one of their French antique key necklaces which looks pretty cool and is fun to wear.

I love the blue velvet ribbon which picks up the teal that is in the fabric by Cloth they have used for my chairs. They discovered a bunch of these keys on their travels which apparently came from a French farmhouse cellar and each end is shaped a different number!

You'd have thought having this around my neck this afternoon would have helped me remember to pick up the 'new' house keys I left on the hall table as I was leaving after dropping off some stuff. But no. I locked them inside!!

Thankfully, hubby reminded me that he took one of the spare front door keys in the event of such forgetfulness (I have been known to do this before). Phew - more than once!

But getting back to the chairs - they're being delivered on Monday so I'll be able to show you their beautifulness and S.H.E's craftmanship then. In the meantime, have a happy weekend ...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Coastal Retreat wins Australian Interior Design Award

Despite packing, I still have work to do and along the way - while doing research for Innovative Household magazine - I discovered this gorgeous house that has just won a Residential Decoration award for Hare + Klein Interior Design in the 2010 Australian Interior Design Awards.

It's a Coastal Retreat in New South Wales whose interiors have been beautifully done over, as always, by Hare + Klein who seem to specialise in understated elegance.

Said the jury: An elegant, sophisticated and understated interior composition responds here with delight to its beach-side location and coastal views. The neutral and bleached palette is expertly enhanced with accents of light colour that elevate it from the generic to the sublime. Skilled articulation of space results in a perfect balance of intimate enclosure and connection with the exterior that encourages relaxed habitation.

I couldn't agree more and could quite happily move in here over the weekend!

It's the muted tones with the odd dash of colour that makes it appear so serene and there's the charcoal grey again, which I love.

Nice bathroom, too!

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Art of Packing

There is, of course, an art to packing boxes. And I found it on the outside of the moving cartons.

The art of moving house is all about ensuring you take rests.
A glass of wine and a good book are wonderful rejuvenators.

You must ensure you are handled with care at all times.

Otherwise, you may get all ruffled

and crumpled 

and end up in a heap on the floor.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Kicking Back

Wishing I could kick back here over the long weekend.
But will be unpacking storage boxes and packing up current house.

Check out Linda's Lime in the Coconut blog where this photo came from and dream of living in the tropics.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

In Love with Charcoal Grey

After the joys of DIYing up the coast and an indulgent weekend in Melbourne, life has suddenly jolted back to reality and all hands are now on deck in order for our build to finally begin. For, this next week, we are to peruse building tenders and choose a builder, pack boxes, get furniture out of storage and then move out on May 1st! Having worked out this will be our eighth move in the thirteen years that hubby and I have been together, I've decided we are either mad nomads or just plain stupid. Either way, we have brought this one fair and square on ourselves and so, despite the feelings of dread at doing it all again, we shouldn't complain.

But instead of showing you pictures of building documents, packing boxes or hair being pulled out, I thought I would indulge myself in some images of beautiful rooms - in particular, those that feature charcoal grey. 

It seems to be that grey is the new white in interior wall colours and furnishings and I love it! So much so that I am now considering painting the main wall in our soon-to-be new living/dining area charcoal grey instead of dark chocolate brown.

To me charcoal grey can be tranquil, elegant and dramatic all at the same time.

From Megan Morton's Homelove book as seen in The Design Files

It can 'style up' a coastal or Scandinavian all-white look or add punch and drama if used with black or a bright colour like yellow or red.
 From Swedish real estate Alvhem makleri

 What do you think?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Drawing of The Brick House

Artist David Oberdorf has finished the pen and ink sketch of The Brick House and I'm pleased to be able to show it to you. The detail is amazing and it will be a lovely reminder of the history of the property and the house once it is no longer. I think it will be even better framed and on our future hall table against the planned sandstone wall. What do you think?

Friday, April 16, 2010

More on Melbourne

Fitzroy's Rose Street Artist Market - at 60 Rose Street - was a must-see. It would have to have some of the most original, unique stalls (up to 70 of them) with everything from collectibles, to one-offs to designer pieces. It is on every Saturday and Sunday from 11 am.

I'm afraid I only took one photo - was too busy looking at all the wares! But there was jewellery made from typewriter keys, decorate-your-own lamps, unique clothing, vintage library books turned into journals, vintage cutlery necklaces and earrings - of which I bought one, as well as a badge that pokes fun at my New Zealand accent ...


I was also very keen to have a nosey in Guy Mathews Vintage Industrial Furniture store at 154 Johnson St, Fitzroy but unfortunately it wasn't open on the Saturday we were there. But you can check out his wares and learn more about him at The Design Files.


Back in the city, two design stores worth visiting are dedece at 33 Russell St and Interstudio, 185 Flinders Lane.

Then there are the bars, cafes and restaurants. The laneways in central Melbourne are full of them and Flinders Lane is chockers with cafes like this one ...

MoVida has become the hot thing in town, now with two restaurants serving tapas at 1 Hosier Lane and MoVida Aqui at level 1, 500 Bourke St. Not your usual tapas but rather scrumptious.

Before we left I read about restaurant and bar Coda and after seeing its amazing lights, wanted to go. With its Vietnamese-inspired menu, no-booking bar area and booking dining space, it is pumping. Unfortunately we only had time to down a glass of wine and the duck curry as we were off to one of the line-ups of the Melbourne Comedy Festival. But I did have time to oogle the lights which looked better in person. I can see three of the blue ones over our new kitchen island bench ... mmm, yes. They were designed, as was the interior, by Melbourne-based design studio, Projects of Imagination.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Brunswick Streetscape in Melbourne

I can't believe that our three wonderful, carefree days in Melbourne are over. In fact, we've been back four days and I have only just had a chance to think about blogging - what with talking to builders, rental real estate agents and removalists ... but more on that later.
I thought I'd share with you some pictures I took on our visit to the bohemian, grungy, alternative suburb of Fitzroy, north of the city - in between all the shopping, of course!

Australian-made Nobody jeans are divine and the graffiti art around the city pretty impressive.

A faded pink facade - love the colour!
I'm thinking girly boudoir-style bedroom decor or the walls of a sumptuous dining room.

This building facade and Fosters Lager sign appears purposely run-down and peeling - designer dilapidation that is an indicative look of the area.

Brunswick Street is full of Victorian buildings, cafes, bars, designer clothes and vintage clothes shops, design stores and antique shops.

Much of the graffiti are true works of art.

If you get tired of walking, you can hire a bike ...

or take a seat in one of the quirky mosaic street sofas.

But the shopping is, in my view, where it's at if you want to find different stuff and enjoy boutique-style shops versus chain stores, department stores and busy city streets. These colourful tin animals outside a florists caught my eye and would be great to liven any garden or courtyard.

Wilkins and Kent design store is a must-see for beautiful hand-made ceramics, lights and furniture.

The Kleen design store is a bit like Sydney's Top3 Design - excellent for gifts and designer homewares.

Kleins Perfumery is a decadent, beautifully designed and decorated store full of soaps and smellies, hand-made cosmetics and toiletries presented in an old-fashioned apothecary way.

For my girls, I bought these lollipop soaps from Kleins Perfumery and the butterfly purses from the original, dinky clothes and accessories shop, Kinki Gerlinki.

Then, it was almost time to go back to the hotel via tram.

But, not quite ... In my next blog, I'll show you what we found down some of the side streets.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Distressed Cupboard

Dear readers, this will be my last blog for a few days as our time at The Bach ends and hubby and I have a long weekend in Melbourne on our own, sans children (thank you grandparents!). In the meantime, I would like to leave you with a purchase I made at The Lovely Shop in Woy Woy which I had passed many times and always wanted to have a nosey around. It is a pre-loved/vintage furniture and bric-a-brac shop that, as it turns out, is quite divine and very reasonably priced. There was dinky china, a cute sky blue sofa, lamps, buttons, upcycled furniture, vintage bits and bobs and pre-loved knick knacks.

Then I spotted this distressed cupboard/cabinet with four drawers and shelves inside that I thought would be perfect in an empty corner of our bedroom at The Bach.

So I snapped it up!

And here it is, with my newly limewashed mirror.

The all-white, shabby chic look is coming along quite nicely.

Adieu - until next time when I might have some interesting finds from Melbourne.


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