Friday, October 29, 2010

I feel in need of some encouraging words today and think these should do it - which I will admit I 'pinched' from an email from one of the members of an online freelance journalists group I belong to. It was quoted for an entirely different reason but it got my attention ...

'Whatever you can do or think you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius and magic in it. Begin it now.'
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

So, go on, be bold and take the leap!

And enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I'm Dreamin' Of ... A Funky Bookcase

Yes, that's right, people I've decided to have a weekly section called 'I'm Dreamin' Of ...' to feature things that either I have been dreaming of owning, hadn't realised I was dreaming of owning until I saw them or just things I love that inspire lots of dreamy moments.

Today's piece is a funky bookcase by Colombian-based designers Malagana Design.

The Equilibrium bookcase turns your sense of balance on its head to give you something functional but quirky. Says Malagana's website: While its compartments seem to float in the air, Equilibrium can hold over 120 Lbs of weight and its different modules allow to keep books and magazines organized in a natural tilted position that eliminates the need for bookends.

I like.
I want.
I'll have to be content to dreaming about putting this quirky number in my living room.

Images via The Contemporist

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mood Boards: Girls' Bedrooms

What better way to spend a ghastly rainy Sunday (ie yesterday) than by making mood boards! My two girls and I had a ball going through magazines and putting together ideas for the rooms in the house and I let them run free with their bedrooms.

As you can see my eldest has gone for a base of black and white and wants to liven it up with turquoise and purple. And where are those wallpapers I blogged about in my last post, you may be wondering? Well, she's got them on another piece of card but thought maybe a more subtle design would be better (I told you there'd be a lot of fickleness going on!). But hey, I think it looks quite sophisticated and pretty, don't you?

My youngest teamed the Dog in the Park wallpaper with lime green, blue and a dash of yellow. Bright and breezy that can be toned down with white bed linen and furniture.

I then went and looked at the other rooms in the house and it was such a great process as it really helped me 'see' each room and because I stuck each image down with Blu-tack I could take items away and add others to change the look and feel. It sure beat having a [large] stack of cuttings that, apart from giving me ideas and inspiration, were also making me feel confused and overwhelmed. This way - and with only an A4-sized card - I had to be ruthless and only keep things that really worked. I also found images (both online and in magazines) of furniture and other items similar to those we already owned, such as our sleigh bed, driftwood lamp, chocolate leather armchairs, so I could see how they would fit in with the choices of colour scheme, wallpaper, curtaining etc and, in some cases, which room they would go in. You could also do this with artwork, family photos, plants to help get the feel for what the 'real' room could look like. And rearranging is as easy as lifting a finger! I highly recommend it.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Black & White Wallpaper

Have been checking out black and white wallpaper for behind-bed-feature walls as in this room above, styled by stylist Heather Nette King, because coincidentally my two girls have seen wallpaper they love that is black and white which could then be teamed with a bright accent colour of their choice - in the duvet cover, cushions, lampshades etc. And, now that they're older, I think this option offers a sophisticated but fun look that isn't too girly-girl.

The first wallpaper that took my eye is this picture frame wallpaper from Verve Designer Collections by Eijffinger, which I thought could be great in a teenagers' room where they could their photos or pictures on the wall in a stylish way.

Then, I found this fashion wallpaper (in alcove) from Ferm Living for my eldest who is fashion-obsessed. (Am not so keen on the geometric number).

But the one she really loves is this shoe wallpaper from Verve Designer Collections, called Lillie by Hohenberger - glam or what?!

My youngest (who's nearly ten) is currently wanting a dog theme for her bedroom and I thought this Osborne and Little 'Dog in the Park' wallpaper would be perfect. So cute, yet elegant.

Who knows what they'll end up with as young minds (and sometimes old ones!) are rather fickle. But it's great amassing ideas!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ideas, excitement, patience ...

Am very excited as next Tuesday is the day planned for the second level floor slab to be poured! To actually get up there and see what it will be like in our living/kitchen/deck area is what I have been waiting for for ages.

But settle petal, I hear you say. And quite rightly too. Patience is a virtue in this building business. Have to settle, instead, for gorgeous styled images of other peoples' homes which are bursting out of the magazines I buy and the websites and blogs I peruse.

One potential change to the interior - which may or may not happen as it will depend on how it looks - is that we could keep one wall in the rumpus room in the original brick (instead of cladding over it) to give it a bit of an industrial feel. I got quite excited about the idea (as I am wont to do) but hubby isn't so sure and he may be right as in a relatively modern house it may just look weird or stupid or just plain wonky. Anyway, this image is the kind of the look we could achieve ...

There would be two long, large windows either side of the TV on the wall, and facing it a fun sofa plus a pool table on timber floors, if you get the idea. Silly? Who knows. We'll just have to wait and see.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Building Progress: Week 19

Remember last week I showed you the super-duper bedroom slabs? Well, now they're getting walls!

Even though there is still some of the original bricks left, they are using new bricks for these walls (and thank goodness they won't be seen as they're really don't have the character of the old ones). This is Hannah's bedroom east-side wall with a lovely view of the neighbouring trees.

Same room; other wall. I'm impressed at how high the ceiling studs and door frames will be. Our architect specified these and I think it will make a difference to the feel of the rooms - giving them a lofty feel rather like that of an older, more traditional home.

The view of the concrete jungle from the far end of the pool.

And Deb the Digger has been hard at work clearing rubble and earth to make room for the second level slab. Hugh the (other) Digger has been languishing in the guest bedroom for goodness knows how long! I'm guessing that soon they will no longer be required.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Interior Inspiration

Have stumbled upon (via The Design Files) an interior design duo who are channelling exactly the kind of feel I'd like for our house. Fiona Lynch and Mardi Doherty of Doherty Lynch, based in Melbourne, use clean lines, neutral bases and then pop them with a burst of colour - often wallpaper - and I'm liking it.

Love, love, love this kitchen! You can read The Design Files' interview with them here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Building Progress: Girls' Bedrooms

Who wants to see the girls' new bedrooms? No one can be more excited than they are to see them and so far this is where we're at ...

Hannah's bedroom

Amy's bedroom

Somewhere in the middle is a bathroom ...

Exciting stuff. The dimensions look a bit wrong in the photos and it is pretty hard to get a feel for a room when there are no walls or ceilings but you get the idea. Thankfully, there's no more concrete to pour and it is, literally, all on the way up from here. As I write the rest of the old bricks are being laid to form the walls and then, hopefully, very soon we can lay the top slab and see what the upper level will look like. How different it all is in reality compared to an A3 drawing!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Chair Love

Image: Living Etc

I just love these armchairs - the colours, the fabric and the fact they are old chairs that have been reupholstered. Have you ever mix-and-matched different fabrics on the one chair?

P.S. Now, I have to apologise for my lack of blog-visiting lately. I've been really missing everyone's updates and the inspiring world of design blogs but have just had too much on and something had to give. But hopefully, I'll have more time very soon! xoxo J

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Spanish Time

Okay, I know it's only just October but already people are talking about Christmas - agh! But if you ask me, where is one place I wouldn't mind staying, then this hotel would be on my list.

The Spanish Hotel Viura, designed by Designhouses, is in the wine region of Rioja Alavesa and is named after the most widely planted white grape variety in Rioja. Its modern, quirky architecture, based on a series of concrete cubes, sits next to a 17th century church in the middle of a traditional village. It has plush seating, a wine-barrel ceilinged restaurant and stunning views.

When can we go?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Designer Chicken Coops

How cool is this? A designer chicken coop for all those budding inner city chicken owners out there.

Engineered and crafted by hand in the UK, the Nogg is made from strong cedar wood which is fresh scented and naturally antibacterial and is designed to house two to four chickens. It is the brainchild of furniture designer and engineer Matthew Hayward and Creative Director Nadia Turan.

They say: "The nogg is designed to enhance and compliment its surroundings and fit sculpturally with this aesthetic assumption. The nogg aids and advocates the provenance of homegrown foods. Chicken keeping has become a huge trend in the last 18 months and makes an ideal pet with benefits that delivers fresh eggs in the morning.

"It is a great example of how a random thought became a reality when a number of friends and relatives were excited about keeping chickens. It was upsetting to all of us how ugly, badly constructed and rudimentary the chicken coops were. It sparked a debate as to why we should be lumbered with an eyesore in our gardens."

Thank goodness for random thoughts!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Egyptian Lights

As many of you may know, I have an obsession with lights and now, with having to choose the pendants for our house so the electrician can give an accurate quote (we've gone for a fixed quote as with the rest of the build process), I have to actually make some lighting decisions.

And let me tell you, it's not easy. I don't want to pick ones I may tire of and the choice is endless - although the fittings do have to be 240 w, LED and dimmable which does narrow down the choice. Plus, shades where the bulb can be seen are not so suitable as LED globes, currently, don't look anywhere near as nice as the original light bulb.

So far most of my research has been online so I will have to hoist myself off my chair and get out of the house. One place I'm keen to go to is Tokens of Living, up the northern beaches. Here are some of their lights (among other things) that have got my attention: beautiful, silvery, sparkly lights from Egypt.

Just imagine the light sparkling around a room with these numbers!


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