Mar 30, 2012

Friday Fun :: A DIY Sofa grown from Lawn...

Rather fancy this idea,
of a an outdoor garden sofa
of soft green grass.
If you fancy it too,
there are instructions for how to DIY here.

Of course, 
not sure how well the mower would go 
on those angles...

DIY lawn sofa instructions :: readymade

Mar 28, 2012

Glamorous Cocktails (#2) :: The Jazz Age...


And after numerous requests enquiring as to "what comes next"
in our Cocktail History series, 
let's put on our tap shoes, 
dress in sequins & satin
and grab that martini,
because today it's part 2 & we are entering the Jazz Age of the 1920s.

Mar 27, 2012

Would you Like to Live here? :: alfresco living in the sunshine

Well you know I have a fondness for houses which embrace
the alfresco lifestyle...
it's rather irresistible I find...
so this home in Paddington, Sydney,
with its huge panes of sliding doors,
has me admiring the open sunny spaces.

Mar 26, 2012

Fabulous Front Entrances :: Driveway Gates

A driveway front gate has many purposes,
and it's not just to keep the dogs out, or in, as the case may be!
I always figure that there are 2 main jobs that a front gate has to do.
First, to set the background for the architectural "story",
as it is often the first element which a visitor sees.
And secondly, to provide a "flag" as a gesture of welcome.
"Here I am", says the front gate,
"come through this way".

Mar 25, 2012

Rescue Me Please Update :: Success!

 Do you remember this glorious Art Deco house
which we looked at as part of the Rescue Me Please series?
Well, in fabulous news,
the new owners contacted me last week
to let me know that they purchased it on a whim
with the intention of saving & restoring it.
Yippee!

Oh, I do love a happy ending! 

top image :: fireworks photo taken by blue fruit NYE Melbourne 2011

Mar 23, 2012

Cushions :: hand printed delicacy from Dancing at Dusk

 Just came across these somewhat delightful handmade cushions,
while hunting for interesting pieces for one of my projects.
They have a gentle watercolour feel to them, 
which would work beautifully in a room with lots of white.

Friday Fun :: Is that a Lampshade on your Head???

Well, if you had a lampshade stuck on your head, 
you'd probably be cranky too.
No?

animal lamps by abigail ahern // image :: interior decline

Mar 22, 2012

Pivot Doors :: a fun way to move inside + outside

The house on the hill is progressing very beautifully,
and today I have been finalising the design for the front door,
which will be a pivot one.
While the one I have designed is made from rustic timber,
these aluminium ones are rather gorgeous too.
Pivot doors are such fun - perhaps it is the inner child in me,
but I always find them great fun to open.
A little bit Get Smart, perhaps!

image :: design of house in south yarra by nixon tulloch fortey

Mar 21, 2012

Rescue Me Please: I'm 1930s Glam & Gorgeous

We are on a rescue mission again today. 
This time, 
a very elegant 1930s home in Toorak
is calling our attention.
She is a sort of Tudor Revival & sort of Hollywood Regency,
so let's have a look and see what we can do with her 
to return her to glamorous glory. 
Our girl has a name as befits one of character.
(Well you already know I adore the 
notion of names for houses
from an earlier post.)
Our girl is called "Darrawah".
She has the steep gables, narrow chimneys
 & many-paned windows of the English Tudor Revival style,
which was rather popular in the 1930s.
But without half-timbering on her walls to complete the look, 
we can't quite pop her into the Tudor box. 
Back to that character again.
She wants to be a starlet, of Old Hollywood style,
because there is a bit of Hollywood Regency happening 
in the kidney pool shape & external staircase. 
Now it's in the floor plan that we can 
see the gracious feminine 1930s curves
& the emphasis on entertaining. 
See the "enclosed terrace" & 
the sweeping shape of the steps to the pool?
Oh but the "enclosed terrace" is rather more of a conservatory!
Ah yes, we can have some fun with that. 
It reminds me of the conservatory 
we looked at last week
by Mim Design.
We'll just bring in some in glossy white pots 
of pink & blue hydrangeas
& masses of palms, 
with a bit of white wicker furniture.
A bit like this.
It'll be the perfect spot for pre-dinner cocktails.
Now any glamorous hostess from the 1930s era
knew how to make an entrance.
Which means having a rather elegant staircase.
Better see how Darrawah's look.
Ok, some work needed here.
The arched window is good. 
But I'm thinking we need a bit of curvaceousness... 
Like this. 
That's better. 
Richly stained timber floors,
wrought iron handrail,
carpet as rich as melted chocolate on the treads,
& a swirled scoop of vanilla icecream of a balustrade.
Darrawah's steps lead down from the conservatory terrace
to this rather lovely freeform swimming pool.
A bit perfect for pool parties. Glam ones. 
Looks like our kitchen was a remodel in, um, the 1980s?
Functional, yes.
But glamorous? Not quite.
I was thinking something more along these lines...
This is by the clever Kara Mann. 
It has the right kind of dramatic feel for our house, I think,
with those "look at me" legs.
Bedrooms were often more "boudoir" than utilitarian in the 1930s
Hollywood Regency style homes. 
So how does our main bedroom look at the moment?
Hmm.
Well I guess it's functional like the kitchen.
But it does have French doors onto a Juliette balcony,
so that gives me an idea or two...
Adding that romantic element of feminine luxe
would give our bedroom much more 1930s inspired glamour,
a bit like this bedroom at the Palazzo Margherita.
 So that's the kitchen, staircase & bedroom sorted.
How about the living areas?
There's a gorgeous porthole window in this room.
 And some charming doors + leadlight windows in this one. 
But I'm thinking a bit more contrast in the textures & colours 
wouldn't go astray.
Like adding a charcoal rug
on top of our newly darkened floorboards.
And some quirkily interesting lamps.
And we'll be needing a bar.
Of course.
A sexily dark & sultry one with brass trim preferably.
We need somewhere to keep the cognac. 
For when the local cricket team pop in.
As for the colour scheme, 
well apart from our base of charcoal, ivory & rich timber,
we can add a few touches of turquoise blue,
blush pink, palest mustard & lustrous pewter
in an ode to the era.
Lastly, what shall we wear to the house warming cocktail party?
The one to celebrate all our hard work. 
Jill Sander's 2012 collection 
has just the right note of 1930s sentimentality,
without being too slavish to history. 
 And the boys will need to be dapper as well. 
 Loving the return to double breasted suits!
(Have just talked my husband into buying one for upcoming winter.
So unbearably dapper. Especially with a bow tie & cufflinks.)
I'm getting distracted now....
Sadly, this grand starlet is being sold complete with plans
to demolish her & build 5 luxury apartments. 
But fingers crossed, 
somebody with imagination will buy her 
& restore her to the glamorously gorgeous 
1930s home she could be.

Is she worth saving? I think so. Do you?

Property : 45 bruce st toorak, melbourne
Agents & house images : kay & burton.

Mar 20, 2012

Wedding Thoughts :: Sparkles & Old Brass

In the second inspiration board which I put together for my niece
for her wedding in summer at the end of this year,
it is sparkles, lace & softly burnished golden tones.
A vanilla cake piped with golden butter cream,
simply garnished with olive leaves & roses.
Old brass coffee pots filled 
with honeysuckle, 
stocks, 
& softly-scented Bourbon roses of Champagne & blush.
A gown of satin, resplendent with sparkles & vintage lace.
Cocktails in the late afternoon,
afternoon tea served on lace-draped timber trays.
A celebration of gentle, simple beauty.

images :: flowers & cake : honey of a thousand flowers
earrings, hairstyle, cocktail sign & veil with gown : BHLDN
sequined dress back detail, table settings: style me pretty
sequined gown front detail : anna campbell

Mar 19, 2012

Fabulous Front Entrances :: Curving Avenues

Sometimes a straight line to the front door is perfect.
But sometimes, 
 a little more mystery can be a more exciting solution.
Because you can't actually see what you are looking for.
You have to go exploring for it. 
So the anticipation builds.
Will the house be stunning?
Or will it be sad?
No clues.
And then, the mystery is revealed at the end...
And it's stunning.
This fabulous entrance & Art Deco house 
is on a property in New Zealand
 which used to belong to the designer Karen Walker.
The curving avenue is a subtle play on the 
Art Deco
ocean liner curves.
Oh, I did say no clues!
Well, that's so very subtle that it is extremely effective!

Gorgeous, isn't it? 



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