Jun 29, 2010

Seats in the Garden

The perfect placing of Seats in the Garden 
is part symmetry, part scale and part intuition.
Because if seats are placed properly in a garden,
they do more than just provide a place to sit...
They invite the visitor to linger for a moment 
of private, perfectly delicious reflection... 
They form an irresistible attraction 
to draw the garden viewer towards them, 
especially if they are 
aligned on an axis to arrest the wandering eye...
And, if perfectly placed, 
with a shape that echoes the shapes of the 
plantings and layout around them, 
they can appear to have effortlessly "grown" in the garden, 
as if by themselves.
Sometimes, it is a tiny splash of colour, 
especially red, that can focus the eye. 
{Red is the complimentary colour to 
the many-shaded green in a garden, 
and therefore contrasts beautifully with theatrical drama.} 
I very much want to walk to the butterfly chair 
& spend a pleasant afternoon 
sipping Gin & Tonic in it... 
watching the butterflies flutter by...
And sometimes, 
it is the "framing" of the garden structure 
which will enhance the appeal of the seating. 
Over-scaled elements, 
like the lantern and the large columns above, 
help to define the atmosphere of a "room" - 
although of course, none really exists. 
It is, however, 
enough to make the table + chairs 
look as if they belong, 
to give them a "grounding".
Seats can be framed with organic shapes too - 
like the billowing, willowy wattle trees 
that snuggle around this seat 
at the beautiful Garden Vineyard, 
in the gentle Mornington Peninsula of Victoria.
I have saved the most beautiful image for the end - 
because that is where I would like 
to end my journey through a fabulous garden - 
sitting on this character-laden seat, 
constructed from sculptural gum slabs, 
with sunlight and shadows playing mischievously 
over the crackling grass. 
Sheer bliss: a Perfectly Placed Seat in the Garden!

Photo credits: 1. "White Symmetry" photo by Max Belloni
2. photo by Vicki Archer, her own garden via French Essence
3,4 & 9. Gardens by Eckersley Garden Architecture; 5. Ben Barrell, sculptor; 
6. Garden by Foras Studio, New York; 7. Garden by Michael Cooke
8. Photo by author, at Garden Vineyard

Jun 16, 2010

Creamy White Pots in need of a new home...

Cream and green are so alluring in gardens - a magical colour combination, especially for shady areas. 

I found these 2 beautiful cream coloured plant pots on the side of the road yesterday - a neighbour was clearing out their house and garden and was happy to donate them to a new loving home.

So many beautiful plants I could put in them... fragrant creamy David Austin  roses

Or perhaps fresh green herbs...

Or maybe a contrasting red leafed arrangement...

Then, of course, it's always hard to go past the classic combination of green and white...

Photo credits: 1. The Knot; 2 & 3. Blue Fruit; 4. David Austin; 5. Crate & Barrel; 6. Deborah Silver; 7. Flora Online

Jun 15, 2010

Project Update :: Woodland Cottage Extension

Here's a snapshot of another current Blue Fruit project 
in the middle of construction. 
You can see the piles of materials! 
This is the new front facade of a house we are extending
in one of Melbourne's garden suburbs,
nestled in beautiful woodland.

Above is the "before" image of the original front facade 
- a 1930s timber cottage.

Because we are in the middle of construction in an incredibly wet Melbourne winter there is MUD everywhere, 
but the clients have a great sense of humour 
and have constructed a
Pirate's Walk the Plank temporary entrance
across the mud pools of what will become the driveway.

A few months ago, the new front wing was beginning to take shape...

The house is being transformed into a light-filled family home, 
with reference to its 1930's origins -
eg. picking up detailing of gables in Shadowclad
and scotia-trimmed fascias, 
shown below over the new front doors.

Inside, we have used a theme of bevelled mirrors, 
also inspired by the 1930s, in the bathrooms. 
The ensuite, below, is one of the first rooms finished.

The gorgeous clients have a wonderful collection of antique furniture
brought to Australia from South Africa - so a palette of creams,
limestone and whites is being used to set off the rich African timbers. 
These wonderful pieces are currently in storage 
or have builder's drapes over them - 
but I can't wait till they can all come out from their covers 
to enjoy their new home.

Jun 8, 2010

Blue, beautiful blue...

Blue in every hue - rich peacock, shimmery aqua,
deepest inky midnight-blue,
the palest, barely-there duck egg blue.
I love every single shade of this magic colour.
(The image above is just too wonderful - they really
experimented with colour combinations in the 60s,
& this photo proves that blue and green 
should be seen, unlike the old ditty...)
The aqua blue tiles in Carrie's apartment in
Sex and The City 2 movie are right on trend - touches
of blue adding a punch of sparkle
and dreaminess to crisp white and rich dark timbers.

The beautiful tiles are from a 1950s design,
still made by Heath Ceramics.

They have also been used to stunning effect 
in the Maritime Hotel, in New York, to serenade 
a doorway in a blaze of turquoise...

Not surprising to see that blue
- in particular turquoise blue -
is the Pantone colour of the year for 2010.
 Because it is turning up everywhere!

Turquoise is more of a greenish-tinged blue...
a bit like this gorgeous dining room made sultry,
with melted chocolate walls/ ceiling trimmed
with crisp white icing details... Edible really.
The palest of powder blues,
in the Kelly Wearstler designed Bergdorf Goodman Hotel,
is nostalgic for the glamour of the 1950s
in a Grace Kelly/ To Catch a Thief inspired way.

The Peacock is a bird which takes blue
to a new level - all the hues of blue
each trying to outdo themselves...

A glazed, high-shine peacock blue wall in a 
living room adds depth to the room. 

Huka Lodge (in New Zealand) uses a rich layering
of blues in their lobby, set off with crisp white
but also flashes of green and orange,
to create a lively yet warm space.
What a dreamy place for a holiday....
Frank Roop has used pale timbers
to set off various shades of baby blue + turquoise
in this kitchen and lobby wall.
Baby blue glass tiles for a 
nautical theme in a bathroom.
And for the last word, a rich, majestic Royal Blue 
simply simmers with sultry intrigue in
this Gunkelman Flesher design.

Blue is such a beautiful colour,
that it never really goes out of style either, does it?

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