Oct 31, 2011

Halloween amongst the Hats & Horses...

Halloween has fallen right in amongst the Hats & Horses 
in Melbourne this year - for it is the Spring Racing Carnival.
All talk is about the Melbourne Cup tomorrow:
which hat to wear, which horse to win & which witch for Halloween.
My Victorian Gothic themed Halloween dinner party on Saturday
was a marvelous excuse to bring out antique glass jelly moulds,
filled with artemesia flowers & lemon balm from the garden.

Oct 28, 2011

Sorrento House: exposed concrete in unadulterated glory

 Exploring the myriad moods of exposed concrete,
natural timber & honed basalt stone,
this modern reinterpretation of a "beach house" at Sorrento
is more about durability 
and less about transience; 
the traditional elements of beach house design.

Shhh...don't tell anyone it's Friday!

Friday has always been my favourite day of the week.
All about the anticipation, perhaps. 
While it is still a workday, 
there is a sneaking excitement that 
the weekend 
is just around the corner.
{For me, that means a Halloween dinner party tomorrow night,
then looking forward to the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday.}
So for now, it's back to work...
but shhh...don't tell anyone it's Friday! 

image: Lisa Kesson by Dimitris Skoulos, 
Through the Looking Glass, Elle Greece October 2011, via Oh Fashion Model

Oct 27, 2011

Delectable Duet: Masculine + Feminine

Creating that delicate balance between masculinity & femininity
can form a fabulous controlled tension in interior design.
They don't have to be present in equal amounts to balance, either.
The curves on the rococo style bench, table edge & silk upholstery 
add a feminine softness in this dining room.
While the hard-edge chairs and James Bond style artwork 
adds the masculine element.

Oct 26, 2011

A Haze of Indigo: handpainted cushions from Xavier & Me

In a haze of the prettiest blue, 
these new linen cushions from Xavier & Me
are hand painted in Bleu de Lectoure ink.

Oct 25, 2011

Oh so Pretty: Summer 2012 Collection from Aung

With a delicate take on this season's florals, 
the new Flora Jargon collection from Aung
captures the delicacy of a gentle afternoon in a sunlit garden.

Oct 24, 2011

On the Market: Black/ White & Colour all over!

If you love a palette of black and white
with cheerful blasts of pure, unadulterated colour,
then this beautifully renovated house in the Adelaide Hills
may just reach out and tickle your fancy.

Oct 21, 2011

The Glamour of a Dressing Table Set...

There are few things which can impart so much glamour
into a bedroom as simply as a beautiful dressing table set,
especially a vintage one.

Oct 20, 2011

Now that is a ceiling! The work of Warren Platner

Currently working on the most fabulous early 1970s home in Hawthorn,
so I'm surrounding myself with the best of the era 
to engage in the right frame of mind. 
This amazing ceiling is the work of the late 
American architect & interior designer William Platner.
Let's have a quick look at some of his other work.
Perhaps best known for his Platner furniture for Knoll in 1962,
William Platner knew how to work a curve 
and how to throw a colour or two together.

Oct 19, 2011

Colour Blocking? Just ask Nature about that...

 Sitting on my desk this morning
are these impossibly bright Pink Pigface flowers,
freshly gathered from the garden.
 They truly are the most shocking, deliciously delectable pink.
And a fabulous bolt of colour for visitors,
as they are growing by the front door.

Oct 18, 2011

DIY: gold leaf paper mache bowl

With a rustic, imperfectly perfect shape,
this little bowl has been made from paper mache
crafted around a balloon,
then brushed with gold leaf. 
You can find the DIY instructions here.

An elegant soirée for Halloween...

Despite my unconditional love of orange,
this year I am thinking along more Victorian Gothic lines for Halloween,
with a palette of black, white & gold.
Resembling little ghosts, 
from the amazing lens of Spanish photographer Elena,
these papery garlic shells got me thinking about Halloween,
and how perhaps it might be nice to rethink & romanticise it a little.

Oct 17, 2011

Rescue Me Please: I'm a Boom Style Italianate Mansion

Put on your best Victorian walking dress, 
because today we are going to buy Friesia, 
an 1880s loggia-encased Italianate home 
and we shall start with a walk in its most charming botanical gardens.

Oct 16, 2011

At the Races: Need a Hat!

Ah, these ladies from 1965 are all a flutter at the races.
Which horse to back?
Which hat to wear?
Well, if they were to fast forward to 2011,
they could choose a hat from Paris Kyne's fab new collection,
freshly launched in time for the Spring Racing Season.
Which do you fancy?
This hat with a generous swirl of feathers in rusty red?
With a brim to hold the sunlight at bay?
Or this classic little confection in black?
There's no shadow of a doubt
that a fabulous hat makes a stunning statement at the races! 

Images: 1: Melbourne Cup 1965, Photography by David Moore.
2/3/4: Birds of Paradise collection for Spring 2011, Paris Kyne, Photography Glenda Rowe.

Oct 14, 2011

Phoenix out of the Ashes: Minimal Lines/ Warm Materials

Like a phoenix rising out of the ashes, 
this warm and welcoming home 
by JCB Architects + Doherty Lynch sits in some very beautiful country
in Victoria's bushland. 
After the devastating bushfires of 2009,
a program was established to provide cost-effective
and thoughtful designs which would meet the new bushfire regulations.
Several architects were invited to take part, 
and this design by JCB is one of them.
The owners engaged JCB to modify 
the design slightly,
to suit their requirements for a holiday home 
with accommodation for up to 4 families.
The interiors were designed by Doherty Lynch
as this is the family farm of one of the co-directors, Fiona Lynch.
And it has just won the Melbourne Design Award for 
best Residential Interior Design.
The lines are minimal, but the materials provide warmth
& a connection with the views outside. 
Simplicity of design helped to keep the budget tight.
These fabulous piano key handles on the hall cupboards
are witty, and yet are inexpensive. 
Easily procurable low-impact materials,
like ply & black laminate,
have been used to great effect,
to create a wonderful family holiday home 
with a modest budget.

It truly is like a phoenix rising out of the ashes.

 Interior Designers: Doherty Lynch
Architects: JCB 
Melbourne Design Award 2011: Finnon Glen.
Photography: Sonia Mangiapagne

A Fresh Look for Glamour Drops

With a change of the season, 
it's time for a change of look for Glamour Drops. 

A little bit sultry, 
a little bit glam.

I'm thinking Champagne, vintage sports cars & time for romance.

What do you think of the new look?


Oct 13, 2011

Baking: Orange & Poppy Seed Cake

Oh dear. We keep running out of cakes.
I bake them. The family eats them.
The dish is empty again!
Last night I experimented with a whole orange cake recipe,
using delicious organic oranges, 
and just chucking them into a food processor 
to make one of the moistest & fastest cakes ever.
This recipe makes 2 cakes, but by the end of the evening
we were already down to one cake.
I don't often measure when I am baking,
but this time I did, 
because I just had a feeling I would need to make it again.
And looking at the almost-empty cake dish, 
I think I will be baking again tonight! 

All images & recipe: blue fruit

Coffee pot & cup: 1960s set
Blue plate: Wood & Sons Woodsware "Nile" pattern, 
inherited from my mother in law

Oct 12, 2011

Nest: the home of the architect behind Duckbuild

It's fascinating to see inside architects' & designers' own homes. 
It's kind of a snapshot of their thoughts on design at that moment.
Because design, like many creative pursuits,
is an evolutionary thing,
and good designers keep evolving. 
This is the home of Simon Cookes, 
the architect behind the young Melbourne firm Duckbuild.
On a modest plot only 4.5 metres wide
in the inner city suburb of Cremorne,
Simon has experimented with recycled materials,
shafts of light, bolts of vivid colour & 
merging planes of space.
Shapes collide; colours jolt.
It's a home of energy & vitality.
With deep courtyards bringing in much-celebrated natural light.
Nest was originally built to be both home & office,
but Duckbuild has grown wings & flown to a larger space of its own
in nearby South Melbourne.
Which leaves Nest to be exactly that: a cosy retreat, just like its namesake.

Duckbuild, 133 Market St, South Melbourne
Images: ADR DW
Photography: Josh Robenstone

DIY: wire flowers: this is easy!

Just had to share this ridiculously simple tutorial
on how to make these charming little wire flowers,
In copper or gold or silver wire,
they would be lovely on presents
or delightful hanging from the ceiling on long loops of velvet ribbon.
For the how to,
go to the Fine & Feathered instructions here.

Oct 11, 2011

Flowers: the formidable talent of Sarah Winward

  If you have been reading for a while,
you will know that I have an, erm, shall we say obsession 
with flowers & foliage & gardens,
and that I find constant inspiration for my design work from their beauty.
And you will also have noticed that the floral designer 
whose work I most often feature is Sarah Winward,
from Honey of a Thousand Flowers, 
on the other side of the world to me:
in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The blogging world is a fabulous place, 
and through it I met Sarah. 
We have been emailing each other
about design, 
and how other people perceive a designer's work.
Which is often quite different to the way a designer expects.
Who would guess that a florist from Utah 
and an interior designer from Melbourne 
would share a love of mixing colour, texture & form in such a similar way? 
For Sarah the tools are flowers, for me the tools are building elements.
So it was very exciting when she told me she was coming to Australia.
And last week we got to meet in person,
at Mario's on Fitzroy St,
while Sarah and her husband were in Melbourne.
And she is every bit as spontaneous and thoughtful 
as her flower arrangements are. 
(Can't believe I didn't even think to take a photo!
Too busy talking...
But this is Sarah in her newly-opened shop, Honey of a Thousand Flowers, 
which she and her husband designed & built.
As you do.)
With lights made by Sarah & David from salvaged ceiling fans.
The combinations of colours & textures are masterfully 
put together to create arrangements 
which have a controlled wildness
about them, 
as if they have been freshly gathered from the garden outside.
Absolutely beautiful!
No wonder I am so smitten with her work!

How about you?

All images: Sarah Winward
Salt Lake City, Utah.

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