Jan 31, 2012

Blue & Green should always be seen!

Currently working on 3 interior design projects 
with wallpaper in them,
and while each house is quite astonishingly different,
there is no shortage of styles of this fabulous product.
One of the projects has a blue and green colour scheme,
so I have been hunting for suitable papers.
These stunning wallpapers are by Publisher Textiles,
and are hand made in Australia.
They have an almost Art Nouveau feel to them.
And this glorious paper, Wistaria by Jocelyn Warner,
is a contender too - it is so very luscious.
Sort of a modern twist on the English country style.
(If I use this one, I will bring in green through baskets of lime green 
ferns which would be a fun contrast.)
And all of this got me thinking just how sublimely 
these 2 colours make a balanced combination, 
in clothes & accessories...

Jan 30, 2012

Mirrors & marble: quiet elegance.

Sparkling silver mirrors, white walls, 
Carrara marble, American oak floorboards:
it's a simple formula for materials which creates a quiet ambience. 

Jan 28, 2012

Weekend Thoughts: Days of Wine & Roses...

Sunlight-filled afternoons lazing in the pool, 
chilled Champagne in hand,
dreams of beautiful places yet to explore
and adventures yet to be had...

Jan 27, 2012

Designer to Watch: Natalia Grzybowski

Scoops of vanilla icecream and meringue,
gently folded into peaks and swirls...
...decorated with candied flowers.  
A luscious dessert?
Not quite.

Friday Fun :: "Dressing" Hotel Rooms :: Fashion orientated Hotel in Amsterdam

Part of the fun of going on holidays is staying somewhere
quite different from home. 
And that idea has been taken quite literally in the new
 Exchange Hotel in Amsterdam.
The rooms have been designed by fashion students,
so each is quite unique.

Jan 26, 2012

Clement Meadmore: not just sculpture...

Arguably best known for his over-scaled folded steel landscape sculptures,
held by galleries around the world,
Clement Moore (1929-2005) began his career designing metal furniture
in Melbourne in the 1950s.

Jan 25, 2012

Gorgeous jewelry, vintage dolls, Mad Men furniture? Together? Oh yeah!

If you have a soft spot for Mid Century Modern design classics
and anything glamorous from that era,
watch Mad Men & adore beautiful jewelry,
you better read on...
Maryann Roy makes 
miniature furniture from that most decadent of times,
with the most exquisite detail imaginable.
She started out by restoring vintage dolls in 1996,
then decided they needed a suitable backdrop.
Frustrated that she couldn't find pieces with the right feel,
she began designing & making the miniature furniture herself.
Not surprisingly,
they are perfect for the retail industry,
and the Connecticut based designer is now kept busy 
making them for unique window displays.

Jan 24, 2012

One Room: Two Looks...Cobalt Blue Dining Room

Look carefully.
This is the same room - the dining room of stylist Heather Nette King.
You can see what an incredible difference colour makes
to the way the room is perceived.
In the top image, styled recently for a feature,
the walls are crisp white, 
the artwork has a white background
& the little cupboard is snowy white.
Which all draws the eye to the contrast of the
 cobalt blue dining table & chairs:
they become the centre of the eye's direction.
But in the bottom image,
the rich cobalt walls scream for attention.
"Look at me" they say.
The dining setting is noticeable, 
but as a secondary feature.

It's the perfect example of how you can use 
colour to draw attention to the areas you want to feature.
Both versions are beautiful - just different.

Top image: The Design Files
Bottom image: Heather Nette King

Jan 23, 2012

Rustic Timber Trusses by the Sea...

Imagine waking up in this romantic bedroom,
to the sound of magpies caroling 
outside your window,
a fresh sea breeze saltily wafting through the French doors,
& the scent of gum leaves, warmed by the morning sun,
 luring you outside to explore the new day.
Breakfast of fresh buttery croissants & strong coffee
awaits on the terrace,
from where you can plan the day's activities.
Shall you go to the beach?
Or maybe go bushwalking in the rain forest behind the property
to see the waterfalls and lyrebirds?

How to Hairstyles: the Double French Twist

While a French Twist hairstyle is a fail-safe way to add glamour
to a workday hairstyle,
rather keen to try this double version,
which provides almost~perfect symmetry.

Jan 22, 2012

Baking: Lavender Butter Cake

The aroma of freshly baked butter cake is incredible.
But combine that with the scent of lavender, 
and the aroma pleasure factor goes off the scale.

You can use fresh lavender florets,
if you are lucky enough to have it growing in your garden, 
but you can also use the dried culinary lavender.

Jan 20, 2012

Game : Set : Style Match!

(Ginger Rogers posing in 1941.)
Thwap, thwap, thwap.
The gentle and oh so delicious sound of tennis balls 
being thwapped 
across the court.
It's tennis season in Melbourne 
- and the Australian Open 
is in the first week.

Friday Fun :: Tennis Thoughts

On a beautiful day in 1874
a young man's thoughts wander on the tennis court...

An illustration from Punch Magazine, October 1874,
found via.

Jan 19, 2012

On the Market:: a little slice of heaven

Wistaria-twirled terraces of sun-dappled stone...
...rustic pergolas of salt-patterned timber...
...would you like to linger here for the afternoon,
with a glass of Pinot Grigio, a nibble of local cheese
and a good book? 
 Flinders is a little seaside town on the Mornington Peninsula,
much loved by Melbournians as a nearby coastal farming area,
where the rich soils & high rainfall are perfect for vineyards,
cattle & horse studs,
and the vistas are, well, dreamy...

Jan 18, 2012

Eye-catching : new swimwear collection from We are Handsome

If you prefer your swimsuits to be of the unassuming variety, 
look away now. 
The new 2012 Romantic Collection by young Australian label
We Are Handsome is colourful & bold. 
With their signature printed images creating alluring patterns
and cuts reminiscent of the 1970s,
they are the kind of swimsuit which just scream poolside glamour.

Jan 17, 2012

A dramatically beautiful home

If drama is your calling card,
and you don't mind sleeping in a place where a thousand voices
have once sung in heavenly choirs,
then this somewhat extraordinary home may just be for you.
Spot the stained glass?
The home was originally the John Knox church, 
built in 1876 in the seaside Melbourne suburb of Brighton.
 Under the guide of architects Williams Boag
the church was adapted for modern residential life,
but still retains the majesty and drama of its original use.
Highly polished Spotted Gum floorboards have been laid throughout,
 as a warm foil to the soaring spaces.
 An entertaining pavilion has been added,
with its own kitchen,
in equally theatrical materials of zinc and corten steel.
(The 2nd image above is the interior of this pavilion.)
It's wonderful to see an example of a church conversion
which has been handled with such delicacy & boldness all at once.

Definitely something for the dramatic of heart.
Would you love to live here?

Details: agents
Location: 69 North Rd Brighton, Melbourne
Architects: Williams Boag

Jan 16, 2012

A heart of red roses...

Freshly picked from the garden are the most 
impossibly red roses, 
and as I arranged them in my beloved Alvar Aalto vase,
the thought struck me that they resemble a heart.
A little early for Valentine's,
but beautiful in any season! 
The Savoy vase was designed by the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto in 1936,
for a competition at the Paris World Fair.
He obviously figured his name would be a hindrance,
so the little vase was entered anonymously.
And it won.

Jan 14, 2012

Laid-back Elegance: a Delectable Duet

 Perhaps "laid back" and "elegance"
don't at first appear to be a natural duet.
But have a look at this beautiful collection 
from the young Sydney label
and you may be tempted to think again.

Jan 13, 2012

Friday Fun :: wit of the unexpected in an entrance

An entrance is a marvelous space to play with a little wit.
Because people generally do not linger there,
the humour has to be quickly obvious.
It can be a dramatic wit,
or just outright fun,
but it is the unexpected which makes it work.

This is the Hôtel du Marc in Reims,
& it's a great example of the dramatic variety of the unexpected.
Rather than illuminating the whole space from above
and installing beamed lighting,
the designer (Bruno Moinard)
chose to highlight the portraits themselves 
by illuminating from within the frame.

The arbitrary assumptions of colour are playfully questioned 
by having a very natural looking lamb 
(well, apart from the extraordinary kind of horns)
coloured green,
in this residential interior.
(And look carefully in the mirror on the right.
Do you see the hand touching the face?)
It's the fun of the unexpected.
Best served uncontrived.
And therein lies the wit.

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