Wednesday, March 28, 2012

magpie tendencies


It's proving impossible to keep my magpie tendencies in check.
Meet my latest obsession....the milk bottle top.
Crazy I know.
But they're so quaint, and old-fashioned.

And I console myself with the idea that they at least 
take up a lot less room than the bottles themselves!
Brunnel, as always, raises his eyes to the heavens, whenever a parcel is delivered.
But these can be delivered under the radar in an envelope, so really he has no idea as to the extent of the obsession, or quantity tucked away.

I'm not yet sure what I'll do with them. 
At this stage I just like looking at them - often. 
Maybe I need to get a life!

Amanda xx


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Monday, March 26, 2012

mixing it up

Oftentimes, clients will ask me about my rules when it comes
to my interior spaces.
To be honest, I'm not sure that I go by many rules.
Probably because I'm not sure what they are meant to be.
I do however, have a few favourite guidelines. 
One of which goes something along the lines of, it's all in the mix, not the match.



Simply put, I find that the most interesting and successful looks are 
achieved when you mix things up.
Froufrou with minimalism. White and bright. Contemporary with antiques.
Shiny new with chippy old. Soft and hard. Industrial with handmade. Upcycled with upmarket.
There is a little of all of these in my home, and although there are no matches made in heaven, the mix is just fine.


I so agree with stylist supreme Megan Morton when she says that some of the 
best mixing is achieved through budgetary constraints.
The bach is a perfect example. 
Huge contemporary painting above a rustic old table made from an old door.
And a combination of handmade textiles, travel finds, old steel and crisp cotton 
make a bedroom that is cool, calm and restful. 
Low on budget. High on the mix stakes.
Perhaps because the mix is so unpredictable and eclectic, the results are individual 
and unique, and above all fresh.

So, that's my no-rules approach, guideline no.1 - it's in the mix, not the match.
BUT, match the mix to your taste and style, and you too will have an interior space that is yours and yours alone.

Amanda xx

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

singing the blues


There is a silver lining to every cloud.
The freezing cold, gale force winds and rain that raged all around us today 
gave us the gift of a wallpaperer who couldn't work outside.
And so the store had a mini-makeover.
Something we should all do when in need of a pick-me-up!

Which misguided soul told us that blues were cold and melancholy?
All of these beautiful wallpapers are so uplifting.
I mean, can't you just feel the sunlight on your face in that first image?
Imagine the warm breeze?
Picture yourself sitting in that (divine) chair, book in hand, warm sun, 
ocean a few metres away across the sand?

Can you guess which of these blue beauties we have put up instore?
They are all from the new season Designers Guild Kasuri & Brera wallpaper collections
If you've seen our Facebook page, then you'll already know.
Once we have the rest of the display in place I'll show you the complete picture.
Promise!

Amanda xx
(All images with the permission of Designers Guild)
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Friday, March 16, 2012

happy weekend

Flowers for all to end the week.
I hate to say it, but the dahlias seem to know that it is autumn.
Not as prolific.
Trying valiantly to bloom. 
But there isn't as much warmth in the sun, 
and I can see it is getting harder for them. 
Not to mention the caterpillars who love them as much as I do.
They get thrown over the fence pronto.
You may be relieved! Sick and tired of all my dahlia carry-ons!
But I'm not sure how I'm going to cope!!
What will I put in all my bottles and jars and tins?
How will I manage a pretty photo like this?
C'est la vie I guess.

Happy weekend everyone!
Hope you have a lovely one, wherever you may be.
Amanda xx
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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

point scoring


I sensed Brunnel's disappointment upon returning from India to 
find no new treasures 'hiding' around the house.
Heck, there wasn't even a 'this old thing, had it for ages' hiding in the wardrobe.
I really did let the side down, and he had absolutely no opportunity
to score any of the 'points' he so likes to score.
So, while he has been in Sydney this week, I felt it only 
my duty to play the game.

Behold, my latest treasure. 
An old scoreboard. 
The numbers are on sliding tabs with a sort of louvre mechanism.

It could be 1 point to me, 4 points to Brunnel.


Or I could win this round, 9 points to 7!
Oh, how I love it so much already.
The girls think it's the coolest find in a while.
My neighbours sprung me this evening as I brazenly carried it home, 
safe in the knowledge that Brunnel is away. 
No shed-hiding subterfuge necessary.
However, they know us well. They reckon a week before Brunnel notices it.
Hmmm. I may have to remove it from the kitchen perhaps.
Then again, right under his nose is sometimes the best hiding spot.
Let the games begin...

Amanda xx

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Monday, March 12, 2012

shedding some light on the subject



When a little glimpse of these lampshades appeared in this post, they attracted 
quite a few remarks, and I thought it was high-time that I got around to telling their story.
Not that it is long and complicated I promise!
I really just wanted to illustrate the fact that feature lighting doesn't have to be difficult, nor does it have to be eye-wateringly expensive to be both functional and gorgeous. 
(I know it's just my opinion, but hey, it's my house!) 
Most of the feature light fittings we have used here at home are upcycled pendants. Many are old industrial fittings, and of course there are my mason jar lights in the bathroom.
But when it came to the lights over the dining table, I felt a little softness was in order, along with some texture and colour.
And so I constructed this little idea, and the electricians helped make it work.
Currently, there are five little shades hanging above the table.
They each hang on their own cable, which is literally, plugged in to the track on the ceiling.
I can have one or more of the lights on at the same time, and they are on dimmers.
What's more, should I get tired of the multiple shades, I can remove them altogether, and perhaps have a single large shade made instead. This would simply fit on to any of the existing simple flex & bulb fittings.


I've used a mix of four different fabrics - silk & linen, and then of course the trims - pompoms, fringe & beads. I confess, some of the trims can be the icing on the cake when it comes to  budgetary considerations, but they also add that wow factor, and I think are worth the splurge.
Hanging them was fun! I don't think the electricians had worked with a nutter like me before.
And although I do like a lot of excess flex, even I will admit, my first attempt was over the top!
Five metres of flex per pendant, the electricians shock and horror when I bundled it up and tied a knot or two in it, and then Brunnel's face when he saw the result. Not good!
I begged the electricians to come back, pliers in hand, and fifteen or so metres less of flex later, all was well that ends well, even if I do still have a knot or two.


One extra little shade has escaped the throng. It hangs low beside a sofa on lamp duty.
Individual, ambient & pretty.
(Still just my opinion - I know!)

Amanda xx
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Friday, March 9, 2012

small things

I came across this lovely quote on my friend Koralee's blog this week, 
and couldn't help but think how true it is.

'a multitude of small delights
constitutes happiness'
              c.baudelaire

So, here are some of my small delights this week...




I suppose in my case, it could also be interpreted as
a classic case of 'small things amusing small minds'.
I'll leave that up to you! 
Whew...don't know what has happened to the blogging this week. Sporadic I know.
Back to normal next week I hope.
Have a lovely weekend.

Amanda xx


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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

just bits and bobs


Are you a collector of things? You know, just bits and bobs?
I can't help myself.
Especially if it has a bit of a font, or is made of paper.
At any one time my bedside drawer is a cornucopia of cards, old letters, swing tags, labels, old notebooks, stamps, special papery things the girls have made and other such bedside trivia.
When the drawer becomes impossible (which is fairly often) I tidy it up, tie everything into little bundles with string, rarely throw anything away, and start again.
After all, you just never know when that brilliant idea requiring an old label will strike.
I also have an old filing drawer in the kitchen.
It has a special label - 'etc'.
I find that much can be filed under this too!

Collector or hoarder?

Amanda xx
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Friday, March 2, 2012

bubbly & olives


Friday night.
Bubbles are in order perhaps?
Perhaps not these bubbles.
Am I the only one seduced by a good label? Cute packaging?
A bit like judging a book by it's cover.
I know you've seen me use this olive tin many a time for flowers or herbs.
My other favourite tin is that gorgeous orange La Morena refried beans tin.
And I don't especially like refried beans. But I looove the tin.
So anyway, recently when I was at a local mediterranean food specialist I spotted this little jar.
The label was ever so pretty in a vaguely 1950's screen siren sort of way.
Effervescente al Limone it read.
With my dazzling skill for italian even I could figure out that this meant fizzy lemon.
I had to have one. Already I was imagining the jar with flowers, with pencils, with anything really.
And surely the fizzy lemon drink would be refreshing and delicious as the label implied.
'Due cucchiai in un bicchiere d'acqua per una bibita rinfrescante.'
Just two spoonfuls of the white powdery stuff in a glass of water.


I shouldn't have been so optimistic.
And I also should have read the ingredients list.
Where was the pharmacist in me that day?
0.1% lemon, I'm guessing 99.9% bicarbonate of soda.
Ah yes, the Italian version of a Mylanta or a Quick-eze.
Thank goodness Brunnel is home.
After India, he's a little 'con gas'! (Told you my Italian was good!)
He likes a little antacid.
I'm sure he'll love Effervescente al Limone.
My jar will be flower-ready in no time.

Happy weekend everyone!
Amanda xx

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