Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Interior Design Style Quiz

I just found a link to this interior design style quiz and it is a bit of fun, though I'm not sure about the results but a cute magazine cover with my name on it at the end is worth a bit of playing.


With painters and plumbers busy at our house this week, it will be no time at all before we get to move in and enjoy it for ourselves. Over the weekend Adam and I had to dig trenches because of ineffective drainage in the garden and the pipes were poorly laid originally.

We have come out the other side of that now and the dirt is back in the holes where it belongs and we are ready to do some landscaping to tidy up a pretty ordinary space. I have big dreams for the garden, but alas big dreams cost big bucks so I think we will make do for a while and wait for stage two to complete the outdoor area.

Inside I am pleased to report that the walls are now white! Gone is the baby blue... thank you Perfetto Painters! Two coats done and two more to go, it should be sparkling by Friday.

Our new chairs have arrived from here.
I have ordered our new table from here.

Together I think they will look great! Will have piccs up asap.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Blank Canvas

Here is our living room. The high ceilings give it a great sense of space and light, which is good as this room is south facing.
This week we have had the electrician come in and change all of the light fittings and fans for a much more stylish finish. (pics to come)
We are in the process of washing down the walls and ripping up the edge of the carpet so the painters can come in on Wednesday and start transforming that baby blue.
A few landscaping issues have been a set back. The garden slopes into the house and with the torrential rain we have had in the past few weeks we are getting water sitting up against the house, which is definitely not good! Adam and I are going to get out there this morning (in wellies and raincoats) with some sand and shovels to try to build a bank and redirect the run-off. These are the joys of home ownership aren't they?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Finally our new home... (sadly this picture is NOT our home)

Before we were married, before we were even engaged, we bought a little house together, a symbol of commitment. Bricks and mortar the solid foundation to our relationship. We agonised over it, we bartered and haggled to get it for a good price, we got in there and cleaned the grime off the walls and floors. We got our baby looking good and then we rented her out... for eighteen months! The pain of letting strangers take possession of our little nest overwhelmed me, I wanted to be in there. I used to take a detour home once a week. I would bring the car to a crawl and peer in at the front room to imagine myself in my home. Surprisingly, I was never charged with stalking!

Now the time has come, our tenants move out today and we take possession once again of our home. I have been mentally decorating and furnishing that house for the best part of two years, now the time has come to put it all together and I'm starting to panic. What if my "modern classic" image doesn't come together, what if I actually have no styling ability and it just looks like a try hard attempt. What if, what if, what if.....

Breathe, I have put a little pressure on myself because I really want to get it right. I want to surround us with beauty and comfort that tells our story (within the budget we can afford). A tall orderI think!

So stay tuned as I bring updates of the transformation to this blog. Painting, floor coverings and light fittings to start next week. Pictures of our actual house to follow!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day Birger et Mikkelsen

I'm loving this right now!

Ugbrooke Country Estate Marlborough NZ

I have been meaning to write this entry for a bout 10 weeks now... very slack I know. This is the gorgeous place Adam and I stayed while honeymooning in New Zealand in June.
Winter in the Marlborough region is pretty quiet. The grape vines are dormant and the rain sets in. However, we were fortunate enough to enjoy some sunshine and I personally found the russet hues of the vines simply stunning.

I would, however, love to go back when they are so pregnant with fruit it's delicious!

Our hosts at Ugbrook, Alex and Peter were fabulous. We enjoyed wonderful hospitality and due to it being the low season, we really were in our own peaceful country retreat. Perfect for a honeymoon.

So a big thank you to Alex and Peter and also to Stef the Chef who kept us so well fed we didn't want to leave. We hope to see you again some time.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Book Club: The Glass Room by Simon Mawer

Our latest bookclub instalment is The Glass Room by Simon Mawer. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for 2009, JGE chose the book this term and after a long wait for the Book Depository to ship the order out, I believe everyone has a copy now and is making progress. I was fortunate enough to get my copy before the backlog slowed down the shipment so I have finished it and am waiting with baited breath to get talking about this novel.

While I think there are many creditable aspects to the novel, such as the evocative imagery of modern architecture, the historical perspective of a Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia and an intriguing cultural set who appear almost impenetrable. Sadly, I feel that Mawer overwrites and relies too heavily on repeated images that, for my likeing, interfere with the organic presence of the building. It is afterall, a story that revolves around a minimalist building. One that came about in a time when Czechoslovakia needed vision and an eye to the future.

In some ways it is not unlike Tim Winton's beautiful Cloudstreet, in that the house shapes and is shaped by those vastly different occupants who not only share an address but also a sense of hope and promise. However, I feel Mawer falls short of Winton's mark due to some fairly superficial characterisation and predictable outcomes.

I look forward to hearing what the rest of the group has to say.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Book of Lost Threads

Book of Lost Threads by Tess Evans

Reviewed by Jennifer Levitt

What’s in a name? In this remarkable debut novel dealing with family ties and unique friendships, Tess Evans’s Book of Lost Threads highlights the intrinsic role nomenclature play in finding identity, escaping the past and shaping a future. It delivers something very personal that has the reader reflecting on their own relationships and the mistakes we all make on the bumpy road of life. Evans’s experience with a wide range of people in her years as an educator and counsellor is evident in the compassionate treatment of her characters, each of whom, though suffering great heartache, is touched by the kindness, and sometime meddling, of others.

Moss (Miranda Ophelia Sinclair) has left Melbourne in search of a man she knows only by the name of Michael Finbar Clancy. The path leads to a small rural town by the name of Opportunity, a town that had once enjoyed the spoils of a gold rush long past and now survives minimally on the modest income of a farming community. It is here that Moss learns a lot about life, becoming an adult and the painful truth about a parent’s love.

On locating Michael, or rather Finn as he has become known, Moss is confronted by her own past while inadvertently picking the scab from some of Finn’s old wounds. His secrets reveal a brilliant mind tormented by the tragic consequences of an affair gone wrong. His struggle to locate the family of a deceased prostitute leads to dead ends and personal despair. While Moss attempts to repair her unconventional family torn apart by misconceptions and resent she positions Finn to question himself once more.

The unlikely friendships that develop with Moss and Finn are a pleasure read. Mrs Pargetter the eccentric elderly neighbour who knits tea cosies for the United Nations and has a letter from the Quartermaster to prove it, generously takes Moss under her wing and into her home. While Mrs Pargetter’s nephew Sandy, another a perplexing character, struggles to gain his aunt’s approval and plans to erect a giant Galah as a monument to his late father, an idea causing great vexation and protest among the town’s residents. As they advance, these relationships convey a certain faith in human kind. Evans seems to be suggesting that given a chance, each of us has something to offer the community and that we must first just take time to listen to each other.

He had to steel himself, but there he was the next day standing sheepishly on his aunt’s doorstep, a lemon pie balanced in his hand. He knew that if he left it any longer, he would never have the courage to return to his aunt’s house. The Major wouldn’t have recognised this as courageous- there are no Distinguished Service Orders for acts of moral courage- but Mrs Pargetter realised what it must have cost him. (226)

Above all else this is a story about mothers. Our relationships with the ones we have, their relationships with us and the challenges we all face in demonstrating our love for each other. Evans touches on painful issues of grief and lost children. It is the presence of Mrs Pargetter’s late child who hovers within her home that touches readers and foregrounds the permanence of the intense pain associated with the loss of a child. It is an indisputable fact that parenthood is the most challenging job anyone could undertake and this novel truly demonstrates just how difficult it is to get it right.

This said, Evans offers hope and the possibility of light in a challenging world. This is a tender and clever study of the family unit in a variety of combinations. Her writing is insightful and refreshing. What’s in a name? Everything! Tess Evans, an exciting new name in Australian literature.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Buttons and Birds

Well I have been experimenting with some new ideas for cushion designs. I've been wanting to create some fun baby furnishings for all the little people in my life. I saw something similar to this in Vogue Living and thought I would try to create my own version of a soft bird cushion. I think these will look cute in a nursey for a girl or a boy.

Hope you like them too.

Monday, February 8, 2010

I love these headboards found in my large folder of beautiful interiors. I am thinking of attemting to create one myself. Am I biting off more than I can chew? Any suggestions or tips would be great.

I think the green is beautiful, but not sure if I'm going to be that bold in the bedroom. Perhaps a really rich white and silver jacquard would be soft and luxurious.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

After a long working holiday in Italy, I have returned to the real world refreshed and excited about a big year ahead. Getting married in 4 months and beginning an Interior Design course while working full time is enough to keep me occupied for now.