Thursday, July 29, 2010

It's true..nobody knows you like your mum

I mean, who else would know how much I would love a new saw, and then think to wrap it up in a hot pink ribbon? And, she very kindly renewed my Country Style subscription. Thanks mum (not that she will read this as she is not yet skating the interwebs).

I have been very spoiled by my lovely friends and family this week and I am feeling truly lucky. And yes, that is the Frilly chair residing in my bedroom - thanks Jem, Belle and Al xxxxxx


Sunday, July 25, 2010

This shoot, I am trying not to buy...

I have been not so secretly coveting this chair for ever. It's like a shiny boiled lollie and I could easily gobble it up. It is here in my home, ready to take to a shoot on Wednesday, but I don't really like its chances of going back to the Space warehouse. Called the Frilly chair, it is by the uber cool Milan designer Particia Urquiola. Yum. Now, where is my credit card?

Love letters...

the hero shot

the printed page

I know, I know, the typography homewares trend has been going for ages, but it just keeps on keeping on, doesn't it? I loved styling this Savvy Shopper page. I asked Porter's Paints to mix a street sign-ish yello, and they did it perfectly. They even came up with the perfect name for the paint - "Street Sign Named Design". Clever. Wish I'd thought of it.

Here is the hero shot, and as it appeared in the Sunday Age M Magazine this morning.

Photo by Mike Baker, styling and writing by me and copyright owned by Fairfax.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Gorgeous Melbourne home - Helen Gory and Haim Weis' converted stables

From the moment I clapped eyes on some reccy shots of this home, I knew I would get a severe case of house envy....

Helen Gory and Haim Weis' home in a converted stables is like a wonderland - you enter a huge room full of the most incredible modern art, hung salon style, all over the walls. Then there is the Moroccan room: sensuous and full of silks, warm ochres and incredible overhead lighting, all made by Haim and painted by Helen. The garden room, with its retractable roof, has a fabulous 50's feel, and don't get me started on the beautiful, custom built French prov style kitchen. And that is just downstairs.

This is what I love about the homes of creative people - they don't worry about playing it safe, or keeping things neutral, or re-sale value. Most of all they don't worry about what anyone else thinks. What an incredible freedom, to feel confident enough in your own style to do just as you please. And you know what? It works every time, because when you love your home and it makes you happy, then that is all that matters.

So now when I struggle with 'decorating confidence issues' (I am sure it's a legit psychological condition, written up in a book, somewhere!), I will think back to Helen and Haim's home, and hopefully have the courage to do what pleases us, the Nette Kings.


Photos by Mike Baker, My space page styled and written by me and copyright owned by Fairfax Ltd.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Ned Seat: what I wanted at Design:Made:Trade

I popped into the Design:Made:Trade fair at the Exhibition Buildings yesterday and saw heaps of great new products, but the one that really caught my eye was the Ned Seat, designed by Queenslander Darcy Clarke, It's available in either the Champor Laural timber or a fully recyclable plastic. I would love a few around my kitchen table, particularly in the heathery-mauve and the teal green - a bit of prettied up bushranger style.

See more of Darcy's designs at

Monday, July 12, 2010

the Aladdin project, part 1, getting jiggy

the workbench (the kitchen table may have a few fresh nicks in it!)

plans and sketches

so far, so good

I have been known to have a few harebrained schemes in my time (ask any number of my friends, or go straight to the source and ask Jeremy). Yesterday I thought I may have embarked on another one, but so far it is turning out far...

Alexandra's school is mounting a production of Aladdin, and having been happily involved with costuming for many a Rock Eisteddfod at the girls' old school in Sydney, I put up my hand to get involved. But instead of sticking to sewing, I found myself putting up my hand to help with the staging and propping. I was assigned with the task of constructing the palace gates, so after doing a load of googling and enlisting the advice of my mates Kumbah and Mike, yesterday I hit Bunnings and made a start. I bought what is fast-becoming my new favourite tool - a jig saw. At $36 it was cheaper than hiring one, and I do love to own a tool! I piled up the trolley with mdf, some wood for the frame, nails, gold spray paint and glitter, then raced home to get sawing. After a few freehand drawing attempts, based on images I found on the net, I got jiggy in the kitchen (too cold outside). It was tricky, but too much fun. Next up is the framing and the painting, then transporting the gates to the school before Dougal eats them!

excellent op shop find...

how cute are these dinner plates I picked up for 50 cents each yesterday? I usually stick to very plain, non-patterned plates, but I think these will be lovely for a change - it's a fab combination of black mixed with the mustardy yellow and the sagey green.

From the excellent Arthritis Foundation op shop, on High Street near the corner of Tooronga Road, Malvern (or maybe it's Glen Iris, oh well you can't miss it).

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Gorgeous Melbourne (well, Victorian, actually) home - Mark Patterson and Michael Carroll's Somers retreat

If, like me, you love white walls with big splashes of colour, then you will love the home of Mark Patterson, owner of 4M homewares in High Street Prahran, and his partner Michael Carroll. Filled with loads of art and gorgeous furniture, it is the most glam beach-side house I have seen for a long while. And the fact that you can walk to the delicious Somers General Store (where we went both before and after the shoot), makes it a pretty hard place to leave. Lucky them!

Published today in the Sunday Life Magazine, with The Sunday Age in Victoria and The Sun Herald in NSW.
Photography by Mike Baker, styling and writing by me, and copyright owned by Fairfax Ltd.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Wonderful Pain

hey, check out the new video by my favourite Sydney band, Songs. It is called 'Pain' and it is sooo beautifully shot.

That's Max Doyle singing - the very same Max Doyle that shoots most of the Vogue Australia covers, as well as being editor in chief of the magazine Doingbird. Oh, and he is the (extremely patient) coach of a junior girls soccer team - Go Wallabies!!! Not one to let the grass grow under his feet, is Max.

Most importantly to me though, he is partner to my darling friend Mich, and father to Mima, Frankie and Wilco.

At the top of the post is one his photographs, French Flowers, taken in 1996. It hangs above our bed - a beautiful, albeit bitter-sweet reminder of the tribe we left in Sydney.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Striking gold!

Today I fell in love. Deeply in love. Seriously in love. And the object of my affection is a town, and (not surprisingly), a house.

When I blogged a little while back about wondering what my in-laws, Mick and Rob, would get up to next, little did I know that they were driving around the Victorian countryside searching for an old home to work their magic on.

Well, they found it, and today we drove up to the Victorian Goldfields region for our first visit. Ooh la la. It is the most divine old manse house (the church is no longer standing - something I intend to research). Situated in the loveliest granny style garden, with jonquils popping up in the sunshine, and rambling old roses in dire need of a prune, it was my idea of a romantic country idyll.

Mick, Annebelle and I got to work in the little orchard at the end of the garden, whilst Alex helped Rob inside, sorting out the kitchen and dining room. Oh, the kitchen... the previous owners had left behind more vintage kitchenalia than you would believe. So. Much. Fun.

So, like most newly infatuated people, I am going to be unbearable - dreamy and forgetful, I will be able to talk of nothing else. And I haven't even started on about the town yet...

ps. Emma, wish you could have been there!