Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Scrumptious new Melbourne homewares store - Hut 13

click on image to enlarge it
click on image to enlarge it
Armadale's Morey Street shopping strip has had a real re-birth in recent years: the addition of Mandalay Designs; the refreshing of Market Import, plus the addition of Sardine cafe has given it a real buzz again. And the little strip tucked away next to Armadale train station at the end of the historic King's Arcarde has just become even more of a must-visit destination with the arrival of a gorgeous new homewares venture - Hut 13.

A partnership between Lucy Mora (ex-Seed designer) and Melly Beilby (who also has the Sardine Cafe next door), Hut 13 is like a little lollie-box full of treats.  Lucy describes the store as being "a mix of artist made objects and high-end craft".  You'll find Rachel Castle bedlinen, fabulous Thonet bentwood inspired cushions from New York, hand-made African baskets, Leisa Wharington glassware and a great selection of accessories and toys.  What I love the most is the front window display - at the moment  you can see a kooky forest scene with gnomes, rabbits, toadstools and even polar bears - yes kooky in the best possible way.  Lucy was busy preparing the Easter window when I visited, and if the birdcage she was constructing (see above) is anything to go by, it will be divine.  Trust me - this is not your average Armadale homewares store!

Hut 13
13 Morey Street Armadale
9500 1343

crying out for a lick of paint...

click on image to enlarge it

First up, let's get this straight.  I have never met a piece of wood I didn't want to paint. Wood is lovely.  Wood is fine.  I just don't want my home full of it - unless it is painted a fabulous colour.  It drives my mum crazy: she found a fabulous chair recently but wouldn't let me have it because "I'd just paint it".  Oh how I laughed.  She was right, though.  And when my sister Deb handed down the family piano to me recently, she almost made me sign a contract to ensure I didn't do my usual customisation.

However, I did embrace the challenge of styling a page of exclusively wooden products for the Sunday Age M Mag recently - and guess what?  I found myself admiring the grains, the texture, the richness of the wood.  So, I think my piano is safe....... for now.


This page ran in the Sunday Age M Magazine last Sunday.  Photography by Mike Baker.  Words and styling by me.  Copyright owned by Fairfax.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Jane Hall launches Salvation Jane

Jane Hall is Salvation Jane, portrait by Armelle Habib
Melbourne actor Jane Hall is very well known (hell, famous actually) for her on-screen talent.  But, for years, she has also been very busy off-camera, renovating houses (both her own and her friends), and helping out mates with decorating dilemmas. She loves nothing better than to solve a deco problem.   Last year I had a ball writing about Jane's house for Real Living magazine (I won't take credit for the styling - it was the easiest job as Jane had done all the hard work for me!).  So after years of it being a bit of a side project, Jane has decided to make it official and pursue both of her talents - I think she must be one of those people who doesn't need as much sleep as the rest of us.

Jane has cleverly called her business 'Salvation Jane': she is ready to solve any decorating dilemmas, and save any disastrous rooms you may have. She is passionate about color  - just mention beige and you'll see her eyes glaze over...

Last week she started a great blog, and there are plans afoot for a shop, and a few other exciting projects. Stay tuned.  You can check it all out at Salvation Jane.

ps You can catch Jane on The Circle on Network Ten at 10am on many mornings in the next few weeks,
and read all about  Salvation Jane at www.salvationjanehome.blogspot.com

Friday, March 25, 2011

For backyard fun - just add water!

When Jem, the girls and I moved back to Melbourne after living in Sydney for four years, the thing we missed most was being in close proximity to water i.e. Australia's most famous stretch of water, Bondi Beach.  We spent sooo much time there - whether swimming, running, occasionally sleeping, walking the beautiful Bondi to Bronte beach path, or observing the girls every Sunday morning at North Bondi Nippers.  We loved it.  

Our Melbourne yard had become a barren dustbowl, thanks to six years of drought. We knew it needed attention, so we investigated the in-ground pool scene.  Being somewhat spontaneous (and really quite impatient) we found that the quickest (and by far the most inexpensive) option was to sink a pre-made fibreglass shell into our yard.  No extra tiling costs, no month of waiting for the concrete to cure - and it was late November.  Hey, we could be holding bombing comps by Christmas!!!

So, we engaged Matt from MBuild to fix us up.  And three weeks later we were in splashdown mode - I kid you not.  The most exciting day was the first - we awoke at 6am to find men taking down a panel in our fence, and we went to sleep to the sound of our girls trying to sneak out for another quick swim.  A few days later, it was Christmas - we had our families here - and we really haven't stopped having fun since.

You can click on the images below to enlarge them...

from a barren rose garden to a construction site..

So exciting. At 2.30pm the crane arrived, quickly followed by the water tankers.  Alex jumped in immediately!

In a few days the paving was done, the glass fence was up, and the Buffalo grass rolled out.  Instant backyard fun. 
It really was that simple - just add water.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

waking up in a bed of roses...

my bedroom wall - photo by me

I have received a few emails from people who would like to know the name of the book I cut the images from to cover my bedroom wall - as seen in the Real Living spread.

It is called (appropriately) The Rose and it is published by Friedman Fairfax, USA.  I had this book for years and years, and one Saturday afternoon, after deciding I couldn't bring myself to splurge on a Cath Kidston oversize digital print wallpaper, I started tearing out some of the pages, thinking that maybe a little panel of rose prints would look nice.   Well, my friend Jen popped in, and we had a champagne (as we seem to do on a Saturday evening), and I just seemed to keep going, sticking up more and more pages until I ran out - and the wall was only half covered!  A quick Amazon purchase later (I think the book was only $9), and a short wait for the book, and I finished the wall.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

blog LOVE!

The Made By Girl LOVE print - photo by Mike Baker
Oh my goodness.  I just popped onto my blog and got the greatest surprise - the extremely talented Jen Ramos of Made By Girl fame saw her LOVE print (in watermelon fyi) in my kitchen in the Real Living feature, and has kindly written about me on her blog.  I LOVE Jen's work, and bought the print two years ago as a kitchen-warming present when we moved back into this house after four years in Sydney.  I knew it would bring instant warmth and happiness to the kitchen.

I also popped it into a Valentine's Day shoot for The Sunday Age newspaper last Feb - see below.


my jelly is way below (Bompas and) Parr...

Lately I have been obsessing over pictures of the incredible UK jellymongers, Bompas and Parr.  Oh the colours, the shapes, the lights, the drama... I love everything about their styling.  If you haven't seen their work, do check it out.

So when my poor baby Annebelle (I know, she's 13, but she's still my baby) had to have three teeth out today as part of her epic orthodontic adventure, I thought I'd do something special:  I broke out the Aeroplane jelly and tried to put on a Bompas and Parr inspired feast. I mean how hard can it be?  Even I can cook jelly....

Hmmm, the results were less than fabulous - I think I had better buy the Bompas and Parr book.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

my home sweet home...

I am very excited today as the April edition of Real Living has hit the stands...and if you happen to buy a copy and turn to page 88, then you will get a glimpse inside my own home.  A few months ago the wonderful photographer Armelle Habib and I spent some time together, shooting my home and garden in the hope that Real Living would like our shots enough to make it a feature. They did, we are thrilled. and by the way how very handsome does my hound Dougal look?


Photography by Armelle Habib, copy and styling by me, copyright owned by Armelle Habib and Heather Nette King.

gorgeous Melbourne home - Jesse and Arla Marlow's vintage haven

I have to thank the lovely Rosie Stanley from Tarlo and Graham for tipping me off about this incredibly cool Melbourne home.  Jesse Marlow is an award winning photographer, whose beautiful images you will have seen in many quality Australian newspapers, supplements and magazines. He is also the undisputed king of finding cool stuff.  I swear, I swooned at his home - it was paper bag stuff.  Jesse and his partner Arla, who is a fashion production manager, know that if you see something great,  then you mustn't hesitate, just get it, because the chances are it won't be there when you go back for it.  Clearly they are not mass-market shopping.  How about that Social Hall sign?  Big sigh.   A couple of weeks ago I was fruitlessly searching for some seriously cool vintage lockers to use as a prop for a shoot, and I thought Jesse may know where to locate some.  I should have known he'd have the perfect set, and one quick email later Jesse is delivering the greatest lockers ever to the studio - he is that lovely!

Jesse is having a photographic exhibition at the moment so you can check out or even buy his exquisite work at Anna Pappas' gallery in Prahran, Victoria.

This article appeared in the Sun Herald (NSW) and Sunday Age (Vic) Sunday Life magazine today.  Photo by Mike Baker, interview and styling by me.

Copyright owned by Fairfax Ltd.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

super-cute wall filler...

All I wanted was white walls.  Now I have them, all I do is cover those white walls with stuff.  Here lies the stuff I found in a way kooky junk shop in Canterbury today - how cute are the colours on these vintage souvenir felt pennants?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

coming soon to your screens - est online magazine

est, the new Australian online style mag, to be launched next week

I love the launch of a new magazine - be it the old-school, hard gloss version, or the shiny new online types.  It's great to see new ideas, new styles, new layouts.

Next week we will see the launch of a great new Australian quarterly online mag, est.

So what is est all about?  According to Editor in Chief, Sian MacPherson   “It is an abbreviation for the word ‘ established’.  We see our readers as successful, sophisticated, settled, secure…established,”.  “The title ‘est’ also has many positive connotations, as in, finest, greatest, nicest, loveliest, sexiest. All the things we want the magazine to be.”

Sian and Creative Director Lynda Evans wanted to create a uniquely Australian magazine with features on design, interiors, fashion and style leaders.  And, it will come in two separate 
versions - a free magazine, as well as a more comprehensive app available for purchase in iTunes.  “The app version will come alive in your hands while you swipe, rotate, spin and tap your way through enriched photos, stories, videos and audio,” Sian says.

Lynda is Sydney-based, and Sian is a relative newcomer to Melbourne - but I swear in one week I had three people say to me "Oh you must meet my new friend Sian".  She is that kind of girl - a real go-getter.  Super switched-on, and super-lovely!

I am very chuffed to have written a story for the first issue - it's about a DIVINE home in Melbourne's Hawthorn.  I am talking serious home-envy stuff.

You can sign up on facebook or twitter for updates on the launch date.  Check it out at est


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

welcome to the cubbyhouse...

For up-to-date info on The Cubbyhouse Canteen please go to the official facebook page at:
the best coffee in Armadale?

My husband is a complete coffee snob.  He doesn't bang on about 'single origins' or the 'best coffee hardware', but he does demand a consistent, expertly made, high quality brew.  He has been known to drive slowly past his favourite coffee haunts to see who is working the machine, because he has favourite baristas at these favourite coffee haunts.  Anyway, a few weeks ago he came home, completely devo because his favourite girl at his favourite coffee dealer was heading off overseas.  You can imagine the scene...

Well, I had been noticing some changes to the cafe at my local dog park, in Union Street, Armadale. Cute new paintwork, a funky lightshade - the kinda stuff one notices.  I suggested that Jem check it out one morning and he came back and made the grand statement, "That is the best coffee I have had in Melbourne".  Our daughters (themselves hot chocolate afficionados) did a quick bolt to the park, and came back similarly raving.

So today I popped in to get the story, and here it is:  Sisters Narelle and Bec Thompson had been working in early childhood development, but had been itching to go into business together.  Seeing the huge potential at the Union Street cafe (tennis academy on one side, great park and a kindergarten on the other), they set to work.  In just six and a half weeks since it opened, this cafe has become the favourite of every kid in the area, as well as their parents.  Why - because it is so thoughtfully done.  From the steps up to the counter on the park side (less intimidating and more engaging for little ones), to the gorgeous wall art by Michael Hughes, to the Golden Books wall mural, the blankets provided for park picnics, the sensible yet delicious menu, etc.  There will even be face painting there on Saturday's from April.  It's not surprising that this kid friendly ethos has earned the girls some permanent bookings with local mothers groups.  Oh, and they are even going to serve early kids dinners at 5.30pm some weeknights.  Brilliant girls.  And so nice too.

And yes, I have to agree with Jeremy, Nate (pictured above) certainly makes a cracking brew!  Here are the links www.cubbyhousecanteen.com.au and knockknock@cubbyhousecanteen.com.au
The Cubbyhouse Canteen, 43A Union Street Armadale.


Monday, March 14, 2011

a quick. crafty hit...

gorgeous linen fabric panel from Patchwork on Central Park

I guess I am a crafter of the most sporadic type.  I just don't seem to have the head space, or time, or will to do any of the proper crafty projects I used to love so much, particularly quilting.  I have practically given up on finishing some of the quilts I so passionately began.  But today, after trawling the blogs of some crafters I really admire (too many to list, it was at least an hour of work avoidance under the guise of research), I felt the urge to jump in the car and head to Patchwork On Central Park for some supplies.  And good old POCP came through again - the clever owner, Lyn Clay had done all the hard work, designing these fabric panels inspired by old Melbourne train tickets.  All I had to do was break out the Bernina, sew a few straight lines, then stuff a pillow into it.  Quick as...just the way I like it!


meet Eric!

Allow me to introduce you to the newest Nette-King.  This is Eric Northman (yes, I am a massive Trueblood fan).

I found Eric during an excellent long weekend of op-shopping, garage sale-ing and vintage store rummaging. I was feeling very lucky when Annebelle and I pulled into The Mill vintage market in Newcomb near Geelong, but I certainly didn't expect to leave with a goat in my arms.  Annebelle cleaned up too, scoring lots of lovely vintage clothing that only a thirteen year old can get away with wearing.  I also found heaps of vintage bowling balls at a garage sale - not sure what I'll do with them yet, but they'll come in handy one day, I suppose!

Jem and Dougal
The rest of the weekend was spent as planned: sleeping, eating, reading and walking the hound along the beach.  Tomorrow, it's back to the real world.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

it's the long weekend, woo hoo!

Get thee to a pedicurist!

Man I am looking forward to this long weekend.  After being deep in the tunnel of employment for the last few weeks (and getting very little sleep the last few nights as I stressed, re-stressed and invented ingenious new ways to stress about some shots I was styling), this is what I plan to do:

1. re-introduce myself to my daughters and husband.  I'm back!
2. suck up to my dog who is cranky as hell about the lack of dog park visits of late (proof in the chew marks on shoes, above).
3. find my hallway floor amongst the boxes of props I have to sort out, post shoot.
4. sleep.
5. swim in the ocean.
6. try to keep to the resolution I made at 2.30am this morning. "I will treat my body like a temple and not over indulge at post-shoot drinks",
7. rest these weary, weary feet which are in extreme need of a pedicure!
8. Most of all, after hearing so many sad stories lately, be really grateful for my lovely life.

I hope your long weekend is fabulous too!


Saturday, March 5, 2011

fresh new homewares from Mint Home

new Melbourne homewares brand - Mint Home

This week I have been reminded how lovely it is to be surrounded by creative types.  Everywhere I have been (and I seem to have been all over Melbourne and back ten times this week), I keep hearing more inspiring stories and seeing more clever things.

Case in point is one of the lovely mums at my Alex's school.  After fourteen years of creating beautiful homewares ranges for Country Road, Angela Hrysomallis has taken the plunge and launched her own boutique homewares brand,  Mint Home.  As you would expect from such a well-trained eye, her products are stylish classics inspired by clean lines and subtle colours.

Angela launched Mint Home at the Sydney trade fairs a few weeks back and naturally the response has been fantastic.  Here is some of the kitchen range - are looking very much at home on my dining table!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

"yeah, actually, I'm a film investor...."

Imagine, saying that to... your frenemies, your parents, the other mum's at drop-off or soccer training, the annoying neighbour.  Bliss.

Well, it has never been so easy.

My friend, the partner of Mich, the father of Mima, Frankie and Wilco, the uncle of Jasper, Felix and Gus, also known as Vogue photographer extraordinaire, musician and publisher, Max Doyle, is about to direct his first short film.  Called 'Arc', it is written by Amanda Maxwell and will star Iasbelle Cornish.

Shooting starts in April.  Pre-production is underway.  You only have to glance at Max's achievements to know this will be a beautiful thing.

So why not add 'film investor' to your title?  I'm adding to mine - along with 'average cook' and 'the most curvaceous Real Living cover model ever'.

Go to http://www.pozible.com.au/index.php/archive/index/230/description/0/0

for details.  Supporting the arts has never been so easy, or so cool!