I've just been to Daylesford where, for three whole days, I pretended I actually lived in this house. As most people would already know, it's owned by Lyn Gardener of Melbourne's Empire Vintage store. From the moment I stepped through the front door, the house worked its magic:
I felt like Goldilocks but I wasn't allowed to try all the beds. It was a difficult choice between this room with the French vintage toile wallpaper:
But I love the Deb Bowness wallpaper in this room, so this was it:
When I saw the apothecary cabinet in the self-contained bedroom in the garden, I was briefly tempted. But, no, I stuck to my original choice:
A fire had been thoughtfully laid, and the sofas are big and comfy. I love the mirrors and industrial lighting:
The bathroom has a chandelier above the bath (which I forgot to photograph):
The library has more Deb Bowness wallpaper and club chairs:
The attention to detail is very thoughtful. There were fresh flowers on this set of old post office boxes in the bathroom:
The soap and toiletries come in these brown bottles:
The fridge contained eggs, butter, milk and marmalade for breakfast:
And there was fresh bread and oranges for juice:
Although it's an 1850s miner's cottage, the house could be from any or no time. Overall I'd have to say it feels like being in France. But somehow it feels so much better than any French house I've ever stayed in. Thank you, Lyn for letting me pretend for a few days.
Remember this $5 Parker table I bought at the op shop?
Here it is after I filled the gouge, lightly sanded it and applied a fair amount of oil. Now it's one of my favourite pieces of furniture and I'm so glad I brought it home and gave it a new lease of life:
I've certainly become a convert to mid-century furniture after years of not really appreciating it.
As part of my current de-cluttering campaign, I decided to have a stall at the local market:
Having previously had a stall many years ago where no one bought a single thing, I was understandably nervous. So as not to repeat that rather demoralising experience, I priced everything quite low:
I was determined that, come what may, I would have fun. I had a sign, I had bunting:
Luckily, my low pricing policy worked out. Many bargains were had, and I now have a bit more room in the boatshed. I can thoroughly recommend a market stall as part of a de-cluttering plan. Then just drop off what you don't sell at the op shop on the way home, and everyone wins.
One of my philosophies has always been to reuse things where possible. In that spirit, I hemmed some op shop tablecloths and strung them up when I needed curtains for the boatshed bathroom last year. I've been happy with them, but lately I've felt the need for more muted, paler, restful tones around me. Every time I went into the bathroom, these bright curtains jarred a little:
So in an effort to make the bathroom more Zen-like, I raided my fabric shelf, and found some remnants I'd bought cheaply at No Chintz a while ago. Used as a trim on part of a white linen table cloth, it makes quite an impressive curtain:
The other window received the same treatment. Bright happy vintage roses gone:
Replaced with calming white linen with pale green paisley trim:
Feeling emboldened by success, I took this pine table and assorted olive and bright green chairs and gave them a makeover as well. I'm pretty happy with that result too:
It just goes to show what you can do with a sewing machine, some fabric scraps and a tin of paint. You certainly don't need lots of cash to improve your surroundings.
. . . you need to step back and take a long hard look. On the same property as the boatshed is a house, whose living room has looked like this for the past five years. While I've made do with the furniture due to a lack of funds, the Klimt print on the wall bothered me in that it seemed a little too formal for the laid-back beachy feel I wanted:
So I took it off the wall. Pretty radical after five years. Then I got a mirror from somewhere else that seemed to be a little more casual and put it up in its place. I think the room works a lot better now:
On the front veranda is a setting which I recently had re-covered and I like the sand coloured upholstery. I threw some cushions on it a few months ago because I had them lying around, and there they've stayed. But I've always thought the autumnal tones didn't look quite right. They weren't totally wrong, but something about them niggled:
So I put these blue-toned ones there instead, and I think they fit the over all aesthetic of the house much better, and make me want to sit there:
Now to tackle a few other problem areas that don't quite work . . . I think I'll be posting on this quite regularly in future.
While I was at Byron Bay, I spent a day at a decorating workshop held by Shannon Fricke at Bangalow. Meeting Shannon was inspirational. Even though she's extremely successful in the design world, she's very open and friendly. It was just like having a very stylish sister.The workshop was held in a beautiful restful space, where I met women from very different backgrounds all united by their desire to surround themselves and their loved ones in aesthetically pleasing environments:
Shannon's hard-working staff cooked a mouthwatering lunch:
Shannon's enthusiasm for design is contagious and she makes decorating look effortless:
There's nothing better than spending a day indulging your creative side by playing around with swatches, mood boards and tear sheets:
I would thoroughly recommend booking one of Shannon's workshops in 2011. Details are on her website.
Just arrived back from a relaxing trip to beautiful Byron Bay, where we stayed at Atlantic Guest Houses. It is situated right in the middle of town and is made up of several buildings comprising various types of accommodation from shared to suite. I just loved the decor. These are two of the thoughtfully-planned buildings:
I'm not sure what they look like inside, but judging from the exterior, I'd say rather good. We stayed in one of the rooms in another building - the Coconut. It was tastefully decorated and very light and airy with its own en suite and outdoor area:
It opened off this hallway (I love the chairs):
And the mid-century buffet:
At the end of the hall at the back of the building was this gorgeous kitchen, complete with recipe books and everything you would need to cook up a storm:
Bifold doors opened out onto this great outdoor area:
I would certainly recommend staying there, and can't wait to go again. It was very reasonably priced, too.
These images will no doubt surprise anyone who has looked at my blog over the last three years, due to the fact that the boatshed has a predominantly white colour scheme with a few pops of colour in pink and green. However, as has been evident in my recent posts, I've widened my horizons and started considering black timberwork and natural surfaces. I believe that these are compatible with white walls, and lend a bit of drama to a space that could otherwise be a bit bland. So, this week I've been a little adventurous in considering options I would perhaps not have previously considered. For instance, painting these once green-toned chairs black:
And getting excited about this old metal shelving:
The piece de resistance is this table that I found at the opshop yesterday. I thought that the best thing about it was that it only cost $5. Until I turned it over and saw that it was manufactured by Parker, an iconic Australian manufacturer whose furniture I love:
It does have a tiny gouge, but nothing that a bit of filler wouldn't fix:
It seemed sacrilegious to paint it white (or black), so purists will be happy. It stays as it is.