Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mad About Mad Men

I've just finished watching Series 3 of Mad Men. While most other viewers were taking in Betty's latest outfit or Don - well, just Don really, I sometimes wished the characters would move out of the way so I could see the rooms better. Here is my all-time favourite piece of furniture - the orange couch at Sterling Cooper. The aquamarine cushions complement it beautifully. The screen behind it is lovely too:

The Draper residence also has an orange couch. That's one of the few things I like about that house. I think the designer has captured the cloying suburban atmosphere experienced by housewives like Betty very well:

I'm not fond of this room except for the built-in bookshelves:

The kitchen is just way too 'Bewitched' or 'Stepford Wives' for me, with its checked wallpaper. But I love the attention to detail of the tablecloth and dishes:

I don't mind the blue padded bedhead, but not the bedcover and nick-nacks:

I much prefer the apartments of the Campbells and the Harris's, but I couldn't find any images to post.
Images courtesy of AMC Mad Men Official Home Page.

New Things

Well, not really new - pre-loved. The little salt cellar complements the canister set I already had, and they both look suit the 1950s laminex:

I love the shade of buttery yellow of this Johnson Bros Goldendawn cream jug:

This tablecloth in pale pinks and greens with white is the perfect size for the table on the lawn:

It depicts faded tea-pots and tea caddies:

All for the grand total of $5.50.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Lyn Gardener Does it Again

Almost two years ago, I discovered Lyn Gardener and posted about her converted factory in Melbourne. I am probably the only blogger in the world who didn't realise she now has another gorgeous house in Daylesford, Victoria. I happened to buy the December 2009 issue of Living Etc, and there it was in all its sumptuous simplicity. I particularly love the bedroom on the left for the Deborah Bowness wallpaper with the lamp pattern. I have a roll of her wallpaper (the one with the pink dress) languishing under my lounge until I have a wall to put it on. The bedroom on the right's quite lovely as well:

The kitchen deviates from Lyn's usual white shelving. I love the white crockery on the black background:

The living room light fittings are just right for the space:
More Deb Bowness wallpaper in the library - just perfect:

Images courtesy of Apartment Therapy

Perfect Print

I've just spent two long-awaited days in Sydney, taking in the Sales. I went to one of my favourite stores, Ruby Star Traders and found this bag on sale. I just loved the bird print and grabbed it straight away:

In a case of overkill which is typical of me, I then couldn't resist a cushion cover in the same print. If I keep them apart from each other, maybe people won't notice I've overdone it. The cushion might have to stay outside for a while:

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Inside Out

I don't know why, but one of my favourite things is furniture that's meant to be inside, being outside. One image that I love in this category is the piano on the beach from the film The Piano. I adore magazine shoots which have upholstered sofas or Louis chairs spread about on the lawn with teapots on trays. I think the juxtaposition of formality and informality seems a bit decadent and bohemian, which is why I love it. I can just imagine the Bloomsbury Set pulling out beds and quilts from their country houses to sleep under the stars. We recently rebuilt the front deck of the boatshed, so had to lift the table and chairs down onto the grass. In a way I wish they could have stayed that way:

I also pulled everything off the back deck to wash it down and loved the look of this wicker lounge on the grass. The normally colourful cushion covers have been removed for washing, so the whole scene has a surreal, stark whiteness, perfect for a beachhouse:

Before and After

Remember the traymobile I bought from the op shop for $20? I tried so hard to leave it unpainted, because I know that some furniture looks better that way. I spent a few weeks looking at its tired, stained surface, in my most unfavourite shade of timber:

Finally, last Saturday, in a fit of New Year fervour, I went to the shed and found my trusty tin of white paint. I'm not sure whether everyone would agree, but I think I brought out its best qualities. Then I found a few things at the Op shop that I think sit quite well on it: ten Chinese spoons with mixed patterns (15 cents each), five glasses etched in pink ($1.50 each), and a white table cloth with an embroidered pagoda:

The spoons proved perfect to serve my Zucchini and Haloumi fritters last night, alongside a gorgeous sixties dish which was a gift:

A good time was had by all:

Friday, January 1, 2010

Images of the Festive Season

My one concession to Christmas decorating in the boatshed - colourful paper lanterns from Chinatown:

Good food and great company:

New Year's Eve on Sydney Harbour - fellow revellers in a neighbouring boat capture the spirit of the evening against the backdrop of the Opera House:

Waiting for the fireworks:

Duck Pancakes

I made one of my favourite dishes the other night - duck pancakes. I found a recipe in which everything is made from scratch:

Feeling very keen and energetic, I mixed up the pancake dough. Then after it rose for an hour, I rolled the pancakes out very thinly (about two dozen of them):

As time went on, I realised there was no way I had the energy to cook the duck. So I found the next best thing - a pre-cooked one:

I had just enough energy reserves to chop some cucumber and shallots, and shred the duck:

Then I topped it off with some Hoisin sauce:

Time taken - quite a bit. Taste - worth every minute:

Recipe from the All Asian Cookbook by Jackie Passmore.
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