Tuesday, March 31, 2009

How to add warmth to your home

Maybe it's not so fashionable these days, but I still love the look of rough, battered, textured wood.

I think a touch of wood can really 'ground' a room.

I don't have a single room in my house that doesn't have something in warm, earthy wood.

Painted furniture is popular, and I like that too, but I couldn't have everything painted, sometimes you have to let the true beauty of the wood shine through.

I think wood looks particarly good teamed with white.

Wood also looks fabulous teamed with other textures.

I think the colour and texture of wood adds a warmth to a room like no other.

Wood that is old, battered and scratched appeals to me most, for its sense of history.

My favourite 'wood' picture.

I like the raw, scrubbed sort of look as opposed to highly polished and glossly.

Fashions come and go, but in my opinion, nothing makes a room look comforting and warm like wood.

Best wishes,

Monday, March 30, 2009

Still searching

I was on a mission on the weekend to find a little white cupboard. No luck this time, but I will keep on searching.

But while I was out and about, I did find some other little treasures that I couldn't resist.

The rolling pin is vintage, from Denmark. I needed a rolling pin, and I thought this one was beautifully handcrafted and simple.
The silver icecream scoop has a wonderful patina, despite being new. I'm not really in to 'fake' old things, but this was too beautifully made to pass up.
The wooden brush is for cleaning kitchen items that can't go in the dishwasher. I love how an everyday item like a washing up brush can also be beautiful - function and form melding together beautifully! No plastic scrubbing brushes for me.
I also bought an old soda syphon bottle - a Woodroofe's bottle, which is a South Australian company. It is now sitting on top of my kitchen cupboards and if I find some more I might just start a small collection.
And finally, I bought some vintage style stickers. I have no idea what I'll use them for yet, but just thought they were so lovely and might come in handy for something!
The ironic thing is that I didn't buy a single one of these while at Strathalbyn yesterday. I bought these all on Saturday when I was supposed to be looking for fabric! The antique shops at Strath were full of china cup and saucer sets, cut glass, toby jugs and the like, which aren't really my thing. The few things I did like (some tiny silver boxes, a vintage electrical fan, some kitchen goods) were very very expensive - about double what I thought they would be. But it was a very pleasant day with the most beautiful sunny weather, and I got to sit on the grass by the river and chat to my friends after a leisurely lunch, so it was still worthwhile!
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and a good start to your week!
Best wishes,

Friday, March 27, 2009

On a mission

antique sign mari eriksson

mari eriksson

Images Mari Eriksson – An Angel at My Table

I have a little mission: most weekends over the last couple of months I’ve been visiting my favourite auction house looking for a little cupboard that I can paint white. I want something that will tuck into a corner of my living room that I can fill with toys and top with a lovely mirror. It needs to be a certain height and width to fit nicely.

For me, half the fun of decorating is the searching - the thrill of the chase, the challenge of finding just what you have pictured in your mind, at the right price.

I’ve found a number of things that have caught my eye at the auction house, like an old typewriter and a beautiful antique perfume bottle with silver lid, but I missed out on both unfortunately – my absentee bids were too low. And my little cupboard has so far proved elusive.

So this weekend, in addition to going to the auction house I’ll also going a little further afield to Strathalbyn - a small town about an hour out of Adelaide that has some good antique shops. I’ll be going with a couple of friends, and we’ll stop and have lunch at a nice cafe, so it should be a pleasant day. Hopefully I will find what I’m looking for, but even if I don’t it should still be fun!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Best wishes,

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Kusmi Tea

selina lake via desire to inspire

I’m in love with this picture by stylist Serena Lake. The old battered bread tin, the pretty blossoms, the touches of silver – I’m in love! 

But what really does it for me is the Kusmi Tea canisters.

kusmi tea christmas blend

Kusmi tea earl grey

I adore the colour and design. I must get some!

So now I’m on the hunt for some Kusmi tea in Adelaide. I’ve been to a specialist tea retailer and the gourmet food hall of a department store, but haven’t found it yet. But I will find it, by hook or by crook!

The only thing is….I don’t drink tea……better start trying I guess!

Best wishes,

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Old Book Love

alvhem book nook via purple area

Curling up with a good book is one of my favourite things to do. I always have a book ‘on the go’. They help me keep my sanity when times are tough, and I love the way the allow you to delve into other minds and different worlds.

But not only do I love books, I also love the look of books – antique books, that is. They can add so much character to a room, with their sense of age and texture.

 antique books shoot factory via purple area

antique books skona hem 



 A Z bookends Graham and Green


books paul massey


antique books country style


But lately, I’m also loving ‘altered books’, where old unloved books are transformed into works of art.

royal buffet etsy



inspiration iris design via folder of ideas



freshly found flickr



matthewmeade via freshly found



paperfaerie folded book



This one, below, is my favourite, by wonderful stylist Paul Lowe. It’s so adorable!

sweet paul folded book

Think I might just try this idea when I find a suitable book.

Images 1 Alvhem via Purple Area 2 Shoot Factory via Purple Area 3 Skona Hem 4 Graham & Green 5 Paul Massey 6 Australian Country Style 7 Royal Buffet 8 Iris Design via Folder of Ideas 9 Freshly Found 10 Matthew Mead via Freshly Found 11 Paper Faerie 12 Sweet Paul

Best wishes,

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I’m hooked

I keep seeing pretty pictures of things on hooks, and I thought I would share them with you. I need to find a way to incorporate something hanging on hooks in my house, I’m thinking in my study perhaps.

baskets ville-kulla

beach baskets toast via absolutely beautiful things

coat hooks marie delice

country living via la maison sur la colline

hallway skona hem

winter woolies morten holtum

wire baskets jeannedarcliving dk


notebook magazine

hang up country home

study organisation country home


Images 1 Ville Kulla 2 via Absolutely Beautiful Things 3 Marie Delice 4 Country Living via La Maison Sur La Colline 5 Skona Hem 6 Morten Holtum 7 Jeanne D’Arc Living 8 Australian Home Beautiful 9 Notebook Magazine 10 & 11 Country Home

On a personal note, I got a beautiful bunch of flowers delivered to me today from all the people I work with. I’ve spent the day at home because my son is suspended from school – the second time in two weeks. I work with a lovely bunch of caring people who know that I have to drop everything when my son is in trouble, and they accommodate me and support me no end. I’m usually pretty stoic about dealing with it all, but they know I’m having a hard time of it at the moment because I’m so worried about my child and I’m trying to juggle his needs with a very busy job. I’m very lucky that I work with such great people!

Best wishes,

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bargain Buys

My blog friend Lee had an interesting post a couple of weeks ago on her best bargain.  It got me to thinking about the whole concept of bargain buys, and in today’s economic environment I think it’s more relevant than ever.

To me, a bargain buy is something that is not only cheap, but something that you love, and if it is useful then that’s even better. Otherwise, it’s not a bargain at all, but just another thing cluttering up your home. Makes you wonder how many so called ‘bargain buys’ end up as landfill?  I think this quote sums it up beautifully…..

ruth poole quote

This quote is from Ruth Poole, who worked at Australian Home Beautiful, and is taken from an issue which was published in 1926. I love that this advice still stands true today all these years later.  Ruth, you knew what you were talking about!

So on that note, I bring you what I consider to be my bargain buys – things that I bought cheaply, but that fulfilled a need in my home, and still bring me great pleasure, all these years later:

Ikea utensil holder, used as a pen holder.  I like its rounded, ‘organic’ shape.



Two bedside tables, repainted and handles replaced. Again I like the shape, and the fact that I can fill it with so many books and magazines.



A buddha head from cheapie shop The Warehouse, for $16! I love my little buddha!



I bought this table below from an auction house for $25. But then I cheated a bit and had it professionally restored as it was in such bad shape. Does that count? 


My antique chinese table, which I had my eye on for ages, and snapped up when it was 50 per cent off.


Here’s some other bargain buys I found in my web travels:

Ikea bins, stencilled.

idea for Ikea bins


$200 piano.

cottage living


Ikea chair , folders, boxes, frames….etchandyman3c


This sign on the fireplace was a roadside find. Best type of bargain ever!

home beautiful roadside find sign


My theory is, if you find something you need and it’s a bargain, but you don’t love it, back away now!  Better to have an empty space and wait for the right piece to come along.

PS If you want to see more bargains, head over to AnNicole’s blog Our Suburban Cottage to see her latest brilliant buys!

Best wishes,