Friday, December 31, 2010

retail fix,...part #1

everyone has favourite shops.....right?

shops that you walk into and simply know you'll find something perfect in.  

people often ask me where i get certain things,..fabric,,...bags etc,..  

so,..i thought i would let you all in on the not-so-secret list of my 'special shops'. i'll break it up into parts though, the list is quite long!

  • newspaper taxi.

247 australia street newtown.

i am crazy about this little store in Newtown, Sydney.  it is a boutique vintage store in the heart of Newtown with a gorgeous collection of vintage pieces, pretty stationery and handmade treasures from around the world...i have bought all sorts of things there,..ranging from religious paintings,.tiny ceramic doves,..a vintage asian birdcage,.and some handcrafted gift cards.

i love it.

  • secondhand rose emporium in brunswick heads.

another gorgeous little vintagey shop.  no website,..and not many pictorial representations online though.  a fabulous place for antique linens,..silver,... gorgeous homewares,..etc.  i bought a divine cane basket for my (non-exsistant bike) there!  it holds all my belts at the moment!

4 park street, brunswick heads.

  • david met nicole

This store features items for the well dressed home. From London town to Sydney city Davidmetnicole showcase British style and design. Purveyors of quality furniture, lighting, accessories and eclectic objects.

  • bow wow @ palm beach

this divine little store sells bruce goold fabrics,.. lino cut prints,..1950's beach inspired homewares,.. clothing designed by eastern pearson, ginger & smart and fairlie kingston ceramics.
these are some examples of divine bruce goold fabrics.
1093 barrenjoey road, palm beach.

stay tuned for part #2!

jane xx

Thursday, December 30, 2010

favourite things,......

a large portion of my styling at home revolves around vintage items,.....  things that have been passed down in my family....things that i have discovered,..and things that have been gifted to us,...

i love things with a history,...with a story,..

i love having things around my house which i find visually pleasing,..and also texturally pleasing,..things that i do not have to be too precious about.

so, i thought i would share some of those things with you..

this cluster of vintage decanters sits on the top of a sideboard in our lounge room.  i love their 'sparkly decadence',... the one filled with liquid belonged to my grandmother.  the liquid inside is cumquat brandy.  my mother made it with my nannie 40years ago,.using the cumquats from their tree, and papa's best french brandy.  it is sensational over icecream!

these four photographs hang in one of our hallways.  they are my dad's schoolboy rowing and rugby photos.  the kids love picking out their poppy and laugh at how young he looks!

this gorgeous still life was a market find.  it is oil on bark and apparently over 100years old.  
this painting 'boy reading newspaper' also belonged to my nannie. her interior designer chose it as a meditation painting for her when she was battling cancer.  she would sit and concentrate on the small red splash of paint on the boys shoulder.  it is tar on canvas.  i loved looking at this painting at my grandparents house when i was a child and adore having it hang in my own house.
these are antique, persian woodblocks.  they are intricately carved pieces of wood which are dipped in ink and are then used to print on fabrics.  they are beautifully textual pieces,..lovely to hold and trace the pattern in your hands...
this is one of a pair of vintage, cowhide chairs.  they were stationmaster chairs in the 1940's and are fabulously comfortable to sit on.  perfect for drinking scotch by the fire!
 this is a wooden pattern used to make industrial metal cogs,..wheels and other factory tools.  it is about 60years old,..and the smooth painted wood is wonderfully sculptural.  
this is a vintage town planning ruler.  we found it under our house when we moved in.  it now sits in the corner of our lounge room and extends the full 8metre height of the ceiling.

this is an antique obstetricians light picked up at an auction in melbourne.  the metal is dented and beaten about,.and the steel frame is rusted in places,.but i love the industrial quality it lends to our lounge room.
i am not really sure what this little wooden mold was used for.  it is a perfect semi-circle inside,..and the wood is worn and smooth...  my kids use it as a receptacle for shells and coral.
i love vintage world globes.  ideally i would have a collection of them sitting atop a cabinet somewhere,..but now i have to make do with this one.

so...there you go.

these are the things i am loving at the moment.

i move them around our house,.. recreate vignettes with them,...pick them up,..hold them in my hands,.. enjoy their textures as well as their design,..let my kids enjoy them.

live with them.

jane xx

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

potato sack cushions..

i picked up some soft old potato sacks from the markets the other day,..with the intention of sewing one end up and stuffing a cushion insert into it.

looked a little dull.

so,.i pared the hessian back with some lovely lilac and navy blue striped cotton.

the result is a little bit county,..a little bit vintage,..a little bit industrial,..and a little bit cute!

available for sale $28 per cushion + p/h

jane xx

Monday, December 27, 2010

coffee table lust,...

so,....i was complaining to my long suffering husband today about our lack of coffee table in the lounge room.

we have a massive lounge room,... massive.  with a big thumping gap in the middle for a coffee table.

a table styled with shells,,..books,..candles,..sigh.


he disappeared,..only to return with the makings of a table!

much banging later,..


made from industrial caster wheels,..steel,...rivets and a wooden frame...

i love it!

yay,..i have a coffee table!  one that is now covered in candles,,..books and shells.

jane xx

the quest for a beautiful bathroom,...

the bathroom is one room in the house that often gets overlooked. it ends up being functional, practical and downright snoring.

ours is no exception.

sure,.it has a lovely egg shaped bath....'nice' white tiles,..and is perfectly bathroomish.

but i want a retreat!

i want somewhere beautiful, take a long hot bath, keep my beautiful french perfumes, put makeup on,... to drink champagne whilst getting ready to go out for dinner,..

you get the drift?

i love the idea of wooden floorboards in bathrooms,..makes the space a 'living' area instead of a purely functional space.

i also love contrasting soft, luxurious linens and thick white towels with industrial steel and vintage found objects.

here are some images of divine bathrooms,...


the last 2 images are from 'the whitehouse' in daylesford, vic.  this is what i would like our bathroom to look like!

i love the shutters that have been made from cutting down an old wooden door,..  our children have shutters of this style on their bedroom windows,.and i am scouting around for a door to replicate in the bathroom.

i think that the trick with styling a bathroom is to not be afraid of using un-bathroomy objects to decorate.

who says you can't hang photographs, use vintage silver candelabras,.an old wooden stool to rest towels on,...a vintage painting on the wall?  the more personalized the space is, the more time you are going to want to spend in there.

ideally, i would like to rip up the tiles on our bathroom floor and expose the floorboards underneath,...and i would like to take out the basin and install a vintage pedestal basin,..but in the meantime, here are some ways of styling your snoring bathroom!

our bathtub is lovely,..but generic,.

add some interest with a lovely antique silver candelabra,...some decadent bath products or some sweet smelling flowers in a crystal vase..

i found an antique oval, beaten metal mirror recently at a market,..and it replaced the generic square mirror that came with the house when we bought it.

i love it.  it is much more interesting to look at,.and much more reflective of my style.

display your perfumes and products.  if they come in unattractive containers, then don't be afraid to decant into glass jars,..vintage crystal containers etc.

flowers in the bathroom are gorgeous,..  choose something sweet smelling like gardenias,...freesias,..roses,..  or compliment floral notes with a reed diffuser.  i love using a green tea diffuser.

i am sourcing a metal 'tolix' chair for the bathroom,.

but in the meantime will have to be happy for this rustic chair that i painted white...

i find coloured towels distracting in a bathroom,.. white is easier to take care of than you would think.  a giant bucket of napisan takes care of the majority of stubborn stains.  just use a sweet smelling fabric softener whilst washing,..or a linen spray post wash.

if you like coloured towels,..choose something tonal, and then pair it back with white or cream.  a grey, slate or charcoal works well.

adding paintings or photographs is a lovely way of claiming your space.

lighting in bathrooms tends to be rather dull.  halogen fittings in the ceiling are ok,.but rather generic.

for christmas, (and i guess this is the real reason for the bathroom post!), i was lucky enough to have been given a beautiful, dusky pink, french antique chandelier.

i had been looking at it wistfully for months,..and my lovely parents bought it for me!

yesterday we hung it in the bathroom,...


the light it produces is warm and inviting,...and it creates an elegant, opulent environment.  i love it.

i now feel that i am well on my way to getting the retreat i desire!! (looking forward to a glass of champagne in the bath tonight!

jane xx

Sunday, December 26, 2010

a merry christmas indeed,...

through the haze of far too many glasses of champagne,.i thought i would share one of the lovely christmas gifts i was lucky enough to receive.

this gorgeous coffee table bible on australian woodblock artist, cressida campbell.

please indulge me whilst i share some of the beautiful woodblock prints with you.

her composition of floral, interesting vase and intense colour is one that i try to create with my 'vignette's' at home.  the intricate detail in the vases contrasts beautifully with the simplicity of the floral.  the rich, vibrant colour is honest and earthy.

i love that she does not try to beautify her still life vignettes before capturing them in wood.  the fallen petal,..the browning stem,...the chip in the vase,.  these elements are as visually pleasing as the perfection of the flowers.

her collection of shells and 'sea finds' would be as comfortable resting on a coffee table as they are on the beach..

i am particularly fond of the artworks where the subject is her bronte apartment.  it is filled with asian treasures,..tropical fruit and flowers,.all juxtaposing beautifully with the harsh reality of an electrical cable or a venetian blind that is slightly askew.  these seemingly small details ground the images. they represent an honesty, a sense of humour and a lack of arrogance that i find charming.

anyway,..enough waffle!  beautiful book.  i feel blessed to have it on my coffee table.

tomorrow i will share my other beautiful christmas gift.  the divine french, antique (pink) chandelier that my gorgeous parents bought me to hang in our bathroom.  so spoiled!

enjoy your christmas break everyone!

jane xx