Friday, October 31, 2008


From time to time I come across a feature in a magazine where I am forced to rip out the whole section as one room just won't tell the story. Looking at the bottom of the tear sheets I first saw the Bachkit in Elle Decoration in June 2003. A 'bach' is New Zealand for holiday house and as in Australia the humble beach hut or bach has come a long way. If you spend a bit of time on the Bachkit site you will see that their kit homes come in modules depending on the size, number of bedrooms or if you want a guest pavilion - a great concept if you ask me. Clearly the location of the show home below is enviable but I think the design would be as effective in a bush environment. I also think the layers of glass and security louvres is fantastically adaptable to allow you to enjoy your 'bach' summer and winter. Mine would have a sea view though . . .

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Favourite rooms: dining room

My favourite thing about this dining room is the chandelier. Chandeliers are tricky things and there is a very fine line between heavenly and horrendous. There is no debate in my mind that this one falls into the heavenly section.

Image: Homes and Gardens

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Marvellous mosaics

I was looking for something else and I stumbled across the preview of the Bisazza 2009 collection. Aren't these designs beautiful ? The thought did strike me that you could copy one of those cross stitch or tapestry designs to produce an effect like the floral one which is simply titled Bouquet A but I am not suggesting for a moment that the design is not an original !! I love a bit of blue and white also and like the way it looks with the dark wood. there is lots more to see at

Images: Bouquet A and Summer flowers blue by Carlo Dal Bianco, Bisazza

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Favourite rooms: reading retreat

This is a great little room and it must be in my folder a very long time - look at the computer !!! Lots of houses have these box rooms which are ok for a small child for a few years but then what do you do with it ? I am always looking for attractive book storage and I think this little retreat is a great use of the space. With an updated Mac I could settle myself in here no bother.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Summer stripes

As the temperature here in Sydney has returned to normal ranges and we are back outside enjoying the sunshine I thought I would share some of my favourite summer stripes. The first two are available from a number of retailers ( I have listed the ones I have come across so far below). The great thing about these fabrics is that they come in 180 cm widths which is fantastic if you have a very wide window or a big outdoor table you want to make a table cloth for.

The next three are IKEA fabrics. I have seen these in person and they are wonderful at jawdroppingly low prices - $12-$15 a metre. How could you go wrong ?

Tom Multi, Otilly and Lewis, Ici et la, RE found objects
Colliour Roy, Otilly and Lewis, Ici et la
Elisabet, IKEA
Berit series, IKEA
Images: Otilly and Lewis, IKEA

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cicatrice De Luxe

I am not sure how I missed this for 10 years but there you go. The Cicatrice de luxe 5 chandelier designed by Philippe Starck has been around since 1998 (!!). Like many of his designs the concept is a bit crazy but I was taken by it - given my passion for crystal glasses and vases and their jewel like effects. I spotted this Cicatrice de luxe 5 in the recent copy of Vogue Living Australia and I think it looks pretty good in this city apartment. There are bigger and smaller versions - all pretty pricey. I would love to see one switched on in a darkened room as I think the reflections would be quite special.

Images: Vogue Living Australia, FLOS

Friday, October 24, 2008

Favourite rooms: kitchen

Here is another kitchen with lots of appeal - it has a pot and utensil rail ( see earlier post on my kitchen constants ) and I like the Arne Jacobsen egg chair in the corner providing a comfy spot for chatting to the cook. I also particularly like the choice of painting for the dining area. Apart from drawing the eye down the room very effectively, to my mind, the circles are also symbolic of circles of friends or family sitting around the table.

Image: Source not known (and apologies for the hole punch marks)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Favourite rooms: dining room

I think this is a very inviting dining room. The bench seating and the table are ultra simple and pared down but the beautiful chandelier balances them out nicely giving the room that touch of glamour and sense of occasion thats good to have in a dining room.

Image: The Sunday Times

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Kitchen constants (2)

The god of kitchens has to date been inclined to grant me small kitchens - two galleys and two with minimal bench space but that being said I have grown to love my small kitchens and forgive them their flaws.

An outcome of this experience in small kitchen ergonomics is that I am now never without wall mounted stainless steel utensil rails and racks for pots and cookbooks - well whats a girl to do if you have no drawers ??

I came across this little gem on Amanda Prior's website and if I am not mistaken this kitchen has the very same Grundtal shelves and rails from IKEA as I have myself. At about $20 for a rail and $40 for a shelf you cannot go wrong. An important point of detail is to recommend IKEAs matt stainless steel S hooks from the same range which look much better than shiny ones and are good value at $5 for five.

Photos: Amand Prior

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cath Kidston oilcloth

It was an unseasonably grey day in Sydney today so I feel the need for some colour and brightness. These Cath Kidston oilcloths are very cheering (and hardwearing) on those grey days which come upon us (even in sunny Sydney !!)


Monday, October 20, 2008

Loop by black+blum

As they say themselves anglo-swiss designers black+blum set out to make affordable quality designed products which 'charm and entertain' Their Loop candleabra ticks all these boxes in my view. I am the proud owner of three Loops and they look wonderful solo, in a line or clustered in a circle.

The inspiration for the Loop is the Fibonacci sequence (see related post on the golden ratio ) a mathematical sequence which occurs frequently in nature. The golden ratio and golden curve based on the sequence appear balanced and proportionally pleasing to our eyes.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Carina Sherlock Paris table

I love round tables and have many many images of beautiful round tables - old and new - in my 'folder of ideas' to share. This table by Carina Sherlock is quite compact (115cm) so ideal for a smaller room or (if you are lucky enough to have a great big entrance to your home) for a hallway that will accommodate a statement piece like this.

Image: Carina Sherlock

I am not sure if it is still available as on the current website it now only seems to be available in white - hopefully the black is not gone forever which would be a big pity if you ask me.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Favourite rooms - bedroom

We are in the market for a headboard and bedside tables. This is the look and feel I want to achieve but space is tight - hence my attraction to the hidden storage in the headboard. I love the dark wood and the fact that the room combines different textures and materials - marble, silver, cotton and wool but is still quite minimal, ordered and calming.

Image: Home Beautiful

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ned Kelly

I had heard of Ned Kelly before I moved to Sydney but didn't appreciate how iconic he is in Australia until I had spent some time here and seen the paintings by Sidney Nolan featuring his famous homemade armour.

Robert Plumb make a whole family of Kelly inspired mailboxes. My personal favourite is 'Ned' himself pictured below.

Images: Robert Plumb, National Gallery, Nolan Gallery, Sculptures by the Sea 2006

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A single chair

Never get rid of a beautiful chair. This one is in the corridor of a restored Scottish castle. I like the fact that the choice of a plain fabric for the seat updates the chair but doesn't draw attention away from its shape and detail.

Photo: Image Interiors

Monday, October 13, 2008

One step at a time

I thought this was an original way to create interest in this tunnel-like staircase. Great idea for a stairs from or to a rumpus room. I like the rope bannister also.

Source: not known

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Jonathan Huxley

Looking through Jonathan Huxley's website his more recent works feature sharper and clearer figures and objects. I, however, am most drawn to his earlier style depciting a mass of tiny blurred figures. As to why they appeal to me, this review from is website sums it up better than I can :

'What they're doing is anyones guess: They could be skaters in a rink, children in a playground, soldiers in a war or masqueraders at a crazy carnival. The props litteres around offer no clues. The interpretation, like the movement, is fluid, the setting is the great concourse of life.' Laura Gascoigne

Image: Red Route II, Jonathan Huxley

Check out or to see more of his work.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Favourite rooms - study

This is an old tear sheet from my folder - maybe from about three years ago. The things I still really like about this room are - the blind fabric (Manuel Canovas) , the wall colour, the rack at the back of the desk to hide wires and hold things and the elegant office chair. It's hard to find a comfortable yet elegant desk chair and I love the twisted arms on this one that make it that little bit different.

Image: Homes and Gardens UK

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Orla Kiely at Heals

I am a long term fan of Orla Kiely handbags. Whatever it is about her prints I find them uplifting and carrying them around makes me happy. She has a new range of furniture and homewares at Heals in London. I've included a few of my favourites here but you can see the whole range at I am hoping that it wont be too much longer before there are more stockists of her stuff in Australia - maybe even an Orla Kiely shop - wouldn't that be great !

Kitchen constants (1)

I worked in Switzerland for three years and fell in love with lots of things there including my Mondaine official Swiss railway clock. I am on my fourth kitchen now since leaving Zurich and the clock is still with me - now hanging in Sydney. You can get them in Australia at Kikki K

Image: SBB

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Double X by Eileen Gray

Like myself, Eileen Gray (1878 - 1976) was born in Ireland. She is now considered to be one of the most important pioneers of modern design but sadly before her death alot of her work had not been recognised widely. Its great to see more and more of her designs in the media like the Double X table below.

Image: Aram

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Golden ratio

The golden ratio has been used for hundreds of years by architects and designers to calculate dimensions that are aesthetically pleasing. I am fascinated by this and on many occasions have measured things that appear balanced and pleasing to me to find that they do approximate to this ancient rule of thumb. I often use the ratio for positioning things like pictures or deciding what size of something I want to fill a space.

Image: Ralph Lauren

Monday, October 6, 2008

Kids furniture

I was in IKEA yesterday buying 20 hooks for my hallway and saw the VIPPIG seesaw for the first time having seen it in the catalogue and magazines. I think it will become a classic - it looks like a huge smile, it's a beautiful toy or piece of furniture for $99 and my boys loved it. My guys are just a little big for it but I am very tempted . . .

Images: IKEA

The reason I really want the see saw is when I look back at the toys and furniture we have for our kids the most used and best loved have been made of wood. Our two Stokke Tripp Trapp chairs have 7 toddler years on the clock between them and are in use all day every day, and as were the wheely bug and IKEA 'moose' ( as we call it ).

Images: Stokke, IKEA

In Your Room has a very desirable range of moulded plywood tables chairs and benches for kids. They also do adult sized furniture.

Images: In Your Room