I can’t believe it! Four years ago I hit the “publish” button for the very first time. Four years!
Sometimes it seems like only yesterday and sometimes it seems more like fourteen years.
I started blogging as a way of documenting my inspiration, work, ideas and a way to educate readers on the ins and outs of Interior Design. I must admit, I was hoping a few of the readers would end up becoming clients. And that they did.
But I didn’t expect to come across such a lovely bunch of other people who blog. Sometimes I think it’s like a cult. There are so many talented and inspirational people out there and I love soaking up all their words of wisdom, encouragement and gorgeous images every day. It’s been fun, too, meeting other bloggers at various events and even when on holidays in a different country.
So thank you for reading my blog posts, as intermittent as they have been of late, and thank you to those of you who also write a blog and continue to inspire me.
Well it’s now been a month since we moved back in to our renovated home. I’d love to be showing you photos of the beautifully styled rooms but you will have to wait. How long? I have no idea. We still have loads of painting to do both inside and out as well as a few more rooms to sort out.
It was a very exciting but extremely exhausting time. My brother, his son and their dog along with my mum arrived from Brisbane in mid December. I thought we would be back in the house by then, just. But that didn’t happen. No fault of anyone’s really, just things take a bit longer than planned and it was much better to stay away than move in with all the builders still crawling all over the place.
So we crammed into the two bedroom unit for a couple of weeks. Fortunately my studio was finished so we were able to set up a couple of beds there for the boys and the dog but of course they were woken every morning at 6am when the builders arrived. Anyway, we all survived and still love each other.
The builders finally left at 4.30pm on Christmas Eve. We’d moved our storage furniture back into the house on the 16th, the floors were done on the 19th and we moved the unit furniture back on 23rd and slept there for the first time. It was lovely to have the extra hands to move furniture, open boxes and put things in cupboards. Christmas seemed still so far away and not much thought had been given to the event.
The kids sensed that we were not going to have time, nor room, to put up the tree as every surface seemed to be covered with boxes! They gathered some sticks and found the boxes of decorations (which I’d left out in great optimism) and set about creating a tree. It was beautiful and brought my focus back to Christmas.
So after the builders left and we completed our last dash to the shops for food and presents, I started to turn my thoughts to Christmas lunch. Fortunately, I had remembered to order the turkey and ham and had a fridge full of vegetables. My brother was a Christmas baby and a birthday cake is our usual Christmas dessert. I had ordered an ice cream cake so at least the basics were taken care of.
At 2am on Christmas morning I was still unpacking boxes desperately trying to locate my big baking tray for the turkey as well as reading the instruction manual for the new cooktop.
Christmas Day was probably the most ill prepared I’d ever had and I had such high hopes of having everything organised with all the family here in my Sydney home on Christmas Day for the first time ever.
But it all came together in the end, even if we were still surrounded by boxes.
There was plenty to eat, plenty of laughs and even a few tears (of joy)!
And we were surrounded by family being thankful for all that we have. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about? At least it will be a Christmas we won’t forget.
The unpacking continues but it’s getting there. How did you spend your Christmas Day?
In 1933 James Hilton wrote a novel called Lost Horizon where he describes a mythical happy land. Last weekend I went to my own Shangri-La right in the heart of Sydney.
Well not mine exactly, but I did pretend for 24 hours. You see it was my birthday on the Friday and our 18th wedding anniversary on the Monday and with our daughter away for the weekend, my husband decided we should have a weekend away too. With the house renovations and no holiday for the last 12 months and none on the horizon, he decided it was this or nothing. I guess I’d been complaining (as I always do) about turning another year older and desperately needing a holiday. So he booked us in to the Sydney Shangri-La Hotel for a night. We had a fabulous Harbour View room with sweeping views of ……. the harbour (naturally!). The sky was blue and the view was sensational.
The hotel has recently been refurbished, to the tune of $20M so I believe. The room was gorgeous but it’s hard to notice too much when you’re met with such a picture postcard view.
The large windows had very comfortable leather seats where I sat for an hour watching the view below and tapped away using the free wifi before I headed to the Chi Spa for a massage.
It was there that I solved the problem of lighting for the Powder Room at our place. I loved the backlit mirror in my spa room so took mental notes and schemed whilst the therapist undid all those knots in my back. My husband was thrilled that the money he spent on the massage will save him money on expensive light fittings. Typical Accountant!
The stylised blossom branch was on the carpet and the bedhead. It reinforces the Asian connection with the hotel chain which started in Singapore in 1971. The dark wood and soft colours also link back to the Asian style. In fact, the first Shangri-La Hotel we encountered was when we were living in Hong Kong. We would take our overseas visitors to the bar on the 54th floor for a drink at sunset and watch the city come alive with twinkling lights.
It was a lovely weekend and I feel fully refreshed to tackle the rest of the renovations and the wind up to Christmas. (Even if I am another year older!)
If you would like assistance to create the hotel or holiday feel in your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.
This article in the Daily Mail indicates blue is her favourite colour and she wears that colour more than any others.
If you would like assistance choosing colours for your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.
It’s been another whirlwind week with quite a number of colour consultations going on around here. I haven’t had a chance to tell you about the Home Food and Wine Weekend I attended last Saturday here in Sydney.
It was another great event with loads of ideas and workshops and plenty of goody bags. But the one workshop that stood out was the Royal Albert Tea Party. And seeing it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday I thought today would be a great time to tell you all about it and maybe plant some ideas for a special afternoon for Mum.
Royal Albert Fine Bone China really needs no introduction having been around for over 100 years. It has that vintage, girly look with plenty of flowers and pretty pastel colours.
The stylists had created a fabulous table setting which is pretty easy to do, once you know how.
Let’s start with the wall art – using an Ikea deep frame, some liquid nails, a sheet of wrapping paper and your chosen tea cup and saucer you too can create this pretty piece to either hang on the wall or lean against the mantlepiece.
You don’t have to have all your tableware matching. By using mismatched styles and colours, you create interest in your tablescape. It’s always the unexpected that surprises and delights your guests too.
There were plenty of surprises on the table that was styled for the workshop.
Each placemat was different. There was a mirror (although some of us thought that wasn’t such a good idea and probably best suited for the younger members of the Tea Party!)
A blackboard with appropriate message.
And a carved frame.
And all those cupcakes were actually baked IN the teacups!
The centrepiece was made from cheap white vases and chipped plates and of course, clear liquid nails. You can really let your imagination run wild here and put together any bits you find. Think about the height you wish to create on your table.
Then there were the place cards. The cork was really easy and can be achieved with a sharp knife. That’s if you can find a bottle of wine with a cork, these days.
But the fork was very cute. The stylist explained that she placed the fork between two sheets of board and then DROVE over them in her car. This flattened the tines of the fork. Pliers were then used to bend the handle of fork at right angles and the place card was slipped between the tines. Effective, don’t you think?
A similar treatment was given to a spoon, except the driving bit, and the spoon was used as a tealight holder.
After the workshop, we were all treated to a cup of T2 in beautiful Royal Albert Teacups. It was great fun.
So why don’t you take one or more of these ideas and create a special tea party for your Mum this Sunday. Take some photos and post them on our Facebook Page. We’d love to see your creations.
Happy Mother’s Day!
If you would like assistance creating something special in your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.
Happy Chinese New Year!
Today marks the beginning of the Year of the Dragon which is the most auspicious sign in the Chinese zodiac.
I remember when we were living in Hong Kong and I was pregnant with my daughter, all the local Hong Kong Chinese would tell me how lucky I was to be having a dragon and that she was going to be very strong. Naturally they would’ve liked it better if she’d been a he, but I was happy no matter what.
The dragon represents success and happiness, so let’s hope 2012 is a good year for us all.
If you would like assistance choosing colour and decor for your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.
I’m so sorry I’ve been Missing In Action this past week and a half. The time is just flying bye and I can’t believe I’ve missed so many posts.
It’s such a hectic time for everyone. Apart from finishing off the Christmas shopping, we have a number of December birthdays and I have been helping to celebrate and trying out four new restaurants in Sydney.
The first was The Winery in Crown Street. I’d been there earlier in the year for lunch and although it’s been around for a while thought the family might like to see the quirky decor.
We also went to a new local Italian restaurant. The decor there was very sleek, which in my mind doesn’t really suit the Italian food. I imagine Italian food to be more comfort food and therefore want the decor to be more cosy and homey. The red and black glass mosaics on the stark white walls were out of keeping for me.
I tried Pony Dining at Neutral Bay too. What a great space! And the food and service were excellent. Lots of use of timber on the inside made the decor very warm but it still had an air of sophistication.
Then one last birthday was celebrated at Felix in the city. It’s a little spot of Paris right in the heart of Sydney. Food and service were great and the decor was so very authentic.
I’m still helping clients with Colour Consultations before Christmas as they have painters lined up for early in the New Year and I have been buying bed linen for another client.
I’m going to now, officially, take a few weeks off to celebrate Christmas and New Year and recharge the batteries after a very busy year. I trust you have an enjoyable holiday season. I thank you for joining me throughout 2011 and look forward to your company again in 2012.
If you would like assistance with colour or decor for your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.