Oct 16

Some new things around the house


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Hello All and Yes, there is still a blog here! I’ve just been taking a little break and putting my energies into other things. Thanks to those lovely readers who took the time to enquire about my whereabouts and well-being. Please rest assured that if you don’t hear from me in awhile, I’ll always be back sooner or later.

If you have read my blog before you will know that I am a big believer in the decorating resource that is ebay- and my latest purchase, an antique Persian rug, arrived this morning. I didn’t have a plan of where it was going to go, but threw it in with the blues and tans in our living room, which has been without a rug for the past several weeks. I do like this look but if it becomes a bit too warm looking in summer I can always change the cushions again and switch a sisal back into this room. But you know how ebay is a bit hit-and-miss? I think this one was definitely a hit.

(not sure why these pics came out so dark! I seriously need a new camera and a new house with better natural light)

Another fairly recent purchase was this black library for the dining room wall. This room never looked quite finished, and I really needed some vertical display/storage for my constantly-changing bits and pieces. I figure this piece will be great for one of the boys’ rooms or a playroom when we find the next house (yes, still looking!). I’ve kept it pretty neutral in here- only antique leather books, whites and glass- and one little shelf for family pics.

The ladder bar at the top is a great place to hang birthday and Christmas cards!

Another recent ebay buy was this big black-framed mirror. It’s the kind of piece I’d need to have hung professionally, but it’s in this corner until I decide whether to bother hanging it or to wait until the next house.. When I had this delivered my delivery guy apologised that it was so filthy- I explained to him that the glass has a mottled effect that makes it look aged, and that believe it or not some of us actually pay for this look!

 

I’m also still working on my office. I really wanted to replace the bookshelves with more attractive storage. I did find the perfect shelves, but they were more than double what I wanted to pay, and I’d need two of them! So I was on a mission to find something that would hold files and boxes of swatches, and store some magazines, and that didn’t cost a lot. I still hope to buy my ideal shelves, but I want to see the office in my next house before I commit!

After looking around at a lot of wholesale suppliers, as well as places like Ikea and Freedom, I eventually settled on this grey cabinet from Early Settler. They have a black version but I had just bought the black library and didn’t want to keep collecting painted black pieces of furniture. In fact I’ve been trying to steer clear of painted pieces made in China and focus on collecting antiques that I’ll keep forever. But the $800 price tag was impossible to beat! I figure it will look great in the future in a laundry or bathroom, or maybe even a kitchen area.

 

I might add that Early Settler sometimes have great prices but they are SO unreliable when you order something ahead. Already the delivery date for this cabinet has been pushed back by a month, and this isn’t the first time I’ve had this experience with them. Still, this is the price you pay when you are shopping on a budget. Has anyone else had this experience?

 

Have a great day, and it’s good to be back.

Naomi xx

May 8

A little shopping and florals


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Today we have a pupil-free day at our school, so I took Mum and the kids to the local shopping centre for a rare treat (it’s actually a treat for me as I rarely brave the malls on weekends and never have all three children with me during the week). It was really nice to not be on a rushed shopping mission, and to be able to have a good look through the shops. At Target (our Target, unlike the one in the U.S., is usually bereft of great homewares) I was pleasantly surprised to see these side tables:

They had a great shape and a hexagonal top. These could actually look fantastic in the right room- I could picture the larger one as a bedside table for a kids room.

 

I’ve also had a chance to do some ebay shopping, and also a chance to get myself organised enough to list some of my ‘extra’ pieces of furniture, fabric and lamps.

I keep holding on to so many things for ‘the next house’, but sometimes I have to do a bit of a cull to make room for new pieces. Ebay is also a great source for pieces for clients- old chairs for recovering and the occasional antique in particular.

 

A couple of weeks ago I was showing fabrics to some clients for one of their rooms, one of which was this colourful floral:

We ended up going with another fabric, also in bright gorgeous colours, but I do like the green geometric against the floral upholstery here. This is a great example of what you can do with an old armchair bought on ebay!

And speaking of greens and florals, here are a few others that have caught my eye this week:

Again, we can see how great a subtle geometric pattern (here, the wallpaper) can look with a floral (the green toile pattern on the chairs). I like the freshness of this office area.

This is such a gorgeous feminine, French-style bedroom! I love the shape of the floral bedhead.

I like the simplicity of this scheme, with the use of just the one tropical leaf-patterned fabric. That banquette seating for the dining area is fantastic!

Naomi x

Jan 20

Around the house


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I am really, really loving having my kids at home these holidays. We’ve had our share of arguments and wrestling matches (during which yesterday a front tooth was lost – a wobbly one though), but it’s lovely not having to rush off to school every morning. I’m still getting some work done during the toddler’s nap times too. Over the past few days I’ve really enjoyed going through some of my design books and magazines that pile up everywhere.

This week I bought the 2011 makeover issue of Coastal Living (please excuse dodgy iphone pics above and to follow)- it’s fantastic though made me feel woefully out of date as I’ve seen several of the pictures before online (and the prices for these ‘special edition’ US mags is outrageous- $19 for a magazine!). It features several makeovers/renovations that I love, though I like especially the ones where they’ve modified the original house a little but basically just used a ton of white paint and then decorated. These seem so much more attainable and therefore more inspiring, and have me thinking about where I want to live next.

(I didn’t realise this pic was so blurry sorry! But had to include it as the house is so amazing)

Just about all the houses in the magazine (remember it’s coastal living, so this explains it a bit) are weatherboard and two -story with decking along the front. Wouldn’t it be great to find something like this overlooking water? So much cheaper to add on to or modify than brick houses, and there’s something so satisfying about painting timber white- ceilings, walls and floor!

We are off on more weekender house-hunting this Saturday. I drove by the last house I mentioned, but was very disappointed to find that the ‘front’ of the house actually faces the side of the block. Does this matter? It made the place so much less attractive to me, that the living room doesn’t face the street, and that the main bedroom does. What do you think? I know it sounds silly but one of the things I imagined was how nice a Christmas tree would look from the street placed in the living room’s bay window. But actually, the bay window faces the fence..

On the topic of having magazines and design books on every available surface, I found a gorgeous antique Flemish chest of drawers the other day when I was out looking for pieces for clients (this happens not irregularly)

On my travels I also saw some lovely geometric black and white decorative boxes at Early Settler. I forgot to take a pic of them but when I saw them I thought of this room:

(the ones in the shop are small for coffee tables etc). I just love the green of the wall, the blues in the painting against it and the simple black and white furniture pieces. It goes to show how a little black and white geometric pattern can bring a pop to a classic room – and I think I’ve just talked myself into picking up a couple of those boxes!

I’m also loving this grey and yellow mixed with warm timber (and great windows). And this library with an antique rug in blues and bookshelves painted black on the insides..

thomas o'brien

Sorry for the slightly random and meandering post! Have a great weekend.

Naomi xx

Jan 10

Loving Navy


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It’s always been a favourite colour of mine, but lately I’ve been really loving and needing navy around me. Because in our living room I have to work with our large brown classic-style leather sofa, simple but strong navy and white combinations are a good fit. Think stud detailing and quite masculine. I loved that sofa when we bought it 9 years ago and I love it almost as much still. It’s just not as versatile as a white sofa! I do love this classic, slightly nautical look.

 

I had a whole bunch of navy/white/natural linen cushions made up just before Christmas in Ralph Lauren and Kravet fabrics, which help the brown leather sofa, linen dining chairs and curtains, white daybed, sisal rug and blue and white ceramics all tie together. The day bed at the moment is a veritable feast of blues!

I’m just loving a mix of navy and white fabrics with blue and white Chinese ceramics, some interesting antique pieces and lots of books and art. This room is my favourite at the moment:

It’s got that relaxed country house vibe while still feeling elegant, which I love. Here’s another favourite from UK Homes & Gardens mag from years ago (below). This is the sort of colour I want to paint our bedroom:

Here’s another moody navy room; love the pairing of navy with warm camel in the sofa and curtains and the navy trim. I like this sort of feeling for my country weekender!

And here’s my navy blue front door:

I love this eclectic mix of pieces and how great white, navy and wood tones look together:

I’ve posted it before, probably more than once (sorry), but here’s my favourite navy blue library by Nate Berkus – I think I can get away with posting it again as it’s a different shot to the one from Elle Decor..

Naomi xx

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