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

Apr 26

Latest ebay find and Mother Nature


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It’s been another beautiful and mainly rainy day here in Melbourne. This morning I had to go and pick up my latest ebay buy in the hills outside of town, which took me right by my sister’s country property:

I’ve shown bits of my sister and brother-in-law’s property before; they are renovating a former country retirement home, and the much older weatherboard cottage that’s on the same property. They were blessed to inherit a lot of wonderful established trees, but have also replaced a large field with a newly-planted orchard of various fruit trees.

This is one of their veggie gardens, with various types of lemon trees heavy with fruit behind. Lucky I have my own lemon tree or I would have snaffled a lot of those lemons! Is there anything better than a really tart lemon pie?

The driveway enters on one side of the property, circles around and exits on the other side, giving you a full tour through oaks, pines, elms, birches and agapanthas.

Can you tell I’m just a weeny bit jealous? I just love visiting. Then it was off to collect the chairs:

I’ve been looking around at wing back chairs for a little while now, but haven’t been in a rush to purchase them (as they are, of course, for the future country property!). I’m also pretty fussy about the shape and style. I didn’t want any that were too tall, too wide, or with wings that were either too large or too wimpy. I sound a bit hard to please don’t I!? And most importantly, they couldn’t have queen anne-style legs – straight, open legs with a central cross-bar were essential. So when I saw these ones on ebay I snapped them¬† up.

And look at the beautiful scenery I got to enjoy on the way to collect them:

So I had pictured these chairs as being recovered in a dark charcoal grey wool or felt, with the backs in a co-ordinating tweed. The existing fabric isn’t actually all that bad-¬† it’s quite an interesting kilim-patterned velvet in reds, blues and greys. I could easily make it work as is if I needed to hold off on the reupholstery, but I’m envisioning either the dark grey or maybe a scheme of reds or raspberry in velvet and chintzes (I still do love chintz in the right setting).

But on the topic of tweeds, have you seen the new Greenwich Linen collection from Ralph Lauren? I’m such a big fan of these classic designs and warm neutrals:

Very English country house! Can you imagine them paired with some timber beams and old battered leather suitcases? Lovely.

Naomi xx

Oct 19

Ebay finds and Blue and White


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Hello! I know it’s already half-way through the week, but I haven’t had a chance to share any of my ponderings since the weekend. So, I had a bit of a lucky ebay this weekend past and came away with a couple of great things that I have big plans for. The first was this long French-style sofa which was one of my best bargains ever and which I think is going to suit either my barn-style country house (haha – of the future), or if I can stand to let it go, a client’s home.. when it’s delivered I’ll have to see what the proportions are like and how much I fall in love with it!
I also picked up this pair of rustic timber mirrors which I am thinking of using in a bathroom I am working on against white subway tiled walls above twin sinks..
As soon as I saw the sofa above I had a plan in mind, if the sofa stays with me. I want to lime the timber frame to lighten it up a lot then cover it in one of these:
with some white armchairs and cushions in this:
(all fabrics by Ralph Lauren)
I was picturing a rustic British Colonial type of look, with lots of timber pieces, worn tan leather and bare floorboards. I think a cross between British Colonial and Hamptons styles is my ideal, with a touch of French Provincial and English country styles thrown in. Anyway, I had visions of my new blue and white striped sofa sitting in my barn-like room, with something like this behind it- an antique refectory table:
I’d also add in some brass lamps to give it some country warmth (nickel lamps would be too Hamptons, I’m thinking of a look that is more masculine and rustic):
-and lots of stacks of books! All of this pondering got me thinking about how much I love classic ‘Hamptons’ blue and white – but how much I like the slightly more masculine approach to using blue and white – I think of it as more ‘Ralph Lauren’. I think this association began in my mind when I tore these clippings of Ralph Lauren’s home from a magazine years ago:
Very elegant and with a good mix of tastefully worn antiques, fresh white upholstery and linen, dark walls and timbers and comfortable country house style. This is another of my favourite Ralph Lauren rooms, featuring blue and white but not too light and beachy:
This dining room by Michael S Smith (above) mixes blue and white with heavy dark timber pieces in a way that I love..
(Kravet)
Barclay Butera is another designer big on blue and white, and mixing it with a British Colonial sort of look:
I can’t recall the designer of this house (below), but I do love the Hamptons-meets-country-cottage style:
Here are a few blue and white rooms by Victoria Hagan (below).I particularly love the last one (the bedroom), with subtle blue and white paired with a heavy dark timber bed. It could just as easily be in an English country house as in a house by the beach.
This bucolic arrangement by Grant K Gisbson puts me in mind of my dream country house- just a hint of blue and white, but the space and the staircase is the real attraction here!:
Finally, I just love the light the timbers and the huge potted indoor palm for a British Colonial-style home:
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