May 3

More house hunting


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Or maybe I should say house dreaming…I love this one for two main reasons: First, the elevation! Having different levels and outlooks in a house is something I dream of, and I have a major weakness for any house on the high side of the street with steps leading up the entry. But aside from the elevation, this house has a very pretty face, and I like that it’s partly obscured by trees.

And here is reason number two: this fabulous room with the timber-lined pitched ceiling, dormer and circular windows, and french doors leading to the garden. If I had the chance to build only one room onto an existing house of mine, it would be a little something like this.

You can see the french doors are actually on both sides of this room, and yet it doesn’t look as though it lacks privacy. I like the central fireplace flanked by bookshelves. But the beauty of this room is the ceiling line and those upper windows facing the trees. Can you imagine this same room but with a flat ceiling? Not remotely as nice.

In the main bedroom the balcony and view across the treetops is amazing and must be wonderful for the lucky person who sleeps here!

I really like changes in levels in a house, and here the steps define the dining area which opens onto the large terrace. Wouldn’t this be a great house in summer, with those doors all open leading to the pool?

The white-painted pergola across the back areas of the house (which is actually the North-facing side of the house) really adds something beautiful doesn’t it? Even though there don’t seem to be any plants growing over it, and it doesn’t provide any shade, I think it smooths the transition from the house to the garden so that it works better overall.

This is such a great entertainer’s yard but also so great for kids. With that said, yes, I do see a very unobtrusive glass fence around the pool!

And, of course, the essential floorplan:

Have a great weekend,

Naomi xx

Oct 17

My kind of Hamptons style


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Yesterday’s post had some themes similar to today’s gorgeous room. A Persian rug, some blue stripes, a little wicker and a little shine (which happens to come from the table lamp in both posts). This is pretty much the perfect room for me; classic without being stuffy, great architecture and lots and lots of books!

Naomi x

Jun 4

Italian villas and Spanish-style abodes


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Phew! It’s been a busy few weeks in my small sphere. Lots of exciting projects on the go, but also some business at home. Without officially putting our house on the market, we have been allowing an estate agent to show potential buyers through, which as anyone with children or pets who has tried to sell knows, means constant cleaning! But beginning the path to selling means that I can start to dream about what might be next!

A dream I always come back to is how wonderful it would be to design and built a house from scratch. Of course, this would mean deciding on a style in which to built, which would not be an easy task. I’ve fantasized about French chateau’s (not in a McMansion style but a more provincial style), English-style Georgian symmetry, Hamptons-style white and timber (though I don’t think this would wholly suit the likely rural build location), and a whole range of European-inspired abodes.

It seems slightly odd I know to lump Italian and Spanish home styles in together, but my latest home building fantasy would be a fusion of these styles. In my mind both styles suit an Australian landscape – I’m thinking solid rendered blockwork walls, terraces and levels to cope with uneven ground, a covered patio area to protect against the Western sun. I love the idea of terracotta roof tiles, unpainted timbers for ceilings, windows and doors, maybe a little wrought ironwork for stair rails.

It sounds as though I’m expecting a mansion, but honestly I’d be happy with a very scaled-down version of this sort of style. I love the idea of rooms with different views, arched doorways, dark rustic timbers and central courtyards.

As for the interiors, I actually have a floorplan for my Dream Build already laid out in detail in my mind. I’m thinking a big central living room opening onto a terrace or courtyard with a big stone fireplace, rooms that flow onto one another, and lots of high ceilings. Do you know the Spanish mission-style house in Brothers and Sisters? That house has a great feel (though it’s not pictured here).

Those curtains would have to go if this were mine (above), but I love the design and materials of this stairwell.

I think it must be the cold weather here, but I’m craving warmer colours, more luxurious materials, darker and cosier spaces. Here are some of the rooms from my files – high ceilings, stone, timber, and generally a more formal style.

I don’t like the rug here, the fireplace mantle, or the shelving accessories (above), but I do love the double-height ceiling, the timber floors, and the idea of a tall stone fireplace flanked by tall shelving.

Another thing that comes to mind when I think of building a Spanish-style house is the use of tiled stairs between rooms, and interesting staircases. Do you remember Sheryl Crow’s house in Architectural Digest magazine?:

My favourite view is this one (above), through the living room to the staircase. I love all the interesting arched shapes and the levels- the dining level up some steps on the left, the lower level visible behind the sofa, and the staircase leading to a level above. Why don’t they built houses like this in Australia!?

Love the terracotta tiled floors and the white subway tiles on the kitchen walls and range canopy.

Another amazing house in this style that springs to mind is Ellen Pompeo’s, that was featured in Elle Decor:

This is a great idea for giving a ceiling character in a new-build – especially if it’s not possible to have pitched cathedral-type ceilings – add some aged-looking plaster corbels and rustic timber beams instead of cornicing.

There’s that amazing staircase! The arches, the columns and ironwork are all beautiful -and I love the glimpse through to another level half-way up.

That’s probably enough dreaming for now! Back to real work and reality..

Have a great day, and welcome to a new week.

Naomi xx

May 7

Weekend Happenings and a Dream Destination


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As has become my usual practice over the past few months, part of Saturday was devoted to looking at properties. I’m looking at all options these days- houses near the school, apartments in the city, potential investment units and of course, land and houses in various lovely country destinations outside Melbourne. I guess I’m not quite sure what our next move will be, but the country property is the one that actually excites me.

 

My 7 year-old son and I visited a large but quite depressingly run-down house a few suburbs further out from the city – it has the right space but was so uninspiring, and so far from the trees and character that I dream of (no pics posted here but trust me, it was not an option!). After that I decided to take a look at the slightly more rural properties close to my sister’s place, which I posted about last week. And what do you know? I found my dream weekender (or maybe even permanent house!):

 

It had everything: English-style stone construction (my dream), trees, privacy, the circular gravel driveway, space, and was even within budget. There’s a lot that I’d change about the interiors, but I love the L-shaped layout with a deck in between and kids’ rooms upstairs, and it had a good feel about it, you know?

 

I immediately fell in love and rang the agent and starting planning what furniture I’d need to furnish it. Sadly, when I heard back this morning, the house has already sold. I know I should stop getting so attached to properties, and I’m trying to tell myself that it just wasn’t meant to be, but I can’t help but kick myself that I didn’t look in this area sooner! I would have snapped this beautiful cottage up so fast!

 

So, once again it’s back to the drawing board. To cheer myself up last night I got out some of my ‘inspiration files’ and starting looking through old clippings. I came across a room I had cut out of a magazine a few years ago:

This room (above) had always inspired me. Whenever I looked at it I imagined finding a little weekend cottage somewhere, using the front rooms for bedrooms, then adding on one big room just like this. The central area under the peaked ceiling would be the living area, and the ‘wings’ off to the sides would house the dining areas and kitchen. I love the idea of walking down a hallway into a big open room and everything being relatively symmetrical – you’d walk in and face a sofa table, with the sofa on the other side facing a central fireplace, and armchairs on both sides.

 

Anyway, when I read the fine print on the clipping I discovered the room comes from Huka Lodge in New Zealand – so I looked it up, and Wow! What a beautiful place:

To me this place is that perfect blend of Hamptons style (especially the iron lantern lights and the pitched ceilings with white beams), Ralph Lauren (classic style, dark enveloping colours), and English country house (fireplaces, antlers on the wall, warmth and comfort). And it’s not just the interiors that I’ve fallen in love with; take a look at the exterior and gardens:

New Zealand is such a beautiful place! And what a great place to celebrate a wedding anniversary! (Husband please take note)

It cheered me up no end :)

Naomi xx

 

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