May 10

Time-worn and beautiful

This is how the country home of my dreams would be: dark walls, loads of books, squishy, comfy sofas, walls covered in paintings, and rooms filled with antiques, pieces of nature and junk-shop finds.

Love this wall of simple botanicals – or are they pressed flowers? It reminds me of the wall of botanical prints at Sally Wheat’s house:

What could be better than this: an old stone wall, a battered leather chair, some books and a Louis Vuitton trunk?

Annie Brahler at euro trash

This is the stuff dreams are made of!

Have a great day,

Naomi xx

May 9

It’s all about stripes and blue and white

I’m still thinking about that apartment I missed out on, and how I would have decorated it. (I’m aware this is a pretty fruitless activity but this is just what I do – I have fun planning layouts and room schemes – and whether it will ever be put into practice is completely immaterial!) Lots of blue and white and really pale floors – I’m thinking bleached timber and sisal, but I also love the subtle leopard-print carpet above. My storage shed is full of pairs of French chairs – another hobby – and a pair painted chalky white and recovered in stripes on either side of an antique commode would have been great for the little entryway!

Tangerine or shades of citrus yellow work so well as an accent to blue and white. But the thing that makes this room work is the layering; throws, trays, books, ornaments, cushions – it’s all about the accessories!

I love this moody hallway (above) because it shows how key lighting is when you don’t have any natural light. Picture and wall lights are usually so much nicer in classic spaces than downlights, and the lighting in the two rooms at the end of the hallway really draws you in. Plus I’m just such a fan of club-like dark timber panelling and walls covered in pictures.

These pics (above and below) are from a Ralph Lauren showroom – lots of lovely blue and white, some dark walls and lots of texture in wicker baskets and furniture.

 

When I think of that apartment I think along the lines of this style (above and below). Pale flooring and white paintwork as a foil for blue and white fabrics and ceramics.

I think these rooms come from Australian magazine ‘Country Homes’. This is a warmer, more ‘country house’ take on the colour scheme; Creams and neutrals dominate instead of pure white. I just adore dark blue/grey walls covered in artwork, and the balcony off the bedroom overlooking trees.

 

Naomi xx

 

May 8

A little shopping and florals

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

May 7

Weekend Happenings and a Dream Destination

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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