Monthly archives "June 2012"

Dream rooms in greys and neutrals

nomagirl1 2 Comments

Isn’t this a fabulous room (above)? The beamed ceiling, the fireplace, the big iron windows and those lanterns…I really like the simple furnishings in linen, leather, timber, iron and sisal too.

My sister and her boyfriend are moving into a new apartment soon and want to paint the entry hall in black and white stripes- I think this is a great example of how to make it work in a small space. The stripes, big mirror and bench really define that small entry area and make the most of the space. I love the white floors and I really love the limited palette of grey and neutrals.

I adore this dark grey boy’s bedroom- no pattern, just lots of shades of grey and browns with brass and gold accents.

A dining area is the perfect place to use darker, moodier colours. What I like about this dining room is all the different seating.

Again, I’m loving the brass and gold finishes against the dark grey. Curtains, a dressing table and a chandelier in the bathroom are such luxuries! You’d need great ventilation though.

I’ve got a busy few days ahead and may not be back here until next week, so have a great rest-of-the-week and weekend All!

Naomi xx

Luxury fabrics and Ralph Lauren store interiors

nomagirl1 0 Comments

Recently I bought a bolt of Ralph Lauren silk damask fabric in a creamy oyster colour for a client’s bedroom. I found it on ebay and it was an absolute steal, which meant I could buy a lot of it – enough for curtains as well as some of the upholstery. There are a few silk damasks across the Ralph Lauren fabric collections, but this particular one is from a collection called The Heiress:

One of the things that the Ralph Lauren fabric collections do so well is mix different compositions and textures. A more formal (and expensive!) fabric like a pure silk doesn’t need to look overly fussy or feminine when it’s paired with wools, linensĀ  and cottons. In terms of pattern, checks and tweeds look great with chintzes and other florals and make them a bit more casual.

I like the hint of silk here in the cushion on the armchair, but the white walls, wicker baskets and plain rug keep it fairly informal.

This is a more formal room (above), with a silk damask used for the chair upholstery. I think this is a beautiful apartment (love all the lamp-light), but I’m not a fan of those floral needlepoint rugs, and can’t help but think how much nicer a big sisal would look for my taste.


As a sidenote, while I’m thinking of silk damasks, there’s a great summary of the French interiors in the movie Bel Ami on Cote De Texas here.


But on the topic of Ralph Lauren, I know I’m not the only one who takes inspiration from the interiors of the boutiques. The menswear stores usually feature a lot of dark wall colours and leather chairs (I love!), and the Madison Avenue store in the famous Rhinelander Mansion is particularly known for its masculine- themed interiors:

via djhuppatz blog

These are from the David Jones store in Sydney:

These are some of dressing rooms at different stores:

The womenswear store in New York has a lighter palette but the same warm traditional feel. I love all the detailed white joinery!

All gorgeous!

Naomi xx



Italian villas and Spanish-style abodes

nomagirl1 5 Comments

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

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