Sunday, October 31, 2010

In Search of the perfect lounge

I know I still have miles to go before I can start actually putting things into my house but in my head I am working out furniture placement and colour schemes for each room. The rooms that are getting me most excited at the moment are my bedroom, the dining and downstairs lounge room.

The lounge room is what I am going to discuss with you today. This photo shows best what I want in regards to layout. I love how formal this room is, 2 light fixtures, one big couch and some armchairs (another favorite of mine) and the big rug to clearly define the space. This is exactly what I am looking for layout wise but the colour scheme isn't quite right.

I love the drapes they have used in this picture. I keep saying I want curtains instead of blinds because they soften the room and this is a perfect example of how they create an atmosphere and a wonderful warm feel.

In this room the colour scheme is nearly perfect, soft greys and neutrals create such a calm relaxed environment without compromising on the formal nature of the room. One of my favorite features is the clear glass hall table they have used behind the couch. Just heavenly.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Armchair Heaven

I have to say - I am totally in love with armchairs. I love how they sort of cocoon you and give you space. I am planning to cram armchairs all through my house, I have 2 planned for my upstairs sitting room, 2 for my lounge room and maybe, maybe one for my library landing depending on space.

What do you think - are you armchair adorers or do you feel couches are a better way to go? Certainly they are a bit more practical for space challenged houses but really, if you had a few visitors do you really want to be crammed in the middle of a three seater couch or would you prefer to curl up in your own chair?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pressing Business

I have always had a thing for pressed tin ceilings, they are lovely and old and give a home this wonderful sense of history. The big question is - is it possible to add this lovely old feature into a new house? Especially a new house that is kind of modern.

I have this lovely recess in my downstairs living room and the plan is to put the pressed tin in that recess. I am going to keep it painted white like the rest of the ceiling so its only going to be a textural influence - then I found out you can actually get a wallpaper that mimics the tin... it looks amazing, I am just not sure I could personally hang my own wallpaper let alone on a ceiling.... so maybe when you add up the cost of the paper and a "hanger" it might be cheaper to go for the real deal.... still looking into that but to whet your appetite enjoy these beautiful images.

Real pressed tin ceilings

The wallpaper

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Inviting Friends to Stay

My mother works in a gift ware shop ... which I feel is the reason its so hard for me NOT to buy things for the house. Of course I have to visit her, what self respecting daughter wouldn't and I have to say its usually very pleasant wandering around looking at all the pretty things and trying to picture where I could put them in the new house.

Now you know I have a thing for owls, love them to death, they are so pretty I cant seem to walk past them without inviting them to live with me. I found some lovely ones in this really pale wood, heaven right... so I invited them to come home with me and thankfully they accept. I walk to the counter to buy them and that's when it hits me, they are lonely, how on earth can three little owls survive without a tree or something he he he..... can you see where I'm going with this.

Of course you cant have a tree in your house so whats the next best thing .... branches, and these lovely lamps have the same colouring as my owls and so of course its only reasonable that I also invite them to join the party.

This is so much fun .... this NOT shopping stuff.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Map Inspiration

Last night my wonderful husband called from halfway around the world asking why on earth I am buying maps when we don't even have a floor.

I sat there for a good ten minutes trying to explain that I wanted them behind the bed as like a lovely big bedhead and still he just didn't get it, I told him they would look like a piece of wallpaper and all he said was.....
"but their maps."
"Fine I give up, it will be one big surprise then" and then I thought, why don't I just show him the ad.

So here it is my love - this is what I want to do behind the bed.

Lets hope you approve because they are already flying across the country....

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Maps Anyone

Well for a while I have been thinking about having something interesting behind my bed. I was originally thinking wall paper but to be honest, I wanted something really really different. A while ago a saw a picture in a Ralph Lauren ad showing this amazing bed and behind it were these antique maps - very simply framed covering the whole wall as sort of a bed head. It looked great and ever since I have been searching for 9 matching maps that will not cost the earth, not the easiest job in the world.

Finally I have found a bunch on ebay by a company called Antique Print Club (here). They have all sorts of interesting prints, some amazing botanical drawings that would look lovely in a kitchen in a big set of 9 or so but they also have my maps. So maps are on the way and I am really looking forward to putting them up on my wall, this is a very small selection I have purchased, arn't they the most lovely colour?

Now I really have to stop buying.... retaining wall here I come!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Call me Little Miss Bargain Hunter

On the weekend I decided to get up bright and early and hit the markets. I was determined to prove it was possible for me to find beautiful things that dont cost the earth. As I am not very good knowing when to stop I decided to set myself a budget and as I had $120 in my purse this is my budget for the day. Throughout the day I stuck to my budget and sometimes I actually asked if they would take less than what was on the ticket price. I have never done this before and I was so excited that it actually worked. $40 for a decanter that said $65 on the ticket, totally amazing stuff, I would say I'm saving money but really, I'm spending but maybe not quite so much as normal.

My first stop was the local markets and I was surprised if you get there early just how great they are, I found this very cute little silver tea set that I just HAD to have, so I brought it. When i later went to pick up the first tea set I almost tripped over another set which had two tea pots and two sets of sugar and creamers. How lucky was I ... except I now have three silver tea sets. Oh dear.
One of three - the others have slightly different legs

Then I found the most amazing decanter, its very heavy cut glass, it is quite sculptural and not fussy like the other ones I have previously brought, this one I will have to put upstairs and I was thinking ... gee I wish I had another one similar...... cue 2 hours and a different market and I did. So now I have a set of 2 square cut decanters I just adore for upstairs.

Finally was this last little decanter, I have to admit the little good angel in my head was saying, don't you think you have enough already but then the bad angel popped on in for a visit and asked me to look at the detail, look how different it is from all the other ones you have, and the height means you will have more variation in you display. How can you possibly say no to that... and you know what... I brought it.

Amazingly I stayed within budget and was even able to buy myself a cup of coffee when I left. I defiantly had a smile on my face as I spent the next 5 hours watching movies polishing it all up to a high gleam.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Word of Warning

For the past 10 months I have been spouting on about the beautiful things I want to use in my house. What i haven't done is think too much of the future and plan accordingly. Then one of my lovely friends decided to send me a message telling it like it is.... I have to say I found this hilarious and horrifying all at once and had to post a little bit on my wall.

"Peta, there is one thing to keep in the back of your mind ... KIDS. They spew, snot, poop on everything, they pull curtains down, scratch timber surfaces, rub dirty hands on glass, squish food onto lounges, spill stuff on carpets and ram toys into walls and skirting boards"

My first thought were obviously these words (be honest, I am sure this runs through every ones head at some point) ..... "My kids wont do any of that, they will be perfect" and in the name of honestly, when I was a kid I was pretty close to perfect, he he he. I was one of those children who's barbie doll looked just like when it was in the box, my books were lined up in alphabetical order, I only used to have drinks in the kitchen, feet did not belong on lounges and the idea of having dirty hands let alone rubbing them on anything gave me cold sweats. HOWEVER I do realise I was not a normal child, so there is a very good chance my children wont understand my 200 year old water puppet from Vietnam are not to be touched.

Although I know all this and should be planning accordingly I am still stuck in the ... "but I want these gorgeous linen armchairs!" stage and all I really want to do is stamp my feet and pout.

Ultimately my friend is right, I do have to plan for the future but I am going to try not to compromise on my design ideas if I can find something that is practical and beautiful ... I am sure balance is possible and hey all my artifacts can just go up on the higher shelves, scotchgarding will be my saviour and walls can be repainted if I have to.....

I will say though any repair work will be coming out of their allowance!

Tomorrow I am looking forward to showing you my wonderful market purchases that were under $100. You will be amazed at my newly found bargaining skills.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Matter of Style

Now that all the big choices are out the way like kitchen colours, tiles and wall colour its starting to get a little bit exciting to be thinking about how I am going to decorate the interior of my home. I find myself struggling between a number of different style options and although I know what I want its really hard not to be drawn into all the wonderful styles currently out there.

Although I have promised faithfully no house shopping until the roof is on I have decided its only good housekeeping to start picking out different items I really want.

I thought I might show you some of the wonderful things I am hoping to have in my house.

Firstly these lights will look amazing in my entry, one over the stairs and one in the void over the door. They have this modern luxurious look that I cant help but fall in love with and the really good news is....... they are one third of the price of the one I found from South Africa.

For my dining room I want a big long table. 4 chairs on either side like the first picture and then one on each end with arms like the second picture. I like how its sort of formal but with the fabric cushions it tones it down into hopefully a comfortable family setting.

Downstairs in the lounge room I am wanting to have a slightly formal layout. A 2 or 3 seater couch and 2 small chairs side by side on one end a bit like the cover of the Vogue Magazine. Downstairs I am having black and white pictures everywhere so am hoping to stick to all shades of grey and white with small bits of black. I want to play on textures so lots of different materials and styles should make this room interesting but tranquil.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

If I Was A House.....

This is going to be a bit of a controversial but I feel that if I don't say something about this I am just going to keep feeling hurt inside. I have a work friend who keeps slipping up, not booking meeting rooms, leaving the event kitchen in a mess, not getting things signed or finished and I seem to be the one picking up the slack. Yesterday was a prime example, a huge video conference with a French company was due to go ahead however she didn't book the room, at the same time I had booked the event kitchen for my function and she had just used it and left it like a bomb had hit it. I was upset about the extra stress this put on me on the day but was happy to discuss with her the next day, its only a bloody kitchen, no real rush.

However during the function I was talking to one of the other girls in the office and this particular friend came up and accused me of bitching about her to everyone else. Let me just say, I didn't actually see the need to bitch, yes she had screwed up but hello.... there are more important things than a kitchen and meeting rooms - we were actually discussing holidays which I find much more interesting. But no - she accused me of bitching and then went about ignoring me for the rest of the night. Maybe I'm fragile and silly but this really upset me. What happened to just apologising and moving on, what happens to trusting about the good in people instead of expecting the worst, what happens to picking the right time and place for a discussion.

With all this drama I had an Epiphany - I thought you can easily compare people to house designs. Hopefully if I was a house this is how I would look........... fabulous of course but also stable, practical and maybe even elegantly able to brush aside any nonsense because I am better than that!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hostess with the Mostess - I Hope

Well tonight I am organising a cocktail party on behalf of the company I work for for 180 people. Oh yes fun I can hear you say. Its in the foyer at our office and has spectacular views over the swan river.

I have organised the catering and have really been able to go nuts on different and yummy food. I am so sick of parties where party pies and spring rolls are all you get.

So my menu includes
  • Mild Chilli Spiced Squid
  • Herb Crusted Snapper Fillets with Caper and Aoli
  • Beef, Plum and Feta Sausage Rolls
  • Baby Butter Chicken Pies
  • Rice Paper Wraps
  • Caramelised Onion and Feta Tarts
I am very tempted to skip lunch just so I can fill up on this amazing food. I am just hoping everything goes smoothly, the waitstaff, sound system, food, catering, security..... bring on Friday when I finally get a break

Wish me luck - I'm sure I will need it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Beautiful Shelf Displays

There is one blogger in particular - Brooke from Velvet and Linen (here) who I so very much admire when it comes to creating interesting and beautiful shelving displays. Somehow even though they are totally random they are so amazingly interesting I find myself wanting everything presented.

I would love to do this in my house but I think there has to be a delicate balance between pretty and functional when you don't have very much space.