November 29, 2011

Libraries with ladders


Even since before we moved in, the study has been the room I have been most excited about renovating. Being very sensible (at times), I agreed to hold off until the public living areas and bathroom were finished. But that hasn't stopped me from busily planning my fabulous new study, and one must-have is a library cabinet with a ladder...

source unknown

The image above was my first inspiration, and has been in my renovation folder since long before I blogged. The inspiration folder has grown a little since then...



design sponge



Don't you get the feeling that the most interesting books are all on the top shelves?


November 28, 2011

Loving... Rebekka Seale House Portraits

Yet another fabulous Etsy find, I'm besotted with these adorable custom house portraits by Rebekka Seale. Rebekka creates original, hand-painted watercolours of your home, and even offers high res digital files of the image if you want to use it for a blog header or Christmas cards.

And with the lettering of your choice! Can you imagine a better house warming gift?

all images Rebekka Seale Art & Illustration

This is some serious motivation to get to work on the exterior of The House on Chambers...


November 27, 2011

Fence wars...

Most fencing disputes are between neighbours. But here on Chambers, a rather heated disagreement is bubbling away between Farmer Joe and myself about our front fence. For the last twelve months we've been 'discussing' the removal of this fence which currently separates our front lawn from the farm driveway. To summarise the key arguments...

Farmer Joe's position:
1. The fence is perfectly practical and in good condition (or at least it was, until Farmer Joe dropped a giant hay bale on it last week).
2. The fence is necessary to move sheep past the house without them destroying the lawn.
3. Removing a fence is a huge amount of work, and we have lots of other priorities at the moment.

B's position:
1. It's a chicken wire rabbit-proof fence.
2. It is the first thing visitors see when they pull into the farm driveway.
2. It disrupts the view from the living room, entrance, master bedroom and study.
3. I'm pouring every little bit of money, time and energy I have into trying to make this house nice. That fence kind of undermines my efforts...
4. It's a chicken wire rabbit-proof fence.

Finally, out of sheer frustration, I may have threatened to hire workers to remove the fence while Farmer Joe was out at work.

So, with martial harmony very much on the line, I'm throwing this one into the blogosphere. Here are some images of the fence. I'm open to all suggestions. If you think it absolutely has to go, if you don't mind it, or if you have an idea of how I could disguise or alter it, I would love to hear from you!


November 25, 2011

Connecticut farmhouse inspiration

This gorgeous 18th century Connecticut home was featured in Dalani Home & Living Magazine and I just had to share..

A light and minimal palette, simply decorated with vintage and antique touches...

And here's the bathroom - check out the copper bath tub...

all images Dalani Home & Living Magazine

If you haven't discovered Dalani (I hadn't until last week, thank you Miss Clare!), they do great flash sales in a similar style to Joss & Main or The Foundry, except with the added bonus that they actually ship to Australia. If anyone needs an invitation to join, just flick me an email!


P.S. I'm planning a six hour (return) interstate road-trip to Hamilton, VIC tomorrow to collect the perfect Christmas stockings, stocking hooks and bon bons. What do you think - too much or is any trip justified by the perfect Christmas decorations?

November 24, 2011

A pumpkin and a publican...

Giant pumpkin seedling - two weeks old

In March of each year, the tiny country town of Mundulla holds a hotly contested Giant Pumpkin Competition. George, the local publican in Mundulla and an avid vegetable gardener, looks like a front runner for next year. He imported special giant pumpkin seeds from the US, and is known to play ACDC to his plant, believing that the heavy vibrations encourage growth. George's pumpkin plant has the other locals a little nervous. In fact, there are rumours circling of a plot to kidnap George's giant pumpkin on the night before the competition.

Last week, in the greatest compliment to my gardening skills ever, George entrusted me with the last seedling from his secret American seed stock. He seems quite sure that next year's competition will now come down to a race between him and me. The pressure is on, so I'm going to keep you all in the loop on this one. Here is the little seedling, today, at two weeks old. We've got until March. Let's see how she grows...


November 22, 2011

A gallery wall and a third attempt...

Following my post on photo gallery walls (here), I've put together this (modest) version above the main bedroom chest of drawers.

And yes, this is Take 3 for decorating this little spot. Here is it's 'evolution' over the past twelve months...

I think I'm ready to call it all done!


November 21, 2011

Ghosts of Chambers past...

While rummaging through a filing cabinet at the main farmhouse (Scottswell, belonging to my in-laws), Farmer Joe stumbled across the real estate brochures for Chambers from 2009 (when we purchased it), and also for a previous auction held in 1996. I just had to share.

Real estate brochure 1996*

One of the bests twists to the story is that Farmer Joe's parents actually placed the winning bid at the 1996 auction and signed a contract on the property. However, neither of them were able to sleep that night and they cancelled the purchase the next day.

Real estate brochure 2009

Thirteen years later Farmer Joe bought this little farm, expanding the family farming operation. (If I've never explained the set-up, Chambers is next door to Scottswell. They are now farmed as one large property, and my in-laws' house is four kilometres up the road).

Farmer Joe has stuck the brochures inside the pantry door, to remind me of how far we've brought this little house so far...

*You'll notice that the name of the property is listed as Ronga. We researched the history and discovered that the original property name had been Chambers, after nearby Chamber's Well where travellers on the Gold Route once rested their horses. The name was changed to Ronga by later owners. Needless to say, we reinstated the original name.


November 16, 2011

French cafe chairs and a dining room dilemma

I have a bit of a problem with our dining room. Several actually. First, I am struggling to inject some character. Second, I jumped in too early and bought 'safe' linen upholstered dining chairs that now seem a bit 'bluh'. Belly the Ragdoll has used all eight dining chairs as a scratching pole and they haven't held up too well. And Mum has very kindly offered to make new slipcovers, but the fabric alone will cost almost as much as the chairs did ...deep breath...

I might have found a solution. Trawling decorpad for inspiration I started noticing french cafe chairs popping up everywhere. And better yet, they were mixed in with all sorts of other chairs. Before too long, I had the beginnings of a plan...

all images via decorpad

The image up the top captures it. I'm thinking of having four of our existing chairs slip-covered in white linen - use two at the heads of the table and one on each side of the buffet. Then use six pale / natural oak cafe chairs to provide the bulk of the seating. A bit more character, less reupholstering, and less risk from Belly the Cat's claws.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Can I work a french cafe chair into our 'modern Australian country' design concept?


November 14, 2011

A birthday, tapas and sangria

It was Farmer Joe's 30th birthday yesterday. With all the farmers now busily making hay and harvesting their crops there wasn't much time for a celebration. Nevertheless, we threw together a casual tapas dinner for some of Farmer Joe's mates.

I whipped up some Sangria using great local sparkling shiraz. It got rave reviews, and by the end of the night the boys were eating the Cointreau-soaked fruit from the bottom of the dispenser.

Our local pub couldn't manage imported Spanish beer, so I just used Peronis and hoped no one would notice (they did - it didn't matter).

And of course, with nine courses to prepare I forgot to take a photo of the table. So we'll have to settle for pretty tealights and a blurry background. A great time was had by all!


November 11, 2011

Spoiled for choice

After my plea for help with selecting a fabric for our new bench, the wonderful Nic {Decor Therapy} went on the hunt and delivered all of these fantastic inspiration images straight to my inbox. She even found a few that reflected Farmer Joe's 'racing stripe' idea. With Nic's help, and some advice from other lovely bloggers, I'm feeling confident enough to try something bolder and a little more modern. Thanks ladies!


November 9, 2011

Upholstery help please!

The first of my upholstered benches from Interiors Online has arrived (kindly modelled by Belly the Ragdoll). It fits perfectly into the empty corner in our living room, but I'm a little stumped in selecting an upholstery fabric. The current linen clashes with our sofa and I would like to inject a splash of the unexpected, - maybe something preppy and modern?

These are our current fabrics - taupe / linen sofa with damask and pale linen cushions, and two armchairs in red ticking. I'm open to all ideas. I'm imagining a bold grey and white stripe, or even a chevron. Farmer Joe has suggested charcoal linen with a white 'racing' stripe (not so sure about that). I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Another living room shot - just in case it helps!


November 8, 2011

It isn't every day...

that you just happen to be out in the crop... with a camera... when a rainbow appears.


Okay, so I'm a little over-excited about my new camera. Back to interiors tomorrow, I promise.

November 7, 2011

Meanwhile, on the farm...

The crops are ripening. Harvest is just around the corner...


And yes, I have a new camera. Amazing what an extra six megapixels can do!

November 4, 2011

Farmhouse inspiration...

via decorpad

I'm not sure what it is about this image that suggests 'farmhouse' to me. Maybe the beamed ceilings, the oversized elements or the general sense of cosiness? Either way, love it!


November 3, 2011


Farmer Joe and I have just finalised the design for our new walk-in-robe (formerly a larder attached to the laundry). With space being limited, we didn't have much choice in the layout. So now I'm looking for the right decorative touches to make the space fabulous.

Wonderful lighting is a must...

Simplicity and clean lines...

Neatness and order (okay, more to do with cleaning than decorating, but still important)...

A sense of space (that's luxury I won't have, but a girl can dream)...

Art in a walk-in-robe. Truly fabulous...

all images via decorpad


November 2, 2011

Vanity Fair caricatures

Dinner at British India restaurant in Adelaide over the weekend sparked a flash of inspiration. (If you haven't been to British India yet, it's a must see for the interior design). The restaurant had a gallery wall of antique Vanity Fair caricatures that struck me as the perfect whimsical touch for our new study.

William Ewert Gladstone

Arthur Orton

Published by Vanity Fair magazine between 1868 and 1914, these caricatures targeted the pre-eminent characters of the period. Politicians, scientists, poets and sportsmen were lampooned to the delight of Victorian and Edwardian England.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Robert Browning

The cartoons are often referred to as 'Spy' prints, based on the pen name of the primary artist, Leslie Ward.

Charles Darwin

Benjamin Disraeli

The caricatures remain highly collectible, with professional dealers charging hundreds for original prints. After a bit of hunting, I was able to find more affordable prints via Ebay and Allposters.

all images via

We're starting the study reno in the new year - so I'd better get collecting!