February 27, 2012

A peak inside the gift wrap box...

One of the secrets of successful country living is to have a very well stocked gift wrap box. Engagements, weddings, birthday celebrations and new arrivals happen with surprising frequency - and with few stores nearby, the unprepared party goer can be left to choose from the selection of cards and ribbon available at the local petrol station.

Here's a peak at what's inside my gift wrap box at present: 1. Letterpress greeting cards, Bespoke Press 2. Envelope seals, K is for Calligraphy 3. Ribbon, Lucky Lady Paper Crafts 4. Letterpress gift tags, Bespoke Press 5. Greeting card, Rifle Paper Co 6. Gift tags, K is for Calligraphy 7. Ribbon, Lucky Lady Paper Crafts 8. Letterpress greeting card, Parrot Design Studio.

February 23, 2012

Just landed in my inbox...

image from JShears on Etsy

After five days without internet access while I travelled for work, I've finally made it back to my office to find this treasure waiting in my inbox. It's a photograph of the landscape painting I commissioned from JShears on Etsy for the entrance. My (not-so) little landscape is all finished and ready to make to trip over from the US. The artist, Jennifer, is a delight to purchase from - you can visit her Etsy store {here}.

February 16, 2012

Finishing touches: Decorating the buffet

Time to get back to the dining room and (as always) the finishing touches are proving a little challenging. We have a large, rustic timber buffet in desperate need of some decorating and styling. So I'm looking for the essential elements of a well decorated buffet. Here are some of the images in my inspiration folder...

We need some bright, modern elements that are still in sympathy with the rustic styling of the other dining room pieces. I'd love to hear, what do you think are the perfect decorative touches to style a buffet? What lives on the buffet in your house?

February 15, 2012

A new addiction... Michael Kors watches

Now I know that I never blog on fashion. But I am so head-over-hills beside-myself in love with Michael Kors oversized watches that I just had to share. Yesterday, the universe delivered me a Valentine's Day present with the arrival of my two new MK watches from Nordstrom in the US. (That's right, I couldn't decide between my two favourite designs, so I bought both).

The Bradshaw (above) is my new everyday work watch, while the Runway (below) will be for off-duty dressing. After hours of agonising over this major online purchase (I even took a poll from friends and colleagues to help me decide), I could not be more thrilled. The watches are stunning in person, flattering on the wrist and have fabulous impact with their oversized faces.

If anyone's in the market for their own MK watch, I say go for it. Check out Nordstrom, Shopbop and
Bloomingdale's online.

images via michael kors

February 14, 2012

Loving... Fete

A big thank you to Kimberlee at Brown Button for blogging about the online mag Fete - just a few pages in and I was completely hooked. Offering gorgeous inspiration for entertaining and events, Fete is well worth a look. Check out the Day at the Races feature for fabulous Adelaide Cup inspiration (everything from table settings to fashion).

With a refreshing South Australian flavour and a touch of international flair, Fete will be going straight to my subscription list - check it out {here}.

P.S. If you're in need of some last minute Valentine's Day inspiration, Fete has some charming ideas for how to celebrate the day (think sushi, shaved ice desserts and pink lingerie!).

February 13, 2012

Provincial pilgrimage...

image by Provincial Home Living

Remember my post on French cafe-style dining chairs {here}? As usual, my inspiration was running ahead of our budget and it was only on the weekend that I was finally able to collect my chosen chairs - the Villa Cafe Chair from Provincial Home Living.

Living in the country, an otherwise simple furniture purchase actually involves a 600km interstate pilgrimage. So I packed myself into our 4WD and drove for three hours through this...

Until I made it here... Provincial Home Living in Hamilton, VIC.

I can't say enough about the quality of the customer service at this store. Maybe it's because it's a regional store with good old fashioned country friendliness, but even though I only make it here two or three times a year, the staff always remember my name.

With some help, I had the Patrol loaded to the gunnels with my new chairs...

After a fabulous lunch of smoked salmon and sparkling white, I trundled home again to admire my latest acquisition...

Next on my Provincial Home Living wish list? The Obernai Library (might need a trailer for that one)...

image by Provincial Home Living

February 10, 2012

It's all in the details...Windows

If there's one thing I've learnt from endless hours watching Kevin McCloud on Grand Designs, it's that the ultimate success of a house often lies in the finer details. Quality, craftsmanship and an understanding of good design tend to produce beautiful homes.

Well... that's all fine for Kevin McCloud, but he never tried selecting windows for the House on Chambers.

After almost two years of tatty brown aluminium, we are finally ready to replace all the windows in the house (preferably before the onset of Winter). But the selection process is turning out to be a touch more difficult than I expected. So, as usual, I'm sending calls for help into the blogosphere.

A couple of considerations: First (and most frustratingly), they must be aluminium. As much as this grates with me, the highly saline bore water used to irrigate the lawns will brown and destroy timber rapidly. Secondly, they will be Vivid White, as all the external doors have already been installed. Finally, they need to be simple, as the overall simplicity of the building design won't support anything ornate or overly detailed.

I love the simplicity of these windows...

And the symmetry of these...

And while French windows are always beautiful, I've never seen them done successfully in aluminium (they tend to look cheap).

Finally, I stumbled across this image...

image via Medallion Homes

While the exterior architecture of this house is far superior to ours, the rendered finish, overall palette and window sizes are similar. With a simple vertical division through the centre of each window and smaller awning openings above, these windows would allow maximum light with minimal disruption of the view. I like it... But then the obsessive voice in my head says that the horizontal beam should be in the centre of the window, not set above! So, I need your help. Remembering that the House on Chambers is essentially a 1980 rectangular box with a wrap-around veranda, what window design would you choose?

And just because we deserve a bit of fun after all of that, take a look at these...

all images via Pinterest


February 6, 2012

Loving this week...

We're up to our eyeballs in unglamorous renovation work at present - driving to Adelaide to collect wardrobe fit-outs, spring cleaning in preparation for the builder, planting (more) deciduous trees and watering frantically to keep the existing ones alive during the heatwave. Thankfully, the internet is always filled with glamorous things - here's what's filling my shopping cart lately...

1. Helene Armchair via Matt Blatt 2. Hanging Glass Ball Pendant by Vixen and Velvet 3. Equestrian Portrait I & II via Art.com 4. Grey and White 8in Stripe Fabric by Domesticate on Spoonflower