Monday, 28 February 2011
I was thrilled to come across this antiques barn on Cannery Row in Monterey - a gorgeous little town about 2 hours south of San Francisco. Cannery Row was an old sardine canning village in its past life - and the scene upon which John Steinbecks novel Cannery Row was set. The buildings are so quirky and interesting - just my type of architecture. In particular, this antiques barn was a collectors delight - filled to the brim with bric a brac and knick knacks (with a whole wall dedicated to Barbie!)... I came across these pics in the files the other day and just had to share them... I hope they inspire some antiquing joy in you, as they did me...
Wednesday, 23 February 2011
I can't finish the day without sending thoughts and prayers to the people of Christchurch - who are presenting enduring the wrath of a devastating earthquake - one which has left buildings reduced to rubble and loved ones dead... I'm not sure what's going on in the world right now - we seem to be enduring one natural disaster after another - with no end sight... It is a sobering reminder that we walk a tenuous line, in this life we lead and on this earth we inhabit... Every day is a gift - and every breath that we take is an honour. As I sit here watching buildings reduced to rubble and people in despair - I'm reminded to be grateful for the beauty around me... My children, my husband, my family and my life... And thankful for every hour that I get to spend with them doing the things that I love the most... At the end of it all, if we can spend even a minute of the day doing something that we love - then that it a minute of bliss... And we all deserve a minute of bliss - particularly in days like these.... Are you living your bliss?
Who says that an interior has to be perfect? Prim? Proper? Not me! Not for me the pressure of having everything in its place, all of the time... Although I do love a degree of order - there is nothing lovelier than a space that just is... A space that feels lived in... A space that joins in with life rather than one that feels separate to it... Why live life constantly fluffing I say, when the pressure of it all can be overbearing! For me, style is about life - it's about utilizing beauty, not just gazing at it... It's about picking up that vase and filling it with flowers. It's about snuggling up into that cushion until the feathers are squeezed to the edges... It's about flicking through those books that line the library walls and creasing your favourite page. It's about feet on the sofa. It's about living the life you love... And loving the life you live... And if that means cake crumbs on the new rug - well so be it!
Slightly off balance - pics from Anthropologie
Friday, 18 February 2011
It's a beautiful time of year here in Bangalow - the sun is shining, the days are still long and the water at the beaches of Byron is warm. I do feel blessed to be living in such a heavenly part of the world... After a few days in Sydney this week, which is always a wild old time, it's lovely to retreat back to The Little Cottage and dabble away on the projects that we have in the wings. And of course, it's exciting to be rolling out our workshop series for 2011... I love holding workshops at The Little Cottage - it's a lovely way to meet up with like-minded decorating souls in a laid-back environment, and shoot the breeze over all things decorating. The How To Decorate workshops are designed to inspire you to see decorating in a new light, to build your confidence, and give you some tools to tackle the beautiful and ever-exciting world of decorating. Our next How To Decorate workshop is held on the 18th March right here in Bangalow - we still have some places left so head to the website for all of the details... I hope to see you here at The Little Cottage for some decorating fun.... x
Sunday, 13 February 2011
ALSO... A big congrats to Jess from Cupcakes Mum - you're the winner of Enjoy - Nadine Abensur's gorgeous vegetarian cookery book. Send us an email Jess and we'll send your book to you... sx
Tuesday, 8 February 2011
I did promise you all (so long ago now!) that I would share my new design addition once it arrived onto our shores and onto my floor... And so, voila - here it is! A quick (and little messy!!) snap of my beautiful, lush and overtly decorative floor rug... Nothing rounds out a space quite like a gorgeous rug, however finding just the right one can mean a bit of a hunt... I was looking for a rug for our lounge room for 3 years before I came across this one from Mokum... Of course, it was love at first sight as the colour way is a perfect fit for my palette... This rug goes so beautifully with my peacock green velvet sofas... And it fits in just fine with this newer, more contemporary sofa that is hubby's contribution to the space... Not bad huh? Hubby has never really one to contribute to the home on a design level - which is understandable given that his wife is rather a control freak in this department. However, when this sofa turned up on the farm (after being moved on from his office in Sydney) we decided to give it a turn in the house... Whilst I'm not a big fan of the colour donkey (!) - I have to say that this blends in just fine - and yes, it is the most comfortable sofa on which I have ever sat... And so, big tick for hubby - all these years of being bombarded with decorating and design must have rubbed off... And, a big tick to Mokum, for designing such pure heaven on the floor...
Sunday, 6 February 2011
Whilst I'm not a big one for New Year's resolutions, I do feel a better health plan coming on for 2011... And, as the new year is well and truly slipping by it's probably time that I began to get a move on! I've always loved to cook - but mostly cakes (!) which doesn't bode well for this year's agenda and so I've been on the look out for inspiration of the health foodie kind... My favourite kind of health food, is health food that poses as gorgeously delicious, moorish, full of flavour food - I figure that if I have to eat to live, then I want every morsel of my meal to be fulfilling to it's core... On my hunt for health food guidance, I came across Nadine Abensur's cookbook - Enjoy and completely fell in love... I've known Nadine for yonks now as the owner of Art Piece Gallery in Mullumbimby (a palace of creative talent). Before Art Piece, Nadine spent her time as a vegetarian cookery writer (Cranks Bible, Cranks Fast Food) and a very renowned one at that (I love that in a life, one can wear so many creative hats!) and her book, Enjoy is cooking heaven for one who is looking at better health, such as I! Nadine so sweetly has offered us a copy of Enjoy to give away this week and so you too can explore the world of vegetarian cooking - think Spicy Warm Potato Salad and Braised Fennel Gratin. Become a blog follower if you'd like a chance to win or if you already are (bless you!) you automatically go into the draw... Head to Nadine's cooking website here for details on future cooking classes and books etc.... Good luck all and happy cooking....
Thursday, 3 February 2011
Being an aesthetically minded type, I find the loveliest thing about traveling is coming across other aesthetically minded types who are doing beautiful things in weird and wonderful ways... Isn't it just such a prize to see bountiful amounts of booty tinged with incredible beauty whilst you have the time to cruise and peruse?... Well, that's exactly what I found at Bountiful - this gorgeous, vintage inspired brick-a-brack-ish store in Santa Monica, LA... I do have to say that I have come rather late to the Bountiful party - what with the store being open for about 18 years! However, nonetheless, such a find, if one has never found it before, is in a sense, new! Make sense? Thank you, thank you to the gorgeous Jacqueline for introducing me to Bountiful (and a whole other decorative side to LA that I wasn't sure existed)... Being a lover of cake stands from way back, I was in awe of a store that sold predominantly... cake stands... Only in America! And as is the case with Bountiful, bowls and bowls of matches and shells of all shapes and sizes and designs... Not to sell the place short as if you take a peek out the back, and up the stairs, you will find a beautifully edited array of vintage everything, from quilts, blankets, tea towels, chairs and other bits and bobs... I was so inspired by Bountiful that I even contemplated such a cake stand store for Bangalow? Ah, imagine the beauty... And the bounty...
Tuesday, 1 February 2011
I am a designer to my very core - whether it's a house, a garden, a dinner table, a journey, even a life - I'm always thinking about how things go together... About what makes things work... About the little things, the bits and pieces that together make a whole... The colour palette in a cafe in Paris... The stone work on the pavement in Venice... The shape of a window... A door... The font used on a signpost... What people wear... How they move through space... Although it can be a little exhausting at times, all of this designing does have a purpose... At the heart of it, design is all about shaping environments... It's about creating surroundings and ambience that reflect who we are and what makes us tick... At its best, design provides us with a comfortable framework within which we can happily exist through all of the hours that make up the sum of our lives.. Our environments are an integral part of who we are... On a larger scale, our towns, cities and personal spaces reflect our values, how we see things, our routines, our ceremonies, our lives... It was such a joy for me to spend time in far away places over the holidays... To exist within a foreign environment for a while, to feel the energy that swirls within these places. To see the effect of these spaces on the people that exist within them is an education - about people, life, time... What an inspiration! And so, here I find myself back at home and ready to design 2011! This year is filled to the brim with inspiring projects and the team at The Little Cottage is well and truly in full motion, what with our wonderful workshops, exciting interior design projects and product launches on the agenda... I graciously thank the skies that Bangalow/Byron Bay was spared the devastation seen in Queensland and other parts of Australia over the last few months... Life can be cruel sometimes and my heart goes out to all of you who have been affected by the devastation... Once the clean up is complete, the questions have been answered and hearts begin to heal - we will see homes being designed, spaces being constructed and environments taking shape... And over time, these places will once again be a reflection of the people who live there and the streets will pulse with energy... Such is the enduring power of design... And such is the enduring power of people...