Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Absolutely Beautiful Garden Party

Don't you just wish you were a guest at this table?

I think it is magical.

It is at a summer garden dinner party given by the very talented Anna Spiro at her home in Brisbane.  Anna has a FABULOUS shop, Black and Spiro in Brisbane and a very popular blog site, Absolutely Beautiful Things.  I love following her blog - her warmth and pure love of "beautiful things" exudes the pages.  It is a joy to read.

But back to this party....I love the peonies, I love the cushions on the chairs and I love the placemats.  It really makes me smile.  I would have loved to have been at that table.  What an amazing host.

Peonies from Anna's garden

Candles lighting the way to the house

When everything is so frantic this time of year, this garden party must have been a delight to the (very lucky) guests.  Cheers!

Images: Absolutely Beautiful Things, Sunday 28 November 2010.

Monday, November 29, 2010

I love Etsy...

...a little too much in fact, and Christmas is proving to be the perfect excuse to fuel my obsession.  If you haven't visited before, Etsy is a website community, providing a vehicle to people who "make things" to have an online shop and access buyers across the world.  It's vision is to "Buy, Sell and Live Handmade".

I was alerted to a beautiful range of "Ideal Bookshelves" prints by Jane Mount, on the fabulous blog, Kelly Green Interiors, last Friday.  Thank you, as this will shortly be seen hanging in my brother's house sometime after his birthday in December:

Ideal Bookshelf 16

Etsy is so easy to use.  I am here in NZ and contacting Jane, in New York, to send to my brother in London.  I can use my NZ credit card via Pay Pal so all very safe and easy.  Jane contacted me to ask if I would like a card sent and she was so lovely.  I struggle to find gifts that matter, or show thought, online and I can't tell you how great it is buy something handmade, beautiful, so easily and still communicate with the artist.  It opens up a whole new shopping world!

The range of products on Etsy is huge and you can find something quite special at reasonable prices.

This would look gorgeous in a child's bedroom or playroom:

Ideal Bookshelf, 28

Jane will also paint you your very own bookshelf if you like...I like!  Most of the prints are around $20 - $30 US and postage is very reasonable.

With the NZ Dollar at around the $0.75 mark, there will be a lot of Etsy sourced gifts spread across the Loveridge family this year!

Images: both from Jane Mount's Etsy shop (links provided in caption)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Google Trouble

I was watching Sarah's House, Season 2, last night, where Sarah Richardson was providing "Curb Appeal" (episode 12) to the house she is renovating.  Well, to light up the carport, when she can't find any suitable outdoor lights, she remembers seeing galvanised lights in loft apartments and hangs 3, individual ones in a line.  They look very similar to Tracey Kessler's Cage Lite, but hung singularly.  They were perfect.  Kind of like the one above.....and therein lies the problem....

I was googling and goggle imaging, looking for a picture of those wretched lights.  No matter what I did, I couldn't find them, buuuuuuut, boy did I find some strange things on the way.

Now I enjoy watching Sarah's house.  It always reminds me that there will always be problems but they can also always be overcome.  I had a great builder back in Perth, WA who said "anything can be done, it's just a matter of how much it's going to cost you".

However, did you know there is a Facebook page called The Sarah Richardson Appreciation Group?  This would not be so strange if it didn't have 2,689 members at the time of writing.

No, I didn't join.

Happy Weekend x.

Image:  Dog Dish Lighting Company

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Beautiful Sunrise

A very sad day for New Zealand yesterday with the acceptance that the 29 men trapped in the Pike River Mine are presumed dead after a second "unsurvivable" explosion at 2.37pm, Wednesday 24 November 2010.

I went for a walk early this morning, watching the sun come up over Auckland harbour as I went.  How lucky are we all to see something so beautiful?

My heart breaks for the 29 men, aged 17 to 62, too young to die.  Fathers, sons, husbands, brothers.

This beautiful sunrise is for you.

Image: photo credit Trekearth

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


After writing yesterday's post "Let There Be Light", I went to our local library which has a very up to date selection of House and Garden (UK).  I was flicking through the October 2010 issue and saw this:

House and Garden (UK) Oct 2010

Actually, what caught my eye first was the beautiful chandelier by Bruce Munro, a UK lighting artist.  His work is simply breathtaking and so clever.

Bruce Munro - Chandelier

Bruce Munro - Field of Light

Bruce describes the Field of Light as "an alien installation in the midst of nature" and it has been exhibited at several sites including The Eden Project in Cornwall and the V&A Museum in London.

What I really love though is his CDSea.  After appealing to the public for used and unwanted CDs, he received 600,000; quite a sea!  It was laid by 140 friends and colleagues next to his home in Wiltshire and relied entirely on reflected light.  I think it's quite beautiful.


Image 1:  House and Gardens (UK) October 2010, page 212  All other images via Bruce Munro.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Let There Be Light...

....and there was, from this fabulous hanging pendant.

It's called The Cage Lite and it's made from industrial light bulb cages.  The designer, Tracey Kessler, a San Francisco designer, won 2nd place in the 2007 International Design Awards for it.  It sells in the US through Jak Home in San Fran for US $2,950 so I shall be admiring from afar!

I found this on the Apartment Therapy site, as it's one of the prizes in their Holiday Giveaway, so hopes were raised, but the competition is only open to US residents unfortunately.  No chance of seeing this hanging in my home any time soon I'm sorry!

Image: Apartment Therapy

Monday, November 22, 2010

I went to a party in the weekend....

...an 8 year old's birthday party in fact, and her house has a slide from the ground/entry level down to the garden below!  Can you imagine how excited I was?  More so than my kids I think - I just kept thinking what I would have made of that when I was 8!

This slide is an external, red, fully enclosed, curly slide but the above gives you an idea (and I couldn't find an image of an external, red, fully enclosed, curly slide attached to a house, anywhere).  Really!

Now this isn't a hippy "let the kids paint all the walls" kind of house, but a sophisticated, modern new build.  The owners have 4 school age children and this is a real family home, albeit a rather beautiful one!  The slide enters off a balcony by the kitchen/dining area and spirals down to the garden.

I just love the whimsy of the playground attached to such a modern home.  It's such a confident thing to do and you should have seen the fun these kids were having.  It is such a perfect reflection of the beautiful family that lives there x.

Image courtesy of Ohdeedoh/Apartment Therapy

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Outdoor Room

I have recently had some seating cushions made for our "outdoor room", which was rather unused last summer.....bare timber boards are neither inviting nor comfortable I guess!  

Before...and I wonder why we didn't sit here?

...and after.

I wanted this to be a practical and usable space for our family and friends, whilst showcasing to potential Clients what I am about.  I feel strongly that good design is practical, functional and wholly usable, but looks fabulous too.  I wanted to be able to have our girls' friends over and not to have to worry about tomato sauce and ice cream (well, not on the cushions anyway.....).

I found Rita Konig's (now defunct) blog for the NY Times really helpful and followed a lot of her advice.  To keep the cost down I used Sunbrella Taupe for the squabs and back of the large cushions.  After swearing off all things "brown" I used the Taupe anyway as it is just so practical and neutral.  White would have looked fabulous I think, but, well......

Then, following my love of the Christopher Farr fabrics, and their outdoor (acrylic) collection, I chose the 36 24 36 fabric in Coral.  I had seen this in the Darryl Gordon designed Sydney apartment, mentioned previously, and loved it's vibrancy.

I then threw in some Ravenna in Blue to avoid it looking too "designed".  It also gives us the option to go with just the orange, or blue if we want a change, but at the moment I love the clash of the two colours.

The wonderful Anna from Cushions Unlimited made all the squabs and cushions and her work is impeccable.  She was meticulous in her measurements and alignment of the patterns - I knew we'd get on well!  The result is that the fit is perfect and so comfortable.  It was absolutely worth getting the extra depth Quick Dry Foam, for both comfort and ease of drying off.  A storage ottoman fits all the loose cushions in case it rains in Auckland too...

With all this fabulous weather we've had, the space has been well trialled. Sunday mornings, sun, coffee (thanks Pete) and the newspapers.  I am gearing myself up to invite my 6 year old's classmates and parents around for an EOY Friday drink.  At least the tomato sauce should wash out!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Welcome to Annie Loveridge Design.  I am entirely new to blogging and not really sure where to start, but I thought I would share with you why I chose the fabric on my header (Note 19 December 2010 - header fabric has since been changed).  It's called Carnival by Christopher Farr Cloth and I first saw it in Vogue Living (Australia, September/October 2009) in a Sydney apartment designed by Darryl Gordon Design.  The Client had seen it in the Haymarket Hotel in London, and loved it.

Lobby area of the Haymarket Hotel, London.

Lobby again - fabric on walls and sofa.

....and this is how it was interpreted in the apartment:

I think it's quite lovely and makes me smile.  It's somewhat silly - it's a large print and not easy to use but the colours are beautiful, and, well, they're colourful!  Even better, the green colourway comes in a 100% acrylic dyed solution, which means it will withstand a lot more than the linen option, including sun fading, food stains, pets etc.  So, fabulous and practical - perfect I think.

Image 1: Firmdale Hotels  Image 2: Haymarket Hotel via Kelly Green Interiors  Image 3: Darryl Gordon Design via Christopher Farr Cloth website.