Sunday, January 30, 2011

Just In Time...

...for the long weekend we have here for Auckland Anniversary Day on Monday.  So, how happy was I when I found THIS in my inbox:

Issue 3 of Adore Home Magazine!  Yippee.  Haven't opened YET, but will tomorrow morning when the barista Pete makes coffee and I can concentrate!  Happy Anniversary Day to Auckland x.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Thank You Table Tonic and Annechovie

Oh, Saturday morning....trying to get on the laptop while my 6 year old is playing a CBeebies game that involves Spooky Spoon saying "oh, try again" in a very irritating voice!  So now here I turn!

I log onto to my favourite site, Table Tonic by the very clever Louise Bell in Sydney, and see she has listed my blog in her latest "21 Bookworthy Sites". How happy and proud am I???

Louise not only writes the most personable and fun blog but also has an online store sourcing some really fabulous homewares - things we just couldn't get in Australia and NZ....until now.  Yes, she does ship to NZ (and the US, UK, Asia and Canada) and I am wanting needing this yellow Juju Hat (when delicious yellow is back in stock).

Which brings me to say a very belated thank you to the lovely Anne Harwell aka, Annechovie.  I love Anne's artwork and posted about the gorgeous gift cards I bought from her Etsy store.  Well, she featured my site in early January and it was my first ever recognition, so I felt really proud to be mentioned by someone whose work I admire so much.

So, with all this goodwill, I just wanted to finish my ramblings with my story.  A lifetime ago, I was a Business Analyst working in London who took my creative side out on our homes we lived in.  When Pete was posted to Greenville, South Carolina for work, I signed up to the KLC School of Design in Chelsea Harbour for their open learning course.  We then moved back to London and it was back to the City for me!

We then started a family and I found I wanted to be at home with my girls, we moved 100 times, renovating on the way and somehow, time passed.

We moved to Auckland, NZ, in late 2009, and my younger daughter Lily started school....can I say "yippee" without a knock at the door???  I knew I wanted to do something I love but given the chance, suddenly had no idea what that was.  A really scary feeling.

It was my friend Deborah, in Sydney, who is very clever and entrepreneurial, who pointed out that my passion seems to be fabrics.  How could I not have pin pointed that?  She advised me to just start doing one thing I enjoy and that things will lead on from that.  So, I tackled our "outdoor room".

Deborah was right.  Through this I found how difficult it is to source the types of fabrics I see in (overseas) magazines in NZ, especially so for outdoors.  I discovered how unfriendly some of the fabric representatives in Auckland are (sorry, but this was a big push for me).  I discovered a whole new world of blogging and Google Images that had emerged whilst I was doing toddler gym and I was hooked.  I discovered that I too, can write a blog and started just two months ago.  I discovered I could pick up a telephone to overseas suppliers who were polite and efficient and that lead me to discover Quadrille Fabrics, which I adore.  Georgia at Quadrille has put her faith in me and I am now the New Zealand representative for Quadrille Fabrics.  My proudest moment was seeing my name on their Contacts page.

I am now starting out on something I love, that works with my family, and that I believe I can build with the integrity and friendliness that is important to me; I want to be able to bottle the positive energy and camaraderie I have discovered in "Blogland" and capture it in Annie Loveridge Interiors!

I realise this has been an epic post.  Thank you for listening to me!

Thank you Deborah. Thank you Louise.  Thank you Anne.  Your kind words and support mean a lot to me.  Annie x.

Images 1 & 2: Table Tonic Blog and Online Store respectively; Image 3: Annechovie Blog.

Friday, January 28, 2011


If I were more computer literate, I'm sure I could even post the pretty pictures and magazine cover on the new American Matchbook site, but, ummmm, I'm not!

Katie Armour aka the neo-traditionalist, Jane Lilly Warren and Fallon Fogerty have just launched this lovely online lifestyle magazine.  I have only flicked through it at this stage (but see a lazy weekend ahead - tee hee), and one of my favourite designers, Rita Konig has a great inteview in there.  I was so disappointed when her  NY Times online blog finished as her writing is so personable, so this interview is a treat.

From the Matchbook Girl (phew, that copied....) and myself, Happy Weekend x.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Love This House

I loved this house when I saw it in Ivy & Piper's inaugural magazine (Spring 2010) and came across one of the rooms again today.  Sorry if you've already seen it (several times) but I just love the colours in this home.

Isn't the combination of vibrant orange and green gorgeous?  I am assuming that is de Gournay wallpaper - love, love, love.

The San Francisco residence is home to a family with young children and it seems to accommodate everyone with unbelievable style.  It is designed by Massucco Warner Miller, 3 very talented women with great design backgrounds before forming their firm in 2008.

Here's a few more of my favourite rooms:

What an entrance!

Obviously I am biased with the fabulous use of Quadrille's Paradise Background print in raspberry!

I love orange in interiors anyway, but this is just so sophisticated for a boy's bedroom.

I always love a banquette and this one is in faux ostrich - beautiful but withstands marmite sandwiches!

Calm and serene in the office where you can't go wrong with Kelly Wearstler's Imperial Trellis (for F. Schumacher).

Master bedroom with front cushion in Quadrille's Pina in Tomato, with close up for proof!

This room below, is I think almost their biggest success as these chairs could so easily look wrong but I think they look gorgeous and inviting.

Isn't the colour and style just beautiful.  I think these 3 women are so clever and have really created something fabulous.  What a lucky family.  Love it x!

All images courtesy of Massucco Warner Miller website (Residential\San Francisco residence).

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wellington House - Kitchen, Living & Dining

Following on from my personal Before and After on our Mount Victoria (Wellington, NZ) villa that we completed in 2007, I thought I'd post some photos of the kitchen, living and dining area.

We were so happy that the basics of the home were there and we really just needed to effect cosmetic changes to get it right for us.  We felt it was heavy on timber and very dark, considering the home was perfectly north facing. The space was L-shaped with the kitchen in the middle of the family living and dining rooms:

Before - Dining Room to Kitchen and Living 

Before - Kitchen:  totally functional but a bit "country kitchen".

As I mentioned before, we were very fortunate to be able to have the interior painted and re-carpeted throughout and skylights added to the living and dining rooms before moving in.  Skylights are one of my favourite ways to effect change.  I think they are amazing as the way they cast sun and light is priceless.  I loved watching the way the sun moved throughout the year.  Et voila:

Hallway looking to Living Area

Kitchen - loved my Bulthaup-esque timber bar

I had the glass splashback backlit which was fab on dull days (in Wellington???) and evenings.  The extractor fan was custom built into the Australian Blackbutt overhead cabinets, and piped through to the pantry (hidden alongside refrigerator) to expel externally.  Genius, as I'm not a fan of big steel extractors.

Dining Room to Kitchen/Living.  Skylight above the dining table.

Dining Room

Living Room back to Kitchen and Dining Room

Living Room leading out to covered deck area

This space worked really well for us as, at the time our girls we pre-schoolers and we wanted something that was presentable for having our friends around but also worked for the reality of life with kids.  The baskets under the television screen held toys that could be thrown back in at night and the sofa has a washable cover.  It also appears to hold up to building huts, standing on and gymnastics practice!

We had so many family meals at that table and the deck led down to the back garden (a real treat in Mount Victoria):

I loved this house - hence throwing so many photos at you!  I have so many happy memories there so I've really enjoyed putting this post together. Thanks for joining me x.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Kitchen Envy

I received the February 2011 copy of Kitchens Bedrooms & Bathrooms (UK) yesterday in the post (please excuse my amateur scanning)!

Now this is a magazine I have subscribed to for years, since living in the UK. It used to have fabulous homes that provided one of the best references for design work.  Recently, however, I've found it really disappointing, featuring what I consider to be flash property developments or homes designed with huge budgets but not much else!  I know that's pretty blunt but the homes seems to have lost the interest factor where clever people have worked together to create a beautiful home that obviously functions well.  So, I was so pleased when February's copy devoted 12 pages to a fabulous extension and renovation to a 17th Century Grade II-listed home in Oxfordshire.  I had seen this home in Homes and Gardens (UK) a little while back, but I notice there's some new (and fabulous) furniture in this spread.

What I love, love, love is the kitchen space, where my favourite kitchen manufacturer, Bulthaup, has installed the Baulthaup B3 kitchen.  We lived in Marylebone when we first lived in London and one of my favourite things was staring in the windows of all the beautiful kitchen showrooms along Wigmore St.  Bulthaup was my favourite and they relaunched the showroom in 2009, covering nearly 2,000 m2 - imagine!

What is really impressive, I think, is the space the extension allows.  All that storage!  Two islands provide one for prep and one for a breakfast bar - what a luxury!

I love the way Bulthaup abuts the bar to the worktop so that it appears to float.

The same issue featured another Bulthaup B3 Kitchen and I just love the contrast of the 13mm worktops with the 9cm breakfast bar.

We did similar with the kitchen in our Wellington House, but dropped the bar down the side return as it hid the bar stools from the view from the hallway:

Guests really gravitated to that space and I still felt I had plenty of prep room, while I could put food and drinks on the timber bar.  But oh, for the space of that Oxfordshire kitchen!

All images (except for last one - my own), courtesy of Kitchens, Bedrooms & Bathrooms Magazine February 2011 Issue.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Wellington House - Bathroom Before and After

I have been sorting some old files....actually, I've been totally sidetracked trying to sort said files, and came across the photos taken of our house in Wellington that we sold in 2008 that I thought I'd share with you.  It was a typical Mount Victoria villa:

What we loved about it was that it was a large 5 bedroom home with a sheltered, flat garden - good in Wellington!  What we didn't love was the colour palate - you name it, you could find it.  Pumpkin orange neighboured by Burgundy a speciality!  However, it was structurally all there and just needed (major) cosmetic works.  It was essentially an upside down house - enter the hallway to two double bedrooms, bathroom and an open kitchen, dining, living area opening to a wide covered balcony.  Downstairs, a large living space surrounded the stairs (part kids' playroom and part formal living area), off which there were 3 double bedrooms, a laundry and family bathroom.

The best decision we made was to have the interior painted, skylights added and re-carpeting throughout before we moved in.  Not always possible but sooooo worth the hassle later if you can do it.

I'll bore show you some more rooms over the next few days but today, the two bathrooms.

I don't have any before photos of the upstairs bathroom but it was a dark room with timber panelled walls and ceiling, a forest green roll top bath and Victorian basin table.  Very dark and with a poky corner shower. It was however a large, functional room.  It came off the main hallway so had to blend with other rooms that followed:

We put in under floor heating, limestone tiles and painted the existing panelling.  I was really pleased with how that came up as I like the texture it provides and avoids an overly stark look.  Storage is my big thing in bathrooms and I had drawers in the basin unit and a large mirror cabinet recessed into the wall.  I had the bath resurfaced as the cast iron roll top was a lovely, deep bath and hard to replace.  A large shower (not well shown) and frosted glass on the original windows were installed.

The downstairs bathroom was less straight forward.  It was to the rear of the house and in an almost basement space built right into the rock.  Due to plumbing issues (pumping water up to the clearance) the original spa bath was built up.  But, not just up, but up a grandiose stage.  Honestly, think brothel!

The photo doesn't do the colour justice either - pumpkin orange!  I used similar materials to the upstairs bathroom, underfloor heating, de-mister pad on the mirror and a stone basin (note - ensure these hold water before you install them.  We had to remove and have sealed as it wasn't watertight)!  We still needed to have the bath and shower waste raised above the general floor level so decided to put two wide steps at the entrance to the bathroom to allow for a single level bathroom.  Much safer!

One of the best decisions was installing low level halogen lights around the walls for night lighting.  This was the bathroom for the kids' bedrooms downstairs and as our girls were only 3 and 4 at the time, we could leave these lights on all night so they could find their way without being blinded by bright light during the night.

These bathrooms were installed late 2007 and I designed them to last.  Putting in the extras like underfloor heating, good storage and quality, neutral tiles means the bathrooms will function well but can be updated with colour to walls and through accessories.  The basics are there and they have been built to last.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Centsational Scoop

Remember I posted about Kate aka Centsational Girl last month?  Well, she was in NY this week to appear on The Nate Berkus Show.  How fabulous huh?  Have a look here to read about her trip.

She even got to appear with Michelle Adams from Lonny Magazine and the creator of Rubie Green Fabrics.

Well done Kate - you should be really proud of yourself.  Happy Weekend x.

All images courtesy Centsational Girl.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Welcome to NZ - Quadrille!

Alan Campbell's Melinda - on the set of The Devil Wears Prada

I am so excited to be welcoming the Quadrille range of fabrics to New Zealand, exclusively through Annie Loveridge Interiors.

This is a very proud moment for me as these beautiful fabrics so perfectly reflect my love of sophisticated colour and design.  Quadrille, of course, houses four fabulous ranges; Quadrille, Alan Campbell, China Seas and Home Couture.

To me, it's not just how fabulous each design is in its own right, but how beautifully they work together.  Most designs can be custom printed in linens (and cotton mixes), acrylics (perfect for the NZ lifestyle and harsh sun) and wallpapers.

I know I have used the usual superlatives to maximum effect in this post, but I really am so proud to be representing Quadrille in NZ.  Thank you to the lovely Georgia in LA, who has been wonderful in making this happen.  I'll leave you with some inspiration....

Eddie Ross using Quadrille's Kazak

China Seas Lysette & Lysette Reverse

Alan Campbell Saya Gata & China Seas Lyford Print

China Seas Lysette

Quadrille Paradise Background

Tory Burch's kitchen - wallpaper and fabric in China Seas Arbre de Matisse Reverse

All images via Quadrille website.