Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekend Reading

I had picked up a copy of So Chic from my local library recently, and finally opened it this weekend....gorgeous!

Okay, apologies now for the rubbish scanning!

It is written and compiled by Margaret Russell and the team at Elle Decor; Margaret was until recently the famed editor of Elle Decor and is now at the helm of Architectural Digest (US) watch that space.

So the wretched scanner (grrrrr) and I have worked together to capture some of my favourite rooms.  Below is the poolhouse (yes, poolhouse, complete with Tord Boontje Blossom chandelier!) of Delphine and Reed Krakoff's Southampton home:

and living room with its fabulous David Hicks custom rug:

Amy Fine Collins' living room in her Park Avenue apartment:

Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick's Bridgehampton weekend house.  This is really lovely - beautifully designed but it really looks like somewhere you can imagine enjoying a relaxing weekend....please!

Doesn't that dining room just look perfect for enjoying good food and lots of wine!  I am in love with that chandelier - the colour is gorgeous.  In the master bedroom, this flea market find chair is upholstered in apple green Chinese silk, and adds so much texture and integrity to the room.  Love the green with the yellow headboard, orange and blue, and pink tulips.  Who would think that all those colours would look so beautifully calm together!

Artist David Salle's Brooklyn house has a beautiful simplicity and order (and is very, very tidy)!

Am loving these Gio Ponti wing chairs:

Candace Bushnell's Greenwich Village apartment is so fab the living room nabbed the So Chic cover.  I love the muted tones in this corner of the room:

but my favourite spot is the opposite corner with its rose and pink tones and vintage gold leaf sheaf sconce (one of a pair flanking the mantel).  Really makes me smile.

Look at those windows in Antony Todd's New York Victorian townhouse:

Again, it's the muted greens and pinks in Ranjana and Naeem Khan's SoHo loft that appeal to me, but what really sets off the room is those fantastic yellow vases/ornaments/thingies....whatever, they're gorgeous and loosen up the room!

Valentino's PR man, Carlos Souza's Roman apartment is simple and stylish. I love the cushion on the daybed - again, it stops the room being quite so serious:

and the use of marble and timber here really captures the perfect Italian kitchen, without being stark and clinical:

I could keep going, but that would be called a book!  That, and I am not revisiting the scanner today.

So Chic really is a lovely book to keep picking up.  It's on Book Depository for GBP 23.70 and free delivery.  Someone I know has a birthday in March!

Image 1: Book Depository; All other images scanned (through gritted teeth) from So Chic by Margaret Russell.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Thank You

I just felt that a pretty picture was needed today.

My heart goes out to everyone in Christchurch and to all those affected by Tuesday's earthquake.  The sadness is beyond words.

I wanted to post something beautiful, because amidst all the turmoil, there are amazing people doing wonderful things.  Rescue crews have arrived from the US, UK, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and Japan.  Some of these people have already worked so hard in awful circumstances in the recent Queensland floods, as well as earthquake specialists from last year's Haiti earthquake.

Thank you to you all, and your families.  You are amazing.

We have had families arrive in our neighbourhood from Christchurch, either staying with family or in temporary accommodation, kindly offered by friends.  Their children will start at our school on Monday.  It must be so unsettling for them, but the kindness and genuine care we're all seeing and feeling is incredible.  We are the lucky ones and there is a such a strong sense of wanting to help.

It has reminded me that (apart from you lousy Christchurch looters - shame on you), people are good and kind.  Happy weekend x.

Image via Princess Frivolous.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Huge Sadness

Tuesday's earthquake in Christchurch is really foremost in everyone's mind right now.  It is just so hard to comprehend what it must be like to be there, living through all the aftershocks, with so many people missing and dead.  It is heartbreaking.

Watching the coverage last night, there was a man whose wife had been working in one of the collapsed office buildings.  He had not heard from her. The morning after the earthquake, he said their two young girls had asked where mummy was?  He answered that she was still at work.

He seemed so matter of fact, so shocked.  We then saw him wandering the streets trying to get near his wife's office building, which is cordoned off for safety issues.  He can't get near and he doesn't know where to go, or what to do; he doesn't know where his wife is and what to say to their girls.  It broke my heart.  How many families are going through this?

Image via CNN.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Zealand's Darkest Day

At 12.51pm today, a shallow earthquake of magnitude 6.3 hit Christchurch, New Zealand.  65 people have been confirmed dead and an "unknown number" remain trapped inside collapsed buildings.

Almost 6 months ago, on September 4 2010, Christchurch was hit by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake, thankfully while people slept at 4.35am.  Many buildings and homes were damaged but miraculously, there were no fatalities. Christchurch has suffered many aftershocks since then, some strong.  Christchurch residents have carried on, rebuilding their lives, and now the horror of today's quake.  I can't imagine.  I am so sorry.

Prime Minister John Key has stated that today "may well be New Zealand's darkest day".

Many people remain trapped tonight.  Please, stay safe.  Be safe.  Please.

Image via Stuff.

I'm Back!

Yes, sorry for the silence, but I have been totally distracted by this:

Opito Bay, Coromandel, NZ.

and this:

and even drinking my morning coffee while looking at this:

Okay, enough, I know!  There were busy times though, like when we got totally distracted by the dolphins swimming close to shore:

Yes, they were dolphins and not sharks!  Then Lily found a stranded starfish:

cared for it and then returned it to a rockpool.

This is THE most exciting thing for a 6 year old.  So with all the relaxing excitement, I didn't do any of this:

so today have a list as long as my arm of very serious tasks.  Mmmmm, think it may take another day to fully take my mind off this:

Hope you all had a lovely weekend too x.

Images all my own, except for image 7; The Big Why.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


...straight off the page the minute I saw it on Apartment Therapy today!

Click on here for the full article by Bethany Adams.  There's several other images with measurements there, and if you are looking to reupholster, this is super handy dandy (especially if you remember that 1 yard = 0.9144m, easy peasy lemon squeezy).  Love it!

Image via Apartment Therapy, Bethany Adams Feb 16 2011.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Just Because...

...this is such a pretty picture:

I have a client looking to use this fabric, Quadrille's China Seas Lyford Background in Magenta, and what better advertisement than this chair?  The white piping highlights the design and looks crisp.

The chair is by Sarah Richardson of all those "Sarah's House" renovations. She has a great website so do have a look.

I have a gorgeous wing back chair bought in Greenville, South Carolina when we lived there.  I had it covered when I bought it by a wonderful man called Arnold, who sewed tyres in the Michelin factory, as did his father.  It is in a lovely, but plain taupe (very Kelly Hoppen 1999) and Sarah's chair has me inspired.  I just feel too sentimental to undo the work of that lovely man who put so much pride into doing such a wonderful job.  I wonder what Arnold is doing now?

Image courtesy of Quadrille website and Sarah Richardson Design.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Print from Annechovie's Etsy Shop

What better way than to say it in yellow?  Here is the yellow Valentine I found (in the refrigerator) this morning.

Happy Valentine's Day x.

Image 1: courtesy Annechovie at Etsy.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Designer Toilet Roll Company

How could I NOT use that title???  I would have found any excuse to post about this fabulous little discovery!

"The Perfect Package" in Fuschia

I have not been googling strange things, I actually found this in my British Homes & Gardens (March 2011) so it's totally legit!  Natasha Meredith set up The Designer Toilet Roll Company after renovating several homes in London and Surrey and discovering that it was the bathroom she most liked to update, and voila, patterned loo roll!

Now, according to the website, "Simon Cowell loves plain black" - ooooooooooh, what shocking imagery!  The fuschia above is very pretty but I think this green is rather nice:

"The Perfect Package" in Green

and aqua:

"The Perfect Package" in Aqua

The Perfect Package consists of 3 rolls in a "presentation clear cylinder" for 8.45 pounds.  Cool!  The rolls are 4 ply thickness using biodegradable paper with no chemical whitening treatment.  Designs are produced using colourfast vegetable oil based ink.  I'm very glad it's colourfast - ha ha!

Thanks for sharing in my madness happy discovery.  It's got to have you smiling!  Happy Weekend x.

Images all courtesy The Designer Toilet Roll Company.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Happy Days

Today is one Happy Day.  Why?
  • the sun is shining and it's not so humid,
  • there are no bunnies or other important family members caught in trees
  • my March 2011 issue of British Homes & Gardens arrived in the post today:

    Now, I am embarrassed to say, I was only alerted to this by Louise at my fave blog, Table Tonic (thank you very much Louise x).  Kelly's first post tells how she creates trays ("vibe trays") for each space within a project, where she gathers "vibe inspiration", and the trays become "little collections of each project".  How fab is that?!

    A vibe tray for a living room in a Miami villa

    "The trays are organised on large work tables in the design studio"

    So Louise has already put one together for her young daughter's bedroom. Have a look at her tray and inspiration here.  It is really lovely I think and is a very clever, practical idea.  Can't wait to see the finished room!

    Image 1: British Homes and Gardens; all other images Kelly Wearstler's blog, My Vibe My Life.

      Wednesday, February 9, 2011


      The most important bunny in the house (as featured in Year of the Bunny Rabbit), was the star of a game of "throw the bunny" yesterday.  Well, this is where all the hilarity ended:

      Yes, that's Bunny, suspended in the Macrocarpa Tree!  A very distressed 7 year old had to wait for Dad to come home and rescue as she was dangling beyond the reach of any garden tool I could find (Bunny, not the 7 year old).

      Bunny - just above the dead branch, to right of palm trunk!

      Bunny was eventually returned to a very remorseful 7 year old, in time for bed.  Another day, another drama solved x.

      Tuesday, February 8, 2011

      Soho Beach House Miami & Quadrille

      Private members club, Soho House has recently opened The Soho Beach House in Miami and wow, does it look fabulous.  Oh to be a member! 

      In true Soho House style, the design is eclectic and immaculate.  The Italian restaurant, Cecconi's (above), is open to non members.  It caught my eye with the use of Quadrille's Carlo II on the sofa.

      Carlo II in Terracotta 

      Carlo II in Maize

      Carlo II in Teal

      The Main Lobby also uses Quadrille's Pina on the chairs in the foreground:

      Pina in Dark Turquoise
      Pina in Tomato

      Pina in Jungle Green

      Love that carpet in the lobby and the fabulous use of colour.  If that's got you longing to be there, picture yourself in the 8th Floor beachside bar!

      For all enquiries regarding Quadrille's fabrics, please contact me on

      All images courtesy Quadrille Fabrics; except final image Soho Beach House.

      Monday, February 7, 2011

      Dream Room

      Isn't this just a really beautiful room?

      This is the living room of a home designed by Diane Bergeron Interiors, featured in the latest Issue of Ivy & Piper Magazine.  To see the rest of this (very special) home, click here and go to page 46.  There is also a YouTube interview with Diane, on page 60, which is well worth watching.

      Fabulous x.

      Image courtesy Diane Bergeron Interiors.

      Back To School

      Can you hear that?  No, neither can I.  I think it's called silence, but as I haven't experienced it for 8 weeks, I'm not sure.

      So both girls have just been taken to their first day of school 2011.  Oooooh, it brings back memories.  I think I saw more nervous parents than children, myself included!

      All the best to everyone back at school today - parents included x.

      Image courtesy of Conasia Industries (HK).

      Friday, February 4, 2011

      Thank You Mr Courier Man...

      ...for my delivery from Boden this morning.  It may be sweltering humidity right now, but it doesn't halt my excitement at my new winter clothes from Boden (UK)...courtesy NZ customs, grrrr.  Grouchiness at customs' efficiency in detecting I had gone 4 pounds (no sterling squiggle on my NZ laptop sorry) over the import free limit was alleviated by this:

      Boden Tunic, Winter 10/11

      which will team nicely with this:

      Boden Cardigan, Winter 10/11

      As if that wasn't enough colour, look at the cover of the latest Spring 2011 catalogue:

      Fabulous!  Here's a few of the items I have already spotted within:

      Boden send to NZ and Australia for 12 pounds, and if you don't meet the customs man, I think it's pretty reasonable.  In my experience, I have never been charged duty in Australia but do about half the time in NZ.

      I am certainly not wishing this warm weather away as I sadly quite like the humidity, but I am wondering when I can wear those new clothes!  Happy Weekend x.