Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Checking Out

Sorry for the skite, but I am very much looking forward to spending the next 10 days here. There is a lap pool just alongside those chairs on the left, where I can have a morning swim before the 2 hour feast that is breakfast!

It's been a crazy few months, and we all need this break.

The painters are checking in to tackle the inside of our house while we're away, armed with "just the right shade of off white'", and a couple of hues they're grumbling about too!

I'll be checking email and following up on existing fabric orders.

I'm back Monday 13 June, so until then, take care. Annie x.

Getting Ready...

...to head off on holiday...tomorrow...morning...early...and lots to be done. This is leading to some very quick decision making, and I kinda like it!

So...while I was placing some fabric orders a little while back, I discovered that Quadrille's Kazak is available in a linen cotton mix, as well as the silk option on the website. I also discovered that it was in stock, and before I knew it, it was ordered, FedExed and in my hands. Please see exhibit 1, above.

Mmmmm, now what to do with it...

So I bought this chair a little while back:

and I wrote about it here, how I was intent on covering it in this:

Quadrille's Paradise Background in Raspberry. Well, that was the plan, but that wasn't in stock was it? Patience, I have little, and then I remembered this lovely image, from the apartment of James Andrew of 'What Is James Wearing?':

So, the chair has been delivered to my upholsterer with the Kazak. I want to retain the pleats on the back of the chair and, to be quite honest, I'm not sure how this fabric is going to carry it...but I'll share with you soon. Unless it looks rubbish and I am too embarrassed. I figure that the best decisions tend to be the ones that aren't over-thought. Some of the biggest mistakes are too I suppose...

So much for my words on my post when I lauded the choice of my fabric, and how this chair was definitely going 'pink'.

There will be other chairs to take the pink - the Paradise Background is on order!

Images: 1 my own; 2 vendor's photo; 3 via Designer's Attic; 4 via NYSD

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Most Beautiful Things on Earth

Bill Blass Silk 1 shouldered evening dress USD 750

Busy, busy day today...so much that needs to be done...so I find myself escaping and avoiding it all researching the world of 1stdibs instead. It could also be called 'Time Vacuum', because that's what happens. You see one thing on the page you like, and next thing you know an hour has passed.

Gianni Versace 'cut out' gown USD 2,400

Pourquoi 'cut out' gown you ask...Liz Hurley anyone???

Christian Dior 1950's Ice Blue Gown USD 2,400

I then stumbled across a feature on New Zealander in New York, designer Sandra Nunnerly and her 1stdibs shopping picks. Would you like to go shopping with this woman?! Pick me, pick me...

Rare Gio Ponti Sofa from the Hotel Bristol, Merona, Italy, 1953

I think this sofa is GORGEOUS! It's somewhat out of my league at $26,000...USDs that is, although USD/NZD...still out of my league! Here's another look because I love it:

Poul HENNINGSEN Double Ringkrone Lamp

French Vintage Cocktail Table in the Spirit of Jean Prouve

Sunburst Mirror By Scharillo For Albert Hadley

And the one reason I actually started looking was this little lamp that I saw at the top of the page:

Orange honeycomb ceramic lamp

So be warned, time will disappear. If you want to receive the weekly Saturday Shopping email, and The Most Beautiful Things on Earth updates, sign up here.

The rain has finally stopped here, it's getting dark and it's Friday evening. It must be gin o'clock! Happy Weekend x.

All images via 1stdibs.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Chelsea Flower Show 2011

No newspaper in the UK captures more beautiful and quirky pictures than The Guardian, I think. Have a look at some of the lighter moments at the Chelsea Flower Show 2011. Enjoy x.

The Art of Yorkshire garden

A guardian lion made from flowers in the Thailand Garden

The 'Catherine and William' picnic

A William and Catherine rose on the David Austen stand

Diarmuid Gavin's Sky Garden

The Times' Eureka Garden

A living statue poses as a display
All images via The Guardian UK.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Chelsea Flower Show 2011

'Tourism Malaysia Garden by James Wong and David Cubero. Lush tropical planting in every shade of green, this garden is richly detailed and makes inventive use of its allotted space.'

The Chelsea Flower Show 2011 opened yesterday, and with London having less rainfall in May than Alice Springs, the Australian garden is being touted as 'the most appropriate'.

Have a look at a few of the gardens exhibiting. Always such an extravaganza and full of its own controversy, Chelsea really is a fabulous show. Enjoy x.

'British Heart Foundation Garden, by Ann-Marie Powell. The designer was inspired by the pop art style of Sir Peter Blake to create this installation of red (the structure of the heart muscle) surrounded by green and healing plants.'

'A Monaco Garden by Sarah Eberle for the principality of Monaco. A sleek and serene roof top with everything the couple with everything could possibly need.'

'The Laurent-Perrier Garden by Luciano Giubbilei - Nature & Human Intervention. The parrotia trees are underplanted with a subtle mix of dusky pink flowers to complement the sponsor's champagne.'

'The Australian Garden presented by the Royal Botanic Gardens of Melbourne showcases native plants and the distinctive red sand landscape of the award-winning original Royal Botanic Gardens in Cranbourne.'

All images via The Telegraph (UK).

Coffee Time

On a cold, and can I say foggy (???), morning here in Auckland, the cover of Rue Magazine Issue 5 (here), looks perfect. Too pretty!

Perfect coffee fodder and that is what I shall be doing this morning x.

Image via Rue Magazine.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Chocolate Needed

Totally self indulgent...this is just what I feel like sitting in front of this evening. CRAP day.

I see so many talented people getting their businesses up and going with no apparent problems. I however seem to be stuck in banking/wesbite/accounting/customs hell. I feel like I am living in 'there WILL be a problem' Land. Right now, I want to reach through the screen and eat that cake right up!

I do know it will all seem better tomorrow, but this evening, I just want to watch one of the Mad Men episodes we have recorded and eat anything chocolate...and a wine will obviously make the world a better place x.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


I am constantly inspired by what I see on the blogs I follow, or land on. There are so many beautiful things out there. I was captivated by this pic posted on Anna Spiro's Absolutely Beautiful Things last Monday, here.

We are heading off on holiday soon - yippee...10 days of sun and the beds being made for me - and taking the opportunity to have the interior of our house painted while we're away. I am choosing my standard 'off white' throughout, as it simply works for us. There will hopefully be some grasscloth appearing on a dining room wall, but that's about as adventurous as it gets!

Our entrance is more 'walk through' than proper 'foyer' and I want to change that. The front of the house faces south and the entrance is therefore dark, opening up to the light filled, north facing open living areas at the back. Inspired by Anna's table and Rita Konig's entrance at the Manhattan House apartments I wrote about here, I have found the solution.

I'm going to accept that the area is dark and paint the surrounding walls the green Rita used, Farrow and Ball Arsenic. F&B is not sold in NZ (grrrr) so I will ask the team at our local Resene shop to mix it for me as there is no perfect match in their range. Anna's lamp is covered in China Seas Java Java - one of my all time fave geometrics - so I will have our existing lamp shade recovered.

Here are a few pics of the current state of our entrance way. I apologise for the mess...Michael the plasterer started this week and there seems to be a lot of 'maintenance' going on! Everything has been piled on the drawers and I've just left it as is...

So through the front door into this:

...and this:

The door/wall behind the drawers is the girls' "secret door" down to their bedrooms and playroom. It is a pivot door and their most beloved part of the house!

Behind the door (below) is the guest bedroom, where the majority of the plastering is going on...I can't possibly share this with you right now!

One from the hallway back to the front door...ooooh, it looks so dull now I see it in photo form.

So the plan is to frighten the painter with my colour choice - I see some "tsk tsks" and "are you sure" coming my way - and wrap it from where the little Nepalese dog guards the door, back around to the RHS corner of the drawers.

I hope you like it and don't agree with my painter!

I'll post pics when it's all done...and I'm holiday refreshed. Happy Weekend x.

Image 1 via Absolutely Beautiful Things; 2 & 3 via Apartment Therapy; all others my own.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I think I could live here...

I wouldn't achieve much, but I would enjoy the view!

I drive past this house most days, on my dodgy shortcut home through the nice streets, and have always thought it looked...well...nice. Well, yeah kinda right?!

It's still in our school zone, tick. The view allows me to wave Pete in on the boat we would have if we could also afford this house! Tick.

Impressive promenade to one's own pool, tick.

Note to self, may need (also imaginary) nanny to supervise children in pool if I am in the kitchen. Oooh, a flaw which must surely knock a bit off the price.

Good 'indoor/outdoor flow', tick.

Although this photo doesn't show it well, that grand piano is glossy white. FAB!

I am going to assume one can still see the view over that railing, while having breakfast in bed, tick.

Somewhere for me to while away the school days where I sit and wait for the children to come home, tick.

No, not really. I have just seen the price guide of $4.54m and I won't be showing you any pics of our new home anytime soon, ha ha!

Actually, I just like the idea of lounging anywhere and waiting for the girls to come home!

Images all via Bayleys Real Estate.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Treadmill News

No, I'm not flogging fitness gear!

I hardly ever sometimes get up before the madness that is school run, to fit in a quick jog sprint on the treadmill. I realise I should be wired to my i-pod arm implant, as seems to be the norm, but nope...I watch the news. Most of it is rather grim, but there's always an editorial piece that is usually a little lighter in content...I watch it for that I think!

Last Friday I saw a wonderful piece on Ai Weiwei's Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads, currently exhibiting at the beautiful Somerset House in London.

'The monumental installation comprises 12 bronze animal heads, re-creations of the traditional Chinese zodiac sculptures which once adorned the fountain of Yuanming Yuan, an imperial retreat in Beijing. The installation is part of an International Tour which will started in New York.'

"I am fascinated by making public art. ‘Public’ does not just refer to the museum public; it’s for people passing by and using communal spaces. I think the public deserve the best. In the past, only a pope or an emperor had access to the artworks they commissioned. I want my work to be accessible to everyone. As Yuanming Yuan was being built, Somerset House was being constructed and for me this means that the Courtyard is the perfect setting for Circle of Animals."
Ai Weiwei, 2011
Somerset House

The exhibition has attracted a lot of attention due to Weiwei currently being detained in China for his political statements.

Somerset House is the most beautiful setting - it's where the outdoor ice skating rink is set up around Christmas time - and itself has a history of imperialism so is perfect for such a grand exhibition.

I only wish I could be there to see it!

I've attached the YouTube video where Ai Weiwei talks about his inspiration for the exhibition. It's quite lovely, if you have 5 mins to spare.

Images: 1, 3 & 4 via the Somerset House website; 2 via The Telegraph (UK); 5 via Zodiac Friends; 6 via YouTube.