Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What I've Been Doing and Bon Voyage

We are off on holiday tomorrow morning for 10 days.
Excited? Yes. Packed? No.
Not my forte unfortunately.
So, my recent erratic blogging has been down to the fact that I am now the New Zealand stockist for the fabulous Armadillo&Co range of rugs.

Armadillo&Co is an Australian company and, in their own words...

"Our Armadillo&Co rug collection is meticulously made by hand and is produced to the highest ethical standards.
Every piece embraces Fair Trade practices and is crafted from sustainable natural fibers including pure wool, jute, cotton and hemp. All purchases benefit local schools in our weavers' villages.
We aim for our rugs to lie lightly on this earth."

I am very excited to be representing Armadillo&Co.
The rugs are beautiful, have a lovely story and the people are fabulous.

So with the rugs, and the Quadrille range of fabrics, I have taken some space in an Auckland design showroom, Designmade, where I can display the two together.

It's not perfect, and the precarious hanging techniques utilised may not survive the 10 days I'm away, but it's there for now!

I am away for 10 days, returning on Monday 11 June. I wish you all a very happy week and a half and look forward to seeing what you've all been up to too. Annie x.

Images 1 - 7 via Armadillo&Co; 8 via I Love My Rug; all others my own.

Monday, May 28, 2012

My Weekend

I hope you all had a lovely weekend. Our weekends now involve horses, which means lovely trips out to the countryside.

It's only a 45 minute drive from home to absolute rural bliss for me. I love the autumn colours this time of year and I find it so inspiring being out in the fresh air away from it all.

Past the septic tank, out to the coast!

I spent a lot of time on farms growing up, and I feel absolutely revived after a day up here. It is basic and raw and allows me some 'space' to put things in perspective.

Beware the killer turkeys with their tail feathers up - they are M-E-A-N.

I have been busy lately, working on a new part of my design business...hence my erratic blogging sorry! It has been fun, crazy and scary all at once which is why getting away from the busy-ness of the city and being in the country air is so special.

We are heading off on a family holiday on Wednesday for 10 days, which is a well needed break together. I'll post some pics of the new venture tomorrow but in the meantime, any new fabric orders will be attended to prior to Wednesday, after which they will be processed upon my return on Monday 11 June.

On the home front, we are having our garden transformed while we are away. 'Transformed' from the forest it currently is! The aborists have been in this morning and unearthed this...

...our very own little glimpse of the Sky Tower, and yes, that is a trampoline on the left!

All images my own.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Labour and Wait

I came across this fabulous East London shop on Rita Konig's blog recently. It was the beautiful building itself that caught my eye initially, but isn't the way their wares spill out to the footpath so inviting?

Looking somewhat 'Open All Hours', Labour & Wait was established in 2000 offering...

 "...an evolving range of timeless, functional products for everyday life.
For the past twelve years we have searched out specialist makers from around the world, many of whom manufacture their goods in the traditional way and to their original designs."

"Labour and Wait was intended as a place to buy timeless, functional, well designed, high quality products, at a time when most retailers were tending towards cheap, disposable low quality items."

Japanese Coffee Pot

Moose Fire Lighters

Rope Key Ring

Rotating Soap Holder

Enamel Milk Pot

Robert Dyas meets your Grandmother's kitchen. I can only imagine that a visit to Labour and Wait would make one feel that things have slowed down, if only for a little while.

All images via Labour and Wait.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Weekend Distraction

Monday already? 
We spent Saturday helping friends in Matakana, north of Auckland, with their olive harvest. I can't tell you how satisfying it is raking heavily laden olive trees and see the bins fill up so quickly. It's also so nice getting out of town, in the fresh country air, chatting with friends; you get fed and watered and thanked for your 'work'.
The girls rode the quad bike, fed the goats and the dog chased...everything.

But there was still time for some internet distraction, which unearthed this beauty...

This 1960's Desk Chair by Harry Probber is listed for USD 499 on One Kings Lane, here. No way could you find something like this:

a. available in New Zealand, or
b. at that price

And this pair of lucite chairs, also USD 499...gorgeous!

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, One Kings Lane only ship domestically so I am backing away from the computer.

Have a Happy Monday. Annie x.

Images via One Kings Lane.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Look What Arrived In The Post Today...

I had a much awaited delivery from the Book Depository today...

Be Your Own Decorator by Susanna Salk, the author of my other big favourite, Room For Children. I ordered this as soon as I saw it featured on Diane Bergeron's fab blog, here.

Diane features in the book alongside more than 50 other fabulous and recognisable designers.
You know you're going to love a book that features this room on the back cover; my favourite 'Domino' room...

...and a double page spread...

...and what's a design book without some Quadrille loveliness thrown in? Biased? Me? Yes.

This is going to be another Susanna Salk book that you keep revisiting for inspiration.

I have looked at Nate Berkus' sitting room so many times, I feel like I've been there...which I haven't.

So many beautiful rooms and ideas, many of which you may have seen before, but all in one beautiful book with Susanna's warm approach to make it even better.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Reprieve For My Family

So I steeled myself for the open home on Saturday.
Peter and I just averted divorce as we queued, yes queued, to hand over our first born details to the estate agent, with Peter muttering something along the lines of 'mad' and 'can't afford it'.

Well, all I can say is, whoever took the photographs can take my photo any old time.
They present the home in a very favourable light.
Don't get me wrong, I still love this house, but there is significantly more work to be done than the photos would suggest.
The piles of the house are absolutely shot and, on the top level of the home, Lily said "fun, it's like being on a boat."
In the adjoining ensuite bathroom, or more correctly 'dodgy loo', you could see the slant of the floor from one side to the other.

I spent most of my time walking through wondering if we could really live here until we could start the renovation. Oh, and did I mention the house is listed so that means lots of 'collaborative planning with the council'?
We've done that before.

But the garden is rambling and beautiful; so NOT the perfect green on green garden of its neighbours.
However, my thoughts were confirmed when another viewer walked out and said "$1.0m before you start talking swimming pools."
Tactics, possibly, but my mental calculator had clocked up the same amount. I had just said to Peter, "$1.0m before you sneeze."
It is essentially a rebuild.

So, the reality is, whilst I would love to look after this gracious lady, the budget was blown on about the 3rd room.
The best I can hope for is that someone who really loves this home gets the opportunity to restore it to its previous grandeur.
Oh, well, divorce averted...for now.
Happy Monday. Annie x

Image 1 from here; images 2 - 4 via Barfoot & Thompson.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Awaits a Sympathetic Restoration

Estate agent parlance that is. Of course.
Every time we move I swear I'm never doing this again. Actually I just swear a lot.
But, after a while, the eye wanders.
Better it be houses I suppose.
So I discovered this little gem this morning.

Situated one bay over from where we currently live, St Mary's Bay is the nearest bay on the southern side to the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Our last house bordered St Mary's Bay and we love the eclectic mix of solid Victorian villas and modern architecture. It is walking distance to the waterfront and the city, yet established and elegant.
 It's not edgy inner city okay.

St Mary's Bay homes tend to be on smaller lots than neighbouring Herne Bay, so this property on 936sqm is rare and will be crawling with people at the first open home this weekend.
Lucky are those with elbows.

It has views out to the harbour bridge, although the third photo down will prove that the lens has been put to work on the first two photos. You can also see a glimpse of Selby Square, to the left, which is a fabulous green around which all the houses face.

Lots of lovely features remain...look at those ceilings, floorboards, windows and balcony....with plenty of scope for making it your own.
And if that coffee table were to be left behind, that would be okay with me.

The master bedroom is in the eaves and is a large space with, I imagine, magic views across the marina.

The ground floor living room accesses the garden. Nicely.
Is this room just every designer's dream?
Selfishly, hopefully not...

The floor plan shows that the property is currently in two apartments, but needs some playing around with, so getting the stairs reinstated will be part of the 'sympathetic restoration'.

So, if you're in the area this weekend, you'll see me there. I'll be the one with elbows at the ready...

Wherever you are, I wish you all a very happy weekend. Annie x.

All images via Barfoot & Thompson.