Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Wish

This is my elf
My sunny, chatty, cheeky little cherub

Merry Christmas everyone... may the world be filled with love and happiness


Photo by Angela Steyn

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Words to Live By

I suspect such attributes are not easily learned - they are instilled within our soul for others to find


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Vintage Crate Bookshelf

Our apartment is so jam packed full of old stuff, you'd think I couldn't possibly entertain the idea of bringing MORE vintage paraphernalia home... but you'd be wrong!  Check out this brilliant bookcase idea using old crates.  Not only is it rustic and quirky and cool, it's a practical storage solution for all the other bits and bobs we have lying around!  Love, love, LOVE it x


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Colour Scheme: Grey, White & Wood

I am working with a grey colour palette for two jobs at the moment, both with beautiful timber floors.  I love the way the warmth of the wood balances the cool tones of the grey.  Such a sophisticated, yet relaxed scheme to work with.  These images provided great inspiration.

Images from here

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bathroom Glamour

A little bit of girly glamour for a Monday morning... I'm willing to make a bet that the owner of this bathroom has explicitly banned any male from stepping foot over the threshold of this impeccable bathing wonderland.  Can you imagine some great brute of a man standing unsupervised in that gorgeous room, scattering nasal hair all over the place and wiping his hands on the embroidered towel that everyone knows is NOT to be used?  

Personally, I'm most smitten with the spectacular light fittings that glow like regal sea creatures, although the fret work on the door is running a close second.

Image from here

A Wise Little Owl Once Said...

Image from here

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Be Brave + Be Kind

Sometimes I feel like the bird, tiny and afraid and vulnerable
Sometimes I feel like the hand that holds the bird, strong and commanding and powerful
When I'm the bird, I ask for courage
When I'm the hand, I ask for grace
For to be the bird that surrenders to the fate of the hand, takes pluck
But to be the hand that controls the fate of the bird, takes humility

Be brave and be kind


Image from here

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Coral Crush

I love this room... the combination of the white wicker beds with the gold leaf mirror and coral detailed bedlinen seems vaguely Caribbean to me.  It looks like a room that would belong in one of those beautiful old, white-washed plantation style homes with hurricane shutters adorning the exterior like eyelashes.  I can imagine lying on one of those plump beds, listening to waves crash on a nearby beach, while pretty linen curtains suck and billow in the sea breeze.  Pass me my espadrilles will you, I think I fancy a swim!

Image from here

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My Interior Self

If you were an interior space, what would you be?  A glamorous teal and silver living room like my friend Jules?  A pink whimsical bedroom like my friend Emma, complete with beautiful linen and butterfly wallpaper?  I just came across the above image and was struck by how it totally captures my design alter-ego. The soft palette, the mismatched furniture, the wicker, the oak, the patterned cushion, the window seat, the white walls, the detailing.  I love that the arrangement is a little imperfect, a little quirky and a little lived-in... just like me!  

Image from here

Monday, November 7, 2011

Colour Scheme: Grey, White & Yellow

This is one of my favourite colour combinations used in such a beautiful way in this image. It's a great example of a successful marriage between traditional and contemporary looks... the designer has taken a classic window seat and added a modern table in a contrasting colour and two Bertoia chairs - genius!  I love all the different fabrics used for the cushions, the metallic sheen of the pendant light and the black and white accessories used on the shelves.  Stunning!

Image from here

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Bug

I've never been a big Halloween fan, always chalking it up to consumerism gone mad.  But this year, as I roamed the brightly decorated streets of our neighbourhood with my little boy all dressed up, listening to the shouts and cries of excited children all around me proudly showing off their painstakingly crafted costumes, I could literally feel my soul being touched by something quite profound.  I can only assume that it was community spirit - these days, it can be a very hard thing to find, let alone recognise!  Is it such a bad thing I wonder, to bribe little children with sweets to talk to their neighbours?  

And look... it's not everyday you get to see two giant rabbits holding hands in your street!  

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Blessing

Have I mentioned lately how crazy our lives have become now that both my husband and I work from home with a very vocal toddler beneath our feet?  Yes, you're right... I have... repeatedly!  Sorry.  Some days I feel like my brain might actually burn out, that it will start billowing smoke and simply shut down.  I'm developing a Jeckyl & Hyde personality disorder - Mama for two minutes, Designer for one.  But every day I discover new things about myself... like I can simultaneously blog and mash banana, all while playing peek-a-boo with a stuffed rhino!  It is a crazy, chaotic and wonderful life filled with precious moments tucked into the folds of the mayhem.  I am so blessed to spend my days sitting across the studio from the man I love with our beautiful boy quietly chewing carpet samples in the corner.  Life doesn't get much better than this... except maybe when my boys bring me flowers!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone x

Photos by me

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Vintage Bookshelf

I've always loved the idea of having a really interesting old bookshelf to house all the beautiful vintage books I find in my travels.  This recycled spindle would be perfect, particularly in a children's room... such an ideal height for little people!

Image from here

Friday, September 30, 2011

An Angel At My Table

Some images from our house... this is how we spend our weekends x

Photography by Andre & Angela Steyn

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Vintage Tin Magnets

Take a couple of vintage tins, some magnets and hey presto... an ingenious idea for the fridge from Martha Stewart.  This is so simple and clever and practical.  Why have I never thought to do this I wonder?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Birthday Girl

Today is my friend Emma's birthday... and so, today I'd like to make a list of all the reasons why she is so very, very special:

1. She is the embodiment of a sunbeam
2. She giggles all the time... which makes me giggle all the time
3. She is my 'life coach' and 'mothering guru' all rolled into one
4. She lets me cry on her shoulder when I'm sad
5. She is seriously talented... WAY more so than she likes to let on
6. She likes pastel colours and paints everything white... just like me
7. She is humble and gentle and caring
8. She is the most beautiful mother on the planet
9. She is like a grown-up fairy... all sweet and pretty but with a wicked sense of humour
10. She is just like a sister, only better

HAPPY BIRTHDAY EM!  I love you x

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Vintage Hunter: Comic Books

While ambling through Vinnies the other day, searching for a 'new' desk for my husband ("must be old,  must not be a desk, must be oak, must be an orphan, must be precisely 1500x750mm, must have character"... I could go on with his list of criteria...) I came across a pile of old comic books lurking in the shadows.  Hiding in there was this 1968 Superman Annual for $1!  I couldn't resist it... literally... I walked away but then went running back like a filthy addict.  My poor little boy is in danger of growing up thinking his bedroom is a portal to 1971!  

Pretty cool though, don't you think?  I love the colours, the smell of the pages, the use of fonts, the brilliance of comic strip formation.  Maybe all the vintage paraphernalia that crowds Leo every night as he goes to sleep, will be an antidote to the hideous techno-worship I'm terrified he'll contract upon his 3rd birthday?  Fingers crossed!

P.S. I found the perfect table (cough, "desk").  Photos to follow x

Images by me

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Quirky Decorating: Little Girls Bedroom

I've been really intrigued lately with the idea of creating interiors that ooze individuality and authenticity, that break the rules a little and spark imagination.  There are so many elements of this crazy circus bedroom that I adore - the mismatched rugs, the fancy sun umbrella, the child-height blackboard, the flapping bunting (I particularly love that it's not hung against the wall, but has been left to float and flap in the room like proper little flags), the wildly patterned bedlinen.  It looks like a haven of fun for a tiny tot, where fairies and sprites might just pop out of the cracks!

Image from here

Monday, September 19, 2011

Lament of the Neglectful

Neglect is a terrible, terrible thing and neglect is exactly what my poor blog is suffering from these days.  It's like a beautiful old cabinet that's been left to gather dust in a forgotten room of a deserted house.  I pine for the time when I could sit and pour over images of homes and feel my heart fill up to the brim.  Soon, very soon, I will be back with a bit of lick and polish and a story or two about the cutest kitchen reno imaginable... all done on a shoestring and a prayer.  Until then, I shall look lovingly at this old beauty and dream of a studio big enough to fit it!

Image from here

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Walk In The Woods

Today was frantic, too many hours spent inside, busy working, mind overflowing with endless possibilities and ideas, desk covered in fabric cuttings and paint swatches and cups of half-drunk tea... am in danger of being drowned by my own creative intent!  Wish I was outdoors, roaming a damp path, wearing green gumboots and humming a little tune.  Want to come walk with me?

Image from here

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Vintage Suitcase Metamorphosis

Being the vintage suitcase addict that I am, I thought this idea was brilliant!  To me, this chest of drawers is the perfect example of up-cycling done right - taking old items and breathing new life into them in a way that suits their original form.  My husband would argue that it's sacrilege to destroy the authenticity of anything so beautiful, no matter how clever the innovation... he hates "messing with imperfection", preferring the honesty of purity.  What do you think?  Do we risk the annihilation of time-worn character when we seek to improve on the old?

Image from here

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Humble Touch

We really don't need much in this life... a roof over our heads, food on the table and people to love.  Lately, I've been really taken with the idea of the 'humble home'.  The economic doom of recent times has arrived on our doorstep carrying an unexpected gift... the realisation that a beautiful environment has everything to do with surrounding ourselves with things we find unique and special - our family and friends included - and nothing to do with expensive trappings.  

I love the interior above - it might be simple, practical and humble, but these things render it quite beautiful in its own right.  It is an interior that is totally comfortable in its own skin - it doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is.  I'm sure there's a lesson in there somewhere x

Image from here  

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Designer Profile: Kelly Hoppen

I'm seeing a client next week who has described her aesthetic as 'Kelly Hoppen warmed up'.  It got me thinking about the elements that make Kelly Hoppen's signature style so striking.  I've decided it's the monochromatic colour schemes, the symmetry of compositions, the avid use of tactile materials and the pared back elegance that is not the least bit understated.  Kelly's use of proportion and space is spot on.  I can't wait to infuse a bit of Ms Hoppen's grand glamour into my client's home.

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