don't you love...mirrors and chinoiserie

So while I was looking at mirrors the other day I came across this gorgeous bathroom (House & Leisure).  Romantic bathrooms are very much my thing.  If I ever manage to take a good photo of mine I will show you mine, its the one room in the house I like every time I walk into it.
And it drew me down a little chinoiserie hunt across the internet.  Rose pink silk chinoiserie wallpaper, love every one of those words so together its just heavenly (via Griffin and Wong

Butterfly botanical detail, detail of succulents and roses via Style Me Pretty.  Would love to work both chinoiserie and botanical images into my home.

don't you entrance mirror

I have been wanting to make our entrance hall prettier for a long time.  What I really wanted was a mirror like this one.  That's one huge wow factor!  Lacking the several thousand dollars I have been trawling for bargains on ebay.  Finally success!  

Chrysanethenum botanical illustration 
Its not as huge as this one but its big enough to make an impact.  Can't wait to see it in a few days, lets hope it works!!  The border looks a bit gold and nasty from the ebay photos but I am planning to fix that with some paint and creativity.  Watch this space!!

Whats your favourite bargain find?

don't you love...a little bit of glamour

It's very seldom that I post a whole article from somewhere else but I just could not decide which of these images not to include.  It's pink (it seems I am still having a pink moment) and glamorous and perfectly styled, it's quirky and unique and slightly over the top.  It's the home of mother of 4 Christine Dovey who blogs aBijou and Boheme.  Read the entire article with more pics on Style at Home.   

Those light fittings are seriously off the charts fabulous and crazy!  Makes me even more mad that I missed out on a crazy mid century chandelier at auction last year.
Love the layers of pinks and textures, the warm rug and floor prevents it being too candy, and I have always had a thing for chinoiserie style paintings or wallpaper.

I was looking for styling tips and this home has so many great vignettes.  Great collections of decorative objet and art, perfectly put together.

Antique silver, white porcelain and old fashioned roses.  I am struggling to imagine this house full of children, tell me your secret Christine!

Clever clever, the marble splash back has been finished with a small piece to create a shelf.  May have to copy that to finish the tile edge in my bathroom!  Would create the perfect space for candles and pretty bath products.  Careful editing on the shelves again.
Books, art, flowers, old mirror - so good!
All photos by Donna Griffith via Style at Home.
Have been toying with having a bench behind my dining table like this too.  It makes the narrow space seem generous and comfy instead of slightly awkward.  

Is it too much for you or do you love it like I do?

Little letters of gratitude

Little letters of gratitude:
Dear sun: thank you for coming out today, we all enjoyed going to the zoo.
Dear Voice of Reason: thank you for being my valentine every day
Dear Miss E: thank you for brightening the world
Dear Miss J: for cuddles and kisses
Dear friends: thank you for putting up with my obsession with blogging and pinning
Dear body: thank you for being strong, I promise to get you fit soon
Dear imagination: thank you for always coming up with the next idea, life would be boring without you
Dear readers: thank you for your lovely comments, they keep me going more than you know

My friend Robyn at Every Bit Counts lost a friend unexpectedly last week.  He was young and fit and loved and is now gone too soon.  It got me thinking of the little things I am grateful for.  Sometimes they get lost in the hustle and bustle of getting things done.

I think I should make this a monthly ritual.
Feel free to add what you are grateful for too.
This lovely idea is from the Freckled Fox.  

Don't you love...peacock bed heads

I have spotted these gorgeous peacock bedheads before, they have got quite a bit of editorial coverage, but I didn't realise there were so many options!  I discovered The Family Love Tree on a late night web crawl and was delighted by all the colours and patterns.  Also delighted that they are an Australian business so the pretty bed heads are available right here!
I love the tangerine and the berry, but then turqoise is always so pretty and white so classic.

Good prices too, $430-$499 for a double, queen or king depending on the style, and you can order online.  They do other things too, cushions and chairs, tables, pop over and have a look.

How lovely does that turquoise look against the dark wall.  
Which colour is your fave?

Over a cuppa with... other bloggers

I was lucky enough to go to Alt Summit in Salt Lake City this year, (huge and fabulous blog conference if you don't know it).  It was so inspiring to be surrounded by other bloggers and creative people and I wanted to keep the momentum going at home in Sydney.
So I have rounded up every blogger, future blogger and blog lover I know and we are going to get together tomorrow, over a cuppa, and get to know each other off line.

I can't wait!  I made these I shared a cuppa with... notes so we can all remember who was there.  I have a feeling that this year is going to be all about connections and collaborations, and where better to start than with the lovely people you know already.
Watch this space...and if you are keen to meet up too drop me an email and I will let you know when we are meeting next.

More mint-spiration...

Still feeling all thing mint this week.  It reminded me of a kitchen we had three houses ago.  It was truly horrid, a black and white chequerboard tile splashback and dubious yellowing cupboards.  We painted the cupboards mint, it was cute and retro, kept us going until we could tackle the kitchen properly a few years later.
Grey and white kitchen with mint chairs (Pinterest). Love the tree draped with mint and coral streamers, a beautiful backdrop to an outdoor wedding via Hey Look.
Mint, grey and white in the kitchen again, love the scarf on the chair (Design My Heart Out) and the ultimate in mint retro, the always cool Vespa.
The most gorgeous kitchen, those are old cabinets refreshed with paint, a steel top and glass splashback.  Love the shelves with vintage tins (An Ordinary Woman).  Retro styled tables via Ontwerpduo.
Vintage scale (via Steffi's kleine Welt), not quite mint I know but it made these cups and flowers I found on Tumblr look so pretty.
Garden rose and succulent bouquet via Once Wed.   Retro geranium bauble necklace from Orange & Pear.

I love the mint doors that lead into the little courtyard and the teeny galley kitchen (The Glam Lamb).  And finally a lovely mint front door detail via Tumblr.  

Think I need to freshen up with a Mint Julep...

Summer garden...before and after

Don't you love a before and after?  I was admiring my summer borders and it struck me that this garden is not quite a year old.  Looking at the lush border its hard to imagine that this garden was ever not here.  And yet a just over a year ago there was nothing, just excavated sand and lots of rock.  
No trees or hedge, no flowers or grass, no garden beds, not one green thing.  A lot of blood sweat and tears from the Voice of Reason turned the scabby space into a neat lawn with deep beds.  There was a lot of levelling and a lot of wheelbarrows of soil.  A lot!!

13 Months ago: the area is levelled and beds constructed.  Lawn about to be laid. 
12 Months ago:  Exactly a year ago today.  The lawn has taken and the plants are in!  You can just see the small hedges against the hedge, new pear trees, sedum and crocus.  Everything looks tiny!
7 Months ago: the trees colour up prettily for autumn.
3 Months ago: (left) California poppies and red hot pokers light up the spring garden.  The ornamental grasses are in and everything has spring fever and is shooting up.

As it is today (below & above right): The sedums are bursting with flowers, still green but about to turn to pink.  The grasses, crocus and star jasmine are settling into each other well.

The pear trees and hedges have grown about three feet and are giving us privacy from the neighbours.  So satisfying to look out on our green oasis now and think - we did that!
(all images by Eva Burgess)

Fresh and minty for the home

Its been a busy week, perhaps that's why I am drawn to these soothing minty greens.  Its been a big planning week with not much to show for it, sometimes that's how it goes.  Hopefully all the work will pay off in the next few weeks and I will be able to share it with you here.
I am looking forward to the weekend, catching up on some sleep, and doing some gardening which is always rejuvenating. 
Great vintage playroom storage via Blood & Champagne.  Playroom storage is much on my mind since I don't have enough of it.  The cutest foxey print, sorry its from Pinterest with no details, would love to know more about it if anybody has any info.

Dining room table vignette via Milo & Mitzy (fave new blog by the way).  I love the way the vases and candle are standing in the over sized tray.  Vintage locker cabinets in the bedroom via The Design Files.
Another fresh playroom via Pinterest, frustratingly no details again.  Love the idea of vintage styled suitcases and a hot pink electric guitar.  Miss E has an electric guitar but its definitely not pink.
Fresh turquoise chairs in this dining room (via The Style Files) need the energy of the crimson flower.  Just like the red and pink sets of the turquoise in these gorgeous bowls via Decor8.

Deep breath in....release...much better.
Enjoy your weekend.


over a cuppa with...emma of my bespoke chair

Have you ever wanted to design a bespoke piece of furniture?  Something just right, that nobody else has, the finishing touch for your home?  Hop onto My Bespoke Chair, I think I have found just what you need.  

My Bespoke Chair was created by the charming Emma Viega-Malta who we will be getting to know over a cuppa today.  Emma is an artist and designer who has a successful business creating unique commissioned paintings for both business and homes.  When Emma moved to Sydney in 2011 this business expanded to include designing co-ordinating fabrics to upholster bespoke pieces of furniture.  Wanting to offer her unique fabrics and service to a wider market, like many media savvy designers, Emma took her ideas online.  My Bespoke Chair was created, a fun interactive design tool which allows you to style a chair of your choice in endless combinations, until you get it just right, then order it online.  Choose your chair, select the fabric and trim combinations, create an unique piece just perfect and just for you.  See some of my faves below the Q&A.
Like Emma herself the collection is stylish and classic, but always unexpected, and lots of fun.  
Lets get to know Emma a bit better!

The Barcelona and Swan chairs are my favourites, but making the fabric choices is hard.  To make it easier My Bespoke Chair is offering a free fabric sample service, choose three fabrics and swatches will be posted out to you to try out in your rooms at home.

Go on, have some fun, play designer for a bit and see what you can create.

be my valentine...

I am not a huge fan of Valentine's Day, I like to think that I celebrate loving all members of my family every day and not at the whim of Hallmark.  

But I don't want to be Grinch-like about it so I decided to test these cute valentine sandwiches for the girls lunchboxes.

Very simple to do: 

- cut crusts off 4 pieces of bread and cut center out of 2 pieces with a heart shaped cookie cutter
- butter the large pieces and sprinkle hundreds and thousands onto bread
- complete sandwich with heart piece so colour peeks through
- make mini heart sandwiches with the heart shapes, butter edges and roll in hundreds and thousands

From the trail of sugar crumbs across the veranda and into the garden, and the general stickiness of Miss J's hands I would say they are a success.  One is a sweet surprise hiding in Miss E's lunch box.

I will celebrate having people to love every day, but I guess a little extra sweetness of the 14th Feb can't hurt.

living room corner refresh

I mentioned before wanting to give my home a refresher restyle, make sure everthing is shown off to the best possible advantage.
So I had a big game of shift the furniture in the living room.  Ended up pushing the sofa closer into the corner and collecting all my pillows in one place.  I like the way it all looks with the painting.

I totally adore my antique bronze West Elm lamp, favourite purchase for 2012!  It sets off the gold framed animal lithographs perfectly, and is masculine enough to satisfy the Voice of Reason. Love all things West Elm as you know, was blown away by their store in Salt Lake City, great designs, great quality, and great price point.

Kelim rug is still lovely but a bit to small, what I really want is an oversized white cow skin rug but its definitely not in the budget.
Still love the Schumacher Chiang Mai Dragon fabric cushions I made too.  A great contrast against the kuba cloth from Cape Town, craft vs fine weaving.  Now that all the cushions are on the couch the chairs need some love.   Luckily I still have some lovely fabric so its time to get the sewing machine out again.

Hmmm not liking how the rest of it looks just yet, this is clearly a work in progress.  Please let me know if you have any great open plan living room lay outs, I need inspiration!!

I wonder if interior stylists move the furniture around all the time or if they just get it perfect first time.  Perhaps they are more ruthless at editing,something that doesn't come naturally to me.  Yet again I am wishing for a stylist to come and play in my house, and then teach me how to photograph it well.  
Lots to learn in 2013.
(All images by Eva of Build House Home)