An email from Inside Out Magazine

Its not every day I get an email from my favourite magazine asking to share some of my home with their readers.  But that is just what happened in the run up to the Blogster Awards a few weeks ago.  An email from Inside Out popped into my inbox and there was a request to share something from my home with their readers.  Huge excitement!  Ofcourse it all had to happen on one rushed afternoon when the light was right, but these are the moments I decided to share from my home.
 A moment in the living room.  I have put this chair on its own with the bamileke table, a comfy spot to read but still be close when Mr B is cooking in the kitchen.   My Quick Flowers have gone a lovely dusty pink and look lovely inside at the moment.

Morning light in our bathroom, yes I know you have seen it before but I love this room.  Onbe day I will manage to take photos of the walk in robe to show you too, lighting is an issue!

Thanks to the team at Inside Out - you made my day.

Corner modular search part 2

I have found some more options for the corner modular, and also found some manufacturers I didn't know existed before.  I still love the Osbourne from Boyd Blue but its going to cost around $7k which is really a lot more than I want to spend.

First I discovered Staple & Co, available through Project 82.  They aim to be stylish at a reasonable price point and they are.  The Lennon from $1,050 in fabric seems frankly to good to be true, I am guess this is the base before adding fabric.  I recently went to the store and is is super comfortable.    The Lennon and the Walter are my favourites.
The Walter reminds me of the more modern Restoration Hardware designs.  Both have a lot of modular options that should let me design the corner sectional of my dreams.  The Walter looks great in this photo but the back is very low and I personally thought the Lennon was more comfortable.  Bit disappointed because it looks so great in this image.

Then I discovered Camerich, best selling point for me is that the covers can be removed and washed, and better yet you can buy another pair for around $900 a sofa.  If you have children and pets this is going to make you happy.  It also means you can choose a daring fabric colour safe in the knowledge that if you hate it in two years time you don't have to pay for a whole new couch.  Quite a good range of fabric's to choose from.

Comfort was good, especially the Lazy Time which will make a fabulous place for the whole family to flop onto.  I like the style of the Casa and Clouds but they are a more firm feel.  
Price point was pretty good too, around $5,500 - $6,000 for the size I am interested in.  

So no decisions yet, but some really great options.  If any of you have any good suggestions let me know.
See part 1 of my great corner modular search here.

Black walls and styling perfection

This is the kind of space I wish I could pull off, its so retrained and has such great impact.  I would never be to edit to this pared back level.  But perhaps I can take some notes from the styling of the altar table against the black wall which I think is just perfection.

See the full house which is from Real Living here, and more of photographer Sharyn Cairns work here.

the gift of giving...what to do with pre-loved toys

Its a good time of year to sort out the toys, Christmas is around the corner and our lucky children are sure to be getting presents.  They have been good so it will be presents rather than coal.  

Its the perfect time to sort through what we have:
  • throw away the broken, 
  • regroup the sets that have become scattered, 
  • separate preloved toys for regifting
This year in addition to their own stockings, my children will have a regifting santa sack where they can put toys that can be passed onto children who need them.  
It is hard to find places in Australia which will accept quality preloved toys, but I have managed to find a few places who do take them: 
  • Your local police station may accept soft animals that children in a traumatic situation can be given to cuddle, 
  • Family refuge centres (like Ozcare) will also accept toys if they have a family with children of the right age, 
  • Foster care centres will pass age appropriate toys onto children in care
  • Childrens Hospitals
  • Lifeline shops accept games and books.  
If anybody has any other suggestions please let me know, I do hate the idea that old toys just go to the tip.

Inspiration from papaya.....summer 2013/14

Papaya is a favourite store for browsing.  They have the best lanterns, beautiful boxes and baskets, and a textured neutral colour palette that makes it easy to add their pieces to your home.
These are my picks of whats in store this season.
Above: Palomino vases - love the shape how they look grouped together
Below: Portello fire stack, Marakesh lantern, Taverna baskets in grey

Would love to have a grouping of those Palomino vases on my oak table outside, or perhaps at the front door.  

This is not a sponsored post and all opinions are as usual my own.

Why we should all grow our own veg

Chatting to Indira Naidoo (author of The Edible Balcony) about urban farming at the Australian Garden Show was inspiring.  You can catch our interview here but thought I would summarise the points that have really got me thinking.

We all have the space
We really do all have enough space for one or two pots, or even a vertical garden, even on the smallest balcony.  In that space we should all be growing most of the herbs and salad plants we need to eat.

With changing climate and increasing population, there is a decrease in available farming land.  Imagine if we free up the land currently used for common herbs and salads for more important foods.

Think of the savings - $500 a year sound good?
I estimate that we personally save $5-$10 a week growing our own herbs and salad, we just don't need to buy them anymore.  This is an annual saving of at least $260 a year on herbs alone, around $500 if you include salads which are our most reliable and rewarding crop.

Last summer we never had to buy tomatoes or watermelon either.  Even with the cost of planting we probably saved around $700 over the year.   Makes good sense and good cents too. 

Pick only what you need - less waste
Nothing tastes as good as fresh picked, we all know that.  But another bonus is that you only ever pick what you need.  When you buy you often buy more than you need and then end up throwing away what you didn't use.  Grow your own and there is far less waste.

Enjoy seeing children eating fresh out the garden
We joke that we let Miss J out to graze.  She eats handfuls of sugar snap peas fresh off the vine, tomatoes still warm from the sun, strawberries (usually before they are properly ripe), even sticks of celery snapped off the plant.  

Could anything be better than growing your own?   I have just planted these small sweet watermelon's - Sugar Baby.  They are an heirloom variety and you can get them at The Little Veggie Patch Co or Gurneys.  Last year we loved the watermelon crop and would have had more if our irrigation had been working better.  Every time it rained they doubled in size over night!  This year I am trying to grow them from seed rather than seedlings, lets hope it works!

Please share your success stories, I would love some sure fire winners for this season.

Corner modular search part 1...who has been sitting on my chair

I feel like Goldilocks.  I have been going from showroom to showroom testing couches.  Some were to hard, some were to soft, some were to lumpy, many were to ugly.
I want a corner sofa for our lounge.  Our chesterfield sofa is just the wrong size and its time to move on.  
We need somewhere we can cuddle up as a family to watch TV and read, comfortable but not too precious, we are a family with a two year old after all.  Modern enough to fit in with the style of our home but classic enough to test the time.  Something like these.
Love the combination of leather and felt look fabric via Four Walls and a Roof.  If anybody knows where its from please let me know.
This one just looks so inviting from Interiorholic.
Another big square design in grey, I like the shelf that is part of the base on the right (Archimagz).
An option from Matt Blatt - the Massina retails at around $3,000.  I didn't love it when I saw it in store but it is a great price for the size.
I love everything about this built in unit designed by Jessica Helgerson.  See the rest of this amazing Brooklyn brownstone on Design Sponge.  Love the colours, the book shelves, the grey wall, it reminds me of her Tiny House lounge which I featured here.

This is the one I really love from Lounge - the Osbourne.  But I have yet to find out what it costs.  I like the armless design on the left, I think that style will make our sofa look more inviting as you look towards the living room.  At the moment you see the side of the sofa and seems to stop people going over and sitting down.  

The Wyatt from Lounge is a contender too but just to big for my space.  I like the chunky shape and the ottoman at the front.  Lounge products are available through Boyd Blue.  They are a bit more pricey, from $3,630 + fabric (Osbourne), and $3,960 + fabric (Wyatt) for these configurations.  They are a lot more comfortable though, and their good classic looks should make them a good investment.

I am a little nervous of moving away from the convention sofa look, but I think its the right design for our house and lifestyle choice for our home.

Weylandts to open in melbourne

I often pop in at the Weylandts website to have a look at their furniture and moodboards.  It is one of the stores I miss most from Cape Town.  Great styling and good prices and I always loved their showrooms.  This is a styling story that I always associate with good South African design, modern but textured, high end gloss with organic shapes.
So I was very excited to see they are planning to open a showroom in Melbourne this October.  I am very interested to see what they bring, I am hoping its going to be lots of lighting because I can never find anything interesting and affordable in Australia.  

I still love the Anenome lamp, imagine how dramatic it would look over my outdoor table against the black walls!!  They used to stock a coco stick chandelier which I coveted for years.  Perhaps they will bring it back!!
So have a sneak peak at the type of look they have and I will let you know when and where as soon a I find out.  Just another reason to pop down to Melbourne sometime soon.  As if slow cooked eggs at Cumulus wasn't temptation enough.

Who can resist a crochet kudu!!!

DIY Pull out pants rack

When we commissioned the joinery for our walk in robes (my personal favourite room in the house) I thought I would be able to put a pull out pants rack, I was wrong.  The length wasn't standard and my only option was an enormously expensive brand (around $250 for the mechanism) that I would still have to rejig to fit the space.
Armed with my Kreg jig and google I decided to make my own.  I am thrilled with the results, I was nervous about getting a good finish but it fits seamlessly into our walk in robes.  To find out how scroll below the pretty pictures.

I would never have attempted this project without my fabulous Kreg jig (from Carba-Tec).  With the Kreg I knew I could create the square frame the entire project is based on.  Making the square frame with the Kreg was the easy bit, the rest of the project was a bit fiddly.  Not difficult but time consuming with many trips to the local hardware store.  It cost around $70 (I had some scrap wood) but it looks like it was made with the rest of the joinery, overall it was totally worth the effort.

Measure the dimensions & cut frame pieces:  
I wanted the the front of the rack to run the entire width of the space so that you can't see the drawer mechanism.  So I made the front piece of the frame as long as the width of our space.
The back piece is shorter to allow for the width of the drawer sliders.  
The side pieces are shorter than the full depth to allow the front of the rack to sit flush with the rest of the joinery when the rack is closed.

The Japanese Z handsaw was invaluable for getting the frame perfectly to size.  It allows you to cut a sliver of wood off, a millimeter at a time.  And I find the saw action where the cut is made on the pull towards you, rather than away from you as in a traditional saw, far easier for fine work.  This was a gift from Carba-Tec, they assured me I would find it useful and it truly is.

Mark the position of the dowels:Once you have cut the pieces for the frame mark out the positions of the dowels (see center top below).  Using a straight edge I marked across both pieces of wood to make sure the dowels will line up exactly.  I allowed a gap of 8cm between the center of each dowel and it allows plenty of room for the pants to hang neatly without being crushed.
Join pieces to create the frame:
This is where the Kreg jig comes into its own.  I have bought a right angle clamp (bottom left above) which makes the process even easier as it holds the frame together on the opposite side to the one you are joining.  I am still amazed at how quickly you can put together a really solid piece of woodwork with limited skills.  This is only my second woodwork project and if I can do it so can you.  

Drill holes for dowel sticks:
Use a spade bit for these holes to make sure they are an even width and depth.
We have a dowel jig which allows you to drill straight down into the wood, very useful if you are worried about going straight like I am.  It also held the frame steady while I was working on it.

Cut dowels and put frame together:
Cut your dowels to length with the Japanese handsaw.
Putting the frame together is fiddly!  I found it easiest to loosen the top piece of the frame and then wiggle the dowels into position (very technical wood work language as you can see).  
They fit snuggly so I didn't need to glue them, although glueing one side may have made the assembly process easier.

Paint your product:
I first stained the rack but battled to get the finish even and as dark as I wanted, I was matching to black stained oak.  In the end I used a semi-gloss black spray paint and it worked really well.  I did several light coats and didn't have any drips.  It did mean that I had to create a spraying booth from several cardboard boxes (another trip to the hardware) but the finish was worth it.

Attach drawer sliders to wardrobe:
The sliders were fairly easy to install, they come with reasonably good instructions.  To summarise they come in two pieces.  One piece is attached directly to the wardrobe, the other is attached to the side of the frame.  Then it really is as simple as sliding the two parts together.
What does take a little time (and several trips to the hardware for free boxes) is getting the right screws for each piece.  Your local hardware will be able to advise you depending on the materials you are drilling into and using.

As I said before its fiddly, and it takes a while, but its worth the effort.

All photographs by Eva Burgess.  This post was not sponsored.

more mid century obsessions...the bumling pendant

Finally I know what this light is!!!  I have been stalking images of it online since I saw this one below.  I love the shape and the colours it comes in.  If I didn't already have a lovely pendant over my dining table this would be very tempting.

| Bumling over table  |  Yellow Bumling |  Hans Wegner chair in orange  |
The Bumling was designed in 1968 by Anders Pehrsson for Atelje Lyktan, its only just mid century I suppose.  I love the rounded shape 

|  Bumling over table  |  Brass bumling via 1stdibs  |  Candle stick from Nordic Bliss  |
And the best news of all is that it is still in production, try Scandinavian Design Center.   Or you can look for them second hand too, I have spotted a few on ebay and craiglist.

Pretty gorgeous aren't they.  Would love to find a spot for one somewhere.

hot chocolate botanicals

I spotted these prints on Etsy a while ago and they just seem to stick in my mind.
Chocolate and pink can be a bit to sweet but the green freshens them up just enough. 
Love that they are done on old fashioned looking striped paper.

What do you think?   Find them all on Etsy at EvaJuliet

My designs on scarves on sale at fashionABLE

Today I had the gift of seeing my designs come to life, imagination made real and for sale, I also had the even greater gift of being part of an amazing story.  These scarves are useful and beautiful, and the people behind them are real and moving, we should all own one.

fashionABLE is an amazing company in Ethiopia, employing and empowering women in a sustainable business, creating designer scarves with integrity and style, and changing the lives of their employees, hopefully for ever.   Buying a scarf is not an act of charity, you are supporting a business that helps vulnerable women create a new future for themselves and their families.  Read their stories here, you will be inspired by their courage and hope as I am.

I am more than proud to be a tiny little part of this story, and to add my designs to the skills and moving stories of the weavers behind the product.  As part of last years Alt Summit SLC I submitted many scarf designs in a fashionABLE competition and was extremely proud to have two of my designs in the final four.  Today Barrett let me know that two of my designs have been adapted for this fall season.  
I drew on the Africa I know and love, the patterns and the textures, the repetitive rhythms of life, the women who are the nurturing heart and hope of the continent.
I hope you love them as I do, I hope you buy them and wear them proudly, knowing that your purchase may change a future, save a family.

This is a product that is greater than its purchase price, it is hope, it is beauty, it is courage, it is compassion.  Buy one for somebody you love today.

Scarves top - the Rita,  and bottom - the Seble available now at