31 March, 2009

The Power of Styling Placement - Ocassional Lamps & Chairs...

Top & Centre Images - Nate Berkus

Above: Design Trend Forecast: Fall 2009 Trend: Industrial Chic - A surprising amount of metal is being used for furniture. The circle cutouts, matte finish, ring pulls and wheeled feet make this chest of drawers feel like a product of the industrial revolution. Adjacent is a metal chair based on a classic form; the rust marks give a cheeky nod to the past.

How could you ignore the power of 'styling placement' when it comes to occasional lamps & chairs... Here I have found some of my favourite room images - of colour palette: tonally neutral natural hues - creating a somber-elegant- sophisticated - natural atmosphere; of ambient lighting with distinctive urn-pedestal style lamp bases and large drum shaped fabric covered shades; partnered with a trophy occasional chair - with either a feature painted frame work or unique button or contrast upholstery. Each small space making for a place to sit, rest, retreat and relax...

30 March, 2009


Nothing like Goethe to start your week... Hope your Monday is a great start to your week! For a similar pendant and engraved quote by Goeth - visit Esty.

27 March, 2009

Loving Friday for Weekend peace & cosy corners....

With Autumn air upon us {here in the southern hemisphere} the advent of daylight savings finishing next week, mornings will be growing lighter, and evenings slowly getting darker earlier, and sunsets becoming more alive... It would be lovely to enjoy a glass of wine, or a cup of tea, light some candles - sit back and take in the view {be it your partner's loving face, your children playing, your happy snoozy pet next to you, or your seasonal garden's turning leaves & blooms} ... so find your peace & cosy corner and hope you have a lovely palatial weekend. Enjoy, S x

26 March, 2009


As most of you know now, I am always inspired by anything that is within the blue & white colour palette, and with that I adore meaningful quotations and great typography - especially in art as semiotics. But also I am Completely inspired by my lovely colour & design friends, and the new friends that I meet with them, with whom I met with last night for a wine & catch up... I am always inspired by what you're doing and where you're going... I am now looking forward to our next catch up at another great venue!
This is also for Anna, of Absolutely Beautiful Things, I hope you're back on the mend soon... I appreciate where you're coming from - here's to sunny days....
Take care & hope your inspired today. S xx
Images from vi.sualize.us

24 March, 2009

Ruby Tuesday...

What else can I say - I love the pop of Ruby Tomato Red in these living & work spaces... How wonderfully fresh , modern - and slightly folkloric in pattern, shape and placement the ruby tomato red with white plays on the settee. I especially love how the post modernist style & mid-century inspired colouration of art work, on the wall and placed on the desk table, compliments the lighting design - both in ,the top image, with the delicate shape of the chandelier, and the bottom image , with the floral inspired lighting sconce design - in each neither detracts from the overall space - and in each there is a delicate curiosity.

Images Elle Decor

23 March, 2009

Intimacy with Blue & White

I keep falling love... I found these gorgeous images of one of my favourite palettes - Blue & White, in three different aspects and spaces.
From [top] - an intimate table vignette with pop's of lipstick red & butter yellow offsetting the blue/ white ceramics and the dark timber table top anchor; [centre] an ideal fresh, contemporary and airy living space - variations of blue/ white pattern through the throw cushions add a flat texture to the lounge pieces, and play harmoniously with the textured natural window treatments, lamp shades and wicker chairs & baskets. Keeping the walls white, the floors limed natural and accessories in a light palette allows the room to have dominant colour blocks of darker hues - creating a clean look rather than too much of too much; [bottom] a quite corner is created with an upholstered chair in a blue/ white & stone ticking stripe which sits complimentary like an old soul with the limed back painted single drawer cabinet table... maybe no one could find me in this corner!

22 March, 2009

Weekend at Hotel Realm...

Hotel Realm - front entrance
Above- Looking up > The open atrium of the main [entrance] foyer is gently filtered by all sides lined rows of ruby red anodised aluminium.

Above - Looking down - to the main entrance foyer in the evening soft shadows play on the wall

Above - A snapshot of the Realm King Room that we enjoyed on our weekend away... with Degas.

Above - A Realm Level 1 Terrace Suite on the West side of the hotel shows the beautiful dusky horizon & outline of Australia's Parliament House.

Above - snapshot of the Lane Suite, the Lane Suite's living area is an extended version of the Realm King Room sharing the same interior palette and furnishing style.

Above- snapshot of the bathroom we had in our Realm King Room
Above - Entrance to restaurant, Kanoba
As part of our weekend away in Canberra we had the opportunity to stay at Hotel Realm, in Barton [the hotel and suburb sit below - around Parliament house - with views to it from the west side of the hotel. Now although this will sound like a small hotel/ restaurant review - I generally only share stories of wonderful experience in the chance that should you be able to visit this establishment - that you too will have a wonderful time and small insight of what's ahead.
Hotel Realm is one of Canberra's newest 5 star boutique hotels, and needless to say we enjoyed our stay immensely - we stayed over a Saturday evening and savoured the cocktails in the bar, Bacchus, and then went onto a delicious dinner in Konoba restaurant where I devoured the tiger prawn, chorizo and asparagus risotto - something of a personal benchmark test for each new restaurant I try, get the risotto right and I'll be back! Konoba is also where breakfast for hotel guests is also served in the morning and to my delight mini eggs Benedict were served amongst other hot breakfast treats with fresh fruit, small pastries and cereals.
Naturally we couldn't have enjoyed this as much had our room and sleep not been exceptional - and it was, in the Realm King Room... with contemporary & elegant interior design & styling from the linen covered full wall size bedheads, to the soft king bed and high count sateen pillow slips & sheets, to the Anibous inspired black and cream woollen bed runner, and the teal & caramel hounds tooth carpet, to the window treatments & occasional furniture in shades of white, clay and cream with accents of grey white carerra marble and polished stainless steel - all in perfect harmony with a fashionable edge.
Images from Hotel Realm

Weekend Away...with Degas

Dancer adjusting her slipper 1873 The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York / HO Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. HO Havemeyer, 1929 Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Over the Weekend we visited one of my most favourite places - the National Gallery of Australia [affectionately know as the NGA] in Canberra [Australia's National Capital - Territory] only 2.5 / 3 hrs drive south from Sydney. As a member of the gallery I try to visit several times a year and make a weekend of it.... and how could you not when the NGA brings some of the biggest and best exhibitions together from collections from all over the globe...here is a small taste of the exhibition 'Degas: Master of French Art'.

'The National Gallery of Australia’s exhibition Degas: master of French art spans the range of Edgar Degas’ work, from his early portraiture and historical subject matter, through his move to modern subject matter, and on to his late experimental paintings and photographs in the 1890s. It also examines the rich visual and literary sources that Degas drew upon in his early years.
A major exhibition theme is Degas’ transformation as an artist and his recurrent experimentation, leading to his mature and very distinctive style. It traces the development of his work from the finely crafted early paintings to those possessing a more brilliant palette and looser brushwork, and concludes with radical later works that include finger painting. This development made Degas an influential figure in the evolution of modern art — an artist whose work was admired and collected by Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse.'

For more about Degas and the exhibition of this phenomenal master of modern art click here.

'Degas: master of French art will also explore other relevant themes in Degas’ work, such as the influence of French caricature, japonisme, literature and the theatre. Through modelling wax figures of horses, ballet dancers and bathers (which were later cast in bronze), Degas was constantly searching for ways to depict movement and form. The relationship of his sculpture to his paintings and drawings is an aspect of this exhibition.
Degas was a consummate painter, draughtsman, print maker and sculptor, who in his later years also undertook experiments in the new medium of photography. Degas: master of French art will focus on all these arts and their interrelationships.'
Jane Kinsman - Senior Curator, International Art, and curator

DEGAS: the uncontested master by Jane Kinsman with Michael Pantazzi

Horses, ballerinas, laundresses are [Degas’] predilections and of all the things in the world which surround him seem to preoccupy him exclusively. But what truth there is in his draughtsmanship, and how astute is his understanding of colour. Jules-Antoine Castagnary, 1874
Born in Paris in 1834, Edgar Degas was considered a radical artist in his adoption of modern subject matter and he was to become a key figure in the evolution of modern art. Degas: the uncontested master covers the period from Degas’ early portraiture and historical subject matter of the 1870s through his move to modern subject matter, to his late experimental paintings and photographs from the 1890s until his death in 1917.

Bonjour Degas - a word book in English and French
This delightful book designed for children looks at details of paintings by famous 19th century French artist Edgar Degas. It includes his favourite subjects—ballerinas and dance classes, horses and riders, and people at work. You will discover the words for things in the paintings and for colours in English and French.

An fabulous extension of the Degas- Master of French Art exhibition was Degas' world: the rage for change
The exhibition Degas’ world: the rage for change is less specifically about Degas than the world he inhabited. It is about his fellow artists and friends—those who inspired him, and those he, in turn, inspired. As an exhibition it seeks to avoid the clichés of sweetness and light with which Impressionism has been interminably burdened. Instead, it is about the real world of nineteenth-century France.

International Art Collection-TOULOUSE-LAUTREC, Henri deFrance 1864 – 1901
La Clownesse assise: Mademoiselle Cha-u-ka-o [The seated clown: Mademoiseille Cha-u-ka-o] [La Clownesse assise. Mlle Cha-u-ka-o: from the album "Elles" [Ed 37/100]] 1896 from the album Elles [Womankind]Collection Title: EllesPrint, planographic Technique: lithograph, printed in colourImpression: 37/10052.8 h x 40.6 w cm Accn No: NGA 77.16.3

International Art Collection GRASSET, Eugene Switzerland 1845 – France 1917 La morphinomane [The morphine addict] 1897drawing pencil. Edition: uniqueimage 41.2 h x 31.2 w cm Purchased with the assistance of Orde Poynton Esq. CMG 1995Accn No: NGA 95.781
International Art Collection GRASSET, Eugene Switzerland 1845 – France 1917
France La vitrioleuse [The acid thrower] c.1896 Collection Title: L'estampe originale, Album VI, Arpil-June 1894Print, planographicTechnique: colour lithographImpression: 71/10040.0 h x 27.7 w cm 60.6 h x 44.0 w cm Gift of Orde Poynton Esq. CMG 1993Accn No: NGA 93.2045

Mark Henshaw who curated this particular exhibition I had the privilege of hearing him speak about some of the pieces in this exhibit and why he chose them...if you have the chance to stand in on any curator speak about their exhibited space I strongly recommend it - there are so many wonderful facets of the pieces and how they be brought together by the curator that you may never be able to understand on viewing alone. You can read Mark Henshaw's essay on the exhibit through this link . Mark Henshaw is the Curator of International Prints, Drawings and Illustrated Books for the National Gallery of Australia.
All works in the exhibition Degas’ world: the rage for change are from the National Gallery of Australia’s International Print collection.

Also video trailers of the Degas exhibition - Master of French Art can be viewed here through this link.
Images from NGA

20 March, 2009

It's Friday & A Weekend Away!

Well Friday is upon us again, and I hope you have a had a wonderful week - absorbing shades of green through your daily life... and so I thought that in finishing the 'Colour Week' of Green for March I found this great image of a vintage American pick up truck - complete with mattress, and a couple of cosy quilted throws [one avocado green - of course], and even better driving off into the sunset as this is what I am doing this weekend - going away!
On a spur decision my husband booked a weekend away on Thursday evening! Where you may ask are heading? We're off to Canberra [Australia's national capital] to visit the National Gallery [N.G.A] and to catch the 'Degas - Master of French Art' exhibit, as well as visiting local markets and enjoying some delicious food & wine...
Wherever you are this weekend I hope you have a great one! Enjoy x

Mimosa Yellow - Colour Me Happy...

A small break from the 'Greens' today as an article has just been released on the newest IT colour for 2009, Mimosa Yellow - above, from Leatrice Eiseman of the Pantone Institute of Colour, headquartered in Seattle United States. Leatrice’s prediction for 2009 is a colour she calls Mimosa [which is very similar to Australia's wattle flower]. Being a yellow it is very hopeful and full of optimism. Best illustrated by the abundant flowers of the Mimosa tree much like and the sparkle of the brilliantly hued cocktail, the 2009 color of the year represents the hopeful and radiant characteristics associated with the color yellow. Mimosa is a versatile shade that coordinates with any other color, has appeal for men and women, and translates to both fashion and interiors. Look for women's accessories, home furnishings, active sportswear and men's ties and shirts in this vibrant hue.

Mimosa Embodies Hopefulness and Reassurance in a Climate of Change
CARLSTADT, N.J., Dec. 3, 2008 - Pantone, an X-Rite company (NASDAQ: XRIT), and the global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries, today announced PANTONE® 14-0848 Mimosa, a warm, engaging yellow, as the color of the year for 2009. In a time of economic uncertainty and political change, optimism is paramount and no other color expresses hope and reassurance more than yellow.

Happy Days... According to the Pantone Institute of Colour - Mimosa Yellow - is the IT Colour for 2009. Click on this link for more info...

Article from SMH (Sydney Morning Herald) Essential, Thursday 13 March 2009.

Images from Pantone Institute, SMH, Modern Living, House Beautiful, WGSN, Southern Accents, Living Etc. & Traditional Home.

Painted Furniture & Green Pears

I have always had a fascination with pears, especially green ones... several pears placed in a ceramic bowl or a wicker basket can be a great edible accessory both in a traditional country context as well as a contemporary one - where placement and containment [type of] is key. I love this painting by Rosemary Ladd of these delicious green pairs - 5 pears as placement, using 'odd' numbers of items is crucial in ensuring a natural balance. 'Odd' numbers are considered organic numbers.
This pale green paitined lingerie chect of drawers almost belongs in the 'looking glass' with Alice - I love the quote stylishly painted onto the front of the drawers.
I love this pair of painted chairs in lime green with their pressed metal inlay on their back, they almost look like a long waiting suited couple [a grandmother & grandfather chair] just waiting for someone to drop by and say hello....

18 March, 2009

Pistachio... Cottage Charm

Today I am in love with this 'cottage'....
I love the combination of greens from the soft pistachio to the glass bottle green, to the blue green and ripened celery green - all teamed with white, off white, grey glass, and metal finishes alongside the birch, thatched wicker baskets & dining chairs and dotted with highlights of camellia pink, and surprise pops of turquoise blue. What a beautiful fresh palette to make for an inviting, comfortable space.
Just a cup of tea and a good mag - feet up... I'm already there!

Glass Bottles make for beautiful vessel displays - taking in and refracting the light of the hues surrounding them.

A trestle table is a contemporary smart way to
have space for a home office or writing space.
The blue green shutters frame the
pin board - a great space for reminders
or inspirational finds.

Images from Country Living

17 March, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day...

It's a good week to be Green - to be Irish... to be sure!
To my Irish ancestors, my Irish friends, and all those who celebrate St.Patrick's Day - I wish you a happy one and many blessings. Here I found some lovely ways to add some green into your day with an Irish twist! So what do you know about St. Patrick? Here's a little history for you...
It is known that St. Patrick was born in Britain to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century. He is believed to have died on March 17, around 460 A.D. Although his father was a Christian deacon, it has been suggested that he probably took on the role because of tax incentives and there is no evidence that Patrick came from a particularly religious family. At the age of sixteen, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family's estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity. (There is some dispute over where this captivity took place. Although many believe he was taken to live in Mount Slemish in County Antrim, it is more likely that he was held in County Mayo near Killala.) During this time, he worked as a shepherd, outdoors and away from people. Lonely and afraid, he turned to his religion for solace, becoming a devout Christian. (It is also believed that Patrick first began to dream of converting the Irish people to Christianity during his captivity.) For more details on the
history of St Patrick click here.
To our dearest & best friends - Jackie & Brent, we wish you a very Happy 8th Wedding Anniversary, congratulations & much love to you both. I can remember standing near you holding your bouquet, listening to the the prayers & to the priest, as he gave you both his blessing and recited one of our favourite Irish Marriage blessings...
Irish Marriage Blessing
May God be with you and bless you.
May you see your children's children.
May you be poor in misfortunes and rich in blessings.
May you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.

An Old Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,May God hold you in the palm of His hand.


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