30 November, 2009

Festive Ways with Blue & White...Coastal Inspiration.

Use seasonal pillows and throws to add festive accents to a room. Bring in more color by wrapping packages in coordinating paper and hanging wreaths with generous lengths of ribbon.
Coastal touches such as nautical ornaments and stockings with images of sailboats highlight this tiny pool house’s year-round decor. Tiny spruces in red pots decorate the coffee table, and swags of garland wrap around the loft area’s nautical rigging.
Use coordinating wrapping paper to match gifts to your holiday decorating scheme. Here - above - Boats and ship’s bells ring in the season, and primitive accents lend folk-art flair to this living room.

I love that at almost any - if not all - times of the year you can punch out one of my favourite decorating palette combos of 'Blue & White', and by adding another accent & highlight colour it can as easily go from Easter to Christmas holidays. Here I found some gorgeous rooms that celebrate Christmas with coastal inspiration using a Blue & White palette, creating a welcoming, fresh & stylish environment.
For more fabulous blue & white, and many other festive stylishly coordinated decorating & gift ideas check out the cover that inspired this post - Pale Blue & White with splashes of Cherry Red [with craft paper brown] on Australian Home Beautiful, December 2009 issue. Enjoy xx

Images from Coastal Living & Australian Home Beautiful Dec 09 issue .

27 November, 2009

It's Friday & It's the Weekend...Time for a dip!

So glad it's Friday today and the weekend is fast here... It's a very hot Friday here in Sydney at 34 degrees today, and shaping up for another hot one over the weekend to 36 degrees and more! My weekend is peppered with fun , some work & catching up with friends... Tomorrow I have my morning yoga class, then I am seeing a lovely [potential] new client, and then off to a very old friend's baby shower, whom I have know since primary school grade 3, and many other old school friends will be there too so will be a great catch up! On Sunday we're off to meet friends at a BBQ School Cooking Class, being held in Centennial Park [Sydney] my husband & his mates are so happy with this - they get to cook BBQ style with Beer!
So what are you up to this weekend? Hope it's a 'Palatially Fun' one! Enjoy. S xx
Image from Sunset Living, Napa Valley Home.

26 November, 2009

Love This - CR's Christmas '09 Catalogue...

I just received the Country Road Christmas 2009 catalogue in the mail and just love the locale, styling and products in their catalogue - it really sums up the essence of an Australian [Sydney] summer for me...
I adore the Havaelson [style] timber boat - this is one of dreams to own one of these, along with a small weekender on the water [I saw a spread in Inside Out magazine sometime last year with furniture designer & craftsman Mark Tuckey & his family in their gorgeous Havelson - so wonderful!].
The location of the shoot looks very familiar - like somewhere down at Sydney's Pittwater, maybe Church Point, or could be Cottage Point, or even at Clareville where we often go for a Sunday afternoon lunch or coffee down by the water... of which - ALL - are favourite spots of mine - here they lead up North to Jerusalem Bay, on towards Dangar Island & Brooklyn . Needless to say I have already marked what I like from the catalogue for these 'missing' summer pieces, and a few other gifts to get yet!

Images from Country Road Christmas 2009 catalogue

25 November, 2009

The Perfect Stocking...

With Only 4 weeks to go - today - here's how to make the Perfect Stocking...
Images 1 & 2 - Stockings from Cherryland, through Etsy.com
Step 1: Using the stocking illustration as a guide (save it and blow it up 200% on a photocopier - check how big you want it), use dressmaker's pattern paper to make a stocking pattern to your chosen size, adding 2.5cm seam allowances all round. Cut out two stocking pieces in red fabric.
Step 2: Cut a piece of gingham to match the toe section of your cut-out stocking, adding 2.5cm along the straight edge for turning under. For the gingham trim at the top of the stocking, take one cut-out stocking piece and measure across the top edge. Cut a 10cm strip of gingham to twice this measurement minus 5cm.
Step 3: Use tailor's chalk to mark all 2.5cm seam lines on the right side of one stocking piece. Take your gingham toe piece, turn under 2.5cm along the straight edge and press. Pin, right side up on the right side of your marked stocking. Top stitch 5mm from the folded edge and then tack along curved edges.
Step 4: Using the templates as a guide, and checking the sizes against your chalked stocking, draw an icicle trim and three holly leaf shapes on the paper side of a piece of iron-on fusing. Following manufacturer's instructions, place the iron-on-fusing, paper side up, on to your felt and press. Cut out the shapes and check the sizes again against your stocking, making sure that the icicle trim in particular fits neatly between the three chalked seam lines at the top of the stocking. Trim a little if necessary. Remove the backing paper and iron the motifs in place on the stocking. Using a contrasting thread, top stitch all round each leaf, 5mm from the edges, and then stitch in the 'veins' of each leaf (use the picture as a guide).
Step 5: Right sides facing and matching raw edges all round, pin the two stocking pieces together. Machine stitch, taking a 2.5cm seam, leaving the top edge open. Trim seams and snip into the seam allowances around the curved edges to ease the fit. Press open seam allowances and turn through.
Step 6: Fold the gingham strip in half width ways and stitch a 2.5cm seam along the short edges to form a ring. Press seam open and turn through. Fold in half along the length, matching raw edges and press. Then turn under 2.5cm along one long edge and press again. Repeat along the remaining long raw edge. Right sides facing and matching raw edges, pin the gingham trim to the top of the stocking, matching the trim seam with one of the stocking seams. Turn the trim over the raw edge of the stocking and slip stitch in place on the reverse.
To finish, stitch miniature bells or baubles in place on the holly leaves.

Finally have fun, enjoy & hang your stocking in a place that 'Santa' can find it & fill it in!

Instructions & Images from Coastal Living, Images 1 & 2 Stockings from Cherryland, through Etsy.com

24 November, 2009

Handmade: Whiter Shade of Pale for Christmas

[Image 1 - hand cut & layered wreath with buttons & drop string ornaments)

[Image 2 - A stylish clever way for an advent calendar - collect your favourite small envelopes and label then with the date on small luggage tags, then enclose a paper Christmas message and a treat for each day]

[ Image 3 - paper garlands , teamed with paper stockings and relief cut cards on the mantle]

A lovely new take on the Christmas palette - instead of traditional colours here's a soft, delicate, cool & charming palette.

Images from Inside Out magazine, Christmas Issue 3, vol 1 December 2009.

23 November, 2009

I Love This..From Inside Out - 'Santa Please Stop Here!'

[Image 1] 'Santa Please Stop- Here'
[Images 1, 2 & 3] Within the grounds of Shannon's home nestled in the sublime NSW Byron Bay hinterland.

[Image 4] just liek the uber cute puppy dog in Shannon's spread - here's my handsome Cavoodle, Zach - pictured at the RSPCA Million Paws Walk - complete witha 'Verandah Puppy' denim paws & ginham bandana!
[Image 5] Cover image of Inside Out's Christmas Issue Vol. 3. No.1 2009

I received my subscription copy Inside Out's Christmas Issue Vol. 3. No.1 2009 just recently... And to my delight amongst many other fantastic pieces there was another gorgeous spread from Inside Out's Shannon Fricke awaited inside... I love the 'bohemian lost-kids' look - almost Peter Pan-esque - that really seems to sum up what the summer lead up to Christmas is all about for kids! At least this is how I remember playing after school & the hot days of school holidays close to Christmas with cicadas in the background... Shannon and Prue (Roscoe - photography) have really managed to capture the whimsical fun of this special magical time - even down to the super cute puppy dog- who looks so much like my Cavoodle, Zach ! I have included a photo of him from the RSPCA Million Paws Walk last year so you can see what I mean! The location reminded me of Shannon's home in the Byron Bay hinterland - and upon further reading of her blog [from her posting on 4 November] yes it is... the house & grounds looks so wonderful Shannon, well done.
Thank you again 'Inside Out' for a beautiful story! For more info and details on this spread and fabulous Christmas ideas get your copy of Inside Out's Christmas Issue 2009 at your favourite newsagent now. Enjoy. S x

Images from Inside Out's Christmas Issue Vol. 3. No.1 2009

20 November, 2009

It's Friday & The Weekend Is Here...Take Me to the Beach!

It's Friday - Hope you have a wonderful weekend... It's very, very hot here in Sydney reaching up to 39 degrees Celsius (that's 102.2 F for our friends in the U.S) so Friday Flowers & Fruit may be a little wilted today! So I'm thinking that going to the beach, or getting poolside, or hitting the cool air of the movies will be high on the agenda this weekend! Hope your visits to Palatial Living were inspiring this week - Thank You for stopping by! Have a fun & colourful weekend... Enjoy x S.

18 November, 2009

In Love with these Rooms...

[Image 1] Living Room by Meg Braff
To give the open-flow living and dining rooms of an East Hampton, New York, house a light, relaxed air, designer Meg Braff used soft blues and whites, linens, cottons, and a seagrass rug.
[Image 2] Family Room by Meg Braff
"With four young children, durability in the family room was key for the owners," Braff says. "The dark blue on the sofas, the leather ottoman, and the sisal rug are practically bulletproof." The sofa is upholstered in Hinson's Rawlston in Dunham Blue. Walls are covered in Africa Raffia in Key West Teal by Phillip Jeffries.
[Image 3] Guest Bedroom by Meg Braff
"The printed fabric in the guest bedroom is whimsical," Braff says, "but the beige and aqua palette is very restful." Bed and curtain fabric is Lyford Background in Inca Gold on White, by China Seas. Wallpaper is Millennium Stripe in Beige and White, by First Editions. Ottomans are by Jonathan Adler.
[Image 4] Dining Room by Joe Nahem
In a new Greenwich, Connecticut, house, designer Joe Nahem gave the dining room timeless allure with a hand-painted and embroidered silk wallcovering, Fromental's Lotus & Carp in Moon Gold.
[Image 5] Living Room by Joe Nahem
Back-to-back sofas define intimate seating areas in the vast living room. They're upholstered in a Classic Cloth velvet, Marlowe in India Ink, that has "an iridescent quality," Nahem says. "The color changes depending on the light. One day it's gray, another day it's blue."
[image 6] Bedroom by Joe Nahem
The owners asked for a glamorous bedroom, and Nahem came through in a sparkling way. He designed the bed with silver-leaf details and flanked it with mirrored chests from Mecox Gardens.
House Bautiful was right, these are rooms I don't think I would ever tire of... aren't they just gorgeous!
Images from [US] House Beautiful, October 2009 issue.

17 November, 2009

Summer Oasis...

With hot summery weather upon us here in Australia I came across this fabulous room & oh I just love this sun room - it reminds me of a Queenslander [closed in] verandah brought to life with a fab mix contemporary & traditional furniture and colours .
What a gorgeous - cool & relaxing room to be in on a hot summer's afternoon.. just need a pitcher of cold lime water & a favourite mag. I love the floorboards painted in an azure blue hue which appears less stark and much easier on the eye than if painted white, by using this shade on the floor it also allows another accent colour to be incorporated into the soft furnishings & decor items...hmmm simply irresistible.
Image from House Beautiful

16 November, 2009

Getting Festive - Christmas Wrapping...

I love nothing better than wrapping up and giving presents - especially themed style & colour en-mass! And there's no better time than Christmas to make a great 'wrapping' statement!!
Handmade wrapping - above - Australian Home Beautiful Dec 09 issue
Cheerful Gift Boxes - To give a cardboard box a cheery makeover, place the lid on top of a card. Using a ruler, draw an outline that's about 1/4 inch outside the lid. Cut just inside the line with a pair of pinking shears. Use a glue stick to attach the cutout to the lid; the card will extend over the box's edges (be sure it's centered over the lid before pressing down). Repeat to cover the bottom of the box. From Martha Stewart.com

Handmade Vintage Inspired wrapping - above - Australian Home Beautiful Dec 09 issue

I'm getting into the festive season & have just 'designed' & ordered our 2009 Family Christmas cards which are an explosion of Cherry Red & White, that should arrive in a couple of weeks - enough time to write, lick, stamp & post out! Whilst getting into my Christmas cards it got me thinking of what will me gift wrap colour theme be this year?
I love mixing non-traditional colours & ideas with Christmas - although this year I am leaning towards a slightly more 'handmade' look but am thinking about colour combinations such as Craft Brown Paper, Cherry Red, White & Pale Blue - as in the Real Living Dec 09 issue, and Home Beautiful Dec 09 issue - for the boys. And for the Girls - very similar so there's a strong theme - Craft Brown Paper, Cherry Red, White & Fuchsia Pink - as shown in some the pages of the Inside Out Christmas 09 issue!
So what colour, theme & style will you go for this year? Whichever way you go - have fun with it!!

BTW - Good news - This week the new issue for [Australian] Home Beautiful Dec 2009 is out in newsagents & supermarkets.

Images from [Australian] Home Beautiful Dec 2009 & Martha Stewart

13 November, 2009

Friday Flowers take a Berry Christmas turn...

Happy Friday!! Friday Flowers take a Berry Christmas inspired turn... I love this image from December 09 issue of Home Beautiful. Here individual small glass bulb vases house singular stems of gum nuts and flannel flowers make for a stylish Australian 'Noel' vignette.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend - keep an eye out for mini projects that you can start trying out for your Christmas lead up & present stash! Thank you for making Palatial Living your style & design stop-over this week! Enjoy x

Image from Australian Home Beautiful December 2009 issue

12 November, 2009

Garden Cottages for Play or Work...

Owners of this old shed saw huge potential and converted it into a master external bath house - a retreat to bathe and relax in.
With some TLC an old garden shed becomes a cottage haven for potting plants, reading & relaxing. A cosy home office in a revamped garden tool shed.

A converted pigeon house is now a bright, friendly undercover play space.

'My next house.. .' Backyard Cabin.

Many of us have this thought - 'In my next house I will have...'
Here are some wonderful examples of a garden cottage or shed that has another purpose than housing just the tools and the lawn mower! From an external bath house, to a home office & studio, to a converted pigeon house into a children's play room ! So many uses and options that you could change the space to your growing family & professional needs.
And I would have to say I am no exception, being involved in helping my client's interior & exterior colour & style ides come to fruition isn't only normal that many of my ideas continue to ripen before I can harvest them!! And one of them is - 'In my next house...' I would love to have a yard space large enough to house a little off site home office w/ en suite - complete with a small verandah (very in keeping) where I can dream, design, paint & sew, as well as invite clients to chat with them about their ideas and how we can bring them to life... Hmmm, I particular love the 'Backyard Cabin' [last image] by an Australian company 'Back yard Cabins' who are located in Sydney's northern beaches, Avalon. I think this design would be just perfect for so many reasons... So hope you are reading my post today Darling [husband]!

11 November, 2009

Remembrance Day...

In Remembrance & Honour for all those who have valiantly served, and continue to serve for our nation & democracy. Lest We Forget.
If you would like to assist returning veterans and their families please visit Legacy. Legacy is a voluntary organisation of veterans, servicemen and women and other volunteers who share the ideals of Legacy who are dedicated to the care of the dependants of Australian Defence Force members, after the death of a spouse or parent during service, and to Australian and Allied families after operational service. Legacy currently cares for 115,000 widows and 1900 children and dependants throughout Australia.

Christmas Is Coming... little things to get you going

Count-down bunting in natural linen and red embroidery hung near the staircase.
Yum - Christmas cookies that everyone can help with and get into!
Back to my grandmother's country roots - home preserves that are thoughtfully & beautifully packaged, make for wonderful gifts.
[Australian] Home Beautiful, December 2009 issue out in new stands soon!

Very excited - just got my new issue of Home Beautiful Dec 09 in the post today... and there were lots of gorgeous ideas for making Christmas 'yours'! With projects from the sewing machine to the kitchen, to the living room - in fabulous summery Christmas hues of crisp white, ruby red & pale china blue - Love it!
With only 5-6 weeks to go till the BIG festive week - it's got me getting out the Christmas music so I that I can hum along whilst I put these ideas & projects into motion... So thought I would share some of my fave images - so far - from the issue. Enjoy x

09 November, 2009

Book Shelf Love...

Smart Space - Custom-built egg-crate shelving covering an entire wall provides ample room to mix storage and display. A mix of magazine organizers, baskets, and boxes provides storage for periodicals, stationery, and painting and office supplies and creates a pleasing, layered mix of objects.
There's room in the kitchen too...
A winning combo - Special space for art & artifacts with favourite books - back lit with pops of colour that compliments the upholstery.
Quirky & Clever - Three bookcases joined with molding provide plenty of space for books and have a built-in feel. The space above the bookcases is put to use storing extra chairs for guests.
Floor to ceiling befriending the doorway...
I have always adored books & their shelves - here I found some great spaces and places for housing your favourite paper friends, and some with other great neighbours such as seating, art & artifacts, and tea pots & plates. I have always dreamt of having a hall way lined with shelving for books, or a small library & home office again again with a couple of walls lined with books! We had/ some plans drawn up for a home office a little while ago that also incorporated [white] built-in floor to ceiling shelving to house my art & design books...Now just need to keep saving for the conversion, hopefully to too far off in the future!

Images from Country Living, Traditional Home & Sunset Living.


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