30 November, 2010

A Vignette of Summer Blooms...

A special little vignette I put together last night after a lovely surprise of these gorgeous, huge, full heads of red Hydrangeas [one of my favourite summer flowers] from the very sweet & talented Sally [Thompson], owner & floral stylist of Blushing Blooms - Flowers by Sally Thomspon! Thank You Sally xxx
Each piece in this vignette has come from a special trip or person, and are very close to my heart... Often the best arrangements have items that are personal & have great stories about them.  Enjoy,

29 November, 2010

Pop-Up Colour!

Colour does not add a pleasant quality to
design – it reinforces it.

- Pierre Bonnard -

I love this Pop-Up Colour in a Pop-Up Store in London by Kate Spade... I love the idea of 'wrap around' paint [in the top image] that then provides the colour anchor for the rest of the room. And wouldn't it be lovely to have a wall dedicated to being able to hang all your 'lovely' handbags as a collection - not the run of the mill ones - the special ones...a 3D artwork of their own. Last but not least - I always love a wall frame cluster the size of the images are quite large but are in balance with the size & height of the wall, and although this cluster looks effortless with the colour placement - it would have taken many configurations to get it 'just right'. It's all in the preparation!

For more of fabulous pop-up colour visit the Kate Spade website
The Kate Spade London Pop-Up London Store was open from 12 Oct to 12 Nov 2010

26 November, 2010

Friday Flowers.. Splash of Red.

I had hoped to have organised a 'special Friday Flowers' this week but time has run away with me for some reason this week! And to be truthful if I don't visit this special 'Friday Flowers' person & shop it won't be Palatial Living blog post worthy and I'd hate to disappoint you! So I have pencilled it into my diary and have to get myself into gear and make a time to visit and hopefully interview too!
 I also received a lovely phone call yesterday from [hopefully] a new client who I am hoping to help with her window treatments, some decor pieces and colour palettes for her new home...Funnily enough the person who got me in contact with the 'secret' Friday Flowers person - also referred my [hopeful] new client to me. Her name is Victoria Louis and she runs a fabulous photography workshops 'A Beautiful Workshop' aka The Nuts and Bolts Workshop - she is a PR & Marketing whiz , and in a former life [pre-children] was the marketing manager at Pacific magazines [Home Beautiful and the likes]. Be sure to check out Victoria and her business partner Cathy Crawley's - website HERE. 
So today you have my garden - these are pic I took of my Scarlet red carpet roses that I have growing on one side of our fence - really to prevent the two Houdini's aka Lucy & Zach our Cavalier & Cavoodle from making next door their new home! I recently painted our parameter fence one of my fave colours from the Dulux exterior paint selections 'Ironstone' - it really helps to make the yard appear deeper & all our flowers and foliage 'pop'!
Thank you for visiting Palatial Living this week...
I look forward to bring you more stylish Palatial activity next week. Happy Weekend & Enjoy!

25 November, 2010

A Bit of Christmas...

I thought I'd start sharing some snippets of Christmas, my December 2010 Christmas issue of Australian Country Style just arrived last week and I am loving all the gorgeous magazine Christmas covers. I have started a Christmas cushion project to 'festive-up' my couch cushions, nothing worse than not having enough cushions - although all my family & friends would laugh at that - they mostly can't fit on the couch amongst all the cushions!
So here's a little peek of the fabrics I'm going to use, in my said 'peppermint red & white' colour scheme for this year... Stay tuned - I will reveal all very soon!

24 November, 2010

Mid Week House Snoop...Is Back!

A truly Palatial home  located on Sydney's Northern Beaches, Mona Vale this home is in a favourite colour scheme & style of mine, the Cape Cod - Hampton's influence. I love the combination of materials used - painted weatherboard, sandstone, timber and glass. A contemporary take on a timeless look... the interiors seem to lend themselves to Hampton's meets the Caribbean-Island life [with unconscious influences of India Hicks] - which lends itself perfectly to Australian coastal living. This style of architecture is similar to the apartment, and home of Breakfast Point [Sydney's inner west river front] where we used to live... affectionately referred to as 'Truman-ia' - a little slice of Hampton's-inspired living in Sydney. For details on the Palatial Living Mid Week House Snoop pick - see the agent's blurb below. 

Agent's Blurb - LJ Hooker Mona Vale.
The New Benchmark For Coastal Living - Waterfront
Architecturally designed to international standards this stunning 4 year old home takes its influences from the popular Hampton's style of the East Coast of the USA combined with the relaxed holiday oasis feeling of the "Sheraton Moana" Hawaii.
* A much admired home from the outside, the magnificent interiors of this stunning offering will far surpass your expectations
* The exceptional residence features a fabulous floorplan ideal for full scale entertaining while retaining intimacy and warmth
* Cleverly designed to offer each family member their own private, spacious retreat with robes and ensuites and some with private balconies overlooking Pittwater
* Focal points include attention to detail and craftsmanship, breathtaking water views without a home in sight, a sweeping timber staircase, an exquisite modern kitchen finished in Corian and open fireplace
* All this and much more are set within lovely established level gardens with expansive verandahs and a sparkling inground pool at the level water's edge
An exclusive and irreplaceable offering awaits you.
Property No. 106659353

Images & subtext from Real Estate.com.au

23 November, 2010

Isabelle's Tara Rose...

This is the first time this pretty rose has bloomed since my Mum bought it [from the Tara school market day] for our daughter, Isabelle back in May this year...
It's called the 'Tara Rose' and was specially created & named for the school that both my sister & I attended for our [entire] school life. It's such a beautiful rose, the pink is both vibrant and delicate all at the same time, and shows up even more so against the painted fence [colour is Dulux 'Ironstone' full tint]. I gave it a little drink this evening so I hope there will be a few more blooms from it yet!

On the Weekend...

On our dining table -  I love blue & white, and
 all things stripes & spots - some of the festive spirit
of Christmas is creeping into my table displays!

Over the weekend we had invited some old friends over for [a BBQ] lunch, the weather has been fabulous - sunny, clear, warm with a light breeze - just perfect for sitting outside, a few wines and a delicious BBQ lunch. My husband fired up the freshly cleaned BBQ, uncorked the red and popped the champagne as I tried out a few [new] salads 'tomato/basil/bocconcini' & 'warm roasted pumpkin/pine nut/ baby spinach/ fetta', and a side of 'grilled eggplant slices rolled and filled with ricotta-oregano-Spanish onion & shaved Parmesan] and a favourite 'smashed potatoes' with a few things for the 'barby' including pork chipolatas wrapped with prosciutto! Mmmm delicious...
All then followed by a freshly baked ricotta cheesecake from Pasticceria Papa [locate din Haberfield Sydney - infamous for only baking it when fresh ricotta is available and you queue up from first open of shop doors!]. I love the colour of the salads, dishes and the simple setting - so I took a few photos before it all got devoured! I have added the recipes below - for you - if you'd like to give them a try, even I can do them!

Colour on my Table.

Summer Delectable Zest - Tomato, Spanish Onion,
Basil & bocconcini on a bed of Rocket - Salad with
Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Delicious colour - Warm Roasted Pumpkin,
Pine Nut, Baby Spinach & Fetta Salad with
Balsamic Honey Mustard dressing.

A simple outdoor place setting, I love stripe, graphic
prints & combinations of blues, whites, reds,
& neutral shades.

A new side dish - grilled eggplant slices rolled & filled
with ricotta & oregano, topped with shaved Parmesan.

When flowers are spare, I cut some small
branches from my magnolia grandiflora
tree for some fresh green/ bronze foliage,
it worked a treat.

 - Recipes -

Marinated Tomato Salad with Bocconcini
Ingredients (serves 12)
8 (about 1kg) ripe tomatoes, cut into thick wedges
1 x 500g pkt trussed yellow roma tomatoes, cut into thick wedges
125ml (1/2 cup) olive oil
1 tbs finely grated lemon rind
1/2 tsp caster sugar
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 x 500ml btl balsamic vinegar
1 x 180g tub bocconcini, drained, torn in half
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 Spanish Onion [Red onion]

Place tomato, oil, lemon rind and sugar in a bowl, and gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight to develop the flavours.
Place the vinegar in a saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes or until reduced to about 160ml (2/3 cup) and vinegar is thick and syrupy (take care during the last 5 minutes as it's easy to burn the vinegar). Set aside to cool.
Place tomato mixture on a serving platter. Top with Spanish onion pieces [cut into strips] bocconcini and sprinkle with basil. Drizzle with balsamic dressing to serve.
Notes - You can prepare this recipe to the end of step 2 up to 1 day ahead. Store the vinegar in an airtight container in the fridge. Continue from step 3 just before serving the main.


Warm Raosted Pumpkin, Fetta, & Baby Spinach salad
Ingredients (serves 6)
600g butternut pumpkin, deseeded, peeled, cut into wedges
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp honey
2 tsp sesame seeds
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs honey, extra
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 x 150g pkt baby spinach leaves
1 x 75g pkt toasted pine nuts
50g Soft Smooth Fetta [Danish style is preferable]

Preheat oven to 220°C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Place the pumpkin in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and honey. Season with salt and pepper. Gently toss until the pumpkin is well coated. Place in a single layer on the lined tray. Bake, turning once during cooking, for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle evenly with the sesame seeds. Return to oven and bake for 5 minutes or until the seeds are lightly toasted. Remove from oven and set aside for 30 minutes to cool.
Combine the lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, mustard and extra honey in a screw-top jar and shake until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
Place the pumpkin, spinach and pine nuts in a large bowl. Drizzle with the dressing and gently toss until just combined. Crumble Fetta over the top of the salad. Serve immediately.

Notes - Prep: 10 mins (+ 30 mins cooling time)
You can prepare this recipe to the end of step 2 up to 2 hours ahead. Continue from step 3 just before serving.

22 November, 2010

Friends Of Leon...Alexandra Lekias - Preview Exhibition Evening

Friends of Leon Gallery window - Leon Krasenstein
 [gallery owner/ curator] requests all artists who
exhibit at the gallery
 to create an artwork on the gallery window.

From the outside-in - Alexandra Lekias - LifeLong Baby Teeth,
the preview exhibition evening was packed!

The talented& very sweet artist herself, Alexandra Lekias
in front of some her amazing pieces from the 'LifeLong Baby Teeth' exhibit
Last week, Thursday evening, I was excited to attend a preview evening of  a very talented emerging artist - Alexandra Lekias' exhibition 'LifeLong Baby Teeth', at the fabulous Surry Hills gallery - Friends of Leon Gallery, owned and curated by the incredibly hospitable, attentive,  and gracious Leon Krasenstein..... Who opened the back part of his home & terrace garden to all exhibition attendees & patrons for delightful  mix of the artist's fave drink an inspired vodka, cranberry twist cocktail and cold 'Tiger beers', and happy festive crowded conversation. Here are a few pics I took of the gallery and the evening I wanted to share with you. Enjoy... 

Old friends & New friends made - at' Friends of Leon Gallery'
Leon's back terrace garden wall features an artwork from
a previous exhibiting artist

I love Leon's staircase living/ dining graphic
achromatic wallpaper feature teamed with large bulb
 pendant lighting- so striking.

The clever, suave & ever gracious Leon Krasenstein,
owner & curator of Friends of Leon Gallery

Window art frames looking
 into an exciting exhibition....


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