Friday, June 29, 2012

Five pretty boxes for decorating

I am always on the hunt for pretty trinket boxes because they are always perfect for creating beautiful little vignettes. Despite the proliferation of beautifully coloured lacquered boxes in the US, they can be difficult to find in Australia.

Here I've rounded up some of favourite neutral boxes for decorating, and the best part? They are all under $50!

Now, I suppose you want to know where to buy them from?

A - Bone Inlay Trinket Box. $24.95. Nest Emporium.
B - Hutton Rope Box. $29.95. Domayne.
C - Black box with Bone Lid. $29.95. Oxfam Shop.
D - Thomas Paul 'Octopus' Lacquer Box. $28. Gallop Lifestyle.
E - Get Crafty Storage Box. $29.95. Typo.

I think the glass rope box is my favourite, although I'd happily have any of the above! Any favourites?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Feature Home: An easy, cheerful family space

When I spotted this family home I immediately thought it felt inviting and cheerful. It has a relaxed aesthetic that would make you feel right at home.

I love the bold blue walls used throughout the house, and what could be better with blue than Hermes orange?

The blue and white is the perfect way to modernise a traditional red rug (maybe I should add it to this post).

The large scale floral is perfect for the vintage settee and I love the drama of those black silk curtains!

I wish I could see more of the butterfly print on the left wall but the shades of blue are so cheerful and inviting for a bedroom.

Something I love about this house is how simple the aesthetic is to copy on a budget. A linen upholstered headboard is a simple DIY, a couple of cheerful cushions and a can of bright paint is all you need!

Another living space features the same dark curtains. I have to say that although I like the curtains themselves, I would have chosen a lighter rod - does anyone else feel like it's a little heavy across the doorway?

Splashes of orange are brought into the living room through art and accessories. We certainly see a lot of Hermes boxes in decor nowadays.

A classic white kitchen has been given a coat of bright sky blue, which is a lovely contrast to the white tiles and cabinetry.

A second dining space has soft grey walls with splashes of aqua and turquoise. A cheerful patterned tablecloth adds a punch of cheerful colour.

What do you think? To me, this house doesn't feel too 'designed'. I adore the shades of bright blue with all the natural light and would happily move in for a little while!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Moody, masculine style

One of my dream jobs as an interior designer is a moody, masculine apartment for a sophisticated bachelor. It would be modern with just a touch of vintage, with lots of beautiful natural timber and stone, with touches of worn leather and modern chrome.

SchappacherWhite Ltd

I would use a mix of contemporary, mid-century and vintage pieces with warm colours and fantastic contemporary art.

 Andrew Halliday and David Greer.

The bathrooms would have to be interesting, minimalist and clean lines but with touches of vintage to stop that clinical feel.

Les Terres M'Barka hotel

An exposed brick wall is an obvious choice for a bachelor pad, but it does look fantastic. I love the use of tartan bedding here.

Home of Rob Pilichowski

A dark timber floor beautifully offsets the chrome and worn leather of these dining chairs.

Domino magazine. Photo by Matt Albini / December 2006.

And finally, the kitchen would need to be modern but with an industrial edge. These black bricks are perfection against the white gloss of the cabinets.

Architecture: Liddicoat & Goldhill.
If you know any stylish men, please introduce me to one of my dream clients! In the meantime, I'm going to start designing some new Steal/Style kits for bachelors.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A trend to watch: Seascapes

Something I've been seeing a lot of lately is vintage seascapes being used in modern interiors. You often see paintings of troubled ships sailing tempetuous waves often at secondhand stores so it's interesting to see their revivial in modern decor! Of course, there are more modern alternatives as well; washed out beach scenes and stormy seas.

Room designed by Patrice Bevan Cowans, via Desire to Inspire.

Noelle Micek of An Organized Nest and Tricia Roberts Design.

Coastal Living Idea House 2010

Country Living

Designed by blogger Hindsvik at Home.

Designed by Trisha Brink.

I'm obviously a fan because I used two moody seascapes in the last display home I had designed!

What do you think of this trend? Do you have some seascapes you need to take out of storage?

Monday, June 18, 2012

A welcoming arrival...

Don't forget to enter the giveaway to win these gorgeous vintage bottles from our fav Etsy seller of the month 'A Creative Lifestyle'!

I'm currently designing a new house in my head which I'm hoping may become a reality next year. One of my criteria when creating a floor plan was to have a dedicated entry space. It doesn't need to be large, but it does need to be stylish! I want enough space for my entry table, some great art and a pretty light. 
I've been eyeing some pretty entryways recently and here are some of my favourites...

Designed by Suzanne Dimma.
I love the mosaic tiled floor against the crisp white walls here. The entry console is gorgeous and the splashes of blue are the perfect finishing touch!

This entry below has always been one of my favourites. Despite the dramatic and glamorous wallpaper, the space feels informal and relaxed thanks to the weathered console and casual styling.

Home of Rita Konig. Featured in Domino magazine.

This is a great example of creating style in a small space. I love this console with lots of drawers (great for all those knick-knacks that gather in entries like keys and dog leads), and the leather stool tucked underneath is gorgeous.

Alice Lane Home.
I'm not such a neutral person in my own home but there is lots I love about this entry. The first would have to be that incredble pendant - look at the beautiful shadows it throws! The grasscloth wallpaper is a beautiful way to add texture and interest to a small space without using patterned wallpaper too.

Designed by GRADE Architects & Designers.

This room is very contemporary and striking thanks to its' bold yellow, black and white colour scheme. I love the mirror used here and that quirky Lincoln artwork.

Carolyn Wilson and Elizabeth Boland of Design in a Day.
I want my own entry to be fun and interesting so I am definately leaning toward a bold colour or wallpaper (stencil?). 

Any suggestions?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Join me on some blog networking!

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago I'm a co-host of the Networking Blog Hop started by the amazing Kelly from 'Live Laugh Rowe'.
This is a really great way to discover some fantastic new blogs from around the world, and get some new readers for your as well - no business cards or expensive plane flights required! So make sure you join in and meet some new people!

There a few steps to follow to join in...

1. Link up to the homepage of your own blog.
2. Follow the 'host' (Live Laugh Rowe) and all the cost-hosts. The co-hosts are listed at the top of the link up and are labelled as such! You can follow through Twitter, Pinterest, Google Friend Connect, Linky Followers; whatever your favourite blog tool is.
3. Join in - visit some new blogs, say hello and have fun!

Thanks for joining in!

Best of Etsy: Vintage bottles from 'A Creative Lifestyle' and a giveaway!

It's the time of month where I introduce you all to another amazing Etsy artist and we get a little peek into the stories behind their store and products.

Last month we discovered the beautiful, vibrant abstract paintings from Something Debussy. This month, I wanted to find something a little different to share with you!

So, I'm introducing you to Jane and her wonderful Etsy homewares store 'A Crestive Lifestyle'.  I adore Jane's recycled homewares and the quirky pieces she finds. The vintage bottles and vases are given a new lease on life with Jane's creative ideas and would be the perfect addition to any home!

I have always dabbled in creative pursuits,whether it was simply planting my garden or decorating my house. I have always loved junk and realised its potential before it was fashionable. I have two very creative daughters,who have encouraged all things creative in me. I am constantly looking to see beauty in everyday, utilitarian objects and things from the past and then the bottles that feature in my shop caught my eye...I love these bottles and are so happy that people have been able to use them for weddings, restaurants and for decorating  their homes.

Apothecary Bottles

Etsy kept popping up in magazines I read, so I did some investigating. I was looking for an avenue to sell the bottles and thought I would give it a go.

Alphabet Specimen Bottles

First sale of course was very exciting, and it was to Tasmania, which is where I live. Its was such a thrill that some one else could see the potential in these bottles!

Amber Upcycled Medical Jars

Inspiration comes from all things around me. I am very visually aware of colour and shape. I keep my eyes open,read lots of magazines and recently blogs  [the influence of my daughter] and visit many junk and second hand shops. I constantly looking at the potential of all objects that surround me. I also live in a very beautiful part of Australia.

Inspirations for the future? Well I am 50 this year so  by the time I am 55 I plan to retire from nursing, continue to build my etsy shop, open another selling vintage articles that are only white and cream and maybe start my own blog!

Now, my lucky Australian readers (sorry, no international entries this time) have the chance to win a set of Jane's gorgeous specimen bottles numbered from 0-9. I can picture these looking gorgeous in a row on a windowsill, filled with individual blooms. Or even, a fun grouping of random numbers on a coffee table or console.

There are lots of ways to enter. Just make sure you let me know how you've entered using the Rafflecopter widge below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Glamorous Exotic Living Room Design

A lot of people ask where you can find inspiration for an interior. The answer is everywhere. Anything can inspire a beautiful home from the location, the architecture, art, a colour scheme or a photograph.

Here's a photo I have pinned which I saved because of the glamorous, moody feel and pops of bold, rich colours.

The green grey, from light to dark, provides a dramatic backdrop while pops of fuscia and inky navy blue give some colour to the image. The picture has a glamorous feel due to the high gloss nails and diamond jewellery, yet to me there is also something dramatic, exotic and a little on the 'wild side'.

Here is my interiors interpretation...

The walls, of course, would be that perfect greeny-grey with dark timber floors. To create a defined seating zone I've added a sisal rug (for a relaxed feel, and organic texture) layered with a zebra rug to capture that glamorous yet exotic feel.

Luxurious fabrics and deep colours keep the furniture sophisticated while the large floor lamps give the room a quirky touch. For a final piece, I've added a dramatic abstract painting.

This room will be part of my Steal/Style Room Design Kits which will be available on the Ethos Design website very soon! Each kit will feature all the sources for a room in a particular style. You pay a one-off fee and you'll have access to all the sources, plus DIY ideas, styling tips and instructions to pull the space together.

What do you think? Would a girl with those nails, like to live in this space?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Feature Home: Rosie's Modern Country Cottage

Today I am lucky enough to share with this lovely real house. It hasn't been profesionally decorated, styled and photographed but is a gorgeous home built by one of my very lovely readers.

Rosie has recently finished building her lovely cottage and said she still hasn't finished decorating but she very kindly let me share some photos!

So, let's have a peek around her lovely house...
The living room features hardwood floors and a red brick fireplace. Rosie has done a beautiful job incorporating contemporary furniture (is that the Sloane sofa from Freedom, Rosie?) with a modern country style. Rosie also asked that you excuse the painter's drop cloth curtains. They may be a bit short but I have to admit that if they were full-length they would perfectly!

From the living room you can see the beautiful timber dining setting and traditional hutch. How gorgeous is that blue and cream persian rug? Want a better look at that gorgeous kitchen?

I love the door profile Rosie has chosen and leaving the bench clear from oven and sink gives such a great work space.

A lovely subway tile backsplash is the star of the sink area, and contrast beautifully with the greige walls. Loving those chunky drawer pulls as well!

Let's have a peek into the laundry while we're here. I love the white washed feel of the cabinetry  and the perfect pop of colour with the red flowers.

And that wall on the left? All storage cupboards. I'm very jealous right now!

The master bedroom has to be one of my favourite rooms in the house. The dark mirror and gorgeous Indian Kantha pillows give this neutral, pretty bedroom the perfect amount of drama.

A black and gold vignette sits on the timber dresser on the other side of the room.

The ensuite is simple and contemporary, but given a classic touch with the pretty accessories on the vanity.

Rosie also has two boys who must feel pretty lucky to have such fantastic bedrooms. I love the red pendant against the grey walls in this space.

The main bathroom is simple, pretty and functional with twin wall hung basins and a beautiful freestanding bath. Love the shelf above the basins!

Finally, another gorgeous boy's space in red, black and white. A graphic text pillow is a great accent and I love the industrial feel of the pendant and bedside table lamp.


I think my favourite thing is all the lovely lighting Rosie has chosen.

What's your favourite part?


If anyone else would like to share their home or even a favourite room, I know we would all love to see them! Email them through to me at and let me know the story behind your space.


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