Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Enjoying The Fruits of our Labours

Around about 12 months ago my husband and I commenced landscaping our backyard. It actually started with a small punnet of white balsam....which in turn lead to a massive albeit rather slow transformation from an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan. As we or rather the other half did all the hard labour from start to finish we ended up completing the project for less than $5000.00. This included sourcing paver seconds and old villa bricks through Trade Me. Purchasing the majority of our plants from AWA (a huge wholesale nursery open to the public) and my favourite task, finding exquisite old pieces of outdoor furniture to furnish our newly formed 'outdoor rooms'. Once again thanks to trade me and paying a fraction of the price you would expect to pay from an antique or mainstream store.

It is now a haven, with birds in abundance who especially appreciate the addition of our birdbath with the onslaught of Summer sun. The only item purchased 'new' was our wooden raised vegetable bed used to create our 'potager' as we fondly call it. Now brimming with new potatoes, radish, a variety of tomatoes, peas, cos lettuce and strawberries.

I hope you enjoy looking at our photos and perhaps gaining inspiration to recreate your own slice of backyard paradise like we did.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Get Stuffed

Lately my obsession with all that is Eighteenth Century style has taken a new turn in the form of sourcing vintage examples of 'Objets Morts'. In spite of their age, their good looks are obvious. I am without doubt an animal lover since birth so please do not think otherwise. Taxidermy is not in any way macabre, rather it allows the beauty of birds and animals to be appreciated after death. I hope you too see true beauty in my small but growing collection creatures great and small.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I've Been Going A Little Potty Lately!

Spring has well and truly sprung and what better way to celebrate the fact than by decorating your outdoor room with loads of character old terracotta pots and filling them with a glorious range of annuals. What makes it even more fun is colour matching the annuals to the pots. Take a look at the pics and you'll see what I mean. My favourites are the multi coloured violas and petunias.

I can't believe people actually pay for reproduction terracotta pots straight out of China...ludicrous!! All the little terracotta pots pictured were sourced from my local hospice store. Each cost the princely sum of $1 or less.

I've also created a small potager and am so excited to see potatoes are starting to sprout, cherry tomatoes are now flowering and strawberries are ripening as we speak. I've also planted some gorgeous crunchy baby cos lettuces into individual pots which are flourishing nicely. My little birdie friends are also particularly interested in whats being produced so have resorted to covering with mesh netting to keep their eager beaks at bay.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

This goes with that!

I love mixing and matching....not clothes but my odd, sometimes battered, usually distressed, abundantly worn objet d'art I seem to have the uncanny knack of attracting into my world.

Here's the recipe to create this unconventional collection. Take one battered old farmhouse mantel piece preferably encrusted with palettes of faded pastel paints. To that position beneath a slightly warped and faded character hall table. Throw in a couple of mellowed terracotta pots...preferably with cracks and a few chips.

Complete the setting with a sprinkling of budget accessories which include one used birds nest, an old duck decoy and some ancient bowling balls. Pretty it up with your finest antique linen teacloth, a healthy flowering hydrangea and pretty pink and cream marble eggs. There you have it.

I hope you can take some inspiration from this electic vintage menage and create your own cosy outdoor room setting.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I'm In Heaven

Hi all, I'm just so excited about my latest finds that I have to share and show them. Firstly my 19th century apothecary drawers. The epitomy of chic shab, this irish pine delight features the original glass handles (apart from a couple missing)the makers stamp on the back of each dovetailed drawer stating 'Treble & Son Boxton London) and the smell.......ahh there is nothing like the smell of antique baltic pine in one's nostrils...like sweetpine needles with silky soft woodsmoke undertones. Divine!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

From 'blah' to 'Ooh La La!!'

I have been busy transforming a very boring blue room into a peaceful luxurious bedroom retreat. Walls were whitewashed in Resene's most popular neutral - Pearl Lustre. Ugly brick facade behind the wood burner was also whitewashed and brings out the lovely almost foamy looking brick texture. Slate flooring in front of the wood burner was topped with large shiny oatmeal italian tiles leaving brick sides exposed but also whitewashed. Windows were hung with wide wooden venetians and wooden cedar shutter doors in front of original french doors. Simple but elegant ivory drapes and roman blind complete the window treatment.

Now for the fun part. Original dark bedroom furniture was traded in for two mismatched antique french bistro tables creating bedside tables. Pineapple wooden base lamps were found on Trade Me and topped with Laura Ashley silk shades. Velvet Citta throw, duvet cover and scatter cushions all sourced from Trade Me for less than $100.00. No change to wool carpet flooring, blends in perfectly with the soft natural scheme.

I hope you enjoy looking at the 'before and after' shots and perhaps even get inspired to create your own peaceful haven.