Saturday, June 30, 2012

My Cave

We all know about Man Caves but hey, we women are entitled to a special cave too and I'd like to share mine with you.  Admittedly I do have to share my 'cave' with my man but I've had the pleasure of decorating it exactly how I want and adding special pieces I've collected over the years. I think of my cave as an elegant hotel room but with loads more character. Neutral colours such as white, beige and cream keep the look harmonious. The natural materials such as the apothecary cabinet and original french bistro tables in chalky white shape the character.

My cave always seems to beckon me when I receive the latest copy of World of Interiors or splurge out on a beautiful new French interiors book.  The scene is complete when I snuggle into my favourite wingback chair with a nice crisp cold glass of Savignon Blanc in hand.  Sheer bliss!

Who says you can't have a large statue of Venus indoors.  She has a wonderful presence and presides over the cave with elegance and grandeur. I'm always adorning her in different scarves or necklaces depending on the mood.

You either love it or loathe it but I happen to be a big fan....of taxidermy.  I was greatly inspired by the amazing creatures photographed in one of my favourite books... The New 18thC French Style.  Hence the exquisite white dove gracefully positioned on an old plaster corbel.  On the other side is a sparrows nest salavaged from a trip to the Wairarapa last summer.  It smells of wheat fields.

I would say the piece de resistance of my cave is the apothecary drawer cabinet presently used to house our socks, undies and a few other unmentionables.  Its previous owner was an artist, hence the odd spray of paint and chalk smudges.  I absolutely adore everything about it, including the mismatched victorian glass knobs. This my friends is a 'keeper' irrespective of the fact I have a store full of other exquisite pieces to tempt me.

Speaking of 'keepers'.  There is another absolute fav, my French swan planter.  Currently brimming with an arrangement of dried white hydrangeas which have aged to a lovely sepia hue. 

A cave wouldn't be complete without a big comfy chair to snuggle up in and this magnificent french reproduction wingback does the job perfectly.  Finished in the palest of duck egg greens with beautiful prints of birds and flora.  I'm yet to find another like it so that's presently deemed a keeper also.


Recently a gorgeous Parisian woman entered my store and to cut a long story short, I am now the proud owner of an 18thC French gilt mirror. In a minor state of disrepair with restoration work required on the ornate pediment and framework but presently proudly hung in my cave. The slight misty original mercury glass projects an aura of mystery and romance. Another recent find for the cave was this beautiful set of Italian Florentine Nesting tables picked up at auction. They have distressed white floral tops, I've become slightly obsessed with Italian Florentine pieces after reading Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic books.

Thanks for taking my tour and please......stay tuned for my next blog.   I look forward to showing you some of my displays of random objects full of character and charm.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Recent Rustic Finds

Hi all, I wanted to share with you a couple of my latest finds.  I was visiting my daughter in Sydney and came across a clothing store which was closing down.  In the window I spied this divine old wooden candelabra as part of the display.  I had to have it!  It's deliciously chippy, finished in pale butter tones with loads of old wax tumbling down the side.

The top is large enough to accommodate a dainty pale pink glazed pot and mother of pearl button necklace. for the exciting part.  I'd also recently sourced a decades old mirror complete with borer holes and remains of a soft butterscotch paint.   

Talk about a match made in heaven!  The deliciously shabby pair are virtually the same height and complement each other to rustic french country perfection.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Colours of Provence


Nothing evokes a more warm fuzzy feeling than when you walk into a home filled with the colours
textures and furnishings based around the colours of Provence.  

I'm talking about yummy ochres, butter yellows, flesh pinks,wilted faded pastels,chamois,raison, tango orange,poppy reds, mulberry and lilacs to name but a few.

I absolutely adore antique baltic pine furniture. The more marks and dings on it, the better. The rich warm hue, the traces of old borer thread, the smell, the simplicity, I find extremely appealing.

The impact an antique  French leather club chair has in a room is priceless no matter how distressed it may be!

Garlands of onions in a traditional French fruit market make an unusual eyecatching display - the colours can easily be incorporated into your French Country kitchen
A beautiful view of clusters of plump juicy ripe merlot grapes still growing on the vine and ripe for the picking - loving those earthy colours

      Gorgeous glazing and colours on these antique Sarrageumines plates - available in store now

     Exquisite festooned detailing to the pediment of this antique French double bed - in store now

                                                                 A symphony of colours

                              Or paler palette with a slightly washed out faded look perhaps

     Or perhaps a room with grey flooring, milky damask print white walls and a pale pink accent chair      

Whatever you decide, whether it be bold or subtle, all of the  above are indicative of classic French Country Styling.