One for the kids

Where has the year gone? The whimsical and interactive calender has helped me count the days of 2010. I was drawn to the 60's inspired illustrations of UK based artist duo Sukie, who produce a lovely range of stationery and printed textiles. The desk decoration was purchased from my favourite children's shop in Sydney, My Messy Room. Check out their great website too - it's the shop to go to for little people's birthdays.


The White House

The sparkling white house 'Kalua' often catches my eye on the way to work in the morning. You may have noticed a few more P&O style homes around Sydney. As the name suggests, the style of house grew inspiration from the grand ocean liners. With curved white walls, long sundecks and elegant deco windows, the homes stood out against the standard cottage of the 1930's and 40's - it was very different to any style Australian suburbia had seen before. If I am ever fortunate enough to refurbish a home with history, Chippendale Restorations in Rozelle will be my one-stop-shop for original fittings. We don't make houses like we used to, that's for sure.


Sweets Workshop

You should try and visit here. Sweets Workshop has opened in my old stomping ground of Summer Hill. (More on the special Sydney suburb another day). Opened a few weeks ago, the retail art gallery stocks a range of art, jewellery and gift ware. I left with a book of Anney B's 'Cornycopia' illustrations, and I still have my eye on the screen prints by Kate Banazi. The workshop's identity/postcard is a work of art in itself - created by the very talented owners, Emma and John. It also looks as if they like rubber stamps as much as I do.


Tax Time

Originally, snowdomes were used as paperweights in France in the early 1800's. It's tax time - what a great reason to invest in one. The kitsch snowdomes you see here were purchased recently from Vinnie's for $10. I just couldn't leave the shop without them all - the thought of the collection dividing up and going to different homes seemed too sad. The original owner (and clearly avid traveller) obviously took great care of them. If souvenirs from the past aren't your thing, you can weigh all that paperwork down in style with the glass/bird design from Papier d'Amour.


Bite Club

Our coats were hung at the entrance.
We enjoyed pre-drinks in the candlelit lounge room with beautiful peeling walls.
Pots of Kale in the winter garden and a collection of serving domes.
Shelves with endless pieces of interest and impressive wine storage.
Vintage shaving cabinets given a new life in the charcoal grey bathroom.
We ate Rhubarb Panna Cotta with Persian fairy floss and sugared pistachios. Still having flavour flashbacks. So good.
The gorgeous sun room.
It was through a discreet entrance to an unassuming heritage-listed home in Woollahra that my colleagues and I began the most fabulous afternoon of decadence. Celebrating the end of a job, we were lucky enough to experience 'Bite Club'. An exclusive dining concept - where you enjoy restaurant quality food in a home setting. Not just any home, a once crumbling Victorian terrace that has been beautifully restored by interior decorator and Bite Club owner, Debra Cronin. Our lovely host for the day, Virginia Hookham, kept our champagne glasses full and the food in abundance to make it a truly unforgettable experience. Read more about Bite Club in this month's Vogue Living from Megan Morton. It's a place you must see to believe.


Christmas in July

The Christmas tree from last year. It's more of a Christmas vase, really. Maroon spray orchids that last in water for weeks, embellished with white flower hair clips purchased from a $2 shop. Which brings me to the next part. Hands down, the best $2 shop in Sydney is The Base Warehouse in Alexandria. It's the size of a football field - and once you get past the usual shelves of plastic, there are aisles of truly good things. ie. everything you need to create the festive home. There is also an abundance of stationery, gift wrapping, and hilarious dress up items. I'm such a frequent shopper here, I was awarded with a VIP card last week. I just love that place.


Neil the Collector

My very special step dad arrived in Australia as a 'ten pound pom' in 1968 and this collection of little silk flags wrapped in an Airmail envelope made it in to his suitcase for the long journey. In the days when cigarettes were all sold in soft packets, Kensitas would include a card with a little sweetener like these. Neil would swap the flags with his school friends (much like the modern day football card) and ended up with quite the collection. I love the ageing on the British Empire flag - I like to imagine this one was particularly special to my step dad, travelling in his wallet throughout the happening 60's. Thanks for sharing this lovely part of your history, Neil. x


Little Golden Books

Remember these? Little Golden books launched back in 1942 and were 25 cents each. I have purchased this collection over the years, and they come in handy for two reasons: 1. When small people are visiting us, I have an impressive and entertaining book collection. And 2. The enchanting illustrations make great birthday cards for young and old. Don't fancy a trawl around a book market? Your local Angus & Robertson sell the re-launched 'classic' range of books with all the original illustrations.


Spare Bedroom

A new painting purchased at a thrift store for the spare bedroom warranted a few photographs recently. With the curtains drawn back, the winter morning light made the white space even brighter. I am always moving things around in the spare bedroom. Being void of every day personal items, It's a fun space to play with - it's nice to be able to create a mini sanctuary. Don't forget an alarm/radio for your visitors - purchase the Tivoli above from top3 by design. A shop with innovative designs from around the world. I want about 1000 things from there.



If the advertisement, TV series or film you are viewing next was filmed in NSW - chances are a large portion of the props you see were hired from Propco. From an English Postbox to a leather desk phone, you need it - Propco will most likely provide it. A job like mine would be very different (ie. more difficult) without this treasure trove - Jason, Kath and Pablo will serve you with a smile in the bulging warehouse at Canal Road Film Centre in Leichhardt.


Holiday Memento

Not unlike the holiday romance, a tacky souvenir can often feel unnecessary after you have come down from that common high – yet there is something so lovely about holiday souvenirs from the past. Having accumulated so many Australiana tea towels, Mum is in the process of making me a patchwork quilt – I will show you that when it’s finished. I have no idea what the orange ‘Australia Box’ would have been used for, but for now it holds our champagne and wine corks from special occasions. Purchase your own vintage map from Doug Up on Bourke – don’t get me started on how many fabulous things you will find there.


12 Things with Lobster and Swan

'Cupboards and boxes full of things I love but have no immediate use for. I was carefully considering, if I could only keep twelve items from my home to start over again, which twelve would I take?' The words from the gorgeous blog Lobster and Swan got me thinking. As a keen collector, my first thought was that it would be impossible to choose only 12 items. Yet the project lingered and I decided to tackle it last weekend. Depending on my mood, I'm sure next weekend my selection could be different. You should try it. I was thrilled to see Jeska included my photographs with a description on her blog.


Clever Restoration

In addition to the delectable food on offer at Manly Pavilion, pictured are the delightful sinks you will meet when you go the bathrooms. The restaurant is housed in the original Bathing Pavilion, which was built in 1933 as a change room/tea room for bathers who swam in the harbour pool. (Things were so fancy back then.) The building has been superbly restored by Squillace Nicholas Architects who chose to keep the original art deco sinks - giving the enamel surfaces a new lease on life with a coat of colour. Such a lovely idea. If you like the look of this, Terrace House Factory in Ultimo sell a great range of original/period sinks.


Road Trip

As time goes on, finding a bargain at a thrift store is getting more and more difficult. (Just last week, after asking for a price on an art deco mirror, the answer was 'I'll go ask Jan, she's practically an antiques dealer.' Lucky Jan.) I am a bit chuffed with my latest purchases though - sourced recently from two stores a little further afield. (Salvo's in Moorebanks & Merrylands). A total of $22 was spent, $10 of that towards a gorgeous ring that's just a little small. Bummer. It's pure coincidence that the collection above is colour coordinated - maybe I'm just having a yellow and red phase. How cute are the crocheted coasters? I also can't wait to use the vintage buttons for a gift wrap.


Eveleigh Market

What are you doing on Saturday morning? Fancy a visit to an authentic Farmer's Market? Rain, hail, shine - Eveleigh Farmer's Market in Redfern is an undercover strip of beyond yummy things. From great coffee to gourmet dog treats - more and more Sydney-siders are using the market for their full weekly shop. I indulged with a bunch of Proteas and some fun-size macaroons (the 'new cupcake') from Sweetness, which were inhaled after I took this photo. So good. When you are there, take in the serene beauty of Carriage Works, and all that goes on. Sydney is so cool, don't you think?


The Blog World I

Being new to the blog world, I am just a little bit excited to get interviewed recently by fellow blogger, Natalie Walton at Daily Imprint. I have read her lovely blog for over a year now, so to pop up on it's pages is pretty wonderful. The cardboard globe above is an item that currently appears on our side table. It comes flat-packed (thank the husband for putting that puzzle together) from Telegram Paper Goods - a truly beautiful stationery distributor based in Melbourne, who supplies to all good paper shops around Australia.


Major & Tom

There are a smattering of shops in Sydney that make my job a whole lot easier. Major & Tom in St Peters is a prop buyer’s best friend, it specialises in food related props, furniture and backgrounds for hire – all beautifully arranged by the lovely proprietor, Georgina Williams. If you aren't in the market for a hire, (not planning a wedding or a fabulous dinner party?) take a walk upstairs and check out the gorgeous furniture and decorative objects for sale.



Finding a note in your post box the old fashioned way is something that will never get tired. Pictured above is the mountain of brown kraft RSVP postcards received in the lead up to our wedding. Our guests tore from the perforated edge and posted their answer. Luckily, the majority accepted the Mudgee invitation. Materials to create the wedding stationery were purchased from an art shop I have frequented since I was little - Tilly’s, Rozelle. I could get lost in there for hours.


China Beach

China Doll in Woolloomooloo has opened a beachside branch called China Beach in Manly. It's light and bright and the food is delicious. I spent a good part of the night checking out the interior. The small but lovely space was designed by the very clever Iain Halliday. Get the look at home: Tables are Eero Saarinen from de de ce and you can purchase the Tolix chairs from Thonet. The floor tiles were imported from Europe, but you could try the Olde English Tile Factory for a similar look. IKEA has the rice paper lanterns in three sizes for a super inexpensive light installation. When you are there, have a cocktail or two - the bar staff certainly know their stuff.



Some of the best inspiration comes from the past. Vintage interior books and magazines are not only lovely to look at, they are a great reference source when creating period film sets. The images on the pages can easily translate to modern interior styling also. The colour combinations used in the illustrations and the old-fashioned, practical DIY tips and stories are so charming. (While it's sweet in theory, it might be best to ignore the odd words recommending 'the importance of keeping the home cosy for your husband'). I have purchased the majority of my vintage reference material from thrift stores ($5 to $10), but you could also try Berkelouw Books.
I love the plates/cups illustration above - think this might have to make it's way out of the magazine in to a frame on the wall.


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