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After we've completed a house, it's amazing how many people say "Isn't it great how it all came together!"... as if by accident. This is a very small look into how it all "comes together".

Thursday, October 28, 2010

bookshelf & crates

I love this living room... the green, the timber, the pottery. This bookshelf is similar to one we have in the Sugarcube (our current house) and we are going to build a few into the new house. I need to start thinking about such additions at the frame stage... speak now, or forever hold your piece!!
I have a few soft drink crates like these fruit boxes around the house. I've always loved them. I'm not sure where I got them from, but I've had them for years.  I love them on the black wall. I may consider this for shelving in Remo's room. 

I would LOVE to get my hands on an antler light. I have a single white deer antler which Billie has claimed as a hat rack for her "forest bedroom".

Once again, lighting needs to be considered now... well before before the sparky comes back. I like a bit of grunge.  A is no fan of the eclectic (he hates that word!), vintage look and prefers the minimal way. We'll meet somewhere in the middle. 

"Mum.... have a cuppa!"

My nearly 9 year old daughter Billie makes the best cup of tea.  I was feeling a tad stressed a few days ago and she said, "Sit down mum. I'll make you a cuppa!" She's a gem!!

I have to mention that the cookbook is a new addition to the Kitchen. I had Brekky with Bill Granger a couple of weeks ago at his book launch (5 doors down from The House) and was overjoyed when I was told to sit directly opposite him. He was lovely and his latest cookbook really is getting back to basics (that's my kind of cooking!!... also, the Italian way... keep it simple)

He sits along side my Vintage Pimms Glass Jug (which I picked up at Vinnies complete with stirrer and 8 glasses for $14), my green Eames pottery ($14 from an antique shop) and my Blue 'Made in Japan' (I think?) cookie jar bought last week in Salvos for $8.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Surry Hills
I always love going to my sister in law's studio.  It makes me feel like I'm in Paris.  Nina is a very talented designer in Surry Hills. Her label is called Petal Bridal Couture. Do yourself a favour and check out her website
Nina also has a lingerie label called Emerald Pillow 
also well worth a look! Last year I went to Sydney Fashion Week to see Nina's wares being paraded. I was so proud of her!! Her blog is called 'unusual bird'
Up a little spiral staircase is my brother's studio.  Tim is a very talented artist with an amazing mind and a gentle soul.  I love going to stay with them. They always make me feel very welcome and I don't think they realise how much a 3 day stay there inspires me.

 Of course with 2 very talented people you would expect a very unique child.  My niece is one of those gorgeous quirky little munchkins that you just can't get enough of. When I stay with them she wakes me every morning with little wet puppy dog nose kisses.  4 year old Miss E took this photo in a cafe in Surry Hills.
I saw this light in HUB in Surry Hills. I just love it. It could be an option! And yes, it's Italian!
 Tim & Nina's friend owns this store ici et la, also in Surry Hills. 
 Look at these fantastic vessels!! I'm not sure if A loves them as much as I do, but I may be able to sneak one into our house somewhere??

Steel & Frame

We have Steel, we have lower frames..... and we have a lovely Pandanus Palm.
This is our Pandanus.. I mean, you can't have a water view without one!  We chose her online and she was brought down from the Sunshine Coast on the back of a truck and craned into the yard.  We had to plant her early because there will be no access once the house is built.  She cost us about the same price as the Allegro Light (a lot!) however, I believe it was money well spent and it was love at first sight!

My next purchase will be a Singapore Frangipani Tree for the front yard/entrance.  For looks, privacy, Feng Shui and above all, the smell. It's all about Chemistry!

I also purchased some "little" granite boulders to sit with our tree but they have only been brought in as far as the side pathway.  I'm not sure how we'll get them as far as the back fence (the large one weighs a tonne... literally!)

 As you can see, not much of a yard (if you could call it that?).  What we do have is a huge deck, pool, boardwalk, water and city views and a great park (& off leash dog park) about 100 meters away.  Not to mention, great neighbours, a fantastic cafe/restaurant/wine bar and city cat and ferry terminal 5 doors away.... OK, I'm bragging now...
Here are the boys in my study, standing frames in the rain. Chop Chop!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


These are the lights I'm hoping to use in the Void above our dining table. They are very expensive.. but I think worth it! If I can just have one I will be happy. Lighting is one of the best ways to give a house the 'wow factor'

Allegro lighting collection by Atelier Oi for Foscarini
When hung in groups, the Allegro light collection by Atelier Oi makes a soft, magical sound.
ATELIER OI IS a Swiss design studio that works with brands including B&B Italia and Foscarini to produce residential and commercial architecture and interiors across Europe. The Allegro collection, designed for Italian lighting group Foscarini, includes Ritmico, Vivace and Assai. It is an elegant series of suspended lights that, when grouped together, oscillate with a soft, magical sound. This musicality has inspired the names, and the three versions in different sizes and colours can be personalized on request.

The Allegro collection will create a focal point in large public areas and smaller private spaces. The collection is now available from Space Furniture in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Allegro lighting collection by Atelier Oi for Foscarini by Space Furniture
A less expensive option, again from SPACE is the random Moooi light.  We have used these a few times already and love them. They are very light weight (epoxy & fiberglass), look like a cocoon and when slightly dimmed  glow like a moon.   We have always used the white Moooi however, I think the black might suit the new house better. I like them grouped at different heights in varying sizes.

Below is the Medium size above our entry. I know it looks small here, but it's actually a decent size.

While visiting hub in Surry Hills I found these gorgeous hand-blown Murano glass lights that would be perfect above our kitchen bench.  A & the kids & I went to Murano while we were in Venice a few years ago and saw a similar light being made. I love the fact that every light is different.  It's the little imperfections (the reason I love timber & natural stone) that create a unique result.  

Juxtapose perfect, shiny & symmetrical with organic, imperfect & off-center and you get the (yin & yang) piece de resistance of design! Getting the balance right is the challenge!


After several visits to tile shops with clients (and helping a few friends as well) my head was starting to spin! I was laying in bed at night not sleeping, thinking about tiles!

I have my favourite Stone supplier in Brisbane who gives me excellent rates and will source just about any tile in the world for me.  Yesterday at the showroom I was fortunate enough to meet the head of the company who was up from Sydney for the day... it was my lucky day.  Out came the books and I now have him sourcing tiles from all over the place! 

The lead time for Italy is 12 weeks minimum, so if you are sourcing tiles and aren't happy with the showroom, allow yourself plenty of time to complete the order.

I came home (after a 3 hour consultation with clients, and 2 hours for my own house) with a boot full of goodies. I  found a black marble which has 'gone commercial' (well below budget) and a beautiful charcoal specimen, both of which would be perfect for our stairwell.

I also found a fantastic Italian Porcelain for around the pool, possibly a water wall tile to match and a multi-grey honed & gloss tile complete with fossils (& for a steal) for our ensuite! 

I gave A & the kids my tile presentation/sales pitch in my hot pink dressing gown in our driveway in the early hours of this morning and got the thumbs up for my work.

I will sleep well tonight!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Block Work

 A & the blockies building the back wall. We increased the height of the wall slightly for privacy. We didn't want to feel as though we were living in a fish bowl.
 Our garage is on the right hand side. The house on the left is a house we are building for a client. I don't mind if their house is slightly ahead of ours.... just not TOO far ahead!
 This wall will hold the internal staircase. We are planning on tiling this wall with Black marble. My job tomorrow is to source the marble. I love tile shopping... especially for marble!
This will eventually be our kitchen! It's a long Galley Kitchen with a large Island Bench. We aren't having a butler's kitchen or a walk in pantry. Crazy perhaps but space was limited and our whole design philosophy is "Keep it Simple". 
We have a great view from the island bench and I also like to prepare food and socialise at the same time!
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