In 1933 James Hilton wrote a novel called Lost Horizon where he describes a mythical happy land. Last weekend I went to my own Shangri-La right in the heart of Sydney.

Well not mine exactly, but I did pretend for 24 hours. You see it was my birthday on the Friday and our 18th wedding anniversary on the Monday and with our daughter away for the weekend, my husband decided we should have a weekend away too. With the house renovations and no holiday for the last 12 months and none on the horizon, he decided it was this or nothing. I guess I’d been complaining (as I always do) about turning another year older and desperately needing a holiday. So he booked us in to the Sydney Shangri-La Hotel for a night. We had a fabulous Harbour View room with sweeping views of ……. the harbour (naturally!). The sky was blue and the view was sensational.

The hotel has recently been refurbished, to the tune of $20M so I believe. The room was gorgeous but it’s hard to notice too much when you’re met with such a picture postcard view.

The large windows had very comfortable leather seats where I sat for an hour watching the view below and tapped away using the free wifi before I headed to the Chi Spa for a massage.

It was there that I solved the problem of lighting for the Powder Room at our place. I loved the backlit mirror in my spa room so took mental notes and schemed whilst the therapist undid all those knots in my back. My husband was thrilled that the money he spent on the massage will save him money on expensive light fittings. Typical Accountant!

The stylised blossom branch was on the carpet and the bedhead. It reinforces the Asian connection with the hotel chain which started in Singapore in 1971. The dark wood and soft colours also link back to the Asian style. In fact, the first Shangri-La Hotel we encountered was when we were living in Hong Kong. We would take our overseas visitors to the bar on the 54th floor for a drink at sunset and watch the city come alive with twinkling lights.

It was a lovely weekend and I feel fully refreshed to tackle the rest of the renovations and the wind up to Christmas. (Even if I am another year older!)

If you would like assistance to create the hotel or holiday feel in your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.



The Diamond Jubilee

Isn’t it wonderful that Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee? 60 years in the one job is unheard of these days. And it’s 60 years in the TOP JOB, too.

I am always intrigued to see the gorgeous colour the Queen decks herself out in at the various events she attends.

She loves colour blocking and has been wearing a single bright coloured outfit for many years.

I thought I’d gather a selection of photos of her outfits to show what a multicoloured wardrobe she has.

However Vogue has beaten me to it and created a page of all the outfits proving what I had been thinking.


This article in the Daily Mail indicates blue is her favourite colour and she wears that colour more than any others.

I don’t know, I think she looks equally good in red and yellow and green.

Congratulations your Majesty on a very colourful 60 years. I can’t wait to see what shade you wear to your celebrations.

If you would like assistance choosing colours for your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

Mum’s Special Afternoon Tea

It’s been another whirlwind week with quite a number of colour consultations going on around here. I haven’t had a chance to tell you about the Home Food and Wine Weekend I attended last Saturday here in Sydney.

Home Food and Wine Weekend Lifestyle Stage

It was another great event with loads of ideas and workshops and plenty of goody bags. But the one workshop that stood out was the Royal Albert Tea Party. And seeing it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday I thought today would be a great time to tell you all about it and maybe plant some ideas for a special afternoon for Mum.

Love the pink chair

Royal Albert Fine Bone China really needs no introduction having been around for over 100 years. It has that vintage, girly look with plenty of flowers and pretty pastel colours.

And there were green chairs too.

The stylists had created a fabulous table setting which is pretty easy to do, once you know how.

Afternoon Tea Table

Let’s start with the wall art – using an Ikea deep frame, some liquid nails, a sheet of wrapping paper and your chosen tea cup and saucer you too can create this pretty piece to either hang on the wall or lean against the mantlepiece.

Wall art with tea sets

You don’t have to have all your tableware matching. By using mismatched styles and colours, you create interest in your tablescape. It’s always the unexpected that surprises and delights your guests too.

One of the centrepieces

There were plenty of surprises on the table that was styled for the workshop.

Royal Albert Stand

Each placemat was different. There was a mirror (although some of us thought that wasn’t such a good idea and probably best suited for the younger members of the Tea Party!)

Mirror Placemat

A blackboard with appropriate message.

Blackboard Placemat

And a carved frame.

Frame Placemat

And all those cupcakes were actually baked IN the teacups!

The centrepiece was made from cheap white vases and chipped plates and of course, clear liquid nails. You can really let your imagination run wild here and put together any bits you find. Think about the height you wish to create on your table.


Then there were the place cards. The cork was really easy and can be achieved with a sharp knife. That’s if you can find a bottle of wine with a cork, these days.

Cork Place Card Holder

But the fork was very cute. The stylist explained that she placed the fork between two sheets of board and then DROVE over them in her car. This flattened the tines of the fork. Pliers were then used to bend the handle of fork at right angles and the place card was slipped between the tines. Effective, don’t you think?

Fork Place Card Holder

A similar treatment was given to a spoon, except the driving bit, and the spoon was used as a tealight holder.

Uri Geller Tea Light Holder

After the workshop, we were all treated to a cup of T2 in beautiful Royal Albert Teacups. It was great fun.

So why don’t you take one or more of these ideas and create a special tea party for your Mum this Sunday. Take some photos and post them on our Facebook Page. We’d love to see your creations.

Happy Mother’s Day!


If you would like assistance creating something special in your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

Happy Anzac Day

Lest we forget!

Time for New Beginnings

What happened to that week? I know it was a short week but wow, it just flew!

I couldn’t sign off for the weekend without dropping in to wish you a Happy Easter.

Easter is all about new beginnings and that’s exactly what will be happening here over the weekend. Here’s a sneak peak.

Have a wonderful time with friends and family.

If you would like assistance with colour and design for your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

The Year of The Dragon

Happy Chinese New Year!

Schumacher Chiang Mai Dragon fabric available from Inside Out Colour and Design

Today marks the beginning of the Year of the Dragon which is the most auspicious sign in the Chinese zodiac.

Interiors by Inside Out Colour and Design

I remember when we were living in Hong Kong and I was pregnant with my daughter, all the local Hong Kong Chinese would tell me how lucky I was to be having a dragon and that she was going to be very strong. Naturally they would’ve liked it better if she’d been a he, but I was happy no matter what.

Asian Decor items available from Inside Out Colour and Design

The dragon represents success and happiness, so let’s hope 2012 is a good year for us all.

Interiors by Inside Out Colour and Design

There’s lots of dragons to check out in Sydney over the next few weeks – Komodo Dragons, Dragons in Artefacts, the Blue Dragon and Musical Dragons.

Antique Huang Huali Folding Chair and Framed Antique Bound Feet Shoes

If you would like assistance choosing colour and decor for your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

It’s a Brand New Year

Welcome to 2012! I do hope you have had a relaxing and re-energising break over the Christmas and New Year period. I know I have!

Our Christmas was a quiet affair this year, but that didn’t stop me decking out the house in colours of fuschia, turquoise and silver.

I alter the colour theme each year and decided on fresh, bright colours rather than the traditional red and green.

I found myself collecting Mercury Glass candle-holders of varying sizes and grouped them all together on a glass platter on the centre of my coffee table. They did look very effective when they were lit of an evening.

When I ordered my Turkey, I was half expecting to be feeding 9 people for Christmas, however through one reason or another I only ended up with 4! So I have spent the last couple of weeks trying every Turkey leftover recipe I could find and substituting cooked turkey meat in the myriad of recipes I have for cooked chicken meat.

We have had some delicious meals. But my favourite would have to be the Vietnamese Turkey Salad, which was just delicious. I’ve even frozen some turkey meat so we can have it again later in the season.

I’ve finally found the time to get busy on Pinterest. Have you succumbed to this new craze? It’s a bit addictive but oh so convenient to have all your favourite images in the one location. Check it out!

Well back to work for me this week. I’m offering a special to all my subscribers of a 15% discount on Colour Consulting services booked during the month of January. So if this is the year for a new colour scheme for the inside or outside (or both!) of your home, make a booking and take advantage of the discount.





I’m so sorry I’ve been Missing In Action this past week and a half. The time is just flying bye and I can’t believe I’ve missed so many posts.

It’s such a hectic time for everyone. Apart from finishing off the Christmas shopping, we have a number of December birthdays and I have been helping to celebrate and trying out four new restaurants in Sydney.

The first was The Winery in Crown Street. I’d been there earlier in the year for lunch and although it’s been around for a while thought the family might like to see the quirky decor.

We also went to a new local Italian restaurant. The decor there was very sleek, which in my mind doesn’t really suit the Italian food. I imagine Italian food to be more comfort food and therefore want the decor to be more cosy and homey. The red and black glass mosaics on the stark white walls were out of keeping for me.

I tried Pony Dining too. What a great space! And the food and service were excellent. Lots of use of timber on the inside made the decor very warm but it still had an air of sophistication.

Then one last birthday was celebrated at Felix in the city. It’s a little spot of Paris right in the heart of Sydney. Food and service were great and the decor was so very authentic.

I’m still helping clients with Colour Consultations before Christmas as they have painters lined up for early in the New Year and I have been buying bed linen for another client.

But the highlight of the past ten days would have to be my darling daughter being appointed as girl School Captain for 2012. We are all so proud of you sweetheart.

I’m going to now, officially, take a few weeks off to celebrate Christmas and New Year and recharge the batteries after a very busy year. I trust you have an enjoyable holiday season. I thank you for joining me throughout 2011 and look forward to your company again in 2012.

See you soon.

If you would like assistance with colour or decor for your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.


What’s on

Friday again! Yikes the time is flying. How’s your Christmas shopping? All done and wrapped?

Click on image for source

If not, you will love this. The wonderful people at Have You Met Miss Jones are having a clearance sale. I’ve been coveting her Christmas decorations this year and will be hoping to get my hands on three (remember, things look better in odd numbers) of the Woodland Deer. Sale starts at 9am today and continues tomorrow too.

Click on image for source

And while you’re in the area, pop in next door to KAS Australia to stock up on new bedlinen and other soft furnishings for all those rellies coming for Christmas.

KAS Bedlinen

There, that’s sorted a few more presents for you. Have a fabulous weekend.

Click on image for source

If you would like assistance creating a harmonious environment in your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

The C Word

I really don’t want to say it. Not yet anyway. But it would appear I can’t avoid it any longer.

Christmas is just around the corner.

via Pottery Barn

But there’s still time to create some beautiful linen for your Christmas table.

Very talented Brisbane lady, Jacqueline has created a range of designs for you to decorate your own Christmas tablecloth, runner or napkins.

Take a look and create something stunning that will be passed down through the generations.

If you would like assistance getting your home ready for Christmas, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

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