A week away

from the everyday is always refreshing. But then why did it end up being three weeks?


That’s right it’s been three weeks since my last blog post! It wasn’t meant to be that way. You see I took a week off to drive to Brisbane and visit family as well as visit a couple of clients and prospective clients and then once you return from holidays there always seems to be so much to do to catch up.


But before I left Sydney, I spent a day photographing a number of my recently completed houses. Sharon Newman from SNPhotography was my photographer for the day. We managed to pack in 7 properties starting with a brand new apartment which my retired clients bought last year. Some of the furniture was new and some we arranged to have reupholstered to fit into the new surrounds.


Then it was on to a just completed kitchen and then two exterior shots where I had chosen paint colours.

Next up was a family home which had been extended and renovated. The new large bathroom looks fabulous and is one of the favourite rooms of the house.


Then on to another kitchen and family living room before heading to my own recently renovated house.


It was an exhausting day but I’m thrilled with the new photos which will be uploaded to my website portfolio. Elise from yELLE Styling was my styling assistant for the shoot too.

Then off to Brisbane which had consistent blue skies and sunshine while Sydney nearly drowned in a week of rain. I helped a couple of clients with paint colours for their homes and am looking forward to designing a new kitchen for a Brisbane client too.


It’s still school holidays so many of my clients are away or busy with their kids at the moment. But that doesn’t mean I’m sitting around twiddling my thumbs! I’m busy finalising colour schemes for a number of Sydney clients. It seems to be colour is the one thing that stumps most homeowners.

If you would like assistance turning your house into a home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

Designer Office

I’m having a week in Brisbane this week. It’s school holidays so my daughter and I have escaped the cold weather to visit the family. The skies are blue and the sun is bright, just the way I like it. Although the mornings and evenings are a bit chilly, but not too bad for we Sydneyites.

Back home, at our house in Sydney, the concrete slabs have been poured for the office and the laundry. I’ve been redesigning my office as we have moved it’s location and therefore the layout is a little different from our original plan.

Pinterest is providing loads of inspiration. I am going to bring down my Grandparents old Breakfast Room Dining table and place it in my office. I want it in the middle of the room so I can lay out all my colours and tiles and fabrics on it when I’m putting together a scheme for a client. And I’ve found the perfect pendant light to hang above the table.

Wish I could wiggle my nose and be up to the part where the floor coverings and furniture is going in. Oh well, I guess it will come soon enough.

The Queensland Gift Fair starts tomorrow so I’m going to check it out while I’m here. Have a great weekend.

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

Buying Quality

Many years ago, I bought my very first lounge suite. It consisted of two two seaters and a matching armchair. It was in my blue phase and the fabric was called Windsurfers Denim. It had little tiny pink and cream triangles all over it that were meant to represent windsurfers. The proportions were good for the lounge room in my very first house in Brisbane and it suited my budget too.

New lounge suite with hand-me-down buffet

I then sold that house and moved to a brand new house on Queensland’s Gold Coast. As the house was still under construction when I bought it, I was able to choose the colour scheme throughout of tiles, carpet and paint. Knowing that I had my lounge suite, I chose a soft grey colour which worked well with the lounge. I had roman blinds in rose pink and off white stripes installed on the windows and the lounge suite looked like it had been bought for that house.

Window coverings to match the lounge suite

A few years later, I moved back to Brisbane and bought a workers cottage in Nundah. Again the lounge suite moved into the new house and the room was decorated around the lounge. This time I chose barely pink walls with a darker pink for the trim.

Barely pink walls

We then moved to the Solomon Islands and the lounge suite went into storage for four years before being shipped to Hong Kong. Again the living room was decorated around the lounge suite and I chose sheer white curtains with a blue valance for the window coverings.

Sofa with precious cargo in Hong Kong

Back to Australia and into a rental property in Sydney, the lounge suite again just fitted perfectly into the space.

Ming didn’t mind where in the world he was as long as he had his sofa

Twelve months on, and we purchased our own home and moved the lounge suite one more time. Only this time, it was clashing with the existing curtains in the home. Time had finally come almost twenty years later, to upgrade the lounge suite.

Sofa nd curtains collide

We looked around at other styles of sofas but couldn’t find anything we liked. I called in my upholsterer who thought we were mad to throw away a perfectly good suite. So the search for fabric started and eventually I chose an off-white embossed fabric and had the sofas reupholstered. The sofas looked like new and I’m sure will last another twenty (well maybe ten) years.

Reupholstered sofa has a new lease on life

So the moral of the story is to buy good quality in the first place and give it a facelift when it doens’t work anymore. It works out much more cost effective in the long run.

If you would like assistance sourcing lounge furniture for your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

I’m Baaaccckkk

Did you miss me? I hope you had a good week and a bit. I had a wonderful week in Brisbane visiting friends and family.

I called in to Black and Spiro in New Farm when we visited Chouquette for morning tea on Bastille Day. Very appropriate to munch on French pastries on 14 July.

Yummy french pastries from Chouquette

I also managed to visit the Woollongabba Antiques Centre and check out Sandy’s little shop there. The items she has on display are just beautiful.

Paint Me White at Woollongabba Antiques Centre

One of the buildings I noticed in Woollongabba was this colourful monster. Not sure I’m lovin’ it though.

New Building at Woollongabba

There was a sister building at Herston/Bowen Hills near the Royal Brisbane Hospital and it was red. I was driving in traffic and couldn’t stop to take a photo without causing a major traffic hazzard. Anyone know what they are?

I’ve cleared the mail – both snail and email and ready to get back to some sort of routine. Enjoy your Wednesday.


The Right Piece

This week I received a lovely email from an on-line client I worked with last year. “We continue to be thrilled with the finished product and have had many wonderful family and friends at our family dining table since its completion. Thank-you once again.”

Chris had been looking for a square french provincial table and was not having much luck. She placed a phone call to my father-in-law who is a painter and decorator in Brisbane under the name of French Interiors. (well it is his last name!) Bill passed on the details to me.

The House Painters by Gustave Caillebotte via www.arthistory.about.com

I spoke with Chris and emails ensued. Chris had 8 french provincial dining chairs and required a table 150cm x 150cm. She had been intending to purchase a table 8 years earlier as a wedding present to themselves but it just never happened.

I scoured my suppliers looking for a suitable table and came up with an oak table and a white table with an oak top.

Neither ticked all the boxes. So I took a drawing and measurements to one of my custom furniture makers and they made up a table in Tasmanian Oak to our specifications.

As we needed the table to match the chair colour, we arranged for the table to be left unpainted and my father-in-law matched the paint colour and painted the table when it arrived at the client’s home in Brisbane.

It took some time, but Chris now has her wedding present and the table has already seen many dinner parties with friends and family.

If you need assistance finding that elusive piece of furniture to finish your home, contact us for on on-line or in-person consultation.



Head in the Clouds

I’m currently visiting my home town of Brisbane. All my family live here and although I visit regularly (not often enough if you ask them, though) I have not lived here for 14 years. It holds lots of memories and one was rekindled the other night when I went to a new venue called Cloudland.

Any Brisbanite over the age of 35 will remember the original Cloudland that was built in 1939 high on a hill in the inner city suburb of Bowen Hills. It was well known for it’s signature parabolic entrance arch and spectacular ballroom. Thousands of people visited Cloudland for dances and concerts and in World War II it served as a military base. University and school exams were also held in the massive ballroom.

Cloudland at Bowen Hills

Cloudland at Bowen Hills

As a primary school student, I remember the excitement of the Fancy Dress Ball. Getting decked out in a home-made costume and traipsing up the steps to that HUGE coloured arch. Dancing the Gypsy Tap, Boston Two Step and Mexican Hat Dance on the sprung floor. It was truly awesome. Then as a young adult heading back up the hill for rock concerts with good Aussie bands like Cold Chisel, Mental As Anything and Australian Crawl.

Cloudland Ballroom Interior

Cloudland Ballroom Interior

But in the dead of night, without a permit, the building was demolished in November 1982 to make way for an apartment complex.

Now, 27 years later, Cloudland is once again a Brisbane landmark. However its a different Cloudland this time. A few kilometres away in Fortitude Valley and adjacent to Brisbane’s Chinatown, a new venue has been developed bearing the same name. It’s a four story complex with bar, restaurant and night club and it is WOW!

The new Cloudland in Fortitude Valley

The new Cloudland in Fortitude Valley

The food was good but it was the decor I was interested in. There is so much to look at – sculptures, lights, plants, water features. I couldn’t work out what the style was meant to represent and then figured it was a conglomeration of every style. There’s retro outdoor type dining chairs and tables, Asian inspired banquet seating, slick modern lighting at the bar, sumptuious cushioned corners, LED lights under the floor, Fornasetti wallpaper and wall sconces in the ladies bathroom, marble, glass, timber, concrete, tiles, and the list goes on. It was amazing.

One of the many amazing light fittings

One of the many amazing light fitting

Ladies Bathroom Downstairs bathed in Pink

Ladies Bathroom Downstairs bathed in Pink

Ladies Bathroom Upstairs with Fornasetti Wallpaper

Ladies Bathroom Upstairs with Fornasetti Wallpaper

When I came home, I had to find out more about the reason this was all thrown together. Melbourne Designer, Nic Brunner is responsible for the design and “The whole idea is that when you go out, you don’t want to go somewhere that’s like a house.” He nailed it. If you’re in Brisbane, make sure you stop by for a drink or a meal. If it’s a warm night, the retractable roof might be open. Whenever you go, just allow plenty of time to drink in the decor.

Cloudland Menu - each one has a different fabric insert

Cloudland Menu - each one has a different fabric insert

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