Caring for your Deck

In Australia, we love our decks. There’s nothing better than an outdoor space with timber underfoot. We really feel like we’re living the dream entertaining outdoors on our decks. But the maintenance is a pain. To really look after our timber, it needs to be treated and cleaned on a regular basis. And at this time of year, it’s perfect for doing that. So I was pleased to see that Cabot’s have released a new timber wash designed to refresh the decking in between oil coats.

Oiling the deck

A wash down with this product helps remove dirt, dust, bird droppings (love the magpies singing on my deck, but hate the mess) and other hard to remove items to maintain its “good as new” appearance.

Maggie

That will be better than sweeping, hosing and still not being happy. It will brighten up the area for the autumn entertaining season, before it gets too cold to be outdoors. It’s much more gentle on your timber than normal household cleaners.

Back Deck

Cabot’s Deck Wash is available from your local hardware store and a 1 litre bottle will give you about 6 washes. Guess what we’re doing this weekend?

 

Armadillo&Co Indoor Outdoor Rugs

Armadillo&Co recently launched their new Indoor Outdoor Rug Collection with a soiree at the design studios of Landscape Designer, Adam Robinson.

Armadillo&Co Indoor Outdoor Rug Collection Launch Party

Armadillo&Co Indoor Outdoor Rug Collection Launch Party

The studio was packed with many from the industry trying to get a first hand look (and feel – they were soft) of the new rugs. They even gave one away, but alas I was not the lucky winner.

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I loved the swing tables holding the food down the centre of the studio.

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I think these rugs will be a welcome addition to the Armadillo&Co range and will provide some warmth underfoot for those outdoor entertaining rooms.

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If you would like to make enquiries on this range of rugs, contact us.

 

DIY Projects

Woo Hoo, it’s a long weekend and another one next weekend. It’s the perfect time to undertake a few of those DIY projects you have been meaning to start.

Porter’s Paints have released a brand new product called Chalk Emulsion, which is ideal for painting furniture giving a chalky, soft finish. The product doesn’t need priming so can be applied directly to picture frames, shelving, flea market finds and furniture.

Porter's Paints Chalk Emulsion

Porter’s Paints Chalk Emulsion How To Video

Perhaps designing is more your thing. Digital Fabrics are looking for you, then. The company is running a competition for Australian residents which involves designing a print for fashion and interiors. There are some great prizes including $500 of credit for printing, 2 weeks paid internship and 5m of fabric printed with your design. If this sounds like something that would interest you, you can find out all the important information, here.

Just a small snapshot of the fabrics available from Digital Fabrics.

Just a small snapshot of the fabrics available from Digital Fabrics.

One of our favourite cushion suppliers has released a number of items for sale this weekend. It’s the perfect time to change up your cushions for some richer, darker shades for winter.

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Bandhini Cushions

And if you’re gathering the clan for an Easter meal, take some inspiration from our Easter Decorating Pinterest Board and create a festive air to your home and table.

Cute Easter Centrepiece

Cute Easter Centrepiece

Whatever you do this weekend, take some time to remember the reason for the season.

Happy Easter!

Time to Partay!

December is here and the entertaining has begun.

Due to our home renovations last year, we haven’t done much entertaining for over 12 months. But we are now at a stage where, for the most part, the house is finished and ready to receive visitors.

Cocktails coming up!

Cocktails coming up!

For a number of years, we have hosted a Cocktail Party with a group of friends we made 9 years ago when we first moved to Sydney. We met at playgroup when our children were little and as we all live in the area, have stayed friends. So Saturday evening was our Cocktail Party. A night out without the kids, who are all big enough to look after themselves these days.

Glasses all ready for the Cocktail Party

Glasses all ready for the Cocktail Party

With the front path being finished mid afternoon we were all set for a good night.

Newly finished front path

Newly finished front path (the pots were removed prior to the guests arriving)

This year our theme was James Bond with food and drinks to match. I bought a plastic toy gun at the $2 shop and a can of gold spray paint and turned it into the Golden Gun. A few playing cards, dice and a bottle of champagne in a bucket of ice helped set the scene.

James Bond theme decorations

James Bond theme decorations

Hors d'oeuvres

Hors d’oeuvres on the back deck

Everyone went all out and dressed accordingly too.

Shaken not stirred.

Shaken not stirred.

It was a fun night and nice to back on the entertaining circuit.

Mixing Cocktails

Mixing Cocktails

Dessert in the lounge room

Dessert in the lounge room

Something we both enjoy very much and makes the home renovations all worthwhile.

Cheers!

Cheers!

Also this week we finally had the builders, architects, cabinetmakers and other tradesmen back to thank them for helping us reach our goal.

Builders Drinks I was a bit excited too when I heard the other half talking to the cabinetmaker about more cabinetry.

Bucket of Booze It was a different type of party to our Cocktail Party but just as fun and enjoyable. It was so nice to actually spend time enjoying our friends and our house rather than racing around finishing off landscaping, painting and the myriad other things that need doing.

Builders Food Now I can think about Christmas lunch and what will be on the menu.

How are you spending the festive season?

If you would like assistance with renovating your home, contact us for a consultation.

September

Unequivocally my favourite month of the year. I love the warmer weather and the profusion of colour we see at every turn. The colour combinations are great inspirations for decorating.

Clivea from my garden

Clivea from my garden

My garden is flowering and I’m frantically trying to get the new beds ready for planting later this month.

Flowering Azaleas

Flowering Azaleas

Remember the area the builders trashed during our home renovations?

IMG_1861 The warmer weather means we can return to eating on the back deck and we enjoyed a lovely Father’s Day lunch out there on Sunday.

Blue themed table setting for Father's Day

Blue themed table setting for Father’s Day

The new season fabric collections are being released.

New fabrics just released

New fabrics just released

Painting season is upon us as everyone takes to the outdoors in the warmer weather.

House being renovated and seeking new colour scheme

House being renovated and seeking new colour scheme

I’ve advised home owners from Mulgoa to Kenthurst and many suburbs in between on new colour schemes for the exterior of their homes.

Tuscan colour scheme to be changed

Tuscan colour scheme to be changed

So what’s not to love about September? Does it put a spring in your step too?

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

Morning Tea for a Good Cause

I must admit, morning tea is my favourite meal of the day. I love my 10am coffee and try very hard to refrain from a tasty morsel or two.

coffeeandcake

But the Cancer Council has created Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea and it’s a great excuse to pull out the pretty crockery and set a table fit for a Queen.

outdoormorningteatable

There are lots of great ideas and a planning guide on the Cancer Council’s website. And don’t forget to register and raise money for such a good cause during the month of May and June. I don’t think there’s too many of us these days who doesn’t know someone that this dreaded disease has affected.

Shabbytable

Online homewares retailer, TheHome, is supporting the Cancer Council this month by making sure your tea party looks fab! For the next month TheHome is having an exclusive TEATIME sale, offering the latest designer teacups, saucers and serving platters at up to 70 percent off the recommended retail price.

Teaset

If you are a first-time buyer at TheHome this month, use the code TEATIME at checkout and be rewarded with a $15 discount. (one use only)

tieredplatestand Enjoy your morning tea!

 

 

 

 

One man’s trash…..

is another man’s treasure!

Nothing could be truer with this latest before and after I’m sharing with you.

My client found a cane setting on a footpath ready to be collected by the Council as part of their kerbside cleanup.

There were four chairs and a small frame that would be an occasional table. The cane was worse for wear, there were no cushions and no glass in the side table.

We decided that two of the chairs and the occasional table would be perfect on the front verandah. So we chose the best two chairs, ordered some fabric, had cushions made and the chairs and table repaired as required and sprayed white.

It’s the perfect place to sit and watch the afternoon sun go down.

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

 

It’s here again!

via Pinterest

Happy Weekend!

 

 

Adirondack Chairs

The days are warming up here in Sydney (at last!) and the weather is beckoning us to live outdoors. Not right outdoors in tents but to take a cup of tea out into the garden and enjoy the sunshine.

There are so many varieties of outdoor furniture but one I kept seeing on the East Coast of America was the Adirondack Chair. You know that chair with the funny name.

Spotted at Bar Harbor, Maine

Originally made from wood, many of the US varieties were made from plastic which is ideal for leaving them out in the garden all day. They came in a great range of colours too.

In the garden at Cape Cod, Massachusetts

They were originally made in 1903 by Thomas Lee who was on vacation in Westport, NY in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains. The original Adirondack chair was made with eleven pieces of wood, cut from a single board. It had a straight back and seat, which were set at a slant to sit better on the steep mountain inclines of the area. It also featured wide armrests, which became a hallmark of the Adirondack chair and are perfect for resting a cup or glass.

On the beach in Malibu, California

Jamie Durie has an Adirondack Chair in his outdoor range available from Big W. The Porch Furniture have a range of Adirondack Chairs including one from recycled milk bottles so they don’t need any maintenance. I like that idea!

Ready for a party, Bar Harbor again.

Would you like a pair in your garden? I think they look very inviting and I could imagine sitting with a cup of tea each Sunday afternoon resting up before I tackle the ironing basket after dinner.

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

Around the world in 2 hours

You’re not going believe this, but on Wednesday evening I went to Melbourne, India and France. And I only went across town!

I attended the launch of Dinner Explorer an inspirational and practical new website from Electrolux.

We all love entertaining but are often stuck for ideas, themes, recipes, decor and all the other fine details that go into a successful dinner party at home. Dinner Explorer comes to the rescue with over 50 different themes, based on international and local Australian celebrations and festivities. Not only will you find a theme, but you will also find suggested menus, drinks, ideas to decorate your home and extra ideas like dresscode.

There are some really “out there” suggestions like The Wife Carrying World Championships and Polish Dumpling Day, but each and every one has something you could use for another occasion.

I love the calendar of events, as if you are already holding an event you could easily give it a theme based on what’s on at the time.

Electrolux hosted the launch at their wonderful showroom in Mascot. There were three stations and we were broken up into three groups rotating through each station.

I started with the Melbourne Cup, the Aussie horserace that stops a nation. Lobster rolls were very yummy, as was the Champagne Cocktail that had been specifically designed to accompany the rolls.

Next was India and the art of making chapati’s.

Colour, colour, colour is the key when entertaining Indian style. Oh and some Bollywood movies.

And finally the Peach de resistance – Christmas and Peter Gilmore‘s White Peach Bellini, which went down way to easily.

The Caremelised Brioche with Warm Cherry Compote was pretty good too. Peter’s recipes can be found here.

So now there’s no excuses to put on a great dinner party or casual BBQ. Head to Dinner Explorer for all you need including a full shopping list. Life couldn’t be easier!

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

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