Creative walls … just when I needed help

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I had spent days fluffing around redoing the bookshelves, rearranging ornaments and nic nacs and changing our artwork … over and over, never quite happy with the end result  !!  You can imagine how thrilled I was to receive for Mother’s Day, Creative Walls – how to display and enjoy your treasured collections, by Geraldine James.

And I am supposed to be good at this sort of thing.  I do love it … the fluffing around bit … but to be able to flick through endless images of other people’s creativity does give you the added confidence to go with your own eye and instinct.  Sometimes you need to just walk away and come back with fresh eyes.

I did resist the urge to colour group the books in the library … mainly because there are just far too many books to start again.  However, quite some time was wasted repositioning a few according to subject matter.  I just had to put all our books on Churchill together, if nothing else.  I am absolutely fascinated by him since reading A Daughter Tale by Mary Soames … if only I had the time to read more.

Whether it is creating a monochrome, neutral or bold statement with your artwork or artefacts, I feel it all comes down to working with colour.  Play around with different groupings and your eye will tell you which colours just work.

A word of warning … hours will be lost in the process but the end result will be worth it.

Neutral palette with a splash of colour

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Any neutral palette will come alive with the introduction of a little colour !

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It could be anything from muted dusty shades to vibrant colour !

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A black and white scheme looks sensational with a splash of … well, any colour really … hot pink, soft pink, bright orange, brilliant yellow or cobalt blue …

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Refer to previous posts for tips on how to introduce colour into a neutral palette but it can be as simple as fresh flowers or a bookcase full of books.

5 sleep essentials

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Of all the rooms in a house the bedroom is possibly the most important … it is where we spend half our life !!!

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1.  A good mattress is essential to ensure a restful night’s sleep.  The very best mattresses support our spines in their natural, neutral position.  The latest technology allows the mattress springs to mould to the shape of our body.

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2.  Mattress toppers are becoming extremely popular … they add an additional layer of padding and comfort, particularly good where the mattress itself is too firm.  Reversible toppers with wool fleece for autumn and winter … and cotton percale to keep you cool in spring and summer, are the ultimate.

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3.  Choice of pillow is critical to a good night’s sleep.  The right choice depends on a number of factors including neck problems, allergies (non allergenic filling choices)and preference for firm or soft, one or two pillows. How soft or firm your pillow feels is determined by the ratio of feather to down used … feather being firm and down being soft.

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4.  Beautiful bedlinen is a luxury and you really do get what you pay for.  Thread count (number of threads in a square inch of fabric) isn’t everything and other factors such as the quality of the raw cotton (firmness of yarn) and the way threads are woven comes into play.  I love the softness and elegance of Cotton Sateen without the expense of Egyptian Cotton.

5.  Your choice of Doona/Duvet is all to do with weight and seasons/climate,  however your first choice is natural or non allergenic filling.  The right choice of doona weight for your particular climate is essential to a good nights sleep.  The weight of doona for a cool climate will be vastly different to that where winters are mild.  Down doonas trap more air between clusters than feather fillings and are therefore warmer and incredibly light.  The greater the percentage of down and the higher the quality of the down, the more you pay.

Yes, lots to think about … however worth spending a little time to get it right.

Hotel guestrooms with a difference… the siam, bangkok

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Without doubt it is the individuality of The Siam that sets it apart.  Renowned hotel designer Bill Bensley has incorporated the old with the new and created a unique 5 star hotel, full of charm.

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This is not your typical hotel guestroom … with Thai Colonial influences, lamps hanging on black silk ribbons, travel collections … all so very personal.

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The elegance of suites with sumptuous furnishings, exquisite detailing and such interesting memorabilia.

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Memorabilia that has been collected and sourced for each of the individually themed suites.

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Always glimpses to the exotic orchid filled gardens …

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Black and white and distinctly Art Deco.  Such attention to detail.

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I ask the question again, why can’t your average hotel guestroom, or even just the expensive ones, be that little bit more exciting or individual.  It isn’t only about the finishes and furnishings … it is about creating spaces that make patrons feel at home or somewhere better than home.

Milan furniture fair meets fashion week australia

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I was spoilt for choice this week not knowing which to look at first … the Vogue blog covering Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia or the Vogue Living report each day from the Milan Furniture Fair.

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I was definitely more interested in Fashion Week’s Street Style than endless images from the catwalk !

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Meanwhile in Milan, my favourites included Missoni (top photo) combining daisies and its traditional zigzag (only seen on the ottoman on the left) and above, the fabulous brights from designer Paola Lenti.

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It was all happening at Carriageworks in Sydney … what a fabulous venue for Fashion Week (yes, with the exception of the parking).

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More of Paola Lenti’s collection ‘In the Key of Colour‘. The furniture is available through Dedece, Sydney. 

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Paola Lenti chose this fabulous Franciscan Monastery, complete with orchard and gardens, for the showing of their collection in Milan. 

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images:vogue

 

 

A hint of gold …

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A touch of gold or gilt adds an element of warmth and style to any interior.  It looks best I believe, where the palette of colours used is minimal or neutral.

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There are no hard and fast rules for the placement of gilt mirrors except to say, the larger the better.

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This palette of colours and textures works like a dream.  Gilt … furniture or mirrors, adds a touch of elegance … or even faded glory !!

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For all your restoration requirements … whether it be regilding mirrors and picture frames or conserving your Old Masters, it is worth speaking to International Conservation Services who have a very impressive portfolio.

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Images: tumblr

How to do white well …

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Crisp, stark white is not for the faint hearted.  In fact most clients I work with shy away from white, on the basis that it is cold and uninviting !!  I beg to differ …

It is all about using it effectively and achieving the right balance.

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A white interior looks its absolute best where there are timber floors … of any shade or colour.  It is the perfect balance, with the timber providing the warmth.

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White on white is the ultimate in elegance … and it is all about the texture.  Try layering  rough and smooth.  I love the combinations of smooth white bedlinen and the texture of an antique marcella quilt or white linen loose covers on a sofa with silk velvet cushions.

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Of course you can always weaken and do white with a hint of …

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And for something really luxe … white with that touch of gilt.  Oh so elegant !!

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Working with white and its varying textures and tones will allow you to create a very sophisticated interior … not always achievable with colour.

images via thisisglamorous

5 favourite upholstered furniture pieces … and finding interesting homes for them

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1.  the footstool … the perfect addition to any seating group but extremely practical in a bathroom … as big as will fit the space without cluttering it.

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2.  this buttoned armchair works well anywhere … lovely in the bedroom or as a pair in a quiet corner of a sitting room or study.  I do love the idea of a pair of these (or one plus ottoman) in the corner of a large country kitchen … for that quick cup of tea.

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3.  a buttoned chesterfield or even chaise is the ultimate … anywhere, anytime.  Looks fabulous in anything from an exquisite velvet to a vintage linen.

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4.  the rolled back armchair is a classic design that can be positioned in a classic or contemporary setting, depending on fabric … I love the slightly higher version around a dining table.

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5.  these squishy daybeds as a pair, are perfect for that covered verandah with view of the garden … just curl up with a book and throw rug.

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