Laneway art and about

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Sydney’s Art and About finishes on 31 January.  It is rather exciting when in the city to stumble across one of the many Laneway Installations….the works of australian and overseas artists and designers.

This looked particularly spectacular at night tucked in behind the Ivy off George Street.

Masses of silvery mesh ‘birdcages’ almost like lanterns.

These installations are dotted in laneways throughout the CBD…..so it is definitely worth looking at the website to plot your course……and discover some of the fabulous innercity wine bars for a glass of Prosecco along the way !!

Paris….and apple….how beautiful.

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                 image: via hype means everything

It is no surprise to find the Apple store in Paris in such a magnificent building. Let’s face it….everything Apple does is beautiful….starting with the packaging…..the satiny white bag with the silver apple logo and white draw string, the glossy white box and of course…..the treasure inside.  Apple products look exquisite and feel lovely to the touch…..such beautiful design.

Back to the building……this building epitomises Parisian Architecture.  It is one of the many pretty buildings in Paris that we all drool over and photograph.

And we thought our Apple store in Sydney was beautiful ! Well it is ….. just in a different way.

 

 

 

 

My Hunt For Those Beautiful Shell Mirrors

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While in Sydney during this quiet time before all the fabric and furniture showrooms open next week I have been enjoying seeking out all the places that I just didn’t get to in 2011.  High on my list was and is James Edwards Shell Mirrors in Cleveland Street. No 265 actually.  I drive past is often, never having time to stop……and wondering where I will park as it is the busy section of Cleveland St between Elizabeth St and Chalmers.  It is only open Thursday to Saturday 1pm until 5pm which does narrow the opportunities a little.

So, on googling James….. to establish all of the above, I have stumbled across the fabulous photography of Nick Bassett who has a lovely blog……and beautiful photographs of James Edwards Shells!!!!

I will have details on the mirrors when finally I get there.

India Hicks Summer Inspiration

 

There is something very Queensland about the architecture and in particular the interiors that India Hicks and her husband have created on their Caribbean Island.

The wide verandahs, the tongue and groove boarding…..everywhere ….and beautiful fretwork over doorways…that tropical climate….all designed to capture the breeze!!!

The colour palette so crisp…black and white with shades of sand and driftwood.

The turquoise ocean, lush vegetation and vibrant flower blossoms shining like jewels.

Having grown up in Queensland I now see it all through fresh eyes.  Why is it that you appreciate it so much more when you go back!!!!! The frangipani and bougainvillea seem so much more exotic…..the architecture more interesting!!!!

Having said all that ….I adore India Hicks style.  I could happily book a holiday to any one of her houses on this beautiful island.

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Northern Winter Retreat vs Summer Beach House

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via myparadissi

I have to say that I am currently bombarded online with winter images as all my favourite suppliers, blogs and stores abroad, whether it be London or New York are featuring their winter collections on sale. It is quite bazaar given that we are lapping up the sun, surf and sand here or on holiday.

Yes the weather has been, for the most part dismal but we are trying to be in beach mode.  I always look longingly over the summer at images in Design Magazines featuring ‘the beach house’ look, thinking how I can incorporate just a little touch of this into Home.  Maybe it is just the token bowl of shells or piece of coral.  I yearn for the actual beachhouse where you could do the whole ‘look’ with a palette of driftwood and azure blue, turquoise or inky navy.

However….. it always amuses me just how quickly Autumn creeps up on us and by Easter there is that chill in the air.  I always feel a little cheated and that the summer has been all too short.

Having had a taste of the beach while the sun has shone briefly during the last week I am not ready for anything resembling Autumn.

There are of course those who choose to travel to London, Paris, New York or even ski in the Northern Hemisphere, forgoing the summer holiday altogether.

I have to say I do love this interior shot of the mountain lodge…..the ski lodge with plaid sofas, leather and rustic timber finishes. Tartan is divine anywhere, anytime….Ralph Lauren does it best along with Mulberry!!!!!

Christmas Lights and Bells at St Mary’s Cathedral

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The light show at St Mary’s Cathedral over the Christmas period was a delight for all to see…….particularly the weary shopper struggling with armfuls of shopping bags ……back to their vehicles parked in St Mary’s carpark.

It is always such a wonderful surprise……..and I never remember that it is on.

In fact I feel a little closer to St Mary’s since I heard a gorgeous interview onABC radio at the end of last year with one of the bell ringers in regard to the 25 year anniversary of the current peal of 12 bells.

This is the third peal of bells….the first to ring in 1844. I was fascinated to hear that the bells ring in a series of mathematical permutations or orders….decided by the ringing master each Sunday.  Each person is assigned to a bell…..the task both physically and mentally challenging.

The bell ringers climb 126 stairs each Sunday and for a practice session mid week.The bells, all on the same level are in fact 2 floors above them which is a bonus given the noise level of the beautiful chiming bells.  Shutters are open wide in the tower for all to hear.

One of the loveliest things to do amongst the madness of the  Christmas rush is to wander into St Mary’s Cathedral to experience the peacefulness…… and the fragrance….. fresh Christmas trees line the aisle…. mingled with incense….and light a candle.

Colour Trends for 2012 by Farrow and Ball

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Scandinavian Drawing Room – Traditional or Modern

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Rural Cottage – Contemporary Japanese

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London Terrace –  Warehouse Living

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Tuscan Villa – Innercity Terrace

Farrow and Ball have been producing hand crafted paint and wallpaper in Dorset, England one batch at a time since the turn of the century.

They have a magnificent range of modern and traditional paint finishes….. my passion being their extraordinary heritage and restoration colours.

I have given you my first thoughts when looking at these new colour palettes.

The possibilities are endless!!!

 They are available in Australia through Ascraft and Decortex in Rushcutters Bay.

Southern Highlands Christmas Tree Hunting

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Today is the day I am taking down our Christmas tree…….and it is with mixed emotions.  The end of another Christmas and all that goes with it……the anticipation and preparation both good and not so good!!!  The start of a new year …..always exciting but can be a little daunting as well.
I reflect as I take down and wrap each decoration…..the beautiful ones that have been passed down from generation to generation and the ones that bring back memories of where or when they were purchased….each with a story to tell.
Each year we try to have a theme or at least a colour scheme….that is until we can’t possibly not use the favourites that don’t quite fit in with the scheme.
The Christmas tree ritual starts with identifying the date that we are acquiring the
 tree.  This doesn’t vary greatly and is usually mid December.  This is based on trying to maximise the amount of time we have prior to Christmas to enjoy the tree.  Holidays to the beach happen soon after Christmas.
The only variation to this being when we spend Christmas in London……yes we must still have a tree but it is put up earlier in December.
We set off from Bowral to the couple of tree farms on the way to Kangaloon…..never really knowing which one will have the best trees.  Some have years where they don’t open in order for the stock to grow or where they have been depleted from previous years.
Each year there is disagreement after disagreement over which is the perfect tree with each family member adamant that their tree is the best.  After cutting the ‘best’ tree with the saw provided the tree is netted for the journey home on top of the car……not an unusual site in the Southern Highlands at this time of year!!!!
The decision over which lower branches must removed followed by the orientation of the tree are always tricky …….by which time a cup of tea is always in order.
We have the ritual of cutting our Christmas cake to enjoy with our tea and the decorating of the tree (once bags of decorations from the previous year have been located….also tricky!!!)
And the joy of rediscovering those beautiful decorations starts all over  again.
PS The date to take down the Christmas tree is generally believed to be somewhere between the 2nd and 6th of January.
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Who is in Charge of Sydney’s New Year Fireworks? – our own Marc Newson !!

Azzedine Alaia Boutique, Paris

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Qantas First Class Lounge, Sydney

It is very exciting to hear Marc Newson is the brains and creative talent behind this years New Years Eve fireworks in Sydney.  It is worth looking at his website to get a glimpse of what he does best. His product design is beautiful!!!  Although he now lives in the UK it is encouraging that he is commissioned for such fabulous projects here.

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