Thursday, 30 October 2008

Bathroom Furniture

I am very fond of placing small pieces of Antique furniture in bathrooms. I think it adds an element of coziness. It also adds interest and personality to a room which we usually don't think about furnishing.

Whether it's a small table {like above} to place some towels on & a beautiful tray with lots of perfume and lotion on for your guests or a lovely old chair upholstered in a pretty fabric, I think it's a great look.

In the Gumdale house I have been working on I suggested this concept to the client and she went with it. We painted the old pieces we found for her bathrooms white and they look fantastic.

So, if you have room for a lovely little old table or chair or even an old mirror in your bathroom my advice is...go for it!

Oh and while we're on the subject of furnishing bathrooms - I also love little paintings in bathrooms too!!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Passionate About Blue & White?

Well then you must get your hands on a copy of Carolyne Roehm's new book - A Passion for Blue & White. Look at this dreamy image from the book! I think my mother will flip out when she sees this post! I think this book would make for a wonderful Christmas gift! Jennifer over at The Peak of Chic has done a great post on the book today and Lily-G also posted about the book earlier this week too! Can't wait to get my copy!!

Cakes & Flowers {A Post by Felicity}

When I saw Vicky Crease's beautiful work on South African blog Anything Goes I thought she would be perfect for Absolutely Beautiful Things and when I saw her quote in one of her press articles .......

"I love to bring people joy"

I smiled and knew I had to contact her.

Vicky is a South African based cake artist and events coordinator who has created and styled events for Nelson Mandela, South African President Thabo Mbeki, Tiffany's of New York and Richard Branson. Here's a couple of questions I posed to her as well.........

Vicky, what project are you currently working on?

Amongst others........
Christmas at Cartier,
The Twelve Apartheid Heroes Gala Event for 800 guests,
the Reserve Bank Governors' Awards Ceremony;
and Miss South Africa.
Also lots of events for the FIFA Soccer world Cup in 2010

What is your favorite event that you have created for?

1. Nelson Mandela's birthday Cake
2. The Launch of Cartier
3. The Launch of Virgin Money in South Africa
4. A private dinner party for Celine Dion

What's your most popular cake that you make?

Definitely the Death by Chocolate double chocolate fudge cake with a decadent ganache icing, topped with a mass of fresh roses and drizzled with icing sugar.

What's the best thing about of living in South Africa?

The sunny skies, great climate, deliciously diverse food, fabulous South African hospitality and the fact that there are no rules within a design framework, thereby allowing you to express your creativity freely. Also, my fabulous family.....

What are 3 of your favorite fashion/homewares boutiques in South Africa?

My sister's store "Life" in Sandton for rare objects and stylish homewares,"Wizards" in Hyde Park for great fashion pieces and"Woolworths" for everything else (food, clothing, body products, linen, towels etc.)

Thank you so much for chatting to us Vicky, I'm sure Absolutely Beautiful Things readers would agree, your creations are works of art.

All Images Vicky Crease

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Harry's {New} Room

When it comes to boy's bedrooms I personally prefer a classic navy and white scheme with some red thrown in and even some pale blue thrown in - see inspiration images above. I have always decorated Harry's room in this manner. When we moved into the cottage we put Harry into the only other bedroom we had which is the size of a shoe box!! At first I thought it was very cute and charming but then as time went on I found it to be completely impractical for him will all of his toys and books and things overtaking the space...don't forget he's a collector/hoarder just like his mother!!

So, Harry is now moving into a new room which was actually the original lounge room. I think he's very lucky as it has the most beautiful old ceiling in the entire house.

With his move comes new curtains and a few new pieces of furniture will also be required. I will be incorporating his old red and blue striped armchair and of course I will be using his beautiful old Antique bed {images above}.

Now that Harry is a little older it isn't as easy as it once was decorating his room. He is now old enough to have an opinion. I have been bringing home lots of fabric samples over the last couple of weeks to look at against his armchair and I have been quite surprised by his response. After much thought and consideration we have FINALLY made our decision. Of course I am the one who makes the final decision {definitely no Spider Man bed linen or racing car beds in my house!!} but I have enjoyed the challenge of him putting forward his opinion. This has actually made me consider other options and I think it has resulted in a perfect solution for the room.

I just purchased an old chest of drawers on Ebay which we will use as a bedside table for him. I will be painting these drawers a pale blue and I will replace the handles also. This will be a great storage piece for him to keep some of his toys in and it will be a fun weekend project for he and I to embark upon. Once we have finished painting it he can actually say that he painted it himself{with my help of course}!!

I rather liked the navy blue lamp bases which Tory Burch used in her boy's room {pictured below}. I have found a very similar lamp base which I will paint navy with shades made in the blue and white fish patterned Lulu DK fabric in the below image. I was a little concerned at first that this patterned fabric was a little too 'girly' but I decided it looked a bit like a pair of vintage board shorts...well that's what I told Harry!!

We decided on the navy and white geometric print {above - bottom right} for his curtains which we will install on an existing white painted timber pole.

I thought I might frame some old flags I have and also some old vintage sailing boat prints which I will hang around his room. His new {vintage} sailing boat will fit in perfectly!

I haven't made a decision on the bed linen yet however, I may use his existing patchwork quilt which I bought from Douglas & Hope a couple of years ago or if I decide to do something new {budget permitting} my choice would be to go for something very plain....maybe even a denim doona cover. I have lots of cushions I can re-use from his old room which I will place on his bed along with a couple of his most favourite teddies.

I'll be sure post some after pics once we are finished!!

What colours/theme do you like in a boy's room?

Rug Love

I'm loving these gorgeous rugs from Elson & Company!!

Monday, 27 October 2008

Antique Hunting with Harry

Harry with his ship and the pink bentwood

Hello how was your weekend? Mine was lovely. Harry and I went hunting for vintage furniture on Sunday morning. As you may or may not know we are currently smack bang in the middle of a renovation. Stage one will hopefully be completed in about four weeks! Anyway, as we are extending our cottage we have the need for a few more pieces of furniture. I have been collecting old furniture and bits and pieces my entire married life and I think I may have a bred another little collector!! Whenever we go Antique shopping I always let Harry select one little thing for himself. I love watching him select his piece. This time he spotted this fantastic old ship in the back of one of the stores at Paddington Antique Market and I was so impressed! We bought it for his new bedroom. I spotted this gorgeous old pink Bentwood chair which I am going to add to my collection of mismatched Antique dining chairs. I also found a few more bits which I am thrilled with. Overall it was a very successful mission. I love that my son is learning to appreciate Antiques and vintage pieces and its just so lovely to have him give me his opinion on my finds too...even if we don't always agree!!

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Gumdale House Update

It's been another busy week in my little world. Apologies for my lack of posting. This week we started installing the wallpaper and window coverings at the Gumdale house which I have been working on for over a year now. Next week we are installing all the furniture which is very exciting. I thought I'd post a few little snippets to get you excited. This certainly is one of the most beautiful houses I have ever had the pleasure of working on. I'll hopefully have more photos for you next week. Until then I hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Heirlooms & Treasures {A Post by Felicity}

Heirlooms and Treasures by All Things Bright and Beautiful

Here are some of my mother's treasures, which I photographed when I was home last time - there are some more here too. Even though we have little space and they wouldn't really suit our minimal-ish, white, "art gallery" styled apartment, it doesn't stop me from kind of wishing we had more heirlooms here with us in Hong Kong to remind us of home. Family treasures suit any kind of decor really, don't they? Mementos we do have here with us include some of my mother's silver and my grandmother's occasional chair. Most of our other treasures (not that we have a whole lot:-) are in storage back in Australia. What family treasures do you have that you display to remind you of people you love?

Hugs Bugs!!

More Hawthorne House Pictures

Here are some more images of the Hawthorne House we have been working on.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Today I Love...

Hello again. How was your weekend?? Mine was lovely thank you...very quite and restful...just what I needed after a hectic week last week. This week we have Felicity back on Wednesday with a lovely post so stay tuned for that. Thank you so much for welcoming her at ABT with all of your lovely comments last week!!

Today I love these three images which I recently added to my I Love Files. What do I love about these images you may ask? In the top image I love all the colourful pretty plates and of course I love the flowers. In the middle image I love the round buttoned ottoman with the box pleated skirt and I love the concept of that bed for a child's room. In the last image I love the natural linen tablecloth and the piles of books and the blue and white jar with the fresh flowers. Actually just looking back at these images now - do you notice something else?? Yes, they all have a little bit of blue and white...mmm I am turning into my mother!!

I hope your week has started with lots of happy thoughts!! See you tomorrow.

Image 1 - Jane Roarty Stylist
Image 3 - House Beautiful

Friday, 17 October 2008

Happy Weekend!!

These beautiful images, taken by photographer Hugh Stewart, of Collette Dinnigan's Sydney home were featured in Vogue Living a while ago. I absolutely adored her home. Her beautiful pieces of Antique furniture against an all-white background with books and flowers...perfection! I hope you have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Guest Post by Felicity

Image: "Reach for your wings" by All Things Bright and Beautiful

As my first guest post on Absolutely Beautiful Things - I'd like to use it to help to make a little bit of change in the world. Yesterday was Blog Action 2008 - Poverty Day where bloggers were asked to unite and promote awareness of world poverty ☺.

How you can help?........Corine of Hidden in France has promised to donate one dollar per comment to Kiva a person-to-person micro-lending website, which aims to alleviate poverty by enabling people to lend directly to small enterprise entrepreneurs in the developing world. My Notting Hill and Catherine, last years winner of Domino's Decorating contest, have also offered to match the number of comments (in dollars) - up to fifty dollars.

I've been a bit naughty and have commented - 3 times now! :-) Even if you can spare one comment - I'm sure they will all add up. To comment and contribute, see Corine's post "Poverty (mine)".

Hugs and smiles and it's lovely to be back here with you☺.Felicity

Welcoming Felicity

I love these images of Belinda Seper's home in Bowral styled by Jane Roarty via 2c. Felicity {aka All Things Bright & Beautiful Blog} emailed me the link to this site today. Thanks Felicity!! And whilst talking about Felicity I have some very exciting news. She has sent me her first ABT Guest Post which I will be posting here today! So, she's back by public demand!! I hope you will all welcome her here at ABT. She will post sporadically at the moment but I am hoping she will settle in and eventually do one Guest Post per pressure though!!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Wedding Belles

A special friend of mine recently got engaged. I am so excited for her. I emailed her this gorgeous image taken at Lena Corwin's wedding as my friend has a golden retriever too {my favourite dog breed of all time}. This is what I said to her in the email...

"You MUST take Nellie to the wedding and here's a picture to get you excited!! We could tie lots of pretty ribbons around her neck...."

How cute is this picture??!! If you haven't already checked out the rest of Lena's wedding pictures you must do's so delightful!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

8 Happy Ideas

Happy Idea # 1 - Set the table and invite some friends for lunch.

Happy Idea # 2 - Call a friend and invite them to go bargain hunting this Saturday.

Happy Idea # 3 - Bake a cake.

Happy Idea # 4 - Go for a ride on your bike in a pretty park.

Happy Idea # 5 - Go fishing.

Happy Idea # 6 - Cuddle a loved one.

Happy Idea # 7 - Float in the water.

Happy Idea # 8 - Hang out with some friends.

Here are 8 Happy Ideas.

Image 1 - via My Notting Hill, Image 2 - via Nibsblog, Image 3 - via Martha Stewart, Image 4 - via Paul Costello, Image 5 - via Paul Costello, Image 6 - via Cookie Magazine, Image 7 - via Paul Costello, Image 8 - via Paul Costello

Monday, 13 October 2008

Wilston House

Here are some pictures of a lounge room I recently redecorated for a client. We recovered her old sofas, added some new slip covered armchairs and lots of new scatter cushions. It's all very fresh and colourful against an all-white background. The lovely client is thrilled! I am hoping she will go ahead with large sisal floor rug which I think would complete the room beautifully but all in good time!! I couldn't help posting a picture of her gorgeous flowering Wisteria which hangs perfectly over her front gate - so pretty!! I wish I had a Wisteria like this growing over my front gate...maybe one day!!

All images - Anna Spiro 2008