Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Black & Spiro Today

Here is our current window display at Black & Spiro {above}. It's very bright, I must say, even for me! It's been a crazy week here at B&S. Usually the September school holidays are a quiet time for us. It is usually a time we call the lull before the storm with the onslaught of Christmas coming! However, for some strange reason these September holidays have been crazy. Lots of deliveries arriving as you can see below. A few clients will be very happy at the end of this week once they receive their beautiful armchairs!!

A Summer Table

This lovely table setting screams Summer to me. I love the fresh green and white colour palette. I also love the little succulent arrangements. They actually reminded me of the lovely succulent arrangements Chelsea over at Frolic created recently as below.

image 1 - victoria pearson via brown turtleneck sweater,
image 2 - frolic

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Bathroom Shelving & Stools

The concept of open shelving in a kitchen or lounge room is often talked/blogged about but I do also like the idea of open shelving in a bathroom. These images above, which I have saved in my files, certainly show this concept very well. I like the idea of soaking in the bath tub looking at my beautiful things in the shelving surrounding me.

Another great idea for a bathroom, if you have a bath tub, is to use a drum stool next to the tub to put a book or a glass on. We have some lovely blue and white stools {and other colours too} in the shop at the moment which would do the job. I use one at home next to our bath and it is fabulous. I often have a pile of magazines on mine...nothing like reading some magazines in the bath at the end of a long day!!

image 1 & 2 via the lettered cottage, image 3 - anna spiro

Monday, 28 September 2009

Ormiston House Sneak Peek

I thought I would share a few photos of a job I have been working on lately for some very lovely clients at Ormiston. It's quite a funny story actually. When Brad, Harry and I lived at Ormiston a few years ago this house was one we used to drive past and comment on. The gardens were always so beautifully kept and the house was picture-perfect. I was thrilled when I arrived at the front door earlier this year at my first appointment with the clients to walk inside and see the house we had long admired and to be asked to be involved with the renovation and update of the home.

I helped the clients with the concept for the kitchen. One of my favourite things in the kitchen is the 3 vintage light fittings we found for above the island bench. I took them to one of my little vintage lighting haunts and we spent a good half hour there looking for the perfect lights. Two of the lights match and the third is slightly different. The clients were a little unsure of this at first but after my re-assurance they were happy to go with them. When I visited them at the house last week they couldn't have been happier with the lights. I actually love the size of them. Being smaller they don't dominate the kitchen which I really like.

We installed some of the furniture last week including their old sofas which we recovered in a plain pale blue linen with contrast white piping. The two Antique French gilt chairs I found for them and had covered in a beautiful pale blue and white stripe fabric to work with the blue/white/taupe floral fabric we selected for the scatter cushions. We are still working on a few more pieces of furniture including barstools, dining chairs, lamps etc.

Once we have completed the house in a few months we will be photographing it for our Black & Spiro website. I'll be sure to let you know once it is up on the portfolio page.

Oh, and look at the beautiful afternoon tea my client had prepared for me when I arrived to install the furniture. So lovely!!

Saturday, 26 September 2009


Hello again. I thought I would let you know that I will be back to blogging on Monday. We had a lovely break away and I am looking forward to sharing some wonderful things with you next week including a few photos of a beautiful job I have been working on lately.


Wednesday, 16 September 2009

A Week Off...

I'm taking off for a week or so to spend some time with my boys. I should be back by the end of next week or there-abouts. I'll leave you with this photo {top} which I was trying to take for Friday Flowers but a little friend kept sneaking into the photo!

Hope you all have a great week and I'll be back soon...


Vintage Beach Photos

I love these vintage Hawaiian beach images which have been hung in the staircase of the Moana Hotel in Hawaii. They remind me of the staircase Windsor Smith filled with framed black and white photos as below.

Image 1 - via Flickr, Image 2 - Domino via Flickr

Uniquely Me Chic - Part 2

It's no secret that I try as much as possible in my work to create a look which is unique and interesting for my clients. I was recently inspired by something written about Ralph Lauren in the book Ralph Lauren, The man, the vision, the style, which was;

"And you couldn't copy his look. You could try but you wouldn't look the way he did."

Image - Ralph Lauren

Tuesday, 15 September 2009


I haven't really been using red in my work lately but I have recently started to love a touch of red again. Here are a couple of images which reminded me how great {and fresh} a little bit of red in a room can look.

image 1 via pink wallpaper, image 2 via shelter, image 3 via brown turtle neck sweater, image 4 via elle decor, image 5 - via Mrs Blandings

Friday, 11 September 2009

Friday Flowers

Here are some pretty Spring flowers I arranged late yesterday afternoon in mismatched vintage vases. I arranged them for Melanie {one of my Black & Spiro girls} and I placed them down the centre of the dining table last night at Pearl. We took Melanie out for dinner to celebrate her upcoming wedding which is in 3 weeks. Her favourite colour is Yellow, hence the mixture of yellow and white flowers.

See you next week!!

Thursday, 10 September 2009

A Passion for Beach Hats Part 2

I have talked about my passion for beach hats before. You may recall that post where I talked about my love of using hats as decoration, especially in a beach house. Here are a few more images I have been collecting which may inspire you to use hats as decoration also.

I am hoping to purchase a lovely hat this Summer to add to my collection. If I am successful I may need to purchase another vintage hat block as my 2 other hat blocks are becoming a little overloaded. As a tide me over I recently resorted to placing a few of my hats on top of a vase I have on our table at Straddie as below.

Maybe I should consider a lovely hat rack for the wall as an alternative as I think Brad & Harry might be getting a little overwhelmed with all the hats piling up on the table!!

image 1 - tom scheerer, image 2 - toast, image 3 - anna spiro, image 4 - tom scheerer

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

A Love Affair With a House

To be in-love with a house which you own is one thing but to be in-love with a house you don't own is another. Have you have ever felt a strong passion for a house or a property which does not belong to you?

My husband and I have had an obsession with a little waterfront house which is located at Amity Point on Stradbroke Island for quite a few years now. It is a cape cod style house which needs lots and lots of TLC {and white paint}. Whenever we drive from Point Lookout {where our little beach house is located} down to the fishing town of Amity Point we always slow the car down to a snails pace for a quick look and and a quick check to see that it is still there waiting for us. On the weekend I took a few photos to share with you. Maybe one day our dream will come true...

I have read stories about other people finding a house they love, dreaming about it for years and then becoming the owners down the track. It seems that sometimes, these sorts of dreams really do come true!

One particluar story I love is that of iconic Australian artist Ken Done and his cabin which he found and fell in-love with when he was 14 years of age. Ken uses the cabin, which is right on the edge of Sydeny Harbour, as his art studio. I have included an excerpt below from Studio International;

Australian Artist Ken Done

Ken Done's Sydney Harbour Cabin above

The Cabin studio at Mosman, overlooking Chinaman's Beach on Middle Harbour, was acquired by Ken Done in 1979, after he had leased it for sometime prior.

His first encounter with the building that subsequently became a most vital source of inspiration was when Ken was 14 when he and a friend took an alternative route from Cremorne to Balmoral Beach. Walking along the foreshore via Chinaman's Beach, Ken Done recalls his delight at discovering the small cottage:

"Suddenly, miraculously, underneath a huge tree was the most wonderful little building that I had ever seen. It was very much in the style of "The Wind in the Willows", but Australian. A house right by the edge of the water on the rocks, under a spreading Morton Bay Fig and a Camphor Laurel tree. It stood at the point where the rocks and sand and water and beach and land all met. A perfect holiday house or a fisherman's cottage."

By the time that Ken Done's previous studio, The Nook was demolished he knew the owner of The Cabin. The Cabin had been let to a series of tenants and Ken Done made it clear that he very much wanted to lease it to use as a studio. His childlike enthusiasm for the Cabin represents his joy and passion for the place. The components of the cabin studio represented perfection for Ken Done: an exquisite view over the Middle Harbour, marvellous trees and flowers, an exotic paradise. The view of the upper level of the Cabin from the wooden veranda provided Ken Done with further inspiration. It is a view onto a myriad of light effects, the endless patterning of boats, the drama of storms, the power and beauty in nature all from a secure vantage point. In the area surrounding the house, he and Judy have created an oasis of garden which Ken has painted constantly and where in the early years there he shared with his family at weekends.

To have loved a property for so many years and then to have been able to acquire it is an amazing and inspiring story. Ken Done certainly expresses a true sense of Australian style in his work and it is evident that his cabin and it's surrounds have been a huge source of inspiration for his paintings over the years. It was obviously meant to be that he would one day own the place of his dreams.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Head in the Sand

I can't seem to get my head out of the sand today. My thoughts keep on drifting back to the wonderful day I spent with Harry & Brad on the beach at Straddie yesterday. Brad's Father's Day wish was to spend the day with us and the dogs on the beach so that is what we did. After such a busy time at work for both of us lately it was so wonderful to sit and relax for a few hours and be with our special boy.

So, I'll have to come back tomorrow when my head is clearer. I do have lots of wonderful Summer/beach inspired posts this week so stay tuned!!

image - italian elle magazine via

Friday, 4 September 2009

Friday Flowers

Pretty ranunculus today. See you next week!!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Ned Update

Isn't it amazing how fast they grow! I can't believe how quickly our Ned is growing up!! I couldn't resist sharing these photos {top 2} which I snapped of him yesterday morning on my favourite chair. The bottom image you may remember me posting when he arrived a few months ago...

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

10 Happy Things

I was so thrilled to be invited by my blogging friend Emily over at Wide Open Spaces to share 10 things that make me happy. Emily's blog is one of my absolute favourites! She always posts such lovely things. You can see the full post HERE...


Here are a few little tidbits I am inspired by this week. I think it's the colours and the patterns and the wonderful mix of things I am loving!! The multi coloured floral fabric is one which we will be using in our windows soon at the shop....I love the little pops of orange in this fabric!! We will also be hanging the pink peony fabric in the bottom image in our front windows at Black & Spiro in coming weeks {this fabric is so me!!}. Oh and also in the bottom image you can see my absolute favourite Nina Campbell candles which we also sell at Black & Spiro!!

image 1 -
amy homey's photostream @ flickr, image 2 - bella foster artist, 3 & 4 - marie claire maison, image 5 - fabric from black & spiro, image 6 via that chair has buttons, image 7 via that chair has buttons