Tuesday 31 March 2009

They're Coming!!

It seems I am experiencing a few technical camera/computer problems. I know I said I would post images of my friends house tonight however, it's just not going to be possible as I am so hopeless at computer problems! Here is one more image to keep you going for the meantime! Please bear with me. I hope to have the complete set of pictures posted here tomorrow sometime. Thanks for your patience!!

Monday 30 March 2009

More Photos Tomorrow

I will post the photos of my friend's house, which I just finished working on, tomorrow as I didn't have time to upload the photos before I left the office this afternoon...sorry!!! However, here's one sneak peek picture to whet your appetite!!

Image - Anna Spiro

Sunday 29 March 2009

The Week Ahead

I thought I would post this pretty blue and white image to begin the new week. I love the simplicity of this little corner. I would love to sit on that gorgeous cane chair whilst I chatted on the phone to my mother or a close friend!

This week we have a number of big installations happening which will mean a very busy, yet exciting week ahead. I also have a gorgeous house to share with you all which I have just finished working on for one of my lovely friends. I hope to post photos of it tomorrow night so stay tuned...

Thursday 26 March 2009

Weekend Flowers

I think I might break my budget again this weekend and head off to buy myself some more fresh flowers! I'm off now until next week. I have a busy weekend planned which will be fun!

Thanks again for your lovely emails and comments this week. You are amazing!

Image - Flickr

Gumdale House

I have been meaning to share more pictures of the gorgeous Gumdale house I finished late last year. I was just flicking through my picture files and spotted this image of a corner of the family room and it reminded me. I promise I will post some more pictures of this lovely home soon!!

Wednesday 25 March 2009

Pink & Red

It's no secret that I love pink. I also love pink and red together. I think it's just such an unexpected yet gorgeous colour combination!

Image via - Wide open spaces journal

My Decorating Life

You know what? I need to be really honest with you all. I would imagine that you would think my job is so glamorous and amazing. Am I right?

Well, I have to tell you that it is the most amazing job and I absolutely ADORE what I do but I also have to tell you that it is one of the hardest jobs in the whole wide world.

On a daily basis I attempt to please every single one of my clients. On a daily basis I am disappointed by goods not arriving on time, manufacturers and suppliers breaking their promises and goods being delivered faulty or completely and utterly wrong and not how we ordered them.

I just need to make it clear that even though this job is my lifelong passion I just wish that I could do it better and no matter how hard I try sometimes it's just not good enough.

I'm sure this is the same in every profession but relying on others in this profession is so disappointing and so embarrassing at times and no matter what you do, sometimes it all just ends up wrong!

I don't want your sympathy. That's not what this post is about. I just thought I'd tell you that it really isn't as glamorous as it sounds.

Tomorrow will be better. I know it will be.

Images via Vi.sualize.us

Tuesday 24 March 2009


We all need to remind ourselves of this one...

Images via vi.sualize.us

Monday 23 March 2009

Bed of Flowers

I fell in love with this gorgeous guest house in the Netherlands when it was featured in Real Living magazine recently. I love, love, love it! The coloured feature walls are divine and I love them paired with the floral fabrics, vintage floral artwork, white walls and vintage inspired furniture pieces. The house is aptly named Bed of Flowers!! You can stay at this beautiful place and I must say I think it is very reasonable priced. Click HERE to visit the website.

Sunday 22 March 2009

Sunday at Mum & Dads

Today we went to Mum and Dad's house which isn't unusual for a Sunday. We are a very close family and we tend to gather at my parent's house at least once a week for a family lunch or dinner. My mother is the most amazing cook and host. She loves entertaining and having her family around her.

I thought the house looked so lovely today so I took a few photos of an area outside their kitchen where we all gather when Mum is cooking. She is always arranging flowers from her garden in table vignettes and potting up her large flower pots on the deck which keeps the house looking so fresh and pretty. She constantly inspires me.

Saturday 21 March 2009

I Love Saturday Mornings

It's 8.54am Saturday morning and I'm up which is quite unusual for me on a Saturday. I love sleeping in on the weekend. However, today I think I am going to get up and get going. I might head out to see what new goodies Michael Allen has and then I might grab a coffee and head over to New Farm to do my usual Saturday morning drop into Black & Spiro to see what's happening. I love that today is mine and I get to choose what I want to do....How about you? What are you planning today??

Thursday 19 March 2009

Paintings To Die For...

Ever since I stumbled across Holly Farrell's work over at Wide Open Spaces I have been obsessed! Her paintings are so realistic at first glance I thought they were photographs. I absolutely adore her book paintings. Based in Toronto, Canada her website is fantastic for we Aussies who live a little too far away to view her work in person.

As a side note, I am currently looking for some beautiful original artwork to display in my store, Black & Spiro. If anyone is interested in submitting their work for consideration please email me...anna@blackandspiro.com.au. I would be very excited to see paintings of table vignettes, vases of flowers, room scenes, pieces of furniture, blue and white ginger jars filled with flowers etc. etc. etc. I am looking for pieces which are medium to large in size.

*Happy Thought

Wednesday 18 March 2009

Madison Feature

I am thrilled to be featured in Madison magazine this month. I was asked to list some of my favourite blogs and unfortunately they had to edit my list as it was way too long. Therefore, not all of my favourites were listed.

Tuesday 17 March 2009

Black & Spiro Today

I love our new inlaid trays as above and also the Chinese brushes are so beautiful...the hot pink one is begging me to take it home!!

The shop is brimming with lots of new pieces and even more special things are due to arrive within the next couple of weeks. One of my favourite new pieces is our black and white pin striped Lulu sofa with it's hot pink painted legs...so fun! I love it teamed with our beautiful multi-coloured Suzani.

This little vintage chair is so pretty. I would love to see it find a home in a little girl's bedroom!

Monday 16 March 2009

Fresh + Flowers = Happiness

After not having {bought} flowers at home for a couple of months, I just couldn't hold myself back anymore. Over the weekend I filled the house with lots of fresh flowers which made me so happy. You know they really do put a smile on your face and I think my florist was so happy to see me walk in the door too. Take my advice, head out and buy some fresh flowers, bring them home and arrange them in your favourite vase. I guarantee they will put a smile on your face!

Thursday 12 March 2009

Fun Fun Fun

My son would be in HEAVEN if this was our yard with that amazing trampoline and I as his mother would be in HEAVEN if this was our house...the yellow shutters are seriously beautiful...I'm in LOVE!!

I'm off now until next week. Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday 11 March 2009

Garden Party Inspiration

I am very inspired by the details of THIS gorgeous garden party...


So true and yet sometimes we can lose sight of who are our nearest and most dearest...

Image 1 - via vi.sualize.us, Image 2- via lolitta

Tuesday 10 March 2009

A Passion for Beach Hats

India Hicks has stacked a collection of beach hats on a shelf in her house in the Bahamas above.

Another trait my mother has passed onto me is collecting beach hats. She has always had a passion for beautiful straw/raffia beach hats. I remember her often popping on a new hat ready to head to the beach. Over the years she has collected many, many hats...favouring the designs of Helen Kaminski, Annabel Ingall & most recently Axel Mano.

In a similar way to using baskets as decoration, stacks of hats can also be a great look in a beach house. I often stack my hats on old hat blocks on tables and sideboards. I love the way India Hicks has placed her hats on a shelf in her bookcase as pictured above!!

If you look closely at the picture above you can see my small stack of hats on my sideboard at Straddie.

By incorporating usable, everyday things like hats and baskets into the decoration of our homes, whether they are at the beach, in the country or in the city, we are able to achieve a very personal, simple, cost effective yet stylish look.

Image 1 - via Shelter Blog, Image 2 - via Style Court, Image 3 - via Cote de Texas

Monday 9 March 2009

Memories & Family Traditions

Interior Designer Sister Parish once said...

"Even the simplest wicker basket can become priceless when it is loved and cared for through the generations of a family."

As well as being a fashionable accessory to carry to the beach, a basket can be very useful as decoration in a beach house as shown above & below.

Brisbane Artist Claire Stening's painting of a wicker basket.

This is such a simple yet beautiful tradition to begin. I know one day I will have a barrage of wicker baskets to love which my mother has collected over the years. Ever since I can remember, she has carted her goods and chattels, groceries and clothing to and from our family beach house in wicker baskets - big and small, much to my fathers annoyance. He always insisted that they were such a pain to pack in the car.

Always finding an excuse to use a basket my mother {during our childhood} was often seen traipsing down to the beach from the house with the three of us in tow, a beach umbrella under one arm and a wicker basket over the other arm filled with sunscreen, magazines, buckets and spades, towels, hats, drinks and enough spare change for when the ice cream man turned up.

The life-long obsession my mother has had with baskets has rubbed off on me. Gosh, I hope Harry will be prepared for all the wicker baskets he will inherit one day...

Image 1 - Elle Decor, Image 2 - Toast, Image 3 - Clair Stening

Thursday 5 March 2009

Happy Thoughts

In stark contrast to last week, I have had the most wonderful, exciting, inspiring, happy week. So, I think I will finish this week today and then I can come back here next week refreshed, ready and roaring to go again. Wishing you all lots of hapiness until next time!!


Image 1 - Flickr
Image 2 - Vi.sualize.us

Wednesday 4 March 2009

Historically Inaccurate

Beautiful fabric is obviously a passion of mine. Mostly I love patterned linens. I also love embroidered/crewel fabrics. So when I stumbled across Richard's work over at Historically Inaccurate I was beside myself...two of my favourite things joined together in one fabric...embroidery and patterned linen.

Richard embroiders his designs onto Toile fabrics in brightly coloured cottons. I absolutely adore his work which gives fresh appeal to a fabric with roots dating back to the mid 1700's.

This might just be the perfect choice for a small vintage chair I have at home which desperately needs recovering.