Tuesday 30 June 2009

A Collar for Ned

I just came across these very cool Mascot dog collars and leads. I think I am going to have to order one in for Ned. Only problem will be trying to decide on which colour.....probably Navy.

A Beautiful Vignette

I am in-love with this beautiful vignette in the home of Melbourne based artist John Young which was featured in the July/August 2009 issue of Inside Out Magazine. I think the composition of the simple, natural tones of the objects with the divine, earthy coloured portrait is very beautiful.

Loving Ruffled Kitchen Skirts

I love the informality of ruffled kitchen skirts. I'm thinking from a budget conscious point of view this might be a fun option when we renovate our kitchen at our Stradbroke beach cottage. Are they a pain to use and keep clean?? I would love to hear from anyone who has had these before...

image 1 - mary ruffle, image 2 - skona hem

Monday 29 June 2009

Pretty Yellow Wattle

Whilst I have been out on my morning walks of late I have noticed the wattle trees in flower all over the place. When I went down to the park with Harry yesterday there was one large tree in flower. I picked a few branches and brought them home and then arranged them in an old crystal vase my grandmother gave me a couple of years ago. I just adore the vibrant yellow of the flowers against the grey-green of the leaves.

Sunday 28 June 2009

Saturday Vintage Shopping Trip

A friend asked me to go hunting for vintage pieces with her yesterday {Saturday}. I warned her before we left that sometimes it can be hard to find things and sometimes we can come home with no great finds. Well, didn't I eat my words. We had one of the most successful vintage hunts I have had in a long time. We filled the boot of the car and then filled the back seats with things too. We even have a few pieces which need delivering next week!! Now, that's what I call a successful day...

Friday 26 June 2009

Friday Flowers

I was very lucky to be given these pretty mottled roses from a friend today. I arranged them in a pretty yellow vase we have at Black & Spiro. I placed them next to our beautiful vintage lamp and shade {note the beautiful embroidery on the shade} on a table in the shop and then a very lucky young lady came into the shop with her mum and her sister and they took the lamp home for her bedroom. I am sad to see this beautiful one-off vintage lamp go but I know it will be loved and cherished by it's next owner...

Happy Weekend. See you next time.



Thursday 25 June 2009

Black & Spiro Today

It's been a while since I posted some pictures of the shop so I thought I would post some today. We have some lovely new pieces in at the moment including some beautiful vintage/antique pieces.

Summer on the Otherside

One of the things I love about this time of year {Winter in Australia} when it comes to my magazine subscriptions is the beautiful Summer homes featured in my favourite American magazines. Even though we are a little lighter on this year without the likes of Domino to give us our hit, this month's issue of Elle Decor looks like it's a cracker!! Loving this house belonging to Scott Currie {Elie Tahari public relations} in Southampton, New York.

The Origins of Taste

I've been talking a little bit about my mother's style in comparison to my own this week and I happened to stumble across this article by Anne E. Collins the Executive Editor over at Point Click Home in which she talks briefly about the origins of taste. I think it's a good read and applicable to my posts here this week. I hope to talk more about this topic in the coming weeks on ABT.


My mother has always had lots of large pots of geraniums growing on her verandah. No family dinner or lunch is complete without some sort of flower arrangement on my mothers dining table and geraniums have often filled the void when other options aren't flowering in her garden. I thought I'd post a couple of her little geranium arrangements. You won't believe it when I tell you the last image is actually in her old bedroom at my grandmother's house. The black and white ticking wallpaper which you can see in the background has been on those walls for around 40 years! Mum chose the wallpaper for her room when she was a teenager. Now doesn't that spell timeless....

Tuesday 23 June 2009

Alice Temperley Cushions

I am in-love with the cushions Alice Temperley has designed for The Rug Company. I would love to add the one at the top to my mismatched cushion collection. I've noticed a few fashion designers dipping into the interiors side of things lately...

Image 1 - the rug company, Image 2 - via the city sage

Monday 22 June 2009

Elegant Tailored Style vs Eclectic Style

Following on from yesterday's post about a more simplistic, tailored, elegant look I thought these images Joni posted last week fitted right in. I know my mother loves reading Joni's blog and has probably already seen these beautiful images and saved them in her 'I love' files. I too saved them in my files as I thought they were divine.

After thinking some more about my discussion with mum yesterday I wonder whether as I grow older I will crave a more pared back classic look. I think I have developed my look of mixing styles because it is unique to me and maybe because it is a younger version of my mother's style. I certainly won't be changing my style anytime soon so don't worry but as I said yesterday I do question my look every now and then and it will be interesting to see it evolve over time. I think that's the great thing about having a blog in that it can be a record of one's personal style and it's evolution over time.

I'd be interested to know what style you love. Do you prefer an eclectic 'uniquely me' look or a more pared back elegant tailored classic look?

Sunday 21 June 2009

Conversations on Design with Mum

My mother and I often have conversations about design, usually on a Sunday sitting in her lounge room surrounded by her collections of magazines and books. Although we do share a very similar aesthetic my mother's style is a little more tailored and matching than my own.

Today we were talking about architecturally beautiful houses requiring very simple and understated decoration. It actually reminded me of this beautiful house in Maine which I've had in my files for sometime thanks to Heather. The owner of this incredibly elegant home, Gwen McCaw is quoted as saying "Because it's such an architecturally beautiful house, I felt I could decorate in a really clean way."

I suppose after talking to mum about this today and then reading this article again it makes me question my love of bright patterned fabrics and mixing furniture styles. But then again my mother always makes me question things...isn't that what mothers do? I think it's great to be able to appreciate design in all shapes and forms and certainly our conversations always keep me inspired.

Friday 19 June 2009

Friday Flowers

Have a lovely weekend. See you next week.

Thursday 18 June 2009

Uniquely Me Chic

I really like this room with it's white painted floorboards, white walls, white painted furniture, the vintage light and the few dots of colour. I also love the mix of furniture styles. Although this room has some items which I wouldn't usually purchase myself I think it all works and looks fantastic together and certainly represents a look I love so much - Uniquely Me Chic.

Ned's Adventures

"Oh, you are such a beautiful boy Ned."

"Oh, yes you are so gorgeous!"

" NED, NO....naughty, naughty NED! "

"Ned, don't you even think about chewing that handle on my laptop bag!!"

A few readers have asked me how our little Ned is doing. He too seems to have a penchant for beautiful things as noticeable above!! He certainly has added some spark into our lives and is keeping us on our toes but I have to say that he is adorable in every single way and growing so quickly!! Since you asked, I thought I would share a few new photos of our beautiful boy.

Paper The Walls

I am particularly fond of using wallpaper in small rooms or in awkward spaces. I love wallpaper in entry foyers, hallways, powder rooms, pantries, walk-in wardrobes and installed into the backs of cupboards and bookcasing/shelving. I also think wallpaper can make a wonderful statement in a kitchen as per the examples above.

If you are a person who does tire of pattern quickly, by installing wallpaper in these smaller, less visited areas of your home you will most likely enjoy the pattern for a longer period of time.

There certainly are many papers to choose from these days and it can be overwhelming trying to make a decision on which paper to use. I often advise clients to first decide on a colour palette and then decide on a pattern.

As another note, I also tend to prefer entire rooms papered instead of feature walls.

What are your preferences when it comes to wallpaper?

Image 1 - Vogue Living, Image 2 - Domino Magazine, Image 3 - Melissa Ruffy via Style Court, Image 4 - Domino Magazine, Image 5 - via Desire to Inspire, Image 6 - Thibaut via Style Court, Image 7 - Chloe Sevigny's hallway via House & Garden, Image 8 - via Peak of Chic

Wednesday 17 June 2009

Wacky Wednesday

I'm not kidding when I say that today has been extremely wacky here at Black & Spiro. The girls and I have had a few client appointments today and I'm sure each and every client we saw must have left thinking what's with those girls?! In amongst our crazy day we have had fun which I must say we do have a lot of around here. Being around beautiful fabrics, wallpapers, furniture and bits and pieces is such a joyous thing, I must admit. Anyway, I really don't have a wonderful post planned today, you will have to excuse me. I promise to have something wonderful to share with you tomorrow.

Image via - flickr

Tuesday 16 June 2009

Pink Painted Stairs

Oh, I do very much love the idea of pink painted stairs.

Monday 15 June 2009


I was recently very honored to be invited to write an article for Milieu, the Brisbane Reed Gift Fair book, as above. For anyone who might be interested I am also presenting a seminar at the upcoming Brisbane Reed Gift Fair on Monday 6th July 11am - 12pm. For registration call 02 9211 7544. A big thanks to Jaclyn Carlson for asking me to be involved.

Nb. Click on images to enlarge article.