Habitus features Wendy Whitely

A dear friend bought me a subscription to Habitus Magazine recently. My first issue featured Wendy Whitely's marvellous home. What do i love? - where do i start? - Wendy's inventive approach to renovating, the white floors and walls, the zinc topped table, the lush garden, the magnolias, the location (Sydney's Lavendar Bay) the re-purposed bits of furniture, the collections of tribal rugs and sculptures, the bath, the kitchen and of course the art. Love it all! For loads more pics go to Habitus or pick up issue 13, grab a cuppa and enjoy the images and full story. I'm off to re-position some of my Brett Whitely prints...inspired!


Passionfruit flower - divine design

One of the advantages of having moved into our new place mid winter is that Spring has been able to surprise us with a whole bunch of new flowers hiding in our garden. The kids couldn't resist picking these passionfruit flowers. So many layers of intricate design. We try, however replicating mother nature in design is impossible. Truly beautiful.


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A visit to The Hive..

. . . led to this - an early Christmas pressie from my thoughtful husband - he just doesn't know it yet;). Source: The Hive.

Necessity informs this bedroom

They say necessity is the mother of invention. Our bedroom at Cowper St was a rather long space to furnish and having spent most of our budget on the build, some re-purposing was called for. Our old dining table (very narrow) became the bedhead. The perfect spot to perch my morning cuppa (and often children's blankys, brekkie bowls etc!), display my favourite family pics and pile our books. I bought the mirror from Ikea which captures the pretty light cast by the pendant in the adjacent ensuite. Finally, the faux grizzly throw (sourced locally at David Jones) was included to add some much needed texture and soften the space. I get such a kick out of those times when necessity and function inform aesthetics!


More in the raw

As promised - more raw upholstery inspiration. Just when I thought I couldn't get past the first three images at Spanish Elle (oh my goodness, that apartment oozes comfort),  I came across Love at First Sight. An Australian company salvaging vintage finds. Their craftsmen include underground graffiti artists and leading fabric weavers who work to produce an eclectic range of chairs and cushions. With names such as 'graffiti stole my heart' and 'the emotional bus ride', these pieces are true one-of-a-kind finds.

Raw upholstery

I recently attempted upholstery. The goal wasn't necessarily to finish up with a beautifully recovered chair (although my perfectionist self did have high hopes), but rather to have a reason to 'need to be somewhere'. Skipping out of the bedtime routine at home (I have two youngsters) and heading off to my upholstery class at evening college offered a welcome break each week. 

Our teacher was an old-school artisan, taught by his father. I admired the precision with which he expertly placed and tapped each and every tack and was inspired to go slow with this project. At times I found myself almost in a trance as I tugged and hammered and tugged and hammered, around and around the frame... uninterrupted, mindful work.  Bliss. 

Needless to say at the conclusion of the course I was only half way through my project. But I like the result! I could go back again for another term to finish it off, though I am having trouble imagining my raw chair any other way. I'm off to source some other raw upholstery gems and will share next post...post haste..stay tuned..


Art to love

I'm going to declare my interest up front here... this artist is my very talented mother in law Kirsty Glenwright (the proximity of this post to christmas is purely coincidental;).  Kirsty's vibrant oil paintings can and do make a room sing. Adorn hallways and even bathrooms, choosing images and colours that make you smile. You know it when you see it. If you would like more information on Kirsty's work, please email me. I'll post more of her fabulous creations in the coming months.


Gorgeous + Green Grandelier

I am still on the lighting hunt and was reminded about these curvy beauties when visiting a friend's recent renovation. She is looking to add some warmth and texture to her kitchen and is considering using these over her island bench. I hope she does as I am keen to get up close to appreciate the beauty of these creations (besides agreeing with her that they would look spectacular). Yes I am guilty of living vicariously through others' design projects! 

I found the Grandelier (top pic) at the inspirational State of Green last year and am delighted to see the range has grown with the addition of Genie 1 Bump and Genie 2 Bump (bottom pic). Love the names and the story behind (my favourite things always come with a story - making them that much harder to forget)..

They are created by Tasmania designer Loz Abberton using locally sourced and accredited Tasmanian Oak and Blackwood. Every piece has meaning with this range drawing on her rural background, environmental conscience and long conversations with her dad (a water diviner still living on the land). Loz says "the sultry curves of the Genies call on those great water storage trees, the Boabs". To get the full story pop over the State of Green's blog...


Electric Firefly Design

Creating impact with light fixtures doesn't have to be expensive or difficult. These lamp covers by Firefly are fabulous if you have the urge to transform a room without spending big or having to wait for an electrician. I bought one at the Handmade Market in Canberra last year and within an hour had it up and working in our lounge room (see pic above). They look brilliant outside as well. 
The lamps are made from a durable polymer sheet that is 30-50% recycled and they are even developed and made in Australia. Ticking many boxes on my list! Take a look at their other styles here.        


Colour it pretty

Rugs and cushions can instantly transform a room. Rather than ditching a perfectly good lounge suite, sometimes it pays to 're-model' it with fab cushions and adjacent rug. Loving these funky cushions by AphroChic today.


View from the tub

photo by mel

photo by mel

A bath with a view - a whole new level of 'aahhh'. Many a creative idea was born in the bath above. It is difficult not to be inspired by the setting sun, emerging stars and glimpses of the odd satellite; not to mention a rising moon. I would encourage anyone to think seriously about designing a view into a bathroom renovation. Absolutely priceless. 

The sources: bath, pendant, builder, windows, towels, art.


White or Black Floors


I love a blank canvas when it comes to sprucing up an older place - both walls and floors. Our new abode is pretty small and potentially lacking light with average sized windows so white walls were a given. Fortunately the boards were in good condition. I could have gone either way with the floors - fresh white or smart black. Once photographed I'll post pics of my choice and share the sources (paint product, painters and sanders available here in Canberra) ....


Fenton & Fenton

I often bemoan the lack of choice in Canberra when it comes to home wears so I was delighted when Fenton & Fenton opened an online store. Bright with a tribal edge and revamped bits to boot. My favourite things in a nutshell. It is probably good for my wallet they aren't around the corner!