Copper Glow

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Pinterest

There is a common theme running through interiors that are attracting my attention of late and that’s copper. I’m not talking the brassy, orange and tarnished metal. No this is a warm, pale, rose-gold inspired copper perfectly formed and sculpted into smooth shapes. The copper pendant light is being hung high in beautiful kitchens, above marble islands and timber bench tops. They are lined up in rows of 2 or 3 reflecting each other’s beauty and creating focal points in otherwise white spaces.

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Tara Pearce & Pinterest

Award-winning British designer, Tom Dixon is being credited for the rise of this ordinary metal into a modernist design classic. His round, globe-shaped shade is perfectly at home in an art deco inspired lounge, over a marble flute table or in a rustic bedroom. Suspend them collectively and you have an installation worthy of London’s most glamourous restaurants and stores.

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Pinterest

The April/May edition of Belle magazine showcases a simple yet stunning marble kitchen brought to life by the glow of copper. I hope you take some inspiration from these images and weave some metallic warmth through your home.

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Belle magazine

Back with some Bali Love…

I have been missing in action for about 4 months!! Sorry! And I have no excuses, other than being busy with my day job in the events world and working on ideas for a new little ‘venture’ with my best friend…more of that in another post. So I’m back and looking forward to sharing some beautiful stories and style I have encountered of late.

I’ve just returned from a little getaway in Bali….a beautiful island of creativity, spirituality and incredible luxury. Days are spent in heavenly resorts, waking to yoga practice followed by banana pancakes and ginger tea. Frangipani trees line our paths and the calming sound of flowing water trickling down sandstone walls fill our ears. The peace and tranquility is contrasted by the chaotic bustle of shopping and wandering the streets of Seminyak. Concept stores showcase fashion labels and on-trend homewares. The creative scene is very strong and local brands boast innovation paired with an eclectic style. There is a strong feeling of ying and yang here.
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image wake me to see the sunrise

Under a dusky sky, people head to the beach for a sundowner cocktail. Perfectly mixed lychee martinis are served as the sky turns purple and the sun slips below the Indian ocean. There are many stunning spots to enjoy this nightly ritual but my favorites are The Rock Bar and Ku De Ta. Perch high up over the ocean, drink in the perfumed air and anticipate where you might head for dinner.

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Image The Rock Bar

Sardine and Metis, in the middle of Seminyak with a backdrop of candlelit rice paddies are incredible. The atmosphere and menus are very special. Stay late and renew your energies the next day with a Bali favourite, coconut water. Sold on every corner, a coconut with a straw is the best way to detox from the evening’s cocktails. Organic healthy choices are plentiful in Bali so be clean by day and dirty at night!

The Balinese have perfected the art of luxury resorts and one of my favorites is The Purist at Ubud, an ultimate hideaway. Villas are layered in carved timber, soft sandstone and granite. This tactile mix is heavenly for the senses and makes for stunning surroundings. They perfected the Balinese tradition of an outside bathroom. Being able to bathe and shower under blue skies and starry nights is one of life’s pleasures. Incorporate one into your dream beach shack now!

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Images Wake me to see the sunrise & Pinterest

Bali is not all luxury and style. To the locals, their home is a blessed island of ceremony and tradition, where daily rituals dictate the rhythm of life. Embrace these simple pleasures and fill your home with rose-scented incense, find a quiet corner and enjoy a little pot of herbal tea…..to bring back memories of Bali long after you return.

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Image Pinterest

Festive frills

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Image Birdy & Me

As you can imagine, living in Australia is pretty close to perfect all year round….sun, surf, big blue skies and delicious fresh food!! But every December, my heart starts to sink as we approach Christmas time. I hate to say it, but it is just not the same down under! To me, Christmas is dark cold nights and frosty mornings; spicy mulled wine with mince pies; venturing out to buy the best fir tree we can find; cosy days spent viewing the best of the BBC; and always always waiting and watching for snow!!! Oh the excitement of a white Christmas!!

We’re lucky enough to alternate our Christmas holidays between the UK and Australia and this year it is our turn to enjoy festivities in Brisbane. Our Aussie Christmas is the very opposite with bright sunshining days; searching for shade as we dine outside; enjoying fresh mangoes, prawns and cherries with a chilled Pinot Gris. It’s about escaping to the coast for summer as the days get hotter, cicadas grow louder and the beers colder.

Despite my apprehensions of Christmas down under, there is a lot to love about this relaxed casual approach to festivities. I’ve discovered some beautifully inspiring decorations with a natural, rustic vibe using native plants set against earthy tones of brown paper, twine and weathered wood. I couldn’t resist sharing these inspiring images from local designers, stylists and artists with an amazing eye for capturing the joy of a Christmas spent in the sunshine.

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Images The design villa blog & Little Paper Lane

There are also bold flashes of colour and it’s not all red and green…it’s tropical, fresh and festive.

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Images Black and Spiro

And this one is not Australian but I just love the natural elements of feathers and brown paper mixed with coral papers and tags…..gift wrapping heaven courtesy of Decor8 X

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Escape to Byron Bay

I feel like it’s been a while since my last post…. this time of year is just so busy, especially in the events industry! So it’s about time I shared some style and stories that have captured my interest of late. My favorite place on earth and where I met my boy Sim, is the beautiful beach town of Byron Bay. Living in Brisbane, we’re so lucky to be less than two hours from this little hippy haven. We spent last weekend there with friends and soaked up all our favorite spots to surf, wander, shop, eat, drink and play. I couldn’t possibly tell you everything about Byron in one post….it’s a subject I’m sure I’ll return to over and over again…but for now here are some highlights.

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Images Spell Designs & Pinterest

For those who don’t know Byron, it’s the Eastern-most point of Australia…the first place to see the rising of the sun and dawning of a new day. It’s stunningly beautiful with long white beaches, dolphins sharing waves with surfers, and is surrounded by mountain tops as far as the eye can see. At dusk, drums greet the setting of the sun as the distant peaks turn burnt orange and purple. Apart from the natural beauty, there is an energy and soul about this little beach town that attracts surfers, travelers, hippies, dreamers and anyone looking for a little piece of the good life.

I’ve been regularly visiting for the last 9 years and it’s changed a lot in that time…boutique hotels, buzzing coffee shops, little retail spaces and cocktail bars have popped up – thankfully all without ruining the unique Byron charm. A newly opened store that you must visit is Ahoy Trader, a lifestyle, art and fashion hole-in-the-wall owned by incredibly talented artist Jai Vasicek. It’s a collection of eclectic, cool, global pieces including Jai’s incredible art works that he produces both on canvas and tiles. His unique tiles fill the walls, made up of iconic images and photographs. I have bought three tiles now and wish I could fill a space with one of his huge murals…Jai has just unveiled a gorgeous new creation in recently opened Miss Marguarita…you have to dream hey! The latest collections in store are called Neon Safari and Luscious Jungle with cushions, paintings and accessories all embracing the look… I’m in heaven.

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Images Ahoy Trader

Around the corner is Hope & May….a soothing pale space home to great fashion labels, animal prints, leather hides, skulls, shells, beads and beautiful bits. I could browse the long wooden table all day long. Escape the sun and enjoy the raw bohemian vibe.

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Image Hope & May

A little out of town is the completely gorgeous, spirited, gypsey-inspired venture by two local sisters named Spell Designs. This Byron brand started at the local markets and grew from boho jewellery into an iconic label bursting with adventure. I love love everything they do and just bought my first kimono last month…..ah I dream of road tripping in the sunshine down the coast wearing frayed denim, my kimono and a tasseled bag. Make the trip to see this little store ….a gorgeous mix of leather, feathers and turquoise with a white tipi nestled in the corner.

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Images Spell Designs

Of course you have to stay overnight to appreciate the soul-soaring sunrise I mentioned earlier….If so, rest your head at the very stylish Atlantic Byron Bay, a tropical haven smack bang in the middle of town. Their beach house, a vintage inspired luxury surf shack is very special. More on beautiful coastal interiors in another post.

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Images Atlantic Byron Bay

All this activity calls for caffeine…my favourite coffee spots are Targa, Bayleaf and Top Shop…sit back, admire the eclectic crowd, enjoy locally-grown organic coffee and watch the world go by in this heavenly corner of the world. X

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Image Top Shop

Weekend wanderings: Christmas flea

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I woke this morning to beautiful blue skies and sunshine in the city of Brisbane. Summer is here and yet Christmas is approaching…something I will never get used to, having lived my first 24 years in the uk. After enjoying a good dose of caffeine, I headed to the Black & Spiro Christmas flea. This beautiful interiors and homewares store is well-known here for its stylish pretty approach to all things bright and beautiful for the home. Owned by designer and blogger Anna Spiro, it’s a treasure trove of furniture, paintings, fabric and objets d’art.

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The Christmas flea was held outside in the scorching sun and was an eclectic bright boho mix of flower stalls, prints and my favorite cane furniture. There were local artists selling neon goodies, linen table cloths and cupcakes….heaven! Such a lovely vibe and how relaxing to potter and browse one-off pieces. I snapped up a print of fuchsia pineapples and of course a white cane chair…perfect for summer days ahead.

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Enjoy hunting for treasures at your local market X

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Images wake me to see the sunrise & The Design Files

Paper Pretties

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I love stationery…. always have! And as I mentioned recently, Samantha Wills has been inspired by the old-fashioned charm of hand written notes. Her much-anticipated stationery collection was beautifully unveiled last week with a heavenly launch event I spied on Facebook. This new whimsical range of SW Stationery is a collaboration with Birdy & Me artist, Kelly Smith whose feminine and ethereal illustrations sit beautifully on the paper creations. What a fabulous pairing of creative ladies!

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There are little postcards, gift cards and papers featuring dreamy girls with flowers and feathers in their hair. Flamboyant flamingos and peacocks are also beautifully incorporated. The stationery evokes a sense of artistic spirited bohemia that New York-based Samantha Wills embraces in all she does. Additions of twine and lace give this collection an earthy vintage edge. You can purchase some of the stunning collection for yourself online.

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Artist, Kelly Smith is a very talented creator of girly illustrations and portraits. Recently she launched her book of contemporary fashion drawings and musings, Sticker Fashionista. This modern day paper-doll book is definitely on my Christmas list.

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I’ve loved trawling through images of the sydney launch event…. A heady mix of vintage treasures, blooms, SW jewels, teacups and of course paper pretties. SW events are always beautifully styled and provide perfect inspiration for your own creative projects.

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So switch off your laptop, put pen to paper and scribble some special words to a dear friend or loved one….little notes that will last a lifetime x

All images Samantha Wills

Colour Crave: Grey & Chartreuse

I realise that about once a week I become somewhat infatuated with a colour! So I’m thinking this might be a regular little post called Colour Crave…where I collect my inspiration for a certain shade, pairing or palette.

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This week my mind is on grey and chartreuse….the electric shade of yellow. It’s a funny one because only a few years ago I wasn’t so sure about this combination…seeing it as the colour choice for nurseries of parents unsure if they were having a boy or girl! But more recently I’ve been drawn to this beautiful match where plain calming grey provides a neutral palette for its more zesty partner. It has been overused of late too…weddings and baby showers are a big fan….but cut through the paper lanterns and tissue pom poms, and you’ll find some stunning sources of inspiration for styling in your home.

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Images Pinterest & Decor8 blog

It was the colour couple of choice for Country Road, whose spring 2012 homewares collection was a perfect display of all things chartreuse yellow and grey with lampshades, cushions, throws and ceramics hitting it off beautifully.

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Images Country Road

My living space took on a grey and chartreuse direction when I bought a grey patterned ceramic stool from Magnolia Interiors. This little purchase led to a beautiful marble tulip side table, which looked perfect topped with yellow trimmings. Some chartreuse-inspired soft furnishings were next and now I’m just longing for the perfect grey couch to complete my look. It seems that Pantone included chartreuse in its 2012 colour trends for Autumn (northern hemisphere) so embrace the brights, match with grey and enjoy x

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Image by wakemetoseethesunrise

Sunseeker

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Spell & the Gypsy Collective

Down in the southern hemisphere, summer is just around the corner and I’m already dreaming of long lazy days at the beach. We are planning our summer road trip where we’ll discover boho beach towns and idyllic surf spots…..our days spent barefoot in the sand dunes, salt spray through my hair and dusky evenings watching the sun set. We’ll eat fresh seafood for lunch and read and swim and snooze….heaven!
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pinterest

Summer days call for a new bikini and I’m loving the new resort and swimwear collections by Zimmermann, Isola and Seafolly. The focus is on print with tropical frongs, bold brights, animal skins, pastels, and florals being sources of inspiration.

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Zimmermann & Isola 2012 collections

There is also a nod to the styles of summers gone by with vintage pieces, high waists and nautical stripes. Beautiful images of Brigitte Bardot and Grace Kelly at the Cote d’Azur spring to mind.

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Pinterest

Australian interiors magazine, Belle has devoted its Holiday issue to all things summer and chic. It features an array of stunning beach homes and waterfront retreats from Mykonos to Rhode Island, that just ooze laid back glamour and coastal aesthetics. All the homes share an effortless ability to blend into their natural landscapes, to not detract from the views and surrounding beauty, but add to them. They comprise of nature’s elements… of timber, stone and water. It is hard to choose a favorite but mine has to be the spectacular home at Sydney’s Whale Beach. It is light filled with a neutral palette of concrete, wood, marble and glass, all used cleverly to create softness and tranquility.

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Belle magazine Australia

I must admit to having a fascination with beach homes and especially beach shacks filled with weathered timber, rustic floorboards and outdoor bathrooms. I recently stumbled across the architects Crossan, Clarke & Carnachan. Their portfolio of beach homes is a stunning collection of timber dwellings large and small overlooking the ocean. Check out their award winning Huts on Sleds – an innovative yet simple design of beach hut that can be easily moved to different spots on the sand. What luxury!

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Crossan, Clarke & Carnachan Architects

More summer style to come but in the mean time find a hammock, mix yourself a long glass of something chilled, and day dream of sunny days ahead.

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Pinterest

Equestrian love

It’s spring carnival in Australia and this week the fabulous Flemington race track held the iconic and world’s most watched race, the Melbourne Cup. Think handsome thoroughbreds, champagne bottles popping and head pieces to die for. All this action means everything equine is on my mind…. so here is a nod to the graceful, powerful and beautiful horse.

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Horses have a stately beauty and presence….shining groomed coats, sculpted statuesque limbs, and faces framed by long lashes. It is no surprise that horses and fashion have long been an inspiring and stunning mix. Models draped on horseback bring a strong yet ethereal feel to a photograph. The simple profile of horse and model is a glamourous pairing. Iconic black and white images of Audrey Hepburn and Miranda Kerr come to mind. A certain sense of timeless charm, old world glamour and spirit of adventure is captured by the lens.

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The latest edition of Vogue Australia is a tribute to the world’s most talked about horse of the moment, Black Caviar. The unbeaten black beauty, who commands more attention track side than any celebrity race-goer, graces this month’s front cover and I couldn’t resist snapping it up. The photographs are stunning.

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Of course away from the track there is the bohemian spirit of horse and rider, galloping across fields, mountains and deserts. I love images of prairie girl and stallion, manes blowing in the wind and big blue skies above. It is a sense of adventure and romance that quite simply can’t be created with any other animal.

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So channel your inner cowgirl, plait your mane and feel the thunder of hooves – horses will always inspire. X

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images pinterest & Vogue Australia

Island vibe

This is a little Friday musing on the beauty of cane….or wicker…or rattan….whichever you prefer. On recent trips to vintage markets and antiques centres I’m on the hunt for pieces hiding away from days gone by. I’m channelling the St. Bart’s and India Hicks vibe….of island chic and bohemian luxe. The odd cane chair or side table can add interest to your room without costing a fortune. Whether in its natural beauty or bold and bright….it gives a whimsical fun feel to a space.
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images pinterest

I particularly love the peacock chair..the graceful, extravagant, attention seeking icon that’s enjoyed a comeback of late. It’s like a boho throne fit for a queen. A couple of years ago, Fleur Wood styled a shoot around the peacock and it looked fabulous in an eccentric English garden setting – all teacups and plant pots.
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Images pinterest & Fleur Wood

The Family Love Tree – a venture by Melbourne designer Katie Graham, produces a stunning collection of rattan and wicker homewares including bed heads, chairs and side tables to bring that spirited holiday glow to your home.
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images The Family Love Tree

Further north in the hinterland of Byron Bay, renowned interior stylist, Shannon Fricke has transformed her little farm cottage into a laid back contemporary coastal haven with hints of the tropics. White rattan chairs with blue cushions sit perfectly alongside natural wicker baskets in her living space. Nearby in the creative little town of Bangalow, the incredibly gorgeous Island Luxe houses a beautiful range of cane and wicker pieces grouped with timber, leather and hides. It’s a natural yet luxurious mix.
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images pinterest, Real Living magazine & Island Luxe

So start hunting for your very own piece of cane and let the sunshine in to your sanctuary.

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