November 29, 2008


This twin bedroom is somewhere most people wouldn't mind waking up in. I love this room for its old-fashioned simplicity. The wallpaper harks back to yesteryear without being overpowering.

The room is fairly easy to recreate. The walls could be painted apple-white instead of using wallpaper and if you have an old wooden bedstead it could be brought back to life with a coat of hard-wearing paint - if it has seen better days and had a few knocks all the better.

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November 26, 2008


Kiva fireplaces are just adorable. It reminds me of my short stay with friends a few winters ago in Mexico. We spent many evenings sat round the Kiva fireplace with homemade margarita's and tapas sharing awful jokes! My friend had a home where  you had to kick off your shoes and put your feet up and explore the fridge yourself if you wanted a snack. Great fun.

I love Kiva fires because they are usually in unpretentious homes. The kind of homes where it doesn't matter if you happen to spill things or leave a few items strewn around - makes it look more homely.

These fires really do work and they are usually tucked away in a corner of the room and so tend not to overwhelm spaces yet they look wonderful too. Apparently the fireplace is quite weighty and so you would need to ensure you have solid floor foundations. If in doubt get expert advice before trying to install one yourself, which could be done without too much fuss.

Do you like these fireplaces as much as I do? Or maybe you have one - tell us what you like/dislike about them.

November 24, 2008


Only one phrase: Simple decadence.

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November 23, 2008


A wooden kitchen cannot be beaten in terms of the look and feel of wood. Here the owners of this kitchen have exhibited their love of wood in the sink, the drawers, the worktops and accessories.

If you are buying wood do try and ensure it is eco-friendly, i.e. from renewable sources and not hardwood from the rainforests. There are so many eco-sources available now so we have no excuse.

This kitchen would suit a small space where a 'wow factor' was required without spending a fortune. If you have a larger space then this could be the spare sink in the corner or in a utility room. I think it is always preferable to have a double sink as I find them much more practical but it is all a matter of taste and space.

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November 19, 2008


Is this not the ultimate luxurious bathroom?

Imagine a cold wintery day and you arrive home after a hard day of work and have the ability to sink into a bath of warm silky bubbles with a glass of wine in front of the glowing embers of the fire.


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November 18, 2008


This garden is special and yet is easy to manage. The outdoor space has been split into an area for seating and entertaining and also a fountain area surrounded by a mass of foliage and soothing, scented plants. 

You could recreate something similar, even without the fountain, in your own garden. Keep it simple. Consider your particular garden and the amount of sunlight it receives at different times of the day and seasons. Don't be afraid to add large planters as features but start with a few items and then build up gradually. 

Visit the garden nurseries and find plants that you like and that will do well in the soil you currently have. I try to ensure easy-to-care for items are top of my list in my garden, but there is no point in having plants which are easy yet won't grow in your garden.

This garden makes for a wonderful space for outdoor living - wouldn't you agree?

November 17, 2008


If you are trying to brighten up your home without too much expense then why not add Moroccan-style lanterns to your home. The brighter the better! Consider the decor in your chosen room and focus on a toning or contrasting colour to add a splash of zing.

A friend of mine has a 'snug' room where she has seven lanterns in various places around the room, a huge squashy sofa, pouffes, soft rugs and a multitude of cushions all around a low ornate wooden coffee table. The colours all clash and meld together wonderfully and I have attended her gatherings where 10 of us are all slouched in the intimate space,  enjoying strong mint tea, snacks from the Middle East and North Africa and great conversations. These lanterns remind me of and prompted me to highlight how wonderful lanterns can be when used boldly. Unfortunately, she is a perfectionist and refused to allow me to take pictures of her great space as she is not happy with the wall colours and is in the midst of choosing new colours.

Safety tip: Lanterns with scented candles also add to the ambience but choose carefully and ensure they are safe for your particular lantern in terms of size, height, etc. Oh, and don't leave lighted candles unattended.

November 16, 2008

Chair and Stool

If you are looking for quiet kitsch then look no further! You may not like the cover design but imagine them in a burnished leather in an unusual colour. Or with  legs stained dark.

If you happen to see a classic or old unusual chair or stool don't focus on what it is but on what it could be. 

I love this style and think it would fit in well with a plain room which required a little bit of zing to finish it off. Don't forget this set offers comfort and style. See more chairs, sofas and stools like this at or at my perennial favorites, the thrift stores, yard sales or even Craig's List and classified ads. They are out there and you can save thousands of dollars and personalise them to your own decor and taste with a new covers.

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November 15, 2008


Spiral staircases are usually installed in  areas where it is difficult to access an upper floor without too much cost and upheaval. Often times these staircases are in various forms of metal which can infringe ones modesty if wearing a short skirt whilst ascending or descending! Plus so many metal spiral staircases I have experienced are badly constructed and feel unstable whilst in use.

This enclosed version looks modern, sturdy and yet makes a design statement on any room - regardless of how short your skirt is!

What do you think?

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November 13, 2008


Mirrors can make or break a room. They have to not only look good and serve a purpose but should be placed with care. This mirror totally ticks the boxes on all fronts. It doesn't overwhelm its surroundings, yet blends in perfectly well. It has a stylish 'art deco' feel to it and although expensive, not extravagantly so.
Graham and Green have been established for years and are a company based in England yet provide inspiration for home decorators, large and small, from around the world.

A great mirror. Have a look at their other products - you may just be pleasantly surprised.

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November 12, 2008


With USA readers soon to be celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas (for those who partake) around the corner, there are many reasons to check you have the right number of crockery items for all your guests.
If you are starting from scratch, the best option is to go for simple white crockery. Usually visiting thrift shops, dollar and charity stores or large supermarkets or discount stores can unearth some real bargains.
Find fabrics shops: think sari fabrics, velvets, ticking or crushed linen.

Choose plates that are larger than you would normally use and they can be used as dinner plates and double as serving plates too. Don't restrict yourself to round plates - if there are square, oval or anything else consider them too.

If you are wary of buying all white china then add colour with your table dressing. Think candles, table runners, flower arrangements (remember to keep them low and not obscuring your guests line of sight), serviettes, tea lights,table cloths and so on. Don't forget that most higher-class restaurant establishments use white china to showcase their meals - mainly because it looks nicer!

Don't fuss too much at your dinner party. Your guests want to enjoy you and your company and a host who is fussing around, worrying about every aspect makes others feel ill-at-ease.

In these days of financial restraint if you are buying many items don't forget to ask nicely for a discount - start at 20% and see how you do.

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November 9, 2008


Okay, I admit it! My favorite rooms are the lounge, kitchen and the bedroom. In my honest opinion those are the ones I tend to focus on most.

This bed is wacky and fun and maybe a little on the expensive side at $15,000. This is not a bed I would like for myself but it still makes me smile.

If you like it then pop over to Shawn Lovell Metalworks at - plus they have many more interesting items for sale.

November 8, 2008


This is a rare Marc Newson chair sold in Sydney, Australia for $3500. A seriously cookie design and a design classic. What do you think?

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November 7, 2008


This sink is amazingly simple. Definitely for a modern home and obviously a talking point if you ever needed one!
Villeroy and Boch have a whole range of household fixtures and fittings which are beautifully designed. I especially like their timeless products from crockery to rugs.

Oh, and don't forget: I post about products I like without payments or inducements from the aforementioned companies.

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November 2, 2008


If you are looking for someone to help you redesign your home then have a knack of making a jaded room come alive.

I have been following their work for a while and think they do a wonderful job - case in point the room above. Mixing new and old they ensure this lounge has a comfortable, warm feel. The large leather stool, the overstuffed sofa, the very practical coffee-table and the restrained yellow on the walls create a beautiful space.

Please Note: This blog is 'Pay-Per-Post-Free' and therefore no payments, inducements or otherwise are included nor received in any blogposts. Read in confidence that any ideas, suggestions or companies discussed or featured are here because I like them or think they have something to offer you - namely quality, design and/or good value.

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Image Reproduced with permission from the Robin Bell. Further reproduction prohibited without the express written permission of the Robin Bell

November 1, 2008


I'm a big fan of fresh, bright and stylish rooms and this is one room that I could live in quite easily. 

The room is framed by a simple arch where the owners have used restraint and considered pieces to bring a modern yet eclectic feel to the room. Very effective.

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