Thursday, October 23, 2014

credenza styling

Spotted this gorgeous credenza styling on Pinterest the other day, a glimpse of a truly gorgeous apartment featured on Domaine which is well worth a look.  Simply gorgeous photos by Bethany Nauert.  Love the brass lamps, the art, succulents, sculpture.  It reminded me strongly of my credenza, with art, brass lamp and even a succulent, but mine needs a bit of finishing off (see second photo down).  So I found a few little details that might just do the trick.
I love my lamp and the painting (by my very talented mom), it just needs a few bits and pieces to really look special.  And yes the photo could be better, but its all I could manage with my iphone, my real camera was unavailable and I sure do miss it!

Bronze horse sculptures from Pottery Barn - I know Pottery Barn!  Good value too, I really want them!

Brass lamps - I like them chunky and a bit over the top - ugly good if you know what I mean.  My one came from West Elm a few years ago but not in stock in more unfortunately, would love another one.  

Lamps below are: skyscraper lamps by Maison Jansen, & below left pair both by from 1st Dibs.  They are going to be original period and they are going to be pricey.   Below right - brass tripod by Empire Studio, very nice and far more affordable.

Succulents - think I need something with a bit more oomph, you can barely even see mine in the photo.  Love this brass plant pot diy from A Beautiful Mess.

So watch this space, there may be a little reshuffle coming this way.   

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

inaluxe design

Not sure how I missed discovering Inaluxe design before.  These gorgeous prints are the work of design duo Kristina Sostarko and Jason Odd.  They also do an amazing range of cards and wrapping paper which are available on Earth Greetings.  Love the fresh colours and geometric designs but I particularly love the Australian birds.

Friday, October 17, 2014

shared bedroom on a budget

We went to our little cottage in the country recently, and boy what a tired and dirty little house she is.  Every wall and ceiling was cracked, the painting prep took absolute ages and we went through tens of gap filler tubes.  But finally she is starting to look a little more loved.  The first room we finished was the girls room.  I love the idea of them sharing when we are away on holiday and I was inspired by gorgeous matching beds each with their own reading light.  

See the before below - in this picture the dirty green walls already have their first coat of paint, and that truly ugly pendant!

Everything in this little house is being done on a shoe string budget and this room is no exception.  The bedspreads are from Miss E's room (which is being updated to suit a teen), the curtains are from a long ago bedroom, the carpet was made by my Granny and has been with me for years.

The rest are strictly budget finds: 
  • Ikea single beds bought on ebay and headboards upholstered.  With foam, plywood and fabric each bed makeover cost me around $50 and each bed cost only around $90.
  • The dresser is a $57 ebay find which I repainted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paints (diy instructions still to come).  It is so pretty in its new soft grey colour and gives the girls plenty of space to pack away their clothes.
  • The reading lights are Ikea Ranarp wall lamp at $30 each.  I love them above each bed and it means Miss E can read into the night without disturbing her smaller sister.
  • The old velvet cushions I have had for years and updated with blanket stitch detail.

I love the finished product, pretty but not precious, with a lovely mixture of new and old, and best of all pretty easy on the pocket.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

#country bedroom inspiration

I love the idea of my girls sharing a room when we are away.  I want to make them a cute shared room, clean and bright with a hint of vintage.  

This is my inspiration so far.  Simple beds with a light directly above each, found this fab Ranarp lamp at Ikea which will be just perfect.  I plan to bring colour in with cushions, I am thinking pom pom trim and vintage fabrics, and also with the dresser between the beds.  So I am scouring ebay and the auction rooms for a good dresser to revive, and pretty fabrics to make pillows with.  Let me know if you spot any good deals!

From top left: love the lamps above each bedRanarp lamp at Ikea, rustic bedroomWinchelsea Beach Project with lamps on side walls

Watch this space, I feel a whole lot of DIY coming on...

Friday, October 10, 2014

country cottage inspiration...details

So I am obviously a little consumed with country cottages and how to furnish them.  Chateau Fibro, as a dear friend has christened it, is an ugly duckling right now, but I dream of it being as pretty as these spaces.  Hmmm it seems a white painted floor my be somewhere in my future, with spaces pared back to minimal furnishings, and a small colour palette.  I love the white on white and black on white, not sure I can carry it off though, I will have to have some colour.

My challenge is going to be in the editing, keeping it simple, practical but still beautiful.  Well once I have seen the ugly duckling for myself I will know how we are going to go forward.  

Lighting details: Industrial lamp from Tudo & Coburlap lamp shadesManor range from Beacon Lighting

Images from top:  Dining room on Vintage Piken, a new favourite blog find that is well worth a visit; detail of an ikea hack dresser via Apartment Therapy, basket of silver coin eucalyptus and living room with fire both via Kara Rosenlund (and you know how I love her work).

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 with me

Introducing a new page today!  I love to window shop, there are always a lot of things on my covet list.  I can't have them all but I can dream right.
So I thought I should share my current desires with you all, perhaps the act of sharing will be enough to stop me spending $1000 I just don't have!

I will be updating this page - link is in the top right hand corner of the menu bar - as and when I find lovely things.  Some will be main stream, some will be auction bargains or etsy finds, but I promise they will all be things on my covet list right now...enjoy and pop back to see whats on the page soon.
bronze horses chinoiserie lamps titan table lamp pretty pink mug faux bamboo chairs round rug
titan floor lamp oversize wood boards coco fibre chandelier french linen sheets

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Urban Beehive...honey from the city

We bought some of this delicious honey last weekend at a local farmers market, it's delicious, an even better story, and an important one too.
The world's bee population is in trouble, in many regions of Europe and America totally wiped out, and we have a serious pollination crisis looming.  Farmers can't produce crops if there are no bees to pollinate the plants.  And bees, sadly are struggling to survive globally.  Australia's bees haven't been affected, yet.  

Vicky Brown and Doug Purdie started their business, to protect and encourage bee populations in the urban environment.   Hives are populated by feral swarms, where possible, to protect the wild bee genetic lines, lines that may be resistant to the diseases that have ravaged populations in other countries.  Important work. 

The Urban Beehive has hives all over the city, on roofs, in parks and private backyards.  I am very tempted to sponsor some hives in our own garden.  Hives are installed and maintained by The Urban Beehive, and you share in in the honey harvest...sweet.

The honey is made by region, like CBD honey, eastern suburbs honey.  I like that different city areas have a different tastes.  My personal favourite is the creamed honey, very delicious, you can see our jar is already nearly empty.  
Honey can also be bought in 60g plastic tubes, I love the idea of giving a flight of Sydney honey as a gift.

We are all trying to live and eat more responsibly, and this is a product that makes you feel good and tastes delicious.  Stop by The Urban Beehive website to read more about their story, find out about the bee keeping courses, or hosting hives in your own garden.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

brie with almond & date caramelised sugar

An impressive looking cheese plate that takes minutes to make.  If melty brie with the crunch of caramelised sugar, salty almonds and sweet dates sounds good to you, you are going to love this dish.  I was planning to take some half eaten shots but the cheese was polished off so quickly I never had the chance.  Skip down to see the easy instructions for making your own.

Make it yourself:
  • Place the cheese on the serving dish.
  • Chop toasted almonds and dates and arrange on the cheese (see below).
  • Place a few whole almonds and nuts around the cheese.

  • Place half a cup of caster sugar in a clean dry pan and turn heat on.
  • Watch carefully as sugar melts, do not stir or sugar sticks. 
  • The sugar caramelises from pale to deep brown quite quickly.  Don't walk away while this is happening or the sugar will burn.
  • Once the sugar has achieved a deep brown colour remove from heat and pour over the cheese (below).

Sugar will cool to a hard crust.  If you live in a humid environment the sugar will sweat so only pour on shortly before serving.

Sure to please cheese lovers of all ages.  
I like to serve with a few grapes or juicy blue berries.  Enjoy!

Friday, September 26, 2014

keeping down the weeds... top tips from wes fleming

Spring is in the air, there is a bit of early blossom around, and hopefully the chill air has prepared our dormant plants for a big spring growth.  This year I am determined to keep the weeds and pests down, I have been growing bumper crops of both.  The plants are better established which should help, and I have planted more ground cover throughout the beds.  
I am trying the old newspaper trick - digging over the soil, laying down newspaper which you wet thoroughly, and then covering with a thick layer of mulch.  It should make a thick layer that smothers the weeds, but is permeable to water.  It certainly makes the garden look lovely, neat and tidy, and hopefully it will keep the weeds down and the moisture in as planned.

Pests are a different story though, I needed some help and I am delighted to be able to share some top tips, written especially for Build House Home readers, by Wes Fleming, one of Australia's leading nurserymen.  

Wes Fleming's top tips for dealing with pests in organic gardens:
  • Attract good insects to promote a balanced garden: ladybirds, lacewings and hoverflies help control aphids, spider mites, scale insects and caterpillars.  Wes recommends planting marigold, dill, echinacea, sweet alice, coriander, cosmos and Queen Anne's Lace to attract the good insects.
  • Keep bees to promote pollination and for your own supply of honey: (NOTE BY EVA: for urban gardeners this is not just a dream, have a look at The Urban Beehive who offer a hosting service where home owners host hives and share in the honey bounty.)
  • Buy (or make your own) organic pesticides: Most are oil based sprays combined with tea, milk or bi-carb of soda.  (NOTE BY EVA: I am trying a bio oil spray for scale in my hedge, I will let you know how it goes).
  • Have chooks in your garden: they feed on insects and grubs and fertilise naturally with their droppings (NOTE BY EVA: my favourite - a twofer, would love to have chickens)
  • Use green manure: Green manure is cover crops that can be ploughed back into the soil each year to promote health in the garden, a healthy garden will be more pest resistant.

One day I will have to interview Wes about all the Chelsea Flower Show gardens that he has been a part of.  I have been to Chelsea once, it was totally incredible and I would love to go again.  This year I am looking forward to the second Sydney Garden Show - see my video of last years show here.  

But for now its back into the garden, I need a whole lot more mulch and sadly there is a still a lot of weeding to do!!!