Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pictures that inspire...Part 1

I want to start a series of posts highlighting certain elements in decorating that best represents my own personal style. Up until last night, I never really knew what my style was for this house. I know what I like, what colours look good together but really it was beginning to difficult for me to visualise how I was going to decorate the whole house for all rooms to have some unity.

Whilst browsing through all my blogs, a comment by Patricia Gray caught my attention and as Oprah would say...I had one of those light bulb moments.

In an interview she did recently on All The Best by Ronda Carman Patricia was asked to describe her design style...this was her answer

I like furniture to have good lines, rooms to have 'good' bones, juxtaposition with good antiques and art work with modern design.

This is my design style. It wasn't until I saw it actually written down in words that it all clicked. I love my antiques but I equally love modern art and contemporary design...I was somewhat torn between the two but it all can work together now.

There are literally hundreds of pictures I could use for this post. Strangely, I knew exactly which pictures best represent my ideas that I have for certain parts of my house.

I will start with two designers who have had a great influence on the direction I will be taking. Each picture has a certain element in it that I absolutely love! No way will I (or even able to) replicate each room but to really use the decorators ideas as a source of inspiration.

So here we go...Patricia Gray and her beautiful decorating style....

Patricia Gray

What attracts me to this stunning room is the contemporary art work and over sized mirror. I have noticed that Patricia users both these elements in most of her rooms...Love it and will definitely be using the same concept for my bedroom and perhaps the downstairs entrance hallway. The light coming into the room is just so beautiful and inviting.

There is something magical about this bedroom. It's the stunning blue lampshade bases (I cannot find anything like this in Melbourne) with the silver lampshades, the over sized mirror again and the contemporary art work on the wall. Combine all this with the dark wood....just lovely!

What is there not to love about this kitchen. The use of granite is sensational in this picture.

Patricia Gray

Finally, a picture of a dinning room...the table almost exactly like mine. In this picture, once again, the big mirror, classic and contemporary fittings working together. Even the crystal vase with the big white flowers....sigh!

The next decorator is Nathan Thomas who was the winner of Top Design (I love my decorating Shows)
Once again, when I analysis why I like these rooms so much, it is the combination of classic and modern ideas combined.

Nathan Thomas

Beautiful wallpaper, antique desk with contemporary objects beautifully grouped together. I still cant work out how to group things effectively in a space but that will be for another post!

Its the Art Work I LOve!

I saw how he did it on the show and thought...I can do that! This will be my upcoming to come only if it works haha


When I saw how he grouped the pictures together, I was blown away by how good it looked. This potentially could have been a disaster but because he has a great eye for design, he has collected a group of fairly 'daggy', old fashioned portraits in frames that have seen better days and created a wall of art that won him the title of Top Designer! The judges loved what he did with this wall and I cant believe how it works so well. This is my inspiration for future projects I have in mind.

Hope you enjoyed reading about what inspires me....many more rooms to come...

Mrs B

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Decorating a Modern Home...Finally

So here I am, two weeks living in our beautiful new home. I am finding that I am beginning to be very picky and fussy as to what objects and paintings actually come through the garage door! There have been some 'teething problems' but I am prepared to live with them a little longer just because I love living in the house. I will give you an example...

Our Fireplaces...The house was designed around having two fireplaces, yes I know a bit of a overkill but this was my thing! I love fireplaces and if I could, I would have one in every room. Downstairs is going to be one of those normal gas log fires but upstairs was going to be the 'special one' It is one of those white long pebble fires, not for warmth but purely for looks. Like my chandelier, I have always wanted one. Anyway, today was the day of the installation, no more empty holes to look at. 7am the guys arrived, within 15 secs they told us it was too hard to install because our fireplaces were an inferior brand (Australian made mind you!) and they cant install them. Also there are 2 steel beams right in the way of where the pipes are going both up and downstairs. Mr B rang our builder, he was at our house in 15 mins. The installation guys just went to their next job.
There is no point in getting all upset when these things happen...after all, we are in our beautiful new home and nothing is going to spoil that!

So...What are my decorating projects at the moment! My bedroom will definitely take a while to evolve. The pictures here are what we have at the moment, a bed, bedside tables that can stay or go and our beautiful antique Table. I have a simple white bedspread but will definitely dress up the bed with cushions and a blanket. I am looking for an oversized contemporary art work to hang on one of the walls and also some drapes to dress up the windows. here are some pictures of my bedroom and ensuite to give you an idea of the space I will be decorating.

Main Bedroom

I would like some sheers to frame this window...just to give the room a more completed/luxurious feel to it. We already just had blinds installed in this room.


My lovely SIL gave me this jar (its called something else but I have forgotten the correct name) as a house warming gift. I put my Grandma's shells into it...

Another view of the needs something else with a bit of height, maybe a vase with flowers?......

At the moment, everything is very sparse and I cant wait to get all my pictures, plates and vases into the house. Everything takes time and its amazing how my tastes are changing all the time. I really do only want things that are beautiful to look at or sentimental to be on display.
My next post will be a few inspiration pictures that have given me some great ideas!
Mrs B

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I am still here!.....Landscaping Pictures

I don't know why, but since we have no phone line and are on wireless internet connection, everything to do with blog land is so slow since we have moved into our new home. I have almost given up trying to load all my favourite blogs to read. I just wanted to say I hello to everybody and I am so sorry I haven't been able to comment on your blogs for a little while. I am still here, just frustrated that pictures are not downloading properly and often it takes a good 20 minutes to open up some of my favourite Canadian blogs...I have soooooo much catching up to do when we finally get this land line.

So....what has been happening at my end. Slowly we are moving possessions into our new home. Mr B has made numerous trips to the Salvation Army and the tip but finally we now have all our household with us...mostly in the boxes in the garage. I have been absolutely appalled by the amount of useless 'crap' I have stored and collected over years and concerned by the wastage of money that has gone into buying stuff that really we do not need. So much of it has gone to charity but even charities are beginning to be very picky as well and will not take large tables, sofas, desks etc. people do not have room in their houses for such items. I could go on about our 'throw away' mentality in our society but this is really not the time and place for it. I will just say however, I could of easily just walk away from all those unnecessary possessions, collect just a few pieces and be happy with that! It has made me even more determined to decorate this house with what I have got. The only things I really need are display cabinets to display all my mothers and grandmothers crockery...later more about this. part of our contract, our builder did our garden for us. This has been this biggest blessing as it really has completed our home, instead of looking at builders rubble, we look at beautiful little plants that hopefully will grow into healthy plants that produce flowers for the native birds.

Back Garden

We added all our 'garden accessories' to the back area. The decking is being stained today which I am very excited about. not much of a back yard but we are on a reserve where the kids are able to play.

A nice area to sit during the day and watch the world go by.

The last two pictures show plantings of native grasses and kangaroo paws. This area mostly gets sun during the day so hopefully the plants will do well here.

I have a more updated picture of this area, will post it later on. The small tree at the back is a Silver Princess (Australian Gum) and produces these amazing gum flowers that the birds love.

Front Garden
A small front garden as most of the space is taken up with our driveway and front decking. The landscaper took about an hour just to place the rocks in those positions...they are all hand picked for our garden as well.

Front Door
I still am amazed at how many neighbours and friends have commented about the colour of my front door. Some have said in a certain time of day, it looks like a golden colour. The front door is my pride and joy...thankyou to Michelle who picked the colour for this door.

The house is now starting to look like a home. the nature strip still really annoys me with all the builders rubble left behind but Mr B will clear it up and make it look as if it belongs to the rest of the garden. My lovely neighbour has looked after our council tree for us during the house build. It may look a bit wonky but it has survived!
I hope you have enjoyed my landscaping pictures...Day 5 of moving in. hopefully, I can post up to date pictures of the garden as it grows.
Mrs B

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Finally we are in!

We are in!

Finally, after almost 18 months of a house build, we able to call our house a home. Moving has been unbelievably difficult, stressful and I wish someone could wave a magic wand and put all our worldly possessions in their rightful place. Rule number 1...find someone to look after any child under 5 whilst moving. Our little fella is not coping at all, and his behaviour has been extremely difficult to cope with.

Anyway, no need to hear about moving dramas as that is not important. The first night we moved in, it really felt like a dream. I could not believe that finally we are sleeping in our new home! Its still feels so surreal as if I am dreaming. Everything is so different to what I am use to, the rain shower we have in our bathrooms, the light sensors that turn on when you walk into our robes and ensuite and the space that our new kitchen offers...I really don't know how to fill up all the cupboards but I'm sure I will find new kitchen gadgets to do just that. It is so strange to have so much space...fairly unsettling at night as I cant see all the rooms from just one point of the house. We have always lived in small homes so it will take quite a bit getting use to.
There are still things to do like our hydronic heating, fireplaces, landscaping and all the bits and pieces that come with finishing of a new home. My builder and his supervisor have done a terrific job in maintaining a top standard through the build. My tiling in all the bathrooms are just perfect...I love the tiles I selected and gives the bathrooms a 'day spa' feel to them.

So, now the important Yeahhhhh! You must remember, that none of the rooms are decorated and only have the bare amount of furniture in them but at least you can see where I am heading. I am so happy that finally, no longer is this a long, frustrating house build blog but is now about Decorating a Modern Home!!!!! so lets start the new chapter by showing what my house looks like...Day 3 of moving in. I can then start to share the journey of each room as I decorate it and make it feel like a home.

Theatre Room Day 3

So you can see I have plain dark leather couches, light ottoman, cushions that have a teal/blue pattern through them and a blue throw. these are the colours I will be working with in this room.

Dinning Area Day 3
We bought this table off our friend and easily sits 8 people even more comfortably. I love square tables especially for dinner parties. You can also see my beautiful crystal light night it looks stunning. I saw this light fitting on a show called Design Guys years ago and have always wanted one since, now its in my new home. I know Kelly from Design Ties loves this light fitting as well and was going to have it in her dream kitchen!
Also, you may notice the window furnishings, they are called Redi Blinds ( I think thats what they are called) and are actually made of paper. They just stick on where you want them and are so easy to take off when your proper window furnishings arrive. Fantastic product and so cheap.

Kitchen Pictures
Well the kitchen has been completed is my pride and joy. What I like most about it is the beautiful granite Bianco Romano. It just literally sparkles and I am just forever looking at all the different patterns through it...sigh

I didn't go for the top of the range appliances but the ones we did select are just so nice and easy to use. Mr B is the cook in the family so he wanted an oven that turned on and off...we don't really do any fancy baking etc so something that was easy and uncomplicated to use was fine with us.

Island bench
We did buy a Miele dishwasher although as this did have the best reputation. Highly recommended! You don't realise how bad some other dishwashers are until you see your plates cleaned by a really good dishwasher. It is so quite I cant even hear it and when I open the door, the plates are actually sparkling...just like in the TV add LOL

A view to the alfresco area

Bathroom with hydronic heated towel rail.
One thing I am looking forward to is living in a house with hydronic heating. Overseas this is the norm but in Australia, it is not common to find this source of heating and is very expensive to install. I have lived in a house before with ducted heating and I was forever freezing and unsettled. I promised myself that if we ever built, I want to feel warm in every room not just in certain parts of the house.

Upstairs lounge room Day 3
Green large couch with a purple and gold theme through the ottoman and cushions. This is work in progress to pull this room together!

Our bedroom Day 3
I know there is just a bed but at least you didn't get to see just the mattress on the floor haha this is one of my biggest decorating to make this space into a beautiful, romantic and gorgeous bedroom. This photo shows you what I have there at the moment (including my sons port-a-cot as he sleeps in our room) the little blue cushion is a hint of the type of colour I like. Already I love the white doona cover and white sheets so I am working around that theme.

Sons bedroom Day 3
All my kids have their lovely bed linen, I just have to add their bits and pieces.
So, I hope you enjoyed my before shots. As I add new things to the rooms I will update these photos...I just cant wait to get started!
Mrs B

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Melbourne Garden photos

The Melbourne Garden Show has been on for the last week and since I have never been before, this year I really wanted to go. We got there 9am on a Sunday morning thinking we will beat the crowds but already hundreds were lining up at the entrance, waiting for it to be open. I had a really good time, much better than our home shows. What I liked the best was the garden displays, mostly filled with Australian native plants. Of course a day couldn't go by without a small batteries in my camera went flat. Never mind, I actually took most pictures I really wanted of the plant combinations I loved.

I hope you enjoy my pictures, I took photos of mostly sections in the garden as this is what I am after.

Wouldn't this be a lovely little spot in a garden to just sit and ponder in. I could just imagine all the native birds and little lizards coming to visit.

Fantastic use of different size rocks. This seems to be a theme in our gardens lately as water restrictions means we cannot water our grass lawns any more. The rocks in this picture has been done really well but too many gardens over use the rock idea and it looses its effect. Rocks are suppose to be a feature not a substitute for a lawn or nature strip.

Nice area but not for me...great if you are doing the whole outdoor living 'resort style garden'.

A very funky native style table piece.

The plantings in this small area are just divine...the photo doesn't really show how nice it looked. I loved the little 'zen tree' look- a- like plants that softly weep to the ground. I have no idea what they are called but I will look it up in my brand new Aust native plant book.

Very similar to how I want my garden to look like. The kangaroo paws are just gorgeous...apparently everybody else loves these plants as my landscaper is finding it hard sourcing the red variety.

This is just so pretty! A rock with a love heart carved into it, surrounded by beautiful purple flowers. This would have to be my favourite picture of the day!

The darker leaf plants are kangaroo paws...very hard to see the flowers in the photo, I like the way rocks are used in the native gardens.

Fake grass! Yep, this is what its come to. There is a drought, we cannot water lawns so a lot of home owners are resorting to this. We are having a small square of fake grass on the side of the house. I never thought I would have the stuff in my own home but its amazing how fantastic it looks.

Final picture, a sculpture for the garden. There were many more but this is where my batteries went flat.
Mrs B

Friday, April 3, 2009

Is it about the journey or the destination?

Very appropriate title I think! 17th months have passed and we are on the eve of m0ving in. Still so many things to go, the outside is incomplete, waiting for the few last details to be added, electrics, plumbing, hydronics, carpet to do on the inside. Landscaping will start next week and our sides have the aggregate cement. Driveway still not done due to rain. The only time it rained in Melbourne this 'century' (maybe a slight exaggeration hehe) was the day they had picked to do the driveway! Oh well....I must build a bridge and just except that when ever something vitally important is about to happen at the house it least everybody in Melbourne will benefit from the downpour.
So, is it about the journey...always! but I have had enough and impatiently waiting for it to be over. Have I learnt a lot...yes, but I have learnt more from my mistakes. I see this as only a positive and I know that many of you will understand this. There is no such thing as a perfect house, perfect build or perfect selections (I can only speak from my own personal experience) as I am changing my views and personal preferences as I build this house. I look at other peoples gorgeous homes on their blogs and I often wonder why I didn't do this colour or design my home like that. But, my house is about where I am at the moment, not where I was 10 years ago or where I might be 15 years from now. To answer a question 'is this my dream home' it is at this moment but may not be in the future. I have no 'dream home' as such as every home I see has the greatest potential to be beautifully decorated by the owner. I think it all depends on if they have a desire to do it so.
It has taken over my life for the last 2 years so I am ready to be at the end of this particular journey...ready to start an exciting new one. So, here are the last few pictures of my home before we move in.

A glimpse of our beautiful red splashback

Our sensible staircase
This was one aspect of the home I really struggled with the design. What we have is a very simple and plain staircase. My builder is going to do some final touches to the polls, just to give it more details. I still am contemplating what to do with the walls underneath the stairs. This will be one of my first decorating projects but the white colour has to go! This is what is bothering me the most.

Should I paint underneath the wood a different colour?

The floor in the kitchen

Our blackbutt flooring with a semi gloss.

Bathroom now complete with our lovely taps.

Sparkling clean...just waiting for the mirrors

More Floors.....

Pictures of our aggregate paving...very interesting process, when they first did it, it looked dreadful beyond description. Its not until they use the high pressure hose that the stones are revealed.

Patio area just outside the laundry...this is where I will be hanging out my clothes. No more dodging between dog poos in long grass when hanging out my washing LOL The joy of small things!

Service area...ahhhhh so nice and neat! We will be bringing our recycling bins down this path, what bliss!

Mrs B


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