Monday, 18 March 2013


As part of finishing off our master bedroom, I have been saving my pennies to buy a set of early Victorian (mid 1800s) set of cedar or mahogany drawers for the master bedroom. We have a set of replica pine drawers which were a moving-out-of-home present from my parents. However they have yellowed over the years and the space can fit a larger set (and I will never say no to more clothing space!). I spied some on Ebay almost a year ago (here). The first set is still listed. Over the summer holidays we saw some other alternatives on the Mornington Peninsula which are also contenders. I prefer the older simpler styles - rounded wooded handles, slightly curved sides - the furniture becomes more onate in the late 1800s. Decisions....


Monday, 11 March 2013


One of my priorities for the first few months of this year is to finish off our master bedroom. I have been doing things in dribs and drabs (some early progress here). But somehow making decisions for the room you spend most your time in is much harder than making decisions for the guest bathroom! Lots has been done - kind size bed and upholstered bed head, built in robe a new rug and roman blinds. But I still need to make a decision about reupholstering the small couch (early deliberations here). Before we go any further, I wanted to post some photos of the room when we moved in (and from the sale materials). 
The sale photos
The day we moved in
The walls had an "interesting" grey marble paint effect up to the picture rail.

Monday, 4 March 2013


Just as I was my retirement was cut short by gainful employment, I was planning to refresh the guest bathroom. Having to work for a living, unfortunately meant that this project took much longer. However eventually Mr B offered to help out with the plastering and painting. So now it is all done, and I am disproportionally pleased the outcome. Check out the Before photos here.
New plaster capping added, white paint and vintage oval mirror
New shower hardware and showerscreen re-sealed
Woodwork all painted white
Vintage hotel china soap dish
Handtowel from my mega-visit to NY's ABC Carpet & Home
New taps (same as main bath)

Vintage milkglass light
Refurbished linen press
The finished product

Monday, 25 February 2013


I inherited this pine linen press in the guest bathroom when we bought the New Home. It is a very useful place to stash towels (luckily  because it can't be moved out of the room). As part of my re-fresh of the guest bathroom I  also re-furbed this cupboard.
Inherited pine cupboard - Before
Inspired by some  photos I spied of dark cabinetry I decided to paint the linen press Dulux Domino in a high gloss finish. I thought about painting the inside white, but then went with the dark colour but decided to line the shelves with some Porter's Maharani wallpaper.

I was hoping to use a set of glass door knobs which I bought at the Chelsea Garage Market in New York (here) - but unfortunately one was too broken to use. So I have used a pair of black and white ceramic ones from Anthropologie. I am really pleased with the finished product.
Pine cupboard - After

Anthropologie door knobs

Porter's Maharani wallpaper as shelf liner
PS. Check out this amazing linen press on 47ParkAve.

Monday, 18 February 2013


I received a number of unexpected "green things" this Christmas which have been added to the mantle.There is a little debate about the grass vase which was re-gifted to me by someone who knew I appreciated green more than they did!  I was particularly touched  by the  uprecycled bottle from S.P.

Monday, 11 February 2013


To celebrate the new year I changed around the open shelving in the kitchen. The change was triggered by the absolutely tea-set by sister bought me for Christmas.

However I had no trouble finding enough white, pewter and glass items to fill out the shelves. The small sugar bowl was an impromptu present from my Nonna on my last visit. The cream and blue old floral plates were one of my purchases of "vintage" things - and I still love them. The old fowler jars with candles are one of many left-overs from our wedding table settings.

The enamel plates are also a recent purchase - in the last few months I have taken to buying old blue and white enamelware on ebay. I have developed quite a collection which has been put to work in the kitchen (great for BBQs) and the laundry. Stay tuned for more enamel - though I have heard S.P.'s suggestion that it might be time to stop!

Monday, 4 February 2013


 My trip to San Francisco last year was timed around the monthly Alameda flea market. And it was totally worth it! I had the most wonderful day wandering around the hundreds and hundreds of stalls. I could have brought home a shipping container full of stuff! However instead I bought things I could fit in my relatively small amount of luggage. I couldn't resist these vintage San Fran posters. Apparently they were handed out to customers when they opened an account with a certain local bank in the 1960s. Once I was home, I framed them and have hung them on either side of the doorway in the upstairs landing.

Monday, 28 January 2013


One of my favourite stores in New York was John Derian which was just around the corner from where I was staying. There are two stores - one with the decoupage and other small items and another with furniture and linens - this is where I was blown away by the block prints and linens.I particularly loved the Les Iniennes fabrics.
Les Indiennes at John Derian
They also have some beautiful west African vintage indigo cushions and some cushions made from vintage rag rugs (an idea to action another time!).
Vintage Indigo cushions at John Derian
I found some vintage indigo fabric elsewhere on my travels which I have had made into some throw cushions and also splurged on some John Robshaw blue and white block print cases for our guest room.

Sunday, 16 September 2012


Rununculus, artichokes and broadbeans are sure signs that spring is here.

Sunday, 9 September 2012


The biggest project during my "retirement" was the finishing off garden overhaul which started at the beginning of the year when I first stated pulling out the overgrown plants. Check out the before and early WIP shots here.

Once all the garden beds were emptied out, the first job we tackled was replanting the tiered garden beds with some gardenias and small hydrangeas.

The much bigger task was dealing with the rest of the area. We wanted to make the garden beds a lot narrower because the space was relatively small and I wanted to maximise the lawn. However this meant moving two very large sandstone blocks. We had a few attempts are moving these - firstly Mr B got all excited about hiring a "small bulldozer" to do the job (and some of the levelling work). But it turned out to be absolutely useless. So instead we hired a circular saw to cut the blocks into pieces which could be carried. This meant that most of the blocks could be used in a small retaining wall at the back of the lawn. We then levelled out

I am kicking myself for not taking more WIP photos - but Mr B literally didn't let me stop long enough to take photos. We got all of this done in two very long days.

After all the hard-core landscaping was done, S.P. and I planted ten white sasanqua Camellia's along the fence and filled the smaller garden beds with some more gardenias. We also planted some lillies around the base of the gum tree.
Tiered garden beds replanted with gardenias and hydraneas.
Weeping cherry transplanted from middle of lawn area.
New level lawn.
The row of sasanqua camellias against the fence. 
More lawn. 
Lillies at base of gum tree. 
New smaller garden beds along fence.
I am looking forward to seeing the plants sprout as we head into spring time and look forward to being able to take some true "After" photos once things have grown a bit.