Sunday, July 6, 2014

In Homes and Gardens Magazine

Was excited to find that the new Homes And Gardens Magazine has included three of my feature stories. For all of us obsessed with interiors and design ts quite a good read and starts with a great article on The Block stars, Alisa and Lysandra. In fact there are not many ad pages so it really is worth the cover price of $9.95.
One of my favourite stories on the Queenslander in inner city Brisbane is there, plus the hot pink Culburra Beach house called Gidget. The garden story on the Yellow House in Nowra tells the story of how Mim and Ned Burkett transformed their small town block into a productive edible garden.
As always, great photos from Simon Kenny at Content Agency.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Wedding Styling

Seriously, where I live in the beautiful Shoalhaven region, must be the hip new place to tie the knot. An easy 2 hours drive from Sydney, the green rolling hills, white-sandy beaches and national parks do provide lots of great backdrops for the perfect destination wedding.
These inspirational floral designs are by Prunella.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

My Dream is Sarah Beeny's Restoration Nightmare

Ever had a dream of buying an old historic home and doing it up? This post is for you... and me!
For those in Australia, you can catch a re-run of UK renovation guru Sarah Beeny's own nightmare project, the restoration of a huge historic home in Yorkshire, now on ABC's iView.
The three part series captures every twist and turn in the 8-month renovation of this 200 year old house, Rise Hall.
I love that the show captures all the stress, decision panic and hard graft of this enormous and ambitious venture in the race to get it ready for a wedding deadline that cannot be moved back.
You can see more of Rise Hall at

Thursday, June 20, 2013

House Rules - Do Your Research

The contestants are frantically stripping out the termite-infested northern beaches home of Michelle and Steve and we are looking forward to seeing some "Beach House" style in the big reveal.

Some things that have been niggling about the previous Brisbane house. When I thought about what I would have done with that house there would have been some fundamental differences:
Firstly I would have made the decks much bigger and put a DA in to wrap the veranda around the side.

What were they thinking putting modern double glass doors from the front porch to the master bedroom? Talk about a fishbowl. The doors would have worked if they had used a more traditional french door which has only the top panel glazed.
The ensuite, though nicely done, looked like it belonged in a project home. The other team got the traditional details pretty spot on in the main bathroom.

There is so much stuff to look at style wise, both in magazines and on the web, I wonder why these contestants don't do some research.
The kitchen, as I've mentioned, was great but the pokey little deck out the back barely fit a table for two.

With the beach house I think there will be fewer "style" slip-ups but the brothers who were asked to do Morroccan tiles in the bathroom have got the wrong idea here. Once again, if they had just Googled "Morroccan tiles" they would have seen that what they have chosen is completely wrong.

Monday, June 17, 2013

My House Rules - The Queenslander Gone Wrong?

BEFORE: a plain 50s board & brick suburban
On prime time TV here there are two house renovation shows vying for the limelight.
On My House Rules the teams are renovating a very plain house in Brisbane that aspires to be a Queenslander. Easy. You would think...
Most of the teams didn't seem to know what a Queenslander was. The big reveal is tonight and already I shudder to think what might be. We have already seen the modern pivoting front door which is totally wrong for a Queenslander and modern battening also wrong for the style.
However, the glimpses of the kitchen we have seen look spot-on.
Here are my style cues for the perfect Queenslander, one of my own favourite house types.
AFTER: This is kinda how it should look but I don't think it will...
This house I have done a story on is a stunning Queenslander that was totally renovated.

KITCHEN: country with industrial touches, like this Queenslander I photographed for the Weekly.
STYLE CUES: Pressed tin, vertical jointed wall boards, timber fretwork.

BEFORE: The MHR teams contemplate the brief.

DREAM ON: how an traditional Queenslander looks.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

More about country life: Becoming local

There are lots of things that surprise me about living in the country. I will always be a "blow-in" as we call it here in Australia, no matter what. They say it takes at least 20 years before the born and bred country folk might consider you an honorary local. This is not such a big deal most of the time and there have been some breakthroughs.
Being invited to the Pyree Ball - the local farming community's annual knees-up, is a definite sign that you are on the road to being accepted.
Sharing my farm-grown produce, like the huge blue pumpkins modeled by my daughter above, gives me street cred.
Does anyone have any tricks for winning over the locals?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Country Roads

You know you are in the country when....
A neighbour arrives for dinner on a crisp autumn night on horseback, leading another horse he is breaking in. Both horses spent the duration of the evening hitched to the front fence occasionally whinnying to their friends 1km down the lane.
Wow... for a city girl like me.