Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The magic of mid-century furniture

May I just kick off with a quick plug for Era Home & Vintage? Have a look at this absolutely fabulous mid-century, spun fibreglass setting. Just imagine that in your pool house or on the verandah. Those cushions and covers are special uv fabric too you know, so they won't fade or go mouldy like normal fabric. This setting is destined for our store at the Woollongabba Antique Centre, as soon as space permits.

This beauty is in the shop right now this very moment - pop over to Woolloongabba Antiques and check it out in real life. We've chosen cheery yellow, being the colour of the century and all. That turquoise smudge on the floor, in case you're wondering, happens to be a Moroccan handmade, camel skin pouf.

Whilst fossicking for things for the shop I came upon the perfect setting for our verandah.
Isn't she gorgeous. I just couldn't let it go...and from another angle....

...bit closer up....

Look at the surprise on the table top. I've put coloured fabric under the glass, which I can change daily should I wish to (I don't of course). The shell doiley is very old and used to belong to my grandmother, Ellen. The geranium is called Big Red and it was a gift from my mother, thus far there are no issues with keeping it alive.

You know what I'm doing, you're probably doing it too even if you aren't aware? I'm cocooning. This term was coined by the New York based 'futurist' Faith Popcorn years ago. Faith isn't a wacky psychic, she predicts social trends before they happen, based on her observations. You can read her trends here.
Cocooning has become big business. It's basically fitting out your home so you don't need to venture into the big bad world.
It manifests itself in the form of coffee machines in domestic kitchens, 'resort style' pools, industrial sized washing machines/dishwashers/fridges, wine cellars and cold rooms, games rooms, 'parents retreats', media rooms. Do any of those sound familiar?
Large companies employ Faith as part of their product and service development. I believe she was the person who advised McDonalds on the upcoming trend of eating breakfast out of the home, hence they introduced their breakfast menu.
Anyway, if you find social trends interesting, you may get a kick out of reading Faith's website.
I have been cocooning like crazy because the compound was infiltrated last Tuesday night. That's right. Demons entered our private property and broke into our cars, as they apparently did six other properties around Red Hill and Paddington. I spent Wednesday morning driving around collecting my husband's work papers, which had obviously been flung out a car window at intervals as someone rummaged through his briefcase.
Well we will not be foiled again! Enter Savage Guard Dog.

She is meant to be a pure bred red cattle dog, she's not. She is supposedly toilet trained, I assure you she is neither that.
Although, she is pretty, smart and affectionate, and has fitted in perfectly. She goes by the name Honey, because she is both honey coloured and a honey bunny.
Speaking of happy things, our little friend the kookaburra came back to visit, this time with spouse in tow - see on the branch in the background.

I assume he came back to be hand fed worms again, just like Cleopatra eating her peeled grapes.

Is the kookaburra the most adorable animal on earth?
If you're looking for inspiration for the garden, visit the Roma Street Parklands, which is looking a treat.

 I love a good hedge...
...and a pond.
 May you never grow so old that you stop eating your Cheezels like this!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Real-estalking Part II

I think this house above is on the Sunshine Coast? Pretty isn't it?
Every neighbourhood has these. The side by side jobs, the calling card of the property developer. What happens is a house on a reasonable size block is either knocked down or moved sideways and 'renovated' within an inch of its life, while another replica house (the same because its cheaper that way) is squeezed in beside it. I always wonder if these houses are built well enough to still be around in 100 years time? The two above are actually probably better quality than most, but as far as street appeal goes they have little to offer the neighbours.
These are similar, but with a more 'flamboyant' design. To me, this modern style of house always look like they've been made from leftovers, and provide a stark contrast when they back themselves in between two beautiful old Queenslanders in a character area. I'm sure plenty of people will disagree with me, but that's my opinion.
I've prattled on in the past about not being too clever when renovating, and working with the style of your house because building mistakes are usually very costly.

Having said that, these two houses below are both terribly photographed but they are traditional styles with twists that really work.
The house above is a traditional Ashgrovian and it's had a level added to the roof which is painted a darker green than the rest of the house. It's really well done.
The house below has not photographed well but in real life its stunning. It's unusual in the way that the front verandah has been built in. It's gleaming white with smart black trim.
Again, my shonky photography doesn't do this house much justice, but it's also beautiful. The house is only a couple of years old at most. It has lovely proportions.

I could live here. This house is back in Paddington. This is their view below.

Ok, now that's done, I'm off to pack my bags to move to Ikaria. It's in the Greek Islands in case you're wondering. You can read all about it here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Real-estalking Part I - Six of the best

I write many, many blog posts in my head, however, very few make it to the world wide web. I'm here now though, so let's get started.
Red Hill and Paddington have lots 'o pretty houses, and I wanted to share six of my favourites with you. In the process of doing this I've realised not all houses are photogenic, especially with my camera skills, and the appeal of other houses relies heavily on their positioning.
I would consider moving for this house. It's in a row of four similar houses, all relatively untouched and separated only by a debacle from the sixties. Isn't it lovely. I wouldn't change a thing. Probably.

This house above is another in the same row as the first house. It has beautiful leadlight windows, and sits opposite the laneway to the house pictured two down (with the conifers).
This lovely lady above is not necessarily one of my favs, but it represents the well maintained Queenslander - one that hasn't strayed from its origins, or been tampered with too much. It's just a beautiful family home, gracious in its 'unpretentiousness'.
This house above and the one below are both new houses, and proof that a new build doesn't have to be harsh or hideous. The pistachio coloured beauty above is about ten years old.
As for the photo below, it's a bad picture of a great house which has been built on an awkward block. I really didn't take the photo at the best angle, but trust me its fabulous.
This house above is pretty as a picture. It's all white and has beautiful ironwork gates. It looks like a cottage, but looks can be deceiving when it comes to the size of these houses on sloping blocks.
As an added bonus, may I also show you what would have been one of the best houses in the neighbourhood, had it not befallen an 'accident' a few years ago now. It sits under the Paddington water tower and has an incredible view across town. It has been in its decayed state for many years now. It's for sale if anyone is interested, the details are here.

We have been keeping an eye on the house below. I'm not sure what its story is or whether it is inhabited at the moment? It reminds me of a nuns' house for some reason. The unusual brick structure at the back is an extension to the timber Queenslander at the front.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Renovation Don'ts - Part II

Every time I open a property paper lately, I see this beautiful house for sale in Coorparoo and it reminds me of, what I believe, to be a very important 'Renovation Don't'.
You don't need to race in and change everything about a house immediately for the sake of change. Think people.  Once features are ripped out, they're gone for good, and there's some things that can't be faked, like the patina of age and time that gives a house its charm and character. If you don't want charm and character, if you want everything to be shiny and perfect, maybe an old house is not for you?
Every time I see a picture of the kitchen in this house, I automatically think of that saying; 'Fools rush in'.
How beautiful and gracious is this kitchen? I can just imagine the lady of the house clicking around in it in her kitten heels when it was brand new, making sandwiches for her girlfriends and a tray of g & ts on a hot day. Call me a pessimist, but I just know some doody head is going to make it their mission to rip this pretty girl out and install some sleek pre-fab eye sore.
This is how I would have loved our kitchen to look, but the existing 'kitchen' in our house was more just a room with a sink and a recess where the wood burner had been.
Just look at this beautiful house. It's at 251 Chatworth Road, Coorparoo.

If you're about to renovate, may I suggest living in your house as is for six or twelve months. The plans that we had in mind when we first moved in changed completely after living in our house for 12 months.
You probably don't remember it, but when Alex Baldwin's character was made the head of CNN in 30 Rock, he say's 'Well, the first thing I'll do is redecorate my office, even though it's perfectly fine the way it is'.
It's human nature to go into a new place and mark our territory. Remodelling or redecorating is the more civilized equivalent of peeing around the boundaries.
Just keep in mind, it's not always necessary. Old houses are gracious and romantic, two qualities that are being wrung out of the world on a daily basis. You may find it very refreshing to forgo fashion in the name of something more classic and nostalgic.
Say no to remodelling and redesigning more, and embrace the practice of restoring and preserving, at least that way, you can always change your mind.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Who's a pretty boy?

Look at this beautiful cockatoo I have been babysitting. He's about to go into the shop, but I'm going to miss him like the deserts miss the rain (to quote Ace of Base). He's not only gorgeous but so darn versatile, you can read by him, look at him and sit next to him as I have been doing for the past 24 hours. He looks great during the day....
and at night...
If you're interested in him (shameless advertising I know), click here.
In other news, I'm concerned Peaches may grow up to join the army. This is how I found her bed this morning when I got up.
She's five you know, and I could bounce a coin on this thing.
Hands up if you voted for Campbell Newman? Hmm, I thought so, no one seems to be owning up to that.
Talk about civil unrest. It's interesting times.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A new era

Forever the tardy bloggist, at least now I have a good excuse.
I've opened a shop. That's right. And again. I've opened a shop.
I've opened a shop with my friend Liz, and it's at the Woolloongabba Antiques Centre, which is a happier place than Disneyland if you ask me.
It's called.
It's a gut-wrenching, heart-wrenching, exciting, yet nauseating roller coaster ride opening your own 'store'. At the moment, now open for business, we're in the eye of the storm. Will anyone love our things? So far, yes. That pair of white chairs pictured below sold in the first few hours.
We've kicked off with a Spring time theme, complete with lawn, and the focus on verandah style furniture.
Who wouldn't love this - three pieces chock-full of fabulousness.

 This gorgeous two seater is one of my favourite pieces.
We have a blog which you can look at here, where we show what's in-store and preview bits and pieces that are on their way. If you are looking for anything in particular, no matter how obscure, let us know. Since we're scouring, fossicking and trawling anyway, we may just find what you're looking for.
If you find yourself in Woolloongabba, drop in and have a look. You can see Woolloongabba Antiques Centre's website here.
Until next time.....

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Trigger happy

My husband recently taught me to spray paint, and what a Pandora's Box he's opened. I keep dragging furniture out of the house and painting it white. Soon I intend to venture out into some more exciting colour schemes, but for now, this is the seagrass setting I've been intending to paint for the past three years.
Let me tell you, when you've got your hands on a spray gun, a compressor and a tin of paint the world's your oyster.
I love painted furniture, particularly painted cane, and it's so beautiful and appropriate for our balmy climate.
Some people think it's terrible to paint timber furniture, but a lot of it is just 'drab and brown'.
I love a pop of colour.
Have a look at these beauties.
Til next time....