Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Oh #happydays! I preoreordered the new (Sir) Terence Conran book months ago - it has has very recently gone to print - and has arrived today in the post to me in Australia! 

'Plain Simple Useful'  ... definitely my design philosophy ... I am so going to enjoy this read.

And I am especially enjoying the creaks and cracks as I open the cover for the first time!

And thankfully today I have time to sit down and enjoy this ... making fresh coffee now ... 


 #newbook#plainsimpleuseful #theessenceofconranstyle #terenceconran

Thursday, March 27, 2014

My latest garden love...

Various plants had progressively 'survived' and then died here.  Something drastic had to be done.  So with inspiration from some public spaces, I have grassed this area (instant green) and installed a modern, clean look of steel edging, left to rust to same colour as the garden.

{today in the rain}
But my, my, ... aren't I a fickle creature?!  I have spent weeks bemoaning the hot dry conditions that we have had, and having to water my new grass daily to ensure it survives.

And now we have had rain in Brisbane for days, and already I am craving sunlight!  Today a weather alert has been issued for a deluge - which by the way only makes me wonder 'how much they are expecting to actually issue an alert?'!  Must be a lot!

Friday, March 14, 2014

A day of firsts and lasts....

Unlike the jacaranda's purple swathe across this city in September, autumn and winter here are quieter seasons.  They don't herald their coming with triumphant shows of autumnal colour, or melancholy skies and bleak trees of winter as there is in other climates.  

But amongst the green there are always changes, something new to be seen to show the seasons are rolling on, a change is coming.

The first autumn leaf on the Liquidamber Tree...

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Monday, March 10, 2014

Street Art and International Women's Day: Together in Paris

I love how there's always something new and changing in Paris - whatever time of year you are there.  And the street art that abounds is just one example of this:

Paris mayoral candidate Nathalie Koscisuko-Morizet, or as she is often referred to - NKM, commissioned pioneer artist Joseph Mendy to create wonderful pieces of 'reverse graffiti' street art for March 8 'International Women's Day',  to honour the 53% of Paris population who are women.  

À toutes les femmes de Paris, héroïnes du quotidien. NKM.
 (To all the women of Paris, everyday heroines.)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Top tips for 'How To Get Those Treasures Home'

I am often asked ‘just how hard is it to actually get your treasures home?’  For those planning to travel on my Brocante Tour this year, this is very useful information in the planning phase!

The short answer is that it's really not that hard!  All it takes is a bit of preparation.   

Firstly, what you or I think of as 'treasures' can be quite different sizes, shapes and degrees of shipping difficulty!  One woman's french linens is another woman's armoire!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Is Autumn here ....

Gorgeous morning here. There's a slight nip in the air; autumns on the prowl but hasn't settled in yet.  Birds' morning cacophony louder than usual, .... feels like we're just on the cusp of the season's change.

Jennifer x

Monday, February 17, 2014

Marine Lighting Choices for a Boy's Room

Monday is my office day.  My day to grab a well-made coffee, and sit in my office and work away and get lots done.  Quiet day, no interruptions, lots of productive work.

What a fantasy!  ... I usually end up fielding phone calls where my straight forward list, turns into multiple steps that need organising first ... just to get a "simple" thing done on my to-do.  And at the end of my day I wonder if I've made any progress at all judging by the new size of this list!

And not to mention when you get side-tracked completely!

Via Vogue Living
Like seeing this gorgeous light fixture, on a Vogue Living feed this morning!  It's from this year's January 'Objet and Maison' Trade Fair in Paris a couple of weeks ago.  Beautiful crystal decanters reworked and hung perfectly in this arrangement.  Now where could I put this?

.... I digress ....

Back to my task du jour: finalise the lighting for the boy's rooms and end (what has become) the 'saga of the pre-teen boys' bedroom'!

I have found a great look in lighting that will work well for us - marine lighting - which injects either a beachy or a vintage vibe depending on how you style the rest of the room.

These light fixtures are for above the boys' beds and to be used as a reading light.  Wall-mounting lights is a great choice.

{image via Restoration Hardware}
They do not take up space on a bedside table which is already prone to clutter; and there's no chance of being knocked over by a stray bat or random cartwheel.  I love that wall-lights can be so practical for this, but they need to be chosen well to give good, effective and non-glare reading light.

{image via Pottery Barn}
Placed above and behind the bedhead like this is ideal, as the light source is behind the reader and should not cast shadows. It's also not in eye-line to create glare or be distracting.

I am down to a choice of two lovely vintage-style light fixtures and would love to know what you think...

The first candidate is from Restoration Hardware - the "Mariner's Sconce".  I think this is my perfect choice, but the delivery time means it will be a little longer before it's arrived and installed.

{images Restoration Hardware}
Another option I found at Magin's Lighting here in Australia - the "Maine Antique Nickel".   The delivery lead time would be less and so project completed all the sooner!

And so you see?  Much research and many candidates discounted .... I am down to just two ... but still no definitive decision!!  I think either would be great.

And as there is no 'client' to pass the decision to for final approval, I will turn it over to you.  

What do you think?  Which one would you choose?


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sunshine and flowers .... and other painting mishaps!

Some days you just need to focus on the sunshine and flowers.  You know those days?

I have been painting furniture for a couple of days, and between a wrong colour choice and a spray gun with 'unresolved issues' ....

I walked past our dining table ... and the light ... and the flowers ... 

Sometimes you just need to focus on the sunshine and flowers!

I hope your day has gone better!

{image Vintage Finds}

Monday, February 10, 2014

And today is a painting day....

One of the projects I am working on is changing the boys' bedrooms up to give them a little more space and reflect their ages.  Nine year old and eleven year old boys have different likes in colour than three to five year olds!

And their needs are different as they get older: dedicated work space for computers and projects and homework.  And larger storage for all their sporting equipment.

So today is a painting day - I am taking a previously red 'little boys' bedside table and a previously white bed, and turning them into matching grey bedroom furniture.  

We are channelling these teen boys' room that we found on the Restoration Hardware website.  Restoration Hardware does not ship to Australia as yet, so I'm giving it a go to recreate this look.  

What do you think?  Something you like for a boy's bedroom?

I'll let you know how we go over the coming weeks and show you the complete befores and afters!

Jennifer x

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

More brocante tour planning ...

Welcome to 2014.   Not that you need a welcome from me!  That is probably more for my benefit ... now that the year has well and truly begun and I have hit the ground running in the organisation of the brocante tour.

Thank you all so much for emailing that you are interested in travelling with me to country Normandy for a guided tour of the brocantes and antique stores in this little corner of rural France.  Travelling through picturesque villages, staying in a pretty, rural manor house and finishing with a day in the Paris Puces of St Ouen together.

It's amazing ... from one little blog post pre-Christmas ... from an idea percolating for awhile ...

I love trawling through markets and fairs, but what I love more is sharing the experience with like-minded others.  And I want to share with you the 'learnings' I have gained from having importing french vintage and antique items to Australia ... for several years now ... both the successes and the expensive failures.  So you don't have to learn the same way!

I have had a lovely email from someone interesting in coming along who loves antique fabrics.   Instantly, I have two or three addresses in Paris and in Normandy that spring to mind to share with her.  If there's something that you'd like to specifically find, I can tailor our tour to make sure we include what you are looking for also.

I can also help you deal with the shippers so that your purchases (large or small!) arrive back home - wherever that be in the world.  I have learnt a few foibles Australian customs, in particular, that I can also share with you along the way - which may help with your buying choices!

This week I am working on a document of sorts I will send to you once you register interest.  It will have details of what we will be doing, where we're staying, what the trip includes and the like.

But just to let you know planning so far, our 4 day tour would look something like this:

You would be picked up from the local train station in Normandy, with all directions on how to get the 50 minute train ride from Paris having been pre-arranged.  And we'll be straight off to our first address!  Your accommodation will be at a beautiful little manor house B&B, and all lunches on the road, and dinner at your B&B will be included.  As will your transport and with a guide!

After breakfast each day, we will be going from 9am taking in brocantes and antique dealers throughout the day.  Although we may cover a lot of ground, each day we'll stop for lunch in a lovely country hotel or a busy little village bistrot.  It is France after all ... we couldn't possibly do a hurried lunch!  When you arrive back at 5 or 6pm each day, dinner will be prepared for you at the manor house.

On our last day I will take you to Paris to visit the famous markets in St-Ouen and Clignancourt.  As this area is so vast (and difficult to cover in one day) I can either recommend which areas to look through for something in particular you are after, or we can stroll through my hand-picked favourites.

I am really looking forward to showing you my favourites and to hosting you on this little trip in rural France.  If you would like to register your interest please drop me a line, as there is still room to come along!

{all images Vintage Finds}

Friday, January 31, 2014

Top Tips for Creative Thinking

Votre sante est a Vichy, René GRUAU (1960)

School went back this week after summer vacation.  The house may seem empty without my boisterous boys, but my mind is noisy - full of everything I want to do now that I have working hours to myself again, and I am in 'back to work' mode.  

But all I can think is where do I begin? 

I love instagramming, but lets face it - there's nothing very interesting about a week that has been filled with back-to-the-real-world tasks such as haircuts and dental appointments ... now is there!  And I am searching for a creative inspiration to kick off my projects.  I have mountains of emails to reply to: with requests of items to source, and (thankyou!) emails to reply to about the brocante tours I am planning.  

Moreton Island, Queensland, Australia
I can't seem to find the inspiration to kick off my year! Are you the same?  So what do you do when you are in creatively stuck and need some help?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...