Sunday, 31 July 2011

Fun In The City

Kate & Emma at Sourced Grocery in Teneriffe

Have you ever played tourist in your own home town?  Let me tell you it's so much fun and it makes you realise how wonderful the place is that you live in. 

I left home early Saturday morning and met up with Kate & Emma who I have got to know through blogging.  Earlier in the year they hosted me in their home town of Adelaide and this weekend was my turn to host them here in Brisbane.  We hit inner-city hot spots like The Pink Flamingo, Crosstown Eatery, Paddington Antique Market, Les Salles, Blake & TaylorWoolloongabba Antique Market, Absolutely Fabulous, New Farm Park and a Brisbane newbie  Sourced Grocery in Teneriffe.

Sourced Grocery

The girls were so impressed with Brisbane which made be feel so proud of our city.  I have never done a 'Best of Brisbane' style post here at ABT but I'm thinking it could be fun to do and great for anyone who might be looking at visiting our fabulous city!!

My weekend finished on a bright note with Harry arriving home from his grandparents house with this branch of gumnut for me.  He spotted it whilst at the park and thought I would love it.  He was spot on.  I love it!!

Friday, 29 July 2011

Thank you!

When you put all your efforts and thoughts and energy into a project which you are so passionate about you can become extremely stressed and nervous and anxious as to whether it will work, whether people will embrace it, whether it will happen the way you had hoped and dreamt it would. 

Yesterday saw the launch of our online store which has been a project I have been dreaming about and working on for a very long time.  Seeing it come to fruition in the last month or so has been an extremely exciting yet anxious time.  It is different and sometimes when things are a little different to the norm people might not understand how it works or what the idea is behind the concept.

To my complete relief and excitement yesterday's launch went extremely well and I was completely overwhelmed by the wonderful and positive response to our concept.  I think the vintage items sold out within the first couple of hours which was amazing.  We also sold out of the geometric throw rugs but we were able to restock those later in the afternoon so there are a few more left if anyone wants one.  The 8 pink cockatoo lampbases have also sold out.  I am considering getting some more in so keep checking back for updates on those if you missed out on one yesterday.  The stock levels are going down rather quickly which is just so incredibly exciting.

Some people have said that they wished there was more.  I will say that 'from little things big things grow'.  This is just the beginning.  As this concept is so new I really was not sure how it would go.  So, it needed to be small to start with.  It is my plan to hopefully present 8-10-12 vignettes a year.  We will have our seasonal vignettes which will be for Winter, Spring, Summer & Autumn but keep watching as we are going to have some others in between the seasons as well.  We are also hopeful to expand the vignettes to maybe 2 or 3 or 4 room scenes/vignettes per season.

So, there certainly is going to be lots more to come and the scope of this concept is endless.  We have lots of ideas and we can't wait to put them into the works. 

The next vignette we present is for Spring and it is all ready to go so keep watching for it's launch which will be sooner rather than's going to be very pretty and colourful!

I would like to thank a few very special people because without them yesterday would not have been possible.  Here goes...

Kell, Liv, Eve, Claire, Michelle, Tony, Michael, Max, Andy, Katie, Krishna, Mum, Dad, Brad {for putting up with my very cranky and anxious moods these last couple of weeks}, Elouise, Nick, Sam & Pete.

You guys are amazing and I really couldn't have done it without your help, guidance, feedback and support.

I would also love to thank those amazing bloggers who have posted about our store launch on their blogs and for spreading the word.  You guys are just the best and so very supportive.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart - Will from Bright Bazaar, Kimberlee from Brown Button, Kate from Polka Dot Pantry, Kell from Little French Nest, Mrs Blandings, Loni from Adore magazine blog, Natasha from Northern Light, Interiors Addict, Of Beauty & Love blog, Briana from HGTV Blog, Stylishirish blog, Australian Gift Guide blog, Gabrielle from Savvy Home Blog, Gild & Grace blog, Ivy & Piper blog. Chic Cottage Charm blog, Six Different Ways blogVicki Archer from French Essence. And if I've forgotten anyone please let me know!!

So, today there's lots to do, lots to ship and a house full of furniture to install into a house which was completely inundated by the floods earlier this year. 

There certainly is never a dull moment around here...

Thank you again for making our launch so wonderful!  I was blown away.


P.S. There's lots of pink parcels heading out our door today! 

Thursday, 28 July 2011

We Have Launched!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are now open!!  Click HERE to visit our new online store.  I hope you enjoy the experience!!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

How It Works...

In preparation for tomorrow's launch I thought I would give you a brief tutorial advising how the store is going to work and what my idea is behind the concept. 

First and foremost I am a Designer and I really wanted that to be reflected in our online store.  I wanted to create something which was different and exciting.  Over the years we have had so many requests from overseas and interstate blog readers wanting to access our things which has really pushed me to open an online store so that everyone can have a piece of what we do. 

One of the most important things I wanted to achieve with our online store was for our customers to have that same wonderful experience of entering our online store, as those who enter our bricks and mortar store.

In an attempt to make this succeed I thought it would be wonderful to present a series of seasonal vignettes which will showcase special things I have either found or had custom made.  Items for sale will be put together in a room scene/vignette and basically each product which is for sale will have a number on it.  You click on the number and then you will be directed to a full description of the item including the price, the size, how many we have available and see some more close-up images of the piece. You can then you can either add it to your cart or continue shopping in the room - it’s as simple as that.

The first vignette which we will be presenting in tomorrow's launch is for Winter 2011.  Our next vignette after Winter will be for Spring and it will go live in around 8 weeks time.

Below, I have posted some images of our site structure using a dummy image.  {This is just to give you an idea how the site will work...this is not the actual vignette}.

First Page {above} - Entry page into the store...

Second Page [above} - An image with some text describing our look for that season...

Third Page {above} - This page is the page you will be able to purchase from.  You will basically be able to click on each product number which will then take you to a page similar to the page below which will give you full details about the product including the price, the size etc.  And from that page below you can either add the item to your cart or continue shopping in the room...

The thing I will say is that we are not going to have a lot of stock of any particular item in an attempt to keep our things very special and exclusive.  So, if you really want something then I suggest you go for it because it may not be there when you click back next time...

And yes, we are shipping our small goods internationally.  It's just the furniture which we won't be shipping internationally at this time.

So, that's it.  I hope you like my concept and I hope that each vignette we present will inspire you.  If you've registered on our holding page over at  you will be one of the first to know tomorrow when the site goes live and then after that I will post about it here on the blog.

Thank you to everyone for your continued interest and support...



Tomorrow we will draw open the curtains on Anna Spiro's Absolutely Beautiful Things online concept store.  If you would like to be one of the first to know when we actually go live then make sure you register on our holding page over at

We've got lots of lovely things all wrapped and ready to be shipped...

To celebrate our launch tomorrow, the first person to purchase something on our new site will be sent this wonderful vintage book as a gift from me...

The 1oth person to purchase something on our new site will receive this set of 8 vintage linen table napkins as a gift from me...

And the 20th person to purchase something on our new site will receive this very special vintage book as a gift from me which I have read.  It is the most gorgeous story about a man who finds his ideal house and how he restores it's eighteenth-century simplicity and how he decorated and furnished it.  It talks about the things he collects in the house and is just such a lovely read.

Later tonight I will be posting a guide as to how to use our site as it is a little different from other online stores you may have visited in the past.  So make sure you check back for that later on...

In the meantime, if you would like to know a bit more behind the scenes info. head over to Will at Bright Bazaar HERE as he has the full exclusive scoop on our store which launches tomorrow!!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Words of Wisdom

I love these words of wisdom from architect Bill Ingram!  I completely agree with him because if you delay that special thing will be gone and you will regret it forever!!

Artwork by Caroline Inge

Monday, 25 July 2011

Big Week Ahead...

It's a big week in this neck of the woods.  Our online store goes live on Thursday...eeeekkkk!!  Scary!!  If you want to be one of the first to know when we actually go live on Thursday make sure you sign-up on our holding page over at

We are also very busy getting our back rooms at Black & Spiro ready to open again.  Hopefully they will be ready to open by Friday.

So, lots happening and lots to do.  Thank goodness I have lots of fresh flowers in the house which we picked from our garden over the weekend.  They keep a smile on my face in busy times like these!!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

White & Wander

Just wanted to give you all the heads up {if you don't already know} that the extremely talented and creative Emma Clements from White and Wander and her mum have launched their amazing online store.  It is filled to the brim with antlers and globes and all sorts of amazing collected things. I really think their store fills a void in the market {here in Australia} for stylish vintage treasures and in their own words "it is a discovery of time worn treasures and imperfect luxuries." 

Click HERE to start fossicking through their wonderful collection...

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

City Cottage

I thought I would share a few pictures of a very cute and tiny inner city cottage I recently worked on for a gorgeous young couple who are expecting their first baby in a few months time.  We decided to leave the old kitchen in place instead of ripping it out.  We painted it a fresh white and added the black and white checkerboard floor as there was a chipboard floor in that section.  We also added a big cabinet to the the left of the kitchen which now houses food and other kitchen items as the little kitchen was just a bit too small.  We made black and white ticking roman blinds which we installed on all the windows in the cottage and added pretty cushions and other quirky items to create a fun, happy space.  Oh and this cottage just had to have a red door so we painted the back door bright glossy red!

Friday, 15 July 2011

A Fresh Garden Rose

Whilst on a bit of a reconnaissance mission today for something exciting down the track, I was very lucky to be given this beautiful fresh rose stem from a public garden which is currently full of roses in bloom.  I am shocked and horrified that tomorrow the roses in this garden will all be cut back and most of them will be sent to the rubbish.  Isn't it so sad that they don't bunch these beautiful things up and send them to the hospital for patients to enjoy...??  What's with that??

I hope you all have a great weekend.  I need to apologise now as my posts will be a bit sporadic over the next couple of weeks due to all of my efforts going into the launch of our very exciting online store on the 28th of this month!

See you soon...

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Black & Spiro Today

Our new look in our back rooms at Black & Spiro is almost ready to reveal {again!!}.  The new wallpaper went in late last week and the curtains and a few other finishing off bits and pieces should be in within the next couple of weeks.  I thought I would give you a sneak peek of how it's looking...


Friday, 8 July 2011

We Have a Date...

So there you have it - our very exciting online store will be going live Thursday 28th July, 2011!  Make sure you circle your calendar!!


Thursday, 7 July 2011

Black & Spiro Today

Here are a few snapshots of some of our new things at Black & Spiro.  Lots of great things including beautiful table linen, cushions, ginger jars, trays, rugs and fabrics.  It's almost like Christmas here at the moment with things arriving daily.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Perfect Party

I have actually posted this picture before...way back in my archives.  However, I thought I would re-post it for my cousin and his fiance as they are getting married in December HERE at this amazing property and I thought this could make for some good inspiration for them or anyone who is planning a party!! 

Tuesday, 5 July 2011


This image captured my heart this morning.  I know it's Winter but I love Summer and this space above is pure perfection!  Of course it is by that very clever person - Sig Bergamin as captured by Elle Decor.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Black & Spiro Today

I was up early this morning as my brother Sam came home from Western Australia and couldn't wait to come to see the boys.  He has been away living and working over there for the last couple of months and our entire family is just so excited about him being home for the next 2 weeks.  After his visit I went to see my friend Phoebe and collected some fresh flowers for the shop.  It really makes all the difference having beautiful fresh flowers in the shop.  Actually we've got lots of new things in as well which is very's a little photo to whet your appetite! 

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Friday, 1 July 2011

Contemplating Green

Whilst browsing through the images I have saved on my laptop today I pulled these three out as they caught my eye.  I seem to be drawn to green lately.  I don't know why as I have always been surrounded by so much blue thanks to my mother.  There seems to be something so grounded about green.  I mean, I wouldn't ever paint the outside of my house green but I have to say that I love the look of that beautiful old house in the top image with the fresh white trim.  I think I could accept green as an accent in my life. 

Look at Tory {middle image} sitting there ever-so-stylishly with that beautiful green side table mixed with the blue and white garden stools.  My mother is not a fan of green but look at all of that green in her lounge room {last image}...??  What's with that Mum?

Mixed with lots of white and blue and pink or blue and red and yellow, I think green could be a great colour to get to know a bit more...

image 1 - via frolic, image 2 - via peak of chic, image 3 - anna spiro