Sunday, 30 October 2011

The Beach

We went to the beach today as we had to do a few things over at our beach cottage.  Gosh it was beautiful.  I really didn't want to leave.   

We have a very, very big week this week with Pip's Exhibition at Black & Spiro this Thursday night along with the installation and unveiling of our Christmas Windows and also the launch of our Summer/Christmas vignette over at the online store.  Fingers crossed everything happens like it should.  I am slightly, actually no, I am very anxious!!

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the store this Thursday night.  Thank you for the wonderful response we've had. Whenever we have events at Black & Spiro I always worry that nobody will turn up.  The girls think I should be more worried about where we are going to put everyone.  Oh well, I should just stop worrying I suppose!!

I think by Friday I will be ready to head over to the beach again and have a few days away with my boys...that will be so nice.


Friday, 28 October 2011

Happy Friday!

What a week!  It's been madness to say the least.  I thought you might like to see this little snippet of our Christmas/Summer Vignette which will go live over at the online store next Thursday. 

Something very exciting and new for this season is we have people in the vignette including some very well-known Brisbane fashionistas, my children and their friend Charlotte and even I make a little appearance...eeeekk!!   

We also have a beautiful live Christmas tree which is filled to the brim with colourful decorations, some of which we have hand-made ourselves. 

This vignette is definitely my favourite one yet.  I can't wait to launch it next Thursday!!

Hope you have a great weekend. 

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Love This

I really love this space by Sara Tuttle.  I think it's the lamp, the Chinese cabinet, the star paperweight, the pink roses and the blue and white drum stool oh and the pile of books which really take my fancy!!  Thanks Kate for the link.

via ivillage

Sunday, 23 October 2011


I may be a bit quiet here on the blog over the next week or so.  When my schedule gets completely crazy it's always the blog that tends to get put on hold.

However, it's not all bad news because in just over one week's time we will be launching our Summer/Christmas Vignette over at the online store.  I am very excited about this vignette because we have gone outside to shoot this season's collection at a beautiful heritage listed seaside cottage.  There will be lots of beautiful and exciting things which will make up 3 vignette pages this season so make sure you keep checking here for updates on the launch day/time.

Another very exciting thing we are gearing up for at Black & Spiro is the debut exhibition of paintings by Pip Boydell and of course the unveiling of our 2011 Black & Spiro Christmas windows which we will be doing on that same night - Thursday 3rd November, 2011.

We can't wait to have, what I hope will be, a fun night with our clients, customers and friends.

So there's lots to do and lots to finalize.

Hope to be back here soon!!
PS - I would like to thank Jen from Interiors Addict for the lovley interview she did with me on her blog last week.  If you are at all interested in reading it click HERE..xx
image - via

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Dear VL

Dear Vogue Living,

I love you so much.  Your October issue is divine, divine, divine.  You just get better and better.  Thank you for being my little package of joy.  You are the best.


Tuesday, 18 October 2011

White Slip Covers Gone

I'm throwing in the towel.  I can't stand it anymore. 

I have always, always, always loved white slip covered chairs and sofas.  I just love them.  I don't ever get tired of them.  I can change the look of them by throwing a new cushion on them.  They can be placed in any room in the house because they go with everything.  They are perfect in every way except for 1 major problem.  

White Slip Covered Chairs + 18 Month Old Baby + Big Golden Retriever = DISASTER

On the weekend the filth and grime of my white slip covered armchairs in our lounge room got to the point where I couldn't stand it any longer.  I ripped off the covers and threw them into a big tub of cold water with lots of Nappy San.  After a day or so of soaking I removed them and lay them out onto some towels on a big table and let them dry.

Tonight I put the covers back onto the chairs whilst they were still damp so that they would fit back on perfectly.  I was so relieved to see them on the chairs looking all white, fresh and pristine.

I walked away from the chairs for approximately 3 minutes.  I walked back into the lounge room and there it was.  Smack bang in the middle of the seat of one of the freshly washed chair covers was a big dirty 18 month old hand print of biscuit smudged right into the fabric.  I couldn't believe my eyes.

I ripped the covers off the chairs and I have vowed and declared - THAT'S IT.  No more white slip covered furniture.

Tomorrow I am going to work and I am going to select a fabulous patterned fabric to cover the chairs in which will disguise the dirt and grime. 

Good-bye pretty, simple, elegant, interchangeable, timeless slip covers.  I promise you I'll pull you out again someday when it's safe!!


Monday, 17 October 2011

Megan Morton

I think that Megan Morton is one of the most stylish women I have ever met.   I know it's a big call but I spent a couple of hours with her earlier this year whilst she was working on a very exciting project and I have to say that she is so gorgeous and so clever. 

Although it was a day which was extremely rushed for me and I was completely flustered, she just seemed to take it all in her stride.  Nothing seemed to bother her.  

Even though I only spent those few hours with her I felt like I had known her for years when she left.  It was as though a little breath of fresh air came into my life that day.  She inspired me to say the least.

I loved seeing the photos of her house in Sydney on The Design Files recently.  In particular I loved this photo of her console table which is filled with beautiful things and so beautifully placed. 

I will be sure to post more about Megan Morton here as her exciting project comes to fruition.


Saturday, 15 October 2011

Saturday Musings

I find that I am constantly intrigued by the collections of things people have in their homes.  It's so interesting seeing what people surround themselves with.  Home to me is the most important and special place on earth.  Home is where I find solace, rest and happiness and home is where I surround myself with only the things I love.

The more I help people decorate their homes, the more I try to impress upon them that it's not about having the latest and greatest.  It's about filling your home with things you absolutely adore, cherish and hold close to your heart. 

Photographer Oberto Gili's New York home was recently featured on NYSD and to say I was intrigued by his collections is an understatement.

Throughout the article he talks about his idea of home and I was particularly interested in this quote which he said a landscape gardener friend of his once said -

“Unless a home becomes a love affair, it is not a success.” You have to love every single little thing—if it doesn’t have a memory, a story, it doesn’t count.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Pip Boydell Debut Exhibition

We are very excited to be presenting the debut exhibition of paintings by Pip Boydell at Black & Spiro which will open on Thursday 3rd November, 2011. 

Pip has aptly named her collection of paintings Treasure.  Whether sitting on a mantel, resting in a vase, hiding in a jewellery box or fluttering by in the breeze;  there are many things of beauty to be found in our every day lives.  Often small and often simple, they are no less things of delicacy and of grace.  To covet, to love and to inspire - these are your own little bits of treasure from your every day.  The works in Treasure capture these beautiful objects from the every day on paper using watercolour paints, pigment inks and gold leaf.

There will be approximately 30 pieces which will be hung in 3 cluster walls at Black & Spiro from the opening night, 3rd November 2011 through to Christmas.

The paintings are to die for.  There are about 10 pieces I am coveting myself and as this is Pip's first exhibition I must say the prices are extremely reasonable. 

If you would like an invitation to attend the opening night at which time we will also be unveiling our 2011 Black & Spiro Christmas windows along with a few other little surprises, please email me - . We would absolutely love to see you. 

all artworks in above images by pip boydell

Monday, 10 October 2011

City Apartment

I thought I would share some photos of an apartment I have been working on.  This beautiful apartment occupies the entire floor of a building in the city.  I have been working with these clients for many years.  I actually think they were one of my first clients.  They are so loyal and supportive and just the most beautiful people I could hope to work with.   It is always a pleasure working with them on the projects they have me help them with.

It is quite obvious that my work in this apartment is slightly more sophisticated and probably more modern than the other jobs I have posted on the blog in the past.

I designed this armchair which we had made in a bold, bright patterned fabric.  I wanted the chair to have a high back so that it contrasted against the very low slung modern sofa.  This chair really does become such a feature in their formal sitting room.  I can't wait to place the 2 upholstered ottomans we are about to have made into the room as I think they will finish it off beautifully.  I also need to find a beautiful lamp to place on the table against the wall behind the sofa.

This is the t.v. room and sitting area off the kitchen.

Here's a corner in the master bedroom.  It was very interesting getting that large chair in through the doorway of the apartment!!

A very special photo wall which we hung in the master bedroom above an antique roll top desk and a vintage chair we had covered in a beautiful embroidered floral fabric.

Here's a little snapshot of their outdoor terrace.  We incorporated some citrus yellow and taupe in this very comfortable exterior sitting room.

I should have taken some more photos of their main bedroom as we made their bed head out of a beautiful silvered linen and then wallpapered the wall behind their bed in a matching silvered plain wallpaper.  It is divine.  Maybe when I'm there next I can get some more pics to share!!

I hope you enjoyed this little sneak peek...

Saturday, 8 October 2011

For The Lovers of Blue & White

I emailed this picture of our new Black & Spiro window display to my mother last night.  She wanted every jar in the picture.  I think that's the thing with blue and white, it becomes an obssession. I can't count how many blue and white pieces my mum has in her collection but no matter how many she already has, she continues to collect more and more. 

I think this recent delivery of beautiful blue and white pieces is the most amazing one we've ever had.  You should come in and see the others we have placed throughout the store.  It's hard to pick a favourite!!


Friday, 7 October 2011

An Inspired Day

Earlier this week I posted about my thoughts on inspiration and what inspires me.  I was thrilled to read that a few bloggers were inspired by my thoughts and words. 

I couldn't stop thinking about inspiration this week and not only what inspires me but also about my lack of inspiration at times. 

To say that I have been a little bit uninspired lately would be letting you in on a big secret because in my job I need to be inspired all of the time and I need to be coming up with wonderful, exciting things which are different and unique.  However, it does, at times become very hard to keep on coming up with the goods so-to-speak.  That's when I think I need to step away from my crazy life for a few days and appreciate all the beauty and inspiration around me. 

So this morning I declared this a day of finding some inspiration.  As I was driving to work I saw this beautiful tree cascading pretty pink flowers over the roof of an old run-down shed.  I had never noticed it before and yet I drive passed it every single day.

Then as I was waiting for a truck to arrive with some furniture I was installing into a beautiful old home in New Farm I sat on the front fence and noticed all the Jacaranda trees are starting to flower.

Inspiration really is everywhere.  It's just how you interpret it and apply it to your own life which counts.  As Daryl Wark said earlier this week in response to my post,  find what it is that inspires you and run with it.  Don't follow the pack.  Trends will come and go.  Personal style is eternal. 

And on that note, I will retire for this week.  I am off to find some more inspiration in my garden.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011


My morning started in the garden collecting some bougainvillea which I plonked into a vase and packed into the car along with a full load of lovely things.  I headed off on my journey down to Broadbeach on the Gold Coast where I spent the day installing new furniture at an apartment I have had the pleasure of working on over the past few months. 

My grand plans of arranging the big bunch of pretty pink bougainvillea in a vase on my clien'ts new sideboard went down the drain about halfway there when the bunch and the water fell out of the vase as I was going around a corner.  By the time I arrived at the Coast the poor flowers had dropped.  I had to improvise.  I found a native bush in the front garden of the apartment building which I cut a few branches from.  They looked great arranged in the glass vase on the sideboard along with the other new bits and pieces I organised for her.

It was a full day of unpacking new furniture and placing pieces, cushions, lamps and accessories.  The owners of this apartment actually built the building way back in the 60's.  It has a divine view of the beach and the breeze is sensational.

I didn't want to leave.  I could have stayed on for days and days.  Unfortunately B&S and my boys can't survive without me so I reluctantly left my client so that she could enjoy her beautiful new things.  It's so rewarding seeing a project come to fruition and especially when the client is a happy one at the end of the day.  Phew!! 

I wish I took more photos but I only had my phone with me so I quickly snapped these as I was leaving...


Monday, 3 October 2011

What Inspires You?

Many people ask Designers the age old question - What Inspires you?  To be honest, I find it a very hard question to answer.  Pin-pointing exactly what inspires me is never really something I can put into words. 

However, in saying that the more I think about it and the more I learn and the more experiences I have there is one word which seems to ring around and around in my head.  It is something I strive for every single day and it is something I truly admire in successful, innnovative people.

The word is originality which is defined as - The capacity to act or think independently.

I once read a quote by John Mason which said - 'You were born an original, don't die a copy.'  To be an original, to be an innovator, to create something you can call your own.  Isn't that what we all strive for in this life?  To have full confidence in your own ability to create something wonderful is when everything falls into place.  I hope that when I look back on my life I will be able to say I was an innovator and I was always true to my original self.

I was recently extremely inspired by a book on Celia Birtwell which was given to me as a gift.  Her beautiful prints are unmistakable and it has been said that her work does not date.  So true in fact that her Mystic Daisy pattern, as worn by Kate Moss in 2006, was a sellout for Topshop and yet this very same pattern was worn by Jane Birkin in the 70's. 

In her own words about the process of collecting her thoughts for her book, Celia Birtwell says - 'that my life has been a patchwork of happy accidents without path or planning:  and how hugely privileged I am that my prints have a language of their own that people really enjoy and understand.'

Her work stands out on it's own full of confidence and originality.  There is nothing like it.  Celia Birtwell is an inspiration.