Tuesday, 12 June 2012

BUNNY WILLIAMS : My favourite designer!

I have become familiar with the inimitable style of  Bunny Williams by  reading her books.  Her warm, frank writing style,  describes her interiors which are so inviting and comfortable.  Her use of layers upon layers, results in a design aesthetic which is rich, textured, comfortable,  yet underpinned with enormous style.    

My first introduction to Bunny was through her book "An affair with a house".  I have read this book from cover to cover. How wonderful to have loved a home for over 30 years.  One can see how comfortable  the house is and how welcoming it would be to guests  and friends.    Her shop in New York - Treillage is  top of my list when visiting New York.

Bunny's style is bold yet comfortable and she uses books, collections, artwork, flowers and objets d'art  to create the texture of home and comfort. There is a combination of strength and softness,  traditional and eccentric, all achieved by meticulous planning.  Her upholstery is well-proportioned and beautifully detailed. She uses pieces with a beautiful depth of patina.  I love her lamps and find that her pieces are individual and not meant to be offered in different finishes.   Like her,  I don't believe that a home is a showpiece, but rather a place to feel relaxed in, where one feels enveloped by comfort and surrounded by things that we love.  Bunny's approach in interior design is to create a lifestyle and a home showing us how to live with style and comfort. 
To read more about Bunny and look at her beautiful design work go here .  See her Treillage online shop for the most adorable additions to your home.  My particular favourites are the blue and white porcelain.. which are featured at the beginning of this post!

Below are photos of some of her design work and there is so much more to see on her website.
In a Sea Island Escape - I love the screen

The scale of the large single beds is impressive as well as the fabric used for the comforters.
Great Ottoman
I love the scale of the massive turtle shell in front of the black mirror as well as the animal print chairs

Just the right blue on the walls
What a happy room in a house in Provence.

An apartment in New York - rich and textured
I love the dining room in the same apartment - beautiful chairs and notice the lamps on the table
The last photo in this apartment - a cosy sitting area with an  animal print ottoman

This bold big kitchen - A Texas ranch
This beautiful bedroom in the ranch-house in Texas

The living room in an East Hampton Retreat - I love the introduction of yellow to the blue/white scheme

The dining room in East Hampton - note the bold door architraves and view through to the living room
A beautiful sea-side bedroom

Tuesday, 22 May 2012


I do love the fabulous advertisements in glossy magazines for luxury goods.   Earlier this year the new 'butterfly' ad for the new over-sized Hermes scarf simply took my breath away.  The delicate beauty of a young girl standing close to a huge old tree, with a magnificent scarf flying away from her body.. compelling, ethereal and delicate.  An incredible concept.

This luxury goods giant was founded in 1837 by Thierry Hermes, manufacturing wrought harnesses which later lead to saddlery and the beginning of retail sales.  In 1880 the shop on rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore was opened where it remains today.  Handbags and women's couture followed and in 1935 the 'Kelly bag' was introduced.   One hundred years after the original founding, scarves were introduced for which this house is probably most famous.

Today Hermes has numerous product divisions, - leather, scarves, ties, men's wear, women's fashion perfume, watches, stationery, footwear, gloves, enamel, decorative arts, tableware and jewelry.

What I find the most interesting is that Hermes has always resisted mass production, assembly lines and mechanisation.  Their goods are almost entirely made in France by hand with an emphasis on quality, often made from beginning to end by one person.  

Their Homeware division is irresistible!  How I would love to gaze across my table beautifully laid with a range of their beautiful dinnerware and crystal.  

I love their blankets

Most of all, I adore their scarves.
A dear friend gave me a vintage scarf which belonged to her late mother for a recent
 birthday.   I have also received these treasures from my family over the years and never tire of them.

Saturday, 19 May 2012



A while ago, I began thinking that the living room at South Acres was too wintry and a little too brown.  What to do?  A quick search and I came up with a palette that I hope works with the carpet and the red chair.  I had the two sofas recovered in a neutral linen the chair in soft aqua.  What do you think? 

the 'wintry' version

even with updated ottoman - I still felt it looked drab
the new palette
I think I am happy with the result...interior photographing is so difficult..

 taken last night..  new fabric definitely lightens up the room

are we ever completely sure of our decisions?

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

TAKING IT SLOW... Boundary street in Rushcutters Bay.

Boundary Street, Rushcutters Bay in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs has become a top Interior Design precinct!  I am usually driving through and not being able to stop when something gorgeous catches my eye, is frustrating!  Last week, after an appointment close by,  I decided on a slow stroll passing through Boundary Street.  

'Antiques, modern furniture and the top-end of the rag trade are all here' - Melissa Penfold.

My first stop was Thonet. This shop doesn't advertise and has been selling it's famous bentwood chairs for over 35 years.  The Nr. 14 Thonet chair was designed by Michael Thonet in Austria in 1859 - is still called the "chair of chairs" with some 50 million produced by 1930! Imagine how many have been produced now!  

Next along was a new find -  Posto - a newly established coffee/eatery with a huge counter right on the pavement making take-out coffee easy and a peak over the counter showed a light and airy interior.  A quick glance at the menu and words like figs, pear compote, eggs with Jerusalem artichokes and truffle, cranberries, aioli jumped off the page and I immediately dog-eared Posto for a future visit!

Note the bi-fold windows above the counter, leaving this large space open to the street!

I love the subway tiles, wooden bench tops and the copper overhead lights. Note the Thonet chairs and bar-stools.

Just a couple of steps away is Grafton Galleries Antiques and standing in the doorway is Stella - adorable dog belonging to the owner, Hartley Cook.

Grafton Galleries Antiques is a 3rd generation family business.  The business was started by Hartley's grand-mother and was resident in Double Bay for 60 years, before moving to Boundary Street 7 years ago.

 This beautiful cabinet with interior lighting

Grafton Galleries' window

Then it was on to Boyac 

and Geraldine Cooper 

and Elliott Clarke

Botanical beauty in the window.. needed to find out which one it is but lunch was calling and can't keep Mr R-I waiting !

Friendly Dimitri at his coffee station - Cafe Maybach also in Boundary Street.   Enjoy breakfasts, lunches, sweet treats and coffee surrounded by hi-tech cars in this cafe, located in one of Sydney's premier Mercedes dealerships.

Lunch was delicious pan-fried trout on buttery mash potato with fresh asparagus!
Must do this more often !

Sunday, 13 May 2012

MALLY SKOK - prints and ikat!

Referring to my previous post on colour,  and inspired by Mally Skok's fabric - 'Samode' in taupe/yellow,  I couldn't resist looking for more in this lovely colour combination. Mustard, taupe, grey and brown -  these colours merge together so effortlessly.
And I just love the dinner-ware above!

The gorgeous dress below, again, using the same colour combination.


'Kass' in yellow from Kravet 

Laura Egbi - 'simple treasures'

Gingko leaves

My current penchant, is for ethnic prints and ikat.  Mally Skok's  'Samode' (see below) is a favourite.   Visit Mally's website here to see more of her fabrics - her ikat collection is wonderful and she recently launched her 'Africa' collection. 
Although I have not met Mally, except through social media, I knew her sister in Cape Town and we have numerous mutual friends there.    Impressive however,  is the successful launching of her fabric range in the USA.  A great achievement.  I had a look for her fabrics here in Australia, and discovered that they are available through Tigger Hall  in Melbourne. 
I have also been introduced to glorious new textiles by cloth and kind.  Please visit Krista's beautiful blog

Sunday, 6 May 2012


After years of neutrals, 'antique french white' as well as 'the belgian look'  COLOUR has made a strong return in the past couple of years,  and I couldn't be happier !!

As far as the 'french look' goes,...   having visited France a few times, I have yet to see that much 'the french look'  being very evident there,  especially when one leaves Paris!  This look, however, has been replicated in most other parts of the world for years and has been very popular. The 'belgian look' is calm and restrained and elegant and Alex  Verwoerd has supplied much inspiration.   "Timeless Interiors" to mention just one.

We all love the beautiful natural linens and there will always be a place for them but bright colours, florals, botanics and prints took a back seat for a while and I celebrate their return.  

This year's Pantone colour of the year is "Tangerine Tango", and is alive, warm, happy and fabulous!  Tangerine or Orange has been a long time favourite of mine and I am always drawn to this lovely colour.  


I love tangerine with aqua,  grey, cream and also with natural linen!.

Tangerine Tango is not orange... it is cooler than orange with more depth.  

Lovely on the walls in this traditional room

This lovely colour brings life and warmth to it's setting and a little goes a long way!

My veranda in Sydney - although not tangerine,  I love how the orange lifts this corner !

Penny standing next to the orange chair in the  downstairs living-room in Sydney.