A Blue Mountains Holiday

Saturday, July 29, 2017

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We recently enjoyed family weekend away in the Blue Mountains. With the family-friendly Fairmont Resort as our base, we enjoyed exploring the natural beauty of the region.

On a solo afternoon walk, I fell in love with the homes and gardens of Leura. You don't have to squint very hard to feel like you are somewhere in England.

The kids loved the various rides at Scenic World during which we stumbled upon Sculpture at Scenic World. This was an intoxicating exhibition of world-class sculptures set within a pristine rainforest of the Blue Mountains. What a joy to stumble upon such a special event!
^ The houses in Leura have the most beautiful gardens.
^ The two sisters and the Three Sisters.
^ The gardens of the Fairmont Resort are stunning and perfect for little kids.
^ 3D Webs, 2016 by Louisa Magrics.
^ Green Screen, 2017 by Elin & Keino.
^ On the Cableway at Scenic World.
^ More Leura gardens beauty.


10 Modern Letterboxes

Monday, July 10, 2017

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There are so many decisions to make when building a new house. Many details seem to overlap and influence each other. I often find I change one thing with a resulting domino effect of other changes. We're finalising the interior of the house with some great help from Therese from Full of Grace Interiors

It's surprising how excited I am to work on the garden. I think it is because it is something I can do mostly myself and there is ample room for creativity. A garden is such an important part of creating a beautiful house and I know our girls will spend a lot of time out there.

I've been looking for a modern letterbox and after much hunting I wanted to share with you my favourites. The good news is they come at a range of prices.

1. Galvanised Metal Letterbox by Metware from Mitre10 NZ
2. Angled Roof Letterbox with Mounting Post from Letterbox Warehouse
3. Cardrona Letterbox by Metware from Letterboxes.nz
4. Basel Letterbox by Arko Furniture
5. Arko Letterbox by Arko Furniture
6. Cabin Wooden Letterbox Natural by Alpine Products from Mitre10 NZ
7. TomTom Letterbox by DesignbyThem
9. Urban Mailbox by Box Design from Vanilla Design Store
10. Sefton Letterbox by Metware from Letterboxes.nz

^ Arko Letterbox
^ Basel Letterbox
^ Kate Kelly Letterbox with Timber Post
^ TomTom Letterbox


A Pettit and Sevitt house

Thursday, June 15, 2017

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There is a Pettit and Sevitt house near us that has recently been on the market.

If you have an interest in Australian architecture then you will know about Pettit and Sevitt. They were a popular home builder in the 60s and 70s who specialised in project homes that were functional and modern.

The home we saw was the home of Dr Ric Stand and his wife who bought the especially large (3000m2) and pie-shaped block in 1966. It has magnificent gardens with multiple outdoor areas and view into the valley.

What captivated me about this house was its concept of two pavilions joined by a glass entry way. I've seen this concept so many times and always loved it. It is the architectural feature that helped us solve the problem of building across our sloping block whilst ensuring both living spaces had north solar access.

I have waked past this house many times and always wanted to look beyond the garden. Like many homes from this era, the front of the house looked like the back of the house. This was because of an understanding of the importance of the flow of the living spaces and the yard. Ahead of their time. 

I don't know why they stopped building this way in the first place. With all that we know now about solar orientation and how people want to move about their homes, so many homes are still built without any consideration of the modern needs of people, the orientation and the block itself.

^ Blue tiles brought back from Delhi
^ Mughal ceramic-pierced windows in the courtyard


Canberra Antiques Centre

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

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I always love to duck into Canberra Antiques Centre when I'm kid-free. They have a great range of furniture, clothing and bric-a-brac items that changes fairly regularly. 

I'm keeping an eye out for feature pieces for Chifley House. Although we don't want to over-furnish the new house, it is always good to open to falling in love with a special piece.

Check out the mega-terrazzo stone top table they had recently. And the lovely little marble top side table with drawer.


Villa Freshwater, a P&O house

Sunday, May 14, 2017

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I have been meaning to share some photos of a little holiday house we stayed at last year. Villa Freshwater is a beautiful example of P&O architecture situated on Sydney's north shore.

The Villa is an independently accessible two bedroom flat behind the main house. It has been beautifully and tastefully designed and decorated with a nod to nautical style but without the usual fruit salad basket of seashells and frangipani paintings.

^ Pastries from Mrs Jones the Baker in Freshwater village


'Illalong' and Banjo Paterson

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

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We recently visited a friend at her family homestead 'Illalong', a magical place that is famously known as the childhood homestead of Banjo Paterson. 

The current house is a beautiful white quintessential farmhouse with high ceilings and a deep wrap around verandah. We perched ourselves on this verandah to undertake a hot cross bun competition (Canberra vs Murrumbateman vs Yass) and watch our offspring play under the autumn trees in the warm and still afternoon air. 

Then it was off for a laid-back easter egg hunt under a large pergola heaving with wisteria. I learned that this was the location of the original Paterson family house. The wisteria must be many decades old. Aside from its considerable girth it bears another sign of its old age. Early on in its life, it somehow managed to snatch a piece of the Paterson house corrugated roof and engulf it. Thought the rest of the house is gone, the piece of galv still remains twisted in its branches like a trophy.

^ Banjo's wisteria is bigger than yours...


The Berry markets

Sunday, April 30, 2017

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It was about 16 years ago that I heard a work colleague saying she was driving to Berry just to go to the Berry Markets and ever since then I have really wanted to check out the region. I just love scavenging and I love markets and I even love country towns.

During our Berry break, I managed to catch the famous markets and my photos don't really do it justice. They are quite big and I was really pleased to see a lot of regional makers and vendors selling home made goods plus lots of genuine antiques and knick-knacks. Some really unusual things.

I walked way with two antique suitcases. One aluminium with a navy spot lining and previously belonged to a Qantas pilot and the other stripy with gold embossed initials! Love them.

There were some really cool finds and I tried to take lots of pics so you can see the awesome variety of amazing finds.

I would definitely like to go back. The Berry Markets are on the first Sunday of the month (except February). All up I'd say 3 days and 2 nights would be the perfect amount of time to spend in Berry tasting, shopping and marketing.


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