It's not my usual type of post, but I find a lot of prettiness happens on Instagram that some of you blog-only followers miss out on, so I thought just this once I'd bring some of that to the blog. These are scenes from the past few days - peonies are in season, Summer is arriving, artworks are getting juggled around our house.... basically everything good is happening right now, in my opinion!

Flower texture painting by Amy MacLeod - Five Kinds of Happy blog
 Snippet of a painting I've been adjusting

Old wood drawers - Amy MacLeod - Five Kinds of Happy blog
 Found these random old drawers in my Opa's workshop, they are artistically lovely (and old) with their silver knobs and I'm still deciding what to do with them

 Eclectic artwork - Amy MacLeod - Five Kinds of Happy blog
You know how you start working on one room in the house, and all the other rooms change? Things are getting eclectic round here..

Peonies, white+gold, grey scallop rug - Amy MacLeod - Five Kinds of Happy blog
For me, this is Christmassy. White + Gold and sweet treats in bowls.

Are you an IG fan? Isn't it addictive and oh-so-easy?

All images from Instagram, user: amy_fivekindsofhappy

Personalised Pinboard - DIY

Hey everyone, 

Do you have a generic brown cork pinboard that's an eyesore on your wall? (Or are you not as fussy as me?). 

I bought one recently for our office redo, but the dark colour of it just wasn't working. (This room is pretty small - the new paint and curtains have done miracles at lightening the space up, but anything dark on the wall doesn't help).

So the white pinboard was born...

DIY personalised painted pinboard by Amy MacLeod - Five Kinds of Happy blog

Ok, I'm going to be the first to point out what you will soon be thinking:

1. It's imperfect. I painted everywhere except the space inside of the 'M'. But I didn't tape it off (obviously) as it just happened under my paintbrush, freehand. If I had known that's what my hand was going to do, well, then I might have tried using a template or pencilling it in first..... luckily it happens that the messy look it just part of the charm of this office. That's what I'm calling it.

2. Speaking of that charm... there is a lot going on in this room. It is so swollen with artistic supplies that it's evolving into more of a colourful art studio, rather than the sleek-chic look I originally hoped for. But actually, I'm really liking how it's taken on its own personality!

DIY personalised painted pinboard by Amy MacLeod - Five Kinds of Happy blog

DIY personalised painted pinboard by Amy MacLeod - Five Kinds of Happy blog
{just so you know, my schedule isn't actually that empty, I just try to focus on something different each day}

DIY personalised painted pinboard by Amy MacLeod - Five Kinds of Happy blog

Kinda loving this colour combo, and the lovely peony with a few mementos from overseas. Oh yeah, and an ant photo-bombed my shot. Can you see it?

I actually enjoy working from this room now, and am looking forward to giving you a proper office reveal soon! (The hold-up being that part of the decor is a 'christmas present' to my husband...)

I have seen so many cool pinboard ideas around and have to admit this is more simple than most. Have you revamped a pinboard before?

Two things...


Today I want to share 2 things.

  1. I just discovered Est Magazine online for interior and designy things - you sign up online, and it's totally free. I'm trying to make an effort to connect and follow more closely with down-under design, and this snap from their latest issue won me over:

Elodie's interior by Est Magazine
Boom. White + pink + yellow is always my favourite.

2. Do you know Tiffany Leigh? Her interior design blog is awesomely stylish and I've just been talking about my favourite piece of furniture over there - you can check it out here.

Hope you enjoy the start to your week and I'll be back tomorrow!
Who's with me on the pink + yellow love??

I'm still working on...

...our office redo.

Office redo progress - Five Kinds of Happy blog

 Seriously, has anyone ever done an office redo? Was it nearly impossible to fuse good-looking with functional? Maybe I'm just being paranoid but something about non-matching stationary and ugly filing cabinet that pokes out from under the giant faux-beech desk makes me all kinds of blogger-nervous. 

You see, our office is real. 
(I mostly mean messy.)
...ah, Pinterest and it's flawless sleek lucite perfections that noone could ever actually work in.....
I say Pfffft to that.

If our office ends up a mixture of beechy veneer and tacky neon accessories from the local tweenage store, so be it. (Who am I kidding. I love those neon accessories. And you shall see more of them right here when this room is finito!)

Flower Bomb - abstract art

Today I sat down and started painting. (You might have seen some of the process on Instagram).
And if it looks like I'm painting on a desk with no newspaper or anything to keep the desk and keyboard clean......... you would be correct.
What can I say, I'm a spontaneous-creativity type of person.
When a girl's gotta paint, she's gotta paint.

Flower Bomb abstract art by Amy MacLeod

Flower Bomb abstract art by Amy MacLeod

Flower Bomb abstract art by Amy MacLeod

It was one of those happy accidents (I didn't start out intending to paint anything in particular, I was just experimenting with my new paints I suppose) and while I have absolutely no idea if it would appeal to the average Joe (it looks a bit childish in the pic above when you can't see the texture), the colours make me giddy and the texture of the paint is so thick I want to dive right in. I have popped it on the easel to dry (ironic) and in my opinion it looks kind of amazing with the geometric rug and pillows in our living room - sweet deal. Next time I'll try a black or dark background.

Oh, and if you are wondering about whether anything more has happened to our office project... well it kinda has, but to be honest I'm still waiting an inspired moment of enlightenment to hit me for how to make it awesome.
I had a mini-gallery-wall at the ready, but  literally anything on the walls seems to only make this tiny office feel tinier. So I shall keep thinking and let you know!

Have you done any painting lately? What style was it?

How to style a mantel / fireplace

How was your weekend?
I celebrated Thanksgiving for the first time ever (it's not really a thing in this part of the world) and I'm now quite jealous of people living in the States who get to eat pumpkin pie every year.

Today I thought I'd share what I know about styling a fireplace/mantel based on the one in our living room.

How to style a mantel/fireplace by Amy MacLeod

I'll be honest: our fireplace came to together almost by accident. The mirror ended up on the hearth because it was too heavy for the wall, for example, and I decided I liked it there better anyway. The rest happened over time and was positioned by eye. But everything about it works, so here's a how-to for achieving balance with a fireplace/mantel.

1. Asymmetry - Consider the halfway point

Imagine a line down the centre of the wall and consider what goes on each side. In this case, asymmetry totally worked for us. Some things are close to the centre line, and some further away, but overall each object/cluster on the right side, is weighted by another object/cluster on the right. Think of it like a see-saw.

How to style a mantel/fireplace by Amy MacLeod

2. Mix hard and soft
If you are using a lot of frames on a wall, mix in some soft organic forms. In this case the peonies and rounded jars/vase balance out the geometric squares of the pictures.

How to style a mantel/fireplace by Amy MacLeod

3. Objects high and low
As you can see above, it's not just the wall and mantel that need attention, but also the objects on the hearth. Try putting a collection of pieces around the edges of the fireplace - or if you don't use it for fires, like us, experiment with a painting or patterned grate to cover it.

How to style a mantel/fireplace by Amy MacLeod

4. Horizontal + vertical = balance
One way to achieve balance without symmetry is to group a vertical arrangement on one side (i.e - something tall and skinny like this stack of DVDs and wooden letters) with a horizontal arrangement on the other (like the cross and candles, which are wider than they are high).

5. Rule of threes
I don't believe this is a hard and fast rule, but it's a safe one, and if you are clustering objects then more often than not a group of 3 will look best.

How to style a mantel/fireplace by Amy MacLeod

6. Stand back
No wall is an island - consider it from right back, so you can see it in the context of the whole room. In our case the flower lamp hanging from the ceiling just balances the arrangement out further - score!

How to style a mantel/fireplace by Amy MacLeod

Was that helpful? I realise the blog world goes crazy at Christmas time with 'mantel styling' left right and centre, and maaayybe this year I'll jump on board too (since I actually have a fireplace this time). But I wanted to leave you with something that will work at any time of year. :)

Speaking of which, at this time last year, here's how this fireplace looked:

How to style a mantel/fireplace - BEFORE pic - by Amy MacLeod

Ouch! The very first thing I did (before we moved in) was paint the fireplace with white enamel, and Cal painted that weird grey-green wall a generic cream to match the others. Painting over all of that ugliness was bliss!

Do you have a fireplace you will be playing stylist with this year? Are you a fan of the asymmetrical look, or more into the symmetry? I've seen a lot of both at the moment!