May 25, 2012

I love wood.






In New Zealand it's basically a cardinal sin to paint over wood. We love our native timber.
 As giddy as I get over fresh white paint... there is nothing as welcoming and earthy as wood.

In the interiors like the ones above, wood has been used to its full potential. The looks you can create with wood are endless. Do you agree it completely warms the space and goes with everything?

HAPPY FRIDAY :)

1 / 2/ 3/ 4/ 5

May 16, 2012

Bedroom plans & virtual makeover

Remember I was stuck on this design dillema for our existing bedroom?
I love how getting some feedback can consolidate your ideas. I saw this yellow Robert Allen fabric the next day and immediately knew what I wanted:

The fabrics are both by Robert Allen (the yellow one is Vintage Blossom, and the multi-coloured is Kiki Pinata) and the lamps are from Joss&Main, although I can't purchase them over here and would be looking for second-hand lamps instead.

I was torn between keeping it neutral for once, or adding colour. But in my life, colour always wins...

Then just for fun, a virtual mockup:
(It looks a bit garrish because I photoshopped fresh print colours onto an artificial-lighting photo, but you get the idea.)

Now my biggest problem is getting the fabrics in New Zealand - they are cheap on Fabric.com if you live in the states... but I'm looking at around $150 to get it in NZ. Challenges!

Are you into colourful bedrooms? Or do you like to keep it soft and neutral in your sleeping area?

 

May 10, 2012

What would you do...

white bedroom, interior design

I have a million and one ideas for our bedroom, mostly involving lots of colour.

Currently it's extremely simple and neutral... and I think I kinda like it, for a change!

As you can see - we haven't even got bedside lamps yet, and our colourscheme is white-on-white (with some existing sage-grey walls on either side that I can't see us bothering to paint). I love the idea of adding some colour and yellow lamps like below...


or there are the soft layers and a worn-in look that also appeals to me, but could take a while to create..



I'm also really drawn to bright colours, pinks, yellows, orange... or soft girly colours like pink and grey... in fact I have a colour addiction. I wonder if just for once I should stick to neutrals and make that room a soft haven - I am a sucker for a cuddly sheepskin....! Either way, it needs some love and attention.


The scenario is that we have:
                  1. Very little time - I'm studying around 13 hrs a day and weekends and Cal is doing virtually everything else
                  2. A pretty tight budget - this is our first home and I'm a student!

                                                                 What would you do??


 
Bedroom 2 via
Bedroom 3 via 

May 9, 2012

Design-a-Wedding: Peonies & Sparkles

This design has become so close to my heart I almost didn't want to share (...almost.)

It's feminine and glittery... with plenty of silver and pink and white.....
If it was a food, it would be Ambrosia...creamy, sweet, and speckled with marshmallows.

It's definitely my favourite. Ever.

Let's set the scene:

Um-hmmmmm.
Those ARE sparkley shoes. Because this wedding is not formal. Nope. And YOU, with these babies on your toes, are a stunner. There are no traditions here. Heck - I don't even envision a ceremony taking place. Maybe you get the legal stuff over with at the registry office, spend the afternoon on a fun photo shoot, then meet your friends and family here. This wedding (or anniversary. Or vow renewal. Or birthday...) is just one big party around a beautifully set table. With only your nearest and dearest. In your meadow of a backyard, of course.

The guests arrive to pre-dinner snacks and drinks arranged casually all over..



And a big old table with simple coverings..

...heavily laden with haphazard peonies and other sparkly bits

and maybe the guests meander around the pergola for a while. Which, if you are being fancy, is decorated with ambrosia-coloured streamers
But maybe it isn't - and you just have climbing roses tangled around the surrounded trellises instead. 
Because you have an epic garden, of course.

And then you arrive.

Shabang!
(And you thought you were wearing a long gown, right?)
You are wearing a cute, short dress. With feathers or sparkles or ruffley bits that you would never wear elsewhere because you feel too fancy. Maybe your hair is out/loose and you have a whole lot of gorgeous jewellery spilling off your appendiges.
(ears and arms, people!)

The cake isn't big - and it was probably made in your mother's kitchen - and it's iced roughly with generous amounts of butter icing (no plastic-smooth royal icing here), and topped with you know what...


(Plus don't forget the bling!)

Since this is a small wedding, you have broken out the silverware, AND...
 
...the jewelled hair bands can double as napkin rings, if you so wish. How fancy would that be? You could get cheap hair sparkles from a costume-jewellery store, and wrap them around big cloth napkins at each plate setting. If you are feeling generous, your guests could keep them as favours.

Or you could have:
These cute little burlap-bag favours, filled with pieces of rock sugar. I have been kind of obsessed with rock sugar since I had it as a kid. It was heaven for a sweet-tooth like me - just like sugar, only bigger!
 It's pretty too.

OR you could have no favours at all. Because really, they aren't nesessary (although a nice gesture) and since this isn't a formal event, why not just enjoy getting dressed up and laughing with your favourite people?
Whilst dripping with diamonds?

(A girl can dream)

As for the rest of the day/night - well it's up to you. But may it be pretty and shiny and deliciously sweet.



 Pic sources:

Mint Juleps
White flower spray
Peony cake with bling
Bridal hair and shoes
Others via

May 6, 2012

Sunday Sweets: Boysenberry cream cupcakes with secret choc filling

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 boysenberry chocolate cupcakes, cupcake recipe, best ever cupcakes
 boysenberry chocolate cupcakes, cupcake recipe, best ever cupcakes

These cupcakes are YUM.
They are moist and tasty even without icing. (The test of a good cupcake.)


It's my own recipe invented this morning - as always! Just in time for my Dad's birthday.

The cupcake and icing are subtley flavoured with berry jam, which keeps it super moist  - and have either cream or sour cream in them. Which I believe is the secret to a good cupcake. (Trust me, I am FUSSY. And fat is not bad for you. At all.)

The recipe is below...
P.S - can't WAIT for an slr camera.
P.P.S - Lindt chocolate is the best in the world
P.P.P.S - Husband vote: "These are probably the best cupcakes I've ever eaten."


Here's my recipe:
115gm butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar (I use 50:50 brown and white. Brown sugar tastes better in baking!)
2 eggs
1 cup self-raising flour (or 1 cup normal flour with 1 tspn baking powder)
2 Tbspn milk
1 Tbspn boysenberry jam (raspberry works well. Add more if you want a strong flavour)
1 Tbspn cream (or sour cream)

Method:
- Whip the butter and sugar together, add the eggs, jam and cream and mix well. Then sift in the flour and baking powder, along with the milk.
- Spoon into cupcake cases (mine are cute silicon ones from my Bridal Shower. Love them!). And poke a good chunk of nice chocolate into the batter. I recommend never using cooking chocolate - it doesn't taste that good.
- Bake at 180c until lightly browned and the top springs back when pushed (about 11 minutes in my oven)

Icing:
I make this up as I go but basically make a cream cheese frosting (but I used sour cream, and it worked. Had a nice yoghurty taste), then add a spoon or 2 of jam for colour and flavour, to taste.

I recommend putting a big blob of icing on, followed by a square of nice dark chocolate.








May 5, 2012

TGIF & Funky colours for entertaining

Welcome to the weekend!


 Here's a peak at what I'm up to - finally an Architecture school assignment about interior colour schemes.

I have LOVED getting to create a colour board complete with swatches (and can't wait to install a giant pinboard in our office to tack samples and inspiration to. One day).



This is just a small assignment due next week. There was no need to add furnishings but I couldn't help myself... obviously.
I chose to throw together an "Artistic living room for entertaining".


(I'm not handing this virtual board in as part of the assignment, but I did like daydreaming...)

Anyway - I'm off to build a 1:200 scale model of a site and building we are working on.... that's MY weekend, how's YOURS lookin?


May 2, 2012

Reader wedding design: Preppy Navy Pinstripes

I've recently been working on some wedding design ideas for a reader, and thought I'd share them here with you. Sarah is keen on a Preppy style wedding and had some great colour schemes in mind. Here's the one I've chosen for the design:
Yes, it looks bright in the above pic, but the pink will only be used for highlights and the Preppy look can afford a bit of zing.

I think the number one rule to make this look work is....:
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Even thinner pinstripes than this would be great!

Let's set the scene with the invites - Sarah was keen on having a monogram and if she wants to take the easy route, you can get free printable monograms from weddingchicks.com and customise the colours and names!


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For the tables, we're going with this look:
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which can be broken down like this:

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The venue is indoors and may not be very bright, in which case Sarah may wish to use white tableclothes, with navy pinstripe napkins instead. A few succulents on the tables would also be awesome! I can see them in pots, with the pinstripe ribbon around them, and maybe the table number pinned onto the ribbon.

For the bridal party flowers...
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This yellow is a stunner! Again, adding a few succulents to the bride's bouquet really gives the preppy (and less frilly) look.

Before we go further - it's important to note that there are simply NO RULES with wedding designs anymore! You CAN use more than 3 colours, and more than 1 tone of each colour. For example, diving into some different blues and yellow/orange tones isn't going to hurt - it will probably add interest. Here's an example that would still work:
 A dresser like this can be decorated how you like - and you can keep it afterwards. You could choose a deep navy, or be brave with a different shade like above.

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Sarah fell in love with the bridesmaid dress on the right - lucky it comes in about 10 different colours! Perhaps even some fun-patterned heels would be in order... anyone brave enough for little stripes or polka dots, with a bow on top?

The groomsmen could wear suspenders and bowties....

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...with light coloured suits, and their yellow buttonhole highlights.
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Cute!

Thank you Sarah for letting me share my ideas, I hope this helps!

Those of us recently married know that the decision-making can be verrrrry hard and at times overwhelming. Can I get an amen? Share your tips below!
What 'style' of wedding would YOU have?

:)

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Striped lined envelopes by Sugar Paper
Navy bridesmaid dress
Yellow Bridesmaid dress
Bridal bouquet
Groom's buttonhole
Yellow vase and flowers
Striped table inspiration
Bowtie from Etsy
Couple pic
Cake and yellow flowers
Dresser