Friday, 30 September 2011

Untouched: Rustic. Raw. Rugged.

There is something about the crackling of paint, the charm of unfinished wood, the raw beauty of exposed beams and the industrial appeal of exposed brick. All of these elements add up to a look that I deem as the most beautiful look a home can acquire - rustic, raw and rugged.

Nuevo Estilo via The Style Files

Perhaps it is the mere age of tired looking furniture that lends its appeal. Knowing that that particular piece has lived through ages I can only dream about, travelled to far corners of the globe and witnessed the lives of countess people throughout it all. Perhaps it’s the mystery I seek. The thrill of knowing the crooked wall, tired wooden beams and rustic brickwork came from another time. Another life. The ‘untouched’ look lends itself to many interior styles: rustic, country, vintage… Whichever the style, what is always most striking is that way the item of furniture or part of the structure is left in it’s raw, natural state to be appreciated for its authenticity and original charm.

Bringing a bit of ‘untouched’ charm into your home is not as difficult as it may seem. A piece of furniture doesn’t necessarily need to be old to look old. A wall can always be stripped and treated to give it a raw look. The options are endless.

I ADORE this rustic kitchen. The main feature is of course the fantastic island, which is central to the look of this room and gives it its characteristic old world feel. What makes it truly stand out is that the island was not touched up, painted, sanded or anything. It was simply left in its original state. This kitchen would not be the same if it had been reworked.

Art & Décoration via Hungarian Provence

The above room is equally as beautiful, with its untouched, unvarnished exposed wooden beams and vintage and country style furnishings. Every item in this room seems to have been placed there for a reason. Though mismatched, it all works in perfect harmony.

Gilles Trillard via Home Bunch

I love that the chair in the above image was not painted or touched up in any way. By leaving it untouched, the chairs lines give it a romantic look, and paired with other rustic looking furnishings (the antique trestle table and gothic candlesticks), an old world charm has been created. Note also the rough, pale hued wall behind? This is rustic at its best.

RED/Polly Eltes
I love the way the shelves in the kitchen above look as though they were salvaged sleepers left over from a garden makeover. Placed in an asymmetrical fashion on a simple white wall with earthy goodies and simple white crockery, and the kitchen has an innate rustic appeal.

 Though the image above is slightly fuzzy, you can see that the exposed brick wall behind the gorgeous vintage tub gives this beautiful bathroom an industrial feel, while the furnishings give it old world appeal. You can just imagine a tired traveller from yesteryear sinking into this tub after a long day on the road…

I love the idea of utilising antique doors or shutters as a headboard that is as interesting as it is beautiful. I have been in the hunt for old doors to do this exact same thing with. I too won’t be taking out my paintbrush or sandpaper in an effort to enhance the look. The doors speak for themselves, and certainly the feature in this bedroom. I particularly love the bits of blue paint poking through. I would lie in this bed and imagine where and in whose possession these doors have been over the years…

Ballard Designs via Our Suburban Cottage

The antique wash table above is a lovely addition to this country setting. Placed in front of the exposed stone wall, and paired with a couple of fun items, this look has a country feel to it. I love the splash of turquoise too. Always a welcome addition to a neutral palette.

The shed turned home office above is my idea of heaven. Just a tiny little nook where one can read, write, knit, create, dream. Perfection. What I particularly love about this little space is the desk, which features the original sky blue paint. If it had been sanded down and painted until it was all glossy and new, I wouldn’t appreciate it nearly as much. As they say though, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. And boy do I love treasure!

Love, Holly

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Swaying in the Breeze

Summer days are on their way, and I can' think of a better way to spend them than swaying in the breeze in a hammock, with someone you love, with a good book, with a cup of tea (and steady hands), with some dappled sunshine on your face and happy thoughts in your heart.

There are so many options out there now that finding a hammock to suit your home and your lifestyle is easier than ever. Whether you fancy to 'hang' out between among the trees,

or add a touch of fun to your bedroom or lounge room,

or create a precarious yet fun addition in your pool area,

I'm sure you can find something to inspire your lazy side.

Happy relaxing,

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Just a spoon full of turquoise....

....helps almost any room go down in style. Whether it's the whole room, an accent wall, or just a well placed bottle, vase or sideboard, turquoise has the ability to add subtle glamour and eye catching charm to your living space. 

This colour scheme transports me to the beauty of crystal clear water near my home in Queensland.

What a perfect way to inject some summer into your house just in time for the warmer months, or to cling onto that summer magic for just a little while longer as the leaves begin to fall.


Friday, 16 September 2011

My market finds: vintage additions to my eclectic home

Hello readers!

I had a super productive (last) weekend, managing to steal a visit to two of my favourite antique markets, the one in my home town Delft that is on every Saturday throughout the summer, and the one in The Hague, situated on the stunning Lange Voorhout beneath a canopy of trees. I love to stroll alongside the canals in Delft to find quirky trinkets to bring home, but I also love the exclusiveness of The Hague markets, as you know you will find something truly special. I love the crunching sounds my footsteps make on the ground as I stroll from stall to stall. The ground is covered with tiny seashells and I am positive I am the only one who would notice something like that, but it's these small details that I just love about Europe! Without further ado, here is what I found!

I happened to stumble across a stall specialising in authentic vintage posters, magazine covers, postcards and much more. I scored these two La Femme de France magazine covers, dated from 1929. I have a lot of neutral tones in my home and I loved the subtlety of these. I can’t wait to get them framed and hung on the wall behind my bed!

I love the look of vintage and art nouveau posters. They can really spruce up a room and add a quirkiness that you don't get from a painting, and it’s a really inexpensive way to inject a hit of colour to your space. The images below are my inspiration.


Vintage poster featured in Living etc June 2009 via Urban Kaleidoscope

Vintage Mazdafluor poster by Herve Morvan (1957) with a Featherstone chair photograph by Lucy Feagins via Urban Kaleidoscope

I was so inspired by Lauren´s post about the many uses of vintage paper and music sheets, that my eyes lit up when I saw this old music book. There is no cover left so I don’t know when it was published, but it looks pretty old as the sheets have all yellowed with age.

I am collecting old music sheets and paper from now on to achieve a similar look to the image below. I love the idea of using paper from old books and music sheets to make wallpaper! Thanks Lauren for the lovely idea.

I fell in love with this gorgeous vintage tricycle too. I know most of you are thinking “what on earth did you buy that old thing for!” (people have actually said that to me!), but it is an authentic piece which I just had to have. I plan to use it as a decorative item, perhaps on a shelf in a focal point in my living room. It is quite big, so would really make a statement on its own, but surrounded by a few other vintage trinkets, some books and some wild flowers, it could look so preppy and retro. I like items like these which are different and compliment an eclectic or retro space. I have lots of trinkets that I ahve picked up from antique markets over the last few years, so this one will add to the space nicely, I think.

Have a beautiful weekend!

H x

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Re-purpose and Renew ~ shelving ideas

I don't know about you, but storage is something I never seem to have enough of. While browsing the latest Ikea catalog, I saw something that really caught my eye. Can you see it there, on the back wall? A  little chair, simply hung on the wall as a quirky display shelf. It really got me thinking of all the ways things we already have around our home could be re-purposed as shelving.

Here is another example of this same idea. I think some lovely indoor plants placed on the chairs would complete this picture.

Branca Rotelli Has really got this idea down pat. There are several wonderfully re-purposed shelves featured on her lovely blog. These are my favourites.

1. Skateboards
 (genius for a boys room)

2. Wooden boxes
(note the added ingenuity of using bottles to hold your bangles)

3. Hanging bucket 
(great for magazines in the bathroom)

4. re-purposed pipes
(hide your ugly pipes by attaching metal rods and using them as extra shelving)

What about securing old drawers to the wall. Placed beside the front door would make a great place to store keys, sunglasses or letters. (Who doesn't love a place to dump everything in their hands on their way in the front door?)

Stacking wooden boxes (and securing with screws I suggest) makes a lovely and rustic bookshelf.

Here is my interpretation of this concept. I've been storing a dolls house made for me by my father when I was just a little girl for years now.  I have been unable to get rid of it, knowing I will want it for when I have children of my own, but unable to think of a use for it until that time arrives. Using it as an addition to my bookshelf has given it a new lease on life, that allows me to see it every day.
(so much better than being stuck in the shed!)

Have a look around your home, see what might be hiding in plain sight that's just begging to be re-purposed and renewed as some handy extra storage.

Love L

Friday, 9 September 2011


“A flock of birds before my eyes, what will be my next surprise…?”

I have had that sweet little phrase in my head since I first heard one of my very best friends say it, in almost a whisper as she sighted a flock of doves flying overhead, when we were eight years old. It is one of those things that just stuck in my head, and every time I see a flock of birds, I can’t help but whisper those words, secretly hoping for a lovely surprise to come my way! I close my eyes and imagine what the surprise could be. My better half shakes his head every time I do it…I am sure he’s thinking, “Excellent, what am I supposed to come up with now?!”

In truth, I have developed a slight birdie obsession, albeit a healthy one. I love birds. Not to have one as a pet (I once had a yellow ring neck parrot called Cheeky and he made my adolescence a noisy one with endless chirping and squawking that he has put me off the idea for a lifetime), but rather fancy incorporating birds into the home to add a whimsical feel. There’s a bit of a history behind my bird obsession.

I have recently had a baby. Her name is Lola and she is 3 months old and absolutely perfect. The first item that I ever bought for my growing bean was a stunning cotton blanket last year in Australia by a brand called Morgan & Finch. The blanket is beige and white and has little birds all over it. 

The blanket has spent most of its life slung over the couch in our living room, in case a chilly evening in front of the telly would call for the blankets’ debut. In truth, I love the blanket so much, it’s quirky but subtle print a sweet addition to my pale living room pallet, that I am afraid to use it in case something should happen to it! But recently the blanket was moved it to its rightful place: over the back of my feeding chair in Lola’s bedroom, as I find I do get a little chilly when attending to those cringe-worthy middle of the night feeds. As I shrug it over my shoulders each evening, I am inspired to seek out quirky bird inspiration. 

I just love this painting of birds sitting on a wire by My Thought Bubble. I have often thought about putting paintbrush to wall to give the wall above our couch a quirky facelift, but have not quite worked up the courage. I’ll leave it to the artists for now…

Birds add a quirky and feminine touch to the bedroom. Carefully placed stencilled birds onto the wall behind the bed or pretty bird printed bed linen, along with a few vintage pieces, add a touch of old world charm and gives the room a very feminine feel.

Birds are being incorporated more and more into upholstery, decorative accessories and unique wall décor due to the soft, romantic and whimsical feel they add to a room. I found this bronze wall piece by Pottery Barn which is lovely placed either inside or outside.

Add a touch of whimsy to your home with soft and pretty bird water colours by artist Amber Alexander

These beautiful and colourful paintings by Linnea Tobias are a little bolder and will make a pretty addition to a vintage style bedroom. 

This stunning piece is by photographer Max Wranger. He captures these flying birds beautifully in this image, and the colours are soft yet the piece is bold enough to make a statement above a mantelpiece in a foyer, or placed on a large wall in the living room. 

This pretty ink and watercolour bird painting was created by Little Doodles. I love the soft colours, dainty lines and the little touch of humour.

Wallpaper is somewhat old fashioned, though designers have reinvented the wheel by offering those who are looking to add a bit of bold to their homes a huge selection of designs to suit any style. I love the wallpaper below with little birds on branches by Louise Body Wallpapers. With this design, however, I would cover just a small wall, around a fire place would be cute to break it up a little, so as not to overwhelm the room.

I recently found these lovely little cut-outs of sweet little birds on the blog Rebecca’s Misc. A nice idea to print onto textured card and hang from ribbons in a child’s bedroom.

Speaking of children’s bedrooms, I recently made this mobile to hang in the centre of my daughter’s bed. I thought it would be a fun and pretty item for her to gaze at before she falls asleep. The birds were kindly made by a friend of mine and I had searched for ways to use them. I have hung them from ribbons attached to an old branch I found while walking in our local park. My other half stripped the bark, sanded the wood down to make it smooth and created the cross for me to hang the birds from. The ribbons are adorned with buttons, bows and little flowers. What do you think?

I hope the next flock of birds you discover will bring you a beautiful surprise. In the meantime, have fun incorporating these fluffy friends into your home!

H x