A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a spark that creates extraordinary results...

Author unknown...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Whiteport for home...Chic, Classical, Versatile & Timeless

I love white in interiors. White is such an easy base palette, it never dates, & always works regardless of your interior architecture. In my constant search for beautiful pieces, I was delighted to find the gorgeous online white homewares business, Whiteport.This is the brainchild of Jennifer McCabe, a Sydney business woman who in leaving the corporate world, discovered an unfilled niche for classic & timeless white interior homewares.

"Whiteport is a way of life; stylish, relaxed and comfortable. We believe every product we sell should improve your way of living. Our mission is to inspire a Whiteport lifestyle in every home. Whiteport offers a unique range of premium and affordable lifestyle products, all themed around a stylish white palette. Why white? Because white products are simple, timeless and complement any colour scheme. “There are no limitations when you decorate with white,” Jennifer states.
Share what Jennifer has created in her divine Sydney home, in the February 2009 issue of Home Beautiful (pp 22-27), & visit to see the gorgeous pieces you can find for your own home haven!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lunch By The Pool?

The Plantation Group is an Australia furniture & homewares company based in Sydney, that offers the most divine range of furnishings, including day beds, sofas, armchairs, side tables, coffee tables, dining chairs and indoor/outdoor homewares. The group umbrella incorporates the brands Kenkoon, Kettal, Water Hyacinth and Plantation Outdoor. Whether you want something stunning for beside the pool, for entertaining, for indoor relaxation, every piece of furniture from each of the four collections is meticulously designed & crafted, and offers a kaleidoscope of colour for any interior palette. I don't quite have the outdoor aesthetic (yet!) to house such beautiful furniture, but it is definitely in my decorating plans!

Visit to view each of these divine collections, and if you are in Melbourne, I can highly recommend a visit to Grant Dorman Interior Products, at 544 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn, Victoria (, or phone: 03 8525 8825) where you can enjoy actually sitting in some of these fabulous pieces of furniture. Grant & his staff are wonderful, and will help you with your every decorating enquiry (and you can take away the Plantation Group catalogues for your own decorating reference).

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day.

Whether You're Married, Single, have family, or are with friends, have a wonderful day celebrating with the ones you love...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Joy of Friendship to Make You Smile...

Today is a special birthday for a friend of ours. Six of us enjoyed a wonderful breakfast celebration this morning where we shared laughter, converation, flowers, yummy food, and lots of smiling :-) It was the perfect way for her to begin her birthday, & the rest of us were shared in her enjoyment.
With the tragedy of the Victorian Bushfires, every Australian, and in fact many nations from around the world, are feeling the grief and overwhelming sense of loss from afar. As a result, I don't recall a time in my life when I have ever witnessed such phenomenal generosity from the Australian Community and our overseas friends. The outpouring of donations of services, products, essential items, care, kindness, food, shelter, warmth, compassion and incredibly kindness of heart has been so incredibly moving. People from all over the country and globe, individuals to corporations, have given so much, that as a Victorian, I want to personally say thank you for helping in so many ways. As human beings, we all want to do what we can to help rebuild the lives and communities, and nurture those in such need.

This morning was a wonderful reminder that to being happy is vital for our wellbeing, and sharing special occasions is all the more fantastic when it is shared with wonderful friends...Life is precious, and it is a journey that we must enjoy in everyway...thank you to all my wonderful girlfriends, and a special happy birthday to one of you today:-) CJ x

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Helping Others...

The tragedy of the Victorian Bushfires is incomprehensible. The pain & sadness we feel for the lives of loved ones lost, the loss of property, homes, everything that identifies who we are, gone, families, friends, neighbours, communities...we can't help but feel overwhelming helplessness for what has happened, and how the lives of thousands of people have been devastated...In the face of such shocking tradegy, within 48 hours, Australians have again show the most incredible sense of strength & courage of the human spirit, in so many amazing ways to give comfort, food, supplies, clothing, shelter, counselling, care & compassion.

How blessed we are & thank God for what we have, not what we haven't...
A smile, small gesture of help, patience for others, kindness in the simplest of ways...we all need to give a little extra nurturing right now, to those around us, in our communities & networks, to keep the wheels of our daily lives going, for our loved ones, our children, our strength of spirit for ourselves & for others...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Room With A View To The Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast has long been on my list of destination locations for some time, & is more so after reading Amanda Tabberer's "My Amalfi Coast" (released last year), her 'up close & personal' account of her life there for 18 years, & her stories & experiences of one of the world's most spectacular coastal landscapes, its people & the culture.
Gelati colour palettes adorn the cliff faces, & the views of the Mediterranean are simply majestic. Cultural pride is everywhere, & whether you live, work or are travelling to this exotic piece of paradise, food, wine & happiness are an integral way of life for all to enjoy all day long. These photos give new meaning to "a room with a view"...again, white works so beautifully & effortlessly.
For another dose if Amalfi inspiration, latest Vogue Entertaining & Travel issue (Feb/March 2009) includes a feature article "Stroke Of Genius" 126...I'd call it 'heaven on earth'.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Wonderful White

Working with white is effortless, & always works back brillianttly with any palette. It is tranquil, timeless, tasteful, functional & practical. Regardless of whether decorating a small space or whole interior, it creates light where there is none, & the sense of space where there is little. Kitchen, Bedroom, Bathroom to living, it is the perfect trans-seasonal base. It allows you endless options to mix & match textures, furniture & finishes, from warm shades to cooler tones depending upon the seasons. White is classic, it never dates & always works. My 'White Must Haves' Include:
  • White Kitchen Aid (The perfect kitchen investment to make anyone a better cook!)
  • White benches
  • White Cupboards
  • White Adirondeck Chairs
  • White letters
  • White Waffle Bedlinen
  • White Plantation Shutters
  • White Bath towels
  • White Wash Tressle Desk
  • White Rhodondendrons
  • White shells, coral & pebbles for decorative touches

Friday, February 6, 2009

Think Colour, Think Designers Guild


I had the great pleasure of meeting Tricia Guild some years ago at the Melbourne launch of her beautiful book "think pink", and I was quite overcome by her whole way of being: her love of life, for the natural beauty of colour, texture and pattern in everything she sees, translates into visually stunning celebrations of colour and texture in her collections for home, inside and out. The scope of what she has created over almost 40 years is breathtaking. For many years I have had much enjoyment when working with my clients incorporating Designers Guild collections, including fabrics, bedlinen, furniture, and accessories. The end result, whether decorating one room, several rooms, a whole house or simply cushions and bedlinen, is always pure delight, as Tricia Guild's constantly evolving passion for colour and its interaction in our way of life will never cease to inspire and infuse us.

Visit Radford Furnishings in Hawthorn, Melbourne to see the Designers Guild collections

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Harmonious Design & Function For Everyday Living.

This book is an interior decorating bible...a really wonderful resource. I refer to it often to both align & extend my thoughts & ideas, & am constantly inspired...

"Creative planning helps a room achieve its greatest potential."
"For those who love strong colour and want to introduce in into their home, harmony lies in selecting a bold colour and layering it with confidence"

"The best kitchens are efficient home bases for cooking, relaxing and entertaining. Make yours a joy to come home to and a pleasure to work in"

"I love sharing food with family and friends. I want everyone to feel at home in my dining room, free to talk and laugh for hours around my table."

"Sharing objects and memories that are important to you is the most natural expression of your style."

"Decorating is not about imitating a style. It's about expressing your own."

"When a guest slips off her shoes and curls up on your sofa like a contented cat, take it as a compliment. You've served up the greatest luxury: True comfort."

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Heaven Scent...

For a special dose of personal pampering, step into a touch of 'heaven scent' at the stunning boutique perfumery, Peony Melbourne, in Hawthorn. Jill Timms' passion is dedicated to the world of boutique fragrances, many of which she stocks exclusively. The first time I walked into her beautiful store, my day had been somewhat challenging. The moment I walked in, my mood immediately lifted, & I was totally absorbed by all that was around me. The magnificient array of collections, merchandising, ambience, gift wrapping & service made the half hour experience thoroughly enjoyable & memorable. Upon leaving, I rang a dear friend of mine who had experienced a similar day to mine, with the express purpose of telling her that I had found the perfect antidote to her tension...& no, it didn't involve wine! Next time you're in need of being pampered, I recommend a visit to Peony Melbourne, it's perfect. And of course, for those of you who celebrate Valentine's Day, I suggest a visit to Peony, with or without your partner.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

'Divine & Gorgeous' Wrapping, A Gift In Itself...

A gift beautifully wrapped is a gift in itself...gorgeous ribbon, fabric tie, embossed or woven paper, a beautiful box, simple in design but so special in its signature, or something plain but wrapped in style just for that special person, is a treat in itself. Whether a simple bunch of your favourite blooms, or something absolutely divine & luxurious, that is handed to you in a gorgeous bag that you can hardly wait to hold (particularly if the colour is vanilla, orange, green, chocolate, black or duck egg blue...!:-)) the way that something is wrapped can be just as exciting as what it holds. If you appreciate beautiful wrapping like I do, & it makes you feel special, display it & enjoy it, just like your other treasures.

Unwrapped, Uncovered...

If you're like me, & simply love design & decorating magazines, unless you indulge yourself the time to really enjoy them, you eventually realise that the gorgeous cover on the 'latest issue' is in fact about 4 issues ago, & apart from briefly being captivated by the visual delights, that you are barely familiar with its contents! So recently I began to progressively work through each & every issue.
Across three different titles, I realised that I was being repeatedly captured by the work of UK Artist & Textile Designer, Carolyn Quartermaine. It is some time since I incorporated her beautiful fabrics into a client project, but I have since been absorbed learning of her work, current & forthcoming, on her website, as well as praising & loving one of my favourite titles,"Carolyn Quartermaine UNWRAPPED". Her fabrics are stunning & showcase such beauty in their myriad of artistic applications, that their application works effortlessly regardless of whether you apply them to a contemporary or period interior. Her palette incorporates her passion & sensitivities for whatever captivates & inspirates her, which she then applies through print, paint, texture, gilding & collage, into magnificient, unique interior stories, whether be it on canvas, fabric, furniture or walls. Her art evokes a sense of emotion, serenity, sophistication, magic, & every piece is a unique story of design & beauty...
"You have to be totally immersed in your own world, making it stronger and stronger. You can't dilute that world, or you lose its spirit and it becomes untrue..."
Carolyn Quartermaine

Monday, February 2, 2009

"Style is eternal and yet it evolves all the time. It can be compared to a tree. Every Spring, the same tree is there, but it is not the same as it was before"...Coco Chanel

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Autumn Is Coming...

Hi there:-) I'm delighted that today is the 1st of February, because it means that my favourite season is only a month away! For those of you avid Summer lovers, you must agree that the weather of the past week here in Melbourne has more than made up for the entire Summer season!
Autumn introduces the changing of the leaves, cooler nights, & new textures into our living space in preparation for the cooler seasons ahead. Soft & luxurious fabrics & textures for home & our wardrobe, in shades of coffee, taupe, raspberry, strawberry, aubergine, chocolate, cocoa & latte, all warm & inviting hues that work back with white & neutral colour palettes, & that mix beautifullly with muted tones of iceblue, olive green & ochre. Rich accents of colour in flowers throughout the house, & the way we entertain, slowly translates from outdoors to inside a little more as Autumn begins. New cushions, bedlinen, fragrances, colour trends, layers, arrive instore to offer something new & exciting to mark the end of one season & the beginning of the next. With each season comes new beginnings, fresh, exciting, inspired, welcoming & wonderful!

Invariably, a new season brings about our desire to change things around at home, cool colours to warmer shades, perhaps more indoor entertaining so something new for the table, a time for a fresh aesthetic. I love visiting my favourite stores, finding new season's pieces, new textures, materials, fabrics, & looks, to mix & match with what we already enjoy. Allow yourself to be inspired also by what is around you each day, & embrace what makes you feel fabulous!

For Bedrooms:
  • Cushions. Introducing interest with contrast in design, colour & texture against the bedline
  • Europe pillowcases. For additional interest & height, particularly if you don't have a bedhead
  • A new throw/quilt for the end of the bed, check or stripe, self embossed, prints


  • New towlels - new palette, new texture, new detail, fresh look
  • Liquid Soap (& lotion) on tap - Amazing fragrances available, look divine, & so tidy!
  • Beautifully wrapped soaps - as stunning for the packaging as for the fragrance
Kitchen & Entertaining:

  • Stating the obvious I'm sure, but the opportunity to introduce seasonal colour is perfect with a display of seasonal fruits. In our household, fresh produce never lasts long, but it always creates a wonderful focal point for the kitchen table & or bench
  • Table Linen: New tablecloth, placemats, napkins, even coffee cups. Whether you buy them ready made, or make them yourself, introduce raspberry red, aubergine, rose, shades of pinks & reds to create a warm table when it's cooler outside.

Living Space:

  • Scatter cushions, mix them up between the sofa & or chairs
  • A new throw for those cosy nights in
  • Artwork - photos, drawings, postcards, special pieces to frame. Introduce some colour in the frames with your favourite paint colour or fabric. Use interesting fabrics & prints as the artwork itself! Caroline Quartermaine the UK textile designer, does this so well (see feature article in the UK House & Garden Feb 2009 issue).
  • Wooden Letters, mix the sizes, big, small, one only, whole names & words, for any space or any room.I have white letters that before now have also been natural, taupe & red! Repaint them, make them bold & mix the letters, mix the words, to reflect your decorating tastes for the season. Remember, have fun, there are no rules, if it makes you feel good & works for you, that's what it's about.

Enjoy the rest of Summer, look forward to the arrival of Autumn, & have fun mixing & matching all the things you love around you that make your home your haven...