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

Author unknown...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

'Haven Home' Styling Experiences...

If reinventing your bedroom, livingroom, favourite room or every room appeals to you, then you will love the 'Haven Home' styling experiences...

Soon to be launched...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Building with Mi Casa

"A Good House must not be bought, but made."
Mi Casa' is Spanish for My Home. Jean-Luc Lidou & Marc Noreillie are "Mi Casa" the Belgiun construction business renowned for solid timber design, reflecting the American New England style. 'Solid timber houses are stylish, cosy & timeless cosy homes that exclude a warm homely feel'. Absolutely divine and my absolute favourite, blending timeless aesthetic appeal, natural materials, linen, oak, pools of natural light throughout the interiors, & understated refinement. Simply beautiful.

Friday, June 26, 2009


For those of you who love beautiful fabrics on tap, I recommend you all visit Radford Furnishings today & tomorrow at their Hawthorn showroom for fabulous bargains! They are clearing out discontinued lines including Designers Guild & other key furnishing brands. The selections available of both upholstery & drapery fabrics, along with Cath Kidson discontinued lines, books, & bolts of perfect but discontinued collections is just fabulous!

So for those of you who have some decorating in mind, whether cushions, window treatments, reupholstering or simply can't refuse divine fabrics for your home interior, pop into their showroom today & tomorrow, 9.00am - 4.00pm.

Level 1/146 Burwood Road,
HAWTHORN, Victoria 3122
Ph: 03 9818 7799

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Chandeliers, for Contemporary Living with Classical Twists

Caroline Quartermaine's London Studio

Hopewood Country House
In preparing & researching for the designersecrets workshops in recent months, what we have uncovered on the revival of chandeliers has been amazing. I have never had chandeliers in my home interiors, but can certainly appreciate their artistic, sculptural elegance.

Whether we have been researching lighting, floorplans & layout, furnishings, colour, art & or styling, it's amazing how many interior spaces have introduced the classic chandelier with the contemporary edge. From the very bold to the slightly more subtle, clear prisms of glass to the very colourful feature fittings, chandeliers are indeed enjoying a fabulous revival, inviting romance & sophistication to contemporary architectural design.

A friend of mine that I am consulting to on his new home, is keen to include one in his foyer. The architectural design is very contemporary, streamlined & low maintenance. The space of his entrance loft would be rather vacuous without something so bold in scale & design, & a chandelier I think will give it the substance & aesthetic twist it needs to create the 'wow' factor. We are yet to source the specific piece for him, but I'm really enjoying looking, which of course is all part of the process when we are renovating and or decorating our homes. It can be tedious at times, time intensive and frustrating, but make time to enjoy the research, it's amazing what you find!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Designers Guild with hip home at designersecrets

Today was workshop three at designersecrets, & fabulous it was!! We injected colour into this week's presentation, with divine inspiration with none other than the spectacular creations by Designers Guild, balanced beautifully with the wool & silk rugs by hip home, & what a warm & welcoming space they created. We were delighted to have James Marks, MD, Radford Furnishings present to both our groups, sharing snippets of his vast expertise & knowledge for the evolution of textile design. Radford Furnishings is the sole Australian distributor for some of the most successful global furnishing brands, including Designers Guild, Ralph Lauren Home, Cole & Son, Titley & Marr, Jasper Conran & William Yeoward, to name just a few.

He wowed the audience by also sharing a recent interview done in London with Trisha Guild, OBE, on the history of where she began back in 1970, to where her success has taken her today, what an inspirational woman she is. Suffice to say, we felt it appropriate to spray the room with shades of fuschia pink, mandarin & magenta. James is the penultimate professional, passionate about the world of textiles, & one of the most wonderful educational resources in the interior design industry. We could have listened to him for hours had there been the time!
'Style Secrets' were also shared this week, & it was fabulous to have such enthusiastic interaction from our wonderful groups of women. When they 'graduate' next week, we feel confident that they will feel ready to approach their respective home renovations/decorating projects with their own personal style...& perhaps with just a little help from an interior designer & or decorator!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

From New York to Haven Home

I was so excited to be asked to profile this fabulous interior publication earlier this year on my blogsite, but even more excited to receive it straight from New York to my office yesterday. It's just fantastic! Seven children, ten years of serious renovations & redevelopments in both New York & abroad, enormous passion, drive & love for what they do, appear to be key ingredients for the personal & professional fulfilment that Robert & Cortney Nowogratz share. They are inspirational, real & happy, & this book is about the chapters of their lives together. Cortney shares with their audience, that "having faith in ourselves & one another can accomplish great things."She explains that the most important reason for why they do what they do is because "a home isn't just where you live, or at least it doesn't have to be. A home is who you are."
And that to me, says it all...

This book recounts amazing tales of challenges, achievements, what's really important, allowing ourselves to learn from our mistakes, & most importantly, to enjoy the journey along the way...

This book shares the heart & soul of their lives, their family, their work, their dreams, their advice to others gained from their own mistakes & successes. Regardless of your style, if you appreciate what your home is all about, you will love this book. It is full of inspiration, not just in style, but in what really matters...the heart & soul of making your house your home...enjoy the following link, & then order your copy...

Friday, June 12, 2009

designersecrets week two!

Well, we are half way through our first two workshops, & we're having a fabulous time! We are so excited to be sharing our secrets & tips with so many fabulous women who are so inspired to create their ideal home interiors, & it is wonderful to be sharing so many plans & dreams with them.

Yesterday we were delighted to have Pam Zelcer, founder, owner & MD of Melbourne Plantation Shutters, present at both of our workshops! She was absolutely fabulous, & after listening to her recount her earliest days in business through to 17 years on, to today, it is easy to understand why her company is such a success. After sharing her extensive knowledge & expertise at the designersecrets workshops, I suspect there will several more orders in the pipeline to add to the already extensive listing of over 25,000 clients.

We love that Melbourne Plantation Shutters is 100% Australian owned & made, & every shutter is individually crafted from Western Red Cedar, the most suitable timber for shutters. This timber is light weight, resin free & provides excellent natural insulative properties. Shutters are an elegant, understated & architectural timeless treatment for any style of window, whether for a traditional Victorian cottage, to the most linear of architecturally streamlined interior spaces.
For anyone wanting to invest in a sophisticated simplicity, I can highly recommend a visit to Melbourne Plantation Shutters so you too can share our excitement for this divine product range. Pam & her team will be delighted to welcome you.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Island haven at Waiheke Island's Boatshed...

The Lighthouse - A coastal hideaway to relish the views

The Lighthouse Steps - inviting natural beauty
The Boatsheds - perfect viewing for passing yachts & night skies

The Boatsheds - Relax all day

These images aptly depict my love for New Zealand interiors. Tasteful, understated, warm, contemporary, but filled with character of the landscape & natural colour palette. The perfect balance of coastal blue shades, natural materials, soft, calming & inspiring...shades of pumice, white, pebble and stone enhance the sense of space, calm and light, to mix beautifully with a backdrop of aqua, turquoise and indigo beyond...serene, calm, peaceful.

Another one for my destination list...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Scriptures on Velvet, Circles on Silk

As you know, I love printed natural materials, & these two cushions were the perfect choice for our recent bedlinen presentation at the DesignerSecrets workshops. 'Circles' in wool/silk, finished with beautiful wooden buttons detailed on the back opening panel, & 'Script' on linen, backed in black velvet, are two of my favourites from the Winter Collection from Linen & Moore, & sit beautifully in front of our charcoal/white Oxford Shams. Work back with crisp white sheets, white bemboka blanket, charcoal & wheat Bemboka throws, a sumptuous charcoal wool felt bedhead, & it is a classic statement of styling with simplicity.

Inspiration for Home from Abroad...

I adore these catalogues from TOAST in the UK, they are full of gorgeous inspiration, ideas for your wardrobe, home, lifestyle & entertaining, indoors & out. They remind me of the Homewares catalogues that Country Road used to do several years ago, another magazine I used to love browsing for inspiration & home styling tips . In this TOAST issue, they promote a gorgeous range of outdoor picnic wares, complete with simple, tempting & very inviting suggestions. Even on a cold winter's day, it really appeals. Rug up, pack your picnic hamper with gorgeous treats & head off with friends to somewhere with a view, coastal or country, to relax, unwind & enjoy...perfect for the long weekend don't you think?

TOAST offers a brilliant online store, & the service really is wonderful. For a dose of TOAST, log onto their site & order a catalogue, so easy, very fabulous!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Designer seats ready...

Tuesday was the launch of designersecrets workshops, and what a big day it was! Two workshops, many new faces, lots of excitement, beautiful new products and plenty of energy! My partner and I, Susie, pictured above were really delighted with the enthusiasm and feedback we received from our first two workshops. We discussed implenting design plans, bedlinen, styling, colour applications & schemes. Next week, well, that's our secret.
After this photo was taken, we stopped long enough for a quick latte, dashed off for the makeovers, and returned ready and waiting to inspire and delight our new recruits! Plans & bookings are already underway for the next series in July, along with weekend workshops, inhouse styling and special trade evenings. Lots of exciting secrets to share, people to meet, places to go!!!
For more information on what's instore at designersecrets, email

Monday, June 1, 2009

designersecrets is here...

Workshops & Events, Client evenings, In house styling, new collections, showroom invitations...

We are very excited about it...
And we want to share it with you...
It all begins this week...

to find out more, email me at