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

Author unknown...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

For a Perfect Weekend in the Country.

I have had the pleasure of staying at "Muscovy Cottage" in Daylesford, Victoria, in both Winter & Summer & it is the ideal retreat at any time of the year. For a weekend of rest, relaxation, country air & pampering, filling your day is easy. Whether by the lake, enjoying brunch, dinner or simply coffee at any of the fabulous cafes (Cliffy's make a fabulous latte), or a dose of pampering at one of the several indulgent day spas, returning to Muscovy Cottage is the perfect compliment . The interior is understated & divine in shades of coffee & taupe, the outdoor paving area perfect for entertaining or enjoying the morning papers & breakfast, & there is every convenience to make you want to stay longer than your booking allows. With fairy lights & wine, plus a basket of the latest home & entertaining magazines to welcome you upon your arrival, Muscovy is the perfect getaway to enjoy with your friends or for precious time with your family. I can highly recommend it, & perhaps just book that extra night...!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Passion For Flowers.

Flowers are beautiful at anytime of the year, and I have always loved having them around me. Whether at home, or in your office environment, don't wait to enjoy them only on 'special occasions'. Whether a small bunch of gardenias, daphne, roses, country or coastal plantings, or something unusual that you have found, who doesn't enjoy fragrance, colour, form and or beauty? Enjoy a single stem or a bunch, put them in anything that holds them the way they sit best, whether traditional glass vases, hurricane lamps (minus of course the candles!), urns, jugs, empty candle votives (they can still look fabulous even when the candle has long finished) or a jar of which the shape and design is of aesthetic appeal, create your own floral touch.
Whether you put your flowers 'on display' as a focal point in your bedroom, kitchen, on a hallway sideboard (always nice to see when you walk in the door), on a collection of your favourite books, with shells, a candle or in the bathroom, they are always a pleasure to look at and enjoy on any given day.
Something I love to do, particularly as the weekend is approaching, is to visit Pash Flowers (in Bayside Brighton, Melbourne). What a stunning array of blooms they always have.The staff are wonderful, and can always make the simplest of flowers a stunning creation with their amazing wrapping. If you are having a special event, they will create the perfect look, traditional, contemporary, bold or bright, but always understated and just right.
Pash Flowers and Homewares 385 Bay Street, Brighton
Phone: 95966255

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Enjoy Your Weekend :-)

Hello on a perfect summer's day :-) As I sit here, the blue sky & sunshine welcomes me, as I listen to the calm pace of a long weekend...How quickly the last weekend has arrived before the busy pace of the new school year begins. Baskets, beach
towels & sandals on the verandah will soon be replaced with school bags &'s rather nice not having school homework & books on the kitchen table for a few weeks isn't it, but instead enjoying the space where more than one morning coffee & leisurely breakfasts have been indulged without morning routine. Soon they will be replaced with books & school notices for the noteboards & fridge. The kitchen however is the hub of the home, & central to our daily activities. Regardless of when, you can always enjoy fresh flowers, the smell of coffee, freshly squeezed juices, the delight of many & varied summer fruits & the beauty of their colours as they sit on display before they are savoured or put into lunch bags. My retriever sleeps peacefully at the front door, enjoying the passing view & breezes, & my coffee (another) awaits with the morning papers to be enjoyed in sunshine, amid the tranquility of my garden.

What is an ideal Sunday morning(when my son's sporting commitments are on holidays too!)? The list is simple:

  • Market Basket (I love these, a must for every woman, I bought mine from Durance in Armadale, & I always have it on hand, for flowers, market produce, the beach, BBQs, weekend school sport duty
  • Plush velour beach towel (Country Road's are a favourite)
  • Sunglasses and Hat (Rose Street Trading Company in Armadale have divine ones, but not many left..!)
  • Water
  • Fruit
  • Interiors magazines (today I'm reading Country Style, Home Beautiful & Cote Paris, all very inspiring for summer decorating)
  • Slides, best when on the beach when in search of shells
I hope you are having a divine weekend, relaxing, perhaps in your own space, at home, in the garden, or by the water, in the country, preparing for a picnic, at brunch, with family, with friends. Soon we will head off to the beach for a walk along the shore, & hopefully find some seashells to add to my collection, that will one day sit in my study, at my coastal haven. Hmmm, coffee awaits...:-)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Joie de Vivre en Normandy

"Believe in the magic of your dreams" (Adele Basheer)

If you have had the pleasure of reading Jane Webster's "At My French Table" you will know of her dream to live in France with her family, & this, with great joy, they are now doing. The desire for our dreams to come true ultimately is about having enough faith & belief in ourselves to make them happen, & for those of us who want our dreams to come true, you will love "At My French Table". The cover alone will captivate you, as will the flavour of every page. Her book is a spectacular study of the culture, the people, the landscape, & features a beautiful collection of photos, images, french fare & delights, as well as a wonderful read full of inspiration on so many levels. This publication is a great credit to Jane & her family in sharing with us, her readers, how she has made it all is as if we are there living her dream, immersed in the joie de vivre en Normandy, at Chateau Bosgouet.
Thank you Jane, for giving me the inspiration to 'believe in the magic of my dreams...'

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bianca Lorenne Bedlinen, Just Divine!

The philosophy behind the boutique New Zealand brand, Bianca Lorenne, is quite simple: "to create stylish & original home linens which bring together innovation & classic style". Established in 2005, the collections include hand crafted quilts & bedspreads, luxurious Italian cotton percale sheeting (totally heaven to sleep on & under!), & superb silk filled duvets & pillows. The ultimate bedlinen indulgence!
Visit: to enjoy the collections, and if you are off to the 'Life In Style' Trade Fair next month in Sydney, you must put their stand on your 'to visit' list!

My sincerest thanks to Nicole & Lauren for their wonderful support. In the short time I have dealt with them, I fully endorse their commitment to "outstanding customer service". :-)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Creating Your End of Day Haven...Your Bedroom.

Your Bedroom is your personal oasis of harmony. It is your sanctuary of thought & reflection, where you want to be at the end of each day. Shades of white, neutral tones, interesting textures & natural materials, plus cupboards that offer plenty of concealed storage to keep the room streamlined, combine to create a beautifully tranquil aesthetic. Apart from your bed, which is one of the most important considerations in both the layout & comfort of your bedroom (& therefore most likely your primary focus), you need to consider other furnishings. These include window treatments, flooring, perhaps a chest of drawers, an inviting chair for reading, lamps & mood lighting, personal treasures & special pieces to enhance your sense of self. Collectively, these will help you create a calm & peaceful retreat that will ultimately be both functional, & reflect your personality.

"My Bedroom Is Private Space Designed For Pure Comfort. I Need It To Be Filled With Inviting Materials, Soft Textures, And Favourite Mementos" (Author Unknown)

Queenstown Haven at Eichardt's.

I can't tell you how absolutely divine my New Zealand holiday was, so I'll share a couple of photos with you! New Zealand should be very proud of itself. It has a great appreciation for its culture & landscape, & has a great ability to blend the two together in interior design & architecture. My visit was in late May, & it showed off it's Winter beauty in spectacular fashion. I spent many hours enjoying coffee & wine with wonderful friends at Eichardt's Hotel, situated on the Queenstown Bay of Lake Wakitipu watching both yachts & ducks glide along it's surface, with the beautiful snow capped mountains in the background. As I watched the activities beyond, I enjoyed the divine interior settings of the cafe, by an open fire, chatting to locals & staff about my immediate love for the South Island. The interior design of this boutique hotel is the work of one of their very well recognised interior designers, Virginia Fisher. After spending 10 days her signature look was evident in the application of beautiful natural wool upholstered furniture, rich coloured walls & floors in charcoals & chocolates, & a wonderful ability to combine textures & finishes of the country's natural materials with the furniture, fittings & fabrics used in the magnificient hotel suites. Noting my obvious passion for their surroundings with my animated conversation about the interior fitout, I was immediately offered a guided tour! I mean, I could hardly say no... :-)! After half an hour, with snippet views of the Lake beyond, my next holiday was already booked!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Dose of Inspiration...What is Yours...?

"It is good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it's good too, to check up once in a while and make sure you haven't lost the things money can't buy."
George Lorimer1867-1937, Editor of Saturday Evening Post

"My home is a vivid reflection of who I am. It surrounds me with the things I love most, and sets the scene for new memories to be made." (Unknown)

Whilst financial investment provides us with material possessions to live with and enjoy to create an aesthetically appealing and functional environment for everyday living, it's what we give of ourselves, what we feel, see & cherish, that helps us create that space where we want to retreat to, to dream, to do, to achieve, to share & to be happy, infinitely more precious for our inner happiness.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"Casetta", The Perfect Italian Retreat

Casetta is a beautifully restored early 19th centuryTuscan farmhouse in the Chianti wine area. It is 14 Km South-West of Florence, & is nestled within 40 hectares of land where produce including olives, grapes & fruit are grown. If you are looking for a simply divine Italian holiday, where you can enjoy the delights of the local produce, have your every whim catered to, & be surrounded by the spectacular landscape, it is the perfect spot to indulge your love of the Tuscan countryside.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Homewares Haven...Magnolia Square.

Magnolia Square is a gorgeous specialty homewares market founded by Melbourne business woman Nic MacIsaac, & is a very proud supporter of the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Originally begun in East Malvern, it continues to grow in the delightful product range of boutique wares exhibited, & the increasing number of ever enthusiastic (predominantly) female shoppers who visit at every event.

This year there will be 5 Magnolia Square markets, two in Bayside Brighton, & three in Malvern.The range of home & gournet delights, jewellery, clothing, art, & treasures for both children & adults, has created a wonderful event, that is brilliantly brought together by the event team & individual traders. Whether your visit is for a quick peek, or get together with friends, you must enjoy a coffee & one of the infamous cupcakes, by The Crabapple Cupcake Bakery.I can highly recommend a visit!

Visit for more information.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Nature, The Perfect Colour Palette.

A client recently said to me "I wish I had your ability to choose colour with such ease. How do you do that?" My answer? "Practice, experience, and what feels right. Tried & tested combinations, instinct, & above all else, nature. Nature gives us the best direction & inspiration.

When I was on holidays recently, I enjoyed the most spectacular beach views ...sapphire blue sky, crystal blue water, children playing on the sand, yachts gliding over the coral below. I felt so at peace yet so inspired by the beauty of it all.The smell of the bay was subtle but enough to define where I was...white sails, cream sand, blue skies, aquamarine beyond...the idyllic palette for coastal living in harmony with nature. As I savoured these images, my thoughts drifted to how I will decorate my own beach house one day...

As I sat on the shoreline, with the water lapping over my feet, my focus momentarily returned to an article in the magazine I had with me, featuring a Sydney seaside makeover..Dulux "Antique White" walls, plantation shutters, sisal flooring, white chairs, linen sofas, white bedrooms, white kitchen, with strokes of french navy through sapphire in the artwork scattered throughout ...a perfect space of harmony & balance. Easy really, with the inspiration from the view beyond...

Friday, January 9, 2009

Home Office Design - Harmonious, Organised, Streamlined

“How to Create A Harmonious, Functional & Inspiring Home Office… Haven Style”

Create a simple, easy to maintain & enjoyable everyday working environment to help you achieve your maximum working potential. To do this, you need an inspiring yet harmonious & functional working space. If you do this from home, it is important to be very defined & disciplined with your requirements, storage & everyday materials.

Haven Interiors can help you achieve your ideal home office by:
  • Reorganise your Existing Space
  • Redecorating
  • New Colour Scheme
  • Furniture
  • Lighting
  • Storage
  • Inspiration (art, personal pieces, focal points)

Please contact Claire Jackson on 0408 363 529, or email: to discuss your requirements

Consultation Fee: Minimum 2 hours @ $125/hour.
Additional Hourly Rate Applies thereafter.

Infuse Your Space with Heavenly Scents...

Room Fragrance' whether you prefer candles, room sprays, or infusing reeds with aroma oils, scent yourspace for relaxation,inspiration & enjoyment...whether you're home, away or working. It's amazing how it can improve your feeling of well being . High on my list of favourites that are just beautiful are:

Jo Malone Linen Spray in "Parma Violets". I spray it on bedlinen & furniture, divine!
diptyque 'interior scent' (Fig, Freesia or Gardenia, how do you choose???)
Fragonard 'Fleur Blanches' candle, for everyday enjoyment

Alternatively, if you prefer the fragrance of natural blooms, the aesthetic beauty & aroma of David Austin roses, wisteria, jasmine, gardenias, lillies, frangipanis & freesias, never fail to provide pleasure & perfume from the garden beds to inside...on that note, I would like to add that for the kitchen, I'm rather partial to basil for the pasta menu, & nothing beats the flavour of rosemary with garlic on roasted potato cubes, yum!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Finding France In Melbourne

Allow yourself to step into a piece of Provence...the owner of this boutique store, a true francophile, shares her love of all things quintessentially francais, with a growing clientele situated in the delightful Claremont historic Village, Malvern, Melbourne at her gorgeous store "L'ete Provence". For those of you who enjoy the splendour of french cotton prints, in colour palettes that truly delight for home decorating & garden entertaining, you will find gorgeous tablecloths, table linen, cushions & accessories by Les Olivades, superb hand & body products by Place des Lices, tres elegant homewares (the range of ceramics by MUD is just divine), beautiful bespoke jewellery by Zoe Bonbon, & you will be in french heaven.

Before leaving, I recommend purchasing a copy of the latest "Finding France In Australia", an excellent reference guide for finding authentic french fare, travel, food, wine, art, design, music, culture. Add to this recipe delightful customer service, the wrapping (tres chic!) & the general ambience, & you will leave feeling very pampered & wanting to return...a bientot!

L'ete Provence, 10 Claremont Ave., Malvern VIC 3144.
Phone: 9500 2493

What Armani & I Think of Mood Lighting

As I sat down to write my comments on mood lighting for this post, I took a quiet detour with my latte & had a quick look through the latest Australian "Harper's Bazaar" (Jan/Feb 2009 issue, page 194) seems that Mr. Armani & I share a similar perspective on mood lighting...

"Reorganise your lighting. Lighting is crucial for creating moods. I prefer indirect lighting from lamps, rather than harsher, overhead lighting. I find this creates a more relaxed , intimate atmosphere."

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Vincent Sheppard...Enduring, Timeless Design

Perfect for indoor living, verandahs, patios, & enjoying your garden & views, the stunning Vincent Sheppard Woven Fibre Furniture Collections, is not only excellence in design, but an investment that you will long enjoy. Being the proud owner of a few key pieces, I cannot recomment it highly enough, for its elegant and understated design, its longevity, and its versatility. If you need to work back with a specific colour scheme, the furniture will be colour matched to perfection, without fuss, and with nothing less than total commitment to a perfect end result. Visit to view the full range available - I promise you won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Welcome to Haven Home...

Happy New Year, and welcome to Haven Home! As I begin a new direction in 2009, I look forward to sharing my passion for interior decorating with you, and all the wonderful visual delights to that there is...colour, shape, design, texture, comfort, harmony, natural beauty, lighting, just a few facets that create the personality of our homes, that both uniquely & collectively, create an imprint of ourselves, of how we live and what gives us pleasure, inspiration & happiness. Whether you enjoy your space alone or with family & friends, your home is your haven throughout the seasons...a place for you to retreat, enjoy, relax, share & unwind...

Haven Home has been created to share what I love doing through my work, my business - Haven Interiors. We are a boutique decorating & styling consultancy, specialising in residential interiors, styling & property presentation. The business was born in 2001, by me, Claire Jackson to bring together my passion, skills & expertise to offer a core range of consulting services.

I hope that you enjoy reading the regular posts , news & updates, & sharing my excitement & delight in all the wonderful and beautiful things that I discover along the way, to bring you Haven Home...a space just for you.

Precious Pieces

Preparing your home for special occasions should be fun & enjoyable, not stressful. Whether Christmas, New Year, a birthday, special occasion, enjoy creating something special but with simplicity, with gifts & materials that are important to you, & enjoy sharing it with everyone else. A white or linen backdrop is perfect, never boring, and allows everything else to be a feature! Introduce your favourite garden blooms, something from your travels, your children, your friends, special ornaments, and for the gifts, simple yet stunning ribbon on gift boxes (always the best shape to wrap!). There are no rules, except to enjoy what you're doing. Using seasonal flowers & fruits are always a great basis from which to work.

Coastal Inspiration

If you love the water, the sand & coastal blue skies like I do, then you know how easy it is to incorporate your love of natural beauty into the way you live. Whether at home or in your working space, shells, coral, natural timber, pebbles, the colours of the landscape, white, neutrals, linen, it's easy to create a relaxing yet inspirating aesthetic. Mix things together, stand them alone, accent with tea light candles for a sense of occasion, simply enjoy having it around you. And for those of us that don't have a sea view, create your own photos & collections of precious treasures - framed, displayed as focal points you can enjoy everyday!

Entertain, Enjoy, Embrace

Haven Interiors is about creating warm & welcoming spaces & style, & with table settings, gift wrapping & decorating, the same principles apply & reflected in our love of natural colour palettes & textures. Whether formal entertaining, a casual BBQ, winter or summer, we can create your signature look to welcome as few or as many guests as your catering for.