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

Author unknown...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Harmonious Design 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."

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Colours of Egypt

Recently my sister travelled to Egypt. I haven't been there, but after seeing the spectacular sights that she captured in her many images, I'm totally inspired! She was overcome by the sheer scale & of what was created thousands of years ago, and how so much of its history remains standing, there for all the visitors to experience. These photos are a few of my favourites, for their scale, colour, detail & the way that natural light captures such a beautiful atmosphere...awe inspiring don't you think??

If you would like to read more about her travel to Egypt & see more beautiful photos, subsribe to the latest "Renaissance Magazine" at

Ian Mankin Natural Fabrics

For those of us who love contemporary, relaxed & versatile fabrics for home, Ian Mankin offers contemporary inspiration in his collections of natural fibre linens & cottons. Offering a relaxed yet classic aesthetic for any living space or room, the ranges include nordic, vintage & regatta stripes, classic colours in ticking, both bold & subtle checks, plus a kaleidescope palette if your wanting something in a herrringbone, jacquard or plain twill.

For many years, I have dressed my own homes & clients interiors with Ian Mankin classics. Regardless of whether decorating outdoor furniture, living room sofas, chairs, window treatments, cushions or ottomans, Ian Mankin's collections always work so effortlessly, never date, & in the true sense of the word offer classic, timeless appeal.

Their website is a fabulous, their staff just wonderful, & at a moment's notice will send you whatever you need for that next interior project. Of course, next time you're in London, pop into either their Fulham or Primrose Hill shops, so welcoming, just divine! Nothing is too much trouble, & it's easy to understand why Ian Mankin is such a success story.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Georgeous Event To Remember

"Georgeous, Simply Georgeous Occasions" is a fabulously dynamic, innovative, vital & totally professional Melbourne based event management company, owned & operated by the equally fabulous & dynamic Georgie Kay. I first met Georgie a couple of years ago through the exciting Magnolia Square Homewares Market. Her unwavering commitment & dedication to her work is evident in every project. When you talk with her, her exitement and energy for everything she does is almost tangible, whether she's organising an intimate dinner party, or project managing a major event on the Melbourne social calendar.

"When we plan an event, we consider every element, thinking about what it feels like to be a guest throughout the event. We like to inject small surprises and twists that keep our events interesting and captivating. We also focus on hospitality and spend time sourcing only the highest level of suppliers to work with. At Georgeous we make communication with our clients our highest priority in coordinating your special occasion."

Georgie Kay & her team stamp every event with a unique, creative & totally personal touch reflecting the client's requirements, plus so much more. This is a company that is not only professional, but has fun in the process of creating very special events resulting in very happy clients. Enough reason to start organising something 'gorgeous' now? Absolutely!!

ph: (03) 9534 5603

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

St. Agnes Homestead, Rich In History & Charm

Enjoy the sunshine outside the Grooms Cottage...

The Beauty of the Country Touch...

Springtime at St. Agnes

Tranquility amongst the homestead splendour

The Grooms Cottage...complete with open fire, breakfast & weekend luxury...
Recently I had the pleasure of visiting Traudi & David Bibby at their beautiful property, St. Agnes Homestead in Kyneton. They are the most delightful couple who are passionate about their property & providing the perfect dose of hospitality to their guests with charming accommodation where you can relax, unwind & rejuvenate at any time of the year.
St. Agnes is within walking distance to the main street of Kyneton,with its numerous antique shops, & cafes to enjoy. Otherwise, escape to within the historic property gates, unwind with a walk through the gorgeous stables, by the pond, or through the maturing rows of grapes in the picturesque vineyard. If you're feeling energetic, pick up a raquet & head to the tennis court, or simply relax & recline in the sunshine for a nap amongst the beauty of the mulberry tree.

St. Agnes is a heritage property that has been meticulously restored to its original charm with much TLC. The rural atmosphere ensures that once inside the gate, you will want to simply stay, unwind & enjoy the surroundings, regardless of the season, & being only an hour out of Melbourne, it's a wonderful excuse to get out of the city for the weekend. I can highly recommend it, & just in case, don't make any appointments for the following day, you might just want to stay a little longer!
(03) 5422 2639

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Living In Style Everywhere...

Barclay Butera is a renowned & very fabulous American Interior Designer, having lived in Southern Carolina for almost 25 years. His style is synonymous with luxurious, sophisticated, classical interiors, largely the influences of own living environments for many years.

Included in the many sources of his inspiration are mid century Hollywood glamour, European chic, to the Exotic influences of the Far East. In his first & absolutely gorgeous Interior publication, " Barclay Butera: Living in Style" he profiles five themes in his work, each one able to combine & interchange with another, therefore creating personal style, & an ecletic mix of personality.: Town & Country, Mountain, Beach, Desert and City. His signature style includes "layering patterns upon patterns, textures upon textures" thus always creating luxurious, elegant, warmth & personality to every space he touches. In the introduction of his book, he says "...little details are what add personality and warmth to a home. I like to think of them as conversation pieces, they have a story to tell"...everything in a home should have meaning, & therefore reflect the personality of those who live in it.

I love his passion for his work, & appreciate his design principles " Designing a home should be fun and free of rules and regulations. I like to think of my aesthetic as liveable luxury, which can mean different things to different people, as long as it is about making a home warm and comfortable..."

..."I apply fashion principles to home furnishings, and this is the way I prefer to approach home design, with an eye toward the fresh and current, while maintaining a traditional and timeless aesthetic..."

I applaud Barclay Butera for how he so passionately expresses his style on every page with so much energy & commitment. Regardless of your style & your approach to decorating & design, exploring & at times adopting alternative design principles to our signature approach allows us infinite scope to express & incorporate the things we love love. Appreciating the little touches, elements of surprise, mixing old with new, classic with contemporary, ecletic combinations, the special pieces & personal treasures give a home it's personality, & these are vital ingredients that collectively help in creating happy, warm & welcoming living spaces.

"Mountain" Style

How divine is the barrel bedside table & the lampbase??

Town and Country:
Harmonious, luxurious & perfect proportion of scale. How interesting is his combination of the detail, such an ecletic mix, & each one a perfect compliment to the other piece.

"City" Design

I love the stud detailing in the armchairs, & again, fabulous focal points & decorative touches

Town and County

I love this bedroom. Elegant, cosy, luxurious, streamlined, chic, soft & relaxing colour palette

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"Haven Home News"

As of next month, Haven Interiors will be launching the Haven Home Newsletter, "Haven Home News" and we are very excited! Each month, we will feature new & exciting interior updates, discussing property presentations, sensational design & architecture, retail, residential & commercial makeoevers, the looks in books, what's new, what's coming & decorating forecasts.
We will be sharing what we discover & uncover that's new in fabrics, colour trends, homewares, bedlinen design & showroom fitouts, lighting & furniture design, flooring & the latest interior publications, & of course, the precious treasures & statement pieces for home. We will bring you news on what our favourite places & spaces are doing, what's happening & where...

If you would like to share with us your exciting news, updates, decorating discoveries or simply give us suggestions as to how we can make "Haven Home News" as fabulous as possible for you, we'd love to hear from you. Contact us at: to discuss your ideas.

If you would like to be on our mailing list, please email us at:

"Haven Home News" arrives in April. We look forward to sharing our love of everything we love, to make you feel wonderful & happy in your home & your haven...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Reflecting Yourself in Your Home

As Janet Holmes a Court wrote in the foreword of "The Making Of A House" by Janne Faulkner & Harley Anstee (2003), " Janne And Harley have taught us that fashion is but a passing thing, but innate style remains year after year, season after season. If you make a house to suit your needs, you will also find it a place of solace, contemplation and relaxation" She continues "it is not about keeping up with the Joneses, but having the courage to surround yourself with the things you love..."

These words are so true, for our home is a reflection of who we are, our personalities, what makes us happy, not about what we think we should have according to trends or what we think may or may not 'look right'...there is no right nor wrong, just what works for you, your family, that creates your haven that you retreat to at the end of every day.

Provincial Details, Understated, Timeless Appeal

The Garden of Marquis de Carabas in Mesnit Girault...19th century garden chairs, antique lanterns...and we continue to source them for that perfect touch today...

It's all in the details...

One feature urn, simple planting of colour, stunning statement against the stable door entrances...timeless, elegant appeal

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The "WOW" Factor

  • Make A Statement
  • Key Piece Investment
  • Stunning Impact
  • Less Is More

The above rooms featured include the latest collections from Designers Guild...a feature wallpaper, velvet Festival Chairs...simple elegance, very chic, creating a statement, the "wow" factor...

Trading All Things Divine & Gorgeous For Home, Yourself, & Everyone Else

Having been in retail for many years, I have long been a great advocate of returning to where you have fabulous experiences. Regardless of what you are buying, the experience should ideally always be an enjoyable one, & have you leaving feeling special, & looking forward to returning next time. Over the years, I have always had my key stores that I return to time & time again where along with divine product, you can enjoy a fabulous ambience, brilliant customer service, gorgeous merchandising, & attention to you. Having owned my own retail business, along with managing others & also enjoying be part of great retail teams, Rose Street Trading Company, in Armadale, Melbourne, is a must visit destination location!!

Whether you're shopping for your family, your friends, that difficult gift, an anniversary, landmark birthday, Christmas, or simply for something fabulous, & quite possibly yourself, look no further. Divine cashmere (new pieces are landing instore now, so don't miss out!) contemporary & dynamic clothing labels including Little Fuschia, Lounge Apparel & Juicy Bear (the new seasons' pieces are a must for every woman's wardrobe), the latest 'coffee table' books in design, decorating & lifestyle, beautiful hand & body collections, including Pamilli (the latest Scilian Orange Blossom is heaven, not to mention the very crisp & fabulous wrapping!), Glasshouse, & a favourite of mine, Jayne Niemi (the Aroma Reeds are amazing), fabulous grosgrain belts, to hair accessories including clips, bows, headbands & ribbons to suit every young girls desire.

Situated in the gorgeous Armadale Village of Rose Street & Beatty Avenue, alongside the Toorak Station, this is where it all happens, & don't we all just love it??!! Since its inception almost 3 years ago by the dynamic partnership of two very clever & vibrant businesswomen, Alexandra Muir & Cate Boots, this divine little space has captured a very loyal & passionate clientele, & has grown from the 'baby shop' in Rose Street, to being 'all grown up' & now enjoying it's 2nd shop just around the corner in Beatty Avenue.

Customers visit from every corner of Melbourne, the country, the peninsula, interstate & quite often, overseas, to find precious treasures instore including stunning collections in pearl & silver jewellery, with new & beautiful pieces always appearing to excite, fabulous table & desk lamps, the perfect present for boys & girls (newborn to almost teenage), & of course the latest in furniture & homewares - stylish, contemporary & timeless in design & appeal. So many things to delight, so allow yourself time to visit & indulge the senses, ask for help, nothing is ever too much trouble. You know when you walk in, if even for the first time, that when you walk out swinging that gorgeous litte swing bag in taupe & white stripe, that you will already be planning your next 'gorgeous & divine' experience, whether it be at the Beatty Avenue store, or the little treasure around the corner in Rose Street (now known as their clothing store).

Whether you need a dose of inspiration, need a 'pick me up' experience, or just can't resist walking by, I can assure you, a visit to this gorgeous little emporium will immediately make you feel oh so much better! Then, once your shopping experience is complete, pop into "Rouge" the divine French Cafe next door, & enjoy a latte & a treat, whether savoury or sweet, it's all there to enjoy, so make sure you make time to do exactly that, I'm sure you deserve it...:-)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Special Mention For A Very Special Couple...

Today is my parents 51st wedding anniversary, 51 years...that is something to really cherish, enjoy & celebrate. Marriage is certainly a rollercoaster, often perhaps an unknown journey, but the bond of mutual love, compassion, friendship, understanding, trust, hope, shared dreams & joys are all such precious ties, that surely make the ride all the richer & more worthwhile...

When you have that, a love that is so strong, together you can whether the storms, & it makes the good times so much better...My parents are & always have been nothing short of inspirational, supportive, loving & encouraging for my sister & I all through our lives. Now it is their time to enjoy, to relax, to embrace, to love & no longer let the little nuiances of one another annoy or worry, for they are no longer is their time to treasure the simple pleasures of life, love & being together, to enjoy not what they have not, but what they have...these are things they know only too well, but as I spend more time with them as we all get a little older, it cements the true meaning of love, life, & being happy...

I toast them today, a very special day, & thank them both for giving so much of themselves to their children, their grandson, & one another...Mum & Dad, Congratulations, may your day be truly magical & full of love :-) xx

Friday, March 13, 2009

Framing An Architectural Icon

Wayne Gillespie's name is synonymous with timeless, contemporary residential architecture & design. Known as one of Melbourne's most noted & respected urban architects in a career journey of 30 years (1941 - 2002), his design statement focused on the family home. Light, proportion, simplicity & space, were integral to the essence of his every project. The signature features of his style became, & strongly remain, immediately evident to anyone involved or interested in Australian contemporary architecture today.

His collaborations on over 20 projects with Paul Bangay,one of Australia's most renowned Landscape Designers, will forever remain iconic imprints of enduring Australian residential architecture, creating harmony & timeless appeal through his uncompromising command & vision for aesthetic & functional perfection for his work.

I often refer to his book for visual inspiration, & in doing so recently, came across possibly the simplest image of any included, but to me, it says so much of Wayne Gillespie's style - perfect symmetry & appreciation between natural beauty with line, space & light...

Have a gorgeous weekend :-)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Press Release, "Downtown Chic" is Coming...

Recently I was approached by the Marketing Team of SIXX Design, a dynamic New York City design firm, enquiring as to whether I would be interested to help promote "Downtown Chic" (published by Rizzoli, New York) the soon to be released first design book co-written by husband & wife team Cortney & Robert Novogratz, the founders of SIXX Design! How excited was I?? I absolutely love interior books, and am always so excited when I hear about fabulous new releases - anything to do with interior design, architecture & decorating. To be contacted directly to promote it through Haven Home is a great honour!
SIXX Design is a fabulously chic & hip design firm established by this couple over more than a decade ago. They have developed & designed many unique properties in Manhattan, rebuilt entire city blocks & turned funky into fabulous, with every detail considered & implemented with the utmost style & luxury.

To their enormous credit, not only do they run an incredibly successful design firm, they are parents to seven children. Since the first SIXX Design project in Chelsea, the duo has developed & designed fantastic living spaces in Great Barrington, Massachusetts & Trancoso, Brazil, not to mention two fabulous Soho properties that sold for record prices.

Describing their signature style as a blend of sophistication with bohemian new & old, they offer realistic advice on how to create original, warm interiors with ease. One part practical guide, one part inspirational volume on creating a look for the home, DOWNTOWN CHIC shares humorous anecdotes about both the pitfalls & pleasures of renovation ,with a treasure trove of decorating suggestions.

DOWNTOWN CHIC, will be released on April 28, 2009. This is a must for all lovers of contemporary design & sophisticated chic. Don't wait for the release date, order online now.

Alan Pye Cottage at Huka Lodge, New Zealand..simply heaven

I have spoken of my love, inspiration & passion for New Zealand's divine landscape & natural beauty, & for how it is so brilliantly incorporated into the interiors of so much of its is another spectactular example.
The magnificient Alan Pye Cottage is the latest addition to the divine Huka Lodge Resort near Lake Taupo in New Zealand's North Island. The interior fit out is by their renowned & fabulously talented Auckland interior designer Virginia Fisher (you may recall I posted images of the divine Eichardts Boutique Hotel in Queenstown), who has again, brought together her signature style to create this very prestigious fitout. The interior is a perfect reflection of the lush colour palette of Lake Taupo, the surrounding pine tree forest & the natural lights of the landscape, against the richness of texture, materials, fittings & furnishings of the design, to create an indulgently spacious yet extremely welcoming & envious resort destination. This is definitely on my 'wish list'...Just divine.