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

Author unknown...

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Winter is here

For me, this image captures what we love the first day of Winter to be...sunshine, crisp, breathtaking & invigorating...

Open fires, snowflakes, frost, fog, gumboots, coats, scarves, blankets, throws, quilts, layers,wool, angora, cashmere, scarves, candles, hurricane lanterns, eating in, hot chocolate, red wine, picnics, hot toast, brisk walks along the beach, brisk walks through leaves in the park.

I love Winter, I love the colour in the trees, seeing frost upon the grass, sitting around an open fire, spending time at home reorganise space, cooking, having family and friends gather inside when it's cold out...

Red, rust, ochre, berry, chocolate, moccha, cinammon, olive, fig, sage...the colours of winter...

What does Winter mean for you?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A haven in the making...

I love the mood lighting created through the white linen shades in this bedroom, the way it creates such an interesting backdrop to the simplicity of the bed. Beautiful white cotton bedlinen, , with just enough pink to balance for warmth, creates a serene & harmonious space. Although the bedhead nor artwork are yet finished to frame the bed & compliment the scale of the ceiling height, what appeals to me is how well it still works. The importance of the right pillows & quilts, for both comfort & aesthetics, combined with divine egyptian cotton percale sheets, allows for everything to sit & fall perfectly for a layered & luxurious sleeping haven.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Magnolia Square Homewares Market For The "Tiny & Small"

For those of you with tiny tups, little cherubs, toddlers or friends & family with children you want to pamper, you must visit the latest Magnolia Square in Brighton, Melbourne, THIS WEEK! I popped in there last night, & found the latest in beautiful things for little people, it is all there to see, enjoy & buy. Gorgeous art works, beautiful clothing, original designs, bespoke artwork & pieces for tiny wardrobes & little spaces.

There are many new exhibitors, including Plane Tree Farm, Milk Baby (Lindy Klim's divine natural infant skincare range), Little nest ( the chairs are replicas of iconic contemporary designs such as the baby Eames chair I featured some time ago, fun, bold & fabulous), Seedling, & Pip & Maude (divine graphic talents of Pip Thompson), amongst several other both young & established talents.If you have the need to shop for little ones, or simply appreciate the artistic inspirations of Australian made creative brands, visit "Tiny & Small" Magnolia Square this week (on until end of Saturday, May 23rd), it's tiny, small & just gorgeous!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Bespoke Design Is Cloth Fabric

Stretched Panel Artworks: From $550

Burlap Bespoke Range
Lamps: From $440, Wall Hangings: From $600

Burlap Fabric Upholstered Chair: Approx: $990

Burlap Bespoke Cushions: From $155

I love working with fabrics, natural materials & texture. Whether decorating a room, space or home with beautiful blinds or curtains, furniture, bedlinen, cushions or one off pieces, discovering that perfect fabric whatever the task may be, is an exciting process...Linens, silks, wool, cotton, cashmere, I adore natural materials, for their versatile character, aesthetic & timeless appeal...never boring, always different with every client brief, & every interior...

So it was with much pleasure when I discovered the made in Sydney brand "Cloth fabric" the brainchild & amazing talent of Julie Paterson. The images featured here are from her beautiful "Burlap Bespoke" range, each piece unique & one off in design & origin, made from pre-used materials.

Cloth won "designer of the year" with this collection in Home Beautiful magazine earlier this year, & it's easy to understand why. The concept behind the aesthetic principle is a combination of a craft based process, an artist's perspective & a designer's eye. The design & production of each piece represents a return to traditional hand-made art & craft & is gaining considerable international interest. As a society so familiar with mass produced & readily available commodities, the appreciation of handcrafted & made to measure art such as Cloth's Burlap Cushions is obvious in the demand for the "Found and Made again" collections. Discarded materials & furniture are rediscovered & reborn by Julie into a new collection of lamps, upholstered pieces, cushions & artwork.

The new cloth collection, Julie says, is based on luck & timing - treasures once 'trash' create unexpected art. What she discovers in hidden pockets & corners of Sydney shops & streets are reworked in combination with wholesomely worded layers of text, printed onto raw linen & hemp with graphic accent colours of redoxide, sepia, bone & straw. The end result includes coffee sack curtains, stools, cushions, canvases, bags, lamps, upholstered chairs. The statement pieces of stretched panel art can also be custom made, of course, nothing is mass produced, & it shows. Her love for her work is evident in every stitch, every design, every fibre, & every piece a unique & much loved statement. I have my eye on those Bespoke Burlap cushions for my linen sofa to create some interest against the linen stripes & ottman check. Hmmm, what do you think?? Divine!

Surry Hills, NSW, 2010
Ph: 02 9699 2266

Monday, May 11, 2009

Melbourne's designersecrets workshop is coming...

Our June workshop series begins in just over 3 weeks...
Bookings are limited, and we are already preparing for our next calendar event...
For beginners who are passionate about developing their own style of design & decorating in their home, this workshop series is for you - fun, fabulous, inspiring & informative...
Guest speakers, gorgeous gift bags for every attendee, enjoy meeting new people & be totally inspired as we uncover designersecrets...
Click on the above image for further details... or email me at

Sunday, May 10, 2009

"Breathing Space"

This weekend my home was featured in the Melbourne Herald Sun Home supplement magazine. As nervous as I was, it is quite an exciting moment to turn the page and see a feature spread on yourself, promoting you & you business, such a fantastic opportunity.The article was written by a delightful journalist, Louise Surette, who so perfectly translated my style & decorating principles into print. Chris Groenhout is a gifted photographer, who knowing it was my birthday, was very diplomatic and strategic when it came time to taking the 'kindest' photo of yours truly.

"...Lovely shades of white & cream, plenty of fresh flowers & smatterings of beach mementos are all part of her signature style. The delightful aroma of scented candles also helps render her home utterly tranquil..."

"...the best advice Claire can give is to remember that you need to enjoy your space and surround yourself with the things you love..."
The feedback and enquiries from this article have already been amazing. My thanks to the Home magazine team for their wonderful enthusiasm and professionalism in facilitating this article.
Wishing you all a wonderful week, & with the arrival of these evening winter chills outside, enjoy retreating to the warmth of your own home haven at the end of each day...:-)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mother's Day Pampering...Enjoy

Beautiful, feminine, Autumn Flowers

Rose St Trading Co

Peony Melbourne


L'ete Provence

Home & Abroad

Jo Malone

Mother's Day is Sunday May 10th. It is about the gift of giving & showing Mothers how special, appreciated & loved we are. Now if you're as lucky as I am, you are blessed with this gift every day. Sometimes in subtle thank yous, other days with much fuss. Whether it's hand picked flowers from the garden, a coffee & magazine delivered to your favourite space in the house, or simply a little extra attention, "Mothers Day" is everyday, despite the rollercoaster of daily routines. However, since it's high on the commercial calendar of giving, let me share a few indulgent doses of simply divine retail pampering for your very special Mum or special Motherly role model, where you will find an abundance of gorgeous personal gift ideas that say " today is all about you and no one else"... It's all about the gift, the wrapping, the service, the attention to detail, so many different special touches that make the experience so memorable for that someone very special to you...

Fresh Flowers: whether fragrant or not, budding or in full bloom, from the garden or bought, every mother adores flowers...

Jo Malone:: heavenly scents for hand, body & home

Peony Melbourne: Indulgent & divine, every fragrance, magnificient & exclusive french perfumes & candles, divine presentation

Rose Street Trading Company: Offers something for every Mum & every wish list

Sambag: To dress your feet, your arms or your body, gorgeous array of clothing & footwear for every day & evening wardrobes...

Linton's Garden & Home: Whether a garden novice or passionate landscaper, this Mt. Eliza peninsula nursery is heaven to wander, indulge & enjoy

Home & Abroad: Divine scarves & wraps, bedlinen, bath, bespoke pieces for all tastes & style

Manon Cie: Who can go past Diptyque candles & room fragrance??
Armadale, Melbourne (03) 9821 0760

L'ete Provence: For everyone who adores the provincial way of life, Les Olivades tablelinen, divine special touches for home & yourself, including hand & body collection, Place des Lices, & bespoke Zoe Bonbon jewellery. Everything is wrapped with a love of France
Malvern, Melbourne (03) 9500 2493

Jurlique: The Armadale (Melbourne) boutique, is an inspiring space as much for its interior fit out as it is for its rejuvenating & enriching hand & body products

Harvey's Restaurant: Take Mum for breakfast, lunch & or dinner. A subtle hint...

The Lyall: Pampering treatments

The Avenue Bookstore: For everything in print and pictorial...enjoy browsing whilst sitting on leather benches listening to classical music

Ross Nichols: Take a drive to the peninsula & absorb this amazing showroom of furniture, homewares, & everything you would adore for your home, in the city, by the water, in the country...I guarantee you won't leave empty handed

Wishing you a very special Mother's Day on Sunday :-)Claire

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Inspiration from Nature's Colour Palette

In the latest issue of "Inside Out - Annual Renovating & Decorating Guide "there is a gorgeous feature article "In Full Bloom" that captures nature's nurturing of colour. To quote Rowena Judd, of Murobond: " Nature provides us with the mosty perfect display of colours & colour combinations. Rarely do you see colours in nature that are not in balance".

I think flowers are one of the most beautiful forms of art. Regardless of what the seasonal blooms may be, having flowers around you, in your garden, your home, your office, study or bedroom, infuse us with joy, harmony, grace & beauty.

With the weekend upon us, tomorrow I'm off to buy tulips - pale pink, white, winter roses perhaps...I love my two cream milking jugs for the longer stems, they always create a statement, for the entrance table, or the sideboard. When I feel like a dose of strong colour, I love my fabulous Moet Chandon champagne bucket that I have kept since depleting the contents that I was given as a gorgeous gift from girlfriends a couple of years ago - it looks wonderful with white or fuschia pink tulips. Of course with strategic placement, it creates a fabulous statement against the wisteria & jasmine creeper beyong my kitchen window that lines my courtyard fence. How the colour of blooms inspires us, endlessly & always.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Timeless Designer

'Morskaya' Fabric Collection -
Subtle, sophisticated, I adore these neutral, earth tones

'Indian Summer' Fabric Collection
(I love the curtain fabric, I have it a blue/off white colourway in linen, in a divine bed quilt with reverse lime green DG linen. Against white, it creates a bold, fresh statement)

William Yeoward "Aurelie"
I love the definition of these chairs, a contemporary & sophisticated edge to a classic design

'Roquelaire" Fabric Collection
A stunning & divine statement in a formal space

'Ferara' Fabric
Classic jacquard designs & textural weaves in a stunning colour combinations, luxurious & indulgent

My appreciation, passion & enthusiasm for the global brand, Designers Guild, has been with me for more than 25 years, & for this reason, I am committed to regularly featuring new & beautiful snippets from their myriad of divine collections, estensibly, fabrics, furniture & wallpaper.

In addition to the Designers Guild Collections the company also designs & manufactures under license William Yeoward fabrics & wallpapers, Jasper Conran fabrics & distributes for Ralph Lauren Home - fabrics & wallpaper. The Designers Guild business philosophy is to combine creativity & innovation with the very best quality of design, product, service, commitment & people.

Whether you want a new cushion to make a statement against your much loved wingback, new dining chairs, or inject new personality into your bedroom, living space or windows, I highly recommend you visit Designers Guild online,, or Radford Furnishings in Melbourne( where you will be welcomed & inspired by a divine library of prints, colour, texture & stunning textile creations to cater for every taste, every interior.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


My colleague, Interior Designer Susie Miles, & I, have combined our expertise & passion for interior design, decoration & styling, to introduce the first of our series of Designer Secrets workshops next month, beginning on June 2nd, in Brighton, Melbourne.

At our workshops, you will enjoy a fun morning with friends, & discover the way interior consultants think & work. Learn the secrets of how to transform that problem space or room with confidence, using the design & decorating techniques of professionals.

These workshops are designed for people with little or no formal design expertise, but who are passionate about their interior spaces, & want to create their own haven at home.

Please click on the image above to enlarge for all designersecrets workshop details.

We look forward to hearing from you, your friends, your colleagues, & to sharing more workshop events with you in the near future!

Spaces are limited, so book now so you don't miss out.
To register your interest, please email me at

Friday, May 1, 2009

Inspired Cooking...

I am in love with this kitchen, isn't it just divine??? White walls & floor, so warm & light. They frame the oak, stainless steel & artwork beautifully. Note the gorgeous touches to inspire morning noon & night. I adore the painting, (artist details to be noted in blog to follow), the milking stools back with the oak table, not to mention the white wash stepladder...a practical piece of course, but very country chic against the white timber panelling. I love mine, the steps are perfect shelving for my growing collection of cooking magazines & books...using space wisely of course!
I look forward to sharing more of this magnificient property & the country gardens with you soon...I am visiting in June, & I can hardly wait!

Aesthetic Symmetry & Simply Divine!

It's no secret that I am a great fan of the divine Cotswold Furniture Collections. Over the years, I have had much enjoyment in working with a range of this gorgeous furniture, & have shared much pleasure in introducing it to clients' homes. I also recently wrote about the absolutely divine Huka Lodge in Taupo, New Zealand...well, the Woven Fibre Vincent Sheppard "Sydney Dining Armchair" creates perfect aesthetic symmetry in the dining space at Huka Lodge, as featured above.

Indulge your decorating thoughts and visit Cotswold Furniture, share their excitement & passion for their brand, then scroll down & plan some Autumn cooking on your next weekend in, with their gourmet recipe delights! I'm no cook, but they work for me, & my guests!