Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Thoughts for the New Year

I have written before about the Keep Calm Gallery and their lovely prints. I think this is a great print for a girls bedroom. There is so much pressure on all of us these days to look good sometimes we need a gentle reminder that there's no point looking great if you don't feel great or aren't treating your family and friends as well as you could be. So aside from all my annual resolutions to eat less, drink less and exercise more I am also going to try to improve myself on the inside !! Happy new year from sunny Sydney and every good wish for 2009.

Image: Keep Calm Gallery

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

12th day of Christmas: Christmas Loop

Image: Homes and Gardens

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

11th day of Christmas: Bahnhofstrasse, Zurich

Image: Caroline Gunston

Monday, December 22, 2008

10th day of Christmas: Ivy stairs

Image: Homes and Gardens

Sunday, December 21, 2008

9th day of Christmas: Blue green wreath

Image: Homes and Gardens

Saturday, December 20, 2008

8th day of Christmas: Augustinergasse

Image: Folder of Ideas

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

5th day of Christmas: Christmas Crystal

Image: Waterford Crystal

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

3rd day of Christmas: Christmas Chrysanthenums

Image: Marks and Spencer

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

1st day of Christmas: Baubles by Paul Smith

As I have family in town for Christmas starting today I will be counting down to the day itself with some Christmas inspiration - more pictures than words which I hope will still get you into the festive spirit.
Image: Paul Smith

Friday, December 5, 2008

Companion side table and friends

I have been sick this week so everything has been a bit neglected hence the lack of posts. I like a small side table when I am sitting on the sofa to keep that cup of tea, glass of wine, paper, phone or remote control right beside me. I don't get to sit down much during the day so when I finally get to sit, I want to sit.

The Companion side table is a lovely little piece by Irish designer Peter Mac Cann. It was available at habitat in the UK for a time but the only place I could find it online was in Japan at www.duende.jp.

At current exchange rates the Companion comes in at about AU$200. Functionally, the Rian table from IKEA below (at a pretty unbeatable AU$19) does exactly the same job - although it is not quite as beautiful.

Another style I like is the bent wood Offi Mag Table which can be a low side table and magazine holder or if you flip it over a laptop table so that you can watch your dvds in comfort. The Offi range is available in Australia at top3 www.top3.com.au

Images: Duende, IKEA, Midcentury Modern, Offi

Monday, December 1, 2008

Wishlist: Riviera sunlounger

It is the first day of summer here in Sydney and a lovely warm day. The Riviera sunlounger has been on my wish list for over a year since I first saw it at Wild Reeds http://www.wildreeds.com.au/ when I was buying other outdoor furniture. Its designed by a Swede, Staffan Hultgren for Gloster and I think it is a thing of beauty. Its made from teak and stainless steel and a very hitech vinyl sling which I'm told was designed for racing cars or space or something and is one of the reasons the chair is so pricey. I love the shade attachment too so that you can read in comfort and protect your face.

Images: Gloster, Wild Reeds

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Donna Karan desk

This photo is from Donna Karan's New York apartment. Supporting structures like this are often a nuisance but this cantilevered desk idea is very clever. I am not a fan of tvs in bedrooms so I would have left the column plain and streamlined and wouldn't have included the little tv screen.
Image: The Sunday Times

I picked up this photo in a UK newspaper some years ago and am not sure who took the photo. It may well have been Richard Powers who has taken a beautiful series of pictures of the rest of this amazing apartment. His photos have been posted on a number of blogs - most of them can be seen at http://yatzer.com/postDetails.php?post=1151

Friday, November 28, 2008

Console tables

I am looking for a console table for my hallway and have collected the images below for inspiration. The brief is for a dark wood or black table with a bit of glamour and impact but not too big as my hallway is not super wide.

Images: Clockwise from bottom left - Louis console by John Reeves at Heals, Living etc, Desire to Inspire, Charlotte Crosland, Moissonier, London Wall console by Le Forge

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Favourite rooms: music room

A piano is a lovely thing to own, look at and play. I kept this picture not just for the piano but also because I like the mix and contrasts in the room - the ornate music stand and the modern lamp, the basic mirror and the upmarket upholstery. The chair fabric is 'Donuts' by Galbraith and Paul who make beautiful hand block printed fabrics and lighting based in Philadelphia. I have included a few other fabrics below. See www.galbraithandpaul.com for more.

Images: Homes and Gardens UK, Room and Board, Galbraith and Paul

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Stripey bathrooms

My first thought when I saw this Bisazza tiled WC was 'what a great design for a guy' - not fussy, classy - perfect for a bachelor pad. Then I started to think about brighter colours and beach towel stripes and how it would be fun to tile a bathroom in a beach house to match your favourite beach towel. The possibilities are endless. The bottom image is from the Lute Suites in the Netherlands. Its worth a browse through this design hotel's website www.lutesuites.com especially if you like mosaics.

Images: Not known, Paul Smith, Lute Suites

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Favourite rooms: Kitchen

This picture is from a flooring ad in an Irish interiors magazine. I do like the floor which is big scale parquetry and it is unusual in that it has a more bleached look than most parquet floors you see. I really like the kitchen though - it is so enormous the Aga looks tiny. I love the way you can see the light fitting from the stairs, the mix of surfaces, windows and what looks like an enormous skylight over the island. I wonder whose kitchen it is . . .

Monday, November 24, 2008

Quba sails beanbag

In my area on the first Tuesday of the month you can book in for a 'council cleanup' and put all your unwanted stuff out on the street for collection. Its a great recycling event as in the leadup up to the collection you see people touring the streets in utes picking up anything that catches their eye.

Anyway my neighbour was getting rid of her husband's old windsurfing sails and I was reminded of Quba Sails in the UK who recycle old sails and make jackets and bags. They used to also use the sails to upholster ottomans and armchairs - a fantastic idea for real sailing fanatics whose boat number has special meaning in their lives. I checked out the current site www.quba.com and the furniture seems to be no more but they still do these lovely beanbags which would work well inside or out.

Image: www.quba.com

Friday, November 21, 2008

Clusters of lights

I kept this kitchen picture becausee I really liked the lights over the bench. Now that I come back to it I really like the wooden bench and the parquet floor as well. This is the home of Clare Cousins, a Melbourne based architect. There are more images of this house and other projects at www.clarecousins.com.au

Image: Clare Cousins

These lights remind me of the Torch light by Established & Sons. Designed by Sylvain Willenz the Torch light is based on the silhouette of hand held torches. There are three different shapes and you can hang them individually in whatever configuration you choose. They also come in a group of 10 as shown below or you can go mad altogether and get a group of 20.

Images: Established & Sons

Thursday, November 20, 2008

3D Mirror

I am not sure what the proper name is for this type of mirror - I call them 3D mirrors because they are not flat. I especially like the really old venetian style 3D mirrors. Someday I will find out the proper name - must look up an antiques book.

Image: Homes and Gardens

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

John Borrack

Baz Luhrmann's movie 'Australia' premiered yesterday here in Sydney and by all accounts it is a very beautiful film capturing the enormity and beauty of the outback. So I though it would be timely to include a post on John Borrack who is an acclaimed Australian landscape painter.
A friend of mine inherited two lovely watercolours from his father which I still covet every time I visit their home. The thing was that the artists inscription was hard to read on both paintings and my friends didn't know who had painted them. It took a lot of internet time entering different possibilities but finally I found http://www.johnborrack.com.au/
If you were brought up in Ireland, as I was, the Australian outback is very different - different trees, different colours and different light and I think John Borrack's landscapes capture that uniqueness.

Sun and Cloud, Kakadu, NT by John Borrack

Violet and Red by John Borrack

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Blogging Top Design Swarovksi Chandelier Challenge - the result

I am very delighted to share that I actually won this competition. This is all the more exciting as I am one of those people who never wins anything and my design was picked out by Margaret Russell the editor-in-chief of Elle Decor magazine in the US !

This is what Margaret said:

"I’ve chosen Sheila O’Meara’s formal dining room with the Light Sock chandelier as the winner of the Swarovski Chandelier challenge.It was terrific to see all of the entries—and I appreciated elements in each of them—but Sheila created the most professional and thoughtful presentation.

She chose to not include a proper rendering of the room, but her mood board and detailed written description provided a remarkably realistic portrayal of her space; it was very easy to imagine being inside her dining room.

Though the Light Sock was my least favorite of the light fixtures, Sheila conjured a dreamy space that suited the texture and scale of the piece. Her color palette is a tad somber, but she deftly described the layout of the room (including a fireplace; who doesn’t love a fireplace in a dining room?), her mix of textures, and even how she would set the table."

So a big thank you from me to Linda Merrill and the team at Blogging Top Design for organising the competition, to Margaret Russell for taking the time to look at my design and to everyone who has been in touch to say congratulations. You can see all the fabulous entries selected for the finals here at Blogging Top Design http://www.bloggingtopdesign.blogspot.com/

Monday, November 17, 2008

Ideas for a little girls room

One of my very best friends asked me if I had any ideas for girls rooms. As I have boys it was a bit of fun for me to have a think about this and the result is below. I took my inspiration from two key things the bedroom pictured and the butterfly decals.

Click on image to enlarge

I am a big fan of decals for kids rooms as they are not expensive and are really effective. I have used them myself and they do do what they say on the tin - they are easy to position and reposition should the need arise. The butterflies are by Little Chipipi at http://www.kidsstore.com.au/. The chalkboard is also a decal - Rococo by Wallcandy. As two little girls are going to share this room - two chalkboards would look great if space allows. If it makes more sense to paint a panel of chalkboard directly onto the wall or the side of the wardrobe the bright pink shown is 'Hula hoop' chalkboard paint by Porters paints.

When I think about little girls rooms I think of lots of 'stuff' - art from school, colouring in, dress ups, beads, hair clips - the list goes on. The art rail shown is simply a metal strip along the wall and paintings are held on by magnets. You can also use a curtain wire and clips to get the same effect. I like the idea also of the band of darker colour below the art rail and at sticky hand level. A row of pegs is handy for dressups, beads and bags - another thing little girls have lots of and I love the hair clip holder. This one is from http://www.ribbiesclippies.com/ but you could make one to match any colour scheme.

I picked out this bedroom because I like the idea of using white bedlinen on kids beds and using pillows and throws for colour. My friend has picked white bunks for her girls so something similar might work. The pink pillow and throw above is from Cath Kidston. The alphabet print is an oilcloth also from Cath Kidston which could be used to cover a play table - as they do get a hammering. The rug is Fabler Prickar by IKEA.

Images: Homes and Gardens UK, Ammamead, Sirocco Homewares, IKEA, Cath Kidston, Porters Paints, Wall Candy

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Nina Campbell's kitchen

This picture goes back a few years so I cannot be sure that Nina Campbell's kitchen still looks like this - but it once did. I kept this cutting from a London newspaper primarily because of the wine storage. The wine rack is of a scale that it is a feature in itself and gives you the impression that this would be a good spot to be invited to for a long lunch. I do like the rest of the kitchen and think the glass partition at the end of the bench works very well.

Image: source not known

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Colouring in wallpapers

I have had a little magazine cutting of Graham & Brown's 'Frames' wallpaper in my folder of ideas for a few years and am still keen to use it in a kids room or suitable feature panel or small space. The popularity of wallpapers designed to colour in continues. For those who can actually paint you can produce beautiful effects like the water colours used on the flowers bottom left. This paper is Ikon Gallery Flowers also by Graham & Brown. The other papers are both by absolute zero degrees in London 'Sitting Comfortably' and 'Tick Tock'. I am quite keen on the chairs. See more of their designs at www.minimoderns.com .

Friday, November 14, 2008

Blogging Top Design Swarovski Chandelier Challenge

A few weeks ago I read about this competition on Desire to Inspire and decided to enter. The brief was to design a room around one of Swarovski's Crystal Palace chandeliers. I chose the Light Sock. The Light Sock is basically a string bag filled with crystals. You can buy crystals by the lb or kg as you would anything else in a market and make it as big as you want and a light source sits in the middle of the crystals illuminating them. You can see more background on the competition at www.bloggingtopdesign.blogspot.com and see more about the Light Sock at www.dillerscofidio.com

I am thrilled to have had my design below selected for the finals but as you will see from the other entries face stiff competition in progressing further.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Kitchen workstation

We need our laptops in the kitchen or nearby to keep an eye on kids online or in my case watch the kids, check email, cook dinner etc etc at the same time. I like this design for a number of reasons. High on my list is that the chair looks good and looks fit for purpose. The desk matches the bench top in the adjoining kitchen and using the space right beside the window gives the person sitting there a view to the garden.

Image: source not known