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

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 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 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 and the furniture seems to be no more but they still do these lovely beanbags which would work well inside or out.


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

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
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

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 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 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 .

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 and see more about the Light Sock at

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

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bunk room

In my mind's eye my (imaginary) holiday home has a bunk room. This room is designed by Todhunter Earle and I pretty much like everything in it - the panelling, peg boards, lights, found objects and the dormitory style. I can almost feel the sand in the beds and on the floor.

Image: Todhunter Earle

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Red Centre

Barbara Carmichael lives near me here in Sydney. We met when we first moved to the area a year ago but I only got to see some of her paintings very recently. She paints amazing big landscapes on a grand scale. This painting 'Red Centre II' speaks for itself. In addition I think the fact that she chooses to work on long canvasses - this one is 2m x 1.2 m - adds further impact as it is like looking at the horizon when you are indoors.

Image: Barbara Carmichael, Soho Galleries Sydney

Monday, November 10, 2008

East Hampton dining table

Every so often I rip through a load of magazines and keep what I like. Today was one of those days and I spotted this table in Home Beautiful. Its an East Hampton table from Martha Stewart at Bernhardt and was available via Coco Republic in Australia but I am not sure that that is still the case. Anyway I really like the legs and the fact that its extendable. The house in Home Beautiful had it in a casual dining area where it looked great but I am not sure that it would stand up to my casual diners so I will keep looking.

Images: Martha Stewart

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Shop: armchair

I visited armchair for the first time in the last few days. They refurbish and reupholster vintage chairs amongst other things. The shop is full of really tasteful fabric and furniture combinations - chairs that would enhance any room. Alot of the furniture is retro or mid century style but there are also classic styles. I've copied a couple that caught my eye but there is lots more to see on armchair's website.

Images: armchair

Friday, November 7, 2008

Favourite rooms: bedroom

I am not sure what the feng shui position is on having a mirror to the side of your bed but I like this look. I also like the mix of textures and fabrics especially the bedspread.

Image: House & Garden

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Collections: small pictures

We all have them - small scale but precious reminders of people, places and events which were big at the time - maybe not so significant now, but part of who we are. Put them together and you have something wonderful.

Image: source not known

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Antiques in bathrooms

Last week Anna Spiro at Absolutely Beautiful Things talked about her taste for including antiques in bathroom schemes see absolutely beautiful things: Bathroom Furniture. I couldn't agree more and here are a couple of photos from my folder of ideas on the same theme. If, as in my case, with young kids your bathrooms are still at the wetroom stage rather than sanctuaries, best to start with a lovely old mirror.

Images: House and Garden

Monday, November 3, 2008

Favourite rooms - dining room

As I recall this dining area is in a private home although its restaurant like features - the high backed banquette, mirror and chairs might lead you to think otherwise. I love the fabric. Its hard to see from the picture below but the print is 'toile' style and there are different styles of red and pink ropes and knots looped through the duck egg blue circles. Unfortunately I don't have the rest of the article and don't know what it is. The chairs are interesting too - low backed but they look quite deep and comfortable. These lights are adjustable - you can see similar lights at

Images: Image Interiors, The French House

Still life fruit bowl

I have a bit of a weakness for design museum shops which is where I spotted the 'Still life fruit bowl'. Its a lovely thing and would have the added benefit of encouraging you choose beautiful fruit when you shop and eat it on time as you wouldn't want your new bowl to get all marked with rotten fruit would you ?

Image: thorsten van elten

Still Life is designed by Barnaby Barford & André Klauser and is available from A thing I learnt on this site is that the bowl can be used in both landscape and portrait although I am not sure what you could put in it in portrait form - maybe a pineapple ?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sculpture by the Sea

One of the best things about living in Sydney is visiting the annual Sculpture by the Sea exhibition between Bondi and Tamarama beaches. The coastal walk itself is spectacular any day of the year but when you add over 100 fantastic sculptures believe me it is not to be missed.

My stand out favourite this year is a bronze sculpture called 'Nexus' by Alex Kosmas. Each artist makes a statement about their work -

"The fast paced world forgets its connection to nature. 'Nexus' represents our life boat."

Images: Folder of Ideas