Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Anywhere Beach Chair from Crashmat

Now I've got a crashmat bubble for propping up my tablet, I don't think I could ever go back to the slippery slide of a cushion or the bulk of a pillow to hold it in place on my lap. A new product from crashmat is the handy go-anywhere beach chair. Definitely on my Santa list!

Monday, 16 December 2013

Traditional Christmas: Red and Green, Even Outdoors

As Christmas baubles and trimmings become more sophisticated, and colours follow fashion trends, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to choose from the many divine decorations on offer at this time of year. I took the plunge a few seasons ago by choosing yuletide chic over conventional options, but sadly, the black Christmas tree I bought didn’t do much to impress the grandparents and littles, nor did the wicker door decorations and plywood ornaments. So this year I resolved to revisit tradition – after all red and green still say Christmas better than any other colour combination and when applied to handcrafted treasures outshine even the glitziest bauble. But I have also taken the idea one step further and given an outdoor tree a Christmas makeover. I think you'll agree, these red, green and gold outdoor decorations from TreeTrinkets fill both the traditional and contemporary niche for yuletide dressing.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Cover Ups: Tablecloths of distinction

If you have a cupboard full of linens and fabric lengths, sarongs and shibori, picked up on travels and at op shops, don’t keep them stored waiting for the day the sewing bug gets you. Throw these terrific textiles over the table. And don’t worry if your stunner of a tablecloth gets a little stained with food or wine. A gorgeous cloth on show is better than a rolled up piece of fabric in a cupboard any day. Read more on decorating your home for summer in my story in Fairfax Media's Life&Style online here.

Table dressing: Cover ups: Throw a terrific textile over a bed, sofa or table. These ones by textile and
homewares designers Bonnie and Neil. Styling by Heather Nette King, photography by Armelle Habib.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Flora Adora: Christmas Table Setting

It could be beach pebbles or river rocks anchoring napkins in place, a simple row of posies in odd jars or tins in the middle of the table, or even novel place cards made by writing names onto pieces of citrus fruit, which are then plonked on the plate of each guest setting. Christmas and the summer season presents numerous opportunities to dress the tabletop with garden greenery or floral fun. Here's what you can do with homewards Ikea suggests, with plenty of classic red and plaid table essentials. Other ideas could include glass candle holders wrapped in fern fronds and tied with grass; dried out and pressed leaves used as wine coasters; pieces of hollowed out driftwood filled with cacti or paper flowers; single philodendron leaves as placemats; sprigs of aromatic herbs or fresh mint clipped and ready for garnishing.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Pink Power: Beach Accessories for Little Girls

Forget beach balls and surf mats, some little girls like a bit of glamour with their sandcastles. If you know of a girl who would go gaga over this outdoor setting (all in pink, of course), then head over to Pottery Barn Kids where there are lots of cute summer ideas on show. 

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Wallpaper Christmas Tree

More Christmas tree ideas: This one from UK wallpaper designer Deborah Bowness, who has created a photographic life-sized print of a real tree on wallpaper, complete with an option to hang baubles. The Tree For Life, Not Just For Christmas comes packaged with everything you need to hang your tree as a scroll, but you'd have to hurry to order, especially from overseas, from Deborah Bowness, or for other products in Australia contact Quintessential Duckegg Blue in Sydney.


Friday, 6 December 2013

Christmas Tree Tricks

Why confine yourself to a standard Christmas tree, when there are so many creative alternatives to copy and add your unique sparkly style to. Take a leaf out of Country Road's book or cool ideas and purchase an A-frame ladder and a few shelves to simulate a Chrissy tree. It will look great all season long, especially if you want to keep your decorative display out on show long after St Nick’s been down the chimney.

A selection of Christmas gifts from Country Road; www.countryroad.com.au

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Summer Party Lights

You just can’t go past a light display for creating ambience outdoors. Paper lanterns are both colourful and practical. They can be used to ‘cover’ small candles for an evening event, or cover vases of flowers by day. They look best, however, strung up over your table, with or without illumination, looking just as pretty as decoration for a luncheon as they will after dark emitting a soft colourful glow over the dinner table. If outside in the evening, put up an umbrella and tie the paper lanterns to the ribs inside, or hang fairy lights or small glass hurricanes to create a private starry dome of twinkling candles.

Create an outdoor party ambience with pretty Strala snowball lights from Ikea.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

The Welcome Mat: Preparing your home for guests

With the holiday season soon upon us, friends are likely to drop by, and some may even want to stay over. If you prepare for your guests' arrival, a knock at the door won't fill you with dread. Try some easy-to-do ideas to warmly welcome friends and family into your home. They might just win you accolades for being the perfect host.

Read more about getting your home ready for summer via Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Brisbane Times and more via Fairfax Media online. Just click here.

The Big Clean Up: When guests are due, clean kitchens and eating areas are a top priority. This immaculate dining area is in Grong Grong house. It's by the award-winning Melbourne interior design firm Molecule Architects www.moleculeweb.com.
Photography by Shannon Mcgrath.