Annie Sloan and Mr Darcy – a romantic chalk paint makeover

Country style dining roomI am so excited about my very first Annie Sloan chalk paint makeover! I have seen so many fantastic furniture makeovers online and read a great deal of positive reviews that I’ve been wanting to try it out for a while, despite my hatred for painting. Our dining room setting is beautiful, but the mango wood doesn’t quite match the other wooden elements in our home, and while i am not willing to paint the entire setting, I though just painting the bench seat white would help it to tie into the room better. Chalk paint makeoverI have a hatred for painting, so I thought a little of Mr Darcy in the background encouraging me would make the process more enjoyable. It did!! Why thank you Mr Darcy. This was the most romantic painting project I’ve ever experienced. :)Old white chalk paintHere I am in action – completing the first coat. I did two coats and one coat of soft clear wax. I found the paint goes a long way and I only used about 1/3 of my 1litre tin. Old White Annie SloanOld white Annie Sloan chalk paintI am really happy with how it looks and I love that the setting doesn’t look too matchy matchy anymore. I have a couple more projects in mind for this paint, which will help me incorporate more recycled pieces into my home. This might be the very first time I have enjoyed painting. :)Annie Sloan old white Bench seat

Recycled Interiors – In My Modern Home

recycled railway sleeper tableAre recycled interiors suitable for a modern home? I think so. We moved into our modern home almost 12 months ago and have slowly, but surely been putting our stamp on the place. Even before the boxes had been unpacked, i had decided that i wanted to include my love of vintage and secondhand pieces into our new home. It was suggested that i probably wouldn’t be able to do that in such a modern setting, but i was determined to use some of my existing pieces and find more vintage treasures to include in our modern setting.vintage side tableWhile i have no doubt that vintage pieces can be used in a modern setting, you do need to be selective and have a good mix of different decor items. I was mindful of the fact that not everything would work, but looking around there are lots of recycled items in my home that look and feel modern. You just have to be careful about getting the balance right. This vintage air circulator (which still works) was the perfect solution for a small side table near the lounge. A modern lamp sitting on top of it, contrasts nicely. And, how to fix a broken lounge leg? With old magazines of course! Okay, it is not the most profession repair job, but it is as solid as a rock and other good form of recycling. recycled vintage mapMy husband already owned a couple of much cherished vintage maps and there was no chance of them being left out of the mix. With many large windows and few blank walls, i was limited to only a couple of places in which the maps would fit. This vintage map of the states hangs proudly in our main living area. Underneath are a couple of vintage crates, used as planter boxes and a gorgeous green french desk. I think the contrast of these aged items works well in a modern setting.vintage school deskA much treasured vintage school desk we already own had to be included in our new home. It works well in the modern setting as the colour of the wood just happens to blend perfectly with our wooden steps. A modern light box, hanging above the desk, maintains the modern feel of the space. old medical cabinetMy most treasured antique find, an aseptic dental cabinet takes pride of place in our main living area. It has quite an industrial look about it, so it was easy to incorporate into our modern setting. A vintage number three sits atop the medical cabinet – my hubby loves the number three and it doesn’t look out of place here, despite its age and being covered in rust.vintage stoolI love the contrast of my old vintage stool in our sleek and modern bathroom. Being environmentally aware when decorating doesn’t mean your entire home needs to have sustainable design and all recycled furniture (that would be great though). We can all contribute to a more sustainable way of living in small ways. Don’t go out a buy a new stool if a secondhand one will suit your space.vintage trunkMy bedroom is decorated in quite a modern style, but i have still included this old vintage trunk in the design. A simple makeover with shiny black paint has brought this trunk to life and given it a modern feel, that fits beautifully into my bedroom.reused railway sleepersMy last recycled find that i wanted to share is this beautifully made coffee table – created with old railway sleepers. This was an absolute bargain on ebay for $50. I love it! I had it in storage when we lived in our previous home because it didn’t suit, but it looks perfect in our new home. Rustic, warm and recycled. What do you think? Can recycled pieces work in a modern home?

Christmas Around My Home – the last post for 2014

Christmas, table setting, hessian, white, naturalWhat a wonderful year 2014 has been! I will be taking a blog break until the new year, but i wanted to quickly say thank you to everyone who has encouraged and supported me throughout 2014. When i look back over the past year, i can honestly say that i can not remember a time when i was happier. The fresh new start at our property, Melancholy Hill, certainly set the tone for the rest of the year. unique christmas tree ribbonThe guesthouse has been a smashing success this year and with a few bookings already for 2015, i know the next year will be the same. Messages of thanks and happiness fill my guest book at RedAgape Guesthouse and i am so pleased to be able to share the beauty of Millthorpe with others.
DAS air dry clayI have had so many new opportunities to further improve my photography, styling and writing over the last 12months. Thank you to those who have trusted me to produce good work, despite my lack of formal qualifications. The experience i have gained over the last year has been priceless.
gift wrappingI have so much gratitude for a year of reasonably good health….something i NEVER take for granted. I am also extremely grateful for the good health of all those i hold dear. I hope this continues in 2015.
Christmas, table setting, natural,This year i have finally been able to feel some resolution about losing my mother last year. I think of her everyday and I’m grateful for the pain because it makes me determined to fill every moment with as much happiness and joy as i can muster.
clay stars for christmasI have loved watching three very special people, my children, grow a little more into totally inspiring human beings. They are so kind, thoughtful, bright and pure. I wish Mum could see how they’ve grown. I am unbelievably proud of them and everything they do.
Marble, wood, Christmas, white clayI have crossed paths with so many like minded people this year, who have encouraged me to follow my dreams and believe in myself a little more. It is so refreshing to be surrounded by creative and inspiring people who want me to succeed. Thank you to those people – you know who you are. xoxox
Christmas, table setting, decorating, stylingI also want to say goodbye to Ruby. Our dog of 15yrs was diagnosed with cancer on Saturday and sadly we had to put her to sleep. There were lots of tears on Saturday but we are consoled by the fact she has lived a long life and isn’t suffering anymore. The last year she spent at Melancholy Hill was probably her happiest too.
Christmas outdoorsFinally, Merry Christmas and a Happy new year to my readers. I am looking forward with great anticipation to 2015 – i have so much planned!!!

{Creatives’ Spaces} Shani Nottingham from Rare Pear Studio

collage butterflies womanI’ve decided it is time to pay tribute to the wonderful woman in my life that not only encourage me creativity, but inspire me on a daily basis with their talent and creative interior styling. Today’s creative space belongs to  Shani Nottingham from Rare Pear Studio.

australian artistI had been following Shani for a little while on Instagram, before I approached her about photographing her home for Central West Lifestyle Magazine. Her IG feed is a visual feast, bursting with creativity and colour, so I was confident her home would be equally as interesting, and i wasn’t disappointed!cosy reading nookShani is a collector, gatherer and curator. Her home is both warm and fascinating. Everywhere you look there is a conversation starter, which is why I spent 5hrs visiting her home…..we talked and talked and talked. It was astounding how much we had in common and I left that day knowing I had made a good friend.

collector coloured glassShani’s collects glass with a passion and it is displayed lovingly throughout her home, adding a rainbow of colour where ever you look. Her pottery collected from op shops and secondhand stores, sit proudly on display atop thrifted or gifted cupboards. There is an abundance of eclectic objects that you don’t expect to be grouped in one room, but it works, and you feel some understanding of how Shani thinks – like a little glimpse into how her mind works.

collection of german potteryKill that Man! The painting over the fireplace was a gift from her husband, before they were married,  and has been to every home they have lived in. It’s large, blue and proudly takes pride of place in the centre of the room.
pop art blueThis painted beauty is an original Rare Pear Studio piece, that ties in effortlessly with the rest of the room.
rare pear studio original artAnd she paints, draws, makes collages and excels in photography. So much talent wrapped up in one lady! She is allergic to mushrooms, but she is fascinated with them and has mastered capturing them in pencil, ink or paint.
mushrooms art on book pagesShe blogs at Rare Pear Studio Blogspot. There you can enjoy her varied and entertaining posts. Trust me, you won’t get bored. You can follow her Facebook page if you prefer.

nest drawingHer photography is unique and moving……subjects captured with so much care. You can follow her beautifully captured images on Instagram.
succulent photographyI must say though, it’s her collages that get me! Right in the heart! They are perfectly composed and visually intriguing, so much so that you can’t look away. This one is called Enchanted Forest. And some exciting news – Shani has just launched her website www.rarepearstudio.com.au Pop over for a visit, it’s definitely worth it. xo

paper collage forest art

Christmas Styling – a natural table setting

Christmas, table setting, hessian, white, naturalThis is what Christmas will look like at my house this year. I am moving away from the bright and garish decorating that is usually associated with Christmas and creating a theme that is more in keeping with our contemporary home. I am adopting a little nordic style and blending it with a bit of Australia. There will be lots of white, minimal decorations and focus on Christmas shapes, rather than colour. Marble, wood, Christmas, white clay I LOVE that Christmas is a time when we can unapologetically decorate in excess, often in bad taste, but for our neutral coloured living, kitchen and dining, I wanted clean and simple decor. Don’t worry, I’ll be flooding my rumpus room with loud and glitzy decorations, all in the traditional red and green combo. Christmas styling, table setting A minimal and simple style of decorating style doesn’t necessarily mean boring. My Christmas table setting, while focusing on neutrals, maintains plenty of interest with the varying shapes and textures. The rustic hessian table runner provides some relief from the abundance of white and ties in nicely with our country setting. Christmas, table setting, natural, Using sticks from your backyard, antlers and blooms are a great way to bring nature indoors, especially if it’s hot outside. Including items from nature helps create a relaxing and down to earth vibe, as we often feel more at peace in natural settings. Christmas, table setting, decorating, styling The large white wooden star works well as a centre piece and makes the table look a little more Christmassy, as do the white deer ornaments. And do those antlers belong to Rudolph, shed after last Christmas perhaps? All I need now is some matching Bon Bons to complete the table.White, Christmas, table setting, styling So, what do you think of my neutral Christmas table setting? I love it!

My home is featured on Houzz Australia – comment to win!

houzz kitchen styling interiorsThe winner of this competition has now been chosen. Congrats to @justazed on winning a $50 voucher to Jumbled Online!!

 I’m totally flattered and grateful to be chosen to kick off Houzz Australia‘s newest series called At Home With… It is a fabulous concept created to showcase some of Australia’s best home and lifestyle bloggers and i was selected first! Chuffed! Houzz readers get a sneak peak into bloggers homes and find out what makes them tick.

houzz white wood kitchen One of the great things about this new series is a fun competition element that could win readers a $50 voucher to one of my favourite stores, Jumbled in Orange. It’s a bright and colourful homewares store that I visit often, usually to buy a craft or decorating book. They also have beautiful gifts and home decor items.

Remodeling and Home Design

Click on the “Featured on Houzz” button above and leave a comment after the interview to be in with a chance of winning. It’s easy to do and only takes two minutes. Please go and check it out. I’d really love one of my regular readers to win the voucher. :)  thank you!!

houzz modern bathroomhome office, decoratingcraft room, pegboard, organising