Thursday, July 31, 2008

Porcho Paradiso

My all-time favourite movie is Cinema Paradiso & this porch is paradise too.(With only one small exception being the tie cushions on the dining chairs!)
3 separate entertaining areas (that we can see!) ......and shutters and hydrangeas and bead boards and french doors complete with fanlight windows and a post & rail verandah ! Yes, I know its OTT, but I love it all the same!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Anything's possible!

Images Cottage Living

I'm a sucker for before & after shots of other people's renovations. At the moment I'm desperately in need of reassurance that yes, someday in the not too distant future, we will have the after photos too. All we have now are just a heap of before & during pics, & with only 2 rooms completely finished, just a couple of lonely sets of afters!

This amazing restoration of an 1870's Freedman's Cottage was done by a very talented 27 year old from Charleston S.C. When purchased it had no electricity, running water or working plumbing. There was a gaping hole in the roof and termites were eating the porch away. At a tiny 850 sq. ft & with just one bedroom, the Owner combined the two front rooms into one large open, living space, added a bathroom onto the back of the house, made a sleeping loft for guests in a gabled alcove above the bedroom & installed heating & air-conditioning. He needed to pull up 15 layers of linoleum that had been nailed to the floor before he could set about sanding & polishing the floorboards.

So, after reading this, I'm a little ashamed about feeeling sorry for myself - this young guy's efforts are just awesome! As I write this, the wonderful Man-of-the-House is putting the first coat of paint onto our almost completed upstairs hallway. Even after a full days work, he's pulled on the painting clothes & is hard at it, what a gem he is.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The semantics of grey

Is there another name for this lovely colour? My dictionary rather tersely describes it as: between light and dark, clouded, depressing, dismal. All somewhat undignified, and much more deserving of a kinder name. Looking at this photo I would use words such as: warm, ethereal, tactile, elegant to describe this hauntingly beautiful colour. What do you think?

Monday, July 28, 2008

A new week begins

Thank you to everyone for all the lovely comments left on Friday's La Bombe post. Life with the 5 boys has been busy, exhausting, fun, exhilarating, at times terrifying, but never dull! Even in their 20's, they continue to provide MOTH & I with the occasional 'challenging' moment, (if they all paid off their speeding fines at once it would immediately wipe off Australia's national debt) but I love them all to the moon & back!

I had the chance to do some serious research over the weekend into the Bombe Alaska (BA) issue & believe I have the answers. However, 2 of our major client groups have their annual Scientific Meetings here in Adelaide over the next month, so I have a very busy time ahead at work. But once that's all over I'll fire up Millie's test kitchen, conduct the big BA experiment & post the results. Talk about living life on the edge!

Friday, July 25, 2008

La Bombe!

In this house the word bomb generally relates to one of a number of cars of dubious age & ability, that have 'graced' our driveway over the years. As the mother of 5 boys, if I hear those immortal words "Don't worry Mum it won't be there for long, I just need to do some work on it" one more time I'll go into melt-down!!

Son No. 4, who is the main culprit in the old bombs saga, had the 'honour' of being the first to experience the now famous 'Millie Solution' to this dilemma. He returned home one evening to find the worst of his cars Missing In Action, as his long-suffering mother Millie had finally reached the end of her rope when she couldn't get out of her own driveway and so made a phone call to the local Wreckers Yard.
A nice man came straight over, backed his Tow Truck down our driveway & removed the said car from my sight forever!! And he gave me $150 for my trouble! Although said son did have the cheek to later present me with an Invoice for $700.00, which he claimed was the true value of the towed car. However, his brothers quietly took him aside & gave him some firm brotherly advice about the veracity of his claim & strangely, the subject was not mentioned again!

Now with all the boys finally gone from home, the only bomb I want to know about now is the gorgeous one in this post. However, as I've never been game enough to tackle the famous Bombe Alaska, I need as much advice as I can get. So please post tips & tricks, if you have any, to make the Bombe process a great success!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Right Words

Image Par Courrier

Image Jeanne D'Arc Living

Image Carolyn Quartermaine

Image Par Courrier

The printed word continues to fascinate me. On fabric it looks fabulous, the ideas are endless. It must be at least a decade since Carolyn Quartermaine's stunning creations appeared, and her work still creates inspirational images.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I look at this image with great longing - imaging that down those stairs lies a world just for me! A place that is mine alone, a retreat where I can do just Millie things. Closing the gorgeous gate behind me, I could walk down those winding stairs & instantly be away from the demands of work, the renovations & the pervasive white plaster dust that is everywhere throughout the house at the moment. A place for reflection & creativity & time out.....and a room that is finished! I

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

True Blue

Sweet cupboard handles from Fridas Gard

Beautiful blue & white from Ocean House

Lovely pre-loved piece from Butik Sophie

Simple linen tea towel from Butik Sophie

More gorgeous handles from Fridas Gard

Happy ribbons from Flourish

Stylish throw pillows from Riviera Maison

Crisp cotton from Pot Luck Studios

Nigella Lawson design from Viking Sun

More delicious blue & white from Ocean House

The ultimate blue accessory from Tiffany

With our tribe of 5 boys, it seems that blue is my dominant colour gene! ....and I'm often inexplicably drawn to blue things. My Blue folder is bulging, so time to share a few of my faves with you. Of course I can't come close to all the lovely blue posts over at the wonderful allthingsblue who's blog is just divine!

No particular theme here - just lovely things I've seen & stored randomly.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Terrace Terroir

The large barcode print left of the fireplace adds a lovely quirky feel to the elgant Sitting Room.

A beautiful unadorned bay window offers a sunny & peaceful place to sit.

Enlarged high double doorways give a light, spacious feel to the home.

The Owners have successfully incorporated favourite pieces from their previous homes into their new space.

The stunning Dining Room features tongue-and-groove panelling on the ceiling that had been hidden by plaster board.

The original high-stud ceilings were also revealed once the old plaster-board was removed.

The Master Bedroom opens up onto a small terrace area overlooking the rear garden.

Beautifully restored fireplaces feature throughout the house.

A large bathroom was divided to create 2 smaller elegant bathrooms.

The small, but beautiful kitchen follows the same elegant lines of the other rooms in the home.

A wonderful renovation/restoration of a run-down property in Parnell, an inner-city suburb of Auckland. One of a row of heritage-listed Terrace houses circa 1899, this property had been converted into 3 flats & the Owners where greeted with a 'rabbit-warren' of rooms & dividing gib walls when they moved in. Heavy sateen curtains of apricot & salmon pink along with mustard yellow walls & varnished cedar finished the awful picture.

The completed work has resulted in a home over-flowing with natural light & elegant style. As the home overlooks Auckland harbour, the decision was made to forgo curtains in the living & dining rooms, to maximise the sweeping water views.

A truly stunning home of great simplicity & style has been created thanks to the dedication & hard work of the visionary Owners who did most of the work themselves, without the help of an architect or interior designer. This is definitely one of my favourite posts & I'm sure many of my blog friends will feel the same!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Good Morning Sunshine

Image Honning & Flora

So many cold, grey wintery days, with more on the way. I need sunshine & light, & doesn't this lovely room provide it! Simply decorated, but oozing with relaxed style.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

It's a dog's life!

Image My Dog Blog

Image Robin Stubbert

This is a quick weekend post for 2 reasons:

Tanya over at SUNDAY BAKER has a beautiful corgi called Sophie. I found this photo recently & thought immediately of Tanya & Sophie - so hope you enjoy it girls!

I've recently discovered a fantastic blog on the adventures of Winston the Westie. This gorgeous Westie puppy has recently come into Michelle's life & her blog My Dog Blog is a daily account of Winston & it makes for compelling visiting. He is just the cutest little boy & he's having such fun! In the absence of our own dog (our ancient cat Miss Chloe has forbid such an intruder into her domestic bliss at this stage!), Winston has become our surrogate puppy!

Friday, July 18, 2008


Each Suite at Kurland is a cottage in the Dutch Cape architectural style.

The pool area overlooks the expansive pastures surrounding the property.

Enjoy drinks & canapes in the relaxed ambience of the Sitting Room before Dinner.

The Rose Garden Suite has a spacious Terrace with private swimming pool.

The Paddock Suite's bathroom opens onto a private Courtyard.

The Paddock Suite's adjoining lounge area with open fire.

The luxury bathroom features a reclining chaise lounge.

One of the 2 Paddock Suites opening onto a private Terrace.

The exquisite lounge area of the second Paddock Suite.

This elegant Suite features a private sitting room, open fireplace & private Terrace.

A king-size four poster bed & oversized chairs make relaxing so easy.

The 2 Paddock Suites feature a loft room located over the main Suite
and is especially designed & furnished for children. These rooms each have a play area, toys & ensuite bathroom.

Beautiful pieces fill each room, some family heirlooms & others sourced from international Fairs
such as Maison & Objet in Paris.

Relax with a cocktail by the pool.

Enjoy brunch on the Terrace overlooking the Rose Garden.

Dine in the candlelit Dining Room or at the Chef's Table in the kitchen.

A fast paced polo match on the Kurland grounds.

Lush pastures surround the estate where polo ponies graze contentedly.

The glorious pristine beach at Plettenberg Bay is only minutes from Kurland.

A quiet picnic in the estate grounds would be very hard to resist!

The Kurland Luxury Boutique Hotel estate as seen by air.

Firstly a warning!! If you hanker for a weekend treat in a minimalist, trendy loft Hotel in a busy noisy city, stop reading this post RIGHT NOW!!

However, if a weekend in an unashamedly pretty luxury boutique Hotel set on a coastal paradise of exquisite beauty near Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route in South Africa calls you, then read on!!

Situated on a plateau between the lush, green Outeniqua mountains and the warm, blue waters of the Indian Ocean, originally a traditional Dutch Cape Homestead, Kurland is now a luxury retreat, yet still retains the feel of a private residence.

There are only 12 tastefully decorated and spacious suites. Each room is individually styled and furnished and exquisite in every respect. King-size beds, soft, plump comforters, huge open plan bathrooms, open fireplaces, a well-stocked library, private Terraces - with wonderful views of the rolling pastures of the expansive Estate, will ensure you experience a relaxing & peaceful weekend.

Kurland is famous for its beautiful roses, which provide the property with an abundance of fragrant blooms all year round. A new Rose Garden is being created boasting exclusive roses cultivated by David Austin, the world’s leading rose horticulturalist.

The Luxury Spa is a sanctuary of calm, located within the Hotel. We could unwind upon arrival or book in for a little self-indulgence during our stay. The Spa includes a private steam room, sauna room, therapy rooms, a relaxation area, a gym and a refreshing plunge pool.

Kurland also boasts a world-class polo field where matches are regularly played. We could spend an aftenoon watching a game from the comfort & elegance of the wide verandah on the stunning white pavillion overlooking the field.

So join me for a weekend of relaxing in the elegant Drawing Rooms, sipping cocktails on the sun-warmed verandah, stretching out by the sparkling pool & indulging in a spa treatment. Yes, this is a very traditional retreat, with absolutely beautiful Suites, so enjoy the moment & welcome to Kurland.

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