Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Two Little Gentleman!

Image Jolie Home

Image Freddie and Ella

Image Chamomile Barn

Image Jolie Home

Jake & Alex

We are celebrating the arrival of my niece Carly's new identical twin boys, Jake & Alex. They were born at 38 weeks, what a mighty effort Carls!! But wait, there's more! You see the new babies have 3 other siblings, aged 4, 3 & 18 months. Yes, that's right Carly now has 5 children UNDER 5!

As we are all in baby mode (even our boys have been into the Hospital to see the babies) I couldn't resist a baby-centric post today!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Water Baby

Images Rill Decker

After the expansive & OTT luxury of Friday's post, Monday calls for something a little different. This cute weekend cabin sits overlooking a lake just out of D.C. The before & after shots of the exterior are quite amazing! I love the way the owners could see the potential of this magical setting & create a cosy, welcoming family retreat from a pretty 'ordinary' structure.

The treatment of the preparation bench in the kitchen is really interesting. I couldn't quite warm to it at first glance, with the juxtaposition of 2 very different cabinetry styles, but the more I look, the more I like! A delightfully simple & honest weekender that really does deliver the goods.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Power of Persuasion

I know that my persuasive powers at work are fine, but I reckon I'd struggle with this one! You see I think I've just found our next house & will need to do the sell job on MOTH.

It's a lovely fully restored Grade 11 Listed mansion in Gloucestershire with my name written all over it. I love the clean, elegant, light-filled rooms - no musty, fusty stuff here! A few of the features that have won me over are:
  • 9 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, 5 Reception rooms.

  • Lift, Orangerie, Housekeeper's Cottage, 2 Guest Apartments.

  • Cinema, games room, tack room with 5 loose boxes.

  • Secret walled garden, Lavender Walk, Formal Terrace, Rose Garden - all on 120acres of rolling woodland in the heart of the Cotswolds.

There's just a couple of minor points to bring to MOTH's attention, like a change of country of residence & the small sum of 11,388mEUR (AUD$19.952m/USD$16.735m). Wish me luck, if I can pull this one off it will be my most successful sale in 20 years!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bespoke Beauty

The word bespoke always rings my bells. It's a word that only the English could have coined & got away with! As we are still in the new kitchen planning process, my radar is always on the look-out for inspiration. While the style is a little conservative for our renovation, there are still lots of great ideas to be 'knicked' (translation for non-Aussies is 'borrowed'!) from this fab room. Especially those 'you beaut' deep serving trays fitted into the cabinetry.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Brown Paper Packages

The Hedge's 100th post is today & I wanted to find an image that I love so much to share with you. Though this time, it isn't a gorgeous house, sublime rooms, a stunning weekend retreat or a wondrous garden estate .... but something much more intrinsic. Its about what makes me the happiest!

Ever since I was a little girl I have loved books. I grew up in the beautiful Clare Valley in country South Australia & the town was too small for a public library. So once a month the Country Lending Service of the State Library in Adelaide would send me a parcel of 6 books.

My dear Dad would drive me to the Clare Railway Station & there waiting for me in the Parcel office was my precious package. Wrapped in thick brown paper, tied with string & labelled with my name, it was a joyous moment as I skipped back to the car with my much awaited delivery in one hand & my Dad's huge loving hand firmly holding the other!

On arriving home I headed straight for the sanctuary of my bedroom, & sitting on my bed I would carefully unwrap the parcel. The anticipation of what lay inside was almost too much to bear, but I was never once disappointed. Carefully selected from the details my Mum had sent the Library (country girl 7 years, likes English classics, the Secret Seven & horses!) were my next month's supply of happiness!

I can still see those books so vividly - Treasure Island, Peter Pan, Millie Mollie Mandy, Cherry Ames - Nurse & of course the Famous Five & Secret Seven series. Whoever chose those books for me all those years ago has my utmost thanks & appreciation. The selection was just perfect, as though they were able to read my mind & understand exactly what I wanted to read next. So for the next month, I could escape for an hour or two each day - escape into the wonderful world of fictional characters and faraway places.

My Mum was a teacher, so instilled her love of reading in me from a very early age. As soon as I could read I would constantly have 'my nose in a book', & still do at any opportunity I have.

Thank you to everyone who visits The Laurel Hedge, whether it be regularly or occasionally. All your comments & support have added a wonderful dimension to my life, one that I truly never expected when I started on my blogging journey. It has been such a pleasure strolling through your sites each day - thank you for the constant inspiration, your insightful commentaries, breathtaking photos, laughter & friendship, I feel very honoured.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Upstairs Downstairs

Image Design Associates

Image Design Associates

Image APD Architects

I'm having a love-hate relationship with stairs at the moment. Have been hopping around on a badly sprained ankle for the past 2 weeks & its driving me bananas! I slipped rushing down the stairs at my sister-in-law's house while we were in Melbourne for MOTH's big birthday celebrations & have paid the price for my inattention ever since. A huge effort was needed to get into stilettos again for the mid-year Sales Meeting in Sydney last week. I figured walking into the Board Room in my Minnie Mouse slippers would not have been a good look!
These stairs are lovely, but I'd need to ensure they were Millie-proof prior to launching myself down them!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Bliss by the Bay

One of my very favourite places is Boston. It just exudes style & charm & I fell under its spell from my first visit. I love the history that surrounds the city & the collegiate feel with Harvard & MIT nestling in the Cambridge precint on the outer perimeter. More about Boston in another post, but today I'm wandering out of town, down toward the Atlantic & the spectacular bay area.

Buzzards Bay is surrounded by Cape Cod, Nantucket & Rhode Island Sounds & Martha's Vineyard. This fabulous weekender was designed by Hickox Williams, a well-known Boston firm who specialize in the Cape area.

Although quite imposing externally, I love the relaxed & welcoming interior with its simple uncluttered lines. But the real highlight for me is the widow's walk on the rooftop area! Just imagine the incredible views of the Cape & out into the Atlantic on a clear evening.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Jardins Secrets

Images Jardins Secrets

After a very busy week working in Sydney I need a relaxing weekend in beautiful surroundings & I know just the place! We'll fly into Paris & then board the TGV for quick 3hr. trip through the French countryside to the ancient town of Nimes in the Languedoc-Roussillon region. Tucked away behind a secret walled garden on the rue Gaston Marruejols is the exquisite Jardins Secret.

Originally an 18th century coaching Inn, this stunning building is now a delightful boutique hotel. After a morning spent relaxing by the pool in the garden surrrounded by olive trees, old garden roses & the perfume of orange blossom, we'll take a leisurely trip into Uzes to Place aux Herbes where ateliers selling linen quilts, brocantes & antiques can be found in abundance. Picking up some regional produce from the market stalls, the famous Jardins de la Fontaine gardens back in Nimes are the perfect place for a leisurely picnic lunch. Of course a visit to the Pont du Gard, the ancient heritage-listed aqueduct build by the Romans to bring drinking water from Uzes to Nimes is a must.

Later in the afternoon, a walk along the secluded beach of Beauduc in Porte de St Louis, rounds off a wonderful day. Back at Jardins Secrets a spa treatment awaits us & then a table on the terrace at Aus Plaisirs des Halles on rue Littre is ours for the evening. Delicious Provencal food & of course, a bottle or two of the amazing red wine that the Languedoc region is so famous for.

So my friends Bienvenue en Nimes!
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