We are fortunate to live in a street with friendly neighbours. Each year we exchange Christmas gifts with the neighbours next to us. They are usually small thoughtful presents carefully selected. But this year our neighbour must have telepathy. In our little collection of goodies including lovely jams and shortbread was a pair of red and white chinoiserie plates. They are absolutely perfect for our red sitting room. A soon as they were unwrapped Max and I immediately had the same idea as to where to place them. Our red sitting room has quite a few Chinoiserie pieces and I am always on the look out for more little treasures. These plates are perfect to add more style to our mantlepiece. It was just lacking something. These plates reinforce the theme in a subtle way and are a bit bigger to draw in your eye. Thank you very much Margaret for your fabulous present.
One of our projects that we have been working on is our new conservatory. Well maybe this is a little pretentious, closed in porch may be more accurate. But its good to fantasise. We have created this little room out of an existing pergola and deck that we built many years ago. While shopping for some recycled windows for another project I came across these two large colonial panels. I could envisage them making a conservatory off our dining room. I came home and measured up and they would fit with a little adjustment to our existing structure. They are made of hardwood and came from a house being demolished in a salubrious suburb. The reason why the salvage yard had not sold them was they were very heavy and difficult to move. So we had four students deliver them to our home and after watching them struggle we let them deposit them under our carport before they dropped them and planned our next move. We had to make some repairs and modifications to our pergola and deck to accommodate the windows so once that was done, with the help of our long suffering neighbour, Michael, we then planned the next move. Carrying these huge panels from one side of the house to the other over gravel paths and without trashing our garden was going to be no mean feat. Michael suggested a piano removalist, I tried one but he was too busy but he suggested a billiard table removalist, bingo! An old established firm had just relocated down the road from us, and they very helpfully sent four men around to do the deed. The windows were positioned and the conservatory started to take shape. Timber quarter round and flat moulding was used to hold the panels in place. A few additional pieces of timber hid the gaps. Three coats of paint unified all the timber work and 'Amberlite' panels created a roof. While for Max and I it was an engineering feat as carpentry is not our forte, with patience and persistence it came together. It is furnished from pieces that we have had hanging around waiting for a purpose. We painted the deck and stencilled a border, even the stencil had been waiting for a place for twenty years.
The table is a hard rubbish find. Many years ago we painted it Dulux 'Cold Steel' and the colour works in this scheme too. The little card showing a kitten in a blue and white bowl is coincidental. Max found this while we were hunting for the window scraper. The kitten is the spitting image of our early Christmas present, our new kitten "Tunja".
This is the table late new years night. Our friend Penelope gave us these dear little candle lights, one has a butterfly, the other a dragonfly. They look perfect on the marble topped table. The only items I bought for this space was the large hurricane lamps with the orchids. The small one was a present a few months ago when my mother died. It is still flowering. I only bought the large maiden hair fern and its pot, otherwise everything is recycled.
Hi I am Elizabeth an interior designer who lives in Melbourne, Australia in a little Californian Bungalow cottage with my partner, Max, who is also an Interior Designer, and our beloved furry children, Doris & Ernest. I believe that design can make our lives more rewarding and productive. I love, architecture and design theory but my everyday passion is fabrics and decoration, as I don't think we should get too serious but have fun with our homes and enjoy the process of creating our own environments. I am interested in classic cars, and collect Georgian and Mid Century furniture.