Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tulips in Dustbins

A while ago, I did a post on Tulips.  I talked about being inspired by pictures I'd once seen of tulips grown in trash cans.  After a bit of digging, I managed to find the tear sheets and am delighted to be able to share the gorgeous images.

The tulip bulbs I ordered from arrived last week and armed with the instructions set out in the article on how to get the best display, I'm now really looking forward to giving this a go.  It might be wise though to hold off for another week or two before I plant as I think tulips like colder conditions.  It's still pretty mild here in Auckland.

Here's a summary of the instructions in the article:
  1. Turn bin upside down and make around five 4cm holes in the bottom using a crowbar.  Hammer the sharp edges flat.
  2. Turn bin right side up and fill with 30cm of drainage material i.e. bits of broken tile, bricks etc.
  3. Put in around 30cm of potting compost before positioning your first layer of bulbs.
  4. Add 5cm potting compost before the next layer and so on.
  5. For seventy bulbs (which is recommended), have five or six different layers.
Apparently, the lower bulbs manage to push their way through just fine.
I'm still enchanted by the pretty names.  Those purple and white ones pictured above are called "White Dream" and "Queen of the Night". Also mentioned are "Pink Diamond", "Shirley" and "Carnval de Nice".

PS Check out Maurenice's latest post on her blog Villa Bisono here which features some gorgeous snaps of tulips including this one below.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Rain ... (and virtual window shopping)

It is so wet today in Auckland that I don't feel any guilt about whiling away the afternoon doing some virtual, window shopping.

An attempt earlier to go out in the world found me in horrendous traffic queues and parking hell so I turned around and came home again pretty sharpish!  Sitting here in front of the mac with a cuppa (and a white Tim Tam!) is much, much nicer indeed.

So anyway, with our trip to the motherland (including 3 night stays in each of Hong Kong, London, Copenhagen and San Fran) coming up in less than 4 weeks time, I thought I had better start getting organised about what I'll need to pack and what needs to be purchased in advance, hence my perusing of the Witchery and Country Road websites to check out if they've got the new tees and ballet flats I think I'll need.  I'm also on the look out for a casual but stylish rain jacket given that it's going to be rainy season in Hong Kong and you can be pretty much guaranteed rain any time of the year in Ireland!  Here are some items I'm considering following my web search today...
Holiday Wardrobe Items by Stylish Irish
  1. Basic Scoop Neck Tee, Witchery
  2. Scoop Hem Tee, Witchery
  3. Coated Skinny Leg Jean, Witchery
  4. Drawcord Detail Anorak, Witchery
  5. Ainsley Stretch Ballet, Witchery
  6. Letitia Metallic Ballet, Country Road
  7. Ombre Animal Scarf, Witchery
  8. Large Black Slouchy Bag, The Leather Store, Etsy
I've also been ogling some cuffs and enamel bracelets at Hermes.  Unknown to "himself" (as yet), I'm plotting the purchase of a little luxury treat for myself while on our travels.  Wouldn't either of these bracelets work well with with the looks above?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A little peek at our reno

We're currently using our bay room to the front of the house as our living/TV room.  The longer term plan is that, once we extend to the rear, this will become a guest bedroom.  See our concept plan here.

When we bought the house all the ceilings had been lowered.  Luckily, when we removed the plasterboard ceiling in this room, we discovered the original board and batten ceiling pretty much intact.  It did take a lot of work though to clean, sand and paint the old ceiling but it was worth it in the end to have that soaring 3.2m stud height.

Once we had sorted out the ceiling, plastered the tops of the walls, rewired and changed all the electrical fittings, installed traditional skirting boards and architraves and painted everything white, we had timber venetian blinds installed and the original kauri floorboards stained walnut.

And here's a glimpse of how our front room looks now as photographed from the door.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Gourd Lamps and Foo Dogs

via decorpad
As post titles go, I rather like this one actually!  Anyway, these are two trends I'm pretty into at the mo.  The gourds, I'm unapologetic about - they're just a really pleasing shape and work in almost any interior. The foo dogs though I feel less sure of - am I straying into the wrong side of tacky here??  They do provide a nice shot of colour though and there is something kinda cool about them right now...

Anyway, to start off, here's my pick of interiors images featuring gourd lamps:

via elementsofstyle

Above 3 images via decorpad
And now, some interiors pics featuring (yes, you guessed it!) foo dogs:

Love those purple tulips by the way.

There are also foo dog lamps ...

... and then there are gourds that aren't lamps (ok, now I'm getting silly).

Above 2 images via decorpad
That first pic by the way was of Ivanka Trump's apartment.  I refuse to believe she decorated it herself.  Nobody should be that fortunate, good looking AND talented!  Also, do check out the it girl project blog where I came across those first two gourd lamp images from elements of style.  I think it's pretty cool.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

And the nominees are...

Ok, I'm home and FINALLY I'm getting round to nominating my pick of the blogs for the One Lovely Blog Award.  Here they are:

  1.  Beau Lifestyle
  2.  Decor is like butter
  3.  Dwellers Without Decorators
  4.  High Street Market
  5.  i suwannee
  6.  luxe + lillies
  7.  MadeByGirl
  8.  My Villa Life
  9.  NEWIST
  10.  Oh How Sublime
  11.  Pawleys Island Posh
  12.  Small Acorns
  13.  Table Tonic
  14.  the style files
  15.  theLENNOXX
There's a pretty good mix here and regardless of whether they have thousands of followers are just a modest number like myself, these are the ones I currently find myself checking in on most regularly.  Thanks for the inspiration guys and please keep it coming!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

7 Things about Me!

OK - I'm getting through this bit by bit.  On my way to melbourne for work in 15 mins so here goes v quickly:

1.       It’ll be no surprise that I’m Irish!  I was born and bred in County Cork, and was educated and spent the first 8 years of my working life in Cork City.

2.      I have a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering (not very stylish at all really, is it?)

3.      ‘Himself’ and I moved to Auckland 3 years ago.  We enjoy our lives here but when I asked whether we are here for good, we’re non-committal.  It’s a long life!

4.      When I was little I wanted to be Alexis Colby when I grew up.

5.      I was interested in interiors and architecture from an early age and was always drawing extensions for our family home.  I was also the kind of little girl whose mother asked her opinion on what to wear!

6.      I’m discovering as I get older that excess doesn’t really make you happy.  That said, there are two material items I promise to treat myself to at some point – a Chanel 2.55 handbag and a Cartier watch.

via fashionpearlsofwisdom
7.      I’m always happier when I’ve got a novel on the go and I’m a big, big fan of the public library.

Next post: The 15 blogs I nominate for the One Lovely Blog Award!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

One Lovely Blog Award

I'm thrilled to have received the One Lovely Blog Award from the lovely Jasmin at Oh How Sublime (thanks sooo much!).  I'm still pretty new to this blogging game so this is v exciting for me.

So if I've got this right, other than linking back to the person who nominated me, I now need to:

  • reveal 7 things about myself
  • nominate 15 other bloggers for this award
  • leave a comment on their blogs.  
Stay tuned...

Tray Display

Following on from my recent post on The Art of Display, here's one focusing on "tray displays" i.e. using serving trays to display things around the home with style.

via dwellerswithoutdecorators
I guess the drinks tray idea is pretty tried and tested...

via isuwannee
via decorislikebutter
via Beaulifestyle
... and then there's using trays to display just about anything else...

Tray displays look great as part of an overall vignette (btw loving that green lamp below with the black shade):

This is a trend I'm really hooked on (I guess it appeals to my need for order) but I have to say finding stylish trays in NZ is proving quite the challenge.  The best I've come across is this mirrored serving tray from Freedom, which at 100NZD isn't exactly a bargain.
How I lust after the lucite numbers I see on all the blogs...

..and THAT python number (you know the one I'm talking about), I really, REALLY want one of those.

via dwellerswithoutdecorators
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