Wednesday, 29 February 2012

the link

'At first glance it may appear too hard. Look again. Always look again'.
Mary Anne Rodmacher

Today they have broken through the back wall of the house to join up the new extension and the old house... and I feel all wobbly. Somehow living through it all up until now, project managing every step, it's always been a separate project happening in the backyard, kind of separate from family life. Of course I've had complete nightmare days and many bits have gone wrong along the way, but over all it's just been one big problem solving exercise, made up of daily smaller problem solving exercises. Then (almost) suddenly there's this massive structure of steel and timber and concrete behind us ... and the cladding is soon to be added to take it to 'lock-up'.

However all the while we've still been grooving along in our little 2 bedroom cottage, living the life. So today, as I packed up the last of the toys into plastic boxes and the inevitable plumes of dust broke into the house I stood there thinking "Oh ... this is it ... this is the real deal ... now there's really no turning back"... and now I'm all wobbly.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

koskela's new store

I first met Russel Koskela and Sasha Titchkosky in 2000 through my lovely friends Deb and Thomas. One lunchtime, Deb took me to visit Russel and Sasha at their new studio in a small upstairs Surry Hills warehouse - Koskela had been born. It was a small space with a few of the incredibly beautiful new pieces they had designed and they were both embarking on a complete life change and an amazing new adventure. At the time, we had only wandered a few streets from our Surry Hills office for the visit but in terms of adventures, I felt as though I had walked onto another planet.  I was in the depths of exhausting corporate culture at Boston Consulting Group back then and these guys were living a wonderful, creative dream... I was smitten.

Now... all these years later... they have grown and grown and have now opened retail paradise. The Design Files has a wonderful write up about their latest venture (and Briar also has some photo's over at Sunday Collector)... smitten, smitten, smitten.

Images from


Have you heard about the Mend project and the beautiful tote bags they create? It's a collaboration with the makers on Inkodye (a fantastic light sensitive fabric printing dye) to help women in Northern Uganda. Every handbag made at Mend has a story and each product carries the name of the seamstress who made it. You can read all about it at Mend.

Monday, 13 February 2012

loving bemz - slip covers for IKEA furniture

Inspired by my mum's search for a cover for an old - very grandchildren loved - IKEA sofa, I came across Bemz. Heaven for IKEA shoppers, they ship internationally and they have perfect white cotton and some great linens in both form fitting and loose fitting styles. Check it out at Bemz.

Friday, 10 February 2012


If you're in Sydney and renovating a bathroom I have to recommend the Tile Factory Outlet. It's absolutely worth the trip to Smithfield. I went yesterday and organised the tiles for the first small bathroom for half the price offered by the tile shop (even with trade discount). 300x300mm Mono coal floor tile for $19m2 and 300x600mm white gloss wall tile for $13 m2.

Now I can justify using the money I've saved to spend on some of these beautiful Orla Kiely bath towel's.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012


We have decided on an engineered, lightly limewashed oak floor for the kitchen/living/dining (above right) that I can purchase direct from the manufacturer and we can install ourselves which will make it much more affordable. So now I need to choose the carpet for the stairs and downstairs living room. I prefer darker carpet in high traffic areas - it shows white fluff but hides all the splodgy stains that kids and a dog deliver. So I went to the carpet shop with my mind wide open to possibilities and despite best efforts to explore all the new options... I just kept coming back to the carpet we had in our last houses in Surry Hills and Randwick (see Cavalier Bremworth loop pile left)... though I also liked the plush pile in the same colour (see middle). So... is this good because I obviously know what I like and I should just go with it? Or... is this bad that I'm boring and staid and need to branch out? Or... perhaps more importantly... are there far more significant things happening in the world that I should be worrying about!

Monday, 6 February 2012

dunlin home

I am trying not to buy any beautiful objects at the moment... all funds are going into steel, timber, concrete blocks and insulation... but I have to mention a beautiful new Sydney online shop, Dunlin Home... full of beautiful objects... there's no harm in browsing!