Displaying posts from March, 2011

A beach shack

Posted on Tue, 22 Mar 2011 by KiM

Nelly (who works in finances and is an aspiring stylist), her boyfriend Samuel (handyman, bike mechanic and graphic designer) and their cats Lex and Sox live in what Nelly calls a beach “shack” and I have to say that it looks nothing to me like a shack! I’ll let Nelly tell you about their beautiful home in Watermans Bay (northern beaches of Perth, Western Australia)…

We were desperately looking for a cute beach house to rent at an affordable price. So when we stumbled upon a very neglected shack that was screaming potential, we jumped onto it!

When we first stepped in, the house was dark and gloomy and looked as if it was abandoned or – worse – as if it has been squatted by aspiring surfers, more attracted by the waves next door than by basic general home maintenance. Every wall of every room was painted a different color. In the bathroom, we had mint green, bright pink and lavender on the walls while the bathtub was that old fashioned baby blue enamel. In the living area, we had a mix of dusty pink, bright purple, olive green (all in glossy finish) and suede-textured mauve. The ceiling was painted a faded mustardy yellow. The window sills, door frames, ceiling cornices and skirting were a glossy maroon. And the list goes on.

Being our usual bright, optimistic souls, we decided to focus on the house’s potential: location was a big call, but so were the painted floorboards (a medium grey that has started to flake, which gives more rusticity), the brand new kitchen cabinets, the mismatch of salvaged windows used throughout the house (Art Deco, French, louvres, etc), the fireplace, the high ceilings, the cornices, and the very unusual layout. We had almost no money but I had vision and my boyfriend had building skills (and a good artistic flair too) so how could we go wrong?

A few (many!!!) pots of paint later and lots of elbow grease and the house turned into what we wanted: a relaxing retreat with lots of character and light. The feel is contemporary with a hint of vintage. It is summery and fresh and inviting at the same time. It has a couple of feature items and lots of ‘bits and pieces’ picked up during overseas trips or at the side of the road. It is our sanctuary and it keeps on evolving with us, our moods, our needs. There are still a million things that need to be fixed, changed, replaced, moved, installed. It might be perfect one day but it is more likely that it will never be. And this is most probably the precise reason why we love it. We hope that you will too.

Photos: Heather Robbins of Red Images Fine Photography


Posted on Tue, 22 Mar 2011 by midcenturyjo

Every so often an email lands in my inbox from perhaps the cruelest man I know. Chris from Welcome Beyond dangles dream designs in front of me and it is all I can do to stop myself from hocking everything I own, jumping a plane and escaping to the hand picked boutique vacation properties that litter the pages of their website. Chris has cruelly tempted me again with a Spanish beauty and oh the temptation! Alemanys 5…  “located in the core part of Girona’s medieval quarter, within the scope of the first wall and overlooking the Plaça de Sant Domènec, is the property Alemanys 5, whose original building dates from the Sixteenth Century. Its recent restoration integrates old and new, where sober and clean lines look for the enjoyment of essential elements such as space, light, shadow, fire, stone, water or silence.” Two apartments, “El Badiu” (The Veranda) and “El Jardí” (The Garden) designed by architect Anna Noguera. Thanks Chris for the link and double thanks for the extra photos. I’m packing as I type!

Monday’s pets on furniture

Posted on Mon, 21 Mar 2011 by KiM

If you’d like to send us photos to include in next week’s “pets on furniture” post, please ensure your photos follow our basic rules: First, the pet must be on a piece of furniture. And said piece of furniture must be clearly visible in the photo, so it takes center stage rather than your pet. Think of it more of a photo of a great piece of furniture that you want to show off…and your pet happens to be sitting on it. And second, the photo must be of decent quality. If it’s dark or fuzzy (from a camera phone) then it may not make the cut. Thanks! (Photos, your name, location and a brief description can be sent to desiretoinspirekim[@]hotmail[.]com and PLEASE don’t send closeups of your pet!)

This picture is made 2 months ago, on a Bandhini photo-shoot. Clouseau (the dog) felt clearly on his place in this picture. Now we’re using him as a front cover for our company-profile! We are from Australia, the photo shoot was on location in India.
That’s Opie relaxing on the weekend.
– Laura (Chicago, IL)
chair and manx (no tail) cat – Gabriel 
dining chair is Italian from the 1970’s found on ebay – one of 6 used everyday in our own kitchen/dining room
goes puuurectly with our bespoke hand-painted dining table in our 70’s modernist house
note painted breeze block walls and terra-cotta floor tiles
Gary (Southampton UK)
1.Benson (my 7 year old Russian Blue Cat) and Chloe (my 7 year old Lowchen dog) together on the Lutyens Bench in our back yard.
2.Chloe trying to pretend she hasn’t wrecked my cushion display on the bed
3.Chloe relaxing on our lounge suite.

– Lisa (Auckland, New Zealand)
We live in an antique house, built in 1920, complete with furnishings to match.  Whether it’s inside or out, the pets really own the place and thankfully allow us to live here, too.
1. Our Russian Blue, Sootsie, lounging on a Queen Anne wingback (with the arms just “cat height”), recovered in a pewter colored twill.
2. Jack, a beagle mix, on the manliest chair in the house…a leather pub chair with big rolled arms.
3. Our cat, Sootsie, um…relaxes, you might say…on the antique porch swing that is original to our house.  LBJ is purported to have swung here, too…having dated the daughter of the original owner of the house.  I can only imagine that he was this cool.
4. Our yellow lab, Scout, on the antique wicker that lives on our porch.  These chairs have lived through many years of use…I just hope they can withstand this baby girl.
Mary (San Marcos, Texas)
This toile chair is where our French Bulldog Hugo sits most mornings while we get ready to go to work. Frenchie + Toile = Perfection!
– Jessica (Brookline, MA)

1. I adore vintage furniture, and it is what I purchase to mix in with our newer pieces. Here is our dog, taking advantage of my chair.
2. Our 110Lb dog, Gretal on her couch.

– Lisa (Pardeevillle, WI)

Our keeping room sofa seems to be the favorite spot for 3 of our pets; though rarely shared, they have learned to take turns…

1. Our rescue shepherd mix, Pasi, often watches for squirrels, deer, or golfers when he takes his turn– wishing he could be out there amongst them all.
2. Our youngest cat, Munch, uses her time here to wait for a bird to fly by on its’ way to the feeder…..
3. Whereas her older half-sister, Nira, usuallly shows up after dark to wait here for her next meal.

– Tracey(Dacula, Georgia)

Here you have Rodolfo pretending to be a Notre Dame gargoyle on our kitchen extractor.

Nimenos (Sevilla, Spain)

This is Tiki, bellied up to the dining room table. She likes to sit with me while I’m eating because she thinks she’s people.
– Laura (Minneapolis)

Leave you wanting more

Posted on Mon, 21 Mar 2011 by midcenturyjo

Dear Real Estate Agent,

I am writing to bring to your attention a short falling in your internet advertising I feel you may wish to address. Although I know that the pictures you upload to the real estate websites you use are only meant as a teaser, something to compel me to ring you, give you all my personal details, sell my soul to you and as well of those of my family just so I can trapped alone with you at a house viewing and under your hypnotic spell sign a contract there and then at full asking price, I wonder if just a few more pictures at the very beginning is too much to ask for. (Particularly for this lovely Darlinghurst, Sydney home.) I promise I will still be compelled to ring and give you my heart and soul. I promise I am not just real estate stalking. Pinky swear I promise.

Kind regards,


Blog favourites of the week

Posted on Sun, 20 Mar 2011 by KiM