Nesting

For the home enhancers

Home – feathering our nests

I've been focusing way to much on work related stuff of late my lovelies- what not to say in interviews, how to build your social media brand and so on - sharing my work related bliss (career coaching) for helping you find your work related bliss (rewarding career). But hey! You know this here blog aims to inspire on so much more than just the gig that keeps the wolf from the door.

Let's talk about what's behind that door. The home that nurtures and sustains, comforts and protects. Where we shed the shoes, pitch the work kit, don the sexy jammies (nothing less), pour a wine, light a candle (ok ok, after the kidlets are in bed) and kick back. On the sofa. Behind the coffee table. The one usually supporting our feet, said wine and that pile of life's detritus. Well that coffee table is about to be spruced.

As many of you know, I'm big on 'styling' stuff. Book shelves, desks, bedside tables, coffee tables, heck any sort of surface, often sharing the passion on the blog. Always on the look out for coffee table books, scented candles, sweet little nicknacks to spruce my home, feather my nest; coupled with the occasional crack of dawn raid on the Flower Markets when I'm feeling flush - all fuelling my frustrated interior stylist mojo.

So excited do I get, I once spent 5 hours with a girlfriend helping her perfect her coffee table vignette. Frivolous waste of time? Perhaps for some. For us, a few strategically placed, aesthetically pleasing goodies simply adding an extra layer of luxe to her home - as per the dictate of Ingrid Abramovitch (New York interiors writer) 'space is finite, so everything has to be beautiful or functional'.

Kate Spade (All in Good Taste) says no one 'decorates' their home, they embark on an expedition. 'The choices you make are a journey that tells the story of you and should always be the best expression of you'. And that's what makes creating vignettes for the coffee table, easier than it sounds. I've a few suggestions to help you create or refresh yours:

Mementos: Favourite items from past travels, antique finds, shells, a particularly pretty gift box that can double for storing the TV remotes.

Books: Select those with an element of uniformity and complementary coloured spines. Leave one open at a favourite shot. I've see the Tom Ford tome on many a coffee table (see image below), often open to a provocative page, a wonderful way of expressing your individualism.

Fruit: A big bowl of long lasting fruit in a single colour. Green apples for instance; making for a fabulous apple crumble a month or so down the track and cheaper than flowers. Speaking of...

Flowers: I'd love to have a budget that extends to fresh flowers weekly, however today's silk flowers are exceptionally realistic, making for perfect substitutes. Particularly for Peonies and Roses that cost a fortune and last just three days. I purchase fresh only when expecting dinner or house guests.

Candles: From the luxe such as Diptique, Jonathan Adler, Jo Malone; mid range including Glass House, Peppermint Grove, Voluspa; to economical from Kikki K, Target - there's a myriad of brands from which to choose and just one can be sufficient. (Throw the gift hint out - candles please!) And light it for goodness sake! One of life's glorious luxuries. Stick to a single signature scent and if lighting more than one at a time, do so in short bursts as some of the more luxurious can be quite heady. Be mindful of people's allergies as well.

Glass Ware: Used candle receptacles, vases, pretty cut glass scotch glasses, an eclectic mix or one or two uniform styles, staggered, the choices are endless.

Bowls: Ceramic, glass, brass, filled with mints, M&M's, sea shells, balls...or nothing at all.

Trays: One that can frame your vignette, effectively restricting you from getting too carried away. Serving double purpose and easy removal when cleaning that coffee table.

Looking for more inspiration? Pinterest of course, Instagram too. Major department and homeware store displays, interior design mags, blogs, websites, a veritable smorgasbord waiting for you.

As well, that fabulous little book by Kate Spade.

Have fun!!

Image 1 - smallshopsstudio.com; Image 2 - http://www.purewow.com; Image 3 - homevialaura.com; Image 4 -clubprivilege.tumblr.com from Fabulousthings blog; Image 5 -naimabarcelona.tumblr.com

Renovations v vacations

I’m ‘Glamping’! In my spare bedroom. Been holed away in there four weeks now, the previous three in my own surrounded by a house full of furniture slowly making it’s way out the ‘Gumtree’ door as well as ladders, paint pots, rubble and grit. Bit like my teeth – gritted.

It’s an exhaustive business this ‘re-imagining’ gig, thanks to an Interior Decorator with an imagination that enthralls, thrills, strikes fear in my heart and exhausts my brain in equal measure. While I need a story board, a project plan and a timeline, James prefers to decorate ‘organically’. What does that even mean? I’ll let you know if I survive. But let’s talk about opinions…

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Vignettes? Er…killing it!

Colour, lighting, mood, textures, furnishing proportions, art work, accessories…yes, visually appealing environmental aesthetics certainly play an active role in my mental and spiritual wellbeing.

Passionate about interior decorating, I can readily lose myself in magazines and coffee table books of this genre, often pressing the very same books, with colour coded spines of course, into action when ‘styling’ my coffee table. Problem is I’m never satisfied with the outcome and it seems I’m not alone.

A girlfriend and I recently spent over 3 hours creating the perfect vignette on her table and as we finally stood back to admire our handiwork, laughed at how little we had trusted our independent ability yet collectively managed to ‘ace’ it.

Needing a tad of accessory inspiration and a massive confidence boost we took to Pinterest (of course) which led us to Scogsberg & Smart  Such a feast, just had to share – oh and check out their blog for an absolute visual overload!  
    

Beating the Workspace Blues…

Don’t know about you but an ambient office environment is essential to my work wellbeing. Give me a clutter free, aesthetically pleasing space accentuated with natural light, flowers and an inspirational memento (mine’s a small cluster of glass cubes etched with iconic memories – Eiffel Tower, Pisa, Colosseum etc – serving as reminders of past and future travel dreams) and I’ll guarantee productivity.

Whether you’ve inherited an office desk with limited opportunity to put your personal aesthetics into play or you’ve the luxury to indulge in a complete office makeover, the following are sure to inspire.

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Love the gender neutral moody tones, coat hangers to house magazines, complimented with tonal storage solutions. (via Stylizmo – images by Nina Holster)

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Sweet double sided desk solution, clutter behind closed doors, racks to house tools of the trade. (Decor8 – styled and photographed by Holly Marder; last image riazzoli@blogspot.com)

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And my personal favorite. Adore the pouf, faux suede, walls, concrete and complementing textured print. Lean clean lines, Oh yes…I could be VERY productive here! (decophotoblog.blogspot.com)

Loving a good color ‘pop’

Currently contemplating a ‘nest makeover’ like I am? Right now I’m yearning for moody wall colors, lush throws, texture and cosiness complimented with subdued lighting and heady aromatic candles….wet days and chilly nights will do this.  Budget says otherwise. Instead, a fresh lick of paint accessorised with pops of color and said aromatics will keep the budget in check while slipping into spring’s pastel palettes. Looking for inspiration of your own?

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Personalise that work space

How I love an organized little spot to get the creative juices flowing, pay the bills, contemplate, dream. Love to keep my office desk clear, clutter free, same at home. If working from home, even more critical.

A story board for depicting places to visit or inspirational ideas for interior decorating, fab fashion finds or simply visualised goal outcomes providing inspiration to turn ‘one day’ to reality.

Cute boxes for storing all those office bits and bobs.  I use mine to store ribbon, wrapping and gift cards, printer paper, photography stuff, all those electronic cords that mysteriously multiply when left to their own devices, iPhone and camera bits and so on.

A simple filing system for bills and receipts to stay well ahead at tax time.  I personally love Kikki K folders for bills, receipts, manuals,  ‘grab and go’ critical documents and financial plannning. My next mission….scan, store in cloud and go paperless…bliss!

Look out for my Let’s Get Organised – Top 10′ post coming shortly, meanwhile, a few visuals to get you started…notice the one constant? Clean surfaces!

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