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Monday, February 21, 2011

House Tour! The Wonderful White House, Daylesford (Victoria, Australia)

Nearly a couple of years ago now, my lovely friend Amilia and I had a girls-only getaway. I flew down to Melbourne, where Amilia lives, and we headed out to the spa town of Daylesford, an hour or so's easy drive from Melbourne. We spent a couple of nights there at the White House, a gorgeous guesthouse owned and decorated by Lyn Gardener, the owner of the store Empire Vintage in Albert Park.

The White House was such a good choice - we couldn't have been happier with where we stayed. As two girls with a penchant for design, we ran around in delight, discovering all the little nostalgic details - folded vintage books on the beds, antique cupboards filled with curios, a typewriter filled with a half-finished poem...

Lyn is obviously a very creative decorator with a distinctive aesthetic. She has renovated the property in a way that is really sympathetic to its humble origins as a worker's weatherboard cottage, and filled it with unique, vintage and industrial items that have obviously been collected with care, over time. Quality linens and furnishings give the White House a level of comfort, warmth and elegance. Overall, the result is quirky, eclectic and full of character.


I hope you find the White House as inspiring as I did, and that it makes you that little bit braver when it comes to decorating...

For those interested in staying, rates start from $680 for a two-night weekend for a couple. See the website for further details.

All photos copyright CandyHeartsHome.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Best Blogs - Man Repelling with Leandra Medine, and Esty remorse with Regretsy

I've found a couple of blogs recently that are so funny, I just had to share. First of the blocks is 'The Man Repeller'. If you haven't yet stumbled upon this site, you should make the effort to get acquainted - especially if you're a woman who has an interest in fashion and/or have a healthy sense of humour. I giggled for about 20 minutes as I went through and found how to use fashion to repel men. Case in point, below.

The author of The Man Repeller, Leandra Medine, is a young New Yorker with a unique fashion sense and a keen appreciation for the absurd. She was recently commissioned to write about New York Fashion Week for the blog of well-known online fashion e-tailer, 'Shopbop'. She's got a personable, smart and funny written voice, which makes The Man Repeller way more than just another fashion blog or spoof site.

Medine's description of the above photo:  
'I for one, am delighted by knit hot pants. They take the sex out of sexy and just leave a Y. As in, why would she do such a thing? To fend off that pesky ol'Y chromosome of course. As you can see, this makes a lot of sense'. 
 I love that - take the 'sex' out of 'sexy' and just leave a 'y' - quote of the year.

You've heard of Etsy? Well, now there's Regretsy. Where 'DIY meets WTF'. This site profiles the weirdest, wackiest sh*t you could possible imagine on Etsy. Some of the products featured here are so funny, and so bad, that you'd be forgiven for assuming it was a 'spoof' site. But no, these items are all available to purchase. There's also a section of 'happy customers'; people who've bought a profiled item and are out and proud about it.

One of my personal favourites would have to be the vagina beer holder:

Or, how about this one?
And the description?
I can’t believe someone is actually making these things. It’s indefensible. There is no purpose for this except to be a pain in the ass. I mean come on, she’s wearing these with wrist warmers for God’s sake. Hand covers and finger covers are basically gloves. This is gloves. You are wearing gloves, only in pieces. Because you’re high.
Just tell me what the point is. That’s all I want. That’s all I’ve ever wanted. Tell me why these areas need ventilating. Are you in danger of your hand exploding from the intense heat generated by your nail beds? Do people often remark that they would be more comfortable if their fingertips and metacarpal ligaments were exposed? Or do full gloves just make it too hard to play “This is the church and this is the steeple?”

I laughed (and cried) so much when I first found this site (you have to check out the 'vegan vulva cake'), my husband thought that I had lost my mind.

Happy blogging! x

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bathrooms with Character

It's hard to find examples of new bathrooms that manage to have some character too. The type of cookie-cutter renovation style that is favoured in Australia at the moment is very modern, simple and quite soulless too. All of the examples below have done things a little differently. They vary in style but are all really well executed.

New, but with a sense of 'old world'. A great choice for an art-deco style property

Girly and glam...

This bathroom isn't really my style, but I think it's so cool that they've managed to decorate it a like any other room in the house - it's not immediately apparent that it's a bathroom at all

 Elegant, but cozy and inviting at the same time. I'd be very happy reading my book in this bath...

 This is my personal fav - it's a bathroom from one of India Hick's properties. It's beautiful, fresh and elegant. I love that it looks modern but classic too - it's totally beyond faddish trends.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Inspiration via India Hicks

If you want some inspiration (not to mention life envy), India Hicks is a good place to start. Daughter of famed British designer David Hicks, goddaughter of Prince Charles, champion horse-rider, model and all-round talented, good-looking and rich over-achiever, she has a number of well-decorated properties in Barbados, including guesthouses if you can bank-roll it:
I love her fresh, relaxed style. Does decorating in a neo-colonial way, make one a neo-colonialist? Hmm...
I was going to paint my living spaces in antique white until I saw these photos. Now I've been convinced to go for a fresh, vivid white.
An inspiration wall - easy to recreate, and inexpensive.
India's roots are apparent here in the choice of floral upholstery. So British.
Gorgeous bathroom.

She really has such a well-developed and simple style formula, which is why it works so well. White, white and more white, with lots of warm wood and fresh flowers. I feel like I'm on holiday just looking at these photos...
All photos from the India Hicks website.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


I used to have a strong aversion to blue but something is happening to me recently... I feel particularly drawn to aqua. I think there is something so cool and retro about this particular colour. I can't help but think of 1950's cars and seaside holidays...

As this photo shows, aqua can be used in a really elegant way too
This is a really understated bedroom but the aqua stripes make a strong statement
A photo wall - love these.
This is more of a green aqua
Charming country cottage with soft aqua bench
I particularly like aqua used in velvet fabrication. This is my Mum's antique chair, which I use in our bedroom.
I painted the inside of my linen closet a vivid aqua (just ignore the less-than-styled innards please). It actually makes it really easy to find things in there as the colour is so bright it seems to reflect light, and the sheets and towels stand out. It's an unexpected surprise too when you open up the door - whoa!
This is a seriously cute little caravan
I tried to convince my parents to let me get a car like this for my first car. Mission unsuccessful. In retrospect, it probably would have been more reliable than the 'new' Daewoo I ended up getting though...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Wedding Present (Made by Girl)

We went to a wedding last weekend for our lovely friends Catherine and Michael (Cath & Mouse). It was a great wedding, and quintessentially Australian - intimate, meaningful, relaxed and lots of fun. Although, maybe not so much for the groom at the end of the night, who strangely enough ended up with a small moth buried deep in his ear! I hear it was finally vacuumed out early the next morning after visits to a couple of different Ear, Nose and Throat specialists. What a wedding story... (rivaled only by Amilia's, who needed a quick stop via Emergency on the way to the reception to get some intravenous anti-nausea drugs to stop the nerve-induced vomiting! Hi Amilia...)

Here are a few stills from the big day (via the talented Miss Lee Wood):
Some paper lanterns near where the ceremony took place
The bride and groom
A stylish guest (Miss Susie Q)
Backyard reception and gift table
The beautiful bride in Australian designer Lisa Ho

I thought I would also share about the great wedding present I found for Cath & Mouse at Made by Girl, which is a cool blog and shop that sells a variety of custom prints.

See how their names are picked out in blue, with the cute little heart in the middle? You can choose from a few different sizes and colour combos, but I liked this one best.

I was a bit worried about what to get in the absence of specific directions, but I thought that this print is so cool, it would be hard to imagine anyone not liking it?! I also like that it's customised and something to remind a couple of their special day without being a typical wedding memento.

Anyway, I was so impressed with the final result after I popped it in the white frame I had bought for it, that I thought you guys might want to know in case you're after a wedding present idea.

Just a point to note - if you're ordering from Australia, I would allow a month's lead time. Due to my own disorganization, my print arrived the day before the wedding (and then went missing in Australia Post, before being found again),  which made for some mad last minute dashing around to find a frame etc. Upon Made by Girl's helpful recommendation, I went for the 20" x 16" print and found a frame with no worries at all!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Nurseries & Kids Rooms

Given how many of my lovely friends are either pregnant, or have just had babies, I thought a nurseries/kids room post might be appreciated!

There's something about a well-decorated nursery or kids' room that is so fresh and nostalgic.

I can remember being little and already being so aware of all the little objects that were in my room and my house - I remember looking through my Dad's Beatles songbook because I loved all the bright, surreal pictures inside and how they made me feel. I think that the things you surround yourself with can profoundly influence your development, and your happiness.

I love how all the below pictures do a really modern, fresh interpretation on a nursery - somewhere that both the parents and kids will appreciate.

I'd be more than happy sleeping in here. I think the floors are stained Japanese Black.

There are so many more cute, quirky kids' toys around these days, like the cute little stuffed guy on the pink bookcase.

I'm a total sucker for a library. It's one of my life-long dreams to have one, and I reckon this would be a good start.

This is one of the most chic kids rooms I have seen (although maybe a little sterile?)


 Love, love, love! I think the ceiling is pretty brave (and cool).

Hopefully that's some food for thought...