Tuesday, 2 December 2014


A few months ago I had the pleasure of styling Zillpa's enormous studio/ gallery space in Wynnum for Home Beautiful. Filled with designer Clare Collyer's beautiful rope baskets and homewares and impressive collection of Japanese wool and fabric it was a lot of fun spending the day immersed in her creative space. If you're in the area you should definitely pop in for a browse, or head to her online store - it may make Christmas shopping very easy!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

profile Amy de putron - homegrown gifts.

Amy de Putron and Meredith Watherston of Homegrown Gifts
It's begun....The Christmas countdown. Twice this week I've heard people discussing it's just 11 weeks until Christmas and last time I popped into Coles I spied gingerbread houses, chocolate coated cashews, candy canes and lots of red and green. Surely the Christmas carols on repeat can't be too far away. So with this is mind and to prevent the mild panic which starts about this time when people start frantically hunting for presents, I thought I'd profile lovely local company Homegrown Gifts. Launched by best friends Amy de Putron and Meredith Watherston the pair decided to created beautiful baskets filled with the kind of gifts they'd like to give and receive.  With many products in the baskets created by Australian artisans, some of which I've profiled on the blog, Amy and Meredith's selection criteria is based around creating gift packages which have heart, soul and originality. From birthdays and special occasions to baskets tailored to children, foodies and gardeners, there really is something for everyone. To checkout the entire range visit the Homegrown Gifts website here.

How would you describe yourself ?
Busy, blessed, creative, homey, outdoorsy.

What was your childhood dream?
To become an artist, composer, performer or florist.


What led you down your current path?
My transition into motherhood saw me long for a creative job I could do in my own hours. Being a Mum means you have to work around your children and 9-5 didn’t suit me and my family. I felt like I was all the time doing things for other people and I needed to do something for myself.

I was developing a passion for living an eco-friendly lifestyle, along with my sister-in-law and long term friend, Meredith, who became my business partner. Together we developed the concept and philosophy behind Homegrown Gifts – a gift website specialising in eco-friendly gift ideas, created by talented Australian artisans.

We wanted to deliver a truly unique gifting experience where the recipient is taken on a journey when discovering each item within their gift through delicious smells, interesting textures and beautiful design. We wanted to move right away from mass produced items, wasteful packaging that is damaging to the Earth, and items that people have no interest in keeping. Our gifts have heart, soul and true meaning.

How do you go about selecting the products for your hampers! What is the criteria?
We look for products which are produced using sustainable, ethical and environmentally conscious methods that don’t compromise on style or quality. Most of the products we choose are handmade by talented Australian artisans. We look for organic options where possible and natural materials. And we have to love it! The products must also fit well, within the theme of the gift basket both visually and functionally.

What do you love most about what you do?
Working with my best friend and the fact that we can work when and where we want to. I also enjoy the variety in running my own business. I have had to learn how to do a lot of different things which is very interesting but not without its challenges. My work is also a real creative outlet for me.

Where do feel most inspired?
I feel most inspired when I visit great farmers markets and design markets where I can meet the artisans who create the products we love. Talking to them face to face and finding out how their products are made really does inspire us to put the perfect eco-friendly gift basket together.

Who do you admire?
I admire our suppliers – that is why we choose them. They are very talented people and I would love to be able to do what any one of them does. They are using their passion and skills to make beautiful flawless products with their hands – this I admire.

What challenges have you had to overcome?
Buying from small businesses means that products are not always available so stock control can be tricky but it is part and parcel of what we do. It is also difficult to manage the workload when so many things need to be done at once and there are only two of us to do it. We do what we can and we make sure we are always enjoying ourselves and, first and foremost, our customers are happy.

What's been a 'pinch yourself' moment?
I pinch myself when I remember I have two healthy beautiful children, a very supportive husband, and the ability to put some things on hold while I establish my own business.

What are your top sources of inspiration?
I am often inspired at family gatherings. I love watching everyone enjoying time with each other, enjoying good food and celebrating. We are usually outdoors at my parent’s farm on the Sunshine Coast or at our family holiday house on the Fraser Coast. This really represents what Homegrown Gifts is about. We also love native flora. So four things; family, celebrations, food and nature.

Do you have a dream creative project?
To spend more time on decorating my home.


What are you currently coveting in the world of design?
Top quality Australian handmade goods – I see something new every day that I love.

What's next?
We are working on building our product range to offer gifts for all occasions. We currently have a great selection of birthday gifts, thank you gifts, housewarming gifts, and baby gifts.  We are also building up our corporate client base. We feel we have a lot to offer businesses looking for unique corporate gifts that will show their clients not only how much they appreciate them but also that they care about the environment.

When the weekend rolls around what do you love to:
Cook- Something that takes more than 15 minutes to make.

Read – I try to get off the computer and read a magazine, usually Peppermint, Home Beautiful, or The Collective. I usually have a novel on the go as well.
Watch- My children playing outside during the day and TV with my husband at night.
Create- Something with my son to take for show and tell.
Listen to- Usually Triple J.
Dream about- Taking Homegrown Gifts to the next level.
Look forward to- Always my next holiday!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

if you love a zig zag to two....

If you go ga ga for 'designer' homewares, then you may want to secure a front row position before the doors to Target open on October 8...It's likely there will be a bit of elbowing going on as Missioni lovers race to get their hot little hands on bargain Missioni wares ranging from umbrellas and towels to cushions, throws, serving ware and for the truly Missoni mad - dog bowls! It's a little too 70s psychedelic for me, but let's hope this is the start of more designer for Target collaborations. Years ago Orla Kiely did a range for Target in the US and if she was to do a collection for Target Australia, I would definitely be front and centre the moment it was released. As I've mentioned I am a little obsessed.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

brisbane open house.

Well September seemed to pass very quickly, so quickly in fact I didn't even get a chance to blog. But to celebrate the first of October, and hopefully a few more regular posts, I thought I would round up a few things I am hoping to see, do and peruse this month.

First up is Brisbane Open House on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 October  - a great weekend for those, like me, who love to have a bit of a sticky beak at architecture and peep into places which are rarely open for inspection. This year the event will allow people to explore 90 buildings which are of historical and architectural interest including private homes, public buildings, heritage treasures and midcentury gems such a Torbrek.  There's also the opportunity to head backstage and checkout places like the Roma Street Fire Station, State Library, ABC Brisbane and take guided precinct tours led by some of Brisbane's best architects. 

Howard Smith Wharves – Ben Blanche
Spring Hill Baths

A few of the must see sights include the XXXX Brewery, The Gabba (Brisbane Cricket Ground), Port of Brisbane, Chapel of the Holy Spirit at St Francis Theological College and Torbreck (winner of the 2014 Queensland State Architecture Robin Gibson Award for Enduring Architecture). 

There's also a photo competition, children's program and speakers series with influential architects, landscape architects, designers, planners. The best way to fit it all in is to plan your weekend! For all the details head to the Brisbane Open House website here.

Translational Research Institute - photo- Christine Beardmore
QUT Science and Engineering Centre –photo- Paul Knie
ABC Brisbane Centre –photo- Deovahni Mutya


Thursday, 14 August 2014

fab flooring.

A little while ago I was asked by Choices Flooring to take my pick from their new Plantino Flooring Range as part of their Designer's Choice campaign. With over 20 different options to choose from within the range it was difficult to decide on just one, but I finally chose Plantino Engineered Oak which is available in a vast variety of lovely wood grain tones, in both standard and wide board widths.

As I absolutely love interiors with a modern beachy/ Scandi feel my favourite colours within the Plantino Oak range are - Cortisan Grey as it creates a lovely deep base upon which to layer a mix of neutral and colourful furniture and accessories. For timeless white-washed appeal you can't go past St Moritz and if you like just a hint of grey, Venito is just beautiful teamed with an all white interior.

If you're thinking of updating your floor now is the time to take the plunge, as if you purchase flooring from the Plantino range throughout August you'll receive a complimentary rug.

Also....if you love pinning your favourite looks and pieces for the home, you could win your favourite Plantino Flooring installed for free. Simply create a pinterest board which showcases your dream space and Plantino flooring product and you may just be the lucky duck who wins. For all the details head here.

After years of browsing pinterest but never actually pinning, I finally created my very first boards inspired by pieces which complement Cortisan Grey Engineered Oak flooring. It was so much fun creating my dream space. As I could have easily spent hours if not days pinning, I tried to limit myself to just a few select pins -some of the pieces I couldn't resist include Belynda Henry and Inaluxe art for the walls, a David Trubridge Pendant, Jardan couch, Loom rug and Skinny Laminx cushions...... it's nice to dream.


Wednesday, 6 August 2014

where love resides.

Oh my goodness...with spring just a few weeks away, now is the perfect time to take a peak at  Shannon Fricke's new spring collection Where Love Resides. For me the collection gets me dreaming of warmer longer days, fragrant blooms, siestas, beach walks, sandy feet beachcombing and holidays, all the things I love about spring.

Beautifully styled and shot on the beach, the collection is perfect for those who don't like matchy matchy linen and prefer a more mixed up layered approached. The colour palette peppered with a hint of pink includes beautiful indigo blues and greens, textural linen, cotton, velvet and pom pom embellishments both big and small, which I must admit I like.

Although not available until October, you can bide your time browsing through Shannon Fricke's other lovely wears here and perhaps pick up a cushion to tide you over. 

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

orla for all ages.

As I may have mentioned before I am a HUGE fan of Orla Kiely, so you can imagine my excitement when I discovered she has just released a range of bed linen, towels and cushions for kids. Now little people can enjoy Orla's bold graphic prints as well, with the around the world collection, bird watch, multi-stem dandelion and car collection. As Toot Toot Beep Beep is a favourite book in our house, I think my little man would love the car quilt - I will just have to wait until he upgrades to a bigger bed - it might be awhile. Perhaps by then though the collection will be stocked in Australia. For now though, you'll need to order through the Orla Kiely site here.

For bigger people there is also something new - the square flower collection and the sweet pea collection below. I love both....................straight to top of the Christmas wishlist!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

top four - super sofas.

I recently had the pleasure of compiling a selection of dream sofas for a feature in Home Beautiful - which is in the current August edition. As I am on the hunt for a new sofa myself, I fell in love with a lot! However, with not a lot of floor space to play with, I've find it tricky to to find something which is has just the right proportions. If space and price, weren't an issue, I'd happily take home any/all of the sofas below. The Mabel however,despite being super cute, is comparable in $ to a small car. At the other end of the spectrum the Soderhamn is budget friendly, yet after sitting and pondering in it at Ikea during the week (and getting the tape measure out), I discovered it's just too big for my spot. The search continues......

1. Jazz Sofa Oz Design
2. Mabel sofa by DonnaWilson Hub Furniture
3. Archie sofa Jardan
4. Soderhamn Ikea

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

too funny.

I just had to share this - quite possibly the cutest and funniest advert I've ever seen!
In case you can't read the text it says -

" Time spent away from your favourite friend can seem endless. That is why we created smartdrive technology, a clever way to get a wash down to just 15 minutes. 
Sadly that's still about a week in dog minutes."

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

winter hiatus.

Ooops, where did June go? I haven't been hibernating during winter, I've just been super busy and sometimes this poor blog doesn't receive too many updates when there's a lot to juggle. Admittedly when I do have a bit of spare time, I'm usually outside as the winter weather has just been amazing here. Although the ocean is far too chilly to take a swim, the water looks incredible in winter - so beautifully crystal clear and aquamarine, I've been a little obsessed taking photos of it daily.

So to ease back into things today I thought I'd share a few of my favourite recent pics - you can see a few more via instagram here

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

dinosaur designs - new seed pod range.

Well loved Australian resin specialists Dinosaur Designs have just released a new collection of accessories and homewares, inspired by the forms of seed pods. Timeless in black and white with a smattering of neutral shades, the homewares range which includes bowls, utensils and beakers also features elements of brass and silver - sure to impress the magpies out there who are drawn to all things shiny. You can view the collection online, but for more a sensory experience I highly recommend popping into one of Dinosaur Designs stores - in  Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. 

Friday, 9 May 2014

profile rory morgan - maker studio.

Rory Morgan of Maker Studio Furniture
As promised a few weeks ago when I profiled  Kati Williams of Spoken, here is part two! Kati's partner Rory Morgan of Maker Studio also has an eye for design, in the form of beautiful bespoke furniture which he crafts in his Noosa studio. With a preference for simple clean lines, and a guiding philosophy that less is more, for me Rory's designs are just perfect. Made from sustainable timbers, there is a sense of timelessness inherent in every piece, whether it's a Scout side table or a Willox Stool, topped with a splash of colour. If I could, I'd have one of each. Rory's skills can also be enlisted for commission pieces. For more details head to the Maker Studio site here.

How would you describe yourself?
Perfectionist, creative, passionate, focused, loyal.

What was your childhood dream?
To be an architect.

What led you down your current path?
Not enjoying sitting in front of a computer all day working as a designer I pursued woodworking as a bit of a hobby which I really enjoyed and it slowly turned in to a job.

What do you love most about what you do?
I love being free to design and create without restraints.  It’s really satisfying to be part of the entire process from concept to creation.

Where do feel most inspired?
When I’m traveling.  It’s great to clear my head, see new things and I always come home ready and excited to get back in the workshop.

Who do you admire?
People who take a chance, who pursue their passions and don’t give up.

What challenges have you had to overcome?
 Machinery involved in woodworking is pretty expensive. I think coming up with creative ways of using equipment I have to do a job has been a bit of a challenge but also proved to be kind of satisfying.

What's been a 'pinch yourself' moment?
When I started getting enquiries and orders for things I had designed and made.

What are your top inspiring resources?
Answer-  Instagram for connecting with other woodworkers/ creative people, Archdaily is a great architecture website I follow.

Do you have a dream creative project?
Probably building/renovating my own home at some point.

What are you currently coveting in the world of design?
Some Hans Wegner wishbone chairs (originals).

What's next?
Visiting southern states and cities and getting our name out there.

When the weekend rolls around what do you love to: 
Read – News stories, surf forecasts, blogs.
Watch- Some kind of 90’s movie
Cook- Risotto.         
Create- Time to surf.
Listen to- Chet faker, asgeir.
Dream about- New machinery/ traveling.        
Look forward to- Getting back in the workshop.