Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Appley Hoare and La Bastide...

Appley and her daughter Zoe Hoare are the owners and founders of a highly successful French antiques store in the popular Pimlico road area of London. Appley is my mothers favourite designer and she's followed her career pretty much since it's begining in Australia. Hopefully with fingers crossed my mum and I are planning a trip to London and Provence next year and we'll finally get the opportunity to visit this amazing designers place of business first hand :)

Appley - born in England, grew up in Kenya then at 17 was sent to a Swiss finishing school but left to go to Sorbonne in Paris. During her time there she developed a passion for visiting flea markets and rummaging through junk that has remained to this day. She married at 22 and moved to Australia where she spent the next few years working as a stylist for interior magazines before opening her own stall called Traders in Sydney's main antiques market.

The stall became very popular and eventually expanded to the first Appley Hoare Antiques store in Mosman (My mum visited often). "It was the first of its kind. We sold early Australian country furniture, which no one else was doing in those days, partly because there was so little of it around. So I started going to France and bringing back French antiques to sell." - said Appley for an article for Homes and Property.

Unfortunately the resession hit in the 1990's and Appley seperated from her husband so in the late 90's Appley and her daughter Zoe decided to move their business and their life to London and have never looked back.

La Bastide is a stunning 18th century farmhouse in the Camargue region of France, between Montpellier and Nîmes, that Appley and Zoe completely renovated by using a local builder and Moroccan stonemasons.

The colour scheme for the interior was inspired by the wonderful tones of the building's original limestone.

The soft furnishings also reflect the muted colours of stone - a giant pair of natural-canvas-covered sofas from The Conran Shop provide tons of comfy seating in the sitting room, which is dominated by a huge 18th century Provençal armoire.

Appley's bedroom is also a pallet of natural colours but with accents of grey through to deep purple. There is an 18th century painted armoire that houses linen, and the bedhead is a piece of 18th century panelling.

Zoe's bedroom features a large set of drawers to house all her belongings she found at a local dealer and an old red seesaw sits on top of it.

The kitchen is ultra-simple, with only an early 19th century zinc-covered table in the centre, 1930s pressed-steel chairs and a huge dresser with a marble top. The base came from a French convent and Appley had a rack made to house her collection of 19th century plates from the famous Gien pottery.

The most important piece of advice Appley has for anyone interested in achieving this look is to leave well alone. "We try to find original pieces that need nothing doing to them and have just aged. Anyone can restore a piece and make it look ordinary but once you've done that, you'll never be able to get it back to how it was when you first saw it and fell in love with it," she says.

(All information came from Homes and Property. Images from La Bastide website)

This gorgeous home can be rented as location space for photo or production shoots.
I think this home is flawless. Beautifully presented with class and sophistication. Isn't restoring and decorating a farmhouse with beautiful French antiques just about everyones dream?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


(Image courtesy of Country French Antiques)

Shawn from the oh so gorgeous blog Country French Antiques has tagged me - my first one! :)

The rules for this game are to link back to the person who tagged you, include the rules in your post, write six unimportant things about yourself then tag six other people at the end of your entry.

Here are six random facts about me:

1, I rock myself to sleep everynight lol

2, I only started drinking coffee last year and now I can't get enough

3, Last year I lost 25 kilos (55 pounds) and I did it through lots of exercise and not giving up cupcakes! lol

4, My favourite item of clothing is and always has been a denim jacket

5, Spiders don't frighten me at all but I don't like cobwebs. I'll carefully carry them outside if they choose to take up residence in my home.

6, My nickname amongst my family and friends is Frangipani (long story lol), even my baby nephew is starting to learn to call me aunty frangy :)

Now the six blogging pals I am tagging are:

Julia @ Jules Sand Castle
Gail @ Gail McCormack
Sue @ Life At Home
Anastasia @ Anastasia Drawing And Dreaming
A-M @ The House That A-M Built
Judy @ Lily-G

I would LOVE to know more about these amazing women. Ladies if you have already been tagged recently and you don't wish to play by all means don't feel you have to :)

p.s I FINALLY learned how to link a text - yay me! lol.....Thank you Shawn, you're a gem :)

YAY 100th post!

(cake that)


Happy 100th post anniversary to me :)

Like most bloggers, when I started I never expected to make it to 100 and I also never expected to love blogging as much as I do. I can't tell you how much it's helped and encouraged me to stick with and work at the path I have chosen in regards to my design studies.

For quite a few years I was stuck in a rut and immersed myself in the life of a housewife with no ambitions or direction. I am now extremely excited about my future. I have so very much enjoyed learning all about the wonderful world of design and I can only imagine how rewarding and fulfilling it must be to work and most importantly get paid in this industry.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all my friends and new blogging pals for your inspiring words of encouragement and for taking the time out of your busy day to visit my blog.

Lets celebrate with a glass of bubbly and a cupcake!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

New friends :)

Bloglandia is just full of surprises everyday. I have been so fortunate to have been introduced to some incredibly beautiful blogs over the last few days and I'm so excited about them I had to spread the word.
The House That A-M built is a wonderful blog by a Queensland mum and online boutique owner who takes us on a journey as her family builds their dream home. I am proud to say I even unexpectedly offered some inspiration for this endeavour :)
Her inspiration pics and ideas are absolutely beautiful and....well....quite inspirational really lol :)
The image above came from A-M's blog, originally from a furniture store in London comically called 'And so to bed'. I am in awe of it's beauty, including the bedding. I just wish I could somehow enlarge the picture to screen size.
(A-M's online boutique, a visual feast of girly goodness)

Lily-G is another brilliant Australian designer and I've now decided my new mentor lol :)
Again based in Queensland (All my favourite designing women and their boutiques are in QLD...I seriously need to move! lol), Judy has a wonderful wonderful french country inspired furniture and homewares store and her blog showcasing her wares as well as pics and subjects that inspire her is a place to marvel and in my case, be educated on the beautiful world of design.
After months and months of searching for the perfect wallpaper for my bedroom feature wall I found this stunning duck egg blue damask paper by Anna French at Lily-G's. Like I said, the blog world is full of surprises.
(Judy's website is positively too die for, definately have a peek)

Last but not least I'm sure almost everyone from Australia would know who Shannon Fricke is due to her outstanding work as leading interior designer on the lifestyle channel.
I have only recently discovered her blog thanks to Anna Spiro and I LOVE IT!
Again perfectly inspirational and educational, Shannon posts about the latest and greatest products and ideas and definately keeps you well informed about what's new and hot in the design world.
I especially wanted to make mention of a post Shannon featured on this new up and coming childrens clothing label called Paperwings.
The extremely talented people behind this label are graduated set designers from NIDA (National Institue of Dramatic Art) and the sets these children are featured in on their website are stunning. I am smitten with the frame swing!
Unfortunately the sizing range looks to be too small for my children borderlining teenagehood so I hope they do broaden their demographic. Their website and collections are simply adorable and incredibly alluring.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Lovely Laundries...

(The above 2 images are courtesy of Hamptons Designs)

One of the major reasons for my lack of posts over the past few weeks has been due to my commitment towards my Interior Design studies. The assigments have been quite intense yet incredibly enjoyable.

I've had to distinguish between good and bad design and not to confuse that with good and bad aesthetics.
I've had to put some colour schemes together using the colour wheel.
I've had to enhance a property for sale using a small budget.
I've had to draw floor plans and one point perspective view plans (wow that was hard!) and compose sample boards.

The assignment I'm working on now involves me acting as an interior designer and find a volunteer to act as my client. I have to go through the process from the initial consultation to the final presentation of my ideas. Two of my lovely friends, Brook and Janette offered me a room in their homes to work with. Brook wants to completely renovate her laundry/mud/guest bathroom and Janette has a lovely sunroom at the back of her home she wants ideas for.

I'm starting with Brook's room as she's already ripped everything out to a bare minimum. I've been scanning through books, magazines, websites and blogs to find some inspirational ideas and here is just a smidgen of what I found.

Just like a bathroom, who says you can't glam up your laundry room? We have definately decided to go with the Vintage pretty look. We both love muted hues, florals and chippy paint. Brook is lucky to have a fairly large space so we thought considering one spends quite alot of time domestically working in this area why not make it a room you can enjoy and not feel like you're doing the daily chores.

So far we have decided on travertine tiles for the floors and two half walls sectioning off the bathroom, antique white polyurethane cabinetry, a farmers sink, brass tapware bought at the flea markets, pidgeon holes with wicker baskets and the piece de resistance...a chandelier!

(the above 5 images are courtesy of homespun living @ flickr)

The above pedestal is just about identical to the one we chose for the bathroom.

(above 2 images courtesy of Chez Larsson @ flickr)

(above image by notebook magazine)
We still haven't decided on the bench tops but I'm sure they will be light coloured like the one above.

We love the idea of housing your washing powder in a beautiful porcelain bowl and scooping it out with a tea cup :)

(the above two images and inspirational ideas came from the Australian Vintage Living book by Bronnie Masefau)
The image above and below offer me inspiration as to what else I can do with my recent balustrade's purchase :)

(above image courtesy of cottage living via The Inspired room)

We have a $5000 budget and so far so good lol. I have taken before shots and I'll definately take after shots when it's all finished. I'm so excited for her, I'm sure it's going to be beautiful :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Enchanting courtyards...

The last couple of posts have got me thinking *ouch* lol, one of my favourite things to do when visiting my mum is sit in her Tuscan inspired courtyard and in summer enjoy the trickling sound of the water feature and in winter enjoy the crackling sound of her chimenea.
Just like my mum, I'm always drawn to homes that feature a courtyard - especially of the european variety ;)
Courtyards like in most busy city suburbs, are a very popular feature in the homes of inner Sydney as most of the houses are terraces and no room for grassy backyards. As you'll see many back kitchens and family rooms have large doors that open out to these spaces and really allow them to become yet another room of the house.
As we are currently in the planning and negotiating stages of renovating our home I would really love to incorporate a french inspired parterre courtyard that our new bedroom will open out to. This will include tall rendered walls, climbing vines, an array of terracotta pots featuring topiary and colourful plants, large stone pavers, stone table, iron chairs and somehow, someway a stunning limestone fountain just like the one below :)

To me, the following pics offer some inspirational courtyard ideas :)

Oooh a chandelier in the kitchen! I love it!

image 1, TBA
image 2, Parterre
image 3, valentino hotel
image 4, International design awards
image 5, French entree
image 6, French quarter house
All other images via