Friday, December 11, 2009

Celebrity house: where Obama holidays

This is where the American president holidayed with the kids in Martha's Vineyard (where one of my favourite bad FM radio singers, Carly Simon, also has a home). It's all-so-Hamptons and ra ra, isn't it darling?
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Pictures: ArchitecturalDigest

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Q&A: Squeezing a home office into a small space

Q. I’ve got to get me one of them home offices, but without a spare room it seems impossible.
A. Oh ye of little space, err, faith. A home office should serve domestic technology needs rather than take over precious space. If you only need a computer for emails, internet access and a bit of facebook fun then conjure a workspot from the nook behind a sofa, the corner of a bedroom or a gap in a kitchen bench. All you’ll need is enough space for a 60cm-80cm wide office desk that will store a computer and printer. Officeworks sell a nifty Optima glass desk which is 70cm wide for a measly $59.And have you seen that $99 IKEA PS laptop workstation? It’s a wall cabinet that is only 20cm deep, 70cm wide and 60cm high – even if you lived in a studio apartment you could find some wall space for that little number. Of course, if you plan on running an entire business from home, it’s worth finding a room where you can close the door.  Who wants to make work calls while being distracted by Oprah?
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Pictures: UlrikaEkblom via DesireToInspire

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Rug inspiration with Greg Natale

He's known for clashing and vibrant patterns and creating rooms that zing. Now he's doing rugs. Greg Natale has a new series available atDesigner Rugs. Noice, huh?
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Pictures: via DesiretoInspire

Home hint: embrace a room for what it is

While renovators love to think that anything shiny and new MUST be better than old and worn-out, it isn't really true. Old and dated interiors can be cherished as 'vintage' or 'eclectic' or just plain 'unique'. Cos who says we all have to be the same? Repairing and maintaining what's already in a room saves money, but also reduces the embodied energy needed to create something new. Try it.
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Pictures: ModCulture

Friday, December 4, 2009

RENOVATION INSPIRATION: Natural pools, no chlorine needed

These natural swimming pools make me want to dive right in. The Bionova system creates two swimming pools -- one is the natural eco-system that filters the water while the other is the swimming area. These pools are like "swimming in sweet water, not poison water," according to Australian founder Peter Watson. The swimming water is "alive" with healthy microbes that are kept in balance with a patented hydraulic system and a mix of plants and water critters that keep the balance in the water. No chlorine. No bromine. No ozone. And no green hair. These pools don't come cheap, but they look rather enticing. There's also the added benefit of saving loads of money in ongoing maintenance and chemical costs. Love 'em! For more detail on them, read my Sydney Morning Herald piece in Essential next week!
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Pictures: Bionova

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bookshelf inspiration: delving into shelving and storage

1 Einfach modular shelving, found on Hometone
2.Very Parisian, found on Sub-Studio  
3.The Wheel of Knowledge bookshelf designed by Zhdanova Irina
 4.The fabric and wood shelf designed in Portugal, found on DesignBoom
5. An acoustic room divider and bookshelf by Permafrost, found on DesignBlog
6. Eric Guimor designed these Yin Yang shelves, found on DesignBlog 

IKEA's Australian best-seller is the Billy bookshelf (from $89), but for my money, no-one should be able to go past the Expedit at just $139-$219 - it's the best for home offices, dividing up space for files, mags, books and even drawers. But how fancy are the shelves pictures above? Which would you prefer: designed and lovely, or basic and IKEA?

Top, IKEA Expedit via ApartmentTherapy, Bottom, Billy with glass doors ($759) via Corneliar's Flickr

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Celebrity house: Mae West gave good boudoir

She was bold, buxom and brash, but Mae West knew how to deliver a girly boudoir - even in black and white. Her one-liners were the best:
"A hard man is good to find."
"Cultivate your curves - they may be dangerous but they won't be avoided."
"Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before. "
"I used to be Snow White but I drifted."
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