Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cobblestone Progress

It was a back breaking weekend around our hood. Laying Cobblestone tiles is much harder than I thought. They are SO heavy. I don’t think that many muscles in my body have ever been used at the one time. I have a whole new respect for the tiling trade. And let me say it here – I will never tile again.
A few befores prep stage ...

And finally they're stuck

Well... almost ...

As you can see, they need an enormous amount of grout which is to come ... but on the bright side of the exhaustion , it’s looking exactly as we’d hoped. This is a snapshot of them sealed. Nice and dark.

(Look at those ratty stairs. Another bloody weekend to waste right there.)

Slapping some sealant on prior to grouting will make it a whole lot easier for us to clean the excess grout off the stone. Once we have the grout in and set, we'll put a few more coats over the top of it all again. 

We have a whole lot of old wrought iron that's been sitting at the house for about  ….. 6 years. Maybe longer actually – I think we had it before we demolished the old shack and moved this one onto it.
We’re using it to enclose this area into a secure little patio/courtyard arrangement. I can’t wait for that to be done, so the tiling was the first step and the iron is the second.

Here’s to hoping she’s done and dusted by this time next week and I have some finished shots to share.

Meanwhile, there is a major shortage of attractive wall lights around. Any hot tips on where to find something Art Deco in a sconce/light?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Shades Of Autumn

Even though it’s still meant to be Autumn, it has been cold here in Brisbane. With the underneath of the house enclosed now, I had visions of warmth and cosiness on the top floor. No such luck.

I bought this last week and am most enamoured with it.  I was gazing at it for the longest time last night trying to work it out.
The men’s posture is tall and proud, dressed in white with a summer glow about them. Head high and kind of jovial looking. 
The women seem to be the opposite - posture meek, heads down, dressed in autumn tones. The colours are lovely.
I wonder where they are. My first thought was somewhere waiting for a boat. Not sure why. It’s always a good sign with art when you’re drawn into what it’s trying to say. What do you see? There's no marking so who painted it is a mystery.

Meanwhile, I was having lunch at a friends house Sunday and took some happy snaps. L lives in a townhouse in Bardon and has almost finished a mini reno. She’s redesigned the internal stairs, had new timber floors laid and the courtyard completely redone. It looks amazing.
I really love the tone of the floors - they even back the strength of the antiques and colour palette and the glass modernises it. And the handles on the cupboards whilst a small detail are super cool.
L lived in Honkers for years and years and has a strong appreciation for Asian antiques and styling. Works well because she's a red girl through and through. Many of these pieces have moved around the world with her and have a unique history.

These chairs are my 2nd favourite piece that I drool over when visiting. They came out of China and were owned forever ago by a General. He’d had them custom made and faintly below you can see his name enscripted on the back of the chairs.

This chair IS my favourite. This is a Kone Chair by Roger McLay. It was in L's family home while she was growing up and she’s always adored it. Magnificent piece. A brilliant example of post war Australian design.

L then showed me this recent article out of the paper which has them all pictured in the City Hall. Her father was an architect so it’s no surprise he would appreciate such a fabulous piece. I wonder where they all went? Somebody tell me!

Coincidentally, the chairs pictured in the background are also items L grew up with in the family home. She’s having the suite of 6 restored at the moment. I cannot wait to see them in real life. She has no room for them ...

These stools are the most comfortable ever, they’re moulded plywood and ergonomically magical. I remember her looking for these 5 years ago. Took her ages to find and even longer until they arrived. They're from Cherner in the US. They have stunning pieces check them out here. The benchtop was Riverstone from Argentina. I didn't get a good pic but it is the nicest benchtop I've ever seen.
The outdoor courtyard is still a work in progress and is completely different to the indoors tone wise but is linked with the riverstone and a touch of red in the cushion accents. Being that she had to buy an enormous piece of stone 4 years ago (when she did the kitchen) she managed to work it in now as a feature in the wall.  
So private and fresh. Still some landscaping and hanging the curtain screening's to do. The lounge was a great purchase. You can move it around into various configurations, storage under the seats, the double can fold out to a bed and that coffee table turns into a dining table. You pull the 4 pieces up in front of you to dining height. Handy.

On a beautiful day in May, champers in hand with a soft breeze and birds chirping, it was a most relaxing atmosphere.

This painting was done by one of her sisters of the family home front door. Isn't it fabbo!
L's home is a great example of what my blog is about. Nostalgia and Now. Mixing your own history with how you live and what you love today. Sentimentality is what makes this eclectic mix work - in my opinion.
Now, we are embarking on a project at home with some tiling. So I may have something on the renovation to finally share.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Dishing the dirt on Blue Eyes

I just came back into the office from an appointment to find a delivery.
This book was ordered 4 weeks ago and finally it's arrived.

I've often read about Frank Sinatra's ferocious temper and undeniable charisma - so when I stumbled over this book it sounded way too intriguing (and trashy) for me to pass by.

I must know more about the man who's lived in some of my all time favourite homes. Written by Frank's former valet - here's a little bit about it if you're interested ...

"As the right hand of Frank Sinatra from 1953 to 1968, George Jacobs arguably had one of the coolest jobs in the world at the time when Sinatra was the undisputed master of the entertainment universe. Jacobs rose from his humble beginnings in New Orleans to join Sinatra in the mansions of Beverly Hills, the penthouses of Manhattan, the palaces of Europe, the pinnacles of world power. George Jacobs saw it all, did it all.

Sinatra took Jacobs with him on the ride of the century, from blacklist Hollywood to gangland Chicago to an emerging Vegas to Camelot, not to mention dolce vita Rome and swinging London. As a member of Sinatra's inner circle, Jacobs drank with Ava Gardner, danced with Marilyn Monroe, massaged John F. Kennedy, golfed with Sam Giancana, and played jazz with the Prince of Monaco while his boss secretly pursued Princess Grace. He also partied with Mia Farrow, but that one cost him his job of a lifetime.

Through the ring-a-ding-ding and the stars, royals, politicians, moguls, and mobsters emerged a warm and intimate relationship that reveals a complex Sinatra: vulnerable and arrogant, charismatic and violent, loving and disdainful, confident and painfully self-conscious. Jacobs is no sycophant, but rather a sharp-eyed observer of the highs and lows of his boss's turbulent life. And Mr. S is perhaps the most complete, honest, and intimate portrait of Sinatra ever written.

It is an unforgettable trip, and George Jacobs provides a front-and-center seat at the life of an American icon."

Move over Mr Packer, Mr S is on the read list tonight!