My Special Escape

It's been a few years since my last blog. Coming out of a bad relationship and then a six month fling with a Frenchman that turned out had his boots in many a bedroom has taken its toll. So I went into hibernation. Looking back a lot of blessings have come to fruition as a result. I finished my Interior Design Diploma, created a beautiful escape and won an award. We all need time out but how many actually take it. And when we do why does guilt kick in? It's a bizarre thing guilt. Is it a sin to nuture oneself, to put yourself first? Hmmm or is it ingrained in us from society? Well for whatever reason it does make it hard to just take that time for you and only you. I decided to create a special escape for myself in my barn. I needed my very own space to be alone and spend time with me. It started as an experiement as an office, then went to a whole new level, becoming a much larger project. A dream really. One I have had on my vision board forever. A parisian boudoir. If I can't live in Paris (yet) then I will pretend here in Beach Haven.

The planning was first. Lots of internet searching for the right materials. Finding the right person to build it and doing it in a budget.

I was so excited when it started to take form. My kids helped me paint it. We had a lot of fun creating it and now all share it for a place to escape. It became my boudoir. The office will have to come later :-)

I can remember my first night in my beautiful boudoir. The feelings of guilt that I wasn't in the house with my kids. I was only 4 meters away but it felt like I had deserted them. They are well and truly old enough and to be honest they were very happy to have the house to themselves. But I as a mother felt guilty. Isn't it funny how we are so attached, when really it's very good for all of us. They have their independence and I have have my space. I am over the guilt now of course and love my sanctuary.

The last thing I did was decide to enter into the New Zealand House and Garden Interior of The Year Awards.

I was so excited to get into the finals, not for a second thinking I would win. I went to the awards with my two children (the helpers of my room) and won The Best Bedroom of The Year!

The colour is Kristen Pink by British Paints. The beautiful cornices and ceiling roses are from Seddon's in Dunedin. They have an amazing range of stunning plaster works.

If you would like me to design your beautiful boudoir feel free to contact me.

If you need a good builder, electrician and tiler contact Rowan Alexander on 021 08253425.

Colour

Ever wondered why you are drawn to certain colours or why you suddenlyneed to repaint your living room as the colour  no longer resonates with you.

I have been doing some research as to why this happens. It's interesting looking back to when I have craved certain colours how it was an indication of where I was at during that time.

Here are some colour meanings ...

Red is the colour of fire. It is the colour of the burning, radiant sun, and of life itself. Both love and anger, joy and wrath are associated with this colour. Red is the color with the greatest power of penetration and will strongly stimulate the flow of blood. It is associated with sex and the first chakra in Eastern spiritual traditions. Red makes lazy people more active. Phlegmatic children may be helped by having them do their homework under red light.

Orange is a mixture of red and yellow and is the colour of joy and happiness. It is indicated in cases of discontentment, pessimism, psychosis, depression and fear. However, orange should be alternated with blue when treating people suffering from fear. Short exposure to orange light in the morning will prove to be of help to people who are chronically tired at this time of day. Orange will increase a sense of ambition and promote warm-heartedness. It has a brightening and cheering effect and will lend strength and joy to people who feel disinclined to work.

Yellow symbolizes the sun standing at its zenith, and is one of the hot colours. It promotes digestion, strengthens the nerves, stimulates the stomach and has a brightening and cheering effect in general. All diseases of the digestive tract should be treated with the colour yellow. People who are discontent show a change of facial expression when exposed to yellow light.

Green is the most common color in nature and is regarded as being a neutral factor. It is indicated for bronchial catarrh, whooping cough and inflammations of the joints (in alternation with blue, in the latter case). All chronic diseases respond well to the intermittent use of green light and precision work can be done better under it. It has a balancing effect and will promote feelings of contentment and tranquility. Green is also sedative, soothing and relaxing in its effect. It is one of the strongest colors, along with it's complement Red, in the effect it has being looked at, taken in through the eyes.

Blue - This is the colour of peace and infinity. It is regarded of being a cold colour, and has a relaxing effect. Blue is the color of the pituitary gland and the endocrine system. All diseases involving heat require treatment with blue light. This color is also indicated for complaints involving suppuration, pain, plethora and congestion. Warts disappear under the effect of radiation with blue light. Hyperactive children should do their homework under blue light. This color promotes quietness and reserve.

Violet has always been associated with spirituality and in accordance, it acts on the unconscious, lends the individual spiritual strength and promotes awareness and consciousness. Violet increases the effect of all kinds of meditation and is also regarded as being the color of inspiration. It has a positive effect on the spleen and promotes the functioning of the lymphatic system.

Remember there are no rules. Some of the most beautiful settings in nature are a colour explosion. Follow your intuition and be brave. You will inspire yourself in doing so.

Here are some lovely examples of clever use of colour ...

A visit to Versailles July 14, 1789

Farewell my Queen is a movie directed by Benoit Jacquot and based on a script by him, Chantal Thomas, and Gilles Taurand. There's growing disquiet at the court of King Louis XVI: the people are defiant and the country is on the brink of revolution. Behind the scenes at the royal palaces emergency plans are being made. Although nobody believes that this spells the end of the established order everyone is talking of escape, including Queen Marie Antoinette and her entourage.

Lea Seydoux and Diane Kruger in a sultry scene from Farewell My Queen.

Madame Gabrielle de Polignac (Lea Seydoux) and Marie Antoinette (Diane Kruger) in a scene from Farewell My Queen.

One of Marie Antoinette's ladies-in-waiting is Sidonie Laborde who, as the Queen's reader, is a member of the monarch's inner circle. She takes us on a journey back and forth between the lavish rooms of Versailles and the back corridors of their servants. Little does she know that she is about to witness the downfall of her beloved queen.

The aristocracy and servant classes are equally anxious as they hear of the storming of the Bastille and the unrest in Paris.

When a pamphlet circulates at Versailles listing the enemies of the revolution, who are to be beheaded, Marie Antoinette and her husband top the list. It's the third name - the Queen's lover and confidant, Madame Gabrielle de Polignac who provides the intrigue for Jacquot's sensual drama.

A beautiful movie. If you adore the opulence of court life it's a must see.

The King and Queen of France

The Queen's reader Sidonie Laborde

Marie Antoinette throws the list of heads to roll into the fire.

Marie Antoinette distressed the king chooses to stay at Versailles

Marie Antoinette in the Petit Trianon

Craig Campbell a Genius of our time

When I first met Craig Campbell I had the same feeling as when I was standing in the Rodin Museum in Paris. In awe of the genius behind such beautiful creations.

Rodin Paris

Craig Campbell Wellington

That first meeting with Craig was at Sky City when he was sculpting live in 2011.

Craig is an American artist now living in Wellington working as a Sculptor with Weta Workshop.

Craig has  been in New Zealand for 3 years.  He began sculpting in the mid 1990’s after working as a nightclub bouncer.

Craig's sculpture is primarily figurative, or animal related and often has a flair of whimsy. Craig's focus is to express life through sculpture, and that he certainly does. To see him working is incredibly inspiring. My son was so inspired he has been sculpting ever since meeting Craig who has a lovely aura about him and a very gentle, approachable manner with people, especially children.

Since being in NZ Craig has Sculpted many pieces for the Roxy Cinema in Miramar.  He has been a lead sculptor on the Rugby World Cup Sculpture with Weta Workshop, as well as exhibiting work for Unscripted Exhibition and performed sculpting demonstrations both in Wellington and Auckland. Craig has donated sculptures to “Born Project” for the Neonatal association, and donated sculpts to the Wellington Zoo. Currently running a Sculpture studio in Miramar where he holds sculpting classes and workshops in figurative sculpture, portrait sculpting, animal sculpting, bas-relief sculpting, and concrete sculpting. If you are lucky enough to live in Wellington you can learn first hand from one of our true geniuses.

We too often feel the need to travel to see such beautiful pieces of art or to look in our history only to find them on our door step actively working in our present day. What a gift to be able to be in the presence of a great artist. It does give you a sense of the wonderful and whimsical.

Craig Campbell

Rodin

Craig Campbell

Craig Campbell

Craig Campbell

Craig Campbell

Craig Campbell

Craig Campbell

Craig Campbell

Luke's flower he made for my birthday

Craig Campbell

If you have ever walked amongst the great galleries of the world and wished as I have to own something of such beauty, then contact Craig as he does do commissions.

You can contact Craig either by email or phone as below ...

Craig Campbell

csculpt@aol.com

www.craigcampbell.net

021 293 8218

Blogs that will inspire you.

I'm making the most of this wet weather by searching the internet for more ideas and inspiration and I have come across some amazing blogs. I love to change my home around so often I drive my children mad. I find it inspiring to have a change. Its funny I am reading a book at the moment called The Honeymoon Effect by Bruce Lipton one of my favourite authors. I'm loving every bit of it. I read that when your energy changes you often want to change your home around. I can relate to that. There have been huge changes In my life this year and I now feel I need to redecorate every room. :-)

Here are some inspiring blogs for you to browse through on a rainy day ....

The lovely Claudia form the Paris apartment not only has a beautiful website but has a wonderful blog. I always look forward to one arriving in my emails. She also has just published a new book Paris Flea Market Style

The Better Decorating Bible is a blog full of beautiful homes from Elton Johns Berverly Hills paradise to a Modern French Regency Marie Antoinette Style Apartment.

Rachel Ashwell the woman who created Shabby Chic has a lovely blog full of Shabby Chic ideas. I love looking through The Prairie page at all the gorgeous rooms that you can stay in.

Here are some photos of what I have created from all the inspiration these blogs have given me.

Sweet dreams

My reading nook

Our social space

My darling

This beautiful space is from The Better Decorating Bible

This is my inspiration for my dream project of a barn house that will look like this on the inside.

And so to bed to dream ....

Bonne année et bonne santé

Bonne année et bonne santé I hope you are all enjoying the New Year and have been lucky enough to eat well, relax and contemplate the coming year.

I have managed to have what my idea of a rest is and watch some inspiring movies filled with beautiful 18th century interiors.

My favorite was Bel Ami. I was so inspired by it I needed to share it with you.

BEL AMI is the story of Georges Duroy, who travels through 1890s Paris, from cockroach ridden garrets to opulent salons, using his wits and powers of seduction to rise from poverty to wealth, from a prostitute’s embrace to passionate trysts with wealthy beauties, in a world where politics and media jostle for influence, where sex is power and celebrity an obsession.

With a great cast ... Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Christina Ricci and Colm Meaney along with the most beautiful Parisian apartment sets I have seen to date it is well worth watching. You will of course want to redecorate.

Here are a few photos from the movie ....

If you would like to view more go the Bel Ami website

Happy holidays xx Claire Crosbie claire@vintagerevival.co.nz Tel: 09-483 7717 Mob: 021 472 431 www.vintagerevival.co.nz

A French Oasis in the City

Walking down the driveway I felt as if I was leaving the city behind and entering a beautiful Oasis. It is such a lovely part of my job to see where some of my treasures find there home. I was greeted by Rhonda J Bayliss who began Healing day spa in 1997. Anyone that has a treatment with Rhonda will be glad she did. There is a certain energy about her that gives you a feeling of calm and reassurance. My treatment began with a Bio cleanse foot-spa which also detoxes your body while you relax and enjoy. Then after a luxurious foot massage I lay on the bed, so relaxed and at ease while Rhonda worked her magic.

A combination of Jin Shin Jyutsu a Japanese healing art, Chakra Balancing and Aura-Soma Colour Therapy. If you are not familiar with these treatments perhaps the best way to explain it is what effect it had on me. When I walked through Rhonda's door I was somewhat confused about several issues. Exhausted and feeling a little down. The busier your life becomes the less we tend to spend on nurturing ourselves.

The treatment itself is so gentle and non invasive. You lie in a lovely comfortable treatment bed with crystals and healing stones, Rhonda sprays the most delicious aura soma essences, lays her wonderful healing hands on you  re-balancing and releasing unwanted energy. Something Rhonda said to me really stuck. Most people live 80% of there life on fear based choices and 20% on trust based choices. It has been six months since I went to Rhonda and there has been a huge shift. My energy levels have improved immensely and my intuition is much stronger. I am making decisions based on my intuition. The inner voice is becoming stronger than the voice of others. I have not had those anxious butterflies I would often get. It seems to continue working on a cellular level. The other part of the experience I love is the beautiful French aesthetics of Rhonda's sanctuary. The whole experience was absolute bliss. When Rhonda began her venture she said she had a calling and knew that was what she was here to do. I completely understood that as that was my experience to. Rhonda really does have an amazing gift.

There is Japanese scientist called Masaru Emoto who has proved that words and the energy around us have a huge impact on our health and well being. It is worth having a look at his website. This is the way of the future. Nurture yourself with Rhonda's treatment and you will reap the rewards . I cant think of a better way to start the New year.

To find out more about Rhonda and the amazing work she does visit her website

Beautiful lithographs

Hello to all the art lovers out there.I love to grace my walls with beautiful and interesting pieces of art. Especially the romantic whimsical kind. I noticed in the Designers Guild new book A Certain Style there are some lovely pieces of French Art and Lithographs. It really does finish off that perfect Vintage look.

Lithographs are pieces of art work that have been hand etched on a copper plate, printed onto paper and then hand coloured. Such beautiful pieces that unfortunately are not done today. Its amazing when you look at a beautiful vintage La Mode picture that its all lovingly hand done.

The term lithograph or lithography comes from Greek, meaning 'writing with stone'. It was invented in 1798 by German Alois Senefelder (1771-1834), as a way of printing text, in particular his own plays. Lithography is a popular planographic (surface-printing) technique based on the immiscibility (chemical repulsion of) oil and water. Senefelder patented the process in 1798 and his first publication was a set of drawings by Swiss naturalist Conrad Gessner (1516-65) in London in 1799. The lithographic process was kept top secret until 1818, when Alois Senefelder published Vollstandinges Lehrbuch der Steindruckerey (A Complete Course of Lithography). A modern variant is photo-lithography, which employs photographic processes to capture the image on metal plates.

Lithography quickly became popular with artists as a means of reproduction. The artist simply drew a picture on a stone, which was then pressed to reproduce lots of copies on paper. Senefelder continuously improved the process during his lifetime, receiving awards and medals for his work. The first collection of lithographs was published in London in 1803, and included works by American artist Benjamin West (1738-1820), Irish painter James Barry (1741-1806) and Anglo-Swiss artist Henry Fuseli (1741-1825). In 1804 the first series of lithographs in Berlin were published, and included a drawing by the architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1841). In France the process proved popular with some of the country's most important artists including Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863), Theodore Chasseriau (1819-1856), Theodore Gericault (1791-1824) and the aged Goya (1746-1828). By this time the process had been further developed and it was now possible to give both colour and tone to a lithograph. It was discovered that every colour could be produced by overlapping blue, red, yellow and black.

Here are some of my favourites.

You can find these on my website

www.vintagerevival.co.nz

Scènes de la vie privée et publique des animaux (Scenes from the private and public life of animals), J. Hetzel et Paulin, by J. J. Grandville, Paris, 1842. 34 cm by 30 cm

Original La Mode magazine cover 1888

From a famous series of caricature lithographs showing French middle class. Age unknown, but 19th c. 1827 or later.

Louis-Leopold Boilly (1761-1845)

Louis-Leopold Boilly (1761-1845)

Chromolithographs after original drawing  by Foussier, printed by Berthaud.
Published Paris, c1880-1900 in  " L'Ameublement et le Garde-Meuble Reunis "
260 x 355 mm Image: 195 x 285

Moving to the next level and bringing French and Vintage Furniture to the beautiful homes of New Zealand.

You might have noticed in the past month that I've been quiet on the blog front. Well, there's been a great reason for it.I have been busy unloading two new containers of delicious treasures...Heaven :-) As well as moving into and setting up my shop.

Stressful, rewarding and at times a but surreal. I almost need to pinch myself every now and then. It has been quite a fast journey to say the least. They say if you do what you love and love what you do it will flourish, and that it has.

I have been so inspired by others that have this passion such as Rachel Ashwell from the Shabby Chic® brand and Claudia Strasser from The Paris Apartment.  I love looking at their websites and dreaming over their books. This has always come with some frustration as it is near to impossible to find all that French furniture in New Zealand and to bring just a few pieces from abroad is very expensive.

I will be working very hard to bring the loveliest treasures I can find to dress the beautiful homes of New Zealand at a reasonable price.

It has worked well having my home as my showroom it has just outgrown my small abode so hence the move.

It is a long awaited dream come true. As well as a lot of hard work.  Although in saying that it's not like work as I love it. The hard part as any mother would know is juggling it with looking after a home and still being a good Mother to my beautiful children.

Here are some photos of my work in progress and some of my new treasures.

The entrance to Vintage Revival

Inside. A work in progress :-)

Set of four vintage dining chairs with beautiful vintage Romeo and Juliet fabric

French 1920’s sofa

French vintage Armoire in original cream and french green finish with gilt highlights

Sensational pair of vintage French nightstands in original cream and french green finish with gilt highlights. Very sweet little nightstands, perfect for any boudoir or even girl's room.

French Queen size bed

Vintage marble top table

Vintage cherub light

This is a fabulous pair of nightstands with marble tops and matching vanity.  All original with exquisite hand carving on the drawers and legs.

Beautiful old Louis XVI style vanity desk. Could also work great as a console.

A stunning French Vintage Romeo and Juliet fauteuil

A stunning French Vintage Romeo and Juliet canape

Very old antique French theatre mirrors

Art is my Soul food.

When it comes to feeding my soul Art would have to come first. I just can’t live without it. When designing a room I believe art is one of the most important features. If you walk into a room with nothing on the walls it looks unfinished. Even if you like a minimal look one or two pieces of art is still necessary.

You can design a whole room around a beautiful painting just as you can around a piece of French furniture. I have a passion for Vintage art with a romantic feel to it. I’m very lucky to be from a family of artists so I have no shortage of inspirational pieces with great sentimental value. I walk past some of my favourite pieces every day admiring, always feeding my soul, feeling grateful for all the creative people in the world. After all if we had no creative geniuses we would have no beautiful architecture, furniture, art, jewellery, clothes, cars, pretty much everything we buy starts by an artist or a designer.

I always choose art from an emotional point of view. If I fall in love then I will do what I can to continue my love affair. Which is what brings me to my exciting news about my new art work.

Thanks to my good friend Geoffrey Heath who called me and said “Claire you must come and see this drawing by my friend Vivien Masters that is up for Auction at the Richmond Road primary school.”

When I saw this beautiful watercolour by Vivien Master’s I just fell in love with her. It was the perfect match to go with all my lovely pieces of Vintage furniture. Luckily I won the auction and now The Duchess of Superbia graces my wall. It is almost like having the presence of Marie Antoinette herself.

Having had such a lot of feedback on how beautiful she is I decided to ask Vivien if she would do some pieces for Vintage Revival.

As a result of this Vintage Revival is very pleased to announce new art works by Vivien Masters. These beautiful original water colours are exclusive to Vintage Revival.

I have added some inspiring rooms below that are finished with lovely pieces of art as well as a peek inside a few of my favourite books and of course Vivien's beautiful drawings.

“Olivia”

“The Peacock”

“Diamond Dame”

“Rose”

“Lady Catherine”

“Olivia”

Christian Lacroix in Vogue Living.

Amanda Harlech at the Ritz in Paris, Vogue Living.

Rachel Rileys home in Loire France, Vogue Living.

Rachel Rileys home in Loire France, Vogue Living.

The new Tricia Guild Book A Certain Style.

The new Tricia Guild Book A Certain Style.

Designers Guild.

Designers Guild.

Marie Antoinette.

The Opera house in Paris.

A Renoir painting hangs in the living room of  Greta Garbo.

A Louis XVI trumeau in Greta Garbo's living room.

Greta Garbo's hallway.

Greta Garbo's living room.

Marilyn Monroe in her home a month before she died.

Mickey Rourke's living room.

My old living room.

A day in Paris

A day in Paris A year in Paris is my wish and a day in Paris is like when you fall in love with someone you can't have. A week in Paris left me with such a thirst that needs to be quenched again and again.

When my feet first walked on the old cobble stone streets of Paris I felt a familiar sense of being home. Perhaps a past life memory or a romantic ideal I don't know, I was sure though that a new relationship had begun. Dragging my suit case along behind me searching for the train station to deliver me to Versailles my eyes were constantly captivated by the beauty of what surrounded me "Paris" It was early in the morning and people were bustling there way to work, the train station was busy and confusing. The thought of my French lessons on my to do list crossed my mind of regret for not getting it together.

With such a small glimpse of Paris behind me arriving at Versailles was a love affair all of its own. Could I possibly blend into the palace unnoticed and stay for ever!

When visiting Versailles it is well worth arriving on Monday. The Palace itself is closed but the gardens are open for free. You need a whole day just to explore the beauty and splendor of these beautifully laid out gardens that seem to go for miles. Every corner you turn is yet another divine sculpture or fountain laid-en with more stunning flower beds, the air filled with sweet aroma.

Spending the evening in Versailles was a romantic dinner with France followed by a leisurely walk around the edge of the palace grounds. Certainly a step up on the esthetics of a romantic night out, be it with yourself or another.

The second day started with a long que. It pays to pre buy your tickets and arrive 30 minutes before opening time so you avoid cues and crowds in the first stage which is the Palace itself.

I was told it can be quite overwhelming. Not for I. I felt as though I could just melt into it all.

Most people visit Versailles, go through the palace and then leave. There is so much more to see without the crowds of tourists from the main palace.

The Grand Trianon which is like a smaller Versailles. The Petit Trianon, Marie Antoinette's sanctuary which includes the amazing Theatre she loved to preform in. The Queens Hamlet a village of thatched roofs inspired by the Queen Marie Antoinette's return to nature which consists of twelve houses along with a miniature farm. It really is like a fairytale village.

Versailles is one of those must do destinations. Especially if you are looking for ideas and inspiration. I am still inspired just with the memory.

And then there was Paris.

Truly the most beautiful and visually exciting city in the world.

I have often heard how the French are rude and arrogant. I found this to be the opposite, such a lively and certainly the most friendly city I have graced the streets of to date.

The constant bustle of a city mixed with the captivating aroma of coffee on every corner, flower and perfumery shops everywhere. Coffee, flowers and perfume what more could a girl want?... Fashion, Bohemia, antique markets, french furniture, the most amazing architecture, stunning gardens, food that will lavishly cover your taste buds, and of course french men everywhere.

Then there is the pungent smell of urine that will occasionally waft up your nose in the underground but  the rest more than compensates for that.

There is so much to look at in Paris I really do need a year ;-)

The Palais Garnier ( The Opera house ) Rodin Museum Notre Dame Grand Place Musée du Louvre Champs Elysees Sacre Coeur and Montmartre Moulin Rouge The Eiffel Tower The Sorbonne and the Latin Quarter

This is just a few. Beauty is every whereas well as cheap souvenirs for sale on every corner. This can get a little annoying but a simple no is all thats needed unless of course you want an Eiffel Tower key ring or a flashing glass Eiffel Tower.

If you cant live in Paris having a piece of beauty from Paris is the next best thing. There really is something very romantic and special about having a piece of Paris.

I have just received some lovely pieces from Paris as well as a few from Burgundy a town south of Paris.

For prices and more information please see my Vintage Revival French Furniture web site.

ont une belle journée

au revoir

A Room in Paris Please

One of the attractions of visiting Paris is the beautiful decor that's surrounds you when staying in a parisian hotel. I have found a place in New Zealand where you can have that same experience.A lovely romantic getaway in Greytown called "Chambers on Main"

This was once an old council building built in 1896 and still graces the main street of Greytown today.



When you walk in you feel as though you have entered a wonderful remaining piece of New Zealand history. On the ground floor you will find Sally's Antiques, full of beautiful china, a favorite of mine. All rooms should be graced with beautiful china. Then there is Julie s shop "stylish pre-owned furniture".

At the top of the grande staircase you will find your room in Paris. Beautifully laid out with lavish linen and all the accessories that make a luxury room as well as a beautiful shuttered window to finish off the parisian feel.

When you have settled onto your romantic retreat you can leisurely wander out the front door to the many wonderful French antique shops and delicious cafes. I cant think of a better weekend to unwind from the bustle of a busy city. Relax in  your beautiful Parisian room, indulge in yummy food and shop all day for French Furniture

For more information go to the Greytown website

School Antiques Find - Junk or Treasure

On Saturday morning there was no sleep in for anyone in my household.It was my daughter's school fair. Two eager little faces (Luke and Sophie) bursting to spend their money. To seek out treasures eat lots of candy floss and have fun.

A wonderful treasure I did find. My beautiful Dresden ballerina, she is so damaged and broken with several bad attempts at putting poor ballerina back together again.

Despite this I placed her next to on my other french antiques. I just fell in love with her broken or not. I will keep her, treasure her and be inspired by her. Sophie found lots wonderful clothes being the up and coming vintage clothes guru she is. School fairs are lots of fun and there is always a treasure to find, just as opportunity shops are. Opportunity being the operative word. You have to have your eyes open for every opportunity to present itself. You may not find a quality piece of french furniture, but things such as chandelier frames are common.

I love looking at these pieces and imagining where they have been? Who's house they graced and what stories they could tell. If only a vase could speak.

New Zealand Fashion Week - "In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” Coco Chanel

Fashion week in Auckland has been alive and well in this unfortunate weather. I have had the privilege to View several shows, all with very different styles. I arrived at the first event in blustering winds, forcing me to leave my well groomed hair in the car. I was then immersed in the World of Haute Couture, watching Walk the Line by North Shore YMCA.

This Show was created by young designers, it provides an opportunity for young Designers, aged 13 -18 years, to show their talent. Talent there certainly was. My favourite dress out of the four shows I viewed was from this one. Unfortunately the judges were not of the same opinion.

I think this is absolutely gorgeous. It reminded of the beautiful Valentino dress in my last blog.

The very attractive girl modeling it was the  designer, Narelle Melissa, an exciting name I'm sure we’ll catch up with in future magazines.

Nicole Miller was another favourite.  An American Designer, who completed a degree in Fine Art at the Rhode Island School of Design and also earned a degree at the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, where Nicole trained to drape and maser the classical techniques of Couture.

Annah Stretton is also inspiring. A definite temptation to shop.

Just as a beautiful chandelier will enhance your French Furniture so will shoes to a beautiful outfit. What better way to display them than in this gorgeous cabinet?

Valentino and my New Obsession

I  have just spent 9 days in Brisbane having a wonderful time shopping and updating my wardrobe, visiting lots of Vintage clothing shops, even finding one called Vintage Revival. The biggest highlight of my trip apart from spending quality time with a valuable girlfriend was the Valentino exhibition, currently showing in Brisbane, Australia. The ‘Valentino. Retrospective: Past/Present/Future’ is a major exhibition exploring the work of the celebrated Italian fashion house Valentino, known for its sophisticated, timeless design and glamorous clientele. Developed by renowned decorative arts institution Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris, the exhibition encompasses haute couture from the first collection designed in 1959 by the house’s founder, Valentino Garavani, through to work from the Autumn/Winter 2009-10 creations by Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Picciolli – appointed as creative directors for Valentino in 2008. Valentino retired unexpectantly in 2008. Designs from the house of Valentino have been coverted and worn by European royalty, Hollywood celebrities and members of high society the world over. This magnificent exhibition includes garments worn by Cate Blancett, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor and more. The garments are absolutely amazing and are all hand stitched. To find out all about Valenino I would highly recommend the movie “Valentino: The Last Emperor” I absolutely love haute couture and Valentino is one of the greats. I came home feeling so inspired and motivated, now I want to get out my sewing machine and revamp my own clothes. Arriving home with an overweight suitcase I felt a tad depressed while unpacking finding nowhere to place and show my new found treasures. I feel as though my house is shrinking. Accumulating more without enlarging your space things can become a bit cramped. I am currently looking for a larger home as we have certainly outgrown this one! My home is so full of Vintage and French furniture as well as yummy treasures from around the world. I have always planned a walk in closet like Carey Bradshaw’s in “Sex in the City," which is one of my favourites. I am a huge fan of “Sex in the City”. The vision has grown, unpacking I decided what I need is a beautiful complete dressing room!!! Not just a walk-in closet but whole room to show off my beautiful things. A room for myself, my clothes, my adornments and all my accessories. I imagine emerging from my bathroom in the morning and  opening the door of my very own dressing room. I sit in my beautiful French chair or Canape and leisurely decide what I will wear today. My face framed in a huge gilt mirror. Shelves for my shoes and hand bags. All my clothes and jewellery hung beautifully and easily accessible. I love to dream and design rooms in my head. My visions are endless and I have only just begun with this one. Browsing on the web  has inspired my vision but has also unfortunately triggered impatience!

Look at what I found. These are some of my favourites.

Carrie Bradshaw's walk in closet, of course!!

My new found favourite. Nanette Lepore’s Eclectic Dressing Room Designed by Jonathan Adler. I love the Art Deco rug, the colours are divine!

Organization is the  key in a dressing room or large closet area. The bench in this purple one {above} looks like a necessity with all those shoes to try on!

Miley Cyrus' dressing room is absolutely what I would expect to see for decoration  in a teen's room. I love the big mirror and chair. Loads of fun to be had with girlfriends, trying on the many variations of outfits!

Olivia  Wilde's wardrobe at her townhouse in Venice, California. What a beautiful dress!

Mariah Carey’s  dressing room is absolutely stunning.  “Spending time in here would be such a pleasure, I would never want to leave.”

This is the dressing room of the head designer of  J.Crew,  Jenna Lyons -- you can be sure it's full of many fabulous things!!

In Christina Aquilera's Los Angeles mansion she has two expansive wardrobes. Very theatrical in a very feminine style.

I adore this one,  Very Marie Antoinette.

Flowers are a must have!

I was brought up by a wonderful Mother that not only loved beautiful antique furniture but was also an amazing gardener with a love of flowers. We always had beautiful bunches of flowers in the house.

I believe a room is unfinished without flowers. If they are scented not only does it add beauty it adds absolute pleasure every time you inhale there wonderful scent.

We don’t all have a beautiful garden and purchasing flowers every week can be expensive and good quality flowers are not always available. It can also be very disappointing when they only last a few days.

Man made flowers can look amazing if you can find the right ones and display them well. They can look real, last for years and are mess free.

In these photos I have shown you how beautiful they can be.

Having the right vase  also is an important part of the picture.  When displaying man made flowers you can also bend them and shape them into the form you want to make them look great.

Alternatively if you want something alive that lasts an indoor plant such as Hyacinths are a wonderful choice. They look pretty and smell divine.

Don’t settle for second best when choosing your flowers. Spending a little more is worth it, remember they are going to last and you need to be happy with how they look.

Kings Plant Barn have a great selection to choose from. The lovely bunch in my duck vase only cost $29.00 NZD which is about the same price as real flowers.

I was brought up by a wonderful Mother that not only loved beautiful antique furniture but was also an amazing gardner with a love of flowers. We always had beautiful bunches of flowers in the house.

I believe a room is unfinished without flowers. If they are scented not only does it add beauty it adds absolute pleasure every time you inhale there wonderful scent.

We don’t all have a beautiful garden and purchasing flowers every week can be expensive and good quality flowers are not always available. It can also be very disappointing when they only last a few days.

Man made flowers can look amazing if you can find the right ones and display them well. They can look real, last for years and are mess free.

In these photos I have shown you how beautiful they can be.

Having the right vase  also is an important part of the picture.

When displaying man made flowers you can also bend them and shape them into the form you want to make them look great.

Alternatively if you want something alive that lasts an indoor plant such as Hyacinths are a wonderful choice. They look pretty and smell divine.

Don’t settle for second best when choosing your flowers. Spending a little more is worth it, remember they are going to last and you need to be happy with how they look.

Kings Plant Barn have a great selection to choose from. The lovely bunch in my duck vase only cost $29.00 NZD which is about the same price as real flowers.

A selection of sweet peas and stock from Kings Plant Barn. These look very real.

A pretty beautifully scented Hyacinths.

A posey from Kings Plant Barn.

This blue vase with the ducks on it was my Mothers, this adds a lot of sentimental value for me as well. :) :)

Don’t let the TV be your furniture centre piece!

So many times I walk into a person’s home and find the main attraction in the room a television set. Not only does this look very unattractive it also becomes a focal point when entertaining. Even if the TV is turned off people tend to stare at it.

In this photo I have shown you a way of disguising your television set in a way that looks attractive and yet is very simple and practical. You can use so many different types of furniture cabinet now with the slimline TV.

Even an old painted wardrobe would work, with plenty of room to store all your DVD’s as well.

What to do with Vintage Chinese Silk Screen Panels

Ive just purchased these gorgeous panels out of an old Chinese room screen. I wanted something different for above my bed.

I just loved the colours in them. This could easily be done with any fabric you fall in love with. Or even an old piece of beautiful vintage wallpaper glued on to a board would look great.

I like to have different things on the walls. It always makes a room look more eclectic and interesting.

Antique furniture can look so much better in a room well decorated with a twist of something different.

That’s why I love Vintage French Furniture so much they  were not afraid to be different and use colour, especially all those lovely pale blues, pinks and greens.

When you find something unusual you can almost decorate a whole room around it. That’s how I find most of my inspiration when designing something new…go shopping. A must when needing new ideas. Or visit art galleries and heritage homes. You will be amazed at what ideas will come to mind. I call it a creative date with myself.