September 7, 2017

The 9 Poshest Things You Can Buy At IKEA

Consistently our favourite haunt for dead plain glasses, plates, serving spoons, oven mitts, tea towels, aprons, throw rugs, even storage, at affordable prices. No wonder Giorgio Armani filled his yacht with the Swedish tableware.

It’s simple, elegant, well proportioned and great value. We have masses of the wine goblets, white ceramic ware and linen quilt covers; and no one would know.
Whether well-heeled folk are stocking up on champagne flutes, ordering a new Billy bookcases or buying those furry SKOLD rugs that Jon Snow wore in Game of Thrones, you’ll find them scouring the halls on a Saturday afternoon, just like everyone else. So we’ve rounded up the nine poshest things you can pick up at your local IKEA. Well, if it’s good enough for the heir to the Iron’s certainly good enough for us.

September 7, 2017

Landscaping 101: Design Guide for Patio Pavers

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September 6, 2017

Trend Alert: 5 Sources For Gold Flatware

Add a touch of class to your table this season with the new-look contemporary gold-tone brushed flatware which is suddenly….everywhere. Great for adding warmth to table settings but do remember, a little gilt can go a long way. 

1. Elemental 16-piece cutlery set, $119.95,

2. Gold 5-piece cutlery place setting, $49, West Elm, (02) 8973 5900,

3. Hammered Steel Rivet 5-piece setting in aged brass, now $23 (was $52), Restoration Hardware,

4. Tillagd 24-piece cutlery set, $49, Ikea,

5. Host 16-piece cutlery set, $169.95, Salt & Pepper, (03) 9386 1222,

August 31, 2017

Four to Try: Best New Shops

The new shops that have opened this year have been diverse - from a dynamic design studio in Tyrone Dearing’s former landmark shop to a Balinese-themed joint in Collingwood.

With the focus on French, vintage, marble, wicker, and metal traditions to an upmarket Eastern Suburbs showroom that will transport you straight to Rodeo Drive, where the staff are second to none for thoughtful and polite service. Even the place to get big-boy outdoor furniture staples in a former factory.

Here are the newcomers of note.

KIM SOO HOME The Balinese fave renowned for its great mix of French mirrors, vintage chandeliers, black crowns, Tuscan pots, and rattan backpacks, is set to open its first Australian shop in Collingwood next month. The brand's modern yet humble take on decorative accessories has gained a huge international following since opening its first shop in Bali back in 2015 in a Dutch Colonial building, (there are now four shops). The stores revel in the possibility of interior design. They show no fear of mixing furniture styles, fabric or finish. Texture is king. Much of the furniture is made in a neutral palette of white, black, raw timber and metal, with warm tones and lots of marble, brass, stone, wicker, linen, ceramic and cotton, making it ideal for Australian living.
Rear 244 Smith Street,
Collingwood, Vic 3066
+61 405 827 984; 

CAVIT & CO Psst...want the hottest, newest, latest investment sheeting, fresh from Italy? Head to Cavit & Co’s new shop in Double Bay (it moved from its former Surry Hills showroom to beautiful, smaller premises earlier this year) and check Quagliotti’s bed linen collection used by royalty and Claridges. Plus, Masserano for the best cashmere throws, as well as Baker Furniture’s newest releases by Architectural Digest AD 100 legendary names, Barbara Barry and Thomas Pheasant. Plus Meridiani, renowned for its modern furniture in essential volumes complemented by stunning fabrics.  Not to mention Robert Kuo sculptures, unlike anything else around. Expect pieces that last forever, will enhance your life, and can completely change the atmosphere of your house. All in handsome hues of white, grey or classic taupe, that spell style and status, and give any space instant confidence.  Check out the sisal flooring, too (it’s from Natural Floorcovering Centre, and we love it!)
1/53 Cross Street, Double Bay
(02) 80188259

STUDIO BRADFORD  Neil Bradford, a superstar talent who has helped raise the global bar of design from New York to Sydney, decorating gracious estates in Connecticut to harbourside piles in Point Piper, has opened a dynamic design studio in Tyrone Dearing’s former Potts Point showroom. Go for a well-thought out selection of brands such as 1882 Ltd, to Lasvit glassware, Carlo Moretti lighting, Richard Brendon tableware, Paolo C glassware, plus his own collection of side tables, seating and the best cushion classics (in a palette of plain pinks, sables, moccha, aubergine, ecru). Instant sophistication.
Shop 2, Macleay Regis, 12 Macleay Street, Potts Point
(02) 9357 4775

DEDON SYDNEY The German-designed outdoor furniture company that famously brought us Orbit back in 2002, opened its first Australian showroom in Sydney this year. Continuing to work with new materials, its a chance to see Dedon's new first fully upholstered collection, Brixx, plus its first all-teak collection, Tibbo, as well as the brand's snazzy new slingback range called Dean. A must-vist.
The Cannery, 36 Morley Avenue Rosebery
(02) 8039 8823


August 31, 2017

This Year's Hottest Selling Tablecloths

Tablecloths made from digitally printed designs that make for an eye-catching spread when opened and laid over a table are big news this year.

Also making waves are fabrics using a modified version of Japanese shibori techniques. Expect plenty of ginghams, paisleys, metallics on the best dressed tables this season, too.  

Here’s our edit of the 10 hottest (most affordable) tablecloths for new-season entertaining.

Zara Home

August 31, 2017


Jamb is the name to know when you’re looking for reproduction antique lanterns based on beautiful old originals, used in grand houses, palaces, even cathedrals.

Suitable for indoors or out, take a look at the Hyde Hanging lantern, the Pavilion Globes, Lorimer, Hallam, Penrose, Delaval, and Original Globe Lantern, made using hand-moulded metals from copper finished in bronze. And what finishes. There’s everything from antique brass, brown, grey, green, bronze, copper, nickel, painted finish, and verdigris, any of which you can choose to suit your taste, environment and setting. You won’t go wrong. The choice of leading designers and architects everywhere. 

Jamb  95-97 Pimlico Road, London, SW1W 8PH

August 31, 2017

Have-To-Have-It: White Cotton Campaign Chair

Our nomination for the most versatile chair ever goes to the Campaign chair, originally made for use in and for the tropics making it entirely suitable for Australian living.

Spotted and admired recently: the newish Dunlin campaign chair, handmade by Original BTC in England. Choose between a frame in American oak with fumed dark finish or one in solid teak with seating in timeless white canvas. Not designed for outdoor use.
Measurements: L59cm x W59cm x H80cm. 
Bottom line: $698


August 28, 2017

The Art You Need And Where To Get It

Fancy an affordable, contemporary painting? Or big-name traditional artwork to elevate your interior? 

Head straight to Shapiro who has a world-class art collection up for grabs next week, with knockout works by artists that read like a rollcall of the great and the good from the art world.
You want names?  Tracey Moffat, Brett Whiteley, John Olsen, Sidney Nolan, John Brack, Fred Williams, Arthur Boyd, David Hockney, Henry Moore, Clement Meadmore, Luke Sciberras, Guy Masestri, and Adam Cullen, many of which are collected by big institutions, around Australia and abroad. As well as 100 other top names. 
Expect a fab mix of serious good local and international paintings, sculpture and photography. Also pieces by Ben Quilty and Sam Leach as well as famous names such as Ray Crooke, Tim Storrier, John Coburn, Donald Friend, Bill Hansen and lots more.  
With people putting money into art (rather than shares), what’s stopping you? And the great news is you can participate in the auction wherever you are, without having to travel – with a lot of interest in pieces from private New York collectors. You (and your house) really can’t afford to miss it. Prices from $500 to $50,000.
Australian and International Art - AUCTION DETAILS:
Tuesday 29 August 2017 at 6:30pm, Woollahra Hotel Function Room, 116 Queen Street, Woollahra, Sydney
Saturday 19 - Tuesday 29 August 2017 11:00am to 5:00pm

(612) 9326 1588

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August 28, 2017

The Best Antiques All In One Spot

Internet shopping nearly wiped out ye olde antiquing weekend, but the Australian Antiques & Arts Dealer’s Association has resurrected and redefined the thrill of the search.

We caught up with AAADA’s vice president Chris Hughes this week, ahead of next month’s much-anticipated Sydney Antiques and Art Fair to talk about how antiques are back in fashion (they really are the quickest way to finish a room, and bring out our individual style).
But it’s the smaller pieces we are seeking from porcelain to glass and bronze to personalize our rooms, according to Hughes.
“Antiques are one of the best ways of adding individuality, character, and personality to our spaces,” says Hughes. "They represent true luxury – simply because they last, and make interiors look (and feel) better. They have a history, and pedigree from an older, grander time with a texture that’s wonderful to look at and live with."
Hughes points to mega fashion brands such as Gucci and Chanel who have recently been going all-out for statement interiors filled with rare pieces from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries using knockout backdrops featuring everything from French Louis-bergere armchairs to Italian gilt commodes, chandeliers, Georgian bookcases, encrusted mirrors, ancient porcelain vases, and embellished screens, to showcase their products. 
Antiques mix and match with everything, and one or two pieces go a long way. They are also good value at the moment. Make the most of the opportunity. It won’t last.
The Sydney Antiques & Arts fair next monht is a rich hunting ground, with more than 45 of Australia's top-drawer dealers showcasing their stock. You get to see one of the best selections of antique furniture in one place - along with all the accessories.
Go for gorgeous commodes, consoles, mirrors, desks, decanters, silver trays, boxes, silver, porcelain, bronzes and art that will bring presence, even grandeur, to any room.
Make sure you don’t miss our special report on September 7 - for the pieces we’ll be shopping.
AAADA Sydney Antiques & Art Fair 

The Sydney Antiques & Art Fair, 6-10 September 2017, The Kensington Room, Royal Randwick Racecourse

Wednesday 6 September (Gala Preview) 6pm – 9pm
Thursday 7 September 10am – 7pm
Friday 8 September 10am – 7pm
Saturday 9 September 10am – 7pm
Sunday 10 September 10am – 5pm


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August 28, 2017

The Perfect Father's Day Gift. It's the One They Asked For

Grills, drills, telescopes, bathroom radios, ties, shirts, wallets, pullovers, pyjamas, socks, hats, coffeemakers, clocks, electronics, books, backgammon.

Chess sets, games, camping gear, garden hose holders and other winners that will bring your darling Dad pleasure for life.
Whatever you give him, you really don’t have to try so hard. There’s no need to spend hours finding the right gift. Your father would be happy with something quick and easy. This may sound too good to be true. The secret is: don’t aim for ‘the big reveal’.
Getting gifts right isn’t hard: it just requires using your empathy gene to work out what makes your father tick. Give things he would like, not things that you would like to own. Or that he would never buy himself.
When choosing a present for your Dad this Father’s Day, it should be something he would love, that fits into his life, that he can use right now, or that’s a bit extravagant.
Most people strive for a sensational toy or something that will create drama when it’s opened, but drama is not what Dad’s (or actually any recipient) want.
Gifts most often go wrong because the givers are focused on the moment of exchange, whereas the recipients are thinking long-term: Will I actually get any use out of this?
Let your father do the work for you. They know what they want better than you do. If they’ve asked for something, buy it instead of surprising them.
If you want to give a gift that he will appreciate, then you should focus on getting a good gift and ignore whether it is a thoughtful present or not. The best of anything is special, whether it’s a comb or a coffee mug. Oh and don’t be late. Your present – even if it’s merely a card or phone call must arrive on time. If you’re late, forget it. The moment has passed.



Every season, we do the work for you, to find the season's must-have buys in our pick of the latest looks to prove that you really can have style for less. Introducing Melissa Penfold essential basics - wicker wingbacks, linen sheets, soy candles and much help you transition your home instantly for summer. Happy shopping!
Melissa Penfold