I haven't done a proper house update in a long time. I think this is because while I'm constantly (slowly) working away on it, I tend to jump from room to room as I find things that suit. So while I might have added one or two things to a room, I don't tend to update on what that is. Most rooms aren't really that finished, but I'm trying to get a few ticked off in the first part of this year.


Firstly, the Library/ Sitting room, which came to a screaming halt over the Christmas period. Frankly, I had to work so hard at clearing out all the junk and going through all the paperwork (plus all the painting etc) prior to Christmas, that I wasn't terribly motivated to do a lot for the past month and a bit. But I'm getting back on track with it. First up I have to antique the brass grill panels for the base cupboards of the bookshelves (I have strategically left the bookshelves out of these photos as they haven't changed from the last lot of photos I posted, and consequently are not looking very styled/ finished). I also have to put on the cupboard pulls, which came months ago, but have been sitting in a box ever since. 


In terms of progress on the accessorising of the room, I've purchased a coffee table! Hooray for that. It came a few weeks ago and was from West Elm. I know, cheap! In my Good Room! But it works perfectly. Others I'd found that were round and not too rustic looking were horrifically expensive, so I'm happy with this piece. It was $300 and has a foxed (distressed) mirror top, and antiqued brass frame. It fits in really well to the room. Here's my top tip with decorating - just like with clothes you can mix in the high and the low, but you have to do it carefully. Lighting is always worth putting money into. So are cushions, and these are the things that bring a room to life. Side tables and coffee tables can be cheap and you won't notice if you choose carefully. And I say this regardless of what your budget is - good lighting is worth the money. And if you mix in antiques with anything cheaper, it instantly elevates it.


The Chandelier in here twinkles and sparkles, and looks lovely reflected in the mirror of the coffee table. I'm also planning on getting a huge, oversized antique French mirror for above the fireplace. Unfortunately the sunburst mirror looks disproportionate with the bookshelves, so something taller is needed. But I'll wait for the right thing to appear….



I've also been hunting on and off for a fabric for the cushions. The current two that you can see that match on the armchairs are Celerie Kemble Betwixt for Schumacher, and I love them, but they worked better with the casual living room arrangement we had before the house extension was finished. I need something more polished for this room. So I've been looking in all the showrooms, and finally found something at Dedar that will work perfectly (strangely enough, I always thought I'd find it at Dedar). It's got sort of circles on it and has a lot of shine and is a very luxe looking fabric, so I think it will work well against the cream armchairs. Here's a bad photo of it above. It's not so grey as it looks here, more brown tones.

I've also got a bunch of lights coming on a slow boat from the US, and two lamps will be going in here. One is this Bracelet lamp from Circa lighting. It will go on the Georgian drinks table where there is currently some greenery in these photos. I think it will echo the curtains quite nicely. The bookshelf down lights are part of this shipment, so I probably won't post photos until they arrive and are installed properly.



So, into another room I haven't shown at all since the initial posts about the renovation… Mr AV's study (home office as it was formerly known). For newer blog readers, we excavated under the house to create a new home office for my Husband. We had an existing stone cellar, and had to replace the stairs going down to that, so we dug out another room at the time to create a quiet place for him to work away from the family. We did a light well, and lined it in mirror with trellis over it to bounce a bit more natural light around. It doesn't feel too horribly cave like down there as a result, and most males that come over to the house seem to like hanging out in there… during our 40th party there were a few groups that went down to have a look and didn't reappear for an awfully long time!


Late last year I finally got around to ordering the sofa, up until then Mr AV had his 1920's burr walnut desk and that was it. The sofa is Jardan's "Leila" which has a slightly rounded back profile, and I liked the relaxed cushions as they gave a good contrast with the desk. I bought the standard lamp from Linge Roset in the floor stock sale. It has a chrome base and black shade and also has a slightly Deco moderne overtone to it. In the light well, we finally hauled one of the topiaries down into position. It's not looking the healthiest (I had forgotten to water it consistently in the past few months when it was up above ground), so hopefully it recovers now that it is getting a bit more TLC. The pebbles at the base of the light well allow the water to drain down to the sump pump (which will pump rainwater up to the storm water), and stops mosquitos getting in to breed in any residual water down there. The things you do with underground spaces...


Still a bit of work on the accessorising department down here, but it's coming along! I won't bother with cushions as Mr AV has a deep seated hatred of scatter cushions and treats them with disdain and contempt by throwing them on the floor or using them to balance drinks on (the horror!). So while it pains me slightly not to have any, they'd be a waste and get ruined. I'll pick my battles with our Sitting room and bedroom cushions!

So, a couple of little additions that have made quite a difference. And more to come….
 

35 comments:

  1. Hello Heidi,

    It does take an age to discover those small things which make such a difference to the atmosphere of a room and, like you, we find it best to wait until the right choice comes along rather than make an expensive mistake.

    Your small table looks to fit in perfectly. As you say, one can mix the inexpensive with the expensive with caution and, indeed, it often makes for a more interesting combination overall. Rather like dressing head to toe in Chanel........we wish.....it can become monotonous and lacking a certain dynamic energy. You are cleverly integrating a whole range of things which avoids a 'show home' look. For us, it is generally a combination of the shabby and the shabbier that sit alongside each other!

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    1. I completely agree - it's all about mixing it up or it does look a little staged. I do like an interior that grows organically too, and reflects the inhabitant.. and as for your interiors, I think you are being far too harsh! Your beautiful antiques and the stunning Architecture of your apartment in Budapest is far from shabby!!

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  2. Heidi it all looks so gorgeous and I love the images of the sitting room. I really like your Jardan couch too; their company's ethos is brilliant.
    Fifi x

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    1. Thanks Fifi, yes, Jardan is a great company in terms of their environmental credentials, and commitment to local design and production. We have all Jardan sofas in our house, which shows the estimation in which I hold then! And the oldest is now 15 years old!

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  3. I love how it's all coming along. Without sounding like a reality show - it's a "journey" hehe. I think that room must be so lovely and perfect for parlour talk. Do you have a book club? If not you should hold a monthly one in your library! I know what you mean about sourcing the last bits. Seems as hard and lengthy a process as building a new floor. But I'm just happy I have a roof over my head but I should do an update too but it's nothing to write home about or rather a post but perhaps the banality and sharing aspect might merit one. Ps why do most guys dislike cushions? Wonder if there's a science to it. If you lived here I would have just hired you to finish my house!!! Xx

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    1. Oh boy is it a journey! I used to be in book club, but gave it up. Too hard to stay awake in the middle of the week to discuss a book, plus I tend to only read one book a month and if it was one someone else chose that I hated I used to feel like it wasted my reading time!!
      I am going to make it over to London sooner or later N, and I will be there with my clipboard and tape measure in hand whipping you into shape to finish off the house! But I'd love to see some more photos in the meantime…. x

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    2. Oh I don't like them either Naomi, a few on the sofa and that's it, I can't bear them on beds - such a hassle! Cushions - not men.

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    3. I have watched my husband with an annoyed looking face throwing cushions off beds in hotel rooms, so wouldn't dare try to replicate a heavily cushioned bed in my house!

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  4. Very elegant! When I make it big I may need an Aussi architect! 😊

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    1. Thanks Wendy, there'll be champagne corks popping all over the world when your first book gets published! xx

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  5. So lovely and elegant. Love the coffee table and a great price. The lamp is such a great choice and the fabric for the cushions will be the icing on the cake. The screen around the plant is fab. A good solution for the mossie problem. Currently grappling with the problem of how to arrange the furniture in my son's bedroom ( the bedroom in the house he has bought and we're helping him renovate ) It has 2 large windows in it and the only solution I can see is to put the bed under one of them. The unfortunate part is it will have to be off centre. So will need to balance it out and make it look centre or come up with another idea.

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    1. Oh that sounds quite tricky Karen - I hate it when a rooms symmetry is a bit off, and you have to try to do a few tricks to make it work. Good luck working it out. I'm sure you'll find something that works, but it might take a bit of furniture rearranging to get it right.

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  6. Everything is shaping up and looking lovely especially that chandelier....although one would hope for a 'dimmer' view over the course of an evening....?

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    1. Don't worry G, it's always dimmed at night! I am not overly fond of harsh overhead lighting which is not terribly flattering….

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  7. I adore the lamp and the coffee table. Thanks for sharing the update and the advice. I have not really done much mixing of antique and modern (in large part because my rooms are unfurnished) but I will definitely keep these tips in mind. The sofa I have ordered for our family room is quite modern/simple in shape and I'm trying to work out what sorts of side tables will go well. I was looking on the zara home website and actually temped by some of theirs which are aged brass with glass tops, but I'm really worried that it won't go with all the exposed beams, low ceiling, inglenook, etc. I guess that I could make it work, provided I balance it out with some more traditional antiques. They also have some lovely pieces in I&JL Brown which are a bit more in my comfort zone. Decisions! x

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    1. Mixing it up is the best way to go. And I tend to think glass is one of the easiest things to incorporate into a room. If you've got some aged brass elsewhere in the room (antique furniture knobs or light fittings or something) then the table will fit in nicely. I think we can obsess over these little things so much (well, I know I do!), it does feel good to finally commit to something. I'd looked at that coffee table for a few months on the internet before buying it. I was so worried it would look horribly cheap (as I'd not ordered from West Elm before, and there is no retail shop in Adelaide as yet). I was lucky as it was the last one in stock and sold out with my order! And it's good quality, so it gave me confidence to order a couple of other things as well. xx

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  8. Loving the creamy cream so soothing and elegant.
    We ended up going through three lots of pillows for the living room - all of them costing a fortune. Everytime we added a painting or something else in there , the current pillows were wrong. They drove me crazy. Like a good pillow but just one or two, they drive me a bit crazy if I have too many. Have you seen Along Came Polly? movie with Ben Stiller and Jen Aniston - scene in there where she stabs all the throw pillows.

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    1. The cream screams to me "no children allowed in here!". Well, certainly that's what I tend to scream when I catch them loitering in the doorway with a snack in hand!
      How frustrating with the cushions! You do need a couple in a room, it looks a bit unfinished otherwise. Will have to look at that movie, although I'm sure it's the stuff of nightmares for FF!

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  9. MrBP also hates throw pillows, will throw them down and step all over them. Nevermind, just today I was discussing the pillow upholstery with Julie, the living room is very undercushioned and what if FF does a surprise pop-in? Champagne chilled and cushions aligned, and in interesting fabrics...
    Your lighting choices, so beautiful. Very difficult to source good lighting and to set it up in a room so that it gets all the angles..it's an art.
    Beautiful coffee table too. Also the books! xox

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    1. I keep 2 fluffy cushions behind breakable glass just in case of an unannounced FF audit.

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    2. laughing at the FF visit and the cushion phobia! I have to admit I was very nervous before she visited my house, as there is a significant lack of cushions due to the poor treatment they receive at the hands of my family. I think she was suitably distracted by the state of my lawn (covered in dirt) to not notice the lack of them.
      Dani, I'm so in envy of you Canadians being able to access the US lighting though! We have very, very little choice here as its such a small market. I was talking to one of the suppliers yesterday about it. They literally bring in 20-30 lamps of one style and then have to cross their fingers and hope it sells. So they don't risk it with the big inventory you are able to access through the US. But it's so key to a room, and the one reason why I haven't shown my bedroom in more than a couple of small angles… because I'm waiting for the lamps!

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  10. It looks so relaxing and peaceful and I spy my favourite candle.

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    1. that was a pressie from Pamela! I love it it's the Ernesto one and smells delicious in a Library.

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    2. You will be surprised on your next visit the surprising lack of variety for lamps here too! There's tond of lamps costing 4 figures for some reason but moderate simple lamps are tough. Found one from a new brand called pooky but it's become the open secret but they only have the one style!

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    3. I really love some modern ones from a company called Pinch Design. I've tried contacting them, but they haven't got back to me :( I may try ringing them, as they'd be perfect for the casual living area. But I'm I know what you mean. When I worked in London everyone just used Vaughan, who seemed to have the monopoly on the whole decorating market.

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  11. I thought I already commented on this post, must have just been in my head! Loving how it is all coming along. Is there wallpaper on the walls in your husband's study? I like the cushion fabric!!! Very beautiful. I can imagine it! The coffee table is GORGEOUS!! Where was it a couple of years ago when I was looking for an oval coffee table and I spent a fortune on my Hickory Chair one!! (I still love my hickory one though) Your styling is gorgeous.

    I love how you put just green foliage on the table between the windows.

    The bracelet lamps is gorgeous. Can't wait to see it in situ and your brass panels in place as well!

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    1. Maybe on insta? I put a couple of the photos up on there too. Yes to the wallpaper - it's a linen backed paper from Schumacher. He chose it himself, and it feels very cosy down there.
      I'm so happy all these US companies are opening up branches down here. While I know local retailers are unhappy it does give us a lot more choice, and access to things we can't otherwise get at good pricing. Now, if only the lamp situation improved we'd all be happy!

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  12. Library is so beautiful and I LOVE the light well too. I love it all really.

    Funny cushion comments! These days I too am going a bit "less is more " cushion wise - who am I? x

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    1. I think your idea of less is more with the cushions is still most people's idea of lots though! xx

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  13. What a wonderfully calm library! And such a contrast from the sunshine and playfulness of the garden/seating/pool area. Love it all. That's a rather interesting painting on the wall too.

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    1. It's definitely more grown up in there! The painting was an auction buy from one of the local auction houses (not specifically known for Art, just general household things). It was quite an interesting buy - I'd been struck by it when I rushed in to view some crystal glasses with 3 children in tow, so googled the artists name when I got home, placed an absentee bid and won! Interestingly it had stickers on the back that show it was part of the collection of the State Bank of South Australia, which collapsed in the recession of the late 80's, and had been bought from the Artists gallery in Sydney by them. It was fairly dirty, so goodness knows where it had been for the past 25 years, but I think I got a really good bargain! And more importantly we love the painting.

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  14. Looks beautiful. I love your palette. I especially adore the bracelet lamp! Totally agree with you on lighting. always worth the splurge to have your space well and beautifully lit. I don't think people realize what a tremendous effect lighting has on our moods. Thanks for the tour!

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    1. Thank you Stephen, I can't wait for the lamps to arrive!! I ordered them in early November, and they won't arrive until the end of April, so it's all slightly tortuous and definitely has no element of instant gratification!

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  15. Love your belt! My sister named her cocker spaniel Coco. She's often asked if its after Chanel- no Coco pops :) (as a result of his colour).

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  16. Oops. That comment was obviously for the Chanel post!

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Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com
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