I can remember that in one of the first Architecture lectures that I attended, the lecturer stated (as fact), that you could always tell the Architect, as they would be the ones looking up at the buildings when walking, when everyone else was looking down at their feet.

I'm not so sure that this is completely true - there are no doubt many people who look up and notice the details above their head, and many Architects who walk around in a slight daze, noticing nothing.

I am often struck, however, by the interesting detail up in the sky above our heads. Modern Architecture generally does not incorporate decoration or ornament, or anything for that matter of particular interest above the first storey. Purism in Architecture means that we have lost a lot of the interesting detail in our Architecture. So I cast around and thought of a few examples that I have noticed locally and that have interesting detail if you only look up a little higher than your nose.

The Beehive Corner in Adelaide's CBD has always been a favourite. Not just because the bottom of the Beehive Corner contains the Flagship Haigh's Chocolate Store, but also because perched above the beautiful Gothic revival building with its ornamental brickwork is a little gold bee on top of her hive.

Source: thepiecart.com.au via Adelaide on Pinterest

I also love the original and early illuminated Haigh's Chocolates sign above the awning.

Back when I lived in Melbourne, I used to live around the corner from Empire 111 Vintage, in Albert Park, Melbourne. It's in the small main shopping strip, filled with little cafes, an excellent book shop and several rather expensive dress shops and is located in "The Suit Hospital Pty Ltd" building. Up until the late 1990's/ early 2000's this particular shop housed a mending and alteration business. The original 1950's shop front has been retained by the new business, with its Invisible Mending sign, little robots (so futuristic) and signage with its old name. It's quite complimentary to the new Vintage business run by the very stylish Lyn Gardiner (who has been featured in many Interiors magazines).

There are a few absolutely wonderful examples of decoration and ornamentation in Melbourne's CBD. I love the Majorca Building, at the end of Degraves Street in the city. It has a beautifully tiled facade in blue and gold, with ornamental columns and decorative pediments. It's completely unexpected as it is hidden in the back laneways of Melbourne, surrounded by the rather austere and plain facades of its neighbours. There is so much distraction at ground level with the lively street cafes and businesses, but it rather slaps you in the face at the termination of the cafe strip.

When I used to catch the tram to work, I would always look out at this beautiful mosaic panel on Collins Street. It's all quite Ancient Roman/ Classical in its inspiration with Atlas et al, and much of it is in gold, so it catches the light. It really has an amazingly rich colour, and is on an otherwise fairly simple Art Deco building. The mosaic is up above the awning that covers the pedestrians, so unless you're on the other side of the street, it's easy enough to miss it.

Back to the inner city suburbs and to slightly more simple ornamentation, what could be a fairly average Fruit and Vegetable shop in a fairly standard High Street style shop front has been transformed by these ethereal and colourful fruits piled up above the awning and made out of chicken wire. So fun, and so unexpected. It's on Chapel Street on South Yarra. Sorry for the image quality, it's from Google maps...

You are spoilt for choice in European cities with the ornamentation on buildings. Unfortunately Australia, being a more modern built environment, lacks much of that decorative detail. Modern Architecture is about a lack of ornamentation/ honesty in design. You're not supposed to cover things up with decoration, which was the reason why ornamentation was traditionally applied around windows and at the bases of buildings (to cover the joins). It's a shame, because decoration has a place, and can enrich an otherwise dull built environment.
It's been a strange sort of week. Too busy, and I'm still feeling fairly scatty mentally at the end of the weekend. I do feel a bit like Alice through the Looking Glass, everything has been a bit topsy- turvy this week.

First thing I have to show you is a gift I gave Mr AV for Christmas. Mr AV was a star rower back in his school boy rowing days, rowing in his school's 1st 8 crew to win the Head of the River, and also being awarded colours for his sporting prowess. He has a tendency to live somewhat in the past with his rowing glory days, and often does things like compare the Australian Olympic rowing Men's 8 with his winning Head of the River time, aged 17 (this is to indicate how amazingly fast the Olympic rowing times are, because his were incredibly fast too, you see). He still had his old, ratty Zoot Suit (rowing outfit) hanging in his wardrobe, and I had a long standing joke with him that I would frame it with a brass plaque.

So I did.

I didn't need a brass plaque, as it still has the name tape in the back (visible in real life, I've blurred it in the photo, along with the year that he rowed on the badge for non- identification purposes). Well, you can only imagine his delight to have the children present it to him on Christmas day. I must say, I haven't fallen about laughing so hard in a long time. The look on his face was priceless. A polite and slightly shocked expression trying to hide the Total Abject Horror he was feeling. You see, as they stretch out the suit for the framing, it's now looking rather like a Tweedledee or Tweedledum costume. Not to mention that he is now worried that anyone coming to visit him in his soon- to- be- constructed home office will think him incredibly conceited and living in the past. I quite like the effect - so he's now accusing me of turning his sporting memorabilia into some sort of fashionable interior design device, like all those framed vintage bathing suits.

On Tuesday night I went to a Dinner cooked by Chef Simon Bryant (of the TV show "The Cook and The Chef" fame which he starred in for years with Maggie Beer). He has a new cookbook out called "Vegies" and cooked us dishes from the book. Absolutely delicious, and great fun to be out mid week with some friends. I wore this as it was awfully hot - Country Road sleeveless trench dress circa 2001 and these Tory Burch wedges. I like the Japanesque design on the side (not her logo for once), but they are incredibly high, something I didn't realise when I bought them on the 'net as I had thought they'd be every day shoes, so they haven't had so many outings as I thought they would.

Back to the cookbook, I bought a copy and Simon was kind enough to sign it for me and have a chat. He gave such an interesting talk after the main course - all about his love of Vegetarian food, about Farmers markets, Organic produce and food intolerances and allergies. And he is just like he was on TV - great sense of humour, very approachable and very modest about his successes. During the week I made this tofu dish from the cookbook, which was absolutely delish.

Speaking of food, I thought I'd update a little about the World's Worst Diet that I'm currently on. To catch up people who didn't read that blog post, I'm trying to get rid of my Eczema (hands) and have eliminated Dairy/ Gluten/ Citrus/ Sugar/ Alcohol. If you want to loose weight without counting calories, then this is the Diet for you. It's just not very fun. At all. I didn't actually want to loose weight, but I have probably lost almost 4 KG while eating this way, despite eating a lot of food and doing no exercise. As for my skin, it's looking amazing. No blemishes, clear skin and eyes, eczema receding on hands.... so after being on it for 6 weeks, I visited my Naturopath and we are now introducing things to see how I react. Friday was Dairy day, and interestingly the most noticeable 'symptom' from a list I was given was incredible irritability and moodiness the day after. Monday is Gluten day....and so it goes on until we find what makes the eczema react. Safe to say that Mr AV is planning to ban me from Dairy regardless of the eczema.

I've also spent a lot of time this week clearing out the old playroom/ laundry ready for demolition and also trying to draft up the kitchen plans. Slow progress on both I'm afraid. But I found this fellow sitting in the middle of the playroom on Monday. He walked in through the open door. I've never seen such a large Lizard (40cm) in the inner city suburbs before. God knows where he's living in the garden, but it's a fair indication that the playroom/ back garden is ready for demolition (as you can see from our delightful back terrace). It's a bit of a wilderness while we await the bulldozers (only 2 weeks to go!).

Finally, it has been hot all week here. The front garden is fried to a crisp, but the roses have put out a second flush, so I picked them and put them in my Isis Ceramics flower brick with some lambs ears and other random greenery. The creamy white are David Austin's "Claire Austin" and the pink are "Sharifa Asma". A competent flower arranger I am not, but a flower brick hides a multitude of sins.

Hope you all had a lovely week xx
While I was cleaning up at my parent's house recently, some of what I was sorting through included all my childhood bits and pieces, basically a time capsule stored for the past 20 years. Many things surfaced that I had forgotten about, but one that I was delighted to find were my flight wings.

When I was 2 years old, my parent's took my older sister, my baby sister and me on a trip to England. My dad was sitting his Medical registration exams, so we were there for three months while he studied and sat the various exams. My mother always had a great love of adventure, so we did some travel at that time as a family. Here's a photo of all of us on the tarmac about to board our plane circa 1976. Mum made my travel outfit.... I'm the one in the fashion forward quilted yellow overalls. Mum is not wearing a green tracksuit - they weren't invented. That's a spiffy corduroy trouser suit. This was also back in the days when the relatives would stand behind a low wire fence and wave at the plane as it took off, having parked their car for free. How times have changed.

Back then, children were very unusual on an international flight. Usually we were the only ones on the entire plane. We would always be taken up to the cockpit to 'fly' the plane with the pilots, who would have already welcomed us by name over the loudspeaker as if we were celebrities. Air Hostesses would make a huge fuss over us. British Airways made us complimentary "Junior Jet Club" members, which meant that we were given our own flight badges to wear on board, and were sent special letters, promotional records with catchy jingles on them and various other magazines and things. I can't tell you how excited I was to find my wings a few months ago in amongst my childhood junk.

We had quite a few overseas holidays as children.... and I now realise how unusual it was and fortunate we were. At the time though, I found it intensely irritating to be constantly seeing yet another castle/ gallery/ stately home/ bell tower/ lake/ ruin. And in every photo from our family holidays, someone is in a sulk. By the time I was 10, Dad vowed never to go on another family holiday overseas with us all again. So the following year, Mum packed my sisters and I on the plane for another European holiday, and Dad stayed home. Mum had us Eurailing from Rome through to Paris. We all had to drag our own suitcases around on our own. Frankly, looking back, I can't believe she did it.

Perhaps this is why I avoid travel with my own family like the plague. When they are older maybe I will try again, but when Mr AV asks me to consider a holiday involving flights, time zone changes, language barriers and logistical difficulties it leaves me feeling as if it will be no real holiday for me at all.

While I don't get to do a lot of travel these days, Mr AV does all the time for work. He was telling me that Qantas have introduced a new passenger system for their frequent flyers. On his last International flight, he was greeted by name as he stepped on the plane, the flight attendants very keen to bring him a Gin and Tonic straight away. Without him mentioning it. At first he was pleasantly surprised. By the end of his trip he was wondering if they'd marked him on their passenger manifesto as an alcoholic due to the sheer number of times they soothingly told him they'd bring him another G&T. Apparently all the Flight Attendants now carry iPads with the details of the passengers personal likes and dislikes on it. All very personal, in a slightly big brother/ creepy way.

So maybe they are trying to bring back some of the magic of travel - from the era back before we were all herded onto the planes and given a cardboard snack box with pre packaged food in it. From the time before having to shuffle through security with shoes off, toiletries in clear plastic bags and the certain confiscation of knitting needles and other extremely dangerous weapons. And all the random explosive checks they carry out on your carry on baggage (that random person always being me). After all that, it would be quite nice to be greeted by name, and offered a G&T without asking. Lets hope it's the start of a new era in flying.
This week seems to have had a lot of 'special' days in it. Shrove Tuesday found me flipping pancakes for the children's supper. You could say that they were just a tiny bit happy, that instead of eating something healthy, with vegetables included in it ("oh no, not vegetables again!!") they were instead eating pancakes with jam and cream. We are not particularly religious, so I'm not giving up anything for Lent (although frankly, with the horrible diet I'm on at the moment, there isn't much left to give up anyway....water maybe?). 

Some random scenes from the week, blurry iphone style:

The outfit I wore to dinner on Wednesday night. We went into the city to one of the Clubs for a Science talk on Trilobite fossils - one of the best sites in the world is at Kangaroo Island, where we spent our Summer Holidays. It was a very interesting talk, despite me not having a natural history background, and the food was very good and Spanish inspired- the guest speaker was one of the world's foremost authorities on these fossils, originally from Spain (now based at Adelaide University). Dad was my date, as Mr AV as per usual got back too late on the plane from Brisbane (despite it being in his diary for a few months....). I wore this giant liberty print inspired dress, with my pearls and persimmon coloured patent wedges.

Here's my 2 year old scooting off to his Nursery School the other morning. As we make our way down the street, I often see people in their cars start laughing at how hilarious he looks with his little Union Jack helmet, gliding along, mini backpack on.

Valentine's Day is a non event in our house. I gave Mr AV his favourite chocolates, just to make him feel guilty he'd got me nothing - a box of Haigh's Peppermint Creams. This was only because I was passing the factory the day before, so stopped to go in and peruse the discounted seconds section. The factory is not like a normal industrial factory out in the sticks. It's in nice suburban Adelaide, and is quite small scale, with a very large shop at the front. I love Haigh's chocolate - very good quality and definitely the best chocolate made in Australia,  and the company is still privately owned by the Haigh's family in Adelaide.

Last night was my cousin A's engagement party. She is 10 years younger than me, and also an Architect. It was a very hot night - around 35 C and humid at 10pm. The party was in a marquee at my Aunt and Uncle's house. I wore this brown dress - from Cue bought for a wedding around 6 years ago, with these Italian shoes with their little wooden flowers on the toes and stripey fabric platform, a very small Gucci handbag and matt gold bamboo hoop earrings. 

On the house front, I know there are a bunch of people who have been waiting impatiently for something to happen on this blog that isn't just pictures of me in dresses. We are still waiting for the building permits, they should come through in the next week and then we can start demolition. I've finalised the design for the kitchen this weekend, so will draw up the final plans and post them on here soon. 

One thing that was exciting this week was meeting with a Landscape Designer.... I decided that I was overstretched with making decisions about the house, and as the garden is a huge part of the overall design, and I'm not a particularly experienced gardener (more an enthusiastic one at this point) I decided it was better to get in an expert, just as I'm always telling people to do when they're designing their house (you know, that they should hire me). It was a great meeting - I feel that we are definitely on the same page with the design of the garden, and it is always good to get someone else in that sees things differently and with fresh eyes. Some of the images that I gave her of gardens that I like are below - Victorian style, with mixed lush and textured planting. We discussed the front garden, which I put in last year, and she had some good suggestions there too.... It'll be very interesting to see what she comes back with for the overall concept. The first two pictures are of Bronte House in Sydney. Isn't it beautiful?

Hope you had a lovely week. xx
I've been thinking about packaging a bit lately. Strange, I know. But I was thinking about how important it is in the overall experience of a gift or a purchase - that sense of specialness and of something out of the ordinary and everyday.

Source: weheartit.com via Adelaide on Pinterest

I think it was because I realised that I was hoarding empty boxes. Looking at them lets me relive the memory attached to the gift, or the contents. I'm quite confident in saying that I'm sure a lot of Laduree's (French Macaron shop taking the world by storm) success lies in the exquisite boxes that the pretty macarons come packed inside. That and the stunning window displays, and perfection of colour coordination has certainly created a lot of lusting after a rather small and sugary confection.

Hermes boxes as interior decor has also been in favour of late. Look on Pinterest and you'll find a myriad of different photos of dressing rooms stacked with the boxes, orange boxes artfully displayed on side tables, or in hallways, or as towers in the corners of rooms.

I personally found it very useful to have a small stack of luxury good boxes in my dressing room (no where near as many as those pictured, I have to add). We were burgled a year ago, while we were on holiday in Italy. In a comedy of errors, the thief broke into our dressing room. It was comedic, because he ignored the very large Security stickers on all the windows of the house that warned we had a monitored burglar alarm. In addition, he was unlucky to land in the dressing room, as I had had a sensor light installed in it (Mr AV constantly left the light on all day or night which used to drive me up the wall). So imagine his surprise and disorientation to land in the dressing room after some arduous time spent jemmying the window quietly in the dark, to find that the lights immediately went on and the alarm started blaring away. Panicking, he wasted valuable time opening the small stack of (empty) Tiffany and Hermes boxes on my shelf looking for the contents, before fleeing into the night empty handed as the police arrived. Word to the wise - do not hide your valuables in your underwear drawer. That was the only other place he rifled through.

Speaking of underwear drawer, that is where many of my nice shoe boxes have ended up. They make the perfect drawer dividers to separate socks and knickers etc. I am particularly fond of the Kate Spade ones, which are such a lovely cheery colour.

And I was doubly surprised a few years ago when Mr AV returned from a work trip to London with a ring from my favourite jeweller there, Elizabeth Gage. It was a gift for the arrival of our second child. Part of the surprise was that the baby had arrived about a year or so before the gift and was now officially a Toddler, but the other part of the surprise was the quite tall box the ring was in - I have never seen anything like it. Isn't it gorgeous with its little tufted pom- pommed top. It made it even more exciting to see what was inside.

I also have to add that Matches Fashion send the most divine marbleised boxes with their beautiful clothes and accessories in - they even have a magnetic closure. I noticed the other day that my mother in law has been hoarding them and is using them to store other things in. It makes it tempting to buy something just to get my mitts on one of them.

So do you throw or keep your pretty packages.... and what do you do with them?
I am living with a small, and imperious Marie Antoinette double.

E, like many little girls, is obsessed with Cinderella. We don't do Disney princesses in our house, and so her obsession has centred around her Fairy Tale book and the illustrations therein. For Christmas, she requested a "dazzling dress of gold and silver", exactly like the illustration in the book. It was a tall order, but Santa managed to deliver, after trawling the internet and using his re-shipper in the US. The other costume request was to look like what Cinderella wore to her wedding in the illustrations (the pink version). She has been almost living in the costumes ever since, and is often heard to say things like "I have to go to my palace now" before disappearing into her bedroom. Here she is dressed up with her little friend H.

We had friends over for lunch, so I made the yummiest Asian style chicken mango salad. It was from the December issue of Delicious magazine, and is extremely easy (especially if you have a Thermomix, as I did all the dressing and the chopping of vegetables in it, so it took no time). Perfect for a hot day as you poach the whole chicken, rather than roasting it.

And to go with the Marie Antoinette theme,  I made this retro style Trifle in my new Birthday Trifle bowl. A good trifle is hard to beat, and I like things that are made well in advance, so that I can concentrate on taming the chaos in the house before the guests arrive. I think the sponge layer was a little thick, but no one complained.

Last night we went to a dinner party at a friends house. I decided to wear this outfit, which I cobbled together from mostly Very Ancient clothes. The emerald green silk Kate Spade top was new this past season, but the black wide legged, high waisted trousers were from Saba, circa 2000 and I decided to wear a gold Oroton bracelet and the matching large clip on earrings that were given to me in 1991. The big earrings worked....so I declare that the Big Earring has staged a comeback. And after all of you told me to get over my strange foible with the Chanel belt, I wore it as well (1989). I had on black patent Bally peeptoe heels, and carried a black patent Jil Sander clutch. It's a fairly depressing thought that I now have clothing that can be classified as vintage that is in fact sourced from my own wardrobe from its first time around. It also proves the point though, that quality lasts (and can be brought out again once the fickle wheel of fashion has turned once more).

And a few garden shots for you to enjoy. My garden is looking scorched in some parts, but in others has flourished. I love Sedums, and the Autumn Joy is standing at over 1 metre tall. The green flower heads will turn a deep burgundy/ purple colour in Autumn.

Next to it is another Sedum (can't remember the name) which has really interesting stem and flower head colour

And Sedum "White Iceberg", which will turn white in Autumn.

A few little David Austin "Sharifa Asma" buds

Lambs ears "Big Ears" (extra big), against the Ecchium (which just keeps growing and growing. If you want an immediately established look to your garden, you can't go wrong with this plant. Mine is now almost 3 meters in diameter) with Black Knight Salvia.

And for a slightly depressing before and after, here is a picture of how the entry was looking to our house. One of my large English Box topiaries, which I had nursed to its enormous size for the past 18 years suddenly turned up its toes and died (I think it was a fungal infection. The other one half died). Dead plants are not a particularly welcoming entry to a house, so after a few months when it became apparent it was not going to miraculously come back to life I took one of my Birthday gift vouchers to The Conservatory (favourite garden shop), and bought two new black glazed terracotta pots and planted some yew trees in them (given to me by Dad, who has assured me I can clip them to any shape I like). 

 Much better! Now to decide what shape to train them into....

Hope you all had a great week xx

In drawing up my plans, I've considered Bad Design quite a bit. I feel fortunate (really!) that I've lived in some places that have had either a complete lack of thought put into their design, or have suffered from a good idea that didn't quite work out. This has meant that I've had a lot of time to think about all the things that don't work, and I've also been able to work out exactly what it is that I value in Design.

The last house we lived in, in Melbourne, we rented for a year. We had sold our home in Albert Park, and while we were working out what to do next, we rented in the area (then bought our house in Adelaide and prepared to move). Nothing was available to rent (I really mean it - nothing!) and we were feeling panicky as the date for our move out neared. We pounced on a fully renovated Victorian townhouse, which had recently been sold, and when it came onto the rental market, we were the first tenants.

We were actually quite excited to move into the house. It was two storey, with 3 bedrooms upstairs, 2 bathrooms (one was an ensuite), and downstairs a front study (advertised as a 4th bedroom) with built in bookcases, a clever laundry that lead into a Powder room and an open plan living area full of built in shelving, entertainment unit and fully integrated Plasma TV/ sound system etc all controlled by a Sonos system. The kitchen had 2 Pak cabinetry, and was full of the latest Miele products, with built in Leibherr fridge and freezer. Outside the courtyard was fairly uninspiring (it was wall to wall decking - no plants), but it had an outdoor shower (we were two blocks from the beach), a built in BBQ, and built in bench seating. There was also a retractable awning to shade the North facing bi fold doors from the living area.

Sounds great - doesn't it! It had clearly had an Architect or Interior Designer involved in the design - there were too many touches that a home owner DIYing it wouldn't have been able to do/ have known about. But somewhere along the way, things had gone horribly wrong.

Firstly, it was clear that the builder had cut corners, and someone had not overseen the builder properly. I'm pretty much convinced that there was no insulation in the ceiling upstairs - it was freezing in Winter and boiling in Summer. We had to run the (very expensive and noisy) reverse cycle air conditioning system almost constantly. Windows had been double glazed, however they had no seals around them - there were massive air gaps on the sashes, which meant they were effectively useless. There were no seals around the front door - which faced towards Port Philip Bay. Anyone who lives in Melbourne knows that the wind in Winter pretty much blows straight off Antarctica when you're near the beach. Having a 5CM gap under the front door meant that leaves would actually blow in, it was so big (I actually installed door seals myself in the end).

The entertainment system constantly broke down. No one knew how to repair it, and we would have happily just put our tv up next to the Plasma and used it (it was in storage), but as the whole thing had been hard wired into the walls, there was no where to plug into the aerial. There wasn't actually a plug even to plug the electricity into. We had several months without any tv (in the middle of a very rainy and cold Winter, with a newborn baby with reflux and a 2 year and 4 year old - nightmare). Having been involved with expensive home automation systems on client projects in the past - this is something that I never recommend. They are great when they work, and when they break down (and they always do), they are almost impossible to fix. You can end up with technicians at your home for days and weeks, and in between your blinds are going up and down at 2am.

Moving on to the kitchen, I have to say, that I loath Miele. I have had the experience of two full Miele kitchens now, and had enormous problems with both. I will never use Miele again, and I have always recommended clients to steer clear of them, based on my experience with Customer Service and the constant problems with breakdowns. My kitchen in Albert Park had to have the oven rebuilt after 2 months of use. The part had to come from Germany, and it took them 8 weeks to fix it. When it was returned to me the fan rattled so loudly it sounded like a truck was parked in the room. They told me that it wasn't level in the cabinets, therefore not their fault (it was, I put a level on the oven to check). After arguing about it for a long time I gave up, as I had to concentrate on the problems with the coffee machine. The built in coffee machine was repaired 6 times before they eventually replaced it. The range hood had small plastic (!) parts that broke off after 3 years of normal use.

The kitchen in the rental house was the same. The oven didn't cook evenly, the dishwasher took 2.5 hours on the fastest setting to wash dishes, and the light globes in the rangehood would frequently blow and had to be replaced by Miele (they design them so that you can't just use normal bulbs from the hardware store). This was extremely expensive ($50 for a halogen lightbulb replacement). The Leibherr fridge and freezer were similarly awful. Despite the fact that these will set you back around $12, 000 the freezer drawers are too narrow to store puff pastry sheets in.

As for the finishes in the house - the extensive (and incredibly expensive) use of 2pak (on all wardrobes/ cuboards/ shelves) meant that a fragile finish was frequently damaged (fortunately the previous owners had done a lot of that themselves). Floors in the main living area were in a limewashed timber finish. This looked great, but was a soft wood, and was very hard to maintain. Limestone in the bathrooms stained easily and retained odours....

Outside, there was no shed. The retractable awning had a wind sensor and so would retract when too windy (which was usually when there was a hot Northerly breeze and you needed it the most), but wouldn't retract when it rained, so you could go out, and come home to find it almost on the verge of collapse weighed down with water. The built in bench seats were extra high (they were instead of a shed for storage), but this made them too high to sit at with the outdoor table. Those LED spots in the decking didn't actually illuminate anything - they would appear like floating UFO's in the dark from inside.

Basically, we couldn't wait to move out. I could keep going, (lack of hanging space in wardrobes as preference had been given to more Plasma TV's, no full height cleaning cupboard), but this is getting long enough as it is.

I'm sure many of you have experienced Bad Design - post 1960's apartments are especially afflicted by this with the expectation that people who will live in an apartment don't have possessions requiring storage. Bad Design is not just the aesthetics - the most important part of design is the thought put into how you will live in and function within a space. It's thermal comfort (insulation is SO important) so you don't have to run your air conditioning and heating.It's having appropriate storage where it's needed. It's about appropriate choice of finishes for your lifestyle -things that are easy to maintain and to look good even the day after you've cleaned them.

Aesthetics are really the secondary consideration (important, but more important to get the fundamentals correct). So when you are planning your own renovation or new home, or considering buying one already finished, look for all those things that aren't apparent at first glance. A lot of the thought I've put into our new extension and in the renovations we've already done has been about making it an easy house to live in for us. The irony of the sale of our cottage in Albert Park and the move to the larger, and more flashy place nearby was that our cottage was much better designed. While we had outgrown it with the soon to be arrival of the third baby, there was around double the amount of storage, and spaces that worked better for our family, for entertaining and for living. And there was nothing more depressing than spending hours on the sofa in the rental house feeding and holding a new baby with severe reflux and looking out on a view of timber fence, timber deck and timber everywhere with not a speck of green to be seen. It was an interesting lesson in Bad Design, and I hope you can all benefit from this as well.

All photos via Domain  . It's currently available to rent.
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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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