Breaking the blogging fast to do an update on Spring. I have completely skipped Winter - life has been very busy and I feel like I spend a lot of time drafting on my computer, so the last thing I want to do is write a blog post in the evening... and of course now that the weather has completely turned to extremely warm this week,  writing about what I did in Winter seems completely ridiculous. So, I'll try to update the past few months with more of a Spring theme...


There has been a little bit of travel in the past few months. In September I attended a Design Weekend with my friend Romy (her beautiful instagram is here, she no longer blogs) in New Zealand at Kauri Cliffs lodge. Guest speakers included Paul Bangay (one of Australia's better known Landscape designers), Thomas Hamel (whose career in Interior Design started at Parish Hadley in New York, and continued to Sydney and now part time back in the States) and Paul Swanson from Mossgreen (Antiques and Art gallery).

As you can see by the line up it was an ideal drawcard for both of us, and the added bonus of a long weekend escape from family duties with sleep ins and no meal prep. I have never been to New Zealand before, so this was a great little taste. We had a night on either side of the time at Kauri Cliffs in Auckland due to flight times and enjoyed exploring the waterfront precinct which is full of fashionable bars, cafes, restaurants and the best of New Zealand designer fashion (and some European labels too).

Kauri Cliffs, where we stayed, is about 4 hours from Auckland by car (there are flights from Auckland, but again they didn't line up well for us). It revolves around a golf course which I believe is very good (we are not golfers) and that has spectacular views over the water. Romy and I did quite a lot of walks in the areas, down to the beautiful pink sand beach as well as to other coves that had small streams running into them and that looked out onto jagged islands.

I took a lot of photos of details... the floors are apparently typical to this part of New Zealand and are large planks with mortar inbetween.

The hotel itself is beautiful, and worth a mention as it had many elements that you would feel inspired to emulate in a home. Kauri Cliffs is a luxe lodge, so it has the main old weatherboard house on the site which houses the restaurant, library, private dining rooms and lounges for guests, and then the guest lodges are set some distance away down a path. The interiors are really beautiful and had a sort of classic, rustic nautical edge to it. There's a mix of old and new furniture, pattern, and a play of scale that I found really interesting. I think in Interiors the one thing most people are afraid of is going big, particularly with lighting, but you can see how it was done really successfully here.

The talks themselves weren't aimed at design professionals, they were more overviews of the individuals careers, but I particularly enjoyed talking after Dinner one night with Thomas Hamel, who is the loveliest man, about all things design. The best part of the trip though was chatting with Romy about Art, Design, Books, Fashion and then the trials of life and motherhood in general.

The walls were a sort of shiplap with a wood effect to them. I think they were a gyprock panel system.

Work has been busy, but a lot of it is in the boring planning stages, so not a lot to show of interest. I have a couple of images of projects nearly completed. I do post more on Instagram... I had thought I'd never fully abandon the blog for it (and I'll try not to!) but it is a lot quicker and easier to upload a photo and brief description in the car while waiting for kids to come out of school...  Here are a few recently completed bits I haven't shared on the blog before

Window seat in a Library that I recently completed. The cushions were custom with applied braid. Walls are in navy blue grasscloth wallpaper that picks up the original stained glass detail in the window.

Beach house completed bedroom reflecting the colours of seaglass in blues and greens. I really love the fabric combos in this room.

The garage/ studio at our house has finally been finished. It was s.l.o.w going due to the render. The render is Venetian plaster, with Ashlar block impressions in it, and it is very finicky to apply due to sensitivity to weather conditions. Doing it in Winter meant constant delays, but it's finally all done (with a big of a clear out of builders junk still to go to finally finish for good).

Street view - the attractive pole is an iconic Adelaide invention from the 50's - the Stobie pole. Made of concrete and iron it is termite proof, and car proof too. 

view from the garden of the path down to the garage/ service area and the raised veggie beds. The hedge will grow and hide it all

We have landscaped the final bit of the garden down to the garage - this was a bit of work as we have a slope in our block, and so there were some retaining walls and paths that needed to be built. There are veggie patches in raised beds, and they're slowly coming along with some promising tomatoes on vines.

Ensuite in the upstairs Studio - round steel window and Bird and Thistle wallpaper. I did the internal doors as Beadboard.

My desk area - the rest is still a bit of a mess...

The rest of the garden has exploded this Spring, and it's really looking very established now, especially the front garden which is only 1 year old. I've been picking lots and lots of roses, and have had a couple of big sessions in the garden, but am still woefully behind on the weeding/ pruning schedule.

New lamps in the living area with roses from the garden

so many roses

back garden neatly clipped by Kurt.


While in New Zealand, I spied a dress in the window at Kate Sylvester. I think I could say it's the most perfect dress ever... it is made of light silk, so is perfect for a hot day, swishy, and very flattering hiding all sorts of sins. On me it comes below the calf and has a high elasticated neckline. I can't tell you how much I love this dress!! I was contemplating buying it in the other, bright, colourway. Her clothing in general is fab (despite some dubious fashiony styling with the models - the dress looks far better without trousers under it...!) and worth investigating.

Long term readers know I have a love affair with shoes, and this pair from Aquazzura that I purchased a few months ago from are perfect. I tend to wear fairly plain and unadorned clothes with a tailored aesthetic in Winter, so interesting shoes are always easy to include in my wardrobe. I also tend to wear flats most days due to all the running around/ schlepping of stuff I do and the persian carpet style print of these shoes really grabbed me. When I'm just wearing some dull outfit like a fitted chambray shirt and my favourite black Joseph stretch trousers that I've blogged about before it definitely makes it look more interesting. Of course it also helps that I had an electrician in fits of laughter on site when I wore these one day, and also that when I popped into a Trade agent in Adelaide I found that they matched perfectly with the Colefax and Fowler fabric range...

I have done so much reading lately. One book tends to lead into another...

Bunny Mellon's Antigua bedroom from "How they Decorated" 

Firstly, I bought "How they Decorated" which is a fabulous overview of well known personalities from the 20th Century and their Interior Decoration style. Many of the Interiors were very inspiring, and some of the Interiors that I found interesting were those of Bunny Mellon. Featured in the book was the house she had in Antigua in the 1960's, which featured painted floors (something she introduced to the US in concept), chintz and simple elegance.

Tory Burch's bedroom in Architectural Digest with painted floors and chintz

Then out came Architectural Digest, with Tory Burch's new house in the Hamptons on the cover, designed by Daniel Romualdez. The internet started swooning over the whole thing, from the picture of her in a Land Rover Defender (naturally), through to the immaculate perfection of the lettuceware table setting. But it occurred to me (and some others) that there was a lot of "inspiration" (not attributed) being drawn from other sources. Many credited the master bedroom with being a copy of Lee Radziwills. And it was, but I thought it reminded me strongly of Bunny Mellon's bedroom in Antigua....

Tory with her Diego Giacometti bronze table. These cost about $4.4 million at auction

And it was then that I started reading the new Bunny Mellon biography and read about how Lee visited her in Antigua, and how Bunny collected Diego Giacometti  bronze furniture (Tory's hall also has a bronze Giancomo table in it, pictured above), started the fashion for painted wooden floors and essentially Bunny was copied by Lee, was copied by Tory.

The Bunny Mellon book was a really good read- very balanced, but oh my goodness, was Bunny an unpleasant woman. She was really pretty mean to her children and grandchildren (or one child - she played favourites), and would cut off friends of many years standing for absolutely no reason. They'd just find she was no longer home/ answering their calls. She is a figured revered for her good taste in the US, ironically because she favoured stealth wealth and discretion over flashy logos etc (ironic because most of those that revere her would kill themselves to own a Hermes Birkin or some other uber status symbol) but it seems to me that it's not necessarily difficult to have good taste when your budget extends to Picasso and Monets and the ability to stack them one ontop of the other all through your multiple houses. She was a shopaholic, and would buy things every day, and at the age of 103 had 200 staff and 6 houses that she never visited. She left very little money to her surviving son and grandchildren, nothing to her great grandchildren (but money to staff, friends and to charity).  Her marriage to Paul Mellon wasn't a happy one (he had many affairs), and seems largely driven by her desire for a larger budget to create her perfect houses and to have the convenience of her own Boeing at her own private runway on standby. I've subsequently read reviews on Amazon of the book, and while many say a similar thing to me, there are a few reviews where the readers are still breathless over her good taste and billionaire lifestyle and seem blinded by the other aspects of her actual personality. It's a great read, and I recommend it.


Smoked Salmon and Asparagus tart

I use my grandmother's Quiche Lorraine recipe and adapted it - the pastry is excellent

1 Cup Flour - half plain (I like spelt, it gives a shorter crust) and half Self Raising
3Oz/ 90 Grams Butter chopped
1 egg
1 Tablespoon water

1 Cup milk
3 eggs
1 Tbsp Butter
4 Oz/ 120 Gram grated cheddar cheese
2-3 Spring onions/ scallions finely sliced
Parsley, dill and chives finely chopped
250grams (small packet) smoked salmon
1 bunch asparagus


Butter a 25cm Quiche or tart tin and set aside, preheat oven to 165C fan forced.

In a food processor whizz together the pasty ingredients until it just forms a ball, then place in fridge for 30 minutes to chill.

While this is chilling, combine the spring onions, cheese and herbs (I do these all at once in the food processor as I'm quite lazy on the chopping front... I also just chop the cheese rather than grate it). Add the eggs, milk, butter and combine in the food processor.

Prepare the pastry by rolling out and placing into the quiche/ tart tin. Add half the mixture, and place slices of smoked salmon all over it. Add the rest of the mixture and then add the trimmed asparagus on top. Grind over some pepper and salt and bake in the oven for 45minutes.

For Quiche Lorraine substitue the salmon for 3 rashes of chopped bacon, and the asparagus for slices of tomato.

Think that's enough for me for a bit! I'm so sorry I've been so absent from the blog - I'm not sure anyone cares that much one way or the other, but I'll try to drop back in and get back into the swing of things... I have missed it and constantly write blog posts about things in my head... it's just finding the impetus to get it out on the computer that has eluded me.

 What's news with you?


  1. Heidi, I so enjoy your 'catch-up' posts. I shall but the Bunny Mellon book on my list - it sounds very interesting. I love all the textures and prints in your work; the braids look marvellous on those window seat cushions. Quiche looks fabulous too... I am itching to get back in the kitchen and do some baking. I shall try the pastry receipe as I have never made a shortcrust style pastry with egg. xx

    1. I think you'd really enjoy the Bunny Mellon book Charlotte - good for the commute maybe? I couldn't put it down, she certainly led an interesting life. You'll be baking away one of your amazing cakes before you know it! I've got all my fingers and toes crossed for you that you have a very speedy finishing off process with the renovation and you're back cooking in the beautiful new kitchen you're creating very soon xx

  2. I adore your blog - don't give it up for instagram.

    1. Thank you so much! I won't give it up for insta - for one I'm not a very good photographer, and secondly I'm too long winded and can't type on the tiny phone screens well enough for my satisfaction! I'll try to get back into it. Thanks for the comment x

  3. Heidi, of course we've missed your blogpost! How could you think otherwise? 😊 But you are excused. Its obviously been a busy winter. Put Canberra into you diary for April- June next year... we will be having a huge Cartier exhibition at the National Gallery. Its going to be wall to wall bling and a chance to see how the HNWI (thats 'High Net Worth Individuals' to the non financial pages readers) spend their money.

    1. Thanks Judith - it has been busy, and I hate using that as an excuse because you can always find time for things if you try... but I've been reading a lot in the evening, and I tend to feel guilty writing a blog post if I have emails to answer and clients waiting on things from me....
      That cartier exhibition sounds fabulous! I'll have to investigate. I think the Adelaide Art gallery has an impressionist exhibition next year too, so it seems like we're getting some good shows at the moment. xx

  4. Thank you for taking the time to write your blog - I enjoy it very much!
    Your new dress is gorgeous. I saw it on the KW site and it didn’t catch my eye, but then I see it on you and it’s beautiful. So elegant!

    1. Hi Kathryn, thank you so much for your kind comment :) I have to say that the styling on the model was not particularly inspiring, especially with bulky trousers under it (why?!?). I saw it in the window of the shop in the bright colourway styled normally and it caught my eye... on the website probably I would have just looked past it too! She does a lovely dress though... x

  5. Well I for one have missed your blogging although I pretty much never comment! I laughed a lot at your Porthault post. Bunny sounds ghastly for all her 'taste'. I dated one of the Stobie boys many years ago - Granddad invented the pole - they seemed quite proud but I always thought they were deathly ugly things.

    1. Thanks HSC, that's so kind of you :) I'm just laughing at the Stobie boys pride in their grandfather's invention... it is an iconic image of Adelaide though. What would we be without our stobie poles?? They'll outlast us all too! They are definitely an engineering marvel.. and show the difference between engineers and architects quite succinctly! Design feature they are not... xx

  6. I wonder if the purpose of the mortar between the floor boards is earthquake related maybe to allow for movement. Having lived in NZ earthquakes become part of the day to day business of living and New Zealanders have -as are you no doubt aware - a stringent building and survival code even down to not stacking boxes above the level of the top shelf in supermarkets....just in case!

    1. You've made a good point with the earthquake - perhaps that's how it's developed? I asked the staff and they said just said it was traditional to the area.... but usually there's a reason why so this could be it x

  7. Anybody paying a dime over $2 mil for a bronze table is just plain silly.

    1. Ha! Agree... although I suppose the tables could be considered a bargain when his sculptures sell for upwards of $50 Mil !

  8. Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I'm really pleased with how it's all come together at very long last. And I can't tell you how luxurious it is to lay things out and not have to pick them back up again (not to mention the fact that my scissors, rulers and tape measure don't get stolen by the children anymore!) x

  9. Lovely to see your newest blog post and yes, we do care. You've been missed!

    Your new workspace/garage looks termendous! Adore the little bathroom and that B&F wallpaper is divine. I recently looked at it when hunting for fabric for a headboard but I think it looks far better as wallpaper.

    I've always enjoyed making tarts and will give your recipe a go in the spring when the asparagus is ripe and ready to be devoured (and it does - just love the stuff!).

    1. I agree - I love the pattern but I think it's better on the flat and en masse too, so the wallpaper is my pick. B&F have some good classics - Kanchou would be one of my all time favourites and one day I'll get it somewhere. The main problem I have with them is their repeats are enormous, and the importer to Australia marks them up to all glory, making them ridiculously expensive for the quality and comparable brands... and this makes it tricky to do anywhere particularly large. The ensuite was perfect to scratch the itch with Bird and Thistle. xx

    2. It is funny as I've tried to recently purchase some B&F toile fabric only to be told "to the trade only". That is infuriating to me as I only need about four yards for a headboard project. I don't even know what the price is (and I really NEED it!). That important information is only disclosed to professionals. I won't give up though as that particular pattern is the only one I've fallen for in the whole wide world, sigh. If you have any suggestions on how to obtain this "precious" fabric, please do spill the beans (if not here, perhaps an email to me directly would be wonderful, thanks!).

    3. B&F is not easy to obtain as it's American, and they do a professionals only thing, and won't do retail. If I were you, I'd look on eBay and Etsy to see if you can find it by the yard, and if that fails, then you could try a site like this which ships to the UK and then get a relative in the UK to send it to you. Alternatively you could buy it in the UK direct from Chelsea Harbour as they do retail in the UK and the system is different.
      B&F is really, really marked up here in Australia, so I don't really feel able to specify it for clients as it's basically the same retail in the UK/US as it is wholesale here. It's just bad value for money which is such a shame!

    4. Hello Heidi,

      Thanks for your suggestions. I'm going to look into this further. Had no idea this company makes buying their products so difficult, and expensive! Sigh.

  10. Oh how lovely to see some colour! I do enjoy the different hemispheres as it's been grey here and I'm loving the flowers in your post. Beautiful desk area. xo

    1. Thanks Jen! I think that's the benefit of the internet - we get to enjoy the other season on the opposite side of the world. I think around March when we start to feel like it's an endless very hot summer I enjoy seeing all the snow pictures from your part of the globe as relief! x

  11. I was so thrilled to see another blog post from you - I really enjoyed reading it.
    Love your garage/studio - what a fabulous space (both inside and out!) Perfection! I'd never want to leave!
    Your garden is looking stunning - getting so established. Brava!
    Beautiful Karen Walker dress - love it. Her clothes really are stunning - pretty, elegant and timeless, but with a bit of an edge. I met her (and her husband/business partner and gorgeous daughter) in Fiji about 6 years ago (we were staying at the same small island resort). I didn't recognise her at first (even though we chatted a few times), but admired her lovely, understated style - and fabulous sunglasses! (Think that's when the penny dropped!) They were certainly a stand-out, very stylish trio (in that Auckland-cool "just naturally got it going on" kind of way!)
    Thank you again for yet another fabulous read!
    x Caroline

    1. Hi Caroline, it's so nice that things are finally feeling finished, and we're just enjoying living in the spaces without things piled in corners waiting for the next stage! I'm certainly enjoying being able to spread out in the studio, and it's on the list that I have to get around to sorting out the storage adequately in the garage/ studio (shelving) as that is lacking at the moment.
      Love the story about meeting Karen Walker - the sunnies would definitely be a big giveaway there! I think for the NZ crowd Fiji is their Bali to us - quite conveniently close from Auckland. We were last in Fiji about 6 years ago too and I seem to remember a high proportions of Kiwis. xx

  12. Great post Heidi - good to see you back. Glad you got a chance to go to NZ, it is such a lovely place to visit. We went there for the first time last December and hired a car and toured both islands. We got home at 10.00pm on the 23rd December (something I do not recommend!!) We are going back in January on a three week cruise with some friends which we are so looking forward to. Loving all the studio/garden action - looking good. Love the dress and shoes. Not long till Christmas now - I need to get organised! Will try out your tart recipe this weekend. Hope you have a great weekend. Jo xx

    1. Hi Jo, nice to hear from you! I remember you saying you were off to NZ. I was (I'm ashamed to admit) quite surprised at how different it was to Australia, not just geographically which I expected, but culturally. The cruise sounds fabulous, I'd love to get over and look around the South Island, and also spend more time in Auckland again. xx

  13. Loved this blog post Heidi these catch-ups are some of my favourites! But I love all of your posts truth be told.
    I think it is very easy to get out of the habit of blogging and then it just doesn't occur to one to write posts anymore... but there's no replacing a blog. Instagram is fun because it's quick and tidy but the substance isn't quite there. Please, please don't stop blogging.
    Oh gosh love that dress! So difficult to find a good one these days. It's gorgeous on you. Those shoes don't get me started they are perfection. And your garden and studio are looking so fabulous, what a wonderful job you've done! I think it even makes the Stobie pole look good. ;) Have a great weekend Heidi XX

    1. Agree with you re getting out of the habit. It then seemed like such a long time between posts I didn't feel like I could just write something short... so it languished for a while!! Agree with you about Instagram - it doesn't replace blogging.
      Laughing about your comments re the Stobie pole! They really are an eyesore, and will be here to stay for a hundred years or more. Unfortunately they're fairly indestructable...! Lovely to hear from you and thank you for the compliments on the dress and shoes - definitely my favourite purchases of late. xx

  14. So much to say! Love everything - i checked out the website but it is painfully slow and it is so freezing in Europe all over that any silky dress wouldn't be fit for pyjamas at the moment...I would love to go to NZ but the four hour drive alone. yikes. but it is great when you go with a friend you can chat endlessly with. So glad you blogged - IG is nice but i just tend to scroll or press a brief like. I envy your upcoming seasons. I am dreading winter at the moment. x

    1. It's such a lightweight silk too N that you'd be wanting to wear thermals under it in Europe, even in Summer!
      You've definitely assimilated to living in the UK... 4 hours is nothing! Needless to say Romy and I were completely unfazed about the drive, and drove straight through without a stop along the way and yes, workshopped life and cushions and lampshades and stuff along the way :)
      We've already had heat last week and had to have the air con on overnight on one night, which I loathe, so it could be a brutal Summer this year. I hope not, but it's hot again today, and I was swimming in the pool yesterday (which I don't do often), so don't envy us the heat! xx

  15. Love it all. Yes Bunny's book was a great read but by God did she like cutting people out!

    Felt super sad for her kids.

    The garden looks FABULOUS!!! x

    1. Bunny was not a nice woman. I feel like she was someone that would have had a bad influence on her family for generations. She herself enjoyed a happy and loved childhood, and yet her grandson had to go to couples therapy with his wife due to the family dysfunction caused by Bunny! Awful xx

  16. How lovely to read this. I'm a late discoverer of your blog. I love Instagram but more I love old school blogging which isn't about being an influencer or monetizing (shudder). Please keep writing!

    1. Hi Amanda, thanks for your comment- agree with you on old school blogging... all the monetisation if blogs sort of killed it. I’m going to try to get back into it this year- instagram isn’t the same thing


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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
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