Well I finally have time to sit and write a post after a busy Christmas and Summer Holiday... and then back to school chaos.

We spent some time on Kangaroo Island over January, which is our favourite spot for a beach holiday, with our friends. The days passed in a blur of fishing, boating, swimming, walks on the beach, drinks and cheese platters on the deck, boardgames and chat.

My latest Project Ten bags were suitably nautically themed - My go-to gift for friends and family. Thank you to my friend L for being the prop legs for this photo. My legs at this stage were still pasty white and covered in mosquito bites.

 The dots in the photo are playing beach cricket

Then it was back to reality with a frantic week of school uniform labelling, book covering, searching out the lunchboxes and drink bottles, and the new routines of homework, sport and music practice once school resumed, and all the associated parent info nights etc etc.

One exciting thing that has happened over the holidays was that we have adopted a dog. We had promised the children than when the renovations were all finished, and the garden secure, that we would get one... and they've been campaigning hard. My youngest's favourite book series are the Pig the Pug books. He is obsessed with them, and naturally decided that he wanted a Pug.

It got to a point where his toy version of Pig the Pug (it makes farting sounds) was becoming some sort of surrogate real dog for him... so I decided to investigate the breed.

cuddles with the toy, farting Pig the Pug.. oh and footy cards 

Investigating the breed involves my younger sister, who is a Vet, and a bearer of bad news on pretty much any pure bred dog. She sent me a lengthy text message pointing out all the problems inherent with Pugs, accompanied by fairly horrific photographs, and vetoed it.

So, S thought for a while, and a few weeks later asked tentatively if perhaps my Sister would approve a sausage dog? Pig's best friend in the book is a sausage dog called Trevor, so S thought that if he couldn't have Pig, he'd have Trevor instead. I texted my sister about sausage dogs.

So, it was back to the drawing board. I started thinking about perhaps finding a mix breed dog, as they're genetically stronger so my sister would not object, and this then led me to dog adoption websites, and we found Patch, our now 15 week old puppy.

He comes from a very remote Aboriginal Community in the Northern Territory (the nearest town is 700km away), that love dogs - they have a dog dreaming story. He would probably be descended from various working dogs that would be used on Stations (Ranches) in the region - Cattle dog, Jack Russel, Kelpie and maybe some Staffie throwback somewhere, so his official "breed" is a Camp dog. He was apparently born under the school house to a stray, and brought into a community charity group that rehouse them by the school teachers. After being vet checked, desexed, microchipped and vaccinated, he was then flown down to us in Adelaide aged 10 weeks old. He is quite a character, and I have had trouble photographing him as he is constantly moving, or glued to my side. Needless to say the children are besotted with him. He'll hopefully live a long and healthy life, and is adjusting to city living, a family, and a lawn quite well.

Design Stuff: Late last year I did a little refresh of my hall entry. I had been looking for a longer hall table for some time - the existing one was quite short and unable to carry a lamp. I wanted an antique, so this took time as dimensions had to be narrow enough that it didn't intrude into the traffic pathway. Finally I found a beautiful Georgian oak sideboard at the Adelaide Antique Fair last October from Quigley's. It has a lovely scalloped base to it, and beautiful patina. I had some blue and white temple jars converted to lamps (a painfully long process...) and then had my lampshade maker do some scalloped grasscloth lampshades for it. Both the lamps and the table are quite overscaled in the space, and have dramatically transformed the entry. The old Georgian side table has been moved into my daughter's bedroom as her bedside table, so it has been a little bit of a shuffle around. I also switched around some artwork (not shown in the photo), but have left in the old patchwork kilim rug. It's really refreshed the whole entry. Above it's pictured with a bowl of faux Orchids - we have had a lot of heat waves in Adelaide, and nothing really lasts long in the airconditioning. Roll on the long, hot Summer....

Speaking of, the Garden suffered enormously while we were away, I returned from Kangaroo Island to find most of the garden beds in a state of death. Unfortunately the automatic watering system had failed  during some 40C plus temperatures (why does this always happen when you are away?!?!?) so I've spent some serious time in the garden last week (finally cool enough to do something about it all) cutting back  dead things, weeding, pruning and we've been pouring water on everything since the watering system was fixed. I have to say that gardening with a puppy is challenging... he likes to sit on my lap while I'm trying to weed, and thinks I must be doing something interesting when I'm trying to dig so joins in. It was a little tedious.... but fortunately it's all bouncing back - the benefit of using so many drought tolerant plants.

The Veggie garden has been so-so - great for tomato and eggplant production, but the carrots were a total curly failure.

I think I'll leave it here for the time being, and instead of making this an absolute monster post, I'll do a few separate ones on things that have caught my eye with art, wallpaper, china and clothes, and the progress on the heritage cottage project.

Happy Year of the Dog!


  1. I love this post. I would really love to visit Kangaroo Island, and see the sights and eat all the things.
    I LOLed at your exchange with your sister. Gotta love sisterly exchanges.
    I agree that rescue mongrel dogs are the best dogs. Our staffyxlab (we think) girl lives the high life. We love her. I love watching the special relationship between my fella and the dog, they are best mates.

    1. You really need to go Cilla- you’d absolutely love the food and wine and beautiful scenery.
      Yes, sisters can be brutal, I often think that the Mitford sisters are just any family with multiple girls in it!
      Patch has such a lovely temperament- like your beautiful dog has. He’s getting lots of love from us all xx

  2. Your texts with your sister are hilarious! So fortunate to have a vet for a little sis though. She definitely is good at giving advice!
    Looking so lovely in your part of the world, your garden is so productive. That eggplant!
    Your entry looks perfect and I am dying over the scalloped lampshades... such a beautiful detail.
    LOVE your new family member and may he live a long and very happy life! xxx

    1. Well, I think all sisters like to give advice - I give her decorating, she gives me dog!
      The garden is certainly booming along, I have cut back so much I have the most massive pile to get rid of! We really only have maybe 2 months of the year when nothing is growing... Lovely to hear from you Dani, I'm so glad you're blogging regularly, and I'm going to try to do the same! x

  3. Hello Heidi,

    Good to have you back. Your vacation destination looks to be very tranquil and just the place to rejuvenate.

    I adore the fact that you adopted a dog. We've had three and they've all been loving and (we believe) full of joy for having been rescued. No doubt, your family will love your little fella and you'll all soon forget what life pre-dog was like.

    I must say your garden has sure filled out nicely and looks very lush for having been through a dry spell. You obviously have green fingers.

    Love the hallway table and lamps which look very well suited to the waviness of the table's skirt. Just lovely!

    Happy New Doggy Year to you too and I wish you many more, woof!

    1. It's really the most magical place CD - you really feel like you've got away from everything by virtue of having to catch a ferry over to the island, and it has some beautiful, empty beaches and scenery as well.
      Drought is a constant, and if it weren't for watering our gardens would be very parched looking at the moment - we haven't had decent rain in a while. We really do rely on the automatic watering system, so when it doesn't work it's a bit of a disaster - you only notice when everything is turning up its toes! Happy New Year to you too x

  4. Thanks for the heads up concerning Project Ten. Just looking at their site and they have some fabulous totes .... can never have too many in my book. Also love your entry table and lamps and glad to see you have 'faux' orchids. A well known Brisbane designer sent a woman away with a flea in her ear when she asked if they carried faux flowers .... well I would love to buy a bunch of flowers daily/weekly but since our Brisbane heat and humidity has a similar effect to that of Adelaide I just can't afford it. I have an jug of 'up market' faux flowers that give me joy and hope that that woman wasn't deterred. I like to see interior designers who are down to earth. Thanks for a great blog.

    1. They are absolutely the handiest bags! We use the oversized ones to cart things around for sport and weekends away with the family, and I love the cooler bags to take food to people's houses or grocery shopping. The prints are fab and I am always giving them away as gifts as they're so well recieved!
      I think I know exactly who you mean, and I guess it's a nice luxury to be able to have fresh something, but I loath looking at bowls of apples going rancid in the heat as a decorative item (the waste!) and wilting flowers after a few days are equally depressing. I cut green foliage, but often it barely lasts a week in the heat and air con. So, really, sometimes you just have to embrace the faux as we're not all millionaires able to chuck out multiple orchids every week! x

    2. Nice to have you back for a New Year catch up.
      Sisters ! Always wished I'd had on. I don't want to know what she thinks of my pure bred Golden Retriever.
      I think I hadn't realised what lovely company it is to have a dog around.
      Your garden is looking gorgeous. Good recovery. What a sickening feeling - I always used to tour the garden after a few weeks away hoping for the best.
      I borrowed a faux orchid during our auction campaign and loved it. On the look out for a new one - design critics be damned !

    3. Thanks Ann! I'm going to try to write a little more consistently this year - I've missed it the last few. Well... as for what my sister thinks of Golden Retrievers, would you like me to ask?!? She'd definitely have some sort of opinion! I think your Monty is gorgeous though, what an adorable puppy photo you posted the other day. Hope the move has gone well xx

  5. Gosh, reading that conversation with your sister made me laugh out loud! Nothing like a scientific, pragmatic straight-shooting sibling to give you advice! (I have one of those, too.)
    I'd always wanted a pug, too - but based on the romantic vision I'd had of seeing two very cute and well-behaved ones holding court many years ago in the Woolahra showroom of Decorator Ros Palmer! It's funny that my son (Seb) later wanted one, too! We are now the owners of a very robust, very low-maintenance cat (a moggy that was a give-away)! Your 'Camp Dog' Patch looks gorgeous and love his provenance. Sure he will bring you all lots of joy! x Caroline

    1. Hi Caroline, glad to hear you also suffer from straight shooting sibling syndrome! So funny re the Pug situation, I've had a few conversations with my friend Romy about them, as she has a pug, but then, she doesn't have a sister visiting her casting the evil eye over it constantly either! She'd definitely approve of your cat! xx

  6. Congratulations on your newest four legged family member! And kudos for going with an adoption instead of a purebreed; your sister is correct, much healthier! We have had "RSPCA specials" as family dogs growing up and they were magnificent. I now have 2 x ex-racing greyhounds which, contrary to popular belief, are the laziest dogs you will ever meet. Lucky we have a large couch, as they spend approximately 16 hours a day there!
    I always look forward to your garden updates too - disappointing that the automatic watering failed, but hooray for drought tolerant plants that don't take much to bounce back!

    1. Thanks Jacqueline! Your greyhound story has made me laugh though - I, like a lot of others, thought they'd need a lot of exercise. Clearly once adopted out they're happy to rest rather than race! The garden is definitely back on the improve with the humid weather we've had the past week, everything has grown like crazy (including the weeds again!!) x

  7. Hi Heidi
    have followed your blogs for some time, and love the great interior design information. I live in Adelaide and have some lamps I purchased from USA some time ago along with some beautiful expensive lamps that got damaged in the process of renovating... would you be able to recommend a place to get the lamps fixed? Also where did you get the blue and white vases converted to lights? or let me know how to contact you if I should go through you to get this done... Ive been searching all over Adelaide! Thanks Anna

    1. Hi Anna, I'm happy to share this info with you, but could you please email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com or PM me on instagram? thanks!


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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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