Before & After – the Catwalk

The new house is coming along nicely. While I think it will always be a work in progress, spaces are starting to come together enough to start showing full before and after tasty goodness 😄. Today it’s the Catwalk! Yes this crazy house has a freaking catwalk, yet another one of the strange delights this house has to offer. The catwalk was a fun space to design. I wanted to make it as functional as possible for our needs (as cheaply as possible) and think I succeeded. I wanted to have lots of seating, extra sleeping spaces for overnight guests, and a reading/meditation area. We are eventually hoping to have art and music events at the house and this will be a prime spot to watch performances in the great room below.

As you can see on the Before pics, the catwalk was largely unusable, full of nasty old carpet with no structure.

The first thing we did was rip out the nasty old carpet. The wood was in good shape so we did a simple whitewash on it to blend it into the whitewash wood on the walls. I had our awesome handyman build platforms for the black French mattresses (Pottery Barn Teen), build shelves against the east wall and paint the old bookshelves and all the new build outs Sherwin Williams Tricorn black. The desk was moved to my art studio and painted white. I saved a ton sewing all my own pillows. I’m not much of a seamstress but they are certainly good enough. I scored the beautiful designer tiger fabric as a remnant on fabricguru.com, the velvet pink on fabric.com. Most of the art and chotchkies we had, a couple pieces (including the tribal black pieces behind the seating area) we found at the local swap meet.

The area is much more useable now, and I love the way it came out. We go up there to just hang out and watch the sunset out the west windows. We had a couple guests sleep up there recently and got a big thumbs up :-).

Much more to come! Follow this blog and don’t miss a thing.

It’s All About Style, a Shout-out to the Irrepressible New York Times Street-Style Photographer Bill Cunningham (Ie: Where I Get Much of My Style Inspiration)

Many of you may have heard of the delightfully humble style icon (and one of my personal heroes) Bill Cunningham. He’s not an icon because of his own style, but because of his uniquely talented eye. Mr Cunningham has been honing that skilled eye since 1978 as a now legendary NY Times fashion photographer. Bill is unique in that he takes photographs of ordinary people, socialites and fashion personalities every day on the streets of Manhattan (no pictures of celebrities here!), capturing the ever-changing trends and personal styles of the people of New York. This is the heart of style, showing what real people, not celebrities or paid stylists, are actually wearing on the streets. He has a way of uncovering and distilling the best of this street-style into a few well-curated images that capture perfectly the feeling and mood of the season and the people week by week. These stylish photos are printed up in the New York Times every Sunday, and much to my delight, they are also collected in a short and charming (and FREE) video, which is narrated by Bill himself, available to everyone online. See it HERE. I look forward to these charming slices of New York style every week, and they make for great inspiration! I’ve gotten some great ideas here and they always put a smile on my face. Do yourself a favor and watch a couple videos today.

Remember, you don’t have to have a lot of money to have great personal style! It’s all about finding what you love, what looks great on you, and having fun.

At 86, Bill Cunningham is still going strong, and I hope he will continue capturing style for many years to come. There is also a documentary on Mr. Cunningham called “Bill Cunningham New York”, available to watch on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon.

Bill Cunningham== ARTS CONNECTION 2012 Benefit Celebration Honoring MARK WAHLBERG and RICHARD KIRSHENBAUM== Skylight West, NYC== June 11, 2012== ©Patrick McMullan== Photo - CLINT SPAULDING/PatrickMcMullan.com== ==

Bill Cunningham
Photo Credit- CLINT SPAULDING

A Sunday Funday Fashion Post! Yes, you CAN Look Great Wearing Clothes from the Thirft Store…

I know I haven’t done a fashion post for awhile, so here it goes! I really liked the funky outfit I put together last night so I’ll share it with you.

I always like to prove you can do almost all your shopping from the thrift store and look great, so here is what I wore last night, with descriptions and prices on everything…

(Pictures taken at Denver’s Union Station)

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I love a little pop of color when wearing neutrals! It makes the outfit.

From Top to Bottom:

The long-sleeve square-neck black top is by “Velvet”, Goodwill $3.99, purchased this Summer.

Faux Fur Vest by Charlotte Ruse, also from Goodwill, $6.99, purchased last Fall.

DIY Black Heart Necklace (see it HERE) Created February this year.

Leopard-print brushed cotton jeans by Jones New York, Goodwill $8.99. Purchased last year.

HYPE black and gold clutch, Neiman Marcus Last Call, $38 (Originally about $200) purchased about 6 years ago. (this bag was a splurge for me, but I actually use it a ton.)

Costa Blanca Hot Pink satin ankle boots, Neiman Marcus Last Call $18. (originally over $100) purchased about 7 years ago.

Bracelet, Goodwill, $2.99, purchased a couple months ago.

 

So there you have it, more great looks from your neighborhood thrift store. What have you found lately? I’d love to hear about it.

 

Find of the (almost every) Week – Carolina Herrara & Jones New York!

It’s time for Find of the Week!

This week’s find is a gorgeous leopard-print wrap dress by Jones New York. I LOVE this dress, it’s very comfortable and flattering. Looks like new. I’ve already worn it 3 times. $8.99 at my favorite Goodwill. Also, a very nice pair of authentic Carolina Herrera sunglasses, in near perfect condition, only $7.99 also at my fav Goodwill. Hooray for the Thrift Store!

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Find of the (Almost Every) Week…GUCCI!

It’s time for Find of the (Almost Every) Week!

This week’s find…Gucci Slides! How cute are these? And perfect for this time of year with Spring just beginning to poke in it’s pretty head. They are in near-new condition, too. Oh Happy Me! Found these at my favorite Goodwill for $12.

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What great finds have you scored lately? I’d love to hear about it in the Leave a Reply/Comments section.

Find of the (Almost Every) Week…Theory & Laundry!

It’s time for Find of the (Almost Every) Week! It’s a two-fer this week featuring a perfect black dress from Laundry by Sheli Seagal And a cute wool color-block sweater from Theory, both shown here on my mannequin Tallulah…

I love this Laundry Dress. Comfortable and flattering, can be dressed up or down, and it’s in perfect condition. Retail about $225, Goodwill $8.99.

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And this darling color-block wool sweater by Theory, retail $195, Goodwill $3.99. I love it! I’ve already worn it twice. Totally my colors.

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What did you find at your favorite thrift store this week? I’d love to hear about it in the Leave a Reply/Comments section.

Ode to Chanel DIY Camelia Necklace with Polymer Clay

I love Chanel. The first thing I’d buy if I won the lottery is a big fat Chanel handbag. And some Chanel shoes. And belts, and scarves, and jewelry…ok, you get the idea. So in the meantime, I’ve created this Chanel-esque camellia necklace from painted polymer clay (Super Sculpy) and a vintage faux pearl necklace.

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Find of the (Almost Every) Week…Diane Von Furstenberg! (& Dr. Seuss!)

Find of the (Almost Every) Week!

It was a great week at my favorite Goodwill. I found several delightful goodies, including an adorable Diane Von Furstenberg dress for $6.99. It is in perfect condition, but alas, it is too small for me 😦 I am selling it on Ebay to help fund my future thrifting adventures (see it here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/121264480095?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649 )

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I also found some great goodies for art projects,  a couple cute black tops by Velvet ($2.99 each) and this adorable set of vintage Dr. Seuss nesting blocks ($12.99). I have a thing for Dr Seuss, and I just love these.

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Have you found anything awesome at the thrift store lately? I love to hear about it in the Leave a Reply/Comments section.

An Extraordinary Artist’s Home Just too Good not to Share (and Chock Full of Unique DIY Ideas)

Looking from entrance hall through to kitchen.  Horse’s head from Strange Trader.  Railway light hanging overhead.  Timber and bronze sculptures to the right by David Bromley.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
(Yes, you can paint your walls BLACK! Especially great with the white ceiling and trim. That hand-painted graphic piece on the left looks amazing and is totally doable with some painter’s tape and a steady hand…)

Artwork, magazines, collected ephemera in the entry hall.  A mix of artwork by David Bromley and Heidi Yardley, timber carving by David Bromley, Gypsy girl painting by an unknown artist in the USA.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

(I LOVE the art collections all through this home. Notice most of the paintings are not framed? A collection of fun thrift store paintings could look equally good, especially against the dark walls.)

Master Bedroom 1! (There are two!).  Quilt and wall mural by David Bromley.  Painting above bed – old Russian propaganda painting – find similar Russian paintings at Bromley and Yuge’s shop in Byron, In This Street.  Bottom right – Bernard Buffet lithographs.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

(The hand-painted wall mural is killer. I love that art is EVERYWHERE in this home, even down near the floor.)

Dining and living / TV room.  Incredible hand painted wall mural by David Bromley.  Printed Bonnie and Neil cushions from Ahoy Trader.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

(Man, that half-wall mural is marvelous. Sharp and graphic and at the same time soft because of the simple color scheme. I love it against the dark walls. I may have to steal this one (not the actual mural of course, but something similar…) There is a whole lot going on in this home, but it’s not overwhelming because of the simple, consistent underlying color scheme)

Ok.  I promised you something special today and by GOLLY am I going to deliver on that!  This home is so freaking amazing.  It rendered Toby and me pretty much speechless in person… which always makes for a daunting shoot, in which you’re desperately hoping your shots will capture some of that magic, and that the camera lens will accurately convey the visual feast before your eyes.  I do hope we’ve succeeded in that mission today, and that this story feels like a true and honest documentation of one of the most amazing homes I have ever set foot in!

Clearly, this magical property is the Byron Bay home of artist David Bromley, his wife Yuge, and their gorgeous little baby, Wen.  David and Yuge have lived here just about two years, after relocating from Melbourne.  David was always drawn to the relaxed lifestyle here, and had often travelled here before setting up a more permanent home in Byron with Yuge in 2011.

Ironically though, there doesn’t appear to have been much ‘relaxing’ going on since David and Yuge moved here!  No sooner had they relocated, and David was up to his usual tricks – the property, which Bromley previously held as a weekender, was significantly re-worked, turning it into both a functional living and working space. David soon also acquired the property next door – pulling down the fence to create a dedicated studio and office space, and headquarters for Yuge’s fashion label.  The pair have also created an incredible sculpture garden shared by the two properties, filled with David’s own work and an ever-growing collection of artwork, vehicles and vintage collectables.

Whilst they have worked tirelessly to create a special home here, both David and Yuge have been careful to retain the original charm of this property, with its rambling gardens and out houses.  One of these outdoor pavillions has now been turned into an incredible summer bedroom adjoining the main house (so amazing!), whilst another serves as a painting studio.  Though they’ve made impressive progress in just two years, David and Yuge’s home has evolved very much organically, and changes made have been cosmetic rather than structural.

‘We are big believers in working with the original construct of buildings’ explains Yuge. ‘Renovating, wall removal and subtle reconfiguring is awesome fun and amazing, but building for us is daunting and disruptive. We’re not opposed to painting the walls though – painting a room a new colour is like having a holiday!’.  Indeed, soon after relocating here, Yuge recalls she and David would often end their work days to go and spend early evenings paintings the rooms in their house together.  I can so imagine that.  I hope it involved a glass of wine in one hand, and a paintbrush in the other!

Though it’s clearly a seriously impressive and kind of mind-bloggling space, the charm of this home really rests on its sense of light-heartedness and sponteneity.  It’s clear that this house has come together very intuitively, rather than adhering to a grand master plan. This is evident everywhere you look – in the wide stripes painted freehand on the kitchen walls, and the ad hoc placement of artwork from floor to ceiling, wherever it will fit, underneath windows and above doorways.  Yuge and David see furniture and objects as very much part of the architecture of a home – ‘placing bits and pieces we love around the house is how we build a space’ says Yuge.  Despite it’s devilish good looks, there’s nothing precious about this home – like so many of David’s creative endeavours, the space is ever-changing.

I feel so very lucky to have had the opportunity to document this truly special Australian Home.  MASSIVE thanks to David and Yuge for being so open and generous, and for trusting us to share their private world with you all!

ALSO, a reminder – we have an amazing giveaway running all week, thanks to David and Yuge, and their retail store In This Street!  One lucky reader will win a choice of any piece from Yuge’s beautiful womenswear range, and a stunning linen quilt by David Bromley, valued at $1,100.  Please visit Monday’s post and leave a comment over there before 10.00pm this Friday to be in the running.

 

Amazing TV room!  Incredible hand painted wall mural by David Bromley.   ’Moon rock’ felted cushions from Japan.  Printed Bonnie and Neil cushions from Ahoy Trader.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Loungeroom details – a mix of mid century and African artefacts. Wall mural by David Bromley.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kitchen with amazing monochromatic stripes, painted freehand by David – around the artwork in some areas! Two portraits at top by David Bromley, below – a Russian painting by an unknown artist.  Rug from Loom Rugs.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

(Hand-painted free-hand strips! This took guts and a steady hand, but it looks great. Give it a go! If you mess up you can always paint over it. It’s just paint. The island on wheels clad in old signs. Great idea! And of course, art, art and more art! I admit I’m in love with that wacky cat’s head.)

Kitchen detail.  A painting found in China. Printed pottery on shelf to left by David Bromley.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Looking from dining to kitchen.  Early painting by David Bromley on the kitchen walls, created as studies on the Bloomsbury Group.  Michael Pugh ceramic pot in foreground.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Joe Furlonger painting in dining room. Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Looking in to kitchen from the garden.  ’We love the inside being linked to the outside, and the outside linked to the inside’ says Yuge.  Paths throughout the yard are made from garden stakes.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files. (I would love to open up our kitchen to the back yard, though that may be too much of a DIY for me.)

A long timber shed adjoining the main house has been converted into a summer bedroom, complete with in-room bathtub and private courtyard.  Quilts and painting above bed by David Bromley.  One bed is for David and Yuge – the adjacent bed is for little Wen.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

(How charming! A “Summer Bedroom”, with it’s own bathtub. Great guest room. Who wouldn’t want to stay there? We’ve been seeing lots of hand-painted quilts in these pictures. This is an idea I WILL be stealing. It could be just simple geometric patterns if you don’t want to get all artsy with it. I love that the edges are unfinished, makes life simpler.)

 

 

Summer bedroom, complete with in-room bathtub.  Quilts by David Bromley.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

A long timber shed adjoining the main house has been converted into a summer bedroom, complete with in-room bathtub.  Quilts by David Bromley.  One bed is for David and Yuge – the adjacent bed is for little Wen.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Outside bath on back porch, from Reece.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Side door and entrance hall.  Timber carved sculpture by David Bromley.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Amazing gardens.  ’The gardens here grow so well, and with some adventurous planting you can be living in a forest in no time’ says Yuge. ‘Bamboo grows in front of your eyes, and the weather here makes you look like a good gardener, whereas truthfully it just nature doing its thing!’  Enormous painted mesh Giraffe sculpture by Melbourne artist Tom Ripon (Tom has no website but is stocked in Melbourne by The Cool Roomin Balaclava).  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files. (I want that giraffe! Makes me want to try my hand at outdoor sculpture.)

Exterior of David’s favourite backyard studio.  Paths made from garden stakes.  Pizza oven bought from a cooking school. French antique glass vase.  Lights made from Japanese fishing floats.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

(The simple garden paths are marvelous, and could easily be duplicated with treated scrap wood from old deaks or palettes.)

Of course they have an airstream caravan too…!   Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

(An Airstream? OK, now I am SERIOUSLY jealous…)

Bromley’s favourite backyard studio. Butterflies painting on easel by David Bromley.  Rug from Loom Rugs.  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Detail from David’s backyard studio. ‘Sulky Boy’ painting by David Bromley. Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Painted schoolbus by David Bromley.  Elephant sculpture by Melbourne artist Tom Ripon (Tom has no website but is stocked in Melbourne by The Cool Roomin Balaclava).  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

(The Painted Bus! I love it! If only I had a bigger backyard…)

Old Studebaker found in Daylesford, perched in the garden!  Photo – Toby Scott, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Find of the (Almost Every) Week – November 29, 2013. Tadashi & Eileen Fisher

Find of the (Almost Every) Week – November 29, 2013
Tadashi & Eileen Fisher

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I was thrilled to find this gorgeous black layered strapless gown from Tadashi, in perfect condition, at the Goodwill this week. I love it! This dress retailed for around $400. I paid $8. I also scored this lovey grey Merino wool Eileen Fisher sweater, in new condition, and perfect for this time of year! I’ve already worn it a few times. It retailed for around $250. What did I pay? $4. These are the sort of deals I live for! I can’t wait to wear this dress to a holiday party…

 

What amazing finds have you made? I’d love to hear about it in the Leave a Reply/Comment section.