Friday, July 30, 2010

The Basics

© Christopher Baker

I can feel spring coming in the air as I feel the yearning to eat and entertain outdoors once again; here is one of the simplest additions to elevate any entertaining occasion in any season - a basic vinaigrette from Skye Gyngell's 'A Year in my Kitchen'.


vR x

1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
200ml extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon

Put the mustard and sherry vinegar into a bowl and add a generous pinch of sea salt and pepper. Stand the bowl on a cloth to keep it steady, then gradually whisk in the extra virgin olive oil to emulsify. Lastly, squeeze in the lemon juice and whisk to combine. Check the seasoning and set aside until ready.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Back to Nature

Choosing colour palettes can be a difficult and overwhelming experience when it comes time to painting the interior of a home let alone furnishing it. When deciding upon a new colour direction I always start with what is most real and honest - nature. Nature offers soothing solutions for colour palettes and colour directions for the inside of your home. I have often taken in a bundle of seashells or feathers into the paint shop in search of the perfect colour way. It is truly breathtaking when you take the time to allow yourself to appreciate the way nature combines and balances textures, colour and pattern all on the one animal... Nature really is the best interior decorator, fashion designer and stylist out there!

vR x

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bite Club

© Bite Club

There is something happening in the dining and food scenes which mirrors my personal philosophy. My favourite words have been reawaken and celebrated; they are being associated with some of the most prestigious dining experiences on offer - small, local, unpretentious, intimate and authentic. Restaurant dining rooms are being styled more and more to look like those of a much loved home setting, with the mismatched cutlery, character and charisma to boot... enter Bite Club, an exclusive underground dining concept come phenomenon to hit Sydney. Interior guru and genius Debra Cronin welcomes you into her unforgettable inner city grand mansion where you will feast on a menu of exquisite restaurant quality food and wine in the company of 15 guests set in Debra's very own surreal beautiful world.

vR x

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday... you are divine.

Saturdays are divine; full of so much hope and promise. Ah Saturday.. you are my favourite day of all.

vR x

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cheers... Happy Weekend....

We are preparing to have some friends over on the weekend for a little feast at our house. I love thinking about food and the ways we can share such wonderful produce, nothing too fancy, just keeping it real....when I realised its about time I shared some other friends of mine with you....

You know those sorts of people that are soaked in integrity and radiate passion... the sorts of people that are wonderfully warm and ridiculously talented... they say they will do something, they craft it and it turns into a celebrated success... well here are a couple of those sorts of people... husband and wife Peter and Hannah Logan of family run Logan Wines in the Central Ranges of New South Wales. Red, White, Fizzy or Sticky, whatever you love to drink I can guarantee you will love theirs more! If you ever find yourself in Mudgee please stop by their tasting room... it is not to be missed. If Mudgee isn't on the horizon then hop online and be spoilt by choice. There is even a very convenient and exclusive wine club you can join. Told you, they are very smart! Welcome their brilliant and honest wine into your home.

Bon Week-End!
vR x

Apple Isle

Looking for a quick getaway... beautiful interiors... something a bit arty... great food and wine... plus outdoors... is this ticking all the boxes.... May I present MONA; eight luxury pavilions that overlook the Derwent River in Tasmania. Four pavilions are named after Australian architects who have influenced the Australian architectural landscape and the other four are named after iconic Australian artists. Love it! All pavilions offer 24/7 concierge, spa bath, king size beds with 400 thread count pure heaven cotton bedding plus individual wine cellars... shall I keep going? You also have the option to dine at the restaurant renown The Source. Here are the winter packages.

vR x

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Island Refuge

©Dutch Elle

Look at this! Italian designer and architect Paola Navone's summer refuge on the Greek Island of Serifos. Pure heaven!
Escaping to the minimal; where you are barefoot and alone with just your thoughts and the elements, with no life clutter to distract you. Even the textiles are kept to a minimum with the rugs painted on the polished concrete with white paint!
Love Love Love it!!! I want to be there now!

vR x

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Out of Africa!

image via shootspaces

African JuJu Hats add such depth to interior spaces. Their vibrancy, feathered texture and size demand that they are seen and definitely heard! They are available in Australia through Safari Fusion!

vR x

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Stand By Me

images from UK Elle Decor

Still on the theme of open storage, here are a selection of exquisite storage pieces. How stunning are glass front free standing cupboards? Absolutely timeless! Kitchen, living room or bedroom, you will always find a spot for one! Ideal to hide your little treasures away, yet still being flirty to peek through the pane of glass. I am on the hunt for one of these antique beauties. Will keep you up to date on my progress.

vR x

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Saucer Sorcery

I love how easy this little idea to display tealights is.
Everyone has a stack of mismatched saucers stashed in the cupboard, simply flip them over and voila, they all match! Scatter along the dining table and atop them with tea lights. These are my favourites from

vR x

Monday, July 12, 2010

Calm Crockery Chaos

Happy Monday!
Thought I would share some beautiful rustic images with you of some storage options. I have a love/hate relationship with open shelving. Some days I want it all out- plates, glasses and bowls piled high high high; other days I want it all hidden far far away!
Today is a pile it high kind of day!

vR x

Friday, July 9, 2010

Efficient Home is a Happy Home

©Lonny Magazine
©Sharyn Cairns
© Sharyn Cairns

Like the rest of the population who are aware of the changing world around us, I have become increasingly concerned with the unquenchable thirst for energy we have and the dirty appetite we have to consume.

Here are a couple of really simple and easy solutions I have adopted to help make my home more efficient! If I can do it you can too!

Compost! You will be surprised and slightly shocked by the volume of food scraps that are wasted. The best way to manage this is to have a little enamel bowl handy to pop all your food scraps in and then a compost spot in the back of your garden to throw them all into. Beware, composting is addictive! Here are some tips to get started.

GYO! The most fun thing you can do is Grow- Your-Own! Much of the commercial produce grown and sold travels hundreds of kilometres from the farm to the supermarkets. Why not grow it yourself in your own back yard, window sill or verandah. It won't take more than an afternoon to set up!

Reduce your heating! I recently sold our heater on eBay. We live in Queensland, it really isn't necessary. Limit your heating, bring out your beautiful blankets and throws, utilize curtains and rugs, wear socks and slippers, revel in the season!

Meat Free Monday! Farm animals produce a lot of poo, which in turn releases methane - a greenhouse gas. When you total up the energy used for feed and transportation, plus the methane released, livestock production generates nearly a fifth of the worlds greenhouse gases. Utilise the richness of our culinary diversity by omitting meat from at least one meal a week. You often find the worlds best chefs don't see lines or distinctions between vegetarian or meat filled meals, why should we!

Happy Weekend! Get Composting!
vR x

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sheets of LOve

France has always been known for being the most romantic country in the world, so it should come as no surprise that even their linen sheets are terribly romantic.

Though did you know that before the advent of fancy engagements and expensive weddings these sheets held a currency all of their own. Brides were expected to bring to the marriage only themselves and their trousseau. Her trousseau would include 30-40 homemade embroidered linen sheets for the marriage bed, delicately monogrammed with the initials of her future family.

Monogrammed antique french sheets are beautiful; they can either be used as linen for the bed, tablecloths, made into curtains or used to reupholster furniture. These sheets are still in high circulation today and are often found in beautiful pristine condition due to a rather tragic reason. During times of war throughout French history thousands and thousands of these tenderly embroidered sheets were stored away never to be used, as so many young men were lost in various wars, sadly to never come home to there awaiting fiancees and new wives.
C'est la Vie...

vR x

p.s. a wonderful selection of antique linens are available from french antique stores Appley Hoare and Josephine Ryan

Monday, July 5, 2010

Citrus Skye's in Winter

©Not sure who shot this image.

While reading my newly acquired cookbook by the amazing London based Australian chef Skye Gyngell over the weekend, I almost fell off my chair with embarrassment! According to her chapter on 'Citrus Fruits' she was shocked just as much as I was to learn that citrus are primarily winter fruits! Here I was doing my 'Eating Seasonally Only Thanks' and my favourite fruit speaks the language of winter, chill and darkness, not of summer, sunshine and warmth as I had always thought! Clearly natures way of giving us a sprinkling of glowing golden hope through the dark winter months.
vR x

P.S More of Skye's wonderful books and recipes to come!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Is it Ready Yet?

I have always loved Clawfoot Bath Tubs, especially seeing them outdoors randomly placed in paddocks and pastures. It always baffled me as to why farmers chose to have such decadent water troughs for their livestock! I now know why; apart from being bloody heavy, they can be a touch high maintenance. Like anything with age they need work, once that enamel on the inside of your tub comes loose or is damaged you are in trouble. That's the point I have reached with our tub. It is patiently waiting its turn to be re-enamelled in a dark little shed somewhere.... if only its owners were patient too!

vR x

Thursday, July 1, 2010

LOve LOve LOve

dish cloth by Brookish at Etsy an 1800's & Jane Austen inspired online shop

On a brisk and sunny Saturday afternoon at 2pm four years ago I meet my match!
Happy four year anniversary Timothy O!
You still make my heart skip.

vR x
p.s. Im not one for Mr Darcy, Jane Austen & Co, however isn't ardently the most underrated of words!
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