Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wedgwood Crowns

This gorgeous little crown was released to commemorate "Wedgwoods" 250th anniversary! My lovely friend Tonya sent it to me knowing I am a complete "crown" nut! How divine is it!
Royal greetings everyone and I will see if I can get a hold of one!

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Cupcakes on a Crystal Stand

I was feeling like I needed to put something pretty and delicious on my blog this morning. I am doing the book-keeping for my husband's practice and number crunching is not fun! So I just felt like a little inspiration.... I made these cakes and put them on the pretty green platter and then on my Louis chair for a photo and I also love crystal so I put them on the crystal cake-stand and took a photo. I took these photos a couple of years ago and found them when I was scrolling through my archives. I hope you enjoy and I will make a cup of tea and get back to the books! Have a lovely day and hopefully I might post something more interesting a bit later on!

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

"Happy 101 Award"

I am so lucky as I have received another very special Happy 101 Award from the gorgeous "French Mademoiselle". She is so talented and has two blogs and I follow both. Her Paris Pastry blog is amazing and one day I think we should all do a "Julie and Julia" as Paris Pastry has. She is one talented lady!

It is such an honour to be included and I truly appreciate it. I have my 10 things that make me happy and I will list below but I also, once again, just wanted to say that despite all the terrible things that happen in the world that good people with values are out there. People, humanity that care what happens to someone else and who will lend a hand. It is very easy to think that sometimes we are outnumbered but not anymore...... lets stand up and say that the world is no longer vast .... this concept of fellowship brings us all together be it through art, interiors, architecture, cuisine.... we are all one with it and also one with each other.

Have a great week-end... it is ANZAC day here in Australia where we commemorate the sacrifices our ancestors gave to give this country freedom. ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps and they fought in World War One in Gallipoli , Turkey. Many were only 16 or 17 and they were sent to fight as young boys and died in terrible battles where they had no chance of survival. The families of these brave soldiers would send packages over to them and one of the most famous biscuits in Australia is called the "ANZAC" biscuit which was sent over to them to remind them of home. Also, the young medical staff of doctors and nurses shipped over to deal with the horrific injuries that happened at the warfront are also heroes in our eyes. If you ever get a chance to see the movie "Gallipoli" starring our own Mel Gibson... it is a brilliant account of what happened.

Aussie pride.... there aren't many of us in comparison to the rest of the world but you do hear us roar!
Love you all!
Here are my 10 things ~
1. My beautiful family ~ My husband Andrew my best friend and a beautiful man, my children Alexander 22, Dominic, 17 and Georgiana 7 who constantly fill my life with love. I would do anything for them.
2. My friends who are so special.
3. My extended family who are so amazing and such an integral part of my life, especially my mum.
4. Interior Design, Decoration, Art and History.... the beauty of life and the understanding of what has gone before that we strive for.
5. Travel... discovering new frontiers and not being afraid to do so.
6. Books ... the smell of books especially really new and really old books is intoxicating.
7. The Ocean... walking on the beach and feeling at peace with the elements.
8. Buckets and buckets full of roses.... heaven!
9. The perfect cupcake!
10. Music... especially classical like Boccherini, Mozart and Vivaldi but also Cat Stevens, Phil Collins, Annie Lennox, Gangajang, Elton John ..... and so many more especially from my favourite movie "Marie Antoinette" !

Now here is 10 blogs which I love and it is so difficult but I do believe you all deserve it ~

There are so many more beautiful blogs and I wish I could name them all but these 10 I love and am inspired by.....Enjoy!
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Friday, April 23, 2010

More Sydney!

These gorgeous images are from the Ralph Lauren store in David Jones! I love the paisley cushions on the cornflower blue armchairs.

This artwork, black lacquered bookcase and amazing mirrored black, marble topped credenza was found at the Sydney Antique Centre. The bookcase will be perfect for a job in Brisbane. I am going to use the horse painting ... it is perfect. We had a fabulous day at Designex and then went across to the Sydney Antique Centre. Sophie and I met up with a great friend of mine.. Harriet from Harriet Redmond Designs in Brisbane. Harriet worked for Mary Fox Linton in London for many years and is a very talented designer. We had a ball ..... wish you were all here! Amoff to dinner at Mad Cow Restaurant and will post more pics tomorrow!
Hugs M.A. the 2nd

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"Pigott's Store" ~ Sydney

We visited Pigott's Store yesterday and had a fantastic time. Just took some gorgeous photos courtesy of Sophie. We fell in love with the faux bamboo furniture, the red coral and collection of eclectic cushions! So many gorgeous lampshades..... can't decide! Pigott's Store .... 53 Ocean Street, Woollahra, Sydney .... a must see! I have my eye on the tufted blue slipper chair!

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"Work Desk"

Just a quick post before Sydney tomorrow....have been working on Elgin Colonial and another client's brief. I have just received the new Pavilion fabrics from Designers Guild and also the outdoor fabric collection which is brilliant for our climate and outdoor lifestyle. The coffee is a necessity ( I love coffee and tea) and the kiss biscuits were made by my beautiful mum. Will post from Sydney..... see you tomorrow!

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"New Client ~ Old Colonial"

I have just received a new brief for a beautiful old colonial home. The external features with bay windows and verandahs are gorgeous but we need to open them up and also lift, restump and excavate to allow for further development underneath. It is a huge block of land with very established trees and gardens and a very formal pool.
We are going to design and build a guest house/pool house over the existing old shed.
My clients are from the Carribean and love beautiful breezes and island/colonial style living. This home has such great bones and I actually helped them purchase it because of that.
Polished timber floors and pressed metal ceilings - all original!
We are so excited and it is a work in progress that will take some time but as I do believe.... if something is worth doing it is worth doing well! I am very lucky because my clients also have this belief!

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Designex ~ Sydney!

I am off to Designex in Sydney this Thursday..... it is the premiere interior design, decoration and interior architecture event in Australia and is always huge. I haven't been for a couple of years so I am really looking forward to it. I am taking Sophie with me and I will keep you posted on all the exciting news! The Australian Interior Design Awards are also announced at the event so that should be great. One of two designers I admire, Greg Natale of Greg Natale Design is a finalist and these images are of his entry.

Images courtesy of

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

"The Finished Product"

This is the finished product.... this is the bed in our guest room and it is in the style of Louis 15th. It is painted in a white milk paint and upholstered in a very natural linen which lends itself to either neutral bedding such as the white I have used here or a more coloured palette. The sheets and pillowcases have a beautiful dragonfly motif on them in taupe and pale blue. I always generally face the opening of the pillowcases away from the sides of the bed..... but if you have a motif you want displayed then the opening has to face outwards. I never put cushions on the tips .... they must always be on the base. Europe cushions I like to have sitting up straight. I have a few wrinkles in the top duvet as I have a second one lying at the base of the bed... and it wasn't co-operating! I always like to put fresh flowers in the guest bedroom and even some fresh fruit! This fruit is actually decorative.... they are handpainted marble and are so realistic. I hope you enjoy and have a bit of fun with the bedmaking!

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"How to Make the Perfect Bed"

Well at least from the point of view of an ex-nurse and current interior designer! I am of the firm belief that a well made bed is one of the most important aspects of a bedroom interior. The entire interior pivots around the bed and if it is not made properly then the rest just doesn't work. I was a registered nurse for 6 years before deciding that I really loved design, history and art but my years nursing were something that I will always treasure. It taught me discipline, empathy and strength of character which I hope I still have and the ability to deal with situations which could sometimes be frightening and challenging. I loved that I could make a difference to an elderly person who couldn't do things for themselves.... and what they really wanted was to talk about "the old days" and "when they were young". Or the ability in a trauma situation to help someone survive from an accident by implementing the skills I was taught. I was 17 when I went nursing and some of the jobs required by a nurse including bed-making were skills that one can always use. I nursed in a hospital situation and studied for my registration on time off. My favourite areas were operating theatre (where I met my future husband!), childrens ward and emergency room.

So for me a bed has to be perfect!
1. I am a little (no a lot obsessive) about sheets being laundered and pressed and the sheeting should be even on both sides of the bed. The pressing gives you the middle line to guide you.
2. The fitted sheet on the bottom which goes over the matttress protector should be taut and tucked in evenly on all sides.
3. When securing the top sheet at the bottom of the bed I usually pull it about 60cm over the end and then fold under the mattress. It really depends on the size height of your mattress but you don't want it pulling out. Then the mitred corners or "hospital corners" are so important for a "finished" feel as it looks tailored and professional. The picture of me is trying to mitre the corner without laughing!
4. After doing the corners pull the quilt or duvet up and smooth the surface as you go. There must be no crinkles or bumps. Fold back at the top and then fold the top sheet with the decorative detail over the quilt/duvet.
5. Place the pillows as you would like them..... I change around all the time but I have put pillows on the horizontal first with Europes in front and then a little monogrammed breakfast pillow in front of that. I have then placed a decorative "crown" cushion in the middle.
See the next post for final pictures.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Last week in Brisbane I visited a few distributors and came across this gorgeous company called "Chivasso". This collection is actually from last year and there is a new one for this year but I really wanted to post this as I thought not only the fabrics but the imagery was very beautiful. And of course the Louis sofa ....... now that is one elegant Louis sofa!

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Designers Guild and Roses of the Day!

I have had a really busy day which is great but I still haven't cooked dinner ....guess what I am doing..... chicken and pea risotto again! I have my big boy home from Los Angeles (watch out.... the film he did in January is premiering at the LA film festival in June and I am one proud Mum!) It is an independant film not a studio film and Alexander is trying to get us tickets OMG! We are actually going to be there for it! He was in an Australian film called "Wasted on the Young" which hopefully premieres at the end of this year in Sydney and Perth ... so now I have to think of what to wear! But getting back to today..... I had to show you these gorgeous roses which I found just at the supermarket and I thought how beautiful and the colour is so rich. Also Georgiana had her first day back at school today after Easter break and I did her hair in two high plaits.... seriously it was hilarious she looked like Pippy Longstocking but she loved it! And my second son Dominic had me booking his Contiki tour for June and I am thinking where did that time go ... my second baby boy old enough to go on a Contiki tour around Europe! (He is working as an orderly at the hospital until he applies to NIDA at the end of this year like his big brother.....)

Then I just had to show you the new Designer's Guild wallpaper collection "Nabucco" which arrived on my doorstep. This one is called "Rhinesberg" and it is a very geometric/deco style collection ... a little bit like the Imperial Trellis. I love the pink/silver/black combinaton. Any takers?
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French Ironwork

I love these pieces of French ironwork in the scroll pattern. This setting sits on my front verandah and it is so delicate yet so strong. The front part of the table has acanthus leaf detailing and a marble top. The chairs are French and date back to the early 40's last century. I am not completely certain of the origins of the table but I believe it to be French as well. The whole setting is so heavy yet they look so fragile. That is what I love about them. Have a wonderful day and more posts to come!
Hugs Frances
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Sunday, April 11, 2010

"Beautiful Boudoir"

Stunning navy and white from an interior from the Four Seasons, Hotel Georges V in Paris via Elle Decor. Ellen Pompeo from Grey's Anatomy loves to stay here.... Yes Please!
Image courtesy of
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"Beautiful Interiors" ~ "The Ritz" Paris

I took these photos in 2008 on our trip to France. We stayed at The Ritz and it was incredible. The marble, chandeliers, drapes, rugs and flower arrangements were truly spectacular! The entry hall and subsequent lounge salons filled with Louis chairs and gorgeous gilt mirrors and chandeliers were breathtaking.
Our rooms were very large and we had a little Romeo and Juliet balcony of our very own which overlooked the Vendome Gardens. The rich tapestry of colour, fabric and gilding with fabulous architectural detailing was so inspiring. I was looking at these photos recently and couldn't believe how much Georgiana has grown up since this trip!
More photos to come.... am posting more this afternoon!
Have a beautiful day everyone!
Marie Antoinette the 2nd

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fabrics, Cushions, Hats and High Tea!

I have just had a beautiful day .... visited a distributor for gorgeous fabrics by Boyac and organized some Louis chairs for a client as well as a beautiful Manhattan library unit from Town and Country. The fabrics are also some by Carolyn Quartermaine in the taupe Irish linen with white French script and the lavender is Manuel Canovas toile. The gorgeous cushion with the magnolia flower on the duck egg blue background is from Lily G.
Georgiana and I had High Tea together as a special treat and it was beautiful. So wonderful to sit with your 7 year old daughter and sip tea, nibble tiny sandwiches trying to decide which cupcake looked the most inviting! So special..... Georgie received a crown from her high tea and I bought a beautiful cream hat for a race day we have coming up. Have a beautiful week-end!

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