As I stood looking at it all prior to Christmas, I realised something, that light bulb went off. I don’t actually need to declutter. Clearly, the “definition of insanity is doing the same things time and time again and expecting a different result”. What I actually needed was drastic action, an apocalypse of the domestic kind. The kind that can only happen when something monumental shifts in your mind and in your heart. Perhaps following a comprehensive room by room de-cluttering, the type you do when you are moving houses would come in handy.
Either that or you get completely jack of the crap.
While I am only in the first throws of this process, it is moving along at a screaming pace, with the intent to be complete by the end of January when school goes back. All the thoughts and ideas that have come to mind while my hands are at work, are things I want to share with you. Some of these tips you may have read before, others may be totally new to you. Either way, if this helps you on your own personal journey to clear out the crap, I want to know!
The First Step
Know why you want to declutter or minimise.
- Is your stuff stressing you out? Is it causing arguments, yelling, tension, wasted time?
- How often can’t you find things?
- How much money are you wasting on things you don’t need or looking after all the excess you have?
Really, ask yourself these questions because when you get tired or your resolves starts to break, you only need to be reminded of the truth here.
My personal answers are ‘yes’ to all of the above. The biggest factor is the amount of time I spend looking after stuff, both mine and the rest of the family’s. And it drives me fricken nuts! Collecting vintage has been a wonderful pastime, but when you consider how much time it takes to restore, clean, mend etc.. Then add two primary school kids into the mix, everything becomes a burden and the beauty fades.
Pin Up Girl Clothing Tropical Dress
The first stage of our big renovations are almost coming to a close. That is, that outside stage. I’m at the point of beginning to put in all the new plants for our tropical garden to give it a truly resort style feel. It’s been an interesting organic process, without planning things in minute detail but rather having a big picture and going with the flow. I’m so glad I didn’t get too carried away and try and tackle everything at once. We’ve broken up this project into both indoor and outdoor stages, the indoor stage to come a bit later. Lucky for me as the whole idea I have for my kitchen has changed dramatically in the space of the last three months.
Where I always imagined I’d create some sort of very vintage looking kitchen, in pastels with kitsch trimmings, I’m now lusting after something entirely different.
Visiting the Porter Davis World of Style the first time, I quickly fell in love with this space, my favourite of the lot. A tasty tropical kitchen. Standing behind the counter with the huge glass splash back window, I knew this is what I want my kitchen to be; a tropical feeling, high tech oasis. Imagine the Jetsons built their home on a Thai island and you’ll know exactly what I’m aiming for.
Everything is crisp and bright giving it a kind of tangy feeling, just like a lime. The openness of that window behind the stove is achingly gorgeous, and even if it means I somehow need to install a small fake garden cavity behind my stove area, I WANT THIS! The benches and cabinetry is streamlined and simple, with my favourite silent, smooth glide fittings. And the appliances are all sleek stainless steal with modern lines. I’m no minimalist, and I don’t like the cold, harsh look that often comes with too much modernism; but paired with the beautiful bamboo flooring and wood panel detail, (not to mention my green window obsession), this kitchen is to die for!
I’m guessing that like me, you are looking at the detail in these shots like the incredible carved wooden stools and stone bowls, wondering where you can buy that? Coco Republic provided most of the pieces for World of Style, and when my next pay cheque comes around I’m making a beeline for the store!
This outdoor entertaining area solved one of my design problems. I adore these bird of paradise plants, but I wanted even more greenery. Then I saw they had installed planter boxes up high as well, so the greenery becomes almost a boarder through which you view everything else! Very clever.
The geometric design of the accessories against the rattan style of furnishing, pulls the whole thing together with the blend of tropical and modernism. I’m now entirely rethinking my accessory plan for the sunroom, and having a lot of fun making up new inspiration boards.
Having the chance to create a space that truly reflects your personality and lifestyle is such a luxury, even the process itself can be delightful (if you don’t have any melt down moments). Even though I’m not the world’s greatest cook, I do spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so I’d like it to match my style!
Tropical faux sarong dress with matching bolero – at Pin Up Girl Clothing the Malibu Tiki dress by Deadly Dames
Leopard print heels with carved Tiki heel (!) – The Wooden Tiki Platform by Pin Up Couture
Red floral piece word at hip – made by me
Nail colour- “Coral Me Wild” by Revlon
Lips – MAC “Russian Red”
*Brought to you by Nuffnang and World of Style*
World of Style is a love story. The love story we have with our spaces, how they reflect who we are, who we aspire to be and the dreams they create in us.
Now into the fourth month of my major outdoor space renovations here at home, I’ve never been more aware of just how much power our space exercises over us. While my life and space has never been more chaotic, the vision plays a crucial role in keeping my sanity amongst it all. Even as a highly creative type with the ability to dream up almost anything, there are times when that well runs dry or the choices available overwhelm me.
The Tiki Bar is well under way
The pool build is nearly there, but wow, there is a lot of landscaping to do!
Thankfully, Porter Davis has created an ingenious new system and space that takes the heavy lifting out of the creative process for you. This is World of Style.
World of Style is both a concept and space. This hub, now based in South Melbourne, is a destination that energises and inspires. Not at all what I expected when this idea first came across my desk. I’ve seen far too many “showrooms” and home building spaces over the years. In an industry where beige and ‘safe choices’ seem to have ruled supreme for the last decade or more, I could not have been more excited to be introduced to World of Style.
Using incredible smarts and a passion for beautiful homes that truly reflect the individuality of their owners; the Porter Davis team developed the concept of the World of Style quiz that uses key questions and emotional responses to imagery to pinpoint (with amazing clarity) your unique design style.
Now, instead of wasting countless hours wandering showrooms trying to decipher if that tap is truly you, this system has it nailed. Don’t believe me? Take the quiz!
For someone with such eclectic taste and diverse style influences as myself, I honestly did not expect a simple quiz would be able to “get” me. How can my preference for one picture of a puppy over another lead this tool to decipher that my style is not only “Designer”, but that the “Las Vegas” meets “Miami” look is exactly the space I’m longing to create? And yet it did.
Subsequently I spent a number of hours at the World of Style space, wandering lustfully through the rooms, feeling my incredulity growing. From the kitchen with a lush tropical aspect, perfectly hewn wooden bar stools and wallpaper options which blew my mind; I came away with a renewed sense of purpose and inspiration. (I see some glitter dragon wallpaper in the future of my retro-tastic powder room)
So often I have people ask me where they should start when considering renovations or building something amazing. It seems like an insurmountable task on a road filled with too many choices and risks of making huge mistakes. Having seen the elegant and inspiring solution that is World of Style, I now know the answer.
I’m about to hit you up with a whole bunch of photos today because, well, puppies!
Actually there are a few things that I really want to show you today, including Loki, but the first is this wonderful vintage dressing gown. You may not know but I have a thing for vintage dressing gowns; they are a collection within my collection. Not being a fan of track suits for down time, I prefer to have the comfort of lounging pyjamas or beautiful robes that still look good enough for a school run or just hanging about after a long day. They aren’t something that I’ve invested much cash in, but the benefits are priceless.
Today’s robe is one I picked up last week at an Op Shop for $15. It is a gorgeous emerald green velveteen with a gathered detail under the bust, and a rear zip so you don’t need to mess up your hair when you’re getting dressed and ready.
The 3/4 length sleeves are also handy so they don’t get in the way of hair styling or even wet doing the morning dishes. Yes, this bright, bright sunshine is the actual morning light that comes streaming into my bedroom on a sunny winter morning. I was tempted to tone it down a bit for the pics, but I wanted you to be able to see the richness of colour in these shots exactly the way it is. Yes, my bedroom is an intense peacock blue and my favourite chair is that red!
Since we are turning over a new leaf on the blog, I’m working on all kinds of new things that you’ve asked for over the years, one of them being more pictures around my house. This morning, playing with Loki in the sunshine, was the perfect chance to show you my favourite corner of the bedroom. It’s a place to sit and read, to put on tricky shoes, or sometimes (let’s be honest) a secondary chair-drobe space. (I do try and keep it tidy!) Nearly everything in my house has been put together as an eclectic mix of pieces that I’ve bought second hand online, found at Op Shops or even rescued from hard rubbish. My decorating style is “organic” in that it develops along the way when inspiration strikes, and I’m always moving things around.
The little foot stool has become Loki’s throne, the place where he sleeps in that morning sun soaking up the rays. And yes, he is just as mischievous as he looks and as his name suggests!
Are you a fan of vintage dressing gowns? If you haven’t tried out these sorts of styles with their fabulous names, (house coats, hostess gowns, honeymoon gowns, dressing gowns etc…) I suggest you start having a bit of a look around as there are still easy to find at most op shops. Make sure to tell me if you try it out too!
My back yard currently looks like a sink hole; or a dig site in Jurassic Park. Yes folks, we’ve finally kicked off the BIG renovation. The beginning of a 2 (or so), year project to get this house into the shape we want.
It’s taken slightly more than six years of living here to really get a feel for it and know the kind of things we wanted to achieve. My Pinterest boards of inspiration range from the extremely creative to the wildly expensive, so I’ve had to reign in some of my thoughts and get down to business. Sometimes the hardest part is just starting for fear you may make the wrong decision and wake up wishing you’d chosen an entirely different new roof. (We had that done last week) But having a clear vision of what I want to achieve in the bigger picture, has helped me make critical decisions along the way and not get to tied up in the detail. I say that now though, and we are only three weeks in.
So back to the sink hole.
In a massive effort to change the lay of our land, we are levelling out a hugely sloped block and creating a new look. We know how all the big ticket items will work, but I’m in the process of designing various garden areas that will work for my personal taste. That taste is a hard one to explain to a garden designer, so in true DIY form, I’m tackling my Mid Century Modern meets Oriental influence, low maintenance garden!
Here are the inspirations floating my boat at present.
Lattice work and breeze block panels, fabulous Japanese gardens and wonderful Stag Horn wall plantings!
Flame Maple trees!
Insanely fabulous sun room area! We had a sunroom with cane chairs and grass matting as a child in the 1970’s and I’ve always wanted one. This may be what I do to our back patio.
The (hard to find) MCM Bullet planter and the easy to grow Monstera. (We also had loads of these growing up)
Bright and colourful vintage garden furniture and accessories.
If you have any Australian suggestions of cool suppliers or resources, please let me know in the comments. I’ll be hunting down even more treasures than I currently have squirrelled away. It is so much harder in Melbourne to find these great pieces than in Queensland for example, and even more so than the vintage treasure trove of the USA. No doubt I’ll be (over)sharing this whole process with you, but if you enjoy all this eye candy be sure to follow my Pinterest board where the real overload is happening. Oh, and if you know of some great vintage look gumboots I’ll be needing those too!