A Natural Christmas…

all images http://missmustardseed.com/
all images http://missmustardseed.com/

As you will know from my post a few days ago about Christmas decor, I find myself drawn to more natural decor this year…perhaps its due to all the stress in my life lately, but the idea of simple greenery and soft candle light really appeals to me..it’s not something that would be at all simple to achieve here in Dubai, but it is definitely something I would like to eventually try once I move away from the dust and sand!

all images via http://missmustardseed.com/
all images via http://missmustardseed.com/

The greenery would most certainly be a lot easier to get hold of than it is here…a fresh Christmas tree can cost anything from $100-$250 here, so most of us tend to use fake trees. Sad, but a reality of living in a desert!

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image via http://missmustardseed.com/

https://adesigndiary.wordpress.com/2015/12/01/creative-christmas-ideas/

 

This post from Miss Mustard Seed, one of my regular blogs I like to follow, is just the most gorgeously simple festive decor…I happen to love her style and the decor of her home anyway, but the simplicity and earthiness of the greenery, juniper berries , nuts and moss is a delight to behold! Even if you don’t have a creative bone in your body, these simple decorations would be very easy to achieve with a little effort.

image via http://missmustardseed.com/
image via http://missmustardseed.com/

All images are from Miss Mustard seed blog and were styled and taken by Marian Parsons, the author of the blog.

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Its back!!!

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all images via https://magnoliamarket.com/the-nut-house/

My favourite reality TV show is back…Season 4 of Fixer Upper has returned to screens in the US…

I am sure we will not be far behind but for now, I am satisfying my obsession with a sneak peek at Joanna Gaines’s blog which features images from the first episode of the new season…

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As you can see, the makeover is fabulous and her wonderfully relaxed Country chic style features strongly.

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For more images and the complete background story go here.

A Stylish Find…

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image via http://thedesignfiles.net/2015/09/lynda-gardener-and-mark-smith/

Through a very convoluted series of searches and ending up on this site, I discovered this unique Australian home in Melbourne,belonging to stylist Lynda Gardener, which she shares with her partner Mark Smith.

This is the kind of home I absolutely love! Its decorated without being decorated , if you know what I mean. Its a home curated rather than bought and put together, with pieces which are carefully chosen by the owner and which have layers, age, patina and meaning.

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image via http://thedesignfiles.net/2015/09/lynda-gardener-and-mark-smith/

It is my dream to have a home like this…one which really tells a story about the people who live in it. This home clearly is inhabited by interesting people with depth and history …the actual building adds to the overall look of course…it’s an old factory which they renovated.

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image via http://thedesignfiles.net/2015/09/lynda-gardener-and-mark-smith/

I particularly love how Lynda has used a limited colour palette of whites, greys and wood tones but the home is full of unique , earthy pieces she has collected and is clearly her “showroom” for her beautifully selected antique pieces. Her gallery walls of old portraits is sublime…I am seriously in love!

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image via http://thedesignfiles.net/2015/09/lynda-gardener-and-mark-smith/

Aside from the gorgeous furniture and accessories, the whole home is light, bright and airy with that wonderful industrial feel which looks so incredibly chic…while I am not a fan of taxidermy, even her deer heads somehow look exactly right in this setting!

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image via http://thedesignfiles.net/2015/09/lynda-gardener-and-mark-smith/

For the full house tour, click here for the link.

Now all I have to do is get online and start the hunt for an old factory!!

Fixer Upper Obsession…

image via http://magnoliahomes.net/blog
mage via http://magnoliahomes.net/blog

I realise I am probably a bit late to the Fixer Upper phenomenon, but I LOVE this show and I LOVE Chip and Joanna…I mean, I want to move into their house and be adopted by them kind of love!

I have obsessively watched every single show and scoured every single post on Joanna’s blog to try and get into the incredibly talented duo’s mind set!

image via http://magnoliahomes.net/blog
image via http://magnoliahomes.net/blog

For anyone (like me apparently) who has been living in a cave for the last couple of years, Chip and Joanna Gaines are the hosts of a reality TV show called Fixer Upper. They take run down houses and fix them up for clients, showing the process from demo to the fabulous reveal at the end of the show. It’s not just the amazingly creative ideas which Joanna comes up with each episode but also the fact that they are hilariously funny, normal , down to earth people who honestly seem so genuine and …well, nice! Their relationship is also an inspiration and you can tell that they really do like each other…in short they are the kind of people you would want to have as your best friends…Seriously…

image via http://magnoliahomes.net/blog
image via http://magnoliahomes.net/blog

Joanna’s  Farmhouse Chic Style really appeals to me – She uses simple pieces with age and patina, neutral colours and tones, and beautiful yet functional furniture. As I am sure you know if you read my blog, refurbishing furniture is a big part of my business and I believe that this kind of recycling is going to become even more important in the future ,as our planet’s resources are placed under even further pressure. It is a subject very close to my heart and one which Joanna clearly believes in too.

image via http://magnoliahomes.net/blog
image via http://magnoliahomes.net/blog

She uses a lot of painted furniture and refurbishes and up-cycles on a grand scale to create unique yet comfortable interiors for families…this Farmhouse Chic style is a very easy style to live with and it is clearly working for them as a design team! What they manage to do with some of the houses is nothing short of a miracle, and it is quite inspiring to watch them take a hideous 70’s house (what were we thinking???) and turn it into a clean, simple and beautiful home for their clients.

image via http://magnoliahomes.net/blog
image via http://magnoliahomes.net/blog

If you have not had a chance to see this fabulous team in action, find them on Youtube or see Joanna’s blog here.

image via http://magnoliahomes.net/blog
image via http://magnoliahomes.net/blog

Style icon…

I just realised that my last post was at Christmas….I am ashamed to have been absent for so long but work has literally taken over my life…it’s a good problem to have I guess!

image via www.nytimes.com
image via http://www.nytimes.com

While reading the Neo-Trad Blog last night, I found this wonderful post about an upcoming documentary about , Iris Apfel,one of my style icons. In a world full of carbon copies, this woman stands out with her original clothing and jewellery…she mixes cheap with couture and vintage with faux fur…she is quite simply an original and spectacularly so!

I cannot wait to see the documentary, but for those of you who may not know her, here are some images to show you a little something of her magic.

image via www.pinterest.com
image via http://www.pinterest.com

As anyone who knows me well is aware, I adore bold, chunky jewelry…

image via ursulinemagazine.com
image via ursulinemagazine.com

and I would kill for access to Iris Apfel’s dressing room…her wardrobe is legendary and her accessories surely must be the same! Her bracelets…her necklaces…beads and feathers and wood! The textures!!!

image via powervrouwen.blog.nl
image via powervrouwen.blog.nl
image via loradeeprose.com
image via loradeeprose.com

A girl after my own heart!

L’Atelier Colette….

My beautiful friend Colette has recently opened a stylish Atelier in her home town of Stellenbosch and it is truly a treasure ! I have stolen some of her images  from her blog, because you have to see how incredible the Atelier is-she hosts regular open days and sells the most exquisite range of French linens and furniture and  other desirable” objets “!

all images via http://labrocanteuse.blogspot.ae/
all images via http://labrocanteuse.blogspot.ae/

I am beyond jealous of anyone living close enough to be able to pop in and absorb the ambiance of this lovely space.

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Colette and I worked together in a design store a hundred years ago and we became close friends, mostly due to our mutual obsession with design and decoration. Her home was an old double story Durban house and was filled with the most beautiful furniture, linens and artwork I had ever seen. One would have imagined I may have been slightly intimidated by such a doyenne of taste and style but she was kind, generous and warm and embraced me like a member of her family. Her husband traveled a lot at the time, so we spent a huge amount of time together and I remember her once serving me a plate of soup on a tray with a white linen cloth, silver cutlery, an individual butter dish with beautifully rolled butter balls and a crystal glass of wine. Everything she touched she made special , unique and exquisite and as I have got older I have realised that “effortless” style like that takes a lot of work.

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Looking at her images of her store, it is clear to me that she has infused the space with her very special touch. For those of you lucky enough to live close  to Stellenbosch, please do keep and eye on her Facebook page for the next open day.

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all images via http://labrocanteuse.blogspot.ae/
all images via http://labrocanteuse.blogspot.ae/

She also has a blog called La Brocanteuse-definitely worth a read for anyone whol loves French style.

L’Atelier Colette-Stellenbosch South Africa

Contact number: +27 83 454 3963

I wish my wonderful friend Colette all the success in the world…I hope she has many, many busy open days and that there are still a few items left by the time I eventually get my act together and go to Stellenbosch for a visit!!

365 Paintings for Ants..

image viahttp://paintingsforants.tumblr.com/
image viahttp://paintingsforants.tumblr.com/

The title captivated me instantly….the miniature paintings mesmerised me…this artist is incredible! I love her work, not only for the fact that she lives and works in arguably the most beautiful city in the world, but also for the fact that she is South African and her works reflects every day life in that crazy country that I still view as home.

image via http://paintingsforants.tumblr.com/
image via http://paintingsforants.tumblr.com/
image via http://paintingsforants.tumblr.com/
image via http://paintingsforants.tumblr.com/

View Lorraine Loots website and work here: