MERRY CHRISTMAS – TO ONE AND TO ALL!
Christmas is almost upon us with only 4 sleeps to go! We have begun our holiday with a special wedding in Canberra, before travelling on to Brisbane to celebrate with our family and friends.
It has been a full year, with so much to be grateful for. As a design consultancy we have put some new runs on the board with a fabulous spread in the ‘Andrew Martin Interior Design review – Volume 18’ and many beautiful mentions and reviews throughout both national and international magazines and blogs…and the launch of my 4th book Inspiring through creative design in the UK, USA and NZ!
However, what I am most excited, and proud of is our beautiful family. We have weathered the passing of some precious family members this year, as well as celebrated my little girls graduation from year 6 – our boys, Nate & Isaiah’s many achievments as they head into VCE…and my 40th!…I am so very grateful to have a patient husband who has supported me in my many ‘good’ and ‘not-so-good’ ideas and encouraged me through the valleys, as well as beautifully celebrated the highlights.
THANK YOU to each of you who have made the time to read and comment on my posts this year. I truly love hearing from you. Knowing that you have been able to gain insight, through my writings and musings, has been such a wonderful source of inspiration.
This is my last post for the year. We are taking a much needed break for a couple of weeks before we begin 2015 with what we hope will be a fabulously wonderful bang as we open or first retail store in 13 years!
Our last retail adventure was ‘Sho Interiors’ back in 2002…and what a ride we have been on since then. But, you – my dear friends will be the first to find out all the details, as we will post all the info here on the blogsite when the time draws near.
MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and your family. Thank you for your support throughout 2014. We hope your Christmas season is overflowing with family & friends, love & laughter. From us here at the BMDC, to you, wherever you are tonight…MERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
See you next year!!
Hold onto what is dear, release what is not & embrace the coming season with two hands and an open heart…
NEW YORK, NEW YORK.
As soon as my feet touch the ground in this fabulous city the excitement brews and the ideas flow. We arrived on the Wednesday evening and headed to what we would be calling home for the next 12 nights. (Onefinestay accommodation has become our absolute go-to for ALL our accommodation – be it, New York, Paris or London!)
For a change of pace we stayed in Brooklyn. There has been so much buzz coming from here, with the new stores and local artisans, we felt it was time to move downtown and be amongst the action – and it didn’t disappoint.
Neighbourhood food watch! FRANNY’S 348 Flatbush ave, Brooklyn [Pizzeria] BORN Thai 293 Flatbush Ave. b/t Prospect Pl & St.Marks Ave [Thai food, just like we had in Chiang Rai!] BROCCOLINO Restaurant 446 Dean St, Brooklyn [Italian deliciousness!] and for a quick coffee to go [-that is close to what we know in Australia] is HUNGRY GHOST 253 Flatbush Ave.
Shopping within Brooklyn – BROOKLYN FLEA has moved to its new location! – 1000 Dean Street, Brooklyn (Note: – the wifi wasn’t working too well and the ATM’s were down so make sure you take some CASH!) There was plenty to see and EAT, although as it doesn’t start till 10am we headed to Vanderbilt Ave first for breakfast and some time-out before we headed to the action. CITY FOUNDRY 365 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn – stocks a great selection of Mid-Century lights and décor. Their latest store has been curated beautifully, offering vignettes at every glance. (Once you’ve found this store be sure to allocate an additional hour to visit the surrounding stores.)
Heading over the bridge? ANTHROPOLOGIE of course! Out of the 10 stores, located in NY, I must say Rockefeller and Chelsea are the best. I would recommend heading to both as they do stock some different pieces…and décor inspiration is captured beautifully throughout both!
MONOCLE Shop 535 Hudson Street, NY is small but has impact if you are after a quality gift for your Hubby…or Sons
THE CROSBY HOTEL is a must see. We began our day at 79 Crosby Street with a breakfast (we booked ahead) then wandered through the streets filling our bags with bespoke goodies and our minds with creative inspiration.
CELINE is a favourite for its bags and accessories, as well as its simplistic follow-through with décor. You will find them at 67 Wooster Street, New York (- if wandering through Wooster Street you will also stumble across the SHABBY CHIC store @ #83!)
& OTHER STORIES is one of my favourite clothing and accessories stores and thankfully they have recently added New York to their list of locations. (575 Broadway, New York)
Food, fabulous food! – Café LOLA is a family favourite! It is located at 201 W 83rd, New York. It is a morning tea, afternoon tea…or after a Broadway show stop. Dessert and a ‘red bucket of chips’ would be our suggestion. (Hot Danish Apple Pie with ice cream is unbelievably good!) For Dinner you’ll want to head back out to Amsterdam Street and grab a table at any one of the many diners.
SERENDIPITY 3 is also a family must. Having been to NY many times now we are well versed on the game plan. You head there when you are still full and put your name down, then return between an hour and a half or two hours later to take your seat. (If late November we head to Bloomingdales to shop in the warmth – or if before, and the weather is warmer we will shop the surrounding ‘modern mid-century’ stores and clothing shops) Frozen hot chocolate or their Blackout desserts are the reason we wait 2hours! – Note: One dessert shared between 3-4 people is ALL you’ll need.
Extra’s – ABC Carpets, J-Crew, The Museum of Modern Art and allowing plenty of time to walk through the boutiques in Soho are also a refreshing way to shop-see New York.
New York, the city of dreams!…Enjoy!!
There are SOO many shout-outs we have for the week just been. We were hosted by the fabulous Melton Library & Caroline Springs Library on the Thursday and then headed out to Port Macquarie with the amazing team at Coastside Church for their NOURISH HEART & SOUL Conference… THANK YOU so much for having us! We are truly LOVING putting the heart back into homes!
TOP 10 TIPS FOR PACKING WELL!
Sleep is not high on my agenda as we are only days away from our trip to NY. And, even though it has been a fabulously crazy season I must say I kinda feel organised and ready to go!
As travel is a big part of our business I have had to work at getting better at it. The first couple of years I let it get the best of me, resulting in many exhausted moments (-complete with tears!) and plenty of frustration. But, after I got over myself and accepted that this was a big part of who I am and what I see as my purpose in life I decided ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join’em!…and I gotta say…I now LOVE every bit of it!
I am one of these people that like to be organised. So I thought it might be of use to others if I jot down some travel packing tips that I have gathered over the years. This checklist has really helped me to pack more thoughtfully and better enjoy the whole trip.
Tip #1 have a suitcase or luggage bag open, a week out from your travel date, where you can begin gathering and placing things that come to mind.
Tip #2 Purchase a notebook (light in weight) that can accompany you on all international trips. I have been using the same leather bound book for the past 10 years. The great thing about having a consistent journal you can note all your accommodation details in…along with shopping, eating and other information of interest, is that next time you head back to the same destination you get to add to what you’ve already experienced. (…and return to what you loved!)
Tip #3 Grab a 15min slot of time to sit and collect your thoughts on paper (- or preferably in your notebook!). This will position the important things in the front of your mind and assist with gathering all your needs.
Tip #4 photocopy all important documents. (Flight details, accommodation documents, receipts to be claimed at refund office, visa’s…etc.) And before you drop them into your open bag of choice, write all details into the above selected notebook. By doing this you very quickly see if anything has been overlooked. (Travel insurance is an easy one to miss, if you do it per trip rather than an annual cover).
Tip #5 Now that you have a basic schedule together in your mind you can start – throughout your day- putting together suitable clothing options in your thoughts. I find by doing this, come time to physically pack my cloths, I have reduced it to JUST the items I NEED. (I also suggest a separate travel outfit. This outfit only gets worn to and from my destination and is ALL about comfort with a keen eye on style…as you never know whom you might bump into! When I arrive at my destination I wash this outfit and leave out to dry well before placing it away until my trip home. This outfit is layered so it can accommodate whatever climate I am entering, as well as keep me at the correct temp while on the flight).
Tip#6 Pack additional lightweight bags. (I am a Longchamp girl, so I pack a couple of different bags to suit all occasions. An additional cabin bag for on the way home, a back pack for sight-seeing days and a general tote for shopping days)
Tip#7 I prefer to travel with small sized grooming liquids. (I am always mindful of my baggage allowance and these items are the first to be binned, on the way home, if I am over!) – Therefore these can be purchased early and dropped into the open bag ready for the travel date.
Tip#8 Accessorise well! Packing great accessories (scarves and beanies for cool climates and sunnies and the jewels for the warmer climates) will change an outfit up in minutes, reducing the amount of outfits you need to pack!
Tip#9 If staying with friends or family pre-pack thank you gifts, with beautiful written cards. This will save you a fortune and finish your holiday with a sweet aroma.
Tip#10 Get excited! Throughout the week (pre-work/holiday) I throw in the open bag any magazine clippings, travel book notes or post-it notes of instagram suggestions, that I have stumbled upon throughout the weeks leading up to my trip and on the day of travel these get positioned into my hand luggage to flick through while on the flight.
When you travel frequently you need to work at ‘being present in the moment’. Working through the tips I have noted above means I am at home…till I’m not. My thoughts and mind are with and on my family until I leave home for the airport, yet I have a peace, knowing that if I have worked through the above tips I will be prepared for when I arrive at my destination.
SAFE TRAVELS!…And PLEASE, send through any travel tips that have worked for you over the years, we’d love to hear from you!
P.S. THANK YOU Manyung Gallery Group, Boyd Blue and Ivy & Eve for ALL your amazing work on the ‘putting the heart back into home’ collaboration! Below is a photo of the final – beautiful window display. It has been wonderful working with these talented artists and seeing all who have come through the gallery enjoy their purchases. THANK YOU!
ARTIST IN FOCUS…SHARON PEARSON
As our collaboration with Manyung Gallery draws to a close we have ONE more window display…and we intend to finish with style! Our final display, happening from this Saturday the 1st november will be showcasing our final artist Sharon Pearson!
Sharon Pearson’s art explores the edges of our dream world. Pearson’s work grew from a desire to bring to expression emotions that have no words. Her work is abstract, and filled with persistent themes of dark and light, passion and peace. Her work promises revelation without disclosing their truths fully. We want to peer into the work to see its hidden stories.
Born in Kent England, Pearson began experimenting with shapes and contrasts as an escape from her often analytical mind. She paints in a studio in her home, often working with three canvases in rotation, the stories emerging over several sittings until fully realised. Her work is designed to provide a safe harbour for unsaid emotions.
Sharon’s work becomes the room. The colours that emerge bring any room to life and give a somewhat subtle space a feeling of deep emotion and form.
Artist in residence…
Work on display…
WEEK #1, 2 & 3…
Come join me and the fabulous team from Manyung Gallery this Sunday 2nd November and experience the works for yourself. Teamed with a collection of beautifully manufactured furniture pieces from Boyd Blue and breathtaking floral arrangements by the talented team at ‘Ivy & Eve’ you will be inspired to put the heart back into your home!
NEW YORK!…HERE WE (ALMOST) COME!
We are SOO excited about our upcoming trip to New York! (Yes, we are counting the sleeps (13!) and randomly calling each other with conversations starting with squealing!!) New York is my favourite city. It is the city of lights. I love its vibrancy, the embracing of colour and the possibilities the city presents.
We are embarking on a new adventure. I can’t reveal too much now, but let’s just say ‘it’s time’! You know that feeling you get just before you step out in faith. It’s a combination of butterflies (…bordering on elephants at this point!) and great excitement! Well we are right there! There has been little to NO sleep happening and I am filled with anticipation.
Travelling to New York is ALL part of the ‘big picture’. We are staying in Brooklyn and we are hopeful that the creative vibe, being harboured in this vibrant village, will rub off on us. BUT I’m getting ahead of myself… (Stay tuned for more dets!)
MANYUNG GALLERY – Have you had a chance to drop into Manyung Gallery as yet? (Viewing and shopping also available online!) We are enjoying taking over their shop front window and showing how art can be integrated beautifully into the family home, injecting emotion and delight.
Tomorrow marks the start of a NEW window. New colours, new flower displays (by none other than the fabulous Jess, from Ivy&Eve). New furniture from the wonderful team at BOYDBLUE and a new artist in focus for the coming week.
ALL ARE WELCOME…Come join me Saturday as we chat about abstract art over a cool drink. Bring the kids…the family pet and your questions!
Have a productive Thursday!!
P.S. We will be blogging ALL our fabulous finds in Brooklyn so sign up to our newsletter to receive info on where to stay, shop and eat !
ARTIST IN FOCUS FROM SATURDAY 25TH OCTOBER.
The spotlight is on…LOLA SANTIAGO
“Working in my studio, and surrounds, what can I say, I never want to leave…it feels like home. I prefer to create my art, at night when all people are sleeping and creatures come out at night, with some nice background music, and the sounds of the night, the frogs, the critters and me”.
“My art is inspired naively I have to say, with good feelings and stirred emotions. I am inspires by some of the world’s most loved artists, Klee, Chagall and Miró”.
“All of my life my art has been inspired by nature, music, and organic shapes. My early work has changed so much…I feel as I have just started fresh”.
Lola’s work has movement, and a visual depth that changes when teamed with different furniture and objects. We love having Lola’s’ work on our wall at home. It makes for a fabulous talking piece…and never fails to bring a smile to my face.
Lola’s work is sprinkled through each of the collections, however from 25th it will all be about Lola in the front display window! Come enjoy a cool drink with me between 1-3pm on the 25th! Manyung Gallery Malvern
ARTIST IN FOCUS FOR WEEK #2 @MANYUNG GALLERY
Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one. ~Stella Adler
Jane Mogensen was born in Gippsland, Australia in 1967. Upon completing Fine Arts in Year 12 she studied Design at RMIT, Melbourne. Following a professional career in Fashion Design, Jane chose to pursue her love of painting under the guidance of renowned contemporary artist Terrence J. Hadler. Previously Jane was awarded Best in Show judged by James Makin of James Makin Gallery and more recently was a finalist in the St Michaels Exhibition and Archangel Prize and Casella Art Prize for Contemporary Landscape.
Through her skilful use of palette knife and brushwork Jane scrapes and layers the paintings, to achieve the same understated transcendence in all of her work.
Where does your inspiration come from? I am greatly influenced by my surroundings having lived on the Mornington Peninsula for the past 10 years.
How would you explain your paintings? Subtle and lush with colour that engages the imagination and conveys a weight of emotional connection to atmospheres and places.
Come join us this SUNDAY 19th October as we continue to celebrate the place of ART within the HOME. I will be there between 1-3pm and ready to offer you a cool drink. Have a fabulous week! Bronnie
Manyung Gallery Malvern – 8 Claremont Avenue
STEPHANIE MEW…ARTIST IN THE SPOTLIGHT!
Three years ago we began our art collection with a stunning piece by the talented Stephanie Mew. I remember I was on my morning walk down Glenferrie road, and there in the Manyung Gallery window (-they have since moved to 8 Claremont Ave Malvern) was the piece that would begin our love for the abstract artworks.
Stephanie draws inspiration from the varied and spectacular Australian landscape. Using a mixture of media she creates personal pictographs and hieroglyphs, questioning is it humans that shape the land or the landscape, that ultimately shapes us?
Stephanie has been exhibiting for over ten years around Australia, in galleries and cultural establishments. She has also worked on numerous community projects, including the Gabo Island Project through Parks Victoria and a mural project with Research Primary.
Whether you are contemplating your first purchase of art or you are an avid collector, I encourage you to come join us this Saturday 11th October as we celebrate the joy of art within the HOME environment.
Look forward to seeing you here!
Manyung Galley Group -8 Claremont Ave, Malvern 1-3pm
Together we are PUTTING THE HEART BACK INTO HOME!
We are only days away from the opening day of MANYUNG gallery and the BMDC teams putting the heart back into home collaboration! Excitement is in the air as we finalise the artwork, furniture selection and floral arrangements. (squeal!!)
Thank you to the fabulous team at the ‘Brisbane Square Library’ for hosting us yesterday. We so enjoyed meeting all the beautiful ladies and hopefully filling their ‘inspiration tank’…It is amazing what can happen when we take time out to refresh our minds and step back from our circumstances to revisit the BIG picture. I’m looking forward to hearing ALL the wonderful results!
Stay tuned over the coming weeks as we investigate the world of ART. We have been chatting to all the artists involved in the Manyung Gallery Group project and we are excited to share their journeys.
Have an awesome week – and why not do a little something for you this week?…When our inspiration tank is full we can better share with others.
PREPARING FOR THE WARMER WEATHER
I find that come the warmer, longer days my energy levels slow down…some days to a grinding halt! It is common knowledge that I am a lover of gray days – cloudy skies and a cool breeze make my heart sing.
In preparation for the warmer months I like to not only invest time in doing the ‘Spring clean’ but also de-cluttering the home making evening and weekend clean-ups fuss free. Blankets are washed and put away from the elements. We relocate the beach towels for easy access on swim days and I tweak the open shelves within the kitchen area to accommodate all the items we need at arms length for family dinnertime and entertaining summer style.
Along with the obvious above mentioned housekeeping tips I also like to move the furniture around, allowing more open spaces for flow through areas. The oversized ottoman, come coffee table has been relocated off to the side so we can all sit on the large sofa and extend our legs. The scattering of occasional tables have also been repositioned to the outer areas, again increasing the general flow of the space.
Outside areas are next on the list. ALL cushions and upholstery get a brushing, followed by a wipe down and a fresh batch of outdoor candles are purchased and positioned ready for balmy summer evenings under the stars.
By making the time now, before the real heat sets in I find it allows me the time to ease into summer while enjoying my home.
Enjoy a fabulous week!
P.S. We would love to see you at the ‘Brisbane Square Library’ this Sunday 5th October! We are doing a ‘before & after’ slideshow…Inspiration is only days away!! Come down and have a chat.
P.S.S. Come join us over on instagram (bronniemasefau) this week for visual inspiration! (…and find out how you can get your hands on a beautiful BM tote!)
A RETURN TO FLORAL…
I am a Cath Kidston girl through and through…Floral ALL the way! So, it has been refreshing to see floral take centre stage, in both fashion and decor once again. (Well, for some of us they’ve always been in the spotlight!)
I love how new twists are placed on old favourites within the design world. Bold floral is being teamed back with even bolder floral making an eye catching statement. Fabrics, wallpaper’s, vases, rugs and artwork have not gone untouched by this fresh pop of colour and zing – we are certainly getting more confident with showcasing our personal styles within our homes! Further more, I am so excited that all colour combos are being explored. Mustard with dusty pink, Navy with all shades of blue – teamed with a pop of red…WOW we are entering a fun season!
So how do we introduce floral into a more contemporary home? – You may well be wondering – Begin with fresh flowers! Gather a selection of flowers and experiment with different colour combinations. Once you have a combination and flower type you enjoy, set about sorting some fabric through a designer or fabric house that you can have made into a cushion or upholstered into something more substantial.
We have a delightful Italian designer chair being re-upholstered for a client at present that will accompany some existing contemporary square framed chairs. The floral design we have settled on has a large repeat (Meaning the pattern design [in this case flowers] are large in size) the background colour is strong and the flowers are simple in design and minimal in colour, creating a fuss-free designer look.
Be inspired, as we head into the warming months by simply taking a stroll through a flower market or visiting your local florist. Nothing invigorates the soul more than the simplicity of flowers – reminding us with each petal just how magnificent nature is.
Have a playful week!
WELCOME to all our new friends! THANK YOU for joining the BM community and for your support. Remember to come visit us on INSTAGRAM (bronniemasefau) for some mid-week visual inspiration!
WEAVING IN THE GOOD STUFF…
Good Monday morning! As I sat and did my daily reading this morning, zoning out from all my commitments for a couple of minutes, I felt restored after a somewhat full weekend. I must confess to feeling a little overwhelmed as we step into spring today. The year seems to be racing along and I am feeling like I am running to keep up!
I am off to Brisbane this week. We are commencing another new project (-so grateful for faithful clients returning with their new dwellings!) speaking at libraries, doing some interviews and speaking at the ‘Elevation INC.’ SPRING event. (Check out their cool promo – Elevation Spring event)…What fills your week? I find that purpose is my energizer. When I fill my week with the busyness of life I arrive at Friday evening feeling sapped. However when I start my Monday focused on my purpose and action this a little each day I arrive at Friday – perhaps physically weary – but, mentally excited about the possibilities.
Enjoy the week ahead. Purposely weave in the good stuff and get excited about the road ahead.
MY INSPIRATION for the ‘Elevation’ spring event!
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