WHERE TO BEGIN…
Has the question “where to begin?” stopped you from starting your renovation – or making the all-important first step to purchasing your new home! It can be overwhelming planning a dream space…perhaps even overbearing if you and your partner are not on the same page.
So, how do we begin? What is the first step?…I would imagine many are thinking we will begin with a budget and work backwards from here. Or perhaps even let’s choose a colour we love and use this as a base. Both answers have their place however I believe the best place to begin is with a dream that leads to a vision and ultimately an outcome.
My advice would be to STOP the stressing and questioning and before you financially commit to anything invest time in establishing the foundation for the project at hand. Begin with a good-old-fashioned inspiration board. Gather pictures and magazine clippings and start to dream big again. Once you have a clear starting place for the concept, at this point either engage your Architect or Interior Designer, or if working through the process yourself use the inspiration from the mood board to articulate the concept, stepping out the elements from the structural, to the practical to the decorative…and in this order.
Once you are back on track the designs will flow easier and the questions will have a more definitive response.
Get back to enjoying the journey!
For mid-week inspiration be sure to check out the Muster Life Styling website…or better yet pop in for a chat!
GETTING STARTED ON YOUR NEW PROJECT…
Designing a space that relaxes you or a space that inspires you begins with a thought, an idea or a vision, driven by purpose. Sometimes however our light bulb moment is followed by many restless thoughts as we fumble through the next stage of turning it into a reality.
Frustration of the how to get started, or where to find the goodies needed to commence the path to completion can lead you to many shops, some of which can be seen as a total waste of time or even some impulsive purchases that inevitably find their way to the front sidewalk for the neighborhood rubbish collection day!
This is when the simple use of a pen and paper come into their own. Having a notebook where you can do all your thinking, planning, sketching and gathering of samples can save you finance and lots of time.
Regardless of whether my upcoming project is a re-upholstery of seating, a million dollar renovation or a commercial fitout I begin each project the same way…asking myself the same questions. Then with pen and paper I start to sketch my thoughts and from a basic layout I begin to build an inventory of objects needed, and building decisions required to finish the task at hand.
When I lock into the process I find my inventory list develops. I start adding and subtracting items and over time the end picture becomes clearer. Once at this point I almost feel that the objects find me. How? Because when you have clarity your mind is open to articulate what you need – you then begin to look for and find all the pieces to the puzzle with an element of ease.
So, get back to the basics. Pen. Paper. Productivity.
Clarity is in sight.
Sending a HUGE thank you to the team at Herald Sun HOME for the shout out on the weekend!
STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE…
Good Morning! WOW…we have been open 5 days today…how time flies! THANK YOU to all who have been coming through our new little store //Muster Life-Styling// and showering us with beautiful words of encouragement, flowers and even chocolates!
Opening a store takes courage, great support and lots of finance. Each person/families experience is different. We have opened (and closed) a café – 19years ago called ‘Café Fambe’, a homeware’s store 12 years ago called ‘Sho interiors’ and many little adventures in between.
From each new establishment we have taken many learning’s. In all honesty if we had known completely ALL that we were stepping into with this new adventure we might not have made the step. Why? Because sometimes we convince ourselves that ‘comfort’ is better than the possibility of failure, and or loss. However there is something fabulous that stirs internally when we are bold enough to step into our dreams and play the game of life…something that we can never fully experience from the sideline.
This morning I am writing to you from my studio, now positioned at the back of our new store. I feel overwhelmed with gratitude. Thankful that I have a full team beside me who are championing me to be all I am called to be. We have walked into this new chapter with our eyes open. Open to change. Open to possibilities and most importantly open to truly listening to the needs and desires of our beautiful clients.
If you are on the edge of making a decision about your next business move and are overwhelmed, why not come down and chat with us at our next library event. We will be at Nunawading Library on 18th February, from 7-8pm. We would love to chat with you and share our story thus far.
Have a purpose-filled week! And remember to come visit us at the store! (Muster Life-styling 513 High Street PRAHRAN – or check us out online! – www.musterlifestyling.com.au OPEN Mon-Sat, 10am-4pm
THE COUNTDOWN HAS BEGUN!!…
Welcome back! Hope you enjoyed a fabulous holiday season. There has been very little down time around here as we work away in the background in creating a little something special for our beautiful clients.
This year marks my 24th year within the Interiors Design industry and we desired to add to the ‘bronnie masefau’ brand with the opening of our own little shop. I am SOOO excited to announce that this Thursday 5th February we will be opening our first ‘Muster Life-Styling‘ store!! We hope it will be a new shopping experience for you to enjoy.
As you know, I am a little passionate about sharing the putting the heart back into HOME message…(ok, maybe more like deeply passionate!). The vision for the new store is to showcase edited looks/styles that capture the many changing faces of the family home. Using the four walls as our canvas we hope to inspire through our beautifully sourced objects and hand picked finds, mixed with an array of fabrics, from near and far.
Further more I am delighted to introduce you to our new ‘bronnie masefau’ family members! I have had the absolute privilege of mentoring both of these wonderfully creative young ladies and can’t wait for you to meet them.
Charlene will be heading up the ‘Muster Life-Styling’ store as a junior Interior Designer, having just completed her Bachelor of Design. Charlene has a wonderful smile to match her cheery personality!
Shanice has been a part of the ‘bronnie masefau’ team for years, however now we get to have her around in a more permanent position…yay!!
Eileen, my beautiful-mother-manager-extraordinaire is an absolute tower of strength. (She has been pulling out 16hour days in the lead up to opening…Thank you Mum!!) While she will still be working from our Brisbane station she is and always will be a huge influence within anything that sits alongside the ‘bronnie masefau’ brand.
As we are now only days away from opening I confess I have dinosaur-sized butterflies in my stomach! There is so much yet to do however I can’t wait to lift up the blinds on this adventure and begin this new chapter.
Our doors open at 10am on Thursday and we will be here, with a huge smile as we welcome you in. Thank you for your support!!
Muster Life Styling – 513 High Street PRAHRAN OPENING HOURS Mon-Sat 10am-4pm…ph. 03 9041 8757
Charlene (top left) – Bronnie (top right) – Eileen (bottom Left) – Shanice (bottom right)
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
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