SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESIt’s the small things that matter and its sometimes the small things that take the longest to finish! The last time you saw this room it was settling into it’s newly painted “Ebb” blush walls. What wasn’t going to settle into this room was most of the dining room furniture from my apartment.

I had lovely square 8 seater dinner table and chairs that worked fabulously in the open plan unit but were not going to fit into this room. Well, it would, but nothing much else would have… (Disclaimer: ignore the rug!!)

I’ve struggled with this room and I don’t know why. Maybe because it’s the darkest room and the mantles have challenged me. What I do know and want you to know is that it is definitely still a work in progress. Firstly, the rug. I actually don’t mind it – depending on the way it’s laying, it shifts between a bronze colour and khaki colour. It’s just too dark for this room and doesn’t suit. Great rugs, at reasonable (sensible to one’s budget) are hard to find in Australia. There, I said it. Seriously, hard. Moving right along.

Um excuse the mess – I had a fire burning, hence the soot!

The mantel decorations are still to be fine tuned but I guarantee when the fire is raging and the candles are lit, it looks pretty nice! And there isn’t budget breaker in sight – the two glass candle holders with mesh brass inserts are from 1970’s light fixture that used to hang in my parent’s house. I held onto these for nearly 25 years before finding a spot for them and they cast out the most beautiful glow.

The mirror was a half-price sale item from Target for less than $100, the white ceramic plant pot (vase) is from a $2 shop, the coral a gift from my sister, the gold candle stick (a cheap find spray painted gold my moi), the pineapple bought from Hawaii ages ago before pineapples were everywhere and the cast iron trojan horses from a trip to the Greek Islands 20 years ago.


Yes, I brought those lamps AND shades home from Hawaii in my luggage.

This gorgeous white solid timber and glass was a gift from ma and pa. It was a floor-stock bargain at just $250 from Oz Design. Mum and I couldn’t pass it up! It had a lovely home in the original kitchen area until I renovated. The side-board I had in the dining room had to go now lives in my sister’s entrance hall. The coral lamps were bought from Pier One Imports in Hawaii for about $125 each. They came in massive boxes and yes, my whole family nearly had a heart attack wondering how I’d get them home. Where there is a will…. oh, and an expert shopper/suitcase packer – ME!

I painted the art work. I bought the almost “3D” painting for $5 at auction. It was all browns and oranges but not anymore. Great thing about something like this is, if you get bored of it, just paint something else over it!


This cabinet is one of my favourite pieces in the entire house.

I love this cabinet. I really do. It’s Hamptons/beach house/Upstate. This little number was all of $400. There was a great store near my house run by a lovely couple who made and imported furniture from Bali. A lot of the stuff was very, very Balinese however there were the odd pieces that looked more classic. Mum and I went looking for a dining table and came home with this as well. It’s home to my good crockery (um what I’m waiting to use it for I have no idea), my good glassware and a few ornaments. It also serves as a drinks cabinet. The large lantern I got for song as it was floor stock, the print is from art.com and the frame was again cheap and chips at auction.

The solid timber table was from the same little “Balinese” place near me. It cost around $250. Yep. The chairs are from Ikea and cost more than the table but I love the contrast. The big platter was bought at Crate and Barrel in New York for $39.95 and was brought home in my suitcase. I kid you not. I was travelling with the former Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Australia, Kirstie Clements as she was appearing on The View. Kirstie thought me quite mad and there was no chance of it surviving the trip. It did. Drinks on Kirstie ha. The “Ned Kelly” art work is by a well known Australian artist. It was gifted to me as it didn’t suit the previous owner’s home. I’m not sure the dining room is his home either so watch this space.


The gorgeous leather armchair currently filling the corner was a hand-me-down from Kirstie. I have often lit the fire and curled up in the chair with a book and glass of wine. It’s not the best spot for it – it needs to be out on display more – however I just don’t have any more space!!

So there you go. There’s the dining room… PENDING A NEW RUG!!!


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