Australia Uncovered: Lake Daylesford Country House
May14

Australia Uncovered: Lake Daylesford Country House

Daylesford is a pettite rural town, just an hour and a half away from Melbourne CBD. With 65 mineral springs the Dylesford-Hepburn district accounts for more than 80% of Australia’s mineral water reserve. As a result, Daylesford has been turned into Oz’ SPA capital. The picturesque village boasts unrivalled ratio of day spas in the entire country. But what makes Daylesford the perfect place to relax is the laid-back calm atmosphere. Unique and charming are the two words that come to mind when it comes to this town. The alluring combination of boutique retail, inviting restaurants, fascinating art galleries and period architecture dating back to the 1850’s will pull you away from everyday worries. But let’s talk architecture, or I might feel tempted to roam about the lush national parks, the surprises which await you in every tiny shop you visit and most above about the heavenly SPA treatments you can use. Something every newcomer notices about Daylesford is the oppulence. Glorious granite, sandstone and bluestone buildings add a flavour of grandeur to the little village. Most of the constructions can be dated back to the mid-1800’s – the time of the gold fever. Which leads us to the topic at hand – a majestic 1890’s Victorian country house, which has become one of the top luxury retreats in the area. Lake Daylesford Country House: Exterior Overlooking the eponymous Lake Daylesford, the magnificent historic building offers striking views of its timeless country garden as well as of the lake and the forest on the opposing shore. From the entrance to the property – a white picket gate, you enter a new realm. One of blossoming cherry and apple trees, dazzling water features – typical for the 1800’s European bourgeois housing. The artificial pond with its harmoniously ribbiting native frogs complete the idyllic picture. The lacy Victorian façade made of timber vaguely reminds of this of Queenslander houses rather than Daylesford’s typical stone architecture. But maybe this little detail is what distinguishes it from all the rest luxury SPAs. Lake Daylesford Country House: Interior If you thing that the garden with it’s blushing apple trees and bird songs are heavenly, wait till you actually enter the lake house. The traditional timber Victorian exterior is combined with ornate French Provincial style – upscale yet warm and inviting. Each bedroom has it’s own signature look but all four of them are fully equipped with the most pampering high-end bedding, cushions and draperies (Pierre Frey, Sheridan, Ashley – to drop a few names). For your privacy, each room has an en suite bathroom and three of them are quipped with corner SPAs. The...

Read More

Turn Your Bedroom into a Luxurious Sanctuary

Here are three tips I’m going to share with you to achieve jaw dropping luxury for your bedroom. Many of us yearn to feel pampered and special and in the privacy of your own bedroom you can make it happen in a very personal way. Budget constraints often mean that the bedroom slips down the priority list so I hope to encourage you to spend a little time to create your sanctuary. You don’t necessarily need to spend lots of money to produce sumptuous richness, it’s more about making clever choices. These ideas will help you develop your interior design scheme and take it up a level:- Soft textures: Deep buttoned headboards, quilted bed throws, upholstered chairs and ottomans all add a sense of luxury. The softness is organised, not totally informal, and it makes the difference between a luxe feel and a relaxed feel. So if you’d like to add a throw, or a pair of fluffy cushions, place them carefully rather than just anyhow. Glitter and shine: Mirrors, chandeliers, metallics and all reflective materials make the space feel glamorous and give it a touch of ‘Hollywood’. In the UK we are forever trying to bring more light into our rooms and mirrors are used freely but be careful as too many hard surfaces can make a room feel unfriendly. Include fabric that has a sheen or a wallpaper with a metallic background – both give you shine without harshness. You can also add a romantic effect with artificial light by placing a mirror behind it; this works particularly well with wall lights and pendent lamps that hang close to a wall. Generosity of scale: Wide picture frames, full fringes, large furniture, big patterns and lots of fabric in your drapes suggest opulence. If you can double the amount of anything do it! So, for instance, a single picture would be set with a minimum of two mount boards and a large fluted moulding for a frame. When thinking about the presentation of pictures or photographs hang a group of smaller ones together to make a large display. And, finally, remember to include the details, as well as looking at the room as a whole, because they can make a big difference to the overall atmosphere and complete the...

Read More
Combining the Stock and the Personal into Style
May02

Combining the Stock and the Personal into Style

Designing the rooms in your home basically all comes down to four basic elements: the floors, the furniture, the walls, and the ceiling-slash-lighting. While all of these elements have to be brought into harmony, no one said that harmony has to be obvious. Sometimes, rooms that seem like they could never work when you first walk in eventually become your favourite ones as your brain slowly uncovers the hidden connections between every design aspect, and the plan is revealed. That’s no easy task. However, when successfully implemented these subtle connections can be awe-inspiring. One way of achieving this sort of effect is to think about your wall art a little differently: especially when you have to differentiate between the intimate and personal and the stylish and stock. The Stock/Story Divide All art can be divided into two very broad categories – personal, which tells a story and depicts you or your loved ones. Even places and things that are close to you. They represent your experiences and affections. Then there are stock pieces of art. These may be beautiful and stylish but don’t necessarily relate specifically to any personal aspect of your life. Stock art can appeal to you on a personal level, of course – which is one reason why you choose it in the first place. But that connection is rarely obvious to guests or visitors. On the other hand, photos of your family, yourself, or your travels have an obvious and immediate personal impact, warming up the room. Still, personal photos on the wall – even when presented as high-impact canvas prints – often lack the power and style of professional artwork. Too often, people assume they can have one or the other in their rooms – that they can have intimacy or style, but not both. Of course, you can have both – simply by combining your stories with style. The Stock/Story Hybrid There are several approaches that combine the high emotion of personal photos and the high style of carefully selected stock art: The Multi-Canvas Installation With a gorgeous personal photo as the centrepiece (a wedding shot, or a spectacular scene from a vacation, or that one perfect baby photo you managed to get), adding in some carefully chosen stock art creates a huge single piece of art. Choosing stock based on the colour palette of the central image, or extrapolating from the background of the main image and choosing graphic lines and shapes from that can create a powerful ‘moment’ on the wall that subtly blends the personal and the artistic. The Mix-n-Match Scenery If you’re using a powerful travel experience or location from your lives as inspiration, it’s okay to cheat a...

Read More
Australia Uncovered: Sandstone Barn Turned into Fantasy Retreat
Apr04

Australia Uncovered: Sandstone Barn Turned into Fantasy Retreat

With clear water, picturesque coastline, fertile soils and vast national parks, Tasmania is a magical place. However, there is much more to it than the stunning views and landscapes. The 26th largest island in the world is also lucky to have an amazing array of beautifully-retained 1800’s historical properties. While the majority have been renovated and brought to the 21st century, visitors can still experience the two-centuries-old properties in a unique way. Armytage House is amongst these antique buildings with rich history. Situated in Bagdat, near Hobart, in a charming rural area, the almost 200-year-old building used to serve as grain storage facility to what was back then the Armytage family main residence – Milford Manor. Today the sandstone barn has been renovated and turned into a self-contained luxury vacation retreat. Secluded amidst lush orchard and flower gardens with a small dam and a creek running by, the place allows travellers to rest far away from the busy modern-day life. It is truly amazing that such an impressive construction was once a mere storage unit. With two bedrooms, bathroom and a kitchen which will make any chef drool, Armytage House stuns with its quiet elegance. The kitchen and one of the bedrooms take up the ground floor while the second sleeping zone is set up on mezzanine level overlooking the living area. The renovation works complement the traditional colonial architecture. Tasmanian timber and leather decorate the interior to create a luxurious finish while the exterior has been fully preserved from the hand-made bricks to the dazzling sandstone. The open-plan layout of the barn makes transition between the living area and the kitchen. The mixed wood tones, stone and terracotta flooring create the perfect rural atmosphere to help visitors relax in a modern yet calm domestic environment Outdoors, you will find a charming fireplace, patio, brick oven and a BBQ facility – the perfect equipment to have a nice typical Australian BBQ party. Aside from the gardens and rural areas, you will also find plenty of amazing sites to explore in the region like wineries, bric-a-brac markets, artisan food producers and many more. Images courtesy of Home Away.    ...

Read More
The New Trend: Social Media-Inspired Home Décor
Apr02

The New Trend: Social Media-Inspired Home Décor

Style is ephemeral. What was once the height of style and the cutting edge in design slowly ages into yesterday’s look, then into deprecated old-fashioned non-style, and finally into retro cool – a process that used to take decades but now seems to cycle through every few years. Still, the fact is that keeping a ‘fresh’ modern feel in your home isn’t always easy, and chasing trends can be dangerous. The key is moderation. Just because a trend is hot doesn’t mean you throw it around the house with wild abandon. When Travertine was the stone to use, having it in every room of the house would be overkill – and leave you with a serious problem when the worm turned and Travertine shouted ‘I created this deign before 2010!’ The New Style: Social Social Media has been a growing part of everyone’s life since about 2008, when Facebook exploded and took the concept mainstream. Since then, even people who aren’t ‘geeks’ have embraced social media sites, and created profiles, shared life events, and discovered a sleeping community of friends, co-workers, and strangers from around the world. Now that it looks like social media isn’t just a fad, the style and design elements of these platforms are creeping into home design – and right now the best way to declare your home is modern and hip is to incorporate social media touches in subtle, cool ways. Facebook Blue The blue that Facebook uses on its page isn’t some special colour whipped up by Mark Zuckerberg, it’s HTML Colour Code 3B5998 – the closest Pantone colour code for this would be 7685C. It’s becoming cool to use this as an accent colour, especially in rooms that are otherwise white or off-white, as it’s actually quite pretty when used with restraint, and brings that modern sense of social media without clubbing people over the head. Where a ‘Like’ decal with the iconic thumbs up image would be overly literal and kind of kooky, the subtle use of the colour scheme brings a friendly, sophisticated feel to your room. Framing Facebook ‘Moments’ Another way to bring Facebook into your home that makes up for being a bit more literal with emotional impact is to take momentous events in your life that you’ve posted to Facebook, taking a screen shot, and having your Facebook ‘Wall’ turned into a gorgeous, high-quality canvas print. Think pregnancy announcements complete with sonogram image, or the moment you changed your ‘relationship’ status to ‘married.’ Or perhaps just an epic photo posted by a friend that captures an amazing evening you were part of – turning that screen into...

Read More