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hello christmas

Our little plywood Christmas tree is up, a wreath on the front door and some old school fairy lights strung on our balcony rail. I spent some time up on the balcony earlier tonight and it is so magical and romantic with the fairy lights.  

Do you think it is too early to put up the tree, is yours up yet?  We have decided to host Christmas lunch at our house this year so I'm thinking we will also put up our big tree as well. It takes for-ev-er to put up, whereas the plywood tree only takes about a minute to assemble. Hence, slacko here has only put up the 'easy' (but cute) tree. 

How are your Christmas plans coming along? Have you started your shopping yet? With two birthdays in our family this week, I'm still buying birthday presents, I've not had a chance to even think about Christmas pressies yet. 

Image: Olive & Joy

window shopping: the modern furniture store

Lets go window shopping this morning. I spotted this store - The Modern Furniture Store - a few weeks ago when we went shopping after a family farewell bbq at New Farm Park (a cousin was leaving for Mongolia where she is going to teach English for six months then on to visit family in Italy - what an adventure!). I had seen a couple of leather butterfly chairs outside the store but by the time we went back for a look it had closed for the day. So we literally did window shop - faces pressed up to the glass, as you do! I couldn't stop thinking about the store so when we were up in the city last week we popped back for a quick look.

The Modern Furniture Store has only been open for 4 weeks and is located just of the James Street shopping precinct in Fortitude Valley, coincidentally in the old Great Dane furniture store site. They stock beautiful (and affordable!) furniture and homewares direct from Denmark. Whilst we were there we met the lovely french Julie who told us in her beautiful accent about their store and also mentioned that just five minutes earlier Collette Dinnigan was shopping in the store! See the sofa below, Collette likes that one. I love the lamp which also comes in white.

My favourite piece is the leather butterfly chair below - the one I couldn't stop thinking about - the leather is a soft, natural colour. Very comfortable to sit in too. 

There are so many gorgeous things everywhere you look, a beautiful, modern scandi haven. 

The Modern Furniture Store is located at 161A Arthur St, Fortitude Valley. 

Images: Olive & Joy

The visit to the store also has me thinking about cow hide rugs. A beautiful light white one for our living room, just like the one peeping out from below the dining chairs here (nice chairs too). My husband isn't quite so sure about cowhide rugs - do I dare to ask the question here? To cowhide or not to cowhide? Hmmmm.

a little peek

It's been pretty quiet around here lately hasn't it?  Like hear a pin drop kind of quiet. Will this little peek of what I have been up to with olive & joy (the store-to-be) make up for it? We took some photos today, lots of 'em.  We are exhausted and our house is a mess, but we got some nice shots. We ran out of light so the house will have to stay messy tonight so I can take more shots tomorrow. I have signed up for a styling workshop next year and boy today I wished I had those little styling secrets up my sleeve - I have no idea what I am doing.

Still a little while off from launching the store, don't worry we'll let you when it is up and running - and then you have to tell everyone you know too, ok? Good ;)

Image: olive & joy

penny farthing design house

Penny Farthing Design House is a new online store formed by two sisters, one being stylist and designer Alice Flynn (previously of PrintDolls). I am a big believer in family businesses and the story behind them so I was very much drawn to their work when I received an email recently. The name Penny Farthing Design House is inspired by a painting their late grandfather envisioned just before he passed. So sweet.

Penny Farthing Design House produce a broad range of products ranging from destination prints to perspex letters and furniture to lighting and artwork. I love the typograpy artworks myself.

Images: Penny Farthing Design House

are you watching the block?

I'm excited that The Block is on tonight! Have you been watching the show? I really enjoy watching it - it has been so long since the last series. When the series first started years ago my husband and I were renovating a one bedroom unit so we found it really fun and could relate to it. I like all the teams/couples but my favourite is Jake and Erin whose apartment is featured above. I love the continuity throughout the apartment, it is chic and neutral whilst also having an impact. Love those bathroom mosaics, beautiful.

If you are in Sydney and a bit of a sticky-beak or maybe in the market for an apartment - The Block apartments are open for inspection this Saturday. See the website link below for details. 

Images: The Block

dreaming of the next home

Everytime I visit the post office I drive past this house - actually there is a whole street of houses which look pretty much like this, just slightly different. It is incredibly simple, even a little Plain Jane perhaps. At the moment we live in a two story home and I cannot wait to live in a single story home once again - I could live in a simple little modern house like this very happily. Not in a street full of the same house however, it would be much more special in a street on it's own. Don't you think?

I've been inside these homes and they are beautiful - gorgeous travertine flooring, generous spaces, stunning finishes. So the dream of the next home continues. We are keen to settle down in the next home. I have my eye on a block of land nearby, it is a larger plot than ours and much more private. On one side there is a single story home, conveniently on the western side which we would have minimal windows on. The rear faces north and backs onto a pine tree edged golf course with some amazing wildlife. The birds are so noisy at night sometimes, but it is the kind of noise that makes me smile. The eastern side is beside an easement planted out with native trees including some beautiful wattles. Just one neighbour! It is perfect. I like to hope that it will come up for sale when we are ready to purchase. 

I am always dreaming up plans for this block of land. It will have a separate studio in the backyard - we would have the studio pre-made offsite and we would live in it as we built the main home. High ceilings and lots and lots of natural light. A white kitchen, timber floors (a lighter timber), white walls and timber framed windows. I could go on... Is it silly to do this? Am I the only one dreaming up imaginary homes on imaginary plots of land? 

We also keep our eye on the houses in the older seaside village just down the road. It would be such a nice place to bring up a family - I take my niece down to the calm water on days when i take care of her. It is the tiniest little beach just perfect for little kids (and big kids like us). There are some cute little beach shacks I've got my eye on. 

Whilst we have renovated several properties in the past for my parents-in-law, we've never renovated our own home (or whilst living in the house at the same time!). I'm ready for the challenge, maybe. I've heard horror stories about renovating but then we've experienced horror stories whilst building homes also. Building can be incredibly frustrating as you have to rely on so many people. The high of painting a room or putting in a kitchen by yourselves - nothing beats that. Imperfections and all. If you build a new home you expect everything to be perfect, and honestly it rarely is. 

Image: Olive & Joy