Life & Style Blog - Homewares
11 October 2013, by Rachael Ciccarelli
Image source: Shutterstock.
Get excited, Perthies: we're finally swinging into picnic weather! Bring a plate and bask in the gentle* sunlight and catch some vitamin D without going Full Monty in a bikini and blinding the other folks on the beach with your winter pallor. It's a special time of year.
I'm all for a good picnic. It's a wonderful feeling to be surrounded by nature's bounty as you stuff your face; even better if there are kids/dogs in the mix - a day of running around like mad in a park will ensure a sound sleep that night. But the key to a great picnic and a good anything, for that matter. Being prepared. Lucky for you, I've gone all Boy Scout and have got my favourite tips for you:
Image sources: 1. Wild & Wolf V&A Daisy 500ml flask, $39.95, from Myer; 2. Vue thin stem clear wine glass, $7.95, from Myer; 3. Near Field Interactive (NFI) Speaker, $24.98, from Dick Smith.
- If you bring no other implements, bring a sharp knife and a board to cut on. Whether it's making a cheese board or dicing up charred sausage for your pooch, you will need these.
- Blankets (non itchy) are all very well and good, but as the champagne bottle draws to an end, what are you going to prop yourself up on? Give your lower back a rest and bring plenty of pillows.
- *UV rays are not that gentle. If you care about your face place, always wear sunscreen. Bring a bottle for re-application.
- Chopped, frozen fruit like grapes, orange, banana and mango are a great treat for kids and will help to keep your cold stuff colder. Spear them on a shish kebab stick for ease and wrap them in alfoil to keep then frozen for longer.
- If you're going to bring a salad, try and keep the wet bits (like tomato) separate. Don't dress it until you get there. Do not even think about cheese squares, by the time you get to lunch they will melt. Eugh.
- Bring a hand fan and receive the undying gratitude of the person in your party who can't stand the heat (there's always one).
- Portable speakers and an iPhone will definitely liven up proceedings - the NFI speaker works wirelessly: just put your iPod or anything with an external speaker on top and it'll amplify! NFI speaker, $24.98, Dick Smith.
- Are we not humans? Do we not walk upright and on two feet? If you're going to bring bubbles or wine, make sure you've got appropriate vessels. I've heard "oh, I should have brought plastic wine/champagne glasses" one time too many. Everyone likes drinking out of the right shaped glass: it's science. The glasses from Vue at Myer are $7.95 each and can be used time and again.
- A thermos of hot water and a box of tea bags are probably going to save the day for at least one person. Team with the outdoor theme: the adorable Wild & Wolf V&A daisy flask is $39.95 at Myer.
- Bring insect repellant. If your sweet, delicious blood is anything like mine, those suckers will attack the minute you walk into the park.
What do you think? Comment here
Tags: Homewares, Myer
24 April 2013, by Rachael Ciccarelli
Image source: Diana Vreeland’s iconic red living room from stylebeat.blogspot.com.au.
OK. Considering my never-ending quest for the aesthetically appealing, I know you’re not exactly going to be blown away by the revelation that I like living spaces as pretty as I like my outfits. BUT I DO, SO DEAL WITH IT. And don’t you think it’s fair enough? I don’t know about you guys, but I feel totally uncomfortable when I’m surrounded by disorganised clutter – things that don’t sit well together, hideous colour combinations. My magazines are stacked by date and my books are colour blocked. I get itchy when I see laminated posters outside of a teenager’s bedroom. You can only imagine how happy I was to learn that our insane landlady had painted our entire house in blue and yellow by hand (including cabinetry). My roommate likened me to an arctic fox when I declined several apartments on the basis that they had bad light in the living spaces. You get it: I feel calm when things look nice. I am the personification of that emoji with the streaming face of tears and open weeping jaw when my house is ugly. Living spaces affect your day to day life. They change the way you function. It’s just how things are.
As part of my aesthetic-dependency, I often find myself in a never-ending trawl through inspiring homes throughout the world. Hours have been lost, eyes glazed, dreaming about impossibly white light-filled spaces with just the right amount of eclectic bits of décor grouped in varying sizes (and in odd numbers). Sometimes the daydreams are about rich, wallpaper flocked rooms in warm colours and often the daydreams are about walls full of books and fat couches from the eat-you-half-alive family – but within the daydream, I always try to take little tips from each to employ now or at a later date, funds pending. Let’s take a walk through some dream rooms, shall we?
Image source: Dining space from Elle Décor.
While that awesome raked ceiling and what looks like a reclaimed industrial light fitting are doing most of the work here, I love the indoor ferns in dark pots on the dining room table. I’m also partial to that little old soapbox propped up on the sideboard with a statue in it – a great way to frame anything 3D.
Image source: Living room from imactoy.com.
Once I can convince my chippy-brother to build me a house for free (and that house is somewhere with a cold climate totally unlike ours so I won’t be burned to hell while I watch TV), this is definitely what my house is going to look like. But anyway, how great are those sneakers on a cake plate? I love bringing more sculptural bits of wardrobe out into my living spaces. I think that masking tape rug is hilarious and clever, I thoroughly enjoy the three-tiered glass bedside table used as a coffee table, and I think the daybed with the coffee table using stacked magazines as legs to prop it up is great.
Image sources: Hastings day bed, $1746; Milton sideboard, $1995; Glass frill edge cake stand, $119.00; all from Laura Ashley.
And in a very similar vein, we have pieces from Laura Ashley to get the look from these two rooms – homewares shops are always the best place to begin whenever your house needs a little lift.
What do you think? Comment here
Tags: Homewares, Trends
28 December 2012, by Rachael Ciccarelli
Image sources: Margaret Grey sunglasses, $89.95, Cue; Urban Originals print travel wallet, $40, Live Clothing; Plain mirror two tier cake stand, $52.45, Laura Ashley; Urbanears headphones, $99.95, Myer; Paris sparkle hardcase clutch, $89.95, Witchery; Jamaican flavour necklace, $29.95, Sportsgirl.
So. We’re about ten seconds away from Christmas and you’ve probably just started your gift shopping because you never heed my warnings or answer my calls anymore and I can only assume you DON’T LOVE ME AND YOU PROBABLY NEVER HAVE. But. That’s OK.
Because I want to make this relationship work, even if YOU don’t, I’m going to give you some ideas as to what you should buy the ladies in your life when you’re out on Saturday shopping along with everyone else (you’re going to hate it, but whatever- it’s your fault, why don’t you ring your ex girlfriend while you’re out and maybe SHE will carry your bags) – anyway, at least you can try and trim your time shoulder to shoulder with everyone else in this state to an absolute minimum. Go in with a plan. With these bad-boys all under $100, this is a good place to start (after you’ve bought my apology flowers, obvs):
- Divine is probably the word I’d use to describe these sunglasses – a new edition to their usual offerings, these little guys look like they’ve come from Cutler and Gross, not Cue. If little and round won’t work for your girl, they’ve got plenty of chunky acetate frames for any face.
- Know someone leaving on a jet plane? A travel wallet is a wonderful, practical gift that will help stop them breaking down in the middle of the airport when they can’t find their passport/ boarding pass/ dignity.
- Baking babes love a pretty platter to display their wares, and mirror is a great one because it can go super modern or blend with traditional homewares.
- Is it a plug in baby you’re buying for? Someone who can’t turn down the phat beats? As far as the musically minded are concerned, it’s hard to go wrong with OTT, pop colour headphones.
- Take two big trends: glitter and necessaires (that’s hard clutches for the rest of us), and combine them into one, and give it to your fashion-fiend or the lady who seems to have a never-ending social calendar where she’s standing, drinking and re-applying lipstick.
- The turquoise and yellow of the Jamaican flavour necklace? WONDERFUL. Give it to any woman who loves a bit of statement jewellery
What do you think? Comment here
Tags: Homewares, Myer, Special Occasion, Sportsgirl, Trends
17 June 2011, by Rachael Ciccarelli
It's that time of year again: when everything you've had your eye on - and some magic new things you never noticed until their price halved - has gone on sale. New shiny things are slowly making their way in, so space must be made, and you should swoop in now while your prey is weak. That's right, fashion is now a bunch of wriggling worms and you're the eagle. Nice talons, guys!
Anyway, it's easy to make poor choices when you're dazzled by heaps of stock at low prices. Luckily, I am a sales master and am only too happy to impart some of my knowledge onto you, like an ethnic Mr. Miyagi with a credit card.
Image Source Bandit
1. Rule one:karate for defence only. Rule two: learn rule one.
Haha, sorry. I couldn't help myself. Rule one is to know thyself, and I don't think Miyagi ever said that. But basically, know your shape and colouring; have an idea of what you're going to look good and feel comfortable in. It'll make choices clearer.
2. Wax on, Wax off.
But without actual wax. Don't just pick anything up and bring it to the counter, actually try it on and make sure it fits and looks good on you. It's not a bargain if you can't zip it up. Similarly, don't be afraid to try something on that you're not sure about on the rack - it's the only way you'll know if it looks any good or not.
3. Never put passion before principle.
That is, don't be seduced by the idea or the brand name - make sure it has some sort of place in your wardrobe. What would you wear it with? Where are you going to wear it? I'm all for using sales an excuse to expand or add a bit of drama, just be sure you've got the know-how to actually rock it once you're out of the store.
4. What heart know, head forget.
Don't get spun out by the shiny fun bits and leave with 3 ball gowns and a top hat. Remember the basics: your wardrobe needs just as many well cut pairs of trousers, quality tees and pairs of knickers as it does fuzzy leopard overcoats. Sales are an excellent time to stock up on your everyday items, and if you can find it in great quality, so much the better.
ED - The Forrest Chase sale starts on June 20
What do you think? Comment here
Tags: Fashion, Food, Homewares, Kitchen, Live Clothing, Myer, Portmans, Pumpkin patch, Sportsgirl, Witchery
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