Lets talk New Years Resolutions, shall we? Apart from losing weight, being good and growing this blog, another resolution I made just several short weeks ago, was to make 2012 the 'year of the catch up' with old friends. I'm not brilliant at staying in touch. I have made some lovely friends through my life, only to lose touch as my situation has changed. Fake Book, as I like to call it, has brought me back in touch with old boyfriends, people I hung out with as a teenager and people who I haven't seen for a few years. It's been great for helping me reconnect with people I should never have lost touch with.
They don't call the Northern Beaches of Sydney the Insular Peninsula for nothing. Once you are here, it can be hard to leave. What with being a taxi driver to 2 under tens, which apparently gets worse as they get older, and the CEO of the Beach House, there is little time to laze around the in town of Lunch Alot with old friends.
Nicole and I have been messaging each other for a few weeks by way of social media, so we locked in a date and today was the day. I was a lady who lunched and it was delightful. She is a dear friend from school days. We also went to university together, so there's lots of history and goss to catch up on. We always pick up where we left off. Nicole hasn't moved far from where we grew up and I think you can see why. This beautiful home is newly renovated by Nicole and her husband Ric. It has been their project for several years and it is all but finished. This is classic New England at its best and the open plan living room and kitchen were my absolute favourite part of the house.
Nicole said she loves contrasts, so the stone work in the kitchen is a combination of Italian stone and marble. Marble was used for the splash backs in order to help preserve it from wear. We both know people who have gone for marble on the bench tops and they have been permanently marked within days. So this was the compromise and I think it looks fantastic. It's a great way to introduce marble into a kitchen without the 'freak out factor' being ever present.
When Nicole began this project these pendant light fittings were not available in Australia. There are similar around now, but she had another expat school friend ship them out from the US. It's maddening that we are such a back water when it comes to availability of great design here in Oz.
And of course the uber stylish Swedish design supermarket of choice, gets a work out in this room too. The wall art, the Lack shelving and the desk rests are all IKEA. The glass table top was cut especially to suit the space. I think the ghost chair is gorgeous against the glass desk top.
And then there was lunch, served on Nigella Lawson. Now I thought I was the Queen of the salad, but this one creamed me. It's definitely going on the Beach House menu plan next week. It was fabulous. Although I've often used prosciutto and lamb in salads....never in the same one. It added another layer of protein and was delicious.
Nic likes to mix up white furniture with darker stained pieces. The antique coffee table had a rattan top, which looked great in a dark stain.
Grouping many contrasting candle sticks together on the coffee table, creates a beautiful visual story. I had to come home and study the shots to take in what was really going on here. Wicker juxtaposed against ceramic, pottery and wood are all used to great effect to create interest.
The matching ottomans at the end of the coffee table added another fabric into the mix and are a casual form of seating, when required.
Nicole chose a white lounge to sit under the large north facing window. As it was bound to fade anyway, Nic had to toss up whether it was going to trashed by the sunlight, or by the fact that 3 kids and a dog live here. So she chose white to combat the sun. And as for the kiddos, so far so good. The covers are removable and the kids call it the 'show room lounge'. No one wants to sit on it cause it doesn't face the TV. That was very smart thinking on my hostess' part.
The dark floor boards are another great contrast to the Hamptons style built in unit and the white joinery in the kitchen .
Beautiful object d'art, such as antique keys and blue and white china, complete the picture of the perfect living room in my view.
There's lots of lantern love going on here too. Take a look around and see how many you can find.
The littlest Beach House Brat felt right at home too. I like to think she has good taste like her mother. Nic's daughter was home from a school camp and she entertained my babe.....it was hard to drag the Beach House Brat away, as she made a new friend. As we drove off to begin the afternoon school run, she asked if we could go back tomorrow. I don't blame her really....I hope my finger nail marks can't be seen on the front door step. I had to drag myself away too. I really should get out more don't you think?!!!!!
Today I'm partying here