Insights • Inspirations • Destinations • Design

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Vintage Vogues, Botanical Whimsy & Other Miscellany

Just in time for the weekend comes this quietly beautiful image. It's a vintage Vogue from the 1950s, framed by our wonderful local framer. (Our framer is incredibly cheap: email me if you want his details.) It was part of Santa's kind Christmas stash.

I asked my framer's assistant if anyone ever brought in... you know... prints that were so awful they weren't worth framing. "You mean like the black velvet Elvis someone brought in last week?" she said.  (BTW I love Elvis. Don't want to offend anyone who may have framed a black velvet print of him...)

The Vogue and a gorgeous old New Yorker magazine from the week I was born (another gift) now sit on our hall table. With my collection of shells from around the world. Which are apparently contraband, according to my partner who used to work in the Federal Police. 

Don't you love the Wish magazine that comes with The Australian newspaper on the last Friday of every month? I love a freebie. Grab it this weekend while you can people.

I noticed India Hicks has redone her guesthouse. Look at this banana yellow. Who knew yellow could be sexy in a beach house? Wonder if it was for a photo shoot? (Pottery Barn were there recently.)

Still infatuated with this botanical wallpaper at The Dorset Square Hotel in London. Kit Kemp's taste is impeccable.

Whipped up some curtains for our living room. Only had time to do one, so can't show you the whole room. This fabric was $10/m at Spotlight. It looks just like the Manuel Canovas print that I was coveting in Paris, below... Which was 100 times the price.

This was the fabric. 'Beaurogard'. Beautiful. 
Did you know chintz is coming back in? Yes, truly. 
Best save your granny's curtains, people.

Have you seen Manuel Canovas' new 50th Anniversary collections? They've released new houndstooth. Love the denim blue too.

How about this for a cute fabric? 

Matchbook magazine did a fabulous Downtow Abbey spread in this month's issue.

Started reading this, on the recommendation of a bloggy friend Paula. (Originally recommended by Slim Paley.) It's set in the South of France. 

Also reading Michelle de Kretser's The Hamilton Case, set in old Ceylon. Thanks for the literary tips Miss Paula and Miss Slim.

Was cleaning up old photo files and came across these, from the Petit Trianon in Versailles. Still can't get over the intricate trelliswork. Wouldn't you love a potting shed that looked like this? {Images mine}

A tent to convert me to camping. By Field Candy Tents. Fabulous. {Images via Field Candy}

Did you see this whimsical interior in Vogue? It's a house in the Hamptons owned by the swimwear designer Lily Madock. 
Am only posting one image as I'm trying not to use too many magazine photos, after seeing my uncredited pix all over Pinterest last week. I always try and credit my pix, but it's still a grey line and The Library is now trying not to use professionally shot photos that have been especially commissioned by magazines. If I do, I will always credit, and will ascertain whether the photographer (like me) would be happy being featured. Usually it's the magazines that are cross, as evidenced by Habitually Chic's having to remove many from her blog. (Although her crediting is not the best.)

On an equally bright note, we've been working on some Lily Maddock-inspired page spreads for a new book mock-up. I can't tell you more as it's still in the planning stages, but you might be able to guess the subject matter from the pix.

Think lavender, wine, olive groves, sweet hillside villages, fields of gently swaying lavender, and charming stone cottages begging to be renovated... Just like this one. {All images mine}

The pix are going to be so luscious I won't even need to write any copy. 
{All pix mine, excluding the cute Citreon, which is my mother's photo.}

Have already made some new friends to see while I'm in this place. I emailed this couple last night to ask about their gardening smocks, of all things, and then complimented them on their house. They were so lovely they invited me to pop in and say hello. I'll do a special post on them soon as they're so interesting, and their architect and design work is so inspirational, but here's their bedroom...

Look at the ceiling! Isn't it fantastic?

Love the interiors of the new Corinthia Hotel in London too. {Image via their website gallery.} Olive and navy are always an elegant combination. But the grey stripes are inspired design.

Doesn't this make you want to have a kitchen that looks like an old general store? It's the kitchen department of Anthropologie in King's Road Chelsea. The old-fashioned cobalt blues and ceramic greens are so gorgeous. They'd even etched 'General Store' into the cabinet glass. {Image mine}

(On a side note, I want to say thank you Anthropologie for stocking my books, both in London and New York. It's thanks to this wonderful store that Chronicle bought 20,000 copies of the latest 'Paris' book, which has set in motion the wheels for doing a sequel. I will be shopping at Anthropologie for the rest of my life now!) 

Another fantastic place, this time a relatively new one. This is quite possibly the most beautiful new hotel in the world. Tall call, I know, but look at it. Pale power blues and emerald greens, with graphic black lines to hold it all together... Traditional and yet distinct at the same time. Look at the old safari hats in the rooms.

It's The Siam in Bangkok. Belle magazine featured it last last year, but I suspect it's going to take off very soon. Here are some more images from The Siam's website gallery (which are available to use)...

Love the greenery everywhere. 
Not sure about The Siam's artwork though. What ARE these people doing?

Shot this in a window near Liberty's in London. Such cute merchandising.

A wider shot. Don't you love botanica?

And lastly, have you seen the new changes to UK Harper's Bazaar under the editorship of Justine Picardie? Justine is a literary hero of mine; such a lovely person too. She's taking it back to the glamour of the 1950s. Look at this sublime page. Oh! I wish all magazines would experiment with white space and whimsical typography...

Wishing you all a whimsical and irreverent weekend. 


  1. Lots to comment on - love your home's interiors as always Janelle. That green is perfection, and love the Navy for your post below for your husband's room as well. That yellow India Hick's is using is very bold.... I did a research paper at University on "The Psychological effect of Architecture", and remember from colour theory that adults in a yellow room have more arguments and fights than any other colour. Green is bad for a dining room, as it suppresses appetite, whereas red stimulates it.
    Love the houndstooth checks around in different ranges at the moment. They remind me of Dior. Designers Guild have a gorgeous range out with the houndstooth too in beautiful colours.

    Was just about to pin those Petit Trianon images onto my pinterest Gardening board, and then read on to see what you wrote about Pinterest, so desisted!! Your new book looks just beautiful, and I LOVE that Harper's cover - so elegant. xx

  2. Have been avoiding Spotlight like the plague as any time we are in striking distance my daughter nags to go in and look at all of the sparkly, flammable material for Irish dancing dress inspiration.....however once she's back at school will have to go in and have a closer look as that curtain fabric is amazing! Ah the south of France....I have your recent book about Paris and already am excited about adding another glorious volume to the coffee table! Bring on the whimsical and irreverent weekend! Rx

  3. Dear Janelle

    Such a feast of wonderful pictures! Great idea to frame special covers of Vogue!

    Must try to find the Rumer Godden book. Have quite a collection of her novels but not this one. She's such an original and there is often quite an unexpected and mysterious dark twist to the plots and characters. She writes with such fascinating insights into so many different locales. I enjoy both her books for adults (in particular "Black Narcissus" later made into a compelling psychological drama in an exotic setting) and her books for children ("The Battle of the Villa Fiorita" set mostly in Italy on Lake Garda if I remember correctly). Definitely worth reading. She had a very interesting though difficult and, in many ways, quite sad life. A great character and very courageous.

    The Bangkok hotel looks lovely - we usually stay at the Sukhotai which is also really beautiful and so calm and contemplative, an oasis really.

    Love/love/love Canovas and his magnificent colours and patterns. Whenever we go to Paris I always wander into his shop in/near (can't remember exactly) the Rue Napoleon and admire. They don't sell retail but if there's something you particularly like the very nice staff send you to a nearby shop (Besson I think) that will get it in for you. Have been known to buy small quantities this way (sadly so expensive - sigh!)

    Your house is looking wonderful!

    Best wishes, Pamela

  4. I do like that Bazaar a lover of 50s clothes and fashion magazines Im all for bringing them back

    I'll have to re read all my Rumer Godden children books .. there were a couple about Japanese dolls and a little girl with a proper Japanese Dolls House, Do you like Japanese gardens? I love them .

    Those pencil pines (is that what they are called?) and lavender just stunning ...Im really going to have to get myself to France

  5. PS Congrats on finishing the Hanging Rock book. Go easy with the red pen! Pamela

  6. I just picked up your Paris book at my local Seattle Anthropologie ... it made to the US west coast.... fyi.

  7. What a fabulous post.. always so much to look at and enjoy when you blog! What a wonderful idea to frame the Vogue cover and yes, please will be needing your framer when i return to Melbourne.. Will email you. Adore Kit Kemp's style - one of my dear friends here in UK gave me the book "A Living Space" for Christmas - do you have it? Highly recommended. And I must get the book you were talking about too - The Greengage Summer. And lastly, you are always so gracious thanking stores who stock your books - I doubt many authors would. Take care and have a happy weekend. S x

  8. Thanky you for sharing your wonderful miscellany and images! If you like the trellising, you would enjoy stopping by and seeing what our friend Philippe does at Accents of France - - in Los Angeles. Hoping your weekend is great!

  9. I read the Greengage Summer when I was at school.

    I always remember that Demi named one of her kids Rumer after Ms Godden.

    I love Justine Picardie. My Mother's wedding dress is one of my favourite books ever.

    I don't do Pinterest. Maybe someone can explain it to me.

    Am baking Nigella's olive oil cake and getting read to go to a party in a house that was featured in house and garden. Will take snaps x

    1. I just started doing Pinterest, like most things - not so good at it, I think I'm lacking a female gene. I just pin pics of men I fancy.

  10. Janelle, your home is looking fabulous. I am in awe of your work ethic and ability to diy!
    Trying to encourage my mother to become more computer savvy, so I showed her the Manuel Canovas (she has always been an admirer) site, Slim Paley's blog and of course your blog, to demonstate all the beautiful things one can see and read on the www without leaving one's living room. I think it's working.
    Wonderful news about your Paris book, I have already given it as a birthday present this year. The recipient was very pleased.
    The trellis work is devine.
    Heidi, that is really interesting about yellow rooms and adult arguments.
    Finally, agree about the Harper Bazaar cover - glamorous indeed.
    Oh, nearly forgot happy reading!

  11. Hi Janelle, I love that you have recommended a novel by Rumer Godden. I have been collecting her books for years. I first discovered her after reading her two volume autobiography - 'A time to Dance, No Time to Weep' and 'A House with Four Rooms'. My favourite is 'An Episode of Sparrows" which was written in 1956 (a year before I was born). I can see I will be climbing up the bookcase to retrieve my copy of The Greengage Summer in order to re-read it! LEE, Melbourne

  12. Hi Janelle
    Many thanks for this fabulous post. Love your framed magazine covers and great pick-up at Spotlight.
    I'm currently collecting National Geo's - to create 'stacks' of the golden yellow spines for tablescapes etc - originally spotted this idea in Ralph Lauren shops in the Hamptons. Also planted a few sunflowers in our french-inspired front garden - brings a nice pop of colour to our mostly blue and white colour scheme. Which brings me to your new book (on Provence?) which looks truly beautiful!!!

    India Hicks holiday house (and book) is also one of my inspirations - interesting to see her bold use of golden yellow in this predominantly white house.

    Anthropologie is one of my favourite shops in New York. Sydney designer extraordinaire, Sibella Court (author of Etcetera, Bowerbird, Nomad, Stylists Guide to NY) has done lots of work with them.

    We were excited to hear this week, that our daughter Odette Williams, has been asked to design for Anthropologie too.

    Pinterest is a great curation tool and I always try to credit the images I pin. Rest assured however, that if i didn't, images should all link back to the original source/webpage (and hopefully the copyright owner).

    Thanks again Janelle, always lovely to see your posts in my inbox : )

    Jenny Williams

  13. Here's a tip if you've lost the original source of an online image:

    just 'drag' the image you're sourcing into the
    SEARCH box at
    and google will find matching images for you...

    hope this helps

  14. I loved the wallpaper at Dorset Sq, it was a really cute little hotel, and so central, do you know who makes it?

  15. What is the colour you painted your hall? I love it!


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