Saturday, August 31, 2013


Sisters Sarah Neilsen and Alice Flynn run Penny Farthing Design House, an Australian design firm (with an online shop) where they design pieces and collaborate with artists to create art and furniture collections.  Sarah has lived in this home with her husband Paul and rescue poodle Charlie for nearly three years. The home, with its abundance of natural light (enhanced by the new French doors!) and airy space is a peaceful respite from Sydney’s City Center, which is located merely miles away. Sarah has created a home that somehow feels both sophisticated and glamorous but also is warm and relaxed. 
Image above: My bedroom wallpaper is by the very clever Catherine Martin (CM) and was sourced through Porters Paints.  The thought was to create a dreamy space that was not too feminine. The roses are David Austin Roses with a bedside table that was once painted Tiffany blue, then a shell grey and now in is Dulux white on white. The light fixture is an Italian fixture by Deluce lighting.

Image above: The dining room has a David Bromley art piece that commands a certain presence within the room. The dinning table was an auction house find that cost $75. It has recently been painted and taken on a whole new look. The chairs are from Thonet Australia and surprisingly comfortable and sturdy.

Image above: My husband Paul and I both have had careers in negotiation and the floors were a 2-year negotiation as he really wanted to retain carpet for reasons of comfort and luxury.  He has graciously embraced the floors as they create a feeling of more space and more light.
See more of Sarah’s Sydney home after the jump!

Image above: The kitchen has recently been redesigned and ‘squared up’.  In its previous life the kitchen island had an oval shape that came out at an angle. The counter tops are by Quantum Quartz and Calacatta quartz with panelled cupboards in a Zeus Lunar grey matt at 50%. The backsplash is a mirror that has been made to look vintage and my favourite detail are the glass knobs which look like the top of the Chanel perfume bottle and are sourced from Mother of Pearl and Sons.

Image above: This is the view from the kitchen looking out to the new steel doors that have been painted in an almost black are lead into the dinning room.

Image above: Our bedroom has a beautiful 100% creamy white wool carpet that is seriously divine but hopelessly impractical, (who would have guessed). The paint colour is Cloudy Bay at 75% by Porters paints and changes color as the day and season changes.

Image above: Meet Henry, our best seller from Penny Farthing Design House. My sisters bought me the box brownie and candles for my birthday. They sit on a beautiful chest from India sourced from LuMu in Balmain.

Image above: This collection of beautiful things are all sitting on a handmade shell table from Oly San Fransisco purchased from Coco Republic in Sydney.

Image above: The oyster lounge from Coco Republic is 4 years old and is extremely comfortable. It is a great place to curl up for an afternoon with a good book or movie.  The African Juju hat is from Les Interieurs and the black drum is from Lu Mu in Balmain.

Image above: Zigggy and Bea is a beautiful art piece from our business Penny Farthing Design House.  The high top table is also from Oly San Fransisco with gold legs.  When it was being delivered the truck got stuck coming down one of the narrowest streets in Balmain and had to be taken past all the neighbours all anxiously waiting to get to work.  There were a lot of “wow’s” as they carried it down the street.

Image above: The photo’s are by Australia’s most famous photographer, Max Dupain.  They are from the ’50s and the image of the boy is in a series called Bankstown Boys don’t Cry.  These prints are from his personal collection and are one off’s also sold through Penny Farthing Design House. The chair was another auction find that has been partly covered in cow hide and slightly personalized by my lovely little niece Daisy.  (I know it is her because she has started to write her name – dead give away).

Friday, August 30, 2013


I think the life of a professional prop stylist must be the greatest job in the world. Not that I’m not completely grateful and happy to have the job I do, but if I had the skills (I don’t) and could run away to do an even dreamier dream job it would involve shopping all day for the perfect props for tabletop shoots. I’ve always been an obsessive ceramic/textile shopper, so it naturally lends itself to any story that needs plates, cups, bowls, napkins and tablecloths. Whenever I run into a shop like this one, Fossik, that’s stocking a well-edited selection of napkins, tea towels, trays and other decorative details (like the brass vine piece below) I imagine being able to scoop them up on a company card to use for some fantastic photoshoot down the line. Throw in a few of those incredible vintage rugs and I’m a very happy camper. Fossik has a great selection of tabletop and homegoods, so if you’re looking for a few new pieces to add to your collection before the summer ends, click here to check out and shop their full collection. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013


When it comes to homes, black is not one of the most popular color choices, but at the same time it doesn’t come out as harsh as one may think. This round-up shows the way that basic black can in fact add a sense of sophistication. 
Image above: Inspired by another sneak peek Emma Reddington painted black over wallpaper in her Victorian style home in Toronto.
Image above: More use of black in an unlikely place for Emma Reddington, but softened by natural and organic elements.
Image above: Jeff Madalena and Jason Gnewikow used India ink to stain their hallway floors a true black.

Image above: Zoe Johns and Max Catalano couldn’t decide on a paint color for their powder room, so they ended up with chalkboard paint with 10% white added.
Images above: Photographers Lou Mora and Sarah Yates show the way that color can play off a black chalkboard wall in their Los Angeles home.
Image above: A bold and classic black kitchen in this Brooklyn home designed by Jersey Ice Cream Co.
Image above: Chris and Christy Thiesse‘s fireplace they painted glossy black in their Long Beach home.

Images above: In their Helsinki, Finland home Susanna and Jussi Vento had a local automobile painter pain their table black.
Image above: Black is a continuous theme in the home of Jeff Madalena and Jason Gnewikow. These doors were found at a salvage yard and painted black.
Image above: A more manly bathroom in the Austin, Texas home of Pete and Bailey McCarthy.
Image above: Black in the kitchen of Sarah Davison‘s Sydney home.
Image above: Bernadette Pascua and Andrew Stinson wanted a moody feel to their bedroom so they painted it black.
Image above: A touch of glam with a black vanity in the Williamsburg, Brooklyn home of Bernadette Pascua and Andrew Stinson.
Image above: David Kimelman and Kevin Burke hosted a DIY chalk party with friends to help give some personality to their black chalkboard wall.
Image above: Black bottomed claw foot tub in the Williamsburg home of  Jeff Madalena and Jason Gnewikow.
Image above: Jennifer Hagler keeps her Boise home simple with black and white.
Image above: Susan and William Brinson used an embossed wall paper you can paint (they used outdoor, high gloss paint) to give their kitchen an “older” feel.
N. Savage + J. Nocito Wedding
Image above: Laura Aviva‘s glossy black bedroom floor. She prefers to keep her bedroom sparse.
Image above: A black bathroom in the Melbourne home of Kirra Jamison and Dane Lovett.
Images above: Lauren Bradshaw‘s son’s room double as her husband’s work space.


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