Come on a journey of inspiration & adventure while renovate & restore a beautiful Victorian home 'St Elmo' in the picturesque Hunter Valley, Australia & laugh at a few of our family adventures along the way.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Alfresco Dining

Here in Australia we really do have great weather for outdoor dining & a fabulous alfresco area really is a must for our dream house.
I have been on the hunt for some images to show my dream guy just what I would like to do with our alfresco area.

Wittman Deck traditional porch
Logans Hammer Building & renovating from Seattle, USA
had just what I was looking for...

Wittman Deck traditional porch

Although I would like that timber ceiling & hand rails painted white
I do love the stone fireplace surround. It would be great to have an outdoor kitchen like this , but I think something a little less extravagant will be more in our budget. A cupboard with some bench space & a built in BBQ would do the trick, don't you think?
 My dream guy likes the look of stack stone used in home decor, whether it is indoors, part of the facade or even used in the landscaping, this would give him the opportunity to use that product within our house design.

Wittman Deck traditional porch

This outdoor kitchen actually has a built in fridge, freezer & sink, not to mention a flat screen tv!
I don't know, I love to escape the tv, not have it follow me outside!!!

Wittman Deck traditional porch

We will definately be having a ceiling fan as they actually keep the fly's away. You can pop your food on the table & not worry that it will be covered in flys before you blink your eyes!!!

Wittman Deck traditional porch

I'm seeing a lot of images with curtains on the outdoor area, but I don't think that is something I will use in my Alfresco design!

Have you got a fabulous outdoor dining space to enjoy & does it have a fireplace to extend its use into the chillier months?

 Trish xxx

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Vintage books & camera vignette

The Old Painted Cottage traditional living room
image via the old painted cottage

What a fabulous way to display some vintage treasures.
I have 3 antique cameras of my own & I am always looking for some inspiration on how to show them off to the world & this is fabulous!

Do you have a love for vintage camera's & whats your tip for creating a vignette with them?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Home gym inspiration

Well my friends the time has quickly arrived for  the dream guy & I to head off on our little kid free getaway to the centre of Australia, Uluru
Ardsley Residence contemporary kids

But I think when I get back i will be needing to hit the gym!
After shopping for a few new bits & pieces I have discovered I don't like what I see in the mirror at the moment, so a serious workout on a regular basis is whats in order!!!
Our completed projects media room

A large wall of mirrors certainly helps to add a bit of light if you don't have a lot of windows, which is exactly the case for the space my gym will occupy in my dream house. It will be in what you would probably call the basement, so I think I will need to keep an eye out for some mirrors.....don't think the weight will  sneek on then, LOL!!!

On that note, we will be sitting down with our architect in about 2 weeks to get the ball rolling on some official house plans ....

I will post some pics of my holiday as soon as I return.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Trish xxx 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Beach house dreaming


Surf Road House 11 traditional living room

I love this ceiling, the soft blue really oozes style & charm...
(not so sure I could live with the ceiling fan)
This living room is definately inviting, the colour scheme is so soothing
I think we should sneek up that gorgeous staircase that is peeking out of the corner & see what eye candy lives upstairs

Surf Road House 6 traditional staircase

OH! what a devine view

surf road house 13 traditional hall
more lovely ceiling detail with a fantastic lantern

Surf Road House 14 traditional bedroom

Heavenly master bedroom complete with ocean views & the soothing sounds of waves crashing

surf road 16 traditional dining room
Dinner anyone?

Surf Road House 10 traditional kitchen

Preparing meals would be a pleasure in such a well thought out & superbly decorated kitchen.
Love love love the pendant lights

surf road 18 traditional kitchen

This lovely home is situated at Point Pleasant Bleach NJ and is the work of

Surf Road House 5 traditional exterior

Surf Road House 3 traditional exterior

What can I say.....
Location Location Location!!

Surf Road House 9 traditional exterior

I read quotes from designers about choosing colour & using the palette that mother nature provides us with...Bringing the outdoors in.
  I have to say it really is spot on in this beach house.
Blues from the ocean & sky, white from the clouds & white caps of the waves & then of course the sand colours used throughout  give a serene, calm & soothing feel amongst the architectural details.
This house is finished to perfection.
The furniture, lighting & architectural details  all work togethor to give a relaxed WOW experience to anyone that walks in the door!

What do you think, is this a dream house for you too?

Trish xxx

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Black & White living

2011 HHL Kitchen traditional kitchen

Dont you just hate when life gets in the way & leaves you NO time for blogging.....

2011 HHL Living Room living room

Hopefully things will get to normal in the next few weeks & I will be able to get back to visiting you all...

2011 HHL Living Room living room

To make up for my lack of posts lately I have left you this little bit of black & white eye candy from


Have a wonderful weekend every one, I miss you all!!!

Trish xxx

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I missed my 1st Blogiversary

I cant believe it....
I actually missed the 1st anniversary of my blog, my obsession, my link to the inspiring world!

I guess time flies when your having fun!!

I started this little blog on May 6th 2010, with no clue as to how addicted to blogging I would become.
I now have an incredibly lovely 175 followers, who I appreciate & treasure.
Your support & encouragement has been wonderful, I look forward to reading any comments that you have time to leave & I love looking at my stats to see lots of others have dropped by to read my rambling!!!

Image via Decorpad

Then there are the blogs I follow myself, HUNDREDS, actually.
I sometimes find it difficult to stop reading long enough to write my own posts!
So many beautiful images, fabulous make overs, tutorials, family adventures, weddings,divorces, parties & babies born.
I have laughed for some & cried for others & layed awake at night worrying & wishing I could solve a total strangers woes...crazy stuff really!
I guess that is what blogging becomes, a world where the people you meet are caring, thoughtful & supportive...even though we really are strangers, we are friends at the same time...
No wonder we become addicts!!!

Image via Ethan Allen

I started this blog thinking I would be beginning the building process of my dream house in the near future & would be telling of the journey we take in the process. Well here we are one year later & no ground has been broken, ALTHOUGH
all is not lost. There has been plenty of research, lots of highs , lows, frustrations & uncertainty & it appears we are now ready to move forward.
We are now FINALLY ready to sit with a draughtsmen to start some plans, we are pretty certain that we will follow the owner builder path & knock this baby up ourselves( well my dream guy will anyway)
Things are moving forward, slowly but surely, perhaps the next 12 months of blogging will see a dream house break ground!!!

So thank you for being my blog friends & I hope you stick around a little longer, a dream house will come,
I promise!

Now I have to go, bloggers are posting wonderful eye candy for me to drool over....

Trish xxx

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A little shoe storage

This is a post for my younger sister Erin, who always inspires & encourages me to follow all of my dreams & goals no matter how big or small!
Sometimes its even just buying a new pair of jeans Ive fallen in love with, even though we only went for coffee, OOPS!

Erin has a real LUUUURVE for shoes....

In fact I think she will find a pair of nude coloured stiletto's we searched for today in this very shoe closet.

& here is a little closet I had built for her, its ready to fill with wonderful shoes & fabulous jackets, in fact I have one ready for you all.....LOL ...I sound like Oprah giving away some of my favourite things as gifts!!!

Enjoy Ez

Happy mothers day to all the mummy bloggers & happy Sunday to everyone else!!
Happy mothers day to my mum, my other sister Deb & sister inlaw Jaime xxx

Trish xxx

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Advice needed for A trip to the red centre,

Later this month my dream guy & I are taking a 3 day KID FREE trip to Australia's red centre or as most Aussies would know it
 also called by its traditional aboriginal name

Uluru is the largest monolith in the world standing 348metres above ground level & has a circumference of 9.4km . I have booked to climb it after watching the sunrise & the next day a base walk with sunset canapes & wine. I think that should be a spectacular sight.

We will be attending "The sounds of silence" dinner on the first night, which is basically dinner under the stars,  in the middle of the desert, sampling some traditional Aussie cuisine & a star talk....
sounds rather romantic!

We will also be doing 2 different treks at Kata Juta, which is also known as The Olga's.
Kata Juta is a series of 36 big round domes that rise up from the desert floor, the highest being over 500 metres tall.There a 2 different walks you can do, so we will experience one at sunrise with a lovely picnic breakfast & then after the second trek we get to watch the sunsetting over the Olga's, whilst sipping champagne, so glad my chatterbox children wont be there to talk me thru such serene moments!

There are so many tours you can do in the area,  as well as many other places to see, it was extremely hard to decide & now I am concerned I may be missing something fantastic by just choosing  only cover two destinations.I figured we might as well experince the most of the rock & the Olga's rather than only seeing half of each location. I am also trying to keep in mind we only have 3 nights there & we would like to relax a little as well.

I have dream't of travelling to Ayers Rock for what feels like a lifetime now, so this really is a dream come true. I can't wait to take photos out there with my new camera, thank goodness for sd cards, I can snap away as much as my little heart desires!!

There is a safari you can do to a place called Mount Connor which is situated within a large cattle station, you get to see some  salt lakes & all the flora & fauna that live amongst it, as well as experience sunset at Mt Connor & dinner at the homestead, I would have enjoyed this alot

there is the Kings Canyon tour which is a 300km trip from the resort & then a spectacular 7km trek around the rim of the canyon with some pretty incredible views to reward you, after climbing 500 rocky steps at the start of the trek. This tour last 12hours, starting at 4am. The thought of being on a bus for 6-7 hours all up was a bit of a turn off,but you can have an overnight stay out there & do sevaral different walks, so perhaps that would be better as a whole other trip!
Mmmmm, so many choices & to top it off the dream guy says
 " you choose, its your trip, its just a rock to me"
he is NO help!!

Have you been to Ayers Rock & do you have any advice of whats good & whats not, all tips are greatly appreciated!
Check out the website if your keen to visit this incredible part of Australia, you can book everything right down to your air fares .

Ayers Rock Resort

Any way I am soooo excited, I can't wait to share with you all!!!

Trish xxx

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Well the school holidays are over & we are rested up & ready for another term of rushing around & trying to maintain some sort of routine.
I feel rather fortunate that none of my kids have chosen to play a winter sport , leaving our weekends free for rest relaxation or whatever we choose...YAY!!!

Through out the holidays we opted to stay home again & just enjoy the things on offer in our local area. I get the kids to write a list of the things they would like to do & we work our way through it!

We did a little fishing at the Hunter River, which is only about 2km from where we live

the kids love fishing & building a camp fire

we stayed here until after dark & had a bit of a picnic afternoon tea with my sister & brother in law

it was lovely weather & a nice way to relax.

My neighbor & I took the kids to The Hunter Valley Zoo. Its only a small zoo which is perfect for small children

 You can feed a lot of the animals & every hour there is some sort of educational display & the opportunity to pat some of the animals that are normally untouchable

We spent a bit of time working on our block of land.

The kids love to sit by the chiminea in the evening & have a bit of a picnic or do some drawing!

We baked cup cakes to celebrate my mums birthday

Maitland is packed with old historical buildings & the Hunter River runs through the centre of town, so they have created a really lovely river walk that is always fun to do.
(excuse my bad hair, it had rained on us a litle bit)

Its also a good path for riding scooters!

We trekked off to Hunter Valley Gardens for an afternoon out, with my brother, sister in law & 2yr old nephew

The story book garden is always a hit with the kids...

It really was a fun & relaxing holiday, my two older daughters spent the holidays in Bathurst with their father.  Dream child no.1 did a weeks work experience as a photo journalist at the Western Advocate Newspaper & loved every minute of it. This was a great opportunity for her & has helped her make a definite career decision. She will now apply to universities to study to be a photo journalist. I think this is the perfect career choice for her, she is very creative, a fabulous writer & loves photography, perhaps she will get lucky enough & become a travel writer, what better way could there be to see the world!

I hope everyone else had a FANTASTIC Easter  break!

Trish xxx

all photos are my own!

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