Thursday, November 25, 2010

It's all about colour

a marvellous quote from Bright Bazaar

I've never been a beige person except in very small doses, I don't really know why but I've always been drawn to colour and as everyone who knows me will attest I'm a huge fan of red, it's probably the colour that represents me.  Although after doing Shannon Fricke's brilliant Colour Workshop last weekend, I really need to rethink my use of red around the house!

The Little Cottage - this divine turquoise door had us in rapture.  Image via Shannon Fricke
Shannon relayed this wonderful story about her daughter's bedroom when it was painted raspberry red and how the colour affected her daughter's behaviour and mood and she was constantly switched on 'high'.  It's quite amazing how colour can affect our mood.  When Shannon changed the colour scheme and used muted tones of green and blue - voila - a much more contented and relaxed child - amazing! 

gorgeous muted tones of green in Shannon's Workshop.  image via Shannon Fricke
For many years it seems that the design and decorating world has been awash with....well beige.  While I can see it's attraction, safe, unassuming, blends with everything and it really can look beautiful and sophisticated, I felt a bit out of step because it just isn't me, it feels too conservative.  I can't help it, I love colour, always have always will. 

I caught up for a coffee earlier this week with two super talented and stylish friends, Judy from Verandah House and Australia's answer to Martha Stewart Sharnel Dollar and we all agree - ditch the dowdy and embrace colour!

I can't drool over Judy's collection enough - it's stunning.  via Verandah House

Sharnel's vintage bauble Christmas wreath, she adds new glass baubles each year.  A few weeks before Christmas last year, I arrived home one day and on my door step was my very own Christmas wreath Sharnel had made for me as a surprise.  I just burst out laughing because I used to say to her 'I want one of those' and ta-da there it was! image via My Life My Loves

I'm not sure if colour was ever 'out of fashion' but it's definitely at the top of the design tree this Christmas.  I love the little tag line of Bright Bazaar 'because beige is boring'.   I don't think we all need to rush out and throw colour around like a mad man (maybe just a little bit) but add a dash here and there and your spirits will be uplifted guaranteed.   Colour = Happiness.

how fun is this Chrismas corner?  via Bright Bazaar
Shannon's workshop was beyond amazing and I met some incredibly talented and wonderful ladies and we had oh so many laughs.  Not only is Shannon brilliant but she is such a genuinely warm, welcoming and lovely person, I felt like we had met years ago.  Her wonderful assistant Nicky is just as delightful and the lunch she served was divine.  Bangalow is truly a beautiful escape from the city, it also helps that The Little Cottage is a magical space encouraging magical creativity!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Colour Splash

Shannon's Book STYLE is one of my favourites

I've been a little busy this past week, trying to get organised to allow myself time to head off to beautiful Bangalow for the Shannon Fricke Color Workshop.  I've been so excited about this little weekend for months.  Shannon is an incredibly talented author, stylist, television presenter and mother.  Her sense of style and decorating approach is refreshing and eclectic.  

I am staying at Shannon's guesthouse 'The Little Cottage' which looks positively delightful and oh so restful.

The Little Cottage - Bangalow
Fresh country air and inspirational design, sounds like a perfect way to spend a few days.


all images via Shannon Fricke

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Glamourous

It's not all glamourous here in the world of The Brown Trading Co.  Sometimes one must get down and dirty and this week is the week.  Stock has arrived, mountains of it, so the worker bees (that would include me) must don their stylish best, designer stanley knives in hand, unpack and count all the stock and then....fill our orders for our magnificent retailers!!

The things we do for gorgeousness...

required designer footwear for worker bees

Using stylish Stanley Knives on this lot, much more where these came from!

Friday, November 5, 2010

'Limelight' - Lily-G

Beauiful Fabrics (via Lily-G)
Just off a round-about tucked away in leafy Norman Park, Brisbane is beautiful lifestyle boutique Lily-G.  Founded 6 years ago by the extraordinarily talented Judy Elliott now of Verandah House, Lily-G was sold earlier this year to new proprietor Melinda Boundy who has since brought her own flair to the gorgeous landmark store.

Inside Lily-G (image via Lily-G)
Melinda and her team offer a full design service from concept to installation.  A stunning range of fabrics and wallpapers from Ralph Lauren, Osborne & Little, Nina Campbell and Designers Guild are on offer along with an array of exquisite homewares and gifts.

Bungalow Neem Red Napkins (image via Lily-G)

Butterflies and Birds (image via Lily-G)
In the years since opening, Lily-G has established itself as a leader in the Brisbane market and is renowned for providing clients with a luxurious yet relaxed style indicative of homes in France and The Hamptons.

Maileg Elves (image via Lily-G)
Next time you head down Bennetts Road way, be sure to stop by and visit Melinda and the team at Lily-G.  Make sure you grab one of these adorble Christmas Elves to help you through the silly season!

Have a gorgeous weekend.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The King's Road SW3


The King's Road, has launched many a brilliant career including those of 60's fashion icon Mary Quant and the original punk queen Vivienne Westwood.

Mary Quant 1963
Vivienne Westwood 1977

Granny Takes a Trip store circa 1960

Located in upmarket Chelsea, The King's Road  covers just over 3kms from Sloane Square to Waterford Road and has long been recognised as London's mecca for the bohemian and style trailblazers.

Back in the 90's I lived just off The King's Road, in a fabulously stylish flat owned by Minnie Driver's mother Gaynor Churchward (uber style queen) who lived in the flat upstairs.  Gaynor was an interior designer and her store Sussex House was on the ground floor and was a treasure trove of fabrics, cushions, curtains and trimmings.
Minnie Driver (image via
I not only lived in the area but I worked here for a while too and spent most of my lunch hours wandering through all the beautiful stores I'd never seen in Australia.  Shopping here on a Saturday was an unbelievable experience and we frequented My Old Dutch, Henry J Beans, Chutney Mary and The Chelsea Bun, not exactly Michelin star establishments but they all fell within the backpacking budget constraints and kept us fed and watered for well over a year.

It's where I first discovered the mind blowingly gorgeous world of Designers Guild, the visionary Habitat 'shopping as entertainment' concept brought to life by Terence Conran in 1964 and I was even present at the opening of Heal's Chelsea store.

design revolutionary Sir Terence Conran (image via mydeco)

Designer's Guild colour heaven

part of Designers Guild shopfront

Other fabulous stores along the famous stretch are AnthropologieThe White Company, Cath Kidston and newcomer to the area Oka who recently launched their flagship store.

Anthropologie (image via Grey Lemon)

Want to take a your own little swan down one of my favourite streets? Head here The Kings Road for a virtual 'street sensation' of one of the most wonderful high street shopping experiences in the world.

There is so much brilliance to discover at The King's Road and it will always hold a special place in my heart. If you have never been, it's a must!  If you have been, share your stories...