Rakumba Lamp, picked @ Salvos

It’s hard for me to write this post – so long since my last and already at the end of the first month of 2016. I’d promised myself over christmas that I would put more time into this blog, a creative outlet of mine and hopefully a pleasure to read for many of you! As many other bloggers could attest, there can be so much that stops you from being able to sit down and have a good keyboard banging session but at the end of the day, if you want to do it, you can and you will.

Today is a special day, not only because it’s the first post of 2016 but also because we happened upon the most exquisite lamp earlier this week that I was so excited to share with you! My partner actually came across this beauty – I had only gone through four clothes racks by the time he’d gone through the entire guys section so he ventured to the back room where all the homewares stuff is and I’m very glad he did!

Rakumba Lamp

The lamp was designed and made by a Melbourne brand called Rakumba. It has beautiful detail on the base and I love the orange diamond pattern that isn’t completely symmetrical which hints at the bespoke nature of the lamp. We weren’t sure after we bought it (a steal at $10) where it would end up but I think it looks pretty fantastic in this corner  –

Dining area with lamp

I haven’t shared our dining table and chairs with you all before! We got this gorgeous CRO Furniture textured teak dining set (pictured here in an original ad from 1965) off Gumtree for $400. It was pricey and probably the most expensive thing I’d purchased for our place at the time, but it’s in impeccable condition and will stay with us for a very long time!

This corner has fast become one of our most used spaces since moving in a couple of months ago. We listen to our records and sit at the table more, and now there is a beautiful, warm lamp to add to the space! What a great find 🙂

I love pickin’, Herbs xxx

How do you get from a dumpster to a modern, smart micro-home?

Living in a dumpster for a year doesn’t sound like an experience that many would consider, let alone enjoy. For one Professor however, it has spawned a new venture that is very exciting for tiny home and design lovers like me.

I wrote a piece last year about the Dumpster Project, an experiment that examined sustainable living and questioned concepts of waste, consumption and what is truly needed in terms of space, utility and function in a livable home. Dr Jeff Wilson, aka Professor Dumpster, has since taken what he learned from the dumpster living experience and created a remarkable micro-housing org, Kasita, which ticks all the modern, smart, and sustainable boxes of home design in a smaller package.

Kasita Exterior

Kasita pods in the metal rack (Source: Kasita)

Each 19.3m2 dwelling is complete with a kitchenette, bathroom, study, lounge and hidden queen bed. Stemming from the industrial design approach applied in the initial design and planning phase (the scheme itself is the result of a collaboration with industrial design firm Frog), one length of the home is covered in an awesome tile system that allows a myriad of customisable options to maximise function and aesthetic. There is also a cantilevered pane of glass at the front of the unit that floods the space with light and looks particularly edgy from the exterior.

Kasita Tiles

Kasita Tiles (Source: Kasita)

Beyond the design of the interior, each dwelling is a movable pod that slots into the  “rack” – the larger structure that houses each of the units. At the moment, plans are to complete the first rack in Austin, Texas, before expanding to 10 other cities throughout the US. Eventually, if you are lucky enough to live in one of these gorgeous pods, all you have to do to move is apply through a smartphone app, have your pod slotted out and collected by a truck and then slotted back into its new rack in your new city. Talk about taking the hassle out of moving homes – future Kasita dwellers will get to take their homes with them!

Interior, Kitchen, Bath, Storage

Kitchen, Bathroom and Storage of each pod (Source: Kasita)

We all know the positives associated with living small and it’s great to see another example of micro-housing that doesn’t sacrifice beautiful design or function. In my post about the Dumpster Project, I noted that the project had asked the question; ‘What does home look like in a world of 10 billion people? How do we equip current and future generations with the tools they need for sustainable living practices?’

Kasita Interior Study-Living

Living space and large glass pane at the front (Source: Kasita)

Kasita is certainly an innovative and smart scheme that has great potential to alleviate some of the problems raised by a growing population, shrinking or unusable urban spaces and over consumption. I cannot wait to see the first completed rack next year and if I ever move to the US, I will certainly be looking at getting amongst the pod Kasita living.

I love pickin’, Herbs xxx

Small Swedish Summer Cottage

I’m a sucker for anything that is small, and anything scandinavian – how could you not be? The scands know how to do warm, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing homes better than anybody, and for a bunch of people that live so much of their year in darkness, and then the other part in so much light – it’s no wonder their homes are effortlessly liveable and beautiful!

This particular cottage (or ‘kolonistuga’ – allotment cottage in swedish), epitomises the style and way of life that I have come to be rather obsessed with. One of my favourite blogs, My Scandinavian Home (if you’re a viking lover like me, get this at the top of your blog list!) featured it – it is just too good not to share –

Is this not the most perfect little cottage you’ve ever seen? The sage green and white of the exterior contrast beautifully with the dark and light grey’s of the roof and gravel in the garden. Imagine walking through that garden whenever it’s bedtime. It’s a place where fairy’s would play!

The colour scheme and depth of texture of the interior is absolute divine – lots of greys, matt black, natural timbers, woven objects and hand made ceramics. Elin Lannsjö has done exceptionally well to balance the aesthetics and functionalism of the interior – you don’t look at the space and feel overwhelmed by the decor, nor is it hard to imagine living there (oh how I wish it were so!).

The handmade ceramics on display on the windowsill add a soft, almost whimsical touch to the interiors and of course, the beautiful windows that provide incredible views out into the garden are exquisite!

What an astoundingly beautiful little cottage! Goes to show what can be done with a small space and gorgeous garden, doesn’t it?

I love pickin, Herbs XXX

Weekends in the country

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, escapes are good! They’re good for the body, good for the mind and good for the soul. I spent last weekend at my family’s property north-west of Sydney. I’m biased but it’s the most magical place in the world! Mother nature did a very good job in this neck of the woods –

Start of the stroll

Creek and Bridge

Lake and Mist

Watching the mist rise from the valley to reveal the hill tops was spectacular. There’s a sense when you’re walking around that what you’re seeing can’t be real – it’s difficult to explain, but I honestly felt that my eyes were up to some trickery.

Lake and Paddock

Once you’re through the luscious green paddock, you begin the hill climb. We fought our way through some pretty dense scrub to a rocky point with a terrific view further up the lake. The dog meanwhile had dropped her ball and took to sniffing every nook and cranny. Wombat holes dot the hillside and birds sing their melodies to friends and lovers.

Far paddock view

As you drop down off the hill again, you’ve reached the end of our property, but there is always more to explore. After a recent flood, the paddock is a muddy marshland that stinks like weeks of damp. The reward at the other side was this incredible feat of nature – not even the rock could stand the forces at play here –

Tree splitting a rock

Sea Eagles nest

Despite being far from any ocean, a sea eagle calls this valley home. I remember sitting in the canoe on the lake when I was about 12, watching it harass a couple of plovers, David Attenborough impersonation and all.

Dry stone wall

The climb back out of the gully brings you to the dry stone wall that borders our property, erected by settlers over a century ago. It’s a pretty incredible piece of history and construction.

There’s a site quite close to the wall where I want to construct my tiny shack escape. We stood for some time, talking about it’s aspect, what I can utilise that’s growing nearby to help with it’s construction. The whole drive back to Canberra my mind was abuzz with ideas – I want a shack that’s small, has minimum impact on the landscape, constructed of sustainable materials and is completely self-sufficient. There will be more blog posts about this over the next few years – that is for sure!

I love pickin’, and weekend escapes – Herbs xxx

***Photo creds to my partner and his Samsung Galaxy S4

Tips for a stylish and liveable bedroom

Before getting my own apartment, my bedroom was the one room in my family home, college room, and many student share houses, where I could take full ownership of the interior space. I loved having that one place where everything was mine, and where the space was an extension of me – the style, the colours, the warmth.

After moving into the current place, I went gang busters in every other area apart from the bedroom and rightly so! For the first time ever, I had a whole home (read ‘small apartment’) to play with and a whole home to deck out with my favourite picked purchases and pre-loved pieces.

Now I realise that I am currently writing a post about the last room I have finished without having written one about the living area, but don’t fret dear reader – I will write a post about the rest of my place in due course! For now, I figured I’d share my recipe for a comfortable, stylish and liveable bedroom based on what I’ve managed to put together –Study corner As I mentioned, the bedroom was (quite fittingly) dormant for a number of months while I exercised my right to put the coffeetable books on display and burn a ridiculous amount of scented candles. It wasn’t until a couple of months ago, when I put the retro metal fan into storage after a warm summer, that a simmer of decor activity started.

I know the fan example sounds strange but let me explain – the fan sat on the Ikea stool and once it got put away, I could utilise the stool as a bedside table (I’ve seen them used in the same way on Pinterest) which doubled my bedside space and gave me a spot to store my 2015 book collection (read so far). Bedside stool Storage and surfaces are very important. Physical clutter, is clutter to the mind and if I’m after a stress free sleep, having stuff everywhere doesn’t help me. Things (try not to accumulate too much) need a place to rest when we aren’t using them, so be sure you’ve got spots for the essentials – glasses case, indoor plant, shoe horn, a good book etc. Storing things also means you know where you can find them the next time which helps with the liveability of a good space – I don’t want to waste time looking for things, I want my day to flow between what I need to do and what I have to grab and use in order to do it.

A nice comfy throw and choice of bed linen can make all the difference – but don’t rush into getting the first set you see! I envisaged the perfect bed ensemble and after months of patience and disappointment at the expense of 100% linen sheets, finally struck gold in the form of a linen/cotton blend fabric in my dream colour from Target! You beauty!!! I’m loving the colour grey at the moment – despite what some say about it being a cold, depressing and dull colour I’ve found it to be quite the opposite and love that the throw has added warmth and texture to the room. It’s also toasty when I’ve got it on top of the doona on these cold Canberra nights!

Desk styling

I’m about to begin my masters, so a good study space was a must! It’s important when you’ve got a bedroom/study combo  (as many students out there would know) to find a balance between both functions of the single space. It won’t do me any good if I can’t escape the study dungeon when I should be comfortable and sleepy in bed so my tip is to style for use and look. Make sure the desk has everything you need – space, storage and lighting – but ensure you add some personal touches that will inspire and motivate you.

I’ve got a portrait done by one of my mates, a box gifted by my partner full of little treasures, the next book on my reading list, a scented candle (duh!) and a vintage industrial lamp that we scored for $10.00 from The Green Shed in Mitchell on mine at the moment. Have I mentioned that the desk is an original mid-century piece?It was the previous owner’s fathers’ desk when he worked in the public service in Melbourne in the 1960s! A score at $100 from Gumtree 🙂 We got the Replica Hans Wegner Wishbone Chair from Clickon Furniture in Fitzroy, Melbourne. It was a bit of a splurge but it was one of the rare times we’d driven down there and we couldn’t say no to taking it home with us.

Study area

The last little tip I’ll leave you with is plants, plants, plants! You can never have too many (I want more!) and they bring so much more life (literally!) to a room. Also, studies have shown that they have positive effects on air quality and your happiness!

Peace Lily and Cactus

In case you’re wondering, that is a cactus in a cactus planter – cool isn’t it?!

Do you have any tips to make your bedroom stylish and liveable? Share them in the comments below!

I love pickin’, Herbs xxx

Original Schweppes Crate

Anyone that fancies a bit of rustic and vintage in their home has an old wooden crate. Perfect for storage or shelving, a vintage collection is hardly complete without one, which is why I was so excited to spot this original, vintage Schweppes crate in The Green Shed’s Civic shop. Lucky for me, I work close to the Green Shed head office and ran into the manager who said that she was heading up that way and could put it aside for me – score!

Vintage Schweppes Crate & Hans Wegner replica

I’m not really a yellow kind of person, but for someone who has been on the hunt for a vintage crate since I started pickin’, it was an opportunity that could not be missed and the yellow actually looks fabulous!

In terms of its age, I haven’t been able to find too much hard evidence, instead I have pieced a few things together to make a semi-educated guess.. It’s volume measurement is in ounces which is part of the imperial system so it’s older than the metric system. With no stamps or notes on the crate, I couldn’t get any more information so was left to compare the fonts that Schweppes was using before the 1970s which led me to a similar wooden crate with the same font in the 1930s. There you have it – a vintage, original Schweppes crate that is older than my Grandma!

Vintage Schweppes Crate & records

The crate is now home to some of our records which – since moving next to the Hans Wegner replica (eBay purchase and an absolute favourite) – have been getting much more play time on the secondhand record player (read here) than previously. I love the fact that we have increased the use of the record player after getting a functional storage solution for the records. Functional storage is so important, especially in a small apartment like ours, so I’m glad that the crate is being put to good use and looks fabulous!

I love pickin’, Herbs xxx

The Balcony Garden

I am totally ashamed of myself – it is the beginning of March and this is my first blog post for 2015 – the horror! Admittedly, I’ve suffered a bit of a lag in my creativity levels over the past couple of months but I figure, the only way to break the trend is to put my fingers to the keyboard and write, so here goes…

Despite the fact my last post of 2014 was garden themed (you can read it here, and other garden related posts here and here), I’m going to share the little garden that my partner and I have been slaving over this summer past (It’s over already 😦 ). Having moved into our new place at the end of last year, the pallet garden was in need of a makeover and the flailing herbs were crying out for help.

We spent a couple of days putting it all together and now the balcony is a tiny little oasis for us.

Vertical Pallet Garden

I’m hoping the hardy grasses I put in the pallet garden are sturdy and strong enough to last whatever the Canberra winter has to throw at them! We got some parsley and basil seedlings which we’ve put together in the terracotta pot and an incredible Anigozanthos, otherwise known as Kangaroo Paw (shout out to Liam for teaching me that one!) – the flowers are just incredible aren’t they!

Pallet Garden

Kangaroo Paw, Basil and Parsley

It’s been fun curating the garden – playing with the height and positions of plants. We’ve used the cinder blocks to create different levels for the plants which looks great but also means that because they are lifted they get more sunlight. We’ve got a bit of concrete throughout our apartment as well so the material carries through from the interior to the exterior in different shapes and textures.

Cinder blocks & plants

Cinder blocks, bok choy, bonsai and other plants

Yes – I have decided to experiment a little bit by planting some bok choy in the other terracotta pot. I thought it would be a smart idea to go against the recommendations on the label and plant a lot of them in really close proximity – I can tell you now it hasn’t worked (Duh!). I couldn’t admit that it was a silly idea when I planted them, but now that they’re wilted and sad – well, you get the jist – defeat is not my forte.

My sister gave me the Banyan Fig Bonsai for Christmas and I’ve really enjoyed having it in the garden. I gave it a trim a few weeks ago after spending ages trying to figure out how to do it properly – I never knew that so much care had to go into having a healthy, growing Bonsai so it will be fun to see how far my green thumb has come (ignore my failed bok choy experiment please!).

Cable reel

I’ve posted about our outdoor setting before but thought I’d share another picture because it really does complete the balcony. It looks even better now that it’s got the fern on it. We had the fern indoors for a little while but it wasn’t very happy in there. Since bringing it outside, where it has more or less constant filtered light during the day, it’s a much happier fern.

To recap for you, we got the cable reel from a small country town called Wombat and the stools from The Green Shed. If you’re looking for cinder blocks, The Green Shed normally has them – we picked them up for $20.

I love pickin’, Herbs xxx

Pickin’ the Christmas Harvest

Vege patch

Watering the vege patch

Planting some beetroot

I liken my trips home to the farm at the end of the year to a pilgrimage. Every year, it’s the same journey from Canberra to our property, only I’m not searching for some kind of moral or spiritual significance. Rather I’m looking for that peaceful serenity that comes from being at a special place where you can let everything go and just be. I’ve written about my farm and how special it is before. I don’t think anyone that’s been here would disagree – it does have some kind of a magical element to it and this year, I think the magic is in everything that’s green.

There’s no better time of the year to come up to the farm than in the weeks following a good bout of rain. The valley comes alive with colour and every paddock rolls with lush green grass set amidst the harsher greens and browns of the native aussie bushland in the hills around us. The rain also helped the families vege patch out to the point where there’s an abundant amount of fresh produce to be harvested and then new things planted. We spent a few hours before the heat set in today out there; harvesting, pruning, picking and planting. It’s times like these where I really wish I had a big garden of my own in Canberra, and that I’d been a part of the initial creation of this incredible garden. The family have put so much work into it, and it’s really inspiring to see how much they get out of growing their own food.

Planting some Opal Basil


44 galon drums used as planter boxes

We planted silverbeet, artichoke, beetroot and opal basil, and harvested some ripe tomatoes, green beens, and nasturtiums (edible flowers). My sister had already harvested the carrot, eggplant, capsicum and more tomatoes yesterday but I was glad there was some stuff I could pull off the plants myself.

In terms of the soil mix that has been used in the garden – they combined mushroom compost with chicken, horse and cow manure, then put the soil that they’d dug out to put the garden beds in on top. Finally after planting their first batch, snow pea mulch was put on top. They’ve used a variety of beds including timber, old corrugated iron water tanks and 44 gallon drums. I love that there is that element of re-use in the garden and if they want more planter boxes or beds, dad has a tonne of old drums, tool bowes, wheelbarrows that could be used.

Picking some beans

Sister picking todays harvest

Todays mini harvest

We are going to have quite a bit of fresh, home grown produce for our christmas feast and I know that when you grow and pick it yourself, it tastes even more delicious! I can’t wait to see what we come up with over the next two days in terms of menu! Yum!

I love pickin’, Herbs xxx

Thought I’d give you all a look at the Vege Patch we’ve got going on at the farm ahead of the blog post I’ve got coming tomorrow! It has exploded since the last time I was here – the fam have put so much love and care into it’s development and I can’t wait to get my hands dirty! Going to pick me some tomatoes and beetroot – yum!

Herbs in their corrugated iron planter box

The Vege Patch

Vege Patch – Sneak Peak

Reused and upcycled outdoor setting

It’s that time of the year and I’ve been stormed under with work, christmas prep and all the rest. I’ve had this post sitting in draft format for too long so I’ve decided to get it out onto the interwebs so that I can sleep better knowing my precious readers have some new words to rest their eyes on –

I’m a chronic list writer, there’s no two ways about it – if there’s multiple things to do or get, I’ve got a list for them. My pickin’ is (most times) no different. While I love the unexpected discovery’s and spontaneity of going pickin, in instances where you are after particular objects, it is always better for me to have a list. When I have a list, I feel like my eye is sharper and I don’t get carried away sweating the unlisted stuff.

A few weeks back, having just moved, we made a list of the objects we were hoping to find. These included a dining table, outdoor chairs, a coffee table, a side table and something for our sparse bedroom…In reality, while it may sound like the space could be devoid of furniture, it had felt comfortable and lived in without the listed stuff above. It isn’t a large apartment so it was and continues to be important for us to be restrained in terms of furniture and styling. We’re both fond of the simple and functional approach of Scandinavian design and furniture and I think that is probably influencing our hunt the most (just wait until I show you the dining table we got from Gumtree!).

Wooden cable reel and school stools

On this particular day, we managed to score some stools to go with the wooden cable reel my parents bought for us as a house warming present from the side of a road in a country town called Wombat (NSW). The stools look exactly the same as the ones I had in my art classes in primary school – they are even complete with paint splatter on the seat!

The stools look great with the cable reel – we were actually quite stoked at just how well it all worked out! The stools were picked from Tiny’s Green Shed in Mugga Lane for $5 each. The cable reel as I said was picked form the side of the road in Wombat and my parents paid $15 for it. I’ve seen them occasionally at Tiny’s as well so if you’re interested in getting your own, keep a look out!

I love pickin’, Herbs xxx