Friday, January 29, 2010

Botha House

I am so excited as this weekend we are going to stay at Botha House. It is in Pennington on the South coast of Natal. It is a beautiful stately home originally built for the first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa, General Louis Both, in 1920. It has all the original fittings, Oregon pine floors, double volume ceilings, antique furniture, portraits and a grand old staircase.

I can't wait to explore. I'm sure I'll come back with some inspiration.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Burns' Night

So it was Burns' night on Monday night - I know I am a bit late but for some reason we are only celebrating it next Saturday night. We are going to a Burns' night soiree. There will be the toast to the haggis, a toast to the lassies and I'm sure some Scottish reel dancing. We also have to dress up in some sort of Scottish attire! Quite a feat to achieve in Cape Town. I'm thinking along the lines of Alexander McQueen and Sarah Jessica Parker at the Costume Institute gala.(Although must say, he pulls it off much better than her) Will keep you posted!

* A note from Mr Manners

Burns' night supper is a celebration of the life and poetry of Robert Burns, author of many Scots poems. The suppers are normally held on or near the poet's birthday, 25th January. Burns' suppers may be either formal or informal. Informal suppers typically include haggis, Scotch whisky and the recitation of Burns' poetry.

Last year I went to Scotland for the first time. We were invited to a real Scottish wedding. It was very 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' I loved every second of it.

A bagpiper at the wedding. There's something about that sound that is very romantic.
It felt very dramatic. You can see how cold it was. Also, very Braveheart.

There's Darling in his kilt! Very dashing, walking towards the Church. The wedding was at Murthley Castle.

The best part about our trip was our friend's beautiful home.

Look at the way the hedges are shaped.
I also loved their garden.

The view from the front of the house was just like a painting.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Marriage Italian Style

So, Darling is away. The Beags and I decided to have a quiet night in and treat ourselves to a bit of Italian drama. We decided on watching ' Marriage Italian Style' starring Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. We were not disappointed.It is over the top dramatic, romantic,sexy and incredibly stylish like only the Italians know how. We adored it. Of course we couldn't possibly watch it without a huge plate of spaghetti. I remember reading Patti Boyd's autobiography she explained Eric Clapton's extreme ways.He would insist that she make him large bowls of pasta for when he watched The Godfather. He would have to have the whole setting Italian as well, and only watch with his large bowl of spaghetti and a large white starched napkin tucked into his shirt. So the Beags and I gave it a bash - I must say it definitely makes the vid even better. Am very Italian at the mo.

Although, don't think I could take it this far. I think only Sophia could pull this one off.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Secret Garden

I am currently trying to plan my garden. Since we got the Beags, the poor garden has taken quite a bashing. So...... now that most of my plants have been ripped out and used in a tug of war, I have been left with flowerless beds with mounds of earth a la graveyard. Not very attractive.
Although, I am now very excited planning a whole new garden from wall to wall. For inspiration I was privileged to visit 'Freshwoods' private garden in Elgin. It is owned by Peter and Barbara Knox-Shaw and has been described as "Rambling,romantic plantsman's garden with major collection of heritage and species roses and many rare trees and shrubs"
It certainly is the most beautiful garden I have had the pleasure to walk through. It is like a dreamland with so many wonderful,magical secret spaces. It has such ancient towering trees, winding walkways that sometimes lead to hidden tunnels. it even has a bamboo garden.

Oh dear, where to start!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

And so to Bed......

I am so mad mad about my bed. The place that I adore most spending time is in my bed. Does that mean I'm lazy? So, I was going through some old photos and saw how my bedroom has changed over the course of two years. I wonder what it will look like in the future?
Our bedroom two years ago. Definitely way too much dark wood.

I loved the blue ikat scatter cushions with the cotton mustard and crochet pillow cases and bedspread.
Our bedroom now! Quite a change BUT still a work in progress. I added the aubusson rug for some more layering. The four poster to create a bit of drama. Our bedroom is not very big, so thought I'd exaggerate the ceiling height to give it a better sense of scale. Also, I changed the cut-out wooden screen to a raffia headboard - more comfortable and to lessen the dark wood! I think one of us needs a white bedside table though - not sure who will trade as we are very protective over our adored pieces.

My bedroom at my parents' house. One of my most favorite rooms in the world. It has the most calming, cool feeling about it. It feels like a holiday.

A bedroom we did for a client in Mauritius. Does it look like I have a fetish with four posters?

The guest bedroom in Mauritius.

My clients' son's room in Mauritius.

A house we did in Constantia. We were not given much wall - so they have the smallest bedside tables on earth. We had them made out of bleached oak, so at least they are very beautiful.

The teenager's room.

Their little girl's room

A holiday house we did. The soft mint colour makes it very soothing! Although, we did go quite crazy with the palms! This client is prone to exaggeration - she is Ruby Wax after all.

The guest bedroom in the holiday house. We did an upholstered mattress to make it more of a day bed. It can be used as a rumpus room during the day,

Clients bedroom in Durban. Very peaceful. I love the deep buttoned headboard.