Homewares

August 1, 2013

Australian design: Relaunched Tony Parker furniture

Tony Parker Furniture at WORKSHOPPED via WeeBirdy.com

There was a moment back in May when I’m not ashamed to say that I literally squeaked with excitement. I had just discovered that Tony Parker, of Parker Furniture, was relaunching a capsule collection of his iconic ’50s designs in an exclusive collaboration with Surry Hills design store WORKSHOPPED. Anyone who’s a fan of mid-century furniture probably squeaked in unison, creating some kind of modernist-fuelled squeaky, squealy chorus as the Parker name translates to Australian mid-century modern LEGEND.

Tony Parker Furniture at WORKSHOPPED via WeeBirdy.com

It was only a few weekends ago when I finally stumbled into WORKSHOPPED that I actually laid my hands on this glorious new furniture. Re-worked in American Oak and American Walnut, the pieces have been gently tweaked and reinvented in that unmistakable Parker style.

I loved the beautiful white oak extension butterfly leaf dining table, but I made a beeline for the iconic coffee table with its organic lips, marvelling at how fresh and well, modern, it looked at once. Funny that.

Tony Parker Furniture at WORKSHOPPED via WeeBirdy.com

I couldn’t be more overjoyed by this happy collaboration, breathing new life into one of Australia’s greatest design names while offering brand new pieces that have been reworked by Tony Parker himself. The new range is made by Covermore Designs, a company featuring many of Parker’s original staff and craftspeople, which offers a lovely sense of continuation.

Tony Parker Furniture at WORKSHOPPED via WeeBirdy.com

The timing for the new collection couldn’t be better, with mid-century modern a key trend and source of reference in mainstream design and interiors. (That doesn’t stop short-sighted Sydney realtors from flogging incredible examples of mid-century architecture as potential for detonation and new apartments, but that’s another rant.)

Tony Parker Furniture at WORKSHOPPED via WeeBirdy.comTony Parker Furniture at WORKSHOPPED via WeeBirdy.com

Kudos to WORKSHOPPED Director, Raymond Scott, for bringing the Parker name back into currency, and three cheers for Tony Parker, for his undeniable verve in relaunching this collection.

Tony Parker Furniture at WORKSHOPPED via WeeBirdy.com

In the meantime, our original teak Parker coffee table is currently in storage, as we have a rather unlovely Thomas the Tank engine train table in its place. Tell me, parents of older children, when do I get my beautiful teak coffee table back, assured that it won’t be used as a racetrack or a surface for pounding neon orange playdough? When? When will the sippy cup ring stains stop?

Tony Parker mid-century furniture is available at WORKSHOPPED
Shop 2 / 8 Hill Street
Surry Hills, NSW 2010 Australia
Tel. + 61 (0) 2 9146 4353

All photography courtesy of Workshopped.


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July 26, 2013

A wee tour: My modern vintage baby’s room

It’s funny the things you forget. Like the little details in my son’s room when he first arrived. It’s been two years since these photos were taken, but since I’m running a week of all things related to babies and kids, I thought you might like to see how I decorated his room back then.

A wee vintage modern nursery room tour via WeeBirdy.comAll photography by Lucas Boyd.

There was no real plan or theme, as you can see from the photos (although there are a lot of birds and bunnies, naturally). I was fiercely opposed to anything too matchy-matchy, or beige and neutral. I wanted a light, bright and happy space for my new baby – and me.

I’ve spent a lot of hours in this room – and now that it’s home to a very busy two-year-old, quite a lot of things have changed. But one thing that hasn’t changed is my love of print and pattern, and my magpie approach to decorating.

A wee nursery room tour via WeeBirdy.com

Modern vintage nursery tour via WeeBirdy.com

I guess you could call Harry’s room modern vintage – but really, we were confined by a tight budget – and space. And like so many other new parents, we trotted off to IKEA for the requisite Expedit shelves and chest of drawers.

The rest of the space I filled with vintage and second-hand-stuff, like the Stokke cot I bought for a song on eBay. And I didn’t want to splash out on a new rocking chair or anything that was marketed as a ‘nursing chair’, so I made do with a mid-century chair that I bought and had reupholstered by the brilliant A Pair of Chairs in Redfern.

The teak arms of the chair were instantly ‘christened’ by my son on the first day we brought him home, so I hastily covered it with a mix of second-hand granny blankets, quilts and cushions.

Children's book shelf using IKEA spice racks via WeeBirdy.com

Harry's nursery room tour via WeeBirdy.comBlabla bird mobile via WeeBirdy.com

Budget and space were also major factors to consider when it came to buying baby furniture. So much in fact, that I was vehemently opposed to anything that had a sole ‘baby furniture’ purpose. So instead of buying a new nappy change table, we made do with a change mat on top of the IKEA set of drawers. And instead of a separate Moses basket or basinette, Harry slept in his cot from day one. I also decided against buying a bulky baby bath, so a baby seat in our bath did the job just as well.

Modern vintage baby's room via WeeBirdy.comModern vintage baby's room via WeeBirdy.com

Modern vintage nursery tour via WeeBirdy.comI introduced colour and texture into what was an otherwise plain white space with my own childhood toys, new finds, and the many generous gifts from friends. My beloved Little Wanderer by Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara – a gift from a friend for my 30th birthday – found a new home on Harry’s shelves.

You can also see the hand-painted cotton reel garland that my mum and sister made for me when I was born. And if you look carefully, you’ll be able to spot my childhood copy of M Sasek’s This is Sydney, along with my childhood Mr Potato Head, fuzzy felt board, red school case, wooden xylophone and Danish wooden fish puzzle. And like every other design blogger with a baby two years ago, I duly bought the IKEA spice racks and re-purposed them as rather nifty book racks. Ha!

Modern vintage baby's room via WeeBirdy.comModern vintage baby's room via WeeBirdy.com

Vintage wallpaper giraffe decal via WeeBirdy.comTo keep things fresh and to add a splash of greenery, I popped a pot plant on top of Harry’s shelves – it’s still there but it’s now filled with dinosaurs.

Here’s a wee list of some of the things you can see in his room. Most of these things were gifts but I’ve provided sources where possible.

Vintage fabric bunting by Hazy Jane from My Messy Room.
Babar print from a seller on the banks of the Seine, Paris.
Original Winnie the Pooh etching, from a bookshop in Cecil’s Court, London.
White Expedit shelving unit (lying in its side) from IKEA.
Malm chest of drawers (with Cath Kidston nappy change mat on top) from IKEA.
Hen and chicks mobile by Flensted.
White crochet granny square rug by IDA Interior Lifestyle’s Etsy shop.
Alphabet blocks, a gift from a friend, can be bought here.
Yoshitomo Nara’s Little Wanderer.
Heico rabbit lamp, kindly gifted by Caravan Interiors.
Small hand painted tambourine
, trimmed with vintage ribbons by Claire Fletcher from Made in Hastings.
Vintage chair re-upholstered by a A Pair of Chairs.
Birdy cushions from Habitat, London.
Vintage wallpaper animal wall decals from Inke Heiland.
Bajo wooden bird abacus from My Messy Room.
Bajo red wooden bus from My Messy Room.
Old fairground wooden battleships from Pedlars‘ Notting Hill shop.
Much loved McNuttie the Squirrel, kindly gifted by BlaBla Kids.
Multibirds mobile, gifted by BlaBla.
Red bird dream ring, gifted by BlaBla Kids.

Modern vintage baby's room via WeeBirdy.com

Photography by Lucas Boyd.

It’s a week of babies and kids on Wee Birdy! Make sure you haven’t missed:
Top 12 affordable art prints for children’s rooms
Wee find: Laikonik once-a-year baby record books
19 clever ways to transform a kid’s room with wallpaper
The 12 best presents for baby girls
A wee historic royal baby exhibition
The 12 best presents for baby boys


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July 24, 2013

19 clever ways to transform a kid’s room with wallpaper

Vintage and retro-inspired wallpapers have been trending in baby and children’s rooms for a while now, and it’s a style I really love. In recent years, the use of vintage wallpapers has been a popular look in creative Scandinavian nurseries, where print and pattern is used for a nostalgic patchwork of colour.

However, wallpaper can also be used with restraint to create a clean, minimalist look. Either way, there’s no end of possibilities with so many gorgeous new (and old) wallpaper designs on the market. Here are some of my favourite ways to transform a baby or children’s room with wallpaper.

Best Children's Room Wallpapers via WeeBirdy.com

Clockwise from top; Create detail – and a narrative – with Un Dimanche a Paris wallpaper from Famille Summerbelle; a simple soft mint harlequin wallpaper by Ferm Living creates a peaceful and harmonious backdrop to this pretty-pastel room; and contrasting green shelves pop against the vintage floral wallpaper in this room via milk magazine. Best Children's Room Wallpapers via WeeBirdy.com

Clockwise from top, a single wall of vintage wallpaper creates a ‘jungle-style’ background for toys and figurines, via Dwell; the colours in this striking vintage wallpaper set the scene for this eclectic bedroom via Kenzie Poo; a single pop of yellow offers a nice balance to the soft harlequin wallpaper in this nursery, via Scandinavian Deco; Cath Kidston’s retro-style cowboy wallpaper is enhanced by a vintage letter ‘H’ in this fun boy’s room via House Beautiful.

Best wallpaper in children's rooms via WeeBirdy.com

Clockwise from top right, cloud wallpaper complements the clash of bright prints in this nursery via Blafre; beautiful bird wallpaper by Hygge and West creates a sweet babyscape in this nursery via Kitty Genius; and scraps of vintage wallpaper have been used to create a collaged landscape in this bedroom via Bolig Liv.

Best Children's Room Wallpapers via WeeBirdy.com

Clockwise from top right, a collage of vintage paper creates a patchwork of pattern on this little shelf, via Retrovilla; a single wall of forest-themed wallpaper creates a fun background for this playroom via IKEA Family Live; and Josef Frank’s incredibly detailed botanical wallpaper makes a strong statement in this nursery via DesignSponge.

Best Wallpaper in Children's Rooms via WeeBirdy.com

Clockwise from top right, honey-toned timbers enhance the golden hues in this dotty wallpaper by Ferm Living; a graphic zoological wallpaper by Ferm Living creates a fresh and minimalist look in this baby’s room; and the clash of print and pattern in this gloriously vintage-style room is pulled together by a set of mismatched drawers painted in complementary tones, via Petra Bindel.

Best Children's Room Wallpapers via WeeBirdy.com

Clockwise from top right; the restrained timber floorboards balance the intensity of the retro folk wallpaper in this little girl’s room via Milk magazine; the pale blue Majvillan wallpaper provides the perfect backdrop to a colour palette of blue, tan and red in this baby’s room; and a fun alpine landscape is created in this room with the help of a hot-air balloon and a cable car (find it at Theo) via Flickr.

It’s a week of babies and kids on Wee Birdy! Make sure you haven’t missed:
The 12 best presents for baby girls
A wee historic royal baby exhibition
The 12 best presents for baby boys


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June 17, 2013

Wee Birdy is in Inside Out magazine

Now look what we have here! I’m super-chuffed to feature in the new July-August 2013 issue of Inside Out, the delightful Australian magazine that is beloved by design and interiors enthusiasts around the globe. I was interviewed and photographed for their feature on seven different kinds of shoppers – from eBay addicts to auction house devotees – and I was the poster girl for Etsy! Love it.

That’s me, third from left, and I’m photographed with one of my best Etsy buys – a hand-decorated vintage teapot by the inimitable Dutch designer and illustrator, Nina van de Goor from Ninainvorm. I’ve been a fan of Nina’s work since I first started blogging so I’m particularly proud to showcase her work in this feature.

I’m wearing a gorgeous necklace by one of my favourite Etsy designers, Jennifer Loiselle. It’s her Severine woven rope necklace in pink and orange and you can buy it right here. I’m also wearing a graphic black and white frock by Marimekko and T-bar clogs from Gorman.

Other good things in the new issue of Inside Out include an interview with UK blogger Will Taylor from Bright.Bazaar, a profile on awesome Melbourne-based artist Ghostpatrol, a round-up of the best bedside tables and a look behind the scenes (and the real-life homes) of Australian TV drama, Offspring. There are also loads of inspirational homes and shopping features with superb styling and masterful photography.

Here’s a peek at a feature styled by the marvellous Megan Morton and photographed by Sam McAdam-Cooper. I adore the clever wall feature of draped textiles hanging from a painted curtain rod, and I’m seriously coveting that Moroccan wool rug from Jardan in the second image (below).

Inside Out Magazine, stylist Megan Morton via WeeBirdy.com.
Styling by Megan Morton. Photography by Sam McAdam-Cooper.
Inside Out Magazine, stylist Megan Morton, via WeeBirdy.com.
Styling by Megan Morton. Photography by Sam McAdam-Cooper.
Inside Out Magazine, stylist Megan Morton, via WeeBirdy.com.Styling by Megan Morton. Photography by Sam McAdam-Cooper.

And check out the fabulously vibrant touches in the Orange County New York weekend home of FAB founder Bradford Shellhammer.

Architectural photographs of Bradford Shellhammer (Founder of FAB.com) summer house in Orange County NY via WeeBirdy.comPhotography by Trevor Tondro/Living Inside.
Architectural photographs of Bradford Shellhammer (Founder of FAB.com) summer house in Orange County NY, via WeeBirdy.comPhotography by Trevor Tondro/Living Inside.

Find out my Etsy shopping secrets and see more from these glorious shoots in the July-August 2013 issue of Inside Out, on sale now.

Inside Out is available from newsagents, Zinio, Google Play, Magsonline, and Apple’s Newsstand.

Connect with the Inside Out team:
Blog: http://blogs.homelife.com.au/insideout
Instagram: @insideoutmag
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/insideoutmag
Tumblr: http://insideoutmag.tumblr.com/
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/insideoutpins
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Inside.Out.magazine.au


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December 14, 2012

Christmas Gift Guide 2012: Presents for mums, sisters and girlfriends

Christmas Gift Guide: Presents for mums, sisters and girlfriends

Finishing your Christmas shopping this weekend? Here’s my edit of the best presents for all the lovely ladies in your life, starting at £8.96. If you spot something you fancy for yourself, just share it on Facebook or Twitter prefaced with a big ‘Hint, hint’!

1. ‘Dash Dot’ pointy mittens by Donna Wilson, available in three colours
£32.50, from Soma Gallery.

2. Aesop Reverence hand wash, £27 from Cult Beauty.

3. Postie leather envelope, AU$190 from Follow Store.

4. Dinosaur Designs set of three bangles, AU$215 from Dinosaur Designs.

5. Polli woven peacock pendant, AU$79.95 from Polli.

6. India Knight Mutton (hardcover), £8.96 from Amazon.

7. Paul & Joe Kitty Blusher Stick in Minou, £19 from Rose Apothecary.

8. Paris Wakefield Additions Bliss cotton satin cushion, £59.50 from Paris Wakefield Additions.

9. Melinda Young hand cut acrylic flamenco pendant, AU$95 from Collect.

10. Cadiz serving bowl, £34 from Anthropologie.

11. Ceramic band bowl XXL, €70 from Foldoys.

12. Paul and Joe colour powder (081), £19.50 from Rose Apothecary.

13. Eiffel Tower ring dish, £10 from Anthropologie.

Want more lovely present inspiration? Click here for all my Christmas 2012 Gift Guides.

Prefer to buy handmade? Click here for my Etsy 2012 Christmas Gift Guides.

And don’t miss my Top 20 Christmas Crackers and my Top 20 Christmas Stockings!


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December 13, 2012

A wee chat with Megan Morton

Megan Morton Things I Love via WeeBirdy.com

This is the book that I’ve been excited about for months. And it’s here – at last – and just in time for Christmas. Megan Morton in one of Australia’s leading stylists, but really she’s much more than that – she’s actually pretty amazing. She recently opened The School, offering a super-fresh take on craft workshops (you can learn to make pineapple piñatas, flower bombs and shibori, to name a few) as well as sharing her own creative talents through styling masterclasses.

The School via WeeBirdy.com

In her new book, Things I Love, Megan has curated a darn exciting and inspirational collection of homes, people and design she loves, as well as offering a raft of tips and advice. It’s the only book I know that injects warmth and genuine excitement into sharing practical tips such as how to clean a vintage painting, how to mimic the Kate Spade wall, and – my favourite – how to fold a fitted sheet. Naturally, it’s beautifully designed and it’s full of cute features like zip-out postcards and fold-out pages.

So I thought I’d have a wee chat with Megan about something we both love – SHOPS – and boy, does she spill the goods…

Megan Morton via WeeBirdy.com

You’re a such a creative bird, Megan Morton. If you were a bird, what kind of bird would you be?

A Leila Jeffreys budgie! Have you seen her photographs of Aussie budgies?! Amazing! Standard budgie at first glance but not-so upon further inspection! Her budgies are showing at Tim Olsen gallery at the moment and are hilariously wonderful!

Leila Jeffreys' Suzi via WeeBirdy.com

I adore Leila’s birds, too! Especially the cheeky parrots. Congratulations on your fabulous new book, Things I Love. What about shops you love? Can you tell us which shops you love in Sydney?

La Croix in Kings Cross is a personal favourite because you can spend $6 or $6000 over a coffee. The grey leather banquette with pompoms is enough of a drawcard for me, let alone the glassware, candles, cups and marble kitchen bits all acquired from a medley of sources and countries [see images below].

La Croix Kings Cross via WeeBirdy.com

La Croix Kings Cross via WeeBirdy.com

I love Koskela for their commitment to Australian-made and furniture that is so well made and designed with wit [see image below].

Koskela via WeeBirdy.com

I Love You Beads Warehouse in Leichhardt. There are so many hysterical reasons to love this store. I have taken up a hobby making necklaces. They are actually super nice! I go to this shop as it tickles my sense of humour as well as services all my bead fantasies.

Flour and Stone in  Woolloomooloo for lamingtons and tea served in Beryl ware from classic Brown Betty tea pots [see image below].

Flour and Stone via WeeBirdy.com

Fairfax and Roberts
. Such a decadent and wonderful store experience. I adore jewellery and watching its almost theatrical presence at this store is a wonderful way to tyre-kick/window-shop for all budgets. Shopping for me is not just about nothings, it’s about observing and getting inspiration.

Dolly Up in Surry Hills is a dangerous place for me to go in the same way Belinda is. I love maxi dresses and Erin at Dolly Up has magnificent ones. I have bought many a vintage Valentino from her. With two daughters I feel like I am doing my bit to give us all some nice vintage options in a shared family closet!

Although I designed it, I do honestly love the Ecoya candle store on Queen Street [see images from the launch night below]. Moody and devastating, with hand-blown glass scent chambers down one wall and tarnished mirror down the other. A sensory experience in the truest sense of the word.

Ecoya via WeeBirdy.com

Ecoya Sydney via WeeBirdy.com

Ecoya Sydney via WeeBirdy.com

Plus, any suburban Priceline chemists – it’s like the JB Hi Fi of chemists! High volume, low decoration with lots of useful stuff!  I also like huge warehouse shops too! I love looking basically for things that aren’t expected and challenging myself to find things that are wonderful and not necessarily from predictable places or usual sources.

Which online shops do you love?
Rachel Castle for her sunshiny goodness [see images below]; Strawberrynet for cosmetics; Mecca Cosmetica; JCrew for the kids; and I can’t resist looking at the sale section of West Elm. Lu Lu Lucky for her hand-made block-coloured envelopes and other makeables.

Rachel Castle via WeeBirdy.com

Top five shops in the world?
I can’t contain it to five, unfortunately! I love shops and want to share them with as many people as possible so all these clever people can stay trading and thrive as they deserve to!
1. BHV in Paris – the French alternative to Bunnings although without compare.
2. Gravel and Gold in San Francisco [see image below]. Almost an anti-store. I love its jewellery, American camp blankets and the way they wrap plants in foil for unusual window displays. Everything here is so well-made and the store has little fanfare as its quality speaks volumes.

Gravel and Gold in San Francisco via WeeBirdy.com

3. Arts & Science in Toyko, Japan. Another store that renders me speechless.
4. Tsé & Tsé Associées in Paris. No words.
5. The Pirate Store in San Francisco – genius. Sheer genius. Again, no words! Retailing at its highest art form here [see images below].

The Pirate Store Emergency Burial Sand via WeeBirdy.com

6. Camargue in Brisbane for its Queensland edit of the European clothes I adore, but edited for summer-wearing and set in a classic, neutral and not overly-designed boutique setting. It lets the clothes do the talking.
7. First Dibs – the online interiors auction house. The real store is on Lexington in NYC. Totally incredible and it almost makes you woozy!
8. The Tinsel Trading Co. In New York it’s one of my first stops – I could go there every day for a year and find something in there that I had not seen the day before! Expect trinkets, ribbon, garlands – actually expect none of that – as it’s that kind of place [see images below]!

Tinsel Trading Co via WeeBirdy.com

9. March in San Francisco. I don’t have words for how perfect this kitchen/gift/lifestyle shop is. I hate the word “lifestyle” but in March’s case it really is a life I covet. Everything – and I mean everything here is beyond. Utterly beyond.

March San Francisco via WeeBirdy.com

It’s almost Christmas and I’m dying to know what you’re doing for a Christmas tree this year.

I do a year on and a year off – so this year I am blindfolding my family – seriously – and taking them away on a surprise out-of-town Christmas. Just us. No tree. We are packing the kids’ bags without them knowing and I can’t wait to see their faces when we get to our destination!

I’ve sent a small tree and their gifts up to said destination so it’s going to be a year of surprises. Last year I did a faux tree but highly doused in mercury and silver and pewter decorations and a lunch with all the trimmings, with a day-before-Christmas party!

Year on/year off works so well for me. It gives you the energy needed to deliver a great Christmas and a rest when you need it! I love all trees and decs – even the bad ones! There is nothing bad about this time of the year, I make no style judgements.

Megan Morton Christmas via WeeBirdy.com

This year at our studio we have erected a paper chandelier by Lu Lu Lucky and we are asking people to place wrapped gifts under it along with tins of food they can spare for The Salvation Army. Christmas for me only works when you can shine a kindness light.

Thank you Megan!

Click here for a Wee Birdy Sydney map, showing Megan’s favourite shops.

Things I love by Megan Morton is AU$49.95 and can be found in all nice shops and book stores right now. It would make an amazing Christmas present and you can also buy it online from Booktopia. You can find Megan Morton online right here.


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