Wednesday, February 23, 2011

This blog has now moved

You will now find my blog here

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fab design show coming up!

Don't miss the Magnolia Square fashion/design/homewares/craft show at Paddington Town Hall. It will be full of fabulous and inspiring things! Friday to Sunday, February 25, 26 & 27.
This year's Magnolia Square poster.
Make Me Iconic This innovative homewares brand works with young, contemporary designers.
Crayon Chick Necklace of crocheted balls by Michelle Harvey.
SweetWilliam Tiny Camille dolls in matchbox homes.

(Images Magnolia Square)

Friday, January 21, 2011

We're loving: JanFeb 2011 issue

Have you grabbed your copy of the JanFeb 11 issue of real living yet? We've had some lovely feedback, and many great comments about the cover. Apparently the palm tree cushions have been selling like hotcakes. And if you enjoyed the Australia Day shoot then you might like to pop over to the blog of the talented Katie Quinn Davies - What Katie Ate - to see some behind the scenes shots.

images real living

Monday, January 10, 2011

We're loving: Jan/Feb 2011

Hello 2011! Hope you've had a wonderful and relaxing summer break. The real living team arrived back at work this morning and we had a look through the latest issue, which went on sale today, with fresh eyes. (We sent it to the printers just before the Christmas break.) We all still love the cover, and feel it's a bumper issue with lots of great homes and projects. What do you think?

image real living and chris warnes

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!

One of the biggest challenges for a stylist at real living is to crack the Christmas card - first go. Well, I'm delighted to say that Sarah Ellison has done just that and produced one that we all loved. Isn't it gorgeous.

And I couldn't think of a better image to end the blog posts for this year. It's been great fun sharing some extra pics with you. Next year we have lots of exciting projects happening at real living so stay tuned (which you can now do via twitter, facebook and this blog - phew!).

As always, it's lovely to read your comments and feedback, so keep them coming.

And have a wonderful - and well-deserved - break over summer. See you next year!

image real living

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More wreath love

I don't ever quite remember wreaths being this popular. Or perhaps I just notice them more now that we did a feature on them in December issue, AND had all the staff make them for the Christmas issue. Anyway, we've had a few readers send through some of their projects. The book paper wreath is from Kate Spencer (Belinda Graham did a similar one, and the instructions are here), and Julia Somerhayes made one with her three-year-old daughter. Cute!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

We're loving... Christmas 2010

Right now I figure you're either running around like crazy trying to get organised for Christmas (ie, you're just like me!). Or you've got everything under control, and are ready for a little bit of rest and relaxation (lucky you!!!). So for our Christmas issue we've got the best of both worlds - last-minute wrapping ideas as well as table settings you'll want to use, PLUS some beautiful homes that will inspire you to get your place into holiday mode.

And for those of you who ordered your FREE customised cover of real living, thanks to Microsoft, you should have the issue in your hot little hands, too.

Oh, and don't forget to vote for your favourite wreath that the staff made especially for the issue.

images real living

Friday, December 17, 2010

Blissed out in Bali

Chic style at the Bali Goddess Villa living room.

The Bali Goddess Retreats Villa.

Shopping in Seminyak - baskets galore.

An Indonesian cookery class at the Tugu Hotel, Canguu.

Amanda rested and relaxed at the end of her trip.

This year almost everyone from the real living office has had a holiday in Bali, including me! It's become a fast fave of anyone who not only wants to have a relaxing break but also fit in a bit of great shopping too. I thought you might enjoy hearing about the highlight of a recent trip by deputy chief sub Amanda Hemmings-Barbezat took.

"After a recent holiday staying at The Bali Goddess Retreats (BGR) in Seminyak I’m back in Sydney feeling relaxed, looking sun-kissed and weighing 2kg less than before I left. Obviously the daily Yoga sessions, beach walks and treks through the rice paddies paid off as I certainly didn’t do any dieting or detoxing – all those delicious banana fritters made sure of that! This holiday was about fun, fitness, fabulous food and adventure. Not to mention lots of pampering.

"One of the highlights of my stay was a guided bike ride through the region of Ubud, the cultural centre of Bali. Start at Lake View Restaurant in Kintamani for brunch, with its breathtaking views of Lake Batur and Mt Batur, before taking a gentle downhill meander through pretty mountain villages, stopping at temple compounds, bamboo forests and small farms – it’s a great opportunity to meet the locals.

"I have to admit that in between the cycling, swimming and downtime relaxing in the gorgeous surrounds of the BGR, aka “the sanctuary” (picture a laidback luxe colonial-style villa flanked by lush tropical gardens and emerald pool), I shopped ‘til I dropped – literally. It’s hard not to when the streets in Seminyak are lined with so many beautiful boutiques and artisan stalls, selling everything from designer clothes to ikat cushions. Head to Jalan Raya and Jalan Kunti in Seminyak, and the main high street in Legian for lots of great finds (I bought enough beads and bangles to accessorise the whole of Sydney!). Avoid central Kuta if you don’t want to be surrounded by stalls overflowing with Bintang t-shirts and street hawkers.

"If you love cooking, or just love eating, then taking part in an Indonesian cookery class is a must. This is the real deal: a traditional outdoor Balinese kitchen in the magnificent gardens of the Tugu Bali Hotel in Canggu. Don an apron and start chopping, stirring and crushing. Make sure you don’t eat too much for brekkie because you’ll have a five-course banquet to devour by midday. My fave dish was the Sambal Goreng Udang (marinated shrimps, potatoes and green peas). Yum!

"Talking of food, the home-cooked meals at BGR were amazing, as in mouth-watering (I’m still dreaming of their chicken and lychee curry), but there’s also lots of great eateries to experience beyond the goddess gates. For high tea, head to Biku. This charming and character-filled colonial-style tea room serves loose-leaf tea in pretty porcelain cups, and their carrot cake is to die for! CafĂ© Bali has a similar vibe – Colonial-style chic with a white woody interior and vintage chandeliers. For a memorable evening meal try Sarong – the decor is dramatic and decadent, and the menu is divine. And all are just a short stroll from the Bali Goddess Retreats – yay!

"Now, you really can’t visit Bali without booking in for a massage (or three) – I had one a day! I know, it’s indulgent but BGR does have its own dial-in masseuse so how could I refuse? There are also a heap of spas in the area that offer great treatments at the fraction of what you’d pay in Australia. I had the most relaxing 90-min holistic body massage at Chill. But I was positively floating after the Hot Stone treatment at the luxurious Prana Spa. Oh, it’s a hard life being a goddess…"

Bali Goddess Retreats holds 2 retreats per month. Guests can choose to stay for 5 days of action, with the opportunity to do back to back retreats for 12-14 day stays. Packages start from $1295. Visit for more info. And if you feel like grabbing a board and trying your hand at surfing, check out the Surf Goddess Retreats –

Friday, December 3, 2010

Cool craft... xmas wreath

Regular real living contributor Belinda Graham from The Happy Home blog is fast becoming the craft queen. After seeing a wreath she loved in Alice Flynn's home (December 2010 issue - on sale now), she decided to make her own - for a fraction of the cost. Read here for how she did it.

image the happy home

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

We're loving... The Living Room Pop-Up Shop

I had to share this great little find. real living contributing stylist Rachel Brown has set up a pop-up shop with some fellow Australian designers. It's truly gorgeous and brimming with great gifts for Christmas presents. The only catch is that it's only on for one week - so get there while you can.

Here are the brands represented:
Attia Home
Puddin Head
The Lowercase

And here's where you can find "The Living Room":
84 William St, Paddington, NSW.

Until 5 December
Monday - Saturday 10am to 6pm
Sunday 12 to 6pm

images sam mcadam