Blog Archives

Posts from February 2013

Set your table with Bowerhouse ‘Vintage Country Garden Style’

February 25th, 2013

This weeks blog post subject is my mum's suggestion, she wanted some inspiration for making her dining setting "more special", so I have had some fun creating four different looks using Bowerhouse tableware and I'm sharing one of them with you today.

By mixing in pieces I own and raiding my mum's kitchen cupboards and garden (I highly recommend raiding parents, aunties, grandparents kitchen cupboards) the looks I will share over the next few weeks are inexpensive and really easy to create. I hope they inspire you (and my mum) to style a special dining setting for your next occasion.

I love the classic simplicity of this look - timeless and elegant while at the same time feeling relaxed and informal.

Simple sprigs of herbs in old jars are quite possibly my favourite decoration to use - they don't cost a thing, require zero floral arranging skills and take moments to create - flowering basil, sage & rosemary work particularly well, use jars of varying shapes & sizes to make the look less formal.

A tip when arranging your objects - try to stick to odd numbers of items, e.g. three jars of flowers on a table or three matching candle holders will always work better than two or four.

The 'Breakdown'

Our 'Le Marais' placemats & table runner in white are teamed with my own simple white dinner plates and my collection of op shop thrifted cut glass pieces, silver trays and mismatched cutlery.

The champagne bucket & tea lights are from Ikea, wine goblets are from the 'Australian House & Garden' range I bought at Myer a few months ago - Ikea usually have similar in mouth blown glassware - unique, inexpensive and you can buy by the glass.

Nat's Quick Styling Tips

  1. Stick to a colour palette of no more than 2-3 main colours - e.g White, with splashes of Silver & Green for this look
  2. Keep the number of different textures/materials to a minimum - e.g. white linen & ceramic, cut glass & silver for this look
  3. Raid your garden for inexpensive centrepieces like flowering herbs
  4. Remember the 'odd number rule' when styling your centre piece objects
  5. Mix vintage with new to give your look character


How to bring eco style to your outdoor space Part 2

February 20th, 2013

Monica is back this week with her top tips to planting a stylish, yet eco-friendly outdoor space, I hope they inspire you to get your gardening gloves out!


Words & Images - Monica Palmer

When designing an outdoor space, plant selection can be one of the most daunting challenges. A little thought and planning before your trip to the nursery will ensure you have a gorgeous, eco friendly garden that you & your family will love to nurture and spend time in.


Nature plays an important part in the designing and longevity of your garden. Plants require certain conditions to flourish and grow. Be sure to work with it to ensure maximum impact and success.

Take note of the aspect of your house.
Where does north face? Will this mean your back garden is in the afternoon shade or sun?
Does your entertaining area require screening from the summer winds or winter rain?
Is there a little place in the garden that catches the morning sun, perfect for a reading nook?

Find out the pH level of the soil by doing a quick soil test. Your soil will fit somewhere in these three categories - acidic (0-6.5pH), alkaline (7.5-14pH) or neutral (7). Selecting plants suited to your specific pH will ensure lower maintenance requirements for your soil.
It is possible to choose plants out of your pH range as long as you are willing to invest additional time in the continuation of soil management… I’m sure you would rather be entertaining and relaxing!

It’s a good idea to take a peek around your neighbourhood to note what grows well and also talk to your local nursery to find out what will work in your soil type and area.


Your garden should not only look good but also be functional, practical, seasonal & useful. Think of ways you can introduce your own produce into your garden. For example, swap a hedge for a row of citrus trees; grow a grape vine over your pergola, which will also provide a fantastic solar passive solution; or plant passionfruit along fences.

Keep your fertilisers organic by using seaweed and fish solutions.

A good rule to remember when choosing a planting palette for a casual, relaxed garden is to stick to a colour palette of either cool or warm and keep the different varieties of plants to a minimum.

For an eclectic look, the planting can be loose and colourful. It’s always good to add a bit of structure to the planting though by providing a tall surrounding hedge to boundaries.

A few of my favourite designer plants with low water requirements;

Monica Palmer is a Perth based landscape designer at TDL and is currently working on her upcoming book, Quaint + Casual :: exterior styling + design tips to live a quaint + casual life outdoors you can follow her on the brand new Quaint and Casual Website, or Facebook & Pinterest.

Our Bar Carts love to be wheeled outside for a summer soiree…. the perfect way to inject flair and fun to any occasion and welcome your guests with a refreshing drink served with effortless glamour and style!

How to bring eco style to your outdoor space       Part 1

February 11th, 2013 tagged as Garden Party |Vintage

Today's post is another instalment to inspire you to 'introduce more style to your space' Today is all about the outdoors and my guest contributor is Monica Palmer a talented Landscape Designer and all round creative wonder woman who is in the process of writing her first book! Monica had so much valuable advice we have made this a two part series, I hope you find her ideas as informative and inspiring as I have!

Words - Monica Palmer

We are always looking for ways to become friendlier to our environment, I think its important to make sure we keep pushing that circle of love for our planet out to our garden so here are a few ideas to get you in the know...

It is amazing what you can find at salvage yards and second hand stores. The beauty of finding pre-loved treasures is that they’re usually already worn and lived-in, bringing immediate character and soul to your outdoor space.

The jarrah sleeper for this outdoor shower was sourced by the client from a local salvage yard. 
Image: Monica Palmer


Outdoor dining, a la shabby chic – A table traditionally meant for inside, out in the garden without the worry of it weathering.
Image: Country Home

Unused pallets have made a big return in recent years as outdoor daybeds and tables, this styling from Adore Home Magazine is pallet perfection - the mix-match of pots, colour and texture brings the space to life.

For a more classic look try staining the pallets with Porter’s Paint in 'Palm Beach Black' and top with black & white striped outdoor cushions.
Image: Adore Home Magazine, Porters Paints

Paint is one of my favourite space lifters for the garden. Whether used to hide or highlight, there’s always a solution with a coat of the right colour.

If you are looking to add depth and interest there is a beautiful range of natural pigment and lime paints that I regularly use and specify in my work, which are made in Australia by Porter’s Paints and Bauwerk. Not only are these paints organic and VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) free, they also add a soft, weathered patina to your garden walls.

1. Porter’s Limewash Paint in 'Arabian Nights' - Image: Monica Palmer
2. Boncote Cement Paint by Porter’s Paints - Image: Porters Paints

Monica Palmer is a Perth based landscape designer at TDL and is currently working on her upcoming book, Quaint + Casual :: exterior styling + design tips to live a quaint + casual life outdoors, you can follow her on the brand new Quaint and Casual Website, or over on Facebook & Pinterest.