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Blog Archives

Posts from January 2014

Awkward to awesome: 3 easy ways to make ‘difficult’ spaces work…

January 28th, 2014

Well, we feel pretty chuffed with ourselves for solving that 'what to do with the space under the stairs' dilemma by adding a 144 bottle wine rack, which fills the space perfectly with the bonus of giving us an excuse to stock up on more red wine! It got me thinking that every house has at least one awkward, difficult to decorate space - underneath a staircase, a nook, extra wide corridor or narrow, 'too-small' room....

Rather than leaving this area as wasted space here are a few easy ideas to transform it into an inspiring little corner of your home…

Day bed/lounge area...

This can be as simple as laying out floor cushions or a foam mattress covered in colourful sheets/ kantha quilts, or you could position a bench or small sofa or go for custom built-in seating, add colourful scatter cushions, hang artwork on the wall and the effect is a cosy space for guests to perch on or a place to wile away a few hours with a good book.

Images above from top left: 1234

Library or reading nook...

Again, this can be as simple or elaborate as you like, but by adding wall shelves or a shelving unit for books, a comfy chair & side table you have a place that inspires you to keep up with that ever growing reading list.

Images above from top left: 1234

Drinks Station...

Why not turn this empty space into an exciting hang-out - a drinks cart or cabinet stocked with liquor & glassware, styled beautifully with a vase of flowers or a feature lamp, some artwork on the walls and you will always be ready for cocktail hour!

Images above from top left: 1234

You can find more inspiring 'nooks' over on the Bowerhouse Pinterest board.

Bowerhouse for your nook...

Terrance bar cart in 2 tone
Legacy Art ' Little Bird' 
Barrel side table
Floor cushion in Black painted stripe
Silk kantha cushion
'Preity' Vintage kantha quilt

Natalie x

My ‘never fail to impress’ summer recipes revealed…

January 17th, 2014

Are you still on holidays? Or are you like me and trying to re-create that holiday vibe as soon as Friday afternoon rolls around? Today I wanted to share with you a couple of recipes, perfect for these glorious summer days; Whether its a relaxing Saturday arvo at home with no plans or a rowdy Friday night get together with friends, these recipes are a great addition to the repertoire!

The Bowerhouse holiday drink of choice... Spiked & Iced Tea using 'The Seventh Duchess' Flor De Jamaica Hibiscus & Vanilla tea

Spiked iced tea is a gorgeous refreshing drink for summer - when entertaining friends, I make a big jug of tea in the morning and by afternoon it just needs to be popped onto the bar cart ready for when guests arrive!

Ingredients - makes a large (2L) jug

4 tablespoons of loose leaf tea - most fruity or 'flowery' teas work well, as does mint, ginger & lemongrass.
3-4 tablespoons of raw sugar, coconut sugar or agave syrup as a sweetener
Citrus slices or wedges - lemon, lime or orange work well
Vodka (You can easily cater for non-drinkers by omitting the vodka.)
Ice

Method

Place your tea into a large size infuser and sit this into a large teapot or jug (I invested in the T2 Tea Jug $38.00 which has a built in infuser)
Pour in the boiling water
Add sweetener & stir well
Leave for a couple of hours to infuse & cool. At which point I like to taste the tea to decide if the infuser can come out, or if I want it stronger I leave in and place jug in the fridge for a few hours to chill.
When ready to serve fill glasses with ice and add vodka.
Pour over the tea and add fruit slices to garnish.
Then have fun creating silly names for your cocktail creations like we did.... Anyone for a 'Herbal Fantasy' or 'Jamaican Dream'?

Favourite holiday meal... Middle Eastern Spiced Lamb Pizza (recipe adapted from taste.com)

This is an easy, tasty and impressive meal idea for a party of 2 or 20.....

Ingredients - (Ive left quantity off as with pizza you can 'freestyle' and mix up the topping quantity depending on your taste, how big the bases are & how many you are making)

Red Onion
Lamb Mince
1 tspn Cumin
1 tspn Ground Coriander
Flat leaf parsley
Butternut Pumpkin
Tomato Paste
Fetta
Grated Mozzarella Cheese (dont use too much as it will 'take over' from all the other textures & flavours)
Pinenuts
Fresh Pomegranate seeds
Pizza base (I usually cheat & use store bought gluten free pizza bases or lebanese bread)

Method

Pre-heat oven, pizza oven or BBQ depending on your cooking method, put a saucepan of water on the boil.
Cook red onion in a frypan for a few mins until soft, add cumin & coriander and cook for a further minute, add lamb mince and brown, season with salt & pepper.
While mince is browning, steam thinly sliced pumpkin (I used bamboo steamer over saucepan of boiling water - only takes about 4 mins)
Spread tomato paste on the base and then add cooked mince mix, pumpkin, pinenuts, fetta, mozzarella and parsley.
Cook your pizza either in conventional oven/grill or pizza oven (we used the pizza stone our Weber-Q) Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and more parsley to serve.

PS. Images are from my Instagram feed, you can find Bowerhouse on Instagram here.

Natalie x

Happy New Year + a peek at my holiday inspirations…

January 16th, 2014

Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed a very merry festive season and managed to take some time to reflect, re-group and get inspired for a fabulous year ahead. I thought I might kick the year off by sharing some holiday inspirations from my Bowerhouse world...

A Bowerhouse kind of Christmas… we hosted our first Christmas day and the first Christmas in the new house - I went for a fun, colourful tropical vibe for the decorations with brightly coloured paper chains & garlands, colourful kantha stitch table runners and rattan bowls full of fresh Pineapples, pomegranates & limes! Remove the baubles & bon-bons and you have a table setting perfect for any summer occasion.

I spent some precious down time 'fluffing my feathers' & 'playing' with the house, I shared my inspirations with you during the design & build stages of the new house so thought you might like a peek at some of the finished spaces...

1. Kitchen - New favourite flower (Chrysanthemum - Disbud) a fresh pop of yellow in the new kitchen, the black wall is painted with chalkboard paint.
2. Our Terrance bar cart ready for festivities (Rachel Castle tea towel hanging above as artwork)
3. Living Room - Bowerhouse Drum stool & Barrel side table making friends.
4. Master bedroom - Simple, calming & grounding, Bowerhouse Barrel side table, Quercus & Co wallpaper as artwork, wall Colour is Dulux-Western Myall.
5 & 6. Guest bedrooms - Having heaps of fun playing around with different kantha quiltcushionside table combinations. If you want any extra info on colours, finishes or pieces in any of the above pics just let me know!

If you are friends with me in Instagram land you may be familiar with some of these pics, if not, do come join us!

Natalie x