I’m not exactly sure what the builders are up to right now, but the odd little bit of “behind the scenes” information is sneaking into my inbox. What are the soak well requirements for the pool? Can I confirm that I want the front door stained not painted? And, most excitingly, the names of our Construction Liaison, the “Starts Manager” (in charge of site works and slab), and Site Supervisor. Any moment now there will be a start date!
Meanwhile, I’m having a little holiday in Australia. And as I take my job as Chief in Charge of beautifying House By The Water seriously, I plan to do a bit of retail research. This week I’m in Sydney, hitting the shops for a couple of days with Aunty Kate. Then, my husband and I are having a rare child-free 24 hours in Beechworth, North East Victoria. And finally, a mini-break in Melbourne with the kids to soak up all that we love about that great city. Food, shops, interesting architecture and a European vibe, all seen through the rose-coloured glasses of sentimentality. (My husband and I met in Melbourne 20 years ago and lived there for several years.)
I thought I’d share my itinerary wish list with you, in case you have some recommendations for me.
- West Elm. (Pictured top.) I’ve seen a lot of pinning action on some lovely West Elm furniture and their prices are not too shocking. I want to see how it looks in reality.
- Williams and Sonoma. When I lived in Canada I visited this paradise for home cooks regularly and was always in awe of the quality cookware. Can the Australian store lives up to my expectations?
- The Society Inc.. Sibella Court’s little office in Paddington. This lady has mastered the art of making clutter look good. I need lessons.
- Zaffero Pop Up Shop. I’ve never been to a pop up shop before, but in a world of online shopping, it’s a great idea. If I’m going to spend a few hundred dollars on a light fixture or rug, I really want to see it first. This way, I can look now, buy later.
- Matt Blatt. The king of replicas. Will they fool me? I hope so.
- David Jones. Australian-made towels by Country Road are currently 50% off.
- Adriano Zumbo. With all that home decorating research, I’m going to need some sustenance. Zumbo is everywhere these days (Tim Tams anyone?) but I like the tiny, original store in Balmain.
Hardly revolutionary, I know. But don’t forget I’ve been in the depths of wild Brazil (slight exaggeration) for the past 8 months, deprived of shops tailored to Australian taste.
On my last visit to Beechworth, 20 years ago, my highlights were sticky beesting from the Beechworth bakery and viewing the jail where the infamous bushranger, Ned Kelly, was held. Beechworth is a gold rush town that has maintained many of its beautiful old buildings. It’s now also a gourmet destination and I’m hoping that it will have a few cute antique and home wares stores for browsing.
- H and M. Trendy and cheap clothes and home wares. I’m interested in their linen bedding and curtains.
- Corporate Culture. One of the stockists for the gorgeous Coco pendant that is in top spot for contention as our dining room pendant light. At $1500, I have to see it first.
- Fonda Mexican Restaurant. The interior design of this restaurant has been a bit of a talking point, but I suspect my family will be more interested in the guacamole and margaritas.
I’d love a little more “Australian-made” on the list. I suspect we’ll make a few discoveries as we wander the streets of Melbourne.
Do you have any favourites to share? I won’t bore you with another shopping post, but if I find any treasures, I’ll share them on House By The Water’s Facebook page.