Before and afters....

If there is one thing I love more than a beautiful room it is seeing a 'before' picture of it. I find it so inspiring to see a plain old room (or an eyesore in some cases) being transfored into a thing of beauty. It is making the world a better room at a time.

So here are some of my favourite before and after transformations - from the very talented Nancy Fishelson. From reading other blogs I can tell I am not the only one who is a big fan of her work. I love her liberal use of white, her simple wooden furniture, and her taste for texture and simplicity. And she has an amazing eye for potential, judging by these photos.





I just want to pack up and move to this charming little home.


You can actually buy a little piece of Nancy's paradise - her current home is for sale for $US1.795 million. It is called Rosebush Farm and here it is...


You can view more photos of Rosebush farm on Nancy's website

This must mean Nancy has another house she is working her magic on. Can't wait to see the results.

I'm not in the market for a new home, so perhaps I should just buy this beautiful rockinghorse from Nancy's website instead?

all images

It never ceases to amaze me how many amazingly talented people there are in this world.

Well I'm off to a Halloween Party, hosted by my lovely and talented friend Fiona who has gone all out this year - she's even made gravestones for her front garden. Can't wait to see how it all looks.

Hope you enjoy your weekend!

Frame It!

Below are four examples of wonderful message frames that are a great gift or just for yourself. The frames are made of composite and have a marble-like feel and look. Their popularity is rising so be the first to see it here! All are approximately 8" x 6" overall.

Frames below:

"Believe In Forever"
"Laugh Like You Mean It"
"Don't Mess With My Dog"
"Celebrate With Reckless Abandon"

Order now: $18.00 each at

More of Binny's abode

This house may be brand new, but look at the beautiful front doors.... I want them.

Wow, I love these industrial style light fittings and this white kitchen is just perfect.

Love the grey wall colour in this study (below)

More soda syphons!

images Australian Home Beautiful

Binny says "When I see something I love, I buy it, and find a place for it later". I think this strategy is working for her.

I tried googling Binny Hudson to find out more about this talented woman, but sadly found nothing new. So Binny...whoever you are...thank you!

From my style file....Binny's abode

This is the beautiful London townhouse of Binny Hudson - a 'flower stylist and design guru' according to Home Beautiful.

Binny's recently-built home would have to be one of my absolute favourites. A little more cluttered than I normally like (Home Beautiful describes it as 'a glorious hotchpotch'), but I am in love with its monochromatic colour scheme, all the wonderful antique curios and the architectural features such as old doors. I love poring over these pictures and looking at all of Binny's little details and treasures - collected over 45 years of marriage. Binny describes herself as a 'great believer in picking up inexpensive items from the high street and mixing them with pricier pieces'. This sounds like a very sound decorating policy to me!

This room below is jammed packed with things, but still has a calm and soothing feel to it due to the strictly subtle colour scheme. This is a woman with a 'good eye'.

This was an old towell rail with some glass shelves added - what an original idea. Adore the pharmacy glass.

More pictures to follow in a moment.

My soda syphon is famous

Every now and again I see something that immediately grabs my eye and suddenly and desperately cannot do without, despite the fact that I've been living for 39 years quite nicely without it. One of these things was an elegantly shaped antique soda syphon I discovered one day in One Rundle Trading (yes, that shop again). I had to have it. Here it is, taking pride of place in my hallway.

Then one day not long afterwards I spied a soda syphon the very same as mine on the front cover of Australian Country Style. So my soda syphon is famous! Look!

The owner of my soda syphon's twin is an antique dealer named Simon Robinson who lives in Lismore, New South Wales. He has a wonderful eye for things and his home is full of lovely little treasures. It is serenely white - my favourite as always - so here are some more photos from his home. Would love to visit his shop one day if I am ever in his neck of the woods.

I love buttons. And he collects Eiffel Towers!

Oh and just so you don't think I buy everything from One Rundle Trading, my little buddha sitting on the same table as my syphon is from Sam's Warehouse (a cheap store here in Adelaide) that cost me $12. He's my bargain buddha.

Mignonne Featured Artist ~ Valerie J. Cochran

Mignonne is pleased to introduce our latest featured local artist! Valerie J. Cochran grew up in Missouri and arrived in the Bay Area on January 1, 2001. She currently lives and works in Oakland. Valerie has been shooting photography since she was a young girl and began with Polaroids of her family. She took her first photography class at the age of 15 and studied for a few years at the Savannah College of Art and Design although she did not obtain a formal degree.

In 2004, Valerie began her photoblog, Her return to photography was documented in the early days of the website which has become a home to her now usual suspects of street photography and portraiture. Valerie's images today explore the relationship between people and places in the urban landscape. She shoots only film photography with various 35mm, disposable, and toy cameras.

Valerie's photographs have appeared in print publications such as JPG magazine and PhotoJournal Southwest. Her work has been featured in numerous other publications online including the BBC, Photoblogs Magazine, FILE magazine, Flak Photo,, and SFist. In February of 2007, she self-published her first photography book collection, your waitress | 2004-2005.

Valerie's work will be featured in our next Oakland Art Murmur late night reception.

Rob Lowe does British Colonial

I do love that "British Colonial" look epitomised by India Hicks. So here are some pictures of another British Colonial inspired home. Which just so happens to be the home of American actor Rob Lowe and his family. His house is a little more "Out of Africa" inspired than India's tropical look. I have a thing for butler's trays. I have two cane ones in my home. The dog in the picture is actually Bill Clinton's dog Buddy, who's sadly now gone to doggy heaven.

Love this triple light fitting in the kitchen below

Love the black and white photos and the antique bits and bobs in this photo below - it is like a little still life artwork.

images Australian Womens Weekly

My weekend purchase

The weekend straight after payday is a dangerous thing...

I went looking for dining chairs, but came home with this cute little metal table instead. It is from One Rundle Trading and it caught my eye because I love anything metal and rusty looking and I loved the shape. It was so cheap that I bought it on impulse right then and there.

It looked a little lonely there all on its own, so I put a few pieces on it that I had hanging around the house. Then I added some sticks which I purchased a while back from Balhannah By Design (more about that shop another day!). Looks better yes?

It would like nice with a lamp on it too, so that may be my next purchase.



I knew I would forget to say something! If you are looking at the two pictures in my last post, please click on them to bring them up in a large size so you can see fully appreciate the gorgeous details in both rooms. The bedhead in the first picture has cute little signs hanging off them. One says 'hugs' and the other 'kisses'.

Ok, have a fabulous weekend!

Catherine xx

Sugar and spice and all things nice

Ah Friday afternoon and my work for the week is done! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend ahead of you. Tomorrow in Adelaide it is going to be 37 degrees celsius (that's almost 99 degrees fahrenheit) and summer isn't even here yet! So no plans for gardening for me tomorrow. I am however going to a 'Girls Night In' tomorrow night. This is raising money for cancer charities - the idea is to get a group of girls together for a fun night at home, and the money that you would normally spend on a night out you donate instead. Good concept isn't it?

My pictures for today are inspired by lilly-g. Judy posted some lovely pictures of her gorgeous Lilly's bedroom. It reminded me that I had some pictures tucked away of little girls rooms, 'just in case' I ever become a mother to a daughter. That's not likely to happen, but I still keep them! To see Lilly's room go to

I can't remember where these pictures came from, but I do love them. That padded bedhead with the striped fabric is lovely. And isn't the little girl in the second picture so lucky to have her own little adorable play kitchen?
I have a similar chair and table set for my son from Ikea. Actually, I have a cute story about that. I painted the table and chairs white and rubbed them down for a 'rustic' look. One day I asked one of my mum's lovely neighbours to fix one of the chairs, which had a broken leg. Not only did he fix it, but he also gave it another coat of white paint, because it was 'looking a bit shabby'. I didn't have the heart to tell him that was the look I was trying to achieve!

Special Holiday Hours at Mignonne!

We're helping you prepare for the upcoming holiday season with new hours and a new store design.

Mignonne is extending our closing time until 9:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, October through December. Old Oakland is a favorite destination, and we'd like to help make your visit easier ... now you can plan to stop by Old Oakland for dinner and some holiday shopping.

We've also organized the store to accommodate all of your shopping and gift budgets. We make it easier to find just the right gift in just the right price range ... with vignettes grouped at $10-$25, $25-$50 and $50-$100.

Gift ideas include lots of new goodies, one of a kind vintage furniture & knick- knacks, candles, soap and local art! You can find a special small treasure from France ... or an original piece of artwork. Don't forget our custom refurbishing service ... maybe you have something you would like designed for a special someone? Just ask for a free consultation.

Great Buys Under $50!

Silver Leaf Bracket - $36.00 at
Caribbean Conch Shell on Stand - $28.00 at
Beautiful Memory Frames - $18.00 at
Bronze Finished Bulls Eye Mirror - $45.00 at

Caribbean Starfish on Stand - $32.00 at

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