Nina Dobrev's Home Tour

Definitely the coolest home I've come across on the net this year is the California bungalow belonging to Nina Dobrev. I have a hard time putting a label on my interior style, and I don't necessarily think that we should have to label everything. But if I did, "relaxed-boho-glam" would be an apt description, and I think Nina has the same aesthetic.

After following Mat Sanders (Consort Design and creative director for Domaine Home) on Instagram for some time, Nina knew and loved his style. He, along with partner Brandon Quattrone, worked with Nina to help transform the Spanish-style, four bedroom house into the glamorous, laid back home you see here.

Mat used the strong contrast of black and white throughout the home and softened it with warm tones such as natural wood, brass and gold.

Artwork, books and accessories collected by Nina over the years help bring through her personality and tell a beautiful story about who lives here.

A powder blue kitchen is a bold choice, and it works so well with the brass fittings and black and white tiles. They've even included an all-time favourite of mine - the breakfast nook - yay! The tiled herringbone floor is gorgeous.

Nina has just enough layers to create a warm, comfy and interesting home without being OTT. Beautiful natural materials and texture for the relaxed, cosy vibe, and a touch of glam in the artwork and accessories.

Usually a peach bathroom is not so favourable with me (I've seen too many bad ones left over from the eighties), but teamed with chic panelling and simple black and white styling, Nina's is super cute.

Finish the tour off with a gorgeous blue walled pool area complete with festoon lights and a Buddha head - yes, I totally love Nina Dobrev's new digs! Check out more at MyDomaine.

Photos by Chris Patey

Instagram | Cush & Nooks

As the school holidays and my beautiful kids encroach into my working day, I hope you forgive me for a simple post today. I wanted to show you a few recent images from my Instagram. This is where I post mostly images 'behind the scenes' of my home, life & work.

If you want to get a really good feel for person's style, check out their Instagram account, especially on your computer rather than in the actual app. My love of colour and pattern, and the sea is quite evident. What does your Instagram say about you?

Asaki Kajima Exhibition - 'Escape'

On Friday evening, my brother and sister and I attended the most amazing art exhibition by Asaki Kajima. Asaki is married to my brother's best friend, so I'd heard about her work but had never had a chance to see it. It surpassed all my expectations, I was enthralled with the beautiful form and detail of her pieces, and the incredible shadows they cast.

Originally from Japan, Asaki is influenced by the art form ikebana, where nature and humanity are brought together. Rather than focussing on the blooms, ikebana often emphasises other areas of the plant, such as it's stem and leaves, and draws emphasis toward shape, line, and form. All of Asaki's pieces have enormous personal meaning to her and I loved hearing her stories behind them. Although it's nice to interpret art in your own way, Asaki's work meant more to me, becoming quite clear, after listening to her explanations.

This piece 'Circulation' won Asaki an award at the No. 8 Wire National Art Award

Copy writer, Lizzie Russell, wrote a beautiful description of Asaki's first solo exhibition, 'Escape'. And because I couldn't say it any better, I've borrowed a few excerpts to share with you (I've condensed her words slightly)...

Asaki's work gently pulls us into a natural but dreamlike world, where organic shapes, and a mixture of found materials, merge seamlessly to form a collection of ethereal sculptures. It addresses growth, loss, the mingling of her two environments, and the idea of home and belonging in these works.

The combination of natural and man-made, hard and soft materials, allows Asaki to explore complex emotional ideas, and a wider concept of what it is to escape. Most of the natural material used in this collection - seedpods, sticks, ferns and other vegetation - were found and collected here in Hawke's Bay. By using these found elements, Asaki grounds her work here in her beloved adopted place, and suggests that escape can also be a kind of homecoming.

My favourite piece 'Purification' - you can clearly see the turmoil in the black cloud, and the rain (or tears) that are the purification that wash the heaviness away

If you're in Hawke's Bay I highly recommend you go and see the exhibition for yourself. It runs until 1st December 2013, and is in Asaki's studio, 118 Hastings Street, Napier (above McClurg Jewellers). If you want to get hold of Asaki, drop me an email, and I'll pass on her contact details.

Asaki was too shy to have her picture taken, but I managed to snap this one with her in the background. With three of her Japanese friends, Asaki is in the middle facing us (and that's my gorgeous sis in the green)

And on a quick, final note... it took me a while, but I have finally joined Instagram! Yes, I know, where have I been?! Well, I'm here now and am fully embracing it - I absolutely love it. Differing from this blog and my Facebook and Twitter pages (which are all about interior inspriration), my Instagram page will be behind the scenes, and a sneak peek into my life.