My favourite Monstera.

I know I said the next post would be all about the master bedroom, but A) I still haven’t found a bed base I like (and while mattresses on recycled pallets can look industrial-chic, mattresses on the floor only ever look povo) and B) I haven’t finished the fabric jewellery board I’m aiming to take pride of place on the rear wall. I’ve also been annoyingly hindered by a complete *C*) of a throat infection I may or may not have brought upon myself by inhaling a kilogram of teak dust over the weekend. Sanding back wood without the proper PPE is like clubbing past the age of 30: it seems harmless enough at the time but inevitably leaves you dirty, nauseous and consumed by self-loathing.

So instead, I’d like to introduce the latest addition to the household; a baby Monstera deliciosa I paid way too much for at a local florist’s last week while walking home from the pub. Serves me right for drunken plant-perving, I guess.


Monstera deliciosa (also known as Split-leaf philodendron; Fruit Salad Plant; Hipstera magnes), artfully positioned to disguise the leaf damage I caused by dropping my phone on him.

I have a particular fondness for Md’s, as my Mum kept a gorgeous specimen in our living room for years when I was a kid. When I bought this one, he (yes he; all my plants are male) had already outgrown the pot so much that his roots were climbing over the edges and crawling through the drainage holes like tiny, angry alien tentacles. I immediately transplanted him into a much bigger pot, thinking I was doing the right thing giving my new baby room to breathe and grow and maybe even dance a little when I wasn’t watching, but it turns out I may have screwed up – apparently when repotting you’re only supposed to go up another inch or so in pot size to avoid the roots taking in too much water and developing rot.

I don’t want to traumatise him by repotting again so soon, so I’ll keep him dry for a bit and see what happens. Seeing as it is July and all, I might give myself the same treatment. Or if not for the entire month, at least until I find another route home.

New living room.

So I finally got around to snapping a few shots of the flat. Overall it’s old and tired and a bit grungy (a bit like myself TBH), but the wood floors, neutral paint scheme and large rooms make it liveable. The living/dining room is the closest to being “done”, so I’ll start there.


Are you feeling the understated earthy retro whimsical rustic industrial vibe or what?

I brought the coffee table and the green faux persian with me from Perth. The coffee table is vintage MCM, bought on Gumtree for $100. couch1

The couch is new. I was after another 2.5 seater in charcoal but didn’t have as much cash to spare this time, so I was thrilled to find this one at Furniture Galore for $550. It came with ugly blocky black plastic feet, which I swapped out with tapered timber legs I bought online and stained. They look a bit stumpy from this angle, but they’re actually 10cm high and have completely altered the look of the couch.

Speaking of stumpy…Hans is not allowed within one metre of the couch at any time.



The cactus painting, cactus statue and cushions were bought from Freedom a few years ago. The Eames bird was an online buy and I found the green pot at a Mexican import store in Fremantle.

I have two fruit bowls in the flat, neither of which contain fruit.


The hardwood dining table was another Gumtree find. The legs were originally raw welded steel that I spray painted black. The table top itself must weigh over 100 kilos, and even though I had a 100+ kilo Maori helping me (thanks, baby!), dragging it up three flights of stairs nearly destroyed me.

The chairs are cheapies from Fantastic Furniture, but they’re surprisingly sturdier and more comfortable than the typical Eames knock-offs.



Both the fabric print and the Parker dresser are from a vintage furniture store in Fitzroy. The dresser was dull and dirty and covered in flecks of white paint, but it scrubbed up real nice after a thorough clean and oil. I was a bit hesitant about buying the print because it couldn’t be cleaned, but I figured I don’t have to touch it to appreciate it, right? And any fabric that reminds me of the fabulous curtains that my grandparents hung in their caravan in the 70’s should be a no-brainer.



I sent the vase, stand and fake foliage over from Perth, and I wasn’t expecting them to make the trip unscathed. The leaf tips got a bit bent when they fell out of the mailing tubes I packed them in, but I actually think it makes them look more realistic. At least that’s what I keep telling myself to feel better about it.

Stay tuned…the master bedroom and accompanying vibe is up next!

My little slice of heaven.


The view from my new balcony might not be quite as impressive as the last, but at least it’s all mine.

To frugality and beyond.

There’s nothing like an interstate move for ridding oneself of pesky savings. My accounts were mercilessly savaged over the past month, and while many of the expenses were unavoidable (like relocating my stuff and paying for motels until I could find a flat-share), I’ve also been guilty of swanning about in “holiday” mode, dropping cash thoughtlessly on meals out and expensive drinking sessions. But the time has come to get real: with no incoming cash flow I have adjust my spending habits or face the unthinkable: returning to the land of suspicious moles and cashed-up bogans with my tail between my legs.

With a Coles and a fruit & veg market within walking distance of the flat, I’ve got no excuse for spending more than $5-10 on meals. Reducing my alcohol intake will also help me get leaner and fitter, which is another one of my goals. I’ve also taken to carrying around my own water bottle everywhere I go, which saves me around $5 every time I leave the house (yes, I drink a LOT of water. My body needs something other than caffeine to dilute the alcohol).

And while I’m still relatively new to the art of living with less, I’ve learned that minimalism and frugality are total BFF’s. Saving money on essentials is great, but not buying non-essentials is better (not only for your finances but also the environment; it’s not all about you, k?).

Unsurprisingly, the blogosphere has been a massive source of inspiration on my journey toward a more frugal existence. And while I’ve benefited from the advice of others who’ve embarked on a similar journey, I’ve had to remind myself that just like minimalism, frugality means different things to everybody. Priorities differ. My definition of a “non-essential” item is not going to be the same as another person’s, so comparing my own spending habits to theirs is counter-productive. Was it frugal to spend $50 last week on terrarium supplies, when that money could have gone towards a more comfortable retirement? Not if that was my immediate goal (and without any children to finance my increasing number of eccentricities, it probably should be).

Nonetheless, if my most pressing desire was to personalise my living space with something that brings me joy, should investing in an object that fulfils that goal be considered wasteful?  And if I were able to procure that object at a fraction of the cost of buying it ready-made from a store, would that not in fact be an act of frugality?

Or to put it another way; if buying pretty shit on a budget is how you roll then I say own it, bishes. Just don’t pay retail.


Terrarium #2. Just two miniature toadstools and a plastic deer away from perfection.

Gardens under glass.

Last week I felt the need to personalise my new room, but the last thing I wanted to do was clutter up the space with more “stuff”. Cue the terrarium! Gardens under glass are all the rage in Melbourne, and while they do fall under the category of “stuff”, they serve the added purpose of filtering the air as well as providing a source of natural beauty. They also take up minimal space, depending on their size.

After visiting a few florists and nurseries to scoff heartily at their $100+ price tags, I decided to DIY. I bought a set of secondhand glass cookie jars, bags of potting mix and charcoal, some rocks (my inner scrooge revolted fiercely at this) and three plants specifically recommended for terrariums. While I do love the look of cacti and succulents, I decided to avoid using them after reading this article. My total outlay was $50. The result? Erm, I’ll let you judge for yourself.


In my defense, manoeuvring plants and rocks into position through a small hole is harder than it looks. While I continue to work on creating something pinworthy, here are some examples of terrariums at their most artistically arranged and lush to inspire you.





For those who find jars of nothing but foliage frighteningly dull: delightful miniature scenes can be created with the addition of moss and figurines.









*repeats mantra “creativity is not a competition”…*

A fresh start.


Greetings from my new abode, a tiny apartment in delightfully drizzling Melbourne! A couple of months ago the bf and I decided we’d endured all the wallet-raping and scorching sunshine of the west coast we could handle, so we resigned from our jobs, boxed up our possessions, and drove to Victoria.

I’ve moved suburbs several times over the past couple of years, but moving states is a radically different experience. The number one cost we needed to consider was the transportation of our stuff. The bf is a minimalist by nature and all he needed to send over were his motorbike and a box of tools, but I had a full house of belongings to relocate. I chose to have everything sent by truck, and as I was going to be charged per cubic metre, I had to be ruthless in deciding what to keep and what to toss.

I think pretty much everyone except hard-core minimalists have a “BLOODY HELL… HOW ON EARTH DID I ACCUMULATE THIS MUCH CRAP?” type epiphany when they prepare for a move. I experienced mine when I unearthed a 30 piece cocktail set and several Sylvanian Families jigsaw puzzles intended for 5-10 year olds. In spite of my regular culling efforts, I had to admit it – I was still hoarding.


Cute as hell but ultimately pointless for me to own.

There’s nothing like the prospect of forking out cash to cart unwanted clutter across the country to make you look at your possessions with fresh eyes. Adopting the minimalist mantra of keeping nothing that is either useful or beautiful, I started the cull of a lifetime. Starting with the items that were the most obviously impractical to send over, I sold the couch, dining set and entertainment unit. My fridge, washing machine and mattress are all new, and as the shipping cost was lower than the replacement cost, I kept them. I also kept my vintage furniture; a mid-century teak coffee table I scored for $100 on Gumtree and two antique Chinese side tables.

20150222_082230 b

The foam and plastic-wrapped extent of my mistrust of removalists.

Moving onto the smaller items, I sold a few pieces on eBay (the vintage puzzles actually netted me a neat little sum), gifted a whole heap to family and friends, and donated the rest. What remained was about roughly half, enough to fit comfortably into twenty medium plastic crates.

Everything went into storage as soon as it arrived in Melbourne, and as we’re currently looking for work and renting our own rooms on a fortnightly basis, I’m not sure when we’ll be able to bail it out. But that’s ok, because right now I have everything I need; an air mattress to sleep on, a suitcase full of clothes and makeup, and access to a fully equipped kitchen. No doubt my nesting instinct will kick in soon, but in the meantime it’s been pretty awesome to discover I can do without so many of my things.

The psychological effects of ill-chosen flooring.


It’s been six weeks since we moved in and I’ve finally unpacked enough decor to fill my Expedit. In light of my current state of tile-induced depression, I feel like this is a mammoth achievement worthy of an uploaded pic.

Honestly, though. White tiles are ridiculous. They showcase every speck of dust and hair, every footprint, pawprint and every crumb of dropped food.

And the grout! When we first inspected the property the floor hadn’t been cleaned, so we assumed the grout would look completely different once we’d moved in. It looked exactly the same; stained and patchy and just generally disgusting.


And there’s just so much of it. The tiles are in every room in the house except the bedrooms. I can’t even put down my rugs because Hans is still prone to random indoor piss-attacks (he’s been informed that he’s the reason we can’t have nice things). I’ve scrubbed with various products and bleaches but it hasn’t made the slightest difference. I also know there are paint products you can buy that transform grout but I’m just not prepared to spend my own money and time restoring a squillion square metres of somebody else’s neglected flooring.

Hence the depression; I feel that when the floors look grotty, the rest of the house looks grotty also. And because I don’t feel like displaying my lovely porn in a grotty house, the place just doesn’t look or feel homely.

Thoughts or advice, anyone? Take a spoonful of cement and get over your white girl middle-class first-world problems, perhaps?


The allure of minimalism.



The bf and I moved house over the weekend. No matter how organised you are, moving is always horrific and this time around we weren’t organised at all. Because it was a break lease, we needed to hold off getting another place until new tenants were found. As I’ve previously mentioned, the unit is a shizhole so it took weeks to find someone in a desperate enough situation to put in an application. They wanted to move in within the week, so we only had a few days to secure a new rental and vacate. We were able to find a place at the last minute, but on Monday morning my ex-property manager informed me that the applicant had pulled out an hour before they were due to sign the lease. So in spite of our best efforts, we’ll be paying two rents until another applicant is found.

The icing on the cake? I’ve now got the flu and am pretty much bedridden. But I’m staying positive. The bf is bringing all my meals to me, and I’ve effortlessly acquired a delightful set of dreadlocks I may decide to keep. Plus, the new house is light and bright and modern and has loads more storage. It’s also bare, as I just don’t have the energy to unpack all my lovely house porn. So in-keeping with the clutter-free state of my home, I’ve pulled together a few shots of modern minimalist spaces that tempt me to forgoe unpacking altogether and attempt the single-childless-petless-scandinavian-textile-designer vibe for a while. Just don’t ask me where I’ll keep my keys.













The joy of the spherical.

As you may have deduced from the blog’s banner, I’m not averse to a nice decorative ball. While my own collection runs to the conservative, I’m always inspired by artists who have the balls (ahem) to think beyond the typical mediums of wood, glass and ceramic. Inspired in part by last weekend’s viewing of 1998’s delightful thriller “Sphere”, I’ve rounded up a few of my favourite edgy ornaments.

barb-wire-ball Source

The recycled rustic trend is still popular, and a barbed wire ball makes a great talking point at dinner parties. If your next gathering becomes dull, forget the Scrabble; wake up your guests with a quick game of catch.


Renter’s tip: Don’t be in such a rush to hand the keys back after vacating a property. Claim they fell into a drain and you may eventually have enough for a pretty memoir of your rental history.


Turn that spare set of pool balls into a warming reminder of your pre-mortgage and children glory days.


I’m not a fan of Halloween, but these decorated pumpkins are more fashionable than festive. Just remember the golden rule of organic art; it doesn’t matter how pretty it is, ditch it once it starts to stink.


While I’m neither a teenage girl or a drag queen, I would proudly display this lampshade in my boudair.


For those who like it rough but can’t afford to sport bruises at tomorrow’s stockholder meeting.

Hans, Destroyer of Worlds.


 Swap out the joint with an Asahi and this will be me in six months.

Last year I was in the market for a new couch. Because I’m fussy, tall and prone to spontaneous naps, I have very particular requirements vis-à-vis style, length and seat depth. After a lengthy search fraught with unspeakable horrors, I found a couch that ticked all the boxes. I absolutely loved it, and the way it handled two sets of sweaty deliverymen and a destructive housemate without incurring a single blemish showed it loved me right back. Behold its unmolested glory:


Photo by Duvall Davis

Unfortunately, it was no match for a four month old puppy with needle-sharp teeth and a fabric fetish. Earlier in the week, I recklessly left Hans unsupervised in the living room for one minute while I made my morning coffee. I returned to a scene of unparalleled carnage.


Ok, so this probably isn’t my actual couch. But the sight of a soggy, flayed mess of non-removeable cushion felt just as devastating. Once I’d stopped screaming and eased myself out of the foetal position, the threads were cut away to reveal the extent of the damage.


Not the worst bald patch I’ve ever seen, but unsightly nonetheless.

It’s not like Hans is short of toys and bones to chew on; he just prefers fabric. He’s ruined shirts, towels, blankets and now, my perfect couch. I used to laugh at old women that covered their “good” furniture in plastic; now I fear I’m destined to join their ranks.

As for Hans, he’s just lucky he’s so darn cute.


Photo by Duvall Davis

Sourced images courtesy of Your Modern Style Home and Jennifer Michie.