Tui, birds, feathers and fashion

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Home becomes Her Tui illustration by Stefan Beconcini

I thought I would share a bit about our header illustration and the ideas behind what inspired it, just in case you were thinking - Why a bird? What sort of bird is that? And I know you were....

This is a Tui, a bird native to New Zealand, its key characteristics are the white tufts of feathers under its throat and its shimmery iridescent blue feathers. We also have Tui beer and Tui girls in New Zealand but I wont go into that too much as that really doesn't fit the theme of our blog.

So to share a bit of our New Zealand uniqueness we chose this beautiful and special native bird. We also liked the bird related theme of nesting and turning your house into a home. So my talented husband Stefan was kind enough to draw a few options for us.

The handsome Tui - Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Birds have had a strong influence on fashion so it wasn't difficult to find a lot of inspirational examples.

Outfit pic - Courtesy of Raindrops of Sapphire
Interior pic - Courtesy of The Decorologist

Birdcages are bold statements as an accessory and make a quirky wall hanging. I must admit I'm not a fan of caged birds so I like this example with plants inside the cages instead of real birds.

I love this feather inspired wallpaper from Modern Furniture. So bold and beautiful.

A New Zealand based designer Bob Steiner has gorgeous unique ceramics - these three flying Tui seemed a perfect modern take on the retro three flying ducks.

Now we couldn’t talk birds without including a bit on feathers in fashion. Beauty and the Green have some great examples of birds influencing fashion. The legendary Alexander McQueen’s 2008 spring collection took on an overt bird twist. However in real life it’s probably best to not go too literal, you don’t want to end up looking like Big Bird.

Alexander McQueen 2008 Spring Collection - image courtesy of RupertandSherlock

Feathers can be a fabulous way to add a chic dimension to your outfit, so get inspired by nature and take on an avian influence. Here are some chicks doing it right...

Rihanna - Image courtesy of Desktoptune
Nikki Reed - Image Courtesy of Posh24

Image courtesy of MKaltenbach

Take me back to the 70s

Monday, 20 August 2012

Outfit pic: By Lindsay Keats - Top from thrift shop, jeans from Dotti, handbag from David Lawrence
Interior pic: Courtesy of Deluxe Arch

Okay, so I wasn't actually around in the 70s but if I was (and in my 20s let's say) I'd be a happy girl. Al Green's Let's stay together, Marvin Gaye's Let's get it on...Ooh and for a retro style refresher check out these 70s fashion icons (p.s Diane Keaton I love you).

Farrah Fawcett image from

So obviously we had to come up with our own 70s inspired looks.  Check out AnnaLynne McCord's take on this amazing era and then of course the lovely Mere shows off her 70's side with classic bell bottoms, micro florals and tan accents

AnnaLynne McCord image from

Though you can't see them we also had some chunky platforms helping to give height to a wide flare.  Which by the way is a good tip for those who are a little on the short side and want to still be able to wear a wide leg pant - always create the illusion of height and wearing heels (that blend rather than contrast) will do this.

At 5'4' Celeb stylist Rachel Zoe knows this!

.  Image from

I've mentioned a couple of times that we are currently renovating our 70s house - it's a slow process and I'm enjoying finding pieces that honour the age of the house while complimenting a modern feel.  Check out this example of mixing old with new. The ghost chair is a nice subtle touch of modernity.

70s interior image from Graham & Brown

Check out my latest find.  This is a mid century scissor lamp.  Quite quirky and perhaps not everyone's cup of tea but I am in love and I think it will fit in well with both vintage and modern pieces. I promise I'll take a picture when it's in situ.

This lovely piece was spotted on our ebay equivalent

Until then, embrace your inner Farrah and experiment with a 70's vibe - whether its donning oversized shades and felt hats at brunch or embracing some mid-late century pieces for the home.

Peace, love and veges!

REMIX! Juxtaposed styling

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Outfit pic: By Lindsay Keats - Dress from ASOS, shoes from Nike
Interior Pic: Courtesy of So Darling

The formal and informal

After putting together all the pictures in this post I realise Erena and I have a thing for chandeliers! But I couldn't do this post without them. They are the classic high end formal factor in an interiors situation, kind of like a pair of high-heels for an outfit, a chandelier instantly dresses up a room.

Above we've paired a somewhat unlikely combo of Nike high-tops with a dress, the formal dress with the informal shoes may not have been a natural combination for some but it works in a youthful, fun, not to mention comfy combo. And equally who would have thought that putting a chandelier in a bathroom was just so right!

Outfit pic - Sarah Jessica Parker on red carpet, image courtesy of Style Bistro
Interior pic - Industrial and pink courtesy of Curbly

The hard and soft

You don't have to be strictly guided by what is "appropriate" in a room or for an outfit. Check Sarah Jessica Parker's soft flowing pink evening gown that is edged up with a biker style black leather jacket. We've matched it up with this interior pic that is a mix between an industrial building with cold metal and concrete, which is then beautifully complimented by the soft, plush pink furnishings. The juxtaposition of the hard and soft in this interior shot work particularly well to keep the room modern, edgy and functional, yet at the same time warm and inviting.

Outfit pic - Cute polka dot dress and sneakers courtesy of the gorgeous Delmy from Fashion Bananas
Interior pic - Chandeliers in the laundry courtesy of Arcadian Home

The casual and elegant

This is Delmy from Fashion Bananas and she looks incredibly cute with this high and low combo polka dot dress and sneakers. An elegant chandelier is a surprising and fun accessory in a typically non-glamorous room - the laundry.

Kitties + Couture

Maria Morales is one of my favourite bloggers, she has fantastic style and is an expert in juxtaposed styling. Below are a few of my favourite pics where she has mixed casual jeans with dressy heels.

We hope that this post inspires you to not be afraid to mix elements of your wardrobe and interiors in non-traditional ways. Don't be locked into the idea of "this dress goes with these shoes" or "this jacket has to be worn with this top". You can wear sneakers with a dress, or high heels with a shabby pair of jeans, or a black leather biker jacket with an evening gown... there are no hard and fast rules, so have fun and mix it up.

Body Art & Wall Art

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Body Art Pic: Courtesy of our lovely friend Gaya
Wall Art Pic: Courtesy of Snuut Architecture
This is our beautiful friend Gaya showing off her uber feminine and delicate back tattoo. If tattooing body art seems too permanent for you, then wall decals require much less commitment. This butterfly wall decal has been placed on top of wallpaper and has instantly taken a blah boring wall to something of a feature. Wall decals can be a simple and great way to add excitement, character and beauty to a room. 

Body Art image: Courtesy of Pinterest
Wall Art image: Courtesy of Walldecalshop
I think henna temporary tattooing is so stunning, and this wall decal example shows that you really can find almost any sort of design you desire. With so many options available from images to inspirational quotes, you can find something that is meaningful and beautiful to your tastes and apply this to any room in the house (or even tattoo any part of your body...).

So this is probably not a simple vinyl wall decal but more of a hand painted and original wall mural, I love it! Image courtesy of Foggyland
If you're handy with the paint brush create your own bright, colorful and dynamic wall mural. Not for the artistically challenged like me, but inspiring all the same. Image courtesy of MadeByGirl
A fantastic and extravagant wall mural example! Again not a simple decal but so effective in this double ceiling height space. Image courtesy of Batixa
I think nursery's and kids rooms are perfect for decals, they add the fun factor and can be easily removed when you or your kids get over it! Image courtesy of The Kids Room Decor
Image courtesy of Colorful Kids Rooms

So try a wall decal – liven up a room for relatively low cost and minimal effort. There are so many different vinyl wall decals available, check out Etsy for thousands of options and you're sure to find one that you love. Or for the artistically ambitious and talented you can try painting your own wall mural or even create your own fabric wall decal, see Sewing Scarlet for a great tutorial.
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