Monochrome - Black and White

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Interior pic courtesy of
Outfit pic courtesy of

Out of all the color combos I've blogged about, this high contrast couple is a classic. It is also very visually effective and quite safe as it is difficult to get wrong. Fashion styling wise the most flattering proportion would be white on top and black on the bottom, one word of warning however - go for edgy and well tailored pieces, you want to avoid looking like a waitress. The examples above and below are a perfect mix, and I'm loving the white blazer to complement an otherwise very basic outfit.

For interiors black and white is also difficult to get wrong, think black floors and white walls as the black jeans and white blazer equivalent, chic and classy.

Like any colour combo or theme you can take it too far, and with a monochrome coupling I recommend using some other coloured accents. For outfits - gold and silver accessories or even red lippy are great complements. For interiors - I like the minimalistic accent of wood grain, but loads of options in terms of introducing pops of colour in accesories in the form of wall art, cushions, ornaments and light fittings.

Interior image courtesty of
Outfit image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

The above and below examples demonstrate the drama and strong power that can be achieved with such a simple set of colours. It's association with the classic and formal tuxedo make it quite masculine and strong. But as Dita Von Teese also demonstrates in her dress below it can also be very feminine. I love her style, she always looks immaculate!
Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Such a versatile combination can be safe, but anything but boring. See some inspiring examples below:

So flipping the combo, this model has the legs to do it! Image courtesy of

Edgy with gold accessories and a pop of colour in the handbag = perfect! Image courtesy of

A bit OTT with the monochrome theme, but great gold accents and a bit eccentric, which I like. 
Image courtesy of

Minimalist heaven, image courtesy of

Some more minimalism. Very dramatic but could be a bit too cold. Image courtesy of

I'm crazy for chevron, I'm still trying to figure out how I can incorporate it into my house. Maybe I'll just buy a chevron scarf.
Image courtesy of
So opulent! Image courtesy of

Introducing pops of red in wall art and light fittings works very well in a monochrome space. 
Image courtesy of
What a fun space! Mismatching chairs but all tied together with the black and white theme. 
Image courtesy of

As an aside example, I was a bit paranoid about looking back on my wedding photos and regretting my fashion decisions, so I really wanted to go as classic as possible. I was a bit scarred by looking at some peoples 80s wedding pics and thinking, eeek! I didn't want to look back and think OMG what was I thinking. So I didn't want to be too fashionable and wanted to keep things classic. I believe nothing is more classic than black and white.

My wedding day 2008, our good looking bridal party in classic black and white
And like the leopard print and green combo from a previous post, this colour combo is also endorsed by nature. Just think friesian cows, zebras and my super cute kitty Bambino.

Image courtesty of

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

My baby boy Bambino is naturally and beautifully monochrome

So for a high contrast visual pleasure that nature endorses and can serve you very well in terms of being difficult to get wrong - go monochromatic. I bet you have loads of black and white pieces in your wardrobe right now, so go get them all out and mix and match. Have fun xxx

Tangerine and Sapphire (AKA Orange and Navy)

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Outfit pic - Dress from Karen Walker Hi There range
Interior pic - courtesy of MadeByGirl

So orange and navy would have worked fine as a title but I wanted to be a bit fancier and went for the more pretentious "tangerine and sapphire" title option instead. Either way you'll have to agree that its an intensely bold combo.

I bought this cute dress for a friends wedding from my favorite fashion designer Karen Walker and also got to wear to an awards ceremony the following week - efficient cost per wear!

Vintage sapphire ring from my mother

Are you brave enough to go for navy walls? Are you brave enough to try this combo at all? I will gladly try out the fashion option but with interiors I must admit it looks beautiful but I'm a bit intimidated by this bold combo. Safer option would be to go for some loud accessories.

As bold as this combo gets! Only for the brave. Image courtesy of Rue

Love chevron! Image courtesy of Living Livelier

Image  courtesy of Traditional Home

Image courtesy of Full House
Image courtesy of The Pink Chandelier

Image courtesy of Apartment Therapy

Image courtesy of Classy Girls Wear Pearls
Image courtesy of MenStyle1
Try some colour blocking on your nails. Image courtesy of  SmashleySparkles

White and gold are the perfect accent colours to go with this colour combo. I love this relaxed look, image courtesty of Goodlifeforless

Made from scratch

Friday, 12 October 2012

Recycled grain sack chair, seatbelt cushion - pic from, doily dress from

I'm a creative soul and so I thought I would celebrate a skill that is dear to my heart.  Some call it upcycling others call it recycling, DIY even and if you were a New Zealander you'd call it good old Kiwi ingenuity.

To turn something that had a life served as something else, be it a seatbelt or a coffee sack or a doily - and then transform it into something that is not only useable but stylish, functional and flattering for the home or for you is a feat to be commended.

I guess it's all about seeing beyond what is

   Suitcase table pic from

And seeing what it could be

Recycled pallet office staircase image from

Chalkboard splashback interior pic by

Pallet daybed image from

Decoupage french sidetable image from

Wakefield chandelier from Pottery Barn - image from

Upcycled summer house made from old windows - image from

From a fashion perspective - the term that best describes this type of creative experimentation is upcycling.
The reason behind this can be to give something old a modern touch,  to save some moolah or to be eco-friendly and use what you already have.

Being able to recreate the wheel in the fashion sense gives you creative license to make something uber original and flattering to your shape because you are manipulating it to your style and tastes.

Recreating a Prada trend with spray paint and black pumps - image from

DIY dip-dyed hair - image from

Transformed black dress - image by

As you can see creativity knows no bounds and I admire the skill and foresight that goes into making something ordinary extraordinary.

I wouldn't be me if I didn't give you a couple of vid tutorials to have a go at at home, one requires long hair and some serious 'mirror time' and the other just requires a rainy day - like it is here today!

Doily lamp - image by

To make this amazing lamp at home head here for instructions:
Emily Lizzy's doily lamp tutorial

DIY bow bun by Mr Kate 

Try this bow bun, it's pretty cool and whatsmore Mr Kate is really fun to watch!

Have a good week everyone and next time you're looking at those naff curtains, or that old hideous scarf in your wardrobe think outside the square - it might just need some creative juices to be fabulous once more.


Spanish Influence - Con Amor

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Our Wedding 2008 - photographer Carey Conn
Interior shot from
When I think Spanish influence for the home what instantly comes to mind are arches, wrought iron and beautifully detailed tiles. Then for fashion I think lace, fans, peineta (Spanish comb), flowers and frilly layers. I had a strong Spanish influence in my wedding dress attire above, because I wanted to acknowledge my husband's heritage (half Spanish, from Chile) and I also thought these accessories were simply stunning. The peineta and fan were gifts from my Mother-in-law brought from Spain and I had the Spanish lace veil or mantilla made here in New Zealand.

Many people think my comb is a Māori heru, and you'll see why from the below examples. From New Zealand to China to Spain, all of these traditional combs are quite similar.

From left to right, Māori Bone Heru from New Zealand, Chinese Ivory comb, and far right a Spanish peineta traditionally made from tortiseshell but nowadays made from imitation mother of pearl. Images courtesy of NZ Museums, and

Now for some Spanish style wedding inspiration....

Gorgeous Spanish bride, see full photo shoot at 
What a dramatic photo! If you want to see more great Mantilla images, check this post at
Sadly the marriage didn't last but the Spanish style dress and mantilla will be forever beautiful. Image courtesy of

And of course some Spanish style home decor inspiration....

Incredible intricate Spanish tiles. Image courtesy of

 More gorgeous Spanish tiles. Image courtesy of Pinterest

Yet another great Spanish hallway. Image courtesy of

Love these Spanish/Moorish tiles. I'd want the exact same in my kitchen. Image courtesy of

This colonial style Spanish house has great character. The adobe walls really make the style pop. Image courtesy of
For a more contemporary Spanish influenced accessory - check these prints from Etsy.
This means "You are my world"

"Live the Life" - from Etsy

This is one of my favourite photos from our wedding day, quite romantic I thought

Finally an interesting story about my dress, so not exactly Spanish influenced, more Fantastic Four influenced (I know a bit random). The true story is that Erena told me she had a dream that I got married in the dress that Jessica Alba wore in the movie Fantastic Four 2. So of course I Googled it, found the below pic, LOVED IT, and that's exactly what I took to the dress maker to recreate. So I wouldn't say that super hero movies, weddings and Spanish style go together, but in this case it worked for me.

Jessica Alba in Fantastic Four 2. Image courtesy of
The picture I gave to my dressmaker

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