Monday, 22 April 2013

Calm, peaceful and serene, you want to go here!

These are all the words that describe our last holiday and guess what 'It was at a Health Retreat". A health what you say?? Yep you heard it right!

Most Christmas' my husband and I take holidays from work however we end up spending the majority of the days lounging around at home eating and drinking, all the bad things Christmas brings with it! So, last year I took the proactive approach and bought a deal online for a holiday in Queensland and it did not disappoint.

Eden Health Retreat which I will call 'Eden' in this post is located in the Currumbin Valley in Queensland and backs onto the Currumbin National Park forcing you to connect with nature and forget all the added stress which is at home.

I did do some research on Eden before I pushed the button to book the deal as we realised there is no caffeine or alcohol allowed and no TV or phone reception around the grounds. Certainly a little different however we thought it would be a chance to disconnect from the world and technology, which I think we all rely on!

The birds wake you up in the morning prior to your alarm which is set for 4.45am might I add however I didn't mind getting up at this time as we got to watch the magnificent sunrise each and every day. These pictures are the views of the grounds each day as you rise, look how lush and green they are.

Everyone is given the same daily program which we all had the option of doing or not doing. It's not a boot camp so get this vision out of your head, it is more about implementing a healthy lifestyle into our busy lives and teaching those (who don't already know) how easy it can be to eat correctly and to eat whole foods.

Each morning after Qi Gong my hubby and I would tackle one of the bush walks around the grounds. They started off easy and we progressed to the more difficult ones each day. Below is a pic of us in front of one of the many waterfalls on the grounds. 

So the activities, where do we start as they come in leaps and bounds and there is tuns of variety. I have added a few pictures below of a few we tackled however there was so much variety to choose from. Please click here for a list of all the activities available direct from Eden's website.

Climbing the Power Pole


Swimming or lounging (in my case) by the pool

These are pics from the flying fox that my husband and I both went on and was HEAPS of fun!!

The two pictures below are of a massive group of bamboo that looked like they were plonked in the gardens and not going anywhere! If you squint hard enough on the first picture you may just be able to spot me. My husband zoomed in on the second picture.

I loved walking down the hill past these every day and always wondered how it grew so tall and dense. Such an amazing sight! 

Before I sign off I must also mention the food quickly at Eden which is all made by their chefs and from whole foods. They do not use any processed foods or anything from jars or packets. It's all made in house and restaurant quality. Not one day did we go hungry and in fact we went up for seconds a few times as it tasted so good, we couldn't get enough :) Cooking lessons were included in the daily programs and I learnt how to cook some of the meals we shared. We regularly make these meals at home along with other recipes from Eden's cookbook which we purchased from the gift shop.

My husband and I still rave about our stay at Eden and plan on making it a yearly ritual (if money permits). It was lovely to detach from the world and spend a bit of "me" time with myself and we both came back with the clearest skin in years and much happier within. The staff and facility's were 5 star and we made some really great friendships with the other guests along the way. 

This last pic of me is from our last day at Eden after a morning of kayaking at the beach and a pancake brekky! (Yep pancakes made from whole foods and yes you can still have fun and eat yummy food!!)

For more information on Eden Heal Retreat visit their website

xo antoinette 

Sunday, 14 April 2013

How to inject a bit of colour into your home

I used to find it really hard trying to think of ideas of how to inject colour into my home. So I have decided to write a series of posts, one every fortnight incorporating my ideas of ways to do this for yourself.

I will focus on the following topics and don't worry I will let you know where you can purchase all the fabulous items mentioned:

1 - Art
2 - Throws
3 - Cushions
4 - Rugs
5 - Ottomans
6 - Accessories
7 - Lighting

I know there are many more topics that could be covered in this series however I thought I might hone in on a few, as these are the most common styling items used nowadays.

My first post on "how to inject colour" will be about art. If you would like me to write about an item that you find hard to decorate with I would love to hear your suggestions!

Until then...

Antoinette x

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Von Haus Colour Workshop

In March I was lucky enough to win tickets to the first (ever) Von Haus Colour Workshop hosted by Fiona Parry-Jones of Von Haus Design Studio. Fiona is originally from the UK and started out as a colour and textiles designer. 

Fiona named the design studio Von Haus which means "Of the House" in German. Fiona's husbands family are German and she wanted to incorporate their German heritage into her new venture. How fitting I thought!!

Not only does the colour workshop help you fix a design dilemma you have in your home, it is also a lot of fun and a great way to meet new people with the same interests. Not to mention the amazing food platter Fiona puts on, I think I rolled out of there!

Below are photos of Fiona explaining the 60/30/10 colour rule to us which, if you are a designer you would be aware of however I'm not a designer so this concept was very foreign to me.

To explain the 60/30/10 rule you first need to know that the amount of colours used in a room should be narrowed down to 3 and these are broken down as follows: 60% of one colour/texture, 30% of another and 10% of one more.

For an example, see the below monochrome colour board compiled by Fiona.

The 60% colour is white, for the walls, tiles and the prints, 30% is brown as shown in the wooden objects, the brown leather arm chair and wooden stools and the final 10% is black, which is used to tie it all in using a lampshade, some black fabric for cushions or an ottoman and the prints.

This concept should be applied when deciding on a colour palette for any room in your home indoor or outdoor.

Once we all understood the concept, we then applied this to our own design dilemma. I went into the workshop with a picture of our lounge room which doesn't get a lot of sun and has a chocolate colour "L" shaped couch. So overall it's very dark and needs a serious dose of colour injection.

I love colour, I just wasn't sure how to tackle this room as we currently rent and I can't exactly wallpaper or paint the walls.

Fiona advised me to incorporate it elsewhere by picking a colour scheme (as above) and then applying those colours to fabrics for a rug and/or an ottoman. Some modern and bright accessories, floating shelves/bookcase and a low lying entertainment unit. So off I went searching through fabric, paint colours and magazines.

Once we had compiled a number of cuttings, all of these are then assembled onto our own colour boards. If we had any qualms about whether the items we had chosen would suit our rooms Fiona was more than happy to guide and advise us on the best colours, textures, furniture and accessories that would suit.

We had about 3 hours in total to put together our boards which was ample time although it was so therapeutic that I could have sat there doing it all day! Below are 2 finished colour boards, can you guess the colour schemes?

So, if you are looking for a bit of colour inspiration and would love to learn how to decorate your home Fiona is holding these colour workshops once a month at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, St Kilda Road in Melbourne. The next one takes place on Saturday the 13th of April so get in quick!

To book for the next workshop click here or if you would like any further information on the Design Services of Fiona Parry-Jones please visit her website

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

I've got Ellen fever

Like many other Melbournians it was so amazing to see Ellen DeGeneras and Portia de Rossi visit our shores last week. I watch the Ellen show religiously and boogie in my lounge room every time she dances through the crowd in her shows! I find her very humbling and down to earth which sets her apart from many other celebrities. 

I came across Ellen and Portia selling their Beverly Hills home back in 2011 and I thought how fitting to showcase this to you as let's be frank "it's a stunner"!





The residence showcases a lot of wooden textures throughout giving this home a real homely and country feel. I love how each room flows connecting them to each other via their furniture and accessories which also bring in a modern day feel and really liven the place up. The vintage wall print and mauve lounge chairs really take my fancy!

A clever use of windows is used in the outdoor entertaining area "bringing the outside in" which also lets in a lot of natural light. And who could go past the outdoor rug, it really defines this space!

The master bedroom is growing on me as it draws you in aesthetically and has a masculine feel to it however the clever use of natural tones and colours makes it a haven for all.

The natural surroundings showcased in the garden area are yet another one of my favourites as I could imagine myself sitting on a bench gazing at the beautiful views all day long. And the pool what else is there to say! 

Ellen and Portia sold this residence to Ryan Seacreast for a cool $49 million, wowzas!

All photos are via Architectural Digest, click here to read the full article.