holiday decorating ideas: introduction
Posted in christmas ideas, pia's photos, trend December 3rd, 2008 by piablog

Have you all been enjoying the holiday gift ideas thus far? I can tell you I have! I am just so wrapped with the treasures I’ve found for all of us – they are so cool and I would be wrapped if any of them landed under my tree this year. Although I have categorized them don’t let that stop you from thinking outside the square and mixing up categories (I know I am hankering for everything in my ‘for kids’ and ‘for him’ round up!!). Which reminds me of a little story from my childhood…

…one Christmas when I was not yet ten, my parents had decided to put all our goodies in big sacks instead of gift wrapping each one individually. When it was time to open the sacks I was so thrilled with everything I was finding – a walkman, a board game, a heavy duty skipping rope… but when my brother opened his sack something was not quite right -there was a doll, hair clips, a barbie boutique, a flower press… in my parent’s haste to get the sacks under the tree in time the night before my mum had accidentally put the wrong name tags on the sacks. I was gutted! But I recovered rapidly, I promise (that flower press and the barbie hat boutique very quickly became my two favourite play things in the world)…

Anyway, let’s get back to what this post is really all about! It’s all about my 2008 holiday decorations and styling ideas. Each year I come up with my holiday theme by simply looking around my home. I collect things from my inspiration board, props shelves, craft box and linen cupboard. Last year you may recall I was right into this colour combo – lots of dark browns and earthy colours – rich plum, soft greens inspired by peacocks, shells, stray buttons and found cards. But this year, I am loving white with the focus on textures – light feathers, soft fabric buttons, natural string, beautiful crochet garlands, skeleton leaves and antique cream linens.

So my holiday decorating ideas for this week will be very much inspired by my colour palette for this year, with touches of traditional colours here and there. I do hope you will enjoy it! Coming up first will be all about decorating your tabletop, and at the end of the week we will look at gift wrapping and cards. And all of it, as I’ve mentioned before will be following my styling philosophy.

To get us started, here is my holiday decorating ideas moodboard…

And when the night falls…


If I were a kitchen, I would be this:
Posted in artists, trend September 15th, 2008 by piablog


It’s called The Farm Project, designed by Mike Meiré. With concept phrases like “…‘orchestrated chaos’ bringing beauty to mundane objects within the context of a nourishing environment…” and “…embrace the richness of life that minimalism had taken away…”, I’m a hooked fish.

Would you come visit me if I were this kitchen?

It’s an interesting concept that was photographed last year for Wallpaper magazine, worth more of a look-see – you can follow my path of discovery by reading about it on the fabuloso Inhabitat, watching it here and seeing more photos here.

my kinda glam
Posted in interiors, trend July 10th, 2008 by piablog


A little morning wander through the blogosphere found me these two images above from this is glamourous and coco + kelly. You know I am not a great fan of opulent rooms and ‘rich’ interiors – my style is more along the earthy, real and livable kind – creating rooms that are actually usable and cosy (you should hear me balk at mtv cribs – it’s apparently humorous to watch me watching this show, I just can’t believe people pretend to live in those places and try to get us, the viewers, to aspire to their pretend lives. nu-uh).

But it’s not like I don’t like shiny things. Because I do – especially like this entrance way and these stairs – I love combining old wood with sparkling things, I find it really brings out the texture and age, and sentimentality of the surroundings.

And that foyer is just cool. I have never been a huge fan of stained glass or shiny wall surfaces (my oma loved opulence – she mirrored her entire hallway and loved a chandelier or ten – and although it did have a ‘wow’ effect, it was more the sort of ‘wow, i suddenly feel a little sick’ effect.) But this entrance way makes me think that maybe one day, I could live with stained glass and reflective walls. Maybe.

an inspiration: weaving old into new…
Posted in handmade, homewares, trend June 27th, 2008 by piablog


So where was I… oh yes, my obsession with the work of weavers! Another weaving studio which I am smitten with is that of Kelly Stewart and Kenny Nix – the lovely couple who have created the Gene Straus Design Weaving Studio. They have an extensive online gallery and I have been perusing it over the past few weeks, imagining them looming away, coming up with new ideas and fashioning loose threads into woven treasures. There is such a personal touch to their website – writing about how each piece was formed and what it was formed from – you see, Kelly and Kenny create rugs from tossed away clothing and scrap wool selvages. There is so much work to strip the fabrics into usable threads, let alone the amount of time and energy into creating the designs and starting the production, making each of their handwoven rugs unique yet so affordable.

What you see above has been made from old denim jeans which I think is just amazing. I imagine this rug on white wooden floorboards at an entrance way. In fact, I imagine alot of their designs in white spaces, creating warmth, depth and texture. Weaving old into new – I love it.

Click here to peruse their collection.

Trends 2008: REAL, RAW, REFINED and nearly forgot…
Posted in trend January 2nd, 2008 by piablog


I woke up in the middle of the night having remembered I forgot to conclude with the one very important trend for 2008: derivation.

What am I on about? I am talking about the act of acquiring something from a source. This is a topic of constant scrutiny in my industry and everyone ironically feels that everything they have ever created comes from their own head and is original. To be blunt, this is bullshit. Everything – and this cannot be more prevalent than today – is derived from something.

Everyone influences each other, everything comes from something.

When I was at uni, and even going (as far back!) as high school art, we were taught to discuss our influences and inspirations – people and things that moved us and influenced our art, design and writings. Somehow when you get into the workforce and start creating your work you are taught (through bad examples) to pretend you have not looked at anyone else’s current work (how many times have I heard, ‘Oh? No, I have never heard of them’ meaning ‘darling, I am so busy with my own work, do you think I have time to look at someone else’s?’ which might as well be followed with, ‘Do you have any idea who I am?!’) that you have no idea what is going on around you, and that no one but your own self-centred inner self turns your light on. And in my experience this is based on fear – God forbid, it might show that your work is not purely original and has been influenced by your peers and surroundings.

I don’t abide by this bad habit. Because of course I have been influenced by my peers and contemporaries – so was Van Gogh, Toulouse Lautrec and friends. And of course my work has derived from something else. We are all part of a collective consciousness and we move with it, collectively. It is good practice to recognise your influences and discuss them as equals. Share, give, and be grateful. 2008 has no room for individuals who shout ‘this is mine!’. Be careful what you claim to be your own, because if you do your homework you will see that there is a direct trail left behind you of where you actually got your idea, and that often leads back to the very place you are trying to claim it from.

This idea of derivation will be more accepted in this coming decade as we move toward reworking old designs, renovating and being more resourceful with what we have. We will recognise that all things come from something – that is how we will evolve with what we have. It will be your service, dedication and passion that will distinguish you.

(now on with hunting and gathering!…)