recycled home by mark and sally bailey…


I wrote a brief review about this fab book over a year ago, and I still adore it just as much, so I thought I’d repost the review for you here in the library! Here it is…

Based on Mark and Sally Bailey’s farm property in the Herefordshire countryside of the UK, Recycled Home, pour moi, is love at first sight with a staircase and an old giant’s scissors hanging on a worn out wall on the front cover. Their intro exposes perfectly their decorating philosophy: “Use what you’ve got, be true to the structure of your house and the materials it is made from… think of your home as a delicious experiment.”

The book is filled with the most delectable photographs by South African Debi Treloar: One of my favourites being a tiny copper-sailed boat resting serenely on top of an old-fashioned door knob. And if you love wood, warm whites and textures you will love this book. Be warned though – you will end up wanting to buy everything at your next antique & flea market visit as this book guides you to seeing the beauty in things you would never have looked twice at.



I love the textile section where you will find an old otherwise boring chest of drawers with wrapped handles in different wild vintage fabrics, stairs covered with a patchwork of mini persian rugs, and the fabric of an old bathing tent made into stunning curtains. But as I flick through the pages, my added tip as a stylist to make this style work in your own home is organisation. Without organisation, this look can quickly design itself into a display of useless scraps.


  • Bath rack made from a rustic sawn-off ladder with a wooden tray slotted into it.
  • Rescued wooden planks as individual ergonomic head boards.
  • Individual toothbrush holders made from oak blocks.
  • Tiny animal figures cut out from red vintage paper and pinned to a weathered white paneled wall.
  • WHAT I’M ‘OVER’:

  • Big found letters dominating and ‘naming’ a space. Although I am a word & font fanatic and was so thrilled when this came into style a decade ago, I’ve now seen enough to make me instantly walk away from a space if I see a letter in sight. I am currently working on an interiors book and I can whisper you this: I will be giving you some alternative uses for your found letters!
  • Ticking fabric. Love it in subtle doses (like in tea towels etc) but loathing it on mass scale in a room.
  • toothbrush.jpg

    Mark and Sally have included a fabulous resource section from across Europe at the back of their book. And what more could you want? What about a website where you can buy their awesome finds and creations? Wouldn’t that be great? Yes it would and here it is!

    Enhance The Everyday rating for Recycled Home by Mark and Sally Bailey: 4 outta 5


    (original post here)

    Sweet Mandarin by Helen Tse

    My cousin Simone lent me Sweet Mandarin for my plane ride back from Sydney, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. From cover to cover. In fact, I’ll recite part of the back cover for you as I don’t think I could describe the book any better: “Spanning almost a hundred years, this rich and evocative true story recounts the lives of three generations of remarkle Chinese women… Sweet Mandarin shows how the most important inheritance is wisdom, and how recipes – passed down the female line – can be the most valuable heirloom”.

    I earmarked many pages in this book (sorry cuz, i hope you don’t mind!), and I loved Helen’s use of chinese proverbs at the beginning of each chapter, no doubt i’ll be referring to these often for everyday inspiration.

    Just finished reading:


    Isabel Losada’s A Beginners Guide to Changing the World. Hilarious. Motivating. Fun. and totally me. So much so that if Isabel didn’t write this book it would have been me, I’m sure of it. She speaks my language. “Think Globally. Act Joyfully.” A must read.


    Mary Shaffer’s The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society. “Every single page is a literary piece of perfection in it’s own right.” Who said this? me. just a moment ago when I finished reading the book. Read my brief review here and here.

    My ‘Dam Life by fellow Australian + once upon a time Amsterdammer, Sean Condon. I’m not sure it’s safe to admit at this early stage in my reading (i’m up to page 37) that I actually relate to this guy and his crazy antics, but it’s the truth. And I’m all over that.

    On the coffee table:


    Photographer Hans Silvester’s stella book on tribal fashion titled Natural Fashion.
    I adore this book and am so inspired everytime i pick it up. Guests love it.


    I invested in Tim Walker’s Pictures book. It’s massive. and filled with fabulous photographs and sketches. As you can imagine, it’s pretty awesome.

    Also in my library you will find:

    For the artist in you…

  • The Artists Way by Julia Cameron
  • Business for the entrepeneur…

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
  • The E-Myth (Revisited) by Michael Gerber
  • Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
  • Cash Flow (which is not a book but a game) by the above mentioned Kiyosaki
  • Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson

  • Pure Inspiration + Indulgence…

  • Water Babies by Charles Kingsley
  • all Tin Tin’s by Hergé, now available in cute small versions, perfect for reading on planes and trains
  • all Les Schroumpfs (The Smurfs) by Peyo
  • Griffin & Sabine by Nick Bantock – all three books
  • Literary Loves

  • Selected Works Of Gertrude Stein
  • Beyond The Curve by Japanese author Kobo Abe
  • Edgar Allan Poe (has a shelf of his own)
  • Cooking…

  • Healthy Cooking by Rosemary Stanton – a must have on the shelf.
  • Luscious by Michele Cranston (and any other Michele Cranston book, her recipes are real and all divine)
  • Take Three by Jill Dupleix – just 3 main ingredients to remember, easy peasy and delicious ideas.
  • Jamie Oliver (has a shelf of his own)
  • more cookbooks to come as I get the chance to peruse the cooking section of my bookshelf.


  • My Island Home by India Hicks
  • Sensual Home by Ilse Crawford
  • The Treehouse Book by Peter Nelson and Judy Nelson… I want to build a treehouse in the backyard now.
  • Vivre à la Montagne by Philippe Saharoff and Gwenaëlle Leprat… and have a house in the mountains too.
  • A Place for Everything: Organizing the Stuff of Life by Peri Wolfman and Charles Gold
  • Recycled Home by Mark Bailey and Sally Bailey (read our review here)
  • Junk Style by Melanie Molesworth
  • Pottery Barn Kids: Kids’ Rooms (Pottery Barn Kids) by Clay Ide, Gretchen Clark, and Melanie Acevedo
  • Fashion….

  • It’s Vintage, Darling!: How to Be a Clothes Connoisseur by Christa Weil

  • Tibet + China

  • Tibet, Tibet: A Personal History of a Lost Land by Patrick French
  • Cave in the Snow by Tenzin Palmo
  • Tintin Au Tibet (Tintin) by Hergé
  • Last Seen in Lhasa: The Story of an Extraordinary Friendship in Modern Tibet by Claire Scobie
  • The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Sogyal Rinpoche
  • The Secret Lives of Alexandra David-Neel: A Biography of the Explorer of Tibet and Its Forbidden Practices by Barbara Foster and Michael Foster
  • My Journey to Lhasa by Alexandra David-Neel
  • Dalai Lama, My Son: A Mother’s Story by Diki Tsering
  • Mantras and Misdemeanours by Vanessa Walker
  • Reincarnation by Vicki McKenzie
  • A Beginners Guide to Changing the World by Isabel Losada
  • Mao’s Last Dancer by Li Cunxin
  • Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min
  • Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang
  • Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang (Author), Jon Halliday
  • Wrestling The Dragon by Gaby Naher
  • Namma: A Tibetan Love Story by Kate Karko

  • Travel…

  • Monsoon Diaries by Shoba Narayan
  • A Baby in A Backpack to Bhutan by Bunty Avieson
  • Holy Cow by Sarah MacDonald
  • Almost French by Sarah Turnbull
  • City Walks: Paris published by Chronicle Books
  • City Walks: Amsterdam published by Chronicle Books
  • and my book! Paris: Made By Hand by Pia Jane Bijkerk 🙂
  • Books I would like to add to the library:

  • Small Eco Houses (Evergreen Series) by Simone Schleifer
  • New Sustainable Homes: Designs for Healthy Living by James Grayson Trulove
  • What Remains by Sally Mann
  • Reviews and suggestions for additions are very welcome.