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Bibelot - Dessert Boutique South Melbourne
Fashion, Home, Music, Travel

This Month I’m…

My May is pretty flat out – lots of commitments (both work and play) – business travel, a friend’s wedding, catch ups and farewells and, well, you get the idea. In between all that, this month I’m…

Listening to my May Playlist on Spotify. It’s got everything from French hip hop to a cover of Stand By Me(!).

I’m trialling FitBit Premium (it’s free to try and just $60 AUD a year). You already know I’m hooked on my FitBit, but this takes it to a new level, pushing you to go the extra mile (er, no pun intended).

I’m booking hotels for a trip later in the year to the Greek Islands. My current go-tos for gorgeous hotels are Tablet Hotels (curated selection of the best-of-the-best), Jetsetter (a Trip Advisor edit) and Hello World (a modern-day travel agency).

I’m shopping for boots, and currently eyeballing these beauties by Laurence Dacade (below) but at $890 AUD, remain unconvinced. All recommendations welcome!

Laurence Dacade Pete Boots
I’m extremely excited to be meeting with The Den Interiors to discuss some serious overhauling of our house which is about a year overdue.

I’m eating all the goodies I can get my hands on at Melbourne’s new dessert boutique, Bibelot (top). “A dessert boutique?!” I hear you say? Yes, it’s as good as it sounds.

Finally, I’m wearing all the Uniqlo mens crew neck merino wool sweaters ($50 AUD) I can get my hands on. I need to take an extra small, but it’s a true crew neck, fits better than the women’s and damn do they last and last and last.


The Daily Edited
Fashion, Home, Style

Friday Finds: The Daily Edited, Boden, Edward Kwan and Grovemade

Regular readers know well by now how much I love a good monogram. (It feels like a throwback to years gone by when we owned fewer, better things, cared for them and kept them long enough to stamp your initials on them.) So you can picture my delight at discovering The Daily Edited (above). A clutch or card holder here, a personalised notecard there… all able to be monogrammed. Complete the Insta-look with their desktop delights like quirky stationery. Monogram leather goods start at $50 AUD. Sign up to their newsletter for 10% off your next order.


If you’re already a fan of stores like Anthropologie and Gorman, you’re going to want to know about Boden. Pretty-yet-punchy in every colour imaginable, Boden is the absolute antithesis to the monochromatic palette favoured by Melbournians and the Insta-set. Boden doesn’t just stop at womenswear though – they’ve got gents as well as the littlest people in your life covered (or is that clothed?), too. Prices vary but to give you an idea, the swimsuit shown above is $90 AUD.


I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s a lot to be said for having multiple careers over the course of your life and it would seem that Edward Kwan agrees. A Melbourne-based dancer-turned-lawyer with a sideline making quirk-tastic bowties and neckties, Edward Kwan isn’t settling for just one job. If only I had an iota of her style, I’d be using this as an excuse to channel Janel Monae and get my manstyle dressing on. Unfortunately, I’m just not that hip so I’ll be admiring these babies from afar. Handmade in Melbourne, bow ties start at $60 AUD.

Is your workspace feeling dull and uninspired? Is your laptop / screen perched atop a stack of phone books? Are you using a promotional mouse pad? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, have I got the answer for you! US-based Grovemade creates the chicest of chic desk accessories and carry-kit to order by hand, right from their studio. Streamline your life and be the envy of any office. Perfect! Prices start at $30 USD for a dish.

We Are Handsome - White Knight Activewear
Fashion, Home, Style

Friday Finds: Amour Vert, We Are Handsome and Cultiver

You know those days when you just wish you’d win the lottery or end up with an unexpectedly enormous inheritance from an unknown distant relative? This won’t help…

I always pay that bit more attention when I stumble across a sustainable, ethical clothing brand that is going out of its way to produce a morally sound product, so it’s no surprise Amour Vert caught my eye. The whole kit and caboodle is American made using non-toxic dyes, sustainable fibres and zero-waste design methodology, but frankly even if you don’t care an iota about all that, you’ll still be swooning over this label for its laid-back-but-polished appeal. Prices start around $80 USD for a singlet.

They’ve been bringing some POP to beach scenes the world over with their bright digital prints since 2009 and now We Are Handsome are taking it to the streets with the launch of their activewear range. It’s just the motivation you need to get your workout on. Prices from $90 AUD for a bralet.

If you like your little daily luxuries but don’t want ‘what she’s having’ then you’ll be happy to hear about decadent boutique linen brand, Cultiver. Initially just offering the most sumptuous of bedlinen, the range has now expanded to include vintage silk velvet cushions, Turkish cotton robes, and sleepwear. Bring on those lazy days… Prices start around the $130 AUD mark for pyjamas and cushions.


Thankyou Hand Wash
Everything Else, Home

Chic and thoughtful hostess* gifts

We’ve all been there. You’re invited to a friend’s house and they say ‘just bring yourself!’, but you don’t want to show up empty-handed. Wine is tough (is it a gift or are they expected to open it?), particularly if you don’t know the menu.  Speaking of which, as someone who has obsessed over menus, for the love of quinoa, don’t show up with a dish! Anyway, here’s my go-to list of simple but thoughtful gifts to take when visiting friends for an occasion warranting thrusting something into their hands as you step over the threshold.

Grown Alchemist

Luxe handwash – it’s the sort of thing lots of people don’t buy for themselves, but everyone seems to love. I’m a fan of Grown Alchemist ($29.95 AUD / 500ml) and Thankyou ($7.95 AUD / 500ml)

Records – this one requires some hardware, but if the stage is set it’s a gift that doesn’t only say ‘I thought about this’, it’s also a great conversation starter. Prices vary and a quick Google will show you some stores near you, but failing that, Amazon has a great vinyl selection.

Melbourne Gin Company

Boutique beverages – leave your regifted red at home and take something that sighs ‘special’ as soon as you set eyes on it. Perhaps a bottle of The Melbourne Gin Company‘s finest ($68.99 AUD for 700ml at Dan Murphy’s) and a few friends in the form of Fever Tree Indian tonic water ($7.99 AUD for a pack of 4 from Dan Murphy’s).

T2 - Madam Flutterby

Tea and coffee – and I’m not talking Nespresso (sorry, George). Get thyself to your local cafe and have a bag of something rich, dark and delicious to waft under the nose of your host* on arrival. Alternatively, an interesting tea (caffeinated or otherwise) is a unique choice. I’m into almost everything at T2, but for a nice little after dinner something-something, check out their Flutterby range (Madam Flutterby shown above, $12.00 AUD for the tin) and the French Earl Grey ($14.00 AUD a box). It is in fact, the actual cats pajamas.

Something for the kids – if all else fails, showing up with the latest little Lego set or Matchbox car will be appreciated by everyone in the house. Guaranteed. Lego sets vary in price but start around $15.00 AUD at Big W.

*I do hope it goes without saying, but I’ve used the words ‘host’ and ‘hostess’ interchangeably in this post.

Nina Maya

Meet Ms Maya

If you’re thinking Nina Maya’s name sounds a little familiar, you’d be right. With a degree in textiles, Ms Maya’s first foray into a creative career was in the form of fashion with her eponymous label and e-boutique. In 2011 however, she made the decision to make the natural progression into interiors. And boy, are we delighted she did. Already Nina has a small-but-enviable portfolio of both residential and commercial clients. Our favourite? A private penthouse in the St Regis Hotel, Beijing (below for your enjoyment).

We got a little inside information on the person behind the pictures…

The Lifestyle Department: Who or what is inspiring you right now?

Nina Maya: The energetic pace and exciting interior design emerging in Beijing, with so much focus on China from around the world some of the best design firms are setting up there and completing great work. I love exploring all the interiors of the latest bars, restaurants & hotels when I am over there.
TLD: Where do you want to be in five years?
NM: Continuing to grow my business and working with a wide range of clients. Recently I have loved completing two private residences in Beijing, China. I would like to continue to travel and complete more international projects in the coming years.
TLD: Five essential items that make or break a room?
NM: A fabulous rug to ground the space, good lighting preferably not from above, quality well designed furniture, unique pieces & collectables that represent your loves & experiences and a colourful piece of art to centre the room.
TLD: What are your five favourite places to shop for interiors ingredients?
NM: There are some great online stores that I am always sourcing from. My favourites are 1st Dibs for Mid-Century Modern Furniture. West Elm for contemporary accents. Design Within Reach for accessible modern designer pieces. Saatchi Online for fabulous pieces of art and locally I love popping into Koskela and grabbing a bite to eat at the delicious kitchenbyMike.
[Eds Note: Nina is being far too humble – she left out her own gorgeous online store (Nina Maya Emporium) full of printed cushions and other such loveliness.]
TLD: Describe Nina Maya Interiors in five words.
NM: Contemporary, Unexpected, Bespoke, Fresh, Vibrant.
Nina Maya Interiors - St Regis, Beijing
Nina Maya Interiors - St Regis, Beijing
Nina Maya Interiors - St Regis, Beijing
Nina Maya Interiors - St Regis, Beijing
Nina Maya Interiors - St Regis, Beijing
Want more Nina? Visit her website to ogle her other projects and to get in touch. Table

Plate Up!

The easy way to instant tabletop chic? Statement crockery. If this sounds a bit silly, feast your eyes on our favourites…

  1. Arte D’Italia Deruta Raffaellesco cake plate. Perfect for your inner-royal. $94.00USD via Linens and Things
  2. Sonoma outdoors melamine square palm plate. Amp your barbeque $6.00 USD at Kohl’s.
  3. Noritake ‘Tempo’ dinner plate. Approx $18.00USD through Macy’s.
  4. Villeroy and Boch dinner plate. Formal dinner party ahoy! $85.00USD at Bloomingdales.
  5. Sponge glass charger plate (this particular sale has finished, but it’s ALWAYS worth checking One Kings Lane for beautiful tableware).

You’ll note a few of our faves aren’t shipped internationally… check here for a solution!

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