Wrought Iron design
Melbourne is known for its laneways.
Venture up some grubby stairs away from the bustling office workers on Melbourne’s Bourke Street and you arrive at a garden scene of pink walls, synthetic turf and white wrought iron furniture. Hipster waiting staff in retro outfits, who look as if they have just stepped off the croquet lawn, are serving pink cupcakes and bubbles to an assorted crowd relaxing in the spring sunshine.
This is Madame Brussels, one of Melbourne’s many roof-top bars, which serves everything from high tea in the day to late-night drinks.
“I call it Wisteria Lane meets Alice in Wonderland meets Peggy Guggenheim in her palazzo in Venice” announces the husky-voiced Miss Pearls, who is a co-owner of the bar she presides over.
There is something deeply politically incorrect about Miss Pearls, a former actor who sees the world as her stage. The Melbourne eccentric is fond of throwing fur parties in her back room – decorated as a gentleman’s club – and on the day I meet her is proud of several pairs of white ’70s tennis shorts she has bought and is determined to squeeze her young male staff into.
Miss Pearls is no stranger to taking a fashion risk herself. She has commissioned a young taxidermist to create her race-day hat and shows off a beautifully crafted headpiece made out of rather a lot of a dead magpie.
Welcome to Australia’s quirkiest city, where many of the best destinations for those visiting during the spring racing carnival are not at eye level.
“What I find about Melbourne is the hidden aspect, whether it’s dining, shopping or cocktails, has become really important to the city’s identity,” says shopping blogger Lady Melbourne (it seems honorifics are very de rigueur in this city).
“Melbourne makes you work for its shopping but if you are prepared to do the work you will be very well rewarded,” says the Lady, otherwise known as Phoebe Montague.
Dressed in a long cardigan and sporting glittering blue nails, Lady Melbourne takes us to the GPO for a spot of designer shopping, then we wind through beautiful arcades, up stairs and down alleys to discover out of the way shops such as Alice Euphemia, which stocks only Australian and New Zealand-designed fashion and jewellery, European designer store Marais and the Scandinavian store Somewhere.
For male punters, Henry Bucks in Collins Street and City Hatters at Flinders Street station are good destinations to pick up a hat.
For well-heeled women seeking race-day accessories, the perfect stop is Christine’s at 181 Flinders Lane. Down some steps and with a red tartan hallway entrance, the uninitiated could mistake this treasure trove – which is fit to make Carrie Bradshaw swoon – for a cheap vintage clothes shop.
This is the passion of professional bowerbird Christine Barro, who spent a quarter of a century buying glittering things for the former Melbourne destination store Georges, before opening her own store.
There is a bouquet of Philip Treacy hats, including his signature gondola hat, and the pillbox hat of the style worn by Victoria Beckham to the 2011 royal wedding. A $6950 pillbox studded with hand-sewn Swarovski crystals is the most outrageous of the collection. There are also Lanvin and Celine bags and shoes, and Adrian Lewis jewellery made from horn and quartz.
Melbourne’s changeable weather may be the butt of many interstate jokes, but Barro, who grew up in Sydney, insists that “the weather in Melbourne allows people to be more stylish because you can layer up”. She says that “it allows Melburnians to be more creative, because you are not outdoors as much, you are indoors doing something”.
to be continued
Lanvin Inaugurates their New Boutique at ‘the Avenue’ at Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Towers
Renowned French fashion house Lanvin celebrates the inauguration of their new women’s boutique at ‘The Avenue’ in Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Towers. A contemporary mix of angular and linear patterns, the boutique is juxtaposed against rustic wrought iron display cabinets. The black and white checkered floor gives the boutique a modern edge, while exotic zebra skins add to the authenticity and is complemented by the bright pop colors of the brand’s collection of accessories which are displayed elegantly within mirrored box shelves.
Included is Lanvin Petite for the aspiring fashion-focused youth of the region. With a selection of intricately stitched dresses for ages 4 to 12, and patent colored ballerinas, both mother and daughter can look elegant in Lanvin. The boutique, which is situated on the lower level of the new shopping haven, devotes a corner to the beautiful Blanche collection. With a mix of delicate dresses and demure accessories, the radiant selection of romantic ensembles caters to any bride’s taste.
Teaming up with Avenue at Etihad Towers, the opening of the boutique was celebrated in typical Lanvin style. Running alongside the grand opening event at the Avenue at Etihad Towers, the brand presented the best of the Fall Winter collection in a luxury fashion show. While guests explored the newly opened stores, Lanvin celebrations were in full swing with animated and lively decorations displayed, inspired by the 10 year anniversary celebrations of Alber Elbaz at Lanvin. Brightly colored balloons, dancing mannequins and a vibrant window display attracted guests, while an in-store artist entertained them with Lanvin style portraits. Guests could chose a dress from the Fall Winter collection, along with accessories from the store, while the artist drew them in full Lanvin glory.
New model homes open in Eagle Springs
A wooded community in the Humble Independent School District, Eagle Springs is showcasing six new model homes this fall, beginning with two fresh models priced from the $190,000s to $260,000s in the neighborhood of Barton Ridge.
Visitors can tour Westin’s new Mayfair model, highlighted by a rotunda foyer with a spiral staircase featuring wrought-iron rails. Another highlight of this home are the ceiling heights ranging from 14 feet in the study, to 18 feet in the family room and foyer.
With more than 3,000 square feet, the four-bedroom Westin model has a covered patio and a kitchen with an 8-foot work island.
Upstairs includes a game room, a homework-study area and three bedrooms. The master suite is downstairs, and a media room is optional.
D.R. Horton’s new model, Plan 2941, has four bedrooms and 3½ baths, including a downstairs master suite. Featuring a stone and brick exterior, this model has a two-story family room with an optional corner fireplace, an upstairs game room and a dining room that can be built as an optional study. A covered patio extends the length of the family room, and is bookended by bay windows in the master suite and the breakfast room.
D.R. Horton offers buyers a number of options to customize this plan, including expanding the two-car garage into a 2½- or three-car configuration. An optional upstairs playroom can be built above the garage.
Like most neighborhoods in Eagle Springs, Barton Ridge has an interior park connected to the community’s greenbelt trail system. Westin and D.R. Horton are building in a new phase of Barton Ridge that borders the neighborhood park, and a limited number of greenbelt and park-view homesites are available.
Overall, six new model homes are opening in Eagle Springs this fall, including new low-maintenance townhome models by Brighton. Sales are under way for these townhomes, priced from the $160,000s.
Lennar and Ryland are opening new models priced from the $180,000s to $240,000s in the new Valley Creek neighborhood. Later this fall, Taylor Morrison will open a new model in the final phase of Chandler Crossing, where prices range from the $300,000s to the $420,000s.
Eagle Springs is opening a major new amenity this fall, the Valley Springs Clubhouse and Spray Park. Overall, Eagle Springs has 150 acres of amenities, including the Eagle Springs Athletic Club and Sports Complex, The Island Club, lakes, parks, and miles of greenbelt trails.
The lakeside Eagle Springs Visitors Center is the best place to get an introduction to all of the new homes and townhomes priced from the $150,000s to $500,000s in the 1,361-acre community. The center has facts about the Humble ISD schools serving Eagle Springs, including its two onsite elementary schools.
White Ideas for Your Home
White has ‘fresh’ associations. So, it makes you think clean sheets, new beginnings. Surprisngly, even though white is worn in mourning, it signifies a peaceful end and a journey toward a new beginning.
It’s synonymous with purity. That’s why, western brides, doctors and nuns wear it.
The canvas, the whiteboard, a blank paper…white, with its absence of colour, puts the mind at rest and extends an invitation to get creative!
When in doubt, choose white—for the walls, sofa set or bed linen. It provides the perfect template against which to play off your pops of colour and texture.
If a room lacks natural light, paint the walls a bright white and watch it brighten up and look more spacious!
If you have elderly guests or senior colleagues coming home, pretty up your place with a bunch of white flowers—they are serence and signify respect.
White blossoms are also a way of saying a heartfelt ‘Sorry’…they are symbolic of peace and surrender.
Lovely white candles on a wrought iron candelabra…always a heart-warming sight.
Brilliant red and orange peppers, a bunch of lush berries, colorful salad, creamy herbed risotto or pasta—what better to present them than on pristine white plates and bowls?
White on white can be wonderfully serene in the bedroom. Just accent it with pebbles, lavender sachets or candles, perhaps a bunch of blue posies…doesn’t just thinking about it make you feel relaxed?
Three areas of your home where white works best: bathing, cleaning, food (both kitchen and dining). These are places where dirt and grime need to show up against the spotlessness of white.
White goes with everything, and for a cool, timeless feel, all you have to do is combine it with blue.
Some say white can be cold. Not if you choose the right white accents. Fluffy white pillows, a distressed white cabinet, a gorgeous white chandelier—so warm and welcoming!
Space for big gatherings in Beverly Hills
With a grand terrace, gazebo and large motorcourt, this Beverly Hills estate is designed for entertaining guests. It is listed at $18.95 million.
Set behind 12-foot-tall wrought-iron gates, this Beverly Hills estate centers on a renovated traditional-style house polished to reflect the elegance and glamour of its early days. With a grand terrace for entertaining and a large motorcourt, the compound is designed for events and large-scale gatherings.
Formal entry hall, library with a walnut-paneled bar, 21-seat screening room, six fireplaces, gym, 2,000-bottle wine cellar/tasting room, offices, entertaining gazebo, tennis court, swimming pool, pool cabana
In the third quarter, 75 single-family homes sold in the 90210 ZIP Code at a median price of $2.4 million, according to DataQuick. That was a 26.3% price decrease from the third quarter last year.