Monday, September 26, 2011

A girl's room design

I have never really been a girly girl. I was always petrified of barbies (I think it's the synthetic hair. gag) and as a kid I would throw a wobbly every time someone tried to get me into a frilly dress (which was reasonably often). My favourite things were jeans and designing homes for my Sylvanian Families... Come to think of it, pretty much nothing has changed. (Except the Sylvanians. I swear I don't play with them anymore. Although they ARE the most awesome toys ever made).

There is something about designing kid's rooms, tho, that really brings out my fun side and in this project I found I was getting a real kick out of all that pink! However, trust me, I can't tolerate the typical pink+white girl's rooms - I have to have other colours thrown in to keep my interest. Which is where this virtual girl's room begins:

2. Lamp
6. Matroyshka doll bank

 That hot pink wallpaper would be used very sparingly to liven up a space... the best thing about it is it REMOVABLE which means you can stick it on and peel it off! I envision it used to decorate the back of some simple cubby shelves.

I don't have a kid (give me a couple years, people!) but if I did, I imagine cubby shelves would be my new best friend. I'd fill them with baskets so that no-one would know what kinds of crap my kid was stuffing away in there... (I babysat for 2 toddlers recently. My eyes are so very, very opened.)

Here's a virtual room shot, with the inclusion of a wall decal.

I included the yellow rug to warm the room up, plus it won't need to be ditched when she gets her 'big girl room'.

The bedspread is from Urban Outfitters and I nearly salivated all over myself when I saw it. I actually want it for myself, but since we don't have such things as Urban Outfitters, IKEA or Anthropologie in New Zealand, I'm living vicariously through this blog. ;)

No kids room is complete without toys. How cute are the Finnish ceramic bunnies? And there will always be a space in a barbie-hater's heart for Matroyshka dolls. (No hair! woop)

That's all folks!
Now if I could just magically acquire an actual real life house to play with...


    - Amyshka

P.S If it's not too late to get in, then I'm sharing this over at the Bright and Beautiful link party, and at Home Stories A to Z

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ann Marie's Sofa Dilemma - a virtual mood board

Recently I saw Ann Marie from "White House, Black Shutters" having a wee dillema.I am STOKED today to be able to share this possible solution. Thanks Ann Marie!

The dilemma:
Ann Marie originally wanted cool, calming tones for her living room and was experimenting with placing turquoise and aqua cushions against her olive-brown leather sofa. (You can read the full post here). Turquoise is such a lovely light, fresh colour. However turquoise is a definite cool colour, whereas olive is a warm colour.

Often when you put a cool colour next to a warm colour, they will make each other look dirty. The aqua cushions certainly popped on the olive-brown sofa, but they could be a little unflattering for the sofa itself. The best result would be to make the cushions and the sofa both look good, together.

The inspiration:
Here is the original inspiration picture that swayed Ann Marie to the warm side. It's completely different and shows how the warm colours work. (And since it's Autum in the Northern hemisphere, it's the perfect time for this!)

The solution: (meaning, just a possible idea that could be used for inspiration :) )

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I  modelled this virtual living room mood board, showing colours and cushions to compliment the space (this is not their exact sofa - I've modelled one to be as close as I could get it!). The foundations of the room are PERFECT -hardwood floors, neutral walls, and lovely wood-framed windows. All the bones for warmth are here.

  • The rattan pendant lamp (this one is a simple one from IKEA) is complimented by the rattan pouf. I love weaving like this because it adds so much texture and interest, and has a natural, cosy feel.

  • The sunburst mirror could be bought, but I would suggest making one from driftwood like in this tutorial, and then staining it a warm reddish brown.
  • The cushions are the key. The best thing about cushions is how you can completely change the tone of the space. I've opted for neutral creams and buttery yellows, with accents of geometric prints, and colourful highlights.

Cushion colours: 

  • Cream neutrals - will go with everything, even when the colour scheme changes.
  • Buttery yellow - is one of the few yellows that goes with olive - it is almost more of a pale gold.
  • Robin's-egg-blue - is KEY to pairing 'turquoise' with warm tones. It is basically a compromise on the turquoise colour - robin's egg blue can be a warm colour, and in pale doses it will compliment the olive beautifully.
  • Yellow-orange highlights - to be used super-sparingly. If you want to have a pop of colour, tuck one of these amongst the other pillows. They are very autumn-y which is why I thought it would be appropriate! You could actually switch these out for fuchsia pink for a different kind of pop!
  • Brown chevron - I have included this one because Ann Marie has already made her own using a potato print stamp and it will go with the scheme. Awesome!
  • My last tip would be to use pillows of all shapes and sizes - a lumbar pillow or two thrown into the mix make the cushions look more natural and interesting.

Thank you Ann Marie for letting me use your sofa dilemma as virtual-room-making material!

And lastly before I go, a virtual room shot of the wall the sofa is against:

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Thank you so much for reading, I really have loved working on this project and will happily do others in the future!

- Amyshka

Candy Floss trees

I can't get over all the pink candy-floss trees we saw this Spring weekend!
The actual name is Cherry Blossom... which sounds equally pretty to me.

I really really want some. Never mind that they look like dry twigs for the rest of the year... :)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Weekend Lovin'

This weekend has probably been my favourite EVER. Or at least, EVER... since we got engaged. (was it really only 4 weeks ago?).

"So you've got engaged and have been walking on air ever since". I read this recently and snorted out loud. Which was very insensitive of me. It's not that I have a problem with walking on air, (it sounds quite lovely) but just that I haven't seemed to have had any time to do anything so frivolous. It's been hammer-and-tongs around here, folks. Venue: check! Photographers: check! Invitiations: almost finished... and the rush is still on to finish the rest in 4 months.

Amongst all the insanity there hasn't been a moment to breathe or just ENJOY being engaged.

So this weekend, Big C graciously cancelled his skiing trip so that we could spend Saturday out of town, doing something (anything!) other than wedding planning.
We are always around other people so just being together without having to socialise with everyone was a nice change.

We headed up to Greytown, one of the cutest New Zealand towns ever, an hour or so North of Wellington.

Cuckoo Cafe. Possibly my favourite in the country.

After a large and incredible pizza at Cuckoo Cafe (everything is pink and shabby-chic, including the fridge) we wandered around the quaint antique shops, salivated all over the floor in some awesome interior design stores, and enjoyed a beer in the sun outside the colonial-style White Swan Hotel.

A visit to the little 'Schoc' factory shop , where they make all the Schoc chocolates, was not complete without a few samples...
Tequila, Lime and Salt heart on the left, and the Smokey Tea chocolate on the right are my favourites!

Other than that we did a whole lot of beautiful nothing. Caught some rays on a rug on the grass, nibbled chocolates, and talked about everything except the wedding.

I can't believe how much better I feel after having just that 1 day of sweet, relaxing, quality time.
There is still a tonne of wedding stuff to do but I feel less like I am drowning, and more like I am walking on air!

It helps having a fiance who began the trip with a gift of my favourite perfume and a cute hand-made card. I feel so blessed.

What was your favourite part of the weekend?

  - Amyshka

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I keep wanting to write a blog post and then decide not to

... I think because it seems like everyone else is DOING stuff

(i.e they have actual real-life renovation pictures to show, because they don't live with their parents, or sleep in a horribly lilac-coloured bedroom that they are not allowed to repaint, and they actually get to buy furniture and bust down walls. And they are not a poor student so they actually have a budget to work with! omg - dreams come true. OH and they probably also have an actual proper camera! Or at least an iPhone to make there low-res pictures look purty)

Whereas it took me like 45 minutes to edit these photos to make them look likeI was cool enough to take them on a polaroid. Which clearly, doesn't make sense, because then it's like "Hey I took a polaroid photo, printed it and then scanned it back into my computer" which is just silly. (That is what a polaroid is, right? I think that's what Andre3000 said...).
Which all makes me feel like my posts are b-o-r-i-n-g.
And yet at the same time there has been so much going on around here that I totally SHOULD have something to say. Which might make this my first words-post ever.

In summary:

- I babysat last weekend for the first time in a few years. 2 toddlers. It was terrifying. I called Big C up and told him we are not having kids, ever. I just can't live with poop on my hands and anything less than a 3-to-1 ratio of parents to kids.

- (to which he said: "No, actually tell me, how many kids are we actually having? Because I need to budget for this.")

- (I'm not telling what my answer was).

- Since I'm getting married in barely 4.5 months it's been all go... we have booked a venue that I LOVE and also some amazing photographers who I will no doubt share more about at some point. To be honest it feels like I haven't had time to catch my breath since we got engaged nearly 3 weeks ago. But at least the main things are booked... the hardest part is finalising the guest list. It's just impossible to have everyone you want to have.

- I was a bridesmaid in my cousin's wedding, and a friend took the "getting ready" photos here. Purty! The other official photos are still to come, but here is one we snapped quickly on the drive out to the venue. 
What you can't tell in this photo is that it was an absolutely freezy-middle-of-winter day. But STUNNING.

- I seem to swing between being very excited and very stressed. I've become a hyper-organised super-planner. I'm already wondering which rooms in the house will be for wedding guests to stay in, and what we need to do to make them suitable... as if designing and making a wedding dress and all the invitations and the cake etc wasn't enough work!
We're going to practice icing this one.

- On Sunday the venue-people showed us their old piano that we can use for our candy buffet! It will be so much cooler than a straight table because we can use both levels. Woop.

 via Pinterest

Congratulations if you have actually read this far. I'm flattered and will probably ask where I can buy you a medal. (Except it would be an imaginary one. Or at least 2-D..)

     - Amyshka

Sunday, September 18, 2011


On the weekend my future-in-laws came to have lunch with my parents. It all went off without a hitch and Big C's mum brought some posies of flowers from her garden -  so cute and artistic (although my funny wide-angle camera doesn't do it justice.)

The rest of the weekend was a bit of a blur!
I'm thinking of doing wedding table-flowers something like this too... maybe wild flowers in jars or bottles clustered down the centre of the table, with a few ribbons here and there. :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wedding invitations

How cute are these wedding invitations?

I love the hand-drawn, cutesy style that is in at the moment. It signals hope for someone like me, who will be most likely designing and making all my own invitations! Especially since I love to paint and draw anyway. I already have a few ideas for hand-painted invitations with a unique New Zealand scene in the background. :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

New Zealand Wedding Industry

I don't want to use this blog as a platform to RANT from but I am so frustrated with the New Zealand wedding industry!

Excuse me while I Bridezilla-tantrum for a sec - I KNOW that sometimes the way you envision something is simply not realistic... but the following items don't feature on my wish-list, yet I just can't seem to get away from them!

- a wedding dress that looks like a shuttlecock
- wedding invitations mass printed by a company that uses CLIPART
- bridesmaid dresses in the same matchy-matchy, shiny, dark-coloured style that have not changed since the early 90's.

And suddenly the task of making all these things myself (and my mum) from scratch in just 4.5 months seems very very daunting...

I guess I always envisioned a wedding that was beautiful because it was so simple. A white homestead, gardens, sunlight through the trees...
Something simple like this via

We have got the location sorted, and it's perfect. As for the rest... I have 4.5 months, a budget that barely covers the nessesities, WAY too much internet inspiration, and no actual resources...

We only got engaged 2 weeks ago and I feel wedding-dry already. Is this normal?

    - Amyshka

Friday, September 9, 2011

Spring! Are you a colour lover?

It's finally spring on this side of the world. I get endlessly excited year after year when winter fashions finally start filtering out and fresh spring colours arrive (I was pretty stoked this year to see less disgusting drab CHARCOAL and more warm browns and navys during winter tho!)

Most shops have barely just released their first installment of new-season clothes, but already I've noticed a tonne of colour-blocking, continuing on in the same colour themes we had through winter.

So far I've set my little heart on this super-simple Glassons skirt in yellow and neutral.

I haven't seen many florals out yet, but no doubt some will come... they always do, right??  Isn't this bedspread springly?

All pics via Amy @ Kiwi Chic on Pinterest

I'm discovering that I'm a yellow person. The best thing about spring, for me, is saying hello to brights.

BLACK is the staple safe-colour in New Zealand (which is appropriate actually since the Rugby World Cup is on. Go All Blacks!) but I would LOVE to see that change.

I really noticed in Europe people just seemed so much more fresh, light, clean and colourful, and it basically just came down to the fact that they didn't base their outfits around black. They had to think creatively with colours and patterns.

I do believe NZ fashion is getting more and more amazing every year, but there is still a certain amount of closed-mindedness when it comes to colour. Maybe this next season will see that change. How do you feel about colour? Love or hate?

         - Amyshka

P.S if anyone has some ideas and advice for my bridesmaids outfits I would love to hear it. Not really happy with the board of ideas I made yesterday - a little dull and maybe too "bisque"?
My original plan is to stick with something simple and sweet like this Wedding Colours board I made earlier. :)

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bridesmaid outfits

I know I am posting way too much about wedding IDEAS that are only IDEAS but I can't help it. Wedding planning is addictive. I wonder if I could do this professionally?

Yesterday I stumbled upon a clothes shop in the mall called Forever New that basically sells everything in one theme: neutrals. But beautiful, textured neutrals.

And since I had neutrals playing on my mind for bridesmaid dresses, I couldn't help spending this morning (while sick in bed) mocking up a little look-book for one clothing idea.

I guess I am just messing with the idea of having bridesmaid non-matching, with neutral tones but little splashes of coral and yellow, with a few teeny tiny aqua-blue highlights for the complimentary colour.

In real life each of the dresses don't look quite so similar.

Also the actual bridesmaids are naturally quite olive-skinned, so it wouldn't look as washed-out as it appears on the mood board.

I'm loving the idea of having a flower girl and ring-boy too!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Wedding headache and Pinterest pills

I feel completely and utterly wiped. (Just learnt that word from my Grandma!)
This last week has been inTENSE and to be honest I'm glad it's over, and I can now shift my focus onto wedding planning.

Actually, that was a total lie. I can't really shift my focus to wedding planning because I'm waist deep in a swamp of archictecture work I'm supposed to be doing. But I'm struggling. Having free reign to design a beach house would usually consume me, but at the moment my thoughts are elsewhere.

Like here....
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Yep, a collection of some of my favourite inspiration pictures for 'our wedding' (I still feel weird saying that.)
Yeah I know, we've only been engaged a WEEK and I've already opened 3 wedding-related pinboards on Pinterest.... see, somehow during my hectic week I still managed to make sure I was painfully, ridiculously distracted the whole entire time. It's my gift. Don't be jealous.
{and may or may not have already booked a venue, a photographer and started designing an invitation *ahem*}.

Thank you Pinterest for all the escapism you have provided me lately.

   - Amyshka