Please help {Stylist in distress}

Hello friends, today I need your advice. Let me explain. For those of you that don’t know back in September I followed my dream , we left our lovely home in the UK and I’m now working and living in Sydney for a year. I love it here and have a cute little apartment {see here, here & here} The problem was it came unfurnished, and all I owed in this part of the world was a sorry little suitcase full of clothes. So initially we bought just the basics, and we’ve kinda been “making do” our theory being its crazy to buy everything we want when in 5 months we’ll just be having one big yard sale. Makes sense?

{A little shot from my Dining Room back home – photographed by the lovely Max Attenborough}

The trouble is I’m a stylist!!! I love little collections and displays, they make me happy and make me feel at home, but I have no ledges to put them on. Each week I seem to add something new to my wish list, a bookcase or shelving for the living room, a console or dressing table for the bedroom, a lamp {I love lamps and the cosy glow they create} and just today, another desk – the one we have simply isn’t big enough for the two of us. So my question is this… Should I indulge my need for pretty things {therefore buy some ledges to put them on} or make do and dream about I will do when I’m back home? What would you do? I can’t help but feel a bit wasteful buying more furniture? Please help…

Sadly not in my home! But what I’m dreaming of. I shot this a couple of years ago now {with fabulous photographer Dan Duchars for Ideal Home}, but it still remains one of my fave shots, just look at all those ledges!



  1. Posted February 3, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I say, buy the ledges. You are a creative being and need to be inspired in your space! It sounds like being in a space that doesn’t feel like ‘you’ will end up being really detrimental and might really zap your creativity. As you mentioned, you can always sell it later. Five months is a long time to be happy where you live. And if the pieces you’ve bought so far are any indication, your yard sale would be the funnest yard sale ever!

    As someone who constantly dreams of a ‘grown up’ house (we’re currently in a small rental), every day I put off my great interior design adventure for reasons similar to yours. But then, I wonder why? I might not get a chance to do it, for one reason or another. I should just do it today and work with what I’ve got. I am a creative person and the space I’m in does not reflect that. And it gets me down sometimes.

    If you think about it every day, you should do it. Then you can think about something else – like all the things you can put on your ledges!

    Good luck Marie!

  2. Liz Martin
    Posted February 3, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Do they have furniture recycling websites in Oz that offer free furniture that people don’t want anymore? I’m sure they would. That way you get free stuff and can pass it on easily when you’re leaving. If you’re staying put for 5 months you need to have a ‘few’ ledges for nice things.
    Check out Gumtree freebies, just spotted this cool table and chairs on there

  3. Posted February 3, 2010 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    Lyndsay, thanks for being my ledge enabler! I defo feel better about buying more “ledges” now. You are so right, I keep thinking of little projects to do around here but then I think whats the point it only my temporary home, but if it makes me happy then I should do it – thank you Mx

    Liz, that is such a fantastic idea, why didn’t I think of that? I’ve looked into it and yes there is a Freecycle – I’ve applied to join the group so I’ll keep you posted. That table & chair is such a great find. Sadly chairs are the one thing I do have rather a lot of!
    Thank you so much for the fab suggestion Mx

  4. Clare Steel
    Posted February 3, 2010 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    and you’ll love holding a little yard sale before you come back the UK. Go for it!

    • Posted February 4, 2010 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Haha, Clare I so will! I’m seeing gingham table cloths, cute market traders money belts and some gorgeous posters designed by Simon! x

  5. Sandra
    Posted February 5, 2010 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    Yes buy ledges/shelves!! I can’t live without pretty things around me either. I think keeping costs down makes you more creative so think laterally! Also you can always have a car boot sale when you leave. Looking forward to seeing how you get on!

  6. Posted February 5, 2010 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    yep, do it! five months is a long time – if that makes you happy you have to do it!
    sidenote: have you really been here that long already?! goodness!

    • Posted February 5, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      I know Belinda, I’ve been here almost five months now, it’s gone too quickly. We were meant to be going home end of Sept and although I don’t want to leave we may bring it forward slightly just so we catch the end of the British summer rather than heading rigth into winter!

  7. Posted February 6, 2010 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Well, as someone who has lived in several countries and moved frequently over the last ten years I say buy them and enjoy them! Some people thought we were crazy, but I have never regretted making each house or apartment we have lived in feel like home. Even if you make them or find some at a charity shop it’s a guilty pleasure that will be repaid many times over when you feel like you can relax and truly be at home in Sydney.

  8. Posted February 10, 2010 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Snap! Almost. We’re in Australia for 3 yrs (but could be longer – who knows!) and I turned up with just a single suitcase of clothes and absolutely nothing else! I left behind a furniture design business in the UK so no longer being surrounded by pretty amazing furniture is seriously hard! But I have managed to furnish our house (sparsely) with second hand furniture, op shop finds, and items found at the tip(!).

    I made some little shelves like the one’s in your pic by getting a very nice man at Bunnings to cut me some mdf to size (I have no tools here at all to do this myself!). I then nailed and glued them together into boxes and painted them white. It didn’t cost much at all and was easy (and guilt free)! Then you can fill them with pictures (you can take them home with you), book (books are practical!) and all sorts of nice things that you can say are ‘souvenirs’. He he! I’m well practised in excuses for buying ermm ‘non-essentials’.

    • Posted February 10, 2010 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

      I’m so with you on the sparce second hand furniture Jo! And I’m thinking little trips to Bunnings and some No Nails is just what I need.

  9. Zarina Fernandez
    Posted February 14, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Yes go for it – I recently bought some great little shelves for our little man to display his range of retro cars – they don’t stick out too much and were really easy to install too. Here’s the link:

    Great service too!

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