The Commissioned

March 9, 2016 | Art, Personal, Singapore

Disclosure: This is a sponsored collaboration with The Commissioned, however all opinions and thoughts are my own. 

For the longest time I’ve been looking for the perfect piece of art for my bedroom, and despite keeping my eyes open for.. well, years, I hadn’t found exactly what I was looking for. So when the lovely folks at The Commissioned contacted me about putting their fantastic website to the test and commissioning my very own artwork, I was thrilled! Honestly, commissioning an artwork had never really crossed my mind – I think I presumed it would be hard to contact the artists, would be crazy expensive, and I wasn’t even sure where you’d start. So I was pretty excited about giving The Commissioned a go :)

The first step was to make an account, then go through the pages of artist profiles and find one (or more!) that I really liked and might want to work with. The artists are from all over the world, and the work is so varied – I had about a million tabs open trying to narrow my options! In the end, I fell in love with the work of Australian artist Jessica Watts and could go no further. I mean, hello gorgeous florals!

The next step, once I’d decided Jessica was “the one”, was to send her a message through the website, introducing myself and telling her a bit about what I was looking for. I must say, it was pretty cool to be talking directly with the artist! Jess was so lovely and we messaged back and forth a few times, sending pics of my apartment (for style and colour ideas), discussing where the artwork was going to go, and the feeling I wanted to convey. We also spoke about the size I was after and the price (which you can get an indication of on each artist’s profile page so there aren’t any surprises). I’d had a look through some of Jess’ previous works and found one I really loved the composition of, but wanted to lighten the colours – so that was a good starting point.

Then Jess went away for a couple of days, and came back with quick sketches for me, so I could get an idea of the composition and colours. Then, after a few little tweaks from my side, I picked option 3 and she got down to work.

Initial sketches from Jessica Watts

In the meantime, I’d decided that this was going to be the catalyst for a full bedroom makeover, so I ordered a new bed frame, refurbished some old bedside tables, and bought new lamps.. Exciting!

Over the next few weeks I got updates from Jess on the progress of the painting, and kept an eye on her Instagram account too, for the odd sneaky little behind-the-scene. It was such a great experience, seeing the painting come together as it was happening. It made it so much more special and exciting to see the work and love Jess was putting into it.

Working images along the way

Then, about 3 months after I first spoke with Jess, my painting was framed (yes it even came framed!) and, with some help from The Commissioned, was delivered right to my door – all the way from Australia. All I had to do was unwrap it and hang it. Couldn’t be simpler.

So here’s the finished piece! I’m absolutely thrilled with it, and Jess and The Commissioned were a dream to work with. Both went out of their way to make this go as easily and seamlessly as possible.

The finished painting!

Isn’t it gorgeous?! And now so you can see where this lovely lady ended up… here’s how my bedroom turned out.

My bedroom before After!

Isn’t it a massive improvement?! I’m actually a bit embarrassed to show you all the before pic, but it just goes to prove how much better it’s looking now.

So a big thank you to The Commissioned for giving me the chance to live out a dream and have a painting custom created just for me! And to my lovely artist Jess – thank you! We adore our new painting, and it was such a pleasure to get to work with you :)

IKEA Project 2: Living Room – A nook for Arlo

July 27, 2015 | Personal, Shop, Singapore, Sponsored

Disclosure: This is a sponsored collaboration with IKEA, however all ideas, opinions, and thoughts are my own. 

I was so excited when I heard that the Ikea theme for this month was Living Room! It’s the most used area of our house (maybe after the kitchen) and is where we tend to gravitate to at all times of the day. It’s where guests relax, where we eat some of our meals, and where Arlo plays most of the time.

Earlier this month, after 4 years in our old place, we moved apartments to a bigger, brighter space (happy dance!). I’m so excited about the possibilities for our new space (particularly the living room) and wanted to rush out and buy a bunch of stuff as soon as we moved in to make it more homely. But I stopped myself, and have instead decided that I really shouldn’t rush into this decorating project.. I need to live with the space for a month or two before deciding exactly what we want and need.

Here’s our living room before we moved in, and as it is now – not finished or perfectly styled, but a work in progress.

Living Room

But what about the Ikea challenge?? Well, even though the ‘adult’ area of the living room is still under maintenance, I’ve managed to finish another little part of it that’s just as important.

Adjacent to our living space above, I’ve created a little nook for Arlo. At this age, he doesn’t seem to like to play in his room and wants to be out where we are, so when I saw that this living room had a cut-out nook in one wall I thought it’d be perfect for Arlo. That way, I can keep his toys condensed in one area, but he still feels like he’s part everything happening in the living room. Here’s the before and after…

Nook for Arlo

We already had the Kallax bookcase, so I bought some perfectly-fitting baskets to put Arlo’s gazillion toys in (down nice and low so he can pull them out himself), and added the little kitchen because, well, it’s cute. So far his favourite thing to do with it is to open close, open close, open close the doors. Open close.

Nook for Arlo

On top of the shelf I used a bamboo basket to hold some balls, added some artwork that used to be in his room, and repurposed an old bathroom basket to hold a few rattles that he’s grown out of (that are too cute to be stored away in a cupboard).

Nook for Arlo

So far he loves it! Once he’s started playing with everything it quickly becomes a big mess, but I like that he can reach and explore things on his own, and that it’s easy to clean up at the end of the day.

Nook for Arlo

And if I step back a little, you can see a few other little corners of our new place, with stuff still waiting to be unwrapped and unpacked. It’s kinda nice seeing all our possessions in a new space.. :)

Nook for Arlo

So there we go.. I know it’s not exactly a re-do of our living room, but I love that Arlo now has a little space of his own, where he can keep an eye on me, and I can keep one on him.

These are some of the pieces we used from Ikea (which, btw, is a brilliant place to grab kids toys.. they’re fantastic!)…

Get The Look

1. KALLAX Bookcase  2. MULA Shape Sorter  3. BRANÄS Baskets  4. DUKTIG Felt Veges  5. DUKTIG Play Kitchen  6. GADDIS Basket  7. NIPPRIG Boxes  8. SPARKA Ball.

Cooking up a storm

.. and if you missed my first post in this Ikea series, you can find that here.

 

Arlo’s Nursery

February 6, 2015 | Baby, Personal

Yesterday I showed you some of my inspiration for Arlo’s nursery, and today I wanted to share how it turned out. I’m no interior decorator by any stretch of the imagination, but here we go ;)

Arlo's Room

We’d been very generously gifted the Stokke Cot, the blue Eames Elephant, the teddies, and loads of books from family and friends, so we used those as the starting point. We knew we wanted a touch of mid-century modern, so we bought this beautiful sideboard (from here in Singapore) that we’re using as a change table and storage. I love it! Not only the look, but also because we can very easily use it elsewhere later down the track.

Please excuse the slightly ill-fitting change mat cover… I couldn’t find one here so decided to make my own. I didn’t have a pattern to follow, and it shows haha.

Arlo's Room

These three bears are very special to us. They have personalities and each have a story. The awesome Dinosaur print by Corby Tindersticks was a gift from a lovely friend of mine.

Arlo's Room

My wonderful Mum came over to Singapore before Arlo was born and we spent the week sewing up a storm. One of the things we made were the organiser boxes above (I saw them first on my friend Julia’s blog). They’re so super handy! The pattern is from Noodlehead and you can find it here if you’d like to make some too.

Arlo's Room

The mobile above the change mat was one I made years ago, and I was thrilled to finally have the perfect place to hang it. Arlo adores it, he could watch it for hours :)

Even though it’s only a small room, we really love how it’s turned out. The only thing we weren’t able to fit in comfortably was a chair, but for now I just nurse in our bedroom. Hopefully this will become a space that Arlo will enjoy as he gets older too :)

If there’s anything I’ve missed out and you’d like to know where we got it, please just let me know! I’ll do my best to answer. You can find some of the items in this post.

Inspired by Jessica Day’s Bedroom

February 19, 2013 | Inspired by...

Have you guys watched New Girl? And if you have, did you take any notice of Jess’s bedroom? Do you like it? I do!! I am completely IN LOVE with her quilt!! You can see it here and here in case you’ve never watched it before.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been scouring the internet from top to bottom, left to right and in every dusty corner to try and find that quilt (or even just the fabric) without any success, which made me so sad!

UNTIL, one day last week completely out of the blue, I actually found the EXACT fabric (also here)!! I couldn’t believe it! I’d lost days of my life in pursuit of this elusive fabric… victory was sweet.

Just as a side note – my eventual success was due to the discovery that there is actually a NAME for this style of fabric (as opposed to ‘floral’ or ‘paisley’ which is what I was searching).. it’s called Jacobean. I’d never even heard of it before, but it turns out it’s a style I adore! Way to learn new stuff! ;)

Aaaanyway. Now that I’ve found the fabric, my idea was to buy some and make my own quilt with it.. however, I’m now second-guessing myself. See, to order the fabric in that quantity and have it shipped to Singapore won’t be a cheap exercise, and I’m a bit worried that a black bedspread will turn out to be a bit garish and heavy in my bedroom. Now that I’ve looked back at photos of Jess Day’s bedroom, I also worry that the quilt looks so good because her room is all awesome and industrial. Our apartment isn’t even close to industrial, so I’m just not sure anymore.

I also should mention that I’ve never made a quilt before either. Minor detail.

Help?

Because I’m a visual person, I put together a collage of products that I thought would be great with the black fabric. I found that they needed to be quirky, fun and bright to balance the black:

Bedroom1. Yee Ha! Screen Print by Castle   2. Lyle – Fox in the field Print by Amber Alexander   3. Antique Primula Print by 1001 Treasures   4. Burlap Headboard from Target   5. Wild Oak Table Lamp from Anthropologie   6. St. Thomas Ebony by P. Kaufmann from Hancock’s of Paducah or HouseFabric.com   7. Hemnes Nightstand from Ikea   8. Yellow Spot Pillowcase by Castle   9. Dandelion Pillow Cover by Blossom Pillow Co.   10. Handmade Fox Plush by Sleepy King   11. Chevron Pillow Cover by Blossom Pillow Co.

Then, to get even more of an idea how it might look, I took a photo of our actual bedroom.. then photoshopped the fabric and cushions into it.

What do you think? Unfortunately we probably wouldn’t need the bedside tables (there’s a wide ledge behind the bed that acts as bedside tables at the moment), and we can’t hang any pictures behind the bed for obvious reasons.. but I think it still gives a pretty good idea of how it might look. I also thought some cool red lamps might work too, instead of the root-style ones.

I’ll definitely keep it in mind over the next weeks and maybe also look for other Jacobean fabrics, but I’d love to hear your thoughts! :)