Chicfinds garden studios and summer houses

Interiors

In England they call them Summer houses but they have all sorts of names depending on the country, the council, the state laws so you can look them up as Garden Studios, Garden Flats, Granny flats and Garden sheds! They are one of the latest projects in housing as families come back together as a solution to retirement housing. They are also an ideal solution for extra income as a rental possibility or a child care option as families decide to go back to Au Pair’s and nannies.

What you will build or buy (they come in kits also) will depend very much on the space you have available. There are so many inspirational designs coming from England and Germany and the more they become popular in Australia we hope to see Councils become more flexible with their rules and designers become more innovative!

Here are a few links to some information and inspiration:

http://www.grannyflatsandstudios.com.au/granny-flats-intermediate.htm

http://littlehouseonthetrailer.com/caretaker-cottage-plans-page/

http://www.cabinkitsgalore.com.au/austen.php

and Anna Wintour’s summer house lends itself to some real inspiration:

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Chicfinds on Wandermelon

Eating, Travel

Wandermelon’s got ChicFinds full Tuscan story http://wandermelon.com/

Coming soon on Chicfinds, Italian delights; pastries!

ChicFinds bares all!

Beautiful things, Travel

It’s Friday and we are almost on weekend here in Australia, other places are just starting their Friday or they haven’t yet but soon will be! Friday is a wonderful day of the week as we can free ourselves of the constraints that surround us 5 days out of 7.

Shake off that end of work sometimes fed up feeling and bare all!

Cut loose, take it off and enjoy to be free in the jungle!

Photography by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. If you are lucky enough to be getting away to a beautiful hot or cold spot, enjoy it. If the pay check isn’t stretching, use visualization. Great way to getaway without really getting away but you come back refreshed and ready to face another week. Enjoy!

What’s Elena from Milan wearing for ChicFinds?

fashion, Photography

Eléna Beatriz studied product design in Milan and now works for a magazine as a junior project manager. She loves to collect every sort of beautiful useless object, as well as books with catchy covers, stones, pieces of wood, picture frames, glass vases and ceramics in general.
She would love to go and live by the sea, and have time to look after her few surviving plants.

She inspires and reminds me of the sexy combination that one of my favorite photographers; Peter Beard manages to capture, La femmina nella natura!

“His love affair with natural history and wildlife, which informs most of his work, began when he was a teenager. He had read the books of Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen) and after spending time in Kenya and befriending the author, bought a piece of land near hers. It was the early 1960s and the big game hunters led safaris, with all the colonial elements Beard had read about in Out of Africa characterizing the open life and landscape, but the times were changing. Beard witnessed the dawn of Kenya’s population explosion, which challenged finite resources and stressed animal populations – including the starving elephants of Tsavo, dying by the tens of thousands in a wasteland of eaten trees. So he documented what he saw – with diaries, photographs, and collages.” http://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/art/all/45702/facts.peter_beard_2_vols.htm

Elena is wearing a dress from H&M and sandals by Tila March Paris; http://www.tilamarch.com/

Chic finds for the home….

Beautiful things, Interiors

As we shop for our wardrobes at the change of season we can shop for our homes. Adapting our homes to the warmer or cooler months means little changes can make summer feel so much cooler and winter all that more cosy. Going from heavy, lined curtains to light linen, a mohair throw to a  white cotton version or a Persian carpet to nothing! Listed below are some Chic Finds suggestions. Enjoy

In the mood for homeware shopping? Here is Elle Decoration Magazine’s list of the best 12 stores around the world; 
Spazio Rossana Orlandi (Milan), Vincon (Barcelona), The Frozen Fountain (Amsterdam), Moma Design Store, SoHo (New York), The Future Perfect (New York), Lawson-Fenning (Los Angeles), Driade (Milan), Chee Soon & Fitzgerald (Sidney), Caravane (Paris), Mint (London), Svenskt Tenn (Stockholm), Blanc d’Ivoire (Paris), Moss (New York). 

Shopping in Sydney; visit http://www.avenue24.com.au/ (no ordinary site, worth a visit!) This one is more of a shopping guide for all of Australia; http://www.urbanwalkabout.com/sydney/art/furniture-homeware/

Shopping in London; http://www.timeout.com/london/feature/2387/londons-best-furniture-shops

Seems common but the Lonely Planet’s guide to shopping in Paris is pretty good; http://www.lonelyplanet.com/france/paris/shopping

Looking for some designer luxury homewares; http://luxurysociety.com/articles/2012/01/7-home-collections-by-luxury-fashion-brands

ChicFinds in Tuscany

Beautiful things, Eating, Travel

There are not many places as beautiful as Italy. Every region, every city and place is unique and devine in terms of beauty. It can take your breath away to be amongst the most extraordinary mix of architecture, art and culture. Tuscany is one of the most sublime, sexy and sensual places. It has a all encompassing beauty starting with the morning to dusk light; a kaleidoscope of earthy and warm tones creating a foggy misty light that is so dewy you feel like you could touch its softness.

It is important to not miss out on the major cities (Florence, Sienna, Pisa) while visiting this region but it is the little towns and cities that are the most characteristic. First on the list are the hot springs that are scattered all over the region. Some of the best are around Montecatini and there are the famous springs of  Saturnia (in Italian they are called Terme). Get a little map and visit them at night so you can get naked and enjoy the sensual adventure.

Don’t miss Lucca the city and the surrounding hills where it is so beautiful you should plan an overnight stay in one of the beautiful B&B’s in the hills. The Chianti region is lovely to drive around and it is great fun discovering the little towns where there are some fantastic local trattoria’s to eat at. The outside of Florence, Prato and Fiesole are wonderful culinary areas so indulge! It is also the area where you will find all the famous fashion outlets like Prada, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and others. Then make your way down to the whole area around Sienna which is so picturesque you wont want to ever leave.  Musts to visit are the little towns like Montepulciano and Montalcino where you should take the time to  try all the meats, cheeses and wines! Pure delight.

If your taking your time then the best idea is to stay a week in one place (or more if you can). Hire a villa and enjoy getting to know the local village and allow yourselves to become immersed in the culture. There is no way to feel it other than to stay still and become familiar. Italians are very hospitable and even more so when they see you more than once. Be careful though as you will fall in love and leaving might be heart breaking! X