Container Magic!

I just had to post this one . A company in the USA who create Architect designed shipping container conversions.  This one is so very clever – with everything you can think of.

Plus all done with good looks.



The colour is fabulous and the addition of the glass doors just make it the real thing – love it!


Internally there is a galley kitchen, bathroom and living area, plus the deck. All  finished with clean lines and good looking fittings.

shipping-container-house-7Sofa bed in the living area – light  timber floors give the feeling of space. shipping-container-house-9

Compact bathroom adjacent to the kitchen  – although not too sure about the clear glass for privacy?

shipping-container-house-5The view down towards the kitchen from the living space. The doors on each side give so much light and create a real sense of space.

shipping-container-house-6Functional kitchen with complete with bar fridge and cook top.



The view looking down inside the container from the other end .

I truly love the whole thing . Its is clean and modern and very clever. The creators are Hybrid Architecture in the USA.   You can visit their website at

Starts to get me thinking of all the possibilities for creating on of our own…. another thing to add to the wish list.

Maria x







Paradise Found.

After a Long week at work, then the craziness of day-to-day family tasks,my mind drifted to getting away…. Ideally by the sea. Somewhere warm and maybe an added bonus an amazing place to stay. I found these to die for villas –  Alila Villas-  Uluwatu Bali….Yes a perfect getaway but love the design and fit out as well.  Dream on!

trendir Alila Villas Bali

Amazing sleek, modern villas, with a theme of white and timber, with views of rich greenery and water.


This Villas floor to ceiling glass living space brings the outside in. The outside tile colour flows through inside  to give an uninterrupted flow.


A glimpse in the bedroom, overlooking first the plunge pool and then further to the Indian Ocean. Timber feature walls echo the slatted outdoor wall beyond. Minimal and stunning.

alila-villas-uluwatu-4The Bathroom echoes the same use of rich  timber accent wall and crisp neutral tones.

alila-villas-2  The view looking back into the villa from the slatted pool house with the generous daybed.


A close up showing the timber panelled walls carried out to the exterior as well. I also love the simplicity of the planting against the white walls as well.


The lobby is equally amazing, timber, earthy tones and designer furniture. This resort is definitely a wish list type of destination for most of us but it is also a beautiful example of contemporary design.

Maria x

Ocean House

The weather is turning, cooler days are sneaking up on us. How about a get away, somewhere with beautiful views, nature, comfort and of course stunning design.

 Ocean House  in Lorne Victoria is an amazing home, designed by Architect Robert Mills. It is a beautiful blend of concrete and timbers, with soaring glass panels and organic shapes. A truly stunning home completed in 2011.

Ocean House

Timber and concrete with that amazing view… the curved stair just beckons you to explore the top viewing deck. Love that circular window too!  The home spans 2 main levels, with a viewing deck above .


The kitchen has a great feel, open and contemporary, yet still welcoming. Even the ceiling fan fits perfectly.

Living Space

Polished Concrete floor , plump generous sofas and thick plush rugs, This room is just waiting for a cool change to light the fire. Minimal yet still a feeling of home.

Casual dining

 On the lower level, a casual dining space and living area.with bar area adjacent too. Love the pop of yellow!

Circular Bedroom

The Main bedroom is a circular shape, with en suite style bathroom tucked around the perimeter. Once again, timber and concrete simplicity and style.


The concrete stairway leading upstairs – I love the imperfection of the wall finish.


Outdoor Deck leading off the main living space. The continuation of the concrete floor and timber ceiling through the inside out to the deck is seamless – and not to mention the view!

The other amazing thing about this home is that it is available as a holiday rental!  You can see more and get information at

All images and information via flodeau blog and Robert Mills architects.

Maria X

A Heavenly Home

I love the idea of re inventing a space from a past life into a home…. a warehouse, schoolhouse ( have you seen my earlier blog on the school conversion in Brunswick – the Westwyk Eco Village?) so I couldn’t help but want to share these beautiful images of this Church reborn into a stunning home.. The design and furnishings are a little more classic than many of the other homes I’ve featured, but there is something very calming and welcoming about this space…

church open plan view

The way the timber detailing, columns and archways have been retained, but there are also quirky touches like the coloured patterning scattered in the timber flooring, plus the fabulous mix of furniture.

church kitchen view 2  via plush palate 2

The view across the kitchen and living area showing the amazing expanse of glass and wonderful natural light , which I think is one of the keys to creating that almost etherial feeling.  I love the glass lanterns placed around the space too…. La Maison,where  I spend my working week, has a great range of these available to buy.

church living area via plush palate 3

Looking back into the room, the oval mirror echoes the shape of the archways, plus once again I love the quirkiness of the “pieces” in the room. The vintage cane pram, wicker armchair especially.

church  formal living pp

Upstairs in the mezzanine level, surrounded by those amazing windows is what I would call a very elegant retreat. Modernist chairs, mixed with gold accents and comfy sofa… this is a room put together with a great sense of style and confidence.

church bedroom  via plush palate 5

The bedroom is a calm, elegant space too. A hint of colour with the powder blue chaise and soft curved lines of the furniture once again ties in with the wonderful windows.

All images via plushpalate blog.

Definitely only a few lucky people get to have the opportunity to tackle a project like this, and no doubt patience with bureacracy and a healthy bank balance would be a must, as nothing would be straightforward, but how satisfying coming home to a space such as this at the end of your working day!

Do you know of any makeovers of this type of space? Would love if you have one to share.

Maria x


Portia and Ellens Home

Have you seen the gorgeous story on Ellen and Portia’s home featured in the Architectural Digest recently? We were browsing homes on the web at our La Maison office last week and came across the feature. The home is wonderful – a blend of beautiful pieces, obviously a project where a budget possibly doesn’t rule the decisions, but with that said, the home seems to have a warm, welcoming feeling – not pretentious – just like I said, wonderful!

Starting with the Entrance to the home – an eclectic mix of treasures and fabulous light.

The Living room once again uses a mix of pieces , it just has a very welcoming feeling – plenty of plump scatter cushions, throws and of course the fire. Love it!

 How different is the Glass shelving unit suspended above the bench, under the skylight. The light would play beautifully on the glass pieces stored inside –  I would think this is  something that would be best planned during the early stages of the kitchen’s design to ensure the best structural support for the cabinet. Not something you could hang as an afterthought.



How elegant is the formal dining Room? But as it seems with their home, there is always an element of surprise – that black and white artwork is so contemporary , yet just works.



The casual dining area is rustic and earthy. The old vintage timber table is echoed in the heavy timber console, plus the simple textured rug and even the iron entrance door to the space all combine to give a unpretensious yet stunning space.

The bedroom’s grey and taupe tones follow the feel of the home, giving the bedroom a relaxed and elegant mood.I especially like the use of 2 different style bedside lamps – just that little bit a asymmetry for the room.

Now wait till you see the bathroom……

How much do you love the mirror and the light fitting? Once again, a blend of beautiful pieces all just a little different , but just stunning  and now for the bath….,

What is there to say – the Marble bath is amazing butis made even more special by the scale of the room and the floor to ceiling windows with the outlook of greenery.

 But if you not in the mood for a bath, then the double shower is just as amazing.

Tied together by those beautiful tiles in the soft grey tones and the warmth of the antique timber accents.,

I just love the girls home, because of just that . You can see it is the most beautifully finished interior, with no expense spared, however is has a casual, friendly and open feeling .

To see the entire article visit 



Matera – Design from Italy

This post is unlike any of the others I have made. It is about the homes and the ancient  town of Matera. The town is in  region of Basilicata, in southern Italy. I was lucky enough to visit this fascinating place a few years back, whilst on a work trip for Natuzzi.

Approaching the town, realising that most of the dwellings are dug deep into the hillside. The “Sassi” or ancient Town was created almost 9000 years ago and many of the streets are often bulit on the rooftops of other Sassi’s.

Until the late 1980s the area was an area of poverty, since these houses were, and in most areas still are, mostly unlivable. However, Matera has now become more tourism-oriented, and has seen the re-birth of the ancient homes.

Partly this was due to the filming of the movie,  Passion of the Christ , which put the small town on the world stage.  Many of the Sassi  have been re furbished to have a new life as homes, Hotels and restaurants.

The approach to a Matera Hotel… carved deep into the hillside. The room I stayed in was small and extremely tall, a high cave, all stone walls and floors. A generous bed, desk and beautiful bathroom with bath at the back of the space.

Out of every window or doorway was a rustic view, worn sandstone or aged shutters and terracotta pots. A photographers dream.

Look at this Bathroom, I cant believe the luxury, in something with such history. Simple, yet so luxurious at the same time.

Here is an image of a living room and bedroom off to the left. I was told by the locals when I was there, that the process of “renovating” a Sassi is costly and can take some time due to the restrictions to ensure that the history of these dwellings is retained. Even so , on my walks around the charming stone roads, there were many projects at various stages of work.

These images show the variations in the design of the rooms.

Each room was unique and all had distinctive features.

I also love how they have accessorised the rooms very simply, the original stonework, archways and shapes are what define each room.

The restaurants in the local area around these homes and hotels are also dug deep into the side of the mountain, hidden amongst the narrow streets, all with fantastic atmosphere and unique interiors.

The approach to one of the Matera restaurants, above.

Next Post I will be back in the “real world” of modern design, but Matera is a place I wanted to share, it is very special and if you get the chance, please make a visit.