Just can't tell you how much I'm enjoying lighting candles around the house at the moment. The silvered glass came out at Christmas time, and is still hanging around. I think it's an all-year look I'm happy to love. The American scented candle smells amazing - and came from a little shop I discovered recently in Gladesville. Called "Nice Things", any shop that stocks soy candles, irish linen, sample designer clothes and describes itself as a 'collector's dream shop' is going to become a favourite of mine!
I saw this wonderful pic (http://cargocollective.com/shaleahsoliven) of a snazzy and minimally decorated sideboard and got inspired (once again!) to clear my sideboard/mantle/tables of clutter and take a more stylish/sophisticated approach. The use of a couple of classic shaped urns and some simple foliage really works, whether your sideboard is modern, retro or antique.
I love our sideboard which dates from the 1930s and was bought from a friend who's grandma had bought it following her wedding. They are such a versatile piece and sadly under appreciated by many. Low enough to display favourite things on, great storage for everyday items you want to keep invisible (we have our stereo in ours!) and leaves enough wall space above it to do something arty (hang a picture) or a star burst mirror (my choice) or a wild geometrically painted wall - though can't imagine being brave enough to try this myself!
You can find great examples in op shops and retro furnishing shops and depending on the era will determine the style. Secondhand ones are often in great condition as they are not an item that attracts heavy handling over the years. IKEA makes some great modern versions too.
I found these wonderful (and cheap!) red heart bowls in a french inspired decorator shop. They are a gorgeous piece of whimsy that would brighten up any room. Stack soaps (french of course) in them in the bathroom; garlic or salt in the kitchen; makeup or jewellery in the bedroom. If you do have clutter, and sadly I do, then at least have some attractive bowls to store the bits and pieces you are meticulously accumulating in.. and if one day you can bring yourself to throw out the bits of used soap, last knob of garlic and 300 rubber bands you've been saving for a rainy day, it will be pleasing to have a nice bowl to remember them by.
And here are some cute shots of "Arch in March"
(notice how whenever I take some photos, the washing basket always appears in the background! D'oh!)