Operation apartment: Classy, chic, cheeky chesterfields!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A few weeks ago I mentioned that we have a new custom made lounge suite being delivered soon... hopefully by the end of next week... exciting! If you read yesterday’s post about me struggling with the lack of furniture and homeware stores here in KL, then you can only imagine how painful the process was shopping for new lounges (just ask my husband tee hee). We originally thought we would opt for something quite modern upholstered in fabric, maybe even an L-shape, but after searching everyday for the first month (and dragging hubby on the weekends) we had pretty much given up and decided to have our old lounge suite reupholstered until we found something we liked.

BUT the very next day we were just browsing through a store and I said to hubby ‘what do you think of that darling?’ He looked at me, started to giggle and confessed that he was admiring it only a few moments earlier but after the previous weeks of tears and tantrums he was a little scared I wouldn’t agree... after all, I was almost adamant that I didn’t want another leather lounge suite and I never would have entertained the thought of a chesterfield. Yep, that’s right, a chesterfield! Who would have thought?!

Image via: The Lennoxx

Image via: Decor pad

Image via: Apartment Therapy

Image via: Apartment Therapy

Image via: Apartment Therapy

Image via: Apartment Therapy

Image via: Flickr

Image via: Decor pad

So hopefully next week our modern-ish, white, leather 2 seater and 3 seater chesterfield lounges will arrive! I know they might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I think they will really help fill the large living space whilst adding a touch of Hollywood glam! The above pics really show off how the classic style of a chesterfield lounge can be used in modern, glamorous, classy and fun settings!

Are you a fan of the chesterfield? Are there any items that have ended up in your house that you initially thought you would never buy? I bet there are... but as women we are supposed to change our minds every five minutes right? :)

Oh and I just had another win... an email from the lovely Donna from Fabricadabra confirming that she is able to ship her gorgeous cushion covers to me here in KL... YAY! I hope you are having a great day too! x

Operation apartment: The essentials!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

As much as I LOVE our new apartment here in Kuala Lumpur, I have been becoming increasingly frustrated not being able to find anything here in the furniture and home ware stores. How hard can it be to find a plain-ish rug, a white console and some cushions? Hmph. I suppose that's one downside of living in a country where there isn't the equivalent to Jonathan Adler, West Elm or even good old Freedom. BUT I am determined to stay positive and to continue with Operation Apartment!

So, after a small win yesterday (finding the perfect white linen for one of the guest bedrooms) I decided to sit down and put together a mood/inspiration board of essential items for our living space, including items we currently own and items I know we can purchase here. This made me immediately more hopeful and was also a great way for my hubby to be able to actually visualise the ideas I have running through this head of mine :) Anyway, over the weeks I plan to share bits and pieces from this mood board with you!

Ikea Norrsten Cabinet

As an expat, you acquire a higher appreciation for the worldwide Ikea (pronounced Ick-ea here in Malaysia tee hee hee). I have had my eye on this Ikea Norrsten cabinet for quite some time now but was never really 100% sure... until I recently came across the below image...

Image via Flickr

The above Ikea Norrsten cabinet has been lined with this lavish gold Missoni paper... pretty fancy right?! Not to mention we all know how much I just adore using pretty paper wherever I can!

Royal Albert tea set

Oh and wouldn't it make the prefect home for the x2 Royal Albert tea sets we received as wedding gifts arriving in a few weeks! What do you think, am I on to a winner?! I would love to hear your thoughts before we make the purchase! :) x

Baking with Mrs Bouw

Monday, March 29, 2010

I’ll start by confessing that this week I am cheating a little because this recipe doesn’t actually involve any ‘baking’ and it’s not really anything fancy at all, rather just a good old favourite no-bake slice! I thought it only fair that I include a few easier recipes for those of you who are a little intimidated by that big scary thing in your kitchen often referred to as an oven :)

I have been making this slice for a few years now but by memory I got the original recipe from Exclusively Food, which is a great source for online recipes! With some recipes though, I tend to change them up a little if I find a few things about the original I don’t like.

This quick and easy no-bake slice has a moist, coconutty base and a soft, sweet lemon icing sprinkled with a touch of coconut. Not only is it easy to make but it requires very few ingredients (of which are all inexpensive) and is a great way to use up those few extra lemons you may have sitting in your fruit bowl! This recipe is always a hit in my husband’s office as not only is it perfect with that afternoon cup of tea or coffee but it is a no mess, fuss free treat to share. This recipe makes about 18 pieces if you cut each slice to 4.5cm by 6cm but the great thing is you can cut the slices as big or as small as you like depending on how many sweet tooth’s you have to feed! :)

Blending the Marie biscuits...

This is what they should look like after blending.

Combining the biscuits, coconut, lemon juice
and condended milk mixture.

The base mixture before being pressed into dish...

... and after.

On goes the icing...

... followed by a sprinkle of coconut before refrigerating...

Slice and serve :)

Lemon Coconut Slice
80g butter
250g (3/4 cup)
sweetened condensed milk
250g Arnott’s Marie biscuits
85g (1 cup) desiccated coconut
1 tablespoon (20ml) fresh lemon juice

Lemon Icing
250g (1 3/4 cups) icing sugar
2 tablespoons (40ml) fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons desiccated coconut (for sprinkling on top of slice)
3 teaspoons of water

- Grease an 18cm by 28cm baking dish or pan and line with baking paper.
- Place butter and condensed milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat when butter has melted and mixture is smooth.
- Finely crush biscuits using a blender or food processor. Stir crushed biscuits and coconut together in a large bowl until well combined.
- Stir lemon juice into condensed milk mixture.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until well combined. The mixture will appear quite wet at this stage.
- Press mixture into the prepared pan. The base of a flat-bottomed glass can be used to help press the mixture down firmly and smoothly. Refrigerate while preparing icing (see instructions below).
- Spread lemon icing over slice and sprinkle with extra coconut.
- Refrigerate slice until cold and firm then remove from the pan and cut into pieces. Store slice in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

Lemon Icing
- Combine icing sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan over low heat.
- Add a few drops of water at a time if you find the icing is thickening too quickly.
- Stir until mixture is warm to the touch and completely smooth.
- Remove from heat and use immediately.

How easy is that?! Have a splendid week and happy no-baking :) x

P.S. Oooh one more thing... this coming weekend I plan to try a recipe that I have never baked before but one that has had me drooling ever since I saw it. AND I think it might just be a perfect one for Easter! Or maybe I'm just using Easter as an excuse to make something truly naughty! :)

Tickle my fancy Friday!

Friday, March 26, 2010

nn.pl fan·cies
1. The mental faculty through which whims, visions, and fantasies are summoned up; imagination, especially of a whimsical or fantastic nature.
2. An image or a fantastic invention created by the mind.
3. A capricious notion; a whim.
4. A capricious liking or inclination.
5. Critical sensibility; taste.
6. Amorous or romantic attachment; love.

This Friday I fancy:

A copy of Megan Morton's new book 'Home love' please!

Here are a few images from her book...
Um, how amazingly fancy is this room?!

And this one too!

And whilst we're on books...
I fancy the entire collection of these
divine clothbound Penguin classics!

If these don't make you want to read I don't know what will!

A walk up this heavenly staircase...

And this one too!
(both images via: House of Turquoise)

Receiving our wedding gifts from the Wedding List Co.
... our delivery is only a few weeks away... YAY!
We were SO spoilt...
here are a few of the amazing items we will receive!
(Above: Cutlery from French cutler Jean Dubost)

This Danny Cheung designer fishbowl!

Missoni Giacomo bath and hand towels...
I never thought I could be so excited by towels!

An array of ceramic goodies...

From ceramic home ware designer company Mud Australia.

Ooooh and I can soon remove this from my wish list...
we will be receiving not one but TWO of the above Royal Albert tea sets... FANCY!

And lastly, being the loved up newly wed that I am, I fancy date night tomorrow night with my husband! He has made a reservation at a renowed restaurant here in KL that we have been trying to get into since moving here :)

Have you been tickled this Friday? I hope you have the fanciest of days and a lovely weekend too! x

Operation apartment: Adorn with art!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A few weeks ago my husband and I were shopping in KL and whilst walking passed a little gallery we were both stopped in our tracks when we saw a piece of art hanging inside. So we immediately entered the gallery to have a closer look and well, I think it’s fair to say it was even more magical up close. This acrylic on canvas painting was not so cheap so we decided to ‘have a think about it’ knowing that here in Malaysia, there is always room for negotiation :)

I couldn’t get the painting out of my head as I have THE perfect spot for it in our new apartment but I had a flight to Melbourne to catch so I decided I would revisit the thought once I was back in KL. So, last weekend when my hubby and I were both back in Melbourne, he called me up and said ‘you’re never going to believe this’! He was walking down Chapel Street with close friends of ours when one of them said ‘oh I love this painting’... he turned to look and yep, you guessed it... it was almost the exact same painting from the same artist! Fate? I think so :)

Narate Kathong "Cathedral of Light" 200x200cm Acrylic on Canvas

The above painting isn’t the exact one we are hoping to purchase (ours is a slightly different picture and a maybe little larger I think) but it gives you a good idea. Thai artist, Narate Kathong, has a whole series of these beautiful, enchanting cherry blossom paintings. Cherry blossoms are one of my absolute favourite flowers but it always makes me sad that they are only in bloom for a few weeks each year... ooh if I could only have these in my lounge room all year round... this may just be possible. I will keep you posted on whether we make the purchase or not. More of Narate’s work can be found in Melbourne’s Tusk Gallery.

Sandra Suy "Flora" 8 x 11 print

Oh and whilst I’m on the subject of art, I thought I would share today’s etsy purchase with you! There was just something about this limited edition Sandra Suy illustration (above) that captivated me... so pretty. To check out more of Sandra’s illustrations visit her etsy store!

Have a great day and I’ll see you tomorrow for Tickle my fancy Friday! x

Operation apartment: Making an entrance!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Now that all my travel back and forth to Melbourne is over, I can finally turn my attention to our new apartment here in KL and begin my mission to make it over! It is the perfect blank, white canvas for me to decorate as my heart desires, the only hurdle being finding the right furniture to fill the very large living space! So this week I have turned my attention to the entryway. The apartment is entered through large double doors and I wouldn’t say there is really a foyer area, more so just one very large room consisting of the entry, dining, living and then a hallway to the bedrooms and kitchen. Below is the floor plan of our apartment (minus the furniture of course).

Our apartment floorplan

I have been collecting images of inspiration for a little while now and will begin shopping for the big pieces this weekend ie. consoles, lamps, mirror etc. My thoughts at the moment include a narrow console with footstools and some framed art to the left of the front door and then a large, substantial console with an ornate mirror and lamp/s to run along the wall on the right as you enter. Once I have the main pieces, I will finish off by adding touches such as books, vases, picture frames and glassware.

Above image: Jonathan Adler

Above image: Palmer Weiss

Above image via: Shelterpop

Above image: Julie Richard

Above image: Ish & Chi

Above image: House of Turquoise

Above image: Jonathan Adler

Above image: Desire to Inspire

Above image: Decor pad

Above image: Decor pad

Above image: Apartment Therapy

What do you think? Have you created a similar space in your home? I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas and advice if you have any!

Oh and seeing as it rains most days here in KL, I think it is a great excuse and about time I bought myself the owl umbrella stand I have been admiring for too long! :)

Seeing stripes!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Well what do you know? It seems if you fancy something enough you may just get it!

Last ‘Tickle my fancy Friday’ I featured some images of bold, sassy, gorgeous, striped wallpaper... so you can imagine my absolute delight when the very next day we checked into a penthouse suite at a little boutique hotel in Melbourne (on the eve of my best friend’s wedding) and was greeted by bold, sassy, gorgeous striped walls! I had never been to this hotel before and the even funnier thing was that I also happened to be wearing a black and white striped top... the four of us girls had a good giggle as it seemed my weekend was destined to be a stripy one indeed!

I just had to take a few pics to share with you!

After a wonderful visit to Melbourne and an amazing weekend of wedding celebrations for my friend Amy, I arrived back in Kuala Lumpur this morning. It seems I am still seeing stripes after the events of the last few days! Early night for me I think... hopefully I'll be back to my normal blogging self by tomorrow! x


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