White, Pretty, Clean and Dreamy Flowers

Thu 25th, Aug, 2011

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We are sunny and bright and blue skies and loving it where I am on the beaches…

I have been Spring Cleaning…



I love it as Winter draws to an end…here in Sydney, even though the Winter is pretty mild, the warming up of the Earth and the sea is the best time for me…and it seems to come all of a sudden…




We go from 3 layers of doonas on the bed and shuffling around in the evenings pretty chilly to suddenly realising ‘oh it’s not so cold’

Since living in this old cottage, I know when Spring has arrived by opening the front door…this is a little sheltered sun spot and in the Winter mornings it’s cool…as soon as Spring hits when we open the door warmth hits you…and when everyone has left for school, I sit out there with a cup of tea on the Adirondack watching the world go by…



So yesterday I threw open the windows and all the doors and did some cleaning…I started off in the Sitting Room.
To be very honest this room is in need of a proper freshen up…in other words it needs a paint job…
I haven’t got time for that right now so looking around I decided to just go with a bucket, elbow grease and Dettol…it did wonders…


I washed all the windows too, yikes it seems I should be doing that more often…ahem a lot brighter now….

I won’t even mention dust bunnies lol!



I tidied away a lot of things that just happened to have accumulated in here…funny how flutes, soccer balls, afl jerseys and other strange objects seem to walk out of the kiddos bedrooms and just land on the floor of the Sitting Room…never mind the Cleaning Fairy is always on hand to sort those little devils out ;-)



I cleaned the old trunk too…errm I am not sure how this seemed to accumulate so much sand…I have had a big old iron bowl on here displaying shells and driftwood and things from the beach…a few times my littlest kiddo has found things and brought them home…I can only assume that as he did that he threw in a handful of sand for posterity ;-)




Anyway once everything was Dettoled within an inch of its life (Dettol by the way is a disinfectant…I always get emails about it when I mention it on here so I thought I’d let you know…it is an English product, by Appointment to Her Majesty, no less, and has been my trusty friend since the day I moved in with Mr BC…its multi-purpose, cleaning, vintage sprucer-upping and medicinal too…there has sure been a few Dettol baths with those injury-prone boys of mine), I spent a very enjoyable time dotting around a few flowers, actually rather a lot of flowers and finding some vintage glass to display…



Ahhh….clean, bright and flowers… 20110825-10-beach-cottage-sofa



The curtains will be coming down soon…I am liking just the bare window look at the moment for summer…but for the other months I usually layer up with soft drapes…yesterday they were blowing in the breeze, I tried to capture that for one of those moving pictures…it didn’t work :-)


At the mo’ I  have three drapes layered up…all are from IKEA…natural linen, white and the patterned one…






And the mirrors?  oh baby they are shining now!



I was pretty darn pleased with myself after this…I love this Sitting Room…I love how it is small and quaint and old-fashioned and the opposite to how the McMansions are built nowadays…I love collapsing down here in this little room at the end of the day with a pile of books and a drink…



There has been much discussion, during our talks about the next lot of renos (starting soon) from Mr BC about making this room open-plan, knocking out the walls and it being ‘more modern’…

As I did this cleaning and foofing I thought that is exactly how I don’t want this room…modern…not in decor or in architecture…come to think of it, not in anything really…

I quite like my old fashioned Sitting Room thank-you-very-much…



As I was taking photos I thought about the journey the sofa has been on with us…she’s been with us a long time now…she’s looking pretty saggy round the edges…but I puffed her up and fluffed her…

…the old table too is one of the first things we bought together…ahhh



About everything else though is from my vintage treasure hunting travels around these fair parts….picked up for pennies and I love that gathering…

Apart from the Adirondack…and I waited long enough for that little spot of coastal chic delight to come into my life :-)



Anyhoo lovelies, get your buckets out and have a  Spring Clean…amazing what blowing those cobwebs away can do… I know a lot of you that come here are heading into Fall…but make the most of the sunshine while you can…and let that fresh air breeze on in…

I’ll show you the other side tomorrow, I have run out of time here this morning…my internet seems to be running at a snails pace this morning, plus I have a littlie here with me today home from school and I have a meeting at another school to get to this arvo…

So more pretty dreamy and white stuff to show you tomorrow…

Gotta fly…


oh and get your diaries out for Saturday….Saturday Club is on this week…get ready to schedule some time for you


blogged for bnotp tablescape party, thanks!


Beach Cottage E-Course How To Blog for Girls HERE



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56 Responses to “White, Pretty, Clean and Dreamy Flowers”

  1. loulou says:

    hello Sarah

    Boy – you have been busy.

    Oh the energy it sounds like you have A+ for that!

    Once again – your photos take me away to a (currently in my house “lost land”)
    Absolute gorg – and I feel myself plopping down on that sofa as you said too.

    have a wonderful day and hope little one gets better soon – I have a little – little one sick today too.

    thank you for the journey :)


  2. Emma says:

    Sarah, once again you have inspired me. This time it was to drag all of the clothes I have been ‘storing’ in our roof to de-clutter and do a big Spring clean up and toss out. Already I feel the house is breathing a bit easier and so to will we once the Dettol fumes die down that is…

    Thanks for the gift you give of sharing’. It’s appreciated.

    Em x

  3. Sounds so great. Wanting to kick the workmen out and scrub everything. Lobe the idea of a bowl where kiddos can put ‘treasures’.

  4. Laura says:

    Well, when a place is white like yours, it sure sparkles when cleaned. Nothing better than throwing open the windows on a spring day! We moved into our house 3 1/2 years ago and I couldn’t open 70% of our windows, because they just slid back down again (danger for the kiddies)… anyhoo, this past month we had them all replaced, so next spring I’ll finally be able to air the house after the long cold winter! Yay! This house rennovation is a long drawn out process, but it sure makes you appreciate the little things in life. Lx

  5. Jacqui says:

    Beautiful photos Sarah! I’m spending today trying to beautify our living room. Can I please ask where you got your rug from ? Iit’s exactly what I’m after.

  6. You have been busy, and your room is beautiful! So bright and welcoming. Just today, I was thinking Fall isn’t that far off around here….we’ll be pulling out “the cozy” pretty soon. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pics! :)

  7. bianca says:

    The smell of dettol brings back so many childhood memories for me, especially the memories of grazed knees which was far to often! Somehow I still quite love the smell. You have inspired me to pick up a bottle and start wiping things!

  8. Deanne says:

    I am in the mood for a bit of spring cleaning too, must be that time of year, your sitting room looks great, so fresh!

  9. Alice says:

    Beautiful Sarah.

    We started spring cleaning the week before last. We started of with the kitchen, took down the old mouldy (shudder) blinds and cleaned the windows, cabinets, walls (we now just need to do the back of the fridge and pantry (an old book case with a mesh door made to measure by hubby) and inside the cabinets and that’s it with the kitchen. I’m loving having all the windows and doors open so much better. I’m loving spring (though I’m a sitting duck waiting for the hayfever to hit me like a sledge hammer) and I can’t wait to tackle the rest of the house too. It really needs a new coat of paint and the half arse renos to be finished… Can’t wait!!!!Looking foward to Saturday club though I have the kiddos birthday party to prepare for the following day so I don’t know how I’ll manage… lol I’ll just have to find a way sigh…As if that’s going to be a problem!!!
    ……..end of rant…… Take care! Cheers…

  10. Jacqueline says:

    Very pretty! Love your stripes, and lovely colors. It’s nice to travel over to your coming spring.

  11. Robyn says:

    Oh how you do imspire! ;-)

    We’ve had some perfect weather over the last few days here in Melb’s, but the clouds have come over again now! However, we are also starting to feel that it’s deffo warmer around here. Heating at night hasn’t been on for sometime and I stripped all beds today and also put away the extra blankets and duvets (I still can’t bring myself to call them doona’s).

    I’m gearing up for Spring cleaning too with some shiny new spray bottles and home-made cleaning agents. Might do a blog series on that actually!

  12. alison says:


    What’s the story behind that wooden “cupboard” with words printed on the side? I’m sure you have probably featured that in a past post but I can’t recall.

    I had unsuccessful Tarjay and thrifting expeditions today. Oh well, it makes the successful ones that more exhilarating :)

    I have this theory that a lot of people who have created open plan living in their homes are one day going to crave separate rooms and put all the walls back in. And I also think that one day there will be company’s chipping off the cement render on the outside of houses to expose the “charming” brick underneath.


    • sarah says:

      it is an old sea trunk from a Hungarian couple who came here as refugess…I bought it for a song at a garage sale their son was having…it was quite sad really..but good for me! …at the time we had just started our own business and I couldn’t really justify buying it…so glad I did

      I like your theory…I wonder the same thing…will everyone be building walls again…will open plan be so terribly looked down upon anytime soon…


  13. Your pictures are always a delight! I love it! Thank you for sharing again!

  14. Tammi says:

    No, don’t open up your sitting room….it’s so nice and intimate just the way it is and it’s so nice to be able to shut yourself off from the rest of the hustle and bustle in the home :) (in my humble opinion)

    There’s a bit of spring cleaning in the air at the moment…I’ve been up to my ears in cleaning and rearranging the last few days and boy it feels good.

    Did you grow all these flowers? and where oh where did you get that glass ball?


    • sarah says:

      I got the glass ball from a shop that has now closed down…it was my go-to shop when on my walks :-(

      I didn’t grow all the flowers, the pink ones came from next door :-)


  15. Eliana says:

    I love your blog.

  16. Perfect, as usual, I have always loved your sitting room, the collection of mirrors, the old wooden packing crate with the lovely story, and your homemade busboard, no don’t change a thing Sarah, love it! x

  17. Zosia says:

    We are heading for fall in Europe, but this week we finally have a nicer, rainless weather. I love fall too, crisp mornings and evenings and often still quite warm during the day. Good cleaning gives you that sense of accomplishment and you can sit with a cup of tea and a book without a guilty conscience :-).

  18. tanya says:

    Gorgeous photos and styling as usual Sarah!!! I quick question about using Dettol, do you just dilute it in water to wipe over surfaces and roughly what ratio or does it not really matter??
    Thanks for being so inspiring

    • sarah says:

      It depends..when I use it to mop the floors I dilute it..I just sling some in the bucket with hot water….when I use it on surfaces I don’t dilute it…when I use it in the bath I follow the instructions on the back….hth

  19. Aina says:


  20. Louba says:

    Your room is so beautiful! I’m totally inspired to rush home and clean…………and maybe look for a new house on the beach ;)

  21. Katherine says:

    So beautiful, I am loving the Adirondack chair. I have a true love of them…well I might be over using love. But the Adirondack chair especially in white always makes me feel like relaxing on the beach. How can a chair do that? Doesn’t matter, it just does.giggle I think your home is absolutely lovely. Big Hugs!

  22. Jules says:

    Ohh I just love my Dettol !! I use it all the time … it is fabulous on windows too … I also use the Lavender Dettol – divine! xx

  23. Lucy says:

    Hey Sarah, I love your blog and so envious of your life by the sea in beautiful Oz. One day I will be out there living my life too, I had an amazing year in that awesome country so now I’ve just got to figure out how to get back there!! England just don’t cut it anymore!

    Where did you get the black and white sign with all the Sydney landmarks on? I’ve seen one on a blog ages ago that listed all the Perth landmarks and I would love one in our little pad. (I love Perth and WA as it’s where I spent most of my time… I daydream about Cottesloe beach on a daily basis)

    Lucy x

  24. I have been end of summer cleaning if you may….something I’ve been putting off for weeks now. Funny how things just accumulate. I’m sure you understand because you are a thifter yourself. I think what happened is I just kept piling my finds up after the weekend. I still have a ways to go but I’ve finally got a little start. Don’t knock down your walls….everyone needs a place just to be by themselves for a while. Love your post and as usual you have given me so much inspiration to go white. I do have a decorating question for you today. I moved back in my parents home my sister before I even asked says no! to whitewashing the brown panelled walls in the den. The paneling is a tan color. What can I do to brighten up the walls without painting? Most of my pictures that I have placed on the wall already have black of white frames should I go all white? Thanks for any input. Love ya Sarah!

  25. meant to say black OR white frames. Also wanted to add ALOT of my decor is beachy chic.

  26. glenda B says:

    Ahhh, Sarah. I have been wanting to do some fall cleaning but with temps yesterday of 108 F, I just can’t seem to get up the energy. Your room looks amazing. I am so envious of the open windows and cool breezes. Hopefully fall will come soon!!

  27. Stacy says:

    I LOVE your white coffee table so much. And the suitcase under it!

  28. Guerrina says:

    So busy! Right now we’re waiting to see what Hurricane Irene is going to do to Connecticut this weekend! I think I’ll save my Fall cleaning for after the storm! Is there a way to do a “cozy open” sitting area?

  29. Anonymous says:

    Loving the spring flowers, its a great feeling spring cleaning. I’ve earmarked next week to start. Have a good weekend. jojo3b :)

  30. bless you, sarah, for mentioning the curtains–they look absolutely stunning, and i would have never guessed ikea! you have such a lovely touch and way with words.

    thanks for sharing so much lovely.


  31. Barefoot Liz says:

    I want to have a flower garden so that I can always have fresh flowers/greenery in the house. I love how serene the all white rooms are with a little splash of color. It simply looks HAPPY.

  32. slim paley says:

    So so pretty!
    and just as OUR summer is drawing to a close :(

    tiny little sob

  33. helenj says:

    Hi Sarah, I follow you religiously in your gorgeous house, which leads to my question. Is the bus blind new? I know you have a tutorial on the one in your kitchen, but haven’t seen the one in the sitting room before? Am hankering for one myself, but they are so expensive!!
    thanks for your inspiration :)

    • sarah says:

      Hi Helen

      It is not new…it used to be in the study and I fancied it in the sitting room…

      It is from Poulier and Poulier but you can easily make your own


  34. alison says:


    Something that’s Aussie and nice to use to wash the floors is eucalyptus oil and hot water. You can buy eucalyptus oil in the supermarkets and pharmacies, it’s environmentally friendly and smells great.

    I have to tell you a story about my friend’s aunty who had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This aunty used Pine O Clean, an Australian disinfectant which can be used in similar ways to Dettol. My friend’s aunty Pine O Cleaned everything including the husband and kids, even the bottoms of stool legs and the stool top if you stood up and moved. Poor thing went through gallons of the stuff.


  35. That room is sensational! I love the all your “penny finds”

  36. Damjana G says:

    Love your blog and everything about your house, although the old suitcase under the table looked better in the original colour…

  37. Nothing better than the satisfaction of a sparkling clean cottage!

  38. Jacqueline says:

    Your photos are so gorgeous, such pretty whites and brights. How funny to think that you are moving into the warm months and we are moving into the cool months. I think I will move there for the winter. Enjoy airing everything out! Your home looks gorgeous already.

  39. marlis says:

    Love your sitting room. I too have gone back to pre McMansion days and love the intimacy of the smaller rooms. I love shushing about the house in the spring and fall, one to clear out the cobwebs and one to settle in for the upcoming cold.. great job.. it looks wonderful. xo marlis

  40. Hi, Sarah! Cleaning is SO relaxing and SO much fun and SUCH a release!!! Glad you were able to enjoy that with the Dettol. I have never heard of it, so I’m glad you explaind what it is. Not sure what the American equivalent might be. With all the beautiful white pieces in your room and the reflective mirrors, it’s already quite calming. The addition of brightly colored blooms and a spiffing up made it just that much better! Have a great week!

  41. Kerry Rossow says:

    Holy gorgeous, batgirl! From the whites to the beachy light to the fresh flowers- love.ev.er.y.bit.of.it!
    Kerry at housetalkn.blogspot.com

  42. Anonymous says:

    Calming, beautiful and peaceful. Just delightful!

  43. You’ve done such a beautiful job of creating a perfect…timeless…spot to soak in the clean ocean air…and your Spring cleaned sitting room…absolutely beautiful! Thank you for letting us share your stepping into Spring and Summer as we prepare to step away, into Autumn. Cherry Kay

  44. So clean and crisp.

    - The Tablescaper

  45. Natasha says:

    Wow all that wonderful white has my sighing. You have a beautiful blog with wonderful pictures. I’ll be stopping by often. I love those flowers too, those in the second and third photos, what are they?

  46. I love your room! I want to sit down, talk with youand have a glass of wine….comfy, clean and cozy! What is it about spring that we want to clean? I get that way in the fall too! Thank you for sharing. Blessings My Friend,

  47. Maria says:

    Your room represents the essence of summer! I wouldn’t change a thing either! It’s hard to feel cozy in an open-concept space. And your flowers are delightful!

  48. Just loved it just inspiring pictures taken.


    Karin Şen Cankan

  49. Your blog is one of my favorites, you always have such brilliant ideas!