beach cottage decorating for Spring

Thu 1st, Sep, 2011

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I have been struck down by a disease.

The bringing-the-flowers-in-and-photographing-them-disease.



Norisah has it too.


Pah to Winter Down Under!



It’s the first day of Spring.





and it’s rocking already ladies







and I have been Spring foofing and decorating



and moving jars of flowers around, sitting on the floor and taking photos of them…not really Mr BC I have been cleaning, cleaning cleaning, washing, washing washing, cooking, cooking, cooking all day long…



aren’t sweetpeas divine?



…sometimes you look at a flower and can’t quite believe how Nature did it can you..I love the delicacy of these and of course the perfect ruffle….



We have a few things going on in this old cottage this Spring…we are having the Family bathroom renovated and a deck put out of the front of the cottage, a few new doors plus the driveway re-done…that’s for starters…the rest of it we are doing step-by-step…

I have started looking at bathrooms….errm so far this bathroom will be bath and sink-less because so far I have seen nothing I like…how hard is it to find a bath tub?  I must be totally un-trendy, or old-fashioned and boring or all three, because it seems unless you want to 1. spend more than your entire house on your bathroom reno or 2. buy a space-shaped piece of china to sit on top of a 1960′s inspired vantiy then there is not much for you…

The deck is much easier…you can’t really get white wood wrong can you?

I am also doing stuff with our little shop by the sea…and we are opening properly next week for pre-ordering..I have had so many emails about it…sorry if I have not got back to you yet…it feels like I am wading through them…but for the record we are surrounded by lovely beachy nautical coastal things in the shed/summer house down the end of our garden…I’ll do a full post on it all soon…hopefully it won’t magically disappear like last time when it sold out almost overnight…but I’m thinking it may be a pop-up shop…have you seen those…I love that concept…a shop pops up…sells its wares…it’s all done and dusted….more goodies are gathered and then in a few months time it pops up somewhere else..sound good to you?



anyway what else can I yabber on about here this morning?  errrm oh yeah The Project…I am working on a little project in the back garden..it’s a horrid area of concrete…remember I told you there is quite of lot of old concrete to conceal out there?  Can’t wait to get going on this and get it looking good!  I  haven’t had a project to get my teeth into for a while…in fact I haven’t painted anything WHITE for a while…

Well the thing about this concrete pouring from about 80 years ago is that the person who poured it or planned it rather, did a pretty good job of that planning…all the areas it sits on are sweet little suntraps, laundry drying spots or perfect places to sit out of the wind with a Limoncello…so we embraced this design and have concealed most of the concrete…apart from this one little spot that is just purrrrfect to sit in the warmth of the Spring sun….but it’s pretty ugly right now….so the other day we ripped out an old picnic bench that had seen better days and moved some garden furniture and the fire pit into the spot…instantly better…but not right, so now I am on a mission to get it looking better over the next few weeks…I am planning a couple of white Adirondacks (btw they will be for sale in the shop next week ;-) ) and re-vamping some wooden furniture that surely needs it, plus I am looking for a small side table, pots and Mr BC is digging beds either side of it which will be full of plants…hardy, sun-friendly, drought-hardy plants…I know a lot of you are much more experienced Aussie gardeners than me…if you have time I wouldn’t mind you leaving me recommendations, it’s a hot spot that has sandy soil and the water runs of a bit…therefore I am going for a sub-tropical feel rather than an English Country Garden hahaha…not sure what plants to get…


and we are also off to the city on the ferry…I love leaving the beaches for an adventure…I am going on a business thing with Mr BC, so I have to get off my broomstick and smile sweetly at people for a while…the trade-off is a ferry-ride, Opera House and Harbour Bridge gazing, city-people watching, coffee by the Quay and book store meandering…oh and how about a fashion shoot…we haven’t had one of those for a while have we…fashion for real girls sounds good…

anyway, must fly lovelies…

I hope you liked my sweetpeas…

oh and G’day to new readers this week…I can see you you know…;-)

best ones


p.s. Saturday Club is well and truly ON…all sport is over for me for now, hooray…so mark your calenders


beach cottage flowers

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58 Responses to “beach cottage decorating for Spring”

  1. Lovely! Are those your new wedges as well??? Very nice!

  2. So jealous of the spring thing. We are definately heading into autumn. I have had the woodburner going (better than central heating) and the evenings are begining to draw in. So the light is going and there is a distinct chill in the air. Soon be time to bake the Ch*****as cake. Can’t say the word as that would just be too scary. Enjoy the sun for me, oh and the trip to the city, sounds like grown ups only time :)

  3. Shawn says:

    Gorgeous photos Sarah, love your inspiring blog!!

  4. i hope your disease is incurable :)

    let us suffer with you again and again~

  5. Janet Purcell says:

    Isn’t Spring wonderful. Having the same issues with a bathroom. I have been looking for a vanity for months, they are all too minimalist and modern, not practical, expensive, or poorly made. Good luck finding one.

  6. Jennifer says:

    Sigh. I adore sweet peas. Selfishly, I’m enjoying your disease and hope it lasts a little longer.

  7. pam in oregon says:

    Happy first day of Spring! Your winter seemed to fly by….did it ever arrive? I love your Sweet Peas. They are the sweetest ever! I was able to purchase some almost weekly at our town’s Farmer market and they always made me smile and cheered my heart, which I needed, because I’m a garden-less apartment dweller.

  8. Tiff says:

    Sweetpeas and snapdragons bring back wonderful childhood memories for me.
    Sounds like you have a lot of ‘spring’ in your step! Thank goodness it’s contagious :)
    Have a wonderful day.

  9. Judy says:

    Enjoy your outing! Inspired to rush out and buy some sweet peas now :)

  10. Jos says:

    Hey Sarah, Agapanthas love that type of spot in the garden and the white ones are divine – think they are called African Lillies or something like that? For a true family of Australian plants – check out the grevillieas – they come in all shapes and forms and are gorgeous natives – have a lovely form to them and the flowers are divine. The abc website is excellent for ideas – check it out and also lovely Brendan from Dry Spell Gardening on the Discovery channel created some fab gardens – there are loads of pics and ideas on that website too. Happy gardening and happy Sept 1 – my favourite day of the year always!

  11. Jodi says:

    Beautiful as always! Thanks!

  12. carla says:

    Hey Sarah, great post! Cant wait to see the fruits of your labour re bathroom and garden. As far as bathrooms go have you checked out Recollections? I guess you could say they are a bit old fashioned but in a nice way ie clawfoot baths etc…… is that the sort of thing you are looking for?

    c x

  13. Julie says:

    Love the sweet peas and the wedges. And can I just say how funny it looks to me, here in Canada, to see the comments dated Sept. 1st? Still only August 31st here…and I’m enjoying every last second of it before autumn falls upon us.

  14. Neha says:

    Its so lovely to look at all your pictures, Sarah! Sooo..your disease is our gain:).
    Btw, I have the same disease…only my pictures are not as pretty:)

  15. Sarah W. says:

    Beautiful blog! I just stumbled across it. Took me a bit to figure out you’re in Australia. I saw your post was about Spring and thought…’oh no, another great blog that stopped writing’….since we’re heading into fall here in the USA. So glad to have found you and your beautiful home.

    New Reader in VA, USA

  16. Now that is the disease to have-more of it and all through the hard Canadian winter, please :)

  17. Shani says:

    Hi Sarah!

    A lurker here, my first comment!

    I too am redoing an old timber house and garden – when we moved in 2 years ago we had 2 dumptrucks worth of old broken concrete removed! Why do people put concrete in gardens?? I still have so much left to remove, when I am brave and rent a jack hammer…

    For plants you must put in some hibiscus – gorgeous and so coastal. And maybe some bougainvillea? Also very tropical and pretty.

    Well happy planting and keep blogging – I’m loving it!

    xx Shani in QLD

    • sarah says:

      well G’day Shani

      Welcome from Lurkdom!!!!

      it’s much better out here ya know ;-)

      oh yes thanks for the plant tips…..I am thinking hibiscus might be purrrfect here



  18. Kirsty says:

    So pretty Sarah! I love it, it’s a great hobby isn’t it? My disease is more of an outside problem though… but it’s still caused by cameras and flowers! Love the shoes too by the way! The photo’s are absolutely beautiful!

  19. Kat says:

    Just beautiful!
    Even my little Mister 4 year old looked over my shoulder and said “Wow thats a nice bedroom!” :)
    Good luck with all your renovating/make over plans. Sounds fab!
    We struggle with 4 little ones to get a bit of basic painting done around here. I still dream though ;)
    Enjoy your time out with Mr BC.
    I am looking forward to your fashion for real girls post. (Love those! :))
    And of course Sat club. My Sat is already looking a bit full. I am looking forward to heading out with girlfriends for mexican and margaritas for dinner that night!!

    • sarah says:

      thanks for the feedback Kat…sounds like you are already doing a Sat Club in the evening…any room for a pommie in there???? hahaha

  20. Hi Sarah

    Lovely and well done post – love the sweet peas – pretty and feminine.
    My grandparents always grew sweet peas and I remember them fondly – snap dragons too (the ones you stick your fingers in and pretend they were snapping).

    White wood sarah – it’s a winner.

    have a lovely day and a nice little dressy uppy occasion too



  21. Suzanne says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Beautiul flowers!! and photography of course!! I just came back from Coles and I bought a plant called “Westringia fruiticosa” Wynyabbie Gem !! two of them in fact, and they are so sweet, a really good size pot for just $12.00 and they say they are a native plant perfect for periods of dryness, costal exposure, ideal for seaside, put in sunny position. It has lilac flowers very soft and flowers for most of the year BONUS!! I picked up 2 and I also bought a huge lavender plant “Lavender avonview” for only $12.00 also just lovely ,I am looking at it now and the flowers look like fairies dancing ever so gracefully in the spring breeze!! Have fun in the city!!

    • Suzanne says:

      oops…should read coastal!!


    • sarah says:

      thanks Suzanne, errrm I didn’t know Coles did plants like that..the coles nearest me doesn’t usually but maybe they are on special for Spring…the lavender would be right up my alley for that price!

      the others sound lovely and with a name like that they must rock haha xx

  22. Alice says:

    Loving the flowers… Very excited about your renovations can’t wait to see them all… Looking foward to saturday club! Enjoy your trip out of the beaches, the quay is wonderful at this time of the year…Loving those wedges… Love your room, so refreshing and restful…I know what you mean about bathrooms, have been dealing with the same issues… Very curious about the price of your cape cod (I can’t pronounce or remember the spelling for the other name for these) chairs, very tight budget at the momment so renos have trully stalled o small jobs that don’t need spending money or extremely little spending so I might have to leave them for next time – stupid bills, stupid old hot water system, now out of all times it had to break down – sigh… Have a lovely spring day :)…

    • Alice says:

      Oh yeah..In regards to your garden.. Why not a hedge of sorts… I can’t recall any names at the momment but you could sculpt them or just crop them or whatever to suit your mood… Tropical feel why not palm trees (mini ones)? I have so many in my front garden (I think 2 or 3 – anything more than one is too many…lol), I’m thinking of getting rid of (more like trying to danate) them if you want them also some (2) birds of paradise if you want them…

      • sarah says:

        thanks for the offer but I’ll pass on the birds of paradise…

        I hadn’t thought of hedging…hmmm


  23. lisaroy says:

    there certainly are worse diseases to have! lovely! :)

  24. alison says:

    Oh Sarah, I feel your pain re the bathroom reno. I have been seriously looking this year for all the fittings to renovate our ensuite… and eventually, our bathroom too. We want to install a quality ensuite that will last.

    Tiles are the easy part, taps not bad, plenty of recycled and new mirror options. There are loads of basins to choose from. I can find a few options. But vanities!! Don’t start me!! Gee they’re ugly and lack style. Again, I can’t find one that talks to me. I have started looking at new sideboards and old cupboards to consider converting them to a vanity. Maybe get a custom made vanity?? Oh but to find the right cabinet maker who “gets” my style!

    I feel I can’t get started till I find my vanity. Maybe we can start a support group. lol

    I went to Aldi late this afternoon to get some seedlings on sale to plant for Spring. Should have known better…ALL GONE! Should have followed my own Aldi tip and gone late yesterday afternoon. Don’t tell anyone Sarah, but Aldi often puts out their Thursday sale items late on a Wednesday afternoon.


  25. Eliana says:

    Hi Sarah!

    If you do find a bath please share!!! I feel the same!!!

    It is awfull, why pretty bathrooms are so pricy?

    Enjoy your desease, it is a good one ;-)

  26. Deanne says:

    Love the sweet peas, I love the smell too, wish I had planted some this year, but couldn’t because of our building project, oh well there is always next year!

  27. Rob says:

    Sarah, I’m really not liking you right now…only because it’s Spring in Oz and bl**dy Autumn here in U.K….especially seeing we really haven’t had a summer…feeling a little cheated….I really love Spring in Melbourne…it really ‘springs’. The leaves are already starting to turn here and the mornings and evenings are definitely colder…have had the heating on already!! On a brighter note, I really love your sweatpeas…Dad always grew them…in fact I have great memories of them flowering away on the outside dunny when I was little…so they remind me of him. Enjoy your nice weather and all the flowers…Robx

    • Anonymous says:

      So with you on the British summer Rob. Don’t feel like I have had anything like enought sun for autumn to be arriving. Have had the woodburner on several evenings already. V sad! We will have to get vicarious sun from the other side of the world.

      • Hazelmadeit says:

        Ooops didn’t mean to be anonymous on that last post.

        Sun shining hear in England this morning, that is at least 2 days in a row, ah but off cousre the kids are going back to school so the weather is allowed to be gorgeous!

    • sarah says:

      heating in August…!!!

      oh I so don’t miss that


  28. Susan says:

    I would love to see what you do with your back yard.

    We moved into a new home two years ago – our back yard is just grass, and we have no idea what to do with it – there isn’t one flat spot in the yard, so building a patio or deck would require some major earth moving, so we’ve just ignored it to this point. I have a couple of adirondack chairs on the grass to sit on during the cooler evenings, but other than that, nothing, so I would love some inspiration.

    Enjoy your day in the big city!

  29. Louise says:

    OK, you caught me! I’m a new reader and I just lurve your blog and your style! Thanks for all the wonderful ideas and adorable photos. I have a feeling I’ll be around for a while! Sweet peas are my favorite flower of all time! I grew up in the UK and now live in the States. You just don’t see sweet peas in Texas! I miss them! Thanks for brightening my day!

  30. For the plants, look at what you see growing well around you. There are some plants that look subtropical but will cope without too much looking-after in an exposed spot, but with sandy soil it can get a bit tricky as the drainage is so sharp. Ornamental tufting grasses will work, as will tougher herbs like the thymes — especially if you want scent.
    Speaking of scent, find a nursery and ask for the Brown Boronia — it’s in flower right now and is the most beautiful smell, a bit like freesia but without the peppery undertone. The cultivar you see everywhere is ‘Heaven Scent’. They don’t last more than a year or two in Sydney (they are from WA) and aren’t a pretty plant, but I’m planning to always have one growing.

  31. Laura says:

    Our power just came back on after being knocked out by hurricane Irene… this morning I was able to have my morning cuppa and find what’s been going off in BC land. I’ve missed it! Yay for power… boo to flooding! Lx

  32. Candy says:

    Love the sweetpeas…the color is divine!

  33. Wow, I just love the all white with the splash of pink. Very pretty and refreshing. Love your blog, and I’ve added you to my blogroll. Come on over and visit anytime! Thanks.

  34. Jan says:

    Seriously…this is a disease? Well, I’ve got it too then, Sarah. I love those pink flowers soooo much and had to go and buy fresh flowers myself today …thank you very much :) Never realized sweetpeas were so pretty…Happy Spring!

    Jan @ BellaCasa

  35. Oh! My favorite flowers: sweetpeas! We used to have scads of them growing all along our backyard fence. The scent is like heaven! I could gather big bouquets and stick my face in there and be a happy girl, inhaling the fragrance. (I tell my family that I hope that when my body dies, it’s in the spring so there can be lots and lots of sweetpeas!)

  36. BiLLY says:

    Hi Sarah,

    Sweetpeas are my favourite! My grandfather grew them in his lovely rambling garden in Adelaide. I think of him every time I smell them or see them. I love Crocus and Freesias too for the same reason. Viva Spring!

    Thanks for the lovely memories


  37. Cas says:

    Howdy Sarah :) Nice sweetpeas…my grammie always called me her Sweetpea and this year I have my very own garden to grow some. They’re not blooming yet, but I live in hope :) How about geraniums for your sunny spot? They love the sun and hate too much water…you can get a pink, ruffly variety that I think would be right up your ally, just a thought though.

  38. Zosia says:

    I love the internet for the fact that while we are heading for fall in Europe I can see your spring blooms on the other side of the world. I love the fall too, but if I feel like it, I can visit you virtually and get a spring boost.

  39. Simone says:

    Love the sweetpeas, and as much as I love the white and putty I am injecting some colour into my decor turquoise and reds’pinks. Off to Bunnings and some nurseries tomorrow to start my spring garden, and there will be some white paint involved!

  40. JoBea says:

    Beautiful! You can’t go far wrong with pink flowers!

  41. Tamara says:

    This gemini girl LOVES the idea of a ‘Pop Up’ shop – and I guess it keeps your potential customers even more keen ;-)

  42. Gorgeous sweetpeas, mine haven’t grown this year, nor my neighbours, we didn’t get them planted til May, too late in the mountains, still hoping for later. Snow peas, however, are going brilliantly as they went in during April.
    Don’t know if old fashioned geraniums, pelergoniums or citronella would do in those new garden beds, they strike from cuttings or can be bought at various sizes and prices.
    For the bathroom, one option if there is enough room, ditch the vanity and use a pedestal basin (possibly recycled or Recollections), then paint a child’s wardrobe/lowboy cupboard white and use for storage. Mine fits towels, floor mats, face washers, 12 toilet rolls 2-3 white cane baskets(Target, Kmart) with ‘products’- shampoo, face cream, sun lotion etc. I keep the hairdryer in the bedroom so that no-one hogs the bathroom too long.
    I was so over vanities that just deteriorate from the constant water and I wanted more storage than just a few drawers. I don’t have a separate linen cupboard, so towels are in the bathroom cupboard and sheets etc in the top of each bedrooms wardrobe, so much easier to make beds (no traipsing back down to the linen press).

  43. Lovely! It’s great to pop back and see and hear how your cottage is constantly evolving…