Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Simply Beautiful

There is beauty in simplicity.  As I get older I find myself drawn to simple spaces.  Their uncluttered charm, the calm of a room without too many distractions, and the way each piece in the room makes a statement, are all things that draw me to these special rooms.

Tina, from Rubies Place, is one of those people who has found the magic formula for simple living.  The beautiful home Down Under she shares with her husband and daughters turns simple into spectacular!

It's the kind of place where you want to go on holiday, a place that says come in and stay a while.  And the best part is, she is a DIY, thrift loving girl who is raising a family, going to school, and making it all look...well...simple!

Recently I asked Tina if we could take a tour of her lovely home and she graciously obliged!  I know through this tour and Q&A session you'll find plenty of wonderful ideas.  And maybe it will inspire you to find the simple beauty in your own home! 

How long have you lived in your home?   We have lived here for just on 5 years.  We bought this house when we moved here to the country from Sydney, in December 2004.

How old is the home?  We believe our home is around 90 years old.

How would you describe your decorating style?  This is the most difficult question to answer.  I guess it would be modern vintage country if there is such a thing?

Do you think that having 3 daughters has had an influence on how you decorate?  I think having three daughters has definitely influenced how I have decorated some of the rooms in our home.  However, I try to always be mindful that we also have a wonderful man living here  and I try not to do anything too frilly, flowery or girly.  I think my husband has definitely had his share of pink walls, glitter and Rachel Ashwell fabrics over the years.  The girls always get to choose what they would like for their rooms.  I feel that it is their space, so the only rule we have is no black bedroom walls.

You have so many wonderful vintage touches throughout your home, like furniture and accessories, are they things you have found or did you inherit some of them?  We do have a lot of vintage things around our home.  I am really passionate about upcycling, recycling, re-purposing whatever you would like to call it.  Both my husband and I prefer to buy second hand furniture.  Not necessarily antiques, but something that is not mass produced, not made of chipboard and something that has a history.  We have mostly purchased all of our vintage finds.  As you know I do love thrift store finds!  Sometimes I leave these pieces as they are and sometimes I paint them.  I am also happy to buy something that needs mending as long as it is mendable.  I have inherited one piece of furniture from my dear Nan - her china cabinet.  Unfortunately it was slightly damaged by the removalists when we moved here, so I am waiting until we can find a good french polisher to repair it.  It is a gorgeous semi-circular timber and glass 3 shelf cabinet with a mirrored backing and it is really special to me as it was my Nan's most treasured possession.  I love to use anything vintage and I really love to wonder about where these pieces have come from and what they may have 'seen' in their lifetime.  It still amazes me that you can buy something that is a part of history, for relatively little money.  I love that!

You use lots of beautiful white throughout your home, what draws you to the color white and how do you introduce color into your home in other ways?  I have started to incorporate more white into our home (slowly so it is not too noticeable by the rest of the family).  I think what has drawn me to white is our house is quite dark and white seems to make it lighter, larger and fresher! Our walls are a chalky colour at the moment but I really hope to convince my husband to let me paint them pure white...and don't get me started on my wish for white floorboards, let's just say that is going to take a lot more convincing than the walls.  I also like white as a base colour because just by changing fabrics and accessories you can have a whole different look in a small amount of time, and for someone like me who likes many different styles, that is a good thing.

What inspires you?  What magazines or design books do you read, and what designers do you love?  I am inspired by many things.  It can be a piece of fabric, or a picture that I have seen in a magazine or book.  My favourite magazine is an Australian magazine called Country Style.  I have been reading it since the mid 1990s and I gain so much inspiration from it.  I also used to subscribe to US Country Home and I loved it - I really miss the magazine since it has stopped being published.  I also am a huge fan of all the Rachel Ashwell books and also Atlanta Bartlett's books.


Where do you like to shop for home decor?  Well living in a small country town we have very limited shopping.  So I tend to either make things by hand, re-purpose things I already have or thrift finds.  I think it is so important to support small business owners as well as individual craftsmen and I prefer to buy handmade wherever possible. And I make a list that we take with us when we visit bigger towns.  I have such a long list to take with me to Ikea next time, but that is a 6 hour drive there and a 6 hr drive home, so we don't go very often. :)  I would also love to be able to shop at Pottery Barn!

You and your husband have done so much work to your lovely home, what project do you feel the most proud of and why?  We have done a lot of work on our home.  The previous owners had knocked down walls to make the living room larger but in the process had lost a bedroom.  We put the walls back up so we now have a more livable three bedrooms. 

We have replaced the wall around the wood fire, we have stripped layers of filthy carpet and linoleum from the bedrooms and kitchen and polished the floorboards ourselves, rebuilt the laundry floor and tiled it when it fell in on my husband two days after we moved in...

But I think the room we are most proud of is our kitchen.  The original room wasn't even fitted out properly, it had a tiny and very dirty stainless steel sink, an old greasy stove and one cupboard, and an awful torn linoleum floor.  It was so disgusting that I ripped the entire kitchen out on our first weekend here and I cooked on a BBQ on our front veranda for 9 months until our kitchen was finished (even in minus 6 degree weather in Winter).  We designed every inch of our cabinetry ourselves from the corner drawers to the little window seat, and we sourced everything that went into the kitchen from our door hinges and handles to the freestanding oven to the taps and butler sink.  The plate rack on our wall used to be in our old home and we just got the cabinetmakers to paint it to match the new cabinetry. 

My husband made our dining table from an old student desk that we found buried under rubbish in our shed when we moved in.  He took the slant off it and cut it to fit our kitchen.  I painted it white and we left the middle board with the old ink wells and pen slots in it - it is my favourite item in our home.  It has been 4 years since our kitchen was completed, but I still smile every time I walk into it.

If you had to pick one room in your house as your favorite, which room would it be and why?  It would have to be our kitchen.  It really has the homely feel that I want our home to exude.  If someone comes to visit, I want them to feel comfortable and at home.  Sitting at our kitchen table having a cup of tea and a chat,  I think really gives everyone that feeling - well I certainly hope it does!

I hope you have enjoyed visiting Tina's beautiful home!  To see more visit her blog HERE!  Thanks Tina!

It's time for White Wednesday at Faded Charm.


  1. Great post. She does have such a lovely home and great vintage pieces. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Love the simple vintage feel. Thank you to both for sharing! ...

  3. Wow, sweet Tina has a cozy cozy home! Off to tell her so ....

  4. Tina is a sweet soul and wonderful person - and her beautiful home reflects that..! So glad you had this interview with her!

    Thanks to you both,

  5. How beautiful and restful! Lovely home Tina! Thanks so much for the gorgeous pictures and for sharing them with us!

  6. Wow, her whole house is really lovely. I really enjoyed this interview.


  7. Tina's house is beautiful just like her! I came over from Tina's blog and I am really pleased to have found your blog. I look forward to following you. xx

  8. What a fantastic post about a fantastic and beautiful blogger...Tina :) you've done a great job of displaying her home beautifully in this post..GOOD SKILLS!! :) x

  9. Hi Kat,
    how lovely of you to feature Tina's beautiful home. She is such a great person and well deserving of this. Lovely interview and photos.
    ~Sam x

  10. Hi Kat! Thank you so very much for doing a feature on our home. I am so humbled and thrilled that you wanted to feature our home. You are such a kind, sweet and generous lady and you have truly just made my day! Wishing you the most wonderful day Kat ~ Tina xx

  11. The house is beautiful! Thanks for stopping by and leaving your sweet comments.

  12. Great interview! She should definitely be in the magazine she likes so much....especially the charming that fireplace!

  13. Great interview, Tina is such a sweetheart, and very inspiring. I love Tina's simple style. I adore the kitchen fireplace/range, and the great table with the ink lucky.

    Thanks for sharing xoxo Carrie

  14. Tina has certainly put a great deal of love into her home. Her designs are very artful and serene. She really has the gift.

    Thanks for such a wonderful post.


  15. You have a lovely home. It's decorated so nicely. I have no clue about decorating, heck I don't even know what my "style" is! :)
    Thanks for commenting on the cane back chair I redid for Jamie!
    hope you're having a great week.

  16. Oh the fireplace in the kitchen!!! WOW. I love Tina's style and her sacrifice to cook on the BBQ in Winter. ~Lili

  17. OMG! Really very inspiring! Thanks for sharing, and happy WW,

  18. Such a beautiful home, thank you for the tour!

  19. Great post ... interesting subject!
    Warmest hugs,
    Sandi @ Bearly Sane

  20. What a beautiful home. I love that kitchen too. Funny she said her daughters influenced her decorating. Ditto for our home and three boys.
    Come by my blog and enter for a chance to win Rachael Ray bake ware.

  21. Lovely tour. Wonderful pieces and I love that end table with the green hue, awesome.
    Thanks for sharing ;-)

  22. I love the combo of vintage, cozy and fresh.. A lovely home! Bella

  23. What a beautiful home, thanks for sharing it with us...Theresa

  24. Bee-You-Tee-Full Post! ...with a load of inspiration! I invite you to drop in at my place one day this week as you get a chance. until later...

  25. Gawgeus!! Love me some down home Aussie photos. Lovely post thank you - makes me a little homesick.

  26. Great post and I love her decorating style. Just simply beautiful!


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