Holiday reading ANNA SPIRO Book Review

Establishing your sense of style

Posted by Toni Collins | Travel, VR Blog | No Comments

Holiday reading inspiration

Before January slips away for another year… I will linger (just for a moment), to share my favourite summer holiday pastime… reading.   There is a massive contrast to my experience of reading during the year versus on holidays. While engulfed in the throws of the yearly work/life juggle, reading a novel or book is a great challenge to squeeze in. I also struggle to conquer more than a few pages before I start to nod off! (Regardless of the time of day.) So every summer… with leisure time in spades, reading is like discovering a newfound joyful hobby, again, and again!

This year my holiday reading included the page-turner ‘Reckoning’ a memoir by Magda Szubanski, along with a book by Anna Spiro ‘Absolutely Beautiful Things : a bright and colourful life’ (pictured above).  Both wonderful.  The interiors book by Spiro bursts with vibrant, energising colour, along with eclectic, layered styling. (No chance of nodding off with it in my grasp.)

I found Spiro’s love for and use of colour playful and rambunctious. Best of all Spiro offers her reader insight into how she found her own unique style, along with encouragement to experiment, in order to find your own sense of style. That’s generous!

The style presented in the beautiful photographs of the book is not akin to my own. And I think that is one of the key points Spiro is making. Rather than trying to emulate a particular style, explore and trust your instincts, so that you may find your own style – one you love. The book invites you to be brave, “go for it,” “mix and match”, “Give it a try,” all come to mind as I read.

So why not put your favorite colours on display in your home? Who cares if your neighbors’ favorite shade is Antique White U.S.A., with a choice of cushion toned Whisper White (for a radical contrast)?

Why not let your home shine with items and colours that provide a small reflection of the complex character which is you!!!

VR Book Review Anna Spiro Absolutely Beautiful Things Style Inspirations

I loved the generosity of Interior Designer Anna Spiro, as she encourages her reader to develop a unique sense of style.



Faces of Bali Visual Resource Photography

Bali Dreaming : Holiday Musings 2015

Posted by Toni Collins | Travel | No Comments

The year is moving along at a rapid pace… March already, phew!  If I cast my mind back to what seems like a year ago (well.. not quite), I recall our hot Summer break in Bali.

I will leave the promotion of sights, great food and fine people to the travel guides.  Instead, our promotion of Bali will simply be to share some of the imagery Michael found captivating during our stay.  We hope you enjoy the sights!


VR Visual Resource Bali Travel Photography

Every aspect of Balinese life is steeped in religious belief.
Gods, goddesses and demigods are worshipped, alongside Buddhist idols and ancestral spirits.

Visual Resource Photography Faces of Bali

Heading home from School

VR Visual Resource Photo Art Bali

Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary – Pedangtegal Ubud – Bali




Holiday Musings

Posted by Toni Collins | Travel, VR Blog | No Comments
VR-blog-VINTAGE HOUSE-dining

Vintage House – a Victorian miners cottage originally built around the 1860’s.
Interior created by Kali Cavanagh.

VR-blog-VINTAGE HOUSE-composite

The perfect marriage between old & new.
Vintage pieces with patina, texture and a story to tell… combined effortlessly with new luxury linens.


Our break this year included a few days getaway in Hepburn Springs / Daylesford. 

Upon arrival the charm of the impeccably appointed Vintage House was immediately calming, imploring a retreat from the thoughts and demands of life.   We were delighted to find there was something for everyone: Michael started snapping away on his I-Phone, his visual appetite more than satiated by the stunning interior, I started thumbing through the many wonderful books and magazines, mesmerised by, ‘a life less ordinary – interiors and inspirations’ by Zoe Ellison and Alex Legendre, and Roisin scampered about exploring everything – her imagination running wild!

A little more about Vintage House:

A Victorian miners cottage originally built around the 1860’s.  Situated directly on the border of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs in Victoria.

The antique, vintage, industrial furniture and lighting has been sourced with love specifically for the house, from all around the globe, including – USA, UK, France and of course Melbourne along with tailor made furniture and pieces throughout.  Including:

  • Chesterfield sofas and bench seating
  • Antique cast iron fireplace surround from 1800’s France
  • Dining table from an old post office – late 1700’s England
  • Chambers Gas Stove from USA
  • Vintage Artwork from France
  • Vintage French linen cushions
  • Old wooden railway bench seats

Are you starting to get a vintage-industrial picture in your mind?

And being on holiday… a good night’s sleep is essential.  Not hard to accomplish on the large, comfy bed, fitted with beautiful linens chosen from Matteos – Los Angeles.  (Sorry to brand drop… but I suspect the linen selection was highly considered by the Interior Designer, and it was a new experience for us to sleep on actual linen sheets!)

The style ‘vintage – industrial’ is not one I have a natural affinity for.  To create a space styled like it would be quite beyond me… Perhaps that is why I enjoyed the home so much?  I found the marriage between old vintage pieces, and the comforts of new luxury linens and fittings so calming and pleasing to the senses.  I admire the skill and creativity of the Designer who did composed this very fine space – Kali Cavanagh – hats off to you!