Karen McCartney contemplates her perfect shed, with the help of a new book by best selling author Sally Coulthard. Tell us what your perfect shed would look like for your chance to win a copy – full details below.

‘Shed Décor’ by Sally Coulthard takes a look at the interior of the much loved shed. It is surprising to see the level of personality packed into these diminutive spaces, as the book explores a myriad of stylistic types. Spare Scandi garden shed – tick. Floral vintage – tick. Rustic with a twist – tick… and the list goes on. Each choice is a great example of its genre and the effect is to leave you yearning for a shed to call your own and decorate with the devil-may-care attitude often missing in a larger home. The trick seems to be to adopt a strong decorative stance and run with it to the max. If you are a minimalist then go ultra spare but if colour and pattern is your thing then it is the opportunity for creative layering – equally American hunter’s cabin, retro fanatic or recycling enthusiast. For me it would be all about the bed, daybed or sofa and books, lots of books – the rest could be vintage, minimal, rustic – I really wouldn’t mind.

In her book foreword Sally says, “There’s something really important about creating a space in your life that allows you to be yourself. So many of our waking hours are spent doing things for other people – work, commuting, family life, domestic chores. Sheds give us the permission to do something that’s life affirming, creative or just really good fun”.

This example belongs to John Carloftis, a garden designer, author and TV presenter who has two thoughtfully crafted sheds in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

“Sheds can take up precious gardening space, but by thinking vertically as well as horizontally, he was able to create an enviably chic tree house and keep the original large tool shed, without making the outside space feel cramped,” writes Sally.

The exposed internal structure in John Carloftis’s tree house provides just enough slim shelving for a few found objects and bird watching binoculars, while the irregularly placed windows and door add a haphazard charm. The moose head adds a note of drama and the bedding looks irresistibly comfortable.

John Carloftis has made the most of his collection of vintage garden tools by displaying them within the internal battens of the shed. It both adds character and a certain whimsy. The combination of lanterns, a raw timber table (which retains the bark of the tree) and a stack of galvanised planters all contribute to the functional charm of the place.

This tiny Danish summerhouse manages to combine femininity, and comfort with a distinctive style. Painted walls, beams and floorboards create a calm context for floral and striped fabrics with seascapes and delightful decorative touches.

“A cluttered floor space can make a shed feel cramped. Here the owners have cleverly put most of the visual interest on the walls. Paintings, mirrors, sconces, lamps, peg rails – everything is at eye height to draw your interest upwards,” writes Sally

“The essence of vintage style is a romantic attachment to the past, seeing beauty and meaning in everyday items from times gone by from heirloom fabrics to distressed furniture, old woven baskets to mismatched crockery, vintage has to be the homeliest of all the styles,” writes Sally of this vintage shed.

Images from Shed Decor by Sally Coulthard, published by Jacqui Small and available in bookstores or online.  

We have one copy of Shed Decor by Sally Coulthard to give away. For your chance to win, leave a comment here telling us what your perfect shed would look like before 5pm Friday 10 April. You must be a member of Temple & Webster to enter, and you may only enter once. We will choose our  favourite comment, and will notify the winner via their Facebook page or at the email address attached to their Temple & Webster account (if we are able to ascertain it) by Friday 17 April 2015. If we are unable to make contact with the winner via either of those methods within 30 days, we’ll choose a replacement winner. Good luck!


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Image – Stockholm apartment via Decor Dots

Karen McCartney reveals the key to decorating in a black and white palette for an interior that’s both stylish and warm. 

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that black and white is a lazy decorating option. While it is the ultimate controlled palette, making it hard to go wrong, there is one great decorating tip for those who fear it will look too cold and mannered. And the tip is, wait for it, to just add timber. The tones of wood, from American Oak to a rich walnut, bridge the extremes of black and white and deliver an interior that balances style and warmth.

Image – Armelle Habib via Inside Out

Melbourne practice Whiting Architects are maestros when it comes to this look, not only with how they treat the architectural envelope but the attention to detail in their interiors. “I’m more comfortable laying a monochromatic or simple palette to build on. It’s about a peaceful space – the client has to live in the space and look at it every day so big statements and strong colour can be great in a magazine but difficult to live with,” says Creative Director Carole Whiting. And indeed her interiors play with textures – painted lining boards as interior cladding, dark stained floors, honey coloured timber stair treads and then the surprise flourish of boldly patterned black and white cement tiles in the bathroom.

Image – James Britton via Remodelista

The furniture choices need to be confident and unfussy to carry off this look. Think over scale pendant lights, butcher’s tiles, and a mix of pale timber stools and chairs around a generous dining table with texture achieved through large knitted pieces, cushions and throws. Then channel a place where Japan and Scandinavia meet aesthetically, add a flash of light industrial, and you are almost there.

I do have a word of caution – don’t add anything red – it feels dated. Sadly, yellow is decoratively speaking past its sell by date; better to choose a beautiful blue and use it judiciously. But having said that, interiors always defy the rules and I am sure if I typed “red/black/white interiors” into a Pinterest search something that blows me out of the water would show up.

P.S – Just did it and in this instance I think I am right!

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Have you ever made your own hot cross buns? Us either, but it seems like something everyone should try. Here’s a recipe by Tasmanian-based foodie Matthew Evans, from his book The Real Food Companion. It comes to us via Eatlove.

In more pious times, after they had risen, Easter buns were marked with a cross to let the devil out. After following the advice of friend and chef, Alan Kelly, I think marzipan works better.

Ingredients (makes 16)

200 g (7 oz) sultanas (golden raisins)
100 g (3 ½ oz) orange and/or lemon peel
2 tablespoons brandy
14 g (½ oz/2 sachets) yeast
1 teaspoon caster (superfine) sugar
500 g (1 lb 2 oz/3⅓ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
80 g (2¾ oz) marzipan
3 tablespoons honey


Mix the sultanas, candied peel and brandy and set aside overnight if possible — otherwise, warm slightly to plump the fruit. Cool before using.

Preheat the oven to 230ºC (450ºF/Gas 8). Dissolve the yeast and caster sugar in 2 tablespoons of tepid water.

Combine the flour, spices, extra sugar and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the yeast mixture and 300ml (10½ fl oz) tepid water. Knead to a dough, adding more flour if required, then place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a damp tea towel (dish towel) or plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. Hit the dough to expel the air and knead again for 10 minutes. Knead in the fruit.

Divide the dough into 16 even-sized portions and roll into balls. Place on a baking tray. Using scissors, cut a nick in the top of each bun, and then another at right angles to the first. This will be the place where the cross sits. Cover with a damp tea towel that doesn’t touch the buns, and allow to rise in a warm place for 30–45 minutes, or until doubled in volume.

Divide the marzipan into 16 pieces. Using your hands, roll the marzipan pieces into thin logs about 12 cm (4½ inches) longand cut into two 6 cm (2½ inch) lengths. Press these into the cuts in the buns, to make the crosses.

Bake the buns for about 10–15 minutes, or until they are well browned on top and bottom, taking care not to burn the tops. Allow to cool, then serve warm or toasted with lashings of cultured butter.

To give the buns a sticky, glazed look, brush the tops with warmed honey just as they are removed from the oven.

Hot cross buns are best eaten within 2 days. Store them in a paper bag in the bread box or on the bench.

See more at eatlove.com.au where you can follow your favourite chefs, share their recipes and order their books. 

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UK design duo Colin & Justin faced a number of design challenges on The Living Room last night in the Hoppers Crossing home of mother and daughter Leonie and Sam. Not the least of these challenges was a panel van visible in the adjacent garage, after the wall between the two spaces had been removed. We find out how the boys fixed and updated the space – and remember, if you love the look they created you can shop our special sale event. If you missed the show last night, catch up on Tenplay.

What were the main issues you wanted to address with the original space?

Wow, where do we start? Could it be dealing with too many functions, the dark brick walls, the lack of identity or the missing walls? Take your pick!

What did you do to make the space more functional?

Well, we rebuilt the wall to seal the room from the garage and then clearly defined the space as living and dining areas. Few people, after all, need a car in their lounge room!

How would you describe the new look?

It’s painted brick with industrial shelving, linen furnishings and lashings of brightly coloured accessories. So we’ll call it a ‘Lady Loft…’

What made you decide on this colour scheme?

This garden room was screaming out for a makeover and Leonie and Sam (the owners) were such great girls, with such great energy, that we just had to give them a bright modern look that would transcend age groups, and appeal in equal measure to mother and daughter. The blue accent wall lifts the mood, while the white drapes gently diffuse the sun light.  It’s ethereal.  And they loved the transformation.


What tips can you share on planning furniture layouts?

Adding a focal point in any space generally provides an anchor upon which you can dress furniture. Here, for example, we added a media storage wall and a flat screen television to orientate the room.

How do you balance comfort and style?

The two things should go hand in hand – form and function are paramount. Here, linen furnishings add glamour and are extra practical thanks to their dirt-forgiving natural finish. Pile on the cushions and throws and lavish floors with textural rugs for added colour and comfort.

What’s your favourite thing about the transformation?

We love our C&J designed home made shelving system made out of gas pipes and scaffolding planks – it looks amazing and was so easy to create. Thanks to Dylan – the Living Room contractor! And who could forget our chandeliers made from upholstery rings?

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Artist and designer Julie Paterson, who started Cloth Fabric back in 1985, describes her new book, ClothBound, as an ‘illustration of the daily practice that feeds my creative practice’.  Karen McCartney finds out more about the inspiration behind Julie’s work and her relationship with the Australian landscape. 

I love that the title and the treatment of the book are one – in that the book is actually bound in cloth, making each book individual. How did that idea come about? And what does it say about you and your work?

I really wanted the book to be about my process and to be as authentic as possible. All my fabric is printed here in Australia, so I suggested to the publisher that I print the cover in the same way and with the same materials as I would normally do in my work, and they loved the idea. I resized the spot-check artwork to make the motif a little smaller, so that when it is attached to the book you get to experience the serendipity in the random order of the print. The irregularity means that the composition of the spots falls in a different placement for every book. I visualised the books together on bookshelves in the bookshops and thought it would have good visual appeal and say something quite unique.

A prototype sample book of Julie’s Two Up design, named for the Anzac Day game.

The book chronicles your creative journey through 8 different collections. In exploring each process, were you surprised by differences or comforted by similarities?

The thing that was so great to recognise was that all those ideas we had back in the early days still hold true today. The principles and approach are as strong as they ever were. I still use the same printer and makers as I did when I began. I use the same natural base-cloths and processes and feel as connected to the landscape in my work as I ever did. Writing this book has made me appreciate what we created back in those early days, and I have really seen my concepts strengthen and deepen through the process.

Julie’s Spotcheck design in its wallpaper and fabric incarnations

The Australian landscape inspires much of your work. Do you think you see it through a different lens as you are originally from the UK?

The landscape I grew up with in the UK is the opposite of the landscape I know and love here. I have now lived in Australia longer than I lived in England. So now when I visit the UK it seems quite unfamiliar to me, just like Australia did in those first few years after arriving. So really, these days that lens is the same. I tend to look at my world with fresh eyes – observe and really look and record what I see, objectively. I try not to see what I think I know. These things are subtle but significant, and important to clarify.

The long, thin landscape in a bowl  (top left) is part of Julie’s recent series of watercolours of famous views around the Blue Mountains.

Notebooks, watercolours, sketches, collecting thoughts, colours and ideas are an important part of your process. Why does this work for you?

It’s about authenticity. I learnt a long time ago that documenting the small moments as I go through my day is a great approach to recording the unique and authentic story of my everyday life as it unfolds. Just walking the dog or going to get a pint of milk can offer up little gems of inspiration; stuff like a lovely early morning sky, a clarity of thought or a detail in the composition of the pavement that I had not thought of or noticed before will be there available for me and I like to remember it whilst I’m experiencing it.

There is nothing big or grand in making designs – it’s all one-step at a time, everyday stuff. So a small sketchbook in my bag with a traveller’s set of watercolours and a few coloured pencils is my simple kit for capturing those moments. These sketchbooks kick start the whole creative process later on when I’m back in the studio.

Julie’s work for Capella Lodge on Lord Howe Island was inspired by the native kentia palm.

In the book you show two artworks side-by-side – one a sketch of the Devil’s Marbles in the Northern Territory and one of topiary trees in front of a neighbour’s house in the UK. They have a surprisingly similar look. Does this make you feel you have a very definite style that filters disparate elements into a strong, consistent visual statement? 

I love those two images – I think they are very significant.

I do feel I have a strong style but it has grown as I’ve matured. Back when those paintings were made – in the year 2000 I think – I was still developing my style. I remember being struck by the similarity of the shapes when I made the pictures within a few weeks of each other. One was made by the action of the weather over time, the other by a suburban gardener’s hands and a set of gardening shears. It was the different concept of time and the similar resulting organic shapes that got me thinking and recognising a connection between the two disparate places – suburban England and outback Australia. This is the stuff I love and is what I’m always seeking – these connections and their stories.

You work in a shed in the Blue Mountains. Is that an inspiring context for producing work that develops and cultivates the aesthetic of Cloth?

My shed is my haven – a place where I am truly myself. When I’m in my shed I’m focussed and in the flow. It’s all about the flow! There are no distractions – just the birds, the weather, the dog and me – the phone doesn’t even ring, as the reception is dodgy. This is all good; my work is all the richer for it.

The ‘grubby back corner’ of Julie’s shed, stacked up with layers of well-used silk screens.

Your work applies across the interiors spectrum – furnishing fabrics for upholstery, curtains, cushions, lampshades, wallpapers, rugs and artworks. Does this design diversity keep you engaged and excited about what is next?

Yes – I love collaborating. Working in various mediums means I can’t do it all myself. I love having an idea and seeing where it might go; it keeps you on your creative toes and keeps you talking to people. This is important because deep down I suspect I’m a bit of a recluse. I could easily go for weeks without talking to anyone, so I curb this urge and I engage and connect through collaboration.

You have some exciting plans to promote he book through a back yard tour in your caravan. How can people find out more?

I’ll be doing some farmers markets and popping up in friend’s living rooms, studios and garages around the country, as well as doing a few pop-ups in my caravan. I’ll be promoting where I pop up next via Instagram @clothjulie and on my website – juliepaterson.com.au

Images from ClothBound by Julie Paterson (Murdoch Books) $59.99, available in bookstores or online.

For your chance to win a copy of ClothBound, leave a comment here before Thursday 2 April 2015. You must be a member of Temple & Webster to enter, and you may only enter once. We will choose our  favourite comment, and will notify the winner via their Facebook page or at the email address attached to their Temple & Webster account (if we are able to ascertain it) by Friday 10 April 2015. If we are unable to make contact with the winner via either of those methods within 30 days, we’ll choose a replacement winner. Good luck! 

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 There was a frisson of excitement at T&W HQ and on our Instagram feed when Ken Done AM visited. Everyone in the Gen X age bracket seemed to have fond memories of a doona cover, a t-shirt or in one case a complete matching outfit (!). We talked to Ken about his paintings – he is still painting at age 74 – and about the limited edition prints available today as part of our Australian Art Series. We started right back at the beginning of his career… 

Take us through your early career in design and advertising, and your transition to painting full time?

When I left art school I started a business doing graphic design and illustration. I didn’t really see myself as being a painter at that stage, even though I’d gone to art school at 14. I wanted to travel. I went to Japan, then I went to America and worked on the west coast and then in New York at J Walter Thompson, a big advertising agency. I ended up spending 5 years in their London office and then came back to Australia as their Art Director and then Creative Director after Bryce Courtney.

I got to the ripe old age of 35 and decided I wanted to be a painter. And if you want to be a painter, you have to give up everything and concentrate on it. At 20 I wasn’t ready, but at 35 I was, although I’d been painting all along.

The first thing I made was some prints of some drawings of shells. They were well designed, they were easy to like, and they were about repeating the singular effort. You make the drawing once, you make a print and you can then reach a wider audience. I had my first exhibition of paintings at 40.

Print of Aquarium, August 1 by Ken Done

What do you remember about that first exhibition?

I was nervous. I’ve had more than 60 exhibitions and I’m still nervous. It’s always a nerve-wracking exercise because you walk into a room and you see your talent pinned to the wall. My first exhibition was certainly a very emotional one. The most expensive painting was $1500 and no-one bought it. A man rang me up the week after and offered me $1000 for it. I needed the money so I sold it. We were able to buy back that painting back a few years ago for about $30,000, and I’m pretty happy to have it back again.

The Ken Done Gallery in The Rocks in Sydney features his new paintings.

You created a business empire based on your art practice. Where do you see the division between the two?

I think design and painting seek a different audience. If you are designing, you usually have some idea of who you’re talking to, and you work within that framework. You paint to please yourself, and if it pleases other people that’s a bonus.

My paintings led to quite an extensive business – at one stage we had 15 shops and licensing arrangements around the world. I always treated everything as well as I could. Even if it was a design for something as simple as a handkerchief, I wanted it to be good.

Surfer’s Beach print by Ken Done

What drives you, after 60 years of painting?

Well, I’m quite good at it, and I’m not good at lots of other things! You tend to concentrate on the things that you’re good at, or the things you love.

Even as a small child, I would use drawing as a way of communicating. If my Mum asked me what a kid’s birthday party was like, I’d make a drawing of it. All kids paint and draw before they can talk, it’s the most natural thing of all. Some people continue to do it, and some people, because they can’t paint something in a representational sense, think they can’t do it. For me, painting has always been the way of showing how I feel about something. Sometimes my paintings might also be about what something looks like, but for me, they’re about what something feels like.

Mauve sea and orange trees, one of Ken’s new paintings, available via Ken Done Gallery.  

Did your parents encourage your creativity?

Yes they did. Neither of them was an artist, but they allowed me to leave school at 14 after my Leaving Certificate to go to art school. I wouldn’t have encouraged my kids to leave school in Year 10, although I do think it’s a good idea to pursue your talent early, so I’m eternally grateful to my parents that they allowed this to happen for me.

Many of your most famous paintings reference Sydney Harbour and the underwater world, and you live by the beach. What is it with you and water?!

I’m a Cancerian if you believe in that kind of stuff! I’ve always found it hypnotic to look into rock pools, and ever since I got my first underwater mask I’ve just loved that world. I’ve dived and snorkeled in most parts of the world and it’s always a thrill for me to be under the water. I swim every morning. My most recent pictures have had as their basis the feeling of what it’s like to be on a coral reef.

You have a huge body of work – what was the process for choosing pieces for your limited edition prints?

I wanted to make prints of paintings that will give people pleasure over a long period of time. I don’t want to use art to shock people – I think in the time we live in, television does that much better. Art, for me, should be more like poetry. It should give you pleasure over time, it should be beautiful, it should be something that you continue to get something from.

Painting showing Ken’s idea for a new Australian flag – the Southern Cross in gold on a blue background.

Your work has always been remarkable for its joyful use of colour. Where does that facility for colour come from?

You just have it. The older I get, the more I realise there is no point theorizing – you can either do it, or you can’t. You either feel something for colour, or you don’t. It’s like composing a piece of music – you have to find the relationship between colours that gives you pleasure. When I’m painting at my best, it’s automatic. I don’t have to think about what colour to use, I just know.

When I was younger there were rules like ‘blue and green should never be seen’ and you actually didn’t see those colours used commercially. Nowadays people are more accepting of the joy of colour – which is not to say they always get it right!

The best example of getting it wrong is the green and gold we use for Australia’s sporting teams. Most times, it’s the wrong yellow and it’s the wrong green, and it ends up looking like a bloody pineapple salad. If I could be the design dictator of Australia – which in fact I could do quite well – I could sort those things out. I’d say: this is the green, this is the yellow, move on. It’s done.

Can you describe your creative process?

My main studio is underneath my home. I work on a painting there, then I bring it up into the house and hang it on a big white wall that’s near where I watch TV. That gives me time to consider it.  Sometimes I fall asleep watching TV then wake up, see the painting and realise there’s something I don’t like, so I take it back down to the studio. I think it’s important that painters live with their work for a while. That’s the process for me, and sometimes I live with a painting for months before I think it’s ready to go to the gallery.

There is nothing more enjoyable for me than starting a picture. That’s the adventure. And not knowing where it’s going to end is also the adventure. I’m not a painter who sits in front of a vase of flowers and looks to reproduce it – I like to paint the feeling of the vase of flowers.

I’m definitely a messy studio person, but every so often I’m a ‘clean up the studio’ person. I find things tucked away in there that I haven’t seen for 30 years.

 Floating on Christmas Morning print by Ken Done

The world you portray is exuberant and joyful and optimistic and beautiful. Is there a dark side to Ken Done?

Most of my work is joyful, but I have made paintings about tougher things. I did a series of paintings about the attack on Sydney Harbour by the Japanese midget submarines, so it was death, about drowning, about war. And funnily enough that series was very well-reviewed by the critics. I was slightly annoyed that it had to be a serious subject for them to review me seriously. I think painting a vase of flowers well is just as serious.

I’m 74, so of course I have been through dark times in my life. I’m writing a memoir at the moment and I’ve said in my life there’s been lies, jealousy, vengeance, bloody-mindedness, insincerity – and that’s just me!  I choose not to paint about those things though. I’ve done some good paintings when I’m angry or annoyed, but you can’t plan for that. Every picture is a journey.

Is the opinion of the art establishment and critics important to you?

It’s getting less important as I get older, and I find there is a very extreme range of views. One person took the trouble of writing to a newspaper to say that I did not have a scintilla of ability. On the other hand I have a lady who often writes to me who says my work is ten times better than the combined work of Van Gogh, Monet, Matisse, Reubens and Renoir! The truth, of course, is somewhere in between.

We posted an image from one of your doona covers on Instagram and saw an outpouring of love. How does that response make you feel?

Those doona covers, more than anything, are the things people remember and respond to. I think perhaps it’s because there was nothing like them at the time. I treated them as big pieces of art, and took them seriously, and of course they were colourful and made a big difference to a bedroom.

They were also very widely promoted – I remember doing store appearances in David Jones. I’d have to sit in a special set wearing a white suit and wait for people to come up to me. The few people who did ended up with a drawing by me. I’d draw very slowly, and a drawing of Sydney Harbour would end up covering Cronulla to Hornsby, just to make them stay a bit longer!

What are you proudest of?

In my life, I’m proudest of my family – my wife Judy, my son Oscar and my daughter Camilla have found a really great way of working together.

Ken is famously low tech but you can follow the Ken Done Gallery on Instagram @kendonegallery

Browse our online gallery of Ken Done’s limited edition prints.


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Finding your way around a yum cha menu can be tricky, but stylist & foodie Jono Fleming’s Taiwanese heritage means he is perfectly placed to demystify the dumpling. Here he also shares his own favourite family recipe.

It’s not uncommon for me to get a text message from friends on a lazy Sunday saying, “let’s go for dumplings!” But what exactly do they have in mind? Here’s my guide to identifying some of the basic dumpling varieties you’re likely to come across, to help you find what you’re looking for.

1.     Jiaozi are popular Chinese dumplings that are enjoyed on all occasions and are simple to prepare. Whilst they are considered Chinese cuisine, they can be found all over Asia. Simple minced meat or vegetable fillings are wrapped in dough and then boiled or steamed.

2.     Guo tie, also known as ‘pot stickers’, are essentially jiaozi that are fried in a flat pan. The fried dumplings ‘stick’ to the pot, hence the name, and are most commonly seen on Japanese menus as gyoza.

3.     Xiao long bao were made famous all over the world by the Din Tai Fung restaurants, and are meat filled, but with a very thin flour skin. The “soup” from the cooking juices is enclosed in the dumpling, creating a delicious surprise when you bite into them. Be careful though, as the liquid inside can be very hot.

4.     Har Gow are the dumplings often seen on yum cha carts. Comprising prawns encased in a thick, translucent skin, variations to this traditional recipe can include the addition of vegetables. The traditional prawn and ginger dumpling, however, is delicious in its simplicity.

5.     Siu Mai are another staple of the yum cha cart, often served in a bamboo steamer. These open topped dumplings can be filled with pork, chicken or prawns, and are encased in a thin sheet of lye water dough.  Depending on the filling, the orange dot often found on top is a garnish of crab roe or carrot.

6.     Shengjian mantou aren’t technically dumplings, but I recommend you order these if you see them on the menu. Like the xiao long bao, these pan-fried pork buns are filled with delicious soup, and the thick bun is pan fried to create a crispy base.

Pork and Chive Jiaozi Dumplings

This simple recipe is one that was passed down to my mother from relatives, and was taught to me at a young age. These jiaozi freeze well, so you can keep them on hand for a quick dinner.

Ingredients (makes 30)

200g lean pork mince
100g fatty pork mince
One bunch garlic chives (found at green grocers or Chinese supermarkets)
Thumb-sized piece of ginger, minced (about 1/3 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon cooking oil
Salt and pepper to season
Pinch of sugar
1 packet of round dumpling pastries (found in the refrigerated Asian section of most supermarkets)


Wash the chives well with cold water, and finely chop. Place them into a bowl and season with a pinch of salt. Mix and allow to sit for 10 minutes.

Squeeze the chives to release some of the water and moisture from them.

Mix the pork minces together, along with the chives, ginger, soy sauce, oils and sugar. Lightly season with salt and pepper.

Have your dumpling pastries ready and scoop a heaped teaspoon of the mixture into the center of the pastry.

With your finger, wet the edge of the pastry with some water, fold in half and, using your thumb and index finger, press the two sides of the pastry together to seal the dumpling. Repeat with remaining pastries and filling.

Boil or steam the jiaozi for 10-12 minutes, until the meat is cooked through. Alternatively, you can freeze them at this stage and cook them later.

When cooking from frozen, place the dumplings in boiling water, bring to the boil again (as the frozen dumplings will cool the water somewhat), then turn the heat down and simmer for 8 minutes.

Serve with a dipping sauce of half soy sauce, half vinegar and some chopped chilli if you want to add some heat.

Enjoy all Jono’s recipes via our Dish of the Day Pinterest board

Set your table with our Dumpling Days sale event.

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Karen McCartney explores the way in which we approach the decoration of country / beach / island houses, and shares pictures of her own retreat on Dangar Island in the Hawkesbury, just north of Sydney.

Only the other day I was discussing with a Melbourne architect the way decorating principles shift from a city house to a place in the country or on the coast. We talked about how the demands of daily life differ from that of the weekend and how, as a result, the aesthetic loosens, relaxes and is often more characterful.

Much of this can be attributed to a lack of budget for the second home, which means design solutions become more inventive as vintage furniture finds favour, high-street brands are painted or customised, and artwork or ceramics picked up on eBay or at local auctions add authenticity.

Yet there is a decorating trick to give a sense of cohesion and style to disparate elements, and it comes from creating a limited palette of colours and materials and sticking to it quite rigorously. When my husband and I undertook this task we used the same timber for flooring throughout the house, the same Indian Sandstone in the kitchen and bathroom, the same grey stained timber for the exterior cladding and the window frames. This ensures the building envelope provides a strong, consistent base for interior design choices. With an older place the solution might be to go for a ‘white-out’ and paint the whole interior in a soft white paint including ceiling and floor. This creates a sense of a blank canvas for adding decorative choices and always manages to look good.

In our island house we mixed worn Danish leather seating, stone coloured linen, canvas-covered chairs, grey sisal rugs and over-scale paper lights, for a look that gave a nod to Scandinavia.

Character came from our eccentric collection of timber stools – both vintage and contemporary – and from items sourced from a local antique store, which included an old school desk with children’s names carved into the surface. Our generous dining table was made from timber offcuts left over after the building of the house was complete. As the saying goes ‘necessity is the mother of invention.’

So if you are planning the interior of a getaway, create your ideal Pinterest board or gather images you love in a note book and then look for the commonalities. Get rid of the outsider choices to settle on a scheme and then do the hardest decorating trick of all – stick to it!

Images of The Dangar Island House by Richard Powers.

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Taline Gabrielian says food has always played a leading role in her life, and she is passionate about healthy and nutritious food for herself and her family. Her magic is creating raw and baked sweet treats that are vegan and free of gluten and refined sugar, and she has developed a huge Instagram following (@talinegabriel) hungry for inspiration. You can try her treats to her family’s Sydney cafes (Dose in Willougby and Ritual in Northbridge) or download her new mobile app full of recipes at her Hippie Lane website. Here she shares a taste of her banana and maple bread.

We all love a piece of freshly baked banana bread, especially one that’s sugar, gluten and wheat free. Made with a combination of nuts, seeds, fruit and gluten free millet, in our home the banana and maple bread is usually all eaten up within a day or two.  It’s a perfect accompaniment to your tea or coffee, or perfect on its own for a morning or afternoon snack.

Ingredients (serves 8)

1/4 cup (40g) + 2 tbsp flaxseeds, ground*
3/4 cup (180ml) water
2 cups (220g) almond meal
1/2 cup (40g) desiccated coconut
1/2 cup (50g) millet flakes
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp vanilla powder
1/8 tsp Himalayan salt
2 tsp bi carb soda
1/4 cup (60ml) coconut oil
1/2 cup (120ml) maple syrup
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 extra banana, sliced


Preheat oven at 160C/310F.

Combine ground flax seeds with water and place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes. Your mixture needs to gel together and resemble an egg-white consistency.

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (almond meal, coconut, millet, cinnamon, vanilla, salt and bicarb soda).

Mash the bananas with a fork in a small bowl and add coconut oil and maple syrup.

Mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients and pour into a loaf tin lined with baking paper. Top with sliced banana and bake for 35-45 minutes.

Store in an airtight container for 2-3 days.

*For best results, use a coffee grinder to grind flaxseeds. Freshly ground seeds produce better results compared to pre-ground flax meal.

Find out more and download the Hippie Lane app at www.hippielane.com.au or follow Taline on Instagram @talinegabriel

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We’ve put together two trends in our Metallics & Marble sale event – and we love the result, styled above for us by Adam Powell and shot by Denise Braki. Pinterest yielded up some inspiring ideas for using these naturally beautiful materials in every room of your house.

Image – Brooke Holm. Styling – Marsha Golemac.

This kitchen by Melbourne designer Fiona Lynch is something of a Pinterest sensation, with the warmth of brass punctuating a restrained palette of timber and marble.

Gold marbled paper by Brooklyn-based Calico Wallpaper (find out more here) adds glamour with an organic feel, and is complemented perfectly by a humble timber sideboard.

Image – Sam McAdam-Cooper. Styling – Jessica Hanson for Inside Out.

Inside Out’s copper trend story back in 2013 featured marble and soft blush, all of which are still strong looks in 2015.

The Home of Gaby Burger of The Vault Files, via Glitter Guide.

The combination of marble and gold makes this simply styled bedside table feel elegant. Waking up to this would ensure a pretty good day.

Image – Magnus Marding

In a Hong Kong apartment by Ilse Crawford’s Studioilse, an expanse of soft grey marble is brightened with the addition of brass (or gold?) tapware.

A marble coffee table grounds the crisp whites in the home of Sarah Sherman Samuel of Smitten Studio. Two brass owls watch over proceedings.

Inspired? Create your own marble + metal moment today. 


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