Christmas by design

01 Oct '14

Image by Dreamywhites

With 12 weeks to go, Christmas is officially on the radar. If you’re planning a neutral approach this year, you’ll love today’s Christmas by Bloomingville sale event. Delicate Danish decorations in natural materials including marble, glass and timber are just the ticket to a restrained scheme of Scandi-style simplicity. We looked to Pinterest for inspiring ideas for a new tradition… 

Image - Kristofer Johnsson via Stilinspiration

A small potted tree is a good small space alternative. The textural concrete pot sets the tone for layers of neutral colour and natural materials, resulting in an understated yet beautiful vignette.

Image via Artifactuprising.

Delight in the details and wrap your gifts with care – adults, at least, will appreciate the effort. Brown paper and string is an eternal favourite, made especially personal here with fresh foliage and a Polaroid style photo. Many apps will print your Instagram photos for you – try Origrami or Picture Postie.

Take a less is more approach with your wreath and the flowers in your home. Sometimes a mass of just one variety is more elegant than a mix, and hand-made almost always tops store-bought! Our Pinterest board is full of wreath ideas, from rosemary to baby’s breath, and plenty in between.

Image via Stylizmo

If you’re sitting down to a formal meal this Christmas, keep the table simple with a limited colour palette. Here, foliage snipped off the tree has been used in the centrepiece and each place setting, while metallic candlesticks add a sense of occasion.

Image – Bo Bedre via My Scandinavian Home

Rise up against the tyranny of the perfect tree, and go with something perfectly imperfect. Edit your decorations for a consistent look – there’s no need to use all of them every year. Warning – this concept probably won’t fly with anyone under 10.

Image via The White Company

This is an interesting idea for displaying precious ornaments, and would work well in an entryway. Note that the decorations, although different sizes and shapes, all live in the same white / silver / glass part of the colour wheel. Consistency is, again, the key.

Image via Apartment Therapy.

White or natural linens act as a neutral base, and feel suitably relaxed when tied with string. A cinnamon stick enhances the sensory experience, or substitute with a fragrant alternative to suit your meal.

Follow us on Pinterest for more Christmas ideas

Shop our Christmas by Bloomingville sale event today

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Since launching Quercus & Co in 2012 with a range of wallpaper designs, Adam Jones’s work has appeared in magazines including Inside Out, Home Beautiful, Belle and Vogue Living. Originally trained in textile art, he spent years as a decorative painter and a colourist with Porters Paints, which goes some way to explain his confidence, passion and fine instinct for colour. We’re pleased to feature his range of unique art prints and wall hangings in today’s Quercus & Co sale event (styled above by Adam Powell), and asked him to share his story…

Adam with his Oslo Square wallpaper.

What was the impetus for you to take the leap and start Quercus & Co?

That’s a good question – to be honest I became possessed at that time and I don’t think I would have made it to this stage if something hadn’t switched on in my brain. Starting a business really does require enormous energy and determination. For the first time in my life I now feel centred and focused and know this is exactly what I love doing. Essentially it’s the culmination of my early training in art and textiles and the many varied experiences from all the jobs I’ve done over the years, however age certainly helped – I reached a point where it was ‘what the hell, just get on with it!’

Quercus & Co’s Tapestry wallpaper in Prussian Blue adds depth and character to a contemporary bedroom.

Your wallpaper designs range from lush colour and pattern to delicate pen and ink drawings.  What do you think is the common thread running through your work?

The starting point of a design for me is often the drawing or painting technique. I love the way in which ink soaks into the paper or charcoal scratches across the surface. It’s marks on paper – the sharp edges, the blurred smudges, the mistakes and imperfections. This is what interests me most, and is the same for a detailed illustration or a large scale painterly pattern.

Adam at work on his Fair Isle design.

Tell us a little about your creative process, starting with the original artworks?

Working on a new collection starts with how I would like it to feel. It’s not necessarily a specific type of pattern to begin with but a direction I work towards. Once I find various images as inspiration I work on sketches and collages. All of the designs are hand-drawn or painted and once an idea is resolved I draw all the ‘motifs’. These are taken into photoshop and the final design is made from there. The one joy about printing everything myself is the amount of sampling and testing I can do; the most painful thing about printing it myself is the amount of sampling and testing I do!!

Details from Adam’s Sydney studio.

How does the digital printing process work, and how important are the materials you use?

Digital printing is a revelation. I have to say I do love old-school printing techniques (how beautiful is a wood block printed wallpaper where the ink has been pushed to the edges of each colour?) and although digital printing doesn’t have the tactility of traditional techniques, it does offer an endless spectrum of colour and the potential to design in as many styles as you can imagine. The paper I print onto is made from 100% natural and sustainable resources including 30% recycled content. At the end of the day it’s ink, paper and imagination.

The Fair Isle wallpaper range.

Your love of colour and pattern shines through your designs.  What impact do you hope they will have?

Colour is incredibly uplifting. There’s nothing practical about what I do – I’m not designing chairs! What I work with is sensory pleasure, playfulness and a connection between how you feel and the space you’re in.

How did your art print range come about, and how does the process differ?

From the outset customers were buying a metre of the wallpaper and framing it as art so it made sense to start printing the designs as artwork. The wall hangings came from seeing an old map in a friends house – the simplicity of timber dowel and printed canvas works perfectly. Easy and safe for shipping too! I’m busting to do scientific and botanical prints (when I have time).

Quercus & Co vintage style wall hangings in Adam’s Sydney studio.

Do you have any tips for framing and/or hanging your prints?

All the art prints are made to fit standard IKEA frames – a perfectly acceptable and affordable option. We print most of the designs in different sizes so a whole collection of them can be hung ‘Salon’ style.

A Kilim wall hanging in Midnight and Tapestry lamp shade in Rose.

Your studio is in Sydney’s Redfern. Is it important to you to be surrounded by a busy & creative community, or could you work anywhere?

I work in a shared space with all types of businesses and it certainly makes for a pleasant and communal work environment. I would say that it is important, it really helps to walk away from what you’re doing for a moment and connect with someone else. I also live 5 minutes from the studio and love the neighbourhood.

The upcoming fabric collection offers great decorative possibilities.

What does the future hold for Quercus & Co?

There are so many plans – the most imminent is the launch of a fabric collection. It’s amazing to see the designs printed onto cloth. There are two base cloths to start: a light linen for drapery and soft furnishings and a heavier-weight textured fabric for upholstery and cushions. Like the wallpaper the fabric will be sold through our trade distributors but we will have cushions for sale on our website. The next collection of designs is also well under way – fresh, light, illustrative, they have a 1960’s / 1930’s vibe if that makes sense – to be launched early next year. Finally, a couple of Christmassy-style colour charts that Elke our current intern has been working on.  They’re looking delightful.

Quickfire questions:

Cat or dog?:  Cat. I have two – Hattie and Willie
Design icon:  I’m loving the opulent 60s and 70s style icons at the moment: David Hicks, Diana Vreeland, Marion Hall Best
Pet hate:  Not getting a reply to an email. There’s a disclaimer on some blogs and media websites that say ‘Oh we get so many submissions, if you don’t hear from us we’re really sorry’: isn’t that part of the job?
First job:  Pizza Hut (but my second job was in a knitting & wool shop in London, which I loved)
Local secret:  A new Vietnamese take-away just down the road on Bourke St – Banh mi pork rolls for $4.50!

Follow Adam on Instagram @quercusandco or via Facebook or Pinterest

Shop the Quercus & Co collection today 


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Whether you’re renovating, planning or just dreaming, the Grand Designs Live home show can help. It’s billed as three days of grand inspiration, and we’re pleased to announce an exclusive Temple & Webster discount code so you can save 40% on your tickets.

Visit the show in Melbourne (17-19 October) or Sydney (24-26 October) for over 200 exhibitors showing off the latest and greatest in everything from taps and benchtops to garden furniture  and small space ideas. Explore the zones dedicated to building, interiors, kitchens & bathrooms, outdoors and technology plus, new for this year, the Design Arcade introducing up-and-coming furniture & homewares designers.

Of course, you can see Kevin McCloud, Peter Maddison and your favourite celebrity experts including Temple & Webster’s Karen McCartney, Jessica Bellef and Adam Powell who will be presenting on the Design Stage in Sydney at 3.30pm each day.

Book your tickets today and get ready for great home, apartment and garden ideas.

1.  Visit and enter the code TEMPLE in the ‘Promotional Code’ box on the left of the screen.

2. Select your city, then select ‘General Entry’ tickets, and specify the day you wish to attend.

3.  Choose the number of tickets you require (max 10) and proceed to check out. You’ll receive your tickets by email.

This special offer expires 16th October for Melbourne tickets, and 23rd October for Sydney tickets. It is limited to General Admission tickets and there is a limit of 10 tickets per purchase. It cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotional offer.

Don’t delay – book your tickets today. 

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Eleanor Grattan writes about the timeless beauty of marble, currently enjoying a ‘moment’ in interiors around the world. Dip a toe into the trend with small accessories, art or cushions, or invest in a classic marble table you’ll love for years. Shop our Marble Collection today.

It’s not as if marble is a new phenomenon. The ancient Greeks had it down pat, and ever since then marble has been cut, chiselled and moulded into both functional surfaces and decorative elements. While this is due in part to its relative softness and resistance to shattering, its beautiful and unique finish plays a large role in its enduring popularity. Now marble is popping up in fresh contexts, and offering exciting new possibilities.

Whilst the form of a bust is somewhat outmoded now, there are great ways to make the material work in your home. This table by American designer Billy Cotton is on the list of dreams-never-to-come-true, priced at an eye watering US$38,000, but always to be enjoyed for its elemental minimalism. The juxtaposition of smooth marble with rustic forged bronze, and mirror-finished stainless steel is stunning.

I’ve been seeing some gorgeous kitchen looks that are making me rethink my Ikea counters and cabinets. This is a great example of how to use the material in a contemporary setting, without compromising the warmth of a family home. Plants soften the cool white and grey tones, and the textured honeycomb metal splashback is a gorgeous contrast.

Similarly, in the bathroom, plants, soft fabrics and vintage accessories such as a chandelier are a combination that brings this ancient material into 2014. Embracing eclecticism and personality renders any room new and interesting, like this bathroom from

Occasionally seen as ostentatious, marble is now so accessible – it’s not all about classical columns and staircases, it can be as simple as a new surface in your bathroom to make it work. This bathroom space and sink found on The Design Chaser is pared back and beautifully serene, with hints of a Japanese influence. The geometric shapes complement each other for a crisp contemporary look.

For more Japanese design, you only have to look at Naoshima, an island in the inland sea 3.5 hours by train from Osaka, for more inspiration. In the outstanding structures by Tadao Ando that form the Bennesse Art Museum and the Chichu Museum are exquisite examples of the use of marble. On a recent trip to the latter space, I was instructed to remove my shoes and change into slippers to walk on the polished, tiny white marble tiles to enjoy the Monet works on display. Every detail has been thought of to experience serenity in true Japanese style.

On a smaller scale, it can work in any home and on any budget. Try accessorising for an on-trend look without the fuss and expense of a full interior overhaul. A clock is an easy way to nod to the trend, and it will work in almost any room. These were found on Trend Land from Menu Danish Design Company. Simple, practical and stylish, they are everything Scandinavian designers do with particular expertise.

Alternatively, a marble tray (this one via Stylizmoblog) can hold candles on a coffee table or condiments on the kitchen bench for a quietly attractive space organiser; and the planter plays with pastel pink, the queen of the sorbets, ensuring you tick off 2 items on the hottest trends for Spring.

The fun thing about the patterning is that it’s not restricted to the rock. If you like the idea of playing with marble, try bringing dyed fabrics into your wardrobe. This striking shirt from Mr. Porter is the gentleman’s way of asserting style savvy, and the women’s top, skirt and jacket is taken from the SS15 London Fashion Week, courtesy of the flair of designer-to-watch, Christopher Raeburn.

And for some more purely decorative ideas, this sculpture is surely appealing to the Australian beach lover. It was created for the Belgian Marbles show produced by the Reena Spaulings gallery in NYC. Image via Remodelista.

On the Rock crystal and Carrara marble glasses by UK designer Lee Broom.

Perhaps part of the appeal, in a time when most people enjoy the idea of resisting conformity in design, is that however hard you try, you will not be able to make exactly the same product twice when using marble, or a marble-effect. Enjoy its hypnotic patterns, its feeling of luxury and incorporate it in a way that fits with your lifestyle, whether it is through the smallest accessory for your bookshelf or for slipper-clad feet in your hallways. And raise a toast, Lee Broom style, to the timelessness of marble.

Shop our Marble Collection today.

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It’s almost summer time, and the entertaining should be easy. This dish involves a bit of preparation, but also the opportunity to make it all look easy on the day. Having sampled Jono’s dish in the studio, we can vouch for the flavour and an extremely high lip-smacking factor. Find all the ingredients for a great garden party in our Splendour in the Sun sale event.

Bloody Mary ribs

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

One onion, diced
2 sticks of celery, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ cup of vodka
2 tins diced tomatoes
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ – 1 tsp Tabasco
¼ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp celery salt
½ cup brown sugar
2 racks of pork ribs


In a medium sized pot with some olive oil, cook the onion, garlic and celery until translucent (not brown).

Add the two tins of tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients, excluding the ribs, stir and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, blending in all the flavours. If you want your ribs to have a bit more of a spicy kick, add a little more Tabasco.

Remove the pot from the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes. In an oven tray, place the two racks of ribs and coat evenly with the cooled sauce. Cover and place in the fridge overnight (8-24 hours) to allow the flavours to marinate and soak in.

Remove ribs from the fridge, preheat the oven to 160 degrees C and cook the ribs for 2 hours, turning once and spooning that sauce all over the other side.

Remove the ribs from the tray and place any extra marinade into a saucepan. Finish the ribs off on the barbeque grill, about 5 minutes per side. The sauce on either side will become sticky and get that nice smoky flavour. Cook the marinade down until it becomes a nice thick sauce and serve with the ribs.

Follow our Dish of the Day Pinterest board to keep up with all Jono’s recipes.

Prepare for your own outdoor party with our Splendour in the Sun sale event.

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A timeless combination, black & white can provide dramatic impact, but doesn’t have to be stark. We find beautiful and inspiring spaces featuring this classic palette – for more ideas, visit our Pinterest board  or shop the T&W Black & White Collection.

Almost-black floorboards in American Oak (by Royal Oak Floors) work to provide strong contrast with the modern white walls and ceiling in this Melbourne home by Whiting Architects. Neutral soft furnishings complete the picture and save the space from starkness. Image by Sharyn Cairns.

Black-stained cladding may seem counterintuitive for a summer house, but as this Danish home demonstrates, it also adds depth and presence, An added bonus – a black stain will work well to protect timber against the harsh Australian sun. Try Porter’s Paints Palm Beach Black for something similar. Image by Tim Bjørn.

Black and white doesn’t have to be formal and buttoned up – this amazing Italian farmhouse by Paola Navone looks completely liveable, even with its limited palette, thanks to the addition of neutral colours and rustic textures.

While it may take some discipline to keep a bedroom as ordered as this, there is no denying the serenity such a simple palette brings, with white floor boards adding to the clean feel. Image from Elle Decor, via SFGirlbyBay.

Black taps have been creeping into magazines and blogs for a while now, and made an appearance on The Block Glasshouse recently. Is this a passing trend, or is the bathroom ship steering away from chrome for good? Let us know what you think. These are the Tara taps by Dornbracht; you can find similar via Brodware or Astra Walker.

If you find all white kitchens a little clinical, consider black (or dark) cabinets, especially if you have plenty of natural light. In this kitchen, the grey grout ties the dark and light elements together, and if you happen to feel colour-starved, there’s still plenty of opportunity to accessorise. Image via Chatelaine.

A handsome black and white workspace offers few distractions, yet looks smart. Keeping storage and accessories in the same palette, or neutrals, makes the whole space look neat, even if it’s not. Image via Pinterest.

Visit our Pinterest board for 70+ black & white spaces, or shop the T&W Black & White Collection. 

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Karen McCartney introduces potter Malcolm Greenwood and his beautifully tactile cup and saucer, today’s Object of Desire.

When you work at Temple & Webster, inspiration can come from anywhere. In this instance it was a couple of us having a cup of coffee in Single Origin Roasters in Sydney’s Surry Hills. They do a great coffee, but the experience was enhanced in its authenticity by drinking it out of a hand-made cup and saucer – no handle necessary.

We found out that the maker was Malcolm Greenwood and we tracked him down to his studio in Sydney’s North Shore. There at the back of the house was a studio and a kiln, with cups, platters and all manner of vessels in all stages of production.

Malcolm, one of Australia’s master potters, has been a practising  for several decades, creating both gallery art pieces alongside commercial production. He has become something of a darling of the café and restaurant trade from hipster joints to high-end eateries. Bentley Bar, Monopole and the aforesaid Single Origin Roasters seek out his work for its organic forms, echoing Japanese pottery, and the density of his glazes and the quality finish.  Not only does he create what goes on the table but he develops new product designs working with retailers, such as his recent ceramics pendant lights, Licht, for Koskela.

But back to the cups and saucers.

They are as perfect as something hand-crafted can be. Just the right size for coffee aficionados, the right weight in your hand, made all the more apparent by the lack of a handle. The tactility of the matt glaze on the exterior and a smooth glaze on the interior makes drinking a pleasure.

While we have many products that we love on Temple & Webster, this one comes triple stamped. We are big fans.

Improve your daily cuppa with Malcolm Greenwood’s unique ceramics.

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Portrait by Maggie Beatrice.

We asked Chloe Brookman, a co-founder with her sister Olivia of beautiful kids brand Olli Ella to answer some common questions about decorating your baby’s first room. Shop Olli Ella’s gorgeous range today.

I’m confused by all the products on the market. What do you think are essentials for my nursery?

My picks from our collection would be the Natural Belly Basket (best toy storage ever!), the Cot Bed Set (all the essentials you need to dress your little one’s cot, and organic too) and a piece or two of wall art (I love them framed or taped to the wall with washi tape).

My nursery is very small.  What should I be thinking about with the floor plan?

Having constraints such as limited space can often lead to the loveliest nurseries because you are forced to really think about the room and consider every corner. With smaller spaces you will want to maximise storage, For example using a chest of drawers as a change table is a great way to save space. Have a fabulous rug – this in my book is a must! It’s amazing how a great rug can completely transform a nursery. Also I love the look of a woven basket under a cot; it’s a great way to store toys and essentials, keeping the rest of the floor uncluttered.

I’d like to avoid the obvious pink or blue in my nursery. What other colours can you recommend?

You can’t go wrong with neutrals and greys – I love layering these with hints of yellow and mint. Another great way to bring more colour into your child’s nursery is with vintage toys; I love weathered reds, blues and yellows on old wooden toys.

How much storage will I need? Do you recommend open or closed storage pieces?

I am a basket addict and always choose open storage over closed. I love seeing various baskets such as our Natural Belly Basket, Teepee Baskets and a vintage bolga basket layered in a room – there’s something very comforting about a handwoven basket to house toys, books and nursery essentials. Of course, it’s an added plus that baskets have a long shelf life and look great in any room in the house.

How can I make sure my nursery still works decoratively when my child is older?

When designing linens, baskets, rugs and furnishings, we always focus on creating products that can grow with your child. If you want a room to grow with your little one, I recommend choosing colour palettes that aren’t distinctly “baby”, avoid cutesy patterns and prints, and most importantly, keep the space as a work-in-progress. Layering, adding and and removing bits as your little one grows and changes is a great way in ensure that the nursery doesn’t get “stuck” and subsequently, outgrown. Remember – have fun – this is a place of play and of dreams, for both of you.

Shop today’s Olli Ella sale event.

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Writer Verity Magdalino kicks off her shoes to explore the easy comfort of beautiful beach style. If you love this look, shop our Beach House Beauty sale event.

You love the scent of fresh sea air, the feel of sand between your toes and harbour an obsession for old fibro beach shacks. You may very well be an arbiter of relaxed coastal chic.

How to know if bright and breezy beach style is your thing:

You love a hammock

Or if you’re honest, any swinging chair that gives you the opportunity for a mid-afternoon siesta. You’re also partial to a floor cushion or two. It may be the hippie in you but there’s something innately appealing about living life horizontally.

Image via Pinterest.

You would sell your mother for a water view

Well, that may be going a little far but you’d definitely consider forgoing many of the conveniences of urban living for waking up with the ocean at your feet every morning.

You don’t mind sand in the house

Essentially you’re quite low maintenance. Windswept hair, crumpled bed linen, the minimum amount of weather-beaten furniture… your interior style is as laid back as you are and you love a sweep-clean floor; timber, stone, even polished concrete, as long as it can handle wet towels and sandy feet it’s ok by you.

Image by Prue Ruscoe for Homelife, via Pinterest.

You have an aversion to glass

Unless it’s in your windows, your skylights or your bi-fold doors, sleek surfaces and sharp corners are a serious no-no in your world of sunshine and comfort. For you, the perfect interior is all about exposed timber beams, chunky whitewashed wood furniture, natural fibres and travertine stone floors. And you don’t mind a little recycling. Spending a crafter-noon fashioning a light shade from a lobster pot is your idea of time well spent.

Image by Dominique Vorillon for Elle Décor via Pinterest.

You think an outdoor room is one of life’s essentials

Having your own deck or covered outdoor space (preferably with built-in barbeque) for your daily sun salutations and evening cocktail with the neighbours is as essential as beach holidays in your book, and simply not negotiable.

Image via House to Home.

Your favourite colour is turquoise

While soft shell white or sandy beige are your go-to tones for everything from floors to bed linen, the ocean is your main source of inspiration when it comes to adding a hint of colour. Turquoise and seafoam are firm favourites but you love the sea in all its moods so a bit of storm grey or barely-there blue doesn’t go astray either.

You’re a natural born beachcomber

You love nothing better than to create vignettes using the flotsam and jetsam from your early morning strolls by the water. Shells, branches, stones, feathers, old fishing rods, fishing nets, driftwood and vintage boat oars… the ocean’s trash is your treasure but you know not to overdo it. True coastal chic is about a hint of the sea, not a sledgehammer.

Image via Pinterest.

You’re into organic

And we don’t mean just your food. Sea grass, straw and jute rugs; cane, rattan and bamboo furniture; raw bleached wood accessories; you love anything in its natural state that brings warmth and texture to your all-white surrounds. If a tree were to grow up through your front wooden deck you’d cut a hole and leave it there.

Image via Remodelista.

When you think holiday you think Bali… or Byron

For you it’s not about whether to take a beach holiday, it’s finding a beach you haven’t experienced yet. You know your Seminyak from your Wategos and you are only truly content with the sound of the sea lulling you to sleep. In your world it’s as close to heaven as you’re likely to get.

For more inspiration, shop our Beach House Beauty sale event or visit our Coastal Style Pinterest board.

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It was a week of big reveals, from kitchen & bathroom details to a great big ice cream secret. Here are our favourites…

We’ve been following LA blogger and stylist Emily Henderson’s home renovation via her blog Style by Emily Henderson. The much-awaited reveal, via Domino Magazine, left us wanting more. Is that gold grout on her kitchen splashback?! Image by Brittany Ambridge.

Another reveal, on The Block last night – this time, the couples’ ensuites. Darren & Dee’s marble hex tiles covered off a couple of trends in one go, but the bench space looked a bit limited. What did you think? See all the pics at The Block website.

Whaaaaa? It turns out you can make your own ice magic with just two ingredients! Thanks Frankie Magazine for pointing us to the recipe, via Gimmesomeoven.

One of our favourite mags, Australian House & Garden, unveiled an interactive digital edition for iPad, available via the App Store. You can even subscribe on your iPad, with 12 issues costing $39.99. The October issue’s outdoor focus includes this rancho relaxo Brisbane verandah by Highgate House.

And finally, The Australian Ballet announced its 2015 season (find out more and book a season package here), including a new production of The Sleeping Beauty in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. Image by Georges Antoni.

Follow us on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for news and daily inspiration. 

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