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Archives for category: sensual living

One of the ways we’ve made Bushy Summers so special, is the cosy bathroom. We think that this will tempt you to stay a day or two longer.

Every detail in this room, from the brass taps and wall sconces to the pressed aluminium walls, bath towels and toiletries were chosen with love. You can completely relax in the bath tub and watch the tree tops slowly sway backwards and forwards against the sky. Such a beautiful way to relax and let your imagination wander.

Here’s how we made the Bushy Summers bathroom!

We created an entrance from the original bathroom into the shed which was attached to the shack. The shed gave us enough space to create a new bathroom. Trevor a local builder gave us a hand.

Of course, there’s views of the bay!

We insulated the room and then covered the walls and ceiling with marine ply before completely waterproofing it! Matthew being the main man.

From the minute we set eyes on those doors we wanted them @mrwolf_shop. They had to be extended at the bottom to fit the doorway. Matthew using his expertise from years of theatre experience matched them brilliantly!

They add a touch of the exotic and a splash of colour reminiscent of Greece!

Look at this beautiful old cast-iron bath! We also loved the original tin used on the ceiling of the kitchen and wanted to replicate that look in other areas of the shack. Matthew clad the whole bathroom, walls and ceiling in sheets of pressed aluminium.

He then painted the silver aluminium white to maximise the light in the room and for the fixtures we mixed garden tap components. We found the brass wall sconces in Burnie and the tin sink in the shed which we had recoated.

Relax and unwind…

… and enjoy the peace and quiet at Bushy Summers!

Tempted yet? Come see for yourself!

Book your stay! 

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Photography Claire Lloyd

Over the last year or so we’ve embarked on another project, renovating an old miner’s shack on Lettes Bay in Tasmania into a luxurious waterfront retreat – all because of a ceramic bowl.

Zsolt Faludi is a ceramicist who lives and works in Tasmania, and I was keen to interview him, so Matthew and I travelled to the Wild West Coast, where art wasn’t the only thing we fell head over heels for.

Standing on the shores of beautiful Lettes Bay, I turned to Matthew and asked, “what do we have to do to have a place around here?” Turns out, not too much, as Matthew managed to find a bloke with a cabin to sell, and it wasn’t long before we had a new project on our hands. And now, it’s time to share it with you.

Welcome to, Bushy Summers! (Book here!)


Photo by Glenn Mason

Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing the process of how we restored this bayside hideaway into a nurturing space. Relax, unwind and enjoy as we show you around!

We did much of the work ourselves, guided by a brilliant local builder, and now friend, Trevor, who helped us rebuild and restore this cosy cabin.

When we bought the shack it was cream with blue trims around the windows. The door was blue too.

We had to strengthen the foundations which meant some serious digging, followed by months of stripping back the internals, insulating walls, cladding with wood and aluminium sheeting, and totally rewiring and plumbing too.

This shed was the original outside dunny. It was full of bits and pieces, some gems like the old enamelled sink which was re-coated and integrated into our bathroom.

Another great find from the shed … very useful indeed!

Whilst Matthew climbed up and down ladders for months on end, the spring became summer, fern fronds slowly unfolded and the pretty pink blossom was replaced by new season apples.

We decided on the colour midnight sky for the exterior.

Matthew cut out a handmade stencil and painted our shack number, 61, on it.

The outside of the shack has come together beautifully! We’re incredibly proud of it, and can’t wait to share it with you!

Love, Claire x

Book your stay! 

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram too!

Photography Claire Lloyd


These views await you!

 

Wow! Here we all are in a rather surreal situation.
Where are you?
Are you where you expected to be? I know I’m not.
At this time of the year I would normally be back in Lesvos, My Greek Island Home, watching blossom decorate the branches of fruit trees and spring flowers carpet the fields.
But I’m not, I’m on the other side of the world in Sydney, while my partner, Matthew is at our home in Greece.
Life can change in an instant and it has!

This is my small terrace in Lesvos with rescue dog, Trixie. From here I have views across the village rooftops and out to the Aegean Sea. Photo by Carla Coulson

The question is, where is home?
I often think about this and even more so over the last few weeks.
For me home is somewhere I feel safe and secure, a place where I can relax, create and be myself.
Is home just one place?
For me the answer is no. I love creating spaces that nurture me, these spaces are in different places and all these places feel like HOME. I am very happy going from one to the other enjoying their individuality, taking joy from each of them.
Everyone, however, is different, thankfully, and for some people that would not feel like HOME at all.
It is really important to make yourself feel nurtured, particularly while everything is so unsettling.
Take a look at your home does it nurture you? Are you surrounded by what you love?
Is it a place where you can create and does it make you feel safe?
Your home is you so treat yourself well, wherever you find yourself look for peace within, enjoy some solitude, connect with friends, take things slowly and keep a sense of humour.
Here are some photos of where I normally am at this time of year ENJOY X


A little peak into our sitting room. Matthew found this old door at the tip and we couldn’t resist white washing it and bringing it inside. To us its a piece of art. Photo Claire Lloyd

Laying the table is always a pleasure. There are beautiful flowers in our garden and I pick these regularly. There is always the village garden too. When what I’m looking for isn’t at hand in our little garden there is something to be picked from around the village. Photo Claire Lloyd


I just love looking out from our table, across the village. You can certainly get a great view of the comings and goings in the village. Paintings are a big part of our home. This beauty is by Matthew Usmar Lauder Photo Claire Lloyd


We decided to use turquoise on the shutters and doors when we renovated the house. This was one of colour that the origional owners used in their home. It is a lovely reminder of the original home. It is also a colour that pings in the Greek sunshine. Making it a happy colour. Photo Claire Lloyd

Imagine yourself staying in an authentic village on a Greek island, surrounded by the beauty of nature and swimming in the blue Aegean. Then add to that the JOY of tapping into your creative self………………… is this sounding inviting? YOU are INVITED!

The Aegean Sea, Lesvos photographed by Claire Lloyd

One of the things that we are rarely told in life, is that we are creators. We may hear that we are creative but rarely that we are creators and our lives are a form of art and the best way to create them is with joy and passion.

Most of us pass our lives not understanding what our true life’s desires are how to ignite that joy and passion within us.

You are invited  you to slow down and switch off, do a stock-take on how far you have actually come and then to set sail in your new direction and consciously create the next part of your life through the glorious vehicle of art and awakening your six senses.

In this special retreat on the island of Lesvos, four friends want to give you the greatest gift we can give you, that is to connect you to your passion. We want to inspire and guide you to find what brings you JOY, connect you to your passion and the desire’s in your heart and to show you that everybody is creative (including you)

Artist Matthew Usmar Walkswithdogs in the Lesvos landscape with his trusty assistants, Styx and Trixie  photographed by Claire Lloyd

Our wish is that you will be inspired, refreshed and revived and go home with JOY in your heart for how good the next part of your life can be, a journal full of notes, an art book full of beauty, and unique travel memories to last a lifetime.You will know and believe you are creative, had the chance to sit front row in the lives of others, now a new tribe of creative souls and that you have the ability to create the life you desire.

Me photographed by Carla Coulson Delicious velvet cushions from our home photographed by Claire Lloyd

As long-time residents of Lesvos Matthew and I offer an invitation to share our lives in a beautiful authentic Greek village where community is paramount.  We are opening our home, our hearts, the places welove and our creativity to give you a true insight into the reality of living creatively in every sense.

Together with Carla Coulson and her hubby, Francesco Cataldi the four of us combine our expertise as artists, photographers, creators of beautiful spaces, naturopath and life coach to help you uncover your deep desires, embrace them and how your passion and creativity can drive the next part of your life. The goal is JOY!

Our home where we love to entertain  photographed by Claire Lloyd

We invite you to slow down and switch off, do a stock-take on how far you have actually come and then to set sail in your new direction and consciously create the next part of your life through the glorious vehicle of art and awakening your six senses.

Each day will be a mix of focus sessions to inspire and motivate you, art lessons, healthy delicious local food, yoga or swimming, walks, boat trips and long table lunches in our favourite tavernas and at our home. There will be breathing and grounding techniques to assist you to access your intuition and downtime to reflect on our discussions, about your path, practice your new found love of drawing and art. The evenings will be spent together around a table reflecting on the day, enjoying local food and the thing the Greeks do so well, Kephi (enjoying life in the moment). Oh, and did we mention there will be Greek dancing!

Our island world  photographed by Claire Lloyd  Francesco Cataldi  giving it his all photographed by Carla Coulson

Yoga will be taught by an experienced yoga practitioner Marjaana Makela, who studied under Angela farmer, art lessons will be led by Matthew Usmar Walkswithdogs and other focus sessions will be shared between Carla Coulson, and Francesco Cataldi and me.

It’s not about going faster, achieving things that no longer count, it’s about going slower, really hearing the words of a conversation or birdsong, feeling what your gut is truly saying, tasting food like it’s the first time you have ever eaten and being revived and refreshed by a dip in the Aegean’s transparent waters. It’s about putting pen to paper or trying your first painting and learning to cut through the noise to find out what you really want.

A little peek inside our guesthouse photography Claire Lloyd and Carla Coulson

Claire Lloyd creator of nurturing spaces and photographer, artist Matthew Usmar Walkswithdogs, Naturopath Francesco Cataldi and photographer and life coach Carla Coulson, all know about changing their lives to continue to go after what is in their hearts. It’s their connection to joy, creativity and their true life’s desires that continue to drive and create the lives they wish for.

Carla Coulson looking beautiful in white

5 DAILY FOCUS SESSIONS:

CREATIVITYYou are born a creator! Creativity is not an exclusive club, you don’t need a badge or to be born into a special family. Creativity opens your heart to new experiences, people, relationships and self-esteem. It connects you to a passionate part of your soul with a feeling akin to love. All of us are creative souls and when we allow our creativity we get access to a part of ourselves that we have kept locked away. We encourage, inspire and challenge you to live a creative life and show you how and what is holding you back from living a more creative life.

YOUR LIFE’S DESIRES – Uncover and fine tune the desires in your heart and make them a big YES. We take stock of where you are in life, challenge you to think bigger and remember your dreams. We show you how to connect your desires to passion so that it will drive the next chapter of your life.

CONSCIOUS LIVINGWe let you in on the secret that allows us to continually go after our dreams and make them our reality. It’s our thoughts and beliefs that hold us back from our dreams and we show you how you can transform them and start heading in the direction of your true desires. We show you how we tap into our intuition to make better life decisions and how to direct our energy.

WELLBEING – Our bodies are the temples that house our souls!!! When you connect your mind, body and spirit you embrace true well-being. Saying yes to a bigger life full of desires means embracing your health. When you nurture your well-being you empower your soul, confidence, and self-belief.  We touch on diet, exercise, breath, the nervous system, and the importance of self-care all with joy and a new way of looking at it. 

JOY – Imagine if you could get more of what you want in life by having more fun and joy! Hard work will get you so far but joy, beauty and pleasure will fast-track it. Joy is a state of being. When you feel joy, you are present, physically and emotionally.  When you tap into joy you are at one with yourself and source energy. We show you how to embrace, beauty, pleasure in your daily life to being you more joy.

 

There is always something delicious to eat photography Claire Lloyd and photograph of me by Carla Coulson

We are Longing to share our Lesvos and our JOY with you

BIG LOVE ClaireXX

For more information and to book go to Carla’s site HERE 

 

 

 

 

I have been privileged to work with a lot of incredibly talented people over the years. These people have been instrumental in the expansion of my own creativity.

I am constantly inspired by my women friends. There seems to be no end to their creativity and warmth of their friendship, I look upon them as my family.

One of these fabulous woman is Isabel Ettedgui.

Isabel and I go back a long way. We first worked together on ‘The World of Interiors’ magazine. After moving on from the magazine we continued working together on various projects including CONNOLLY 

In the late 1980’s Isabel became involved with the Connolly family. She worked with them to design a chair for Joseph. JOSEPH ETTEDGUI was London’s most influential fashion retailer. Isabel and Joseph made a brilliant creative team, not only did they continue to work together on Connolly but they went on to marry. Sadly in 2010 after 20 years of marriage Joseph died and Isabel put Connolly on hold for a while.

Last November Isabel re launched the Connolly brand, a brand she has known for the last 30 years. She found a house in Mayfair’s Clifford street and put every ounce of herself into creating an amazing shop with a home on top, a massive undertaking. She pulled together a team, developed new products and designed an exciting luxury retail space that feels like a home.

What she has created is more than impressive. Everything about the shop and the merchandise in it is pure quality. Her attention to detail is exceptional and her and her staff are like a small family.

The experience is like shopping in someone’s home, it could not be any better.

To say I am proud of my friend is an understatement.

I have loved photographing the Connolly products, I am drawn to the detail and quality of every piece.

Read below what Isabel says when I asked her some questions about her new project CONNOLLY

connolly layout My favourite knits

connolly layout2 The softest leather

connolly layout3 I love this cuff detail

connolly layout4 Babette the company mascot fits in perfectly with brand Connolly

When and how did you become aware of the brand Connolly?

It was in late 1980s when I worked with the Connolly family on designing a chair for Joseph.

Can you give us a bit of info on the company and how you were inspired to become involved?

Established in 1878. I think I fell in love with the Soul of Connolly and the idea of a fourth-generation family business. And a great family. The essence of Connolly is the classic motor racing and touring dream, coupled with a strong sense of British know how and craft in the production of the finished leather that graced the seats of the first Rolls Royce, Bentley, Jaguar, Aston Martin and is still found by special request, on Ferrari Jaguar Alfa Romeo and the top classic cars. As well as amongst other notable institutions and icons like the seats of the Houses of Parliament, the desks of the British Library, the Eames chair, Concorde, the Coronation coaches of the Royal Family, to Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and the limited-edition Jaguar E type.
What has been your biggest challenge in relaunching the brand and developing its new premises?
Apart from planners and finance it has been trusting my instinct and having faith that we could make it happen.

You have a real talent in surrounding yourself with a great team. You clearly understand the importance of those people who to me feel like family. Can you tell me a little about how you go about it?

I like working with people who I have worked with before and who I trust and then add new blood in younger members who bring new ideas and different disciplines – it’s a bit like a wardrobe – strong staples and some new looks and accents. I also think women entrepreneurs prefer to create a work team family – with the same dynamics and obviously, the same problems – but it just seems to lend itself to a stronger sense of commitment and loyalty.

What has been the brands biggest achievement to date?

Opening!

You certainly know about luxury; how do you see your luxury brand developing in the next 5 years?

Honestly, I know about quality and value not luxury and I hope our customers can feel that – it’s important that customers are coming back showing their Connolly pieces from twenty years ago with pride and love. I am building the brand the old-fashioned way—relying on a close network of friends, focusing on consistent design language, high-quality products, and a strong, cohesive narrative, which takes time and deep pockets and patience. I think another two stand-alone shops maybe in Japan and somewhere by the sea… and find brilliant retail partners that know their own clientele extremely well and can and want to introduce them to Connolly in their stores.

For the most divine shopping experience visit Connolly England 4 Clifford Street London, W1S 2LG website HERE

Photography Claire Lloyd 

connolly layout6 Chunky rugged knits

connolly layout7 Wrap up in the softest cashmere

connolly layout8 Connolly shows us not just quality but also a sophisticated colour palette

connolly layout9 Perfect stripes

connolly layout10 Beautifully finished products

 

 

I am lucky to have met so many wonderful like-minded and creative people on my journey through life, people who inspire me. It’s a real privilege to be the author of two books, Sensual Living published by Conran Octopus and My Greek Island Home by published by Penguin Lantern and Clearview Books. Working on these books has led to my meeting some really fab people.Recently I met author Karen McCartney. Her latest book published by Julie Gibbs at Penguin Lantern is called Superhouse; it showcases houses that have a strong connection with nature. I met with Karen for lunch and she told me about the house her and her husband, David built The Dangar Island House, on the Hawkesbury River. I immediately too a look at the website http://www.thedangarislandhouse.com and could not wait to book in. Matthew and I were in need of a few days away from our hectic Sydney schedule and this was the perfect retreat. The house was stunning, large, simple and light, nestled high up in the trees surrounded by gums, ferns and native plants. It was like living in a tree house. There was no need for music as we were serenaded by continuous birdsong. The views of the water and the sunrise were stunning. We connected with nature immediately. Matthew and I spent our time drawing, painting, reading and exploring this small island, a perfect mini holiday. Thank you Karen and David for the inspiration and for sharing your beautiful retreat with us. We came back with renewed creativity and completely invigorated. I hope you enjoy some details from inside the house that caught my eye. Happy 2015!

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