A Wonderful Stay at Gaia Retreat and Spa

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I was lucky enough to spend four blissful days at Gaia Retreat and Spa in the Byron Bay hinterland in Northern NSW last week. What a treat! I really felt spoilt and pampered, and had a good dose of much-needed TLC. Plus it’s a great place to reflect on life, change bad habits or start new ones.

I was lucky enough to meet an old, great friend there whom I don’t get to see very often, but many people were there on their own for some down-time or a detox, and there were a few couples too.

From the minute you walk through the door, the place feels calm and serene, yet super-friendly and welcoming. The staff are lovely, the food amazing (and healthy!), and the decor and natural surroundings are beautiful.

You can do as much or as little as you like, either relaxing in one of the many indoor or outdoor daybeds and sofas around the property, or choosing something more adventurous. There’s yoga every morning at 7.30am ( a respectable hour!), a swimming pool, tennis court, bush walking, cycling, and exercise classes if you feel inclined. Every day the timetable changes, with classes ranging from cooking to meditation to Tai Chi.

There’s also the wonderful day spa, with treatments such as massage, body scrub, pedicure, but also some more unusual ones like esoteric healing.

The overall decor and ambience is very much relaxed Balinese, but furnishings are kept updated, and feel fresh and new.

The grounds are stunning, with lots of resident lizards, birds and frogs, and the views around the 25-acre property are really to-die-for.

The rooms are well-furnished and equipped, with comfortable beds and a great selection of teas. We had the Layana suite (entry point) but there are more deluxe and expensive options, even one room with it’s own plunge pool. We didn’t feel the need since we were only in our room to sleep anyway.

Now, the food…..some of it comes from their own vegetable and herb garden, resplendent with papayas and mangoes, but a lot comes from the local area, mostly organic of course. The food is prepared with such love and care – all those nutrients and vitamins look and taste absolutely wonderful! Breakfast consisted of platters of smoked salmon, avocado, tomatoes, fruit, plus a gluten-free porridge made with millet, amaranth, quinoa and brown rice, each day with a different flavour added such as coconut and fig. There was also a cooked option, such as frittata or poached eggs.

There is a lovely little tea station for all-day tea-drinking, and freshly made gluten free muffins.

Lunch was usually a salad – one example was roast pumpkin, beetroot, avocado, green beans, pecans, dill, sheep’s feta, rocket and cranberries – what a combination!

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Dinner was always three courses, with the starter being something like scallops or soup, the main fish or chicken with beautifully prepared vegetables, and dessert being a gluten-free cake with yoghurt or chocolate mousse. Speaking of which, they have the most amazing recipe for chocolate mousse with avocado, see this recipe here http://www.kareninge.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=127:mousse&catid=9:snacks-a-deserts&Itemid=30

Most of the food is gluten, diary and red meat free, and they cater to any special dietary requirements.
I highly recommend Gaia to anyone and everyone – whether it be for R&R, a detox, de-stress, get fit, or just to treat yourself and feel spoilt. Even if you’re not a lie-around-reading-your-book type of person, you’ll never feel bored, I guarantee!

www.gaiaretreat.com.au


Kate Unsworth

Yellow Front Door  

Kitchen Series – style and design

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Last year I wrote a kitchen design series on Houzz Australia – Traditional, French Provincial, Mid-century Modern, Tropical, Industrial and Classic.

If you’re planning on renovating your kitchen, or just love drooling over gorgeous kitchen pics, you must take a read. You’ll also learn the key design elements of each style, and how to create the look in your own home.

Traditional http://www.houzz.com.au/ideabooks/28886977/list/12-essential-ingredients-for-a-traditional-kitchen

French Provincial http://www.houzz.com.au/ideabooks/30506442/list/12-essential-ingredients-for-a-french-provincial-kitchen

Mid-century Modern http://www.houzz.com.au/ideabooks/29300312/list/mid-century-modern-kitchens-12-key-design-elements

Tropical http://www.houzz.com.au/ideabooks/31031965/list/tropical-kitchens-12-key-design-elements

Industrial http://www.houzz.com.au/ideabooks/31201094/list/12-essential-ingredients-for-an-industrial-kitchen

Classic http://www.houzz.com.au/ideabooks/29816964/list/12-essential-ingredients-for-a-classic-hamptons-style-kitchen

Kate Unsworth

Yellow Front Door

Life Instyle Sydney 2015

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There’s nothing like a trade show to inspire and create desire! Keeping our finger on the design pulse, Yellow Front Door attended Life Instyle at the Horden Pavilion in Sydney last week and it was fabulous – a culmination of so many talented and inspiring designers, creators, artists and small business owners. Stalls showcased products ranging from homewares and furniture to fashion, jewellery and kids stuff.

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It ran for 4 days from 19th – 22nd February, and was a feast for the senses with vibrant colours, new designs, and quirky and original offerings. I was checking out any new and different products, and seeing what might fit the Yellow Front Door aesthetic. Below are some of my favourites from the day.

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Above: Eye-catching and original artworks from “I Ended up Here” – both in vibrant colours and a new range in sophisticated coppery tones.

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Above: Cute woven plastic plant pots that double as outdoor stools, plus wonderful hanging plants, from “Mister Moss”

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Above: Wonderful Scandinavian products from “Normann Copenhagen” and “Scandinavian Design Centre” – always on the look out for my own home!

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Above: Beautiful floral bed linen and cushions from “Mrs Darcy”

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Above: Fabulous eco-friendly and unbreakable kitchenware in bamboo from “Impact”

Trends are constantly changing when it comes to colour, shape, form, texture and material. As the owner of a homewares store, it’s important to always be on the look out for products new to the market, and to also be aware of but not governed by the latest trends.

At Yellow Front Door we carry small quantities of each product so that when they sell out we can either buy more or switch to different products depending on trends and demand.

Stunning Trina Turk Outdoor Cushions

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These fabulous outdoor cushions are designed by US fashion designer Trina Turk, and are not for wallflowers! The designs are graphic and bold, yet also delicately detailed and intricate. Colours are on-trend yellow, stone and charcoal, and the material is weather-resistant acrylic. Trina Turk is known for her wonderfully creative and vibrant catwalk designs, but moved into outdoor fabrics in collaboration with US fabric house Schumacher. Her designs are just as at home beside the pool or on the deck as they are on the catwalk.

Tangier and cream on chair

Tangier outdoor cushion at front with Cream outdoor cushion at back

Jax on chair

Jax outdoor cushion

You can buy these outdoor cushions online at Yellow Front Door – and we offer free delivery Australia-wide. Contact us for shipping prices to other countries.

New Outdoor Cushions at Yellow Front Door

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We are excited to introduce a new range of outdoor cushions in our own Yellow Front Door label! They are made from solution-dyed acrylic so are especially long lasting and durable.

Solution-dyed acrylic has a strong woven construction and flurocarbon finish which makes the material is breathable and light-weight. It’s also resistant to water, mould, mildew, stains, and fading.

The sizes are 48cm x 48cm and there are three colours available – Deep Khaki, Beige and Grey – which work in beautifully on their own or with other colourful, patterned designs.

Khaki outdoor cushion cover on chair

Khaki outdoor cushion cover

Grey outdoor cushion cover

Grey outdoor cushion cover

Tangier and cream on chair

Cream and Tangier outdoor cushions on chair

Visit Yellow Front Door to buy these fabulous outdoor cushions and enjoy free delivery.

New Artworks by Ylva Skarp at Yellow Front Door

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We love Swedish calligrapher Ylva Skarp’s work so much that we have sourced some new, beautiful pieces for Yellow Front Door.

The great thing about Ylva’s work is that they all look wonderful when hung together on a wall, especially if you’re after a monochromatic black and white palette for your home.

Below: She brings letters to life with “Be yourself everyone else is already taken” $59 delivered.

Perfect for a nursery or children’s room is this delightful alphabet print in pink, apricot and black, on white $59 delivered

 

While “It’s Cool to be Kind” makes a real statement. $49 delivered

Check out Ylva’s work and buy her artworks online at Yellow Front Door. Prices included free delivery Australia-wide, or contact us form overseas for shipping prices.

Houzz Article – Creating the Perfect Unisex Playroom

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Have you ever struggled with creating the perfect kids room or playroom for both your son and daughter? Read on for design tips and tricks from Yellow Front Door on mastering this in your own home.

http://www.houzz.com.au/ideabooks/34026587/list/clever-kids-rooms-tried-and-trusted-tips-for-a-unisex-playroom

If you have both boys and girls, creating a joint playroom that keeps them both happy can be a challenge. A playroom should encourage children to relax, think, play and get creative, and be a place they want to take their friends. This can be difficult if boys and girls have different ideas about play, games, toys and colours. But sticking to these simple design ideas regarding choice of colour, creating different zones, and providing plentiful storage will help you to create a space they both love to be in.

Latest Houzz Article – Cafe Culture at Home

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Brew a cup of coffee and take a read of my latest Yellow Front Door article on Houzz Australia. It’s all about creating the perfect cafe look and feel in your own home (sorry, barista not included!)
Sneak peek here:

I’m sure I’m not the only one who loves heading down to my favourite local café on the weekend – partly for the food and company, but also seeking that cool café decor, buzz and vibe. People have loved gathering at public places (hence the word ‘pub’) for centuries, but we Australians seem to have made the local café our ‘pub’.

Cafés not only incorporate great design ideas, but have an ambience that’s totally conducive to eating, drinking, chatting, reading and just chilling. Australian cafés often take their cue from recycled or up-cycled materials, hard-wearing finishes, and retro pieces to bring about a warm, cosy and inviting atmosphere. Wouldn’t you love to create a café look and feel in your home? Choose rustic materials, salvaged pieces and industrial furniture to achieve this welcoming and eclectic look. Then add some knockout appliances, cool lighting, open shelves and fun signage. Here are some additions to create an edgy yet inviting space that your family and friends will want to hang out in for hours.

Yellow Front Door artworks featured on Braggables!

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Yellow Front Door is extremely pleased that awesome trend-spotting website Braggables has featured our artworks on their “Get the Look” page. This page showcases fabulous ideas for a classic, timeless and relaxed dining room, including wallpaper, art, industrial dining table and chairs, and West Elm accessories.

Read on www.braggables.com.au/look-relaxed-timeless-dining-room-area/

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Braggables is all about finding and bragging about new desirable fashion, interiors, design and lifestyle products that would be on anyone’s wish list.

Buy Yellow Front Door’s artworks here www.yellowfrontdoor.com.au/wallartonline/

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