September shoe shopping: 10 end-of-season investments full of personality

It’s the end of summer and I’m not ready to let it go. This will be my first full winter in Switzerland and I’m afraid it will be freezing snowy never-ending cold. Especially after spending the last 8 winters in Australia…

I’m looking now at shoes: something on sale or under $300, but not too summery, so that it can be worn in the next few months, but still be great for next year.

These are my favourite 10, full of personality and available to buy now online.


KI6? WHO ARE YOU? décolleté, €159 on

11077091go_14_fDolce e Gabbana white pumps with black stars, €257 on

44929432dq_14_fGianbattista Valli, hot pink and silver ballet flats, €124 on


Bill Blass sutton embellished loafers, $194 on


Dsquared2 green décolleté with gold leaf, €230 on


Kate Spade go glitter taxi flats, $278 on


Charlotte Olympia printed high-top sneakers, €233 on



Steve Madden Pampered Pewter Heeled Shoes, $86 on


Ted Baker Savveniers multicolor pumps, £139.99 on


Just Cavalli ankle boots, $159 on

How colour coding will please your eye.

I am a colour coding activist. My husband rolls his eyes at me when I lay our grocery shopping at checkout organising it by colour. And even if I may come across as OCD, I do it whenever I can.

And wherever I can: the lingerie drawer, the glass cabinet in the dining room, my child’s toys in his room… And I would like to convince my readers to try and do it somewhere in the house and see the difference.

Even something as boring as a raw of detergents can be eye-pleasing:

colour coding detergents

Detergents out of reach but not out of sight? Colour code them!

More delicate and pretty glasses deserve to be organised in a gorgeous display cabinet, just like this:

colour coding glass cabinet

Rainbow effect in the glass cabinet.

And last but not least, a classic: colour coding for your library. My library is white so it offers the perfect blank canvas for the colourful books to pop:

colour coding bookshelf

Colours separated by white, a classic library styling.

Give it a try! Any attempt you would like to share?


Colour coding ideas


Kids room styling

kids room styling

This is the room I have most fun styling in the whole house – who would have said that only 3 years ago!

I think kids room must be bright, organised, easy to clean, uncluttered, playful, and relaxing at the same time.

This is what I did with my 2-year-old boy’s room in our Swiss apartment.


The room is rectangular, simply white walls and ceiling, light timber floors, one large window as wide as the whole back wall.

As a basic feng-shui rule recommends, I placed the bed as far as possible from the entrance door, in a corner, so that feet don’t point at the door, and head rests against a solid wall.

Alongside the bed-head wall, I placed an open bookcase for books and toys, and on the opposite wall the 2 metres wide wardrobe.

At the centre of the room there’s a generous space for Oliver to play, on the floor or on his little table that travels often between his room and the living area.

Here’s a sketch of the layout:

kids room layoutCOLOURS

To create a playful but uncluttered space, I opted for white furniture, against which the many many colours of books and toys are even more fun, without creating a visual mess.

I had in mind painting the walls a dark shade of blue-grey, to create more contrast with the furniture, but this past winter has been so wet and depressing I am not so sure (sometimes I forget I’m not in Australia anymore!).

kids bed styling



I chose an open bookshelf so that we could have a beautiful display of colourful toys and books, which are the soul of the room.

Our white lacquered IKEA bookshelf is divided into 16 cubes, and for each I picked a theme or a main colour. In this simple way, objects are grouped nicely and look even more attracting to kids: we have the vehicles cube, the animals cube, the blue books cube, the white books cube, the soft toys cube, the timber toys cube…

You can do this with floating shelves as well, but I find these cubes are easier to keep clean and tidy.

kids bookshelf styling



I am a recently converted to to the Mari Kondo method of home (life?) organising. It gives me such a sense of calm and satisfaction when I see all the clothes almost-perfectly rolled, aligned, all visible at the same time for a conscious and effective choose of outfit!

If you haven’t read the book, get it here, if like me you’ve got no patience and just wanna now NOW, search for Mari Kondo interviews, videos, articles, and Pinterest pins.

I find the not very deep drawers of IKEA wardrobes are perfect for storing clothes, and I organise my boy’s neatly among 4 sections:

  1. underwear, sleepwear, swimwear
  2. pants, tops and sweaters
  3. bed linen and bibs
  4. larger blankets and towels

wardrobe organising

Finally, I gave a warm, personal touch by hanging or displaying handmade timber items that were carved or painted by friends, or that I bought at the fleas markets.

Hand-painted timber keepsake box and hard-carved timber toys

Hand-painted timber keepsake box and hard-carved timber toys


Italian nursery rhyme painted on a timber star

Italian nursery rhyme painted on a timber star


Timber stars 1 metre wide, with name bunting (one is for baby coming in a few months!)

Timber stars 1 metre wide, with name bunting (one is for baby coming in a few months!)




kids room styling ideas

Desperate styling of a dining bar

tulips and gustavo fring

I was living with my husband in a temporary accommodation during the months of my renovation. It was a dark, small, dusty studio apartment in a complex of 24, directly on a busy intersection.

What we used as a dining table was a wall shelf, 30cm deep. That was the “table” of the apartment (I should really say of the room). Eating was hilarious: we were sitting on high chairs, side by side, with just enough room in front of us for a plate each, and when bending slightly forward to eat, we almost hit the wall. Staring at the wall was inevitable, as looking at each other was too uncomfortable. Not to mention catching a glimpse of the tv, which required turning our heads by 180 degrees.

That’s why I thought I had to come up with something to save

as ironic as the whole dining situation we had to face every evening.

I decided to hang a print of Gustavo Fring, the amazing double-faced character from the HBO series Breaking Bad, and placed a huge vase of red tulips in front of it. It reminds me of the offerings of flowers in front of sacred images in a church – but between a saint and Gustavo Fring, the distance could not be bigger!

Contemporary bathroom styling

In this bathroom with dark wall and floor tiles (concrete look, chocolate colour), the white vanity is the stand-out piece and where the attention focuses.

I styled it in three ways.

ONE, objects are grouped at both sides of the basin. On one side perfumes and lotions, displayed on a mirrored tray, on the other side a bunch of white freesias and a potted orchid (not in bloom at the moment, just green leaves).

Bathroom styling.

Bathroom styling.

TWO, I added some colour and a provincial touch grouping lavender flowers in a manson jar, and leaving just the orchid leaves on the other side.

Bathroom styling

Bathroom styling, with lavender.

THREE, This is a more minimal styling, not so practical for everyday use of the bathroom. It’s good for a guest bathroom or for putting a property on the market. I used white Singapore orchids in a Murano glass vase, a small jar with volcanic pebbles, and a beautiful big candle in the shape of a horse chess piece (by Seletti). I hung a long Indian tassel to the door handle to add personality.

Bathroom styling.

Bathroom styling.

Farewell Australia garden party

This farewell party was intimate and much heart-felt.

I wanted the warmth of the sentiment to come through the ambience as well, so I chose natural colours and textures like timber, straw, greenery, clay pots, and a rustic wire basket.

Farewell garden party buffet.

Farewell garden party buffet.

A thank you note was handwritten for each guest on brown recycled paper, and was hanging on a rope like clothes to dry.

Thank you notes for all the guests

Thank you notes for all the guests

The rest of the patio and garden was simply decorated with neutral colours.

garden party sitting area

garden party sitting area

Academy Awards 2014 – My Oscars fashion

The Oscars night is more of an Oscars morning, if you live in Australia.

Hollywood’s Sunday night is Sydney’s Monday morning, so the best you can do is to keep an eye on a website covering the event: the arrivals on the red carpet, the show, and the winners. Unless, of course, you plan on catching the replay on TV, in which case you need to stay away from it all.

And then there’s the fashion. It’s the moment for designers and stylists to shine. Who cares about the actors, when we can comment on every single choice of outfit like a panel of experts!

Well, it’s easy to judge somebody else’s job, but how would I go?

Find here the two looks I’ve created for the night. And don’t even worry about the price tags:  when it’s for the Oscars, it’s all borrowed!


Best Female Actress in a Leading Role:

Oscars outfit in black and gold by StylingNotes

Aurelie Bidermann gold cuff bracelet; Jason Wu gown; Giuseppe Zanotti heels; Hedone Romane earrings.



Best Female Actress in a Supporting Role:

Oscars look red and gold by StylingNotes

Kennet Jay Lane ring; Bottega Veneta clutch; Gianbattista Valli gown, Casadei heels.