Announcing Anserai

So I promised an update on what I’m up to these days, ermm about a month ago.  Better late than never, hey?

Anserai is a new online home decor boutique that I’m launching with my good friend Sarah, based out of San Francisco.  We feature collections of textiles, artwork and objets sourced from different countries around the world – Bali, Kenya and Thailand are our first few stops – as well as bringing a little taste of the cultures and stories behind our products.



I have literally hand-picked every item for our first collection from Bali and wider Indonesia, and absolutely LOVED it.  I’ve been learning about the traditional crafts and gorgeous array of products over there for the last two years, as well as creating a network of sourcing contacts, and it’s fantastic to now get to work with them.


Wherever possible we source directly from the artisans themselves, in order to help them grow their businesses and preserve the traditional techniques they use in a world of mass production and machine-made products.

We are also ploughing back a percentage of our profits into charities that operate in the countries we source from, more info on this soon!


We are so excited about the launch (which we are hoping will be early December) and are working like a pair of crazy mofos to get everything wrapped up and live in time!

Pulling consistently 70 hour weeks is making me wish I were back in Bali on the back of this motorbike!!  All good fun though, all good fun (and I, unlike Sarah, do not have a very small baby and full time job, so I’m not sure why I’m complaining exactly).


See here for a little more about our inspiration for the boutique, here for behind the scenes biz-ness, and here for some gratuitous antique Balinese door goodness.  Because when you have your own business you can spend as much time talking about antique Balinese door goodness as you like, mahahaha.  At least until your business partner yells at you.  [Which she hasn’t just to be clear, I seemingly still have some door capital to use up].  Anyhoo, I digress, here’s a pretty picture from Ubud:


Come on over and check out our blog Demand Authenticity, for a little sneak peek of the collection and some behind the scenes in San Francisco and Singapore.

It’s been such a ruddy enormous learning curve for us both but we’re loving it – current projects are the graphic design and website construction, which are coming along swimmingly but taking up rather a large amount of brainpower, which is the reason for my slightly haphazard blog posts lately loves.

anserai blog

Please sign up for our news and updates on the Anserai website and connect with us on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and [err our currently totally unpopulated] Instagram!

More updates to follow soon when we’re live!


{all credits: Anserai}

Events trending: table garlands

I’ve been noticing for a while now more and more event design incorporating absolutely stunning foliage table garlands.  Here’s my round up of my fave inspo shots, ranging from rustic elaborate affairs to more contemporary and sleek shindigs (check out the Louis Ghosts!).

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And here are a few ingredients that would make a picture perfect soirée!

garland tablescape design by elly macdonald design

{clockwise from top left: antique gold lanterns, olive branches, eucalyptus, white peonies, wood-effect flatware, gold-rimmed charger, white dinner plate, black orchid salad plate, rustic dining chair, burlap tablecloth, calligraphy place card, amber glass goblet, amber water glass, white napkins, brass candlesticks, teak serving bowl

Be sure to let me know what you think, and have a happy weekend loves!

Review: Maya Ubud

Time for the next dose of Ubud-goodness today loves!  On my last trip over to Bali I was lucky enough to be invited to spend the morning at Maya Ubud Resort & Spa, a stunning hotel set just outside of central Ubud along the Petanu River valley.

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We stayed here for a couple of nights on our honeymoon in 2012 (see here), and were blown away by the decor and incredible service.  Things have not changed very much in the last two years (in a very good way!).

The design is pretty fabulous: lots of gorgeous textures from hammered copper to deeply veined marble to rustic thatched alang alang.  And although its a larger hotel than we would usually stay at, each villa has its own detached footprint and is very private.

These images are from a deluxe pool villa, but there are a bunch of other types also.

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Another outdoor shower and a gorgeous sunny plunge pool – divine!

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We’d had a little motorbike crashette just before arriving last time so I couldn’t explore the grounds at all on my crutches.  I made up for it on this trip however, gallivanting around the jungle-filled river valley and multiple gorgeous pools.

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It was just after dawn when I arrived and the sun was starting to peek through the canopy – the best time of the day I think.

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maya ubud bali review photos

{credits: Elly MacDonald Design}

Check it out if you’re after somewhere to stay in Ubud!  It’s a drive from the centre of town but so peaceful and quiet as a result, and comes highly recommended!!

Lacquer in Design: from Myanmar to Miles Redd

We were on a little jaunt around Singapore the other weekend when a spot of thunder and lightening and tropical crazy rain hit.  We ducked into the Asian Civilisations Museum for a gander while the sky did its thing, and stumbled across their small but perfectly formed exhibition on lacquerware around Asia (running until November 16, better get your skates on).

We’ve seen lacquered pots and shizzle around the region from time to time (Myanmar and Vietnam are especially famous for the good stuff) but this was the first time I’d seen such incredibly intricate designs, especially the ones incorporating gold leaf and mother of pearl inlay – just beautiful! {Err please excuse the dreadful pics}

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{credits: I’m a little embarrassed to say Elly MacDonald Design}

Anyway it got me to thinking about lacquered walls and their shiny goodness.  I have quite strong opinions on err…most things (no comments, Alistair) but I have to say I am on the fence on this type of wall treatment – sometimes I think it looks so delicious I want to actually eat it, sometimes my eyes get confused by all the reflections and I hate it.

Here are a few monochromes – I’m enamoured with the black #1 and #3 in particular.

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Loving the blues, think these are my faves of the lot – ooh you know it makes a great backdrop for a cheeky gallery wall, interesting and quirky with not so many reflections on display:

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These pair are by Miles Redd, who seems to have a bit of a soft spot for lacquering stuff:

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See here for more goodies courtesy of Mr Redd.

And here are the colourfuls (although now I look more closely, I think that pink one is an imposter, not enough shine to it):

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So what do you think loves?  Do you say YAY or NO NO NO MY GAWD MY EYES, do tell.

Chic in Cape Town

I was looking at some old design mags the other day and came across this cracking Cape Town pad featured in Living Etc a while back.  I remember at the time I took note of it as I’ve done something similar-ish on a smaller scale with the pendant lighting in our home (below left) and it made me regret not adding about 17 more of the blighters to our fixture.

I usually go for more light and bright spaces, but the moody masculine palette and diverse texture range really speak to me here.  Plus the botanicals situation.  Plus the reclaimed wood wall cladding.  Plus she looks like a nice lady.

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But out of all the gorgeousness it was the grey tufted leather sofa that most caught my fancy.  I did a little ode to the Chesterfield (and Queeny) a few years back now but I’ve never really looked into these more modern versions.

So in order to desperately delay for as long as possible the process of figuring out all the costs, both direct and indirect, sunk and opportunity, going into 101 individual home decor pieces (GAH), I have been on a little internet perambulation (hope you’re not reading this Sarah – ha, busted) looking at more of these contemporary tufted beauts.

The one in this home is apparently from a store in Cape Town, but Restoration Hardware’s Soho collection (upholstered / leather) is oh so similar.

soho leather sofa restoration hardware

soho upholstered sofa restoration hardware

Mmm mmm mmmm, I can see one in Chestnut (caramel, duh) leather in my life.

Also check out their Soho daybed – look at it, it’s a monster:

soho daybed restoration hardware


Don’t think it would do well in Asia, it’s about the same size as the average flat over here.  Crumbs.

Ok back to business, accounting beckons.  Wish me luck please…

Singapore Inspiration: Deepavali + Kanthas

It’s the Deepavali festival tomorrow (also see my Diwali post from last year – I wonder why its name changes depending on what country you call home) and I thought I’d make the most of the excuse to post about some delectable Indian decor goodies.

I’ve had a soft spot for kantha quilts for a long long time now.  Whether they’re bright and colourful or have more neutral tones, I love ‘em all!

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Design classic (38) – drop chair

I first researched this beaut by Arne Jacobsen around a year ago (according to Pinterest – I think it was maybe a smidgeroo longer…?), but was dismayed to find that the reason there were no pics online was that it was only produced for a limited run for the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen:

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Here it is with its big sisters: the Swan and Egg chairs, also by Mr Arne and also created for that hotel (and confusingly and rather ugly-ly all in the same shade – how trends change over 56 years!):

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Fast forward 6 months from my original disappointment and Fritz Hansen saved the day by reintroducing it in lots of delicious pastel shades as well as a large dose of leather.  You guessed it, my fave option is the caramel leather….I am nothing if not predictable.

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And here’s a little scheme I’ve dreamt up for a dining space, full of textural natural materials and a big dose of mixed metal BLING.

drop chair interior design scheme

{credit: Elly MacDonald Design // from top left: navy grasscloth, horn frame, brass frames, copper pendants, agate platters, gold-rimmed glassware, gold flatware, caramel leather drop chair, reclaimed wood table, sheepskin bench (not massively practical in a dining room I know, just Scotchguard it within an inch of its life), Oushak rug, parquet floorboards}

Make sure you let me know what you reckon, and have a happy weekend loves!

Colour inspo: teal blue

It’s been a while since my last colour inspo post, and this morning I’m in the mood for a jolt.  Whether you call it peacock, teal or plain ol’ turquoise, this vibrant highly saturated shade of blue/green never fails to leave me with a smile on my face.

First the obligatory inspo pics:

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A couple of gratuitous door deets shots – you know I love me some door deets:

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And here’s what you’re here for, the design goodies – yum!

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What do you think loves?  Could you do with some of this shade in your life?

Review: Viceroy Bali

It’s time for the second instalment of Balinese Hotel Goodness today loves.  On my last trip over I was invited to spend a morning at the Viceroy Bali, and was absolutely blown away by the incredible setting and design.

Literally hanging on one side of the Petanu River valley, it’s a seriously gorgeous plot full of thatch bales, infinity pools and sublime views:

1. Viceroy Hotel Ubud

2. Viceroy Hotel Ubud

3. Viceroy Hotel Ubud

I arrived just before dawn on a pretty cloudy day so my pics don’t really do it justice – here are a few from the hotel’s gallery that show it at its best!  I am particularly all over the multiple little relaxation bales all over the place, divine.

4. Viceroy Hotel Ubud

5. Viceroy Hotel Ubud

6. Viceroy Hotel Ubud

7. Viceroy Hotel Ubud

The main restaurant’s on the LHS below here, not a bad spot for brekky, hey?  And they have a gorgeous spa (RHS) that offers treatments combining Western and Balinese techniques:

8. Viceroy Hotel Ubud

9. Viceroy Hotel Ubud

I spent the morning in a Deluxe Terrace Villa – check out their gallery page for other villa types – and really wish I had not been working, there was far too much relaxation that could have been done!  That ceiling!!!  (Again, some of these are from their nice and sunny gallery page).

10. Viceroy Hotel Ubud

Not this one clearly… I wanted to show the bed/pool situation properly though – I think you could literally stand on the bed and dive into the infinity pool (did not try it personally however, no lawsuits please) :

11. Viceroy Hotel Ubud

12. Viceroy Hotel Ubud

Gorgeous gorgeous bathrooms:

13. Viceroy Hotel Ubud

14. Viceroy Hotel Ubud

15. Viceroy Hotel Ubud

And the pièce de résistance, the outdoors terrace with antique-style Balinese carved door and bale hanging over the gorge below:

16. Viceroy Hotel Ubud

17. Viceroy Hotel Ubud

{credits: Viceroy Bali / Elly MacDonald Design} 

I wasn’t there really long enough to comment on the service or food, but all the people I did deal with were lovely.  And they do a killer latte by the by, particularly at 6am…

Go head on over to the gallery and check it out – a big thumbs up from Caribbean Living!