My Special Escape

It’s been a few years since my last blog. Coming out of a bad relationship and then a six month fling with a Frenchman that turned out had his boots in many a bedroom has taken its toll. So I went into hibernation. Looking back a lot of blessings have come to fruition as a result. I finished my Interior Design Diploma, created a beautiful escape and won an award. We all need time out but how many actually take it. And when we do why does guilt kick in? It’s a bizarre thing guilt. Is it a sin to nuture oneself, to put yourself first? Hmmm or is it ingrained in us from society? Well for whatever reason it does make it hard to just take that time for you and only you.

I decided to create a special escape for myself in my barn. I needed my very own space to be alone and spend time with me. It started as an experiement as an office, then went to a whole new level, becoming a much larger project. A dream really. One I have had on my vision board forever. A parisian boudoir. If I can’t live in Paris (yet) then I will pretend here in Beach Haven.

The planning was first. Lots of internet searching for the right materials. Finding the right person to build it and doing it in a budget.

I was so excited when it started to take form. My kids helped me paint it. We had a lot of fun creating it and now all share it for a place to escape. It became my boudoir. The office will have to come later 🙂

I can remember my first night in my beautiful boudoir. The feelings of guilt that I wasn’t in the house with my kids. I was only 4 meters away but it felt like I had deserted them. They are well and truly old enough and to be honest they were very happy to have the house to themselves. But I as a mother felt guilty. Isn’t it funny how we are so attached, when really it’s very good for all of us. They have their independence and I have have my space. I am over the guilt now of course and love my sanctuary.

The last thing I did was decide to enter into the New Zealand House and Garden Interior of The Year Awards.

I was so excited to get into the finals, not for a second thinking I would win. I went to the awards with my two children (the helpers of my room) and won The Best Bedroom of The Year!

The colour is Kristen Pink by British Paints. The beautiful cornices and ceiling roses are from Seddon’s in Dunedin. They have an amazing range of stunning plaster works.

If you would like me to design your beautiful boudoir feel free to contact me.

If you need a good builder, electrician and tiler contact Rowan Alexander on 021 08253425.

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Ever wondered why you are drawn to certain colours or why you suddenly
need to repaint your living room as the colour  no longer resonates
with you.

I have been doing some research as to why this happens. It’s
interesting looking back to when I have craved certain colours how it
was an indication of where I was at during that time.

Here are some colour meanings …

Red is the colour of fire. It is the colour of the burning, radiant
sun, and of life itself. Both love and anger, joy and wrath are
associated with this colour. Red is the color with the greatest power
of penetration and will strongly stimulate the flow of blood. It is
associated with sex and the first chakra in Eastern spiritual
traditions. Red makes lazy people more active. Phlegmatic children may
be helped by having them do their homework under red light.

Orange is a mixture of red and yellow and is the colour of joy and
happiness. It is indicated in cases of discontentment, pessimism,
psychosis, depression and fear. However, orange should be alternated
with blue when treating people suffering from fear. Short exposure to
orange light in the morning will prove to be of help to people who are
chronically tired at this time of day. Orange will increase a sense of
ambition and promote warm-heartedness. It has a brightening and
cheering effect and will lend strength and joy to people who feel
disinclined to work.

Yellow symbolizes the sun standing at its zenith, and is one of the
hot colours. It promotes digestion, strengthens the nerves, stimulates
the stomach and has a brightening and cheering effect in general. All
diseases of the digestive tract should be treated with the colour
yellow. People who are discontent show a change of facial expression
when exposed to yellow light.

Green is the most common color in nature and is regarded as being a
neutral factor. It is indicated for bronchial catarrh, whooping cough
and inflammations of the joints (in alternation with blue, in the
latter case). All chronic diseases respond well to the intermittent
use of green light and precision work can be done better under it. It
has a balancing effect and will promote feelings of contentment and
tranquility. Green is also sedative, soothing and relaxing in its
effect. It is one of the strongest colors, along with it’s complement
Red, in the effect it has being looked at, taken in through the eyes.

Blue – This is the colour of peace and infinity. It is regarded of
being a cold colour, and has a relaxing effect. Blue is the color of
the pituitary gland and the endocrine system. All diseases involving
heat require treatment with blue light. This color is also indicated
for complaints involving suppuration, pain, plethora and congestion.
Warts disappear under the effect of radiation with blue light.
Hyperactive children should do their homework under blue light. This
color promotes quietness and reserve.

Violet has always been associated with spirituality and in accordance,
it acts on the unconscious, lends the individual spiritual strength
and promotes awareness and consciousness. Violet increases the effect
of all kinds of meditation and is also regarded as being the color of
inspiration. It has a positive effect on the spleen and promotes the
functioning of the lymphatic system.

Remember there are no rules. Some of the most beautiful settings in
nature are a colour explosion. Follow your intuition and be brave. You
will inspire yourself in doing so.

Here are some lovely examples of clever use of colour …

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A visit to Versailles July 14, 1789

Farewell my Queen is a movie directed by Benoit Jacquot and based on a script by him, Chantal Thomas, and Gilles Taurand.

There’s growing disquiet at the court of King Louis XVI: the people are defiant and the country is on the brink of revolution. Behind the scenes at the royal palaces emergency plans are being made. Although nobody believes that this spells the end of the established order everyone is talking of escape, including Queen Marie Antoinette and her entourage.

Lea Seydoux and Diane Kruger in a sultry scene from Farewell My Queen.

Madame Gabrielle de Polignac (Lea Seydoux) and Marie Antoinette (Diane Kruger) in a scene from Farewell My Queen.

One of Marie Antoinette’s ladies-in-waiting is Sidonie Laborde who, as the Queen’s reader, is a member of the monarch’s inner circle. She takes us on a journey back and forth between the lavish rooms of Versailles and the back corridors of their servants. Little does she know that she is about to witness the downfall of her beloved queen.

The aristocracy and servant classes are equally anxious as they hear of the storming of the Bastille and the unrest in Paris.

When a pamphlet circulates at Versailles listing the enemies of the revolution, who are to be beheaded, Marie Antoinette and her husband top the list. It’s the third name – the Queen’s lover and confidant, Madame Gabrielle de Polignac who provides the intrigue for Jacquot’s sensual drama.

A beautiful movie. If you adore the opulence of court life it’s a must see.

The King and Queen of France

The Queen’s reader Sidonie Laborde

Marie Antoinette throws the list of heads to roll into the fire.

Marie Antoinette distressed the king chooses to stay at Versailles

Marie Antoinette in the Petit Trianon

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Craig Campbell a Genius of our time

When I first met Craig Campbell I had the same feeling as when I was standing in the Rodin Museum in Paris. In awe of the genius behind such beautiful creations.

Rodin Paris

Craig Campbell Wellington

That first meeting with Craig was at Sky City when he was sculpting live in 2011.

Craig is an American artist now living in Wellington working as a Sculptor with Weta Workshop.

Craig has  been in New Zealand for 3 years.  He began sculpting in the mid 1990’s after working as a nightclub bouncer.

Craig’s sculpture is primarily figurative, or animal related and often has a flair of whimsy. Craig’s focus is to express life through sculpture, and that he certainly does. To see him working is incredibly inspiring. My son was so inspired he has been sculpting ever since meeting Craig who has a lovely aura about him and a very gentle, approachable manner with people, especially children.

Since being in NZ Craig has Sculpted many pieces for the Roxy Cinema in Miramar.  He has been a lead sculptor on the Rugby World Cup Sculpture with Weta Workshop, as well as exhibiting work for Unscripted Exhibition and performed sculpting demonstrations both in Wellington and Auckland. Craig has donated sculptures to “Born Project” for the Neonatal association, and donated sculpts to the Wellington Zoo. Currently running a Sculpture studio in Miramar where he holds sculpting classes and workshops in figurative sculpture, portrait sculpting, animal sculpting, bas-relief sculpting, and concrete sculpting. If you are lucky enough to live in Wellington you can learn first hand from one of our true geniuses.

We too often feel the need to travel to see such beautiful pieces of art or to look in our history only to find them on our door step actively working in our present day. What a gift to be able to be in the presence of a great artist. It does give you a sense of the wonderful and whimsical.

Craig Campbell


Craig Campbell

Craig Campbell

Craig Campbell

Craig Campbell

Craig Campbell

Craig Campbell

Craig Campbell

Luke’s flower he made for my birthday

Craig Campbell

If you have ever walked amongst the great galleries of the world and wished as I have to own something of such beauty, then contact Craig as he does do commissions.

You can contact Craig either by email or phone as below …

Craig Campbell

021 293 8218

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Blogs that will inspire you.

I’m making the most of this wet weather by searching the internet for more ideas and inspiration and I have come across some amazing blogs.

I love to change my home around so often I drive my children mad. I find it inspiring to have a change. Its funny I am reading a book at the moment called The Honeymoon Effect by Bruce Lipton one of my favourite authors. I’m loving every bit of it. I read that when your energy changes you often want to change your home around. I can relate to that. There have been huge changes In my life this year and I now feel I need to redecorate every room. 🙂

Here are some inspiring blogs for you to browse through on a rainy day ….

The lovely Claudia form the Paris apartment not only has a beautiful website but has a wonderful blog. I always look forward to one arriving in my emails. She also has just published a new book Paris Flea Market Style

The Better Decorating Bible is a blog full of beautiful homes from Elton Johns Berverly Hills paradise to a Modern French Regency Marie Antoinette Style Apartment.

Rachel Ashwell the woman who created Shabby Chic has a lovely blog full of Shabby Chic ideas. I love looking through The Prairie page at all the gorgeous rooms that you can stay in.

Here are some photos of what I have created from all the inspiration these blogs have given me.

Sweet dreams

My reading nook

Our social space

My darling

This beautiful space is from The Better Decorating Bible

This is my inspiration for my dream project of a barn house that will look like this on the inside.

And so to bed to dream ….

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Bonne année et bonne santé

Bonne année et bonne santé

I hope you are all enjoying the New Year and have been lucky enough to eat well, relax and contemplate the coming year.

I have managed to have what my idea of a rest is and watch some inspiring movies filled with beautiful 18th century interiors.

My favorite was Bel Ami. I was so inspired by it I needed to share it with you.

BEL AMI is the story of Georges Duroy, who travels through 1890s Paris, from cockroach ridden garrets to opulent salons, using his wits and powers of seduction to rise from poverty to wealth, from a prostitute’s embrace to passionate trysts with wealthy beauties, in a world where politics and media jostle for influence, where sex is power and celebrity an obsession.

With a great cast … Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Christina Ricci and Colm Meaney along with the most beautiful Parisian apartment sets I have seen to date it is well worth watching. You will of course want to redecorate.

Here are a few photos from the movie ….

If you would like to view more go the Bel Ami website

Happy holidays xx
Claire Crosbie
Tel: 09-483 7717
Mob: 021 472 431

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A French Oasis in the City

Walking down the driveway I felt as if I was leaving the city behind and entering a beautiful Oasis. It is such a lovely part of my job to see where some of my treasures find there home.

I was greeted by Rhonda J Bayliss who began Healing day spa in 1997. Anyone that has a treatment with Rhonda will be glad she did. There is a certain energy about her that gives you a feeling of calm and reassurance.
My treatment began with a Bio cleanse foot-spa which also detoxes your body while you relax and enjoy. Then after a luxurious foot massage I lay on the bed, so relaxed and at ease while Rhonda worked her magic.

A combination of Jin Shin Jyutsu a Japanese healing art, Chakra Balancing and Aura-Soma Colour Therapy.
If you are not familiar with these treatments perhaps the best way to explain it is what effect it had on me.
When I walked through Rhonda’s door I was somewhat confused about several issues. Exhausted and feeling a little down. The busier your life becomes the less we tend to spend on nurturing ourselves.

The treatment itself is so gentle and non invasive. You lie in a lovely comfortable treatment bed with crystals and healing stones, Rhonda sprays the most delicious aura soma essences, lays her wonderful healing hands on you  re-balancing and releasing unwanted energy.
Something Rhonda said to me really stuck. Most people live 80% of there life on fear based choices and 20% on trust based choices.
It has been six months since I went to Rhonda and there has been a huge shift. My energy levels have improved immensely and my intuition is much stronger. I am making decisions based on my intuition. The inner voice is becoming stronger than the voice of others. I have not had those anxious butterflies I would often get. It seems to continue working on a cellular level.
The other part of the experience I love is the beautiful French aesthetics of Rhonda’s sanctuary. The whole experience was absolute bliss.
When Rhonda began her venture she said she had a calling and knew that was what she was here to do. I completely understood that as that was my experience to.
Rhonda really does have an amazing gift.

There is Japanese scientist called Masaru Emoto who has proved that words and the energy around us have a huge impact on our health and well being. It is worth having a look at his website.
This is the way of the future. Nurture yourself with Rhonda’s treatment and you will reap the rewards . I cant think of a better way to start the New year.

To find out more about Rhonda and the amazing work she does visit her website

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Beautiful lithographs

Hello to all the art lovers out there.
I love to grace my walls with beautiful and interesting pieces of art. Especially the romantic whimsical kind.
I noticed in the Designers Guild new book A Certain Style there are some lovely pieces of French Art and Lithographs. It really does finish off that perfect Vintage look.

Lithographs are pieces of art work that have been hand etched on a copper plate, printed onto paper and then hand coloured. Such beautiful pieces that unfortunately are not done today. Its amazing when you look at a beautiful vintage La Mode picture that its all lovingly hand done.

The term lithograph or lithography comes from Greek, meaning ‘writing with stone’. It was invented in 1798 by German Alois Senefelder (1771-1834), as a way of printing text, in particular his own plays. Lithography is a popular planographic (surface-printing) technique based on the immiscibility (chemical repulsion of) oil and water. Senefelder patented the process in 1798 and his first publication was a set of drawings by Swiss naturalist Conrad Gessner (1516-65) in London in 1799. The lithographic process was kept top secret until 1818, when Alois Senefelder published Vollstandinges Lehrbuch der Steindruckerey (A Complete Course of Lithography). A modern variant is photo-lithography, which employs photographic processes to capture the image on metal plates.

Lithography quickly became popular with artists as a means of reproduction. The artist simply drew a picture on a stone, which was then pressed to reproduce lots of copies on paper. Senefelder continuously improved the process during his lifetime, receiving awards and medals for his work. The first collection of lithographs was published in London in 1803, and included works by American artist Benjamin West (1738-1820), Irish painter James Barry (1741-1806) and Anglo-Swiss artist Henry Fuseli (1741-1825). In 1804 the first series of lithographs in Berlin were published, and included a drawing by the architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1841). In France the process proved popular with some of the country’s most important artists including Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863), Theodore Chasseriau (1819-1856), Theodore Gericault (1791-1824) and the aged Goya (1746-1828). By this time the process had been further developed and it was now possible to give both colour and tone to a lithograph. It was discovered that every colour could be produced by overlapping blue, red, yellow and black.

Here are some of my favourites.

You can find these on my website

Scènes de la vie privée et publique des animaux (Scenes from the private and public life of animals), J. Hetzel et Paulin, by J. J. Grandville, Paris, 1842. 34 cm by 30 cm

Original La Mode magazine cover 1888

From a famous series of caricature lithographs showing French middle class. Age unknown, but 19th c. 1827 or later.

Louis-Leopold Boilly (1761-1845)

Louis-Leopold Boilly (1761-1845)

Chromolithographs after original drawing  by Foussier, printed by Berthaud.
Published Paris, c1880-1900 in  ” L’Ameublement et le Garde-Meuble Reunis “
260 x 355 mm Image: 195 x 285

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Moving to the next level and bringing French and Vintage Furniture to the beautiful homes of New Zealand.

You might have noticed in the past month that I’ve been quiet on the blog front. Well, there’s been a great reason for it.
I have been busy unloading two new containers of delicious treasures…Heaven 🙂 As well as moving into and setting up my shop.

Stressful, rewarding and at times a but surreal. I almost need to pinch myself every now and then. It has been quite a fast journey to say the least. They say if you do what you love and love what you do it will flourish, and that it has.

I have been so inspired by others that have this passion such as Rachel Ashwell from the Shabby Chic® brand and Claudia Strasser from The Paris Apartment.  I love looking at their websites and dreaming over their books. This has always come with some frustration as it is near to impossible to find all that French furniture in New Zealand and to bring just a few pieces from abroad is very expensive.

I will be working very hard to bring the loveliest treasures I can find to dress the beautiful homes of New Zealand at a reasonable price.

It has worked well having my home as my showroom it has just outgrown my small abode so hence the move.

It is a long awaited dream come true. As well as a lot of hard work.  Although in saying that it’s not like work as I love it. The hard part as any mother would know is juggling it with looking after a home and still being a good Mother to my beautiful children.

Here are some photos of my work in progress and some of my new treasures.

The entrance to Vintage Revival

Inside. A work in progress 🙂

Set of four vintage dining chairs with beautiful vintage Romeo and Juliet fabric

French 1920’s sofa

French vintage Armoire in original cream and french green finish with gilt highlights

Sensational pair of vintage French nightstands in original cream and french green finish with gilt highlights. Very sweet little nightstands, perfect for any boudoir or even girl’s room.

French Queen size bed

Vintage marble top table

Vintage cherub light

This is a fabulous pair of nightstands with marble tops and matching vanity.  All original with exquisite hand carving on the drawers and legs.

Beautiful old Louis XVI style vanity desk. Could also work great as a console.

A stunning French Vintage Romeo and Juliet fauteuil

A stunning French Vintage Romeo and Juliet canape

Very old antique French theatre mirrors

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Art is my Soul food.

When it comes to feeding my soul Art would have to come first. I just can’t live without it.

When designing a room I believe art is one of the most important features. If you walk into a room with nothing on the walls it looks unfinished. Even if you like a minimal look one or two pieces of art is still necessary.

You can design a whole room around a beautiful painting just as you can around a piece of French furniture. I have a passion for Vintage art with a romantic feel to it. I’m very lucky to be from a family of artists so I have no shortage of inspirational pieces with great sentimental value. I walk past some of my favourite pieces every day admiring, always feeding my soul, feeling grateful for all the creative people in the world. After all if we had no creative geniuses we would have no beautiful architecture, furniture, art, jewellery, clothes, cars, pretty much everything we buy starts by an artist or a designer.

I always choose art from an emotional point of view. If I fall in love then I will do what I can to continue my love affair. Which is what brings me to my exciting news about my new art work.

Thanks to my good friend Geoffrey Heath who called me and said “Claire you must come and see this drawing by my friend Vivien Masters that is up for Auction at the Richmond Road primary school.”

When I saw this beautiful watercolour by Vivien Master’s I just fell in love with her. It was the perfect match to go with all my lovely pieces of Vintage furniture. Luckily I won the auction and now The Duchess of Superbia graces my wall. It is almost like having the presence of Marie Antoinette herself.

Having had such a lot of feedback on how beautiful she is I decided to ask Vivien if she would do some pieces for Vintage Revival.

As a result of this Vintage Revival is very pleased to announce new art works by Vivien Masters. These beautiful original water colours are exclusive to Vintage Revival.

I have added some inspiring rooms below that are finished with lovely pieces of art as well as a peek inside a few of my favourite books and of course Vivien’s beautiful drawings.


“The Peacock”

“Diamond Dame”


“Lady Catherine”


Christian Lacroix in Vogue Living.

Amanda Harlech at the Ritz in Paris, Vogue Living.

Rachel Rileys home in Loire France, Vogue Living.

Rachel Rileys home in Loire France, Vogue Living.

The new Tricia Guild Book A Certain Style.

The new Tricia Guild Book A Certain Style.

Designers Guild.

Designers Guild.

Marie Antoinette.

The Opera house in Paris.

A Renoir painting hangs in the living room of  Greta Garbo.

A Louis XVI trumeau in Greta Garbo’s living room.

Greta Garbo’s hallway.

Greta Garbo’s living room.

Marilyn Monroe in her home a month before she died.

Mickey Rourke’s living room.

My old living room.

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