Monday, 2 March 2015

Visiting Canberra

We made a quick trip to Canberra, Australia's capital city, over the Christmas and New Year period. If you like your fix of mid-century modern then Canberra should certainly be on your list of destinations to visit.

Our short holiday mainly centred around the major tourist attractions for the children. This included a visit to Parliament House, The Royal Mint, Black Mountain, the Australian War Memorial and Questacon. We did manage to squeeze in a mid-century house sticky-beak in the suburb of Forrest with the assistance of a self-guided tour thanks to the Canberra House website.

Looking up through the glass ceiling at Parliament House
Looking towards Parliament House from the Australian War Memorial
Telstra Tower on Black Mountain. The view from here was amazing

Pillars of gold in Civic Square

ACT Legislative Assembly Building in Civic Square
It was a nice gentle family destination and we really enjoyed all the sites. Canberra has an interesting genesis as it is a planned city. It was designed by American Walter Burley Griffin after he won an international competition in 1912 to plan Australia's capital. It is surprisingly easy to get about with a rental car...we only got lost twice which is actually great since I am a dreadful navigator!

Canberra House is a fantastic resource and if we had more time we definitely would have done a more comprehensive tour of Canberra's residential architecture. There is a plethora of fabulous homes to drool over.

Sadly, one of the homes we could visit inside was closed. The Robin Boyd designed Manning Clark House, which is now a museum/community centre of sorts, is where the late historian Manning Clark penned his famous A History of Australia. We contented ourselves with an exterior stick-beak only.

Manning Clark House 1952 in Forrest
Here are a few notable mid-century modern  homes we saw on our brief tour of Forrest.
Sir Roy Grounds designed Forrest Townhouses 1959

Malcolm Moir designed home 1935

Robin Boyd designed home 1952/53
Hopefully our next stay in Canberra will be a little longer and we will be able to spend more time exploring this gem of a city.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Flokati rug is in the mid-mod house

I've been suffering writer's block and Jason hung up his tool belt semi-permanently over the holidays. We'd never make it in those reality TV renovating shows...given our slackness...Ha!

Anyhow, just before Christmas we acquired a new (which means used) rug for the living room. It's one of those Greek shag pile rugs called Flokati. It was time for us to mix things up a bit and become more international. And it was off to Greece we went, figuratively speaking.

Flokati rug in the living room.
It contrasts nicely with the dark timber floors.

Flokatis are handmade from pure wool in Greece and are noted for having a thick and lush pile. It's beautifully soft underfoot and the kids are more inclined to lie down on the floor when they're watching TV.

To clean it all we have to do is shake it out on the patio and give it a light vacuum. Apparently you can wash it with wool wash in a large bath tub or give it a hose. I've also read that it needs a brush every so often to keep its lush appearance.

The shag pile look is very reminiscent of the 1960s, so it is perfectly at home in our mid-century modern pad.

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