Opening up our homes… Bed and Breakfast style

His house was perfect,
whether you liked food, or sleep, or work,
or story-telling, or singing,
or just sitting and thinking,
best, or a pleasant mixture of them all.
– J. R. R. Tolkien (1892 – 1973), The Hobbit.

I’ve been mulling over the whole thing about “bed and breakfasts” since the start of our holidays. (As per my previous post, we enjoyed a really good time at Huskisson B&B in South Coast NSW.) It was one of those chance encounters that have left us friends.

Porch at Huskisson Bed and Breakfast

Porch at Huskisson Bed and Breakfast

Since my last post, Kate’s put up before and after shots of the room we were gifted for our stay. You just have to pop over to her blog for the wow shots.

Every now and then (especially after being to a B&Bs in Australia), I’ve played with the idea of my own bed & breakfast. I’ve known for a long time what I don’t want: just mere 8 years ago, a B&B set in the country Victorian era would have charmed the socks off. But I’ve grown less and less enamoured of cluttered spaces filled with decade-old dried flowers, stuffed teddies, heart shaped frilly cushions… you know the sort.

One of our first bed and breakfast experiences

One of our first bed and breakfast experiences

One of the bed and breakfasts at the South Coast that we went to on our honeymoon.

One of the bed and breakfasts at the South Coast that we went to on our honeymoon.

This is a B&B I went to in 2004 on our honeymoon. Incidentally I checked out the same B&B and my photos are still current! Even down to the dried floral arrangement over the bedhead!

I’ve also eschewed B&Bs who are so overly sumptious that one feels like one has stepped into a mansion where nothing should be touched or used.

In the B&B of my daydreams, I’d have a cross between Shaker and Shabby Chic. In a light, white, airy home. Nothing overly staged, nothing overly done.

Kinda like what Kate and Stephen have done in their lovely B&B.

Another of Kate's vintage mirrors at the Huskisson Bay B&B

Another of Kate’s vintage mirrors at the Huskisson Bay B&B

Anyhow. I have been thinking about how intrusive a B&B business is (or can be). I mean, this is about opening up your own home to strangers.

I have been to a few B&Bs in my life and being at Huskisson B&B is a rather different experience for me.

The fresh feel of the Huskisson Bay B&B

The fresh feel of the Huskisson Bay B&B

As you will see from Kate’s coming blogposts, a lot of love, elbow grease and ruminations has gone (and will keep going) into setting up the “guest quarters”. What struck and inspired me was that Kate and Stephen have chosen to inject quite a few personal items into these shared areas. Essentially, sharing with strangers their hearts.

I LOVE this. I WANT.

Pierced star at the Huskisson Bay B&B

Pierced star at the Huskisson Bay B&B

There is an heirloom rockinghorse. Stephen’s grandmother’s chandelier graces the dining area (incidentally, it matches perfectly to Kate’s Pareek Johnson Bros tea set). Some treasured local artwork graces the living room. Kate’s enviable collection of vintage mirrors dot the halls and bedrooms. An old salvaged piano cradles a selection of photos of the hosts. The kitchen showcases Kate’s collection of vintage glasses – use with care!

Art deco ceiling like at the Huskisson Bay B&B

Art deco ceiling like at the Huskisson Bay B&B

I felt so priveledged to be amongst these personal items. And because it’s not overstuffed with things that “make an era” but “chosen to reflect personality”… what you do get is a sense of what the hosts are like. What makes them tick.

In my mullings I decided that if ever husband and I started a B&B and coffee roasting endeavour, I’d do the same. I’d share my personal items with my guests. I already know I will steer clear of “make an era” decorating…

The kids' bedroom at Huskisson Bay B&B

The kids’ bedroom at Huskisson Bay B&B

Note: sometimes the “make an era” feel for a B&B works wonders, but it behoves the host to change things around now and then, to freshen the feel, to update tired decorations. Imagine after the clutter of city living to be able to escape to a Shaker-style guest room!

Pics taken at Huskinsson B&B.



  1. Reply

    Love in a B and B

    23 April 2011

    I am so flattered and thrilled to have found such an appreciative guest and new best bloggy friend. Love the pics and your thoughts. I have never understood the 'recreate an era' thing – to me it's all about loving the object for its own intrinsic beauty and to match things up, you go for colour, pattern and even 'homage' – A theory I will no doubt post about in future. XX thanks!

  2. Reply

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    25 April 2011

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  3. Reply


    25 April 2011

    It sounds like your stay at Huskisson B&B was not only relaxing, but inspiring too (no surprise here, after seeing the beautiful pictures!)

  4. Reply


    27 April 2011

    sred_kitty, it was truly a beautiful start to a much needed break. we were blessed.

  5. Reply


    28 April 2011

    I love that green bedroom!San Diego Mobile Notary

  6. Reply


    28 April 2011

    which green bedroom??

  7. Reply


    29 April 2011

    Hi Drey,Hope you are well. Your new blog format looks great. I'm going to spend some time perusing your posts today. xxooPeggy

  8. Reply


    29 April 2011

    hey pegs, great to hear from you! yes my posts of recent have been far and few in between due to major busyness!i have been looking at your blog and enjoying seeing you create a unique home just for you :)xx


The Woman behind the Blog

Welcome to my blog! It’s such a pleasure having you here.

What are you inspired by? I am inspired by beautiful and bright interiors, fabric, furniture, pinks, yellows, greens, chairs, china, trees, chocolate, peonies, hydrangeas, cherry blossoms, roses and rhubarb with cream.

Friends and family call me drey (pronounced 'dree'... short for Audrey) and I can often be found zipping through op-shops and vintage stores in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia.

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