Quite a few of you have been asking about some of the fabrics I’ve shown here.  Others about paint and so on – so this post is the list of where to find great bargains.

For fabric, I search on Ebay.  I have a favourite seller, from whom I buy almost all of my upholstery fabric.  This means I never see it in person.  And I pay up to $200 shipping from the US.  But the prices are so good, it is still usually about 10% of what you’d pay in Australia.

They stock the absolute pinnacle of fabrics in the world.  Silk velvets, hand printed linens, manufacturers (like Scalamandre, shown below) that are not available to the public.

They take their photos with flash, which, while it makes the fabric look amazing, can distort the colour.  Silks and velvets tend to come up a little more yellow.  If you need an exact shade of cream or white, this may not work for you.  You can find their shop here.

You may think I’m being kind sharing this, when you may bid against me.  But you will soon see that I have not been kind at all.  You may, like me, find yourself drooling over the fabrics you never thought you could afford (and now can), find yourself resolving to recover chairs, remake curtains, find yourself buying rather more than you need and then suffer weeks of guilt or frantic activity as you now have to make a zillion things.

You won’t be thanking me….

If you want cheap books (not a problem in most of the world – but if you live in Australia, they are ridiculously expensive) – this store ships them free all around the world.  It takes about a week and it’s just magic!  They even ship heavy interiors books free…. (I have no idea how they are making any money).

For example – they are selling this hardback for A$27.  Free postage.  Tempted??

Or this one for the same price?  These are usually $50-60 in shops.

The floor paint I use is from an Australia company called Shipways.  They make an amazing variety of industrial strength paint that will never scratch or chip.  It does contain VOCs, so is not environmentally friendly in that sense.  But it is, in that you won’t ever have to re-paint it.  So, if you want a white floor what won’t yellow over time (as polyurethane does) – they can supply it for you.

For furniture, I favour auctions (the ones where the dealers go).  My favourite in Sydney is John Williams (their beautiful dog, Bella, always helps advertise their new sale – below).  I also like eBay, and of course, whatever people put beside the road to chuck out.  I still have a pair of chairs fourteen years later, that I loaded into my convertible….  they are in their third incarnation and are still going strong.

 Finally, on the clothes front, the best fun you can have is to host a swap party.  Invite all your girlfriends (and their friends) and send the men out for the night.  Ask them to bring over the clothes that they bought that were mistakes, that are pretty much unworn (and therefore as good as new) but they can’t bear to throw out as they are too nice.  You know the ones.

Supply a bit of wine and after about half an hour of modest chit chat, and a few private changes in the bathroom, some kind of madness takes hold…  suddenly everyone is tearing off their clothes and passing items round.  Everyone hoots with laughter as something looks amazing on one person and terrible on the next.  The short girls’ offcasts work on the tall girl, the dress rejected by the slim boned woman is brought to life on a curvy friend.  You’ll be astounded at how you can pass clothes between women of all different sizes.

It’s such a lot of fun.  And you get a heap of new clothes for free, and clear your closet of guilt and unworn clobber.