An Ace Up My Sleeve :: Harolds Finishing Touches

by | Nov 4, 2014 | Accessories, An Ace Up My Sleeve | 2 comments

Welcome to a new series for fall and winter and maybe beyond. It’s called “An Ace up My Sleeve” and it’s going to feature a favorite IG’er (Instagram), Tumblr or even “Pinner.” It’s going to be someone I follow that I think my readers are going to fall absolutely in love with. It’s always going to be a surprise, and it’s always going to be on Tuesday. Which is a day of the week that’s a little bit of an “odd man out.” It seems that not much happens on Tuesday, you have Wednesday that is traditionally “hump” day, and then Thursday’s ” Throw it Back,” Friday is #FF on Twitter. But, Tuesday is now officially “An Ace Up My Sleeve Day.” So I plan on taking this day to a whole new level of cool.

Who is the “Ace Up My Sleeve?” It’s Harolds Finishing Touches, a shop somewhere in the outback of Australia, (not really); it’s located in a town called Toowoomba. It’s a curiosity shop of sorts, full of unique collectibles from all over the globe; it’s a jar full of porcupine quills from South Africa or antique taxidermy from an estate sale. It quite frankly appeals to the collector in all of us, inspiring a mix of child-like wonder with the seasoned hunter on the prowl for something a little different maybe a tad quirky. Harold’s is the Australian equivalent of a little American shop nearby Casa B. owned by a Southern gent who has stuffed squirrels playing poker at a miniature table. These card playing rodents are poised on a shelf mixed in with small boxes from some remote Appalachian town made from something that looks suspiciously like bones. I promise someday I will write all about it in detail. But Harolds Finishing Touches is so much more. His Instagram feed isn’t even a guilty pleasure, because I don’t feel in the least bit guilty. In fact, it leaves me wanting to hop the now defunct Concord, and get there as fast as I possible can before someone buys up all the “curiosities” on display. Sadly, if I knew “quills” were going to be so “de rigueur” I would have convinced my father to save the ones he pulled from one of his hunting dogs after an unfortunate encounter years ago . Or maybe kept some turtle shells that I found in Costa Rica rather than selling them in a garage sale.

The 20 something entrepreneur, Aaron Bournes, has made collecting the unique, slightly bizarre and downright interesting “in style.” When I first found his feed, I imagined him to be a portly Aussie, with unkempt hair, bottleneck glasses held together with tape, in tattered & stained safari gear back from some jaunt on the hunt for the extraordinary. But, Harold aka Aaron Bournes, is far from my mental imagery. He is a “fresh-faced” fellow with a youthful glow, a visual merchandiser whose unique style is going to reach farther than the “Gold Coast.” In fact, thanks to the developers of Instagram, I can enjoy Aaron’s talents from the comfort of my favorite chair. His pictures are lessons in still-life, studies in layering, and reminders of a far away place. A perfect mix of artistic flair and breathtaking vignettes.

Let me introduce you to the “Ace Up My Sleeve,” Harold’s Finishing Touches.


 Photo/ Hummingbird Photography

{the store}


Photo/ Aaron Bournes-Harold’s Finishing Touches

{the home}


Photo/ Aaron Bournes

 {the bar}


 Photo/ Aaron Bournes



 Photo/ Aaron Bournes



 Photo/ Aaron Bournes-Harold’s Finishing Touches

{cocktail hour}


 Photo/ Aaron Bournes-Harold’s Finishing Touches

{study in layers}


 Photo/ Aaron Bournes

{pretty in pink}


 Photo/ Aaron Bournes-Harold’s Finishing Touches

{pink & orange}


 Photo/ Aaron Bournes-Harold’s Finishing Touches

{orange & Hermes‘}


Photo/ Aaron Bournes-Harold’s Finishing Touches


I hope you enjoyed a little bit of this amazing Aussie shop. You can find Aaron on Instagram @Harold’s_finishing_touches or  His shop is so worth a virtual visit, or if you live in Australia you are lucky, very lucky . As always, don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & Google+ for more design inspiration and happenings.

Until next time,