New colours of Samsung Staron 2015

Introducing the New Colours of Staron® - Supreme™ Collection. 

I'm always on the hunt for new products in different colours so I can offer my clients the most suitable option for their home. 

Solid surface bench tops provide the affordability and ease of maintenance that natural stone simply can't compete with. The designs have become so realistic and so beautiful it's made them the easy choice for your average kitchen remodel. 

Let me share with you all the 10 new colours that Staron Solid Surfaces have just released.

Enjoy! 


Pastoral

The colour is inspired by the elements of a quiet countryside with clear air. The shapes of field and sky are minimised to a hue that expresses an earthy simplicity.

Ocean View

When the waves break on the shores of a white beach, the foamy water droplets splash apart into organic forms that feel refreshing and natural. In the same way, this pattern emits a subtle shimmer that creates a fresh atmosphere.

Delphi

This colour brings to life the sublime purity and spirit of white. It features the many definitions within white and it transforms a space with a crisp white background and subtle soft white waves.

Cloudbank

This colour combines the duality of a soft white cloudy sky and the grey of the city cement, and soft patterns and cool colours create a soothing environment.

Loam

This colour contains deep rich deep browns that express a luxurious and peaceful feeling. With dark earthy tones highlighted by lighter sandy patterns, this colour will create an opulent atmosphere.

Natural Bridge

This colour echoes nature’s soft and lasting limestone, and combines tone-on-tone colours and patterns in a gentle feathery embrace that creates a safe and warm space.

Dawn

Even the bustle of city life is silenced by the calm warmth of dawn. This pattern emulates rhythmically divided concrete exteriors with re-interpreted greys that produces a tranquil modern space.

Magnolia

Peeking out shyly like the delicate buds of white blooms that have caught drops of moisture in the morning mist, this colour features fine particulates and a soft smoky haze that creates serenity to any application.

Dandelion

Comprised of warm earth tones from nature’s palette and patterns in organic forms, this colour creates an inviting natural atmosphere that is refined.

Presto

The dark night, deep sea, and moonlit waves are united in a pattern of black, blue, and green shades whose unknown depths reflect the wonders of mystery. Presto will create a luxurious and distinguished atmosphere to any space.

Have you used Staron in your kitchen or bathroom? What's been your experience or favourite colour? 

Have you used Staron in your home? Please comment and share your experience or tips with us all.

Sally xx

 

Coastal king single bed frames

How many horrid king single beds have you seen? I know I've seen a lot!!

Our society has a tendency to think of children’s bedrooms when we’re discussing king single beds. But in fact there are lots of teen rooms and guest rooms which only have room for a king single bed.  

On top of this, it’s also incredibly hard to find attractive king single beds. There are four times more single or double beds available than king singles.

So my mission is to round up the grown-up king single bed frames available in Sydney/Australia.  

I have narrowed it down a bit but looking at mostly white and coastal options instead of solid timber and black as I find this is more popular with my clients.

And i've thrown in a few cheap ones and trundle ones for those that are looking for kids :)

Harvey Norman

Cooper King single - $699

                                                                     Harvey Norman

                                                                     Harvey Norman

Jett King single - $999 (base), $549 (bedhead)

                                                                   Harvey Norman

                                                                   Harvey Norman

Domayne

Tasman - $899

                                                                        Domayne

                                                                        Domayne

Dror - $999

                                                                         Domayne

                                                                         Domayne

Snooze

Ocean grove cross thatch - $999

                                                                          Snooze

                                                                          Snooze

Ocean grove louvre - $899

                                                                            Snooze

                                                                            Snooze

Corsica - $979

                                                                           Snooze

                                                                           Snooze

Bed Works

Brighton Timber Bed - $399

                                                                        Bed works

                                                                        Bed works

Freedom

Storabed King single with Trundle - $999

                                                                          Freedom

                                                                          Freedom

Cancun King single in white wash - $899

                                                                         Freedom

                                                                         Freedom

Forty Winks

Taurus - $799

                                                                       Forty Winks

                                                                       Forty Winks

By Dezign

Lauren - $599

                                                                       By dezign

                                                                       By dezign

Connect furniture

Mono Lisa King single (solid pine) - $215

                                                                   Connect furniture

                                                                   Connect furniture

Lisa king single (PU leather) - $299

                                                                  Connect furniture

                                                                  Connect furniture

Prada king single (PU Leather) - $182

Black, Brown or White

                                                                   Connect furniture

                                                                   Connect furniture

Captains king single with Trundle - $748

White or capiuccino

                                                                    Connect furniture

                                                                    Connect furniture

Stockman king single - $408

                                                                   Connect furniture

                                                                   Connect furniture

Lava king single with trundle - $899

                                                                    Connect furniture

                                                                    Connect furniture

Morgan king single - $299

                                                                   Connect furniture

                                                                   Connect furniture

Denver king single with trundle - $549

                                                                  Connect furniture

                                                                  Connect furniture

Lilydale king single - $399

                                                                    Connect furniture

                                                                    Connect furniture

Venice king single - $329

                                                                    Connect furniture

                                                                    Connect furniture

Rojo king single - $188

                                                                    Connect furniture

                                                                    Connect furniture

Tana king single - $440

                                                                   Connect furniture

                                                                   Connect furniture

Montana king single - $563

                                                                    Connect furniture

                                                                    Connect furniture

Rikki king single - $458

                                                                    Connect furniture

                                                                    Connect furniture

Chloe king single - $449

                                                                    Connect furniture

                                                                    Connect furniture

Cindy king single with trundle - $519

                                                                    Connect furniture

                                                                    Connect furniture

I Style Furniture

Jessy king single (soild pine) - $189

                                                                      I style furniture

                                                                      I style furniture

Sally xx

What's your favourite? Or have you seen any other nice king single beds? 

If you have spotted a good quality coastal king single bed in your travels then please comment and share with us all.

 

Saturday Indesign 2015

I have always loved Saturday Indesign because it’s a great excuse to stroll around Sydney streets visiting the showrooms of all the fabulous interior suppliers I love but don’t always get the time to go visit. 

I took a chance and brought my 1 year old with me, which had both perks and challenges! It’s a great ice-breaker when you have a gorgeous girl smiling at all the staff but you also need more patience and muscles when your little one decides to wriggle out of the pram!

Nevertheless we survived!

I have always found it hard to get around to every precinct. It’s a shame Sydney is so large and that the design stores are quite scattered. Or maybe I should blame the traffic or lack of parking!

In any case today I managed to get to Chippendale, Waterloo and Surry Hills. I had the best intention to get to the Galleria but just ran out of time.  Im contemplating heading back in again tomorrow….hmm tempting!

I started my day at Special Lights where I always do for some breakkie and DQ Round table where the topic was “Emerging Design Personalities”.  Apart from the beautiful lights, the most memorable thing in this showroom was the half naked man in the window! I actually walked right past him twice and only realised a few minutes later.

                                                                      Special Lights

                                                                      Special Lights

Then I headed to the Chippendale precinct via SeehoSu. And I have to share with you my 3 obsessions from SeehoSu.

                                                    Molo Soft seating bench and stool

                                                    Molo Soft seating bench and stool

                                              Marble pendant by New Works found at seehoSu

                                              Marble pendant by New Works found at seehoSu

                                                                  Mama Bear Armchair

                                                                  Mama Bear Armchair

Next I went to the Waterloo Precinct.

I’m currently on the hunt for some Black tapware. This is proving difficult because although quite a few were released in Milan in April, they haven’t made it over to Australia yet. So while in the Waterloo precinct I checked out Roger Seller and Pure Interiors for some inspiration.

Roger Seller had three ranges of Black tap ware - Arq, Mare Nero and Pinch. They ticked the box of being Black but didn’t get my heart racing. They had one aged brass option but it wasn’t as intense I was looking for. However the thing that got me excited was the stunning rose copper, it was so delicate and sophisticated.  You have to do yourself a favour and go look at it in person. Online doesn’t do it justice!

                                                          Mare extended basin mixer

                                                          Mare extended basin mixer

                                                     Arq in rose copper found at Roger Seller

                                                     Arq in rose copper found at Roger Seller

Pure Interiors are an importer of Italian products and they had a stunning range of stainless steel tapware that came in eight different options. Gold, Silver, Brass or Black in Matte or polished. Which is awesome! How often can you customise the finish of your favourite tap!

                                                           Milo found at Pure Interiors

                                                           Milo found at Pure Interiors

                                    Different finishes available for Milo range of tap ware 

                                    Different finishes available for Milo range of tap ware 

Pure Interiors also have some really cool wallpaper designs that can be customised. They offer a free service for Designers where they will mock up the wallpaper in an elevation for you to reduce or enlarge the scale of the pattern as per your requirements.  This is the one I’m looking at using for a client – Svalbard. Its got a worn timber look.

                                              Svalbard Wallpaper found at Pure Interiors

                                              Svalbard Wallpaper found at Pure Interiors

While in the PYD Building I visited Mother of Pearl and Sons, who are suppliers of door hardware. They have a huge range of products in a variety of styles, from the uber formal to the relaxed industrial style. I would highly recommend heading over there if your looking for something more unique! 

                                                              Mother of Pearl and Sons

                                                              Mother of Pearl and Sons

And that’s a wrap.

All in all I’m definitely a fan of coming on a Friday. The showrooms weren’t too cramped and I felt as though I could take my time.

There was so much to see I have had to limit it to my highlights!

Did you go to Saturday Indesign 2015? I would love to hear your favourite product, supplier or story. 

7 ways to add the industrial look into your home

                                                                        How to HQ

                                                                        How to HQ

I saw this gorgeous copper wire pendant at Jamaica Blue Coffee shop the other weekend and it got me thinking about the different ways you can quickly add the industrial look into your home. I am quietly a bit obsessed with the industrial style. I love the contrast of black and white, and the texture of exposed timber and metal. It feels so authentic. Its a style that allows for personal touches.

I just love it.

So here's some industrial inspiration for you! I hope you enjoy it :)

1. Cool White walls

It’s not just enough to have white walls, you have to have the RIGHT white walls. The key to an industrial style interior is using a cool white as it makes everything look bright, clean and crisp. A cool white absorbs less light, so it therefore bounces more light around the room. Which is all part of achieving an industrial look.

The industrial look is all about creating contrast in colour. Bright whites against charcoals and blacks.

Some examples of cool whites:

  • Dulux Lexicon quarter
  • Dulux Vivid white
  • Dulux White on White

Some examples of warm whites:

  • Dulux Antique White USA
  • Dulux Whisper White
  • Dulux Stowe White
                                                                              Lily

                                                                              Lily

2. Black doors and/or skirting boards

I love how much impact you can have with colour. By simply painting your doors or skirting boards in Black you can create a bold statement that’s very industrial-esque.

What I love even more is it’s easier to paint your trim than your walls because you don’t have to move any furniture out of the rooms. 

And paint is soooo cheap. You can always change your mind, so be brave and go black!

Try Dulux Domino to get you started.

3. Cage or wire Pendant light

We are very lucky here because cage and wire pendant lights are so on trend at the moment you can pick one up in any lighting shop. 

The reason cage and wire pendant lights are industrial is because the industrial look is all about raw and exposed features.  You are trying to make your interior look stripped back to the bones – exposing the elements we normally hide and beautify.

My key piece of advice here is to consider:

a) The scale of your light

Industrial spaces are often quite open plan with high ceilings so you want to make sure your wire pendant doesn’t get lost because its so small. Because it is essentially see-through it almost needs to be twice the size to make you notice it.

b) The quantity of lights

Similar to the reason above, you may need to use multiple pendants in a cluster or group to create a bigger statement. The other reason for using multiple lights is to provide more artificial light. The cage and wire pendants often don’t provide as much light as a regular one with a shade or case. 

c) The size of the bulb

Because there is no lamp shade to direct the light you may need to use more lights or brighter bulbs to illuminate your space enough.

d) Bulb style

Because your bulb is completely exposed it needs to be attractive. This is not the type of light where you should use a fluorescent bulb. There are lots of decorative bulbs available in different sizes and brightness so do some research first.

But remember there is no harm in using a cage or wire pendant for pure aesthetics, just make sure you supplement with downlights for functional ambient light. 

                                                                    Urban Outfitters

                                                                    Urban Outfitters

4. Recycled timber

To help create your ‘exposed’ feel of an industrial interior I strongly recommend using recycled timber. It doesn’t have to be for floorboards, you can use it in furniture and accessories too. Once you start looking for it you will start to find it everywhere, from furniture to mirrors and lamps. If your really stuck check out local markets, etsy or approach a local carpenter and get him to make you something. If you’re feeling hands-on check out Pinterest for lots of DIY ideas.

                                                                         Trend Land

                                                                         Trend Land

Some suggestions:

  • Timber flooring
  • Bed frames and bedside tables
  • Bench seats
  • Coffee tables
  • Lamp bases
  • Doors
  • Entertainment units
recycled-timber-furniture.jpg

5. Concrete look tiles

Not everyone has the ability to pour a concrete floor, particularly because of weight bearing issues. But don’t be disheartened! The concrete look tiles are quite realistic and beautiful. They often come in large sizes which makes it look less like a tile.

I would recommend not going too big, because your tiler will hate you and probably charge you for it! Can you imagine how heavy a 1mx1m tile would be to carry!?

                                                                       Archi Expo

                                                                       Archi Expo

                                                                   Memorable Decor

                                                                   Memorable Decor

6. Industrial style handles and knobs

This is probably the cheapest thing you can do to your interior, but it will give it a complete makeover. Update your door handles and knobs with industrial style ones. For the full effect I would be going for a matt black look, but a matt silver/bronze/copper could also work well. Just avoid anything chrome.

                                                                  The Design Files

                                                                  The Design Files

I love the ones at Early Settler, but you could also check out Tradco or any local hardware shop.

Here are some of my favourites from Early Settler.

                                                                       Early Settler

                                                                       Early Settler

7. Black/white picture frames and prints

Nothing says industrial like the strong contrast of black and white. And what better way to achieve this by filling your empty walls with cool photos and prints. Black photo frames on white walls are very striking, and because its monochrome you can mix a whole bunch of styles and sizes and it will still look cohesive.

Some ideas:

  • Print one of your favourite photos in black/white
  • Write a favourite quote in a funky black font
  • Pick up some cool art from a local market, opp shop or homewares store

Sally xx

What's your favourite industrial element? 

Are you into monochrome, timber, stainless steel or exposed brick? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Round up of cool and cheap Magazine racks

Hey lovelies,

After researching magazine racks for a client of mine I realised there is seriously slim pickings out there. Who would have thought that it would be so hard to find attractive magazine holders?

So hopefully the collection below benefits you too!

For this round up I was looking for ones that would suit a modern/Scandinavian home. And we didn’t need it to have a table surface as we already had nest tables in this space.

I also didn’t want anything wall mounted as we didn’t have a lot of wall space. But that being said I will probably do a round up of these another time, as there are heaps out there.

Block magazine rack

By: The bower birds nest

Colour: Black or Blue

Price: $59

                                                               The bower birds Nest

                                                               The bower birds Nest

Ditto magazine holde

By: Bo Concept

Colour: Willow wood veneer

Price: $139

                                                                        Bo Concept

                                                                        Bo Concept

Replica Giotto Stoppino Magazine Rack

By: Replica Furniture

Colour: Black, White, Red or Yellow

Price: $59

                                                                    Replica Furniture

                                                                    Replica Furniture

Ella vintage magazine holder

By: Retro Jan

Colour: White

Price: $69

                                                                         Retro Jan

                                                                         Retro Jan

Companion side table / magazine rack / black

By: The Minimalist

Colour: Black with timber

Price $269

                                                                     The Minimalist

                                                                     The Minimalist

Eric Pfieffer for Offi Magazine stand Birch

By: Top 3 Design

Colour: Birch

Price: $199

                                                                       Top 3 Design

                                                                       Top 3 Design

Alfred Magazine Rack

By: DesignByThem

Colour: Black, White, Yellow, Blue

Price: $175

                                                                      DesignByThem

                                                                      DesignByThem

And I’m going to finish with one that doesn’t seem to be available in Australia yet, but is just gorgeous!!

So fingers crossed it gets over here soon! I am sure it’s going to go viral.

It's multifunctional, it's compact, it's comfortable and it's beautiful!

Woodieful chair

By: Klavdija Jarac

Colour: Beech

Price: Unknown

                                                                      Klavdija Jarac

                                                                      Klavdija Jarac

Sally xx

What's your favourite? Or have you seen any other cool and cheap magazine racks? 

If you have spotted a funky magazine rack in your travels then please comment and share with us all.

                 

21 Ways to spruce up your entry

I remember my first visit to a clients home in Sydney. I came down the steps, through the front door and then walked into the foyer space (which was actually a landing). The first thing I saw was a life size brass dog taking up a good portion of the space. Let’s just say it was memorable.  

Now you might not have a dog statue in your entry but you probably have too many knickknacks, ugly coat/hat racks, lots of shoes and a scented candle. Or something along those lines.

So today we’re going to discuss cheap, quick and not too scary ways to spruce up your entry/foyer. Lets make it somewhere you want to come home to, and somewhere your guests will enjoy visiting. But lets also have a little bit of fun with it! because its only a small room, that you don’t ‘live’ in all day long. So go a little crazy and invest in making this your happy place. An inspiration to all who come and go.

First things first you need to get your canvas right. That’s your walls, floors and built in structures. Then you can add lighting, accessories, furniture and art.

1. Paint

One of the cheapest ways you can make impact is through paint. Try a moody charcoal feature wall, paint the door in a colour, or paint the walls in half strength or double strength to the rest of the house. And if you’re really daring paint the ceiling in a colour! This would look amazing.

                                                                    House beautiful

                                                                    House beautiful

2. Wallpaper

Pick a fabulously patterned wallpaper and do the entire room. If you’re trying to keep the cost down just do a feature wall or add a chair rail and do the lower portion of the walls.  You can source these from your local paint shop or online.

                                                           Jessica Walmsley Interiors

                                                           Jessica Walmsley Interiors

3. Built in storage

It’s great to incorporate some storage into your entry space to give a ‘home’ to items before they get scattered throughout the house. Consider a bench seat with shoe storage or a coat closet. But the main rule here is to use doors on your cabinetry and don’t have open shelving. Because lets be honest bags, shoes and keys are hard to keep tidy.  You can either talk to a local cabinet maker or get something from ikea and retrofit it into your home.

                                                                          Bo Bedre

                                                                          Bo Bedre

4. Feature light

Whether it’s a chandelier or a pendant you can create ambiance through lighting. It gives more personality than a regular ceiling light and your guests get an instant sense of who you are. To get you started try Ozlighting, Matt Blatt and Space.

                                                                        Luxe Source

                                                                        Luxe Source

5. Area Rug / Runner

Why not add a pop of colour and personality through an interesting runner that guides your guests into the home.  Rugs really help an interior feel lived in. They are particularly good for hiding bad floors and drawing the eye away from other imperfections in that zone. Freedom have a huge range of affordable rugs, or you could try Zanui and West Elm.

                                                                       Amber Interiors

                                                                       Amber Interiors

6. Decorative Hooks

Dress up your walls with some fun coat hooks that will look great when nothing is hanging on them. Your local hardware shop will have plenty of options. You could also get creative and spray paint them in a bright or contrasting colour or use an unexpected material like turned wood, umbrella handles or bent silverware.

                                                             Muskoka Living Interior 

                                                             Muskoka Living Interior 

7. Console Table

There is a reason you see console tables in most homes – they just work! I prefer to get ones with drawers so you can use one for keys, one for mail and one for grab-and-go knickknacks like sunscreen, tissues etc. Then on top of the console you can display decorative pieces. Domayne has a great range and I also love the ones from Regency Distribution.

8. BASKETS

Baskets suit more relaxed entry foyers, particularly when you don’t have the option to build in any storage. They can be positioned in an empty corner for shoes or umbrellas, perfectly placed into a built in bench, or decoratively sitting under or next to the console table. 

                                                                     Hudson Interiors

                                                                     Hudson Interiors

9. MIRROR

A mirror is a great addition to your foyer/entry because other than being a thing of beauty it is also incredibly functional. It’s a little known rule that mirrors near the front door are very useful. You can quickly check yourself before you leave, eliminating lipstick on tooth dilemmas.  A mirror will also make the space fill larger and brighter by reflecting space and light. Try mirrorz online or By Dezign or your local supplier.

                                                                        Luxe Source

                                                                        Luxe Source

10. ARTWORK

Entry spaces are an excellent location to feature strong pieces of art. This is because there is less competition for the eye compared to other parts of the home. However if you go for a bold statement artwork, make sure you complement it with the other colours and accessories. Your entry is the first thing guests see so it indicates your personality and preferences and what better way to do this then showing your taste in art. 

                                                                      Society Social

                                                                      Society Social

11. CLOCK

As funny as it sounds I like a clock near the entry. I’m always racing from point A to point B and its nice to not have to go out of my way to see the time. And there are some seriously gorgeous clocks available! Metallic, glass, timber, antique, geometric, there is something for every taste. I’ve found Oz Design have a good selection, but also keep an eye out in the boutique shops for these.

12. A CHAIR

If you have room for an armchair or even a chair then this is a great way to fill your entry. Its useful for taking shoes on and off, and is also a good way to vary the height/shape of the objects filling that space. For instance a console is often quite ‘square’ and a chair is often ‘round’ so the two complement eachother nicely. I would go for something really special here, either a vintage find or a beautifully upholstered newbie. 

                                                                    House Beautiful

                                                                    House Beautiful

13. A PAIR OF OTTOMANS

When space is tight a pair of compact ottomans tucked under the console can be a lifesaver. It not only looks great but provides seating when needed. There is no rule here, absolutely anything is allowed – fabric, metal, wood, patterned, plain, textured…go nuts!

                                                                         Luxe Source

                                                                         Luxe Source

14. Beautiful Large bowl or dish

This will form part of your console styling but is also where your guests will inevitably throw their keys, wallet and sunglasses. Any homeware or furniture shop will have these so make sure you’re picky on finding one that suits the mood and colour scheme of that room.

15. Decorative Tray

A stylish console display starts with eye-catching vignettes on a gorgeous tray. You can choose any colour or material. The rule of thumb here is to have it as a contrasting colour to the console table so it stands out. I personally like shiny metallic, hand crafted timber or bright coloured ones.  Just make sure you have fun with it!

16. Table Lamp

If it’s difficult to replace your ceiling light then a table lamp on your console is a great alternative. The fabric provides texture and the glow of the light provides warmth. Using a custom fabric will add personality and cohesion to your scheme. 

                                                           Nest Designs via Tid bits and twine

                                                           Nest Designs via Tid bits and twine

17. Fresh flowers

I love fresh flowers in a home. They literally add ‘life’ to the space. It gives a texture and fragrance that no other decoration can. It reminds you that there is life beyond these 4 walls, which stops us going crazy! Plus you don’t have to commit to colours and you can change it seasonally.  Remember that the type of flowers you use will either make it feel relaxed or formal. Botanicals, sunflowers and gerberas might look more casual wheras roses and calla lilies look more formal.  

                                                                    Apartment therapy

                                                                    Apartment therapy

18. Natural elements - Branches, vines, leaves, pine cones or succulents

These are a great addition to your entry or console styling because they are free! It’s nice to consider the current season when decorating. So perhaps try dried leaves, cones or branches for autumn/winter, and succulents and flowers for spring/summer. The quantity you use will make it either subtle or dramatic. I love this option because you don’t have to commit to anything, you can change it over when you get bored and constantly try new things. So have fun with nature!

                                                                   House Beautiful

                                                                   House Beautiful

19. Books

Who doesn’t love a beautiful book? Books are great filler items on a console when trying to create a vignette of objects. I like using neutral colours so that they don’t draw too much attention away from your feature pieces.

                                                                         Luxe Source

                                                                         Luxe Source

20. Unique ornaments

Styling unique ornaments on your console is a great opportunity to feature those items you often have hidden in the back of your cupboards and never use. Things like special wedding presents, artifacts from travels or just something you splurged on from a homeware shop. Just make sure not to clutter the surface with knickknacks, Start with 5-6 options and then add and subtract items until the whole thing looks cohesive.

                                                                      Luxe Source

                                                                      Luxe Source

21. Candles

Now I know I joked about it at the beginning, but candles do have their place in an entry. But consider it part of the whole picture not a stand-alone item. And don’t just get a good-looking one, get a beautifully fragrant one to set the mood when guests are coming over.

Sally xx

What's your favourite item to use in an entry? 

Is there something you can't live without in your entry/foyer? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.

Winter armchairs from Brabbu

Winter armchairs from Brabbu

So I just received the latest winter lookbook from Brabbu and I’m loving the cosy, snugly, soft, luxurious and all around enveloping feel of their armchairs! I mean seriously… how could you not want one of these beauties in your home!

I personally love all the velvet ones, particularly being winter here in Oz, but also because I love the way the texture of velvet catches light and creates movement. Personal touches like this is how you can make your interior unique and more ‘you’.

The colours are very on trend, with the blues, neutrals and oranges. And how can we go past the Maori Armchair which comes in Pantone colour of the year - Marsala. 

I challenge you to pick your fav? 

On trend with Scandinavian style

Scandinavian.jpg

I’m not entirely sure why, but everyone (myself included) seems to love Scandinavian style interiors. Perhaps we can thank IKEA for why the interior design style ‘Scandinavian’ has become so popular. Or perhaps it’s because of the resurgence of ‘mid century’ furniture, which the Scandinavians do so well.  

What we do know is that the design ethos from the Scandinavia region is simplicity, functionality and minimalism.

Some of you might be asking who or what exactly is Scandinavia?

It is the northern European region of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland.

I could go on and on about my love for Scandinavian interiors, but I might save that for another post.

Let’s just get to business.

If you want to inject a bit of Nordic style into your home then I’ve got you covered.

Check out my shopping list for how to get the Scandinavian look for less!

Clickon George Nelson End Table

Clickon George Nelson End Table

Interiors online butterfly chair Dark brown crackle leather 

Interiors online butterfly chair Dark brown crackle leather 

Clickon Memphis Pendant lamp large

Clickon Memphis Pendant lamp large

Freedom Dahlia 3 seater soft

Freedom Dahlia 3 seater soft

Freedom Shirvan Cushion neutral

Freedom Shirvan Cushion neutral

Freedom Alaska cushion grey $39.95

Freedom Alaska cushion grey $39.95

Scandi makes me feel solo cosy.

Sally xx

What Scandinavian style products have you seen around?

Have you found some beautiful fabric or a gorgeous cushion? Or do you have any other questions about your own renovation? Leave a comment below and we can all chat about it. 

 

On trend with Marsala - pantone colour of the year

Now that we’ve hit winter... well, as much winter as sunny Sydney gets! I’m starting to really feel a craving towards the beautiful rich tones of marsala. Either that or I’ve just had too many vinos.

But I must say, I am really loving the contrast it plays against all the metallic’s that are available at the moment. With copper and brass being so ‘hot’ (excuse the pun) it really opens up some great decorating opportunities.

So I have pulled together my pick of on trend Marsala products to transform your home this winter.

Enjoy!

 

Shopping list

Libya cushion from Bydezign $40

Lollipop clock from Freedom $139

Serene rug from Freedom $119

Meltdown lamps from Ozlighting $204.12

Leroy chair from Retro Jan $129

Butterfly wooden illustration from Norsu $155

Leroy chair

Leroy chair

Meltdown lamps

Meltdown lamps

Butterfly wooden illustration 

Butterfly wooden illustration 

Milla cushion

Milla cushion

I'm seriously obsessed with those meltdown lamps.

Sally xx

What Marsala themed products have you seen around?

Have you found some beautiful fabric or a gorgeous cushion? Or do you have any other questions about your own renovation? Leave a comment below and we can all chat about it. 

 

Understanding the anatomy of floors - what are the layers of floors?

How are floors made up?

It can be a confusing thing to understand, especially because different tradesmen are responsible for different parts of it. Your builder might talk about the joists and the basement slab, but your carpet supplier will discuss the underlay, and your tiler will talk about waterproofing.

So before you start choosing your flooring it’s best to understand the anatomy of flooring so you anticipate the questions you will no doubt get asked.

Jargon alert! There is a lot of ‘building terms’ in this article but hopefully the diagrams will help you to understand. Don’t forget to check my Renovating Glossary if your stuck.

The layer of floor you normally see is just the decorative floor covering such as tile, laminate, carpet or floorboards. While the actual floor structure is hidden underneath.

Let’s work from the top down.

Underlayment

The floor covering sits on an underlayment. The underlayment is often a foam or cork product which creates an acoustic barrier and makes the floor soft to walk on.

Subfloor

If you remove your floor covering you will find your subfloor. The subfloor is often made from a composite panel or plywood and it spans supportive floor joists. This subfloor layer is likely to be either large sheets or planks. The subfloor provides protection of the joists and acts as a strong base for the floor covering.

Joists

understanding floor anatomy2.jpg

The joists sits atop the foundation and are the frame that supports the subfloor. They are often supported at the midpoint by a beam or girder. Joists are sometimes tied together using bridging to create more stability. The bridging can be made from wood or metal.

That’s it! Not too hard right?!

However there are a few other scenarios I might warn you about.

Concrete floors

When the house is built on a concrete slab the scenario is slightly different. The subfloor is fixed on top of timber 2x4 studs. These studs are fixed to the concrete slab but with a layer of plastic sheet in between them and the slab.

Tiles

When tiling a bathroom you will need an adhesive layer and it is ideal to use a cement based underlayment as the subfloor. You may also want to consider heating cable for underfloor heating. 

 

So hopefully that makes it easier to talk to your builder :)

Sally xx

Renovation App review

Hello lovelies,

I’m going to let you in on a little secret – I love finding productivity tools! Being a working mum, my time is so valuable! So if I can use something to make it easier or quicker…I’m all over it like sprinkles on a donut.

I’m a sucker for shortcuts. Especially on my mac! I’m the queen of Command>Tab, Command>c, Command>v  (if you’re like me then you’ll love this article written by Matt Gemmell).

I love Apps and programs,

Most of all…auto ANYTHING!

So I’ve collated a little list of some of the apps I have come across on my quest for efficiency. Hopefully this will help you with your latest renovation project. From the quick paint job through to remodelling.  Enjoy!

Houzz                                        Free

My all time favourite App! Suitable for both designers and home enthusiasts.  This will be your ultimate inspiration guide when planning any home renovation project. You can create ‘ideabooks’ of rooms you love and then make notes as to what you like about it. It’s like a pinterest just for the home. And is a great tool for communicating your ideas to contractors and suppliers.

hi Pages                                    Free

For the times when hubby can’t fix ‘insert random task here’.  Hi Pages will become your lifesaver for getting quotes and finding tradesmen. Most of you are probably familiar with their website which is an online trade directory for anything home improvement related. Well the app is quick and simple to use in the palm of your hand, especially if your internet isn’t installed yet!

True local                                 Free

This is another online directory but it isn’t purely for home improvement related companies, eg find the local coffee or hardware shop. I think it’s slightly more objective because it’s a free directory to advertise in and I like that you can just grab their phone number and call without having to specify the job and request a quote.

Paint tester pro                        Free

A super easy App for testing paint colours and probably the most popular of its kind. Simply take a photo of your room, pick a colour and use the paint bucket to apply the colour.  A great visualisation tool for choosing paint colours and all the colours can be easily matched at the paint shop.

Mitre 10 painter                        Free

For people nervous about changing their wall colour. You can take a photo of your wall and then paint the wall using 1 of the 400 colours in the Mitre 10 palette.  The app is particularly useful for accent walls.

Dulux colour explore              Free

If you’re a Dulux lover like me than this is essential. Test a colour that you like in a few template rooms – living, bedroom, kitchen etc. It’s a great visualisation tool for people painting their walls.

Resene colourmatch                Free

This is a great App for when you’re out and about and you see a colour you love and want to try replicate it in your own home. Simply snap a photo and then put your finger on the screen to find the closest colour match. I’m a huge fan of Resene paints, they have a beautiful and rich depth of colour.

Cabots                                      Free

A great tool for picking a stain colour and working out your quantities while you’re at home, not standing confused in Bunnings. It’s a simple app that allows you to browse stain and oil products, then once you have selected one you can calculate the quantities. The best feature for us Mums is it also lets you create a shopping list to make your trip to the shops a lot more efficient.

MagicPlan                                Free

This takes a bit practice but is possibly the simplest way to mock up your house layout within minutes. It’s such an incredibly clever App that will save you hours of measuring, planning and drawing.  Perfect tool for homeowners planning renos and people moving home and wanting to test and see if their furniture fits.

ipad-iphone.png

Home design 3D                        Free

Another good App for drawing floor plans with basic furnishings. There’s a bit of a learning curve but its worth it for the results. If you want really realistic images then get the paid version and get busy designing a stylish house!

Home builder pro calcs           $6.49

This App has a huge range of calculators for tricky projects around the home. Importantly – yes it uses the metric system! For a small price this App will save your hours of painstaking planning. Build stairs, foundations or windows like a pro. The project/time estimator won’t be necessary for everyone but is a very useful feature.

Advanced Construction Pro - Building Calculator for Carpenters & Architects             $3.79

Highly recommend! This claims to be ‘the App every contractor needs in their toolbox’ but I think it will be useful to the average home renovator. Calculate and work out your spacing for fences, stairs and decks. Save hours! These are things you don’t want to get wrong, or do twice, so get it right the first time.

Australian Builders concrete and mortar estimator             Free

Boring, but essential. A simple App for estimating how many bags of concrete you need for a slab (based on thickness/depth/length) and how many bags of mortar you need for a brick wall (based on mortar type and number of bricks).  Includes a Bonus feature of some DIY projects.

floorIT site                                 Free

Made by Carter Holt Harvey to support specification of their flooring products.  You can select the floor product, insert the floor sqm, joist spacing and wastage and then it will calculate the number of sheets required. Probably more useful to the novice home renovator than a professional tradesmen who can do it all in their head.

If nothing else you have to download Houzz - its going to rock your world.

Sally xx

What other Apps do you use?

Do you use any other Apps that your fellow renovators might like? Or do you have any other questions or concerns about your own renovation? Leave a comment below and we can all chat about it. 

Lighting trends for 2015

Hello lovelies!

Its time to get your fix of the hottest Pendants, chandeliers, LEDs and table lamps in timber, marble, copper and more!

Never before has there been so much choice! Lighting Designers are pushing boundaries to create stunning pieces that interact with consumers and stir up emotion. Because we want more!

Goodbye boring task lights, and hello flirtatious feature lights!

The popularity of LED lighting has shaped the direction of lighting design. Smaller, brighter and adjustable LED’s allow for endless possibilities.

We are also seeing materials used in ways never before possible, such as laser cut timbers and plastics, extruded glass and metals as well as lightweight concrete.

During 2015 there will be something for everyone, from the very delicate and discreet right through to the bold and playful. 

I’m going to get right down to business because there is so much to cover!

Sexy LED’s

Gone are the days of LED’s being the new kid on the block, seemingly difficult and unknown. LED’s are more accessible and economical then ever before and through the prevalence of LED lighting pieces available it is clear that Designers have embraced this new technology.  Whilst a majority of designs have incorporated LED technology it is the slim and sleek designs that really show it off.

Clustered lighting

The popularity of both uniform and un-uniform clustered lighting is gaining momentum as an alternative to chandeliers. To achieve this look, pendants are grouped together creating a clustered effect. At times it is with the same material but different shapes, sizes and colours. Other times complementary yet different pieces made up of varying materials and shapes are grouped or scattered in a cohesive display.

Blonde timber

Now I know what your thinking,…blonde timber isn’t a tree that doesn’t get the joke! Think timber varieties like Oak, Beech and Pine. Whether it’s a pendant or a lamp you will find it either in natural finish or dipped in pastels or primary coloured paint. The beauty of blonde timbers is that they allow designers to display the form of their designs without the colour detracting from it.

Copper

It is no longer aluminium leading the way. Copper is stealing the show! The use of copper is not just confined to the industrial look, it is now being used for everyone’s taste. Sleek pendants with extruded shapes, geometric wire chandeliers, quirky table lamps and unusual wall lights all in a shimmering copper.

Function becomes aesthetics

Over the past 12 months we have seen a shift in lighting designs where the once disguised components such as wiring, fittings and bulbs are all becoming predominant design features.  Wires are used to create strong lines or add colour, light fittings are being dressed up in attractive materials and bulbs are now distorted into new and unusual shapes drawing all the attention.  An elegant example of this is the Swarm light by Jangir Maddadi Design Bureau. The designer explains, “The respect for woodcraft in the Swarm Lamp hearkens back to a simpler, pre-industrial time when the creative process was just as important as the end product”.

User controlled

We have such high expectations now! I blame Apple and their intuitive designs. Lighting components twist, turn, pull and slide so a user can adjust not only the position of the light, but the intensity.  This level of control gives a whole new meaning to task lighting. And where it gets really exciting is that designers have still managed to create interesting sculptural forms. Aesthetics are no longer compromised, thanks to thin wiring and LED’s.

 

Pendant Lighting

After seeing ceilings stuffed full of downlights for the past decade we now are enjoying a resurgence to decorative pendant lighting. We are seeing less bright coloured pendants and more solid black, with the occasional pastel. Crystal chandeliers have also made a come back but in a more understated and minimalistic way.

 

 

Marble

Marble is no longer just for bathrooms! It’s now seen featured in all types of furniture and accessories and looks like it might stay in the spotlight a while longer. Designers have been sculpting marble into curved shapes that boggle the minds comprehension. Some examples include marble dunbells, table legs, fruit, Luigina Chairs and coat hooks.  But the beauty of lighting means we get to appreciate both the sculptural form as well as the texture as it is illuminated.

Unique materiality

The trend of re-using, upcyling and craftsmanship has lead to a new playfulness with unique materials. Porcelain, glass, baskets, ribbon and PET are all popular choices for this emerging trend. The lighting designs are far from tacky and recycled. The materials are stretched, broken, wrapped and woven to create new textures and forms.

Lighting inside Drawers, Cabinets and the Shower

Why stay in the dark?! When it’s so easy light up those dark corners of the house. Lighting and automation technologies have improved dramatically in the last decade, and better yet they are affordable. These systems used to be only for the mansions of Beverly Hills but now anyone with an Ebay account can purchase LED strips and switches and simply install them throughout their home.  This is not just functional it’s beautiful! But PLEASE be careful to highlight the right things, no one wants a glowing toilet.  

It's such an exciting time to be selecting lighting. There really is something for every taste and function. 

Sally xx

10 Tips for choosing furniture

Ok my lovelies, i'm making things super easy for you today. Here are my 10 top tips for choosing furniture. These are great general tips that you can keep in the back of your mind while out sourcing furniture. 

1. DON’T CHEAP OUT

When it comes to the big items – bookcases, chests, sideboards, wardrobes, tall boys and consoles shop for quality not price. Ideally these are items you will buy once, so it’s worth the investment. This doesn’t mean that you can’t look for a bargain!

2. MIX N MATCH

Don’t fall for buying a set, in the bedroom or the living and dining room. The most interesting spaces have items that look like they go together but they don’t actually match. This is how you create a style. Go for combinations that look like friends not relatives.

3. GET THE RIGHT UPHOLSTERY

While silk and linen are beautiful they aren’t practical for years of use. Choose something that will last. Fabrics with a small amount of synthetic are more hardwearing. Consider patterned fabrics as they disguise stains more than plain fabrics. Remember that darker colours are more forgiving, and avoid white unless you want to be cleaning it weekly!

4. LEAVE ELBOW ROOM

When positioning your dining table near a wall you want to make it easy for people to walk behind a dining chair. So aim for a 90cm gap, but up to 150cm would be great.

5. PENDANTS - KNOW THE MAGIC NUMBERS

When installing a pendant light over a table the standard rule is 70-82cm above the table surface. The bigger the table the higher you should hang it so that the illumination can spread across the entire table. If the pendant you love is too small for a space then get a few more and cluster them together. When hanging pendants over an island bench, use 2 pendants for a smaller bench and 3 for a larger one, and hang them approx 55-70cm above bench height. When hanging pendants in a stairwell aim for a 45-60cm gap between head height and the bottom of the pendant fixture.

6. KEEP IT IN THE FAMILY

If you are ever offered a family heirloom like an antique dining set or writing desk – take it! As long as you have the space, it fits well and you like it, why not?! It will bring charm and personality to your home.

7. DO THE SCOOT TEST

When buying a chair or sofa make sure you give it a good test first. Scoot back and forward and side-to-side to get a good feel for the comfort, height (ergonomics), squeaks and wiggles. This will help you figure out the quality of the piece and how much it suits YOU.

8. DON’T BUY PLANNING TO RECOVER

It might seem cost effective but when you add up the time and materials you’re better off paying a little more for something in good condition. If it’s a small mark, it might clean up but if it’s badly stained just leave it.

9. ASK WHERE THE PIECE CAME FROM

It might have a story.

10. CHAIR-FUL CONSIDERATIONS

Avoid too many furniture legs in a room. For the ones you do have, pair them next to furniture without legs to ground them. Use fully up holstered Sofa’s, ottomans or chests to help create a visual barrier. Also you should find a common denominator to tie all your legged furniture together. Consider their shape, finish, style or texture and focus on one.

Happy shopping! :)

Sally xx

How to keep your wood floors looking great

Hello lovelies,

Ok, so you might have just re-sanded your floorboards or just finished a renovation where you have installed hardwood floorboards. What next? It’s time to take care of them so they still look good in the years to come. 

CLEAN REGULARLY

One of the simplest things that’s often forgotten is to make sure you immediately clean up spills. Use a dry cloth, and allow the cloth to soak up all the liquid.  Use a damp cloth to clean up the remainder of the spill and rinse out the cloth to keep it clean and dry during the process. Be careful not to over-clean as it will discolour your floors.  If the spill fades your floors - you can re-apply finish to it, but make sure you lightly sand it first.

Can I use a wet mop?

Good question.

Only as a last resort on sticky floors can you use a wet mop. But only do this if the finish is in good condition. Just remember that excess water can critically damage wood floors so its best to dry off with a towel.

USE FLOOR PROTECTORS

To prevent excess scratches and marks on your beautiful floors you should try and use protectors on all your furniture feet. They come in a variety of sizes, and the ones which come with nails and screws are much more durable. Make sure you buy the right size, type and shape as it is more likely to stay on and look good. 

Vacuum

Firstly, use a bare-floor attachment on your vacuum cleaner to vacuum the floors. Then use a hardwood floor attachment to get into the corners where the dust collects.

Minor Scratches

If you have waxed floors you can apply more wax over the scratch and buff. If your floors have a waterbased varnish you can use a timber touch up kit sold at most hardware shops.

My last and final tip is the most important!

Know your finish

Whether you chose the finish/wax yourself or got your builder to, it is important to find out exactly what finish was applied to your floors. This will help you care for your floors correctly.  Waterbased and oil based products will react differently to cleaning products.  Use the guidelines provided by the supplier and then you can confidently care for your floors and keep them looking great!

Hope this helps

Sally xx