Online Store: Whiteport Interview

If you haven’t already discovered I highly recommend the gorgeous online store. Owner Jennifer McCabe has a great eye and chooses pieces that are themed around a stylish white palette. Here’s my favourite picks:


When did you start Whiteport and what made you decide to start an online store?

I started Whiteport in 2007 after the company I was working for closed it´s Australian office.  I’d long considered starting my own business and this was the final push I needed to do it.  My husband has a background in marketing & e-commerce so he was a great help in the early years.  We chose an online business model so that we could reach the largest audience.

What is a typical day in the Whiteport office like?

That is one of the things I like most about running my own business; no two days are ever the same.  Now that I have staff to handle the customer orders, I spend most of my time on marketing & PR.  Inevitably though there is still admin to be done like updating the website and paying invoices.

Most of your products are themed around a stylish white palette, what criteria do new products need to meet before you list them in your store?

We have always strived for products that are timeless and won´t date and I have learnt the hard way that you get what you pay for in terms of quality.  So I want to make sure any new additions to Whiteport fit this bill and also work with our existing product range.  Some of our accessories may not be all white in colour, but rather they complement a white colour scheme.  For instance our Industrial side tables are made from steel and very rustic but contrast beautifully with white.

Do you have plans for a physical store one day?

I’ve often thought about this but the difficult question for me is where to open one?  I like the flexibility an online business provides – if something isn´t working, you can change things very quickly and easily and with the global downturn in the economy, I don´t think now is necessarily the right time.  But you never say never…

What is your own decorating style like?

A real mix but if I had to say just one, I guess it would be French country.

If you could style any famous person’s home which would it be?

Hmm, probably Donald Trump´s New York apartment.  It’s so over the top it´s almost garish.  Plus I imagine the decorating budget would be huge.

What is your favourite part of the job?

Being my own boss as it gives me flexible working hours so I can spend more time with my daughter Maddie, who is 2.

What is your least favourite part of the job?

Dealing with the excessive amount of junk emails I receive!  They are endless and such a waste of time.

Jennifer has kindly extended a 20% discount from today until the 20th of March so get clicking! 

To redeem the discount, click “Apply Coupon” when ordering and use the word “BLOG” to receive the 20% discount!

Emma x


Sale Alert: Safari Fusion

Safari Fusion is having their annual sale! There’s only a few days left so you better be quick. I’d love one of these bright juju hats!



Emma x


Happy Clients

I love it when a client sends me a quick email to tell me how happy they are with their new colour scheme/piece of furniture etc. I have been helping a lovely client choose new paint colours for her entire home. It can be quite a daunting task, especially when you’ve lived with a certain colour scheme for many years, so it always makes me smile when I receive an email to say they are smiling now that the paint is drying and they can see it all coming together. Happy client = happy stylist!

Emma x

Interview: Ambrosia Candles + Special Treat


It’s no secret that I go nuts for candles. Can’t get enough of them. I discovered  sometime last year and have spent many hours trawling the site for myself and for my clients. I always like to know the story behind websites I recommend to clients so I thought I’d ask Rachel a few questions about her lovely website and as a special treat Rachel is offering you guys a special treat  – 10% off all candles. Enter the coupon code NEST during the checkout process. Valid until March 31st, 2012.

Ambrosia was launched in July 2011 after years of planning by Rachel and her husband Adam. Rachel has a background in online marketing and Adam a background in building and designing websites (perfect combo).

Why did you start Ambrosia Candles?

I have been obsessed with candles for many years and after countless weekends of dragging Adam all around Sydney from candle shop, to homeware store, to perfumery on the hunt for unique scented candles, we realised that candles certainly fulfilled our criteria of a product that we were passionate about.

We researched the idea further and found a gap in the online space for a candle store specialising in many of the high end, quality candles that we found in boutiques and upmarket homewares stores around Sydney.

Describe a typical day at Ambrosia Candles.

Our morning begins with all hands on stuff – gift wrapping and packing orders, followed by a delivery run to the post office. Our afternoon (and late into the evening) usually consists of responding to email enquiries, maintaining our online content, sourcing marketing opportunities, and spending way too much time chatting on Facebook and Twitter, all while trialling a gorgeous candle or two for our product reviews.

If you had to pick one, what would be your favourite candle?

For each brand we stock, we select one fragrance to feature as ‘Our Fave’ scent from the range. I struggle to pick just one favourite within a single range, let alone single out just one candle from our whole collection! But if I *really* had to choose, it would have to either between by Aquiesse or by Votivo.



What are some good tips for candle lovers to get the best out of their candle?

I’m a fanatic about burning candles the ‘right’ way, and to help our customers get the most out of their candles, we’ve dedicated a whole section of our website to

Our top candle burning tips are:

– Store your candles in a cool dry place. Heat will cause a candle to sweat and can affect the fragrance

– Always trim the wick to about 5mm every time you burn your candle

– The first time you burn your new candle, ensure you burn it long enough so the wax melts right out to the edges – usually about 3-4 hours. Candles will ‘tunnel’ and burn unevenly through the centre of the wax if you don’t burn it long enough straight up.

– Always remember that there is a naked flame involved, so safety precautions should be taken

Where do you source your candles?
In selecting the candles that we carry, we aim to represent candle makers from countries known for producing quality fragranced products. At the moment, we stock candles that are sourced from the US, Italy, France and the UK. We are also passionate about supporting local boutique brands like L’ASCARI, Gascoigne & King and Floriosa – we’re always on the look out for luxurious local Aussie labels to add to our collection.

Now hop over to Ambrosia Candles and use that 10% discount asap!

(Enter the coupon code NEST during the checkout process. Valid until March 31st, 2012.)

Emma x

Weekend Project: Terrariums

I’m not so keen on house plants but these cute little terrariums are very sweet little fellas and can easily be whipped up one weekend. All you need is a hand full of soil, some tiny succulents and a glass orb. I might even attempt one myself!


Emma x

Hotel Spotlight: Fonte Cruz Hotel

Planning a trip to Lisbon, Portugal anytime soon? No, me either but the Fonte Crus Hotel is worth a sticky beak even if it’s only in pictures..

is a boutique hotel boasting panoramic vistas of Avenida Liberdade, 72 luxurious suite sized rooms all beautifully decorated in monochromatic tones, Gin & Tonic specialties (sounds yum!) and an open terrace for chilling out!

I’m loving the feature wall in reception with all the old keys. Simple but effective!

Emma x

Cute Wallpaper

Shadow puppet wallpaper! I have no idea who supplies it but it’s such a cute idea for a kid’s bedroom.



Emma x

Interview with Patchy Rugs

I love Twitter – it puts me in touch with so many interesting people and it’s a great way to find out about new online stores and that’s exactly how I stumbled across Patchy Rugs.  The Patchy Rugs range is a collection of remastered kilims from Turkey, selected by Melbourne designer Lauren Treiser. The rugs have been individually chosen to complement every type of home and each Patchy Rug is a one off,  handmade and has it’s own unique colour scheme, tone and pattern. I think they are fabulous so I asked Lauren a few questions about her rugs.

Did you previously work in the interior decorating industry or is Patchy Rugs a total career change?
Patchy Rugs is a completely new part of my work. I am actually a graphic designer by trade who has always loved interior design and architecture. Keeping up to date with new trends and the design market, I felt it was a good time to start an online store that caters to people looking for something different to ‘up the ante’ in their home.
What gave you the idea to start up Patchy Rugs?
In fact I spotted these eclectic rugs whilst travelling in Turkey with my husband.  When I saw them for the first time, I absolutely loved them! Then, when we moved into our new home, I wanted to add warmth and colour into the space. The dream has now grown from a single rug in our living room to an online store.
Where do you source your rugs from?
Istanbul, Turkey
Is each piece individual?
Each rug is absolutely unique and one-of-a-kind! A real statement piece! The patchwork rugs are made by sewing patches together from different rugs to create a completely new rug. This literally means that it is impossible to have two alike. We also stock overdyed rugs which are traditional kilims that have been treated with a colourful dye to give them a new life. The traditional design is still evident through the dye and this creates an elegant mix of the old and new.
Do you ever get to see the rugs in their new homes?
I always ask the new owners to send photos of the rugs in their home. I will be putting them up on the website soon 🙂 I love seeing how people style their space and am always amazed how much the rugs can lift a room.
What is your most popular colour?
It’s pretty interesting! Everyone is different, just like the rugs. Some people like the earthy tones and some like the colourful rugs. Of the colourful onespurple has been very popular indeed.
Favourite part of the job?
My favourite part of the job has to be when we get that first email back, after the rug is delivered, letting us know how happy the customer is.
Least fave part of the job?
I like picking the rugs and matching them up with their new owners… I am not very good with the numbers side of things so I outsource it to my husband (Thanks Dave!)
Oh and for anyone contemplating a Patchy Rug, Lauren is very happy for people to come see the rugs in person, by appointment. And you can try the rugs out in your home – even if you are interstate, Patchy Rugs can courier them to you.

Emma x

Instagram Fun: March Photo A Day

Chantelle from Fat Mum Slim started a bit of a craze on Instagram back in January by creating a list of things to photograph on the iPhone app  and so many people got involved she continued it through February (when I decided to join in) and today the March Photo A Day starts! See below for a few of my Feb Photo A Day pics. Are you going to join in this month? All you need to do is snap a pic each day and tag it with #MarchPhotoADay. Follow Nest by searching for “@nestdesigns“.

Feb Photo A Day

Emma x

Massive Ikea Sale Today Only

Ikea Sale

Ikea is celebrating today’s special date and from 9.29am until 9.29 pm, they will be taking 29% off 229 selected IKEA products. Head to the website for more info and happy shopping!!

Emma x

Hi, I’m Emma

Stylist, decorator and author. That’s a lot of hats to wear, but I’ve been interior design obsessed pretty much my whole life so it’s no surprise to anyone that knows me that I’m this immersed in the design world.

Renovation and Home Design
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