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Havven: New Site Alert for DIY Lovers

havven-DIY-projects-Nest-Designs-Blog

havven DIY Projects

The super talented and amazing Jade Sheedy who I am lucky enough to call a colleague and friend has been tirelessly working away at starting a really cool new DIY site called . If you are a lover of DIY projects and need some inspiration, Havven is where you’ll find it. Jade spends hours researching projects – she sometimes sends me sneak peeks of things she’s working on and I wonder how it will look anything like the way she describes it but every single time she nails it. She’s pretty clever like that.

Jade wears many hats – homewares buyer, graphics designer, mother to super cute Olive and DIY craft queen (okay so it’s only me calling her that but I’m sure it’ll catch on soon!).  I’d like you all to get to know Jade a little better because she’s a cool cat and has lots of fun things to share with you guys on her site so I asked her to share some insights into how she got the site started and where she finds inspiration.

1. What is havven?

Havven is a free DIY resource for home and style enthusiasts. You will find all the latest on-trend projects on a user-friendly interface with incredible search and dynamic functionality. With a team of chosen DIY experts you are sure to get their professional tips, tricks and tutorials in their industry fields. Style shouldn’t be compromised due to budget!

2. What led you to create havven?

I’ve always been crafty and organised, my mum still proudly displays the dreamcatcher I made with found feathers from the property. Now as an adult and working as a buyer of furniture and decor, I couldn’t afford many items I lusted over so I attempted to make them; I was surprise at the success of some of those projects. I think the shift really happened when I made d at the success of some of those projects. I think the shift really happened when I made the coiled jute rug after lusting over ’s version.

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3. What DIY project of your own are you most proud of?
The rug for sure, I always get the reaction ‘you made that!?’
4. What DIY project would you love to try?
At the moment I am working on a beaded chandelier that I have been crushing on from the Swedish brand Nordel, the supplies are costing me a little over $400 so it’s being made in instalments 😉
5. What dream would you most like to fulfil?
A dream is to be sponsored by someone that can supply me with all my craft needs so I can continue making awesome things with free supplies but my goal is to get people to believe in themselves more.
We are all born baby artists but we lose the creativity as we age,  I want everyone to stop talking themselves out of doing things and give making it a go.
6. Who inspires you?
My mother the natural artist, she is the backbone of my creative drive. She taught me self belief and watching her do everything for herself made me want to follow in her footsteps and be a strong, independent woman too. *cue Destiny’s Child.
7. What are your favourite sources of inspiration?
I really admire and get motivated by all the creative artists out their making original content and selling their work or ideas via a market stall or their little patch of online and really owning their style.
Pallet Coasters

Pallet Coasters on havven

Thanks for sharing Jade!

Emma x

I’m taking the Taubmans Paint Challenge

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Taubmans Paint Challenge

Are you up for a home decorating challenge? Taubmans is challenging you to get off your butt and pick up a paint brush! There are $150K worth of prizes to be won so it’s worth a weekend of paint splatters I’d say! Everyone has that one room in their house that could do with a lick of paint. I’m taking part with a client/friend of mine who’s having a baby in September and we’re decorating the nursery together, we’ve picked a stunning deep blue called Open Seas from Taubmans for the walls, it’s going to be a bold statement but a seriously cool result (well in my head it looks like that for now anyway…) Stay tuned for updates on the project, I’ll be sharing the whole journey via Instagram and the blog. We’re yet to add any feature colours to the room in terms of soft furnishings etc so your suggestions are welcome, below are the paint colours.

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Paint Colours

I asked Ambassador and judge from for her top tips for painting the nursery I’m styling:

  • Should you make a feature of picture rails in a small dark room? – Featuring a picture rail is like putting a text line around the room and highlighting its presence. In a small room this isn’t what you want – instead paint the picture rail and the wall above in half a shade strength to the wall so it becomes a feature but not bringing attention to the size of the room.
  • Is it wrong to play up the drama of a room by selecting a dark moody blue when decorating a nursery? A dramatic colour like dark blue is actually like nightfall in a bedroom and could be quite soothing for a nursery. the key is not filling it with heavy contrast of reds and pops of colour; keep the palette simple with crisp whites, natural timbers and few colours like soft greens to tie it all together for a sophisticated nursery palette.  
  • If the walls are dark blue, what colour should you paint on the ceiling? – I would always recommend a Crisp White so it bounces light back into the room rather than a tinted neutral, which could absorb light.

If you’d like to take the challenge here’s what you need to do:

1. Take a photo of the room

2. Paint the room with Taubmans Endure paint

3. Submit before and after photos

Do you have any tips to add for painting a nursery? Have you had any experience painting a nursery? We’d love to hear your tips!

Emma x

Flower Styling On A Budget

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Styling On A Budget

I’m a little bit obsessed with arranging flowers. I’ve written before about how fun the flower markets are and if you’ve never been before I highly recommend you read through my advice before you go.  Now if you don’t want to brave the flower markets at 5am for cheaper flowers there are other ways to get the most out of a bunch of flowers.

We all cringe when we walk past the service station flowers but they are pretty cheap and I’ve got a sneaky tip for you…..You don’t have to put the entire bunch into one vase – split the bunch up and just place stems into smaller bud vases and spread them throughout your house. Instantly you can add a nice touch to the bathroom, kitchen, hallway, bedside or mantel piece and you’ve spent around $12 instead of buying various bunches of flowers to get the same effect!

Here are some I prepared earlier!

Flower-Styling-On-A-Budget-Nest-Designs

Flower Styling On A Budget

What are some of your favourite blooms to pop into tiny vases?

Emma x

Cotton On Kids Linen..

Cotton-On-Kids-Nest-Designs

Cotton On Kids Linen

Exciting news for those in the market for some new kid appropriate bed linen, will be launching a new range of kids linen on April 7th. And the best part is that the designs aren’t super ‘kiddie’! Sarah Lawrence, designer behind the range say “the aim was to steer away from traditional girl and boy bedding options to ensure the range was a combination of bright colours, fun patterns and most importantly a collection that kids and parents will both love.”

I think she’s nailed it, don’t you?

Emma x

Hunting For George

Ummm hello gorgeous bed linen!

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Hunting For George Bed Linen

 is a funky new bed linen brand offering a beautifully designed range of bed linen for the contemporary home. It is reasonably priced and not your average department store linen designs, a bit of luxe for your home the future of your house…

Emma x

What exactly is e-decorating?

I’ve been offering e-decorating services for just over three years now so it’s something I’d say I’m pretty familiar with but I often meet people who ask me what I do and stare blankly at me when I say I offer e-decorating services. This happened last week at a networking event I went to with a fellow business owner. It is usually men who have no idea what I’m talking about but it got me thinking that surely there are others out there who have NO clue about what e-decorating actually is! Below is a little diagram explaining the process in more detail but in plain terms, it’s basically decorating and styling help specific to your homes requirements delivered to you via email rather than inviting me into your home.

nest designs graphic for e-decorating jpeg

What is e-decorating?!

Okay so you see how it works but how will it actually help you? Well, everything I source I source specifically for your home, it’s not like I have a bunch of different mood boards that I just rotate around to clients. I study the photos you send me very closely and identify what can stay, what needs to go and then I make a little shopping list and I start picking things I think will suit the look and feel you are aiming for with your home. This is quite time consuming and often people ask me why I don’t just have a template of designs I send to clients and I say to them, well that wouldn’t make it very special and unique to the person purchasing the mood boards now would it? Every home is different and every homeowners needs and wants are different so I need to make sure everything I source will work well in that space.

One of the most common questions I’m asked by new and potential clients is, “what happens if I’m not happy with the design?”. I understand that everyone pictures things differently in their heads so when I put together a mood board it may not be exactly to your liking….this has actually only happened once in the 3 years I’ve been offering e-decorating so I think it’s safe to say my intuition is pretty spot on for what I think your home needs. However, if you aren’t 100% happy with everything on the mood board then I am happy to source one more option for you on the pieces that you feel don’t fit the brief you’ve given.

Here’s a little collage of some of my latest mood boards – quite a vast array of styles don’t you think?

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If you’d like help getting your house looking like a welcoming, comfy home email me to see how we can work together or fill in the questionnaire to get started.

Emma x

Cranmore Home

Cranmore Home

Cranmore Home

I love discovering new online homewares stores because I’m always on the hunt for new and exciting things to add as decor bits and pieces for my e-decorating mood boards. As I source for clients all over the country it’s good to know where the online stores are based so my clients can save on freight costs where possible so it was great to discover , a delightful little online store based in WA stocking brands like Bonnie & Neil, Elk, Ink & Spindle, Lazybones & Queen B Candles. Tracy Lefroy the owner, is clearly super passionate about the design industry as well as providing beautiful things to her customers on the west coast – she even held a Pop-Up Shop in a shearing shed 20kms from the nearest town! Seriously, how cool is that?!  I wish I lived closer to be part of that fun!
I thought I’d ask Tracy to share some insights into starting her own online store as well as where she finds inspiration to grow her online offering.
Tracy Lefroy of Cranmore Home

Tracy Lefroy of Cranmore Home

1. When and why did you start Cranmore Home?

My first little ‘go’ at building a retail business was just after my husband and I moved into our farmhouse. Once we had started our renovations, I found that I was frustrated that I could not find an alternative to mass produced, or horribly expensive products. I started looking more at brands that I knew were Australian-designed and produced either locally or under very strict Fair Trade principles.

A gorgeous girlfriend of mine suggested that the brands I was collecting would compile well for a shop. Somehow, her well meant comment ended up with her and I running a pop-up event at my farmhouse with the entire house being styled and merchandised! Cranmore Home is a now a bit of a moveable feast — it’s an online retail outfit, a roving pop-up shop throughout regional WA, host for a Winter Workshops series (in 2014) and anything else that tickles my fancy. 

2. Where did you get the inspiration for the name?

Cranmore Home in its physical sense is Cranmore Park — our family farm. We live in a 1909-built farmhouse on the farm that we moved into five years ago.   The farmhouse has been in the Lefroy family since its beginnings and is now home to my husband and I, our trio of kids, a couple of sheepdogs, flocks of sheep and herds of cattle. Our homestead, Cranmore Home,  is one of the oldest surviving homesteads in Western Australia. As such it is full of character old treasures, fascinating stories and layers of history that make a house a ‘home’ . 

3. What’s a typical day like at Cranmore HQ?

I am not really sure I have a ‘typical’ day at Cranmore! It starts with the standard morning rush of getting three kids and myself out the door and on the road to town by 7:30am to get school and daycare drop offs complete. Once I get to my office, I check my online orders and get those ready for wrapping and packing. Bec,  my incredibly organised Manager and Events Coordinator, and I always write a little note to our customers thanking them for supporting Australian-design by shopping with Cranmore Home. We really want people to feel a thrill when they see their Cranmore Home parcel arrive…After orders are done and dusted, I get on with various tasks such as updating my website, merchandising our showroom and, my favourite, checking out leads on any new designers I have got my eye on! 

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Cranmore Home Pop Up Shop

4. What do you love most about your job?

All of it! There are just so many great elements to running a creative business. I love coming up with new ideas of how to share Cranmore Home’s products and Australian-design ethos with people living in regional WA. I also love getting to know the artisans behind the brands of Cranmore Home. Learning about their inspirations for their work and how they see their work in a practical, everyday sense. 

5. How do you decide what makes the cut and gets online? Surely you see a whole mass of goodies on your sourcing travels?

It took me three years to gather the artists and brands that I now stock through Cranmore Home. I do have a little obsessions with  ‘Insta-sourcing’ to help me stay inspired and seek new discoveries; seeking new items via magazines or word-of-mouth conversations. It has surprised me just how strongly I feel about stocking only Australian-designed and Fair Trade produced goods. Australian-design is such a natural fit for my aesthetic — there is a flair, colour palette and functionality of Australian designs which make it unique. Many of our Australian designers do take their work offshore for production and this is where I spend a lot of research time ensuring that products meet strict Fair Trade principles in their creation, the materials used and the relationships with the artisans. I take a long time making sure I pay due diligence to the Fair Trade aspect of my brands.

6. You have three kids, how do you juggle motherhood and running a business?

Some days, I have no idea how everything keeps on rolling and then other days I think ‘I could do more each day’! I think that every parent faces the same balancing act of devoting time and energy to their children and having a career. I am so blessed in that my career is also my passion, so I never resent going to work. Cranmore Home also provides me with a creative outlet which I believe, allows me to be a better mother to my children. 

7. If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice when you started the business what would it be?

Take. A. Breath. I am a bit of a ‘do it all now’ person and this can mean that I put unnecessary stress on myself to do everything, all at once! I have been very lucky in that I have met so many wonderful people who have been generous with sharing their business knowledge with me. Starting a small business is exciting but also tremendously daunting, having a wonderful network of support from fellow creative businesspeople gives me the energy and confidence to keep moving forward. 

Have you discovered any new online stores recently? I’d love for you to share them below!

Emma x

Navy Candle Alert!

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I was sent one of these pillar candles last week from . I’m usually a candle in a jar kind of girl so I wasn’t so sure about this relatively new kid on the block at first. But he’s growing on me and I’m quite fond of the light they give off is very pretty and quite different to the usual glass candle glow it comes in navy! My all time favourite colour….

Are you a pillar candle fan or glass jar candle devotee?

Emma x

Retail Re-Design

I’m working on a few retail store re-designs lately and I’m rather enjoying it! I usually only work on residential projects but I did study marketing and merchandising at Uni and have worked in visual merchandising in the past so I’m enjoying getting back into it. Here’s a little peek at the to-do list I’ll be sending off to a retail client very soon. She’s ready to roll up her sleeves and get things done to turn around her store and I can’t wait to see the finished result. Love a client that’s itching to get started & put in the required hard work…I can only do so much!

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To-Do Lists Are Fun!

It’s amazing how someone else entering your store can provide so many ideas you may not have thought of, a new set of eyes brings a whole different perspective and sometimes it’s only tiny changes that have the biggest impact.

If you’d like help re-designing your retail store shoot me an email for more information.

Emma x

Nursery Workshop Saturday 29th March

I’ve teamed up with Sonya from  to bring you the first of hopefully many  in Sydney on Saturday 29th of March.

We are hosting a two hour workshop where we’ll share our styling knowledge, giving you all the advice you need for selecting non-toxic items for the nursery, how to lay the room out correctly, and we’ll help you create a mood board full of inspiration to give you the confidence to go home and create a safe sanctuary for your new bub.. Oh and you’ll leave with a fabulous goodie bag!

Location: 593 Botany Road, Alexandria
Date: Saturday 29th March
Time: 2-4pm
Drinks and snacks provided.

Tickets are limited as we want to be able to spend as much one on one time with you as possible so book in as soon as you can to secure your spot.

For more workshop information and ticket purchasing click .

Emma x

Retro Jan Sale

Retro Jan Sale Now On

Retro Jan Sale Now On

If you haven’t already heard of , I highly recommend you check them out. I use a lot of their pieces in client homes – they are affordable and on trend. They have a sale on now too where you’ll find 40% off ottomans, outdoor dining chairs for less than $80, side tables under $200 and TV Units under $500! Bargain central.

Emma x

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

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It still feels like the year has only just begun but Valentine’s Day is creeping up ever so quickly! Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your loved one and if yes, what are you hoping for this year?

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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