Painting with Pals

Taubmans Paint Party Planning 101 Infographic[5]

Confession time….. I seriously hate painting walls with a passion. To me it’s quite possibly the most tedious task you could ever ask me to do. This probably has a lot to do with my levels of patience but painting is just not a task for me. recently sent me a pretty cool kit that could persuade me to pull out the paint brushes this Easter Long Weekend though..

Did you know that the top 3 reasons people don’t paint their rooms are:

1. Lack of Time

2. Not knowing where to start

3. Wanting to do something more fun (umm yes, guilty over here)

The most interesting thing I found from Taubman’s paint survey is that  77% of respondents are keen to change the way their home looks. And 65% of people would be motivated to finally get started on their painting projects if they could also convince their mates to lend a hand. I definitely agree here, if I had some buddies to rope in I’d probably be more likely to get started on painting.

So Taubman’s has made it their mission to make this Easter your “paint party long weekend”, enlist the help of some friends and invite them over to make a party out of your re-painting project. Sounds like a much better way to get the job done to me!

Do you have a paint project you’ve been putting off? I’d love to hear your excuses about why you haven’t started yet (it might make me feel better about my bedroom that needs repainting!)

Emma x


Oaten’s Workshops – April


I’m heading back up to Oaten’s Casino NSW April 16-18th to run some more super fun decorating workshops, teaching homeowners all about the principles of decorating, how to get started on the re-decorating process and how to pull it all together without losing your mind in the process.

This time I’ll also be spending more time one-on-one with clients wanting more detailed advice about their renovation or re-decorating plans.

For all ticket and workshop information email [email protected] or .

Hope to see you there!

Emma x

Teeny By Incy Interiors

I had the pleasure of working with photographer a few weeks back to shoot a series of nursery set ups for and their brand new cot and change table range ““.  Jacqui took some sneaky snaps while I wasn’t watching so I thought I’d share what things look like before you get the final shot. Hint: a lot of lifting, crafting and re-arranging!

This was quite possibly one of my favourite shoots because everything was just so darn cute! And also the Incy team are so awesome to work with (they had no hesitation jumping in and painting walls either!).

Hard At Work

Hard at work with my assistant for the day Emily.

Shelf Styling

Shelf Styling

Final Shots!

Final Shots! Adventure playground for a little boy and Sophisticated Scandi for a gender neutral nursery.

Follow the link to the to see the gorgeous little girl’s nursery. The mini clouds I made are just too cute!

Emma x

2014 Mood Board Wrap Up

The end of last year has all blurred into one giant panic to get to the finish line and complete as many client mood boards as possible so that my clients could have their brand new rooms finished in time for Christmas and the season of entertaining. Here’s a little look at a few mood boards I finished off before the silly season began!


Mosman Living Room

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 10.31.49 am

Upper North Shore Contemporary Media Room

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Bondi Apartment Living Room


Balmain Terrace French Provincial Master Bedroom

If you’d like some help re-decorating your home check out the services page to see which service works best for your needs!

Emma x

Australia’s Ugliest Living Room Revealed

A couple of months ago held a competition to find Australia’s Ugliest Living Room… After sifting through hundreds of submissions we found the ugliest… The home belonged to a couple who have been struggling to pay off their mortgage for the last 17 years and were so ashamed of how their living room looked they stopped inviting friends over years ago. Their very kind son nominated them and prayed that his parents would win. I can honestly say they were the most deserving winners. It’s not necessarily a title you would want to be the proud owners of but if you check out the pictures below I think you’ll agree that it’s worth it!

When I went for the site visit I chose the wall colour with the rest of team and then got to work painting the entire room and ceiling – just seeing it with the furniture removed and a fresh coat of paint was amazing!

 I selected a fresh contemporary look for the furniture from . The previous pieces were chunky and way too big for the space (not to mention very dated and well worn). The TV was also not in an ideal position so I flipped it over to another wall that then allowed for much easier traffic flow through the room. I can’t decide what my favourite thing in the room is but I do love that we were able to display as many pictures of the family as possible on the floating shelf as family was clearly very important to the winners.

1 adore home magazine the home makeover australia's ugliest living room renovation styling bright living space modern 2 adore home magazine the home makeover australia's ugliest living room renovation styling bright living space modernImages by Dara Tippapart via .

For more details check out  and .

Emma x

End of Year Wrap Up

It’s been a giant year… I’ve been on 24 planes this year and I’ve still got two flights to go before the year is out. I’m Sagittarius so I’m meant to have a strong desire to travel and travel I did this year! I’m secretly hoping to fly a bit less next year, but it’s already looking unlikely with numerous decorating workshops lined up for early 2015. Sign up to the newsletter if you are interested in attending a workshop as I’ll be running them in various locations next year.

Other exciting things that have happened this year:

  • Hosting workshops across the country – I’ve hosted more than 10 workshops this year!
  • Launching an amazing designer rug collection with Urban Road in August – I’m still obsessed with all 9 designs.
  • Designing the first Sydney Flagship store in Chatswood Chase with Marj from Decor Project.
  • Been featured in a number of print and online publications, most recently a big feature in .
  • Battled my serious phobia of public speaking and spoke five days in a row at  about the importance of visual merchandising. Won’t be rushing back to torture myself though.
  • Helping style a number of pages for celebrity interior designer Juliet Love’s book (to be released mid next year)
  • Completing a whole host of private residential decorating jobs and adding some great new work to my portfolio
  • Becoming a – once a month I’ll be writing content!
  • Transforming Australia’s Ugliest Living Room with into an amazing new living room! See the reveal .
  • And on a more personal note, travelling to LA, Palm Springs & San Fran for an adventure of a lifetime with my besties.

Another year comes to a close but 2015 is shaping up to be even bigger, I’ve been working on three secret projects for the past few months and I haven’t been able to share anything just yet but in the New Year I will be able to reveal them one by one… One project has involved a bit of a facelift for the website and blog – I think you’ll really like it 🙂

I hope you all have a lovely, happy and safe Christmas and New Year wherever in the world you happen to be celebrating and I’ll be back in the New Year to share my exciting projects!

Nest Designs Christmas Graphics 2014

Emma x

How To Make A Christmas Wreath + Oaten’s Workshop Wrap Up

I’m back from my tripping about to rural NSW, we had so much fun making floral wreaths for Christmas. While I’m there I always spend some time with the local ladies needing a helping hand with the decorating process in their homes. I love chatting with them about their decorating dilemmas and helping them solve problems that they’ve had with their layouts or furniture for months (sometimes years!). I’ll be back again next year and hopefully I will be able to do some before and after reveals to show you how their properties have progressed.

 Usually the workshops are strictly business and focus on interior decorating but this time we wanted to do something fun for Christmas and making wreaths ended up being really therapeutic!! Here’s a peek at one of the wreaths we made in the class.

If you’re tempted to try your hand at wreath making I promise it’s not difficult to do! All you need is an afternoon to play + dodder vine (available at your local florist) that you twist together to make the wreath and then some floral wire to wire all the flowers in place. Easy! (hint: Australian natives are easier to work with as they’ll last longer).


Oaten’s Attendee Christmas Wreath. Photography by Tanika Blair

Emma x


Christmas Workshops

christmas workshop

Christmas Workshop Fun

Santa’s coming to a town near you!!!!!

To celebrate the silly season (my favourite season of all) I’m hosting two Christmas styling workshops. One with the uber talented DIY queen Jade from  and the other with my friends at Oaten’s in Casino.

Spots are limited with both workshops so that we can spend time teaching you how to make the floral and succulent wreaths and other DIY projects so if you’re interested please book in fast!

See all the details below.

Thursday 21st November
Come along and learn how to DIY a succulent Christmas wreath, a handmade rope bowl and hand printed tea towel with DIY Queen and  creator Jade Rennie and meeee! Ticket information .

Thursday 27th November – Friday 28th November 2014
A workshop packed full of fun activities with a Christmas twist. Come and learn how to style your table for Christmas lunch, how to put a gorgeous bunch of Christmas themed flowers together and more. For all the details  .

Emma x

10 Commandments Of Colour

Taubmans is one of my most used colour charts when I visit clients needing paint colour advice, and no, they didn’t pay me to say that. I find that their range of neutrals are the best on the market and their colour swatch book is pretty diverse compared to others. The other day I received their press release listing ambassador  10 Commandments of Colour and I found myself nodding along to all of them (not surprising considering how much I love Shaynna.) Here’s number one below and in my opinion, the single best piece of advice for those of you wanting to re-paint or select a new colour scheme but aren’t too sure where to start. You can see all 10 commandments on the Taubmans website.

Commandment One

Commandment One – The 60/30/10 Rule

Quite often when I visit new clients to discuss paint colours, they are too scared to take a risk with colour and end up choosing white everything – white walls, white skirting boards, white ceilings and white window trims – this is fine if you’re totally into that whole pristine white thing but you run the risk of looking a little too clinical – think dental surgery….! EKK! So Shaynna’s breaking the white wall mould and encouraging homeowners to take risks with colour.

Finally technology has caught up with some of the awesome things I’ve always wished for and Taubmans has created a ‘Paint Your Room’ tool where you can load an image of your room and it will virtually paint the walls (if only it would actually paint the walls…!!)

If you’d like more advice on colours for your home feel free to drop me an email to see how I can help you. I can help no matter where you’re located in Australia!

What’s the biggest struggle you face when trying to decide on paint colours?

Emma x

Inner City Apartment Project

I’ve been working with a good friend of mine to get her new apartment fully furnished. I helped her with her first apartment and after moving into a more modern apartment she realised half of her old furniture no longer worked with the new place. So off we went to the shops!

After spending two Saturday afternoons selecting a new sofa, dining table, dining chairs, rugs and armchairs the house came together really nicely, then it was just a matter of picking out some finishing touches like art and cushions. We’re both very pleased with the final outcome and I went back last week to take some professional shots for my portfolio. Here is a behind the scenes look at the shoot. A big shout out to my assistant for the day Chris Carroll from – a fabulous styling assistant!


Bossy Stylist and A Patient Photographer

My photographer Lisa from + is such a gem, she goes above and beyond and is also just an all round awesome human.


Behind The Scenes

There is now loads of colour in the home thanks to some beautiful pieces from Urban Road artworks, cushions,  linen,  linen and accessories!

The pros shots will be up on the site shortly.

Emma x

Palm Beach Apartments 2.0 Update

It’s been a while since updates but Apartment 12A and Apartment 15 have been finished off ready for the summer holiday rentals. Exciting! Here’s a look at the mood board schemes I put together for Apartment 15. Apartment 12A is a one bedder where as Apartment 15 is the penthouse so quite a bit bigger and definitely needed some wow factor. I think the bold art from  has done that! The client loved the original Palm Beach apartment but wanted very much for these apartments to have their own identities too and I think together we’ve achieved that.

Apartment 15-Mood-Board-Lounge-Room-Nest-Designs

Apartment 15-Mood-Board-Lounge-Room-Nest-Designs

There’s an obvious coastal theme but with a heavy dose of neutral textures and tones to achieve a really relaxed and comfortable look.

Apartment 15 - Mood Board - Bedroom - Nest Designs

Apartment 15 – Mood Board – Bedroom – Nest Designs

Now to find the time to get back in and photograph them! They are fully booked on weekends until Autumn next year so finding time to get some professional photos done is going to be a challenge! You can book to stay at the apartments via .

I popped into Apartment 16 when I was there last and can report that it’s still just as fabulous as it was when I walked out last year. It’s so nice re-visiting projects and seeing them still looking great. You can see more of Apartment 16 in my portfolio.

Emma x

Baby Shower Styling

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any event styling work but it’s officially spring time which means new life, new starts and summer is on it’s way so perfect timing to share a baby shower I styled in July.

It was for a very good friend of mine who is expecting a little boy. It’s quite handy to know what the gender is purely for styling reasons 😉

Here’s a little look at the Aztec themed baby shower in more detail.


Table Decor

A teepee table runner set the tone for the party table! This looks easier to do than it actually is. I made a potato stamp for the teepee shape and stamped them randomly down two metres of brown paper. It took forever and is quite fiddly but it looked so effective!


arrows, teepees and cacti

With the help from some friends I made tiny teepees from decorative paper, arrows from washi tape and balsa wood and we washi taped some cute $4 terracotta pots from Bunnings and planted some red and orange cacti.


Oh Baby! straws and cups

Chevron cups with straws in a variety of colours. I added tiny tags that read “Oh Baby!”. So appropriate for sipping punch at an afternoon shower!

Perspex teepee bunting

Perspex teepee bunting

I had a friend cut some sweet teepees from blue perspex and I used brickies line from Bunnings in fluro orange to hang the bunting above the entry door.

Chevron detailing

Chevron detailing

Chevron napkins from the $2 shop topped the theme off nicely.

All in all it was a relatively inexpensive baby shower to pull together, it just required some time and patience – two things I don’t have a lot of 😉

If you’d like help styling a baby shower just drop me an email to see how I can help you.

Emma x

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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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