Oaten’s Casino Workshop Wrap Up

Oaten's Casino Look Workshop

Oaten’s Casino Look Workshop

It’s a wrap! My trip to Oaten’s Workshop in Casino NSW was a whirlwind trip but boy did I pack a lot in! It was a half day of decorating 101 tips and tricks followed by high tea and mood board making. We all had a wonderful time, I was lucky enough to meet some fabulous ladies looking for new inspiration for their homes or some advice for their new builds. I can’t wait to come back in September for a Spring Time Look Blitz, I will have just returned from a fortnight in LA, San Fran and Palm Springs so I’ll be full of ideas and inspiration.

If you’ve ever wondered what goes on in a Nest Workshop, I begin by outlining my styling rules and decorating tips, then move on to how to actually get started properly on the decoration of your house. It’s easy to move in, do a bit here and there and then before you know it you’ve been in the house two years and you still have moving boxes lining the hallway. I show you how to kick your own butt into gear and get your rooms finished off properly. It’s always a load of fun and great girls day out with your friends, or meeting new ones as often happens!

I will be posting more information about the September workshop for Casino closer to the date. There are also a few other workshops in the pipeline so keep an eye on the workshop page on my website for all the details.

Emma x

ps. if you are a retailer in a country town and wanting to offer a fun day for your customers please shoot me an email to discuss how we can work together.

Palm Beach Project 2.0

Apartment 16 Palm Beach Project

Apartment 16 Palm Beach Project

If you’ve been following the blog for a little while, you will know that I teamed up with last year to fit out and style a beautiful two bedroom holiday apartment in iconic Palm Beach, an hour and a half from Sydney’s CBD. The apartment has enjoyed back to back bookings since it’s refurbishment and now I’ve been asked back to fit out a few others in the building.

Apartment 12A, along with another one or two apartments in the block will be undergoing a little facelift in the coming weeks, new paint, new flooring and possibly even re-working the doors to the balcony to make space for an outdoor lounge.

It’s important that the apartments share some common elements so there will be some pieces repeated in Apartment 12A where possible. It’s also vital that the pieces are durable, stain resistant and hardwearing. Serviced apartments need to work twice as hard as a residential home so we can’t have precious decorative pieces in the apartment as they’ll be ruined in no time. The client and I are also really cautious of appearing too “beachy” with the decor, a relaxed Hamptons feel is the look we are aiming for, something calming to come home to after a day at the beach.

Here’s a collage of pictures of how Apartment 12A looks at the moment. It’s going to take some loving to make it look just as fabulous as Apartment 16!

Apartment 12A Palm Beach Project

Apartment 12A Palm Beach Project

Ps. if you’d like a little holiday to Palm Beach, the is available to rent for short-stays – an ideal weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of Sydney! For booking information 

Emma x

Incy Interiors Chatswood Store Fit Out

Incy Interiors Store Facade Design

Proposed Incy Interiors Store Facade Design

Marj from  and I have been secretly working on a big retail store design job together for the past few weeks and I can now share where we’re up to with the project. Kristy from Incy Interiors had been hunting around for a shop in Sydney for some time, after a few months of searching the perfect spot was found and soon the first Incy Interiors Sydney store will open it’s doors. We are still in the stages of submitting plans but here’s a little look at some of the drawings that are shaping up to be a pretty awesome looking store.

We have gone with an industrial Hamptons feel with lots of black, grey and white throughout the store. We’ve incorporated some chalkboard paint, copper patina finishes and oak timber flooring. It’s all the finishes my dream house would have so I’ll have to try not to move straight in when it’s done!

When putting our design concepts together we had to be mindful that the Incy Interiors furniture would be doing most of the talking in the space and the finishes and fixtures around them had to do them justice. Their furniture ranges are really beautiful so it’s important that each piece of furniture has plenty of room around it so customers entering the store instantly know it’s a furniture store.

As with all projects we’ve stumbled upon certain issues here and there and no doubt there’s still more to come but they can’t be helped and you just have to find another way through! It’s a bit like renovating a house, you never know what you’re working with until you start doing some digging.

Incy Interiors Fixtures & Finishes Mood Board

Incy Interiors Finishes Mood Board

As the project progresses I’ll be sharing more and hopefully soon I’ll have some photos of work starting in the store. We still have a long way to come but we’re hoping to move quickly once plans are approved!

Stay tuned!

Emma x

How To Wallpaper A Kid’s Room


Jimmy Cricket Wallpaper

I was recently introduced to the range of wallpapers seen above – seriously that watermelon wallpaper is AWESOME so if you are one of my clients, look out, I might force this on you and your child in the near future.

I’m so glad that wallpaper is a trend that hasn’t died down, it adds so much to a room, it’s like a giant piece of art for your child’s bedroom wall and when they come in patterns like the ones above why would you deny your child such an awesome piece of art on their wall?! So I thought I’d share my top tips for selecting wallpaper for children’s bedrooms. 

Picking the Wallpaper

Wallpaper is obviously a pretty permanent piece of art for their room so you really only get one go at getting it right. If you’re feeling brave have fun with it and go with a geometric pattern, a fluro pop or a fruit salad feature. If you’re worried that your child will out grow unicorns in a few years go for a softer colourway like mint, peach or lemon in a more classic pattern like a stripe, clouds or birds – these will last through transitional stages and if you get it right they’ll still love it into their teens!

Wallpaper The Whole Room?

Painted feature walls are slowly becoming a thing of the past but wallpaper feature walls are still hot to trot. Obviously this also comes down to your budget but I think wallpapering one wall can look just as fabulous as the whole room. Use the longest flattest wall in the bedroom as the wall that the bed rests against, that’s the wall you want to wallpaper so you’re framing the bed nicely and creating symmetry in the room. It should also be the first wall you notice as you enter the room, no point wallpapering the wall the door is on, you’ll never see it!

How Do I Wallpaper It?

My last piece of advice for wallpapering a kids room is to hire a professional to hang the wallpaper. I have attempted wallpaper hanging once in my life and I have sworn I’ll never do I again. It’s worth paying someone else to do it properly as gluing and sticking paper especially patterned paper is now my idea of what Chinese torture would be like and you’ll never get it perfect so do it properly the first time and pay someone else to do it.

Any other tips you can share from your wallpapering experiences?

Emma x

Space Healing – A Designer Renovation

Confession time, I don’t read much. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good novel, I just never make the time to read one. Running a small business and working part-time as a buyer and stylist for an online store means down-time is rather rare for me and I don’t work the usual 9-5, it’s more like 9-5 then 5-9. For me, I am such a visual person that I find reading a bit annoying and frustrating, just show me the picture so I can understand what you mean! I learn by looking, not by reading. Which brings me to the point of this post, my very first boss in the interiors industry Bronwyn Poole (founder of Touch Interiors & Complete Pad), sent me a link to her latest all about how she ‘healed’ the Cremorne home she shared with her husband and three children to work with what was already there. It’s a three part blog post so you’ll need a cuppa ready before you click through but it’s honestly one of the most powerful blog posts about interior decorating that I’ve read in a long time, possibly ever.

In the posts Bron describes how she opted to work with the space she had available to ‘heal’ the space rather than undertake a massive renovation upon moving in. This is something I’m fascinated with, I love houses with character and soul. I can appreciate the simplicity of a minimalist modern home but I could never live in one. What I love most about my job is getting a peek inside a whole range of houses from narrow terraces built in the 1800’s to brand new $1 million builds. But it’s the older houses who have had various people over their lifetime love them outside and in that I am most interested in.. Each new owner brings new perspectives to the house so over time the house has various stories to tell of bygone eras…If walls could talk, I would certainly be listening.

One of my favourite things to do is to walk around certain suburbs and look at the houses, it’s always the older houses with established gardens that I want to knock on the door and ask to be shown around….. The other fascinating thing is how over time older houses have evolved. I am actually not a fan of open plan living, I much prefer to have things like kitchen, living and dining separate. This is something Bron faced with her home, how to do an older house justice yet heal the spaces within the home that weren’t quite working for her and her young family. There are many photos to accompany the blog so you can see exactly what I mean as you read through.

I will stop my essay here, but I really encourage you to click through and , it’s opened my eyes to think about how I approach entering a new space to decorate with a little more awareness. I’m working on a project now that is very appropriate for this new way of thinking and I will share more about it when I can.

Emma x

10 Apps for Interior Stylists


Apps for Small Business

If it wasn’t for the iPhone and some great apps, I wouldn’t be able to run my business from anywhere in the world. I’ve compiled a list of my top 10 apps that keep my business running. I’d love to hear what apps you use and love, I’m always on the look out for more!

1. – it’s the easiest way for me to stay in touch with various freelancers that work for me – we sync folders and know what needs working on or what’s been completed.

2.  – I create my newsletters with Mail Chimp and the app lets me track how the newsletter is performing once I hit send.

3. – I often hold stalls at markets where I sell my cushions and other bits and pieces so this app lets me process payments using customers credit cards and means I don’t need to bother with cash or credit card machines.

4. – this one is for the iPad and allows you to create floor plans very easily – great when trying to explain to clients how their new furniture will look.

5. – how I keep track of all my favourite blogs.

6. – keeps me entertained when waiting for a client meeting!

7. – lets you write captions and add text on top of photos – great for social media images.

8. – Best accounting software out. And the app allows me to invoice on the run.

9. – when I host decorating workshops or shopping tours this app lets me tick off everyone as they arrive so I know who’s arrived and who’s late!

10. – a great task management app that I can share with freelancers.

What are your lifesaving apps?

Emma x

NEW Rural Workshop: Oaten’s in Casino NSW

Oaten’s Look Workshop

I’m extremely excited to announce that I will be hosting a decorating workshop in rural NSW this month. Oaten’s in Casino NSW has asked me to host a fabulous workshop and high tea in their store!

Oaten’s and I have teamed up to show you how to decorate your living space, pull together all your inspirations, clippings and pinned pages you have collected over time and create a space you’ll love.

I will be showing you how to effortlessly put a look together, how to identify your style, general decorating 101 tips and tricks. You’ll walk away from the workshop with a mood board specifically created for a room in your home that you’d love to spruce up, and a head full of inspiration and ideas that can be put into action as soon as you get home.

WHEN // THURSDAY 29TH MAY, 9.30–12.30PM
COST // $149
INCLUDES // A scrumptious high tea will be served halfway during the workshop. You will receive $50 in-store credit at Oaten’s to be used on the day PLUS you will go home with a goodie bag valued at over $150!
BOOK // Ticket Purchase Information .

All materials for the workshop are provided, but please bring along any photos of your home or floor plans to discuss your specific decorating concerns with me. PLACES ARE LIMITED (so that I is able to spend as much one-on-one time with each of you as possible).

Emma x

Mother’s Day Gift Guide


Mother’s Day Gift Guide

– – – –

What are you spoiling Mum with this Mother’s Day?

Emma x

Husbands vs Wives Interior Look

Husbands-vs-Wives-Look copy

Okay, I won’t beat around the bush, decorating a house is usually a job women take on. I would say 98% of my clients are women.

This is how it goes when clients me……I liaise with wife via email. I meet with wife. I liaise some more with wife in her home. I put together a decorating scheme based on the brief I’m given at the time of meeting wife. I proudly send off the mood board to wife with a big smile on my face. Wife replies. Wife is over the moon with the mood boards and loves everything. Then guess who rears his head? Enter husband. For the first time (possibly ever), husband has an opinion on the lounge room and wants to make his own decorating wishes known.

This is a common problem I come across,  wife likes one look,  husband likes another and they haven’t discussed this before I’m invited in their home. Wife collects inspiration for how she wants her home to look. Husband isn’t consulted. Which results in me doing a re-design of the mood board (and also a bit of marriage counselling), submitting the new look and THEN getting on with the job of re-decorating.

Who else can relate to this? I know I’m not the only stylist who faces this problem and I bet there are loads of wives out there nodding along who have husbands who are  happy to come home and sit on the 12 year old Ikea sofa that he had in his bachelor pad before you met, but as soon as he gets wind that the room is going to be brought into the 21st Century he needs to make his opinions known! 

Emma x

Tablescaping With Nest Designs

the home spring launch -50

Spring Lunch for The Home

One of my favourite things to style is the table. You can have so many different creative things happening on a table. It’s the easiest way to get your styling theme across too. I did this table last year for the Spring Lunch for The Home with my stylist friend Marj.

What do you need to execute tablescaping well?

1. Cutlery, Glassware and Dinnerware (kind of an obvious one!)

2. Napkins, Placemats & Coasters

3. Runners or Tablecloths – unless you have a gorgeous rustic timber table top you want to show off!

4. Centrepieces – but nothing too over the top, you want guests to be able to chat over the table

5. Hanging Objects – these always add a bit of drama to the table if you have the hanging space

6. Scented Candles – no table is complete without some nice candles!

7. Name cards – one of my favourite things to create for a beautiful table.

I’m going to be helping style a beautiful Long Lunch in the Blue Mountains in May and I can’t wait to pull together a fabulous table for the guests to explore. It’s all about creating a story on the table. You want guests to discover more about the decor as they sit down and start chatting.

If you’d like help pulling together a look for your next dinner party send me an email to see how I can help you achieve the ideal dinner party tablescape!

I’m so obsessed with tablescaping I created a for my favourites!

Emma x

Easter with Etsy

Easter With Etsy

Happy Easter! I hope you have a wonderful Easter break with family and friends!

Emma x

Havven: New Site Alert for DIY Lovers


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.

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

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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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