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 blog post 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 read about Bron’s journey, 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.
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. Dropbox – 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. Mail Chimp – I create my newsletters with Mail Chimp and the app lets me track how the newsletter is performing once I hit send.
3. Big Cartel Checkout – 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. Room Planner – 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. Feedly – how I keep track of all my favourite blogs.
6. Pinterest – keeps me entertained when waiting for a client meeting!
7. Overgram – lets you write captions and add text on top of photos – great for social media images.
8. Xero – Best accounting software out. And the app allows me to invoice on the run.
9. Eventbrite Entry – 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. Producteev – a great task management app that I can share with freelancers.
What are your lifesaving apps?
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
LOCATION // OATEN’S, 150-152 CANTERBURY ST, CASINO NSW
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 here.
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).
Book tickets here.
Vases – Card – Ring Dish – Herb Markers – Chopping Boards
What are you spoiling Mum with this Mother’s Day?
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!
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 special Pinterest page for my favourites!
Happy Easter! I hope you have a wonderful Easter break with family and friends!
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 Havven. 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 Armadillo & Co’s version.
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.
I asked Taubmans Ambassador and judge from The Block Shaynna Blaze 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 here
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!
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!
What are some of your favourite blooms to pop into tiny vases?
Exciting news for those in the market for some new kid appropriate bed linen, Cotton On Kids 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?
Ummm hello gorgeous bed linen!
Hunting For George 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…