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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 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 . 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.
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 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!
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, 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!
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…
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.
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?
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!
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!
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?