Pantone Marsala: The misrepresentation of red wine

I love wine. In a glass. Not on my couch or on my floor.

Every year Pantone announces a new “colour of the year ” and this year it was Marsala. Suddenly, you will see the colour everywhere. I was super excited when someone told me the new Marsala colour represents red wine.  To be honest, to me it is just the plain old maroon. This is what it looks like:



It is supposed to be appealing to both men and women, flattering against most skin tones and both dramatic and sophisticated at the same time.

So I browsed around on the internet to find some images of homes where this colour has been used successfully. To be honest, I found that this colour could work well as a focal point. Unfortunately only as a focal point… So if you have contemporary taste and just “have to use” the latest Pantone colour, invest in a piece that you can replace again. I will not recommend spending your money on big ticketed items with a Marsala tone! Except if it is a box of red wine you need to store in your pantry.

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HOME DESIGN Magazine features a profile of Vanilla Slate Designs!

Who would have thought that two friends, with their heads filled with a 1000 ideas, can see their dreams come true! Yes, even though it’s 9am, we are drinking champagne and enjoying our 5 minutes of fame. Truth is, that’s what it is. In today’s busy digital life where everyone is reaching and stretching to be seen… you have to enjoy the few seconds that you get in the sun.  So here it is: A profile on us in this month’s HOME DESIGN magazine! Now available in your local News Agency.


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Thank you HOME DESIGN Magazine for making us look as if we know what we are doing!

Most of the images in the Magazine Article were taken by the lovely Yvette from Martinette Photography. Thanks Yvette!

Eriana & Lyndie

6 Decor Secrets to Create a Cosy Home

No home should look exactly like a magazine. They are styled for photo shoots and most of the time not at all cozy and inviting for your friends to grab a glass of wine or kick off their shoes.  Today, I will show you a few ways to cosy up your home with just a little bit of effort and with the furniture and décor items you already possess.


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If you are lucky enough to be living in a home with character such as French windows, high ceilings or beautiful architraves, your job is half way done!  These details add instant charm to any home, as long as you don’t make the mistake of covering it up with heavy curtains or blinds.  It’s best to use sheer curtains or go without entirely, unless you have a peeping Tom problem in the neighbourhood.



Chevron vs Herringbone. Is it the same thing?

To me, the herringbone pattern is one of the most elegant ways you can display your tiles. Even cheap old subway tiles look amazing if you just use the herringbone pattern. When I spot a real timber floor laid in a herringbone pattern, it literally makes my toes curl and I just want to lay down on the floor. But is chevron and herringbone the same?


NO !!!! Chevron & Herringbone is definitely not the same!

There is a distinct difference between Chevron and Herringbone. Make sure you give your tiler the correct information! The Herringbone pattern is timeless and elegant. It an be used in so many different rooms, with so many different types and colours and sizes of tiles or timber.af5c4f374e3ab2925cac43b68ba1621b (more…)

6 Tips on how to style when Selling your Home

To hire an Interior Designer or Home Stager is a very effective way to get the best price for your home when it goes on the market.  Unfortunately,  a lot of sellers don’t realise the value in hiring expert advice.  Here are a few of my best tips on how to utilise the items you already have, to make the most of the big day.


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No matter how much money you spend on the inside of your home before putting it on the market, most potential home buyers will drive past the “For Sale” sign if the house looks worn and the garden a mess.  Your house will be judged before anyone has even entered it, so spend some time fixing the gutters, cleaning the dusty garage doors, weeding the garden, replacing a worn entrance mat and planting a few pots of colourful flowers for instant curb appeal.



8 Tips on Getting the Kinks out of a Bathroom Renovation

To tell you the truth, I thought my bathroom renovation would be a simple process without any headaches.  I thought I had done my planning carefully, ticked all the boxes and was ready for a smooth ride.  How wrong was I!  On the bright side, if everything had gone to plan, I would not have been able to give you some hands on information at all!  Here are my tips for getting it closer to perfect.



Be aware, everything is probably going to be more expensive than you think it is!  A good guideline for a bathroom budget is to not spend more than 5 % of the value of your house.   It’s also a great idea to set aside 10-15 % of your bathroom budget for any unexpected costs, because believe me, there will be! During my bathroom renovation I accidentally dropped a door on the tilers brand new IPhone 6.  Thus I had to replace and pay for his phone, screen protector and phone case before he could finish the job.  (Note to self:  Don’t do acrobatic moves climbing over rubble during a renovation process)



This is why THE BLOCK on Channel 9 is misleading us

Today I will show you why I am so disappointed with one of my favourite renovation programs on Channel 9 – Are they taking us for a ride?

This week there were three ex-blockhead couples competing for a final spot on this year’s THE BLOCK reality show.  Each team was given $10,000 to renovate and install one bedroom. This is where I get unhappy… If you see the final result of the rooms (which were awesome), you realise that there’s no chance in hell that you can create such a room on a $10,000 budget. I will proof it to you in a minute…

Firstly, it upsets me as an Interior Designer, as my client can’t understand why I am unable to create a beautiful space such as that for under $10,000. Secondly, it makes people think that, for a small amount of money, they can transform their homes into a space as if out of a magazine, but if they try to copy it they can’t get it right.


Let’s have a look at Bec and George’s lovely room:

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I absolutely loved it. Now let’s go to the Official Channel 9 BLOCK SHOP and see the retail prices of some of these products as of today:

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If you add these products from their site together, (which show only SOME of the products in their room), it comes to a whopping $5,385. (more…)

How to decorate when you have a cat

Days like today is what makes the life of an Interior Designer interesting…  This week we visited a new client in the Sydney CBD and one of their requirements for the design is to “create an interesting cat playground so that it forms part of the architecture and design of the room”. This is our first client meeting where one of the clients is officially a cat…

I am more of a dog person, so I have to do more research on this project. I did find a few easy, quick and cost effective ways on Pinterest how some home owners make use of shelving to stimulate their cats’ climbing needs. I thought I would share a few of them with you today, before I go back to the drawing board for my new “cat client” who lives in a beautiful Industrial Loft in Surry Hills. I better get my act together so that I can design an Industrial cat haven… I think I am going to need a glass of wine to help me get those creative juices flowing for this project.

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These white shelves are available at IKEA and is perfect for your cat. If you move out, the next owner can use it as a book shelve.

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Why not add a colourful cat playground that can double up as a book shelve? An easy way to add pops of colour to a room.

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This is a clever way of displaying your books and give your cat a staircase.  I am not sure if this was planned or by chance!

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Easy to make & create out of loose shelving units from your local IKEA or KMart. If you are handy, you can make this in a weekend! A useful book shelve with an almost unnoticeable  staircase for your cat.

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These shelves have a bit of an Industrial Look for the loft in Surry Hills, don’t you think?

If you have built interesting cat shelves at your home, please send us an image!

eriana bredenhann


Most people think that decorating with black can be quite depressing, sombre, too formal or modern.  I believe that a little bit of black is necessary in every room;  it is stylish and dramatic, it provides a grounding effect and can be used in combination with any décor style!  If done correctly, it enhances colours and shapes around it and creates a soothing warmth in combination with the right lighting.  I’ve put together 5 tips for you to remember if you are adventurous at heart.


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Like any dark colour, black can overwhelm easily.  Make sure that your lighting is adequate, but is doesn’t necessarily have to be natural lighting.  Some of the most beautiful hotel rooms rely on light fixtures to create a warm glow.  If you decide to combine black with white, then black should dominate the palette for a more elegant look.



SIX STEPS to create a perfect coffee table display EVERY time

Yes, anyone can do it! You just need to have a guideline… and focus! So today I will teach you how to create a picture perfect coffee display EVERY TIME. Just follow my six easy steps! It is fool proof. (Please don’t prove me wrong!)

It doesn’t matter what style of coffee table you have, it is about knowing which items want to be together on the table.


It is your foundation for the display! You need a place to chuck in all those loose bits e.g. TV remotes, knick-knacks or your coffee mug. Choose the style you want: Rustic, Metal, Glass, Wicket etc. Paint it, Spray it, Borrow it, Steal it. But get it!

blue tray on coffee table
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Why is it called coffee table books? For a reason! To show off on your coffee table. Use your most pretty ones, with interesting colours, different sizes and for sure designer names or titles that your guests will find interesting to page through while you make the coffee. So focus on books with beautiful images… and not ones on how to improve your self-esteem or raise teenagers. Your guests want to relax! If you have many books, they should always be stacked on different heights. (more…)