How to use inexpensive plywood as a decor item

With a very limited budget, common plywood can become a designer item within minutes! Grab your nail gun and saw and you will transform your room like a pro. Today you will be surprised and inspired! We also have a lot of tips for tenants too.

Yes, it’s actually a waste product, but very trendy at the moment. It is super strong, but easy to work with. Plywood is made by glueing many thin layers of wood together. You get different grades and the price may differ. The more layers, the sturdier.


This is the normal the size of a plywood board, but you can cut it smaller of course. Just lean it against the wall for a perfect background to display images of your children’s art work. You can even paint it a funky colour. Great for tenants! If you may, you can hang it fixed on the wall too.

plywood tenant artwork
Image Source


Cut it in any shape you want, and use it as a headboard. Cover with fabric or just a lick of paint. It will take you less than half an hour. That’s if you have the right saw! (more…)

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.

Image Source


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.


LHD 182_Cover

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.


Image Source

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.


Image Source

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:

The Block Channel 9


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:

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 2.36.25 PM

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.

Image Source


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.

Image Source


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.

Image Source


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!

Image Source


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.

Image Source

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.


black bedroom wall
Image source

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.