Copper Inspiration for your home

Long before one found copper everywhere in every decor magazine, I was in love with copper. I can still remember the copper spade and bucket next to my grandparents’ fireplace. I loved how shiny it was, although grandma always complained that it was hard work to keep it looking that way!

copper mood board

My favourite combination: Copper, black and grey. Today copper is used in many different forms, and adds a very lively accent to a room. (more…)

How to choose a feature wall

As the name suggests, a feature wall highlights a room’s features, add personality and can start a conversation by just being there. In my house, I use wine as a conversation starter, but this could become expensive in the long run…

Large format graphics have been around for a number of years and can transform walls into breathtaking works of art.  A feature wall need not be an expensive exercise, as timber, a cluster of photos or paint will have an equally ravishing effect if used correctly.  Although it seems like an easy thing to just slap on a bit of paint or wallpaper, we still have to take a few things into consideration before we get too carried away.

1.  CONSIDER THE SIZE OF YOUR ROOM

* Feature walls work best in large, open plan areas.  Rooms that are too small can easily become visually cluttered and feel quite claustrophobic, especially if you choose a very dark colour or busy pattern.

* It’s best to highlight a wall without any windows or doors.  The impact will be greater if a large, uninterrupted area is used.

Large_flower

(Image by decorology)

2.  CHOOSE THE RIGHT WALL

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How to decorate the “Flea market Style”

I cannot pass a flea market without getting a little flutter in my belly, usually accompanied by a high pitched scream at my husband to immediately stop the car.  I love the excitement of finding that perfect item at a bargain price, even amidst protestation from the driver’s seat.

flea market style

To me, a flea market is not only a place to find a bargain, but also a treasure trove of items with great potential.

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How to dress your bed like a designer

For most of us, making our bed is an early morning rush job between cleaning our teeth and getting the kids to school.  Sometimes, we completely miss the point of having a bedroom as a quiet and peaceful space.  Luckily, this can be fixed with the right styling, the right ingredients and just a few extra minutes of your time.  Start off by purchasing beautiful textures of the best quality linen, wool and cotton in a neutral palette and layer these to create a restful retreat.  Follow these simple tips to get it just right:

how to dress your bed like a designer

1. EUROPEAN CUSHIONS

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How to display succulents in your home

If you are like my friend, and you don’t have the ability to keep a house plant alive, then you should try your hand at succulents.

Succulents only need water when you remember to give it to them! With their unusual shapes and sturdy leaves, they can become affordable pieces of art in your home. Nowadays there are very funky pots on the market, or you can even paint one yourself. (Click HERE to view a link to “40 different ways to paint your terracotta pots”.)

pop and scott potplants

To buy funky pot planters, visit popandscott.com for the real designer look, or visit the online Etsy shops ShadeonShape or Kolbiewood. They are my favourites, and also make lovely gifts.

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A visit to “The Baron” – An Industrial coffee shop in Castle Hill

The Vanilla Girls are always in desperate need for a quick caffeine fix and it was not by accident that we ended up at the Baron.  This funky, industrial style coffee shop in Castle Hill, North West of Sydney, has been our secret “pick me up” for the last few months.  We decided, because we are generally good people, that it would be a sin and extremely selfish not to share it with our readers.

The Baron Castle hill

With locally sourced ingredients and home made sauces and relishes, they’ve created a winning menu with some interesting variations on the good old favourites. (more…)

“Kiplings Garage Bar” – Your wine bar and fireplace in Turramurra

We came across Kipling’s Garage Bar after a suggestion from a friend that lives in the local area of Turramurra. Early settlers referred to the area as Eastern Road, until the railway station was built in 1890.

This time, we arrive at our destination almost without incident, the only mishap being a slight detour into one way traffic in combination with hysterical giggles and a near miss of a pole in the centre of the road. The Bar’s location is opposite the Turramurra Station. We have a chat with Helen, the owner, to find out about this intimate establishment, which used to be a service station.  The neglected building stood unoccupied for a number of years, before Helen decided to turn it into a lively, modern bar & restaurant.

Kiplings_garage_bar_turramurra_outside_restaurant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VSD: How did you come across the premises and decide on a wine bar?

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Home visit to a child-friendly artist’s home in Neutral Bay

It’s another beautiful winter’s day and we are heading to Neutral Bay, Sydney. We are getting into our comfortable and rather familiar ritual of getting lost on the way and if it wasn’t for the excellent navigational specialist next to me, we would have been in trouble.

autumn in sydney

Scattered among large apartment buildings, we find well kept period homes and hilly, picturesque streets without any sense of overcrowding.  With a distance of only 4km out of the city, we can understand why Dieter and Malindi decided to settle here 7 years ago.

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Dolcettini – A rustic Patisserie heaven in the Hills

As we walk through the door of Dolcettini, we immediately become aware of the homely smell of freshly brewed coffee and hot, buttery pastry.  Even though the patisserie is tucked away on a side street in Dural, they sure don’t have a lack of passing trade through the door!

Bianca and her husband, Francesca, opened this shop in 2012, after creating a huge following by setting up market stalls and selling award winning delights. Nowadays, they can hardly keep up with demand and their delicious creations are very well known in the area.

We caught up with Bianca in the midst of the bustling trade, to ask about the design and decorating stage of the shop.

timber bar counter coffee shop

VSD:  How did you decide on the style of the décor?

My husband always wanted an industrial, rustic patisserie and I’ve always loved a more French Provincial and Italian country look (which can be very expensive when done properly).  We had a very tight budget not knowing what to expect from a shop in Dural in a small community.  We found the building to be awkwardly designed and weren’t willing to spend too much on the interior.

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How to decorate with Maps

Maps have been around for thousands of years to show us the shape of the world and the lay of the land, but also to get us excited about our next travel destination. In recent years, maps have become a popular way to decorate our homes, adding a touch of worldly flair for the unknown.  Whether it is by choosing a contemporary map for the modern home, or an old world map for the elegant touch, the options are endless.  Find some instant inspiration from these images below.

Map_black_board

(Image by Design Sponge)

Add a wow factor at the entry way by adorning an empty wall with a graphic black and white statement.

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