Is an interior design mood board still relevant in the digital age?

Do Interior Designers still make mood boards for clients? When I studied for my diploma in Interior Design we spent a lot of time making and creating mood boards. I once almost lost a thumb with a Stanley knife, and one day I glued myself and my dress to a chair. (There is another story at the end of this blog…) The question is: Is it still relevant in today’s digital world? Many of our clients ask us: “Will you also make me a mood board for the design?” The answer is “yes” and “no”. A physical mood board is great to give a client the overall look and feel of a design, so we do include a mood board in most of our designs. However, there are so many other design tools available today.

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One of our tools we use are hand sketches and 3D visualisation where you can literally “walk through your home”. With digital technology we find we can make a client almost 20 to 30 different “mood boards” to explain different elements of the design concept. If we now stick all the samples to a mood board, the client can’t always mix and match the different options. It also makes it very uncomfortable for a client to walk into a home ware shop with their A3 sample board under the arm! We prefer to provide the samples separately in a box, basket or file. It also makes it easier to change samples if a supplier is out of stock or the client decides to use another fabric.

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So if you are thinking of being your own designer, get yourself a specific basket, tray, cork board or folder for each room. This way you can add samples, magazine snippets or even trinkets that resemble your colour and style. Most of us want to touch and feel tiles, timber or fabric before we make a decision. So have fun and create a basket full of texture. When needed, you can spread them all over your home to help you make final decisions.

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Even if you want to eventually make use of Interior Designers (like us for instance!), it will be great to gather as many elements as possible even before the first meeting. The more we know about your taste, the easier we can get to a great design. Don’t stress that everything in your basket need to match, your designer will narrow it down now that they understand your taste.

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My biggest fiasco with a mood board was the one Monday morning I had to do a presentation at my design school in the city. (I studied at Sydney Design School) I was holding on to this A2 sized mood board full of tile, timber and fabric samples. I worked on this mood board until about 3 am the previous night, pasting and cutting and preparing for my presentation. So needless to say I was really tired at 8am on the train. When I reached my station I stood up to exit the train. At the door I realised I had my mood board but not my handbag. I rushed back to my seat and ran back to the door again. I slightly tripped (mind the step) as I exited, hitting the mood board against the train door. At that moment, my precious timber and tile samples slid off and fell between the train and the platform. Gone. On the tracks laid my samples, my dignity and my presentation marks.

Our advice is: Don’t be too hung up on the mood board that is created, but rather look into the design concept, visualisation elements, colour and spatial design elements. Your interior designer might not be the best at arts and crafts creating a fabulous mood board, but might actually be a fantastic designer with loads of ideas for spatial layout and colour recommendations.

Happy decorating,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

 

 

Lyndie’s Renovation: A NEW ROOM TAKES SHAPE

 

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We’re not newbies at realising the potential health benefits of outdoor living.  Although this was not our first consideration before deciding to extend and enclose our entertainment area, it certainly helped in ticking more boxes in the pro’s than con’s list.  This room would enhance our lifestyle by becoming a dining, living and entertainment room all in one.  We wanted the design to be an extension of our home, opening up to the outdoors with new pool and merging indoor living areas with outdoor areas effortlessly.  We had to do it right, first time around.  Of course, the trick to designing that perfect outdoor room is to make it complement your existing home, to have it blend in architecturally, as well as selecting finishes that would tie in with the indoor rooms.   The exterior part needs the same consideration, selecting roofing material that would match the existing roofing structure, face brick matching existing brick, as well as considering the pitch of the new roof.

Proposed plan for renovation

 

renovation changes

As you can see, our dog still can’t miss any of the action and can’t wait for this project to come to an end…  Nevertheless, she’s doing a great job overseeing the build 🙂

renovation tv room

Before: This door to our tv room will be replaced by bifold doors and the corners of the room will be squared.  We’ll remove the existing roof, as this is the only way we could effectively create a unified look with the new roof of the new entertainment area.  The other option was to leave the roof as is and build a new sloped roof onto the new extension.  Only trouble was, this could only be done by creating a box gutter, which collect a lot of water and could cause problems in the long run.

tv room door

Construction: The timber structure for the new roof is up and foundation ready to be tiled.  The tv room has been squared and steel support installed for the bifold doors.

renovation new wall

Before: It’s time for the wall of the new extension to be built.  This wall will house a fireplace and connect to the old formal dining room.  The cavity, that used to be the formal dining room window, is now ready for a bifold door that would eventually lead to the new bar.

new wall progress

Construction: I considered the design of the fireplace very carefully, as this would be an eye catching feature in the new entertainment area.   I wanted the fireplace at table height, so that it can be seen from across the room, including the dining area.  I also wanted a cavity on either side of the fireplace to store firewood, while simultaneously benefiting from the rustic charm of raw timber.  I wanted the design not only to be practical, but to fit the overall personality and style of the house.

renovation new fireplace

Well, now you’re getting the idea!  We’re finally ready to tile and render, install the new bifolds and share some great before and after photos!  Hang in there, we’re almost done…

If you’ve missed the renovation in other parts of our home, follow these links:

Before & After of Entry and Stairs, Before Photos of the Interior, Renovation, First Phase, Ensuite Bathroom Make Over, Kids’ Bathroom Make Over, Demolition day, Formal Lounge Room Reveal, Kitchen installation begins, Kitchen Reveal, Formal Dining Room Demolition, Inspiration for the new Bar, Bar Reveal, The New Extension, Digging the PoolConcreting the Pool, Pool Progress.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

Outdoor entertaining on an IKEA budget – yes you can!

Is your budget low, but you need to redo that outdoor entertainment area before your family and friends arrive to celebrate the holiday season with you? Fear no more, as I’ve gathered a few items from IKEA to show you how to quickly uplift your outdoor entertainment area on a low budget. (No, IKEA did not sponsor this post… I wish!)

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I know how disappointed and disgusted I feel when I walk around my outdoor area every November. The winter and rain is slowly disappearing, but I can not say the same about the cobwebs, dust and leaves around my BBQ area and timber deck. Of course, retail shopping is always the answer!

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It’s important to start with the “bones” and make sure your furniture creates a great backdrop. Stick with the same colour timber as far as possible, and make sure all the cushions, sails and timber can be used outdoors.

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Don’t forget the final touches! The way you decorate your outdoor table immediately sets the mood. It can be fresh and organic, or romantic and rustic. IKEA has a great range of affordable outdoor accessories. You will be able to chop and change and create different moods for many weekends! See it as a challenge and create different settings on a budget!

Happy outdoor entertaining!

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

Lyndie’s Home Renovation: THE NEW EXTENSION

lyndie's home renovation blog

We love our suburb of Cherrybrook – our home is in a quiet cul-de-sac, we’re close to schools, shops and in 2019, we’ll have a train station about a block away!  After extensive homework, we came to the conclusion that it would be cheaper to spruce up our almost 20 year old home, build an extension and put in a pool, rather than move to a home close by with similar amenities.  If you’ve missed out on where it all started, follow the link:  Lyndie’s home renovation: First Phase.

lyndie's home renovation plans

lyndie's home renovation demolition

After weeks of staring at a big hole in the ground, the pool has been concreted and will take a bit of time to cure before tiling begins.  The time has arrived to demolish the pergola, remove the roof of the TV room and prepare the site to pour the slab for the new extension.

lyndie's home renovation demolition complete

After a few hours, the job is done!  My dog has the tendency to photobomb and it’s pretty difficult to find any photos without her in it. Luckily she’s pretty photogenic, so I don’t mind too much.  So this is what the backyard looks like without the pergola – a little bit desolate and bare…  The new slab will connect with the pool and stretch from the TV room all the way to the end of the house.  This is where a new wall will be built that would house a fireplace, but more on that later.

lyndie's home renovation foundation preparation

A structure of timber and steel is built to hold and shape the concrete and additional piering was needed to hold the concrete in place and support the new structure.

lyndie's home renovation, pouring slab

We’re finally getting there… the foundation is ready, at the correct level and ready for the rest of the work to begin.

lyndie's home renovation pool party

At this stage, you might think that it will be months before social get togethers can commence.  You’re completely wrong!  We had a pool party just after the concrete was poured!  No swimming took place, but dancing in an empty pool is much safer anyway…

If you’ve missed any of my previous blogs about our renovation, follow the links below:

Before & After of Entry and Stairs, Before Photos of the Interior, Renovation, First Phase, Ensuite Bathroom Make Over, Kids’ Bathroom Make Over, Demolition day, Formal Lounge Room Reveal, Kitchen installation begins, Kitchen Reveal, Formal Dining Room Demolition, Inspiration for the new Bar, Bar Reveal.

You know where to find us if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with your own renovation.  Not only do we work with great builders, but we can draw up plans, get it passed through your local council and assist with all finishes and layouts.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

Big news: Latest trend to hit decor stores soon… graphic grids

Are you also curious to find out what the next new phase in decorating is going to be? Copper and marble and chevrons have been here a while, so what’s the next big thing? A new playful backdrop is soon to arrive in our stores…

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The minimalistic black and white grid has recently popped up in famous fashion, decor and stationery trends around the world. It has already been introduced in coffee mugs, canisters and table linen. However, it is slowly becoming more of a trendsetter and used boldly in fixed decor design elements too. Are you wondering  where you might use it in your own home?

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It is an easy pattern to fall in love with, as many people already love the typical white subway tile. When the subway tiles were first used with black grout, many people were shocked. Now every decor magazine has kitchens and bathrooms with white subway tiles and black grout. The typical rectangular square will soon be moving into a new “square era.” At the latest 2016 London Design Festival, this black and white graphic pattern was used in many different exhibitions as a backdrop or identified as a new design trend.

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The question is always: How will this trend enter my own home? Where will I use it in my home? What will the shops sell?

Well, we will definitely see some black and white grid tiling in kitchens and bathrooms. Decor items like baskets, scatter cushions and bed linen will also be favourites among home owners and trendy decorators.

I’ve actually had black and white grid patterned bed linen on my bed for the last three years! Now that I was thinking of getting something new and fresh for this summer, now the trend is changing… bugger!

Happy shopping and watch out for the new trends and impress your friends for being up to date! You’re welcome 🙂

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

 

 

Lyndie’s Renovation in Cherrybrook – Concreting the Pool

 

Renovation in Cherrybrook

Although pools don’t usually give you a good return on investment, it must surely be on the list of every Australian’s Dream Backyard.   Cherrybrook, in NSW, can get as hot as hell in summer, so we decided to go all the way and put in a concrete pool.  The entertaining area extension will have a view over the new pool area, so we thought we’d better not skimp on the size.  To fit the budget, we chucked the water feature and splurged on heating and nice pavers.  Heating would prolong our swimming season by at least 3 months, so now we can get the most out of this new expensive toy 🙂  If you’ve missed the beginning of the pool installation, follow the links below:

Digging the Pool, Pool Progress

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The excavation is finished and now ready for the framework.  The frame is built with corrugated iron, steel and a timber frame to contain and shape the concrete.

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The stairs are shaped and smoothed, ready to be tiled after the curing process.

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Finally, the pool is ready for our first “pool party”.  All it needs is a few weeks of curing for the concrete to harden.  It also needs a good hose down every day, to ensure that the concrete doesn’t crack.  We’re now ready for tiling, but first, we need to start the demolition work to make room for the new home extension’s foundation.  More on this next week.

If you’ve missed the renovation to the interior of our home, have a look at these links:

Before & After of Entry and Stairs, Before Photos of the Interior, Renovation, First Phase, Ensuite Bathroom Make Over, Kids’ Bathroom Make Over, Demolition day, Formal Lounge Room Reveal, Kitchen installation begins, Kitchen Reveal, Formal Dining Room Demolition, Inspiration for the new Bar, Bar Reveal.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

Fail proof method to choose perfect cushions for your sofa

After today, you never have to worry again how to choose cushions for your sofa. I will show you 4 fail proof steps to follow.

Yes, you still need to be able to decide if the colours match, but you can even ask the shop assistant or your know-it-all friend to help you with that. However,  the process on choosing them will now be your strong point. (And you might even sound very design savvy in the shop…) After the four steps, I will show you two examples on how to do it!

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FOUR STEPS:

 1.  CHOOSE TWO MAIN FAVOURITE CUSHIONS

Start with the cushion you first fell in love with and definitely want on your sofa. Yes, it has to match the tonal colours of your home, but I’m sure you already use the same tone you love throughout your home. These two cushions should be friends. They must have the same colour tones. You probably won’t put them next to each other every day, so don’t think they look “too busy” together. You will add other cushions with them, to make it all work together.

2.  ADD ONE CUSHION WITH A PATTERN REFERRAL

In other words, if your main cushions have geometric patterns, or circles, or squares, try to add a cushion that also has something with that pattern. It is important not to overdo it. This cushion’s pattern should be lighter, softer and less dramatic. (When you look at the examples below, you will understand exactly what I mean!)  This cushion should not be colourful, but very toned down, so that the pattern can be the hero.

3.  ADD PLAIN COLOURS

Now pull out at least two colours from your main cushions. Do not focus on the bright colours, but try to work with the background or lighter colours. Your main cushions are already the feature, you do not want your plain colours to overpower them and make the cushion display too busy. I normally stick to greys, black, linen or soft pastels.

4.  ADD TEXTURE

Your last cushion must be the one with “personality”. Go for something with texture (e.g. ribbed or buttoned) or find a different shaped or size cushion. This will break the “same-same” look of your cushion display.

Now let’s look at two examples:

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Most of the cushions are from: ADAIRS & AURA HOME

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You can follow this method with any style, colour or trend. This is not the only correct way, but it will definitely help those that feel overwhelmed and stuck and don’t know where to start. Sometimes it’s just important to follow a fool proof process. Now it’s just for you to make sure that you do try and choose the colours wisely! Luckily most shops stock cushions that do work well together. You might find that it will be easier if you buy the cushions for step 1 and 2 at the same shop. For step 3 and 4 you can become more adventurous!

Let us know if these steps helped you!

Until next time,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

To view cushion prices and availability, visit: ADAIRS & AURA HOME

 

 

Lyndie’s Home Renovation: The Pool Progress

 

home renovation, digging pool

Everyone that lives in Cherrybrook, Northwest of Sydney, knows that soaring temperatures well into the 30’s occur quite frequently during summer time.  With the ocean a good 45 minutes drive away and running through the sprinkler not cutting it any more, we decided to take the big step of putting a 4m x 8m concrete pool into our small backyard.  If you missed my first blog about our pool installation, check this link out.

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The view from our kitchen is becoming increasingly disturbing at this stage.  I think we’re running out of space…

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We’re ready to get the framing up to start concreting.  Next week, I’ll show you how the concreting is coming along.  To see what we did to the interior of our home, have a look at these links:

Before & After of Entry and Stairs, Before Photos of the Interior, Renovation, First Phase, Ensuite Bathroom Make Over, Kids’ Bathroom Make Over, Demolition day, Formal Lounge Room Reveal, Kitchen installation begins, Kitchen Reveal, Formal Dining Room Demolition, Inspiration for the new Bar, Bar Reveal.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

Lyndie’s Home Renovation: Digging the Pool

Lyndies renovation, the pool

Our kids are getting bigger and more likely to enjoy hours of fun in a pool, rather than a game of backyard ball games.  Although equally enjoyable, we think the neighbours got tired of our son climbing over their fence collecting balls that had been kicked into their yard.  Our backyard isn’t big, so putting in a 4m x 8m pool was interesting and will take up most of the yard.  We had to consider many technical elements such as boundary restrictions, access for excavation and working around the causeway and sewer line at the back of our property.

The pool plan

Although we had a lot to consider, we wanted to design it well to enhance our family lifestyle, see returns on our property value and do this without having a head of grey hair at the end of the process.

Pool excavator

 

Back yard pool digging

As you can see, we had a lot of greenery in the form of hedging, shrubs and small trees that needed to be removed before we could start digging the pool.  Luckily, (after we got one that fitted past the side of the house) this piece of machinery did most of the backbreaking work, without anyone breaking into a sweat (says me watching them from the kitchen sipping a cup of tea…)

shrub and hedge removal

 

hedge removal

We can start seeing some progress and getting a good idea of the size of the area.  The shrubs wasted a huge amount of space and blocked our view into the distance.  On top of that, we can now see the line of the causeway.  At this stage, we’re almost ready for the Water Board to peg out the position of the sewer line before digging begins.

pool excavation

I still can’t believe how a little digger like this can dig a 4×8 hole, almost 2m deep in just a couple of days.  Next time, we’ll get to the concreting bit.

To follow the renovation of the interior of our home, just click on the links below:

Before & After of Entry and Stairs, Before Photos of the Interior, Renovation, First Phase, Ensuite Bathroom Make Over, Kids’ Bathroom Make Over, Demolition day, Formal Lounge Room Reveal, Kitchen installation begins, Kitchen Reveal, Formal Dining Room Demolition, Inspiration for the new Bar, Bar Reveal.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

Is pink too girly for an accent colour?

My husband will surely threaten to move out if I would suggest pink as my accent colour in our house. To be honest, 10 years ago I would never have thought of it either. Gradually pink was introduced into fashion as a very soft accent colour and we all got used to adults wearing pink again. If you walk into any clothing store now, the coral pink shade will be seen everywhere. I took my 15 year old daughter for her summer shopping last weekend. (Gosh, hard on the feet, hard on the wallet and even more challenging on the patience…) I only realised afterwards how many pink and white clothes she bought. Even the accessories were rose gold and black. So pink is here to stay for a while. Remember how surprised we all were when grey was announced as the new white? Hands up, how many of you love grey now?!

If you do it correctly, pink can be an amazing decor colour to work with. Add shades of grey and black to ground it, and you will have a romantic and relaxing room. It’s important to use the correct pinks though. Not baby pink or fluoro pink. Look at the style board below we delivered to a client this week. She wanted a contemporary Scandi look, with some pink accent colours. We gave her a few style boards with many options. It turned out beautifully.

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As you can see above, the furniture pieces are all neutral. They form the base of the design and now we just need to add pink accent pieces. The client can now change the cushions, throws and artwork if she wants to inject a different colour in the future. As soon as all the furniture has arrived, we will go shopping for the accent pink accessory pieces. (She was so happy with the furniture, she ordered everything within 24 hours of receiving her design!)

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As pink will make a statement, you only need to add a few pieces to pull off a beautiful design. Pink works best with a Scandinavian, French or Contemporary design style. Don’t buy a lot of pink furniture, but one statement piece like a sofa or accent chair that can become a great talking point. Especially because people might not expect you to be so bold!

blog-pink-as-accent-colour-pantone

Above is another style board of a living room we recently created for a client. Wallpaper installation etc only happens in two weeks from now, but soon, we will be able to show you how this room has turned out. A beautiful baroque styled living room with pink and gold accents. We ordered a stunning bright pink velvet sofa… can’t wait to show you! You can see how the two clients both chose pink, but the style and design is completely different!

In the beginning of 2016 pink (Rose Quartz) was actually announced as the Pantone colour of the year, together with a soft beautiful blue called Serenity. Read our previous blog about these colours.

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Be brave and see if you can pull off a pink room somewhere in your house! A quick way to add pink is to buy a huge bunch of pink flowers (maybe lily’s?) and place them on your dining room or coffee table. Add small pink accessories on your coffee table like a tray, vase or small ornament. Personally, I am still far away from painting a wall pink or to buy a pink rug.

Pink is playful, romantic and very relaxing at the same time.

Happy decorating,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney