How to Avoid getting Wallpaper Wrong

The surest way to insanity is to start browsing through wallpaper supplier sites to find that perfect print for that wow factor in a room.  There are endless wallpaper prints available and if you don’t have an inkling of what end result you want, you’re very likely to end up with a less desirable outcome.  Here are a few tips to get you started:

1.  START WITH THE RIGHT SPACE

wallpaper panelling
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First decide if you would like four, or only one covered in wallpaper.  If all walls are covered, an understated print with fewer colours and not too much contrast will be a better choice. If you have your heart set on a bold and colourful print, try breaking it up a bit by adding panelling or a mantel piece for some colour contrast.  A combination of no more than two colours for the furnishings will calm it right down and create a more subdued effect.  If you decide on wallpaper to create one feature wall, a bolder, large print for a magnificent statement, would be appropriate.

2.  WHAT SCALE PRINT WILL SUIT THE ROOM?

wallpaper small rooms
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The busier the pattern, the more distance you will need away from it to get the full impact.  In general, small prints work better in tight spaces and larger print for bigger rooms.  Luckily, some rules are meant to be broken…  If you have a small room with odd shaped walls, a large scale print will hide it.  A large scale pattern with a solid background can make an eye catching, graphic statement in a small room.

3.  WILL THE PATTERN FIT THE APPLICATION OF THE ROOM?

wallpaper geometric
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Pattern and colour are essential elements in design that impact the way we feel in a room.  Soft pastels, some chevron patterns and spots, look lovely in children’s rooms.  Applying these in a formal living space, will look out of place and not fit the way we’re using the room.  More sophisticated colours such as warm greys, a touch of bling, a textured finish or bolder patterns will look more “grown up” for your living spaces.

4.  USE THE CORRECT PAPER FOR WET AREAS

If you’d like to push yourself out of your comfort zone and want a full on wall statement in the bathroom, make sure the wallpaper is suitable for wet areas.  After all your hard work and lots of dollars spent, it would be a shame if it started peeling off, because you haven’t read the instructions!

5.  REFER BACK TO YOUR PERSONAL STYLE

wallpaper tropical
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Take special care that your personal style doesn’t get lost in all the choices and trends on the market.  If you’re after a modern country look, a botanical print or textured paper will make you feel more at home.  Geometric patterns will suit an art deco or sophisticated theme and wallpaper with palms or exotic birds will fit a tropical theme.

Remember to get a few samples before making your final decision.  It’s best to hang it against your wall and living with it for a few days before jumping into the deep end.  If you’re still unsure, you know where to find the professionals 🙂

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

What’s the cost of Council plans for my existing house?

Be warned, because this item most clients never know to include in their budget when they plan a renovation! It’s a sensitive issue as clients budget for new house plans drawn by the drafter, but don’t always realise they also need detailed drafted plans of their existing home before any new plans can be drawn. These plans of their existing house, are called “Measured Drawings.”

This step of Measured Drawings is so important, as we can’t design a new renovation if we do not have the on scale plans of the existing house. We draw these plans on AutoCAD software and provide them to the client in PDF form. Then we are ready for Step Two: To design and draw your new renovation or extension!


1. CLIENT BRIEF

“Please design our new renovation & draw all the plans necessary for Council Approval.”

2. BEFORE WE START

When we submit your new plans to Council with the detail of your new project, Council also requests plans of your existing house before any new renovations can be approved. This way Council can see exactly how many squares you add (it determines the submissions cost) and Council can see if your existing house will be able to carry the new renovations. These drawings, are known as “Measured Drawings.”

4. THE COST

The cost of these Measured Drawings include the drafter’s visit to your home to measure the whole existing house, as well as the hours spent on drawing. Yes, sometimes a client does have existing plans, but they are only in a printed version and not always exactly as the house was built/changed over the past few years. The cost of measured drawings are calculated per square metre, and they are less expensive to draw than additions/renovations with complicated new detail. Depending on the size of your home, the cost of an average four bedroom home is about $800 to $1,000 dollars to draw the existing plans.

5. EXAMPLES

Here are a few examples of Measured Drawings we have recently completed for clients.

Blog Measured drawing Tierney

 

 drawings for council, measured drawings, council approval plans, da approval, cdc approval, drafter sydney, drafter hills district, interior designers castle hill

If you you need Council Plans and you are unsure about this process, feel free to contact us.

Eriana & Lyndie

Note: Our Council Plans are drawn in collaboration with our drafter, Ronel, from Mi-Dzign.

 

Decor tip: Best colours to use with exposed brick

When my kids were 3 and 6 years old, we bought a house with exposed bricks almost everywhere inside. (Of course, that was many moons ago…and so out of fashion then) There were bricks everywhere…and not the nice Industrial ones.  To me it felt dark, unfinished and cold. Also, my kids literally hurt themselves running down the passage and scraping their arms and knees against the wall by accident. So I spent a heap of money to have it all rendered. Those were the days before exposed brick was labelled as being “vintage, industrial and architectural.” I sometimes wonder if I would do it again today? I can just imagine how the current owners now spend a fortune to get the exposed brick back again!

Nowadays exposed brick is very popular.   Finally you now have an amazing exposed brick wall. Now you need to find out how to dress it perfectly. Exposed bricks are robust and strong. The room can quickly feel overpowered by a brick feature. Most times it is also in a house with strong architectural features. That’s why you need a strong colour to complement the brick and make the whole room feel balanced. The best colours to use with exposed brick are the three primary colours. Red, blue and yellow, but I also want to add green as an option. All four colours can stand on their own, are strong and easy to work with. Make sure you use them in a tone that is uplifting and bright.

exposed brick, red chest, vintage decor, decor tips, industrial look, paint tips
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It is better to use strong and bright tones and not soft pastels or dark tones. Your furniture will compete with the brick and soft colours can disappear if not used correctly. Stay away from darker brown paints, except if you know what you are doing and feeling very confident! It is not impossible to work with the last, but a bit tricky.

exposed brick, yellow furniture, chevron cushion, timber table
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You can also use neutral tones as far as possible, and just add spots of colour to make it interesting.

exposed brick, blue chair, decor tips, industrial look, paint tips
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Sometimes the most basic colours, are the easiest to work with. This is also your chance to experiment with a bright and colourful sofa. It is important that you add a lot of textured finishes to soften the walls. Cushions, rugs, throws and art work should be used in layers. Read our previous blog to find some layering tips. If your room still feels “cold” in stead of cozy, it’s probably because you did not add enough soft furnishing.

Happy decorating,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

Design Project: Style my Melbourne Unit to Rent Out

We love all our projects, some are more challenging than others but all are equally interesting.  This one was certainly challenging, but only because of the distance it was located from our office.  Luckily, we had a floor plan to work with, as well as photos of each room the client had taken on her last visit to Melbourne.


1. CLIENT BRIEF

“Our client has an investment property in the heart of Melbourne which they intended to rent out.  They needed assistance to refurbish and style the unit to suit a professional person, as well as suit the Art Deco exterior style of the building.”

In addition to that:

  • The carpet needed to be replaced in a colour that would tie in with the timber flooring in the kitchen
  • The unit needed a fresh coat of paint applied by qualified professionals
  • The blinds had to be refitted
  • Some of the existing furniture pieces had to be painted and reused
  • New furniture with a modern Art Deco appeal needed to be sourced to fit the style of the building
  • Some existing prints had to be modernised by reframing, as well as additional artworks sourced and installed
  • Bedding, furniture, lamps, rugs and a few accessories needed to be sourced to create a lived in feeling to the unit.

2. SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

We had very limited time to source all trades people and furniture pieces, as the estate agent had a set date to take photos for their website.  In addition to that, the owners lived in Sydney.  The carpet installation, painters and furniture delivery had to be organised for a specific weekend to coincide with the owners’ presence in Melbourne.  Over that weekend, the carpet installation, furniture delivery and painting of the unit had to take place.

3. BEFORE PHOTOS

Before Photos, Melbourne Unit


4. OUR SOLUTIONS

Art Deco shopping list

We went on a local shopping expedition with the client to ensure that all soft furnishings and accessories matched the colour palette throughout the unit.  These were then transported to Melbourne by car.  We supplied our client with a shopping list for lighting and smaller accessories from furniture stores such as Domayne and Freedom, so that these final touches could be purchased in Melbourne.  We arranged all furniture deliveries, carpet installation, painting and window covering installation from Sydney and she organised a very handy husband to hang the prints and paint the furniture.  All of this occurred without us ever having visited the unit.

5. MOOD BOARDS

Art deco styling, bedroom

art deco styling, Living Room

We gave the client several options for all her rooms, with a colour palette that matched the paintings in her lounge room.  This way, we could use the colours throughout the unit for a cohesive look.  The furniture pieces we sourced were modern with an art deco flair.  We decided on a look that would suit either a male or female professional person, so items that were too “girly” or “blingy”, were ditched during the planning phase.

6. AFTER PHOTOS

Blog Melbourne unit After Photos

 

As interior designers, we supply our clients with a design concept for an entire room, which include layout options, shopping lists, quotes for trades and a full colour palette.  If clients need us to implement the design, or project manage a renovation, we will always give that as an option at an additional cost.  In this case, flight tickets and accommodation would have been an additional cost on top of our hourly rate, so the client decided to implement the design herself. She was extremely happy with the result, as she had adequate guidance to complete the design.


Long distance interior design is only possible when we have images of each room, as well as an updated floor plan with all measurements included.

 

Eriana & Lyndie

 

Design Project: How to select finishes for your brand new home – chosen from a “Home World Village”

One of the most overwhelming steps in building a home, is to select the finishes. This means flooring, tiles, kitchens etc. After you’ve finally chosen your dream home at the Home Village Display, you need to make an appointment with the Home Builder to choose your finishes. This is a full day appointment where you have a few hours to decide what the inside of your home will look like for the next 20 years. Scary? Of course! By the time you have this meeting, you should have done all your homework and know exactly what you want. Yeah right… We have many clients that ask us to assist them to create a design concept and colour palette for their newly built homes they choose at a Home World Village. We take into consideration their existing furniture and lifestyle to make decisions. Today we will show you how we are involved in this process, by telling you more about our last project that involved this service.


1. CLIENT BRIEF

“We chose our floor plan and signed all the contracts, but in three weeks from now is our meeting with the Home Builder’s Design Consultant to choose and sign off our finishes. We are unsure if our colours and if our options will work together and need someone to help us create a colour palette for the whole house before our final meeting with the Home Builder Consultant.”

2. SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

  • We had to meet the client at the Kellyville Home World Village so we could walk through their “new home” with them
  • We had to choose finishes from the range of tiles, paint, stone and cupboards that are supplied by the Builder

3. BEFORE PHOTOS

Our client chose the “Soul 39” Home from MOJO Homes and we met them at the Kellyville Home Village. This home has a great layout. Very spacious and focused on entertaining. We did not only walk through the already built display home, but we could also prepare for the meeting in advance due to  MOJO Homes’ 3D online videos where you can “walk through your new home.” It’s amazing, and you should check it out at this link: SOUL 39 HOME by MOJO HOMES. (And no, we don’t get sponsored by MOJO Homes for this post!)

masterton homes, mojo homes, home builders, choose finishes, 3d home walk through, soul 39
Mojo Homes: Soul 39

4. OUR SOLUTIONS

  • We asked our clients to share with us their style with a shared Pinterest board and photos of their existing furniture. They also brought a list of questions on their design/decor problems.
  • We met the client at the display home, with bags full of samples of stone, flooring etc to make decisions on the spot.
  • Client booked out ‘n Half Day Block with us, where we had uninterrupted access to the display home for 4 to 5 hours.
  • We went through every room and discussed finishes, possible layouts, tile layout patterns, window covering options etc.

5. MOOD BOARDS

This is a hands on meeting, so we just “take over” the dining room table in the display home, spread out all the samples and have a mini workshop right there. (Don’t eat the display, the bread and fruit are fake…!)

moodboard, style board, before photo, home styling, design project, home village, home builders, finishes select, how to choose tiles, interior designer sydney, home village


Clients find these meetings very valuable as there’s no pressure yet to choose and sign off any finishes. They can discuss details and decor and direct  the meeting towards the problem areas they want to solve. One meeting is usually enough to gain confidence and settle on a colour palette. They also have the opportunity to ask any questions regarding their home decor. Clients enjoy the kitchen layout the most as we ask them practical questions of everyday tasks, which they never thought about before. It’s also nice to help them to add a few WOW factors to their home in an affordable way. A building project is hard work and tiresome. Sometimes clients just need someone else to add a twist of fun and advice. That’s our job!

If you are planning on building a new home, we are there to help!

Eriana & Lyndie

What you may have Overlooked in your Laundry Design

To get that perfect laundry layout, you first need to consider the tasks that will be carried out in the space.   Although not an essential activity in the laundry, I’ve been known to sneak in my laptop and watch “Orange is the New Black” while happily folding/ironing away.  If this type laundering work is required after sundown, this becomes even more enjoyable with a glass of wine – almost like a Gold Class movie experience, but in an upright position.  I’m getting off track, let’s have a look at the essentials:

1.  A SPACE FOR FOLDING

laundry, folded washing

Although I sometimes feel like just shoving clothes into cupboards or chucking it onto beds, these feelings are best kept to a minimum and will not get the job done.  In most cases, neat folding is required and if your laundry room can accommodate this, install a bench top that’s as big as possible.

2.  A SPACE FOR DIRTY LAUNDRY

You’ll need a designated hamper for dirty laundry.  In a perfect world, dirty clothes will go into this hamper and not on the floor.  Mmm… I’m considering writing a memo…

3.  HANGING SPACE

vintage laundry me

I love being able to hang those slightly damp items onto a rail for that last bit of drying.  It’s also great for items that come straight out of the dryer and if you’re quick enough, will not require any ironing, Yeaheee!!

4.  SINK

dog in bath

We have a lovely staffy pup and although she thinks she’s a person, I wouldn’t like her to bath with the kids or in the kitchen sink (for obvious reasons).  A laundry sink is great for rinsing paintbrushes, cleaning pets and emptying out the mob bucket.

5.  IRONING

wine and ironing

There are some great options on the market for mounting an ironing board on the wall.  This will make your laundry space more streamlined and getting the board out will not be such a chore.  You already know my secret for making ironing fun, so make sure you create your own happy place away from the rest of the world.

Have a look at how I created my “happy” place (laundry…) by clicking here.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

Design Project: Fill my empty house in two weeks!

We recently had a project where our clients suddenly had to move out of their property into a new home with only two weeks’ notice. They had to leave all their furniture behind for the new owners and had only two weeks to fill a whole new house! Of course it didn’t help that she was eight months pregnant, working full time, with another two little ones to look after. So our help was needed to save the day!


1. CLIENT BRIEF

“We need to move into our new property within two weeks, but we have no furniture to take with us. Our budget is limited because we need all the furniture at once, for a four bedroom house, so please source at affordable shops, but give us a colourful and contemporary look. We would like to see a design for each room, with a detailed shopping list so we can order most of the items online.”

2. SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

  • Two week time limit (which included delivery time!)
  • Online shopping as far as possible

3. BEFORE PHOTOS

Well, not many before photos as the house was empty! We did have to measure the whole house to source the exact sizes of furniture needed. We also had to take into consideration the existing colours of the wall paint (which we could change) and existing window coverings (which we could not change).

moodboard, style board, before photo, home styling, design project, before project


4. OUR SOLUTIONS

  • Time: Finish all mood boards in three days to give enough time for client approval & arranging delivery
  • Furniture: Source products from online stores & affordable stores like IKEA that does deliver. (Wow, did we have a lot of flatpacks to put together…!)  Also get a few accent pieces from Freedom, Urban Road & Armadillo Rugs
  • Delivery: Focus on shops that do sell floor stock, e.g. OZ Design
  • Wall paint: Arrange for a painter to repaint some of the brown and minty green feature walls (yes, minty green!)

5. MOOD BOARDS

Here are a few of the mood boards we created for the client that fit her brief.  This enabled her to pick a suitable style and look for her new rooms.

moodboard, style board, before photo, home styling, design project, baby room, nursery

moodboard, style board, before photo, home styling, design project, living rooms, freedom furniture

moodboard, style board, before photo, home styling, design project, baby room, nursery, boys rooms, jet lamp, race coar room, ikea rugs

6. AFTER PHOTOS

Unfortunately we haven’t had the opportunity to go back to take the “after” photos, but here are a few things that we did do, as part of our design package:

  • The entrance hall and staircase were previously painted in a dark brown colour, so we suggested and arranged a painter to paint it a bright white to complement the contemporary style the client was looking for.
  • The kitchen was previously painted in a minty green colour, which we also had repainted in a neutral palette.
  • Due to work obligations our clients could not visit the shops themselves. For all the furniture that were not online, we went to the shops, picked out the furniture and then the shop owners called the client to arrange for credit card payments by phone. (Thank you Freedom, OZ Design, Euro lighting, Harvey Norman, The Good Guys & Domayne for your assistance here)
  • We even selected all the Kitchen Appliances on behalf of the client (From kettle, coffee machine, toaster, washing machine, microwave etc)
  • We arranged for an electrician to replace the old pendant lights with new modern lights.

We had to work to an extreme time constraint, and we needed a week of rest and a few bottles of wine afterwards! This is a good example of where the design brief had to be quick and decision making took place in a matter of minutes. Unfortunately a huge flatpack from IKEA fell on Eriana’s one foot, and then her foot turned blue for a few weeks!  In the end the clock won and we couldn’t get everything delivered within the two week limit, so we needed at least another week for the project to be finalised. We still feel this was a huge job done, in a very short time. Will we do it again? No! Not in two weeks! At least three to four weeks.

Eriana & Lyndie

 

Lyndie’s Main Bedroom Make-Over

Our main bedroom is a great size and has ample space for a King Size bed, as well as bed side tables and even a hall table tucked up against the wall (along with lots of clutter and a sleepy dog; my apologies 🙂  Unfortunately, the ensuite bathroom and walk in wardrobe were rather cramped and certainly only meant to be occupied by one person at a time.  To see how I accomplished extra space in the ensuite bathroom, read my blog: Lyndie’s ensuite bathroom makeover.

Main Bedroom Before

After sacrificing our walk-in wardrobe to become part of a very large bathroom, we realised that we had to create a solution for storing clothing, suitcases and the like. We have a window on either side of the bed, so this limited our ability to create a built-in wardrobe on that side of the room.  Luckily, we had an additional cavity where the walk-in wardrobe used to be, that wouldn’t interfere with the size of the bathroom.  This instantly became a linen cupboard, so I’m super keen on that extra storage!

Main Bedroom Renovation

The adjoining room is a rumpus room, where the kids watch telly and play computer games.  We decided to “steal” space there, as they would probably not even notice!  In order to do this, we moved the wall next to our bed by 600mm into the rumpus.  We then created a cavity in which we installed a built-in wardrobe.  The rumpus room is now 600mm smaller and our room can have a built-in wardrobe!

Main Bedroom Inspiration

I’ve never made a secret of my love for the ocean, so I wanted to give our bedroom a very informal look with a coastal twist.  A palette of light blue combined with crisp white would certain make me want to spend some quality time in bed. In Winter, dark grey bedding combined with caramel accents and softer, washed out greys will make a great alternative to the lightness of our Summer bedding.  The satin white cupboard doors in shaker style go perfectly with this style, as well as complementing the rest of the house.

Built in wardrobe shaker doors

Main bedroom After

Main Bedroom Timber Headboard

Main Bedroom Shaker Doors

Of course, the room could do with a few extra bits like new bedside lamps and tables, but I’ll gradually work towards that in the next few months.

If you need some guidance in changing the layout of any space or room, give us a call.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

Where do Paint Names come from?

Why do you think paint names allow you to conjure up images of calm green forest retreats, a melting strawberry sorbet on a blistering Summer’s day or the stillness of a cool aqua ocean?  While perusing paint samples, would you feel inspired in the same way if samples were called slimy gum blue, disguised yellow, paper packaging beige, fax ink black, or begrimed pink?

Paint companies are very clever and know that paint names are powerful… they have the ability to evoke images and moods in customers and they would even ruthlessly go straight for the taste buds!

Although naming paint to inspire a mood seems like a simple process, it can be painstakingly slow.  Usually, the paint colour is developed first and the name is picked from a large database.  Of course, they have to be extra careful that the name they choose has never been used by a competitor, as this could create confusion with the consumer.  On top of that, once a particular colour has been named, it can only be associated with that unique shade.  Even after it’s been discontinued, the “recipe” and name needs to be reserved, just in case a historical house painted in that colour burns down and needs to be reapplied.

paint colour name vintage fashion
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Paint namers draw inspiration from global events, the media (what’s Kim Kardashian wearing these days?!) science or fashion influences, before entering paint names into the database.  Some paint companies choose names that would fit a particular nation, like Australia.  They would refer to the colour of the landscape (“Red Earth”), street names, famous landmarks, textures (“Hog Bristle”) or botanicals (“Green Bark”) of that country.  The same is to be said of paint companies based in England – paint names could be influenced by the weather, having more referrals to the fading light, the misty landscapes and drizzle.

paint colour misty landscape
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Paint names can be funny, dramatic or intriguing, so it could easily stick in a client’s mind (I’m not sure what Dulux thought when they named a colour “Remote Control”, as it only evokes verbal fights and tantrums in my house..)  In most cases, the paint name has the most influence on the popularity of the colour.  Farrow & Ball wins the quirky name battle with names such as Dead Salmon, Elephant Breath and Arsenic, being amongst the most outrageous.

Care needs to be taken before trying out names that would go for the tastebuds.  The colour of Broccoli might make an awesome feature wall this season, but putting the name to the colour, could be quite off putting for most customers.  “Jungle Book Green” or connotations to velvet would fare much better and avoid bringing back memories of being force fed.  Being a bit of a pushover, getting me to buy a paint colour would be as easy as putting the word chocolate, marguerita or sorbet into the name 🙂

To test your paint name knowledge, I’ve put together a quiz to see who’s done their homework in the paint isle.

Put the number next to the matching paint name:

paint colour quiz

Hindsight, Shepherds Warning, Birthday King, Self Destruct, Crazy and Fun and Games

The answers will be in our weekly newsletter this Friday.  Click here to subscribe.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

What will the 2017 decor trends be?

I haven’t even embraced the new trends for 2016 yet, but already the rumours are spreading about the decor trends for 2017. Thanks to social media, international decor styles hit our stores much quicker than in the past. We don’t have any formal announcements to share… but we do have some secret 2017 tips coming your way.

1.  SAY HELLO TO TERRACOTTA

Not the traditional terracotta tiles or borders, but a more sophisticated matt tile, used as featured walls for bathrooms, kitchens or fireplaces. Even the traditional floor tile will have a more modern design, finish and shape.

terracotta floor tile design and decor trends 2017
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terracotta floor tile design and decor trends 2017
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2. WELCOME BACK CORK

History repeats itself. Remember those cork walls from the sixties? They’re back baby! You will see them in traditional cork walls, but also in head boards, furniture and floors.

cork head board
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cork wall
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3. INTRODUCING DARK GREEN

Last week I took my teenage daughter shopping for winter clothes. She was so frustrated with “all the boring dark green clothes” on the shelves. I only then realised how many dark green clothes there actually were! All paired with tan leather accessories. See in the image below how green complements the leather and timber accessories.  As we know, fashion inspires decor, so it is no surprise that dark green decor items will be flooding the stores soon.

dark green wall decor and paint colour tips
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This is just a sneak peek of decor to come, but have a look what’s in the clothes stores at the moment. Use it as inspiration for decorating your home in 2017.

Happy decorating,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney