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:


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.


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…


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.


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!


“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.”


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


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


  • 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!)


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


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.


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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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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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




Learn how to layer – with or without a budget

Do you feel frustrated that you just can’t get your living room to look like your friend’s, even if your furniture is very similar? You’ve probably not learned the art of layering! The great thing about layering is that you can “layer as your budget increases”. So if money is tight, make sure you layer in the correct order and that you buy the right accessories. Then you can just add more steps later.

how to layer accessories on a budget

how to layer accessories on a budget

If you follow this sequence, you have a good chance to stay on track. Decorating is a lot about planning well and working as your budget grows. Don’t expect to finish your room in one day, but make sure every item you buy is good quality and will last for a long time.

Layering is adding interest, step by step


Depending on what you have at home, either way is fine. Don’t worry about where people will put the cushions when they want to sit down, it’s their problem! Haha! (A cushion basket is always welcome.) Don’t forget to choose cushions in different sizes, different colours and different textures.


Even if you have a coffee table, a side table is always nice for that glass of wine that you will enjoy drinking during the evening. Side tables should be small, useful and stable. You don’t want to spill your drink or coffee!


Arrange your treasures, but make sure to leave enough space for a cup of coffee or a side plate for your guests. Your display can grow with your budget. Read our previous blog on table displays to get a few tips to create the best vignette display.


An occasional chair and a sofa begs for some height to complement it. A floor lamp or large plant is perfect. We recommend to first invest in a floor lamp, as it will add the additional option of soft lighting in the evening.


Your final step will be the art work. Confused on what to buy and how to arrange? Our blog of last week had a few handful tips on how to match your personality with your type of art wall. Whether you are eccentric, modern or very formal, each personality has an art display style that suits you.

These five steps are fool proof and easy for everyone to follow. It probably sounds very simple now that you’ve read it, but most people loose interest or focus somewhere in the middle. Then they get lost in the process. That’s why you need that space on your side table for a glass of wine when you need to take a break!

Challenge yourself this weekend and see in what corner of your home you can use this method!

Happy decorating,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney



Choose an art wall that suits your personality

Why should there be rules displaying art? Is a good art wall really that important? I mean… is the whole point of art not being expressive, arty, different and thinking outside the box? Yep, for the artist. Not necessarily for you! Some people have a natural flair to display art or family photos, others have no idea where to start, and just hang paintings on available walls throughout their home. Your personality & design style definitely influence the way you should display your art in your home.

Let’s have a look at the styles of wall art we get:

Do you recognise your style? Can you mix different art walls throughout your home, or should you stick to one style? Let’s find out!




This works well with a vintage or informal style of design. This is perfect for the collector, or someone who needs to display all their travel memorabilia, as well as art work. The art is not necessarily expensive, but very personal to the home owner. The owner also tends to change the display regularly.

how to display art, art wall, eccentric design, family photos, design tips
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The grid layout is for the neat freak, or maybe the person who loves things to be symmetrical or even someone that loves a very modern home. This is especially popular for photo displays. Make sure the colour and size of the frames are all the same.

how to display art, art wall, eccentric design, family photos, design tips
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This is typical for someone that spent a lot of money on a big art work and wants the painting to be the centrepiece of the room.

how to display art, art wall, eccentric design, family photos, design tips
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Many of us have different paintings, canvasses or photos in different sizes and with different frame colours. Not all art walls need the frames to be in the same colours. This display works better if the pictures have more or less the same colours or theme. Not too important, as the way you display it will define the success. Practise the layout  by arranging the art on the floor first to see how the overall look will be.

how to display art, art wall, eccentric design, family photos, design tips
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The art collector.  Someone who wants the lux feeling of a gallery at home. The art is usually on the more expensive side and have specific lighting installed to complement the art.

how to display art, art wall, eccentric design, family photos, design tips
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Very informal, a combination of the Bohemian and the Eccentric. The difference is the use of shelves to display art. This is also the perfect solution for tenants.

how to display art, art wall, eccentric design, family photos, design tips
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No, you don’t have to. You can choose one or two styles that complement your home and then work with them. If however you are not a confident decorator, choose one style and make sure you become the master of that style!

Happy decorating,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney



Coffee in Baroque Barn Style – Ouland Royale

Last year I was lucky enough to spend a wonderful 2 weeks in South Africa to share a very special occasion with my family; my sister’s 40th birthday!  We were spoiled for choice dining at wine bars in picturesque settings, snacking at divine coffee shops and brunching at locations extremely diverse in character and style.

timber & glass antique front door


One such location still sticks in my mind, as the setting and atmosphere was like nothing I’ve come across in my hometown of Sydney.   In a city with coffee shops and restaurants decorated in the ever popular rustic industrial style, this particular restaurant hit me like a breath of fresh air on a cold winter’s day.

Floral accents & painted timber

Claw feet bath and rustic wall

Ouland Royale is a huge Barogue Barn built by Wilja Reitz and her team on her family farm just outside of Plettenberg Bay in South Africa.  Wilja is an interior artist and created a unique venue, filled with spectacular French Baroque furniture pieces which she had collected and restored herself.


Baroque style love seat

French Baroque mirrors fill the walls and the luxurious upholstered chairs lend luxury and old world charm fit for Kings.  The hearty, double sided fireplace warms the interior and create an euphoric ambience, letting guests relax into the glamour of yesteryear.

Fireplace with floral cushions


Double sided fireplace and leather armchairs

Fascinators, made by the owner, are placed on the antique pieces dotted along the walls and add a surprising theatrical element.

Fascinators and french styling

The vintage style tables, leather suitcases, crockery and dining chairs, combined with the luxury of baroque furniture, give the interior a more cosy and approachable atmosphere, in step with the hospitality of this country environment.

Antique bicycle, love seat

Baroque style hall table, antique mirror

For those of you who would like to replicate this ornate and extravagantly theatrical look in your home, look for gilded, framed mirrors, dark ornately carved furniture, luxurious textiles rich in colour with large patterns, sparkly chandeliers and generous servings of gold accents.


sleepy cat, piano stool

To complete the look, don’t forget to add a sleepy cat on a piano stool.

Good luck!

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

Move over Chrome, Black is having a Moment…

Black taps are here to stay and give a design edge to contemporary interiors such as modern, rustic and industrial.  Using black tapware is a great way to incorporate black in a subtle way while making a more demure design statement than black cabinetry. Black can be masculine, but also subtle and sophisticated if mixed with the right materials.  It marries equally well with chrome, white, as well as timber and copper.

While there aren’t many rules when choosing the finish of your tapware in your kitchen, we still want to end up with a cohesive and harmonious look.  To get the most out of your black tap, here are a few tips to put your mind at ease:

black tap black grout
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There’s no need to match your black tap to your sink, so using a stainless steel sink is fine, especially if it’s under mounted.  It’s more important to have a contrasting backdrop behind the black tap, as this will create the “wow” factor,  Try white subway tiles with dark grout, as this will be an eye catching statement, without being over powering.

black taps marble background
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If you crave a classic, but show-stopping combination, try black taps with a neutral backdrop, such as marble or highly glossed white tiles.  This can effortlessly become a very sophisticated centre piece without trying too hard.

black taps black handles
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Pairing black and white is a contemporary, classic look that will never go out of style.  If you’re afraid of going too dark with cabinetry, match your black taps to black cabinet handles instead.  This way the accent of black flows throughout the kitchen, without overpowering the space.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

6 Tips to quickly make your living room look expensive

What to do if your budget and taste are miles apart? How do you add a bit of champagne style to your living space, without breaking the budget? Is it possible to add only a few affordable items, but instantly add lux to your room? Let’s give it a go!


Not your usual colour? I know, I feel the same way! It took me years to realise that a little touch of gold actually complements most styles and just give your room that extra flair. Be careful not to overdo it. It could just be a lamp, a mirror or if you are brave, a coffee table. Gold complements black and white really well and might make your other furniture pieces look just a little bit more expensive.

how to add glam to your living room



Girls, this is a great excuse to add a huge bunch of pretty flowers to your weekly shopping list.  (If your hubby is not so consistent in spoiling you with flowers…) A huge vase with flowers looks dramatic & expensive and draws the eye away from less expensive furniture. Put it in front of a mirror to make it look even double in size. If your budget is tight, invest in a plant with flowers like a peace lily or orchids. A once off expense, but a lifetime of use.

how to add glam to your living room flowers in entrance hall



Any oversized painting or canvas gives the first impression of being expensive. You will instantly add drama & confidence to the room. It draws attention to the art work, and less focus on the rest of your (possibly) non impressive and low budget living room. Have a look at these sites for affordable, but impressive art and canvasses: ART FINDER,  URBAN ROAD & VICTORIA LANE ART.

how to add glam to your living room OVERSIZED BIG ART WORK IN LIVING ROOM



If your budget is tight, invest in only one wall and make sure it has a striking pattern or maybe a shiny texture. It adds drama and sophistication to your room. Good rooms to experiment in will be an Entrance Hall, Powder Room or Dining Room.

how to add glam to your living room WALLPAPER ENTRANCE HALL



Footy season is here, so many of us won’t have husbands available for Saturday jobs around the house… DIY wall panels are really easy to install. Your local hardware store sells timber, nails and paint. Figure out how to cut the timber straight! Measure twice, cut once. There is not a more rewarding way to instantly make a room feel more elegant, sophisticated and expensively styled.

how to add glam to your living room diy wall panels

how to add glam to your living room diy wall panels



Yes, the one tip we hate! This is the best way to make your home feel stylish, clean and expensive. I know with kids this may be a challenge, but even if you just choose one living space to be your sanctuary, you’re already half way there. Recently I told you about this amazing book, that helped me transform my house to a clutter free zone. (Read more on how to tidy your house once, and never again!)

how to add glam to your living room

Most of us don’t have the budget we need to decorate our homes like we want to. It does not mean we should do nothing. Little by little, step by step, we can work towards our final goal. For most beautiful homes in magazines, it took years of gathering and savings to get to that point.

Happy decorating,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney