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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
CUSHION & CUSHION OR CUSHION & THROW
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
BIG QUESTION: DO YOU STICK WITH ONE STYLE IN YOUR HOME?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fascinators, made by the owner, are placed on the antique pieces dotted along the walls and add a surprising theatrical element.
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.
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.
To complete the look, don’t forget to add a sleepy cat on a piano stool.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
1. ADD SOMETHING GOLD
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.
2. HUGE VASE OF FLOWERS
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.
3. HANG AN OVERSIZED ART WORK
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.
4. ADD ONE WALL OF WALLPAPER
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.
5. ADD WALL PANELS (DIY!)
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.
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!)
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.
I’m in a bit of a dilemma… we’re doing a renovation and our home will be undergoing some major surgery! Our peeling, laminated kitchen cabinets will be gone, the laminated black benchtop will be replaced with stone. The modular lounge suite with large bite marks, (thanks to our ridgeback that has since found another home) will be reupholstered. Our existing tile floor will be replaced with solid timber and a new bar area will keep everyone sane. So you will probably ask, where is the dilemma? Well, as you know by now, I have a tendency to pick up furniture off the street and shop at the scrapyard, so how will my council pick up furniture, tie in with the look of our more modern, newly renovated home? How do I find my new style and keep the house from looking like it’s going through an “identity crisis?” To assist in getting the new style streamlined, I’ll be asking myself the following questions:
1. WHAT HAVE YOU LOVED SINCE CHILDHOOD?
Before you take desperate measures and get rid of everything, ask yourself if there are colours, or items you’ve loved since childhood. I’ve always been a farm girl at heart, so in my case, I’ve always loved the look of weathered timber or finding a spot in the house for a dead branch (to my husband’s dismay). I also love the ocean and find Royal blue and deep greens deeply soothing. I also tend to combine crisp white ornaments with items that look quirky or banged up and old.
2. HOW DO YOU WANT TO FEEL WHEN WALKING THROUGH THE DOOR?
After a day’s work spending time on public transport or on the road, we want to feel like home is a relaxing port of call, a place of rest. A “place of rest” can be different for each person. For some it may be clean lines, a few ornaments, no clutter, shiny white floor tiles and strong lines. For others it may very well be lots of cushions, an abundance of patterns, a lick in the face by the family dog and a stack of books on a vintage hall table. All of these items convey a mood in one’s home and should be considered carefully before purchasing an array of new items that wouldn’t fit the mood that you really want.
3. WHAT TYPE OF ORNAMENTS DO YOU LOVE MOST?
We all collect items through our lifetime, whether it’s something you fall in love with at a flea market, an item you purchased in Paris on your honeymoon or a mask you picked up during your travels through Africa. When you take a photo of all the items you don’t want to part with, you’ll be left will everything you love. You’ll see that a particular theme will start to develop and this will most likely be the right direction for you design style.
4. WHAT WOULD BE ON YOUR WISHLIST IF MONEY WAS NO OBJECT?
We tend to hold on to furniture items because it’s practical, or your mum gave it to you because she had no room for it, maybe it was a gift, or if it can stand just fine on only 3 legs, we’ll fix it over the weekend. Use your imagination and think of what you would buy if there was no limit to what you could spend. Think about the style of furniture for that perfect room and how you would complete the look with cushions and ornaments. If your imagination takes you to upholstered accent chairs with cabriole legs, a white armoire and glass chandelier, your style will probably lean towards French Provincial.
5. WHAT DON’T YOU LIKE?
In the same way that we should determine what we love, we should also be very sure about what we don’t like. I know that I don’t like shiny, black surfaces, bright accent wall colours, or synthetic looking leather. When you know these things, it will very quickly steer you in the right direction and help you discard the styles you don’t feel comfortable with.
Once you’ve documented your likes and dislikes and made a list of items you already have, collected some images from magazines and started a Pinterest board, you’ll be more confident in the knowledge of which style you’re heading for. Of course, if you’re still in the dark, we’re happy to help!
While quizzes are fun, they probably won’t identify your true decorating style and may leave you more confused. According to the one below, my style is “Coastal”, but my true style has a bit of Modern Country thrown in. Style is a bit more complicated than a quick questionnaire, but if you want to have a bit of fun, follow the link below… it could be completely off the mark!
I don’t like frameless mirrors in a bathroom. To me it feels like a missed opportunity. I do agree that sometimes, because of the modern design of certain bathrooms it might be the best solution. Unfortunately many people see the mirror just for it’s functional value and not as a focal point or a design statement. The best place to be wild and adventurous (yes, those are emotions that good design brings out in me!) is your powder room. Show your guests you have personality. Make them wonder what the rest of your house looks like and make them think: Wow, I wish I could see the rest of the bathrooms in this house! Bathrooms are expensive and a lot of the cost goes into expensive taps, tiles or basins. Don’t forget that mirrors could be cheaper and easy to replace when you’re ready for a new feature in your bathroom, without having to rip out the tiles.
Here are a few examples how mirrors can instantly add to the design style of your bathroom and become the focal point and hero of your room. Take the challenge and decide for yourself if the rooms below would change/have less impact if the mirrors were removed and replaced by frameless, safe, square bathroom mirrors?
These French and Provincial mirrors definitely add to the overall character of the bathrooms. I love the fact they they are almost oversized too.
If you replace the mirrors above with ordinary mirrors, these bathroom will loose their character. In fact, by changing the mirrors you might even change the total design style of each one.
The Art Deco Style is known for it’s interesting, strong mirrors. These mirrors are almost like artworks themselves. Well, the “bling” bathroom, not really my taste. I definitely don’t want to see even more of my after-baby figure at once.
Scandinavian & Modern styles are known for their simplicity. Do not confuse this for simple… Look how these “ordinary” mirrors do add to the feeling of the bathrooms, because they are still strong statements in their own right.
So be wild and adventurous and take a critical look at your existing bathroom mirrors. Is there any way you can update them and totally transform your bathroom this way?
In recent years many clients have chosen two-tone kitchens. This means two or more colours are paired together when choosing your kitchen cupboards. Although many are excited to try something different than the usual, most are still concerned that it is just a phase that will pass and soon two tone kitchens will be out of fashion. Although none of us can predict the future, it is common knowledge that unusual or trendy features do sometimes get overused and eventually old-fashioned because everyone can remember “what era it was in fashion”. So should you do it or not?
Like all interior finishes, as long as you choose timeless combinations, it will last a long time. Today I will show you how I think one can choose two tone kitchens, but still stick to Interior Design guidelines to make it long lasting and successful. Nobody wants to replace their kitchen every 5 years! (Or should I say “should”? Of course we will if we can!)
1. STICK TO NEUTRAL COMBO’S
A neutral palette will not easily go out of fashion ever and is easy on the eye. So if you don’t go overboard and stick to combinations of tones of black, white, timber or greys, it should work for years. Larger kitchens are better candidates for two tones than smaller kitchens. A small kitchen can quickly look very busy and looses it’s clean and modern look if there are “too much going on”.
2. KEEP IT IN LINE
Two tones look better if it is grouped together. For example: Bottom vs top cupboards, island vs back cupboards etc. It looks less busy than mixing colours and textures in the same block. In the image below you will see how dark timber and white doors are combined in the same row under the window. This makes the kitchen look very busy. Even the island is two toned. In the end it is a personal choice, and I am just giving my opinion!
Yes, we all adore the copper phase at the moment. We find that most of our clients always want to use teals or blues in their home when they decorate. However, be careful to choose any colour that tends to be a fashion statement or that’s a bit overpowering. It will dominate your living space, as most of us have open living areas lately. These bold colours will also restrict you in what colours you can use in the rest of your home, as the kitchen is fixed and it costs a lot of money to change.
5. YOUR PALETTE CAN DEFINE A STYLE
Certain design styles absolutely begs for your kitchen to have certain colours, but added softly and with great taste. Good examples are country, french, beach and provincial styles. By adding some soft tones in greys, mint or blues, you can complement the style in the rest of your home and add warmth to your kitchen. Especially when you use the shaker style doors and a painted effect on the cupboard doors. It should not be overpowering and you must have the right combination of cupboards and flooring too.
6. CREATE AN ISLAND FOCAL POINT
With so many kitchens now having a free standing island in the middle of the kitchen, this is a great way to accentuate your island bench top. By adding a splash of colour to the cupboards or panels of your island bench, you can add a lot of quirkiness to your kitchen’s design. Also, if you want to change it in the future, you only need to upgrade your island bench and not the rest of your kitchen as well.
With so many images available on the internet, Pinterest and Instagram, it is easy to get confused on what can work and what not. Don’t be overwhelmed. Gather as many images as you can, and see if you can find the trend in what images you like the most. Be sure you also match the flooring, as that can totally change the look of your kitchen.
Our suburb, Cherrybrook, was mostly rural land until around 1959, when it was subdivided and became the first project home village in Sydney. The original bushland was bulldozed, and exhibition homes were built and landscaped. For this reason, most of the homes here look fairly similar and main bedrooms come with your standard walk in wardrobe and ensuite bathroom.
Our home was built in the 90’s and we’ve only recently started modernising our living spaces. The bathrooms all reflected that lovely 90’s look including gold framed showers, peach toned tiles and a wobbly toilet to boot (which was no fault of the builders)!
We originated in South Africa and were raised on maize meal, sunshine and meat. For this reason, most of us are fairly large boned and require a bit more room to move. Our bathroom could not fit 2 (large boned) people at the same time and the position of the toilet did not contribute to comfortable moments on the throne. The same was to be said for the walk-in wardrobe – we had plenty of storage, but the U-shaped layout wasn’t very practical for our bone structure.
We decided to remove the wall between the walk-in robe and ensuite bathroom and turn the entire area into a large bathroom. So what to do about a wardrobe and storage space? Where will we put our snorkelling gear (which we only used once), our duffel bags, suitcases, rucksacks, sports bags (it sounds like we travel a lot, but we don’t…) clothes and shoes? We decided to create a built-in wardrobe in the bathroom cavity with an access door from the bedroom. I’ll address the rest of the bedroom storage in my next blog about the main bedroom. We installed a shower screen, which left us with a huge area for a wall hung vanity, ample knee space in front of the toilet, as well as a nice big shower.
I love the combination of marble, timber and crisp white. A modern look with a Provincial twist will be the style I’ll be carrying throughout the house. I used a hexagon marble tile from Beaumont Tiles as feature wall in the shower and they kindly suggested a light grey grout to define the edges.
After a bit of brainstorming with Eriana, we decided that, by carrying the grey floor tile up to the wall, it will create a more dramatic backdrop for the white and timber wall hung vanity. The rest of the bathroom was tiled in large white tiles in a satin finish. Great decision, don’t you think?
I decided on a mirrored cabinet to match the timber topped vanity, as it would create more storage. I love top mounted basins, as it fits the look I’m going for. As in the other bathrooms, I’ve stuck to hardware in a Provincial range.