Tag: best decor blog australia

Where to start when decorating a kids room

We will not bore you with a long post about the correct steps to decorate or how to copy a decor magazine look alike room. We want to teach you the tools to do it yourself and be proud of what you’ve done. So this is just a short blog to help you get started.

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Not everyone has the budget or time for an interior designer. There are also many people who want to decorate their kids’ room by themselves, but feel a little bit overwhelmed on where to start. Sometimes you just need a kick of confidence! Here we go:

 1.  USE AN ART WORK AS INSPIRATION

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We have written a blog before on how to help your teenager create and decorate their own room. (Read blog here)

The best place to start with many children rooms is art work. This will immediately define a colour palette and style for the room. In the image above we used an art work from Urban Road. They have a beautiful range of art works. Framed, unframed, and many sizes and prices. You don’t have to overspend. Then we added furniture and accessories  from Target. Depending on your budget and time frame, this should be a fun project!

 

 2.  USE ONE PIECE OF FURNITURE AS INSPIRATION

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Maybe you have that one amazing piece of furniture that you definitely want to use in the room. Then use it as your starting point. It could be a funky bed, an interesting bedside table or even a rug. Above we show you an example on how you can start your project. We began with a bed and then added furniture and accessories from Adairs. With digital decorating you can play around with internet and Pinterest images on your computer until you find the right look.

Happy decorating,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

 

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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!

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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

 

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How to decorate a room with multiple windows and doors

We all have that awkward room that we just have no idea on how to place our furniture. Today I will give you a few tips on how to decorate a living space where you have so many windows and doors, that it makes it very difficult to know where to place your furniture. Too many windows and doors mean that you don’t have enough walls to place your sofas and chairs against. It also makes a room feel very busy and the decision on where to hang your art work, is also tricky.

1.  TIP ONE: MOVE FURNITURE TO THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOM

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Sometimes it’s not only windows and doors, but it could also be a radiator or fireplace. If the room’s size allows it, move all your furniture towards the middle of the room. This will open up the areas around the obstacles and create a cozy conversation space in the middle of the room. This means you can now arrange the furniture as you want, without taking into consideration the placement of the windows and doors.

2.  TIP TWO: USE A RUG

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A rug will anchor the space in the middle and pull your attention away from the doors and windows. The rug will now define how the furniture will be arranged, and the space will be less awkward. The good thing is that a rug immediately adds coziness and warmth to the room too.

 

3.  TIP 3: PLACE FURNITURE SYMMETRICAL

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Use the symmetrical placement of sofas or chairs to counteract the unevenness and chaos of misplaced windows or doors. Symmetry creates order and will draw your attention to the middle of the room, away from the walls, doors and windows.

 

4.  TIP 4: PAINT ALL THE WALLS THE SAME COLOUR

If you have multiple windows and doors, keep all the walls in the room the same colour and lean towards a light, fresh and neutral palette. It will make the centered furniture placement stand out, and make the room feel less busy.

 

5.  TIP 5: KEEP WINDOW TREATMENTS SIMPLE

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Stay away form tassels and busy patterns. I think you get the idea by now… Less detail to accentuate the number of windows and doors. More focus on the furniture. Keep the wall areas as neutral and simple as possible.

Let us know if you have any other awkward rooms you want us to address. You’re welcome to email us a photo and we might give you some advice!

Happy decorating,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

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How Lyndie changed her Formal Lounge Room

How Lyndie Changed her Lounge Room

Our front door opens up into an entry area and the first room to the left, is our formal lounge room.  Previously, this room connected to the formal dining area, where we usually hung out during winter when entertaining.

Lounge room before renovation

The room started looking a bit dark and dreary with dark leather sofas, dated carpet and accessories that looked a bit tired.  The pillars, which we disliked from the moment we moved in, didn’t add to the ambiance.  Pillars do have their place in society and fit homes from Georgian to Federal to Greek Revival to Italianate to Romanesque to Classical Revival.  They can provide privacy or create an ambiance of openness. In our house, they looked old fashioned and only created obstruction between the entry and formal living room, so they had to go.

Lounge room renovation plans

The other pillars, between the new bar area (old formal dining area) and formal lounge area, housed supporting beams, so we decided to encase the beams in 1m nib walls on either side of the room.  This plan was ideal, as cabinetry for the bar butted up against this new wall, but it also created a definite divide between the bar and formal lounge area.

lounge room pillar removal

The pillars and low nib walls were removed and we couldn’t believe what a difference that made to the space.  Luckily, our builders knew what they were doing and the ceiling didn’t come tumbling down!  Always check with your builder or structural engineer before removing any pillars or supporting walls in your home.

lounge room renovation process

We removed all skirting boards and architraves in the downstairs area and replaced it with a higher profile to suit the new style.  The old carpet was removed and solid timber yarrah floorboards installed.

Lounge room Inspiration Mood board

My biggest source of inspiration for this area was a painting we purchased at the Kings Art Show last year.  The artist is an ex-South African, Karen Tabac, who’s abstract landscapes focus on nature without human interference (which you’ll see in next week’s room reveal).   It fitted the new style of our home, which has Colonial and Modern Country influences, but also provided a fresh aqua and bottle green colour palette to take throughout the house.

If you would like see some of the other changes we’ve made to our home, follow these 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, Kitchen installation begins, Kitchen Reveal.

Don’t miss next week’s reveal!

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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How to decorate your home when you have a dog

Does your dog need a decorated room/special area? What? You never heard of this? Or even considered it? Let me share with you some inspirational images on how you can create that special nook in your home for your dog…yes… a special decorated nook! The last image is of me and my dog, Charlie.

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A beautiful monotone colour scheme. How awesome are those timber blocks and black and white photos? I adore this little corner.

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Time for a bath? A doggy “wet room” bathroom! A practical area to wash your dogs, but still beautifully designed to suit the style of the rest of your home.

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A great idea for that sometimes awkward empty corner next to your stairs.

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My dog always sits on my lap when I work on my computer. I wish I had such a great little corner for him close to my desk.

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So if you need to go all the way… why not use this lovely black and white wallpaper? You can shop for it here on ETSY.

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My dog, Charlie

As you can see, I don’t have a special decorated area for my dog, Charlie. In fact, that would probably shock him as he doesn’t know that he’s a dog and not human. Nope, he thinks he’s the youngest, spoiled brat of our family. He sleeps in my cozy decorated bed at night, on the kids’ sofa in our rumpus room during the day, and casually joins us in the evenings when we enjoy a glass of wine. Our whole house is his “decorated area”.

Any of you in the same boat?

Until next time,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

 

 

 

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Lyndie’s Home Renovation, First Phase

My husband and I moved from Coogee (in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney) to Cherrybrook in the North West , in search of a larger home and more lawn about 11 years ago.  At this stage we had 2 little ones in tow and received regular visits from our respective families in South Africa.

At first, we could only afford to rent and needed a house with enough room for us, as well as our visitors.  Luckily, in those days, you could haggle the price down in Cherrybrook and get garden services thrown in 🙂  The property we had our eye on, had been empty for a good 7 weeks, so bingo, it was ours!  After a good five years of renting this house,  we put in our offer to purchase it.  It was just in time, as in recent years, everything had changed in Cherrybrook!

A bit of background:

Inspiration of the name Cherrybrook is rumoured to have come from cherry trees near Cherrybrook Cottage, a cottage built in the mid 1800s.  The area 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 (Federation style), with entertainment areas, double garages and multiple bathrooms.  The area has great public schools and beautiful parks that offer all sorts of sporting activities throughout the weekend.

After the introduction of the North West Rail link in recent years, the median 4 bedroom house price shot up from 800 000 to about 1.4 million, so this is where our story begins…

Lyndie's home renovation front of house

Our house was built in 1998 and had not been renovated until we moved in.  Our kitchen has a tile splashback depicting fruit, peeling laminated kitchen cabinet and an oven door that wouldn’t close.  The bathrooms didn’t fare any better, with gold plated shower doors and peach coloured tiles.  We decided to start renovating at the top and work our way down.  We started renovating our bathrooms last year, so if you’re curious about the end result, see our main bathroom make over, as well as the kid’s bathroom make over.

Lyndie's back yard

As you can see, we’re not the most effective gardeners. Low maintenance all the way 🙂 What we do love, is the hedge in the back yard.  It efficiently blocks our neighbours view into our yard.  Unfortunately, the pergola roof has a hole in it, as our son wanted to see if he could kick a rugby ball from the street onto our lawn.  He missed by 2 metres…

 Entertainment Area

We’ve had plenty of get togethers, epic bbq’s and a dance or two under this roof.  No wonder it’s starting to look a bit worn out, time to move on 🙂

Renovating a home is a time consuming, money consuming and patience consuming journey, so you need to consider it carefully.  Before we made our final decision to move on or stay, we had to do a bit of homework first:

What we wanted:

  • A new kitchen with an oven door that closes and without fruit tiles
  • Timber floors
  • A bar (essential, especially during a renovation)
  • A swimming pool (Cherrybrook gets hot)
  • A fireplace (Cherrybrook gets cold)
  • An enclosed outdoor area to entertain (because we love it)

We went to a few open homes in the area to see if there was anything on the market that offered everything on our list.  After a few heart attacks (only accepting offers over 2 million (what?!!) for nothing spectacular) we decided that renovating was the way to go.  After going through several builder’s quotes with a fine tooth comb, we settled on a great local company.  If you’re currently in the same boat;  going through the process of selecting a suitable builder or draftsman for your project, give us a call to guide you through this phase.

 

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So this is the grand plan for the outdoor area:

  • Remove the hedge at the back and trees on the side to make way for a new pool, deck and tiled area.
  • Extend the formal dining area wall and build a fireplace into it.
  • Replace the roof of the tv room and cover this and the new entertainment area with a sloped roof
  • Enclose the entire entertainment area with bi-fold doorsGround floor plans

The grand plan for the interior of the house:

  • Modernise the kitchen and place built in cabinets in the pantry
  • Widen the window between the kitchen and entertainment area and replace with bi-fold windows.
  • Remove existing interior tiles and replace with timber flooring
  • Level the formal dining area with the formal lounge area
  • Remove window between formal dining area and entertainment area and replace with bi-fold door
  • Build a bar in the formal dining area.
  • Remove “beautiful” pillars in the formal dining and formal lounge area
  • Square up the corners of the TV room

Shouldn’t take too long, right?  WRONG!

Next week, I’ll show you what the interior looked like before we renovated and possibly a few sneak peak after photos …

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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Five fun things to do with unused paint chip samples

Sometimes Pinterest really frustrates me. It reminds me that I am not as good and crafty with my fine motor skills than a 1000 other pinners. I also often think to myself…. where do people find the time to do all these craft projects? It is overwhelming and sometimes just too much information! So today I narrowed it down to a few options that I feel really works.

When we choose paint colours for our homes, we always end up with a bag full of paint chip samples. It does not matter if you’re an interior designer or home decorator. Do you also feel bad to just chuck them in the bin? I recently browsed on Pinterest to find ideas on how I can reuse these paint samples. Unfortunately I could only find a few ideas that I actually think is do-able and will not look like my five year old daughter has done it.

PUNCH THEM

For a few dollars you can buy a whole range of punches from your local craft shop. Just punch the chip samples and paste them on cards or decorations for presents.  You can even sew them together and make garlands to decorate with.

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TAGS

Punch them and add a string, and you have an unlimited colourful supply of tags for presents. When I am invited to a dinner party, I like to add these tags to flowers, chocolates or wine bottles as a gift for the host.

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HOUSE WARMING

In a previous blog I told you how important a house warming is! These cutlery holders below is a great idea to add to the house warming theme.

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SORTING

A quick and effective way to organise your addresses, recipes or details about friends or clients.

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ART

For the very arty among us, you can try one of these art projects. I haven’t tried it yet, but it is still on my to do list.

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Although I love DIY projects, I am not very much the crafty type. So when it comes to punching, cutting and glueing, my projects need to be quick, easy to make and easy to store. That’s why the few examples today are all my cup of tea!

Don’t forget to read our previous blog on where do paint names come from.

Happy decorating,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

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Why you MUST have a house warming party!

Not the party type? Too much effort? Find out today why you should not miss this opportunity! It’s not like a birthday that comes again every year. A house warming only happens every 5 to 8 years per family. It could be because you move into your new house, or maybe you have done major renovations and want to celebrate the end of the building process with your friends. It does not have to be expensive. It can be an informal sausage sizzle, or just cheese platters and a few bottles of wine. What’s important, is to get your family and friends over and have a party!

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WHEN SHOULD WE PARTY?

Do it as soon as possible after you moved in. Like in days or one or two weeks. At this stage, people will still expect a bit of chaos, unpacked boxes and you will not have to present a picture perfect home.

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FREE LABOUR

Still have a few boxes in the garage that need to be moved upstairs? Or maybe you want to try out different furniture layouts for your living area. What better time to move these items than when you have a few people over, ready to help and who still feel sorry for you being in this “overwhelming situation…” This works especially well if you have a case of beer close by.

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FREE DESIGN ADVISE

It is the perfect opportunity to “ask for advise” from all your friends on how you should place your furniture, paint the walls or do some extensions to your home. This is why it’s good to host a house warming before you have unpacked everything and before you have put your personal stamp on your home. Friends will still have the confidence to share ideas. Especially because most people believe they are decorators by heart…

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FREE GIFTS

It’s tradition to take a gift to a house warming. A new plant, some gadget for the kitchen, a cute ornament or just snacks or wine. I usually take potted herbs. If the host loves gardening, they can plant it. Otherwise they can at least use it in a few dishes when cooking.

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Okay, this blog was a bit tongue in the cheek, but seriously, it’s a good excuse to throw a party! Don’t wait till your home is perfect, use it as an excuse to just enjoy a wonderful evening with friends, celebrating your new home. It’s a great milestone, it needs to be celebrated!

Until next time,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

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Best tips for a wet room

Hold your horses, this is not as easy as you think! The wet room is a popular bathroom trend, but can be very unsuccessful if not done correctly. For a proper wet room, you need to throw a few extra dollars into your budget.

Wet rooms started as a solution for very small bathrooms where a toilet, shower and basin had to fit in a small space, but there were no place for extra walls. It reminds me of the bathroom in a standerd suite on a cruise ship. No ways two people can use those bathrooms together. You can’t even brush your teeth without hitting your head against the shower head. However, if people now mention a bathroom renovation with a wet room, they actually want a huge wet room with a spa feeling where you can almost fit a whole sports team in.

Things to consider when planning a wet room:

1.  EXTRA COSTS

You need to do extra waterproofing as your whole bathroom might now be splashed and become soaking wet. Make sure you also buy waterproof light fittings and special sealed joinery. Make sure you plan your storage to be out of reach of any spray and steam. You don’t want to have soaked shelves every time you shower. Invest in heated floors, because they will help to evaporate water quicker. Also invest in a proper overhead shower head to prevent too much spray outside the designated shower area. I hate it when I get out of the shower and my towel is wet!

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2.  SPECIAL TILES

In a wet room there is a lot of water spraying everywhere. After your shower you might find it difficult to walk around in the bathroom without slipping. Invest in floor tiles with a bit of texture or non-slip characteristics. You can even add a timber area to create the real spa feeling and to prevent slipping.

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3.  DRAINAGE

So how will you contain all the water in the bathroom and prevent it from running down your hallway? Get a great tiler that can build a gradient in your floor and make sure that all the water flows towards your drain. In a wet room it is best to invest in strip drains that cover bigger areas. The other option is to create a total seperate space just for the bath and shower and split them from your door, toilet and basin with a floor to ceiling glass partition. It is less wet room and more open shower design, but it will still give you the feeling as if the whole room is one big wet room.

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4.  POSITION OF YOUR TOILET

Nobody likes wet toiletpaper or a drenched toilet seat. If your bathroom is too small to prevent the shower’s spray to reach your toilet, maybe you should reconsider the wet room. Always position your toilet as far away from the shower as possible. Your other option is again to seperate the toilet from the shower with a floor to ceiling glass partition.

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We would love to see photos of your wet rooms! Email them to us at: info@vanillaslatedesigns.com.au and you can be in one of our next blogs! Or, if you need help designing a bathroom, send us an email to ask for our price list.

Until next time,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

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