Tag: decor blog

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.

paint chip samples, colour inspiration, craft project paint, punch craft, tags, gift wrapping, decor blog, diy blog , garlands, diy garland, sew garland
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paint chip samples, colour inspiration, craft project paint, punch craft, tags, gift wrapping, decor blog, diy blog , girls room, heart garland, diy garland
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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.

paint chip samples, colour inspiration, craft project paint, punch craft, tags, gift wrapping, decor blog, diy blog , colourful tags, diy tags
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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.

paint chip samples, colour inspiration, craft project paint, punch craft, tags, gift wrapping, decor blog, diy blog , house warming, tags, cutlery display, setting table
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SORTING

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

paint chip samples, colour inspiration, craft project paint, punch craft, tags, gift wrapping, decor blog, diy blog , stationery sort, organise recipes
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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.

paint chip samples, colour inspiration, craft project paint, punch craft, tags, gift wrapping, decor blog, diy blog , art work paint samples
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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!

house warming gift plant decor tips vanilla slate designs best decor blog australia
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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.

house warming gift plant decor tips vanilla slate designs best decor blog australia
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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.

house warming gift plant decor tips vanilla slate designs best decor blog australia
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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…

house warming gift plant decor tips vanilla slate designs best decor blog australia
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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.

house warming gift plant decor tips vanilla slate designs best decor blog australia
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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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Styling Tips for a Patterned Sofa

The reasons for acquiring a patterned sofa could be any one of the following:  (we would love to hear from you if you could add to the list)

  • You’re setting up house for the first time and have to use furniture that had been passed down from generation to generation.
  • You’ve fallen in love with a sofa and made an impulsive purchase.
  • You purchased one at the Salvo’s for its’ beautiful shape and your budget didn’t stretch to reupholstering it.
  • You have small children and feel that it’s the only sofa that won’t show dirt.
  • You love the Bohemian/Arts & Crafts look.
  • You saw one in a magazine once and it looked awesome, but now it doesn’t work with any of your existing furniture.

Here are a few tips on how it can work:

1.  KEEP IT SIMPLE

patterned sofa single colour cushion
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A very busy, colourful pattern can be toned down by playing around with a single colour that appears in the pattern.  Add cushions in this single colour, without being boring.  Combine them in lighter and darker shades, as well as in different textures such as knits and linen cushions with contrasting piping.

2.  COMBINE WITH NEUTRAL ACCENT CHAIRS

patterned sofa neutral accent chair
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Be adventurous and use colour to your advantage.  Knowing the colour wheel will benefit the overall look of your home.  Accent chairs in a complementary colour will make a bold statement, but look harmonious and not deflect from the hero of the room – a stylish, modern, patterned sofa.

3.  USE A SINGLE COLOUR PALETTE

patterned sofa simple colour scheme
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This more subduedly patterned sofa, is toned down by adding a soft, romantic colour scheme that lie adjacent to each other on the colour wheel.  Take note that, although all the cushions are patterned, no more than three colours are used throughout the room.

If you own a patterned sofa, you’re probably one of the few daring rule breakers amongst us.  Our blog about which rules to fearlessly break, might possibly interest you… just click here!

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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How to Survive a Renovation

Our home had peeling laminated kitchen cupboards, a tile splash back depicting fruit and very unfashionable floor tiles when we moved in about 10 years ago.  We’ve been dreaming and saving for this renovation since our kids were little, so we thought we were truly ready for the next phase.  I’ve learnt a few things in the last few months, so I’ll share them for your benefit:

1.  MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GETTING INTO

Planning your renovation is wonderful and the best part of the process!  You dream about your beautiful new kitchen bench top and love browsing through magazines to find that perfect cabinet handle and splash back.  Reality quickly sets in when a team of builders arrive at 7am every morning for 3 months straight and you, and your neighbours, can’t find a parking spot close to home.  You’ll almost think about turning back the clock when your kitchen is set up in your garage and you fold and iron in the same room as washing dirty dishes and the dog.  Although you’ll experience a number of emotions while going through the process, boredom will certainly not be one of them!  A renovation isn’t a fun project to fill in the time or a form of entertainment, but more like you’ve taken on a second job…

2.  PROTECT YOUR BELONGINGS

renovation survival protect your stuff

The less stuff you have in the house, the better the builders will be able to move around to do their job.  Not only that, but drywall dust is more pervasive than sand in your bathers after swimming in the ocean. It will settle into places you never knew existed.  Make sure you protect art pieces and your timber flooring. Cover your carpets with drop sheets.  Seal off areas not undergoing any changes with plastic sheeting and pack up all loose items and put it in storage.

3.  CREATE CHAOS FREE ZONES

While undergoing a renovation, your family will still expect clean clothes, clean plates, cutlery and probably a meal more nourishing than toast 3 times a day.  Make sure you set up work stations for those everyday chores and a place for the family to relax and watch telly at the end of the day.  We currently have a kitchen set up in our garage and my husband and I have become experts at cooking meals in the electrical frying pan. Although these meals end up a mixed mess on a plate, the chance of anyone dying of hunger or malnutrition is rather slim.

4.  LEAVE THE HOUSE

Try to plan a short family holiday, just to get a break from the mess and noise.  Accept all invitations for social get togethers and drop hints to get invited to friends that love cooking.  Food that’s served in separate heaps on a plate, will count as a blessing and a side salad might be more special than a glass of wine (… or maybe not to that extreme).

5.  BE AVAILABLE FOR THE BUILDERS

renovation survival answer questions

I bet you thought that, if you have a properly drafted plan and a report from an engineer, your job is done!  Nope, it’s only starting… Your builder and team will need constant information and feedback from you.  Even with a drawn up council approved plan, constant adjustments are made while on site, that can’t go ahead without your input.  Make sure you’re prepared and know your building plan by heart.  You might not need in depth knowledge of structural beams and support joists, but take note of the size of your skirting boards, the thickness and size of your floor tiles and the profile of your architraves and cornices. Make sure you know where all your bulkheads will go.  You’ll need to know the position and height of your pendant lights and how you want to control all the lighting of the house.  You’ve probably only dreamt of the colour of your timber floor, but have you thought about how the thickness will affect your existing doors, or if you want it laid vertically or horizontally?  Have you considered the colour of the eaves and fascia of your new extension? Have you given thought to your new interior wall, ceiling and skirting colour?  Make sure you have everything on file, so that information can be retrieved and conveyed instantly, without holding up the project.

6.  STICK TO A SCHEDULE

Do as much planning as you can before your renovation begins.  If you have your heart set on an Italian tap, designer pendants and handmade tiles, make sure you order well ahead of time.  It would be a shame to turn a 2 month project into a 6 month project because of delay in delivery of one item.

7.  LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR

Renovation survival love neighbours

We’re lucky to have wonderful neighbours in our cul de sac and would like to keep things amiable.  Some have gone through a similar project or are due to start one themselves.  They’re interested in our progress and curious about what it will look like when finished.  Learn to apologise frequently – as you will need to 🙂  They’ll be more willing to forgive you once the value of their homes had once again increased, due to the removal of all skips and rubble from the front of your house.  It’s not necessary to wait until your lawn and broken branches had grown back and your driveway repaired, before dropping them a box of chocolates to thank them for their patience.

Remember to take photos of your project as you progress.  The best way to stay positive and excited about the end result is to see how far you’ve come!

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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Questions and Tips about waterfall kitchen bench tops

What are the pro’s and cons? Is it in or out? Today we will give you some tips on the trendy waterfall finishes of kitchen bench tops. For those of you who have no idea of what I am talking about… It’s when a kitchen bench top is extended on the side, all the way down to the floor, to cover the side panels of your kitchen cupboards.

waterfall bench top, kitchen bench top, marble bench top, tips for kitchen design, kitchen trends
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PRO’S & CONS

waterfall bench tops, pros and cons of waterfall bench tops, kitchen designs tips

waterfall edge bench tops kitchen, tiles on kitchen island, blue kitchen
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IS IT IN OR OUT?

Oh, it’s very much in and not a trend that I think is likely to change in the near future. It’s almost like the “trend” of using drawers everywhere in the kitchen. People find it so useful that it is now a permanent design to most kitchens. The waterfall bench top is here to stay!

MITRE VS BUTT PROFILE

Personally, I prefer the mitre edge profile, as the joint looks seamless. The mitre edge is normally a bit more labour intensive and a few dollars more expensive. The butt edge might be a bit cheaper and sometimes designers like the “architectural look” it creates.

SHOULD THE WATERFALL GO ALL THE WAY TO THE FLOOR?

Most people take the waterfall all the way down to the floor. The biggest reason is that it serves as an extra support for the horisontal bench top. If you prefer for it to end 3 or 5 cm from the floor, it needs extra support to “hang” in the air. This can be more expensive too. Some people like the shadow line effect it creates when the bench top is not meeting the floor.

SHOULD I HAVE A WATERFALL ON BOTH SIDES OF MY BENCH TOP?

This is entirely up to you. It will depend on your kitchen design. If the kitchen island is a feature  in the kitchen, I would suggest using a waterfall on both sides. You might want to use bar stools on one end, then you can only put a waterfall on the other end. The latest trend is to even let it go down the back panel too!

waterfall bench top, kitchen design, marble bench top
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waterfall bench top, cement bench top, white and grey kitchen
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If you are in the process of designing and planning your new kitchen, try to work in a waterfall bench top. It gives a real modern and updated feeling to a new kitchen design.

(And don’t forget that we can help you with kitchen designing and arrange great kitchen companies to install them!)

Until next time,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

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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

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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

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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

 

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