Tag: decor tip

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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Decor tip: Best colours to use with exposed brick

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

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

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

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You can also use neutral tones as far as possible, and just add spots of colour to make it interesting.

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

Happy decorating,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

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Four decor items I don’t like anymore

Yes, I get sucked into trends too. Trends come and go. So it’s good to recognise when you just like something because everyone else do, or if it’s really something you want to buy for your home. Today I will share with you four items that I realised I didn’t like at all any more! (I hope I don’t get into trouble for this today…)

 1.  COPPER BASKETS

copper baskets decorating tips trends out of fashion
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When they first came out, I loved them. Then all the big chain stores started to stock them in mass, and to me they lost their spark. Now everyone has a copper basket in their laundry, bathroom and play rooms. Too many for me around…

 

2.  MARBLE CLOCKS

marble clock decorating tips trends out of fashion
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Same issue here: Everywhere it’s just marble… marble… marble… My biggest problem is, you can never read the time properly. I hate clocks without numbers! It makes me tipsy…

 

3. TYPOGRAPHIC CUSHIONS

typographic cushions decorating tips trends out of fashion
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I also have a few of these cushions on my deck outside… Luckily they are a bit mouldy and that gives me a good excuse to replace them! Just like all the words saying “LOVE” , “HOME”, “EAT” you usually find in kitchens,  I’m not a fan. I do like the canvasses with messages, but prefer those messages not to be on my cushions.

4. DEER CANVASSES

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The poor deer has been overplayed when Scandi fever hit the world. With all the cheap canvas imitations in the big chain stores, I rather save my money for true art works or quirky unusual canvasses. I think the bottom line is, when the chain stores overproduce a certain style, it no longer becomes a designer item, but just an ordinary room filler.

What did you buy and now regret?

Happy decorating,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

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Best False Excuses for an untidy home!

People think my house is perfect because I am an Interior Designer…. NO!!! Sorry to disappoint you, but most of the time my house looks like I recently moved in. I feel under so much pressure to present this picture perfect home every time someone visits my house unexpectedly.  If you know me well, you would know that I would much rather drink a glass of wine on the terrace than sweeping the floors or dusting.

We live in a gated community, so from the moment that my guests ring the bell at the gate, until they arrive at my front door, it takes approximately 60 seconds. That’s not enough time to clean your house… (Not that I haven’t tried several times before!) So the next big thing is to hide the mess. Again, 60 seconds is just not enough time to hide it all. So finally I came to the conclusion that the best way to instantly clean your house, is to rather create false, believable excuses why it’s not clean. Here we go:

  1.  GET WELL SOON CARDS

If you don’t have any real ones, make your own with lovely $1 cards from your local news agency. A lovely little DIY project over a cup of coffee. When your doorbell rings, grab them out of the drawer and display them prominently for your guests to see. Don’t forget to imitate a cough and constantly rub tissues under your nose.

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2.  TEA TOWEL OVER THE SHOULDER

The old faithful one most of us know. Yep, grab a tea towel, drape it over your shoulder, and with a bottle of floor tiler in your one hand and liquid soap in the other, open the front door and say: “Oh sorry, it’s house cleaning day, but you’re welcome to come in.”  Elaborate on how you are moving things around, sorting out cupboards and cleaning. You might even sound like superwoman! You get bonus points if you have time to put on an apron too.

vintage housewife, tea towel woman, how to hide an untidy house, interior designer sydney hills district
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3.  BANDAGE YOUR ARM

We all have a cupboard close to the front door. Keep a bandage and safety pin in there. Before you open the door, quickly bandage your hand. With practice it takes less than 20 seconds. With lots of practice, you can do both hands! What better excuse not to be able to clean house?

how to bandage a hand, how to hide an untidy house, interior designer sydney hills district
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4.  LEFTOVERS ON THE FLOOR

Let me warn you, this one is daring & a bit disgusting… Okay, so we all have those plates in the fridge with leftover food. The ones we should have thrown away yesterday. So if the doorbell rings, drop the plate (just the food!) close to the front door. When your guests open the door, tell them to stay as far away from your house as possible as one of the kids or the dog might have a virus. Someone in the house is nauseous…  Let me tell you, all your guests will scatter home and nobody needs to see the rest of your house! (I told you this one is a bit disgusting.)

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I guess you will now be either annoyed about these suggestions of false excuses, or very excited for all this inspiring information!

Come on, be honest, what are YOUR false excuses when you get unexpected guests and your house is very untidy?

Happy cleaning,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

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What if you hate the modern look of a kitchen island?

So you’re planning your new kitchen, but you really hate the typical “island bench” look? Do you HAVE to have an island bench? Of course not. Do you NEED an island bench? Of course yes. So now what?

Not everybody likes the modern sleek lines of a marble or concrete look island bench. There are a few other options. You do have to be careful when you choose to use a table in stead of an island bench.  You might find that one day if you sell your house, new buyers will be put off by having no official island bench. Your kitchen layout can even feel a little bit smaller without an island bench. If you do have a butler’s pantry, then size will not be a problem.

1.  FORMAL DINING TABLE

This is one of my favourite images below. Rustic table, soft chairs, masculine lighting and a neutral palette. This table meets with the kitchen seamlessly. The kitchen is not the focal point, but almost becomes a backdrop for this amazing table setting. The kitchen also has enough bench top space of its own, so an island is not that necessary. This table is huge so it gives the owner enough extra bench top space if needed.

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2.  PICNIC TABLE

For a little more informal look, use informal bench seats and different size chairs. This table will serve as additional bench space and a dining room table. This is ideal if your kitchen flows directly towards the outdoors.

picnic table kitchen interior designers hills district sydney
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3.  WHITE SCANDINAVIAN

With the Scandinavian look, the negative space of the room is actually the hero. A big oversized island bench can almost overpower the room. A sleek, timber table can create a more open look and accents the beautiful timber floor.

white table in kitchen interior designer hills district sydney
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4.  RUSTIC TABLE

When your home is on the smaller side, an island bench can actually take up way too much space. A rustic informal table can serve as a dining room table and an island bench. I can see myself cutting vegetables and drinking a glass of wine at this beautiful table.

rustic table in kitchen interior designer hills district sydney
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So there are many ways to replace your modern island bench. This is also a great way of adding interest, being a little bit different and creating a seamless look.

Happy decorating,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

 

 

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What is the difference between chalk paint and chalkboard paint?

Did you know there is a difference? Many people don’t!

CHALKBOARD PAINT is just your normal (mostly black) paint that people use to paint on objects, so that they can write messages on them with chalk, and wipe it out again.

—BUT—

CHALK PAINT, is something totally different:

Chalk paint adheres to almost any surface! Timber, walls, metal, kitchen cabinets, floors, and concrete. You mostly don’t need to sand or prime your furniture. (I promise you!) It is known for its’ thick, chalky texture and “easy to distress” character. The queen of chalk paint, Annie Sloan, developed this unique paint more than 20 years ago. Do you wonder how easy it is to distress furniture like in this image below? EASY, with chalk paint!

chalk paint vs chalkboard paint sydney interior designers hills district
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Today I will not yet tell you about the easy and amazing uses of Chalk Paint. I recently painted a few pieces myself, so I will soon write a few blogs on how it works, where you can buy it and how much it costs. Details coming soon! (Please don’t expect works of art, as I am not the best and most patient painter…)

annie sloan chalk paint instructions blog what is chalk paint interior designers hills district sydney
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Just to remind you what traditional chalk board paint is, here is an image below:

chalk board paint how to paint it hills district sydney interior designers
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Need some chalkboard paint inspiration too? Then read our previous blog with loads of ideas:

“CHALK BOARDS: TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL”

However, you will be soooooo excited once you are addicted to real chalk paint like I am…

Coming soon!

Happy decorating,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

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Decor Tip: Best advice for a successful art wall

You have tried your best, but your art wall still looks terrible. Why can everyone else do it, but not you? Well, it is not as easy as one thinks! Instead of a lengthy lesson, we will just stick to one short tip today.

CHOOSE A HERO PIECE. This is the one that is bigger than the other art work so that you can focus on choosing everything else just to match one piece of art. If they all match one piece, then the rest should all work together. It helps if that piece is bigger than the rest, so that your focal colours and inspiration piece is accentuated in the hero piece of the room.

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In this image you can see the owner used the big black, white and yellow modern art work as inspiration. All the other prints and art works have either those colours or a modern painting that reflects the same style.

As easy as that!

Happy decorating,

eriana bredenhann

 

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