Tag: Decor Tips

Tips for a successful teenage study nook

Teenagers know everything. Right? Unfortunately they still need to study even though they might think they’re so clever… When they reach Year 11, the amount of school work suddenly increases a lot and just lying on your bed with your laptop will not help them finish those assignments in time. They need more space and a place to actually work, but still feel like they’re having fun. Is that possible? Of course it is!

1.  GET THE BEAT ON

My kids always have music on while they do homework. Mostly with headphones on, but sometimes they even sit at the dining room table with my SONO’s system providing the background music. With the right music, they can be relaxed and still feel connected to “their stuff”. So make sure there are bluetooth or wifi speakers available and that they will be allowed to listen to their music in peace. (Of course they also use the music to make sure they can’t hear you calling them to unpack the dishwasher or take the bins out)

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2. STORAGE

Make sure they have a spot to leave stuff. Books, notepads, files and stationery. We all know teenagers are not the most organised or tidy creatures in the world. Make sure their study nook is not just a desk stuck in a corner. Give them a few shelves or a notice board too.

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3. MAKE IT PERSONAL

You want them to spend some time studying, right? So let them feel like it’s “their” space. They should have a say in how it is decorated. Maybe a mirror, nice art work or photos of friends.

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4. GET A GOOD CHAIR

Their body’s are still growing and they need good support. Don’t give them the leftover chair that doesn’t fit anywhere. Get a proper desk chair with good support. Then they won’t mind spending time sitting there.  My son once picked up an office chair on council pick-up. It did not look great anymore, but it was the most comfortable chair in our home for three years!

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Happy decorating! This is a fun project to do.

Until next time,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

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How to Create a Cohesive Look in your Home

With all the beautiful furniture and decorating items available today, it’s sometimes hard to stick to just one decorating style or loving just one type of furniture style.  Here’s some good news, YOU DON’T HAVE TO!  Do you want your home to end up looking like a furniture catalogue or display home?  No thank you!  For a style that reflects YOU, incorporating objects from your travels, your childhood or nature, is closer to the new style you’re striving for.  You need to be brave enough to add your personality and create your own unique style by blending your own experiences and display them throughout your home.  Have a look at a previous blog on how to find your decorating direction.

This is what you do:

TAKE STOCK OF WHAT YOU HAVE

Walk through your home and take note of what you currently own.  Are there pieces that stand out, or are there a few you only purchased to fill an empty space?  If you’ve gathered a few things from overseas, did you have a few favourite cities?  Which would you love to return to?  Take note of the textures, colours and style of each item you’ve collected, as this will be the base of your new, unique style.  Remove everyting you don’t have a connection to.

GATHER INFORMATION

sticking to style inspiration board
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Start a board on Pinterest or Houzz and gather images of your dream rooms.  Tear images out of your favourite magazines and display them on your wall.  A common thread will soon start to appear, whether in the way of architectural details, patterns, or a prominent colour.  You could even realise you’re gravitating towards a more rustic theme, or perhaps something more bohemian?  It’s also quite natural to have a couple of favourite styles and, if they’re true to your personality, they need to be embraced and encouraged!

TIME FOR COLOURING IN

Stick to style colour
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Now that you have a good idea of a style that you could call your own, you need to choose a colour scheme.  Colour is probably the most powerful decorating tool, as it’s not only very personal, but it creates moods within us that could quite easily be spoiled if done incorrectly.  For a more in depth look on creating mood with colour, click here.  Don’t get side tracked by Pantone’s colour of the year, but rather look at your inspiration boards when selecting your colours:  Are there any prominent colours that call to you?  Those are the ones that will form the base of your new colour scheme.  You’ll need three base colours, to avoid a serious yawn fest out of boredom.  One colour will go on the walls, one for an accent such as an occasional chair or sofa, and a third for accessories such as cushions and vases, etc.  If you only want a single colour, use it in different shades and tones, to make things more interesting.

JAZZ IT UP

stick to style rustic romantic
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This is where playtime starts!  If your style is leaning towards the rustic side, use rustic timber trays, potted succelents, leather ottomans or side tables with steel legs.  The same goes for a more sophisticated theme:  Add more glamorous touches like a mirrored tray, glitzy vases, pretty flowers and a scented candle.  You get the idea… These combined accessories will enhance and polish your newly created style.

NOW STICK TO IT!

The hardest part is over!  Now that you’ve found the style that reflects your personality, stick to it!  Don’t get side tracked by the new “scandustrial” style that’s all the rage in magazines, if your newly created style is more “rustic/nostalgic”.  Your goal is to have a cohesive look, so don’t fall for what you’ve seen on the latest episode of THE BLOCK if it doesn’t fit your new look.

Well done and good luck,

Cheerio ’til next time!

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Why on Earth do I need a Rug on top of my Carpet?

Carpet has been used as flooring for thousands of years and is installed to provide warmth for cold feet, reduce sound and add colour and decoration to a room.  It helps a room to stay warmer in winter and cooler in summer.  So now I ask you… why does my interior designer want me to put a rug on top of it?

DEFINING YOUR SPACE

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Interior designers consider the principles of design to create a well-rounded room.  No, you don’t need to be good at Maths to figure it out, but most of the time it’s based on feelings and common sense 🙂  Not only do they want to create balance in your room, but they need to think about the atmosphere (we’re not talking about oxygen here), consider the scale in the room and ways to apply textures and colour to get you the desired result.  The first reason for putting a rug on top of your brand new carpet, is to create a zone for a space.  This is especially important in today’s open living style homes  To give an example:  If your living room is next to your dining room or kitchen, a rug placement under your coffee table and sofas will define that space as separate and create a zone for an activity in that area.  Having a rug has the added benefit of grounding your furniture so that it doesn’t appear as if it’s floating.

PATTERN & COLOUR

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Placing a rug on the floor is the perfect opportunity to add patterns and colour.  By adding these, the interest in your room is heightened immediately and the effect can be very appealing.  Always make sure that your rug complements the carpet, so that they look married to each other and not out of place.  It also need to tie in with your colour palette, whether you decide on a neutral or coloured rug.

A LAYER OF TEXTURE

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Textures work in mysterious ways.  It has the tendency to create comfort, dampen noise and give a room visual depth.  Not many people consider textures carefully before making their selections for a space.   The reason for this could be because they don’t realise the potential of adding textures to their design.  Jute, wicker, animal skin or shag rugs can turn a one dimensional space onto a comforting, warm and inviting cocoon, ready for guests to relax and enjoy.

Our next blog will be about how to get rid of guests that enjoy being in your home too much (only kidding!)

Cheerio ’til next time!

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Lyndie’s Renovation: The Sausage Sizzle

 

Lyndie's renovation

What better way to end a renovation project than with a sausage sizzle.  The team has almost become like part of the family, so we just had to thank them by leaving them with a full tummy at the end of the project.  The guys had been amazing and an absolute pleasure to work with.

To see the entire project, check out the links below:

The new extension, Final Photos, New Extension:  Revealing the exterior, Lyndie’s Renovation: The end is in SightBefore & After of Entry and Stairs, Before Photos of the Interior, Renovation, First Phase, Ensuite Bathroom Make Over, Kids’ Bathroom Make Over, Demolition day, Formal Lounge Room Reveal, Kitchen installation begins, Kitchen Reveal, Formal Dining Room Demolition, Inspiration for the new Bar, Bar Reveal, The New Extension, Digging the PoolConcreting the Pool, Pool Progress, A new room takes shape.

Lyndie's renovation - the team

REnovation plans

Lyndie's renovaton - first fire

At the end of a long day, we’re lighting the fire for the first time and sitting down with a well deserved drink.  Plastic garden chairs might not be as comfortable as a sofa, but it’s better than nothing 🙂   Can’t wait to move the furniture back in and start the decorating process…

Making dream home happen

If you’re planning a renovation, you’re going to spend a fortune – be sure to do it right the first time.  You know where to find us!

Cheerio ’til next time!

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The Hottest Trends in Window Furnishings Right Now

diy-blinds

Windows are a key achor point in setting the tone of your space.  These seemingly innocuous panes of glass are one of the first things people notice when entering a room and as such, they deserve the right complementary treatments.

Whether you want to turn your windows into an eye-catching statement feature or are looking to subtly spruce up the whole ambience of your space, here are the top window treatment trends home dwellers are currently loving.

ROLLER BLINDS IN NEUTRAL COLOURS AND RICH TEXTURES

blinds-serengetti

If you’re looking to revamp your windows but want to invest in something timeless, roller blinds in neutral shades are your best option.  Not only are these ideally versatile, but the current surge in minimalistic design gives them added bonus points.  Crisp whites and simple greys are massive winners right now, and with DIY Online Blinds’ nifty Dulux colour match range of fabrics, customers can easily choose the best neutral shades to match their wall paint.

While it’s stylish to keep colours simple, many people are opting to inject a dose of personality into their roller blinds by choosing interesting textures.  Our Australian-made Serengetti collection has proven to be a top seller, encompassing an intricate, slightly-chunky texture that adds that nice touch of flair.

FABRIC-WRAPPED VALANCES

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The idea of pairing a fabric wrapped valance with roller blinds is gaining a lot of traction in the market at the moment.  Customers are either pairing with the same colour/fabric as their blinds, or choosing something entirely different or mix and match.  (The image below shows a Dakota Quartz Sunscreen blind with a Metroshade White fabric wrapped valance).  This style offers a really clean and streamlined look, proving that the smallest details can make all the difference.

COMBINING RECESS FIT AND FACE FIT BLINDS IN ONE

blinds-plantation-shutters

This might sound like a bit of an oxymoron, but trust me, it works.  Double roller blinds are always going to be popular thanks to their dual functionality, but many customers are now choosing to take a new twist on the way they hang these window furnishings.  Rather than opting for either a recess fit or a face fit, it’s becoming increasingly on-trend to recess fit a sunscreen roller blind followed by face fitting a blockout roller blind on top to provide better light coverage.  Herein, residents are able to gain greater control over light saturation in a more compact set-up than a standard bulky double roller blind, plus they have the option of adding a valance (fabric-wrapped, if so desired).

PLANTATION SHUTTERS

energy-effecient

Emanating strong vibes of nostalgia, plantation shutters are making a fierce comeback right now.  Traditionally used as a feature in the renovation of period houses in Australia, many residents are now fitting their new homes and modern interiors entirely with plantation shutters.  At DIY Online Blinds, we offer custom Australian-made shutters which can be delivered to your door in just four weeks.

ENERGY-EFFICIENT BLINDS

honeycomb-blinds

Many residents are also becoming much more conscious of energy consideration in modern home-decorating, opting to furnish their windows with treatments like honeycomb blinds.  These advanced blinds drastically reduce the transfer of heat through windows, thereby cutting down on the need to get that split system cranking during warm summer days or chilly winter nights.  While predominantly chosen for their energy-efficiency, honeycomb blinds also harbour a stylish, contemporary look and boast a slim-line design, making them suitable for almost any window in the home.

Visit www.diyonlineblinds.com.au for more window treatment inspiration.

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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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Is an interior design mood board still relevant in the digital age?

Do Interior Designers still make mood boards for clients? When I studied for my diploma in Interior Design we spent a lot of time making and creating mood boards. I once almost lost a thumb with a Stanley knife, and one day I glued myself and my dress to a chair. (There is another story at the end of this blog…) The question is: Is it still relevant in today’s digital world? Many of our clients ask us: “Will you also make me a mood board for the design?” The answer is “yes” and “no”. A physical mood board is great to give a client the overall look and feel of a design, so we do include a mood board in most of our designs. However, there are so many other design tools available today.

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One of our tools we use are hand sketches and 3D visualisation where you can literally “walk through your home”. With digital technology we find we can make a client almost 20 to 30 different “mood boards” to explain different elements of the design concept. If we now stick all the samples to a mood board, the client can’t always mix and match the different options. It also makes it very uncomfortable for a client to walk into a home ware shop with their A3 sample board under the arm! We prefer to provide the samples separately in a box, basket or file. It also makes it easier to change samples if a supplier is out of stock or the client decides to use another fabric.

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So if you are thinking of being your own designer, get yourself a specific basket, tray, cork board or folder for each room. This way you can add samples, magazine snippets or even trinkets that resemble your colour and style. Most of us want to touch and feel tiles, timber or fabric before we make a decision. So have fun and create a basket full of texture. When needed, you can spread them all over your home to help you make final decisions.

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Even if you want to eventually make use of Interior Designers (like us for instance!), it will be great to gather as many elements as possible even before the first meeting. The more we know about your taste, the easier we can get to a great design. Don’t stress that everything in your basket need to match, your designer will narrow it down now that they understand your taste.

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My biggest fiasco with a mood board was the one Monday morning I had to do a presentation at my design school in the city. (I studied at Sydney Design School) I was holding on to this A2 sized mood board full of tile, timber and fabric samples. I worked on this mood board until about 3 am the previous night, pasting and cutting and preparing for my presentation. So needless to say I was really tired at 8am on the train. When I reached my station I stood up to exit the train. At the door I realised I had my mood board but not my handbag. I rushed back to my seat and ran back to the door again. I slightly tripped (mind the step) as I exited, hitting the mood board against the train door. At that moment, my precious timber and tile samples slid off and fell between the train and the platform. Gone. On the tracks laid my samples, my dignity and my presentation marks.

Our advice is: Don’t be too hung up on the mood board that is created, but rather look into the design concept, visualisation elements, colour and spatial design elements. Your interior designer might not be the best at arts and crafts creating a fabulous mood board, but might actually be a fantastic designer with loads of ideas for spatial layout and colour recommendations.

Happy decorating,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

 

 

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Outdoor entertaining on an IKEA budget – yes you can!

Is your budget low, but you need to redo that outdoor entertainment area before your family and friends arrive to celebrate the holiday season with you? Fear no more, as I’ve gathered a few items from IKEA to show you how to quickly uplift your outdoor entertainment area on a low budget. (No, IKEA did not sponsor this post… I wish!)

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I know how disappointed and disgusted I feel when I walk around my outdoor area every November. The winter and rain is slowly disappearing, but I can not say the same about the cobwebs, dust and leaves around my BBQ area and timber deck. Of course, retail shopping is always the answer!

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It’s important to start with the “bones” and make sure your furniture creates a great backdrop. Stick with the same colour timber as far as possible, and make sure all the cushions, sails and timber can be used outdoors.

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Don’t forget the final touches! The way you decorate your outdoor table immediately sets the mood. It can be fresh and organic, or romantic and rustic. IKEA has a great range of affordable outdoor accessories. You will be able to chop and change and create different moods for many weekends! See it as a challenge and create different settings on a budget!

Happy outdoor entertaining!

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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Three tips when buying decor accessories

For once, forget your budget or priorities. Today you will learn how to “prepare to shop” for accessories. These small, random little items around your house never get the acknowledgement they should. You can have the best furniture, expensive rugs and beautiful art work, but you need to add stylish accessories to “pull it all together’, or your home might look soulless, empty or lacking in personality.

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 1.  TAKE PHOTOS & MEASURE

Be prepared. We all have smartphones. Open the notebook app. Now walk around every room in the house and make a list of every corner that needs an ornament, candle, book or plant. Don’t think about priorities or your bank balance. Think like a designer! You’re not spending anything yet. Take a photo of each room and store it on your phone. Grab a measuring tape and measure your display shelves, the size of your coffee table, the size of your sofas and tables. Make a quick hand drawing if necessary and scan it into your phone. Now keep a paper made measuring tape in your handbag. Like forever. (Grab one from IKEA or buy one in the needlecraft section at your local shop.) It weighs nothing. Now you’re ready to hit the shops. Most of the time we see what we like when we don’t expect it, but now you can grab your paper measuring tape and notebook app on your phone whenever you spot an accessories you like. This will help you to never buy the wrong size (or colour!) again.

 2.  SHOP IN YOUR OWN HOME – SOUNDS FUNNY?

Trends change. Your grandmother’s old trinkets stored in the shed, or some childhood toy might suddenly be your latest find. Walk through your house and think what items can be re-used in a different, funky way. Maybe you should move some accessories in your bedroom to your living room for a change.  I constantly move ornaments, cushions and rugs from one room to the other. This makes everything feel fresh again.  Don’t forget the power of books. Invest in a few decor books for your coffee table or hobby books in your book shelf. Can you reframe old photographs? Maybe paint all the frames black? Can you repaint a vase or candle holder? Pack out cupboards you haven’t opened for a long time and see if there is not maybe a hidden gem. Especially kitchen cupboards. You might find a beautiful glass vase you have forgotten all about. Bring some greenery into your home. Succulents grow easily, so bring the outside inside.

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3.  DON’T OVERSPEND, BUT SOMETIMES DO!

There are beautiful affordable trinkets available from home ware stores. However, do not only buy small accent pieces. Also invest in at least two to three more expensive focal pieces per room. You need to have a good combination to keep it tasteful. Every room needs at least one conversation piece. It might not be extremely expensive, but should have some character or a history.

Now off you go, start measuring and taking those photos!

Happy decorating,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

 

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