Tag: Decor Tips

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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Image source

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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Lyndie’s Home Renovation – THE BAR REVEAL

A home bar is something every grown up home should have. Grown ups like popping into each others homes’ for a drink, either to wind down after a busy day, but mostly to get away from their children 🙂  Of course, you don’t need the full Monty bar… a bar cart with a few essential items will certainly do the trick!  In our case, we chucked our formal lounge during our renovation, not because we love drinking that much, but because we tend to dine informally (and to accommodate our drinking friends 🙂   To follow our bar renovation and inspiration, follow these links:  Lyndie’s Bar Inspiration and Formal Dining Room Demolition.

Facebook first image bar reveal

 

Bar installation

Our vision for our bar is slowly coming into fruition. The height of the glass pendant lights are determined and the back and front counters are installed.

First drinks new bar

Luckily there’s time for a break after a hard days’ work!  The guys are getting very excited about having the first cold one to initiate the new bar!

Bar black panelling rustic timber top

At last, it’s finished!  It was great fun unpacking everything into the shelves.  Now we can pretend we’re having a night out on the town every night!

bar antique glass splashback

 

accent chair black and linen

 

rustic solid timber bar top

 

bar counter glass pendants

This new area makes entertaining a breeze.  We love how the formal lounge flows into the bar and then out to the new entertaining area with fireplace.  I see a few social gatherings happening this year!

Let us know if your home needs a make over.  A renovation can be very daunting, especially if you haven’t experienced it before.  We draw up plans for council approval, assist in layouts, as well as selection of all your finishes.  To see the changes we made to other parts of our home, follow these links:

Before & 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.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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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

IMAGES SOURCES:

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Lyndie’s Renovation – BAR INSPIRATION

When we decided to reconfigure the interior of our home to suit the way we lived, the conversation between my husband and I steered towards every man’s dream,  a cellar, or man cave.  In my mind’s eye I could already picture the ladies sitting around the dinner table (or most likely doing dishes) and the guys congregating in the underground cellar, getting worked up about rugby, army and politics.  Seeing that our formal dining area would become an unused space after building the extension, we decided that this would be the best spot for the new bar, rather than excavating into the ground.  This would ensure a great flow from the formal lounge into the bar and then out into the new extension with fireplace (which you will see in the following few weeks).

New bar before

Hard to believe that this area would soon house a bar, but it’s wonderful to work with such a blank canvas!

New bar cabinetry

As our bar area would have an open doorway from the kitchen, the two rooms needed to “talk” to each other, but we certainly didn’t want the bar to looking like an extension of a kitchen.  We used black polyurethane cabinetry in the kitchen and finished it with Caesar stone benchtops, so we needed to repeat these finishes in the bar for cohesion.  We also wanted open shelving to display a whiskey collection, a sink and tap for quick rinsing and a cabinet for the storage of  wine and glasses.  We also designed a bar counter with a cavity at the back, so that bar stools could be stored out of sight when not in use.

New bar inspiration

We definitely wanted to steer away from the traditional timber bar look with framed rugby jerseys against the wall, as this would not suit the style of our formal lounge room, which is connected to the bar.  By using black cabinetry, an immediate sense of drama and old worldliness was created, which was further enhanced by an antique mirror splashback and soft lighting that cast a glow on the whiskey display.  We decided to finish the bar counter in black panelling and a timber top, to suit a modern country style and to create an informal atmosphere in the area.   Glass pendant lights, which mimicked the shape of a wine glass, were installed above the bar counter.  The only thing missing, was a rustic timber slab for the top…

the-discovery

Funnily enough, it was on a search for an ever evasive winery during a recent holiday in Mollymook, South of Sydney, that  we came across a timber yard.  As luck would have it, they had the most exquisite timber slabs, just perfect for our new bar!   It only took a tractor and bent roof racks to get it back to Sydney, but it was well worth the effort!

Next week, I’ll show you the end result…

If you would like to follow the changes we made to other parts of our house, follow these links:

Before & 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.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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Lyndie’s Renovation – Formal Dining Room Demolition

Setting up home is all about learning how you like to live in it.  Seeing that we’ve been living in our home for the past 12 years, a few things dawned on us during this time.  Firstly, we realised that we’re not ones for formal dining arrangements and secondly, we “needed” (wanted) a home bar.  I gently persuaded my husband that an underground cellar would probably not be the way to go, as this would segregate the drinkers from the non-drinkers (who we still need to meet) too much.  We decided to ditch the formal dining room, as the new extension would house a large table for dining and social gatherings and we had a small dining table in the new kitchen for family dinners.  The former formal dining room would now be opened up with bi-fold doors and connect to the new extension and become our bar.  So this is what we did:

Dining room Renovation - Before

Dining room renovatoin - The Changes

Dining room renovation - bifold door frame

Dining room Renovation - levelling floor

dining room renovation - level floor

dining room renovation - gyprocking

Next week, I’ll show you the inspiration behind the bar design and what finishes we selected to make it fit in with the style of the kitchen and formal lounge area.

If you would like to follow our renovation in other parts of our home, follow these links.

Before & 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.

If your home bar needs an update or you’re wondering where to install one, give us a call for some instant inspiration 🙂  We could give you a full bar design, selection of finishes, or assist you with a quick update for your bar as well as a cocktail making course (only kidding).

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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Lyndie’s Formal Lounge Renovation – THE REVEAL

 

Lyndie's renovation first page reveal

I believe an awesome living room should leave people happier than when they first entered the space.  It should have an arrangement of furniture that would encourage conversation, reflects your personality and not be cluttered with pieces you no longer love.

Formal Lounge Before

In my previous blog about our lounge room renovation, you’ll see what our vision was for this area, as well as where we found inspiration for the decorating style.  Our lounge room desperately needed new flooring and an update in accessories.  We also wanted to create better flow from the entry and did that by removing the pillars and nib walls.  Most of the old furnishings in this room will be used in the new entertainment area extension.

Formal Lounge After

The colour scheme throughout the house was inspired by a painting by Karen Tabak, which we purchased at the Kings Art Show last year.  We decided to purchase sofas in a lighter colour, as the room needed a light and fresh palette.   There’s a large possibility that these sofas will be covered in plastic sheets before our red wine drinking friends arrive.  Some of them (you know who you are), might just be banned from the area entirely… 🙂

marble coffee table accent chair

No living room is complete without a few decorative items to make it feel homely.  I stuck to the colour palette and added a few quirky bits to complete the picture.  It was love at first sight when I spotted the slatted accent chair, which works perfectly with the Modern Country/Colonial theme.

removal of pillars in lounge room

The feeling of openness was finally achieved by removing the decorative pillars and low nib walls.  The view from the lounge room to the entry is now unobstructed and creates a better flow through this space.

View from Formal lounge to entry

Formal Lounge Renovation

Formal Lounge Renovation After

New timber flooring was installed throughout the first level and lends a wonderful warmth to the interior.  The pewter side tables were purchased in Berry in the Southern Highlands on a recent holiday and the table lamps we found on another scavenger hunt in a small town a number of years ago.

White sofa Abstract Painting

If you’re struggling to find your style direction or need help putting a room together, book a consultation today!  If you’d like to see how we renovated the other rooms in our home, follow the 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.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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