Tag: Decor Tips

Lyndie’s Laundry Make Over

My laundry was in pretty bad shape.  We first rented this home for 4 years before deciding to purchase it about 7 years ago.  As it is with most laundries in rental properties, we only had the bare basics; an inset sink with small cupboard underneath and a washing machine.  We bought a large freestanding laundry cupboard which took up a huge chunk of space, and a practical laundry basket without any personality whatsoever.

Laundry Make Over Requirements

Luckily, when you live in your home for a while, you know what your needs are and how you want your workspaces to flow.  I knew that I needed a place to store pool towels, shelving for easily accessible pegs and washing powder, as well as an area for hanging damp clothes or clothes that had just been ironed.  A new benchtop would also come in handy when folding is required and a space to store endless cleaning products is always a big plus.   I needed cupboards/shelving for sliding in tubs with individual family members’ folded clothing, because in my perfect dream world, each person would be putting away their folded clothing into their own cupboards (haha, it’s my dream world and I’m sticking to it!)

Laundry Mood Board

The list goes on… Not only did I want this space to be functional, but also easy on the eye.  It usually takes me about 4 days to  convince myself that doing the laundry will benefit myself and my family.  If it looks pretty, it might only take 2 days, who knows.  In my house, the laundry room can become a stressful space, so I decided on the colour combination of grey and yellow for a calming atmosphere.  I painted my walls grey and added a splash of yellow in my ironing board cover, which is mounted against the wall.

Laundry shelving for pegs

I didn’t want to splash out on a stone benchtop, as our kitchen renovation is coming up soon and I would rather splurge there. To tie in with our new kitchen, I decided on white shaker style doors in a satin polyurethane finish.

Laundry Tap and Succulent

For a bit of playfulness, I put in a pretty mosaic splashback and a succulent in a colourful canvas bag to make the laundry experience a tad more joyful.

Laundry Ironing Board Hooks

My hooks are from Bunnings (for an earth shattering $7,00!) and my yellow welcoming greeting from Target.

Lyndie's laundry renovation

Voila, there you have it!  I would still like to put in black and white retro vinyl flooring to complete the look, but that can wait until the kitchen is finished.  It’s made a huge difference in my life.  I have a place for everything and doing the laundry is less of a chore than it used to be.

I would love to hear about how you’ve improved your laundry experience, so drop us a line with a few photos.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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Are blue walls making a comeback?

Colour is a real mood changer. (Okay, wine and chocolates too!) Have you noticed how many blue painted walls are in decor magazines lately? I have never been brave enough to paint one of my own walls blue. I am not a fan of light blue walls myself, but the darker toned paints, leaning towards navy, I do find interesting, calming and almost dramatic. They say, once you’ve changed over to the other side… you never want to have neutral walls again! .

navy blue paint walls decorate
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Start slowly, choose one room or one wall to experiment with. Make sure the other furniture in the room are mostly neutral so you don’t need to stress about matching colours too. Make sure you have other blue accents in your room like cushions or ornaments to pull it all together.

navy blue paint walls decorate
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blue bathroom wall chevron
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We’ve said it before: Don’t think you always have to follow all the traditional interior decorating rules. Sometimes you have to break a few rules and be brave and think outside the box.  Your entrance hall is sometimes so neglected. One would think an entrance hall is too small for a dark deep blue? No, not at all! It will add a funky design to your home, with a punch when your guests arrive.

blue paint walls entrance hall decor tips
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Happy decorating,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

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How to mix & match dining room chairs

It’s fine if you’re just married, a little bit broke & desperate, and you accept any furniture from your grandmother, parents & siblings to fill your house. Nowadays,  “eclectic” & “vintage” is so popular & contemporary, that even if your wallet is a little empty, you can pretend that’s the look you’ve always wanted!

So today I just want to give you a few ideas on how to mix your dining room chairs to get the look you want. (Then you don’t have to ask your grandmother for tips!)

timber dining room chairs how to mix interior designers hills district sydney
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vintage eclectic dining room chairs how to mix interior designers hills district sydney
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modern different colour dining room chairs how to mix interior designers hills district sydney
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french dining room chairs how to mix interior designers hills district sydney
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industrial mix chairs dining room chairs how to mix interior designers hills district sydney
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Good luck mixing & matching!

Happy decorating,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

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Coastal styling with a HAMPTON’S twist

Many people think these two are inseparable. That’s not true! Traditionally the Hampton’s style is very much associated with the coastal style, yes, seeing that this is where the Hampton’s style has originated from. (It’s my secret dream to permanently live on the set of the Revenge TV Series…) Nowadays the informal beach style can be adapted to many other styles like vintage, eclectic, contemporary or modern. The Hampton’s style is your most formal style of coastal design.

hamptons style beach nautical living room light blue decorate
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The nautical elements are definitely dominant, e.g. neutral colours, tones of blues, cane furniture and bringing the outside inside. What does make the Hampton’s coastal style more defined, is the inclusion of lots of glass and bling and symmetry.

beach style hamptons style kitchen decorate
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Add glass coffee tables, glass chandeliers or huge glass vases filled with foliage. You can also add a bit of bling with some gold chandeliers, gold or silver trimmed glass coffee tables or beautiful ornaments with silver and gold finishes. In stead of hanging informal canvas prints, stick to neatly framed artwork.

beach style hamptons decor
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The Hampton’s style is combined with the coastal theme by using more formal and expensive fabric choices on accent chairs or ottomans. Huge fabric table lamps impact a more symmetrical layout in the room.

Now it’s time for me to login to AirBnB and book my next holiday!

The coastal style have so many different ways of interpretation. Also read our other blogs about the Coastal Style:

Happy decorating,

eriana bredenhann

 

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Coastal style decorating with an ECLECTIC twist

Is Eclectic styling just a chaotic combination of different styles? No it’s not! It’s a real talent to know how to pull off the Eclectic style and even harder to combine it with another style, like Coastal Living. Throwing mismatched furniture pieces together does not make it instantly eclectic. (Well, I need to confess, if my house is chaos and I receive unexpected guests I sometimes tell people I’m working on giving it an eclectic look…)

Now that summer is on it’s way, how can you add a bit of a summer feeling to your eclectic home? Do you want to enjoy your coastal style home and want to add your personal touch, but don’t know how? It’s not true that the Coastal style has to be only white and blue, with rattan and timber. There are so many other influences that work well with the “Coastal laid back look.”

1. MOVE AWAY FROM TRADITIONAL WHITE AND BLUE

beach nautical style eclectic twist
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The eclectic style is not afraid of colour. So add a few contemporary shades of pink and green to your coastal styled home. Add a feature wall here and there to add some pop of colour, or hang some interesting artworks that complement your other furniture. Even if your eclectic treasures are not beach related, they can still be displayed, because you only want a hint of summer reflected in your room.

2.  MIX OLD AND NEW

beach decor design style nautical
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Stick to the same beach inspired furniture, but mix old and new accents. A brand new jute rug from Armadillo&Co will look amazing on the floor, but then also add a beautiful display of old mismatched mirrors on the wall. Everybody loves an inviting sofa, ready for you to kick off your sandals and enjoy a fresh minty summer cocktail. You can decorate the sofa with a lovely combination of blue and white cushions, but with a more eclectic pattern. Re-purposed floor boards, chalk painted white furniture & lots of texture is the key to coastal style living. The eclectic style is not afraid to mix old and new though.

3.  LIMIT THE BEACH INFLUENCE

beach design decor nautical eclectic style
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You don’t have to go overboard and only buy beach inspired furniture, rugs or cushions with anchors and shells. As the seasons change, you can add slight accents of that season. During summer you can hang some ornaments that resemble marine timber, have lovely rope finishes or resembles elements of the sea. It does not have to overpower your room, as the Eclectic style wants more than one feature in the room to stand out.

Jason Grant, well-known Sydney based Interior Stylist and lifestyle blogger, is a good example of someone decorating with the typical laid back Coastal style, but using “what you have” to create for yourself a HOLIDAY AT HOME. Have a look at his lovely Bondi Apartment.

The coastal style have so many different ways of interpretation. Also read our other blogs about the Coastal Style:

Happy decorating,

eriana bredenhann

 

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Decorate with animal prints. Yes or no?

There is a constant battle whether animal prints are tacky or stylish. If you do it right, it can be amazing. If you don’t, yes, it looks overdone and in bad taste. So how do you do it, so that it looks fabulous?

Today I will share FOUR TIPS with you.

1.  SPREAD THEM OUT

Have you ever been on a safari in Africa? There you will experience the animals are widely spread out in their natural habitat and each time you find one, you are overjoyed with excitement! It should be the same in your home. African prints are not a theme, and should not be everywhere in your home. Present it as a rare find and conversation piece.

animal prints yes or no sofa
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2.  USE ANIMAL PRINTS IN THEIR NATURAL COLOUR

Maybe it’s because I was born in Africa, but I don’t like it so see a pink and white zebra ottoman or a green leopard print rug. I suggest you use animal prints in their natural colour, so that they can easily blend in with your other furniture and many design styles.

how to use animal prints in your home
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3. YOU DON’T HAVE TO USE THE REAL THING

I don’t know about you, but I always feel a bit frightened when I enter a space and see real animal heads mounted on the wall, staring at me with their orange glazed eyes. I also want to burst out in tears when I sit on a sofa and feel a real zebra leather cushion behind my back. There are many beautiful animal print fabrics that can still give you that focal point.

4.  FOCUS ON FOCAL POINTS

The best way to present African prints, are to use them as focal points in your design. E.g. as an occasional chair, an ottoman or cushion. Be careful with animal print wallpapers and rugs, as they can be fantastic, but very overpowering. Rather get some expert advice. The rest of your home should complement them and not be in competition with the print.

focal point african print zebra occational chair
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There you go now! Animal prints are not only meant to be used in hotels or shops. You can definitely use it at home too. Just sparingly! Here are a few items from one of our favourite Animal Art suppliers: Urban Road.

urban road animal print canvasses artwork sydney
www.urbanroad.com.au

Happy decorating,

eriana bredenhann

 

 

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What height should you hang your artwork?

Get the right answer, once and for all !

Bad décor never really upsets me, because I know everyone does not have an eye for decorating. Bad decor challenges my creative spirit, and I love imagining how I would quickly freshen up a space with a few tweaks. I don’t get frustrated with bad furniture layouts, or even wrong cushion colours. The one thing that does throw me completely off balance is:  Art work that hangs too high, or too low.

I totally loose my concentration during the conversation and the only thing I can focus on is how to control myself not to jump up and move the artwork!

You only need to follow four golden rules when you hang artwork:

HEIGHT | SIZE | FURNITURE |CONSISTENCY

 

1.  HEIGHT

The average person is 1,52m tall. That average person’s head should be in the middle of your painting. I always work with 1,6m as a guide. (This height is what most galleries and museums use too) So whenever you hang artwork, make sure the middle of the average size artwork is 1,6m from the floor. If you are a family of tall people or giants, you can even make it 1,7m.

how heigh art display above bed
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2.  SIZE OF ARTWORK

Many of us decorate our walls with a group of photos or smaller frames. Where is the middle of the artwork then? Lay them all out on the floor, and then make sure the center of the arrangement is 1,6m from the floor.

Of course, if you have a giant piece of art e.g. 5m x 4m, it is not possible to have the middle of the artwork on 1,6 m high. Then you probably live in a mansion or a palace and you can get professionals to hang them for you.

If you have a very small artwork that you want to hang against a big wall, don’t do it. If you think it’s too small for the wall, it probably is. If you need to ask someone’s opinion if it is too small for your wall, it probably is. Rather have a blank wall than a teeny weeny artwork.

art display above couch how heigh
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3.  WHAT FURNITURE IS IN THE ROOM

Artwork normally should hang lower than most people think. Artwork complements the furniture, and should be able to “talk to one another”. There should not be too big a gap between your couch and the art. The 1,6m height is still a good guideline, but couches differ and you might have to adjust with 10cm or so. People tend to always hang artwork too high, rarely too low!

If it is your hallway, pictures can even hung a little bit higher, because there is no furniture that they complement. Here you can even aim for 1,7m from the floor, in the middle of the picture. If you hang artwork in a row, decide which one is your main focus, and then make sure either the top or bottom of all the other frames are the same height.

how to display artwork same height
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4.  CONSISTENCY

This is the most important rule! If you feel comfortable with an average “middle of picture height” of 1,6m, then all the pictures in the rest of your home should be that height too. Consistency is the key.

rules for hanging artwork
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I hope you feel less confused now! Like most things in life, proper design does have a few basic rules that define whether some things work or not.

 

Until next time,

eriana bredenhann

 

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Do you hate your small skirting?

Did you know you can make your skirting look bigger without removing them first? Many of us have those thin, cheap, small skirting in our home. Installed by someone who either wanted to cut costs, or has no idea that a skirting can give a room a real sense of elegance when chosen correctly! We get this question a lot from our clients. “Should I replace my old skirting?” Today we have good news. You can make your skirting look bigger without a handyman. Just one trip to the hardware store.

how to paint skirting
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We really love this tutorial above from The Smiths of The House of Smiths. You just buy some trim from your local hard ware store and nail or glue it to your wall. Then paint it the same colour as the existing skirting, as well as the piece of wall in between. It now looks exactly like a big brand new skirting! Don’t you think it is a great idea?

No more excuses, grab that nail gun and paint and upgrade your skirting! It is really a job that anyone can master!

skirting grey feature
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If you are brave, you can even install two skirting boards on top of each other and paint them different colours for some extra design feature. Enjoy, and send us photos of your masterpiece!

Until next time,

eriana bredenhann

 

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Best tips for cheap subway tile layouts

We recently helped a client to renovate her kitchen and bathroom and let me tell you, her budget was very tight!  We all know the ordinary, nothing special subway tile. One of the cheapest on the market! We decided to use the subway tile (only $12-00 per square), but be creative in the different ways we could apply them. We still wanted an elegant look, but on a budget. Today I share with you some inspirational images we gathered for the Kitchen & Bathroom. These tiles come in different sizes, which also make it possible to create a unique look.

KITCHENS:

black kitchen subway tile
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This is your traditional layout, but with a twist. Use black grout to give the subway tiles more “bang”! Especially if you use some other black features in your kitchen like cupboards, handles or black taps. Which is now very on trend of course. (I also like those cute little display cabinets on the top, in stead of using a bulkhead!)

subway tile horisontal
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I have not seen this layout often, but to me it suits perfectly with a kitchen that wants that bit of a vintage or retro quirkiness!

white subway tiles coffee shop
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Your tiler might charge you a bit more to tile this layout.. but this pattern is so fresh and very interesting. I think this is what I am going to use in my new kitchen!

modern kitchen subway tile layout
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Modern, symmetrical, clean lines. Same subway tile, but suddenly creates a total different style.

black subway tile
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Who said you can only use white subway tiles? They are now available in a range of colours. White and black are still my favourite choices though. Great for re-sale value, and it will be suitable to different people’s choice. I just love the dramatic edge these black subway tiles give to this kitchen!

zig zag white subway tile pattern
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Herringbone. The all time favourite! Even with simple, understated cupboard doors the herringbone pattern adds character and flair to the kitchen.

BATHROOMS:

pattern subway tile bathroom
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Play around with subway tile layouts. Look carefully how interesting this pattern is in the shower! A simple inexpensive tile quickly transformed this shower into an artwork!

white tiles subway bathroom modern
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I am totally in love with this pattern layout of thin subway tiles! Modern, sophisticated tiles at $12-00 per square! Not impressed by the size of the bath, but luckily that is not what we are focussing on now 🙂

cheap subway tiles bathroom layout
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My favourite layout again, but this time in the bathroom. It gives an interesting, but simple backdrop for the mirror, cute pendants and beautiful vanity.

I hope you feel inspired! You can save a lot of money when using these cute little inexpensive subway tiles, and just add other pretty finishes. Some of these tiles in the images might be expensive porcelain, but all of these layouts are possible with the normal subway tile. They are always on trend, and have been here for years.

Until next time,

eriana bredenhann

 

 

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What you should know about Styling with Cushions

I am an absolute sucker for a beautiful cushion.  Going to a home ware store and leaving without something soft and decorative in tow, is like sheer torture and I would usually go back the next day to rectify my mistake. If this is the way you operate, it’s pretty easy to end up with a colourful mess on your couch or bed.  To avoid these haphazard compulsive purchases, I’ve put together a few pointers on how to coordinate your arrangement of cushions in a more structured way.

1.  IDENTIFY YOUR COLOUR PALETTE

floral cushions
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Choose your cushion colours by referencing something else in the room.  The room will have a more cohesive flair if repetition of colour is used, whether it is something large, like your rug, wall, or something small like a decorative item or lamp.  A simple palette of no more than three colours will be more effective than a whole rainbow.

2.  MIX UP THE SIZE AND SHAPE

cushion size and shape
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Your cushion collection need not be the same shape and size.  The most effective arrangements are those that combine different combinations with even a round one thrown in.  It’s easy to go overboard if you’re a cushion lover like me!  Remember to allow some space to sit comfortably on your sofa.  For an informal look, place a larger one in the back and layer smaller ones to the front.

3.  PLAY WITH PATTERNS

cushion colours and patterns
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Be adventurous and mix floral motives with bold graphic patterns, but make sure that you have another cushion that would match in either colour or pattern.  If using large, medium and small patterns together, make sure that they share a similar palette.  To separate and highlight different patterns, as well as creating a spot where your eye can rest, place a few solid or neutral cushions in your arrangement.

4.  EXPERIMENT WITH TEXTURE

TEXTURED cushions
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If using a simple palette like a monochromatic colour scheme, create some interest by throwing in textures such as waffle weave, faux fur and chunky knits.

Of course, if you’re short on cushions and love a vintage, retro, quirky look, view the Vanilla Slate Designs Sisterhood range at our online store.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie

 

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