I haven’t even embraced the new trends for 2016 yet, but already the rumours are spreading about the decor trends for 2017. Thanks to social media, international decor styles hit our stores much quicker than in the past. We don’t have any formal announcements to share… but we do have some secret 2017 tips coming your way.
1. SAY HELLO TO TERRACOTTA
Not the traditional terracotta tiles or borders, but a more sophisticated matt tile, used as featured walls for bathrooms, kitchens or fireplaces. Even the traditional floor tile will have a more modern design, finish and shape.
2. WELCOME BACK CORK
History repeats itself. Remember those cork walls from the sixties? They’re back baby! You will see them in traditional cork walls, but also in head boards, furniture and floors.
3. INTRODUCING DARK GREEN
Last week I took my teenage daughter shopping for winter clothes. She was so frustrated with “all the boring dark green clothes” on the shelves. I only then realised how many dark green clothes there actually were! All paired with tan leather accessories. See in the image below how green complements the leather and timber accessories. As we know, fashion inspires decor, so it is no surprise that dark green decor items will be flooding the stores soon.
This is just a sneak peek of decor to come, but have a look what’s in the clothes stores at the moment. Use it as inspiration for decorating your home in 2017.
What to do if your budget and taste are miles apart? How do you add a bit of champagne style to your living space, without breaking the budget? Is it possible to add only a few affordable items, but instantly add lux to your room? Let’s give it a go!
1. ADD SOMETHING GOLD
Not your usual colour? I know, I feel the same way! It took me years to realise that a little touch of gold actually complements most styles and just give your room that extra flair. Be careful not to overdo it. It could just be a lamp, a mirror or if you are brave, a coffee table. Gold complements black and white really well and might make your other furniture pieces look just a little bit more expensive.
2. HUGE VASE OF FLOWERS
Girls, this is a great excuse to add a huge bunch of pretty flowers to your weekly shopping list. (If your hubby is not so consistent in spoiling you with flowers…) A huge vase with flowers looks dramatic & expensive and draws the eye away from less expensive furniture. Put it in front of a mirror to make it look even double in size. If your budget is tight, invest in a plant with flowers like a peace lily or orchids. A once off expense, but a lifetime of use.
3. HANG AN OVERSIZED ART WORK
Any oversized painting or canvas gives the first impression of being expensive. You will instantly add drama & confidence to the room. It draws attention to the art work, and less focus on the rest of your (possibly) non impressive and low budget living room. Have a look at these sites for affordable, but impressive art and canvasses: ART FINDER, URBAN ROAD & VICTORIA LANE ART.
4. ADD ONE WALL OF WALLPAPER
If your budget is tight, invest in only one wall and make sure it has a striking pattern or maybe a shiny texture. It adds drama and sophistication to your room. Good rooms to experiment in will be an Entrance Hall, Powder Room or Dining Room.
5. ADD WALL PANELS (DIY!)
Footy season is here, so many of us won’t have husbands available for Saturday jobs around the house… DIY wall panels are really easy to install. Your local hardware store sells timber, nails and paint. Figure out how to cut the timber straight! Measure twice, cut once. There is not a more rewarding way to instantly make a room feel more elegant, sophisticated and expensively styled.
Yes, the one tip we hate! This is the best way to make your home feel stylish, clean and expensive. I know with kids this may be a challenge, but even if you just choose one living space to be your sanctuary, you’re already half way there. Recently I told you about this amazing book, that helped me transform my house to a clutter free zone. (Read more on how to tidy your house once, and never again!)
Most of us don’t have the budget we need to decorate our homes like we want to. It does not mean we should do nothing. Little by little, step by step, we can work towards our final goal. For most beautiful homes in magazines, it took years of gathering and savings to get to that point.
As you know by now, I have a tendency to make impulse purchases at the scrapyard (or any place I can find an awesome one off piece) without thinking it through thoroughly. This is how we ended up with the most gigantic timber display shelf (over 3.5m long), a dent in the roof of our ute, and a closed off door that previously led to the guest bathroom from the kitchen.
Let me explain: The only way we could have a wall long enough to fit this hutch/shelf in the kitchen, was to patch up the door leading to the ensuite bathroom and guest bedroom downstairs. Luckily, we still have another access door, but now our party guests need to walk through the guest bedroom to get to the loo. Yes, my husband and I are still very happily married thank you for asking…
So here are my tips on working with this new layout:
1. USE A SIGN
Seeing that I’m over 40 (I know, very hard to believe), the first thing I do when visiting someone’s house, is to check out the location of the facilities. It has to be close enough to reach within seconds and I don’t necessarily want to make an announcement before I go try and find it. To make guests feel at ease, use a bathroom sign on the bedroom door. This way they’ll know they’ll eventually end up in a bathroom, even though they’re walking through the bedroom.
2. CLEAR THE WAY
My guest bedroom can instantly become a storage space when not occupied for some time. Make sure your guests have an unobstructed path to the toilet, as most of them would not have rock climbing experience.
3. AVOID RED FACES WITH TIDY SPACES
The bedroom your guests will be walking through, should be clean and tidy, functioning as a bedroom (not a storage facility) and the bed made and styled as if it’s a 5 Star Hotel. A tidy and clean bathroom with plenty of toilet paper, room deodoriser and a bin provided goes without saying.
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.
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!)
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.
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.
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.
My hooks are from Bunnings (for an earth shattering $7,00!) and my yellow welcoming greeting from Target.
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.
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! .
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.
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
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
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
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ruleswhen you hang artwork:
HEIGHT | SIZE | FURNITURE |CONSISTENCY
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.