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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!)
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!
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, symmetrical, clean lines. Same subway tile, but suddenly creates a total different style.
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!
Herringbone. The all time favourite! Even with simple, understated cupboard doors the herringbone pattern adds character and flair to the kitchen.
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!
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 🙂
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
So the two of you are taking the next step and decided it’s high time to put up house together. He likes his leather chairs in front of his big screen tv, and she likes her floral accent chairs with pastel cushions. Sounds like a divorce in the making, but how can we get around spending a fortune on lawyers before moving in together had even begun?
When we think of masculine décor, leather and animal hides, bulky furniture, dark colours, metal like copper and straight or angular lines come to mind.
Feminine décor usually refer to light colours, elegant, curvy shapes, a bit of bling like gold, and delicate patterns.
Combining the items so that both parties are happy, might take a bit of practise and a wrestle or two. I would like to suggest the following for a long and happy cohabitation:
Keep communication lines open and be willing to compromise on a few things.
Go shopping together for new items, but narrow choices down to only a few things to keep confusion to a minimum.
Don’t go too pastel or frilly. Stick to neutral colours and natural elements that would work with anything.
Present an idea as a whole and give each other a bit of time to get used to it before shooting it down.
You will get away with quite a bit if you let him think it was his idea 😉
Give him a man cave and the rest of the house will be yours to decorate as you please (kidding!)
For those of you who still fondly remember the movie “When Harry met Sally”, I leave you with a video about a quarrel about a coffee table. This will make you realise how frustrating setting up house together can be.
We all heard of “street appeal”. What if you live in a rental property where you prefer not to spend money to change the look of your house or to add personality? When friends visit your home… What is the first thing you say? “Excuse my home, it is just a rental property.”
Even though you rent, you should still add personality to your front door. Every time you come home, you should “feel home” when you enter your rental property. But how?
1. ADD A PERSONAL STORY
What can you display at your front door so that visitors know YOU live here? Do you collect cats or artwork or love travelling or fancy bonsai trees? Use whatever tickles your fancy. Think what items people will recognise and say: “Yes, this must be their home!” Think of something personal, display it and make sure no one can steal it…
2. ADD A BENCH WITH CUSHIONS
Many homes have porches at their front door. Instead of having 20 pairs of shoes and umbrellas lying there, add a pretty bench with colourful outdoor cushions that will create a certain style for your home and show off your personality. This is very inviting and instantly gives a homely feeling.
3. PUT OUT A QUIRKY WELCOME MAT
You can take it with you to your next home, it is inexpensive and will put your visitors in an instant happy mood. If that doesn’t help, you will have to consider inviting other friends.
4. ADD COLOURFUL POTS
While you’re not spending a lot of money on your rental property for maintenance etc, you can use this time to gradually buy quality items that you can take with you every time you move. You can add a whole garden with different size and colour pots. This way you can give your entrance door a formal or informal look, a modern or vintage look, or even just add colour to a boring rental front door.
5. GET A TEMPORARY COLOURFUL LETTERBOX
This is not a fixture, so you can place your beautiful and interesting temporary letterbox in your front garden, to jazz up your street appeal. You can even make your own one or buy a cheap one and decorate it! See the time in your rental home as “your time to be creative & adventurous!”
6. MAKE YOUR OWN STREET NUMBER
Many houses’ street numbers are not easily visible. Be brave and make your own one! You can really add personality by making them stand out and showing your personality. Be bold, make the number huge! An oversized number in a playful colour will surely make a statement. You can temporarily fix it to any external wall.
To style your home, means adding your personality, and not creating perfection.
Do not clutter your Entrance Door or porch. This is where guests get their first impression of your style. You should decorate this area BEFORE you decorate your home inside!