Tag: hills district interior designer

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!

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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!

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How to create a romantic powder room in a small space

Did you know that this is one of the most important rooms in your home?

It is also the most neglected room in most homes and it is a room that all your guests use. Let’s be honest. Your guest is using your tiny powder room for a few minutes. Except for the natural, there are nothing else to do than stare at how your powder room is decorated. Being a small room, be sure everything will be noticed! The tiles, the walls, the basin, the taps, the mirror. So why not make sure you impress them! This is your chance to show cast your style and designer edge. It is a small room, so it won’t cost an arm and leg to renovate and decorate.

WHAT SHOULD YOU FOCUS ON?

Four things, here we go!

 1.  WALLPAPER AND TILES

powder room, bathroom layouts, interior designers sydney, bathroom renovators, small bathroom tips
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Go wild! Choose something that stands out and that you love! Be daring, play with wallpaper patterns and interesting tile layouts. Yes, you get wallpaper that can be used in powder rooms. In a small room a dark wallpaper or tile can work, as it will make it feel cozy. However, I prefer a lighter colour tone for a small powder room. I like to keep it fresh and romantic.

 2.  TAP WARE

powder room, bathroom layouts, interior designers sydney, bathroom renovators, small bathroom tips
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The tap ware in your powder room does not have to match the rest of your home. You can splash and be daring! Make sure it’s eye catching and not just boring taps. Try something new like copper or black. You want to impress your guests, but still be stylish.

 3.  MIRROR

powder room, bathroom layouts, interior designers sydney, bathroom renovators, small bathroom tips
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A full length mirror will make the room feel even bigger, but rather put it above the basin, as your guests don’t like to look at themselves in the mirror while using the toilet. Instead, why not invest in a loose hanging mirror with an interesting shape (round, diamond, hexagon) and bling frame. If in doubt, read our previous blog about bathroom mirrors.

 4.  FLOWERS/ PLANTS/ CANDLES

powder room, bathroom layouts, interior designers sydney, bathroom renovators, small bathroom tips
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Don’t forget the final touches. This is what makes it romantic! A scented candle, beautiful fresh little flower or even a romantic plant like an orchid. These things don’t cost much, but makes such a difference. Your powder room does not need a lot of storage except for a few toilet rolls, your spare candles or matches. Don’t overpower the small room with a huge vanity.

LAYOUT OPTIONS FOR SMALL POWDER ROOMS

Here are a few layout options for small powder rooms . Get that measuring tape and make sure you create a dazzling, romantic powder room! If you don’t know how, we can help you too!

powder room bathroom layouts renovation

Click the links below and check out some of the bathrooms we have renovated in our own homes the last few weeks:

En Suite Bathroom | | Kids Bathroom  | What tradies do you need for a bathroom reno

 

Happy decorating,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

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Lyndie’s Kitchen Renovation – Installation Begins

A kitchen is that tricky room in your house that needs detailed thinking and extensive planning to get just right.  A well functioning kitchen doesn’t just make the cooking hub of your home more functional and easier to navigate, but add value to your home (so no pressure there…)  After a few weeks of cooking in an electrical frying pan in the garage in the middle of winter, installation day finally arrived (and not a moment too soon)!  This is how it went down:

Lyndie's Kitchen Installation

DEMOLITION

Kitchen demolition

The layout of our kitchen has changed quite a bit, so we (no, didn’t get my hands dirty) had to demolish the entire interior.  We (I use the term “we” quite loosely, my husband, nor I never touched any equipment) removed the benchtop that separated the kitchen and informal dining area to create one large open plan area. We also changed the position of the oven and fridge.  The dishwasher and sink were left in their original positions.

Bifold window installation

The window cavity that overlooks the entertainment area was widened and we installed a bi-fold window with a narrow benchtop on the entertainment area side. This will give us the benefit of a serving bay for placing food platters, a place for kids to sit at meal time, or keeping the host company while washing dishes (Yes, I did mean that the guests will be washing dishes 🙂 Our builders, The Swedish giant, Dan and Aussie hero, Pete (who sings like a nightingale) has done a magnificent job and has obviously done this many times before (the building bit, certainly not the singing).

CABINET AND FLOORING INSTALLATION

Timber floor installation

After some consideration whether we should install the solid timber flooring on top of our existing tiles, we decided that we didn’t want to lose any ceiling height and ripped everything out.  Although it created more dust than a sand storm in the Sahara Desert and we’re still finding some in untouched crevices (I’m usually not big on looking for unnoticeable places to clean) , it was well worth the effort.  The new flooring has made a huge difference in our house and created wonderful contrast to the dark kitchen cabinets.

BENCHTOPS AND TILING

Ceasarstone benchtops

The arrival of the benchtop created quite a tummy flutter.  We decided on Ceasarstone that has a feint vein – this combined very well with a matt white subway tile that looked almost handmade.  Step by step, these finishes brought us closer to the desired effect of the final design.  Seeing all these elements in place, just the way you pictured and planned, was quite an exciting moment.

Next week, I’ll show you how the kitchen turned out in the end. Don’t miss our other room renovations – just 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

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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Styling Tips for a Patterned Sofa

The reasons for acquiring a patterned sofa could be any one of the following:  (we would love to hear from you if you could add to the list)

  • You’re setting up house for the first time and have to use furniture that had been passed down from generation to generation.
  • You’ve fallen in love with a sofa and made an impulsive purchase.
  • You purchased one at the Salvo’s for its’ beautiful shape and your budget didn’t stretch to reupholstering it.
  • You have small children and feel that it’s the only sofa that won’t show dirt.
  • You love the Bohemian/Arts & Crafts look.
  • You saw one in a magazine once and it looked awesome, but now it doesn’t work with any of your existing furniture.

Here are a few tips on how it can work:

1.  KEEP IT SIMPLE

patterned sofa single colour cushion
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A very busy, colourful pattern can be toned down by playing around with a single colour that appears in the pattern.  Add cushions in this single colour, without being boring.  Combine them in lighter and darker shades, as well as in different textures such as knits and linen cushions with contrasting piping.

2.  COMBINE WITH NEUTRAL ACCENT CHAIRS

patterned sofa neutral accent chair
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Be adventurous and use colour to your advantage.  Knowing the colour wheel will benefit the overall look of your home.  Accent chairs in a complementary colour will make a bold statement, but look harmonious and not deflect from the hero of the room – a stylish, modern, patterned sofa.

3.  USE A SINGLE COLOUR PALETTE

patterned sofa simple colour scheme
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This more subduedly patterned sofa, is toned down by adding a soft, romantic colour scheme that lie adjacent to each other on the colour wheel.  Take note that, although all the cushions are patterned, no more than three colours are used throughout the room.

If you own a patterned sofa, you’re probably one of the few daring rule breakers amongst us.  Our blog about which rules to fearlessly break, might possibly interest you… just click here!

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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How to Survive a Renovation

Our home had peeling laminated kitchen cupboards, a tile splash back depicting fruit and very unfashionable floor tiles when we moved in about 10 years ago.  We’ve been dreaming and saving for this renovation since our kids were little, so we thought we were truly ready for the next phase.  I’ve learnt a few things in the last few months, so I’ll share them for your benefit:

1.  MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GETTING INTO

Planning your renovation is wonderful and the best part of the process!  You dream about your beautiful new kitchen bench top and love browsing through magazines to find that perfect cabinet handle and splash back.  Reality quickly sets in when a team of builders arrive at 7am every morning for 3 months straight and you, and your neighbours, can’t find a parking spot close to home.  You’ll almost think about turning back the clock when your kitchen is set up in your garage and you fold and iron in the same room as washing dirty dishes and the dog.  Although you’ll experience a number of emotions while going through the process, boredom will certainly not be one of them!  A renovation isn’t a fun project to fill in the time or a form of entertainment, but more like you’ve taken on a second job…

2.  PROTECT YOUR BELONGINGS

renovation survival protect your stuff

The less stuff you have in the house, the better the builders will be able to move around to do their job.  Not only that, but drywall dust is more pervasive than sand in your bathers after swimming in the ocean. It will settle into places you never knew existed.  Make sure you protect art pieces and your timber flooring. Cover your carpets with drop sheets.  Seal off areas not undergoing any changes with plastic sheeting and pack up all loose items and put it in storage.

3.  CREATE CHAOS FREE ZONES

While undergoing a renovation, your family will still expect clean clothes, clean plates, cutlery and probably a meal more nourishing than toast 3 times a day.  Make sure you set up work stations for those everyday chores and a place for the family to relax and watch telly at the end of the day.  We currently have a kitchen set up in our garage and my husband and I have become experts at cooking meals in the electrical frying pan. Although these meals end up a mixed mess on a plate, the chance of anyone dying of hunger or malnutrition is rather slim.

4.  LEAVE THE HOUSE

Try to plan a short family holiday, just to get a break from the mess and noise.  Accept all invitations for social get togethers and drop hints to get invited to friends that love cooking.  Food that’s served in separate heaps on a plate, will count as a blessing and a side salad might be more special than a glass of wine (… or maybe not to that extreme).

5.  BE AVAILABLE FOR THE BUILDERS

renovation survival answer questions

I bet you thought that, if you have a properly drafted plan and a report from an engineer, your job is done!  Nope, it’s only starting… Your builder and team will need constant information and feedback from you.  Even with a drawn up council approved plan, constant adjustments are made while on site, that can’t go ahead without your input.  Make sure you’re prepared and know your building plan by heart.  You might not need in depth knowledge of structural beams and support joists, but take note of the size of your skirting boards, the thickness and size of your floor tiles and the profile of your architraves and cornices. Make sure you know where all your bulkheads will go.  You’ll need to know the position and height of your pendant lights and how you want to control all the lighting of the house.  You’ve probably only dreamt of the colour of your timber floor, but have you thought about how the thickness will affect your existing doors, or if you want it laid vertically or horizontally?  Have you considered the colour of the eaves and fascia of your new extension? Have you given thought to your new interior wall, ceiling and skirting colour?  Make sure you have everything on file, so that information can be retrieved and conveyed instantly, without holding up the project.

6.  STICK TO A SCHEDULE

Do as much planning as you can before your renovation begins.  If you have your heart set on an Italian tap, designer pendants and handmade tiles, make sure you order well ahead of time.  It would be a shame to turn a 2 month project into a 6 month project because of delay in delivery of one item.

7.  LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR

Renovation survival love neighbours

We’re lucky to have wonderful neighbours in our cul de sac and would like to keep things amiable.  Some have gone through a similar project or are due to start one themselves.  They’re interested in our progress and curious about what it will look like when finished.  Learn to apologise frequently – as you will need to 🙂  They’ll be more willing to forgive you once the value of their homes had once again increased, due to the removal of all skips and rubble from the front of your house.  It’s not necessary to wait until your lawn and broken branches had grown back and your driveway repaired, before dropping them a box of chocolates to thank them for their patience.

Remember to take photos of your project as you progress.  The best way to stay positive and excited about the end result is to see how far you’ve come!

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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Questions and Tips about waterfall kitchen bench tops

What are the pro’s and cons? Is it in or out? Today we will give you some tips on the trendy waterfall finishes of kitchen bench tops. For those of you who have no idea of what I am talking about… It’s when a kitchen bench top is extended on the side, all the way down to the floor, to cover the side panels of your kitchen cupboards.

waterfall bench top, kitchen bench top, marble bench top, tips for kitchen design, kitchen trends
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PRO’S & CONS

waterfall bench tops, pros and cons of waterfall bench tops, kitchen designs tips

waterfall edge bench tops kitchen, tiles on kitchen island, blue kitchen
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IS IT IN OR OUT?

Oh, it’s very much in and not a trend that I think is likely to change in the near future. It’s almost like the “trend” of using drawers everywhere in the kitchen. People find it so useful that it is now a permanent design to most kitchens. The waterfall bench top is here to stay!

MITRE VS BUTT PROFILE

Personally, I prefer the mitre edge profile, as the joint looks seamless. The mitre edge is normally a bit more labour intensive and a few dollars more expensive. The butt edge might be a bit cheaper and sometimes designers like the “architectural look” it creates.

SHOULD THE WATERFALL GO ALL THE WAY TO THE FLOOR?

Most people take the waterfall all the way down to the floor. The biggest reason is that it serves as an extra support for the horisontal bench top. If you prefer for it to end 3 or 5 cm from the floor, it needs extra support to “hang” in the air. This can be more expensive too. Some people like the shadow line effect it creates when the bench top is not meeting the floor.

SHOULD I HAVE A WATERFALL ON BOTH SIDES OF MY BENCH TOP?

This is entirely up to you. It will depend on your kitchen design. If the kitchen island is a feature  in the kitchen, I would suggest using a waterfall on both sides. You might want to use bar stools on one end, then you can only put a waterfall on the other end. The latest trend is to even let it go down the back panel too!

waterfall bench top, kitchen design, marble bench top
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waterfall bench top, cement bench top, white and grey kitchen
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If you are in the process of designing and planning your new kitchen, try to work in a waterfall bench top. It gives a real modern and updated feeling to a new kitchen design.

(And don’t forget that we can help you with kitchen designing and arrange great kitchen companies to install them!)

Until next time,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

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How to Avoid getting Wallpaper Wrong

The surest way to insanity is to start browsing through wallpaper supplier sites to find that perfect print for that wow factor in a room.  There are endless wallpaper prints available and if you don’t have an inkling of what end result you want, you’re very likely to end up with a less desirable outcome.  Here are a few tips to get you started:

1.  START WITH THE RIGHT SPACE

wallpaper panelling
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First decide if you would like four, or only one covered in wallpaper.  If all walls are covered, an understated print with fewer colours and not too much contrast will be a better choice. If you have your heart set on a bold and colourful print, try breaking it up a bit by adding panelling or a mantel piece for some colour contrast.  A combination of no more than two colours for the furnishings will calm it right down and create a more subdued effect.  If you decide on wallpaper to create one feature wall, a bolder, large print for a magnificent statement, would be appropriate.

2.  WHAT SCALE PRINT WILL SUIT THE ROOM?

wallpaper small rooms
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The busier the pattern, the more distance you will need away from it to get the full impact.  In general, small prints work better in tight spaces and larger print for bigger rooms.  Luckily, some rules are meant to be broken…  If you have a small room with odd shaped walls, a large scale print will hide it.  A large scale pattern with a solid background can make an eye catching, graphic statement in a small room.

3.  WILL THE PATTERN FIT THE APPLICATION OF THE ROOM?

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Pattern and colour are essential elements in design that impact the way we feel in a room.  Soft pastels, some chevron patterns and spots, look lovely in children’s rooms.  Applying these in a formal living space, will look out of place and not fit the way we’re using the room.  More sophisticated colours such as warm greys, a touch of bling, a textured finish or bolder patterns will look more “grown up” for your living spaces.

4.  USE THE CORRECT PAPER FOR WET AREAS

If you’d like to push yourself out of your comfort zone and want a full on wall statement in the bathroom, make sure the wallpaper is suitable for wet areas.  After all your hard work and lots of dollars spent, it would be a shame if it started peeling off, because you haven’t read the instructions!

5.  REFER BACK TO YOUR PERSONAL STYLE

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Take special care that your personal style doesn’t get lost in all the choices and trends on the market.  If you’re after a modern country look, a botanical print or textured paper will make you feel more at home.  Geometric patterns will suit an art deco or sophisticated theme and wallpaper with palms or exotic birds will fit a tropical theme.

Remember to get a few samples before making your final decision.  It’s best to hang it against your wall and living with it for a few days before jumping into the deep end.  If you’re still unsure, you know where to find the professionals 🙂

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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What you may have Overlooked in your Laundry Design

To get that perfect laundry layout, you first need to consider the tasks that will be carried out in the space.   Although not an essential activity in the laundry, I’ve been known to sneak in my laptop and watch “Orange is the New Black” while happily folding/ironing away.  If this type laundering work is required after sundown, this becomes even more enjoyable with a glass of wine – almost like a Gold Class movie experience, but in an upright position.  I’m getting off track, let’s have a look at the essentials:

1.  A SPACE FOR FOLDING

laundry, folded washing

Although I sometimes feel like just shoving clothes into cupboards or chucking it onto beds, these feelings are best kept to a minimum and will not get the job done.  In most cases, neat folding is required and if your laundry room can accommodate this, install a bench top that’s as big as possible.

2.  A SPACE FOR DIRTY LAUNDRY

You’ll need a designated hamper for dirty laundry.  In a perfect world, dirty clothes will go into this hamper and not on the floor.  Mmm… I’m considering writing a memo…

3.  HANGING SPACE

vintage laundry me

I love being able to hang those slightly damp items onto a rail for that last bit of drying.  It’s also great for items that come straight out of the dryer and if you’re quick enough, will not require any ironing, Yeaheee!!

4.  SINK

dog in bath

We have a lovely staffy pup and although she thinks she’s a person, I wouldn’t like her to bath with the kids or in the kitchen sink (for obvious reasons).  A laundry sink is great for rinsing paintbrushes, cleaning pets and emptying out the mob bucket.

5.  IRONING

wine and ironing

There are some great options on the market for mounting an ironing board on the wall.  This will make your laundry space more streamlined and getting the board out will not be such a chore.  You already know my secret for making ironing fun, so make sure you create your own happy place away from the rest of the world.

Have a look at how I created my “happy” place (laundry…) by clicking here.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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