Tag: home decor

How to Arrange Furniture in your Home

We bet you loved your house when you first decorated. Everything must have seemed new, exciting and well-planned. And what about today? Aren’t you just sick and tired of that old armchair always standing beside the sofa, or the crowded console in the entryway? It would be so great if you could just overhaul the entire house, start all over again and reawaken that first-time-in-your-new home feeling. But what if you don’t have the time and money to tackle a major renovation right now? Would you believe us if we told you that you can change the appearance of your interior by simply moving your furniture around? Silly, right? Not so much, check out this guide and see for yourself.

MAKE ALL FURNITURE SERVE A PURPOSE

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This is especially important if you want to squeeze in some extra square footage. If you have an ottoman by the bed serving as nothing more than a decoration – turn it into a stylish coffee table. A console that holds only a flower vase can be turned into a photo display or a true mini-garden. It can also fill up the gap between the sofa and the wall, and thus make the space more functional.

MOVE ITEMS FROM ONE ROOM TO ANOTHER

If you need a quick change and you don’t have enough money to invest in new furniture, you can simply move some pieces from one room to another. When doing that, remember to first think about the room’s layout and combine the furniture in size, color and material. Don’t forget the furniture’s purpose, though. Of course, you won’t put a king size bed in the living room, but you can move the living room armchair in the bedroom, put a floor lamp next to it and create a comfy reading nook.

CHANGE FOCAL POINT

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If the TV is the current focal point of your living room, shake things up a bit by turning all the furniture towards an art piece, a window or some colorful bold item. Other focal points in the rest of the rooms in your home can be textured wall, patterned wallpaper, architectural feature, striking lighting fixture, etc.

BE MINDFUL OF THE INTERIOR DESIGN

When doing all this, you have to be careful not to disrupt the overall home design. Have a clear idea of what some space should look like before you start piling up a bunch of incoherent furniture, and stick to one prevailing style. You can visit different display homes in your neighbourhood. This will help you to decide what you want and do not want in your home and maybe you will find an inspiration.

BE CREATIVE WITH SMALLER ITEMS

Smaller furniture pieces, such as coffee tables, seating poufs, etc. allow easy moving, so you can move them around until you find a good place for them. Also, they’re great for when you want to update a room in a matter of five minutes.

CREATE ZONES

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It doesn’t matter if your room is small and cramped or large and sterile, it can still benefit from different comfy hubs. You can create a cozier look by simply introducing a small armchair or a nightstand and a stool. You can use area rugs to define different zones in a room.

CHANGE THE PERSPECTIVE

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If your room seems flat and dull, why not change the perspective a bit? Forget the typical line-the-walls arrangement. Try placing all the furniture and accessories on the diagonal. It will make the space look more interesting and guide the gaze smoothly through the room. An off-center table can also be an interesting addition.

Do you believe us now? Just make sure that before you turn everything upside down, try to draw a layout or use a space planning online software, so that you see how some larger pieces will fit in relation to each other. Good luck!

Emma Joyce

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Lyndie’s Renovation: THE NEW EXTENSION REVEAL

 

Our renovation has finally come to an end.  We can now move freely around our home without leaving muddy tread marks all over the timber floors, we’re cooking in the kitchen instead of the garage and the bar has had an initiation of note!  It’s time to reveal the much anticipated new extension.  We’re extremely happy with the end result and can’t believe we can finally share the first images of the exterior.  Next week, we’ll show you how the interior of the new extension turned out.

Image by Blue Poppy Photography

Image by Blue Poppy Photography

If you’ve missed the renovation in other parts of our home, follow the links below for a catch up:

Lyndie’s Renovation: The end is in SightBefore & 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, Formal Dining Room Demolition, Inspiration for the new Bar, Bar Reveal, The New Extension, Digging the PoolConcreting the Pool, Pool Progress, A new room takes shape.

See you next week for the reveal of the interior of the new extension.

Cheerio ’til next time!

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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!)

decor tips, outdoor entertainment area, ikea, styling with ikea, how to decorate your deck, sale ikea, how to entertain low budget

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!

decor tips, outdoor entertainment area, ikea, styling with ikea, how to decorate your deck, sale ikea, how to entertain low budget

 

decor tips, outdoor entertainment area, ikea, styling with ikea, how to decorate your deck, sale ikea, how to entertain low budget

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.

decor tips, outdoor entertainment area, ikea, styling with ikea, how to decorate your deck, sale ikea, how to entertain low budget

decor tips, outdoor entertainment area, ikea, styling with ikea, how to decorate your deck, sale ikea, how to entertain low budget

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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Lyndie’s Home Renovation: THE NEW EXTENSION

lyndie's home renovation blog

We love our suburb of Cherrybrook – our home is in a quiet cul-de-sac, we’re close to schools, shops and in 2019, we’ll have a train station about a block away!  After extensive homework, we came to the conclusion that it would be cheaper to spruce up our almost 20 year old home, build an extension and put in a pool, rather than move to a home close by with similar amenities.  If you’ve missed out on where it all started, follow the link:  Lyndie’s home renovation: First Phase.

lyndie's home renovation plans

lyndie's home renovation demolition

After weeks of staring at a big hole in the ground, the pool has been concreted and will take a bit of time to cure before tiling begins.  The time has arrived to demolish the pergola, remove the roof of the TV room and prepare the site to pour the slab for the new extension.

lyndie's home renovation demolition complete

After a few hours, the job is done!  My dog has the tendency to photobomb and it’s pretty difficult to find any photos without her in it. Luckily she’s pretty photogenic, so I don’t mind too much.  So this is what the backyard looks like without the pergola – a little bit desolate and bare…  The new slab will connect with the pool and stretch from the TV room all the way to the end of the house.  This is where a new wall will be built that would house a fireplace, but more on that later.

lyndie's home renovation foundation preparation

A structure of timber and steel is built to hold and shape the concrete and additional piering was needed to hold the concrete in place and support the new structure.

lyndie's home renovation, pouring slab

We’re finally getting there… the foundation is ready, at the correct level and ready for the rest of the work to begin.

lyndie's home renovation pool party

At this stage, you might think that it will be months before social get togethers can commence.  You’re completely wrong!  We had a pool party just after the concrete was poured!  No swimming took place, but dancing in an empty pool is much safer anyway…

If you’ve missed any of my previous blogs about our renovation, 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, Formal Lounge Room Reveal, Kitchen installation begins, Kitchen Reveal, Formal Dining Room Demolition, Inspiration for the new Bar, Bar Reveal.

You know where to find us if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with your own renovation.  Not only do we work with great builders, but we can draw up plans, get it passed through your local council and assist with all finishes and layouts.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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Best tips for a wet room

Hold your horses, this is not as easy as you think! The wet room is a popular bathroom trend, but can be very unsuccessful if not done correctly. For a proper wet room, you need to throw a few extra dollars into your budget.

Wet rooms started as a solution for very small bathrooms where a toilet, shower and basin had to fit in a small space, but there were no place for extra walls. It reminds me of the bathroom in a standerd suite on a cruise ship. No ways two people can use those bathrooms together. You can’t even brush your teeth without hitting your head against the shower head. However, if people now mention a bathroom renovation with a wet room, they actually want a huge wet room with a spa feeling where you can almost fit a whole sports team in.

Things to consider when planning a wet room:

1.  EXTRA COSTS

You need to do extra waterproofing as your whole bathroom might now be splashed and become soaking wet. Make sure you also buy waterproof light fittings and special sealed joinery. Make sure you plan your storage to be out of reach of any spray and steam. You don’t want to have soaked shelves every time you shower. Invest in heated floors, because they will help to evaporate water quicker. Also invest in a proper overhead shower head to prevent too much spray outside the designated shower area. I hate it when I get out of the shower and my towel is wet!

wet room bathroom renovation decor tips reno tips
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2.  SPECIAL TILES

In a wet room there is a lot of water spraying everywhere. After your shower you might find it difficult to walk around in the bathroom without slipping. Invest in floor tiles with a bit of texture or non-slip characteristics. You can even add a timber area to create the real spa feeling and to prevent slipping.

wet room bathroom renovation decor tips reno tips
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3.  DRAINAGE

So how will you contain all the water in the bathroom and prevent it from running down your hallway? Get a great tiler that can build a gradient in your floor and make sure that all the water flows towards your drain. In a wet room it is best to invest in strip drains that cover bigger areas. The other option is to create a total seperate space just for the bath and shower and split them from your door, toilet and basin with a floor to ceiling glass partition. It is less wet room and more open shower design, but it will still give you the feeling as if the whole room is one big wet room.

wet room bathroom renovation decor tips reno tips
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4.  POSITION OF YOUR TOILET

Nobody likes wet toiletpaper or a drenched toilet seat. If your bathroom is too small to prevent the shower’s spray to reach your toilet, maybe you should reconsider the wet room. Always position your toilet as far away from the shower as possible. Your other option is again to seperate the toilet from the shower with a floor to ceiling glass partition.

wet room bathroom renovation decor tips reno tips
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We would love to see photos of your wet rooms! Email them to us at: info@vanillaslatedesigns.com.au and you can be in one of our next blogs! Or, if you need help designing a bathroom, send us an email to ask for our price list.

Until next time,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

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What’s the cost of Council plans for my existing house?

Be warned, because this item most clients never know to include in their budget when they plan a renovation! It’s a sensitive issue as clients budget for new house plans drawn by the drafter, but don’t always realise they also need detailed drafted plans of their existing home before any new plans can be drawn. These plans of their existing house, are called “Measured Drawings.”

This step of Measured Drawings is so important, as we can’t design a new renovation if we do not have the on scale plans of the existing house. We draw these plans on AutoCAD software and provide them to the client in PDF form. Then we are ready for Step Two: To design and draw your new renovation or extension!


1. CLIENT BRIEF

“Please design our new renovation & draw all the plans necessary for Council Approval.”

2. BEFORE WE START

When we submit your new plans to Council with the detail of your new project, Council also requests plans of your existing house before any new renovations can be approved. This way Council can see exactly how many squares you add (it determines the submissions cost) and Council can see if your existing house will be able to carry the new renovations. These drawings, are known as “Measured Drawings.”

4. THE COST

The cost of these Measured Drawings include the drafter’s visit to your home to measure the whole existing house, as well as the hours spent on drawing. Yes, sometimes a client does have existing plans, but they are only in a printed version and not always exactly as the house was built/changed over the past few years. The cost of measured drawings are calculated per square metre, and they are less expensive to draw than additions/renovations with complicated new detail. Depending on the size of your home, the cost of an average four bedroom home is about $800 to $1,000 dollars to draw the existing plans.

5. EXAMPLES

Here are a few examples of Measured Drawings we have recently completed for clients.

Blog Measured drawing Tierney

 

 drawings for council, measured drawings, council approval plans, da approval, cdc approval, drafter sydney, drafter hills district, interior designers castle hill

If you you need Council Plans and you are unsure about this process, feel free to contact us.

Eriana & Lyndie

Note: Our Council Plans are drawn in collaboration with our drafter, Ronel, from Mi-Dzign.

 

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Design Project: Style my Melbourne Unit to Rent Out

We love all our projects, some are more challenging than others but all are equally interesting.  This one was certainly challenging, but only because of the distance it was located from our office.  Luckily, we had a floor plan to work with, as well as photos of each room the client had taken on her last visit to Melbourne.


1. CLIENT BRIEF

“Our client has an investment property in the heart of Melbourne which they intended to rent out.  They needed assistance to refurbish and style the unit to suit a professional person, as well as suit the Art Deco exterior style of the building.”

In addition to that:

  • The carpet needed to be replaced in a colour that would tie in with the timber flooring in the kitchen
  • The unit needed a fresh coat of paint applied by qualified professionals
  • The blinds had to be refitted
  • Some of the existing furniture pieces had to be painted and reused
  • New furniture with a modern Art Deco appeal needed to be sourced to fit the style of the building
  • Some existing prints had to be modernised by reframing, as well as additional artworks sourced and installed
  • Bedding, furniture, lamps, rugs and a few accessories needed to be sourced to create a lived in feeling to the unit.

2. SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

We had very limited time to source all trades people and furniture pieces, as the estate agent had a set date to take photos for their website.  In addition to that, the owners lived in Sydney.  The carpet installation, painters and furniture delivery had to be organised for a specific weekend to coincide with the owners’ presence in Melbourne.  Over that weekend, the carpet installation, furniture delivery and painting of the unit had to take place.

3. BEFORE PHOTOS

Before Photos, Melbourne Unit


4. OUR SOLUTIONS

Art Deco shopping list

We went on a local shopping expedition with the client to ensure that all soft furnishings and accessories matched the colour palette throughout the unit.  These were then transported to Melbourne by car.  We supplied our client with a shopping list for lighting and smaller accessories from furniture stores such as Domayne and Freedom, so that these final touches could be purchased in Melbourne.  We arranged all furniture deliveries, carpet installation, painting and window covering installation from Sydney and she organised a very handy husband to hang the prints and paint the furniture.  All of this occurred without us ever having visited the unit.

5. MOOD BOARDS

Art deco styling, bedroom

art deco styling, Living Room

We gave the client several options for all her rooms, with a colour palette that matched the paintings in her lounge room.  This way, we could use the colours throughout the unit for a cohesive look.  The furniture pieces we sourced were modern with an art deco flair.  We decided on a look that would suit either a male or female professional person, so items that were too “girly” or “blingy”, were ditched during the planning phase.

6. AFTER PHOTOS

Blog Melbourne unit After Photos

 

As interior designers, we supply our clients with a design concept for an entire room, which include layout options, shopping lists, quotes for trades and a full colour palette.  If clients need us to implement the design, or project manage a renovation, we will always give that as an option at an additional cost.  In this case, flight tickets and accommodation would have been an additional cost on top of our hourly rate, so the client decided to implement the design herself. She was extremely happy with the result, as she had adequate guidance to complete the design.


Long distance interior design is only possible when we have images of each room, as well as an updated floor plan with all measurements included.

 

Eriana & Lyndie

 

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Design Project: How to select finishes for your brand new home – chosen from a “Home World Village”

One of the most overwhelming steps in building a home, is to select the finishes. This means flooring, tiles, kitchens etc. After you’ve finally chosen your dream home at the Home Village Display, you need to make an appointment with the Home Builder to choose your finishes. This is a full day appointment where you have a few hours to decide what the inside of your home will look like for the next 20 years. Scary? Of course! By the time you have this meeting, you should have done all your homework and know exactly what you want. Yeah right… We have many clients that ask us to assist them to create a design concept and colour palette for their newly built homes they choose at a Home World Village. We take into consideration their existing furniture and lifestyle to make decisions. Today we will show you how we are involved in this process, by telling you more about our last project that involved this service.


1. CLIENT BRIEF

“We chose our floor plan and signed all the contracts, but in three weeks from now is our meeting with the Home Builder’s Design Consultant to choose and sign off our finishes. We are unsure if our colours and if our options will work together and need someone to help us create a colour palette for the whole house before our final meeting with the Home Builder Consultant.”

2. SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

  • We had to meet the client at the Kellyville Home World Village so we could walk through their “new home” with them
  • We had to choose finishes from the range of tiles, paint, stone and cupboards that are supplied by the Builder

3. BEFORE PHOTOS

Our client chose the “Soul 39” Home from MOJO Homes and we met them at the Kellyville Home Village. This home has a great layout. Very spacious and focused on entertaining. We did not only walk through the already built display home, but we could also prepare for the meeting in advance due to  MOJO Homes’ 3D online videos where you can “walk through your new home.” It’s amazing, and you should check it out at this link: SOUL 39 HOME by MOJO HOMES. (And no, we don’t get sponsored by MOJO Homes for this post!)

masterton homes, mojo homes, home builders, choose finishes, 3d home walk through, soul 39
Mojo Homes: Soul 39

4. OUR SOLUTIONS

  • We asked our clients to share with us their style with a shared Pinterest board and photos of their existing furniture. They also brought a list of questions on their design/decor problems.
  • We met the client at the display home, with bags full of samples of stone, flooring etc to make decisions on the spot.
  • Client booked out ‘n Half Day Block with us, where we had uninterrupted access to the display home for 4 to 5 hours.
  • We went through every room and discussed finishes, possible layouts, tile layout patterns, window covering options etc.

5. MOOD BOARDS

This is a hands on meeting, so we just “take over” the dining room table in the display home, spread out all the samples and have a mini workshop right there. (Don’t eat the display, the bread and fruit are fake…!)

moodboard, style board, before photo, home styling, design project, home village, home builders, finishes select, how to choose tiles, interior designer sydney, home village


Clients find these meetings very valuable as there’s no pressure yet to choose and sign off any finishes. They can discuss details and decor and direct  the meeting towards the problem areas they want to solve. One meeting is usually enough to gain confidence and settle on a colour palette. They also have the opportunity to ask any questions regarding their home decor. Clients enjoy the kitchen layout the most as we ask them practical questions of everyday tasks, which they never thought about before. It’s also nice to help them to add a few WOW factors to their home in an affordable way. A building project is hard work and tiresome. Sometimes clients just need someone else to add a twist of fun and advice. That’s our job!

If you are planning on building a new home, we are there to help!

Eriana & Lyndie

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Design Project: Fill my empty house in two weeks!

We recently had a project where our clients suddenly had to move out of their property into a new home with only two weeks’ notice. They had to leave all their furniture behind for the new owners and had only two weeks to fill a whole new house! Of course it didn’t help that she was eight months pregnant, working full time, with another two little ones to look after. So our help was needed to save the day!


1. CLIENT BRIEF

“We need to move into our new property within two weeks, but we have no furniture to take with us. Our budget is limited because we need all the furniture at once, for a four bedroom house, so please source at affordable shops, but give us a colourful and contemporary look. We would like to see a design for each room, with a detailed shopping list so we can order most of the items online.”

2. SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

  • Two week time limit (which included delivery time!)
  • Online shopping as far as possible

3. BEFORE PHOTOS

Well, not many before photos as the house was empty! We did have to measure the whole house to source the exact sizes of furniture needed. We also had to take into consideration the existing colours of the wall paint (which we could change) and existing window coverings (which we could not change).

moodboard, style board, before photo, home styling, design project, before project


4. OUR SOLUTIONS

  • Time: Finish all mood boards in three days to give enough time for client approval & arranging delivery
  • Furniture: Source products from online stores & affordable stores like IKEA that does deliver. (Wow, did we have a lot of flatpacks to put together…!)  Also get a few accent pieces from Freedom, Urban Road & Armadillo Rugs
  • Delivery: Focus on shops that do sell floor stock, e.g. OZ Design
  • Wall paint: Arrange for a painter to repaint some of the brown and minty green feature walls (yes, minty green!)

5. MOOD BOARDS

Here are a few of the mood boards we created for the client that fit her brief.  This enabled her to pick a suitable style and look for her new rooms.

moodboard, style board, before photo, home styling, design project, baby room, nursery

moodboard, style board, before photo, home styling, design project, living rooms, freedom furniture

moodboard, style board, before photo, home styling, design project, baby room, nursery, boys rooms, jet lamp, race coar room, ikea rugs

6. AFTER PHOTOS

Unfortunately we haven’t had the opportunity to go back to take the “after” photos, but here are a few things that we did do, as part of our design package:

  • The entrance hall and staircase were previously painted in a dark brown colour, so we suggested and arranged a painter to paint it a bright white to complement the contemporary style the client was looking for.
  • The kitchen was previously painted in a minty green colour, which we also had repainted in a neutral palette.
  • Due to work obligations our clients could not visit the shops themselves. For all the furniture that were not online, we went to the shops, picked out the furniture and then the shop owners called the client to arrange for credit card payments by phone. (Thank you Freedom, OZ Design, Euro lighting, Harvey Norman, The Good Guys & Domayne for your assistance here)
  • We even selected all the Kitchen Appliances on behalf of the client (From kettle, coffee machine, toaster, washing machine, microwave etc)
  • We arranged for an electrician to replace the old pendant lights with new modern lights.

We had to work to an extreme time constraint, and we needed a week of rest and a few bottles of wine afterwards! This is a good example of where the design brief had to be quick and decision making took place in a matter of minutes. Unfortunately a huge flatpack from IKEA fell on Eriana’s one foot, and then her foot turned blue for a few weeks!  In the end the clock won and we couldn’t get everything delivered within the two week limit, so we needed at least another week for the project to be finalised. We still feel this was a huge job done, in a very short time. Will we do it again? No! Not in two weeks! At least three to four weeks.

Eriana & Lyndie

 

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