Tag: Interior Design

Proportion and Scale: Things we Tend to buy too Small or too Big

Proportion and scale are the most important design principles to achieve great design.  The formula dates to ancient Greece and is called the “golden ration”.  In mathemateical terms, this magic number is 1.618.  This number is achieved by recurring relationship between blah blah yawn… Apologies, but I’ve almost nodded off typing the word maths.  In simpler terms, scale is the size of things and proportion is the relationship between them.  Phew, that could have taken hours (for me to understand!)

This magic number is a ratio that appears in nature, in music, architecture and art.  For some reason, something in our DNA finds this proportion the most comfortable and we instinctively know when things aren’t placed as they’re supposed to.  Something’s ringing a bell, right?  This is what happens when you’ve envisaged your dream room, but after you’ve made all your purchases, the room doesn’t turn out the way you’ve imagined it in your mind.  The reasons could be very simple.  The proportion and scale of a few of your items, could be out of whack!  Here are a few things we tend to buy too small:

ART

Image Source

Nothing looks skimpier than a tiny piece of art on a big wall.  I’d go as far as to say that the wall is probably better left completely bare.  Luckily, the size of your art is easy to calculate and has another mathematical equation attached to it (yawn…)  In general, artwork should cover about 3/4 of the wall it’s on.  The magic number for this is .57.  If your wall is about 3m in width, multiply that by .57 to get the area your art should cover (in this case it’s 1.7m).  So, a large print of about 1m x 1.5m should do the trick, but you could also do a gallery wall of smaller prints to cover the same area.

RUGS

Image Source

It’s tempting to buy a smaller rug, as the next size up usually costs a few $100 more!  Instead of trying to save a few dollars and go for the smaller size, I’d suggest waiting until you can afford the larger rug.  Your rug should hopefully reach under the front legs of your sofa, as well as under your accent chairs.  It looks pretty bare and unwelcoming when you have a tiny rug that only your coffee table  fit onto.

LIGHTING

Image Source

A large pendant is a great opportunity to bring balance and character to a dining table.  Unfortunately, we tend to purchase table and pendant lamps too small and it can ruin the effect we’re trying to create.  The golden rule here is that the lamps should be tall enough that the bottom of the shade is at seated eye level.  A pendant light should be big enough to visually balance the surface below it, but it’s equally important to hang it at the right level.

And finally, here is what you’re buying too big:

SOFAS

Image Source

Being from South Africa originally, we tend to steer towards big, chunky leather sofas we can sink into in front of the fire in the evenings.  Nothing wrong with that scenario, but if your room can’t justify a big sofa, don’t buy it!  You should have enough room for movement around the sides to avoid feeling cramped and claustrophobic.  If you’re worried about entertaining a large number of guests, there are other ways to accommodate them without squashing too big furniture pieces into a small room.

Of course, if you suffer from an untrained eye when shopping, you could always take us with you! Read here how you can do this.

Cheerio til next time!

Please follow and like us:

Find your Inner Interior Designer and Start Decorating

emma-joyce-contributor-slide

Decorating your home according to your own tastes and style is a must if you want to feel truly at home and relaxed.  Diving into your own personality and sensibility is the key to pinpointing your inner interior designer and surfacing it.  Therefore, don’t feel pressured about anything and allow yourself some time and research in order to reach the peak of your inspiration and creativity when it comes to home décor.

ADEQUATE LIGHTING SOLUTION

lighting
Image Source

Every room deserves its own lighting style.  In that respect, there’s no need to limit yourself to only a few lighting styles and options.  Also, these days you don’t have to sacrifice functionality over the looks and vice versa, when it comes to lighting.  You can easily check out some creative picks for lighting online and find even more than you hoped for.  In general, don’t underestimate the power of light for your interior décor.  It can make the whole home a lot warmer, brighter and pleasant to be in.

SEARCH FOR INSPIRATION

2

The best thing about modern age is that you don’t have to do everything yourself.  There are magazines on interior design that could help you find your perfect style for décor.  Websites such as Pinterest, are teaming with ideas and pictures that can motivate you to reorganize, repurpose and utilize many different things and items that you thought useless.

CAREFUL WITH COLOURS

Colours can always make the space warmer and more pleasant, but if you want to change the whole colour scheme of your décor, you should think it through first.  If you’re set on changing everything, from your furniture and accessories colour to wall paint and/or wallpaper, you can make a big change like this, work.  But, if you only want to play with the colours of your decorative details or repaint the walls, keep it relatively simple and make sure that the new colours won’t clash with the old scheme beforehand.

STATEMENT PIECES

statement-piece
Image Source

Nothing can make the interior more unique and decorative than statement pieces.  You might not think that you’re ready for this step, but be brave and at least try one statement piece in your décor.  It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant.  There has to be something that you found very appealing while looking through the magazines and blogs, but your own comfort zone prevents you from acting on it.  Taking a step forward is very important in both your life and home décor, so don’t be afraid to experiment.

BEAUTIFUL AND EFFICIENT LAYOUT

When you start decorating, the process itself can sometimes become overwhelming.  This is especially true for various accessories that you find likeable.  But remember, too many bits and bobs scattered around your rooms can create a lot of mess and, in that way, cause the impression of chaos and clutter.  Therefore, don’t go overboard with accessories.  Strategically placed details will make the home shine from the inside but you still need to achieve the effiency and functionality of the room layout.

TRENDS NOT A MUST

trends
Image Source

If you find that the current interior design trends are not all to your liking, do not feel pressured to use them as your own home décor.  If you happen to love the contemporary home design trends, that’s great!  But the most important thing about the look of your place is to represent your own self.  And if modern design trends simpoly do not cut it in this respect, feel free to skip them.

Decorating your home, picking out different designs and accessories, choosing colours and all that jazz should be a fun and engaging process that soothes your soul and mind.  That being said, you don’t have to rush things.  Take it slowly, at your own pace.  If you force the task before you, you might end up with a result you don’t like.

xx Emma Joyce

Please follow and like us:

Lyndie’s Renovation in Cherrybrook – Concreting the Pool

 

Renovation in Cherrybrook

Although pools don’t usually give you a good return on investment, it must surely be on the list of every Australian’s Dream Backyard.   Cherrybrook, in NSW, can get as hot as hell in summer, so we decided to go all the way and put in a concrete pool.  The entertaining area extension will have a view over the new pool area, so we thought we’d better not skimp on the size.  To fit the budget, we chucked the water feature and splurged on heating and nice pavers.  Heating would prolong our swimming season by at least 3 months, so now we can get the most out of this new expensive toy 🙂  If you’ve missed the beginning of the pool installation, follow the links below:

Digging the Pool, Pool Progress

slide2

 

slide3

The excavation is finished and now ready for the framework.  The frame is built with corrugated iron, steel and a timber frame to contain and shape the concrete.

slide4

 

slide5

The stairs are shaped and smoothed, ready to be tiled after the curing process.

slide6

 

slide7

Finally, the pool is ready for our first “pool party”.  All it needs is a few weeks of curing for the concrete to harden.  It also needs a good hose down every day, to ensure that the concrete doesn’t crack.  We’re now ready for tiling, but first, we need to start the demolition work to make room for the new home extension’s foundation.  More on this next week.

If you’ve missed the renovation to the interior of our home, have a look at 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, Formal Dining Room Demolition, Inspiration for the new Bar, Bar Reveal.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

Please follow and like us:

Lyndie’s Home Renovation: Digging the Pool

Lyndies renovation, the pool

Our kids are getting bigger and more likely to enjoy hours of fun in a pool, rather than a game of backyard ball games.  Although equally enjoyable, we think the neighbours got tired of our son climbing over their fence collecting balls that had been kicked into their yard.  Our backyard isn’t big, so putting in a 4m x 8m pool was interesting and will take up most of the yard.  We had to consider many technical elements such as boundary restrictions, access for excavation and working around the causeway and sewer line at the back of our property.

The pool plan

Although we had a lot to consider, we wanted to design it well to enhance our family lifestyle, see returns on our property value and do this without having a head of grey hair at the end of the process.

Pool excavator

 

Back yard pool digging

As you can see, we had a lot of greenery in the form of hedging, shrubs and small trees that needed to be removed before we could start digging the pool.  Luckily, (after we got one that fitted past the side of the house) this piece of machinery did most of the backbreaking work, without anyone breaking into a sweat (says me watching them from the kitchen sipping a cup of tea…)

shrub and hedge removal

 

hedge removal

We can start seeing some progress and getting a good idea of the size of the area.  The shrubs wasted a huge amount of space and blocked our view into the distance.  On top of that, we can now see the line of the causeway.  At this stage, we’re almost ready for the Water Board to peg out the position of the sewer line before digging begins.

pool excavation

I still can’t believe how a little digger like this can dig a 4×8 hole, almost 2m deep in just a couple of days.  Next time, we’ll get to the concreting bit.

To follow the renovation of the interior of our home, just click on 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.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

Please follow and like us:

Lyndie’s Formal Lounge Renovation – THE REVEAL

 

Lyndie's renovation first page reveal

I believe an awesome living room should leave people happier than when they first entered the space.  It should have an arrangement of furniture that would encourage conversation, reflects your personality and not be cluttered with pieces you no longer love.

Formal Lounge Before

In my previous blog about our lounge room renovation, you’ll see what our vision was for this area, as well as where we found inspiration for the decorating style.  Our lounge room desperately needed new flooring and an update in accessories.  We also wanted to create better flow from the entry and did that by removing the pillars and nib walls.  Most of the old furnishings in this room will be used in the new entertainment area extension.

Formal Lounge After

The colour scheme throughout the house was inspired by a painting by Karen Tabak, which we purchased at the Kings Art Show last year.  We decided to purchase sofas in a lighter colour, as the room needed a light and fresh palette.   There’s a large possibility that these sofas will be covered in plastic sheets before our red wine drinking friends arrive.  Some of them (you know who you are), might just be banned from the area entirely… 🙂

marble coffee table accent chair

No living room is complete without a few decorative items to make it feel homely.  I stuck to the colour palette and added a few quirky bits to complete the picture.  It was love at first sight when I spotted the slatted accent chair, which works perfectly with the Modern Country/Colonial theme.

removal of pillars in lounge room

The feeling of openness was finally achieved by removing the decorative pillars and low nib walls.  The view from the lounge room to the entry is now unobstructed and creates a better flow through this space.

View from Formal lounge to entry

Formal Lounge Renovation

Formal Lounge Renovation After

New timber flooring was installed throughout the first level and lends a wonderful warmth to the interior.  The pewter side tables were purchased in Berry in the Southern Highlands on a recent holiday and the table lamps we found on another scavenger hunt in a small town a number of years ago.

White sofa Abstract Painting

If you’re struggling to find your style direction or need help putting a room together, book a consultation today!  If you’d like to see how we renovated the other rooms in our home, 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, Kitchen installation begins, Kitchen Reveal.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

Please follow and like us:

Does size really matter? How to Pick the Right Side Table

So you’ve just purchased your gorgeous new sofa and can’t wait to finish your room with side tables, a rug and coffee table.  Luckily, side tables are easy, they don’t really matter as they’re tucked away to the side of the sofa and one can hardly see them… WHAT?!  Come again?  OK, all jokes aside… Finding the perfect side table requires patience, quite a few shopping hours (preferably without your husband), sometimes a few tears and lots of planning.  Side tables are part of your overall room design and you have to make sure that  they don’t distract from your focal point.  They should also be practical and not conflict with the rest of your room design.  Although side tables never get the glory, they whisper of a homeowner that pays attention to little details to create a comfortable, inviting space for guests.

Let me give you a few guidelines to help in your search:

HEIGHT

Side tables height
Image Source

A side table works best when it’s at the same height as the arm of the sofa it’s next to, or no lower than about 10 centimetres below that.  A standard sofa arm is aroud 60cm high, so aim for a table about that height, or a couple of centimetres lower.  If you can’t find a table you like within your target height range, then rather go for  shorter rather than taller.  Side tables that are taller, look awkward and make for an uncomfortable journey for your arm from sofa to table.

WIDTH

side table size display
Image Source

Think about what you would like to place on your side table.  You’ll probably want some soft lighting in the form of a table lamp, you might want to put a book down just before your nanna nap, or most probably a drink if you’re visiting my house.  Side table widths vary greatly, but look for something that would be substantial enough to carry a few items.  Aything smaller that 45cm would be impractical and not in balance with the size of your sofa and coffee table.

FINISH

side table finish
Image Source

There are some beaufitful side tables available today in any style you can imagine.  Matching side tables to your coffee table is fine, but it could create a yawn worthy experience.  This is your chance to create some interesting effects in your living room. Why not go for a metal and marble combination, or steel frame and timber top.  Wire mesh or woven material can add another layer of texture, or you may even find that an interesting, art deco inspired bling table can add a touch of sophistication that had been lacking in the room.

SHAPE

In general, lounge rooms have a lot of rectangular shapes.  They’re found in the frames of art works, the rug, the shape of the sofa, as well as most coffee tables.  Adding round side tables is a no fail way to soften the overall look of your lounge room.

STYLE

side table shape
Image Source

Your side tables do not need to match the coffee table.  I know it’s probably the easier option to just go out and buy the whole set (especially when shopping with your husband and you want the experience to be over and done with :)) It’s important to carefully consider each piece, as they will impact the room differently.  If you want to have harmony and balance with a touch of “WOW”, take a little time with your shopping, even if it means leaving hubby at home.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

Please follow and like us:

Where do Paint Names come from?

Why do you think paint names allow you to conjure up images of calm green forest retreats, a melting strawberry sorbet on a blistering Summer’s day or the stillness of a cool aqua ocean?  While perusing paint samples, would you feel inspired in the same way if samples were called slimy gum blue, disguised yellow, paper packaging beige, fax ink black, or begrimed pink?

Paint companies are very clever and know that paint names are powerful… they have the ability to evoke images and moods in customers and they would even ruthlessly go straight for the taste buds!

Although naming paint to inspire a mood seems like a simple process, it can be painstakingly slow.  Usually, the paint colour is developed first and the name is picked from a large database.  Of course, they have to be extra careful that the name they choose has never been used by a competitor, as this could create confusion with the consumer.  On top of that, once a particular colour has been named, it can only be associated with that unique shade.  Even after it’s been discontinued, the “recipe” and name needs to be reserved, just in case a historical house painted in that colour burns down and needs to be reapplied.

paint colour name vintage fashion
Image Source

Paint namers draw inspiration from global events, the media (what’s Kim Kardashian wearing these days?!) science or fashion influences, before entering paint names into the database.  Some paint companies choose names that would fit a particular nation, like Australia.  They would refer to the colour of the landscape (“Red Earth”), street names, famous landmarks, textures (“Hog Bristle”) or botanicals (“Green Bark”) of that country.  The same is to be said of paint companies based in England – paint names could be influenced by the weather, having more referrals to the fading light, the misty landscapes and drizzle.

paint colour misty landscape
Image Source

Paint names can be funny, dramatic or intriguing, so it could easily stick in a client’s mind (I’m not sure what Dulux thought when they named a colour “Remote Control”, as it only evokes verbal fights and tantrums in my house..)  In most cases, the paint name has the most influence on the popularity of the colour.  Farrow & Ball wins the quirky name battle with names such as Dead Salmon, Elephant Breath and Arsenic, being amongst the most outrageous.

Care needs to be taken before trying out names that would go for the tastebuds.  The colour of Broccoli might make an awesome feature wall this season, but putting the name to the colour, could be quite off putting for most customers.  “Jungle Book Green” or connotations to velvet would fare much better and avoid bringing back memories of being force fed.  Being a bit of a pushover, getting me to buy a paint colour would be as easy as putting the word chocolate, marguerita or sorbet into the name 🙂

To test your paint name knowledge, I’ve put together a quiz to see who’s done their homework in the paint isle.

Put the number next to the matching paint name:

paint colour quiz

Hindsight, Shepherds Warning, Birthday King, Self Destruct, Crazy and Fun and Games

The answers will be in our weekly newsletter this Friday.  Click here to subscribe.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

Please follow and like us:

Coffee in Baroque Barn Style – Ouland Royale

Last year I was lucky enough to spend a wonderful 2 weeks in South Africa to share a very special occasion with my family; my sister’s 40th birthday!  We were spoiled for choice dining at wine bars in picturesque settings, snacking at divine coffee shops and brunching at locations extremely diverse in character and style.

timber & glass antique front door

 

One such location still sticks in my mind, as the setting and atmosphere was like nothing I’ve come across in my hometown of Sydney.   In a city with coffee shops and restaurants decorated in the ever popular rustic industrial style, this particular restaurant hit me like a breath of fresh air on a cold winter’s day.

Floral accents & painted timber

Claw feet bath and rustic wall

Ouland Royale is a huge Barogue Barn built by Wilja Reitz and her team on her family farm just outside of Plettenberg Bay in South Africa.  Wilja is an interior artist and created a unique venue, filled with spectacular French Baroque furniture pieces which she had collected and restored herself.

 

Baroque style love seat

French Baroque mirrors fill the walls and the luxurious upholstered chairs lend luxury and old world charm fit for Kings.  The hearty, double sided fireplace warms the interior and create an euphoric ambience, letting guests relax into the glamour of yesteryear.

Fireplace with floral cushions

 

Double sided fireplace and leather armchairs

Fascinators, made by the owner, are placed on the antique pieces dotted along the walls and add a surprising theatrical element.

Fascinators and french styling

The vintage style tables, leather suitcases, crockery and dining chairs, combined with the luxury of baroque furniture, give the interior a more cosy and approachable atmosphere, in step with the hospitality of this country environment.

Antique bicycle, love seat

Baroque style hall table, antique mirror

For those of you who would like to replicate this ornate and extravagantly theatrical look in your home, look for gilded, framed mirrors, dark ornately carved furniture, luxurious textiles rich in colour with large patterns, sparkly chandeliers and generous servings of gold accents.

 

sleepy cat, piano stool

To complete the look, don’t forget to add a sleepy cat on a piano stool.

Good luck!

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

Please follow and like us:

Move over Chrome, Black is having a Moment…

Black taps are here to stay and give a design edge to contemporary interiors such as modern, rustic and industrial.  Using black tapware is a great way to incorporate black in a subtle way while making a more demure design statement than black cabinetry. Black can be masculine, but also subtle and sophisticated if mixed with the right materials.  It marries equally well with chrome, white, as well as timber and copper.

While there aren’t many rules when choosing the finish of your tapware in your kitchen, we still want to end up with a cohesive and harmonious look.  To get the most out of your black tap, here are a few tips to put your mind at ease:

black tap black grout
Image Source

There’s no need to match your black tap to your sink, so using a stainless steel sink is fine, especially if it’s under mounted.  It’s more important to have a contrasting backdrop behind the black tap, as this will create the “wow” factor,  Try white subway tiles with dark grout, as this will be an eye catching statement, without being over powering.

black taps marble background
Image Source

If you crave a classic, but show-stopping combination, try black taps with a neutral backdrop, such as marble or highly glossed white tiles.  This can effortlessly become a very sophisticated centre piece without trying too hard.

black taps black handles
Image Source

Pairing black and white is a contemporary, classic look that will never go out of style.  If you’re afraid of going too dark with cabinetry, match your black taps to black cabinet handles instead.  This way the accent of black flows throughout the kitchen, without overpowering the space.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

Please follow and like us:

WHAT IF ACCESS TO YOUR GUEST BATHROOM IS THROUGH A BEDROOM?

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

bathroom sign
Image Source

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

bathroom through bedroom
Image Source

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.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

 

Please follow and like us: