Tag: interior designer sydney hills district

Lyndie’s Home Renovation: The Pool Progress


home renovation, digging pool

Everyone that lives in Cherrybrook, Northwest of Sydney, knows that soaring temperatures well into the 30’s occur quite frequently during summer time.  With the ocean a good 45 minutes drive away and running through the sprinkler not cutting it any more, we decided to take the big step of putting a 4m x 8m concrete pool into our small backyard.  If you missed my first blog about our pool installation, check this link out.




The view from our kitchen is becoming increasingly disturbing at this stage.  I think we’re running out of space…






We’re ready to get the framing up to start concreting.  Next week, I’ll show you how the concreting is coming along.  To see what we did 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!

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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!

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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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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!

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How Lyndie changed her Formal Lounge Room

How Lyndie Changed her Lounge Room

Our front door opens up into an entry area and the first room to the left, is our formal lounge room.  Previously, this room connected to the formal dining area, where we usually hung out during winter when entertaining.

Lounge room before renovation

The room started looking a bit dark and dreary with dark leather sofas, dated carpet and accessories that looked a bit tired.  The pillars, which we disliked from the moment we moved in, didn’t add to the ambiance.  Pillars do have their place in society and fit homes from Georgian to Federal to Greek Revival to Italianate to Romanesque to Classical Revival.  They can provide privacy or create an ambiance of openness. In our house, they looked old fashioned and only created obstruction between the entry and formal living room, so they had to go.

Lounge room renovation plans

The other pillars, between the new bar area (old formal dining area) and formal lounge area, housed supporting beams, so we decided to encase the beams in 1m nib walls on either side of the room.  This plan was ideal, as cabinetry for the bar butted up against this new wall, but it also created a definite divide between the bar and formal lounge area.

lounge room pillar removal

The pillars and low nib walls were removed and we couldn’t believe what a difference that made to the space.  Luckily, our builders knew what they were doing and the ceiling didn’t come tumbling down!  Always check with your builder or structural engineer before removing any pillars or supporting walls in your home.

lounge room renovation process

We removed all skirting boards and architraves in the downstairs area and replaced it with a higher profile to suit the new style.  The old carpet was removed and solid timber yarrah floorboards installed.

Lounge room Inspiration Mood board

My biggest source of inspiration for this area was a painting we purchased at the Kings Art Show last year.  The artist is an ex-South African, Karen Tabac, who’s abstract landscapes focus on nature without human interference (which you’ll see in next week’s room reveal).   It fitted the new style of our home, which has Colonial and Modern Country influences, but also provided a fresh aqua and bottle green colour palette to take throughout the house.

If you would like see some of the other changes we’ve made to our home, follow these 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.

Don’t miss next week’s reveal!

Cheerio ’til next time!

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Best tips you will ever need for a Hamptons Style Home

Most people fail when they try to decorate in the Hampton’s style. Why?

We visited a new client this week, and she loves the Hampton Style for her project. So I thought maybe I will share the Hampton’s style with everyone today.

Two key features are usually overlooked when decorating Hamptons:

  1. GO ALL THE WAY HAMPTON’S – or give up now. It’s about creating the style throughout your home, and not a theme you create in your living room only. Hampton’s style is creating an overall timeless look for your entire home, that represents a classis, sophisticated look. Don’t combine it with other styles in your home, as it wants to be the hero. Hampton’s is not a theme, but a lifestyle. It’s also important to have a lot of natural daylight in your home.
  2. INVEST IN HIGH END ITEMS – after all, the Hamptons style originate from the upper class elite and their holiday region in Long Island, New York. Not some beach town somewhere in nowhere.
hamptons style, hamptons decor, tips hamptons decor, beach style hamptons, decor blog hampton


Two focal points all Hampton styled homes must have:

  1. DRAMATIC ENTRANCE – Hamptons style insists on making a first impression. Either you have a beautiful staircase, or a double volume entrance hall with a huge pendant light. If you can add a small table with a huge bunch of fresh flowers that look like your butler has just arranged it, you’ve got a winner!
  2. HAMPTONS KITCHEN – The kitchen forms the centre point of the Hamptons design style. It will define the style for the rest of your entertainment areas. It’s actually easy to create a Hamptons kitchen with just a few elements, e.g. panelling or shaker doors, white subway tiles, crisp white finishes and glass pendant lights.
hamptons style, hamptons decor, tips hamptons decor, beach style hamptons, decor blog hampton
Image source: Entrance Hall
hamptons style, hamptons decor, tips hamptons decor, beach style hamptons, decor blog hampton
Image source: Hamptons Kitchen

Walls & Floors:

  1. Stick to white walls as far as possible (Dulux Natural White is great, as it has a soft undertone)
  2. Add some white wall panelling for character if you can.
  3. Timber floors (of course) work well with either a white washed look or a deep chocolate brown colour.
  4. Add natural rugs like sisal or jute.
  5. Hamptons love dramatic but neutral curtains. You can also go for white plantations shutters or white sheer curtains.
hamptons style, hamptons decor, tips hamptons decor, beach style hamptons, decor blog hampton
Image source: Hamptons floors, walls and curtains

Furniture & Accessories:

  1. Linen upholstery – a must have!
  2. Add wicker or cane elements – High End pieces of course, because wicker can quickly look cheap and worn if not quality products.
  3. Mix old and new furniture, but in a classy way. Timber furniture must still have a classical style, but be freshly painted, in good working condition and timeless. Here you can save a lot of money if you have a keen eye for second hand furniture.
  4. Add accessories like driftwood, a few (only a handful) of shells, glass jars, a butler’s tray and a little bit of bling. It must still be stylish, even though it does not have to be expensive. Think high end… Not your uncle’s old marine rope in his shed or an anchor you bought on gumtree. Keep that for your nautical style beach house…
  5. Down lights are not really Hamptons style, but we all need them. Make sure you alternate the down lights with a few pendant lights, especially with glass and iron features.
hamptons style, hamptons decor, tips hamptons decor, beach style hamptons, decor blog hampton
Image source: Hamptons style accessories

Don’t feel overwhelmed, just remember that the Hamptons style does not mean you need to overspend, but it definitely means you need to think carefully that each item has meaning and has a flair for the high end. Proper planning is essential, and it’s best to choose Hamptons if you have a clean slate to work from.

Enjoy lying on your sun loungers with your cocktails in your Hamptons house! (Hopefully there is also a butler and pool boy to keep you company!)

Happy decorating,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney



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Lyndie’s Home Renovation, First Phase

My husband and I moved from Coogee (in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney) to Cherrybrook in the North West , in search of a larger home and more lawn about 11 years ago.  At this stage we had 2 little ones in tow and received regular visits from our respective families in South Africa.

At first, we could only afford to rent and needed a house with enough room for us, as well as our visitors.  Luckily, in those days, you could haggle the price down in Cherrybrook and get garden services thrown in 🙂  The property we had our eye on, had been empty for a good 7 weeks, so bingo, it was ours!  After a good five years of renting this house,  we put in our offer to purchase it.  It was just in time, as in recent years, everything had changed in Cherrybrook!

A bit of background:

Inspiration of the name Cherrybrook is rumoured to have come from cherry trees near Cherrybrook Cottage, a cottage built in the mid 1800s.  The area was mostly rural land until around 1959, when it was subdivided and became the first project home village in Sydney. The original bushland was bulldozed, and exhibition homes were built and landscaped.  For this reason, most of the homes here look fairly similar (Federation style), with entertainment areas, double garages and multiple bathrooms.  The area has great public schools and beautiful parks that offer all sorts of sporting activities throughout the weekend.

After the introduction of the North West Rail link in recent years, the median 4 bedroom house price shot up from 800 000 to about 1.4 million, so this is where our story begins…

Lyndie's home renovation front of house

Our house was built in 1998 and had not been renovated until we moved in.  Our kitchen has a tile splashback depicting fruit, peeling laminated kitchen cabinet and an oven door that wouldn’t close.  The bathrooms didn’t fare any better, with gold plated shower doors and peach coloured tiles.  We decided to start renovating at the top and work our way down.  We started renovating our bathrooms last year, so if you’re curious about the end result, see our main bathroom make over, as well as the kid’s bathroom make over.

Lyndie's back yard

As you can see, we’re not the most effective gardeners. Low maintenance all the way 🙂 What we do love, is the hedge in the back yard.  It efficiently blocks our neighbours view into our yard.  Unfortunately, the pergola roof has a hole in it, as our son wanted to see if he could kick a rugby ball from the street onto our lawn.  He missed by 2 metres…

 Entertainment Area

We’ve had plenty of get togethers, epic bbq’s and a dance or two under this roof.  No wonder it’s starting to look a bit worn out, time to move on 🙂

Renovating a home is a time consuming, money consuming and patience consuming journey, so you need to consider it carefully.  Before we made our final decision to move on or stay, we had to do a bit of homework first:

What we wanted:

  • A new kitchen with an oven door that closes and without fruit tiles
  • Timber floors
  • A bar (essential, especially during a renovation)
  • A swimming pool (Cherrybrook gets hot)
  • A fireplace (Cherrybrook gets cold)
  • An enclosed outdoor area to entertain (because we love it)

We went to a few open homes in the area to see if there was anything on the market that offered everything on our list.  After a few heart attacks (only accepting offers over 2 million (what?!!) for nothing spectacular) we decided that renovating was the way to go.  After going through several builder’s quotes with a fine tooth comb, we settled on a great local company.  If you’re currently in the same boat;  going through the process of selecting a suitable builder or draftsman for your project, give us a call to guide you through this phase.



So this is the grand plan for the outdoor area:

  • Remove the hedge at the back and trees on the side to make way for a new pool, deck and tiled area.
  • Extend the formal dining area wall and build a fireplace into it.
  • Replace the roof of the tv room and cover this and the new entertainment area with a sloped roof
  • Enclose the entire entertainment area with bi-fold doorsGround floor plans

The grand plan for the interior of the house:

  • Modernise the kitchen and place built in cabinets in the pantry
  • Widen the window between the kitchen and entertainment area and replace with bi-fold windows.
  • Remove existing interior tiles and replace with timber flooring
  • Level the formal dining area with the formal lounge area
  • Remove window between formal dining area and entertainment area and replace with bi-fold door
  • Build a bar in the formal dining area.
  • Remove “beautiful” pillars in the formal dining and formal lounge area
  • Square up the corners of the TV room

Shouldn’t take too long, right?  WRONG!

Next week, I’ll show you what the interior looked like before we renovated and possibly a few sneak peak after photos …

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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How’s your Dining Table Shaping Up?

Dinner time is usually a frenzy in our house, with kids on their way or arriving back from sport (sometimes half a team). Weekends are either spent with a small group of friends, just family, or large get togethers involving dancing around a table to the sound of Geronimo, kitted out in fancy dress.  Either way, I’m a firm believer of having a comfortable dining table suiting my family and guest’s needs.


blog dining table rectangle
Image Source

Square tables can be a bit tricky.  Although they can seat a fair number of guests, the table takes up more room than you think.  It also leaves a big empty space in the centre which makes conversation and passing food across the table rather difficult.  To soften the hard lines of the edges, consider adding upholstered chairs.  A lazy Susan in the centre, as well as a large centre piece to soften the look when the table is not in use, will benefit the overall look of the room.


blog dining table oval
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The perfect shape for smaller spaces that has to double as thoroughfares.  The curved edges will help the general flow of traffic as no one needs to carefully walk around it to avoid sharp edges.  Because of the elongated shape, the oval table takes up less space than a square, seats more people comfortably and encourages a more intimate atmosphere.


blog dining table round
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This shape offers more flexible seating, as a six seater can usually accommodate 8 people – of course, the larger the diameter, the more people can be seated.  A more amiable atmosphere is created when all guests can see each other and dishes can comfortably be passed around. It is also great when you have younger kids and you need to park their prams or assist them, without bumping into the guest next to you with your elbows.


blog dining table long
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Rectangular tables can be squeezed into small spaces without dominating the room.  Even a very narrow table will be fine to use, as there will still be enough space in the centre for sharing dishes.  Remember to allow at least a metre of space around the table to move comfortably.  If you only need seating for a small family, consider the option of having an extendable table for when the masses come over.  Otherwise you’ll be left with a lot of empty seats, making it feel more like a boardroom than a dinner table.

If you’d like to know how to utilise a table as a kitchen bench, read our previous blog here.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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Lyndie’s Kids’ Bathroom Makeover

My children’s bathroom was so far out of fashion it was almost back in again!  The tiles had lovely peach tones with a gorgeous gold framed shower and vanity mirror.  To complete the look, the profile on the vanity doors catapulted me into another era and the towel rail also had a very special gold finish which unceremoniously fell to the floor every time we removed a towel.

Blog, Kids Bathroom vanity

Don’t get me wrong, I adore items from yesteryear that add character to a modern interior.  A touch of Provincial has always been a favourite and I’m never one to shy away from the warmth of rustic timber combined with crisp white in a Modern Country style.  Unfortunately, peach tiles combined with gold framed showers have yet to warm the cockles of my heart 🙂

Kids bathroom Inspiration Moodboard

So this is how I jazzed it up a bit… As this would be the only bathroom big enough to house a bath tub, I decided on a large freestanding bath to fit the country look and feel.  I fell in love with the grey toned timber look ceramic tiles at a recent visit to Beaumont Tiles and I selected a top mounted basin for the bathroom cabinet.

White country style vanity

In search of a new vanity, I realised that this item alone could easily blow the budget!  Luckily, I found a lovely timber cabinet for $400 at Knots Pine, which I painted a crisp white and finished in polyurethane.  I replaced the very ugly handles with something modern and stained the top to tie in with the floor tiles, then applied a coat of polyurethane for water resistance.

Provincial style taps

To complete the look, I decided on the Bastow Provincial range from Tradelink, as it ties in with the rest of the bathroom.  A niche in the wall next to the bath ensures that shampoos, candles,bath bubbles and my wine glass are within easy reach.  To add a sleeker look, we installed a frameless shower, a big improvement from the gold framed one!

Bathroom Renovation After

The laundry basket was a lucky kerbside clean up find.  One morning early, Eriana called me to inform me of this discovery in her neighbourhood.  She also threatened that if I didn’t take it, then she would!   As I’m such a good friend, I immediately found a spot for it in my home 🙂

If you’re thinking of a bathroom renovation and not sure where to start, email us for a price list or book an initial consultation.  We promise we won’t bite!  Our blogs about how to run a smooth bathroom renovation  and ideas on subway tile layouts, will get you started on your bathroom make over.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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7 Reasons why you need an Interior Designer

This week, I’ve been dealing with putting a pool into our back yard.  It’s funny how things turn out, even after all the t’s had been crossed and i’s dotted…  During this recent experience, I’ve found that if the digger doesn’t fit past the side of the house, there will be no progress.  There are many little things that happen when you decide to make changes to your home, things that you might not have considered before starting your project.  Find a list below on why an interior designer might benefit you more than you think.


It’s hard enough as it is shipping kids out the door to school on time, packing lunch boxes, working full/part time and keeping things on track to have a presentable home.  Designing a home/room, organising trades and selecting finishes, could take months to complete.  The last thing you want to load onto your fork is sorting through quotes and finding the right person for each project.  A designer has knowledge of all resources that will be needed for the project at their finger tips and will save you endless hours of time in research alone.


My husband gets sentimental about framed rugby jerseys, likes bulky leather couches and a rustic industrial look.  I’m more of a modern country type of girl and like sofas on sophisticated legs and lots of cushions with pretty patterns.  If you and your partner disagree about the style of your couch or whether you should have an underground cellar, an interior designer might just save your marriage and serve as compass to the most beneficial outcome!


colour selection interior design
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A designer can give you a solid plan of action after assessing the task at hand.  This will give you an order and timeline for tasks to be completed so that you have guidelines for the sequence of the project.  This will assist you in tile selection, floor covering, colour of your walls and furnishings and make sure these are finished in a timely fashion and work together as a whole.


living_room_layouts interior design
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Not only does an interior designer create a space that’s pleasing to the eye and set a desired mood, but they make sure that it’s functional, safe and efficient and enhance the living and working environment.  A designer offers an extra set of eyes that are trained to see and notice things that you may not.  They have the ability to find unique solutions to problems that you might not have dealt with before.  It can be difficult to trust a designer if you like to dictate exactly what you want and aren’t capable of accepting alternative solutions.  It’s best to take advantage of someone that has many years of experience under the belt and, by working together as a team, will have the best outcome for your home.


Dealing with trades can be frustrating at the best of times.  You will need to understand the plans and know exactly what you want, as they will ask you questions that you haven’t even thought of!  You have to know the size and thickness of tiles, whether they’re interior or exterior tiles, the size of windows/doors, the profile on kitchen doors, the type and size of oven, the placement of power points, the type of timber floor, whether it will be installed over existing floor….The list is endless and you will need either plenty of wine or an interior designer to convey the hopes of dreams you have for your home, to the builders/trades.  Money well spent, I’d say!


mood board hamptons french feminine


Interior Designers have many tricks up their sleaves…  They not only have to come up with possible layout solutions for a space, but also help their client visualise the end result.  Luckily, with the help of computer programs such as Rivet, Google SketchUp and Photoshop, the entirety of the room can be seen in a completed state.  Add to that a mood board with samples of your flooring, all textiles, such as cushions, rugs and upholstery, as well as pictures of furniture and colour swatches of the rooms, you can already imagine yourself enjoying your new home.


open plan kitchen dining interior design
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We all know that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses, but an interior designer will give you advice on moving or knocking down walls to connect areas and create a more modern and open plan style of living.  Value boosters, such as adding windows in the bathroom, creating that extra bedroom and type of lighting that’s installed, are all helpful alterations that would benefit your pocket greatly when selling your home.

You know where to get hold of us for your next project  🙂

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera



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