Tag: interior designers sydney

Are stone pebbles in a bathroom still on trend?

Do you struggle to keep up with changing trends for bathrooms? Today we have a look at the pros and cons of using real pebbles instead of tiles in your bathroom.

pebbles, bathroom, renovation, blog decor, reno blog, interior designers sydney, hills district

Using pebbles in your bathroom is extremely tricky. You need a good eye, as it can easily look like a children’s playground. Here are a few tips:

  • Stick to a neutral palette
  • Make sure the surface is as even as possible
  • Don’t overdo it, only apply in a small area
  • Have a professional install it

Here are a few examples that you SHOULD NOT DO:

pebbles, bathroom, renovation, blog decor, reno blog, interior designers sydney, hills district

You can either purchase mesh tiles where pebbles are already prepared and ready for installation, or you can follow the traditional road and have them installed one by one. If you want the job to be done quickly and by your local tiler, the mesh option is probably the easiest. (Not necessarily the cheapest!) You could also buy or pick up your own natural stones and lay them yourself. This last method is very time consuming, but sometimes necessary if the area you need to tile is very small or difficult, for example around a bath, or a small splash back above your basin. Even if you need to tile a niche in your shower. Please, don’t try the absurd patterns in the images above!

pebbles, bathroom, renovation, blog decor, reno blog, interior designers sydney, hills district

You can even use left over mesh tiles as place mats!

But is it still on trend to throw them around your bath?

pebbles, bathroom, renovation, blog decor, reno blog, interior designers sydney, hills district

A few years ago everybody used natural pebbles in their bathroom. It was especially trendy to place a few around your bath. That trend has moved on now, but any natural product in a bathroom is always a winner. Make sure you apply it in a classy & elegant way, where it is not the statement in your bathroom, but rather the neutral background.

If you think you’re going over the top, you probably are! Pull back a little and rethink your bathroom layout. When in doubt, read a few of our previous blogs about bathroom renovations:

Until next time,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

Please follow and like us:

How to decorate your home when you have a dog

Does your dog need a decorated room/special area? What? You never heard of this? Or even considered it? Let me share with you some inspirational images on how you can create that special nook in your home for your dog…yes… a special decorated nook! The last image is of me and my dog, Charlie.

decorate dog decor tips animals home decor
Image source

A beautiful monotone colour scheme. How awesome are those timber blocks and black and white photos? I adore this little corner.

decorate dog decor tips animals home decor
Image source

Time for a bath? A doggy “wet room” bathroom! A practical area to wash your dogs, but still beautifully designed to suit the style of the rest of your home.

decorate dog decor tips animals home decor
Image source

A great idea for that sometimes awkward empty corner next to your stairs.

decorate dog decor tips animals home decor
Image source

My dog always sits on my lap when I work on my computer. I wish I had such a great little corner for him close to my desk.

decorate dog decor tips animals home decor wallpaper dogs blue door
Image source

So if you need to go all the way… why not use this lovely black and white wallpaper? You can shop for it here on ETSY.

decorate dog decor tips animals home decor eriana bredenhann cavoodle
My dog, Charlie

As you can see, I don’t have a special decorated area for my dog, Charlie. In fact, that would probably shock him as he doesn’t know that he’s a dog and not human. Nope, he thinks he’s the youngest, spoiled brat of our family. He sleeps in my cozy decorated bed at night, on the kids’ sofa in our rumpus room during the day, and casually joins us in the evenings when we enjoy a glass of wine. Our whole house is his “decorated area”.

Any of you in the same boat?

Until next time,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:

Five fun things to do with unused paint chip samples

Sometimes Pinterest really frustrates me. It reminds me that I am not as good and crafty with my fine motor skills than a 1000 other pinners. I also often think to myself…. where do people find the time to do all these craft projects? It is overwhelming and sometimes just too much information! So today I narrowed it down to a few options that I feel really works.

When we choose paint colours for our homes, we always end up with a bag full of paint chip samples. It does not matter if you’re an interior designer or home decorator. Do you also feel bad to just chuck them in the bin? I recently browsed on Pinterest to find ideas on how I can reuse these paint samples. Unfortunately I could only find a few ideas that I actually think is do-able and will not look like my five year old daughter has done it.

PUNCH THEM

For a few dollars you can buy a whole range of punches from your local craft shop. Just punch the chip samples and paste them on cards or decorations for presents.  You can even sew them together and make garlands to decorate with.

paint chip samples, colour inspiration, craft project paint, punch craft, tags, gift wrapping, decor blog, diy blog , garlands, diy garland, sew garland
Image source
paint chip samples, colour inspiration, craft project paint, punch craft, tags, gift wrapping, decor blog, diy blog , girls room, heart garland, diy garland
Image source

TAGS

Punch them and add a string, and you have an unlimited colourful supply of tags for presents. When I am invited to a dinner party, I like to add these tags to flowers, chocolates or wine bottles as a gift for the host.

paint chip samples, colour inspiration, craft project paint, punch craft, tags, gift wrapping, decor blog, diy blog , colourful tags, diy tags
Image source

HOUSE WARMING

In a previous blog I told you how important a house warming is! These cutlery holders below is a great idea to add to the house warming theme.

paint chip samples, colour inspiration, craft project paint, punch craft, tags, gift wrapping, decor blog, diy blog , house warming, tags, cutlery display, setting table
Image source

SORTING

A quick and effective way to organise your addresses, recipes or details about friends or clients.

paint chip samples, colour inspiration, craft project paint, punch craft, tags, gift wrapping, decor blog, diy blog , stationery sort, organise recipes
Image source

ART

For the very arty among us, you can try one of these art projects. I haven’t tried it yet, but it is still on my to do list.

paint chip samples, colour inspiration, craft project paint, punch craft, tags, gift wrapping, decor blog, diy blog , art work paint samples
Image source

Although I love DIY projects, I am not very much the crafty type. So when it comes to punching, cutting and glueing, my projects need to be quick, easy to make and easy to store. That’s why the few examples today are all my cup of tea!

Don’t forget to read our previous blog on where do paint names come from.

Happy decorating,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

Please follow and like us:

Why you MUST have a house warming party!

Not the party type? Too much effort? Find out today why you should not miss this opportunity! It’s not like a birthday that comes again every year. A house warming only happens every 5 to 8 years per family. It could be because you move into your new house, or maybe you have done major renovations and want to celebrate the end of the building process with your friends. It does not have to be expensive. It can be an informal sausage sizzle, or just cheese platters and a few bottles of wine. What’s important, is to get your family and friends over and have a party!

house warming gift plant decor tips vanilla slate designs best decor blog australia
Image source

WHEN SHOULD WE PARTY?

Do it as soon as possible after you moved in. Like in days or one or two weeks. At this stage, people will still expect a bit of chaos, unpacked boxes and you will not have to present a picture perfect home.

house warming gift plant decor tips vanilla slate designs best decor blog australia
Image source

FREE LABOUR

Still have a few boxes in the garage that need to be moved upstairs? Or maybe you want to try out different furniture layouts for your living area. What better time to move these items than when you have a few people over, ready to help and who still feel sorry for you being in this “overwhelming situation…” This works especially well if you have a case of beer close by.

house warming gift plant decor tips vanilla slate designs best decor blog australia
Image source

FREE DESIGN ADVISE

It is the perfect opportunity to “ask for advise” from all your friends on how you should place your furniture, paint the walls or do some extensions to your home. This is why it’s good to host a house warming before you have unpacked everything and before you have put your personal stamp on your home. Friends will still have the confidence to share ideas. Especially because most people believe they are decorators by heart…

house warming gift plant decor tips vanilla slate designs best decor blog australia
Image source

FREE GIFTS

It’s tradition to take a gift to a house warming. A new plant, some gadget for the kitchen, a cute ornament or just snacks or wine. I usually take potted herbs. If the host loves gardening, they can plant it. Otherwise they can at least use it in a few dishes when cooking.

house warming gift plant decor tips vanilla slate designs best decor blog australia
Image source

Okay, this blog was a bit tongue in the cheek, but seriously, it’s a good excuse to throw a party! Don’t wait till your home is perfect, use it as an excuse to just enjoy a wonderful evening with friends, celebrating your new home. It’s a great milestone, it needs to be celebrated!

Until next time,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

Please follow and like us:

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
Image Source

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
Image Source

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
Image Source

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

Please follow and like us:

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

Please follow and like us:

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
Image source

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
Image source

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
Image source
waterfall bench top, cement bench top, white and grey kitchen
Image source

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

 

Please follow and like us:

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
Image Source

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
Image Source

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?

wallpaper geometric
Image Source

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

wallpaper tropical
Image Source

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

Please follow and like us:

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

Please follow and like us:

When is the best time to renovate?

When is it the right time to renovate? Does it depend on how long you’ve lived in your home, your budget or your future plans? This answer is different for every home owner. Today we want to give you some pointers to take into consideration when making this important decision.

1. FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS

You are now all excited about your first home. To save a bit of money you bought a “renovation project”. (Of course it was advertised by the estate agent as “needs some TLC”…) Now it’s time to decide how to spend that extra bit of money to make it your own. STOP RIGHT HERE! Only about 5% of renovations of first time home buyers are successful if they renovate within the first year. Why? Making good renovation decisions take experience. If you are a first time home buyer, we always recommend clients to first live in your home for at least six months before you start planning your renovation. You will have a much better spatial awareness of how you actually use your home and what features are missing what you desperately need to add.

first time home owners should i renovate now or later

2. EXPECTING A BABY

Nine months. Actually 8 months since you first find out you’re pregnant. And yes, we all know the last two months you’re the size of an elephant with the mobility of a hippopotamus. That literally gives you 6 months to really project manage a renovation before baby arrives. Take into consideration your fluctuating hormones and constant short term memory loss (believe me!), the worst thing to add to this package is a renovation project. If you just want to update a bathroom or kitchen, it might be manageable. Even a new paint job, flooring or moving a wall or window can be orderly timed and finalised. If you need any council plans which involves drafting, engineers, certifiers or council approval, rather pitch a tent in the dessert and stay there for a few months. That will be a much more enjoyable experience. You don’t want to hurry renovation decisions and later be devastated because you spent your money unwisely. Take it one “building process” (read baby) at a time. Even the first few months after baby is born, is stressful. Why add noise and dust to the equation. I am talking out of experience…

3. SAFETY PROBLEMS WITH YOUR EXISTING HOME

I’m with you, just do it! Nobody needs a bathroom that constantly leaks from upstairs down into your kitchen. Been there, done that. Every time my daughter pulled the plug of her bath, I had to run to the kitchen and hold a bucket mid-air to prevent water dripping on my kitchen shelves. Another big problem is infestations. You don’t want to be invaded or overrun by pests. If part of your home needs a semi-demolition to fix this problem, save enough money as quickly as possible and get the renovation done. These can cause other long term problems which eventually cost you even more.  If you’re a first time home buyer, and expecting a baby and you realise you have infestation problems… well I have no idea what you should do! Run away to the closest hotel and hibernate for a year.

 4. FINANCIAL DECISION

Renovation projects can start from $10,000 and end up to be up to $500,000 or more. Every family knows their own budget. Don’t forget that there are many costs before you even write the first cheque to your builder. You will need a drafter to draw plans for Council. (This is a few thousand dollars, depending on the size of your renovation) You might need an engineer to assist with structural issues. (Another few hundred or thousand dollars). You need to pay a certifier or council to submit your plans and get it approved. (Mmmm… another few hundred dollars) Sometimes you need to demolish existing structures, also at an additional cost. There are always a few hidden or unprepared expenses too. Your builder can suddenly report to you that there are asbestos in your walls or roof. (Another few thousand dollars to have this removed by a specialised team). Okay, I wasn’t intending to scare you, just to warn you that you should always add another 20% to your budget for unforeseen expenses. If you don’t need it in the end, you can have beautiful new furniture and an awesome house warming party!

budget for renovation project should i renovate now or later

Remember that you can ask your mortgage broker to assist you to apply for additional finance or to refinance your home. Some people play it safe and first save all the money for their renovation. This is the ideal situation, but sometimes this means that you never get to the stage where you can commit to your renovation.

Happy renovating,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

Please follow and like us: