Tag: styling tips

Ten Little Details that Bring a Room to Life

Have you ever caught yourself staring at a photo in an interior design magazine and admiring how amazing some rooms look? And have you tried decorating your own room in a similar manner? Was there something missing? You can do everything right, including the design style, colour palette and furnishing, but if you’ve missed all those little details that bring a room to life, you will never get an Architecture Digest-worthy space. Here’s your cheat-sheet for achieving that.

ARTWORK ON THE WALLS

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A room can’t be complete without art, but there is no uniform way or specific style to display art. Besides the usual paintings (abstract, impressionist, cubism, etc.), you can also go for alternative (and affordable) options, such as  kids’ artwork, framed wallpaper/fabric samples, silverware or keys in shadow boxes, framed old book pages, etc. Some of the best places to hang your art are above the sofa, over the mantel or on either side of the windows.

POWERFUL PHOTOGRAPHS

An art style of their own, photographs can drastically change a room’s appearance. Depending on your preference and the style of the room, you can use various family photos, or choose a specific theme (e.g. your favourite cities or windows, flowers, etc.) and use it for guidance.

GREENERY

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Want to bring a room to life? Then introduce life into it – it’s that simple. Greenery, branches and fresh flowers are an excellent means of adding dimensions to smaller places as well as enhancing larger ones. Consider strategically placing several larger plants (e.g. potted trees) or a group of smaller plants in different corners of a room.

A BOLD COLOUR

Adding a pop of colour to a room is one of the oldest tricks in the book, so why not use it? A neutral room can benefit from a brave colour choice introduced through various accessories (e.g. throw pillows, vases, tablecloths and other decorative elements).

MIRROR(S)

Mirrors don’t belong exclusively in bathrooms. If selected and placed well, they can be a style statement in any room. In small rooms especially, mirrors can reflect light and make the space feel larger and brighter. If you want to avoid that “bathroom-look” you can always go for custom mirrors that will enhance a particular design feature and serve as a signature piece.

BOOKS

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Of course, books are appreciated for much more than their aesthetic appeal as decorative elements, but we can’t deny that they sure make a positive impression when stacked on a coffee table or aligned on a bookshelf.

LAYERS

If you don’t want your room to look cold and soulless, you should include different textures. A knitted blanket, for example, is a nice addition to a leather sofa. And a cowhide rug will look amazing on a hardwood floor. Also consider a different kind of layering – layering the lighting.

LAMPS

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Speaking of layering the lighting solutions, lamps (table, floor and wall lamps) are a perfect way to add that extra layer that will introduce warmth and liveliness. Besides, if you choose an interesting design, you can kill two birds with one stone.

MEMORIES

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There is no better way to add life to a room than by including things from your own life. So, display your travel souvenirs, your grandma’s rocking chair and other personal items that carry a special meaning to you.

AN ELEMENT OF SURPRISE 

Finally, be aware that interior design should be fun, so play with it for a while. For instance, you can hang empty frames instead of filling them with photos. Add a modern piece into a vintage room; design a reading nook in your bathroom…

These ten details will definitely bring your room closer to the ones you admire in design magazines and further from the empty, sterile, by-the-book look we often confuse with “proper design”.

Molly Milson

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Classic Country vs Modern Country Design Style

Are you getting thoroughly confused with all the combinations of design styles today?  We’ve recently learnt about the powers of BOHO, touched on Hamptons and how this classy beach style differs from Coastal style.  To get our ducks in a row about another contemporary style, Country Style,  let’s put it under the magnifying glass to clear up confusion.  Here is the difference between Classic and Modern Country Style:

COLOUR PALETTE

Country Style Colour Palette

Classic country design primarily has a neutral palette with punctuations of faded pinks, watercolour blues, egg yolk yellow and forest greens.  Where the Modern palette envelopes itself in calming tones such as creamy whites, browns and greys, the classic palette turns on the true country charm by drawing inspiration from nature.

FURNITURE

Country Style Furniture

Focus is squarely on comfort when classic country comes to mind.  Relax in overstuffed armchairs and get extra comfortable in the eccentric design of a tufted chesterfield.   Although modern style sofas are sleeker with skinny, raised legs, the whimsicality of  country style isn’t lost when combined with mid century furniture, leather accessories or extraordinary, modern pieces made from solid timber.  If done right, your home with have a warm, rustic charm with all the conveniences of a modern home.

FABRIC PATTERN

Country Style Fabric Patterns

When thinking of classic country floral patterns always come to mind, combined with a bit of gingham, a touch of plaid and a tassel or trim here or there.  In Modern Country design the focus is more on textures and natural materials in neutral colours such as linen, wool and chunky knits.  Floral patterns, although in a more contemporary design, are kept to a minimum and are used when focus is needed on an accent chair or ottoman.

ACCESSORIES

Country Style Accessories

Classic country style usually brings back memories of my childhood and I’m sure many of you would fondly remember a timber framed landscape painting, ceramic collections in a pine cupboard or crystal candle holders or embroidered rugs, from their own childhood homes.  Although modern country design has a cleaner, more uncluttered look, antique or vintage elements are still on display.  Natural rugs made of wool, hemp or sisal, or the more eye catching cowhide, complete this more sophisticated side of country.

WALLS

Country Style Wall Colour

We’ve all heard the saying that grey is the new beige and not even Modern Country walls can escape this lovely neutral.  This is a strong contrast to the classic country look, where walls are usually wallpapered or stencilled in toile patterns.

So which style takes your fancy?  Still confused and in need of direction?  Click here or give us a buzz.

Cheerio ’til next time!

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Lyndie’s Home Renovation – THE BAR REVEAL

A home bar is something every grown up home should have. Grown ups like popping into each others homes’ for a drink, either to wind down after a busy day, but mostly to get away from their children 🙂  Of course, you don’t need the full Monty bar… a bar cart with a few essential items will certainly do the trick!  In our case, we chucked our formal lounge during our renovation, not because we love drinking that much, but because we tend to dine informally (and to accommodate our drinking friends 🙂   To follow our bar renovation and inspiration, follow these links:  Lyndie’s Bar Inspiration and Formal Dining Room Demolition.

Facebook first image bar reveal

 

Bar installation

Our vision for our bar is slowly coming into fruition. The height of the glass pendant lights are determined and the back and front counters are installed.

First drinks new bar

Luckily there’s time for a break after a hard days’ work!  The guys are getting very excited about having the first cold one to initiate the new bar!

Bar black panelling rustic timber top

At last, it’s finished!  It was great fun unpacking everything into the shelves.  Now we can pretend we’re having a night out on the town every night!

bar antique glass splashback

 

accent chair black and linen

 

rustic solid timber bar top

 

bar counter glass pendants

This new area makes entertaining a breeze.  We love how the formal lounge flows into the bar and then out to the new entertaining area with fireplace.  I see a few social gatherings happening this year!

Let us know if your home needs a make over.  A renovation can be very daunting, especially if you haven’t experienced it before.  We draw up plans for council approval, assist in layouts, as well as selection of all your finishes.  To see the changes we made to 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.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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Styling Tips for a Patterned Sofa

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

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

Here are a few tips on how it can work:

1.  KEEP IT SIMPLE

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

2.  COMBINE WITH NEUTRAL ACCENT CHAIRS

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

3.  USE A SINGLE COLOUR PALETTE

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

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

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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How to Survive a Renovation

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

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

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

2.  PROTECT YOUR BELONGINGS

renovation survival protect your stuff

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

3.  CREATE CHAOS FREE ZONES

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

4.  LEAVE THE HOUSE

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

5.  BE AVAILABLE FOR THE BUILDERS

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

6.  STICK TO A SCHEDULE

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

7.  LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR

Renovation survival love neighbours

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

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

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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Questions and Tips about waterfall kitchen bench tops

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

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

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

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

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

MITRE VS BUTT PROFILE

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

SHOULD THE WATERFALL GO ALL THE WAY TO THE FLOOR?

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

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How to Avoid getting Wallpaper Wrong

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

1.  START WITH THE RIGHT SPACE

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

2.  WHAT SCALE PRINT WILL SUIT THE ROOM?

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

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

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

4.  USE THE CORRECT PAPER FOR WET AREAS

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

5.  REFER BACK TO YOUR PERSONAL STYLE

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

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

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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What you may have Overlooked in your Laundry Design

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

1.  A SPACE FOR FOLDING

laundry, folded washing

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

2.  A SPACE FOR DIRTY LAUNDRY

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

3.  HANGING SPACE

vintage laundry me

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

4.  SINK

dog in bath

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

5.  IRONING

wine and ironing

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

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

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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