Tag: vanilla slate designs

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!

Lyndie camera

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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!

Lyndie camera

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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!

Lyndie camera

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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
TIPS FOR HAMPTON’S STYLE

 

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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How Lyndie changed her Kitchen

Over the last century, kitchen design has evolved from being a secluded room at the back of the house, entirely divorced from all social and eating areas, to becoming the hub and focal point of the house.  In our house, a tucked away kitchen can’t be further from the truth!  It’s common practice for our guests to help with meal preparation (drinking wine in other words) or just keeping the host company and chatting away.

In order to get to the entertainment area, our guests move from the entry, through the kitchen, to the entertainment area at the back.  For some reason, most of them (you know who you are…) get stuck at the benchtop that separate the informal dining and kitchen area.  Well, we needed to fix that!  Can’t have guests sitting down, drinking wine in the kitchen all night!  My husband (who needs lots of space… he cooks with more gusto than most…) and I, both love cooking and entertaining.  I wanted to create a space that would be functional for both of us to cook in, as well as a little easier on the eye than peeling, laminated kitchen cupboards and a yawning oven door…

So here’s what we’ll do:

Kitchen Changes

So, getting from the old design to the new design, quite a few changes needed to be made.  Question is, will our guests still want to hang out in the kitchen with us?  One can only hope…

New kitchen layout

I believe that your kitchen should not just be about functionality.  If you want it to be a gathering place for friends and family, you should add a touch of your memories and items you feel sentimental about.  Don’t be afraid to show your personality in the form of possessions you’ve borrowed or inherited.  Always add something that’s alive (not insects… focus on greenery such as herbs or flowers).  I knew that I wanted our kitchen to feel the way my Ouma’s (Nanna’s) kitchen felt when we visited her as kids.  She lived in a gabled Dutch style house on a farm just outside of Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Her kitchen had an Aga coal stove as you walked in the door, that always had a kettle boiling with rooibos tea.  The kitchen cabinets were painted dark green and in the centre of it, stood a large timber table and chairs.  This was our gathering place, listening to stories about the gorillas in the vineyard (she was such a liar!), drinking hot chocolate and cutting pictures out of magazines.

Kitchen inspiration board

Although I opted for black cabinets (not green!), I tried to impart some of our South African heritage and rustic charm with dark timber flooring.  We reused a number of vintage and antique items that my husband and I had gathered over the years, in particular an old butcher’s block.  Other items are from Council clean up that I’ve painted (but we’ll keep that a secret), and several are lucky finds from Vinnie’s and Salvo’s (I’ll show you those later).

Next time, I’ll show you how the kitchen has progressed and where we cooked while undergoing the renovation.

If you would like to see what we’ve done with the upstairs part of the house, 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

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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What Tradies do you need for a Bathroom Reno?

If you’re a newbie at bathroom renovation, there are a few people you need on your side before you begin.  They will all be equally important in the steps you take to a beautiful bathroom, so treat them well!

INTERIOR DESIGNER

Trades for batrhoom interior designer
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That’s us!  If you’re thinking about changing the layout to make it more suitable or functional for your needs, get a professional to help you at the planning phase.  It might be a bit more costly changing the plumbing around, but will work out better in the long run.  Any changes will be beneficial in increasing your enjoyment while spending time in this small little space.

PLUMBER

Unless you can do this job yourself, a licenced plumber will be your best friend during this renovation.  He can change the layout of pipes, install beautiful tapware, showers and gorgeous freestanding baths.

WATERPROOFER

Another step not to be missed for a successful renovation.  The waterproofer applies a membrane in your wet area, ensuring no water leaks to other areas.  Make sure he hands you a waterproofing certificate as proof that everything is up to scratch.

TILER

Trades for bathroom tiler
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A quality tiler is essential in a great bathroom renovation.  Tiles need to be sloped towards drains to ensure water doesn’t run out the door.  They also need to be equally spaced, applied with the correct colour grout and feature walls or niches need to look top notch.  Good tilers are usually pretty busy, so make sure you book them well in advance.

CABINET MAKERS

trades for bathroom cabinetmaker
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Today, there are many custom options for cabinets available, but if you need a bathroom cabinet to fulfil you storage dreams or fit a specific space, this is one trade you’ll certainly need!

ELECTRICIAN

You might think that water and electricity don’t mix, but your extractor fans, lighting, power points and heated towel rail will need proper connection.  A qualified, licenced electrician is the best man for this job.

BATHROOM BUILDER

Getting all trades to line up in sequence to finish a renovation in under 3 weeks (or 6 months!) could be a challenge for most.  To make things a bit easier, book a bathroom builder to do the hard stuff for you.  It might be more costly, but it will safe you a lot of time and effort in the long run.

Read our blogs Lyndie’s Ensuite Bathroom renovation or Eight Tips on getting the Kinks out of a Bathroom Renovation, before you start knocking down walls.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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What do Guests Notice First about your Home?

Let’s be realistic, most of us don’t keep our homes tidy 100% of the time.  We stress and fuss for hours before friends come over, very aware of any specks of dust or an unclean dish.  Today, I want to put your mind at ease, as friends notice different things to what you may think.  Here they are:

THE SMELL FACTOR

what guests notice blog candle
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You may have become “nose blind” to the smell of your dog, the garlic prawns you cooked the night before and the cupboard full of sweaty sneakers in your entry way, but your guests have not!  Make sure you close cuboard doors with offensive items and light a lovely smelling candle well before they arrive.

DRINKS ANYONE?

bar cart mirror
Image Source

Although all friends might not demand a mojito as soon as they enter the door, make sure you have the basics ready to soothe parched mouths.  Red and white wine, a few beers, a vodka chaser (my friends, not yours) and some soft drinks (for nobody I know) will settle even the most demanding of guests.

FRESH FLOWERS

what guest notice fresh flowers
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Nothing beats a vase of fresh flowers or a potted plant to detract from dust at your home.  A pretty orchid is a great investment as it lasts for months if you look after it well (the fake ones even longer… 🙂

LACK OF CLUTTER

Your guests will (hopefully!) not run their finger along skirting boards or look under your sofas.  What they will notice, is dirty dishes in your living room, jackets draped over sofas and magazines or books strewn over a coffee table.  Your visitors will not poke around uninvited through your home, so chuck all clutter into a room that can lock and throw away the key for the time being!  I’ve been known to hide dirty dishes in the oven (a special trick I learnt from my mother) and embrace the space in the garage.  My car hasn’t slept in it for months 🙂

TIDY BATHROOM

Your friends will need to use the bathroom while in your home, so make sure it’s tidy, clean and has enough toilet paper.  It should have a deodorising spray, as well as a privacy lock.  No one likes to cut off in mid stream when surprised in the bathroom.

ORGANISED ENTRY WAY

what guests notice organised entry
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It’s enevitable that you’ll have piles of shoes (especially when you have kids), sport bags, umbrellas, mail, keys, etc in your entry way.  If you don’t have a hall table with drawers or a shoe cupboard, find a good hiding spot (even if it’s under a bed) for everything, before guests arrive.  Create a space for guest to leave their umbrellas, jackets or shoes (which is not under the bed with all your stuff) when they enter the house.

Happy tidying!

Lyndie camera

 

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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

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

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

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


1. CLIENT BRIEF

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

2. BEFORE WE START

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

4. THE COST

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

5. EXAMPLES

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

Blog Measured drawing Tierney

 

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

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

Eriana & Lyndie

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

 

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Design Project: Style my Melbourne Unit to Rent Out

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


1. CLIENT BRIEF

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

In addition to that:

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

2. SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

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

3. BEFORE PHOTOS

Before Photos, Melbourne Unit


4. OUR SOLUTIONS

Art Deco shopping list

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

5. MOOD BOARDS

Art deco styling, bedroom

art deco styling, Living Room

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

6. AFTER PHOTOS

Blog Melbourne unit After Photos

 

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


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

 

Eriana & Lyndie

 

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