Tag: vanilla slate designs

Design Project: How to select finishes for your brand new home – chosen from a “Home World Village”

One of the most overwhelming steps in building a home, is to select the finishes. This means flooring, tiles, kitchens etc. After you’ve finally chosen your dream home at the Home Village Display, you need to make an appointment with the Home Builder to choose your finishes. This is a full day appointment where you have a few hours to decide what the inside of your home will look like for the next 20 years. Scary? Of course! By the time you have this meeting, you should have done all your homework and know exactly what you want. Yeah right… We have many clients that ask us to assist them to create a design concept and colour palette for their newly built homes they choose at a Home World Village. We take into consideration their existing furniture and lifestyle to make decisions. Today we will show you how we are involved in this process, by telling you more about our last project that involved this service.


1. CLIENT BRIEF

“We chose our floor plan and signed all the contracts, but in three weeks from now is our meeting with the Home Builder’s Design Consultant to choose and sign off our finishes. We are unsure if our colours and if our options will work together and need someone to help us create a colour palette for the whole house before our final meeting with the Home Builder Consultant.”

2. SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

  • We had to meet the client at the Kellyville Home World Village so we could walk through their “new home” with them
  • We had to choose finishes from the range of tiles, paint, stone and cupboards that are supplied by the Builder

3. BEFORE PHOTOS

Our client chose the “Soul 39” Home from MOJO Homes and we met them at the Kellyville Home Village. This home has a great layout. Very spacious and focused on entertaining. We did not only walk through the already built display home, but we could also prepare for the meeting in advance due to  MOJO Homes’ 3D online videos where you can “walk through your new home.” It’s amazing, and you should check it out at this link: SOUL 39 HOME by MOJO HOMES. (And no, we don’t get sponsored by MOJO Homes for this post!)

masterton homes, mojo homes, home builders, choose finishes, 3d home walk through, soul 39
Mojo Homes: Soul 39

4. OUR SOLUTIONS

  • We asked our clients to share with us their style with a shared Pinterest board and photos of their existing furniture. They also brought a list of questions on their design/decor problems.
  • We met the client at the display home, with bags full of samples of stone, flooring etc to make decisions on the spot.
  • Client booked out ‘n Half Day Block with us, where we had uninterrupted access to the display home for 4 to 5 hours.
  • We went through every room and discussed finishes, possible layouts, tile layout patterns, window covering options etc.

5. MOOD BOARDS

This is a hands on meeting, so we just “take over” the dining room table in the display home, spread out all the samples and have a mini workshop right there. (Don’t eat the display, the bread and fruit are fake…!)

moodboard, style board, before photo, home styling, design project, home village, home builders, finishes select, how to choose tiles, interior designer sydney, home village


Clients find these meetings very valuable as there’s no pressure yet to choose and sign off any finishes. They can discuss details and decor and direct  the meeting towards the problem areas they want to solve. One meeting is usually enough to gain confidence and settle on a colour palette. They also have the opportunity to ask any questions regarding their home decor. Clients enjoy the kitchen layout the most as we ask them practical questions of everyday tasks, which they never thought about before. It’s also nice to help them to add a few WOW factors to their home in an affordable way. A building project is hard work and tiresome. Sometimes clients just need someone else to add a twist of fun and advice. That’s our job!

If you are planning on building a new home, we are there to help!

Eriana & Lyndie

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Design Project: Fill my empty house in two weeks!

We recently had a project where our clients suddenly had to move out of their property into a new home with only two weeks’ notice. They had to leave all their furniture behind for the new owners and had only two weeks to fill a whole new house! Of course it didn’t help that she was eight months pregnant, working full time, with another two little ones to look after. So our help was needed to save the day!


1. CLIENT BRIEF

“We need to move into our new property within two weeks, but we have no furniture to take with us. Our budget is limited because we need all the furniture at once, for a four bedroom house, so please source at affordable shops, but give us a colourful and contemporary look. We would like to see a design for each room, with a detailed shopping list so we can order most of the items online.”

2. SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

  • Two week time limit (which included delivery time!)
  • Online shopping as far as possible

3. BEFORE PHOTOS

Well, not many before photos as the house was empty! We did have to measure the whole house to source the exact sizes of furniture needed. We also had to take into consideration the existing colours of the wall paint (which we could change) and existing window coverings (which we could not change).

moodboard, style board, before photo, home styling, design project, before project


4. OUR SOLUTIONS

  • Time: Finish all mood boards in three days to give enough time for client approval & arranging delivery
  • Furniture: Source products from online stores & affordable stores like IKEA that does deliver. (Wow, did we have a lot of flatpacks to put together…!)  Also get a few accent pieces from Freedom, Urban Road & Armadillo Rugs
  • Delivery: Focus on shops that do sell floor stock, e.g. OZ Design
  • Wall paint: Arrange for a painter to repaint some of the brown and minty green feature walls (yes, minty green!)

5. MOOD BOARDS

Here are a few of the mood boards we created for the client that fit her brief.  This enabled her to pick a suitable style and look for her new rooms.

moodboard, style board, before photo, home styling, design project, baby room, nursery

moodboard, style board, before photo, home styling, design project, living rooms, freedom furniture

moodboard, style board, before photo, home styling, design project, baby room, nursery, boys rooms, jet lamp, race coar room, ikea rugs

6. AFTER PHOTOS

Unfortunately we haven’t had the opportunity to go back to take the “after” photos, but here are a few things that we did do, as part of our design package:

  • The entrance hall and staircase were previously painted in a dark brown colour, so we suggested and arranged a painter to paint it a bright white to complement the contemporary style the client was looking for.
  • The kitchen was previously painted in a minty green colour, which we also had repainted in a neutral palette.
  • Due to work obligations our clients could not visit the shops themselves. For all the furniture that were not online, we went to the shops, picked out the furniture and then the shop owners called the client to arrange for credit card payments by phone. (Thank you Freedom, OZ Design, Euro lighting, Harvey Norman, The Good Guys & Domayne for your assistance here)
  • We even selected all the Kitchen Appliances on behalf of the client (From kettle, coffee machine, toaster, washing machine, microwave etc)
  • We arranged for an electrician to replace the old pendant lights with new modern lights.

We had to work to an extreme time constraint, and we needed a week of rest and a few bottles of wine afterwards! This is a good example of where the design brief had to be quick and decision making took place in a matter of minutes. Unfortunately a huge flatpack from IKEA fell on Eriana’s one foot, and then her foot turned blue for a few weeks!  In the end the clock won and we couldn’t get everything delivered within the two week limit, so we needed at least another week for the project to be finalised. We still feel this was a huge job done, in a very short time. Will we do it again? No! Not in two weeks! At least three to four weeks.

Eriana & Lyndie

 

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Lyndie’s Main Bedroom Make-Over

Our main bedroom is a great size and has ample space for a King Size bed, as well as bed side tables and even a hall table tucked up against the wall (along with lots of clutter and a sleepy dog; my apologies 🙂  Unfortunately, the ensuite bathroom and walk in wardrobe were rather cramped and certainly only meant to be occupied by one person at a time.  To see how I accomplished extra space in the ensuite bathroom, read my blog: Lyndie’s ensuite bathroom makeover.

Main Bedroom Before

After sacrificing our walk-in wardrobe to become part of a very large bathroom, we realised that we had to create a solution for storing clothing, suitcases and the like. We have a window on either side of the bed, so this limited our ability to create a built-in wardrobe on that side of the room.  Luckily, we had an additional cavity where the walk-in wardrobe used to be, that wouldn’t interfere with the size of the bathroom.  This instantly became a linen cupboard, so I’m super keen on that extra storage!

Main Bedroom Renovation

The adjoining room is a rumpus room, where the kids watch telly and play computer games.  We decided to “steal” space there, as they would probably not even notice!  In order to do this, we moved the wall next to our bed by 600mm into the rumpus.  We then created a cavity in which we installed a built-in wardrobe.  The rumpus room is now 600mm smaller and our room can have a built-in wardrobe!

Main Bedroom Inspiration

I’ve never made a secret of my love for the ocean, so I wanted to give our bedroom a very informal look with a coastal twist.  A palette of light blue combined with crisp white would certain make me want to spend some quality time in bed. In Winter, dark grey bedding combined with caramel accents and softer, washed out greys will make a great alternative to the lightness of our Summer bedding.  The satin white cupboard doors in shaker style go perfectly with this style, as well as complementing the rest of the house.

Built in wardrobe shaker doors

Main bedroom After

Main Bedroom Timber Headboard

Main Bedroom Shaker Doors

Of course, the room could do with a few extra bits like new bedside lamps and tables, but I’ll gradually work towards that in the next few months.

If you need some guidance in changing the layout of any space or room, give us a call.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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Where do Paint Names come from?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Put the number next to the matching paint name:

paint colour quiz

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

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

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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Coffee in Baroque Barn Style – Ouland Royale

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

timber & glass antique front door

 

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

Floral accents & painted timber

Claw feet bath and rustic wall

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

 

Baroque style love seat

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

Fireplace with floral cushions

 

Double sided fireplace and leather armchairs

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

Fascinators and french styling

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

Antique bicycle, love seat

Baroque style hall table, antique mirror

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

 

sleepy cat, piano stool

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

Good luck!

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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Move over Chrome, Black is having a Moment…

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

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

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

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

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

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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How do I find my Decorating Direction?

I’m in a bit of a dilemma… we’re doing a renovation and our home will be undergoing some major surgery!  Our peeling, laminated kitchen cabinets will be gone, the laminated black benchtop will be replaced with stone.  The modular lounge suite with large bite marks, (thanks to our ridgeback that has since found another home) will be reupholstered.  Our existing tile floor will be replaced with solid timber and a new bar area will keep everyone sane.  So you will probably ask, where is the dilemma?  Well, as you know by now, I have a tendency to pick up furniture off the street and shop at the scrapyard, so how will my council pick up furniture, tie in with the look of our more modern, newly renovated home?  How do I find my new style and keep the house from looking like it’s going through an “identity crisis?”  To assist in getting the new style streamlined, I’ll be asking myself the following questions:

1.  WHAT HAVE YOU LOVED SINCE CHILDHOOD?

design style green and blue
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Before you take desperate measures and get rid of everything, ask yourself if there are colours, or items you’ve loved since childhood.  I’ve always been a farm girl at heart, so in my case, I’ve always loved the look of weathered timber or finding a spot in the house for a dead branch (to my husband’s dismay).  I also love the ocean and find Royal blue and deep greens deeply soothing.  I also tend to combine crisp white ornaments with items that look quirky or banged up and old.

2.  HOW DO YOU WANT TO FEEL WHEN WALKING THROUGH THE DOOR?

design style cosy living room
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After a day’s work spending time on public transport or on the road, we want to feel like home is a relaxing port of call, a place of rest.   A “place of rest” can be different for each person.  For some it may be clean lines, a few ornaments, no clutter, shiny white floor tiles and strong lines.  For others it may very well be lots of cushions, an abundance of patterns, a lick in the face by the family dog and a stack of books on a vintage hall table.  All of these items convey a mood in one’s home and should be considered carefully before purchasing an array of new items that wouldn’t fit the mood that you really want.

3.  WHAT TYPE OF ORNAMENTS DO YOU LOVE MOST?

design style, coastal shelf display
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We all collect items through our lifetime, whether it’s something you fall in love with at a flea market, an item you purchased in Paris on your honeymoon or a mask you picked up during your travels through Africa.  When you take a photo of all the items you don’t want to part with, you’ll be left will everything you love.  You’ll see that a particular theme will start to develop and this will most likely be the right direction for you design style.

4.  WHAT WOULD BE ON YOUR WISHLIST IF MONEY WAS NO OBJECT?

We tend to hold on to furniture items because it’s practical, or your mum gave it to you because she had no room for it, maybe it was a gift, or if it can stand just fine on only 3 legs, we’ll fix it over the weekend.  Use your imagination and think of what you would buy if there was no limit to what you could spend.  Think about the style of furniture for that perfect room and how you would complete the look with cushions and ornaments.  If your imagination takes you to upholstered accent chairs with cabriole legs, a white armoire and glass chandelier, your style will probably lean towards French Provincial.

5.  WHAT DON’T YOU LIKE?

design style bright feature wall
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In the same way that we should determine what we love, we should also be very sure about what we don’t like.   I know that I don’t like shiny, black surfaces, bright accent wall colours, or synthetic looking leather.  When you know these things, it will very quickly steer you in the right direction and help you discard the styles you don’t feel comfortable with.

Once you’ve documented your likes and dislikes and made a list of items you already have, collected some images from magazines and started a Pinterest board, you’ll be more confident in the knowledge of which style you’re heading for.  Of course, if you’re still in the dark, we’re happy to help!

While quizzes are fun, they probably won’t identify your true decorating style and may leave you more confused.  According to the one below, my style is “Coastal”, but my true style has a bit of Modern Country thrown in.  Style is a bit more complicated than a quick questionnaire, but if you want to have a bit of fun, follow the link below… it could be completely off the mark!

Houzz Quizz

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.

SQUARE

blog dining table rectangle
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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.

OVAL

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.

ROUND

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.

RECTANGULAR

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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