Bye Bye Bland

As a Colour Consultant, I spend my time working with, reading and thinking about colour. So I was thrilled to get my hands on a copy of Judith Briggs’ new book “Bye Bye Bland.” Judith is a fellow Colour Consultant and Interior Decorator and has worked in the industry for many, many years.

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I read the book when I was on holidays in Hawaii a few months ago and it was a very easy read. It’s not at all technical and is filled with easy steps to guide the homeowner through colour selection for the home. Over the years I have collected a number of books on colour and many are more suited to the professional Colourist. Some are very wordy and seem to go around in circles explaining the same thing many different ways which ends up getting confusing.

So Judith’s book was very refreshing in it’s simplicity. The book is broken up into four sections and then easy chapters like What is a Colour Personality, Combining Different Colour Personalities, Considerations When Choosing Colour, What Colours Where?. There are case studies and lots of drool worthy photos to illustrate the point.

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“Bye Bye Bland” would make a great Christmas present for the home decorator or new home owner. Judith has very kindly offered free freight to all my readers. So if there’s someone in your life struggling to define the look they would like in their home or about to embark on a renovation, this is the perfect gift.

Christmas-Presents

Click through to the website and use the check out code of NOF07 when you place your order for free freight. All copies are personally signed by the author.

And if you go to page 138 you’ll see one of my bathrooms using the fabulous Catherine Martin wallpaper.

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Happy shopping!

Giving Old Tiles New Life

My clients, Justin and Melissa were ready to update their bathroom and kitchen. I had worked with them previously choosing colours and furnishings for the living room, hall and bedrooms. The kitchen worked well and really just needed a facelift. We arranged for new cupboard doors to be installed on the old carcasses and chose a new tap which brought the kitchen into Melissa and Justin’s style. However, replacing the dated brown tiled splashback would be costly and potentially could result in having to replace or repair the existing benchtop. So I suggested painting the tiles. Justin and Melissa pick up the story.

Kitchen Before

Kitchen before makeover

Justin and Melissa here. Thanks to White Knight, we have a splashback we are very happy with. Here is our story and we hope you enjoy it while picking up a few pointers along the way.

So after settling on a colour (Ashen Mist by Taubmans), we used White Knight Tile & Laminate Cleaner, Tile & Laminate Primer and Tile Paint. Before launching into anything, we sat down to watch the instructional video from the White Knight YouTube channel. We found this exceptionally helpful in showing us the steps of painting and things to look out for when taking on this project.

New Kitchen but Old Spalshback

New Kitchen but Old Splashback

Armed with this knowledge, we set off painting. First, we cleaned the tiles thoroughly with the Cleaner as that was stressed in the video. After allowing the surface to dry, we had to sand down the tiles with 120G sandpaper in order to improve the paint’s adhesion to the tiles. This required some good elbow grease as the rougher the tiles, the easier the paint will stick, so we had to get this step right.

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Upon cleaning the dust from the sanding and taping up the edges and sockets, we went about applying the Primer as an undercoat with a small roller brush for the main areas and a 1-inch brush for the edges. As it is quite viscous, it sticks well to the tiles (possibly thanks to the rigorous sanding we did). Four hours later, we started applying the paint itself in two coats, leaving 4 hours between coats (we actually left it overnight as it was getting dark on Saturday so we picked up again on Sunday morning).

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A tip that we discovered was that as the paint is an oil-based, it is vital to have paint solvent on hand. After finding the paint had started clogging the brush and roller despite leaving it in water, pouring solvent on them quickly dissolved the paint. A little water after to wash off the excess solvent and we were back in business for the second coat. We let that dry and peeled off the tape, taking the advice to allow a full week to let the paint cure (that included using the oven for all our food as using the stovetop was out of the question!)

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A Few Things To Note
Last but not least, here are a couple more lessons we learnt on our journey that we hope you find useful:

Remove the covers from the electrical sockets before taping and painting; it’ll give a nice seamless finish when you pop the cover back on.
The paint doesn’t work well with silicone so you end up with an uneven edge of paint on the silicone that was in the corner between the tiles and the bench top. I suggest buying new silicone (black in our case) and reapplying it to give these corners a nice finish again.

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It’s amazing how this simple change of colour makes the kitchen look brand new. With this missing piece in place, it really completed the look we were going for. The paint has really held up after curing and splashes from cooking on the stove top wipe off with ease.

Kitchen

Finished kitchen

We hope we’ve inspired you to try your hand at a simple update of your bathroom or kitchen. Happy painting!

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Isn’t a great way to revive your home? Take a look at the other White Knight products and if you need any assistance with colour or design for your home, contact me for an appointment.

Touching Up Timber

Whether we’d like to accept it or not, there’s no denying that Spring has officially sprung.

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Despite the weather in Sydney being sporadic over the past month, with temperatures over 25 one day and drizzle and cloud cover the next, people and their homes are taking on new life. Whether this be through summer clothes shopping, attending barbeques or spring cleaning, everybody seems to be embracing the new season. Being a Virgo, cleaning and tidying the house is an all-year festival, but there’s something about Spring that makes even the grubbiest of home-owners feel like picking up a duster and dancing around the house like Snow White. However, when spring cleaning it’s easy to get caught up in arranging and dusting rather than really looking at the damage areas of your house may have. It’s easy to forget about the chips and scratches on timber floors, doors and furniture which can easily detract from the most beautiful of homes.

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Luckily for you there’s an easy solution. The new Touch Up Pen from Cabot’s can quickly disguise imperfections on timber surfaces around the home that suffer the most knocks and bumps, such as tabletops, chairs, doors, floors and the corners of furniture. Designed to closely resemble the colour of most timber finishes, Cabot’s Touch Up Pen range is suitable for use on all interior timber, and is available in five popular stain colours – Black, Walnut Brown, Golden Maple, Honey Oak and Jarrah Red gum – as well as Clear Satin and Clear gloss.

Colours

What a great way to refresh and renew slight imperfections the patina of life gives to floors and furniture. So if you’re Spring cleaning or have noticed scratches or chips in the timber work around your home, pick up a Cabot’s Touch Up Pen for only $8.50.

Hallway

That’s less than what you’ll find under the couch cushions!

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If you’d like interiors advice for Spring, or help with timber furniture and flooring contact us for an appointment.

Dining and Decor

September is my most favourite month, not least of all because it is my birth month. So I get to dine out with friends and family at least three times and try to spread it out a bit. As an Interior Decorator I am always on the look out for interesting places to eat. Places with good food and great decor so I was thrilled to be able to visit East Coast Lounge with my designer friends last week. Four of us studied interior design and colour consulting together and we have been firm friends for the past 10 years. We bounce ideas off each other, help each other out with design problems (and a few life problems along the way too) and visit trade shows and events together. We also get together for our birthdays. (any excuse for a get together, really)

East Coast Lounge is at Chowder Bay in Mosman in a weatherboard cottage that was built in the 1890’s and was home to the Submarine Miner’s Depot. The location is on the edge of Sydney Harbour and there are commanding views of the harbour and back to the city.

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Entering the lounge is like walking into a friend’s home. The venue is not large and there are tables scattered throughout. Long tables and chairs and benches or small tables for two.

Taken from Instagram

Taken from Instagram

There’s also lounges and coffee tables if you would prefer to sit back with a drink or a cup of coffee. The furniture is from local designers as well as Stuart Membery Home and is all available to order. Infact everything is available to order or purchase. We were pretty taken with the stunning Villeroy and Boch cutlery we used.

IMG_7348And then there’s artwork and homewares available as well or just there for you to enjoy as you sit and relax.

Image via Instagram

Image via Instagram

There’s a licensed bar for afternoon cocktails and a concise menu featuring wholesome food for brunch and lunch and lots of small plates that can be shared or accompany drinks.

Our Bruschetta

Our Bruschetta

Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad

I thoroughly recommend you check out East Coast Lounge soon. The weather is warming up and ideal for a meal by the harbour.

 

Blue, blue, my world is blue

Is it just me or have you noticed a profusion of blues in your emails, Instagram feed or just while you are out and about?

Sportscraft

Blue from Sportscraft

Blue looks like it is making a huge comeback in Spring/Summer 2015. That’s if it ever went away?

Blue from Shannon Fricke

Blue from Shannon Fricke

More people list blue as their favourite colour than any other. It doesn’t seem to matter the gender, race or religion, Blue is the world’s most popular colour. Perhaps it’s because nature is full of large blue expanses and it’s tonal range is extensive. (Meaning there’s a blue for everyone) It conveys peace and tranquility, freshness and positive feelings. And don’t we all need more of that in our lives!

Blue decorator items

Blue decorator items

It’s a colour that’s relatively easy to live with and suits so many different shades, styles and textures. And it loves it’s family with all blues going together.

Blue from William Yeoward

Blue from William Yeoward

Happy 1st of September. Is it time to prepare your home for the warmer months by adding some blue? If so, contact me for an appointment.

 

 

Spring Colours

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Spring Flowers

Taubman’s Spring Transformations was launched in a wet and miserable Sydney yesterday. The venue was decked out with the new colours and loads of spring flowers. I loved the installation of rollers, brushes and ladders dipped in the paint.

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Taubman’s Brand Ambassador, Shaynna Blaze shared her top picks for spring for 2015. I was pleased to hear Shaynna say that she was dreading the impending ’80’s revival which had her (and me) picturing olive green and salmon pink. Shaynna put a twist on those colours and came up with a crisp pastel palette that captures the change of the seasons perfectly.

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It’s always so nice to see colour after winter.

Taubmans Spring Colours Paint Pots

Taubmans Springs Colours Paint Pots

The colours are fun and energetic without sacrificing sophistication and refinement. These colours all work with the current trend of oak timber for furniture and flooring and of course the mix of metals we have today – rose gold, copper and silver. The neutral in the palette is a soft taupe which can be used either as a base colour or as an accent.

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A mix of metals, oak furniture and Spring colours

Taubman’s have released a number of How To videos designed to get the home renovator off the couch and into the paint. It’s one job that you can see results in a relatively short time so doing it yourself can be very satisfying. Start with the Paint Planner and after you’ve answered a few questions, you’ll be emailed with your plan – shopping list, advice, how many litres of paint you need, timing schedule and local store to make your purchases. You couldn’t ask for much more than that!

Walls in Taubmans Endure Really Rose

Feature wall in a bedroom in Taubmans Endure Really Rose

If you would like assistance creating a Spring Palette for your home, contact me for a consultation.

 

Upcycling To Win

Following a successful online charity auction, Feast Watson will present $10,000 in charitable donations to the Salvos Stores as part of the Feast Watson Re-Love project. The fortunate top-bidders have also procured some exquisite furniture items which were upcycled into unique statement pieces by a group of talented designers.

Before Side Tables
The eBay auction which closed at 5pm (AEST) on Saturday 18 July, reached a combined total of $6,115.58, with all proceeds from the auction to be donated to the Salvos Stores. Feast Watson provided further funds to bring the total to $10,000 in donations.

Side Tables
Feast Watson’s Brand Manager, James Fisher, says “This year’s talent produced captivating designs, and it is through the support of the wider public and their love of design, impressive results for the Salvos Stores could be achieved.”
Before Single Beds
Upcycling continues to grow in popularity as one of the leading craft trends. The Re-Love Project shows just how a little time and effort can take a second hand piece of furniture and transform it into a something beautiful.

Single Beds

Design Lovers are now invited to get involved in the Re-Love revolution by sharing their own upcycling projects on Instagram. Simply share a before and after image of a recent upcycling project on Instagram using the following hashtags for a chance to win exquisite Mark Tuckey furniture to the value of $3000!

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Step 1. Follow Feast Watson on Instagram
Step 2. Upload a before image with hashtags #before #relove2015
Step 3. Upload an after image with hashtags #after #relove2015
Competition closes 4 September 2015.

My Grandmother's breakfast room table before

My Grandmother’s breakfast room table before

My grandmother's breakfast room table after

My grandmother’s breakfast room table after

So what are you waiting for? Get down to your nearest Salvos Store and pick up a piece of furniture and get creative.

Too Much Timber

For the past two years I have been corresponding with a client in Airlie Beach, Queensland. As I explained when we first started exchanging emails, it’s been over 30 years since I was in Airlie Beach so she figured I wasn’t going to pop in for a consultation any time soon, no matter how much I would have liked.

Airlie Beach and The Whitsundays

Airlie Beach and The Whitsundays

Mel has a house on acreage which is all timber inside and her query was the same as I am often asked, “Will I paint the timber?” She had timber panelled walls and timber panelled ceilings. A number of skylights were allowing some light to enter but she was also wondering if she should instal more skylights.

Before

Before

Before installing more skylights, I suggested she paint the ceiling but leave the beams in timber, as the timber on the ceiling AND the walls was sucking up any light that was getting in to the room. I was conscious of the fact that the timber panelling was part of the style and architecture of the home and I always believe that the architecture should be maintained or acknowledged. I wasn’t sure if Mel was open to painting the walls as well.

Timber panelling on ceiling AND walls

Kitchen Before

Mel came back to me very quickly saying, Yes, she was open to painting the walls. She had just completed painting her son’s bedroom and realised that paint doesn’t detract from the charisma of the timber. She agreed that the paint modernised the space and took away that dated look.

Son's Room Before Paint

Son’s Room Before Paint

Son's Room After Paint

Son’s Room After Paint

Just as we had completed the emails, I spotted this image which I sent through to her. From then on it was a done deal.

Perfect example of leaving some timber

Perfect example of leaving some timber

So last month she sent through images of the living area all painted. Hasn’t she done a wonderful job?

Before

Before

After

After

There is never a right or wrong way to treat timber. Just keep in mind what you want to achieve. In this case, Mel wanted light, bright and modern. I think she got it.

Look at that stained glass detailing. You couldn't see it with all that dark timber.

Look at that stained glass detailing. You couldn’t see it with all that dark timber.

Painting the ceiling

Painting the ceiling

Kitchen After

Kitchen After

If you would like assistance with your interior design dilemma, contact me for a consultation.

 

Laundry Love

Laundries have come along way and are no longer that dark, dank room under the house or out the back where the washing gets done. We have so many more reasons today to have a beautiful laundry.

Mud Room and Laundry

Dogs are washed here, an extra fridge is stored here, there may be an extra bathroom attached or included in the laundry servicing the outdoor entertaining area or it might be the “tradesmen’s” entry to the home. With such beautiful fixtures and fittings available why not make it somewhere you want to be?

Pet Washing Station

There’s plenty of inspiration over on Pinterest or have a look at this fabulous line up from Inside Out Magazine.

Bathroom Laundry

If you would like assistance in recreating your laundry, contact me for a consultation.

New App for Renovators

There are literally thousands of apps to help make renovating easier for the home renovator. But now there’s a new one available for those of us who want to incorporate timber in our homes. And let’s face it, timber floor boards are the one element nearly every home owner desires at the moment.

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Intergrain have created a great little app to assist you visualise what the floor will look like stained or treated with their range of colours and finishes. You can take a snap of the flooring and then choose from their colours to get an idea of what the end result will look like.

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Maybe you’re half way through a job and need some advice? You can just click on the Solutions tab. Not sure how much stain you’ll need? Click on the Calculator. Ready to roll but don’t know where to buy the product? Click on the Store Locator.

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I can see this will be a very handy app for me to use as well, when I’m trying to assist clients with their flooring needs. It works for both inside and out, flooring, decking, fencing, doors, windows, panelling, stairs, garage doors and furniture. You can download it right now, for free!

Pool Deck

If you would like assistance with choosing timber species and colours for your home, contact us for an appointment.

 

 

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