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!

Without a doubt

this is THE busiest time of the year for my industry. Which is why a week and a bit went past without me appearing here on the blog. It just gets frantic as I chase up clients to place their orders, follow up suppliers to ensure they’ve received the orders and that they can fulfill them prior to Christmas and their summer holidays. Most manufacturers close over January and keeping a track on when they close and when they re-open is almost a full time job. Fortunately I have a spreadsheet for that! Throw in launches, new product releases and end of year soirees and it’s no wonder I have no idea what day it is.

Tinsel Tangle

So a little recap on the past week or so.

I attended the pre-launch function, held by Interiors Addict at BoConcept for the Greg Natale‘s The Tailored Interior. I’m a bit in awe of Greg. He’s so clever and terribly humble. Furniture, rugs, carpets, wallpaper and now a book to showcase his amazing talent. The book is fabulous with lots of how to’s and of course stunning imagery of his beautiful tailored spaces. Great Christmas present if you’re trying to find something for that person who loves interiors.

The Tailored Interior by Greg Natale

The Tailored Interior by Greg Natale

I’ve been working with a couple who are giving their home a makeover and bringing it out of the ’70’s. We’ve chosen a new colour scheme for inside and out (banished that dark timber paneling) and have this week decided on a new sofa and armchairs for the sitting area. With some colourful cushions to echo the new red front door.

Chair fabric and cushion fabric

Chair fabric and cushion fabric

The dogs and I enjoy our morning walks around the neighbourhood drinking in all the colour and smells that spring brings.

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The Jacarandas are spectacular this year (but I think I say that every year) and the jasmine is just gorgeous. I’m lucky I don’t suffer from allergies or hayfever. It would be devastating to miss out on my daily dose of colour inspiration.

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New fabrics were launched this week from Harlequin. New collections are so inspiring and I couldn’t decide which pattern and colourway I liked best. There were so many stunners and I often come home thinking I should redecorate my entire house just so I can use them. Anyone need new window coverings, bedheads, sofa fabrics, cushions, bedlinen or even a new bib and brace?

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And I finally had one of these installed in my kitchen. How fabulous to get rid of those clunky power plugs and leave the power points free for kitchen equipment!

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Today I’m overseeing a curtain installation and then tonight is The Colour Society’s Christmas Party where we will be looking at colour in wine! Have a great week, there’s only 36 days until Christmas!

I’m already taking bookings for January, so if you would like to update your home with colour, fabrics or furniture, contact us to make an appointment.

Flowers for Florence

It was my birthday on Saturday! Another one! I think I’ve reached the age where it really doesn’t matter and it’s just another day.

PeachBlossom My husband found the kitchen and whipped up some omlettes for breakfast. My daughter then baked a cake for afternoon tea before she went out to a birthday party for one of her friends.

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So my husband and I headed into the city to visit the David Jones flower display. Every Spring DJ’s goes all out and decorates their Elizabeth St Store with the most magnificent floral displays. This year the theme was Florence Broadhurst so I was determined to see it.

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All her fabrics were translated to floral displays in the windows and also on the ground floor of the store.

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I loved the Florence-isms that were in the windows too.

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I thoroughly recommend if you have not read her biography, you should. The woman was soooo ahead of her time. Reinventing herself at every turn and never, ever saying it couldn’t be done.

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If you would like to add some Florence Broadhurst fabrics or wallpaper to your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

 

Emerging Trend?

Have you noticed a profusion of African inspired decor lately?

Bold patterns and colours give that African feel

Bold patterns and colours give that African feel

I know, it’s always been around but of late there seems to be a bit more of it and in all sorts of items. I don’t think we’re heading down the path of decorating a complete room in African style but more touches here and there. What do you think?

All the elements that make up African Style decor

All the elements that make up African Style decor

Perhaps it’s our climate and love of the outdoors that resonates so well with the African Safari Style which is then translated into our decor. There’s also a big push back to handmade items which any ethnic culture has valued for years. And African style is more simplistic which balances our love of technology and helps create a soothing, relaxing space.

African Style Corner

African Style Corner

Much of the strength of African Style emerges through texture. Natural fibres of Jute, sisal and seagrass are used for flooring while banana fibre and papyrus are used in woven baskets.

African Woven Basket

African Woven Basket

Rapee have recently released a range of cushions in bright colours and rich textures which would give an African lift to your room.

African Inspired cushions and throws from Rapee

African Inspired cushions and throws from Rapee

Lighting is warm and golden, utilizing rustic iron candelabra and wall sconces. Table lamps incorporate palm or pineapple motifs in their bases, whilst unique shades made from feathers or quills convey the safari ambiance.

Lamp Base with Pineapple Detail

Lamp Base with Pineapple Detail

Furniture features rich timbers with stylised accents or folding furniture which would be used on Safari.

Campaign Desk

Campaign Desk

These gorgeous pieces are based on the campaign furniture used on Safari and are available from one of our suppliers here in Australia.

African Campaign Chest that doubles as a bar

African Campaign Chest that doubles as a bar

Comfort is foremost in an African decor, with an overall effect of effortless luxury, a sense of adventure, but always relaxed and in harmony with nature.

Brightly Coloured Juju Hats

Brightly Coloured Juju Hats

If African Style would suit your home, you may be interested in reading Safari Style by Natasha Burns or contact us for assistance sourcing your items.

How to make a space your own

At the recent Decoration and Design trade event held here in Sydney, I was fortunate to attend Abigail Ahern‘s seminar, Decorating With Style.

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As Abigail started speaking, I could immediately relate and agree with her design ethos. She explained that a good interior should have glamour, ecclectism and wit. That’s the way I design interiors for my clients. I love a bit of glamour but then most of my clients have families and they actually have to live in the home, so some ecclectism is great with found and collected pieces thrown into the mix. And of course, no interior, unless it’s Buckingham Palace perhaps, should be without a smattering of wit. It’s what gives a room personality.

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She had two main rules which are good for those attempting to decorate their own homes – 1) Make it personal and 2) ditch rules, trends and forecasts. If you try to follow trends or submit to forecasts then you’ll never really be happy in your space because as soon as you get it all decked out, bang a new trend comes along and your place looks soooo yesterday! Whereas if you fill your home with things you love, be it colours, furniture, fabrics or homewares, you will always feel comfortable and so will your guests.

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Abigail’s advice for working with small rooms was great too. Small rooms will always be small rooms just like dark rooms will always be dark rooms. Get over it and embrace it. Work with what you have and don’t try to make it something it will never be.

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Abigail launched her new book here in Sydney. It’s not yet released overseas but you can put your name down at Amazon for one of the first copies.

If you would like assistance creating a home in which you and your family will feel comfortable, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

Create The Look

As I’ve mentioned previously, when decorating the entry of your home, a table not only creates a welcoming vignette for visitors, but also provides a handy spot for putting keys, mail and other items you need to either bring in or take out.

This lovely image caught my eye with it’s smart black console table, silver lamp and arrangement of family photos in white frames.

via Pinterest

There’s a number of items here in Australia that will help you replicate this look.

Malval Console

The La Maison Console Table can be purchased through us for $690 plus freight.

Austin Lamp with Black Shade

The silver based lamp with black shade unites the black console table and gives a touch of luxe to the vignette. This one is available for $653 plus freight.

White Frames

I love art walls and what better place to hang a cluster of photos than at the front door. Grab a set of white frames from Corban and Blair for your precious memories.

Fresh Flowers from Merci Bouquet

Then you just need to rifle through your books and decorator pieces and place items on the shelves underneath and on top. Remember a vase of fresh flowers is always a lovely welcome at the front door.

Have fun putting your vignette together this weekend!

 

If you would like assistance with the decor for your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

 

Fab Books for the Decorator

One good thing about birthdays, is people give you lovely gifts. In September, when I celebrated my birthday, I received three fabulous books which I can highly recommend.

New Books

The first book was very apt as it was The Stylist’s Guide to NYC. I cannot tell a lie, it was on my wishlist as we were celebrating my birthday in NYC. Unfortunately, that meant I didn’t get a chance to read it until I was back in Australia. However, I had read an excerpt from the book in a magazine and diligently wrote down all the places listed in the excerpt which was part of the Scents and Flower Merchants tour.

My photo of NYC – instagrammed.

The book is by Australian stylist, Sibella Court who has a very small but very full shop/studio in Sydney’s Paddington overflowing with things she has collected over her years as a stylist. Sibella spent 15 years in New York and this book lists many of her favourite places. It’s broken up into particular themes and areas with suggestions for stops for good coffee (hard to find in NYC), food and just to smell the roses.

We found Bond No 9 which has perfumes named after the different areas of NYC.

I had to laugh when I was reading the book back home in Sydney, one of her very first pieces of advice was to have a stash of bandaids, the wide fabric ones, as you don’t want to limp around the city, nor go home early, due to blisters. Oh how I wish I’d read that before I set out the first day. I did have flat comfortable shoes but was not prepared with bandaids which I quickly bought on the way back to the hotel the first night. You do a lot of walking in New York!

Easy to follow maps and suggestions

The other two books I recieved from my lovely friends in my Book Club, were books by two bloggers which I’m sure need no introduction. Grace Bonney of Design * Sponge and Holly Becker of Decor8.

Jonathan Adler has written the Foreward in Grace’s book, Design * Sponge at Home, and he calls it a Bible. I would have to agree. Grace has been blogging for 7 years and the book is a collection and extension of things she has written about online.

Design * Sponge At Home

Sneek Peaks into amazing homes all over the world, DIY projects, DIY Basics like Rewiring A Lamp and How To Paint Furniture, Flower Workshop and finally some Before and After projects with guides to cost and time invested. It really is the Home Decorator’s Bible – inspiration, tuition and knowledge.

A Sneek Peak into gorgeous homes

The subtitle of Holly Becker’s book, Decorate, is “1,000 inspirational design ideas for every room in your house” and that is what the book provides in spades. There is something in here for everyone with tips and quotes from a vast array of creative people the world over.

Decorate – the book

The book looks at Space and how to work with it, finding your own Personal Design Style, Room By Room decorating and finally, Attention to Detail. There is nothing overlooked with colour, texture, layout, displaying collections, storage, styling rooms and choosing fabrics.

Quotes, advice, inspiration and resources

If you have an aspiring decorator in your midst, any of these books would make the ideal Christmas gift.

 

Jonathan Adler in Australia

I was very excited to learn that a selection of Jonathan Adler furniture and pottery is now available here in Australia.

Horse Bowl

I love his quirky style and bold use of colour and pattern. The house he decorated for the Barbie’s 50th birthday party was sensational.

Barbie

Visiting one of his stores was high on my list of shops to see when we holidayed in America this year.

Jonathan Adler

His two books Happy Chic Colors and Happy Chic Accessorizing are full of Adlerisms on the lighter side of decorating. And now we can enjoy some of his products here.

Desmond Screen

If you would like assistance finding quirky furniture and accessories for you home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

 

Cool Things

I received an email last week with a load of photos of cool things for interiors.

I love Pacman

I thought a few of them were actually quite cool. Have a look, what do you think?

Nice to have an option

Me thinks this might be nightmare material

All the morning rituals

New look sunken lounge

Space saving bookcase

Would you like assistance creating a cool interior in your home? Contact us for an on-line or in person design consultation.

Happy Books

I’ve just received a parcel from amazon.com where I’ve been doing a spot of Christmas Shopping. You know the kind – one for her, one for me!

I bought multiple copies of new books by Jonathan Adler and have quickly flicked through my copies of Happy Chic – Colors and Happy Chic – Accessorizing.

I love Jonathan’s quirky take on life and was thrilled to find some quotes in the back of the books.

Here are some of his quotes that ring true with me.

Pile books everywhere. Let the world know you’re smart.

Let your dogs on the furniture.

Eclectic is not as easy as you think. But its’ worth it.

Minimalism breeds pessimism. Layer, Layer, Layer!

Only a pansy is scared of Primrose.

Lavender doesn’t have to be Granny – team it with teal and watch it pop.

If you love it like crazy, it will work.

Grab a copy of these books for yourself and have fun with your decor. If you would like some assistance, contact us to enquire about our colour and decorating services.

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