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Missoni at Target Australia

It’s coming, it’s coming.

Three years ago this September I had my first visit to the United States. We landed in New York City on 12 September and on the 13th September Missoni released a line of fashion and homewares at Target. I was trying to get to a Target store to check it out but unfortunately with husband and child in tow, there were too many other sights to check out. So by the time I eventually did find a Target store and venture inside the Missoni range had long since disappeared. I remember thinking, Why doesn’t Target Australia collaborate with the likes of Missoni?

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Well this October they are! That’s right, October 8 a range of Missoni homewares and fashion will be available for a limited time at Target Australia. Over 220 products available in store and online including fashion for all the family, homewares, stationery, beach towels, tableware and even pet accessories.

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My advice is to get your sleeping bags and camp ovens ready and clear your diaries for 6th through to 9th of October so you can stock up on this gorgeous range.


Employing a Painter

I was cleaning up my files last week and found a sheet I had collected about painters and painting. I have no idea where it originated but thought it was very pertinent as my husband continues to paint our house following renovations in 2012!


It takes two coats to change most paint colours. In many cases it’s better to buy less expensive paint and to two coats rather than buy the expensive paint to try and get away with one.

Despite what your painter tells you, especially for exterior, even if it appears to cover in one coat, everything needs two coats, that is very important for durability. Painting is done by hand therefore is subject to human error so two coats are important to get a solid, protective coating on the surface.

paint tins

You should always use kitchen and bath paint in a kitchen or a bathroom. They have mold and mildew inhibitors and have faster cure time.

Regular paint cures in 34 days , so use the right paint if you’d like to shower before then!

There is no substitute for good quality products and paint.

Painters will try to tell you that it doesn’t make a difference but take it from me(?), you get what you pay for. If it costs more, it usually means it’s better.


But most importantly,

If you get 2-3 quotes for a paint job and there is a dramatic price difference between them, consider that each painter is viewing the job differently. One painter might be pricing the job based on how fast he thinks he can do it while the other painter is most likely pricing the job on how well  (or thoroughly) he thinks he can do it.

Paint can hide a multitude of sins which must be dealt with at a base coat level. Simply covering up flaws with a top coat can lead to big problems down the road. There is no substitute for a thorough job and cutting corners on prep work is the worst thing you can do.





Predicting future trends

I’ve just spent a week away in Victoria. It’s always great to get away and see something different and have time to think about something different.

First stop was Kyneton in the Macedon Ranges. We stayed at a very cute apartment above the Macedon Ranges Interiors. The apartment dates back to the 1860’s and has been fully and tastefully renovated. We loved sitting in front of the fire each evening.


Then it was on to Melbourne for the trade fair – Decor and Design along with Furnitex. The highlight for me was attending a seminar on the first day given by Victoria Redshaw who is lead futurist at Scarlet Opus and she was soooo interesting.

Victoria Redshaw

I remember studying styles and trends at design school and knew it was more involved than smoke and mirrors or a dart board. But I was unaware of the full extent of research and consideration that goes in to predicting future trends for colour and design. And they work so far in advance! Victoria explained that they are currently working on northern hemisphere Autumn/Winter 2016/17. That’s in 2 and half years time!

I ended up taking 9 pages of notes and will try to give you a quick overview of them here.

So, the process for predicting a trend involves Review, Establish, Research and Identify. It’s hard to predict the future without looking at the past, so the previous season’s trends (that’s the season previous to the one they are forecasting so it hasn’t actually happened yet) are reviewed. The current situation is established. That’s done by looking at the news and twitter. Something could happen today which could have long lasting effects and change the requirements of the future. Think GFC and 9/11.


When it comes to research, it’s looking at planned events for the period being predicted. This is the bit that I found interesting. They look at galleries, museums, exhibitions, catwalk events, environmental issues, architectural projects, TV and film, centennials and any other major event that may have a major impact on the world at large.

The futurists and researchers then sit down and analyse all their findings. Does it effect, drive or deepen existing trends? They visit the latest shows, keep an eye on what’s trending around the world on twitter and instagram and look for common denominators.


From our position of hindsight, it’s now easy to see that 9/11 had a major impact on the colours of the world. Prior to that event, the world was saturated in colour but we turned to browns and greys creating new neutrals for clothing and paint. These colours are now considered classics. Similarly the GFC, sent us all looking for familiar colours so we could feel safe – colours from our youth and more contented times. However, in 2011 the neons emerged to cheer us up, make us spend money and buy something colourful to feel good about ourselves. If you remember at the end of the year, Pantone released its colour for 2012 as Tangerine Tango.

So what will the future bring to colour and design? Sign up for my newsletter which will be sent out next week. I’m dedicating this month’s issue to the trends Victoria predicts.


It’s a small world after all

It’s been a hectic couple of weeks with absolutely no time for blogging, sorry. And here we are at the first day of July!!!!

I have been working on a number of projects all with colour – paint, fabrics, benchtops, tiles. It’s no secret I am happiest when I’m immersed in colour.


So I was delighted to attend two fabric launches recently from different fabric houses who both said, “Colour is BACK!” Yippee!!!!


But what really hit home was the fact that inspiration for these collections has come from across the globe – North African Berber Rugs, Persian Kilims and Aztec motifs from South America. There is also a nod to Art Nouveau and to the Baroque periods.


And where would we be without stripes? I’ve mentioned previously I much prefer stripes to spots so was delighted to see ticking stripes, wide stripes and multi-width stripes in the collections.


And no longer are we a year or two behind our northern hemisphere counterparts. We have access to exactly the same colours, textures and fabrics as they do, at the same time.


It really is a small world after all.

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



A Picture Paints A Thousand Words

The beauty of dealing with design professionals is that they are visual people and can easily picture in their mind’s eye what things will look like following changes.

Fro my "Blue and White" Pinterest Board

Fro my “Blue and White” Pinterest Board

One of the best ways to convey your choices to design professionals is through imagery. When I first started in the design business some ten years ago, I tore out images from magazines and pasted them into scrapbooks. I would cart around books for lounge rooms, bedrooms, home offices, kitchens, bathrooms, courtyards, window coverings, etc.

From my "Entry and Hallways" Pinterest Board

From my “Entry and Hallways” Pinterest Board

My clients would flick through the books and point out rooms they liked and explain to me why. That way, I could get a good feel for the types of things they liked (and hated) so I could start sourcing and designing.

From my "Look Up" Pinterest board

From my “Look Up” Pinterest board

But these days, I’m finding my clients are whipping out their tablets or smart phones and showing me images they’ve pinned to their Pinterest boards. It’s just perfect for people renovating or decorating as they can start collecting images they like of items or colours for their own home. I love Pinterest and am constantly adding images to my boards.

Pinterest Boards

Pinterest Boards

Do you have Pinterest?

If you would like assistance recreating an image you have found on Pinterest, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.


Spring/Summer at Target

It’s cold and wet here today in Sydney. Maybe a sign that Winter is finally on it’s way? So what better time to take a look at the new Spring/Summer homewares soon to be released at Target.


A couple of weeks ago I was invited to view the new collection which I must say is alot of fun.


As you know I’m a big colour fan so I was thrilled to see a great selection of colours.


There is a strong emphasis on Nautical for the coming warmer months. Perfect for Sydney with all that water around.


There were liberal smatterings of red, white and blue and a touch of yellow too.


Of course white tableware never goes out of style and can be dressed up for the special occasion dinner or looks equally at home outdoors around the barbie.

Watercolour Cushion $20 Watercolour Bird Cushion $20

And the watercolour effect looks like it’s here for a bit longer too.

The collection will be in stores in July so make sure you hurry in and grab the items you like, ready to give your home a Spring makeover come September.

If you would like assistance finding the right homewares for your home, contact us for an appointment.

Paint makes all the difference

Often when I am assisting clients with colour for their homes, they become very cautious about painting different parts of the room with bright and bold colours. My view is that it is only paint and if you really don’t like it you can paint over it with something more sedate. But take a look at these images I have found and placed on my Pinterest board, Paint Makes All The Difference.

Scared of colour? Try adding it to just the chimney breast instead of an entire wall.

Scared of colour? Try adding it to just the chimney breast instead of an entire wall.


Paint the backs of open bookcases or shelving for a simple injection of colour.

Paint the backs of open bookcases or shelving for a simple injection of colour.


Try a feature door by painting it a bright colour.

Try a feature door by painting it a bright colour.


And if the entire door is too much, what about the edge?

And if the entire door is too much, what about just the edge?


Paint a shape on the wall to create a focal point and to anchor furniture.

Paint a shape on the wall to create a focal point and to anchor furniture.


This would be fun in a child's room. Paint an oversized initial on a wall.

This would be fun in a child’s room. Paint an oversized initial on a wall.


If you would like assistance with the application of paint and colour in your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

Before and After Colour

About 12 months ago I was asked to advise on exterior colour for a friend of a past client. I love word of mouth client’s, they are just as nice as the client who referred them!



The house sat on the lower side of the road and the client wanted the house to look bigger. After I blu tac-ed a few colours onto the wall we settled for Dulux Barnfloor. The gutters, barge boards and fascias were going to be Colorbond Woodland Grey and the window frames would be Dulux Whisper White.

Colorbond Woodland Grey

Colorbond Woodland Grey

Dulux Barnfloor

Dulux Barnfloor

Dulux Whisper White

Dulux Whisper White

To make the house appear bigger, I chose to use the Whisper White on the Gable End Batons and the Verandah Beams and Brackets and Awning. I suggested the verandah posts be painted the dark Woodland Grey as in my mind the dark colour gives strength to the timber. However the client preferred to paint the posts white to lighten up the facade of the house.

New Exterior Colour

New Exterior Colour

Either way, the paint looks great and lifts the house into the current era.

If you would like assistance choosing paint colours for the exterior of your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.


Shopping for Art

In my opinion, it’s not until you put some art up on the walls that a house truly becomes a home. Until then a space can look bare and unloved.

Entry view from the top of the stairs

Entry view from the top of the stairs

These days it’s not so hard to find some great artworks that either tug at your heart strings or work beautifully with your decor. It’s such an individual thing. Some people love art and others know they should have something so opt for a piece that suits their home and colour scheme. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to selecting artworks.

Let It Go by Robyn Kennedy

Let It Go by Robyn Kennedy

Our friend, textile artist Robyn Kennedy has recently opened an online shop over at Etsy. You will find a range of artworks starting at $90.

Eyes On Mariko by Roby Kennedy

Eyes On Mariko by Roby Kennedy

Do pop over and view Robyn’s work and see if something tugs at your heart strings.

If you would like assistance making your house a home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

Amazing Before and After

Whenever I am asked to consult on exterior colours, I will check out the home on Google Street View.

This assists in preparing me for the type of house and construction so I can make sure I take the correct tools of trade. I can also have a look at the neighbouring properties and sometimes formulate some ideas prior to arriving for the consultation.

Home as it is now

Home as it is now

This happened last week, when a previous client phoned to make an appointment for their rental property at Palm Beach. The client explained that the previous owner had been inspired by the Pastis Hotel in St Tropez. She sent me photos of the home as it is now and also a link to the hotel website.

Pastis Hotel, St Tropez

Pastis Hotel, St Tropez

But the biggest surprise came when I checked it out on Google Street View. Wow, what a transformation!

Home before

Home before

If you would like assistance choosing a colour scheme for your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

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