Modern Mid Century Style

It’s been hotting up around here. So much to do and so little time! The pre-Christmas rush is well and truly upon us. I was laughing last night when this little notice popped up on my phone.

iphone calendar

This week I met with a new client, a charming 83 year young gentleman who has just sold the family home and moving into a retirement village. He has decided it’s time to purchase new furniture to suit the new smaller space. So many people try to cram their “old” stuff into a new house and in many cases it just doesn’t work.

The gentleman wants a mid century look to his new digs so I’ve been busy sourcing this style of furniture. I can’t say I’ve had this request before (which is why I love my job with every new client requiring their own personal look). Here’s a few of the items I’ve found for his selection.

 

MidCenturyBedside ParkerRound Fido 2 Lamp DiningChair172 Nikephoto 167DiningTable porter

 

Baya3light Retrophoto

So if you were to start all over again, what style would you choose?

We can assist with sourcing all styles of furniture and furnishings, contact us for an appointment.

Let your light shine

The renovation of our Californian Bungalow on Sydney’s North Shore is, for all intents and purposes, “finished”.  If you’ve renovated, or loved a house, you will understand that renovating is never really over.

DSC05760

When designing a renovation, one of the aspects that needs consideration is a lighting plan. This needs to be done fairly early in the piece so wiring can all be in place when it’s time to install the beautiful fittings.

Wiring in place

Wiring in place

A good mix of downlights, pendants and wall lights help in creating atmosphere and functionality for your home. LED lighting has come a long way since we started designing our home five years ago. So much so that we ended up installing LED downlights through the hallways and KiDiLi as well as my office. These lights give a good even light and save on electricity at the same time! Dimmers were installed on all the downlights to adjust the brightness. We opted for warm white bulbs which gives a softer light than the cool white.

LED strip lighting was also installed under the wall cabinets in the kitchen and laundry. I’m amazed at how much light these give and yet they are not harsh on the eye.

LED Strip Lighting under wall cabinets in kitchen

LED Strip Lighting under wall cabinets in kitchen

However when it came to “pretty” lights, there were so many options. Our bedroom already had a chandelier but I needed a light for the dressing room.

Master bedroom chandelier

Master bedroom chandelier

The ceiling in the dressing room was lower than the rest of the house as it was once a verandah. I knew I wanted a luxe feel to the dressing room so opted for a single glass pendant that had chandelier-like crystal droplets inside the cone of glass. It looks great and creates a lovely pattern on my wallpapered ceiling.

Pendant light for dressing room

Pendant light for dressing room

The lounge, dining and entry all had existing lights which took me five years to choose after we moved in.

Front Entry pendant light

Front Entry pendant light

Fortunately, I still liked them and so didn’t have to set about choosing alternatives. I sometimes wonder if my dining room could handle a more dramatic fitting now that I’ve painted it a dark colour, but for the time being it’s fine.

Dining room light

Dining room light

I chose lights for the kitchen and casual dining to complement the cabinetry in the kitchen. The black iron look echoes the black ladder rail and cabinet handles and the shapes of the pendants help create the Hamptons style I wanted.

Kitchen and casual dining glass pendant lights

Kitchen and casual dining glass pendant lights

Each single bedroom needed a pendant light too. They would all have bedside lamps but you still need a larger overhead light for those times you lose something and need some brighter light. My daughter chose her Factory light which possibly wouldn’t have been my choice, but it works well and gives out a good light.

White factory light

White factory light

The main guest bedroom needed something elegant. Along with my daughter’s bedroom it was part of the new build. We replicated the high ceilings and decorative plaster strips so I chose a white wire chandelier. I thought it was good value at $125!

Guest bedroom wire chandelier

Guest bedroom wire chandelier

The other bedroom is in the original part of the house and was once my daughter’s bedroom. I commissioned the girls at Feature Pieces to make me a large conical drum shade in a fabric that co-ordinated with the roman blind fabric.

Conical Fabric Drum Shade

Conical Fabric Drum Shade

Then it was on to the bathrooms. Appropriate facial lighting is key in the bathroom and ideally there should be a light source at face height or above the mirror to provide reflected and direct light on to the face.  In the main bathroom, we installed downlights as well as cute little wall lights with glass shades. Being practical, I chose glass shades rather than fabric as it will wear better with steam and water.

Bathroom glass shade wall lights

Bathroom glass shade wall lights

I had been eyeing off the Verona wall light for a number of years and so it was an easy choice to make for the ensuite. However, the mirrored cabinet could not be recessed into the wall. The wall was original and only single skin brick. The builders were not keen to take out bricks for the cabinet as it would result in weakening the entire wall.

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So the cabinet was face mounted. The lights sit beside the cabinet but I don’t feel they give enough light. I have devised a plan to rectify the situation but it will have to wait.  There’s always something you would do differently next time when you renovate. So you should always do at least two……if you have the energy!

Ensuite Verona Wall Lights

Ensuite Verona Wall Lights

The powder room is my drama room. The gorgeous Catherine Martin Antique Lace wallpaper, gold framed mirror and black vanity help create the scene. I didn’t want to detract from the wallpaper or mirror so chose not to install wall lights. The ceiling has a skylight leaving little room for a pendant light. You may remember last year we had a weekend at the refurbished Sydney Shangri La Hotel and I stole the lighting idea from their spa rooms. The builder and electrician placed a strip of LED lights behind the mirror so a warm glow seems to emanate from the mirror. It adds to the drama without detracting.

Powder Room with LED strip lighting behind the mirror

Powder Room with LED strip lighting behind the mirror

I’m really happy with all the lighting choices I’ve made. They add the finishing touch. Lights are a very personal choice but can add so much personality. I was working with a client about 6 months prior to starting my own renovation and it had never occurred to her to put a different light in every room. I gave her some suggestions and she had a ball at the lighting shop choosing a different light for each area of her home. If you think about light fittings as the jewellery then they will add to the overall finish of your home.

A car load of lights

A car load of lights

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

 

Kitchen Reveal

One of the biggest investments you make when renovating your house, is in your kitchen. It’s one of the rooms of a house that will help sell your home so a lot of thought, planning and selection needs to be put in to your new kitchen.

The kitchen In inherited with the house

The kitchen In inherited with the house

I’ve helped many clients design their new kitchens and select all the finishes including cabinetry colour, benchtop material, door handles, flooring, white goods (which all seem to be stainless steel these days) splashback material and colours. So when it came to creating my own new kitchen I had some pretty firm ideas.

Another view of my inherited kitchen

Another view of my inherited kitchen

I’ve always loved clean lines in any designs and also like the French Provincial style. However, being a no fuss girl I didn’t want all the corbels and detailed doors which are used in most French Provincial kitchens. I had seen this kitchen in a magazine many years ago and it has been in my inspiration folder ever since.

Kitchen Inspiration

Kitchen Inspiration

It was long before the movie, Something’s Gotta Give was released and when I was studying Interior Design we referred to the style as Sophisticated Beach. We now call the style Hamptons Style – clean lines, light, airy, dressy casual.

The TV room will become the kitchen

The TV room will become the kitchen

Some of the must haves in my kitchen included a Butler’s Pantry, some open shelves for display, a niche for cookbooks and as we have high ceilings, a ladder rail to access the cupboards that were up high.

Architects drawing of my design

Architects drawing of my design

So together our architects and I designed the kitchen. I love cooking (in a previous life I actually gave cooking classes) and I love to entertain, so the addition of a bifold window opening out to the deck sounded like a great idea.

During the renovations we moved the location of the kitchen into what was previously the TV room. That meant we could knock down the wall in between the kitchen and TV room and open up to the new family room giving that all important open plan living for the most used rooms of the house.

Wall between the two rooms has been demolished

Wall between the two rooms has been demolished

After the walls came down, the builders started rebuilding the area before the windows were installed and the cabinetry arrived.

Framework for new kitchen goes up

Framework for new kitchen goes up

Gyprock installed

Gyprock installed

Cabinets arrive

Cabinets arrive

I chose a light grey colour for the cabinetry as I was adamant I didn’t want a white kitchen. The grey is Dulux Putty and has a slight green undertone making it a warm grey. It was topped with Stone Italiana benchtop in KSoul Gloss and I used white subway tiles for the splashback.

Benchtop and subway tiles for splashback

Benchtop and subway tiles for splashback

After the cabinetry, came the light fitting for over the island bench. I chose a black fitting with glass shades, as being practical, I figured glass would be easier to clean than fabric shades.

Light Fitting installed

Light Fitting installed

The black light fitting complements the black basket handles (a nod to the French Provincial style) and finally the black ladder rail and ladder.

Cabinetry handles

Cabinetry handles

Ladder rail

Ladder rail

To work in, the kitchen is fabulous. I’m not a fan of bar stools and prefer to sit at a table so I opted for cabinetry on the front of the island rather than stools. I’ve placed the everyday dinnerware and glassware in these cupboards so whoever sets the table, isn’t interrupting the cook. The island is wide enough to do the cooking on the “inside” and then set up the meal buffet style on the “outside”.

Finished kitchen

Finished kitchen

The Butler’s Pantry is great too as all the heavy small appliances can sit on the bench permanently. I’m finding it easier to use these appliances seeing I don’t have to lift them out of a cupboard and set them up and then put them away afterwards. I’m actually using them…….often!

Butler's Pantry

Butler’s Pantry

And another of my favourite details of this kitchen is the hidden nooks and crannies. I LOVE my spice drawer. It’s so easy to see everything at a glance. And the thin cupboards next to the stove are fabulous to keep all the oils and sauces handy for adding to the cooking.

Spice Drawer and Sauce Cupboard

Spice Drawer and Sauce Cupboard

Even the tea towels are concealed from view in a recessed nook on the way to the pantry.

Tea Towel Nook

Tea Towel Nook

So, when would you like to come over for dinner?

Kitchen with ladder

Kitchen with ladder

If you would like assistance creating your dream kitchen, 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.

Not the Rough End

Pineapple cushions at Sentosa Designs

Last week I visited one of my suppliers, Sentosa Designs.

Sentosa Designs furniture featuring pineapples

They specialise in colonial style furniture as well as a range of campaign furniture.

Campaign style drinks cabinet

I noticed the profusion of pineapples in their styling so started to hunt around and see what else I could find.

Pineapple Lamp

The pineapple is associated with welcoming and in my mind also says SUMMER!

Wooden Pineapples

I went in search of other pineapple inspired home decor and found cushions, lamps and even ice cube trays.

Pineapple Ice Trays

What do you think? Could you add some pineapple decor to your home?

Pineapple Wall Hooks

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

Recent Projects

Whilst I have been working on my own home renovation, I’ve also been helping a number of clients to achieve their harmonious environment.

We had favourite armchairs reupholstered and placed them in our client’s new bedroom.

Reupholstered chairs

We also sourced an elegant bedroom chandelier and bedside lamps.

New lights and lamps

A client we have been working with for the past 12 months finally moved in to their brand new home.

New home

After assisting with paint colours, floor board selections, generated ideas for the walk in wardrobes, bathroom vanity design, lighting options the clients are now ensconced in their home and look like they have always lived there.

Our kitchen design

The kitchen was designed by us with specifications of door finishes, colours, handles and benchtops.

New kitchen

We also sourced the fabrics for their window coverings and arranged making and installation.

Master Bedroom Curtains

Both clients are absolutely thrilled with their new homes, stamped with their own personalities.

Son #1’s bedroom

Son #2’s bedroom

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

Odds and Ends

And another week begins!

Last week was a busy one as we move closer to Christmas and start to get to the pointy end of our own home renovation.

Lock Up

I spent the week in the car, or so it seemed. Not doing anything terribly exciting and collecting all the necessary bits that are essential for the home. It’s all those things that seem to just appear but are very important and need to be selected, ordered and installed.

Still building

Like window hardware. The windows were all put in at the house over the last two weeks so then I had to choose latches, fitches and lifts.

Teardrop Window Locks

We have a mixture of double hung and casement windows so I had to make sure I had the right hardware for each window. Not very exciting, but very necessary!

Sash Lifts

Door hardware was selected last week too. But door handles are only a minor part of door hardware.

Door Handles

You also need to consider door stops, whether you need privacy locks and roller latches for french doors.

Door Stops

Thank goodness for the knowledgable staff at Mother of Pearl & Sons who know exactly what you need.

Privacy Sets

I took in my list of doors and what I needed on each door and they carefully went through all the components.

Not very exciting essentials

And, I took delivery of taps and other fittings for the bathroom and laundry.

Washing Machine Tap Set

I love the Smart Tile to use in the floor of the bathrooms. The end result is a streamlined floor.

Floor Grate

One exciting trip I did have, was to collect all my pretty light fittings.

Carload of light fittings

We’re using LED downlights throughout the hallways and family living areas but adding a selection of wall lights and feature pendants.

LED Downlights

I just can’t wait to get them all installed.

Ensuite Wall light

Enjoy your week, and remember, if you need assistance selecting all the odds and ends for your home renovation, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

 

Light Up My World

I’ve spent this week looking at lights.

Looking for clients and looking for me. Just like paint colours everyone is different and every person wants something different in their home.

One of the trickiest rooms to light is the bathroom.

Quite often, downlights are placed in grid formation without giving much consideration to optimal locations.  Standing under a downlight, without any light around the face creates exaggerated and unflattering shadows.  This can also result in insufficient lighting for tasks like shaving, tweezing and applying make-up.  More than any other room in the house, it’s important to get the lighting right in the bathroom.

Appropriate facial lighting is key.  Ideally, mirrors should have a light source at face height or above that provides both reflected and direct light to the face, minimises shadows and provides even light distribution.  These can be wall lights on either side of the mirror or on/above the mirror.

Once you know where you want to place the lights, it’s then a matter of finding the right light that meets your style, task and budget requirements.

If you would like assistance sourcing light fittings for your home renovation, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

Designer Trade Only Showroom

There are many reasons people choose to use an Interior Decorator. It might be that they haven’t any time to visit shop after shop after shop to find the illusion piece of furniture they have in their mind.

Lamp by Leather and Lamps

It might be that they have trouble trying to visualise what the piece they love will look like in their own home with the rest of their special pieces surrounding it.

Or maybe they just don’t know what to look for in the first place.

Home Cargo Sofa

From my point of view, I endeavour to push my clients a little out of their comfort zone and suggest things they would never consider. And I am always conscious of the fact that I want to give them something that is a little different to what they will see at retail stores or in their neighbours’ home.

Bedding from Jasmine Hall

Strand Agencies is one of my haunts. Agents to a number of suppliers from outside Sydney, it is a treasure trove of delightful furniture and accessory pieces.

Last week marked the opening of their new showroom at Mascot. It’s a beautiful space styled to the brim with gorgeous pieces of furniture from Cromwell, Globe West and Home Cargo, lighting from Leather and Lamps and H & H Collection and rugs from The Rug Collection.

Constellation Chandelier

Constellation Chandelier

The showroom is only open to the trade and their clients. So if you are looking for something a little different but still within your budget seek the assistance of an Interior Decorator.

We would love to assist you with furniture and accessories for your home. 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.

 

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