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_7348 And 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.

 

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.

 

Armadillo&Co Indoor Outdoor Rugs

Armadillo&Co recently launched their new Indoor Outdoor Rug Collection with a soiree at the design studios of Landscape Designer, Adam Robinson.

Armadillo&Co Indoor Outdoor Rug Collection Launch Party

Armadillo&Co Indoor Outdoor Rug Collection Launch Party

The studio was packed with many from the industry trying to get a first hand look (and feel – they were soft) of the new rugs. They even gave one away, but alas I was not the lucky winner.

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I loved the swing tables holding the food down the centre of the studio.

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I think these rugs will be a welcome addition to the Armadillo&Co range and will provide some warmth underfoot for those outdoor entertaining rooms.

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If you would like to make enquiries on this range of rugs, contact us.

 

Rotating Mirror

Here’s a funny little story about a mirror.

A client had asked me to keep an eye out for a mirror for above her fireplace. She had renovated a couple of years ago and was now getting around to the final touches. I happened to have a large mirror that a previous client had decided against so arranged for my husband to help me take it over and show her.

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The two men held the rectangular mirror in place whilst we women contemplated whether it should be portrait or landscape and what it was reflecting. In the end the decision was made that that was not the right mirror for the space. It was too dominating and my client didn’t want the mirror to dominate the room.

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A few months later I received an email from one of my mirror suppliers with a list of their sale items. I flicked it over to the client who liked the look of a mirror called the Pebble Turn Mirror. The client measured her space and made a paper cut out of the mirror and blu-tacked it to the wall. It all looked perfect. So I placed the order and arranged for my mirror hanging guy to instal the mirror.

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The client was at work and left me a key. We arrived and worked out which way the mirror would hang. It definitely had to hang in a portrait position as the space we had was higher than it was wider. Being an organic shape, we took every conceivable measurement to make sure it would be centred on the chimney breast. But it wasn’t your average wire and hook arrangement to hang it. The mirror had a round disc attached to the back and we had 4 small discs to be screwed into the wall. The disc on the mirror then slid into the cradle that was formed by the four small discs.

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So we did all that, stood back to admire our work and the Pebble Turn Mirror, turned. That’s right it just slowly rotated like a chocolate wheel. Both of us went sprinting to the wall in case it came crashing to the floor but of course it didn’t because it was securely held in the cradle. It just wasn’t sitting in the position we wanted. So we moved it back and tried to get the weight of the base to sit as we wanted. Nope, it rotated again. It seemed the mirror had a mind of it’s own and was only happy in a landscape position. Yet all the images we had seen of the mirror showed in a portrait position. We were getting frustrated! After a while we found some blu-tack and used it to hold the mirror in position. We waited and waited and the mirror stayed where it was. Phew!

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Just as we were about to leave, the client came home from work and we explained our dilemma and we would make inquiries for a more long lasting solution than blu-tack. I received a text about an hour later saying the mirror had rotated again!

A week later, my trusty mirror hanging guy came back with a solution. We needed a cog to stop the mirror from rotating. He glued a long piece of flat metal to the disc on the back of the mirror and when we finally sat that into place, the mirror could not rotate. Just as well I love a challenge!

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Upshot is the mirror looks fabulous in the room and creates some interest without dominating.

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If you would like assistance adding the final touches to your home, contact us for an appointment.

 

Furniture Placement in Tricky Room Shapes

Every now and then a client throws me a curly one. I’ve been asked to come up with a floor plan for an L shaped living room.The previous owners had a dining table in the L but the current owners don’t want a second dining table. It’s really in the wrong place anyway as it would mean walking right though the living room to take food from the kitchen to the dining table.

Furniture layout of previous owners

Furniture layout of previous owners

So I’ve been wracking my brain as to how to set out her three sofas and single chair without it looking like a furniture store yet look inviting. The L is too narrow to place a sofa and it will make accessing the windows behind difficult.

We want something statement like in there so it forms a part of the room yet not too bully to cut it off.

Suggested floor plan for L shaped living room

Suggested floor plan for L shaped living room

I think a round dining table as a display table will work. Something with an interesting base and then we can add collected objet d’art to create a vignette that reflects the style of the house and the owners.

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Placing a lamp and occasional table beside the chair will create a spot for reading, reflecting, phone calls or even doing the crossword.

chair with lamp

I hope the client agrees.

If you would like assistance decorating tricky spaces in your home, contact us for an appointment.

Recent Interiors and Exteriors

Before

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After

After

It’s taken me a week and a bit but I’ve finally uploaded to my website, photos of interiors and exteriors which I have completed this year.

Before

Before

After

After

My lovely friend and talented photographer, Lyn Johnston, took these great shots. We spent a day touring around the suburbs visiting clients again.

Kitchen Before

Kitchen Before

Kitchen After

Kitchen After

It’s a fun day and lovely to pop back in and see houses that have been completed for a while. I’m very grateful to my clients for allowing me to come back, some whilst they are not even there!

Love me a red front door

Love me a red front door

You can see more images of these houses over on my website.

Bedroom Before

Bedroom Before

Bedroom After

Bedroom After

If you would like your home to have a new look, contact me for a consultation.

Sofa So Good

I have been asked a number of times lately to source suitable sofas for my clients. Invariably they also want some direction on which type of sofa is best. As you know, the sky’s the limit when it comes to styles, finishes and sizes of sofas. However, there is generally only three shapes of sofas – the modular or L-shape, the sofa with chaise and the standard sofa.

Avon Modular Sofa

So in deciding which is the best shape for you, you need to answer the most important question in home decorating – what will the sofa be used for? Will it be to entertain, watch TV, have a Sunday afternoon snooze or reading? Now many people say all of the above, but what will happen MOST of the time? There are many other things to consider when buying a sofa too but let’s just start with shape for now.

L Shaped Sofa

Two sofas either opposite or perpendicular to each other create the perfect conversation layout. By creating a circle the conversation flows and no one will leave the room with a stiff neck or sore back.

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A sofa with a chaise is ideal for TV watching or lazing around but not great for entertaining. If there is a crowd, not every seat is filled and conversation can be difficult as everyone is pretty much in a line. The person sitting or perching on the chaise part doesn’t have back support so it either doesn’t get used as a chair for any length of time or whoever uses it moves around a bit.

Chaise

An L-shaped sofa does have back support for all seats however the corner seat is rarely used if the room is at capacity. The L-shape is more conducive to conversation and the addition of a couple of occasional chairs at the open end or just some floor cushions will complete that conversation circle. When it’s time to laze around and watch TV a couple can sit at either end of the L and stretch out.

Baby Jasper

But there is a solution should the sofa be used primarily for conversation and only occasionally lounging, or if the space won’t allow the larger sofas – the versatile ottoman. It can be used instead of a coffee table but can also be pulled up to the sofa like a chaise when you just want to stretch out and watch a good movie. It can also be used as additional seating when required.

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If you would like assistance sourcing the perfect sofa for your home, contact us for an appointment.

The best seat in the house

I recently saw this quote on Pinterest and it reminded me of the home in which I grew up.

Furniture plan

Mum and Dad built our home, which was architecturally designed and we moved in when I was 9. At that time everyone was converting their garages to rumpus rooms but our house had all the living areas on the one floor. We had a family room off the kitchen and casual dining. Pretty much like today’s KiDiLi. This was the room in which we watched TV. The “good” lounge room was not for kids, except for Christmas lunch.

Pangeza St

Mum bought a Jason recliner for the room. It was “Mum’s” chair but my brother and I would race to get to it first for our Brady Bunch watching after school. I usually won because I could get a lift home from school with our neighbour, whereas my brother had to walk and catch a bus from his school. There were many arguments over that chair.

Brady-Bunch-Grid

One day we came home from school and Mum had moved the chair to the other end of the room. My brother was stoked because he could sit in the chair and push it right back and bring up the leg rest. I didn’t care, I was happy sitting in the chair that was moved into the spot the recliner previously occupied. You see it was the perfect position for watching TV and I didn’t want to miss an episode of Greg, Marcia, Jan, Peter, Cindy and Bobby.

Jason Recliner

One of the questions I start with when designing a living room for my clients, is “What is the purpose of the room?” If you ask yourself that and answer truthfully then furniture style and placement should be easier.

TV Room

If you would like assistance creating the perfect room for your family, contact us for an appointment.

Art Deco Makeover

Wasn’t it lovely to have four days off? Did you do anything exciting? The family and I headed to the South Coast of NSW for four days of R & R. I love the beach and the warm weather so thought I’d top up before I start hibernating for winter.

Beach

This week I’ll be placing orders for furniture and fabric for a client’s Art Deco makeover. The young couple love the era and wanted their apartment to be furnished in the Art Deco style.

Art Deco Movement Poster Revised Tight Rough

Art Deco Style was heavily influenced by the abstract shapes of Cubism and the exotic motifs of nature and is one of the most glamorous and popular styles of twentieth century design. First fashionable between 1920 and 1945 and named after the 1925 Expositions des Artes Decoratifs in Paris, Art Deco heralded the coming of the modern, industrialised world with its structured elegance.

Perhaps it was a reaction to all the clutter and dark colours of the Victorian period or simply a desire to escape from the ugliness of the events of WW1, but without doubt, Art Deco demonstrated great optimism, clarity and modernism. The style featured aerodynamic rounded forms together with vivid colours that reflected what was happening in the world at the time.

West Elm Chester2

We’ve chosen a custom made sofa in the Art Deco style with wide rounded arms. We’re teaming that with buttoned velvet chairs and of course lots of cushions in Art Deco inspired fabrics.

H & J Deco

And as can be seen in the Great Gatsby, this era liked to party so we’ve purchased a cocktail cabinet for my clients’ crystal decanters and glasses. And to complete the look, we’ve wallpapered a feature wall in Catherine Martin’s Limelight wallpaper.

Lubna bar

Now I wish I could wiggle my nose and have everything installed tomorrow.

Limelight Wallpaper

If you would like assistance creating a home in the style you love, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

Rosie Basket The Market Basket Co. RRP $65.00

PS. Don’t forget our Market Basket Co giveaway. Leave a comment and you’re in the draw! Easy Peasy.

Time for a giveaway!

Yay, who doesn’t love something for nothing? Well not quite nothing. You have to leave me a comment, but more of that later.

french-market-basket-nyc

One of the catch phrases I hear the most from my clients is “I don’t have enough storage.” You too? There’s always things that need to find a home and what better place than one of these gorgeous market baskets from The Market Basket Co.

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Not just practical, they are very stylish too with all the beautiful women of France taking them to the markets or the beach or riding around on their velo (that’s French for bicycle). The good news is, you don’t have to go to France to buy one. They are available here in Australia as a result of Lindy McLeod seeing the many uses of them in France and deciding to bring them home. The baskets are individually handmade in Morocco using traditional methods and techniques and made from strips of woven palm leaves from a species of date palm. They are finished with Moroccan leather handles either short or long.

Baskets

The lovely people at The Market Basket Co have offered us one to giveaway just in time for Mother’s Day. They would make the perfect gift. To win, all you have to do is leave a comment and tell us what you would store in your basket in the home. As I have too many magazines, I think mine would sit in the family room and be laden with magazines.

Beachbaskets

The names of those who leave a comment will go in the draw for the Rosie basket which is valued at $65 and comes with a rose material drawstring closure and red leather handles. Winner will be drawn on 30 April and announced here on 1 May.

Rosie Basket The Market Basket Co. RRP $65.00

Good luck! Pop on over to Facebook and follow The Market Basket Co there for regular updates and new releases.

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