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!

Before

Before

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.

 

Today….

this blog is 5 years old! I can’t believe I’ve been tapping away with posts to educate and enlighten my readers for 5 years.

5-year-birthday-cake

I look back at the very first post and doubt I knew what I was getting myself into. I’ve always enjoyed writing but never for once thought I’d be still at it five years on.

Fun Lovin' Free Spirit Caesarstone

Fun Lovin’ Free Spirit Caesarstone

And the wonderful people I’ve met along the way. Fellow bloggers, new clients, suppliers and friends and family who for some reason continue to read my posts. That in itself is amazing when I discovered there are over 240 million blogs online these days.

So thank you for choosing me amongst all that information which is out there. I thought I’d leave you with my top 5 most popular posts.

Californian Bungalows

Federation Style

Which white is right

Choosing Paint

Clever Storage

Humbly yours.

Jennifer

 

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.

Creative Colours

A few weeks ago a staff member from the Warringah Council phoned to ask if I could help with a colour scheme for a new building. Of course I said yes and made a time to visit the site and discuss the requirements. Council were remodelling a disused Scout Hall and turning it into a Creative Space.

Front view of new Art Space before

Front view of new Art Space before

View of front door after

Front view of after

The feature of the build was, that apart from the roof, every product was recycled. The materials which were in the building that would not be required were being sent away to be used elsewhere and any new materials were sourced from Kimbriki.

Rear of building before

Rear of building before

Rear of building after

Rear of building after

The council had fairly recently updated their image and brand and had new corporate colours which they hoped to use on the building.

Council Corporate Colours

Council Corporate Colours

The building was set on the edge of playing fields and opposite a residential area. The council needed the building to stand out so it could be seen on approach yet didn’t want it garish and offensive to the neighbours. They also wanted the integrity of the building and the recycled materials to remain a feature yet not look like a shack.

Side view of building before

Side view of building before

Side building after

Side building after

The building opened last month and it looks great. The building sits amongst she-oaks and so the building didn’t stand out too much I chose a grey for the body of the building. Using the orange and purple from the Council’s corporate colours, I selected different areas to highlight and give the building life. It will be used as a creative space and these two colours ooze creativity.

Open studio before

Open studio before

Open studio after

Open studio after

I chose to leave some of the timber beams unpainted as well as the recycled colorbond sheeting which forms the subfloor walls. The side area which will form a breakout or semi open studio had beautiful rusty walls. I wanted to leave them unpainted but painted the recycled pool fence and ladders to tie this area in with the main building.

Back verandah before

Back verandah before

Back verandah after

Back verandah after

I think it looks great and will breathe new life into what could have been just another abandoned building.

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

Staring at the toilet

It’s one of my biggest bugbears. You know when you look into a bathroom and the toilet stares right back at you. And if that bathroom is seen as you enter a home or on your way through the home to the living area, it’s worse.

DSC01893 Unfortunately this is the case with many homes in Australia built before 1950. That’s when the outhouses started to vanish and the toilets were moved inside. Prior to that time, the bathroom inside was just for washing and the toilet had its own building about 100 metres from the house.

The easy answer if like me, you don’t like looking at a toilet as you pass the bathroom, is to move it. However, that’s easier said than done! Moving plumbing is a costly exercise and sometimes it’s just not possible due to limited subfloor access, concrete flooring or existing plumbing arrangements. So the next best option is to create a focal point that takes the eye away from the big white bowl.

DSC03476 This bathroom was a perfect example. The clients didn’t want to do major renovations to move the toilet behind the door and “hide” it from view. In a perfect world, I suggested moving the toilet to right of the door, where the vanity sits, and swing the door the opposite way. Instead we moved it slightly and although it can still be seen from the hallway, we created a spacious shower that became the main attraction of the bathroom. The clients no longer needed a bath and opted for an oversized shower recess. A modern vanity and large mirror helped to reflect light and make a showpiece bathroom rather than an afterthought.

DSC03477 If you would like assistance renovating your bathroom, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

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.

A Sage Kitchen

In the last twelve months I’ve assisted with a number of kitchens. It’s the room that often sells a house so naturally homeowners choose it to renovate and make their own. Sometimes, the client has very specific ideas and all I’m required to do is choose the colour scheme and finishes. Others would like the entire kitchen designed and all the finishes and colours chosen. Either way I enjoy designing kitchens and making sure it suits the homeowner and their family.

BrandtKitchen2

CAD mock up of my kitchen plan

This kitchen was due for an overhaul and the client’s didn’t have any firm ideas of what they wanted. They did think they should make the cabinets taller to sit just under the picture rail which would gain them extra storage.

Kitchen before

Kitchen before

The client loves green and fell in love with Caesarstone Sage when we were choosing colours. We then chose Dulux Linseed as the cabinetry colour which blended beautifully with the benchtop. To my horror, during the design process Caesarstone advised that they were discontinuing Sage. A frantic phone call to Caesarstone ensured a couple of slabs were put on hold until my client was ready to go ahead. Phew! Crisis averted. These things happen but fortunately this time it had a happy ending.

One of our inspiration images

One of our inspiration images via The Design Files

The client also wanted a computer area in the kitchen so homework could be done under the watchful eyes of parents. We extended the bench and added a drawer for pencils and paper and a hidden shelf for powerboards and chargers. EyeTV was added to the computer so it can double as a television when the computer is not in use.

Computer area in the kitchen

Computer area in the kitchen

We also created an appliance cupboard to house the jug and toaster to keep the benchtops clear and a full bank of cupboards for the pantry and crockery.

Appliance cupboard

Appliance cupboard

The island bench is yet to see some stools but the wallpaper on the front of the island adds interest and texture.

Wallpapered island bench

Wallpapered island bench

The clients are thrilled with it all.

Completed Kitchen

Completed Kitchen

Kitchen was built by Destro Renovations (he also built mine) and professional photography of the completed kitchen was by Sharon Newman of SNPhotography.

If you would like assistance renovating your kitchen, contact us for an appointment.

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.

 

A week away

from the everyday is always refreshing. But then why did it end up being three weeks?

IMG_1106

That’s right it’s been three weeks since my last blog post! It wasn’t meant to be that way. You see I took a week off to drive to Brisbane and visit family as well as visit a couple of clients and prospective clients and then once you return from holidays there always seems to be so much to do to catch up.

IMG_1082

But before I left Sydney, I spent a day photographing a number of my recently completed houses. Sharon Newman from SNPhotography was my photographer for the day. We managed to pack in 7 properties starting with a brand new apartment which my retired clients bought last year. Some of the furniture was new and some we arranged to have reupholstered to fit into the new surrounds.

ChairandLamp

Then it was on to a just completed kitchen and then two exterior shots where I had chosen paint colours.

Next up was a family home which had been extended and renovated. The new large bathroom looks fabulous and is one of the favourite rooms of the house.

Freestandingbath

Then on to another kitchen and family living room before heading to my own recently renovated house.

Computerarea

It was an exhausting day but I’m thrilled with the new photos which will be uploaded to my website portfolio. Elise from yELLE Styling was my styling assistant for the shoot too.

Then off to Brisbane which had consistent blue skies and sunshine while Sydney nearly drowned in a week of rain. I helped a couple of clients with paint colours for their homes and am looking forward to designing a new kitchen for a Brisbane client too.

IMG_7881

It’s still school holidays so many of my clients are away or busy with their kids at the moment. But that doesn’t mean I’m sitting around twiddling my thumbs! I’m busy finalising colour schemes for a number of Sydney clients. It seems to be colour is the one thing that stumps most homeowners.

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

The downstairs loo

Part of our renovation involved a new toilet downstairs. It will service the pool, the garden and also my studio.

Laundry with downstairs toilet being built

Laundry with downstairs toilet being built

Space was at a premium and there was no room for a vanity but rather a small wash basin. I chose the Parisi Powder Room basin.

I chose a back to wall toilet, as I always do, because I hate the spider trap of toilets that don’t sit flush to the wall.

Now I’ve been busy adding the final touches. The toilet is off the laundry so I’ve adopted the colours of the laundry for the accessories. The toilet itself was too small and dark (with no windows)to use the turquoise paint on the ceiling so it’s just ordinary ceiling white.

Laundry

Laundry

I had been looking everywhere for a yellow framed mirror. Not only did I want yellow, but I wanted it round! Sometimes we get these ideas in our heads and then drive ourselves crazy trying to find them.

I had seen a round mirror at a homewares store. It had a grey distressed frame which could be painted. I waited until the mirror was reduced and then pounced when it hit $10.

Distressed round mirror

Distressed round mirror

I took it home, sanded it back and gave it two coats of yellow paint, which I had from my yellow whiteboard (but that’s another story). After I painted it, I gave it a coat of Feast Watson Glossproof which I had left over from my Re-love Project. It gave the mirror a nice glossy finish, just the look I was after.

Mirror after painting and topcoating

Mirror after painting and topcoating

I had carried around in my wallet a chip of the ceiling paint from the laundry. Eventually I found a hand towel the same colour to complete the room.

Completed Downstairs Toilet

Completed Downstairs Toilet

Now the downstairs loo is fit for any visitors I have to my studio.

If you would like assistance choosing fixtures and fittings for your bathrooms, contact me for an online or in-person consultation.

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