The garden, twelve months on

2012 was the year of the much anticipated renovation of our Californian Bungalow on Sydney’s north shore. The builders left on Christmas eve, however, there was still a mountain of work to do. My husband decided he would paint the exterior of the house and of course there was a trashed area of the garden which needed a complete overhaul.

Builders' mess

Builders’ mess

Twelve months ago this weekend, the garden makeover started. My Dad flew down from Brisbane and we all pitched in and started marking out the garden which Nadia had designed for us.

Beginning to build a garden wall

Beginning to build a garden wall

For the next couple of months, the beds gradually were made. Organic Garden mix was delivered and poured on top of the existing soil which I had been feeding with gypsum.

The site resembled a lunar landscape

The site resembled a lunar landscape

Then the fun began. I visited the nursery and ordered the 200+ plants. I like to let everyone know that I dug the holes and planted each and every one of those babies.

Top soil all spread and ready for planting

Top soil all spread and ready for planting

Then the wood chip mulch arrived and we spread that over the gardens.

Little bitty plants all sitting pretty

Little bitty plants all sitting pretty

Taking shape

Taking shape

I’ve been pouring the water and fertilizer onto the plants and am thrilled to say that the garden is now taking shape.

I finally have a row of Magnolia Little Gems.

I finally have a row of Magnolia Little Gems.

Whilst I have been lovingly caring for the plants, my husband has been busy laying paths which lead from the driveway to the front door and stepping stones to the back door.

After the builders left

After the builders left

Building the gardens

Building the gardens

Nice new path

Nice new path

It’s so easy to look around and see what still needs to be done, but looking through the photos for this post, I can say I’m thrilled with how much we’ve achieved over the past twelve months with only working on the weekends.

How it was

How it was

How it is now

How it is now

Now we can put our energy into the driveway and fixing that broken wall. Does it ever end?




After – Hopefully in another twelve months that fence will be covered in sweet smelling jasmine.

If you would like assistance with your home renovation, contact us for an appointment.

Back To Work

Happy New Year, 2014! I know, I know, it’s three quarters the way through January and I have had a very nice long summer holiday. How was yours? Last week the family escaped to the mid NSW coast to a little beach called Mullaway. I’d never heard of it before but it was about half an hour north of Coffs Harbour. I was looking for somewhere half way between Sydney and Brisbane so the Brisbane family could meet up and we could spend the week together. Mullaway proved ideal.

IMG_2665 Between us we have three dogs so we wanted a dog friendly house and area. The house was perfect being tiled throughout and flat on the ground with a fully fenced front and rear yard.

DSC_0549 It meant we could separate the big dog from the little ones, if need be.

DSC_0638 The house wasn’t exactly beachy. Those beach shacks that once dotted the Australian coast are a dying breed and of course we wanted some mod- cons like a dishwasher, television and insect screens. The shacks don’t have any of those! The house was a 400m walk to the beach which we visited at least three times a day. The local wildlife came to visit too.

IMG_2687 The dogs had a walk on the beach in the morning, the kids had a swim after breakfast and we all had a walk, swim or play on the beach in the afternoon. It was idyllic. And, there was no internet connection, which was a blessing and a pain all rolled in to one.

DSC_0631 I couldn’t help noticing the vibrant colours of the marine life on the beach and the wonderful patterns and textures the soldier crabs made.




IMG_2671 But now it’s back to work. I am currently working on an on-line colour consultation for a house in Brisbane as well as sourcing some furniture and decorator pieces for a client here. There’s upholstery happening and curtains about to be installed plus I need to arrange to photograph a couple of the houses I worked on last year. So the holiday was great but it’s good to be back at it, refreshed and relaxed.

IMG_2694_2 If you would like assistance with colour or design for your home in 2014, contact me for an online or in-person consultation.


Unequivocally my favourite month of the year. I love the warmer weather and the profusion of colour we see at every turn. The colour combinations are great inspirations for decorating.

Clivea from my garden

Clivea from my garden

My garden is flowering and I’m frantically trying to get the new beds ready for planting later this month.

Flowering Azaleas

Flowering Azaleas

Remember the area the builders trashed during our home renovations?

IMG_1861 The warmer weather means we can return to eating on the back deck and we enjoyed a lovely Father’s Day lunch out there on Sunday.

Blue themed table setting for Father's Day

Blue themed table setting for Father’s Day

The new season fabric collections are being released.

New fabrics just released

New fabrics just released

Painting season is upon us as everyone takes to the outdoors in the warmer weather.

House being renovated and seeking new colour scheme

House being renovated and seeking new colour scheme

I’ve advised home owners from Mulgoa to Kenthurst and many suburbs in between on new colour schemes for the exterior of their homes.

Tuscan colour scheme to be changed

Tuscan colour scheme to be changed

So what’s not to love about September? Does it put a spring in your step too?

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

She’s here, she’s here!

Remember earlier in the year I alluded to the fact that Florence Broadhurst patterns would soon be available in a number of home accessories?

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Well I’m pleased to tell you, they are here. I was fortunate enough to attend the launch in April and had a sneak peek at the beautiful cushions (for both inside and out) and placemats.


They are all so colourful and I’m sure Florence would be very impressed with Rapee‘s application of her patterns.


At the launch, I was given a Kitchen in a Bag which is a cotton bag printed with one of Florence’s patterns and contains an apron and oven mitts in the same pattern. They would make a fabulous gift for anyone who loves cooking.


David Jones and Domayne are stocking this range or we can order them for you.

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If you would like assistance adding accessories to your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation. Don’t forget, most items you see in magazines or online can be sourced through us at our trade prices.

What’s been happening?


If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you will know that we’ve been renovating our Californian Bungalow on Sydney’s North Shore.


Of course once the builders have left and the house is looking fabulous, the gardens need attention.


When we moved in to the house ten years ago, the front garden was a tree and bark chips.


We built a sandstone, crazy path through the bark chip and planted a garden.


Fortunately the builders were not working in the front garden and it has stayed in tact. A couple of weekends of weeding and pruning and it will be as good as new.


The side garden, however is in a very bad way. There was a paved area adjacent to the pool and plants forming a barrier between the driveway and garden.


Love this photo! His first ever lawnmower having lived at home, then a unit, then overseas. And look at my little baby!

This area was totally trashed during the building process.


We needed a path from the driveway to the back door as well as a path to the front door and I wanted visitors to make their way to the front door. I also wanted some screening between the pool and the garden to make the pool more private. There were a few different levels to be considered and it was all too much for me to design. Interiors are my thing, not gardens.


So I called the landscape designer in The Designer Chicks. Nadia Pomare from Stylish Gardens met with me and listened to my wants and needs. We discussed the types of plants I liked and loathed and a couple of weeks later she came up with a lovely plan.

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Next up was calling in the heavy artillery from Brisbane. My Dad’s a bit of a dab hand at the garden so he came down from Brisbane for a week and it was all hands on deck.


There’s still heaps to do (I think I’ll be saying that for the next 12 months!) but the back is broken and the garden is starting to take shape.


So that’s what’s been happening around here. What have you been up to?

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


Latest Colour Combinations

It must be the weather! It seems everyone is about to paint their houses.

I’ve been helping people all over Sydney lately choose colours for the inside and outside of their homes.

People usually have a bit of an idea as what colours they like and we also need to consider the items that are staying in the home.

The style and period of the home also comes into play. Whether it be a modern home, a Californian Bungalow, Federation or Post War Home, paint colours make a big difference to the look of the house.

There are never any two jobs that are exactly the same, which is why I LOVE being a Colour Consultant. These are the most recent combinations I have specified.

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

The Subtleties of Colour

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you will know that not only do I assist my clients who are renovating, but we are actually renovating our home in Sydney. Naturally I’ve had a very close involvement in designing, sourcing and selecting all of the items in the house.

The New South Wales government require all homes undergoing major renovations include a rainwater tank. Ours will be under the house and hooked up to the washing machine, downstairs toilet and have an outlet for the garden hose.

The builder asked my husband what colour would we like the rainwater tanks? Of course, I was consulted (he wouldn’t be game to make a decision without at least asking!) and I said “a grey – as long as it wasn’t visible under the house”. The men agreed on a dark grey as apparently it came in light grey or dark grey.

Rainwater Tanks come in many colours

Guess what? They are green!!!!

Rainwater Tanks ready to be put in place

Fortunately the colour will be fine. Some things are just not that important to worry about. However, it made me realise once again, how the subtleties of colour are often lost on men.

Green Tanks ready to built in

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

Love Rules

With Valentine’s Day tomorrow, it’s time to look at a few items for your Love Shack.

Heart Shaped Truffles

When looking to inject some romance into your interior, go no further than the colour Pink. Red is for passion but pink is for romance. Because of its soft, cosy and romantic nature, pink is perfect for the bedroom. It makes the skin glow and what better place to make use of those flattering reflections?

Pink Bedroom

Putting some romance into your home can also be achieved by pairing things together. In the bathroom, if you have the space, instal twin basins in the vanity. This allows for two people to use the bathroom at the same time and also makes sure your toothpaste doesn’t get mixed up with your partner’s shaving cream!

Twin Vanity

A double shower is another luxury that can be installed if space permits. This is a great time to use different shower heads in each shower so you have the choice of a rain shower or a standard shower.

Double Shower

You could always add a little two seater sofa into the lounge room. This little piece from Jardan would suit any decor.

Loveseat by Jardan

Or you could recover an existing chair in heart fabric.

Heart fabric covered chair

Matching His and Hers sunlounges around the pool or on the patio make a great place to sit and relax and read the Sunday papers.

His and Hers Sunlounges

So once you’ve redecorated to create your cosy little shack, don’t forget to fill the table with candles and flowers and indulge in a romantic dinner for two.

Dinner for Two

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Click on images to be taken to their source.


If you would like assistance creating your Love Shack, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.


Walkin’ the ‘hood

Whilst I am technically back at work, many of my clients and some of my suppliers are still on holidays so I can enjoy a slower pace. However, I am enjoying my walks around the suburb each afternoon and watching the houses changing colours.

I live amongst Californian Bungalows and Federation homes in Sydney’s North Shore and many of them have undergone renovations over the last few years to accommodate the families that have moved into the area.

It’s interesting to see the colour palette moving towards grey rather than brown which is what the colour forecasters have been predicting.

Most of the houses subscribe to my 3 colour formula and I must say, I think the homes look smart with a light, medium and dark colour.

It’s a shame this homeowner hasn’t read my blog or decided to spend a nominal outlay on a Colour Consultant to get the overall look just right.

This was the house before via Google Street View and I really think it would’ve benefitted from a dark colour on the barge boards (they’re the wide boards at the top of the gable). Alternatively, the shingles could’ve been painted a colour between the dark grey and the white.

Remember a Colour Consultation is the cheapest part of repainting your home but will make all the difference.

If your home is brick then the brickwork is considered a colour so you only need to choose two colours. What do you think – two colours or three?

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


Presenting……..the Front Door!

I love a coloured front door.

Yellow Front Door in Cape Cod

I think a front door should say “Here I am!”, “Entry this way” or “Come inside.”

Turquoise Door via The House Of Turquoise

Usually when using colour, I try to repeat it somewhere so it doesn’t look like we’ve run out of paint and used something to tie us over. Like in a bathroom if you use a feature tile as a vertical stripe in the shower, you should repeat it somewhere else, otherwise it might look like you ran out tiles and used any old thing. After all, Repetition is one of the Principles of Design.

Red Front Door in New York

But where a front door is concerned, I believe you can choose a colour from anywhere in the spectrum and place it on the front door. No repetition required.

Lime Green Front Door in Darlinghurst, Sydney

What about you? Do you like a coloured front door?

Pink Front Door via Colour Me Happy



If you require assistance choosing paint colours for your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

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