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.


Wirelessly checking on your plants

Apart from interiors, I am also a keen gardener. I love getting outside with a pair of gloves and a two pronged weeder. Something about digging around in the dirt calms my nerves.


I am also blown away by the technology we have at our fingertips these days. I am of the age where I can remember making the first phone call on the home phone. I can remember getting excited watching a piece of paper pass through a machine and knowing that someone, somewhere was seeing that same piece of paper. And don’t get me started on the capabilities of smart phones and the myriad of information we now have in the palm of our hands.

To Do

So I eagerly accepted the offer to road test the new Parrot Flower Power. It is the first smart wireless sensor designed to help you take care of your plants and provide advice to keep them flourishing all year round. A lovely potted paper plant was delivered to my door with a funny looking green twig inside the pot. That’s the monitor with bluetooth smart technology.  A quick read of the instructions (not much into reading manuals, I’d rather do!) and I downloaded the app onto my phone.

Parrot Flower Power

Parrot Flower Power

Now I’ve always had houseplants and the spathiphyllum or Peace Lily is one of my favourites. I’ve had them for years with their green glossy leaves and elegant white flowers. I have one in the dining room on a plant stand my MIL gave us as a wedding present. So I popped the Parrot thingy into the pot and started to watch the magic.

Peace Lily on Plant Stand

Peace Lily on Plant Stand when we first moved in over 10 years ago

I don’t tend to go into the dining room often so it was a great test of the app. It sort of became addictive to check in on how the plant was going. Previously I would walk past the plant notice it was drooping and give it a cup of water. Aah, but with the app, I now know when it needs fertilising, more sunlight, higher room temperature and extra water. It’s very cool.

Peace Lily

There are over 6000 plants, trees and vegetables in the database and the monitor can go outside. So if you are having difficulties with any of your plants you just pop the monitor into the ground next to the plant, add the particular plant to your phone via the app and then check in every couple of days to see how it’s going and what needs to be done.

Parrot Flower Power Monitor in pot

Parrot Flower Power Monitor in pot

I must say, my plant is looking very healthy, as I now know it needs a spell in the kitchen once a week to receive more sunlight and the odd cup of liquid fertiliser goes down a treat too.


The Parrot Flower Power can be purchased at Apple Stores, DIY stores and selected landscaping and nursery outlets at an RRP of $79.99.

Dining Room Now

Peace Lily on Plant Stand now



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.

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.


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.


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.

Week 2 of our Renovations

Last week saw the end of week two of our renovation with more demolition and a little building work.

More demolition

We are taking off two 1970’s extensions and then rebuilding them bigger and better than there were. We are also rejigging nearly every room inside the house. The only room that will not be touched at all is the formal lounge room.

Formal Lounge Before

The dining room is pretty much staying as is. The room had three doorways and was used as a thoroughfare from the hall to the home office. To make the dining room more of a destination, two of the three doors are being closed up. The bricklayer has been busy this week closing in these doors.

Dining Room Before

Dining Room door bricked up

The original bathroom in the house is being converted to the master ensuite so it has been gutted and a new doorway cut in the wall between our bedroom and the bathroom.

Original Bathroom

Bathroom ready to become an ensuite

Master Bedroom Wall before

Master Bedroom with new entry to ensuite

Many years ago the front verandah was enclosed and turned into a walk in robe for the master bedroom. It had a step down and last week the builders levelled the floor.

The kitchen has been totally gutted and the back deck has been removed and the doorway to my daughter’s bedroom has been closed in and a new doorway made in the adjacent wall.

Original Kitchen

Gutted kitchen with door to dining room closed in

The builders have also marked out on the grass where the new building will be which brings it all into reality. We have been poring over these plans for the past 4 years but to see the markings on the ground and things starting to move is very exciting.

Demolished and marked out

We’re not up to choosing anything too exciting yet, just rain water tanks and skylights. I have revisited my external colour scheme and tweaked a few placements but still have time to reconsider the internals.

It’s so hard doing my own place because I know so much and seem to second guess everything!

One man’s trash…..

is another man’s treasure!

Nothing could be truer with this latest before and after I’m sharing with you.

My client found a cane setting on a footpath ready to be collected by the Council as part of their kerbside cleanup.

There were four chairs and a small frame that would be an occasional table. The cane was worse for wear, there were no cushions and no glass in the side table.

We decided that two of the chairs and the occasional table would be perfect on the front verandah. So we chose the best two chairs, ordered some fabric, had cushions made and the chairs and table repaired as required and sprayed white.

It’s the perfect place to sit and watch the afternoon sun go down.

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


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