Welcome to The Year of The Goat

Year of the goat

Goat, Ram, Sheep, Ewe, I think it just depends on where you live and what connotations go with those animals. Goat? Maybe not too many people like to be called a goat, unless their acting it.

Year of the ram

So 2015 is the Year of the Ram in Chinese zodiac. Sheep are seen as auspicious animals so this year heralds a year of prosperity and promise. Yay! Goats are described as peace loving and kind  animals and couldn’t the world do with a large, healthy dose of that at the moment? Here’s hoping.

Timber Goat's Head

So how will you bring a bit of goat or ram into your home decor to give a nod to the Lunar New Year? You could invest in this wooden goat’s head for your wall. Although I’m not so sure about the colour.

The Goring

What about taking a cue from The Goring in London and putting a sheep in every bedroom? Or perhaps you’re saving up (or already own) a Lalanne Sheep just like Coco Chanel, Valentino and Marc Jacobs.


Whatever you do, Kung Hei Fat Choi, and bring on a year of peace and prosperity.


Without a doubt

this is THE busiest time of the year for my industry. Which is why a week and a bit went past without me appearing here on the blog. It just gets frantic as I chase up clients to place their orders, follow up suppliers to ensure they’ve received the orders and that they can fulfill them prior to Christmas and their summer holidays. Most manufacturers close over January and keeping a track on when they close and when they re-open is almost a full time job. Fortunately I have a spreadsheet for that! Throw in launches, new product releases and end of year soirees and it’s no wonder I have no idea what day it is.

Tinsel Tangle

So a little recap on the past week or so.

I attended the pre-launch function, held by Interiors Addict at BoConcept for the Greg Natale‘s The Tailored Interior. I’m a bit in awe of Greg. He’s so clever and terribly humble. Furniture, rugs, carpets, wallpaper and now a book to showcase his amazing talent. The book is fabulous with lots of how to’s and of course stunning imagery of his beautiful tailored spaces. Great Christmas present if you’re trying to find something for that person who loves interiors.

The Tailored Interior by Greg Natale

The Tailored Interior by Greg Natale

I’ve been working with a couple who are giving their home a makeover and bringing it out of the ’70’s. We’ve chosen a new colour scheme for inside and out (banished that dark timber paneling) and have this week decided on a new sofa and armchairs for the sitting area. With some colourful cushions to echo the new red front door.

Chair fabric and cushion fabric

Chair fabric and cushion fabric

The dogs and I enjoy our morning walks around the neighbourhood drinking in all the colour and smells that spring brings.


The Jacarandas are spectacular this year (but I think I say that every year) and the jasmine is just gorgeous. I’m lucky I don’t suffer from allergies or hayfever. It would be devastating to miss out on my daily dose of colour inspiration.


New fabrics were launched this week from Harlequin. New collections are so inspiring and I couldn’t decide which pattern and colourway I liked best. There were so many stunners and I often come home thinking I should redecorate my entire house just so I can use them. Anyone need new window coverings, bedheads, sofa fabrics, cushions, bedlinen or even a new bib and brace?


And I finally had one of these installed in my kitchen. How fabulous to get rid of those clunky power plugs and leave the power points free for kitchen equipment!


Today I’m overseeing a curtain installation and then tonight is The Colour Society’s Christmas Party where we will be looking at colour in wine! Have a great week, there’s only 36 days until Christmas!

I’m already taking bookings for January, so if you would like to update your home with colour, fabrics or furniture, contact us to make an appointment.

All good things must come to an end

Today is our last day in Hong Kong. Like all holidays it is met with mixed emotions – oh no, back to routine and work and yay, back to the animals and my comfy bed.

Typical Hong Kong - people everywhere and loads of street signs

Typical Hong Kong – people everywhere and loads of street signs

We’ve had a wonderful time in Hong Kong retracing our steps from 12 years ago when we lived here.

Hong Kong Flower Market was always amazing with flowers flown in from all around the world

Hong Kong Flower Market was always amazing with flowers flown in from all around the world

The Peak Tram celebrating 126 years!

The Peak Tram celebrating 126 years!

It’s been fun showing our daughter (who was born in Hong Kong) around a city we know so well. Yet we don’t belong here any more.

Hi Rise as far as the eye an see

Hi Rise as far as the eye an see

Hong Kong changes at lightning speed so 12 years later there are big changes.

Tai O Fishing Village - a walk back in time

Tai O Fishing Village – a walk back in time

There are so many more people here now (7 million apparently), the harbour has shrunk with the never ending search for more land and reclaiming the harbour and of course more buildings, train lines and endless shops.

The Peninsula Hotel

The Peninsula Hotel

Hong Kong Harbour by night

Hong Kong Harbour by night

I’m so glad we returned to see it again and the changes that have occurred in the past 12 years.

Disneyland Hong Kong

Disneyland Hong Kong

But time to get back to our life.

Hong Kong Here We Come

Holidays! Yes, we’re going on holidays and for the first time in three years we’re heading overseas.

Hong Kong from The Peak

Hong Kong from The Peak

We’re off to Hong Kong for 10 days for the first time in 12 years. Hong Kong holds a very special place in my heart. It was my first overseas destination back in 1988. Then 20 years ago today, my husband and I went to Hong Kong for our Honeymoon. At the time we were about to relocate to the Solomon Islands for three years when we returned so just enjoyed our break. But after our stint in the Solomons we were offered a posting in, you guessed it, Hong Kong.

The view from our apartment in Hong Kong

The view from our apartment in Hong Kong

We had three wonderful years there with the highlight of our time being the birth of our daughter. Now 14 years old, we can’t wait to take her back and show her around her place of birth. There will tears, I have no doubt! And there will be recreating a few scenes like those in this post.

Hong Kong Park amidst the high rise

Hong Kong Park amidst the high rise

We are all very excited. Hong Kong changed so rapidly whilst we lived there so I can’t imagine the changes that will have taken place in the past 12 years. Disneyland, for one, was just being built when we were there. I believe the harbour has shrunk yet again with more buildings being built infront of those on the waterfront back in 2002. But the buzz will still be there and the excitement of a city that never sleeps.

Shopping for baby clothes in Stanley Market

Shopping for baby clothes in Stanley Market

Apart from recreating some scenes and visiting favourite haunts, I have a long list of interiors shops as well as restaurants and hotels to check out the fit outs. I have created a Google Map and plotted everything on it so when we are in an area I have a ready reckoner of places to go and things to see in the area.

Waiting patiently

Waiting patiently

Follow me on Facebook or Instagram for daily updates of our travels and I’ll be sure to fill you in on the details when we return.

The only park in Hong Kong with grass

The only park in Hong Kong with grass

I’m off to pack.


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.


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.



We are 10

That’s right, Inside Out Colour and Design is 10 years old this month. I can’t believe it. Sometimes I feel like I’m jut beginning and other times I feel like I’ve been helping homeowners create their beautiful homes forever.


So how did Inside Out Colour and Design come about? Well, it started about 12 years ago when we returned to Australia after living for 6 years overseas. We were about to embark on our first joint home ownership. You see I had already owned 3 homes and my husband had an apartment before we married. Not long after our wedding we moved overseas and lived in provided or rented accommodation.

I had always loved putting my stamp on my houses and the homes we lived in overseas. It was so important to quickly make the house we were in feel like it was ours and we were comfortable. So when we returned to Australia I saw an advertisement for a five week course titled “Style At Home.” It was designed to assist the homeowner style and decorate their own home. I enrolled and absolutely loved it. At the end of the five weeks, we were offered a taste of the Diploma Course.

passion career

With my daughter about to start pre-school two days a week and my desire to do some sort of work, but not go back to full time corporate stuff, I wondered if Interior Decorating could be my future. A year later, I had completed Certificate III in Colour and Design. I started working part time as a Design Consultant at Amber Tiles and started Inside Out Colour and Design providing design consultations to the tile clients. At the same time I continued my studies and graduated a year later with a Diploma in Interior Styling and a Diploma in Colour Consulting.


It’s been so much fun over the last ten years, it has never seemed liked work. Inside Out Colour and Design has been my baby and I have built it from nothing. It’s taken alot of hard work and many hours of dreaming and scheming and slogging but I’ve loved every minute.

choose a job you love

I’ve had some fabulous clients with many of them becoming friends and now I’m helping many in their second homes. It’s been a pleasure to assist my clients create a real home, a home for the family and the pets to enjoy and one which oozes their own personality and style.

sorry about the mess 2

So Happy 10th Birthday Inside Out Colour and Design!

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.

Christmas Decor begins with Colour

Can you hear those sleigh bells ringing? Yes, it’s that time of the year again when we all get in a flutter over Christmas.


Now I’ve always put the tree up religiously on the first of December and taken it down on the first of January. Except for last year of course. Didn’t even get around to putting up the tree after nine months of home renovations. So this year I decided to put it up a week early. We have a weekend of entertaining coming up this weekend and there will be no time to fuss around with the decorations. Besides the department stores put there’s up in September so why can’t I do mine on 24 November?

Each year we have a colour theme. See, everything starts with a colour! I have all the decorations put in separate boxes and as we (that’s my daughter and I) couldn’t decide on which colours to use this year, I asked the other half to bring up all the boxes from under the house. Wow, that was a mistake! Seeing all the boxes sitting on the front porch ensured everyone knew just how many decorations I had. Needless to say, the Financial Controller was not impressed and was issuing warnings like, “You better not be buying any more decorations this year!”


So after wading through the boxes, we decided on fuschia, purple, aqua and silver. Being the ever co-ordinated one, I also have the same colours for wrapping paper, bon bons, tea towels, hand towels and candles that are scattered through the rest of the house.


Even though I’ve been warned about not buying any more decorations, I’m sure I will be forgiven for buying a couple of decorations from Dusk.

Image 3 All funds raised from these cute little baubles will go to Make A Wish Australia to help sick children. What a great idea. They are only $6 each AND they fit into my colour scheme.

Image 1 Now, off you go to Dusk and grab a couple of baubles for your tree.

Image 8

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

What’s your story?

Funny where life takes us, isn’t it? I was thinking about this when I was listening to Shannon Fricke talk about her career and imparting decorating advice at a talk she gave last week at the La Maison showroom in Surry Hills.

La Maison

La Maison

Shannon virtually fell into the decorating and design career when she stayed at home to raise a family. That’s pretty much my story too. After 16 years in the corporate world I decided to take a career break to be with my husband while he worked overseas, firstly in the Solomon Islands and then in Hong Kong. I always thought it was just a hiatus but then things change.

Shannon Fricke

Shannon Fricke

I loved making our temporary houses into homes where we could host our family and friends who came to visit us or entertain as it was imperative to find some friends and a create a social life. I’d owned three houses before we were married and put my stamp on each one.

My Gold Coast House

My Gold Coast House

But we returned with a toddler and all of a sudden the thought of 9 to 5 (or 6 or 7) had no appeal whatsoever. So I completed my qualifications in interior Decorating and Colour Consulting and set up my own business so I could decide when I wanted to work.

My little toddler

My little toddler

Shannon says interiors are about life and creating a home and that’s exactly what I had learnt in my time living overseas away from family and lifelong friends. I needed to create from the heart and tell our story in our decor so we felt good in our homes whether they were a fibro house overlooking Iron Bottom Sound or an apartment in the clouds in Hong Kong.

Hirise living in Hong Kong

Hi Rise living in Hong Kong

There’s something satisfying about bringing a story to life and injecting personality into a home. I’m so grateful I get to do that every day for my clients. As Shannon pointed out, the interiors that take time and are refined over and over again are the best. Many clients want pretty and they want it quickly but a good interior requires discipline.

My living room full of favourite artworks, colours we love and furniture bought on our travels

Our living room full of favourite artworks, colours we love and furniture bought on our travels

So what’s your story? Does it show in your home?


If you would like assistance with decorating your interior, contact us for an appointment.



I can’t believe it! Four years ago I hit the “publish” button for the very first time. Four years!


Sometimes it seems like only yesterday and sometimes it seems more like fourteen years.

I started blogging as a way of documenting my inspiration, work, ideas and a way to educate readers on the ins and outs of Interior Design. I must admit, I was hoping a few of the readers would end up becoming clients. And that they did.


But I didn’t expect to come across such a lovely bunch of other people who blog. Sometimes I think it’s like a cult. There are so many talented and inspirational people out there and I love soaking up all their words of wisdom, encouragement and gorgeous images every day. It’s been fun, too, meeting other bloggers at various events and even when on holidays in a different country.

Linda and Me

Linda and Me

So thank you for reading my blog posts, as intermittent as they have been of late, and thank you to those of you who also write a blog and continue to inspire me.



Open modal