Taubmans Colour of the Year

Yesterday morning I was invited to the announcement of Taubmans Colour of the Year for 2017. This is the first time Taubman’s have chosen a Colour of the Year. The colour was selected by a panel of global colour experts for its distinctive qualities and rise of this shade on the runway, textiles, technology, automotive and in the commercial and residential segments.

Designer’s the world over eagerly await Pantone to announce the Colour of the Year each November but this is the first time as far as I’m aware, that an Australian paint/colour company has chosen a Colour of the Year.

The presentation comprised a panel of five experts in the fields of Sound, Taste, Smell, Touch and Feel (Intuition) who all spoke of the way colour affects their chosen fields.


Taubmans Brand Ambassador, Shaynna Blaze led the panel discussion and and announced the Colour of the Year as Violet Verbena. Shaynna called the colour elegant, sophisticated, calm and nostalgic and explained that used with geometric lines it can take on a masculine vibe. Under cool light the colour looks like a warm grey and in quarter strength could be the perfect neutral. But when viewed under warm light it softens as the blues and purple undertones are exposed. Mix Violet Verbena with white and strong colours and it will give energy yet paired with granite and concrete it won’t look like a Nana colour anymore and have a modern edge to it.

Charlie O’Brien aka Chux, the Sydney based DJ, created a piece of synthesised music inspired by the colour. Of course, most of us can’t help but think of the late Prince when we see shades of purple and this influenced Charlie’s piece too. Charlie said if Violet Verbena had to have a sound, it would be D Minor.

Chef Nelly Robinson discussed the importance of colour in his presentation of food. Nelly said food had to look good first and foremost and then the taste has to work with the colour. He prepared little balls of sheer bliss for us all to try. The balls looked soft and chewy but once bitten a tangy flavourful liquid was released into the mouth, giving us all a surprise. This was then neutralised with a jelly made from the leaves of the Verbena plant.


Dr Lisa Cooper, florist, artist and author, took us on a journey of violets. Did you know the Greeks plant little, tiny violets under the olives to ward off evil? We then got to work creating a posy with violet coloured flowers (including violets) and edible herbs in bright and soft greens.


Textile artist Grace Garrett released her new collection in predominantly Violet Verbena. Grace loves texture and was quick to point out that colour will look completely different depending on the fabric or paper on which it is printed. A sheer fabric printed with her designs in Violet Verbena will look soft and dreamy but the same print on a solid flat fabric will look masculine.


And then Harry T, psychic medium, enlightened us on the colours of our Chakras. The Crown Chakra is violet and closely aligned to spirituality. The crystal Amethyst (which we were all given) helps with our intuition so we should keep one in our pocket or handbag, which would come in very handy when I change my mind and end up choosing the wrong thing. Like queues at the supermarket!


So what do you think of Taubmans Colour of the Year – Violet Verbena? Paint your whole house or use it as a bedhead? I think the colour will make people feel comfortable and happy as it’s not offensive but just a bit more cheery than plain old grey.


If you would like assistance adding colour to your home, contact me for an appointment.

Blue, blue, my world is blue

Is it just me or have you noticed a profusion of blues in your emails, Instagram feed or just while you are out and about?


Blue from Sportscraft

Blue looks like it is making a huge comeback in Spring/Summer 2015. That’s if it ever went away?

Blue from Shannon Fricke

Blue from Shannon Fricke

More people list blue as their favourite colour than any other. It doesn’t seem to matter the gender, race or religion, Blue is the world’s most popular colour. Perhaps it’s because nature is full of large blue expanses and it’s tonal range is extensive. (Meaning there’s a blue for everyone) It conveys peace and tranquility, freshness and positive feelings. And don’t we all need more of that in our lives!

Blue decorator items

Blue decorator items

It’s a colour that’s relatively easy to live with and suits so many different shades, styles and textures. And it loves it’s family with all blues going together.

Blue from William Yeoward

Blue from William Yeoward

Happy 1st of September. Is it time to prepare your home for the warmer months by adding some blue? If so, contact me for an appointment.



Spring Colours


Spring Flowers

Taubman’s Spring Transformations was launched in a wet and miserable Sydney yesterday. The venue was decked out with the new colours and loads of spring flowers. I loved the installation of rollers, brushes and ladders dipped in the paint.


Taubman’s Brand Ambassador, Shaynna Blaze shared her top picks for spring for 2015. I was pleased to hear Shaynna say that she was dreading the impending ’80’s revival which had her (and me) picturing olive green and salmon pink. Shaynna put a twist on those colours and came up with a crisp pastel palette that captures the change of the seasons perfectly.


It’s always so nice to see colour after winter.

Taubmans Spring Colours Paint Pots

Taubmans Springs Colours Paint Pots

The colours are fun and energetic without sacrificing sophistication and refinement. These colours all work with the current trend of oak timber for furniture and flooring and of course the mix of metals we have today – rose gold, copper and silver. The neutral in the palette is a soft taupe which can be used either as a base colour or as an accent.


A mix of metals, oak furniture and Spring colours

Taubman’s have released a number of How To videos designed to get the home renovator off the couch and into the paint. It’s one job that you can see results in a relatively short time so doing it yourself can be very satisfying. Start with the Paint Planner and after you’ve answered a few questions, you’ll be emailed with your plan – shopping list, advice, how many litres of paint you need, timing schedule and local store to make your purchases. You couldn’t ask for much more than that!

Walls in Taubmans Endure Really Rose

Feature wall in a bedroom in Taubmans Endure Really Rose

If you would like assistance creating a Spring Palette for your home, contact me for a consultation.


A Round Tuit

You have no idea how happy I am to have finally found this.



I’ve been searching high and low and seemed to have lost it about 10 weeks ago when we received an offer on our house which wasn’t even on the market! Life has been a bit chaotic since then but now that I have my Round Tuit we can get back to normal.

round entry

Image from Pinterest

Speaking of “round”, have you noticed the profusion of round at the moment? It seems every image I look at on Pinterest, Houzz or in magazines seems to have a round something in it.

Round Door Handle

Image from Pinterest

Round just takes off the edges and works well in any situation, especially if there’s lots of angles and corners in the room like a bathroom.

round bathroom mirror

Image from Pinterest

So do you have a round something in your house?

round lights

If you would like to assistance with colour and design to your home, contact me for an appointment.


Warmer Colours Sighting

Have you noticed that brown is back? I’ve been noticing the plethora of tan, camel and chestnut when I’ve been out at the shopping malls. I started to wonder if we are seeing the “brown” trend come back again or is it just the warmer months we are wanting warmer colours?

essastone Vesuvius

Essastone Vesuvius

Sure enough Essastone have sent me some information on their new colours – Vesuvius  and Marscapone. Vesuvius is a light to medium taupe while Marscapone is a more subtle and creamy based neutral. Essastone includes 28 designs and advise that the warmer tones are becoming increasingly popular.

Essastone Marscapone

Essastone Marscapone

I think the warm tones especially in the earthy spectrum will remain timeless for indoors and outdoors. Let’s hope we don’t go back to the lattes, chocolates and cappucinos of the noughties. A neutral with just a hint of brown is enough for me.


Meanwhile I hope you spend this weekend surrounded by chocolate. Happy Easter!

Chocolate-Easter-Egg-easter-eggs-30423577-2560-2302 If you would like assistance adding the right shade of brown to your home, contact me for an appointment.

Three Trends From the Trade Shows

It’s Home and Giftware Trade Show season in Sydney. Three fairs have been on over the past 5 days finishing today. I spent two days wandering the halls and suffering from overwhelm. There are just so many choices available on every level at every price point. Whilst I spend the time browsing for new products and catching up with suppliers, I also like drinking in the trends I can find. And this year there were three very distinct trends.

from Reed Gift Fairs Instagram Feed

from Reed Gift Fairs Instagram Feed

If you subscribe to my newsletter, you will already know that one of the emerging trends in Tribal. And that was evident at many stands during the show. Geometric patterns, earthy colours, black and white were all making their presence felt. From handbags to cushions, the tribal influence was everywhere. And if you don’t subscribe to my monthly newsletter, you can do so here.

Tribal Design right on trend

Tribal Design right on trend

And the colour copper was also out in force. We’ve been seeing this come through at the high end of the market over the last few years but after this trade show, I would say it’s main stream.

Copper Christmas Decorations

Copper Christmas Decorations

There were copper lights, copper jewellery, copper coloured planters, copper cutlery and even copper furniture. It certainly adds some sparkle and is a lovely warm metal for the ensuing cooler months.

Copper furniture, lights and trays

Copper furniture, lights and trays

And the third trend I noticed was Antlers. There was Christmas decor out for the retailers but Antlers weren’t just on the Christmas stuff.

Antler Coatrack

Antler Coatrack

Lamps, champagne buckets, bookends and of course deer heads with antlers in every conceivable shape, size and colour. Much nicer than taxidermy!

Antler Champagne Bucket

Antler Champagne Bucket

So there you have it, three trends you are going to see in all the retail outlets and magazines over the next few months. Would you add a touch of one or all these trends to your home? I’d be happy to help out! Perhaps you visited the fairs and found some other trends. Let me know in the comments below.



Pantone Colour of The Year 2015


As a Queenslander who supports the Maroons and wore a maroon uniform for 7 years to primary school, and someone who prefers red wine to white wine I can still be honest and say I really, really don’t like the 2015 Pantone Colour of The Year – Marsala.

Mighty Maroons

After years of bright, clean happy colours like Radiant Orchid, Emerald, Tangerine Tango, Mimosa and Honeysuckle it’s a HUGE turn around to go for something dark and gloomy.


Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of Pantone Color Institute says it has an organic and sophisticated air as well as a vintage but neutral feel. Does that mean old and daggy? She also says the name marsala is “feel-good” evoking pleasant memories and inspiring consumers to invest in the hue.


I did think it will fit nicely into the colours and trends predicted by Victoria Redshaw at the Future Trends Seminar I attended in July. But I still don’t like it.


So what do you think? Will you be moving out the greys and into the browns again? Maybe moderation is key and surround it with other fresh, happy colours.



Mixing Industrial Style with your Existing Style

This post has been sponsored by The Orient Express.

Industrial Style is such a great style to incorporate into your family home. It has that raw, utilitarian look which is just right for all the knocks and spills a family will give it when used everyday.

Industrial style kitchen from The Block

Industrial style kitchen from The Block

And surprisingly this designer look is not that expensive to create in our homes as it’s a blend of furniture and objects preferably worn, salvaged or recycled. The style incorporates raw timbers, castor wheels and metal frames. Light fittings, which were once used on outside tennis courts, now hang above kitchen island benches and tractor seats are used as bar stools. There’s also the use of man made industrial type substrates like concrete, metal, glass and dark, moody, industrial colours like black, charcoal, red and green.

Industrial style coffee table with iron legs from The Orient Express

Industrial style coffee table with iron legs from The Orient Express

It’s one of those styles that will be translated in many different ways and incorporated with other styles and pieces to create a truly unique look. If you’re not keen on having an entire house of industrial style furniture then it’s perfect for the casual living areas. Just one or two pieces will give that industrial flair to your home as it mixes so well with furniture items from other styles and eras.

Industrial style shelving unit from The Orient Express

Industrial style shelving unit from The Orient Express

Our friends at The Orient Express have a great range of industrial pieces. Any one of these blended with your existing furnishings will give that edgy vibe. These items can be purchased directly from The Orient Express in Abbotsford, Vic or your selection can be shipped to you anywhere in Australia.

Timber Bookshelf from The Orient Express

Timber Bookshelf from The Orient Express

If you would like assistance creating the Industrial Style in your home, contact us for an appointment.


Predicting future trends

I’ve just spent a week away in Victoria. It’s always great to get away and see something different and have time to think about something different.

First stop was Kyneton in the Macedon Ranges. We stayed at a very cute apartment above the Macedon Ranges Interiors. The apartment dates back to the 1860’s and has been fully and tastefully renovated. We loved sitting in front of the fire each evening.


Then it was on to Melbourne for the trade fair – Decor and Design along with Furnitex. The highlight for me was attending a seminar on the first day given by Victoria Redshaw who is lead futurist at Scarlet Opus and she was soooo interesting.

Victoria Redshaw

I remember studying styles and trends at design school and knew it was more involved than smoke and mirrors or a dart board. But I was unaware of the full extent of research and consideration that goes in to predicting future trends for colour and design. And they work so far in advance! Victoria explained that they are currently working on northern hemisphere Autumn/Winter 2016/17. That’s in 2 and half years time!

I ended up taking 9 pages of notes and will try to give you a quick overview of them here.

So, the process for predicting a trend involves Review, Establish, Research and Identify. It’s hard to predict the future without looking at the past, so the previous season’s trends (that’s the season previous to the one they are forecasting so it hasn’t actually happened yet) are reviewed. The current situation is established. That’s done by looking at the news and twitter. Something could happen today which could have long lasting effects and change the requirements of the future. Think GFC and 9/11.


When it comes to research, it’s looking at planned events for the period being predicted. This is the bit that I found interesting. They look at galleries, museums, exhibitions, catwalk events, environmental issues, architectural projects, TV and film, centennials and any other major event that may have a major impact on the world at large.

The futurists and researchers then sit down and analyse all their findings. Does it effect, drive or deepen existing trends? They visit the latest shows, keep an eye on what’s trending around the world on twitter and instagram and look for common denominators.


From our position of hindsight, it’s now easy to see that 9/11 had a major impact on the colours of the world. Prior to that event, the world was saturated in colour but we turned to browns and greys creating new neutrals for clothing and paint. These colours are now considered classics. Similarly the GFC, sent us all looking for familiar colours so we could feel safe – colours from our youth and more contented times. However, in 2011 the neons emerged to cheer us up, make us spend money and buy something colourful to feel good about ourselves. If you remember at the end of the year, Pantone released its colour for 2012 as Tangerine Tango.

So what will the future bring to colour and design? Sign up for my newsletter which will be sent out next week. I’m dedicating this month’s issue to the trends Victoria predicts.


A Picture Paints A Thousand Words

The beauty of dealing with design professionals is that they are visual people and can easily picture in their mind’s eye what things will look like following changes.

Fro my "Blue and White" Pinterest Board

Fro my “Blue and White” Pinterest Board

One of the best ways to convey your choices to design professionals is through imagery. When I first started in the design business some ten years ago, I tore out images from magazines and pasted them into scrapbooks. I would cart around books for lounge rooms, bedrooms, home offices, kitchens, bathrooms, courtyards, window coverings, etc.

From my "Entry and Hallways" Pinterest Board

From my “Entry and Hallways” Pinterest Board

My clients would flick through the books and point out rooms they liked and explain to me why. That way, I could get a good feel for the types of things they liked (and hated) so I could start sourcing and designing.

From my "Look Up" Pinterest board

From my “Look Up” Pinterest board

But these days, I’m finding my clients are whipping out their tablets or smart phones and showing me images they’ve pinned to their Pinterest boards. It’s just perfect for people renovating or decorating as they can start collecting images they like of items or colours for their own home. I love Pinterest and am constantly adding images to my boards.

Pinterest Boards

Pinterest Boards

Do you have Pinterest?

If you would like assistance recreating an image you have found on Pinterest, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.


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