The Perfect Guest Bedroom

Both my husband and I grew up in Brisbane and all our family still live there, so whenever family come to visit they stay for a while. Add on to that, the fact that we have lived overseas and have friends living outside of Sydney, we often have visitors staying with us for anything from overnight to a month. Therefore, we need to have a comfortable guest bedroom.

I was recently asked to give my advice for creating the perfect guest bedroom. One of my most important tips is to make sure there is somewhere for your guests to store their clothes. There’s nothing worse than living out of a suitcase or having an open case on the floor to trip over.

You can read my advice, along with some other savvy designers over here.

If you would like assistance creating the perfect guest or other bedroom in your home, contact us for an appointment.

Bathrooms, bathrooms and more bathrooms

Did you grow up in a house with one bathroom? I did. These days it seems there are just as many bathrooms as bedrooms in houses and not every bathroom is the same. Like all renovations, the end user must be kept in mind. And there’s products to suit every taste, age and size. Freestanding baths or built in, back to wall toilet suites or wall hung hidden cistern, vessel basins or undermount or something in between, wall taps, mixers and spouts, double showers or single, fixed or hand held. The options are endless.

I was recently asked to give my tip on renovating a bathroom. You can read the article here.

If you would like assistance renovating or designing your bathroom, contact us for an appointment.


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.

Bye Bye Bland

As a Colour Consultant, I spend my time working with, reading and thinking about colour. So I was thrilled to get my hands on a copy of Judith Briggs’ new book “Bye Bye Bland.” Judith is a fellow Colour Consultant and Interior Decorator and has worked in the industry for many, many years.


I read the book when I was on holidays in Hawaii a few months ago and it was a very easy read. It’s not at all technical and is filled with easy steps to guide the homeowner through colour selection for the home. Over the years I have collected a number of books on colour and many are more suited to the professional Colourist. Some are very wordy and seem to go around in circles explaining the same thing many different ways which ends up getting confusing.

So Judith’s book was very refreshing in it’s simplicity. The book is broken up into four sections and then easy chapters like What is a Colour Personality, Combining Different Colour Personalities, Considerations When Choosing Colour, What Colours Where?. There are case studies and lots of drool worthy photos to illustrate the point.


“Bye Bye Bland” would make a great Christmas present for the home decorator or new home owner. Judith has very kindly offered free freight to all my readers. So if there’s someone in your life struggling to define the look they would like in their home or about to embark on a renovation, this is the perfect gift.


Click through to the website and use the check out code of NOF07 when you place your order for free freight. All copies are personally signed by the author.

And if you go to page 138 you’ll see one of my bathrooms using the fabulous Catherine Martin wallpaper.



Happy shopping!

Giving Old Tiles New Life

My clients, Justin and Melissa were ready to update their bathroom and kitchen. I had worked with them previously choosing colours and furnishings for the living room, hall and bedrooms. The kitchen worked well and really just needed a facelift. We arranged for new cupboard doors to be installed on the old carcasses and chose a new tap which brought the kitchen into Melissa and Justin’s style. However, replacing the dated brown tiled splashback would be costly and potentially could result in having to replace or repair the existing benchtop. So I suggested painting the tiles. Justin and Melissa pick up the story.

Kitchen Before

Kitchen before makeover

Justin and Melissa here. Thanks to White Knight, we have a splashback we are very happy with. Here is our story and we hope you enjoy it while picking up a few pointers along the way.

So after settling on a colour (Ashen Mist by Taubmans), we used White Knight Tile & Laminate Cleaner, Tile & Laminate Primer and Tile Paint. Before launching into anything, we sat down to watch the instructional video from the White Knight YouTube channel. We found this exceptionally helpful in showing us the steps of painting and things to look out for when taking on this project.

New Kitchen but Old Spalshback

New Kitchen but Old Splashback

Armed with this knowledge, we set off painting. First, we cleaned the tiles thoroughly with the Cleaner as that was stressed in the video. After allowing the surface to dry, we had to sand down the tiles with 120G sandpaper in order to improve the paint’s adhesion to the tiles. This required some good elbow grease as the rougher the tiles, the easier the paint will stick, so we had to get this step right.


Upon cleaning the dust from the sanding and taping up the edges and sockets, we went about applying the Primer as an undercoat with a small roller brush for the main areas and a 1-inch brush for the edges. As it is quite viscous, it sticks well to the tiles (possibly thanks to the rigorous sanding we did). Four hours later, we started applying the paint itself in two coats, leaving 4 hours between coats (we actually left it overnight as it was getting dark on Saturday so we picked up again on Sunday morning).


A tip that we discovered was that as the paint is an oil-based, it is vital to have paint solvent on hand. After finding the paint had started clogging the brush and roller despite leaving it in water, pouring solvent on them quickly dissolved the paint. A little water after to wash off the excess solvent and we were back in business for the second coat. We let that dry and peeled off the tape, taking the advice to allow a full week to let the paint cure (that included using the oven for all our food as using the stovetop was out of the question!)


A Few Things To Note
Last but not least, here are a couple more lessons we learnt on our journey that we hope you find useful:

Remove the covers from the electrical sockets before taping and painting; it’ll give a nice seamless finish when you pop the cover back on.
The paint doesn’t work well with silicone so you end up with an uneven edge of paint on the silicone that was in the corner between the tiles and the bench top. I suggest buying new silicone (black in our case) and reapplying it to give these corners a nice finish again.


It’s amazing how this simple change of colour makes the kitchen look brand new. With this missing piece in place, it really completed the look we were going for. The paint has really held up after curing and splashes from cooking on the stove top wipe off with ease.


Finished kitchen

We hope we’ve inspired you to try your hand at a simple update of your bathroom or kitchen. Happy painting!


Isn’t a great way to revive your home? Take a look at the other White Knight products and if you need any assistance with colour or design for your home, contact me for an appointment.

Touching Up Timber

Whether we’d like to accept it or not, there’s no denying that Spring has officially sprung.


Despite the weather in Sydney being sporadic over the past month, with temperatures over 25 one day and drizzle and cloud cover the next, people and their homes are taking on new life. Whether this be through summer clothes shopping, attending barbeques or spring cleaning, everybody seems to be embracing the new season. Being a Virgo, cleaning and tidying the house is an all-year festival, but there’s something about Spring that makes even the grubbiest of home-owners feel like picking up a duster and dancing around the house like Snow White. However, when spring cleaning it’s easy to get caught up in arranging and dusting rather than really looking at the damage areas of your house may have. It’s easy to forget about the chips and scratches on timber floors, doors and furniture which can easily detract from the most beautiful of homes.


Luckily for you there’s an easy solution. The new Touch Up Pen from Cabot’s can quickly disguise imperfections on timber surfaces around the home that suffer the most knocks and bumps, such as tabletops, chairs, doors, floors and the corners of furniture. Designed to closely resemble the colour of most timber finishes, Cabot’s Touch Up Pen range is suitable for use on all interior timber, and is available in five popular stain colours – Black, Walnut Brown, Golden Maple, Honey Oak and Jarrah Red gum – as well as Clear Satin and Clear gloss.


What a great way to refresh and renew slight imperfections the patina of life gives to floors and furniture. So if you’re Spring cleaning or have noticed scratches or chips in the timber work around your home, pick up a Cabot’s Touch Up Pen for only $8.50.


That’s less than what you’ll find under the couch cushions!


If you’d like interiors advice for Spring, or help with timber furniture and flooring contact us for an appointment.

Dining and Decor

September is my most favourite month, not least of all because it is my birth month. So I get to dine out with friends and family at least three times and try to spread it out a bit. As an Interior Decorator I am always on the look out for interesting places to eat. Places with good food and great decor so I was thrilled to be able to visit East Coast Lounge with my designer friends last week. Four of us studied interior design and colour consulting together and we have been firm friends for the past 10 years. We bounce ideas off each other, help each other out with design problems (and a few life problems along the way too) and visit trade shows and events together. We also get together for our birthdays. (any excuse for a get together, really)

East Coast Lounge is at Chowder Bay in Mosman in a weatherboard cottage that was built in the 1890’s and was home to the Submarine Miner’s Depot. The location is on the edge of Sydney Harbour and there are commanding views of the harbour and back to the city.


Entering the lounge is like walking into a friend’s home. The venue is not large and there are tables scattered throughout. Long tables and chairs and benches or small tables for two.

Taken from Instagram

Taken from Instagram

There’s also lounges and coffee tables if you would prefer to sit back with a drink or a cup of coffee. The furniture is from local designers as well as Stuart Membery Home and is all available to order. Infact everything is available to order or purchase. We were pretty taken with the stunning Villeroy and Boch cutlery we used.

IMG_7348 And then there’s artwork and homewares available as well or just there for you to enjoy as you sit and relax.

Image via Instagram

Image via Instagram

There’s a licensed bar for afternoon cocktails and a concise menu featuring wholesome food for brunch and lunch and lots of small plates that can be shared or accompany drinks.

Our Bruschetta

Our Bruschetta

Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad

I thoroughly recommend you check out East Coast Lounge soon. The weather is warming up and ideal for a meal by the harbour.


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.


Upcycling To Win

Following a successful online charity auction, Feast Watson will present $10,000 in charitable donations to the Salvos Stores as part of the Feast Watson Re-Love project. The fortunate top-bidders have also procured some exquisite furniture items which were upcycled into unique statement pieces by a group of talented designers.

Before Side Tables
The eBay auction which closed at 5pm (AEST) on Saturday 18 July, reached a combined total of $6,115.58, with all proceeds from the auction to be donated to the Salvos Stores. Feast Watson provided further funds to bring the total to $10,000 in donations.

Side Tables
Feast Watson’s Brand Manager, James Fisher, says “This year’s talent produced captivating designs, and it is through the support of the wider public and their love of design, impressive results for the Salvos Stores could be achieved.”
Before Single Beds
Upcycling continues to grow in popularity as one of the leading craft trends. The Re-Love Project shows just how a little time and effort can take a second hand piece of furniture and transform it into a something beautiful.

Single Beds

Design Lovers are now invited to get involved in the Re-Love revolution by sharing their own upcycling projects on Instagram. Simply share a before and after image of a recent upcycling project on Instagram using the following hashtags for a chance to win exquisite Mark Tuckey furniture to the value of $3000!

Step 1. Follow Feast Watson on Instagram
Step 2. Upload a before image with hashtags #before #relove2015
Step 3. Upload an after image with hashtags #after #relove2015
Competition closes 4 September 2015.

My Grandmother's breakfast room table before

My Grandmother’s breakfast room table before

My grandmother's breakfast room table after

My grandmother’s breakfast room table after

So what are you waiting for? Get down to your nearest Salvos Store and pick up a piece of furniture and get creative.

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