Quirky Decor

Do you like quirky things?

Vintage Stage Circa 1950's

I must admit a I am a little quirky. I like the unexpected and try to put that in my decorating schemes.

So I am always interested in what DavidMetNicole has in their ever-changing store. Just the name is quirky enough, right? I have subscribed to their newsletter and each month get excited by the myriad of items they have found. I start dreaming and scheming of where I can use the various treasures.

But I’m really stumped this month. Where on earth could I use one or more of these?

1960's Teeth Model

Or these?

1840's Porcelain Doll Heads

And let’s not forget these?

Vintage Glass Dolls Eyes

Do you have any ideas? What would YOU do with a fistful of body parts, albeit from dolls?

Have a wonderful weekend.

I See Red

Today is Go Red for Women Day to draw attention to the Heart Foundation’s fight against heart disease in women. What a good day to talk about Red!

Red Paint

I have used red in my own home in both the casual and formal living areas. The casual area because it is dominated by a large artwork by Sydney artist Karen Benton, which my husband bought.

Karen Benton Painting - The Journey

The formal area has red accessories because we have a number of Asian furniture pieces from our time living in Hong Kong and we fell in love with a Jim Thompson silk that HAD to be in the scheme.

Touches of red from Jim Thompson

I love reading Leatrice Eiseman’s book, Color For Your Every Mood. Here is an extract from her chapter on red.

Red Sofas

“Throughout history, red has signalled excitement, dynamism, danger and sex. It elicits the strongest of emotions in every culture: love and the pulsating heart; anarchy and the waving war banner; Satan and the martyred saint. It is the colour of life and the colour of evil, the colour of danger and colour of excitement.

Red Dining Room

People don’t just like red – they love it. People whose favourite colour is red have a zest for life, they are, quite literally “movers and shakers.” They need to be well informed, involved. Because of its psychological associations with fire, heat, blood and danger, red is impossible to ignore and so is the person who prefers this most exciting colour. They are passionate in their pursuits, ardent and extroverted. Red lovers are achievers, intense, impulsive, competitive, energetic, daring and aggressive. They are exciting optimistic, animated people, leaders who like to be the centre of attention. Red people can also be restless and driven. Routine drives them crazy. They crave new things and new experiences. Because they are assertive, they can be opinionated and overbearing as well. They can be moody, bossy and fickly in the pursuit of new challenges. But what would the world be without these exciting people?”

Red Bedroom by Inside Out Colour and Design

Red can be used in so many rooms. It stimulates the appetite so is a good choice for restaurants and therefore works well in the kitchen and the dining room. It’s great for a library, family room, lounge room and even in a bedroom, especially if the red wall is behind the bed and you are not waking up staring at a red wall!

Red Feature Wall via Dulux.com

Enjoy some red in your life but also take check of your risk to heart disease by following these steps.

Red Living Room via HGTV

If you would like to add a touch of red to your home interiors, contact us for an appointment.

Who’s Afraid Of Big Bad Colour?

I recently went along to a talk with this title. Unfortunately, the content did not live up to the title and along with colleagues I left a little underwhelmed. You see, the entire panel of speakers, along with the MC, all agreed that white was their preferred colour.

To say I was disappointed was an understatement. but I did get to thinking later. One of the speakers (not an Aussie) commented that Australians don’t put colour on their walls. He went on to say that he found that remarkable when we were surrounded by colour.

Kata Tjuta at Sunset

Our landscape, fashion and indigenous art is all extremely colourful yet nearly every home has white or off white walls.

Art by Minnie Pwerle

What I found amazing was that, wouldn’t that be preferred? I mean why would you want a riot of colours on your walls all competing with the colours of the view, or the artworks or the owners and their possessions?

Australian Fashion

I think it makes perfect sense that we have neutral walls so that the rest of our colourful world can take centre stage. Of course being a Colour Consultant I can’t resist but put colour on at least one wall in a house, but not every room a different colour.

Photo by Willem Rethmeier via Australian House and Garden

What do you think do you like colour on the walls or would you prefer your colour to be in other things?

PS. Don’t forget to head over to my Facebook Fan Page and become a fan (or like me) to go into the draw to win a pair of colourful cushion covers. Drawn this Wednesday!

My Top 3 from Designex

Last week, Designex was held here in Sydney. It is the premier “trade only” show for interior designers, architects and decorators. The location of the show alternates between Melbourne and Sydney each year.

There were loads of things to look at from both existing suppliers as well as some new ones. So I’ve picked out my favourite three to share with you.

The first stand I was excited about actually won the New Product Award at the show. Katsu Glass Design have just released Designer ArtGlass.

ArtGlass Splashback from Katsu Glass Design

You can choose from a wide range of designs and photographs to place behind toughened glass for feature walls and splashbacks. The images can be printed, painted or etched onto the glass to create something unique. Julie Patterson from Cloth has provided 11 designs from her range to be reproduced onto glass. It’s a great way to add a feature to your kitchen or bathroom.

Cloth Designs for Katsu Glass Design

The next “Oh wow” moment I had was at the stand “Designer Boys”.

Tribal Rhythm from Designer Boys Collections

Now Aussies who have had an interest in home decorating and renovating for the last few years will know these boys as Gavin and Warren from the original series of “The Block.” The boys moved to Byron Bay a few years ago and continue to provide interior decorating and styling services for clients on the Gold Coast and Northern New South Wales.

Red Fan Coral from Designer Boys Collections

They have also released a collection of fabulous art. Each piece evokes many feelings with strong lines, global textures and exquisite treasures all beautifully framed and ready to hang on your wall.

Tribeca I from Designer Boys Collections

There is also a collection of Giclee Prints which have beautiful colours.

Valentino I from Designer Boys Collections

And the third stand that caught my eye was the new range of rugs from The Rug Collection. Australia’s home-grown gardening guru, Jamie Durie, has assisted with the development of this range called Garden Room.

Summer Beauty from The Rug Collection

The bold use of colour, whimsical design exploration and a modern edge work in harmony to bring life to this new collection.

Flannel Flower from The Rug Collection

I had timed my visit to Designex well and was fortunate enough to hear Jamie speak at The Outdoor Room on what he believes will be the trend for indoor/outdoor living. Pop back on Friday to read what he said.

The Outdoor Room

If you are interested in adding any of the above products to your interior, Inside Out Colour and Design would be pleased to source them for you as the rugs and artworks are only available through architects and interior decorators.

Send us an email or call 0401440088 if you would like more information.

I Like Chinese

Just a quickie today, I’m afraid. Short week, school holidays and family house-guests are my excuses.

We decided to meet my husband in the city today for lunch. I chose a restaurant that was easy to get to and wouldn’t entail a mile long walk for us or him. Din Tai Fung fitted the bill. We all like Chinese food and as he was on limited time, we wanted something that was quick. You can’t go past the Chinese for quick, tasty food.

Anyway, that’s not what I wanted to tell you about. Look at this screen.

It’s the wall between the dining area and bar. There is perspex sheets between two columns and all these bamboo steamers have been glued to it. Don’t they form an eye-catching feature?

Underneath the counter is this artistic display of rice bowls.

And further along they have used Chinese Soup spoons.

A group of items certainly has more impact than one or two and it made me think yet again, that you don’t have to just hang art or photographs.

What interesting things have you seen grouped together and hung on a wall?

On The Floor

One of the jobs I have been working on for the past 4 years is revamping a family home. The lovely couple have pretty much moved into the “empty nester” category with their youngest heading off to university, outside Sydney, at the beginning of last year.

We’ve transformed the house in every way, except structurally and are now up to the fun part of putting in the new furnishings.

Family Room before

The new leather lounge has gone in and we have bought some new artwork.

This oil painting by Velia Newman will sit on the family room wall

Last week we looked at some rugs and chose the following three from Designer Rugs.

Floral Sketch

Floral Sketch

This is the right size – 2m x 3m.

Flame Tree

The pattern will get lost once we put a coffee table on top.


The background colour could be changed to a warmer off white to blend in better with the tiles and sofa.

We don’t want the rug to detract from the artwork but it must complement it.

Which one do you like?

Style in Your Life

Yesterday was the first day of Life Instyle trade show in Sydney.

I went along to take a look at the new and exciting homewares and giftwares on display. I enjoy going to the Gift and Homewares shows (there are three on in Sydney this weekend) but not having a retail outlet, I’m really only there to look at trends and new things. Some of the bigger shows have furniture and rugs but in the main these shows are aimed at Retailers who buy lots of smaller items.

So I’ve selected my favourites. These are items I would buy if I had somewhere to sell them or I could put them in your home. Most of the exhibitors have minimum orders and I only want one of each…… just for me or you. What would I do with the other 29 I have to buy? Never mind, it’s fun looking.

Jo Luping Design has been in my little black book for a few years now as I quite liked her Hemp cushions.

Now she has these cute little bowls which could come in handy for all sorts of purposes. I think I would put mine on my dressing table as a good spot to put my earrings.

A company I had not seen at the shows before was Seletti. Imported from Italy, this company has a wide range of household items from mugs to containers to ornaments. I love these fine porcelain sardine tins. They also have a range of toys made in the white fine porcelain. Very quirky!

Images Francaises have a gorgeous range of cushions.

And who could resist these lamps……especially when your surname is French!

But what caught my eye was this adorable little bookmark.

With the current obsession of home cooking sweeping Australia, I could probably find 30 friends and family that would help me out with these.

Always looking for colour, I couldn’t help but notice this beautiful purple compote. The colour was stunning and I’m a sucker for plates on legs. Of course it was THE most expensive item on the stand.

Other items from Collect Home include Terracotta Urns, glass and pewter pitchers and amber and honey bottles. The philosophy behind the brand is inline with how I think a home should be decorated. “Treasures that are collected from different times, places and friends -pieces inherited and those we have fallen in love with.” That’s what makes a home.

I’m sure there is something there that appeals to you. If not in my round-up, then I have no doubt you will find something amongst the 500 brands that are on display.

Whatever you’re doing, enjoy your weekend.

Alex Perry for Designer Rugs

I was one of the lucky ones to have breakfast with Australia’s premier couturier this morning. It’s not every day I get to breakfast with the stars but today Designer Rugs were showcasing the latest Australian Designer to join their stable. Alex Perry launched his fashion label in the early 1990’s and his name is synomous with red carpet events and weddings.

Alex and Yosi I was hoping that Alex wouldn’t think I was stalking him as this is the third time this year I have been at an event where he was the guest speaker. I love his laid back personal style and his glamorous fashions and am thrilled to see this style transformed into art for the home. The inspiration for this collection is his Greek heritage.



Alex admitted that his favourite would have to be Palati which was inspired by the iron gates on the National Gardens of Athens.



I can imagine Rhodes was inspired by the marble floor in an ancient building.



I really like Anthi for it’s style and glamour and surprisingly enough I’m drawn to Ipografi with it’s funky colours and script.



Which is your favourite?

Tea and Sympathy

I have long been a fan of Clarice Cliff pottery. Alas, I don’t have a piece in my collection. I do, however, have a lovely book called Tea and Sympathy – Fabulous cakes on art deco plates that was published in 1985. This book combines wonderful afternoon tea recipes from Australia’s best known foodies with accompanying photographs of the food on Clarice Cliff crockery.

Clarice Cliff

Clarice Cliff

Clarice Cliff was born in 1899 in Tunstall, Staffordshire, UK and became one of the most outrageous and celebrated designers of mainstream twentieth century art. At an early age, Clarice took to the walls of her bedroom painting them orange and yellow, the ceiling a metallic gold and the furnishings orange with black relieve. She described the effect as bizarre, a word that would later attach itself to her early work. She studied at various art schools before becoming a lithographer. This field was too limited for her talent and design ambition and she experimented with hand-painted designs on warehouse stock pottery. Her work was launched on an unsuspecting Britain on the eve of the Great Depression. Her first test-run of 60 dozen pieces sold out in days.

Hundreds of Clarice Cliff Tea Cups ready for auction in 2008

Hundreds of Clarice Cliff Tea Cups ready for auction in 2008

Her crazy designs called for unusually shaped pottery and I think the shape, colours and geometric patterns are what draws me to her work. She was a firm believer that the pieces were to be used not just put in the china cabinet to be admired. I’m glad many people didn’t use their pieces too much so we have many still being bought, sold and displayed today. A selection of Clarice Cliff ceramics is on display on Level 3 of the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney until December 2009.

Bizarre Jug by Clarice Cliff

Bizarre Jug by Clarice Cliff

You may be lucky to find a piece of her work at your local Antique shop or your could try Deco Downunder.

What to do this weekend?

It’s Thursday and time to think about the weekend. There are a few things on this weekend that may be of interest to you.

Art Sydney First up is Art Sydney 2009 which is being held at the Royal Hall of Industries, Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park. The official opening is tonight with a special preview party from 5pm – 9pm. You can book tickets here. The show continues on Friday from midday – 9pm, Saturday 10am – 6pm and Sunday 10am – 5pm. There will be lots to look at including artworks from over 100 galleries all under the one roof. You might like to take an Art Walk and Talk or take the kids to a free workshop or spot fresh talent at the Off The Wall exhibit where 12 of the best up-and -coming artists from across Australia are exhibiting with works from as little as $250.

On Sunday head to the Danks St Festival which will showcase the art galleries and gourmet food that have made Danks Street, Waterloo a drawcard for people from all over Sydney. Crowds can expect culinary delights from Danks Street Depot, Wah Wah Lounge, Grosvenor Hotel, Thai Pie, Red Star Pizza and Mason Rose, The French House and Patisse.

Making its first appearance at the Festival this year is the Live Green Kitchen hosted by Lyndey Milan, with leading local chefs including Jared Ingersoll, Kylie Kwong, Alex Herbert, Dave Campbell and Ashley Hughes demonstrating cooking techniques that focus on sustainable food.

PYD Market

Also new for 2009 is a “Handmade Market” selling all the things you love about your local fete – everything from handcrafts to sweet treats, supporting local artists and charities. There will be more performers than ever before in some surprise shows you’ll never forget and a great music line up that is guaranteed to have you cruising on a Sunday afternoon.

PYD Building

Festival favourites return such as the Produce Market, bar and “Arty Pants” – interactive art for kids. The PYD Building (so named because it sits on the corner of Philip, Danks and Young Streets) has the Vogue Living designer markets running over both Saturday and Sunday in the car park.

Anzac Bridge

Anzac Bridge

Sunday is also the Seven Bridges Walk which is a 25 Km course that takes in Sydney Harbour Bridge, Pyrmont Bridge, ANZAC Bridge, Iron Cove Bridge, Gladesville Bridge, Tarban Creek Bridge and the Fig Tree Bridge.

Gladesville Bridge

Gladesville Bridge

Join the fun and see this beautiful city while helping to raise money for beyondblue: the national depression initiative, The Cancer Council NSW, Diabetes Australia – NSW and The Heart Foundation NSW.

Iron Cove Bridge

Iron Cove Bridge

What would you choose?

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