Spoilt for choice

Wednesday, half way through the week and time to think about the weekend. And what a weekend it is too. Look at all the events, sales and shows that are on. Great for those planning to renovate or decorate their home.

First, there is the HIA Sydney Home Show at Darling Harbour which starts tomorrow and runs until Sunday. It’s a great place to wander around and gather some ideas and see what products are available.

via www.sydneyhomeshow.com.au

Or if you are in the midst of renovating or building and need some tiles or stone slabs, Aeria Country Floors is holding a Warehouse Sale at their factory in Frenchs Forest. The sale will get under way at 8.30am tomorrow morning at 2 Aquatic Drive, French’s Forest and will be open each day between 8.30 and 3.30 finishing on Sunday.

Stone Basin and Tiles form Aeria Country Floors

Read and Bell are having a Trunk Sale at Newtown. If you are looking for a touch of ethnicism for your wardrobe or decor, you must take a look.

Quilts from recycled saris via Read and Bell

Markets? Finders Keepers is on again in Sydney at Eveleigh on Friday night and all day Saturday.

Click Image for Source

Need new bedding? KAS Australia is holding a Warehouse Sale at their factory, 78 O’Riordan Street, Alexandria from 9 – 5 on Sautrday and Sunday. Items start from $5.

KAS Australia Faraday Bedding

If art is more your thang and you are in Melbourne, head over to the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton for Art Melbourne. Over 80 galleries and 600 artists will be displaying their work and you could pick up a new piece for your home starting from $500.

via Art Melbourne website

And if you’re a US reader and happen to be in New York this weekend, Jonathan Adler is holding a Warehouse Sale at 513 Irving Ave, Bushwick, Brooklyn. You can expect 70% off furniture, rugs, lighting and homewares. Wish I was there. I just love his OTT style.

Jonathan Adler Interior Design

And if you are about to build or renovate but are overwhelmed with all the choices available and decisions to make, contact us for an on-line or in-person consultation.

Build A Room From Scratch

Live House Bathroom

Did you manage to venture over to the Hordern Pavilion during the past week? The Live House of the 30 Days of Home, Food and Entertaining was there for 7 days.

Live House Dining Room

I managed to squeeze in a couple of visits and took these photos of the “rooms” to show you.

Live House Family Dining Table

Girl's Bedroom

Boy's Bedroom

The lounge room came to life before my very eyes as I attended the Build A Room From Scratch workshop with Real Living Magazine Editor Deb Bibby and Senior Stylist Sarah Ellison.

Deb Bibby and Sarah Ellison before the transformations

They put together two rooms with completely different looks using all items from Freedom Furniture. As Deb said, ordinarily she wouldn’t recommend purchasing everything from the one place as it can end up looking too matchy, matchy with not much personality. However, Freedom have extended their range considerably over the years and now stock items from many different styles including industrial, provincial, modern, retro, and contemporary. Putting a little bit of everything into one room is challenging but does create a unique space.

Metropolitan Sofa from Freedom

Starting with a black leather sofa and 2 white leather swivel chairs, Sarah created a comfortable living room for adults.

Completed Room

The “other” room was to become the children’s TV room or fun family area. The swivel chairs were turned around to sit adjacent to the limited edition Digital Sofa which would become the main furniture piece in the room. The end result was a bright, fun space for relaxing and watching television or playing games.

Digital Sofa and side tables

Sarah layered items into the room keeping in mind proportion, colour and height of objects to give an interesting result.

Completed Fun Family Room

There’s still time to check out the remaining events of 30 Days of Home, Food and Entertaining before the end of the month.

If you would like assistance, building a room from scratch, or just layering some more pieces to give it that unique look, contact us for an on-line or in-person consultation.


Under or Over

I’m currently working on a number of bathrooms and one of the questions that keeps on cropping up is “What sort of basin should we have? One on top or one underneath?”

via Australian House and Garden Photographer Andrew Lehmann

The two most popular options at the moment seem to be basins that sit on top of the benchtop or basins that sit completely under the benchtop. I must admit the ones on top look pretty good in photographs but then I’m not convinced that they are practical. And being a Virgo, I’m all for practicality! So here’s my take on bathroom basins.

via Australian House and Garden Photographer Simon Kenny

The basins that sit on top of the vanity unit are called Vessel Basins. If you are going to have these then you need to have them deep enough so water won’t splash out when the tap is inadvertently turned on a little too hard. They require taps to be either wall mounted or a rather tall tap mounted on the benchtop. Both of these options will result in water being dripped on the benchtop when the tap is turned off with wet hands. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes and depths so the world of vessel basins is really your oyster.

Parisi Basin

Undermount basins are the ones that seem to be suspended UNDER the benchtop. They are mainly square, round or oval in shape. Most require the taps to be mounted on the benchtop allowing for water to drip down when turning the tap off. The beauty with undermount sinks is that the water and dirt can be swept straight into the bowl making cleaning up a little bit easier.

via Molly Frey Design

I have managed to find a few of both undermounted and vessel basins that incorporate a tap shelf which alleviates all the dripping problems. Music to my ears, as not only are Virgos practical, they hate mess, too. Especially when they have to clean it up.

via Australain House and Garden Photographer Dan Magree

I’m often asked “Will vessel basins still be popular in 5 years time?” And unfortunately I have no idea. However, I have just received an email advertising the new Laufen range of basins designed by Alessi and the vessel basin is 40cm deep.

II Bagno Alessi One Half Tam Tam

So what basin would you choose, vessel or undermount?

If you would like assistance in creating your perfect bathroom, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

Federation Style on Australia Day

One of the most popular style of houses around my area, is the Federation House. It was an early style of Australian architecture and consists of a sprawling, assymetrical structure. It often will have a verandah that encircles the house and roofs with gables, turrets and dormer windows.

via Domain

There are often unlikely angles, bay windows and towers at corners. It was developed to meet the demands of the prosperous middle classes who wanted to show off their new-found wealth that coincided with Federation itself in 1901. The Federation House borrowed styles from many countries and eras which is fitting for this melting pot of a nation, we call home.

via Domain

Inside the house, colours were muted but decoration was ornate. Australian motifs abound with flora and fauna both displayed in the plaster ceilings or used in fabrics, wallpaper or tiles.

from "The Federation House" by Hugh Fraser and Ray Joyce

Coloured glass or lead-light was used throughout Federation homes and the top panels of the front door often featured panels of colour in soft pastels with Art Nouveau or Australian motifs. Round bulls-eye windows as well as bay windows were popular. The bay window would often house a window seat which is such a versatile design.

Colour choice by Inside Out Colour and Design

Fortunately today, these houses are being remodelled (rather than bulldozed) to include many of the period details but with an emphasis on more contemporary living. The dark, muted tones of the turn of the century are gone and the window coverings are more streamlined and suited to today’s busy lifestyles.

Modern take on a Federation Living room by Inside Out Colour and Design

The verandahs are sought after and have often been extended to create an outdoor living space adjacent to the modern kitchen.

Wide verandah

The bathrooms have been updated but still include that old world charm.

Bathroom Design by Inside Out Colour and Design

I love working with these houses. Not just because they are iconic Australian houses but they lend so well to being enhanced and modified to suit today’s families. If you require assistance with colour or decor for your Federation Home, contact us for an on-line or in-person consultation.

Happy Australia Day

Beautiful Bathrooms

I hope you’ve had a good week. It’s getting a bit frantic around here as pre-Christmas delivery deadlines approach.

We have also been working on a bathroom plan for clients who are remodelling their existing space.

Original Bath

New Bath

Bathrooms can be tricky and costly. If you are remodelling and the existing floorplan works, it’s more cost effective to leave plumbing as is and update fixtures and fittings.

Old Vanity

New Vanity designed by Inside Out Colour and Design

One thing you need to work out before you start is who uses the bathroom and how?

Combined bathroom and laundry by Inside Out Colour and Design

If it is an ensuite in a busy home then double basins could be the key.

Double Vanities in Ensuite

If you have young children, or are considering selling your home anytime soon, then make sure you include a bath.

This bathroom was on the ground floor of the house and the clients wanted a bath so they could bathe the children while keeping an eye on the dinner.

And don’t forget storage. Towels don’t store that well in bathrooms as the steam and moisture can effect them so, if possible, keep them in the linen cupboard outside.

Recessed mirrored cabinet above vanity designed by Inside Out Colour and Design

Do think about storage for beauty and hygiene products, though and a great place is in a mirrored cabinet. They’re a bit better these days than the old shaving cabinet with the sliding mirrored doors!

Bathroom designed by Inside Out Colour and Design

And add some colour. Tiles come in every shape and colour these days and there is no limit as to what you can do with them.

Mosaic feature wall in children’s ensuite, designed by Inside Out Colour and Design

Again, think about how the bathroom will be used and add colour accordingly.

Bathroom designed by Inside Out Colour and Design

I hope you get some time for a soak in the tub this weekend.

If you would like assistance with your bathroom renovation, contact us to enquire about our bathroom design services.


Form at the expense of Function

Here we are in our holiday rental at Daylesford. It’s at beautiful part of the world rich in mineral springs and healthy living.

Our little cottage is just the right size for us and perfect for a short term stay. It has recently been renovated and is finished in a neutral palette. It has a great outdoor deck, which flows off the living room and a well-appointed kitchen.

Accommodation in Daylesford

However there are just a few finishing touches that are missing and it got me to thinking how some people just “miss” when completing their family homes. Too much emphasis is placed on Form rather than Function.

Family homes are meant to be lived in, not show pieces. If we can blend both, all the better, but first and foremost a family home is somewhere in which to relax and entertain our guests.

Comfortable Bedroom

Bedrooms NEED storage. Even if the house is just a weekender, it needs to have somewhere for the occupants to put some clothes. A small hanging space is all that is needed and a chest of drawers for other items. There’s nothing worse than having all your clothes in an open suitcase even it’s just for one or two nights. In this day and age with Ikea and Howards Storage World, these items can be purchased for a nominal outlay.

Lived In Bedroom

The other room where finishing touches are forgotten, is the bathroom. Early in a bathroom renovation, think about where the towels will be hung. There should be a towel rail for each person that uses the bathroom as well as a small ring or rail for the hand towel. Towels need to be hung out flat to dry effectively after use and a rail is preferred over a hook on the back of the door. If there isn’t enough room for a rail in the bathroom itself, place a freestanding towel rail in the bedroom.

Bathroom without towel rails

No matter how much clutter we eradicate from our lives, reality is that we all need storage. Having a place for everything and everything in it’s place will ensure your home functions properly at all times – Form AND Function.

What about you? Do you find yourself forgetting function for the sake of form?

If you need assistance in planning storage for your home, contact us to enquire about our design services.


I’m looking for some colourful decorative pieces for a client and absolutely LOVE this range from Meizai.

Colourful straight necked vases

What a simple way to add some colour and liven up the living room for spring.

High Ginger Jars

A great way to tie some of the colours in the room together is with pattern.

Chromatic Tall Tea Jar

And this collection would look gorgeous in a bathroom.

Beachcomber Collection

Or maybe fish.

Tropical Fish Collection

They certainly are colourful.

If you are interested in adding any of these to your home, contact us for details.

Its in the Stars

I think we all read our astrology charts from time to time. Whether we live by the predictions or just read them for a laugh there are often things that ring true.

Many years ago I picked up a sheet on decorating styles for Virgos (which is me). There were many comments that made me wonder if there was something in decorating by the stars.

So when Jonathan Adler released these cushions, it reminded me to read a bit more about astrology decorating.

Needlepoint Cushions from Jonathan Adler

Virgos like an earthly retreat filled with natural materials and colours.They like to bring the outdoors in. We are no nonsense type of people and want simplicity and everything in it’s place.

from Australian House and Garden Photographer Andre Martin

Those born under the sign of Sagittarius (like my husband) like their homes to reflect their interst in travel and other cultures.

via Style Files

via Style Files

And Cancerians (like my daughter) require their home to be a retreat, as they are “stay-at-home” types and want security and then comfort.

via Point Click Home Photographer Keith Scott Morton

Have a look at decorating for your star sign and let me know if your home reflects your star sign.

The White Stuff

As I’ve mentioned before, I LOVE colour. I love it in my home, in my clothing and in my workplace.

Colourful interior by John Croft Design

However, there are times when one needs to rest. Too much colour can sometimes have a negative effect. This is when you need to include some white. White is pure and clean and creates a calm spot to rest the eyes or body.

Enter Whiteport. All your white accessories and small furniture items in the one place…..and online! You don’t even have to leave home.

Kitchen accessories by Whiteport

Jennifer McCabe, founder of Whiteport has sourced beautiful bath, bed and table items and put them all together on her website.

Many, many years ago, my Grandmother helped me buy my first dinner set. We chose an all white set which I still use today. White is timeless and goes with everything. The white plate allows the food to take centre stage.

White dinner set from Whiteport

I love going to hotels and having nice fluffy white towels and there’s something luxurious about slipping between crisp, white sheets.

White bed linen from Whiteport

At the moment, Whiteport is offering up to 40% discount on certain items when you sign up for their email newsletter.

Whether your style is Beach, French Provincial, Hamptons or Traditional, white will work for you.

So pop over and grab yourself some refreshing new items for your home.

Ensuite Dilemma

I am starting to think about the finishing touches for our own home renovation. It’s been 3 years in the making and about 7 years in the dreaming.

As soon as we bought this place, we knew we wanted to change it and add our own stamp. The house, as they say, had loads of potential.

Real Estate Flyer

We tweaked rooms that won’t be affected and then left others that will.

Master Bedroom

This is a photo of our master bedroom. Whilst living in Hong Kong for 3 years, we purchased a number of Chinese antiques and the master bedroom has a definite Asian Influence.

Lamps from Wah Tung, Hong Kong

My dilemma is what to do in the future ensuite? Should I carry the Asian theme through or should I leave it and give it the hotel look?

Hotel Style Bathroom - stone tiles and neutral colours

I really like the images below and could do something similar but my husband is worried that once you take our furniture out of the bedroom, the next person will be left with an Asian bathroom.

I figure that by the time I’m ready to leave this place the bathroom will need re-doing anyway so why shouldn’t I have it my way. After all, it will just be the vanity.

What do you think?

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