The Selling Season Is Here

Have you noticed the burgeoning real estate section in your local paper at the moment? Or the number of For Sale or Auction signs around your neighbourhood?

Real Estate Signs everywhere

Real Estate Signs everywhere

As is the case every Spring, the market is “going off”!



And a couple of “my” houses have gone on the market. I selected the external colour scheme for this house in Willoughby back in May and it will go to Auction at the beginning of November.


Before – Custard and Ocean Blue

Funnily enough I had visited this house a year or two prior for Book Club when one of the members was living there.


Rear Deck before

It never ceases to amaze me what a fresh coat of paint in contemporary colours can do for a house.

Back Deck Finished

Rear Deck After

Colours used were Dulux Teahouse for Gutters, Barge Boards, Fascias and Verandah Top Rail and Posts.

Dulux Teahouse

Dulux Teahouse

Dulux Powered Rock for Walls

Dulux Powered Rock

Dulux Powered Rock

Dulux Vivid White for Window Frames, Eaves and Verandah Balusters.

Dulux Vivid White

Dulux Vivid White

If you would like assistance selecting a colour scheme for your home, contact us for an appointment.

Pigeon Pair or Toucan Triplet

As I walk around my neighbourhood I get a little thrill of excitement when I see a house receiving some tender loving care. And if this love is being slapped on from a paint can I can’t wait to see the finished result. I wonder which colour they will paint it? Will they paint the Barge Boards in the same colour as the gutters or will they paint them the same as the eaves?

So I was quite excited when I walked past a gracious large home with scaffolding all around and the painters working madly.

This house was receiving some TLC

This house was receiving some TLC

But soooo disappointed when a few days later I walked past again and noticed the home was being painted the same colour as it’s neighbour. As if that wasn’t bad enough it was the same colour as the neighbour next to the neighbour too! Three houses in a row all the same colour. Well Ok, I didn’t have my fan deck with me and I wasn’t about to jump the fences and go up to the houses to see if they were infact the exact same colour. But in the early morning light they were pretty darned close for this trained colour consultant’s eye.

Painting the same colour

Painting the same colour

There really is no excuse for this. I understand people drive past a house and admire it’s colour but to paint exactly the same as your neighbour is downright unadventurous. You just have to look at the number of colours available from any of the big paint companies here in Australia to realise there is plenty of choice. Dulux, Taubmans, Wattyl, Resene, Bristol, Haymes, Porters, Murobond, the list is endless. And if you have trouble making a decision, call in an expert. You really don’t need to copy the house next door and the one next door to that no matter how much you like their choice. Besides you want your house to stand out, not tell your visitors we’re the third green house from the top! Check out my other considerations when Choosing an External Colour Scheme for some more ideas.

First house Second House Third House

If you would like assistance choosing colours for your home, contact us for a consultation.


Missoni For Target Australia is on it’s way.

I’ve been drooling over the range of Missoni homewares soon to be available at a Target Store near you. Or if you can’t get into Target then you can shop online.


The range is H-U-G-E and there’s something for everyone including the family pooch.


So where would you like to add some Missoni to your home? Some deck chairs, beach towels and umbrellas around the pool?


What about some cushions for the sofa or bed?

IMG_4133 Or new bedlinen?

IMG_4128 And don’t forget the summer dining table with this fabulous melamine tableware. There’s also glassware and crockery too.


And you can serve those cocktails on the Lucite serving tray.


So clear your diary for Wednesday 8 October. That’s the day you need to run into Target or position yourself infront of your computer or tablet and grab those bargains. There is nothing over $200 but most of the range is under $100. Oh and there’s clothing for all the family, stationery and phone and tablet accessories.

The Perfect Solution

If you’ve ever decided to change the paint colour of your home, inside or out, you’ve probably trotted off to the paint or hardware store and stood for hours infront of the colour walls.

Dulux Colour Wall

Dulux Colour Wall

You’ve probably carefully selected a handful of 3cm x 3cm chips, taken them home and stuck them on your wall. Then you’ve tried to imagine what your whole room or even whole house would look like painted in that colour. You may have come up with a short list of anywhere between 3 and 10 colours and headed back to the store for sample pots. Your house then looks like it is diseased while you ponder the colour yet again.

via Apartment Therapy

via Apartment Therapy

Well at long last there is now an easier, less messy way. Brush-Out Boards.

Brush-Out Boards complete with Blu-Tack

Brush-Out Boards complete with Blu-Tack

Brush-Out Boards are 40cm x 40cm boards painted with real paint and come complete with Blu-Tack ready for you to stick up on your wall. The beauty of these boards is that they can be moved around the home so you can easily see what the colour will look like on the bright northern side of the house and the darker southern side.

Inspirations Brush-Out Boards

Inspirations Brush-Out Boards

The boards are $4 each (half the price of a sample pot) for the top 20 colours and $8 for the remainder and delivered straight to your door. Hold the phone!!!! I’ve just heard that if you spend more than $50 in one order on these boards, shipping is FREE!!!!! Just use the code FREESHIP14 at checkout.

Brush-Out Boards make choosing paint colours easier and less messy.

Brush-Out Boards make choosing paint colours easier and less messy.

These brush-out boards are available from Inspirations Paint in Dulux or Berger paint colours.

And don’t forget if it all gets too confusing and too expensive, a Colour Consultation will make life so much easier in under 2 hours. A full specification sheet will be issued for you to hand to your painter so everyone knows which colour goes where. Contact us for an appoinment.


Colour for Spring and Summer

I’ve mentioned on numerous occasions I am definitely a Spring/Summer person rather than an Autumn/Winter person. I hate the cold and if the mercury drops below 25C then I’m pulling on layers.


So this time of year I’m in my element as the shops start stocking the new season ranges. The added colour is a welcome sight after months of dark, dismal colours.


Last week I had a sneak peek at the new range of cushions from Rapee. They will be available later this month. Nothing says warmer months more than blues, yellows and greens and Rapee have a great range in these colourways.

Santorini 50cm Zest

Florals are not going anywhere soon either with a gorgeous selection of cushions which look like they’ve been handpainted with floral blooms.


And I couldn’t resist this cute camera cushion. Perfect for all those Instagram fanatics.


Rapee also has a selection of table placemats and runners and don’t forget the Florence Broadhurst range. There’s soft furnishings to suit every home.

Dusk Group_CAS

If you would like assistance choosing soft furnishings for your home or would like to place an order for any of these cushions, contact us.

Missoni at Target Australia

It’s coming, it’s coming.

Three years ago this September I had my first visit to the United States. We landed in New York City on 12 September and on the 13th September Missoni released a line of fashion and homewares at Target. I was trying to get to a Target store to check it out but unfortunately with husband and child in tow, there were too many other sights to check out. So by the time I eventually did find a Target store and venture inside the Missoni range had long since disappeared. I remember thinking, Why doesn’t Target Australia collaborate with the likes of Missoni?

Campaign Image 2_High Res

Well this October they are! That’s right, October 8 a range of Missoni homewares and fashion will be available for a limited time at Target Australia. Over 220 products available in store and online including fashion for all the family, homewares, stationery, beach towels, tableware and even pet accessories.

Campaign Image 1_High Res

My advice is to get your sleeping bags and camp ovens ready and clear your diaries for 6th through to 9th of October so you can stock up on this gorgeous range.


Employing a Painter

I was cleaning up my files last week and found a sheet I had collected about painters and painting. I have no idea where it originated but thought it was very pertinent as my husband continues to paint our house following renovations in 2012!


It takes two coats to change most paint colours. In many cases it’s better to buy less expensive paint and to two coats rather than buy the expensive paint to try and get away with one.

Despite what your painter tells you, especially for exterior, even if it appears to cover in one coat, everything needs two coats, that is very important for durability. Painting is done by hand therefore is subject to human error so two coats are important to get a solid, protective coating on the surface.

paint tins

You should always use kitchen and bath paint in a kitchen or a bathroom. They have mold and mildew inhibitors and have faster cure time.

Regular paint cures in 34 days , so use the right paint if you’d like to shower before then!

There is no substitute for good quality products and paint.

Painters will try to tell you that it doesn’t make a difference but take it from me(?), you get what you pay for. If it costs more, it usually means it’s better.


But most importantly,

If you get 2-3 quotes for a paint job and there is a dramatic price difference between them, consider that each painter is viewing the job differently. One painter might be pricing the job based on how fast he thinks he can do it while the other painter is most likely pricing the job on how well  (or thoroughly) he thinks he can do it.

Paint can hide a multitude of sins which must be dealt with at a base coat level. Simply covering up flaws with a top coat can lead to big problems down the road. There is no substitute for a thorough job and cutting corners on prep work is the worst thing you can do.





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.


It’s a small world after all

It’s been a hectic couple of weeks with absolutely no time for blogging, sorry. And here we are at the first day of July!!!!

I have been working on a number of projects all with colour – paint, fabrics, benchtops, tiles. It’s no secret I am happiest when I’m immersed in colour.


So I was delighted to attend two fabric launches recently from different fabric houses who both said, “Colour is BACK!” Yippee!!!!


But what really hit home was the fact that inspiration for these collections has come from across the globe – North African Berber Rugs, Persian Kilims and Aztec motifs from South America. There is also a nod to Art Nouveau and to the Baroque periods.


And where would we be without stripes? I’ve mentioned previously I much prefer stripes to spots so was delighted to see ticking stripes, wide stripes and multi-width stripes in the collections.


And no longer are we a year or two behind our northern hemisphere counterparts. We have access to exactly the same colours, textures and fabrics as they do, at the same time.


It really is a small world after all.

If you would like assistance with fabrics for your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.



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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