The Right Piece

This week I received a lovely email from an on-line client I worked with last year. “We continue to be thrilled with the finished product and have had many wonderful family and friends at our family dining table since its completion. Thank-you once again.”

Chris had been looking for a square french provincial table and was not having much luck. She placed a phone call to my father-in-law who is a painter and decorator in Brisbane under the name of French Interiors. (well it is his last name!) Bill passed on the details to me.

The House Painters by Gustave Caillebotte via

I spoke with Chris and emails ensued. Chris had 8 french provincial dining chairs and required a table 150cm x 150cm. She had been intending to purchase a table 8 years earlier as a wedding present to themselves but it just never happened.

I scoured my suppliers looking for a suitable table and came up with an oak table and a white table with an oak top.

Neither ticked all the boxes. So I took a drawing and measurements to one of my custom furniture makers and they made up a table in Tasmanian Oak to our specifications.

As we needed the table to match the chair colour, we arranged for the table to be left unpainted and my father-in-law matched the paint colour and painted the table when it arrived at the client’s home in Brisbane.

It took some time, but Chris now has her wedding present and the table has already seen many dinner parties with friends and family.

If you need assistance finding that elusive piece of furniture to finish your home, contact us for on 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.


Colourful, Quirky Style

Yesterday I spent the day roaming the aisles at the Life In Style trade fair here in Sydney.

Life In Style

If you’ve been following my blog, you will know that I LOVE colour. So it’s not surprising the following items grabbed my attention. We are stocking these items at Inside Out Colour and Design at great on-line prices. If you are interested in any, send me an email.

These watches are designed in Sweden and are made from polyurethane, leather, acetate and German rubber.They are water resistant and have a 2 year warranty but the best news is that they come in a variety of fabulous colours.

Funky watches in a myriad of colours from $160 each

And look at these cute little chairs. Wouldn’t you love one of these in the bedroom.

Fabulous, affordable feature chairs from $370

But my favourite were these quirky, colourful dining chair slip covers. They are made in France and imported into Australia.

Quirky dining chair slip covers from $180 each

The bright colours and versatility make them a great buy for an easy update of your dining furniture.

Retro Kitchen Chair on a slip cover

If you would like to add some colour and a little quirkiness to your decor, contact us for an online or in person consultation.

Throw another shrimp on the barbie

The weather is superb here in Sydney at the moment. And that’s the ideal time to fire up the barbeque and head outdoors for dinner.

I came across these fabulous table cloths recently and thought how colourful they were and how suitable to outdoor dining.

Some come in quite a large size which is great for those big outdoor tables.

Almost good enough to use as an artwork.

Some patterns are also available in runners and most have matching napkins.

We can source these items for you. Contact us to enquire about our on-line or in person design services.

Country to Hamptons

I had the pleasure of visiting a client I have been working with, on the weekend.

Apricot and Green before

Since my last visit, they have had the house painted inside and out in the colours I had chosen. They were wanting something a little softer than the apricot tones they had had previously.

Sand and Blue now

And they have taken possession of the new dining chairs I helped select, which are much more comfortable.

Country style dining chairs

Smart new chairs

And my upholsterer had recovered their old sofas and tub chairs in fabric I had chosen to go with the Hamptons theme they were wanting.

Orange Checks before

Hamptons Style new look sofas

It was so exciting to visit and throw around the scatter cushions. My clients are absolutely thrilled with the way their home is coming together.

Now we’re moving on to coffee and side tables and lamps. I hope you enjoyed your weekend too!

via La Maison

If  you would like assistance in creating a home that oozes your personality, contact us to enquire about our colour and design services.

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

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.


This week I attended one of the Coco Republic Lifestyle Series Lectures held at their new design centre in Alexandria which also houses the new Coco Republic Design School.

The guest speaker was Karen McCartney, Editor for the last 10 years, of Inside Out Magazine. Karen addressed the topic “What Makes An Interior Work” and illustrated her points with lovely images of a New York Apartment, an Australian Beach House and an apartment in Paris.

Australian Beach House

Karen agreed that decorating is hard. Television shows indicate that it can all be done in a weekend but in reality it should be created slowly and filled with treasures that create passion and interest.


via Point Click Home

I was pleased to hear that Karen, like me, believes the most important aspect of decorating your own home is to stay true to yourself and decorate for you and your family, not the latest trends. Many people get carried away on different tangents when they enter the decorating arena because there are so many choices and new products and ideas coming out all the time. It’s important to keep focused on your original plan.

Karen also talked about a new room in the house I had not heard before – the Kidili (pronounced kai-de-lie). It’s that big room that many renovators add to older houses, a combination kitchen, dining room and living room.

via House Of Turquoise The problem can be that there’s lots of wall space and no character with these rooms. Many have the tendency to become one big barn. It’s a good idea to maintain a neutral palette and add colour and texture to create interest.

via Australian House & Garden Photographer Simon Kenny

There was a question about this room being a concern because the messy kitchen is visible to all, but there are always ways of hiding the mess by clever screening and furniture placement. They are great for families with children as everyone is in the same space and the children can be easily supervised.

Not sure where this one came from. I had it in a tear sheet.

What do you think, do you like the Kidili or do you prefer separate rooms?

PS. Karen credited Queensland architect Timothy Hill with introducing her to the phrase.

If you would like assistance sourcing furniture or decorating your KiDiLi, contact us for an appointment.

Taking Tea

What comes to mind when you see this powdery blue colour?

Wedgwood? It’s a brand that’s been around for 250 years and is well known for it’s powder blue and white plates and trinket boxes.

I had the pleasure of taking tea with Lord Wedgwood yesterday……along with about 40 other people.

The Country Trader

We were gathered at The Country Trader at Waterloo for cucumber sandwiches, lemon tarts and champagne to hear Lord Wedgwood, the seventh-generation descendant of Wedgwood’s founder, Josiah Wedgwood.

The new range of exquisite works of art, celebrates the company’s 250th year and shows that whilst maintaining it’s classical roots, the pieces can sit comfortably in the contemporary home.

Wedgwood Panther Vase

Pieces like the Palladian Vase which is a crystal vase with black jasper lid.

Wedgwood Palladian Vase

Lord Wedgwood also announced that Designer Rugs will be releasing a range of Wedgwood inspired rugs. Again, these classical pieces would suit the floors of many homes. And I love the colours in this Renaissance rug.

Wedgwood Renaissance Gold Rug

This rug is taken from the dinner set that has been released with the 250th anniversary collection is just beautiful. The antique table at The Country Trader looked resplendent with this elegant setting.

Wedgwood Renaissance Gold Dinner Set

Makes me want to invite a bunch of friends over and cook up a storm!

Wedgwood Renaissance Gold Tea Cups

Maybe we could just have a cuppa?

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.

It’s Complicated

This is the new movie which is written and directed by Nancy Meyers. She was the one behind “Something’s Gotta Give” starring Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton and that beautiful Hamptons house that set the decorating world alight with requests for Hampton style furnishings.

This movie stars one of my favourite actors – Meryl Streep and is definitely worth watching. I haven’t laughed so much for such a long time. The “Skype” scene is absolutely hilarious and the rest of the movie is peppered with lots of comical scenes and quips.

Dining with Friends

Nancy Meyers is well known for her detailed sets showing beautiful decor in the houses she films. Did you see “The Holiday”, “Parent Trap” or “Father of The Bride”? “It’s Complicated” is no different.

The Spanish ranch style home in Santa Barbara is furnished with a comfortable mix of antiques and modern furniture. Most of this movie is filmed inside the house and the interiors are cream with touches of orange. (This colour scheme was deliberately chosen to enhance Streep’s Peaches and Cream complexion.)

Meyers was heavily influenced by Belgian style, which is so popular in America at the moment, and that was the starting point for the interiors.  The oversized, comfortable slipcovered furniture shown in the living room reflects the Belgian look, as does the large x-motif coffee table with its slate top and the long timber console table with two lamps.

The Living Room

The kitchen plays an important role in the movie as the character played by Meryl Streep is a mum of three grown-up children, who all return home for some of Mum’s cooking. She runs a bakery downtown and in her youth, spent a year learning to cook in France.

The kitchen has many industrial/commercial style elements which suit the character of the owner, but it is tempered to give a more homey feel. It is a fabulous kitchen with a big centre island.   There is a double oven, sink, and open shelving.  Underneath, is a linen skirt instead of cabinet doors.  The large, oval dining room table looks like just the spot to entertain family and friends.

The Kitchen

Belgian Style interiors haven’t really caught on here in Australia yet but this movie might create some interest in this style. To find similar pieces used in this movie for your own home, you may like to look at Sally Beresford or The Country Trader.

There’s a very cute little print of an antique french chair, on the wall of the bathroom at the daughter’s house, which is available online here.

The Bedroom

Make sure you pop over to visit Joni at Cote De Texas to read her wonderful post on Nancy Meyers and the movie sets she works on.

Cote De Texas by Joni Webb

I wonder if in five years time, clients will be wanting the “It’s Complicated” look? Let me know what you think.

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