When space is at a premium

Not all of us have the luxury of living in expansive homes with spacious rooms to decorate. Many of my clients wish their rooms had an extra square metre or so. Unfortunately we can’t always knock down walls and create bigger rooms.

Demolishing walls

Demolishing walls

But we can dig into our box of tricks and make the rooms appear bigger.

Now we all know mirrors help as well as light walls. But making every square centimetre count is the most important. And don’t just think about the floors pace. There is lots of room on the vertical plane that can be utilised as well.

Small Bedroom with hanging bedside lights

Small Bedroom with hanging bedside lights

In the bedroom, build storage units including wardrobes and display space around the bed. Use pendant lights which hang from the ceiling and small bedside tables or shelves instead of wide, bulky bedside tables and lamps.

Small bedroom with built-in wardrobes around bedhead

Small bedroom with built-in wardrobes around bedhead

In the living room, use a coffee table with stools or ottomans underneath to provide extra seating when needed. Or use two small tables that can be placed together for one larger table or separated and drawn up to the sofa for individual side tables.

Small living room with two coffee tables

Small living room with two coffee tables

Cabinetry can be taken all the way to the ceiling which will assist with creating height plus providing much needed storage.

Small kitchen with full height cabinetry

Small kitchen with full height cabinetry

But don’t think small space small pieces. Oversized items can trick the eye into thinking the space is actually much larger than it is.

Small dining room with oversized pendant light

Small dining room with oversized pendant light

These images along with more ideas and inspiration can be found on my Pinterest board, When Space is At A Premium.

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

Custom Made Sofas

The biggest piece of furniture you will probably buy for your living room, is your sofa. It’s usually the piece I advise clients to purchase first. There are so many things to consider when purchasing a sofa that it can sometimes be overwhelming. I wrote a post about it here.

Living Room by Inside Out Colour and Design

Living Room by Inside Out Colour and Design

I was recently asked for assistance to source a sofa for a client as they couldn’t find what they were looking for and keep it within budget. With the price of TV’s and other living room electronics dropping, the sofa is often the most expensive piece in the living room too. We have a number of suppliers that make furniture to order here in Australia. That way you can ensure you are getting your choice of fabric, colour, style, size and comfort.

New sofa

New sofa

If you are looking for some living room furniture, you may like to consider The Sofa Maker. A completely online solution to a custom made sofa and lounge room chairs. The prices look good for what you get and there are options in fabric, style and leg stains to suit every taste.

Smart Eddie by The Sofa Maker

Smart Eddie by The Sofa Maker

My only concern with this system is that you cannot sit in it before purchase. I would always recommend to my clients that they try a sofa before they buy. However, The Sofa Maker is offering free shipping and returns and a 100% money back guarantee so they are obviously convinced that they will provide comfort as well as style.

Colour and Stain options at The Sofa Maker

Colour options at The Sofa Maker

If you would like assistance sourcing the perfect furniture for your living room, contact me for a consultation.

Modern Mid Century Style

It’s been hotting up around here. So much to do and so little time! The pre-Christmas rush is well and truly upon us. I was laughing last night when this little notice popped up on my phone.

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This week I met with a new client, a charming 83 year young gentleman who has just sold the family home and moving into a retirement village. He has decided it’s time to purchase new furniture to suit the new smaller space. So many people try to cram their “old” stuff into a new house and in many cases it just doesn’t work.

The gentleman wants a mid century look to his new digs so I’ve been busy sourcing this style of furniture. I can’t say I’ve had this request before (which is why I love my job with every new client requiring their own personal look). Here’s a few of the items I’ve found for his selection.

 

MidCenturyBedside ParkerRound Fido 2 Lamp DiningChair172 Nikephoto 167DiningTable porter

 

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So if you were to start all over again, what style would you choose?

We can assist with sourcing all styles of furniture and furnishings, contact us for an appointment.

United with Colour

A splash of pink in cushions and lamp have been drawn from the artwork making the room lively.

A splash of pink in cushions and lamp have been drawn from the artwork making the room lively.

Many of my clients have been asking me lately how to decorate with colour. It seems everyone is a little bit scared of it.

The pink dining chairs have been replicated in the pink occasional chair in the living room

The pink dining chairs have been replicated in the pink occasional chair in the living room

One of the easiest ways to end up with a cohesive interior is to link through a colour. You can take a colour from an existing artwork or the rug in the room or simply choose your favourite colour.

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The smallest hint of red in the artworks has been repeated in the console pots and chair cushion making our eye travel around the room and drink it all in.

Just use the colour in small doses but a few times and link it through the room or even your whole home.

Even this colour laden room has a splash of red to link the colour of the dining room with the living area.

Even this colour laden room has a splash of red to link the colour of the dining room with the living area.

If you would like assistance creating a cohesive interior for your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

All images can be found on my Pinterest boards.

Gelati Colours

Yesterday morning on my walk around the suburb, I noticed the window in the local dress boutique had changed.

I didn’t take too much notice other than it had changed and there were some pretty colours there. Half way down the street, I did a double take and a U turn and headed right back to that window.

New season fashion in the local boutique window

New season fashion in the local boutique window

I stood there looking trying to remember where I had last seen that colour combination. Then it hit me. I had a dessert a few months earlier those very same colours. They are sugary colours, aren’t they?

Dessert with Persian Fairy Floss

Dessert with Persian Fairy Floss

Lemon, mint and pale pink are definitely gelati type colours. Each of these hues are exactly the same on the grey scale so not one colour dominates. They all sit perfectly harmoniously together and look very delicate.

Pink, green and yellow living room

Pink, green and yellow living room

So I started to wonder if that combination was out there in home decor.

Young girls' room decorated in Gelati colours of pink, green and yellow

Young girls’ room decorated in Gelati colours of pink, green and yellow

What do you think? Would you use this combination of colours in your home?

Scatter cushion in pink, green and yellow although a little more neon than the dessert

Scatter cushion in pink, green and yellow although a little more neon than the dessert

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

 

Let your light shine

The renovation of our Californian Bungalow on Sydney’s North Shore is, for all intents and purposes, “finished”.  If you’ve renovated, or loved a house, you will understand that renovating is never really over.

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When designing a renovation, one of the aspects that needs consideration is a lighting plan. This needs to be done fairly early in the piece so wiring can all be in place when it’s time to install the beautiful fittings.

Wiring in place

Wiring in place

A good mix of downlights, pendants and wall lights help in creating atmosphere and functionality for your home. LED lighting has come a long way since we started designing our home five years ago. So much so that we ended up installing LED downlights through the hallways and KiDiLi as well as my office. These lights give a good even light and save on electricity at the same time! Dimmers were installed on all the downlights to adjust the brightness. We opted for warm white bulbs which gives a softer light than the cool white.

LED strip lighting was also installed under the wall cabinets in the kitchen and laundry. I’m amazed at how much light these give and yet they are not harsh on the eye.

LED Strip Lighting under wall cabinets in kitchen

LED Strip Lighting under wall cabinets in kitchen

However when it came to “pretty” lights, there were so many options. Our bedroom already had a chandelier but I needed a light for the dressing room.

Master bedroom chandelier

Master bedroom chandelier

The ceiling in the dressing room was lower than the rest of the house as it was once a verandah. I knew I wanted a luxe feel to the dressing room so opted for a single glass pendant that had chandelier-like crystal droplets inside the cone of glass. It looks great and creates a lovely pattern on my wallpapered ceiling.

Pendant light for dressing room

Pendant light for dressing room

The lounge, dining and entry all had existing lights which took me five years to choose after we moved in.

Front Entry pendant light

Front Entry pendant light

Fortunately, I still liked them and so didn’t have to set about choosing alternatives. I sometimes wonder if my dining room could handle a more dramatic fitting now that I’ve painted it a dark colour, but for the time being it’s fine.

Dining room light

Dining room light

I chose lights for the kitchen and casual dining to complement the cabinetry in the kitchen. The black iron look echoes the black ladder rail and cabinet handles and the shapes of the pendants help create the Hamptons style I wanted.

Kitchen and casual dining glass pendant lights

Kitchen and casual dining glass pendant lights

Each single bedroom needed a pendant light too. They would all have bedside lamps but you still need a larger overhead light for those times you lose something and need some brighter light. My daughter chose her Factory light which possibly wouldn’t have been my choice, but it works well and gives out a good light.

White factory light

White factory light

The main guest bedroom needed something elegant. Along with my daughter’s bedroom it was part of the new build. We replicated the high ceilings and decorative plaster strips so I chose a white wire chandelier. I thought it was good value at $125!

Guest bedroom wire chandelier

Guest bedroom wire chandelier

The other bedroom is in the original part of the house and was once my daughter’s bedroom. I commissioned the girls at Feature Pieces to make me a large conical drum shade in a fabric that co-ordinated with the roman blind fabric.

Conical Fabric Drum Shade

Conical Fabric Drum Shade

Then it was on to the bathrooms. Appropriate facial lighting is key in the bathroom and ideally there should be a light source at face height or above the mirror to provide reflected and direct light on to the face.  In the main bathroom, we installed downlights as well as cute little wall lights with glass shades. Being practical, I chose glass shades rather than fabric as it will wear better with steam and water.

Bathroom glass shade wall lights

Bathroom glass shade wall lights

I had been eyeing off the Verona wall light for a number of years and so it was an easy choice to make for the ensuite. However, the mirrored cabinet could not be recessed into the wall. The wall was original and only single skin brick. The builders were not keen to take out bricks for the cabinet as it would result in weakening the entire wall.

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So the cabinet was face mounted. The lights sit beside the cabinet but I don’t feel they give enough light. I have devised a plan to rectify the situation but it will have to wait.  There’s always something you would do differently next time when you renovate. So you should always do at least two……if you have the energy!

Ensuite Verona Wall Lights

Ensuite Verona Wall Lights

The powder room is my drama room. The gorgeous Catherine Martin Antique Lace wallpaper, gold framed mirror and black vanity help create the scene. I didn’t want to detract from the wallpaper or mirror so chose not to install wall lights. The ceiling has a skylight leaving little room for a pendant light. You may remember last year we had a weekend at the refurbished Sydney Shangri La Hotel and I stole the lighting idea from their spa rooms. The builder and electrician placed a strip of LED lights behind the mirror so a warm glow seems to emanate from the mirror. It adds to the drama without detracting.

Powder Room with LED strip lighting behind the mirror

Powder Room with LED strip lighting behind the mirror

I’m really happy with all the lighting choices I’ve made. They add the finishing touch. Lights are a very personal choice but can add so much personality. I was working with a client about 6 months prior to starting my own renovation and it had never occurred to her to put a different light in every room. I gave her some suggestions and she had a ball at the lighting shop choosing a different light for each area of her home. If you think about light fittings as the jewellery then they will add to the overall finish of your home.

A car load of lights

A car load of lights

If you would like assistance choosing light fittings for your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

 

Small and Bright

Our friends over at Armadillo&Co have been busy creating new rugs to warm the cockles of your heart.

Living room with Armadillo&Co rug designed by Inside Out Colour and Design

Living room with Armadillo&Co rug designed by Inside Out Colour and Design

These gorgeous rugs are all ethically made from sustainable materials and the company gives back to the weavers’ local villages to promote childhood learning. So buying a rug from Armadillo&Co not only enhances your own living space but creates a wealth of support for future generations.

One of the signature designs of Armadillo&Co’s rug collection is the Flower Weave collection where the rugs look like flowers. They are about to release a little sister to Marigold and Dandelion and have called her Daisy. She looks perfect for a girls’ bedroom or in an entry.

Armadillo&Co's Daisy Rug

Armadillo&Co’s Daisy Rug

And there’s other rugs coming suitable for children’s rooms too. Check out the catalogue!

Casablanca by Armadillo&Co in multicolour

Casablanca by Armadillo&Co in multicolour

And being a colour lover, I am also enamored with the addition of mulit-colour to the Casablanca rug. Now there are 28 colours that can be mixed and matched to create a unique rug to add that special pop in your home. It can be made as a rug or a runner and the fun part is, you get to choose the colour combination. This rug is part of the Designer Collection so only available through your favourite interior decorator!

The new Twine Weave made from 100% Argentinian Wool by Armadillo&Co

The new Twine Weave made from 100% Argentinian Wool by Armadillo&Co

If you would like to investigate these rugs further, contact us. We’d love to help.

 

Vignette Magic

Last week, with great excitement, I attended a Vignette Magic workshop with the queen of vignettes, Kara Rosenlund. Kara and her gorgeous husband, Timothy O were visiting Sydney from their home town (mine too) of Brisbane. ( I discovered Kara went to school just up the hill from my Queensland workers cottage!)

One of Kara's vignettes

One of Kara’s vignettes

Kara is Australia’s modern day Gypsy. She travels around with her caravan, Frankie, collecting and selling her vintage and one off finds.

Frankie the caravan

Frankie the caravan

The workshop was held at Megan Morton’s “the school” which is a fabulous white space at Rosebery. There were so many exciting elements to the night that had me all a quiver.

"the school" at Rosebery

“the school” at Rosebery

Megan met course participants with Iced Tea Vodka Sodas which gave us time to mix and mingle, check out the interior of the famous Frankie and browse Kara and Timothy’s current collection. We were then ushered into the school and set eyes on our pre-workshop feast.

Frankie open for business

Frankie open for business

A scrumptious table of hand-churned butter, cheese, figs, honey on the comb, bread, dukka, hand made yoghurt and marinated olives was beckoning us.

Scrumptious buffet table

Scrumptious buffet table

But before we could tuck in, it was the perfect photo opportunity for all the instagrammers in the room. We had time to fill our plates and then take our seats for the main attraction.

Megan brought in a ladder to get a bird's eye shot of the buffet table

Megan brought in a ladder to get a bird’s eye shot of the buffet table

It was magical watching Kara select items from her table of “bits and bobs” and place them on the mantle.

The table of wares to be used in the vignette

The table of wares to be used in the vignette

She’d add, take away, move and rotate the carefully chosen pieces until the story was complete. And her vignettes do tell a story. As a spectator, you are drawn into the scene and want to find out more.

Kara adding and subtracting

Kara adding and subtracting

Kara had lots of little tricks that she generously passed on. Tricks like scrunching up paper to sit in a vessel so the item you place inside sits up and can be seen. And leaving crummage. Little bits of floatsam such as petals under flowers and fallen leaves under foliage. It helps to connect the viewer with the vignette.

A close up of the finished vignette

A close up of the finished vignette

It was then time to create a vignette, watch on or go back to graze at the buffet table. I enjoyed watching the other participants create and then Kara waving her magic wand over them, twisting an item to the left instead of the right, popping something up on a stack of books, or adding some vital crummage. It was a very inspiring evening.

One of the students' vignettes

One of the students’ vignettes

Before the trio took to the road again, Kara left us with her golden rules of vignettes. I hope she comes back soon.

Top 5 Rulles

Top 5 Points

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

Florence is coming to a store near you

I’m a HUGE fan of the fabrics and wallpapers of Florence Broadhurst.

I read the book on this amazing woman about 8 years ago and was fascinated by her life. She was a Queenslander and had the ability to turn her hand at whatever career she chose while travelling the world. One year she was a singer and dancer in China and the next she was a French clothier in London. And all this was back in the ’30’s and 40’s when women didn’t do things like that. She was so ahead of her time! And then she met an untimely death when she was murdered in her studio at Paddington in Sydney. The murder remains unsolved.

Japanese Floral

When she returned to Australia she set up shop and created hand printed wallpapers. These wallpapers and their patterns are still popular today. Her artworks have been recreated as rugs, clothing, homewares and fabrics.

Dinner Set

And in June this year, you will be able to add those very same patterns to your home in soft furnishings. Australian home textile label, Rapee will release The Broadhurst Collection which will be available in five stories and a number of colourways.
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These exceptional designs will be printed on premium fabrics using various techniques including: 100% silk jacquards, embroideries on 100% cottons, foil prints on 100% linens and prints on cotton linen blends. The palette extends to bolts of blue; tranquil sea foam, denim and periwinkle; as well as punchy coral and flamingo fuchsia. The collection also welcomes shades of yellow and high-wattage metallic which will help to create richness and playful elegance while putting a fresh spin on timeless designs.

The Florence Broadhurst collection will be sold initially through department stores and boutique homeware retailers, and will arrive in store from June 2013. Prices start from $99 for embroideries, through to $120 for 100% silk scatter cushions.

I can’t wait!

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If you would like assistance adding a touch of Florence to your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

All Rugged Up

Although in the Southern Hemisphere we are heading in to our warmer months, there’s nothing like a floor rug to inject colour and pattern into your living space.

Poppies by Sanderson

They add warmth (both literally and physically), they define a space, provide sound dampening qualities and can hide imperfect flooring.

St Ives Rug in Teal

There are so many patterns and colours to choose from. All over patterns are great for under timber coffee tables while centre patterns work best under a glass coffee table or in an open space so the pattern can be admired.

Midsummer Rose Rug

I’m thrilled that the Sanderson range of rugs are now available here in Australia. They certainly have some great patterns and colours from which to choose. They are made from 100% wool and are inspired by the Sanderson fabric range and are certainly affordable ranging from $700 to $1400 depending on the size.

Dandelion Rug in Taupe/Claret

If you would like assistance choosing rugs and other decorator pieces for your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

 

 

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