Not the Rough End

Pineapple cushions at Sentosa Designs

Last week I visited one of my suppliers, Sentosa Designs.

Sentosa Designs furniture featuring pineapples

They specialise in colonial style furniture as well as a range of campaign furniture.

Campaign style drinks cabinet

I noticed the profusion of pineapples in their styling so started to hunt around and see what else I could find.

Pineapple Lamp

The pineapple is associated with welcoming and in my mind also says SUMMER!

Wooden Pineapples

I went in search of other pineapple inspired home decor and found cushions, lamps and even ice cube trays.

Pineapple Ice Trays

What do you think? Could you add some pineapple decor to your home?

Pineapple Wall Hooks

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

Room Reveal

Remember this post where my clients and I were trying to imagine what the room would look like with the new furniture and if we should get both chairs recovered?

Using towels to get a feel for the furniture layout

Well all the furniture has been delivered today and I am happy to report my clients are over the moon with their space.

New and recovered “old” furniture in place

They have downsized from the family home to a brand new three bedroom apartment. The main room has two living areas – one formal around a fireplace – and one casual. It was the casual area we have been working on as the clients purchased the formal area furniture that was placed in the apartment for display purposes.

Formal lounge area

So the furniture and look of the formal area set the tone for the rest of the room. The clients loved their old lounge chairs and after looking at new chairs decided to get their favourites recovered, again. Today they showed me photos of the same chairs over the past 30 years with different covers. It reminded me of my own lounge suite.

Those green chairs are now the stripey ones above

We had the ottoman custom made. It had to serve three purposes.

Custom made ottoman

  1. – a coffee table (we need to add a tray to provide a sturdy surface and protection)
  2. – extra seating for the grandkids
  3. – a footstool

So careful consideration was given to it’s height so it could be used for all three purposes. Not at the same time, of course!

Ottoman and “old” chair

Now we just need to add cushions and the room is complete.

New sofa waiting for some cushions

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

All Blues Go Together

I love this room designed Mabley Handler by for the Hamptons Designer Showhouse.

via Pinterest

I’ve always liked blue and been a firm believer of the adage that all blues go together.

I’m not so sure it works for all colours though. Apparently all greens also go together, but I’m not so sure I could use olive and lime in the one scheme.

Dulux Greens

What do you think, could you be just as comfortable immersed in a green room as a blue room?

via Pinterest

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

Unusual Combination

Unusual Combination

I spotted this image over on Pinterest and was mesmerised by it.

The hot pink sofa sucks you right in straight away but on second glance I was enthralled by the eclectic collection of furniture and accessories in this room.

The elegant chandelier, the cow skin rug, the classic style sofas and armchair all upholstered in different fabrics, the abstract artwork, an emboidered cushion, ostrich leg side table and the shrink wrapped fabric on the tufted ottoman all sit together in perfect harmony.

Not many would be game to throw so many different styles together in one period style room but somehow it all works.

Do you like it or would you not spend much time in this room?

If you would like assistance creating a living room that epitomises your lifestyle, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.


Hot Mustard

I hope you had a nice weekend.

My daughter wanted to go clothes shopping on Saturday which is usually traumatic. What goes around comes around I guess.

Let's go shopping!

Anyway, she knew exactly what she wanted so after looking in three shops, we went back and made our purchase. I always love the beginning of a new season seeing all the new colours that our out in fashion. Winter never really excites with the profusion of black, brown and grey and the odd smattering of red or purple. But this year looks like it will be a colourful winter.

Winter Blacks and Greys with a smattering of red

Many of the stores had loads of colourful pieces but the combination that caught my eye was Mustard and Dark Green. Mustard isn’t a colour I wear nor use in my decorating but teamed with the dark green it creates a scene.

Green Top and Mustard Cardigan

Whilst I was flicking through Pinterest last night, I saw this image. I couldn’t believe how similar the looks were.

Green Sofa with Mustartd Feature Wall

I wonder if we’ll see more of it around with the London Olympics looming on the horizon.

Australian Cap

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!

Have a great week!

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

Love Rules

With Valentine’s Day tomorrow, it’s time to look at a few items for your Love Shack.

Heart Shaped Truffles

When looking to inject some romance into your interior, go no further than the colour Pink. Red is for passion but pink is for romance. Because of its soft, cosy and romantic nature, pink is perfect for the bedroom. It makes the skin glow and what better place to make use of those flattering reflections?

Pink Bedroom

Putting some romance into your home can also be achieved by pairing things together. In the bathroom, if you have the space, instal twin basins in the vanity. This allows for two people to use the bathroom at the same time and also makes sure your toothpaste doesn’t get mixed up with your partner’s shaving cream!

Twin Vanity

A double shower is another luxury that can be installed if space permits. This is a great time to use different shower heads in each shower so you have the choice of a rain shower or a standard shower.

Double Shower

You could always add a little two seater sofa into the lounge room. This little piece from Jardan would suit any decor.

Loveseat by Jardan

Or you could recover an existing chair in heart fabric.

Heart fabric covered chair

Matching His and Hers sunlounges around the pool or on the patio make a great place to sit and relax and read the Sunday papers.

His and Hers Sunlounges

So once you’ve redecorated to create your cosy little shack, don’t forget to fill the table with candles and flowers and indulge in a romantic dinner for two.

Dinner for Two

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Click on images to be taken to their source.


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


When Three is Not A Crowd

I was in a store yesterday and a lady was buying a number of ceramic balls to place on a tray in her entry. She was looking at two balls and I overheard the shop assistant say, “it has to be three”.

Yes, I thought, it has to be three or five or seven, never two or four or six.

Flower arrangement with three focal flowers

You see, odd numbers of items appear to be thrown together rather than arranged. Our eyes try to split even numbers into smaller groups but that can’t be done with odd numbers.

Margaret Olley's Artichokes via ANG Art Consulting

The asymmetrical arrangement of odd numbers will add visual interest to an area or collection and help create visual flow.  Objects that appear in threes or fives are more appealing, memorable and effective than even number groupings.

We Three Kings photograph by Emily J Photography

Odd numbers also give dimension as we can create a front, middle and back and this creates a sense of balance.

3 cushions on a bed by Inside Out Colour and Design

We find odd numbers pleasing to the eye as well as being more intriguing.

Cushions on a sofa by Inside Out Colour and Design

If you would like assistance in making your home more intriguing, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.


PS. And look, it’s my 300th post on the 30th of November. Freud would have alot to say about that!



Liven Up Your Living Room

Sydney Morning Herald is one of the main daily newspapers in Sydney. Domain is their real estate section with extensive liftouts in the paper twice a week as well as a strong online website.

A few months ago I was one of four interior decorators who were interviewed for a short video that would be placed on the website. It is aimed at new home owners who are endeavouring to create a comfortable home for themselves.

That video can now be viewed here.

It was one of those cases where I had accepted the invitation and then thought, “Why did I agree?” After the filming was all done, I decided it WAS fun.

If you would like help in livening up your living room, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

All photos by Lyn Johnston Photography, all interiors designed by Inside Out Colour and Design.




Vertical Decor

I often find, when I walk into a room, that the homeowner has taken a lot of time in placing the furniture in the room, however little regard has been given to the height of the room. It’s as if the room has been decorated by the floor plan without considering the walls and ceiling. With today’s low furniture like sofas and entertainment units, it’s not hard to fall into this trap.

This living room is a great example of what I mean. The colours and furniture all work beautifully together but everything appears to be below the waist. I’m not sure if the paintings are propped up against the back of the sofa for the photograph, but by hanging them on the wall it will give height to the room. A taller standard lamp would also help accentuate the full capacity of the room. Another trick, if the ceiling is not too low, is to use a pendant light like a chandelier which will help the ceiling relate to the room.

In a bedroom, you could install a bedhead and bedside lamps, which will create some height. The lamps should not be the same height as the top of the bedhead and artwork could be hung above the bed. Again a pendant light in the centre of the room will bring the ceiling into the room.

The idea is to create a non-linear profile in the room, a bit like the recent share market chart!

Images – I’ve had these photos in my files for a while now, but haven’t kept their source (Naughty blogger!) Let me know if you know where they’ve come from.


If you would like assistance with colour or decor for your home, contact us for an on-line or in-person consultation.


Buying Quality

Many years ago, I bought my very first lounge suite. It consisted of two two seaters and a matching armchair. It was in my blue phase and the fabric was called Windsurfers Denim. It had little tiny pink and cream triangles all over it that were meant to represent windsurfers. The proportions were good for the lounge room in my very first house in Brisbane and it suited my budget too.

New lounge suite with hand-me-down buffet

I then sold that house and moved to a brand new house on Queensland’s Gold Coast. As the house was still under construction when I bought it, I was able to choose the colour scheme throughout of tiles, carpet and paint. Knowing that I had my lounge suite, I chose a soft grey colour which worked well with the lounge. I had roman blinds in rose pink and off white stripes installed on the windows and the lounge suite looked like it had been bought for that house.

Window coverings to match the lounge suite

A few years later, I moved back to Brisbane and bought a workers cottage in Nundah. Again the lounge suite moved into the new house and the room was decorated around the lounge. This time I chose barely pink walls with a darker pink for the trim.

Barely pink walls

We then moved to the Solomon Islands and the lounge suite went into storage for four years before being shipped to Hong Kong. Again the living room was decorated around the lounge suite and I chose sheer white curtains with a blue valance for the window coverings.

Sofa with precious cargo in Hong Kong

Back to Australia and into a rental property in Sydney, the lounge suite again just fitted perfectly into the space.

Ming didn’t mind where in the world he was as long as he had his sofa

Twelve months on, and we purchased our own home and moved the lounge suite one more time. Only this time, it was clashing with the existing curtains in the home. Time had finally come almost twenty years later, to upgrade the lounge suite.

Sofa nd curtains collide

We looked around at other styles of sofas but couldn’t find anything we liked. I called in my upholsterer who thought we were mad to throw away a perfectly good suite. So the search for fabric started and eventually I chose an off-white embossed fabric and had the sofas reupholstered. The sofas looked like new and I’m sure will last another twenty (well maybe ten) years.

Reupholstered sofa has a new lease on life

So the moral of the story is to buy good quality in the first place and give it a facelift when it doens’t work anymore. It works out much more cost effective in the long run.

If you would like assistance sourcing lounge furniture for your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

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