Four

I can’t believe it! Four years ago I hit the “publish” button for the very first time. Four years!

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Sometimes it seems like only yesterday and sometimes it seems more like fourteen years.

I started blogging as a way of documenting my inspiration, work, ideas and a way to educate readers on the ins and outs of Interior Design. I must admit, I was hoping a few of the readers would end up becoming clients. And that they did.

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But I didn’t expect to come across such a lovely bunch of other people who blog. Sometimes I think it’s like a cult. There are so many talented and inspirational people out there and I love soaking up all their words of wisdom, encouragement and gorgeous images every day. It’s been fun, too, meeting other bloggers at various events and even when on holidays in a different country.

Linda and Me

Linda and Me

So thank you for reading my blog posts, as intermittent as they have been of late, and thank you to those of you who also write a blog and continue to inspire me.

Cheers!

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Building a new bathroom

We have been back in our renovated Californian Bungalow now for 4 months. And as we still chip away at our “To Do List”, I am excited to finally reveal the main bathroom.

full size bath set in bay window

We bought our house 10 years ago and inherited a second bathroom with the house. It was a very small tiny bathroom with no room to move. It had a toilet, washbasin and shower.

bathroom before demoliton, built in the 1970's

As it was in the fibro extension that had been added to the house in the ’70’s, (yes that meant asbestos and care and cost to remove it) it was going to be removed completely and a new and improved bathroom would be added.

bathroom built in the 1970's about to be demolished

The new bathroom was built on the same footprint as the old guest bedroom. You have no idea how many times I paced out that room and tried to imagine myself in a bathroom.

Enclosed verandah turned into a guest bedroom

Would it be big enough? The guest bedroom wasn’t that spacious with no built-ins and just enough room to move around the queen bed. It only had one bedside due to space being at a premium. Oh dear, was I doing the right thing or should I make it bigger?

guest bedroom prior to demolition

After many months of demolition, excavation and rebuilding, the bathroom was starting to take shape. We had crimped a bit of extra floor space by building a bay window and sitting the bath in that.

new bathroom being built with bath fram installed

I opted for opaque glass in the windows as although the window looks out to a private garden, it’s still reassuring to know that there is no chance of anyone peering in. Also the bay window was at right angles which makes it very tricky to add window coverings unless it’s shutters. I must admit I was a bit disappointed when they first went in. I was not listening to the advice I give my interior design clients, that is – wait until everything is finished and then you will see that it all works together.

new bathroom with gyprock walls

I had spent months agonising over floor tiles, wall tiles, paint colours and feature tiles. It’s really hard doing your own place when you have been exposed to so much and your head is full of possiblities.

choosing a colour scheme for tiles and paint for the new bathroom

So, once again, I tried to take the advice I dish out. What feeling would you like when you use the room? That was easy, I wanted it to be a bright space with loads of light yet I wanted to feel calm and relaxed when I was there. A touch of luxury and femininity seeing my daughter would be the main occupant and I might sneak in there occasionally for a bath.(Must get around to doing that!) That set me on the right path and I was able to make the selections relatively easily.

new bathroom ready for waterproofing

I’m so happy with the end result.

glass shelves installed around the vanity. mosaic feature tiles behind vanity

The feature tiles add a touch of glamour while the white wall tiles and bay window makes the room very light. And surprise, surprise, when everything was in place the windows look just perfect.

new bathroom complete with marble tiled floor and full sized bath in bay window

If you would like assistance with bathroom design or sourcing fixtures and fittings, contact me for an online or in-person consultation.

 

Re-Love Project

Well I’ve finally finished giving some love to my 1980’s pine television cabinet.

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After sanding, staining, top coating and a little bit of upholstering, the item is complete.

Storage Unit

As an Interior Decorator working mostly with families, my plan was to create a piece that would suit a family home. Storage is always a sought after commodity with a growing family, so a piece of furniture that could be used as storage, look good and also be used as a seat would be a great asset.

Re-loved TV Cabinet

This little piece would be equally at home in a child’s bedroom, family room or entry.

Now it’s your turn to help the Salvos Stores. As from 9 May, you can bid on this piece and the other pieces of furniture that are being Re-loved by designers across the country.

Check out the pieces here and keep an eye out for the opening of the bidding.

Storage Unit from TV Cabinet

A big thank you to Feast Watson for inviting me to participate in this project.

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

Dynamic Room Design Workshop

Are you struggling to finish off a room in your home? Perhaps you’ve recently moved in and don’t know what to do. Or your children are now a little older and want something more grown up in their bedroom.

Girl's Bedroom by Inside Out Colour and Design

Girl’s Bedroom by Inside Out Colour and Design

These are often the scenarios that my clients face and either they don’t have the time or the interest to do it themselves so engage me to assist.

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Formal Living Room by Inside Out Colour and Design

But there are many people who do want to do it themselves, who, like me LOVE shopping but don’t know where to go or how to successfully pull a room together.

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Living Room Inspired by The Beach by Inside Out Colour and Design

There is help at hand! On Thursday 16 May, I am presenting my Dynamic Room Design workshop at the CALDesign Creative Studio in Killara.

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Master bedroom by Inside Out Colour and Design

I’d love to see you there and help with a room in your house. It will be a fun day with lots of knowledge shared and you’ll come away with a step by step guide so you can finish that room on your own.

Living and Dining Room by Inside Out Colour and Design

Living and Dining Room by Inside Out Colour and Design

Pop over and register your interest and take a look at the other workshops going on as well as their beautiful portfolio. But hurry as there’s only room for 12.

 

However, if you would prefer to engage me to assist with your home, contact me for an online or in-person consultation.

Grout should not be ignored

Renovating a bathroom or kitchen? Chosen all your tiles? What a releif, you can now sit back and let the tiler do his thing. Wrong!

Once you’ve chosen your tiles the next thing you need to choose is the colour of the grout. Don’t leave it to the tiler as you will probably end up with white or grey. The grout needs to support the tiles not detract from them. No-one wants to make a feature of the grout! Unless you’re really making a statement like this image below.

red grout

When we renovated I had definite ideas about how the tiles would look once grouted. The large format tiles in the bathroom were rectified which means they have square edges. I wanted the walls to look seamless and the rectified tiles can be placed close together so choosing a white grout assisted with the overall look.

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In the ensuite, we used natural stone tiles on the walls and floor so I chose a cream grout there to match the filling in the travertine.

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The black marble mosaic splashback in the powder room needed a dark grout as anything lighter would make the space look too busy. I already had a wallpaper above the splashback and that was the main feature of the room. The splashback needed to enhance the wallpaper and save it from water splashes but didn’t need to be a feature in itself.

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The kitchen was tricky. I was using white subway tiles. The kitchen has a nod to French provincial style without the fuss so I wanted the tiles to stand out but I didn’t want the industrial look like the kitchen below.

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White grout would’ve blended with the tiles and dark grout would give that industrial look, sort of like a butcher’s shop. So I selected a pale grey grout. The cabinetry is grey and the bench top is also a grey – Stone Italiana KSoul. The grey grout sets off the whole kitchen perfectly.

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So don’t think once you’ve chosen your tiles your decisions are over. Think about the overall look you’d like, take some time and choose the colour of your grout wisely. Like everything else, the options are endless but will make a big difference to your finished home.

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All images can be found on my Pinterest boards.

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

 

Re-cycle, Re-use, Re-love

If you were born before the year 2000 then it’s highly likely you have seen one of these. Perhaps you had one or your parents had one. It’s a pine TV unit. These were the “must have” furniture piece to house the video recorder and tapes and the big fat TV sat on top. DSC06367

Now you’re probably wondering why I am showing you this beautiful specimen, circa 1980. Well I’ve taken on the challenge to remodel this little unit into something else. It’s called the Re-Love project and along with 8 other designers, various pieces of timber furniture will be transformed into something more appealing for today’s market. Feast Watson are providing the necessary timber care products and on 9 May bidding will open on these wonderful new creations. All monies raised will go The Salvos Stores. DSC06369

So I have a bit of work to do over the next 10 weeks. It will be fun to see the transformation of the 9 pieces of furniture. You can follow our progress on the Feast Watson Pinterest page. And of course, you can also bid on one of the finished pieces. DSC06370

You just mind find a piece to re-love!

Is the Dining Room Dead?

I don’t believe so! I love a dedicated dining room especially in older homes.

Back in the mid 1980’s I bought my first home in an outer Brisbane suburb. It had a combined dining and lounge room and for a few years I had a pine round table with 4 rattan and metal cantilevered chairs as the dining table. Then one day, one of my colleagues at work asked out loud if anyone was interested in a Rosenstengel dining suite. He had been appointed Executor of a Monseigneur’s Estate and apparently there was a silky oak dining table and 6 chairs to offload. The asking price was $200. With all my income going in to my house repayments I said, “No”. Besides I didn’t want some old table and what was Rosenstengel anyway?

Rosenstengel Dining Suite

I was telling my Mum about it a few days later and she said, “Grab it.” She knew all about Ed Rosenstengel and his furniture making and knew it would be a great buy as well as owning a piece of Queensland history. So I purchased the table and it is still serving me to this day. Although right now it’s in storage as we renovate our home.

When I moved to the Gold Coast in the ’90’s I decided to have the dining suite refurbished. A furniture restorer cleaned down the table and applied a new coat of shellac which gave it a rich glow. I had the chairs reupholstered in a plain pink fabric to co-ordinate with the curtains and sofa.

Dining suite after polishing and upholstery

When I moved back to Brisbane we renovated a little Workers Cottage on the northside and we created a formal dining room in the old sleep-out.

Sleep-out being transformed to the Dining Room

This time the upholstery on the chairs dictated what colour the walls would be.

Pink Dining Room

When we moved to Sydney and bought our Californian Bungalow the dining suite suited the period of the house and the existing curtains.

Inherited Dining Room

However, after a few years, I was ready to ditch the curtains and I replaced them with gold silk and repainted the walls in the warm earthy tones of the time.

New paint, curtains and light fitting

Now we are renovating, I have decided to keep the formal dining room. We’ve closed off two of the three doorways into the room and I’ve decided to be a little bit adventurous in choosing the paint colour.

Latest reincarnation of the dining room

I’m a firm believer that the formal dining room is mainly used at night time so why not make it dramatic? But alas the existing upholstery will not suit the new look room. The question is, will I keep the suite and have it reupholstered, or is it time for a complete new dining suite?

Dramatic dining room

Do you have a formal dining room or a dining suite with provenance?

If you would like assistance choosing colour or furniture for your dining room, contact us for an online or in-person consultation. Or visit my Pinterest board for Dining Room inspiration.

 

Not waving but drowning

No, not quite, but I have been rather consumed by everything that’s going on, so the poor old blog has been neglected. Sorry for being AWOL for a while.

Ceiling and Walls painted in the family room

Ceiling and walls painted in the family room

Our house renovations are getting to the pointy end. It’s looking so good and I just want to wiggle my nose and be in.

Daughter's bedroom and ceiling

Daughter’s new bedroom and ceiling

My father-in-law (aka The Painter) has been here for two and half weeks and has been working non stop to get the interior of the house painted. My husband is helping on the weekends and does some prep work for him in the evenings. The colours all look great. (The one above and the one below are not the same, it just looks that way on the screen. Well it does on mine.)

Main bathroom tiled and painted

The tilers have been and tiled the bathrooms and laundry as well as the outside rear stairs and landing.

Ensuite tiled

And the floor has been put down in my new studio.

My new studio

The logistical nightmare is now upon us as we juggle all the tradies for the final two weeks. The cabinetmaker is still to bring in the laundry, kitchen and bathroom cabinets. The electrician is to return to install all the light fittings. The plumber needs to come after the tilers to plumb in the toilets and then will return after the cabinetry to do the taps and basins. Shower screens and bathroom mirrors have been measured and will be installed also after the tilers. Then when they’ve all finished we can have the floors sanded, stained and polished (I’m going for a dark floor) and finally the carpet and curtains.

Then we can bring back the furniture and household items we packed away in storage 10 months ago and move in and enjoy Christmas in our new old home.

Storage container

Besides all that I’m trying to ensure all the jobs that are in the system for clients get completed and delivered prior to 24 December.

A new dining table was delivered for one client today and we are still waiting on a new sofa.

New dining table

We’re awaiting shutters for another client and curtains and blinds for two clients.

Shutters to go in here

A bathroom is having a makeover for another client and I’m still doing colour consultations for clients about to paint over the Christmas period or have painters coming in the New Year.

Downstairs bathroom about to have a makeover

The wallpaper hanger is booked for yet another client and a sofa is being carted off today to be reupholstered.

Wall awaiting wallpaper

Fingers crossed everything goes to plan and we are all enjoying our “new” homes for the holidays.

Sofa to change from red to stone

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

 

Friday On My Mind

Another busy week draws to a close. I hope you’ve had a good one.

Things have been hectic around here with so much going on. I’ve been having fun with Megan Morton and Jen Bishop’s Instagram challenge. It was all good fun posting photos of Things I Love for a chance to win a signed copy of Megan’s new book, Things I Love.

Things I Love – Chinese Brush Holder with my Costume Jewellery

I’ve also been busy with clients sourcing fabric for window coverings, upholstery and a bedhead as well as furniture for outdoors. The weather has been nice and toasty getting us ready for dining outdoors.

Outdoor Setting

The house is looking great too.

The scaffolding’s down, now the painting can begin.

The gyprockers are in so we have internal walls instead of frames.

My new studio with walls

It’s really starting to take shape and the cabinetmaker has started to manufacture the laundry and kitchen. Soooo excited!

Have you started your Christmas shopping? In 2 months it will all be over. Corban and Blair are having a sale for the month of November. You just need to enter the code Nov12 at checkout. There’s some great gift ideas.

Designer Rugs are having a sale too. That’s more a present you want to buy for yourself, though!

Have a great weekend. Apparently I’m going to be painting this weekend!

 

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

Recent Projects

Whilst I have been working on my own home renovation, I’ve also been helping a number of clients to achieve their harmonious environment.

We had favourite armchairs reupholstered and placed them in our client’s new bedroom.

Reupholstered chairs

We also sourced an elegant bedroom chandelier and bedside lamps.

New lights and lamps

A client we have been working with for the past 12 months finally moved in to their brand new home.

New home

After assisting with paint colours, floor board selections, generated ideas for the walk in wardrobes, bathroom vanity design, lighting options the clients are now ensconced in their home and look like they have always lived there.

Our kitchen design

The kitchen was designed by us with specifications of door finishes, colours, handles and benchtops.

New kitchen

We also sourced the fabrics for their window coverings and arranged making and installation.

Master Bedroom Curtains

Both clients are absolutely thrilled with their new homes, stamped with their own personalities.

Son #1’s bedroom

Son #2’s bedroom

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

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