When Less is More

As an Interior Decorator, I’m often asked to assist clients create a certain style in their homes. Maybe they’ve travelled to Bali and were impressed with the relaxed lifestyle and indoor/outdoor decor. Or perhaps they holidayed in Morocco and loved the vibrancy of the colours and patterns in the buildings.

Main Public Square, Marrakech

Wherever they’ve been, many people love to replicate that exotic feel in their own homes.

The China Club, Hong Kong

However, it is not always practical to recreate these styles in their entirety in our homes. We need to consider the architecture and layout of the rooms of our homes as well as the lifestyle we lead. Unfortunately it’s not always as idyllic as it is when we are on holidays!

The Four Seasons Hotel, Jimbaran Bay, Bali

So maybe we just need to give the hint or impression of the style and that is enough to remind us and our visitors of another time and place.

Moroccan Tiles by Katie Ridder

Perhaps a mirror or light fitting, some wicker furniture or ceramic decanters will be enough to set the tone of the room rather than putting every aspect of the style into your home.

Cane furniture hints at Balinese Style

How do you decorate? Less is more or less is less?

Turkish bathroom

All images and sources can be viewed on our Pinterest Boards.

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


Superstar Interiors

I thoroughly enjoyed the seminar with Martyn Lawrence Bullard on Wednesday. I didn’t really know a great deal about him having not seen any episodes of Million Dollar Decorators. I had only read about it on some of the overseas blogs.

Million Dollar Decorators

Martyn spoke at the Australian International Furniture Fair in Sydney and his talk was called Creating A Superstar Interior. Martyn told us about the many superstars he had worked with and created amazing interiors for them. He had lots of good images to accompany his talk.

Los Angeles Home of David Furnish and Sir Elton John

His list of superstars included Cher, Cheryl Tiegs, Sir Elton John, Ellen Pompeo, Kid Rock, Tamara Mellon and the Osbornes.

Bullard & Pompeo via Zimbio.com

But I was pleased to hear that Martyn prefers to fill his interior spaces with the personality of his clients so the home is truly a reflection of them and not him. I can’t understand how anyone would want to live in a home that was designed without them in mind. I guess that’s why I love working with clients and making comfortable family homes rather than presale styling where the personality of the home is banished. Or doing cookie cutter interiors that you see in every magazine and they all look the same.

Property Styling

Mind you, I wouldn’t mind working with some of the budgets Martyn has the pleasure of being given. $50,000 for a dining room table? If anyone would like me to source one for them, let me know, I’d be happy to help. Martyn appeared on The Morning Show yesterday and was asked what “normal” people can do to create the million dollar look with a much smaller wallet.

Click to watch The Morning Show

The one thing I thought was impressed at was his use of unusual items. In one home he had used a window frame from a bank building as a fireplace and another he had carved panels made into wardrobe doors. It’s those unusual things that help create a unique space. You can see these magnificent interiors in his new book, Live, Love and Decorate.

Interior by Martyn Lawrence Bullard

The Furniture Fair was OK. I did love the OB Collection stand. It was so colourful with hot pink sofas, yellow drum stools and blue ceramics. The exhibition centre had the air conditioning set at single digits, I’m sure and we were pleased to see everything and head out into the rain and slightly warmer weather.

OB Collection Stand at the Furniture Fair

I hope this wet weather disappears before the weekend hits. It’s really been a miserable summer this year. But whatever you’re doing this weekend, I hope you enjoy it.


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



It’s not orange

Supre Skinny Jeans in Sunset

Rusty Hyper Walkshorts in Fluro Orange

As I tear through the shopping centres on my quest to complete lists before Christmas, I have been noticing a plethora of orange.

Cotton Dress in Orange by Sportscraft

Blazer Short Sleeve Casual Shirt in Orange

It seems just about every shop window features an orange item of one shade or another.

Sandals by Witchery in Ginger

Corban and Blair iPhone Cover

Pumpkin, Amber, Coral, Clay, Tangerine, Peach, Melon, Splice, call it what you will, but it’s all out there.

Marmot Two Man Tent

I know that once a colour appears en masse in the fashion industry, we can expect to see it in the home industry very soon thereafter.

Sarah Story Design

I don’t mind touches of orange in the home, in soft furnishings, feature walls or even wallpaper, as long as it is in moderation.

However, I am really worried that we may return to that time in the ’90’s when everyone was giving their home a Tuscan makeover by laying terracotta tiles and painting the walls apricot.

Frances Mayes has a lot to answer for!

Authentic Tuscan Interiors

What about you? Are you a fan of orange and it’s many tints and shades?


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

Fab Books for the Decorator

One good thing about birthdays, is people give you lovely gifts. In September, when I celebrated my birthday, I received three fabulous books which I can highly recommend.

New Books

The first book was very apt as it was The Stylist’s Guide to NYC. I cannot tell a lie, it was on my wishlist as we were celebrating my birthday in NYC. Unfortunately, that meant I didn’t get a chance to read it until I was back in Australia. However, I had read an excerpt from the book in a magazine and diligently wrote down all the places listed in the excerpt which was part of the Scents and Flower Merchants tour.

My photo of NYC – instagrammed.

The book is by Australian stylist, Sibella Court who has a very small but very full shop/studio in Sydney’s Paddington overflowing with things she has collected over her years as a stylist. Sibella spent 15 years in New York and this book lists many of her favourite places. It’s broken up into particular themes and areas with suggestions for stops for good coffee (hard to find in NYC), food and just to smell the roses.

We found Bond No 9 which has perfumes named after the different areas of NYC.

I had to laugh when I was reading the book back home in Sydney, one of her very first pieces of advice was to have a stash of bandaids, the wide fabric ones, as you don’t want to limp around the city, nor go home early, due to blisters. Oh how I wish I’d read that before I set out the first day. I did have flat comfortable shoes but was not prepared with bandaids which I quickly bought on the way back to the hotel the first night. You do a lot of walking in New York!

Easy to follow maps and suggestions

The other two books I recieved from my lovely friends in my Book Club, were books by two bloggers which I’m sure need no introduction. Grace Bonney of Design * Sponge and Holly Becker of Decor8.

Jonathan Adler has written the Foreward in Grace’s book, Design * Sponge at Home, and he calls it a Bible. I would have to agree. Grace has been blogging for 7 years and the book is a collection and extension of things she has written about online.

Design * Sponge At Home

Sneek Peaks into amazing homes all over the world, DIY projects, DIY Basics like Rewiring A Lamp and How To Paint Furniture, Flower Workshop and finally some Before and After projects with guides to cost and time invested. It really is the Home Decorator’s Bible – inspiration, tuition and knowledge.

A Sneek Peak into gorgeous homes

The subtitle of Holly Becker’s book, Decorate, is “1,000 inspirational design ideas for every room in your house” and that is what the book provides in spades. There is something in here for everyone with tips and quotes from a vast array of creative people the world over.

Decorate – the book

The book looks at Space and how to work with it, finding your own Personal Design Style, Room By Room decorating and finally, Attention to Detail. There is nothing overlooked with colour, texture, layout, displaying collections, storage, styling rooms and choosing fabrics.

Quotes, advice, inspiration and resources

If you have an aspiring decorator in your midst, any of these books would make the ideal Christmas gift.


Be Inspired

One way to ensure you and your decorator, designer or architect are on the same page is to show them. As they say, “A Picture Paints A Thousand Words.”

Retro Style

Most of us see things we like online, in magazines, in nature or out and about. Sometimes we don’t even know why we like them but we know that they appeal to us. The best idea is to capture these images and articles and keep them together. Technology today makes this so easy as we can save images from the internet, take photos with cameras and mobile phones and of course, the good old fashioned way of tearing pages out of magazines.

African Style

You might even jot down a few words that come to mind when you see these images which will help convey the mood you want in a room.

When you have collected your inspiration, put the items and images into a folder. Kiki K have a great folder called “My Dream Home” full of plastic sleeves ready for you to fill. If you have bulky items, like a shell you’ve collected on your last beach holiday, you could purchase a lidded box from a Variety Store. Whatever you do, make sure you keep all your bits together. This will be invaluable when you meet with your architect and/or designer to convey the types of things you like.

French Provincial Style

Rarely do we want exactly the same as in our inspiration file, but collectively the images and items will tell you and your designer the type of things you like. It’s then up to the designer to create those features in your home bearing in mind the type of lifestyle you lead and the architecture of the building.

Beach style decor

Beach Style Decor

Never lose sight of the big picture and make sure everyone is working towards the same end result.

Queensland Houses and Decor

Queensland Style

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

New York Colour

I’ve spent the past week in New York City. I’ve never been to New York before, or America for that matter!

Colourful Candles at Bond No 9. Every scent is named after an area in New York City

I’ve had a wonderful time and managed to tick off many things on my To Do/Must See List. Not all mind you, so I’ll have to plan a return trip. Of course many on the list had a home decor bent.

Gorgeous crockery at Fish’s Eddy

I’ve taken loads of photos but thought you might like to see this collection – my take on New York Colour.

Colourful Building

I’ve now moved on to a week in New England so will update you later on the many colours I find there.

Cabana Display at Tiffany’s

Fall Display at Pottery Barn

All photographs taken by me!

Island Style

I’m currently working on the interior of a house that makes me think of this style.


So I’ve put together some items for their newly renovated open plan living dining area that flows to the pool terrace.

Bahamas Style

Hope they like it!

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

The Making Of A Kitchen

A couple of years ago, I received a phone call from a home owner in the next suburb. They were about to embark on a major renovation and had decided to hire an interior decorator who could help them with the myriad of decisions that needed to be made. One of the main reasons they contacted me, was that I was local and would be able to help with troubleshooting, as both partners worked full time and had two primary school aged children. The other reason was because I had worked on similar Federation houses in the area and the renovation would be sympathetic to the era of the home and they didn’t want to lose that period feel.

Fast forward to this week and the beautiful kitchen I designed for them is featured in Country Home Ideas.

The kitchen was part of the new extension and as all members of the family like to cook, it was to become the centrepiece of the home. Linda and Kevin knew what they wanted, a sort of cross between French Provincial and Farmhouse style. So I dubbed it the “Farmincial” Kitchen. After designing the layout, we went through every pot, pan and utensil in their kitchen and worked out which would be the best location for them in the new set up.

Linda fell in love with the granite slab which worked beautifully with the existing colour scheme we had chosen for the home. The splashback presented a problem as we liked the look of glass but it was far too modern for the style of kitchen. We didn’t like the traditional ceramic tiles either. Linda had seen an image of a splashback that had two colours and liked the idea of a mixture. So in the end we settled on glass 100 x 100 tiles in 4 colours.

We didn’t want it too contrived, so I asked the tiler if he would just put them up, any old how. He was too scared to be left with that weight on his shoulders, so I drew up a plan and he tiled by colours!

The end result is a beautiful family kitchen that is the main attraction in this fantastic home.

A big thank you to Editor, Margaret and Sub Editor, Zoe for featuring my work and to my wonderful clients, Kevin and Linda for not only being fabulous to work with, but also allowing the magazine to feature them.


If you would like assistance with your home renovation, contact us to see how we can help.


What’s new?

Last week I was invited to see the new fabric collections at TWO of the showrooms, here in Sydney.

The first was at Crowson who have released a range of new fabrics from a number of houses they have in their collection. Waverley had some great colours and patterns but the one that caught my eye, was the Equinox collection by Crowson.

Equinox Collection by Crowson

I love the fun, colourful combination of hot pink and lime green.


The other collection was the new embroidery range from Holland and Sherry.

Designed to add a highlight to soft furnishings and drapery, the embroidered border collection is truly exquisite.

Embroidery from Holland and Skerry

Limited only by your imagination, you get to choose from the range of fine base cloths such as silk, linen, cashmere or wool and design your own pattern from embroidery or applique or choose from the many templates available.

If you would like to add an exquisite or playful air to your home, contact us for an on-line or in-person consultation.

Cottage Style

I write an article every two months for a local shopping centre magazine. The latest edition has just been published and this month the topic was Cottage Style.

It’s a style that can be reinvented again and again and works in all types of homes regardless of the architecture. It is also given a unique look by the person creating it and therefore can be very individual.

If you would like assistance in creating a little Cottage Style in your home, contact us for an on-line or in person consultation.

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