It’s June!

Can you believe that? That last week of May slipped by in a flash with so much going on.

Firstly a bit of sad news. We had to have a tree removed from our front garden. I know, there are worse things that could happen but it was such a favourite. When we bought our house over ten years ago, I remember telling our then neighbours where the house was and they knew it because the Crab Apple draped over the fence and footpath and was so spectacular when it was all in flower. It would always flower for my September birthday and herald the arrival of spring. Unfortunately it was dying and had to be removed. About 30 years of growing was a 5cm stump in under an hour. Now we have to decide what to plant in its place.

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Designex was held last week at the new temporary home of Glebe Island. One of the nice things about this venue is that it is accessible by ferry and Sydney Autumn is perfect for a short ferry ride.

On the ferry from Circulay Quay

On the ferry from Circulay Quay

I’ve been attending Designex for over 10 years now and it has changed so much since my first visit. Back then it was a jam-packed exhibition hall with so much to see and do. Speakers were dotted around at various stages and there was everything from fabrics to outdoor furniture, rugs, carpets, soft furnishings, lighting, windows, doors, tiles, pavers, planters, mirrors, Homewares and artworks – just about everything required for home design. Over the past few years the shows have become smaller and smaller and this year was no different. It’s one of those catch 22 things where if I don’t go I might miss something and if I do go then there’s nothing really exciting there.

Interesting wallpapers at  Designex

Interesting wallpapers at Designex

But I did find a couple of nuggets. The first are these fabulous power points. I know right? Power points? But look, they have USB slots too so no more clunky transformers sticking out of the wall. You can charge two devices and use two electric sockets at the same time. Perfect for that spot in the kitchen where everyone charges their phones. And they can be retrofitted into the old power point spots by a qualified electrician.

Excel Life Power Points with USB Ports

Excel Life Power Points with USB Ports

A few of the fabric houses have returned to Designex and it was great to have a look at the exquisite fabrics from South Pacific Fabrics. Anyone have a cool $800 for a metre of fabric? If you do I’ve got a lovely selection to show you.

South Pacific Fabrics' stand at Designex

South Pacific Fabrics’ stand at Designex

I also attended the launch party of Timothy Oulton furniture at Coco Republic. It was a lively evening with the best of British on display. The furniture is gorgeous but big.

Timothy Oulton furniture

Timothy Oulton furniture

The light fittings were stunning.

The lights in the background have 1500 crystal balls. Just stunning!

The lights in the background have 1500 crystal balls. Just stunning! Oh and that’s the man himself on the right.

Everyone who attended received a leather luggage tag which you could have embossed with your initials. The champagne was flowing and the cheese table was heaving.

Cheese table at Timothy Oulton launch at Coco Republic

Cheese table at Timothy Oulton launch at Coco Republic

Coco Republic sure know how to put on a party!

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And finally I did spend some time on client work during the week. Custom made furniture which I designed was delivered and installed as well as window coverings. I can’t wait to show you this home when it’s finished. Just a couple more pieces to finish it off.

Client living room taking shape with custom made bookcases, dining table and banquet seat.

Client living room taking shape with custom made bookcases, dining table and banquet seat.

If you require assistance with furniture for your home, contact us for an appointment. We have a very thick black book of suppliers for all styles, tastes and budgets.

Before and After Colour

About 12 months ago I was asked to advise on exterior colour for a friend of a past client. I love word of mouth client’s, they are just as nice as the client who referred them!

Before

Before

The house sat on the lower side of the road and the client wanted the house to look bigger. After I blu tac-ed a few colours onto the wall we settled for Dulux Barnfloor. The gutters, barge boards and fascias were going to be Colorbond Woodland Grey and the window frames would be Dulux Whisper White.

Colorbond Woodland Grey

Colorbond Woodland Grey

Dulux Barnfloor

Dulux Barnfloor

Dulux Whisper White

Dulux Whisper White

To make the house appear bigger, I chose to use the Whisper White on the Gable End Batons and the Verandah Beams and Brackets and Awning. I suggested the verandah posts be painted the dark Woodland Grey as in my mind the dark colour gives strength to the timber. However the client preferred to paint the posts white to lighten up the facade of the house.

New Exterior Colour

New Exterior Colour

Either way, the paint looks great and lifts the house into the current era.

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

 

Creative Colours

A few weeks ago a staff member from the Warringah Council phoned to ask if I could help with a colour scheme for a new building. Of course I said yes and made a time to visit the site and discuss the requirements. Council were remodelling a disused Scout Hall and turning it into a Creative Space.

Front view of new Art Space before

Front view of new Art Space before

View of front door after

Front view of after

The feature of the build was, that apart from the roof, every product was recycled. The materials which were in the building that would not be required were being sent away to be used elsewhere and any new materials were sourced from Kimbriki.

Rear of building before

Rear of building before

Rear of building after

Rear of building after

The council had fairly recently updated their image and brand and had new corporate colours which they hoped to use on the building.

Council Corporate Colours

Council Corporate Colours

The building was set on the edge of playing fields and opposite a residential area. The council needed the building to stand out so it could be seen on approach yet didn’t want it garish and offensive to the neighbours. They also wanted the integrity of the building and the recycled materials to remain a feature yet not look like a shack.

Side view of building before

Side view of building before

Side building after

Side building after

The building opened last month and it looks great. The building sits amongst she-oaks and so the building didn’t stand out too much I chose a grey for the body of the building. Using the orange and purple from the Council’s corporate colours, I selected different areas to highlight and give the building life. It will be used as a creative space and these two colours ooze creativity.

Open studio before

Open studio before

Open studio after

Open studio after

I chose to leave some of the timber beams unpainted as well as the recycled colorbond sheeting which forms the subfloor walls. The side area which will form a breakout or semi open studio had beautiful rusty walls. I wanted to leave them unpainted but painted the recycled pool fence and ladders to tie this area in with the main building.

Back verandah before

Back verandah before

Back verandah after

Back verandah after

I think it looks great and will breathe new life into what could have been just another abandoned building.

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

Summer is over and I’m dreaming of a holiday

Daylight saving finished in Sydney on Sunday morning and it was as if the weather decided “That’s it, summer is over.” Ever since it’s been wet and cool and I’ve even dragged the boots out. Now naturally this weather makes me pine for summer and going to the launch of new short term accommodation at Bondi did nothing to change my mind.

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Bondi38 launched last Thursday evening. Who doesn’t want to holiday at Bondi Beach? The serviced apartments are beautifully decorated and have catered for all your short term needs. There is a choice of one and two bedroom apartments some with iconic Bondi views.

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The units contain a lounge and dining room, a kitchen with quality appliances, bathroom and personal laundry facilities. Staying in serviced apartments when on holidays with the family makes life a little easier than hotel accommodation. Many a night we were forced to bed at 8.00pm as our daughter was asleep. There was nowhere for us to go in a hotel room and we didn’t want to make any noise incase we woke her. Travelling with little ones can be exhausting!

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Bondi38 is set within the 1930’s Classical Revival Style building at 38 Campbell Parade Bondi and as well as the beach across the road, there is every style of cuisine at a myriad of eateries a lift ride away as well as buses at the door.

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With accommodation from $239 per night I couldn’t think of a better place to stay for a break away from the everyday.

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You could carry all your beach needs in a stylish Market Basket Co basket. Enter our draw to win this Rosie basket.

Rosie Basket The Market Basket Co. RRP $65.00

Amazing Before and After

Whenever I am asked to consult on exterior colours, I will check out the home on Google Street View.

This assists in preparing me for the type of house and construction so I can make sure I take the correct tools of trade. I can also have a look at the neighbouring properties and sometimes formulate some ideas prior to arriving for the consultation.

Home as it is now

Home as it is now

This happened last week, when a previous client phoned to make an appointment for their rental property at Palm Beach. The client explained that the previous owner had been inspired by the Pastis Hotel in St Tropez. She sent me photos of the home as it is now and also a link to the hotel website.

Pastis Hotel, St Tropez

Pastis Hotel, St Tropez

But the biggest surprise came when I checked it out on Google Street View. Wow, what a transformation!

Home before

Home before

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

The garden, twelve months on

2012 was the year of the much anticipated renovation of our Californian Bungalow on Sydney’s north shore. The builders left on Christmas eve, however, there was still a mountain of work to do. My husband decided he would paint the exterior of the house and of course there was a trashed area of the garden which needed a complete overhaul.

Builders' mess

Builders’ mess

Twelve months ago this weekend, the garden makeover started. My Dad flew down from Brisbane and we all pitched in and started marking out the garden which Nadia had designed for us.

Beginning to build a garden wall

Beginning to build a garden wall

For the next couple of months, the beds gradually were made. Organic Garden mix was delivered and poured on top of the existing soil which I had been feeding with gypsum.

The site resembled a lunar landscape

The site resembled a lunar landscape

Then the fun began. I visited the nursery and ordered the 200+ plants. I like to let everyone know that I dug the holes and planted each and every one of those babies.

Top soil all spread and ready for planting

Top soil all spread and ready for planting

Then the wood chip mulch arrived and we spread that over the gardens.

Little bitty plants all sitting pretty

Little bitty plants all sitting pretty

Taking shape

Taking shape

I’ve been pouring the water and fertilizer onto the plants and am thrilled to say that the garden is now taking shape.

I finally have a row of Magnolia Little Gems.

I finally have a row of Magnolia Little Gems.

Whilst I have been lovingly caring for the plants, my husband has been busy laying paths which lead from the driveway to the front door and stepping stones to the back door.

After the builders left

After the builders left

Building the gardens

Building the gardens

Nice new path

Nice new path

It’s so easy to look around and see what still needs to be done, but looking through the photos for this post, I can say I’m thrilled with how much we’ve achieved over the past twelve months with only working on the weekends.

How it was

How it was

How it is now

How it is now

Now we can put our energy into the driveway and fixing that broken wall. Does it ever end?

Before

Before

After

After – Hopefully in another twelve months that fence will be covered in sweet smelling jasmine.

If you would like assistance with your home renovation, contact us for an appointment.

What does Gotye and Florence Broadhurst have in common?

Are you familiar with the art of Emma Hack? I first noticed Emma’s work at the Affordable Art Fair in Sydney in 2009. How could you not notice? What looked like Florence Broadhurst wallpapers suddenly started moving. A body (usually of a woman) suddenly came in to view as they were painted in the same pattern. They seemed to be floating infront of the canvas. And if you’ve been following my blog, you know I am a HUGE fan of the Florence Broadhurst patterns.

Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 5.08.41 PM Emma’s work featured in the award winning Goyte film clip ‘Somebody I used To Know’. Emma is ‘Popping Up’ at Signature Prints in the coming weeks to showcase her new release of Limited Edition Art! The artist explains “… merging the human body with the wallpaper designs of Florence Broadhurst results in an illusory, stunning image of nude humanity on natural, stylish patterns”.

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This Pop Up exhibition marks the exciting release of two new designs from the Florence Broadhurst Archive featuring Emma’s muse camouflaged into the wallpaper environment. Emma explains that her “… choices ‘Fans’ and Phoenix’ are bold, oriental designs that are quite different from past works… in lower editions so very collectable”.

Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 5.08.02 PM The exhibition is open at the Signature Prints Studio 2, 1-5 Hayes Road, Rosebery this weekend.
Friday 29th November: 9am – 5pm
Saturday 30th November: 10am – 4pm
Sunday 1st December: 11am – 4pm

And on Saturday 30th November, Emma Hack will be doing a meet and greet, 11am at Signature Prints. The artist will explain the process she goes through when creating her unique pieces, how she came to collaborate with Signature Prints and what she finds so intriguing about Florence Broadhursts’ designs.

Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 5.08.26 PM If you would like assistance adding art to your home, contact us for an appointment.

Tickets to Grand Designs Live

What’s not to love about Grand Designs? I think anyone with a remote interest in homes, renovations, building and interiors is a fan of the British series of the show. The Australian series is fabulous too. I know we used to watch it all the time until I realised it was hindering not aiding my push to renovate our own home. My husband was getting cold feet at the cold hard reality of renovating which was exposed on the show. You know, double the time, double the budget, disasterous weather conditions and people living onsite in caravans or containers.

The Sliding House A couple of years ago Grand Designs Live came to Sydney as did Kevin McCloud. I’m sure I was one of the first to purchase tickets and waited patiently for Kevin to appear on stage. Then last year the show came to town again. This time I was in the middle of renovations and was thrilled to snap up a bargain kitchen package from Kleenmaid that was being offered as a show special.

Grand Designs Live The show is coming again in a couple of weekends. Kevin will be there on the Sunday and the team from Selling Houses Australia – Shaynna, Charlie and Andrew– will be there too. There’s a great line up on The Lifestyle Channel Grand Theatre which is bound to excite those planning to renovate or sell their home.

Selling Houses_Group Shot But the best part is we have a special offer of a half price double pass. A double pass was $59 and is now $29.50. Simply enter the code word GDLBLOG6 in the “Special Offer” field and check the website for full terms and conditions. This offer is only valid to the first 100 readers so pop on over and grab yourself a double pass.

GDL 2013 Logo-National

And we can announce the winner of our Air Wick Candle! Congratulations to Michelle who left a comment here on the blog. I pooled to comments on the blog, Facebook Page and Instagram feed and Michelle’s name was drawn out. An Air Wick Candle is coming your way Michelle! It was fun reading all the different scents people favour for their homes – peonies, cranberry vanilla, Christmas and sandalwood.

Air Wick Candle

Flowers for Florence

It was my birthday on Saturday! Another one! I think I’ve reached the age where it really doesn’t matter and it’s just another day.

PeachBlossom My husband found the kitchen and whipped up some omlettes for breakfast. My daughter then baked a cake for afternoon tea before she went out to a birthday party for one of her friends.

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So my husband and I headed into the city to visit the David Jones flower display. Every Spring DJ’s goes all out and decorates their Elizabeth St Store with the most magnificent floral displays. This year the theme was Florence Broadhurst so I was determined to see it.

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All her fabrics were translated to floral displays in the windows and also on the ground floor of the store.

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I loved the Florence-isms that were in the windows too.

Florencisms

I thoroughly recommend if you have not read her biography, you should. The woman was soooo ahead of her time. Reinventing herself at every turn and never, ever saying it couldn’t be done.

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If you would like to add some Florence Broadhurst fabrics or wallpaper to your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

 

Is Your Home Ready For Spring?

Last Thursday I had a very enjoyable afternoon spending time with the team from The Home to help them launch Spring.

Lolly table

Lolly table

Unfortunately the lovely Spring weather we’ve been having here in Sydney decided to leave us for the day but the cooler weather didn’t dampen the spirits or the decor of the great venue.

Table set ready for lunch at Gazebo Wine Bar

Table set ready for lunch at Gazebo Wine Bar

The Gazebo Wine Garden in Elizabeth Bay was decked out ready for spring with flowers everywhere including a rose in our Giggling Rose welcoming cocktails.

Giggling Rose Cocktails all lined up

Roses ready to plonk in the drinks

The long lunch table was adorned with all manner of Spring animals courtesy of Have You Met Miss Jones and Florabelle. We were even allowed to select our favourite and take it home.

Cute decorations by Have You Met Miss Jones and Florabelle

Cute decorations by Have You Met Miss Jones and Florabelle

The food was delicious and served on tree tiered trays.

Delicious High Tea Lunch

Delicious High Tea Lunch

The conversation was lively as the guests from the media and fellow bloggers discussed work, life and the weather.

Food So now is a great time to prepare your home for Spring. Change up the cushions, roll up the rugs and throw open the windows. And hop on over to The Home to purchase some new home decorator pieces at up to 70% of retail prices.

Furniture from The Home

Furniture from The Home

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

My goody bag from the Spring Launch

My goody bag from the Spring Launch

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