A week away

from the everyday is always refreshing. But then why did it end up being three weeks?


That’s right it’s been three weeks since my last blog post! It wasn’t meant to be that way. You see I took a week off to drive to Brisbane and visit family as well as visit a couple of clients and prospective clients and then once you return from holidays there always seems to be so much to do to catch up.


But before I left Sydney, I spent a day photographing a number of my recently completed houses. Sharon Newman from SNPhotography was my photographer for the day. We managed to pack in 7 properties starting with a brand new apartment which my retired clients bought last year. Some of the furniture was new and some we arranged to have reupholstered to fit into the new surrounds.


Then it was on to a just completed kitchen and then two exterior shots where I had chosen paint colours.

Next up was a family home which had been extended and renovated. The new large bathroom looks fabulous and is one of the favourite rooms of the house.


Then on to another kitchen and family living room before heading to my own recently renovated house.


It was an exhausting day but I’m thrilled with the new photos which will be uploaded to my website portfolio. Elise from yELLE Styling was my styling assistant for the shoot too.

Then off to Brisbane which had consistent blue skies and sunshine while Sydney nearly drowned in a week of rain. I helped a couple of clients with paint colours for their homes and am looking forward to designing a new kitchen for a Brisbane client too.


It’s still school holidays so many of my clients are away or busy with their kids at the moment. But that doesn’t mean I’m sitting around twiddling my thumbs! I’m busy finalising colour schemes for a number of Sydney clients. It seems to be colour is the one thing that stumps most homeowners.

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

Australian Italian Furniture

Italian made, Australian stained and upholstered dining carver

The new carver to match existing dining chairs

I recently attended the launch of the new collection from Casa Mia. I have been specifying Casa Mia products for years and love their elegant shapes.

Italian made, Australian stained bedside chest of drawers.

The bedside chest of drawers has lots of matching pieces

It is a family owned business and has been operating for over 30 years. The furniture is imported from Italy in it’s raw state and then stained and upholstered in the factory here in Sydney. Originally the furniture was classic but in recent times there has been a shift to a more contemporary look.

Italian made, Australian stained and upholstered contemporary occasional chair

A modern twist on this classic shape

With loads of colour options including custom colours and numerous choices in handles and other decorative elements, there is a piece of furniture for everyone.

Italian made, Australian stained and upholstered dining chair

Detailed Upholstery

The furniture is on display in Paddington and the showroom was looking sensational for the launch.

Blue and white furniture, ceramics and fabrics

Blue and white furniture, ceramics and fabrics

Even the dog was excited!

Happy Dog

Happy Dog

If you would like new furniture for your home, contact us and we will source the perfect items for you.


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.

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.

Jens job 4 071

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.

What’s been happening?


If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you will know that we’ve been renovating our Californian Bungalow on Sydney’s North Shore.


Of course once the builders have left and the house is looking fabulous, the gardens need attention.


When we moved in to the house ten years ago, the front garden was a tree and bark chips.


We built a sandstone, crazy path through the bark chip and planted a garden.


Fortunately the builders were not working in the front garden and it has stayed in tact. A couple of weekends of weeding and pruning and it will be as good as new.


The side garden, however is in a very bad way. There was a paved area adjacent to the pool and plants forming a barrier between the driveway and garden.


Love this photo! His first ever lawnmower having lived at home, then a unit, then overseas. And look at my little baby!

This area was totally trashed during the building process.


We needed a path from the driveway to the back door as well as a path to the front door and I wanted visitors to make their way to the front door. I also wanted some screening between the pool and the garden to make the pool more private. There were a few different levels to be considered and it was all too much for me to design. Interiors are my thing, not gardens.


So I called the landscape designer in The Designer Chicks. Nadia Pomare from Stylish Gardens met with me and listened to my wants and needs. We discussed the types of plants I liked and loathed and a couple of weeks later she came up with a lovely plan.

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Next up was calling in the heavy artillery from Brisbane. My Dad’s a bit of a dab hand at the garden so he came down from Brisbane for a week and it was all hands on deck.


There’s still heaps to do (I think I’ll be saying that for the next 12 months!) but the back is broken and the garden is starting to take shape.


So that’s what’s been happening around here. What have you been up to?

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


Geometry in Wallpaper

Have you seen the new wallpaper range by Greg Natale?


Porters Waterloo covered with Chevron Wallpaper

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the launch of his range of wallpapers for Porter’s. I’ve always liked Greg’s work. The clean lines and bold use of colour is his signature along with geometric patterns. So it was really no surprise that his wallpaper is in a similar vein.


Breakfast with the stars!

Chevron, horizontal stripes, pinstripes and diagonal stripes in bright bold colours abound.I particularly like how Greg himself has used the horizontal stripe paper but offset each roll to create something a little more funky.


Off set horizontal stripe wallpaper

The colour names are fun too – Burnt Mandarin, Miami Sour, Oxford and Mocassin. The wallpaper colours can be matched to Porter’s range of paints for the truly co-ordinated look.


If you would like assistance sourcing wallpaper for your home, contact us for an appointment.


My Top Three From Decoration and Design

Last week I visited Decoration and Design here in Sydney. It is held each year in conjunction with the Australian International Furniture Fair and is more up my alley. All the pretty bits that make a house a home are featured in this area of the show. Things like artworks, rugs, fabrics and homewares. So I am keen to wander up and down the aisles looking for something new or different.

Removable Wallpaper

Removable Wallpaper

This year I found a number of things. Firstly it was The Wallpaper Company. Not just any old wallpaper but REMOVABLE wallpaper. How cool is that? Fantastic for a feature wall in a colour or pattern you may be worried about. Or for teenagers’ rooms who want to assert their individuality but the parents aren’t keen to do something too permanent. And exceptionally great for those who are renting their home.

The paper is good quality and comes off without leaving any residue so can easily be cleaned or painted over. And another big benefit is that it can be installed yourself!

Rattan Butler's Tray

Rattan Butler’s Tray

Next up was a new supplier of colonial style furniture and homewares, Colonial Franz. It’s always so exciting finding a new supplier and seeing what they have that’s different from everyone else. Colonial Franz has a lovely range of rattan and timber furniture as well as glass and ceramic homewares suitable for a Hamptons or Colonial style home or room.

Occasional Colonial Chair

Occasional Colonial Chair

Timber chairs with rattan backs, hurricane lights and ceramic jugs are just a few of their extensive collection. I’m sure we will be able to use their products in some of our designs as they have clean lines yet a comfortable and inviting look to them.

Anastasia Armchair

Anastasia Armchair

Then it was cane. Now I’m not usually a cane lover. Think I spent too many holidays in poorly furnished apartments on the Gold Coast. However, it is having a revival. And when there’s a revival it usually means it has been tweaked and twisted a little to suit current times.

Lyrebird Bedhead

Lyrebird Bedhead

Lincoln Brooks has a wide range of cane, rattan and wicker furniture pieces ranging from exotic lyrebird bedheads to asian inspired occasional chairs and french bistro chairs any of which I’d be pleased to see in my own home. Many of them come in a variety of colours which ticks all the boxes for me too.

French Bistro Chair

French Bistro Chair

So they were my three new finds at this year’s Decoration and Design.

If you would like assistance using any or all of these items in your home, contact us for a consultation.



The beginning of the year for designers usually heralds the start of the trade show circuit. I love going off to the shows and taking a day out of the office, away from the files and immersing myself in the latest trends, products and people to hit the scene.

And this year, the co-founders of reputable styling house, Cool Edies’, Lucy Weight and Jane Frosh, are teaming up with Life Instyle to launch Style Lab. This unique interactive concept is set to explore the world of art and design which will create a visually remarkable experience. The annual Life Instyle will be held at Sydney’s Royal Hall of Industries from 21 – 24 February.

STYLELAB_EDDIE 2 Sounds intriguing doesn’t it? From what I can gather, these super talented stylists will create a new scene each morning and visitors will see a real life photographic set which will feature products from the show’s exhibitors. ‘The new Style Lab concept allows us to draw visitors into the studio, just as if we are working on a real life shoot- except with a vibrant, live element mixed in,’ says Weight. Such artistic explorations will be inspired by international trends, crazy concepts and will set to push creative boundaries. ‘You can expect to see us testing things out,..pushing limits,..and you can expect us to be listening to great music!,’ says Cool Edies.

Life Instyle has been heralded as the “different” trade show with more creative and artistic products on display. I have watched the show grow over the past few years and this year there will be over 300 exhibitors who have all been carefully selected to represent premium, bespoke and design led products within a beautiful shopping environment. Maybe this year I may have to visit every day just to see the new set created by Cool Edies.

So if you are a stylist, designer or magazine editor, here’s where you need to be.

WHAT: Style Lab showcased at Life Instyle 2013

WHEN: 21 – 24 February

WHERE: Royal Hall of Industries & Hordern Pavilion, Moore Park

Sorry, this is a TRADE ONLY EVENT but hopefully I’ll be able to post some photos afterwards if you can’t make it.


The end of the renovations……or is it?

Well it’s now been a month since we moved back in to our renovated home. I’d love to be showing you photos of the beautifully styled rooms but you will have to wait. How long? I have no idea. We still have loads of painting to do both inside and out as well as a few more rooms to sort out.


The kitchen gradually filling up

It was a very exciting but extremely exhausting time. My brother, his son and their dog along with my mum arrived from Brisbane in mid December. I thought we would be back in the house by then, just. But that didn’t happen. No fault of anyone’s really, just things take a bit longer than planned and it was much better to stay away than move in with all the builders still crawling all over the place.

The unit hall overflowing with three more people's stuff!

The unit hall overflowing with three more people’s stuff!

So we crammed into the two bedroom unit for a couple of weeks. Fortunately my studio was finished so we were able to set up a couple of beds there for the boys and the dog but of course they were woken every morning at 6am when the builders arrived. Anyway, we all survived and still love each other.

My studio ready to be a bedroom

My studio ready to be a bedroom

The builders finally left at 4.30pm on Christmas Eve. We’d moved our storage furniture back into the house on the 16th, the floors were done on the 19th and we moved the unit furniture back on 23rd and slept there for the first time. It was lovely to have the extra hands to move furniture, open boxes and put things in cupboards. Christmas seemed still so far away and not much thought had been given to the event.


Our containers returned

The kids sensed that we were not going to have time, nor room, to put up the tree as every surface seemed to be covered with boxes! They gathered some sticks and found the boxes of decorations (which I’d left out in great optimism) and set about creating a tree. It was beautiful and brought my focus back to Christmas.

Makeshift Christmas Tree

Makeshift Christmas Tree

So after the builders left and we completed our last dash to the shops for food and presents, I started to turn my thoughts to Christmas lunch. Fortunately, I had remembered to order the turkey and ham and had a fridge full of vegetables. My brother was a Christmas baby and a birthday cake is our usual Christmas dessert. I had ordered an ice cream cake so at least the basics were taken care of.

Birthday cake

Birthday cake

At 2am on Christmas morning I was still unpacking boxes desperately trying to locate my big baking tray for the turkey as well as reading the instruction manual for the new cooktop.

Presents wrapped and under the tree

Presents wrapped and under the tree

Christmas Day was probably the most ill prepared I’d ever had and I had such high hopes of having everything organised with all the family here in my Sydney home on Christmas Day for the first time ever.

The kids made pancakes for breakfast

The kids made pancakes for breakfast

But it all came together in the end, even if we were still surrounded by boxes.

Surrounded by boxes

Surrounded by boxes

There was plenty to eat, plenty of laughs and even a few tears (of joy)!

Christmas lunch

Christmas lunch

And we were surrounded by family being thankful for all that we have. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about? At least it will be a Christmas we won’t forget.

Aftermath of unpacking the kitchen

Aftermath of unpacking the kitchen

The unpacking continues but it’s getting there. How did you spend your Christmas Day?

Making a List, checking it twice

Have you made your list? I’m a big list maker and have them on everywhere. But at this time of year it’s the gift list I’m checking. That means two lists – one is my gift “wish” list and the other is the list of friends and family for whom I will buy a gift.

So it’s music to my ears, (or words to my eyes) when I receive notification of sales and reductions. I thought you might want to check these out too.

First is Space Furniture. They are holding an End Of Year Sale with 25% off brands like Moooi, B&B Italia, Kartell and Zanotta. Sale starts Monday 3 December.

Kartell Lamps

Next up is Miss Jones Christmas Warehouse Sale. Samples and End of Line items are up to 85% off with prices starting at $5. Now there will be some great Secret Santa gifts there, I’m sure. Sale is at Factory 9, 80 O’Riordan Street, Alexandria from 6 – 8 December.

Have You Seen Miss Jones Ceramics

And the clever people at Project 82 have opened a Christmas Pop Up Shop. If you call in on a Thursday evening, you’ll not only find some great gift ideas for you or someone else but you will also be treated to a drink and something to nibble on while you browse the wares. If you can’t make it to Surry Hills, you can shop from your own living room via their online store.

A selection from Project 82

I hope you manage to grab a bargain and tick a few things off your list, or maybe add a few things to your own list!

That’s it for November, can you believe it? This year has just flown!  Hope you have a great weekend, are you putting up your tree?

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

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