Designer Artworks

Do you remember those lovable boys from series 1 of The Block? After appearing on the show in 2003, Gavin Atkins and Warren Sonin were highly sought after for their interior design and property styling skills and established Designer Boys Interior Design. After almost a decade of assisting clients Gavin and Warren followed their creative talents and built a wholesale art business that provides original designs and exceptional service to interior designers, architects, decorators, hotels and specialty retail stores.

The Block Team Series 1

The boys recently launched their new catalogue full of gorgeous pieces. I asked the duo a few questions about their inspiration for this collection.

Who is your design idol?

It’s Mother Nature of course! We are constantly inspired by her magnificent work and beauty all around us. Living in the Byron Bay hinterland we are constantly reminded about the beauty of nature & how the palette changes with the seasons. One of the biggest reasons is when you sit in a beautiful natural setting, like a rainforest, you feel uplifted, calm & exhilarated all at the same time. This is a true sign of great design – energetically it changes the way you feel in a very positive way! Mother nature will always be our idol & it’s ashamed that so many people are losing touch or even frightened of nature.

Leaf Motif III from Central Park Collection

What is your top tip for buying artworks?

We love to purchase artworks that are textural & with a touch of nature – it helps reconnect you to nature & you feel very grounded. When you view an artwork it should make you feel good inside. It should have nothing to do with the price tag… It could be an emerging artist or a decorative piece that you personally admire. It’s in the eye of the beholder…

Landmark I from the Print Collection

What is your favourite room in your current home?

Now that’s hard one! We’ve just finished building our home & it’s an 1880’s farmhouse which we have extended and made contemporary for today’s living – so many rooms are our favourite – it was custom to all of our needs. The living room is particularly special with large windows overlooking a magnificent valley – wherever you sit in this room you can see the rolling green hills, the cows grazing & the sky. At night we light our oversized stone fireplace. It sets the ambience for the entire room.

Indigo Coral – also comes in Charcoal and Rubine Red

How does living in the Byron Bay Hinterland influence your designs?

We live on 60 acres & surrounded by nature everyday. It’s truly inspiring for us. We are at our happiest & most creative when we have time out from our busy lives just to recharge ourselves on our hinterland property. It’s what we define as our new luxury – having the space & the solitude to reenergise our creativity – that’s priceless. This luxury has nothing to do with money or expensive labels. It’s all about taking time out with nature, to be mesmerised by it’s beauty. So many of artworks have been inspired by the beauty around us. The textures in particular!

Fern Motif III is embellished with luminous mother of pearl shell and elegant beading

Your art collections are very textural. Is texture something that needs to be included in a room design?

We love mixing textures in our own interiors and we did for a long time when we doing interior design & decorating for clients. On the mood board, clients would often question why we use so much textures in our design palette & with many of them clashing. We would always say that you will need to trust us & of course, the finished product would always be a proud moment, when clients would often ask why they feel so good in their rooms we create for them. Our secret is the use of texture, symmetry & balance in all of our designs. All of artworks are about the use of textural materials made from natures and showing them their best.

Message Sticks – raw organic beads

Your latest collection includes a range of colourful prints. Is there a reason you’ve introduced so much colour into your range?

Weaving colour into any ones life is true magic – it makes you feel good, but not too much. Some designers can go over the top with colour and it can make you feel uneasy. We like using a splash of colour in our designs to uplift the spirit and to create a focal point in a room. In this art collection we’ve introduced the beauty of colour through sophisticated water colours. The reaction has been overwhelming and we must agree colour is the NEW black!

Feather Abstract Print

What’s your favourite piece from your new collection?

Everyone has a favourite Designer Boys artwork and we’ve created our art collection to meet the diverse range of tastes from our clients. However, the Lexington Collection is one that stands out. It is a strong geometric design that is made from soft cow hide, silver foiling & mother of pearl shell. It is all handcrafted and designed by us. It’s very sophisticated and was a big seller at Decoration & Design in Melbourne.

Geometric Hide Motif 1 from The Lexington Collection

I’m sure you will agree the pieces are just gorgeous and I can’t wait to use them in my next interior. Thank you Gavin and Warren for providing such beautiful artworks and answering my questions.

If you would like to include one of these pieces in your home, contact us for details.

Art On The Floor

Yesterday morning I attended a breakfast to celebrate the finalists in the Art On The Floor competition.

For the last ten plus years, Designer Rugs has collaborated with the International School of Colour and Design to hold a rug designing competition. Students are encouraged to enter a design or two and the lucky 6 finalists have their design made into a rug which they get to keep. This year there were over 200 entries.

As a past student of ISCD I’m always keen to see what the students are doing. At the breakfast, each finalist stood before her rug (yes, it was an all female final this year) and gave us some insight into how she arrived at the design. The ladies bought back memories of the various art and design assignments that form part of the foundation course at the ISCD. The judges, Yosi Tal from Designer Rugs, Lucy Sutherland from the International School of Colour and Design and Claire Bradley, Editor of Inside Out Magazine, gave their comments on the design too.

This rug was created from a texture exercise involving dripping and flicking methylated spirits on gouache paint and watching it bleed out to circles. The rug was praised for it’s balance of composition and colour which is a difficult combination to get right in a modern rug.

Emma Corrigan designed this rug with spaghetti! It is a contemporary, edgy rug depicting the view of the buildings and lights from the road leaving central Sydney.

The design for this rug emanated from a collage that was made from a shattered bar code. It was a bold and striking design that would look great in any room that needed a pop of colour.

The purple rug was actually the image of a brain which was then scanned and enlarged and coloured intensely.

“Swirls” was inspired from the lid of a hairspray bottle which was then repeated and enlarged and became a semi abstract painting. The swirling gently organic shapes of nature were also considered and enhanced the design.

And the winner was……..

Susan Trainor with her rug, “Blossom Embrace”. Susan explained that she had chosen her artwork from a natural object as the starting point for the rug design. Her natural object was a gum nut which she had drawn on a plain background. Susan decided it was a bit bland so took to the drawing with her artline pen and created the movement and interest in the background. Susan can see a family embracing in her rug which gives it a feel good factor.

It was a very exciting morning for the finalists and their families to see the designs made up into gorgeous rugs. Thank you Designer Rugs and ISCD for the invitation. And congratulations to all the finalists.

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

Designer Boys Collections

Remember those lovable larrikins from The Block, the first time around – Gav and Waz?

Gav and Waz via

They were great fun on the show and went on to become highly sought after interior designers.

Message Sticks from The Signature Collection $545

I’ve mentioned before that they then went on to develop an artwork collection which is timeless and elegant.

Elder from The Raffles Collection $895

The boys have just released a new website and more gorgeous artworks.


Stratum 1 from The Print Collection $255

If you would like to purchase these artworks, or need assistance in selecting artworks for your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

Spoilt for choice

Wednesday, half way through the week and time to think about the weekend. And what a weekend it is too. Look at all the events, sales and shows that are on. Great for those planning to renovate or decorate their home.

First, there is the HIA Sydney Home Show at Darling Harbour which starts tomorrow and runs until Sunday. It’s a great place to wander around and gather some ideas and see what products are available.


Or if you are in the midst of renovating or building and need some tiles or stone slabs, Aeria Country Floors is holding a Warehouse Sale at their factory in Frenchs Forest. The sale will get under way at 8.30am tomorrow morning at 2 Aquatic Drive, French’s Forest and will be open each day between 8.30 and 3.30 finishing on Sunday.

Stone Basin and Tiles form Aeria Country Floors

Read and Bell are having a Trunk Sale at Newtown. If you are looking for a touch of ethnicism for your wardrobe or decor, you must take a look.

Quilts from recycled saris via Read and Bell

Markets? Finders Keepers is on again in Sydney at Eveleigh on Friday night and all day Saturday.

Click Image for Source

Need new bedding? KAS Australia is holding a Warehouse Sale at their factory, 78 O’Riordan Street, Alexandria from 9 – 5 on Sautrday and Sunday. Items start from $5.

KAS Australia Faraday Bedding

If art is more your thang and you are in Melbourne, head over to the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton for Art Melbourne. Over 80 galleries and 600 artists will be displaying their work and you could pick up a new piece for your home starting from $500.

via Art Melbourne website

And if you’re a US reader and happen to be in New York this weekend, Jonathan Adler is holding a Warehouse Sale at 513 Irving Ave, Bushwick, Brooklyn. You can expect 70% off furniture, rugs, lighting and homewares. Wish I was there. I just love his OTT style.

Jonathan Adler Interior Design

And if you are about to build or renovate but are overwhelmed with all the choices available and decisions to make, contact us for an on-line or in-person consultation.

Crimson Stripes

I’m loving the new red rugs from Armadillo & Co.

Band Stripe Rug

Sally Potharst and Jodie Fried founded rug company Armadillo & Co when they were working together on a rug for Jodie’s Bholu collection.

Sas Lena from Bholu

Made by artisans who are cared for under the Fair Trade practices, these rugs are Armadillo’s first adventure into colour.

I love the combination of strong stripes and bold colour and made from 100% wool, they are soft underfoot. Perfect for winter.

Ribbon Stripe Rug

What about you? Would you like some colour on your floor?

Contact us for pricing and delivery.

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder

Art is such a subjective piece of decor. Hold up an artwork and everyone has an opinion. And those opinions are very rarely those of the artist or the art owner.

Interior Decorating by Inside Out Colour and Design

I believe the art you have in your home should be a true reflection of you – your style, your history or your emotions.

My advice to clients, is to always buy something that YOU like. Don’t buy it because it is the same colour as the cushions or it is supposedly going to increase in value. If it does, then that’s a bonus but first and foremost it should tug at your heartstrings.

Brett Hayes via Gallery Oscar

Canadian Interior Decorator and Colourist, Maria Killam is currently in the market for art for her new home and has asked the blogging world to jump on board with some advice on what to choose. It’s an interesting discussion with loads of great advice. You can check it out here.

In the meantime, if you are looking for some artworks for your walls, Art Sydney is being held this weekend.

Vencent Ko via Sydney Galleries

The show used to be called Affordable Art but was renamed Art Sydney and showcases artists from around Australia.

It was at last year’s show that I first met Chris Chun. His almost naive paintings of food really tugged at my hearstrings! I don’t think Chris will be there this year as he is touring the globe and is currently in Malaysia.

Chris Chun

Another favourite artist of mine will be exhibiting this year. Robyn Kennedy creates amazing artworks from textiles. I first saw Robyn’s work about 5 years ago and bought a piece for my collection. She uses antique Asian textiles and other fabrics to create stunning collages.

Robyn Kennedy

So think about what you have on your walls. Does it tell a story? Does it transport you to another time or place?

Enjoy a walk around Art Sydney but only buy what you truly love.

If you would like assistance in creating your harmonious environment, contact us to enquire about our design services.

My Makeover

Whilst I’ve been away enjoying myself, the fairies have been giving my blog a makeover.

Firstly, I decided after blogging for 18 months and writing some 170 plus posts, the name Inside Out Colour and Design Blog was a bit cumbersome. You see that is my business name and at them time I couldn’t think of anything better. So after having time to reflect I have decided to be henceforth known as Decorum!

Choosing names is so much harder than choosing paint colours, I think. When I started my business I wanted a name that didn’t need an explanation. As I am both an Interior Decorator AND a Colour Consultant and I choose colours for both inside and outside, I needed something that said as much. It’s a bit of a mouthful, and many people get writer’s cramp when I tell them my email address but I figure it works as a descriptive title.

I also wanted to add a little of me to the header I wanted it to reflect my personal style so I engaged the very talented Caitlin McGauley to design an artwork that typifies me and what I’m about. A couple of emails later and this is the fabulous painting that now sits at the top of my blog.

I also wanted to use bigger images. For me it’s all about the images as I am a very visual person and think most people that read a design blog also want to see more images than text. Do you agree?

I also write a monthly newsletter which is completely different from my blog posts. I try to give more indepth details on styles, colours and decor for your home. If you don’t receive one, you can sign up here.

So a million thank yous to the ladies behind my makoever and also to you my readers for dropping by and leaving comments.

Strike me Pink……and Aqua

I wanted to share with you a new piece of art we have hanging in our home.

As you know, it was my daughter’s birthday recently and she has aspirations of being a fashion designer. She is also ready to redecorate her bedroom and has decided that her new colour scheme will be pink and aqua.

We found this image at Better Homes and Gardens and will be taking our colour inspiration from it.

via Better Homes and Gardens

So when I came across the works of Laura Trevey I knew it would be a welcome addition to the room – aqua, pink and fashion.

Chic in Pink by Laura Trevey

Girlie Girl by Laura Trevey

I bought four prints the same size and had them all framed together in one large white frame.I must admit I was a little worried the colours wouldn’t be as bright in the flesh as they were on my computer screen. But I had no cause for concern as they were exactly as I had expected.

Framed artwork

I love all of Laura’s watercolours for their bright colours and her whimsical style. She writes a fabulous blog on art, photography, fashion, design and entertainment.

Chesapeake Bay Crab by Laura Trevey

They would look great in any room in any home.

Caribbean Time by Laura Trevey

What do you think?

Dresses on the Rack by Laura Trevey

If you would like assistance sourcing the perfect artwork for your home, contact us to arrange an appointment either online or in person.

To become a fan of Inside Out Colour and Design on Facebook, click here.

My Top 3 from Designex

Last week, Designex was held here in Sydney. It is the premier “trade only” show for interior designers, architects and decorators. The location of the show alternates between Melbourne and Sydney each year.

There were loads of things to look at from both existing suppliers as well as some new ones. So I’ve picked out my favourite three to share with you.

The first stand I was excited about actually won the New Product Award at the show. Katsu Glass Design have just released Designer ArtGlass.

ArtGlass Splashback from Katsu Glass Design

You can choose from a wide range of designs and photographs to place behind toughened glass for feature walls and splashbacks. The images can be printed, painted or etched onto the glass to create something unique. Julie Patterson from Cloth has provided 11 designs from her range to be reproduced onto glass. It’s a great way to add a feature to your kitchen or bathroom.

Cloth Designs for Katsu Glass Design

The next “Oh wow” moment I had was at the stand “Designer Boys”.

Tribal Rhythm from Designer Boys Collections

Now Aussies who have had an interest in home decorating and renovating for the last few years will know these boys as Gavin and Warren from the original series of “The Block.” The boys moved to Byron Bay a few years ago and continue to provide interior decorating and styling services for clients on the Gold Coast and Northern New South Wales.

Red Fan Coral from Designer Boys Collections

They have also released a collection of fabulous art. Each piece evokes many feelings with strong lines, global textures and exquisite treasures all beautifully framed and ready to hang on your wall.

Tribeca I from Designer Boys Collections

There is also a collection of Giclee Prints which have beautiful colours.

Valentino I from Designer Boys Collections

And the third stand that caught my eye was the new range of rugs from The Rug Collection. Australia’s home-grown gardening guru, Jamie Durie, has assisted with the development of this range called Garden Room.

Summer Beauty from The Rug Collection

The bold use of colour, whimsical design exploration and a modern edge work in harmony to bring life to this new collection.

Flannel Flower from The Rug Collection

I had timed my visit to Designex well and was fortunate enough to hear Jamie speak at The Outdoor Room on what he believes will be the trend for indoor/outdoor living. Pop back on Friday to read what he said.

The Outdoor Room

If you are interested in adding any of the above products to your interior, Inside Out Colour and Design would be pleased to source them for you as the rugs and artworks are only available through architects and interior decorators.

Send us an email or call 0401440088 if you would like more information.

I Like Chinese

Just a quickie today, I’m afraid. Short week, school holidays and family house-guests are my excuses.

We decided to meet my husband in the city today for lunch. I chose a restaurant that was easy to get to and wouldn’t entail a mile long walk for us or him. Din Tai Fung fitted the bill. We all like Chinese food and as he was on limited time, we wanted something that was quick. You can’t go past the Chinese for quick, tasty food.

Anyway, that’s not what I wanted to tell you about. Look at this screen.

It’s the wall between the dining area and bar. There is perspex sheets between two columns and all these bamboo steamers have been glued to it. Don’t they form an eye-catching feature?

Underneath the counter is this artistic display of rice bowls.

And further along they have used Chinese Soup spoons.

A group of items certainly has more impact than one or two and it made me think yet again, that you don’t have to just hang art or photographs.

What interesting things have you seen grouped together and hung on a wall?

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