Spring/Summer at Target

It’s cold and wet here today in Sydney. Maybe a sign that Winter is finally on it’s way? So what better time to take a look at the new Spring/Summer homewares soon to be released at Target.


A couple of weeks ago I was invited to view the new collection which I must say is alot of fun.


As you know I’m a big colour fan so I was thrilled to see a great selection of colours.


There is a strong emphasis on Nautical for the coming warmer months. Perfect for Sydney with all that water around.


There were liberal smatterings of red, white and blue and a touch of yellow too.


Of course white tableware never goes out of style and can be dressed up for the special occasion dinner or looks equally at home outdoors around the barbie.

Watercolour Cushion $20 Watercolour Bird Cushion $20

And the watercolour effect looks like it’s here for a bit longer too.

The collection will be in stores in July so make sure you hurry in and grab the items you like, ready to give your home a Spring makeover come September.

If you would like assistance finding the right homewares for your home, contact us for an appointment.

Pantone Colour of The Year 2014 – 2007

So Pantone have announced the Colour Of The Year for 2014. If you haven’t already heard, it’s Radiant Orchid – a mix between purple and pink.

Pantone Colour of the Year 2014 - Radiant Orchid

Pantone Colour of the Year 2014 – Radiant Orchid

Pantone describe it as a captivating, magical and enigmatic. It is intriguing and will spark the imagination encouraging expanded creativity and originality. Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.

Radiant Orchid in the home

Radiant Orchid in the home

The colour is, what I call, “knocked back”, meaning it has some black in it making it a bit muddy. Not a fresh clean colour.

Yet look at the colours from the past years.

Emerald, a lively, radiant, lush green, was the Color of the Year for 2013. This vivid, verdant green, was intended to enhance our sense of well-being and promote balance and harmony. When you think of Emerald you often think of the precious gemstone and therefore the colour has a sophistication about it. It’s a bright, clear, clean colour.



In 2012, it was all about Tangerine Tango, a vibrant orange giving us the energy boost we all needed, apparently. It was dramatic yet seductive and emanated heat and energy. Again, a bright, clear, clean colour.

Tangerine Tango

Tangerine Tango

In 2011 we were asked to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor and Honeysuckle was just the colour to help us. It was a captivating, stimulating colour that instilled confidence and courage. It’s bright and clean with no added black.



And who could forget the gorgeous Colour of The Year in 2010, Turquoise. We all needed to  take things a bit easy and the combination of serene blue and invigorating green helped us escape from the everyday. There’s nothing dirty or muddy about Turquoise.



Mimosa, a warm, engaging yellow, was the Colour of the Year in 2009. As we were starting to emerge from the depths of the GFC, yellow as a good colour to give hope and reassurance.



In 2008 we had Blue Iris and 2007 – pre Global Financial Crisis we had Chilli Pepper. This is the last time we had a colour that was dirty. Chilli Pepper is red with a touch of black giving it that more stable, lived in feel.

Blue Iris

Blue Iris

Chilli Pepper

Chilli Pepper

So does that mean our troubles are over for now and we can get back to some solid colours that are a little bit grubby, a little bit lived in, rather than surrounding ourselves with bright shiny things?

What do you think? Will you be throwing some Radiant Orchid around your home?

Radiant Orchid in the bedroom

Radiant Orchid in the bedroom

If you would like assistance choosing a colour palette that suits you and your home, contact us for a consultation.


Funky 50s and other trends

This week has been a week of trends. I’ve been to two lectures on latest trends and also a product launch. It’s interesting (and pleasing) to hear similar things come from 4 different avenues. Nice to know it really is a science!

Trends are not necessarily what’s hot for the next year or so. Most trends have a life cycle of about ten years. So those painting their houses and choosing colours will be pleased to hear that the grey trend, which has been around for about 4 years will still be around for another 6 at least. So keep on painting charcoal and grey and continue to choose a grey sofa over a brown one.


Ombre is a big influence too. It started with the dipping of legs of furniture or other objects and has progressed to ombre. There’s some stunning pieces around like this gorgeous Ercol Love Seat.

Ercol Loveseat

Ercol Loveseat


Concrete is on the rise. Not so much the cement and water type but the concrete look in bench tops and tiles. Caesarstone are releasing a Concrete surface and Polytec have a laminate surface too.

Polytec laminate - Concrete Fabrini

Polytec laminate – Concrete Fabrini

Another trend that caught my eye is the Funky 50’s. of course I would love that being a colour lover. It’s all about pops of colour in your decor and colour blocking. Funnily enough this trend has been around for quite a while but probably not labelled. Back in 2005 when I was studying, I prepared this collage for our Trends assignment.

Funky 50's Collage

Funky 50’s Collage

Since then Smeg have brought out their retro fridges in bright colours and other appliances have followed suit.

Smeg Fridge in Orange

Smeg Fridge in Orange

Dulux will be releasing their colour trends in the next couple of weeks and I had a sneak peek at those too. There’s a palette to suit all styles and decor from Romantic Spirits to Digital Nomads.

Digital Nomads by Dulux

Digital Nomads by Dulux

So what colours are you using in your home at the moment?

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

Emerging Trend?

Have you noticed a profusion of African inspired decor lately?

Bold patterns and colours give that African feel

Bold patterns and colours give that African feel

I know, it’s always been around but of late there seems to be a bit more of it and in all sorts of items. I don’t think we’re heading down the path of decorating a complete room in African style but more touches here and there. What do you think?

All the elements that make up African Style decor

All the elements that make up African Style decor

Perhaps it’s our climate and love of the outdoors that resonates so well with the African Safari Style which is then translated into our decor. There’s also a big push back to handmade items which any ethnic culture has valued for years. And African style is more simplistic which balances our love of technology and helps create a soothing, relaxing space.

African Style Corner

African Style Corner

Much of the strength of African Style emerges through texture. Natural fibres of Jute, sisal and seagrass are used for flooring while banana fibre and papyrus are used in woven baskets.

African Woven Basket

African Woven Basket

Rapee have recently released a range of cushions in bright colours and rich textures which would give an African lift to your room.

African Inspired cushions and throws from Rapee

African Inspired cushions and throws from Rapee

Lighting is warm and golden, utilizing rustic iron candelabra and wall sconces. Table lamps incorporate palm or pineapple motifs in their bases, whilst unique shades made from feathers or quills convey the safari ambiance.

Lamp Base with Pineapple Detail

Lamp Base with Pineapple Detail

Furniture features rich timbers with stylised accents or folding furniture which would be used on Safari.

Campaign Desk

Campaign Desk

These gorgeous pieces are based on the campaign furniture used on Safari and are available from one of our suppliers here in Australia.

African Campaign Chest that doubles as a bar

African Campaign Chest that doubles as a bar

Comfort is foremost in an African decor, with an overall effect of effortless luxury, a sense of adventure, but always relaxed and in harmony with nature.

Brightly Coloured Juju Hats

Brightly Coloured Juju Hats

If African Style would suit your home, you may be interested in reading Safari Style by Natasha Burns or contact us for assistance sourcing your items.

How to make a space your own

At the recent Decoration and Design trade event held here in Sydney, I was fortunate to attend Abigail Ahern‘s seminar, Decorating With Style.


As Abigail started speaking, I could immediately relate and agree with her design ethos. She explained that a good interior should have glamour, ecclectism and wit. That’s the way I design interiors for my clients. I love a bit of glamour but then most of my clients have families and they actually have to live in the home, so some ecclectism is great with found and collected pieces thrown into the mix. And of course, no interior, unless it’s Buckingham Palace perhaps, should be without a smattering of wit. It’s what gives a room personality.


She had two main rules which are good for those attempting to decorate their own homes – 1) Make it personal and 2) ditch rules, trends and forecasts. If you try to follow trends or submit to forecasts then you’ll never really be happy in your space because as soon as you get it all decked out, bang a new trend comes along and your place looks soooo yesterday! Whereas if you fill your home with things you love, be it colours, furniture, fabrics or homewares, you will always feel comfortable and so will your guests.


Abigail’s advice for working with small rooms was great too. Small rooms will always be small rooms just like dark rooms will always be dark rooms. Get over it and embrace it. Work with what you have and don’t try to make it something it will never be.


Abigail launched her new book here in Sydney. It’s not yet released overseas but you can put your name down at Amazon for one of the first copies.

If you would like assistance creating a home in which you and your family will feel comfortable, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

Ikat Pattern – Trend or Tradition

It would seem everywhere I turn lately one design keeps on popping up. It’s the Ikat design that has been around for centuries.

Ikat Rug

Ikat is a resist dyeing technique a bit like tie-dyeing which was so huge in the 70’s. The difference is that Ikat threads are dyed prior to weaving whereas tie-dyeing fabric is woven then dyed.

Tina Shoes from Sambag

I bought an Ikat when we were holidaying in Bali back in 2001 and it has been hanging on my bedroom wall ever since. Albeit, three different bedrooms in that time, as we’ve moved house.

My Balinese Ikat

I was pondering the other day as to whether the Ikat was a passing fad as I do like the pattern. In researching this post, I noticed that these chairs were commented on in 2009 when Ikat’s were considered a trend that started in 2008.

Ikat Covered Chairs

Design*Sponge also wrote a post on the prominence of the Ikat pattern back in 2008.

Ikat fabric by Kravet

Here we are in 2012 and it’s still around! This leads me to answer my own question. No, it’s not a trend. Yes, it will be around for a long time.

Ikat fabric by Westbury

So I’m going to use the pattern in my new home office

Would you like to add some Ikat pattern to your home? Contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

Mum’s Special Afternoon Tea

It’s been another whirlwind week with quite a number of colour consultations going on around here. I haven’t had a chance to tell you about the Home Food and Wine Weekend I attended last Saturday here in Sydney.

Home Food and Wine Weekend Lifestyle Stage

It was another great event with loads of ideas and workshops and plenty of goody bags. But the one workshop that stood out was the Royal Albert Tea Party. And seeing it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday I thought today would be a great time to tell you all about it and maybe plant some ideas for a special afternoon for Mum.

Love the pink chair

Royal Albert Fine Bone China really needs no introduction having been around for over 100 years. It has that vintage, girly look with plenty of flowers and pretty pastel colours.

And there were green chairs too.

The stylists had created a fabulous table setting which is pretty easy to do, once you know how.

Afternoon Tea Table

Let’s start with the wall art – using an Ikea deep frame, some liquid nails, a sheet of wrapping paper and your chosen tea cup and saucer you too can create this pretty piece to either hang on the wall or lean against the mantlepiece.

Wall art with tea sets

You don’t have to have all your tableware matching. By using mismatched styles and colours, you create interest in your tablescape. It’s always the unexpected that surprises and delights your guests too.

One of the centrepieces

There were plenty of surprises on the table that was styled for the workshop.

Royal Albert Stand

Each placemat was different. There was a mirror (although some of us thought that wasn’t such a good idea and probably best suited for the younger members of the Tea Party!)

Mirror Placemat

A blackboard with appropriate message.

Blackboard Placemat

And a carved frame.

Frame Placemat

And all those cupcakes were actually baked IN the teacups!

The centrepiece was made from cheap white vases and chipped plates and of course, clear liquid nails. You can really let your imagination run wild here and put together any bits you find. Think about the height you wish to create on your table.


Then there were the place cards. The cork was really easy and can be achieved with a sharp knife. That’s if you can find a bottle of wine with a cork, these days.

Cork Place Card Holder

But the fork was very cute. The stylist explained that she placed the fork between two sheets of board and then DROVE over them in her car. This flattened the tines of the fork. Pliers were then used to bend the handle of fork at right angles and the place card was slipped between the tines. Effective, don’t you think?

Fork Place Card Holder

A similar treatment was given to a spoon, except the driving bit, and the spoon was used as a tealight holder.

Uri Geller Tea Light Holder

After the workshop, we were all treated to a cup of T2 in beautiful Royal Albert Teacups. It was great fun.

So why don’t you take one or more of these ideas and create a special tea party for your Mum this Sunday. Take some photos and post them on our Facebook Page. We’d love to see your creations.

Happy Mother’s Day!


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

Birds of a Feather

Set of three standing bird ornaments

As an Interior Decorator, it is our responsibility to keep up to date with the latest trends and products available on the market. One of the ways to keep updated is to visit Trade Fairs from time to time. Last week there were three being held simultaneously in Sydney.

Bird on a soapdish

It was an exhausting week visiting each of the gift and homewares fairs and after the visits the brochures and flyers that I’ve collected need to be filed and bookmarked for future reference.

Birds on a clock

It’s also good to sit back afterwards and think about the shows on a whole and look for trends in decor and homewares.

Birds on the top of a tiered cake stand

One of the trends I noticed was the Bird Trend. There seemed to birds everywhere on all sorts of decorator pieces for the home.

Birds on a scatter cushion

Eighteen months ago it was the Bird Cage Trend. So I guess it only follows that now everyone has a cage, they now the birds to go with the cages.

Bird on a paperweight

Or is it all the interest in Twitter?

Antique looking wallhook

If you would like to add some birds to your home decor, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.


Walkin’ the ‘hood

Whilst I am technically back at work, many of my clients and some of my suppliers are still on holidays so I can enjoy a slower pace. However, I am enjoying my walks around the suburb each afternoon and watching the houses changing colours.

I live amongst Californian Bungalows and Federation homes in Sydney’s North Shore and many of them have undergone renovations over the last few years to accommodate the families that have moved into the area.

It’s interesting to see the colour palette moving towards grey rather than brown which is what the colour forecasters have been predicting.

Most of the houses subscribe to my 3 colour formula and I must say, I think the homes look smart with a light, medium and dark colour.

It’s a shame this homeowner hasn’t read my blog or decided to spend a nominal outlay on a Colour Consultant to get the overall look just right.

This was the house before via Google Street View and I really think it would’ve benefitted from a dark colour on the barge boards (they’re the wide boards at the top of the gable). Alternatively, the shingles could’ve been painted a colour between the dark grey and the white.

Remember a Colour Consultation is the cheapest part of repainting your home but will make all the difference.

If your home is brick then the brickwork is considered a colour so you only need to choose two colours. What do you think – two colours or three?

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


Colour Trends for 2012

St Ives Shopping Village is a local shopping centre on Sydney’s North Shore. For the past few years I have been writing the Home article in their bi-monthly magazine, Village Life.

Lady Gaga epitomises bold and flashy

The latest issue has just been published and the article is on Colour Trends for 2012. The article was compiled with the help of Dulux and Resene colour predictions.

Greens from Nature

The magazine promotes the stores in the shopping centre and I’m always keen to see what illustrations they have used to go with my article. They add some great visuals to my words.

All blues go together

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

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