Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Renovating or Landscaping? Win A Skip Hire Worth $300!

Are you renovating a property, working on a long overdue clear-out of the Man Shed or landscaping the backyard?

A large part of a renovation project, landscaping or even something as simple as clearing out the shed is the actual clean-up and disposal of wastes. When embarking on such a project, something most people often forget is the added cost of hiring a skip for the removal of waste materials. Also keep in mind that the disposal of wastes needs to be done in conjunction with the state and council regulations. Bin or skip hire can be quite expensive and can impact the renovation budget and definitely needs to be factored in.

A few reasons why you may need to hire a skip:
• Renovations and house repairs
• Landscaping projects - garden hedging or clippings or tree stumps
• Clean up after a demolition
• General furniture and rubbish removal
• Event clean up
• Garage or shed cleanup

So here's the good news!
Bins Skips Waste and Recycling are giving away a skip hire worth up to $300 to one lucky person!
All you have to do to win is enter a few simple details over on Bins Skips Waste and Recycling competition page by July 31st.
Check out their Facebook Page and Website for more information on the different types of skips available for hire.
Happy Renovating!

Competition Terms:
~ The competition is open to Australian Residents but not those who work for Bins Skips Waste and Recycling or any of their suppliers. 
~ Entries are also limited to one per person.
~ Terms and Conditions for the competition can be found here.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Best Blogging Tips for New Bloggers!

Thinking of starting a blog and need some advice?

AMARA Interior Blog Awards has put together a collection of the best blogging advice received by seasoned bloggers when they first started blogging!
It's a fantastic resource for new bloggers or those looking for some inspiration! Definitely a must read!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Converting the Guestroom into a Playroom: Design Inspiration!

Our beautiful guestroom has gone through a few makeovers in the past five years. However after we received a shipment of antique furniture from my husband's ancestral home, it has been turned into a crazy storage room!
The other day when I walked into our 'storage room' looking for something and stubbed my toe on the huge cartons I thought to myself 'enough is enough'! I stomped off ... a woman on a mission! I just had to clear that room, I had to get my beautiful guest room back!
In the middle of that night while rocking my baby girl to sleep, inspiration struck! Since we are on the multi-tasking bandwagon and after the birth of our baby, I feel as though every room in our home is multi-tasking along with me, what if the former guest room was turned into a much needed study nook/ sometimes guest room but mostly playroom? My daughter has just started to stand and walk and enclosing her in a tiny playpen seems slightly inhuman! This would be the perfect solution. I could get my work done in the study section while Elie can crawl/ stand/ walk!
Except the nursery all the rooms in our house have neutral walls. And I quite like white walls. They are easy to decorate and change. However for the playroom I do want a Scandinavian colour palette with a modern twist.
So I'm putting together a few ideas for my Multi-Purpose Room, my MPR!
On the wishlist are:
  • Some colour, maybe as a feature wall
  • Wallpaper? Maybe!
  • A chalkboard wall with a twist!
  • New artwork for the walls
  • A study nook section
  • A custom coat rack or hanging hooks
  • Throw and floor cushions to sit on
  • Toy storage baskets
  • Accessories to decorate the room 
I'm excited to clear out the room and turn it into a beautiful usable space!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

10 Handy Tips For Decorating With Patterns!

Are you scared of decorating with patterns? Do you feel confused when shopping for patterns and prints? Do you often wonder how good and put together layered patterns look on the pages of a magazine but not so good in your home?

When I'm shopping for patterns, it always worries me that I'll mix patterns that might be the wrong scale or colour or texture or just seems trendy for the moment but soon it will be out of fashion.
I mean there are so many options like English florals, French toile, bold and eclectic geometric shapes, Ikat, tie and dye, stripes, chevrons, trellis, animal prints, Greek key, abstracts, playful tribal patterns and more. It's mind boggling! There are traditional, modern, contemporary, eclectic, provincial patterns available and in a variety of textures like paint, wallpaper, wood, ceramics, paper, textiles, metal, concrete etc. And to make it more complicated these beautiful textured patterns come in a myriad of vibrant colours, monochromes, high contrasts, sweet soft pastels...the list is endless! No wonder it is daunting for pattern newbies!
But remember high risk high return! There are some patterns or rather there are ways to use patterns so that the overall design and decor looks fresh, gorgeous and on trend all the time!
I've come up with a few handy tips to introduce patterns (that works for me!). Deep breaths, here we go.

TIP 1: Pick a room and start with ONE thing that looks tired and in desperate need for an update. Use a colour that is on the borderline of your comfort zone. Pare back the pattern with a solid darker or softer shade in another element.
Here the gorgeous watercolour fabric bedhead is clearly the hero but the bold magenta has been pared back with the softer pastel pink duvet cover. The paper ball with colourful tassels picks up the colours from the pretty colourful dots on the duvet. The bedside table is a sunny peach (a softer version of the orange in the tassels) with natural wooden legs which adds interest and continues on the pastel journey. An interesting print with lots of colours on the side, but look closely all the colours are either from the bedhead or the duvet dots. The cushion peeping out matches the magenta in the bedhead. The patterns have been layered to perfection which makes the room come alive! (Just remember - baby steps!)
TIP 2: If you are terrified that you might make a huge mistake with colours, you can still go neutral with patterns and textures. Use shiplap or planks on the wall to give the room some textured pattern and create a gorgeous and trendy nautical yet neutral look. The black accessories of various scales and designs add interest and you guessed it...PATTERNS without fear!
TIP 3: Do you love Toile but think it's too busy to be used in a contemporary setting? Well, here's an interesting option. Why not use monochromatic modern toile wallpaper sparingly as a feature wall to give any room a serious facelift! Pare back with wooden furniture, some greenery maybe even some white matt ceramics for contrast to keep the look fresh and inviting!
TIP 4: Herringbone is always in fashion...coats, jackets, linen, floors or tiles! 
Match the patterned tile with a geometric patterned window covering or other accessories in a similar colour palette and geometric shapes and you can confidently pull off a magazine worthy look! The use of brass cabinet pulls, light fittings, accessories adds to the luxe look in this kitchen. And the simple white cabinets lets the patterned tiles and the window shade pop!
TIP 5: Patterns in upholstery
Chairs or couches upholstered in unusual vintage serape bold and bright patterned Mexican blankets make a definite style statement! In an all white room these dining chairs are definitely the standout feature! The use of lots of wood helps balance out the bright and bold colours.
P.S. Those light fixtures...want...need...swoon!!!!
TIP 6: Add interest to your room with a patterned wall to wall carpet or a large rug. A carpet is a great way to introduce texture, pattern and colour. You can keep it neutral underfoot or be brave and go for a bold colour palette! In case you are having trouble committing to a carpet, a large area rug is a great way to have the same effect and you can really step out of your comfort zone with a rug!
TIP 7: Shibori is the new Ikat! 
I love Indonesian or Indian Ikat textiles, but it's safe to say Shibori has stolen my heart! 
An accent chair, bed linen, cushions on the couch or curtains in indigo shibori fabric is a beautiful way of introducing a timeless patterned look to your decor. Here the shibori upholstered white chair brings out the colours in the painting and the abstract patterns play off so well with the chair. The patterned rug and the solid navy door help to anchor the overall look.
TIP 8: Printed curtains are a great way to add patterns. Here a vibrant and colourful curtain adds top notch visual interest to a room which might have been just been a sea of aqua. The pattern helps to break down the solid colour. And the aqua butterflies help link the wall and curtain and helps it work harmoniously in this room. The wooden floor helps to pare back the patterns and the colours.
TIP 9: Edit Edit Edit! It is complex to mix and layer patterns, prints, textures and colours. The key is to use patterns in moderation and edit. Just remember BABY STEPS!

TIP 10: And it is important to have fun and experiment!

If you have other tips, would love for you to share with us!

If you liked this post, I would love for you to share it with your friends and join us on Instagram.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Online Upcycling Furniture Course - Early Bird Offer extended till end of April!

If (like me) you're a fellow treasure hunter at second hand and op-shops, car boot sales or antique markets and upcycling or repurposing your finds to create unique and gorgeous furniture pieces or decor accessories thrills you, then this is a fabulous opportunity!

I'm taking an Upcycling Furniture - MyAntiqueSchool online course and they are currently offering a 15% Advanced Booking Discount on any course booked before midnight 30th April using promo code MAS15.

MyAntiqueSchool is the world’s first online antiques school and offers the opportunity to partake in specialist courses with online tutors who are top experts and advisers in their respective fields from the UK & the US. You may have seen some of them on the Antiques Roadshow US & UK. 

The 'Upcycling Furniture' course with upcycling & upholstery expert and author- Juliette Goggincosts approximately $91 and included in the fees are:

~ 1 video lecture (approx. 30 mins), that you can watch in your own time
~ Optional weekly assignments (max. 2 hours work) so you can practice as you learn
~ Personal feedback from your tutor, all world experts in antiques and collectibles
~ 1 week access to your tutor, from whenever you start your course
~ Chat to fellow students in our online classroom.
~ Access to the classroom forever
~ Course e-book
~ Course completion certificate
~ Badge for your own website or blog

Have a look at the video above for more information. It's a fantastic opportunity to learn from an impressive array of experts! 

Till next time...


Monday, March 21, 2016

Tips for a Budget-Friendly and Stress-Free Home Makeover

Giving your home a makeover doesn't have to be expensive or consume your every waking hour! And you don't have to go all Joanna & Chip (Gaines) on your home (although I would so love that!). A few budget friendly fixes and easy DIY projects are all you need to give your home some instant va va voom!

So here are a list of easy budget-friendly tips, some of which I have used in my home for a quick refresh, mini makeover or some instant gratification!

1. Soft Furnishings
Cushions, throws and rugs are a quick, affordable and easy fix when it comes to updating your space. It's amazing how different a room can look and feel with a few different coloured cushions and a throw or a natural rug like this one here.
Image source
Design Tips: Vintage tea towels and napkins make amazing DIY cushion covers. Incorporate different prints and colours in small pillows and throw blankets for a subtle hint of colour. Introduce texture - velvet, linen, cotton, burlap, sisal, jute...don't be afraid to mix it up! 
A new rug will instantly freshen up your space indoor or outdoor and make it look cosy. Keeping the rug natural gives you a blank yet warm canvas to work with whereas a graphic or striped rug in a white room can be a standout! Have a look at these beautiful rugs from Anthology Home|Garden.

2. The power of paint
Pick a room and paint a feature wall or give your entryway a fresh lick of paint. Pick a piece of furniture in a room and paint it. The options are truly endless.
Image source
Design tip: Half-painted walls will give the illusion of higher ceilings

Or why not paint your interior doors and make them a feature! To create a visual showstopper paint the doors in unexpected shades like 'Broadway Lights' or 'Exotic Sea'.
Image source
Image source
3. Add a Chair Rail
Install a chair rail for instant oomph! Go decorative or go plain, it doesn't matter, since the end result is glamourous!
Image source
There are  stick-on mouldings available that are affordable or you can do it the old fashioned way. Here's a step by step tutorial on How to install a chair rail.
Image source
Design Tip: Paint the areas above and below it with two different shades of the same colour for a 'designer' look!

4. Art
Frame old black and white family photos to create a gorgeous and interesting gallery wall.
Image source
Design Tip: DIY artwork - Frame pressed leaves and flowers, it's easy and free and perfect way to dress up a boring white wall! You could also frame a bunch of them and create a botanical gallery wall. See a step by step tutorial here.

5. Hardware
Freshen up and recycle your existing cabinet handles with some spray paint or decoupage.
Image source
Design Tip: Leather pulls are so easy to DIY. Here's an awesome tutorial by Brick House. For a rich shine or patina you can give it a good rub with shoe polish!

6. Window Dressings
Update your window dressing or add some cute curtain pulls to instantly refresh your home.
Image source
Image source
7. Declutter
We've all heard it...Less is more! Get rid of clutter and take a minimalist approach to really showcase a few feature pieces in the room. In the minimalist room below your eye is instantly drawn to the captivating black and white framed prints. They are definitely the hero in the room.
Image source
8. Go Green
Sometimes a little greenery is all it takes to beautify a room. Indoor plants purify the air and create a softer look so why wouldn't you use them to update your home?
Design Tip: Tiny plants, succulents and flowering cacti lend a pop of colour to any room. Group a collection of tiny plants or create a focal point with one large potted plant.
Image source
9. Collectibles
Everyone collects something - vintage glass bottles, stamps, art, prints, vintage toy cars, old records. Group of collection if items together to create visual interest. Display a collection of coloured-glass jars, vintage bottles of different heights, candlesticks with character, old books, vases or other interesting objects.
Image source
Image source
10. Repurpose
Repurpose and recycle your old vintage or unused furniture and give it new life.
Add caption
11. Mirror
Install a well placed mirror on the wall or floor to create an illusion of space and maximise light.
Image source
Image source
Image source
12. Revamp a Lamp Shade
Buy a couple of inexpensive lamp shades or use existing ones and paint the inside with a contrasting colour or gold leaf to create a sophisticated and flattering vibe. 
Image source
Recover an old lampshade with some leftover wallpaper or scrapbook paper for big impact on a tight budget!
Image source
There you go... a few quick and easy budget friendly decorating tips to add instant style and update your home. Hope this post inspires you to give you home a quick makeover to get ready for spring or autumn...depending on where in the world you live!

What is your favourite tip when it comes to decorating on a budget? Share with us, we'd love to know.



This post is sponsored by ANTHOLOGY Home|Garden, however the thoughts & opinions expressed in the above post are all mine.

Friday, March 18, 2016

10 IKEA Must Haves to go all Country Glam!

I have a girlfriend who absolutely loves IKEA! She's a huge fan of their neutral, natural and functional Nordic design style. There's a definite spring in her step every time she power walks into the blue and yellow building! And I have to agree...beautifully styled rooms with clever functional storage solutions and decorated with those cute white accessories...inspiring!

Unfortunately, my husband thinks that anything IKEA i.e. flat packed is a recipe for the 3 Ds....Debate (putting in very mildly!), Disaster or DIVORCE!

IKEA is like no other company when it comes down to their scale of economy and that is what helps them maintain their low costs. So they do have a lot of stock standard, run-of-the-mill, no personality, bland and just plain blah items. But sift through all that and you are sure to find some true gems!

So here's a round-up of a few versatile IKEA items to create a Country Glam vibe in your home.
It's easy to paint a pretty picture with these beautiful and versatile home furnishings. Can you imagine yourself curled up on that beautiful story book green STRANDMON wing back chair (and it comes with a gorgeous little matching foot stool) with the playful ÖNSKEDRÖM bird cushion, the versatile VITTSJÖ red laptop table on the side with the RANARP work lamp with its on-trend brass details switched on and a bunch of fresh flowers in the BITTERGURKA watering can and of course your feet all snuggly and warm covered by the beautifully soft URSULA beige cable knit throw? I can! I can totally picture myself there on a cold, wet, windy, wintery afternoon or any afternoon for that matter!

So there you have it - 10 IKEA Must Haves to go all Country Glam...and if you really like the provincial country glamour look with fun, eclectic touches, then these are definitely the 10 MUST HAVES this season! And did I mention the pops of colour are just perfect for the Aussie autumn? Score!

What are your favourite Country Glam Must Haves from IKEA?
Share with us...we'd love to know!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

15 International DIY Bloggers, 15 Gorgeous Rooms & A Bunch Of Creative Ideas!

Recently Voucher Codes Pro UK in collaboration with Homebase, an UK Home Improvement Store, conducted a round-up of 15 expert international DIY home decor bloggers revealing their favourite room at home!

Have a peek inside these gorgeous homes featured in the article here and pick-up some inspiring ideas and creative DIY tips!
Image Source
Here's a quick list of the interviewed bloggers and their favourite rooms:

Iida Emilia - Living Room
Thistlewood Farms - Family Room
Amara The Luxpad - Living Room
La Maison Jolie - Nursery
Boo and Maddie - Office
Dans Le Lakehouse - Kitchen
Heart Handmade UK - Craft Room
In My Own Style - Studio Office
Mamas V.I.B - Bathroom

It was so interesting and insightful reading about all the various rooms. Thank you Voucher Codes Pro & Homebase for including La Maison Jolie in this amazing expert round-up!


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Sensational Splashback Ideas For Your Dream Kitchen!

'A well designed kitchen sells the house!'

We've all heard that a million times! And it's so true... a kitchen is the heart of the home, the social hub, the congregational nucleus, the command centre of the house! In short, whether large or small, the truth of the matter is well designed kitchens sell homes! And it’s always a good idea to invest a little bit of money in the kitchen to update it since it increases the overall value of your home and is a great return on investment.

One of the major features in the kitchen is the splashback. The splashback is at eye level and usually takes up a large chunk of the kitchen space and therefore attracts a lot of attention. An attractive and unique splashback definitely complements your overall kitchen design.

There are so many options for splashbacks nowadays, it's truly mind-boggling! There is a vast array of materials to choose from to create an unique splashback that will be aesthetic, different and complementary.

So here are our top picks for the most popular and unique splashbacks to create the kitchen of your DREAMS!
Image source
Tiles are easy, safe and a very popular choice for a kitchen splashback.
Simple white subway tiles are extremely popular but there's nothing simple about them. In the right space they have the potential to make a kitchen go from drab to fab in an instant!
Image source
More tiles...patterned tiles are making a major comeback. You could easily create a beautiful, bold, bohemian kitchen with a patterned tiled splashback.
Classy Steampunk - a splashback of gorgeous stainless metal mosaic tiles along with a contrasting matte black counter top gives this kitchen a classy but edgy vibe. Throw in a mix of aged cage lights, exposed pipes, reclaimed wood open shelves, black tapware offset by white cabinets and you've got the makings of a classy urban steampunk kitchen that is unique and sensational!

If you like these stainless steel tiles, Alloy has some gorgeous stainless steel tile options.

Image source
Go Retro!
Create a playful retro vibe in your kitchen with some colour in the form of mosaic tiles for the splashback. Complement it with some brushed steel appliances and frosted glass cabinets. Keep it light, airy and playful!
Image source
If you are having trouble deciding between the ever popular white subway tiles or colourful mosaic or patterned tiles or are uncertain about the colour palette, Beaumont Tiles has a fun quiz called "What Style Am I" that you could complete to get a few recommendations!
Custom Printed Glass Splashbacks - Yes, that's right! But it kind of makes sense! If you're renovating or designing a kitchen from scratch i.e. customising cabinets, flooring, lighting, then why not completely personalise your space with a custom glass printed splashback?
Image source
How it works?

Images are printed directly onto the back of a 6mm toughened glass panel. These splashbacks are extremely versatile, hygienic and easy to clean. Glass has a seamless surface, no grouting and you can really customise your splashback to match the style of the kitchen - coastal/beachy like the above image, modern or contemporary.

CreoGlass in the UK creates gorgeous custom made glass splashbacks from hi resolution photos. Just submit your own hi-resolution image for a very personal finish. You super lucky UK people!
Image source

Concrete splashbacks give a kitchen an edgy, raw, industrial vibe. If you like a minimalist design approach, this is it! Affordable, unique and low maintenance, concrete is fast becoming a very popular option.
Image source

Image source
If like me you've ever watched back to back episodes of The Block or Fixer Upper, then you would have noticed that every house has at least one exposed brick wall in it. No surprises there since it is one of the latest trends in interior design! And it works very well as a kitchen splashback. It's economical, durable and low-maintenance and adds a textural and architectural element to the kitchen design.
Brick walls blend well with traditional, bohemian, eclectic, industrial, mid-century modern, country or modern contemporary kitchens and creates an inviting atmosphere.
Image source
Marble oozes style, elegance and luxury. It adds instant glamour to a kitchen. It is expensive, however, everyone I know loves a little marble! You could opt for a look alike marble vinyl backing or quartz, but nothing beats the real stuff!

One large slab of seamless marble does look fantastic, however, small marble hexagonal tiles or marble subway tiles in a herringbone pattern is easier on the pocket and achieve a similar look.

Image source
Image source
Golden Glass is a new and quite a unique design element. Developed in Italy by a designer glass brand, this collection is sold and installed by CreoGlass in UK. It is stunning and luxurious! You can choose from various textures such as animal skins and abstract patterns, which look beautiful and have a flat smooth glass finish.

This designer glass splashback collection combines a lustrous shimmer, drawing inspiration from nature, with the toughness and resilience required from a splashback product. If you’re looking for a design feature that creates drama, is elegant and evokes a sense of sensuality, the Golden Glass collection is ideal.

Check out CreoGlass for more details on the Golden Glass collection.

Image source
Brass is IN, everything else is OUT!
Just kidding! But looking at this beautiful kitchen, it almost seems so!
Emerald green cabinets with a burnished brass splashback, matching countertops and tapware should look totally OTT...but it doesn't! Instead it looks opulent, sophisticated, shimmery and so pretty! This is definitely one kitchen where being bold and fearless with the cabinet colour and brass splashback has paid off in spades!
Image source

Chalkboard splashbacks are so bespoke and versatile! It's affordable, a quick fix for an old kitchen and an easy DIY project. All you need is a foam roller, some painter's tape, a tin or two of chalkboard paint and a glass of wine and you could easily knock it out in one afternoon!
Image source
Image source
Who would have thought plywood would make such an amazing splashback? Stain it, paint it or keep it natural; ply looks modern and bespoke. It's affordable, easily available and easy to DIY!
Image source
Well, there you have it... our top picks for sensational kitchen splashbacks to achieve your dream kitchen! Be resourceful, smart, imaginative and think outside the box! Food for thought?

Which one is your favourite splashback or do you have an unique idea in mind? Share with us, we'd love to know!

This post is sponsored by CreoGlass, however the thoughts & opinions expressed in the above post are all mine.