Apr 12

A city townhouse high on style

One of the things that caught my eye earlier in the year was this house that was featured in UK House & Garden. My mum had bought the issue and had stuck a post-it with my name on it on this spread- she knew I’d love it! I call it a town house because I picture it being a tall and narrow terrace house- the perfect city pad.

Symmetry reigns here (above), and these are my colours- greys and blues, with lots of natural textures thrown in. I love the dark grey walls, the nickel wall lamps, the books, the casual chunky sisal rug. I’m even partial to the display of a bit of taxidermy, animal horns and skulls, but this is something that should be practiced in moderation people!

The other side of the room shows the hit of yellow and the modern abstract artworks. My boys would love it if I used framed pictures of Lego figures as artwork!

A very modern Scandinavian-style dining area in the open-plan kitchen at the back of the house. You can only just see it, but the stairwell coming down into this space is also the office and is lined with Hicks hexagonal wallpaper. The thing I really like about this house is though it’s small, it has colour and pattern used in every space, which can sometimes look as though someone has tried to use every single fabric and colour they like in a space that’s too small to house them all. Here it makes every corner interesting and homely as well as stylish.

Look at all the pattern in the red and grey master bedroom- and the wall of mismatched artworks – it’s fun, warm and cosy.

The twin bedroom above and below made me stop because it’s basically the same scheme I had been planning for one of my boy’s bedrooms in our next house- I’d even bought the same fabrics! The bedhead fabric is one I had used in a recent job and loved it so much I needed to use it at home too. I love, love the dark grey/blue walls. Notice how in the magazine photo above they placed a mirror in between the beds to reflect the green greyhound painting opposite, but it’s absent from the room normally (below).

I’m hoping to get to at least one open house tomorrow, hope you all have a great weekend!

Naomi xx

Dec 21

Holidays and Shopping for a living room project

First of all I want to say in follow up to yesterday’s post on the horrific shooting in America last week, Thank You to all of you who emailed me with your own expressions of outrage and grief. We are all devastated by this event and your heartfelt messages encouraging an appreciation of the goodness in people all around us and a focus on enjoying the time we have with our loved ones were truly beautiful.

 

It’s now officially the beginning of the Christmas holidays, and I’m so happy to have the kids at home! They get so tired at the end of the term and I think we are all looking forward to some quiet time together at home. I’m hoping to have the time over the break to do some much-needed updating of my blog, and to organise some more photography of my projects for my new website. I am aware that this blog is woefully in need of some improvement so please bear with me!

 

In the spirit of a fresh start for the New Year I’ve been cleaning up my desktop and looking back over jobs from this year. For one living room project my clients came to me with a bare room with only a pale modular sofa and a tv on an entertainment unit. They wanted colour, softness, an eclectic, international feel and colours that would please two small daughters. We needed a great rug as a starting off point, and ultimately purchased the soft wool beauty above.

 

But it took a little bit of searching to land here. The clients had liked the patchwork rug in Josh and Jenna’s house on tv show The Block:

I went to look at this rug but although the colours were nice, they were very muted and not quite right. There are a lot of ‘over dyed’ rugs – where vintage rugs are cut up and sewn together as a patchwork then the whole thing is dyed again – out there, and I looked at several options.

At the end of the day, we dismissed them because they were just too thin and rough to be used as a comfortable playing surface. What we needed was a plush cut pile wool or something similar that was thick and soft. I also wanted to find some great colour. The next find was plush and had the colour, but I thought it was a little subtle for what we were looking for:

And then there was this- cute pattern than reminded me of bird footprints, but too much black for a little girls’ play area:

This blue runner didn’t fit the brief but I would have loved it for me!

Then came a great harlequin pattern, but again too much black and not ‘young’ enough:

But then, the perfect rug:

Great ‘happy’ colours including lots of pink and purple, soft and thick and gorgeous pattern. Love it!

So the rug was a done deal but we still needed to cater to the man in the family and also provide a bit of that eclectic contrast in styles that the clients were looking for. A masculine leather armchair was the perfect fit.

We also included some Moroccan leather pouffes for fun and for seating for the girls, pulling colours from the rug.

This silver side table provides a hint of shiny texture and a break from all the colour.

And then, my favourite part, accessories!

And lastly, a basket for toys. We also needed a bit of black as a visual weight in a room with so much feminine colour. This one came from Freedom:

Have a great weekend All and may the force be with you if you plan to hit the shops!

Naomi x

Dec 19

Another busy day

How are your preparations for Christmas coming along? With less than a week to go I am definitely feeling that the countdown has begun! All my presents are wrapped and ready but I haven’t thought much about food yet and I have a mountain of washing to get through. In an attempt to stay a couple of days ahead of the pack I stopped by Costco today to do the Christmas shopping; it was crazy! I can only imagine that the weekend will be much worse, so my advice would be to get there early or steer clear altogether people!

 

But my main focus this week is finishing up with clients so that I can take a bit of a holiday in January. I took a carload of cushions, rugs and mirrors to a client’s beautiful home this morning, where the floors have been stripped of carpet and sanded, and the painters have just finished painting in a warm light neutral with crisp white trims.

The old wingback armchairs were scored by my client at auction and were recovered in a grey/blue and green stripe. We still have a chandelier to hang and a chaise that’s getting recovered in the floral fabric from my last post – my upholsterer tells me it will be done by Monday – talk about cutting it close to the Christmas Day deadline!

I took this pic because I was struck by how festive our blue Madeline Weinrib runner looks paired with the newly-painted red front door (though I know you can’t really see the red here). Two big arched multi-paned mirrors are going above the chunky rustic table to the left, echoing the shape of the arched front doorway.

This week is a little bit mad, but it’s great to see long-planned schemes come together and bits and pieces finally going into clients’ homes.  Seeing clients happy at the completion of a job really is the best part.

Naomi xx

Oct 23

A before and after e-project

One of my interstate clients sent me some photos today of the progress we have made in her bedroom redecoration, and I thought you might enjoy a look at the changes. I used to do quite a bit of work for e-clients, where all the work was done via email and photos sent back and forth. It was a great way to pick up work when I first started my own business and most of my clients found me via this blog.

 

These days my Melbourne and in-person work keeps me very busy, and I don’t really do email work anymore, but this bedroom shows that it is possible to make cosmetic changes solely via email- without ever meeting the client!

 

When this client contacted me she had a bland bedroom that she didn’t love. Baby number 2′s arrival was imminent and she wanted the bedroom to be more colourful, more cosy and more welcoming. She wanted colour and pattern against a base of black and white, with some Asian and ethnic influences. Here are the ‘before’ shots:

There was a lot of pine, in the floor, the bed and the bedside lamps. The client had already recently painted the room, and wanted to keep the black Louis chair, the Chinese screen above the bed and the Indian gown, but was happy for everything else to go!

We opted to keep costs down by retaining the existing white bedside tables, but added some colour with accessories and lamps. Here is how it looks now:

It made sense to stick with the original layout with the bed against the old fireplace. We covered a lot of the pine floorboards with a bright green Madeline Weinrib rug, and switched the old pine bed for a custom-made black upholstered headboard, behind a white bed from Ikea that also provides some under-bed storage.

 

We got rid of the old mannequin and instead hung the Indian gown on a white Chinese ladder. The wooden lamps were replaced with yellow ginger jar bases and shades made with a Florence Broadhurst fabric. We added a bone inlay stool and suzani, ikat and trellis fabrics for the cushions to bring in an ‘ethnic’ influence.

 

The chevron yellow and green storage baskets for the shelves in the bedsides are still on the way, and we need some more artwork for the wall, but overall much more cheerful!

Naomi xx

 

 

 

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