Oct 26

A few changes..


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I’ve decided to make a few changes around my house. This is partly because I’m always thinking of the next thing I can change and because I get bored so quickly, but mainly because of the state of the real estate market: it’s a good time to buy but not a great time to sell! And so I’ve realised I should probably make some changes that make me happier to stay in my current house for longer, rather than continuing to drive my husband nuts with house-hunting (for now at least)..

These are the things that I plan to work on: the exterior is a biggie. I’ve let it slide while I concentrated on the inside, and because I didn’t want to waste money if we were going to build a garage where the garden is etc. But I’ve decided it’s worth spending a little to get that happy feeling every time you drive up the driveway. So this morning we (me plus two little ones) went shopping for tiles for the currently painted-concrete front porch. I also plan to finish painting the fences, work on the garden, re-concrete the driveway and repaint the exterior. Phew! Lots of jobs for me, but I’ll also have to hire some professionals for the hard stuff.

 

I’ve been driving around looking at houses for colour ideas and I really like the idea of a grey or taupe or even green-grey with crisp white for the windows and trim of our californian bungalow. At the moment our windows are darker than the main part of the house and although  this is more traditional for our style of house, I want it to look a bit fresher and I like (love) the idea of windows and French doors that are white on the outside and black on the inside – weird I know.

I’m also making some changes inside, not to improve function, but just to keep myself interested! In our bedroom I’m going to do what I’ve always wanted to and paint the walls a dark blue-grey. It will go well with the neutrals, crisp white of the plantation shutters and linens, charcoals of a lot of our cushions.

I toyed with the idea of doing the main wall in wallpaper to match the pillows (above), but I think I’ll actually love some plain, dark walls.

The dining room is a room I have never been happy with. I’ve never liked the window pelmets we inherited and I have never been able to settle on a table or chairs that I’ll love forever. Once upon a time (when I must have been going through a slightly scandi, no-colour phase) it looked like this:

Then I got sick of that, sold everything except the painting (a 30th birthday present from my parents, I’ll never sell that one!), and turned it into a more colourful library room, which I didn’t photograph but which you can glimpse here:

I had never intended to hold onto my Ikea expedit bookcase for so long, and the time finally came when I had to make a change. I still desperately need book storage, but wanted to have a surface low enough to hold some lamps, plus I wanted something a little industrial and a little masculine, a little like this only lower:

And after a little searching I am replacing the white expedit with this:

I’m pairing the shelf with a new rustic dining table I found on ebay (sorry no pic of this yet!) with a new zebra skin rug:

and I’m thinking some lamps, though this decision will depend on whether I paint the walls and what sort of chairs I decide on..at the moment I’m tossing up between finding new chairs or using the sofa I bought the other day on one side and some faux bamboo chairs I already have on the other side. I do like to mix it up! But I like both of these:

Then there’s the wall colour and curtains to consider…! But I do find a few changes around the house keep life interesting, don’t you think? I’ll be sure to keep you updated on progress!

xx

 

 

Oct 13

A peek at a before and after project


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Today is one of those days where I’m stuck in my office catching up on paperwork, making phone calls and sitting at the computer – not getting out and seeing much to inspire me! So I thought I’d share a couple of photos a client sent me of the progress being made in her home. My clients recently moved into a beautiful modern house, with gorgeous sandstone walls and water views, but wanted to inject a little more colour and punch with the decor. We also wanted to work with their amazing Aboriginal art collection. Here’s a before shot of the ‘adult’ living space, which centred around a painting by Minnie Pwerle:

And here’s a couple of progress shots with the key pieces in place. Apparently the hot pink rug is a big hit!:

In the bedrooms my clients inherited these slightly strange and dated upholstered panels as feature walls, which were recovered with wallpaper to tie in with the other decor choices. Here’s an idea of the bedrooms before:

and after:

My client had the idea of turning what was formerly the dining room into a smart playroom (keeping the large wall aquarium). Here’s what it looked like before:

Again, we wanted to work around a painting, this time by Gloria Petyarre:

and then with the new rug:

The following isn’t the world’s greatest photo but I also wanted to show you a pic of the progress in my clients’ bathroom renovations. I love the wall of black and white Moroccan – inspired tiles in the shower!

Have a great Thursday! xx

Sep 12

Decorating with black


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I’ve posted about the beauty of black and its usefulness as a decorating tool before. Black against white (like against the walls and bookshelves above) in particular will obviously always have impact!

I adore this subtle use of black (above), paired with pale greys and neutrals. The striped rug adds a little extra punch where a flat pale rug might have looked bland and washed out.

Layered black and white photos with black frames looks sophisticated and masculine paired with classic architectural elements and glossy black woodwork – I’ve always been drawn to moody dark displays like this, I love it!

The framed black and white photos of bamboo tie in with the painted black geometric pattern on the floor (above).

Wow! Such a great idea to break up all the white and add some drama (above), and black working hard to highlight architectural details (below).

I absolutely love black-painted doors (I have mentioned this a million times before I know!). And this dutch-door is such a great idea- why doesn’t anyone have them anymore? Such a perfect solution when you want to let the light and fresh air in but keep children and pets from getting out. I’ll have to add this to my ‘building dream home’ file! – (though by the time I am able to build my dream home my children will probably be too old to need a a dutch door!)

More beautiful black doors from my inspiration files..

This picture (above) captures a little dream that I’ve had for awhile..a dark and cosy (but still sophisticated) country house with moody lighting surrounded by huge old trees. I think this dream has its roots in all the English period dramas that I was brought up on (and still love). And you might remember a tv ad for Victorian tourism that was on a couple of years ago, where couples were chasing each other through vineyards and barns, and end up in this fabulous country house with stone floors and antique rugs, leather couches and a huge fireplace (the house and room were only pictured for a second so a lot of this is probably imagined!). Anyway I’m rambling but that house has also stayed with me.

An old classic that always works: black and white chequered floor tiles (above).

On my more anti-clutter days I love Darryl Carter’s interiors (have you seen his book on the new traditional style?). Lots of neutrals and black and white, with a focus on every single piece being individually beautiful. I just love the mix of antiques, modern pieces and textures.

Love, love this black and white kitchen, with its black herringbone floors, black French doors, marble subway tiles and giant lantern!

 

Feb 17

Random thoughts on colour and office


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I am feeling very into colour at the moment, and feeling that urge to redo everything and change my whole house around. I am also feeling very inspired to change my sisal rugs to geometric black and white ones, like the one on the latest cover of Australian Vogue Living (though this pic of the same apartment is from the Elle Decor spread):

 

The combination of the black and white and the green ikat with hints of gold is genius. I have some old chairs that I have been wanting to recover for an age. I’m thinking a bright ikat might be the ticket! I’ve been thinking about this for some time, after seeing Diane Bergeron’s apartment:

Again, love the combination of a black and white rug with bright ikat chairs and pops of other colour. While I ponder all this I’m also mentally gathering decorating ideas for my office makeover, which I am very keen to start. I hope to be able to get onto it and share the details here this weekend. Ikea here I come!

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