Tuesday, March 13, 2018

louise walsh interior design...

Love the styling in these spaces by Louse Walsh Interior Design  
It is making me feel I need to up my bedside game!

Browse through her projects when you have a moment

Dining room and bedroom from Beach house in Newcastle (above)

Gorgeous home in Bangalow (above)

I have been so careful the past year of renting to try and not get furniture specific to the rental house.  But I think I need to do something about my bedroom.  Its been the same for a few years and its time for a refresh.  These spaces have really got me thinking.

Friday, February 23, 2018

window seat...

Cats really do choose the best spots

Source unknown

Friday, January 26, 2018

best way to store documents

Now you see it...

Now you don't - just how good document storage should be: organised, secure, hidden!  

Want to be super organised too?  Here are my top storage system tips.

Having moved from house with a separate study with tons of storage to a house with this storage(above) a big sort out of our filing was a real necessity.  
Using these file n' store suspension crates (see below) all our paperwork  is more secure and organised than ever before.

The trick is to buy one crate and a whole heap of suspension files and just start.  
File like items with like and keep going.  So all house bills together, all medical together, important documents together.  You can shift things around later on and add crates as you need them.

I find it most useful to group sets of similar items, like household bills (see below right) with the label tabs one behind each other.  I know everything in the same row is related which makes it far easier to find what you are looking for.  It is also easy to add another tab in the same category.

I have different crates for:

  • taxes
  • household which includes: expenses, household and phone contracts, & important documents such as birth certificates, passports 
  • warranties & user manuals (these add up to a lot of paper) + iphone boxes
  • precious objects that need storage and aren't displayed

Within each crate my categories work something like this:

  • household expenses: water, power, gas
  • medical: reports, vaccination & insurance
  • cars: a folder for each car containing purchase documents, annual registrations & insurance
  • house hold insurance
  • mobile contracts
  • passports

Keep a folder marked "unfiled" for all the bills and correspondence you haven't paid or filed yet.  This stops your desk or kitchen counter from accumulating piles of envelopes and papers.  When you are ready you can go straight to your "unfiled" section and deal with it easily.  You are less likely to lose something important or miss a payment.

Within one crate I also have a smaller box file (something like this) which contains our passports, birth certificates, wills ect.  If I have time to grab just one thing in a fire I know everything really important and hard to replace is in this folder.

The best thing about the crates is that they are secure, documents are unlikely to fall out and get lost, and they will stay dry.  They fit in an ordinary cupboard space and stack which makes them easy to store safely and out of sight.

For us as renters currently this means that come moving day I will know exactly where all the important stuff is.   

Monday, January 15, 2018

trends for 2018...

Can I just say that I am loving where interiors are heading at the moment.  

2018 feels softer, still fresh and clean but softened by very natural sages and blush.  Greens in every colour are in but especially tones of olive and sage, greens muted with greys.  Blush is still going strong (I am still smitten) and warming these softer colours up is a curated amount of plum and mustard.  

Our love affair with brushed brass and bronze continues, pairing beautifully with soft grey or white walls and joinery.  Lighter woods also soften these white on white or soft grey interiors, and by light wood I mean pale wood tones lightly limed or washed, not the blonde woods or heavily limed woods of the previous decade.

I do think that black hardware in bathrooms will pass.  However crisp black steel frames on shower screen and windows are in, these classic industrial frames never really go out of style.  Small crisp amounts of black in furnishings and fittings (like windows) are going to keep the soft colour palette sophisticated.

Sling or campaign style chairs are going to be even bigger this year, although leather tones will soften from browns to tan, again a look that never goes out of style.   

Even kitchens feel a bit softer this year.  We are moving away from waterfall panels of stone, instead islands are being dressed with legs in wood or steel making them look more like tables.  I wasn't sure about this look but this kitchen by Kyal and Kara has me sold, the wood makes the space look a bit country kitchen but in a modern way.  I don't think we will see to many more black kitchens, they are being swapped for grey and sage and of course white is always timeless.

There doesn't seem to be any navy in my pics, but of course navy is always classic and will work beautifully with blush, sage and grey.  Looking back at the mood boards they appear to be equal parts Australian and Californian, an interesting blend that is sophisticated and warm but quite modern and pared back.

All in all it is my favourite year for a while.   Soft and washed out by the sun (like my 25 year old kilims) but with grey tones and hints of black keeping it from being to sweet.
I love it all and hope to get a chance to put it into a new home soon.

Mood board 1:  A frame house by Sarah Herman Samuel, sling chair from Weylandts, eucalyptus garland

Mood board 2: Flowering gum (source unknown), bedroom by Ryan Street and Associated, kitchen with bench detailby Kyal and Kara

Mood board 3: Garden room at the White House Daylesford, detail of nursery by Sarah Herman Samuel, Hollywood bedroom with rubber plant, table settingstudio desk by Sarah Herman Samuel, detail from Little Parndon

Friday, January 12, 2018

capsule wardrobe experiment

Well I never! I had a huge sort out of my wardrobe last night, following Caroline of Un-Fancy's 3 Step diy capsule plan, and I am very pleased by the results.  

Caroline has a 3 step plan for paring down your closet, and following Caroline's advice I emptied the wardrobe and only put back in what I love and know I wear.  In 5 minutes I had a very different wardrobe looking back at me.  What really surprised me is how co-ordinated it looked, full of blues and navies, quite a bit of green and filled out with neutrals.  Even my shoes toned in.  Is this pretty selection really all my stuff?

I sorted the shelves next, putting the summer capsule pieces neatly on the lower shelves and the winter pieces I am not using higher up.  

What I like best about the approach is that it is seasonal.  If you aren't wearing it this season it gets put away so your current capsule is uncluttered.  
Looking at my new capsule I am struck by how much neater it looks, it looks like I have had a stylist in to help.

The biggest surprise came when I counted I had 38 pieces including shoes!  I felt I had an over whelming amount of pieces and Caroline's target of 37 was just not achievable.

Instead of having clothes spread across 4 shelves and 3 hanging spaces, I now have a capsule in one hanging space and 2 shelves neatly stacked.  Feeling good!!

I hung my current capsule in the largest most accessible portion of the wardrobe.  
The remaining pieces I have hung separately and sorted into three sections: keepers for different seasons, clothes to try on and reassess, clothes I can't quite part with but which I will discard if I don't wear in the next three to six months.

The walk in is to narrow to photograph so the before and afters just don't do the results justice.  

Highly recommend you read the article on Un-Fancy and then give it a try.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

new year refresh...

I am slowly getting back into the swing of things, so loved having lazy unstructured time off with my girls.  I had the time to play house a bit, moving things around as usual, decluttering here and there, and adding one or two things like this amazing pineapple plant.

Enjoyed these ideas on 10 free (or nearly free) things you can do to refresh your home right now - by Chris Loves Julia.  

I have been doing quite a few of them the past week or so including purging my closet before going back to work, tossing clothes that just don't make me feel good, or that no longer fit, or that are simply way out of style.

This lead me down a rabbit hole to Un-Fancy which is a blog about mindful style focusing on capsule wardrobes (see Caroline's pic above) which I have always like the idea of but never really achieved.

Simply love the idea of having clothes that all work together and which you wear often and then replace, rather than my current situation of lots of clothes that don't all go together.  Mine will always be a little bigger than this as I have a corporate wardrobe and a home/life wardrobe.   But I am trying to change the corporate look to a more smart casual look so perhaps there is more room for overlap.  Am going back for another read.

Hope you are getting some time for planning and organising as we start the new year.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

settling into the rental - living room

Really this room was pretty lovely and just needed our thing to feel like home.  The before and after is still pretty satisfying though (see before pics below).
Isn't it amazing how art brings a room to life?  

I don't love that the couch faces the tv wall (with giant tv built in) it feels like we are facing away from outdoors, but we are lucky with the plain white console that belongs to the owners.  
Everything has been rather plonked down as it was unpacked and the space still needs a bit of love.  I forgot to publish this post so it is a bit out of date and the room is looking more lived in now.  Vignettes and pillows have had a change.

It is amazing how your own loved pieces of furniture make an empty room feel like home.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

How to style your kitchen by Studio McGee

I love Studio McGee's fresh clean style.  Its a little more country than I would choose myself but their choices of materials and fittings is consistently fabulous.

Studio McGee has a great selection of videos showing how they work and style and really loved this one showing how to tackle the kitchen.

Hope this inspires you to tidy up your kitchen ready for the summer holidays.
Hop onto the Studio McGee YouTube channel for more.

Monday, October 30, 2017

planning a party...with paperless post

Its that festive time of year again, and this year I am partnering with Paperless Post to share my tips on how to be the hostess with the mostest.  New to digital invitations?  Me to and I discovered it is so easy!  The invites are beyond pretty, easy to customise, just add your guest list with emails and you are good to go.  Choosing a design is the hardest part, they are all so gorgeous but in the end I couldn't resist the Rifle Paper Co designs, although the yellow Marimekko flowers almost had me.

You can customise the text, the envelope insert, add a background, from only $2 a card.  How pretty does mine look below.

Now the date is set and the guests are invited, lets talk about how to make entertaining easy.

Plan a grazing table
Grazing tables are the perfect way to entertain a crowd big or small.
Choose oversize platters and boards and heap lavishly with cheese and biscuits, fresh
 fruit, anything you can eat in your fingers.  The trick here is more is more, you want the plates to look really generous.  
The best thing about a grazing table is you can make dips, sweets and savoury snacks ahead of time, but most of the food like the cheese, biscuits and fruits is simply bought and arranged on the day.  Minimal prep on the day, that is what we like!

Top tip: place cocktail napkins around the table so people can keep their hands tidy.

Decorating a grazing table
To decorate the table create visual interest by propping your platters on different levels (hidden boards or boxes do the trick), and group masses of greenery & flowers or candles at the back of the table.  I am totally inspired by this look (above left) created by Gallivant Events with lemons and limes heaped in giant clam shells, and tons of lush greens.

Top tip: Set up your table and flowers the day before, then on the day you only have to worry about the food.

Create a drinks station
Make it easy for your guests to get their own drinks by organising a drinks station zone.  Stack the glasses on the counter top for easy access and have a large drinks bucket filled with ice to keep drinks cool.  Set out extra ice cubes, sprigs of mint and slices of lemon.

Top tip: set up the drinks station away from the food, the kitchen counter is often a good spot.  Separating the drinks from the food avoids queues and encourages people to move around.

Create a moody ambience by turning off all the overhead lights.  Use your table and floor lamps and add candles or fairly lights or both.  
Organise and test the lighting the weekend before so its just a matter of lighting the candles on the day.

Top tip: use 3M hooks to temporarily string fairy lights across walls, from the ceiling and along balustrades.  Easy to put up and take down.

Create new seating zones
Whenever we entertain we create little conversation zones where people can sit and chat easily.  You don't want the guests all crowding around the walls or getting tired from standing all night.  

If you have the space set out two benches in an L-shape where people can sit together, or group a few occasional chairs into a little sitting area.  Don't be afraid to move the furniture around and really change up the space just for the party.

Now all you have to do is set a date and get those invites out.