Have you noticed a profusion of African inspired decor lately?
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?
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.
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.
Rapee have recently released a range of cushions in bright colours and rich textures which would give an African lift to your room.
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.
Furniture features rich timbers with stylised accents or folding furniture which would be used on Safari.
These gorgeous pieces are based on the campaign furniture used on Safari and are available from one of our suppliers here in Australia.
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.
I recently attended the launch of the new collection from Casa Mia. I have been specifying Casa Mia products for years and love their elegant shapes.
It is a family owned business and has been operating for over 30 years. The furniture is imported from Italy in it’s raw state and then stained and upholstered in the factory here in Sydney. Originally the furniture was classic but in recent times there has been a shift to a more contemporary look.
With loads of colour options including custom colours and numerous choices in handles and other decorative elements, there is a piece of furniture for everyone.
The furniture is on display in Paddington and the showroom was looking sensational for the launch.
Even the dog was excited!
If you would like new furniture for your home, contact us and we will source the perfect items for you.
I can’t believe it! Four years ago I hit the “publish” button for the very first time. Four years!
Sometimes it seems like only yesterday and sometimes it seems more like fourteen years.
I started blogging as a way of documenting my inspiration, work, ideas and a way to educate readers on the ins and outs of Interior Design. I must admit, I was hoping a few of the readers would end up becoming clients. And that they did.
But I didn’t expect to come across such a lovely bunch of other people who blog. Sometimes I think it’s like a cult. There are so many talented and inspirational people out there and I love soaking up all their words of wisdom, encouragement and gorgeous images every day. It’s been fun, too, meeting other bloggers at various events and even when on holidays in a different country.
So thank you for reading my blog posts, as intermittent as they have been of late, and thank you to those of you who also write a blog and continue to inspire me.
We have been back in our renovated Californian Bungalow now for 4 months. And as we still chip away at our “To Do List”, I am excited to finally reveal the main bathroom.
We bought our house 10 years ago and inherited a second bathroom with the house. It was a very
small tiny bathroom with no room to move. It had a toilet, washbasin and shower.
As it was in the fibro extension that had been added to the house in the ’70′s, (yes that meant asbestos and care and cost to remove it) it was going to be removed completely and a new and improved bathroom would be added.
The new bathroom was built on the same footprint as the old guest bedroom. You have no idea how many times I paced out that room and tried to imagine myself in a bathroom.
Would it be big enough? The guest bedroom wasn’t that spacious with no built-ins and just enough room to move around the queen bed. It only had one bedside due to space being at a premium. Oh dear, was I doing the right thing or should I make it bigger?
After many months of demolition, excavation and rebuilding, the bathroom was starting to take shape. We had crimped a bit of extra floor space by building a bay window and sitting the bath in that.
I opted for opaque glass in the windows as although the window looks out to a private garden, it’s still reassuring to know that there is no chance of anyone peering in. Also the bay window was at right angles which makes it very tricky to add window coverings unless it’s shutters. I must admit I was a bit disappointed when they first went in. I was not listening to the advice I give my interior design clients, that is – wait until everything is finished and then you will see that it all works together.
I had spent months agonising over floor tiles, wall tiles, paint colours and feature tiles. It’s really hard doing your own place when you have been exposed to so much and your head is full of possiblities.
So, once again, I tried to take the advice I dish out. What feeling would you like when you use the room? That was easy, I wanted it to be a bright space with loads of light yet I wanted to feel calm and relaxed when I was there. A touch of luxury and femininity seeing my daughter would be the main occupant and I might sneak in there occasionally for a bath.(Must get around to doing that!) That set me on the right path and I was able to make the selections relatively easily.
I’m so happy with the end result.
The feature tiles add a touch of glamour while the white wall tiles and bay window makes the room very light. And surprise, surprise, when everything was in place the windows look just perfect.
If you would like assistance with bathroom design or sourcing fixtures and fittings, contact me for an online or in-person consultation.
Last week, with great excitement, I attended a Vignette Magic workshop with the queen of vignettes, Kara Rosenlund. Kara and her gorgeous husband, Timothy O were visiting Sydney from their home town (mine too) of Brisbane. ( I discovered Kara went to school just up the hill from my Queensland workers cottage!)
Kara is Australia’s modern day Gypsy. She travels around with her caravan, Frankie, collecting and selling her vintage and one off finds.
The workshop was held at Megan Morton’s “the school” which is a fabulous white space at Rosebery. There were so many exciting elements to the night that had me all a quiver.
Megan met course participants with Iced Tea Vodka Sodas which gave us time to mix and mingle, check out the interior of the famous Frankie and browse Kara and Timothy’s current collection. We were then ushered into the school and set eyes on our pre-workshop feast.
A scrumptious table of hand-churned butter, cheese, figs, honey on the comb, bread, dukka, hand made yoghurt and marinated olives was beckoning us.
But before we could tuck in, it was the perfect photo opportunity for all the instagrammers in the room. We had time to fill our plates and then take our seats for the main attraction.
It was magical watching Kara select items from her table of “bits and bobs” and place them on the mantle.
She’d add, take away, move and rotate the carefully chosen pieces until the story was complete. And her vignettes do tell a story. As a spectator, you are drawn into the scene and want to find out more.
Kara had lots of little tricks that she generously passed on. Tricks like scrunching up paper to sit in a vessel so the item you place inside sits up and can be seen. And leaving crummage. Little bits of floatsam such as petals under flowers and fallen leaves under foliage. It helps to connect the viewer with the vignette.
It was then time to create a vignette, watch on or go back to graze at the buffet table. I enjoyed watching the other participants create and then Kara waving her magic wand over them, twisting an item to the left instead of the right, popping something up on a stack of books, or adding some vital crummage. It was a very inspiring evening.
Before the trio took to the road again, Kara left us with her golden rules of vignettes. I hope she comes back soon.
If you would like assistance styling areas in your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.
Are you struggling to finish off a room in your home? Perhaps you’ve recently moved in and don’t know what to do. Or your children are now a little older and want something more grown up in their bedroom.
These are often the scenarios that my clients face and either they don’t have the time or the interest to do it themselves so engage me to assist.
But there are many people who do want to do it themselves, who, like me LOVE shopping but don’t know where to go or how to successfully pull a room together.
There is help at hand! On Thursday 16 May, I am presenting my Dynamic Room Design workshop at the CALDesign Creative Studio in Killara.
I’d love to see you there and help with a room in your house. It will be a fun day with lots of knowledge shared and you’ll come away with a step by step guide so you can finish that room on your own.
Pop over and register your interest and take a look at the other workshops going on as well as their beautiful portfolio. But hurry as there’s only room for 12.
However, if you would prefer to engage me to assist with your home, contact me for an online or in-person consultation.
I can’t think of anything worse than losing a child. I don’t think it would matter what age you or the child were. It’s just not the way it should be that the child goes before the parent.
With all our medical knowledge there are still many families being affected by stillbirth. One such family was Melbourne parents Simon and Sally Heppleston who after a healthy 40 week pregnancy had to face a future without their baby and without the fairy tales they had planned on reading to her.
Melbourne Graphic artist Tonia Composto, a family friend of the Heppleston’s, decided to create a limited edition of prints to fund stillbirth research. The Fairy Tales for Hope project, which has already sold nearly 2000 prints and raised almost $40,000 for the Stillbirth Foundation Australia, has a set of new illustrations celebrating various dates in the calendar. The original release of fairy tale artwork is still available and would look great in a child’s bedroom. And what a good cause your purchase would be supporting!
Sadly, six families in Australia suffer this devastating fate each day, with more than 2000 babies stillborn each year. “I still can’t believe this happens to people daily,” said Ms Composto. The grief, the sorrow, the injustice of it breaks me down. Sally never hid her grief and has fought for Hope’s memory since the day she lost her.”
Renovating a bathroom or kitchen? Chosen all your tiles? What a releif, you can now sit back and let the tiler do his thing. Wrong!
Once you’ve chosen your tiles the next thing you need to choose is the colour of the grout. Don’t leave it to the tiler as you will probably end up with white or grey. The grout needs to support the tiles not detract from them. No-one wants to make a feature of the grout! Unless you’re really making a statement like this image below.
When we renovated I had definite ideas about how the tiles would look once grouted. The large format tiles in the bathroom were rectified which means they have square edges. I wanted the walls to look seamless and the rectified tiles can be placed close together so choosing a white grout assisted with the overall look.
In the ensuite, we used natural stone tiles on the walls and floor so I chose a cream grout there to match the filling in the travertine.
The black marble mosaic splashback in the powder room needed a dark grout as anything lighter would make the space look too busy. I already had a wallpaper above the splashback and that was the main feature of the room. The splashback needed to enhance the wallpaper and save it from water splashes but didn’t need to be a feature in itself.
The kitchen was tricky. I was using white subway tiles. The kitchen has a nod to French provincial style without the fuss so I wanted the tiles to stand out but I didn’t want the industrial look like the kitchen below.
White grout would’ve blended with the tiles and dark grout would give that industrial look, sort of like a butcher’s shop. So I selected a pale grey grout. The cabinetry is grey and the bench top is also a grey – Stone Italiana KSoul. The grey grout sets off the whole kitchen perfectly.
So don’t think once you’ve chosen your tiles your decisions are over. Think about the overall look you’d like, take some time and choose the colour of your grout wisely. Like everything else, the options are endless but will make a big difference to your finished home.
All images can be found on my Pinterest boards.
If you would like assistance choosing tiles and grout for your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.