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.
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.
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.
It’s been a long time since I was called a Chick. But early last year Lucia van Gerwen of More Than Curtains asked me if I’d like to be one of her “Designer Chicks”. Now this was only the second time that I had met Lucia face to face. We’d “liked” each others pages on Facebook and commented on various posts so I naturally said Yes. I had no idea what she had in mind with creating a group called Designer Chicks. But she did!
Lucia had a vision to gather together a group of passionate, successful women who were all working in their own businesses in the design industry. The members of this group would still operate their own business and go about their work as they always had but now there was an extension to their offerings. They could confidently refer clients to landscape designers, graphic designers, web designers, stylists and interior designers.
It’s taken 12 months to get the group up and running and it has been a very exciting time for all of us. The energy in the room when we are all together is amazing and we all share the love of our industry and our business. We were interviewed on Expert VA Radio Small Business Show and you can listen to my interview here.
I don’t believe so! I love a dedicated dining room especially in older homes.
Back in the mid 1980′s I bought my first home in an outer Brisbane suburb. It had a combined dining and lounge room and for a few years I had a pine round table with 4 rattan and metal cantilevered chairs as the dining table. Then one day, one of my colleagues at work asked out loud if anyone was interested in a Rosenstengel dining suite. He had been appointed Executor of a Monseigneur’s Estate and apparently there was a silky oak dining table and 6 chairs to offload. The asking price was $200. With all my income going in to my house repayments I said, “No”. Besides I didn’t want some old table and what was Rosenstengel anyway?
I was telling my Mum about it a few days later and she said, “Grab it.” She knew all about Ed Rosenstengel and his furniture making and knew it would be a great buy as well as owning a piece of Queensland history. So I purchased the table and it is still serving me to this day. Although right now it’s in storage as we renovate our home.
When I moved to the Gold Coast in the ’90′s I decided to have the dining suite refurbished. A furniture restorer cleaned down the table and applied a new coat of shellac which gave it a rich glow. I had the chairs reupholstered in a plain pink fabric to co-ordinate with the curtains and sofa.
When I moved back to Brisbane we renovated a little Workers Cottage on the northside and we created a formal dining room in the old sleep-out.
This time the upholstery on the chairs dictated what colour the walls would be.
When we moved to Sydney and bought our Californian Bungalow the dining suite suited the period of the house and the existing curtains.
However, after a few years, I was ready to ditch the curtains and I replaced them with gold silk and repainted the walls in the warm earthy tones of the time.
Now we are renovating, I have decided to keep the formal dining room. We’ve closed off two of the three doorways into the room and I’ve decided to be a little bit adventurous in choosing the paint colour.
I’m a firm believer that the formal lounge room is mainly used at night time so why not make it dramatic? But alas the existing upholstery will not suit the new look room. The question is, will I keep the suite and have it reupholstered, or is it time for a complete new dining suite?
Do you have a formal dining room or a dining suite with provenance?
No, not quite, but I have been rather consumed by everything that’s going on, so the poor old blog has been neglected. Sorry for being AWOL for a while.
Our house renovations are getting to the pointy end. It’s looking so good and I just want to wiggle my nose and be in.
My father-in-law (aka The Painter) has been here for two and half weeks and has been working non stop to get the interior of the house painted. My husband is helping on the weekends and does some prep work for him in the evenings. The colours all look great. (The one above and the one below are not the same, it just looks that way on the screen. Well it does on mine.)
The tilers have been and tiled the bathrooms and laundry as well as the outside rear stairs and landing.
And the floor has been put down in my new studio.
The logistical nightmare is now upon us as we juggle all the tradies for the final two weeks. The cabinetmaker is still to bring in the laundry, kitchen and bathroom cabinets. The electrician is to return to install all the light fittings. The plumber needs to come after the tilers to plumb in the toilets and then will return after the cabinetry to do the taps and basins. Shower screens and bathroom mirrors have been measured and will be installed also after the tilers. Then when they’ve all finished we can have the floors sanded, stained and polished (I’m going for a dark floor) and finally the carpet and curtains.
Then we can bring back the furniture and household items we packed away in storage 10 months ago and move in and enjoy Christmas in our new old home.
Besides all that I’m trying to ensure all the jobs that are in the system for clients get completed and delivered prior to 24 December.
A new dining table was delivered for one client today and we are still waiting on a new sofa.
We’re awaiting shutters for another client and curtains and blinds for two clients.
A bathroom is having a makeover for another client and I’m still doing colour consultations for clients about to paint over the Christmas period or have painters coming in the New Year.
The wallpaper hanger is booked for yet another client and a sofa is being carted off today to be reupholstered.
Fingers crossed everything goes to plan and we are all enjoying our “new” homes for the holidays.
If you would like assistance with colour and design for your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.
Another busy week draws to a close. I hope you’ve had a good one.
Things have been hectic around here with so much going on. I’ve been having fun with Megan Morton and Jen Bishop’s Instagram challenge. It was all good fun posting photos of Things I Love for a chance to win a signed copy of Megan’s new book, Things I Love.
I’ve also been busy with clients sourcing fabric for window coverings, upholstery and a bedhead as well as furniture for outdoors. The weather has been nice and toasty getting us ready for dining outdoors.
The house is looking great too.
The gyprockers are in so we have internal walls instead of frames.
It’s really starting to take shape and the cabinetmaker has started to manufacture the laundry and kitchen. Soooo excited!
Have you started your Christmas shopping? In 2 months it will all be over. Corban and Blair are having a sale for the month of November. You just need to enter the code Nov12 at checkout. There’s some great gift ideas.
Designer Rugs are having a sale too. That’s more a present you want to buy for yourself, though!
Have a great weekend. Apparently I’m going to be painting this weekend!
If you would like assistance with colour and design for your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.