Interior Decorating Ideas for Winter

Though the grey skies and wet mornings of winter have arrived, that shouldn’t be a reason for you to give up on style. With the change of season, you can restyle your interior.

Here are winter interior decorating ideas that you can use to help you feel snug as a bug even in the dead of winter.

  1. Colour and texture

If you are thinking of buying new homewares for the winter, reassess your interior colour scheme. Rich, saturated colours like dark green, jewel tones, reds or oranges fit this season. In the same manner, fabric choices reaffirm the richness of winter, with velvet, wool, cashmere and faux fur are the material of choice to direct warmth and texture to a space.

  1. Add greenery

Australian winter suppresses the people’s cultural desire for outdoor living, no thanks to strong winds, frost-bitten lawns and icy evenings. Bring a little of the outdoors inside your home using hardy indoor plants, or bring a sunny atmosphere to the gloomiest of corners with a bouquet of flowers that you can buy at the farmers market each week.

  1. Rearrange and reconsider

You don’t need to go on holiday in an exotic place to escape winter. Some change in your home is all you need. Look at your living room, dining and bedrooms to see if there is a way the space could be laid out. Could the seating arrangement be changed to promote conversation, or to congregate around an open fireplace? Fashion new snippets of vessels and trinkets on the sideboard in the dining room. You can also consider adding a textured bedhead to cosy up your bedroom. Sometimes breathing new life into an old arrangement can be as simple as rearranging a space or the accessories filling it.

  1. Layer

Introducing layers is one of the simplest ways to create a cosy atmosphere in your space. Use elements such as throw rugs, cushions, faux sheepskins, floor rugs and heavy curtains to create a cosy vibe in a space as well as give you easy access to all creature comforts.

  1. Lighting

The days are shorter during winter compared to summer, but don’t feel disheartened. Take advantage of the absence of natural light to create a mood with various kinds of lighting. To create a warmer overall cast to a space, use lamps, candles and bulbs with warmer tones for overhead lighting. If your lamps have visible bulbs, mix in classic decorative ones.


Tips for Cleaning and Sanitising your Home Amid COVID

Cleaning companies are enjoying a surge in requests for sanitising services, with homeowners and businesses making efforts to keep their surroundings free of germs.

However, bringing a professional cleaner into your home may not be an option for everyone, so here are some tips from Safe Work Australia on how to DIY clean and disinfect your home thoroughly.

How to clean and disinfect

Cleaning means to physically remove germs (bacteria and viruses), dirt and grime from surfaces using a detergent and water solution. A detergent is a surfactant that is designed to break up oil and grease with the use of water. Anything labelled as a detergent will work.

Disinfecting means using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. It’s important to clean before disinfecting because dirt and grime can reduce the ability of disinfectants to kill germs. Disinfectants containing greater than equal to 70% alcohol, quaternary ammonium compounds, chlorine bleach or oxygen bleach are suitable for use on hard surfaces (that is, surfaces where any spilt liquid pools, and does not soak in). These will be labelled as ‘disinfectant’ on the packaging.

Cleaning should start with the cleanest surface first, progressively moving towards the dirtiest surface. When surfaces are cleaned, they should be left as dry as possible to reduce the risk of slips and falls, as well as spreading of viruses and bacteria through droplets.

Before a surface is disinfected, it is important it is cleaned first because dirt and grime can reduce the ability of disinfectants to kill germs. Disinfectant may not kill the virus if the surface has not been cleaned with a detergent first.

The packaging or manufacturer’s instructions will outline the correct way to use disinfectant. Disinfectants require time to be effective at killing viruses. If no time is specified, the disinfectant should be left for ten minutes before removing.

In addition, remember to disinfect your computer keyboards and devises, doorknobs and any remote controls, or gaming system controls, etc.



Put your Home on Centre Stage Through Home Styling


A selling method that vendors use to achieve a faster sale, lessen price cuts and drive up values is property styling, or home styling.

Developers, agents and retail stores like Ikea and Freedom use it. “Home Staging” is tantamount to merchandising. It involves styling a space to emotionally attract a target audience to eventually realise top consumer dollar. And it works.

When it is a sellers’ market a competitive advantage is needed to attain the best possible price, and a makeover is not the sole option.

Increasing the sales price

The reason for home staging is to style a house to copy those that are found on the pages of fashionable home magazines. This is a means to boost the price and buyer interest.  Home staging can really make a major difference. In terms of price, it can add $20,000 to $25,000 to a normal sales price compared to a similar home on the market that is not furnished.  Another benefit is it mitigates price cuts. It is all based on emotions for owner-occupier buyers, resulting from what they see and feel in the first 27 seconds.

Neutralise, de-personalise and the wow factor

Sellers should make the effort to neutralise and de-personalise everything in their home. Store away old trophies, get rid of everything off the fridge, put bills and other personal contact information out of sight, remove photos of family members because that can make people feel awkward and just store it away to make them feel they are purchasing something new.  It is also important to declutter. Think about the direction buyers would take to inspect the house and eliminate any obstacle from their path.  Home staging is taking the methods of depersonalising and decluttering to the next level by putting display furniture and furnishings to evoke a certain feeling.

Additional tips for sellers include economical cosmetic changes that deliver a little bit of wow factor like: changing the knobs or handles of the kitchen cabinets, installing a new mailbox, putting up new blinds or curtains, putting new kitchen appliances if they are very old or on the verge of breaking down, polishing the deck, adding mulch in the garden, pruning hedges or shrubs to make the yard look bigger, putting potted plants around the exterior of the house, or removing the  feature wall and either replacing it with a fashion piece or adding a bookshelf or a wall storage in its place.

To get the best possible price, implement a holistic approach as you prepare your property for the market. Home staging should be combined with inexpensive makeover techniques to increase the sales price. If the property has no furniture and furnishings, small things like peeling wallpaper or crackers become obvious. It is important to repair these because any noticeable maintenance issue can significantly impact a buyer’s decision.

It is important to remember that people are purchasing a lifestyle, not just a home. If there is nothing for them to determine whether their king size bed will fit in the bedroom, then it makes it more difficult to envision themselves living in there.


4 Important Lighting Tips to Use During Covid-19


Looking for some lighting inspiration while working from home during Covid-19 isolation? Use these tips as a guide when redesigning your home’s lighting.

  1. Use layers

Three layers of light is essential in all rooms.  Minimise wattage and size to maximise space and don’t overlook the accent layer, which helps to draw attention to the added details you’ve used to complete your spaces.

  1. Scale is essential

Lighting should not overwhelm a space and it also should not get lost in a space. Consider both the length and the width of the space.

  1. Focal point matters, too

Not all fixtures – lamps, sconces, chandeliers – should be of similar size because the eyes look for optical clarity. What lighting can be used as a focal point? It could be a chandelier in a big space, or a unique floor lamp or  vintage-looking sconces flanking a wall art for smaller spaces.

  1. Dimmers

Install in all rooms and with as many fixtures as you can add.  Dimmers change the mood and offset artificial light with natural light.




The Hottest Indoor Plant Trends in 2020

A new year accompanies a whole wave of new trends. Together with design and fashion, the growing popularity of plants means green thumbs have gained themselves a trend guide for 2020.

To come up with the first of such report in Australia, nine experts, 20 nursery owners and 1500 Australians were consulted by Plant Life Balance.

The report, which integrated 50 years of research about plants and human well-being from the University of Melbourne and RMIT, identifies six forecasted trends that offer awareness on the plant decisions of tomorrow for plant lovers throughout Australia.

One of those trends is longing for nature, attributed to combining the natural world into homes.

According to the report, interior designers are noticing plants making their way into the home in the form of colours like minty green and soft sage. Stylists are seeing plants as well as natural colours are a key feature of their work. Homeowners want plants everywhere – in the living room, kids’ bedrooms, etc.  Want some inspiration?  Have a look at this Indoor Plant Decor Pinterest board.

Another trend the report found is horticulture for health. It found that one in four people were driven to purchase plants for mindfulness – and in 2020, the use of gardening for mindfulness will become increasingly popular.

Furthermore, the report says that both active and passive types of gardening can play a big role in mental and physical health. The act of witnessing something grow can inspire optimism and creativity, and the tangible act of gardening can be very relaxing.  I know for myself this is very much the fact and I place high importance in making time to get into my own garden after working long hours.

In addition to interior design and well-being, here are the other four plant predictions for 2020:

  1. Low maintenance statements

Over the last 12 months, two in five Australians purchased a low-maintenance plant. The report says that 80% of nursery retailers enjoyed a rise in inquiries about easy maintenance plants, but disappointingly, Australians have succeeded in killing at least 70 million plants in the last year.  Perhaps a bromeliad is for you!

  1. An abode among the gum trees

One in four Australians are preferring native plants, evidence that the 1970s is making a return in the plant world. Retail nurseries have reported two times the number of enquiries in the last 12 months, while enquiries on hardy plants rose 70%.

  1. Truth and trust

In the last 12 months, the largest growth in spending seen by nursery retailers surveyed has been from 18 to 35 year olds, and this is believed to be mostly caused by social media. The popularity of the “plantfluencer” is very noticeable.  Check out my Pinterest ‘The Garden’ board  as well as Succulents.

  1. The hybrid store

Experts believe we will be hearing more of this sentence in 2020: “Would you like a plant with that?” 

Pantone’s 2020 Colour of the Year is…?

For all the interior lovers out there, the Pantone Colour Institute has announced its 2020 colour of the year. And it is: Classic Blue!

According to Pantone, the leading forecaster of worldwide colour trends, the classic blue colour will be everywhere in 2020. This is what the global authority for colour and communication and inspiration has to say ahead of the beginning of a new decade:

“Instilling calm, confidence, and connection, this enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.”

On the company’s website, it also posted a short video to describe the feel of the colour, showing a night sky, faint mountain ranges, and a soothing soundtrack.

The Classic Blue colour underscores “dependability, trustworthiness, credibility, and constancy, all characteristics that are important in today’s fast-paced, high-stress world.

In addition, deep blue goes with the shade of the sky at dusk, which is a perfect example that shows why this colour resonate with a lot of people.

For over two decades, Pantone’s colour of the year has strongly influenced many aspects of life, including home design.

So how did Pantone come up with Classic Blue as the colour of the year?

Pantone says, experts from various fields, including in the entertainment industry and films in production, travelling art collections and new artists, fashion, interior design and lifestyles, “comb the world looking for new colour influences.”

By using Classic Blue, Pantone wish to promote a feeling of peace and tranquility, and foster interaction.

Technology is developing at a pace that humans have difficulty processing at the same speed, so it’s not difficult to understand why people are drawn towards colours that are authentic and give the promise of security. The trusted PANTONE 19-4052, non-aggressive and easily relatable, inspires a relaxed interaction. Linked to the return of another day, this beloved shade is easily adopted.

If you are planning a new home, a makeover or interior design project in 2020, don’t just ignore the colour of the year. You’ll see a barrage of mood boards and Pinterest sites in no time.




Tips to Renovate your Home Without Spending a Fortune

When searching for how to give your home a makeover, bear in mind that major changes don’t need to cost an arm and a leg. The key is identifying what areas need a refresh and how to spend your budget smartly.

Here are five smart, inspired and economical ways for a quick home makeover.

  1. Declutter

A space that is uncluttered looks and feels luxurious. When planning to declutter, identify which items are disrupting your home’s overall appeal. Various free-standing items overwhelms it and minimise air flow, creating a dark and tight vibe.

A useful trick is to look for sets of items, like a stack of books that are consuming the space. When you get rid of these items, you’re letting statement objects, like the couch and art, to become the main focus because the eye will automatically be drawn to them instead of the mess.

  1. New paint

A space looks crisp and clean with a fresh coat of paint. It adds gloss and personalises your home, so choose a colour you like that you can connect with emotionally.

White is still a classic and is the right setting for sharp styling and home décor. Various whites became the craze. The white that you used in 2014 is a different shade to what is currently on trend, so repainting can instantly bring your home up to date.

Another popular shade, grey, is also paving the way for more natural colours and happy hues.

According to the Dulux Colour Forecast 2020, brown is the new grey. Or more specifically, greige, a combination of grey and beige. It contrasts nicely with silky neutrals, earthy shades, and greens. These colours all look amazing in combination with a warmer white.

Makeover an outdated kitchen, laundry or bathroom with a fresh coat of paint that won’t cost an arm and a leg. You don’t have to hire a tradesperson as painting is easy to do yourself. There are formulations that are designed to be applied in only two coatings using a brush, roller or spray gun. So rejuvenating old cabinetry, benchtops or any tiled surface is so easy and simple.

  1. Switch to modern hardware

Trade in your old-fashioned fitting and give doors and outdated cabinetry a contemporary new look. It is a small detail, so it is an instant makeover that is usually overlooked. 

You don’t necessarily have to go for high-end brands. Choose styles that fit your personal taste. You can choose a hand-turned sustainable wood handle or a leather variety with modern styling. It can be whatever complements your space and fits your style.

  1. Modernise your lighting

Use statement lighting or simply change bulbs to make your home functional and mood lighting. Your home can be transformed by achieving the perfect equilibrium and functionality. With lighting, it could be as simple as changing to globes to relax the mood at roughly 2000k, or invigorating your space using a whiter light and 4000k globes.

For instant elegance, install beautiful statement lighting to the mix.

Make sure they compliment your space for visual impact. Scale is essential, so factor in your light’s size with the objects surrounding it. Do this by selecting a light a third of the size of the object nearest to it. It creates the right balance.

  1. Bring in plants

Greenery doesn’t only hide unsightly corners, it can also transform your home into an elegant environment that promotes wellness and adds vitality.

Plants soothes the soul and are important to healthy living. In addition, plants are a simple and cost-effective styling tool.

Build a garden inside your home that features texture, colour and scale. Put plants or flowers in colourful pots that are easy to move around. Seek the help of an indoor garden expert with lots of experience. This allows you the freedom to style with ease. 

And if you’re selling, using potted plants is also inexpensive as you can take them with you to your new home!!

For more makeover tips even if you are not selling, contact Annette on 0418447856 for her advise on your home.

Tips to Avoid Going Over Budget on your Kitchen Renovations

There is no doubt that the kitchen is the heart of the home. But when you have guests, have you struggled to get them out of your kitchen and over to your beautifully decorated outdoor patio?

It is also true that kitchens sell houses. This is why it makes sense for you to invest in this particular space in your home.

However, you don’t need to spend big to upgrade the look and functionality of your kitchen. Here are some important tips to avoid a budget blow up for your kitchen renovation project.

  1. Exchange wood for laminate

It is not easy to dislike the look of wooden kitchen cabinets, whether it’s a veneer or solid board. It’s classic and is perfect for any style of home.

It also brings warmth to inside the home, but it is also an easy way to blow your budget for kitchen renovation.

Years ago, a timber grain laminate would have looked just like that – a laminate. It would not have been a great alternative to timber, but that is not true anymore.

You can now easily find a timber grain laminate with an organic-looking grain instead of a streaked appearance that can destroy the look as a whole.

I recommend visiting showrooms to ensure you have covered all your bases instead of depending on your cabinet manufacturer to provide you with samples. Not all cabinet manufacturers stock samples of the latest products.

  1. Way up your overhead cabinets

People’s interior spaces are getting larger and larger and our need and preference for big kitchens is one of the reasons why.

During the design process, ask yourself what you really need. You may find that you want more bench space, but do you really need additional storage above the bench space.

The more cabinets you add in the space, the higher your budget gets – and there are other options. These are:

  • Reduce the number of overhead cabinets
  • Leave out all overhead cabinets
  • Swap overheads with open shelving

I recommend gathering quotes for all options. It might shock you to learn how much you can save.

  1. Exchange natural stone for composite

The look and feel of natural stone is simply amazing. Each slab is different and brings an immediate luxurious feel. However, these benefits can be expensive.

Since people are building bigger kitchens, it makes sense to determine whether the cost of using natural stone bench tops (for example, marble or granite) to cover the length of your kitchen cabinets is worth it.

If you don’t want to go over budget, I recommend using composite stone as an alternative. It is significantly cheaper but can look similar to natural stone.

Another benefit is that a composite stone is more durable compared to some natural stone and easier to clean and care for.

If you don’t want to change your mind about natural stone, I recommend it for the island and a composite or timber for the back benches. This way the island becomes the focal point of your kitchen.



Tips for Picking a Splashback for a Dark Charcoal Kitchen


Aside from being elegant, dark charcoal or grey kitchen cabinets are also versatile, as this classic tone will look beautiful with several splashback options. Here are some schemes to help you determine which finishes and materials could match your deep-toned units.

Marble splashback

A marble splashback, or an engineered-stone look-like, is a good choice if you want a more luxurious vibe. The smooth, pale surfaces on the walls and benchtops bring a fascinating contrast to the charcoal units.

What makes a marble design stand out is its veining. It helps combine dark and light surfaces to bring a pleasant balance to the total vibe.

Textured wall of painted bricks

This is an ideal pairing.  Imaging your dark charcoal cabinets contrasted by a bright white benchtop with the added warmth of a textured brick splashback.

Textured finishes used in other areas like a dining room or open plan living area will also work well.  Try mixing it up a little.

Groove paneling

Fully take on the deep colours of your dark charcoal cabinets by putting the shade right on your wall. Use tongue-and-groove paneling and apply the same colour for the splashback and the cabinets.

The deep-charcoal surfaces in the space could be offset by the earthier shade of the copper sink and brass fittings, and separated by the purely white benchtop.

Subway tiles

Choose something low-key on the walls, if you’d like to simply underline the beautiful deep tones of your dark charcoal cabinetry. For example, you can create an elegant space by painting the walls white and subtly punctuate it with a splashback made of white subway tiles. The simple backdrop will emphasise the beautiful rich colour in the base units.

Put a twist on subway tiles

One solution to giving a twist to subway tiles is to lay them in a herringbone design. This particular pattern looks great when merged with the modern materials and lines in a kitchen, as it brings character and texture.

The fascinating thing about this layout is that the tiles becomes the standout element and the dark charcoal units create a frame around them.

Have fun with pattern

Dark charcoal may be a daring tone, but it is also stylishly down-to-earth – ideal for displaying a wall of patterned tiles.

Take a breather and reflect

If you are worried that dark cabinets might create a cramped and dreary feeling in your space, here is what you can do: install a mirrored splashback to reflect the light and add a spacious vibe.

For example, a tinted glass can be a good option by fitting a thin LED light along the bottom of the wall-mounted cabinets to brighten the room. An ambient glow is created with the light bouncing against the mirrored surface.



What’s Trending in Bathrooms This Year?

From simple materials like wood and concrete to luxurious materials and high-quality finishes, there are many ways to make your bathroom look fabulous this year.

Here are the top bathroom trends for this year if you are considering updating this important area in your home:

  1. Timber vanities and wood finishes

Timber vanity are a hot trend this year. Timber vanities fits well with neutral tile shades to create a statement.

Genuine wood vanities has gorgeous natural patterns, but consider melamine wood finishes if you are looking for a less expensive option. Melamine wood finishes are tough and sold in various tones and textures that look similar to your favourite wood finish.

Experts also advise using different types of timber in the bathroom, combining different types and grains together. Pick a feature wood and combine it with an accent.

  1. Freestanding baths

Freestanding baths will always be on trend.

It lets people luxuriate in an immersive bathing experience. You can choose from a broad variety of styles, sizes and colours, making it easy for you to find the bath that is suitable for your taste and needs.

  1. Matte finish baths and basins

2019 is the year of freestanding baths with matte finishes.

The common material for most matte basins and baths is stone with a satin matte finish. Matte finishes gives a bathroom a luxurious feel and resort-like vibe, and when the matte finish is coated, the material becomes non-porous and resistant to stain.

  1. Forest green

The most popular colour for the home and bathroom this year is forest green.

As homemakers become less averse to trying out things outside the box, they are ready to experiment with colours and search for statement, striking pieces for their bathroom.

  1. Terrazzo tiles

The Terrazzo tiles will continue to reign supreme in 2019 and into the future – if it is appropriately used. It can look very heavy when used to cover the entire bathroom.

A great way to use terrazzo tiles is to combine it with other tiles or natural materials like timber. You can also combine these materials together in other ways like adding wood panelling to disrupt tiling in fascinating angles either on the floor or wall.

  1. Brushed nickel and stainless steel taps

The perfect partner for terrazzo tiles is brushed nickel and stainless steel taps. This the raw metal look that designers are raving about. This colour tapware is being used to replace chrome and black taps and to create a more luxurious vibe.

  1. Bold wallpaper

Wallpaper has made a triumphant return! The hottest trend right now is bold patterns, loud colours and textured wallpapers, which trigger people’s inner wild child and let them have fun.

Wallpaper is a less expensive and simple way to freshen up an outdated space.

Instead of a tile splashback, use wallpaper to update the space around your vanity.

For an even adventurous look, install a feature wall or line the top third of the bathroom with a striking wallpaper. With the perfect splash-proof material, you can achieve the appearance you like without the effort of relining two times a year.

  1. Luxurious materials and high-end finishes

If you have the budget, purchase one or two pricey items to boost the luxurious feel of the general design.

Some examples of items that will significantly boost the value of your bathroom are higher quality flooring materials like genuine stone and tapware.

  1. Shaker-style cabinetry

Shaker-style cabinetry is another trend that has returned in 2019.

The elaborate style of the cabinet doors looks good on Hamptons, farmhouse or heritage-style bathrooms. An added benefit of this style of cabinetry is that it brings a contemporary spin to an outdated look.

  1. Concrete

Concrete continues to be the most popular urban industrial material out there, as you will see it widely used in floors and walls and even entire basins.

Concrete is also the perfect material for built-in shelves and hollowed-out nooks to keep towels and other accessories.