Tuesday, August 23, 2016

How to warm up Scandi style

Scandi style is huge right now.  We all love the less is more look, the stylish essentials and monochrome colour schemes.  We want the simplicity, but there has been a shift in how we are living with Scandi.  We want Scandi warmed up with softer contrasts, a little more heart, and by heart I mean more lived in, warmer, more of your own personality (see my 2016 trend report).  

Dennis Family Homes, who believe "It takes a Family to make a Home", asked me to share my top tips for warming up Scandi style. 

Use linen for beds & cushions
There is just something about the texture of linen. It is the perfect fabric for creating textural layers in white on white schemes, or for introducing soft shades of colour.  It is unfussy simplicity without being bland, it looks lived in without feeling messy.  
Linen is increasingly everywhere in my home, from gorgeous printed cushions in the living room to tumbled looking sheets on the beds.

Keep it fresh with plants
Plants are the quickest and cheapest way to add vibrancy and life to a cool modern scheme.  Sit large plants on the floor, let them drape off shelves, or place a single leaf in a cut glass vase.  It doesn't matter how, just add lots of fresh green.

Lush ferns and structural succulents or (the blog world fave) fiddlewoods are easy to look after and much cheaper than buying fresh flowers every week.  Sit them in baskets or brushed brass rather than traditional flower pots. But if you want fresh flowers bunches of eucalyptus, peonies or proteas are my fave.   

Softening the contrast with blush, grey and brass
Soften up a monochromatic look with small subtle additions in your finishes, a little added colour goes a long way.  It doesn't matter if your Scandi starting point is white or black because both love pink, grey and brass. 
  • blush cushions
  • hang soft grey curtains 
  • decorate with brushed brass trays and vessels.

Warm up Scandi style by...adding naturals
It is the layering of texture on texture that builds a space that feels lived in, warm and inviting.
  • Warm up a minimal look by adding natural finishes: wool rugs, wooden furniture where you can see the grain, handcrafted pieces, sheepskin throws, aged leathers, marble and stone.  
  • Don't go crazy with colour, try and keep items neutral in greys tones, charcoals and whites, waxed wood rather than gloss varnish.  
  • It is the layering of texture on texture that builds a space that feels lived in, warm and inviting.
  • Add geodes for a hint of sparkle, petrified wood for mystery.

Mix vintage with modern, hand crafted & organic with industrial
Soften the modern edges by adding objects with patina and character: aged leather, waxed woods, interesting ceramics, industrial objet.  See how well it works below: an antique desk, a collection of aged objects paired with the uber modern iMac.  This is your chance to break the rules a little, add things you adore.

Keep it curated
This look is simple but comfortable, informal but uncluttered.  It is peaceful rather than perfection.  Edit what you own, buy what you love. 

Today's post is sponsored by Dennis Family Homes, builders of quality stylish modern, minimalist homes just waiting for you to add your personality, your touch of heart.  All opinions are, as always, my own.

Image links: inspiration from all over the web

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

shelfies for Miss J

Been trying to get my hands on one of these pegboards from Kmart for ages!! A real bargain at $29.  Now that it is up in Miss J's room she has a pretty place to show off her ever changing collections.  It has made this such a pretty corner (rest of the room here).

Would love one for my desk too.

Great design from Kmart who is knocking it out the park at the moment in homewares.  
Planning to try and convert the brass lamp into a wall mounted sconce.  May take a while to work up to courage to take it apart.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

some pretties...

So I haven't been posting much lately...  
A combo of the day job being very busy at this time of year, school holidays, and a bad bout of flu.  Sometimes you just have to let that one extra thing go, and for the past few weeks it has been being creative.  As the saying goes "I can do anything, but I can't do everything".
These pretty things have been getting the creative juices are restarted so thought I would share in case life has been getting to you too.

Gorgeous styling in a San Fran apartment.  

The cleverest lettering diy I have seen in a while.  May be doing something similar soon.

Anything by Amber Interiors...seriously

This styling by Tess Neustad

This entrance

This cute narrow bathroom
Because next time I am putting in a smaller bath too, big one takes to long to fill and uses to much water.

Back to the sofa for now, more soon...

Monday, July 4, 2016

the innocent bystander series...neill williams

I spotted the piece below on a wall of decorative objects in a decor store in Prahran recently.  I do have a very soft spot for cows, my dear granny had a Jersey cow dairy on her farm and I grew up with these beautiful gentle animals.  But then I discovered that the artist, Neill Williams, is based on the Mornington Pensinsula where we have a property, and next that the one I love is called "Main Ridge" which is our suburb!  Synchronicity at work!!!  

Main Ridge
The series is called "The Innocent Bystander" and is about the cows watching humans.  I like the concept that cows might be watching us and wondering what on earth we are all up to, even though knowing cows I imagine they are more likely just thinking of their next mouth full of grass.   I love that they are country pieces without being a traditional landscape, and their peaceful melancholy.




All in all for $590 framed I think you have a real nugget of original beauty for your home or office.  

Monday, June 27, 2016

philips hue...bespoke lighting for your home

Meet Philips Hue!!  Finally a wireless home lighting system that you can retrofit without calling out the sparky.  So excited about this product.   This is what you can do with Hue - smart control from your phone, control lights away from home, set light schedules, create an ambience, paint with light (yes really), synch with music.  Did I mention I was excited about this product?

Looks pretty easy to install, you need to buy a starter kit with a bridge that must be plugged into your wifi, and some smart bulbs.  Then download the Hue app and control the smart bulbs from the app.  The bridge retails at $89 and colour bulbs from $89 each, but if you want a few lights to turn on when you come home you can probably get away with an initial investment for around $300.  Once you have the base set up installed there are some pretty cool options to play with.

The app allows you to set lighting moods, turning on "moments" they call it.  So you can have relaxed moment, a normal bright light moment, a wake up moment, a party moment.  Sounds like fun and watching reviews it reacts really quickly and is easy to set.  The colour globes can be set to any colour, the blues and reds are really effective.  I like the Bloom light ($99.90) which washes the wall in colour and is small enough to sit on a desk top or credenza, and the Hue Go which is similar to the Bloom but cordless and portable.  Again controlled from your phone and really easy to use.  See the cute video below.

No need to wait for the Vivid festival anymore, you can have your own little festival at your house whenever you want.

And with the Hue Party app you can really throw a party (see video below) with the lights syncing to music, strobe function, candle function, scrolling rainbow lights.  I want to have a party...

I would install it just to be able to set the entrance lights on remotely, or when it gets dark, never like coming home to a dark house.  Useful to make it look like somebody's home when you are away too.   You can set the geo-fencing feature which switches the lights off when you reach a set distance away from home, and switches on when it senses you coming home.  Pretty cool.

And how genius for people who are renting!!!  Because I never rented a house that had decent lights.  You can upgrade the lighting and take it all with you when you leave.

Lighting is very under rated in creating the mood of a home.  I know it is an area of design I would love to do better at our house, and this looks like a good first step.  

Would love to install this at my house!!   Check out Philips Hue website for more info and the other cool products like the LED light strips and tap switch.  

Monday, June 20, 2016

currawong updates

Little things around Currawong Cottage...

New wooded cooking utensils and bird topped jar on the kitchen counter.

Fresh picked eucalyptus in my lovely new basket.

Horse shoe coat rack made by Miss E in the white bedroom.

If you are looking for a country retreat, why not visit Currawong Cottage yourself.  The perfect relaxed spot to explore the Mornington Peninsula from.

Monday, June 13, 2016

miss j's bedroom makeover

If I wait until it is really truly finished it will never get posted.  So here is Miss J's bedroom makeover.  Looking pretty and fresh with lots of white and hints of pink and mint.  
See how it looked as Miss E's teen room here.

The bedside table is like a super sized pink dot to match the wall dots.  A really good buy from Kmart, Kmart homeware is just getting better and better.  Yes I know the quality isn't great but brilliant value.  The blue mini dot pillow case is from Pottery Barn Kids, and I made the ikat cushion with fabric from No Chintz.

I have changed the curtain dressing to a plain white and dressed the edges with teeny mint pom-pom trim.  Love how this turned out so much that I added it to the poster edge below.

and more pom-pom trim on the ikat cushion.  I do love a little bit of trim.

The pineapple door stopper is another Kmart find, love a bit of yellow.

Miss J is obsessed with birds, animals and insects, her favourite bed time reading is the animal encyclopedia.  So I made a simple poster frame for these gorgeous wrapping papers.  Was really hard to photograph these in the context of the room.

A little bit of yellow goes a long way to diffuse the girliness of the pink dots.

Not totally thrilled with these photos, I find photographing interiors really quite tricky, but you get the picture.  Still lots of little details to add, but am loving the direction it is heading in.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

in search of pretty things... girls bedroom

I am looking for some decorative finishing touches for Miss J's room, nothing to candy pink or Disney inspired.  Miss J can add all that if her little heart so pleases.

From top left:
Amazing diy wall hanging with cute deer hook
Gorgeous colour block yarn wall hanging from TapestriesbyNadia
Great value pegboard from Kmart - bargain at $29 
Blue ikat wallpaper
Ikat fabrics from No Chintz

Monday, May 30, 2016

Invest in a butlers pantry

A butler's pantry is an opportunity to get your build dollars working hard for you. Why?  Let me convince you.
Kitchens are the heart of modern homes.  They are where we entertain, where we spend time with family daily.  We want them to be functional and look beautiful too. 

A butler's pantry is a secondary kitchen space: 
  • for washing up
  • a work space for appliances that you don't want on display like the coffee machine, juicer and food processor 
  • for additional storage
They allow you to keep the mess and prep of cooking largely out of site, and they allow you to keep your appliances out, ready to use, without cluttering up the primary kitchen visually. 

Creates more storage, keeps your home looking beautiful, makes daily cooking and entertaining easier; this is why butlers pantries are fast becoming an essential part of any luxe home design.  

So why is a butlers pantry a good investment?  
You don't need an enormous butler's pantry to really add to the functionality and wow factor of your home.  
  • A relatively modest investment in space and budget will impress prospective buyers one day.  Yes a big space would be better, but even a small functional space is good.
  • It is becoming a must have item for buyers of modern luxe homes.
  • The cabinetry is out of site and doesn't have to be super expensive.  Save your dollars for the primary kitchen and fill the butlers pantry with good quality but standard fittings.
  • Storage is a primary concern for buyers, any investment in storage will be repaid when you sell.
  • You are going to love living with it now, and reap the financial reward of the investment when you sell.
Planning the space
While it doesn't have to be enormous, I recommend making the space as generous as possible.  
  • Plan lots of bench space next to a double sink, and plenty of storage for platters, decorative objects, and table linen.  
  • I would recommend a mix of closed and open storage.  Open storage for items used often, and closed for glassware and less frequently used items that you don't want to get dusty. 
  • Make sure the shelves are deep enough to hold platters and large appliances.
  • Include above counter plug points so that appliances can be plugged in easily.
  • Try and ensure that any portion of the space that is visible from the primary kitchen ties in with the kitchen design, and can be styled to look good.
  • There are some excellent designs out there for making use of both small and awkward spaces.  Start a pinterest board to keep track of all those good ideas.

Now for the eye candy.  I have scoured the web and pored over plans to try and show you the best of the best layouts out there.  Essentially the pantry space extends off the kitchen, either into an expanded walk in cupboard space, or into a separate room.  It all depends on the space in your home but these are some of my favourites.

See more in the Build 101 series, where I share my experience to make your build dollars work harder, and your build journey that little bit easier.

Photo's from top: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7