Create An Inspiring Home Office

Create An Inspiring Home Office

Now more than ever, an inspiring home office is on the minds of many business-people. Working from home has become the norm as we battle COVID, restrictions and lockdowns. How will you create yours?

Even before COVID, South Australia was known for having the greatest percentage of small business owners in Australia. Therefore, a functional and inspiring home office is often required regardless of whether that business is run from home full-time or not.

So, whilst this space needs to function well, it can also be stylish and comfortable. I mean, why not? For example, a client of ours is a mad AFL Collingwood fan AND mad about pink. So we decorated her inspiring home office space with black and white striped wallpaper including a bold hot-pink neon sign above the desk that read ‘Boss Babe’. She LOVED it!

An inspiring home office that’s truly functional is totally achievable. Follow these easy designer tips to create a beautiful space that will make you productive and profitable.

The Inspiring Home Office Space

Many a spare bedroom has been turned into a home office, or attic space or even part of the garage. However, tiny spaces can also be used as a home office, even a cupboard. If you have a big enough flat surface and shelf space for your needs, you could create room in surprising places. Add a super cool chair in a bright colour, a charming lamp and co-ordinated storage boxes on shelves to make even the smallest space inspiring.

Of course, if you have more space than a cupboard, think about how much space you realistically need. Perhaps you only work with a laptop. Or perhaps you work with large format items or an array of products. Consider your flat work space as well as storage. I love open shelving to display all my interior design and architecture books. However, I also have cupboards to store all the less-then-glam stuff too.

Handling Clutter

Be realistic about how much space you need and ensure you can keep it tidy and organised. This is where storage containers come into their own. Whether it’s hanging files, ring binders or a multitude of small items, ensure you can store them away on a shelf, in a drawer or under your desk.

The most important part of handling clutter and storage is easy access to what you need, when you need it. Decorative boxes on your desktop, small vases to hold pens, or desk drawers for everyday items. Keep your workspace relatively clutter-free but ensure everything you need is close at hand.

Functional (and chic) Furniture

The old desk in my inspiring home office was formerly our dining room table. It was wooden with turned legs and had a great deal of work surface given it used to seat six people. Trestle tables are popular, having an industrial chic vibe. Small spaces may require a glass top table so you can see through it (thus giving the illusion of more space).

Don’t limit yourself to ‘office’ furniture. Think of something with a flat surface that may suit you… and it may already be in your shed. Similarly, an antique credenza or a bedroom dresser could provide you with all the storage you need.

The Inspiring Home Office Inspiration

Regardless of the size of your home office, have things in there that inspire you. This includes visually pleasing items on the wall, tactile items such as luxurious cushions and throws, inject colour with a great rug, or hang a fabulous chandelier in the space.

Play music, light scented candles, have pictures of your kids, place a bed for your dog… inspiring your home office should be a functional space that also exudes YOUR personality with items you love. Never underestimate the power of an inspiring home office. It may be where your best work is done.

Header Image by Platform 5 Architects

Room Decorating Ideas for Small Versus Big

Room Decorating Ideas for Small Versus Big

When it comes to room decorating ideas, most people want to know how to make a space appear either bigger or smaller. That’s the way of the world so I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve for you.

Successful decorating often revolves around trying to trick the eye. This includes visually manipulating the size of rooms and to hide architectural features or perceived defects. Whilst room decoration ideas may be endless, so is an interior designer’s bag of tricks, including for renovations.

Two of the most common misconceptions are that dark colours make a space appear small and that light colours will make a space appear more spacious. In almost every home, owners will be trying to maximise the light and space in their rooms. However, painting everything white is not the answer. So what IS the answer? Here are some of my expert room decorating ideas to help you (or just contact me, haha)

Six Top Room Decorating Ideas To Help You

Use these tried and true room decorating ideas to help you make the most of your small or big space. Remember, part of successful interior design is tricking the eye. No, it’s not cheating… it’s sensible, and we ALL do it. So give it a go?

Using Light Colours In A Small Room:

Light colours can create a calming environment but also have the effect of being bland if not executed properly. To prevent this, use tonal and white-on-white textures and patterns.

In a small room, the walls are closer together so neutral colours will show unexpected or unwanted undertones. Therefore, speak with your local paint shop about the correct undertones and paint qualities for your specific room.

If you favour using white and neutrals in a small room, ensure you add texture – whicker lampshades, knotty wool throws, a sheepskin rug, blonde wood accents – for example. This will elevate the room from cold and sterile to va va voom.

Using Light Colours In A Big Room:

In big rooms with lots of natural light, keep the palette light and airy. Neutrals in warm white and stone colours will add depth softening expansive wall spaces. This will help negate a clinical feel to a big light room.

Image courtesy of Victoria Highfill Interior Design

As with most room decorating ideas, think about your use of texture. A big room may lend itself to large floor cushions for extra seating. So make them textural to add interest. Perhaps you could use a dramatic fabric for the window treatments and have them hang from ceiling to floor. How luxurious!

Using Dark Colours In A Small Room:

Embrace using dark colours in small rooms as you can achieve great depth and interest. Please don’t worry that your small room will appear smaller. Dark colours recede and blur the lines of the walls. You can also create moody intimacy in a dark room, which may appeal to your senses too. Don’t think ‘Dark’ think ‘Moody’ and then go bold.

For the best results, DON’T use a white or contrasting trim on dark walls and the room will appear smaller. Instead, use the same colour on every surface. This blurs the lines between walls and ceiling giving a magical quality. When it comes to room decorating ideas, this can be one of my faves for the right room.

Using Dark Colours In A Big Room:

Create intimacy by using dark colours in a big room, especially one with less natural light. Moody, dark blues, greens, reds, and charcoals can be used very effectively. If you have a room on the dark side of your house or one that is only used in the evenings, do consider moving to the dark side.

Image courtesy of James Thomas Interiors

If you do need to make the space feel smaller, paint trims in a contrasting colour to define the space. This is almost the best of both worlds. In a warehouse or industrial space, you may find you have too much floor area. So a contrasting trim will pull it in a little.

Using Wallpaper in A Small Room:

I love using wallpaper because there are literally thousands, tens of thousands, of beautiful and dramatic options. Rethink wallpaper. It’s no longer hard to remove – in fact, some options are designed to be temporary, such as images for a child’s bedroom – and you can have bespoke murals installed to fit your wall exactly.

Image courtesy of Ann Lowengart Interiors

Wallpaper is definitely one of my passionate room decorating ideas. In a small room, choose bold wallpaper with a big pattern. Not only will your small room look more interesting, it will also look bigger. A small pattern will have the opposite effect, making a small room appear even smaller.

Using Wallpaper in A Big Room:

Proportion and correct choice are key here. Celebrate the size of a big room with an oversized motif. Alternatively, create more intimacy with a smaller pattern. Using a dado rail with wallpaper above and the same main hue in paint below is also the perfect way to handle large spaces.

Other options include wallpapering ALL the room, wallpapering a feature wall, and wallpapering the ceiling. This can be a very dramatic choice or be a way to add character and pattern if the room doesn’t have adequate wall space. For example, a room with very big windows and/or a fireplace and lots of doors.

These are some of my fave room decorating ideas to add personality and flavour to whatever size room you have. If you need more interior design and renovation help, please feel free to contact me at any time. It’s my pleasure to help you love where you live

Five Architectural Tenets That Come Before Interior Design

Five Architectural Tenets That Come Before Interior Design

Architectural tenets are those areas that support the planning and philosophy of architectural design. These tenets will help you to have a more comfortable and functional home that supports your individual lifestyle. So what are these tenets?

When I was in high school, I studied technical drawing for two years with a view to being an architect. I have computer designed over 300 houses, and love architecture, however interior design was always my true passion. Even now, Plush Design Interiors designs home extensions and undertakes complex renovations. However, architectural practice and tenets are of great interest and do affect my work as an Interior Designer.

Some people may think that an Interior Designer simply chooses wall colours, fiddles with fabric and throws cushions around. Well, many of us do but that’s only one small part of creating beautiful spaces. Interior designers must consider five important architectural tenets BEFORE embarking on a design project.

1. The Space

One room can appear different from another through manipulation of the space. Any room must be a quality space that best functions in relation to YOUR family and lifestyle. How will the space be used and by whom? What activities will take place? What architectural features are part of the space?

I will consider the space and all its dimensions – vertical, horizontal and diagonal – and how the space will ‘work’ before other considerations. For example, does the space need a picture window, a door, a wall removed or a wall put in place. It’s true – form follows function with architectural tenets. My expertise will help you to identify how best to utilize the space and make it work for you.

2. The View

To maximize good views and minimise bad views is a key consideration. No one wants to look out to a brick wall. Other considerations are how much privacy may be required, how secure and protected the room feels, and if you want to see who is approaching but for them not to see you.

Many people miss this important element because they may assume that ‘the view is the view’ and not much can be done about it. However, good views can be maximized for great enjoyment. Similarly, bad views can be disguised and minimized with a variety of good design ideas. Remediation will also enhance your enjoyment of the space… and the view.

3. The Air

Cross-ventilation and the movement of air is very important. Heating and cooling affects your enjoyment of your home, and your budget. Houses that are more narrow and rectangular are easier to cool with fewer ‘dead spots’ of air. Whereas houses that are fatter and squarer are harder to cool with more ‘dead spots’ of air.

The air flow in your home is one of the important architectural tenets with which I can help you. Heating and cooling are one thing. However air extraction – say from a kitchen or bathroom – is important as is the flow of fresh air. Part of any interior design plan should include looking at these aspects.

4. The Light

As an interior designer, I will see how much natural light comes into a room, the arc of the sun and the lighting needs of the room. The positioning of the room in the house and on the block is also highly relevant.

There are three types of lighting – Ambient (sometimes called general lighting), Task and Accent – each of which has a different purpose. A study will require different lighting from a kitchen, a dining room or an open plan living room, for example. Ambient lighting is that used generally. Task lighting, as the name suggests, is for tasks such as reading, studying, cooking etc. And Ambient lighting is mood lighting so may include strip lighting, wall scones, and other soft lighting,

5. The Sound

Often forgotten, sound is an area that really does impact the livability of a home. Is the home next to a railway line? Are there timber floors that clatter and echo? Will children need to sleep while adults entertain friends? Will children playing need to be heard from another room? The acoustic properties of a home can be manipulated and remedied with acoustic panels, fabric, books, rugs, etc.

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To truly live in a home that you love, an interior designer will consider these five architectural tenets before they begin to think about redecorating.

I’d Love To Help You Create A Dream Home

Whether you are building a new home or extensively renovating the home you have, Plush Design Interiors can help. From concept and design to demolition, renovation and handover, I’ll be with you every step of the way.

I work with a high-quality building company that will provide a detailed, fixed-price quote. Your new home or renovation could be closer than you think. Please feel free to contact me for a no-obligation chat. Please see what my clients say in their testimonials. I’d love to help you create a dream home.

How To Introduce Colour For A Unique Home

How To Introduce Colour For A Unique Home

Are you seeking ways to introduce colour to your home? This can be a scary experience for novice renovators or redecorators. However, why not create a more unique home by using colour like a pro. Here’s how.

There is a revolution on the way. Interior designers are encouraging their clients to be bold and embrace colour. YES, we want you to introduce colour to your home.

If you read interior design magazines, you will have noticed the plethora of white, black, grey, charcoal and wood grain décor around. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Homeowners love the neutral and often minimalist décor of contemporary homes.

However, I am also constantly asked about how to introduce colour. People are confused about colour so the default position is neutral – white, beige, grey being the predominant hues.

To Introduce Colour Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Colourful

There is a difference between ‘colour’ and ‘colourful’. Some people embrace a riot of colours with clashing prints, bold colours that are opposite on the colour wheel and have a maximalist aesthetic. That’s fine for confident decorators and unique artists. However, it’s possible to add colour without feeling like you live in Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory.

When advising clients on their décor, I look at the walls, floors and ceilings first. These tend to be in neutral palette territory except for the occasional dramatic wall. When deciding upon the colours of your walls, floors and ceiling, it’s important to consider how much natural light comes into the space.

You may also like to read my article on ‘The Ten Commandments of Colour‘ published on this blog.

Rooms on the cold side of the house should be painted in warmer colours. Whereas rooms with lots of natural sunlight can be painted in cooler colours. Please also bear in mind that there will be furniture, rugs, window treatments, art works and accessories in the room. These elements are all inter-related.

Should I Add Colour With A Feature Wall?

By all means, choose a neutral tone you love and run with it. The trick is to add colour and texture so the room isn’t cold and clinical. Could you add a feature wall in a deeper tone of the same colour or choose a fabulous wallpaper?

Some of my clients fear that a feature wall will turn their home into a ‘show home’ while others embrace that idea. Personally, I love a good feature wall. A feature wall should be the first wall you see when you enter a room but unencumbered with doors and windows. The bigger the free space the better.

However, a feature wall could also be somewhere surprising, like under the stairs. Paint colour is one thing, but adding wallpaper will elevate your home to another realm. I LOVE wallpaper because there is endless choice. Plus, modern wallpapers are much easier to apply and remove than ever before.

How To Introduce Colour in Furnishings + Accessories

I generally suggest clients choose a non-patterned fabric, or leather, for the bigger furniture like sofas. Add colour with textured, patterned and clashing colours in cushions, throws, lampshades and window treatments.

A rug will anchor furniture and define space. However, a rug is not viewed at eye level; it’s on the floor. So choose a bold and/or patterned rug to add personality and texture to your space.

Add colour, interest and surprise with art works on the wall or a dramatic floor lamp. Perhaps paint a piece of old furniture and add coloured handles or bright upholstery.

Small Space Colour Bursts

Small spaces respond well to dramatic colour bursts. So if you have a small toilet or powder room, consider a bold paint or wallpaper. Bring to life space under the stairs or a pantry door by painting them in a bold glossy colour. Red perhaps?

Image courtesy of Whitehall Homes

The great thing about paint is that it’s easy to replace if you really don’t like it. However, you’ll probably love bursts of colour and texture by choosing at least one surprising cushion or an outrageous art print.

Be bold. Add colour. Live with what you love.

Master Bedrooms and Children’s Space Considerations

Master Bedrooms and Children’s Space Considerations

Once upon a time, bedrooms were really only a destination for sleeping or changing clothes. Therefore, they usually weren’t the sunniest rooms or the rooms with the best views. However, over time they have become far more personal spaces.

Is your bedroom the best it can be? Whether it’s a parent’s retreat, teenage hang-out or a play & study zone, bedrooms have evolved. Living spaces may still occupy the sunniest spaces with the best views. However, any bedroom must still be a healthy area given how much time is spent in them.

There are two types of bedrooms – those for adults and those for children. Adult spaces are generally spaces in which you invest money for a long-lasting effect. Whereas children’s spaces can be more flexible as children grow-up fast and their tastes change.

Master Bedrooms

Once you have allocated superior spaces to living areas, the master bedroom is next on the hierarchy. Given the master suite is usually occupied by the people who pay the household bills, their needs are paramount.

The positioning of a master bedroom in relation to other areas is important. If there are small children in the home, then a master bedroom may need to be positioned close to them.

However, if children are older and more independent, then a parent’s retreat away from them and the family living space may be preferable.

Further, a master bedroom should generally be situated away from the main living spaces especially if you have teenagers. This helps with noise control as well as privacy.

Children’s Spaces

I generally advise not to spend too much money in children’s bedrooms, apart from a high quality mattress, as their needs and tastes change quickly.

Children over the age of about five should be included in the selection of the décor for their bedroom. After you buy a high-quality mattress, consider what other furniture and storage is required.

You may also like to read the article on ‘Planning Children’s Bedrooms‘ on this blog

This will change as a child gets older, so I usually suggest not going overboard with expensive items. Older kids may require a sofa and coffee table to create an ‘adult’ chill-out zone.

Bedroom Positioning

Wherever possible, don’t position bedrooms next to the front door. Consider noise and light control when positioning rooms that require quiet at night. Also consider the servicing of bedrooms in relation to the toilet and bathroom.

Good planning will often see an ensuite and main bathroom share a wall. This also creates a natural buffer between the master suite and the children’s bedrooms.

Your lifestyle is a major factor in planning your own home. Consider the space, how it’s used and its relationship to other rooms, noise, heating, cooling and light. Above all, love where you live.

Made To Be Broken… Design Rules That Is

Made To Be Broken… Design Rules That Is

I’ve never been one to play by the rules (just ask my Mother) so I do like to break a few design rules in my interior design work too.  If you want to create edgier décor, then be open to breaking a few design rules… just like these.

#1 Art Should Always Be Hung At Eye Level

The question here is at whose eye level should art be hung? People with differing heights usually populate homes. Moreover, we don’t stand around looking at the walls. We lie on the floor, sit on chairs, lounge on sofas, and relax on beds.

Try placing a large artwork on the floor (secure it if you have children). Hang an artwork high up on a flight of stairs to draw the eye up and be a point of difference. Play with size and scale by mixing up the prints and frames for an eclectic effect.

#2 Always Match Timbers

As an interior designer, I am never a fan of matchy-matchy anything let alone timbers. When faced with timber floors, wooden kitchen cupboards, wooden furniture and wooden doors homeowners can panic about matching all the woods. Natural timbers are warm with a unique personality.

Timber works fabulously with almost anything including concrete, stone, metals, tiles, etc. This is one of the silly design rules you shouldn’t be afraid to break. However, don’t mix more than 3 or 4 timbers and choose woods with similar undertones (warm or cool).

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#3 Never Mix Metals

Again, matchy-matchy usually breeds boring interiors. Mixing metals adds character and depth to interiors especially in wet areas. The trick is to mix cool metals – stainless steel, chrome, silver – with warm metals – copper, brass, rose gold, gold.

I am obsessed with black metal windows, as they don’t ‘frame’ the view they blend it and seem to disappear. So if you choose black metal frames for window or art, mix with warm copper lights or other warm metals.

#4 Paint Your Ceilings White

Why? I often recommend painting a ceiling in quarter strength of the wall colour. This creates a cosy room with an intimate feel.

Painting a ceiling in a darker colour will draw the eye down so you can focus on the view or another feature. Even wallpaper a ceiling for drama or a calming effect.

Plush Design Interiors

#5 Paint Small Spaces White

This is the worst ‘rule’ ever. Absolutely break this silliest of design rules. A tiny powder room wallpapered in a bold print looks amazing. Dark colours in a small room can make it look bigger because it blurs the wall lines, especially if it has great natural light.

Natural light will help a darkly decorated room feel warm. Add reflective surfaces and mirrors to expand the space.

If you’re thinking of renovating, then please check out more expert design tips on this blog including expert renovation advice you may not have considered and renovation preparation before you start.