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

Tips for Creating A More Luxurious Bedroom

Tips for Creating A More Luxurious Bedroom

A more luxurious bedroom may not make you sleep better, but it will make you feel better about being awake. A luxury bedroom is only a few designer tips away.

Intimate and highly personal, your bedroom is the perfect sanctuary for luxurious and relaxing touches. However, a more luxurious bedroom should be personal, restful and functional. No matter the size of your bedroom, try these interior designer tips for a luxe look.

A More Luxurious Bedroom Starts With the Walls

Whether it’s paint or wallpaper, select a wall covering that makes you feel calm and secure. Soft and neutral tones induce restfulness – a pastel in blue, pink, yellow, mauve, green – or natural tones in beige, cream, sage, sea foam, honey – pale and neutral selections that come from nature.

Paint your ceiling in a warm white paint or in the wall paint in half or quarter strength. Paint trims and doors in a warm white or a gloss version of the wall colour. Alternatively, use a half or quarter strength gloss of the wall paint. This will give you a cohesive look but with subtle colour changes in the room.

Wallpaper can easily add a luxe vibe to any bedroom. A subtle stripe or light floral in cream or gold will add instant luxury. Importantly, don’t be afraid of wallpaper, it’s really beautiful. Enjoy a more luxurious bedroom with a wallpaper feature wall. Alternatively, paper the whole room in a small print or subtle texture. Glam!

Create A Hero Piece

Choose a hero or centerpiece for your bedroom. Invest in a glorious rug that can be treated as an heirloom and handed down to another generation. Subtle watercolour patterns are usually timeless and restful. They have an ability to be flexibly used with different decor over the years.

John Lewis and Partners

OR, choose a dramatic bedhead! For example, a large antique French mirror with a divine patina. Alternatively, something bold in velvet will create a beautiful and luxurious bedroom focus. Luxury doesn’t have to be expensive. However, if you have the budget for an heirloom or dramatic piece – rug, bedhead, chandelier, modern art work – then you won’t regret it, if you LOVE it.

Go Faux

Consider a faux-fur throw, good quality velvet, a replica designer lamp or even spray-painting a cheap mirror frame in gold. When you mix expensive with cheaper items or use luxe faux textures – such as marble, velvet, silk, linen, wood-look, gold – you’ll achieve a more luxurious bedroom look on a budget.

Nearly Natural

Faux flowers are another beautiful way to add colour, texture, femininity and a luxury feel. After all, a house full of fresh flowers is highly luxurious. To create a more luxurious bedroom, choose high-quality faux flowers and have place them on a dressing table or side table.

Mix Colours

Using different depths of colour in the same family or those that are adjacent on the colour wheel, you can create restful décor. For example, cream and gold in different textures. Don’t be afraid to mix pastels and have an array of cushions and pillows in mint, pale peach, baby pink, light mauve and lavender mixed with navy blue and charcoal. Always have different fabrics – velvet, cotton, linen, brocade, knits – to add texture and interest.

Interior Painting Tips To Transform Your Home

Interior Painting Tips To Transform Your Home

Interior painting is an easy way to change your home décor. From a weekend project to something more elaborate, the possibilities are endless. So you’ll love these expert paint tips

Introducing surprising interior painting elements and rich colour in unexpected places make me clap my hands with joy. Modern paint colours and finishes provide endless creativity for your walls, floor, furniture and accessories.

Eight Interior Painting Tricks to Try

If you plan to try something different with paint, then check out these expert tip and tricks.

Make Doors and Windows Appear Bigger – use the same paint colour on your door and window frames that you use on the walls. If you need a little extra interior painting decoration, paint a thin line in a different colour. This is also a technique to use with architectural features you may wish to hide or reveal.

Dare To Use Gloss on Ceilings – dare to be different and bounce light around your room by painting your ceiling in a  full gloss paint. This is my favourite tip and it lightens a room during the day and is glamorous at night… especially when using lit candles.

Create Depth – by painting your window surrounds in a contrasting colour to the window frame and walls, you’ll create a luscious depth in the room.

Subtly Distinguish Top and Bottom – use full gloss paint for the bottom half of your wall and a satin or eggshell paint for the upper half in the same colour. Not only will this make the bottom part of the wall more durable but it will create a magical decorative effect.

Interior Painting Made Easy With Chalk Paint

EXPERT TIP: I love Autentico Paints which are now available in Australia. Jane Brereton from Plain Jane Furniture in Adelaide, has sensibly brought these gorgeous paints and finishes into Australia. Jane is showing home renovators and furniture recyclers how to be creative with paints. I can highly recommend you check out Autentico Paints and Plain Jane Furniture.

Paint A New Bedhead – cheap and very cheerful, paint a bedhead shape directly onto the wall. This is a very stylish and inexpensive way to make a statement. If you feel clever, you can even give the illusion of deep buttoning or stripes or suede or metallic by choosing a specialty Autentico paint finish.

Decorate Cupboard Interiors – use paint or fabulous wallpaper to decorate the back of cupboards or the back wall of open shelves. Look for dramatic colours and patterns or use metallic wallpaper to great effect, such as for the back wall of a drinks cupboard.

Interior Painting + Wallpaper Make A Great Combination

EXPERT TIP: I love, use and recommend the wonderful range of murals and wallpapers from Fancify. Natalie Hogan will help you with a wide range of papers for children, teenagers, adults, families, singles and everyone else. You can even use your own photo for a bespoke mural that fits perfectly the dimensions of your wall. Tell Natalie that Penelope from Plush sent you.

Have A Wild Floor – let you imagination go wild by painting interior concrete or floorboards in a geometric pattern, stripes or even use a stencil to create floral designs or impacting motifs.

Don’t Forget The Staircase – paint the spindles on your staircase in a deeper, different or contrasting colour to the rest of the staircase. This is a very popular trend overseas and can make a lovely feature of your hallway and stairs.

When it comes to building a new home or home renovations, paint is an exciting element. Use the tips above to create unique interior design statements on walls, floors and furniture.

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

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.