We had an overwhelming response to the Decorating 101 beginner workshops at Side Street Vintage – and had to add a number of extra dates – so thank you! For those who would like more in depth training – I’m holding some advanced workshops in East Brisbane in June – these workshops will cover everything from window treatments to green decorating and colour palettes – they’re perfect whether you want to have all the skills you’ll need to complete your own home – or they can serve as a great starting point for those wishing for a career in the industry – the cost is $495 for two full days and one showroom visit (run over three Saturdays) and includes a light lunch on the full days. The venue is a gorgeously decorating and very inspiring room at That’s Unique on Stanley Street. The classes are very small, only 6 to a class and I only have two spots left – so if you’re interested, please email me at email@example.com. Cheers!
It’s been so long since I’ve posted but thanks to Lucy at Style mag, Laura at Bmag and of course Anna at Home Beautiful, I’ve been getting a great response to the decorating workshops I’ve just started – so thank you!!
If you’re interested in doing a beginners class, they go for 2 hrs and cover all the basics like wall and window treatments and fabric selection – they’re very relaxed and fun and only $55, which includes a light morning tea. The venue is Side Street Vintage, a cute little store and studio space, which sells vintage furniture and holds all sorts of craft workshops – it’s very gorgeous – if you’d like to book into a workshop, please call Tracey at Side Street Vintage on 07 3399 2729 – would love to see you there!
Photo by Anastasia K from our new book, which will be out in August
Every home needs plenty of good natural daylight. If your home does not receive enough, consider installing a skylight, exchanging solid internal doors with glass-panelled doors or replacing existing windows with French doors. On the other hand, some homes can have too much natural light. If this is the case, you can soften strong light with sheer curtains or blinds, (without losing the ability to see out) or perhaps consider planting and other forms of external shading. To light the house at night, I prefer to install one stunning pendant rather than rows of down lights. If one pendant does not illuminate the room enough, support it with just a few down lights, or table and floor lamps. Layering light in this way creates a lovely ambience. Lamps create side lighting, which is generally much softer and more flattering than down lighting. They can also be rather beautiful to look. (Check out some of the gorgeous Japanese-inspired prints from Seven Dandelions – and their ‘Hangman’ timber bases – fabulous). If you have a lamp base you adore but the shade is a little tatty, carefully cut the existing fabric away from the frame of the shade and replace it with a gorgeous new fabric. All you will need is some craft glue, and a little bit of patience.
Bright industrial lamp in designer Kelly Moore’s workspace.
I know most people spend $20,000 – $50,000 renovating their kitchen – but this story proves it can be done so much cheaper…My good friend, interiors photographer Anastasia Kariofyllidis and her husband Jason bought an old 1950s house and renovated the kitchen gorgeously but cheaply themselves. They started by gutting it completely to get rid of the asbestos. The floors were taken back to the original floorboards and the walls to the original cement. The plan was to plaster and then paint the walls – but they fell in love with the grey of the raw walls and sealed them with a clear sealer instead.
Then – and this is where the major saving was achieved – they furnished the room with free-standing pieces, all found on-sale – which of course is miles cheaper than commissioning custom built-in cabinetry – they even bought a commercial stainless steel sink as a free-standing piece – and Anastasia’s mum whipped up a linen cloth curtain in lieu of a cupboard door. Pressed metal panels (painted grey by Jason) were used as a splashback (don’t know if this was much cheaper but lends a cool industrial edge to the scheme)
And the really amazing part about it is how much this gorgeous kitchen cost. Excluding appliances, it came in at an astounding $3400!
Though this style won’t lend itself to all homes, if you have an older home with plenty of character and a large enough kitchen, it’ll work fabulously.
Photos by AK
Just wanted to share some photos of this lovely country property we recently shot for Country Collections – the full story is in this month’s issue (along with a story on Rachel Ashwell’s new B&B, it has these cool deep dirty blue walls – much cooler than her usual pretty whitewashed style)…the bunting and vintage patchwork cushions (above) are from Moose and Bird (Melinda’s based on the Sunshine Coast and has a gorgeous blog for those, who like me, love a great vintage find and appreciate things made by hand – which reminds me, I stumbled across a very cool, sort of retro sewing lounge right here in Brisbane. Piece Together is situated upstairs in the Woolloongabba antiques precinct – it is adorable and you can learn to sew a cushion or just join a ‘Stitch ‘n’ Bitch’ session – I’m so doing it!).
Photos by the gorgeous Anastasia K
This is a gorgeous house we just shot for a mag – so fresh and citrusy! Just wanted to share the floors with you – they’re Blackbutt painted with Porter’s Wood Wash in white, which gives a beautiful, soft, aged and limed finish.
Amazingly, the owner, Sonya, swears they’re really easy to maintain – she simply sweeps daily and then mops with a solution of boiling water and meths once a week. I’ve always loved the look but was sure they’d be hard to keep clean but according to the lovely Sonya, they’re easier than regular timber floors (my daughter, cat and I all have dark hair, whereas Sonya is blonde, so not completely convinced but as Sonya says, regular dust definitely shows up less on lighter surfaces).
Actually, this triggers a memory of a rental apartment we lived in, it was brand, spanking new with mid-taupe (almost milk chocolate) coloured tiles and I thought they would be so easy to keep clean – they were horrible! Every mark showed up (the reflective surface of tiles don’t help though).
Have a gorgeous Thursday. T
I was just looking at this gorgeous image (top) from stylist Atlanta Bartlett’s website (I think “The Relaxed Home” was one of the first decorating books I bought) – and I love how the curtains puddle on the floor – however, not hugely practical when sweeping or mopping! I’m also a huge fan of roman blinds, so classic - and unlined sheer white curtains, when you don’t need the privacy but just want to diffuse the light or hide a view (both images from Silent Gliss) – anyway, if you’re contemplating which window treatments to use, here are a few thoughts…
Though they were considered dated at one stage, curtains have recently made a huge comeback – this is partly due to the ever-increasing range of gorgeous fabrics available. From hand dyed organic hemp to synthetics created by the latest technology – the choice is enormous.
I still prefer the natural fibres – linen/cotton blends for a relaxed style – and copious metres of pure silk pooling onto the floor for opulence. The downside in using natural fibres is they will eventually disintegrate in the sun – so protect them well with a good lining.
Curtains are perfect in the bedroom, as they not only create a lush, cocooning ambience, but they also provide the best window coverage and are capable of blocking out all external light (very important in summer with our lack of daylight saving!).
We often think of wooden shutters as very French – but in actual fact, shutters have a long history of use in Queensland homes. Originally they were used externally on verandas but now are more commonly used internally.
Fresh, white shutters look just superb – especially against a deeper wall colour – and they can be manipulated to provide excellent shade whilst still allowing cross breezes through and the view in (the bigger the blade the better the view).
The downside to shutters is they can be expensive – blinds may be a more affordable option.
Rollers and Romans
In a contemporary home with clean lines, roller blinds work well as the tracks can be matched to the wall or architrave colour, or even recessed into the wall or ceiling cavity, so as the window treatment is as unobtrusive as possible.
The fabrics available range from translucent to block-out – so you can choose the appropriate amount of privacy and light required. Rollers are not suitable for bedrooms, (unless layered with a curtain), as slithers of light always come through.
Romans particularly suit a more traditional home and look fabulously elegant but relaxed in linen or cotton. All blinds should be custom made for a clean fit.
We covered well-known blogger, Simone Georgette’s home for this month’s issue of Home Beautiful – what a fabulous lifestyle Simone has – a gorgeous home right on the bay, which she shares with her equally gorgeous husband and daughter – and next to the spacious, light-drenched main house is a matching A-frame garage, the top of which has been converted into a stunning work studio – it’s all beachy vintage with a little bit of Scandi (and a lot of happy) thrown in. How wonderful to make your lifestyle your passion and income. This is a photo of Simone standing outside her studio, which is filled with rolls and bolts of the bright, beautiful fabrics her and her business partner Jody sell through their on-line store, Fabric Traders (designer fabric at really amazing prices).
Photos by John Downs. (The full story and more gorgeous images in this month’s issue of Home Beautiful).
I just styled this gorgeous historic home for Country Collections magazine – it’s a beautiful old sandstone building, which is unusual for Brisbane, and is big and rambling with high ceilings, antique chandeliers and wide verandas. The lovely family who own it now are going to slowly re-decorate – how fabulous would that be?! What a beautiful home to work with. The Laura Ashley wallpaper was going to go but now the new owner has grown fond of it so will keep at least one wall – look out for the full story coming up in Country Collections. Have a gorgeous day – sunny and 30 in Brisbane – and I’m off to buy flowers for tomorrow’s shoot – which reminds me, if you have a home that you think might be suitable for a magazine shoot – let me know (doesn’t have to be this grand! Can even just be a lovely little reno but does need to be well-loved with lots of personality), I’m always scouting and would love to hear from you! – please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photography by John Downs. Cushions (on veranda) from Just Plain Gorgeous.