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Posts from the ‘Bedrooms’ Category

Deep Buttoning

I’m in love with deep-buttoning at the moment – there’s just something so decadently divine in adding such an exquisite detail to furniture and furnishings.

Though you may be hard pressed finding many deep-buttoned pieces through the more contemporary furniture outlets, there are the occasional finds, such as an updated Chesterfield or the lovely squishy “Remy” sofa from Town and Country Style ( Alternatively, seek out local designers with a more traditional bent, such as Alan Bullivant from White ( who manufacturers the truly lovely “Grace” sofa.

If you have an old chair or ottoman you want to have re-upholstered, think about adding some deep-buttons. I recently had a large, but very plain square ottoman re-upholstered and asked them to add some piping and deep-buttoning – the result was amazing. What was once a boxy, contemporary piece is now an elegant Parisian-style ottoman (we also replaced the original steel feet with turned timber – and the existing blue faux-suede fabric with finely striped red and cream silk).

Fine stripes and patterns with a small repeat work really well with deep- buttoning – however, thicker stripes and larger patterns will not. If in doubt, stick to plain fabrics, which will show off the detailing beautifully.

When you add a deep-buttoned piece to a room, it instantly takes on a classic-meets-contemporary, timeless appeal. The trick is not to overdo it; a deep-buttoned bedhead upholstered in a beautiful fabric becomes the centrepiece when the other furniture is played down – however, if many items are screaming for attention, the look just becomes fussy.

Talking about upholstered bedheads, Denise Kennedy from Curtain Elegance ( was kind enough to show me the ‘cheats’ way to create a buttoned bedhead (the true method, which results in an elegant pleated effect is a real art form and takes years to master). You simply drill holes into a piece of MDF before gluing on the foam and wrapping it in the fabric. You then use a large darning needle to sew on the buttons, threading through the pre-drilled holes.


The White House

This is my friend Bel’s house, which we shot recently for Country Collections magazine. It just shows you what a coat of white paint will do. When Bel and her partner bought this lovely old Queenslander they didn’t have a lot of money left over for renovating – so they got stuck in and re-painted the once multi-coloured home completely white. It’s admittedly one of the most used tricks in the book – but that’s because it works. Painting an old home white really opens it up.

Though this home is painted in a bright, neutral white (Dulux ‘White on White’) – traditional homes can also benefit from warm, creamy shades of white – the lightness of the white brightens the whole house up – whilst the warm undertones create a sense of warmth and cosiness (Try Resene’s ‘Half Pearl Lusta’).

Photographs by John Downs. Full story on Bel’s home in the current issue of Country Collections. Vintage cushion on bed by Moose and Bird. 

Children’s bedrooms


























Happy New Year!

I’ve just been asked to decorate two little girl’s rooms – which I’m really happy about as I love doing children’s rooms and actually don’t get to do them that often.

With kids’ rooms I think it’s pretty important to ensure they’re healthy rooms, which is where decorating with vintage furniture really comes into its own. You see, most new furniture (that isn’t specifically made to be eco-friendly) is finished with all sorts of nasty chemicals that keep off-gassing into the room for some time – however, vintage furniture is usually finished in natural products like shellac (a natural gum derived from the lac beetle) or if it’s painted, has off-gassed years ago anyway (just be wary of restoring any pieces that might contain lead paint, you can buy a lead paint testing kit for about $10 at your local paint shop – and of course re-paint in a low VOC paint).

You can buy so many healthy decorating products now, including organic linen, natural floorcoverings and even eco-fabrics (see the beautiful organic linens from Luna Direct, – pictured above).

Most of all in children’s rooms, you get to have fun and play – check out this fabulous craft corner in this Binnenkijken shot…


In Love with Liberty

I’m having a little love affair with Liberty at the moment – especially their lovely small floral prints, from the 1930s, which they are most famous for.

I’ve bought their latest book, “The Liberty Book of Home Sewing” and it’s divine – and so is their web site, on which you can download some very cute patterns and watch step-by-step sewing tutorials.

Perhaps I’m not the only one who adores Liberty because I recently found this Sheridan bed linen for my daughter’s room – which reminds me of Liberty!

I’ve also attached some very pretty small floral prints from (They also have a very good on-line store, which I wish I’d discovered in time for Christmas!).