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Posts from the ‘Inspiration’ Category

Instant Outdoor Rooms

Another sunny day in Brisbane. Perfect weather for finding a shady tree and setting up a table. My daughter and a couple of her friends helped me string the lanterns and lug the iron table (I paid them in macaroons!) – otherwise this only took half an hour and was easy to do. Sometimes life seems challenging but creating beauty around us can help soften the edges – so pick a corner of your backyard (or the park, as I did for this shoot), make it beautiful and enjoy…

Styling and photography by Tahn Scoon. Outdoor furniture from Les Salles. 


Masculine Rooms

Traditionally masculine interiors have always been strong, dark and architecturally clean with heavy, large-scale furniture and tough materials such as leather, steel and wood dominating. Done well, it is a powerful look, which creates a bold and functional space.

However, done badly it can become overtly hard, cold and commercial – so it is important to add elements of softness and light to balance the innate strength of the style.

Softness can be added by texture. Add fine cottons, wools or linens to counteract the harder elements. For example, soften a dark leather sofa by adding a pure white sheepskin (as pictured). Add softly textured cushions to cold steel chairs, or a fine silk rug to a hard, concrete floor.

The inclusion of white, or light colours, to a masculine room will lift the look and counteract any potential oppressiveness. This can be achieved quite simply by adding large expanses of lighter colours into the overall scheme.

White or light walls and light coloured flooring (such as sisal or polished concrete) may be used to freshen and brighten a room which is weighed down by a lot of heavy or dark furniture.

Lighter, textured window treatments (such as bamboo blinds or natural coloured linen Romans) will add softness of colour and texture – and will literally permit more light into the space.

Punches of strong colours and patterns not traditionally associated with men can also lighten and update a masculine space. For example, the colourful French striped blind (pictured)– adds a certain freshness to the otherwise muted room.

And though we think of only checks or stripes as being ‘manly’ enough, even florals can be used if clean-lines are maintained. (The Emporium Hotel uses a frangipani motif in its interiors – the simple, clean design is very uni-sexed in its appeal).

The masculine interior is innately dark, strong and a little sexy – and whether for a male or female space – the essential design elements of the style can be used to create a powerful edge.

Photograph from ‘New Vintage’ by Anastasia K

Les Salles

As a stylist I’m always looking for unique and inspirational props – and Les Salles in Paddington, Brisbane,, is one of my favourite stores to raid! Anka stocks some really cool vintage pieces from far flung places, like Belgium and Morocco but she also has really lovely little pieces like these espadrilles (don’t they make you feel like going on holiday?) and beautiful, beautiful ribbons…

PS – Les Salles is featured in this month’s issue of Home Beautiful.

Photos by John Downs,

Sleek Storage

I love this photo (though I’m sorry I can’t credit it as I really don’t know whose it is!). The space under stairs is often wasted and this is a fabulous solution for those who need more storage (most of us).

Bespoke built-in shelving and cabinetry really is such an effective way to stay organised. If you want a clean, streamlined effect, match cabinetry to walls (as in this photo) – or for something more dramatic, try contrasting dark timber shelving on white walls.

I visited a family recently and had just installed a huge wall of built-in cabinetry in their living area and had even included pull-out toy bins for the younger kids and specially designated school bag cupboards for the older children – what a fabulous way to keep a big family house tidy – those bulky schoolbags strewn across the floor can drive one nuts!

Inspiration – wallpaper and fabrics

This Nina Campbell wallpaper isn’t new, but it’s just divine. As a stylist, I find this image really inspirational – the shade of green, the stack of vintage paperbacks – just lovely.

‘Bergonzi’ by Nina Campbell

And even though it’s also a few years old, the ‘Dauphine’ collection by Mokum is still my favourite. Absolutely want to use it in my bedroom, don’t care if it’s not a latest release!