Friday, 9 December 2016

Relive Your Wanderlust Memories With Mapiful


|wanderlust|
(n.) A strong desire or urge to wander or travel or explore the world  

And what better way to document your adventures, memories and travels but by capturing it in a personalised map! This way you can relive those special memories every time you glance at it.

I recently ordered my map of Melbourne from Swedish company Mapiful and put it up in our master bedroom. You can see that post here. Whenever I look at the map, I'm reminded of our journey to Australia, the anticipation and trepidation of living in a new place, fun university days, the close friends we've made, the home we've created and the birth of our beautiful baby girl. It is truly a special place for us.

And as much as I love staying at home, my New Year's resolution is to travel more...both near and far. And decorate more, but that goes without saying. I am well and truly bitten by the travel bug!

I would like to add to my map of Melbourne, a few more places that are special and meaningful. The map of Wales, a beautiful place where I was fortunate to live for quite a few years and made the most amazing friends that are close to my heart till date. A map of Venice, the city that my husband and I explored together. Perhaps even a map of New York or San Francisco, where we hope to travel to one day! And definitely a map of Jaipur, where my mother and I had the most wonderful holiday!

If you have a blank wall in your home and are unsure of what artwork to put up there, a fail safe method of creating a show-stopping feature is to hang up a map. Make it more interesting by grouping a series of maps or create a special corner with a map of a place that is personal and meaningful.

These maps add a beautiful Scandinavian touch with their minimalist design and strong black and white graphics that complement any décor and for a truly personal touch you can also add a tag line to the maps! Short, sweet and meaningful.

This is a fantastic gift to give newly weds especially if they've celebrated a destination wedding, or for your parents anniversary or a housewarming gift! It also makes for a very thoughtful 'bon voyage' present! Not to mention the perfect Christmas gift for the traveller or decorator in the family!

Talking of Christmas gifts, in the spirit of the holiday season, Mapiful are giving all La Maison Jolie followers a 15% discount and free shipping with the use of code: 'MAISON16'. You don't have to be in Australia to order your very own Mapiful. You can be in any of the 195 countries in the world and Mapiful will deliver your unique map to you free of charge! So get designing and get your own Mapiful this Christmas!
[source]

If you decide to get your own map, then don't forget to share your photo on Instagram with the hashtag #mapiful and #lamaisonjolie! We'd love to see your special map and how you chose to decorate with it!

Till next time...relive your wanderlust memories with Mapiful!

xox
Rani

This post was in collaboration with Mapiful. I only ever endorse products that I think are genuinely amazing and I love and would personally use. All words and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

House Envy: Sylvia Wink's Nostalgic Vintage Christmas Décor!

Browsing through one of my favourite online magazines, VT Wonen, I came across the most beautiful Scandinavian home belonging to Sylvia Wink, owner of Old Basics, decorated with nostalgic vintage brocante finds.

Old Basics specialises in flea market, Norwegian antique furniture and vintage home décor accessories. They house a collection of hard to find iron pharmacists cabinets, counters, tables, benches and all kinds of gorgeous knick knacks that make you giddy with delight!

Sylvia's industrial home dating back to 1917 forms the perfect backdrop for showcasing her uber gorgeous decorating style. Her home features most of her bespoke vintage finds that you can also buy from her online store. A mix of metals, black, white and neutrals, natural wooden accents, lots of fur and soft textural layers punctuated with pops of greenery, make this home warm, inviting and sumptuous.

Below is a curated collection of swoon worthy photos of her home decorated for Christmas.
[All images sourced from here]

Filled to the brim with interesting and bespoke finds, Sylvia's home is the very opposite of the minimalistic pared back Scandinavian style. However, it all works beautifully! There's something interesting in every nook. Every element completes and complements the other creating a cohesive vintage industrial design style. 

Yes, I have a serious, very serious case of house envy!! Do you have house envy too? Tell us in the comments below! 

Till next time... get decorating for Christmas!

P.S. If you are still on the hunt for last minute Christmas gifts, check out our Holiday Gift Guide to Christmas 2016 showcasing a number of original and quirky gift ideas in a range of prices to suit every giver and delight every receiver!
xox
Rani

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Murphy and Daughters - Embodying Modern Australiana!

There is nothing more indulgent than lighting a deliciously fragrant candle while curling up to read your favourite magazine or a luscious lather and lotion that leaves your skin soft and perfectly moisturised.

Sarah Murphy is the founder of beautiful bespoke bath, beauty and homewares brand Murphy and Daughters based in South Yarra, Melbourne. Made from delicious ingredients inspired by a modern interpretation of indigenous Australian flora and fauna, in a beautiful combination of fragrance and delightful packaging, Murphy and Daughters is all about creating a holistic joyful and luxurious experience!

After a successful career as a buyer for the iconic Melbourne homewares store Market Import, Sarah started making products in her home with the help of her two beautiful daughters Posy and Lola. The idea was to make everything as naturally and as sustainably as possible while still maintaining the essence of age old traditional methods of producing bespoke products.

Murphy and Daughters is an instant success, quickly gaining worldwide recognition and growing into a global brand with humble roots, supplying beautiful handmade bath, beauty and homewares to the likes of West Elm and Anthropologie. Their scented candles and wildly popular bonbon soaps are flying off the shelves in Australia, New York, Paris, London, Japan and Singapore. I caught up with the industrious Sarah Murphy for an interview on her inspirational creative journey so far and where she was headed.
Pictured here: Sarah Murphy (in front) with daughters Posy and Lola, mother Marion Murphy and Mr. Wrinkles

Can you share with us your creative journey to where you are now? 

After spending years traversing the globe in search of superb artisan made products for an Australian import store, a little light bulb went off. Impressed with the quality and beauty of these incredible products, I wanted to make exquisite, ethically produced and sustainable products right here in Australia. 

What has been the inspiration behind Murphy and Daughters and your bespoke collection of scented candles and bespoke bath products? 

The name Murphy and Daughters was inspired by my own two gorgeous daughters and great grandfather’s merchant store in Kerang, Murphy Brothers. Drawing on inspiration from a modern interpretation of early Antipodean traditions, iconography and Australian flora and fauna, products are ethically produced in Melbourne, sourced from sustainable ingredients, packaged in recycled paper stock and lovingly hand- wrapped at Ability Works, a social enterprise providing meaningful employment for people with disabilities. 

How would you define your style and how has it evolved over the years? 

Bright, bold, and eclectic! A deliberate leap from the ‘beige’ in interior design. 

Do you have a favourite scented candle? 

The ‘Boadicea’ Marble Candle Bowl. The Boadicea fragrance is lush, fresh and green with notes of violet leaves, magnolia, sandlewood and amber. She was a personal hero(ine) for me when I was a girl.


What is a typical workday like for you? 

Busy and challenging. Often starting the day early after a hot yoga class, I am everything from creative to producer, store-woman to packer, along with bookwork, sales and marketing thrown into the mix. There is rarely a free moment. 


Can you describe the design process? 

There are two main considerations; the quality and the look of the product. There is a great deal of experimenting in both aspects. 

For example, making sure the candles burn impeccably and working out the perfect fragrance combinations. Lots of thinking, scribbling, cutting up bits of paper, asking friends and family for opinions, all before sticking it together in time for production deadlines.



What are you working on at the moment?

At the moment, I am working on a range of linen pinafore aprons in an array of colours and these really cute mason jar night lights.

What advice can you give those seeking a career in this industry? 

We live in an amazing country surrounded with an abundance of beautiful, fresh produce and very talented people. It is rewarding making your own products. Creating a world that looks and smells wonderful enriches your soul.

What according to you is the next big thing in interior design? 

Luxe home accessories and accents including candles and bespoke bath products. 


What 3 words describe your brand? 

Bright... Meaningful... Australian



Can you share 3 things people don’t know about you? 

I am a bit of a hunter and gatherer.

I love finding a gem that someone else may have overlooked and polishing it into a jewel.

Turquoise is my favourite colour.

I don’t like following the crowd.














Which is your favourite room in your home and why? 

I am pretty fond of our kitchen dining area. It looks out onto our lush, north facing garden. It is a relaxing and a calm space. 
[source]
Where do you see Murphy and Daughters in five years’ time? 

It has been really exciting over the past few years turning the little light bulb moment idea into a reality. The first line of products was instantly successful. Bon Bon Soaps were whisked off the shelves in Australia, New York, Paris and London. I’m really proud of producing products here in Australia and continuing to grow the brand while still keeping its hand-made, strong family values, and to pass on the knowledge to my daughters. 
What's your favourite inspirational quote? 

"Onwards and upwards"

I recently had the opportunity to use the festive gold foil bonbon soaps. They lathered to a beautiful creamy froth and had a gorgeous aroma of delicate flowers. But I think the packaging is my favourite part of these delightful bonbons; recycled paper stamped with gold foil, they look good enough to eat!

Gorgeous homewares and bespoke bath and beauty products that smell and look joyful is at the very essence of Murphy and Daughters. Their products are locally produced, with natural, sustainable ingredients and are made with a social conscience, products that you will be proud to show off in your home or gift your loved ones.



Till next time...shop Murphy & Daughters bespoke home, bath and beauty products here.

xox
Rani

Images supplied by Murphy and Daughters

Sunday, 4 December 2016

How To Make Your Home Eco-friendly!

Climate change is and will affect all of us. Temperatures are rising, ice is melting, sea levels are rising and weather conditions are becoming unpredictable. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and doing our very best to conserve energy and water is going to make a huge difference to the future of the planet. Therefore, in the face of this critical issue, adapting to this change is inevitable and our homes and lifestyles need to reflect this change as well. Our guest contributor, Tom Rutherford, the Head of Marketing at LEDified shares a few smart tips on how we can adopt sustainable practices in our homes and lifestyle.If you sit down in your lounge at home and watch the clock tick, it will mirror the countdown that the Earth’s environment is facing. Scientists have been alerting the media and the world’s citizens for years about the environmental threats caused by the consumption and waste practices of humans from all around the world. As most of us are not affected by the environmental threats immediately, we can be prone to easily ignoring the impending issue. Unfortunately, if this attitude continues, future generations will be forced to clean-up the mess from yesteryears and even by then, it might be too late!

Environmental threats such as pollution and global warming will affect the climatic conditions, health and wellbeing for all of us around the world. Over the past few years, there’s been a surge in the amount of extreme weather conditions, which have wiped out communities and forced people to flee to other habitable areas. However, to make a change, we can start by improving consumption and waste habits within our very homes.

Here are a few suggestions that we can all adopt.

Use less electricity
The biggest contributor to carbon emissions and global warming comes from the excessive use of electricity. In 2015, over 190 countries signed the Paris Agreement to help curb the amount of carbon emissions that a country produces in an effort to combat climate change. But as energy demand continues to rise, the only solution is for governments to start rolling out alternate and renewable energy solutions urgently and get their citizens to adopt sustainable and green practices.

Energy-efficient technology is the easiest way to get people to adopt sustainable practices in their lifestyle. For example, upgrading to LED lightbulbs from incandescent lightbulbs in our homes can reduce the energy consumption within a household by 60%. If this technology is rolled out globally, it will be a big step towards combating climate change.

Additionally, educating, raising awareness and incentive schemes to use solar energy for lighting and heating will help further reduce overall energy consumption. In Europe, window-glazing technology has already reduced reliance on internal heating in the winter due to implementation of good design and smart technology that retains solar heat.

Minimise the amount of waste that goes to landfill
We are quick to dispose of household items without even thinking about the impact that it will have on the environment. Unfortunately, there are thousands of manufactured items that take hundreds or thousands of years to degrade, and are designed to only be used once.

We need to change our habits and recycle or reuse or repurpose as many items as possible. Even when a product comes to the end of its life-cycle, we need to get creative and find a way to avoid sending the product to become landfill.

For instance, home office products such as used ink cartridges and e-waste present a huge problem when they are sent to landfill. There are many elements within the used products that can be recycled and reused, however when they are disposed in landfill, the chemicals from the products contaminate the soil and waterways, thus destroying the ecosystem.

We can easily minimise the risk of these items ending up in landfill by participating in recycling schemes.

Protect our waterways
Don’t just discard used water or liquids in places where it will turn into sewerage. First world countries are fortunate to have water treatment plants that can process sewerage and turn it into recycled water that can be used for irrigation. However, many countries don’t have this technology and the sewerage becomes toxic to their local ecosystem and in turn impacts the residents. In the Chinese city of Guiyu, the waterways are so contaminated from waste and sewerage that water needs to be brought in from neighbouring towns for residents to survive.

We can all practice mindfulness and dispose used water, home cleaning products, chemicals and liquids in the proper way.

As an individual, you can make the choice to make the world a better place by sustainable practices in your home. The world needs you just as much as you need the world. If you haven’t started implementing environmentally friendly habits in your lifestyle and in your home, then make the change today.

Till next time...go green!

About the Author
Tom Rutherford is the Head of Marketing at LEDified, Australia’s largest full-service LED business. He has been involved in sustainable technology initiatives since 2009.
SaveSave
SaveSave

Friday, 2 December 2016

The Best Holiday Gift Guide to Christmas 2016

Where has the year gone?!! Christmas is just a mere three weeks away! And if you are pondering on what to get for everyone on your Christmas list...we've put together a very handy Holiday Gift Guide with fabulous and original gift ideas that is sure to delight the receiver!

We spoke to some of our favourite brands and here are their top personal recommendations to make this Christmas a Very Merry One!
SHOP THIS COLLECTION: 1. DRAGONFLIES & BEETLES TRAY - $70.00 // 2. NATURAL LINEN TEA TOWEL - $39.00 // 3. WASHED LINEN BAG - $80.00
SHOP THIS COLLECTION: 1. VERY SERIOUS ABOUT CHEESE BINDLE - $150.00 // 2. CULINARY EXTRAS BINDLE - $110.00 // 3. COFFEE & CHEER BINDLE - $65.00
SHOP THIS COLLECTION: 1. CACTUS STORAGE JAR - £11.95 // 2. THE CHOCOLATE TEA TOWEL - £8.00 //
3. OLA NOTEBOOKS - £9.95
SHOP THIS COLLECTION: 1. UASHMAMA PAPER BAG GREY - $24.00 // 2. NORM BOTTLE GRINDER - $139.95 // 3. THE WANDERER CANDLE - $59.00

SHOP THIS COLLECTION: 1. BEESWAX TABLET - ORANGE BLOSSOM - $25.00 // 2. TRAVEL CANDLE - SECRET GARDEN - $19.00 //
3. MARBLE TRAY - $195.00
SHOP THIS COLLECTION: 1. LARGE POM POM GREY CUSHION - $59.95 // 2. REINDEER DOORSTOP - $24.95 //
3. BRASS BIRD BOTTLE OPENER - $29.95
SHOP THIS COLLECTION: 1. HAND BLOWN CHAMPAGNE STIRRUP GLASS BY JAMES DODSON - $79.95 // 2. SOLID STATE FOR MEN - $39.95 // 3. BELLROY: TRAVEL WALLET - $159.95
Absolutely LOVE all the personal recommendations! Such great gift ideas!

Check out all the shopping links to the fabulous ideas in our Holiday Gift Guide to get your family, friends and also your co-workers something truly original, quirky and special this Christmas!

Till next time....let's get into the spirit of the silly season!

xox
Rani

THANK YOU!
A huge thank you to all the brands who have contributed to this post and for taking time out during this busy period to send us their personal recommendations!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Decorating With Prints in Our Living Room!

Art is emotional, personal and meaningful. Prints, photos, posters, paintings, mixed media, sculptures...it's no secret that I love art. Over the years I have curated quite a collection and every wall in our home showcases some form of artwork on it.

A few weeks ago, I was invited by UK company Pixers to choose a couple of prints from their vast online collection. Needless to say, I was thrilled! After quite bit of hemming and hawing over multiple prints, I chose the 'creative double exposure with portrait of young girl and flowers' print in black and white and also in colour. I chose the reflection option to rotate the coloured print to create an interesting design statement. The prints have a lovely Scandinavian feel to it. Since I'm in the process of slowly transforming our home to add fresh design elements and reflect a more neutral and natural colour palette, these prints add just the right accent and interest.

The premium quality prints are available in various sizes and convenient framing options. I chose to frame both prints in sleek light weight black aluminium frames and I couldn't be happier how they turned out.

How pretty are these beauties!Prints and posters are an easy way to decorate your home. Pick one that speaks to you and group more art around it to create an interesting gallery wall or just showcase a couple of standout prints to create a feature in the room. If you are looking to start off or add to your burgeoning art collection, check Pixers out and I promise, you will be spoilt for choice!

Note that you can get 30% off your first order by signing up to their newsletter here - how great is that!

Till next time...pixersize your home!
xox
Rani

This sponsored post was created in collaboration with Pixers. As always, words, thoughts and opinions are all mine and genuine and I only ever work with brands that I love and I think you will too.

CREDITS: LA MAISON JOLIE | PAULA ANDREWS PHOTOGRAPHY

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

How To Flip Properties for Profit!

Every time I watch episodes of Masters of Flip, Flip or Flop, Five Day Flip or Fixer Upper, I imagine what it would be like to venture into the world of flipping properties. However, there are a few things to consider before you can turn huge profits and have your own TV show! Our financial guest contributor Sarah, takes us through the fundamental steps on how to flip properties for profit.

Flipping properties for profit may seem like the hobby for the fabulously rich or the well-connected hedge fund managers, but if you are thinking of stepping into the house-flipping game, then as long as you do your research, you could turn this interest into a profitable venture.

Organise Your Finances
First things first, you need to know what you are getting into. Will this be a one off? Or, your new business venture? If you are planning on flipping houses for profit, then it could be regarded as being in the business of property renovation. This is a costly venture and you need to ensure, especially if you have a family to look after, that all your current responsibilities won’t be eschewed.

It’s not just flipping that carries the burden of commercial enterprise, even becoming a landlord or lady, with renters poses risks. To protect yourself personally, you might need to register a company and run the project as a business. In the short term bills would be paid, financial management, strata fees and similar costs will be your responsibility. You will also need to keep the house in good shape. It is also a smart idea to contact a financial manager or check out a loan calculator to see if setting up a business renting or flipping is the project for you.

Research the Market
Get to know the suburb and surrounding areas that you are considering to purchase property in. How much are the houses being sold for? What kinds of properties are in these areas? Are there many short-term renters or more permanent owners? Is it a lively suburb, lots of nightlife, student life etc.? What do the inhabitants look for, and how could a property cater to their needs? Remember, working at the low end of the market is less risky. You’ve got more buyers who can afford the property if you’re operating in the less expensive suburbs.

Researching the areas can give you an insight into the kind of property you would most likely be purchasing. Attend a few open houses and see for yourself what kinds of properties are for sale and observe how the estate agents and owners are presenting the property to potential buyers. If you like any of their ideas, make a mental note and remember to emulate it in your own style.

Vet Real Estate Agents
Once you know what kind of property you are looking for, and where you would like to purchase - or even if you have only whittled the list down to a few areas - it’s time to engage the services of a real estate agent. Even if you have a good rapport with the estate agent, do your research on your agent. Check reviewer sites and the various previous properties they have sold and find the person who can make your house flipping dreams a reality. The right agent will help you make the right choice.

Renovate - Update and Upstyle ASAP
Once you’ve purchased the property you’ll realise your work is just beginning. Just remember you are planning to make a profit on this property, so save as much costs as you can in the renovations and get it done as soon as possible. Being quick means you minimise hold costs and you’re not exposed to unforeseen market downturns.

Do as much as you can yourself. Most small fixes or paint touch ups do not require a professional. Do not attempt any structural changes - you need to turn this around quickly. Look up local tradespeople with good reviews on airtasker, yelp etc. Like the estate agents, it is a good idea to build relationships with local skilled people so you can re-enlist their services.

Style is a matter of personal taste and preference. Although you may not want to scrimp on research, you need to have some renovating ideas. Remember that you are decorating for a buyer and not for yourself. It is much easier to explore the potential in a house if you use recognised design tools and systems. Consider creating mood boards before you launch into the renovation. You never know the impact the right coloured couch, or well-placed art-piece can have. Using these tools you will be able to enhance the house’s unique character and style, and get your property flipped fast. Remember the whole idea is to make a great first impression and showcase the improvements.

Take a Leap 
The house is done, the tradesmen have finished and the paint is dry. The real estate agent is bringing around potential buyers and you’re waiting to hear the good news. Once the house has been successfully flipped, it’s on to the next project. House-flipping is a very time consuming effort and flipping properties for profit is not always going to be a goldmine, property investors typically make more money when the market is bad, when there's more stock, fewer buyers and greater competition among tradespeople. But by sticking to a few simple rules you can make a fast profit every time.

If you have the financial know-how, the budget, perseverance, design smarts and skilled tradie connections, you could very well get into the house flipping market and turn profits!

Till next time...fix and flip!

xox
Rani

About the Author
Sarah Miller writes about small business and design from personal experience. For more thoughts and ideas, you can connect with Sarah on Twitter.
Save
Save