Thursday, 15 February 2018

House Envy: A Grand Californian Dream!

Can you guess where we are off to today? We are off to Kourtney Kardashian's stunning Californian home that was featured in the coveted Architectural Digest in 2017!

Reality TV stars, the Kardashians need absolutely no introduction! Their fashion and style is quite unique and so is their taste in interiors. I personally really like Kourtney's decor style! Every room in her home is styled with restraint yet is absolutely unforgettable!

To create a show-stopping modern family home that is both glamorous and lived-in, Kourtney collaborated with celebrity decorator, Martyn Lawrence Bullard. From classic vintage pieces like the vintage Jules Leleu desk in her office to reupholstered Jean-Michel Frank lounge chairs in her bedroom to the playful neon-light artwork installed above her 5 year old daughter Penelope's pink headboard, Kourtney's home is a treasure trove of modern, vintage and mid-century art and furniture.

So come with me as I peek into Kourtney Kardashian's spectacular home, styled and dressed to perfection and see if you too turn green with house envy!

So what do you think? That art collection is just va-va-voom! Well, could you live here? I could, quite happily!😁

If you want to take a peek into a more Hampton's style home, click here or a true bohemian beauty, have a look here.

Till next time... have a great day and I'll see you all soon!


Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Happy Valentine's / Galentine's Day!

Tomorrow is Valentine's/ Galentine's Day and if you haven't got your special V-Day gift sorted yet, then you need to definitely read on! Whether you're celebrating Valentine's Day or Galentine's are my top 5 go to last minute pressies that'll make anyone feel all loved up!💓Luxury Bed Linen
You can't go wrong with super soft, sumptuous, environmentally friendly luxury bed linen! My favourites are the super-soft, pure flaxlinen sheet set from Bedtonic, white linen quilt cover set from Temple & Webster and Dove Grey linen sheet set from Hunting for George. P.S. Hunting for George are offering same day delivery for all orders over $50 and before 12pm tomorrow! #winning

Photoshoot Gift Voucher
A professional photograph is an amazing way to capture special moments. For a special and intimate photoshoot, I love Paula's fresh style of photography and the professional yet fun experience that Verve offers. This Valentine's Day Verve Potraits has teamed up with the Hunger Project to give the gift of love and empowerment to people living in hunger so that they can transform their lives. By purchasing one of their mid-week vouchers you can help do your bit this V-Day as all proceeds go to the Hunger Project! What a great initiative and what better way to celebrate love than with those who need it the most! Book it in!

Favourite Magazine Subscription
A year long magazine subscription is a fantastic last minute gift idea! My favourites... Darling Mag, Adore and Inside Out!

Art that makes your or your beloved's heart sing is a great way to celebrate love and also kickstart your art collection. My favourites are the Whale Bay, Antartica by Zaria Forman and Iris Scott's spectacular finger painted prints! If you're looking for instant gratification then check out the beautiful downloadable designs on offer from PosteraDesign.

Chunky Knit Throw
Winter's coming and a chunky knit throw is a great way to snuggle, cosy up and get your hygge on! There are some plush ones on Etsy! So get going!

And just remember, all above gifts should come with a side order of a big box of chocolates or champagne!😋

Till next time... have a fantastic Valentine's/ Galentine's Day!


Saturday, 10 February 2018

Balancing Your Courtyard Walls with Green Space

Great design is about all about balance. When working with courtyards, every choice must be space-efficient, serve a purpose and work within a harmonised aesthetic, considering the limited space you have.

Green space is one of the most important factors of an outdoor area. Surrounding yourself with nature has known health benefits, including stress relief, an increased sense of connectedness, air purification and increased serotonin levels, which directly relate to happiness and motivation.

Look around your courtyard; do you see a healthy balance? How much green space do you have? Do you feel as though is it the perfect mix of comfort, security and nature? If not, here are some quick and effective ways of restoring your green space.
Perimeter Garden Beds
Lining your courtyard with garden beds enhances your boundary wall with beautiful foliage, offering a lush backdrop to revitalise the space. This is a space efficient way of incorporating garden beds without surrendering too much floor space. Hedging bushes, ferns and shrubs offer dense foliage, whilst tropical plants or flowers can offer statement splashes of colour.
Vertical Gardens
Garden walls, living walls, green walls, or hanging gardens, are taking the design world by storm. Mounting your plants on a wall ensures that you need not sacrifice a single inch of floor space, whilst still harnessing the power of green space.

Trellises and Climbers
In keeping with wall-bound gardens, climbing plants like ivy, wisteria and star jasmine grow beautifully across frames, overhead beams, fencing and trellises. For an added bonus, passionfruit vines will mature and offer delicious fruits for desserts, fruit salads and summery cocktails!

Retaining Wall Planter Boxes
If your courtyard requires retaining, or needs levelling, retaining walls can offer integrating planter boxes to line one side of your courtyard with. A mix of ornamental grasses, shrubbery and foliage can create a thick jungle wall, or treat yourself to a DIY veggie patch!

Whilst masonry can be tricky, expensive and time consuming, there are modular DIY kits that are made of lightweight materials and offer super simple installation (as quick as a single weekend), whilst giving the same premium look of a rendered brick wall. Best of all, you can paint or clad them with stack stone or tiling to match the rest of your courtyard!

Potted plants
If garden beds aren’t possible, pots and plants come in all shapes and sizes! From the traditional floor pots, to wall planters, to hanging plant baskets, there are endless ways to add potted plants to your courtyard.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your pot choices; metals can add a touch of industrial chic, macramé hanging baskets embrace a bohemian coastal vibe and tiled or painted patterns can add a unique flair to an otherwise neutral space.
Introducing these design ideas and expert tips into your courtyard will help transform even the smallest space into a functional, stylish and relaxing space that you can enjoy with family and friends.

Till next time... balance your courtyard walls with green space!


About ModularWalls
ModularWalls™ creates stunning wall and fencing systems that are faster, easier and less expensive than rendered brick, for the same premium, modern style. Enhance your home today with designer boundary walls, acoustic fencing, front walls, pool walls, feature walls or retaining walls.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Design Envy: A Design Forward Fashion Boutique!

Welcome back & Happy New Year!

I've been away for almost seven weeks and a lot has happened since then. Some great, some sad, but long story short, we're back with a bang!

This year is an exciting one for our design blog... more amazing house/design envy tours, stylish home improvement products reviews, latest trends in wall treatments, flooring options and outdoor furniture, design interviews and definitely more interior design inspiration and affordable décor tips! 

Today were kicking off 2018 with an amazing design envy tour of a contemporary fashion boutique - Gia X. Designed and styled by the bespoke design firm Studio Y., the contemporary fashion boutique is situated in Essendon, Melbourne and boasts of seriously enviable interiors.
The dramatic industrial aesthetics of the boutique embraces a contemporary and sleek design with ceiling mounted display racks, that are definitely the hero of this beautiful space. The clothes displayed on vertically mounted blackened steel frames also support shelving and artwork while floor mounted podiums are placed sporadically throughout the store.

Studio Y. chose to take a minimalist approach to designing the fashion forward boutique, while complementing the clean lines with an infusion of warmth through lush botanicals, green velvet furniture and luxurious floor rugs.

The arched doorways of the pretty change rooms are draped in velvet curtaining while the lighting is indirect and recessed, shedding soft and flattering illumination onto patrons.

If you're interested to know where the beautiful products used to style this gorgeous fashion boutique is from, I've put together a quick 'Shop The Look' section below. 

Not only fashion forward, the unforgettable interior spaces of Gia X is hip, contemporary and design forward. So are you green with envy yet? I am!
Shop The Look

Rug: Everest Rug from Hali

Chaise Lounge and Chaise Lounge with back: James Richardson Furniture

Chaise Lounge Fabric: ‘Jungle’ (velvet) by Instyle Atelier. This fabric is also used for change room curtains.

Joinery: Alpine Haze laminate in Natural Finish and Black melamine in Velvet Finish

Lighting [Downlights, custom pendants, ceiling mounts, directional lighting, joinery lighting, recessed strip lighting]: Ambience Lighting

Stools and planters: Redfox & Wilcox

Flooring treatment: Existing concrete floor was polished

Wall treatment: Subway wall tiles by Classic Ceramics

Wall Paints: Artistic render paint by artist Meg Milton to match Dulux 'Dieskau' and Dulux 'Raku'.
Change rooms: Dulux ‘Lilac Light’. Dulux ‘Natural White’ was used elsewhere.

If I have left something out or if you have any queries, feel free to reach out to me via Instagram or comment below and I'll be sure get back to you.

Till next time... hope you enjoyed this design envy tour and welcome back!


Studio Y. creates bespoke spatial experiences that are a potent mixture of constructive imagination and playful practicality.Their multi-disciplinary team of interior designers, architects and graphic designers, combine their expertise and creativity with client aspirations to transform spaces into tactile reality.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

7 Ways to Revitalise Your Home for 2018

Today is the last day of 2017. Tomorrow starts a brand new year! A new year means new adventures and new projects. Many homeowners use this time of year to make upgrades and additions to their home creating happy memories among all the chaos and craziness. These projects also add value to your home as well as rejuvenate it. Keep reading for our seven simple ways to revitalise your home for 2018.

Patio Remodel
One great way to revitalise your home this year is with a patio renovation. Adding new, weather -resistant outdoor furniture can give a new lease of life to your pation. Experiment with different colour paint and look for something that is both functional and comfortable. Outdoor radiant heaters are another great way to spruce up your patio and make it an inviting and comfortable place for you and your family to relax in. 

Add Colour
A fun and fresh way to regenerate your home in 2018 is to add a splash of colour. Hues that are trending currently are both bold and bright as well as subtle. The bold and bright colours making a splash this year are lime green, canary yellow, peacock blue, and citrus orange! These shades would look great on an accent wall. The subtle hues that are popular for 2018 include lilacs and greys, which are both very stress relieving and revitalising. 

Another excellent way to reinvigorate your home this year is to add eco-lighting. If you’re looking at new appliances, make sure to review them thoroughly and purchase appliances that are eco-friendly and energy conscious. Not only will you reap the benefits of a smaller energy bill, but also your home will have a better value with the addition of the eco-friendly updates if you should ever want to sell.

Voice-Activated Home Features
The voice-activated home assistants such as Alexa or Google Home have become quite popular in this past year and will continue to integrate into the home within 2018. These gadgets have become increasingly helpful as you can program them to turn on the lights when the voice phrase is spoken. As technology advances so will these devices to where you will be able to turn almost anything on and off in your home just by using voice activated commands.

Go Modern
One way to instil energy into your lifeless kitchen is with a new, sleek look. Open floor plans, as well as a clean line look to the counters and cabinets, will have everyone buzzing about your modern kitchen. While everything is hidden behind closed doors, you invest in a clean and minimalist look that is both decorative and functional. 

Install Solar 
Nowadays, everybody is going green and more concerned about making environmentally-friendly choices. This awareness has increased the need to find sustainable energy sources, including solar panels. A fantastic way to refresh your home in 2018 is to utilise solar in your home. Make sure your budget can allow it as solar can be expensive, but the benefits are worth the early investment. 

Utilise Landscaping
The last way to revitalise your home for 2018 is to add or remodel your current garden. Try something different this year and add in flowers or shrubs that you have never experienced before. Additionally, install a beautiful water feature in the centre of the backyard or an open fire pit to make memories with your loved ones.

As 2018 is almost upon us, think about all the lovely memories you want to make in your home this year. Whether you revitalise your home in 2018 by remodelling the patio, installing solar, or adding colour, new memories will be made during the process and long into the future! 

Hope you've enjoyed all our blog posts for 2017. This is our last post for this year. Thank you to all our loyal La Maison Jolie blog readers, our social media followers and supporters. None of this would be possible without you! So a HUGE thank you for all the love and see you all on the bright side of 2018!

Till next time... wish you all a very Happy New Year! 


Friday, 15 December 2017

House Envy: A Minimalist Scandinavian Wonderland!

Are you looking for pretty inspiration to have a Scandinavian style Christmas in your home? Well look no further... here's some dreamy inspiration just for you!

This 1930s 220-square-foot mansion on the outskirts of Copenhagen has been beautifully decorated with simple earthy treasures consisting of leaves, branches and cones against a monochrome canvas. Nature clearly plays an important role in this house.

I love how the entire home is decorated with twigs and branches and simple green garlands. Literally everywhere you look there is a subtle nod to nature! The minimalist and neutral colour palette allows the furniture and the festive styling to really shine! And how beautiful are the timber beams in the master bedroom? Oh I'm definitely white or green with house envy!

So come with me as we take a walk through this minimalist Scandinavian Christmas wonderland filled with treasures from nature!
So what do you think? Are you white with envy too? Are you planning on decorating your home with simple and earthy treasures?

Till next time... how are you decorating your home for Christmas this year?


Wednesday, 13 December 2017

A Comprehensive Guide To Building Extensions and Home Transformations

Recently, my sister who lives in London renovated her apartment in a heritage listed building. There were so many decisions to make- checking building regulations, planning extensions, figuring out if she needed council permission to change the existing floorplan, renovating the entire bathroom and kitchen, adding a study nook, adding storage in the hallway and breaking through walls to create a more open plan cohesive space and extending and adding to the living areas.

Since it was just an internal renovation, other than checking and adhering to building regulations, it was a fairly simple renovation. But what if you want a major makeover? Perhaps, you've been thinking of adding extensions to your home. Maybe your family’s getting bigger and you need more space, or maybe you’re looking for a more noticeable change.

Regardless of why you want an extension, it’s not a simple process. You have to make sure the work you want done is within budget. Guest contributor Emma, walks us through all the requirements for building extensions and the types of transformations you can plan for in the U.K. However, whether it is the U.K., Australia, the U.S or South East Asia etc, the fact remains that it’s a MUST that you obtain consent and planning permissions from your local planning authority or council if needed.

What is planning permission?
This refers to the ‘consent’ you need to obtain to be allowed to build on land or change the use of land and buildings. Before anything else, planning permission is the first thing you need to acquire.

Building Regulations are different from planning permission; you should not confuse yourself with the two.

The former is mostly subjective and encompasses the use of land & buildings, the appearance of buildings, landscaping considerations, highway access and the impact that the development will have on the general environment.

Building Regulations, on the other hand, are specific to the design and construction of the buildings. These regulations are meant to ensure the health and safety of the people living in or around the building.

When it comes to building extensions, you may need both planning permission and Building Regulations approval to start work. In some cases, it can be either of the two. If you’re in doubt, it’s best to check with your local planning authority.

Do note that some works fall under Permitted Development. If this is the case, you do not need to apply for a formal planning permission. Otherwise, you’ll need legal consent before you proceed.

Building Extensions Ideas
Before planning permissions and/or building regulations, you need to prepare what extension work you’d like to do. Do note, building extensions don’t always mean you’re literally expanding or extending a part of the house. It could be as simple as rearranging things to make your space look bigger.

Nevertheless, here are some ideas to help you get started. Included are estimated costs to give you a better grasp of how much you’re possibly going to have to shell out. 

A conservatory is, without a doubt, one of the most popular home improvements that you can do. It’s relatively inexpensive, and at the same time, it can be built without planning permission. It differs from an orangery which tends to have a partially solid roof and a higher proportion of solid wall.

It’s also worth noting that a good and nice-looking conservatory can add at least 5% value to your home during a building survey. This is especially important if you are planning to sell your house.

Conservatories are also exempt from Part L (Conservation of Fuel and Power) of the Building Regulations provided that:
  • at least 50% of the walls are constructed from a translucent material
  • at least 75% of the roof is made from a translucent material
  • the floor area does not exceed 30m²
  • the conservatory is at ground level
  • heating must be independent of the primary dwelling (or operationally independent through zoning)
  • glazing meets Part N (safety concerning impact opening and cleaning) in critical zones
The costs of adding a conservatory vary depending on the design, type of property and location, however typically, it’s around £6,000 to £20,000.

Kitchen extension
Working in a small kitchen can be a real pain especially if you have a big family. If remodelling the kitchen area won't quite cut it, an extension is your best option.

Extending your kitchen is a good move if:
  • You just don’t have enough space to remodel
  • You’ve considered moving to a different house with a bigger kitchen, but it’s not within your budget
  • The value that will be added to your property by extending is larger than your expenditure
While you may not need planning permission for a kitchen extension, you will still need Building Regulations approval. If your house is a listed property, it’s a must that you acquire planning permission to move forward.

A low to mid-range type of kitchen will cost you around £10,000. It all depends on how luxurious and high end you want it to be, so be prepared to spend more if that’s what you're aiming for.

Garage conversion
With extending your kitchen, you can opt to convert your garage into one. If you’re okay with your cooking area and you just want extra living space, your garage will also do the job just fine.

A well-executed garage conversion can add up as much as 10% value to your home. In addition to increased living space, you also avoid the inconvenience and costs of moving. An average single garage would require anywhere between £5,000 to £8,000 to convert.

Planning permission is also not a requirement if you don’t plan to alter the structure of a building. This means that it falls under Permitted Development in most cases unless:
  • You live in a listed building or conservation area
  • Your house is newly-built with the condition that requires the garage to remain as a parking area.
  • Standalone garages are more likely to require one if you plan to convert it to a ‘habitable’ area
Loft conversion
The attic is also a very good place for an extension. Not only will you and your family benefit from the extra accommodation, but it will also add value to your home.

The main factor to consider in loft conversions is whether or not the space is suitable. The type of roof that you have as well as if there’s enough room for the conversion that you also want matters. The following are the types of loft conversion options available to you.

Velux - £20,000 to £25,000
Dormer - £25,000-£30,000 for standard and £40,000-£45,000 for an L-shaped
Hip to Gable - £42,000 to £48,000
Mansard - £45,000 to £50,000

You’ll need to secure planning permission based on the type of conversion and the status of your property (if it’s listed or not). You may also have to wait for 21 days for any objection from your neighbours. That’s if the resulting loft conversion will affect the view of others when it’s higher than the original roof.

Basement conversion
According to The Guardian, the number of planning applications for basement extensions has increased by 183%. Though they’re one of the most expensive methods of extending your living space, it’s a really good idea if you live in a high-cost area.

This is not to discourage you from converting your basement but to give you a better idea, here’s a quick rundown of the costs involved:
  • Conversion of an existing cellar: £750 – £1,400 per square metre
  • Lowering the floor level and underpinning an existing cellar: £1,500 – £2,000 per square metre
  • Digging a new basement and underpinning: £2,000 – £3,000 per square metre
  • creating a light well / external access: £5,000 – £7,500
  • Engineer’s fees: £1,000 – £1,500
  • Planning application, if required: £165
  • Building Regulations application: £750+ depending on the value of the work undertaken
  • Party wall agreements, if required: £700 per neighbour
  • VAT: an additional 20% added by VAT-registered contractors

Unwanted trees out
It’s not exactly building an extension but removing those unneeded trees can free up some much required space. But before you do so, check if other tree projects are possible instead of just removing them. For instance, you can create great works of art through tree carvings.

But if you have to cut them down, proceed with caution. Tree Preservation Orders are set in place to protect them. Removing or altering a tree without legal consent can spell big trouble.

Glass extension
Glazed extensions are different from conservatories as their mainly used to connect two solid parts of the house. They’re also more expensive, but that’s because the ‘wow’ factor that it brings to your property is unparalleled.

Old and listed properties simply look great and are complimented very well by glass extensions. Do note, that if your house is listed, you’ll be needing planning permission. Glass extensions are also functional especially in increasing insulation levels and making your home more energy-efficient.

And since they’re way more expensive than conservatories, prepare a budget of at least £3,000 per square metre. 

Rear extension
This type of extension is usually one of the easier ones to do as they usually fall under Permitted Development unless your property is located in a Conservation Area or is listed. However, there are still certain guidelines that you need to follow, like the ones below:

  • You can only extend up to eight metres from your property’s original rear wall if it’s a detached home.
  • You’re allowed to extend up to six metres only on a semi-detached or terraced home.
  • In both cases, the extension should not be higher than four metres.
  • If the extension project is within two metres of a boundary, the eaves should not be higher than three metres.

The estimated cost for a rear extension of anywhere between £1,200 to £1,500 per metre square. In high-cost areas like London and the South East, it can be around £1,500 to £2,000+ per square metre.

Two-storey extension
If it’s additional space that you’re looking for, a two-storey extension is the best way to go. It can significantly increase both your living space as well as bedroom accommodation at the same time. That’s way better compared to moving to a different house!

While most types of building extensions fall under Permitted Developments, there are some restrictions that you need to keep in mind such as:

  • The new extension should not be taller than the highest part of the existing roof
  • It must not extend beyond the existing rear wall by more than three metres
  • The extension needs to be at least seven metres from the property boundary
  • It needs to be constructed using materials that match the original structure
  • You need a formal consent from your neighbours especially if your property shares a wall with theirs

The cost for a two-storey extension with a kitchen will be around £10,000. A two-storey with bathroom will be at a price range of £7,000. If you need a shower room together with the extension, expect to shell out at least £9,000.

Cellar conversion
A well-converted cellar is a great addition to your home. It can be turned into a gym, a home office, or anything else that’s both habitable and functional. 

Just make sure that it’s properly constructed to be damp and waterproof. Just like basements, cellars are located under the ground which make them prone to problems with damp. The good news is that there are some systems used to damp-proof cellars.

If there’s already an existing cellar at your property, it is highly unlikely that you need planning permission. However, you’ll need to secure one if the conversion will alter the external appearance of the house. A good example is when you’re going to add a light well.

Since cellars and basements have a lot of similarities, you can expect to spend more or less the same for cellar conversions.

So there you have it - an extremely comprehensive guide and costs of various extensions and home transformations! If like my sister, you reside in the UK, then this guide will hopefully be super handy when you plan an extension.

I'll try and put up a guide for fellow Australians soon.

Till next time... are you planning a home makeover or an extension?

About the Author
Emma is a part-time property developer who loves sharing how others can make their homes amazing both inside and out on her blog Fixtures and Flowers. You can chat to Emma on Twitter.
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