Friday, 3 July 2020

A Modern Take On Vintage Floral Illustrations

If you haven't noticed already wallpaper has made a huge comeback in interior design. Maybe it never went away just lurked comfortably in the background. Nevertheless in 2020 we're shining the spotlight on these gorgeous floral wallpapers that create quite the dramatic statement!

Once upon only loved by grandmas, vintage floral wallpaper has had a modern makeover. Inspired by the botanical illustrator Pierre-Joseph Redouté, MuralsWallpaper has created a collection of four vintage floral designs, transforming hand-drawn flowers into stunning murals which make a statement in the home. It is the second time that Redouté drawings have inspired a collection, with the Botanicals range released earlier this year.

There's never been a better time to surround yourself in nature. Due to the current pandemic all flower shows have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely. Which is why there is a subtle movement in bringing the outside in. Even Netflix is getting in on the floral action with the release of their reality show The Big Flower Fight last month!

According to Catherine Jacob,Head of Design at MuralsWallpaper, a large portion of the top sellers are reflective of nature in some way, which explains why there has been a strong trend in sales as people create spaces they want to escape or relax in. Murals Wallpaper have seen an uplift in sales of products inspired by nature as they overtake other design styles. And who can blame anyone for falling head over heels with these gorgeous illustrations.

Each design in the collection has something different to offer. Bagatelle balances delicate pink tones with large scale roses, whilst Losse is a peachy green botanical pattern. Giverny has a palette of very soft desaturated pinks, and Papillion adds serene butterflies to the floral mix. All of the designs stimulate feelings of being in a giant garden surrounded by roses. Scale and statement are a core part of MuralsWallpaper collections, and these designs offer a unique twist on the traditional wallpaper subject of florals, transforming them into large scale murals.

Vintage Florals is the second collection by MuralsWallpaper inspired by Pierre-Joseph Redouté - the first, Vintage Botanicals, is a best seller The lead designer of the florals collection, Jess Howard, explains what inspired her to create the second collection. According to Jess, the work of Redouté mixes science with design to produce stunning botanical drawings. Whilst in the last collection, focus was largely on the plant life designs from his book Les Liliacées, this time, the hand drawn rose designs from the Les Roses collection retain the dramatic, large scale impact in true-to-life floral colour tones to give them a modern update.

In case you're wondering where in your home to wallpaper, bedrooms, bathrooms, pretty little nurseries and toddler rooms and even powder rooms are perfect for this floral collection. Bagatelle, Giverny, Losse and Papillion are all available online at MuralsWallpaper.

Till next time... stop and smell the roses!

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Creating Room to Dream - A Family Home Renovation!

The transformation of this home in Brisbane is unbelievable. The before and after photos of this project by construction couple, Christal and Chris Fysentzou left me completely speechless! However, designing a property for oneself or a client is one thing, but renovating for unknown potential buyers requires a whole new approach, as Christal and Chris discovered when flipping a spacious family home in Mansfield, Brisbane.
The 1960’s detached property is part of an up and coming coastal area that is proving popular with many of the city’s young families due to its local schools and quiet, residential atmosphere. This heavily influenced the design says Christal: “This look was about that dream of living a modern-day Australian family life. We had to bring it to life while giving visitors the ability to make it their own.”
This mix of styling and restraint required a specific balance Christal continues: “The Aesthetic relied heavily on quality finishes and detailed textures to provide a rich backdrop. It’s important to keep the must-haves neutral and refined and then use furnishings to add colour and drama for viewings.
Cushions and beds, you can change, not so much the windows and doors. 'This pared back aesthetic can be seen through the home’s white colour palette, which is accented with natural woods and brass finishes to create a beachy, open plan feel. Here, Stegbar’s Aluminium windows with white frames extend the appearance of the walls and remove distractions to the outdoors.
 “Black and metallic window frames can really draw the eye out, while creating structure and emphasis on linear shapes, which looks great in contemporary layouts. However, in this house we wanted something more passive to complement the light and breezy nature of the design,” says Christal.

The use of glass doors and windows also adds light and airflow upstairs with the expansion of wall openings in the upper living area and master bedroom. “Stegbar created these fantastic, made-to-measure windows and stacking doors that allowed us to transform the top floor. Most people don’t want to live in the dark, so this is a great example of ensuring the home felt liveable without adding too much of our personal style.”

The master bedroom in particular underscores the importance of using quality finishes and functional design to inspire potential buyers. The use of a rich Notaio Walnut finish on the Stegbar, Galleria wardrobes provides a more intimate setting adds Christal: “The lower level is all about rattan and soft wood tones to keep the atmosphere light and airy, nothing really ties it down. Upstairs we wanted more luxury and refinement, which the walnut finish and subtle lighting creates. It makes the space feel like a calming cocoon, while the functionality of the cabinetry makes getting dressed a unique experience.” adds Christal.
The floor to ceiling wardrobes feature some of Stegbar’s latest innovations in wardrobe design. Here, a Bluetooth controlled speaker system and ambient lighting offer the ability to create task lighting, zoning and different musical moods. They also hide simple storage solutions such as a pull-out mirror, which can be extended on an arm or tucked into the body of the cabinetry. “Clever little touches like the addition of music and smart functionality really help to get people thinking about how they would live in this space, from imagining their morning playlist, to pulling out a mirror to see every angle of their outfit,” adds Christal.
From the walk-in, the eye is drawn to the en suite thanks to a perfectly placed oval back-lit mirror adds Christal: “This space could be a bit dark and we didn’t want to create one glaring light source, so it was important to use lots of small options including the backlit mirror. 
The shape also reflects the curved edges around the home such as the kitchen island and even the garden paving. More organic shapes make the whole house feel more relaxed.”

Another material that features throughout is brass, from the kitchen sink and taps, to light fittings and edging on niches in bathrooms that act as shelving. 
This was incorporated into the frameless Stegbar shower screens to add a bit of luxury Christal continues: “I like to use frameless shower screens in homes I design as they don’t distract from the other material choices. 
However, the addition of brass hardware ties them to the house.
It all comes back to the idea of refinement that allows a new owner to take what you’ve started and create their own dream home,” concludes Christal.
Till next time... hope you enjoyed this home tour!


For more information on Stegbar’s range of windows and doors, mirrors, shower screens and wardrobes, visit www.stegbar.com.au

Monday, 29 June 2020

A Guide To Selecting And Buying Doors!

Doors are an essential element of interior and exterior design, style and function, but you may find it difficult to select the proper product amongst the array of looks, makes, colours, hardware, size and additional features available. Here, Corinthian Doors (Corinthian) and a selection of leading home design experts unlock the important, but often overlooked, factors to opening the ideal door for your home.

Define Your Style
Great home design relies on creating a consistent theme across material and colour choices, which should start with the door. According to Nat and Kristy of Norsu Interiors, think of doors as the cover of your style story, then ensure it is represented in every detail. Door frames, picture rails and skirting boards all provide opportunities to add more texture to the home through the use of carved and embossed profiles.

Measure Up
When it comes to doors, one size doesn’t necessarily fit all. Many entryways don’t have standard measurements, and installing a door that doesn’t fit an opening can either create drafts or prevent the door from properly closing, which will require additional work and expense to correct. According to Amy Ryan, Marketing Manager of Corinthian Doors, if you’re new to building and renovating, invest in using an expert to assist with measuring and functional decisions such as a choosing door that uses sliding or pivot systems.

Spatial Awareness
One of the most important considerations when choosing a door is the surrounding space. Hinged doors require empty area to accommodate their swing trajectory, impeding on valuable floor space.

Corinthian’s new Moda Barn Doors are chic space savers, offering a range of popular designs that add eye-catching character to any home. They’re versatile in application, and make for an ideal transitional piece between rooms from bedrooms to kitchens and even theatre rooms. According to Melissa Bonney, Director at multi-disciplinary design studio, The Designory, barn doors have instant space saving advantages, while also adding an architectural element to rooms.
For new builds or larger, structural renovations, Corinthian’s Platinum Cavity units can be built within a wall cavity, allowing the door to retract smoothly into the wall and conveniently out of sight. Platinum Cavity units are especially suited to tiled wall applications, in bathrooms and wet areas, as their steel construction ensures resistance to warping and bowing, white ants and rot.

Choose The Best Base
A door’s finish is key to defining a home’s look. The latest trend for bright, bold exterior and interior doors highlights your door as décor.

While palette choice comes down to personal preference, carefully consider the best base options for painting or staining and sealing. Ideal for painting, choose Corinthian’s Madison entrance doors or Moda Primed interior doors.
According to Kyal, one half of the famed renovating duo Kyal & Kara, Corinthian Moda Primed interior doors are factory primed on all sides and edges, and as a result deliver a superior finish for any paint sheen.

During a recent Scandi-inspired home renovation, Nat Wheeler and Kristy Sadlier of Norsu Interiors found that the primed surface of Corinthian’s Balmoral interior doors was straightaway ready to add a smooth paint finish. This was “a real time saver, and ensured we could customise the door to the look we wanted” according to Kristy.
Equally, a light timber veneer, such as Corinthian’s Blonde Oak entrance range or Moda White Oak interior range, provides a blank canvas for painting or staining and sealing. A simple clear stain and sealant will capture its natural beauty by highlight the intricate grain and knots. When you begin exploring stains and other finishes, you’ll find an array of options from honeyed hues to the heaviest of ebonies, and every shade in-between.

Pick The Right Profile
The door profile refers to designs created through routing, panelling, moulding and other decorative details that alter the surface from a fully flat expanse. Modern architectural styles benefit from doors with bold but uncomplicated, sharp features. Corinthian’s Deco collection is perfect for this aesthetic, as it features a crisp geometric routing, which evokes striking shadows within the line work. For Kara of Kyal & Kara, “the clean, vertical lines and geometry of the Deco door design added texture” to their Long Jetty design project on the New South Wales’ Central Coast.
Alternatively, the craftsmanship and simplicity of The Moda Collection, a range featuring 24 designs with horizontal and vertical rail that will match the lines of any interior from classic, Victorian and Hamptons inspired homes. Moda is also a favourite of Kyal and Kara's. Its simplistic design ties in perfectly with their costal style, whilst also providing a unique difference to an otherwise standard door.

Think Functionally
In addition to windows, the doorway is one of the largest openings in a room, making them an important barrier against external and internal noises. Houses near busy streets will benefit from a solid-core door as opposed to a hollow-core door, as having a solid inner comprised of thicker, denser material will muffle sound more effectively.
For those looking to build or renovate in bushfire-prone areas, BAL rated products that meet government standards. Corinthian offers a range of BAL 12.5, BAL 29 & BAL 40 entrance doors that suit both modern and traditional architectural styles. 

Far from an afterthought, the right door can provide an opportunity to pull a room or façade together and define your style. If you know how to choose, the right choice of door will open up design possibilities to define the property’s look, feel and function, ultimately turning it from a house into a home.

Till next time... don't underestimate the power of statement doors in your design!

xox
Rani


About Corinthian Doors
An innovator in the door industry, Corinthian's development of ground-breaking manufacturing technology has brought stylish doors within the price reach of the widest possible section of the consumer market. In creating outstanding products with the beauty of natural timbers, Corinthian is very mindful to ensure that environmental concerns are being met. As such, Corinthian only sources timber from countries that practice responsible forest management. Every door bearing the Corinthian name continues a long-established tradition of real value for money.

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Winter TLC Tips for Your Garden!

With the cold weather settling in, it can be easy to forget about the garden. Putting in the extra effort in the colder months will go a long way to ensuring a beautiful garden come Spring. Shared below are some garden enhancing tips from horticulturalist and Northcote Pottery Brand Ambassador Melissa King.

Perfect time for pruning
Most fruit trees will benefit from a good prune when they are dormant in Winter, to improve the quality and amount of fruit and create a strong framework of branches. There are two essential tools for the job – a Cyclone Compact Bypass Pruner, with non-stick coated cutting blades for lasting sharpness and a Cyclone Ratchet Bypass Lopper, which provides additional cutting force so you can tackle bigger branches with ease.

Late Winter is also the perfect time to prune roses. For modern bush roses, start by raking up any fallen or diseased leaves from the base of your plant to reduce the chance of pests and disease spreading. Then, cut off about half of the growth in a rounded shape and remove any spindly, old or dead wood.

Rake away to enrich garden beds
There are still plenty of Autumn leaves hanging about, so rake them up quickly and efficiently with the new Cyclone Extra Wide Leaf Rake. It collects 45% more leaves per sweep and it’s 31% wider and 9% taller compared to the Cyclone Super Rake. 
Gardening tip: Be sure to add the leaves to the compost heap to help enrich garden beds coming into Spring.

Transplant and hydrate plants
Winter is an ideal time to move plants. Prepare the new area for planting with plenty of compost and organic matter. Water plants well before you transplant them and use a tough Cyclone Digging and Shifting Shovel to dig up as much of the root ball as possible. You might want to wrap it in plastic or hessian to reduce further damage to the roots in transit. Once plants are in their new spot, keep them hydrated and give them a good dose of seaweed-based plant topic to encourage strong, healthy root growth and reduce transplant shock. A great way to know just how much water your plants need is to get your hands on a Nylex Digital Rain Gauge. It measures total rainfall in selected timeframes and transmits data wirelessly up to 100m from the display, so you’ll always know when it’s time to get out the hose.
Give your garden a colour makeover
Pansies, Violas, Cinerarias or Polyanthus will add vibrant Winter colour. Make this season’s hottest annuals shine in Nylex Self Watering Planters, which feature a water spout that allows water to travel directly into the reservoir and a built-in sight glass and fill level indicator to see water levels at any time.

Eliminate pests with a bug hotel
Beneficial bugs can help to clean up pesky garden pests and pollinate our plants, so why not invite them to stay in their own des-res. To get the job done you’ll need a Trojan 550mm Handsaw, Trojan Claw Hammer, drill, some Masonite backing, a few nails, screws and a Trojan Screwdriver to suit, logs, bamboo and pine cones. Use the handsaw to cut the timber into four equal lengths, about 200 mm long. The Trojan 550mm Handsaw has a handy right angle square built into the handle so you can use the back of the saw to mark a nice straight line. It is a great all-round handsaw which makes easy work of home DIY projects. Pre-drill some pilot holes first so the wood does not crack or split when you use the Trojan Screwdriver to put the box together with the screws. Cut another two pieces of pine into 250mm lengths and screw them together at a right angle, this is your new roof. Hammer the roof onto the box so it looks like a little home. Attach the Masonite backing board with small nails.

Lastly, fill the house with ingredients to entice the mini beasts, like cut lengths of bamboo, old pine cones or cut logs with holes of different sizes drilled into them and hang it from a nearby tree for the bugs’ arrival.

Till next time... show your garden some TLC this winter so it can thrive and not just survive!


For more information on gardening tools, visit www.cyclone.com.au, www.nylex.com.au and www.trojantools.com.au.

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

A Focus on Liveability - Bringing the Outside In!

With research proving our built environment has a significant effect on our overall wellbeing, there has been a steady increase in the use of decorative timber in homes in recent years, with home owners searching for a deeper connection to earth and nature indoors. The materials surrounding us on a daily basis are critical to our mood, and the beauty and uniqueness of wood is being embraced for this reason. While some building materials can look hard and cold, the warmth of timber brings a sense of nature and wellbeing into the home, and offers a certain luxury.

Materials and patterns mimicking nature can help achieve a sense of wellbeing, which is at the core of biophilic design.

What is biophilic design? According to design agency Oliver Heath, biophilia (meaning love of nature) focuses on human's innate attraction to nature and natural processes. It suggests that we all have a genetic connection to the natural world built up through hundreds of thousands of years of living in agrarian settings.

Rather than a trend, architects are incorporating biophilic design as the next standard in residential building. By leveraging natural materials such as wood and stone, homeowners can achieve a sense of wellbeing and visual connections with nature without necessarily having outdoor spaces. This can also be done by utilising organic and biomorphic shapes and forms, live plants, earthy textures and colours, natural lighting and ventilation.

According to John Lorente, General Manager at Big River Group, home owners are not only looking for sustainable design, but an all-encompassing holistic approach to style and functionality as well as health and wellness in their homes. With an increase in apartment living and smaller house footprints, we are seeing a rise in the use of decorative timbers on walls and ceilings being specified as part of the design element to enhance the living space. There’s a myriad of timbers available depending on where it will be used in the home and the texture and colour the homeowner likes.

From the natural blonde of Birch and Hoop Pine, to the deep rustic tones of Spotted Gum and walnut colourings of Blackbutt, Big River Group offers a variety of naturally beautiful timber options. All of which are known for their interesting texture and hardwearing finish, adding warmth, style and individuality to a space.

The extensive use of Plytech Birch for interior walls, ceilings and cabinetry, provides a clean, natural look, and merges interior and exterior spaces throughout the home. The premium decorative panel is constructed using high-grade Finish Birch veneer to ensure a consistent high- quality finish, which contributes to a spectacular home that blends beautifully into its natural surroundings.

A stunning choice for a home’s cabinetry and joinery that achieves a natural aesthetic is Big River’s
ArmourCab, a new generation of engineered Australian decorative wood panelling. Available in Blackbutt, Spotted Gum and Hoop Pine timber finishes, each with its own natural colour and markings, ArmourCab adds harmonious design and plays an important role in marrying the indoor and outdoor spaces.

Combining the stunning intimacy of native timbers with the rugged durability of a precision-engineered structural product, Big River’s Armourpanel is a decorative plywood and another popular choice for residential application as it has a distinctly natural appeal. According to John Lorente, in maintaining the natural characteristics of the selected wood species, every Armourpanel sheet offers an individual and natural look, with the species’ unique grain structures being preserved so no two sheets look alike. Also available in a range of native species including Blackbutt, Flooded Gum, Spotted Gum and Sydney Blue Gum, its durability makes it ideal for use in hardwearing areas, including flooring, wall panelling, screening, cabinetry, ceiling linings and joinery.

The award-winning ‘Taking it to the Bank’ by JFKDESiGN Landscape|Buildings|Interiors chose all internal timber to be a variation of Big River’s Spotted Gum plywood, including window reveals, kitchen carcasses, kitchen joinery and wall panelling. The custom joinery units also act as furniture, with various items including the bookcase and concealed desk in the guest room/study.

Till next time... focus on liveability, bespoke design, functionality and nature.

xox
Rani


About Big River Group 
Armourpanel, ArmourCab and Hoop Pine is manufactured in Australia under the Plywood Association of Australia’s third party audited quality control program and Milled from managed regrowth and plantation forest hardwoods. It is Australian Forestry Standard (AFS) certified.

Big River Group is a wholly Australian owned and operated company. To download a
brochure or for more information on Big River visit www.bigrivergroup.com.au.

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

A Wardrobe that Sets the Scene!

From fridges, to heating, to window dressings, the ‘internet of things’ is making our houses smarter. The latest addition to this trend is wardrobes with Bluetooth controlled lighting and music that let users set the scene for their day, from a movie montage moment like the ones in 28 Dresses or Pretty Woman, to a relaxed day spa like feel, full of ambient sounds.

Stegbar, the expert in wardrobe design, is launching an LED Lighting system in its Galleria 2020 Collection. With a choice of control systems, the most innovative option to bring your wardrobe to life is the simple to use app via smartphone or tablet. This allows users to create a number of moods and zones by adjusting the brightness of lighting independently or in zones as needed. In addition, users can set timers and build pre-set options to move between light settings to suit any time of day, the mood, or to create task lighting to pick out key areas of the wardrobe when they are being used. For instance, low mood lighting or certain zones can be set to come on when you normally wake up, or music can come on when you are getting ready to go out.

According to Christine Evans, Director of Marketing, Stegbar, allowing users to play their favourite tunes through their wardrobe as they get dressed, creates a highly personal experience from the moment they get ready to face the day, to when they wind down before bed. Wardrobes aren’t just places to store clothes, they are a focal point for personal style where fashion and home design meet. They should embody an individual's own creativity and identity, while meeting their needs, which is why Stegbar have added new interactive audio and lighting technology to their fully customisable Galleria Couture range.
Here are some of the other functions that homeowners should look out for to ensure their new robe is more than just doors and drawers. 

Full length pivot mirrors – Reflect your style 
Mirrored doors are a great way to add an illusion of depth to a room and make the most of lighting, but as they can’t be moved it’s hard to get a 360 degree look at your outfit. By using an extendable arm to fit the mirror against the wardrobe inner wall, the pivot mirror can be stored out of the way until needed and then moved to any position to get the view you need. It’s an elegant solution that can help ensure your look is working at every angle.

Jewellery trays and glass shelves
Jewellery trays and glass shelves help create a jewellery store experience From a treasure trove of jewellery, to a carefully curated collection of ties, our accessories help make a statement, so they should take pride of place in the wardrobe too. Stegbar now offers a range of crafted black felt jewellery trays with specific compartments for jewellery and watches, cufflinks and ties. There’s also a concealed compartment for hiding your most prized pieces. Adding a touch of luxe as well as functionality, glass shelves added to jewellery drawers provides easy views of accessories without fear of them collecting dust or knocking them by accident. Pair this with some lighting for an instant jewellery store experience reminiscent of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Pull down hanging rails - Rail against height restrictions
It can sometimes feel like wardrobes should come with a step ladder, especially built-ins that meet high ceilings. Rather than climbing to get your clothes, simply pull on the extended handle of the hanging rail and it arcs down toward an easily reached level. It’s the perfect accessory to make use of high spaces that are generally out of reach for frequent day to day use. These are available in white/chrome or black/chrome to suit your wardrobe’s interior.

Colour and material choices - Don’t compromise your style
Whether its fashion or interior design, colours and materials matter. Australians are increasingly putting importance on individuality and creating their own takes on current trends.

Colour and texture
Stegbar Galleria wardrobes are redefining this space with the help of colour and texture. When choosing the look and feel of a wardrobe, think about the tenants of the style you’re looking to achieve. For example, a white or light oak wardrobe would suit the relaxed feel of the Hamptons look, whereas, a dark stain or veneer may be more suited to a modern aesthetic. Variations of the grey colour palette, as well as glimpses of navy are becoming wardrobe trends, while materials are moving towards texture and feel, with matte becoming popular due to its tactile feel and ‘fingerprint-less’ qualities.

Smart wardrobes start with smart design
New 3D rendering software is helping homeowners to build and visualise their wardrobes ahead of installation. These programs can model every aspect and function needed and place in-situ virtually.
Stegbar has showrooms nationally that offer consultations with design experts who can create your wardrobe using CAD design software, helping to choose the right layout, design and look for your space. Once designed the wardrobe is custom measured and built, then delivered and installed in the home.



















Whether you’re looking to create a wardrobe fit for a star, or a stylish sanctuary, the new innovative additions to the Galleria Collection provide all of the customisation you need to set the mood, find the right look and add to your home’s style.

Till next time... envisage a wardrobe that fits you and sets the scene!

xox
Rani

About Stegbar
Stegbar is recognised by architects, builders and homeowners as a leading Australian manufacturer of quality building products. With over 70 years of experience in producing high crafted windows, doors, shower screens, splashbacks and wardrobes, Stegbar’s reputation is built on its commitment to innovative design, outstanding craftsmanship and excellent customer service. Visit www.stegbar.com.au for more information.

Saturday, 30 May 2020

6 Ways to Obliterate Your Energy Bills This Winter!

With temperatures well and truly starting to plummet around Australia, it’s time to start preparing our homes for the cooler weather. Veneta Blinds, Australia's best value window covering supplier, gives their advice on the best ways to improve energy efficiency and insulation in your home, as we turn up the heat this winter.

Take advantage of the winter sun
In Australia, we are blessed with beautiful sunny weather almost all year-round. On a winter’s day when the sun is shining, keep your blinds and curtains open during the day to allow that natural warmth from the sun to warm your home. Remember to cover up the windows once the sun sets with insulating blinds and curtains to trap the warmth inside.

Keep the heat in with Insulating Blinds
In winter, the main cause of heat loss in the home is through uncovered glass windows and doors, where the heat can leak outside, making it difficult for you to regulate temperatures and causing a reliance on heating and cooling, resulting in increased energy bills and a greater carbon footprint.

Opting for insulating blinds is an effective way to keep the home cool in summer and warm in winter. Veneta Blinds’ Honeycomb Blinds, also referred to as Cellular Blinds, offer superior insulating benefits with their unique cellular structure and can save up to 34 per cent on your energy bills. The honeycomb shaped cells create an air pocket, trapping air within its cell and creating a barrier between inside and out. Not only does this barrier work in winter, by trapping the warm air inside and preventing the cold air outside from leaking in, it also works the reverse in summer, preventing the hot air from entering your home and keeping the cool air inside.

Honeycomb Blinds also offer other great benefits to the home such as noise reduction. This is perfect for those households on a busy street, with noisy neighbours, energetic children or those with hard flooring. The Honeycomb Blind comes in lightfilter, blockout or sheer, depending on your need for light and privacy control, and all three come in a wide array of colours to suit any home décor style. The Honeycomb Blind is a versatile solution because there is a wide range of models available and an option to suit a wide number of window and door applications.

Seal up any cracks or gaps
Seal cracks and gaps around windows and doors and invest in door snakes or draft-proofing strips. This not only protects the cold air from getting in, but also helps to retain the heat inside and helps to only heat the area required.

Invest in a bathroom heat lamp
Hot water makes up a large chunk of our energy bills and in winter, it’s very tempting to spend an extra 10 or 20 minutes soaking up that precious hot water in the shower. Instead of having long hot showers during winter, turn on the heat lamp in the bathroom and keep hot showers down to 5 minutes or less. Utilising the heat lamp and having shorter showers will be a lot kinder to your wallet and reduce your carbon footprint. Another tip for year-round savings in the bathroom is to invest in a water efficient shower head.

Keep cosy with soft furnishings
Hard and bare flooring such as tiles and hardwood floors can make your house feel a lot colder in winter and increase the amount of heating that you need to stay warm.

As it’s not always possible to put in carpet, small things can make a big difference such as large rugs to cover up floorboards and tiles. Most importantly, before racing to switch on heating appliances, try traditional methods of keeping warm first such as putting on socks and an extra jumper, grab out a throw rug and fill up a hot water bottle or heat up a heat pack.

Make sure you’re with the right energy supplier
Lastly, remember to take the time to compare energy suppliers. By understanding your current energy bill and shopping around, you will be able to find a better deal and help you save a little extra this winter.

All of Veneta Blinds’ products are DIY and can be ordered online 24/7 via their website.

Till next time... be energy smart and save on your bills this winter!

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Styling Your Home and Home Office To Maximise Light and Productivity!

As both working and studying from home becomes the new norm, many of us are pivoting to adopt a refreshed approach to daily routines. Maintaining productivity is crucial for both adults and children in their work and schooling.

According to research, over two-thirds (68%) of Australian employers say their company now allows employees to work remotely, with some 54 per cent of Australians noting they had set up a custom home-office space to accommodate for working from home. Interior Design Expert and TV personality, Neale Whitaker, shares his top tips to creating a home office for the whole family, and the importance of natural light on health, wellness and performance.

What needs to be considered when choosing an appropriate study or office area?
As most of us are currently working from home, it stands to reason that a desk under the stairs or a corner of the kitchen bench no longer cuts it. According to Neale, whilst last year, home office spaces didn’t exactly “sell houses” in the way kitchens and bathrooms do, the drastic changes that have been encountered in the past months have certainly seen a shift in the value of such dedicated spaces. 

When it comes to setting up your home office, ideally, you’ll want to choose a spacious room with plenty of natural light (and a good view, in my personal opinion). This is shown to increase. concentration, decrease distractions and keep you focused for longer, however, do consider how you will manage this light. Window coverings are important for not only style purposes, but also in effectively blocking those glares to computer screens, managing temperatures and keeping you comfortable. You may need to factor in multiple desks or work spaces, so for those without the luxury of a spare room to completely re-do, pick an area that is flexible and away from the hub of the home.

What are some key styling tips to factor in?
The style of your property is very personal, and for most of us, we want to maintain some flow throughout the home. Whilst the eclectic look is trendy, simple and chic is the rule when it comes to creating a sophisticated office space. Less clutter also makes for less distraction. A bright room with lots of light creates a pleasant working environment, and a neutral white backdrop makes for a good starting point. It’s easy to then bring a bit of fun into the office with some colourful accessories and key pieces. 

As mentioned, with bright, airy spaces comes moving sunlight, so it is important to consider how you will manage this as the sun shifts throughout the day. Luxaflex® Pirouette® Shadings are the perfect choice, seamlessly blending sheers with blinds to create a soft light that allows for privacy without compromising on the warmth of the natural outdoor light. Classically simple, the delicate folds appear to float above the window, allowing light to filter through, or to be completely closed. Their shutter-like effect is very on-trend with today’s interiors. Plus, the brand is Australian made!

Are there any mistakes people make when designing their home office?
It is important to consider how the space will make you feel. It’s easy to open a catalogue and simply pick out a theme to replicate. But if your space doesn’t suit that theme, it can have an unproductive and unappealing effect. An area that isn’t inviting, is too cold or simply uncomfortable and will leave you seeking elsewhere to sit, defeating the purpose of the space altogether. You want to open up the space, not close it off. Again, maximising natural light is a must, as it is known to elevate mood and increase concentration. According to Neale, incorporating a covering like Luxaflex® LumiShade™ is a great option, combining the versatility of a vertical blind with the elegant appeal of a soft window furnishing, letting light in whilst balancing style, durability and practicality to suit any home. 

Also don’t forget comfortable seating. Placing a sofa or creating a window seat is a great idea as it allows you an alternative place to sit when taking calls or needing a change to your desk chair.

What would one consider as non-negotiables?
Adequate desk space and flexibility. According to Neale, there’s nothing worse than feeling confined or restricted in the home, so choose a desk that allows you the freedom to move comfortably. Don’t crowd the room – keep things simple and clean. 

Home automation has become increasingly common, and could be a great asset for the whole family. Through integrated gadgets like Google® Assistant, Apple HomeKit® and Amazon® Alexa®, you can simplify daily tasks through voice technology, from researching questions for homework or work-related activities, to catching up on the latest news, or controlling your window shades. Luxaflex® PowerView® Motorisation allows your shades to function through technology and are compatible with smart assistants. This means you can tell them to open or close on demand, or set more specific scenes, like ‘mid-morning glare’ to close half way, or ‘night time’ for privacy.

Setting aside a bright, calm, inviting space with muted daylight that allows for quiet focus and concentration is essential, especially in households where there are multiple family members, so ensure you style your home and home office to maximise light, efficiency and productivity. 

Till next time... reconfigure your home office and stay safe and stay home.

xox
Rani

For further information, visit www.luxaflex.com.au.
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